Monday, March 30, 2009

In which I allow my 8 year old to watch a SpongeBob Marathon for one full day of spring break.

I am a staunch supporter of mental health days.

So this morning, when I was leaving to take Lulu to nursery school down the road, and Max asked if he could wait for me at home, I said "okay".

It's the first day of the second full week of vacation, and last week the kid was dragged around, loaded on and off SIX planes, traveled through 4 times zones, woken up and put to bed at very odd hours, and forced to run countless errands, eat weird food, and wait around for other people. The one thing he has not gotten this vacation is some time to just sit on his butt and watch some cartoons without his sister pestering him and his mother ordering him around.

So I decided to cut him some slack.

Which is why my boy spent the entire day lying on his back, watching SpongeBob. And in a little while, I am dropping him off at tae kwon do to work out for an hour, also without my interference.

I know. I KNOW. It makes me shudder, just to think about it. Sponge Bob and exercise...I don't know which one I find more distasteful.

But this day was for him. He has done exactly what he wanted to do, when he wanted to do it, and you know - maybe if we all got a day like that once in a while, this world would be a nicer place.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Post-Bloody Mary meme - this should be interesting

I am hot on the heels of one of Willow's killer bloody marys. While I am still awake enough to type, I am going to answer this meme, shamelessly stolen from Sunday Stealing I am going to guess that I am the only respondent so far that is 3/4 in the bag on a Sunday morning, but hey, that's how I roll, peeps.

Sunday Stealing: The Ginormous Meme

1. Are you single?
No. Completely, totally, blissfully, relievedly NOT SINGLE.

2. Are your parents still married?
They are married, yes - but not to each other.

3. Are you in love?
Yes Yes Yes. Shall I climb on the rooftop to shout it to the heavens ? Because I totally would. But then the neighbors would all sigh and roll their eyes and say "There she goes, drunk AGAIN on our Lord's day." and then they would shake their heads sadly at my fate. And wait to see if I jumped.

4. Do you believe in love at first sight?
I believe in lust at first sight - in a completely instinctual chemical reaction to someone. And it is scary powerful stuff. But love involves time, and deep feelings, and a mutual understanding and respect. Cause ladies, if it ain't mutual, it ain't worth a damn.

5. Who ended your last relationship?
Oh, it was a very gradual decay, and a mutual sense of relief, I think.

6. Have you ever been hurt by a break up?
Yes. Oh my yes. You know how Jennifer Aniston won't stop talking about Brad Pitt? I totally get it.

7. Have you ever broken someone’s heart?
I'm not sure - probably. I have a sharp tongue and little patience.

8. Have you ever had a secret admirer?
No one ever bothered to keep it a secret. Or, they did a very good job at keeping it a secret, because I never found out.

9. Prefer love or lust?
Lust is fun, but love sustains you.

10. Prefer a few best friends or many regular friends?
A few best friends, otherwise I fall behind on returning calls and emails, and end up offending someone inadvertently.

11. Wild night out or romantic night in?
Romantic night in, these days. I'm old and tired, and babysitters are expensive.

12. Back in the day: Been caught sneaking out?
I believe I have only been caught sneaking back in......

13. Ever wanted something/someone so badly it hurt?
No, I don't think so. I have to be honest, I want for very little - I have never needed or wanted something so badly and not gone and worked and saved and gotten it.

14. Who are/is your best friend(s)?
My husband, of course.
Trouble. Maile. Willow. Sarala. Those are my almost daily phone calls.
And then I have friends that I speak to regularly: Marn, Trippy, Amy, Lori.....

15. Ever wanted to disappear?
Yes. Absolutely.

16. First attraction: Smile or eyes?
Smile, I guess. But here's something interesting......I am not the sort of person that finds herself attracted to people very often. I am very fulfilled and content in my relationship, so I am just not paying attention a lot of the time.

17. Prefer intelligence or attraction?
I got both. Whew.

18. Last phone call you received?

19. Last thing you drank?
Well, I am currently working on a post-bloody mary cup of coffee that Willow wisely provided.

20. Before your current one, when was your last relationship?
Immediately prior. I was rescued.

21. Do you and your family get along?
For the most part. I am very different from my brothers, and a clear product of my parents. We all get along just fine, as long as I keep my mouth shut.

22. Would you say you have a "screwed up life"?
No. Would you ?

23. Have you ever gotten kicked out somewhere? If yes, do tell.
I don't think so....maybe ? But I really don't think so.....I mean, I was hanging at CBGB's in the 4th grade. As I child, I looked like an adult. To the point where, in some class pictures, I looked like the teacher. Creepy.

24. Do you trust all your friends?
Yes. Without question.

25. Who knows the most about you?
My husband will always know everything. Though I do like to surprise him from time to time :)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Bodacious TaTas and other tales

Last week, just before we left for Seattle, I used a one year old gift certificate to the Spa Grande I spent 2 hours floating and soaking in various pools, and sipping hot cocoa whilst I flipped through a spa magazine, and lounging in the steam room with cucumbers and cool towels over my eyes. I do love me a good spa. However, there is one little detail about this particular spa that will cause you to sit up and take notice. (Or at least, it certainly did for my friend visiting from Georgia, whom I had not prepared adequately.) In this spa, it is women only. And in this spa, the women feel free to walk around naked. And get into pools with other total strangers. Naked. Stark Ass Naked.

Now, for the most part, people control themselves. We avert our eyes, do not stare, and most of all, try not to compare. When you are getting into a pool (there are several large pools, with and without bubbles, one hot, one cold, one scalding) and there are other women in there, you don't go sit right next to them. Personal Space is key. And the biggest rule of thumb is the 7 smaller soaking tubs are INDIVIDUAL SOAKING TUBS. And unfortunately, my dear friend was at the receiving end of some very bad spa manners, when she was soaking away peacefully and another woman climbed into the INDIVIDUAL SOAKING TUB accommodating my friend. My friend's modesty was very clear - she had her swimsuit on in a sea of nudity, because God Bless Her she is a lady and ladies don't wander around naked in front of strangers. And this woman who jumped in her tub was letting it all hang out. All of it. She had subjected herself to The Wax. And by that, I mean there was not a hair to be seen. Nothing to offer her any sort of modesty or privacy. Nothing to conceal any part of her as she climbed down into the pool. It was all Right There.

I have never seen a stricken look before like the one that came over my dear friend. I thought I was going to have to pull some sort of lifeguard maneuver and rescue her by pulling her over the wall into MY tub, but then again, I was naked and definitely didn't want to make her even more uncomfortable. So. We all sat there awkwardly. My friend could not get out of her tub without climbing over her new tub-mate. I could not leave her there alone. So we sat. And sat. And got quite pruney. Until finally my friend, after a polite amount of time had passed, stood up and slipped sideways past the woman and out of the tub.

So on this particular visit, I had that all in my mind as I was lounging in one of those soaking tubs, and had taken up basically the whole end of the tub as to impede anyone from getting in without having to actually climb OVER ME. And every time anyone drew near, I shot them a look that said "do not even think about it". And one of the times that I was shooting the laser beams, I found myself face to face with someone that appeared to be human, but in fact had so much plastic in her body that clearly, she was a sort of half-woman, half science project.

It wasn't just the boobs (though god knows those were fake) - it was the hair, the lips, the nails, the skin, the LACK OF HAIR, the very bone structure in fact. It was all "done". As in, not existing in nature, but rather after months and years and tens of thousands of dollars worth of tweaks and adjustments and "improvements". And I am sure, to some, she was perfect. The perfect specimen.

To me, she was a traveling freak show.

And in perfect droid fashion, she was ALWAYS nearby. I would move to a different pool, she would step in. I walked blindly into the steam room, and as my eyes adjusted, there she was. I don't know how she was taking the heat - the fact that she did not actually MELT is testament to the quality of the workmanship on display. And my self-image, rather then feeling challenged, was strengthened.

