Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Move Over Dante! This is my Tenth Circle.

I would say I am basically a good person, although I am pretty noisy with the spiteful hate I spit at slow, stupid drivers.

So...not to get into a theological debate about this, but I hope St. Peter will be stepping aside for me to stumble through those pearly gates when I kick the can. If not, well...there is the other place.

The other place of which I am certain I experienced a little bit of this afternoon. I attended my son's junior high band concert. I did so in a foul mood because my pants were tight and I believe my stomach is now the same size as it was when I was five months pregnant. I very meanly took this foulness out on my poor, unsuspecting and startled husband.

My observation du jour was this: my own version of hell will be me, chained to a bench that provides no back support and I will be forced to listen to "The Final Countdown," "20 Christmas Carols in 2 minutes," and "Aria and Arietta" played by uninspired, jaded 8th graders.

Satan will add a little more salt to my bleeding ears by having the band teacher, who is conducting this malfeasance, stop between every song and give the background on the song, why he chose the song for this particular group of children, and other little nuggets of information he deems useful for our benefit in attaining the full appreciation for each of these pieces.

I will smile as my child comes towards me and, although I could not locate him in the greasy mass of preteen angst, tell him (with a smile plastered on my pained face) that he did a wonderful job and will ask him polite and appropriate questions.

My feet will be asleep and my back will ache to the point I am **this** close to feeling a tad bit crippled.

Then, the whole scene will reverse and I will be sitting on the bench again and the concert will start to replay.

Over and over and over and over. Throughout all eternity.

I have learned my lesson. My next child will play a string, not a brass, instrument. The sound will be pleasing to my ears and he will play only Handel and Vivaldi.

Publish Post

Monday, December 15, 2008

Pickles, the Color Pink, and Iran

On the way to church the other week, my seven-year-old informed me that one of their assignments that week was to write a list of things that they were afraid of.

"What did you write on your list, honey?" (I'm trying to add "honey" and "sweetie" to questions and orders lately because Chris tells me I sound too irascible when I speak to the children.)

He gazes out the window, deep in thought.

"I wrote pickles," he said.

"Oh, okay," I said. "What else?"

"The color pink," he continued.

"And Iran," he said matter-of-factly.

"Iran?" I asked, truly flabbergasted and honestly, pretty darn amused. "What did your teacher say when you told her you were afraid of Iran?"

"She didn't say anything," he said. That was surprising to me because I would surely have a lot of questions for a 7 year old who said he was afraid of Iran.

"She asked why I was afraid of pickles."

What a hell of a missed opportunity on her part. I guess that discussions about Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the Middle Eastern country's strained relationship with the United States might be a little over the heads of second graders.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Martha Stewart Show Exacerbates My Sense of Inadequacy

Every morning, I wake up, make a pot of decaf coffee, turn on Good Morning America and check my e-mail.

I watch GMA and the local news updates. I muse at how cheery Diane, Robin, Sam and Chris are and wonder if they go home and kick their dogs and verbally abuse their spouses. If I had to put in that much effort to be happy in the morning, I think I might be guilty of those offenses at a MINIMUM.

After the two hours is up, I participate in the phenomenon that network television stations have probably spent countless hours and money researching: I am too lazy to turn the channel so I get sucked into the next television show ~ The Martha Stewart Show.

Instead of turning the channel, I watch her mad skills of the likes I could never aspire to. Today she made a Menorah out of some driftwood. She makes cookies that would probably make me weep out of frustration if I tried to make them myself. She decorates cupcakes which reminds me that it has been 1 hour since I had breakfast and I am suddenly starving and would love a cupcake. I might add a boxed cake mix and canned frosting to my grocery list.

While talking to Emeril as they were brining the turkey for Thanksgiving, she mentioned that she used to be a chemist...and from what I know of her, she used to be a stock broker, too. Here is a woman who can presumably butcher her own turkeys; yet can speak intelligently about the molecular modulation as it pertains to the brining of a turkey and can also tell us, probably with a bit of authority and a lot of arrogance, more than a little about economics and the stock market.

Yes, I suck.

I still make my family Hamburger Helper. Once, as a side dish, I made ramen noodles with cheese (which was actually quite tasty). Wesley had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for dinner the other night. My coffee pot overflowed this morning and there are coffee grounds on the counter. My decorations are minimalist and unoriginal. My cookies are undecorated lumps. I'm not Jewish, but even if I was, I would go out and buy a Menorah rather than forage for the perfect stick to put the little candles on and spray paint silver. I don't know anything about economics, or turkeys, and honestly? From what I remember, I just about killed myself to get out of taking a chemistry class. I chose journalism because it required the least amount of math.

