Thursday, January 29, 2009

The best of me on Twitter

I've been seeing a lot of people posting compilations of their best twitter tweets. Here's my attempt. These are all real. Marvel at my fascinating awesomeness.

*I can't see out of my right eye. Do you think that's important?
*What the hell is wrong with me? I'm eating candy you squeeze out of a tube. On purpose!
*I just found out a gourmet cupcake shop opened two blocks from my house. My ass is going to get so huge.
*I hate spending all day on the phone fighting to get the money I'm owed. I need that money for cupcakes!
*I clogged the toilet today but didn't tell my husband so that when he came home and took his evening poo he would think he clogged it. (I tweet about poop a lot.)
*Spent the day at the zoo. I smell like an otter.
*Why do I keep smelling bananas?
*I'm eating a Fun Dip. Remember Fun Dips? Not really all that fun. (I tweet about what I'm eating a lot. I eat a lot of crap.)
*My stomach hurts like I just did 100 sit ups. Which is odd because I actually did none sit ups.
*Just coughed up a large chunk of something solid. Could it be a piece of my lung? Or that tater tot I inhaled last night?
*I have a really good recipe for Swedish meatballs. No I don't. I was just trying to impress you.
*I'm worried that my love for Deadliest Catch means I'm secretly attracted to stinky, grizzled guys.
*It's raining and the drug dealers across the street have their car windows open. This pleases me.
*The kids are being kept happy by playing with a yard of crushed velvet. I'm not even kidding. They've been at if for 30 minutes now. (I'm raising the village idiots here.)
8I am the biggest dork in the universe. I watch America's Funniest Videos and chuckle heartily."Haha! The cat fell off the tv! Haha!"
*Vagina's are evil I guess. I dunno, I love talking about mine. (It's true. I tweet about my lady bits A LOT.)
*I'm always suspicious that people who come to look at our house are going to go through my underwear drawer and laugh at my granny panties.
*This is a SPARK PLUG!!!
*I am photoshopping a picture of a deep fried candy bar. I may need professional help here.
*Who actually buys those Kidz Bop cds? People who hate music and children and life?
*It's impossible to dislike a sport that involves walking like you're trying to solve a Rubik cube with your butt cheeks. (I think I was talking about speedwalking here.)
*I once threw up, crapped and cried at the same time. Impressed? Maybe a little turned on even?
*Something in my back just popped. Can't move without pain. Please send chocolate and a stick I can hold in my mouth and type with.
*Little known fact - Sarah Palin does not like it when @thebloggess calls her a mythical hobbit. (This was post BlogHer and pre-election. Topical humor.)
*Hmmm. Not bad. Needs more nut slapping.

Now it's your turn. Tell me the best thing you ever twittered. Tell me your twitter name too so that I can follow you if I'm not already.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

To sleep

I don't know what's wrong with me.

That's not true. I do know what's wrong with me. I need to get some sleep.

I've got insomnia.

This is not a new thing for me. It's happened before. Lots of times before. I am a chronic non-sleeper. Even on my best, most restful days it can take me an hour of laying in bed before I fall asleep.

Now? Now I'm stuck in some kind of sleepless cycle that's causing my mind to become fuzzy and my body to become sluggish. I lack focus and energy. It took me ten minutes to write the last two sentences. I'll spellcheck this so that you'll never know I misspelled half the words.

The weather is not helping the situation. The gray days, the hard crust of icy snow covering everything, the icy winds that slip inside your coat and into your bones if you give them half a chance. They all make you want stay inside, curl up in a warm bed and take a nap. I want to but I can't.

I need to get some sleep.

I've tried everything and nothing is working. I had a little bit of a cold so I took some NyQuil and then remembered that they took all the good stuff out of it. I took an all natural sleep remedy and had an all natural night of tossing and turning and wanting to cry from frustration when the alarm clock went off. I took an over the counter sleep aid and then stayed up till well past three in the morning watching Nick at Night.