Those big fake boobs will never feed a child.
Her hair was newly colored, and yet, there was just a shadow of roots already. Which looked tacky.
She looked literally uncomfortable in her own (?) very taut skin.

So I relaxed, and thought about how nice it was to be able to float around in chlorine and not worry about my hair turning green, and how nice it was that I didn't have to worry about my nipples popping up out of the water because whatever was implanted under them was so incredibly buoyant. And that my skin tone was from being outside, and not from lying under a lightbulb.

And then I made an appointment for a very overdue bikini wax. Because I am human.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

This is so much better then cleaning the shower

Every so often I pop over to Sunday Stealing and check out the meme optios. Lately, there have been a few that I just didn't want to answer. So I tracked back to a previous Sunday's offering, and found THIS:

1. What is your favorite sit-down restaurant?
I am limiting this to local restaurants because otherwise, we would be here for a my short answer is probably the Moana, but I also really like MaLa and when I am going local (extemely, up close and personal, down and dirty local) I go to Tiffany's or Watercress. Cheap beer. What can I say.

2. What food could you eat for 2 weeks straight and not get sick of it?
Hm. Mashed potatos and gravy. Ice Cream. That's about it....I like variety.

3. Have you ever had anything removed from your body?
Besides a 10 pound baby ? Yeah, I've had some stuff removed.

4. What is the last heavy item you lifted?
Lucy. GOD she's getting heavy.

5. Have you ever been knocked unconscious?
Only by an anesthesiologist.

6. If it were possible, would you want to know the day you were going to die?
No. God no. It would make me insane. I am not the sort of person who would make peace with my death, or come to terms with it...I would be pissed off, right until I was gone for good.

7. If you could change your name, what would you change it to?
I have to say that as far as first names go, I am OK with mine. I mean, it's definitely not run-of-the-mill. I think the world has more then enough Jennifers.

8. What’s your goal for the year?
To try to get through the year.

9. Last person you hugged?
Willow, when she dropped off Pema PAINFULLY EARLY. However, *I* got to go back to bed, and *Willow* had to go to work. She definitely had the harder morning.

10. First place you went this morning?
Bathroom - frantically brushing my teeth before Willow arrived.

11. Do you always answer your phone?
No. Actually, I used to, and my phone-answering habits have totally changed. I actually (gasp) turn off the ringer sometimes.

12. It’s four in the morning and you get a text message, who is it?
Trouble. Or Trippy. Or someone on the mainland who forgot about the time difference.

13. If you could change your eye color what would it be?
Green. I think green would be acceptable, possibly even an improvement.

14. What’s on your wish list for your birthday?
I would love an overnight with Sami that allowed for sleeping in and breakfast in bed.

15. Does the future make you more nervous or excited?
Well, it's hard to say - I am excited about the possibilities, but nervous about the actualities.

16. Do you have any saved texts?
If I did, they're gone phone's screen shit the bit yesterday.

17. Ever been in a car wreck?
Um, yes.

18. Do you have an accent?
Well, I guess that would depend on who you ask, and whether *they* had an accent.

19. What was the last song to make you cry?
Well, I laughed so hard I cried when I watched the Fork in the Disposal song and dance number......does that count ?

20. What did you do last night?
I got my tootsies painted, and I folded laundry and attempted to read Vanity Fair before I just passed out in bed.

21. Have you ever felt like you hit rock bottom?
Well, I hate to yes....what if, God Forbid, it wasn't rock bottom ? I mean, there could be worse out there....suffice to say, I have been very very low.

22. Current hate right now?
Really, none. I am feeling quite mellow.

23. Met someone who changed your life?
Everyone I meet changes my life somehow....just by knowing them. Right ? But there have been a few people who have just totally changed who I am as a person....namely my son. I mean, what changes you more then becoming a parent, really ?

24. How did you bring in the New Year?
Drunk on my sofa, with fireworks exploding on the street in front of my house.

25. What song represents you?
Oh Good Lord.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Would you bring your mom to a frat party ?

In an homage to my gastronomic excess (and distress) I had my toes painted a lovely shade of Pepto Bismol - and they are there, wiggling at me, like a schoolmarm chastising a naughty student. Today, remarkably, I have not felt like eating much of anything (oh thank god). I have been catching up on emails and facebook...and I think right now, we have to have that talk about Parents on Facebook.

Yes, I know. Some people, nay MANY people, have befriended their parents on facebook. And I, I am not one of them. Maybe it is a sign of my immaturity. Or some strange need to delineate Parent from Friend. And probably, I just used the word delineate wrong. But I think I make my point. Facebook is a place where you can find photos of me in full swing on St. Patricks Day. Facebook is a place where I communicate with old friends, new friends, and assorted siblings, cousins and other relatives that are living similar lifestyles, and still find drunken debauchery and obscene status updates amusing, or at least, inoffensive.

Just as I would not bring my mother to a frat party, I will not bring her into my facebook.

This has all come to a head because, while my mother has not requested my facebook fellowship, she has provided me with several newspaper clippings detailing the act of befriending a parent or (oh, the horror !) a grandparent, and how wonderful it was, and how it has strengthened ye olde familial bond. She has also befriended my brothers, and my sister in law. Obviously, they are more enlightened then I am - or just better behaved. Someone who HAS requested to be added as a friend is a woman who is not my mother, per se, but does fill a motherly role in my life......and while HER daughters are her facebook friends, I am not. And I do not see that changing. This is an across-the-board policy I have - anyone old enough to be my parent cannot be my facebook friend. No exceptions. I will be checking IDs.

So clearly, yes, this is my own little issue. And I bear the thorny crown with pride. My feelings are so strong about this, it has led me to begin perusing my list of friends, and seeing who, exactly, they are friends with - and as a result of that friendship, who might have access to some of my less-then-stellar moments in front of a camera or saucy notes-n-quotes. I feel a thinning of the herd coming on.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I have eaten for 5 days straight - don't hug me too hard.

Well, THAT was awesome.

The trip was too short - we had to change and/or cancel some plans, and we left wishing we had just one more day (and maybe a non-stop flight home, that would have been cool). But all that means is that we will just have to plan ANOTHER trip, perhaps in the fall......

While my efforts made ony a small dent in the foodie scene in Seattle, they made an enormous impression on my pants size, and I came close to hurting myself several times. ("") It was all food, all the time. Every meal was planned out, and every activity revolved around our meals, as it should.

We ate platters of southern fried goodness, we ate delicate plates touched with sage foam and scented with truffle oil, we ate dim sum at 9am and fruit at midnight, we ate fresh baked goodness - including a bright red frosted birthday cake which was undoubtably the kids favorite. We wrapped the whole thing up with some awful Mexican food at LAX on the way home. A travesty.

I can sum up the entire experience in five words: Thank god for flushable wipes.

I am clutching a mug of tea, almost through with the laundry, and then I need a few groceries, and we shall visit a few friends, and go to the farm for eggs, and then probably collapse on the sofa in a heap of jet-lagged, over-traveled confusion.

Happy Trails.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Mr. Jameson, you treated me oh so wrong

Oh Dear.

It is such a good thing I put up a pre-emptive St. Patrick's Day post before I began my celebration. Because yesterday - The Actual Day of Saint Patrick - I spent my time drinking, getting belligerent on Facebook, making soda bread without baking soda (a double batch, no less) and dealing with an army of ants that swarmed a tiny crumb of goldfish near my kitchen door. Seriously, the entire corner was basically a writhing sea of tiny black ants, and I was so totally freaked out that I just stood over them with the spray for about 5 minutes, just spraying and spraying and spraying. It was horrible, like some terrible horror movie.

I hate bugs.

