Month: November 2007 (page 1 of 4)

Bad Mama In The Hizzouse!

Julia has been a real Mini-Mom, lately.

This morning, after getting out of the bath, I dried off, put a towel on the toilet lid and sat down. (Morning sickness, ugh.) Then, Julia got out of the tub, dried herself off, put a towel on the lid of her potty and sat down. I started to comb my hair. She started to comb her hair. And on it went throughout the morning.

It was sweet. My little girl wants to be like her Mommy. What a compliment.

Or not.

Sometimes when someone holds a mirror up to you, you may not be happy with what you see.

On the way home from Kindermusik, Julia and I were talking. I must have said something shocking because she got a surprised look on her face and shouted, “ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!!?”

I know. I know! It’s shocking. I know you’re wondering where she heard something like that.

Oh okay, you know where. She heard it from me. I distinctly remember saying it yesterday on the phone, one or five times. In varying tones and inflections.

And if it’s not bad enough that she heard me saying that phrase, my response to her repeating it was no better. I did the one thing you’re not supposed to do when your child says something naughty: I laughed. She was pleased. She said it again. I was still laughing. The third time, I finally pulled the van over, collected myself and talked with her about it.

What did I say? Well, I figured I had two options. I could lie or I could be honest. I decided to lay my cards on the table. I told her that I know she heard me say that word yesterday. I told her that using bad words is bad manners and that Mommy wasn’t using her manners yesterday when she probably should have. I told her that many people – like Grandma and her teachers – find that word offensive, which means they feel bad when they hear someone say it. And so, we need to be very careful about using words like that because we don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings. I compared using bad words to burping or leaving a stinker – it might be amusing when we’re at home and one slips out, but with other people or in public, it’s not okay.

What am I going to say? “That’s a bad word and we should never use it!” Well, I don’t believe that. If I did, she wouldn’t have caught me saying it. I’d feel like a fraud taking a stance like that. I mean, how could I ever justify being a George Carlin fan or having Damn It Feels Good To Be A Gangsta in my iPod?

At the same time, I don’t want my three-year old marching around dropping f-bombs.

So, I tried to be as honest with her as I could. I use bad words at times. She knows. She lives with me! But she also knows when I don’t use them.

Julia is wise enough to understand that some behavior is okay here, but not there, or in the presence of this person, but not that person. She understands that certain things, like drinking pop or watching certain shows on television, are okay for grown-ups and not for kids. I think she can handle the idea that there is a place for bad words and that place is not her mouth.

Then, I told her on top of all that, if she says that word, it will get Mommy in big trouble. Then she promised she wouldn’t say it, because she didn’t want to get me in trouble. And I bought her an ice cream cone.

I’m pretty sure this takes me out of the running for Mom of the Year.

Something I’d Like To Get Off My Chest (And I’m Not Talking About That Stain On My Shirt)

Have you ever had some little thing on your mind, slowly eating away at your heart until you think you might not be able to love anymore if you don’t let it go? I have one of those things. It’s a little thing, really. An itty bitty teensy tiny thing that is making me crazy.

John Tesh says a positive way to let go of bad feelings is to write your ugly thoughts in a letter and then rip it up. But why would I do that when I could blog about it?

So, I’m going to get this thing off my chest right here and now. But before I can do that, I’ve got to give you a little background information. The background information will be in italics. Because I’m fancy.

It was my first Christmas Eve with Dave’s family. I was three months pregnant and incredibly nervous. I really didn’t know these people. I wasn’t sure what to expect.

The one thing I did know is that they would be exchanging gifts, so I made a huge effort to bring something special for every member. Since I didn’t know his family very well, it was difficult to find just the right thing. Plus, money was tight. So, I decided to make homemade gift baskets. I filled them with five kinds of cookies I’d made from scratch and my very special straight-from-the-deepest-part-of-my-heart buckeyes. And I included a personalized ornamet and lottery tickets (as Dave informed me that his people like that sort of thing). I shrunk-wrapped the baskets, for a crisp and professional look, and decorated them with ribbons.

Baskets I Made For Chistmas 2003

It took two straight days of work, but it was worth it. The baskets were beautiful. They were the boldest statement of warmth and caring I’ve ever seen. I looked forward to the moment I would give them out.

I shouldn’t have.

The general reception of the gift baskets was spiritless, at best. Although, there were two memorable responses.

The first, and the one I most like to remember, was from my sister-in-law Pam. She gushed over her basket. She opened it. She sampled the treats and raved about my buckeyes. She said, “Thank you.”

