Wednesday, January 31, 2007

An Open Letter

To the People in charge of Redneck Mommy's Adoption,

As a member of Redneck Mommy's family, and let's face it, the glue that holds that woman together, I am taking it upon myself to see what I can do to speed up this adoption process.

I'm Nixon, the World's Greatest Dog, Ever. I'm sure you've heard of me.

As you can see, my RM is slightly confused. In her desperation to adopt a child, she has transferred the love and affection she has for all of her children, new, used and invisible, and placed it on me. Do you have any idea the pressure this puts on a pooch such as myself? I'm getting a bald spot on the top of my head from all her kisses and let's not discuss how many times I've noticed large patches of my fur being removed with her incessant cuddling and stroking. She's wearing me out and that says a lot seeing as how I've got boundless energy.

Do you see what she did to me? Further proof that she has lost her mind. The next thing I know she's going to be putting her nephew's, The Worm, clothes on me and pushing me around in a buggy introducing me to all her friends as her newly adopted child. I know everybody is expecting a special child, but please, I'm too pretty to be confused for a HUMAN. Do you have any idea how hard it will be to get laid if the neighborhood bitches see me being paraded around in a bonnet?

So I urge you, please, speed up her adoption and give the woman a kid. Preferably one that doesn't walk or talk or make any sounds. That Worm of hers is more baby than I care for. But I love RM, (she knows all the right spots to scratch and she is susceptible to bribery) so I want her to get herself another little drooler. I'm not above begging here. My dignity depends on it. The other day I heard her muttering about finding a diaper to fit me! A fucking diaper!

Help dog out and save the sanity of all lives involved. I can vouch for her ability to love and parent. She keeps those rugrats of hers on a tight leash. (Hee,hee, while I can pretty much get away with murder...Not that I would, I'm a really gentle dog. These fangs are strictly for show.)


Nixon, the World's Greatest Dog, Ever.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Showdown at the Local Costco

Friday night found me alone with my son, Frac. Fric was over at a friend's house, painting her toenails, and gossiping about the boy crush known as Nathaniel. (This is an anonymous blog, right?) Since a little quality mother-son time was upon me, I did what any good mother would do. I took the boy shopping. Don't worry, dear internet, I avoided all clothing and underwear stores and stuck strictly to the grocery ones. It was nice having some one on one time with my boy; I learned all about the plot line of his favorite video game, the names of his favorite characters and the fact that his teacher, Mrs. Moustache, (no, she doesn't have one...I think) drinks way too much diet Pepsi in the morning.

After arguing over whether broccoli was really a necessity of life (I say yes, but he argued no) and debating whether apple turn-overs were a breakfast food or a dessert (he said dessert, I argued breakfast food), we decided to grab a hotdog and a pop for our supper.

I believe in a well-balanced healthy meal consisting of all parts of the cow and a variety of different chemicals I can't even pronounce.

Sitting there, with my wiener (two days in a row I managed to squeeze that word into a post!) slathered in mustard and sauerkraut, I looked at my son who was covered in ketchup, trying to fit an oversized hotdog into his mouth, and thought how proud I was to be part of his life; to simply know him. Even when he used the sleeve of his new cream sweater as an over-priced napkin to sop up the ketchup from his face.

I looked around and noticed the people around me. It was late already, and the table section was fairly empty. On one side of us was an elderly gentleman enjoying a slice of vegetarian pizza while reading a magazine, and on the other side of our table were two men my age, one with iPod buds in his ear and the other a scruffy man in desperate need of a shower. They kept looking over and smiling, I kept pretending I didn't see them.

Suddenly, Frac decided to become Chatty Kathy. He asked how I met Dad (I've told this story many, many times), how I knew I loved him, (I told him it all depended on the size of his dad's weekly paycheck), and why didn't I ever play video games. (Duh, I suck at them!)

All the while the men on either side of us, listened with half an ear, while pretending not to. To be fair to them, my Frac has a large, booming voice, much like his father. Even when he whispers, people in the next county can hear what he is saying. I used to think he had hearing problems, now I know that he's just a boomer.

Trying to be discreet and witty all at the same time, without discouraging this unusually inquisitive side of my son, I tried to answer any question he tossed at me. He just kept tossing the curveballs, and I just kept knocking them out of the ball park.

I knew I was in trouble when his eyes lit up. I could see the gears in his brain start to spin furiously. He suddenly became aware of the audience we had on either side of us. This no longer was a question and answer period, but a game of let's see what I can get away with.

I knew it, and thought bring it on, little man. I'm smarter than you. Damn it, I'm 31 and you're nine. Let the better man win.

While slurping loudly from his over-sized cup of pop, he asked me what a uterus was. The elderly gentleman next to us suddenly wished he had picked another table to sit at. I proceeded to explain to my son that it was a woman's sex organ where babies are conceived and live until they are born. Silently tapping myself on the back, I looked at the old man to see if I had answered appropriately and if he needed resuscitation.

Frac thought of this for a second and then asked where the uterus was. How the f#&k do I know? I thought as I calmly answered "in our mid-section, behind our bladders." I was speaking softer now, not wanting to reveal my ignorance of the feminine anatomy to the men on either side of me.

As Frac digested this and his cowparts sausage, an evil gleam glimmered in his eyes. Shit, I thought, but in for a penny, in for a pound.

"Well, where do the babies come out?" Frac asked loudly, and somewhat triumphantly. Little bugger knew he had me by my tailfeathers as he looked at the men at the one table and grinned widely.

Ignoring the smirking fools sitting next to me, I looked Frac square in the eye and thought, Two can play at this game, my little demon spawn, while answering loudly and proudly, "Why out of our VAGINAS, of course."

Frac paled a little at the va-jay-jay word and the elderly gentleman choked on his coffee. I studiously ignored the laughing from the men on the other side of me. But Frac is his mother's son, and he straightened up, looked thoughtful evil for a moment and then asked loudly "Does any part of the man's body go into the woman's when they have sex?" I could see the look of triumph on his face. Kid thought he had me beat.

I looked him straight in the eye and said "Of course. Haven't you ever heard of French kissing? The man puts his tongue into a woman's mouth, and if he's lucky she doesn't bite it off."

I knew I was walking a fine line here, knowing that if Boo was around he'd likely murder me for my answers. Let's not even go to what my social worker would think if she knew what I was teaching my kid. Visions of my husband fleeing with my children and my soon-to-be-adopted child being yanked out of my arms by an angry government employee skittered through my head. But this was war, dammit, and I hate losing.

By now, the elderly gentleman had enough of my sex education talk and took his pizza and moved to a table further away from me and my talk of uteri and vaginas. When he stood up he gave me a withering look and shook his head in pity for my son. I shot him a brilliant smile and was tempted to invite him to sit with us to enjoy his meal.

Secretly, I was sweating bullets and Frac knew it. I was looking for a way to end this conversation without conceding victory and he was looking for a way to go in for the kill. Meanwhile, the men next to us were enthralled, trying hard to contain their giggles and guffaws. Bastards were egging on my Frac, and Frac knew it.

