Wednesday, May 31, 2006

A Portrait of Elegance

I like to think I am a classy gal. I cross my legs demurely when I sit, I don't chew gum and I lift my pinky finger when I am drinking my tea. It has taken three decades to perfect my vision of demure elegance but I had a strong incentive to do so. When your family looks to be the poster family for the movie The Deliverance you try hard to not to look like the neighbourhood hillbilly. (In case you think I am exaggerating, let me describe my pops for you. Picture black, rotted teeth and stained grey tighty whiteys. Which he has no problem walking outside in. With nothing over them...But really, he is a nice fella.)

With my family portrait on my wall and in my head, I have worked hard to make sure my children aren't mistaken as those from a cabbage patch. They keep their elbows off the table, they don't (always) talk with food in their mouths and they say please and thank you like little pro's. I am very proud of them and their manners. I mean, they even clean behind their ears with out being told to. It is a constant battle but I believe that one day my children will be the poster kids for Miss Emily Post. That is my dream.

And they have me to set an example for them. Their classy mother. Who was playing with her nose ring as she sat and waited at a red light after their soccer game last night. As I sat there with my finger up my nose, scratching my itch and twisting my jewelry, I neglected to notice the car off to the right, which was full of teenage boys watching me pick my nose. There I sat, oblivious, until my son Frac cracked up when he noticed the car of boys pointing and laughing hysterically at my nose picking prowess.

I did what any classy mother would do. I flicked an imaginary booger at those giggling hyenas in the car next to me and gunned it as the light turned green.

And then I lectured my kids on the perils of nose picking in public. Because I strive to set a classy example.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Forecast is Hot and Dry

My beloved is leaving me. Today. He is packing his bags and heading south. No, he's not off to fight for freedom. No, he's not trading me in for a newer, kinder model. The bastard is chasing the almighty dollar. And this is one momma that is not to thrilled about it. Oh, sure, it's not like he won't be back. In six weeks he'll arrive on my door step, eager to please, with his fists full of cash. Well, not really. Much more likely, he will slink back in the middle of the night, drop his luggage (in the middle of the living room,) and sneak into bed to cop a feel. Truthfully, I look forward to that cheap feel. Six weeks is a long time for this momma to not have her "cake."

Six weeks of soccer games solo. Six weeks of parenting Fric and Frac. Six weeks of not having any one farting in bed. Or leaving his dirty, balled up socks for me to find. Six weeks of not having an armpit to stick my nose into when I climb into bed. Six weeks of celibacy.

The closest I'm gonna get to getting my rocks off is having phone sex with my hubs who is notorious for falling asleep while on the phone.

Maybe I need to find myself a pocket rocket or a one of those little Rabbits everyone is talking about.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Scratching an Itch

Meet Nixon, the amazing flying pooch. Please note my wondrous lack of technical ability to connect my camera to the computer and retrieve my pics. (My darling hubs refuses to help. He believes the best way for me to learn is to muck it up trying, and he also insists on calling me lazy. He may be partially right.) But I am proficient and somewhat of a wizard using PhotoBooth. Don't you think?

Nixon is my wonder dog. He has only pooped on the floor twice, peed once and puked just a little. In forty-eight hours. He has discovered a taste for my sheep skin slippers and my camera case. He humps anything that is stationary. Or as my daughter says, he is scratching his itchy belly. I don't want to tell her that my puppy is raping her favorite teddy bear.

But aside from his perverted tendencies, his pooping delights and the odd whizzing, I owe this pooch a debt of gratitude. For yesterday was my dear sister's baby shower. Shudder. And if it wasn't for the amazing humping prowess of my pup, the shower might have fallen flat. Only four of my sister's invited friends showed up. It was a good thing I padded the numbers with my best friends and my daughter. Nixon provided endless entertainment and amusement as he itched his little belly all over the place. And in the end, a good time was had by all. (Well, a good time was had by me, due to the booze in my coffee.)

Here's to you, Nixon. You have humped your way into my heart with your itchy belly.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Pass the Puns, Please

It's Sunday morning and I am red-eyed and bleary. My darling hubs was a tad excited last night when his home team, the Oilers, delivered the death knell to the Ducks. As a hockey wife, this means I have at least four more game nights to enjoy my foot rubs and Cheetos...

My new baby, Nixon, is a darling. He hasn't made a peep. He has the worst puppy breath and man, does his flatulence stink. I have spent the last 24 hours stooped over, kissing, petting and wiping up pee. And let's not forget the little surprises he likes to leave beside my husband's side of the bed. But it is official, I am converted. I am a dog lover. I'm on the look out for a puppy purse so I may pretend to be Paris. (Minus the millions and the hair weave.)

So I leave you this ditty. As I am in a particularly festive mood, think of it as my present to you. No refunds. No returns!


A panda walks into a restaurant, sits down and orders a sandwich. He eats the sandwich, pulls out a gun and shoots the waiter dead. As the panda stands up to go, the manager shouts, "Hey! Where are you going? You just shot my waiter and you didn't pay for your sandwich!"

The panda yells back at the manager, "Hey man, I'm a PANDA! Look it up!"

The manager opens his dictionary and sees the following definition for panda: "A tree dwelling marsupial of Asian origin, characterized by distinct black and white coloring. Eats shoots and leaves."

Friday, May 26, 2006

Like Father Like Son

Just a quick post this morning, as I am off to play in the dirt. But before I make my way to the greenhouse, I have to stop and go to the elementary school. My son, Frac, is receiving an award. Whoo hoo! Before you get all excited for him, dear internet, there is something you should know. This school is the type of morale-boosting school which rewards every child at some point in the school year. They reward creativity, punctuality and good behaviour. The child gets called up in front of the entire school audience (students, parents and the odd vagrant) and praised for their good deed. They get to shake hands with the principal and then receive a piece of paper, referred to as a commendation.

As I sit and watch other children receive their praise for various deeds of scholarly improvement, I will hold my breath with anticipation and trepidation, knowing that this in now my only son, a representative of his family. He is the reflection the small town see's on my ability to parent and cope. Nothing like a little pressure on an eight year old.

Last year he was rewarded for not visiting the principal's office for three days in a row. Victory! It was a proud moment for me. The year before he was rewarded for finally learning to sit quietly in the library. Do you notice a theme? So I am curious to see what sort of improvement my boy has made this year. Maybe he finally learned to stop chasing the girls and hiding their shoes.

