Thursday, December 22, 2011

Today is one of those days where I feel like I should blog and brag about all of the holiday cheer we have been spreading around these here parts.

We got this accomplished. Sorry for the crappy picture.

We have wrapped 6 presents. And bought all the rest.

We watched Rudolph...4 times.

We bought cookie mix and cutters to make sugar cookies. Have yet to make them.

We bought a special brownie Christmas box to make present-shaped brownies. Have yet to make them.

The dogs are getting baths as we speak so they don't stink to high heaven for all of our family and friends.

We have a few (17) strands of Christmas lights on our house, that do not match all of our neighbors color-coordinated Christmas lights.

Aaannd...that's it. Every year I say that we are going to enjoy the season, damnit! I WILL become the supermom who makes cookies and fudge and peanut butter balls with my kids. We WILL decorate the tree with awesome Christmas music playing in the background, instead of the movie Elf.

This year I am still deciding if I'm going to attempt the mall tomorrow to take the girls to see Santa. Of all the things we have left to do, that one terrifies me the most.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Mac Truck

The holidays have hit me like a Mac truck. (I think my grandpa used to have a Mac truck business. I have a little glass dog that is their mascot that was used as a paperweight. It makes me smile when I look at it,even though I don't really know the whole story.)

I have all of my shopping done. The tree is up, although we did no other decorating.

Here is where I am freaking out.




OK, I feel better now.

My laptop is a work issued laptop, and I had them rebuild it last week. It was running very slow, and it did this annoying thing where I would hit a key, but nothing would appear on my screen. For example, if I tried to type $10.06, it might show up as $1006. And that is a bad thing for an accountant. Or, if I tried to type, "Please get to me by Jan. 2nd," it would show up as "legmand."

So yeah.

Oddly enough, my phone was doing a very similar thing. I am on my 2nd replacement, and so far so good. Except for the annoyingly extreme lag. But at least I can type. For now.

Has anyone else ever had this problem? HELP ME! or..."elpm!"

Sunday, December 11, 2011

So...Life Change?

This coming July begins my season of three weddings in three months.

My kids are in two of them.

And yeah, I kind of want to be the "cute mom" of the flower girls. I don't want to be the "overweight, haggard, run-down" mom-of-the-flower-girls.

I know, I know, totally superficial and vain. Deal.

Lately, I've realized just how stereotypically MOM I have become.

I wear Spanx. I see a news story and question what the other side is. I'm getting age spots on my face. Basically, I am getting old.

The worst part of becoming the stereotypical mom? The late night food cravings.

I want chocolate.

I want ice cream.

I want the red, white, and green Sixlets I bought at Cracker Barrel the other day.

This is NOT helpful in my quest to be the cute mother of the flower girls.

So, I need something to combat these late night cravings.

Any suggestions??

While we are at it, any suggestions on how to get started on a workout routine for someone who detests-with-her-entire-soul working out? Incorporating the puppy into said workout would be good, even better would be ideas of how to get out of bed in the morning to exercise. You know, with the puppy.


Friday, December 9, 2011

Just To Clarify

It is past midnight right now...waay past my bedtime.

I'm just laying in bed, facebook and Twitter have me wishing I would have gone to the Guns N' Roses concert in Indy and generally not keeping me as entertained as I would like.

My mind is spinning.

It spins to dinner tonight, where Sam leaned over to me and hugged me and said, "Mom, you're my best friend." I don't know where that came from, but I liked it.

And then my mind spun to my post from the other day, where I talked about how my kids are the greatest bestest most stupendest in the world.

And I got to thinking, "Geez Gail, I really hope that no one thinks you an asshole for writing that. Like, your kids are better than other people's kids, for reals."

So I just had to write this and say, Look. I hope you know that I know that all of you moms out there think the exact same thing about your kids than I do about my kids. And, for that matter, all you dog moms think the exact same thing about your dog versus other people's dogs.

Basically, I don't want you to think I am an asshole.

Which is kind of funny, because the whole reason I wrote that post is because I am often afraid I come off as an asshole about my kids in real life.

If you ever see me IRL, and ask me about the girls, I will probably sigh, roll my eyes, and say something to the effect that they drive me to drink. (Which is actually not really true, I have never once joined the #wineparty on Twitter.) I then will tell some terrible story about how Sam pushed Charlie off of a chair. Or how proud I am that Charlie is now starting to fight back.

I tell stories about times like tonight, I was Skyping with K, and realized Charlie was just being a tad too quiet. And how I turned around, and she had oh-so-carefully climbed from the floor onto the ottoman onto the couch, and had gingerly climbed onto the glass coffee table and was preparing to stand and fist pump the air like she was King of the Mountain. I *rushed* to get her down so she didn't fall and split her head open, because I was really not in the mood for our first ever ER visit tonight.

I am afraid that I make it seem like I am not very concerned with my children's well-being, or that they are a thorn in my side, all of this responsibility. And, just to be clear, THAT COULD NOT BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH. I hope that my sarcasm comes across in real life, just like I hope it comes across on my blog. THAT is why I wrote that last post. So when/if my kids grow up and read this blog and they are talking to their therapist and saying how I never talked to the strangers on the internet about how I loved them, there was one clear post about how I felt about my girls.

Sometimes I wonder if people who know me IRL doubt my mothering instinct, since I seem to be such a lax parent, I want them to know that I DO care. (I also have this thing in my head that bad things don't happen to me or my family, even though bad things continually happen.) I just can't fathom a devastating illness, a horrible car crash, or a terrible accident happening to me. To my kids. So I may allow my kids a bit more freedom that others.  And that is OK, to each his own. I just want people to understand. Or at least know the most important thing...I really do LIKE my kids. And love them. So there.

But, just so I am clear, they are really cute and adorable and awesome and generally, sort of, well-behaved (in public) (most of the time). They drive me nuts, force me to take more deep breaths in one day than in an entire lifetime before they came along, and can make me forget with one look that there are other people in a room. I guess that is what kids do to you. Damn kids.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Yep, I Have the Bestest Kids

I like to talk about my kids...but I don't like to be one of those people who talks about their kids. Today I am going to make an exception.

The other week, Pink tweeted that "ummm i just have to say that my daughter may be the most bestest amazingest stupendoustest baby ever made in the history of the planet."

And you know what? I totally get that. I do. But let's be honest...I kind of think I have the best kids ever.

For one...everyone is always telling me how cute they are. Like the woman in Target who was watching Sam roll all over the floor with her head on her jacket, instead of putting on her jacket like I told her to. And when she walked by and I smiled sheepishly and said, "Sam, seriously?" She smiled and me and said, "She is just so darn cute!" Random strangers in Target think my kids are cute even when they are crawling on dirty tile floors! (As this was happening, Charlie was trying to give the old lady in line behind us a heart attack by repeatedly standing up in the seat of the cart. She knows how to wiggle out of the seat belt. She'd stand up, look at the lady, giggle, get a smile out of her, and sit back down. Repeat.) 

