Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Guess who's going as a spineless jellyfish for Halloween?

No, not her...

Because, obviously, she's a chicken. Doing one killer version of the chicken dance. I'm only sorry you can't witness it yourself.

Me. I'm the spineless jellyfish. I caved into the peer pressure to get my kid a costume.

But I have a good reason! Chicky Baby and I attend music class on Tuesday mornings and since this Tuesday is Halloween (which is today for those of you just crawling out from under your rocks) our teacher said we were going to have a party and all the kids could come dressed in costume. Well, I didn't want to be the only mother whose kid wasn't in costume. How much would that suck? It would be like 6th grade all over again...

Oh. My. Gawd. You wore green on Thursday? What a loser. Everyone knows you don't wear green on Thursday. No one is going to be your friend 'cause you wore green on Thursday and no one wants to be friends with the loser who wore green on Thursday.

(Did you catch that it was socially prohibitive to wear any shade of green on Thursdays? It took me years to be able to wear the color sage for fear of forgetting what day of the week it was and wearing it ON THURSDAY.)

So there I was, at Old Navy, buying my kid a t-shirt that says "Little Devil" on it. I had no plans to buy her a costume even though I would probably end up being a playgroup pariah. I figured I could dress up the t-shirt with a pair of devil's horns and tape a picture of Chicky Baby's latest tantrum onto her back and call it a day. But there in the checkout line was this costume, hanging all by itself, in her size. I figured it was Serendipity stepping in and saving me from myself and my Scrooge-like ways.

(but really it was the 50% off tag. $9.95! Score!)

The costume was a huge hit. I wish I could share the pictures with you all from the party but that would require me getting permission from the other mothers. Which would require me telling them about my blog. Which would require me shutting down this blog, leaving town and changing my name.

I'm still not taking her Trick or Treating. A girl has got to have some convictions, even if she is a bleating sheep follower of the crowd.

Happy Halloween to you and all your little chicky's (and the big ones too!).


Today over at Dog Gone Blog - the best grooming brush for dogs (and cats too!) that I have ever found. And later today - Dog of the Week.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Sucker for those Mac Ads

Since I've been staring at the blink, blink, blinkity blink of my computer's cursor on the Blogger post page for the past forty five minutes and have yet to make any headway in the creativity department I think I'll ask you, dear internets, a question. I could use your advice.

(Before I do, I just had a thought. Wouldn't it be great if there really were a "Creativity Department" at, say, Target? You pop in to grab some diapers and some inexpensive books and then before you hit the check out you stop in the Creativity Department which, in my mind, is between the invitations and the office supplies. Well, where the heck would you put it?

"Hmm, Creativity is $19.98 today but with this coupon I got in the mail I can get 10% off. Ooh, here's another coupon for Imagination and one for Ingenuity. What the heck, I'll get all three. Then I'll grab some laundry detergent and we'll be on our way.")


So, the question... My Dell laptop is about to shit the bed (what a horrible image, but fitting) and I need to replace it. It's the cheapest Dell offered since it was all I could afford at the time and to fix it would mean spending more money than it's currently worth. But after dogs stepping on it, Chicky Baby using it as a place to take out her frustrations while banging it with her sippy cup, and cats sleeping on it, my laptop really needs to go.

I'm thinking about waiting until after the holidays for the new Windows OS to come out to buy a new PC but I have to admit that I'm drawn to the Macs. They're just so... Fun. PCs are not fun. But I haven't used a Mac since I was in college which was over, um....

Let's see, carry the one, multiply by 2 and divide by Pi...

Let's just say it was a long time ago. I've been using PCs for a long time and I fear change, but I've heard such wonderful things about Macs that I'm torn (Those new Mac ads? Sucked me right in.). Any advice? Has anyone gone from PC to Mac? Mac users, what do you like about them? And do you have any ideas on how I would pay for this expensive piece of machinery? Pole dancing? Rent out my daughter to people who think they want kids but aren't sure? Sell my dogs for medical research? I'm open to suggestions.


One more thing. Since I'm not above beating a dead horse here's your reminder to please send me the link to your contribution to Blog Lovefest - Fall '06. I'm thrilled with the outpouring gushy sentiments I've seen so far and I hope you - yeah you, don't think I haven't noticed a lack of affection for some fellow bloggers from your site - will continue to spread the creamy, Nutella flavored love. I'll be posting all the links this Friday.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Where I gush like a school girl with a crush

How great are you guys? Seriously, feel free to assign yourself a level of greatness because I couldn't possibly do it. I don't think I could find the words to thank you for all the kind words, sentiments, and been there done that's on yesterday's post. Let's just say that I've been having a crappy time of it lately and your words lifted me up, dusted me off, smacked me in the back of the head and told me, to borrow a phrase from Cher in "Moonstruck", to Snap out of it.

You guys are so fabulous. I want to give you all a big smooch. With tongue. Because of what you guys said I think I need to put out a little bit, but I don't go all the way. I'm not the kind of girl that falls into the sack over a few pretty words. You deserve at least some frenching action.

I want to gather you all up in a little ball and put you in my pocket. I want to keep you safe and warm and feed you bits of cake and pull you out when I need my ego stroked. Which is often.

Because the amount of stroking needed is inversely proportionate to the size of my ego.

