United States of Motherhood: March 2008

Monday, March 31, 2008

Weather Much? It's Time For The Global-Schnobal Warming Flower Show

Ah, doesn't our front yard look springy last week??

Is anyone else having crazy weather out there?

So, I noticed last Friday that my bulbs had sprang up while I was sick...

The cherry blossoms were in bloom. I had hyacinths everywhere. My primroses and violas were happy. Tulips were starting to spring forth. Flowering bushes were...er...flowering. Just in time.

Just in time? Yes, just in time for forecast snow. Yes, snow in Seattle in spring. Do you note the hysteria in my voice?

I took pictures hurriedly before going to the school walkathon in freezing weather. The ice cream being sold there was not a hit. I figured my blooms wouldn't make it either.

No surprise, the snow came.

And came.

Then Saturday, we had sun, then hail, then rain. Then more snow.

On Sunday, the snow was heavy enough that one of those cherry trees came tumbling down and ripped up my lush, green lawn and squished my ice filled, sodden flower bed. Yep, it's underneath that tree. Sigh.

Does anyone else think cherry blossoms and snow is blasphemy?

After much maneuvering with tow ropes, cinch downs, mallets, and anchors we got the tree up again.

My lawn, my pride, is all tore up, but there wasn't much I could do. Now the OCD in me rankles every time I look outside and see the fluorescent yellow and red ropes keeping the tree up. They aren't even symmetrical.

Then yesterday, the snow melted. The flowers look bedraggled, but alive. All was swell.

Then last night came hail storms, thunderous lightening, and...

You guessed it! More snow.

What the fuck, Batman. Today is April Fools. I am feeling like a fool for spending all that time and money on flowers that are doomed. I keep waiting for someone to say the joke is over and Spring is finally freakin' here.

Nope, now it's foggy with a side of ice.

Ah, perfect weather to host a bunch of rambunctious six year old boys. Yeah being housebound with four kindergarten boys. Made we'll have a flood next?!

Let's leave it with God has a sick sense of humor and I like 80's flashbacks:

Or, maybe I should blame a darker power, eh? Yes, it's the malevolent one, that black horse, and those damn cherry trees that have foresaken me:

Call it global warming, call it whatever. All I know is something is in the air when I am snuggling in front of the fire in April in Seattle.

How Much is Too Much? A Guessing Game of Poop, Pestilence, & Textbook Rape

This was originally going to be a celebratory post about my stools.

Yes, my stools.

I know, I just lost some of you there. It's okay. My real friends don't mind some shit talking.

You see since picking up the pestilence of all pestilence TWO Thursdays ago, I've been feeling better. The operative word is better. What I've been telling my husband though is that I'm still not 100 percent.

What that really means is I haven't had a meal that hasn't ended in me running to the porcelain throne and having shooting shit and dry heaves.

I know, I know, my friends. Never have more poetic words been spoken.

So, imagine my surprise when everything seemed normal today. I was making announcements all over the house to anyone who would listen.

"I'm diarrhea free. My poop is solid. It's solid. Praise Jesbus. High Holy Hallelujah! All is well with the world."

I might have done a few cheerleader kicks.

I might have even done a little Mary Lou Retton gymnastic victory stance.

CG even gave me a celebratory hug.

Never has poop been so celebrated since the last of my children was potty trained.

People, it's been 2 weeks since I've been regular and normal.

Really. It's the small victories.

But, my friends, I spoke too soon.


I want to cry. What the hell did the antibiotics do to me?!

Is it too much to ask to have a regular consistency, regular color, regularly erupted poop? It's all I want for Christmas right now.


Speaking of seriously, I went with CG to pick up his books for this trimester.

Let's playing a guessing game of how much?

These two books right a-here:

One reader and one medium-thickness textbook book written by the Dean of his MBA program? So much for free-market competition...

Here's a hint: Even the cashier did a double-take at UW's textbook store upon saying the total out loud and seeing just two, solitary books.

Then, he realized it was for the MBA program. Ah!

Answer: $358 American dollars, my friends.

Let's add this black beauty on the left purchased more cheaply online at Amazon since this professor was nice enough to announce his textbooks more than one week before the class started:

Yep, add another $60. Sigh. That's over $400 for this trimester alone and well over $1200 this school year and we still have one course over the summer to go.

There is no way our kids will be able to attend college is this keeps up. Their college funds as they currently stand will cover textbooks for one trimester, maybe two if they luck out with used.

Can we say raped? I felt like I needed a shower after this five minute shopping excursion.

Instead, I settled for mediocre Indian in the university district which was followed by moans and "hurry the hell up" statements while driving home. I was in a hurry. I had been too long parted from my white, porcelain lurve.

By the way, remember that nice professor I mentioned above? CG's nice professor's first assignment was to read the entire black textbook before the first day of class.

Nice! This isn't helping my law school aspirations at all.

That's okay, I doubt I could make it to lecture anyways unless I can major in bathroom ethics?

Confession is Good For The Soles?

I have a new post up at Seattle Mom Blogs.

There are a few secrets shared.

Some pleas for help.

I'm hoping it will be a bit of a reality check for me to get me out of my self-funk of not caring for myself, not taking care of myself, and not thinking I'm worth new clothing or even a pap smear.