Maybe I am just going through a phase and a creativity bug will hit me. Maybe I will become more well rounded and informed as I become older and wiser. The only part of Martha Stewart I can identify with at this point in my life is that she is supposedly a raging bitch. If you ask my family they would probably tell you the same thing about me on any given weekday morning.

At least it is something...

Friday, October 31, 2008

The Rooster and Boba Fett

Today is Halloween.

Because our city is weird, Trick or Treat was last night on October 30th. I don't know why it is on the 30th and is called "Beggar's Night."

The build-up in our house has been positively fierce, particularly for 7-year-old Wesley, who declared in July that he was to be Boba Fett. We put off buying the costume as long as possible because the price on the thing was outrageous and, unlike other families who enthusiastically embrace Halloween and all of its spookiness, I see money spent on costumes equivalent to money flushed down the crapper.

The only time I can say that this wasn't the case was when Wesley was four and he went as Spiderman. Like every other four year old boy, Spiderman was his obsession, and was egged on by the rapid-fire releases of the Spiderman trilogy.

"Spiderman" was one of those polyester, highly flammable jobs that tied up the back and had the fake, fluffy muscles in the front to intimate the massive strength of the pint sized Spidey . Wesley wore the thing for four weeks leading up to Halloween (even to bed), and throughout that winter. I think he might have continued to wear it into the summer, but by that time it was too tight, specifically in the crotch area, and created a frontal wedgie that would be deemed, by any reasonable person, highly inappropriate to wear in public .

Unfortunately, unlike the Spiderman of yore, Boba Fett's novelty wore off after the first day or so. By the time October 30th rolled around, he wouldn't even put on the helmet. I made him carry the helmet around the neighborhood so folks could AT LEAST get the gist of the costume and would satisfy my own concern with getting my money's worth out of the over-priced ensemble.

The baby's costume was bought on Ebay because I felt I had to, pressured by the endless questions about "what Maggie was going to be for Halloween" and the fear of reproach if I said she wasn't dressing up. Sadly at thirty-something, I am highly affected by peer pressure (in a thirty year old's sort of way). But by this age, peer pressure no longer occurs in the areas of beer and bongs... it moves onto things that bring out fundamental issues of guilt. In this case, depriving a child of the experience, even if only through photos later in life, of participating in holidays of which the importance is grossly inflated and driven by retail sales.

The baby's costume was .99 and shipping was a mere 3.00. I felt that this was very reasonable. It was a costume of a chicken, although Chris pointed out that the comb on top of the hood technically made it a rooster, thus all wrong for a baby girl. But it was cozy for a chilly October night. I couldn't have anticipated that Beggar's Night this year would be unusually mild and the minute I put the stifling costume on her she would flip out.

We set her in the stroller and she cried even harder.

We started walking and the freak-out was impressive in its ferocity and intensity.

By the end of the block, we had to pick her up and carry her.

My trick or treat experience was souring by the minute and as we made our way up the hill one block over, I had experienced enough of it already. The dirtballs were out en masse and we were walking through plumes of cigarette smoke and dodging doggies dressed in costumes (which is no simple feat with an SUV sized stroller). The parents yelling and dragging their children around reminded me very much like the last time I visited the east side Kmart.

I had Chris plunk her down in the stroller and, the as the ferocity of the flipping out reared its ugly head once again, I half walked/half jogged the rest of the way to our house where our oldest son was sitting on the porch handing out candy, trying to look cool and uninterested, and receiving positive attention from girls. At least he had a good night.

Which leads to today, October 31st,the actual "holiday." I will probably fire up more tea lights and put them in our jack-o-lanterns outside (we went all out this year). It will feel very anticlimactic until I see the 75% off sale on seasonal items at the local Target, my highlight of every holiday season.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Firm Butt and Red Velvet Cake

Lots of things happened since I blogged last:

I have my very first ever niece! Sweet lil Isabella is now almost 3 weeks old.

I stopped nursing due to a medication change in my PIH (Pregnancy Induced Hypertension) saga.

I decided that, after yesterday's turd and spillage, I was no longer the "cloth diapering" type of gal and am throwing in the towel.

We saw Sarah Palin today at a rally, and I am convinced I am never going to have her butt. You can bounce not one, not two, but I'm sure AT LEAST three quarters off of it. It is a butt I will never have, considering I had a burger and fries for dinner and there is a piece of red velvet cake waiting for me in the fridge (hellooooo, lovaahhhh).

I comment on her butt because that was the view we had, and that is, quite literally, all I saw.

A friend of ours delivered early on her "pastor's appreciation month" obligation and got us onstage for the Sarah Palin rally. She was wearing her hooker boots and trotted lil Piper out to tell us to "vote for her mom."

