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Archive for April, 2009

Monday was Luna Mae’s 5th birthday. For those of you who don’t know, Luna Mae is not a hippie southern bell we keep locked in our storage closet, she is our dog. Our much lamented dog. What’s that? You want to hear the story of Luna Mae? Sure, I’d love to relive the hell of owning a part beagle, part terrier, all idiot K-9. (PS- This gets really long so I have included mucho pictures so you can pretty much skip the words and… Look! Cute puppy face!!!!)

I will eat your souls and then chew up your fancy woodwork for dessert.

I will eat your souls and then chew up your fancy woodwork for dessert.

Once upon a time there was a woman who didn’t know when to stop. She got one cat, then another cat, then ohmygod what’s-with-all-the-cats third cat. Then this woman got herself married but only because she was trying to to break down the Crazy Cat Lady stereotype that runs rampant in 21st century America. We can have husbands too, dammit. Shortly after we got married (and by shortly I mean the weekend after we got back from our honeymoon) we acquired Luna Mae. We went to the breeders (I know, I know but I was young and foolish and at this point still vaguely republican so don’t crucify me, OK- we were poor and we got a deal. We got the cats from shelters and I’d tell you we’d get our next dog there too, but HAHAHAHA. There will be no more dogs) anyway,  I tell you, people, I wanted the the one with brown spots, the one with a penis, but noooo, Bill wanted the one with black spots because oh look she is so cute. Always know that cute things are cute for a reason and that reason is their allegiance to Satan. (Point of reference: See all entries tagged Rowan and/or Keaton.)

Satan has the best milkbones EVAHHHHH hahahahah!!!!!

Satan has the best milkbones EVAHHHHH hahahahah!!!!!

Why a dog?  I am an animal lover so I never went all Cat’s Rule and Dog’s Drool, but lets just say my feet were firmly planted in the cat court. It wasn’t until after I had children that I realized why all of a sudden I needed a dog at that point. It was misplaced, undiagnosed baby lust that my poor wee little brain didn’t process correctly. Cats do not satisfy that need in humans because they are so independent and supercilious. Example: You can feed me, but maybe I’ll just go ahead and knock your water glass off the table anyway whilst I am making eye contact with you, simply because I sort of feel like it. Or maybe I’ll skip the whole thing and lick my butt for awhile. Only time will tell. There is no way to nurture something that thinks like that. Love them, sure. But just try nurturing a cat and they will thank you by peeing on your pillow. A dog though, a dog will allow you to take care of it, teach it, train it, love it, and they will love you back.

So we brought home an 11 week old puppy Bill named Baroness Chompers von Gunterhausen III* and within the week she promptly developed kennel cough. Fawkesy had it too, so we weren’t completely new to this offensive phenomenon, but nevertheless, animals who are sick are not fun. Here is why: THEY DON’T HAVE HANDS. Perhaps not a newsflash, I know, but this simple fact was made painfully clear when she sneezed giant gobs of boogers all over the floor, and walls, and oh god the couch and for the love of christ our brand new fancy pink sheets IS NOTHING SACRED TO YOU, DOG?! She could not cover her nose or mouth and her trajectory was something akin to a medieval catapult. Dog snot everywhere. In most instances kennel cough clears up within a matter of a few weeks, tops, but in Luna’s (*you didn’t really think I would actually let Bill’s name fly did you? Point of Reference: All entries tagged Bill) case she had it for 6 weeks.

So much snot, so little square footage...

So much snot, so little square footage...

Now, Bill and I had the foresight to know that we didn’t have the patience to start training her and all her octopus puppy limbs on our own, so we had arranged to go to the local dog training center. When we told them about the kennel cough they said she couldn’t come in until it had totally cleared. The next puppy class wasn’t being offered again until late fall so we would have to wait. Meanwhile the Octopus Puppy Limbs kept getting longer and more frighteningly unmanageable, though it was pretty amusing to watch her slide around on the hardwood floors.

After the snot fest cleared up we thought we better get her socialized with other pups and since we lived in the city we found a dog park where she could blissfully play off her leash. It was here that we found Luna had an unbelievable aptitude for playing ball and it was here we noticed she was a little leery (read:YAPYAPBARKBARKYAPBARKYAP) of other dogs, but she did OK. We had gone to this particular dog park, which was in a shitty ass neighborhood, 4-5 times when The Badness happened. Bill, Luna and I had come down from the trail that opened into the common area when she ran out ahead of us. All at once, no less than 7-10 dogs surrounded her, cornering her while barking and snarling. She did nothing to provoke them, it was like it was gang up on the new dog day and I tell you this fucked her up for good. None of the owners called their dogs off, and I was scared to go into the circle of snarling cujos but when two if them lunged at her I politely inquired screamed out WHOSE DOGS ARE THESE and went in and scooped Luna up. She was shaking and whining and God I felt so bad for her.

luna4

So we stuck to leash walks and throwing the ball for her in the tiny city park. Mid-October began her first foray into training classes so we thought things would improve. This is when we realized how badly The Badness had affected her. Instead of joining in on the bouncing up and down, leash tangling and butt sniffing the others pups were enjoying, she barked non-stop at the other dogs with her tail between her legs. When another dog tried to get close to her she would lunge and nip, trying to protect herself. We felt so bad for her but we were also embarrassed. It looked like she had been abused and though we explained she had been attacked by a group of ruffians, I still felt people were thinking we were responsible for the way she acted. We talked to the trainer about it but she said she would need to work with her one-on-one and at this point we were barely covering her food and vet bills. Individual training was hundreds of dollars that we just couldn’t swing.

