United States of Motherhood: September 2007

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Sunday Sots and Shiver Me Timbers

Is it wrong that when I read of several prominent bloggers honorable quests to be free from the evils of liquor, my only thought is that there's more for me:

Fuck it! I'm a lush! Four shots of icy cold Stoli's later, I blame it entirely on marrying a Slav. Who else's family could make drinking 12 shots of vodka a holiday experience, eh?

As an aside, I just asked CG if he was a Slav?

He asked me, "A Slob?"

No, I say enunciating slow-ly, "A Sla-avvv?" You know Slavic? Me Polish husband is a might slow tonight. Arrr!

Sorry for the Pirate-ese. I've been writing birthday Evites in Pirate-ese all day for my two sons' very pirate-y birthdays. I've been writing "avast", "ahoy", and classic phrases as "scraping the barnacles from your rudders." Oohhh, that sounds quite naughty. Mayhaps I should be drinking the rum. Me thinks I'll me scraping me Slavic husband's rudderrrrrr sooonnnn! Ah! The grog is getting to me senses!

Ballast to bungholes, mateys! I'm drunk bloggin'!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Yo! Ungrateful Bi-otch.

So, not to be mean to anyone, but I'm not a fan of all the memes and blog awards that get flung around the blogosphere.

This creates a conundrum:

What do I do when I get both in one week?

Me? I've been sitting on them.

Not so easily said when you live with one of the persons who sent you it. Oh, the pressure. I now see why these proliferate. It's a mixture of flattery and guilt. So I'm caving.

My Honey gave me this award:

I think he did this on purpose. He knows of my hatred. I'm a hater. Pure and simple. I'm also seriously OCD. Everything on my blogger must be just so. Colors must blend or contrast nicely.

This yellow and green puke-trosity is making my head spin.

It DOES NOT MATCH! ARRRGH! No offense to the maker, but these are not tasteful and refined colors.

CG tagged it our other friends too. Our friend Erik said it best. It's a chain letter. BUT! At least, it's a chain letter of love.

So, I've decided to display my award and accept the spirit in which it was given. BUT, the one I will be passing on to others? Well, let's just say I want to tweak it a bit. Maybe a little futzing here and there.

You Make Me Smile? Too easy, people. Too, too easy. Lots of blogs make me smile.

How about "Whore, You Made Me Choke on my Spam Burger so I Shit My Pants with all the Alli and Olestra I've Been Eating? Anal Leakage is a Bitch! Award:


Has a nice ring to it, eh? See, nice matchy, matchy colors. So much more classy. Yep, so all you people have been awarded in random order:

My Mommy's Place (Girl's Got a Potty mouth and Ain't afraid to Use It)

Wiping Up Snot (Got to love Carly's freedom to hate her kids' friends and is the "Queen of Mean" when it comes to punishing her daughter's dolls--on videotape)

Joy Unexpected (She gets stalked by old ladies and refers to her huz as pig Hunter)

Oh the Joys (Can't say enough about the forest ranger fetish and fart-ish love)

Baby Island (She 's so flirty with all her male commentors--and there's lots. Me so jealous. She also had a rockin' past identity as Island Girl. Bring it back! :) )

Suburban Turmoil (She takes on crazy soccer parents at games with her camera)

Ready or Not (Anyone who refers to her nipples as Purple People Feeders is alright in my book!)

Motherhood Censored (In-laws, in-laws, in-laws)

Life is Short. Partake in Happy Hour (She introduced me to quite possibly the stupidest pageant contestant on the planet and that's saying sumpin')

Women With Kids (Ah...gassy and what else can go wrong)

Boh-logging (Because he makes me laugh and always has)

Fuck! This feels like a popularity contest. Ah, well. I laughed at the popular people in high school and now I laughing with the populars of the bloggysfere. Want to be popular? Give a comment and I'll send some of this glorious award-lishiosness your way!

Spew forth, my people. Spew forth.

As for that meme. I'm still working on it. I promise Helen. Scout's Honor (fingers crossed).

Compassion

Last week, I happened upon a poor soul.

She lay cold and dead, with her magnificent brown and black feathers spread as if to say, "Look at my beauty one last time."

It was a crisp, autumnal morning and the dew glittered across her, glistening. I made a mental note to give her a proper burial after I dropped off my son and daughter at school.

Then, I forgot.

Walking home with my kindergarten at noon, I realized we would walk past our feathered friend when we went inside. I decided some damage control was in order.