My beautiful boy sat and thought about French kissing for a second and then looked me dead in the eye and grinned.


"No, Mom, I mean, any parts DOWN there," as he pointed to his nether regions.

By now, the men next to us made no pretense of ignoring our conversation. They sat there, with their mouths agape, and waited breathlessly for my answer. I looked at them, for backup, pity, support, anything, but could see I wasn't going to get any from these twits.

I looked at Frac and saw his beaming face. The little shit knew he had me. I could either launch into a sermon of the birds and the bees and educate all the men around me (for God knows the trolls next to me obviously needed an education) about the intricacies of sex OR I could admit defeat.

I did what any good woman would do.

I changed the subject and asked Frac if he wanted to go pick out a new video game. Suddenly, the battle was forgotten and the gleam in his eye turned into one of electronic delight.

I shot the men next to me an evil smile and they looked devastated. Apparently, Frac and I were the evening's entertainment and I had just closed the show before the really good part began. As Frac hurried to the garbage bin to dispose of our remnants, I leaned over to the men and whispered, "Don't ever underestimate a woman, gentleman."

As Frac waved at me to hurry up, after all, I had just bribed promised him a new game, I smiled at the men and sauntered away.

Crisis averted, and battle won.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Pass the Puns, Please

I started posting puns on Sunday as a lazy way of blogging. It didn't take any real effort and let's face it, that appealed to me. Much the same way I appreciate the Swiffer Wet Jet, the remote control and individually wrapped Rice Krispies squares. Anything to make my lazy-loving life a little easier is nothing to be shunned.

Why write when I can pun? So off I went, thinking up and searching for some real stinkers. Because anyone can pun cleverly, but it takes a real connoisseur to pull of a groaner. And so began my punny Sundays.

Of course, there are critics. Not everybody loves a stinker. Not everybody has acquired a taste for le fromage.

Too damn bad. It's my blog and I've got me a love of smelly cheese.

But for those of you who desire a sophisticated pun, I found one. No, I can't take credit for it, but I can whole heartedly appreciate it.

So without any further ado, enjoy!

In a recent news broadcast, it was announced that Lorena Bobbitt's sister Louella was arrested for an alleged attempt to perform the same act on her husband as her famous sister had done several years ago. Sources reveal the sister was not as accurate as Lorena.

She allegedly missed the target and stabbed her husband in the upper thigh causing severe muscle and tendon damage. The husband is reported to be in serious, but stable condition, and Louella has been charged with ......

A Misdewiener!

Alright, perhaps sophisticated isn't the most accurate word, but it was a real stinker, right?

Friday, January 26, 2007

A Daughter's Insight

Late last night, while I was enjoying my cup of tea, waiting for my cold medication to kick in and deliver me some sweet relief from my aching bones, feverish mind and phlegmy cough, the phone rang. I croaked hello into it, hoping to instill great amounts of pity in whomever was calling me at so late an hour. (Oh, that poor sick woman, I had better be extra nice to her, as she is all alone and sick and taking care of three children, one of whom isn't even hers, and that woman really deserves a medal...I admit it, I worked my croak to instill sympathy and I'm not ashamed of it.)

My croaking efforts were wasted as it was my big brother Stretch. The only time he has ever had pity on me was when he saw me at my son's viewing. Any other time is fair game for good natured teasing. Walking like a duck because I was hugely pregnant and suffering with pelvic bones that liked to separate; well it was my own damn fault. Should have kept my knees together in the first place. Having a horseshoe imprinted on my 11 year old face and my nose swell up to the size of a hot air balloon, well duh! Who the heck told you to walk behind a horse? Silly girl. Have a straw painfully stuck into the roof of her mouth because said big brother gently tapped the bottom of her milkshake cup? Should have been quicker and moved that cup.

The joys of having an older brother. After he ribbed me mercilessly about my germy house and told me about the joys of handwashing and antibacterial soap, he offered me this pearl of wisdom: Get rid of your kids. They carry disease like little rats. Thanks, Stretch. I would never have thought of that pearl all by myself.

After his dutiful lecture about sanitation and the joys of a kid-free life, he developed the brass nuts to ask me a favour. A favour that would require me talking to my mother. Wow, insensitivity and guilt all in one phone call. How did I get so lucky?

I don't often blog about my mother. Quite frankly, the subject is too painful and I prefer not to dwell on the embarrassing fact that my mother hates me. After all, most families have drama. What makes mine any different? Some how, it seems like my biggest failure; a daughter who wasn't loveable enough to win over her own mother.

Of course, years of therapy, time and some distance has taught me the flaw in that particular thought. My mother is simply flawed. I have made peace with that fact, but it hasn't always been easy, especially with her living down the road. It isn't easy reading other women's odes to their mothers, whether alive or not, and knowing that I have no such words to offer of my own. Mother's Day is brutal, for there is no card that says "I'm sorry I make you so angry and I'm really sorry we can't get along."

Yes, I love my mom. I wish every damn day that our relationship was different. I have tried so hard and made so many attempts my husband threatens divorce if I try again. Because inevitably, I get hurt. My mother simply can't understand who I am or respect who I became.

After years of growing up with her verbal abuse and believing her that it was all my fault, that I was lazy or stupid or ugly or fat, I realized no amount of change would suit her. And giving birth to my own children, especially my daughter, made me question why I should have to. It didn't matter to me what my daughter looked like, says, does or thinks. I don't care if she wants to be a ballerina or a dump truck driver. To me, she is the most precious gift I have. A mini reflection of myself, an extension of the love I share with her father. So why am I not the same thing to my mother?

My older brother and younger sister do not have these problems to the same extent as I do. My brother distances himself both physically and emotionally from her abusive personality. It is enough to see her on holidays and exchange pleasantries with her when he calls to talk to our father. My sister actually lives with her and has somehow managed to find a way not to bring out the inner dragon on a regular basis.

But there is something about me that makes my mother hurl insults at me whenever she gets the chance. Something about my looks, or my speech pattern or my breathing that makes her remind me, in front of my children, that she doesn't like me. She isn't sure she loves me. She wishes she didn't have me.

Of course, two minutes later she denies uttering those words. And then the "poor pity me" routine begins. It is exhausting and embarrassing. My husband and his family, all too often witnesses to such behaviour, have no words and no explanations. They simply hug me harder and offer a prayer.

My friends, often disbelieving at first, until witnessing awful outrages over nothing, are puzzled and saddened. Most grew up with wonderful parents and can't imagine having this type of relationship with their mother.

My children, whom I have tried to shield as much as possible from this craziness, don't understand how a grandma can be so wonderful to them, but so unjust and cruel to their mother. They are at an age where things are starting to make sense to them and they don't know how to make the pieces to this puzzle fit.

I used to feel sorry about this, pity myself and my lack of a mother. I used to spend hours trying to remember one single childhood memory that involved a hug, a touch or kind words or laughter with her. I honestly can't. I have many with my dad, but not one with my mother.