Then this happened:

NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!

NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!

November 1st, 2004 I came home to the excitable yaps and inevitable puddle of pee Luna graced me with each afternoon. She spent her days gated in our large, open kitchen, which was chock full of chew toys and fluffy pillows for her to rest on. As I laid my coat and purse on my bed I heard the absolute most horrendous noise I have ever been subjected to in my life. Tears sprung to my eyes as I ran to the kitchen because surely whatever made that noise was not going to survive. In her excitement for me to let her out Luna had jumped up and caught her front leg in the gate and it promptly dislocated itself on the way down. Oh my god she wouldn’t stop screaming for 5 minutes and I thought she was dying. The only thing I could think of was to call 911 because holy fuck this was an emergency but instead I called Bill and through tears tried to explain what happened. He called the vet and I brought her in. I will not say anything else about that experience except Grand Avenue Veterinarian’s were the most incompetent, unethical assholes I have ever met. Her arm was dislocated and she was nearly passed out from the pain and the vet told me she wasn’t really sure how to do this procedure and the other vet was off for the week so could we just bring her in next Monday? WTF? Because of this Luna ended up needing surgery which cost us somewhere around 2,000 dollars and that was with the I’m Sorry We Fucked Your Dog Up Even More discount they gave us.

luna6

My cast message said, "Sorry about the gate. Love, Mama."

So, needless to say, puppy class was out the window again. The trainer told us she’d let us re-start her in January and we spent the next few weeks carrying a 20 pound dog up and down a rather large set of stairs every time she had to pee. Super fun. You’d think the cast would have deterred her from finding and chewing up no less than 8 pairs of shoes but you’d be wrong. Luna is nothing if not persistent in her quest to make me want to strangle her til her eyeballs pop out of her head.

You gonna believe this lady? She let's her baby play in toilets. Please.

You gonna believe this lady? She let's her baby play in toilets. Please.

December 23, 2004 marked the start of week two of what I assumed to be the worlds worst hangover but oh wait…wasn’t I supposed to get my period a week ago? Yes? Perhaps this hangover is interfering with my female reproductive thingys making my menstruation delayed? Or perhaps you are pregnant you idiot. Ahh yes, it was the second one. The hardcore puking started on the 26th and lasted 8 months until Rowan made her way into the world. The awfulness that was this pregnancy put an end to ANY hope of Luna ever being trained. Some days were so bad I couldn’t make it outside for potty breaks so I would just give her a giant chew bone to keep her busy and let her do her business on the hardwood floors.

Ever since then Luna has taken a backseat. Though she’s a mix, her personality is ALL terrier, which makes her barky and highly excitable. If you are in the next county and you slam your car door too hard she will bark, if you are down the street and you sneeze, she will bark. It’s loud and piercing and my heart jumps up to my throat every time and it scares the shit out of me.We love her but parenthood wound our devotion down a totally different route. Who cares about taking a dog for a walk when you can sit around and watch the baby attempt to shove her fist in her mouth? Luna has been really very good with both kids- she lets them “pet” her and when they pull her ears or tail she only gives me the Why Did You Afflict These Two On Me look and I say Remember all those cute shoes I used to have? Remember the snot covered walls? THAT IS WHY, DOG.

A picture is worth a thousand yappity bark barks.

A picture is worth a thousand yappity bark barks.

After a recent run-in (in the most literal sense) Luna had with a motorcycle (of which I will get around to writing about but, you know, not til the INSURANCE CLAIM has gone through) I have decided we need to do something. Though Bill suggested many fine recipes we could cook her in, I was more thinking it was time to pick up where we left off 4.5 years ago. That is, with the good intentions of training an animal who admittedly is fairly stupid, but  also is highly trainable due to the fact that we can tell she wants us to love her. She wants us to pay attention to her and give her treats. Since we’ve lived in the suburbs she’s had more than any dogs share of fetch, and we let her run free on our trail walk we go on nearly every day in the warmer months. She has been given love and attention by all of us, and she knows the commands for Lay Down and…um..lay down (and if you tell her to sit she lays down, so see, she kind of gets that she is supposed to be doing something, maybe.) But. I know she needs more direction.

