Sunday, December 31, 2006

HA-PPY New Year!

Happy New Year everyone (all five of you)!

Here at Mamma's house we've had a fun-filled holiday of one illness after another. I think it's a hint that no family should spend 10 days cooped up in the same house together (can you tell I'm ready for school to start again?). Currently we have Mr. 2 recovering from a misdiagnosed case of Hand, Foot, Mouth (doc thought it was just impatigo) and now Shakey's nursing a full blown episode of it himself. Of course, Mamma had herself a little case of strep the week before Christmas just so as no one in the family thought she couldn't empathize. So far Mr. 4 and Mr. 10 are symptom free, but there's still time!!

We're on our third viewing of Cars today--Mr. 2 loves to rock out to the music and has started the trek down the long road of the male tradition of quoting movie lines. I'm sure it's only a matter of time before he demands to watch Fletch over and over again.

We may be in trouble with Mr. 2 as he's already figured out how to read the directions for his transformers so that he can insist that we change their shape over and over again. He just came up to me directions in hand to show me how to make the change that I swore couldn't be done.

He was right. I'm sure that won't be the last time.

So we're off to friends for the second annual New Years Eve Fondue Extravaganza. Cheese, meat and chocolate...who can't love that?! I'm trying out the new Mike-aritas tonight. I'm determined to have fun!

Hope you have a safe, happy and healthy new year!!!!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Wasting Time Reading, Again...

I don't know if it's just the Christmas season or having children, but I've been thinking a lot about religion lately and my relationship with it. I wasn't raised as a regular church-goer though both of my parents were. Shakey grew up being able to quote the bible (can you say Baptist?). I like the idea of being part of a church community but...

Anyway, I was drawn to an interview on Salon in an article about the best books of 2006. The interview is with Karen Armstrong who has written a number of books about religion and the history of religion. I found the last question and her answer very thought provoking--and a state to aspire to. So I thought I'd share.

I'd love to hear your reaction.

And is there an endpoint? From the cosmological perspective, was the universe designed specifically for life? Are those important questions?

Yeah, I think they can be wonderful questions. But they don't occupy me very much. I believe that what we have is now. The religions say you can experience eternity in this life, here and now, by getting those moments of ecstasy where time ceases to be a constraint. And you do it by the exercise of the Golden Rule and by compassion. And just endless speculation about the next world is depriving you of a great experience in this one.

Fun from Daily Candy

Honestly! Are your egos really that fragile?

You don't see women bragging about buying the "thinnest" tampons out there.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Did Anyone Die Before CNN?

A few famous people have died over the holidays. First was James Brown and now last night Gerald Ford. It got me thinking that it seems like famous people always die around Christmas. I couldn't quickly find a Google answer to this hypothesis, but I did find this site that shows which famous people died in 2006.

It might seem morbid, I understand, but I always like that "In Memorium" part of the award shows. I like thinking about people who have made me think or laugh--but I also find some humor in the number of times I say to myself "huh, I thought that guy died a long time ago."

As I write this, CNN is talking to anyone who ever bumped into Gerald Ford. Maybe it just seems like someone famous always dies around Christmas because there isn't any other news around the holidays so they spend extra time delving into the lives of folks who die at this time of the year. And if there is any station that knows how to leave no amount of minutia unexamined while they wait for the "big event" funeral it's CNN. Did you all take part in the death watch for the Pope? Seriously, we got to learn all about the cost of custom red leather shoes the man wore while people filed past his casket. And Princess Diana? I was guilty of getting up early to watch the funeral.

Oh wait, CNN is breaking for one minute to examine the other news around the world. You know Iraq, Sadam Hussein's impending death, poisoned spies, we can cover that in a minute. Now...back to Gerry Ford.

This all gets me thinking about funerals. I understand the concept of a viewing or a wake for the family or close loved ones...and I think they serve as a way to show respect to the family of the deceased, but I don't understand when thousands of people stand in line for hours or days to file past a casket...or to sign a book of condolence. Who the hell is going to read your name? And where is the family supposed to store all those books?

Have you ever read Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum mysteries? They're hysterical and quick. But there is a grandmother character in the series whose social life revolves around attending viewings at the local funeral home. Can't help but think about her every time.

I know it's the Christmas season and all this talk about death may not be in tune with the holiday, but I wouldn't be me if I didn't comment on whatever was in front of me when I sit down to write.

Christmas is visiting family has all departed...should be hearing much more from me now. I've missed ya!!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Can We Get Back Together?

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

These Are The People in MY Neighborhood

Well crap, I broke my streak. Oh well, the sleep was worth it.

So tonight's post is all about this photo (note: close this screen now if you embarrassed by naked humans).

I received this photo initially from my boss with the subject line "Maybe I Should Try This Stuff Afterall." As you can tell, we don't adhere to strict PC rules in our office.

Well, I thought it was funny and sent it on to my parents who I thought would get a chuckle at it.

Mom's response? "Hilarious...and enviable!"

Dad's response?

"Hi, I and your Mom are outraged with that picture--when we were photographed some years ago when Pfizer was trying to develop the drug, we had a legal commitment from them that they would NEVER release it. CURSES!!! Ask your boss not to send it anywhere else, with the possible exception of the White House, and then it should be titled "Democrats at play"..... love, Dad"

It's hard to be the funny one in my family.

Monday, December 11, 2006

It's So Loud in Here, Can't You Hear It?

Day 41

Why do we always get sick at the worst times? It's two weeks before Christmas, work is ridiculously busy and we just lost a staff member and now I'm sick. I've been fighting it for days but I think it's coming for me. Both the little guys have had fevers and I just haven't been able to get warm since yesterday. Couple that with the sensation that I might pass out every time I stand up and it makes it difficult to get anything done. UGH!!! How annoying!

Thinking I should cut this short and head to bed. Sleep is probably the best strategy at this point. But I'll leave you with this question.

Do you ever feel like there are thoughts or conversations going on in your head that feel so loud that it seems like everyone should be able to hear them, yet you know they don't? When it happens to me I'm always struck by how quiet or calm I might appear on the outside and how different that is from what I'm hearing/feeling on the inside. It's not a comfortable feeling. Do you ever experience that? Please tell me you do...someone?

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Days posting in a row: 40
Number of posts ever: 100

Mood: Feeling pretty darn proud of myself

Harry's seranading me with Christmas tunes, the smell of fresh pine is in the air, I'm sipping egg nog and the tree is decorated!!! To top it all off, this is the 100th post I've put up on my blog. Who would have thunk it?!

Way back in June when this all started I never knew how long I'd keep it up. I had no idea if anyone would be interested in my take on life. I had no idea how anyone would ever find this little piece of real estate, but that was before I got to know some of my favorite bloggers and couldn't resist adding a comment or two. Of course, that was also before anyone had ever heard of NaBloPoMo which is responsible for nearly half of the posts on this here blog. What fun! What fun!

Back to Christmas.

With the help of two small elves, one medium elf who got bored and one large one the tree's up, the lights are on and it's mostly decorated. I've been waiting for the elves to go to bed to finish up. The clumping of ornaments on the bottom third of the tree only gave me visions for what the tinsel might look like. I had no idea you could actually get that many ornaments on one branch. Mrs. Claus must go around after everyone is asleep and spread them out a bit.

I love seeing people's holiday decorations. From the choice of the outdoor lights (colored v. white, steady v. flashing, strands v. figures) to the tree (real v. artificial, white v. colored lights, theme v. a collection of ornaments, tinsel v. no tinsel, garland, v. none, angel v. star on top) you can tell a lot about a person by their decorations. Think about it. Have you ever really driven up to a friend's house at the holidays and been surprised by how their house was decorated (or not)?

If you grew up in a real tree family, you probably can't imagine having an artificial one. If you grew up with artificial, you probably can't imagine why anyone would go through the hassle of buying a real one. Shakey and I are enjoying a marriage of these two backgrounds. They all said it would never work, but I think we've done a great job of adapting our traditions. We have a real tree every year--just like I had growing up.

