United States of Motherhood: May 2009

Saturday, May 30, 2009

It's His Party and I Can Cry If I Want to: My Mission To Simplify Our Birthday Parties

See this little guy? It's his birthday party in that picture. He's two and it was a train party with sandwiches carved into trains, train rides for 40 guests on real steam engine miniature trains, pinatas, tent set up at park, and all the trimmings.

So, I am know for my parties. I am the penultimate party lady.

At school, people have seriously told me they were so sad they didn't make it into one of my children's classes because they knew I'd be party mom.

They knew?

I've been trying to extricate myself from that Martha Stewart part of my life for a while now. I am only co-party mom to one child's class this year, but I cannot escape my reputation.

I self-patterned, hand-sewed and stuffed these last year for one school party:

Yes, 30 stuffed coyotes, hand sewn scarves to choose from, carefully glued button eyes the kids chose at school. Yep, a very labor intensive build-a-bear.

Almost as labor intensive as the 30 minuted DVD we had for Eldest's class I put together with music and transitions.

Yep, trying to escape my reputation of 15 girls at a sleep over with chocolate facials, homemade, triple-decker cakes with homemade ganache on pedestals and columns, personalized lip glosses and hand lotion gift baggies, and crazy intricate decoration. Did I mention we used the good china? The chips were in hand cut crystal bowls?

I know. Ridiculous. I am the mom you hate.

Or a pirate birthday party with 25 6th graders each given costumes to ravage the neighborhood before return for an so over the top pirate theme with bones and gold strewn throughout the house with massive amounts of games, pizza, homemade goodies, and cake.

Did I mention this party was 6 hours long?? Or that there were over 40 Jolly Roger Flags purchased and displayed?


This year has been the year of slowly trying to slow down the party mania both in time for me and cost.

Oh, my goodness, the cost. With never wanting to hurt feeling, we have the precedent of large attendance parties, but I am embarrassed to admit that comes at a cost of $400-700 a party and more if I am not keeping track.(Using my best Jedi master technique: CG you did not read this.)

All those party favors, food, decor, parchment invitations, etc. add up. It's ridiculous.

PB's birthday at the SPCA did have 26 guests, but everything else was ramped down a notch and really it was for charity. It still was over $500.

Now Li'l man is up:

This year? I beyond suck. His party today is only 4-1/2 months late. He's been patient. Last year, his party was only 3 months late.

There's something about being a third child whose party falls right after the holidays. Sigh.

So today, we are having our most casual party ever: 6 guests plus the the birthday boy and us, a kid's movie, evite invitations, and Red Robin for lunch afterward.

I am not even bothering with a cake--the singing ice cream sundae from the waiters will do. I'm letting the balloons be Red Robin balloons as the only decor.

Party favors are something last minute we picked up last night rather than this intricate process of labeling and personalizing everything. Simple little buckets of candy with a punch balloon on top since we are going to see "Up."

It's strange to have a party this easy. There's no stress. There will be no clean up. I am hoping we go under $200. There is no grimacing to make everything perfect.

That's it.

After 13 years of motherhood, I've realized everything doesn't have to be perfect. They'll have fun regardless without the huge production.

Maybe I am just off my game this year, or maybe this is the new Scout that realizes enjoying the party with my kids is more important that making it perfect.

Or maybe I realize with two back to back swim practices, then a Marimba concert right before the party, then this party, then two huge school projects the kids need to finish this week-end, then add one more swim practice tomorrow, that we are all tapped out as a family. (breathe)

Yep, I am a slow learner. Must simplify.

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Crap Load of Oatmeal Diet: Otherwise Known As I am Sick of Being Fatter Than My Husband Who Eats Crap

cue music

I like big oats and I cannot lie
Those other brothers can't deny,
That when a bowl walks in with an itty bitty...

Okay, so who am I kidding here?

There's nothing itty-bitty about today's breakfast. This is one huge ass bowl full of desperation and hope all tied up with a ribbon on top.

CG, dear CG, has had some health problems of late, that I have blogged about way more than he would like. But wait!

I have good news to report. The results are in, my friends!

With medication and diet, he dropped 49 points on his cholesterol test in a matter of two months.

Seriously! One point from fifty.

The diet? Oatmeal. Old-fashioned kind. Every morning with a handful of exceptions.

Let me mention the intent was to lower cholesterol, but an added, unintended, but awesome bonus was that he lost 20 lbs during that time. He's 6"2.5", and he weighs 185 lbs.

Did I mention I hate him?


Okay, not seriously. Okay, yes seriously, but only an itty-bitty bit about the size of my butt.

So twenty pounds in 2 months with no extra exercise or change in lifestyle except to chill out on the bacon and cheese and supplement oatmeal instead, he's shedding pounds like crazy.

He looks good. Really good.

So, he ate 1/2 cup oatmeal every morning and swore it kept him full for most of the day.


