Friday, April 28, 2006

But the online dating thing is going so well...

SOM* seeking similar for conversations about diapers and sippy cups and Hollywood romances, long walks with the babies in their strollers, and occasional frantic telephone calls. Must love dogs, sitting on the front porch sipping coffee (with or without dogs but definitely with babies), bitching about husbands or significant others, and gossip. A sarcastic sense of humor and sharing information on babysitters a plus. Super Moms need not apply.

Why is it so difficult to find another Mom friend that I can feel comfortable with? I know they're out there... Women, like me, who have young children at home who are looking for another person to share stories and frustrations over a cup of coffee or glass of wine (not that I'm advocating drinking in front of the kiddies. No, I would never do that.) I have dreams of finding that perfect person who I can call out of the blue to come over and visit. That one woman whom I feel comfortable letting in my house without cleaning it first. Ultimately, I'd like to find two or three women like that, but since I don't want to get greedy I'll be happy with just the one. So where are they?!

The fact of the matter is they are out there so the person I should be blaming is myself. I belong to a Mother's Group full of delightful women that any self-respecting person would be happy to have as acquaintances, but everytime I start to get close to one I feel myself pulling away. All of a sudden I feel like I'm 17 again:

Ooh, should I call little Susie's Mom and have the two of them come over for Goldfish crackers and apple juice? No, I just saw her two days ago, don't want to seem too eager. She probably has a life of her own. I don't want her to think I'm desperate.

What about Johnny's Mom? I could call her and ask if they would like to come with us on a walk. But then I'd have to call Emma's Mom and Madison's Mom, because I wouldn't want them to feel left out. Doesn't Emma's nap schedule conflict with Chicky Baby's. Damn, can't remember. The hell with it, I'll just take Chicky out by myself.

I talk myself out of Mommy dates like that at least a few times a week. What if I seem too desperate? What if they find out I'm a spaz? What if we strike up a friendship and then find we have little in common other than or kids? New friendships are hard at any age, but when you're my age and you have a kid they seem almost impossible. Work, spouses, family commitments, and life in general get in the way far too often. Knowing all of this you'd think I would put forth a bit more effort, but after running behind my daughter all day I barely have enough energy left over to feign interest in the Hubby's day. Fostering a new friendship? I'm tired just thinking about it. I want it to be effortless, simple. I want to make that connection with someone. Then again I'd also like to win the lottery, but you've got to buy a ticket to be in contention.

I'm making a pact with myself, join in if you'd like. I'm going to start trying to connect with some of these Mom's that I've met and try to start the sisterhood ball rolling. Starting next week. We all met as a group yesterday, so I don't want to seem too needy.

*Stressed Out Mama

Thursday, April 27, 2006

If she reads this then I'm changing my name and leaving town

In the Sister-In-law contest (the one that I've made up in my mind) I may have hit the jackpot. My Sister-In-Law is wonderful and fantastic (and she lives 1300 miles away) and is the very definition of perfect. Not in a Marcia Cross as Bree Van de Kamp sort of way but in a doctor for underprivileged adolescents who bore brilliant and adorable children (my SIL, not the underprivileged adolescents) while finishing her degree and residency and is married to a college professor who brews his own award-winning beer kind of way. Its not like she has sunshine and rainbows shooting out of her ass, it just seems like everything she does or has done is something that a person would want to aspire to do. She's got perfection down to a science, its effortless. And you can't hate her because she's so unpretentious and down-to-earth and just so... gosh, so hunky-dory and neato. When I grow up I want to be just like her.

The other day we received the birthday present she sent to Chicky Baby and don't you know I just tore at that package to find what I knew would be the most splendid of all birthday gifts. Ever. And it was... what's the word I'm looking for? Oh yeah - Perfect. No bells or whistles or pseudo-intellectual electronic talking machines. Inside lay the most superb gift... 4 books straight from the Caldecott Honor list. And a CD of children's songs that she lovingly made from albums that her children own. So simple, so wonderful. Swoon.

She could have sent the Pokey Little Puppy Golden Book and a loop of Baa Baa Blacksheep on a cassette tape and I probably would have still held it up to the sky as a blessed gift, but the books are great and the songs are so much fun that I've been having more fun listening to them than CB has. Because I've been enjoying it so much I thought I would pass along the playlist in case you are like me and woefully inadequate when it comes to finding children's music that doesn't want to make you stick a wooden spoon into your ear canal and stir like you're making risotto. I will admit that I was a little bit skeptical when I saw that Raffi made the list, but the ones included are fun and damn infectious. I can't get that duck song out of my head.

And if, after reading the list, you feel the need to run to the nearest music store or free up more space on your iPod because you are still craving more go visit The Lovely Mrs. Davis. She's always reviewing new and interesting kids music and she's got great suggestions.


I wanna be a dog - Charlotte Diamond
6 little ducks - Raffi
Not yet three - Jonathan Richman
The house at the top of the hill - They Might Be Giants
Not Naptime - Justin Roberts
4 hugs in a day - Charlotte Diamond
Shake my sillies out - Raffi
Crawfish Song - Buckwheat Zydeco
I like to move it - Sascha Baron Cohen
No! - They Might Be Giants
Nine planets - Justin Roberts
Roy G Biv - Mr. Ray
Blue Skies - Willie Nelson
Red clay halo - Gillian Welch
Where do the make Balloons? - The Might Be Giants
Sing when the spirit says sing - Raffi
Nightlight - Justin Roberts

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Cautiously Optimistic

A quick note regarding yesterday's post:
Thank you all for your kind words regarding yesterday's ramblings (oh, I did rattle on, so I doubly thank you) . Yesterday's entry filled a very personal need for self-reflection. However, if you decided to take a moment to thank God, Allah, Colonel Sanders, Snuggle the Fabric Softener Bear, or your 82 year old neighbor for your good fortune... Great. If, instead, you decided to bitch and moan and gripe about things in general... Fantastic! As Moms, women, people we are allowed to do that whenever the occasion calls for it. For me, yesterday was not that occasion. But let me assure you, dear reader, that there will be much bitching to come on this Mama's blog. Oh yes. There will be bitching.