Actually the tree isn't the only difference in our background. Yeah, people used to walk on the other side of the street when they saw us coming. You could hear them whisper, "I can't believe THEY are together. Such a shame!" You see, his family opens their presents on Christmas Eve--mine on Christmas morning. I know, it's shocking! But America is just going to have to learn to accept diversity in all its forms.

Frankly, our children are growing up living the best of both worlds. Christmas actually begins for them at 4:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve when we sit down to our dinner at my in-laws, then to church (yeah, my family--not so much) and then back to their house to begin the present fest. We then all open presents at the EXACT SAME TIME, bundle them back up, clean up the wrapping and bows and head home to get in bed and await Santa's visit. The next morning they start all over again. First to see what Santa delivered, then to open their stockings, then a little breakfast strudel and over to the tree for present fest v.2. In this version however we all take turns opening gifts so we can see what everyone received (I told you, Shakey and I came from very different backgrounds). Somewhere around noon we clean up the paper and bows and then get ready to stuff our faces once again. Whereas my husband was all done by Christmas morning and I had nothing to do until Christmas morning, our brood gets to enjoy both.

Who says inter-Christmas marriages don't work?

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Strong Enough for a Man But...

Day 39
Mood: Enjoying the scent of fresh pine

I'm sure you are all familiar with PostSecret. As I'm relatively new to the blog world and never what you would consider up on the latest and greatest, this blog is somewhat new to me. I check it every once in a while and each time I do I am always left with a sense of gratefulness for its existence.

With this the night before the big wedding and all, my mind has been tossing around the concept of social justice. Mostly I've just been trying to determine I truly deserve the label of someone who believes in social justice or if I just happen to have strong liberal beliefs about a few particular issues. There is nothing worse of course than a poser and working in the progressive community it was easy to trip over a number of posers. I also met a number of people who made me feel that I wasn't liberal enough. I wear make-up, I'm not a vegetarian, I even have friends who are Republicans! I always found it interesting that there were people in the progressive community that would sport their Celebrate Diversity buttons but then look down upon others who didn't believe exactly as they did. What kind of celebration is that?

ANYWAY, as I was considering social justice and whether or not I qualify as an adherent (self-doubts aided by folks from my past aside), I stopped by PostSecret again tonight and thought about all of the people out there with secrets--secrets that many are forced to keep to avoid the critical eye of society--and I hurt for them. I love the concept of providing an outlet for those who feel they must hide a part of themselves, an outlet for those who feel alone to potentially identify with others, the concept of a community to join. It is the real empathy I feel with those who feel like outsiders that leads me to believe that I may call myself someone who stands for social justice.

When it comes right down to it, no one human brings any more value to this earth due to the body, gender, skin color, sexual orientation or trust fund they are born with, and I believe that standing for social justice means standing for this concept. It is a person's mind, their heart and their acts that should be judged. I hope the people who feel they must carry secrets understand this and I hope one day my children will too.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Someone's Getting Married!!

Day 38
Mood: Mellow

Well we have wonderful news tonight. There's going to be a wedding!!! And we're invited!

Yes, yest it seems that the Mad Hatter popped the question and Jen from One Plus Two said yes! They've asked us all to join them in this marriage of the minds, and all we have to do is take some time out to discuss social justice on our blog.

Social justice? THAT I can talk about--though you might not think so if you knew some of the people I work with these days. BUT, you see, Mamma moved to DC thinking she was going to save the world for women. I spent the first seven years in DC working for NARAL Pro-Choice America (at the time just NARAL).

The "choice" issue has, for me, always meant so much more than the right to get an abortion but the right to self-determination on issues pertaining to one's body. I've always felt that a person's position on the abortion issue told me so much about their whole outlook on the rights of all humans. The right to have sex with the consenting adult of your choice, the right to abstain from sex, the right to decorate your body, the right to change your body in some way, the right to prevent someone from changing your body...the right to make decisions for oneself and for the body your soul inhabits while on this planet is that too much to ask?

There are plenty of decisions folks may make under this precept that I don't agree with or wouldn't pursue myself, but I'll defend their right to make those decisions till the end. I don't ask for all people to condone abortion, but to leave the decision up to the woman who must face that decision herself.

Would that we had a world where every pregnancy was a wanted pregnancy, unfortunately that is just not the reality. We should all be working to make it a reality, yet those organizations (and their supporters) who label themselves as "pro-life" aren't necessarily concerned with this. The National Right to Life organization clearly states in their mission statement that they do not even have a position on sex-education or contraception! How can they claim to want to reduce abortion in this country but not even engage in a conversation about how to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies?!

As a mother, I know how awe-inspiring bringing a child into this world is. As a mother, I also know the patience, resources and love needed to raise a healthy child. How many children would be raised without those things if we were to outlaw abortion? And please don't send me a comment about all those unwanted babies being adopted...I'm adopted. You know how many kids in this country go unadopted every year? Being adopted has never once affected my feeling on this issue because of the very premise this post began with--the decisions about one's body need to be made by the brain inhabiting that body.

I hope this post wasn't too rambling. I hope it counts as a post about social justice.

Weddings are such happy times. I hope you all decide to take part in this wedding too. I'll look for your posts.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Holiday Season Has Begun

Day 37
Mood: ??

I have to make some holiday party appearances tonight, so I'm not sure I'll be back in time to post for the night. Not that you care...but I've posted 37 days in a row now, so I'm not willing to let myself off for one night just because I have to go swill champagne. Because you know you take one day off and then next thing you know you haven't posted in a week. An awful downhill spiral.

Enjoy this great post re: the holidays from our friend Eric while I'm gone. Just promise you'll come back, since he's way funnier than I am.

Hope you have a great evening!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Pray for Me

Day 36
Mood: Happy

I just had to go downtown for a meeting with a client. En route I cut off a woman (by accident) who was a) either a nun driving a Volvo or b) just a woman wearing a white headband driving a Volvo.

So here's my question. If it was a nun, am I going to hell for this infraction and what the heck is a nun doing driving a Volvo? I thought they were supposed to take a vow of poverty. If it wasn't a nun, what was someone who had the obvious taste to drive a Volvo doing wearing a white headband after Labor Day?!

These are the questions I ponder in traffic...

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Day 35
Mood: Bemused

Seriously?! I could not be prouder than at this moment!

Should you perform a Google serach for, guess what the first website to appear in the list is?! That's right!! Yours truly! How I love being able to see the search parameters that have brought up my blog!

I'm giggling right now at all the sad saps who have found their way to this page thinking they were getting pictures of me with a GIGANTIC dildo (oh crap, now those words are going to trigger even more sordid traffic).

Sorry to disappoint. But your loss is my gain. Thanks for the laugh!!

Does My Fat Ass Make My Ass Look Fat?

Day 35
Mood: Frustrated

Someone needs to let the children know that Mamma's back on her low-carb diet and she's gone a whole week without losing A pound. That same someone needs to explain why this makes Mamma un-happy! And we all know the saying: When Mamma Ain't Happy Ain't Nobody Happy.

UGH! I've been really good for an entire week, back on the old Atkins plan. It's worked like a charm in the past. But this time...nothing, not a single pound lost. I'd like to blame it on my scale, but I'm not sure I want to know if it is broken because maybe I'm starting off even heavier than I thought--perish the thought!

I have a friend who has been training for a marathon and he just informed me that he's lost three clothing sizes since his training's begun. As much as I don't really enjoy exercising for exercise sake, I have to say this information has been nagging me. Three sizes is quite a bit. But is it enough motivation to get up and get out of the house to jog in 30 degree weather? The jury's still out. But I am thinking about it....

Monday, December 04, 2006

Don't Mess with Ms. Pissy

Day 34
Mood: Pissy

I'm in a pissy mood tonight. I don't know if I can clearly articulate why--at least not here, though I wish I could. But suffice it to say I don't have a whole lot...

I thought the over analyzing everything was a female trait. I know I'm WAY guilty of it--always have been. But when I started thinking about it tonight the first true over analyzers were really the ancient philosophers who, history tells us, were all men. Now that's probably because the women were too busy making food, clothes, collecting firewood, feeding babies, etc. But it got me thinking. What sorts of political and ethical philosophies would have been developed if it were the women who were able to take the time to gaze at their navel do the heavy thinking?

