Archive | May 2012

Fight the sad with the silly

Anyone else having a shitastic week like me? Well, sorry to hear.

I’ve been to two funerals in less than a week, my city had a horrific shooting not far from where my husband works (you might have seen it on the news). But worst of all, found out a dear childhood friend took her life. I will post a blog about that later. I can’t get myself to hit the ‘publish’ button yet, because I know her family is still trying to wrap their head around it. They read my blog. So it’s tricky.

Sometimes I get so sad, I can cry all day. But then, I’m so tired from crying, that I start laughing at really stupid shit. I mean, like stupid, dumb-ass memes on the internet and stuff. Or an episode of Spongebob. Or The Office, or Will Ferrell on SNL. Or my kids. Holy crap- they are fucking hilarious and we all know this.

So here’s to me swearing like a sailor and just posting silly shit- ready? Here goes:

Emma is a fabulous joke teller- when she was 4 she made up a joke. Or at least she said she did. She didn’t always tell the truth so I’m going to say she made it up and hope no one comes after her 20 years from now with a lawyer and claims trademark infringement or something. Here’s the joke,

Q~”What do you call a blind dinosaur?”

A~”an I-Don’t-Think-He-Saurus”

Yeah, am I right? Brilliant.

Then she told me this joke the other day-

“What did the number zero say to the number eight?”

Answer- “Nice belt”

Then there’s Internet memes and funny cat pictures and I’m a sucker for someecards. And Blunt Cards.

So here’s a collection of my top favorites-

And here’s to looking on the bright side soon.

I didn’t create this one- But swear to GOD I said this to my kids YEARS ago.

This movie, this scene- cracks. me. up.

This baby gets me every time.

At some point, this seemed like a funny idea.

And all this time I thought it was shoes that made me look fat.

Rainbow Goblins and Holes in the Sky

I think of what life would be like if something happened to my children or my husband. Like a hole in the sky.

I was just picturing how life seems normal, the usual everyday grind, but for those grieving, what looks like normal is really just a shell with a dark hole underneath.

If you are sad, grieving, mourning, the universe is never going to be the same. You might as well live on Jupiter. This Earth might as well have chunks of blue sky missing.

Not to worry folks. All is well. My kids are fine.  McSweetie is great. Today that is. But what if suddenly things changed.  I went to a funeral last week for a friend who passed unexpectedly and far too soon, leaving a wife and child in a path of shock and grief. I arrived thinking how much I hate funerals. It’s so hard to be composed in your sadness, especially if you didn’t know the person well. I’m always emotional. What can I say? I laugh loud, and cry ugly. It’s just who I am. I prefer to be goofy. So being serious and composed is hard for me. I am likely to say something ridiculous and inappropriate. So I keep my mouth shut. I don’t want to draw away any attention to why people are really there.

Listening to the comforting words of family and friends give their respects to this man that passed away. This husband, father, son and brother who died before his 50th birthday leaving a wife and a child, I was comforted by the stories, peaceful in the hymns, almost lulled into the recollections of his childhood, the courtship of his wife, his days as a Cub Scout leader. And then when it all came to end, and it was time to rise while the casket was to be lead outside, I had to hold back the tears. The pain of what it must be like for those closest to this loved one to say good bye. To really, actually, truly say good bye to the person. The physical person being taken away, in a box, covered in flowers. To put that person in the ground. And I thought how truly painful this part is. How do you let go?? Then I realized, oh if only the funeral could last forever, sitting there in the warmth and comfort of people who love and have understanding, compassion!  Not to go out in the cold, cruel world of bills, deadlines, work and struggle. The dark of night, alone in a bed that you’ve shared for so many years.  Or for parents who have lost a child-  a child’s room, quiet, bed un-made, clothes everywhere, never to be worn again. Oh, THAT is the painful part.

Sitting in the church singing and talking, crying and laughing, hugging and comforting. How easy that is compared to the days ahead.

I know parents who have lost children.

Or people who desperately want to be parents. Sometimes you grieve over a child you never had. Or only had for a short time, either unborn or born unwell.

I’m not sure why but it made me think of a book I was fascinated by as a kid.

Remember the book the Rainbow Goblins? These creepy ass little mo-fo goblins stole the colors of the rainbow. The story intrigued, creeped, and compelled me as a child. The illustrations were fantastic. These goblins ate the colors of the rainbow. They sucked the color from this world for their greedy selves. How much the thought of death feels like it just sucks the color from our world. How your loved one gone is like the sun missing, or a world without rainbows, a night sky without any stars or moon.

Sometimes my imagination runs rampant. I get weird thoughts on horrible things that could happen to my children. I become hyper-sensitive to the dangers of the outside world. I want to wrap them in bubble wrap. I want to spend the day in bed curled up next to them watching Tom and Jerry all day. This will never work, because they will constantly be asking me to bring them stuff like juice and Poptarts. And I’ll be like, ‘what about me? Who’s bringing mommy lattes and waffles?’

THEM- “you can get those for yourself mommy while you get us our juice and Poptarts.”  Gee thanks.

Okay, back to the hole in the sky and the Rainbow Goblins. Today I will remember to be glad that I have my children to smush and snuggle.  That I have my husband to not load the dishwasher properly, put his socks away or roll his eyes at me. I would miss that terribly. He has really pretty eyes- by the way.

But for anyone out there who feels like there’s a hole in the sky. Or the goblins stole your rainbow- my heart is with you.

The good news, is in the end, the goblins were consumed by the flowers of the valley. Colors were vivid once again in the butterflies, birds and flowers. The valley celebrated and rainbows never let themselves to touch the earth again for fear of being stolen.

