Friday, December 29, 2006

It's HERE!

What's here? OMYGAWD! My new computer, that's what's here.


(ouch, I never squeal, that hurt.)

Yeah, I decided on another PC instead of a Mac. I'm an old dawg and I don't like learning new tricks. I have a great time teaching others to roll over and play dead - but having to deal with the 'close' and 'maximize' buttons on the left instead of the right? Fuhgedaboudit. Not for all the hot dogs and peanut butter cookies in the world.

Besides, this one was cheaper than a Mac and I'm cheap frugal.

But isn't it lovely?

Don't you just want to lick it? Go ahead. Visualize yourself running your tongue along its nice, shiny new screen. Ahmmmmmmm.

Stop looking at my lack of a manicure. I just bought a computer, I can't afford a manicure.

I haven't even booted it up yet, I've just been sitting here caressing it.

When the UPS guy showed up at my door with box in hand I was so excited I nearly humped his leg to show my appreciation. But I could clearly see from the expression on his face that that type of behavior would be frowned upon.

Spoil sport. His loss.

This computer could not have come at a better time because two nights ago while, ahem, "borrowing" some music from one of Mr. C's co-workers for my iPod (Don't steal music, kids, because that is wrong: another Public Service Announcement from your friends at Chicky Chicky Baby and "Weird Al" Yankovic), I ran out of hard drive space. No shit, I ran out of space on my computer. That should tell you how chintzy my old Inspiron is. This new one blows the old one out of the water. I won't get into them, but this new Dell has all the bells and whistles that your everyday bored SAHM, with a fetish for cheesy 80s music and gigs of photos of her precious child, would want in a computer.

Sure, I had to sell a lung (guess I shouldn't take up smoking now, eh?) and Chicky will be wearing garbage bags to school one day, but this is one luxury that Mama just can't live without. Which got me thinking. What other luxuries can a skinflint frugal gal like myself no longer live without?


First - My black Coach tote, or as I like to call it, my funeral bag. This bag is perfect for when you need to carry a sippy cup or two, some diapers, a few bags of snacks and a couple of toys but still look fashionable. But in a respectful, I'm-in-mourning-but-don't-I-look-fabulous way.

Second - This year's Christmas present, Frye boots. I call them my shit kickers, however, if anything nasty gets on these bad boys I will plug up the offender's pooper with the tip of the right one. I could ride a horse in these suckers but since that won't be happening anytime soon I'll just have to pretend. Yeehaw!

Third - My Dyson Animal. Is it a luxury if it's necessary?

Fourth - Books! Glorious Books! I promise you, my pretties, that I will not forsake you for the new computer. Much.

(Jenny said on her blog not that long ago that she could tell all that she needed to know about a person by their books and their refrigerator. I don't think you need to be a psychoanalyst to figure out who I am.)

Fifth - Elmo's World DVD's. Worth their weight in gold because they help me maintain my sanity.

Sixth - My dogs. You'd choke on your tongue if you knew how much money I've spent on those freakin' animals. It started when we purchased Fisher as a puppy and it's gone downhill from there. But tell me you could have resisted this face:

Gotta love me. Now hand over the credit card, Ma.

And last but not least - Mommy Juice.

'Nuff said.

Since this will be my last post before the new year I will raise my glass of Shiraz to you - hell, I'll raise the whole bottle - and toast to a very Happy New Year for you, my virtual friends and your families. May your cupboards be stocked, your glass always full, your children well behaved and gorgeous, your closets bursting with sexy footwear and your bounties plentiful.


Wednesday, December 27, 2006

I'll just knock out a wall or two

Can you hear that? Why, it sounds like sighing. It is! It's the sound of parents everywhere expressing their relief that this holiday season is over.

Thank you, Jaysus.

No more freaking shopping, wrapping, hiding, ripping, throwing, and rejection of toys for the boxes they came in for another year. Or until their children's birthdays. But we won't think about that right now. No, for now we will look over the mountains of toys and clothes boxes and stand in horrified solidarity while thinking...

Where the hell am I going to put all this crap?

Yes, where indeed.

Mr. C and I joked that we would need to add another room to our home to house the excess of gifts that Chicky received on Christmas. Unfortunately, neither one of us was laughing.

The holiday started innocently enough with a quiet Christmas Eve spent with my in-laws. We cooked them dinner...

(oh, please remind me that if I ever utter the words "We should use the good china because it's a special occasion" to knock some sense into myself with a gravy boat. That stuff has to be hand washed. Guess what hasn't been done yet? I'm waiting on one more Christmas miracle. It could happen.)

... and then exchanged a few gifts. Her grandparents bought Chicky a toy school bus, that sends her into fits of convulsive terror when it's turned on, and some clothes. Their not ones for excessive gift giving so the evening was very low key and manageable.

Then we went to see my family on Christmas Day and manageable became chaotic quicker than you could say "Ho, ho, whoa! Slow down there."

At one grandmother's house (my mom's mom) there were a minimum of 30 people, all having 30 different conversations, and many gifts for the first great grandchild/grand niece born in over 10 years (not including the children of my older cousins - the Jehovah's Witnesses - which we don't count because we never see them anyway. Hey, don't blame me. They chose religion over family. I can not be held accountable for not knowing their kids' names.).

Then it was back in the car to my Nana's house. I took one step in the front door and noticed that Santa's toy bag had exploded all over her living room. I have no photographic evidence of the mound of toys my father and his girlfriend (yes, those people) lovingly acquired for Chicky, for a few reasons. One, we took video and we're hoping that will suffice in lieu of photos in years to come. This happened mainly because it was the end of a long day and in the frenzy of bows and paper ripping we forgot to take out the digital camera. And also because we didn't have a wide-angle lens to capture it all. A picture wouldn't have done the spectacle justice, anyway. The pile was ginooooorrrrrmous.

I think, quite literally, that my dad and his lady cashed in their retirement money and spent it all on Chicky. I spent our time together on Christmas Day alternating between feelings of horror and deep affection for my dad. There were so many gifts that I felt guilty for accepting them all on behalf of his granddaughter, who lost interest in opening them halfway through the process. But on the other hand many of them were carefully picked out by him without any help from a female in his life, and if you knew anything about my father's history of gift giving you would know that this was a huge accomplishment. He sat there, quietly but with a proud look on his face, and watched his only grandchild rip open the paper with a "Weeeeeee!" and an "Oooooh" and marvel at the toys inside for a moment before moving on to the next.

Was I happy that I tricked Chicky into wearing her Santa suit? You bet your sweet bippy I was.

(Quick aside: She wore the damn Santa hat for three days up until the actual day but when the time came to put on the whole ensemble she took one look at the hat and ran away. And I wasn't kidding when I said I had to trick her into wearing the rest of it. But she did. Sigh.)

Now it's over for another year. I may have to get rid of some things in my home to make room for the toys, like all my furniture, but I'm happy with how it turned out.

How was your holiday?

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Dear Santa, (a very Chicky Christmas)

I'm not sure who you are or why I'm supposed to write to you but my mom (you know, the looney one who always asks for a puppy for Christmas, even though she's, like, a gazillion years old now and we already have two big dogs) insisted that I needed to leave you a note along with the cookies and milk on Christmas Eve.

First of all, listen, dude, that's my milk. Hands off. You're lucky I'm sharing my Snickerdoodles with you. And from all the pictures I've seen, you could really use some more vegetables in your diet. I know! You can have my carrots and broccoli! I'll save some for you. If the dogs don't get to them first they're all yours.

