Saturday, April 30, 2011

How'd That Go?

My child is definitely mine.

No one switched babies with me at the hospital.

No, I have never doubted it.

Yes, she has my eyes, my nose, the same color hair, but her personality, the little things that crop up when you least expect them to, those prove as much about who a child belongs to as all of those genetic factors.

From day one, she has had the same sleeping pattern as her daddy, she always gets sleepy after a large meal just like him, she has been able to give me the same "Momma, you sure are crazy" arched eyebrow look that he gives me since she was six months old, the delight she takes in "farking" can only be rivaled by his attempts to trap me in a "Dutch oven".

But this week? This week she proved that there is a part of me in that personality as well, and I am overjoyed.

When I was a child, the lyrics to pop music never really made sense to me. To make them make sense, I would use words I knew instead of the actual words in the song. This was not a conscious decision, it's just what made sense to me. "Material Girl" was changed to "Cheerio girl" and my tiny self would swirl about the kitchen each morning clutching my box of Cheerios and belting,
"We're living in Cheerio world
A Cheer--i-o-oooo
I'm a Cheerio, I'm a Cheerio, I'm a Cheerio girl."

While I would hear my parents laughing in the next room, I have always tried to believe that people were not really laughing at me, although, I guess now I know the truth. 

So, this past week, I heard my tiny rock star singing in the next room and as I approached to hear what she was singing, I heard:
"Cutie pie, cutie pie
No one can read my story books
They are mine and not nobodys"
(To the tune of Lady GaGa's "Poker Face")

She repeated these lyrics ad nauseum throughout the day at school, at the grocery store, even taught some of her friends the words so that they could sing along (I am so, so sorry). 

And while my gut reaction was to laugh or correct, I held those urges back and let her continue. She will have enough time in this life to get things right or perfect - right now, she is just being my daughter.

And that's really all that she has to be. 

Friday, April 29, 2011

Someone Likes Me!



When Jessica, The Mom notified me yesterday that I had won the Versatile Blogger Award, I was as giddy as a Seventh Grade girl that just found out that a boy liked me. I started this blog as a place to vent and get things off my chest, apparently, I have, at least, found a kindred spirit in the blogosphere. Thank you so much, Jessica! I really appreciate the award and am so excited to complete the tasks that go along with it. (BTW, Jessica has some awesome giveaways coming up, you should definitely follow her and like her Facebook page.)

Post-Edit: 3Princesses Engraving also awarded me this award - on the same day. I love all the love ladies! Check out her page to see her really cool gifts and toys for children!

Here are the rules:

Versatile Blogger Award Etiquette:
Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them in your post.
Tell us seven things about yourself that your readers did not already know.
Award fifteen recently discovered new bloggers.  (Don't forget to contact them!)

Seven Things About Myself:
  1. When I was in Kindergarten, I earnestly believed that I was a figment of someone else's dream. I was certain that if I was too loud, I would wake them up. Then, it occurred to me that I might be too boring, so I tried to find daring and dangerous things to do that would interest my dreamer. Conversely, I also felt that when I went to sleep, they woke up and carried on their life. 
  2. When I was very young, I witnessed my father wreck his motorcycle while driving drunk. The most amazing thing that I remember from that day is not the Harley-Davidson flying through the air or coming to land on my father, not the fact that I so easily assumed that he had died, not the image of my mother lifting a motorcycle off of his crumpled body or seeing her carry him across the field to the car. The most amazing thing to me at the time was seeing my mother get into the driver's seat and DRIVE A CAR! I had never seen her drive before and until then just assumed that girls didn't drive. 
  3. I thought my father had lost his arm in the accident because when I saw him the very next morning, he had his arm in a sling under his shirt. I went to school and reported to my class that my daddy could not give me the good hugs ever again, because he had cut his arm off. When I saw him without his shirt on several weeks later, I assumed that he had grown his arm back like an alien and refused to let him touch me with the "alien" arm for weeks afterwards.
  4. I can sometimes predict things that will happen. I predicted the day that my brother was born and let my mother know about an accident that was going to happen to my sister, just a few hours before it happened. I think it may come from the side of our family that was related to the Salem witches. 
  5. As a Christian, I am not sure that I should believe in premonitions and witches. It's hard to let the mysteries of life go sometimes. 
  6. If people try to tell me what to do or not do (especially if they are older than me), I tend to rebel. I am not sure why, most likely because I was not really given the option of rebelling as a teen.
  7. I consider socks disposable (
    and am planning a post on why in the next few days)

Here are the 12 bloggers that I have chosen to receive this award (I honestly can't think of any others), mostly because their blogs inspired me to start one of my own (or their encouragement kept me moving once I got started).
  1. Lindsay @ Fueled By Diet Coke - Her blog is about the adventures of being a new wife, Christ-follower and self-love warrior.
  2. Kathleen @ Smarten! - Love the easy flow of her words and the wonderful pictures of her little son. 
  3. Phoenix Rising @ Stumbling Towards Perfect - I wish that my sarcastic thoughts could be translated into writing the way that hers can - she is laugh out loud funny, quit witted and so what I want to be when I grow up.
  4. Elisa @ The Crazy Life of a Writing Mom - who apparently gets more hours in a given day than anyone that I know - she raises 4 kids, is married and manages to keep house, sew and find time to write books - real books that people want to read. So jealous of her ability to find those elusive hours!
  5. Tara @ That's A Wrap - Poor Tara had to abandon a pretty successful blog due to some privacy issues and is restarting with a new point of view on That's A Wrap. Her reviews of television shows and movies are very interesting and some of the discussions that she starts are really thought provoking. 
  6. Jessica @ Grounded Angel - just started this month but definitely hit the ground running with some hard hitting, personal experiences that are at the same time poignant and beautiful
  7. Katryn @ Who Needs a Medicine Ball? - Talks about her adventures with her husband and children.
  8. Mimi @ The Things We Do - has amazing energy for her two boys and their adventures
  9. Bikbik & Roro - features stunning pictures as well as amazing craft ideas.
  10. The Good, The Bad & The Family - offers an upfront, no holds barred view of mommyhood
  11. Cherie @ Journey through Mommyhood - gives a great first time perspective of the amazing pressures that we experience to be on top of it all.
  12. My dear friend Wendy actually started it all @ EMM and M - Her fabulous photos of her darling girls melts my heart every time.
Please, click on over, check out these other fabulous blogs and give deserving accolades to all of these lovely ladies!

    Thursday, April 28, 2011

    Another Thursday Blog Hop

    Momma's Time Out



    Hey friends! I will be having a medical procedure done today, so I am posting this up for your enjoyment since I will be resting most of the day and don't want to forget to go ahead and post.

    Keep me in your prayers and I look forward to catching you up on the all the gory details when I return on Friday.


    Don't forget to add my button to your page! See you Friday!

    Here's the code to link up your blog to the hop: <script src="http://www.linkytools.com/basic_linky_include.aspx?id=86564" type="text/javascript"></script>

    Wednesday, April 27, 2011

    Being the Driving Force

    You know why women are so friggin' awesome?

