Ever since her date with Daddy at the library a few weeks ago, Julia has been singing “Build Me Up Buttercup,” a song from a CD they borrowed together that day.

I finally caught one of her performances on video. It’s one minute and forty four seconds you won’t regret watching. Especially around 0:53.


One of the benefits of having to have a planned c-section is that you know exactly when the baby is coming. And that means, you can have a countdown.

Julia and I made our own Countdown to Lucy the other day.

Countdown to Lucy!

All it took to make it was two pieces of cardboard to serve as a backboard and a hinge board so the countdown could stand on its own (we glued some scraps of paper from my scrapbooking stash to them to pretty them up); countdown pages we made using clip art and printed down from Microsoft Word; a hole punch and some ribbon. Nifty, huh?

Each day, we wake up and tear the top sheet off, which Julia enjoys coloring all over while I marvel over how soon Lucy is coming.

And she’s coming soon.

“How soon?” a Wal-Mart associate asked me as I checked out today.

“April 16th,” I replied.

“Really? That’s still, like, two months away.”

“48 days to be exact.”

“Gosh, you’re just so huge! You look like you’re ready to pop that baby out right now.”

I smiled and said, “Yeah, well I feel like it, too!” while in my head I thought, “Yeah, I’d like to pop you, Booger Face.”

I realize that I am, in fact, huge. I cannot escape it. I am reminded of it every time I have to get up from a seated position. I feel it when I try to put my shoes on. I can’t deny it when I have to consult the Kama Sutra to find positions that enable me to experience physical intimacy with my husband.

I know I’m big. I can say it. I can even make jokes about it. But other people? Other people shouldn’t say it. Can they think it? Sure. But say it? No.

How about we make it a law that people can’t say it? And the penalty can be death by smothering with my HUGE. PREGNANT. BODY.

* Lyric from Fat by Weird Al Yankovic

It’s amazing, what a parent will do for their child. I’ve heard many parents say that they would give their life – they would die – for their children. But what about murder? Would they kill for their child?

I know my personal answer to that question. You see, I took a life. For the happiness of my little girl.

It was Valentine’s Day, the day we chose to honor Julia’s incessent plea for an aquatic vertebrate of her very own to love. Dave and I believed we were being smart. We felt wise for forgoing the usual stuffed animals and candy, and introducing our daughter to the world of responsibility through fish ownership and aquarium maintenance. We congratulated ourselves during the trip to the pet store. We were awesome parents. Truly, the best ever.

We arrived at the store on a high. Who was better than us, huh? We spoke to the manager regarding our needs. No, this wasn’t going to be some Beta fish in a bowl. Nah, the tiny tank wouldn’t do. We had plans, not for one piddly fish, but for a few. We were very serious. So, the man showed us his best deal – a 20 gallon tank with it’s own stand, a filter, a heater, a light, a net, gravel, plastic plants, a super-cool rock and lots of bottles of chemicals. The price was quite reasonable, so we accepted the offer. Now, all we needed to know was how many fish can we put in that tank? One inch of fish per gallon of the tank you say? Cool. Let’s start with five fish. And we set off to pick them out.

We were three into our five fish choices when an awkward pet store associate with glasses, pimples and a squeaky voice began asking us questions about our tank. Two dreaded responses later we heard the news, “You know, you really should have your tank up and running for a week or so before you introduce any fish. Otherwise, they’re probably going to die.”

Dave and I stood there while our swollen heads deflated. We exchanged concerned glances, then gazed upon our child. She was on her knees, hands against a tank, speaking softly to “Fridgie” the pink fish she’d already chosen.

“You’re coming home with me, Fridgie. You’ll live at my house and I’m going to take care of you. ‘Cause I love you,” she cooed.

It was then that the manager approached. He put a hand on each of our shoulders and said in a hushed voice, “Listen, just pick one today. Take it home, start up your tank and put it in. Just having the fish in there, eating and, you know, pooping, will help get the tank ready for more fish. The fish, well, it probably won’t make it too long, but we guarantee our fish. If it dies, bring in the body with your receipt and we’ll replace it. Maybe she won’t even know. You’re always going to lose some fish anyway.” He gave us each a pat and said, “I’ll meet you at the register.”

Julia stood up and turned around and asked, “Can we take my fish home now?”

My heart began to race. My palms were sweaty. I found it hard to catch my breath. I knew what I had to do. I shook my head yes. She squealed and bounced. I turned to Dave and said, “There’s no way we can leave here without a fish, David. We have to do it.”

He hung his head. “I know.”

So, Fridgie was pulled from his harmonious home and stuffed in a bag to begin the journey toward his demise. Dave and I chastised ourselves on the ride home while I held Fridgie, our sacrificial fish, in my lap and Julia sang songs about him from the back seat. We weren’t awesome parents. Unless awesome parents have fish blood on their hands. We were not the best parents ever. We were fish killers.