But not today.

Today I am sanguine (love that word!), hopeful, optimistic. Cautious, but optimistic nonetheless. Chicky Baby seems to have reached a certain type of milestone. I hate to even mention it aloud. The superstitious side of me is screaming "I need a block of cherry or maple to rap my knuckles on - STAT! A pine 2x4?! It will have to do." But, in keeping with my new quest for positivity (and if you knew me you would find this whole optimistic thing quite funny) I believe I might be celebrating soon by putting away the nursing bras and taking a trip to Vicky's Secret because...

I think I might have finally weaned Chicky Baby!

waiting for the bolt of lightning

Her birthday was the last day that she nursed. The next day, out of frustration from the complete lack of any tangible nourishment, she pushed me away and she hasn't tried to burrow her way under my shirt since. Had I known last Monday was going to be the last time I'm sure I would have taken a moment while she was nursing to reflect on our long, often times frustrating, journey together. But its just as well I didn't know. No use crying over dried up milk, right?

I've been gradually weaning her, so I'm not suffering from any pain. What I am suffering from is that lack of quiet time with my baby girl. We still have our cuddle time when she sits on my lap and snuggles in with her bottle of milk but its not quite the same. If you would have told me this time last year that I would have 1) Made it one whole year nursing my daughter and 2) Pined for that part of Motherhood in my quiet time I would have told you to go play in traffic. But pining I am, just a little. I know I'll get over that feeling of missing something in time and I think I know what might help me...

Sexy lingerie! WooHoo!

Any suggestions?

Monday, April 24, 2006

Let me get comfortable on this really high horse for a minute

I was all ready to sit down and write (bitch) about Chicky Baby's birthday-turned-birthweek (clusterfuck) when I heard about this story on the local news. A woman was killed when the car she was driving in was hit head-on when a drunk driver crossed the center line. She was 8 months pregnant. Her baby was delivered by C-section and took a few breaths before dying himself. The man, her fiance and father to the baby, who was driving the car that was hit, is fine... As fine as a man can be who lost the woman he loved and unborn son. And the drunk driver? He escaped injury as well.

If that doesn't put things into perspective, then I don't know what will.

Here I was, trying to find a way to spin a stressful week into a funny story, and a real life tragedy comes along, as they all too often do, and gives me a healthy reality slap upside the head. Who the heck am I to complain that my daughter has serious separation anxiety and that she hates everyone but me, when there are so many worse things that could befall us? She's healthy and normal and (mostly) happy. As long as Grandma or Grandpa, or anyone else but me or the Hubby, don't come within 10 feet of her she's a very cheerful little girl. As difficult as CB's separation anxiety can make things, I really like it when she buries her head in my shoulder when she's feeling shy and when she grabs on to me when she thinks I'm going to pass her off to someone. She needs me. I won't have that luxury forever. And she got a new nickname out her phobia... The Tick. As in, she clings to me like a tick. Yeah, it needs work.

And so what if my living room looks like a Toys-R-Us blew up in it or that Chicky Baby now has enough clothes to start her own Gymboree? Was I really going to complain about that?! We have wonderfully generous friends and family who lavished her with gifts... Not because they had to, or because they were invited to her birthday party, or because they have so much disposable income (because, oh boy, they don't), but because they wanted to. Of course, they could have saved some of that money for, say, they're electric bill and bought her a bag of shiny bows and tissue paper but the dolls and loud electronic toys are good too.

Oh, sure... I was going to be all sarcastic about the mid-week Mother's Group that I hosted. But the 11 women and all 11 of their kids under the age of 15 months (plus a pre-teen niece of one of the women that I was informed was coming an hour before the party got started) were terrific guests and are invited back again this summer when we can keep everyone outside. So there were 25 people in my house that day... So what? I'm a lucky person to have access to that many other women with kids Chicky Baby's age living so close by. I've already lined up her senior prom date. How many moms can say that?

And, lastly, because of the number of people parading in and out, I've had to put in more hours cleaning my house this week than I have in an entire year... But I'm thankful I have a home. I complain about this money pit occasionally, but we have a roof over our heads and four walls to (mostly) keep the cold out. Honestly, the house really did need a full floor to ceiling cleaning anyway.

Just so I'm not misunderstood, I'm not becoming high and mighty. Oh, far from it. There will be plenty of complaining on this blog in the future. I am human, after all, hear me whine and bitch. But for today I need to acknowledge just how fortunate my family is. I've had some bad luck in the past, but as of right now, right this minute, my family is happy and healthy and that needs to be celebrated.

Is it gauche to give some of Chicky Baby's gifts to charity? Probably. Instead I think I will be finding a worthy charity to give other things to. Time, mainly. I think Julia needs to learn early in life just how lucky she is. And I need to remember that as well. Often and regularly. Hopefully, in the future, I won't need a tragedy to remind me.

Friday, April 21, 2006


Would someone with a basic understanding of HTML please email me and let me know why my sidebar is stuck at the bottom of my blog and how I can fix it?!? Please?! I'm begging. Everytime I open up my site it pains me to look at it. I'm not an overly neat person in most situations (she says, as a tumbleweed of dog fur goes drifting by), but I am that woman who knows if her vase of silk flowers is moved 2 centimeters from its original spot - usually by the clean circle on a sea of dust where the vase once sat - and I won't be able to hold a conversation with the person who moved it until the vase is put back to where I put it in the first place.

I'm just screwin' with ya, I don't have silk flowers in my home.

So, if you can offer any advice on how I can fix this problem I will ship you some of my famous fudgey, white chocolate chip brownies, I'll light a candle for you, and I'll send you a bouquet of silk flowers* along with my eternal love and devotion.

*Slightly dusty

Thursday, April 20, 2006

When I said I needed a hobby this was not what I had in mind

C'mon, who's with me?! Who's excited about this movie and this movie?!


Just me?

Yeah, I thought so.

