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.