My mom has been trying to explain to me who you are and what you're all about, but I'm only 20 months so I hope you'll cut me some slack if I don't stand in front of you in awed reverence at some mall. I've made it clear that there will be no sitting on your lap so my parents aren't even going to try this year. However, I think they're conspiring for next year so I'll warn you - I might pee on your legs. I'll just say sorry in advance so we can avoid an awkward scene later.

Mom keeps telling me stories about how you come down the chimney (uh, what's a chimney?) and leave these things called "presents" under that green, sparkly thing I'm not supposed to touch. And I guess you leave more of those present things in that big sock with my name on it. Okay, big guy, I'm going to let you in on a little secret - socks are for taking off right before your mom or dad try to take you out of the house. You get bonus points if you give them to the dogs to chew on. Yeah, they love that.

I guess this is the time to tell you that I've been on my best behavior all year. Okay, so I pull on the dogs' tails and I throw toys at the cats... and maybe I throw a few tantrums a day, but I really do try to keep it down to one or two. It's just so frustrating to be a toddler these days, what with all the pressure and stress I'm under. My mom drags me to music class and playgroups. She doesn't let me watch Elmo whenever I want. And she tries to make me eat, ew, healthy food. What's so wrong about wanting to eat nothing but crackers? That's what I'd like to know. I'd like to think that my cuteness makes up for all my naughty days. I'm planning on riding this cute thing for as long as I can, so get used to it.

Okay, let's get down to the nitty gritty: The toys. My mom and dad would like you to bring me lots of wooden toys that don't require batteries and are supposed to be, um, educational? That's great and all, I like blocks as much as the next kid, but what I really want is one of those TMX Elmo dolls. That little red monster rocks my world. Can you make that happen, Santa? Dad said I didn't have a snowball's chance in H - E - double hockey stick of getting one (whatever that means) but I know you'll come through for me. Santa's my homeboy. Aw yeah.

(Actually, my mom would really like you to bring me a "vocabulary". Whatever that is.)

Before I go, please don't forget to share those cookies with the reindeer. I always share my food with the dogs, it drives my parents crazy but it just seems fair. You know? If those deer are pulling your fat butt around all night it's the least you can do.

Thanks, Santa. You're okay in my book.



P.S. - You're supposed to be magic, right? Can you do something about getting me out of having to wear this horrible outfit?

No offense, Santa, you can pull it off and I'm sure your suit is much nicer, but this just doesn't work for me. If you make it go away I'll make sure Mom and Dad leave you something good under that cookie plate, if you catch my meaning. Buy Mrs. Claus something pretty.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Sometimes the fodder is hand delivered to your door

My father left me a message yesterday on my answering machine. Mr. C got to it before I did. "Your Dad called this morning," he said.

"What did he say?"

"You'll want to listen to the message yourself," he said with a mischievous twinkle in his eye.

Sure, my father lives a bit left of center most of the time, but we're used to his idiosyncracies, I could not imagine what would be so funny on that message that my husband would not relay it to me. So I picked up the phone and dialed in.

"Hi, T__. Listen, P__ (his girlfriend) bought an outfit for Chicky. She thought you'd like to have it for Chicky to wear on Christmas day. It's a Santa outfit with a hat and everything."

A Santa outfit.


The message went on from there, but honestly I stopped listening after I heard the words "Santa outfit". I sat, slack jawed, while the rest played and Mr. C grinned. I couldn't get out of this one. How could I diplomatically say thanks but no thanks? I didn't want to put my active toddler into a red polyester velvet-like ensemble on Christmas Day. I had already purchased clothes for her to wear, clothes that would be appropriately festive yet would hold up to a day full of cookies, cakes and candy canes. An outfit that Chicky would not protest when I tried to put it on her and would not itch her delicate toddler skin or give her a rash. But someone else went out and bought her a special outfit that could only be worn once, so it had to be worn. A bit presumptuous, yes, but what can I do? I'm stuck.

My father and his girlfriend delivered the Santa suit to us this morning and it is as awful as I had imagined. A jacket-like shirt with fake belt, elastic waist pants and a hat with a white pompom, all trimmed with fluffy fake fur usually reserved for dime store teddy bears and all 100% Polyester. P.'s parting words were, "I can't wait to see her in it."

I can't even put the hat on Chicky's head without her breaking into terrified sobs. Getting her into the rest of the outfit is going to be so much fun.

Mr. C laughed over the message but when I told him that Chicky would have to wear the Santa clothes he stopped laughing. Yes, she has to wear it. My father's girlfriend had the best of intentions when she purchased it and she is genuinely excited to see my daughter toddle in the door on December 25 decked out like a miniature St. Nick.

Ho ho ho. Won't that be great?


Before my mother died she would often tell me stories of the purple fur coat that my grandmother had bought for me to wear on one of my first Easters. It was unseasonably warm that day, much too warm for a fur coat, yet my mother insisted that I wear it because not only was it a gift but it was an expensive gift. Apparently I cried the whole time because I was hot and uncomfortable but she would not take it off of me. I was wearing that coat, dammit, sweat and tears be damned. History does have a way of repeating itself, doesn't it?

These are the things we do to our children when someone gives us an inappropriate gift. I won't force Chicky to wear the outfit if she truly hates it but we're going to give it a try. If we can get her to leave it on for even 10 minutes we'll chalk it up as a victory and move on. Maybe we'll even snap a few pictures to save for posterity. And many years from now I'll tell her stories of the year I made her wear a Santa suit because someone bought it for her and it had to be worn. Hopefully we'll all have a good laugh over it.

I'd love to include a picture of my daughter here in her new clothes so we all can enjoy together but I still can't get it near her without Chicky running away in fear. But I'm going to keep trying. She's got to wear that outfit, dammit, just for five minutes whether she likes it or not.

Even if it is the most horrible thing I've seen in a long time. Oh lord, it is awful.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Mrs. Chicky's guidelines for holiday decorating

This time of year I love driving around at night, enjoying the effort that many people have gone to to show their Christmas spirit. I really like gawking at the brightly lit houses, and nothing pleases me more than that totally over-the-top house with the lights strung from chimney to walkway and everywhere in between. After years of doing this I have come up with my own guidelines for outdoor holiday decorating, because I enjoy forcing my opinions on sharing my love of the holidays with others.

You know what? Don't think of them as guidelines, think of them as friendly recommendations*. Yeah, friendly recommendations from a person who thinks she knows better than you how your house should be decorated.

Feel free to add to this list (and I will feel free to disregard your additions if I don't like them).



When decorating your home for the holidays you can't go wrong with white lights. You'll be announcing to the world that you lack imagination but at least your neighbors won't point and whisper about your lack of taste.

Also, if you're doing white lights, keep that theme. If you're doing colored lights, ditto. Mixing colored and white lights lets everyone know that you're lazy and couldn't be bothered to go out to buy matching lights.

If decorating your home with colored lights go with the multi-colored strings. Or you could go for the green, white and red ones, those look very festive. And they announce to the world that you love Italians.

If you decide to go with blinky lights I say go for it. Why not? Who says they're tacky? You should go all out and outline every window and door with those blinky little suckers. Especially if you have no problem with your neighbors having crazy light-induced seizures. Good times.

Nothing says "Peace on earth and good will towards man" more than a giant spotlight illuminating the obscenely large wreath on the huge front door of your McMansion. It also says "Hi neighbors! We're loaded and have lots of disposable income!".

If the lights on one half of your house go out, please fix them. Immediately. Looking at them insults my delicate sensibilities. There's nothing worse than a half-nekkid house at Christmas time and lopsided decorations, which, coincidentally, is what I call my tahtahs.

Plastic, lighted nativity scenes on the front lawn are tacky.

