Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Sex ed

For three years, 4th through 6th grade, I watched the same movie about getting your period. You know the movie I'm talking about. The one all the girls would watch while the boys went out on the playground to play dodgeball. The one where a woman with a soothing voice would speak in clinical terms about "your changing bodies". The one that you would watch while you sat in the dark room and hoped no one would notice you blushing furiously every time the soothing-voiced woman would say "vagina" or "menses".

I'm sure there were a few different versions of The Period Movie but the version I saw for three years in a row started off with a girl looking sad as she walked home from school. The girl looked like she was about 16 and she had bodacious mall hair.

When the girl got home she told her mom that she had gotten her period for the very first time ever that day in school. The mom hugged her daughter and then they went shopping for maxi pads. Cut to them coming back from the grocery store with three giant bags of sanitary napkins. As they unpacked the boxes (marked with labels like "PADS" and "LIGHT FLOW") they both looked happy and secure in the knowledge that they could bleed for weeks and never stain their acid washed jeans.

Towards the end of the film the narrator made an offhand mention of how some girls like to wear tampons so that they could play sports. This was the extent of my sex ed in school.

Now in spite of the fact that I grew breasts in preschool I was, by my estimation, the last person in the word to get my period. I was well into 9th grade when it finally came. I had been waiting for that day ever since 4th grade when I first saw that movie. It may not have taught me much but it did teach me that when I got my period my mom would hug me and go out and buy me a truckload of maxi pads and we would share some sort of age old womanly knowledge. Also I would get mall hair.

The day didn't turn out exactly like I had always pictured it. I was at swim practice changing into my swim suit when I noticed a little blood in my underwear. My big day had come at last! I waited till everyone else had left the locker room then I pulled my coach aside and told her I couldn't practice because I had my period. I felt so grown up. "I've got tampons in my bag" she said. "Take one and get moving!"

Tampons? But... but... tampons? No one ever talked to me about tampons! Where was my giant box of "PADS"? Where was my hug?

Mortified I returned to the locker room and made myself a pad about the thickness of my thigh out of toilet paper. I stuffed it into my underwear and headed out to the parent waiting area to find my mom. She would understand. She would hug me and then I would have mall hair and everything would be all right.

When I found my mom she angrily asked why I wasn't practicing. See, me being on the swim team would seem to indicate that I liked to swim competitively. The fact was that before almost every swim meet I would have a panic attack and then claim I couldn't swim because I was about to faint/throw up/die. I guess my mom thought my freak outs had extended to practicing too.

Through tears I explained that I couldn't practice because I had gotten my period. For the very first time ever. With panic in my voice I explained that my coach wanted me to wear a tampon and swim anyway. My mom softened a little bit but then told me that she had driven my brother and I a half hour to get to practice and very first period or not I was swimming that day.

I spent about 20 minutes in the bathroom stall trying to figure that damned tampon out. It was made all the more difficult by the fact that I was crying about what a massive disappointment the day had turned out to be. The only sex ed I had ever received* turned out to be a lie. No one was happy or excited for me. I just got yelled at for missing swim practice.

Why am I thinking about all this now? Because yesterday Joseph came up to me with his Very Serious Face and said "Mommy, can I talk to you for a few minutes about my privates?"

Now his questions left me struggling not to laugh out loud but I answered them as seriously as I could. I tried to give him all the information he was looking for without overwhelming him. It made me think about how I want to prepare my kids for the reality of puberty and sex and all that uncomfortable to talk about stuff.

I have to be the one to do it because when Joseph asks Jesse a question about sex Jesse turns red and says "Uhhh... um... go to bed."

So it falls on me to be sure my kids aren't left thinking that puberty means kick ass hair and hugs from your family. I don't want their memories of puberty to include crying in a public restroom in Germany for 20 minutes while they fumble with a tampon and then trying to swim with it only inserted halfway. Um. Not that they most likely would but you know what I mean.

Sex ed isn't something I really thought much about when I first had kids but I realize now that I'm going to have to step it up and make sure my kids are informed. Especially Joseph because if they still do sex ed the way they did when I was a kid all he'll get is three extra days of dodgeball.

*Not long after I got my first period ever my mom took me to this presentation at the hospital about AIDS and on the way home she explained to me what a blowjob is**.

**I give my mom props for her openness and honestly and there was a lot more to the talk than that but at the time I was so mortified by the whole experience that I sort of blocked the rest of it out.

One year ago today I had 1000 blog posts but no gall bladder.
Two years ago today people didn't know how to compliment a pregnant woman.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

All I want for Christmas is a small person to walk in front of me and hold up my belly

I guess my all cake diet is paying off at last. I am now five pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight, all of it gained in the last four weeks. Funny, it's only five pounds but I feel HUGE.

Maybe because I am. I am 24 weeks pregnant but measuring at 33 weeks. I'm developing my own gravitational pull. If you value the lives of your smaller children and pets then you'll want to keep them away from me. If they come too close they're likely to be pulled into my orbit. Need photographic evidence? Ok, you asked for it.

Oh, did I mention that being pregnant makes me forget how to put on make up and not look like I've been spending the last 6 years in a root cellar?

Otherwise the pregnancy is going well. My blood pressure is fine and my cervix is long and closed. And you know the old saying: As goes the cervix so goeth the world. Or something like that. Anyway, all is right with the world my cervix.

Now I just have to figure out ow I'm going to get through the rush of the next few days. I still have shopping to do, presents to wrap, a house to clean and food to cook. Honestly, these days I get worn out just climbing out of bed so I'm not exactly sure how I'm going to get it all done this year. Combine my surging hormones and a healthy dose of the Christmas spirit and I spent most of the last five days on the verge of laughter or tears, alternately hating and loving every person on the planet. I'm creating some fun holiday memories for everyone around me.

I doubt I'll be blogging again before Christmas. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and that you don't get snowed in. Unless of course you WANT to get snowed in and in that case I hope you get snowed in for days. Or at least until you Christmas cookie supply gives out.

Happy Holidays! (I'm not one of those people who gets all pissy about holiday greetings and demands that everyone enjoy hearing "Merry Christmas" this time of year. What's the point of wishing someone a "Merry" anything if your entire point in doing it is just to shove your personal beliefs down people's throats? What's so wrong with "Happy Holidays"? I mean, I say "Merry Christmas" to people I know celebrate Christmas but otherwise I try to be more sensitive to what other people might be thinking about the whole deal. And apparently parentheses make me ramble on.)

One year ago today Frosty got some.

Friday, December 18, 2009

King Ding

Last night I attended a Rifftrax event with the town's hip crowd. (aka my brother, cousin and uncle) One of the best parts was when they showed a commercial for the classic toy known as Dingalings. You remember Dingalings don't you? No? Well I'm not sure exactly when they came out but I'm guessing they weren't on toy shelves long before someone realized how horribly penis-centric they were and had them yanked*.

I found a version of the commercial on youtube. Watch and enjoy. Be sure to keep an eye out for Fireman Dingaling with pumping action, Spy Dingaling with his amazing crotch camera and King Ding who sucks another Ding up into his... well, just watch and see.


year ago today we got a new couch.
Two years ago today I had birth plans.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Happy Birthday Chris! Or whatever your name is!

Shortly after Jesse and I were married he told me I was a hypocrite for celebrating Christmas even though I don't believe in God*.

He told me I was a hypocrite.

I'll let you think for a second about how well that went over.

After I had let him out of the garage I explained that the reason I celebrate Christmas is that it's a tradition. My family's traditional Christmas never included any religious aspects at all. We never went to Midnight Mass or had a nativity scene or anything like that. I don't think my parents ever even discussed with us the religious significance of Christmas. For us Christmas was a day of food and family and presents and, when we lived in California, sometimes driving up into the mountains to see "snow". Also known as "little slabs of ice that you could sort of slide on if mom and dad remembered to bring plastic bags with for you to sit on".

I recently recounted the story of newlywed Jesse and I to my mother-in-law and without pausing or missing a beat she said "It's true, you are a hypocrite." My mother-in-law reads this blog and I'm sure she'll give her own version of events in the comments (in 3...2...1...) but trust me, I'm telling the real story here.

Now I do not believe that celebrating Christmas even though I don't believe in God or Jesus or virgin births makes me a hypocrite. I believe that Christmas is just as much my holiday as it is the Pope's ... or, I guess my mother-in-law's.