So I will be taking the reigns on trying to get this animal to obey us at least some of the time. I think she will be happier and I KNOW we will. I will try and post our progress and if ANYONE has any hound training tips (or directions to a farm where she can roam free on the country side and be fed beef brisket every night by loving owners)  do not hesitate to e-mail me because right now I am pretty much just giving her treats anytime she doesn’t piss me off and I’m not sure how effective that’s gonna be.

SUPER EFFECTIVE RAWF RAWF!!!

SUPER EFFECTIVE, RAWF RAWF!!!

To PETA: Let me reiterate that this dog eats better than most of the worlds royalty and she is neither neglected nor treated cruelly except on the rare occasions Rowan uses her as her dress up mannequin and a little sparkly lip gloss never hurt anyone.

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The last 6 weeks have been filled with stomach flu, sore throats, phlegmy coughs, Fucking Teeth, molar poops, 4,867 Whys, 265 temper tantrums per child capita, accidental shoplifting and a nearly smooshed dog. People, we are tired. We needed a break so instead of duct taping our children inside a basket and floating them down the St. Croix to see if perhaps some Pharaoh’s daughter would raise them as her own, we called Bill’s parents. Would they consider taking the kids from Friday evening to Sunday morning so we could get some things done, (and by getting things done we mean doing exactly nothing productive)? Yes? SUCKERS.

Should you ever find yourself in a situation such as ours, here is a handy little guide, where in just 34 simple steps, we can assist you in your adventures in childless freedom.

1. Kiss, hug and take one more whiff of their sweet little heads before kicking their asses out the door. Tell them you will miss them. (HAHAHAHAHAHA- uhhh, do-do-doooo…).

2. Stare blankly at the wall while trying to find your pre-child identity. It must be in here somewhere right? After a tumbleweed rolls through that portion of your psyche, give up and check your e-mail.

3. Take a leisurely shower and marvel in the wonder of no one banging on the shower door to tell you they just pooped or that Haha I can see your butt, mama.

4. Get ready using foreign and luxurious items such as curling irons, eye liner, and a non-chap variety of lip product. Look in the mirror and ask that good looking person What the hell are you looking at, bitc…Oh HAI, ME.

5. Wonder why it is taking your husband so long to drop the kids off. Remember you left the gas tank on E and that you maybe forgot to tell him about that. Pray. Then shrug. It is in the good Lord’s hands now.

6. After your husband gets back from the gas station and is finished giving you dirty looks, make a unanimous decision to swear for no fucking good reason.

7. Go to a nice fucking restaurant and order a fucking bottle of wine. Tell your husband you’ll share.

8. Don’t share.

9. Talk about going to the driving range the next day but know you will probably be too hungover.

10. After thoroughly stuffing yourself go to a crappy hometown bar to drink bloody marys and whup your husband in darts.

11. Always make him play with his non-dominant hand and then “accidentally” bump into him mid-throw when he is still beating you.

12. Be a sore winner.

13. Leave crappy hometown bar before someone recognizes you.

14. Briefly consider calling actual Other People but reject idea when you remember how lame you are.

15. Go home. Turn music on unnecessarily loud, pick band who utilizes the most inappropriate lyrics. Sublime it is.

16. Play Wii Sports while drinking beer and utilizing the F word to the best of your ability.

17. Try to remember old drinking games from your high school-um, I mean college days- fail miserably.

18. Wake up at 6am. Crawl downstairs, take 3 Tylenol with a Diet Coke, crawl back upstairs, pray for death, fall back asleep.

19. Wake up at 10am, check your e-mail (you are a very important person), dick around til your husband gets up, look at the clock, realize it’s only 9am, tell the clock to fuck off and climb back into bed.

20. Go to Louisiana Cafe and eat the shit out of the Egg’s Benedict.

21. Call to check up on children. After it is confirmed they are still alive, hang up before grandparents are given an opportunity to ask you if you want them back a day early.

22. Go to MOA with the best intentions of getting yourself summer clothes but get distracted and just buy MORE superfluous sundresses for girl offspring.

23. Make your husband try on jeans just so you can make him spin around and show you his cute butt a lot.

24. Feel REALLY old when you walk past Abercrombie, American Eagle, Hollister et all, and hang your head in shame when you dare to set foot in Pacific Sunwear.

25. Walk in to Urban Outfitters and pretend you are as cool as their mannequins but know you could never pull off that skirt made out of organic bamboo dishtowels from the 60’s and stone washed denim. Try on the hats, though.

26. Go to Sweeny’s. Order the fried pickles. Die. Enter a heaven made only of fried pickles.

27. Surprise yourself by going to the driving range for the very first time. Alternate between wacking the shit out of and wiffing the shit out of the balls. You know, to spice it up a little. You can’t hit all the balls, that would just be redundant.

28. Go home. With the absence of children you suddenly remember you have a dog. Oh hi dog! Remember when we bought you treats, attempted to train you and pet you and stuff? No?

29. Feel like an asshole.

30. Make guilt run to Target to get treats for the dog and Ooo! Is that Mario Kart? It’s awfully shiny, I better bring it home.

