Monday, December 31, 2007

If you don't want to see me whine...

...Then you can come see what I wrote about over at the New England Mamas today. But come only if you're a real sports fan. Only if you love at least one team, I don't care what sport, so much you're willing to bleed their team colors.

Or come over if you hate the Patriots and you want to have a good shot at me. Whatever. I'm ready for it.

Or you could just stay here and find out why I'm not too happy with my Dad. Your call.

I hope they don't expect me to throw them a party

Since we're in that weird limbo between Christmas and New Year's I've had lots of time to catch up on my sleep sit on my ass think about all that transpired on Christmas Day.

Besides all the gift giving and food eating something else pretty big happened. My Dad got engaged to his lady friend, the woman who he's been living with for some time now. Only nobody thought it was important to actually tell us about it.

After we arrived at my Nana's house on Christmas Day the usual greetings and pleasantries were exchanged, and my Dad's lady friend (I refuse to call her "girlfriend", though my Dad may act like a juvenile it's been a long time since either of them were children and could be referred to as "girl" or "boy") showed us her Christmas present - a gold band with three equally sized small diamonds in it. I do remember noting that she wore it on the third finger of her left hand but there was little about it that screamed "He proposed!" and she didn't offer any information, so I said "It's beautiful" and left it at that.

My sister did the same.

Mr. C did the same.

None of us wanted to assume anything so nothing more was said. Until later in the day when I heard her mentioning something to my father-in-law about my Dad asking her to marry him the night before.

Wha'? Marriage? HELLO. Offspring of the groom-to-be over here.

That's right, my Dad never thought it was important to mention to his daughters that he had gotten engaged or that he was considering getting engaged. We were supposed to figure it out for ourselves. My Dad, he puts the "ass" in "classy".

I will admit that I never thought they'd get married. I thought they'd be one of those couples that just stayed together for years and years, living together and enjoying each other's company.

However, I would have been perfectly fine with my Dad buying the ring on the sly and then proposing, without consulting my sister or me beforehand -

Though, if he would have told us before hand I could have helped him find a much better ring. Heh -

But to stay silent about it and let the information come out like it did? That kind of hurt.

I don't expect this wedding will happen anytime soon so I've got lots of time to lick my wounds. And really they're more like annoying scratches that itch while they heal. I'll get over it. If Dad's not going to act as if it's very important then neither will I. So there.

I obviously got all my maturity from him.

Friday, December 28, 2007

We interupt this nap to bring you the following random thought. Just because I thought you should know and because Twitter is broken.

I've been feeling the baby fluttering for a couple of weeks now - which is very cool, especially since the early flutters are so much more preferable to the late kicks and jabs to the kidney - but today I'm sitting on my couch, listening to Chicky sing off-key in her crib,

(the singing that will soon turn to violent kicks to the side of the crib and a resounding "MAAAAA! MOOOMMMMM! MOMMMMYYYYYYY!" So even though she sounds like she's choking a cat, the singing is SO much more enjoyable.)

and baby-to-be has gone from gentle backstrokes in my womb to full on Mary Lou Retton-style gymnastics.

I bet if you held your ear to my stomach right now you would hear this:

"WEEEEEEEEEE! Thanks for the chocolate and that small vanilla coffee, Mom! That feels GREAT! WEEEEEEEE!"

Considering Chicky's vocal stylings have just reached a crescendo and the crystal in my dining room, a full floor below Chicky's room, is threatening to crack, I'm willing to bet the baby's joyous shouts would be off-key as well. But I'm their Mom so it all seems perfect to me. I give them both a "10".

This sappy moment is now over. The baby has gone still and Chicky has stopped singing and started screaming. I need to put a stop to it or we'll have to replace our new windows. As you were.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The day after the day after

A whole week away from blogging to enjoy the Christmas madness merriment sure does a body good... Except all that time away will be for naught when the actual holiday whups your ass, leaving your poor body sick and tired and your toddler's body beaten and bedraggled.

And by that last part I don't mean to insinuate that we beat our child. But have you ever seen a toddler high on fistfuls of White Trash snacks who hasn't napped in a couple of days? I always thought it was a saying but they literally bounce off of walls.

We're both slightly sick and very over tired so all stories and pictures from Christmas will have to wait. But, oh, I have stories. Stories of excess and surprise engagements and hour long violent tantrums.

On second thought, I think I might skip that last story. Some things don't need to be relived.

Before I go rest my heavy head I realize that I neglected to mention before my mini break that my quad screen test came back all clean and healthy. No problems there, as far as we can tell, which means we'll probably be skipping the amnio and live in blissful oblivion until the end of May. That's all I really wanted for Christmas anyway.

So internets I leave you to watch Elmo's Countdown to Christmas for the bazillionth time. I hope all your holiday celebrations were worth the stress of mall trips, shipping charges, long lines in the post office and staying up late to put together ridiculously large Christmas presents that your kids played with for 20 minutes before they moved on to the boxes and bows. Which as everyone knows are way more fun to play with anyway.

Friday, December 21, 2007

A Very Chicky Christmas - 2007

Dear Santa,

It's been a whole year since I last wrote to you, pal, and you NEVER WROTE BACK. I think I mentioned that when I finally got to meet you a few weeks ago but, you know, I'm two and a half and I forget things. I think you laughed about it. That much I remember. I don't like to be laughed at, buster. So you just wait and see what I leave for you in your plate of cookies this year.

You can make it up to me, Santa. Remember how I asked you for a doll house? Yeah. I'll be expecting that under my tree. I'd also like a monkey, a purple cow and Raffi tied up with a big red bow. Not a Raffi CD. I want the man himself so he can sing to me whenever I demand it, which is often according to Mom. She's been trying to get me to listen to other types of music this year - she calls it my "musical education", whatever that means - and I've gone for some of her tricks. Johnny Cash is pretty cool, I like him a lot. I like some of that Beatles stuff too, even though bugs usually freak me out. I'm not buying the rest of it though. Could you talk to Mom about lightening up on the weird music and concentrate on more "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star"? Oh, but don't touch the Macarena. I like that crazy groove.

And I expect the monkey and the purple cow to be real, not stuffed.

It's been a crazy year, Santa. Mom spent a lot of time either sleeping on the couch or coughing. Daddy said she wasn't coughing but that she was "throwing up". I don't know what he was talking about because I was always asking her to play ball with me and she always said "Don't throw the ball in the house". Maybe she and Daddy are playing ball after I go to sleep. They always seem like they're in such a hurry to get me to bed at night.

Whatever, all I know is that she's now telling me she has a baby in her belly. How could she have a baby in her belly when she was always coughing everything she ate into the toilet?

Hey, wait just a minute... Do babies come up from the potty?? Do you think a baby jumped up from the potty and into her mouth while she was coughing and then she swallowed it?? That's it. I'm never using the potty now. I don't need some baby growing in my booty.

Regardless of how that baby got there Mom says I'm going to have a baby brother or a baby sister next year some time after my birthday. I'm not too sure what she means by "brother" or "sister" - I mean, my vocabulary is getting better but it's not perfect - but I think there's a little boy in there. If you ask me tomorrow I'll tell you it's a baby girl. Ask me the next day and I'll tell you it's a kitten. Try living in my head for a while, big guy. It's WILD.

Onto the presents!

I mentioned I wanted a doll house, right? Never hurts to say it two or three times. Or twenty-five times! I really like to repeat myself over and over and over and over and over and over and over...

I never got that Elmo doll from last year. Hint, hint.

How about a dinosaur? He can sleep in my room with me.

And a new pair of rain boots. I wear my old rain boots almost every day around the house and Mom says they're two sizes too small for me. Eh. Doesn't bother me one bit. Especially since I usually have them on the wrong feet anyway.

My Mom says she really wants a glass of wine and for Daddy to put the Blackberry away. Daddy wants Mommy to get a job but then says we all know that isn't going to happen any time soon, so I guess you can forget a gift for him.

Oh, and the dogs would like more Girl Scout cookies.

Just to warn you, Santa, now that Mom has told me you come in the night when I'm sleeping to drop off the presents I fully plan on staying awake all night so I can say hello. I love a good petting zoo and I want to feed that reindeer of yours with the freaky red nose.

Word to your mother.



Thursday, December 20, 2007

This story could make almost any Red Sox fan cry

Remember when my dogs broke into my closed pantry and ate my Girl Scout cookies? That was a pretty bad day. But this story is much worse.