For me Christmas is about good food and time with family and goodwill towards your fellow man and the spirit of giving and some kick-ass day after Christmas sales. Those are the values and meanings of Christmas that I want to pass on to my children. Those are the traditions I hope to give them. I hope that when they have children if they chose to celebrate Christmas (either in the traditional sense or in the "hypocrite" sense) they'll remember things like how Jesse and I let them hang all the ornaments on the tree even though it meant that only the bottom three feet of the tree got decorated. Or how we would buy toys to donate to Toys for Tots each year. Or how we would all pile into the car and drive around and look at Christmas lights and listen to Christmas music and end up with sore cheeks and bellies from laughing so hard at some of the tackier displays.

Joseph recently told me that people celebrate Christmas because it's the day Chris was born. He had no concept of who Chris was he just knew it was "something about God". After clearing up a few facts I explained that was why some people celebrated Christmas but that's not why we did. I told him about the traditions and feelings I associated with Christmas. After a long, thoughtful he said "So Christmas is just a good time to love each other?"

Yeah. Not everyone gets it but my kid does and that's good enough for me.

*He's not even religious. He just likes to be a pain in the ass.

Three years ago Joseph came home from vacation.

Monday, December 14, 2009

A 10 minute shower

"Kids, I'm going to take a quick shower. I need you both to be well behaved and to get along and to not keep coming in the bathroom."
"Mama, Baba turned on the Christmas tree lights."
"Mommy, Elle broke your Santa Claus figurine."
"Mama, are you mad at me?"
"Mommy, she REALLY broke it."
"Mama, do adults get mad at children when they break little Santas on accident?"
"Mommy, Elle is saying 'I told you so!' and using a sassy tone!"
"Mama, Baba is not listening to me and he will not let me use crayons!"
"Mommy, do I have to let Elle use my crayons?"
"Mama, I am making a picture and Baba is not saying it's pretty."
"Mommy, Elle is stealing my purple crayon when I want to use it!"
"Mama, Baba is taking the purple crayon away and using an aggressive voice with me."
"Mommy, Elle said I'm being aggressive and I'm really only being aggreso."
"Mama, Baba is saying "agresso" and that is not a real word."
"Mommy, do you remember that Elle broke your Santa figurine?"
"Mama, Baba says you forgotted that I broke your Santa but you did not forget and Baba doesn't listen to me that adults don't get mad at children for breaking little Santss!"

Ahhhhh, relaxing.

Two years ago today I was ready to quit my job.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Some conservative advice

Every so often a facebook friend or someone who's on my regular blog reading list will surprise me by saying something really, really .... republican. And I don't mean "difference of opinion regarding politics republican". I mean like, "asshole republican".

See, I'm aware that really conservative thinking people exist. I hear them talked about on the Rachael Maddow show. I see them poked fun at on the Colbert Report. I know that they have their own television channel - Fox News - which seems to be some sort of cartoon where privileged white guys yell about how women, minorities and gays are trying to bring them down.

So I know that this stuff is out there. I'm just always surprised when someone that I know turns out to be one of those people. My first reaction is always disbelief. "Really? You're serious about that shit? You mean you really meant it when you said you hope there's never universal health care and that Obama fails and that abortion becomes illegal and that gays are never allowed to marry? That wasn't a parody? Wow."

Then I get angry. People shouldn't pass themselves off as normal people when they're really not. If you think Sean Hannity is awesome you should be required to wear an armband or something so that the rest of society knows to give you a wide berth.

I know that politics are a touchy thing to talk about. I know how passionate I am about my own political beliefs and I know how easy it is to get caught up in catchy slogans and buzz words and all of that stuff. I know that no one wants to come off sounding like a lunatic or a bad guy so I would like to take a moment to office a little advice to all my conservative friends*:

When you start sounding like Stephen Colbert, only you're not being ironic? It's time to pull back on your rhetoric. It's really hard for other people to take you seriously when you've become a joke made at your own expense.

Thank you.

*I don't actually have any conservative friends. Family members? Yes, but we all have our crosses to bear.

One year ago today I had a classy Christmas ornament.
Three years ago today Jesse told everyone about my stomach flu.
Four years ago today Elle was sick and I was boring.

Monday, December 07, 2009

A full set

On Wednesday I had an ob appointment and a level II ultrasound. All is well with the babies. They are measuring exactly on track for their age (21 weeks) and appear to have all the necessary parts.

On the left is a little boy who has had no problem making himself right at home. He's totally stretched out with his head way down low and his feet planted firmly up under my ribs.

Squished way up on the right side is a little girl who was suffering a little bit from her brother's room-hogging ways. She spent most of the ultrasound curled up tightly (with her ankles crossed demurely) and trying to fight for a little wiggle room. Don't worry about her too much though. Of the two she is the one who is far more active and I suspect that sooner or later she'll get her brother in his place.

All is well on my end too. The measurement of the thickness of my cervix impressed everyone. (4.6 centimeters? I guess that's good?) At 21 weeks pregnant I am measuring 30 weeks. I have just now gotten back to my pre-pregnancy weight. Everything I've read said a woman of my height and weight should gain between 30 and 40 pounds when pregnant with twins. I guess that means I get to spend the next 17 weeks or so eating nothing but chocolate cake. (I kid of course. I also plan on eating lots of cream based sauces and pasta.)

The guys were able to come to town for the ultrasound. They're beyond happy. Of course they mainly wanted to hear that they babies were healthy but they were also excited to be getting a boy and a girl. It's kind of nice how it's working out. A whole set in one shot. I'm very happy for them.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to roll myself into the kitchen. There is a package of string cheese calling my name. The dairy addiction I have developed this pregnancy is insane. These kids are going to have bones of steel.

Three years ago I was eloquent.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

And also if a bear is attacking you

On the drive home from school yesterday Elle informed Joseph that a boy in her class "smacked" her. I was already aware of this situation and it's being handled but Joseph was appalled.

"What!?! Why did he do that? Did he hit other kids or just you? What did you ever do to him? He can't be hitting you! If I ever saw that kid I would smack him so he knows how it feels!"

After a minute or two he calmed down.

"You know Mommy, there's really no good reason to hit someone. Unless your a boxer." Long, thoughtful pause. "Or maybe if you're re-enacting a war."

He's my own personal Micheal Scott.

Monday, November 30, 2009

My new godson

The plan was simple. My friend Amanda was going to go into the hospital on Friday night to be prepped to be induced on Saturday morning. I would go to the hospital on Saturday morning to be her labor support (along with her husband (and my cousin) Matt).

Of course babies aren't so good with the whole "plan following" skill so I wasn't too terribly surprised when I got a text on Friday night that said "My water just broke!"

I got to the hospital as quickly as I could and by the time I got there Amanda was already pretty uncomfortable. Her contractions were coming pretty much one on top of the other. In spite of this she said that her plan we still to go epidural free.

Around midnight a nurse checked Amanda and said she was at 4 centimeters. Matt and I helped her get onto the birthing ball and she spent the next two hours there, gently rolling from side to side. Matt and I traded off positions, rubbing her back and holding her hand.

The next few hours are sort of a blur. All I know is that all those contractions coming so quickly certainly did their job. Less than six hours after her water broke Amanda told us she felt ready to push.

I was amazed. This was her first baby and not only was she in touch with her body enough to know when the big moment had arrived, she had also gotten to that point without an epidural. Other than a little moaning (and one tiny little "Fuck!") she was astoundingly composed and calm.

Amanda only pushed for a little over an hour. With each push I could see how much progress she was making. Even the nurse was impressed with how well she did. Sometimes she would have a break of up to five minutes between contractions and during those breaks she would rest. I don't think there has ever been a woman who was more serene than Amanda was during delivery.

When the baby was born his cord was around his neck but otherwise he was perfect. He cried loudly right away and was a beautiful shade of pink. I got to cut the cord (my hands were shaking so much that I was certain I was going to cut the doctor's finger off) and then took about a million pictures.

I felt like I was on a high after seeing that birth. It was so beautiful and everything went so smoothly. It was a huge privilege just to be a part of it. After Amanda and her new son were resting comfortably I headed home. Even though I didn't gotten any sleep during the night I wasn't able to rest. It's hard to fall asleep when you have a giant grin on your face.