    (Aside from the fact that we have a fabulous intuition, the capacity to not only be thrown up on for 48 hours, but also be able to survive the Ebola virus, the strength to be able to be the weaker sex, and the ability to clean the house while being scared to death by dangerous night critters.)

    We are the driving force behind all of mankind. No single man has been able to accomplish greatness, but married men not only live longer, they are able to achieve fantastic feats because of the driving force of the women that love them.

    First off, a woman had to forcibly extract him from her womb. Whether with a doctor or midwife's aid, ultimately the labor came down to a wonderful mother that wanted him to move out.

    Then she raised him. She fed him, nurtured him, gave him the tools that he needed in life to be a suitable mate to some unwitting girl (a girl that most likely will never be good enough for her boy).

    A girl that was raised on the stories of princesses and knights, white horses and charming princes. And when she ventured out into the world, she found a boy that could not clean up his apartment, could not do his own laundry, could not cook a meal suitable for consumption, could not take care of himself.

    And the mothering instinct that we all possess, took flight.

    She washed the laundry, organized the apartment, got him a planner or smartphone so that he would remember to keep the dates and be on time. She made sure that he woke up and arrived on time for work and class. She groomed him for greatness.

    And after the first big fight, the fight where she shrugged her shoulders and walked away, he knew that he could not survive without her clean towels and sheets, her freshly cooked meals, her gentle urging to grow up, be a man.

    So he proposed and they got married.

    And the gentle urging became more of a mantra.

    Grow up, be a man, grow up, be a man.

    He graduated college while she kept house, he found the first job and she made sure that he was not late, that he was well dressed and groomed. She sacrificed and toiled (in practice for when they would have children) in order for him to have the resources that he would need to be great.

    The promotions came, as did the accolades.

    And, if it had not been for her driving force, he would never have known the success that he had achieved.

    If all of the women were taken up to Heaven tomorrow and all of the men were left on Earth to care for the children, get to work, school or church on time, chaos would ensue.

    No one would know what time it is. (Which is so strange to me. Do they really forget to tell time as they get older?)

    The children's hair would go uncombed, they most likely will be unfed and not bathed. If they arrive at school at all they will be hours late in clothes that do not match (and that are most like pulled from the dirty clothes hamper).

    Oil changes and service maintenance on cars would be ignored.

    He will lose his job because he can no longer arrive on time, in fact, the company will most likely go bankrupt as everyone above the glass ceiling will also never arrive to work on time.

    The kids will most likely drop out of school, as it doesn't make sense anymore anyway (since the all-male staff is not putting together lesson plans or grading papers in their off time - there is no one to tell them to do it).

    Wars would break out over simple things like why World Wrestling Entertainment and the World Series do not actually include members of the entire world. Or why there are no more cakes, cookies or pies.

    And the (now Godless) population of the world will be reduced to watching video games played on large TVs, while the pizza deliveryman is being mauled by the children and dogs.

    Remember, if you feel like whining because your wife is nagging you to get the Hell out of bed in the morning (for the umpteenth time) or that you need to get home earlier instead of hanging out with your friends until God-awful-hour-of-the-morning, she is just pushing you towards greatness, not an early grave.

    And it's only because she is so awesome.

    Tuesday, April 26, 2011

    I Am Gonna Get a Trip to Africa for This

    Remember Ebola? The virus that liquefied the insides of people and killed them within days? The virus that was so hotly reported on in the 90's? The virus that had no treatment and threatened everyone?

    What ever happened to Ebola?

    Apparently, it is still running amok in the world. I say apparently because I am certain that I have contracted Ebola (it's either that or the worms).

    Why, momma, why do you believe it is Ebola? Great question, dear reader. Ebola liquefies everything and (believe me) everything in my body has been liquefied. I have spent the last 12 hours of my life curled into a fetal position, quarantined under a blanket on the couch alternately shaking with fever or racing to the bathroom to release the definitively liquefied insides of my being. I am pretty sure nothing could have survived.

    But, momma, I have read your recent posts and you make no mention of a safari to the wilds of Africa. You are correct, I have not been to Africa, not recently, not ever. I have, in fact, just been in the confines of my own home, being thrown up on snuggling with my petri dish 3 year old daughter because has not been feeling well.*

    Momma, you let your child go to Africa without you? Nope. That would probably never happen (not even when she is grown and on her own, she owes me after giving me Ebola - she will take my ashes with her wherever she may go). My child attends a cesspool of bacteria preschool. 3 year olds are harbingers of death reluctant, at best, to wash their hands or even keep their hands to themselves. And in keeping with the teachings of preschool, they are really learning how to share (damn it).

    Do you really think you might die? I may already be dead, judging by my appearance.

    I get that I probably just have a stomach flu. I get that it might not really be as bad as I feel right now. I understand that most likely it is probably not Ebola and that I shouldn't make fun of a disease that is apparently just as wild and dangerous as ever (just under reported, you know, because the Royals are SO much more important).

    But the next time that Z gets sick, I am enclosing her in her room, covering the door to her room in plastic and I am not letting her come back out until her head quits spinning. She'll survive - she has to take me to Africa.


    *Until now, because you know what cures a sick child? When their mother gets sick. It's been scientifically proven. They will stay sick, until you feel completely terrible. Then? Then they are fine, then they have all of their energy back and are climbing up the damn walls. Try it. I guarantee it. 

    Monday, April 25, 2011

    This Would Be The Time To Keep Your Mouth Shut

    I work at a major university. My only choice of restrooms is the single room handicap bathroom or a 3-stall ladies room around the corner. I don't like to use the handicap bathroom because every time that I have I got glaring looks when I come out of it, either from a disabled person that is waiting to go in or able-bodied students that know that I am stealing a spot from somebody that really needs to use it. (I am paranoid like that)

    This leads me to the 3-stall ladies room. It usually smells bad (it's in a high traffic area), but for what it's needed for it's not the worse that I have ever seen. I have some, uh, performance issues, so I wait until all of the students have cleared out and are safely in classes before I venture out to do my business. This afternoon, there happened to be an older woman rushing in the door just as I was.

    Apparently, she does not understand the rules, so I am going to post them here in case you are ever in a similar situation, you will be able to handle yourself accordingly.

    1. There will be no eye contact until business has been successfully handled. Entering the restroom is not the time to make a new friend.

    2. If person A chooses stall 1 (see diagram), it is your duty to choose stall 3. Stall 2 is no longer an option for you. Again, this is not the time to make friends or have a conversation.

    It obvious that you should choose the one furthest away - right?
    3. If what you are about to do feels as though it may be explosive, you should definitely see rule number 2. Apologizing after the fact is no good. You knew going in that this was not going to be one of your finest moments.

    4. Telling anyone, while you are in the stall, where you had lunch and what you ate, is never an excuse for doing what you are doing, especially if you are already fouling up the first 3 rules. Again, this could wait until after you are done, if anyone is still in the restroom when you have completed your task.

    5. Standing at the sink talking about what other people are doing in the stalls is rude. We know that it is "disgusting" or "nasty", that's why we are trying to rid our bodies of it. You talking about it does not help the situation. And what is more "disgusting" or "nasty" is the fact that you are just standing there playing in your hair after using the facilities instead of washing your hands.