Number two...They say the darndest things. And have impeccable timing. Last week, Sam wanted Papa (grandpa) to make her chocolate milk. She pulled out the cup and the milk and the Carnation chocolate. (I know, I know, it is Nestle Quik in my  house, but he drinks Carnation malted milk.) He was trying to tell her that she needed to use a sippy cup, because the last time he made her milk in a "real" cup, she spilled it. And she looked at him and said, "But Papa, that was your fault, remember?" Already using her cuteness (and knowledge of adult-onset memory loss) to get out of trouble. Then the other day she asked for juice. I told her, as I do every evening, that she could have water or milk. She put her finger to her lips, looked to the ceiling and said, "Hmmm...I think I'll have milk." And then she watched me open the door to the refrigerator. As I stood there, staring at the lack of skim milk (Sam's) and the small amount of whole milk (Charlie's), she popped off, "Oh mom! We are out of MY milk! And I don't like Charlie's milk! Maaybe I should have juice instead." Master manipulator, that one. And Charlie? Her first words were "NO KALE!" I mean, come much more awesome does it get??

Three...Charlie sleeps about 18 hours a day. That leaves 6 hours for eating and playing. And let's be honest, after eating, there are only about 2 hours for playing. Which is only 2 hours a day that I have to keep an eye on her to keep her from destroying the house. Not to say that she doesn't destroy the house on a regular basis, but it is a lot better than a kid who goes to bed at 11pm and gets up at 5am and refuses to nap for more than 15 minutes. The best part is, when we do decide to jack with her schedule and keep her up and drag her all over hells' half acre, she is totally cool with it. Like, she stores up extra sleep to give her the energy to get through outings, and the holidays. She wanders around where ever we take her without a care in the world, stopping to say, "What's that?" and "Mommy!" (she calls everyone mommy) People are dropping dead at her cuteness when she passes by.

There are a gazillion more reasons why MY kids are the bestest. (I suppose everyone has those reasons about why their kids are the bestest.) And I know I don't always show how great I think my kids are. Oftentimes, when Sam is doing something that she really shouldn't be doing and random strangers or family members see and open their eyes wide and shake their heads, I will just roll my eyes and say something like, "Oh Sam, she really is something, isn't she?" as I drag her away from the edge of whatever cliff it is she is poised to jump off of. (Unless, of course, she already has, in which case I have to go pick her up and dust her off. Unless of course she has already landed and is off and running again.) And they will nod and look away, obviously thinking, "You really should do something with that kid." People don't realize that every day, we are trying to figure out how to outwit her. And we haven't done it yet. I mean...look at her! What is she...16??

But honestly? Her and her sister are the bestest amazingest stupendoustest babies ever made in the history of the planet. Really.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Two Most Important Things

To round out November, I'm going to get a little sentimental. Just for a minute.

The two most important things I am thankful for. My kids and my life.

I KNOW I KNOW. I cheated. I already said my kids. Tough.

There are plenty of times where I am ready to curl up in the fetal position and just let the kids win. They can trash a house in 2.5 seconds. They have more endurance than I ever did, and they know what buttons to push to get their way. Even Charlie. When they cry, I often roll my eyes and want to run away. Because even when they are hurt, it is 5 seconds of "I'M HURT!" and 3 minutes of "I AM REALLY PISSED OFF ABOUT GETTING HURT!!" And I can't do anything about them being pissed off.

But they are the reason I get up in the morning. They are the reason I work, the reason I smile. The reason I breathe. They make me want to pull my hair out, and then they wrap their arms around me and I feel my insides melt. I want to bury my head in their hair and breathe in their sweaty/shampoo scent and just stay that way forever. I love watching them play with their cousins and learn new things and just...enjoy life. Whoever said that kids make you young again was totally right. They remind you what is good about your life, when things have gotten so complicated you just want to sell everything you own and move in with the Duggars.

(Why the Duggars, you ask? Because they appreciate life. They realize what is and faith. And even if they are insane for having 20 kids, at least they got the appreciate life part right.)

Before I had kids, Fonz was my baby. He was the reason I got out of bed in the morning...because there was no one else to take care of him but me. He taught me so much. Especially in the first two years, I applied a lot of my dog training experience to raising my kids. (Only time will tell if that worked out.)

So my dog and my kids remind me to appreciate life. My life. My awesome fucking life. As much as I can bitch and complain about how much Workaholic works, and having to take care of our house and dog vomit and kid poop and going to the grocery store and not making dinner and my job and anything else I can find to find fault with, I have a pretty damn awesome life. NO ONE's life is perfect. NO ONE. No one is perfect. I bitch and moan about my overbite and how I need to whiten my teeth and lose 30+ pounds. Everyone has struggles and barriers and challenges. But outside looking in, I have a fantastic life. And I appreciate it. I really do. I am SO thankful for it. Sometimes all you need to do is step back and take a deep breath and let all the little things go. Don't let them matter. Because really, it is the big things (in small, kid sized packages) that make life worth living.  

So that is it. That is my 30 (29) things that I am thankful for.

Please be prepared for some major complaining in December and especially January, and be fully prepared to bitch slap me if I get too whiny.

What are you thankful for the most? Or the least?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Day 28

On Saturday, a man who was an experienced pilot was taking his daughter back to college. Another daughter and a family friend accompanied them.

They didn't make it, crashing in poor weather in a soybean field.

As the daughter of a pilot, I am thankful this was never my family.

My sincerest and heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of those four victims, whose lives were tragically cut short.

Hug your kids and parents a little harder tonight.

Friday, November 25, 2011

16 Thru 27-Things I Am Thankful For

16. My car. I have a black Toyota Sienna with tan (some might call it gray) leather interior. I love the way it drives, the space it has for our family, and how clean it is when Workaholic spills a Red Bull in it and spends hours cleaning it.

17. I am thankful for Workaholic's job. When work is good, everything is good. (except for my sanity) Work is very good right now.

18. My store credit cards. Because when I spend money on them, they send me coupons and free money. Fun!

19. My house. I know, I've bitched about it a lot. It is a lot to take care of. But so is any place you rest your head. I love the closets and the basement and the bonus room and my bathroom. bathroom. I LOVE not having to share a vanity with Workaholic.

20. A list like this would not be complete without mentioning health. I am healthy. My husband is healthy. My kids are healthy. My parents are healthy (as far as I know...they don't like to talk about medical things) My sisters and their husbands and their children are healthy. Hell, even my pets are healthy. So yeah, I am thankful for that.

21. The iPad. Sam loves it. Like, loves it. We can use it as a babysitter, a reward, a punishment, a goal for her. I would never pay $500 for something like that for my kid to play on, but it was a gift, so YAY!

22. Food. Especially Thanksgiving food. Anything bland colored. Turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole, corn, dumplings, Tiebel's rolls, ice burg lettuce salad, and ranch dressing. Apparently sweet potatoes are pretty awesome too, but I can't say I eat those.

23. My neighborhood. While no place is absolutely perfect, there is a plethora of kids in my neighborhood. My neighbors are friendly and I would have no problem calling some of them and asking them to go into my house and check on something. It is safe and clean and we have a nice, big yard. What more can you ask?

24. Invisible Fence. Yep, Fonz sticks around to our house no problem. Kale? Not so much, he is a social butterfly with no regard to boundaries. The money I spent installing the Invisible Fence was worth it's weight in gold. I don't have to worry about Kale chasing golfers or my neighbor's kids (who are terrified of dogs) or, um, pooping, in someone else's yard.

