Thursday, April 30, 2009

And also by the letters F and U

Jesse: I am stopping at the store on the way home from work.
Me: Oh? What for?
Jesse: I need to get something for work and then also um.... I forgot what else I needed.
Me: ........
Jesse: Hello?
Me: God, you irritate me so much sometimes.

This real conversation was brought to you by hormones. Hormones - Making me hate my husband since Monday.

Also brought to you by the number one.
Because when your three year old flips you off while trying to show you that her finger nail polish wore off you ask her to show you again and then you take a picture of it and then you blog it because you think it's funny. At least you do if you are me.

One year ago today Joseph had a surprise for me and Jesse vaccumed up a puddle of water.
Two years ago I got a date for the embryo transfer that would result in Little A being born.
Four years ago today I had an urgent warning about candy.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Whine flu

There has been a case of the swine flu reported in the town next to mine. Crap! That's where I buy my donuts! I think this might be the universe's subtle way of telling me "Those devils food cake donuts are not doing your ass any favors."

Apparently the person who has the swine flu has not even been hospitalized. That means either I have been greatly misinformed about how deadly the swine flu is or this person is lying about having swine flu so that they can keep all the chocolate cake donuts in the town for themselves.

Very clever swine flu patient. You've won this round. It won't keep me away forever though. I'm not the type to let a little (semi) deadly flu stand between me and chocolate baked goods.

One year ago today I had a run in with a spider and I was somehow included in Alltop.
Four years ago today pregnancy was making me crave candy.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I apologize in advance

I am just going to go ahead and say it now so I can get it out of the way: I am sorry.

I started my hormone shots yesterday and I am already feeling the effects. I had kind of forgotten about this part of the whole process. I mean, I knew the shots weren't exactly fun but I forgot what a number they did on my emotionally last time.

It's not that I am crabby exactly. It's more like I am moody and sad and convinced that everyone is just waiting for me to leave the room so that they can plan their "Jen sucks and we're happier when she's not around" themed party. It's not a great mix and I freely admit that for the next few weeks I might not be real fun to be around. Although you guys were probably all thinking that I was never that fun to be around anyway. Weren't you? Waaahhhhhh!!!

But I digress. This won't last that long. It's only a couple of weeks until I start taking the second hormone and that actually helps a little. The embryo transfer is scheduled for May 14th and assuming I get pregnant I won't have to be on the hormones for very long.

In the meantime though? I apologize for being moody and emotional and a big lame sad-sack. I apologize if I get angry over stupid things or slam doors because I think you looked at me funny or burst into tears because I take a simple action (like you laughing at someone elses joke) as your way of saying you like everyone else better than me. It's just the hormones and I will be better soon.

In other news, in response to my last post about the toxic logs I was asked by Stimey* "How tempted were you to just leave them there?"

The answer is: Very. If it was just Jesse and I eating the vegetables I would probably just risk it. Because I would rather eat poison than move something heavy. Since I don't want my children to start glowing in the dark I guess we'll have to move the Logs of Death. I think we're going to go with raised gardens although I was fascinated by the concept of straw gardening that a few people suggested to me and I think I might try it out next year. The bad news is that switching to raised gardens means more work and that makes me want to cry because I think it means even my yard hates me.

*Have you met Stimey? Because you should. She's a lot like me but she has 50% more children than I do and as far as I know she almost never cries about her yard. Other than that she is my internet souls sister and I have occasionally contemplated packing up my family and going to stalk visit her. I adore her even though she likes tomatoes and claims to not know how to text. We've overcome those differences through a shared love of ice cream and quirky children. She is awesome and you should go read her blog because she is going to me a lot more fun than I am for the next few weeks. Go on! Save yourself! Go!

Four years ago today I had bad restaurant karma.

Monday, April 27, 2009

How bad can toxic vegetables really be for you?

Here's a fun fact: Recycled railroad ties are treated with a substance that is toxic. If you put them around your garden they will leak that toxin into your vegetables.

There. Now I have saved you the trouble of laying ten 300 pound railroad ties out around your garden only to have to load them back up and return them to the store and then start over from scratch with a whole new plan that does not involve cancer vegetables.