I would be ashamed to admit to it, if I didn't enjoy them so much.... but I am completely enraptured by the whole dance/cheerleader/gymnastics movie genre. I suppose you could group all of the dance movies together and stop there, but the others follow the same format (lovable losers persevere through music, dance, and spirit), so they can be safely lumped together. I heart these movies Big Time, and I always have. Funny thing is I am not now nor have ever been a dancer, cheerleader, or a gymnast. I couldn't cha-cha, liberty stand, or cartwheel my way out of a wet paper sack. I have no idea where this fascination comes from. There are certain technicolor musicals that I always stop and watch if I happen to be flipping past TCM. I even own a couple on DVD. The classic musicals are great - I could watch "Singing in the Rain" a thousand times and never get sick of it - but this post is about the performance movies where the plot revolves around the dancing or cheering itself. Not the movies that follow the standard "boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, boy spontaneously breaks out in song about the girl in the middle of a busy street and nobody calls the local doctor for a shot of lithium" story line.

My appreciation started back in the 70's with Saturday Night Fever. Legendary music tracks and a thin plot line about a guy with nothing but a dream and some hot dance moves. Was there even dialogue in that movie? With the exception of the whole "He hit my hai-ah" scene I don't really remember what that movie was all about. But I remember the white suit, the pull-it-from-the-hip dance move, "More than a Woman" and "How Deep is your Love". And, of course, the indelible "Stayin' Alive" (the song).

Whether you're a brother or whether you're a mother,
You're stayin' alive, stayin' alive.
Feel the city breakin' and everybody shakin',
And we're stayin' alive, stayin' alive

Me! They were talking to me! I wasn't a brother or a mother, but I knew they just ran out of room in the song to include "whether you're a six year old white girl with knobby knees and no rhythm, You're stayin' alive, stayin' alive". I had (have) two left feet but I could shake it just as well as any other 1st grader.

In the 80's it was Footloose, Flashdance and Fame. I wanted to rip my sweatshirt, wear nasty toe shoes and dance in a grain packaging factory. Oh, the dance movies of the 80's! Stayin' Alive (the movie) was pure genius disguised as a bad excuse to showcase John Travolta's dancing prowess and sweaty chest. And Chorus Line! Let me dance for you! Gah! Okay, technically a musical but it was about dancing.

Then the breakdancing movies: Beat Street, Breakin' and Breakin' 2. Yes, the movie that introduced the word "Boogaloo" into my vocabulary.

Also in the 80's we got a taste of the gymnastics phenomenon: Gymkata, and, one of my all time favorites - American Anthem. The bad acting, the cheesy congratulatory hand slap thing they did (I can't even find the words to describe it, you had to see it to appreciate it). Mitch Gaylord. I don't know who gave him permission to act but he was a smokin' little number.

But wait! I'm not done! In '87 we got the mother of all dance flicks - Dirty Dancing!

Nobody puts Baby in a corner.

Tell me you weren't a little hot for Patrick Swayze's Johnny Castle. Liar. I can recite, verbatim, every line from the cottage scene when Baby runs to Johnny and they end up dancing, and groping, and then more dancing - horizontally and vertically. That was a bad description, but you've seen the movie so you know what I mean.

"Me? I'm scared of everything. I'm scared of what I saw, I'm scared of what I did, of who I am, and most of all I'm scared of walking out of this room and never feeling the rest of my whole life the way I feel when I'm with you."

Oooh, I just got the shivers.

This movie had all the heavy hitters: The Swayz-man, Jennifer Grey before the nose job debacle, Jerry Orbach (I miss him), and Cynthia Rhodes... Mrs. Richard Marx! And the music from the movie was so infectious they released not one, but TWO soundtracks. Phenomenal.

Then the 90's came along and Hollywood tried, they really did, to keep the magic happening. They gave us The Forbidden Dance. Remember? The Lambada movie? No, the one that didn't have Jennifer Lopez in it. That was called, simply, Lambada. The Forbidden Dance was about dancing and saving the rain forest. Oy. Some were truly bad, but some were surprisingly watchable. Like Dance with Me with Vanessa Williams and Chayanne (who?), Kris Kristofferson and Jane Kraskowski (I'm pretty sure it was shot before "Ally McBeal" took off). I could watch that movie over and over... And I have.

Oh yeah, can't forget Strictly Ballroom. Gotta love Baz.

In this current decade the dance movies started to dry up: There was Center Stage, yet another movie I watch over and over much to the chagrin of the Hubby. I'm not even going to talk about Honey because Jessica Alba is so perfect looking she makes me want to puke. I know it was about dancing but Save the Last Dance just didn't cut it for me. So, Hollywood trotted out the cheerleading movies: Bring it On and Bring it On 2. Yaaay Cheerleading Movies! Spirit Fingers. That didn't last long because soon after we got the highly entertaining documentary Mad Hot Ballroom, lending some credibility to the genre and destroying the guilty pleasure.

That is, until Take the Lead and Stick it. I'm giggling just thinking about that title - Stick it. Could they be any more obvious? I wouldn't be caught dead watching either of these movies in the theater. A girl's got to have her standards. But in a couple of months you can find me camped out on my couch ordering one or both of these mental marshmallows on pay-per-view and watching with a satisfied smile on my face. Cinematic prozac.

I've really got to get out more.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Copping out

Exhaustion is threatening to grab me by the back of the neck and force me, face down, into my keyboard, which would be okay with me if I would be guaranteed a blackout and, subsequently, a few uninterrupted hours of sleep. This week has been far more difficult and tiring than I had anticipated, since what had started out as a birthday has turned into a birthweek for Chicky Baby. But I am trying to cast aside my negative ways and focus on the positive... That is why I am posting a couple of pictures from Easter and saving the details of this week until I have had a decent night's sleep. Or two. Or seven. I promise I will share all the gory details when I've put some distance between myself and this ball-buster of a week. I don't want to bore you with my ranting and raving.... blah, blah, blah, screaming, blah, blah, sobbing, blah. When I can look back on this and laugh then I will write about it. Until then...

Cute baby pictures!

This is how we do Easter in my house. Pretty dress, cute shoes, and denim. Maybe next year we'll incorporate a little leather into her outfit.

I was going for Pinky Tuscadero. I would have settled for Olivia Newton-John circa 1980, but I think I over-shot and got Elton John circa 1976.

Soo cute! Even with mashed potatoes on her cheek.

