Sunday, March 30, 2008

It's time to bring this ship into the shore, And throw away the oars forever.

I can't put it off any longer - I need to finish this question and answer thing I signed myself up for. So let's bring this big old leaky ship into port, shall we? Before it sinks in the hah-bah and brings me down with it.

My new girl crush, Foop, asked: Would you go back and change something that you did in your life if it meant that you'd be a different person in the present.

There is no easy answer to this question. I'd like to say no, because I do believe that everything I've done in my life, for good or bad, has directly impacted who I am as a person today and overall I'm pretty happy with that person and where she is. I've been inappropriate and made some downright questionable choices in my life, but here I am with a man I love, a daughter who challenges me and another one on the way who, I'm sure, will follow in her sister's adorable footsteps.

If it sounds like I'm sidestepping this question, you're right. But I'm not sure how much I want to share on this blog so you'll have to be happy with the scraps I give you. For now.

(Hey look over there! It's a change of topic!)

Foop also asked who did my blog. That would be Izzy. I highly recommend working with her. She rocks as much as those pretty shoes in my blog header do.

The wonderful Kyla said: I'll be easy on you....are you coming to BlogHer?

Unfortunately, no. If they had picked a more central location for the conference I might have been able to swing it. But I don't think I'll be up for a cross-country trip six or so weeks after I push this baby from my lady parts.

But do you know what this means, all of you who are going? More wine for you! Whoohoo!

I am considering meeting my Canadian sisters up in Niagra Falls though. Those ladies have a powerful hold over me. The chance to hang out with them might convince me to pack up my wee baby just to get my fill of the Canucks.

On that same topic,my friend Jen asked: Did you and Redneck Mommy get it on at Blogher last year? I've always been dying to ask you that. You can be honest, it's ok.

Redneck Mommy was gracious enough to be my roommate for last year's Blogher, but I'm not answering this question. What happens at Blogher, stays at Blogher. You of all people should know that, my dear. I do, after all, have a picture of you and T. in a rather compromising position.


Kittenpie, one of those aforementioned Canadians who might convince me to get my bruised and battered lady parts off the couch and up to the Falls because I love her so, asked: I would like to know how you came to love them (Dogs) and work with them and how you go about being qualified for such a thing and if there is a breed you like best.

I've always loved dogs. I think my normally shy nature needs their outgoing personality to bring me out of my shell. As quiet as I can be (no, really. I'm very quiet in person.) I become a completely different person when working with or talking about dogs. I'd like to think a better person.

As for how I came to work with them, now that's a bit of a long story and one I was hoping to include in the next installment of Alpha Bitch. I'll be writing that this week, hopefully before I head off to the Johnson and Johnson Camp Baby shindig, but if not, right after.

My favorite breed? Labradors. I love me a nice lab.

I even married a lab.

No really. If I were to describe a creature who puts swimming, catching a frisbee, long hikes and then taking a long nap with his favorite person at the top of his list of things he loved most in life as well as almost always being in a good mood, friendly to everyone he meets, extremely smart and amazingly loyal and loving, you might think I was describing one of my dogs. But it's actually Mr. C.

Training my dogs has been easier
, however. Eh, Mr. C is a better kisser. There's a bit of give and take with every relationship.

If I had to choose another breed, I might go with the Welsh Springer Spaniel. But I've never owned one. Yet.

Manic Mommy, a fellow New England gal, asked: How does Chicky feel about becoming a big sister? Have you decided on a name? What's your due date? Are you two and through or would you ever consider a third?

Wow, this could be two or three posts. But for now the easy answers are -

She's getting used to the idea but I don't think she'll understands how much her life will change yet. I think she'll be a good older sister once she gets past the jealousy of having to share our attention. Now that will be a hurdle.

We've almost decided on a name. Mr. C picked it. It seemed fair since I picked Chicky's name. I don't love it but I'm learning to.

I'm due on May 25th but I'm almost hoping I'll go a bit early. I'm so done being pregnant and uncomfortable.

We were supposed to be one and done but things changed. And that, my lambs, is what belongs in another post. Three is not even a possibility. If I wasn't superstitious, Mr. C would already have his man parts snipped.

Sandra, yet another one of my Canadian loves, had a two-fer: What advice do you wish the grown-up Mrs. Chicky could have given her teenage self?

Stop being so afraid and take chances. Even if you fail, it will be a learning experience. And learn to open your mouth and speak up for yourself. People will respect you more if you're a bit of a bitch than if you continue being a doormat.

Oh, and lose the blue eyeshadow and the huge mall hair. It's not a pretty look for you. Neither are the pinch-rolled pants and the acid washed jean jackets.

I really wish I could go back in time.

Her second question was, When are you moving to Canada????

Have I mentioned how much I love these women? And I know she wants me up there for me and not for my free dog training advice... Uh, right Sandra?

My favorite Redneck asked: If you could go anywhere in the world for a free vacation, where would it be and what would you do?

Yes, T., I would love to go hang out with you in Redneck land, having pillow fights in our PJs and braiding each other's hair, but since you know that already I guess I'll have to come up with another answer.

