Tuesday, November 30, 2010

One year

Last year my godson was born.  I got the be there when he was born.  It was the first time I saw birth from the other end of things.  (Fun fact - birth is disgusting.  Beautiful and magical and wonderful and also very gross.  And gooey.)

Then a year passed.
And one again he was gooey and magical.
Happy Birthday Danny-boy.  You're the sweetest little monkey I know.  Also the drooliest.  I'm confident that next year will bring about an eventual delivery from your constant dampness.  Also, note to self - get a haircut you damned dirty hippy.

One year ago today I talked about Danny.
Three years ago today I had a headache.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

This is why I should not be allowed to do the grocery shopping without adult supervision

Not pictured - the latest issue of Klassy Lady Monthly.

Three years ago today I was ThakFul.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Urgent hamster update

So I compiled the answers to my hamster/Thanksgiving questions and I have the following results to share:

Some of you like dryer stuffing and some of you are gross and like the wet stuff.  Also, no one seems to like sweet potatoes except for one person and that one person is pregnant so I guess she has an excuse for liking weird foods.  A lot of people like mashed potatoes so now I feel good about my choice to bring mashed potatoes and gravy to my family's Thanksgiving potluck.

The answers I got to the hamster question made me think maybe a hamster is not such a great idea for my family.  When someone tells you that they spent their entire time as a hamster owner "wishing they would die a peaceful rodent death so that I didn't have to smell them or clean their cage anymore" you start to think maybe rodent ownership is not all it's cracked up to be.  On the other hand, I sort of want to buy a mouse because apparently when you have a mouse and you get paper bedding for them "they like to carry the paper around" and I find that unbearably cute for some reason.  I probably won't buy a mouse though because I can't really bring myself to pay for something that we've been killing for free all summer long. 

One year ago today Joseph liked a girl.
Four years ago today Joseph tried to be polite.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Three questions

Friends, I have some very important questions for you!

1. What is your favorite traditional Thanksgiving food?

2. What is one traditional Thanksgiving food that you hate?

3. Do you like wet, mushy stuffing or dryer stuffing?

And a bonus question for those of you who have rodents as pets:

1. How stinky are they? Honestly?  If I buy one hamster are people going to be able to smell it the second they walk into my house?  Because I've sort of fallen in love with a crazy little white hamster at the pet store and she's so cute but also I suspect that she's sort of deranged and I just want to buy her and bring her home and feed her raisins.  Assuming you can give raisins to hamsters that is.  But we just got Elle a fish AND a snail and as a family Christmas present we're going to buy a big fish tank and I don't want to get a hamster if that's going to tip us over in to the "crazy animal people" category where people will be afraid to come to our house and they'll be able to pick us out in a crowd by our odor and by the wood shavings in our hair.  So be honest!  The fate of a nutty little hamster hangs in the balance!

I kind of want to buy this crazy looking hamster
One year ago today I liked youtube.

Monday, November 15, 2010

As funny as a heart attack

On Saturday I was sitting around trying to work up the motivation to do some housework when I noticed an odd sensation in my chest.  It was like painful pressure and a kind of tightness.  A few moments later I started to have pain radiating up my neck into my jaw and across my left shoulder and down my arm.  "Be reasonable" I told myself.  "You are too young to be having a heart attack. This will go away soon."

But then it didn't go away.  So even though I felt stupid about it I went to Jesse and suggested that perhaps we take a little drive to the ER.  You know, for funsies.  Jesse was very concerned and as soon as he finished his fantasy football trade he drove me to the hospital.

Turns out a good way to be seen really quickly in the ER is to walk in and use the phrases "chest pain" and "going down my left arm".  It also helps to be naturally pale so that the intake nurse is able to remark on how pale you look but then when you catch a glimpse of your reflection in the mirror you wonder what she was talking about because you don't look any paler than usual and then you think about it for a minute and you feel a little sad.

I was given some aspirin to chew and then I got an EKG.  When that came back ok I had a chest x-ray to be sure my lung had not collapsed AGAIN.  It hadn't but the pain persisted.  I then had a scan using contrast dye.  When the dye was injected I panicked because I thought I peed my pants.  As I was lying there wondering how I was going to hide that the scan technician said "Oh, by the way, the dye may make you feel like you peed your pants."  Thanks for mentioning that after I had already formulated an elaborate plan to start a small fire in the lab to distract everyone from the puddle I left.  The scan looked good.