"Given my chosen profession as a dog trainer I love a good dog story in the news, but this one almost broke my heart..." [Continued at New England Mamas]

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Oh yeah *head slap*... THAT's why I married him

No matter how cute my little bump is, I'm still pregnant. Uncomfortable, irritable, clumsy and pregnant. So tonight after bathing Chicky I decided to take a bath myself.

It's been freezing here in the North East and I'm always cold anyway (please keep your frigid jokes to a minimum), the thought of a nice warm bath sounded really good. Even if I couldn't have my customary glass of wine while I soaked.

I ran the water, grabbed some jelly beans and stripped down to my birthday suit.

With my handy rubber ducky thermometer floating in the tub I felt comfortable with the temperature of the water - my last OB-Gyn told me never to take baths while pregnant, and that's another reason why I switched doctors - but it still seemed on the cool side to me. However, the cold air in my bathroom forced me to make the decision to get in anyway. Pregnancy boobs hurt under the best of circumstances. At that temperature I thought my nipples were going to fall off.

The first minute or two was fine. I had my book. I had my jelly beans. I was happy. Then I noticed the water had gone from just warm enough to a little chilly in that tub. Then it got a lot chilly. Then my nipples were really threatening a revolt.

"Hooooneeeeyyy!" I called to my husband.

After a few seconds, "Yeah?"

"My water is getting coold." Wow, I can be whiney.

He thought for a second. "Well, we just gave Chicky a bath and you ran the dishwasher right before that. And I just washed some dishes in the sink..."

"So what you're saying is we have no more hot water in the tank?"

"That's what I'm saying."

Sigh. "Okay. I really don't want to get out so soon. Maybe I can stick it out for another couple of minutes until the water heats up again."


He went back to his computer, I went back to my book.

Another couple of minutes went by and still no hot water.


After a few seconds, "I have water boiling on the stove for you. You relax and I'll bring in the water to heat up your bath."

Come on, say it with me. Aawwwwww.

"Aw, hon. That's so nice of you."

"Yeah, I know."

So he brought me two separate pots of hot water from the stove to heat up my bath, just so I could languish in my own type of sensory deprivation tank. And I didn't have to ask. I was going to, oh yes I was, but he beat me to it. Sometimes he can be the greatest guy.

But I can't help but wonder what his ulterior motives are. I think it was to keep me in that bath longer so I wouldn't keep forcing him to get up to fetch me bowls of ice cream.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Get in my belly!

Those are just a sampling of the foods I have to have in my house these days. Normally I would never have most of those items in my house so I have to say I like these pregnancy cravings. Scratch that - I freaking love pregnancy cravings. Love with a capital S-U-G-A-R and S-A-L-T. And while we're at it a capital F-A-T too.

I need bowls of mint chocolate chip ice cream and big glasses of cold filtered ice water with lots of ice cubes. I need pigs in a blanket from my grocer's freezer section and ham salad sandwiches with cole slaw on the side. I need burrito supremes from Taco Bell with lots of mild sauce. I need my house to smell of pumpkin pie or snickerdoodle scented candles constantly...

Ooh, snickerdoodles. I know what I'll be making tomorrow...

I need all of these things. It's almost primal. And woe to the person who gets in my way if I'm trying to put them in my shopping cart. I'm really surprised I haven't bitten someone yet. I've growled, but I haven't bitten.

I can't even explain how good it feels to eat. I don't think I could accurately describe the pleasure I take from eating some days, but I'll try. Oh yes I will.

As one example: I had a grilled cheese sandwich soon after my nausea started to abate, a very simple bread and melted cheese sandwich, and I swear to God (har) eating it was a religious experience. I seriously believe I saw Jesus in that grilled cheese. And then I ate Him and licked the plate clean. How's that for having the spirit of the Lord in you?

Those of you who have experienced Hyperemesis know what I'm talking about. Those of you who haven't should consider yourselves lucky. But imagine this - You live in a house full of food. Your refrigerator is full, your pantry is full. You have people offering you home cooked meals. You feed others (in my case, Chicky) but you, yourself, can not eat. Even though the Food Network makes you salivate - when it's not making you vomit - you have zero desire to eat. And even if you did have a smidgen of desire to put something edible in your mouth, like say water, you would almost instantly throw it back up.

I, for lack of a more suitable term, was starving. Literally. Do I deserve to eat Skittles and French Fried Onions until they're coming out of my ears. Uh, yeah.

It's over now for the most part, the sickness and the starving. I still have some not-so-great days and medication is still necessary, but as you can see from the picture I'm not hurting as much as I was a few weeks ago. That bag of chips? It'll be gone by tomorrow. And is it me or do they not make boxes of Crunch 'n Munch as big as they used to? That box is empty. Hell, it barely made it home from the grocery store this morning.

Now, lest you think my days are one big bacchanalia after another, but without the wine... Okay, it's sometimes true. But for the most part I don't really eat much because my poor stomach is still adapting to having real food in it.

If eating like a pig on occasion doesn't make you hate me just a little, well hold on to you hats. Due to my months of not eating and then sporadic eating binges, if this pregnancy is like the last one no one will know I'm pregnant and since it's winter most people won't until I'm at least 7 months. I, friends, am a skinny pregnant woman.

I know what you're thinking - Poor woman gets to eat whatever she wants and still looks skinny. Let's spread nasty rumors about her and the school nerd and not let her sit at our lunch table. But for every silver lining there has to be a rain cloud of bitchiness.

As I understand it one of the perks of pregnancy is having people give up their seat for you and help you with your groceries and shit like that. Last pregnancy I didn't get any of that special treatment. Not once. I want special treatment, dammit! Is that so much to ask for all my pain and suffering? I'm breeding future Democrats here, for chrissake.

So try not to hate me too much. Sure, I'm 17 weeks pregnant and I can still wear size 4 jeans still buttoned (no elastic band through the button hole here) during my second pregnancy. And I live on a steady diet of high fat, high calorie foods but have only put on three pounds since Thanksgiving...

Nah, go ahead and hate me. I'll just drown my sorrows in another bowl of peanut butter cup ice cream. And I may not have strangers carry my bags for me but I'm banking on walking out of the hospital after delivery in at least my size 6's. I can live with that.

T.B. Wams @17 weeks
Objects in picture may be smaller than they seem.


Thanks so much to Izzy for the fantastic job she did on my blog. Ain't it purdy?

Sunday, December 16, 2007

To get the amnio or not to get the amnio. That is the question.

Tomorrow we should find out the results of our quad screen prenatal test. The quad screen is not a perfect test but it's what we decided to do before making a decision about the amniocentesis.

The amnio. Just thinking of it has been a stress. Unfortunately, being of "advanced maternal age" it's one of those things the doctor has suggested we consider. Apparently that one calendar year makes eggs very sticky and extra chromosomes can get attached where they didn't just a few months before.

That's not necessarily true, of course, but I'm a little bitter about being considered "advanced" when it comes to my age. I am not advanced, I am prime.

Me and my prime self have been really wishy-washy when it comes to making a decision about amniocentesis. I don't relish the idea of someone sticking a needle into my belly and into the sack that holds my unborn child, especially since I struggled so much in my first trimester. I really don't like the possibility of problems happening as a result. But I would hate not knowing if there was a problem with the baby before he/she is born. Then again, what would I do with the information? So many buts and none of them about my prime behind.

This baby, though easily conceived, has been hard won in my opinion. I don't think many women would have voluntarily gone through what I did for a baby, especially a second one, and definitely without knowing if the sickness was ever going to stop. If I had known it was going to be as bad as it was I don't know if I would have gotten pregnant. And that's the hard truth. Ignorance is bliss, but it can bite you in the ass if you're not looking.

And that leads me back to the amnio. If there are no glaring problems in the quad screen I don't know if we'll go ahead with it. My pregnancy has been tough, would I really consider (if you'll excuse my bluntness) aborting the fetus if something seemed to be wrong or will we live in ignorant bliss and see what happens?

It's a hard decision and not one I can make until I'm in the thick of it, which is why I'm waffling on getting the amnio done and waiting for the quad screen results. It has nothing to do with ethics or religious beliefs, I just don't know what I would do if placed in that situation until I was actually faced with hard facts. And I'm not sure I want to put myself there. Especially since I had a very long ultrasound when my doctor thought I was a candidate for the early screen. Can you bond with an image on a television screen?

T.B. Wams @ 14 weeks
I think you can.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Tiptoe through the (holiday) tipping

I'm over at the New England Mamas today begging people for advice on tipping during the holidays and feeling pretty guilty because I think I just gypped my dogs' groomer out of a decent holiday gift.