Then, about five miles from home, the tone in the car changed. I’m not sure if it was me or Dave who first suggested that Fridgie was a particularly special fish and maybe, just maybe, he’d win against the odds. Yes. We had decided. Fridgie was a trooper. He was going to make it. Everything would be alright. Fridgie would perservere.

We arrived home and set up our tank with much fanfare and enthusiasm. We sang praises to Fridgie and agreed that he was indeed a fine fish. I disposed of our receipt for his purchase, just to show my confidence in him. There’d be no returning his limp, dead body for a cash refund; Fridgie was going to make it. We just knew it.

Four days later, Fridgie went belly up.

As I sat crying, feeling, for the first time, the full weight of my murderous choice, Julia approached. She asked, “What’s wrong, Mommy?”

“Well, honey,” I sniffed, “It’s Fridgie. He died.”

“Oh…well, that’s okay Mom. Sometimes fish die.”

I stared at her in disbelief.

“We can get another fish, Mom. You don’t need to cry. There are more at the pet store.”

So, yeah. Would I kill for my child? I guess I already did, even when I didn’t have to. I killed Fridgie. Would I do it all over again? Nope. Not at all. I’m not a total idiot. Just kind of one.

It began just three weeks ago. Now, 1,343 syllables later, we have the winners of The Haiku Buckaroo Contest (Second Edition).

There were 79 entries from 31 participants. And while I wish I could give every one of you a prize, it’s not much of a contest if you do it that way. So, on to winners!

First, I give you the category winners as selected by reader votes along with their randomly assigned prizes.

Most Disgusting Haiku

Oozing, dripping chunks
Slither down into the sock
brown, green, stinky…Poop

Submitted by JerseyGirl89 at Dirty Little Secret, winner of some delicious chocolate straight from The Netherlands courtesy of Jenn in Holland

Most Evocative Haiku

slightly unbalanced
a single word rocks my world
that word: autism

Submitted by Jenn in Holland, winner of a Shakespearean Action Figure courtesy of Jen at A2EATWRITE

Funniest Haiku

Online all the time
Husband going to leave me
I blogged about it

Submitted by Deb at San Diego Momma, winner of a $15 donation to the charity of her choice from Twenty Five Days To Make A Difference (which I am matching to make it $30 total) and $15 in her pocket via PayPal or a gift card to the store of her choice.

Most Erotic Haiku

Caress, snuggle, breathe
mouths explore, hands hold, eyes close
a shuddering moan

Submitted by JerseyGirl89 at Dirty Little Secret, winner of One HOT pack courtesy of Gretchen at Bananas and Toddlers

Next up, the random winners.

Random winners

Elaine at Blog In My Eye, winner of an 8×10 matted print of one of her brilliant photos courtesy of Soccer Mom in Denial

Llama Momma, winner of the book Me, Myself, and Bob by Phil Vischer courtesy of Toni at This Simple Life

American Girl, winner of the books The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan and Until I Find You By John Irving courtesy of Dirty Little Secret’s JerseyGirl89

Now, the grand prize. Jami from not THAT different, our reigning Haiku Buckaroo, was gracious enough to select our second edition winner. It was no easy task! And she took it very seriously. She reviewed every haiku, with all names and links removed. She avoided the category voting so as not to be swayed in her decision. She did a phenomenal job.

From 79 entries, Jami narrowed it down to her favorite 4. Here they are, in reverse order, along with her comments on each.

Haiku Buckaroo Honorable Mention

Lips part, breath quickens
tongue searches for another
my love, kiss me now.

Submitted by Elaine at Blog In My Eye

Jami says: “I will admit that because I totally love kissing, this one had me from the beginning. I think making out is almost as erotic and exciting as actually … you know.”

Haiku Buckaroo Honorable Mention

Online all the time
Husband going to leave me
I blogged about it

Submitted by Deb at San Diego Momma

Jami says: “Just way too funny (and maybe true?) to NOT make it to the final four.”

Haiku Buckaroo Honorable Mention

slightly unbalanced
a single word rocks my world
that word: autism

Submitted by Jenn in Holland,

Jami says: “In terms of evoking the emotion of a moment, this haiku is almost perfect. It’s a 17-syllable short story that rocked my world, too.”

THE HAIKU BUCKAROO

Circular Haiku Instructions
Way to write Haiku:
write three lines, count syllables.
Too long? Must find a

Submitted by Mo’Coffee

Jami says: “I realize that this is not a traditional, formal haiku, but I’m not a traditional girl. I was totally blown away by both the cleverness and the humor of this haiku. I will admit that on my first quick reading I missed the “circular” reference, but once I got it, it threw in just the right amount of unexpected to be a winner.”