Today Amanda and my gorgeous new godson* will come home from the hospital. I'm so happy for them and for Matt. I'm excited to see them start their new life as a family together.

I'm still walking on air over being able to be there when it all began.

*They asked me to be his godmother and I answered with the traditional response of "Ohmygodshutupyou'remakingmecry!" I blame the hormones surging through the room.

Two years ago today I had a killer headache.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Nice customer service T-Mobile

I don't know if you know this about me but I'm sort of attached to my phone. I pretty much always have it within arms reach. Even though most of the time no one is trying to get in touch with me it's exciting to know that at any moment someone could.

So you can imagine my distress when I woke up the other day to find that the phone that had been functioning perfectly when I went to bed was now ... not. If my phone rang I could answer it but not hear anything. The person calling could hear me but I didn't know that at first and that may have led to me swearing at my grandma as I tried to answer her call.

I took my phone into the T-mobile store and I had to wait a good half hour just for my turn to seen. When it was my turn the salesperson punched some stuff into his computer to bring up my account info. Then he told me that we were over on our minutes (thanks to some person who will remain nameless but who's name starts with a J and ends with an esse.) and would I like to purchase a plan with more minutes? I asked him if that was the cause of my phone not working and when he said it wasn't I asked if we could please focus on the issue at hand then.

Jesse (user of more than his fair share of cell phone minutes) said I was rude but come one! Was that really the best time to try and sell me a different plan. What's that you say? I should get even more minutes that I won't be able to use on my broken phone? Sign me up!

It didn't really matter anyway since my phone is apparently broken beyond repaid and in need of replacing. Did the store have a replacement? No they did not. Buy they could send me on! And it will only take 3-7 business days and I'll have to pay for shipping. Now that's some sweet customer service.

3-7 business days actually turns out to be a long time when you're waiting on a functioning phone. I can still talk on my current phone as long as it's on speaker phone. That's neat. Of course, I'm slowly losing other features. Like the feature where the phone doesn't turn off 87 times a day and can't be turned back on until the battery is removed and replaced. And the feature where the phone doesn't reset itself in the middle of a text. Or the feature where the phone doesn't suddenly start to emit a high pitched squeal that can't be stopped no matter what you do. Or the feature where the phone doesn't suddenly decide on it's own to turn the volume down to the lowest setting. You know, little things like that.

In conclusion, if you try to call me in the next week or so (THANKS T-MOBILE!) don't be offended if I pick up the phone and swear at you or hang up on you. It's not me. It's this stupid phone that I paid way too much for foolishly thinking that it would not break for no reason at all after only six months.

One year ago today I tried to give up caffeine. Ahahahahaha.
Three years ago today I got a love letter from Dr Hot.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The funniest thing I have ever seen on the internet

I admit it, I am nosy. I hear about some internet drama and I go sniffing it out. I can't help it. I just loves me some good gossip.

Recently there was a big dust up with a blogger admitting that she killed her dog only maybe she didn't and she only dreamed it or hallucinated it or god only knows what. )You can read about it here if you are so inclined. Chances are you either know what I'm talking about or you don't care but that site lays it all out nice and clear.)

This blogger was ripped to shreds both on her own blog and several other places. The place where she got it the worst was on a hate blog that I won't link to and will hereby be known as The Cackling Hen Blog THE CONSCIOUS OF THE INTERNET because that's what the blog writer likes to pretend that she is. The commentators on this blog like to engage in wild speculation and dramatic fantasies. Dooce writes about giving her daughter an enema? Clearly the poor kid is doomed to be in therapy for the rest of her life and never be able to get a job or have friends and also she dresses funny. Pioneer Woman posts a picture of her husband with a scowl on her face? Obviously he's emotionally abusive asshole and Pioneer Woman does all those giveaways so that she can raise enough money to escape from the ranch. it would almost be funny if it wasn't so sad.

But sometimes it crosses the line and it's so over the top that it goes back to being funny again.

When commenting on the recent dog-killing dust up a CONSCIOUS OF THE INTERNET reader said that she had read the blog of the husband of the alleged dog killer. She noted that on his blog was a picture of him wearing a shirt with a fire fighter logs. Based on this she concluded that he was an abusive cheat who liked killing animals.


Really? All fire fighters are abusive cheats who like to kill animals? Really? Thank god they all went into one profession so that the rest of us would know to avoid them.

And what about people who aren't fire fighters but who wear shirts with fire fighter logos? Are they also abusive cheats who like to kill animals? Or are non-fire fighters who wear fire fighter shirts just the sort of people who are rude to waitresses and never remember their spouse's birthdays?

Here's the real kicker though. The picture on the blog? The one of the abusive cheat who likes to kill animals? It was a picture of actor Kevin James from the movie Chuck and Larry. Of course, you know what they say about people who post pictures of people wearing fire fighter logo shirts. Don't you? Come on, there has to be some random, bizarre generalization we can make about people like that. How else can we feel superior to people if we're not judging them based on our own wild and erroneous presumptions?

Sometimes you just have to laugh at people so that you don't end up sobbing in the corner.

Two years ago today Joseph was "thakful".

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Her real name rhymes with ... nothing I can think of

Joseph has a new girl in his class. He kind of loves her.

The day before she came to the class he told us excitedly over dinner "We're getting a new girl in our class and her name is Sunshine*. I wonder what she'll look like and if she's nice and if she'll want to talk to me."

Before he even met her he was hooked. He had a hard time falling asleep that night because he kept thinking of more and more things he wondered about Sunshine.

The next day was very exciting for Joseph. Not only did Sunshine come to school but she was assigned a seat at his table! This child who NEVER talks about school or what happens there was suddenly full of stories. Stories all about Sunshine. What she wore, what color her hair was, how she was shy, how he wrote her a welcome note and left it on her desk. He just went on and on. The best part was when he told me "I want to tell you everything I know about Sunshine. She has whiteish, yellowish hair and she sometimes wears a pink coat and she has a water bottle that says Pure Life on it."

A couple of days ago I was telling someone this story and Joseph overheard me. "What!?" he asked indignantly. "I like to look at her because she's nice!"

I hope she is nice because Joseph is totally smitten and he doesn't know how to hide it.

*Not her real name but her real name is a just as hippy-dippy.

years ago today Joseph tried to be polite.
Four years ago today I read too much Dick and Jane.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Shhhh! It's a secret!

I've discovered that a funny thing happens why you lose your voice. When you whisper to people, they whisper back to you. Even if the thing you whisper to them is "I've lost my voice."

"Oh no!" they whisper back.

People, it's not Everything Is A Secret Day. I've just lost my voice. YOU can still talk.

Anyway. You know what makes me smile? Youtube. I mean, not everything on youtube because most of it is stupid and pointless but there are a few gems out there that make me smile no matter how many times I've seen them. My favorites are:

The wedding dance video. I know, I know. Everyone has seen this a million times but I have to share it. I love seeing people happy and having a good time and everyone in this video just looks so into the whole thing. I cry when the bride comes out.

Susan Boyle on Britain's Got Talent. Remember when this woman shocked the world by being able to sing despite being overweight, middle aged and a little bit frumpy? I do because I watch this video all the time. Watch Simon fall in love at 1:27.

Baby laughing at Wii Golf. Baby laughter is good for the soul.

Evolution of Dance. It's funny and I sort of dance along in my seat when I watch this.

Evolution of Dance wedding video. I love this couple's take on the previous video. And what a story this couple will have to tell their grandchildren someday. "You see Sally, grandma and I used our first dance as a married couple to pay tribute to a video some random had posted on youtube."

Joseph sings Jackson. The best youtube video ever.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I like you so much that I would read a bad book for you

Remember how I am on a quest to meet new people? And how sometimes it goes terribly, horribly wrong? Yeah, I remember that.

Well, I don't give up easily so a few weeks ago I went to a book club meeting. And guess what. It didn't suck! It was fun and the people in it were normal. Well, there was this one lady who would not SHUT UP about her back surgery but there's one in every group* so I can't really complain.

The best part was that I met someone. And she was nice and funny and interesting and she smelled like lavender. And the more I talk about her the more it sounds like I want to date her.

Now I have to make the plunge and ask her next week if she would like to exchange phone numbers and maybe get together for coffee or something some time. I'm not really nervous about it because we got along well last time and ended up chatting for half an hour after the book club had ended so I don't think it will be too weird.