And my dogs are not exactly, um, easy to groom. I should know, I used to do all their grooming before Chicky came along. Have you ever tried bathing two eighty pound dogs? The hair ingested alone is worth giving the groomer one of my kidneys if she ever needed it.

So come visit us and give me your best tips on tipping.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I don't ask you about your toilet habits so back off my kid

When did it become acceptable for one complete stranger to ask another complete stranger if the latter's toddler is potty trained?

For instance...

...The other day in the grocery store. I just ran in to buy a few items when the (complete stranger) nice older lady checking my groceries asked, out of the clear blue, if Chicky was potty trained yet.

Uh, no.

"Oh," looking at Chicky, "Someone's still using baby diappies. You're not a baby anymore. You need to make tinkle in the potty."

Even Chicky was stunned. Guilt from a total stranger? Ain't that a bitch?

Not to mention that, no, Chicky is not a baby anymore, so why was the (complete fricking stranger) nice older lady speaking in baby talk? I tink someone needs to cut back on dere houwers and go back to da home for dere wedicine.

It seems wherever we go these days there's always someone inquiring about the status of Chicky's potty usage. And by "inquiring" I mean sticking their pointy noses where they don't belong. The older, grandmotherly types can't believe that she wasn't toilet trained by her second birthday (oh, the horror!). Mothers of other toddler's want to compare notes and make sure there kid is on schedule, if not doing better, than other kids their age. Mothers of slightly older children want to offer advice - even if you don't want it and you didn't ask for it.

These types are usually the exception, not the rule, thankfully. But then there is my family.


My dad, whom I doubt had too much of a hand in getting me potty trained at the ridiculous age of 18 months, is always the first to gently chastise his only grandchild for still wearing diapers. He's followed by his lady friend, my Nana, and my sister. None of them, I should add, have offered to train Chicky themselves but they're always there to ask what's taking so long. Sometimes I go along with them. Often I stay silent and change the subject.

(I love my family. I love my family. I love my family.)

But here's my secret: I'm in no hurry to have my daughter use the toilet and she, either feeding off my apathy or going on her own timeline, is in no hurry either. And honestly I find it convenient when taking my daughter out to the mall, for instance, that she's still in diapers. No scary sounds of "Uh oh" followed by a trip to Gymboree for some dry pants. Not once have I had to deal with being in aisle 7 of the grocery store, sandwiched between the cans of peas and the spaghetti sauce, and hearing the words, "Mommy, I need to go potty NOW." That will come soon enough, thankyouverymuch.

Nope, I'm in no rush at all.

I'm a fairly laid back person. I believe when it comes to certain matters Nature will step in when necessary, so why fight it? Chicky will use the potty when she's ready. To use a tired old saying, I don't think she'll be the only kid in diapers on the first day elementary school.

I've always felt this way but I will admit the pressure from others started to get to me. What if I was doing my daughter a disservice by not gently leading her toward potty training? We have videos and books and two potties in the house. We talk about the potty, we talk about big girl underwear, but still Chicky is not interested enough to try it herself. What if it was me who was the problem?

But then this weekend I caught Chicky, if you will excuse the cliche Mommy blogger talk, making that scrunched up face that could only mean one thing - she was about to poop. I coerced her onto the potty - okay, I picked her up and ran her to the bathroom, yanked off her pants, and put her down on the pot - where she cried a little at first but then proceeded to talk excitedly about getting candy. Because that's what happens when big girls use the potty. They get candy.

She talked. And sat. And talked. And sat. And nothing came out.

(Sounds like someone's been reading "Once Upon a Potty" too much, eh?)

Nothing came out that day in her diaper either. Or the next day. Or the next. Until the fourth day when she made that face again and I gently encouraged her to use the potty. And she screamed in terror. My little girl was terrified to use the potty. That's when I knew it was time to start listening to her, and to my gut, and cool it with the toilet talk.

Which means, the next time someone suggests to my daughter that she's somehow inadequate because she's not toilet trained the Mama Bear in me will have to come out. I almost feel sorry for that woman in the grocery store. I'll have to make sure I don't go through her line again so I won't feel the need to tell her to back the fuck off.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Where positive reinforcement ends and I consider crate training my toddler

On the surface Chicky seems to be the most gentle, thoughtful toddler you could ever hope for. She says Please and Thank You (and You're Welcome - she's big on the You're Welcomes). She's friendly enough to say Hello and Bye to family, friends and strangers in the grocery store but not so friendly that she's in your face every second. She plays well on her own, even though she prefers to play with someone else. She's helpful with easy chores and generally is very good about putting her toys away when asked.

Chicky is the child every parent dreams about.

And then there's the Chicky that comes out when no one else is around but me or Mr. C.

That Chicky hits when she's frustrated. She slaps. She screams. She'll haul off and cuff us in the ear if we get in her face or do something to displease her. She'll throw things, either at us or in our general direction and her aim is so good that if the item hits you, you'd better believe she meant to hit you.

I've tried to teach her to hit things like pillow cushions when she's frustrated, and she does, but nothing alleviates her suffering like hand hitting flesh. The other day I tried to teach her to clap when she felt angry but the end result was a whack to my head and then she clapped. It looked more like a victory celebration than redirecting anger in a positive manner.

When it comes to dealing with my toddler's outbursts I believe in redirection and praise. In my job as a dog trainer I preach the gospel of positive reinforcement and rail against constant negative punishment. Not that punishment doesn't have its place, its just not what I generally go for first or teach my students to rely too heavily upon. But toddlers aren't as easily shaped and their behavior not so easily modified with simple praise and small treats as animals are - and it's beginning to make me frustrated too.

I'm the person who, if I really set my mind to it, can teach a dog to do any number of tricks, from fetching the paper to turning off a light switch. I can teach a dog to be as obedient as that dog is capable of being (I'm a trainer that believes that not all dogs are created equal, and that's just the way it is), but most days I feel as if I'm failing with Chicky.

It may seem odd to compare caring for a dog to caring for my child but if you compare a modern dog training book written by a positive dog trainer and a modern child-rearing book the methods are not so different. But the fundamental difference between the two is the emotion involved. For me, when a dog acts out and refuses to cooperate with all my methods I simply walk away and try again later. When my child refuses, however, it's a whole different ballgame.

She pushes me. I think many of you know where I'm coming from. The angrier I get the more she laughs and does what she pleases. Is there anything more grating than reaching the end of your rope with your kid and having them laugh in your face? If there is, I hope to never see it.

A couple of weeks ago she pushed me further than my nerves could take. I was just getting over my morning sickness but still not feeling all that well. She was bored from multiple weeks spent in the house and acting out more than usual. Mr. C was home but it was one of those days when I felt he was pulling his weight. It probably wasn't the case but that's what it felt like at the time.

After many time-outs, naptime had finally rolled around. I was done. As I tried to change her diaper, after chasing her around her room for about five minutes and finally wrestling her to the ground, she kicked me - hard - right in the stomach. And then she continued to do so, or tried to do so, even though I told her not to.

I snapped.


My bare hand slapped her bare butt before I even knew what was happening. Hard enough to leave a small pink mark and a sound that got her attention. Chicky's face slowly crumpled as she went from laughter to tears. I don't think I'll ever forget that day or that face. I don't believe in spanking such a young child. I don't know if I believe in spanking at all, but a toddler? I was completely ashamed of myself.

I remember how I was feeling before I spanked her. Betrayed and emotionally pained that she wanted to hurt me. Walking away didn't seem to be an option at the time.

I'm not beating myself up over this, too badly anyway, because I know I'll be pushed again. I'm human and she's a kid. We've got a lot of learning to do.

I don't have a nice, clean ending for this post because this entry, like this subject, is more of a "To Be Determined" subject. My hope is that I'll be able to continue raising my child in a positive manner with occasional punishment only as necessary while I keep the memory of that day I spanked her in the back of my mind. Chicky is a good kid, all of her violent outbursts aside, and that's got to come from somewhere. Does that make me seem slightly delusional and naive? Well, that's to be determined.

It's worked for my dogs pretty well so far.

Friday, December 07, 2007

November ROFL Awards

It's that time again. Time for that whole funny thing we do every month - the ROFL (roll on floor laughing, for the acronym-challenged) Awards.

My nominee is going to seem like a complete cop-out and maybe it is, I have spent more time with damp towels on my forehead, moaning like a dying woman, than reading blogs lately. But I have been puke-free for like, multiple days in a row. So bring on the funny people!*

I nominate MamaLee and her post about her anti-Martha Thanksgiving.