Maybe I need to start making daily affirmations a part of my routine. I'll squeeze them in between tantrums. I need to learn to take a deep breath, pull out a hand mirror and channel my inner Stuart Smalley:

I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.

Har. Get it? Doggone it? Dog Gone it? Gah. No shame, I have no shame.

But while we're on the subject don't forget to send in those dog pictures for Dog of the Week to doggoneblog@yahoo.com. If your dog is picked for the dubious honor you win absolutely nothing but you will have my respect and my cheeky comments on your dog's picture. That should count for something, not much but something.

Okay, I'm done with the shameless self-promotion.

Mainly because I'm tired. So very tired. I attended the funeral of my great uncle today (no need for condolences, this was one of those times when a person's passing was the kindest scenario) and since I don't have midday sitters I had to bring Chicky with me. Funerals are tiring without having to entertain an 18 month old, so today was doubly tiring. It was a very small service with just family and close friends so her presence wasn't strange or unwelcome. Actually, she was a big hit, showing off her mad eskimo kissing skills doing tricks for cheese crackers. But even though there were other young children there for her to play with it was still a stressful time, being on pins and needles, hoping she wouldn't melt down in the middle of the eulogy.

She didn't. She was perfectly well behaved. I'm the problem, me and my inability to relax when it comes to my kid's behavior.

Maybe it's because, as a first child myself, I feel the need to have everything be just so. Maybe it's because I'm a first time mother. Maybe it's because I have no idea what I'm doing but I want everyone to think I do. Maybe it's because my kid was colicky for four months and to this day I still twitch when she screams, thinking the colic is back.

I think a movie monster should be named "Colic" or at least "Ciloc". All the mothers of colicky children in the audience of that movie would get a huge kick out of that inside joke.

Run for your lives! The Ciloc is coming! What shall we do?

Quick! Get the gripe water and giant infant sling! Damn, does anyone have an extra extra extra large clothes dryer and baby seat?

Anyhoo... The kindness you showed me here and the love you're spreading out in blogland is music to a stressed out mama's ears.

I'm done gushing. I need to go zone out to Ugly Betty. Ah, fluff TV. I thank dog for you.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

So low

The Great Blog Love-In Tour - Fall '06 - is going along swimmingly, thanks to all who have participated so far, and I can feel the warm blush of infatuation starting to spread over blogland. I'm thinking of selling tie-dyed t-shirts and hemp bracelets to commemorate this occasion. Nitrous balloons? No?

(man, I miss those Grateful Dead shows).

I need to get around to writing my own ode to blog amore but, unfortunately, there's not much love in Chickyville today.

This kid is beatin' my ass into the ground.

These days I gauge our "good" days by how many tantrums Chicky Baby has had by the time Mr. Chicky comes home from work. More than four and I'm asking my husband to pour me a glass of wine as soon as he walks in the door. More than five and I mutely hand him a full bottle and bang on the counter with my wine glass until he obliges my need for sweet oblivion. On the positive side, less than four and the day gets a "not bad" rating. Less than three qualifies as "good". Less than two and I'm doing a freakin' happy dance. Less than one... Well, that doesn't happen. The timing of said tantrums also determines which category the day will fall into. A tantrum before breakfast will leave a bad taste in my mouth for a good portion of the day.

Today I barely had Chicky out of bed when it started, so that should give you an idea of how I'm feeling right now. I'm thinking cocktails at noon followed by margaritas at 5pm and finishing with a nice vin santo this evening. Screw it. Where the hell is the tequila?

This is one of those days that I feel completely unprepared to be a mother. Unprepared, unqualified, and un-der a lot of stress. It wasn't bad enough that she had a mini tantrum on the changing table first thing this morning because I dared take a cold, wet wipe to her precious bottom, but then Chicky went on to have a meltdown in her high chair at breakfast. Perhaps I didn't cut up her banana pieces to her liking. Maybe I didn't toast her whole wheat waffle to just the right level of crispness. I have no idea and she can't tell me since she refuses to use any other words besides "up", "hello", and of course the ever present "Cah Cah" because she has a need for carbs every second of the damn day. I finally took her out of her chair and handed her the waffle which she happily toddled off with. So much for that rule of "All food must be eaten at the table". Sigh.

Adding insult to injury the men we have hired to drain money from our bank account showed up at 8am and the dogs went bat shit at the sight of strangers in their backyard. Even though the same men were just here yesterday, every day is a new day and a new opportunity to strike fear in the hearts of unsuspecting workers. Yes, my dogs bark. Doctor, heal thyself. Dog trainer, train your damn dogs. Blah blah blahdee blah.

So, the dogs are barking and one of them has a bark that can be heard in three counties. Chicky threw her doll in the trash (the very same trash I just put the uneaten banana pieces into) and began throwing refrigerator magnets in my direction because I didn't remove her doll quickly enough. I felt my blood pressure rising like the mercury on a cartoon thermometer, going higher and higher until it finally pops my head off with it's force. After giving up on the magnet throwing Chicky began climbing into the dirty dishwasher after repeated attempts to dissuade her, the dogs were barking so loudly I was afraid someone was going to call the cops to report rabid animals on the loose, and I hadn't had one drop of coffee yet.

I snapped.

