Sunday, February 27, 2011

mothering in the new millenium

being a mom in 2011 is a complicated business. maybe it's always been complicated forever & always, but with technology comes this whole new world of stuff to figure out.

i've got a youtube account where i'll post things sometimes, mainly so that i can share our lives with the family members far away, and sometimes i let brooke post one of her own silly little videos of her playing with toys or one of her kitties. but i also posted some videos of when the stray outside cat gave birth last spring. brooke was in some of them & she was clearly very excited & nervous, sometimes crying as she gave the cat pep talks to help her through the birthing process. i just checked & since i posted it in may, it's had 5,497 views, which seems insane to me because i figured no one but my mom & maybe a couple friends would ever watch that.

that's all fine & dandy, but sometimes i get comments from dumbasses who feel the need to comment on my videos saying things like, "that brat needs to shut the f#*k up." or "why don't you just smack the kid already & get her the hell away from that cat?" the first time that happened, i think smoke blew out of my ears & i started breathing rapidly, adrenaline racing, and wanting to throw down with the rude trash who would dare to say such things about my baby. i figured out how to delete the comments & block the rudies so they can't comment on me & mine again, but it leaves me perplexed about how to deal with some of this stuff in the brave new online world.

brooke has been begging for her own youtube account for months, but we've been very hesitant to allow that since there are so many nuts & undesirables lurking around the interwebs. but then again, she's got her own blog & she & i both post pictures of us online. so we recently decided to let her have her own account, with certain stipulations, in order to keep it as safe as possible. i've got comment moderation on & she can't post anything without one of her parents viewing it first. i think she actually likes that part because i have to sit & watch all her goofy little videos of littlest pet shops and zhu zhu pets playing and acting out scenarios.

another thing is helping her deal with getting hacked. she's got a webkinz account where (don't judge me) i play games to earn her money (stopit, i see you mocking me with your eyes) so that she can buy anything webkinz land could possibly offer. i can't give her all of her heart's desires in real life, but darn i'm a fantastic provider online. if only i could get paid real money to play silly games rather just kinz cash. last week her account got hacked & someone played with her animals and spent all her money. it was distressing to her to feel like her own private space had been invaded, even though it was only online. maybe this will be a good lesson on not giving out passwords & always remembering to lock doors.

and we've also had a couple times lately when someone sent me a chat msg & she was the one at the computer. brooke likes to reply to them, but she's not much of a speller yet. one friend wrote back after brooke's second or third weird response & wrote, "are you drunk?!" brooke thought that was about the funniest thing she'd ever read & is now determined to impersonate me online, any opportunity she gets. she once even hacked my facebook account & told the world that i had SBD's (silent but deadly farts) which i didn't, i might add. not that day, anyway.

i'm open to any thoughts or suggestions you guys might have about online safety or parental policing. we're only just cracking the surface on all the ways that parenting has changed in the age of technology and it seems like it's all a big pile of trial and error. God help us!

Friday, February 25, 2011

do it yourself pedi

i'm feeling compelled to admit to a stupid foot issue. i'm afflicted with scaly old man feet, much like al penwasser's. they are the bane of my existence, but i can't usually afford to get pedicures to keep them properly maintained. i haven't found any balms or creams that make much of a difference, so sometimes i resort to using one of those razor scraper things that are illegal in some states. the first time someone used one on me while i was paying for a pedicure, i was giddy to see all those slices of skin falling off my feet. i knew they'd be so soft by the time i was done & i was pleased with the results. so i bought one on those nifty razor, cheese grater thingies for myself a couple years ago so that i could keep the softness going for free. the first time i used it, i perched on the edge of the tub for a good soak before starting up with my deadly weapon against dry crackliness and then when i deemed my tootsies to be sufficiently soggy, i started scraping. it was mesmerizing to see those snowy layers peel away like the garbage they were, leaving my feet pink & fresh. i kept it up for so long that i'm pretty sure i had about a pound of dead skin removed. i was delighted with the results. for about half an hour. then i realized my heels were starting to hurt. my skin wasn't just a rosy pink anymore, it was rapidly approaching a blood red, mainly due to the fact that i had removed almost all of the pesky skin that's generally used to hold my blood inside my feet. i was about 2 layers away from a free flowing bloody foot situation. i had to walk around on my toes for days to avoid my heels having any contact with the floor. or shoes.

you'd think i would have learned my lesson, but alas, i wasn't that smart. by the time the pain subsided i was so happy to have soft, childlike feet for the first time in my adult life, that i managed to block out the previous pain & shortly thereafter, i did the very same thing again. i'd vowed after the first incident that i wouldn't make the same mistake again, but like a woman who suffers through childbirth, once the pain is gone, all she remembers is the happiness and joy that her new child brings. i thought i could do the job without getting carried away, but clearly, i have no restraint when it comes to grating the skin from my feet. i get so happy about the storm of skin showering down around me that i can't reign in the urge to just keep scraping.