It was a long and glorious day, and when I finally managed to make a loaf if soda bread with SODA, Sami and I headed off to the Ryan's for brisket and col canon. And Jameson. Oh yes, I brought my very own bottle. I only had a little bit, but the effects were a wonder to behold.

I did some step dancing
I fell over
I swore loudly
I ate with my mouth open
I sang obscene Dropkick Murphy songs in a lusty manner
I enjoyed a Guinness cupcake
And apparently, when discussing my Irish heritage, I phrased my comments in such a way that a few people thought I was actually BORN in Ireland, and wondered about my missing accent. I realized I was in over my head, and changed the subject, because to be honest, I couldn't remember what I had said, or how they had drawn that conclusion, and I didn't want to make things any worse.

I know I was awful, because the lady of the house did not take my very-hung-over 7:10am apology phone call. But don't worry, I left a long message explaining myself.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Something for the kid next door - and all the rest of you !

Happy St. Patricks Day - a few linky dinky doos for you, as I am taking the day of to "decompress" (i.e. drink whiskey and bake soda bread and party like a juvenile delinquent. And yes, as a matter of fact, I *DID* hire a babysitter for the occasion !


And now some videos from Ireland. Not my videos, beause A. I was drunk pretty much the entire time I was there during the summer of 1991 (my one and only trip to Ireland) and B. it was looooong before digital cameras, and trying to record my time there would have involved more effort and time then I was willing to put out at the age of 15. So you'll have to look at other people's videos and pictures, and just *imagine* what I would have said and done.

So, for starters, my grandparents house is on the tiny island of Inishbofin, off the Dingle Peninsula, across the water from Galway.
Let's start with the scenery - this video is during the day, and shows not only the scenery, but the amazing narrow winding roads, and the dogs, sheep, cows and horses that wander the island. Oh, and the donkeys. Watch out for the donkeys. My grandfather bicycled these very roads looking for me at 2am - little did he know I was coming from the other direction, on the same narrow roads, in a yellow mini named Bertha, with a local boy named Ronan. Rather then being mad at me for staying out, he sat down at the bar and had a pint while they closed up. I loved my grampa, we are cut from the same crazy cloth.

It is a small island, and you get there by ferry:

And if I had digital pics of the time I spent there, 20 years ago, they would look like this:

Here is a video from my favorite pub there - Day's. A LOT of drink has gone down leaning against those wooden walls.....sadly, many of my nights looked something like this:

And here, some cultural videos - dancing. Many Irish girls learn to step dance or clog - I took lessons for a while and wish I had kept it up because it is SO COOL to perform, and to watch. This is not Riverdance, people. People just get up out of their seats during a drink, and GO FOR IT.

And music:

This one is actually recorded at Day's on Inishbofin....the first 20 seconds are of some goofball jumping off the pier, but after that it's a recording session:

And some more modern musical performances on Inishbofin:

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Of COURSE that would happen

So yesterday, when I was all cocky and gloating about the tickets I bought to fly to Seattle, and how cheap they were, and how they were non-refundable because *nothing* was going to keep me from going? Yeah.

Lucy has an ear infection. An ear infection that elicited this response from the doctor: "Oh, ew. You can see all the green snot behind her ear drum."

Nice one.

So we brought home a loverly bottle of antibiotics, and I am going to pump her chalk full of them so her ear drum clears before we try to fly somewhere. She has a 10 day prescription, which should just about guarantee some sort of yeast infection too.


I am also plyig her with decongestants, and a cough syrup with codeine just because I am a cool mom like that. If you gotta be miserable, you might as well sleep through as much of it as possible. Her cough is makes me wince every time I hear it. So while I am bummed that she has an ear infection, I am relieved that it isn't just a cold, and that it will respond to meds and she should be feeling much better very shortly.

Another surprise today (albeit a much nicer one) was a 6:40am phone call, asking me to cover a shift at the cafe, starting in 45 minutes. I know, I know, I have a hard and fast rule that I have to hate *anyone* who calls me before 8am, and usually a phone call at that hour would be answered with "This had better be an emergency" or threats of bodily harm, or at the very least some loud cursing. But the offer of a Sunday shift at the cafe can only be responded to with an enthusiastic "Thank YOU !" because it means beaucoup $ and an early exit from the cafe. Within 30 minutes I was showered, deodorized, and on the road in a freshly laundered apron, listening to NPR and trying to pull my head out of my ass. God I was so tired this morning. I was the kind of tired where you wake up, and you can't believe it is light outside, and you feel like maybe you actually never slept at all, or maybe just fell asleep an hour before. Your eyes are puffy, your head is foggy, your muscles are stiff and sore. So, "How 'Bout Some Breakfast Folks !"

After slogging through a slow but steady kind of day, I hit the wall at about 2pm. I was starting to lose focus, and then some guy wandered in, sort of looking like I felt. Tired, puffy-eyed, slightly disoriented and wearing a "what the HELL just happened" kind of expression. At first I thought he was just weird. Then, I thought maybe he was mildly delayed, or had some sort of a communication problem. After a few minutes of conversation, I suspected he might be high. And then he wandered up to the empty bar and ordered a whiskey and water - and stood up, waiting to drink it. I was pretty sure that he was not of sound mind, but still couldn't tell if it was chemically induced. I stalled. I needed someone else to make the call. I was too tired to be completely, totally sure. And I didn't feel like dealing with a confrontation if I refused to serve him.

I needed backup.

My manager walked in and I introduced her, explaining that she would be working the bar. She and I had a little non-verbal communication, I poured the drink, she watched, and then......he staggered. Just a little. But enough. Quick as a flash, she took the drink away, and handed him back the money he had just put down on the bar. He didn't argue - he just took his money and left. We both stood there, watching him go. I was relieved, something hadn't felt right at all. She and I looked at each other, and shook our heads, then reassured each other that we had made the right decision. We also discovered that it was the first time either of us had ever refused service to someone. I mean, I have cut people off many a time. But never have I had to refuse to serve someone at all.

I am home now, lying in bed, and I am ready for a good night's sleep. Tomorrow is filled with St Patrick's Day preparations (soda bread !) and organizing the chaos in this house. I envision many trips up and down the attic ladder - lugging up the last of the sorted "do not sell" items, and tugging down the suitcases necessary for a family of four to travel to a cold weather climate. And on the next sunny day, so help me, I am dragging all of our yard sale crap out in the yard and trying to get someone to buy it.

You likey? One Dollah.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Sure Thing

I made some decisions today that were based on a sure thing.

First, I decided to give up my "on call" at the restaurant tonight, and take a babysitting gig here at the house. And what a good decision THAT was - this kid is pretty much, um, the easiest child ever. Ever.

He rubbed his face, I asked him if he wanted to put on his jammies, he grabbed them out of his diaper bag, I changed him, and he lay down on the couch and fell asleep.

No lie.

Getting my kids to go to sleep was such a damn production - I don't know why, it just was. So this is a pleasure, and at the same time, a golden opportunity for me to second-guess my parenting skills. (sigh).

Another decision I made this week was to book a trip to Seattle to see my family - who had planned a trip there in the hopes that we would be able to meet them for a long weekend. So that is exactly what we are doing. I booked non-refundable air, because I am definitely going, come hell or high water.

And because it was cheap.

And because I promised I would be there for a certain someone's birthday, and I do not lie to 3 year old girls with big eyes. I arrived in Seattle 4 years ago, on the morning of her birth, and I couldn't be more excited to be there for her birthday party, with my OWN little girl, who will celebrate her own 4th birthday 2 weeks later.

Coincidentally, *someone* still has not resolved the issue mentioned in an earlier post. And that issue actually has roots in Seattle. So basically, I am going to send him out to deal with his issue. And hopefully, he'll come back to the hotel with a solution that will make the entire trip worthwhile. Or, he'll be sleeping in the hallway on a room service cart, wrapped in a tablecloth. It could go either way.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Boys are weird

I have been having weird experiences with boys all afternoon, and I am puzzled as to how boys can evolve from total morons to reasonably acceptable adult males. (I mean, at least some of them do. Not all, of course - but some.)