We all know what I am thinking yes? Remember Alli? Yes, Alli. If one is good, more must be better after eating donut?

Bad idea, my friends. Baaaaaad idea. Did I learn? {chirp, chirp}

Yep, so, like all Americans, I was thinking, if 1/2 cup is good, more is better. Hence the oatmeal above.

Okay, I admit, through some measuring errors (adding oatmeal to measuring cup with milk in it already is not the most accurate) might have increased it's sheer magnitude.

So, instead of 1 cup cooked, it was maybe....3 1/2 cups.

I was able to eat 1/3 of it before I never wanted to see oatmeal again. I saved the rest for lunch. Guess what? 1:30 has rolled around and I'm still stuffed.

Hmmmm....my husband might be on to something. It's akin to bloating/banding one's stomach...only with a crap load of fiber.

And when I say a crap load of fiber? I mean {eyebrows raised} a crap load of fiber.

Something tells me I will be very regular tomorrow and mayhaps even a few ounces lighter, my friends..

I'll keep you posted...about the ounces and weight-loss, not the regularity. Heh!

Thursday, May 28, 2009



[big-uh-tree] –noun, plural -ries.
1. Stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one's own.

2. Narrow-mindedness, bias, discrimination.

3. California's Proposition 8.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Humbled: Update on Land of EKGs

We received an early morning call from our pediatrician.

The results are in.

After reviewing all data, Seattle Children's said those blessed words, "Normal."

"Normal? All three?"

"Yes, normal."

"Are you sure?" I knew the universe could be screwing with me with something as simple as bad paperwork.

"All. three. normal." The nurse said with amusement in her voice.

Did you sense my stress melt away?

My body slumped.

Thank you universe.

Eldest yells from the background, "What? She has to get her heart removed?"

Note this was said as loudly as possible to freak out sister with maximum velocity.

I raised my eyebrows.

"Oh, dang it. She'll live."

Strike heart condition. Add bowlfuls of sibling rivalry.

Everything is getting back to normal in Scout territory.

The natives are vicious, but as healthy as a horse, as usual...

Thx for the flickr pic by Balakov

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Decisions, Decisions

So I have many decisions lately.

Lots of decisions.

Endless decisions.

Still no answers.

Clean house or blog?

Think, think, think...

Hysterectomy or Uterine Ablation? Still pondering.

To preserve or not preserve your child's first arm pit hair? Hmmmm....

To reward or not for good grades? Let me chew on this Red Vine while I deliberate.

Swimming or Grades? Can they co-exist? Dunno.

However, Eldest added more to the mix for that question today. He emailed me a poem he wrote over the week-end. The assignment was a personal narrative poem.

Can we guess what the subject was? I'll give you 3 hints.

Shocking as this was, it wasn't about cell phones, farts, teasing his sister, or world peace.

Check it out:

Down the Lane

As I speed down the lane,

I leave ripples in the water.

As I race down the lane,

I leave friends and enemies in my bubbles.

As I speed down the lane,

I am in pursuit.

As I swim down the lane,

I rule with my suit.

As I speed down the lane,

People gasp and stare.

As I dive into the lane,

The pool welcomes me into its grasp.

As I speed down the lane,

I see the fatigue in my muscles.

As I race down the lane,

I am near the end.

As I speed down the lane,

The end is in sight.

As I reach for the wall,

Exhausted and tired, I fall.

Did I mention he loves swimming? Sigh. There's no doubt. Still thinking on this. Can you smell the smoke?


I do know one thing that doesn't require a decision.

Beliefs versus equal rights? No brainer, my friends.

No matter your beliefs, no one has the right to use those beliefs to take away another's rights.

Last I checked we believed in a secular government in this nation. Common law dictates a separation of church and state and the constitution prohibits the establishment of any one church.

Does that stop anyone from their beliefs or practices? No.

However, nor should it stop anyone who does not have the same beliefs as you.

It's a slippery slope. What happens when you are the group next up to be scapegoated?

Love is love whether you are a straight or gay couple.

I found a voice of reason today.

Please read it to the very end until you judge. You may not agree with her beliefs and even I may not agree with her beliefs, but I think we can all agree with her thoughts on where her beliefs belong--in her home, in her church, but not in secular government.

Co-exist keeps circling in my mind.

Shame on you, California. Prop. 8 is a blight.

On the good side, I think we are a generation away from erasing this bigotry.

It is taking a long time, but eventually equality in the eyes of the law will actually mean something.

Thx for the flickr picsby hanssolo. and by aharvey2k.

How Often do You Bathe Your Dogs: A Confession

Here is my secret of the day:

I haven't bathed my elderly dogs in 8 months.

Eight months.

It seems so cruel. They are frail. They rarely go outside except to relieve (as few steps out the doggy door as possible) themselves in the Seattle rain then back inside.

Water has always terrified them.

And? To be honest, it's a chore to get them in a tub.

