Sunday, March 29, 2009

Let sleeping dogs lie. But if you insist on poking one with a stick be prepared for the dog to write about you on the internet

There are some parts of my past that I would rather forget forever. Nothing too horrible, I've never worked a street corner or anything. Just unpleasant memories that are better left swept under the rug with the rest of the dirt. So why is it that those are the things that always come to the surface like smelly sulfur bubbles? Can someone please answer this for me?

Like old boyfriends, for instance. Everyone has old boyfriends or girlfriends that they wonder what ever happened to. Those are the ones who, if they happen to contact you out of the blue after finding you on Facebook or something, you'd be happy to take a few moments out of your day to reminisce about the good old days with. Even, I might add, if the "good" old days weren't all that spectacular. Those hops and skips down memory lane are pleasant enough, if not a tiny bit disconcerting.

Then there's the other end of the spectrum - the just plain creepy type.

Guess which one emailed me out of the clear blue a couple of weeks ago. Go ahead, guess.

I dated this guy almost 20 years ago...

(20 years? I think I just choked on my tongue.)

... that for the sake of this post we'll call "Crazy Alex".

After I broke up with "Crazy Alex", an epically bad breakup where I feared for my safety more than a few times, I never saw him again and I have had zero desire to ever speak with him since. It was a relationship that never should have happened. The fact that it lasted the better part of two years is a testament to how stupid I was at seventeen - and even more stupid at eighteen because I was still with the guy. But in the spring of my eighteenth year I finally smartened up and dumped his sorry ass. Much to the delight of everyone who knew me, especially my parents. I'm surprised they didn't buy me a bedazzled flying unicorn that pooped puppies and jelly beans to reward me for finally getting rid of the guy.

Apparently he Googled me, which led him to my blog.

(Why yes, I am regretting posting my real name. Thanks for asking.)

And that, my friends, was a HUGE mistake on his part. Take note, lambs - if you had a bad relationship with someone a thousand years ago and you know they have a blog, do not, I repeat DO NOT, contact them or they will be forced to use your email as blog fodder.

We'll call it payback for every jealous rage he ever went on. Or making up for that time I was forced to throw a coffee mug (and stapler, and I think there may have been some dinnerware too) at his head and missed. And for the record I'm not proud of that. I have much better aim now.

Let's begin, shall we?

His words are in bold, mine are in snarky:

Well its taken me months to decide whether to write to you and say hi or just to leave it

(just leave it, just leave it, for the love of all that is good and holy, just leave it)

but here goes.


(Dammit all to hell. He never could take a hint.)

I found your blog one day, I will be honest I googled your name (*shaking fist at Google*) on a day that I heard a Cinderella song and you popped into my head, (that still happens on occasion).

(For the record, I have no idea what he means. I've never listened to Cinderella a day in my life. Really. And I never saw them in concert either. Um...)

I am so glad you have had a great life and are happy. congrats on the kids and I am sorry to read about your mom.

(Okay, it was nice of him to acknowledge my mom. Especially since she hated him with the power of 10,000 suns and she may have had a hit out on him.)

I have been married for 14 years now have two great step-kids...

(Right about here is when I started to zone out. I may have been humming "Nobody's Fool" but I can't be sure since I've never heard that song in my life.)

I guess I fall under the category of one of the "winner" boyfriends you had in your past that you wrote about, I definitely earned that title I was an ass.


sorry about that, I guess medication should have been prescribed earlier than 35. We have a...

(Something something, dog. Something, something. cat. Wonder what made him think I would care about his animals? Or his medication, for that matter?)

(Get out of my head. GET. OUT.)

I too stayed close to music I have been lead singer in a couple bands and worked as a bouncer at...

(Funny, I don't remember him being a singer. Or strong. I do remember him as being more than slightly crazy with delusions of grandeur, however.)

unfortunately lead singer syndrome led me into a felony charge that will never be clear for my record, but thankfully I have a very strong and understanding wife and family that stuck by me, another case of me being an ass...

This is where I was all, Wait just a second. Did he say "Felony Charge"? What does that even mean? Did he beat someone to death with a microphone? Oh my holy hell, who in their right mind emails an ex and casually mentions that? Hey, haven't talked with you in almost two decades. Did I mention I'm an ex-con? How are things with you?

*Head/desk. Repeat.*

I'm imagining him sitting down to write this and thinking Should I mention I spent some time in the big house? Eh, can't hurt. It's only amazing I didn't write back IMMEDIATELY and tell him all was forgiven and invite him over for Sunday dinner. Maybe make him my children's godfather.

There was more to the email after that, but honestly I think I blacked out.