It's a hard choice. I'd love to go to Scotland or Portugal to see where my great great grandparents came from but I'd also love to go back to Italy for an extended tour and see the entire country. I've been all over Tuscany but I'd love to see Rome, the Amalfi coast, Umbria and maybe take a short stop in Venice, just to say I've been there. Mr. C and I have a soft spot in our hearts for Italy. We were engaged there. We tried, unsuccessfully, to conceive Chicky there. We have wonderful memories of that beautiful country.

Eh, screw the ancestors. I want to go back to Italy and have some kick ass food and wine.

And finally, FINALLY, my friend and neighbor Sarah asked: Your dream house? Where would it be and what would it have to include?

I just can't leave our family, so let's pretend my dream house is here in Massachusetts. I'd prefer to live closer to the coast so I could be near my sister and the ocean. I'd love to live in a custom Cape (Cape Cod style) house that had four bedrooms, a dedicated office for my darling, hardworking husband, a large dining room so we could have more dinners with friends and family and a gourmet kitchen. Also for my darling, hardworking husband. My pitiful attempt at meals are not worthy of a 48" Wolf gas range or a sub-zero fridge, but my man can cook. Woo, can he cook.

It would also sit on an acre or two (at least!) of land surrounded by trees so my kids and my dogs would have room to run without feeling like we're on top of our neighbors. It would have a large in ground pool because all those I love seem to be part fish and a tile patio where I could put my lounge chair and watch.

There would be hardwood floors and large windows to let in the sunlight. A large master bath with a jetted tub, because I, not being part fish, prefer to soak while reading a good book with the door locked. A family room off the kitchen, with loads of built in bookshelves, where my kids could play and I could keep an eye on them while trying to learn to cook. And a sunroom, to take in the few months of nice weather we have up here in the north country.

It's out there somewhere. I may have to sell my soul for it but it might be worth it.

Whatever house we settle into, I want it to be comfortable and inviting. And large enough so I can invite you all over for the housewarming party.

Just bring wine. I'm not going to be pregnant forever.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

I would totally change my middle name to narcissism... if I could spell it without needing spell check.

Okey dokey. Your questions answered, part deux.

Not a Mean Girl asked this rather unsettling question: If you had to choose between a Colonoscopy with no anesthetic or a root canal with no anesthetic which would you choose and why?

Uh. Ooo-kay.

I would have to say the colonoscopy. As Fairly Odd Mother was nice enough to point out there aren't too many nerve endings once you get past the ol' balloon knot (Eeew, I just grossed myself out by writing that) and from what I hear, a root canal without anesthetic would be akin to pulling your lower lip up over your forehead and then stapling it to the back of your neck. But with only one staple so that the lone staple would sloooowly rip out and your lip would spring back to your face like a window shade but not before slapping you in the throat. Only much, much worse.

Or something like that.

(Aren't you so glad I started with this question?)

Speaking of Fairly Odd Mother she had a two-fer: Other than animal welfare/rights/anything to do with animals, what 'cause' gets your blood thumping through your veins.

I had no problem with this one and it goes nicely with Not a Mean Girl's question - Colon Cancer Awareness. I'm passionate about getting everyone who is either in a risk group (close relative with prior colon/rectal cancer diagnosis) or over the age of 50 to have a colonoscopy.

I've slipped this year, however. Normally I'm all about letting everyone know that March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and I haven't mentioned it here once this year. My bad. But it doesn't matter if you have a colonoscopy done in the month of March or any other month, it only matters that you get one if you need it.

Colon Cancer is a beatable cancer, if it is caught early. Some of my regular readers know that my mother died in 2004 from the disease and she was only 51. She was diagnosed when she was 44 years old, a full six years before the American Medical Association recommends getting your first test. Two of my mom's friends died of the disease a year or two before she did and they were also her age. Obviously testing should be done as early as possible.

If you need to get a colonoscopy and you're a little freaked out about some doctor putting things into where they should be coming out of check out this post of FOM's at the New England Mamas. She answered her "booty call" and lived to tell the tale.

[getting off my soapbox now]

And FOM's next question that, thankfully, has nothing to do with anyone's ass: Will you be totally truthful with your girls when they someday ask, "Did you ever try drugs?" or "Did you ever have sex before you were married?"

The 2008 me says Yes. Absolutely, I will tell my girls when the time is right that I did try drugs and I did have sex before marriage.

(Pick your chin up off the floor. I know your image of me is shattered but we'll all get through this, 'kay?)

The day it actually happens might be a different story, I'll probably want to lie but I'd like to believe I'll be honest with my kids.

My mom, bless her ignorant heart, tried to make my sister and me believe that she had never done anything not worthy of a Catholic saint in her life. Then one day when we were teens we overheard her talking with my dad and some friends about smoking pot. After we got over the initial shock (OMG, Mom smoked pot. No freaking way. I bet she didn't inhale.) my sister and I confronted her and she just smiled. I don't know about my sis but I had way more respect for Mom after that. She was a real person after all. Who knew?

And for the record, I didn't try pot until I was in college. For reals. But that's another story for another time.