Sunday, December 03, 2006

He Must Have Learned it on the Schoolbus

Day 33
Mood: Gettin' in the Christmas Spirit

There are certain things your two year-old can say that just wouldn't fly if it came out of their mouth at 15. Tonight I heard one such thing.

Mr. 2 was in his pjs and I sat him on the edge of the counter to get him up to face level so we could talk and hug a bit. For some reason, he decided I was too warm and began pulling on my sweater and urging me in a very insistent tone to "take it off!" "Take it off! Take it off! Take it off!"

I think the last time I heard that I got pregnant with him.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Come In Rampart

Day 32
Mood: relaxed

Just got back from spending five hours in the ER. Isn't that so EXACTLY how you like to spend your Saturday? Oh yeah, me too. We're all fine at Mamma's house. Just a few blood stains and some stitches to show for our afternoon.

I was chasing after Mr. 2 this afternoon trying to defuse the temper tantrum he had kicked up when Shakey busted in through the door, shoved a plastic bag at me and hunched over in pain. My initial thought was that he had been kicked in the groin the way he was all bent over, but then he took off his hat to reveal a rather large blood stain setting in.

Got Shakey to sit down and apply pressure to his head, got Mr. 2 changed, lined up care for Misters 4 & 2 and had notes drafted for both the back and front door directing Mr. 10 to a neighbor's. In no time, we were in the ER and I even had a book, a drink and a salad (the contents of the bag Shakey handed me before the pain set in)--ready to wait for HOURS.

Shakey had quite a nasty gash in his head. He made the vain attempt to suggest that he didn't need stitches--a determination he arrived at by the fact that he wasn't gushing blood any more--but I insisted. I know, I'm a real killjoy. If he ever goes bald later in life, maybe he'll thank me for the lack of a giant worm-like scar on his noggin (though if he had one he could get it tattooed to look like a worm with eyes and stuff and freak out the grandkids--darn maybe the stitches were a hasty decision).

So I've gotten this far regaling you with the story of my afternoon without sharing the cause of the wound. And here's where the whole "how much do you share in your blog?" thing really comes into play. Some women--who I respect immensely--protect their husband's foibles, never tease them or tell embarrassing stories about them to their friends. Unfortunately for Shakey, I am not one of those women.

You know how he cut his head? By closing the back gate of our SUV on it. Yes, my husband is SO STRONG that he managed to close the door so hard that it split open his head through a wool baseball hat. (I had to put that strong thing in there so he wouldn't feel bad about me telling you that he hit himself in the head with a door that he was closing).

Aren't you just cringing with embarrassment for him now? I am too. Really I am. But HOW could I not blog about it?!

I am so not getting those diamond earrings for Christmas now.

Friday, December 01, 2006

The Randomizer

Day 31
Mood: Relaxed

So with the pressure off to blog every day I took some time this evening to play with the randomizer--a cool little tool created by Lane to assist your tour through the participants of NaBloPoMo.

While there were some blogs that just weren't up my alley--though I'm sure they were good--I did find a few that I think I will be checking back on over time. See what you think...

The Island
Miss Allycat
Don't Try This At Home (you have to love any family that poses for pictures in groucho glasses)

I'm going to keep going...I have no idea how long it would take to check in on every one of the participants, but I don't have much to do this weekend other than clean my house, shop for Christmas, do some work and spend time with my family.

PS--We've taken to keeping a cooler on our deck always filled with drinks and ice. The cold front we've been expecting is moving in. You know what that means??? No more need for ice. Cold drinks all the time and no need for a cooler. I think White Trash Mom would be proud.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

We Hardly Knew Ye

Day 30!!!!!
Mood: Victorious

I suffer two losses today. The end of NaBloPoMo AND the discovery that my hairdresser upped and moved back to Chicago--damn him (not really, I LOVE him)!! While feeling the satisfaction of having accomplished posting 30 days in a row--yet wistful that I'm now losing my excuse to snuggle up with my laptop each night--I am faced with the devastation of losing the man I trusted to give me some sense of hipness. He was a great conversationalist, he shared stories about his wacky family and I always left with a hair style that was cool but required no products. Now, can you understand my grief?

The last time I saw him he gave no indication that he was moving. I feel like my boyfriend just moved out without telling me. And I had just had a conversation at my last visit that reinforced how much I loved him.

Me: Hi Tim
Me: I'm going on trip in two weeks. I need to look 10 years younger and 20 lbs lighter.
Tim: [patting his pockets] Okay, let me get my tools. [mock seriousness]

But you know what? I did feel younger when I walked out.

Tim, I'll miss ya'.

As for NaBloPoMo, it's been great. I know my posts haven't been that exciting...I don't write ahead of time. It's all just whatever comes out when I sit down at the computer (like you couldn't tell). But, I've really liked getting to know other bloggers. I think folks shared stuff they wouldn't ordinarily because they were desperate for material. I also like the structure it gave me. I won't mind the relief from the stress of feeling like I needed to post before midnight, but I will miss the motivation.

I do think someone needs to create a web sticker for those who completed it. I survived NaBloPoMo. I'd do it, but I wouldn't have a clue where to begin--as you can tell from my completely non-modified Blogger template. Really, I'd love a great looking blog, but I don't know how! So you just get my random thoughts and whatever images I can scrape up from Google images search.

I do think I'll keep up my count of days posting in a row and the mood indicator. What do you think?

And as for today's photo...I was looking for something about "the end" and the end of a rainbow popped into my head. But then when I saw this lovely. How perfect could it be? The end of the shit!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Hold Up!

Day 29
Mood: Anxious

I have an addiction. It involves men and women and money. I've been given a new Blackberry for work--and it has Texas Hold 'Em on it.

And I can't stop playing!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Penos Envy

Day 28
Mood: Disheartened (should never try on clothes at the end of a long day)

I live with three small boys and one big boy. I am surrounded by penises.

This is not how I grew up. There were mostly girls in my house. Frankly, penises were always a bit intimidating until I had children of my own and saw how small they really start out. ANYWAY, let's just say that in a house with four boys there's a lot of attention paid to male genitalia. And here I am just a lone Mamma in the midst of it all.

First there's Shakey and his "super sperm"--or so he's named it since he can't sneeze in my direction without getting me pregnant. When his mom teasingly raised her eyebrows by how quickly I got pregnant for the third time, the man actually uttered these words TO HIS OWN MOTHER (imagine Shakey standing tall with hands on hips like Superman) "I'm the Sniper. Don't mess with my super sperm." Now I figure he said it to his own mom, so it's fair game for blogging.

Next we have Mr. 2. Mr. 2 does not yet show much interest in using the potty, however he does think it's quite funny in between diapers to chase his brothers around, hold out his penis and yell "I gonna pee on you" and then make a hissing noise. I'm happy to report, so far, that he hasn't actually gone through with the threat, but I'm betting that's just a matter of time.

I reported earlier in the fall that we have a plethora of acorns in our yard and apparently all the rounds of the Let's Pick Up the Acorns game we play with the boys to keep them from spreading out the raked leaves has left an impression on Mr. 2. As I was changing his diaper the other day, he reached down to grab his penis (is that genetic?) and while holding it looked down and then said to me, "Woolk Mommy woolk, it woolks like a acorn." He was right. It sort of did.

Not to be outdone by his younger brother, we have Mr. 10. Mr. 10 was five and half when our middle son was born. I expected the questions all along. Surprisingly, his first concern was how the baby was going to get out (believe it or not he was relieved when I told him how--that's because it wasn't happening to him), but sure enough about a month before I was due he skipped into my room one day and asked how that baby got in there anyway. So I started at the beginning... I told him every baby begins with a sperm and an egg. I explained that mommies have the egg and the daddies have the sperm. At this point he stopped me.

Mr. 10: "Wait daddies have sperm?"
Me: "Yep, all men have sperm."
Mr. 10: "ALL men have sperm?!"
Me: "Yep"
Mr. 10: "Do I have sperm?"
Me: "You will."
Mr. 10: "Where?!"
Me: "Well you know your testicles there underneath your penis?"
Mr. 10: interrupting me, pulling down his pants and stretching his penis up (I swear) over his shoulder "I HAVE SPERM RIGHT HERE?!"