    6. Washing your hands is mandatory. MANDATORY. If you cannot perform this task due to an allergy with water or soap, you should always have hand sanitizer with you.

    7. If you use the last of the toilet paper on the roll, replace it so that others will not have to do it after you. See this post, if you are uncertain how to go about changing the toilet paper roll.

    How would you have handled this encounter? Would you have said anything back to this woman? Do you have any rules to add to the list?

    Sunday, April 24, 2011

    Easter - The Pukey, Stink Eye Edition

    It's been one of those weekends.

    You know those weekends when you leave for work on Good Friday and the kid stays home with the Hubs because school is closed?

    And you get home and your kid greets you at the door with eyes pinker than any Easter egg and green mucus flowing out of them? And her eyelashes are crusted and clumped together with nastiness? And you know you have to go to Urgent Care because it's a holiday weekend and everything has already been shut down?

    No?

    It's just me?

    Crap. That's what I thought.

    Let me try again.

    It's been one of those weekends.

    You know those weekends where you leave for choir rehearsal and when you get home, you find a child that has vomited up her breakfast? And then she continues to vomit, all day long? Even water and Gatorade? And you have been covered in vomit, your furniture and floor have damp spots and you feel small and helpless?

    You know those weekends?

    No?

    Darn. I was really hoping someone could back me up on this.

    It's been one of those weekends.

    But Easter has arrived and He has risen. And that is where my mind is today.

    Z has talked about Easter and the bunny and candy for weeks now. It made me feel so bad for her that she was not able to do all of the little things yesterday. Things like decorating eggs and be excited about going to bed last night because the bunny was on his way.

    And although she did not get to do any of that, when she woke up this morning, she was so excited that the Easter Bunny had indeed arrived, had not forgotten her, had not missed out on the opportunity to remind her that she is important and that she matters - even when she is sick.

    I have yearned my entire life to feel like I belong somewhere, to feel as though I fit into the life that I have been provided, to feel as though I matter to someone, somewhere. And today, above all else, I was reminded of  that.

    I belong in the amazing church that I am in. I fit in among an amazing cast of people that support each other and love each other unconditionally. Most of all, I matter to the only being that has ever mattered - I matter to the creator of the Heaven and the Earth. I matter so much that he sent his one and only Son to take the punishment  (my punishment) for every transgression, every sin that I have ever even thought

    And for that, for that reason alone, this was an amazing weekend.

    Saturday, April 23, 2011

    A Bad Day for Being Momma

    On Thursday morning, I woke at 4:30 AM in the throes of yet another attack (honestly, April 28 could not come soon enough), I took a pain pill, did a few loads of laundry before getting Z up to shower and get going, and headed out to begin yet another day of work. (After all, a momma can't take a day off.)

    It was a bad day all around. When I have attacks, I can't eat (because it makes me even sicker), which inevitably leads to a migraine and so, by the time I arrived home, I was starving, a little loopy and a whole lot ready-to-cut-out-the-part-of-my-brain-that-felt-most-offensive. (Please don't tell me that I should stay at home when I have attacks, unfortunately, I don't have that kind of sick time to be taking, and Social Security would probably deny me benefits.)

    Hubs had to go to work and I warned Z that it would be an early night. When we sat down on the couch at 8:30, I had know idea that it would literally be minutes before my entire body just gave out. I turned the Netflix on to Hey Arnold! (her new fave) and I just collapsed. Had it not been for her face slapping me every 30 minutes insisting on "just one more, Momma, pleeeeeaaasse", she could have set the house on fire or drank poison without me knowing it.

    Before you go calling DCFS (they are really my biggest fear on the planet), please note that I did have control over what she was watching, she was sitting next to me the entire time (because every time she would move I would snarl and beg her to sit still and please just let momma rest her eyes) and she ended up peeing on the couch in the middle of the night because I was not awake to remind her before she fell asleep.

    So now I get to clean my couch in exchange for falling asleep and I have learned my lesson.

    It all works out in the end. (And the sleep that I needed was so, so, so worth it, even if my couch is gonna stink for a few days.)

    Friday, April 22, 2011

    Living Large


    When my Z was born at 9 pounds and 3 ounces, I was overjoyed. Babies under 7 pounds scare me and I was so glad that I was not going to have to deal with the added fear of a tiny baby.

    She has remained in the 90th percentile (or higher) for her entire life. She towers over her playmates, looks gigantic in class photos, there is nothing petite about her in relation to her peers. While she has friends that are just now beginning to fill out their size 3T clothes, my girl is rocking 5T pants.

    So when Baby Center posted this link, I was curious. How tall will my child be? Unfortunately, I am horrified by the results, about what this could mean for my little girl in the future. According to the height predictor, my beautiful girl is going to be between 6' and 6'3". WHAT?

    I am the shortest child in my family, but at 5'8" I am tall for a girl. I have prayed that God would make me like one of those cute short girls that are all compact without dangling arms and legs everywhere. Short shorts that looked so cute on my peers in high school, looked a lot like underwear on me. Shopping for jeans, pants and skirts is often a nightmare in my life.

    I can't tell you how often I have wished on stars, prayed to God to give me any other body than the one that I was given. Yes, I am overweight, but when surrounded by girls that I tower over, I feel like a mammoth, gigantic, ungraceful, and just plain out HUGE.

    If my child is really going to be so tall, she will have to go through the phase where the ever so short boys in 6th and 9th grades want to pick at, tease, and taunt the giant. She is going to long after boys that are so much shorter and be dismayed when they pursue the cute, tiny little girls that she longs to be.

    I wish there was a way (that isn't child abuse) that I could stunt her growth. Let her be one of those girls, so that she will never have to know the pain of being a giant.

    Since there is not a way to do that, I am going to keep feeding her with praise, watering her with confidence and letting her grow. We all have bumps and evil people along the way, hopefully I can make her strong enough that she will not fall prey to those taunts and teases.

    And who knows, maybe she will just become a supermodel, basketball player, or volleyball player and all of those tiny girls will wish that they could be her.

    Thursday, April 21, 2011

    Thursday Blog Hop

    I love reading blogs. It's the reason that I started a blog in the first place, I was so inspired by the awesome women that I was reading about, living vicariously through and loving without ever meeting.

    So, in honor of these awesome women, I would like for you to check out their blogs, hear their stories, and, if you are so inclined - add yourself to the hop list.
    Here's how it works.

    1st - Add this button to your page, it's very simple. Just paste the HTML into the "Add a Gadget" area in your design center.







    Momma's Time Out


    2nd - Add your blog to the list below. 



    And that's it! If you want to hop along, copy and paste this post to your blog today so that other people can join in the fun!

    PostEdit - Much love to Jessica.The Mom for mentioning the lack of the Hop code. Here it is, copy and paste it into your next blog, so that everyone can keep hopping along with you:


    Blogger - <script src="http://www.linkytools.com/basic_linky_include.aspx?id=85729" type="text/javascript">


    (Remember that you need to copy and paste from the < to the >.)


    I am not sure how to do it for Wordpress - I guess that will be my homework this week.

    Wednesday, April 20, 2011

    Wordy Wednesday

    It's probably not going to be too wordy, actually, I just got a little tired of all the wordless Wednesday posts out there and wanted to say something a little different - set myself apart from the others, ya know?