I do believe in heaven, resurrection and the great hereafter. I do know that regardless of pain here on earth, the dull shades of black, white and gray- there will be color and rainbows and happiness for all eternity. I know that is very optimistic of me. I’m a faithful believer in my Savior. That is what gets me through. I wish others the hope in their hearts for the rainbow again, whatever their faith may be.

What did that Boy Band ever do to you?

Maybe because my daughter likes Justin Beiber, or maybe because I’m trying to be an equal-opportunity-nice-to-everyone type of person. But when people make gay jokes about Boy Bands and criticize their music that it’s not ‘real’ music- it kind of irks me. I know- that’s ridiculous. You’re asking- ‘she’s going to type a blog about defending Boy Bands?’ ‘Is this woman crazy?’. Duh.

Well, bear with me here- let me explain.

And yes, I get that in some cases Boy Bands are just products of the record industry or Disney machine. Whatever. Just go with me on this, ‘mkay?

Every generation has the music that makes the previous generation cringe. I mean, The Beatles. Come on. With their floppy hair (un)cuts and their little, ‘love, love, me do’ lyrics, they were boy band material for sure. Parents hated them, girls fainted for them.

Who the hell are these fellas and why don’t they get haircuts? Said every parent in America.

Then The Monkees– total boy band. And their TV show- so cheesy, but I LOVED it! And so did EVERYBODY else. Sadly, we lost Davy Jones this year, and you know that his cameo on the Brady Bunch is what made him memorable to most of us. Hey, hey, we’re the Monkees!!

Every day after school, I’d watch their show- right after The Brady Bunch and before Little House on the Prairie.

Not every music is every person’s cup of tea. But does anyone have the right to judge what is ‘real’ music? If it moves you, makes you happy, makes you feel, gets you dancing, gets you through a break-up, empowers you, reminds you of a loved one- then it’s music!! Right??

THIS DOES NOT APPLY TO KIDZBOP! That drivel is still horrible enough for me to take ice picks to my ears!

Those cute fellas on One Direction are adorbs and totes (see what I did there? Used my middle school slang- cuz I’m a cool mom) amazing with those little English accents, and don’t deny you aren’t bopping around in your car when their song comes on.

Their mamas must be sooo proud.

The Bieb’s song “Boyfriend” gets Emma and I going every time. I’m not sure what weird, hypnotic chords they put in, but EVERY TIME it comes on the radio, we do our white girl groove. And usually, it’s in the car. And I know Justin doesn’t qualify as a boy band, but he is a boy and he gets a lot of grief. Not that I have to defend his multi- million dollar status and 2 billion records- I think he’s gonna be fine on his own.

‘N Sync. Uh huh. J- T. You know you love it. Come on …. “Bye, bye, bye…” Thank GOD he grew out the curly pubes on his head. I think he’s so much cuter now.

We get foils done in our hair and wear shiny coats, but you love us anyway.

Jonas Brothers. Okay- they kind of bugged me. Sorry Joe. You are not going to be the next Justin Timberlake. Not gonna happen. But they are good boys. The whole chastity thing is still weird. If I was famous, I’m not going to flaunt my virginity for all to know about it. Virgin and proud is great. My children will remain virgins until they are in their 30s. But every time the magazines show them with a girl friend, I’m always thinking, ‘Aww, poor thing- she ain’t gettin’ any.’

New Kids on the Block- Donnie, Jordan, Joey- so cute… and the others, whoever they are. I mean, frankly who cares about the rest. I don’t even know their names. And these fans are hard core. They have CRUISES you take with them. Not just a concert- a CRUISE SHIP.

Who DIDN’T have this poster?

Backstreet Boys– Gone-ish but not forgotten. If you don’t get up at a wedding reception and start singing, “I want it THAT WAY”, then you just don’t know what cool is.

Why so serious?

Hanson– How can I NOT include these sweetie pies??  MMMBop. And now it’s in YOUR head too. They’re all like married and accountants or something, so the ‘one hit wonder’ status is cool with them.

Hanson then. Now that’s some good hair.

Hanson now. Still got the hair.

Okay, so there is my defense of boy bands. Coming to a mall near you. They are harmless, cute, so go on- shake your groove thang.

So be nice!  And aren’t we so over calling people gay like it’s a bad thing?

Magic Mom the Music Video

I’ve done it again. I’ve created movie magic in the name of my blog.

I was inspired by my amazing ability to find things in plain sight for my family members. It truly is magic. I’m like a fucking magician every blessed day.

So I got out my magic wand (okay, it’s Owen’s wand from his Harry Potter costume- just go with it) and performed some magic tricks. Set to music- of course!!

And just keep in mind, it is meant to be completely ridiculous- Jay Z, I am not.

Enjoy. (sorry friends, this will not load to mobile devices due to YouTube copyright laws. I don’t make the rules, I just play by them. Please go to a laptop or something and watch, ‘mkay?)

Magic Mom Music Video

They allow wine at school concerts. Don’t they?

I endured my daughter’s middle school choir/band/orchestra Spring concert tonight. And let me say this- my utmost admiration and respect go to the teachers and students that put forth the effort for that performance. And also, the parents that I’m about to critique are probably none of the readers of this blog. So with that said- here goes:

My daughter goes to a pretty large middle school. About 1200 kids attend.  The music program for middle schools has taken a beating for budget cuts, so I’m thrilled these programs are available at all. But parents- What the fuck is wrong with you?? You can’t sit still and shut up for 90 minutes? You can’t have your littler ones sit still and watch their bigger brother or sister perform? And if not- can you get them outside?

