Saturday, September 30, 2006

We want the funk... Gotta have that funk

Last night I was going through some old pictures of Chicky Baby. Old in comparison to her time on this earth so far, that is, which is to say ones taken maybe 300 days ago. She's beginning to look so much more like a little kid than the wee, snuggly baby I used to rock to sleep...

(who am I kidding, she never went for that whole rocking-to-sleep thing. I had a better chance of teaching her the rumba than getting her to sleep before the age of five months. She was a stubborn little thing. Anyhooo.)

... that I'm beginning to forget the look of her sweet little baby form and her pink baby lips and her soft, downy baby head (which we're seeing a lot more of these days - pictures tomorrow, I promise.). I guess it put me into a bit of a melancholy funk.

Melancholy Funk. Wow. That's a great name for a band. I can see this band covering Nina Simone songs and maybe some Sly and the Family Stone. After this year's Grammys you just know Sly Stone needs a decent gig. Does anyone know if Bootsy Collins is available? To pull off the whole melancholy thing he'd have to leave the Bedazzler at home, so he probably wouldn't go for it.

Uh, where was I?

Oh, yeah. Melancholy funk.

The last couple of days I've gone back and forth between feeling like I'm really in serious love with this new toddler stage and praying to any higher power who will listen to please, for all that is good or unholy, please give me my sweet baby back.

I want my baby back, baby back, baby back.

So I thought I would post one of my favorite pictures from Chicky's infant days. This one never fails to make me smile. If you're having a melancholy funky day I hope it will make you smile as well.

Geez, Ma, can we turn off this Nina Simone now? Maybe we could listen to something from The Cure to lighten the mood?


New at Dog Gone Blog: Kong stuffers (no, not things you'd put in the Christmas stocking of an extra large ape with an attitude) and dog tag silencers. Good times, good times.

Bitacle Steals Content!
If you're not reading this on or a feed authorized by the author then you are viewing stolen content. Please read this on the site it was legally published on and not on a splog like Bitacle who steals other people's work for their financial gain.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Cunninghams we ain't... Wait. Maybe we are.

I came home from work last night to some disturbing news.

Mr. C - "Um, honey?"

Me (Having just walked through the door, totally distracted and coming off of my "teaching high") - "Yeah?"

Mr. C - "Um, I need you to see something."

Me (exasperated) - "What?"

Mr. C - "I cut Chicky Baby's hair tonight and I want you to see pictures of what I did so you won't freak out when you see her in the morning."

Huh? Whaa..? He did what?!

Yes, my friends, my husband went ahead and cut our child's hair without checking with me first. He did not consult with me. We did not come to an agreement together that one of us would be cutting the child's hair. He just went ahead and did it and he did a poor job. Why? Because he didn't know what he was doing and he didn't think it out before he started snipping away.

"Um, I forgot that hair shrinks when it dries, so it's pretty short in the front."

Yes it does and yes it is. Sorry there's no pictures to share, but the pain is too fresh to post a picture of the debacle. If you want a visual think little Dutch boy meets Jim Carrey's character from Dumb and Dumber.

It sounds like a bad sitcom, one titled "Return of the Mullet". The bumbling husband does something silly but harmless while the wife is out and they spend the next 30 minutes (22 without the commercials) hashing it out. Merriment ensues. But in the end the husband and wife make up, and in the last scene the two of them embrace while the child walks around with a paper bag over her head. The husband and wife give each other a funny look and then they smile and hug again.

Roll credits.

Unfortunately, I am not living in a sitcom.

After being faced with this news I seethed. I stomped around. I fumed. I tried the silent treatment and then, when that didn't work, I started yelling. I was, in a word or three, royally pissed off. I was so angry that I wanted to yell, scream, and throw things. I was channeling my inner toddler, and if I could have bit him I would have. I didn't know what to do with my anger.

Because this really wasn't just about a bad haircut. It was the culmination of my frustration over my husband's inability or unwillingness to share parenting duties, except the ones that he felt suited him or his idea of fun fatherhood. Cutting our daughter's hair wasn't a task, it was a whim, a lark. I'm sure he thought it would be, if not fun exactly, at least entertaining.

Ever since the day that Chicky Baby was born, and subsequently became colicky and needed to nurse every hour as an infant, I became solely responsible for her care and feeding. There were a few times that out of total frustration and desperation I would shove the screaming newborn at my husband and say "Here, you deal with her." But for the most part if the baby needed something it fell on my shoulders to provide it. She wants you, he'd say, she doesn't want me.

Guess where that got us?

As much as the division of responsibilities in regards to our home bugs me, it's the division of responsibility for Chicky Baby that bothers me more. If you ask Mr. C what his biggest contribution to his child's life so far has been (besides being there at her conception) he'll probably tell you "I've taught her to kick a soccer ball".

That and three bucks will get you a coffee at Starbucks but it doesn't make you a candidate for father of the year.

Like a lot of women I took on my new role as mom thinking I would have a partner who would help without asking and share responsibilities equally. Okay, maybe not 50-50, but maybe 60-40. Co-parenting is the term, I believe. And like a good percentage of those women I am finding out that, so far, co-parenting is an unrealized dream. So far our division of parenting responsibilities has gone like this: Me - care, feed, clothe, clean, diaper, teach, soothe, comfort, and discipline. Him - play fun games, teach bad habits, pitch in when I am otherwise physically unavailable. That last part he does very well, but like I said he pitches in when I am physically not there. Or when I just refuse to do something or guilt him into tasks. I guess now we can add to that "make poor decisions about Chicky's appearance".

Now that I've had a day to think about this and I've cooled down a little bit I am willing to admit that my husband is not completely to blame for his lack of natural parenting ability. During the months that followed Chicky's colicky stage she and I fell into a rhythm. It was just easier for me to do things than to train her to start trusting her father to do things for her. And I didn't force myself to leave the house more often and and her in the care of her dad. Today all three of us need to re-think how we're doing things. We need to find what's working and what's not. I have not completely given up on the idea of co-parenting. I still have hope that we'll find our rhythm and our parenting groove and start sharing more responsibilities, but if the last 17 months is any indication of what the next 17 months are going to be like I might have to go on strike to make my husband realize that I need more help from him.

Ooh, a strike. Now that would be a great idea for a TV episode. If he touches my kid's hair again I think more than a strike would be in order but I don't know what. I wonder what Mrs. Cunningham would do?


