Sunday, August 31, 2008

Pooped Pants

Phew. I'm pooped. I'm bored and tired and pooped. I'm annoyed that I'm bored, tired and pooped. Really, I'm at the stage where I feel better enough to want to do stuff, but when I do it, I'm wiped out. Like, this morning, we went to church, which was nice, but about halfway through I was really sleepy, and I've been tired the rest of the day. Fortunately, the kids are both playing with other kids, and I've been able to lay around and catch up on all the blogreading I've missed!!! You are some prolific people!!! :) Pretty soon, one of our neighbors is having a BBQ that we're all invited to, but I've decided that I'm not going, so I should have the house to myself, and maybe then I'll doze or something.

In other less self-pitying topics, have you all noticed the grossness that now passes for nutrition at school cafeterias these days?!?!?! I stopped letting Josie have school lunch last year when I read the tiny print at the bottom of the menu and found out that the average caloric content is 840 calories!!!!! That's more than *I* need in a lunch!!!! Also, can I just say, they're not exactly healthful calories, either. For instance, one day recently the menu was fried cheese sticks, french fries, a rice krispie treat, and their choice of milks (aka chocolate or strawberry milk, because no kid in their right mind is going to pick regular over fancy milk). Now, I ask you, WTF?! It's something like that every day, sometimes with a meat product or nugget, but basically, it's the same. GROSS. I mean, no wonder kids as a whole are getting so unhealthy! I know that some kids need extra calories because they aren't getting enough at home, but to me that would only increase the argument for giving them Real Food, and not re-heated Fat From A Box. My grandmother worked in a school kitchen, and I went to work with her every day from 1st-5th grade, and every day they *made* food for kids. Bread, sandwiches, fruits, etc. Still probably not the most wonderful foods, and they didn't taste as yummy as fries probably do every day, but still at least they were pretending to be healthful foods. I mean, school food wasn't tasty, really, but still, I wouldn't have passed out from blocked arteries just looking at the menu. This is just disgusting. Plus, if self-made foods are supposed to be more economical than pre-made foods, wouldn't it be cheaper to get the materials and make the foods, anyway? Hmph. I wonder what kids in countries whose schools are kicking our schools' butts are getting for lunch?

I'll get off my pre-made frozen hamberger patty box now.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Makin' Like The Swiss Cheese

Hi there! I'm still around! The surgery went fine, and I now have four small holes in my abdomen. I'm sore if I don't sit a certain way or carry myself carefully, but I haven't taken any pain meds since yesterday morning because I was sick of being so floaty all the time. Plus, although I'm tired, I've been doing so little physically that I'm having a hard time sleeping, too, and I think the perc wasn't helping in that department, either. Actually, I think that this afternoon I'm going to try to go on a small field trip with the family to the Music and Arts store to get Josie's violin for school orchestra, and then maybe to the Panera next door for food. That should be enough to wear me out for a nice nap without causing too much trouble, I think. I DO know I'm at that point where I'm so sick of the inside of my house that I'm about to scream, and I've seen more HGTV than one woman who can't really do anything should see, because now I'm full of ideas that are doing nothing but frustrating me since I can't do any of them! Not to mention, I'm seeing the house fall further and further into disrepair, and it's annoying me.

It turns out that it was good I didn't have to wait much longer for the operation, because my gb had a bunch of stones in it and was 'obviously diseased', according to the surgeon. Phew! I'm glad that's over.

So, I'm still not much good for anything in general, because I have a hard time concentrating, so reading isn't really working out, but I'm thinking that by tomorrow I'll be fine for that. So, I'm going to have a lot of blog reading to catch up on in a few days!!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

G Day

Today is the day I'm finally having my gall bladder out! Finally! I was supposed to have it done by now, already, but I got bumped to an afternoon time slot. I won't be in surgery until 2ish, yuck. They still told me nothing to eat or drink after midnight last night, but that seemed a little excessive, since they say the same thing when you're having it done at the ass-crack of dawn, so I cheated a little and had a small drink and a tiny snack earlier. I mean, they seriously think I'm not going to have anything for fourteen hours, plus the time afterwards until I can drink again?! My mom's been a nurse for almost 40 years, and she said that they really just don't want you to have anything within about seven hours, so I figure I'm safe. Besides, it's not like I'm having open heart surgery, for heaven's sake. I know, I still feel a little guilty, but at least my stomach's not growling anymore.

I'm not nervous, more excited to get it over with. This has been hanging over my head for six weeks now, plus the year I've been dealing with it in the first place. It will be nice to never have to worry about having a sudden attack again. Everyone that has had this done tells me that it's not a huge deal, and it'll be fine.

So, you may not hear from me for a few days, but we'll see. :) Hey, at least I'm going to get some sleep!!!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Yet Another Inappropriate Sight

OK, so I just recovered from the Duck Debacle, and yesterday, here we go again.

The kids and I were out getting more phones at Best Buy to replace the two that Baci ate when he was younger (I didn't see any point in replacing them until I was pretty sure he wouldn't just eat them again), and I told them that if they were good, we'd go to Starbucks afterward. (They truth is, I was going to go there regardless, since I NEEDED an iced latte, but they didn't need to know that.) When we all go, they are allowed to pick either a cookie and a milk or a vanilla bean frappe, so this is a Big Time Incentive. Plus, they have inherited my Coffee Shop Habitat gene, which makes all coffeehouses my natural environment. The smell, the music, the quiet conversations, the chairs... aahhhhh. Why is it that music always sounds better in a coffeeshop? When I listen to that folk art stuff at home, it's crap, but when I'm there, it's absolutely wonderful. Strange.