I have some really good pictures of the two of us together on Easter - and that's saying a lot since I usually hate every photo of me - but I'm not ready to out myself just yet. For now you just get my shoulder. With that said, I'm off to drown my sorrows in a bottle... of Nyquil. I really need to sleep.

Monday, April 17, 2006

The one where I get all sappy...


I've been trying for days, weeks really, to write this letter to you. But how do you sum up one year of firsts into a few paragraphs? So I'm going to do the best I can, sort of like what I've been doing for the last 365 days as your Mama. Here goes nothing...

One year ago today I held you in my arms for the first time and, as cliche as it sounds, I fell in love. Hard. For the record, I really was concerned that I wouldn't right away, I was convinced it would take me a while to warm up to you and the idea of being a Mom. Life has a funny way of surprising you and it sure as hell slapped me upside the head with the humor stick. In those first few days we were inseparable, and then those days turned to weeks and weeks to months. Okay, lets face it, for most of your first year of life you hated everyone except me. I guess from your point of view if they didn't have a boob that produced milk then what was the point? You still don't like a lot of people, mainly close relatives (like Grandma, and Pappy, and most of your great aunts and uncles...) but you're getting better and more accepting of people breathing the same air as you. And we're not going to even talk about the months of colic. Baby steps, hon, baby steps.

Speaking of baby steps, you're starting to get the idea that those cute little feet of yours are made for walkin' and you love to walk around when someone holds your hands. This is great fun for you and my future chiropractor thanks you in advance for all the money we will be spending on therapy for my poor, sore back. Oh, speaking of therapy, you learned how to climb the entire flight of stairs just the other day and if you don't give me some advance warning the next time you're about to climb them again then Mama's poor nerves won't be able to take another instance of turning around and seeing you half-way up to the second floor.... Alone... Unassisted... With no one watching your back if you decide that you want to go back down the stairs. I can feel the gray hairs popping out of my head just thinking about it.

You have become a great lover of books lately and this thrills me to no end. I love your books as much as you do, so whenever you bring me a book I am only too happy to sit and read it with you. Well, reading is not really what we do... I try to read the words to you and you want to flip the pages in rapid succession, as quickly as possible. You get so excited to see what's going to happen next, to see what lies behind each page, that you shake like a frigid chihuahua. I'm going to miss that excited look when it goes away, like the other cute idiosyncrasies that you developed and discarded. I should get used to this as you change before my eyes everyday. I'm going to ask you this one time - Stop changing. Please, I'm begging you. I like you this way... Sans attitude, of course. Your mood swings rival a teenager whose first real crush told her that he liked her best friend. Bad example. I really don't want to think of you as a teenager with a crush, it makes me physically ill.

I don't want to think of you getting involved with some boy who will break your heart. It will happen one day, I know that and I'll just have to accept it then, but I don't have to like it. For now, though, I'll share you with Daddy, and that's it. You're my partner in crime, my constant companion. The one person in the world who needs me to help them exist. Bub, I have so much to teach you... Like, its okay to love crummy music. Never let someone else dictate what you should like or dislike. Follow your heart and your head. Dance, even if you stink at it, because people respect reckless abandon even if it looks like an epileptic seizure. And if they don't, screw 'em if they can't take a joke. Make your own trends. Work hard, even if its not the most glamorous of jobs. There is honor in everything that you do well. And, if you love something, never, NEVER, half-ass it. I've got lots more, but I have years to teach you this stuff. And if the last year is any indication, the next 17 will pass in the blink of an eye. It makes my heart hurt just thinking about it.

You are my love, my heart, and my soul. You are all of my hopes and dreams. My babaloo, my Chicky Baby. And today you are my one year old daughter. Happy first birthday, Julia. May all my dreams for you come true.

All my love,

Friday, April 14, 2006

Things they don't teach you in CCD

A long weekend of spring cleaning, Easter visiting, and a milestone birthday lays before me and the rest of the Chicky Family. My head is spinning with the overwhelming lists in my head, lists I make in order to keep my mind tidy and, therefore, help me execute the catalogue of tasks that accompany Holidays and Birthdays in seemingly effortless style (Ha!). So instead of a real post, and because lists seem to be the theme of the week, I will instead run down some of the important things I have recently learned.

- Even though my cat is horribly overweight (her nickname: Jaba the Cat), she can still run faster than I when making a bee-line for the open patio door while carrying a live garden snake in her mouth.

- Garden snakes hate being picked up with disposable diapers. (Hey, it was clean.)

- As a born and raised New Englander I am still amazed at how aloof some people in this region of the country can be, even when you are walking within 10 feet of them pushing a baby carriage. No hello, no smile, nothing. Hey Neighbor, its not like I'm expecting you to ooh and aah over my freakin' baby. What? You can't even nod to one of your neighbors? Fine, just don't come to me when you need to borrow a cup of sugar. Or when some random dog takes a dump on your front lawn.

- I am a fortunate woman that I have friends of different faiths who will talk openly and earnestly about religion with me on beautiful spring mornings and then let the subject drift over to the merits of a good honey ham on Easter. And that was with my Jewish friends.

- With Wednesday's Queen tribute by the American Idol contestants beaten into an unrecognizable pulp, I think its safe to say that AI has not only jumped the shark, but said shark is currently picking its teeth with the shards of their talentless water skis. Okay, bad metaphor.

- On the topic of television, if you're not watching "The New Adventures of Old Christine" then you're missing out on some funny shit.

- Its really, really hard not to scream "Fuck!" in front of your impressionable child after you've stubbed your naked toe on the corner of the dining room table. It comes out sounding more like "Fuuucdgeggaaah", which doesn't make your foot feel any better and, really, its a little insulting to your bruised toe.

- You can spend $200 on new workout clothes, but you actually have to workout to make that muffin top go away. Lesson leaned: Shopping = fun. Crunches = suck.

- Chicky Baby has a serious career as a rockstar ahead of her. Or, at least as a Pink Lady.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Six things

Right now you're saying to yourself "Two posts in one day? How does this woman do it?!" Okay, you're probably not saying that at all. Instead you're probably wondering to yourself "Doesn't this woman have a hobby?"