They fight. They growl. They shake and tremble. They dig in their heels.

They are 11 and 15 years old. Poor pups. The anxiety and stress of a bath alone could still their elderly hearts -- or at least that's what they would like me to think.


Today is one day too long.

They shed. They smell. There is evidence of dingle berries.

Forgive me, my pups.

You are getting a bath.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Too Many Medical Procedure Videos: Raising Boys

Li'l Man whacks PB on her belly when he plops his feet in her lap while reclining on our couch. It's not a hard hit, but she squeals, ever dramatic.

His head hangs upside down off edge to watch Kung Fu Panda.

Yes, real estate on this here sectional is dear.

PB: "Hey!"

Li'l Man flippantly: "What! It's not like you really need your uterus or anything."

Me: {{Eyebrows raised}}

Li'l Man: "What?! It's not like she needs her uterus or something."

His voice is indignant as his hands move to his hips.

He stands stubbornly by his first statement. No negotiation.

Yes, my seven year old thinks uteri (Would that be the plural of uterus, heh!) are redundant.

It's my own fault.

After watching this the other evening, I told him not to worry and that I didn't really need my uterus anymore.

In seven year old, I guess that I speak for the entire female population. Men are so literal.

Me: "Yes, dear son, I think she might want to keep that part of her undamaged. If it's okay for PB to get whacked if her uterus, then that means it's okay for you to get whacked by PB in your..." I trail my voice off for effect and point downward.

I look down below his waist. He immediately understands and does a half-cringe.

No more need to communicate.

Boys! It is so easy to communicate through their sympathetic communication centers.

Their father is the same way.

Thx for the flickr pic by paul goyette

Sunday, May 24, 2009

In The Land of EKG: Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome Part #2

Okay, I can't leave the last post like that. We need some humor, don't we?

So, at the EKG for Eldest yesterday, he looked so solemn. He laid on the bed as the technician applied the stickers and attacked the wires. He looked worried. I was worried. I had just heard about PB.

I sat at the end of the bed.

I slowly crept my hands to touch his head, stroke his hair and said...

..."Zzzzzzztd," as I suddenly stiffened my fingers and grabbed his head. Zap!

Yep, I made an electrocution sound.

It made Eldest smile. It made me smile. It made CG smile. It made the technician smile.

Tension from the room gone. Okay, mostly gone.

CG said if was effed up.

Hell yes it was, but it worked. When life gets you down, when in doubt, insert humor.

Yep, that's how Scout rolls. Heh!

UPDATE: Psssst... Want to hear it from CG's perspective? Yes, Scout's CG, My CG, blogs. Yes, he does. He wrote about the the kids' EKG with more details here.

Thanks for the flicr pic by mako

In The Land of EKG: Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome

My husband has a potentially fatal heart condition called Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome amongst his many other heart conditions/issues.

It's that freak thing that happens when an otherwise perfectly healthy athlete drops dead on the field.

A ticking time bomb.

Turns out it can be genetic.

Good News: The local hospital was able to finally see my three kids for EKGs.
We got it done yesterday. The boys' EKG results turned out normal.

Bad News: PB's EKG turned out borderline abnormal. We wait for Seattle Childrens hospital to review her results. We have to wait a few days because of the long week-end.

For now, I do what all mothers do. I worry.

I should have know the child that looks the spitting image of him with dark eyes, dark hair, a tendency to be a bit "furry" would also have his heart.

She has my heart as well...

...in a worried vise.

Thx for the flickr pic by d ha rm e sh

Friday, May 22, 2009

Giggle of the Day: You Just Got To Love Vince

...Even if he slaps his prosties after she tries to bite off his tongue.

Botulism: Truly Not One Of My Favorite Things

The best part of waking up in the morning is not dishes.

Nope, is it not.

Know what's worse?

Day dreaming whilst opening your daughter's thermos that's been sitting on the counter by the sink for the last few days only to realize your mistake not to recognize the hiss until too late....


(Wipe explosive material off cheek in form of rotten red tomato sauce and swear at the splashes on the walls.)

Curse you, botulism. Curses!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Inching Those Grades Upward: Finding Balance Between Sports and School

You might have noticed we've been riding Eldest of late. His grades last trimester included two C's which is completely unacceptable in this family.

He hadn't even been trying.

He may have not gotten the right fit of teachers this year, but there was no denying the F he got on a English project that required several paragraphs of explanation and he wrote a scant four word sentence in place of each paragraph.


He also didn't try on his standardized tests this winter and his scores dipped as low as 35 percentiles.

We were shocked. Was it comprehension or sheer laziness and attitude tested that day?

Education is so important to us and always has been.

I think we might have gotten off course and actually considered dropping swimming entirely last week because while, honey, swimming might get you some scholarships and get you entrance to some universities you might not have been able to attend otherwise if you are good, it doesn't pay the bills.