Mackenzie's Momma asked: If you had the super power, what ONE thing would you stop/preform in the world(i.e. world peace, ending hunger etc)

I'd wipe out cancer for all living things, not just people but for animals too. And all cancers not just colorectal. Are you sensing a theme here?

Velma asked: What are the two things you've done in your life you are most proud and ashamed of?

Even though I haven't popped out the second one yet, I'm going to say I'm most proud of having my girls. I never in a million years thought my body was capable of doing any of that.

As for ashamed of, I'm still working on that. Heh. There's lots more life in me and many more opportunities to shame myself.

Christina asked: What is the most embarrassing thing that EVER happened to you in high school?

Oh Christina, high school was just one long embarrassing moment for me. But the worst one that comes to mind was the day I wore a skirt to school - which was something I didn't usually do, especially after 6 years of having to wear them in Catholic school - and I unexpectedly got my period and didn't realize it until I sat through Mrs. Rogers' English class. A big red spot on the back of a skirt is kinda hard to hide, ya know? Let's just say I wasn't the first one to notice it.

And now that I've picked off that scab I'll be having the nightmares again. Thanks Christina.

One more question before I go curl up in the fetal position in the corner and rock myself to sleep until the painful memory goes away.

Mandy asks: What's the worst thing you ever did for money? (Define "worst" in any way you wish.)

I'm not sure what Mandy's impression of me is after reading this question or who she's been talking to, but I can assure you that no matter how real those pictures look that was not me in that hotel room with with a certain governor in seemingly compromising positions.


So, um, I'll have to say all those times I was tending bar and never wore my wedding ring to get better tips. Drunk men always tip better when they think they can go home with the bartender they've been flirting with all night. It's true, look it up.

Part three of this me lovefest will happen this weekend, or whenever I can get this blurriness in my vision to go away. Whichever comes first. It probably seems like I'm drawing this out, and I am, but since Chicky performed her Three Stooges move on me I get a nasty headache if I stare at the computer for too long. And let me tell you, it's really putting a damper on my online porn watching.

Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

So you can take that cookie and stick it up your, Yeah! Stick it up your, Yeah!

The title of this post has nothing to do with the content and everything to do with that damn Limp Bizkit song being stuck in my head, even though I have not heard that song in at least two years. Which is why I asked you all to ask me questions, any question you wanted, so that I wouldn't be forced to abuse my brain any more than necessary to come up with new and exciting blog entries during this lovely phase of pregnancy some call the Last Trimester and I call the Seventh Circle of Hell.

Let's start the answerin', shall we?

Oh, but before we begin I must commend those of you who were willing to play along. You didn't just lob softballs at me. No, these are 95 mph, Roger Clemens hopped up on steroids aiming at Mike Piazza's head like it was the target of a dunk tank fastballs. Thanks for taking it easy on the pregnant chick.


I'm going to start with some of the easier ones.

Jessica asked: If you could have dinner with four fiction characters... who would they be?

I'm not sure if she meant fiction, as in characters from books, or fictional and she just missed the a and the l and she really meant any character from a book, television show or movie. I'm going to go with the latter since I can't for the life of me think of any books I've read besides the one I'm currently reading.

The baby. She's. Eating. My. Brain. Nom nom nom.

1. Martin Blank - Grosse Point Blank. (played by John Cusack)
Hands down, one of my favorite movies ever. Wouldn't you want to share a nice bottle of cabarnet and a good steak with a killer-for-hire? You would if he looked like John Cusack.

2. John Amsterdam - New Amsterdam.
He's lived for 400 years so you know he's got some great stories. Plus? He's HAWT and I have naughty dreams about him. Good looks are not a requirement for dinner with me but they don't hurt.

3. Lassie - How else will we know if someone's fallen down a well while we're enjoying our hors d'oeurves? And she can eat all the fatty pieces of steak that crowd my plate and impede my progress.

4. God - When someone convinces me He's real I'll move Him out of the "fictional" category.

(See, I say that but I totally had to capitalize He and Him because you never know where that lightning bolt is coming from.)

Moving right along, All Things BD asked: What TYPE of cookie crumbs are currently scattered across your chest? Also translates into, If you had to pick just one cookie to marry, what type would it be?

My cookie of choice these days, and the ones whose crumbs covered my chest on that day, are the peanut butter patty Girl Scout cookies. I would totally marry that cookie and pledge my life forever and ever to it and have little peanut butter cookie babies with it. And then I'd eat them.

But seriously, when my last box is gone I think I'll cry a little. Okay, I'll have a full blown melt down complete with rendering my garments and throwing crystal vases. I may need to seek professional help.

(Note to self - Must find way to birth peanut butter cookies.)

My girl MotherBumper asked: If you could learn any single skill a la Matrix (ie. upload to the Mrs. Chicky platform with no significant effort), what ONE skill would that be?

This was an easy one. The ability to wear skin tight leather and look fabulous doing so.

Heather asked: What's your favorite book and why?

Damn. Couldn't escape the book question forever, I suppose.

I'm going to go with the easy answer - A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. This book left the biggest impact on the young girl I once was - many, many years ago - and I can't even remember how many times I read it. I can't wait until Chicky is old enough to read it for herself.