Congratulations Mo’ Coffee! You are the winner of a Magnetic Poetry Haiku Kit, a Haiku Buckaroo Mug, and $25 via PayPal (or a gift card to the store of your choice, if you’d rather).

Congratulations to all the winners! Please, feel free to proudly display one of the following super-cool buttons on your blog. You earned it!

Haiku Buckaroo Button (White) Haiku Buckaroo Button (Black)

Thanks once again to Jami and the contest sponsors!

This was fun. I hope you’ll all be back to have another go in August!

Well, The Haiku Buckaroo Contest (Second Edition) is almost over. It’s okay to cry. Ah, Haiku Buckaroo. Good times, folks. Good times. But let us not close the book on this poetic chapter in blogdom without paying tribute to the benevolent forces that made it all possible: The Haiku Buckaroo Contest Sponsors.

Here’s how this post is gonna go: I’ll link you up to our sponsors. I’ll write up a little something about them, but I’ll try to keep it brief, because the whole point is for you to go and visit them. That’s right, peeps. I’m sending you away from my blog, because these people deserve your attention more than me today. (But, I do hope you’ll come back tomorrow. I’m guessing you will to see who wins the contest. But then, I hope you come back the day after that. And then again and again. Because I really like you.)

So, let’s get to the linky love.

  1. Twenty Five Days To Make A Difference. Wanna be inspired? Just clink that link. This blogger has dedicated a year of service to a variety of different charities. She encourages others to support those causes by running monthly contests her readers may take part in on her blog. AND SHE’S TEN! I’d recommend starting with her About page. Click. Read. Participate!
  2. Bananas and Toddlers. Mother of three adorable children. Etsy Goddess. This blogger is one creative woman; she can make anything! After cruising her archives, I have to tell you, I’m in awe. I just kept thinking, “How does she do it all!?!?” and “Why didn’t I start reading her sooner?” She’s simply amazing. Check her out!
  3. This Simple Life. Toni’s place is the Zen Garden of my daily blog walk. This devoted wife and unschooling mom of two offers a gentle reminder of what is important in life. And she does it with the kind of grace I only wish I had. She shares her life through her blog in a way that make me say, “What does she know that I don’t?” It keeps me coming back for more. And any mother-to-be should check out her About Birth series – it’s a priceless resource.
  4. Dirty Little Secret. I’ll never forget the first time I bought a Cosmopolitan Magazine. I was a pre-teen and had saved my allowance to procure it, then ran home, sprawled out on my bed and dove in, sucking up every juicy nugget of information, from the practical to the racy. It was awesome – like chocolate for my brain. This blog makes me feel the exact same way. Don’t miss this click. Can you really resist brain chocolate, anyway?
  5. Soccer Mom in Denial. She says of her blog, “While really wanting to call it Fag Hag Hiding in the Suburbs, these are just the musings of a working mom.” I think it’s more than that. If we were playing a word association game and you shouted, “Soccer Mom in Denial,” I’d reply with “Activist.” She’s a woman with a desire to create meaningful change in the world. Whether she’s doing it through her parenting, her work or things like her Day To Read initiative, she writes with a perspective of the world that I admire; she sees beyond the walls of her home and workplace. She also sponsors Music Monday – a brilliant idea I only wish I’d had – and has mad photography skills you can witness at the photoblog she and Jenn in Holland share: Looking Into.
  6. Jenn in Holland. She’s an American wife and mother of three living and working in The Netherlands. She knows lots of words, some even in Dutch, but the one I’d bet she is not familiar with would be ‘enemy.’ You don’t know warmth until you know Jenn. Go ahead and click over there; you’ll feel it burst out of your computer like a ray of sunshine. Be sure to leave a comment. Think about taking part in her Singular Saturday event. And don’t miss her amazing photo contributions at Looking Into.
  7. Jen at A2EATWRITE. She’s a wife, mother and guinea pig enthusiast with a heart for teaching, a talent for writing and a flair for cooking. She’s also a discerning reader, which makes me feel like a million bucks every time she visits my blog. Recently, two of her greatest passions – teaching and writing – came together and had a love child she named The Writing Game. It’s brilliant, just like she is. You won’t want to skip a visit to either of them.
  • Finally, I’d like to point you in the direction of The Original Haiku Buckaroo Jami from not THAT different. She was generous enough to lend a great deal of her time and talent to select the next Haiku Buckaroo. In addition to being a Haiku Master, she’s the kind of person you want to invite to your dinner party (or add to your feed reader) because she always has something interesting to say. Click on over and say hello.

Thanks everyone for making The Haiku Buckaroo Contest so much fun!


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