I'm hoping it's more desperate confession, than depressed whine. You be the judge.

You know you want to check it out. Go here: "I Need Help!"

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Homework and Rewarding Good Grades?!

Both my boys had interesting homework this week.

First up was Eldest' task to make an edible cell--entirely edible. Ah chocolate frosting nuclei, jello as cytoplasm, sprinkles ribosomes, and licorice Googli bodies:

Then came Li'l Man's geometric shapes homework. He made some pretty fantastical shapes all by himself:

While both projects charmed the boys, there seems to be a theme of late of bribing the kids with sweets to hold their interest.

Did I mention in the same Science class, Eldest replicated the earth's crust with PB & J with candy and marshmallows last trimester?

And that his Language Arts class has a teacher-directed basketball pool with candy reward for every won match up?

Or that everyone school wide receives a root beer float at school for making it on the honor roll at lunchtime? Every trimester?

Or that the bus driver frequently gives out candy for good-behavior.

Speaking of honor roll, Eldest rocked his grades this trimester-- 3 A's and 3 A-'s. He mentioned hopefully that his friends were getting money, treats/desserts,and/or gifts for their report card.

This really irritated me. I asked him why? What ever happened to pride in accomplishment? He went from a great trimester last time to outstanding. Why not be happy with that?! Aren't the A's the reward?!

Why do kids need bribes for getting good grades? We are cheapening their pride and making them expect more. A pat on the back should be enough. What are they going to expect in high school?

And college? Hopefully, a well-paying job, but maybe they'll expect a car from the parents if this keeps escalating.

Does anyone else see a problem with all these sweets to bribe for learning and cash flowing to compensate hard work?

Right now, Eldest feels like he's being punished because he's getting better grades, but less rewards from us.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Easter Much?

So, I never posted on Easter. Being ill and having three little kids hopped up on chocolate kept us a bit busy.

Soooo busy that ingredients for Easter brunch were purchased at 8 AM that morning, and yet we ate like kings thanks to CG:

Hail to the Easter Chef:

Although the rain poured here in Seattle, ruining our traditional Easter Bunny Pirate Hunt, he still managed to make it:

Although the Easter bunny usually way over does it and brings gifts like he thinks he's Santa, he, errr, didn't have the time this year, and yet the kids didn't even notice it was scaled back:

Next, we colored eggs. Soooo... the eggs I hard-boiled were expired. So we painted 'em anyways.

It was pretty unlikely that we were going to eat 3 dozen hard-boiled eggs anyway, right? Better for our cholesterol. Besides, we kept dropping them. Those little poultry ovaries were slippery suckers.

I tried to make mine the ugliest of ugly eggs. The kids thought I was crazy:

Then, the illness really set in, so we spent the the rest of the afternoon on the couch watching movies. And, oh yeah, we forced the kids to eats lots of candy.

Can you not see the sheer joy below after eating chocolate three hours straight?!

And today, the sun is back and spring is here:

So Happy Belated Freakin' Easter, y'all.

Getting Nailed



"Mo-o-o-o-m," a whining voice niggles down the stairs.


"Mommy, PB just poked me with the nail from her arm."

(still no response--dammit--I'm thinking--OK I'm stalling hoping it will resolve on it's own.)

Finally, "Uh, nail from her arm?"

Last time I checked our daughter didn't have fingernails growing out of her elbows.

"No," the voice wafts, "the NAIL from her arm when she broke it?!"

Oh, gross. When PB had the pins removed from her arm, the orthopaedic surgeon taped both of them securely to two tongue depressors.

Souvenirs if you will for being brave.

Yep, these nails were once inside her body. Inside muscle, tendons, and all the way through the bone and out the other side.

And now, our house like always is like a prison yard and my daughter's about to shive her brother with her badge of courage.

Why do they save these things for when I get better?

Hearing Problems: Suddenly I See

Don't you hate it when you get a song in your head that you can't identify?

Happens to me all the time.

The problem is compounded by my hearing problem. You think I joke about this hearing problem don't you?

Example: We were sitting at dinner at a very busy Red Robin last week. The waitress asks my daughter what she wants on her kid burger since it comes plain. She then turns to me and says:

"And you? More p....? Or l.... p....k..?"

All those dots were the missed vowels and sounds. I asked her again and it sounded the same.

Trying to work off the context and not look foolish, I responded:

"Yes, pickles."

She looked at me quizzically and then gave up on me like I was my eight year old daughter and turned to my husband. She literally asked him, "What did she say?"

Yep, still sitting here. Two feet away from you.

CG, in the most exaggerated fashion yelled, "She asked MORE pink or LESS pink?"

Hello! It's not volume, but enunciating all sounds. Arrrgh!

Afterwards, I'm still curious why the stunted waitress used those words rather than the standards of rare, med. rare, or well done, but why make it that simple, I guess. Whatever.

Anyway, let's just agree my hearing is not the best, especially around stupid people.

At the table and on the way home, I had this song swirling in my head.

So, when I try to sing it to my musically knowledgeable in-the-know husband, it's more like a word or two there thrown in betwixt humming, hawing, and tone-death caterwauling.

Then there's the fact I don't listen to music on my iPOD or in the car. Nope, music's got to have pictures. So, if it's MTV, it's cool. I figure out who the artist is quickly. However, lately, I've been liking a lot of music from commercials.