New stuff at Dog Gone Blog, a post where I compare dogs to vases. I know, it's a stretch, but you have to read it yourself to find out why.

Also, over at The Salad Days Chronicles Alisyn writes about the passing of her beloved dog. Go over and give her some love.

Monday, September 25, 2006

It was fine, fine, fine

I've never been so glad for a weekend to be over.

On Saturday Mr. C and I hosted a birthday party for his grandmother who had just flown in from her home in Wisconsin. We didn't so much voluntarily host it as we were volunteered to provide the house for the occasion by my mother in law. Yeah. She called a few weeks ago and told us that she had offered our home for the party.

Okay, no stress. I just have to make sure that all the dog hair is banished and the house doesn't smell like a barn. I suppose this is a good time to get rid of all that clutter. And when was the last time I cleaned the bathrooms? I guess now's a good a time as any. Sure this is a party for Mr. C's family and I don't even really know some of them and I'm doing most of the work to get the house ready, whatever. This is fine. No problem.

It was supposed to be a casual party for 10 and it ended up being a sit down lobster dinner for 12. My 87 year old grandmother in law wanted lobster on her birthday. Who can blame her? Did I mention we don't have room in my house for 12 people to sit down and have lobster? So we decided to have it outside. It will be fine, said my husband the eternal optimist. Fine, fine, fine. If he said fine one more time I was going to hit him with a lobster pot. I wanted a united front of misery and he wanted to be Miss Mary Sunshine. It will be fine, fine, fine...

Yeah, it rained most of the day. The steam was beginning to seep from my ears by about noon.

By 1:30 I was calling my lawyer to draw up the divorce papers.

Thankfully, the weather cleared up in the nick of time. By 4pm when all the guests were arriving the rain had stopped and the sun actually came out for a while.

It was fine, okay, now shut up.

Um, Mom, what am I supposed to do with this thing?

I thought I ordered the chicken?

It was better than fine, actually. We had a wonderful time drinking boat loads of wine and gorging ourselves on crustaceans. We layed newspaper on our tables and got our faces and fingers messy with melted butter. And for dessert? The most heavenly carrot cake you have ever tasted. Chicky Baby was a huge hit, and just a bit clingy due to the amount of strange people in her home, and even the dogs were on their best behavior.

The carnage.

Yes, a good time was had by all. I spent more time helping my mother in law cook the lobsters (Poor little lobsters. They valiantly gave their lives for our dinner. And they were dee-licious.) than actually visiting but it kept me busy so I was happy. My kitchen is still a mess and we've got a bag full of lobster skeletons stinking up our garage, but the butter made my skin so soft and Mr. C's grandmother was thrilled by her birthday celebration. I guess it all worked out in the end.

Next up, Thanksgiving dinner for 10. Bah. That's nothing. It'll be fine.


Over at Dog Gone Blog - doggie pictures! Who doesn't love pictures of cute dogs?

Saturday, September 23, 2006

More Wile E. Coyote than Roadrunner

I stunk at tag as a kid. I was never a fast runner and, let's face it, I was never as wily as I should have been for such a game. That being said, as an adult I've learned to appreciate a good game of tag, especially when it doesn't result in a large, red, hand shaped welt on my shoulder. Even better when it allows me talk about me. A meme, if you will.

The queen of Binkytown has tagged me for an interesting one about the book I'm currently reading. Actually, the rules are that I'm to grab the closest book and tell you about lines 5 through 8 on page 123. Why those particular lines on that particular page? I have no idea.

Now, a book. Hmm... There's a stack next to me so I'll take the top one.

"... responding to his menacing outbursts by saying things like, 'Are you being a guard dog? Are you protecting me?' In other words, she rewarded the behavior, sent him steady little signals that his aggression was warranted."

from Pack of Two: The intricate bond between people and dogs by Caroline Knapp

You knew there had to be a book about dogs on top of my stack, didn't you? This is a good one. It's not a 'dog book', per se, but a book about a damaged woman (who isn't?) and the dog she loved. I love real life stories of people and their pets, especially when they're messy and real.

Have you got a book next to you that you'd like to share? Consider yourself tagged.


It is a complete coincidence - I swear! - that my latest post at Dog Gone Blog is about dog aggression. More specifically about that whole fiasco with Joey Porter's (of the Steelers) dogs killing a horse. Yeah, it's opinionated. Did you expect anything less?

Thursday, September 21, 2006

I'm doing this with both hands over my eyes...

... But I'm peeking through my fingers, of course. This is also my preferred method for watching scary movies.

The beginnings of Dog Gone Blog are up.


If you love your dogs, are planning to get a dog, or just admire watching them from afar, go there now and give me ideas for what to write. Yeah, you heard me, give me material. You didn't think I was going to do this alone, did you?

In all seriousness, I hope you enjoy my new endeavor. Please keep the snickering to yourself.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


I just reunited with my long lost childhood best friend. Literally, we just got off the phone a minute ago. I'm floating with happiness. Floating I tell you, and I don't float.

How can I possibly describe these feelings of affection that I have for a person whom I haven't spoken to (with exception of the day that I attended her father's wake and the time that she attended my mother's) in seven years? It's truly amazing. I had no idea how much I missed her.

This is a person who knew my deepest, darkest 10th grade secrets. The girl who was with me when I bought my first pair of black pumps, the ones I wore with frilly socks and pinch-rolled jeans. She lived down the street from me and we were always finding reasons to go meet in the middle. We were together when we first fell in love with our boyfriends and subsequently got our hearts broken. We complained about our parents and dreamed of a future when we would move out of their houses into our own apartment where we would have fabulous parties and have our boyfriends sleep over whenever we wanted. We drank our first wine coolers together and if one was wearing blue mascara you could be certain the other one was too.

And the only reason that I can remember that Alf quote that I included in my previous post is because it was our little joke. If she called and asked what I was doing I'd say "I'm standing here wearing a blue dress". Then she'd say "I'm coming over, don't go anywhere." To which I replied "I wouldn't, I don't have the shoes." I know it's silly, but now you know why I still remember it fondly. (Serendipitous that she picked today to call me, wouldn't you say?)

We were inseparable.

Then we grew up, and we grew apart as old friends sometimes do.

It started gradually. First, upon returning home after graduating from college, my friend, J., would snicker at my choice of fashion. I had gone grunge and she was still sporting a modified version of the style we wore in the late 80's, but now it was 1994. She was still Def Leppard and I was decidedly Pearl Jam. She laughed at my sandals, calling them Jesus shoes. I told her that the ozone called and it wanted her to stop spraying her hair with Aqua Net.