25. Blogs. They fill my day and give me lots of crazy conversations that go something like... "I read a blog where a girl picked up and moved to Alaska in 3 weeks," or "A woman on a blog I read had triplets and depended on social media to not lose her mind...and I think it worked!:, or how another woman randomly got an idea and raised $20,000 to help families have a happy Thanksgiving. All from her blog. I doubt that others like dooce, Heather, or Mama Kat even know that I exist or read the stuff they write religiously. There are others like Pamela, Amber, and Jennifer who know I read their stuff. We all try to put ourselves out there, and we support each other, and really...who knew that complete strangers in far away places could do that for you?

26. WordFeud.

27. The recall function in Outlook. When you send an e-mail that you know is really shitty, you can try to recall it before the receiver knows what a total bitch you are. Actually, I really like the calendar in Outlook too. It is synced to my phone, which usually makes life helpful.

Stay tuned folks...only 3 more things to be thankful for. I better make them good! (hint:one of them is not my Starbucks barista)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

For Your Enjoyment

Today I am thankful that my kids have never done this. And yes, I know that they are totally capable.

(Apparently there is some controversy on the Internet that this was staged and is not real. Those people obviously are not parents of 2 young toddlers.)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Never Too Late to be a Tad Thankful

I don't know if you've seen it, the people on facebook finding something to be thankful about every day. Around the 28th it should start to get interesting...they have already mentioned things like food, family and shelter, so they'll have to start being thankful for their local Starbucks barista or the fact that their toilet chose to work that day.

I'm not gonna lie, I was kind of annoyed when I saw that people were doing this. Thankfully, not too many of my friends decided to participate, so I feel as though I should make up the difference here on my blog.

Since it was the Ides of November yesterday, I'll do the 15 Things I am Thankful For. This is in no particular order, seeing as how I am sitting in my basement office contemplating whether or not I brushed my teeth today.

1. The ability and privilege to work from home. I am home literally every other day, and it was a long, hard fought battle at work to get this arrangement. There is something to be said for going into an office every 48 hours and conversing with people that you conspire with to make your company a profit. There is also something to be said for knowing that the next day, you don't have to hear the same voices in the background every minute and that you don't have to shower in the morning if you don't want to.

2. My pets. Sure, Kale can be a pain in the ass a lot of the times. And half of the time, you wonder where Fonz is. The other half of the time, you wonder where Sampson is. But in the morning and at night, all three snuggle up around me and give me the opportunity to pet down my blood pressure.

3. My bed. See above for morning and night.

4. My kids. Samantha and Charlotte have taught me that I can indeed endure pain. (Yes, I got an epidural, but I was in back labor before my knight in shining scrubs arrived.) They also have taught me that I have more patience than I ever thought I would, and that the patience does in fact run out. They are beautiful and smart and charming and have stolen my heart. And for that, I will be forever grateful. Even when there is poop on the floor and Kale is eating it and then Charlie decides to run and the same time. While not wearing a diaper.

5. Prozac. Because if the above situation would have happened pre-meds, I would have ran into my bed and cried and probably whacked the kids and the dogs and even Sampson, even though he did nothing wrong. Now I can deal. And even laugh about it.

6. My husband. Sure, he works a lot. Like, A LOT. Ask any of my neighbors. They will tell you. But he loves us, and everything he does is for us. He let me get another dog when everyone, including him, thought I was nuts. He doesn't yell at me when the house is a mess and there is no dinner because some days I just. can't. deal. He is my rock, and he is happy to do it. Plus, he makes me laugh. Like, A LOT. He knows just what I need, when I need it. And isn't too bashful to say so. Plus, there are a lot of light bulbs in our house that wouldn't get changed if it wasn't for him.

7. My DVR. And cable television in general. Not only does it provide a great baby sitter for the kids when I am trying to get work done or on the rare occasion I am making dinner, but it provides me great entertainment as well. NCIS, Parenthood, NBC5 news, (how you doin' Matt Rodewald?), How I Met Your Mother re-runs, Hoarders *shudder*, and the opportunity to watch  my Purdue sports when I can't attend in person. I would be bored if I had no TV. Either that, or I might be more well read.

8. The internet. I have learned so much from the www that it is ridiculous. I hear stories of other people's ways of life (like the Pioneer Woman), stories of how common stillbirth actually is, what to do for heartburn, and how to get the skunk smell out of dog's fur. It also has greatly enhanced my ability to buy lots of crap that I may or may not need in a short amount of time.

9. Michigan...the state, the lake, the cottage, the boats, the friends we have there. I love Michigan. I especially love our new cottage, and the couches in it, and my bed in it, and my kitchen in it, and the front yard. I am thankful that our friends put up with my kids and dogs, and for all that my in-laws have done to help us enjoy our life there.

10. My phone. Sure, sometimes I want to throw my Droid 2 against the wall and switch to the new iPhone with AT&T. But really, my phone has enabled me to be more addicted to the internet and Twitter and Facebook and blogs and checking the weather and traffic and e-mail at any time. And anything that helps with addiction is clearly something to be thankful for.

11. My ability to use proper grammar and spelling. I know the difference between they're, there and their; wine and whine; lose and loose; through and threw; your and you're; although I will admit sometimes its and it's throughs me threw a lupe.

12. Drive thrus. I don't know how we would eat half the time it wasn't for fast food restaurants and the capability to get your food without getting out of your car. I just wish there was a drive thru for milk and bread.

13. Family. Like, all of them. The sisters, the brother-in-laws, the cousins (hundreds of them!) the aunts and uncles, the nieces and nephews, and of course the parents of both me and Workaholic. Each and every one of you has made a special impression on my life. From my cousin I showed in my last post cuddling with his daughter, I learned how to have a good time and enjoy yourself. (hint: it starts with Busch Light) And he also taught me that even if for years and years you make mistakes and don't know what to do with your life, it is never too late to become a great husband and father. (OK wife and mother) I have so many family members, blood and not, who reach out at just the right time and remind me of who I am. And for that I am forever grateful.

14. My friends. You know that saying that you can't pick your family, but you can pick your friends? There is a reason for that saying. Because when your family pisses you off and makes you cry, you pick up the phone and call your friends. And they agree with whatever you are saying and sigh with you and say, "That is why you can't pick your family." And then they tell you a story about their own family that is so. much. worse. And you laugh and feel better. I have friends near and far, and they are there for me. No matter what.

15. Coca-Cola Classic. I know, I know, I should end with something sweet and sentimental. But I get all sentimental when I taste that bubbly sweetness sliding down my throat. Mmmm...

What are you thankful for?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Between Here and There

A few weeks ago, I wanted to show you all this picture.

It is a tree down the street I drive every day. The photo wasn't perfect, and I couldn't per-fect it, so I decided not to write this post.

This post about fall. Fall. The season where the leaves fall off the trees, after they change colors. (at least that is what I am teaching Sam)

This tree is one of the first to change every year. For about a week, or less, it is a brilliant shade of yellow. So beautiful. For that week, I drive past that tree twice a day and want to smile. Sometime I do, and sometimes I don't.  

Because then all the leaves fall. And just like that, it is ugly.

Every year, I am torn between whether or not I like fall. Because it means that winter is coming. Snow. Cold. Dark dreary days that never end, but never really begin because there is so little daylight.

But there is beauty, like the tree down the street. And the others that follow, turning brilliant shades of red and orange and yellow, before blowing away in a cool autumn breeze. Or, as was the case this year, wind gusts reaching 60mph.