My only problem now is that in order to see this person again I have to read the books that the book club picks. The books. Oh god, they're awful. This month's book is so horrible that I actually feel resentful every time I pick it up. I have over half of the book left and I'm having to force myself to slog through it. It makes me so angry that every few pages I find myself thinking "Oh forget it! I'll just stop reading it and skip out on this stupid book club!"

But then I remember this nice person I'm trying to get to know and I remember how she funny she was and how she smelled like lavender and I keep pressing on. I know that sounds stalkerish and but she laughed at my jokes so I kind of don't care how creepy I'm coming off here.

I guess I should get back to it. I have 237 pages of total crap to get read before next week. Sigh. Wish me luck.

*Really, there is one in every group. If you're ever in a group and you think there isn't at least one weirdo? It's because you're the weirdo. I'm sorry to break it to you but speaking as a person who has played the part of the weirdo many times, I know of that which I speak.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Barbie girl

I played with Barbies for a lot longer than I care to admit. I found it soothing to dress them, brush their hair and line them up alphabetically according to the names that I had given them. I hesitate to say how old I was when I put my Barbies away for the last time. I consoled myself with the thought that someday I would have a little girl of my own to play Barbies with.

Elle got her first Barbie when she was less than a day old. It was a present from one of my best friends, a fellow Barbie lover. She got her next Barbie a couple of months later as a Christmas present from her grandparents. In her four years on this planet she has managed to collect nearly 30 Barbie dolls. Many of them are hand-me-downs from me. She has inherited my private stash of "just for show" Barbies. Dolls I thought were too pretty or special to play with. Now they are a part of jumble of arms and legs and frizzy hair that covers the floor around Elle's dollhouse.

And what a dollhouse it is. It too is a hand-me-down. It was built by my grandpa, uncle and dad as a present for two of my cousins. Nearly 20 years later my parents took it and gave it a little tlc. It got new carpets, paint, shingles, hardwood floors and hand made furniture. Elle got it as a present for her 4th birthday and she's played with it every day since then.

Every time she asks me "Mama, will you play Barbies with me?" I have to smile. I smile even though playing Barbies with a four year old ranks among the most boring activities you can imagine.

I smile because Elle has given her Barbies names like Ruth, Christina, Lucy, Clicky, Ariel Teenager and Shooty. I smile because I remember what a treat it was when my mom would play Barbies with me. I smile because sometimes Joseph will join in with us and it never occurs to him that nine year old boys don't play with Barbies. I smile because I know how how Elle will scream with laughter when I make a Barbie fall out of bed or run into a wall. Even if I've done it 100 times already.

I smile because I have an excuse to play Barbies again.

years ago today Joseph defended me.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Why would you even tell me that?

I've noticed something odd lately. While most people I know are supportive of me being a surrogate some of them are not shy about telling me about people they know who don't think it's such a great idea.

In the past few months I've had several people tell me things like:

"My neighbor doesn't understand how you can use your body that way. She thinks it's just like being a prostitute."
"My co-worker's sister thinks it's wrong to get paid for what you're doing. She thinks you're doing this for the wrong reason.
"My brother-in-law said he thinks you're damaging your kids by doing this."
"My friend doesn't understand how your husband can let you do something like this."
"My uncle's girlfriend thinks what you're doing is really unnatural."

You know, it's not that it bothers me that someone's friend's uncle's co-worker thinks I'm a baby selling whore who's psychologically scarring my children but come one! Why would you tell me that stuff? What reaction do you want from me?

Want me to acknowledge that not everyone approves of what I do? I get that, I do.

Want me to smile politely as you insult my life choices by proxy? Sorry, I'm not that passive.

Want me to say something nasty in return? Maybe say your neighbor can suck it? Sorry, I'm not that aggressive.

Want me to think that you've got your own unkind thoughts about my choices but you want to blame some anonymous person for your opinion rather than claim it as your own? Because that's pretty much where I'm at.

I don't look for or expect unanimous approval for what I do. I know I'll never get that. But is it too much to ask that I not have to hear about the disapproval of people I don't even know?

Two years ago today Elle wanted an itchy potty.
Three years ago today Joseph saw a commercial for an ED medication.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Private parts

When Joseph was little he was, as most little boys are, fascinated with what he had going on in his pants. He wasn't shy about it either. To solve this we intoduced him to the concept of "private parts". We told him those were his private parts and if he wanted to touch them he could do it when he was alone because it polite to do it in front of other people. We also used it as a "bad touch" teaching moment. He shouldn't be showing his to anyone, no one should be showing him theirs. It was a good, simple, concrete concept that really seemed to work for Joseph.

It worked so well in fact that I decided to have the same conversation with Elle recently. She seemed to take it to heart too.

Maybe too much so.

Yesterday Elle and I ran to the grocery store to pick up a couple of things. She kept trying to run away from me and dart into different aisles. That's very unlike her since she's usually glued to my side begging me to buy her stuff when we grow grocery shopping. At one point I was at the end of an aisle and she way way at the other end. We treated the two older ladies between us to this conversation.

Me: Elle, come back over by me.
Elle: I can't! I have to go to the next aisle!
Me? Why baby?
Elle: Because I have to touch my privates and I need to be alone to do it!

Turns out the poor kid had an itch to scratch and she was trying desperately to find somewhere she could be alone and take care of it.


At least I know she's listening to me.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

I hope it's in the shape of a horsie!

A couple of weeks ago I took Joseph to the eye doctor because he was complaining about "floaties". Turns out he has the tiny problem most commonly know as Terrible Eyesight. The poor kid has been going around half blind and I didn't even know it.

Yesterday Joseph had an evaluation with a physical therapist because I notices his ankles were starting to turn down. After watching him run around the gym for a while the therapist recommended ankles braces and twice a week physical therapy.

In the span of two weeks the kid has gained glasses, braces and a standing therapy appointment.

I think next week I'll take Joseph for a social assessment where they'll determine that he's fitting in too well and recommend that he gets a farm animal shaped birthmark tattooed on his face.

One year ago today I loved Obama.
Two years ago I asked people to pray.
Three years ago today I nursed Elle for the last time.
Four years ago today I was having a bad day.

Monday, November 02, 2009

You noticed me! You really noticed me!

Oh! I didn't see you there at first. I've been so busy "sorting" Halloween candy for the last two days that I've hardly had time to think about this blog, much less it's readership. So you'll understand my surprise when I checked my stats and discovered a rather large and glorious upswing in my page views. Specifically, it went from "none" to "some".

I've had these odd blips before and I know it doesn't lead to lead to sustained, long-term readers but I thought I would throw out this offer anyway: If you come back I can promise you lots of stories about boobs and poop and having babies for gay men. And I'm sure my long time readers (hi Jean!) will vouch for and tell you that I can occasionally be amusing or interesting. I'm like a car wreck where the cars are driven by clowns. You can't look away and you feel a little bad for laughing but come on, it's clowns in a car wreck! There are giant floppy shoes all over the highway.

Ok, I lied. I'm nothing like a clown car wreck. I'm more like a housewife who's trying to avoid her domestic responsibilities. Doesn't that sound fun?

Oh well. It was nice while it lasted.

One year ago today I had issues with the neighborhood vagabond.
Four years ago today Elle had her first real bath.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Being a mom doesn't mean not having feelings

Long ago I had a job at a grocery store located in a bad part of town. I quit the job when I got married. Then, a couple of years later I returned to work at the same store, this time as a cake decorator. What I didn't know when I was hired was that the store was experiencing a big problem with employee theft. I found that out when the company's loss prevention department started an investigation and I was named as one of the people stealing.

When I was "questioned" regarding my involvement I was told that I had been named by one of the stock boys as someone who was stealing from the store. Why? I was never able to figure that out. The people stealing were largely high school aged cashiers and stock boys most of whom I never had any contact with at all. When I was asked about certain people's involvement in the "theft ring" I had told them that honestly I had no idea who the people they were asking about even were. The person questioning me seemed to think I was trying to cover for people and got angrier and angrier with me.

I was sent home from work that day and told I would be called in a few days about my "employment status". All the "evidence" they had been able to gather against me basically amounted to one time I had to take a pill with food and someone from the deli gave me a corn dog that was going to be thrown out because it was old.