I know I am not the first in this club, nor will I be the last. But knowing this fact doesn't make it any less isolating. Any less painful. Every argument we've had, every harsh word, I pick apart to examine and see where I went wrong. Was it really my fault that my mother didn't talk to me for two full months from the day I buried my son? Could I have been nicer to her at the funeral? I guess I should have hugged her first instead of waiting until the end of the day. But I just couldn't face that accusing look in her eyes, the one that said I failed as a mother and managed to kill the one good thing I had done.

I haven't given up trying to reach my mother. But now I understand, it isn't me. Something within her is broken and is reflected back to her, every time she sees me. Sometimes she can control that rage and disappointment, other times she can't. But I admit to no longer caring as much. Or hurting as much when she tells me what a loser and a disappointment I am. I fear one day I may stop caring all together. And that saddens me.

Because for all the feelings of shame and sadness I feel when I think of her, I know that I am who I am because of her. I am resilient, persistent and humorous because of her. I am intelligent, sharp and I know what I want, thanks in large part to her and her genetics. I am the mother I am today because of the mother she was yesterday. I wouldn't change that.

But I do grieve that mother-daughter bond, especially when my own beautiful daughter comes up to me to simply hug me and tell me she loves me.

How I wish it were that easy for me.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Shoot Me Please. It Would Hurt Less And Be Quicker...

After a night of wishing I would just hurry up and die already, pleas for mercy which God seemed fit to ignore, it appears that I have a day of illness and misery to face. Alone, with a nine month old baby who is teething and constipated. A baby, whom I love very much, but whom I would rather just give to the first friendly face I see today.

Won't my sister appreciate that?

When I stumbled to the kids rooms, alternating between moaning and cursing, my darling children shrieked and told me they have never seen me so ugly looking.

Just what I needed to hear first thing in the morning to motivate my diseased ass first thing in the morning.

Any one want any children? They're cute, skilled at hiding dirty socks in the oddest places, ignoring the chunks of food on the dishes they are supposed to be cleaning and generally just smearing dirt around to help give the house a new look.

Best of all, they're FREE.

Kidding. I jest. It must be the lack of sleep due to the pain of the sore throat, inner ear infection and all around crap-tastic feeling one acquires when living with the plague.

Even Nixon, the World's Greatest Dog. Ever, is giving me a wide berth. Sure, he loved me when I may have had worms crawling out my ass, but swollen lymph nodes and horking up loogies apparently offends his delicate sensibilities.

Traitor. I'm sooo buying him the generic brand of doggie biscuits next time.

So please excuse this pathetic, whiny post. I'm all alone and I don't have my husband to whine too. I don't dare breathe near my children, or I will be dealing with this virus for weeks. Nobody likes trading disease like trading baseball cards.

Forgive my inarticulate ramblings, I'm still wishing for death.

Pray for a quick end to this people. Or at least for me to feel well enough to once again torture my beautiful children....

Monday, January 22, 2007

Lukewarm Reception

My husband likes to complain that I spend too much time in front of my computer. I tease him about the fact he's just jealous that my fingers spend more time stroking my keyboard than him, and he pretty much agrees. Yesterday, I was a little nervous about attending the family birthday party. I confess to having a hard time watching my neice and nephew grow older and blow out the candles on a cake that is now bearing one less name in frosting.

To combat my nerves, I did what any blogger would do. I blogged. I surfed the net, checking out new blogs that I generally do not have time for. Time slipped away from me, until I realized that if I was to attend this family function I had better get my arse out of my chair and start riding herd over my children. Who were happily absorbed in some video game and squabbling with one another.

As I hustled them into the shower, I reminded each of them that water was a precious resource and not to squander it. Don't forget to wash behind your ears and make sure you rinse all the soap and conditioner out of your hair. I nagged at them to make sure they washed all the parts of their bodies which included their privates and their toes. Standing in the streaming water does not constitute washing. Remember to use soap.

Satisfied I had nagged appropriately, I started tidying up and getting ready myself. I could hear the arguing over who got to shower first, the annoyed protests of hurry up! and the sounds of my children getting clean. After a few minutes (but who really knows because my idea of tidying up and getting ready at this point meant sitting back down in my chair and reading more blogs) one child slowly emerged from the bathroom and then eventually the other.

All scrubbed and shiny. Good as new. Looking at the clock, I noted how time was really moving and I better bust a move. After quickly reminding (translation: more nagging) the kids to dress appropriately, I hopped into the shower myself.

I should have realized something was amiss when I could barely see where the shower was. The steam was cloying and claustrophobic. But by now I was thinking of nothing but Bug and hoping I could pull through the party without turning into a mushy, weepy aunty.

I turned on the water and quickly hopped in. I didn't have time to adjust the water temp, I had to get my ass in gear. The spray of water hit my skin and I quickly grew goosebumps as big as my dog. I adjusted the water and waited for warmth. Except the water seemed to be growing cooler. I turned around once more, and turned the hot water on full blast. By this point my poor body is shivering uncontrollably.

Nothing. Just lukewarm water quickly chilling into an icy blast of winter. I waited for a second until I realized something.

The little buggers used all of the hot water. And now I was stuck with a cold shower.

By the time I was done having the world's quickest shower, my lips were blue, my teeth chattered so hard they about rattled out of my head and my knees were knocking together from the cold.

As I toddled off to my room to get dressed and regain feeling in my toes, my darling children commented on how quickly I managed to shower. Fric took it upon herself to ask if I had managed to remember to wash all of my body parts, including behind my ears.

Frac commented on how he loved a good shower as he stuck his finger in his (hot) water soaked ear.

Cheeky children.

As I chattered and shivered and tried to dress, I lectured them from my bathroom. About the importance of hot water and how it is imperative to make sure to save enough for the next person in line to use the shower. How consideration and kindness is a reward of it's own.

How if it ever happened again I would toss them naked into a snowbank and let them see how much they liked having a frosty shower.

My cheeky children just laughed and reminded me that in using all the hot water they had done me a great service.

"How do you figure?" I asked them, still trying to regain sensation in my skin.

"Think of how much water you saved, Mom. You had the quickest shower ever!"

It was hard to argue with that logic. But the next time those two hop into the shower, I fully plan on sneaking into that bathroom and dumping a big bucket of ice water over their heads.

I figure it will be the easiest way to teach them to conserve hot water. And the most fun.

For me, anyways.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Pass the Puns, Please

Today is the day my extended family gathers to celebrate all the January birthdays. Which will include my Bug's. Last year, so fresh from shock and riddled with pain, I hid in the bedroom and tried to shut out the world and the hurt by squishing my eyes closed and holding my breath until the world spun.

I saw my two year old nephew do the same when he was in trouble and it seemed to work for him. Apparently, I must have done it wrong, because I didn't have the same results.

This year, this day, the wound has been scabbed over and (so far) I have managed not to pick at the scab. So I plan on partaking in the festivities, drinking some happy juice and making a pig of myself when it comes to eating the cake. The way I figure it, I'm eating for two.

NO, I'm not preggers. Although, technically I am expecting. As soon as the government plays nice and hands me over a baby that some one else didn't want.

No, I was referring to the fact I must eat enough cake and icecream for the Bug and for me. Eating for two. At least that's what I'm gonna say when I hip check the kiddies out of the way to get the last piece of cake. All's fair when it comes to cake.