I am trying to like fall this year, trying to remember the happy parts of winter. SNOW!!! (maybe we'll get another Snowpocalypse!) Snowmobiling, dogs frolicking in the snow, fires, french onion soup, quiet and peaceful weekends at the lake, and family time on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Then there are the stress of the holidays, the inevitable weight gain, crappy driving conditions, coats coats and more coats, wiping wet dog paws every time they go in and out, picking ice out of dog paws every time they go in and out, slush, Christmas shopping at the mall (not if I can help it!), and the longevity of winter. It is just. so. long.

So I took this picture, a perfect example of fall and winter. Brilliant colors with dark, dismal, bare branches. Is it spring yet? 

Monday, November 14, 2011

A Family Wedding

Did I ever tell you that my parents are from Southern Indiana? My mom's family is huge, my dad's is not. When someone in my mom's family gets married, it's a damn event.

We made a quick trip down this weekend for my cousin's daughter's wedding. She is 23, so so young, but so so smart and beautiful. I have only met her new husband a time or two, but if she picked him, he must be something special.

In the middle of the ceremony, Sam started to throw a fit. I dragged her butt out of church before trying to figure out what she was saying in that 2 year old whiny voice that is super loud and echo-y in churches. Especially Catholic churches with hardwood floors. Yeah.

As it turns out, all she wanted was to see the bride "in her pretty dress." She couldn't see because, well...she is 2, and we were near the back of the church, and there were people in front of us. So I promised her that we would see her up close and personal, and even take a picture with her. I have connections, you know.

The time came at the reception for a picture to be taken.

Please ignore my crazy eyes.

Notice how Sam was all, "Why are you making me do this?" And how she is holding someone's cell phone? That is because she realized running around like a banshee was waaay better than taking a stupid picture with a girl in a pretty dress. The cell phone was a bribe. (Shut'd do it too.)

The wedding was a great time, kicked off by the bride and groom walking down the aisle at the end to the Purdue fight song. Hail, Hail to Old Purdue, All Hail to our Old Gold and Black. And yes, I sang. And clapped. And so did my mom.

I got back to the hotel about 1am after sending Workaholic home with the girls. The mother of the bride gave me a ride, which is totally normal when I look back on my childhood. My cousins were always taking care of me. Why should last Saturday be any different? Just because I am 33 years old?? (for some reason, that town brings out the drunkard in me)

I had to take this picture of an uncle of the bride with his daughter. I idolized this man when I was a kid, and I'm so happy he has a daughter to snuggle with.

In all seriousness, I had a fantastic time. And I would like to thank the family for putting on such a great shin-dig. (Sunday, however, was another story.) This is my cousin (mother of the bride) and her husband (father of the bride). And the adorable flower girl is only 3 months older than Sam, and her mom is totally fine with bribing too. (she ran down the aisle toward her new Barbie doll) 

Can you say cougar?
 Sam had so much fun, this is her when we got home on Sunday. She stole Charlie's pacifier and didn't even make it upstairs. This was after a 4 hour drive. Sampson is her best friend only when she is asleep.

I'll leave ya'll with a photo of the people who started it all, my mom and her siblings. Thanks for procreating and loving each other so much.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Someone Else Says It Best

I really, really wanted to write something about what has been happening at Penn State over the past few days. If you believe the rumors out there, it could be about to get much, much worse.

I read the grand jury indictment, in it's entirety, last night. It was like a train wreck, I couldn't stop, even though you knew what was coming before it was written. Eight victims, EIGHT. And there are sure to be more. (I believe there may be nine now.) Jerry Sandusky systematically preyed, hunted, and attacked little boys. Boys the age of my nephews. Boys who thought he was a hero. And lots and lots of people knew about it. Yet nothing. happened. Until now.

One of my favorite bloggers, MODG, is a Penn State alum. As is her husband. They met at a tailgate. And I think she puts a very unique perspective on how many people are feeling. People who went to school's with rich traditions, schools that helped form who you are as a person, and how you feel when your school lets you down. what she has to say.

I don't think I need to rant about why it was the right thing to do to fire Joe Paterno. You can argue semantics about how and when it was done, but in the end, little boys were molested. They were lured, bribed, abused, and ...let down by their heros. Grown men should have known better.

I would say that the overwhelming feeling I have right now is...sad. Just as MODG describes it.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

More Screaming

As it turns out, Sam isn't the only one who likes to scream.

Charlie wakes up from her nap every afternoon, and new K goes in and changes her diaper. Before she even takes her off of the changing table, Charlie starts crying. She knows what is coming.

New K will put her on the floor and say, "Come on Charlie, let's go downstairs."

And then this happens.

We are mean, terrible people.

(For the record, if you were to pick her up, she would stop instantly. Of course I didn't pick her up, because I was too busy recording her.)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Sleep All Night? What is that?

I have two older sisters, each with four kids.

One of them has twins.

I remember her telling me after the twins were born that once you become a mom, you never get a full night's sleep ever again. I told her that I would train my children to sleep because I need my sleep. Besides, they would be just like me, and love their beds and love to sleep.

She said that no matter how great of sleepers your kids are, for one reason or another you don't get to sleep all night.

And damn it. She was right.

Both of my kids are champion sleepers. It isn't uncommon for Charlie to go to bed at 7:30pm and not get up until 11am. She'll play for a little while in her crib in the morning, but always falls back asleep before letting us know she is ready to get up.

Sam has been a bit more of a challenge to get to bed lately, and she is up by 8am at the latest. Which isn't bad, don't get me wrong, but I'm telling you, my sleep problems have little to do with my kids.

Typically, I wake up every night at least once. Sometimes I roll over and look at the clock and think "WTF...why am I awake? It is 3am!" And promptly fall back asleep.

Last night I woke up around 3am, Workaholic was getting up to go to work. I listened to the TV from the bathroom, heard him walk out to the kitchen to get milk and cookies (breakfast of champtions) and smiled to myself as he carried Sam in to lay in bed with me.

(She had gotten up when she heard him too and climbed in bed with me. I sent her out to tell him good-bye just to hear his reaction at seeing her at 3:30 in the morning.) Then I changed her diaper and we both went back to sleep, her on his side of the bed and me on mine.

I wish I could get a full night's sleep.

I like to tell myself that I would be much more willing to get out of bed before 7am and start my day if I had slept the previous 8 hours straight. (just let me believe...)

I'm hoping that one day I'll sleep straight through the night again, someday.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Sam's Sayings

Little kids say the damndest things. Here are just a few things that Sam has said to me lately.

"Mom, I'm leaving. You be good. And be careful. And have fun."

"Mom, here is a piece of paper. These are your markers. Only draw on the paper, don't draw on yourself. If you draw on yourself, I'll take away your markers, because drawing on yourself is bad."

"Mom, this is MY work. Don't bother me when I am working, because that is NOT nice. You work on your work, and I'll work on my work."

"That's such a great idea!" (usually referring to something she thought up)

"Awww...that is sooo cute!" (complete with little girl high-piched squeaky voice)

(talking to Sampson)
"Sampson, you are such a good kitty. I'll pet you nice and that way you won't scratch my face or bite me."

She was talking to 2 tax assessors I let in my house the other day (don't get me started on how bright it was of me to let complete strangers into my house) and when they asked her the cat's name, her response was something like this...

"This is Sampson. We had another cat too. But FelixRoger doesn't live here anymore. He didn't like it here. He lives down the street. He didn't like it here so he went and moved down the street."