The reason for this pause from watching "America's Next Top Model" is because I have been tagged by the lovely Reluctant Housewife. And though I told myself after the last Meme I did that I wouldn't do another one for some time, I just can't stand the thought of not sharing more of ME with the rest of the blogosphere.

The point of this game is to reveal 6 weird facts/things/habits about myself and then tag 6 people. And to that I say... Only 6?


1. I have never had a cavity... until this year. That's 33 years of not having a dentist drill a hole in my tooth for those of you scoring at home.

2. I refuse to drink the milk in the bottom of my cereal bowl, even if I'm eating Cocoa Crispies.

3. I snort when I laugh.

4. I fear gas-powered yard equipment. I wouldn't start a lawn mower or snow blower if you held a gun to my head.

5. I can't drive a stick and I don't understand why that's a big deal to my husband.
(I meant a manual transmission, you sickos.)

6. I had an invisible friend when I was 4 or 5 years old. His name was "Cover". I have no idea why I named him "Cover" except for the fact that I was 4 or 5 years old. My family still picks on me about that name to this day.

There you go. While you're wondering how you can get the last five minutes of your life back I'm going to nominate...

Jana - no good deed goes unpunished!
Mama C-ta
Her Bad Mother

Rules and Regulations:
1. Reveal six weird facts/things/habits about yourself and then tag six people.
2. Leave a "You're Tagged!" comment to let the people you have tagged know they have to reveal six things (or the entire blogosphere will explode and it will be their fault).
3. Leave me a comment letting me know that you have completed your mission (if you have chosen to accept it!)

A letter...

April 12, 2006

To: Mr. Chicky
From: Mrs. Chicky's psyche - a subsidiary of the General Electric Company

Dear Mr. Chicky,

We have been hired to speak on behalf of our client, one Mrs. Chicky (a.k.a Mama), and address some of her concerns. Apparently, on 4/11/06, you questioned your wife, Mrs. Chicky (who, from here on, will be referred to as "Mrs. C") about why she did not take your daughter, one Chicky Baby, outside for a walk on a beautiful spring day. This may have escaped your notice, but our client has informed us that it has been bothering her ever since.

If we can speak frankly, Mrs. C has been feeling a little overwhelmed. She wants to make it abundantly clear that she is incredibly thankful that she has the opportunity to stay home and take care of Chicky Baby, but the pressure as well as the monotony is starting to take their toll on her well-being. As you are probably aware the state of your home, from a cleanliness perspective, has taken a turn for the worse. Mrs. C apologizes for that and she has assured us that situation will be rectified. However, she wanted to make perfectly clear that since she is the main caretaker of the inside of the house [including but not limited to: vacuuming, moping, dusting, dishes, bed-making, laundry, cleaning of the bathrooms, general pet care and maintenance, as well as overall straightening-up, diaper-genie emptying, etc.] she would like to be cut a little "slack". Because not only does she take care of those chores on a daily/weekly basis, but she is also responsible for approximately 90% of the child care. Individually each job could be considered full-time positions. But together they make for a very, very long day.

Mrs. C has told us that she would love to exercise more, for her physical as well as emotional well-being, but Chicky Baby's normal routine of sleeping, eating, whining, playing, demanding, pooping, etc. is ever so slightly changing (apparently sleeping less to allow more time for whining and demanding) and Mrs. C is still trying to adjust to it. Mrs. C has also told us that although she knows your comment about getting outside was out of concern for her happiness and not, let us repeat, not because you felt she should lose weight or firm up, it still struck a chord. Therefore, our client has a few demands:

First, although she appreciates you telling her "like it is", she would enjoy it if sometimes you would tell her things she would like to hear instead of things you think she needs to hear for her own good. As an example, you could try saying "I like the well-worn denim look." Instead of "When was the last time you changed your clothes?"

Second, Mrs. C is stretched horribly thin. Not only does she constantly worry about things such as: Is it okay to park Chicky Baby in front of Elmo so our client can have a bit of piece? Is Chicky Baby having enough individual playtime as well as constructive time outside the home with her baby buddies to further along her development? But other things like: The dogs aren't being sufficiently exercised causing behavioral problems in the home. When was the last time the cats were fed? If Chicky Baby's knees are always dirty due to the fact that our client hasn't washed the floor in a week, does that make her a bad mother? With all these concerns swirling around in her head, your small comments about her getting a job outside of the home are not appreciated. Cut it out.

Third, Although our client is thrilled that you've been taking a much more active roll in Chicky Baby's care and the upkeep of the home, Mrs. C really would like it if you got around to finally finishing your guest bathroom. The two types of linoleum and the askew towel bar combined with the half-painted trim is a little embarrassing.

If, after reading this, you have any concerns of your own we would appreciate it if you spoke directly with our client. Frankly, this passive-aggressive thing is really screwing with us. In closing, our client would like to reiterate that she is thrilled with how much progress she has seen from you. She has told us several times that she wouldn't trade you in, even if Brad Pitt came calling....

But, if you don't give our client a full day off soon she's thinking of leaving you to go stalk George Clooney in Lake Como.


Mrs. Chicky's Psyche, Esq.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Give a penny, take a penny

One of the things that I love about blogging is the anonymity, and the freedom that secrecy gives me, to show the real me. The me that I sometimes squash because I'm embarrassed that my friends might see through my thin veneer of coolness to the spaz that lies within. There has been some interesting talk around the ol' blogosphere the past few days - Celebrity Crushes and the interesting searches that have brought readers to our blogs. These posts have inspired me to reveal one of my deepest, darkest secrets to you, my blog buddies. Because if you can't keep it real with your friends on the internet, then what's the point? This is a secret that I've shared with the Hubby, my dogs, and one of my cats (who is currently trying to curl up on my laptopslnldiadada - Gah!) because the other one could care less about my secrets because, hey, he's got his own life to lead. So, blog friends, promise you won't laugh. Promise you won't point at me and whisper behind your hand to each other. Promise? Okay, here goes...

I have a girl crush.

(this should bring the internet pervs out in droves.)