I forcefully grabbed Chicky out of the dishwasher and slammed it so hard I thought for sure all the glasses would shatter. I pulled the two dogs through the back door into the kitchen and before I knew it I had one by the scruff and the other in an intimidated down/stay, telling them both in a less than quiet tone that if they barked one more time I'd pull a Cruella Da Ville on them, only I wasn't quite as G-rated with my choice of words. I shot a look at my daughter and saw her clutching her sippy cup and half-eaten waffle with a look of sheer terror on her face. One look at her face and I don't think I've ever felt so ashamed.

Bad Mommy. Bad, bad, bad.

I'm not cut out for this shit.

Who the hell convinced me that I could handle this mothering gig? Someone must have thought it was a good idea at some point but I don't remember who that someone was. Couldn't have been me. No. I know I have a temper and though I have more patience than I used to that temper has a tendency to rear it's ugly head when I'm pushed to my limit. What the hell am I teaching my kid when I can't even control my own rage?

Before you call DSS on me let me reassure you that I'm very good at walking away when I feel pushed to that limit. When I feel that anger start to bubble I step out of the room and try to tune out the screaming. But it's hard when your kid is running after the cat with a hair brush and the dogs are climbing the walls because they haven't been properly exercised in days (weeks? months?) and your husband is working long hours and your boss is an ass but you keep working because you feel the need to contribute and keep a small portion of your identity....

Okay, I've got to stop here. It's just making it worse. Chicky Baby is now napping and I'm calling for a 'do over'. I'm going to wipe this morning out of my mind like scribbles on an Etch-A-Sketch.

Who am I kidding? Of course I'm not going to be able to completely wipe this from my memory. It's going to stick with me for a long time. The day that I lost my temper and scared my kid, a day that will go down in infamy. There aren't enough apologies and hugs in the world to erase that one. Thankfully she's too young to remember this day, the day her mother turned into a shrieking, bug-eyed banshee, but I'll remember. I'll always remember and it sucks.

The only thing that makes it worse is the knowledge that this probably won't be the last time.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Wicked pissah

Mr. Chicky and I had an actual date yesterday. A date! Where there was no child clinging and crying and wanting and demanding! No cries of "Cah Cah!" from the backseat (that's 'cracker' for those of you not versed in toddler-ese, not a plea for a diaper change). It was sublime.

It was a mid-afternoon date, but still... A date's a date. We went to an open house (more on that later this week when I get around to purging myself of it) and then we saw "The Departed".

Or, The Depaahhted, as we like to say around here.

It may have been the golden glow around the whole outing that made me really like the movie but I did, I really liked the movie. There were some problems with it (a few funny cuts, some hanging story lines that were never resolved) but overall it was good. Since movie reviews are usually boring I'll sum it up in a few bullet points:

(Get it? "Bullet" points? Mob movie? Lots of guns? Sheesh.)

  • Jack Nicholson - Excellent
    (well, duh, he's Jack. He's always stellar.)
  • Inside jokes about the region - Good
    (if you're from here, that is. If you're from anywhere but New England they'll go right over your head. Poo poo to you.)
  • Accents - Surprisingly Good
    (except Alec Baldwin's, Mr. Chicky thought his was pretty bad. And since Mr. C is from one of those tony, monied towns outside of Boston where no one has a distinguishable accent he must be an expert. Right?)
  • Leonardo DiCaprio starting to look like a grown man - Good. Very Good. I applaud this new stage in his development.
    (I never found him to be that attractive but after seeing this movie I could be persuaded into thinking otherwise)
  • Hot sex scene involving Leonardo DiCaprio and someone else I won't divulge here as to not ruin it for you if you haven't seen it yet - Excellent. Fantastic. Fabulous. Rwaaawr. Worth the price of admission.
  • Incorporating so many big name actors into one movie without any one actor being the obvious scene stealer - Pretty good.
    (Except when Jack was on the screen. The director could have stuck him into that sex scene and he still would have stolen the spotlight from the hot action. Did I mention it was hot?)
  • Violence - Not my favorite part but necessary to the plot and not usually gratuitous.
  • Soundtrack - Good
    (Van Morrison and the Band doing a cover of Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" - I know. That one had to grow on me - Dropkick Murphy's. The Rolling Stones. 'Nuff said.)
  • The Ending - Hmmmm....

    The Ending. I'm still on the fence about that. If you've seen it let me know what you think. There's still parts of it that I just don't understand. Now I have to wait for the DVD to come out so I can watch the deleted scenes and then I can piece together what happened.
Over all I'd give "The Departed" two thumbs up and a rating of WP - for Wicked Pissah, as in:

"Dood, bang a u-ie and meet me at the packie on Wistah Street. You need to come see The Depaahhted with me. It's wicked pissah."*


** Translation: My friend, turn your car around and join me at the liquor store on Worcester Street. We will attend a screening of The Departed. It's phenomenal.


Remember: Keep those declarations of love coming!


And over at Dog Gone Blog: The safe and efficient way to housetrain your dog.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Every party has a pooper and that's why we invited you

We interrupt this lovefest for a particularly bitchy moment.

I refuse to bring my 18 month old daughter trick or treating.

That's right. I'm not doing it. She's 18 months old, has adverse reactions to things being put on her head and scratchy, cumbersome clothing. I have an adverse reaction to buying a $20 or $30 costume, no matter how cute it is, that she'll wear for 15 minutes to carry her up to a strange house where she will immediately start to tear up when she feels forced to interact with a smiling stranger offering her candy that she can't eat.