The second was from my father-in-law. It was simple, but effective. He pushed his away from him and said, “I don’t eat this shit.”

One of my nephews agreed to take it off his hands.

I managed to say, “There’s an ornament that says ‘Grandpa’ in there. You may want to grab that.”

And then I spent the next few hours fighting the urge to both cry and vomit. I couldn’t wait to get out of there. It was, without a doubt, the worst Christmas Eve of my entire life.

A few weeks ago, I would have told you that I was over that ghost of Christmas past. That I’d forgiven it all away. But, I hadn’t forgotten. I had learned that a gift from my heart was wasted on people who don’t seem to understand that I have one. And so, I now choose to share those special homemade items with the people who touch my heart. You know, good friends, beloved family and the people who pay me to make them.

But then two weeks ago happened.

I’d packed up a boxful of buckeye orders for Dave to deliver at work. I’d had two extra orders, so I included them since Dave is usually able to unload the extras.

When Dave arrived home late the next day, I asked how the deliveries went and if he’d gotten rid of the extras. He told me, “A guy at work grabbed a box and I gave the other one to my father.”

It was at that moment I knew that ghost of Christmas past could still haunt me.

“You gave it to your father?”


“The guy who ‘doesn’t eat that shit?’ You gave my buckeyes to him.”

Dave said he had forgotten about that. I didn’t. I realize now, I probably never will. I still feel hurt and angry. I still feel all those things I felt on that Christmas Eve.

And now, I’m still a little miffed that Dave gave them away like that.

Okay, I’m more than miffed. I’m deeply offended. I mean, David! How could you?!?!

I’m trying to be understanding. After all, I can’t completely remember, but it’s possible I served up a few buckeyes when I got all caught up in the Christmas spirit last year. Still, I’m upset about it.

I ask you, dear readers, am I a lunatic for being so bothered by this? Would you agree that I deserve to have this made up to me – say, in foot massages?

My Fallback Job: Bearded Lady

Julia likes to draw in my ‘To Do List’ notebook. This is a drawing she did of me. With a beard. She gave me a beard. She was certain to point it out. The beard. Mommy with a beard. Hilarious.

Julia's Drawing of Me

And while we’re talking about excess hair, my eyebrows are fairly prominent in that sketch, too.

On the next page, I quickly jotted:

Topping My To-Do List

I don’t know. Maybe I’ll skip the appointment and save the money for Christmas. Perhaps I could even make a little cash by setting up a tent in the side yard where people can pay to gaze upon my freaky excess facial hair. That way, when Julia makes fun of it again, I can say, “Hey! That hair paid for your Christmas!” and later, “…your college education.” It would be better than my current comeback, which is crying.

The Only Song-Worthy Footwear I Know Of Are Boogie Shoes

This is what you get when you take a tired mom who has been reading a lot of Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss and force her to listen to “Christmas Shoes” by Bob Carlisle one too many times.

That Bob Carlisle!
That Bob Carlisle!
I do not like
that Bob Carlisle!

Bob Carlisle: Listen to my song awhile?

I do not like it,
Bob Carlisle.
It makes me frown,
I do not smile.

Bob Carlisle: Will you listen in your car?

I will not listen
in my car.
Not when I’m near
Or when I’m far.

I do not like it,
Bob Carlisle.
It makes me frown,
I do not smile.

Bob Carlisle: Would you listen in your house? Would you listen with your spouse?

I will not listen in my house.
I will not listen with my spouse.

I will not listen
in my car.
Not when I’m near
Or when I’m far.

I do not like it,
Bob Carlisle.
It makes me frown,
I do not smile.

Bob Carlisle: You do not like it, so you say. Listen! Listen! And you may. Listen and you may I say.

Bob, If you will let me be, I will listen. You will see.

Bob Carlisle Sings "Christmas Shoes" to me.

I cannot take it anymore.

Bob Carlisle has killed me with "Christmas Shoes."

For the love of Christmas people, please stop playing that “Christmas Shoes” song. It depresses the hell outta me.

Today’s The Greatest Day I’ve Ever Known*

Not really. Today has kind of sucked.

I got a stain on my new maternity shirt. On the chest, dead center. I don’t know exactly when I got it. Sometime between putting it on and now. It appears to be some kind of food item. It is possible that I went through my entire day wearing it. It’s no wonder people don’t take me seriously.

I tried to take a photo of Julia in her Christmas dress for our holiday greeting cards. It did not go well. That’s all I’m going to say about it.