Anyway, the urchins were good, so they got to go to The Big S, which is in the same parking lot, although far enough away that I moved the car. As I pulled into a parking space in the emptyish lot (it was still midday, not the busiest time), a tiny little Mini Cooper pulled in a few spaces away. There were no cars between us, so I got to really look at it. I love those cars, and I would die of joy if I actually owned one (which, come to think of it, would make the actual ownership a moot point). They are adorable, and you can get the most creative paint jobs on them!! This one was yellow, with a black roof, black and white checks on the rearview mirrors, and... WTF?!?! Balls!!!!

For those of you who do not live in Redneck Woods, let me explain to you what this is. I had never seen this before I moved here. There are a lot of hunters, etc, here, who own a lot of pickups. Those pickups have toehitches on them. From said toehitches, the men like to hang things. One of their favorite things to hang is a plastic/rubber sack that has orbs inside it, so it looks like their truck is hung like the biggest bull in the county. They come in all different colors, although you don't see blue much, since what hunter wants to admit that their truck is sexually frustrated, I suppose. Now, I have never seen a corresponding female truck with the muffler turned into a giant vagina, so I don't know who those trucks would be having sex with. I should ask one of the guys that, and then point out that if there aren't any girl trucks, then all the boy trucks must be having sex with each other. That should be about enough to send them into cardiac arrest!!!!! HA!

Anyway, this tiny little mini cooper had a gigantic pair of balls hanging off the back bumper. There are MANY things wrong with this. First, eew. Just, eew. Second, since those things only come in one size, they were WAAAAYYY TOO BIG for a minicoop. It looked like the hamsters you see at the pet store who have to drag theirs around on the ground. Second, if you are a man, driving a minicoop, you sooo do NOT have big balls. I'm sorry, you just don't. In fact, maybe those were a replacement for his ACTUAL balls, since if he's driving that car, his have probably been removed. Third, what on EARTH is a man who would want such car apparrel doing driving a mini to begin with?!?!!

While all these thoughts are running through my head, of course, Josie noticed the car, too, and of COURSE she saw the gigantic orbs that were still swaying away down there (they were bright yellow, too, of COURSE), and said, 'WHAT is THAT on THAT CAR?!' Thankfully, Patrick was absorbed in his DS, and was in lala land, which usually annoys me once I've stopped the car, but this time I was just grateful. Before I had a chance to say anything, she announced, 'Oh, I think I KNOW what that is!!!!! It's -'

'Yes, honey, I'm sure you DO,' I interrupted, trying my best to convey that I did NOT want to be having this conversation.

'Why would someone put that on there?!' she wanted to know. I told her I had no idea, but that it was a boy thing, and boys are weird. She agreed, and dropped it. Thank God. Patrick never noticed. Thank God again, because if he HAD, it would have been all he talked about for DAYS, and I there probably would have been notes from the school and trips to explain to the principal why my son was obsessed with yellow rubber balls, and not the nice kind.

Seriously, EEW!

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Frankenfowl Follies

Yesterday evening, DH worked late to make up for missing time in the morning when we took Patrick to his first day, so I decided that we would have a picnic at the park for dinner. I packed up some sandwiches, Cheezits, and strawberries, and off we went with our ice water in hand.

After eating and playing for about an hour, we walked over to another, smaller playground in the same park. There were a couple of other people there, but basically it was just us in the area we were in. The kids climbed on the upside-down bird nest thing, whatever that thing's called, and I walked over to a bench to sit down.

That's when I saw them. Two of the Frankenfowl that have taken up residence at the pond, chasing each other around in circles.

Now, let me explain the Frankenfowl. First of all, their real name is the Muscovy Duck, but they are no ordinary duck. They are not descended from a mallard, and look more like the product of a chicken who got busy with a goose. They have claws on their webbed feet, their faces are covered in bumpy, red squishy-looking flesh that resembles a rooster's comb, and they have pointy bills. The two I'm going to be talking about look like this, except they were uglier because their feathers were white streaked with brown (brace yourselves, and stop eating if you don't want to snarf):

Looks kind of like the Joker would if he was a duck, right?! You can't tell from the picture here, but they're the size of a Canadian Goose. I went back today to try and take a picture of the two I actually saw, but they were hiding out, probably because of the horror show I'm about to describe.

Anyway, the two unlovelies were chasing each other around, which was kind of funny, so I watched. Then, one caught the other one and started pecking it.

Then the Peckee crouched down on the ground.

Unbelieveably, the Pecker (pun intended) got on top and started *gag* doing what I will call the Frankenfowl Fornication Frenzy.

At the park.

In my shock, I stared. I mean, I could barely tear my eyes away. I was the grossest thing!!! I started praying under my breath to please, PLEASE not let the kids notice what was going on, oh, pleeeaazzzzzz..

'Mommy? What's that duck doing to the other duck?!' from Josie.

Oh, sweet Jesus. Do I tell the truth? I mean, it's the circle of life, even if they ARE ugly, and it's perfectly natural so I should really just say

I don't know honey, maybe they're doing a dominance thing like the dogs do sometimes.' Well, I couldn't tell the truth, for chrissakes, I mean, LOOK AT THEM, please let her buy this and not attract Patrick's attention to this debacle which is - holy crap- STILL going on, how can duck sex last longer than any sex I can remember

Oh.... well, OK' said my trusting little Josie doubtfully, and finally turned away.