Three days later I got a call saying I was fired. (On the exact same day we were going to court to finalize Joseph's adoption. So yeah, that was awesome.) I was humiliated and hurt. I had never been fired from a job before and to be fired for the reason I was, was extra painful.

Several of my former co-workers encouraged me to fight my firing and for a while I considered it. Jesse and I even spoke to an attorney who advised us that there was nothing he could do for me since I had been prosecuted for stealing. When I told him I had never actually been prosecuted he was pretty surprised. As it turns out the company I worked for ALWAYS prosecutes shoplifters. Always. Without exception.

So why wasn't I prosecuted? I really think it was because I wasn't fired for stealing. I was fired because the loss prevention person questioning was angry that I didn't help out his investigation. It didn't matter that I didn't actually know anything. He thought I did and he thought I was hiding something and that made him mad. And that was all it took. Minnesota's wonky laws allow a company to fire an employee for any reason at any time so in the end, even though I was fired without cause, I still didn't have a leg to stand on legally.

The whole event was pretty hurtful but you, know, life goes on. I got past it. Jesse now works for the same company that I was fired from. I've been to several office Christmas parties with the same people who "investigated" me. I've been to the head office several times to bring something to Jesse or to pick him up and take him to lunch. I have been in the vacation condo of the company's owner. I've even been on his boat. Joseph sat on his lap and helped him steer the boat! Company higher ups call our house all the time to ask Jesse for help with computer problems and I can have a friendly chat with them. I was even actually rehired by the company at one point. (Once the loss prevention person got wind of it he quickly had me refired with some lame excuse about paperwork not being done right but WHATEVER!)

The point is, I'm over it. I don't really think about it these days.

Most of the time.

The other day my mom took the kids over to my grandma's apartment. Several of my aunts and uncles were there visiting. Somehow the company that I used to work for came up in conversation. Joseph decided to cheerfully offer up this little fact: "My mommy used to work there but then she was fired for stealing!" Neither he (or my mom for that matter) decided to actually tell the entire story so everyone in the room got to hear the very worst part of the story and that's it.

When my mom called to tell me this a couple of days later I was pissed. I got off the phone with her and said to Joseph "I don't like you telling people that I was fired for stealing." He got a horrified look on his face and said "Oh no! Did T--- call you and tell you I told him that?"

By the way, T--- is his IEP case manager. Meaning not only has Joseph been telling family members this little story, he's also been telling people at school. And god only knows who else.

And you know what? It really, really upsets me. 99% of what Joseph (or even Elle for that matter) does I can laugh at as a parent. Even if they're little stinkers I can find humor in it. Not to say that I never get upset or angry at my kids but most of the time, by the end of the day I've managed to find a way to smile about what ever they've done.

Not this time though. People have told me that I shouldn't be upset about this because Joseph can't help what he says. I know it's true. I know that because of Aspergers he's missing that internal filter that says "Stop! This is not ok to say!" I don't think he said that stuff to be hurtful. The fact is though, he said it and it is hurtful.

Being a parent is hard and being a parent of a child with special needs is ... special hard. It means countless doctor and therapy appointments. It means juggling the imprecise science of finding the right mix of medications. It means managing, re-teaching and yes, even tolerating atypical behaviors. It means putting your own needs aside and focusing on what your child needs. Most of the time I think I do a pretty good job at that stuff. But dammit. Sometimes it's hard.

He may have Aspergers but I still have feelings.

One year ago today my brother and I debated politics.
Two years ago today I had Halloween overload.
Three years ago today I was ... drunk or something.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

It was ... Soap! Poisoning!

As I was reading Elle her bedtime stories last night she kept making weird little noises and faces. I chalked it up to her being a weird little four year old.

When I turned off the light and climbed into bed with her* she started coughing and whining. When I asked her what was wrong she said the bubbles in her throat hurt. I assumed she was talking about saliva and saying that it hurt to swallow.

Then she started to stick her hand in her mouth and cry. All I could get her to say was that the bubbles were hurting her. Then she started to cry really hard. Jesse came in to see what was going on and I headed downstairs to check on Joseph.

When I got downstairs I could hear Jesse and Elle moving around and going back and forth from her room to the bathroom. About 20 minutes later Jesse came downstairs to report that Elle was in bed and waiting for me to lay down with her. What had they been doing upstairs? In Jesse's words: "Well she wouldn't actually admit to it but she told me that she might have taken a spoon from her tea party set into the bathroom and that she might have filled it with hand soap and that she might have eaten it. We've been rinsing and spitting for a while."

Soap. The little weirdo ate a spoonful of hand soap. Then she couldn't fall asleep because her throat was full of bubbles. God, what are these kids trying to do to me? And yes, I mean "these kids". Both of them. Stay tuned for tomorrow's post that I've tentatively titled "You may have Aspergers but I still have feelings".

*Yes, I get into bed with her until she falls asleep. I'm aware that pretty much every child rearing/sleep expert would scold me but I don't care.

years ago today I was afraid of becoming a zombie.
Four years ago today Elle pulled her own hair and no one but my family read my blog.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Clearly Jesse is wrong about everything

My husband and I have been married for over 10 years now and for the most part it's been smooth sailing. We've never had to deal with the issues that face a lot of couple married for 10 years. No infidelity, no major blow ups about money, no significant differences in child-rearing philosophy, no fights about religion or politics.

Don't take that to mean that we never argue because we do. Sure, we might not fight about the big stuff but we make up for it by bickering about every single little thing that we can.

I love Jesse dearly. He's a good husband, a great father and my very best friend. He's also wrong about everything and it's my job to correct all his misconceptions.

In the past ten years we have had heated arguments over the following things:

  • What the proper name for "tortillas" is.
  • Whether or not Coldplay sounds the same as U2.
  • If Amish people can be autistic.
  • How many types of fish we should have in our fish tank.
  • How much water to add to the pan when you're making sausage links.
  • If it's possible to have thunder without lightening.
  • If jackalopes are real or not.
  • If it's ok to scream at an umpire.

Those are just a few examples. I've probably blocked some of the most ridiculous from my mind. I'm curious to know if we're alone in this. What is the stupidest, most pointless thing you have ever argued about with your significant other? And don't you think that tortillas should be called "tortillas" and not "wraps"?

Two years ago today I answered some questions about surrogacy and money and Elle thought that even her gas was cute.
Three years ago today I was scared of a toy.
Four years ago today Elle always wanted me to expose myself.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pail style 2.0

Yesterday when I picked Joseph up from school he was so excited. He went on and on about the field trip that his class would be taking today. His class has been studying early settlers and today they're taking a trip to a one room school house to see how kids back then went to school.

He went on and on about this field trip and he told me that part he was most excited about was that the class would be eating "sack lunches, pail style!" just like pioneers.

You can imagine how heartbroken Joseph was this morning when he woke up with a sore throat, cough and fever of over 100. "Oh no!" he cried. "I'm missing my sack lunch! Pail style!"

Since Joseph had the seasonal flu vaccine and we know he's been exposed to H1N1 (like every other kid in America) we're assuming he's got H1N1. Since pregnant women are at a higher risk for complications from H1N1 I've been banished to the upstairs while Jesse stays downstairs (and home from work) to take care of him. (I don't know if it's going to make any difference, the kid was slobbering all over me yesterday.)

I hate not being able to take care of my kids when they're sick. It's a very frustrating feeling not be able to do anything other than stand at the top of the stairs and yell "Be sure to drink more water sweetie!" and "Remember to cover your mouth when you cough!"

So this morning I went out to the garage and dug out a little metal pail. I'm going to wash it out and pack a lunch it it. One way or another my boy is getting his sack lunch, pail style.

Three years ago today I was tentatively matched for my first surrogacy.
Four years ago today I was getting used to having two kids.

Monday, October 19, 2009

My textures bring all the boys to the yard

I don't want to alarm anyone but it appears I have a stalker. Ok, maybe not a stalker but an admirer. All right, not an admirer but someone who acknowledges my existence. I guess maybe she doesn't know I exist but she at least likes my photography. Or rather, she likes one picture I took.

Pioneer Woman used one of my pictures in one of her "photo assignment" posts. This picture to be exact:

I expect that any minute now I'll be catapulted in the exciting world of high profile photography bloggers. I know that soon people will be knocking on my door to invite me to blogging conferences where I'll be given expensive cameras. Soon, very soon.