I told Li'l Man that something very sad had happened this day. I told him she had died. I tried to shield him from the brutal truth by using euphemisms. I heard myself saying she led a full life. She was probably quite old. She might have even been sick.

His blue eyes widened. Oh, shoot, I think he's upset.

Or, Mom," he says in a matter-of-fact voice.

"ORRR, she could have been killed by predators."

Seriously, someone shield me from my five year old. Seriously, he used the word "predators." It made me want to cry because I wanted her to have died with a full life led.

Why does my son have to be so practical? It might be his crunchy pre-school who taught about the cycle of life last year. They actually had a theme of death this past spring. They talked about passed away relatives. They talked of road kill. They talked of pets dying.

All very practical.

Is it wrong for me to want them to feel really, really sad when something living has died? I'm a softy. Once, I found a run over squirrel still alive in the road as a teenager. I blocked the road, not allowing other cars through, until that squirrel died. I'm the one who like a rabid PETA whacko released all the pet spiders at son's pre-school. I know. Freak!

Coming back to my children, I want them to feel the same compassion and love for life. It's been a hard road with my boys though. They have more of the detached scientist of their grandfather and practicality of their engineer father.

We had some goldfish when they were younger. I was the one who fed them, cleaned their tanks, and talked to them. They grew from their humble beginnings as feeder fish to two gorgeous seven-inch long beauties in our 20 gallon tank.

"Blind" was renamed from the name "Rabbit" (don't ask) because he went blind after three years, but still he flourished. I worried for him. "Spot" was a happy, friendly fish, always shimming against the tank for more nibbles. The kids were not interested in THEIR fish. Li'l man was helpful when it came to dumping a entire container of fish food into the tank one too many times. They couldn't be saved. I cried. I gave them a proper burial. The kids?

THEY COULD NOT HAVE CARED LESS.

To this day, I still don't let them have fish because I am still hurt by their lack of compassion.

Fast-forwarding to this summer, I did have a break-through.

With the forest by our school being torn down, many furry mommies and babies were displaced. Confused spotted fawns. Sad little raccoons. Birds starting over because their nests. Ohh...their nests with their newly-hatched fuzzkins were gone.

I was upset at the destruction of the forest. My kids finally were upset with me. They took it a bit far. They now HATE the workers that are grading, digging, and building the homes. They refer to them as murderers. They insist they should go to jail.

EVERY DAY.

As we walk by the construction site, every day, they mutter hatred at them

So, coming back full circle, I really thought Li'l Man would be upset about the bird

Nope! I guess he's been too indoctrinated about nature and life cycles.

I mention this to my husband. I tell him about the "predator" talk. CG seems proud.

His theory? Do you want to hear CG's theory on how our beautiful, glorious sable-feathered friend died?

He with some small, quiet glee says he thinks the dumb bird probably flew into the window above her still, lifeless body.

Mean! So mean!

I ask CG to take care of the bird. I'm done. I can't even think of a burial.

He scoops our poor lady into a ziploc and tosses her in the trash. Cold bastard. It seems Li'l Man takes after his father in more ways than one.

P.S. Thanks for the beautiful shared FLikr pictures from Egan Snow, Incinerator, Jan the manson {condemns content filters}, tlindenbaum, and -Nat. Don't you hate how you always forget to take pictures about things you want to blog about!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Kindergarten Grassy Knoll


All the Mommies in the web are bereft with their little bundles of joy's first day of school. Me not so much. After three kids, I couldn't wait for Li'l Man to leave the nest to stick bits i' information in his noggin. He was beyond ready.

Did I cry? Err, I brought him a balloon to celebrate. Does that count? No, what made me cry was being chosen last in the kindergarten lottery; so no full-day. We started out #8 on the wait list in the spring .We are now #1 on the wait list two weeks into school.

Okay, maybe I didn't cry, but it was a disappointment.

Now my minion mommies whisper to me that there is someone in a full-day kinder class that's been crying. Another little girl seems so unprepared for school it's doubtful she'll last. Maybe some family's job will be transferred and they'll move? A girl can only hope...

So, I cattily whisper back to my spy, "Can you pinch the crying kid!?"

Seriously, I won't be sniping the kinders on the grassy knoll we call "Mommy Hill" at our school, but is does give me an "arrrgh" moment.

Our school has kids in full day unable to zip jackets, wipe noses, tie shoes, and say the alphabet. My five and half year old is reading, knows his numbers to 80, is doing basic addition and subtraction for fun, and smiled and waved and then didn't look back on the first day of school, while other kids cried, clung, and sniffled. There's one kid that's a temper tantrum waiting to happen. Arrrgh! Frustrating.