Now I'm off to prepare for the big afternoon. But before I leave, I present to you, my interweb friends, some cheese.

It has a slight odour and an after taste resembling a groan.

Just the type of cheese I like. Enjoy!

There was once this second-rate orchestra led by a second-rate director.

In the orchestra was this guy on the cymbals who never banged them at the right time. So the conductor said, "If you don't get it right this time I'll kill you."

When the time came for the percussionist to get it right, he didn't. And so the director pulled out a gun and shot him dead.

Of course, the police came and arrested him and eventually the conductor ended up on death row.

The day came when he was sent to the electric chair. As the crowd watched, the executioner flipped the switch ... but nothing happened. Everyone wondered what when wrong.

But the director knew. Saddened by all that had taken place, he said, "I never was a very good ... conductor!"

Friday, January 19, 2007

I Double Dog Dare You...

I love winter. Mostly. I love the snow and the winter sports. Even curling. I love how freshly fallen snow paints a new pristine landscape and erases the sins of yesterday. (Or at least covers the dog poop and McDonald's cups thrown out of the back of my car.) I love toques and scarves and stylish leather gloves. I have six winter coats, (Sorry Boo, you still love me right?) to alternate with what ever I happen to be wearing.

I love the feeling when it is very cold the air seems to bite your lungs when you inhale and the snow actually crunches beneath your feet. I love hurling myself and my children down steep hills on inner tubes and praying to God that we will walk away with our bones intact. I love how the sky looks at winter, and how the stars seem so especially bright. I love standing still while the snow gently falls to the earth and marvelling at how quiet and peaceful the world seems. As I stand there with my tongue out, trying to catch the fat, fluffy flakes, I am transported in time, once more ten years old and making angels in the snow; not a thirty-one year old mom with a big mastercard bill and a looming mortgage.

Of course, if I'm stuck inside for long periods of time with my children, I hate winter. Or if I manage to drive into a snowbank and get stuck, I really hate winter. Or if I fall on my ass in front of my kids, God and a group of goodlooking men while trying to walk in three inch stilettos across an icy parking lot and look cool, well I fu%*ing hate winter.

But I have great winter memories, growing up here in a winter wonderland. Snowmen, snow forts, tunnels, tobaggoning, watching my best friend ski into a tree and break her arm. Great memories. Like the time my dad was struggling to bring in supper (KFC I believe) and he slipped. The bag crashed to the ground and the gravy container popped open and splashed a bit on the outside of our metal screen door. Dad picked it up, brushed his bruised ass off and we dined like royalty that night.

That's not the great memory. No, we had two basset hounds at the time. They were begging and getting underfoot so Mom put them outside to relieve themselves and give us a break while we feasted like kings. A few minutes later we heard some whining and a ruckus so we opened the door to see what the commotion was about. Turns out one of the hounds discovered the gravy on the outside of the metal door and did what any dog would do. He licked it. And promptly regretted it.

No, opening that door to find my dog with his tongue stuck to the door will be a childhood memory I will forever cherish. And don't worry Mrs. Chicky, he wasn't injured. We grabbed some warm water and melted his tongue loose. While laughing our asses off.

Which of course brings me back to the time I was seven and a young, nose-picking child. It was recess and I was on the swings. I was working up a good sweat. Suddenly, the frost on the metal pole looked so enticing. So I had me a Dumb and Dumber moment. There I was stuck to the damn pole. Crying and panicking, while a large horde of children gathered about me and started to laugh and poke at me with sharp pointy sticks. (Well, okay, maybe not, but they may as well have for the scars on my soul from their verbal taunts are surely equal to that of being prodded by the pack of blood thirsty children.) My older brother walked through the crowd, which parted like the Red Sea when Moses walked through it, and wrapped his arms around my waist and gave me a good tug.

F*&ker. I was still attached to that damn pole and now my tongue was bleeding. As my brother was trying to amputate my tongue, some wonderful guardian angel (I think it was the fourth grade teacher) appeared with some water and saved me from having to have my tongue reattached.

I was teased about that for weeks until the next dumbass kid tried the same thing. Ahh, fond memories of surviving winter.

Which of course, leads me to the point of this post.

Guess what I did last night? Nope, I did not stick my tongue to a metal post. Or watch Nixon the World's Greatest Dog. Ever try to wrestle his tongue free from the front door.

I merely double dared my children to stick their tongues to the frosted side of our metal pool. And then I whipped out my camera to document this monumental moment of their childhood while laughing my ass off.

They survived, tongues intact, and now have their own winter war story to pass along to their kids.

Me, I'm still laughing my ass off.

I LOVE winter. But I love being an evil, masterminded mom even more.

***Sorry folks. I only publish pictures of my dead kids, not the ones with a pulse!!!***

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Invisible Man

I am a creature of habit. I find comfort in routine. Sure I love a good adventure, but nothing makes my heart trill more than the static minutiae of daily life. Every morning starts off the same: rise, let the dog out, go to the washroom, torture my children's retinas by turning on their bedroom lights with no warning while singing "Good morning Sunshine! Time to get up and earn Momma some money!" (I believe in early indoctrination...) and then I stumble to my coffee pot.

When ambrosia is in my cup and the delightful smell is wafting in my nose, I sit down at my computer and ignore my children arguing over who gets the last Poptart and who is stuck with plain old cornflakes. I begin to immerse myself in the delights of the blogland before me. Looking for quick hits of entertainment, enlightenment and occasionally, education.

I love my bloglines. I wish I had more time in the day to discover the vast unknown blogs out there. It boggles my mind to know there are so many undiscovered (by me) writers out there whom I could be gleaning useful tips from.

Occasionally when I read my blogs, I stumble upon something that makes me stop and think, something that makes me want to sit up and say "Wait! I have something to say too!!!" This happened to me last week when the incomparable Catherine wrote about her Wonderbaby's pox. With the sad images of that child staring back at me, I read how Her Bad Mother felt when people only saw WB's spots and not the beauty of her soul.

Of course, Catherine has a way with words that I envy. I secretly wish she would come west and adopt me and Nixon, the World's Greatest Dog. Ever. Think of the skills I could soak up from being around such brilliance on a daily basis. But alas, who would feed my kids?

I digress. This topic obviously touched my soul. For the first eight days after Shalebug was born I sat at his side and held vigil. Every movement he made, every breath he struggled to inhale, every drop of blood he lost to the NICU vampires, I watched. I would look at this baby, my baby and wonder why I felt nothing but fear. Maternal instinct, protection, but not the overwhelming love I knew with my other kids.

For eight days I wondered if he could see (he could, as we later found out) or if he could hear. (ABR results confirm ability to hear.) I wondered why when he cried he seemed so off. I couldn't place what was the matter with my son but I knew something wasn't quite right. Finally, after hours of staring at this child who lay there like a dead fish, it occurred to me that I had never seen him blink. I gently blew in his face to see if he would respond.