Before the rally started, a staffer handed out hand painted signs to us. Since we were directly behind Palin, we were to part of the "Iowa ***hearts***Palin" message. I was the heart, so I considered this to be an uber important job. Hubby was the "S." Our 7 year old also standing with us, was slighted and quite pissy for not getting a letter, and our 13 year old's job was to cuddle the six month old and to keep her from crying. For his efforts, he was pissed on when the diaper failed (which, due to the reaction to the leakage, could have been the worst possible thing to happen to a 13 year old. Ever. In the history of mankind.).

The "coolness" of holding the letters wore off in about, oh, sixty seconds. Because, not only were we obligated to hold them up above our heads when Palin came out, we had to hold them before she came out, as she walked out on stage, during her speech, and as she exited the stage. Needless to say, by then end of the deal, I felt as if I was holding an anvil. Of lead. My cheerfulness about the whole endeavor had worn off, not only due to the challenge of holding these things up for so long and so often, but also due to the comments of the people behind us, which went something like this:

"Put the signs down!"

"Signs down, please!" (Not said in the polite manner as it appears in print.)

"Put the damn signs down."

"How rude! Put those signs down!"

I wanted to turn around and point out the effeminate guy in the front row in the pink bow tie who was DIRECTING us to hold the "damn" signs up, that this wasn't an all out effort to block the views of Sarah Palin's ass to the unfortunates behind us.

Besides getting yelled at, a raging headache from the lights and the realization that I shouldn't have worn that white t-shirt under that black sweater because all I could see were **boobs, boobs, boobs** on television, it was a pretty good day.

At the end of this good day and as I was contemplating Sarah Palin's ass, I proceeded through the drive through of a local burger joint and ordered a burger with everything on it, a large french fry and a large (diet) Pepsi.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Panty Lines and Farting in Public

This morning one of my online friends mentioned she was afraid of having panty lines.

That got me thinking about how NOT worried I was about that anymore. My granny panties probably have lines bigger than a Soviet bread line but I really don’t care. Back in the day, I might have worn a thong but now the thought of doing that now makes me cringe. On my list of things to do, wearing a thong to eliminate unsightly panty lines HAS to be at the very bottom.

My apathy towards panty lines got me thinking about the other things that I don’t care about anymore, and the list is frighteningly long.

I have started farting in public. Once upon a time, I would have imploded before I did such a thing, but now I just let it rip. This actually started when I was pregnant because, well, one might expect a ginormous pregnant lady to let one or two slip out every once in a while. But now, I have continued this because really…what better to blame foul smells and errant sounds on than a helpless baby who is unable defend herself?

I don’t care any more about where I buy my clothes. I march directly to the plus size department because elastic waists and flowing silhouettes remind me of my favorite things EVER: maternity clothes. As soon as I could (without looking like a complete freak) I traded in my low-waisted, J Crew boot cut denim pants for velour tracksuits.

I don’t care if I have worn the same clothes four days in a row – as long as I change my granny panties daily and the spit up stains are in inconspicuous places, why not? Okay…actually, I lied. Even if the stains ARE quite obvious that is okay, too, as long as long as I am toting the baby with me so people can see that I am obviously a fairly new mom and getting thrown up on is just par for the course.

I guess I have other things that are more important to care about at this point in my life: making sure the baby is happy, keeping a reasonably clean house, not letting the children starve.

I hope that one day I will care a little bit more. I know that deep within me is someone who usually isn’t like this ~ someone who used to care about her appearance, who exercised five to six days a week (vigorously, mind you!), who said “no” to cake and/or candy bars, who wore un-elasticized pants.

The baby turns five months tomorrow so maybe that would be a good time to pull myself together, put my game face on and start making a bit more of an effort.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Honor Student or Bust

I’ve always known that my genetic makeup was not one of an “uber mom.”

They are the types that have large calendars with all of their children’s activities written down three months in advance and are the ones who pack daily balanced, nutritious lunches for their children with sandwiches cut into triangles. They drive minivans with soccer ball stickers in the back windows or “My Child is an Honor Student at _____,” decals.

I’m definitely not an uber mom, although each year I vow I will be more informed, more pro-active, more prepared.

But alas, I am again the last one to sign the kids up for sports and/or activities, calling the “organizer” breathless and panicked to make sure that sign-ups are still open. I am the one who never really knows what is going on because I forgot to write it on the calendar. I’m the one who picks up my teenager from junior high and tries to exit through the “entrance only” part of the parking lot (despite the squad car sitting there blockading the entrance); thus, embarrassing the said teenager to the point of sending him to a crumpled, defeated heap on the floor of the SUV as I try to negotiate my way out by way of hysterically begging and pleading ignorance.