I don’t know if my kids are an anomaly- but they sit still during church, movies, school and performances. Not every child is capable of this, I know. But seriously, I think sometimes the problem lies within the parents. They are AFRAID to tell their kids to sit still and zip it. Zip it I say!

Oh- this was the best- during my daughter’s choir performance, they are singing this sweet Japanese folk tune- of course the concert is in the cafeteria. There’s vending machines right next to the stage. There’s a kid from the audience that comes up and gets an ice cream bar out of the vending machine during the song!! A FUCKING ICE CREAM BAR DURING THE SONG!! The machine was so loud!! Even the kid realized his mistake. He covered his face with his hands and most every grown-up in the first two rows just looked in disbelief. Bravo to the choir kids on the risers who just kept on singing.

And can I just mention the halitosis that was in my vicinity? Did everyone eat cabbage before the show?? What gives?

The sweet 12 year old voices couldn’t distract me from the bodily smells and sounds going on in the seats near me.

What is with parents and cameras? Holy hell, it was like feeding time at the zoo. Whenever a group would arrange themselves in their seats with instruments ready, parents would come forward with their cameras and hover in the aisles. I mean, I suppose so, since you can’t really see anything from the back. But the competition of hands raised with their Flip videos and iPhones was  laughable. I mean, really? Even Emma noticed the parents around her where she was sitting in her holding area for the choir kids.  She said the mom with her video camera was so in the way of the other parents next to her, that if they were trying to get any footage, it was probably of that ladys’ arm in their frame!

And let’s not forget the chatter in the audience. The two ladies next to me wouldn’t SHUT UP!  You know it’s bad when the Band teacher has to get up to the microphone between sets and ask if everyone can be a good audience and please refrain from conversation and keep little ones still! Now THAT’s bad!

I think it all summed it up during the finale when the 7th grade band performed The Final Countdown. Yes. The song from the 80’s group, Europe. It brought me back to the summer of 1986. Yes, what is better than 13 year olds on trumpets and saxophones reviving an 80’s Hair Band classic? Well, plenty. But the best part- it was the finale!

And no, they don’t serve wine at middle school concerts. Sadly. But I do serve wine to myself- at home, and any mistakes on this blog post are attributed to the two glasses I just had.

Sex (or lack thereof) and the Married Couple

Or as I should call it, How 50 Shades of Grey ruined my sex life. That’s right. I said ruined. I know, I know- you’re like, ‘WTF FRUG, you were all gushing about it in your music video. Yeah, well, that was back then. Now, unless my husband reads those books, (has any guy read them?) or any other middle aged-mom-soft porn, I can forget getting hot and heavy like Ana and Christian did. My husband will never look at me with smoldering eyes, fingering one of his silk ties in his hands, while he strolls on over to me wearing ripped up jeans and carrying a riding crop, telling me to ‘hold still’.  Our idea of kinky is when one of us gets a neck cramp during ‘relations’.

Who the fuck has time for hot sex anymore?  I’m talking monogamous, happily married, tear off each other’s clothes, pretend like you haven’t been married for 15 years sex. My body isn’t a robot. I don’t have a ‘TURN ON’ switch. So if it isn’t the time of the month, fatigue, sciatic nerve spasms, gas from too much bread at dinner… it’s a miracle there’s any relations going on at all. Seriously, mom- this might be where you stop reading- or put your fingers in your ears ‘lalalalala…I can’t hear you.’

Is it nature’s job to just mess with us? And by us, I mean women. It’s not that I don’t want sex, necessarily (oh dear God, mother, I am so sorry), it’s just that the urge for it really is sporadic. Here is a typical cycle of my libido in any given week-

Monday night= staying up to catch up on DVR shows and blog. Plus, my crops in WeTopia are far overdue to be harvested. Hubs is asleep on the couch. #Sameoldstory.

Tuesday= 11 am, started reading a book/ article/ or was watching Last of the Mohicans on one of the Encore channels with Daniel Day Lewis wearing deer skin pants- the only movie he’s ever looked THAT good- and think- hmmm, if hubby was home right now I would SO tap that keg.

Tuesday night= hubby’s home- and awake, but I have gas from that new quinoa and white bean recipe I tried. Plus, I snarfed that bag of Doritos when no one was around earlier, so the MSG is bloating in my intestines. This equals unsexy for sure.

Wednesday = Hubby’s working from home but I’m feeling glum and sad over how my jeans don’t fit me after I take them out of the dryer. I wish he would give me a back rub. And by back rub, I mean, back rub. And bring me donuts.

Thursday= holy hell- was surfing the web for blog material and happened to come across a whole handful of hot guys which got me thinking how nice it would be if hubby was working from home today. But he’s not. Once again, two ships- different ports.

Friday night= fell asleep in front of my lap top at around 9:30 surfing the web for swim suits that will never fit me. Got distracted and started watching cute kitten videos on YouTube, but my eyelids were so heavy, so now I’m just snoring on the couch. Maybe hubs will carry me upstairs, undress me and put me in to bed, which will wake me just enough for me to be aroused and he’ll pleasure me luxuriously for hours. Wait. Scratch that. Hubs hasn’t picked me up EVER since I weigh as much as he does, and he sure as hell wouldn’t make it up the stairs carrying my fat ass, especially with his bum knee. Plus he’s fallen asleep on the couch while updating his roster for Fantasy Soccer.

Saturday= went out with girl friends and got all dolled up to impress other ladies and get hit on by men that don’t mean anything to me. Stumbled home around midnight and took some Advil and went to bed.