I know. I feel your judgment. I am the ultimate caricature of commercialism and musical sell outs. So don't care.

The problem then is finding the artist. Again, I try to sing it with feeling to CG. Nothing. Frustration ensues.

That night, I sang, hummed, did everything humanly possible to get CG to name that tune.

Nothing. Kaput.

"But it's from the commercial. You know, that commercial. That laptop ad. It goes ... um .... lalalalalalalalala....mutter...something...give or take. Yeah. That's it. "

You see, the real problem is that CG doesn't watch TV. He only listens to music. All the time. No pictures.

In comes my saviour. Yep, you know it. Google is my lord and marriage saviour. Google is the greatest ever.

I got home and literally typed in "laptop commercial give and take." There it was:

Mac Book Air Commercial

And here's the original music video:

Artist: Yael Naim Song: "New Soul"

Suddenly, I get music hungry.

OOOOh. Oh. I think of another. Oh. Oh. I love that one too. You know. The one with the girl. It starts 'Suddenly I see...mutter...lalaal...hmhmhmmm...'"

I typed in "suddenly I see" and "youtube."

Done. That easy. A song that's been in my head for two years. Solved:

Artist: K.T. Tunstall Song: "Suddenly I see"

Can you tell I watch too much TV and Google is my religion?

Sigh, So pathetic, I know.

But all I can say is that with my hearing loss, youtube, and Google, yes, my friends, suddenly I see.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I'm Windy Like That: Comment Much?

No,no. Not that kind of windy. Although I'm sure CG will attest I am a champion there as well.

No, I'm talking about being long-winded. In particular, I find myself to be extremely long winded in my comments to other blogs. I often find myself touched or feeling a connection to a blogger and the result is that I write pages to them in the form of a comment.

My question is: Is that kosher?

Do you get annoyed when I, or other windy commenter, leave an essay on your site?

I guess I could email then privately, but I'm not that cool with finding email addresses. Added to that, I've received fabulous comments from people visiting my site that I wished that they'd just posted because they were great comments. To be honest there are days, sometimes weeks, where I spend hours longer writing these comments than actually writing on my own blog.

I know personally I love receiving every comment, good or bad, from you all. I actually like the long ones.

I've also noticed that people often apologize for long comments or refer to "hijacking" the original post.

I guess I'm the opposite. Big surprise there, I know. I always wonder if people who leave three to seven word flippant, vague comments have even read the post?!

Is this how you see it? I'd hate to have been some gauche, poor blog etiquette, windy douchehole this whole time and not know it.

So let me have it! Should I keep it short? Do you get annoyed with long comments on your posts?

If I need to shut the hell up, please tell me:

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Chirp Chirp Chirp

My presence has been sadly lacking again here, but not for lack of posts. Nope, I've been crippled with ... surprise ... another mysterious malady.

A flu so bad that it mad me sob throughout the night.

A grown woman wishing for death. Seriously.

I told CG that childbirth was less painful. Let's not forget I pushed out a 10 lbs. baby au natural.

It's made me moan in my delirious 105.5 degree fever.

It's made me dizzy and hyperventilate for three days. I could swear that there was a three hundred pound man sitting on my chest, my pelvis was being torn apart, and a migraine of all migraines was ripping through my temporal lobe all at once.

Let's not forget the vomit scene at the doctor's office when the tech tried to take my blood pressure.

Never, ever seen a medical assistance exit the room so fast.

That was okay with me. Vomiting in front of another adult besides my husband or my mother, I find, is the absolutely most horrifyingly embarrassing thing one can do.

Due to all that, CG hasn't slept well in the last three days either.

After lots of blood and lab test, a killer dose of antibiotics, anti-nausea meds, and gads of pain killers, now I just sound like a truck stop babe that smokes three packs a day.

This is the first time in five days I've felt up to even opening my laptop. That's a good sign, I think.

Speaking of good signs, the vet called today.

It seems our Frankenstein dog had a close call. The biopsy results were in.

She had two melanomas: One she had for at least 4-5 years and had 2 vets blow off as a mole. The other was the huge one on her chest. It was analyzed as highly aggressive. The cyst on her back, also blown off by the last vet, was carcinoma. The rest were benign.

Why is this good? The vet was able to take wide margins and said none of the tumors had gotten to her bloodstream. So, now we need only use some therapeutic antioxidant supplements.

See, good sign. Maybe, as one of my lovely commenters suggested, eating cancer made the cancer karma go our way.

Thanks for all the comments, you guys.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Why Meat is Murder

So, God is punishing me for heckling vegetarians. I know it.

Last week, I had my shiz on and planned several meals rather than deciding at the last minute how I could possible scrape together a meal out of olives, cheerios, and canned tomatoes.

One of these meals was actually a two-fer. I purchased this huge chunk o' meat from Costco. Pork Shoulder to be exact.

On Monday, I opened the package and put the two hunks into the slow-cooker. The smells of slow-roasting meat permeated the morning air.

I both hate and love this part. Love thinking dinner is being made while I do nothing. Hate that I want to eat dinner, right then and there, at 10 AM, and realizing I have 7-8 more hours to go.