Nov07 ROFL award

Sure it's on that new website that I founded (you know, the one with the wicked cool contest going on for just another day!) and it seems like blog nepotism giving an award to a post on the blog I contribute to, but I really could care less. The post was funny and that's what this award is about - funny posts. So there.


Here's the rest of this month's nominees!

Pundit Mom awarded Self Made Mom

Moosh in Indy awarded Clink

Bri awarded Crystal

Red Stapler awarded I Am Bossy

Jozet awarded Beanpaste

Marie awarded A Pile of Dog Bones

*You may notice the nominations are a little light this month. I'm going to chalk it up to a quiet month around the internet. Next month I expect there will be many, many, many more nominations. Right?


I thought so. Carry on.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Every time a cork pops, a wino gets his wings

Chicky is a child of routine. We can deviate from our usual schedule every once in a while and she adapts pretty well but not until she's had a minor meltdown. She's a kid, she likes predictability. I can't blame her one bit.

The other night Mr. C and I took her Christmas shopping with us. Nothing extreme, just a quick trip to one of the big warehouse stores looking for bargains on electronic gadgets, but she was already showing signs of crankiness. Low blood sugar. Big warehouse stores suck when you're in need of a Goldfish cracker fix.

The item I was looking for was out of stock and we didn't need four hundred pounds of diapers or giant vats of ketchup so we left empty handed, which is unusual for us. Before T.B. Wams was conceived we would have at least made a stop in the caged off liquor area for our monthly case of cheap wine.

Ah, the good old days.

As we walked out hand in hand in hand, Chicky started crying, "Noooo!"

"What's the matter honey?"

"Mama and Daddy's wiowueroujrofjsf!" she said through tears.

"What?" It's hard to understand a screaming toddler sometimes.

"Wine! Mama and Daddy need to get wine!"

"Oh, wine." We were dragging her to the car by this point, fat tears streaming down her face. We were snickering in the falling snow, proud as peacocks and not even a little embarrassed. Our kid really had our number. But Chicky was digging her feet in. How the hell could we leave without wine?

"No, hon. We're not getting any wine tonight."

"No wine?" she asked, incredulous. You silly people, she seemed to think, you live on this stuff. "Nooo! Need to get some wine!"

"Well, since Mama has a baby in her belly she can't drink wine."

Sniffling, she thought this over as Mr. C buckled her into her car seat.

She cast a longing glance through the window as we started to drive away.

"Nooo! Daddy can have wine! Daddy need wine!"

I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried.


Don't forget about the little contest going on over at the New England Mamas. And while you're there make sure you read some of the fabulous posts from our contributing writers. There are some really great ones up right now.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Because everyone knows that the holidays are a gas

Last year around this time, although a week or two sooner in the season, I was freaking out about Christmas cards. Because that's what I do. I freak out. About stupid things that have no bearing on the rest of the world. Because I can.

This year was no different, except instead of realizing that I didn't have a Christmas card prepared to order and then send out to the multitude of friends and family that were no doubt waiting with baited breath at their mailboxes to receive my inspired holiday greetings (you can totally imagine them waiting on their front porches in the snow, right? I can.), then simply taking my cherubic angel of a toddler out into the backyard on a ridiculously unseasonably warm late November day and snapping 200 pictures until we made her cry (yeah, that was a good day) and making the damn card in a flash (because technology is cooool), this year was more like this...

Week before Thanksgiving - "Holy shit!" *retch, cough, gag* "We need to take pictures of Chicky for our Christmas card!" *retch, retch, gag*

Week of Thanksgiving - "Jesus Christ on a popsicle stick!" *retch* "We still haven't got a decent picture of that little shit for our card!" *gag* "Because she won't stop squinting at the camera and making goofy faces!" *retch*

Week after Thanksgiving - "For Chrissake!" *retch* "We're never going to get these goddamned cards done in time for Christmas!" *gag* "And we will burn in parenting hell because everyone is expecting some goddamned cute photo card like last year." *gag, retch, retch*

As you can see I really invoke the spirit of the Lord at Christmastime. No wonder I hear thunder when I get within a hundred yards of a church.

And no one is expecting anything. That's just part of my psychotic break.

We finally got our damn card prepared last night, no thanks to my daughter who is going through that "I will not look cute in front of the camera any longer, you cute mongers. I will instead squint and look really weird every time you try to take my picture just to spite you. And then I'll try to hit you because I can" phase. See?

I'll add that to the group of pictures to bring out when her first boyfriend comes to visit. And her hair needs a trim. Christ on a mule.

This is the final result:

I take no credit for this picture, it was all Mr. C. He took Chicky outside with that poinsettia on a 30 degree day without a coat. And he burped to make her laugh. Because that's what it takes to make our kid laugh these days. Fear of freezing to death and gas. Happy Goddamned Holidays.


Oh, hey! Don't forget, we're giving away stuff over at the New England Mamas all this week. It's our official blog-opening for the new site. Please stop over and say hello, 'kay?

Friday, November 30, 2007

More proof that God hates me

I've been feeling a lot better ("a lot" being relative in the grand scheme of things) for two weeks. I've been able to eat many of my favorite naughty foods, like Taco Bell, for instance. And it doesn't get more naughty than than Taco Bell.

Or is it, it doesn't get more nasty than that? Either way it's damn tasty.

Anyway, the bottom line is I've started to feel human again. Until yesterday. Yesterday I got some weird stomach flu thing and spent a majority of the day between my toilet and moaning on the couch. Whatever few precious pounds I had begun to put on thanks to my beef burrito supreme/mint chocolate chip ice cream/Italian grinder diet has gone right down the drain. If you catch my drift.

Chicky had it earlier this week but hers was tame in comparison. Mine was way worse because God loves toddlers who slap and bite their mothers when they are at their weakest, most vulnerable point and hates mothers who are just trying to catch a break. I think it's in the Gospel of Luke.

At any rate I'm only writing because 1) the house cleaner is here and I'm stuck in the house while Mr. C brings Chicky to his parents house because if I try to get dressed I'll probably pass out and 2) the ROFL (roll on floor laughing) Awards are next Friday so get in your nominations to me or Metro Mama really soon and 3) I needed to mention that the new and improved New England Mamas blog is having our grand blog-opening on Monday with lots of giveaways and from what I hear some spicy R-rated posts. Personally, I was hoping for X-rated but anything over a G-rating these days is okay by me. "Good grief" is about as racy as we get around my house these days. And that's what's heard under my covers after Chicky goes to bed.

So, yeah. New England Mamas. Lots of free stuff to win. Interesting posts by interesting women sometimes, but not always, with a New England slant to their writing. Just the other day I wrote something about the Boppy cover recall. But there's a lot of great writing over there so if you haven't gotten a chance to check it out for yourself - and really, if you haven't you should be ashamed of yourself - go now. Yes, right now. Put down the bagel and go. It's impolite to eat something like that in front of a woman in my condition anyway.

*And what's worse, I wrote this post so quickly and with only a fraction of my brain cells working that I wrote "God hats me" in the title instead of "God hates me". I'm waiting for the locusts and the frogs next.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

My dirty little secret.

Physical activity has been lacking around these parts, to say the least. The last thing I've wanted to do after logging much time on the bathroom floor is exercise. The act of pushing a vacuum has caused me, more than once, to grab on to the closest available sturdy structure or piece of furniture to keep from falling over - although, that's due more to starvation and dehydration and the consuming blackness that falls over me when I've attempted to stand for a few minutes more than poor exercise habits.

But in the past week and a half I've begun to feel a bit better. Now that I am officially and securely in my second trimester my morning sickness is manageable with medication. Instead of getting sick upwards of ten times a day, if I can get some food in my body immediately in the morning and then keep up with it throughout the day I'll only get sick, maybe, once a day. The nausea is still fairly constant, but like I said it's manageable.

Unfortunately, the damage has been done. It's not easy for a woman of my advanced years (as the medical community would like to label me, being 35 and all) to spring back after almost two months of lying on a couch. It's going to take some time for me to get back my energy, as I was forced to admit to myself after a week of constant activity had left me beaten and exhausted come Sunday.

Okay, "constant" may be a strong word to describe the past week when one of those days entailed little more than caring for a toddler and going to the grocery store. But cut me some slack, 'kay?

My social life has suffered because of my near disabled state. Commitments were either canceled or never made. But worse than anything else, my house has become whatever the step below an official Super Fund sight would be called. It's bad. Or, at least, it was bad until Mr. C took last week off and the two of us (okay, mostly him. Again, still really weak and peakish over here.) tackled some pretty heavy duty house cleaning and de-cluttering.