PHEW. That should be that, right? I've had enough trauma for one day?

Um, no.

Enter Drunk Guy. Oh, yeah. Every story about the park playground should have a drunk guy in it. I mean, you can't have frankenf*cking frankenfowl without the drunk guy, can you?!

So, Drunk Guy, who is holding a travel mug that I'm pretty certain probably doesn't have a steaming brew of joe inside, strides over to the ducks (who are STILL going at it, like they've been watching the Olympics on TV too and figured, hey, if they think table tennis is a sport, wait'll they see THIS), and begins berating them. Loudly. And waving his arms. The Madly Copulating Muscovys pay him no mind. He begins to nudge at them with his foot, still irate with them for having the nerve to Get It On in his park, pushing them harder and harder. The ducks hold on.

FINALLY, after what seemed like an eternity of duck-f*cking and drunken one-sided conversation, the Pecker duck leaped off with a great show of wingspan and quacking. The Peckee duck waddled away much less grandly, leaving me to wonder if she wasn't a, sore. Drunk Guy followed along after them, presumably to make sure they stopped getting more action than he probably does.

As soon as they left, I announced that it was time for us to GO. I mean, I couldnt' very well try and get the kids to leave during the debacle, since that would only have drawn their attention to it more, but I certainly wasn't going to wait for the duck version of 'Another 9 1/2 Weeks'.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Ode to a Beeb

From these:

To this:And this:

to this:
grow big you shall
many things will you see
but my sweet little Beeb
you will first always be

Happy first day of school, little man. Mommy loves you.

*sniff sniff*

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Meme, and The Winner Is...

Okey-dokey - tagged for this fun thing! :)

Maybe I should
get off my ass and go to the gym
I love the smell of rosemary hand lotion
People would say that I am funny
I don’t understand why kids like slamming themselves into furniture
I lost my first wedding ring
Life is like a box of chocolates (sorry, I couldn't resist!)
My past involves some things I'm not proud of
My idea of a good time is taking my dogs out, or snuggling in bed on a cold day and reading
I wish I was a better person
Twins are everywhere, it seems!
Dust bunnies are probably mating with the dust puppies under the couch
Tomorrow I’m going to bring Patrick to real school for the first time
I have low tolerance for idiocy
I’m totally terrified of tornados
I wonder why my dog thinks I can't see him trying to take those corn chips off the table - I'm sitting right here!
Never in my life have I smoked
High school was ugh
When I’m nervous I pick fights with my DH
One time at a family gathering I ended up crying because of my brother-in-law
Take my advice: don't take my advice
Taking a good picture is SO satisfying
I’m almost always planning something
I’m addicted to Discovery Channel
I want someone to put me in a room alone with Mike Rowe, just for a few minutes. Well, maybe more than a few. Seriously.


The winner of the Guess The Most Embarrassing Song contest is... two people!!!! Well, actually, Not Your Aunt Bea hit the nail right on the head with Ice, Ice Baby (my husband, ultra-cool bandito that he is, was *shocked* that I have this, and it's the club mix, no less), but Shelly over at Scenic Overlook was also correct in that I *hiding my face in the pillow as I type this* do indeed have Baby Got Back on there, too! Oh, webbies, will you ever look at me (or my blog) the same way again?! Well, at any rate, both of you lucky ladies will be getting something in the mail once you send me your addresses!! Just pray it isn't anything to do with the actual contest, because how embarassing would THAT be, right?!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Fun Photo Friday Meets Unsolved Mysteries

Here are some pictures I've been taking lately:

Of the garden:
This is a Chocolate Rose Silk Morning Glory - they're rare, and I'm TICKLED that it actually grew!!! I planted it months ago, and had given up on ever seeing it bloom! It's planted in huge bucket with a few other varieties (below)

Grandpa Ott's MG:

and another variety whose name I've forgotten - you can't tell too well, but it's striped purple:

Also, my 'dead plants' on our walkway that I got from Lowes (not the hanging one, because I'm killing that one myself, thank you)-

...and the cat, just for fun (she likes to hide in the marigolds and watch the birds):

Baci, whose ear is inside-out, disgusted because I gave him watermelon:

Our little tenants, the Mourning Doves, who are about two weeks old now:

And, just to prove that I haven't wrung their little necks yet, here's one of the kids, at the science center yesterday:

Only five more days (six for Patrick) until school starts!! (Not that I'm counting, or anything.)


Also - here's a mystery for you all. I had a long conversation with our neighbor, Corinne, today, and it WASN'T her that came to our door and complained that the dogs were barking! I knew I didn't recognize her, but I thought it was just her being messy and me being confused. Now I have NO idea who it was, because we only have one neighbor (we're on the corner). There is literally NO OTHER WINDOW near us for them to be barking near. WTH? So now I'm being haunted by angry, tired ghosts, apparently!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

08-08-08 - The Torch Has Been Passed!

My friend, Shanna, at 3cutekids tagged me on this one, so here we go!