Ask Aaron Piersol. Ask Jason Lezak. Yep, as Newsweek monickered him, he's "America's Unemployed Olympic Hero."

What did he get for his gold medals over several Olympics?

3-4 speaking engagements and $1750 monthly which barely covers the mortgage.

I've heard Megan Jendrick, being on our team, is also not raking in the dough.

I'll take my son having an education and career over some stinking medal any day.

And yet, we've invested so much time on this sport that our children love.

Sadly, all these academic UN-achievements came at the same time that we discovered that Eldest was ranked 38 in the nation for one of his events in his age group. He made top 100 on a couple more.


Lovely. Sometimes it seems to be a choice between academics and swimming.

He loves swimming. His friends and social circle are there. It's his thing. But he used to love to read? He used to get great grades? Where did that boy go?

So, when grades faltered yet again, there was nothing left to take away. Already gone was his iPod, DS, Wii, computer in room, cell phone, Facebook account, and grounded indefinitely?

So? We took away the summer rec. team. I told him he couldn't participate.

Then today?

I check his grades online and the C's are now a B and B-. The rest are at least an A-.

He's coming around just when I am deciding we need to find some balance.

So I'm faltering. Do I turn rec. team into a carrot rather than stick? Is that considered a bribe?

I went ahead and told him if he gets five A-/B+s and no less than a B in the last class, Rec team is back on the table.

Was I wrong? Am I wrong to let swimming take over our life?

Swimming seven days a week. Some days we leave for swimming at 3:30 and get home at 9 PM.

Dinner is eaten on the run most nights.

Homework is done in the car, in the stands of the pool, or at the nearby library.

CG begrudges the time swimming takes away from family.

All other sports and activities have fallen by the wayside.

I'm trying to figure out the balance.

Anyone out there have a child in a sport that requires such a time commitment?

Were you in a competitive sport to this extent as a child?

How did you make it work? Or did it work? Was it worth it?

Any advice?

How does one deal?

Thx for the Flickr pics by billaday, by A. Dawson, by garybirnie.co.uk , and James Jordan

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

One Pluck From Puberty: Take Me Off This Teenage Rollercoaster

We are on the cusp of teenage detonation here in the Scouty household.


Waiting for the death knell of adolescence to full-fledged teenage wasteland.

Eldest turns 13 in August.

He's started the puberty train with his zitsicles (zits on zits) and sudden growth spurts.

Luckily, we look on the bright side. He is very proud of the fact he doesn't have "back'ne" and "butt'ne."

Whew! Lucky us. With CG's genetics, that was a very real danger.

Oh, and we have 'tude out the wah-zoo.

However, we (meaning he) were waiting on pins and needles for one last clue that he was becoming a man cub.

Yes, my friends, arm pit hair.

One recent, unsuspecting evening, he flung himself down the stairs like he was seven, shiny faced, and full of joy again.

Gone was my sullen, snarky 12 year old and back was the snappy little guy with easy smile and fidgety demeanor... and bouncy...very, very suspiciously bouncy.

"Guess what, mom! Guess what? Guess what. Huh? huh? huh?"

I silently raise an eyebrow behind my laptop. Ever the skeptic of what treat he had in store for me.

"I got one. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Who's the master of the universe. Who's the Jedi now, padawan? Who powns?" He shouts.

He commenced a jiggy danced and snaked and wiggled his awkward, skinny body all over the couch.

"M'kay...you?" I asked.

He proudly lifted his naked arm pit and shoved it into my nose.

Oh, what a shining mother moment.

"Uh...what am I supposed to be looking at here?"

He points. He gesticulates madly. Then suddenly, there it was.

In the upper left corner, was one lone hair.

No, it wasn't soft, fuzzy lanugo like when he was born.

Nope, it was one long, coarse man hair.


No, silly, I didn't get choked up over a pit hair. The kid forget to wear deodorant and my nose was burning.

Heh! I jest.

In the meantime, his siblings had gathered round to see the famed hair like it was a treasured oddity.

Eldest then decides he might pluck it.

His little brother shrieked and said emphatically, "No. You need to preserve it!"


Two boys. Three if you count CG.

You hear things you never imagined you would as a mom.

Preserve it?

Scout walks away shaking her head...

Yep, my friends, Mothering three boys is one wild ride. Heh!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Yes, That's How We Roll: The Path Between Novasure or Hysterectomy

We sat down to dessert last night as a family in front of the television.

This so rarely happens that swimming results in us being home before 8 PM.

What did we watch?

But of course medical procedures in the form of live surgery.

Yep, my 7, 9, and 12 year old got to watch the complete 1 hour procedure called Supercervical Laparoscopic Hysterectomy at OR LIVE.

We all found it fascinating.

The kids had questions: "Mommy? Are you really going to have them do that?" They licked their spoons distractedly with eyes glued to the screen.

"Mmmm... maybe." I said distractedly as I spooned a bit of ice cream in my mouth and watched them puncture the cyst on the patient's ovary.