Yes, any second now...

Hey, in the meantime let me tell you about a few of my recent google hits!
no mustache could have been any clipper song - Ha! See? It's not just me!
does using dixie paper plates make me a good mom? - No. I've gone into great detail about this.
when i eat my head leaks - Err...
the problem with asking a girl to do the poop song - This is what I get for calling this blog Problem Girl. Everyone looking for help with their girl problems ends up here. And a lot of people have girl problems that involve poop.

I could do this all day but now I have to go and pack. I want to be ready when the people who want me to publish a book of my textured photos need me to fly to LA and do lunch.

Two years ago today I was not in the best of moods.
Three years ago today I had a tough day with Joseph but then the kids were cute and even cuter.
Four years ago today I no longer worried about pooping while giving birth.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Speaking of large and in charge...

Elle's not the only one in this house who's a great big giant. I have become rather huge myself. What's that you say? You say you need proof in the form of a fuzzy cell phone picture that doesn't show my face and makes my arm look it's twice the size it should be? Ok, you asked for it.

Need even more proof that I am starting to look like the Woman That Ate Minnesota? Last week I was 13 weeks pregnant and I was measuring 19 and a half weeks. I was pretty much speechless when the doctor told me that. Given that in the past I have always measured less than my actual dates, I was just not expecting to be this big this soon.

Since I am still 10 pounds under my pre-pregnancy weight I know it's the babies that made me switch to maternity jeans at eight weeks. The babies, not the nightly bowl of ice cream.

Honsetly, I'm not sure how it is that I haven't gained a lot more weight at this point. Now that the morning sickness has passed (it was a lot more mild than I had expected it to be) I am hungry all the time. I feel like I eat constantly. Sometime I wake up in the middle of the night and have some toast or a bowl of cereal because I'm so hungry.

Everything that I've read says that at this point in a twin pregnancy I should have gained 10-15 pounds. I'm trying, I really am. It's 1:00 pm and I've already eaten a bowl of oatmeal, a banana, a large bowl of leftover spaghetti, a muffin, an apple and cheese, a few peanut butter cups and about 12 glasses of milk. And now I'm hungry again.

Can I just say that the milk consumption is out of control? I guess the babies are building bones or something because no matter how much milk I drink it never seems like enough. I'm starting to think we should invest in a cow rather than continue to pay for it one gallon at a time.

So I guess the long and short of it is that I am huge but not yet huge enough. Not nearly as huge as I'm going to get. I'm not vain, the idea of a fat ass doesn't bother me. I'm just starting to wonder how much longer I'm going to be able to fit through doors.

Oh, and if you need even more proof I'm huge? Look at this picture Stimey drew of me. It's in the first picture on the page. I'm there on the wall, standing in what's supposed to be Minnesota. In spite of the fact that Stimey clearly needs to practice her Minnesota drawing skillz it is the greatest shout-out that I have ever gotten, ever.

Two years ago today Jesse was a little bit of a butthead crab.

Monday, October 12, 2009

But she's still MY baby

Elle turned four yesterday. Eek!

This child is large and in charge. Literally. Being in the 96th percentile for height and weight kind of gives you an air of authority. If you ask her who the boss is she responds "I am!" in a voice that lets you know she thinks it's silly you would even ask that. It's not some "cute" thing we've taught her to do, she just really thinks that.

When I call the family to the table for dinner Elle is always the first one there. (In fact, she's often there before I even call her because she's been "helping" me cook.) If Jesse and Joseph take too long getting there she yells at them. "Boys! Boys! Come to dinner right now boys!" And if Joseph starts to whine about what I'm serving? "Oh, stop whining Baba. You're going to love it. Just take a bite!"

I could just throw my hands up in confusion and pretend I didn't know where any of this came from. No one who knows me would believe it though. The fact is, with Elle, I have given birth to my own karma. She's so much like me. Sometimes I fear for what she'll be like when she's a teenager.

Thankfully I still have a few good non-teenage years left. A few years where she still wants me to give her butterfly kisses and rock her on my lap like she's a baby. A few years where I can still hear her cute, chirpy voice in the next room as she makes her Barbies talk to each other. A few years where I'll pick her up from preschool and she'll still squeal with delight at the pure joy of seeing me. A few more years where she'll climb in next to me in bed in the morning and say "I love you Mama! I sleeped good!"

She might be four years old and large and in charge but she's still my baby. At least for a little while longer.

Note - As I was writing this I heard Elle yell angrily from my bedroom "These curtains keep falling down on me!" She had pulled the curtains down and was angry that they had the audacity to ... fall on her.

years ago today I was feeling sentimental about the kids getting older

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

A very little problem

On Joseph's first day of school his class did a getting to know you exercise. They had to walk around the classroom and fill out a sheet that had things on it like "went fishing this summer" and "has two sisters" and "has blue eyes". Joseph had filled in all the spaces with names of his new classmates. All of the spaces except one. In the space for "is shorter than me" he had carefully drawn a large X. He rather sadly told me that he's the shortest on in his class. Again. Just like last year.

Every day when I pick Joseph up from school I stand near the front doors and wait for his class to come down the hall. I can never see him right away. He's always surrounded by kids several inches, if not head and shoulders, taller than him. I almost never see his face first. I just look into the forest of legs to watch for his trademark shuffle-shuffle-skip step that he uses to keep up with all his longer legged classmates.

Last week the kids had check-ups. Everything was pretty routine. Elle continues on her quest to be the next 50 Foot Woman by being in the 96th percentile for both height and weight.

Joseph is in the 5th percentile for height. He had a growth spurt this last summer that finally let us pack away his 5T clothes. I credit that for being what pushed him into the 5th percentile.

When his doctor plotted out Joseph's growth curve for me I got a dull ache in the pit of my stomach. He's spent most of his life well below even the 5th percentile. He's had the occasional little growth spurt followed by long periods where he didn't grow at all.

We've always played the waiting game when it came to Joseph's size. We always said "Well, he had a rough start in life. He just needs some time to catch up."

He's nine years old now. Shouldn't he have started to catch up by now? His doctor thinks so and she's pretty stumped as to why he's so tiny. (It's not just about where he's at now, it's also about his peculiar growth pattern.) She doesn't think it's genetic since both of Joseph's birth parents were of average height. She doesn't think it's nutrition related since he eats a healthy diet and a good variety of foods. So now we're at a loss.

The next step in trying to figure this out will come in January. We have an appointment to see a endocrinologist to see if they can figure out what's going on and what steps we can take to help Joseph grow.

What this doesn't mean: OH my god! My son is a little on the small side and I only want tall kids so now we're going to take him to a doctor who will give him painful hormone shots every day! Into his eyeballs!

What it does mean: We want to know if there's a way that we can help Joseph now so that when he's an adult people will just think that he's short, not that he's tiny. We want to know our options and know the risks and benefits of our options. The most important thing is that we want to do what's best for Joseph.

I think it's time to stop sitting back and waiting for things to happen. I think if there's anything that's going to help Joseph then we owe it to him to at least explore that option. We know that he'll always be small. We just want to give him a little boost if we can.
Small boy

Two years ago today I was huge and no purse could hide that fact.
Four years ago today Joseph was a sweetie pie.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Because the Beloved Leader tells me to

On the way home from school the other day Joseph drops this little gem on me. "Today I told my teacher that you're pregnant with twins. She said that was neat. Then I told you that you're an obedient mother and that you give the babies away to other people."

Now I'm afraid she thinks I'm in a cult.

Two years ago today Elle was the easy child. Ahahahahahahaha!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The babies

On Monday my IF's (hereby known as A and D) flew into town so that they could come to my ultrasound. They came bearing gifts for the kids. My kids that is, not theirs. I don't even want to the about the logistics that would be involved with giving their children gifts right now. For Joseph they brought a Lego Empire State building, a gift that perfectly combines Joseph's loves of Legos and all things New York. For Elle they brought a stuffed dog that barks, perfectly combining her love of stuffed animals and all things that are annoying after you listen to them for 14 seconds. The kids are smitten.