Once those 7 hours were done, I immediately placed one hunk in a large ziploc and put it into the frig to be reheated for tomorrow's dinner as a glazed pork roast. Then, I drained the pot of liquids, dumped in a bottle of BBQ sauce and quickly shredded the pork. Ah, pulled pork BBQ sandwhiches. I threw together a quick hot German potato salad with bacon, mustard and gorgonzola and dinner was served.

The potato salad was good, but there was something just not tasty about the sandwiches. Not quite off. Definitely not rotten or sour. Just intangible. I stopped eating it and told the kids they didn't need to eat it if they didn't like it.

The next night, I reheated the pork and threw some Hot Mama Jerked Sauce all over it. Mmmm. The smells wafting through the house were delish! I added some mashed potatoes, steamed spinach, and glazed carrots. Easy-peasy. So Betty Crocker of me I though smugly.

CG quickly consumed most of his slice of pork after slathering it with more sauce. After three bites, I notice this thick ribbon of fat through out. Looking around, I notice everyone's meat has the same ribbon. Something looked not quite right. There was black matter in the ribbon. Eldest dissected the meat and found embedded in the fat was this thick, black, grainy discharge.

I started to dry heave.

At this point, I realized CG had eaten the ribbon because it was covered in the sauce. PB says something along the lines (being a meat-a-holic) of "I wondered what that was, but I ate it anyways."

I gagged and tried not to hurl. Multiple dry heaving sessions result.

CG removed everyone's meat and dumped the platter remnants into the garbage because I couldn't even look at it.

At some point, I remember the BBQ pork sandwiches from last night that I shredded, covered in sauce. Yes, my friends, I ate festering meat.

CG suggests maybe it wasn't black mold. Maybe it was parasites since it was in the middle of the meat--in the middle of the muscle.

Cough-hurl. cough-hurl. Gaaaaak!

Then there was mention of maybe it was a tumor.

Fuck me now, I ate cancer. My babies ate cancer.

I think CG thought my dry-heaving was funny. Maybe my convulsing body was better to think about than the fact he'd just eaten bad meat twice in one week.

Obviously, we didn't get food-poisoning from the sandwiches, so yes, my friends, I've decided we ate cancer.

All I know is somebody in the universe is punishing me for eating meat.

Or maybe punishing my college-educated ass for thinking that being a Betty Crocker slag was something to aspire too.

Or maybe there is truth to the latest slogan that's on every liberal blog I see that "Every time someone votes Republican, God kills a kitten." Hah! That's it. As one of my commentors told me, Republicans are murderers. God must be showing his vengeance by making Republicans and their posterity eat black moldy, tumerous, parasite-ridden meat.

Or, maybe someone forgot to check the expiration date on the meat.

You decide. In the meantime, I'm off meat for a while.

Sick to My Stomach

Grendel had surgery first thing this morning.

They said they would call right after. The surgery was estimated to take 1-1 hr 15 minutes.

It's almost noon.

I've got a pit the size of Kansas in my stomach.

I am afraid to call them.

Surprise! Feeling Funnily Flu-ish

So, yep, on Monday, a new disease entered our house. Surprise!

We did not discover until Wednesday that it was Fifth's. It sounds scary?

Turns out it looks scarier:

It seems a certain, not to be named teacher decided to come to school last Friday even though sick. PB said she said to keep their distance from her in the classroom.

Surprise! On Monday, eight, YES I SAID EIGHT, of the 22 children were home from school with the same illness. Arrrgh. PB was number eight. We got the call from the office. We've been getting too many of these calls this year.

By the end of the day, PB had a 105.8 degree fever. Holy shit. We were able to cool her off and control the fever.

The next day came the cough and mysterious rash. Still a low grade fever.

Wednesday, the fever was gone. She wanted to play outside. She was better, but I decided to wait another school day, just so no one else would get the dreaded disease.

After school on Wednesday, I picked up piles of work PB had missed. The teacher handed me a note from the school nurse. Ah, the dreaded disease had a name. Fifth's!

Teacher made funny about how she had all the symptoms on that list last week. Surprise!

No really, I totally forgive her. Sometimes as adults (I know CG in particular is guilty of this), we ignore ourselves and keep plodding on as martyrs. Unfortunately, martyr's are often contagious my friend.

So the nurse's letter said once the rash appears, the victim is no longer contagious and should NOT stay home from school. Great! No longer contagious and we missed two days of school for nothing.

So, we went to swim practice. Certain friends who read this blog made snarky comments about knowing who to blame if their kids got sick. ARrrrgh! She had the rash. She wasn't contagious. The contagious part was over the weekend when she was no where near the pool. I know. She stayed home on the weekend with CG, so I could spend 2 days at a swim meet by myself. Oh joy!

Anyway, three-quarters of the way through the practice, PB started to cry. She felt dizzy. Surprise!

Still contagious? No.

One Hundred Percent well? Apparently no.

Now, she's still a bit weak. Practice went okay yesterday.

Surprise! We have a swim meet this week-end. It's the last short course meet before she ages out. It's a bummer she's not 100 percent. She probably would have kicked ass.

Ah well, she's got years left to swim. There's always long course...

Somehow I am suddenly starting to feel dizzy with the lines of mysterious flu and swim meets our family has in their future. No surprise there.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Hello! Is It Me You're Looking For?

Hello, is it me you're looking for?

I know, I know, nacho!