First let's start with my son. He is a sweet, sweet boy. He is also a charmer. AND a total and complete schmuck. Can I say that ? I mean, I have other words in mind, but I settled on schmuck because it encompasses the range of moronic crap he can pull down.

For instance: I told him he had to pick up his room before we went to get his friend for a sleepover. This is his first-ever sleepover at our house with a friend from school. He went into his room. He came out of his room. He said his room was clean.

I went into his room, and i am not kidding you, there were piles of crap E V E R Y W H E R E. Everywhere. Dirty laundry, clean laundry, books, toys, legos, stuffed animals, action figures, tinker toys, lincoln logs, the list goes on and on. I looked at his room, then I looked at him.

"How is THIS clean?"
"What do you want me to do?"
"Clean your damn room, that is what I want you to do - are you KIDDING ME? You must be kidding me."
(sigh) "all RIGHT, all RIGHT mom, I'll clean my room."

20 minutes later, his room was once again pronounced "clean".

Are you surprised that the piles of crap were still there? I have to admit, I was surprised. I gave him more credit then he deserved. SO this time, I got down on the floor, and pointed to every individual thing that needed to be picked up. "Let me explain it to you like this, Max. I don't want anything on your floor except furniture. You get me? The next time you call me in here, everything better be off the floor. Because this is your last chance to clean your room by yourself. Next time, everything is going in a trashbag. I'm serious."

(I should insert here that I freely acknowledge that I am a slob. My laundry is never put away. There is usually stuff on my floor. Yes, I am a hypocrite. But I am trying to teach him better habits then I have - like putting away laundry and putting dirty clothes in the hamper, and putting away his crap so I can actually vacuum in there without breaking my vacuum.)

Eventually, he got his room relatively clean, and we went to get his friend. As we approached his friend's house, I spotted our sleepover buddy in his front yard, swinging a plastic grocery bag around and around over his head - until it broke and all of his belongings went flying everywhere. He was jumping up and down and screaming and hooting, right up until he threw his underpants into the back of his dad's pickup truck. I swear to you, I almost kept on driving, had Max not gone ahead and opened the car door while the vehicle was still in motion.

It is now 9:30pm. They are in Max's room, and to their credit, they ARE being quiet. But they are still awake, and GOD KNOWS what they are up to in there because (and I don't think I have mentioned this yet) Boys are Gross.

They are probably showing each other their private bits and having fart contests and picking their noses and wiping the boogers on the sheets, or on the underside of the bed for me to deal with later.

But while gross, at least they aren't menaces - like the other two boys in this neighborhood, who have slingshots and BB Guns, and have taken to sneaking onto our property to try to lure our dog out into the street where they attempt to either hit him with something fired from one of their assorted weapons, OR engage the dog in a dog fight with another neighbor's pet german shepard, who is probably 12 years old and can barely stand up any more. Trust me, they wish they had a better selection of dogs to choose from, but all they have around these parts is our GDD the Happy Humper, and the senior citizen across the way. Regardless, they are doing their damndest to stir up trouble, and I am at a loss. These boys just have a meaness in their hearts that will lead to all sorts of terrible behaviors, probably criminal, if someone doesn't step up and fucking PARENT them in the near future. And by parent, I mean at least requiring that they keep the BB Guns at home unless a parent is with them. Or maybe, stay within eyesight of their homes when wandering the neighborhood with a slingshot. I mean honestly, in a small, residential neighborhood, what good can come of having a slingshot or BB Gun? I caught one of these little shits climbing the stairs to my deck this afternoon, softly calling my dog in their sweetest voice. I am sure that kid was mighty surprised when I appeared at the top of the stairs and asked him WHY he was calling my dog. Had to repeat the question before he would answer - and then his only explaination was "We wanted to play with him." Yeah. Right. Go play with yourself, asshole.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

That GD children's librarian is out to get me.

She keeps booking musical acts for story time. I have no idea why. We attend story time for the STORIES. The shorter and more entertaining, the better.

Lucy loves story time. Lucy does *not* love loud musical sing-alongs with a large group of strangers in a very small space.

Introducing today's entertainment: Uncle Wayne. I can't stand Uncle Wayne. I'm sorry, I just can't. It's not the mullet, or the folksy attitude, or the guitar, or the's just the whole thing put together in one package that makes me want to run for the hills.

So today, when Uncle Wayne was going to be performing at the local library, we stayed home. We still went to the library, of course, just after all the chaos had been resolved, the instruments put away, the crowds dispersed.

A librarian walked up, caught my eye, and mouthed "You missed Uncle Wayne !" I looked her right in the eye, smiled, and said "We sure did ! On purpose !" She smiled with understanding, and walked away. Whew.

And then, while we were in a corner, looking at books on the rolling carts, that damned children's librarian walked up. "Oh ! I didn't see you earlier ! Were you here before?" I looked up - panicked, made eye contact with her, and slowly shook my head and waved my hand back and forth across my throat in the universal sign for "CUT !", signalling that we stop talking about this IMMEDIATELY. She looked at me, nodded in what I thought was solidarity, and then continued in her sing-songy, dumbing down to kids tone of voice. "You missed STORYTIME today ! We had UNCLE WAYNE here."


I have a few things to say.

1. If a child has missed a special event, and it is over, and there is no chance of seeing it later, or recreating the event, then for god's sake don't bring it up.

2. If a mother sends a very clear signal to change the subject, CHANGE IT.

3. If someone who is usually at story time every week mysteriously shows up exactly 30 minutes AFTER story time has ended, chances are good that it was either 1. on purpose or 2. due to an unavoidable delay, and the child is either unaware, or has already made peace with it. Don't get involved, and don't open your mouth.

And for the love of god, please do not talk to my child as if she is a moron. You don't need to bring your voice up an octave, or ask stupid questions, or give her candy or toys to get her attention. Talk to my kid like you would talk to any other person. Any other ADULT person. Because she's going to be an adult eventually, so she might as well start talking the talk sooner rather then later.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I have no idea what you are talking about

I am sitting very comfortably on my recliner, ignoring the many MANY things I need to do today. Since we have made the decision and sent the notice to remove ourselves from Baby's case, I gotta pack up the baby stuff. Seriously. It's bumming me out.

And the 25 tanks of oxygen on my front porch? Yeah, those have to go too.....
Though I wouldn't see anything wrong with maybe putting on the mask for a few minutes and getting me some pure, medical grade oxygen, I simply don't have the time. I am too busy collecting all of the random medical supplies, and fielding phone calls from the hospital asking me why I stole the baby's food. Because clearly, it is a hot commodity, and I am selling it on the black market. I mean, isn't it obvious? (sigh) Too bad they didn't check the SHOPPING BAGS I brought to the hospital yesterday.

Whatever. I got bigger fish to fry.

There's the laundry.

And the dog, with all of his needs. GDD.

And the haircut I have needed since September.

And we have a situation on our screen porch that is supposed to be preparation for a yard sale that is NEVER GONNA HAPPEN and at some point, seriously, I gotta get rid of that crap.

But what am I doing? Sitting on my ass in my recliner. I did take care of one project: Clearing Off the Top of the Fridge, which had become a virtual candy mountain after two kids brought home bags full of valentines. Now, by "clearing off the top of the fridge", what I mean is I went through all of the cards and candies and school supplies up there in various plastic and paper bags, and pulled out what I wanted to eat, put the school supplies in Max's desk, and threw everything else away. Now I am sipping chai, and methodically eating my loot.

Items that made the breakfast cut:
Chocolate. All of it. Now right now now dammit.