Just My Life asked: Favorite cartoon character and why?

Just one? Damn.

This one is, of course, subject to change because I refuse to commit to just one. I'll commit to one today but tomorrow is another day.

Pinky and the Brain. I know, technically they're two characters but you can't have one without the other. You can't try to take over the world without a good Snarf.

Don't believe me? Watch this.

How about one more before I call it a day? Mama Tulip asked: Best concert you've ever seen? about worst concert (or live performance) you've ever seen?

This was tougher than it needed to be, but only because I've seen a lot of shows and have a tendency to forget some of them even when I'm not pregnant. Like those Grateful Dead shows I attended. I know I was there but they're a little hazy.


For the best I'm going to say Fleetwood Mac in 1997, their reunion tour to promote The Dance. I've always loved Stevie Nicks and to see her sing again with Lindsey Buckingham was almost more than my poor, sentimental heart could take. It didn't even matter that a monsoon was raging just outside our covered seats at Great Woods and we were getting soaked to the bone. It was worth it to hear "Landslide" live. I'm getting a little vklempt just thinking about it.

Talk amongst yourselves.

The worst concert has to have been Smashing Pumpkins at the Wallace Civic Center in... '94? They didn't sound all that great to begin with but then they started to insult the crowd. For what I can't remember because I was too busy trying not to lose my younger sister and her friend in the angry mob. But let this be a lesson to you up and coming rock bands. Never, EVER, verbally abuse a bunch of drunk kids who are hopped up on pure adrenaline from moshing and crowd surfing. I'm surprised the band got out of there alive. I stopped listening to the Pumpkins after that show.

And this is where I'm going to stop for today. I've got lots more to answer but I'm tired and a certain box of Peanut Butter Patties has been giving me the eye all night. What can I say? When peanut butter cookies give you that come hither look, I come hither.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Love is blind

What's worse than being hugely pregnant, feeling horrible pelvic pain, having constant heartburn, and not able to kick back and relax because the baby is pushing your lungs into your throat, making it impossible to breath?

(not to mention not being able to have a blasted glass of wine, for chrissake.)

Going through all that while BLIND!


After an unfortunate meeting of Chicky's index finger and my naked eye I was left sightless for about 36 hours this weekend .

Oh the PAIN!

Who knew a good old fashioned eye gouge could hurt so much? It was so horrible that I could not open either eye. Even opening the good one would cause white hot pain to shoot through the injured one.

The only saving grace was that it happened about 15 minutes before Mr. C got home for the weekend, so I was guaranteed a nursemaid and seeing-eye husband. After a quick trip to the ER where the doctor told me what I already knew (Yep, that kid got you good, a nice gash right in the cornea) she sent me home with eye goop and a scrip for Percocet for the pain.

Sweet Jeebus, I looove Percocet. Percocet = Another, way better word for "happy".

Percocet makes everything better. Can't see? Just pop a Perc, put on a rerun marathon of America's Next Top Model and sleep the day away! You don't need to see those skinny, catty bitches anyway.

I can see now. Things are a little blurry in that eye but it's feeling better and I'm back to my old surly, pregnant-and-not-happy-about-it self.

But the really bad part is that I can't take the Percocet any more. Life with a pre-schooler is sooo much better heavily medicated.

*If you haven't asked me a question yet, you still have time. I'll start answering those bad boys tomorrow so for today, ask away!*

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Why yes, if all my friends were jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge I'd yell "Hey, wait for me suckas!"

Since I spent my entire first trimester whining and moaning about my constant morning sickness I feel a little sheepish complaining about the CONSTANT, EXCRUCIATING, OHMYCHRIST MAKE IT GO AWAY PAIN IN MY PELVIC REGION. FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD AND HOLY PLEASE MAKE IT STOP. PLEASE? FOREVER AND EVER AMEN.


I can't stand, sit, walk, move, put on my pants or my socks, lie down or breath without this agonizing pain knocking the wind right out of me. I feel like Pregnant Barbie and the little girl who owns me decided that it wasn't good enough for my legs to go back and forth so she decided to stretch them outward until the right one snapped off my freakishly sexless pelvis and then reapplied it with masking tape. Or something like that.

What I'm trying to say is, pain and discomfort are taking over my life these days so my brain can only think "My GAWD the PAIN, shcoyousoduc, @@$#%^$#$^*&. Shazbot." and "Where the hell are the gawd damned COOKIES?"

So I was kind of hoping you could help a woman out.

It seems like everyone and their sister is opening up their comments for questions (and as much as I would like to link to everyone who is doing it, I just don't have the energy. So I guess that means I wouldn't like to link to everyone who is doing it. Yeah.) and I consider myself to be as lemming-esque as the next person. So whaddya say? What would you like to ask me? Anything, I'm an open book.

Hell, I don't even care if you're running all over the internet asking the same question of everyone. Do I look like a woman who is in search of authenticity?

[Hair in disarray. Dark circles under her eyes from lack of sleep due to pelvis pain. Lying on the couch with legs splayed awkwardly out in front of her on an ottoman. Half eaten box of Girl Scout cookies on the cushion next to her. Cookie crumbs scattered on her chest. Scratching at her swollen belly.]