I remember after my aunt died my mother and all of her sisters took an all natural sleep aid to help them at night. They all thought it worked. I tried one and it didn't work for me. I finally had to go to the doctor to get something prescribed to me. Five days later the bad sleep cycle was broken. I had a few pills left over and I gave one to my mom. She took it then went to use the computer. An hour later my dad heard a strange beeping noise. He found my mom sitting at the computer desk, fast asleep. The beeping was caused by the "e" key being pressed non-stop. By her cheek. She had fallen asleep with her face firmly planted on the keyboard. I envy her sleeping like that.

I need to get some sleep.

I suppose now my only option is to go back to the doctor. I haven't though for a variety of reason. The big one is that the thought of paying for an office co-pay and prescription makes my checkbook hurt. Sleep is a right, not a luxury. I don't want to have to pay for it. Not now, not at a time when the economy makes me worry over every little purchase.

At the grocery store I pick up a bag of brown rice. $3.69? Can that be right? Can I afford that right now? I put the rice back. Later Jesse laughs at me. "Get the rice! We can afford it!" That's easy for him to say. He can sleep at night. I get the rice but put back the cans of tuna. The kids each want a box of fruit snacks and I say yes. Why should they suffer because I am so tired?

I really need to get some sleep.

Edited to add - This is partly real and partly "artistic expression". Yes, I'm tired and too cheap to go to the doctor. I'm also just throwing out something that was rolling around in my head last night. All is well and sooner or later I will sleep again.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Jen according to Google

Let's see what Google says about me shall we?

Jen is.....
thrilled to announce that she will join Jewel on tour this summer.
getting her gear laid out and looking over her maps.
at the docor getting her throat checked out.
actually a native american.
building a travel website based on the idea that anyone can have fun in Las Vegas.
dressed so sexy and wearing an S & M black mask.
a lofty thing.
networking with other authors, and writing in her many blogs.
an ugly lady who nobody is jealous of.
so much prettier than Angie could ever be.

Jen loves....
to karaoke.
children and is always a hit at the family functions.
the jazz hands, too.
Celine Dion and Whitney Houston, and the occasional flashback to the 90’s.
everything blue, and is always on the phone.
helping people feel good about themselves.
playing with cell phones of any kind.
cooking and eating, though isn't particularly good at the washing up.

Jen hates.....
Angie with every fibre of her well-toned being.
me for no reason.
it when I take pictures of her.
arrogance, jealousy and deceit and admits to being too high maintenance.
the pressure her fame puts on all of her relationships.
that she is portrayed in this travel blog as a big drinker.
sauce and seafood both.

This is more fun that it should be. Just enter your name into google and see what comes up.

Monday, January 26, 2009

By the seat of our pants

In a perfect world Joseph's birth mother would never have any more children. After all, she had demonstrated her lack of ability and interest in parenting a child with Joseph. In a less perfect but at least more convenient world if she had more children we at least wouldn't have to hear about it. That would spare us having to discuss the whole thorny issue with Joseph.

The world is not perfect or convenient.

A week or so ago I was sitting at the table going through the mail when I came across a letter that made me gasp out loud. Joseph's birth mother had another child. She was a few weeks old and already in foster care. We got the letter because we were being asked if we were willing/able to take her in as a foster child for a short term placement with the potential for a permanent placement. Since this letter came on a Saturday there was no one I could call and voice my questions to. Questions like "What happened?" and "Why are we being notified of this?" and "Seriously dude. What the fuck?"

Jesse and I spent the weekend talking to each other in low whispers. Should we tell Joseph? How much should we tell him? Should we take the baby? What if we took her and she went back home? Did we owe it to Joseph to get involved? Did we owe it to him not to? What if she needed a permanent home? Would we do that?

By Sunday night we had agreed that we would not be able to do short term foster care. We just didn't think it would be fair to bring this baby into Joseph's life if there was a chance that she could leave us again. We also decided that we would be as honest as we could with Joseph about the situation. We didn't want to hide this information from him and then ten years down the road spring it on him. "Surprise! You have a biological half sister and we've known about her since she was born!"

On Monday I called the social worker who could give me very few details beyond what had been in the letter. She told me the current plan was for reunification. I snorted when she said that. She laughed and said "Yeah, we all know how that can go."