So, I've been AWOL for the last few days.

Sorry, that Lionel Richie's song has been in my head since I watched American Idol with the kids two weeks ago.

The A.I. artist was actually very good. Who knew you could make a Lionel Richie video about a blind girl into an emo-rock contemporary hit. I liked it. What do you think?


Or the new version with David Cook:

I choose David Cook, although the original gives me flashbacks as a pre-teen of Lionel Ritchie. Yep, I thought he was hot.

So, hopefully, I will have time to blog more later.

This week-end has been a series of sports events. Eldest qualified for Sectionals (a big, multi-state meet with swimmers coming from Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Alaska, and Utah), so we spent Friday in Federal Way rather than in school. No worries, it was the last day of the trimester, so he only had 20 minute periods. My thoughts exactly--why bother? School was over by 10:30 AM.

Then yesterday,we had three back-to-back basketball games (including one play-off for Eldest) followed by a trophy party for the little guy.

Now, today, it's time again to go to the swim meet. Wish him luck. He didn't swim so well on Friday and had some upsetting social situations to deal with that day. Hopefully, it's better today.


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Because I'm a Shameless Capitalistic Whore

Come on! You know you want to. Lots of Scout Points!
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Journalistic Professionalism at its Finest

I've mentioned before that I like to watch me some PBS. I like the MacNeil-Lehrer news show. I know some people think it's too liberal.

I'll also watch FOX news. Again, I don't see the hubbub. Besides their talk/opinions pieces generally having a conservative bias as they should since they are based on opinions, I just don't see the conservative slant that liberals whine about...alot...throughout their format. Compared to all the very liberal biases on all the major networks and their journalist agendas, yep, Fox probably does look conservative.

I watch a variety of news--all slanted. I guess that's because I feel I have a brain and take all informational tidbits with a grain of salt.

That said, I do feel it is virtually impossible for any journalist to be completely impartial which is why this video below made me laugh until burning coffee streamed through my nostrils. It's a classic.


Wait a few seconds for these journalists' real feelings to develop -- on-air. Ah, the politics of your boss becoming your underling. I feel bad for the tenant and landlord.

I just wish they would get so hot and bothered about all stories. Who needs realities shows when you've got these news professionals.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Do You Put Sunscreen on Your Dog?!

Picture of Our Baby Girl Taken By my other baby girl for a School Photo Competition

Yes, my friends, the results are in.

While they are not 100 percent and can not rule out a benign tumor until they biopsy the actual tumor, the cells from the biopsy were highly suspicious.

The lab report listed suspected malignant melanoma.


Poor little Grendel. We used to joke about how she would lay on her back in our California backyard and work on her tan. Not so funny.

I thought the fur would protect her. Did you even know dogs get melanoma? I didn't.

So, she's scheduled for surgery. All growths (one of the others was a glandular cyst) will be removed with wide margins. It's weird to think your dog has cancer.

I am petting her even more. Screw her diet, I fed her salmon and pasta lightly tossed with sauteed spinach, garlic, and shallots last night. I fed her real dried sticks of pepperoni. Screw it. My baby is going to enjoy life like there is no tomorrow.

The kids are a bit sad. CG, on a business trip, had to find a good place to take my call last night because he might cry.

You see, Grendel is his desk troll. Since CG works from home, he's at his desk 8-12 hours a day. Grendel stays at his feet and follows him when he gets up for an espresso or lunch. Although CG has never been a dog person, he loves that dog probably more than us all.

He was there when I got her in college and he was a champ with moving her between our no-pet apartments, so the landlords wouldn't find her. We finally moved in together and top on our list was finding an apartment that ended up charging rent for us and on the lease, rent also for our little Grendel.

Grendel gave me a scare yesterday. You know a dog is old when she no longer greets you at the door. Only one waggly tail, Seb's, was there. I searched the house with a sinking feeling. Not under CG's desk. Not on the office couch. Not curled up on her bed in our room.

Oh, God!

I found her curled up in a ball on Li'l Man's bottom bunk. There she lay in a puddle of warm afternoon sun. She does love her sun. I sat down on the bed, began to pet her, and still she didn't awaken. I checked more than once to see if the old girl was breathing. Yep.

No way could I have walked in a room even a year ago and she wouldn't wake up. We think she's almost totally deaf and the slight cloudiness in her eyes hints at cataracts to come.

In the college apartment, she would pop her head up at the bay window when she heard our car round the corner of a busy street. Yes, she recognized the sound of our car. Now, she doesn't hear the car, the kids as always loud, exuberant, welcoming voices, the keys in the lock, or the turn of the knob. Nope, she sleeps on dreaming of chasing squirrels.

When I took her back to the vet on Monday, the sheer pleasure she got from hanging her head out the window reminded me of the old Grendel. Now days, she doesn't want to leave the house.

All of you must know of someone elderly who doesn't get out much. They are happy in their routine. They, in the twilight of their years, putter around the house and watch their TV programs.

So, too, is Grendel happy in her routine. She curls around her masters feet in the dog cave under his desk. She still gets excited for cookies. Still loves the breeze in her face from a very infrequent car ride. Still loves to sleep in her puddle of sun.

As long as she is happy, I'm happy.

Monday, March 10, 2008

These are The Days

It's been a week and it's only Monday.