On Tuesday morning the guys and I went to the clinic or the ultrasound. As soon as the ultrasound started we could see Baby B bouncing and wiggling around. Then Baby B took a rest while Baby A kicked it's legs and waved it's arms. It looked like it was tap dancing. Then we saw Baby B put it's arm up over it's face. I suspect that Baby B is a girl and she had gotten a hold of a copy of Fetal Cosmo where she had read that a good way to distract people from the fact that your head is as big as the rest of your entire body is to prominently display your arm bud.

If I was a super hero I would be the Golden Uterus. In spite of all the weight I've lost the babies look good and are measuring a little ahead of their actual age. Now that they're each nearly two inches long I'm no longer ashamed to admit that I've switched to maternity pants. Not that I was ever ashamed to admit it I guess but now when I tell people that I get fewer odd looks.

So that's that. The babies look good, we had a nice visit with A and D and I'm getting fat again. Not a bad update.

Three years ago today I broke my elbow. Sort of.

Friday, September 18, 2009

It almost makes sense if you think about it really hard

You know that part in the song Man in the Mirror where Michael Jackson sings "And no message could have been any clearer"?

Until really recently (three days ago) I thought he was saying "And no mustache could have been any clipper".

When that song came out and it was really popular I would sing along with it every time I heard it. How many people have seen me throw my head back and sing with all the emotion in the world that "no mustache could have been any clipper"?

Two years ago today I talked about some of my best google hits ever.
Four years ago today I had a headache and Joseph had a cleaning fetish.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

At least I can still enjoy glee club style medleys

Everything I love has fallen into a state of neglect. My kids, my husband, my house, my garden, my blog. I just don't have the energy to do much more than lay around and try to work up the energy to get something to eat. When I try to eat I find that 95% of the time the sight and smell of food makes me sick and I have to go lay back down.

In the past several weeks I've lost 13 pounds and yet my pants are starting to get tight. My conclusion? The babies are growing while I continue to shrink. Now don't get me wrong, I don't think anyone would look at me and think "Oh my god! That girl needs to eat!" because I'm still fairly ... curvy. Losing weight when you're pregnant with twins though? Not a good idea. Not good for me and not good for the babies.

It's gotten to the point where people are bringing me food. My friend brought me the makings for buffalo chicken sandwiches. One of my aunts brought me a bunch of stuff for making dinners with. If I express the slightest interest in a certain food Jesse runs out and gets it. I think if I asked someone to peel me a grape they probably would. I would never do that though because the idea of eating a slimy peeled grape makes me want to gag.

I'm just so worn out and I want someone to promise me that it will pass. I want to know that someday I will have enough energy to do more than just lay on the couch, eating saltines and watching Golden Girls reruns. It will get better right? Right?

To make up for this horrible whining entry here's a neat video. You might enjoy it if you can get past this guy's horrible, crotch-cupping jeans.

This video makes me want to learn to beatbox. That would be a sight.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

This is why my heart is on the floor

I choke up once or twice as I drive her to her first day of preschool. I glance back at her and her eyes are bright and happy. She chatters on, telling me all the things she's going to do at school.

Clutched to her chest is a new backpack. It strikes me that the backpack is half her size.

She seems so small.

When we get to the school she puts her backpack in her locker. I try to wrap my brain around the fact that my baby has a locker.

In the classroom she is nearly vibrating with excitement as we check her in. I try to take her hand to show her (just one more time) where the bathrooms are but she pulls away from me and makes for the play kitchen area.

My little buddy, my constant companion, my shadow.

I watch her from across the room as she plays with the other kids. She seems so grown up. She's a head taller than most of the kids in the class. I smile as I look at her impossibly long legs topped off by her little round bottom.

Her jeans are slipping down and I want to go over and pull them up. Obviously she's too young for this. She still needs me to be with her all the time.

She turns and sees me standing there. She smiles and says "Mama? Can you go now so I can be at school all by myself?"

This is why my heart is on the floor.

One year ago today I got political.
Two years ago today I struggled with medicating Joseph.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Because I'm too tired to argue

I was going to write a big long post about how moronic I find it that people are actually planning on keeping their kids home on September 8th so that they are not exposed to President Obama telling them to (gasp!) do well in school and (oh no!) try their best but then I found myself so befuddled by the whole thing that I became unable to compose my thoughts or write a sentence that was less than four lines long.

So instead I'm going to tell you the thing I saw this morning that made me laugh and laugh.

I was checking my blog stats and I came across a search done last night for the phrase "is it a problem to ask a girl for a picture of her feces?"

Then, not an hour later, from the exact same ISP - "how to apologize to a girl for a problem you caused".

I have to go now. The kids are watching an episode of Word Girl that I think is trying to brainwash them into becoming socialists.

Two years ago today I wasn't ready for first grade.
Three years ago today Joseph had fantastic manners.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Prairie dogs are good for the soul

When I found out I was pregnant with twins I immediately turned to the the most trusted source for information guaranteed to scare the crap out of you. Google. I googled everything. Rates of c-sections with twins, weight gain with twins, risk of gestational diabetes with twins, morning sickness and twins, how to fit through the door when pregnant with twins, patterns for easy and attractive maternity wear made from circus tents. And on and on and on.

It occurred to me that I was going to make myself crazy if I didn't take a little break from Dr Google. Luckily we had a family trip to South Dakota. What a coincidence. (Sorry I didn't mention it earlier. I am a bit of a worrier and I didn't want any robbers to google "bloggers who are on vacation" and come across me.)

So for the past week I've been driving back and forth across South Dakota with my family. For that entire time the only moments we were more than an arms length away from each other was when the kids would run away from us at various national monuments. This happened a lot. At first we were pretty uptight about it ("No you guys! Hold our hands the entire time!") but over time we relaxed ("You guys, put on your shoes before you go running over to the edge of that cliff. Or don't. Whatever.")

Being that close to my family for a week was interesting. I am a person who needs her personal space, especially when I'm pregnant. Luckily my family is pretty awesome and we managed to have a great time in spite of my occasional desire to run screaming into the Black Hills. Luckily South Dakota has a lot of prairie dogs and I find them very soothing. Just watching them relaxes me.

Since I'm dealing with a lovely case of morning sickness I got a prescription of Zofran to help with the puking during the trip. It did it's job and it only had the barely noticeable side effect of making me unable to poop for eight days.* Every so often I would feel movement in my abdomen and I would think "The babies are kicking me!" but then I would remember I am only about 8 seconds pregnant and what I most likely was feeling was my intestines slowly and gently bursting.

So all in all it was an awesome trip. I'll share some pictures later (because I know you're on the edge of your seat) but don't look for any pictures of me because of all the pictures that were taken on the trip there is not a single one of me. That's sort of depressing.

One quick story. At one point we were driving through a herd of wild donkeys and Joseph yelled "Hey! Look at all the jackasses!"** Ok, maybe that's only funny to me. Actually, maybe it's not not even funny to me. I kind of get annoyed when people think it's cute when kids swear. On the other hand it was kind of cute because he didn't know it was a swear word, he just read it in a book and thought it was the right word to use. On the other hand maybe I've spent way too much time talking about this.

And one more thing. While we were gone my parents re-did Joseph's room. They repainted it and added custom build bookshelves and a desk and it's the most awesome room ever. And my mom cleaned my house from top to bottom. Coming home to that was pretty sweet.

And one more thing. Elle drew a picture of a buffalo that kind of looked like a cave drawing and it was so cute it made me cry. Now I have to go and google "twin pregnancy and stupid emotional reactions".

*I'm not exaggerating.
**This is my reaction when I watch Fox News.

One year ago today Joseph was in the hospital and he peed in my mouth.
Four years ago today I had stretch marks.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Babies are scary

I had my first ultrasound today. It was exciting. It was extra fun because they guys were there so they got to get a nice, early look at their babies.

Oh yeah, babies. As in two.

Ack! I won't even lie. The idea of carrying two human beings in my body sort of makes me want to vomit in terror. Or that might be the morning sickness talking.

It's a little scary. Exciting though.

And scary.

Two years ago today a pharmacist tried to wound me.
Four years ago today Joseph pretended to like sports.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Ten magical-ish years

Today is our ten year anniversary. The last decade has gone by so quickly. I remember our wedding day like it was yesterday.

Let's not let this anniversary go by without marking the occasion with something special. Here's what I have in mind.

After you get home from work let's go to Bed, Bath & Beyond to pick out a new bedspread for Joseph. Then let's head over to Menards to pick out a new light for his room and paint to match the new bedspread.