The next two are a tie for my personal favorites.

"Don't you say no to me!"

"Mom, I just love you so much."

OK, maybe there isn't a tie.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween: Part Two

I didn't have either battery in my cameras charged. On Halloween. Mom FAIL. (my sisters will say it is hereditary)

Sam was Minnie Mouse for Halloween.

Charlie was Alice in Wonderland for Halloween.
She never really stopped moving, this was the best picture I could get.

Sam peed herself while Trick-or-Treating and so that made for an early night.

Charlie spent most of the evening after they got home screaming at me because she wanted more candy. Girl after my own heart.

Sam did this earlier in the day, earning herself a bath.

Charlie has decided that she is never ever ever going to bed again.

Hope ya'll had a great Halloween!!

Halloween: Part One

My office had Trick-or-Treating last Friday.

No, I don't have any good super cute pictures of my kids in their Halloween costumes. I'll try again later today.

I do have this video of Sam, taken after she had about 20 minutes of unsupervised time with her C-A-N-D-Y.

To get the full effect, you have to have your volume turned up.
Disclaimer: To get the full effect, you have to have your volume turned up.

What? She likes to scream.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

See Ya Felix

So, I accidentally adopted a cat. I named him Felix. Workaholic named him Roger.

3 hours after I brought Felix home, Sampson was found. Yay for Sampson! Not so yay for Felix.

It isn't that there was anything wrong with Felix, I just didn't want two cats. Especially if one of the cats was going to be inside all the time, as that means the litter box (s) have to be cleaned out a lot more often. And I hate litter boxes.

So I let him go outside. Felix, that is. Sampson always goes outside, and generally, for the most part, he finds his way home. Except for that one time when he didn't and I went out and took in another cat.

So one night, I see Felix and Sampson and Fonz and Kale outside, and it was a nice night, and so me and the girls decide to take a walk. I was going to take the dogs, but didn't want Felix following us. He didn't need to expand his horizons. (or so I thought)

I tried to catch him, and of course the damn cat didn't want to be caught. He ran under my deck. At which point I said, "Fuck it", and left him home.

Or so I thought.

Instead of staying home, Felix followed us. At a great distance, but he followed us. All the way to the end of my street. (which, to be fair, is only about 6 houses down) Again, I tried to catch him, because I like my neighbors and I didn't want another black cat stalking their houses pooping in the yards. But the damn thing refused to be caught. And I refused to chase a stupid cat.

So I let him go. And sort of forgot about him.

After the weekend, I realized he was still gone, and promptly forgot about him again. A couple of days later, I started taking more walks to the end of my street, and finally one of my neighbors asked if I was looking for my black cat. I hung my head and admitted that yes, I was indeed looking for my black cat. Not the one I have that always comes home (except for that once) but a new one. Who apparently doesn't know his way home.

And this is when something happened and I decided I didn't care if he pooped in her yard. She told me that she had been feeding him. And letting him sleep in her garage.  No wonder he didn't come home! Let's see...his choices were either a) have free roam of several rodent infested yards and free food and a warm/dry place to sleep at night, or b) being locked up in a house with 2 dogs, 2 kids, and another cat who hates you. Hell, I'd choose A too!

This neighbor stopped short of saying that she wanted to keep Felix, but she offered to bring him down whenever she found him.  (Little did I know that meant that she would walk down, put him in my yard, and then he would follow her home.) She actually said that she would love to keep him, but she was allergic. I made no secret of my desire to re-home the adorable little kitty, but knew ultimately he was still mine.

Fast forward another few weeks and I have only seen him once for a couple of days because another neighbor called when he saw him. I had long before made an appointment at the vet for Felix to get a booster shot, and it was time to take him in. I walked down to my neighbor's yard and looked for him, and shamefully rang the doorbell to see if she had seen him.

And guess what? The reason why he wasn't outside in the yard was because he was inside her house! He had food and water dishes and a litter box and he slept with her every night! He even brought her dead mice as gifts! Every day!

I was so overjoyed I couldn't be annoyed that my neighbor basically stole my cat. I took him to the vet, and immediately returned him to her, with paperwork. All she had to do is send in his microchip paperwork stating he is hers, and I am back to one cat. Wa-hooo!!!!

Friday, October 21, 2011


Do you remember way at the end of last year when I was all, "I'm going to simplify my life." ? Yeah...I sort of regressed.

I knew at the time that the Simplification Project wasn't really going to work. I knew that there was a good chance that my husband would be taking on a HUGE project to do in his "spare time", and that project indeed did happen.

So the past 9 months have been a whirlwind of constant work for my poor husband. We did get away to Puerto Rico for a long weekend, and there have been other occasional days off here and there, but for the most part, him and his dad have been working 7 days a week since the beginning of February.

In the past 9 months, (since I am sooo smart) I pretty much gave up any sense of simplifying. I got another dog. I got another cat. (I gave away the 2nd cat the other day, wa-hoo!!!!) I've shopped relentlessly, to the exhaustion of my credit cards and bank account. My house was bursting at the seams with disorganization. But since Workaholic has "slowed down", things have gotten better. (Slowed down being relative, he now is working 6 days a week instead of 7, and usually only 12 hour days instead of 15.) He gets in these moods where he just does a clean sweep. Often that means putting things in closets and drawers, instead of sitting out on the counter. But it looks so. much. better.

Lately I've had a nasty case of writer's block. Of course, I only get it when it is time to sit down and write. When I am wandering around my house, folding laundry, or in the shower, or trying to sleep, I write the most greatest fan-tab-u-lous posts in my head. I tell you all these funny stories about what the girls or dogs or cats have done and people post it on Twitter and I get a gillion new followers.

What are those funny stories, you ask? Umm....well, there was the day that Sam took a brand new bottle of baby powder and emptied it. In her room. On her carpet. And herself. (How does a 2 year old get baby powder on her back??) Or there was the time that Kale was running into the house, at full speed, and didn't realize that the sliding glass door was closed. THUMP! And then one three nights Charlie pooped in the bathtub. Twice. Each time. (She hasn't had a bath since, showers all the way now. Although she still poops in the shower. Gross.) And Sampson. Well, he really hasn't done anything funny or cute lately. He is just being his dog/cat self. Which is pretty cool. I am quite interested in seeing how he handles the (much) colder weather and the snow, if he'll still want to go out as much. Felix, the new cat, found himself a new home down the street. So that was awesome. I dropped him off for the last time the other day. His new owner's daughter told me that the cat is now at the top of the list, as in...#1-cat, #2-dog, #3-kids, #4-husband. As it should be.

There also are not-so-funny stories. Fonz turned 12 last month. I knew he would get old. I did, I swear. But it makes me so sad seeing it happen. In the past year, he has dropped about 10lbs. I increased his food, and he gained maybe a pound. He had his annual well visit with our beloved vet Dr. P, and she noticed muscle loss in his hind end. Which helps to explain why his back legs give out on him sometimes. She also did the nerve test where you flip over his feet and see how long it take to right them. He didn't right his left hind foot. Workaholic says it is because he is so obedient, we put his foot in a position that he was waiting for permission to flip it. (Of course, I couldn't replicate it when I was showing Workaholic, so maybe he is right!) But that also explains the weakness in his back end.