Nothing. Excited, I grabbed the nearest neonatologist and explained what I saw. Suddenly, there was a flurry of activity around my Bug. The geneticist was called and the neurologist and the neurosurgeon. They peppered me with a barrage of questions and then the neurologist performed the most scientific test I have ever witnessed in my life: he grabbed a tissue out of the nearest Kleenex box, rolled it into a stick-like shape and spit on the end of it to form a point on his tissue spear. He then jabbed it into my son's eye.

Nothing. No response. There was a chorus of "Aha's!" and a flurry of tests ordered and then they began patting themselves on the back and they started to walk away. "Wait!," I blurted out, confused by all the medical speak for I had yet to become fluent in doctor-ese. "What is it, what's the matter with him?"

The neurologist turned around and simply said he had Moebius syndrome. Great! I thought, finally we are making some head way. I naively thought this meant we would be on our way home soon. Let's treat it and get the hell out of dodge, I thought. I asked what this meant and he just said Bug would never smile or frown and then he walked away.

Mystery solved. As I stared at this stone faced little baby, it all began to make sense. He didn't respond to my voice or touch with all the usual physical cues a normal child would. There was no gassy smiles, no cute infant grimaces and no angry baby faces when he was pissed off.

Nothing but his big beautiful eyes staring back at me. Until, of course they rolled up into the back of his head. (His way of blinking.)

This was the start of Bug's journey and it wasn't even his hardest path to travel. But it was by far the most pressing issue we dealt with on a day to day basis. It wasn't until I was presented with a non-verbal child who did not have the ability to communicate with his face that I understood the importance of body language.

Family and friends were lost when it came to dealing with Bug. They tried hard and they wanted to love him, but his stone face made it difficult. They confused his laughing for crying and they couldn't see when he was working up to a full blown fit. He was easy to ignore. Because he was hard to read.

Added to his blank face, was the splints and casts, tubes and machines and a lovely little wheelchair, and our Bug was a walking advertisement for "Hey! Over here! Look at me and then pretend you don't see the handicapped child!" It was a tough lesson for me to learn, especially after priding myself on having the two most beautiful babies in the world.

Where did Bug fit in? At first I railed at God, at the injustice of it all. I would look at pictures of people with Moebius syndrome and (ignorantly) cry on my husband's shoulder. "They're so UGLY!" I couldn't believe that my child was sentenced to a life of disfigurement, paralysis, and worst yet, ugliness all because I cooked him wrong in utero.

I quickly swallowed this, but secretly I was glad Bug was a boy. Somehow it would have seemed so much worse to have a girl who had all of these problems. An ugly girl would have been too much for me to bear.

And then I met someone. The NICU was in the same hall as the Burn ICU. We shared a wait room. There was a man who had severe burns to all over his body. He used to pace this hallway up and down every morning. When I saw him, I shuddered and thought to myself what a monster he looked like. What a poor man, I thought. And then I would toddle off to go and pity myself and my infant son in our little world inside the NICU.

One day, after encountering this man every day for a week and every day quickly looking away so I wouldn't have to see his disfigurement and he wouldn't have to see my pity and fear, I brought Fric and Frac to see their brother. They were four and three years old, respectively. They saw this man pushing his i.v. pole and painfully shuffling along and they stopped dead in their tracks.

Fric, always the brave one, loudly asked "WHAT IS WRONG WITH HIM, MOMMY?" and Frac, my super-sensitive boy started to cry and cling to me, because he thought the man was a monster.

I was mortified. I met this man's eyes for the first time and felt ashamed. It suddenly dawned on me that this was a person trapped behind the scars and bandages. I saw his pain and for the first time, I saw him. His name was Frank, and he gently explained to my kids what had happened to him. Fric was satisfied and eager to see her brother, but Frac was still tightly wrapped around my legs, suspicious of this man-monster.

When I saw my stone faced angel that morning, clarity hit me. I realized there would always be people in the world who would only see his mask, his syndromes, his deformities. People who would only see the disability instead of his abilities. And there would always be people who would choose not to see him at all. Bug would be invisible to a large portion of our society. Simply because of how he looked or, in his case, didn't look.

I talked to Frank every day after that. I apologized for my reaction and explained why I was always around. We became hospital friends, clinging to the mutual bond we found in a puke green hospital corridor. One day Frank was not around and I didn't even notice.

But I never forgot Frank, or my reaction to him, or that of my kids. And later, every time I saw someone look away from me and my child, I thought of Frank. Every time Bug would form long strings of foamy drool that hanged from his mouth like a rabid St. Bernard and his eyes would roll into the back of his head and some soccer mom or old lady in the grocery line up would see it and then pretend not to see us, I thought of Frank.

Every time an old man or a child would see Bug's crooked, scarred feet or feeding tube and then stare at him like he was a bug under a microscope, Frank was shuffling along in the recesses of my mind and in the hallway of my heart.

It took me a long time to learn how to cope with having a disfigured, disabled son. My vanity never recovered. I went from angry to sarcastic, to feeling the need to explain with lengthy medical terms to simply nodding and smiling. I always wondered what Bug thought when I rambled on to some mother or child who simply remarked on his sunglasses.

Did he roll his eyes behind those shades because he had to, or because he just wanted me to shut the hell up? Did he notice people's pointing and staring or worse yet, their obvious attempts at ignoring him. Did he care? Did it hurt his heart the way it hurt mine? Did he take it personally the way I seem to? The way I still do?

One day I will ask him. Until then, I keep him and Frank close to my heart. My vanity no longer rests on that of my beautiful children or what the world thinks of me. I learned to see past the surface and look for the shining soul peering out. In every one.

Because sometimes that shine is hard to see. But it is never invisible. All you have to do is see the smile in their eyes to see that light. I know.

Monday, January 15, 2007

The Dust Bunnies Are Rallying For War

Have you ever had a dream so wonderful that when you wake up you feel bereft and close to tears, upset because you were forced from your fantasy and back into reality? I had one of those dreams Saturday night. I wasn't dreaming of my beautiful boy (although when I do, I wake up with the same feelings), I didn't dream of winning the lottery and then having to hand over the winnings to my mother and mother-in-law to spend while they roll around naked in my dollar bills. (Yes, I've had that dream and it was entirely unpleasant.) I wasn't dreaming of Clive Owen, George Clooney and my husband fighting over me. (It could happen!!)

No, this particular dream was filled with feather dusters, cleaning chemicals and obedient children. And then I woke. To my reality. A reality filled with dust bunnies, poorly folded laundry and yellow spots sprinkled like candy on icecream around the porcelain throne. Not to mention water marks on the mirrors, greasy dishes and lovely hand prints at the four foot mark on most of my walls.

I really love being a mother. What I wish I had known before giving birth was how the word 'mom' was an acroynm for 'maid'.

Yesterday I decided to take back my freedom. It was war and I am tired of losing every damn battle. (Yes, I am delusional, but shhh, don't tell my adoption case worker.) I decided that at ages ten and nine, my darlings Fric and Frac, realized that the sweet deal they had going was coming to an end. No more gourmet cooked meals (I use Kraft dinner with the white cheddar...), no more candy just for being cute (that might still happen, as I have a propensity for filching it from them) and most importantly, no more maid service.

It was time for my rugrats to learn how to clean.