Items that did not even get consideration:
Cheap lollipops that were melty and messy looking

Items that have been stashed for later:
Tootsie Roll Pops
Lik M Aid

To be fair, the kids seem to have totally forgotten any of that was up there, so I don't feel bad at all about eating it. And it's bad for their teeth. And makes them hyper. And then they get headaches afterwards. So, I am actually doing them a FAVOR.

I am the best mom ever.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Who comes first

Well, I think we may have pulled the plug on our foster parenting experiences.

The thing is, you have to set your boundaries in terms of placements, and then, once they are set, you have to stick to them. Which can limit the number of placement possibilities for your family, but can also minimize the stress and drama you are exposed to.

For instance. We take only infants, under a year old.

Period. That's what we are set up for, that is what works with our family dynamic, that is the age range that I feel most comfortable caring for on the spur of the moment...I can usually comfort a crying baby in moments, even one that has been through trauma associated with being taken into CPS custody. Babies are my thing.

When they asked if we would take a medically fragile infant, I asked some questions, thought for a bit, and then said yes. Of course. Of course we would take a medically fragile infant. I understood that the commitment would be much greater. I adjusted my work schedule to be available to care for the baby, and flew to another island for training on the baby's care. But I also thought I understood the extent of the commitment. Which I did not. To be honest, I don't think anyone really did. And the fact is, the level of care required has increased in scope since I have taken custody, and since the baby's most recent hospitalization, and is no longer something I can provide while still caring for my children, and keeping our lives pretty "normal" - whatever that means.

So I threw in the towel. Called the whole thing off. Baby is in hospital again where he will stay, with his family by his side learning how to care for him and bonding with him, while the state finds a better solution. I hope they do their damndest to keep that family together, and keep baby in a very high level of care.

This has been a very hard decision to make. I feel sick about it. But the honest fact is, this is a very medically fragile baby, and it scares me to be responsible for his wellbeing when his prognosis is so uncertain. My children have already been in the middle of some very scary moments when the baby was in crisis. The stress of caring for the baby definitely reduces my ability to be there for them. The time involved took too much time away from them and their was just not something that could continue indefinitely.

So while I am very enthusiastic about foster parenting, it is with a caveat. Almost every child in the system has been through trauma. These children deserve everything we can provide, above and beyond their basic "needs" of food, clothing and housing. They need to heal, and be whole, and be cherished, and be the priority. They need foster parents who are kind, patient, and willing to learn about each child's special situation, and particular needs. There will be a lot of appointments. There will be a lot of adjustments and last minute changes and red tape and craziness that doesn't exist in our every day lives.

And while the experience has been amazing and enriching and illuminating and rewarding, it has also been emotionally draining. I remain steadfast in my priorities - my own family must come first. And if the chaos of caring for a foster child begins to affect my children negatively, well, I need to remember who my first priority will always be.

My children first, all children second.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Drama in pediatrics


I was going to go into this long-winded post about, well, everything....but you know what?

I'm calling bullshit.

As a foster parent, I really do have to live by someone else's rules. It's about using my best judgement, of course....but when you are using YOUR judgement about someone ELSE'S kid, well - there is risk involved in that. What if (GOD FORBID) something happened. Which is why you always play it safe. Always always always.

Which is why, this afternoon, after having Baby back in my care for about 4 hours, I called the pediatrician and told them that this was definitely not a good idea.

I am not going into details, because at this point, it's all just too ridiculous to recount.

But let's just say that the major chip on my shoulder from yesterday fell off and shattered in the face of such outragous bullshit.

I caused quite a stir in Pediatrics, offended the attending physician, got my social worker all stirred up in my tempest, and then fled the scene, forgetting to leave the baby's medications. Again. God, I suck. Trust me I do. The doctor even said so, when he suggested that maybe I wasn't competent to care for such a medically fragile child. Well, DUH. I am not a nurse, or a doctor, or a physician's assistant. I didn't even take a college level biology class for god's sake. I took SURVEY OF CHEMISTRY AND PHYSICS. IN HIGH SCHOOL. 18 YEARS AGO. So yeah, probably I am totally unqualified. But sadly, I am the most qualified candidate, and I am doing my damndest.

Let's change the subject, I'm getting all riled up again.

In other's still cold and rainy. I wanted to go to Seattle next week, but frankly I got plenty of Seattle going on RIGHT HERE BABY. I just need to get me some funky black plastic frames for my glasses, and some Doc Martens, and I'll be ready to roll. So the fact that the aforementioned drama has limited my ability to buy planefare is less frustrating - I can close my eyes and pretend. Well, sort of. If only I had AnthropologieTargetTraderJoesandIkea my life would be semi-complete.

Oh, how I miss AnthropologieTargetTraderJoesandIkea. (sigh)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

It better get better

I am very angry right now. Angry, and disappointed, and frustrated. And mad.

Oooooooooh I'm mad.
Which is different then angry, because "angry" sounds like there is reasonable and rational thought involved (which there is). But there is also that totally pissed off, fists clenched stewing in silence MADNESS where you are thinking mean thoughts and possibly muttering obscenities. Or yelling them. Whatever. Your call.

Sometimes, in a relationship where there is shared money, things Come Up. Someone spends money that doesn't really exist, for example. Like, when they go to the ATM and take money out, without checking the checkbook. The thought process of "checks that haven't cleared yet" just doesn't exist for some of us. (ahem) But that isn't the issue here. At least, not in this PARTICULAR situation.

Instead, a joint credit card is involved. And a gift that was well-intentioned but a terrible lapse in judgement. It was Just Plain Wrong. Terribly wrong. Nothing right about it, except the intention. Yes, yes, I get it. *Someone* meant well. And NO that doesn't make it OK. And YES I am still going to be mad. Because we have been down this road (or one that looks remarkably similar) several times before. I recognize the area. The landmarks are familiar to me.

And so, I will sit here, seriously PISSED OFF until *someone* resolves the issue. Which is not *someone's* strong suit. So *someone* will be feeling the frosty winter chill of my deep freeze until they have fixed this HUGE GIGANTIC FUCK UP. And from the looks of it, it's going to be a long, hard winter.

Until the day when this glaring mis-step has been corrected, I will not be going anywhere - which is completely due to the enormity of the credit card-powered fuck up. I really can't do much of anything. Except sit here. Waiting. And glaring. And ignoring. And muttering.
It should be fun for everyone, dontcha think ?

Sunday meme

So I went to this site called Sunday Stealing which I found on Derfina's blog

And that is as much history as you need to move on to the actual meme.

Sunday Stealing: The Random Question Meme

1. How old do you look?
Younger then I feel, that's for damn sure. I don't know, I better ask my boss (I am at the cafe blogging today, with a bottomless cup of coffee to help me along....)
Willow says I look . Hm.

2. Where do you live?
In Hawaii. Yeah, it's pretty cool.

3. Are you waiting for something?
A refill on my coffee, a call from the pediatrician, a trip to the farm this afternoon....

4. What’s one pet peeve of yours that is not common?
Because I am vaguely unpredictable and/or irrational, I have so many it is hard to choose just one.

5. Do you want/have kids?
Got 'em. All set with that.

6. Have you ever thought about converting your religion?
I think I have to find a religion before I can convert, right ???

7. Last shocking news you heard?
Well, I got some unsettling news earlier in the week (see post Guys Who Leave) but for now, all drama is on hold.

8. What was the last thing you drank?
A bloody mary. 10 minutes ago. Blogging is challenging right now. I like a challenge.

9. Who do you most look like in your family?
When I am with my mother, everyone says I look like her. Same with my paternal grandmother. And people used to say I looked like my dad, before the crazy old-man eyebrows took over his face.......hard to tell now that practically his whole entire face is covered with hair.

10. If you could have something right now, anything, what would it be?
More coffee.....WILLOW WHERE ARE YOU.

11. Where does most of your family live?
North East USA

12. Where did you grow up?
See above.

13. Where do you want to go on vacation?
Right now I am just trying to get us to Seattle for the weekend, but my list of dream destinations include the Maldives, Tahiti, Fiji, and Europe. All of it.