It was like Christmas in April! He never asked how the sperm and egg got together. He was just so psyched to find out he was going to have sperm.

Finally there's Mr. 4. Mr. 4 is my golden retriever--all full of love and extra smart. He's the detail guy. Mr. 4 spoke the earliest too. He could name all of his body parts but for some reason pronounced penis like peenos--like his was greek.

One day in the shower Mr. 4 was telling me once again that I did not have a penos. And as had become the habit, I nodded my head and agreed. Then he proceeded to tick off a list of everyone he knew and whether or not they indeed had a penos. "P has a penos, M doesn't have a penos, Uncle C has a penos, Grandma doesn't have a penos." And on and on this went until he thought he categorized everyone he knew. But he had forgotten one person. So I asked him, "what about Daddy? Does Daddy have a penos (I had to say it that way, how could I resist?)?" Very quickly he replied with large eyes, "Oh yeah, Daddy has a BIIIG penos."

Ahh, life with four penoses boys!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Little Birds, Company and a Crowd

Day 27
Mood: Feelin' Good

I feel bad about this, but I'm taking a bit of an easy way out tonight.

There's a meme going around...Three Things...maybe you'll learn a little more about Mamma.

1. 3 Things that scare me: Something happening to my family, leaving my children without a mother, haunted houses

2. 3 People who make me laugh: My kids, Shakey, PFunky

3. 3 Things I love: Diet coke, massages, laughing until I cry (I didn’t include people b/c they’re not things)
4. 3 Things I hate: rudeness, meanness, when the Red Sox win

5. 3 Things I don’t understand: how electricity works (you just flip a switch and it’s there), higher math, football

6. 3 Things on my desk: a pig finger puppet, a clay snake and a clay snail (both with googley eyes)

7. 3 Things I’m doing right now: Blogging, craving Sugar Babies and thinking about the upcoming cookie exchange

8. 3 Things I want to do before I die: Go on a photo safari in Africa, See the Grand Canyon in person and learn to be truly happy with myself (thighs and all)

9. 3 Things I can do: Bake, talk to complete strangers and drive in the snow

10. 3 Things I can’t do: Play golf, add quickly in my head, keep a clean house

11. 3 Things I think you should listen to: NPR, a young child’s opinion (I second these opinions of Mom aka) and your mother

12. 3 Things you should never listen to: The doubts in your head, Paris Hilton or Ann Coulter
13.3 things I would like to learn: to love exercise, to paint and to sing well

14. 3 Favorite foods: Italian, Southern and Ethiopian

15. 3 Beverages I drink regularly: Diet Coke, Diet Coke and Iced Tea

16. 3 Shows I watched as a kid: Mr. Rogers, Sesame Street and The Electric Company

17. 3 People I’m tagging (to do this meme): Jill, Oh, The Joys and Jay

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Spice Up Your Holiday!

Day 26
Mood: Rested and Ready

Just when you thought it was going to be another boring holiday with the family...the fine folks on the web bring you a terrific idea to transform your gathering from Ho Hum to HO HO!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

I DID Get The Worm

Day 25--The Home Stretch
Mood: Pissed off then Happy

I woke up very early this morning considering I had every opportunity to sleep in, after all it's Saturday, my entire family is still asleep and I have no where to be. I tried to deny my wakefulness by rolling over and closing my eyes again, but I was too consumed by the thoughts of my dreams to go back to sleep. Does that ever happen to you?

My original draft of this post included some background on my dream and a description of it, but no amount of writing about it exorcised my mood.

Then my mom called. She was right there by me when all the history of my dream happened--supporting me the whole time. So I told her about it, and she truly understood why I woke up in a bad mood. She's probably the only one who would have.

After we hung up the phone I felt so much better. I got the story off my chest, she listened patiently and validated my feelings, and I thought "jeez I was pretty stupid." "Why didn't I just call her in the first place?" See like I've said in earlier posts, my mom knows almost everything about me. She's the kind of mom I've always been able to talk to--no matter what. Sometimes I take that forgranted...but today I didn't. After our call, I went outside and stood in the sun and basked in the warmth of the unseasonably warm day and my mother's love.

And to pay homage to this wonderful woman I promptly went inside, and before breakfast, taught my boys how to spray whipped cream on the tips of their fingers in the shape of little flowers and enjoy it without having to bother with some silly vehicle like pie.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Movies and Mischief

Day 24
Mood: Relaxin'

Just finished watching Thank You For Smoking. Aaron Eckhart is a babe (though he's no Patrick Dempsey--don't worry Patrick I haven't given up on you)! Do you think Katie Holmes thought her role in the movie would be an omen for her decision to ride Tom Cruise's wave to stardom? I mean I know I'm supposed to support my fellow woman...and I usually do...but seriously?! Tom Cruise?

I gotta say if any guy I was dating started jumping up and down on couches--even if it was on the Oprah Winfrey show--I'd have to end the relationship right there. There's no place you can go but down when a guy is that crazy about you. The pressure to be that perfect would be too much. You couldn't burp, you couldn't floss your teeth in front of him, shoot forget getting a wrinkle or swearing during labor. What if you gnashed teeth during sex or bonked heads when he went in for a kiss? Without a full time director choreographing your every lovemaking scene there'd be a strong chance that his rose-colored lenses would get dirty.

The pressure! I have a hard enough time remembering to wear matching panties and bra on date night. Then add shaving your legs and maybe getting your nails done? Better schedule all of my big events in the same week, because I'm not going to be able to keep up that look for too long.

Oh and along the same's another fun product that found its way across my screen. Yet another step in ever-lengthening process to be beautiful. I think I'm going to go for the pink, if only for the reaction. Though with my luck the timing of the process would probably coincide with the need for some emergency gynecological exam. I know my esthetician's seen it all before, but my ob/gyn? I blush just seeing him if I've recently had a bikini wax. I mean I know he's delivered two of my children...but does he need to know I have sex too?

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Mmm, Turkey

Day 23
Mood: FULL

Oh! I ate too much today! The food is so delicious, the buffet is just sitting there...I put myself into gastric distress. I could just eat those candied sweet potatoes forever! And the deep-fried turkey? They added a marinade this year that made it even better! I never thought the idea of a deep-fried turkey sounded all that appetizing until I had one. Now, I can't imagine having it any other way.

I do still miss my mom's stuffing! We haven't had Thanksgiving together for a few years now in exchange for great Christmases together, but I'm hoping next year...there's just nothing like your own mom's stuffing.

Hope everyone had a terrific Thanksgiving! Hope to have something a bit wittier to share tomorrow once the tryptophan wears off.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Oh Crap!

Day 22
Mood: Rested

It's day 22 and I almost forgot to post tonight. How many days do "they" say it takes to form a habit? 28? Great, just when I get used to this whole post a day thing it will be time to stop. Well, I guess I don't have to stop posting every day once December rolls around...but I'm really not sure I'd have something to say every day for another thirty days. And I know there are a number of you out there saying "you haven't had much to say for these last 22 days." I appreciate you hanging with me. I have to say thanks to my favorite new Google tool--Analytics--I can obsess all day about how many readers I have and where they're coming from.

It was a rainy, cold day here in VA. In a way, it's perfect weather for the Thanksgiving holiday. We're supposed to sit in the house, eat food and watch football right? You wouldn't want it to be gorgeous outside, then you'd just feel like a sloth for lounging on the couch. This way--with the sucky weather--we have an excuse. In an early nod to tomorrow's theme, I'm grateful that we have family close by and that I didn't have to brave the highways or airports this weekend. I'm all about the no traveling around the holidays excuse we now have because we have three kids. Though if someone was going to offer me an all expenses paid trip back down to The Breakers, I'd be at the airport in a flash. I'm still missing that twice a day maid service. I can't quite get my boys convinced that this would be a good habit to start.