Le sigh.

Now Jesse has this crazy idea about growing all the plants in little raised boxes instead of right on the ground. All I wanted was a little patch of dirt where I could grow vegetables and I'm going to end up with the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.

One year ago today I pondered the direction of this blog.
Three years ago today my kids were cute but other people were tacky.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Urgent garden update!

Remember when I said my garden was 12x14 feet? Well, there's a reason I never won any estimation bees.* The garden is actually 19x20 feet. We found that out today as we** edged it with recycled railroad ties.

We also bought a rain barrel so that we can collect rain water to water the garden with. We're all ecological and shit.

Our garden is looking pretty sweet. Unfortunately temperatures are going to drop below freezing later this week so I still can't more my seedlings outdoors. The way this spring is going we're going to have a growing season of 14 minutes.

That's about it for today***.

*Also, estimation bees are not real. So that's two reasons. And I originally said one. Oh estimation! Why must you mock me?

**By "we" I mean "I put on my gardening gloves and stood nearby as Jesse did all the hard work and was nearly crushed under a one ton railroad tie. Then I came inside and looked at $200 composters online.".

***Except I wanted to tell you that today Jesse told Elle "Go have Mommy do your hair because I suck at it." and Elle came to me and said "Mama, can you suck at my hair?" and then Jesse and I laughed and laughed and that made Elle cry so I cheered her up by letting her help me make chicken stock.

One year ago today Joseph had me stumped.
Two years ago today I put my kids in a cage.
Three years ago today my family was dramatic.
Four years ago I complained and was boring.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Put on a shirt you whippersnapper!

My new home in this small town is turning me into a farmer but it's also turning me into an old lady.

You see, the town where I live is also home to a woman's college. That doesn't mean much during the cooler months (September-April) but now that the temperatures have soared into the high 60s I'm noticing a strange phenomenon.

There are half naked women everywhere!

I have never seen anything like it. I drive to pick Joseph up from school and I have to stop several times to let large herds of 19 year olds roller blade across the road. And they're wearing a total of a square foot of fabric. And it happens every time I go out. Every time. It's impossible to avoid them.

Look, for the most part I don't give a flying flip about what people wear or do not wear. As long as you're comfortable then you're cool with me. Something about these large groups of barely clothed barely legals is really bothering me though.

It's all I can do to not stop them and say "Excuse me? Why do you buy your shorts in the toddler section?" or "I never knew you could make a shirt out of dental floss and two cotton balls before!" or "Does your mother know you leave the house dressed like that?!?" or (because it's a Catholic college) "Every time you roller blade in a bikini, the pope cries."

Look, I don't bear these girls any ill will. Hell, if I had a body that looked good in toddler shorts and dental floss shirts I would probably dress that way too sometimes. It's just that every time I leave the house, everywhere I look, there they are. It would be nice to be able to walk outside my house without a t&a show roller-blading right at my face. There is no escaping from their tautness.

I think I am figuring out why Jesse pushed so hard for us to move to this town. And here I was thinking it was for the fresh air.

Two years ago today I was pissed off at another parent of a child with special needs.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Just call me Farmer Jen

I don't what has happened to me lately. Maybe it was all brought on by moving to a small town. Maybe it's because if I want to drive anywhere outside of this small town I have to pass through miles and miles of farmland. Whatever it is, I have caught the farmer bug.

When we moved into this house it had a small flower bed in the back yard. We ripped that out thinking it would be a nice place to grow some tomatoes and maybe an ear or two of corn. Over the winter my plans for the garden got bigger and bigger. We've now expanded the garden to a fairly good size (rough estimate of 12x14 feet) and I've started a ton of seeds indoors. As soon as this stupid state has a 10 day forecast that does not include several nights with temps in the low 30's I'm going to be a planting fool. Rather than just a regular fool.

I've already started some garden-type activities. The previous owners of this house planted a rhubarb bush by the garden and every day I go out and stare at it angrily. I do this for two reasons. 1) Some bitch of a rabbit keeps coming and gnawing off all the new growth and pooping all over the place and I am hopeful that my angry staring will eventually scare him off. 2) I hate rhubarb.