    These children and these photos take my breath away:

    Blade, Z, and A take a break.

    Beautiful Babies

    If you are in the North Florida area and would like some awesome photographs of your friends or family - you should definitely contact JCZ Photography. They are quick, affordable and SO good with children. 

    (This is not a paid endorsement. They are just THAT good.)

    I will try to be back on point and funny and all of that tomorrow. I am so tired this week and I am really not sure why, I would really like to take a nap. 

    The End.

    Tuesday, April 19, 2011

    Singing Away the Black Uglies

    There is a scene in the Green Mile where John Coffee sucks all of the disease out of the warden's wife. When he gets back to the jail, he can barely breathe and begins to choke. Finally, with one huge cough, all of the disease and poison flies out and infects the bad guys around him. I call that the Black Uglies.

    When I sing, I feel like I am getting all of the black uglies out of my soul, all of the diseased put downs, bad words, bad actions and even worse reactions go flying out of me and into the universe around me. I feel freer, lighter.

    I can't seem to make it happen when I am singing in the choir or even during worship at Sunday service. I wonder if it is God protecting all of His people from the black uglies in my soul.

    Give me a Friday night in a poorly lit, smoky Karaoke bar and I will come out a changed woman. All of the self-hatred and ugliness will be gone and in it's place will be my beaming face, my raspy voice and my haggard, next day hair.

    I need a Friday night like this. I need some time out with my ladies (and maybe even my guy), I need a karaoke bar, a microphone, and an audience to cheer me on. I need to get loud and let loose.

    It has been 4 years since I have sang by myself in public, that is 4 years of holding all of the black uglies inside, 4 years of trying to keep my temper, my rage and my bitterness in check.

    Who's up for taking this old girl out to a Honky Tonk and letting her show off a bit?

    Who's up for taking my girl (for free) for the night so that this momma can have a time out?

    Monday, April 18, 2011

    The Nekkid Truth

    If you saw Z this weekend, mostly likely you saw her awesome smile, heard her infectious laugh, caught a glimpse of her curls bouncing in the breeze. And if you saw her at all this weekend, you probably also saw more of her than you may have wanted to.

    My little exhibitionist has no inhibitions regarding nudity. She has no problem dropping trow to pee, stripping because she is too hot, showing off her "rock star" panties, or exhibiting to her 6 year old cohorts why girls are different than boys.

    On Saturday while we were hanging invitations to our church's Easter Sunday services, she was seen taking her shorts off in the middle of a stranger's yard because she had to pee. Once we arrived home that afternoon, her clothes were completely removed before I even unloaded the groceries into the refrigerator. Later, when I explained to her that she had to put on clothes because Blade was coming over - she cried and sat in time out because she refused to get dressed.

    After Blade arrived, the show continued. Even though I had successfully redressed her in a very cute dress, she then had to reveal to Scare Bear and Blade that she was wearing "rock star" panties. Off came the dress once again, and there was my rock star giving an impromptu nearly naked dance recital in the middle of the living room.

    Sunday morning, when informed that she needed to shower before church, an naked Z begged to Blade to "please, please, please" take a shower with her. I squashed that conversation and wrestled her into the shower.

    After leaving church, where she once again gave a full show of her "rock star" panties, we headed over to the restaurant where the Hubs works to grab a bite to eat. Once again, the dress was being raised and the conversation was centered around her "rock star" panties. At one point, Blade turned to me, sighed dramatically and said, "Can't you people do anything to keep that girl's clothes on?" (He is six by the way, everything we do and say lately embarrasses him to pieces.)

    From there we were off to the park to meet up with a photographer and A to have some pictures taken of the little stripper and her 6 year old cohorts, but before we had even completely unloaded from the car, her pink sweater was laying in the parking lot. I shook my head, threw the sweater in the backseat and grabbed the girl's hand.

    "I wanna change my dress", she whined. So yes, right there in the middle of the park in front of all of the other families (and, quite possibly, the Governor), she stripped down to her "rock star" panties for a quick change, while Blade looked on shaking his head and glaring disapprovingly in our direction.

    When we finally made it back home, I was tired of battling this fight. I felt like I had been perusing skin magazines all weekend, I honestly could not see anymore. I gave the children popsicles, a bucket of soapy water to wash my car and the water hose.

    Suddenly, my front yard, my peaceful little sanctuary with the vegetable garden and good grass was transformed into the chaos of 3 nearly naked (and naked) bodies spraying each other with first the hose and then the sprinkler. The squeals of laughter as they were shot in the face, or slid in the mud, or danced beneath an arc of fine mist of the upturned hose was contagious, and I stood there with my cold drink in hand, enjoying the heat of the April sun on my face, smiling.

    When Scare Bear arrived to collect Blade, they were covered in sand and mud, dripping wet and exhausted. I ushered the three of them into the shower so that I could quickly hose them off, towel them dry and get them redressed for a snack of pizza and fruit punch.

    And then out of the mouth of my 3 year old pin up girl to her much older friends, "Boys have stringy bottoms, girls have flat bottoms. That's why boys can't ever sit still, your bottom is not flat."

    Both boys looked to me confused as I lifted the rosy cheeked Z out of the shower and engulfed her in a towel. I shook my head and kissed her nose and for the 30,165th time this weekend said, "Please go put on some clothes."

    I have no idea why they are rock star panties. I just know that they are. And Scare Bear bought them, so you should ask her, whenever she decides to be part of the grid or whatever. 

    Sunday, April 17, 2011

    A Plea for Prayer

    I live a comfortable life. I have the man I have loved for the last 17 years beside me, the child that I had always dreamed of dancing in front of me, a job that affords me the ability to be creative, pay my bills, and spend time with my family.

    And yet, I spend the majority of my days waiting for the shoe to drop. We live dangerously close to one catastrophe ruining us and leaving us broken and homeless. I feel a longing for a bigger life, a life not about me and my comfort level, a life that would be a lot less predictable and comfortable.

    I have thought about this for over a year now.

    I spend my days wondering if I am really living and not just surviving my life. I have wondered if I am teaching my child to find value in the physical and the here and now rather than the eternal grace that has been bestowed upon us.

    An opportunity has opened up within my local church. An opportunity to live a missional life within the city that I hold so dear to my heart, an opportunity to jump into the deep end of life and learn how to swim. And I want it so badly that I am not even concerned with how the bills will be paid, how the day-to-day semantics will work, because I just know that they will.

    I have mentioned before that I am not who I was. I have mentioned before the beauty of God's grace in my life and my faith that I do not need to worry about a thing. I feel deeply that all of the things that have happened in the last 6 years, have happened to bring me to this point, have happened to take away my fear of the unknown, of chaos, so that when the time came - I would just jump, instead of toying around in the shallow end making excuses.

    The only doubts that linger are: Is this truly God's plan for me? and Do I want this so badly for me - or for the glory of Him?

    So I ask you today, oh readers of mine, to please say a prayer for me. That my mind will be focused and true, that I will be able to clearly hear the sound of God's voice calling me to whatever He has in store for my life and that my own selfish ambitions will take backstage as I enter into whatever this calling may be.