Oh, I noticed a weird thing when I was at my parent's house. Wouldn't you think you'd get your preference for how the toilet paper goes on the holder from your parents? I did. But APPARENTLY I was wrong. I was using my parent's guest bathroom when I noticed that the paper hung down off the back of the roll--not over the front! Now I still have to check with mom. It's entirely possible that this was the doing of dear ole dad, but let's be real...that would mean he actually thought about putting the paper on the holder. Don't know about your house, but in ours...I'm not really sure what my boys (all of them) think that little bar next to the toilet is for (other than balance for our newest potty-trained friends). I just find it hard to believe that I grew up with a paper down the back mom and somehow transformed to an adament over the top kind of girl. Sheesh, you think you know someone!

End Note: I titled this post before I ever even thought about writing about the toilet paper. That was just a funny coincidence I realized once I saw the photo near the title. Made me giggle.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A Mom or a Therapist's Wet Dream?

Day 21
Mood: Hitting the homestretch

Some days I worry that I'm not cut out to be a good mother. That's quite unfortunate since I have three small children. Now don't get me wrong...I LOVE my kids. They do mean more to me than anything else. But some days I just can't channel that Julie Aigner-Clark perma-smile everlasting patience for my liebchens. Does this make me a bad mom?

When I'm willing to have my 10 year-old read stories to his little brothers because my headache just won't go away...does that make me a bad mother?

At what point do you have to seriously question whether or not you're just setting them up for years of therapy?

There are so many messages out there about how to be a good mom. So many items on the checklist...always a new standard.

  • Nurse them for the first 12 months...but the longer you go the better (even if you don't get any sleep for a year as a result).
  • Don't work, don't let anyone else be their primary care-giver (even if they do become bilingual through their day care experience).
  • No TV (even though are whole world is moving toward a multi-media mode of communication).
  • No sugar, no fats, everything organic (cause it's too late for us twinkie-eating, soda swilling parents).
  • Public school v. private school (you haven't started worrying about preschool yet?!)
  • Never ride anything without a helmet or at least seventeen protective straps (because that reinforced big wheel with the parent handle that you never release may tip over).
  • A bath every night, right after an early balanced meal and then fourteen bedtime stories all before 7:30 because routines are great (even if you don't get home until 6:30)

If you're reading this list and saying I can't believe she's complaining about any one of these things, please DO NOT leave a comment. Instead, relax have another kid or two and realize that it is not possible to follow ALL of the rules.

PLEASE leave a comment if you've felt at all frustrated as a mother. I NEED to hear from you. I tend towards the dramatic and often jump to awful conclusions about myself (cause who else is going to look down on you if you don't look down on yourself?). Tonight I'm wondering if my children would be better off without me.

Do you think I might be tired?

Monday, November 20, 2006

A Question For You

Day 20
Mood: Ready for bed

So there is some drawback to people you know in your everyday life reading your blog. There are topics I'd like to open up for discussion that I'm not sure will send the right message to those who know me. I am weighing the pros and cons of introducing these topics because I think they will provide for a lively discussion, and I'm hoping to hear other perspectives on them. But I don't want to unnecessarily worry anyone or start any tongues wagging.

Are you a blogger? Have you felt this same dilemma? I've considered starting another completely anonymous blog to have a place to say whatever I wanted, but keeping up two blogs seems like a bit of an undertaking right now. Who knows.

Are there things you don't discuss on your blog? Are there certain parts of your life that are off limits? Do you ever feel like your blog doesn't reflect the whole of you because of this? Does that feel false? Is a blog supposed to be a place where you can say anything?

What do you think?

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The Death of Merit Badge Day?

Day 19
Mood: ?

Don't know what my mood is today. I sat here and contemplated it for a bit and then realized, hey it's my freakin' blog and if I don't know what my mood is well then I don't have to tell you what it is.

Upon second thought it should probably be "pissy."

As a matter of fact, I've noticed the same mood among some of my other fellow NaBloPoMo colleagues. Is it that the "forced" daily posting is starting to wear thin? Would I feel the same way if it weren't NaBloPoMo? I've actually enjoyed the structure of the daily post, though at some times it's been a race against the clock to get it in on time. I get most of my quiet time in the evening so it's often difficult to get it in before midnight. I'm hoping the powers that be will let a 12:00 a.m. post slide.

Okay, back to Merit Badge Day...

As some of you more faithful readers (all two of you) will remember Sunday is Merit Badge Day here at Mamma Loves. Now I don't know if folks are too busy shopping for their turkeys or just feeling pretty damn good about themselves this week, but we had NOT ONE nomination this week. After three weeks of enthusiastic responses...nothing. Now I'm a fairly optimistic person (despite that my mother's nickname for me growing up was Eeyore) so I'm not ready to declare Merit Badge Day dead, but I'm going to need some nominations this week to stay hopeful.

My badge the week:

I awarded myself a badge for having the courage to admit to my husband (a big country music fan) that I liked a country band. Yes, Sugarland. I'm loving their stuff! You must understand, as a native New Englander I've always had a certain predjudice against country music. Four years in New Orleans only softened it enough to open up musicians like Lyle Lovett who I consider borderline. A few year's of Shakey's influence did wear me down to accept my full-fledged love of Garth Brooks--it was actually watching his concert in Central Park while I was recording it for him while he was at school that changed my mind. But going out and buying a country album without some sort of prodding or nagging exposure? It's nothing short of a miracle! And I've listened to the newest album probably five times in the last 24 hours. There are also a number of good songs off of their debut album. Check 'em out. See what you think.

Please make Mamma happy. Tell me what award you earned this week. I'll be waiting...


Day 18 Still!

Mood: Very Bittersweet

The conference is over. I'm at my parents' house--they are getting ready to move. They are moving near me, which is terrific, but they are leaving the town I went to high school in. And now I haven't been back here much over the years, and I don't have a lot in common with many of the people I was friendly with in high school so I don't keep in touch with that many folks, but I'm feeling sad that I won't be able to come back here to a home. I drove around today, had lunch at a great hamburger joint--whose burgers are just as great as they were 20 years ago--drove by my old house and walked around downtown.

I also visited my grandmother in the nursing home today. That is probably adding to my melancholy. She has alzheimer's and needs round the clock monitoring--a little hitchhiking trip some years back was the signal that she needed more care. She knew who I was. She told me I was beautiful and said I looked a little spoiled (I think she meant chubby). She was happy to see me and I have to say I was so happy to see her. She doesn't remember that I'm married, that I have any children and that she didn't see me yesterday. It's so sad that she needs to be this nursing home, but at the same time she seems to be comfortable in her routine. It's not much of a life, she doesn't live in a very large world--but I hope it makes her feel safe. I pray that I keep my wits about me as I age.

Of course I just topped my night off with a trip to the movies to see Babel (yes kids a movie that wasn't animated! and at first I typed "an adult movie" but in rereading that didn't come across the way I meant it--though it would have been funny if that's what you thought). It was interesting. I'm not sure I got it--I think it's about love. But it certainly wasn't an uplifting movie.

Tomorrow I get on a plane and go back to my life as wife, mother, employee, suburban mom. This past 24 hours by myself has been good for me--a chance to be alone with my thoughts. Time really slowed down--except for the time this afternoon that I didn't want to move slowly--and I feel like I've heard my own voice a bit. It's amazing what you can hear when things are quiet.

And for the record, even though this post is officially on Sunday, I'm counting this as my Saturday post for you NaBloPoMo watchers because I haven't gone to bed yet.

Day 18
Mood: Bittersweet happiness

Had to post today.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Is Your Banana Safe?

Day 17

Mood: Happy

Today was a great day!!

Here's a little nugget I found on the web that I hope will make your day just a little brighter.

And it actually seems to be for real.

Watch tomorrow for yet another great shopping find.

Don't forget Merit Badge Day coming up this Sunday. Go ahead...tell us what award you earned this week.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

If Your Name is Ryan and You Work on Capitol Hill, Don't Read the Second Paragraph

Day 16

This whole conference in Palm Beach thing is so wonderful. A half day of meetings, a little shopping and pina coladas by the beach. I know, sorry to brag, but I got to tell you this twice a day maid service...a girl could get used to that. I came back last night and all of my belongings were organized! My shoes were lined up in the closet! My toiletries all lined up on a little towel. I think I'm in heaven!

RS--Stop reading now...

So my most recent murphy's law experience...

Don't know if you've had this experience yet, but can we talk? Grey hair? Down there?