I'm so proud of my boy. He's best friends with the principal, he knows proper library etiquette and he's a ladies man, through and through. Just like his daddy.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

The Name Game

Things are looking up around here. I have the ability to flush the toilet and start my car. I now sleep with my keys under my pillow and know where my water line is located. See? I have learned something these past few days. Tomorrow night I pick up my pooch. And I have to tell you, the puppy is coming at just the right time. He's gonna take some of the heat off my dear hubs.

But naming this pooch has been more difficult than naming any of my three kids. With my daughter, I knew I wanted something unique. Something nobody would have. So I gave her a beautiful moniker. And now that she is school aged I have discovered I wasn't nearly as clever as I thought. There are four of her name in her grade alone. I do believe there are over a dozen with the same name in the school. With only 200 kids in this school. Yes, I am so clever...

I learned with my son. I gave him a name no one had. Except for a character on a now defunct police show. Played by a handsome blonde man. I would tell you but then I'd have to kill you. For this handsome blonde man is really famous and the show was named after his character. But his name has served my son well. There are no duplicates and eight years later no one asks me if I named him after that damn show. Which, by the way, I didn't. I found it in a name book. No, no, I'm not defensive about this...

My third child, my angel boy, we decided to name after our grandparents. Poor thing. We stuck him with a Norwegian and a Swedish name, both of which were unusual and hard to pronounce. No one could say, spell or understand his name. But it was unique. I'm sure if we lived in Norway however, he would have fit right in. If we had known what was the matter with our son we probably would have just named him Jason or Tom. Something easy. But, like the boy named Sue, if it didn't kill him, it would make him strong, right??

But my dog, my dog is a different story. The pressure is on for me to give this dog an appropriate yet unique name. Thank you for all your help, dear internet. I narrowed the list down to five: Finnigan (too many syllables), Hoss (my hub's favorite), Simon (the front-runner), Cletus (my favorite but apparently sounds too much like clitoris. Dirty minded people.) and Otis (the kids loved it.)

Picture me standing outside in my yard yelling out these names. Calling my imaginary dog. Good thing I live out in the sticks. And in the end, none of the five on the short list made the cut. I went a different route.

I went the way of Watergate.

I'll introduce you to my pup Saturday morning. After the hubs and kids meet little Nixon.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Reasons I tell Myself I love him

I woke up this morning knowing that all was right with my world. I was showered and clean, my bedding had been burned and I could make coffee without twisting the tops off of six bottles of water. Everything was right as rain. So I set about my morning routine. I got the kids up, fed, dressed, groomed, lunches made and after kissing and hugging them I shoved them out the door. Because nothing could ruin this right as rain feeling faster than them missing the bus and me having to drive 20 minutes to drop them off at school. Hence, the kissing and shoving. But I did it with love.

I made coffee, I got in the shower, I played with my nose, and I gussied up. Off to the big ole city for this mommy. No playing in dirt today. No, today is the day I buy my puppy his new bed, his food, and all the other puppy paraphernalia I will need for when I bring him home this weekend.

I grabbed my purse and went to get my keys. No keys. No biggie. The hubs drove my car last night, he probably just left them on the seat. Right? So I lock the door and go to my car, while trying to ignore my ruined lawn and broken apple tree, both victims of the water line fiasco. Nope, I'm feeling refreshed and ripped up sod and a bent tree trunk are not going to kill this high I'm on. Because I have rejoined the free world; I have clean, running water.

I get to my car, and look for the keys. No keys. Just then my cell phone rings. My darling hubs is madly trying to reach me. Apparently, in a dazed fog this morning he decided he needed my keys as well as his own. So he took every set of car keys we own. But he is very sorry and he will make it up to me later. My anticipated trip to the big city vanished in the ring of a phone. My only course of action was to declare defeat or ride my lawn mower to town. But my mower doesn't have a radio.

So, there I am, stranded in my own car, out in the sticks and locked out of my house to boot. Suddenly that fresh feeling just vanished. Picture me, a wheelbarrow (for height) and my ass in the air as I was shimming through the kitchen window. I broke my plant, cut my finger and bent my screen. And to add salt to my wounds, no shopping for me.

When my darling hubs returns home to his castle tonight, he better be a smooth talker. He better bring treats. Not just for my new puppy but for me as well. Because his chance of survival at this point isn't looking so swell.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Flies are A Buzzing

It was a wonderful long weekend. With lovely weather, I managed to get a lot of yard work done. The lawn received it's first haircut, the pool was sucked clean of all the leaves and my flower beds are planted and ready to bloom.

There was a dark side to this weekend though. The hubs and I are building a deck. To build the deck, we needed to drill pilings. To drill the pilings we needed to know where the utilities were hiding. Do you see where I'm going with this?

Well, on the last piling, my darling hubs clipped our water line. At eight o'clock in the evening. After I had been in the pool, sucking up scum; after I was slathered in oily sunscreen all day long, to keep my lily white skin white; after I had been spraying bug repellent on all day long to avoid the dreaded West Nile disease; my darling hubs clipped the f@$!!*ing water line.

So here I sit, the morning after, sweaty, smelly and oily, while my hubs is working frantically to fix the water line and thereby save his life and our marriage. I can't flush the toilets and I had to rummage through the pantry and use bottled watter to make coffee. I'm trying to see the humor in this, but with the flies buzzing around my head, I can honestly say the humor is escaping me...

I'll be back tomorrow, freshly washed and in better spirits, I promise.

My hubs life may depend on it.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Pass the Puns, Please

Good morning dear internet. On the menu this morning is french toast, Brazilian coffee (beans actually grown and bought in Brazil!!) and a hefty dose of relaxation. So while I sip my freshly roasted brew, I offer you this ditty. Forewarned, this is a classic! Enjoy!

One day two carrots were walking down the street. They were the best of friends. Just as they started to step off the curb a car came speeding around the corner and ran one of them over.

The unhurt carrot called an ambulance and helped his friend as best he could. He was taken to emergecy at the hospital, and rushed away.

After many hours of agonized waiting, the doctor came out. He walked over to the distraught carrot and said "I have good news, and I have bad news. The good news is that your friend is going to pull through."

"The bad news is that he's going to be a vegetable for the rest of his life".

I'm sorry, I couldn't resist!