In the end I told her to call us again if the situation changed but for now we had to maintain our distance. That night Jesse and I had another whispered conversation. The only two thing we could decide on were that if we ever got involved with this baby's life we would change her name right away (in addition to being saddled with a careless mother the poor thing also has a horrid name) and that we would talk to Joseph about the whole thing on Saturday.

I have always said that biology does not matter when it comes to family. I believe that, I really do. Blood is not what makes my family, love is. But this whole situation has made me wonder if it's so easy to believe that because I have the "luxury" of biology. I can look at Elle and see how much she looks like Jesse. I can look at my brother and see how much he looks like my dad. I can look at myself in the mirror and see the deep-set eyes I got from my grandfather.

Joseph doesn't have that. For all the love he has in this family he doesn't have the "luxury" of biology. Don't I owe it to him to give him that if he wants it? I can say to him "You get your sense of humor and your love of reading from me and your video game skills and love of Legos from your dad." We also tell him things like "You get your dark brown eyes from your birth dad. Your mouth is the same shape as your birth mother's." I try to give him that connection.

On Saturday I sat Joseph down and told him about his biological half sister. I told him the few things I knew. How old she is, what her name is, that she's in foster care. Joseph listened and in the end reacted about the way I had expected him too. He smiled and said he understood and could he please go play a video game now. I told him he could but made him promise that if he had any questions or feeling about the whole thing that he would talk to me. So far he hasn't mentioned it at all. I really don't expect him to either. Right now it just isn't important to him. It might be some day though and if it then he'll have the information and he'll know he can come to us and we'll be honest with him and help him with anything that he wants to do.

I know that not everyone we know agreed that telling Joseph about the baby was the right thing to do. I'm sure there are people reading this who think we handled some aspect of it wrong. I can only say that we're flying by the seat of our pants here. We try in every way to do the right thing for Joseph and from time to time we're going to make mistakes. When those mistakes are made though it's not because of carelessness or thoughtlessness on our part. Our choices might sometimes be wrong but at least they're choices made out of love.

As for the baby with the horrible name? I'm trying to put her out of my mind. There's a good chance I'll never hear another thing about her. Maybe she'll go back with her mother. Maybe she'll be adopted by a family member. Maybe we'll get a call in a year or two or three that she needs a permanent home and would we consider it? Would we? I can't think about that right now. There's too many possibilities and my mind gets muddled if I start to consider them all.

For now I'm just going to hug my boy extra tight and be glad that we don't have to question our place in each other's lives.

Friday, January 23, 2009

I am such a dick

It was pointed out to me by someone who may or may not live with me (hint- he lives with me) that my last post might not have been the nicest thing I've ever written. In the interest of fairness I will now tell a story about a time I was the one looking foolish. And no, it wasn't this time. Or this time. Or even this time. You know, I don't know what Jesse's so upset about. I'm the one who really takes a beating on this blog.

Anyway..... Jesse is really into Metallica. I know nothing about Metallica. Back when he and I had first started dating he was asking me what Metallica songs I knew. It went a little something like this.

Jesse: So what Metallica songs do you know?
Me: I only know of one for sure that they sing. It's "Secret One Eyed Woman".
Jesse: Huh? Secret what?
Me: Secret One Eye Woman. You have to know it.
Jesse: Are you sure Metallica sings it? How does it go?
Me: (singing) Secret one eyed wooooman!
Jesse: .......
Me: You don't know it?
Jesse: Do you mean "Sleep With One Eye Open"?
Me: Er. Yes.

And then he laughed at me for an hour and to this day he will still occasionally sing "Secret one eye wooooman!"

So there. I don't know it all and sometimes I'm wrong too. Also, today Elle drew this picture of me wearing glasses.

I guess she thinks I was too hard on Jesse too.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I swear this really happened

We were playing a game tonight at dinner where we went around the table with each of us naming an animal to go with a letter of the alphabet. You know, a is for antelope, b is for barracuda and so on. All was going well until this happened:

Joseph: I is for iguana.
Jesse: J is for jackalope.
Me: Haha, ok. Name a real animal.
Jesse: (long pause) I did.
Me: No, Jesse, seriously.
Jesse: Jen! Jackalope! That's my animal.
Me: No, it's not. You have to name a ....... Oh my gosh. Do you think jackalopes are real?
Jesse: I ..... (gets tight lipped)
Me: Tell me you don't think they're real.
Jesse: What do you mean? They are real!
Me: (dissolving into helpless giggles) A jackalope is a made up animal. There's no such thing.
Jesse: Yes there is!
Me: I promise you that there is not.
Jesse: I'm pretty sure there is.