Yes, I am Halloween's equivalent to a scrooge this year. And apparently I'm in the minority, at least where my friends are concerned.

I love Halloween, I really do. I love handing out candy to kids of appropriate age (that's a hint for those kids who are over the age of 14 who throw on a hockey mask and an old sweatshirt and call it a costume) and truthfully I do get a kick out of seeing the littlest of revelers in their wee costumes that make them look like walking stuffed animals. But let's face it, at this age is the holiday for the kids or for the parents?

My group of mommy friends wants to get all the kids (all the kids? Four kids, it's not a big group) together to go trick or treating. Okay, fine, have a great time but I'm not going. It's not something that interests me and besides I have to work that evening. I have told them on numerous occasions that I can't swing it. But my friends, being the rah rah sisterhood they are (and I should say here that they are wonderful in that way, always making sure that everyone gets included in activities and drawing out those mothers - ahem, me - that aren't natural joiners) keep coming up with ways, however misguided they are, to make sure we take part in the fun.

I love them for doing this but they're starting to tick me off.

I'm starting to feel pressured to join the crowd and I hate, Hate with a capital H, being pressured into doing things that I don't want to do. I have already decided that trick or treating this year is out of the question. Next year, sure, we'll be there with bells on. To me a two and a half year old can begin to understand the concept of trick or treating, or at the very least can say "Trick or Treat!" (my kid's still working on "up"), and they can eat some of the candy. But this year, no matter how much my friends want to include Chicky Baby and me, we're going to gracefully bow out of the festivities.

But they won't let me. I've done everything I can to make it painfully clear that I can't/won't be joining them and yet they insist on trying. It's starting to make me question my conviction. Am I really being a horrible mother if I don't stuff my toddler into a store bought costume and try to make her take candy from someone she doesn't know, candy that I later will consume (like I need more temptation in my house)? Am I missing out on some important milestone for my child by being a Halloween scrooge this year?

Do you think they make Scrooge costumes for adults for Halloween? Or maybe I can just dress myself as a large black cloud.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Love is all you need

(Yeah, this post is long but really, what were you going to do anyway? C'mon, take some time and read. It will be worth it)

** Edited below because really? Why not?

If you've been reading my blog with an regularity I think you would agree that it's not in my nature to blog about blogging. Yes I do reference my own posts from time to time (Oh, I've gotten so sappy - flog flog flog - oh what is wrong with me - flog flog - I promise no more moonbeams and rainbows - flog.) Sure, I do a Meme every once in a while and I reference other bloggers when the occasion calls for it but I'm not one to fall prey to the subjects circling the blogosphere, specifically the ones from the parenting world. I didn't jump in to the feminism debate or the working vs. stay at home mom discussion. I held my tongue as much as I could when "blog politics" was the subject du jour. It's not that I don't like to jump into a good debate or join the vox populi but for the purpose of this blog it's just not my bag, baby.

However, since I love to contradict myself there is a theme in the parent blogs that has ruffled my feathers and I feel the need to write about it:

To Blog or Not To Blog.

I was originally going to get into how a blog is just that - a Blog. And writing that blog, unless you draw a majority of your income from it (and if you do how'd you like to share that info with me? Hmmm?), should not take over your life to the point that you feel torn between family and computer. I was going to write that yes, this little blog of mine has gained me access into a community that I never dreamed I would be a part of but the thought of not being part of that community has woken me up from much needed sleep trying to think of what I was going to write the next day to stay active and relevant (sad, I know). I was also going to write how, because of those sleepless nights, a few months ago I seriously thought about chucking the whole thing and closing the door on this chapter of The Life and Times of Mrs. Chicky.

But I didn't and I won't and I'm not going to write about that.

Instead I'm going to write about how others deciding to close up shop, even the one's who have decided to announce that they need to take a break and not write or comment as much, has affected me and what I'm going to do about it.

Wait! Don't go. It gets really good. It's not one of those posts (the feelings. The feelings! Ack, more rainbows and ponies!). I promise.

A number of bloggers (you know to whom I am referring so I'm not going to post links) have called it quits, or called for a time-out, due to a number of reasons. Blogging burnout, stolen content, other endeavors, you name it. The bottom line is that people, perhaps writers that you have started to consider friends, are not going to be around anymore, and I don't know about you but that's made me kind of sad. And sadness, my friends, breeds sadness. It doesn't help that in most of the northern hemisphere we're experiencing a change of seasons and that, combined with that afore mentioned sadness, is spreading negativity like wildfire throughout Bloggingland. More and more posts are about the War on Toddler-ism (or Kid-ism in general, but Toddler-ism sounds better) and how we're getting worn down by it, unhappiness about the state of their current life or living situations, body image, cankles, scurvy, leprosy. It's all gotten to be so... so... Depressing.

What has depressed me the most, however, is the idea that people are pulling out cardboard boxes and newspaper to pack it up and others are picking this time, when the person is saying 'See Ya Later', to tell the blogger how much they've loved their writing and that they're really going to miss them. Why do we wait until the end to tell other's how much we really enjoyed having them around? Why do we wait for that final post, or the one threatening to end it all, to say "No! Don't go! I love having you around! Your writing means something to me."?

Why don't we tell someone that we care about them, or dare I say "love" them, before they're walking out the door?