Friday, May 19, 2006

I am That Mom

My bone-digging daughter has returned home. Happy, healthy and only slightly sunburned. All in all the trip was a resounding success. There were a few glitches. Minor whoops, if you may. Apparently, my daughter was the only kid (out of sixty) to not have brought along a foamy or an air mattress. Now, in my defense, she had a beautiful, comfy sleeping bag. Brand new. She is nine year old, for pete's sake. Aren't nine year olds supposed to be able to sleep on the hard ground with out complaint? Doesn't having something soft and cushiony to sleep on take some of the "rough" out of roughing it?

To make matters worse, I forgot to pack her a pillow. Again, the only child whose mother forgot to pack her a pillow. Somewhere to rest her pretty head. I feel kind of bad about this one, but in my defense, it wasn't on the damn list they sent home. I kind of thought they would use rocks or ball up their dirty clothes, like Jack and Ennis did on Brokeback.

But to really paint a dork's bull's eye on my daughter's forehead, I packed her a nightgown. Gasp, the horror. How could I have been so insensitive? Because, as I've just learned, nightgowns are for geeks. Two piece jammies are the way to be hip. As my daughter was safely cocooned in her homemade nightgown, sewn with love by her grandma, she was sweltering from heat in her brand new sleeping bag, (which was on top of a pile of lumpy rocks.)

As she complained about this, I asked her why she just didn't sleep on top of her sleeping bag. Then she wouldn't be so hot, nor so uncomfortable from the rocks. (Apparently someone had beaten me with a stupid stick before I asked that question.)

My daughter looked at me like I grew devil horns out of my forehead and told me (in a patronizing, "What-Are-You-Stupid?" voice) it was impossible to sleep on top of her bag because then her nightgown might ride up and her ass would be hanging out for all the kids boys to see. And what nine year old girl wants the boys to know she wears pink panties with hearts on them?

So, yes, I am that mother. The type of mother to send her kid to sleep on a bed of rocks while sweltering to death inside a big ole sleeping bag, while wearing an ugly, fleece nightgown and having to use a pile of pebbles to cushion her head. Yes, I am that mother.

Too damn bad. It could have been worse.

I could have went along on the trip. Then she'd really have something to complain about.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Clash of the Titans

With my daughter digging up dinosaur bones, my house is rather quiet. The rattle of the washer and the continuous hum of the dryer doesn't disguise the fact that there is no arguing, no crying and no squeals of laughter. Nope, she took all of that with her and packed it in her suitcase. Her brother Frac, is lost without her. And when I say lost I mean lost to the cyber world of Nintendo games. It's so quiet here I could convince myself I have no kids. So in an effort to bond with my one remaining child, I did what any good mommy would do.

I took him shopping. Because that dear internet, is what eight year old boys like to do. Particularly bra and shoe shopping with their mother. I kept trying to tell him that we were spending quality time together. He kept telling me there was a hockey game on. (Damn you, hubs, you've converted my only remaining son into a hockey nut!)

It was a battle of wills. A clash of the titans, if you will. We both were determined to get what we wanted. Me: a new bra to squeeze my little A's into. Him: to watch the game while playing video games and having his soul slowly sucked from his body. Sadly, neither of us got what we wanted.

Because I am the boss of him, he had to come with me. His dad scored a ticket to the game last night (oh, yippy, they won) which meant the son was mine to torture and harass as I saw fit. But my son, he is a stubborn creature, he may have lost the battle, but he didn't want to lose the war.

Have you ever tried on bras with an eight year old boy on the loose in the store? He snickered, and giggled like the pre-pubescent boy he is. He very loudly announced that maybe I should try the bra with more padding, because I have such small bosoms. He poked every mannequin in the boob he could find. I believe he even put some lacy pink brazilian undies on his head in an effort to speed things along. But the straw that broke this camel's back was when I finally picked a pretty, lacy number, my darling son loudly asked (while standing next to a very cute man) if that bra would make my boobs sag less. Because they are rather hangy.

Hangy!? And the miracle of all this, is I still love him. And choose to feed him. That however, may come to a quick end...

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

A friendly game of Tag

Growing up there were many school yard games I liked to play. Cops and Robbers. (I was always the robber, and my brother would lock me in jail and then go have lunch.) Hopscotch and double dutch. And of course, my favorite; tag. Well, now that we are all grown up, I don't often get a chance to play tag. That and the fact the kids can out run this chicken any day of the week. So it was with great delight that I found myself tagged. Thanks Izzy. I'm not above a little school yard blogosphere fun so I decided to play. (That and the fact that I had no blog fodder this morning. Nope, this well ran dry.)

I AM: a stronger woman than I gave myself credit for. (And I'm not referring to my stink!)

I WANT: to be able to pick a damn name for my puppy. I named three kids easier than this!

I WISH: that I could harness an angel and bring him home.

I HATE: ignorant, judgmental folks.

I MISS: my Bug. Hence, my blog.

I FEAR: my mother wanting to move in with me when she gets elderly. Dear God, that's a scary thought.

I HEAR: the birds twittering outside my window. **I just heard a loud thump. A birdie flew into my window. I went outside to look and the bird was on the ground. Great. Nice way to start the damn day. I am now a bird killer...Oh wait, it flew away. Phew...**

I WONDER: if I leave my windows dirty will the birds stop flying into them.

I REGRET: never having worn a mini skirt or a two piece bikini out in public. Three kids later, 20 pounds heavier and riddled with stretch marks, I probably never will...

I AM NOT: above drinking milk straight from the carton or eating Betty Crocker's frosting straight from the jar. Come on, people, you don't come here because I call myself the Classy Mommy.

I DANCE: like I'm a discombobulated chicken, doing the herky-jerk. And I love it. Especially with children in my arms and on my toes. My hubs, however, prefers to dance with my sister...He says I look like I have Turrets when I try to two-step.

I SING: all the time. Like a cat in heat. And I don't care. So take that Daddy!

I CRY: yes, damnit, I cry. Let me tell you, Kleenex must love me. Because I must have been personally responsible for their Christmas bonuses.

I AM NOT ALWAYS: funny. At least that's what my mother tells me.

I MAKE WITH MY HANDS: beautiful blooms. I have green fingers. Plants love me. Gardens love me. Flowers love me. And I love them all back with the type of geeky faithfulness that worries my hubs.

I WRITE: lists. I am the List Queen. And if I lose my list I have been known to panic and be rendered useless in the grocery store. I have been known to hijack stranger's lists in order to jog my memory about what was on my list. My loved ones refuse to shop with me. They are scared of the lists.