Sunday= still recovering from the night before’s outing. Hubs gives me THE LOOK while we are brushing our teeth getting ready for bed. I’m like, “What?”, He’s like, “hey there”. I’m all, “hey there yourself”. Put in my night guard, throw my hair up in a scrunchie and call it a night. 6:30 am isn’t waiting for nobody and Monday mornings are always hell trying to drag my sorry ass out of bed. So no nookie for you my dear. Sleep time.

And there you have the random week in the life of a married couple that wishes, just wishes, that Afternoon Delights, Hotel Sex, or Anniversary sex, could come during random times of the day, conveniently when there’s no time of the month, gassy stomach bloat, constipation, or children around to bother or in their case, be bothered. OR telemarketers or the Mother In Law calling, or the dog whining at the bottom of the bed.

Yep. I went there. My next blog will be- ‘Why you shouldn’t blog about your sex life and humiliate your ultra, introverted husband.’

Stay tuned.

Welcome to the comedy show that I call my life.

Or I’ll just say, my kids are fucking funny. Now I’ve done it. I’ve said something is funny and it gives this whole standard of expectation. Like when someone told you that Adam Sandler’s movie, ‘You Don’t Mess With the Zohan’, was really funny and you saw it on Netflix, and you’re like, ‘eh, not so much’. Well, I promise- THIS is WAY better.

I admit it. I didn’t really keep any baby books for either of my kids. I think I have a box somewhere that has Emma’s lock of hair, and I know I have their hospital bracelets somewhere in there too. I’ve got lots of photos. I wish I had more video. Especially of Owen. We took more video of Emma when she was a toddler, and then Owen only has a few snippets of video as a toddler. I already regret that there isn’t more.

Owen says a lot of funny things. I put a lot of it on my Facebook pages. I try to write stuff down. I have a notebook. I think it has maybe two pages written in it. I should write in it every day. My kids crack me up. I mean, I laugh out loud at them. They have a sharp wit. And sometimes at my expense!! This blog will serve as my record of all their crazy stuff since it’s the only thing I’m writing in or working on these days.

Here’s just a few of the gems that comes out of their mouths.

Driving in the car on the way from the grandparents after celebrating Mother’s Day, there was a funky smell. Most likely another car’s exhaust or engine. Owen says, ‘It smells awkward in here. Did someone fart?’ And honestly, at that point in time, no one had. Not to say someone (wasn’t me) didn’t later on though.

Mother’s Day was a gorgeous weekend in the northwest. It was warm for the first time since September. Which makes me sweat. I sweat anytime the mercury rises above 72. So Mother’s Day morning when the kids piled on the bed with the dog and the cat and … well, I was just kinda sweaty from the night before. IT WASN’T night sweats. I’M TELLING YOU. It wasn’t. But the kids sure like pointing out to me, ‘EW mom, you’re all sweaty’. I know, I’m WARM dammit! So when I’m getting ready for church and I’m covering my ruddy complexion with powder and concealer, muttering under my breath about my blotchy skin, Emma comes in my bathroom for something, hears me mumbling and says, “wow Mom, from being all sweaty to Rosacea, you must be hitting the menopause early”. She’s 12, and I’m 39! Geeze! Listen Miss SmartyPants, it’s just a change of seasons my body is adjusting to!

And I know I’m not the only one that gets sweet, amusing Mother’s Day cards. But I mean, come on, my kids are hilarious. Owen wrote in his card to me all those sweet things about how I take care of him, he’s so proud of me, how much I love him. And then finished it off with, “I hope this is enough (meaning the card) because I didn’t want to spend any money”. Wow, if he doesn’t take after his dad, O EM GEE!

Also, the one he made in school for me somehow was inspired by the Hunger Games. Not on purpose he says. I swear he drew a Mocking Jay and flames. Because what mom doesn’t want to be reminded of the Cornucopia? Am I the Mom on Fire?

COME ON. That TOTALLY looks like a Mocking jay. See the flames on the heart.

Emma and I went to dinner just the two of us awhile back. For some reason we were texting each other at the table. I know- how pathetic- but we were being funny. So she was talking about boobs- who knows why, just go with it- and she typed (*)(*) and I said that I could do better. So I typed (o)(o). And she agreed that my text boobs beat her text boobs. Then she went further and typed 8==> and I was like, holy cow!! She did NOT just do that!

She just went to a dance at school. Middle school. She’s only in 6th grade. School dances don’t bother me. They are heavily chaperoned. With mostly parents I know or am familiar with since my involvement in PTA and the community, I’m pretty confident Emma is going to behave herself. So she steps out of the minivan and says, ‘don’t worry mom, safe sex, I know’. GOOD LORD CHILD!!! NO SEX!!! Then she winks, laughs and gives me that finger point like ‘gotcha’.

Owen playing Nerf swords with me, (one of my LEAST favorite things as a mom) got me square in the crotch. He says, “Sorry about your china”. And then he says, “I know it’s really called a <<whispers>> v a g i n a, but I used to say ‘china’. I prefer that word instead. Also, I would rather just call everything ‘penis’.” Really? You are such a boy!

The kids had standardized state testing at school recently. I asked Owen how it went, he said, “it was easy, the answers are already on the page, with wrong ones too, you just need to pick the right one”. Genius! SATs here we come!

The dog was barking outside at something one night. I told Owen to go let her in. He opens the back door and yells, “HEY BEYOTCH, get in here already!”.

Well, there you go. Was it funny? And before you get all judgey about all the inappropriateness of my children, SIMMER DOWN. Get a sense of humor and lighten up. This only happens at home, with us. They don’t cuss at school, talk back to grown ups (except me of course) and only use potty talk for their peers. See? They’re totally normal. Whatever normal is.

I would like to think they get all their funny genetics from me. I mean, let’s be honest. I’m funny. Not just funny looking, or funny weird, but funny ha-ha, right? Okay, don’t answer that.

