Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I think the fish may be on to something

If you've been blogging for any length of time and are experiencing a bit of writer's fatigue, I highly recommend taking an unscheduled vacation from your blog. Sure, it may have lasted longer than I had told myself it would, like, oh, a week longer, but it was fantastic. Even slightly restful.

I'd be lying if I said that it was just blog burnout, however. The ice storm sorta screwed me up. Then there was Christmas and all that entailed (please don't get me started, let's just hold hands and praise Jesus that the holidays are over). And during the month of December C.C., in all her squishable glory, thought that fucking with my mind would be the perfect gift for the mom who has everything so she sprouted two teeth and chewed the pink right off my nipples. And she sits unassisted. And she pulls herself up into a standing position. Then, the coup de grace - two days before Christmas she decided that rolling under couches was just not extreme enough so she learned how to crawl. Then she learned to crawl fast. I think my head just exploded. Sorry about the mess.

Also, we're fish-sitting. You know what a pain in the ass fish can be. Demanding food, drinking all the booze, swimming in their own waste.

That's not water he's swimming in. That's gin. He already ate the olive.

Oh, and Chicky turned into Satan. That's been fun.

But let's not look back with resentment and disgust through the bottom of an empty wine glass. It's almost a new year! Let's look back on the happy times, such as they were, with this really contrived "2008 in Review" post.

Oh yes, let's.

- We kicked off 2008 looking for a new house. We even put a down payment on a piece of land and then promptly decided that new construction sucks donkey balls. We finally settled on one. Now we just need to work on our timing.

- There were some good parts to my recent pregnancy. Then the ninth month came along. I still can't find where my husband hid the knives.

- The pregnancy hormones didn't just me homicidal, they also made me reflective and a little weepy. But I had some really good reasons. Some really, really good reasons.

- You helped name my baby. That was pretty cool.

- Finally, C.C. made her grand entrance and all was right with the world.

- Okay, not really.

- Wow, it got bad there for awhile. Really bad.

- 2008 was the year some bitch well-intentioned lady made me consider Botox. I still hate her.

- This was the year I opened up about my secret blogging to my friends. I'm still trying to decide if I'm comfortable with that decision.

- My dog got sick. That was scary, 'cause I loves my dog.

- Speaking of dogs, I got all Alpha Bitchy and self righteous on your ass about those of the canine persuasion. For good reason, of course.

- Chicky turned three. She learned to love the Ramones. She barely escaped death at the hands of her mother. Seriously. Barely. But then we have a tender moment and it's as if the clock has been reset. She should consider herself lucky.

- But most importantly, nobody died.

So there you have it - 2008, Chicky style. I'm hoping 2009 brings me my mind back (More on that tomorrow. Or maybe the next day because of the whole lost mind thing.) but I'm really hoping you and yours have a healthy and happy New Year.

Now go drink some champagne or something. I need to wrestle mine away from the damn fish.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Read this before getting that Christmas puppy.

What could be more quintessentially Christmas-y than giving little Billy and Sally an adorable fluffy puppy on Christmas morning? It's a Hallmark moment waiting to happen. The excitement on their little faces when you hand over a box (with holes punched into it, of course, because no holes would really result in a gift that kept on giving... In therapy bills.) and out pops the sweetest little puppy face and two Frito-scented puppy paws that rest on the edge of the box. The image is almost Rockwellian, to the point where the cuteness quotient kicks your gag reflex into overtime.

The children, now so overjoyed with the Best. Christmas. Present. EVER throw themselves into your arms, declaring you the best parent a kid could ever have and then immediately set about procuring water, kibble and special treats for the puppy. They banter good naturedly about what to name their new friend. They spend hours rolling a ball through the house for the pup to retrieve (because he is a natural retriever, isn't he? Even if he's an 8 week old Yorkie who is smaller than your average tennis ball.), and take turns stroking his soft fur until all three of them, Billy, Sally, and little Elmo (Hey, don't look at me. You let the kids name him.), fall fast asleep in front of the Christmas tree.

It's such a special image. It's enough to make you throw up in your mouth a little, isn't it?