No offense to the people who fall under the categories above ('cause I'm one of them) but if we continue on this path we're going to be writing ourselves a one way ticket to a large barrel of antidepressants. What we need is a little pick-me-up - of the non-alcoholic/pharmaceutical kind - to lift our spirits. So I'm proposing this to you, internets:

Write a post, a shout out, a holla, to your favorite blogger of the moment to let them know how much you love what they're doing. And then once you've written it drop me an email or a comment and I'll compile of list and post it on November 3rd.

Now, before you get all squeamish about that word I just used let me first tell you that as a dyed in the wool New England woman I do not throw around the word "love" all willy nilly like. Sure, I'll throw around terms like 'willy nilly' but love is a word I reserve for special occasions. Like Birthdays and Anniversaries and when I want something expensive. If the word "love" is too scary you can use the safer "lurve", "luv" or "loooove", or for those of you who are really squeamish about it, "Gosh, gee, I really kinda like you". You could love this person for anything from a particular post (Jozet, I really loved how you wrote about bats) or something as silly as their profile picture or their site design (T. that 60 foot woman on your header? Rwaaawr. Love it!). Tell them you love them for anything, just tell them that they mean something to you. Don't wait until they're gone.

This blogger doesn't have to be another parent or even someone you comment on regularly. Hell if you want to give a lovey shout-out to Dooce I say go for it. Superbloggers need love too. Do you want to write about how much you love Waiter Rant? Okey dokey. It's still love. The point is to spread some cheer at an unexpected, but necessary, time. Don't save your love for February. Don't wait until Thanksgiving to say how much you're thankful for this person. Do it now.

So go, dear friends, and write about a blogger you love. Spread some cheer and sunshine and rainbows (Ha! Fooled you. I said there would be no more of that but I lied.). Because someone might be a little down in the dumps and need that bit of a lift that you can't get with a prescription. And, please, spread the word. Tell others about this and get others to join in. Spread the word and spread the love. Spread some creamy peanut butter on that love, I don't care, just say something nice about someone.

What are you still doing here? Go, spread the love.

(Disclaimer: Mrs. Chicky and Chicky Chicky Baby are not responsible for stalkers, messy blog breakups or awkward moments as a result of this lovefest. If your latest blog "love" starts leaving you 20 comments a day and 50 emails you may want to seek professional help. If you think you may need help please include a "safe word" with your comment or email and then use that word when it's time to move on from the blogging relationship. Someone will be dispatched to aid in your blog divorce.)

** I know there are some of you out there who love every single person on your blogroll. But what you really have to ask yourself is "Is it love or just infatuation?". Try to narrow it down to either someone you're really all hot and heavy for, and not just a passing fancy, or someone (or maybe even two or three people) who really needs a shot in the ass of love. Scratch that last one, it sounds too dirty. How about someone who really needs some cheering up? Yeah, that sounds better because for a second there this Lovefest was turning into something else entirely.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Five more hours until bedtime

That melancholy funk has returned and it's brought along an army of reinforcements and nothing, not even that hot sex dream I had last night about Tyler Florence and an inflatable mattress covered in sour cream and chive smashed potatoes, can lift this heavy gray veil of dread from my eyes.

I'm just kidding I didn't have a sex dream about Tyler Florence. It was about Neil Patrick Harris and a chocolate cream pie. Hey, don't knock it 'til you try it.

Even my Susie Sunshine posts of late (that are heavy on tangerine hued imagery and the liberal use of edible verse which are less food for thought and more half-done TV dinner) are helping. It has not escaped my attention that my recent writings have been, shall we say, sickeningly upbeat. But, dear reader, lest you think my life is all rainbows and puppies and apple cider donuts let me put your mind at ease.

(well, I did just eat about seven of those suckers in less than 24 hours - donuts not puppies - so I guess it is a little bit about donuts. Anyhow...)

I've needed to highlight the brighter parts of my life with a militant dictator in training in my blog because I need to have something to remind me of the good times. 'Cause living with a toddler with a 'tude and a slight Napoleon complex? It suuuuuuhhhhhh-cks.

I've decided that living with a toddler, especially a melodramatic girl who is gunning for Meryl Streep's job and the honor of being the first winner of an Academy Award to receive her Oscar in a Prada diaper, is exactly like living with an escaped schizophrenic, bi-polar patient from the local state hospital who has been off her meds for weeks. You never know who you're going to encounter at any given moment. Will it be Happy Chicky Baby? Cranky Chicky Baby? Mike Tyson-like Chicky Baby, complete with teeth to bite delicate ear tissue, a hair-trigger temper and fists-a-blazing? The Chicky Baby who acts exactly like your junior year drunken college roommate, kissing and hugging everyone in sight only to dissolve into a major crying jag when she finds out the cafeteria is no longer serving American chop suey?

Chances are I'll see all of those Chicky Babys and more today. Raise your hand if you're feeling my pain.

I need something to help me remember the highs. The wonderful, jubilant times when it feels like the warmth of her smile could keep me cozy all winter long, because the lows are so, so low around here. How low? This morning alone she had five tantrums before 11am. I could only identify the cause of about three of them. The other ones I'm chalking up to the fact that Elmo came on about five minutes earlier than usual (most days she only gets to watch the Elmo part of Sesame Street) so she had five minutes less of Elmo-rifficness to enjoy. Or barometric pressure. It could have been anything.