And it went on like that. In fact, I was never able to convince him and after dinner he looked it up online in an attempt to confirm he was right. He wasn't.

Thirty-three years old and he thought jackalopes were real. How did he think they burrowed with those antlers on their heads? How did he even think they held their heads up? I can't ask him because when I try to talk to him about it he just gets all tight lipped and cranky. I'm scared to ask him if he thinks unicorns are real too. I don't want to crush all his dreams in one day.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The one where I laugh like a donkey

Now that Elle is three she has taken to having big pouting fits for no reason. I fear what she'll be like when she's a teenager because even now at this tender age she's already got me walking on egg shells around her. You never know what's going to set her off. She'll draw a yellow card during Candyland when she really wanted a purple one and throw herself dramatically to the floor. She'll discover that her pink sweat pants are dirty when she wanted to wear them and slam her bedroom door. The crayon that she's playing with breaks and she weeps inconsolably. I really, really fear for the future.

The good thing is that for now it's pretty easy to break her out of her bad moods. Sometimes it just takes something as simple as asking her if she wants to wear socks.

Look, you can still see tears on her cheeks there. When I showed that video to Elle she thought it was so funny that she wanted to reenact it. This was the result.

Ok, a little fakey but still cute. Once she saw that video she wanted to do it again.

After seeing that video she wanted to do it yet again but then the memory card on my camera was full so she couldn't. When I told her that she crawled under her bed and cried. The only way I could make her feel better was to promise her that she could use some hotel soap that night when she took a bath.

And yes, hotel soap is soap from a hotel. It's what I brought her back from California. She loves it. Three is so awesome sometimes.

Friday, January 16, 2009

I wonder why I have low self esteem?

I was loading a few pictures of our Disney vacation onto Flickr. Joseph walked into the room just as I opened up a picture of myself. ""Ahhhhhh!" he screamed as he pointed at the screen.

"Joseph!" I said, a little surprised at his reaction. Ok, so it wasn't best picture in the world but it was one of about three taken of me during our whole trip and maybe with a little bit of photoshopping it could be presentable.

"I'm sorry Mommy" he said earnestly. "I don't mean to hurt your feelings. I'm not saying that you're ugly. I'm just saying that the picture is really bad. What did you do to it to make it look that ugly?"

Cripes. I'm going to go back to my bell tower now.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Feeling Minnesota

Minnesota. Know it. Love it. Don't get it twisted. (To be fair, the first movie did get one thing right. It is fricken cold here. School was cancelled today because of the 40 below wind chill.)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

100 degrees

I am back.

L.A. was great. The friend that I was supposed to meet up with ended up not being able to make it but I still had a nice time. I had several hours to kill on Monday and I spent most of them here and that was awesome. The weather in L.A. was crazy warm. While it was -12 in Minnesota it was 88 in L.A. That's just wrong. I plan on writing several angry letters to several important people and demand that California be forced to share the warmth with those of us in colder climates. I plan to do this as soon as it gets a little warmer and my fingers thaw. If I tried to write angry letters now there's a good chance my fingers would crack and fall off.

But as I said, the trip was good. Highlights included:

- A cab driver asking me "What do you mean below zero?" when I told him how cold it was back home.

- My room service meal of grilled salmon and a chocolate milkshake.

- Talking with the nurse at the doctor's office. She remembered me from the last time I was there. Actually, she remembered Jesse and how he almost passed out when he was getting blood drawn. It still makes me giggle to remember how they made him lay down on a table equipped with stirrups.

- Telling the doctor I would kick him in the head if he hurt me during the pelvic exam.

- Exciting news. News that would make my next surrogacy a lot more interesting and fun. If it happens and it might not. And if it does happen then I can't tell anyone about it because it has to be a secret and augh it's killing me not to tell anyone because I promised I wouldn't! AUGH!!!!