I CONFUSE: my hubs on a daily basis. It's what kept us together for a million years. Adds a little spice, if you know what I mean...

I NEED: a good therapist with a comfy couch. Or a stiff drink.

I SHOULD: be thankful that my parents live five miles down the road and the inlaws live five miles down in the other direction. Built in babysitters, right? More like, built in snoops. Who pop up without knocking, whether you are in the throws of passion or not...

I START: every day with the largest, strongest cup of caffeine I can get my hands on. After I grind my own beans.

I FINISH: every day in the arms of the person who loves me most. And I am so thankful for it. Even if he refuses to shave.

So thanks Izzy for tagging me out in this big ole blogosphere yard. If I can catch Binky I'll tag her!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

I Can Almost Smell Freedom...

My daughter, Fric, is growing up. I remember when she was born. I marveled that she was mine. She was nothing like I thought she would be. She had no hair and an extremely large head, for starters. She was huge. And she was stubborn, right from the get-go. When I brought her home from the hospital, I wondered what in the hell I was supposed to do now. The sheer magnitude of being responsible for another life was overwhelming. I worried that I would screw her up beyond redemption.

And I probably have. But nine years later, I'm okay with it. I figure she has given as good as she's got. If she has to see a therapist, she might as well come along with me so we can get the group discount. Parenting a daughter has been a hard row to hoe. But I'm lucky. She is the junior sized version of me, so I feel like I have the inside edge. When her beautiful beady eyes started getting that evil gleam, I know what she's thinking. I can usually head her off at the pass. I can tell when she is spinning tall tales, and I know when her heart is bruised.

But even with this road map there have always been twists in the trail. I mean, she likes to listen to Britney Spears and Shania Twain for heaven's sake. At her age, I refused to join the pack. No Corey Hart or Brian Adams for me. No way. I dedicated all my time to listening to my dad's old eight tracks, enjoying the velvet crooning of Elvis, Waylon Jennings and Dolly Parton. (That probably tells you way too much about my past geekiness...)My daughter thinks Hilary Duff and the Olsen girls are cool, and if she knew what a Bratz doll was, she would probably hound me like a dog from hell to get one.

Today, Fric grew new feathers in her wings. Wings that are one day going to allow her to fly this coop. She is off to enjoy her first overnight class field trip. They are going to Drumheller to learn about dinosaur bones. For three days. Three days of no sibling rivalry. Three days of listening to the quiet beeps of the GameCube and no whining about not sharing. Three days of not having to argue with her about brushing her hair. I'm almost childless. The boy almost takes care of himself. I am almost free. Only one soccer game to attend, not two! Do you smell that? That's the giddy smell of freedom...

As Fric was bouncing around with excitement this morning, she worried about tenting it in the big ole outdoors. She worried about snakes and spiders. She worried she might be cold. Being the kind hearted, supportive mom I am, (as I was pushing her out the door) I told her not to worry. I told her half the fun was the unknown. I told her to loosen up, enjoy the experience. But mostly, I just told her to hurry up.

I didn't want her to miss that damn bus.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Mommy's learned a new trick

I am suffering from a Mother's day hang-over. I was showered by kindness, kisses and love for the entire day. It was if my tribe was beamed up by aliens and replaced by small creatures with manners. I sat around with my mouth hanging agape for most of the day, marvelling at my children.

Did you know that at eight and nine years of age they are old enough to make their own lunch? To clean their rooms? To flush the toilet? To do the dishes properly and without any fighting? I didn't either. They have been holding out on me.

But now that the cat is out of the bag, I'm gonna set the bar high, and aim for the moon.

I'm gonna teach 'em to cook.

It's going to be nothing but a life of leisure from now on for this Redneck mommy.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Pass the Puns, Please

Happy Mother's Day to you, dear internet. Today is the day where my subjects (kids) bow down to treat me as the Queen I am. This usually involves pancakes, sausage and some craft made in school. But before I begin the revelry (translation: no one has woke up) I give you this ditty. In honor of momma's day, I dug up a real groaner. Enjoy!

These three guys are out fishing, and when they get back to their truck they see it's surrounded by three bears.

"OK guys, I figure the only way to get to the truck is to really get them mad. Then they'll leave and we can go home. So, Ed, you take the one on the left, the little cub with the broken leg, and I'll take the one in the middle, the little cub with one eye and a hurt paw, and Joe, you take the one on the right, the huge silvertip mama grizzly bear with blood-encrusted claws, the big teeth, and froth around the mouth".

"Hey, man wait a sec, I'm supposed to get this monster mad, and you guys get the cubs ? That's not fair!"

"Now, now, Joe. We all have our bears to cross."

Friday, May 12, 2006

Mother's Day Mommies

Mother's Day is upon us. I want to take a moment to salute the many mother's out there. Because after all, I too, am a mom. A badge of honor I proudly wear. I remember the moment I was told I was going to be a mother. My reaction wasn't something anyone would want captured on a mother's day card. Instead of tears of joy and happy gushing, there were tears of "OH MY GOD, what the hell am I going to do now!!??". (I believe there may have been a few cuss words thrown in there somewhere too.)

Since then, I have mellowed a bit. Stretch marks can do that to you. Having a small child gnaw on your breasts with toothless jaws of steel, can do that to you. Having to clean up untold amounts of urine, poop and puke can do that to you. Having to wipe up bloody noses and skinned knees over and over, until you are a glorified nurse, can do that to you.

As I have grown up with my kids, I have discovered there are many different types of moms out there. There are the traditonal types, like my sister in law, who bakes cookies on a daily basis, and never raises her voice. With five kids. (I figure she must slip in a sedative in the cookie dough, because how the hell else can she get through a day with out yelling?)

Then there are the complacent types, happy to have children as long as the ride doesn't get too bumpy. I have a girlfriend who is like this. The type of mom where it is easier to let their children morph into psychotic little monster's who would glady tear your throat out and then stomp on it, than actually discipline them.

Then there are the mom-Nazi's, who are against everything. Video games, music videos, Walt Disney. The Smurf's are satan-mongerers, dammit, and no you can't watch the Teletubbies. Shut up, play your flute and eat your granola. The mommies who would rather wrap their precious children in bubble wrap than a cute jumper from Old Navy. We all know the type.