You may think I'm being a little harsh, sharing this personal email on the internet, but I think he threw away any right to privacy when he contacted me out of the blue and mentioned he was a FELON.

Am I shouting? Sorry.

Since he's probably reading this, which is creeping me out more than just a little bit, I'm going to say this to him: A. - I'm glad you seem to be getting the help you should have gotten decades ago. I'm glad you seem to be in a stable relationship with a stable job. But what would make me very happy is if you were to forget my email address. Just pretend you never met me because I can't imagine you have any fond memories of that time. I know I don't.

Now I think I'm going to give my husband and hug and apologize for every time I screamed at him for not picking up his socks.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My next post will be about how much I love Polident

To the people in the red Jeep:

Hi there. Yeah, I see you. It's hard not to, being as close to the woods as we are. I see you trying to be all sly, driving out of the woods with that shit-eating grin on your faces. You pass me on the street at all hours of the day and night. I try to turn a blind eye to you and your ilk (because you are certainly not the only ones who go out there for a "joy ride", ahem) even though it clearly says at the head of the trail that vehicles are PROHIBITED from entering. But hey, I've been in your position once or twice in my early days. I used to get a thrill from hopping into a boyfriend's truck and four-wheeling in the woods, maybe some parking.

(Okay, definitely some parking)

(Okay, maybe there was a lot of parking)

You know what I'm talking about. I've seen you enough times to know who is in the car. Do you think I'm under the impression that you're going out there for a picnic? Like I said, I've been there. It was a hundred years ago and I was much more limber, but I've been there. I don't really care. That's your business.


It becomes my business when you dig up the trails so badly it becomes dangerous for anyone to walk on them. It becomes my business when you leave your trash, your beer cans and cigarette butts and fast food wrappers, all over the place. And it certainly becomes my business when you leave your condoms (ew, EEWWW) where my kids could pick them up. Or just as bad, where my dogs can find them and use them as chew toys. Seriously, you bring it in, you take it out. This isn't your garden, go spread your seed someplace else.

Oh, and also - it's Spring. It's muddy out there. The next time you get stuck and spin your wheels loud enough for everyone in a 2 mile radius to hear, I'm calling the cops. And if you think you'll get retribution because you're smart enough to figure out who called the fuzz, just a heads up - I've got your license plate number. I may be turning into an old fart (okay, I'm definitely turning into an old fart) but with age comes wisdom... and home-ownership. And with that home-ownership comes tax money and clout. I will get a gate put up at the trail head so fast it will make your head spin, so don't mess with me unless you want to pay by the hour for a cheap hotel room. Or become celibate.

Now, if you'll excuse me I need to go change my Depends undergarment and soak my dentures.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Party politics

Chicky has a birthday coming up - the big 4. Which means three things; 1) My baby isn't a baby anymore, 2) I need to start planning a birthday party, and 3) My baby isn't a baby anymore and my head can't quite grasp that notion so all the cogs and gears are starting to smoke and ohmygod I think my head just exploded.

(Also, I just spent 45 minutes looking through pictures from the past three birthdays and there may or may not be tears in my eyes and that's for me to know and you to just mind your own damn business about.)

When I was growing up, we were never huge on birthdays. We had small parties with close family and a few close friends, a special cake, some presents and some general child-related mayhem but nothing grandiose by any means. But, while I'm not keen on making a huge fuss, mostly because I'm lazy, I do want my kids to feel like their extra special day is just that. Heavy emphasis on "special", with a side of "extra".

Plus, I like the whole theme thing. I don't know why, I never thought I would be one of those people, but God help me I am.

When I asked Chicky what she wanted the theme of her birthday to be, she said, without any provocation, she wanted a Beach Party. Cool. I can run with that theme. And there are no princesses or glitter involved so, bonus.

Well, apparently, while my head was spinning with the details over what the cake should look like and what I was going to do for favors, she was thinking about who she was going to invite.

A few days later while we were driving home from preschool she dropped a bomb on me.

"Mommy, I told my WHOLE class about my beach party and they're all coming, even my teachers. I'm so excited!"

There are 20 kids in Chicky's preschool class and three teachers. Now, the great thing about 3 and 4 year old's is they tend to forget what you've told them a minute after it's out of your mouth, right about the time they see something shiny. The bad thing about 3 and 4 year old's is they tend to remember everything you don't want them to. The only saving grace is I know her teachers, who I'm sure have been "invited" to every student's birthday party, are not expecting invitations. Which is good, because that's three less people I have to invite.