When we get home I'll throw my purse on the counter (almost knocking over the roses you sent me) and run into the bathroom to throw up. You'll eat some of the homemade salsa I made for you today.

After we get the kids put to bed I'll turn the lights down low and slip into something more comfortable. Maybe that tank top I bought from Old Navy that I wore once but then it stretched out so much that it became more of a see through tank dress than a tank top. Then I'll climb into bed and say what you've know I've been waiting to say all night.

"Sweetie? Can you bring me a piece of cake and then do my shots?"

After my shots are done and I've eaten my cake I'll fall asleep watching Golden Girls while sit on the couch and draft your fantasy football team. Later you'll come to bed and curl up with me but the peppers and onions from the homemade salsa will do their work and you'll pass gas. I'll yell at you and kick you out of bed. You'll go out and sleep on the couch until twenty minutes later when one or both of the kids wake us up by screaming about the fact that their blankets are crooked or some such crap.

Is it any wonder we've made it to ten years? We really know how to keep the magic alive.

Your loving pain in the ass wife,

One year ago today I was married for nine years.
Two years ago today the kids played with flashlights.
Three years ago today I named my living room.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

40 inches

In a few week my parents will be taking Elle to Disney World. If this seems a little unfair just let me point out that when I was pregnant with Elle they took Joseph to Disney World and a year later to Disneyland. Now it's Elle's turn for an entire week devoted entirely to her pleasure. (She's going to be a monster when she gets back.)

A few days ago we made an exciting discovery. Elle is now tall enough to go on a lot of the "E ticket" rides. Big Thunder, Splash Mountain, Tower of Terror, Test Track, Soarin' and Dinosaur. She is so pumped.

All day long she asks me things like "Tell me all about Big Thunder!" and "Tell me all about Tow of Tear!" She has no fear. She knows some of the rides are scary but in her words "It's all about Mickey magic."

The other night we did the unheard of and skipped bedtime stories so that I could tell her all the details of the new rides she would be able to go on. With each ride I would describe she would have to add her part. "And when they measure me in the line I can tell them I am 40 inches for Big Thunder."

I stayed in her room way too late that night. I kept her up, rubbing her back and telling her every little detail I could think of about each of the rides. I don't know which of us enjoyed it more.

When she finally fell asleep she had a little smile on her face and she was muttering "40 inches, 40 inches..." under her breath.

I'm going to miss that baby so much when she's gone.

year ago today I talked about death and manicures.
Four years ago today I was more boring than seems humanly possible.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Bad news, good news

The bad news:
I am bleeding.

The good news:
I'm not cramping.
I'm still having morning sickness.
The blood is not bright red.
I bled a little bit when I was pregnant with Little A and that turned out ok.

We'll see what happens. For now I'm just trying to take it super easy and not stress out. Easier said than done I'm afraid.

Four years ago today our car was broken into.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Growing up

Joseph is nine years old but sometimes I forget. I forget that he's not my baby any more.

He's still so small. He was the littlest one in his class last year. He's still wearing size 5/6 shorts. His giant beast of a little sister will probably be taller than him soon.

He's still so innocent. The other day he heard someone use the word "stupid" and he covered his mouth and looked at me with his gigantic brown eyes opened as wide as they could be. "That man just said the S word!"

He still acts like a little boy. When we cross a street or walk through a busy parking lot or through a crowd of people he reaches for my hand. He needs help tying his shoes and pouring a glass of milk and figuring out left from right.

He's not a baby any more though. This morning he told me that he didn't want to call me Mommy any more. From now on he wants to call me Mom.

Ouch. My heart.

I know most kids Joseph's age stopped using "Mommy" a long time ago. I should have been ready for this. I'm not though. If he stops calling me Mommy no one will ever call me that again. Elle calls me Mama so I'm only "Mommy" to Joseph. I'm not ready to give that up yet.

At least I know I'll still be trying his shoes till he's 27.

One year ago today I was proud of Joseph for eating ice cream and Elle made the mother of all mud pies.
Two years ago today Jesse proved he can't be trusted to feed the kids when I'm not around.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Forever sleep*

I am 5 weeks and 1 day pregnant today.

This is the part of pregnancy where I spend most of my time struggling to stay awake and not vomit.

I look like I have a case of the swine flu and my house looks like actual swine live in it.

I'm doing the best I can but oh my god, all I want to do is sleep and cry and vomit and eat buffalo wings and then start the whole thing all over again. It's pathetic.

I'm not even trying to complain. I signed up for this. I knew that for me the early weeks are wretched. I guess I just forgot how wretched. And I'm starting to think there's more than one baby in there causing havoc with my body. At least if that's the case I'll have some kind of explanation for why my body feels this wrung out.

I would like to explore this further but for now that cracker I just ate is looking like it wants to come back up. Ugh.

*Bonus points to anyone who knows where this is from.

Four years ago today we had a bug infestation and Joseph played me like a violin.

Monday, August 10, 2009

How did Ma Ingalls do it?

When we planted this year's garden we intended for it to be a learning experience. Sure, we wanted to get some food from it but the real point was to learn by doing. And we have learned a lot from from it. Some things we learned are:

Follow the recommendations on how far apart to plant things otherwise your garden just kind of grows together in one giant mass of plantyness.

There's no such thing as a helper rabbit. There's only bean and carrot eating rabbits.

It is possible for a stalk of corn to grow without producing a single ear of corn. Bastards.

If given half a chance, pumpkins, watermelon and zucchini will happily take over your entire garden.

Gardening is really time consuming.

I'm not even joking about that last one. I vastly underestimated how much work this garden was going to be. It's not the weeding and harvesting that has surprised me, I was expecting that stuff. What I didn't think about was how much time it would take to process all of the vegetables I harvest.

I pick stuff from the garden every day. I usually get a large bowl full of veggies. I sort through what will be eaten in the next day or two and then figure out how to deal with all the rest. Peppers are put into the dehydrator, carrots are cut into sticks for snacks, pickles are made (I have made several batches of pickles this year), tomatoes are made into sauce, beans and peas are blanched and frozen for eating during the winter. On Fridays there's even more to do because I am supplementing what I'm not growing by buying stuff from the farmer's market.

For the most part I really like the garden and the over-abundance of produce. Mostly. Unfortunately I've got a good case of what I like to call the first trimester blues. Come two o'clock every day I am so exhausted that I ache. Morning sickness has started so sometimes when I chop a tomato I think I could vomit from the pure sliminess of if. I'm a little bit of a wreck and the garden seems to be serving to highlight that.

When I'm really feeling worn out though I like to pretend that I'm a frontier woman. I imagine that all that's standing between my family and starvation over the long winter months is all my hard work in the garden. Sometimes when I'm bent over the beans and my back is aching and all I want to do is go inside and lay down and watch Golden Girls I think to myself "No! I must harvest all these beans so that the children don't get scurvy this winter!" Never mind that beans don't prevent scurvy. It's my fantasy and I can grow scurvy beans if I want to. It works for me ok?

In spite of everything I think we're going to expand the garden next year. We'll lay it out better and hopefully with will be even more productive than this years. And hopefully I'll be smart enough to not be pregnant right during harvest time.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Sometimes I like to be wrong

For those of you who commented on yesterday's post suggesting I pee on a stick are a little late. I've peed on many sticks already. Many, many, many sticks. But we'll talk about my adventures in the woods another time.

For now let's answer the burning question you've come here to have answered. Am I pregnant? Well, if you didn't pick it up from yesterday's post and you don't follow me on facebook (for shame!) then you don't know the big news.

Yes, I am pregnant.

What a happy surprise. I honestly thought this batch of embryos was no good and that this transfer was not going to work. Way to be a positive thinker Jen. Good thing my sour attitude towards this was not the determining factor.

They guys are happy and excited. I'm happy and excited for them. I had told them a few days ago that I had gotten a positive pregnancy test but they were waiting for the official blood test results before they got too excited. Now they can celebrate for real.

As for me? Now I can breath a sigh for relief and wait for the answer to the next big question. How many of the little buggers are in there?

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

What ever could it be?

So what's going on with me?

Not much.

My boobs are huge and sore.

I get indigestion every time I eat.

I am tired.

I just can't figure out what's going on with me.

No idea at all.

years ago today Joseph called me a sucker.