31. Come home, give the dog her treat and then promptly forget she exists again while you play Mario Kart for the next 2 hours.

32. Come in in 12th place in all races, give up and make Nachos Bill Grande and watch Lost.

33. Wake up at 5:13 am and repeat #18.

34. Get up, pick up your thoroughly spoiled by Grandpa and Grandma-ed children and head to church where you will repent for all the F bombs you dropped for no fucking good reason over the last 39 hours.

The tools you will need to maximize your child free experience, well, maybe not the butcher knife...that's your call.

The tools you will need to maximize your child free experience. Well, maybe not the butcher knife...that's really your call.

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Once upon a time there was a little girl who was cursed with insomnia by her wicked biological mothers’ crappy DNA. This mother’s DNA also gave this little girl a fear of telephones and big thighs but whatever, I can bitch about those later. From the time this little girl’s memory started keeping track of things she knew she was different. Her younger sister fell asleep before her head even hit the pillow and I know you’re thinking that’s impossible but I assure you she was a freak of nature- her soft snore would kick in halfway between the sitting to laying positions. (If she leaves a comment to deny this, don’t bother reading it- for she is LYING TO YOU.) Why was the little girl, OK fine, was why I so different?

My parents would put us to sleep together in our shared double bed, me on the left side, Snoreface on the right. After receiving a thoroughly entertaining reading of Dr. Seuss by my father, many nights my mom and dad would come in, sit on the end of our bed and sing us folk songs with the prettiest, sweetest harmonies that could lull a rabid bull frog to sleep. Then they would retreat to their room, where if they left the doors open just wide enough, I could see them reading their books or magazines in bed.

We didn’t have white noise of any kind but if I listened closely I could hear the low buzz of the streetlight on the corner, AC/DC ‘s dulcet tones wafting over from under my brother’s door and some Hair Band coming from my older sisters’ room. The room was peacefully lit from the soft blue light emanating from the antique painted miniature bulb lamp that rested on our shared dresser, a little more than a night-light’s glow but this went unnoticed by me until I was older.

So the scene is set. It was an environment conducive to the nurturing of a young ones sleep. Only I didn’t. I spent much of the beginning of the night taking turns looking out into the hall and after getting annoyed with that, turning over to study the contents that lay outside the big window to my left. Trees? Check. Streetlight? Check? Neighbor’s lawn? Check. That one big ass rock? Check check. This got boring fast. So, most nights I would try to poke Snoreface awake. In a fervent whisper: Susie? Poke her forehead. Suusie? Poke her cheek. Suuuuuuusie? Sometimes I would stick my finger up her nose and sometimes I would whisper things like There are gorilla’s under the bed!, The house is on fire! or There’s a tornado outside our window! Sometimes she would wake up but only long enough to give me a dirty look, flick me off, and fall back asleep as she was flipping her back to me (a freak I tell you!).

Once I got a little older I would lay in bed until my parents flipped off their light and then I would get up after I counted a reasonable amount of Mississippi’s to feel safe from being busted. I would line up my stuffed animals on the edge of the bed, try to find the moon outside the window or go sit at the top of the stairs. This last one was my favorite because I happened to have a very naughty older sibling who liked to sneak in late and as I’ve found out since she was none too sober on many of these occasions.The upstairs of our house was situated as such: The stairs came up the middle of an open rectangle with a room at each corner. I would sit here and wait until said naughty sibling stumbled in and she would sit with me, letting me chatter her ear off as many 8-9-10 year olds are apt to do when given the opportunity. Being in the state she was I’m sure she found this plenty amusing and I had company.

I was never received well when I went in to my parents’ room because I was scared or just so tired of not being able to sleep. My mom had so much on her plate with 7 people to keep alive and she had trouble sleeping as well, so she didn’t have much patience when I interrupted her during the brief time she had to recuperate. Also I was always too nervous to wake her so I did that really creepy thing where I would just stand next to her face and stare at her until she woke up. I think I scared the bejesus out of her so many times her sympathy was running on the low side.

Being a mom now, I certainly don’t blame her but those years spent shifting so endlessly in a bed have left their impression. Rowan is an awesome sleeper for the most part. The first four months of her life were spent getting up 4-6 times a night for feedings and popping her nuk back in, but after that things have been fairly smooth sailing. Short lived regressions here and there, a nightmare, a potty accident or a lost-in-the-covers Woobie. On night’s where these things have happened I jump out of bed, eager to help her because I have such enormous empathy when it comes to sleep issues- I want to be there in a way that just wasn’t possible for my mom. I gladly offer a snuggle with her on the couch at 2am after she’s had a bad dream and she takes me up on the offer, curling her tired little body up next to mine but after only a few minutes she lets me know that she’s ready to go back to her bed. It makes me happy. And also a little jealous. Clearly she doesn’t have the talents Snoreface possessed but she definitely doesn’t lay awake for hours on end every night.