8 TV shows I Love to watch:
Family Guy
The Daily Show
The Colbert Report
Dirty Jobs
Cash Cab
Diagnosis X
Real Time with Bill Mahar

8 restaurants I love:
Orchid Garden (sushi)
Moe's (mexican semi-fast food, like Chipotle)
Macaroni Grill

8 things that happened today:
Went to the science center
drove three hours
walked the dogs
read stories
caught up on email
hung out with my sister-in-law
cooked dinner
visited with my neighbor/friend Megan

8 things I am looking forward to:
getting my gall bladder out (just to get it over with)
volunteering in the school
fall festivals
the holidays in our new house
getting into a routine with the gym again once #2 is over (see above)
my neice and nephew being born in December
having a shower for my SIL

8 Things I Love about Summer:
the lack of a schedule, to a point
going to the pool / lake
not having to mess with jackets, etc
the best time of the year is coming up (Sept-Dec)
(that's really about it, because I actually DON'T love summer)

8 Olympic Events I want to see:
(that's about it)

8 things on my wish list:
a car with working a/c!
paint for the dining room
cash to make a window seat cushion for our bedroom (thick seat foam costs $50/yd!!!!)
more novels by my favorite authors
my SIL to move closer to me
a really great photographer-quality camera
yoga classes
breaking through the Zoloft-barrier to lose some weight

8 people I want to do this same thing:
Redneck Mommy
Creative Kerfuffle

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Difference Between PreK and Kindergarten

This pretty much sums it up, I think:

Still, I can't bring myself to throw his 'baby backpack' away. He's had that Pottery Barn backpack for two and a half years, since he started prek in January of '06. I want to snuggle it and love it and hold it while he tromps off with Superman at his side. My baby has turned into a Boy.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Interview and An Update

The other day, Patrick's kindergarten teacher came by for a visit. Apparently, this is a new practice instituted by the principal that started at the school last year; all K teachers visit all their students, or at least try to, in a two-day blitz. There will also be a meet-the-teacher night at the school next Monday for all grades when we can see the classrooms, drop off the extensive materials on the shopping list, etc.

I'll tell you, I was Nervous. I mean, here comes this woman that we don't know into our home to, basically, check us over. I mean, I know it was presented as a way for the kids to meet their teacher before the bustle of school, but I'm thinking that it's also a way for the school to get a handle on what kind of background each kid is coming from. Is the house a mess? Do they live in a crackshack? How many teeth do all occupants have?

The meeting itself did little to sway my opinion of things. Mrs. N walked in, graciously gave us an apple for 'being his first teacher' (gag a little, actually), settled herself on the couch, and got out her clipboard. As soon as the initial 'hi, how are you' niceties were over, she got right down to business: what is the daytime routine like? Where do we all eat dinner? What do we do after dinner? When is bedtime? What did we used to do after preschool? What kinds of activities do we do? I seriously felt like I was being interviewed by social services or something (or at least what I assume that would be like), and like my ability as parent was being examined. I told the truth - sometimes we do eat in the living room and watch TV together, sometimes bedtime is later than it could be, and sometimes I glue his little hiney to a chair so I can have an afternoon cocktail (oops, wait, I only *think* about doing that one, so far). I think it went beyond what a meet-and-greet should have been, and was actually a little invasive. I mean, what does she (or the school, since it's probably the principal who came up with this list of questions) say or do when they get the answers we all know some people would probably give (every meal in front of the TV, little family interaction, constant video gaming, etc)? Do they get a little black star on their file? Are their kids on a watch list of some kind, expected to be potential failures? I suppose it's good, as an outsider to that particular problem, for children who get little attention at home to have a teacher who's aware of that issue, but still. Mrs. N did comment to me that she had heard several times from parents that they had no daily routine, and that isn't good. Hmm.

It was a friendly meeting, and it was over in about twenty minutes, but I can't say that it left me with a very warm feeling. Having a first meeting make you feel like you're being interviewed by judge and jury will do that, I suppose. I'm glad she's seemingly on top of things, and that the school is interested in the children, though.


In other news, I spoke with the animal control officer today, Mike. He was very nice, which to be honest I wasn't really expecting; typically official types are more blow-offy. He asked me what had happened, so I told him the whole story, and he was very interested in what I had to say. He actually laughed when I referred them as 'attack labs'. Apparently, the couple told him that our dogs had been loose on the property and had attacked them, shoving one of them into a utility pole! They then admitted to him that there had been no injuries to either dog or person. Since the entire definition of an 'attack' is that it results in an injury, this pretty much invalidated their entire story by itself, regardless of the fact that they weren't anywhere near the utility pole and the dogs had initially been inside the house. He said that they pretty much have to check off 'dangerous' on the complaint form they leave at a house if someone says the word 'attack', but not to worry about it, and that we can submit a letter to be included in the file. I got the feeling that this kind of thing happens a lot.

I'm a little surprised that anyone can call the animal control office and claim that they were attacked, even without proof such as injury or witnesses, since it seems like that would be a field day for a really bad neighbor looking to cause trouble, but I suppose in the grand scheme of things it's better to be able to complain than not. Before we moved up this way, our county govt wouldn't allow a complaint unless there had been a injury, meaning you had to wait until something happened before anything could be done, which was awful because there was a maltreated rottie in the yard adjacent to ours that was constantly trying to get over the broken fence in its yard to get at us. I was terrified of it, and it was finally taken away because it managed to break through the fence too many times. So, anyway, this whole thing is over, and it's apparently no big deal in the eyes of the county. I still haven't found anyone who knows who those people were. I actually found that I had entirely forgiven them, anyway. There's no point in my being upset over it, and they are obviously miserable enough in themselves, anyway. Phew. Thanks for all your support; it really did make me feel better!

Monday, August 11, 2008

I'm a Weiner!

Hey!!! I won something!!! Thank you to The Semi-Desperate Housewife!!!! She sent me the most loverly package of chocolates, a paper and pencil set, face mask, and fancy-schmancy tea! Observe!