Its generally accepted to have a girl crush on someone like Angelina Jolie. I'm talking about Angelina before she was one half of Brangelina but after the whole freaky, blood-drinking, Billy Bob phase. What red-blooded woman does not find her sexy? Who wouldn't go gay for her? Its not just me, right?

But the lovely Angelina scares me, just a bit. She's just too over the top for me (and I think some will agree with that statement). I'd rather save my admiration for someone a little more down to earth. Someone who seems more accessible. Someone with an accent and hips to die for. That someone for me is the oh-so-sexy Shakira.

Yeah, the hips don't lie. That girl could shimmy her way out of a steel box. As for her music, you can love it or leave it, but you can't deny that it gets stuck in your head and makes you want to do that funky chest thrust when no one's looking. How can you hate her? She's hot in a way that makes women envious but not in the way that makes them want to throw a mug at the TV. If I happen to catch the Hubby drooling over one of her recent videos, I won't make him change the channel. I'll sit down and drool with him. And I'm not apologizing for it. I'm secure enough in my sexuality to say that Shakira makes me feel like a giggly 15 year old. I have no idea what she was singing about in La Tortura but, damn, that girl made smushing a tomato look provacative.

And I got a big kick out of this album cover...

(shoot, I hit publish instead of save.)

So, my friend, grab a cup of coffee and have a seat at my table. Who is your secret crush of the opposite sex (or sexual persuasion)? We don't judge here in the Chicky Household. Especially when we, um, overshare. But if you say Jennifer Love Hewitt then I retain the right to throw my cup at you.

Now that you know my dirty little secret please don't pick me last for Red Rover.

Monday, April 10, 2006

You can't make this stuff up...

300 Competitors. $50,000. Three throws...

And an excuse to get out of Mom and Dad's basement.

The good folks at the House of Blues in Las Vegas took some time out from their usual routine of rock bands and high priced merchandising to host a tournament that even the kiddies could appreciate:

The 2006 USARPS Championships - that's the USA Rock Paper Scissors League for those of you not familiar with the acronym.

Should I repeat that? Rock, Paper, Scissors. Rock, Paper, freakin' Scissors.

This man, from Nebraska, won $50,000 for winning a glorified game of Rochambeau. You can insert your own jokes, I'm too busy stocking my pantry with bottled water, batteries and canned goods because, clearly, this is the sign of the Apocalypse.

If rock-paper-scissors is, in fact, the next Texas Hold'em (in terms of payout) or the next cool game that all the kids are playin' (like Dodge Ball) then what comes after RPS? I know that somewhere there's some MIT drop-out sitting at his coffee table thinking of another way to stick it to his overbearing father by inventing yet another way to fuel his Red Bull habit by doing anything but joining the working week.

I'm already one cup of coffee into this Monday morning, so here are my suggestions:

Four Square:
A little more involved than RPS, but any guy (or girl, don't want to generalize) who was a regular D&D player in, ahem, High School who still has his Mom do his laundry and make his lunch should be able to tackle this contest with little problem. Though it can be physical, so a player should be immediately disqualified if they regularly had a nurse's note to get them out of gym class.

Again, this one involves a bit of athletic ability, but I think any psychotic fan of Star Wars who spent 48 hours standing in line for the release of the Phantom Menace without proper access to a rest room could probably handle it.

Oops, wait a minute... I think this one has already been done. Its commonly called Minor League Baseball.

Kick the Can:
I envision this one as a larger version of "Beauty and the Geek". Something tells me there wouldn't be as much tagging when the women were "it".

The caffeine is starting to wear off, so please feel free to add your own. I think we might have a new career in the making here.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Call me Narcissus

I have been tagged by the always charming Jana with a Meme, and because it is always polite to acknowledge a person's questions (even if you are full of shit most of the time) I humbly put before you...


Mrs. Chicky's List of 4's

*lame rimshot*

4 Jobs I've had in my life:

a. Purveyor of tasty beverages at various local watering holes and country clubs.
b. Underpaid and overworked morning DJ (thankfully, not at WOLD-d-d-d) at a local radio station where I languished in obscurity waiting for my big break that never came.
c. Corporate whore and cubicle dweller.
d. The one where I got paid to play with dogs (I still can't believe someone paid me to do that).

4 Movies I can watch over and over (and over):

a. Ocean's Eleven (the George Clooney one - no offense Frank and Dean)
b. Sister Act 2 - ooh, I feel another cheesy post coming.
c. Grosse Point Blank
d. Beautiful Girls - what? You didn't read my last post? Shame on you!

4 Websites I visit regularly

a. The Boston Globe
b. Obscure Store
c. iTunes (can that be consider a website?)
d. Have you seen my blogroll?

4 Favorite Foods

a. French Rolls from Priscilla's Candy Shop - Its this log, for lack of a better word, of chocolate-y, fudge-y goodness rolled in crushed nuts. Heaven on waxed paper.
b. Crab Cakes
c. A good steak with a side of Tuscan white beans.
d. Is gelatto a "food"?

4 Places I would rather be right now

a. Pelago, Italy (in Tuscany) at this fantastic inn the Hubby and I have stayed at a couple of times.
b. A warm beach with my toes in the sand.
c. A little, out of the way winery in Napa Valley "tasting" some wines.
d. (if I could fast forward a couple of months) Sitting in my in-laws Fenway seats behind first base watching a Red Sox game, teaching Chicky Baby the finer points of baseball and sneaking her pieces of a Fenway Frank.

4 Books I could read over and over.

a. "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" by Betty Smith
b. "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius" by Dave Eggers
c. "Snuggle Puppy" by Sandra Boynton
d. "A People's History of the United States: 1492 - present" by Howard Zinn.
(giggling behind my hand)

4 Songs I can Listen to over and over again.

a. #41 - Dave Matthews Band
b. Allison - Elvis Costello
c. Everlong - Foo Fighters
d. My Funny Valentine - Chet Baker

4 Reasons why I blog.

a. Cheap Therapy
b. To help me remember Chicky Baby's childhood.
c. Because I've got so much extra time on my hands (Ha!)
d. Penance for doing so poorly in Mrs. R's 10th grade English class.

I was never very good at tag, I would often flail about wildly hoping to hit someone.