    Saturday, April 16, 2011

    Picture Perfect

    My Family Portrait by Z, Age 3
    Z has finally begun drawing pictures that are somewhat recognizable to the rest of the world. Her vision has become more than scribbles and dots, but an actual picture of how she views the world around her. This is the first picture of our family.

    As you can see, I am pink and the Hubs is black. Had a brown marker been available she most likely would have drawn him with that, since for almost a year now she has been telling us about the pink people and brown people. Everyone falls into these categories. You are either pink or brown. Lately, she has begun describing herself as dark pink (which is funny to me). She talks about her brown Grandma and her pink Grandma and the differences between them incessantly.

    I love that she is the most detailed and colorful person in the picture. The attention to detail of herself shows that she cares about her appearance and that she feels important. The fact that we frame her shows that she feels protected by us, that we watch over her.

    The fact that I am the largest figure in the picture is not all that surprising since I am the biggest personality (and, let's face it, the biggest person) in our household. It is not surprising that my hand is on my hip either as this seems to have become a stance of choice for me.

    The surprising part of this picture is that black swirly part in the middle of my body.

    Do you know what it is?

    Can you guess?

    Here's your clue: Z describes the center of your body as your bottom. Front and back, it's the bottom.

    Since you all know that we shower together (and that I don't shave regularly), then you have probably guessed that that is my bottom. When asked why I am naked in this picture, she replied, "You're not naked, you're wearing a dress...and showing your bottom."

    My father used to tell me that I was always showing my ass, I guess I never realized that my kid would see it too.

    Friday, April 15, 2011

    A Resume

    If Z were going to get a job today, the following would be her resume. Sadly, I am certain that she is not even close to employable. I guess we have to keep working at it.

    Z  
    Age 3  
    Height: 43 inches 
    Weight: 43 pounds

    Skills
    * Can climb on chairs or any furniture that my parents have told me not to
    * Can repaint living room wall with a bottle of nail polish in the amount of time it takes Daddy to "rest his eyes"
    * Can scream louder than most animals
    * Can run faster than my momma
    * Can destroy a room that my momma spent two hours cleaning in less time than it takes for her to use the bathroom
    * Can unravel an entire roll of toilet paper for no good reason in under a minute
    * Can paint my entire body in the amount of time it takes for my momma to unload the dryer
    * Can fake sleep long enough for parents to go to bed so I can have "alone time"
    * Can act as though I do not know how to dress myself during the day, but wake up in the morning wearing completely different clothes and underwear than I went to bed in
    * Can completely melt down when not getting my way and yo-yo back without a tear with the offer of candy
    * Can identify self conscious people and then ask really awful questions very loudly: "Why is that man so fat?" "Why does that lady look so mean?" "What is wrong with her face?" "Why are you turning so red, Momma?"

    Strengths
     -Name calling
     -Whining (world champion, right here, I can go longer and louder than anyone I know)
     -Ability to remember random embarrassing facts at the least appropriate moment (great way to get candy)
     -Eye rolling
     -The exasperated sigh (most kids don't develop this ability until 9, I am pretty advanced)
     -Ability to identify every fear in my momma's being and then get this.close to acting them out
     -Pottying by myself
     -Ability to remember the song lyrics to inappropriate rap music
     -I can hear through walls and doors, even when you whisper
     -Great imagination - my toys can be anything and everything

    Weaknesses
     -Getting called a name - I especially do not like Crybaby.
     -Ability to forget everything that I learned in school that day (What did you do today? Nothing. We just Played.)
     -Obsession with pickles and candy
     -The letter J is not in my alphabet
     -My teeth will not fall out of my head (I really want to keep the tooth fairy. I made her a cage.)
     -Wiping myself
     -Fair and sharing are relational - if it means I am getting something, it is fair, if I have to give it to you - it's not 
     -Selective Hearing and Comprehension - I heard and understand everything you said until "pick up" or "calm down"
     -I need more toys 

    Personal Statement
    I am not a team player. I demand to be on center-stage. Everyone must notice me and applaud my performances or I will get louder and more obnoxious. 

    I will not clean up after myself, I will probably eat all of your food, and I don't like to sleep EVER. 

    I am really cute and give great hugs and kisses. 


    For references, you can use my Tinkerbell cell phone to call anyone in the world. I recommend Santa Claus, the President and the Wonder Pets. 

    Yep, that's what's gonna win them over.

    Thursday, April 14, 2011

    The Points Game

    This morning started ordinarily enough.

    I woke up (late again. How do I incorporate that sound into my dreams????). I went out to the porch to check the temperature and then went back into the house to awaken Z and the Hubs so that we could start the day.

    But Z was missing from her bed. And the Hubs was missing from our bed. Then I heard the shower. Blast, I thought, I was going to shower this morning. I really need a shower today. I am really going to be stinking up the joint by the end of the day if I don't, at the very least, wash my hair. I controlled the urge to flush the toilet or start the dishwasher and instead thought of how I would let him know how angry I was, how many points he was rinsing down the drain.

    I got Z's clothes. I made her yogurt smoothie breakfast shake. I grabbed all of the hair taming accoutrements that I would need. I waited on the bed, right outside the bathroom door. And there was my girl, all rosy-cheeked and smiley, hair sparkling with water, eyes glittering hazel and green specks. All of my anger fell under the bed.

    I dressed her. I combed and styled her hair. I gave her her shake. I helped her put on her shoes. We discussed the letter of the week, the number of the month, who she is going to sit next to at lunch, who she is going to sleep next to for nap.

    And then the craziest thing happened.

    Hubs said that he would take her to school. Since he was working down that way today anyway. Since he knew that I needed to take a shower. Since he knows that I need some time alone.

    And he did.

    And I stood in the silence of my own home for the first time in a very long time. And I didn't know what to do first.

    I cranked up the stereo, to my music, not Lori Berkner or the Safari Man or all Kids Hip Hop, but my music. I collected my clothes, my towel. I started the water in the shower and let it get as hot as I like it, because I didn't have to worry about preschool skin or "Momma, it's too hot." I shaved. (Yes, folks, the winter coat is now gone and suprisingly there is what seems to be a human under there, albeit a very pale human, I think I may be human after all..)

    I got myself ready. Just me. I was able to eat breakfast and move at a normal pace. I did not have to scream or yell at anyone to "get in the damn car or you will be left". I did not have to snarl or snap. I was on time for work and have been in a relatively good mood all day.

    And the Hubs has officially scored himself enough points for some heavy duty action. Well played, sir, well played.

    Wednesday, April 13, 2011

    Guilty Obsessions

    You know that car wreck that you slowed down to stare at this morning? I have one of those in my life. I just can't stop watching even though my IQ drops (considerably) every time I think of it.

    I am obsessed with teenage drama.

    It all started with 90210 in my teens, Seventh Heaven in my twenties and now, I am glued to the Secret Life of the American Teenager, can't get enough of Friday Night Lights, Glee can only partially satisfy my appetite. I must watch teenagers being evil, gossipy, catty, jealous and stupid. It's like an addiction that no amount of Tiger's Blood or Adonis DNA can subdue. I long for it throughout the workweek when I just do not have enough time to watch. I ponder the problems of the characters and think about how they might be able to get themselves out of this situation, this time.