She mentioned that it took longer than usual to get the package out b/c she kept eating the candies - don't feel bad! If these babies make it through the night, it'll be a freakin' miracle. They're YUMMY!

SO.... this means I have to start my own contest! This will be my very first one, so be gentle with me. Hmmm, what to do....?

I know! I made a compilation CD the other day out of things I downloaded from iTunes. It has 20 songs on it, and they, for the most part, are pretty embarrassing. For instance, I have Mmmm-bop by Hanson, If You Change Your Mind by ABBA, Candy by Iggy Pop and that redhead chick from the B-52s, and Stayin' Alive by the Bee-Gees. Embarrassing, no? But I love them, every one. They're happy, peppy songs that make me feel awake. There's one song on there, however, that is SO BAD that DH actually turned to me in the car and said, 'You have THIS on there?!' Anyone who guesses what song it is, wins! If no one gets it right, I'll pick a person at random and we'll still have a list of funny songs. You have until Friday! Go! (Hint: It's an early 90's thing.)


In other news, we went to a picnic at our chuch last night in honor of a visit from the head of the orphanage our congregation runs in Zimbabwe. It is one of several orphanages sponsored by various countries that together make basically a town of their own, with a school, medical care, etc. Most of the kids there are AIDS orphans, and are elementary school age, although there are a few infants and kids as old as their early twenties. It was wonderful to listen to him talk, both because of his beautiful accent and because he had wonderful information on the program, which is going exceedingly well. I have read a lot about Sudan, Zimbabwe and Sierra Leone in the past few years, and have been wanting to get involved in the orphanage project for a long time. I don't know why I didn't, really, other than my own lack of initiative in finding out who I needed to talk to to do so. Last night at the picnic, there was a table there explaining exactly what I needed to do, with friendly people sitting behind it, so over I went, and I am now the proud sponsor of a little girl named Miriam! Miriam's mother drowned while trying to take her children across a river to avoid fighting, and Miriam and her sister were taken in by her grandmother, who soon passed away. The girls were then taken in by another grandmother, who had several other grandchildren she was trying to care for as a result of the AIDS epidemic. That grandmother passed away as well, and the children were taken in by an aunt, who couldn't care for them all, so she contacted the orphan's village, which took in Miriam and her younger sister.

I can't begin to imagine this kind of life, or the terror that these girls must have felt, or the abandonment they have suffered repeatedly, but I'm thrilled that I can help her from now on. Even children who aren't individually sponsored are cared for in the same way that the sponsored children are, just out of a general fund, which also provides them with letters and holiday gifts that the sponsored children will be getting from their sponsors, so none of the children see a difference.

I know this is a small thing I'm doing, comparitively, but it still makes me happy. So, I win here, too. :)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Your WHAT?!

This morning I was getting ready in the bathroom, doing my hair (which basically consists of throwing in some little hair clips and getting it off of my face), when in busts Patrick, who was, of course, butt naked. He wanted to use the toilet, thank you very much. Whatever.

Let me interject here that Naked Boy Summer Buns are the cutest things in the world. He's tan all over, really, really tan (yes, I use sunscreen, but there's only so much a mama can do - hell, at least neither of my kids have had any burns, unlike the constant state of peeling I was in at their ages), except his buns are snow white. They almost glow in the dark. It's so funny! When he runs down the hall they look like little jiggling moons!

Anyway, the boy sat down, because it was Poop Time, don't you know. I was still standing in there, with my back to him, but I could see him some in the mirror, and he was saying something to me, so I turned off the blow dryer and asked him what he said.

Me: 'What?'
Him: 'I have to go poop AND pee, I said!!!'

We have never, ever said 'pee'. We are a 'tinkle' family. Mommy Tinkle, Daddy Tinkle, and the Two Little Tinkles.

Me: 'Pee?!'
Him, speaking slowly like I'm a idiot: 'Yeah, you know, TINKLE, like what's on my BALLS, see?!'

!!!!!!!! Balls !!!!!!!!

We are not a 'balls' family. We are a 'little ballies', 'package', or MAYBE 'faucet' family. My baby does NOT have balls! Balls are gross, hairy, messy things that my sweet, sweet baby does not even come CLOSE to having!!!!! EEEEUUUUWWWWWW!!! Who on earth taught my baby to say BALLS?! Gak!

I realize that all sorts of things are going to be coming out of his mouth now that he'll be going to big kid school and being with lots of other kids, who have lots of older siblings. In fact, I'm sure he probably got that little phrase from one of the older neighborhood kids. HOWEVER, until school starts, I want to float along on de Nile river and pretend that my baby will be unsullied by bad language or rude gestures. Or, talk about his BALLS. Even the idea makes me giggle, and then throw up in my mouth a little. Eeeuuuw.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

For Pete's sake...

We have had nothing but trouble since we moved into this freakin' neighborhood.

Two days ago, our dogs managed to open the screen door on our front porch and dash outside to jump all around these two older people, who I would say were in their early sixties, walking their huskies. People frequently bring their dogs over to play with ours, since there are no dog parks in the area and we all have to basically have playdates with our neighbors instead. There are about ten dogs in a four-block radius that stop by whenever we're all outside to play, or vice versa. Unfortunately, these dogs weren't two of them, and the owners FREAKED when our dogs came running out and started jumping all around their dogs.