This is me flailing...

Friday, April 07, 2006

Beautiful Girls

The wonderful and insightful Izzy recently wrote a couple of posts on a topic very near (but not dear) to my heart on how society puts pressure on people - not just women - to look a certain way. When I think of this subject I can't help but remember Rosie O'Donnell as Gina in the movie "Beautiful Girls" and her diatribe against society's idea of what is "beautiful"...

"Implants, collagen, plastics, capped teeth, the fat sucked out, the hair extended, the nose fixed, the bush shaved -these are not real women, alright? They're beauty freaks. And they make all us normal women with our wrinkles, our puckered boobs, our cellulite, seem somewhat inadequate."

[If you haven't already seen the movie - and I recommend that you do - you can read the rest of her tirade here.]

How many times have I felt that way when I pick up a magazine to peruse while waiting for my turn in the supermarket check-out line, or when I flip the television to Entertainment Tonight? In the movie, Gina is looking at a "Gentlemen's Magazine", but it may as well have been any rag you can easily get at the bookstore. The faces and bodies of the women (girls, actually) that Hollywood fawns over stare out at you seemingly chanting "aren't we pretty? Bring us home". Who are these women and where the hell do they come from? The answer to that, of course, is Brazil. But beyond that, what kind of message is the media sending, not only to adult women and teenagers, but to young, impressionable girls by bombarding us with soft core T & A and calling it "fashion". Before I was a mother, the latent mommy instinct would come out when I watched young girls in the food court of my local mall - I wanted to take my coat and cover them up and wet my napkin in a glass of water and wash off some of their makeup. Stop trying to make yourself into something you're not, I'd think to myself. You're beautiful without the WonderBra and the hair extensions! When I became pregnant and, subsequently, found out that I was having a daughter I vowed to keep her locked away from all that nonsense until she was old enough to see through the fluff. I'm thinking that by the time she turns 45 she'll be ready to leave the confines of her windowless room.

I'm not a prude, I was one of those girls once. The one who snuck out of her house with her "cool" (read: trampy) clothes in her backpack, ready to change at a friend's house before going out. I was one of those girls who was influenced by television, magazines, movies and small minded people. I did not fit the beauty "standard" so I tried everything I could to mold myself into it. And I suffered because of it. I'm not quite ready to talk about my own body issues (perhaps after a trip to the therapist and a couple glasses of Pinot?), I will instead refer you back to "Beautiful Girls" and its female characters (because you don't want to get me started on the guys in that flick)...

Who is the one woman who seems the most well-adjusted person in that movie? Is it the lovely Darian (Lauren Holly) with her beautiful home, handsome husband, and cute-beyond-words daughter? Don't think so, she spends her time chasing after an old love until he rebukes her for the tragic Sharon culminating in the embarrassing high school reunion scene where her true "ugliness" comes out. And what about the pretty but tragic Sharon (Mira Sorvino)? She spends her time throwing up her lunch because she doesn't feel thin enough to hold on to her man. Gina seems very confident, but I've always thought she was hiding something behind all that bravado. Jan (Martha Plimpton) is a vegetarian dating a much older, divorced Butcher, so that relationship has the stench of "rebound" all over it. And I'm not even bringing up Uma Thurman's character "An-deee-ra". She's too perfect. She doesn't exist. End of story. It really should be Natalie Portman's character, Marty, but she's only 12 or 13 in this movie so she doesn't count.

{Quick side note: I have yet to meet a man who saw that movie when it came out in theaters who did not immediately become hot for Natalie Portman's character. I'm just saying..}

No my friends, the most together, dare I say happy, woman was the mousey Sarah (Anne Bobby), doing her best Shirley Feeney impression. She had a husband who loved her, two children they adored, a home, a job (I'm assuming she worked in the beauty salon, but she may have been a SAHM) and to my recollection never lamented about her looks or love life. If you blink, you'll miss most of her scenes because happy mother's with middle-of-the-road looks don't sell movies. Or magazines or even CD's. We take them for granted. Society ignores those woman as constant, but transparent. Always there but often overlooked.

I'm raising a daughter in a beauty-obsessed culture and I'm scared sh*tless. I feel ill-equipped to help her through the landmines of Victoria's Secret, Cosmo and Lindsay Lohan, or whoever else it will be when Chicky Baby enters her teen years, because I often fail prey to their tantalizing goodies. Since I have no idea where this train of thought is going, I will open it up to you, Dear Reader. How do you deal with societal pressures on how we should look?

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Reading, 'riting, 'rithmetic... and really high mortgage payments

The Hubby, being the fine and upstanding worker-bee that he is, will soon be moving on to a bigger and better job in his company. This is a gig that will not only put him in a position to be seen by Those Who Hold the Ladder Which You Want To Climb but will also give him a slight bump in pay. Which is always nice because I enjoy being a kept woman and I need someone to fund my Target habit. In all seriousness, though - he deserves this job. My man is one hard-working MoFo and, I might add, he's wicked smaaaht (as they say in this neck of the woods). There is no man on this earth who impresses me more than my Husband... okay, maybe Ghandi, he was kind of extraordinary. Oh, and the Pope. No, not the current one, the last one. Heck, they're trying to canonize him... that's pretty notable too....

Getting back on topic, the Hubby is not only one of the smartest men that I have had the pleasure of intimately knowing but he's good and kind, he knows right from wrong (hard qualities to hold on to when working for corporate America), and most of all he does what's right for his family and he holds Chicky Baby and I above all other things. You can see why I married the guy. Because he sees the big picture better than me (most of the time) and because he's - God I hate to say this - smarter than I am when it comes to some topics, I tend to agree with him when he has ideas on how to make our lives better. Recently, however, the Hubby and I have come to a crossroads in our journey together as parents and I'm not quite sure how this is going to work itself out.

Getting this new position in his company means the Hubby will have to travel farther to work everyday. This would be a non-issue if it wasn't for the fact that the job will require him to put in a minimum of 9 hours a day. Tack onto that an hour plus commute (depending on traffic) each way and he can pretty much kiss seeing his daughter on the weekdays "bye bye". So the Hubby, being the brilliant man that he is said:

"Let's buy a house closer to Boston!"