That was the first rift. Small, yes, but it speaks volumes of the directions our lives were taking.

We both had fiances by this time and soon we would each get married. J. was first. She and her new husband set up house in a nearby town while I was dreaming of getting out. But then I, too, got married and settled into my own new home in my old hometown. Our lives seemed set. J. seemed to like it that way while I was secretly dying inside. But by this point I didn't feel like she was listening when I was trying to tell her that. Or maybe, in hindsight, I wasn't doing a good job of expressing myself.

She and her new husband were hanging around with people I didn't care for and I felt like I was getting pushed out of her life, so I started to back away on my own terms. We were still friends and contacted each other regularly but we were by no means as close as we once were. She got pregnant and I don't remember being there for her as much as I should have been. Then there was the final straw...

After giving birth to her daughter, while still in her hospital room, J. said to me "Now you have to have a baby." I didn't want children at the time and I told her that. She got angry with me. Wasn't this our plan? We were supposed to get married and have children and live close to each other so our kids could grow up together. To me those were the plans of a 15 year old girl. The 25 year old woman I had grown up to be wanted nothing to do with those plans. We didn't speak much after that.

Then I separated from my husband. I was running toward the exit and leaving everything behind. I wanted a clean slate, a new life. When the dust cleared I realized that I didn't really want to leave everything behind. I missed my friend so much, but as the years went on it got harder and harder to pick up the phone to call her. What if she's mad at me? It's been three years, then four, then five... How do you call someone after seven years and pick up where you left off?

But that's exactly what we did. After seeing my sister a week ago and getting my phone number from her she called me today, and it was as if I had been speaking to her every week for the past decade. Nothing had changed. It was wonderful. I told her that and she agreed. She told me that I sounded exactly the same. I think she was crying.

We're going to get together soon and I suspect there will be many tears and hugs when we do. I also suspect we will pick up exactly where we left off with the jokes and the old stories. And I bet that if I bring up Alf and the blue dress she'll know exactly what I mean. Because that's what best friends do.

That just made my heart jump. I have a best friend. Again.

Monday, September 18, 2006

A TV Meme

What is a lady to do when she's knee deep in another task and is trying desperately to hold onto her title as Biggest Procrastinator EVER?

Why, a Meme, of course.

(Although, I suppose I should also be supervising my kid who is simultaneously banging on the piano while trying to give the dog a pedicure with the emery board she stole from me. But why interrupt her obviously amazing multi-tasking skills?And it's been a couple of weeks since I trimmed the dog's nails, so why stop her now?)

Kristi from Texas over at Here In Idaho (you can go ask her yourself why she named her blog that) tagged me to list my 10 Favorite TV Characters of All Time. Holy Bejeebus, do you have any idea what this did to me? I've spent the past day and a half stressing over this damn list. Why? Because it's television, people, and I am a tv-aholic.

After badgering my husband and my sister about who they would pick I think the three of us came up with a good comprehensive list. It took the three of us to come up with it because, apparently, we share the same brain. And we were drinking copious amounts of wine. Anyhooo...

My list of my top 10 television characters (in no particular order):

1. Niles Crane "Frasier" - Was there a more perfect choice than David Hyde Pierce to play Dr. Niles Crane? Seriously, were there any other actors up for the role? It's as if the writers of the show wrote this character with DHP in mind. He embodied the uptight, social climbing, lovable sad sack. All those Emmy nominations and awards can't be wrong.

2. Jim Halpert "The Office" - I love the whole ensemble of The Office but Jim, for me, is the standout. If that character were a real person I would leave my husband for him. Enough said.

Okay, one more thing, John Krasinski is a Massachusetts boy. If I can blur the line between fiction and reality I think that makes me love him even more. So what if he's seven (cough) years (cough cough) younger than me (cough cough choke)?

3. Amanda "Happy Hour" - I know, the show is still new and the jury is still out on whether or not this show is going to hang in there long term, but Beth Lacke's character "Amanda" had me laughing out loud. Truthfully, I was laughing so hard I snorted. To me that is the mark of a good character. She's funny, raunchy (as raunchy as Fox will let her be) and she's not a skinny little toothpick. I like that in a woman.

4. Reverend Jim Ignatowski "Taxi" - Yes, there were many good characters employed by Sunshine Cab but Jim was my hands down favorite. To this day whenever I see Christopher Lloyd on television I have a hard time not seeing Reverend Jim in him. Thank the lord for those "funny brownies" because otherwise we might never have had someone to love like Jim Ignatowski.

5. Lenny Briscoe "Law and Order" - Lenny, how I miss you. I miss your sarcastic wit and your catchy one-liners that started every show. When Jerry Orbach died the world lost a beloved actor and a great character.

6. The cast of the West Wing - I'd like to pick just one but I can't. Individually almost every one of them is great but together they were spectacular. Screw it, it's my list and I'm lumping them all together. However, if you held a gun to my head I'd probably say Josh Lyman. On a related note is anyone else looking forward to Bradley Whitford's new show "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" as much as I am? It's on tonight! I'm so excited!

7. Alf - You think I'm kidding? I loved that show and I loved that character. So it was about an alien named Gordon Shumway played by a puppet with a nose that looked like a penis, if you could look past that it was actually very smart at times. The relationship between Willie and Alf was hilarious. I still remember this give and take between the two of them: (paraphrased because my memory isn't that good)

Willie (on the phone with Alf) - What are you doing?
Alf - I'm standing here in a blue dress.

Willie - Well, don't go anywhere.

Alf - I wouldn't, I don't have the shoes.


8. Archie Bunker "All in the Family" - Show me another character that got away with as much as Archie did and yet still continue to be lovable. Can't do it, can you?

9. Bo Duke "Dukes of Hazzard" - Don't get me wrong, it was a really poor show and some really horrible acting came out of it. But Bo Duke was the definitive character of my fifth grade year. I had a DofH lunchbox, plates, t-shirts, posters, fan magazines, you name it. What? I was 10 years old.

10. Jamie Buchman "Mad About You" - I'll admit it, I loved Mad About You and I loved Jamie. I wanted to be Jamie. She was flawed and smart and pretty... and she had a great relationship with her husband. And then they went through that split thing where they brokeup/didn't break up. I felt betrayed. I lost a lot of love for that show after that. I want my characters flawed but I still like happy endings. I suppose the show did end happily but I was still disappointed. I guess I got off topic, huh?