Of course, there are the hip, cool mommies, (like me) who like to think they are a bit of everything above, and more. They try to avoid the dreaded mom jeans, they can make a decent cookie and video games are okay as long as everyone's head stays on through the game. No killing. Smurfs are just blue midgets who sing an annoying song about the morals of living in a blue society. But everyone knows Barney is a tool of the devil. Along with Dora. (Thank be God, my kids have grown out of this stage.)

What ever type of mother you have, or may be, I salute you. Because being a mother is a labour-intensive (pardon the pun), time-consuming, lack-of-respect job. And it takes all kinds of mommies to make this world go round.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

She Shoots, She Scores!

To those of you who wished my hubs and I well wishes on our anniversary, I thank you. Because it was looking like it was going to be the high point of my day. Really. And the way my luck was running, probably the most romantic part too.

Like the fool I am, I didn't realize #9 fell on a play-off date. Which meant that I spent the evening on the couch, next to my hubs, watching his team struggle to stay in the game. To be honest, I couldn't tell you if it was a good game or not. Between enjoying my cold, stale pizza and receiving a foot rub that alternated between either too hard or too soft depending on what end of the rink the puck was on, I wasn't paying too much attention. I was busy thinking of all the ways I would have enjoyed spending our anniversary (maybe a movie, maybe dancing, maybe a quiet romantic stroll) while drilling holes into the side of my beloved's head with my ice-ray glare. To which, he remained oblivious. Dope.

Nope, I could have worn a snazzy little french maid's outfit and licked Mr. Pickle and he still wouldn't have noticed me. He probably would have told me I was distracting him from the game and could I please be quiet? I could have cartwheeled naked through out the living room and he would have told me "You make a better door than a window."

This, dear internet, is the reality of marriage after nine years. Don't get me wrong, the man wasn't a completely obtuse. He brought home a funny, romantic card and my favorite treat: Tim Horton's. He called me every five minutes through out the day to make sure I knew he loved me and to remind me about the damn hockey game.
I knew that with the game well into over-time, if I ever wanted to see any action on my anniversary I would have to make a drastic maneuver. Without resorting to begging like a dog. I may be a fool, but I am no idiot.

Let's just say my hubs never got to see how the game ended. And he willingly turned the telly off. And he scored.

Funny, how wearing a hockey jersey could win my game...

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Short Walk down a Long Aisle

Nine years ago today my husband became legally obligated to lift the toilet seat up. And I in turn, became legally obligated to pick up his nasty, smelly, balled up socks and put them in the laundry. When we walked down that aisle, with stars in our eyes and our hearts in our throats, we never imagined what life would bring us.

We had images of white picket fences, farm animals and puppy dogs. Well, the only white picket fence around here is the one down the road and it is fairly dilapidated. And farm animals? Please. You can take a city girl and put her in the sticks, but she is still a city girl. The only farm animals I want to have are the ones neatly processed and served on my plate. As for puppy dogs, well, we're working on it. (Tank Cletus Otis Brutus Figaro Finnagan Hoss Ralph, Mommy loves you. But we really need to settle on a name for you or we might have a problem when we are out in the park!)

The reality of marriage is slightly different than our hazy romantic visions. Reality involved student loans, credit card debt and a 600 square foot home out in the middle of nowhere. Reality is three kids, two miscarriages and one granite marker. Real life meant watching a father struggle to live, and another father become crippled. Reality brought with it two mother in laws who dislike each other and a gaggle of inlaws to complicate family gatherings.

But all in all, the reality of marriage is better than what either the hubs or I pictured. Sure, my beloved was heart broken to realize marriage doesn't involve me wearing a french maid's outfit every night and serving his every sexual craving, but the fact that he gets laid on a semi-regular basis is enough to keep him happy. And me, well, truth be known, I was a little disappointed when I learned that my man didn't develop bulging biceps along with his newly found beer belly, but I am happy knowing that he doesn't complain when I spend a small fortune on shoes and nasal piercings.

That short walk down the long aisle produced a married couple who love each much more now than the day they took that stroll. Because now, when I sit on the toilet and my ass touches the freezing cold water because my darling hubs has forgotten to put the lid down, I know that he loves me. And when he goes to grab his last beer to settle in for the game, and discovers it has already been drunk - by me, well, I'm sure he knows I love him dearly.

Because nine years means we can steal each other's beer. Nine years means we can walk around naked, not comb our hair and pick each other's zits. (Ok, I can't do that last one, but it's a nice thought.) Nine years means pillow fights, chasing the kids around the house while making monster noises and munching on popcorn while watching lame "age appropriate" movies. Nine years means letting the little battles go, so you can focus on the really big war. (Usually, involving a mother-in-law.)

If I had to do it again, I would. In a heart beat. Because every tear shed these last nine years has been followed by a hearty smile. Every argument has been chased with compassionate love. (And let's face it, in nine years, there hasn't been an argument that I haven't won.) The 600 square foot house was replaced with a larger, prettier home. Filled with kids, toys and love.

So I toast you dear hubs. And I look forward to the next nine years. Because I figure there is still time to train you to pick up your own damn socks and learn how to put the f&*king toilet seat down. And maybe, if I'm really lucky, I can get you to put the cap back on the toothpaste. And I promise, one day soon, I will buy that french maid outfit. I might even wear it.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The Countdown to Madness Begins...

The time is upon me to earnestly begin planning my sister's baby shower. How do I know this? Because my darling mother told me in no uncertain terms. I believe her exact words were "Don't you think it is time you got off your ass and did something about your sister's shower? It is not going to plan itself, you know."

With those warm words, she sat me down and gave me explicit directions, heaped with a side of guilt, about what she expects for her baby girl's shower. (Before you roll your eyes, just know that I love my mom. At least that is what I keep telling myself.) She wants food; nothing fancy but not as classless as beer and pizza. (Apparently, mommy dearest may know me too well.) She wants a nice location, big enough for 25 people, and it needs to be decorated appropriately. I suggested blowing up condoms and using them as balloons but apparently this falls under "classless." (In my defense, it's not like I have claimed to be the epitome of sophisitication.) And most of all, she wants to ensure my sis has a good time. I will do my damndest with that one. With all the booze I will be swilling, I am sure to be the life of the party!