We were in awe of the fact that heat applied by the cauterizing clamps/rotating scalpel to girl bits looks like...well...cooked chicken. It even sizzled.

Sorry. I know some of you just grossed out. Heh!

Yes, we, being Scout and her progeny, roll like that.

And yes, the chicken reference was just for you, Dumbblond and Helen. Heh!

At any given time, one of my kids want to be a doctor, so I indulge them with reality. They chose to watch this. Really. They asked when I mentioned it at the dinner table. Move over American Idol and i-Carly. You've got competition.

To be honest, there's very little blood. This is not the most graphic thing we've ever watched by far. We like reality medical programs.

It just so happened this one procedure might apply to me.

So I lied. We all didn't choose this.

"We" did not include CG.

CG was not so engrossed as much as grossed out.

He spent his time thumbing his iPhone whilst Twittering and Facebooking the grossness that is eating Blackberry-Cabernet Ice cream while watching a uterus being scooped out on a screen.

Want to try it? Watch the video here: Supercervical Laparoscopic Hysterectomy.


It's true.

I married a pansy.

Thanks to our friend Kalista for calling him on the Facebook updates. Yes, considering we are thinking of having this done to me, his one and only wife he claims to cherish, he might want to pay more attention to the television and less to his damned iPhone.

So what's on today's menu?

Oh, a turkey sandwich for lunch followed by this wonderful video on Uterine/Endometrial Ablation:

Isn't the Internet wonderful. Enjoy, my friends. Enjoy!

To my readers: The responses to my last post have been overwhelming, informative and so positive.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I truly am overwhelmed that my "Internet" friends are so there for me and moreover, your friends are reaching out and are there for me too.

Believe me that I've read every email, comment, Stumble message carefully and I hope to respond soon to them all. Thank you for the phone numbers as well. I truly felt the Internet give me a big hug yesterday. I wish I wasn't so tired right now so I could hug back.

In the meantime, I'll keep researching.

Thx for the flickr pics by hddod and by jessicafm

Monday, May 18, 2009

At Least I've Got Options: Choosing Hysterectomy, Novasure Endometrial Ablation, or Mirena IUD

We all know that Scout (that's me) has some serious gynecological problems.

Dead serious.

Life-altering serious.



If that's not hint enough to my male readers to skedaddle, I don't know what will. Don't say I didn't warn you, m'kay? You were warned that this will be a mighty bit of too much information if you are male, squeamish, or both.

Now, if you have a wife or partner or girlfriend and this information pertains, by all means grab a cup of Joe and come on in to the crazy we call a woman's body.

If this helps anyone to realize that what they have and what they are feeling needs medical assistance then by all means, please come on in.


I finally got that appointment. Yes, that appointment.

I was assured my hypermenorrhagia (there's a name for it) is unexplainable by my small fibroids and definitely not normal. It could be hormonal.

It often occurs in women who have pale skin (me!), blond/red hair (me!), and have light colored eyes (me!). I won the triple trifecta.

However! It is most assuredly not normal.

Really not normal. I was instructed on what is typical and that has convinced me that since the age of 14 years old, my period has not been normal.

Not normal is blood clots (I told you TMI) larger than quarters. Erm me? How about lemons? Apples? Pint sized? As in when the blood flow is so strong and fast that the body does not have the time to release those compounds that prevent coagulation.

Also, the length of 7-10 days, the flow requiring me to sit on commode for an hour or longer at a time and using yes TWO super tampons and an overnight pad which is soaked in less than 45 minutes, is not normal.

Finally, the anemia and soul destroying fatigue of bleeding out and the life-altering part is also not okay.

I was presented with 4 options:

  • Do nothing. (I laughed bitterly at that one)

  • Meridia IUD which is coated with hormones. It helps 40% of the time to minimally lighten period. It also makes women gain mucho weight. and can cause hair loss, infection and more spotting mid-cycle. Oh, and there's a 60% chance it will do nothing. End result: I'll still definitely have my period and it is unlikely to have more than a minimal result.

  • Uterine ablation/ Endometrial Ablation via Novasure. Yep, fry my uterus up in a pan of it's own juices. 90 seconds of a fanned out laser instrument at 360 degree. Risks do include perforation of the bladder, possible decreased sensation during the horizontal mambo, and oh, this: Due to insurance coverage, it would cost $2500 and only cost me a co-pay. My doctor says she only offers this option to those who have gone through childbirth because they can handle the pain. Yes, pain. As in local, Valium, etc. will not cover the feeling of having said fried uterus steak and eggs. Ack!

  • Get an Novasure endometrial ablation in the hospital with general anesthetic. Have I mentioned that Malignant hyperthermia runs in the family which basically means increased risk of death due to anesthesia? I fear general anesthesia. Also, this procedure costs $10,000 and it depends on my insurance whether they will cover this procedure in the hospital versus in her office.