Keaton’s sleep saga has been an adventure and is entirely too long to fit here but long story short he’s been sleeping great for the most part since he was eight months old. Let us not speak of the eight months before that. I hope that these two buggers will not be afflicted with the trouble I have had my whole life. It does go up and down but on average I fall asleep an hour and a half after my head first hits the pillow. I’ve tried a number of sleeping remedies from herbal teas and supplements, to drinking copious amounts of alcohol, to the 2.5 years where I took between 2-6 Tylenol PM every night, sometimes with the alcohol (SEE YOU IN HELL LIVER. I NEVER LIKED YOU ANYWAY.)

Maybe insomnia skips a generation or two like my mom’s beautiful olive skin must (WHERE IS MY OLIVE SKIN DAMMIT. (Accursed father and his stupid norweigoness)). I so hope for my kid’s sake that they don’t ever have a problem but if they do they have a mama who is well equipped to help them through it- even if it means getting drunk, sitting at the top of the stairs and listening to them tell me all about what their best friend said to them during lunch today, which girl/boy is a poo-poo head and/or the mating habits of grouse in the wild. I will be there. And not just because I can’t sleep either.

Honk...

Honk...

Shoooooooooo

Shoooooooooo

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I am very carefully and scientifically going to choose and feature my Favorites in a series of posts that I will write whenever I don’t have anything else to write about (read: my children and/or The Universe aren’t trying to kill me this week (yet) which I’m not really used to so I will peck away at this keyboard in hopes I go unnoticed). Do you care? Probably not. BUT! I will be able to look back at this and mourn the passing of my coolness with absolutely no dignity at all while eating a  stick of butter when I’m like 57 or something so this is for me, not you (unless you want it to be for you, in which case Here! Look what I wrote for you!).

So My Favorite Musical Movies, I will put these in the order I saw them in (not how I rank them).

1. Wizard of Oz:  The first movie I ever saw, at around three years old. I could write a whole post on this movie (wait! don’t go!). We taped it off TV and I can’t even count how many times I watched it. I can tell you that I would only answer to the name Dorothy for roughly two years of my life, though. Not only the best musical of all time but the best movie, period. And if you don’t agree with me, that’s OK. As long as you know you’re wrong. And probably a little bit stupid. But, seriously, that’s totally OK. *With the thoughts you’d be thinkin’, You could be another Lincoln,  If you only had a brain…

2. Sound of Music: I would watch this with my mom when it played on TV once a year or so. I so wanted to be a Von Trapp so I could live in a mansion, have a special whistle when it was time for inspection and wear matching drape outfits with my siblings. Also, I thought the marionette set was one of the coolest things ever. God, though,what an assface Rolph was. *Small and white, clean and bright…

3. Labyrinth: Oh how I LOVED this movie when I was a kid, maybe 7-9 years old. Though we owned the worlds biggest VHS player (that thing must’ve weighed 40 pounds and lasted from 1981-2003) my parents almost never bought us movies. My cousins had a copy though and I would request to go over to their house just so I could watch that movie. The orange guys freaked me out but I can’t even begin to praise the awesome of a teen-age Jennifer Connelly and David Bowie’s wiener hugging leggings. And The Bog of Eternal Stench? Genius. *You remind me of the babe…

4. Annie: OK what little girl sees this movie and doesn’t fantasize about living in an orphanage with all her best friends and a dog? Just me? You are lying. This was another one taped off of TV (I’m beginning to think my parents spent all our money on the colossal VHS player and had no money left over to actually buy movies for it). At some point I bought the soundtrack for this and made the mistake of introducing Rowan to it. For seven months (SEVEN LOOOOONG MONTHS) this was the only acceptable music ever to be played in the house or the car. It has recently been kicked out of the number 1 spot by Mama Mia. * If I wring Little necks, surely I will get an acquittal…

5. Mary Poppins: Listen, what’s not to love about Julie Andrews? She has a gorgeous face with a voice to match and if you can withhold the urge to punch her Practically Perfect In Every Way-ness you have to admit she is awesome. Mary Poppins is one of those movies that I appreciate even more now that I’m an old lady. This broad had men wrapped around her finger, could get little brats to do her bidding, drank rum punch, knew really long words and could fly anywhere with an umbrella. She is made of magic. Also, watching Dick Van Dyke knowing how shit-faced he was during filming is really pretty fun. Plus I’m a sucker for cockney English accents and guys that can play those multi-instrument playing machine thingys. *(I know this is not from the original, per say, but it gets stuck in my head every time.) Lisa: If Maggie’s fussy, don’t avoid her Bart: Let me get away with moider Lisa: Teach us songs and magic tricks Homer: Might I add- no fat chicks…

6. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory: I didn’t see this movie until I was 11 or 12 and I was more than a little disturbed by Gene Wilder’s creepiness but in a good kind of way. My favorite character was Violet. I wanted to beat the shit out of her and that endeared her to me for some reason. *I want the world, I want the whole world…