And with those words of encouragement, I started planning the party from hell shower. The first obstacle - where to host such a party. My sis lives in a rather small apartment, fit for herself, her baby and her cat. Any one else has to stand out in the hall and yell through her door to talk to her. Obviously, not an ideal choice. There is my place, but city dwellers tend not to want to drive an hour out to the middle of nowhere to eat old egg salad sandwiches and slimy fruit. (And yes, dear internet, before you ask, that is what I plan on serving. Nobody can say eggs and fruit aren't classy.)

So that leaves my brother's house. Complete with girlfriend who hates me and dogs who try to hump my leg every chance they get. (Which is not very often if the girlfriend has her way.) And since none of her friends (or my mother) have offered up their homes, the dog humpers house wins. (Say that three times fast, I dare you!)

Now on to the guest list. Which means I will have to crawl out of my hole and tear myself away from the computer screen to call these girlies. Actually talk. On a phone. Shudder. Women, who no doubt will expect party favors, games and cucumber sandwiches. Served on good china. I'm developing a twitch just thinking about it.

Most of these people don't even know I exist. By tacit agreement, my sis and I try not to advertise our familial ties. After years of having our childhood friends run home crying because my brother pantsed them or my dad walked around in nothing but his dirty tighty whitey's, we tend not admit to having any family. At all. We were dropped off by the stork and raised by elves. Which we have no memory of. This is a system that works well for us, so why rock the boat?

Oh dear God, I fear there isn't strong enough liquor to make this pain go away. I'll be posting this blog from a prison cell. Where I will be serving time for choking my mother with condom balloons after poisoning a gaggle of girls with rotten egg salad sandwiches. The Redneck mommy driven to homicidal madness by silly shower games.

Somebody shoot me now.

Baaad Blogger!

My apologies, blogger is being difficult. Again. But let's face it, I am too cheap and too lazy to switch things around. Now. But I'm putting you on notice Blogger. Keep up this bad behaviour and I will have to take my little blog somewhere else. And I'll take all five of my readers too! How do you like them apples?

Monday, May 08, 2006

A lesson learned

I, Redneck Mommy, can be a tad impulsive. (Which is slightly evident when I named this blog, never realizing the amount of pervs who would knock on my blog door simply because I called myself their mommy. But that is a post for another day...) I have always been a little impulsive, but my lack of impulse control was harnessed by caution and small amounts of wisdom. My caution and wisdom brain cells seem to have been buried with my son as of late.

Case in point, I painted my bedroom Bubbalicious Purple. Yummy. They say purple is the color of royalty. I, being the princess I am, would have to disagree.

Example #2, when the lady down the road asked if I wanted to work at her greenhouse, without any hesitation (or thought) I agreed. After all, wasn't it so nice of her to think of me? Yes, yes it was. But perhaps shoveling mounds of dirt and packing hundred pounds of flower pots around a greenhouse, all for minimum wage, is not the best way to cope with grief. If I want to function like anything other than a zombie, afterwards.

But the best example, and the reason for this post, is my nose piercing. Because I am a hip, cool mommy, I ran out and had someone stick a needle through my nose. And for the pleasure of that searing pain, I paid them a hundred smackeroos. If I was younger, I would have used my mom's sewing needle, a potato and my best girlfriend. See the wisdom I have gained with age?

The nose piercing wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. It healed nicely and rather quickly too, and after my intitial urge to constantly pick my nose, I kind of forgot about it. The hubs loved the pretty little stud and my kids thought I was the coolest mom out there. So this loss of impulse control actually worked out well. Right, dear internet?

But being the fool I am, I couldn't leave well enough alone. Cuz I am nothing if not a twit. On Saturday I was back at the scene of the crime. I had every intention of just buying a different stud, this time maybe a more sparkly one, to put in my newly healed nose. But even tattoo and piercing artists are salesmen at heart. And the chicky who was working the till had so many holes in her face that if you hooked her up to a hose she would have been a mighty fine sprinkler for your lawn. She talked me out of the pretty girly stud and into a brutish, garish 16 gauge nose ring. Like a bull, baby.

So, seeing as how a sucker is born every second, I agreed. She led me back into the pit of pain, where I awaited a piercer to insert the ring for me. How bad could it be, right? After all, the hole is already there. You see my faulty logic here? Well, to be fair, putting the ring in didn't hurt that much to begin with. But after the piercer tugged, pulled, squeezed and picked my precious nose, things got a little tender. But we women know there is a price to pay for vanity. And really, this was no worse than waxing my grass. If you know what I mean...

Have you ever beat your self with a hair brush after some thing didn't turn out so well? If so, Welcome to my World. A world where there is always room for more idiots. Well, my quota for self-mutilation was full, so I put the hair brush down, but now I am stuck with this clunky ring which makes my hubs laugh his ass off. He keeps threatening to attach my new puppy's leash to it and well, lead me around by the nose. Funny. He so did not get laid this weekend.

The moral of this story is, think before you act ladies. Or else you too, could be sporting a slightly infected, red bulbous nose to which a leash will attach to. And for you gentlemen, there is a lesson for you too. Keep your mouth shut, don't tell your lady she looks like your prize winning 4H bull, and you may get lucky. And for the love of all things holy, leave the leash alone!

**I really am that blue. It's not just the computer screen glow, it's our Canadian water...

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Pass the Puns, Please

Good morning dear internet. It is time, once more, for me to pass along some cheese for you to enjoy with your breakfast. In honor of my four-year old niece's birthday, I have passed along the pun I told her this morning. Enjoy your Sunday groaners!

Why did Tigger get his head stuck in the toilet?
He was looking for Pooh.
( I never said I told my niece a good one!)

For those of you with a more sophisticated palate, I present this one for you:

A man takes his Rottweiler to the vet and says, "My dog's cross-eyed, is there any thing you can do for him?"
"Well," says the vet, "let's have a look at him." So he picks the dog up and examines his eyes. Finally, he says, "I'm going to have to put him down."
"What? Because he's cross-eyed?"
"No, because he's really heavy."

Hee hee.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Begging like a Dog

I started this blog with the intention of keeping things light. As a reminder that parenthood, and life in general, is a good thing, even when tragedy strikes. I also started this blog as a form of very cheap therapy. Because I am nothing if not frugal. I like to keep things light because for the most part, life is already too damn heavy. And there are other bloggers out there who can do the whole make-you-think thing much better than I could. So I spend my blogging time passing along the ditties that make me smile, groan or steam. Anything to entertain the masses. And myself.