CG and I in more light-hearted years

First, CG was involved in an accident on the 520 bridge this Friday evening coming back from a UW MBA study session. He was okay and luckily was not assessed much blame. There are no shoulders on the bridge, no paths, no where to park.

Did I mention it was a four car pile-up?

Luckily, not a single passenger was hurt during the collision or while they waited for the police to arrive. But his car whore got screwed up. Yep, the bitch his Mini Cooper S against Jeep SUV equals no contest.

$1500 damage later (with $500 deductible) and a 3-week wait for parts makes CG one sad little husband.

Send him love here.

Then today I took my baby girl Grendel to a new vet. She had a growth exponentially burgeoning on her chest. Did I mention I have had her since college and before any of my children?

Yes, my friends, she was my first baby.

At age 14+, all vets comment on how great she looks for her age. She been less active of late. She's been pestered by skin ailments: cysts, blocked salivary ducts, and now these growths.

Our previous vet has been AWOL for months. Something about sabbatical bullshit.

So, in comes a new, spanking eager, inexperienced vet to his practice. Let's call her Dr. Retarded because that's her name.


Okay, maybe not, but she is retarded.

She spent more time with chest x-rays, commenting on how our dog needed to be groomed (She's shedding like a mo-fo), and pushing for her to be put on incontinence medicine (she's had two accidents in three months--both times on our bed when she was sleeping), liver enzymes (even though her liver labs were still in the normal, but low range), congestive heart medicine (because I mentioned she horked hairballs once a day), hormone therapy for I don't even remember what, medicine for the possible imagined pneumonia, needed general anesthesia for teeth cleaning, and the list goes on and on.

Did I mention it took her 4 hours to get said x-rays and then she felt the need to send out the x-rays to be be read since she doesn't actually read the x-rays?! Isn't that what a vet does?

I swear the vet was a hypochondriac. When I questioned her on her diagnoses' basis, she said she based it on my comments rather than any real medical facts.


I told her we'd pass on her 3 times a day pill-popping push. She seemed pissed. She said she'd would take the medication if it were her dog.

All I could think was a 14 year old dog deserves to live with dignity and not be placed on every possible medication that she most likely does not need. Also, in the deep crevices of my mind, I worried general anesthesia or a drug cocktail would put my general healthy dog into a much more frail condition.

By the way, $500 later with an estimate for another $1500+, we never even got her to look at the before-mentioned growth.

It seems part and parcel of living in our affluent neighborhood (and once again let me remind you we aren't affluent--just California real-estate lucky) that we get charged what is called the Plateau premium. Anything in Renton, Kent, even Bellevue costs double if you have to come up the hill to Sammamish. This includes roof cleaning, carpet cleaning, house painting, anything.

But Hell-o! You'd think with $500 in exams and x-rays she would look at the reason we came to the vet.

Uh, no!

I mentioned on the phone thinking she would want us to rush back. Nah! She wanted more money by telling us to reschedule another day. Not at all concerned with a growth if I wasn't willing to take her word my healthy dog needed to be taking 5-6 drugs, three times a day, for the rest of HER LIFE.

So, we moved to a new vet and await biopsy results.

Cancer was mentioned. Cross your fingers for Grendel.

There's so many more years left in the old girl, as long as she doesn't choke to death on pill-popping because some vet's trying to make a buck.

So, how did I deal with all this? Well, like usual, life gets tough and a girl gets shopping.

No, nothing for me.

CG don't read this: Nope, the danger, as always is the dreaded Costco. Yep, you know it. No shopping list, spur of the moment stop, and all the sudden $450 in crackers, fruit, and meat fall in the back of my truck.

Hey where did this come from?!

Okay, I might have also worked on another weakness. Yep, wine. 10 bottles and $150 does a lot to soothe the nerves. I popped a bottle just before I started this post. Is buying a case of wine, fully intending to drink it as quickly as possible sound like a problem?

Yep, I thought so.

The cab-sauv juices are a flowing. No problems here.

Husband on accident on bridge--only one of my biggest fears in the world is car accidents on bridges over water--no problem-o.

My first canine lurve of my own--my baby-- paired with the big "C" word. I see nothing.

Why? Tonight, my husband is safe. Tonight one of my best canine family members has only what has been diagnosed as a growth. Tonight I won't worry. Tonight I am oblivious.

Because I might be on my third glass now as we speak.

These are the lush days. I think Natalie Merchant is appropriate:

Again, trying to focus on the positive, remember I mentioned California real estate lucky? Well, my friend Debbie just told me our old school had kids playing with real handguns AND our old house is for sale again at $240,000 less than we sold it for 2-1/2 years ago. Yep, feeling lucky and the wine is still helping.

Thanks for the pick-me-up Deb. I now know it could be a lot worse.

Friday, March 7, 2008

I Can't Believe Grown Woman Do This?

You know how one kid comes wailing to you with finger pointed at the other?

You know they're both wrong. One for pushing the other's buttons and one for way over-reacting and being a drama queen claiming mortal wounds?

Yep, that about sums up PB and Eldest's relationship of late. So imagine my surprise when I found the same scenario on videotape.

EXCEPT! At a city council meeting.

Please check it out. It's one of the few videos that's made me laugh out loud in a while:

Yes, the blond was swatted, but her chimpanzee wailing and I'm falling and can't get up routine takes the whole enchilada.