Giant inflatable snowglobes are tacky.

Fake, lighted palm trees are tacky.

Plastic reindeer pulling a plastic Santa on a plastic sleigh are tacky.

Put them all together, though, and you've got tacky awesomeness. Throw in some colored, blinky chaser lights and you'll have transcendent tacky awesomeness. With seizures.

If astronauts can see your house from space you have no right to bitch about your electric bill. Don't bring it up, we don't want to hear about it. Just keep your credit card number on file at the electric company so you won't be tempted to learn the amount of money you're spending on lights instead of helping starving orphans.

If you're going to the trouble of putting out lights on the bushes in front of your home at least place them nicely. If you just toss a couple of strings all willy nilly like you're just begging for someone to steal them in the middle of the night. I don't know who that someone could be, I'm just saying.

When putting electric candle lights in the windows be careful of the color you choose. Again, white lights are the safe bet. If you chose to go with red don't be insulted when people refer to your home as "The one that looks like that house from The Amityville Horror".

Same thing goes for strings of lights in all one color, like red. Unless you want your home to look like it was possessed, then in that case go right ahead. Just don't invite me over for a holiday party.

Decorating your home for the holidays is a competition and should be approached as such. There can only be one spectacularly lighted home in your neighborhood. You should consider it your duty to crush your neighbors holiday spirit by eclipsing their puny decorating attempts.

If you decide in the end that you just can't hang your lights yourself and hire a company to do it for you then don't be surprised that someone eggs your home. I don't know who, I'm just saying.

Merry Christmas!

*If you see yourself in some of these recommendations, don't worry. I see myself in some of them, too. You can guess which ones.


If I haven't yet scared you away with my judgements I wanted to thank those of you who gave me such great ideas and help on starting my business. There's a special place in my heart for you and if you were to come to my home you'd be covered with wet, sloppy kisses. From my dogs. They thank you too.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Behold! The incredible groveling woman.

A while back I alluded to a real estate hunt that Mr. C and I were on but then went no further with an explanation. My bad. I didn't forget that I promised a follow up I just didn't know how to explain. You see we're not hunting for a new home, per se, but a space where I can open my own business.

My own business. I've got to let that sink in a minute.

My. Own. Business.

Where I would be the boss and solely responsible for any losses or gains (oh please, many gains), where my name would be on all the bills. And checks, too, hopefully. That's a lot for me to wrap my brain around. Sheesh.

I've searched the real estate sites, casually, for more than a year; ever since my bosses used my new motherhood against me and edged me out of the piece of the business that I had made successful for them to promote someone who would work the ridiculously long hours for much lower pay.


It's a long sorted story that I wrote about a long time ago and I don't really feel like dredging it back up to link to it. You'll just have to work with me here. It sucked. They, the people who pay me my paltry sum every week, suck. They've lost sight of the need of their customers and have focused on the all-mighty dollar. They lie to their customers. Repeatedly. The bottom line is I continued to work for them in a limited capacity to keep my foot in the industry door. Well, that door is getting heavy and my foot, not to mention my ethics, are getting crushed. It's not enjoyable to teach my classes anymore. Mr. C wants me to quit. And I cannot continue to think of that day when I might open the doors to my own business, I need to act. Now. It's time. I need to do more than come up with possible business names and logo graphics.

Although, when it's time to print the company logo on shirts for me and my employees I'll be so ready.

Today I was contacted by a realtor by way of a MLS site where I had requested information on commercial property. I know what type of building I want. I know the towns I would consider. I know how to run the canine-related side of the business.... But I don't know how to start a business. Does that make sense? Where do I start? Who do I talk to? I need help!

(No, no, that won't do...)

I. NEED. HELP!!!!!

(Yeah, that's better.)

I'm sending out a call to all my blogging friends: If you have any advice for me on starting a business - A real one. Brick and mortar, as we used to call it back in the corporate days - I would appreciate any kernels of wisdom you would bestow on me. Ask your friends, if you know of anyone that owns their own business (again, brick and mortar) and wouldn't mind taking the time to pick their brains and relaying that information I would sincerely appreciate it. Know of another blogger that is their own boss? Please point me in their direction. Websites, books, helplines, anything... I'll take any direction I can get.

I'm begging. No, it's not pretty. But I need, I need, I need.

It just occurred to me that many of you might not know what I do for a living. Silly me. I work with those of the canine persuasion. I want to open a place where my four-legged friends can frolic and play. Then get a long hot bath. And learn good manners! Yeah, that too. And a place where their owners can drop some cash on some good chow, fun toys and accessories. Sigh.

I don't mean to be vague, but I fear the Google.

*Making a crazy Mel Gibson-like face*

The Google. It's everywhere. It watches us constantly. I must take care not to attract the Google's attention. So when I said I don't mean to be vague? I lied. I'm being very vague on purpose to protect myself from the wrong people finding this.

Okay, I'm done. That face doesn't suit me.

So, please, any little bit of help would guarantee you a special place in my heart. I don't have much else to offer except online help for your pooch. I would do that for you. Happily.

Thank you.

(Wow, these knee pads did come in handy. Who knew?)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Eat your heart out Salome

This week in Chicky holiday pictures (because I'm totally copping out of writing an actual post):

Bring me the head of Frosty the Snowman

So that I might give it a big smooch.

Yeah, it's a snowman pillow. I have a snowman pillow in my home, and Chicky loves it. You wanna make something of it? It makes her happy and when it comes to that face...

"Whatsoever thou shalt ask of me, I will give it thee."

Even if it is horribly tacky.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Come for the funny, stay for the crazy

There are no words to describe how touched I was by your supportive words and introspective comments (especially the long ones that you wrote) on my last post. And yet I'm going to ramble on anyway, as is my perogative because this is my blog.

(Cue the Bobby Brown music.*)

I know it's the holiday season and what you don't need as fellow mothers, parents, bloggers, and stressed-out adults during this season of busy malls and tight budgets is another reminder of how tough your job is and how gloomy life can be at times, so that is why I thank you for hanging in there with me. The holidays bring us such joy and happiness, but let's face it they'll also drop an anvil on your head when you're not looking. Although, the anvil will probably be wrapped in pretty ribbons and bows. Gotta keep our depression festive, know what I mean?

If you've lost an important loved one to death or distance the highs and lows are even more pronounced this time of year. You want to remember the happy times by telling tales and stories of that special person, but it is impossible to reminisce without remembering that the person you're sharing stories about is no longer with you. So you go on - and when I say "you" I mean me - ignoring the elephant in the room, not wanting to inject sadness into this already difficult season, until the weight you (um, I) carry is too tough to bear. And that's when you (I!) end up with a crazy headache after being struck in the ol' noggin.

Where the hell is my Advil?

I had hoped to rid myself of some of that heft and pain with that last post but I am afraid I may have taken my finger out of the proverbial dam, so you may be showered with introspection and tears if you come to close. If you dig that kind of stuff I welcome you to my pity party with open arms. If you plan on staying I ask that you keep an open mind and that you bring some spirit to this party. And by "spirit" I mean alcohol. Large quantities of alcohol. Because nothing helps a crying jag more than getting snackered on red wine and margaritas.

So, to reiterate...

...'Mrs. C, what did you do to this filet of horse to make it so tender?' 'It's an old family secret, you beat it with a stick until it's good and dead.'...