after the second round of near-death by foot shaving, i wised up & put the razor away. until today. i broke it out again tonight, determined to do the job without overdoing it. all was going well till i sliced a hunk of meat out of my heel & started bleeding. and not just a wee bit of a bloody dribble, it was practically a gusher. i tried to put some peroxide in it, but that just turned into a disgusting, foaming red sludge plopping into the water. i was glad there were no sharks nearby because i was definitely calling to them with my blood. then i shaved off a strip of ankle skin on the other leg when my hand slipped & that created a second bleeding situation.

i guess it's time to put the cheesy foot grater away again until another year, when the pain is gone and i only have memories of soft, delicate girlie feet. until then, i'll hobble around on my toes and keep a tube of antibacterial gel handy. maybe next time, i'll try the fish.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

guest post - family food fondness

i asked nari from narislife wrote a post for me about a childhood memory after she gave me such a wonderful lie story for how we met. here's her fun post about being a kid in a new country, learning about new foods. she's got another great one up on her own blog right now too about going camping, somewhat unprepared. i hope you enjoy it as much as i did!

Family Food Fondness

I was asked to write guest post about a childhood memory. This is what came to mind:

It seems that most people are able to associate various food items to fond childhood memories. When we go to California to visit my In-laws, my Mother-in-law has my Hubby’s favorite foods ready and waiting for us. There are taquitos with home-made guacamole and salsa, Spanish rice, menudo, tamales and she will fill her fridge and cabinets with all of the items he loved as a kid. Everything is delicious and my Hubby will reminisce about his younger days, prompted by the scent or flavor of something at the family table.

I’m fully aware that this isn’t an unusual phenomenon for most people. I have tried to do the same for my girls throughout their childhood. I just didn’t grow up with the same experiences.

I was born in Thailand and moved to the states when I was three. My first real food memory was from Southern Florida. I was at a neighbor’s house on a Saturday morning. The neighbor kids were about to have breakfast and I had been invited to eat over because they were taking us all to a place called Lithia Springs for the day to play in a shallow lagoon full of large algae covered rocks. We would swing on ropes hanging from tree tops into this slimy, rocky pool of potential broken bones and concussions. It was great! I was four years old and the only rule was that I could only swing off the ropes I could reach on my own.

As I sat at their dining room table with a bowl, a spoon and a glass of orange juice before me, a box and a pitcher of milk were set on the table. I watched my friend grab the box and pour stuff into her bowl which sounded just like the cat’s food when my mom filled its bowl in the mornings. I grabbed the box a little warily and filled my bowl. I could feel my eyes bulge as I saw what lay before me. It didn’t look anything like cat food. This was colorful and smelled sweet. My friend then handed me the pitcher of milk which she had added to her bowl of what must surely be some sort of candy. I followed suit and only ended up having time for about three bites of this crunchy creamy concoction of milk and pure sugar.

When I got home that day, I asked my mom if she would get this box of goodness for me. I didn’t know what it was called so I described it to her and she said she would look for it. She came home the next day with a very small box that didn’t look quite right but she said she didn’t want to waste money on something I might not really like. In my childish heart, I knew that wouldn’t be a problem but I didn’t argue. I waited eagerly for morning to come and was up and at the table about twenty minutes before anyone else had even woken up.

Once my mom finally woke up, she got out the little box and poured the contents into a bowl. She added milk and set it in front of me with a spoon. I dipped my spoon into the bowl and pulled it out carefully, making sure I had the perfect milk to sugary crunchiness ratio. I opened my mouth and filled it with what had become my newest obsession. I closed my eyes to better savor the flavor…and proceeded to gag. I spit the soggy disgusting mess into my bowl and stared at it in horror. My mom just took the bowl away from the table talking about how she was glad she bought a small box instead of getting the full sized one.

I didn’t eat cereal again until I reached high school. I was convinced it was one of the most disgusting things in the world until the day my mom idly asked me if I remembered when we first came to the states and I had asked for cereal. She laughed as she told me she had actually bought Cracker Jacks by mistake because it was smaller and cheaper and it seemed like the same thing.

My mom never really cooked much and I ate what I was served. She was always looking for a bargain and unfortunately, quality sometimes paid the price. My mother believed that Kraft Macaroni N Cheese was only cheap because they had a deal with the milk and butter industry, since the directions required the adding of both of those ingredients. But not MY mom, she would cut the butter amount in half and add water in place of milk. There was no way she was falling victim to the food industry.