These days by 2:30 in the afternoon I'm starting the countdown to bedtime. Jesus H. Christ on a popsicle stick! What do you mean there's still four and a half more hours until bedtime?!

It's not just my dear, precocious daughter who's causing my mood to swing to the dark side, it's being a parent in general. The stress of being on duty 24/7 with no break in months, the monotony that is my "job" these days (really, what's the point in vacuuming up all that damn pet hair? It's just going to be there again in a few minutes.). Then there's the question: To go back to work or not? Part-time or full-time? Who the hell is going to hire me?

That is a post in itself. Later this week, perhaps.

It doesn't help that winter is fast approaching. I see long days stuck in the house stretched out before me. If I were in a better mood I would try to wax poetic about red noses, woolen hats, and pulling sleds down snowy streets but honestly the thought of all that is making me nauseous.

I wish I had something profound to say so I could wrap this post up in a pretty package complete with red velvet bow, but I don't. I've got nothing. N-O-T-H-I-N-G. I'm also a bit afraid that if I continued with the psychotic toddler train of thought I'd start getting into that whole rage/fury thing and I'm not ready to go there yet. There's enough guilt in my life without releasing the demon that is my temper these days.

And the beast is starting to stir from her nap. Damn. Nap is over already?

How many hours until bedtime?


I'm not living with just two-legged dictators in this house, the four-legged ones exert their power too. Over at Dog Gone Blog - shwag for your canine intent on world domination. And, later today, pweshus puppy pictures.

Friday, October 13, 2006


This is what I'll do with all that dog hair!

Learning to knit is on my list of 40 things to do before 40, so why spend the money on expensive yarns when I can knit with the hair my dogs insist on leaving on every surface of my home? Seriously, why is dog hair any more icky than sheep's wool or alpaca fleece? My dogs are clean, they get bathed regularly. Probably more regularly than a llama. Just because it came from the same animal who repeatedly licks his nuts (or the place his testicles once were) day after day, does that make the fur any more unclean? It's not like I'd be repurposing his tongue. Or his balls for that matter.

Although, I'm sure there's a market for that, too. And I bet if you dry them, grind some up and put it in your coffee it will make you an animal in the sack.

What I want to know is this, if one gets good enough at knitting with dog fur to start hitting the craft show circuit does one have to divulge the nature of the material? Can't one let the unsuspecting buyer think it's angora when it's really Snowball the Samoyed? I suppose there would be a conflict if someone was allergic to dog. Or allergic to the idea of wearing an animal that eats his own poop.

Yeah. Maybe knitting with dog hair isn't such a great idea after all.

(Thanks Kristi for the heads up about this book!)


And speaking of dogs (Alert! Shameless promotion time.): Over at Dog Gone Blog - Important information if you're thinking of adopting a dog.

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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The silent enemy

It greets me at the door when I come home. It's with me still when I leave.

It follows me where ever I go.

If you come to my home it will follow you as well. You won't be able to shake it.

It's in the food my family consumes. In the liquid we drink to quench our thirsts.

It's in the air we breath. Underfoot, overhead, in every direction we turn it's all around us.

And just when I think that I have rid myself of it I turn to find it's still there.

There is no escaping it.

What is it?

Dog hair.

For the love of Pete, the freakin' dog hair. My Dyson Animal was empty when I started. Can you see how high the level of hair is in the canister? It's almost at maximum capacity. In case you think I'm a lousy housekeeper I did a thorough vacuuming the day before yesterday. Less than 48 hours and one brushing session since I vacuumed last and this was the amount of hair on my floor. Alright I am a lousy housekeeper but I vacuum pretty much every day, dammit. Now you know why.

The problem and the solution

Forget what I said before, I hate fall. The dogs are blowing their coats like crazy. When the hell is winter going to get here? At this rate these damn animals are going to be bald before the snow flies.

Hmm... Bald. I wonder what a lab would look like bald?

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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Depends company stock just went through the roof

There are times in a blogger's life when they, by happenstance or good fortune, stumble upon a particularly inspirational, life changing post by a fellow blogger that changes their outlook on the world forever.

This is not about one of those.

It is, however, about a very funny post by a very funny blogger, one Ruth Dynamite, who rocks my world with her wit and humor. Her post about excrement, or lack thereof, was so funny and, to use the word for a second time in one paragraph, witty that I just had to nominate her for a ROFL award.

Congratulations, Ruth, never has poop been so damn humorous!

ROFL buttonChristina and Izzy for coming up with another way in which bloggers can add more flare to their sidebars! You can see other ROFL award recipients on their sites.

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Monday, October 09, 2006

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.

No other season brings to mind images of small towns, white church steeples nestled among red sugar maple, hayrides and jumping in leaf piles quite like fall. Crispy leaves that crunch under foot while out walking on moonlit nights just cold enough to see your breath. Breath it in, fall has a smell all it's own: dried leaves mixed with just the right amount of wetness and a bite of frost. Wood smoke and ripe apples. Dried hay and cornstalks. Never has decomposition smelled so comforting than on an autumn evening in New England.

Autumn is a glorious time in this part of the country. It's our crowning glory. The pretty girl, a few months older and a bit more mature, casting aside her summer glow and gauzy dresses of sea blue for a crown of red and orange leaves set upon her golden hair. Her coat a field of brown and green festooned with the bounty of the late harvest, stitched up with corn silk and orange gourd buttons. She is a sight to behold and people come from far and wide to take in her beauty.