Please take your posts about your children and print them out. Put those pages in their baby books or another special place and save them for when they're old enough to appreciate your words. Write what you can in their baby books, fill in the correct spaces and such, but also leave them something more tangible than dates and growth charts for when they become parents and they need to hear that you were a crazed howler monkey (because they were crazed howler monkeys) during their first few years of life. Because when they're parents, and dog willing you're still there for them, you'll be sticking your righteous nose in to situations that will piss them off. They need to know that you screwed up a bunch of times, too.

[getting off my soap box]

Now then, just because this place will be littered with wadded up Kleenex and chick flick DVDs ("Beaches" is on the docket for today, tomorrow it will be "Steel Magnolias") doesn't mean there won't be funny moments. What's more fun than laughing through our tears, right? I fully intend on keeping up appearances and pretending like there is absolutely nothing wrong with me. I've been doing that for most of my life, so why stop now?

(Remind me to tell you about that time when I fell down a flight of basement steps, cracked the back of my head open on a stone wall and had to be taken by ambulance to the hospital on a backboard but all the while kept cracking jokes. Huh, I guess I just did. I guess I got carried away. Get it? "Carried away"? Backboard? Heh. Is this thing on?)

If you want something uplifting right now (I get the instant gratification thing, I have a toddler) then go check out Her Bad Auction. Go see what a bunch of women can do to make sweet, sweet lemonade out of the sour lemons that life insists on handing them. The auction is in honor of Her Bad Mother's nephew Tanner, who has Muscular Dystrophy, and proceeds will go to Muscular Dystrophy Research. The bidding on 30 amazing products and services (to date) begins on Wednesday, December 13.

So what the heck are you still doing here? Dry your eyes, little ones, and go spread some holiday cheer dammit.

*Nothing makes me happier than a high-top fade. Enjoy.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Just me

Upon my mother's death I became the owner of many things, among the most important items is my baby book. How meaningful and necessary it has become to me now that I am a mother. How crucial since I don't have my mother to tell me these things herself and how the book frustrates me for the same reason.

It's your standard baby book in many ways - words and dates written in my mother's hand, pictures lovingly placed in the correct spots, now set free to slip around the yellowing pages because the adhesive has long since dried and lost its hold. Cards from my first birthday and plastic, throwaway bibs from family dinners at local restaurants that have long since closed up shop. Memories on every page. My mother's memories of my first years of life that she saved for me.

I am now the owner of those words and pages, but I am not the owner of the memories. Those were my mother's and they went with her when she died. Reading the book is like looking over the mementos and notes that will become the biography of someone I've never met: The card that was used on my rolling crib to identify me from the other babies in the nursery of the hospital where I was born (Baby Girl A__. Room 103. Time of Birth: 9:45am). My height and weight progression until age 5 (At 18 months: H - 32.5 inches, W - 22lbs, 10oz. Exactly the same size as Chicky at her 18 month appointment). Important milestones - First steps at 15 months (Chicky took her's at 14 and a half) and first words (Dada, Baby). It's all fascinating to me, but the dates and times and charts could be different and I wouldn't know any better. I don't know this newborn baby referred to on these pages or the toddler in the pictures. I have no memory of her. She looks like me and there's my full name written out many times throughout but she is better known to others who knew her then.

I have a love/hate relationship with this book.

I love it because it has been such a comfort to me during these first years as a mother. When I worry if Chicky is becoming too skinny, since she refuses to eat anything but Cheerios some days and her pants keep falling down her butt, I look at my baby book and see that I was the same way at this age and I turned out (relatively) okay. I look at the pictures of the smiling baby I was and see Chicky's face. I recognize the nose and the smile. Yes, we do look a lot alike. She is my daughter.

But I hate this book because it taunts me with what is not written. They are just notes, a few words to record dates and information for posterity. It doesn't explain what happened on these days. Who was I walking to? Why was I drinking from a cup so early? It says in my baby book that I was potty trained at 18 months. How is this possible?!

(Apparently my mother was a bit of an overachiever, but I'll never know for sure.)

I long for the answers to these questions but I'm also looking for guidance in my current life and I can't forcibly pull either one from the pages of this book. Even if I shake it hard and watch the tokens fall to the floor, I will not find what I'm looking for. I can closely look at pictures with a magnifying glass looking for clues and try to read between the lines but that will only get me so far. The memories are gone, save for the pieces recorded between the pink flowered covers. Gone with the person who should be here to tell me that my daughter is progressing just fine, the one who should hold my hand when I'm stressed out over tantrums and milestones, or take my frantic phone calls when my daughter won't sleep. Gone with the person who should be the one to tell me that I'm doing a good job, that I am a good mother regardless of how I feel on any given day. Gone with my mother before I knew how badly I was going to need them.

It's all gone, except for the book. There's Just Me.


*The title of this entry is also the title on the cover of my baby book.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Hot and Wet

That title will surely bring the perverts out in droves but, alas perverts! This is not the site you're looking for. If you're looking for websites dedicated to buxom women frolicking in hot tubs please keep searching. Because what I'm referring to is my daughter's favorite new words. Hot and Wet. Never used in conjunction, but separately and often nonetheless.

A year ago when I cuddled and snuggled an infant Chicky Baby I had thoughts of what her first words would be: Dada, Mama, Baby, Dog, Cat, Bye Bye, that kind of stuff. Well, so far she does say Dada and Mama, Baby (actually, it's more like "Bubbah". My child 's dolls apparently all hail from Arkansas.) and Bye. But will she say dog or cat? Not even if you hold her down and scream those words in her face for a half an hour.... Uh, I'm assuming. Then again she's surrounded by dogs and cats so they're no big deal, it's not like she runs around saying chair or table.

Right? That's why she won't refer to these animals as anything but "Go" and "Git". Right?

But this is not about her inability or unwillingness to say those particular words, it's about her overall inability or unwillingness to say most words. Frankly, I'm a little worried about her development and though the rational side of my brain is screaming "She's still really young! There's plenty of time for her to learn to talk! When she does start to talk you'll be wishing she would shut up! You're being a stressbag! A freak mama! You're a cliche!!!!", the stressbag/freak mama side of me is winning out. I want my baby to talk. I need her to talk. Not just to help us communicate. I want to know that her development is on track.

Maybe it's the company we keep; we're often around other toddlers around the same age as Chicky who have extensive vocabularies, some who are speaking in full sentences. Their words are clear, their meaning heard and understood, while I'm still trying to decipher what my own child is trying to say. Are these freakishly advanced children? Is there something in the water around here? Because Chicky refuses to drink much water, but I'll force it down her throat if I have to.

I've heard from friends (and some of you here) that their children didn't speak until they were 2 or 3 years old. My husband's uncle didn't speak until he was just over 3 years of age and he's a genius. But this is cold comfort to the woman whose child can't say "ball" at almost 20 months.* The child who insists on calling Elmo "La La", and milk "Wah Wah". I know she's still a baby and she'll catch up, I do know this in my heart of hearts, but it's frustrating and sadly I'm starting to take it personally. She's a smart girl, she understands everything I say to her and can complete simple tasks if I tell her to do something once, so obviously I'm not doing something to help her development.

Yes, somehow I've made this whole thing about me. How do you like that?

* She calls a ball "Bah Bah", her baby "Bubbah", a book "Buh buh". A bit confusing, no?

Sunday, December 03, 2006

I am nothing if not accommodating

The incomparable GGC (and her delectable little man, Archer) tagged Chicky and me for our first ever mother/daughter meme. Since the woman has made me weep with her words I figure the least I can do is comply with her request: List Five Things You Didn't Know About Mrs. Chicky and Chicky Baby.

Since I'm the Mama and I bore that child, I get to go first. That seems like small consolation for my pain and suffering but I'll take it.