Fonz is also now almost completely deaf. He can't hear you when you call, it is super easy to startle him when you walk up behind him, and when I give him commands, it has to be hand signals. Otherwise he just ignores me. (Good thing I taught him those years ago.) He has this weird tremor thing going on too. Every once in a while, he'll just be standing or laying there, and his head starts to tremble. It only last a second or two, but he is definitely unstable at that point. And can't move. Dr. P says that it could be seizures or just a palsy thing. Whatever that is. It makes me sad. I don't like it, not one little bit.

I know that Fonz's symptoms could have been gradually coming on for a while now, especially the deafness. But it just seemed to hit me like a brick wall this summer. First there was the mysterious toe infection. Then an ear infection. Then pneumonia. When all of that seemed to go away, he started trembling and completely not listening. Sigh. I am hoping he'll just stay the course now for the next couple of years. I don't expect his hearing to come back, or for his nerves to magically repair themselves. But hopefully things don't get any worse.

On a bright note, Halloween is coming! And the leaves are changing colors and being all beautiful! On a not-so-bright note, um...winter is coming. I can handle the snow. I can, really. What I can't handle is the cold that snow requires. And the length of winter. Why can't summer be as long as winter? It just seems to last for-ev-er.  And ever and ever and ever.

Next Friday I am taking the girls in to my office for our annual Trick-or-Treating at work. I love it. The little kids all look so damn cute, and the girls have adorable costumes this year. I did NOT sync their costumes, one has absolutely nothing to do with the other, there are plenty of years left for that. So I'll be sure to post super duper cute little girl costume pictures. Because my girls are cute. Or did you not know that?

OK folks, enough update for one day. I'll try to post tomorrow. I am going to Purdue football homecoming, so that may not actually happen, but we'll see. I'll try. I'll try to come up with a good story. And actually write it down instead of keeping losing it in my head.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Sampson, Roger and Felix. And Kabo.

Workaholic decided that it was time for Sampson and Felix to become friends.

So he locked them on the back porch together. (it is screened in)

And you know what? It was OK.

So Felix has been settling in nicely. He will randomly walk around meowing, like he is bored and isn't sure what to do. Or he is lost and doesn't know where anyone is.

There are 2 disturbing things about Felix.

1) We've been calling him Roger. It sort of fits. So I now use his name interchangably. It is OK, because he really doesn't know either of them. Not sure why.

2) Roger is a night owl. Last night he woke me up at midnight by bolting off of our bed and out of the bedroom. I was OK with that until I heard him sliding across the hardwood floor. And then the meowing started.

Felix likes to go outside. I am not particularly thrilled about this, seeing as how I am sure my neighbors are really not wanting 2 black cats wandering the street. (Especially with Halloween coming up. I have a feeling my house is going to be the most popular on the block.) The thing about Felix going outside is that he comes back, like...regularly. He checks back in, as if to say, "Hey, remember me? You chopped my balls off?? Where is the food?"  I am not really used to this, as Sampson will often be gone all day. But it is nice, not having to wonder. (notice I didn't say worry)

Let's recap...
Felix is now Roger. Sometimes.
Roger likes to go outside. And meow when he is confused.
Sampson did not kill Felix, and Kale is learning not to try to kill either of them.

Kabo is 12 today. Happy birthday old man.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Pictures of Felix!

Without further ado...I present Felix!
Remember, he is up for adoption...FREE TO GOOD HOME!

Monday, September 12, 2011

The One Where I am an Idiot

There is something you have to understand about me. I preach responsibility to animals. Like, I lecture people on it. Which probably gives off a very bad vibe, but sometimes I just can't help it. I have no problem telling people that they really shouldn't get a new pet if I think they can't afford it. Because working at a vet office was awful when a sick animal came in and the people were like, "I have no money." So yeah, I preach it.

Fast forward to me getting a cat. And not getting him declawed, because I really don't like that and I was really hoping he'd want to spend some time outside. And the kitty would need to be able to climb trees and defend himself from, well, whatever decides to stalk him. As much as I liked having a cat I can say I rescued, I knew that if he went missing it was probably as a meal for a coyote. (That didn't stop me from letting him out when he wanted to go, because I really detest the cleaning of the litter box.)

Fast forward to 3 1/2 weeks ago, our little Sampson saw the bags, meaning we'd be leaving town and he'd be stuck in the house, and he high-tailed it (literally) out the garage door. I threw up my hands and said, "Let him eat mice for 4 days."

And then about a week and a half went by, and no Sampson. I asked my neighbors, but no one had seen him, so I reported him lost to the company that manages his microchip. And someone saw the lost pet bulletin with his picture and saw a picture of a found cat on Craig's List, and called us. I was convinced. This was my cat. How he got miles away, I had no idea, but that was my cat.

I finally got a hold of the woman who had the cat, and got directions to her house. I walked into her garage and was like, "Sampson!" And the cat sort of just looked at me. And I picked him up and he snuggled me, and I thought, "Hmm...I'm not sure this is Sampson." His eyes were greener than I remembered, the tip of his tail wasn't lighter than the rest of him from him sucking on it, and the patch of white fur near his crotch was, well, bigger. And his purr wasn't squeaky. I was fairly certain this wasn't Sampson. (Oh yeah, and he was intact, but I didn't notice that until too late.)

However, I wanted to be sure. I wanted to get this cat scanned for a microchip, since Sampson had one. I also was pretty sure Sampson was not coming home, and had no real objections to getting a new cat. Who looked just like the old one. Isn't that what parents do when the kids' cat disappears? So I stuffed him in a carrier and took him.

Needless to say, the cat I stuffed in my carrier was NOT Sampson. (should have checked for balls) I was conflicted on what to do. Keep him? Drop him at a shelter? Give him back to the woman who found him, who would keep him outside and allow him to continue populating the earth with too many kittens? As it turns out, the decision was made for me, since our local shelter went no-kill and they had no room for this little black cat. I couldn't turn my back on the blue ribbon on the back of my van that says "Please Spay and Neuter". So I did the next most logical thing...I took him to my vet.

Once they realized what I wasn't asking them to take this cat permanently, but simply take him and vet him (with me paying the bill), they stopped laughing at me and were more than happy to take him off my hands for a couple of days. I just wanted them to neuter him, get him up to date to on his shots, and test him for feline leukemia. (negative) They laughed some more, and then took him to the back.

48 hours later, I went to pick up the new cat. I had decided I was stuck with him, so might as well make the best of it. (and then I saw my vet bill, ahh!)

Three hours later, a woman from a couple blocks away called, "I think I have your cat."

You gotta be shitting me. 

Sampson apparently either forgot how to get home or decided this lady's chair on her back porch was much more comfortable and less stressful than my house with 2 little kids and a puppy who stalked him constantly. 

I now have two cats.

I don't want two cats.

I am already sick of cleaning out the litterbox every day, and it has only been 3 days.

My desire to not be a gigantic hypocrite got me a second cat. And so I have decided to do an act of charity for the wonderful people of the Region. 

Anyone want a cat? For free??

He is very sweet, very affectionate, he just wants love and attention. And perhaps a little playtime. He is probably a little less than a year old. He weighed 7lbs 13 oz when he spent some time with my friends at the vet. He is vocal when he is hungry or would like some petting. Otherwise he isn't a constant meow-er.

He definitely needs more individual attention than I think my house can give him. I've decided to call him Felix, because he deserves a name, and also because it means "lucky" in French. Or so says google. And this is one damn lucky cat to have been taken in by me.