That's the list. I suppose I can't cop out and not tag anyone so I'll drop this one on Chicken and Cheese, Tony, and because three is a magic number Mother Bumper.

Friday, September 15, 2006

And the winner is...

Me, actually. After all it is my blog that got named.

I have to tell you guys, you all really outdid yourselves. There were so many great names and taglines to choose from. And that last round of voting really helped.

Last night Mr. C joked that I've obviously been watching too many reality performance tv shows where the audience calls in and votes for their favorite dancer/singer/has-been celebrity trying to take one more embarrassing stab at stardom. There I was, asking you all to vote for your favorite blog name. I did everything but sing a Taylor Dane song off-key or perform a really poor tango and give you a 1-888 number. But much like Rockstar Supernova the final say is left up to the band, and in this metaphor the band is me. Think of me as Tommy Lee, without the drums. And the tattoos. And the giant schlong.

Hopefully, this choice won't disappoint you and leave you with a nasty taste in your mouth, much like I had when they picked Lukas. Lukas f-ing Rossi? C'mon, Mr. Makeup? Am I the only person who thinks he looks a bit like an Oompa Loompa? I can tell you, that is one album I will not be buying.

Without further ado... Because of all your wonderful suggestions I've decided to name my new endeavor...

Drumroll, please.

Dog Gone Blog*

That name was the brainchild of the Irreverent Antisocial Intellectual. Go on over and give her some love. Not just because she named my blog but because, dude, she can use a machine gun. I'm just sayin'.

The tagline? Glad you asked. I'm going to use "Sit, Stay, Speak", as suggested by Kristen at Mommy Does It All. Yeah, I know it's my comment line on this blog but it's just too good not to use over and over again. Congratulations IAI and Kristen! Because she named the title, IAI gets the first choice of gift cards: Target or Barnes and Noble. Ladies, please drop me an email and let me know how to get your prizes to you.

It seems a little anti-climactic, not being able to link to my new blog. Unfortunately, I still need to finish some things on the new site. As I always say, anything worth doing is worth overdoing and overdoing some more, and then stressing out about and re-doing. I'll have it up and running some time next week and, of course, you'll all be the first to know. Just as soon as I figure out how to turn off the Blogger part of my brain so I can learn how Typepad works.

Thanks again for all your support! Cookies for everyone!

(yeah, don't think I won't work that into my new blog somehow.)

*When picking the name of the blog I had to take into consideration the tone I was trying to establish as well as search engine hits. As much as I wanted to incorporate a line like "Yo, where my bitches at" I figured it would send the wrong message and bring some less than desirable characters to my site. I already get the occasional hit from people searching for "doggie style" and "dog sex". Eeew.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Cross my heart, Hope to die, Drive a nail into my forehead

About two months ago I put a moratorium on the purchasing of electronic shrieking toys for Chicky Baby. Along with the number of primary-colored plastic things, the amount of toys that required batteries in my house - that weren't for adult-only activities, if you catch my drift - had reached an all-time, migraine-inducing high. They are everywhere, in every corner of my home, and I just couldn't take one more talking piano or singing Muppet. I promised myself that I would not buy anymore electronic toys for awhile. I had had enough.

So, in the spirit of my woodworking ancestors, I went out and purchased this:

At first Chicky was skeptical. She gave me a look as if to say "What? You expect me to pull this thing? You mean it doesn't move on it's own when you hit a button?"

But then we told her that the position of "Crocodile Hunter" was open and she warmed up to the idea.

And then we bought her a Little Tykes scooter. At the very least she could start a suburban Massachusetts chapter of the Hells Angels. In this picture I'm pretty sure she's trying to make Elmo her bitch.

But her favorite toy continued to be the talking Fridge Farm.

In case you've never seen one of these things, all two of you because it seems almost everyone has this toy of satan, the object is to match the front part of the farm animal to the rear end. If the child does it correctly it sings a happy tune "You made a match, look what you found...". If the child matches, say a duck's head and a horse's body it says something like "You put a duck in front, you put a horse behind, put them together and what do you find? A duck/horse? That's silly."

After hearing this little ditty for the 17 billionth time I decided the words should be different.

"A duck/horse? That's genetically impossible! But we're working on it."

"A cow/pig? That sounds delicious! But don't tell PETA we said that because then millions of vegetarian families will boycott our product."

Because she loves this toy so much I decided to lift the moratorium for one product specifically. This one.

Yes folks, Fridge Phonics. Not only was it a huge hit with Chicky Baby but now the scooter and the wooden alligator have been abandoned in favor of playing the ABC song over and over. And over. And over. I really shot myself in the foot this time. This is my husband's take on it.

Or maybe he was just gas-y. I don't really know. What I do know is if I leave the batteries in it I get a few minutes to myself but I forfeit the right to complain about the noise.

Yep, that about sums it up.


Tomorrow I'll be naming the winners of the Name That Dog Blog contest. The only problem is...


I haven't decided yet.

In my defense, there were so many great suggestions that it's hard to choose. So if you wouldn't mind giving me an additional 2 cents (c'mon, two cents, that won't even buy you a piece of candy these days. But we're not really talking about currency, are we?) and throw your vote in for one of the Titles and Tag Lines below. I narrowed down the field of possibilities to make it easier for everyone. Especially me. I think with all the two cents I'm getting I will go out and buy a new decision-making mechanism for my brain. What do you think one of those would run me? Ten bucks? I wonder if Target carries them.


Dog Gone Blog
Dogs Gone Blog
Sit, Stay, Speak
The Canine Companion
The Dogosphere
End of my Leash
To the Dogs
Wag the Dog


Sit, Stay, Speak
Cookies for Everyone!
Tales and Treats for Dogs and the People who love them

If there were any titles or taglines that you loved and I missed from the last dog post or if there are any others that you've just thought of let me know. Don't forget, gift cards are at stake here, people.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I'm... 34

I think I know why most of my posts of late have been so unbearably heavy.

Today is my birthday.


I guess today is no different from the others. It's sort of a non-birthday, if you ask me. I mean, 34 is nothing to get excited about. Except for the fact that I am now officially in my mid-30's. Somehow that milestone doesn't compare to the day that I could finally walk into a bar and order a fuzzy navel or a sex on the beach or whatever horrible concoction I was drinking when I turned 21. It's not a turning point, like leaving your 20s behind. No special privileges will be granted to me, as I have already reached the age where I can vote, buy a pack of cigarettes (if I smoked, that is), enroll in the armed forces and drive a car. What else is there to look forward to?