I wish I could say pride of ownership lit a fire under my husband's ass and prompted me, too, to leave the ass groove in my couch long enough to empty the dishwasher. But no, that's not quite the case. Some pretty hard core nagging got Mr. C's attention and... How do I say this?

We hired a house cleaner and we need the house to be cleaner and more tidy before I let a stranger into my home to do the rest.

There, I said it. We're hiring someone to clean our house. I, a stay at home mom with no job (currently) am hiring another woman to come to my home and clean it for me because I can't keep up with it myself.

Right now my mother is spinning in her grave. The women in her family don't have other people clean their homes. They'd sooner torch the structure and skip town. But somewhere between my mom's generation and mine we lost that housekeeping gene. My sister, whom I love and adore more than any other woman, does not do house cleaning. She's hired cleaners for years and she's only 31. To her defense, she does run a successful restaurant and that takes a hell of a lot of time away from her busy working/shopping/spa/wine tasting schedule, so you can see why she would need to hire someone to keep her house clean.

(Love you, Seester of mine.)

And now, I am hiring someone to vacuum the pet hair and clean my bathrooms. She starts on Friday.

This doesn't mean I won't be doing any house cleaning myself. Keeping up with this place is a full time, seven day a week job (hence the house cleaner). The dogs alone make it necessary to pull out the vacuum every day. And Mr. C was recently promoted, which means a butt load more travel for him and no help on his end for me. Do these sound like hollow excuses to anyone else? Because I don't think my guilt will ever let me get past this.

I will now go back to eating my bon bons while I put my feet up and flip through fashion magazines. Cliche, thy name is Chicky.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Can we fix American health care... one movie at a time?

I just finished watching SiCKO by Michael Moore. I was just starting to feel better and now I feel really sick.

In light of what I have gone through over the past few months, and what my family and I had gone through with my mother (another story for another time), and now that I've watched this movie, I am more worried for the future of this country than ever. And I've been one of the lucky ones in that I only have to fight with my insurance company every few months to get the medication I need. Not all the medication I need, but at least I'm getting something. So many are so very worse off than I.

I want to see both sides. That's how I roll. I understand that sensationalism strikes harder than just simple facts and figures (almost 50 million people uninsured in this country. That's not so simple, is it?) and a filmmaker like Moore is very good at what he does - telling his side of a story. So where's the other side? Let's hear it. Where's the argument for private, corporate-fueled health care versus universal health care? I'm open to any explanations. I want to make an informed decision. There is an election coming up after all.

I'm having a hard time finding any evidence that can make me believe our current system is the best it can be. Especially when we rank so low in things like infant mortality and life expectancy. And we're ranked by the World Health Organization in their list of World's Health Systems at number 37. Moving to France is looking pretty good right about now. They're at number 1. And they drink wine with every meal.

I haven't even begun to cover maternity leave, infant health care, or daycare. It all makes me very tired. But I can't afford to be tired. I don't think any American can. So let's hear it... Tell me I'm getting all worked up about nothing, and be prepared back it up, or let me know what you'd do to fix our broken health care system. I do believe we have a chance to fix American health care if it needs fixing - which I believe in my heart of hearts that it does - either through our voices or through our vote.

I really am tired so I'm going to sleep on it and hope in the morning I'll have clearer answers. It seems funny to leave such an important subject without some nice wrap up all tied with a red bow, but it seems fitting somehow to leave it open ended. I don't have the luxury of DVD extras and months of editing.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Fill 'er up. Unleaded please

I'm having a bit of a Christmas conundrum. This is the first year that Chicky will really enjoy Christmas and all its trappings - presents, Santa Claus, hanging lights and ornaments on the artificial Christmas tree we've committed ourselves to for the foreseeable future

(shut up, I have a good reason for having a plastic tree. I know it's not very "green" of me. I have enough guilt for all of us, okay?)

- but when it comes right down to purchasing her gifts I've gotten stuck. She doesn't really need anymore toys, or more to the point my house doesn't need any more toys in it, so what she gets better be damn special. Not to mention something she'll want to play with until she's 37.

I've told Mr. C that any gifts purchased for our child with our own hard earned money will be from companies that can reassure me that no lead paint or date rape drugs were used while making their toys. I can't necessarily control what others will be buying for Chicky but as her mother you can bet your bippy if I'm going to allow more toys to clutter my already over-cluttered house they're going to be safe. Or as safe as they should be before she learns how to use them as weapons against the dogs. It won't be as easy as say running to my local super retail store and grabbing the first battery powered toy that produces fifteen different sounds, all of them designed to make my ears bleed, but it is as easy as a few web searches and an extra shipping charge.

Unless you've been living under a rock you've probably already heard of Consumer Unions Not in My Cart campaign to keep unsafe toys away from our children (only, like, a bajillion bloggers have already written about it). Well, their Twelve Days of Safe Shopping drive is starting this Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. Or Black Friday as it's so cheerily called. If you're committed to keeping unsafe toys out of your home, and the homes of others, go to their website to see how you can become a Safe Shopper.

Like I mentioned it all kicks off this Friday around the country. However, if you're in the Boston area I've got the details for that local event:

Meet at the Park Street T Station (Corner of Tremont and Park) at 9:45am on Friday morning and then walk over to Downtown Crossing.

As well as Consumer Union there will also be local support from MASSPIRG and Clean Water Action. Local media and maybe a government representative or two will also be on hand. Concerned shoppers are needed to hand out information to the public and talk to the media. Here's that link again if you'd like to sign up to help.

Even if you can't make it to one of the designated Get the Lead Out cities you can help by spreading the word and making others aware. Tell your friends and family about only purchasing toys from safe manufacturers. Make them aware of the dangers of lead paint on our kids (and our pets! Does it never end??) toys. And only buy toys from companies that can tell you with certainty their toys are safe.

In the meantime I will be resuming my web search for Chicky's Christmas presents. I've got my eye on this and this and maybe something like this since it's what she asked Santa for. Okay, she didn't really ask for that. She asked for a doll house. But I thought the other toy was way cooler, not to mention it was awarded the Oppenheimer Toy Portfolio 2008 Lead Free Platinum Awards.

Yes, I'm aware it will take up a butt-load of room in my house. I just can't win.

Friday, November 16, 2007


The honeymoon is over. I knew she couldn't call it a "kitty" forever. And as much as Mr. C just wanted to ignore the whole topic all together it finally came time to give Chicky's girlie parts, and mine for that matter, a name.

It all went down a few weeks ago after a shower.

"Mama, was dat? Dat your bum?", my child asked pointing at my unfortunately overgrown nether regions. Personal grooming is the first to be chucked, right after one's lunch, when you have morning sickness like mine.

"No, hon. That's Mama's vuh... Um, Mama's vuh... Uh."

"Mama's booty?"

"No, not Mama's booty." Mama's booty is not that hairy. Yet. A few more months of pregnancy and I'll look like Sasquatch, but for now I'm still good.

"Was dat?"

"That's Mama's vuh... Vulva. That's Mama's vulva." Yeah, that's the ticket.

"Oh," she let this sink in for a moment. "Mama's bulbbah. Okay."

And with that she ran off to play with her baby dolls.

Why is it so difficult to name certain parts of our daughters anatomy? I'm sure there are some of you who fearless dive right into the correct terms, but I am not like that. At all. I was raised Catholic. I didn't know the correct terminology until I was 26.

For some reason I have no problem at all saying "Penis". See? Penis. Peeeenis. Nope. No problem there. That one easily slips off the tongue. So to speak. Heh.

But "vulva" and "vagina" do not come so easily.

(Oh, the double entendres. Somebody stop me.)

Maybe it's the "vuh" sound. If it were, in fact, a "bulba", as Chicky refers to it, or sometimes a "bubbah" - which elicits images of Bill Clinton, quite apropos if you ask me - when she gets lazy with her pronunciations, I would have a slightly easier time saying it. Like that crazy broad on that reality show from a couple years back:

"He bite me on my bagina."

Not the greatest example but you get my meaning. There's just something about the "vuh" sound that just doesn't sit well with me. But vulva is what we've committed to and vulva is what we'll refer to it as. If Chicky has no problem referring to it as her "Bubbah" then so be it.

I suppose it would be wrong if I started calling it her "Bubbah" too, huh? Especially with the presidential election coming up.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Don't get too excited - I'm not free from nausea. Nope still have that.