The difference between sons and daughters.

Ha! Answer- HUGE!

Yeah, DUH!  I figure since my son’s birthday is coming up and I wrote a blog post about my daughter’s birthday, I should give him the same credit. Although, he is the second child and sometimes you just forget to do stuff for the next kid, like baby books, home movies, that sort of thing. The five second rule comes in to play a whole lot more. You don’t sweat the little stuff like you obsessed over the first time.

So, my story begins- I was about 16 weeks pregnant with my second child. I didn’t know yet if it was a boy or a girl. I kinda wanted it to be a girl. My daughter was 2 1/2, we had a houseful of girl things, I figured, I know girls. I’m a girl,  I can do girls. What do I do with a boy? Will I want to play with him? When he gets older, how am I going to deal with penis questions? (let me tell you now- I am always dealing with penis and testicle questions.) What if he’s hyper, what if he likes guns and wants to be an Ultimate Fighting Champion when he grows up? What is he going to wear? Boys clothes sure as heck aren’t as cute as girl’s clothes.  These were the thoughts that were spinning around and around in my head. Very shallow, but reasonable thoughts.

A friend of mine gave me a children’s book called “Love You Forever” about a mom so devoted to her baby boy and all his phases of growing up. She would tuck him in each night, she would watch him sleep. And then when he was a grown up she climbed in through his window and watched him sleep. Which is really weird. Then when she was an old lady, he watched her sleep and carried her when she couldn’t walk. And it goes to show you how much a mama loves her boy and vice versa. I thought it was a little creepy with the whole sleep watching part and I thought, “I’m never going to be one of THOSE moms that clings to her son.”

<<SNORT>> Yeah right. Fast forward 9 years from then- no girl is going to be good enough for MY boy!! No girl. Okay, settle down. I’m kidding. But I totally get the mother/son connection. My boy is a mama’s boy for sure. And he IS my favorite. I mean, okay, not really!! He’s just, well, he’s easy to love. So I joke about him being my favorite.*

In those early months of pregnancy, I read in a magazine that if your pee was tinged green you were having a boy. If it’s yellow, you’re having a girl. Of course, I was always inspecting my pee color those early weeks. And it was, well, pee color. I guess, I mean, sort of guess it was kinda greenish. It depended on when I took my vitamin, how much water I had been drinking. It was really hard to determine. Also, I heard that if you crave meats you are having a boy. I totally craved sweet baked goods when I was pregnant with Emma. And strawberries. I ate strawberries all the time. With Owen’s pregnancy, I craved vodka. What does THAT tell you?? I craved lots of seafood. I wanted shrimp and prawns all the time. And steak. So yes, I guess I did crave meat.

We had names picked out for if it was a girl or if it was a boy. Nothing written in stone. We just had ideas. I sure as heck had more options if it was a girl. I loved all kinds of girl names. Not that James agreed with me on most of them. Like, Cher or Genevieve, or Violetta. Something awesome of course! I kind of wanted Charlotte or Olivia. I thought that would go well with Emma. He didn’t want any part of that. Too old fashioned he said. I wanted Margaret or Kathleen. Again, too old fashioned. GEEZE, what did he want- Beyonce?? So we kind of, sort of, chose Sarah. But for the boy, we were leaning towards Henry. Love the name Henry. Yes, it was old fashioned, but we both agreed on it. Then low and behold his Great Aunt one day said if it’s named Henry, she’s calling him Hank. Well, stop the presses, because I’m not having a kid going by the name of Hank! Hank is a name for an old man wearing a wife beater shirt guzzling a Pabst Blue Ribbon in his lawn chair. No offense, I just had this image of what a Hank looked like, and it was NOT my son. So then it just came to us- If it’s a boy, it needs to be Owen, which is James’ middle name and his grandfather’s name on his dad’s side. And you don’t get Hank out of Owen. So Owen it would be. Or Sarah. We weren’t sure yet.

We went to the ultrasound at 20 weeks and found out we had a healthy baby. Brain, heart, all the good stuff- looking fine. And yep, a penis. There it was. The fifth appendage. They told us we were having a boy and I thought, well, okey dokey, a boy it is. Hmm, not sure how I feel about it. I wasn’t disappointed. And I wasn’t over the moon. I was just sort of, content. Yeah, content. Now I WAS convinced I was peeing green.

So the day Owen was born was very different, of course, than the day Emma was born. All birth stories are unique. With Emma, I had the perfect epidural after excruciating labor. With Owen, I experienced labor the way it was intended.  It ebbed and flowed and I got through it. I got the epidural but had to start pushing before it actually kicked in. He was coming hard and fast down the pike. They kept telling me it should be working and I shouldn’t feel a thing. Well, tell that to my burning vagina! I felt everything! I would find out later that the epidural worked perfectly if I was having leg surgery on my right side. Thirty minutes after I pushed out the placenta, I couldn’t feel my whole right leg. Gee thanks Dr. Anesthesiologist! Asshat.

So, I was scared as hell about feeling everything since I felt nothing with Emma’s birth.  You bloody well can bet I wanted to be numb for this one too. Well, I think I pushed maybe three times and out he came. Apparently, I push babies out easily. Despite their head circumference being the size of a bowling ball. What does THAT say about my hoo ha? Wait, don’t answer that.