Five Facts About Me:

1. For my entire life, up until I got pregnant, I had ridiculously skinny feet (quadruple A). Not only were they skinny but they are also long and because of those two attributes my father called me "Kangaroo Feet". Thanks Dad, the bill for therapy is in the mail.

Last week I tried on a pair of dress shoes that I have only worn twice, once right before getting pregnant and once during my pregnancy - and guess what? They don't fit anymore. Thirty something years of bitching and moaning about having such skinny feet that most shoes wouldn't fit me, and finally finding pretty shoes that fit and don't look like old woman orthopedics, and the damn things don't fit anymore. Ain't that a bitch? On the flip side, I guess Dad can't call me mean names anymore.

(If he dares make a joke about my expanding ass I'll kill him.)

2. I love fried bologna (mmmm, fried pork parts) and picking at the turkey neck on Thanksgiving. Heh, don't knock 'em until you try them.

3. I have an unnatural fear of heights. Never, ever, ask me to go on a rollercoaster or ferris wheel. My husband calls it a "crippling" fear, and he's correct. It's so bad that if there were a million dollars on one side of a ravine and I had to cross a suspension bridge to get to it... Well, let's just say that there's no shame in being poor.

4. I'm currently drinking a 2005 Marlborough (New Zealand) Pinot Noir, and you know what? It's not half bad. I bet it would go nicely with fried bologna.

5. I watched an AKC dog show on television while in the hospital in labor with Chicky Baby. What? I'm a dog trainer, people. (see #1 about CB)

Five facts about Chicky Baby:

1. Even though we have two dogs, and seem to find dogs wherever we go, Chicky Baby has little interest in them. In fact, she's more interested in cats. I wonder if she's bitter about the dog show and this is her first act of rebellion? What's next? Black hair and white makeup?

2. Her speech has been slow coming but in the last few days she has deduced that whatever goes in to or comes out of the microwave or oven is "Cook", the rain drops on the car windows is "Wet", and today she patted her chest and said "Hep" (help). I teared up. I was so overcome with relief.

3. She has the most expressive face of any toddler I've ever met.

4. Her favorite foods are cheese ("eeeese"), graham crackers or any type of crackers, actually ("Cah cahs") , bananas ("banas"), apples ("Ah-pulls"), peas and chicken. With the exception of the last two I think she prefers the first foods because she can ask for them by name.

5. She's going to hate us when she's older for this year's holiday card:

Yes, that is the actual card that we are sending out this year. With the greeting "Wishing you much happiness this holiday season". If my in-laws have a problem with it they can blame Mr. C. I just took the picture.

I have to give props to those of you who gave your two cents and especially to Penelopeto who came up with the brilliant tagline for the screaming picture: "She just found out she's not getting that pony". That line made Mr. C and me laugh out loud. If we hadn't just ordered the cards right before I read your comment we might have gone with it.

So, there you go. Don't you feel like a better person now that you know these things about us? Huh, don't you? Punk.

Now, (rubbing hands together. Laughing maniacally.) who do I want to know more about? Hmm?

*tapping fingers together like Mr. Burns*

I tag Jen and her little one, Jonathon and E., and ECR and the Boss. Don't let me down, people.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Hold on to your ovaries

'Tis that time of year again. Tinsel, trees and ho ho ho's.

(And if you think I'm referring to any Ho in particular you should be ashamed of yourself, it's the Christmas season for crissake. Have some dignity.)

Bows and mistletoe and presents for pretty girls. Fat, jolly men in red suits with screaming children wetting themselves on Santa's lap. Sugar cookies and Christmas cards...

Christmas cards?!


This time last year I was so ahead of the game. I had Chicky's portrait professionally done and made into cards that were pre-signed so I wouldn't get writer's cramp writing out "Happy Holidays! Love, the Chickys".

Uh, shut up about the Happy Holidays crap. Yes, I put that on my cards, just so my Jewish friends wouldn't bust my balls about the Christmas wishes. So sue me for wanting to include everyone in the holiday love.


This is our second Christmas with the Toddler Tornado and I've become a bit - what's the word? Lax? Nah. Lazy? Yeah, that's it. Lazy, and I haven't ordered cards or, hell, I hadn't even thought about cards. And? I love Christmas cards. I love sending them and I really love receiving them. It becomes my obsession from December 1st until the 24th; stalking the mailbox, weeding through the bills and the major holiday push catalogues, throwing SuperSaver fliers in the snowbankings desperately looking for sparkly snow flakes and plump-cheeked newborn pictures. I rip the envelopes open before even hitting the front door and read the sweet, often-times canned sentiments inside.

"Best wishes for a warm holiday season"

"Here's to you and your's"

"A very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year"

"Happy Holidays from your US Postal Carrier - Don't forget to shovel out your mailbox or I'll throw your mail in a sleet puddle."

So today Mr. C and I took Chicky outside (70 degrees today. Yeah, it's beginning to look not one little freakin' bit like Christmas) and snapped some pictures for this year's card. Let me know what you think.

The dimple slays me.

This one might be the keeper.

No, wait. This one. Ohmygodohmygodohmygod. I made that.

We took almost 200 pictures and even though there were a lot of throw away shots there were enough good ones to make the choice very difficult. But I think we may have narrowed it down. I think this one should be 2006's holiday card from the Chicky family:

Yep, that pretty much sums up 2006. Can you imagine finding that in your mailbox, between the electric bill and the Pottery Barn catalogue? Yeah, me too.


Before I forget, today is Mr. C's birthday. My sweet, handsome man was born on this day 34 years ago. How could I not wish the man who helped me create that beautiful, screaming creature a Happy, Happy, Happy Birthday?

Happy Birthday, my love.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Let the flogging begin

Throw your stones. Please, I beg you. If only for every "um" and "ah" that came from my mouth during last night's BlogTalkRadio show, but mainly for not making my case on the only child debate clear.

After listening to myself even I was wondering what the hell my point was.

I could blame it on the hour (way past my bedtime), the strange medium (strange to me, not strange/weird), or the jitters (oh, my sweaty palms), but mainly I blame it on me being a dumbass. One word. DUMBASS.

I had good, strong, important points on raising an only child: On how it is a very important personal decision that only you and your partner can make for yourself. On how having an only child takes work, a lot of work, because you don't have that second child as a go-to playmate. On how it is a popular misconception that only children are selfish and spoiled and grow up to be Alex P. Keaton clones. On how it is not about not wanting to go through pregnancy and delivery again (okay, maybe it's about that a little bit). And so many more points. Oh so many more points.

Was it blog-fright? Stage-fright? Blog-stage-fright? I dunno. I'm sticking with Dumbass-ness.

This is not a thinly veiled attempt to get others to stroke my ego because, seriously, stroking is not what I want. Not ego stroking anyway. What I wanted was a decent give and take about this discussion, and though I felt like Lena did a fantastic job on her end, I feel like I dropped the ball on mine. I dropped the ball for me and for others who only want one child. I'm sorry. It was the sweaty hands that made my grip so poor.

Get a grip, Mrs. C, get a freakin' grip.

So, my point about onlies is the Desire with a capital D to want for a second child or a larger family. I truly believe you don't have a second child just because the first one asks for a younger sibling. What happens when the second child wants a younger sibling? Do you then have a third child for the second child? And you don't have another kid just for the social or emotional benefit of the first because that seems like a huge disservice to the younger child - I have to believe that you're considering the second child's emotional well-being, too. No, you have more than one kid because you want more than one. Because you believe that your family - that includes you, your husband and your first kid, hell maybe you even take the dog's feelings into account - needs to be larger and everyone will benefit from one more crumb crusher crawling around. Because you Desire to have more.