My father-in-law just picked Chicky up for a two and a half day grandparent-fest, leaving me alone (Mr. C is shmoozing techie mucky mucks in L.A. until Friday), with no one else to care for but myself and my dogs until he drops her back off on Friday afternoon.


(*cough* *cough* *retch* *cough*)

Note to self: excitement makes you puke.

Anyhow, what the hell am I going to do with myself for two and a half days? Oh, the possibilities.

Normally if I had this much time to myself (and by "normally" I mean years and years ago before I had a kid) without work obligations or a husband around to dictate how much of our precious free time should be spent at Home Depot I would schlep my tuckus to the mall and shop myself silly while over-caffeinated from too many Starbucks ice vanilla coffees. Or I'd go visit my sister on the Cape and mooch free liquor and food from her restaurant. Or maybe I'd just run around the house, naked and covered with whipped cream and jam, yelling "Bite me! I'm a donut!"

But now that I'm still pretty sick and woozy from weight loss and dehydration I think my days will look more like this:

- Sleep until 10am until whining dogs force me from my warm bed.
- Feed dogs and physically kick them out the door when they realize how cold it is outside and, eh, maybe going outside to take a piss really wasn't worth the whining after all.
- Puke
- Eat some toast and force down a few sips of ice water (the water acting more as a vehicle for my morning Zofran pill than actually being any help in the hydration department).
- Try not to puke.
- Laugh at the dogs from the warmth of my kitchen.
- Puke. (Karma's a bitch)
- Let the dogs in when they begin barking ferociously at the neighbor and make more toast.
- Lay on the couch. Who knew toast could make one so exhausted?
- Sleep, even though just woke up about an hour ago.
- Wake up and consider reading some blogs.
- Puke. (Nothing personal. The puking has nothing to do with your blogs)
- Debate between more toast and tater tots. Tater tots usually win.
- Lay on the couch and eat tater tots. Leave dirty dish on table and threaten dogs to stay away from the leftover ketchup. Then let them lick it clean anyway. It will save a step on the way to the dishwasher.
- Doze off again.
- Wake up, realize there's nothing on television mid-day, try to watch movies on On-Demand and find out that's a fruitless idea since our On-Demand NEVER WORKS ANYWAY. Curse Charter Cable and their shitty cable service. God damn them.
- Consider running to Blockbuster in pajamas.
- Give up that idea and zone out to Shot of Love with Tila Tequila.
- Consider showering because that show makes me feel dirty. Decide to sleep more instead.
- Wake up when the sun goes down. Try to eat more toast.
- Contemplate dog hair tumbleweeds on the floor. Consider getting up to vacuum.
- Puke.

Later, rinse, repeat.

Sounds like fun, doesn't it? I'll tell you, though, being able to do that and not have to worry about getting up to fetch raisins or Gorilla Munch, prepare lunches, change diapers, and fight over who is going to watch whose shows for more than 48 hours sounds like a little bit of heaven to me.

Besides, I never win when it comes to what shows we'll be watching. The only reality show Chicky likes is John and Kate plus Eight.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Keeping my eyes on the prize

You might have already been able to tell from one of my last posts but I've been having a tough time lately. It went beyond feeling sick and straight to my own personal depression-like hell. Being cooped up in the house for weeks on end will do that to even the toughest nut. And let me tell you on a good day I am as tough as I am nutty. On a bad day I'm just pathetic.

I had to cancel the last class I was teaching last Monday so I can officially no longer work. It was a class I was already three weeks into. I felt like I was letting all my students down but I just could not give them my all. Hell, I could barely make it to class and once I was there I couldn't finish the whole hour. My weight loss to date is around 15 pounds and that's left me incredibly weak and light-headed. Not to mention, with my tiny bump, looking like one of those kids that Sally Struthers was always trying to feed.

However, I've had a string of fairly decent moments over the past few days and I'm feeling a bit stronger than I did when I told the world that I really needed my mommy. And for the record, I'm not ashamed of that.

I don't know if it's because I've been less pukey, or because I've gotten out of the house at least once...

(To buy this book that features a short story by my close and personal friend - and my latest stalking target - Bossy. Da shit made me laugh, y'all. That's got to tell you something)

...or because I was able to eat a hot dog yesterday without needing to purge it. At any rate, I'm feeling more hopeful that I will get through these dark days to see the light at the end of this vomitous tunnel.

(Stretch marks! Heartburn! Maternity yoga pants! Unfortunate and unexpected flatulence in public!)

I know one thing for certain, however. I got a kick in the ass by way of a comment by the perceptive Jenifer and it was just what I needed.

Jenifer pretty much told me to suck it up and stop feeling sorry for myself because there are so many other women out there who would kill to be in my slightly rancid smelling shoes. But she told me this in the nicest way possible.

I was wondering when someone was going to finally call me out for being such an insensitive, whiny little shit.

I know, of course, that so many women who desperately want children of their own can't. I have close friends who have jumped through every medical hoop possible to have a baby of their own. I have spoken or emailed with other bloggers who I know for a fact would willingly change places with me, vomiting be damned. Women who have considered putting their own lives in jeopardy again just to have another child. I know all of this, but it's easy to forget when you're so wrapped up with worrying if your lack of eating will force a miscarriage or in some way irreparably harm your unborn child.

And by "you" I mean me.

Yes, I get pregnant easily and yes, unfortunately, I have an incredibly hard time throughout my pregnancies. I will not feel bad for bemoaning my own situation but it's time to acknowledge that others have it pretty hard off too. So, to you ladies out there who have occasionally felt like thrusting my head deeply into that toilet I spend so much time over, my heart goes out to you. If I could give you my uterus, I would.

I know one blogger who is going to hate that last line but I say it with in all seriousness. If it were possible to do a uterus transplant, my friend, you could have mine. So don't hate me too much.

Friday, November 09, 2007

MotherTalk Book Tour Review - the Daring Book for Girls

I don't usually do reviews on this blog, saving them instead for my reviews-only site. But I don't want you to think of this as a review but a sincere plea for you to go out and buy The Daring Book for Girls by Andrea J. Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz for any of the girls in your life.

I had so much fun reading The Daring Book. Chicky is only 2 and a half and far too young for this book yet (I would say it's better geared toward 8 year old to about 12 year old girls) but when she's old enough I'll be ready. The book is a nice combination of old fashioned fun - like making friendship bracelets, I don't think I ever knew how to make them correctly even when I was a girl - and inspirational true stories for the empowered woman-in the making. For instance, there's a section on historic women pirates. How cool is that? Pirates! Yar. And it's immediately followed by a chapter called "A short history of women inventors and scientists". Cool x Pi to the fifth power.

I will admit that as a forever tomboy I'm more drawn to the chapters that seemed to say "Yeah, you're a girl but that doesn't mean you can't have as much fun as the boys" and less interested in the sections like writing letters and making daisy chains. But let's face it, when I was a girl, skinning my knees and racing my pink Huffy with the boys in my neighborhood, I was also interested in many of the stereotypical girly things like trying to master a cartwheel. I never did, but there's a section in the book that teaches you how to and how to do a back walk-over. I guess I'll have to stick to making ivy crowns. It's probably safer that way.

If I had nieces I would be buying them The Daring Book for Girls for Christmas. It's a blast. I don't, but when Chicky gets older she's going to think I'm the coolest mom ever when I help her make a fort in the backyard and we pretend to be spies. I'm looking forward to that.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

A moment of great weakness

My mother loved children. As the secretary of a small Catholic elementary school for almost two decades and the aunt of a dozen nieces and nephews she had lots of opportunities to engage in some serious 8 year old dramas and lots of boo boo kissing. The kids in "her school" loved her in return and from the moment they started school they learned to call my mom by her first name and forget that the proper way to address an adult, especially one with such power as the school secretary, was with a "Mrs." or "Miss" (almost all who worked in the school were female). My mom never wanted it any different. She encouraged this familiar relationship and no administrator dared fight her on it.

Christmas was a boon in my mom's house. She came home for days before the Christmas break with arm loads of treats and treasures from the kids and their parents. The final day before the week long break she had to use a large cardboard box to bring home her gifts. Gifts of chocolates from the local gourmet chocolatier were shuttled to her freezer to store for later because she received so many they would go bad before having a chance to eat them all. Her Christmas tree showcased many of the beautiful decorations that were given to her. I now have some of those ornaments; quite a few of them have crudely scrawled, childish handwriting on stickers on the back: "To B__, Love Jeremy", or "For B___, Merry Christmas - the Johnsons".