Well when you go in for a bikini wax how is it possible that they clear that much real estate but MISS the one grey hair? THIS is my life.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Who Are These People?

Day 15

Mood: Exhausted!

Okay working on an hour and half of sleep so this will be short.

I had dinner tonight with a commissioner of an independent federal agency. Let me just say that it's a good thing that he's not in charge of our national security. You know you get a certain image in your head of what big wig should be like. This man is such a geek. And I don't mean that in I love my fiber optic connection at home, but as in he introduces himself to everyone in the room because he doesn't know what else to say. The conversation I witnessed could have been held by two 20 year old guys. Not the Chairman of a federal agency. I mean I'm sure he's a very nice guy. But it was almost like they were reciting lines from their favorite TV show in an overly excited way. Oh the DC crowd is so scary!!!

Smile! You're On A Business Trip

Day 14 (con't because I haven't gone to sleep yet)
Mood: Relieved

Okay, I'm back. Phew! This whole getting the post done each day can really stress a girl out.

So where was I?

Oh yeah, camels. Funny creatures. And they seem to be popping up out of nowhere this week. At this point, I think I would be completely unfazed to see one cross my path as I exited the plane tomorrow.

Did I mention I was going to Florida? Staying at this swanky place... Now before you go getting all jealous, it's for work. Which means I need to arrive at the airport tomorrow morning before 7:00 a.m. (NOT Mamma's favorite time of the day) where I will need to paint on a perma-smile as a number of my clients are taking the same flight I am. Said perma-smile will need to remain in place through Friday afternoon with only short breaks to be had when I return to my room to sleep or change for the next event. Now if I put on some dark shades and my iPod around the pool one afternoon I may be able to pretend like I'm there for vacation for at least an hour.

While I'm excited to be able to check out such a nice place, it's bittersweet when you do these things without the people you care about. How much more fun would it be to have my guys tearing ass around the grounds uprooting sod from the Championship golf course? Yeah...okay so it might be nice to get away. But am I the only Mamma who fantasizes about trips and then when they actually get here begins to panic because:

a. What if there is a plane crash and my children have to grow up without a mother?
b. If the plane does crash, Mr. 2 won't remember me so whomever Shakey remarries will become his "mom."
c. I won't be able to kiss all my boys goodnight or hold them in my arms for five days.
d. Maybe they'll all decide it's much more fun without me around and I'll return to an empty house.
e. Did I mention the plane crash thing?

I used to love to fly. I'm not actually afraid of flying it's just that I found out I was pregnant for the first time right before 9/11/01. The confluence of those events have made me just a tad more sensitive to the fact that the plane I'm boarding may just be blown out of the sky. And well, that just bums me out.

So I'm excited to sleep in a king-sized bed all by myself. I'm excited for warm weather. I'm not excited about the potential of a plane crash or for having to wear a perma-smile for three days. Looks like a draw.

The thing pushing the trip over to the plus category is that I'm ending my trip with a detour over to the west coast of the state to visit my home town for what will probably be the last time for a long while. I'll get to see my parents, drive by some of the old haunts and maybe visit with a few old friends.

Now if I could just lose 30lbs by tomorrow morning, I'd be all set.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

You Got a Camel?

Day 14
Mood: Nervous/Excited

So many thoughts running through my head tonight my darlings...

Leaving in the a.m. for sunny FL where the temperatures are expected to be in the mid-70's. Color mamma (the summer lover--had me a blast) happy!

Camels are making themselves known in my life this week. First was this little helpful tidbit from WikiHow that appeared on my homepage, which piqued my interest since it was a bit out of line with the How to Stencil Fabric and How to Save a Wet Cell Phone it was grouped with. But, you never know when this kind of advice will come in handy.

Next, I came across camels over at Kevin Charnas, who if you haven't checked out you should because he's damn funny. Okay, so maybe they weren't camels, but cameltoes? So close.

Must publish...time is running out. Be right back.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Giving 'Em The (#2) Business

Day 13
Mood: Panic

Is it because it's the unlucky 13th day of this little experiment? Is that why I'm staring at the screen with nothing to write? Panic is beginning to set in. I read a number of entertaining blogs on a daily basis and I always come away from the experience feeling a little less worthy of this blog, but nothing? I never have nothing to say...ask my parents, they'll tell you.

There's just a lot going on this week. I just wrote a whole paragraph about it, but it seemed so stupid that I had to erase it. Basically, I'm at a loss. I was hoping to have my highschool prom picture scanned into the computer for just this such instance, but alas our scanner isn't cooperating. So I guess I'll have to leave you with this gem.

Taken through my windshield while driving in Arlington, VA. Oh, how I miss my camera phone!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Day 12
Mood: a little stressed

Feeling a bit more relaxed this evening that I'm not running up against the clock to make this post, but I have a big week ahead so I'm a bit preoccupied. This is my fair warning...I'll be at a business conference this week. So if you receive booty comments on your blog from me, it's just the alcohol talking.

Well I have to say, response to Merit Badge Day was phenomenal this week. Here are the highlights...

This week Mrs. Chicken earned Extreme Restraint In Face of MIL Christmas Drama Badge ... my MIL actually suggested I let my toddler sleep on a sofa blocked by two chairs on Christmas night because she used to do that, instead of sleeping like civilized people in a hotel. This after 1,200 miles of driving to get to her on the holiday.

Kim took home the Composure in the Face of Torture Badge, which she earned by being indentured into attending a fund raiser for cancer at Quicken Loans Arena over the weekend. I know it doesn't sound all that traumatic, however, this excursion involved children all around me and men in glittery outfits on the ice. The "show" was Scott Hamilton & Friends, skating to the accompaniment of none other than the sensational seventies rock icons, Three Dog Night LIVE - in person at the end of the ice. Now, nothing against ice skaters, but geeeeeeeeZussss, how the hell Three Dog Night, Scott Hamilton, his friends skating and cancer all mesh together left me baffled. Worse, the Ohio State game was on and I had a hefty bet on it. We were in the corporate suite and it was a mandatory lights out, which meant no game viewing. Throw in that my kid is an avid skater and the boss's wife is too, well, let's just say I had a shot or two of Jack and kept my mouth shut.

This being the first week at MBD that a theme developed we have BSuze and Kat facing down the Booger Brigade with their awards.

BSuze takes the Not Smacking the Whiney Spouse with a Cold badge. What is it about men when they get sick that makes them all frowny and bitchy? While said spouse has moped for the better part of a week and been rather ill-tempered, I have managed to keep myself and children mostly out of range and have even offered some compassionate caring, though mostly just steeing clear.


Kat earns two with "Braving Snot in the Face of Toddler Twins" They have now had their 3rd cold since Sept.


I also would like to nominate my dh for "Best Impersonation of someone dying from a cold" I understand that there are many nominees for this one.

Not to be outdone by the girls...

I'm happy to report that Eric did indeed end the week with the badge for being a constituent of the first Muslim ever elected to the U.S. Congress (Keith Ellison - Minneapolis). The Democratically-controlled U.S. Congress, that is. Please, please, please. Please let me earn this badge.

Perhaps the badge this week that makes us most say Hmmm? Our friend One Weird Mother managed to take home the Courage in the Face of Rodents badge for continuing to do laundry after washing--and drying--a mouse.

Now here at MBD everyone's a winner no nominations necessary--though I reserve the right to highlight my faves. You need a badge? You got it! Just let us know. Let your friends know. Maybe some day we'll figure out a way to let you post your badge on your own site (but let's not get too crazy too fast--I'd have to cash in a LOT of chits with the hubby to get that code written and I'm leaving him with three boys for 5 days this week.)

What? My badge this week? Aren't you nice for asking.

I got the badge for Co-Hosting a Baby Shower and Having Everything Ready Before It Started. For those of you who know Mamma's true identity you know what a shocker this is. I'm late for everything. But I am happy to report that I even had lipstick on before the first guests arrived (okay after the second guest arrived but the first one was REALLY early).

Have a great week! And don't forget to share with us your successes!!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

What Kind of Love??!!

Day 11
Mood: Asleep

It's day 11, it's 11:52 p.m. and Shakey was just about to let me continue to sleep.