Am I being premature thinking that having one is the way to go? Will I change my mind when Chicky is older? Maybe. Anything is possible and when it comes to the future I try to keep my mind open to all possibilities, but today, yesterday and 12 months ago the Desire to have a second baby was and is still not there.

But this is not just about my point of view on the subject. It's about everyone's.

Kristen mentioned on her show the shit storm that evolved from a post of Amalah's - a post I missed unfortunately - about only children. I wasn't expecting anything closely resembling the negativity or the positive give and take that stemmed from that post because, duh, she's Amalah and I'm not, but I did expect something akin to what I get in my real, offline life: People trying to change my mind. I haven't, so far, gotten any of that. I've received wonderfully reassuring comments from parents of onlies, adult only children, and people who are still fence sitting. I thank you for lending your voice to this discussion. It is great to hear that I'm not alone on this rickety boat. I've also heard from parents of multiple children who believe it is everyone's right to choose how big their families will be. I thank you as well.

Still, I am perplexed. Where's the other side? The side that believes that a family needs to have two or more children to make it whole? Have we wordlessly agreed to disagree and that's that? I am not inviting negative argument (no, that would be silly) but an open sharing of ideas. Is it true, like Kristen said in her last post, that we parent bloggers (to paraphrase) would rather not comment than say something that could be construed as negative? Or, as she wrote, "Or say something funny like "cute baby picture" and run for the hills."

Are we afraid that by saying something unpopular or disagreeing with a particular post we will become the playground pariah?

I don't want to beat a dead horse (Okay, I lie. I love beating a dead horse. It makes it tender.) and repeat what others have already written. Instead I'm going to draw my own conclusions. It's the season of peace, love and joy and we're feeling charitable toward our fellow blogger. We're tired from our everyday life and just don't feel like getting into a steel cage match. Maybe only the enlightened and accepting women write blogs and on the days when a post does start a shit storm it's because the stars and planets aligned making commenters feel particularly randy and ready for a passionate fight. Or maybe the Mommyblog-osphere is like a sorority house or locker room and we all PMS at the same time.

One last conclusion? We're so over some topics.

Those are my theories and I'm sticking to 'em.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

It's a magic number

Sometimes life steps in when you need something and delivers it to you on a silver platter. In some cases you don't realize the gift you've been given, and in others you're left staggering by the subtle kick upside the head.

Today life, fate, whatever you want to call it, stepped in and gave me my much needed respite in the form of a broken utility pole, toppled (funny enough, since it was 62 degrees yesterday) by a snowplow this morning, that caused us to be without power for at least three hours. Those quiet hours were not used to vacuum, wash clothes, or surf the net due to the lack of power, but were used to catch up on my reading and resting.

Thank you sir, may I have another?

The power is now on and life as I know it continues, and it's a damn good thing because I have to pimp my time on Motherhood Uncensored's BlogTalkRadio tonight.

blog radio

10 - 11pm EST, check your local listings for details.

I'm really sticking my neck out there this time, taking the unpopular side of a touchy subject: To stop at one child or press on for more. I'm speaking up for those who think that one is not the loneliest number and have decided to raise an only child. Or, as I like to think of Chicky Baby, my one and only.

I do hope you'll join Lena from Cheeky Lotus and me on Kristen's show tonight, even if you disagree with my side (because I do like intelligent debate. Really. I do.) but especially if you're feeling like having a one child family is for you but you're afraid to speak up about it for fear of being lambasted and labeled a selfish person.

Yeah, I've been in that position a few times. A few too many times.

If you can't listen and/or participate in tonight's show I do hope you'll share with me your feelings about only children. Were you an only child? Are you raising an only child? Do you think my soul should be thrown to the hounds of hell to be chewed on and shat upon for all eternity for possibly never providing my child with a sibling?

We're open and accepting of all opinions here at Casa de Chicky. The only thing I ask is that you be nice and bring your intelligent thoughts to this public table. Please no "People who only have one child suck ass. Neener neener neener." because your comment will be mysteriously eaten by the nasty comment garbage disposal. I had it installed this morning before the power outage for this very occasion.

Hope to hear from you tonight!

Monday, November 27, 2006

The flesh is weak

I've been sitting here for the past hour wondering why I feel thick and heavy with exhaustion - as foggy and dull as an old butter knife and just as useless - when it finally occurred to me:

After a rough 24 hours I've allowed my body to rest and my brain decided that whatever the body is doing the brain has to do better. In this case if the body is allowed to stop and regroup then the mind goes into major shut-down mode.

Which is why I'm writing instead of resting.

If I allow myself to rest then I may not get back up for a long time and that just doesn't fly when there is a young toddler to take care of. True, Mr. C is on vacation but it doesn't seem fair to leave the majority of the work on him. True also, my unmade bed looks inviting, but how decadent it seems to slumber in the middle of the day. A week day. A Monday.

But why can't I allow myself to find respite under cool sheets and goosedown? Wasn't I the one who almost had a panic attack in the dentist's office this morning (three cavities instead of two)? My husband had no idea how terrified I was of a procedure I had never experienced before and, honestly, neither did I until it was over. The visit left me spent, but it wasn't just the trip to the dentist that has put me into this coma. No, one stressful situation I can handle. It wasn't even the seizure my dog had last night. Or the contractors who are here, again. It's not the stress of the holidays or all the shopping I still have to do. It's not the dis-satification I feel for my job or the lack of respect I have for my bosses. And it's not the fact that I agreed to debate (a term I use loosely) one side of a touchy subject on Kristen's blog talk show tomorrow night.

It's none of those things and all of those things combined with the news that came yesterday morning that my grandfather died.

There has been so much death in my family in the past few years. My mother, my paternal grandfather, a great uncle and now my maternal grandfather. Too much loss and too many tears. It's all so wearing.

I had planned on eulogizing him, my grandfather, here for memories sake, but I don't have the energy. No, now I want to put my daughter down for a nap and take one myself. But I won't because there are floors to be vacuumed and dishes to be done, lists to be made, Christmas lights to be hung, cars to be retrieved and classes to prepare for.

I'll take only this short amount of restful time to jot down a few words before starting another job. I come from a family that doesn't believe in rest until all tasks are completed. My 80 year old grandfather, my Papa, worked until a few months before he died. My mother was the same way. Work is what keeps us going, what keeps our minds sharp and our eyes clear. I'll sleep tonight when I know everyone in my house is safely tucked away in their respective beds and at least a few chores are crossed off my list.

That is when I will allow my mind to turn off.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

I want to put it all between two slices of bread

(Weeeeee! Pictures!)

It's over.

The Thanksgiving hoopla, ballyhoo, and conviviality has come to an end for another year. Mr. C's turkey dinner was a great success, the cheesecake was heralded as restaurant quality (thank you, BA, for that incredible recipe!) and amazingly enough, though we blended two families under one roof, no one insulted anyone else's delicate sensibilities. I thank the liberal amount of wine that was poured for the later and much research and great recipes for the former two.

The amount of wine is proportionate to the happy moments a family experiences during the holidays.

It came as no surprise that my father decided that any joke worth making once was worth repeating 25 more times. Because as anyone knows a joke gets funnier the more times you tell it. And a horse becomes more dead the more times you beat it.

In this case it was our decision to use a laptop to work off of instead of a recipe book.

Alton Brown, eat your heart out.

(As a quick aside, can I just tell you how great it is to be married to a guy who is 50% geek and 50% renaissance man? Not only can he fix a computer but he makes a mean sage, sausage and apple dressing and cranberry compote. How cool is that? But I digress.)

These are a few of my favorite things.