When I was pregnant one of the things I looked forward to the most was sharing these experiences with my daughter. I've always had a love/love/hate relationship with fall. I love the traditions, I love the weather, but I hate that the lazy days of summer are coming to an end opening the door for old man winter. I hoped that having a little person around to educate on the finer points of fall would help alleviate the melancholy I was always left with once September arrived. So far I have not been disappointed.

Every weekend there is another destination. Another farm, another orchard, another stand by the side of the road where people snatch up brightly colored mums to pay homage to the glory of this season by decorating their front porches with the roundly shaped plants. There are festivals and street fairs, where we gorge ourselves on fudge and food on sticks, perusing the wares of local artisans and merchants. I buy a blue tile with a relief of a Labrador patiently sitting with tongue out, a dog belonging to the potter's neighbor so I'm told. My husband puts it up on our kitchen wall.

Then there's the fields of orange pumpkins. Round, fat pumpkins that will join the mums in their place of honor on front stoops. Or soon to become grinning jack-o-lanterns, their innards used for pies and the seeds toasted for snacking. Adults bring their children to pose amongst the tangerine moons or set their new babies down on a pile of the oddly shaped orbs, to take a picture of a sleeping pumpkin in the patch. My daughter finds a pumpkin that is just the right size and proudly carries it as long as her small arms will let her. She tries to pick up a much larger one, questioning the strange heft and covering herself in dry soil. Unable to lift the fruit that is as large as she is she happily toddles off in search of others to conquer.

The trees are full of ripe, red apples that we pick from the branches. Willing limbs that relinquish it's offspring because they have started to weigh the branch down. The tree knows when its time to let go. We eat enough apples to keep a million doctors away. Straight off the tree, rubbed on a pant leg to uncover a perfect shine. Baked in pies and crisps and covered with vanilla ice cream. Pressed into cider, sipped both cold and hot with mulling spices that fill the house with fragrance. The first taste of a caramel apple, the warm goo dripping onto our hands and covering our faces from chin to nose. And when our faces are wet with juice and sticky with sugar we share sweet, sweet kisses.

Pick a road, any road, and take a long, meandering drive at just the right time of season and you'll be rewarded with vibrant hues of orange and yellow that envelope the highways. The sky is no longer the outrageous azure as it was during the summer but instead a lighter aquamarine, as if acquiescing to the riot of flaming crimson. Why compete when you can compliment? I love our long drives in the fall when our only destination is another orchard almost an hour away that sells the most amazing apple cider doughnuts. We eat two each right out of the fryer, the crispy, sugary outer layer and soft interior making the greasy hands well worth it. Our little girl sitting in the pack on her father's back waits patiently with mouth wide open for her bite. We have to stop ourselves from buying too many and making ourselves look like gluttons, but apple cider doughnuts come but once a year. We buy more and enjoy them with our morning coffee, the ones that make it home that is.

No, I have not been disappointed with Autumn this year. It's hard to feel melancholy when sitting on the lawn of our favorite orchard and winery, sipping the cool liquid made from local fruit, watching my daughter maneuver the small hillside down to the steps of the public gazebo. She turns to see me but she can't since the sun is at my back. But I can see her. The light and the warm breeze playing with her hair. She holds onto her father's hand until she feels comfortable enough with her footing to let go. The apple of my eye. Sweeter than all the fruit in the orchard. She takes her father's hand again, not entirely ready to let go. His arm is strong and not worn down by her weight at all. We're not ready to let go, she's not ready let go. We'll have plenty more Autumns to celebrate together.

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Friday, October 06, 2006


... a Link-a dee, a Link-a doo.

No, I'm not losing my mind. Yet. Chicky Baby seems to be coming out of the haze of teething pain, but not before she had four full-blown tantrums in a one hour period yesterday. The first one started when I tried to pick her up because playgroup was over and we had overstayed our welcome. The last was in a parking lot as we were making our way to the car after deciding that the middle two tantrums were enough to call our park visit over. That one was a doozey. Limbs flailing, falling down onto the pavement, food and drink flying everywhere, screaming, crying... And Chicky Baby was worse. Oy.

I wanted to write something about this racket we call 'Fall in New England', and I will on Monday, but until I get back that important piece of my sanity stripped of me by pweshus wittle baby teefs I'll instead share with you some linky fun.

A-link-a-doo, a-link-a-dee

- Have you heard about those Daily Photo Projects circulating around YouTube? It's when someone takes a picture of themselves everyday for an extended period of time and then edits the pictures together, with accompanying music, to show how they changed. I personally could never commit to such a project because I have such a short attent... Ooh, shiny!
(psst, this one is a good one)

- Before Chicky (B.C.) Mr. C and I loved to travel. I'd spend hours surfing websites devoted to whatever destination we were headed to try to find out as much as I could about the place so I would be an informed traveler upon arriving. We don't travel as much now, but I can live vicariously through Destination 360. Wanna feel like you're in the Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza (or, as I like to call it, Chicken Pizza)? You can virtually be there with Destination 360's 360 degree viewer. I think this afternoon I'll spend some time in St. Martin. Or...

- ... I could spend some time trying to make a love connection with my Dead Celebrity Soulmate. The good (and obviously twisted) people at the Biography channel came up with a way to help you hook up with just the right Dead Celebrity for you. Later today Edgar Allen Poe and I are going to meet at a cemetery to do some graverubbings.