    Grey's Anatomy edges this.close to being a teen drama (although, let's be honest the entire cast is getting very old and can no longer pass for some of the childish games that they play), I would really like to think that my doctor or nurse is more concerned with my care than about which closet that they are gonna make out in later. Especially if my doctor is, like, 50.

    And that is what I love so much about the teenage drama. It feels so unreal. There is no chance that a debutante in a Ferrari is going to rear-end my car while snorting a line of cocaine to prove that she is not pregnant. There is no chance that every kid in a given high school is going to get pregnant the first time that they have sex (or kill their father, for that matter). These kids, these situations, have no affect on my reality.


    If television is meant to be escapism for us, if it is supposed to give us a moment to not have to think about rent, bills, car repairs, light bills, etc.than I am all for it being just that. A place to escape.

    I will curl up on my sofa after Z is tucked safely into bed and turn on one of these insipid shows. I gasp when I see a barely 15 year old (who is probably really 25) take a drink of a beer or light up a cigarette. I know by the guilty gleam in her eye or the slightly stressed accent to his strut that something big is coming: she is pregnant, he is abusing drugs, the mom is oblivious to everything (of course) as she swills away at her umpteenth glass of wine.

    I drink it all in and love every scandalous minute of it, while I pray that I am not found out by the kid or the Hubs.

    What is your guilty pleasure?

    Tuesday, April 12, 2011

    The Night Life

    I can't clean like normal people. People whose houses are ready for company whenever you show up. People who have an organizational system, a handy place for everything (so jealous). Floors that are regularly swept or vacuumed. I just can't.

    It's not because I don't want to or because I do not enjoy having guests. It's not because I do not enjoy organization or because I do not like waking up to a house that is immaculately clean. It's because it is an uphill battle to get to that point, because I would need a week off from work (with the kid at school each day) to be able to truly focus on what needs to be done.

    I cannot clean if the Hubs is at home.

    I cannot clean if Z is awake.

    I have to have quiet. I have to have time.

    To my husband, the living room is clean if the toys are off the floor and you can run a vacuum over the carpet. Who cares that the ceiling fan is covered in whatever-that-stuff-is-that-collects-on-the-blades-of-a-ceiling-fan? (I know that it is not dust, dust does not look like that, does it? I think it might be dead skin cells, bugs, dirt, stuff that we sneeze and cough out, hair - gross). Who cares that every picture frame is overturned or laying askew or that the top of the TV is cluttered with old bills, a hair tie, two mismatched barrettes, a sock (WTF? Why is there a sock on top of the TV? And it is not a child's. That is a grown man sock. What?), three pennies and a rock (I am not even going to ask anymore). It takes time to resize all of the books on the bookshelves, since Z has pulled every one of them off and laid them on the floor instead of using her blocks to build that castle or fortress or dollhouse or whatever. It takes time to rehouse every CD and DVD that has been pulled out of it's case and then laid haphazardly on top of the DVD player.


    I leave the house at 7:30 (or so) every morning. I return home at close to 7 each evening. By the time I cook dinner, snuggle with the kid, read her a story (twice) and get her into bed, it is close to 10 PM and I am exhausted. Sometimes, it is closer to 11 before she is really asleep. 


    And that means that no cleaning happens for 5 days a week. 


    So I clean weekly. It starts on Friday night. I stay up until 2 or 3 loading and unloading the washing machine and dishwasher. I reorganize the living room, I take the trash to the porch so that the Hubs can make sure to get it to the can when he comes home from work. And when we had pets, there was never a problem.


    But then my 15 year old Doberman died. 


    Our female cat that we could never keep inside, moved out after we fixed her. She is now an indoor cat that lives across the street. Apparently, they feed better food over there. And they don't have any preschoolers trying to dress her in doll clothes. 


    Her son got a girl pregnant, brought her under our porch to have the babies and then proceeded to move out when B and Z were reaching under there too often. We see him every once in awhile. He lives in the woods right down the street. 


    And now we have no pets. 


    But we do have critters. 


    The first one I saw was a possum that came crawling out from under the porch to open one of the bags of trash that I had left for the Hubs. He was huge, and in a very un-possum-like manner, ignored me, my broom and threats and proceeded to rip a very huge hole in the side of one of the bags of trash. 


    Later, the same night, after I had called the Hubs to let him know of this catastrophe, I went to the Laundry Room to unload the dryer. There were eyes peering through the back window looking in at me. A raccoon was standing on top of the bag of trash, had his little hands on our door and was peeping through the window. He also seemed rather unafraid and very unconcerned by my presence, my threats or my broom. 


    I cannot sleep at night now, nor can I walk out onto the back porch after dark. I hear them scratching, scurrying, squeaking. I know they are just waiting for their moment. Their moment to rip me open like a bag of trash and eat my innards. 

    Monday, April 11, 2011

    A Day of Blah

    I am so blah today.

    I don't know what to write or even who to direct it to. I want to be funny, cute, perhaps a bit inspiring, but I cannot find the words, cannot put the idea onto paper (or computer screen rather).

    There are a thousand and one things that I can attribute my blah to.

    I could blame it on Scare Bear (who I desperately want to rename RaRa because it's what a baby Z called her and it ended too abruptly, but she would prefer to be called the Scare Bear since it sounds so dangerous). I could say that it is because of this blog that I miss her so very very much. While she gets her daily dose of me, I am missing a vital part of my life - her laugh, her smile, the way she starts to tell a story and then just drops into a completely different line of conversation, often mid-sentence.

    I could blame it on missing her boy. Now that he is cool and 6 and a kindergartner with a dog, well, he doesn't love me anymore. He doesn't want to come over and snuggle on the couch to watch movies the way he did just a few short months ago. Now he wants to be called Blade because, like his momma, he yearns for danger as well.

    I could blame it on Z. I could say it's because she has finally gotten ankles and it scares me to death, because the baby fat rolls are disappearing and she is becoming a big kid, a real kid that doesn't care about holding her momma's hand so tight anymore. That she does not turn and look for me when she runs away, even if I am calling after her. The independence in her steps, the way she navigates through this world, it gets a little stronger everyday. I miss the baby that clung to me against the evil Easter Bunny, the little girl that cried in terror at the mall Santa.

    Look at her face!!!
    (Funny Story - completely off track: Took Z to see the Easter Bunny at the mall this weekend. When we started to walk into the mall, she stops, looks at the building, looks at me and says, "Why are we visiting the Easter Bunny at Santa's house?" Go ahead and laugh, I'll wait.)

    Or I could blame it on Mother Nature, because the B snuck up on me again and arrived 4 days earlier than I had planned on.

    And I think that's what I am going to go ahead and do. Have a non-blah Monday kiddies, hopefully I will have something better for you tomorrow.

    Sunday, April 10, 2011

    Show and Tell


    I was struggling with a blog post that I am working on and since I am pretty sure that it will not be finished before the end of the night, I decided to go ahead and make a list of  randomness in response to this weekend's Blog Dare from Bloggy Moms. Here's the dare: Create a list of 10 or so things your readers may not know about you.