This is the only picture I have, which isn't of Felix, it is of Sampson. (I can't get him to hold still long enough to get a good picture. I will keep trying though.) But he looks a lot like Sampson. But with greener eyes. And honestly, (don't tell Sampson I said this) he is a little cuter. I also have never seen the expression on his face of "I will kill you in your sleep." Like Sampson is wearing in this picture.
Seriously...if you want him, and can provide a good home for him, e-mail me! Felix does have all 4 sets of claws, and his microchip is all ready to be registered. Free to good home!!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

For My Uncles

My parents grew up in a small town in southern Indiana. My dad lived in town, while to get to where my mother grew up, you drove out of town. Past the high school, the baseball field and the church. Past the cornfields and the cemetary where my grandparents and aunts and uncles were to be buried. And you took a windy country road to the farm.

That road cut between two hills, and up on those hills were two houses that my uncles built. Every day, they drove their farm trucks down to my grandparent's house, the one they each grew up in with my mother, and met my grandfather to discuss the tasks at hand for the day for the farm.

When I was little and we would go to the farm to visit my grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins, I would drag my butt out of bed at what seemed like the crack of dawn to go to the morning meeting. I loved hearing the squeaky door open as each of my uncles and several of my cousins would come in to sit at the table or on the couches underneath the picture window that overlooked the buildings that housed hogs and hay.

I was THAT little kid, the one who wanted to tag along but not actually help do anything. And you know what? They let me. I was the baby, the youngest of the 27 grandchildren, and while the oldest of the 27 were made to help harvest corn and pick melons, as the baby I was allowed to ride in the truck and watch as they fed the cows. They let me ride the tractor, and talked to me about whatever it was I wanted to talk about. As far as I knew, they never thought twice about it.

When my first uncle passed away a couple of years ago, I vividly remember sitting a couple of rows behind his only son during the funeral Mass. And during the Sign of Peace, my cousin turned to our uncle, the one who he had worked side-by-side with most of his life, and hugged him and they both cried. In that moment of time, in that church, they alone knew what the other was feeling. Each of them knew the sense of loss the other felt from losing a loved one. Not just a brother and a father, but one that they worked next to every. single. day. They all poured their blood, sweat, and tears into the farm, and now they had to continue without him being there with them every. single. day.

My second uncle passed away last week.

As I thought about his life I couldn't help but think past my childhood. The more recent years, when he spent a lot of time with his 11 grandchildren, both on and off the farm. The vacations they took, the countless hours he sat on bleachers cheering them on in their respective sports. The absolute love he poured into his family.

Looking at the pictures displayed at the funeral home, I saw the love he had for my aunt, and the adoration she had for him. You could see it in their eyes in every picture. Whether she was gazing up at him or genuinely smiling like she was laughing, after 48 years of marriage, her smile remained the same...that of a teenage girl in love. He had an impish smile, and rarely looked directly at the camera, but usually off to the side, probably at someone who had just cracked a joke at him right before the camera flashed.

What sucks the most about death, and what struck me when I saw my cousin hugging his uncle 2 years ago, is that you don't worry about the person who has passed. You know that they are in a great place, smiling down at you and out of pain. What sucks the most about death are those who are left behind. Those who never get to feel the physical presence of their father, husband, uncle, grandpa, or brother ever again. All they have are memories, and you always wish you had had more time to make more memories.

They were taken from us too soon. Any one of my relatives will tell you that. They may have led full lives, but they are gone too soon. And now, I can't help but think of that windy country road. And those two houses, built up on hills across from each other. And the women who now live in them alone, without the loves of their lives. And that is what saddens me the most.

These two men, the men who took over the farm that my grandfather began, were great men. They led by example, much like my uncle and aunt who have also passed on to Heaven. They showed their family and friends how to behave and act like true Christians, simply by living their lives. I will never forget them, and I know that no one else will either.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

There was laughing!

I'm not exactly the most hands-on mom.

By that, I mean, I really encourage my kids to entertain themselves. I have important shit to do, like laundry and dishes and read Scary Mommy Confessions.

When I got pregnant with Charlie, the first thing that people said to me when they realized that I would have two kids under the age of two was, "Oh, they'll be SUCH good friends!" And then Charlie arrived.

Sam LOVED her baby sister from day one. And by LOVED, I mean she head-butted her with love, she laid on top of her love, and she stole all of her shit love. I was beginning to doubt that these two would ever get along, since we simply could not teach Sam what it was to be NICE to her little sister.

And then yesterday happened. As per usual, I had the kids in the room with me while I put away a dozen pairs of shoes and some clothes I forgot we owned. (Yes, my kids wear the same clothes over and over, never wearing the super duper incredibly cute shit hanging in the closet with the tags on.)

And it happened.

Charlie walked over to Sam who was sitting on the ground. And she full on tackled her. I look over and both of them are giggling and there is NO SCREAMING. And then Sam started tickling Charlie and laying on top of her and there was MORE GIGGLING.

Holy shit.

People were right. They will play together. They will get along. I know there are many more fights and screaming and crying to come, but at least I know now, there will be laughing too.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Yesterday, the world lost my uncle.

My family lost my uncle.

My aunt lost her husband, my cousins lost their father, and my cousin's kids lost their grandpa.

He was only a year older than my mom.

I am sure that he got mad, but I don't remember ever seeing it. I also am sure that many of my cousins who are older than me probably did.

He worked on the farm his whole life. First with his father and his brother, and then with his nieces and nephews and his son. The stories my cousins tell of working on the farm, I am surprised anyone made it to adulthood. I am sure they are not exaggerated at all.

When I met Workaholic, I decided to bring him to a family wedding after dating a few short months. And my uncle declared himself Morality Patrol since we were all staying in a hotel. It is safe to say that nothing happened that night with MP trolling the hallways. For years after, Workaholic would refer to that uncle as Morality Patrol. (What can I say, I have a big is hard to remember everyone's names.)

Last Christmas, I decided that I wanted to go to Southern Indiana for Christmas Day, just like I did as a kid. I had missed the last few years, since my immediate family celebrates on Christmas Eve, and I would spend Christmas Day with Workaholic's family.

It was a rather uneventful day, chatting it up with family and enjoying some good, home cooked dumplings. What I remember the most (as does Workaholic) is the next morning. My aunt and uncle invited us over for breakfast. What I didn't realize is that of the 27 grandchildren, I was the only one invited.

It was a breakfast for the siblings, my mom and her brothers and sisters. My youngest aunt made sausage and white rice, and scrambled eggs and biscuits and gravy. After we ate (and ate and ate) Workaholic turned to me and asked when I was going to learn to cook like that. It was damn good.

Samantha played her usual charming self and Charlie napped while we sat around the table and talked. We talked and talked. They couldn't understand why I would talk about poop on the internet, much less my own constipation during pregnancy. They didn't believe me when I told them that Elvis died of constipation. One of my aunts offered to take out her dentures, and they all asked me what was so gross about your parents having sex. (Really, you have to ask??)

It was a very nice time. I left there thinking, "I really need to get down here more often."

That was the last time I was at my uncle's house when he was alive. I will forever be grateful for them inviting me to that breakfast.

Because now? Now we all have to live with a hole in our lives. It is a very difficult concept for me to grasp, that his family will never see him again. Hug him again. Laugh with him again. His younger grandchildren won't get to really know what a great guy he was. His older grandchildren will miss spending time with him, talking sports and making him proud when they played.