I've got a real bumper crop planned, assuming Minnesota every warms up to a livable temperature. The things I plan to attempt to grow are: cabbage (for homemade and home canned sauerkraut), strawberries, okra (for pickling), cucumbers (again for pickling), Purple Queen bush beans, watermelon, yellow and red cherry tomatoes, broccoli, regular tomatoes, pumpkins, another type of cucumbers (these are bigger), green beans, parsnips, sweet corn, carrots, onions, mini bell peppers, cayenne peppers, spinach, red and green bell peppers, sunflowers, yellow beans, purple carrots and sugar snap peas.

Wow, that kind of looks like a lot when I type it all out. I might need to expand the garden a bit more. Don't tell Jesse, he already thinks I am out of control. It's a good thing he's around to reign me in though. Without him around to stop me this past weekend I would have bought a blueberry bush, a blackberry bush, grape vines and several dwarf fruit trees.

I'm not happy with just growing plants though. Now I want to tackle livestock. Yesterday I learned about a man in the next town over who will sell you a rabbit for $5 in the summer. Of course that leaves you with the issue of what to do with the rabbit. That's somewhat of a problem for my family since we don't eat rabbit. The good news is this man will buy your rabbit back for $5 in the winter. All the fun of raising livestock without the messy killing part. It seems like a flawless plan.

Oh, and don't tell Jesse this either but yesterday I bought a book about how to raise chickens in your backyard.

I think I need professional help.

One year ago today my kids gave me subtle hints about my eyebrows.
Three years ago today Jesse had the lamest excuse everfor not helping out with the kids.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Birthday List

When I turned 29 I posted a list of 29 things random things about myself. I thought about doing the same thing for today for my 32nd birthday but then I realized I couldn't come up with 32 more things to tell you that you don't already know. So instead, here's my updated list. The old things are in black, the new things are in red. It's probably a little self indulgent to post a list about yourself on your birthday but it's my birthday so you have to deal with it. I'll consider it your gift to me.

1- I still have 2 baby teeth in my mouth. I don't' have any permanent teeth to replace them.
2- I'm allergic to the skin on apples. Also almonds. They make the roof of my mouth itch and my tongue feel numb.
3- I have never, in my entire life, purchased a tomato, an olive or a mushroom.
4- I close as I can remember I have moved about 15 times in my life. Make that 16.
5- I've had surgery to correct a lazy eye.
6- I almost always remember my dreams.
7- The only video games I have ever beaten are Theme Hospital and Kingdom Hearts. And Kingdom Hearts II.
8- The person I would most like to meet in the whole world is the Dalai Lama.
9- My favorite poem is "Annabelle Lee" by Poe.
10- My secret guilty pleasure is watching Starting Over. That's not even on anymore. Now my secret guilty pleasure is porn VH-1 reality tv.
11- I like to take two Double Stuffed Oreos, take one part of the cookie off each and then stick them together to make quadruple stuffed Oreos.
12- My secret wish and ambition is to own a dog sled team and compete in the Alaskan Iditarod. (That's right, I hate the cold and physical activity of almost all kinds and I want to compete in the most challenging sled dog race ever.)
13- I'm still afraid of things hiding under my bed so when I go to bed I try to get in from as far away as possible so that nothing can reach out and grab my ankles.
14- Whenever I go to see a movie I forget what I'm there to see during the previews.
15- I used to have a huge paper doll collection and I sold it at a garage sale (probably for $1). I would kill to have those paper dolls back.
16- I often imagine what it would be like to shave my head.
17- Although I've never been stung I am terrified of bees.
18- I don't own a pair of winter boots.
19- I have a hard time sleeping without socks on, even in the summer.
20- I would like to have 4 more children. All boys. Oh my god! What was I thinking? Four more? I most days I can't even handle the ones I have. Two is plenty thank you very much.
21- I think Paris Hilton and Bratz dolls are destroying little girls in America. I don't blame Paris anymore. Now I blame Sean Hannity.
22- I hate romantic comedies (not including Love Actually).
23- When I was a kid and I had to clean my room I would pretend that I was a maid cleaning the room of a rich kid. I would talk to myself in a British accent. I still do this.
24- I always drive the speed limit.
25- I believe in ghosts.
26- I think hot chocolate is gross unless it has peppermint schnapps in it.
27- If I could only eat one food for the next year it would be my mom's fettuccine. (Of course I would weigh about 400 pounds at the end of the first year....)
28- Tom Hanks is my favorite actor and Kate Winslet is my favorite actress.
29- If I could have any job in the whole world I would like to be an Imagineer. Or maybe a lactation consultant.
30- I make my own wine. Sort of. I have bought the stuff needed to make my own wine.
31- As a kid the toy I wanted more than anything was the Playmobil Victorian Mansion. I covet it still. I will probably buy it someday.
32- I have been the captain of a Relay for Life team twice.