She was loved and reciprocated that love. But the message she always gave my sister and me when it came time to talk about our own children was, "I'm too young to be a grandmother".

And she was. But more importantly, we were too young to mothers. At least she thought so. As a woman who gave birth to her first baby less than a month after her 20th birthday (that would be me) she knew from being too young to have kids.

Now she's gone. She never got a chance to be a grandmother.

But she would have loved her grandchildren.

She would have loved them fiercely and protectively. She would have swooped them away when she came to visit and covered them in a thousand kisses. She would have been the best grandmother.

If there had never been such a thing as cancer she would be here right now, taking care of me and amusing Chicky. She would love her granddaughter and been excited for the next grandbaby to come. If there had never been such a thing as cancer I wouldn't have to fumble for the right name to give her whenever Chicky asks who the woman in the picture in her room is. Grammy B? Grandma? I never know what to tell Chicky and I certainly never know what to tell her when she asks where my mommy is.

I feel cheated. I feel like my kids have been cheated. And I'm very angry about that fact. Angry doesn't even seem right - I'm pissed off. Gyped. Got the short end of the stick. But Chicky and this baby who is causing me so many problems right now are the real losers in this shitty deal. Hundreds of children's lives were touched by my mother but my kids will never know her. They need her, and they won't even know how much.

But more importantly right now, I need her. I need her so much it hurts. I need my Mom.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

October ROFL Awards


1 a: affording light mirth and laughter : amusing
b: seeking or intended to amuse : facetious

It's time for the October ROFL Awards! Or as a good friend suggested for this month - the Lying on Floor Vomiting, or LOFV, Awards.

Doesn't have quite the same ring, does it?

My nomination for this month is for a blogger whom I am so glad is participating in that crazy thing called NaBloPoMo. Or is it NoMoFoWayBro? Anyway, she's funny and I'm glad she's back to blogging regularly.

I nominate Halushki for her post Parent Hack. It could have been for anything she's posted lately but I had to narrow it down to one post. Sometimes this award thing sucks that way.

October07 ROFL award

Congratulations to this month's nominees!

The Eleventh awarded Jurgen Nation

Coffee Shop Mafia awarded Almost Somewhat Positive

Oh, the Joys awarded Joy Unexpected

The New Girl awarded Motherhood Uncensored

All Rileyed Up awarded Alpha Dogma

T with Honey awarded The Mother Load

Moosh in Indy awarded Metalia

Them's My Sentiments awarded Lawyer Mama

Mother Bumper awarded Oh, the Joys

Momish awarded The Bloggess

Sarah and the Goon Squad awarded Lumpyhead

Cinnamon Girl awarded Mad Hatter

Don't forget to get your nomination in for November's ROFLs. Send them either to me at Chicky Chicky Baby 2 [at] Yahoo [dot] com or Metro Mama, my partner in crime and funnyness (shut up, it could be a word) at Metro_Mama [at] Hotmail [dot] com.


One more bit of housekeeping - I've got a new review up about the book Beauty Confidential for the Parent Bloggers Network. I've got to have my makeup and beauty products, but did I like the book? Please check it out to find out.

A treat, for sure

I cast a spell on you, baby.

It's kind of a crappy picture, but that's Chicky last night during her first ever Halloween/get as much candy as possible extravaganza. She was a witch. A bad witch. Her words, not mine.

I pulled myself up by my bootstraps and Mr. C and I took her first to a friend's house for pizza with a few other toddler friends and their parents and then out into the night for much trick or treating. The girl is a natural. If she had any reservations about going up to total strangers and begging them for candy she hid it nicely. And wait for her friends to catch up? Pssh. As soon as one house was done she was pulling me to the next one.

"More candy, Mama. Now! Come on!"

"We have to wait for your friends to catch up, hon."

"*Sigh* Fine. Friends! Come on! Catch up! Now!"

That's my girl.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I may have finally gone off the deep end

I'm sure this is on par with kicking puppies and stuffing kitties into sock drawers* but I'm a bit resentful of happy, pregnant women as a rule. Since the early days of my first pregnancy the thought of a satisfied, oh I never had morning sickness and all my pregnancies were great and oh how I LOVE to be pregnant I think I'll do it again SEVEN MORE TIMES because pregnancy is just so SUPER FUN-type of woman makes me want to put a baby bunny in a bag and leave it on the edge of a rapid river.

Okay, not really. But you get my point.

I was watching TV last night - because that's the one thing that doesn't usually induce vomiting, unless I'm watching the View - and a WebMD commercial came on. There on the screen flashed a smiling, pink cheeked actor playing a pregnant woman. I know she was just an actor, but for that 2.7 seconds she and her actor/husband/life partner were on the screen I hated her. She seemed so thrilled to be pregnant. My only response was "fuck you and die". I don't consider myself to be Christian but I can say with certainty my attitude was not Christian-like. It wasn't even un-Atheist-I-don't-believe-in-anything-like.

I didn't really want her to die, especially since she was just an actor and all, and I don't wish any harm to any of you who have these types of pregnancies. It just makes me so frustrated because I'd like to have just a smidgen of that happy glow during mine. I want to know why some of you do this four or five times. On purpose. And you don't need a date with Jose Cuervo when you hear the news.

I had intended to moan and whine about my crappy pregnancies and boohoo over all the hard times I've endured and will have to go through again but then I stopped in the middle of writing this to kiss my daughter goodnight. It's incredibly difficult to be Debbie Downer when your toddler just gave you fish kisses.

So instead of concentrating on the negative (pretty much the entire pregnancy) I'm going to focus on the positive. Or, the good things that happen as a result of my craptacular gestation periods.


- Ingesting less than 500 calories a day due to constant retching means - hey! - my skinny jeans fit again!

- So what if I can't stand up without almost falling down and I have no muscle tone from lying on the couch day in a day out? My saddle bags have almost completely melted away!

- Yes, my eyes are sunken and the pallor of my skin resembles something that was left in the refrigerator for too long... but my waddle is almost completely gone and I almost have cheekbones again! I never had cheekbones before but I don't think that's anything to be alarmed by.

- I now know every word of every song from every show played every weekday morning on PBS. My kid thinks I'm really cool.

- I've re-learned the fine art of the 3 hour nap. Those 15 minute "power naps" are for pussies.

- I've had absolutely no trouble at all giving up wine or coffee. Or pretty much any liquid except Newman's Own Lemonade (slightly watered down and with a shit load of ice cubes). Nope, don't miss those vices AT ALL.

- I haven't ingested so many Totino's Pizza Rolls, Tater Tots, or Ramen Noodles since college. Okay, they're the only thing I can eat (on a good day), but I feel like a kid again!

- Due to hardly ever leaving a prone position, except to bow to the porcelain god, my house is a mess, the floors are covered in pet hair and the whole house smells like dog. But with the exception of the smell, I'm so weak I can hardly care less!

- Going back to my first few points, if I ever start eating again I'll be able to pig out and still be a sexy and skinny pregnant lady.

- Sometimes I'll go days without showering (mostly because I never leave the house, so why bother?) so I'm saving a fortune in hair care products and makeup.

- Sure, Zofran has left me constipated and I'm dehydrated most of the time, but I don't have to worry about which way to approach the toilet first! You know, backward or forward? Face first or ass first? I'll stop now.

I'll have to make sure to print this out and post it on my refrigerator to remind me that things aren't so bad. I'll print it really big since I can't usually get within ten feet of my fridge... On second thought maybe I'll just tack it to the wall behind the couch.


If I can find something to laugh about in all this absurdity you can certainly find some funny posts from around the blogosphere. The October ROFL Awards are this Friday so go and find some funny posts to nominate. Email your nominations to Chicky Chicky Baby 2 [at] Yahoo [dot] com by Thursday night and make sure to include a link to your own blog. Last month was a little light on the nominations, let's make this month our funniest one yet. Please don't make me grovel. I spend enough time on my knees as it is.

What? In front of the toilet, you sickos. I can barely get a Tater Tot between these lips these days.

*Sorry, MB, I couldn't resist.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Red Sox Nation - You're welcome

It took 86 years for the Red Sox to win a World Series. Until 2004, I come along, get pregnant and *Wham*...

World Series Champions.

Three years later, 2007. All of Red Sox Nation barely dared to dream that another title could be ours again so soon. I get pregnant again and *Wham*...

Another World Series Championship.

And did I mention the winners of Super Bowl XXXVIII and XXXIX, in 2004 and 2005, were the New England Patriots? And that the very same Patriots are currently undefeated?