[You think I'm kidding?]

What would you like to know about me? There must be something I haven't shared on this blog in the past couple of years that you're interested in knowing. Even if it is to inquire about where the On/Off switch is for my whining and bitching.

I'm sure Mr. C would like to know the answer to that one, too.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Two Pieces

We had a scare around here last week. Mr. C’s father had just picked Chicky up for their weekly sleepover and was driving back to his home when he started experiencing chest pains. He tried to fight them back but about 45 minutes after getting home he decided to call his doctor, who in turn called the ambulance for him. Luckily there was a neighbor who was home and was willing to watch Chicky until my Mother in Law got home from work and while my FIL was rushed to the hospital.

Turns out, everything is fine. After a battery of tests for my FIL there was no sign of a heart attack and Chicky had a fabulous day hanging out with the neighbor, a mother of four, eating PB&J sandwiches and taking a nap in a real big girl bed. When I finally heard about everything that had happened and was on my way to pick her up, Chicky had to be persuaded to leave, she was having such a great time with the neighbor’s six year old daughter, and my FIL was resting comfortably in a hospital bed in Boston. Still stuck in the ER, of course, but resting easier than he had been a few hours prior.

Mr. C’s father and Chicky have a wonderful relationship. Like many fathers, my FIL worked hard during his children’s early years and didn’t have as much time to spend with them so now he’s making up for it with his granddaughter. Since he’s now retired he has all the time in the world to lavish her with attention and she sucks it up like a sponge.

(And for the record, he’d be spending just as much time with his grandsons if they didn’t live 1500 miles away. He‘s got a lot of love to give.)

I think the bond between grandparent and grandchild is extremely important. I know my Mother in Law is looking forward to her retirement so that she can spend more time with her grandkids. She’s the type of person who will be down on the ground with them, looking for bugs and other critters. They’ll be making play dough and other crafty things that most days I just don’t have the patience for. As for Grandpa, he’ll be teaching the kids about science and showing them off to his friends, proud as a peacock. They're the best of friends. I can’t tell you how much that makes my heart burst with happiness. If anything would have happened to him Chicky’s life would not be as rich as it is today.

It’s easy to joke about how lucky Mr. C and I are, having two wonderful people who are so willing to take Chicky off our hands so often. But it’s my daughter, and someday my other daughter too, who will be the ones to really capitalize on this relationship.

We are all truly lucky.

Every day that Grandpa comes to pick up Chicky, or just comes to visit, her face breaks into the biggest smile as soon as she sees his car pull up. Grandpa’s here! And when he walks in the house, before even taking off his coat or acknowledging anyone else in the room, he’ll throw his arms out wide and wait for her to run to him for a giant hug.

How much does Grandpa love you? He’ll ask

Two pieces, she’ll say shyly, holding up two fingers.

I do love you to pieces.

There may as well not be anyone else in the world when they meet. Not that it matters to anyone looking on. It's magical. Those two pieces make everything whole.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Because on a day like today everything eventually ends up in the toilet

Dear Neighboring Town with the monster-sized potholes that nearly swallowed my husband's car whole -

You'll be paying for at least one new rim and one new tire. If not for the whole set of rims because, apparently, they don't make this style anymore. Just be happy you won't be paying for my therapy because I thought for sure the road had opened up and was about to swallow me and my daughter and bring us into the inner depths of hell.

Now, go fix your messed up roads before someone really gets hurt.

F*ck you very much,

The Chickys


Today is St. Patrick's Day. I won't be drinking any green beer or eating any corned beef and cabbage because I'm pregnant. I can't drink and cabbage is not advisable at this point. Not if anyone wants to be in the same house with me anyway.

Massachusetts is one of the St. Paddy's Day capitals of the United States but I am of Scottish/English descent so it seems like a slap in my ancestors' faces to celebrate. Not being Irish I've never really celebrated this holiday but my husband is a quarter Irish so I guess I've had a bit of the Irish in me. Heh. Maybe I'll go crazy and wear green socks today. Or eat green jelly beans.

But I stop at the leprechauns. They freak me out.


Chicky will be three years old in one month and she is not yet potty trained. She's close, so close, but she's not quite there yet.

Maybe I should send her to Potty School?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Chicky is a Punk

Chicky's musical education is going along swimmingly. So far I've successfully purged Raffi from our daily routine and in his place replaced him with Johnny Cash (she can identify a Johnny Cash song after just three notes. Impressive.), Eric Clapton (specifically the song "Lay Down Sally" which, admittedly, is not my favorite but beggars can't be choosers), the White Stripes, the Beastie Boys and introduced her with some success to Led Zeppelin, the Beatles, and assorted folk music, both new and old. Among other artists. She asks me who sings every song that comes on the radio and what the name of it is. It's like being back on the radio.

But her latest love? The Ramones.

Or as she calls them, the Wee-mones.

My heart exploded into fifty million little pieces when she requested them the first time after hearing them only once.

"Mama, can we listen to the Wee-mones on your pewputer?" (translation - computer)

"Mama, can we listen to the Wee-mones in your car?"