One year ago today it was my birthday and I wrote a list that sort of depresses me now.
Two years ago today it was my birthday.
Three years ago today it was my birthday and I posted the original list without spell checking it.
Four years ago today (huge surprise) it was my birthday.

Friday, April 17, 2009

How can you tell?

How can you tell that I think The Wire is one of the best shows ever? I call my kids hoppers and when my mom complained about paying so much for a cell phone she almost never uses I told her to get a burner.

How can you tell that I live in a small town? Last 4th of July they played music over loudspeakers along with the fireworks. One of the songs they played was Born in the USA and when Bruce sings "to kill the yellow man" they shot off yellow fire works.

How can you tell Elle had an ice cream sandwich today? She has about 3 pounds of chocolate cookie caked in her hair.

How can you tell that I am lazy and hormonal? For a while I sort of considered cleaning Elle off by sucking the chocolate out of her hair.

How can you tell I need to watch what kind of music I listen to in front of the kids? If you asked Joseph what his favorite song is he would probably tell you it's Baller. Elle would continue a proud family tradition and say Little Red Cornback.

How can you tell my house is a wreck? Check my browser history and see that I spent half the day browsing the internet looking for recipes for homemade wine. Check my text message history and see that I spent the other half sending people messages like "Did you know you can make wine out of lettuce?!?! I am going to try that!"

How can you tell that I am a super-star parent? Because at the garden store today I was watching this kid knock down a bunch of stuff while his parents just stood there and didn't do anything about it. When I turned around I realized Elle was throwing handfuls of seed packets on the floor.

How can you tell that I am putting off everything I need to get done today? I wrote this entry.

How can you tell that you are putting off everything you need to get done today? You're reading it.

Two years ago today I was sad about Asperers.
Three years ago today I wished people loved my thighs.
Four years ago today I managed to make a really cute story about Joseph seem boring.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

This is a blog

As I was going through Joseph's backpack yesterday I came across a stack of notes. When I asked Joseph what they were he yelled "Augh! I don't want to talk about it!" and ran away. As far as I can tell either Joseph's teacher had the class write down nice things about him or Joseph has a stalker. Either way it's pretty cool. I want this next one on a t-shirt.
Not real sure what "grat" is but I'm sure it's something nice.
"the gradest person on my frend?" I have to assume there's more to this one that I'm missing. Still, being the gradest anything is pretty cool.
I love the crossed out "good". Joseph is a person. Jen is a blogger. This is a post.
This next one is my favorite.
Come on! That's just damned cute right there. Thanks for indulging me by reading this all the way to the end. You are a reader.

One year ago today I yelled at my family and then went shoe shopping.
Two years ago today I went to a mommy group and then wrote one of my favorite posts ever.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

For once I'm not talking about vaginas ..... much

I have a question about blogging and commenting and I was wondering if anyone could give me some input. It occurs to me that I should have asked this yesterday when I was asking everyone to leave a comment. That would have killed two birds with one post. It's because all my great ideas come a day too late that I will never be a blogging super star. That and because I mostly just talk about poop. And vaginas. And boobs. And every time I type "vaginas" my spell check tells me it's wrong so what in the hell is the plural of vagina? Vagini? Vaginies?