But I am now using my blog as a valuable tool in my therapy to regain normalcy. (Snort, if that is even possible.) You see, dear internet, in my quest to heal my family I am putting my love of a clean house aside, and bringing in a four legged critter. Something I swore I would never do when we moved into our new home. But rules be damned, this is an emergency. And the only medicine that will work is that of a slobbering, puppy-breath, pee all-over and shed everywhere kind.

So in two weeks, I will bring home our newest family member. He will be an eight week old bundle of blissful puppy exuberance. And I will be, no doubt, bleary eyed while moaning and bitching about the little dude.

But that is in the future, so for now I will focus on my excitement and my kidlet's excitement. Back to using you, dear internet, as my valuable tool. You see, my family has been torn asunder in our effort to name the little guy. My daughter likes Spot and my son insists on Freckles. Me, I gag each time I think about their name preferences. Makes me wonder what my future grandchildren will be saddled with.

The hubs is indifferent. He is offended that I chose a rat for a pet instead of a real man's dog, like say, a Great Dane. But I don't want to be picking up turds that are bigger than my own and I would prefer to spend my grocery money on well, groceries, instead of dog food to feed a monster-truck sized animal. (Although, I admit to finding Great Danes awfully cute.)

So I present to you pictures of as-of-yet unnamed pupster, and a picture of what the dude will look like when he is all grown up. Put your thinking hats on people, and please, do better than Spot and Freckles. My sanity depends on it.

P.S. That snazzy blanket, it ain't mine. I may call myself a Redneck, but I do have taste. And eyes. Which prefer not to be blinded. Just so you know.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Hillbilly Wars - Friendly Neighborhood Firebugs

Out here, in Redneck County, things are pretty dry. We didn't receive our annual dump of snow until March and then, POOF! it melted with a stretch of unseasonably high temps. Normally, I wouldn't complain about this, but last summer, the hubs and I had to do a lot of landscaping to go with our new house, and this dry weather is havoc on my grass.

This is the time of year that the doofus that lives next door likes to set his lawn on fire and watch it burn. In theory, it is a controlled burn, with just enough flames to eat the brown grass and make everything emerald green. In theory.

In reality, two years ago yesterday, it was more like Mr. Hillbilly got wobbly with his brewsky, tossed a match on his lawn and drove away, while instructing his 13 year old daughter to keep an eye on the flames. He needed more beer.

Seven miles down the road, I was cavorting with my redneck parents. When I went outside that afternoon I noticed a huge black, billowing cloud in the south. I commented to my dad that some schmuck must have been a turd and started a ground fire.

Back at my place, due south, a certain hillbilly 13 year old was on the phone, gossiping like all girls her age do, about whatever boy she was currently obsessed with. As she sat there giggling, and twirling the phone cord around her pinky, the wind shifted. In my direction.

20 miles away, Mr. Hillbilly was paying for his brewsky at the local tavern. When the money in his wallet ran dry, he decided to head on home.

Missy Hillbilly eventually noticed her lawn was still brown. "What's going on?" she thought as she wandered outside to check it out. Panic struck as she noticed her yard wasn't in flames, mine was.

I have to commend Missy Hillbilly. After she noticed the flames got away from her, she did everything she was supposed to do as a 13 year old child. She phoned me. But I was still cavorting with the redneck parental unit. She ran and got help from another neighbor. She called 911. She used my hose to water the ground around my house, thereby saving my home. She saved my dog by letting him off his chain, as the flames were licking at his paws and he had no where to go.

By this point, I decided to come home. My Bug needed to be fed, and it was time to start thinking about feeding Fric and Frac as well. So, I bundled my tribe into the Redneck wagon and off we went. Due south.

When I pulled into my crescent, the first thing I noticed were all the flashing lights. At first, I thought it was my brother in-law, with his tow truck, pulling some nitwit out of my ditch. But then the sea of black caught my eye and the smell of burnt soil tickled my nose. It took a moment to realize the entire front of my property was now lost to this hot monster. Seven acres of trees protecting my home from prying eyes - lost to fire. I slowly recognized that the orange jumpsuits were actually a team of firemen stomping out the devastation.

Missy Hillbilly got burned trying to save my property. My golden retreiver was burned trying to escape. Kids toys, bikes, lawn furniture, and tools all got demolished by the licking flames. But my home was still standing, surrounded by a sea of black, smoking grass. But it was still there. And I was extremely thankful for that small miracle.

As I was assessing the damage with a fireman, Mr. Hillbilly neighbor drove up. Intoxicated. He didn't understand what went wrong. He left his kid in charge, afterall.

Justice was served that day when the R.C.M.P. arrested his sorry ass for drunk driving. And he got nailed with a huge fine from Redneck County as well as the clean up bill from the fire department. As well as the bill from the power company for having to replace three power poles.

His wife apologized after telling us it was our fault, because if I had decided to stay home that day there would have been an adult around to help her daughter fight the flames. She didn't seem to understand that her daughter never should have had to fight the flames in the first place.

Their insurance company coughed up some money in our direction. (Turns out the Hillbilly's have had 12 fire related claims in 18 years!) But the money was not near enough to clear the devastation or replace seven acres of trees. But on the brightside, it motivated my hubs and I to build our new house that summer and destroy our yard completely. Start from the ground up, if you will.

Two years later, a new home and a new yard, I guess I should be thanking our Hillbilly's next door.

So, thank you dear Hillbilly neighbors, for being firebugs as well as raging alcoholics. My life is so rich because of it.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The Marital Dip

My wedding anniversary is rapidly approaching. The concept of having an annual date to celebrate your union with the person who loves you more than anyone else in the world, is a lovely one indeed. In theory, this should be a date where romance is implied. A date for candles, flowers and hopefully, some skin on skin contact. A date for two people to gaze into each other's eyes and wax poetic about how lucky they were to have found one another.

Truthfully, this is a date that has all too often been overlooked in our home, what with the pitter-patter of small feet and the clamour of reality dimming the dewy romance of the day. Sure, we have observed the day. We have bought each other our obligatory Hallmark products, cracked open some wine (or beer in our younger days), and occasionally, we even went out for dinner. Together.

This year's date marks nine years of marital bliss. The bliss that comes with watching your mate put on an extra twenty pounds. Bliss that comes with witnessing your partner pick, wipe, floss, and scratch every orifice they have. Bliss from waking up and rolling over, only to be greeted by the most ferocious dog breath on the planet. And there is no dog in your bed.