Now let me tell you what will probably happen if you buy your kids a puppy for Christmas.

First, no reputable and ethical breeder in their right mind would sell you a Christmas puppy. Ditto for reputable and ethical shelters. As a friend who used to work in an animal shelter told me when we were discussing animals as presents, the shelter she worked for had this rule:

"No black cats adopted near halloween, no puppies near Christmas, no rabbits near Easter".

The people who breed and/or care for dogs know what a bad idea puppies as presents are, so where would you get a dog that close to a holiday? A pet store. And where do pet stores get their animals? Puppy mills. So not only would you be supporting these establishments and their inhumane ways, but that pup you brought home probably has Kennel Cough or some intestinal parasite. So that box you put little Rover into before giving him to your kids? You might want to check it before taking the puppy out because he probably left you a gift in there. A nice, runny, smelly one. Hope you get some cash for Christmas because you'll need it for the veteranarian bills.

But let's keep the fairy tale alive, shall we? Let's say the puppy is the picture of health. Were you planning on staying home for Christmas or were you planning on running off to Grandma's house? I hope you're staying home because something tells me Granny is going to be none too happy to have a pup peeing on her berber carpets or chewing on her credenza. Oh, you think you're going to leave little Louie the Lab in a crate all day? Sorry, puppies need to be put on a strict eating/drinking/potty break schedule and should not spend any more than four hours in a crate at a time. And for a puppy so young, four hours is really pushing it. Try every two hours. And something tells me Grandma doesn't live next door. I'm sure you'd much rather be enjoying the Christmas festivities from inside a warm house versus outside in the cold looking through the windows while you beg the puppy to hurry up and poop already.

And I mentioned the vet bills if you get a puppy from a pet store but I didn't mention the other vet bills you'll be paying for when Willie the Weimeraner swallows his fourth gift bow complete with six feet of ribbon. That'll be fun to extract. You weren't planning on the kids going to college anyway.

Puppies are cute, puppies are fun, but puppies can also be gigantic pains in the ass when all they want to do is jump on Great Aunt Edna and gnaw on every ankle that walks by. As another blogger said to me, "
Christmas puppies are like spur of the moment Vegas weddings. Seems like a great idea at the time, but works out for very few." When the kids realize just how much work is involved in raising this dog they'll be whining about how they also begged you for a Wii but didn't find one of those under the tree. The blush will be off the rose by lunchtime. I hope you like dogs, because that dog is your responsibility. Don't come to me when your kids refuse to take the dog out for a walk. They're kids, you're the adult. You're in charge, they're not. Puppies need training, feeding, watering, grooming and exercise. Daily. You can't expect a seven year old to be responsible enough to care for a dog when the last five goldfish and two hamsters were sent to live on a farm. And is that a puddle of urine over there? Merry Christmas!

Getting a dog is a serious decision that everyone in the family should have a say in. Careful research should be done to find just the right breed or rescue dog to fit your family. Take your time, talk it over and when you do find your forever pet it will be that much more enjoyable. Believe me when I say that your Christmas will be just as special if you give your kids Guitar Hero. And you won't have to worry about a puppy swallowing the new earrings you got from Santa.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The ice storm cometh and there my brain goeth

Do you know what you DON'T want to happen less than two weeks before Christmas? A huge ass ice storm that knocks out power to the entire region. And what you really don't want to happen after that? Being one house out of thousands that still doesn't have power 3 days later.

Just a quick aside: Why don't we ever lose power like this here in the North Country in the middle of July when the sun stays out until 9pm? Why is it always in the dead of winter when it's cold and dark? What department do I have to take this complaint to? The department of "We're Totally Screwing with Your Head"?

Anyway. It could be worse. At least Mr. C's parents live close by. In our old house. The one we sold to them three months ago so we could move to our dream house.

I'm just going to let that last sentence hang out there for awhile and let it sink in. I'm still trying to decide if it's ironic or just a mind fuck. I'm going for the later.