Quit laughing at me. I told you I was delusional.

So I spent the better part of my day yesterday teaching my daughter and my son how to dust, clean toilets, fold towels and mix the proper ratio of Mr. Clean to water. I even taught them how to use the washing machine.

Don't get me wrong. It's not as though my children are completely useless. They do have chores. They half-ass their way through the dishes on a nightly basis, they clean their rooms the same way I clean my house (shove things in the closet and under the bed and pray to God my mother doesn't notice), they stack wood and take out the garbage. They whine and snivel their way through shoveling half the walk and some of the deck and they fold socks into creatively mismatched pairs.

But it is time for more. Because I am tired. I am lazy. And I am the MOMMY. What I say goes.

So I slapped on my educational mother cap, and began the teaching process. This meant a lot of tongue biting (I'm still tasting blood) and a lot of repetition. I grew more grey hairs and I swear I have two more lines on my face. But when we finished (Thank God for small freaking miracles) the kids had a sense of satisfaction and pride.

I managed to keep from killing them, making them feel bad and I even managed to make it fun. That would be because of the music I blared through out the day to muffle the sounds of my cursing and moaning. Thanks Creed and Pink. You cover a multitude of sins when blaring full blast on the stereo.

When the kids went to bed, I looked around. I tried not to see the grime smeared all around, the streaky mirrors, and the dust bunnies that escaped with their lives. I tried to ignore the fact that my wash machine now rattles in an odd way it never did before. And as I re-washed (sigh) my wine glass, I knew that I had done okay.

Because I still had my sanity, I hadn't hurt anyones feelings and there is always next weekend to do this all over again.

After all, practice makes perfect right?

After a few glasses of my mommy juice things looked better. Cleaner. I went to bed feeling good. Because while I may not have the cleanest house or the motivation to get off my ass to do it myself, I will always have Clive.

What more could I ask for?

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Pass the Puns, Please

Good morning to all my cheery internet friends!

As a current single parent, (thanks to my husband trading me in for his band of merry men in his attempt to chase the almighty dollar) I have had many a sleepless night. Let me tell you, when you are accustomed to crawling into bed to snuggle and molest a large, beautiful, blonde man and all you find is a short, hairy, flatulent dog (and my apologies to the many of you out there who think I am either describing their husbands or themselves...) the night can be rather long.

It could be worse, I suppose. Nixon, the World's Greatest Dog. Ever, has been my knight in shining armour. Without his annoying snuffles and soft snoring, I might go mad at the thought of climbing into that vast, lonely bed for yet another eight hour reminder of who (and what) is missing.

However, a gassy dog is a stinky dog, and my nose has been assaulted regularly since the absence of my man. Which has meant a lot of time staring at the computer screen while I should have been catching my beauty sleep.

The upside is, I have found some remarkably stinky fromage to pass along.

So while I am off to yawn, stretch and drink copious amounts of caffeinated beverages to stay functional for a long day of being trapped inside with my sweet, frenetic children, please enjoy le fromage. Served from me to you with a yawn and a groan...

While shopping at a local toy store, John came across a long line of people waiting for a promised shipment of dolls from Mattel. As he scanned the line, he noticed his friend, Wally, waiting with all the others.

Knowing that Wally had no daughters or young relatives, John figured that Wally must like the dolls himself.

"Wally, I didn't know you were a collector!"

"I'm not," Wally replied
"Then why are you standing in this long line?"

"Well, I've never been able to resist a barbie queue!"

Friday, January 12, 2007

What's In a Name?

One morning, after months of lurking about and stalking my favorite blogs, I gathered up my courage, collected my thoughts and made the big leap. I pressed PUBLISH for the first time. I struggled with what to name my blog, as I didn't have a clear concept of what my site would be about. Obviously it would mention my children, because after more than 30 months of pregnancy (collectively, of course), seemingly endless hours of torture labour, multiple stitches and a total loss of dignity, they are an integral part of my self.

That and the law says I have to feed them.

I knew I would be writing about my darling husband because I love him so. And if I kept quiet about all the stupid shit he says my head was in danger of popping like an over-filled helium balloon. (But he's the bestest, sexiest, most generous husband this lady could scrape up around these parts. And I love you so and miss you, in case this is the odd freaking time you decide to READ my blog.)

But I needed to name my blog. As I sat staring at my glowing screen, listening to the hum of my beautiful iMAC, I was suddenly at a loss for anything creative. Or remotely clever.

Immediately, the words 'Redneck Mommy' popped into my head. I wasn't bright enough to Google them first. Nope, I was blinded by mirth, so delighted in my ahem, cleverness that I simply ran with them.

(I was remembering a hot summer day when I was ten and I asked what a redneck meant. My uncle pointed to his very sunburned neck and said this. Ironically, he meant himself and not his fried skin. I was TEN. Oops.)

Knowing that my mother would die of mortification if she knew I called myself a redneck, (or my family a bunch of hillbillies) I pressed the lovely PUBLISH button once more. Nothing like an act of passive aggressive cowardness to really stick it to your mother. (I have since spent the last year trying to keep quiet the fact that I have a blog, let alone her finding out the name of said blog.)

I didn't understand how creative the Google-loving perverts could be. Or how the word "Redneck" is really just code for hillbilly porn. It's been an education. Some of it funny, some of it just plain ewww....

Because I am celebrating the fact that I managed to shove my children onto the school bus this morning and then flee like a third-rate bank robber, and because I am celebrating the fact that I can leave my dog outside to shit on his own, I have decided to share some of the Google searches that have lead the public to me.

Not you of course, dear internet. The other public. Wink, wink.

Pissed on the Ground: Well, I don't, but my neighbour has been known to. Especially if I am standing nearby, wearing slippers.

My Neighbours are hillbilly trash: See above.

Redneck toothless smile: That would be my Daddy's toothless grin you're googling.

Tacky tattoo redneck: What's your point? Some tramp stamps having meaning.

rabbit murderer: And Google led you HERE??? As far as I know, I haven't been guilty of that since they actually started selling premade home pregnancy kits.

origin of baby showers: I don't know, but if you find out could you let me know? Because after the pain that was my sister's, somebody has some explaining to do.

husband is hung: If you mean in the literal sense, hanged, like a certain Iraqi warlord, then no, no he isn't. If you mean hung in a more pornographic way, I'm certain he would agree with you. I, however, am refraining from commenting on the size of Mr. Pickle.

I want to know how a dandelion grows: Something to do with water and sunlight. Having worked in a greenhouse and priding myself on having a huge green thumb, I should know. But when I see the little suckers I kill first and then ask questions later. I'd advise the same action unless you are fond of the prolific little weeds.

picture of kid duct taped to wall: A work of art, if I say so myself.

redneck magic: That would be what happens in our bedroom. Wink, wink.

Does Kraft Dinner Give You TapeWorms:  Not sure about that. But there is a case to be made for Pinworms.

After collecting my Google queries and writing this post, I realized something.

I really am a redneck. And there are some questionable folk out there. Questionable, perverted folk.

Welcome to my blog.