- No one sitting near me on the plane balled up their earwax and threw it at me.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Famous last words of a fool

First, a short announcement. My brother has a new blog. It amuses me greatly. It will probably amuse you too. Check it. And if you're in a hurry and you only have time for one entry then make it this one right here.

Tomorrow I'll be flying to LA. I'm not exactly afraid of flying but I can't say I'm 100% comfortable with it either. As the plane takes off and lands I find myslf thingking "If the plane crashed from this height would I live?" I know it's morbid but I can't seem to stop myself.

The past few days I've found myself being extra patient with the kids. I think it's because if I'm in a plane crash I don't want my last thought to be "I wish I hadn't snapped at Joseph." or "I wish I had played that 12th game of Candyland with Elle."

I don't know what I would want my last thought to be though. Nothing to beautiful or profound though. If my last thought was too good it wouldn't even be my last thought. It would be my second to last thought. My last thought would be "I should blog that!"

I don't mean to be dark here. I know that the chances of something bad happening are very small. I just have an overactive imagination. And dying in a plane crash wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. Having another flight like this would be the worst thing in the world.

I would like to come up with a good ending for this post. I would like to leave you with something profound just in case. Here goes: A pirate walks into a bar with a steering wheel down the front of his pants. The bartender says "Hey pal, what's with the steering wheel?" The pirate responds "Arrr, it's driving me nuts!"

Friday, January 09, 2009

Come for the kids, stay for the feces

I got my mother-in-law's Christmas newsletter today. I see that she mentioned my blog. By name. And included the web address and everything. If you're visiting this blog because of that newsletter, welcome! And I should warn you that while this blog started out as a place to post cute stories about my kids it's now become more of a place for me to post stories about poop and pictures of snowmen being molested. Enjoy!

In other news, the surrogacy wheels are finally turning. On Monday I'm flying out to LA to get my medical and psych screening done. I'm super excited about this visit because a very good friend of mine who I have not seen in nine years is going to drive six hours to meet up with me in LA while I'm there. Sweet!

That's all for now. Pretty dull post even by my standards. That's ok though because no one reads blogs on Fridays and I'm not up for any blog awards NOT THAT I'M BITTER ABOUT THAT and I should probably stop typing now anyway because I think I just promised amalah via Twitter that I would make her some butter out of breastmilk after my next surrobabe is born.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Let's kick it

One of the presents Elle got for Christmas from my parents was a dance class at Just for Kix. She was so excited when she opened the gift and found a little leotard and pair of tights. Now she talks about her "dancing class" all the time. A half a dozen times a day she says "Watch Mama! This is how I dance in dancing class with my dancing class with all the other little girls!" and then she whirls and twirls and dips her way across the room. Or rather, that's what she used to do. Now that she's done it more it's kind of mutated into something like this.

Only less creepy. And more adorable and pink. The class starts on Saturday so today my parents took her to the studio to get her official dance class shoes. Apparently she was very impressed with the studios and it's big wall of mirrors. She also told me that the studio was called "Just for Kicking" and then demonstrated this by kicking the couch.

My parents also bought Elle a pink insulated lunch bag that she could put a juice box and snack in for after class. They also bought her yogurt, cheese and Chex Mix because she asked them too. I think that they, much like me, are powerless against the charms of her charming three-year-old-ishness.* Or maybe there's some hypnotic quality about her dance moves. I wonder if I danced like that if I could get people to buy me things too.

Actually, no. Just the thought of me contorting my body like that is enough to make even me laugh. Oh god. I need to go lay down for a while.

*Seriously, this kid has mad powers. Today she broke something of Joseph's and I told her that she was going to have to buy him ice cream with her own money to make it up to him. She looked at me for a moment and then said "Well I don't have any dollars in my pockets so I can't do that." So I gave her a dollar to put in her pocket. Best. Mother. Ever.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

You're gonna love my nuts

The first time I saw the new commercial for the SlapChop I wondered why they had the headset guy saying "You're gonna love my nuts!" Now I know it's so that beauty and perfection like this can exist:


Sunday, January 04, 2009

Will poop for painkillers

When I was a kid I knew that telling my mom that there was something wrong with me was always going to get the same reaction from from her. It didn't matter what the complaint was - stomach ache, headache, nosebleed, ear infection - the response was static. She would lean in close, get a serious look on her face and in a low voice ask "Do you have to go to the bathroom?"