Good Mary Jehosophat! I want to send them both to the corner. Grown adult women. And honestly, did you hear the mayor call for the swatter's arrest? Seize that woman for "assault?"

What a waste of taxpayers' money. Ridiculous! What he should have said was, "Don't make me separate you two!"

You Know You Want Some

Ah, it's breakfast of champions time here in Seattle.

Can I just say there is nothing better than a little fried up ball of pork in congealed, gelantinous red soury-sweet goo? Do you see that ball-shaped void?

Yep, I plopped that one in my mouth already. I especially like licking the goo of those balls.

Yep, it's what's for breakfast:

Whooo-weee, my friends. There's nothing finer that biting into a cold bite of piggy, except for my friend Mr. General Tsao.

Ohhh...that General. Mmmm. Ohhhhhh. Oh, baby. I just want to lick him all over.

He's so spicy. So hard. So lickable.

Ah, cold Chinese food rocks especially when you eat it straight from the fridge, in styrofoam, with your fingers.

Can you believe I used to be a meat-is-murder Berkeley vegetarian? Yeah, me neither.

Ok, so those of you that know me in life shaking your heads, stop being such prudes.

I see you Laura, Erin, Debbie, Molly, Andrea, Teri, Lisa, and yes, you my bruddha Kelly. (Are we getting Romper Room Magic Mirror flashbacks yet?)

You know you all like balls in your mouth too. Meat-y balls.

Okay, maybe you don't Kelly. Nope, Kelly likes Shelly with a belly with jelly (snicker). Sorry, I think I just had a flashback of being an eight year old tormented by a brother that called her "Heatherguarde the Elephante." Payback: Dude, I just said you like balls in your mouth.

Everybody, stop yer lurking and leave me a snappy comeback comment or the ball campaign will continue. Must continue.

And, yes, I apologize to my crunchy readers that yes, I just added a million cancer causing dyes and perservatives into my temple of a body (and lots and lots of fat lest we forget). I know, I know. I feel your disapproval Ferbit and Helen. Tsk. Tsk.

Let's not forget that everytime I throw away styrofoam, God kills a kitten. Maybe I need to buy some of those carbon offsetting credits from AL Gore, eh?

Here to make up for my sins, check out this Haagen-Dazs save the honeybees campaign: http://helpthehoneybees.com/#/home/home/ .

Yeah, right-o, without those bees, I never could have eaten today's err...I don't think there was anything naturally produced by honeys. Hmmmm. Errrr...let's save those fuckers anyways. Yeah!

Sorry, feeling very juvenile this morning and no, I haven't been tippling, yet. I promise to be a fine, upstanding PTA Mommy by the time the little darlings come home from school.

Pinky Promise. Toodles.

PS Thanks to my husband for bringing me home some balls to lick bringing home take-out Chinese. To be continued, my friends.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Hatred in My Heart

I felt hatred deep in my heart yesterday.

Suprisingly, I felt this tremoring hatred toward a soldier in Iraq, someone I usually revere in this blog.

Even more suprising was that I felt the need to pummel his head until he was dead. I felt violent. If I were a lawless type, I would hope his fellow soldiers frag his sorry, pathetic ass.

You see he's a local boy and he's a monster.

I felt my hands clench as I watched the video.

Have you seen the video? I've put it below, but watch at your own emotional risk.

It's grainy. It needs some explanation. The jist is this Marine took a poor, defenseless, innocent puppy and hurled it a good 3o feet over a cliff. This beautiful black and white pup yelped all the way down. The Marine had the forethought to videotape this and it might have ended up on a Myspace page. His mother must be so proud. You could tell he was from the smile.

That smile made me want to vomit, cry, and curl in a protective fetal ball around my pups. Have I mentioned both my dogs were rescued, one from the street? I bet that puppy was so glad someone picked him up at first too. Our dog was grateful. She couldn't lick our hands and faces enought to have cool water to drink, plentiful food, a warm bed, and a soft touch. That's all a dog wants. I can't imagine the life it led trying to survive in a war-torn desert before this Marine grabbed it by the scruff of his neck.

The video did end up on Youtube and the news. I believe Youtube took it down when alerted to it's content because it violates their rules.

Besides pride, his family has been getting death threats where he lives nary 20 miles from me. That I don't condone.

But, this bastard has no business wearing an uniform. He has no business fighting under our flag. And God help us, if he and his friends can do this to a puppy, I shudder to think what he could do to the Iraqi people. It's said every serial killer starts with small animals and the weak.

He has no business having a gun in his hand.

I hear the Marine Corps is looking for him. It won't be hard. Fucktard even has his name said in the video. I have a feeling he won't be carrying that ruck and rifle for long.

What a shameful embarassment. I hope he "falls down" a lot in some Marine prison before he returns to his redneck job at the local SaveMart and he can regale people with tales of his exploits.

Oh, the honor of being a puppykiller.

Yes, hate! I hate people who prey on the weak and the innocent! What an asshole!

Warning: Disturbing Images


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

DO Sweat The Small Stuff

Sometimes as a parent, I forget it is the little things that do matter.