7) Cry-Baby: So one of the worst movies ever made ever in the history of cinema. I tried watching it again, with Bill a couple of years ago and after blushing profusely for 25 minutes and seeing the look of absolute horrifying disgust on his face I turned it off. But oh god how I so inappropriately loved Johnny Depp and this movie when I was twelve. * Let people talk I don’t care, Let me prove to you daddy that I ain’t no Square…

8. Grease: I got into this around the same time as my Cry-Baby stage but I just couldn’t get on board with John Travolta when Johnny Depp was so superior in every way.(See what a smart 12 year old I was?) I did love some of the songs though and my inner bitch identified with Rizzo’s tomboyishly cool, I-don’t-give-an-eff-about-you-or-your-motha persona. *Tell me more, Tell me more, did she put up a fight…

9. Singin’ in the Rain: Easily in my top 5 favorite movies of all time. I saw it for the first time as a teenager and it was love at first watch. I put Bill through the Singin’ in the Rain test (Test: make boyfriend watch Singin’ in the Rain. If he likes it, marry his ass, if he doesn’t, dump his ass) which clearly he passed with flying colors. We went through a period of months where we would buy a jug (yep, a jug, baby) of Carlo Rossi White Zinfandel and drink it all whilst being wowed by Gene Kelly’s feet. Those are some of my happiest memories of our pre-married life. *Come on with the rain, I’ve a smile on my face…

10. Moulin Rouge: I know a lot of people did not get this movie or just thought it plain sucked but it is honestly the very best of all that I love about the musical genre. We went to this movie not even knowing what it was about and holy crap I was just bowled over with love and admiration for this very grand, very spectacular film. Baz Luhrmann attacks your senses in a way no other can. The colors, costuming, story and songs were so blasted full of art and life and every aspect was vamped up to its top notch. Others may disagree but I really think of it as cinematic genius and the haters can go suck an egg, or piss up a rope or whathaveyou hater haterpants. *The greatest thing You’ll ever learn Is just to love and Be loved in return…

To sum up, you really have to eff up a musical for me not to love it so, uh, do what you will with that information.

Other notable mentions before I leave you for my butter stick: The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Across the Universe, Once, Chicago, Mama Mia and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (but only for that really terribly awesome opening song).

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Proof

When Rowan was born an incredible urge was born within me to document. I wanted a record of anything and everything she did. I wanted to be able to look back at the end of each day and reassure myself that yes, this is really happening to me.

This need was fulfilled immediately following her birth when the nurses brought me a little chart that I needed to fill out every time she peed and pooped and how long she breast fed on each side. At first I thought of it as an evaluation and it made me nervous, Oh my god she only ate for 8 minutes on Little Lefty but she ate for 9 minutes and 42 seconds on Big Righty- What will they think of me? Will this make her cross-eyed? Did I just fail parenting? And I’ve read a lot since on how those little charts can really do a number on new moms, making them think they’re not doing it right (it being, being a mom which is just…oy), or that something is wrong with the baby when really your kid is just doing her own dang thing (here’s a hint about babies: They like to do their own dang thing A Lot).

I fell into that a little the first time but for the most part I was just so grateful to have a place to write it all down. For one, you get so foggy from the trauma of labor and birth and oh yeah, Hey! You’re a mom now! You are responsible for Human Life. No biggie right?  Plus that whole not ever sleeping ever thing. (EVER.) The other aspect that helped me was that it was something for me to Do. A job. I was In Charge of that shit. It’s a control thing, see? I couldn’t help when the babe decided to grace us with her poop or how long she would affix herself to my boobs but dammit I could write it down on My Little Chart when it did happen. With both Rowan and Keaton I requested extra pages of chartiness from the hospital to chart chart chart because at the end of each hazy day I could say, Wow. Look what I did. I kept this squirmy little human alive and here is the proof.

After about a month a groove of sorts was established and I shed the chart for the keepsake calender and baby book. For moms who have a hard time keeping up with the baby book, my biggest recommendation is a keepsake calender that you can just write on as stuff happens and then once a month or so transfer milestones and such into the baby book. This way, when your kid is 11.5 months you’re not doing an Oh Shit and filling out stuff you, for the life of you, can’t really remember anyway. I loved doing this, more so even with Keaton because with the second kid I was so much less consumed with where he should be and just loved to plot out where he was on this little grid of his new life. I spent more time then should ever really be allowed cross checking Rowan’s baby book with the developmental milestone mind fuck that is What to Expect When You’re Expecting. I don’t regret it and certainly wouldn’t judge another mom for doing the exact same thing but I did learn with Keaton that my time was better spent other places (like bouncing his cranky ass or hiding in the bathroom with a glass of wine).