I'm not crazy (okay, I'm not that crazy), I'm not inviting every child in Chicky's class. She and I sat down and had a long conversation about it which culminated in Chicky telling me that she was, in fact, inviting Every. Single. Kid to her party and her stomping away and slamming her bedroom door. Then we had another conversation about who we were inviting and how much fun it would be and I think I may have promised her a pony if she would stop freaking out for five seconds. I'm not sure, but I think I won that battle.

But here's the thing, it only gets more challenging from here on out. My children are still young enough that I can invite a select group and we don't have to worry about excluding certain members of her class, but that will start to change in the coming years. We have not yet gotten caught up in the birthday tidal wave where every week there's another party to attend and another gift to buy, but I know it's inevitable. We have friends who live in the Raleigh area in one of those planned communities where every couple is in their 30s and they all have two kids the same age as every other kid in the neighborhood (and they're all made out of ticky tacky, and they all look just the same). They get invited to 3 to 4 birthday parties almost every weekend. Can't wrap your head around that one? Me neither.

That's the extreme end of the spectrum - and that's what they get for moving to the south where people are actually friendly to each other, not like up here in New England where you're lucky if we nod in your general direction - but I'd be lying if I said I didn't get heart palpitations from thinking about all those parties where I'll have to try to make nice with other parents I don't know while the rugrats bounce off the walls from their sugar high.

But more than my own social anxiety, I'm concerned about keeping my children's birthdays special when there are politics involved. In other words, for instance, if Susie and Bobby invited my child to their birthdays, does that mean I need to invite them to hers? Even if my kid can't keep their names straight and refer to them as Sarah and Brian? I don't want to be responsible for some little kid feeling left out because he or she wasn't invited to my kid's birthday but I don't want these shindigs to get so out of hand that the importance of the day is overshadowed by the effort it will take to keep 20 kids corralled and entertained while trying to keep my house in one piece.

What's that you say? Take it offsite? Don't get me started on parties at places like Chuck E. Cheese. As far as I'm concerned, that place does not exist. La la la la la.

The way I see it, we've got one more year, maybe two, when I get to decide who is on the guest list. After that it will get tricky.

Or... next year's party is a Studio 54 theme and I get to play Steve Rubell. All will have to stand behind the velvet rope unless I deem them fabulous enough, then they can enter the party. I'm sure that wouldn't set up a typical 5 year old for too many long term emotional problems.

Monday, March 16, 2009

We should all be so lucky

I took CC to her 9 month well baby visit last week (And can we just pause for a moment to wonder where the hell the last 9 months went?? <-----> Damn.), a visit I was very much looking forward to. Not because she was going to get a shot and possibly revisit the great doctor's office meltdown of '08, because that sucked ass, but because it's always fun to see how much my babies have grown and changed and also because I can stop the incessant speculative questions from the relatives on the state of her weight and height.

CC has always been on the thin side. Long and lean, that's my girl. It's partly genetic and partly because, while she has a hearty appetite when it comes to solids, she's never been big on nursing.

In the beginning I was thrilled she was so efficient, but now she just can't be bothered most of the time. Places to go, people to see. Small, dangerous toys to swallow. She's a busy little girl. Which is why I wasn't too concerned about this well visit. Developmentally I knew she was doing better than fine; she crawls, cruises, sometimes she even stands unassisted for a few seconds. She uses her walker to run around the living room (Yes, run. She doesn't do anything slowly. Hold me.)

Go, Speed Racer, go.

She's a pretty intelligent baby, if I do say so myself (ahem), and her curiosity is off the charts.

Unfortunately, so is her weight. She is so wee, she is literally not on the chart.

Three years ago this would have thrown me into a fit of self-flagellation. I would have driven home, wringing my hands the whole way (which makes driving difficult, btw), and stuck my head in the oven. Not a great idea when one has an electric oven, trust me. I would have thrown around words like "terrible mother" and "I suck" and "OMG, my BABY. My BAAA-AABY." But last week after the appointment I kind of shrugged and said, "Yep, that's what I thought. She's skinny." I told my husband, I told my in-laws, but I didn't freak out. So this is me, evolving.

Or I'm just numb to it all. Whatever.

Feed me. No, really. FEED. ME.

On the height scale, she's 80th percentile. Head circumference, 50th. Weight, 0. She's 15 pounds and 12 of those are in her cheeks. Hopefully skinny jeans will still be in style when she's ready to wear them.

And speaking of clothing, that is our biggest problem in regard to her size. I have no problem that her arms are thinner than most her age or that her legs aren't as chubby, my problem is that we can't keep a pair of pants on the poor girl. She slides right out of them like a greased pig through... whatever a greased pig slides through. And if they fit, then they're up to her knees.