So we're staying with them until we get our power back. In their house. The one that used to be our house. In the room that was C.C.'s room, if she had, in fact, spent even a night in that room. Which she didn't because she slept with us. In our old room. The one that is now my inlaw's bedroom. Only now, due to the storm, she is sleeping in her old room. With us. Together. And I have to stop myself from traipsing into my inlaw's bedroom, the one that used to be my bedroom, and do you hear that sound? That's the sound of my brain trying to escape my skull by force.

But like I said, it could be worse. All of my relatives who live further north are completely without power and have no where to go since all the surrounding towns are also without power. Some people I know of could only recently leave their own driveways as they were blocked in by huge felled tree branches. My dad, his fiance and my Nana, who could leave at any time because luckily all the large branches missed their house, driveway and cars, are living in their tiny house with no hot water and only a fireplace to keep them warm.

How are they doing? Oh, fine. They're fine. Just fine. Just ask them. But will they go someplace else to stay for awhile until the power comes back on? Nooo. They're fine.

Pardon me while I bang my head against this wall.

I'm too tired to whine (any more than I already have) about how I want to go home to my bed, my TV, and my dogs and cat (who are, actually, just fine and enjoying seeing us many times a day while we run back and forth to check that the wood stove is still burning and keeping the house relatively warm to keep the damn water pipes from freezing) I'll leave you with this little nugget:

When the power goes out at 4am with a large crash and something that looks like a huge bolt of lightning, one can get pretty creeped out. Especially when one's husband is 3000 miles away and one is solely responsible for the well being of the wee, helpless beings in the house. Not that having one's husband there would have stopped a giant, icy tree branch from falling on one's house but he might have been able to convince me, I mean ONE, that no, there wasn't in fact a boogey man waiting outside the house to eat us. I mean one. I mean... Oh, forget it.

Because when the power goes out at 4am during a storm, it's really dark and scary. And curling into a fetal position while sucking one's thumb doesn't help convince one that said boogey man isn't waiting to rip one's head from one's body as much as one might think. Yes, one is a bit of a pansy ass, isn't one?

Oh, also when driving down my street yesterday I told off the tree that is resting on the power line thus cutting off electricity to everyone from that point onward. I may have told it to go fuck itself. The tree in turn may have flipped me off.

But I can't be sure because I was too busy looking for signs of the boogey man.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The third annual "I can't believe we don't pay someone else to do this" holiday card extravaganza

It's Holiday card time here at Chicky Chicky Baby.

(Heavy emphasis on "Holiday" because I don't want my Jewish friends throwing their latkes at me. Unless my mouth is open. I loves me some latkes.)

That means the photo session from hell. Hurrah!

This year there was the extra added joy of trying to wrangle a constantly rolling baby and positioning her close enough to her sister to get them both in the picture but not so close so that one of them suffocated the other. And by that last bit, I meant keeping Chicky from physicall abusing C.C. We weren't 100% succesful but, hey! Everyone is still alive! It's a freaking Christmas miracle! God bless us everyone.

If you don't know the history of our holiday card tradition you can go here, here and here. The short story is, I'm cheap. Also, I hate having some mall photographer who is making 10 bucks an hour wave a feather duster at my kid's face while making noises similar to those of a choking cat all in the name of getting my child to smile at the camera. I can do that for free.

Besides, the pictures my husband and I take are way better.

I had envisioned taking a family portrait outside the new house but that didn't happen. It was cold and when it's cold my nose gets all red and by God if my nose is all red in a picture it had better be because I have some gin in me. So we decided to throw a white sheet down on the ground, lay the girls on it and have Mr. C take the pictures while I acted like a doofus behind him.

It seemed good in theory.

Chicky was so into it this year. Can't you tell? Or maybe it was the mickey I slipped her ten minutes before we started.

Here, Chicky impersonates that Christmas favorite - Big Mouth Billy Bass, singing "If I Pretend To Like My Sister Will You Buy Me a Pony?"


Chicky: "If they think I'm asleep, maybe they'll just go away and take their camera with them."
C.C.: "What is that crazy broad doing back there? Dude, wake up. Our mom's finally lost it."