Now that the third child has come, I am operating at a frightening “seat of my pants” type mode. The best I can hope for is mediocrity with a tinge of desperation.

As my children get older, it hasn’t come any easier with practice and I don’t seem to have learned from my past mistakes.

I am a little envious of the uber moms sometimes, usually when I am running late to somewhere I didn’t realize I needed to be until thirty minutes beforehand. But then, as I think about it, the envy is replaced by a tinge of pride in myself that I found out where I needed to be before the event/practice/signup was over.

I have made a decision that perhaps next year I will strive to be a little more uber; this year has already started as a bit of a bust.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Bag O' Tricks

I have been having a difficult time with losing random items down my shirt lately.

I was sitting at the computer a few weeks ago when, as I reached up to scratch an itch, my hand grazed my chest and made a sound akin to the pocket a middle-aged man. I patted it and heard the unmistakable sound of change jingling.

"How did change get THERE," I wondered. I am generally a debit or credit card using woman and rarely have change of any sort, except for the random quarters I pick up on our kitchen counter after Chris empties his pockets in the evening (I guess one could call that stealing, but I just consider it "cleaning up").

It was truly a mystery how change, specifically a dime and two pennies, could have made it down the front of my shirt, although currently as a nursing mom, that general vicinity could be only described as an abyss. The effect of a bra and/or my nursing tank creates with the extra flesh can only be described as startling, and not necessarily in a good way.

Last night, as I was preparing myself for bed, I noticed a bothersome stickiness coming from the abyss area and proceeded to investigate. I took a peek down my tank and, sure enough. I vaguely remembered Chris tossing me two Dove chocolates after dinner. Did I only eat one?

"Honey!" I called pitifully from the bathroom. "I dropped a Dove down my shirt and there is chocolate everywhere!"

A sound that could only be described as a snort came from the bedroom.

Later I emerged with a clean nursing tank on and all the evidence of the earlier shenanigans had been washed off. I crawled into bed next to my husband.
"I wondered why you smelled like chocolate tonight," he confided. Then laughed at me; it was presumably not a "laugh with me" type situation.

I can only imagine what I will find next.

Friday, August 22, 2008

MoonPie and Torture Devices

I have decided I need a hobby.

I want it to be impressive ~ something that I can ramble off when asked of my hobbies and that will illicit a response such as, "Wow! What an interesting hobby SHE has. She must be a FASCINATING individual ~ a woman I would like to get to know!"

The problem is that right now I am not sure I have time for hobbies; my current hobby throws up on me several times a day, craps her pants and bites my nipples, then laughs. I also think this hobby is cutting teeth, which at four months seems too soon.

She arrived at the end of April and has been the center of our family's universe. Her brothers won't stay out of her face and I worry about them kissing her so much.

This week my "extracurricular" hobby, of sorts, has been getting my ass to the gym every morning. Since Moon Pie (her nickname, I don't know why) has arrived, I have managed to eat enough chocolate chip cookies to add fifteen more pounds to my already bumpy figure. So, I joined Weight Watchers this week and began using my gym membership for the first time in a year.

My goal is to be where I was at a year ago: running 3-4 miles 5x a week. But because I am far too jiggly to run right now, I have taken to walking really fast on an incline, manipulating the elliptical machine and torturing myself for five minutes on the Stair Master. I hope to increase my minutes on the torture device until I am on it for 30 minutes because I intend to have a fantastic butt by this time NEXT year.

But enough of that fun stuff for now, I hear my current hobby crying in her crib right now.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Jumping on the Bandwagon.

Starting a blog has always sounded like a good idea. A couple friends of mine have started ones in the past month or so and I am, admittedly, a follower.

I was never one who was a natural "leader" and when put in situations where I was in a leadership position I would undoubtedly puss out. This has happened over and over. People have asked me to organize events before and because of my deep-rooted aversion to telling people "no," I will say yes then hide for the next several months (i.e. not answer my door or phone) until they get the point that I was a horrible, terrible choice and move on to someone else.

Going back and reading that last paragraph, I realize that I sound a little crazy.

Isn't it sweet that my husband thinks my crazy side is sweet and yes, quite endearing. He married me! That sucker. He is stuck with my mood swings, my neurotic tendencies and odd quirks. To save face for HIM, he has been instructed not to allow me to do anything that requires responsibility outside my home, i.e. at church. As a pastor's wife, sometimes people get the wacky notion that the wife would be an ideal choice to be on committees, organize things, etc. Not me! And I am really lucky that Chris knows what a poor choice I would be and fends off any situations that would give me cause to freak out. He is my sieve.

So, yes. I admit that I am a follower. I would never be the "first" one to start a blog, I have to have the way paved for me first. The world HAS to have followers and I am proud to say that I am one of them. Welcome to my blog!