It's NaBloPoMo!

I closed my eyes on the couch for just a minute (at 9:15 p.m.).

Two days with less than stellar posts...I'll make it up to you.

Friday, November 10, 2006

All the Benefits Without the Annoying Cast-off Swag

Day 10
Mood: Tired

I've decided that once I'm done with this whole raising kids thing I'll be all set to work as a personal assistant to the stars--the bigger the diva the better.

At 3:10 a.m. this morning I was ripped from my slumber by the sound of Mr. 2 and Shakey having a conversation about the need for apple juice. Then, for some reason beyond my comprehension, Shakey yelled to me (laying in the bed next to him mind you) that I had to get juice for Mr. 2. My first thought was that something must be wrong with Shakey as he was obviously awake since he was having this conversation about midnight snacks with Mr. 2. However, I soon realized that that was not the case and that I was expected to get up to and serve my two year-old--post-haste.

Mr. 2 got right in my face and demanded not only apple juice but Goldfish as well. I grumbled okay and then waited for a moment. My brilliant thought here was that if I took my time maybe he'd forget and fall asleep. A few moments of quiet passed and then, "I need apple juice and goldfish and cheese!" He was not going to fall asleep.

So I stumbled downstairs, somehow found all three requested items and made my way back up to my bedroom where Shakey slept and Mr. 2 reclined on my pillow anxiously awaiting his fare. After a few bites of cheese, I was handed the rest of the cheesestick and told to hold it while he drank some juice. I ate it. Luckily for me he had lost interest in the cheese and had moved on to the bowl of Goldfish. Sure enough he ate that whole bowl of the little swimmers and sucked down all the juice.

I say who needs the discarded goodies from the Grammy bag when I can get my own half eaten cheesestick right here.

And with seven minutes to spare...

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Mamma's Got a Headache Kids

Day 9

Mood: Melancholy

I think I'm crashing after the sugar rush of the election results. I have come back to reality after an amazing week full of incredible emotions and for some reason my work and my house and my responsibilities are all still here waiting. Damn reality! Let's not forget the pressure of coming up with a post each day. The first seven were easy...I was on a NaBloPoMo roll but now the reins are coming up short. Not that I'm thinking of throwing in the towel. Oh no!! I think I'm just asking for your forgivness for this lackluster post.

I do have to say a big THANK YOU to One Weird Mother for sending over so many readers interested in Merit Badge Day. This week we are actually developing some themes in our requests. Of course, you should check back Sunday for the weekly re-cap and to let us know what distinction you earned this week. So far my front running accomplishment is having the ability to hold a pleasant conversation with a woman while she applied molten wax to my nether regions. But it's still only Thursday and who knows what feats I can perform by Sunday.

Hope you're having a nice night!!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

There is Hope Yet Again

Day 8
Mood: Freaking Ecstatic!

In case you haven't heard, there was an election yesterday. The people of my country--the very same people I had begun to suspect may indeed be zombies--finally said "we've had enough!"

I have spent the last 12 years feeling like an outsider, out of step with my fellow citizens, but today I have a renewed sense of optimism about the American electorate--about We, the People. However, before God Bless America begins blare from your speakers I need to get some stuff out of my system.

Neh, neh, neh, neh, neh, neh. WE FUCKING WON!!!!!

And it was so bad, so terribly, horribly, ferociously bad that you had to sacrifice one of your own this afternoon! Not that we're surprised that you'd be willing to leave a man behind. What has come to light in the last year or so with DeLay and Ney and Cunningham and Macaca and your lie last week about keeping Rumy on board reaffirmed everything I knew to be true about you--you are not nice people. You have been hoarding power for your own gain. You do not love your country! And damn you, you suggested that because I didn't agree with your war or your suspension of civil rights that I was the unpatriotic one. Well fuck you! You were wrong! And I'm starting to suspect you might be getting the hint. You know what that makes me say?

YEEEEHAAAAA!!!!!! I'm doing my happy dance all over your goddammed yard signs!!!

Phew! That felt good!

I wanted to come home to celebrate with a glass of champagne, but I was too damned superstitious to put a bottle in the fridge. As an alternative and in honor of the cleaning up of Congress, I got a bikini wax instead. I seriously think I was so deliriously happy that it hurt less than normal. So now you know, we're all neat up here in DC.

Just in case that didn't make you feel better, I leave you with some of the funnier election-related brilliance that crossed my screen today.

From the prego mom of two D's to be I received:

George Bush goes to a primary school to talk to the kids to get a Little PR. After his talk he offers question time. One little boy puts up his hand and George asks him his name. "Stanley," responds the little boy. "And what is your question, Stanley?" "I have four questions:

First, why did the USA invade Iraq without the support of the UN?

Second, why are you President when Al Gore got more votes?

Third, whatever happened to Osama Bin Laden?

Fourth, why are we so worried about gay-marriage when half of all Americans don't have health insurance?"

Just then, the bell rings for recess. George Bush informs the kiddies that they will continue after recess. When they resume George says, "OK, where were we? Oh, that's right, question time. Who has a question?"Another little boy puts up his hand. George points him out and asks him his name. "Steve," he responds. "And what is your question, Steve?"

"Actually, I have six questions.

First, why did the USA invade Iraq without the support of the UN?

Second, why are you President when Al Gore got more votes?

Third, whatever happened to Osama Bin Laden?

Fourth, why are we so worried about gay marriage when half of all Americans don't have health insurance?

Fifth, why did the recess bell go off 20 minutes early?

And sixth, what the hell happened to Stanley?"

The always lovely Jay--studying his little tooshie off in GA--sent us this gem (trust me it's worth the click).

And finally, our friend the former Minnehaha Mama, Jill provided us with this post this morning.

We've won the House for sure, the Senate is soon to follow and Rumsfeld is out. It's like Christmas in November!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Holding My Breath

Day 7
Mood: Worried

It's election night. So I'm sitting here waiting for the returns to start coming in. I'd love to write something witty or incisive about the elections or the candidates for office, but frankly I'm just too concerned about the outcome to do much else than hit refresh on the CNN website.

You can't swing a yard sign in the DC metro area without smacking an idiot who will tell you just how powerful they are. It could be very easy to get drawn into the mutual masturbation that goes on regularly in this town, but then you must always be looking over your shoulder to make sure someone with better technique isn't trying to cut in. I realized early on that I just couldn't take that kind of performance pressure. It's no wonder Bob Dole started hocking Viagra.

When you're around all this self-importance it's very easy to think that the fate of the world is determined by what happens in the 61 or so square miles that make up the District of Columbia. I resist that temptation as best I can. I know there is a whole world outside the beltway and many people who never give a second thought to who their elected representatives are or the decisions those legislators make.

But today...I just can't maintain that perspective.

The war in Iraq, the rise in nuclear capabilities of unfriendly nations, an ever-increasing debt, prohibitions on life-saving research, attacks on self-determination and oh yeah the fuck nut some folks thought would be great to lead our country after proving that he could lead every business he touched into the ground...all of these things have me a bit worried.

If it were just me, heck I could go live somewhere else. I could keep my head down and just live under the radar screen. But what kind of world are we leaving for our children? As I tuck my three angels into bed at night, I worry. And I'm sitting here now praying (and I'm not a religious person) that others are feeling the way I do. I'm hoping that these elections will offer some hope for a change in the direction we're heading. I need something to hold on to.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Tonight We're Going to Party Like it's 1986

Day 6
Mood: Excited

Last night I got down on my hands and knees at 1:00 a.m. in the morning and rooted through my crawl space for an item I wasn't even sure was there. The object of my search? A yearbook. I obviously hadn't thought about this yearbook in quite some time since I wasn't even sure it was in my possession; though after every move my parents make I seem to end up with more boxes of my shit, so the odds were pretty good (thank god my mother-in-law has never moved).

Not finding me in my usual blog surfing spot, and not remembering a kiss goodnight, Shakey sensed a scavenger hunt was afoot. I could hear him wandering around the house calling for me but for some reason sound doesn't travel up through the first floor. After eventually finding the door opened he peaked in asked if I was in there. Hearing a yes he walked away and went to bed. Shakey's learned over the years that when I get on the type of quest that leads me to a location like the crawl space at 1:00 a.m. it's probably just best to get out of the way.