So I guess you can say that I do indeed have family food memories. They just aren’t the ones you would expect. (In case you’re wondering, it took years before I was willing to eat Mac N Cheese again.)

now go, visit nari & make a new friend!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

so much happy, so little time

this weekend i've been visiting my family who live 6 hrs away from me and it's been positively delightful. we brought brooke's bike with us so that my dad could teach her how to ride it without training wheels. one fell off last summer & since she's 8, i decided i wasn't going to be replacing it, but rather taking them both off so that she'll have to learn how to ride for real. last summer she wasn't ready or brave enough to even try, but since we've had a warm few days, she's been sitting on her bike in the driveway & mentally preparing herself to learn how to ride it.

yesterday, she got it out while i was walking out front with my sister & she spent half an hour fuddling around on the bike, trying things out until suddenly, she got it! with no help from anyone, she was out there pedaling around the driveway! my dad took her out & put air in the tires & bought her a helmet & now she's quickly becoming a biking pro & wants to spend all her time riding around the driveway & yard. this is extra exciting to me because i've read several stories by adult aspies recently, saying that they never developed the coordination necessary to be able to ride a bike. so, yay, brooke!

then last night i went with my parents to a surprise party for my middle sister who just turned 25. her boyfriend put the whole thing on & he did a great job, cooking a really nice meal & decorating everything to make it all fancy and fun. sarah seems to have been really surprised to walk in & find about 45 people waiting to yell "SURPRISE!" at her. then, after she blew out the candles, she turned to find her boyfriend down on one knee with a ring in hand, asking her to marry him. apparently several people knew it was coming, but i wasn't on that list, though i'd been tipped by my other sister who was guessing earlier in the day. i managed to catch it all on video, and it's so cute to see them at the biggest decision of their lives so far. i'm really glad i was able to be here this weekend so i could be a part of it with them.

tonight i went to visit a friend who i haven't seen since brooke was a tiny baby. she's got a daughter less than a year younger, and we were looking forward to letting our girls meet. they hugged each other immediately upon meeting & then ran straight upstairs to the new friend's room where we could hear them squealing & giggling for the next few hours. it was fun hearing them up there, sounding all happy, all the while far enough away that the moms got a chance to really chat and catch up on 8 years of life. as we got into the car to go back to my parents house tonight, i asked brooke, "did you have a great time with kylie?" "YEAH!" "you sure laughed a lot. she must be really funny!" " she was SOO funny! she kept doing this!" brooke then made a motion of throwing something up into the air & catching it. i asked what kylie was throwing. she said, "well, not just kylie. i tried it too cuz it was really fun and funny!" i asked again, "what were you guys throwing that was so funny?"

"the hamsters."

"the zhu zhu pets?"

"no, the real ones."

"you threw them? into the air?!"

"yeah, you should have seen how they flailed their legs and kicked their little arms so fast! it was hilarious!"

"brooke, don't you realize that they were kicking and flailing because they were terrified and probably thought they were going to die?"


"were you guys also throwing them to each other like balls?"

a tiny little voice from the backseat whispered, "i don't want to talk anymore."

and so ended my wonderful, wacky weekend.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

stupid, stupid girls

i've had a couple people write out a story from their childhood memory bank for me lately & that's gotten me to thinking about my own ancient history. one certain thing keeps coming to mind, but i cringe every time i remember it.

between the ages of 9 and 16, i lived in this one house in a suburb in new york state. it was typical suburbia, with neighborhoods never far from shopping or restaurants. i'm not sure how old i was when i finally convinced my parents that i was old enough to walk to the store, but eventually i was allowed to walk down to the stores and fast food places about a mile from my house. at first i could only go if my older brother went, but eventually i was trusted to go, as long as i was with one of my girlfriends.

it was an easy walk, no hills, and we'd just meander along the shoulder of the road since we were really only going for fun, not because we needed to get somewhere. sometimes, when we girls were walking, people would honk at us as they flew past in their cars. at first it startled us. but then we realized that many of the drivers were actually guys who we presumed were checking our fine selves out. sometimes they would yell things out of the window as they sped past, like "woohoo!" or "yeah, baby!" or "nice rack!" it was shocking and offensive and amazingly exciting all in one rush of wind as a car went past, leaving us foolish girls in a wake of exhaust and excitement.

one summer, somewhere between the ages of 14 and 16, a friend and i spent a lot of time walking. we walked in my neighborhood, her neighborhood, the mall, the local pool, the beach on vacation together. anywhere we could freely go, we went. and we were getting so many honks and yells that we decided to start counting them. i have no idea what our final count was, but it was fun trying to keep track of our percieved awesomeness by seeing how much honky feedback we could collect.

sometimes a car would slow down or stop to talk to us. we knew we should get away from cars who stop in the road for girls like us, but there were times when we couldn't resist the urge to see if maybe our parents were wrong. if maybe the world wasn't out to harm and destroy us like we'd been warned, but instead might have wholesome intentions and just want to ask for our phone numbers or tell us we were cute. there were times when a driver would stop and ask us where we were going or even offer us a ride. there were a few times when it was adults, generally couples or a mom-ish woman who probably legitimately wanted to be helpful, but mostly it was teenaged or young adult guys. and i'm horrified to admit that sometimes we would climb right into those cars with strangers and accept a ride to the nearest grocery store or hardees.