14. Have you ever had a panic attack?
Yes. I seem to have gotten them under control, thank god.

15. What can’t you wait for?
Financial solvency.....anyone willing to sponsor a family in Hawaii?

16. When’s the last time you told someone you loved him or her and meant it?
I am not sure if it was husband or kids.....I tell them all frequently.

17. Have your parents ever smoked pot?

18. Want someone back in your life?
If they aren't in my life, there is a reason.

19. What do you order at the bar?
Besides Bloody Marys ? A nice porter or stout, or a margarita, blended no salt, or a rum and coke. Jack Daniels treated me SO wrong he is off the menu.

20. When was the last time you cried really, really hard?
Hm. It was about 2 weeks ago. I can't really think about it without getting all pissed off. Let's just say it involved a birthday/Valentine's gift gone terribly wrong.

21. Ever licked someone’s cheek?
Um. Maybe ?

22. What is your favorite thing to eat with peanut butter?
Actually, I just like it sraight up.

23. Where were you on July 4th, 2008?
Massachusetts ! At the parade in Duxbury. It Was Awesome.

24. What are your nicknames?
Sis, Frisbie, Nessa, mama.

25. If you could go back in time, how far back would you go?
All the way, baby. No, not really. I don't I have to ? I like it here.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Wait, what ?

If you were vacationing in Hawaii right now, you would be bitterly disappointed. It's gray. It's (relatively) cold. It's windy. It's rainy.

And, since this is Hawaii, the land of fun-n-sun, it stands to reason that indoor activities are basically non-existant. So your options as a resident are: sit in your house, go to a friends house, see a movie, or bundle up and pretend everything is totally normal. Even our malls are open to the elements - so if it raining outside, it's raining in the mall.

We have been inside for far too long now. It has gotten to the point where I load everyone in the car including the dog, and head to town to run errands - just for a change of scenery.

A pleasant side-effect of the crappy weather is my body's reaction to being cold and damp. I can barely turn my head, and the amount of pressure radiating up my neck and across my shoulders is insane. Yesterday, when I woke up, I actually had trouble getting out of bed. As I perched on the edge of the mattress and debated calling in to work, I decided to tough it out and take a muscle relaxer that was prescribed after the crash. For the first hour, I didn't feel different, but I soldiered on. And at about 90 minutes in, I was feeling GREAT. And about 2 hours after taking the pill, I tried to curl up in one of the booths and take a nap.

People, I was high. At work. Trying to wait on people. It. Was. Ridiculous.
I would approach a table, and greet them, and then sort of stare into space for a minute. Specials ? Oh, right, THE SPECIALS. Yes, yes of course....uhhhh. Yes. Today's specials. Hm. Hang on a sec, OK ?

So my neck felt FANTASTIC - like I didn't even HAVE a neck. But the rest of me was *freaking the fuck out*. I realized in the span of about 10 minutes that:
A. I shouldn't be at work, or even in public.
B. I couldn't drive myself home even if I wanted to go.
C. There was no one to call to come in and cover for me and
D. I was an ass for taking medication (even prescribed medication) right before a shift at work.

I alternated between "high-speak" (wherein I would babble to myself and anyone who would listen about how high I was, and how inappropriate it was, and how embarrassed I was to be so high, and how I probably needed to go home, and Do I Sound High to You ?) and trying to talk myself off the ledge that hangs precariously over "lock yourself in the bathroom and cry and throw up" land - a place I have seen a few times and never want to visit agin.

Man, was I high. *shakes head sadly*
What a waste.

So, fast forward to 3 hours later, I am still high, but now my neck hurts and I am getting nauseous, from a pain/highness combo that had to be experienced to be explained.

Then, a few hours after that I was no longer high, but still nauseous. So I did what any other clear thinking, non-high person would do. I went home, and went to sleep.

And this morning ? I woke up stiffer then yesterday, and in total misery. Luckily, I didn't have to work, so I took another one of the muscle relaxers. Boy, am I high.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Chicks are crazy

So, to follow up on my previous post, "Guys Who Leave" I think it is important to make sure the girls get equal be fair.

Because let's just get right to the point - girls can be some crazy bitches.

We all know a couple of crazy, stalker girls. We know the ones we wouldn't want hanging out with our husbands or boyfriends (or brothers for the matter). We know the ones who are just nothing but trouble.

And at the root of it all, the problem is the same as with Guys Who Leave. Complete and total self-absorbtion. Everything must be about them. All the time. And conversely, it's always someone else's fault.


My favorite crazy as a coot story about a girl, is about my husband's ex. She had, let's put it nicely, A Hard Time Letting Go. She liked to park across the street from his house (even on our wedding day) and walk on the beach in front of his house, where she might bump into him or his family members, and she might casually be able to strike up a conversation. That it was a private beach didn't matter a whit. She sent us a card when we had our first child, too. Creepy. She's still single by the way, so guys, if you are interested, let me know !

And of course, in my personal experience as a child (well, I was 24, but WHATEVER) of divorce, I had my fair share of fallout from the interaction between my parents and my father's subsequent partner (which is just the nicest way I can think of to refer to her. I had a LOT of other options, trust me. Oh, the language I could have used would have probably blown up your monitor.)

I can tell you one thing. When a girl is a third party in a relationship, there is bound o be some face time, and what starts out as a relatively calm (if completely inappropriate) conversation along the lines of "We love each other, why can't you let him go?" can turn into a full-scale, claws out, hair pulling, ultimate fighting event that could be on pay per view. My one and only actual physical fight was over a boy, in a playground when I was a teenager. I hate to even bring it up, because I am embarrassed to have ever been a part of that whole event...but it did make good entertainment for the guys playing basketball. I have swept that entire day under the rug because I am so mortified even now to remember it. I was an ass, and the guy SO wasn't worth it. 'Nuff said.

Sami insists, despite the evidence to the contrary, that I am Not Like Other Girls. I think that is what makes a marriage work - you have to believe that the person you are with is different from all the other assholes running around all willy-nilly. So, since we are both so secure and smug in our good fortune of marrying someone who isn't a jerk, we have a lot of conversations about Guys who are Irresponsible Assholes. That neatly ties in with our other favorite topic: Girls, and Why We Don't Like a Lot of Them because they are Crazy Bitches.

Girls have a very particlar dynamic - unlike guys - which allows them to take things further. Relationships are far more intense (with men, and with other women). Girls can be bitchy - really bitchy - and unpredicatable. And what about the girls who leave ? They are out there - women who have entered into a committed relationship, and had children with a partner, and then leave. Walk out the door. Leave children motherless. Leave men foundering in their wake. I have a very hard time understanding how you can grow another person in your body, under your heart, share blood and food and sustain them for 10 months (and we can get into this later, but 40 weeks is 10 months, people, not 9. NOT NINE.) and then raise them for a while, and eventually decide that you have something better to do.

No, you don't. You don't have anything better to do. Once you have children, your most important responsiblity is raising them to be productive members of society. In other words, make sure they don't turn out to be the aforementioned Assholes and Crazy Bitches. It takes work. It takes dedication. You will not be the most important thing in your life ever again. Get Over Yourself. You had your day in the sun. Now you have stretchmarks, and you should stay out of the sun and keep those things covered UP girlfriend. Plus, wear a hat - sun is hell on aging skin. But I digress.

Listen. I can be an unholy bitch a lot of the time (oh, yes I can). And I have been the star of many a crazy bitch scenario.....but there are limits to my madness. At the core, at the very root, I have some dignity, some self-respect, and some priorities.

Even when I was single, I had a few ground rules.

Don't get involved with anyone who has a wife was rule number one. (I would just like to note - a lot of people don't really adhere to that rule. It's a shame.)