By FREAKED, I mean started screaming at the top of their lungs that they were being attacked, swearing VERY loudly, and kicking my dogs, who stopped what they were doing and stood nearby like they had been hit by a car. I had been sitting on the front porch with Patrick, who I think had probably not latched the door when he came out, which is what probably started the whole thing. Anyway, I was right behind the dogs, trying to grab them as the people kicked at them, and asking them to stop swearing and yelling so I could get things under control. The man then started yelling at me that his wife was frightened, and they would swear if they wanted to, to which I replied that I understood that they were upset, but could they please stop yelling 'goddamnit' in front of my 5 year old?! The guy stopped yelling at me then, but as I walked my dogs into the house, they continued on down the road yelling to everyone they saw that they had been attacked. They wouldn't talk to me, nothing.

I know they were upset, and since they were a little older, I would say in their sixties, I knew they were probably scared when strange dogs came running over. I would be uncomfortable in the same situation, probably. My first response, however, would NOT be to kick an animal that wasn't growling, snapping, or acting violent, and simply was jumping around, especially if the owner was right there. Dog fights make a certain, distinct, LOUD sound, which involves yelping, snarling, and snapping of teeth, which I know first-hand because our dogs were attacked by another one last year and Tyler received such an injury to his ear that his entire ear flap had to be cut open and quilted back together. There were none of those sounds going on; therefore, there was play, not fighting. I would also talk to the owner rather than scream obscenities at her. Needless to say, it was totally our fault that the dogs got out, and it turned out that the batteries had died in Baci's electronic fence collar, so what can I say other than it was a total failure on our part. I pretty nearly started crying as they went down the road telling everyone that they had been attacked, because 1) it wasn't true and 2) I felt mildly assaulted, myself. Plus, of course, I felt very horrified and embarrassed that it had happened at all, because I'm a good pet owner. But, no one had been hurt, so I started to feel better after awhile (and after a beer or two), and figured, well, I've never seen those people before, so hopefully I'll never see them again.

Today, when we came home from my nephew's birthday party, there was a yellow paper on our door. It was from the county, and was citing us for having 1)unrestrained animals, 2) viscious or dangerous animals, and 3)unlicensed animals. Of course, animal control was closed when I called, so I'm going to have to wait until Monday to talk to anyone there. I have 20 days to prove that they've had their rabies shots, and get them licensed in the city (apparently they need both county AND city licenses, which we didn't know b/c we only moved into town two months ago- our old house was technically outside city limits, but still in the same county, and it's not like there's a sign or notice sent to people about it).

We went to a neighborhood BBQ tonight soon after we got home, and as the neighborhood children played with the dogs in our yard, plus another dog who frequently visits, our neighbors were appropriately shocked as we tried to figure out who the hell these people are. No one has ever seen them before, although one person did mention that there's a husky breeder a few streets away, so maybe they were the people. I, however, can't bring myself to laugh at it, not yet. I mean, not to be an idiot, but my dogs are like my kids, and what they do reflects on me, so now I feel like I have been publicly trashed by these strangers. Also, anyone who has ever actually met our dogs, which includes everyone who allows their small children to come over here to play, knows that they are certainly NOT viscious. I mean, has anyone ever met a nasty labrador (that hadn't been abused or something)? I don't know if such a thing even exists.

I think I'm upset about more than that, though. I think it's a power thing that must go back to my childhood, a feeling of helplessness as something bad happens that I can't do anything about. There are people out there badmouthing me, and I don't even know who they are. Some invisible person from the county came while we were away and dropped off hate mail, basically, like some Orwellian Big Brother. To make it worse, now I can have the fun of calling the county and discussing this whole thing with someone who probably isn't going to listen, believe me, or care. I find this all immensely stressful and upsetting. Like I said, I take fully responsiblity for the dogs getting out, and for the upset that occured, but seriously, taking the step of calling the county and filing a complaint about viscious animals without even talking to me seems way, way overboard and very, very hateful. I don't wish we had never moved here, because the kids have made a lot of friends, and I have a good friend up the road, but there is definitely a LOT about not having nearby neighbors that I miss. I would rather be alone than be just BESIDE myself.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Yea and Verily, How The Mighty Have Once Again Bit The Big One

I know that the olympics are starting tonight, and initially I thought I was excited about them, but now that the moment is here, I'm just kind of ... eeh. In years past, I've had total Olympic fever, but this year it seems to be more of a flush.

I think it's partly the bad press surrounding the entire thing, what with smog, the government opening and closing places to reporters like revolving doors, the country's civil rights crisis, doping, and so on and so on. The games always seemed so Magical when I was a kid. Mary Lou Retton, my God, she was HUGE to me, and the entire thing was encased in a golden halo. Now it seems almost dirty to me, now that I'm old enough to understand all the back story stuff.

And, speaking of dirty, WTF is up with John Edwards?!?!!?! I feel like an idiot, AGAIN, for defending a politician I really believed in against allegations that couldn't POSSIBLY be true, and boom! There's the bumpin'-ugly truth, right there, in the ENQUIRER, for chrissakes! When CNN tells you that a story was broken by the Enquirer, I think it may seriously be a sign of the freakin' apocalypse. What's next, Obama's going to turn out to be a pre-op trannie and McCain will be hooked on four-day Viagrathons? Cripes. We're going to my sister-in-law's house tomorrow for my younger neice and nephew's bday parties, and they're raging republicans, so NOW I'm going to have to endure being made fun of AGAIN over 'my guy' turning out to be a total dillhole (or dillhole driller, as the case apparently is). His poor wife, losing a child, having cancer twice, and now her Sir Lancelot turns out to be Sir Cheatsalot. Yuck.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


This morning a rumpled woman showed up on my doorstep in her pajamas and satin eye-cover thing to tell me that she works nights and my dogs were bothering her, so could I keep them inside until around 11am each day?

