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.