However, my husband, my wonderful, precious, darling husband whom I love more than all others except for our wonderful, precious, darling offspring is a total stressbag when it comes to taking his kids' picture. Or anything that involves both his kids, now that I think about it. About five minutes into our photo session he was stammering and sweating and frankly some words were starting to come out of his mouth that even I was impressed with, so to save some money on future therapy bills I took over. Thirty seconds later I had this year's card.

It's just this side of cheesy to me - I mean, we're in danger of putting Olan Mills out of business - but it's done.

Hallelujah and pass the gin.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

On the bright side, my dry cleaner is thinking of making me part of the family

Warning: The following is a full blown MommyBlogger-type post. Proceed at your own risk.

C.C. has been a joy lately.

She's an extremely happy baby. When we take her out in public we can pass her from person to person and barely hear a peep out of her, even if she's missed her nap. Put her on the floor to practice her crawling...

(She's this close to crawling, which means I'll have to kiss the ass groove in my couch goodbye soon but since I've been told that hog-tying a baby is illegal in most states, what can I do?)

(Where was I?)

...and she'll play with her toys for long chunks of time. Sometimes I forget she's there. She's an efficient nurser (which is a good thing since she still refuses to take a damn bottle) and a lusty eater of solids. And her sleep... Well, we don't talk about sleep unless there's bitching involved and I think by my lack of bitching about sleep lately you can deduce how things are going.

Mmm, sleep.

Anyway, like I said - C.C. is a joy.


You knew there had to be an except.

Except for her crazy projectile vomiting.

The spitting up and the chunks and the smell of baby vomit that clings to the both of us constantly... It's enough to drive me to drink if I wasn't there already.

Her poor tummy is messed up. She wears a bib every single day and I change her into a new one at least three times a day because she's covered the things in nastiness as soon as I put a new one on. It doesn't matter if she ate five minutes before or two hours before, there is no rhyme or reason. Sometimes she gets sick if she gets excited, like Stan on South Park. Sometimes I find her in her crib after her nap happily playing with her spit up on her crib sheet. And the worst one - she pukes up on herself right after her bath. Nothing upsets me more than bathing her and then having her sweet, freshly washed baby smell obliterated by the smell of upchuck.

Except maybe getting covered with sick in the middle of Barnes and Noble. That really sucks. Too bad I couldn't aim her at certain parents and use her as a weapon.

Months ago, her pediatrician had given us a prescription for Prilosec. It helped a little but getting her to take it was a full blown battle of will and strength and that baby of mine? She is as willful as she is strong. I can understand not wanting to have some nasty goo squirted down my throat (Watch yourself, I'm talking about my baby daughter here so keep your nasty thoughts to yourself.) so I tried the medicine myself, just to see how gross it really was.

Sweet baby Jesus. That stuff was like drinking motor oil with a yak spit chaser. But worse.

So I stopped giving the medicine to her. At the time it didn't seem to make that much of a difference anyway.

I had just recently started giving her Mylicon drops (and no, we don't have the Mylicon Drops that were recalled) and that helped for a couple of days. But now? Not so much. Maybe I'm not giving her enough? I don't know. I get a little freaked out when I'm giving my baby medicine for an icky stomach and alternately giving her fairly large doses of teething tablets and liquid pain reliever for her teeth. It seems like a bit much for a child so small.

The sickness doesn't seem to bother her too much. She is a champion back-archer, but I don't think that necessarily happens because she's uncomfortable.

Who am I kidding? I have no idea if it's because of discomfort. I just have no idea.


I'm tired of smelling like vomit. I'm tired of spending a fortune on dry cleaning (she has great aim and an uncanny way of knowing if I'm wearing wool or a regular washable fabric). I'm tired of my delicious baby smelling like a frat house after a weekend kegger. But mostly I'm afraid she's in pain and I'm not seeing the signs.

Okay, and the smell. The smell is pretty bad.

*double sigh*

Friday, December 05, 2008

November ROFL Awards

Boy howdy, do I need funny right now. And would you looky here? Today is ROFL day!

What a coincidence.

My nomination for this month came out of the whole Motrin fiasco. A ray of sparkly light shining brightly from out of the shit storm on the wings of fairies carrying red velvet cupcakes frosted with ground unicorn horns.