Do they make baby suspenders? Because that's what she needs. Or maybe duct tape. I don't think that's frowned upon too much if the tape isn't actually touching skin.

Obviously I am a teensy tiny bit worried about her weight or I wouldn't be writing about it so we're doing what we can to bulk her up a little. You know, avocado, formula in her morning cereal, protein shakes and anabolic steroids. Basic stuff like that. The good news is it seems to be working pretty well. The bad news is she's getting a hairy chest. But that was bound to happen anyway, the women in my family are naturally furry.

So she's tiny (and furry), she's freaking adorable and she plays a mean game of peekaboo. It's just too bad she has a babbling idiot for a mom.

Peek A Boo from Chicky Baby on Vimeo.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Cheeky Cheeky Baby

I've been wanting to use that title for a long time, which would be really sad if not for OMG! THE CHEEKS. THE CHEEEEKS. NOM NOM NOM.

Scrumptious? Check. Always on hand? Check. A low calorie food? Um, check?

Take that, Girl Scout cookies. I don't need you. I have CHEEEEKS. Although, if I could dip them in crushed Peanut Butter Patties I'd be over the freaking moon. Also, 1,000 pounds.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

SAHM I am. For now.

I've been thinking about going back to work a lot recently. In times like these, with the economy in the toilet, what stay at home mom doesn't toss around the idea? However, in my case, though money is right up there as a motivating factor, financial security is not the number one reason why I'm considering maybe not giving up the S in SAHM completely but certainly adding a W in there somewhere. I've got young girls to think about, minds to inspire and all that jazz.

Let me back up.

I wasn't supposed to be a full-time mom; after Chicky was born I was supposed to go back to work part-time when my maternity leave ran out. When that plan fell through, Mr. C and I decided we could make it work with the inheritance I had received after my mom died. That money was going to help us get through a year of being a single income family and after that year we were going to reassess where we were financially and decide then if a job outside the home was in my future.

It's now been almost four years. My, how time flies when you're wiping other people's butts.

I have dabbled a little with work in that time. I taught dog training classes a couple of nights a week until I was six months pregnant with CC, and those classes helped bridge a gap that was left in my life after I gave up working full time. And when I say "gap" what I really mean is a gaping black hole. I've always worked. I got my first job when I was 13 and I've been working ever since. Giving up a job, giving up being a productive member of the working class, has got to be one of the hardest things I've ever done. I honestly didn't know what to do with myself. And if Chicky hadn't been as colicky and needy as she was, if she had been one of those "easy" babies I've heard stories about, I don't know if I would have continued being a SAHM. But she was and I did and here I am. I'm a SAHM - pronounced in my head as SAM.

SAHM I am.

In mixed company, however, I never referred to myself as that. I was always a mom/dog trainer - equal in both, if not in time spent then definitely in importance. It was essential to my mental stability (as tenuous as that is most of the time) to define myself as that contributing member of society. Sure, I was a mom and being a mom is the most important job a woman can have [/singsong]. Blah, blah, blahdee, blah. We've all heard that and, for the most part, I do believe it to be true. I will never do anything as important as when I gave birth to those two babies. I will probably never be anything more important than mom to my girls. That role is, first and foremost, who I am since the day they sprung from my nethers. But I guess my problem with that is, am I doing my girls a disservice by "only" being their mom?

As they grow, I can be the best mom I can be. I can be here for them - love them fiercly; shuttle them to and from playdates, sporting events, dance rehearsals; listen to their stories; wipe away tears and kiss boo-boo's; cook healthy meals and sneak in the occasional ice cream sundae; keep a somewhat clean home and love their father. I can give them my all and make them my life. Most importantly, I can show them how to be kind and decent and make sure they are confident in the love they have received so that they can go out into the world one day and repeat that with the important people in their lives. I can be a role model in that way, I'm just not sure that's the only legacy I want to leave with my children.

As a mother to girls I want to make sure they have a strong female presence in their life. I want them to see that women can do a number of things, not just cook and clean and scale Mount St. Laundry every other day. Yes, as I mentioned before, making sure they are secure in the knowledge that their mom and dad love them very much and will slay dragons (mostly figuratively speaking) for them is paramount but I also want to give them a woman they can look up to for things non-domestic.