we would huddle together in the backseat, scared and thrilled to be living dangerously. we made small talk with our drivers and hoped that this wouldn't be our last day on earth. we hoped that the person who's car we were riding in would actually drop us off where we intended to go rather than drive into the woods & do unspeakable things to our clueless, naive selves.

every single time we accepted rides from strangers, they really did take us to our intended destination. the couples and moms would warn us that we really shouldn't be getting into cars with people because not everyone was as nice as them. the boys would ask for our names or numbers and we'd give our aliases and fake digits, thinking we were the smart ones by not giving out our real info.

at this stage of my life, as a mom of a little girl, i pray and teach and warn my child about the very same things my parents told me. i thank God that he never let me or my friends be stolen or hurt or even really scared, in spite of our own stupidity. all i can say is that i think the prayers that my parents were praying really worked because my safety and well-being clearly cannot be attributed to my clear-headed thinking & wise decision making process.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

guest post - over and out

one day last week i asked my readers to tell me how we met, but to make it a total fabrication with points for creativity. i said that i'd pick a couple of my favorites & ask those people to be my guest author over here for a day. and it just so happens that my mom was the first of my two favorites. i asked her to write out a childhood story and here is the delightfully naughty tale of 2 little girls who lived in a different and much safer world than the one where we currently dwell. i hope you'll enjoy it as much as i have. thanks, mom!

Over and Out

It is trendy these days among the baby boomer crowd, of which I am a certified member, to blow the dust off their old Super 8 home movie reels and pack them off to some high tech digital world where the memories can be rescued from oblivion and mysteriously transformed into dvd's which then have the potential to make their grandchildren howl with laughter. This is all good family fun which I wholeheartedly endorse, although I myself haven't yet braved the depths of the storage closets where such dusty reels of youthful memories may be found.

In spite of the clarity that a dvd will suddenly bring to the hazy memories of childhood birthday parties, babies' first steps, and Junior sharing his ice cream cone with Fido, some of the best memories are those that were never captured on film of any kind. Those are the spontaneous moments that burst from our creative youthful psyches, demanding their release in some form, often referred to as foolishness by the parents. I can't speak for what others do with such memories, but I find myself playing them over and over with great delight in the halting, cloudy, imperfect manner in which they were originally stored in the gray matter file labeled "Life was Good". Since it is rare that anyone besides myself will ever view these files, it is of little consequence that some scenes are blurred and most of the sound track has gone missing. What matters is the warm feelings that are evoked when the worn tape is run again, taking me back to a time when the biggest concern of a summer day was whether to spend my dime on a popsicle or save it until next week when I would have two dimes and could purchase an ice cream sandwich.

On one such day, of which there seemed to be no end until suddenly they were over, my best friend had invited me for a sleepover. My mother seemed to be as excited as I was whenever I got such an invitation. Perhaps it was her shared joy in my happiness, but more likely it was her secret relief to have one less child under her roof fighting over whether to watch Bugs Bunny or Lassie on the one television set shared by eight of us. Grabbing a paper grocery bag and quickly stuffing it with a few things any ten year old tomboy would consider necessities, I raced out the door, jumped on my bike, and after five minutes of pedaling through the village I was there. Really there. Overnights with Kathy were the open doors of my childhood when anything was possible, and I threw myself into these opportunities with the careless abandon that adults rarely experience and barely remember.

In typical fashion, we sat among the clutter on the floor of her fabulously untidy bedroom, petting her cats, rearranging the rocks and twigs in our woolly bear aquarium, smoothing and braiding the colorful hair of her troll dolls, and squishing the occasional flea we picked off our legs. And, predictably, a plan began to hatch for an adventure.

Being normal kids, our adventures generally broke some rules of social conduct or personal safety, but we were not being rebellious, just allowing our childish dreams and fantasies to be our guide to fun. On this particular evening we thought it would be great fun to play outside after dark. The obvious obstacle, however, was the parents. How to get around that obstacle? That was the challenge to be solved, and solve it we did. Kathy's family lived in an old clapboard house with three bedrooms downstairs and one very large bedroom and huge closet upstairs. Since she was the only girl in the family, she was given the coveted upstairs bedroom as her personal kingdom, and rarely did anyone venture up the stairs other than Kathy and her best friend. If we could just figure out a way to reach the ground safely from the porch roof we would be golden.