I'm awarding Motherhood Uncensored and Imperfect Parent for their video spoof of the Motrin Mom commercial.


Oh my stars, I nearly laughed my (very real and very leaky) boobs off.

Congratulations to this month's nominees!

Magpie Musing awarded beanpaste

Can't Remember Diddly! and Mom-O-Matic awarded Deb On The Rocks

Keeping Up With The Nelsons awarded Minnesota Mama

Oh, The Joys awarded Mom-O-Matic

Blonde Mom Blog awarded Queen of the Shake Shake

Mama Milton awarded Bee Repartee

Sugarplum's Mom awarded Oh, The Joys

Wendy Aarons awarded Bern This

Logical Kid awarded himself!

Psychic Geek awarded The Art of Over Thinking

Issa awarded Motherhood Uncensored

Cool Zebras awarded Undomestic Diva


Want to know the rules for the ROFLs? GO HERE.

No, really. Go there. There are rules, people. RULES. But they're not hard to follow or anything. Promise. If I can follow them, anyone can.

*mutters something about rules, hikes pants up around armpits like 9th grade English teacher, and shuffles away to sit on a park bench and feed pigeons*

Thursday, December 04, 2008

My faith in humanity has been restored. No, really.

This year I really wanted an Advent calendar so Chicky and I could count down the days to Christmas together. And so the two of us would have an excuse to get a piece of chocolate every day for 25 days all in the name of the holidays.

I searched online for the perfect Advent calendar; a calendar I would want to keep for awhile and something the kids would be excited about taking out year after year. And I searched. And searched. Some of the ones I found were really... Jesus-y. They looked like my Catholic upbringing had thrown up all over them. You could practically see the guilt. Seriously. They stressed me out.

Others were too childish. I know the calendar is supposed to be for the kids but it has to live in my house, so Disney Advent Calendars were not even considered. That goes double for anything with a princess on it. I don't know about you, but a Princess Advent calendar just doesn't scream Christmas to me. It screams "You're the mother to two girls! HAHAHAHAHAHA!!", but it doesn't scream Christmas.

So I did what most people do these days when faced with a challenge - I bitched about it on Twitter.

The response I got was overwhelming. Within minutes I had all sorts of suggestions from the people who live in my computer. I love Twitter. Twitter completes me. So do the people who live in my computer. And the voices in my head. They're pretty cool too.

Then a certain lovely lady suggested I make one. Um, make? I'm sorry, that does not compute. Like with my hands? And glue? Did she not see what happens when I attempt to get crafty? I couldn't craft my way out of a paper bag with a hot glue gun and pinking shears with Martha Stewart personally giving me directions.

So she offered to make one for me. It just came today:

Pretty sure I Squee'd when I opened it. And I don't Squee. Unless I'm drinking, but since it arrived this morning I was still relatively sober when I opened it.

I gave her dog training advice, she gave me a handmade advent calendar. I think I got the better end of the deal.

Thanks, PGoodness! You've convinced me that not all people suck. Most do, but not all and certainly not you.

(And Happy Birthday, girlfriend. You don't look a day over 25.)

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Nudge nudge

Today is the last day for nominating a post for a November ROFL!

(My how time flies. It seems like just yesterday we were spraying coffee through our noses and onto our keyboards because of the October nominees. Memories.)

Pick a post that made you... well... ROFL.


Then send the link to that post, as well as a link to your blog, to me:

Chicky Chicky Baby [at] Hotmail [dot] com

or Oh, the Joys

Oh The Joys [at] Gmail [dot] com

(Or, as I like to call us, the Head Betches in Charge of Da Funny Round These Here Parts)

On Friday we will post the winners and all will rejoice in the funniness.



You want some rules? I've got yer rules right here.

(Clicky the linky to learn the skinny on the ROFLs-y. Um, yeah.)

Monday, December 01, 2008

Free to... have bad taste in music? I don't think so.

You can sum up the difference between my husband's upbringing and mine with one simple truth: His parents bought him "Free to be You and Me" when he was a kid and mine didn't.