I have three large zits on my nose.

I am enormously pregnant. I’m only halfway to the goal and I’m beginning to feel afraid about how big I’m going to get.

After dinner, Julia informed me that she was going to make a party for her grandpa. A short time later, I learned that meant wrapping the dining room in toilet paper.

At one point today, she filled up eight glasses with water and lined them up on the floor of the kitchen. I found them with my feet. I’m not sure what she was doing, but I didn’t like it.

I haven’t been able to get her to wear pants since we returned home from ballet class.

Something, somewhere in our basement leaked. I am angry about it. I kicked some boxes around and said the f-word a few times. It didn’t fix the leak, but it made me feel a little better.

My house is wrecked. It looks like a bomb went off in here. There is debris everywhere and I am just too tired to pick it up.

As I was putting Julia to bed, she informed me that she likes grandma more than me.

Yeah, today bites.

*Lyric from Today by Smashing Pumpkins

Who Has The Sweetest Husband In The World?


O Christmas Branch

We decorated our Christmas tree yesterday.

Rather, my mother and I decorated the tree and Julia decorated a branch. She put every ornament on the same branch. Some of them didn’t have hooks on them yet. No matter. She gently placed them on top of the branch. Once she built up ten or twelve ornaments, I’d surreptitiously snatch a few when her back was turned and redistribute them on the tree. The exception was a teddy bear knick-knack that possessed no method for hanging. I kept taking it from it’s teetering position atop the branch and placing it back on the dining room table. She never spoke a word about it, but would replace it back on her chosen branch when I wasn’t looking.

Before heading to bed last night, I took one last look at the tree and removed the teddy bear one more time.

This morning, while I was in the kitchen preparing breakfast, I heard Julia shout from the dining room, “That sneaky Mommy! She took my ornament off again!”

That sneaky mommy!

I walked over to the doorway and told her, “Julia, that teddy bear isn’t an ornament. He doesn’t have a hook. You can’t hang him. He’s meant to sit. He’s just not an ornament.”

By the time I finished speaking, Julia was already placing the teddy bear on her branch of the tree. She looked over her shoulder at me and said, “Let’s just pretend that he’s an ornament, Mom. Okay?”

Inside The Blogger’s Studio

My witty and wordy friend Jen was offering up personal interviews to all of her blog readers and I asked to be included. Below are her questions and my answers. (Please note: Everything in bold should be read in the style of James Lipton.)

1. How did you and Dave meet?

I’ve blogged about this before. You can read the whole story with all the gooey details, including the photos I posted with my personal ad, here.

Yeah, I met Dave through the Yahoo! Personals only to discover that he lived in my apartment complex. We were in different buildings, but our apartment balconies faced each other. I was on the 8th floor and he was on the 3rd. We had both moved in on the same weekend one year prior to meeting on-line because we were both going through divorces.

I had a co-worker who used to say, “It’s just like the movie You’ve Got Mail!”

Well, no. No. No, it really isn’t. But I do think you could say it’s just like fate.

2. What were you like in high school? Which cool kids did you hang out with then?

I was insecure and gullible and way too into my looks. But, I was also kind and fun and maybe just a little bit cool and a tiny bit smart. I got good grades. I was involved in a lot of extra-curricular activities. I was a JV cheerleader and a volleyball player; I played clarinet in concert band and was in the flag corp. during marching season; I was a National Honor Society student, a peer educator and a HOBY Ambassador; I was president of my church youth group and traveled from church to church as a crusader in the summer. But most of my time was spent with my three best friends – Heather, Tricia and Vicki. We were nicknamed ‘The Brat Force.’ And we had the highest hair in the school.

3. Of all the hysterical things that Julia has said, what is the number one thing that you will NEVER forget?

She was 20 months old and saw a woodpecker for the first time. We sat in the yard and watched it hammer on a tree for about ten minutes. She thought it was amazing. When we went back inside, she couldn’t wait to tell her Daddy what she had seen. She ran up to him and burst forth with, “Daddy, I see a PEEPECKER!”

Dave and I still laugh about it. And we’re pretty evil, because we’ve never corrected her. She still calls them peepeckers. And it will never stop being funny.

4. How is this pregnancy different from your pregnancy with Julia?

My pregnancy with Julia consisted of exactly two weeks of mild morning sickness. I didn’t even begin to show until the end of my fifth month. And I felt sexy. I was a love goddess. I had more sex in my second trimester than I’d had in my whole life up to that point.