****Edit: These are not the dirty ones either... I couldn't type past all the blushing I was doing! And DELURK dammit! I mean, pretty please...****

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Mommy's Developed An Attitude

***Updated Below!!!***

Living in Canada, on the prairies, there are certain things a person can expect. An inept government, small children playing street hockey, and of course, snow.

I'm a big believer in the "If you can't beat it, embrace it" philosophy. Therefore, instead of whining and moaning about our weekly blizzards, I have learned to love them.

And if you believe that let me tell you about that magic money tree I sell on the side.

Most of the time, I do love the snow. Most of the time I don't have to go to the pharmacist to ask for a pill to kill the worms that may be crawling out of my ass. Most of the time I wake up to get doggy kisses instead of having the dog puke up disgusting chunks of last night's supper he rummaged out of the garbage. All over my upper half. Before I even got out of bed. Most of the time, if the phone rings at 6:30 in the morning, it is my husband calling to tell me how much he loves me and misses me and how I'm the sexiest thing to walk the earth. Instead of a 60 year old dude with a raspy smoker's voice calling to tell me to get my ass out of bed and phone all the parents on the bus route to tell them the buses are cancelled.

Most of the time, snow doesn't matter. Snow is beautiful. A white carpet of freshness that magically erases the ugliness of the day before.

Then there is the dreaded SNOW DAY.

So with the invisible worms, the doggie ralph and the angry parents (because I'm not the only mom who loves Snow Days), yeah, I freaking love winter this morning.

Especially when I tried to open my door to let my damn dog out (and yes, for today, Nixon has lost the title of the World's Greatest Dog. Ever. It went right into the toilet with all his vomit scraped off my arm and chest.) This is what I found:

This is how far I can open my front door. My ass is thin, but it ain't that thin.

This is what my world looks like this morning:

Rather bleak. And try as I might, I just couldn't capture the gusts of snow on camera. That might have something to do with the fact that I was too damn lazy to bundle up and go outside, but oh wait, I can't get out my front door.

For some perspective, this is the tree outside my bedroom window. It is five feet tall.

Yesterday, I could see most of it.

So today, I hate snow. My worm-loving, vomit covered self hates the snow.

To Mother Nature and Jack Frost I say:

Now I'm off to push my kids into a snow bank. That is, after they shovel the deck so I can squeeze my ass out the door.

Well, we are now on day two of the Blizzard That is Driving Mommy Batty. It has since stopped snowing, but the gusting winds and low temperatures mean that my darling children, whom I love more than sanity itself, are trapped inside my home, alone with their stark raving lunatic for a mother. Seeing as how it is currently -31 celcius (that's -24 to you Yanks) without the damn windchill factor, I have to keep everyone inside.

Which poses a problem for my dog who hasn't learned how to use the inside facilities just yet. And why didn't anyone tell me about having to shovel a path for a small dog just so the little shit will shit outside????? Yes, I'm talking to you Mrs. Chicky, dog-trainer extraordinaire!

Every time the damn dog needs to go outside I have to bundle up and brave the elements. I'm hairy, but I ain't that hairy. It's cold out there!!

For the rest of the day I plan on hiding in my pantry, drinking my mommy juice. And when the good stuff runs out I'll just start adding some whiskey to my cocoa.

This way, when the kid's coup d'etat is successful, I will be numb to the pain and oblivious to the consequences.

Pray for me people.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Parenting Ain't Pretty

When I started blogging, I did so with the intent of remaining anonymous. Easier said than done. Slowly, I became a little less unknown. First, I showed the husband and held my breath, waiting and watching for signs of anger or annoyance. After all, I regularly picked on him and his Mr. Pickle for blog fodder. Instead, he laughed. (Which is why I married him and remain firmly entrenched as his doting wife.) But he loved my blog so much he told a friend. And then I told a friend, and soon a whole bunch of friends knew about my anonymous blog.

Now, pretty much everyone but my mother, mother-in-law and my Boo's sisters (because they'd rat me out quicker than a hummingbird's heart beat) knows about my not-so-secret website. In fact, this weekend while I was at a pub, the D.J. wanted to talk to me so he called the Redneck Mommy up to the stage. I realized he was calling me!

Now that I am not so anonymous, I am keenly aware that my blog has ramifications it didn't before my "outing." Do I continue making snarky remarks about my mother, my MIL, or my genetically challenged family? Will my children be affected by the words I tumble out into cyber space? How far should I go to protect their privacy?

It is with great thought and consideration that I bring to you today's post. It was not an easy decision, I wrestled with it like I would wrestle my older brother for the last Pop-Tart. Not only is this post highly embarrassing to my daughter, but it is of an unseemly topic.

But in the interest of honesty and public education I have decided to proceed. Any mother (or father) who has had to clean up vomit, wipe up splattered poop, pick boogers or sop up blood from an open wound can deal with this. After all, parenting isn't clean. It's messy. We all know that.

And for you parents out there in the midst of the terrible twos or the foggy newborn stage: Brace yourselves. It gets worse.

I'm share because I care.

My daughter Fric, has been complaining of having a rash on her um, buttocks for the past week or so. She gets quite red faced and shamed; after all she is ten and almost an adult. Snort.

Finally after listening to her whine and peering at her bottom to look at this invisible rash, I had enough. I took her to our pediatrician, The Big Cheese. My love for The Big Cheese is well documented. I would marry this man if polygamy was legal out here in the sticks. So driving for an hour for the T.B.C. to peer at my daughter's bottom is not really a hardship.

Plus, there are Starbucks and Tim Horton's in the city. Win-win.

After the Big Cheese squeezed me in the warmest bear hug known to mankind, he ushered us into an exam room and proceeded to pepper us with questions. It was like being reunited with your best friend. Never mind the fact that this was the man who regularly gloved up and shoved his fingers in my child's bottom. (Come to think of it, he's done that to more than one child of mine.) Nevermind this was the same man who came at us with flu-shot the way a veterinarian would come after a lion with a tranquilizer needle. Just ram it in and get the hell out of the way. No, The Big Cheese will always be a member of our family no matter what atrocities he commits in the name of health care.

After our chat he told Fric to hop up and lose the pants. Suddenly my once red-faced daughter was eager to shed her bottoms. A kind smile and a charming word or two from a handsome man was all it took for her to drop her drawers and get on all fours.

That sentence is alarming on soooo many levels. Lord, have mercy and give me strength to get through her teen years...

A quick perusal of Fric's bottom half, he told her to hop down and get dressed. "See," I told her, "that wasn't so bad." I was all righteous with parental authority, so sure was I that this was all in her head.

Turns out I was right. There was no rash. It was in her head. But it is so much worse.


I just about died laughing (yes, because I am a kind and supportive mother...) when he told Fric and me the diagnosis. Fric wasn't understanding what having Pinworms meant, so in the most sympathetic and reassuring way I could muster, I explained.

"You have worms in your ass."

My beautiful ten year old daughter was horrified. Indignant, she denied this and looked to The Big Cheese to prove me wrong.

Instead, our lovely pediatrician, my hero, laughed and said, "Yup, you've got worms crawling out of your butt. Don't tell your brother."