I didn't even know there was such a thing as that album until I was in my 20's. True story.

Where his parents fostered individuality and free thinking, mine were of the mindset that things were done their way and we, my sister and I, had to deal with it. So while my husband was learning that "It's Alright to Cry", as so many other kids in our generation were, I was learning the words to Frank Zappa songs. Slightly inappropriate? You betcha. But at least I knew to avoid the yellow snow.

Not that my parents didn't supply us with some proper kids music. I had the standard issue plastic Mickey Mouse record player, with Mickey's finger as the needle, and an album or two of Disney favorites and compilations of oldies but goodies like "John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt" and "On Top of Spaghetti". But I also had the album from "Grease" the movie. Because, apparently, my parents saw no problem in a 7 year old belting out such lyrics as,

"Look at me, I'm Sandra Dee
Lousy with VIRGINITY."

And my personal favorite,

"You know that ain't no shit,
We'll be getting lots of tit,
in Grease Lightning"

By the grace of some higher power, I grew up fairly well-adjusted and in need of only the most basic of psychiatric care.

(Electro-shock therapy counts as "basic", right?)

But even though my musical taste is far, FAR, better than my husband's, I still feel as if there was some important part missing from my childhood. Which is why I recently bought "Free to Be" for Chicky and C.C on iTunes.

Well that, and I downloaded "Hot Potato" the other day - a song Chicky had never heard the original of before, instead she knew our bastardized version that we made up years ago to get her into the bath tub that went something like,

"Naked baby, naked baby,
Naked tushy, naked tushy,
Naked baby, naked baby,
Has a naked,
A naked, naked, tushy."

- and she looked totally perplexed to hear these unfamiliar men singing about "Mashed Bah-nah-nah's" instead of naked baby booties.

Personally, I think it's important for kids to listen to age-appropriate music at least some of the time. There's crucial life lessons to be learned in those songs. Lessons I just don't have the energy to teach myself.

Yeah, yeah. Share with your friends. Hug a tree. Don't beat up your sister. Now run along while mommy watches "The Real Housewives of Atlanta".

However, if I can take away anything from my fucked up childhood, it is that children can learn to appreciate all sorts of music at a young age. I'm amazed, no, dumbfounded by all the parents I have spoken to who have told me they only listen to children's music in the car when their kids are with them.

"Little Johnny refuses to listen to anything but The Wiggles or Barney albums when we're out together. He doesn't let me listen to anything else."

Really? Does little Johnny have a pop gun held to your head? I have a little doughnut addict but I don't allow her to shove munchkins down her gullet every time we drive by a Dunkin Donuts. Personally, I'd rather drive myself and my rug rats off the nearest bridge than listen to Laurie Berkner on constant play. Be a parent, put your foot down. You don't know joy until you've heard a three year old sing, "Nah nah nah nah nah nah nah, I'm gonna start a fight!" from the backseat.

We went through a phase where Chicky wanted nothing more than to listen to Raffi morning, noon and night. It didn't take very long to break her of that habit. Now I allow one children's CD (one that doesn't make my ears bleed) in my car at any time and she gets to listen to it once all the way through. After that, we listen to music that I pick. On longer trips I will bring my iPod and I take requests from everyone in the car. I'll let her listen to any of the many children's songs I've downloaded as long as we can listen to some music every one will equally enjoy.

There's got to be a happy medium. I want my kids to be kids but I also want to teach them there is more to life than "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" before I lose them to their generation's version of the Jonas Brothers. Because then, not only will my ears bleed but I think my head might spontaneously explode too.

Now, lest you think I'm just concerned with being the "cool mom", you can put those thoughts to rest right now. Coolness has nothing to do with it. Music that makes my teeth itch. That has everything to do with it.

I'm working on another kid-friendly playlist that will include music specifically marketed to kids as well as popular music that kids will enjoy and I hope to post it before the holidays. If you want to help out leave your favorite music in the comments and I'll sift through them and add my own to come up with a new list. Those who dare add anything from Barney will be publicly ridiculed. Possibly tarred and feathered too.