One of my favorite things to do when I spend a lazy afternoon over at my mom’s house is to pull down my Peter Rabbit baby book, overflowing with baby shots, scribbly art work and my hand made Kindergarten graduation cap, complete with a dangling yellow yarn tassel. It’s been nearly picked clean of photographs over the years and it was not even close to fully filled out (kid number 4/5, Holla!) but I love it. Maybe it’s partly narcissism but really it’s simply proof. Proof that I was hugged. Proof that I was giggly. Proof that that stuffed bunny is MINE, ha! I got it for my 3rd birthday,see? Proof that my brother liked to put me on his shoulders and race me around the house. Proof that I was a real asshole when I got ear infections. Proof that my family was so different once, but still so totally the same.

And now it’s more than proof, it’s also a bridge between my kids and I. To know that something in their development mirrors mine just makes me feel warm. Pulls the already tight strings between us tighter and what an awesome feeling that is. They are their own little unique people, of this there is no denying, but see- we both didn’t like smooshy yams or being held by strangers and we can stand in solidarity knowing that. It also helps to get me off the hook when they do something undesirable, like scream for eight months straight. It says right here in my book, “Sunny temperament, calm and smiley” so GO SCREAM AT YOUR FATHER FOR GIVING YOU THE SCREAMY GENES, I WAS SUNNY, DAMMIT. S-U-N-N-Y.

So now Rowan and Keaton each have a keepsake box, The Poop Charts, a baby book, keepsake calender, multiple age ordered photobooks, a scrapbook I made for each for their 1st birthdays and slideshow photo DVDs. I’m fully aware I may have gone a wee bit overboard, that they probably won’t give a damn or it may not be their thing but I am their mother and if they don’t like it I will guilt them into at least making me think they like it because that it what mothers do. You heard it here first.

Honestly though, at the root, it is their history and I want them to be able to look back at these years they will not remember and feel the strings in their chest tighten because see? There’s mama cuddling with me on the floor, and Haha, I was kind of a dickhead for a few months there, and Oh! I remember that? I loved that blanky, and look- I still make that face when I get mad and God, how happy we were, look at our smiles

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Once upon a time I had a husband with really great hair. It was medium length and wavy and he was actually pretty vein about it. Using “Product” and a finger combing system that he should have had patented and sold to NASA. Then he went to work for a company with a bunch of guys who had beard and mustache growing contests. Here’s the thing. Bill has hair in copious amounts on his head and some other places on his body but he can’t grow facial hair to save his life. It’s whiskery patches at best were kind of sad looking like that Christmas tree Charlie Brown had. I think Bill was feeling a little left out, perhaps inadequate, so he decided to play to his strength. That would be his hair growing on top of his head. His pretty, pretty hair.

Last fall, time slipped away and he didn’t get around to his normal haircut at Fantastic Great Super Clips Kutz. Then when he did go, the lady butchered his hair so awful that he swore he was done. “What if I just don’t ever get it cut again?” he said to me. I did not heed the warning. I should have talked him down, but instead I said, “Who cares? Go ahead- we’re hippies now anyway.” So he let it grow. And Grow. You see where this is going don’t you? Straight to Mullet town? Oh, yeah. I don’t have a good enough picture but you remember this guy, right? The Rixter? The resemblance was all too startling.

hair7

Won't you take me to, Mullet Town! Won't you take me to, Mullet Town.

He decided to get it trimmed a little for Christmas, just to set it on the right path to long-haired greatness but he was unwise in his choice to return to Fantastic Great Super Clips Kutz. He came home with the only type of haircut they really know how to do there, which is somewhere in between military officer and baseball player and if you can tell the difference, please call me. His long haired dreams were temporarily crushed and every time he passed a mirror he grumbled “Bill Angry!” but I thought he had let it go.

Cue January and the promos for season 5 of LOST. One of our very favorite characters, Desmond, has lusciously long locks and when you pair that with a bad-ass Scottish accent you have created Bill’s all time mentor of coolness. So the long hair was Back On, along with the accent and God help me, I just accepted it. He let it go until last week when he decided to seek professional help for the mullet formerly known as the back of his head. He got a consultation and a cut by an expert but it was too far gone. After an experienced hair dresser in an upscale salon did this number on him:

The Mullet is gone, yes- but the extreme poofiness could not be tamed.

The Mullet is gone, yes- but the extreme poofiness could not be tamed.

he decided to go the other way. The other way being bald. So without further adieu here is the old Bill…

Poof!

Poof!

and here is the new…

After the scissors, before the shave.

After the scissors, before the shave.

Not so bad, huh? Isn’t there a saying about quitting while your ahead?

Ta-freakin-Da! OMG I can't even look at him. SCROLL SCROLLLLLLL

Ta-freakin-Da! OMG I can't even look at him. SCROLL SCROLLLLLLL

I was fresh out of yellow tape but here it is- The Scene of the Crime.

I was fresh out of yellow tape but here it is- The Scene of the Crime.

The End

PS- OK so the butchers knife was only added for dramatic effect.

PPS- Don’t worry, we didn’t waste the hair. We fashioned it into a gerbil and gave it to Rowan as a pet.