Come on AARP membership card!

Ooh, how about qualifying for the early bird special discount? Or getting into the movies for half price? Good times ahead, I'm telling you.

I'm not feeling melancholy because I'm turning 34. I mean, 34 is young. I'm in the prime of my life. I'm melancholy for the simple fact that it's my birthday. I'm always a little blue on the day that I should be celebrating my birth. I have no idea why. The days leading up to my birthday, either because they coincide with the change of the seasons, the first days of school, or the beginning of another disappointing fall television line-up have always put me in a deep blue funk for as long as I can remember.

But I'm done being woebegone. Today is my birthday, dammit. Already this morning, as every other one of my birthdays for the past decade has started, I received a phone call from my Nana. After hearing me say "Hello" she doesn't utter a word herself (a huge feat, if you knew my Nana you'd know how hard that was for her) and after a second instead of her voice I hear the metallic notes of the Happy Birthday song coming through the phone. The origin of the sound? A novelty singing birthday candle that she pulls out for every one of my sister's and my birthdays.

How can you have a bad day when the first phone call you receive is your grandmother and her amazing singing birthday candle?

While Chicky Baby is napping, I'll be putting together the kickass gift that Mr. C gave me last night.

And in case you're wondering why I got my birthday present the day before my birthday... The man can't wait to give gifts. If it were up to him we wouldn't open our Christmas gifts on Christmas Day, or even Christmas Eve, but on the eve of Christmas Eve. It's sweet, really, but it sometimes makes the actual day a little anti-climactic. Although, in this case I'm glad I gave in and opened the gift. For those of you in Michigan wondering who the hell is playing the loud music, that would be me, blasting the new John Mayer album. But it will be "vibrant, detailed sound that will revolutionize the way (I) experience (my) iPod." It's the best gift ever. I bet it will even make Raffi sound good. Or I may be going a bit far with that.

But I digress.

I think I'll take my birthday money and go by a pair of shoes or maybe two pairs of shoes. It is my birthday. And tonight, Mr. C will probably make me dinner (or at least bring home good takeout) and we'll share a good bottle of wine. My birthday will be a quiet affair, just the two of us after our daughter goes to sleep.

Well, not too quiet. After Chicky Baby goes to bed, and the dogs are put away for the night, and we've shared our lovely meal and wine and maybe something chocolate, you will hear coming from my house...

Crystal clear Bose quality sound.

What did you think I was going to say? It's my birthday, not his.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Constant Craving

I gaze upon your sleeping form through the haze and static of the black and white baby monitor. If not for this piece of technology I would never see you slumber, since these days you eschew sleep for mischief making. Even in the car you hold onto wakefulness tightly with both of your chubby fists, daring the sandman to force you into unconsciousness.

It's nights like these that I see you in the monitor and I long to climb the stairs and enter your room and climb into your crib with you. I want to mold my long body into the corners and angles of your small bed, around your ever lengthen frame, and drink in the remaining bits of your baby smell. Was it only 17 months ago that you came from me. Was it really 17 months? It seems so long ago. It seems like yesterday.

I've oftentimes told your father that I wanted to go to you, to dare waking you just to be close. What I didn't tell him was that I needed to go to you. Would he understand if I were to tell him that I craved your touch? Probably not, given the times that I complain about your various capers and escapades as you grow older and more bold. But I do. I crave you. It was five months ago, on your first birthday, that you decided to wean yourself. True, we had been working up to that day, but ultimately it was you who decided when the time was right. Since then, I've held on to whatever intimacy you've offered. A kiss here, a hug there. A grasp of fingers on my thigh or wrist when you're in that semi-comatose state while watching Elmo before naptime. Your breath becoming slower and heavy. Winding down. My favorite time.

A month ago, maybe longer, we had our last nap together. It was completely unintentional, yet I remember it with more fondness now than I felt for it when it was happening. Then, at the time, I thought about the lost hours, the crick in my neck from sleeping in an awkward position, your loss of sleep from not being in your own bed and the terror that reigned on our house at your hands afterward. These days you have no need to snuggle with me before bedtime, yet I continue to try to cling to those moments for dear life. You have little need for our cuddle time, eschewing my embrace for the comfort of your crib. Though we still sit together before bed and you place your head on my collar bone, as is our habit, for an instant, if not for our routine I would barely notice your touch. It happens that quickly. Then you tip your head to the left, our sign for sleep, and you mutter "Buh", your word for "bed", clearly letting me know that you don't need my comfort or the warmth of my body to induce sleep. I put you in bed, cover you with your blanket, hand you your favorite lovey and tell you "Sleep tight. I love you." I love you.

Then I close the door.

Yet, still, my breast aches for you. I long for the contentment I feel from your breath on my cheek, your warmth on my skin. I think about your open-mouth kisses, or how I taught you "Eskimo kisses" and how you oblige me with a shake of your head, letting me rub the tip of my nose to yours. How I long to be in that warm, dark room with you, dreaming of nothing more than sunshine and graham crackers. I long, I need, I crave.

There's a noise from the monitor. She's moving. You're moving. You're restless, moving back and forth from a child pose - butt in the air, knees bent beneath - to sprawled out, each limb close to touching an opposite rail. Will you call for me? Will you need my comfort? I pose, ready for your cry, your appeal, bidding, summons. I wait for you to summon me. I wait for you to need me as much as I need you. But often, more times than not, you go back to sleep and I am left wanting. How can a mother complain about that? I don't complain, out loud. Inside I wish that you needed me more to rub your back, caress your cheek, or hum "I Will" to you while you return to your hard repose. Today, you don't. Tomorrow, perhaps, you will.

Until then I will wait until you need me, a fraction of how much I need you. Until then I will keep this primordial need tucked deep inside me. The primal instinct, the most ancient of all feelings. More animal than the need to feed or procreate. More familiar than breathing. The craving that needs to be satisfied. The fire that burns. The physical need of a mother for her child.


This was a response to HBM's call for posts about the physical love of a mother for her child. Does it adequately sum up my physical need for my child. In a word, no. No words that I have could ever describe the need I feel for my daughter. But I feel like all women who have had a child know exactly what I am talking about. Sometimes words are not enough, yet they are everything.