Since all my test results were normal but I was still having the pain the ER doctor decided to admit me overnight for observation.  "Crap!' was my general reaction.  I didn't even know doctors did that in real life.  It seems like a plot point on tv shows, not something that doctors really do.

I was given a room with a roommate who was deaf and kept screaming the same three questions at me over and over.  She had a stack of magazines that she kept ripping articles out of.  She had some kind of super sonic ripping powers or something because all evening long I could hear her rip, rip, RIPPING pages even though I had my headphones in as I caught up on missed episodes of the Amazing Race.

I pretty much got no sleep at night because nurses kept coming in to check on me and draw my blood and give me EKGs.  At one point my chest was really hurting and I got a nitro glycerin pill.  That didn't help.  In fact it made me feel like I was being dipped in cement.  Cement that was on fire.  Not pleasant.  The fact that it didn't work was actually good thing since it proved once and for all that whatever was going on with me was not cardiac.

After a long visit with a doctor in the morning she told me that was she suspected is that I had had an esophageal spasm.  She also thought I was having some bad heartburn.  At first I thought that was silly but then I realized that I actually have been having heartburn ever since I was about three months pregnant with the twins.  It's just that it got so much better after they were born that I've kind of learned to live with it and not notice it most of the time.  The doctor thought that I might have some irritation or damage from the pregnancy heartburn that never really healed.

So, long story short (or not short at all I guess) I was sent home with a acid blocker that I have to take for the next three months.  I didn't have a heart attack.  I feel like a giant idiot for running to the ER for what basically amounts to indigestion.  Sorry this is such a boring story.  There's really nothing interesting about a heart attack that isn't actually a heart attack.

For real fun and laughs tune in tomorrow when I have an actual heart attack as I try to figure out how in the heck we're going to pay the bill for the world's most expensive heartburn.

Three years ago today I met my best friend.
Four years ago today I got ready for my first surrogacy.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Amazon Woman

I am not boycotting Amazon.

Look, I think we can all agree that the "how to be a ped0phile" book that Amazon is selling is repulsive and it's hideous that such a thing even exists.  The very idea that there are people out there that want to harm children in this way makes me sick to my stomach.  My argument here is in no way, shape or form a defense of this book or the vile scum who wrote it.

There are a lot of books on Amazon that I wish people would never buy or read.  Tom Clancy novels, Focus on the Family publications, Sandra Lee cookbooks and those stupid sparkly vampire books.  In fact, if I had my way none of that stuff would be available on Amazon (or anywhere else for that matter).

But do you really want me deciding that for you?  Do you want me - or any random yahoo - deciding that you can't buy something because it offends our individual sensibilities?  Because there are a lot of books that offend me as an individual that you probably really enjoy.  Lucky for you  those books fall under the protection of the First Amendment and neither I nor anyone else can tell you that you can't buy and read them even if they are total crap. *coughTwilightcough*

Now certainly as a consumer you have a right to vote with your dollars.  If you don't like that Amazon has a company policy of stocking books that are vile (but legal!) then don't shop there.  And if you want to use your voice and exercise your First Amendment right to tell others not to shop there then you should do that.

But I'm standing with Amazon on this one and I hope they don't cave to the mob.  Just like you don't want me deciding that you can't read Twilight or the Bible or How Easy is That? by Ina Garten, I don't want a loud, angry facebook/twitter mob telling me what I can't read.  It's a very slippery slope.  If the loud, angry mob gets this book taken off shelves then what's next?  What's the next book that they direct their attention to?  Lolita for it's portrayal of sex with a ch1ld?  To Kill A Mockingbird for racial slurs?  The Color Purple for it's rape, inc@st, slurs and lesbian themes?  And should the loud, angry mob get their way then?

Look, I don't plan to buy this repulsive how-to book.  I don't even like that it exists.  What I do like is that Amazon is standing up for my (and your!) First Amendment rights by keeping this book for sale. (At the time I wrote this I heard the book is back on the shelves.  Obviously this may change.)  I like that they are not letting the moral code of an individual, or of a group, decide what I can and cannot read.

So I'm still going to shop at Amazon.  I'm going to support them as a company by buying books and video games and photography equipment there.  And I'm going to do my part to stamp out offensive material by NOT buying Twilight.

It's the right thing to do.