"Mama, can we puh-leeeze listen to the Wee-mones in the kitchen???"

"Which song, Chicky?"

"I be See-dated!" (translation - "I wanna be Sedated")

I Wanna Be Sedated
is her new love and only Baa Baa Black Sheep gets her more pumped up. We have Sedated, Blitzkreig Bop and Do You Wanna Dance in heavy rotation on my iPod.

In other words, my ears are going to bleed if I have to listen to one of those songs EVER AGAIN. But damn it's cute to hear my baby sing "Twenty, twenty, twenty-four hours to go-o-o, I wanna be See-dated!"

Don't let the cuteness fool you. No princesses here. Only punks in training.

Her burgeoning love of all things punk rock coincides nicely with her new attitude - Not quite three going on 16.

On any given day you never know if the adorable little blond girl with the smushable cheeks will show up or the Queen of Angst. Question authority. Don't trust anyone over 30. Parents suck, and all that.

I say yes, she says no. I say black, she says white. I'm ready for her to yell at me through her closed door -that she just slammed in my face - because I ruined her life. Right after she tells me to fuck off and die. Yep, any day now.

Mo-om. Pssh. *Eye roll*

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

All he asks from me is the food to give him strength, All he ever needs is love and that he knows he'll get

*We have an update! It's below! Oh yes it is!*

Fisher, my dog, recently went through a rough couple of weeks but he's getting back to his old, frisky self. He's even daring to try to mount Lana, the real bitch of the house. And she promptly lays the smack down on his ass. Which he loves. The dumb little shit goes back for more. Apparently my boy dog loves him some rough lovin'.

Lana says: Watch as I open up this can of wup ass on the big dummy.


Tomorrow he'll be getting operated on. The vet will be going into his liver to take a sample to biopsy.

It's hard for me to go through with this now that he's acting so much like his old self. I feel a bit responsible for not speaking up for the poor pooch in the last month. The vet messed with the poor dog's system with too many medications on top of each other. I should have known better, and I did, but I was caught up with trying to get him well again.

I tell my students constantly that it's alright to question what your pet's doctor is prescribing. I believe in titers and not over-vaccinating. I think a proper diet is important to an animals well being and if you tell me your dog's food comes from the supermarket and it looks like little pork chops and fake carrots I'll tell you exactly how I feel about that vile crap you're feeding your four-legged friend.

And then it's my dog who ends up sick at an early age.

Fuck you, Irony. Crawl away and die.

But this post was not supposed to be about me beating myself up. Live and learn. Besides, I've been doing enough self-flaggelation lately.

What I need, what Fisher needs, is your good thoughts, prayers, juju, whatever. We need positivity and good vibes so that the doctor won't find any funny little cells in his biopsy.

And I, in return, will give you a cute dog and his girl picture:

Oh, the love. The looooove. Can you feel it?

It's an oldie but a goodie.

Tonight Mr. C gave Chicky, who was being hell on wheels, a choice between giving him a kiss or kissing Fisher on the nose. Guess which one she chose?


We need this dog to be around for a long time.

(The Cat Stevens song the title of this post came from can be found here. Dear lawd, it got me all choked up. And I DO NOT blame pregnancy hormones at all.)

*No biopsy after all! Hurrah!! The vet checked Fisher's values again and found they had gone way down so a biopsy is not necessary at this point. They're running another, much less invasive test right now as we speak but so far things look pretty good. There are some weird numbers but nothing to be too freaked out about.

Which makes me wonder one of two things: 1) You all have got some powerful juju and you might want to consider playing the lottery or 2) My vet is fucking with us and the battery of tests the poor dog has had in the past month are all bogus. I'm hoping for the juju thing. Good luck with those scratch tickets.

He still has bladder stones and will require a very expensive (oh my christ) operation and at that time they might take a piece of his liver to test. But until then we'll all go along our merry way and pretend there is nothing wrong with him and none of this happened. Which is the way I prefer to live anyway.


Saturday, March 08, 2008

Raising an adult child

The other day as I was picking up casually tossed shoes, cereal bowls, and papers off the floor, while I was turning off lights left on by others and moving furniture back to its rightful place, it hit me: When this new baby comes I won't just be raising two children. I already have two children. I'll be raising three.

The difference between Chicky and her soon to be sister and this other kid is this: Chicky weighs in at a trim 30 pounds and she's under three feet tall. The other is 5'10, would kill me if I divulged his weight on the internet, and is 35 years old.

The third child that I'm raising is my husband. But you probably already figured that out, didn't you?

Smart readers. Oooh, so smart readers.

It's hard to decide who I get after most to clean up after themselves or just to be somewhat human and less simian while I'm around, Mr. C or Chicky. They both burp loudly at the dinner table. They both throw things at me when I ask for them instead of nicely handing them to me (and don't think Mr. C has better aim than my kid, they're pretty equal). They both leave their socks on the floor and complain when the same dirty socks are found in the dogs' mouths soon after.

And don't even get me started on the flatulence. I've never seen two people more proud of the gas they produce.