I don't why this was her go-to question. Maybe it's something she heard as a kid*. Maybe she once had an ear infection caused by constipation and she was worried that someday the same thing would happen to me. All I know is that I was asked this same question well beyond the age when anyone should have been asking me that. When I was in middle school I brought home a note from the school nurse stating that I had scoliosis and needed to be seen by a doctor. My mother read that note, eyed me suspiciously and then said "Do you need to go to the ba-"

"No!" I cut her off. "I've pretty much got a handle on this toileting thing now and anyway I'm pretty sure no one has ever been so plugged up that it caused their spine to curve."

Once I grew up and got married I figured I would never again be asked about my bowel movements. Especially since I married a man that thought I never pooped. Once, few months into our marriage I went into the bathroom to do what you do in the bathroom and I guess I was in there a little too long. After a couple of minutes Jesse came knocking on the door to see if I was all right. I wish I was exaggerating. I don't know if her knew before that day that everybody poops.

When I recently went to the ER because my post-op pain was so bad I got an x-ray to check and make sure nothing was amiss internally. The doctor reviewed it and then came to talk to me. "Well" he said with a very serious look on his face "There's some stool visible in the x-ray."

I considered pointing out to him that wasn't possible since I was laying on a table when they took the x-ray and not sitting on a stool. Before the words could make their way out of my mouth though I realized he was talking about the other kind of stool. (Is there a grosser euphemism for "poop" than "stool"? I think not.) "We'll give you more painkillers" he promised "but first we're going to give you an enema."

I felt like I was a kid again. Was my mother working in the ER? Certainly they were not suggesting that I was in the much pain because I had to poop. They couldn't think I was that out of touch my body, right? I mean, I knew that the pain I was feeling was less a "I have to poop" pain and more of a "someone made four incisions into my body and cut part of me out" pain. But the lure of more painkillers made me agree to the enema.

A little while later a woman in lime green scrubs and cat's eye glasses wandered into the room. She had the device in her hands. "Roll on your side" she said brightly "and we'll get this thing going!"

I'll spare you the details of what happened next. I will tell you though that at one point she patted my shoulder and said "You're doing just great!" I thought about saying that my ability to get an enema was one of the first things my husband liked about me when we met but then I worried that she would think I was serious and then she might think weird things about me and I didn't really feel like taking the time to explain that it was all just a joke. After she was done she left with the instructions to hold it as long as I could but to roll from side to side as much as I could. Since rolling back and forth hurt so much Jesse came and stood by my bed to help me. He helped me roll my bloated, sloshing body to one side and then would count down the seconds until it was time to roll back the other way. That man must really love me.

Fifteen minutes later I shuffled across the hall into the bathroom to do what you do when you have an enema. Jesse wanted to come in with me but I believe that the secret to a good marriage is a little mystery so I made him wait in the hall. When all was said and done I didn't feel any better. In fact I felt much worse but at least then I got another shot of painkiller.

After the enema failed to make me feel any better the doctor threw up his hands and said "You shouldn't be having this much pain! You might as well go home because there's nothing else we can do for you!" (Yes, that's really what he said.) The hospital's mission statement is "We improve the health and quality of life for the people we serve in a manner that reflects the healing mission of Jesus." I think they should change it to "Jesus! That's a lot of stool you've got there! We'll help you poop it out but if that doesn't work then we're fresh out of ideas."

I left the hospital that day a little wiser, a little emptier and a lot more certain that if I ever again have to go the ER, I'm going to poop at home first.

*I'm betting this is the cause. There seems to be a family history of poop fascination. When I was a kid I loved to look through my grandma's recipe box. Stuck right there in the middle of recipes for Glorified Rice and Jell-O Salad was a recipe marked "diarrhea". Every time I would find it I would laugh and laugh and laugh. My grandma would always get mad and yell "It's not a recipe for diarrhea! It's a cure for it!" but I wouldn't care because when you're ten years old there's nothing funnier than finding the word "diarrhea" in an old lady's recipe box.