We'll all miss him. We all love him. We are all better people for knowing him.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

One Year

This? Was a year ago. (OK, let's be honest, a year and 5 days ago)
This? Was a couple of weeks ago.

Yes, it is true, my baby Charlotte Mae is now one year old.

I can't believe it has been a year. I am a mom of two little girls. Who have the faintest of red hair.

And my little Charlie? Is an awesome kid, if I do say so myself.

She cuddles, she WALKS, she loves stuffed and animals and real animals alike. Her and Kale get along fabulously. Which is to say that they fight over his toys. (She may or may not have gotten caught recently eating dog food, chewing on a previously chewed rawhide bone, and feeding Kale her afternoon snack. And dinner. And breakfast.)

She can say Hiii, and MOMMY, and apparently Daddy too, although I have yet to hear that one. Since everyone was so happy to take Sam when she was born, Charlie is a bit of a momma's girl. She is getting better, but I'm still her favorite. For now.

While she isn't as great a sleeper as Sam was, she still will sleep 12 hours at night, just not as heavily. She'll play in her crib for an hour before deciding to get up, and then is ready to go back down for a nap an hour later. Unless there is something going on. In that case, she wants to be up and all involved in the action. 

I can't wait for the day when she takes Sam down. I have said this over and over, but Sam sort of deserves it. A friend recently brought her 6 month old daughter over. She was amazed at how rough Sam was, literally trying to rip her baby out of her arms. So I guess the fact that Sam will wrap her arms around Charlie and fall backwards with her isn't. quite. normal. At least Charlie is tough because of it. She hardly cries at all anymore when shoved to the ground. (And yes, we have tried telling her to "be nice" "be gentle" etcetcetc. Sam takes that as BE ROUGHER!! And then cries when put in time-out.)

I've fearfully started Charlie on whole milk, since the whole AWFUL gas thing that put her on soy formula at 6 weeks of age. And true to her form, Charlie handled it like a champ. She guzzles it down and doesn't even notice that there is no Karo syrup in the bottle. She has taken to sippy cups like a duck to water, coincidentally, she also likes watching ducks in the water. 

She likes the lake, and boat rides, and her cousins. She doesn't like running water in the bathtub, being hungry or thirsty, or people she doesn't know. She has mastered going up and down the stairs and has yet to actually go down them the wrong way. This time of her life is so far my favorite. Her personality is starting to shine, and I just LOVE it. I can't wait to see what the next year brings. I am guessing many take-downs and many more sibling fights.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Not to Complain or Anything

So it is no secret that lately I have been struggling. Did you read my last post?

But sometimes, it makes things so. much. worse. when you realize what other people are going through. And then you think to yourself, "Self, what the fuck is wrong with you?"

For example, my uncle had a quadruple bypass 2 Friday's ago. And he is not recovering well.

So his wife and children, brothers and sisters, and various nieces and nephews have been spending time hours away from home, days at a time, to be with him. The emotional ups and downs of a hospital watch are... well, yeah, they suck. I feel bad complaining when they are going through that. And yet...

Summer has flown by. And we have had a good time, don't get me wrong. I got to spend a great weekend with a great friend and her family that I hadn't see in over 2 years. And I spent another fun weekend with other friends. And I have another fun weekend coming up with more friends.

But there is also the couple of weeks when Kale got neutered, and got diarrhea. And Fonz's toe has been infected for a couple of weeks, and now his ears are too. Little Charlie turns one on Saturday, and I am having a hard time getting in the mood to celebrate. Or plan her party. Which I have already committed to.

This is what it is like to be depressed. For no reason. And then you get mad at yourself for feeling sorry for yourself. And that just makes you shut down even more. Workaholic has been busy beyond belief, which means he can't be there to, well...pick me up. Like usual. 

I wish I could just snap out of this. I wish the new meds would work. I wish I had that fire in my belly that everyone else around me seems to have that gets them through their day. Part of me wonders if I am just lazy. I suppose it is possible. But am I really choosing laziness over self worth? Over feeling good? Over feeling like I got something accomplished? Goodness, I hope not.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


I have this daily struggle.

Get out of bed.

Get things done.

Do my work.

It is every day that I have this struggle. It has been 5 weeks and 3 days since I started my new medication. I think it is working a little bit, but not nearly as much as I had hoped. I miss the part of Pristiq that helped me to get out of bed in the morning. I hate getting out of bed in the morning.

Do you ever watch the show Hoarders? You know, the one with people who keep trash in their house and think that it is something that should not be thrown away? Sometimes, those people actually get their houses cleaned up, and they often say how much better they feel about life.

I can totally relate.

My house does not qualify for Hoarders, yet. But I have things strewn about. Things that have no real home right now. If Kale tears up a paper towel from my office trash can, which he seems to do weekly, I don't mind if it sits on the basement floor for a week. Eventually, I pick it up and throw it away, and then wonder why I took so long to do it.

We are in a transition stage right now. Workaholic is working much more than usual. Until he is done with his latest project, I feel lost. I have things that don't belong in my dining room in my dining room. I can't wait for him to be finished so I can get my dining room turned into a playroom, as it should be. I can't wait to get the toys out of my living room and into my dining room. I need to get the boxes of books out of my anyplace else.

Every time I get a space cleared, it stays that way for about a day. And then it is cluttered up again. I can't wait until things calm down. I need things to calm down. My mind has a hard time focusing on anything. I can't get my work done. I can't get a decent blog done.

Even though I know I need to get organized, I can't get myself organized. I keep telling myself that it will all be OK soon. In the meantime, days pass, and I hardly even notice. I hate that. I wish I had that fire in my belly to get me motivated, instead I have nothing. All I want to do is hide in my bed all day long.

I struggle.

Part Two...

I would like to update you on the rest of my Day One of Vacation.


Go into Charlie's room, where she is taking a 3 hour nap.

Reel backwards from the smell.

Peek at her, laying so cute in her crib.

With poop smeared all over the sheets, blanket, pacifier, and child.

Yell for help.

Wonder why my children have such a facination with taking off their diapers.

Fortunately for everyone involved, there were no more poop incidents for the rest of the weekend.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Day One of Vacation

I took the next 3 days off of work for vacation. Let's review real quick what I have done so far on day one... (It is 9:09am)
  • Been woken up at 5:30am by Workaholic's alarm on his phone. That goes off every day. And doesn't wake him up.
  • Been woken up at 6am by Workaholic, not sure if it was his alarm or him leaving or what.
  • Been woken up at 6:30am by a whining puppy. Who doesn't understand what vacation and sleeping in are.
  • Gotten up with the puppy. Fed the puppy. Medicated the puppy. Let him outside. Let him inside.
  • Poured a 30lb bag of dog food into a plastic bin for Fonz. Fed and medicated Fonz. Let him outside. Let him back inside, but kept the puppy outside for a few minutes. This is key.
  • Unloaded and reloaded dishwasher. Talked to new K for a couple of minutes. Decided to let the puppy back inside.
  • Almost vomited multiple times when I realized that dear sweet mother-blanking puppy rolled in fresh poop.
  • Bathed dear sweet mother-blanking puppy.
  • Bathed myself.
Needless to say, I think that instead of beginning my day and running a ton of errands in this debilitating heat, I am going to lay down for a while and rest. It is vacation, damn it.