Not only did my father comment on the laptop next to the stove at least 18 different times he also could not wrap his brain around the fact that I made a cheesecake from scratch and prepared some of the side dishes with my own two hands.

Say cheese....CAKE!

"You can cook? No. That's not possible. You can't cook anything that doesn't come from a can. Har Har Hardee Har."

Did I say no one was insulted? I lied a little.

No bother, I'm used to it.

We all did have a very good time and I'll spare you the rest of the details, because our details are probably a lot like your details; We ate a lot, we drank a lot, we talked and laughed a lot, we got frustrated with each other at times and there are leftovers for days. Sound familiar?

This pumpkin bread is great mom, don't pay any attention to what Pappy says.

The turkey looked good, too, but these graham crackers are better.

I hope you and your's ate enough turkey to sedate a moose. I hope you ingested your weight in pie. I hope you watched more football than you ever wanted to see in your whole life. I hope you enjoyed a leftover turkey sandwich half as good as the one that my husband just lovingly prepared for me. And I hope you have someone in your life who will willingly put down the other tasty sandwich they so lovingly prepared for themselves before even taking a bite to kill a hornet because they know you won't. A hornet that they fear above all other things.

Chivalrous and he can cook. I told you that husband of mine, he's a renaissance man.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

For these things I am thankful

This will probably be the last time I'll have a chance to sit down and write until after all the Thanksgiving hoopla has died down - which should be sometime in March by my estimation. I cannot, however, let this opportunity go by without recording for posterity what I am truly thankful for in 2006.

First and foremost, and it is no huge surprise, I am thankful for the Toddler Tornado, Miss Behaving, Miss Chief, the incomparable Chicky Baby herself... My daughter. The eskimo kisses make up for most of the tantrums you have everyday. Most, babe. Not all. But you find other ways to make up for the other ones, like when you graciously share your cheddar bunny crackers with me. You take such pleasure in feeding me these coveted little treats that even if my stomach was bursting I would still eat every cracker you fed me. Happily.

I am thankful that, starting today, Mr. C is on vacation for almost two weeks. Finally, someone else to share the responsibility of picking up a boneless, thrashing Chicky Baby off the floor before an 80lb dog steps on her. Of course I'm happy you'll be around for the simple fact that I'll see you more, my love, but please let's not have another silly fight about Christmas presents like we had earlier today. M'kay?

I'm thankful for my sister. She who I love as a best friend and a treasured sibling. Who keeps a steady supply of wine coming to my home. Who feeds us on those rare occasions that we brave the Sagamore Bridge traffic to go visit, and who someday soon (coughhaveadamnbabyalreadycough) will give me the niece or nephew I so badly want and will finally take some of the pressure off of me to have a second child.

I'm thankful for the three women in my mothers group that I can stand the sight of that still call and email me for play dates and walks even though I'm the crappiest friend. Ever. (note to self: Include in your New Years Resolution to be a better friend and be the first one to call instead of waiting for others to send you multiple emails inquiring whether or not you're dead.)

I'm thankful for each and every comment and email I get from my blog friends. We are an odd social group, you and I, but your encouraging words mean a lot to a hermit like myself.

(I should have struck those last three words but, really, why bother? Hermits need love too. )

And above all, I am thankful to People magazine for their Sexiest Man of the Year issue. Yes, because of this:

Um, is it hot in here or is it just him?

And also for this:

I'm really enjoying the new, manly Leo.

But especially for this:

People magazine, you have no idea the nasty dreams involving a certain Office worker that I have nightly because of this picture.

Um, Mr. C? I am also thankful that you won't mind if I go camp out in Newton because there is a slight possibility that he will come home for Thanksgiving. Oh yes, there is a possibility. And then, Wham! The poor guy will never know what hit him.

Happy Thanksgiving to all and to you Canucks - Happy Thursday!

Monday, November 20, 2006

C'mon, are the TV people really that bad?

I've decided that life with a young toddler is much like living in a house that has a poltergeist.

The constant worrying about what is going to set Chicky Baby off is exhausting. Why is she angry? Is there a chair out of place? Was a picture moved? All I know is that she babbles something incoherently, then the moaning and wailing starts quickly followed by the ear piercing screeches. If I don't find the cause of the problem I get a cold feeling in the pit of my stomach, like icy fingers clutching at my gut, and soon severed doll heads are flying through the house.

I know she's trying to tell me something but I just don't know what that is. I'd be willing to break out the ouija board or wear a tinfoil hat if I thought it would help us to communicate.

This language barrier is frustrating for Chicky Baby too; she has needs and desires that she is trying to convey. But I really wish she would learn how to ask for what she wants instead of lifting the cat off the ground by its tail.

Unfortunately, the violent episodes often work to her advantage. It's impossible to miss why she is displeased in certain circumstances. If she wants to get out of bed she rattles the sides of the crib violently and tosses her stuffed animals across the room. If she wants more milk she'll fling her cup in the direction of my head. If she wants to read a book I'll catch the corner of it in the chest.

The only thing that will appease her in these situations? The television. Hmm...

Maybe it's not her fault, after all. Could someone put me in touch with Tangina Barrons? I need to exorcise a demon.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Life sucks and then your car dies

I know, I know. Life doesn't really suck; not all of the time anyway. But our car did die, more specifically Mr. C's car, and that's sort of clouding our outlook on things today. When he paid the ridiculous amount of money for this German car it was with the understanding that it would be driven into the ground. It was with the thought of him one day appearing in one of those testimonial commercials:

"I've driven this car 2 bazillion miles and have only replaced the oil once and it still runs as smoothly as the day I brought it home."
Insert oh-don't-you-wish-you-had-a-car-like-mine shit-eating grin here.)

It's some weird problem involving drains and freakish amounts of rainwater pooling on the passenger side floor. No one knows why it's still happening (it's been in the shop three times for this problem in the last few weeks) or how to fix it once and for all and it's starting to look like we'll have to dump this problem on some unsuspecting schmuck buy another car soon.

I've got an ATM hidden in my spare bathroom so the cost of a new car shouldn't burden us at all. Especially with the holidays coming up. I'll just pull out the magical money tree that I keep stored in the basement for emergencies to cover the cost of presents when the ATM money runs out.

Sure, there's lots of money to spare.

I wonder if it's too late in my life to consider a job as a stripper?


All of your suggestions on timing our Thanksgiving dinner were truly appreciated. I had no idea how many people were anti-stuffing in the bird. It seems like many of you are afraid of food poisoning. Wimps. I bet you don't bungee jump or skydive either.

(uh, yeah, wimp here. I think we'll be cooking the stuffing outside of good old Tom Turkey.)

Some of your recommendations on what to prepare for sides and desserts made Mr. C and me salivate. BA, I'll be emailing you for that pumpkin cheesecake recipe per order of His Royal Highness, my husband. If I don't prepare that for him I fear that he will withhold sex from me.

Okay, that last sentence made me snicker.

If you have not done so yet, and you're planning on hosting your family Thanksgiving dinner this year or ever, you really should read some of the interesting things that others wrote. Bacon, Amber?! Bacon?!!! I'll be scheduling my angioplasty for the following day.

I'll take many pictures of the food and festivities to commemorate our first Thanksgiving. Or to remember the day we spent together at the emergency room getting or stomachs pumped as a family, depending on how things really turn out.


I need to leave you with one last thing. Do your kids watch that new show on Noggin, The Upside Down Show? I'm loving it, Chicky is loving it, and most important I get a full 30 minutes of peace because she stares at it, slack-jawed with a line of drool coming from the corner of her mouth.