PPPS- Anyone seen a hair gerbil, anywhere? We seemed to have lost ours…

PPPPS- No gerbils were harmed in the writing of this entry. At least I don’t think there were…

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Dear The 4,967 jelly beans and 49 hard boiled eggs I ate over the weekend,

You hurt my tummy, dickheads.

What was that about moderation?

SHUT UP.

Love and Hugs, Christy

I actually started this entry Monday night and guess what! It wasn’t the jelly beans at all. It was the stomach flu! Yay! I love the fucking stomach flu! I missed it so much since the last time it came FOUR SHORT WEEKS AGO. It missed me on its last go-round so it lovingly circled back to knock me on my ass. Here is my advice when you feel the stomach flu coming on: Get thee to McDonald’s. I am not kidding! That shit tastes the same coming up as it does going in, making the puking, you know, less pukey. I know yuck, ew, TMI, WHATEVER. You will thank me later.

Anyway, this was supposed to be about Easter and I’m fresh out of segues, sooo…

We had an awesome Easter weekend full of lots of egg hunts, good food and family time. We made the decision after Rowan’s first year to not fit both family events into one day. You end up spending the majority of the day in the car, figuring out logistics like breastfeeding in front of practical strangers, which place you’ll eat at, which place you drink at, and lugging 769 pounds of TOTALLY NECESSARY baby accessories with you. By the end of the day, your back hurts, you’re tired, cranky and feel like you didn’t get to enjoy any of it. Plus you’re kind of an idiot so you ended up drinking wine with your husbands family and home-brew at your aunts and not eating anything so you pass out in the car on the way home (This is totally hypothetical).

Bill’s parents still trek down to where his dad grew up every Easter and Christmas and we just couldn’t do it anymore. Fitting in our own family time plus my side and his side was just way too much and when we added further extended family to the list our heads exploded and we died. So we decided we needed to come up with a better solution. The holidays are about seeing family, yes, but more importantly they are about enjoying family and we just weren’t getting that. We thought about doing the every other year thing but after my dad died I didn’t really want to miss out on any holidays with my family. It was a really shitty reminder that we need to spend as much time with our loved ones as possible. So we brainstormed and as it worked out, Bill’s parents didn’t mind doing Christmas on the 23 or 24 and Easter Saturday was just fine with them. So now, although it’s still a marathon, we get to do it over a few days rather than all in one. And we get to spend an unrushed, unscheduled day with both sides. I think this is what they call a win/win. Very Doable.

Speaking of doable (Hey! My segues are back!), this is the first year the holidays were  just that for us. Even with the modified schedule we implemented over the last 2 years, it’s still so hard when you have an infant and a kid that simply will not transition, nope not for anything. Any changing of activity brought about kicking and screaming in large quantities. (Add chocolate bunnies or Santa’s to the mix and you are screwed. Screwed.) Even this past Christmas was really hard, but in the last 3-4 months the winds have shifted.

Sure we had to carefully plan our entrances and exits around nap and bed times, sure church with a 1 and 3 year old is about as fun as, well, going to church with a 1 and 3 year old, and sure a certain 16 month old just will not sleep at Grandma Mary’s without extreme measures (we ended up using a combo of punching and scotch) (Oh I’m kidding, we rocked him but I really wanted to try the other thing). BUT! It was doable. Manageable. The good outweighed the bad and we all had a really good time.

I’d tell you all about it but my fever’s making me a little delirious (did David Hasselhoff just walk out of my closet?) so here are the highlights of Easter 2009, 0r The Easter Where We Finally Found Our Footing After Three Damn Years:

Keaton’s very first Easter egg hunt. He was mostly unimpressed.

Get off my slide, egg. Do you even know who I am? I rule this slide.

Get off my slide, egg. Do you even know who I am? I rule this slide.

Egg finding ratio: Keaton=4, Rowan+256. She was born to hunt.

Egg finding ratio: Keaton=4, Rowan=256. She was born to hunt.

Rowan made us re-hide the eggs no less than 5 times. Then she started hiding them for herself.

Keaton's love for swinging was not snuffed out by the long, cold winter.

Keaton's love for swinging was not snuffed out by the long, cold winter.

Stretching her spring legs.

Stretching her spring legs.

Now on to day two.

The Easter Bunny comes baring gifts.

The Easter Bunny comes with suckers.

Gymboree and their sweater vests are probably going to be the death of me. Financially, at least.

Gymboree and their sweater vests are probably going to be the death of me. Financially, at least.

The Very Noisy and Ridiculously Cute Grandchildren.

The Very Noisy and Ridiculously Cute Grandchildren.

Keaton's balance takes a hit from his fashionable shoes. He was displeased. We were in stitches.

Keaton's balance takes a hit from his fashionable shoes. He was displeased. We were in stitches.

So there it is. I will (hopefully? Soon?) be updating my pictures on flickr so you can see a lot more eggs and some middle fingers. Hope those who celebrate it had a lovely holiday!

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