Because I was more concerned with myself and the BURNGING RING OF FIRE sensation that just ripped through me when Owen came out, that when they placed him on me all warm and slimy, I remember thinking, “I did it!”. I didn’t feel that incredible connection to the universe like when Emma was born. I wasn’t as panicked about his well-being since he wasn’t in any fetal distress like she had been. Maybe because I was thinking more practically after having done it before. He had a full head of hair when he came out.  He looked like a surfer – kinda tan and with bleach blond hair. He nursed immediately. What a boob guy. He wouldn’t let go. The hoo ha survived, and latching on happened like it should have. And then, I fell in love with the little peanut. More like the little ham hock. He was 8 pounds, 11 ounces and I swear 23 inches, but the nurse said 22, but I SAW the tape measure. She totally short-changed him. But whatever. I know.

He cried, but didn’t fuss. If he was hungry- he cried. But honestly, if you held him, he was happy. Emma fussed. Sorry dear- you were a cranky pants sometimes. Oh and the colic! He never had that. He slept better, cried less and was just kinda chill. Maybe he was a surfer? I do remember him surfing across my spleen sometimes, or my cervix. He used to karate chop straight down the birth canal those last few weeks he was gestating in the womb. Holy fallopian tubes he would kick the wind out of me- from the inside!

Owen is a very typical child. He whines, he pouts, he doesn’t always do as he’s told. But 9 out of 10 times, he’s really good. He is always thanking me for doing things for him, taking him places, feeding him. He’s the most grateful child I know. He’s a goody two-shoes like me. Totally keeps track of any swearing or yelling by any family member. He really hates yelling. He likes things quiet. He loves to snuggle. And he loves James Bond and Harry Potter and drinks cups of tea with me. Really? What more could a mom ask for?

I can totally trust him. Emma is the story knitter. She can knit a story into a sweater like nobody’s business. How many times when she was in preschool I had to clarify to the teachers what was going on in our family. Whether she had said her dad broke his leg, which he didn’t, but she wanted the pastor (she went to a Christian preschool at our church) to pray for him so she decided to make up a story. Or when her teacher asked me how Disneyland was, and I told her that we hadn’t been to Disneyland. And she said that Emma had told the class that her Grandpa drove the family down to Disneyland in his RV. Well, Grandpa doesn’t have an RV and we didn’t go to Disneyland at all that year. So you get the idea.

I can look Owen square in the eye and he will tell me exactly what happened. If he got in trouble at school (this has happened twice in his whole elementary career) he immediately came to me with the note from his teacher. Guilty. He hates guilt. So he faces it head on.

The difference with boys and girls is clearly attitude. Emma throws me attitude like a logger at a Highland games. Just pitches it up to fall hard on me, Owen doesn’t do that. You don’t have to walk on egg shells around him. Emma is Miss Moody. Happy and easy-going one minute, in tears and hating the world the next. Typical hormonal pre-teen FEMALE. (*If you’re reading this ever in the future Emma, I think you’re awesome and the best daughter ever. Don’t hate me.)

Well, I could brag on and on about my amazing children, but I will spare you. My point is, despite my feelings while I was pregnant and anticipating a boy, wondering how to love it, how it will love me- I can’t imagine it any other way.  Two girls would absolutely kill me! Oh dear heavens, the estrogen would put us over the edge!! At least with Emma as the first born.  She is so Alpha that I can’t imagine another female between her and I.  Owen balances our family beautifully.

He really is my golden boy.

I pop out some damn cute kids, huge head and all.

Who’s to say what you can’t do?

Remember when we taught our children, “there’s nothing you CAN’T do”. I don’t remember any asterisks to that statement.

My parents never said, “If you want to be an engineer, that’s a man’s job, you can’t do that”

My best friend’s parents never said, “If you grow up to be a lesbian, and love someone, you can’t have the same rights as other couples”

President Obama is now expressing his support for gay marriage. Yay!

I know he didn’t make a stand before- he left it up to the states to decide. I’m glad he is coming forward saying what most of his supporters have been waiting for him to say.

And so the firestorm ensues. The sanctity of marriage is being attacked. OH please, spare me. Is marriage only for Christians? Yeah, stupid question, so no, so let’s not continue to make everyone uphold the values of the Christian Church. These are civil rights, not religious rights.

In some jurisdictions if you ‘live in sin’ long enough, it’s called a ‘common law marriage’ and holds some rights as regular marriage. Hmm, how ironic.

Remember when women couldn’t do certain things? Remember when Black people in this country couldn’t do certain things?

Who decided that these groups of people couldn’t do these things? Nobody voted on it. It was men. White men. They just made it so. Now, just hold on here, I don’t want you to think I’m going all Malcolm X on you folks. I’m not trying to stir the pot. I’m just trying to wrap my brain around the fact that men, and in this country, white men, since that’s who came over on the Mayflower and those other boats…made the rules that everyone is expected to play by. Isn’t that weird?

I’m a rule follower. So much to the point that I will be called a goody-two-shoes. But I fight for what’s fair. If something doesn’t seem fair, then I speak up.

I listened to Bonnie Dunbar of NASA speak at a breakfast fundraiser for an organization in my community that raises money for our city’s public schools. She is an astronaut and flew several Space Shuttle missions. When she grew up and was going to school, she decided she wanted to be an astronaut. When people told her she couldn’t because she was a woman, she didn’t understand why they were telling her this. Growing up on her farm, listening to her father talk about the stars and the Milky Way Galaxy in the 60s inspired her to go to space. She didn’t sit there and think, “if men let me”. She had a dream that was her’s. Nothing could stand in her way.

To think black children were told they couldn’t be President. Girls were told they couldn’t be doctors.

Who makes these rules?

Men shouldn’t be nurses. Boys can’t be ballerinas. Women can’t be pilots.

Again, I think it’s weird that there were rules.