In the next several adrenaline driven minutes we stripped the bunk beds of sheets and proceeded to tie the ends together with big clumsy knots. Two sheets from each bed produced enough length to reach from the window, across the roof, and over the edge to within five feet of the ground. Perfect! We were both good climbers on the ropes in our school gym class, so we were confident we could climb down the sheet rope and easily drop to the ground. I volunteered to go first while Kathy stood on the roof watching the window to make sure it didn't slide up and let loose of the knot that would be holding my life in its grip. In mere moments I was on the ground whooping a silent victory cheer while gradually becoming aware of a deep insecurity rising up within me as I gaped into that vast sea of darkness. My urgent whispered pleadings for my friend to hurry down and join me were finally rewarded, and together we jumped around and celebrated our success, confident in the security that each provided the other.

image found here

So there we were. Two little girls in their pajamas standing in a once familiar backyard in the dark, not sure what to do next. These were the days when children in small towns were allowed to roam freely during the day. Parents didn't concern themselves about a child's absence for hours, because the whole village was a playground and when they got hungry they would come home. We were familiar with every street in the village, and our curiosity to experience our well-known world in its darker version propelled us out of the backyard and down the block. Wow. Everything looked so different. It was like looking at negatives of photographs, where the normally dark colors were light and the light colors were dark. Windows that were dark during the day were lit up, many uncovered, revealing bits of private lives that we knew we were not entitled to gaze upon so boldly. But with a defiance we believed the darkness would hide, we gazed and gazed. There was a fascination with seeing a man move across a room toward a television, or a woman standing with her face to the window in what appeared to be a posture of dishwashing, knowing that these individuals had no idea they were being watched. It was the naughtiest thing we had ever done in our lives and we crept through the town looking for uncovered windows to gawk into until we began to get cold. We had had our fun and we were ready to call it a night.

Not until we stepped back into Kathy's backyard and saw that white sheet rope dangling five feet above the ground did it occur to us that we couldn't reach it to climb back up. As panic threatened to devour us we held each other, shivering, and devised a new plan. We would simply have to wait it out. There was no habit of door locking in those days. What was the need for locking a door when crime in our village was almost unheard of? So we figured if we could just be patient we would be able to enter the house through the back door once her parents had gone to bed and they would never be the wiser. For the next hour we did what our exhausted bodies could do in an effort to keep ourselves warm in the damp, rapidly cooling night air. We were rewarded with the amusing scene of her teenage brother staring at his reflection in the kitchen window, apparently admiring what he saw. But for the most part the wait was long, cold, boring, and a little frightening as silence magnified the night sounds of unidentified creatures.

The house had been completely dark for some time and we decided this was our chance to sneak back in, creep up the stairs, pull the knotted sheets back in through the window, and snooze the rest of the night away in the guilty pleasure of a successful adventure. The factor we hadn't taken into consideration was that an old house has more creaky spots than our grandmothers' arthritic knees. From the first step inside the door our presence was announced loudly by the tattletale floor boards. Before we had made it halfway across the kitchen our deception was exposed by a flood of light when her father, unashamed in his underwear, flipped the wall switch. Busted.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

what kind of bees make milk?

i like to have a little fun when i'm writing sometimes, by recounting the moments when stupid or embarrassing things happen to me. most of you have probably figured that out by now. i also love hearing the stupid or embarrassing stories that have happened to others. especially when those stories come from people who normally don't share or volunteer such things because they have dignity & class and generally don't stoop to the level of revealing their shamefully hilarious events. what, for most people, would be something to tuck away & try to forget, i relish every awful detail & try to remember it clearly so i can tell or write the story later.

one of the funny, embarrassing things that has happened to me many times in the course of my adult life is that i tend to drop things into my cleavage. i know, i know, if i wore shirts with higher necklines, that wouldn't be such an issue, but sometimes, a girl's got to show off her assets a little bit, especially when out on a date with the husband. and turtlenecks just aren't very sexy.

i dropped a big blob of ice cream down there in a restaurant once & had to try to wipe it out without flashing anyone. and i drop pieces of popcorn down there all the time when we go to the movies. i've had bits of chips fall while at social gatherings or queso drips when we're dining on mexican fare.

but my favorite story on that topic happened one day when i was taking communion in church & managed to drop almost a whole wafer straight down between the girls. at first i thought i'd just leave it there & fish it out later, but alas, it must have broken on its journey into the abyss because suddenly i felt the scratching & irritating from a nasty little broken edge & i knew it had to come out. for some reason it didn't occurr to me to go into the bathroom to deal with this. looking back that seems pretty obvious, but at the time, all i could think was "should i go in from the top or the bottom?" i attempted a discreet dig from above, but by that point, it was too low down. so then i tried to slowly maneuvre my hand up my shirt all the while singing along with the congregation & trying to keep a neutral face so i wouldn't give away that i was getting to second base with myself. i did finally manage to free myself from that scratchy lil morsel, but then what to do with it? i didn't want to eat it after it had been hanging with the meat balloons, but they don't serve napkins w/ communion. so i settled for putting it into my pocket, only to be reminded of the incident when i found the remants in the laundry a few days later.

i got an email from a friend today, telling me that she dropped a slice of cheese down between the ta-tas while fixing dinner today & that was my inspiration for this post. i'd love to hear from any of you who've had one of these hilariously unfortunate events. share with me, if you will, a time when your boobs ate the keys to the car you just finished test driving. or your girls were unwilling food storage containers. or you lost your cell phone & then found it under your left hooter. whatever your story, i'd love to hear it!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

nessie and the furbaby

i seem to have issues with vacuum cleaners. they're heavy, clunky, dirty & they often blow hot air at me, which i hate. i use a lot of different ones because, well, i'm a low-down, dirty maid. actually, i prefer to call myself a "housekeeper extraordinaire", but it all amounts to the same thing at the end of the day. scullery duty.