Don't forget about the "Name That Dog Blog" contest. I've gotten some really great suggestions for names and taglines so far (how the hell did you guys get to be so witty?). Even if you don't have an idea for a name or tagline, vote for the one(s) you like the best from the ones that have already been suggested. I'm totally undecided so far and I need - oh, how I need - your help. Winners will be announced on Friday.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Okay, I'll do it...

I'm going to start a dog blog.

Cookies for everyone!

My sincerest thanks to everyone who gave me their two cents on the dog blog topic, and when I say everyone I mean everyone. Even those of you who said "Uh, yeah, thanks but no thanks. I have cats. I wouldn't touch a dog blog with a ten foot pole with a fuzzy pink ball of catnip at the end." I especially thank you for your truthfulness. It would have been very easy to say "Sure, I'll read it. I hate dogs but I am so there. " But you didn't. However, you did say you'd send readers my way so how could I not love you?

Mwah. Big, wet, sloppy dog kisses just for you.

Thank you, also, to the people who gave me some great recommendations about this new, yet to be written, still stuck in my head just ready to be expelled blog as well as for the legal advice. Don't think I won't be sending you more emails in the future about this. You don't mind, right? Did I mention cookies and wet dog kisses?

Now I just have to set about starting it. Yeah. That's the easy part, right? Okay, not so much.

I'm sorry to say the advice begging is not over (I'm getting out my knee pads. Begging is not pretty and it's hard on the knees.)

First, I'd like to know which blog platform do you prefer? As much as I've learned to deal with Blogger's cute little idiosyncrasies and 12 hour downtimes I think I'd like this new site to be hosted somewhere other than a place that shuts down every time the toilet is plugged up. I'm thinking WordPress. Any thoughts?

Second, I'd like to hear from you, my possible reader, about what you would like to see specifically on that new site. Beside dog pictures, which I will post every week. However, cute pet pictures are great but they're not everything. Unless you're this site. Or this one. My point is, it's been done and I don't want my blog to become all about pictures. What other things would you like to see or read about when it comes to dogs? Responses from cat owners suggesting ways to rid themselves of their neighbor's barking Cujo will be laughed at but not taken into consideration.

And third, the ever astute Sandra (who was one of the first people to suggest that I start a canine-specific site) said, and I quote, "Can't wait to hear what you'll call the dawg blawg."

(cue crickets)





Wow. I have no idea. I thought about it and I have some ideas kicking around my head with the rest of the mirth and merriment I keep stored up there, but I don't know if I like any of my ideas. So, do you know what that means? Huh, huh, do ya?


Since I apparently can't think for myself these days I am asking even more of you, dear internets. Along with any specific topics you'd like to see covered on my new site I'd also like you to name it. Name that Blog! Or, at least help me name it. Please leave me a comment or send an email to ChickyChickyBaby at Hotmail dot com with your name suggestions for my new blog. It's like asking strangers to help name my baby but, strangely, I'm okay with that. And the lucky winner will receive...


I haven't gotten that far yet. The last few posts have been completely made up on the fly and I haven't given any thought as to what you could win. However, I promise you it will be something you will like. How's that for non-committal? Oh, and I'll plug you like nobody's plugged you. Come rain or come shine.

*Added: I have found that "Dawg Blawg" or "Dog Blog" or some form of those names have been used extensively in the pet blog world, so I need something a little more original . I'm also looking for taglines (yeah, asking for much there, Mrs. C? Jeez.). The winner will receive either a $10 gift card from Target or from Barnes and Noble, winners choice. If I get two winners, one for the blog name and one for the tagline then one person will win the Target card and one will win the B and N card. As well as my ever-lasting admiration and love. And compliments on how thin you look.

Once again, I thank you for your consideration on this matter. I don't care what anyone says about you, I think you are the best. I also don't care if this sounds like sucking up because, strangely, I'm okay with that too.

(removing knee pads)


A few of you asked where I got chicks Baby's AB/CD t-shirt. I bought it online from We get more comments and compliments on that t-shirt than all of her cute clothes put together.


Lastly, thank you for the compliments on my two dogs, Fisher (the yellow lab) and Lana (the black lab). They were touched and I think they may have blushed a little. They said you can splash in their water bowl anytime.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Advice please!

Wow, it's gotten so heavy around these parts lately. What, with the stories of dogs biting babies, dogs possibly attacking children, dogs jumping out of bushes and stealing old ladies purses, dogs taking advantage of unsuspecting, needy teenagers and making them join cults... It's amazing you guys come back here at all. Why do you come here?

Oh yeah, cute Chicky pictures.

Born to be mild, uh, wild.
(Sigh, so much for that cute haircut)

It was never my purpose to make this a dog blog. Or a dawg blawg. Whatever. But we write about what we know and since my life has left me with little in the fodder department lately I write about dogs. But no one wants to listen (or read) someone go on and on about their job and frankly the whole dog biting thing has been a total downer for me, so I'm going to keep the doggie stuff to a minimum on this site.

But where will you put all that fantastic and important information that you have regarding dogs and everything that goes along with them, Mrs. Chicky? More, more! cried the angry mob. More!

I'm glad you asked.


It was brought up by two of my fabulous blogging buds in the comments of my last post that, perhaps, I should start a blog dedicated to all things canine. It's an idea that I have been toying with for some time now but I've been on the fence about it. I still am and let me tell you it is not comfortable on the fence. Do I want to maintain two sites? Would people read it? Do they care? Will I still have enough energy after writing another blog and keeping the dogs' chew toys out of Chicky Baby's mouth to still devote time to my personal site? Don't I have anything better to do?

(the answer to that last question, sadly, is no.)

I posed these questions to my husband, who responded with "You barely have enough to write about on your own blog, never mind two." Thanks hon. You know how to kick a woman when she's down. Since he was little help - really, who wants input like that? - I ask you, dear people in my computer...

Would you read a dog specific blog?

I have visions of this blog being for real dog owners: Product reviews and recommendations, places to recreate with your dog, some training tips, and a forum where people can share stories of their experiences. Not the oh-so-precious, sappy stories of little Muffin the Maltese who finally learned how to go pee-pee outside instead of on the Persian rug, but stories of real people and their real dogs. This site will not, I repeat, WILL NOT be for the person who believes Princess the Pekingese needs that $200 fur trimmed coat and matching designer handbag to be carried around in.