Edited to add: Oy. Just so we're super clear here: I am not defending this book.  I am not defending the person who wrote it or those who might buy it.  I am attempting to address the larger issue of you and I being able to have access to books and other materials that fall under the legal protection of the first amendment.  Further more, if you send me an email accusing me of being a "pervert defender" you are not doing anything to change my mind on this issue.  It's just going to make me question not only your mental stability but also your reading comprehension skills.  Also I'm going to wonder why you're so worked up about Twilight.

One year ago today I played Barbies.
Four years ago today Joseph was my defender.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Criminals love cologne in decorative collectible bottles

I had just fallen asleep last night when Jesse came in to the room to ask me if perhaps I had made $263 worth of charges on his credit card.  The good news is that I had not.  The bad news is that someone had.

We're not exactly sure how it happened since Jesse is still in possession of his credit card.  Luckily Jesse caught it almost as soon as the charges went through.

The weird thing though is what the credit card thief bought.  They ordered stuff from Avon.  Avon?  Seriously credit card thief?  You had to steal a credit card to get your Avon fix?

I just picture someone stealing a credit card to buy prescription drugs online or to pay a hooker but Avon just seems so ... stupid.

Also, I've never had a credit card stolen (nor have I stolen one) but doesn't it seem like it would be relatively easy to track down the person who stole the card?  Couldn't you just go the the address where the Avon was supposed to be sent to?  Or is Avon thievery more sophisticated than that?  Maybe there's an elaborate network of safe-houses and PO boxes that exists for people who are addicted to lip balm with calendars printed on the side.

You know, I'm not even mad that someone stole the card.  Whatever, stuff happens.  I'm just annoyed that they used it to buy something so lame.  At least give me something I can make a good story out of!  (You'll not that I blogged this anyway.  That's because this is sadly the most interesting thing I've got going on right now.)

One year ago today people were rude by proxy.
Three years ago today Elle wanted an itchy potty.
Four years ago today Joseph wanted Jesse to take ED medication.

Monday, November 08, 2010

I'm not saying I'm good, I'm just saying I don't suck

I had a dream the other night that I went to a blogging conference and everyone there was really mean to me.  In fact, they locked me in a closet and I had to crawl out a heating vent to escape.  In an attempt to make myself feel better I flew to New York to visit the twins but then everyone in New York was mean to me and they they locked me in a closet too.

Even in my dreams I am insecure.

Insecurity is my operating system.  It's a way of life for me.  I've always wanted to learn to sing.  You know, take voice lessons and whatnot?  But in order to do that I would have to actually sing in front of someone and I worry that they might say "Please never sing again" so I'll never do it.  Instead I only sing to my kids ... who then ask me to stop.  I want to learn to fish but I'm afraid that if I try I won't be able to catch a fish so I pretend I think fishing is gross.  I would like to throw a dinner party but I'm afraid no one I invite would show up and everything I cook would be gross so I just don't do it.

Humor is the way I usually try to deal with things.  If I try something and it doesn't work out I am the first to point it out and then to mock it.  I learned a long time ago that it's better to have people laughing at your joke than it is to have them laughing at you.  (Not that this means I think I'm funny of course.  I have to point that out in case anyone reads this and thinks "What?  She's not funny!  I've never laughed at anything she's said before!  Who does she think she's fooling?  I'm going to compose a rage filled email about this!)

Even when I succeed at something I'm quick to put it down.  For example, last year I made the turkey for my family's Thanksgiving get together.  People kept telling me how good it was and someone said it was the best turkey that had ever had.  I kept saying things like "Oh, I just threw some stuff together.  I really don't know how it turned out that good." and "I just got lucky I guess." and "I don't know, I think it's kind of dry and it could have used more salt."

I'm afraid that if someone tells me I'm good at something and I agree with them that I would be making myself really vulnerable.  Maybe if I say "Thanks!  I'm really happy with how the turkey turned out!" you'll say "Although it is a little dry and it could have used more salt and way to suck at life."

That stuff is a lot easier to hear coming out of my mouth than it is coming out of someone elses.  I can't handle it so it's easier to pretend that I don't really think I'm good at anything but it doesn't really matter to me anyway.


Except this.  Photography.  I like it. I think I'm good at it.  Even when I look at my pictures with a critical eye I feel like there's a glimmer of talent in there.  When I look at the pictures I took just a year ago and compare them with the ones I took yesterday I see vast improvement.  I feel like I'm getting better every day.  I take and process pictures every day and I really feel like it's paying off.  I'm getting more comfortable with the technical stuff and I think I have an eye for the creative side of it.