I don’t tell my children they can’t dream something. There’s children living in poverty in 3rd world countries who make it to this country, go to college and become engineers, doctors, teachers. If they can dream, so should anyone here in this country, and certainly my children.

Rosa Parks sat on the bus. Elizabeth Cady Stanton starved in prison so women today could vote. They broke the rules.

Children are beaten because they act ‘gay’. Sons are found in ditches, dead from hate crimes. They were gay. They were effeminate. Or maybe they were black.

Matthew Shepherd from Wyoming, comes to mind.  He was beaten and left for dead because he was gay. Brandon Teena dressed as a boy even though she was a girl,  and was beaten to death.

James Byrd, Jr. is chained to the back of a truck and dragged to his death in Oklahoma. Because he was black.

Women weren’t allowed in the military. Gay people weren’t allowed in the military.

I’m a religious person. I’m a Christian. I believe in love and respect. I believe that if you choose not to believe in God, I will love you anyway. If you want to love someone that has the same chromosomes as you, I will love you as well.

I will not stand in your way, or support legislation that stands in your way to your happiness.

Happy people are productive people. Oppressed people are angry people.

When you say that something is wrong or someone’s lifestyle is bad, that people are sinners who do something you aren’t comfortable with, you send a message to your children, to those around you that it’s okay to not support these people. That their lifestyle is wrong. And if you’re not supporting them, you’re against them. And then maybe being against them, you decide that it’s okay to punish them, or deny them, or restrict them. Which creates an interesting Catch 22 of loving your neighbor as yourself.

If you read all of Leviticus, you will realize that if you are to follow it all in it’s entirety, not just the gay part, you’re going to have to stock up on rams, oxes and pigeons. I had no idea on the 7th day after my period, I’m supposed to take a pigeon to my pastor for a burnt offering. My bad. Or that I’m not allowed to wear any cotton/poly blends. Darn it!

I appreciate the people before me that were the rule changers. I’m in this game now too. I plan to support the rule changers of the future.

“At some point in our lifetime, gay marriage won’t be an issue, and everyone who stood against this civil right will look as outdated as George Wallace standing on the school steps keeping James Hood from entering the University of Alabama because he was black.” ― George Clooney

This isn’t just about gay people getting married. It’s about being told you can’t be or do something, when, really, you have every right to.

Feed your kids right dammit!

Okay- disclaimer alert- I am no Martha Stewart. Pfft. THAT’s been established.  I do not make my own canned vegetables from my garden. I am not Alicia Silverstone who only feeds prechewed all organic purified food to her children either! But then I’m not as bad as say, Roseanne or Peg Bundy, who I just picture making tater tot casserole and chicken wings for their families each night. I like tater tot casserole- but not EVERY night. So this is MY rant. MY blog, MY opinion. I’m just putting it out there. Yes, everyone has their own story. Yes, not everyone can afford fresh, organic groceries. But in my little head, here’s the thoughts that go rattling around and around. I’m not saying to be perfect. I’m saying to just take ownership.

I was watching The View at the gym while on the glider thingy. Not the elliptical, not a stairmaster, just something like the two combined. I’m usually there during LIVE with Kelly, but I was a little dawdly and got their late. If I’m not listening to Kelly Ripa, I’m mesmerized by the Brazilian Butt Lift infommercial that is always playing on one of the other screens. The gal that raised her butt up 1 1/2 inches is a hero in my book.

Okay, where was I? The View. I never watch this show. If I was on this show myself, I would just punch Elizabeth out, shake Barbara by the shoulders, get Joy an ice pack for her hot flashes and crawl in to Whoopi’s lap. She is usually the one I agree with the most. And low and behold, I agreed with Elizabeth today too. I blame the Super Moon. The topic was banning bake sales in schools to fight childhood obesity. I couldn’t believe that when Elizabeth started yammering, I was agreeing with her. She thinks it’s the parent’s job to feed their kids right. Eureka! But my speed sure increased on the glidey thingy since I was getting all fired up about their discussion. Schools banning bake sales isn’t what’s going to solve our country’s childhood obesity. How about the government banning crap in our foods? Or just let’s not ban anything and be responsible for our bodies.

Okay, I know. I seriously don’t have  the nutritional expertise, or the statistical chops to fight this argument but let me just get on my soap box for a minute here.

Americans are fat. We are. Go to other countries. They are less large. They talk about fat Americans in Europe. Now there’s fat people everywhere. But here, we’re fat. Why? Because we frickin’ invented fast food people!!! Wake UP!! This isn’t rocket science. Taco Bell’s 4th meal isn’t the most brilliant thing as a society we have come up with. Now I like me some Doritos. Not EVERY day. But I do like them. Does the taco shell made from a Dorito intrigue me? Hmm, maybe. Does it also disgust me? Hmm, you could say so.

There has got to be something better out there to spend $2 on.

Public Education is not doing so great in our country. Funding is cut every year. Because let’s face it, as a strong western civilization, it makes the most sense to balance our budget on the backs of our future even if it’s our children’s learning that’s at stake. (insert sarcasm here please,  thank you.)

I’m a member of the PTA. I have like a laminated gold card to the PTA. I drive a minivan for gosh sakes. Fundraiser is my middle name. We don’t do bake sales much any more. And yes, schools discourage sugary sweets brought in to class. Some teachers have banned cupcakes even on birthdays for your kid to bring in and share with the students. I had a summer birthday, so I never got that day to bring fancy cupcakes to school. I always wanted to though. There’s no soda in vending machines anymore. Good, soda is evil anyway. Juice and water are just fine. Energy drinks are banned too. That’s good, who knows what lab-created crap is in those things. But parents selling baked goods at a carnival, probably sponsored by the PTA to raise money for the school, gosh darn it, doesn’t seem like devil spawn to me.