So, I'm having problems deciding. Some of these seem to drastic and risky. Others seem like bringing a tissue to a flood. I know I need to make a decision in the end. Part of me says get it done right and get the hysterectomy. I am so tired. My quality of life sucks. Then there's the fear that I die and won't be there for my children.

Help! I want to get off this crazy machine!

What would you do in my place? I need some words. I seem frozen in indecision.

Thx for the flickr pic by DaveNeukirch, by kevindooley, and by avlxyz.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Got Kindle? Add a Side of Wasabi, My Friends

I must say having my blog outed by my family has been rather freeing. I've started to shrug and say I still am what I am.

Call me Popeye.

No editing allowed.

Okay, using the "f" bomb has been curtailed, but, hey, I wanted to do that anyway. Heh!

So, then the question is how much do I want to toot my own horn? It's ingrained in me to be modest, self-effacing, and not able to take compliments well. So how does one seek out more readers like you with such an inner-voice whispering , "No one wants to read your drivel."

It's this constant battle.

Luckily, CG is one of my biggest cheerleaders. So I plodded on.

I'm a Stumbleupon Addict, so I do put my stuff out there regularly.

I've also tried Reddit. Yikes! Reddit, I've found is scary and made up up lots of unspoken rules.

Moreover at Reddit?

Apparently, if my hand looks fat in a picture, I suck.

They make my anonymous troll last week seem like a kindly, good-natured unicorn. Heh.

I finally had one kind Reddit reader clue me in that Reddit is a bunch of "immature men."

Hmmm...I've got enough of that with three of 'em at home.

So, a bit wounded after Reddit wars, I've thought maybe I shouldn't get my stuff out there.

Then I get a check.

My month of hard work has earned enough to take the family not just to burritos, but to sushi.

Can we say toro nigiri? Seattle roll? Wasabi, my old friend.

I figure my $50 check from BlogHer amounts to making a whopping 49 cents an hour or a night at the sushi conveyor belt of loooooove.

Ohhh, baby!


It's better than my day job's salary, right? My mommy salary is a big zero.

I take that back. I get insults from my 12 year old. Flu from my daughter. Dirty socks from seven year old. Oh, and endless love that makes it all worth while.

Note: To you trolls who will invariably take these previous sentences the wrong way, I jest. Get a sense of humor. I love my kids more than the world, but what is motherhood without some sarcasm to make it interesting?

Honestly though, while getting the occasional bone or sushi thrown my way is nice, it's you readers that make it all worth while. Your comments. Your emails. Your StumbleUpon conversations.

So, I plod on. This time, I try Kindle.

Yes, Kindle. Check it out. You can subscribe to me right on your Kindle. More details:

You can get a free 14 day subscription here at Amazon.

Alright-y then, now off to my other job. Off to chauffeur kid to swimming, or birthday party, or some place or other. I work for smiles and the occasional hug as mothers the world over do as well and have done for generations.

Many thx for the Flickr pics by Kirk Siang , Sof Johns, and adactio.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Scout's Payback

I've been thinking lately of gratitude.

Being happy with what I've got.

One of those things that make me happy is all you, my friends who read and have blogrolled me.

I've got this cool little tool that sends me weekly updates I think is pretty comprehensive of those who blogroll me when added to Trechnocrati stats at:

And to you? I thank you.

I more than thank you because what are we bloggers without a support system. So, my little gift to you all is a StumbleUpon Review. I hope to send many new readers your way:

Did I forget you? Did I leave someone out?

Send me your site in my comments and I'd be happy to check you out and send you a Stumble review as thanks for blogrolling.

P.S. If you blogrolled back in the day when I was http://unitedstatesofmotherhood.blogspot.com this would be a great time to update, pretty, pretty please?

Monday, May 11, 2009

Why I Love My Husband: Reason #1,563,986

Align Left

CG always replaces my razor blade when it gets dull or when he changes his blade. It's just a considerate habit he picked up along our almost 13 years of marriage.

Last night, he changed them. Then he came downstairs and warned me he had changed the blade.

He didn't want me to slice up "my lady bits." Heh!

Looove him!

Even better, he never says a word when my blade is so dull, but I don't want to get out of the shower to change it, so I use his razor. Nope, not one word...even when he comes out of the bathroom with bloody bits of tissue on his face.


On the other hand, maybe changing my blade is self-preservation and a form of adaptation.

Double heh!

Thx for the flickr pics by by Zane Selvans

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day Tea Tradition

Before you go there, these hats below are a school tradition.

All the Dads come in the week before and help the kiddies makes these beautiferous creations. Each year the creations get more and more outlandish and funny.

I think the Dads secretly laugh that their wives will have to wear these:

Mother's Day Tea at Li'l Man's Concert.