Li'l Man is so ready and it's killing me that we went from pre-school 6 hours a day to a half-day that is only 2-1/2 hours and includes 1/2 hour segments of PE, Recess, Library, Music, and Computers as well as snack time. When do they learn, I ask you?

The teacher is great, but by the time they get settled, it seems like it would be an impossibility to teach the same curriculum in 2-1/2 hours that is offered to the full-day in six and a half hours! Did I mention our half-day class has 24 kids! Not enough time, people.

I, for one, think it's a tragedy that our school district doesn't offer full-day kindergarten to all that want it like Bellevue and 2-1/2 hours seems ridiculous. Unfortunately, we can't afford the excellent local private school that charges $800 a month. Yikes, that's as much as some people's mortgages.

It doesn't help that another teacher from one of my older kids' classes told me once that you could totally tell which kids went to half-day and which went to full. Great! Fabulous!

So for now, I supplement and teach when Li'l Man comes home. We read. We practice phonetic sounds, we add, we subtract, and we draw. Work books come in occasionally. Long conversations are ever present for my L'il Man. He asks the most though provoking questions.

Yesterday, he asked, " if there was no gravity, would there be oxygen on Earth?" The engineer husband and I duked out the answer. I think CG will agree, I was right.

The neat thing wasn't the answer though, but that Li'l Man's intellect is challenging us and he gets to see even the adults struggle to come up with all the answers. He witnessed the ideas from both of us fly and waited patiently to see what the 'rents thought.

This short school day will definitely give him an education on the inner-workings of a marriage where the Daddy works from home. Tee hee.

As for Li'l Man, he's happy as a clam at school, but tells me on our walk home that it's too easy. "They don't do math mom." I can see he is thirsty for more. Our other two were in 1st grade at this age, but because of Li'l Man's January birthday, we didn't think he was socially ready to pursue testing him early into kindergarten. That decision is now making me bang my head.

So, for now, we wait and make the best of it. We are thinking of supplementing with an actual, honest-to-God curriculum like Kumon. Anyone have any experience out there with this? He needs the stimulation and challenge.

At the same time, we've seen our older kids get to school over-prepared and then the boredom that ensues. We do want to avoid that. We want to strike the right balance. Any thoughts?

God, the urge to snipe some kindergartner asses is getting stronger.

Just kidding.

Maybe.

P.S. It's so unbearably cute how PB has taken him under her wing. She's showing him the ropes. She holds his hand on the way to school.

Just two years ago, her hand was being held by my Eldest. Now, he moved on to middle school. Sniffle...

Okay, maybe I teared up a bit with that development.

Maybe.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Paternal Legacy


‘Twas a good visit.

Really.

Seriously.

Eight days scheduled non-stop fun with my parents just as the kids and I were getting ready for school might not have been a bright idea on my part, but it turned out. Yet, it would not be a true visit from my parents unless there was a couple sparkling gems of festering, angst-filled, judgmental, what the fuck moments:

My Dad is a vitamin-aholic. He has indoctrinated my Mom is his ways. They both have Ziploc bags filled with scores of tablets, capsules, and cow pills the size of laxatives that they swish and choke down their gullets every day. Need a cure for Goiter? My Dad will point you to the right over-the-counter tablet for the job. High blood pressure? Don’t you dare take what your doctor prescribed. Niacin will do the job! Got the Apnea? You know the routine. Prevention Magazine is his bible. Yep, CG lovingly refers to him as Dr. Dad. He’s got a diagnosis and vitaminal cure for everything.



The second thing you should know is that my Dad has battled his weight all his life. He’s used every diet, diet pill, and exercise regimen short of gastric bypass. He is very heavy and no surprise, as was his mother and sister and now a good number of his children. Yet, every once is a while, something works and he gets on his soap box to sermon heavily to all those the least bit overweight.

In the past, I have been lucky. I was always pretty fit until the last few years and was spared his advice he pushes on others. He loses 50 lbs (with another 100 to go mind you) and suddenly he feels qualified to diagnose and judge people that need to lose weight. He refers to family members as heavy. He talks about how this one of my sisters needs to watch out. Or this sister has gotten really “big.” I get hurt for them. I feel terrible when my sister tells me that he has said these things to her face. I also wonder how often my name comes up in conversations with other family members. The gall sometimes of my Dad! It’s like the clich├ęd pot calling the kettle black over and over.