have you ever used a central vacuum in a house? they usually work really well & you don't have to deal with insufficient suction, but dang, those things are tough to work with. the hoses are about 40 ft long, they're heavy & they're covered in a hose sock. that means you're having to drag around pounds & pounds of slithering, serpent through room after room & those wily coils are sneaky too. they will reach out & snatch a chair leg or a small table & try to take it down. they look harmless, but they're actually beasts from the deep, dark lagoon. whenever i work with one, i silently call it nessie (as in, lochness monster), trying to make it think that we have a close and affectionate relationship in hopes that it will behave itself and not knock anything over out of spite or anger for having been awakened and disturbed and then expected to perform.

in my own house, i don't have such fancy dirt sucking technology. today i found myself on the floor with both of the simple vacuums i own. i snipped, pulled, yanked and chopped enough hair, yarn, string, and crud out of the roller bars of one that i could have made a medium sized stuffed animal with it. maybe after brooke goes to bed tonight, i'll dig the clump out of the trash, if the cat hasn't consumed it all yet, & pull out all my crafty skills & turn it into something exciting and new. maybe i'll even make a little outfit for it & give it to her for valentine's day. we'll name it dustin. or tumble.

i dismantled the other sucky machine to try to empty & clean it. i swear, i had my arm so far up in that thing, i felt like i was helping to birth a cow. but instead of slime and happy, wet cow babies, i only had a big bag full of hairy yuck, dust to my elbow and funk under my fingernails. but it gives new meaning to phrase furbaby.

Friday, February 11, 2011

good times in farty town

my good buddy tracy, over at It's An Average Life is hosting a month long "battle of the blogs" where she has a bunch of followers who signed up for some debating good times. she chose the pairings, mostly boys against girls, and she gave us each a quirky topic & which position we would be arguing. i was paired up with underground dude and our topic was flatulence. what a lucky surprise for me since i do enjoy some good potty humor & when i'm given an assignment to write about it, it makes me feel more mature, like it's a legitimate exercise.

so if you want to go check it out over in tracy town, here's the link to gassy greatness. (*update. that link goes to a dead page. here's a link that will take you to the story.)

and for those of you who are here from checking me out after reading that tacky delight, WELCOME! i appreciate you & i'm glad you're here! introduce yourselves & i'll come check you out.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

where did we meet?

you know how on facebook, sometimes people will write in their status, "tell me how we met each other and then make this your status so i can return the favor." i always thought that was kind of stupid because aren't we supposed to already know how we met our friends and family members? and if you tell me how we met, why do i then need to tell you how we met? will the stories be different?

tonight i saw a different take on it, and it was an idea i had to borrow. it says to leave a message telling how we met, but make it a lie. i added that the more creative & amusing the answers, the more cool points one would receive. you know, from God, or whoever's in charge of cool points.

i got some great responses that actually made me laugh.
We really bonded in that state facility after our frontal lobotomies. I think the shock therapy was really beneficial for you, but the ice water immersion really didn't help me much long term. Hope you're doing well - I still don't like wearing my helmet, but at least my sitter has started letting me use scissors on craft projects!"

i had one from one of my blog friends, creatingme, who had clearly read my last post.
"I was the nurse tech at your first mammogram. Nice tush!"

i apparently met one former church friend at a gay bar where she was checking me out & i also give a mean prison tat. i was taught by monks in the mountains and got breast implants with my aunt where she questioned my judgement since she seemed to think that DD was big enough. silly, silly woman. bigger is always better.

i had a great one from my brother.
"Almost can't even remember those early years in the orphanage anymore... I mostly just remember it was so overcrowded... But I will never forget the pillow fights! That was the only time we boys were allowed to interact with you girls for any length of time. Your plan to convince Ms. Wadsworth to alter your birth certificate to match my last name in order to get Mom and Dad to adopt us both and get you out of there was devious, but brilliant! Love ya, "sis". "

and a naughty one from my friend who i've never met face to face. she's a frisky one, this girl!
"Sherilin and I used to date before I had my sex change... she inspired me to switch teams... haven't regretted it yet. Although some days I feel "clueless" as a woman, and I get" Blue" missing being "Steve." Least Sherilin can't send me to the doghouse anymore.Cause she liked it Ruff,ruff,ruff. :P"

and another friend who loves to mock me when i get a little too excited about the raccoons & possums who come up on my deck to eat the food that i put out for them (shut up, i like them) wrote,
"The great raccoon expedition '90.....I was completely enthralled by your lecture "Befriending Earth's Creatures". Later, while you were talking with the raccoons brought in for exhibit, I approached you about their diets and how important it friends we friends for sure!"

now, i know many of you bloggers out there are wonderfully creative and hilarious and i'm wanting to play this game with you too.  feed me a big, fat load of crap and tell me about our imaginary meeting. the wackier, the better! i would like to make the best commenters guest authors on my page in the near future, if you're up for it, so bring it on!