There was a parent at my daughter’s school last year petitioning during the Walk A Thon to have a teacher stop giving Jolly Ranchers to the kids to reward good behavior, work turned in, keeping their mouth shut, who knows? Just whatever the teacher’s preogative is to hand out a Jolly Rancher here and there as a motivator! This petition was stupid. She had asked the teacher to not give her child any candy. This though creates an awkward situation where the kid is left not getting any candy while her classmates get candy. Okay, she can have a sticker. Nope, still not enough for this mom. So she doesn’t go to the principal, she doesn’t talk to the teacher again, she gets a petition going! How about just let your kid have a piece of candy?? Or if they don’t get a piece of candy, why do you have to spoil it for the rest?? I know candy isn’t necessary in schools. But just go with me here. We keep making such forbidden fruit out of everything for our kids. Ha, see what I did there?

We are denying them so many things like one piece of candy, yet we’ll drive through McDonalds for pink slime nuggets, or get ammonia ground hamburger at WalMart.  One of these days the children will rebel and there will be a coup and everyone will be reveling in Fritos and Ding Dongs while the parents look on in horror! Stop confusing our kids. Treats are treats- they should be used less often, on occasion.  So one piece of candy during the school day isn’t harmful. Maybe if everyone stopped feeding their kids modified crap for breakfast and dinner at home in the first place, behavior would be better and they wouldn’t need to bribe the little monsters with candy. (claps hand over mouth- I did NOT just say that!)

So, I guess what this brings me back to, is basic parenting and nutrition. Where did we disconnect from battling over breast vs. bottle to making it everyone else’s problem how our kids eat?

My kids DO NOT have the world’s most healthiest lunches. And yes, they have a metabolism that is Speedy Gonzalez fast. They could eat queso and pork rinds for a month and probably not gain weight. Would they be irritable sons of bitches because they’re going through vitamin deficiencies? Uh, YEAH!  But I buy real food at the store. I make dinner. We eat organic as much as possible. We eat fresh too. Do they always eat their vegetables? No. Do I give them their Gummi vitamins like crazy to make up for this? Yes!  Sometimes we eat out. Do we eat drive thru? Hardly ever. The other day my daughter and I had a cast meeting to go to right at dinner time. I had just finished making a batch of enchiladas. Seriously easy people, tortillas, cheese, sauce and beans with some sour cream. She didn’t have time to eat it before we left. I put it on a plate, grabbed a kitchen towel and a fork and she ate it in the car. No drive-thru needed. And yes- I had come home earlier from whatever else we had been doing and had 30 minutes to throw dinner together. I don’t always put my super cape on in the kitchen. Sometimes I order pizza. Sometimes we pick up Mexican from the family mom and pop restaurant down the street.

And if your kid doesn’t like a food that you’ve given them. Fine. Move on. Try something else. Introduce it another month prepared a different way. I hated mushrooms and zucchini when I was a kid. I love them now. Who would think lentils would grow on me? Kids have heightened taste buds, their senses are more sensitive than ours. Some things are gross. But their appreciation can change over time. My kids like edamame pods but hate green beans. They like black beans but not kidney beans. Sweet potato but not beets. You know, whatever works.

I just wish people would stop super sizing, stop drive-thruing, stop taking short cuts. Turn off the TV, get your kid outside to play and MAKE a meal.

Why, why in this country do we have so many food allergies and intolerances? Why in this country is Autism 1 in 88 children? Why in this country do we have the highest rate of MS? Why in this country are we dying from diabetes and heart disease?

WAKE UP PEOPLE! Maybe it’s your food. Stop stuffing your faces and actually find out where your food comes from. Be an advocate for yourself, and your kids. I realize that this isn’t the easy answer when it comes to all matters. Autism being one of them. I have many folks, I know that take wonderful care of their children with Autism and it isn’t because they fed them junk food. I’m not being cruel here people. But I’m trying to make a point for our generation and the generations to come.

I’m just saying start at home. Don’t rely on the schools, the government or anyone else for that matter to make sure your kid eats healthy. I live in suburbia. I wish I had my own goat, chickens and garden. But I don’t. So I shop locally, produce markets, butchers, wherever I can. I try anyway. Sure I buy some of the big brands like Kraft or Kellogg’s. But the more I read about GMOs, the more I reach for the alternative- organic, smaller brands.

Remember when you were a kid and your parents told you to clear your plate because there’s kids starving in Africa? And then you thought, how does me clearing my plate help feed a kid in Africa? It’s called gratitude, portion, and awareness. There’s still kids in Africa that are starving. There’s kids here starving. Money spent on wasted food doesn’t get donated to food pantries, food banks, churches… are you eating to live, or living to eat? Oh, god, don’t answer that. I live to eat, plain and simple. Okay, how about this-

Live simply, so others can simply live. My point is, take ownership of your food. Buy what you need. Buy what is wholesome and healthy. Treat yourself now and then. Don’t banish things. My house is loaded with candy, ice cream, snacks, chips. Do my kids eat it all the time? Heck no! I’m throwing out last year’s Halloween candy. And I don’t feel guilty about that. I’m kind of happy. Wasted candy doesn’t make me lose sleep. But also, it shows me that I’ve taught my children restraint. They know what’s good for them. I’ve nurtured them, I’ve educated them, and I guess I’ve set a good example. I don’t see treats as a threat, and I haven’t taught them that either.

Okay, see what I mean? I ramble, I don’t have any facts, it’s purely my own speculation. Well, hey, ask yourself, ‘what was the last thing I ate and do I know where it came from?’ <<steps off soap box, quietly walks out of room>>