My imagination says it goes down like this:
"Yes, junior, add another ribbon and button. Oh, yes, she'll love that hugmongous daisy right on the top of the crown. Oh that huge floppy polka-dotted ribbon is perfect!"
So we dressed up in a sea of hats. I could see some of the better dressed, blinged out moms might have felt a bit uncomfortable, but they were good sports. In fact, all that moms were good sports.

That is the essence of being a mom. Being a good sport. Wearing the floppy hats and beautiful macaroni necklaces. Ooohing and awing over these beauties:

Actually, there is no good sportsmanship here. I love these glass creations the 1st grade made.

And the best are those moments of sharing his Power Point creation (yes, our insanely cool school has 1st graders entirely make Power Point presentations) and sharing his caterpillar proudly:

It was all followed by some cute songs in the cafeteria, and apple juice and cookies for the moms that the kids gladly ate for us. Heh.

This is motherhood.

Here is hoping you all have something special going on in your life that includes being a good sport, trembly chins as you watch your 1st grader's presentation and realizing s/he, with his siblings, are some of the best things in your life.

Careers will come and go with fortunes, but these moments will last a lifetime.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Get a Sense of Humor, Anonymous

I'll respond to the troll in my last post as soon as the Mojitos wear off. While you wait, enjoy:


Screw the buzz. Offhand, I am thinking, golly gee, Anonymous, you know us suburban white women. You do. You do.

Gosh, I am thinking what a sad thing that your parents never helped you once in your poor educational existence. Poor baby. How touching you made it to the top one hundred schools in the nation.

I am so enthralled to find out how you plan to "stand by what [you've] written to all of [us] who might react shocked," since you commented ANONYMOUSLY.

Shite, my friend, this suburban Mommy may have gone to the top political science department (that would #1 Cal Berkeley at the time) in the nation, you putz, but even she understands that having a sense of humor is a life skill worth having.

Yes, I made a pun on a sexual innuendo that does not denigrate anyone. ..unless someone is sadly lacking the skill and prowess in that department, eh? Tsk. Tsk. Get over yourself. If Mac uses it in an ad, it's hardly offensive. Want some more:

Gosh. So offensive Will Smith and David Letterman look so shocked and offended, right?

So, "big pants", I was the 1st in my family to be a college graduate and yes, my parents never helped me either. However, nor was I in one of the most elite school systems in the nation. My daughter, being up to a 1.5 years younger than most students in her class, is. Even in a regular school district, kids these days are learning what I learned in AP English in 7/8 grade.

Oh, and to clear things up since you obviously didn't read any of the links provided from the original post, this was a required 4th grade science project and everything on her poster was a required element. I am sure, sweetheart, only getting into a third tier school, you didn't do such rigorous projects in the 4th grade, eh?

Honey, even as an adult, you can not seem to differentiate between "your" and "you're" and colons and semi colons and "beat" and "beet" and "there" and "their" so perhaps you should look inward before touting your pathetic education, m'kay? We won't even discuss run on sentences, poorly worded and awkward phrasing, and the inability to grammar check. Please tell me you don't have a degree. Sigh.

As for my children, "beat red?" Again, the root vegetable is called "b-e-e-t." How's that education working out for you, eh? Back on topic, please! We are very open with our children about sex. No embarrassment here.

As for my husband, thanks for the laugh. Sweetheart, unless you are obtuse and fail to comprehend the Queen's English with a little snarkiness on the side, you would realize I was referring to the black color of the ribbon. It's a pun. Look it up in that great big book. Unless you think I was denigrating Smurfs as I did mention the color "blue" as well.

As for bragging, why would I try to lessen the results of a project well done? I am proud of my daughter. Yes, this project took much supervision and guidance which I was somewhat resentful of considering my daughter is nine, but I am proud of her. I am never embarrassed about bragging about my daughter's accomplishments.

Actually, I would disagree entirely with you on one count. Our acts do define who we are. Your comment speaks volumes about you. Claiming you are from a top one hundred school you try to gain legitimacy, but your positions are completely negated by your inferior writing skills. Your acts, your comment, make you look a fool. No grandiose words will make it or you look better.

I have never said my blog is in a vacuum. Surprise! I actually welcome respectful, well-thought out, differing points of view. The difference is yours is neither well-thought out or respectful. Yet, still, I don't delete. Why? Simply said, you make me laugh, especially souped up on Mojitos.

"Be my guest?" A guest? Me? This is my blog, not yours. I don't need your permission in the slightest. I do hope that is "transparent."

Ta-ta. I'm off to slurp more Mojitos and get it on with my "inferior white" husband.

Shhh...don't tell anyone, but my kids know that's how babies are made.

By the way, Anonymous, speaking of being honest, can I request pulling the gi-normous stick out of your butt? I think it might be much more comfortable sitting at your computer, judging other people while too cowardly to do it unless anonymous.

Okay, back to our regular programming, friends.

Happy Mother's Day, y'all.

Screw Blue, You Don't Go Back After Black!

My friends, remember this post about mommy homework?