Monday, February 7, 2011

equal trade in mammogram town

this was written last april, but i'm re-posting it for your reading pleasure.

last year i went for my first mammogram. i had a minor issue & a family history of breast cancer, so it was time to get it done. i arrived for my appointment and the nurse delivered me to a dressing room & told me to disrobe, put my clothes into a locker, put on a gown & go sit in a waiting room until my name was called. ok. once she was out of my cubby, i realized that it seemed strange to have to strip down all the way when i was only getting a tittie exam, but i decided to err on the side of extra nudity. once, when i was pregnant, i thought i was just getting a belly check & didn't take off my pants. my obgyn told me i needed to remove them &  then stood there while i peeled them off, which was rather awkward. it's one thing that he looks up the hole, it's quite another thing to be expected to do a strip tease for him before the getting into the stirrups.

after having a child, i'd gotten over my aversion to getting caught with my pants down in doctor's offices, so i thought this time i'd just take it all off. i walked carefully out to the waiting room so as to not expose my girlie goodies. i was concerned that if i crossed my legs, the lady sitting across from would notice that i hadn't groomed up my bikini region recently. i also noticed the other women in the room were wearing shoes while i was barefooted because it seemed silly to wear shoes with my hospital gown. but i figured we were all probably beginners and i'd most likely be one up on them when i breezed through expediently, bare and prepared, while they were stopped and asked to remove their shoes and socks. 

eventually i was called across the hall for my boob crushing appointment. the technician proceeded to help me jam my left tittie into the vice & in order to do so i need to take that arm out of my fancy gown. causing the majority of my body to be left, exposed to the elements. i'm pretty sure my entire armpit was also pulled into that thing at one stage, but that's beside the point. the tech lady stepped away & looked down at me (i could only barely see her out of the corner of my eye as i tried to crane my neck around to make sure she was moving at an acceptably speedy clip) and i saw her eyes bug out of her head for a split second as she caught a glimpse of my pasty white rear. she tried to fix her face quickly, but the look of shock was definitely there. i heard her gulp before she stammered, "uh, um, most people, uh well, you really only needed to take off your top." seriously?!! you'd think the nurse lady would have told me that before i stripped my ass bare! as if having my entire chest and armpit area crammed into a garbage disposal type mechanism while standing on tip toe & trying not to move or scream wasn't bad enough, now i was also worried about my apparently inappropriate nudity that was clearly making this lady uncomfortable! way to make a good impression!

at some point in the way-too-long-and-torturous process, i started to find the humor. like me exposing my pubies to her was making her uncomfortable (especially since she had to be leaned in close and snuggly) & her wrangling my monstrous tit into her torture machine was making me uncomfortable, so it was like an equal trade. tit for twat.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

nuggets of childhood

years ago, when i was looking out at my future life & the things that i expected it to hold, i saw myself with a few kids & in a neighborhood where the kids all roamed free like a pack of friendly dogs. eating lunch at this house one day or swimming in that backyard another day. i guess i imagined that it would look like my life when i was growing up. i'm one of 4 kids & our family always lived in neighborhoods where there were a lot of kids & activities.

i was homeschooled, starting in 5th grade and i had a little bit of a complex about being the weird kid since homeschooling kind of hadn't been invented yet. the average person had never heard of it and we were questioned about it frequently. along the way, we eventually met a few other homeschooled kids, but they were total freaks, in my mind. they were the kids who's mom never wore a bra and they wore tacky clothes and bad shoes. they didn't know who the popular musicians were and had never been to a movie theatre. i considered myself to be way cooler than them, even though i knew i wasn't terribly high up on the cool ladder when it came to the rest of the world.

because of this, i feel like i need to keep brooke informed about things and teach her all the stuff that kids usually learn from each other. she's my only one, there are no kids in our neighborhood and she's homeschooled. i've got a pretty tight reign on who her social contacts are, which i generally think is a good thing since i can let her wait until she's ready to learn about stuff rather than some kid showing her porn on the bus on the way to school & now she knows what intercourse is.

but i think it's fun to tell her the stupid crap that kids say to each other that generally parents tsk-tsk about, so that she won't be clueless when she runs into it down the road. stuff like "i know you are, but what am i?" or "i'm rubber, you're glue, whatever you say bounces off me & sticks to you." it's like i have license to return to my childhood & dig into those old ridiculous things kids say and sing, in the interest of keeping her normal. we taught her the lyrics to "on top of old smokey" and of course the "beans, beans, the musical fruit" poem.  ooo, and i just remembered another one that i need to teach her tomorrow- "great green globs of greasy, grimy gopher guts, mutilated monkey meat, itty bitty birdies' feet. great green gobs of greasy, grimy gopher guts, and me without my spoon."