I may catch some flack for this post from women who believe being a mom is the only way to go and I will not dispute that. For them - for you maybe - that is their dream but is has never been mine. I day dream of running my own business (finally, after talking and talking about it, for the love of GOD), walking out the door to do important things non-child related, and maybe one day hearing my girls say "My mom is a [insert title here]" with pride in their voices over what I have accomplished. That accomplishment wouldn't just be for me, but for them too. You can do anything you want to do, I will tell them. Anything at all. And if someday that anything is being the best mom they can be, I will support them happily. Because I will have succeeded in that role as well. That's all I can ask for.

Now here's the rub - how the hell do I begin this?

Jeez, being Super Empowered Role Model Mother Woman is hard work. I think I need to go lie down.

Friday, March 06, 2009

February ROFLs

It's time for the ROFL Awards!

Here are this month's nominees. Visit them, laugh with them, in some cases laugh AT them. It's all good.

Feb09 ROFL

Congratulations to all!

Vodka Mom awarded Idiot Stew

simply nutmeg awarded the Catherinette Chronicles

Mamadosey awarded Is It 5'O Clock yet?

Mary Murtz awarded The Blogess

Motherbumper awarded Where Am I Going... And Why Am I In This Handbasket?

Fairly Odd Mother awarded Ordinary Days

It's A Schmitty Life awarded Temporarily Me

Prefers Her Fantasy Life awarded Life Just Keeps Getting Weirder

Mo "Mad Dog" Stoneskin awarded Diary of a Mad Housewife

Hope4Peyton awarded Barefoot Foodie


Remember, you too can help spread the laughter. If you're not sharing the funny then you're part of the problem. It's true.

The ROFLs are brought to you, with sweat, tears and lots of eskimo kisses, by your friends at Oh, the Joys and Chicky Chicky Baby. As always, if you want to know the rules (the rules, the RULES) GO HERE.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

This is NOTHING like being a Deadhead.

You've heard about The 30 Day Shred, right?

Jillian Michaels? Biggest Loser? She who will kick your ass back and forth 'til Sunday because she wants you to be the best and most sore person you can be?

Yeah, that one.

That psycho hose beast woman has me by the short and curlies. I am her bitch bitch.

Let me back up.

There I was Sunday evening, sipping a glass of wine and eating cookies - and I will interrupt here to say Duuuuuh. Because on any given night you might find me sipping wine and eating cookies. I may have well said I was breathing and blinking - when I got very interested in a Twitter conversation Kristen started about getting a group together to do The Shred. Blame it on the wine, blame it on the cookie crumbs covering my muffin top... hell, blame it on the bossa nova, but I was all Hell Yes! I too want to SHRED!

I had no idea what the Shred entailed but when you have that rosy glow in your belly and a flush on your cheeks that only comes from the one-two punch of vino and tasty treats peddled by Girl Scouts shredding your body seems like a really good idea.

(Also, she named it the Shredheads. Which to my wine soaked brain sounded a helluva lot like Deadheads and I flashed back to my youth - quickly mind you, because have you ever been to a Dead concert? Yeah, poof. My memory, it ain't so good - and I immediately thought of special brownies.

Mmmm, special brownies.

Now you know why I get stuck on so many tangents.)

That good idea in the light of day? When sober? Come to find out, notsomuch.

But if my girls can do it then dammit, so can I. How bad could it be?

[Insert maniacal laughter of those who have done the Shred here]

I'm on day 2 and my thighs have not hurt this much since way back in the day when I was playing high school basketball and our sadistic coach made us do suicides until our legs spontaneously tore from our bodies and picketed outside the gym in protest. If I didn't have a support group I don't think I would keep going. Thanks to Kristen there are others out there at this very moment, shredding.

Viva la Shredheads!

Join us. Really, it's not so bad.


If you don't want to join, at least lend some moral support. Gifts of cookies are also appreciated.

Here are my starting stats:

Code name: Miss Mary Sunshine

Tag Line: Jillian Michaels can kiss my flabby ass. (Alternate tag - This sucks sweaty donkey balls)

Weight: 136lbs

Goal: I'd like to take my girls to the beach this summer. In a bathing suit. Do I really need to say more?

Diet Plan: Eat less cookies. Bitch. Eat less chocolate. Moan. Drink less wine. Whine.

Rules: Eat better. Try not to kill anyone.

Shred Plan: Level one. 3lb hand weights (started with 5lb and I can't lift my arms. I'm typing with my nose.)

Monday, March 02, 2009

I swear, she's never seen "Leave it to Beaver"

But maybe we've been watching Martha Stewart too much? Possibly?


In other domestic news, I've got a new review of the Sylvania PalPODzzz LED nightlight over at May We Recommend for PBN. Don't let the name of the product scare you off. Boo!

(Get it? Nightlight? Scary monsters? Oh forget it, it's too early for any good jokes.)