Then my whining about the other mommy homework that came in March:

And this post about mommy homework in general?

Swinging back to the positive again. Here's my latest good thing to share:

Yes, indeedy, that is a Best in the Whole Wide World Fair ribbon! Only a handful were given out. We She did it! Whoop!

You would not believe the catty comments parents made about her ribbon at the fair. As usual, the uber competitive parents were out and quickly realized the five different colors of ribbons meant something. The kids didn't know, but oh the hackles raised by parents.

Then there was the questioning of judging and fairness. Again, in the kids' earshot.

The judges were teachers and parents. They aren't professionals. They do their best. They try to make it a positive experience by awarding different good qualities of each project with assorted ribbons.

Each project earns a ribbon of equal standing. Then with stand out, above and beyond projects, they give a scant handful of black ribbons. Somehow at the fair, the other four colors of ribbons were given rankings that didn't exist by their parents.

"Wow," said one dad snarkily commenting on the number of pictures of our project. His daughter only had a couple. "Leave it you [Scout] to have so many pictures on her daughter's science fair."

Don't get me wrong. There were lots of positive comments from other parents. Many liked the pictures. Others that seemed relaxed and just seemed to be enjoying all the projects, but there's always those few.

Forgive me if I am wrong, but shouldn't you just concentrate on your student's achievements and make him/her feel proud rather than coveting another kid's ribbon?

Sigh. To them, I say "Na-na-na-na-na." I know, I know. So adult of me. Heh!

Well, as a science duo, PB and I are allllllright! Do you know what this means? I am bitchin' at 4th grade science.

What's next? I might just learn along with Eldest's 7th grade integrated Algebra and absorb it this time.

I know, I know. This poli sci major doing math? It's crazy talk.

One of the awesome aspects of being a mother, you actually get a second chance on all those subjects you screwed up on as a child. You get to learn it again. Heck, maybe this time it will stick?

You see, this time, you are motivated because nothing is worse that telling your 1st grader that you can't remember what a rhombus is and seeing the "Are you really qualified to be my mother" look in his eyes.

Or telling your seventh grader that his math surpasses his mother's memory of area of a prism...

Or looking your dear daughter in the face in 1st grade and telling her, "Honey? Congruent angles? How's about you ask your Daddy?" Puzzled disappoint crosses her face.


So I can whine about the mommy homework or I can hit the books so this mommy can be the most excellent math tutor in the world and when in doubt, fake it like a 2 dollar whore.


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Semantics: Speaking Foreign Languages To Foreign Beings

You'll never guess what happened at the pediatrician's. Yes, pediatrician's.

Some background? Eldest got kicked at warm ups at a swim meet a few days ago.

Well, ten to be exact. Eldest kept complaining his pinkie hurt.

Uhhh, I didn't see anything on his pinkie.

No bruising. No swelling.

Nada. Zip. Nothing.

Yes, I thought drama queen again.

9 days later I decided to take a closer look when he was still complaining. He still insisted his pinkie hurt. Still nothing.

At this point, I skeptically said, Point to where it hurts."

My son, the brain surgeon, points to the side of his hand.

Apparently it hurt to MOVE his pinkie. Not that "his pinkie hurt." The part that hurt was the side of his hand.


Silly me, I thought when one said, "my pinkie hurts," it actually meant his pinkie hurts, not the side of his hand hurts.

Silly, silly me.

In 12 year old
, it means the polar opposite of whatever they say. Forgive me. I am still learning 12 year old. It's a very foreign land.

So back to the hand?

There it was! The back of his hand, when compared to the other, was very swollen. Very swollen for 10 days after injury.


Off to the doctor we went. Is this another mommy of the year award? Yes, I think it is:

When will I realize our kids are accidents waiting to happen.

So we were lucky this time. After three sets of x-rays and the doctor agreeing that with our history of breaks, we were cursed. a break was likely, it turned out to be a lucky break for us.

Nope, not another broken arm. Sigh. It was a close call, but luckily it turned our lucky break was that it turned out to be a bone bruise and soft tissue damage.

That's shocking considering our luck.

Then something else happened. PB had a regular check up today. I off-handedly mentioned CG's health issues.

You won't believe this!

I now have orders to get EKGs on all three kids and cholesterol tests.

Seriously? Seriously. My seven year old needs an EKG and cholesterol test. What on Earth...

CG often jokes his next wife will have her wisdom teeth out. I will now argue the next father of my children will not give our kids a genetic predisposition to heart issues. Grrrr...

Seriously, my heart can't take this kind of news. I now predict my heart will give before the rest of 'em from the stress alone.


Heart? Stress? Semantics. I am just screwed. So much for my positive outlook in the beginning of the week.

I know. I know. I am giving you whiplash with the mood swings.

Just call it almost 37 year old's language.

Blognotes: Thx for the Flickr pics by Leo Reynolds and by oh_candy

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