"Great!" I said. "You grab the ski masks, I'll grab the water guns and we'll go knock over the 7-eleven!"

See, the reason we decided to buy this house, in this town, is because it was reasonably priced for its proximity to the Boston area. I would tell you just how "reasonable" it is but you guys would probably choke on your tongues. Unless you're reading this in California or New York - then you'd say "Yep, that's reasonable alright." Because it is a little farther into the wilds of Massachusetts, up until recently the town has not had the kind of taxpayer money to afford them to have a top-notch school system. The schools are not bad, but they're not the best. And here is where we reach our dilema. (Finally!) My man was not only born with a high IQ but he also grew up in one of those monied towns around Boston, one with a Really Good School System. Though he was the son of a civil servant and a stay at home mom, he was a lucky little boy because those public schools rivaled the private schools where I grew up. He and his parents put education on a very high pedestal and my In-Laws were less than thrilled when we moved to our current home.

But, then again, I didn’t hear them offering to buy us a house in Rich-ley (as I will refer to their place of residence). But anywhooo...

The Hubby not only wants to move us to a town where he can get home in time to see Chicky Baby before she goes to bed, but also a town that has the best Really Good School System that we can afford. Though, here’s the rub... I love my daughter and I think she deserves the best of everything that I could possibly provide for her, but I don’t want to move! I am finally starting to feel settled. I’ve made friends, lots of them, with kids Chicky Baby’s age. I’m just starting to know the names of streets without having to Mapquest them. I have a favorite Sunday morning breakfast place, for Chirssake! And, most of all, I’m pretty happy here. The thought of having to up and move to a much smaller home in a town where I know no one is troubling to me. Scratch that... Its downright terrifying. I’m a fairly personable woman but it takes time to cultivate friendships and I’m not the kind of person who will walk to the neighbor’s house to ask for a cup of sugar just because I need an excuse to meet them. No, I need to be drawn out of my shell by a kind soul, like a scared dog needs a tasty treat to get him to come out from under the porch.

And that is where we reach our impasse. The Hubby wants to move to the town with the Really Good School System and I want to stay in my comfort zone. I can't help but feel a little bit selfish. I want to give Chicky Baby every opportunity to succeed in this world and I want her to be happy but, let’s face it...

If Mommy’s not happy, nobody is happy.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


Just when I was thinking about putting all those heavy, bulky winter sweaters away for the season, this is what I get...

... A giant bitch-slap from good old Mother Nature...
God&*%$#&!!!! Mother#$%&*#$!!!! Son of a %&^$#&%#!!!!!

I'm pretty sure that robin is flipping Mother Nature the bird. Maybe that's where the term comes from. Hmmm...

Of course, in the time it took me to take these pictures, download them to my always unreliable laptop (hats off to you Dell), upload them to Blogger (I'd take my hat off to you but I've already thrown it across the room in disgust because you died on me - TWICE!!!), and write this the sun has come out and the snow is starting to melt.

I'm going back to bed. Wake me when its June.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

A 14 year old girl with PMS has nothing on this one...

I took these pictures of Chicky Baby in, approximately, a 15 minute time frame. Isn't she too young to be Bipolar?

Some of the pictures are blurry with the tears I cried as I witnessed the years in front of me. I should probably start stocking the liquor cabinet. The Hubby and I are going to need it when she enters the teenage years.

Monday, April 03, 2006

If You Don't Know Me By Now...

... you will never, never, never know me.
Oooh ooooooh.

Or so that's how the song goes. Although, how true it is in real life that we don't really know our friends as well as we think we do. You can spend every day with someone and still not know everything about them, because you will only get to see what they're willing to reveal to you. Its no big surprise that we're not totally honest with everyone, or that we share pieces of ourselves with some but save different parts for others. That's the nature of the beast. Humans are changelings, adapting to our environment as necessary. What you share of yourself with those people who have known you since you were a scrawny 8 year old will probably not be what you share with those who met you when you were a 23 year old, full of bravado, in your first real job out of college.

As I found out this weekend, when a friend is ready to share any hidden tidbits that they have carefully tucked away in a safe, dark place it comes at you with such a force that it leaves you questioning your status in their life. After many telephone calls ending with "We really should get together soon" the Hubby and I had some good friends, and their adorable almost-2 year old daughter, over for dinner yesterday. My homemade lasagna was enjoyed by all (including the 2 year old who deemed it "de-wisus"), Chicky Baby was passed around, we all marveled at how quickly our children were growing and how fast the time flies when life gets in the way. And then... Wham! J., the father/husband, drops this little bomb on us:

"We're thinking of moving to North Carolina."

Wha... ? Huh?

"I think a change of scenery will do us all good."

Where... When... ?

"Plus, the weather is starting to get us all down."

Oo-kay... But...

"I think it will really help K.'s seasonal affective disorder."


I've always known that my girlfriend K. gets a little "blue" in the winter. I don't know too many people who live in New England that don't, myself included. But if my politically liberal friend J. is willing to pack up his family and move to a Red State, where they'll have to make new friends and look for new jobs, then things must be worse than what I've been led to believe. The empathetic side of me immediately worried for my friend K. and wanted to do everything I could to help her. But I couldn't help but feel a bit wounded that she never felt it was important to tell me just how horrible she was feeling. We were roommates while going through our respective divorces! We went to Cancun soon after said divorces and got stupid-drunk together to celebrate. She couldn't tell me that her seasonal depression had gotten so out of control that she was willing to change her life so drastically? I'm a little hurt.

I'm not typically so narcissistic. Often, when K. and I get on the phone to have one of our hour-long gab sessions, I spend about 50 minutes of that hour listening with the occasional "Aha. Yep. Wow. Then what?" thrown in. What have we been talking about in that length of time that, somehow, I didn't find out until yesterday that she's been really depressed?

Knowing K. the way that I do I appreciate that she didn't want to burden me with her problems. But I have been privy to most of her dirty laundry, the woman is usually an open book. I wonder why she felt the need to cover this one up with idle chatter. What I am certain of, however, is that I don't want my friends to move away.

Maybe I should buy her a mood light?