After watching for a few minutes you can see why they gave Shane and David, aka The Umbilical Brothers, their own television show. They're engaging, they make strange sounds and weird body postures, and they're funny as hell. But what you might not realize is they're not always G-rated. Oh, sure, on the Upside Down Show they're as tame as Mickey Mouse, but on tour they're a little more... Adult.

Heh. I'll never watch that show the same way again after watching this:

I'm willing to bet you won't see anything like that from a certain annoying purple dinosaur or insipid red Muppet.

(Thanks, Velma, for pointing me to this clip!)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Save me the drumstick

It just hit me that a week from tomorrow I'll be hosting my first Thanksgiving dinner.

Who the hell thought that was a good idea?

I've got the turkey ordered, my grandmother and mother-in-law are providing the desserts, and Mr. C and I have a vague notion of what sides we'll be serving. Oh, and the wine is taken care of thanks to my sister and her husband and their rotating cast of liquor distributors. I love having a sibling who owns a restaurant.

As long as we have wine who cares if the stuffing is undercooked and the carrots are burned? What' s a little salmonella between family, right? We'll be too drunk to notice that we're feeling a little peckish.

Peckish? Turkey? Heh.

Sorry, I make stupid jokes when I'm stressed out.

Yes, I'm stressed. I know everything will work out (it always does) but this feels like my first real grown-up dinner. Mr. C and I have held dinner parties for our friends but never for our families. I really do want everything to be perfect, but in a laid back, what this? it was nothing we just whipped this up, sort of way.

And the timing? The timing of all the food so that everything finishes cooking at the same time, now that freaks me out. How does one do that? Suggestions? Anyone? Is this thing on?

I know that when everyone arrives my grandmother will be fretting because we won't let her help (oh, believe me, we'll ask for suggestions to make her happy) and my mother in law will also try to help (Here, take the baby). Then my father and father in law will break open a bottle of wine and before long Dad will be making inappropriate jokes (Think dirty. Really dirty.) that will embarrass my church-going father in law. And the dogs will be begging for food and Chicky will be wound up by all the excitement...

Okay, I'm done. I needed to purge myself of that so I can get down to business.

To cook the stuffing in the bird or out of the bird. Now that is the question.

Anyone? Hello?


I'm ramping up for the big gift giving holidays over at Dog Gone Blog. Today, gift ideas for the young dog lovers in your life. Tomorrow, outfitting your mod dog.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

I've got a what?

A cavity. I have a freakin' cavity. Two actually. Two cavities.

I've never had a cavity before.

Screw you, Karma, stop laughing.

I've just returned from an appointment with an ice pick wielding Marquis de Sade Dr. Phoebus Farb my new dentist where I was told that yes, I have not one, but two cavities. And that I don't floss enough.

Hi! Thanks for choosing Dr. So and So, it's so nice to meet you. Now open wide while we drill and pick the holy jeebus out of your mouth. Have a nice day and don't forget to refer us to your friends!

Sorry, the blood loss is making me woozy.

There is a possibility I have more but because of my history of never having had a cavity in my freakin' life - Ahem - the nice lady decided that she didn't want to load me up with fillings just yet so we're going to "watch them". Which is code for "I hope you like needles being stuck into your gums because we'll be seeing a lot of you in the future".

And for the record, no, I do not like needles, especially when they are anywhere near my tender parts.

Also for the record, I am a delicate flower so I have many tender parts. Which is to say...

Stay the fuck away from me with your needles you sicko.

I'm scared out of my sneakers. Is there anything I should be particularly worried about or prepared for? Give it to me straight, I'm a delicate flower but I can take the bad news. I want to know what I'm in for. Oh gawd please tell me it's not as bad as I think it's going to be!!


We interrupt this whining to send a very huge thank you to Tori of Radioactive Girl for the ROFL Award she decided to bestow upon me.

She decided that Chicky Baby's follicle mutilation at the hands of her own father was worthy enough to be singled out.

At first I was all WTH?! HOAS. IYSS. But then I was all XLNT! TYVM!! I'm SETE. Then I thought WWJD? And that's TBD so I should quit while I'm behind.


THX, I mean, Thanks Tori!

If you want to know more about the ROFL Awards go see Mommy Off the Record and Izzy.

(*for those of you not up to date on the lingo, Like me. I had to look this stuff up:

WTH = What the hell
HOAS = Hold on a second
IYSS = If you say so
XLNT = Excellent
TYVM = Thank you very much
SETE = Smiling ear to ear
WWJD = What would Jesus do?
TBD = To be determined
SIS = Snickering in Silence)

Monday, November 13, 2006

You know you're a mother when...

... Your young toddler sleeps in until 8:45am on a rainy Monday morning and instead of thinking:

"Holy crap! It's 8:45 and she's still sleeping? This is great! I feel so well rested."

You think:

"Holy crap! It's 8:45 and she's still sleeping? Is she dead? I need to go check on her now!"

Jeesh, how my priorities have changed.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Yes, sometimes we do need some stinkin' badges

Perhaps you noticed those pretty round badges toward the bottom of my sidebar - if you didn't, don't worry I'll wait for you to go take a look.


*humming "Girl from Ipanema"*

*Tall and tan and young and lovely...*

You're back? Good. Let me explain the meaning behind those beauties.

Those badges are American Cancer Society - Fight Cancer badges to help raise awareness about the fight against cancer. My blog is sporting the lovely blue Colon Cancer Awareness badge and the equally stunning purple Relay for Life badge, two causes that are very near and dear to my heart.

I lost my mother to colon cancer (or, colorectal cancer, as it is often referred to now) just over 2 and a half years ago. Unfortunately, at the age of 44 years old, no doctor thought that the cause of her sickness and pain was colon cancer and in the time spent ping-ponging between doctors to get a correct diagnosis the cancer had a chance to get into her lympnodes before it was removed. She was 51 when she died. My daughter will never know her grandmother.

From the ACS website: "Other than skin cancer, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer found in men and women in this country. The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be about 106,680 new cases of colon cancer and 41,930 new cases of rectal cancer in 2006 in the United States. Combined, they will cause about 55,170 deaths."

55,170 deaths.

The age that most people are urged to get checked is 50, and though my hope is that everyone gets a colonoscopy as soon as they reach that magical number I also hope that people will listen to their bodies and force their doctors to give them the test if they believe it is needed. Insurance companies are not too keen on giving colonoscopies before the age of 50 so you have to fight for it. And fight you should - early detection is key to beating colon cancer. Did I make that clear enough? The number of cases of colorectal cancer has been going down in the past 15 years, thanks in part to early detection. Early detection = increased likelihood of not dying from this horrible disease. And it is horrible so, please, get checked as soon as you can.

Through all of this I became part of the Relay for Life, which I talked about extensively here.

If you like those buttons and you'd like to spread the word about cancer awareness (they have others: Breast, Lung, Ovarian, Cancer Survivor, etc.) go here. So far we are 209 strong, which means 209 blogs/websites have these badges displayed proudly.

When it comes to cancer (and especially colon cancer. Let's face it, few people want to talk about their colon) the more we talk about it the more awareness we raise, and with awareness comes more survivors.

Get a badge. What's a few more buttons on your sidebar?


*The title of this post refers to quotes from this movie and this one. It has nothing to do with colons or rectums. What are you, six? Stop giggling.


To lighten the mood:
In case you were interested, no, a burrito is not a sandwich. I've never been so proud to live in this part of the state as I am right now.

I've been to that "restaurant" once. Personally, I don't think Panera has anything to worry about. Their burritos can not be classified as a sandwich, nor can they be called "tasty".