If anything, Chicky is more conscientious. She'll help me with the laundry and is very happy to turn a light off when she leaves the room. And no cabinet door or dishwasher shall be left open for more than two seconds if someone is not actively putting things into or pulling things out of it.

Mr. C? These signs have been up in our cabinets for years now.

Guess how often he actually pays attention to them.

My husband was raised by a woman who taught him, Lawd bless her, to respect all people, not just women but did not teach him the fine art of picking up after his own ass. That means that my dear husband, who loves and cherishes me and will occasionally give me a foot rub when I whine enough threaten ask for one, who provides for his family by working 'round the clock and getting four hours of sleep a night, is not exactly the guy who will go out of his way to consider "What would make my wife's life easier?". Chivalrous is not exactly a word I would use to describe him. Tidy is not one either.

Picking up that subscription card that fell out of the magazine he was reading and is now laying in the middle of a nice clean floor? Nah, he'll never notice it.

He's not the guy who'll lay his jacket down over a mud puddle for a lady, but he'll help you across. Just prepare to get your cute shoes muddy, it won't kill you. Besides, you should have known better than to wear those shoes on such a crappy day.

Dirty coffee cups? Coats hung up on the bannister or on the closet door instead of actually IN the closet? Power tools used to do odd jobs around the house now left on kitchen counters well within reach of little hands instead of back down into the basment? The magical fairies come in the middle of the night and bring all these things back to their enchanted world of "Away", don't they?


Sadly, there are no fairies and I am the ruler of the magical world of "Away". As in, put that damn stuff Away before I pack it all up and sell it on EBay or just toss it in the garbage.

I love that man. Life would not run as smoothly, all things considered, around here without him. He works the heavy machinery that scares the daylights out of me, like snow blowers and electric screw drivers, brings home the bacon, cleans the pool and handles the bills and I... Do everything else.

Unless I bitch loud enough. And believe me, I can bitch.

I've taught my daughter who is not yet three to help sort darks and lights for the laundry, I can certainly, with patience and persistence, teach my husband to help out without having to throw staplers at his head. And I, too, have very good aim.

The other weekend Mr. C took it upon himself to help out a tired and sore pregnant lady and folded four baskets of laundry without having to be asked. I call that a step in the right direction.

All I had to do was leave the clean laundry in those damn baskets for almost two weeks, unfolded, until he got sick of pulling wrinkled t-shirts out of them to wear and was turning his boxers inside out to get more use out of them because there were no clean ones folded nicely in his dresser drawer.

Next I think I'll install self-closing doors on the cabinets.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Can I get that latte with a shot of existential crisis please?

I grew up a blue collar girl in a blue collar town with a blue collar family and, you guessed it, blue collar friends, but that wasn't the way I wanted to ultimately end up. Not that there's anything wrong with being blue collar, because I was always very happy with that life while I was living it. It was comfortable and it fit me like a well worn pair of Levi's. But a girl's got to have more in her closet than worn denim. A few nice pairs of heels (or twenty) and some fancy dresses was what I wanted. I also wanted more life experiences than my small hometown could offer.

But I got sidetracked. When I was old enough, at the ripe old age of 24 and not at the more customary (for my hometown) 20 or 21, or even 18, I married a blue collar boy. Then I divorced his blue collar ass soon after I got myself a job at a decidedly white collar Fortune 500 company and realized that blue collar life was just not for me. And where, to make a long story short, I met my lily white collared future second husband. A man who came from a very white collar town and can trace his ancestors back to the Mayflower. He'll be the first one to tell you that his parents were blue collar too but, hell fire, one of his ancestors even has a portrait hanging in Faneuil Hall. That makes him white collar in my book. The only place you'll find pictures of my relatives are on the walls of the local Elks Lodge, most likely with a hunting cap on their head and a hunting rifle in their hand. You'll find a cheap domestic beer in the other.

It didn't take much effort to adapt to life that was less blue, in every sense of the word. We bought the house in the 'burbs, got ourselves some Labrador Retrievers and the SUV, traveled the world a bit and then got down to the business of helping populate the world with more young Democrats.

And my new life fit just as well as that old pair of Levi's.


Until the day I became tired of my old supermarket (bear with me here), the one that rhymes with Slop and Drop, and a new fancier market opened up in one of the neighboring towns. This new market has a Starbucks(!) so that I may shop while sipping on my grande skinny decaf vanilla latte. It has pretty produce with names I can't even pronounce! It has a gourmet cheese selection! And a prepared food section for those days I don't feel like cooking with my overpriced Le Creuset cookware! I can even find my favorite $30 a bottle Italian olive oil right down the aisle from the Twinkies. It was all a suburban housewife and mother of almost two could ask for.

Hold on, stop the presses. Really? All I could ask for?

Is that really what gets me excited these days? Expensive coffee and some decent gouda cheese? Cheese, I might add, that is made five miles away from where I grew up, oh irony of ironies. And is it really any different than the days when a Super Wal-Mart opened up in a nearby town and my family and I had to be there on opening weekend?