From this request, you would think that a) I might actually know who this woman was, b) that we've had conversations before, and c) that it was probably pretty early in the morning. You might also think that they had been barking constantly for quite a time, and on many occasions, and that this person was, um, old.

In fact, it was 9am, I had no idea who she was until she told me that her bedroom window is near our back porch, making her our next-door neighbor (which makes her window probably at least five yards away), and I've never had a conversation with her in my life! The dogs had been out maybe fifteen minutes, and one had just started whining to come in a few minutes before she came over. I *never* allow them to bark for long periods of time. I hate people who do that, and I'm anal about not allowing it.

I tried to have a relationship with this woman and her husband, who I'm guessing are in their mid-twenties, when we first moved in, introducing myself from my backyard when they were in their yard, calling 'hello' occasionally. No dice - they treated me like a leper. So, I stopped talking to them, but it's been a comfortable silence, I think. Our kids stay our of their yard, we all keep our lawns mowed, and time passes.

So, this morning when this rumpled, annoyed creature showed up on my doorstep, I honestly thought at first that it was some teenager who had gotten locked out of her house! Once I finally figured out who it was, I started to get mad. I mean, really. There was no 'hello', no 'sorry to bother you', no introduction, nothing. I was shocked, first of all, that she was complaining, since it was well past the 'too-early-for-noise' time, and all the normal neighborhood noises were also going on, like trash collection, kids on bikes, etc. Also, who does she think she is? Dogs cannot stay inside until 11am!!! I mean, can she hold HER pee until 11am? I don't think so.

It's not that I don't understand people who need to sleep during the day; my mother always has worked nights, and she was also unreasonable about her expectations of people in regards to noise (she expected to be able to sleep at any time of day with the windows open and not be disturbed - this never happened because we lived in an apartment complex, so she was mad a lot, but it was her own fault). Life cannot stop just because some people may or may not be working a different shift. I'm sure there are probably several people in the neighborhood who work nights, and there hasn't been a riot yet over daytime noise. I would not have minded had she approached me in a nice way, and maybe told me who she was before starting to complain! She used the rudest tone of voice, like it is totally unreasonable of me to allow the dogs outside. (They have dogs themselves, these yappy little pomeranians that are only allowed outside once in a blue moon, and no kids.)

So, I told her that no, I can't not let them out until 11am, and that I couldn't even let them in right then because I had a child over to play who was allergic to them (the truth), but that I could go out and sit with them and they probably wouldn't bark if I did that. To be honest, I have no plans to alter my habits at all. We've been in the process of training Baci not to bark when he wants to come in, actually, but part of that is not letting him in if he barks, since that teaches him to bark more if he's not let in when he wants in (which is anytime I'm not with him, really). So, she's going to have to put up with it for a little while, and maybe buy some damn earplugs! No, I didn't actually SAY that part, although I DID slam the door when she turned to leave. Am I proud of that? No, but... it sure felt great!

Like I said, had she come over and been nice about it, or had I been behaving in a completely unreasonable manner, then I wouldn't be stewing over it. As it stands, though, I want to get up extra-early tomorrow morning, get the dogs all riled up, and start mowing the lawn. The last thing I want is a bad relationship with neighbors, but I also don't want to set a precident of her tromping over here whenever she wants and making demands. So, I will continue to work on training the dogs not to bark at the door, and she can get herself some damn earplugs. Or, alternatively, I can smack her really hard upside her head the next time she stomps over, and maybe she'll go deaf.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Random Doodads

Today, I went on the mother of all grocery trips. Since August is a 5-week month, DH gets three paychecks, meaning there's an extra check, since I budget all the bills to be paid out of two per month. Also, our local grocery store is having a gas-booster price knockoff of $.40 per gallon for every hundred dollars you spend (usually it's half that) in one trip. Knowing this holy bifecta (is that a word?)was coming, I let the cupboards go EMPTY. I sh*t you not, there was nothing in the fridge but four gogurts, some condiments, and half a carton of milk. Plus, some moldy lettuce in the forget-you-bought-this crisper, but I don't count that. I was supposed to go on Sunday, but since DH had his kidney stone that day (yes, he's feeling a lot better, thank you all for your concern, darlings) I couldn't go until today, when I was sure he wouldn't either a)barf on the kids or b)piss a boulder.

SO, with two weeks' worth of coupons and bonus card in hand, off I went to the local market. And I saved (drumroll, please)... over $100!!!!! The original price was almost $450, and I spent $336!!! (Yes, you may throw confetti, because I AM!!) This beats my old record, because the last time I saved anythink like this it was with a special coupon from the store I used to shop at that gave me 20% off an entire trip. I don't usually spend this much money, but since the gas thing was on, and I had so many coupons, AND this was an extra check, I used the opportunity to stock up on nonperishables like dog food (I got two coupons from this woman in the pet aisle who wasn't going to use them - one for $5 and one for $6 off of Iams, which was already on sale!!! I nearly had an orgasm!), snacks, and cereals. Also, I still have another $10 to save from this trip, because I have a rebate form from Kelloggs that gives me $10 if I bought ten items from Kelloggs, Sunshine, or Keebler's in one trip, cut out the UPC codes, circle the items on the receipt, and send a partridge in a pear tree. I know they make it so hard because they think that no one will do it, or we'll all mess it up and then not bother. Well, guess what, boys? I have a LOT of time on my hands, and I don't care WHAT it takes, I want my $10 because I think you screw me every week on those damn cereal bars. Thank you, my envelope will be in the mail tomorrow. Nanny-nanny-boo-boo.