Don't try to talk someone into being with you (This is a particularly hard one - I am a salesperson at heart, and I love a challenge. But really. See dignity, above.)

Don't make a whole bunch of compromises or lie to yourself about what is going to work for you. (Again, this can be tough - to admit that something might not work, even though it would be fun for a while....hard to walk away from that one.)

Don't be a crazy stalker. (Now, this one seems straightforward, until you *just happen* to be driving by their house/job/hangout, and catch yourself looking for thier car. DON'T DO IT. Do NOT go in. Trust me, it won't go well, and you will not receive the warm reception you are envisioning.)

So, with those rules out of the way, I am going to just say this.

Any partner who walks out because it is too hard, is going to be walking a much harder path later on. Karma is a bitch. There is a kind, graceful and respectful way to get out of anything - including a relationship. Even with kids involved, it can be handled in a way that minimizes the damage caused by a complete and total upheaval in Life as They Know It.

In short: Don't be an asshole.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Guys who leave

I was going to title this "men who leave" - but if they leave, I think they leave their manliness behind - balled up and rejected, left for someone else to pick up after them. Because really, that is why they leave...they just want to have someone picking up after them all the time. They don't want to do the work - the real work - that comes with the commitment. To a partner. To a child. To a home. To all of the messy complicatons of a life shared.

The other day, an old dear friend completed one of those memes on Facebook, this one was about her firsts.

One of the questions was "who's wedding was the first one you were in" or something like that. Her answer was: mine. (Mine, as in Daffodil's, to be clear)

Not mine and my ex's. Just mine. I got married alone, to myself. He has been erased from the equation, by having left our marriage. He starts fresh, I clean up and carry the history around with me forever. I have had to show my divorce papers at several times during my subsequent life, not just at my remarriage. At the adoption of my child. For tax purposes. To register a car. I still get his mail at my address, and I have moved 10, maybe 12 times since the divorce. Once I have recovered from the shock of seeing that name attached to my address - the home I share with my husband who swears he will never leave - I mark the envelope "return to sender" and stick it back in the box. Erase it from my mind, like he erased himself from my life.

Around the time that I remarried, my parents divorced. It was long, drawn out, and ugly for the pain it caused. For it's wrongness. It was rife with late-night calls, early morning departures, mail with no return address. Christmas was forever changed because it all seemed to spiral out of control beginning one cold Christmas morning - and the final nail was hammered in exactly one year later. My father was able to wreak havoc, to throw lives into chaos, create turmoil the likes of which I still cannot comprehend. And he just walked away. Left it for someone else to clean up and tie in a pretty bow and stick under the Christmas tree.

I see other couples going through tough times, and I wonder if the challenges will bring them closer together, or tear them apart. If the guys will walk away. Not men, not boys - just guys. Guys who know better, but choose to leave it all behind. It's too hard. It demands to much. It's too hard to keep clean and shiny and new.

My marriage isn't shiny and new. It's dented and tarnished and maybe a little rusty - but it's strong. It has weathered the abuse we (mostly I) have heaped on it. We were discussing marriage last night, and our reaction to friends who are struggling right now to hold their's together. My husband said to me "I plan to live here, with you, until you throw me out." We laughed, because we could. Because it was funny. Because neither one of us has threatened to leave. We have had conversations about splitting up - but those conversations were brief and tear-stained. No one is going anywhere. No one wants to leave. Leaving is not an option. We may disagree many times about many things, but on this topic, we are in agreement.

Coming soon: Women are Crazy Bitches

And if you read this post and thought to yourself "How dare she, my life is not her blog fodder", well, I got a few things to say.

1. Get over yourself, it's not about you. Trust me, many men are making stupid decisions these days. But the fact that you see yourself and your situation in this post should be a huge CALL OUT to shape up and grow a pair.

2. On the other hand.....Yes, everything I witness and hear about IS blog fodder. That's how it works. Too bad, so sad.

Well, that wasn't what I had planned

Good Morning.

How are you?

What are you doing today?

Me? Oh, not much. I had some plans, oh yes, but now....well.....things change.

I started this morning all excited. Both Kids In School ! Writing in the morning ! Hair appointment at noon !

I started out so well.....dropped kids off (early !) went to the store (bought dinner !) got gas (went through the car wash !) checked my email (no drama !) cruised Facebook (no weird invites or unidentifiable friend requests!). Then I turned off the computer, and looked around.

It's sunny.

It's quiet.


My hair appointment got cancelled, so basically my only entertainment for the day just got snatched away from me.

I cannot think of a thing to write about. Why is it that when I think of great, inspirational, clever, funny things to write, I am in the shower? Or driving with no where to pull over? Or JUST ABOUT TO FALL ASLEEP?

I got nothing.

I ate some strawberry jello.

The dog is asleep in the sun.

I weeded the driveway.

It's too early for a beer. (wait, did I just say that ?)

I would take a nap, but then I will feel guilty that I am napping while everyone else in the world is doing something useful and productive. Maybe I should scrub the shower. But really, that is more of a punishment then a chore.

Here's the root of the problem. I don't want to do anything....but feel like I should. I have come to the conclusion that I run at 150% capacity, until I have completely fried my circuits, and then I have to shut down and regroup. Reboot, so to speak. Ooooooh - BOOTS. Maybe I should go buy Lucy the new boots she needs. No, I don't want to spend any money. We don't HAVE any money. No boots. She can be barefoot. There was something else we needed at Walmart - but I can't remember what it is. And I think it's the grand opening of Target on Oahu, which I had fully intended to be there for.....and I'm not. Something else I am not doing.

I wonder, if I lived in a city, would I spend days like this in a museum? I'd like to think so. I could get me some cultcha (as they say in New England - not culture, cultchAH). I would go to the library, but it's closed.

Ugh. Today is totally annoying me. Maybe I'll get a magazine in the mail this afternoon.....that may just save the day, at this point. In the meantime, I have to come up with content for a column. You know, about my exciting life.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Ha HAH - they must have heard me talking to you. And my neighbor sucks.

Miraculously and mysteriously, my vehicle registration and safety paperwork showed up at the dealership today.

How about that.

So, I guess my truck is all street legal now and whatnot. Which means I can go down and sign my loan paperwork. And THAT is exciting to me.

And this morning, at 9am (a much more civilized hour) the pediatrician called me about Baby, to give me an update, talk about his prognosis, and discuss upcoming appointments. It was all so lovely and organized.

But don't worry, plenty of other things are chapping my ass. Like, my neighbor. This is the neighbor who blows things up on holidays (most notably, himself a few years ago - but he's all better now and back to his usual nonsense.) A typical guy's guy, he has two pickup trucks. And every day midsized truck, and then a huge, duelly pickup with quad cab and lights on the roof, which he uses to tow around his enormous fishing boat. He also has a dirtbike, natch. I have never seen him use the dirtbike, but he sure CLEANS the fucking thing often enough. He has a powerwasher for all of his manly stuff, and he powerwashes the CRAP out of his dirtbike on a semi-regular basis. Like today. In the rain. It's loud, and obnoxious, and wholly unnecessary. Adding to the noise (and my distress) is his HORRENDOUS taste in music, all early-mid eighties, cranked up to a ear-splitting volume, and played in his driveway on his car stereo, with the doors left open. frequently, the front end of the truck sticks out several feet into the street, to leave more room for powerwashing. And if it gets dark before he is done powerwashing (he's been at it for about 30 minutes now) he will turn on spotlights, to illuminate his life's work.

It will surprise you to learn that while he is married (and god bless her because she MUST be a saint) he has no children, and still lives with his mom.

Monday, March 2, 2009

I can make quite a fuss when I put my mind to it

Tonight, I am lying in bed, once again FREEZING MY ASS OFF.

People, I live in the south pacific. I did not move thousands of miles away from New England, at considerable expense and tremendous inconvenience, to be cold.