Aaaaaanyway.... Here's what I'm wondering: When you leave a comment on a blog how important is it to you that you get a response? Do you find that you are more likely to comment on a blog if you know that your comment will get a response? Some blogs answer comments right in the comments section, I did that for a while too. If you comment on a blog that does that do you ever check back for an answer to your comment?

I enjoy responding to comments but I want to do it in the way that works best for my readers. I see blogging as a give and take activity and if you take the time to comment on my dopey little posts I feel like the least I can do is respond. So what do you think is the best way for a blogger to respond to comments?

I am thinking of changing the way I respond to comments. For people that use a valid email address I will respond via email. For other people I will respond right in the comments section itself. Does that seem like a good solution?

And seriously, what is the plural of vagina?

One year ago today I talked about my confusion regarding Dooce.
Three years ago today showed how he got the nickname Drama Joe.
Four years ago today I used an obscure Simpsons reference but oh my god, how boring was I? Very.

Monday, April 13, 2009

This is only a test... Beeeeeeeeeeep

I am futzing around with some things on my blog and I wonder if you all could help me out. Could you please leave a comment for me on this post? It doesn't have to be interesting or witty or long. It can just say "test" or "hi" or "you're lame" or whatever you want. It would mean a lot to me.

If you have a blogger account could you please leave your comment under that name? And if you don't can you please use a valid email address when leaving your comment?

Consider this my early birthday gift. (Please note that if you planned on buying me a birthday gift for my 32nd birthday (which is on the 20th) this does not take the place of said planned gift. You still have to buy me something. And leave a comment.) Thank you.

One year ago today Joseph got his own blog.
Two years ago today I talked about my fragina.
Four years ago today I ate trash.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Kicking it old school style

I was looking through my archives for something in particular but then I forgot what I was looking for because I kept getting distracted by funny stories and cute pictures of my kids. In my searching I came across something I would like to share with you. It's a video of the kids dancing and me laughing like a donkey. Watch it for the cute kids. Pity me for my horrid laugh. Enjoy seeing Elle as a chubby cheeked baby* and Joseph as a tiny slip of a boy**.

So even though it's lame to write a post that's nothing but a plea for you to go read an older post, please humor me and click it.

*She's still chubby cheeked but she has grown into them a bit. I kind of can't believe that she was ever this small. Or that he hair was ever that short because now she has a long, curling mane that is constantly in her face.

** He's still a tiny slip of a boy. I don't think he's changed much at all. He must have grown a little bit though since Elle now wears the pajama pants Joseph is wearing in this video.

One year ago today I expressed myself in German.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

For Maddie

I would imagine that by now nearly everyone in the blogging community knows about the heartbreak that has hit Mike and Heather Spohr. Their lovely little girl, Maddie, has passed away.

I have been trying for a while to put into words how I feel about this but I just can't do it. Part of me questions if I even have the right to mourn for this child that I never even knew, to grieve for the loss her parents have to endure. Right or wrong though, I am sad. I am sad because Maddie was a true bright spot in this world and now she's no longer with us. I am sad because her parents now have to find a way to pick up the pieces and move forward after an unimaginable loss. I am sad because no family should have to go through what this family is going through right now.

Someone has put together a beautiful tribute to Maddie (if anyone knows who can you let me know so I can give credit?) and I would like to share it with you.

Maddie's parents are taking part in the March of Dimes this year. Their goal was to raise $3000. As I write this they have raised over $18,000 in Maddie's name. The March of Dimes raises money to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality. If you would like to donate you can go here and do so. It's a wonderful cause and fitting tribute to Maddie that so much money was raised in so short a time. She certainly left her mark on this world.

Two years ago today people used Google to find strange things.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Joseph saves the planet

The other day Joseph and I were walking across a parking lot on our way to an appointment that we were late for. As we neared the sidewalk Joseph stopped short. I was about to tell him to hurry but then I noticed he was staring at a piece of trash on the ground and muttering to himself. I took a couple of steps closer to him and listened as he tried to decide if he wanted to pick the trash up.