    1. My husband was my first, errr, ummm, partner. I am extremely proud of this and am almost excited to have "the talk" with Z so that I can explain to her the importance of waiting and of finding the right guy.


    2. I was a Karaoke DJ for 3 years. I did it so that I could be the designated driver for my friends (because being the only sober one in the group, I usually didn't want to close down the bar, but did want to make sure that they got home safely). I didn't love the long nights (or drunks) but I did love being the center of attention and when tips were good, they were so damn good.


    3. My father did not meet my husband until the day after we got married. Even though we dated for 12 years before we got married. Even though we lived together for two years before we got married. Even though I lived with my dad for the other 10 years, and supported him financially and emotionally for all of it. I was afraid of the reaction that he would have if he found out that I was dating (or living with) a black man.


    4. I can change brakes, tires, oil and filter, and, in a pinch, put in an alternator. I typically take my car to the shop though, because honestly, I don't want to emasculate the Hubs and I really hate getting dirt and grease under my nails. 


    5. My accent changes depending on who I am talking to. It comes from moving around so much as a kid. 


    6. I haven't had a drink since my wedding night. And that was just one. I haven't been drunk since my 21st birthday. I really don't like it.


    7. If something sparkles and is purple or pink, I have pretty much always bought it. Now that I have a girl? She has taken possession of all of my stuff. And broken or destroyed most of it. I don't buy as much stuff anymore. 


    8. In a similar vein? My first car was hot pink. It had a sparkly sticker in the back window that said "Diva". My husband drove that car everywhere.


    9. I can find fear in almost every situation. I work really hard to quell them, but sometimes they are really hard to contain. (You probably already realized this.)


    10. I love to knit, crochet, sew, anything crafty and am so very grateful that Z's finally at the age that she wants to do those things too. 

    Saturday, April 9, 2011

    Short and Sweet

    The Easter season is upon us and we have decided that Z should know why we celebrate Easter.

    Me: Z, do you know why Easter is important?

    Z: Because the Easter bunny likes to give us chocolate.

    Me: Actually, Z, it's because Jesus died and three days later he came back to save us.

    Z: Oh.

    Me: So, why is Easter is important?

    Z: Because Jesus died.

    Me: And then what?

    Z: He came back to bring us chocolate.

    It's important to have priorities I guess.



    I can't begin to tell you how funny this is to me

    Friday, April 8, 2011

    The Water

    I think that we have established that I am not normal. In fact, I am certain that you have all decided that I should be in the loony bin, but as long as I am not hurting anyone and still amusing you, you are not reporting me (yet). This post will probably be immensely funny (or disturbing) to you, and I am pretty sure I am okay with it.

    I have a problem with water. It's actually a paralyzing issue with water, in that if it comes in contact with my face I have to close my eyes, my entire body tenses and I. CANNOT. BREATHE. This is a painful, and (living in Florida) often embarrassing predicament to find myself in.

    Just like Elphaba, I am doomed to melt.
     I could not learn to swim, no matter how many lessons that I received, because I could not put my face in the water. I just could not. If thrown into a body of water, I will sink to the bottom because I am paralyzed with fear and lack of oxygen. Water is the one thing that I cannot fight against and would definitely kill me.

    I did not take my first shower until I was 21, preferring instead to wake at 4:30 AM each morning to take a bath where I could have control as to whether the water would get in my face or not. To this day, I have to face away from the stream of water and my eyes remain closed as much as possible.

    I used to laugh it off. "Fat girls don't need to learn to swim - fat floats". "Swimming messes up my tan, I am cool right here." And it worked. I didn't have to explain to anyone how monumentally terrified I was, I didn't have to tell anyone that my body was aching with fear and dread (and horrible thoughts of my lifeless body floating along the top of the water).

    Then Z came along. And a study that said that 90% of our fears come from our mother. And the guilt that my child could be this afraid, could be this paralyzingly terrified, well it ruined me.

    I put on a brave face, I take her to the lessons, I take her to the Springs, the lake, the beach, the pool. I smile and giggle when she splashes water into my face (even though every droplet is painfully burning it's way through my body, stinging, hurting, torturing me, even though I spend most of the time not breathing, even though my body is SO incredibly tense that EVERYTHING hurts). I try to help her learn to blow bubbles into the surface of the water, the same way that I have seen her instructors tell us. I try to help learn to use her arms and legs at the same time. I try to push all of the horrible images out of my brain, I try to pretend I am having fun.

    It was so much easier when she was 6 months. She would hold tight to me and we would walk around the pool together, occasionally, gently splashing the surface. Or at 1 and 2, when she was more comfortable but still understood that she just needed to hold onto me, that I would not drop her, that I would not let her go.

    But now she is a big kid (or so she says).

    And now she believes (wholeheartedly) that she can swim. In fact, apparently she has always been able to swim. Her friends? They are all 3 and 4 years older than her. They know how. Of course, she knows it too. And there I am in the middle of several kids - splashing, kicking, going under, trying to hold on tight to my sunscreen-slippery child while she emulates everything that they are doing.

    And on the inside? I am dying an awful, painful and incredibly emotional death.

    Thursday, April 7, 2011

    Not Normal

    It starts with a thought. One little innocuous thought, about dinner or a news story.

    I make a call, no answer. Hmmm, must be busy.

    I try again about ten minutes later, still no answer.

    Thirty minutes later, I'm calling again. Damn voicemail.

    Now I am starting to get antsy, starting to worry. Imagine child shaking a sleeping daddy, crying. Or sitting in front of the bathroom cabinet staring at the bottles of window, toilet bowl or shower cleaner, contemplating which to drink first.

    Calling. Calling. Calling.

    Why aren't they answering the phone?

    Visions of handcuffs, of jail time, of a car being impounded, of social workers being called to attend to the child. My mind is going into overdrive with worry, fear, panic, guilt.

    Calling friends, family. Have you heard from? Do you know where?

    Visions of bodies hanging out of car windows, emergency personnel scrambling to figure out who to call, what to do.

    Finally, the phone rings.

    "I left my phone in the car, what do you need?"

    "I was just wondering what you wanted for dinner."

    Wednesday, April 6, 2011

    Ponderings

    I watch her dancing on the green, green grass, strutting before the bandstand as though she knows where the music is going next, as though she has heard this song before. I see the delight of the strangers around her in their lawn chairs and visors riveted by this so small girl that twists and turns and spins. I see her raise her hands up in worship to the music, to the day, to God. And I wonder.

    I wonder who she will be as she grows. I wonder if her personality will remain as vibrant and exciting as it is right now. I wonder if her days will be filled with joy and praise and excellence. I wonder if life and circumstances will hone her light or dim it. I wonder if she will be able to constructively use criticism or if it will break her, if she will be able to pull herself back up when life knocks her down or if she will play the victim, I wonder if her hope will remain steadfast or if she will let it die when things don't go her way.

    I wonder who I would be, if the "uncle" had never molested me. If the daddy had never beat me physically and verbally. If the mommy would have paid attention, loved me enough to take me out of there. If, when she finally did leave, she hadn't have left me to support the man that she married, the man that she loved so much that she would ignore the callous and daily abuse against her oldest child, for the last 11 years of his life.