I want to be hot. All the time.

That is not the case here, at this time.

Tonight I have on a particularly tantalizing outfit - which may be why Sami is already sound asleep with his back to me.

Let me paint a picture for you......Fleece hat. Fleece jacket (the heavyweight Patagonia pullover, by the way - not some sexy half-zipped with nothing under it snowbunny kind of fleece jacket. Your MOM's Patagonia fleece. Know what I'm sayin'?) Size XL fleece sweat pants with the drawstring cinched up tight and double-knotted so that my intentions are perfectly clear. My pants are not coming off. Not tonight, maybe not ever again. It's that cold.
I also have on some knit wool socks (Thanks Aunt Linda !)

I am under a down comforter. I am shivering.

There is only one explanation.

I am a pussy.

Yes, I know, I know, that is not a nice word. But really. As I told Nat and Rachel today, I should be able to handle this - my ancestors were PILGRIMS for fuck's sake. We know cold. We can handle it. We're built for it. Hardy stock and all that. Survival of the fittest.

Meh. I'm fucking cold, and miserable. Put THAT in your pipe and smoke it, Pocahontas.

So while I sit here, all put out and cranky, I am dwelling on the other shit in my life that is pissing me off that also happens to be beyond my control. Like getting my car registered.

When you buy a car from the dealership, they CHARGE you for the service of submitting all necessary paperwork to the DMV. I bought a car 5 weeks ago, and it still isn't registered. I am starting to get a little pissed off. I keep calling the dealership, and getting sent to various voicemails - and this point I am suspecting they don't even belong to current employees. Do you think they do that ? Keep a few ex-employee's voicemail accounts open, to forward irate customer calls to ? Do you think they forward me to the voicemail of that-chick-we-fired-last-month, and then giggle about it?

Well, they didn't count on me. I'm going down there in person tomorrow, to track down my @#$%^&* registration. (I only used all of those symbols because I couldn't think of a flowery enough curse to express my displeasure, without getting someone's panties in a twist. Hi mom.)

By the way, that brings me to a whole new development in my life. My mom, on Facebook. I am the lone holdout among my siblings who hasn't gleefully welcomed her with open arms to Facebook. I am a little freaked out about the whole deal. Because this is one of those times when I think to myself: What is she doing here ? She's an ADULT. Doesn't she have better things to do?

And then I get real quiet and realize: FUCK - I'm An Adult Too.

And as an adult, I can deal with this in a mature manner. I am going to ignore the entire thing completely. See? Problem solved. All better. Lalalalalalala I can't see you.

Moving on.

Baby update is this: The social workers called me at 7:45am and 7:55am this morning, to confirm baby's visit with family today. I have a lot of complaints about this, so let's start from the top.

1. Dont EVER fucking call me at 7:45am, unless I was supposed to be at work at 7:30am. And even then, be wary.

2. Don't ever fucking call me TWICE before 8am. There is absolutely no need for that. Ever.

3. Don't ever call me in the morning and ask me stupid questions without first checking your email and voicemail to see if the stupid question is answered there.

4. Don't call to confirm something that has been cancelled in writing. In your email.

5. Know where your foster children are. Especially the ones that were hospitalized in an emergency situation. It's your JOB. Call the hospital to maybe, oh I don't know, check on them once a day over the weekend since you are the person responsible for their care and wellbeing. I did. No, there;s no visit today - because baby is WITH parents IN hospital.

6. When you DO call the hospital, speak to a doctor, to get an update on the child's condition. And when the foster parent asks if you have spoken to the doctor, do not respond with "No, I only did what I needed to do." Finding out the child's condition IS what you need to do. You took custody away from the parents, because you felt they weren't taking care of the child. So DO BETTER. LEAD BY EXAMPLE.

7. When baby is released from hospital after a week-long stay, driving baby around to visits is not necessarily in best interests of sick baby. Be smart. Don't get baby sick again. Check with doctors before planning subsequent visits.

And now, let's discuss doctors. I am not one. So I don't know how it all works, but I know this. I followed doctor's orders. I called when things became questionable, they told me to go to the ER, I did, baby was admitted, social worker came, I left, end of story. Do not expect me to know what further information you need. You are the doctor, you have the medical records, I expect you to read them and provide care accordingly. This means making sure they are given the correct medications, fed the correct foods, and cared for properly.

Don't ask the person who has not been with baby for 5 days why the x-ray taken yesterday looks different then the one taken when baby was admitted. How the FUCK would I know? I have been sitting here, waiting for you people to call me, all weekend long.

So, that's me in a nutshell, no pun intended.

Know when to fold 'em

Las tnight, just as I drifted off into deep, peaceful, restful sleep - I heard a cough in the bathroom. Now, based on my experience of last week when Lucy coughed and then threw up all over the house for 8 hours, I responded as though someone had stuck me with a cattle prod. Up and out of bed and halfway down the hall in one swift motion. If it had been an Olympic event, I would have taken the gold. I rounded the corner into Max's room, where the lights were all on. Sami was standing there surveying the carnage and turning green.

Let's just say (to keep this as vague as possible) Max had an upset tummy, and there was quite a mess. And smell.

And since this was a redux of last week (which I sheilded you from because it was so incredibly awful) I had a clear plan in my head - one I formulated as I washed every item in Lucy's room 3 times last week trying to clean up after her vomitfest.

I looked at Sami and said "put it all on the porch - we'll deal with it later."

Once Max's room had been decontaminated, the porch door opened and the ceiling fan fired up, it was a lot more bearable. We made the executive decision to simply throw everything away that had been affected by the evenings festivities. Before you chide me for being wasteful, let me share one teeny tiny detail.

Max had eaten a lot of fresh, ripe red strawberries for dessert. Everything was stained so terribly that really, it wouldn't have recovered.

So, everything got thrown away in one swift move, and we congratulated ourselves on re-starting the trash service last month. We were all back in bed in under half an hour, though the dog was so worked up he took a while to settle back down. I mean after all, there was excitement, and people, and lights ! We were up ! Lets go for a WALK !

The GDD was bitterly disappointed.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Cool contests and more......

So since I have an unlisted, so under the radar that reading it makes you a total insider (and super cool) blog, I am never tapped to try stuff out, or give stuff away, or promote know, except myself.

So I have to live vicariously through other blogs.

First - Meanest Mom is giving away a whole ton of stuff here

Second - Mike Adamick just donated one of his custom Recession Owls to this cause - it works like a raffle, read the post at that link, and decide for yourself if this is a cause you would buy a raffle ticket for.

Third - my brother and sister (in law, technically, but whatever, she's my sister) is having a big sale at their Hobocampcrafts etsy shop - and they have the coolest fabrics - so if you don't win Mike's Recession Owl, you can buy some cool fabric and make your own !

And a quick update on baby.....there was a new nurse today when I called for an update, and she informed me that I was not on her list, and that the only name and phone number she had was (you guessed it) the social worker for CPS. Due to privacy laws, she could not disclose the results of any testing, or tell me when baby might be released. I explained that since I was the person who was actually PICKING UP baby from hospital upon release, and the only person who would answer the phone over the weekend, that she might want to clear up the confusion, before baby got sent home with his bio parents who did not have custody. Suffice to say, she took down my name and number. If I wasn't so glad for another night's sleep, I would be insulted and on the phone yelling at people about the fact that MY signature was on their permission to treat and privacy policy paperwork. But on the other hand.....I know baby is safe where he is, and I will sleep another night in blissful, uninterrupted, deep, REM sleep. Ahhhhhhhhh. And the hospital can continue to leave what I am sure will be ever-increasingly desperate messages on the social worker's voicemail at CPS, and wait for the callback that will never, ever come on a weekend. And maybe not even on Monday. Ah, bureaucracy. Sometimes, it's not so bad.