Probably. But I'm considering putting my uterus up for sale on Ebay once I deliver T.B. Wams, just in case. I'm not going through another pregnancy again and it really would be a shame for our beloved sports teams to go decades without another title.

Celtics and Bruins fans should start considering paying me for the privilege to rub my belly. Rubs start at 25 bucks a pop. Cash only.

(Cross posted at New England Mamas)

Friday, October 26, 2007

It's never too early to start obsessing about seemingly insignificant things

Before Chicky was born, and I mean way before, like three years before she was conceived, I would regularly pepper Mr. C with random baby names that I liked. To which he would promptly reply, in true Chicky family fashion, with some smart ass answer and ridiculous name of his own.

"What do you think about Elizabeth?"

"It's okay. How about Gertrude?"

"Well, what about Thomas?"

"I don't hate it. But you know what name I really like? Zoltan."

No matter how clever he thought he was, I never gave up on baby names. So when I became pregnant with The Blob Who Ate My Soul (as she/he will be called henceforth on this blog, or T.B. Wams for short) and had no interest whatsoever with baby names, I knew we were going to be in for one of those last minute, Oh my GOD, they need a name for the birth certificate NOW or the baby will be named Baby Boy/Girl Chicky FOREVER! names.

(Or T.B. Wams. It's kind of growing on me.)

Funny enough, this time it's been Mr. C who has been initiating most of the baby naming discussions, and he's been coming up with some decent ones. Except for the time he asked me to consider giving our child, if T.B. Wams comes out as a boy, the same name as his deceased grandfather. In theory it's a really nice idea, unfortunately it's also my ex-husband's name.

Uh, no honey. That's not going to work. Not even as a middle name. Unless you want me to call him "Dick Head" as a nickname.

Naming Chicky was easy. I had her name picked out before she was even conceived and there was no swaying me from my decision. I named her after a song that reminded me of my mother. Her middle name is an ode to my sister. And though she is not technically named after anyone I like the idea that her name indirectly honors the two most important women in my life.

Not only that, but I like that she's named after a song. She gets the hugest kick out of hearing "her song" and I get a chance to get all weapy and sentimental on cue just by playing it on my iPod.

I'd really like our next child to have the same experience. I, myself, have always wanted to have a song of my own, but sadly nothing rhymes with my name. Except maybe "lasagna". That's kind of close. However, unless I have a tryst with an Italian songwriter with a love for me and cheesy casseroles I'm shit out of luck.

I went looking for songs with women's names* in the titles (what the hell did we ever do before Google?) and though there are loads of songs written for the ladies, the names left me feeling uninspired. I'm afraid this child might not have a song all her own... that she shares with thousands of other girls whose parents had the same idea.

I don't want to get all crazy, like my best friend from high school who named her daughter "Rhiannon". I love Stevie Nicks as much as the next gal and I've always wanted to be a bit like her, but Rhiannon? It's kind of silly. I'm fairly certain she didn't even know the history behind the name when she decided on it.

But don't think I haven't thought of "Caroline". Especially if my Red Sox win the Series. That would be wicked sweet.

(and, yes, I know it's been done. I never claimed to be inventive.)

*No, I don't know definitively that it's a girl. I just have a feeling. And if I'm right, you heard it here first. If I'm wrong, there's always "Sweet Baby James".

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Hardly leaving the house + watching an important baseball game = Huh?

Chicky is staying overnight with my in-laws again today. I don't know who was anticipating this visit more, me or her. I need the break, but she's so done with being cooped up in the house I thought first thing this morning she might go sit on the curb, bag in hand, to wait for her grandpa to come pick her up.

These visits have been a huge help to me but they may never have been arranged had Mr. C not coordinated them. I don't ask for help. Ever. I don't know how to ask someone to help me and I'm even worse at accepting help when it's offered. I can't even tell you how much effort it took to ask my father-in-law to drive me to the hospital last week.

I've been offered help from some of my fellow New England Mamas (and I thank you all!) but when it came time to reply I was stuck. What do I say?

That was a rhetorical question. I know what to say - please and thank you. But that mental wall goes up and I can't. It has nothing to do with the person offering and everything to do with me being a psychotic control freak.

Psychotic control freak - party of one. Yep, that's me.

Well, I didn't reply and I feel really horrible about that. Is it pride? Stubbornness? A combination of the two is probably closer to the truth. Be tough, put your best face forward and never let them see you sweat... Or something like that. I've watched so much television in the last few weeks I'm getting reality confused with advertisements. All I know is that Snuggle the fabric softener spokes-bear is my friend. And puppies can sleep on reams of soft toilet paper.

Anyway, I'm going to have to start accepting help. Mr. C is taking a new position within his company and climbing that ladder will take him away from home a lot more. Right now, as I type this (and watch Dustin Pedroia hit a lead-off home run for my beloved Red Sox - yay!) he's rubbing elbows with some mucky mucks at a bar after a long day of impressing them with his mad skills instead of being home, making me Rice A Roni and rubbing my feet.

(Side note: Yooooooouuuuuuuuuk!)

I'm also going to have to learn to swallow my pride because playing the strong girl is getting a little lonely. When you're laid up on the couch and your only source of conversation is a two-year old, a couple of dogs and Jabba the Cat, you start to miss people your own age. Hell, you start to miss your own species.

Not that Nina the Wonder Lump isn't a fabulous listener. I'm just saying.

(Never offend an obese cat. She could smother me in my sleep with her massive weight.)

(Oh, one more thing... How much do Red Sox fans love that Manny is so good at being Manny?)

What was I saying about being lonely? I've got the vision of Jason Varitek's thighs to keep me warm.

(And to all you Rockies fans out there - good luck and may the best team win. Which I know is easy to say when my team is winning 3-0 in the first inning but I really mean it. Honest.)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Getting all my ducks in a row

An update: Between my (soon to be ex) doctor and me, we got the insurance company to cough up the drugs I needed. I'm good for another couple of months, though I'll lose my shit if this goes on much longer than the first trimester.


So, anyway... My latest review is up over here. Is it lunacy or just plain old good sense to have a pre-packed survival kit? It's just my opinion but...

(psst, please check it out here.)

Friday, October 19, 2007

I didn't even have to use my A-K ( but check with me tomorrow)

I'd have to say today was a pretty good day. Which is in sharp contrast to yesterday. Wow, yesterday. Wow.

Oh, what was yesterday? Yesterday was Spend Half the Day and the Whole Evening in the ER Because I Got Stupidly Dehydrated Day!

I'll have 10ccs of IV fluid, bartender, with a Reglan chaser. Sorry, can't tip you, what with this IV stuck in my arm and all. I'll catch you next time.

Oh please, don't be a next time. ER doctors are really bad at providing updates of important baseball games.

All joking aside there is a silver lining to spending more than seven hours in the ER, half of that spent hooked up to an IV drip while lounging on a gurney in the hallway of said ER. I did mention that I'm having a good day and that is due to being chock full o' fluids. I haven't puked once today! I've been able to keep down some fluids and my Nana and my dad's lady friend came over to bring me chicken soup and they cleaned my kitchen and I just ate two Mint Oreo cookies. AND they tasted good.

(I blame thank Julie and her Oreo fixation.)

But wait! There's more! I switched doctors. Thank you for all the kind words, and the unkind words for my doctor, on my last post. They were just the kick in the ass I needed to get a doctor that would show some concern for my condition. But how much do you want to bet my new doctor will be off-duty when I go to have this baby and my old doctor is on call? Should we start taking bets now?

There is a dark cloud behind my silver-lined cloud, however. Because it wouldn't be my life without a little ray of suck-assness to make things interesting.

My prescription for Zofran is done today. I have a new one, plus three refills from the old doc, but our prescription drug insurance company is fighting it. They only want to give me ten days worth of pills in a 30-day period, so I've been jumping through hoops all day making sure they send authorization papers to my soon-to-be-ex doctor and then making sure the doctor sends them back. Now I'm waiting for the insurance company to give it the ol' stamp of approval and then send authorization back over to my pharmacy. If I don't get the pills before the weekend is over I'm afraid I will end up back in the ER and I'd really rather not go there. The johnnies are pretty drafty.

So today is turning out to be a good day but tomorrow I may go postal on a certain insurance company that rhymes with Nedco. Because no one screws with a hormonal pregnant woman with morning sickness and gets out alive. You may as well try to come between me and my Mint Oreos.

Oh, and I apologize for being such a bad blog citizen lately. I've been at your blogs, trust me. I'll start commenting again, possibly from jail after my killing spree.