Yes, holidays, birthdays, vacations, and sports events get immortalized on videotape, but not the stuff that matters just as much. The simple stuff we often forget the moment it’s done. The inside jokes, the family mannerisms, the re-telling of family lore both comedic and tragic, definitely embellished over the years, and, yes, even the every day ins-and-outs.

In short, the small stuff.

Yes, please do take some time and sweat the small stuff.

This is the fabric of their childhood. The stiching and the thread. The muted colors in the background that make the colorful splashes of graduations, first lost tooths, and first races won, even stronger.

It’s the day-to-day interactions with my children that count and that I hope will build the love and respect that will get us through those looming teenage years of tumult:

Taking the time to dig for worms, finding those magical caterpillars and letting them plant the tulips and hyacinths even though you could do it so much faster.

Letting all three of your children at one point or another set up a hair salon with you being the customer. Oh, the ratted tendrils, pinched scalp from the thirtieth barrette, and the crazy pony tails in every which direction. The goosebumps on your scalp as pudgy hands lovingly pat your head and squeeze your neck in thanks. Being given a mirror to see their artwork only to use the mirror to instead reflect their chubby faces and scrunched noses full of pride.

The sleepy-eyed, ruffled hair, morning hugs. Sometimes those little arms have gotten so strong they squeeze my breath away.

The giggles around the dinner table, especially when it involves S-E-X. Yep, we pretty much are an open book to our kids. No chagrin. No prudes. Curiosity encouraged.

Two heads, one brunette and one red head, bent over a particularly challenging math problem.

Reading with an emerging reader and saying those ever-present words, “Try to sound it out,” in way that encourages and doesn’t frustrate.

Toasting the heels of bread and smoothering them in melted butter and honey. Or cinnamon and sugar. Licking our lips to get the crumbs and giggling.

Chasing after a silly, beloved family pet. Working as a team chasing this elderly loved one with the heart of a puppy, around and around the house. Up the front stairs. Down the back stairs. Around the dining room. Never able to catch him and his wagging rump.

Taking a practice spelling test with a small hand making loose loops of cursive while a mature (I’d like to think sophisticated even) voice makes up silly sentences for the spelling words to fit into that might always target a certain Daddy or elder brother as the object of mirth.

Sewing a stuffed monster for a project, or this month, an ambitious pioneer dress and bonnet as a mother-daughter team.

Driving to early morning swim practice and engaging one sleepy pre-teen boy in conversation. Trying to pull more than monosyllabic replies out of his noggin.

Reminiscing about who looked like what growing up at the breakfast table.

Remembering aloud what every child’s first five words were including their original, sweet pronunciations which are always sure to illicit a chuckle from all.

Fighting with light sabers and fighting off Nerf bullets.

Giggling with delight as a certain third grade sister dresses up a very good-natured kindergartner like this:

Or even better, she adds some permanent marker to make up for the previous feminine accoutrements:

Mentioning someone looked taller which prompts everyone to rush to the pantry to measure with pencil, marker, crayon, cereal boxes, and measuring sticks and add to the wiggly, meandering, cross hatched caterpillar on our wall. Just so you know, at 5’8”, I haven’t grown an inch in years while those darn kids keep creeping closer to me. Eldest has only 6 inches to go... (Sigh.)

Putting a chin on top of a little head, smelling the sweet fragrance of their shampoo…then realizing one day that you can’t get your chin on top of that head. (Sniffle.)

Giving impromptu piggy-back rides…then realizing they have become too heavy to pick up. (Tears are welling up at this point.)

At bedtime, making everyone into “baby burritos.” Need the recipe?

First, wrap them in tortillas made of their own blankets. Tickle them with spoonfuls of salsa, sour cream, and zigzagging dribbles of guacamole. Splosh beans onto their tummies. Add heavy chunks of chicken. Don’t forget to spread the rice.

Then, come the ever-so-thrilling words, “Good Night. Sleep Tight. And … don’t let the Mommy bugs bite.” Wicked glee and uncontrollable chuckles, whimpers, and bellows of belly laughs fill the room as said Mommy nuzzles said pinned child and makes delicious lip-smacking noises. Mmmmm…mmmmm. Freshly bathed necks taste so yummy you say with a Cookie Monster-voice.

And lately, the little thing that’s making me wax nostalgic is this:

Yep, lunch notes to dear PB.

It seems she’s been collecting them in the outer pockets of her lunch box. Use the napkins?? Bah! Apparently, they are treasures.

She finally is letting them go though because I was running out of endearments.

At least that’s what I said to explain the chicken lips.

I thought it was funny. She was all full of bluster and mock-outrage in her girliness. I like Princess Baby better she says.

She said she would be willing to throw them away, so we could start over. Hmmm…

As I recall, Eldest also collected his notes and napkins as well at this age.

And, I am sure, Li’l Man will too when he takes a lunch to school next year.

And yes, I recall I kept my moms notes for me. I was her “Precious Clown.” Oh, the delight of opening that sack lunch to find some reassuring jott that I was loved.

Unnecessary, but amazingly effective.

PB today brings me a napkin and pen. She turns her head away. She wants it to be a surprise. She looks forward to these simple, little things.

How simple to do. How easy to please.

Take a few minutes to write a note to your school age child—I am sure even your high school student would even enjoy a blast from the past to feel special.

And, just as important, write these fleeting memories down, before they escape away...

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