Unfortunately, as I mentioned before, the last few years has been a really unhealthy time for me. I am obviously not happy with my weight, but I am trying to make small changes such as walking the kids to school three times a day instead of driving. I know a straight diet will not work, so I’m trying subtle life style changes and a couple other things I’ll discuss in another post. Yet, my weight is still out of the healthy range and this finally made me a target of my father.


Back to the visit, we went to a lot of restaurants because of our outings. We also ate well because my husband loves to cook and he had planned some delicious menus while I slaved to clean the house before they arrived. All was good…and perhaps it was a bit more fatty diet than usual. Smoked beef tenderloin with grilled vegetables. Visits to favorite Indian and Thai restaurants for curry. All visitors must experience Triple XXX's creamy rootbear floats and greasy onion rings. Copious s'mores made in our new backyard fireplace.

So, we ate well. While my Dad lauded the meals enjoyed, he also mentioned he had gained a whole lot of weight during the visit. Funny that! I had actually lost four pounds. He suggested he would get fat here more than a few times. He asked in his subtle, just getting started up way if we ate like this all the time. Yeah! Pretty much! We eat well and always have. I think I just fell off the portion control wagon and exercise wagon after my last pregnancy.

So, as we sat one day at the breakfast table, he started discussing how his sister is heavy. He commented on how all his siblings are getting Diabetes because they are overweight. Then, he mentions as I’m clearing the table that he is taking Chromium Picolinate. He waits in a smug way, pausing and waiting for me to ask what Chronium PixofuckingIdon’tcare is. Once I ask, he can then proceed to tell me all about it. Yep, soap box.

I sort of blow him off because he’s always pushing one or another extract, fish oil, whatever on the people around him. This is the guy that got my mom to taking 5000 mg of Niacin forever until she was so flushed and obviously overdosing on that shit. So, I don’t take the bait. He doesn’t let it alone.

“You DO know what Chromium Picolinate is, don’t you?”

“Yes, Dad, I know what it is.”

“Do you know what it is for?”

“Yes, Dad.”

“You should take Chromium Picolinate.”

“Uh, no thanks Dad.”

“It’s for Diabetes.”

“I don’t have Diabetes, Dad!”

“You will!”

You goddamn!@#$%^&*! Why don’t you just say I am fat. You have worked the rest of my sisters’ self-esteem. I guess with the weight I have put on that I am the next target. Fuck!

Did I mention that this is the same guy that has been well over 300 lbs. most of my childhood and adult life? Anyone thinking of a reason why his five daughters have shit self-esteem? I recall telling him when I was twelve that I thought I needed to lose weight. I was 5'6" at the time and weighed 105 lbs. I grabbed a little flap of skin around my tummy which I thought was disgustingly fat at the time and now realize was skin.

He said, "Yep, that's an inch," and that I could stand to lose some weight. This was coming from the same time period where I watched him eat 27 Oreos in a row as a snack after lunch. I counted them. Anyone wonder why in high school I binged and purged my way at 5' 8.5" from 111 lbs to 160 lbs and then back?

Hmmmm... Eating disorder, anyone?

The best part: One day during our visit, he had forgotten to take his “pills” until after dinner. He asks me….really not kidding here…for some cookies to take with his shit load of rainbow-hued vitamins.. It seems he can’t swallow all that wholesome goodness without a whole lotta extra fat and sugar. Five Thin Mints later from my stash, the vitamins were flowing. Please tell me how that practice of empty calories is going to prevent Diabetes. Anyone?

Anyone?

Bueller?

P.S. I spent so much time this morning writing this post that I lost track of time and did not walk the kids to school after all. Double fuck!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Bad, Bad Blogger

Yes, I've been AWOL. Spank me!

No really, family's come a-visiting and so life has been a bit crazy. We've visited all known tourists spots in Seattle and the Eastside and even fit in a visit to the San Juan Islands yesterday that ended at 2 AM this morning. Next up is a trip to Mt. Rainier. Yep, I'll try to point out mushroom dildos to my 68 year old, conservative, Mormon mother. Yep, she'll love it.

But, let's start a count down of four days, ladies and gents. Four days until visits end and the spawn go back to school.

Then, I promise I've got something really good to share. Stay tuned! I promise--it'll be gooooood!


~ Scout's Honor


P.S. Thank you for all the heart-felt responses to my last post. It's good to know how supportive, humorous, tongue-in-cheek, compassionate, understanding, and knowledgeable all you peeps are out there.

Blogging makes me feel less and less like a freak every day (kinda catchy, eh?) You guys rock!

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