- Have you ever wondered how to get your kid to give up the pacifier? Over at Dog Gone Blog (I'm shameless, I know) a mom had a great and effective way to get her youngest son to let go of his 'noonie'.

I think before I head over to St. Martin I'll take a little jaunt to Italy. Have a great weekend. Ciao!

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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Waving the white flag

Stick a fork in me, I'm done.

Chicky Baby had an awful day today. She refused to nap, decided to wage a physical war on the dogs (taking a page from Shanna Moakler's book of bar etiquette, perhaps?) and was just a huge crank all day. Cranky Pants, that's her new name. Pussface Pissypants was the other choice. I can do little more than huddle in a corner in the fetal position, whimpering, and clutching a glass of riesling (from a local winery, no less. It's quite nice).

Maybe it's all the teeth she's getting all at once. Six teeth! Six, people! Six motherslappinwhilenotnappin teeth! Four molars and two incisors. I think I'll add a shot of gin to that bottle of wine I'm going to finish tonight. I hope it's not an ear infection brewing. I noticed that her ear was a little red while putting her to bed tonight. I sincerely hope it's red because I dug my finger in there to clear the canal of all that wax we always miss during bathtime.

Maybe I'll save that gin for tomorrow. I'm sure I'll need some extra liquid fortitude if she's as cranky as she was today.

So what I'm trying to say is... I've got nothing fun to post about. Unless you want to talk about teething tablets and Tylenol (or maybe share some of your pain numbing secrets? Hmmm?) you should go over to Dog Gone Blog and check out some ways you can show your support during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Anniversaries, awards, and existentialism

Some of you thought it would be a good idea to make me this week's CHBM Mother of the Week. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I feel a bit like the Grinch at the end of 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas' - not the hideous movie with that Jim Carrey guy, but the television show that I still watch every year at Christmas time 'cause I'm really six years old and I refuse to grow up and you can't make me, so there - when his heart grows and grows because he's all wrapped up in the spirit of the holidays and the Whooville-ians.

Or maybe he was happy of the prospect of baking that insipid Cindy Lou Who in a Christmas pie.

Where was I? Oh, yeah. My heart was growing with love and thanks.

I found the quote that the Pajama Mama used in the sidebar a bit funny since she must have had to have dug deep for that one. But I'm glad she used it because as I was going through my archives the other day to find something to write about - being as October is my one year blog-iversary. Technically it's October 12 but if I waited until then to write about it I'd forget and the day would go by without acknowledgement and we wouldn't want that to happen - I stopped and reread that one happily. Those first few months (okay, first 6 months. 8? Fine 12 months) were dark days in the ol' writing department and that was one of my few shining moments. So I think I'll re-post it.

Okay, in my mind it was a shining moment. If you think it's shite, well, you are certainly welcome to your opinion but do me a favor and save it. 'Kay? This is not, after all, a democracy, it's a blog-ocracy. One ruler (that would be me for those of you playing at home), under blog, indivisible ('cause there's only one of me and it's hard to divide one person. Hard and messy.), with Chicky and Cookies for me.

So, again, thanks to those of you that voted for me, thought about voting for me but then got sidetracked by an episode of the Oprah show, or at least didn't send emails to the CHBM site with jpegs of my likeness burning in effigy.

So here's that post.

A Moment of Clarity

There are moments in our young children's lives when one look from them speaks volumes of clarity, enlightenment, and knowledge. These are the times when you know deep down in your soul that this little person is much more than a baby who has spent a mere few hundred days in this world, that they, in fact, have been here before - again and again. Its a look that says that they know the meaning of life, whether God is a man or a woman, what the Dali Lama's middle name is, and how the last season of 'The Sopranos' is going to end.

Its times like these when I meet my daughter's strong gaze that I think to myself...

"Damn. She knows I'm full of shit."

I know something you don't know. Bwahhahahahaha!


Serious stuff over at Dog Gone Blog. Do you know what to do if your dog were to get into a fight with another dog?

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Sunday, October 01, 2006

Shock and aawwwwww

It pains me to do this but you said you wanted to see pictures of what Mr. C did to Chicky's hair.

First I'll show you the pictures that my husband shocked me with - under the premise that he was doing me a favor by not making me wait until morning to see what he had done - soon after walking in the door.

I really don't want to do this. Are you sure you want to see them? They're pretty bad.

You might want to put your hands over your eyes.

Ohhhh-kay, here it goes....


What the...?



If you're still here after witnessing the heinous act of hair mutilation that my husband inflicted on his daughter - my sweet, beautiful child who is more gorgeous than all others. The child whose sheer beauty I am not ashamed or embarrassed to profess my awe for, nor am I ashamed or embarrassed to base whole posts on the exploitation of that beauty, especially when I am fresh out of witty blog repartee - then I have another picture that I am begrudgingly going to add.

It hurts me to do this because it is evidence that the haircut was not as bad as it first seemed and I am worried that Mr. C will wipe those other pictures out of his mind (or, at least off of his hard drive) and get the inkling once again to take shears to precious golden locks when I am otherwise unavailable to protest.

I guess the haircut didn't turn out too badly, Mom. Now we don't have to fuss with those cute hairclips you just bought me.

Sure, it looks like she's finding the whole thing funny but inside she's crying.

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