    I wonder who I would be without the heaviness of the guilt that has haunted me as long as I can remember. The guilt that tells me that it was all my fault - our poverty, our unclean house, his drug addiction, her depression.

    I wonder who I would be if I were allowed to be a child. A child instead of a mini-adult raising their children, cooking their meals, cleaning their home. If I hadn't have had so many responsibilities and so little authority.

    I wonder who I would be if I had allowed myself to be prideful of the things that I did well. If I had told myself that I was good instead of evil, that I was a great student, daughter and sister. If I had allowed any of the words that my teachers said about me to be more than lies. If I would have allowed them to actually reach my heart and become truth.

    I wonder who I would be if I wasn't so guarded and mistrusting. If I had allowed myself the importance of a voice to explain to someone, anyone what was going on in our home. If I had allowed myself more than just surface level friendships in school. If I had actually allowed myself to feel like I deserved more. If, from my distorted view, I hadn't believed that this was what all children were going through.

    I wonder who I would be if I had never equated sex with love, or mistaken co-dependence for unconditional love instead of a disease that tears you down even more than you already are.

    I wonder if I am changing the cycle, if my child will grow knowing that she is loved, knowing that there are no bounds to what she can accomplish if she sets her mind to it, knowing that she has freedom to become the person that she is meant to be.

    So that she will never have to wonder "if".

    Tuesday, April 5, 2011

    Why My Kid Will Never Watch Dora

    Z will never see Dora the Explorer.

    I decided long before that she was born that she would not be talked down to by a cartoon character that doesn't seem to understand the concept of an indoor voice.

    Of course, she knows who Dora is. After many birthday parties, Christmas shopping adventures overladen with shelves dripping with Dora swag, and inane commercials for everything from Band-Aids to Dixie cups and toothpaste, there was really no way to keep her a secret for very long.

    But Z knows that she will not get to watch Dora on TV, we have discussed it and while she may not completely understand it, she knows how I feel about it.

    Dora is evil and (to me) embodies all that is wrong with our society today. Current American culture seems to suggest that children should be placated and spoken down to and that bothers me. Studies have shown time and again that preschool age children should not be spoken down to and, in fact, should be honing their vocabulary centers more during this stage of growth than at any time of their lives.

    The argument that Dora teaches Spanish to preschoolers is questionable to me at best. First of all, I would prefer that my child learn how to express herself fully in English before introducing a new language to her. Secondly, the amount of time that Dora would have to spend screaming the same words at my kid each day to get her to be able to pronounce and use them correctly, is well beyond my tolerance level.

    While I am teaching my child to be independent, Dora can do nothing by herself and often seems like a lost damsel in distress. While I am teaching my daughter to listen to her parents and stay close, Dora is gallivanting all over the mountains, jungles and even space - alone. While I am teaching my child a full vocabulary of words (like fascinating, interesting, hypothetical and immense), most of the words in Dora's arsenal seem to be like a study in English as a Second Language.

    There are a myriad of other shows that are directed at preschoolers that I am perfectly fine with her watching. These shows encourage singing, dancing, letter and number recognition, as well as imaginary play.

    Personally, I would rather sit through an all day Backyardigans marathon than have to watch 10 minutes of Dora. I love that I can watch Sesame Street with my daughter and not be bored to tears (or to the brink of screaming at any of the characters). I think that even the Wonder Pets (in moderation) gives kids good information about different types of animals and a nice exposure to other cultures and countries.

    And while Dora may be what you need to get the dishes done or some laundry in the dryer, at my house, she will never be welcome.

    Monday, April 4, 2011

    The Weaker Sex?

    (I am going to be a bit whiny and a little punk ass B today, prepare yourselves.)

    From the moment that I set my very sore feet on the ground in the morning, to the time that I lay my (aching)self down at night, I am "on". I don't ever get to be weak, to be fragile, to be emotional or upset. The alone time that I get is spent driving from work to the kid's school or from work to home.

    I have just been in a car accident, I have caught the spring crud that is going around, I have a chronic illness and, yet, there is never a time that I can just turn off. There is work to be done, groceries to be shopped for, bills to be paid, a budget to create, a calendar of activities that need to be attended. There is a house to be cleaned, laundry to be folded, toys in every room of our house. There are phone calls to be made, appointments to be set, dinner to be prepared.

    It is up to me be strong, to hold my tongue when things go wrong, to not hurt feelings, step on toes or ruin plans. It is my job to be wife and mom. There is no one else to step up to the plate and take on those duties.

    If I am tired? Chug another Mountain Dew.

    If I am angry? Blog.

    If I feel weak? Guilt.

    If I am sick, sore or tormented? Swallow it up, strap on some man parts, and put on my big girl panties.

    I understand that these are expectations that I have put on myself. I understand that no one else cares if the laundry or toys consume us. I understand that in the real world, the school is not checking my kid to see if she wore the same socks yesterday or to see if her hair was combed that morning. I know that a lot of the worries and stress that weigh me down are of my own doing, however, if there was a slightest hint that anyone else would be willing to allow me to not take the lead anymore - I am sure that I would jump at the chance.

    Hubs works two jobs right now and I understand that it is a lot (I have been there myself, not so long ago) and I work very hard to not be whiny, to not be the nagging wife. All I am trying to say is if I really am the weaker sex - when do I get my nap? When do I get my turn to read a book or go to sleep early? When do I get to go hang out with my friends until the wee hours of the morning? When do I get to go have adult conversations with anyone, outside of my job?

    When do I get to turn off?

    Sunday, April 3, 2011

    It's Just The Worms

    Ever since I was 10, I have known that I have worms.

    It explains everything so completely to me. It's all about the worms really.

    When I was 10, I was watching some daytime TV show that was talking about how people can go for many, many years while parasites are slowly eating, reproducing and disintegrating them from the inside out. How most people don't even know that they have them until they just suddenly drop dead. They got them from walking barefoot outside (which I still do to this day, but see, I am already infected) or from eating things that were not refrigerated properly (how could it have been, when 6 people were in the refrigerator 24/7?).

    From that moment on, I cold feel them, see them everywhere, throughout my body, on my eyeballs, hear them rustling around in my ears.

    I was not just clumsy, the worms were multiplying in my brain and destroying my equilibrium.

    I was not just an average kid that caught 3-4 colds per year, obviously the worms were using my sinus cavity as a nesting ground for their eggs.

    The social awkwardness that has always made me feel as though I was on the outside looking in at all of the clean, shiny, happy, normal people of the Earth? It was the worms eating away at my soul.

    In the last 3 years, since developing my illness (that I know is really just wreckage from the worms) I have been tested, poked, prodded, MRId, endoscopied, CT scanned, X-rayed and ultrasounded. They have yet to find the sneaky little boogers. I try not to say appointment times out loud, in the hopes that the worms will not catch wind, just this once, and someone will finally find them.

    When I die and they autopsy my body, they will finally discover them. And then everyone will know, it was really just the worms after all.


    (S enjoyed my post about losing my job so much and felt that it shows my psychotic nature so clearly that she encouraged me to tell you about more of my neurotic fears. She says that they make her laugh.)
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