By now, I'm laughing so hard tears are streaming down my face and my lovely daughter is slowly killing me with her death glare.

"It's not funny, Mom!"

That's when The Big Cheese handed over the prescription and reassured my daughter everything would be fine, the worms would die. And then he told me everyone in our house had to take the medicine. Because we all might be infected.

Suddenly it wasn't so funny. And my non-itchy ass has started to itch at the mere thought.

I chose to breed for this.

An itchy ass and more mouths a mother could feed.

May the Pinworms never visit your home.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Pass the Puns, Please

That whoosh you hear is my exhalation of relief. Relief that I don't have any more milestones to have to overcome for the next few months. I would like to thank each of you for your well wishes, kind words and prayers that you sent to me, my Bug and my family. It really helps to know that I'm am not alone in this; somewhere out in the great blogosphere are actual people who took the time to remember my angel. Thank you. Words seem inadequate.

But I feel as though I have to give you all something. A thank you token for your good deed. Which brings me to my cheese.

I looked hard for the right fromage but sadly, all I found were groaners.

But groaners are good. Especially since this is the only type of groaning I'm gonna be doing until the hubs gets home! Wink, wink!

So, grab your morning java, or your Captain Crunch and enjoy the cheese.

It's on me.

An elephant and a crocodile were swimming in the Amazon, when the elephant spots a turtle sunning himself on a rock.

The elephant walks over to the turtle, picks him up in his trunk and hurls him far into the jungle.

"What did you do that for?" asks the crocodile.

The elephant answers, "That turtle was the one that bit me almost fifty years ago."

The crocodile says, "And you remembered him after all these years? Boy, you sure do have a good memory."

"Yep," says the elephant. "Turtle recall."

Friday, January 05, 2007

Happy Birthday Bug

Yesterday was my Shalebug's sixth birthday. Which had me and the kids wondering, do they celebrate birthdays in heaven?

We decided that yes, they do, and we should too. So we bundled up and collected a few of our favorite nephews and headed to the movies.

Me and a group of monkeys kids, alone in a dark room with no adult supervision. It was a small miracle that no one was arrested, injured or found rocking in the corner with her arms wrapped around her body, muttering "What have I done???" over and over again.

If you ignore the fact that I spent more money on popcorn, Gobstoppers and soda than I did on groceries for my family, it was a pretty successful outing. One that I hope to repeat, say in a year, when time has blurred the images and my memory has receded.

But as I corralled my herd of six to ten year olds and tried to keep them from breaking bones or running into traffic on the way to the theatre, I wondered what my Bug was doing.

Was he dancing on healed and straightened feet?

Was he singing with the angels, finally able to find his voice that for so long had remained silent?

Was he laughing his ass off at the antics of his siblings and cousins while his mother tried to pretend she didn't know those crazy children in the movie theatre?

Was he thinking of me, the way I was thinking of him?

Happy birthday my beautiful boy, my moonbeam, my Bug. For four years, ten months, 17 days and 21 hours you were the light that lit my soul and shone upon this family. And now we have the blessings of remembering that light, that love even if we couldn't reach out and touch you and be slimed by your kisses.

You still light up this family. You just do it in a different, slime free way.

We haven't forgotten. I hope you haven't either.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

I'll Take Coffee Over Pride Any Day...

This morning and every morning that has passed since I grew up and tossed out my taste buds, has started the same. I yawn, stretch, pee and stumble to the kitchen. Where I mutter to myself about not having a maid, room service or children who are well trained as I try to measure out the exact amount of precious coffee beans to put in my beautiful stainless steel coffee maker so that I may turn back into a human being and join the world of humanity.

Without my java, the lifeblood of the god's, I'm a monster. A pathetic, snivelling little monster.

Yesterday morning started out the same as every morning before it. Bleary eyed, I made my way to the kitchen to caffeinate my blood. As I listened to the coffee percolate, I checked my email and smelled the wonderful scent of ambrosia slowly filling the glass pot. When the coffee was ready I jumped up to pour myself a cup, knowing that my day was only going to get better from the moment of my first sip of that mud colored liquid.

I poured my coffee into my favorite cup (because it doesn't taste the same if it's not in the right cup) and I reached for the sugar bowl. Empty. Not to panic. I have a big pantry. Surely there is sugar, whether it be white, brown or spilled on the floor in there.

Not a grain to be had. In my entire house. My darling (and when you read that please know I mean dumbass) children made gluttons of themselves when left unattended to make their breakfasts. Apparently Rice Krispies don't taste the same with out half a pound of sugar to smother the taste of the rice.

This leaves me in a quandary. How can I have my java without sugar? I am not one of those people who have completely developed into adulthood and abandoned their taste buds altogether. No, I need sugar to drink my high octane vitamin. Dammit!!! I need sugar!!!

I was left with three choices:

1. Suck it up buttercup, and just drink the vile poison without the sweet goodness of sugar to save the taste.

2. Call my mother and face her, knowing that I will hear about how stupid I am for the rest of my days.

3. Call my mother in law and face her, knowing that I will be admitting what a lousy mother and wife I am by running out of a simple necessity.

After careful consideration (and to those of you who wonder why I didn't just run to the store...I live in the sticks, it would have taken an hour to go get my sugar and by then my coffee would have been cold. Plus I'm not fit to drive without my caffeine jolt) I did what any coffee-loving desperado would do. I wandered over to my mother-in-laws, admitted my inadequacy and begged sugar in trade for my soul.

I walked away with just over three teaspoons (I'm not kidding, she carefully measured it out into a baggy) and no pride.

But dammit, I had my sugar.

****Later in the day I went to the grocery store and bought out the entire sugar stock. And lectured my children about the dangers of letting this household run out of sugar and not telling their mother. With mental images of blood stained walls and padded rooms running through my children's minds, hopefully this will never happen again.****

Monday, January 01, 2007


Every Christmas, Santa fills our stockings with toiletries, candies, the obligatory orange and of course, puzzles.

Now I never claimed to be the brightest bulb in the box, but I like to think that I am not the dullest knife in the drawer either.

I may have to rethink that.

Meet my darling Boo's puzzle. His "Santa" happened upon it at the local educational toy store. "Santa" thought it would be good fun to watch Mr. Smarty-pants suffer the indignity of not being able to put the pieces back in the box after wrestling with it for hours of his life, which he would never get back.

However, "Santa" did not receive her wish. Nope, Boo took it out and within minutes had reassembled it. Then he handed it to Fric and Frac. They took considerably longer, but eventually they got it all put back in the box and figured out.

Every damn day I take those f&$%^g pieces out and try to squeeze them back into their case. Every damn day I have to listen to my husband tell me it shouldn't be so hard, there are only seven pieces. Every damn day, my kids snicker behind their hands and then go off to giggle about what a moron their mother is.

But I don't give up. I'm gonna shove those pieces back into the bleeping box if it takes my whole damn life.

I may not be the quickest but I am the MOST stubborn.

There is a lesson to be learned here, I'm sure of it. But I am too damn busy banging my head against the wall and fiddling with tiny little blue plastic pieces to figure it out....