I like grocery shopping. I like the challenge of seeing how much I can save. I like knowing that there are going to be yummy foods in my pantry for awhile. I like fantasizing that I will cook even yummier foods using the things in the basket. Never mind that I will probably not have the time or the inclination to do so; when I'm at the store, ANYTHING's possible. It's like college - when you're there, there are endless opportunities and you really think you're going to do every single one. Then you go outside, wake up, and make tacos for dinner.


I have been reading up a storm lately. Most notably, I've read two books by Gail Tsukiyama, Women of the Silk and it's sequel, The Language of Threads, and both were wonderful. They tell the story of a girl named Pei, who is given by her parents into the silk factories because they can't afford to keep her in the home, from the time she's a child until, by the end of the second novel, she's in middle age. Tsukiyama is an amazing author who writes with descriptive clarity that provides a full image of her characters and their world without being gratuitous or heavy. One thing that I particularly like is the history lesson that seeps into my mind almost through osmisis while I read. These novels span southeastern China's 1920s through 1950s, which was a hugely tumultous time period with the invasion by the Japanese, the ending of the emperor system and the beginnings of Mao and the cultural revoloution. Another thing that I found particularly interesting was that the other novel of hers that I loved, Street of a Thousand Blossoms, took place in Japan during the same time period, so it was like reading one of those books where you read one side and then flip it over to get the other person's point of view.

I have also devoured Stephanie Meyers' books Eclipse and Breaking Dawn, the third and fourth books in the Twilight series. Actually, in the last three weeks I've read all four. I have to say, books 1 and 3 were good, while books 2 and 4 were not so much. In particular Breaking Dawn was a big disappointment. All the problems of the first three books are basically resolved in the first few chapters, and instead of using that opportunity to move forward, Meyers simply recycles old problems, dusts them off, and thrusts them forward like they're shiny new issues. Maybe her teen audience won't mind, but I thought it was cheap. She said in an interview (which I only read because I was at the gym trapped on an elliptical machine with a choice of Entertainment Weekly and Men's Bodybuilding Weekly, I swear) that her publisher had basically forced her to put out two books in a year and she would never do it again because it was too much pressure. It showed, because obviously she didn't have time to think up anything interesting to write about for OVER FOUR HUNDRED PAGES. I admit it, by the end, I was skimming. Boo, hiss.

Monday, August 4, 2008


Over the last ten years, I have noticed that when I get an idea, DH typically decided he wants to do it, too. For instance, I began grad school (although b/c I got laid off I was never able to finish), then he decided he should go, too. I went to chiropractors, he went too. I had a baby, he had a hernia.

Now, apparently, he is dissatisfied with my impending surgery on some level. I have gallstones, so Senor Copycat now has a kidney stone. But of COURSE he does.

I mean, the poor thing, I know it hurts like hell, because my gallstones do, and because he quite nearly passed out yesterday before I got him to the ER. It all started when we were at church yesterday. We had sat through the sermon, sung the songs, and gotten our snacks for coffee hour before going to join our parenting class. After about fifteen minutes in class, DH got up to go to the bathroom. I didn't think anything of it - he's on medication that makes him pee a lot. Five minutes later, though, he came back into the room pale as death and said, 'please, take me home'. We have a CNP in our class, who took one look at him and said, 'you've got a kidney stone'.

So, we came home, and some good friends brought our kids home when Sunday School was over. About ten minutes later, poor DH called from the bathroom that it was time to go to the ER. We sat in the waiting room for about three hours, maybe a little more, and of course in that time his pain abated, but the CAT scan he finally got seven hours after we arrived showed that he had a stone that had moved out of his kidney (thus the abating of the intense pain) and was on its way to his bladder. So, when he finally came home last evening, it was with a script for percoset and a ridiculous paper strainer that he's supposed to pee through to try and catch the stone as it comes out. Apparently there are several different kinds of stones, and if he can catch it the urologist, who he was instructed to see in the next day or so, will find it easier to diagnose what his problem is. I guess when I'm at the store tonight I'll see if I can find him a better strainer that we can keep in a little bowl of bleach or something in the bathroom, and then throw away when the ... um... deed is done. YUCK.

Of course, the urologist can't see him for two weeks. No surprise there, really, I suppose, but I thought doctors were supposed to leave appointments open for people who are actually in the throes of something rather than booking solid with scheduled appointments. Sigh. Anyway, I suppose I should be glad he got in at all before the end of time.

DH stayed home today, of course, and is in varying stages of discomfort. The stone is supposed to pass within 24 - 48 hours, so he should be good by this time tomorrow, I imagine. It's a small one, so it's not supposed to really hurt when he pees it out, just while it's making its way to his bladder. Isn't it amazing how much something so tiny (1-2mm) can completely screw you over?! I mean, if you stepped on something that small, you wouldn't even notice it. He won't feel it when he pees it out, supposedly. But, in these few locations, hew, boy! You would think the human body would be more... elastic than this. I mean, we're made to bend, twist, and, stretch, and women can accomodate entire watermelons in their abdomens, but one seed-sized doohicky in the wrong spot, and we're totally undone.