(Okay, before the toy owners start throwing wee rhinestone collars at me let me tell you that I love all dogs regardless of their size, and I don't care if your dog is a 10lb toy or a 100lb rottie, the dog is not a doll. Treat it with respect. And, yes, I know that some breeds need outerwear. Buy them a coat, a cute coat, but if you're spending thousands on doggie couture while you're shopping at Wal-Mart something is seriously wrong. Seek help immediately.)

Oh, and did I mention pictures? Yes! Pictures of you and your dog will be accepted and posted. I love bragging about my dogs so I would love to give people a place where they could brag, too. Did your dog just pass the CGC test? Did little Ginger graduate first in her puppy kindergarten class? Brag away.

Who wouldn't want to brag about me?

I'm totally making this up as I go along. I am in so much trouble. Still with me? Good. Have a cookie.

Here's the negative side (sides) of having this site, beside the time and effort needed I'd also have to "out" myself. If I'm offering training tips I feel, as a professional, that going by my pseudonym would belittle my cred. That makes me a bit nervous. Plus, I'd have to be very careful about what I offer up as advice. Not only am I not paid for this some-day blog, but I don't know the legal ramifications of offering tips to strangers would be. Any lawyers, or spouses of lawyers out there who would like to give me some advice? Anyone? Helloo? And I would need companies to eventually offer products to review. I'm not made of money, dog training doesn't pay that well. How do I get companies to give me stuff for free?

I'm also looking for advice from others who are currently, or have prior experience, running multiple blogs, specifically service-oriented ones. I'll be emailing some of you directly but if there is anyone I don't know about - perhaps you stumbled across this in your google searching - I would love an email telling me about your experience. If you have the time. Ha, time. You run more than one blog and probably have a life outside of it. Sure, you'll have time.

What am I getting myself into?

I really need your help, internets. Is this a good idea or am I completely out of my tree? Is this idea something you, as dog owners or potential dog owners, would be interested in? More importantly, is this something you would plug on your sites?

Shameless. Sorry. I get that way when I'm nervous.

I'm going to go lie down now and eat cookies. I also do that when I'm nervous. Much thanks in advance for your advice.

I think I'll lie down and cover myself with grass. I do that when I'm nervous. Can I have some cookies, too?

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Only you can prevent... dog bites

Last week, after my post about my friend's toddler being bitten by their own dog, Mothergoosemouse asked if I could write a post about how to appropriately introduce children to dogs. There is much to write about this subject so I have to warn you this post got really long. Take some time, grab a cup of coffee, and settle in for a bit. There's a lot of important information in here.

As always, I am not an expert. And I don't whisper. I am a woman who trains dogs in obedience. If you have questions, please feel free to contact me, but if you have a particularly tough case you should seek the counsel of a licensed dog behaviorist. However, there's a lot of research put into this post. I never fly fast and loose with dog-related topics as there is too much at stake. One resource in particular that I spent some time with was the Humane Society of the United State's website. Good stuff there.

Okay, enough yappin'.


One night, while holding the leash of a dog who, along with her owner, was enrolled in one of my basic classes, a little boy, about six years old, who was attending the class with his dad and his new puppy approached me.

"Can I pet that dog?" he asked, already leaning in to tap the dog on top of her head without waiting for approval.

"Thank you for asking permission," I said, moving the dog out of arms reach of the boy. "But you should never pat a dog you don't know on it's head. Do you know where the safest place to pat a dog that you don't know is?"

In typical six year old fashion he shrugged his shoulders and leaned in, once again, to tap the bemused dog on the top of her head.

"Please don't touch the dog on her head. That's very dangerous to do that to a dog you don't know. And I already told you that you should never do that."

The boy looked at me, incredulous, "I always pat my dog on his head."

Of course he did. The little boy assumed that since he could touch his pup's head that it was okay to do that to every dog he met. He didn't understand that patting a strange dog on the top of the head is the absolute worst place, except maybe grabbing a tail, to engage contact.

Then again, young children also think it's okay to take candy from strangers. Until we, their parents, teach them otherwise.

At least he asked permission first. Sort of.

According to the Humane Society of the United States "Every year, more than 4 million people in the United States are bitten by dogs. Most of those victims are children under the age of 13." Knowing this statistic it makes me alternately sad, angry and a bit frustrated to see so many children running up to strange animals and thumping them on their foreheads. Usually there is no parent in close proximity. The parent(s) and child are putting their trust in the owner of the dog and, more to the point, in the dog itself to not react negatively or violently. That's an awful lot of trust to have in an animal. Would you let your kid run up to a strange horse or goat or cow without being close by and a little worried that the animals would step on or kick your child?

In case you think that this post is solely about children approaching strange dogs in parks and pet stores, I'd like to share another story with you.

Three years ago a dog breeder, who had made a habit of bringing the puppies she was keeping to the facility where I teach, brought one of her pups to a beginning level class. This puppy was gorgeous, all silky coat and big brown eyes. Enormous paws and beautiful head. And major puppy attitude. He was smart as a whip, you could tell that by looking at him, but he was, as some trainers would refer to him as, a dominant male. The breeder, a seasoned veteran herself, had a tough time training the dog but as time went on she had him responding to all the appropriate commands. He needed a strong, consistent leader to teach him the ways of the family dog as well as how to behave in the conformation ring. For one reason or another, the breeder decided not to keep him and adopted him out to a local family with two children.

Fast forward a year. The puppy, now a full grown dog and still a tough cookie from time to time but a wonderful companion to his family, was living the simple life in suburbia. His family adored him. One summer day the dog was lying in front of his home, on his property, gnawing on a bone. When up from behind him came the neighbor's 8 year old son. The specifics were unclear, but the general consensus was the boy tried to take the dog's bone away from him. Why he thought that was appropriate I don't know, but the boy didn't take more than one step away before the dog reached up and bit the boy on his arm.

Was he (the dog) reaching for the bone or did he truly mean to do harm to the child? No one knows. But a child was hurt and the neighbors, who were long time friends of the owners of the dog, were threatening legal action. The dog was quarantined for a month and, after the quarantine, had to find a new home. The woman who owned the dog was so distraught over the entire situation that she could not bring herself to bring the dog back home.

I've written about my feelings on dog bites, but who was really to blame in this situation? Why was the child, who didn't own a dog, never taught how to behave around one? Why did he think it was right to sneak up on an animal and take away a such a coveted item? I'll let you draw your own conclusions.