After doing a marine crawl under two cross beams and scooting ten feet on my ass, I came upon the boxes I thought might contain my quarry. But first, I found old pictures from the first years after college. Had to stop and go through those of course. Then I found the boxes containing memorabilia from the wedding--skipped those too recent. Pulling away more dusty shoeboxes full of receipts, {cue heraldic trumpets} there I found the box I sought. Yearbooks from 1985, 1986 and 1987!

For those of you who choose not to remember those days, let me remind you of some of the hightlights:

  • neon clothing

  • tight-rolled acid washed jeans (pegged)

  • leggings (oh wait that's today too--gasp!)

  • BIG hair (Aquanet Super Extra Hold was my personal glue)

  • the space shuttle Columbia accident; and

  • the overuse of the word "rad"

I've recently gotten back in touch with a friend from highschool that I had chalked up to lost. He's one of those people you took for granted as a constant figure in your life and then one day you realized you had gone in different directions and you didn't know how to get in touch. Thanks to the ridiculous spam of we actually reconnected and have been catching up on lost time. Of course, all sorts of names I hadn't thought about in years have been tossed around and so I just had to find a yearbook to look these folks up.

Only 20 years have passed and I can't get over how many of my "great friend's" yearbook messages I can't even associate with a face or last name! But man have I had a good time reading through all of the signatures and laughing at all of the hair styles. And I found the people I was looking for. It's just so hard to imagine some of them "grown up."

Sunday, November 05, 2006

And For Meritorious Service We Honor...

Day 5
Mood: Rested and Ready

Okay, last week we started Merit Badge Day here at Mamma Loves... Every Sunday we invite readers to share with us the merit badge they earned this week.

PFunky had some techinical difficulties, so here is her's and the others reported in last week.

Firetruck Voodoo Merit Badge
: Won for getting my 2
1/2 year old son to take medicine for a very runny nose (that sent him home from nursery school) by telling him that the firemen take their medicine so they can ride the firetrucks. Since firetrucks are my son's favorite things on the entire earth, it did the trick. In fact, I can get him to do many things as long as we talk about firetrucks along the way...

Oh, The Joys earned one for not getting malaria in Africa


One Weird Mother takes home the Bags Under My Eyes Badge. DST=toddler convinced that we should all get up for the day at 3am.

This week Mamma awards herself the Restraint in the Face of Temptation badge. Now this has nothing to do with keeping my hands out of the candy bowl or the kids bags on Halloween (or the day after, or the day after that)--though my jeans would fit much better if I had--but for not laughing directly AT my client who is worried about the outcome of the elections.

While I haven't yet pronounced my political affiliation directly on this blog, I do think it's pretty obvious from past posts. The elections are only two days away, so why not do it now?

I'm a Democrat. I work in DC. My first job here was working for a women's health organization. The elections of 1994 were a heartbreak for me and especially my friends who worked on Capitol Hill. We watched the town we owned change over night. The bars we patronized were in the diverse neighborhoods of Adams Morgan and the U Street corridor. But after '94, the new kids in power went to martini bars and smoked cigars in Georgetown {she says with a sneer}. It was sad.

ANYWAY, when my client--formerly a fundraiser for the Republican party--literally moped to me this week that the elections were going to be SOOOO bad, it took every ounce of willpower I had not to blurt out nah, nah, nah, nah heh heh and laugh maniacally. I kindly mentioned that I had lived through '94 and I was sure he'd do the same. I then hung up and did a little jig in my office--though not a long or involved jig because I'm far too cynical not to think the Dem's can't still screw it up.

Whew! Sorry for getting on a roll--that happens sometimes.

Now it's your turn. Let us know what badge you earned this week. If you don't brag about yourself, who will?

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Delayed Gratification

Day Four
Mood: Relaxed/Sore

I love spring flowers. I can almost smell the scent of suntan lotion as soon as the bulbs start peaking up through the dirt.

Now that I'm a homeowner (okay I've been a homeowner for a while but in comparison to the length of my life it hasn't been that long) I feel the need to fill my gardens with daffodils, tulips and irises. And every year when they bloom I'm left with the feeling that I still haven't planted quite enough. So today I made the trek to Costco to buy bulbs (at noon on a Saturday no less--what kind of masochist am I? Well, there are all the free samples).

At first I thought I may have waited too late to find them. But lo and behold there they were. Bags of 50 bulbs for $11.99 each! Score! I left with three.

Well it was all a great plan in my head until I realized that it meant I had to plant 150 bulbs (actually 180 since I already had a bag of 30 taunting me in the car port)! And for some reason, it never occured to me to do this math until I arrived home. Yeah, I never was a mathlete.

It's November 4th as you know, so I don't have a whole lot of time to get these "bolts" (as Mr. 4 calls them) planted. So out in the yard I went this afternoon armed with an "as seen on TV" bulb-hole drill bit lent to me by my neighbor and the desire to plant my bulbs.

These things always work as well as they promise on tv.

The first 50 went in quickly--or so I thought--until I looked in the bag and realized that there were two packages in each bag. UGH! Of course with the "help" I received from Mr. 10 and Mr. 4 the job went even more quickly--yeah right.

I finally convinced Mr. 10 that I was not going to let him use the drill--like I'm sharing the power tools--and Mr. 4 departed soon after I took back control of the shovel, so the process sped up a bit. But I didn't beat the dark. One hundred in the ground...only 80 more to go.

So much for sleeping in tomorrow morning.

PS--In searching for the image a daffodils I wanted to include on this post I realize that 180 aren't nearly going to be enough. If I could just remember from one year to the next where I planted them.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Must Blog!

Day Three
Mood: Harried

Need to make sure I post something. Going to meet PFunky who's in town for the weekend and not sure I'll be back by midnight (hee hee midnight). Promise I'll have more to add later. Just wanted to make it official.

The topic on my mind...friends.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Behave! Mom's Watching!

Day 2 and I still have something to say.

My mom wants the URL for my blog! So far I've held off. When she mentioned it again tonight I told her I didn't know if I could give it to her because then I couldn't vent about her here. Her reply? "Um yeah, that's the idea." Killjoy!

There's really not much mom doesn't hear from me. And she's too smart for me to pull anything over on her--she knows all the stuff I don't tell her too--even if she pretends like she doesn't. Which is so frustrating by the way. It's like I have a little mini-Mom on my shoulder acting as my conscience. Makes it hard to be really bad. And there are just some times when you need a little bad in your life.

So I guess she'll get the address. Leave a comment, tell her hi. She'll feel so honored.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

And So It Begins

So today is the day. Thirty consecutive days of posts. I think I'm up to the challenge, though I can't promise any level of quality for thirty days in a row.

The two big hurdles I see are Thanksgiving (can you say turkey coma?) and the business trip I have in a couple of weeks. Business trips of course mean cocktails. So here's a question (or three) it better to miss a day during NaBloPoMo or to engage in drunk blogging? Is it possible to booty blog? Maybe more likely to booty comment, huh? If you get comments from me on your blog any time between the 15th and the 17th and I'm telling you how hot your posts are, just copy and paste it back to me so I can die a thousand deaths of embarrasment. Cause I would understand and expect it. What good is a drunk person if you can't make fun of them?

Please excuse me while I step into the other room to turn off the Little Einsteins DVD that seems to be stuck on the menu screen--playing that blasted song over and over and over again.

Ahh, relative quiet.

While the Little Einsteins are in theory great, and not so bad when you have to sit through them, I can't help but be pissed every time I think about how much money that Julie what's her toes made off of some badly filmed sock puppets. How the HELL did she convince Disney to buy her little fiefdom? And why the HELL did every mother my age (myself included) feel compelled to buy those tapes/DVDs for their children?

Because it kept them quiet for twenty minutes in a row!

Mr. 4 first exhibited his Y gene trait of TV tunnel vision at six weeks whenever Baby Mozart was slipped into the VCR (yeah we were late to get on the DVD train). Just enough time to shove a plate full of dinner into my face before it was time to feed him once again.

Okay, so maybe that woman deserves a Nobel prize.