Oh geez, do you know how hard that was to say?  I mean, to type?  I mean, maybe now you'll come along and tell me that I suck and that I should never pick up a camera again who the hell do I think I am and could I please step inside this closet for a minute?

So why admit all this?  Because photography is something I want to do.  I want to continue to practice it and to get better at it but I also want to go a step further.  I want to come up with a business name.  I want to have business cards made and hand them out to people.  I want to have a price list.  I want someone to pay me for doing something that I love and I want to feel like I deserve it.

I just need to get over this fear and this doubt and this constant second guessing of myself.  I have to be able to say that I am good at this and then be ok with saying it.

I can do this.  Right?

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Blessed be the tar paper

Our neighbors are having their roof redone.  They are using a company that describes itself as  "Christian roofing company".  I'm not even sure what that is supposed to mean.  What Would Jesus Roof?  If the behavior of these roofing guys is any clue, Jesus would chain smoke the entire time he was nailing shingles so that when the wind blew just right the entire neighborhood would smell like a methyl cigarette. 

It doesn't surprise me that our neighbors would use a "Christian roofing company".  They're an interesting group of people. Their three little girls are sweet and kind and well behaved.  They're also not allowed to leave their yard to play with other kids.  Or go trick or treating.  Or attend school.

The girls ARE allowed to dress up for Halloween stay home to pass out religious themed "treats".  This year they passed out "Jesus Loves Me" necklaces and stamps of crosses and lambs(?) and tattoos that say "Shine with the light of Jesus".  I sort of want to skip their house during trick or treating but I feel bad for the poor kids so instead I just throw away what they give us as soon as we get home.

When we were setting up our Halloween display this year the little girls were in their yard hiding behind trees and trying to see what we were doing.  I wanted to invite them over but I didn't want to make them feel bad.  I knew they would have to say that they couldn't come over so I just kept quiet and felt sorry for them.

The girls are home-schooled and from talking to their mom I sort of suspect that they're getting a ... biased education.  For example, she told me about a history project they were working on where they made a time line of all the major events in world history.  You know, everything that has happened since the world began.  When God made it.  I've never seen the time line but I'm guessing it includes things like "The Civil War 1861-1865" and "Black Plague 1348-1350" and "Jesus rides a dinosaur 17".

Although neighbor kids are occasionally allowed to go over and play with the little girls (in their yard only) they are not allowed to go in anyone else's yard or have anyone play inside.  Their mom has told me this is a hard and fast rule for them.  No one ever gets invited inside.

Except for this.  Recently the girls have been inviting my kids over for Bible study.  Elle had no idea what they were talking about and said she would rather play house thankyouverymuch and Joseph tried his best to be polite and say no thank you.  They persisted though so Joseph refused a little more firmly.  When they still persisted he informed them that he didn't believe in God.  It was at this point that the oldest girl (who really is very sweet even though this story makes her sound not so sweet but it's not her fault, she's just been brainwashed) told Joseph "You have to believe in God otherwise you're going to Hell!!!"

I observed this whole exchange but instead of stepping in I watched to see how Joseph would handle it.  He thought for a moments and then said "Well I don't believe that's true but I think we can still be friends even if we don't agree."

I'm so damn proud of that kid.

I would like to write more but I have some stuff I have to get done today.  A big storm came through last week and blew some siding off of our house.  I'm going to call our insurance guy and see if he can recommend a good heathen siding company.

God is so totally smiting us you guys.

One year ago today Joseph got glasses.
Four years ago today was the end of an era.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

This is not an announcment

I've started about seven different blogs posts today, each of them more boring than the last.  I keep starting sentences and then losing interest halfway through.  That's been happening to me a lot whenever I blog lately.

I think I've lot my blogging mojo.

I need to figure out how to get it back.  I love blogging too much to quit.  I love this blog to much to let it die.  Yes, it's a stupid, unknown, poop-story-filled, read-by-four-people, poorly spelled, dorkishly URLed blog but I love it.  And I need to figure out how to get back to the place where I'm IN LOVE with it.

I certainly can't be the only person who has ever gone through this.  What do you do when you've got a bad case of the blogging blahs?  How do you break out of it?

One year ago today some people noticed me.
Two years ago today I didn't like the neighbor kid.
Five years ago today Elle had a bath.