And in case you're wondering what kind of a dog would bite a child over a bone, I'll also let you draw your own conclusions as to what type of breed the dog was.*

Such a waste.

The dog, with help from the breeder, found a new home. Not a perfect situation, as it turns out, but more drama than I'm willing to get into in this post. That's another cautionary tale for another day.

The point is, any dog can bite. A neighbor's, a stranger's, even your own. They are, after all, animals. The only way to reduce the chance of dog bites is to always supervise your child around dogs. If the dog is your own (from the HSUS, go here to read more):

- You should make sure the dog is properly trained. Consult an expert, take a class, or do a lot of research and reading and then apply your research correctly. In almost all cases that research will point you in the direction of training classes or private lessons.
- Make sure your dog is spayed or neutered.
- Socialize your dog with lots of different people and other dogs.
- Be a responsible dog owners. License, vaccinate, and make your dog a member of your family.
- At the very least, err on the safe side. If you don't know how your dog will react to certain situations, leave the dog at home or give the dog a safe spot in your home if you have a large group in your house.

If you want to teach your child to act appropriately around dogs (and you should) these are some guidelines, also from the HSUS (btw, these are good guidelines for adults, too.):

- Never approach a strange dog, especially one that is tied, confined behind a fence or in a car.
- Once permission is asked of the dog's owner, don't pet a dog—even your own—without letting him see and sniff you first.
- Once the dog has sniffed you and is accepting of petting, scratch the dog under the chin or on the side or back.
- Never turn your back to a dog and run away. A dog's natural instinct will be to chase and catch you.
- Don't disturb a dog while she's sleeping, eating, chewing on a toy, or caring for puppies.
- Be cautious around strange dogs. Always assume that a dog who doesn't know you may see you as an intruder or a threat.

Whether you want to get a dog for your family, already have one, or just want to introduce your children to dogs it is your responsibility to make sure that all contact between dog and person is as safe as can be. Trust me, I know how difficult it is to wrangle a dog and a kid together. Check that, two dogs and a kid. It's a lot of work, but no one said it would be easy. And a little work now will save you a lot of grief later.

*The dog was a black Labrador Retriever. The AKC's number one registered breed for the past 15 years. He is a well bred, well trained dog and didn't fall under the list of "dangerous" breeds (I'm not even going to post a list here. There are too many variables that make the list a little skewed in one direction) that a lot of people would expect to bite. He didn't come from a backyard breeder or puppymill via a petstore. Again, draw your own conclusions.

Friday, September 01, 2006

I feel random. Oh so random

So, I spruced up da blawg and then I had a couple of days when the hours went by like minutes and I haven't posted anything since then and I'm left here on Friday, scratching my head (better than scratching my ass) thinking um, wha' happened to Wednesday and Thursday?

(And apparently left with a new found fondness for run-on sentences and the word "and".)

My dear Nana is fond of saying "You go to bed on Monday and you wake up on Friday". It's her way of saying the weeks go by too quickly. I guess from the viewpoint of a 70-something grandmother life moves along too fast. I never agreed with her until I had my own child. Now the days fly by. True there are times when I'm changing yet another poopy diaper (Ha! Suck it mommyblog haters! I snuck in a line about poop! And I'm overusing exclamation points! Ha! Bite my left one!) that I wish that bit of time would go by just a bit quicker, but for the most part I'd like things to slow down. Just a wee bit.

Since I haven't had time to have a coherent thought, never mind write an interesting post, I'll share some things that have been going on in the past few days. And to keep my crazy, bouncing-off-the-wall mind in check I'll will organize them - Yes organize my thoughts! With bullets! Hooray! Hooray for bullets! And exclamation points! Hooray for exclamation points!!

Okay, I'm done. On with the randomness! (Ha! You believed me when I said I was done! Double Ha!!)

  • Yesterday was my 4th wedding anniversary. That should explain why my head has been elsewhere for the past few days. I had started something sappy to post for the occasion but I never got a chance to finish it. Sorry, Mr. C. Here's a portion of it just for you, honey:
Four years doesn't seem like such a long time when viewed on a calendar yet it seems like an eternity to me. The first time I told you that you took it the wrong way, misunderstanding my meaning. When I said it feels as if we've been together forever I meant that I felt like we've always been like this, together, and it's easy to forget the years before you. I hardly remember a time when you weren't there next to me, holding my hand, carrying the heavy bags and burdens, offering comfort and shelter and love.
Happy Anniversary, my husband. I love you.
  • For our anniversary we had a fantastic dinner at a top-rated local Italian restaurant. We ate too much, drank too much and today I have a tummy ache. Good times.
  • While undergoing my most recent bloglift some of you mentioned that you were going to miss my former tagline "Why must I always repeat myself". I'm willing to take votes on this: Keep the new tagline "Loosely based in my own reality" or go back to the original one. Voting can begin at the end of the show and, please, remember that these are 888 numbers, not 800 numbers. And certainly not 900 numbers. That's a different Chicky Baby entirely.
  • This week I had three classes graduate. I'm always sad to see my students go - to send them out on their own with nothing but a leash, some hot dogs and a prayer - but this round I was very happy to see one class walk out the door, never to return again. Those of you who are "real" teachers, could you please tell me that you have classes like this? Classes that you count the days until end of quarter or graduation so you never have to deal with them again? I nearly pushed them toward the exit, I was that desperate to be done with them. I'm going to hell, I know.
  • On the subject of dogs - in response MotherGooseMouse's request on my last dog-related post to write an entry about introducing children to dogs... It's in the works. This is something I'm very passionate about, for obvious reasons, and I want to take care with writing it. I hope to have it for you all sometime next week.
  • And last, but not least, the lovely Jana at Something Baby Blue, she of the amazingly gorgeous tresses (seriously, have you seen the pictures of her hair? Sheesh.), saw fit to nominate me for a Perfect Post award.

    A Perfect Post

    There are some posts that you know, before you even finish them, that you're going to be proud of. I've only had, maybe, two or three posts like that. I'm incredibly hard on everything I write. After I hit 'Publish Post' I usually cringe and wish I could take everything back to re-write it or, often times, delete it. It's not false modesty, it's lack of confidence. However, I loved that post. I would have been happy if it would have resonated with just one person, so I was thrilled when so many of you commented that you related to it. I am over the moon that Jana thought it deserved a Perfect Post award. Thank you, Jana! Now let's crack open that bottle of wine.