This time, I had morning sickness that lasted all day, every day for the first 14 weeks. At 19 weeks pregnant, I’m still having morning sickness, although it has eased up a bit. And I looked pregnant at the end of my third month. As for the sex? Well, Dave and I both have had enough time on our hands to do NaBloPoMo. What do you think?

If you’d like to join the interview fun, let me know. I’ll e-mail you a set of personalized questions for you to answer on your blog!

A Little Light On Black Friday

The internet is eerily quiet today.

My e-mail inbox gave me a half-hearted greeting this morning – only three new messages. So, I tip-toed over to my blog. Silence. I sent an instant message or two and could almost hear them echo back at me.

Where is everyone? You’re out shopping, aren’t you? You brave souls.

I’m staying in today. I intend to snack on Thanksgiving leftovers and bring the Christmas decorations out of storage. Holiday music will be played. There will be squealing and bouncing and giggling. There will probably be dancing. I will likely be wearing jingle bells and a Santa hat. Perhaps some elf ears.

I hope that when you return from your shopping excursions, after you tally your receipts and depression starts to set in, that you’ll make your way here. Because, on this day of great spending, I have something to give. Five somethings actually.

My fabulous friend Mackey has a game going. This is from her site:

“The first 5 commenters here will get a small gift in the mail from me.
All you have to do is post this on your own blog and promise to gift the first 5 commenters on your post if they promise to gift the first 5 commenters on their posts… you see how it goes. What do they call that?
The domino effect.
After you comment jot your address in an email and click it off to me.
As soon as you participate in the game I will get your little something in the mail.”

Since I’m a big fan of small gifts in the mail, I commented and agreed to spread the cheer here. I’m going to make a few small changes, though.

First, I enourage you to keep the game going on your blog, but it doesn’t have to be with a small gift in the mail. You can spread the love by offering up links, blog reviews, an interview, a cute little button, a personalized poem or some other wonderfully creative thing for your commenters. Second, I won’t wait for you to participate to send your item. I’ll send it whether you participate or not. I’m too lazy to do the follow up.

So, to the first five commenters who shout out, “I’m in,” I’ll send to you one item of your choice from The store. Any item. You don’t have to be shy and choose the least expensive item. Pick what you want. Then e-mail me (admin at your choice along with your mailing address. And while this may be obvious, I feel compelled to state that if you aren’t willing to share your mailing address, I cannot send you the item. You can still comment, though. You can comment ten times if you want. You could even write me a song or something. You just won’t be able to receive the item without a mailing address.

Well, the giant inflatable Santa is calling for me to blow him up. Enjoy your Black Friday!

Gathered Together

Every year on Thanksgiving, for as long as I can remember, my mother has prepared our feast. Sure, I helped a little here and there, but she was always the one responsible for bringing it all together – from homemade mashed potatoes and noodles from scratch to pumpkin pie made from the pumpkins we grew in our garden.

This year was different.

I took on the biggest task this day has to offer: cooking the turkey.

A day or two ago, I began with SusieJ’s instructions for brining a turkey. (Check out Dave’s commentary on the brining process. It’s worth the click.)

This morning, I was the first one up. The house was silent and still, except for the hungry kitty cat circling my feet. I sat in the breakfast nook, tears streaming down my cheeks as I chopped onions for Ree’s stuffing recipe, and in that rare moment of solitude, I realized I was happy. Not just kinda happy. Really, exceptionally happy.

I never thought I’d be the kind of woman that would get a thrill from bringing food to the table, but here I was, basking in culinary glory as the oven preheated. I had barely slept the night before because I was so excited to get started today. With enough quiet to actually think about it, I realized it wasn’t the cooking that made me feel so good. It was the people I was cooking for – the ones who would stir as the aroma wafted up the stairs.

And it wasn’t long before their noses led them down.

Fresh out of bed, Julia dutifully offered her assistance in assembling Angela’s Caramel Pie Recipe.

Pie Assistant

She was kind enough to sample every ingredient to insure it was of the finest quality. Although she wasn’t too sure about the chocolate. She had to try quite a bit before it passed inspection, but the result was worth it.

Caramel Pie

I took a break to watch The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with my girl. By the time it was finished, so was the turkey. Here it is, just out of the oven.

The Turkey

And that’s the last photo because after that, the eating began. What came next was a psychedelic blur of food, wonder, love and relaxation that I imagine feels a lot like doing shrooms.

But, before I head back for seconds and thirds and the rest of the chocolate pie, I want to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving! Of all the wonderful things I have to be grateful for, you all are pretty high on my list.

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