Either way, blue collared or white, I'm starting to feel like a cliche. Okay, not feeling. I am a cliche. A foreign car driving, latte sipping, spending too much on a haircut, expensive dog food buying cliche. Maybe I need a heavy dose of reality. Maybe I need to pair down my life. Buy Natty Lite instead of Italian Brunello. Go back to my Levi's instead of Seven Jeans. Or before I know it I'll be just like Parker Posey's character in "Best in Show", freaking out because my pampered show dog lost his freaking busy bee.

Or maybe I just need to go buy myself a four dollar decaf latte and chill the fuck out. Existential crisis's shouldn't occur in the pastry section of the supermarket while I'm deciding between the petits fours or the cardamom sweet bread. The dressing room of Nordstrom's maybe, but not in the supermarket.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Both ends of the spectrum of animal abuse

Apparently there was a video released yesterday showing a Marine allegedly throwing a puppy off of a cliff while another Marine off camera coos in a childlike voice,

"Oh so cute, so cute little puppy."

The puppy is motionless but sounds of yelping can be heard as the puppy is tossed off the cliff until, finally, a thud.

I have not seen the video because I have no desire to watch that happening, and I won't post it here. Just the idea sickens me.

Marine officials are investigating the matter, whether the video is even real and if it is what action should be taken against the soldiers.

If it is real this is an extreme case of abuse, where an innocent animal is needlessly killed in a horrific way. Unequivocally. I don't think anyone can dispute that.

But what about the other end of the spectrum?

My friend Major Bedhead has a post up about a neighbor of hers with two dogs. One, a small toy dog, seems to be well taken care of and lives with the family. The other, a larger retriever looking mix, is forced to live in the basement where he is fed (I don't know how often and if it's adequate) and sometimes watered (though she says the dog is heard dragging his empty bowl around) and is forced to eliminate on the basement floor. He is never taken out and has little contact with his "family".

Is this abuse?

You bet your bippy it's abuse. To me there's little doubt about it. Unfortunately, this type of abuse happens more often than you might think and it's very hard for humane officials to do anything about it because, technically, its not considered to be abuse.

Intentional cruelty is when a person actively abuses an animal and it usually indicates a serious human behavior condition. In the case of the Marine, anyone who can throw an animal to its death needs psychiatric help pronto because who knows what other violent acts that person is capable of. The most common type of abuse of animals is neglect. The ASPCA describes it as, "denying a companion animals the basic necessities of care, such as food, water or shelter." It doesn't say anything about compassion or kindness.

But imagine a scenario where the players were a bit different: Switch the dog with a child. A child is forced to live in a basement. She is given food and water everyday, though probably not enough. She has a roof over her head but is given no attention. She has nothing to stimulate her intellectually. She is not loved or hugged. No one talks to her. And she is forced to live in conditions where her bed is inches away from where she is forced to eliminate, on the floor. Is that abuse?

You don't have to answer that.

So what's so different? Why is this animal who wants nothing but attention and a kind hand, maybe some tasty kibble, some clean water and a soft bed, subjected to that type of blatant abuse and it doesn't raise the ire of an entire community. Where are the news reports for this dog? Is it because the dog cannot speak? He cannot protest his living conditions so, therefore, it's legal for it to continue? Someone please explain this to me.

Maybe if enough people spoke up for the animals who cannot speak for themselves this wouldn't happen as much. Major Bedhead got quite a few comments from people who told her to call the proper authorities and report this neglect. If you know of someone who is treating their dog in this way you can visit the ASPCA website to find a list of the agencies in your area that you can call.

If you find yourself in the situation where you just can't care for your dog any longer, either financially, physically or emotionally, I urge you to give the dog up for adoption. Contact a local shelter, rescue organization or humane society and let someone who can care for the dog do so.

Dogs are companion animals who were bred to be with us. Denying this animal the most common courtesy of our affection is senseless. You wouldn't treat a child this way, you wouldn't treat a fellow adult this way, so why would you treat a defenseless animal so poorly?

Monday, March 03, 2008

I should have just sat on them

Residents of Massachusetts have a long history of being reserved and not, if I may be so bold to say, overly polite. If you want friendly people go South. If you want to hang out with someone who's chill, go West. If you want a bunch of overworked stress bags who are just friendly enough with their neighbors to make sure if they ever were to drop dead in their homes their bodies would be discovered before the cats ate it, the Northeast, and especially Massachusetts, is where you want to be. [Read More...]

Can I get a High Five?

I have a new review up at May We Recommend about the newly released Highlights magazine, called High Five, for kids age 2-6 years old. Did the magazine get a high five from me or a limp-wristed handshake?

Go here to find out!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Circle of Life

Just another day at the house of Chicky:

Sunday morning, Chicky is nearly comatose in front of the TV watching her favorite movie of all time - Monsters Inc.

"Should she really be this into a movie?"

"Look at her, she's fine. She's better than fine. She's sitting on a couch that in relation to her body is huge. She's munching Cheerios from a bag and she's watching a cartoon. I don't think she could be any more fine."

"I suppose she does look happy."

"She won't be this happy again until she's in college and stoned..."

"... Crashed on a couch, munching cheerios from a bag and watching a cartoon?"

"Funny how it all comes full circle, huh?"