i've sung her the old songs that we used when jumping rope or skipping or doing those hand clappy games. and not long ago, i taught her the classic, "there's a place in france where the naked ladies dance. there's a hole in the wall so that i can see them all."  and we can't forget the always creepy, but fun toilet ditty, "i see your hiney, so bright and shiny. you better hide it, before i bite it."

i'm sure there are plenty more that i've forgotten or somehow missed during my own childhood & i'd like to make a plea, to you, my bloggy friends, to help my child have a full and well rounded childhood. share with us your wisdom or your folly, but educate us in the ways of children everywhere so that brooke won't feel like she's missed out any of the colorful little nuggets that must be passed on to each and every child.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

the van potty x2

here's my re-offering of the day. for any of you who've read it, i hope you'll come back for the next post. i'll try to make it fresh & exciting. because this one is definitely not fresh.

we still carry a potty in our van. actually, we took the backseat out of the van so that we could fit some big stuff in there at christmas time & it's never gone back in, so it functions as a mobile storage unit. but brooke likes to think of that space as her own personal room, including toileting facilities. there have been many, many times when it has saved us, like when we're at a park where the bathrooms are locked or non-existent. or when we go to the grocery store in july, get everything loaded into the van to go home & then suddenly she has a desperate need to pee that didn't arrive until just that second. or when we're in a traffic jam on the highway, she needs to go & we can't get off an exit. this potty has saved us from many, many moments of peepee panic. (i wish i could use it since i'm often just as guilty as brooke about needing to go when there are no facilities available, due to my own self diagnosed SBS. i haven't tried it yet, but one day i may be desperate enough. i'll let you know if it happens & how it turns out.)
one time, i was loading some stuff into the van at toys-r-us & while i was doing so, brooke crept around to her potty & made use of the facilities. i think she secretly holds it sometimes just because she likes using the van pot more than public bathrooms. maybe it feels scandalous or exotic to pee in the car. i don't know.

anyway, she calls out, "mom, i used my potty!"

me, "okay, fine. let me come around to the back so i can dump it in the back of the parking lot. you didn't throw the tissue into the pee again did you?"

brooke, "weeeelllll.... noo.... i didn't put the tissue in."

me, "so what's the problem? what did you do?"

brooke, "uummm... i.... pooped."

i closed the door & mentally had a mini tantrum. we were just inside a store where there was a flushing toilet. and plenty of toilet paper. but did she use it? NO! she'd rather take a dump in the hot van in august & then put the soiled tissues into the little van trash can.

ok, too late to be mad. at least she didn't crap herself. now, what to do with it... normally with a pee pot i'd find a grassy spot at the edge of the parking lot or at least the far back of a parking lot where people generally don't go & pour it there. this was a different situation. i couldn't very well toss the log into the toys-r-us parking lot and i didn't relish the idea of carrying it up to the building to where there were trash cans & disposing of it in view of other customers.okay, so i can't get rid of it here. what other options do i have? we're not heading home yet where i could dispose of it properly & since it's august, i don't want to cart it around with us where it will get extra ripe while marinating in the car during our next few errands.

maybe i could smear mud over my license plate & put on dark glasses and a hat and sling it out the window while driving to our next stop. but with my luck, i'd throw it into the open window of a car next to us & then be hunted by an angry, poop smeared ex-con. or it would just slide down the outside of my van & i wouldn't know & i'd go through the drive-through at taco bell & the person working would be like, "ma'am, i think there's.... a turd stuck to your door." or i'd chicken out at the last second & hesitate in mid-throw causing it to mostly stay inside the van, sliding down the inside of the driver's door and getting caught in the little pocket, but splattering me in the process. or it would splash while sitting on the passenger seat before i found the perfect moment & then i'd have to clean the seat. or before i had the chance to pitch it, someone in a taller vehicle than mine would drive up alongside of me & look over & spot the hot pink poop filled pot & then look at me in horror & realize that they know me & actually they're one of my customers & then i lose my job. or i'd be holding the pot in my hand, waiting for the perfect moment to roll down & toss & i'd get rear ended & it would all go up in my face & i'd have some explaining to do when an officer showed up on the scene. "yes officer, that is feces on my forehead.... yes, it is pee soaking my shirt. no, i haven't been drinking. i was just planning to throw a bucket of shit out the window of my moving vehicle when there was a gap in traffic. no, it's not my own shit. no, i don't do pranks like that... it was in the back of my van... no, i already told you, i haven't been drinking!"

eventually i found what seemed like an acceptable solution to me & i pulled into the back of the target parking lot to one of those places where there's a bit of grass & a tree between parking spots and i crouched low, walking stealthily & poured out the mess into the wood chip area at the base of the tree. i know, it's gross & horrible, but i thought at least there was a possibility that whoever found it would think that it must have been a dog who left that deposit. i mean, who would have ever guessed the truth?