But perhaps the most romantic bliss of all, is the fact that for nine years, Boo and I have shared a mattress. Twined our limbs together as we drifted off to slumber. For nine years, I have been lost to the great sag in the middle of the bed, that crevice I refer to as our Marital Dip. Three different matresses, and I am still fighting my way out of that crater on a nightly basis.

When I commented to Boo about this hollow in our bedroom, he was his romantic, thoughtful self. Seriously, dear internet, I get chills when I think of my loving husband's empathetic response.

Me: "You know, for nine years, every night, I am stuck in the pit of hell, because our mattress sags so bad. Perhaps we need a new one, maybe one of those memory foam ones." (See how rational I am?)

Hubs: "Nah, I don't think that will make any difference for you."

Me: "You don't think so? We have to do something. This sag is killing my back."

Hubs: "There's nothing you can do. You see, the indent would happen on any mattress."

Me: "Why, what do you mean?" (Oy, even I cringe at how I set myself up.)

Hubs: "Every mattress would still get that crater from your lard ass."

Needless to say, the hubs didn't get any last night, and he is sporting a few new bruises. This, my friends, is the reality of my marriage for nine years. This is the romance that I will get to celebrate when my anniversary rolls around next week.

I wonder if Hallmark makes cards to celebrate the union of the lardass to the dumbass?

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

How a Hockey Wife was Born

It was a late night for this Redneck. While I don't generally announce this fact, (it is rather shameful,) I am married to a sports nut. For the most part, Boo is as close to perfect as a man can get. If you discount the scratching in public, the nose hairs peeking out, and (my favorite,) the farts he lets loose in the heart of darkness. But since perfection is not possible, I chose the next best thing. My hubs. And for a while, besides the man-grooming thing, all seemed well in our happy little romance. The bastard reeled me in with pretty words, flashy baubles, and good sex. I fell for him, hook, line and sinker. (I even managed to over look the fact that this was a man who believes work boots constitutes casual foot wear. Don't worry dear internet, I beat that out of him.)

But then something shifted, and my passionate man began, sniff, ignoring me. I lost him to the NHL. As Canadians, this is not so shocking. Hockey flows through our veins right along with our red blood cells. And most men I know can rattle off stats quicker than multiplying two and two. But my Boo, he never let on. He deceived me. Golf, bah. Football, only if there is beer involved and nothing better to do. Basketball, fun to play but he would rather clip his toenails than watch it on telly. Boo led me to believe that while playing sports is fun to do, watching them on t.v. is a poor substitute. And he would much rather keep my body warm. Sweet, right?

Then hockey season rolled around and I lost him. Officially, I am a hockey widow. It is so bad that he bought a small t.v. for out in the garage so he can watch his precious game in peace. Away from his nagging, annoying wife. What happened to the loving, sensitive man I married? Oh yeah, he's sitting in a lawn chair out in the garage, drinking beer and yelling at the t.v. screen.

I had to do a quick reassessment. I could either whine about my widowhood or I could join in the fun. While as an unenlightened chicky I leaned towards the whining; being the redneck I am, and a patriotic Canadian, I jumped on the bandwagon. So I dragged my husband off his folding lawn chair and brought him indoors. Where he now nestles in to the couch, drinks beer and yells at the t.v. While sitting right beside me. Rubbing my feet. Like any good man should do.

So I am celebrating his team's victory. Not because I want them to win the cup or anything. No, because my Boo gives a damn good foot rub. And he likes my monkey toes.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Revenge is Sweet

I have refrained from blogging about my wonderful sister's birthing experience because I am trying to respect her privacy. That and the fact that she is currently staying five miles down the road, and at any time she can come over and whoop my ass. I prefer my ass unwhooped so I have avoided this blog fodder. Yesterday I had an epiphany as I was staring at my nephew's hairy little ears. Sister-of-the-Whoop-Ass does not know that I have a blog. I can write any damn thing I want. There are no boundaries to observe, no rules of decorum that I can't break. I am free. (Duh, I knew I didn't share this blog with my family for a reason!)

So I am here to mark the event. Also, it was a very slow weekend. The kids behaved, the hubs wasn't home and I did a jigsaw puzzle all weekend. I never claimed to be a hip, cool mommy. Only a redneck.

A little back story here, if you please. My sis was 17 when I had my first kidlet, ten days shy of my 21st birthday. Sis was in the delivery room with me, and after watching my pain and witnessing my vajayjay stretch out to the size of a small country, she was no longer interested in trying sex out for herself. So the arrival of my daughter was effective birth control for the next three years. My parents were pleased with this. My sister, she still has nightmares.

The following years brought two boys into the family and two more opportunities for her to wax poetically about the state of my bush, how hairy my tree stumps were, and oh yeah, do you think you could trim your monkey toe-nails every once in a while? She was very supportive as I huffed and puffed my way to motherhood. She was a regular comedian, providing unending amusement for my hubs.

So for years I have been looking forward to the day she would walk in the door and announce to the world she, herself, has decided to breed. And I waited seven long years very patiently. Seven years of waiting for my revenge. Seven years of my sister commenting on my parenting style, criticizing my kids clothes, hair, behavior. Seven years of her forgetting my kids birthday parties because she was too busy having a life. Seven years of her wondering how I turned into a slobbering, unhip, radically pathetic soccer mom. And seven years of telling my sis how I wouldn't change a thing, except to have more.

So last fall, when she told me she was giving the world the gift of her offspring, I celebrated. Sure, it is joyous that we will have a new family member and all that crap, but it is much more joyous to know that motherhood is going to bite her on the ass. And I could hardly wait.

Well, God has to be a man, because he denied me the experience of commenting on her bush and her monkey toes as her placenta abrupted in the middle of the night and it was a race to save her and the baby. But in the end, I forgave God, because all ended well. And I knew, that while she didn't have hours to curse, moan and swear while trying to deliver a baby, she would have years ahead of her to understand what it means to be a mother. All with me watching over her shoulder, commenting on how she is morphing into a unhip, radically pathetic, soccer mom.

So my hats off to you, dear nephew. You haven't let your mom sleep more than three hours straight since you made your appearance in her life. You haven't let her forget that her bloody, cracked nipples are yours any time you please. In fact, you have done much more insidious things to her than even I, Redneck mommy, ever dared dream.

Rock on little nephew. I promise to always be at your birthday parties and always bring you a cool gift. One your mother would never buy for you.