"Oh man, who would do this? Who would just drop a piece of trash here like that? It looks like it's a fruit snack wrapper. Maybe some kid did it. Their mom and dad should tell them not to do that. I'm going to throw it away. There's a trash can over there. Why didn't they throw it away in that trash can? I'll pick it up and do it. Augh! There's some rotten water in here! I can't pick it up. No, I have to. I refuse to not do something about this. Some people on this planet just don't care and I have to help out if I can. Why would people be so inconsiderate to do something like this? I don't know but I have to take care of this."

With that he picked up the wrapper, threw it in the trash, wipes his hands on my jeans and walked happily into the building. I don't think he has ever looked so grown up to me before.

year ago today we went to the zoo and my kids were fracking adorable.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Did I say I didn't want to humilate my kids?

Today when I picked Joseph up from school his teacher walked him out to the car. She said "Joseph wanted me come out here with him so that I could be here when he told you something very important about his day. He was worried you might be upset so he wanted me here to explain things to you if he couldn't."

Of course I was a little worried when I heard that. What could be wrong? Was someone mean to Joseph? Was he mean to someone? Did he get in trouble? What could it be.

I looked at Joseph and he looked at me, his brown eyes as wide as dinner plates. He looked at his teacher and she nodded, encouraging him to speak. "Mommy!" he said very seriously and in a voice loud enough that one might want to use it if one wished to be heard over the sound of an airplane taking off nearby "I had a really bad stomach ache today and so I went to the bathroom and I pooped. And it was a big poop. A very, very big poop. Now I feel better. I just wanted Ms M here so that you wouldn't get too worried."

I glanced at his teacher and she was nodding as though she agreed that this was a very serious issue. She has been a teacher for a long time and has apparently perfected the skill of looking very serious when presented with something very ridiculous. I have only been a mom for eight years and and I have not perfected this skill.

So I stood there and I tried my best not to laugh. I tried, I really did. I'm sorry, he was so worried about the size of his poop upsetting me that he had to bring his teacher out for moral support? How do you keep a straight face when that happens? Thank goodness Joseph is not really very good at picking up on subtle facial expressions and I don't think he notices that I was milliseconds away from bursting out into hysterical laughter. I waved him into the car and then stood there on the sidewalk and giggled for a moment.

Then I got in the car and drove home. All along the way I kept glancing in the rear view mirror and smiling at my sweet, sweet boy. My darling boy who worried that a story about poop might upset me and who wanted to protect me getting upset. That kid is something else.

One year ago today Elle was cute and her hair was really short.
Four years ago today I had fun in the ER with two hot doctors. I had also not yet discovered spell check.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Blog constipation

Do you ever have blog constipation? You know, when you want to blog but you just can't?

I'm having that right now. There's something I want to talk about but for various reasons I can't. I mean, I guess I can, there's certainly no law against it. I choose not to though for the sake of peace and harmony in my off-line life. I have to say though, it's killing me. It's taking something that I'm already tense about and making it ten times worse.

It's not until situations like this come up that I realize how much I really rely on blogging. It's an emotional release valve for me. If I can get it all out here then it doesn't eat at me as much. If I keep it inside and non-blogged then it pick, pick, picks at my brain.

Now this thing I'm tense about isn't a big deal and in a few days it will be a non-issue. I have chosen not to talk about it through because it involves people other than me. There's not a lot about myself that I won't share on this blog. I talk about almost every aspect of my life. I do censor myself on a few topics though. I try not to say anything about my kids that will hurt or humiliate them in the future. That's not to say that I shy away from talking about when they are being horrid little monsters but since they are good most of the time I think the overall tone when I talk about them is loving. The same goes for Jesse. He might get a little teasing on this blog but if there's an actual issue between us I keep it between us and not on the blog. I don't talk a lot about my extended family or Jesse's extended family because I am not interested in causing family strife with my stupid little blog. That's just not worth it.

So now I find myself in a situation where I can't talk about what I want to talk about and I can't talk about anything else! I can only talk about how I can't talk about something. Oh blogging, you have warped me.

What about you? Are there things you consider "off limits"? Why? Does the potential reaction of people you know cause you to censor yourself? Or do you just let it all out there, consequences be damned?

One year ago today we had a fixation situation with Joseph.
Two years ago today my bra tried to kill me.
Three years ago today I had a cold. And I'm getting one today too.