United States of Motherhood: December 2009

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Sweet Traditions & Future Cavities

We have a tradition at Christmas in this house that started when I was a child:

Santa brings the kids and yes even the parents the sugary junk cereal that this mom absolutely refuses to buy the rest of the year.

Now I remember why. Eating sample bowls of Froot Loops, Cocoa Puffs, Captain Crunch, Fruity and Cocoa Pebbles, Lucky Charms, Trix, and Cookie Crisp makes my stomach ache.

This year he got confused and brought everything he could find and now we are all sick to our stomach of Lucky Charms and Cocoa Puffs. Yep, bad Santa. Very bad Santa. He's going to get our dentist bills.

Guess what Santa also forgot. Yep, this mom had only two gallons of milk and 4 days later?

It's long gone.

So we've made do with the whipping cream left over from pie.

I am sure eggnog has been attempted.

Why not go to the grocery store? That would be too easy.

Instead, another memory that is not mine is flitting in my head. CG remembers a fabled vacation to his grandparents were he "tricked" them into believing he and his sister only used ice cream for their cereal.


I just tricked the kids into thinking ice cream for breakfast was a good idea.

It did not take much convincing. Heh!

Froot Loops and Dreyer's Slow Churned Vanilla Bean ice cream? Good.

Cocoa Pebbles and Dreyer's Slow Churned Vanilla Bean ice cream? A-ma-zing. Seriously. Try it.

As for that bad Santa, we gave him this minty delight cuppycake with the full fat eggnog below on Christmas Eve with a handful of extra sugary kisses on the side.

I'm sure he has his own dental bill to pay. Ouch!

Seriously. Ouch.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Ah, 2009 Mashups!

Ah, DJ Earworm. I puffy heart you.


I resolve the exact same as last year.


Seriously. Check it out.

They all still apply except I am making headway on using the fancy gym and maybe I volunteered a little less, but still way more than I should.

Yep, ditto because I am real ambitious like that and, at least, if anything, you can say I am resolved.

Oh, and maybe one other little bitty thing. I want to spend less, save more, and not delay the taxes by a whopping 8 months while my husband finished everything from our taxes but was waiting on me for our list of donations I made and promised to finish back in February sooooo when I finally got it done LAST WEEK we could not only not electronically file our taxes but online Turbo Tax apparently doesn't support saving the file thaaaat loong so he had to start over and spend hours re-doing the taxes and pay $60 for the software version of Turbo Tax.

Yes, I think it can all be summed up by saying I want to suck less this year.

**Oh, and many thanks for Nanny Goats for creating a forum to get us all thinking...and keep us honest.**

Monday, December 28, 2009

Got Placenta??

Oh, look! So cuddly.

Your very own placenta bear. Yes, placenta bear.


You want one yes? Now we all know what to get the dear ones in our lives for Valentine's Day--a tanned, salt cured, stretched organ usually deemed medical waste.

Unless you char-grill that baby with fava beans. Need a recipe? I kid you not. Have a hankering for "Placenta Spaghetti Bolognaise" or even better "Placenta Lasagna?" The recipe exists.

Oh, yum, I want seconds.

Really not sure which is worse: Consume your medical waste or stuff it for the kids to enjoy.


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Do Over: Wiping the Slate Clean

Do you ever feel so guilty about something that you make it even worse by avoiding it?

That would be my relationship with Google Reader.

At some point, my subscribed blog posts to read topped 1000 this summer.

So, I just never came back until today.

I kept meaning to catch up with those on my blog list, but it becomes insurmountable when the number unread goes beyond the limits of Google reader.

So today, I bit the bullet and deleted them all.


So I have no idea what has happened with many of my favorite blogs for the last six months. None.

It's called a do-over. Sweeping the room clean. Starting over so the guilt doesn't make me procrastinate so I miss even more.

So forgive me if I have been absent from your blogs (you've probably been happy to forgo my usual windy comments) and forgive me if I am clueless on things you have clearly spelled out before on your blog.

Be gentle.

I am trying to connect again with the blogs with which I fell in love.

And yes, maybe even find some more so please do tell:

What are your absolutely favorite blogs and why?

Thx for the flickr pics by toettoet

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Nibbling Gingerbread: Bringing Down The House

So we made this sweet little house two week ago:

Every since CG has almost thrice a day asked when we can eat it.

Yes, CG, not the kids. {Hand smack}

So when does one eats these things--or do they? In the past, we've made it early and by the time we looked at it again, it was hardened and stale in January.

So a question to you all, do you actually eat the gingerbread houses you make?

As for CG, {eyebrow raised} don't delude yourself for a minute that I didn't notice the missing gum drop second gable on the right and the candies missing from the eyeball and nether regions of the ginger girl!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

With Only A Few Days To Spare: Our Sense of Humor

Done! Six hours the week-end before the day itself and most of our decorations are up...

Most importantly being the tree.

Only to be taken down nary 3 days or so later.

What is it about this year and procrastination? It seems heavy in the air. I have very good company which makes me feel better so keep those comments coming.

For now, I triumph in that we have proof the tree is up and now we can try to get our kids to actually sit still whilst actually touching each other for the never-ending search of this mom to get one picture where all three are looking at the camera, somewhat smiling or at least not grimacing or twitching or moving or doing something else than sitting planted where I put them while I screech at them for the love of Jehosophat stay put.

I think only a hint of their mother's insanity rubbed off on them. What do you think?

If you look closely at the reflection in those beautiful amber-depths, you'll see her loony mommy pretty much saying, "Smile like you $%@& mean it."

Yep, warm holiday memories in the making.They generally tolerate me as all smart kids do with mothers on the edge with only minimal eye rolling when they think I am not looking.

Seriously thought at this age, it would get easier.

Sometime it's just easier to get their best shots by themselves. This guy got the least number of re-takes. He's figured out it's better to give in witht he twenty shots of him rather than the 125 I took last year.

Or with Seb because he doesn't freak out if someone's toe is touching his leg.

Oh, I yearn for the days of crying two year olds scared of Santa!

At least tears could be solved with a candy cane after. Attitude sadly is not curable unless I drink the cure. And drink...

So, uhhh, with bickering between teen, pre-teen, and 2nd grader over who isn't holding still for the picture so they look and point fingers over whose fault it is that it is taking so blasted long for HER to take the gadzillion pictures?

It's like putting Siamese Fighting Fish in the same bowl in front of a precariously over-loaded Christmas tree with of all things this year.... a star!

Not our usual angel: I let them talk me into a star that shifts with the slightest of breezes which will make me scream if it falls and takes out a path of sentimental keepsake baby ornaments and delicate blown glass of Christmas' past. Sigh.

Next up? Have not wrapped one gift nor baked one cookie nor shopped for groceries for Christmas Eve and Christmas day dinners. Gah!

Christmas has turned into a terribly daunting and insurmountable chore list this year.

As for those damned Christmas cards and the annual spin my life to make it perfect even though it sadly is not even close to perfect Christmas letter?

I am pondering sending them the URL to this blog instead and leave the same boxes of unopened cards I bought last year and the year before and the year before still untouched. You know...kind of like the kids' baby books. Heh!

I am sure my conservative family will be most impressed with the spirit of the season F-bombs with which I litter it, dontcha think??

Heh! Ho, Ho, Ho.

So I leave you my friends to embark on a quest for a grocery store that might possibly still have the only bottle of peppermint extract in the entire Seattle area. I've tried three.

Then there's a matter of dinner.

At least, if we don't eat this holiday, we are keeping our eyes twinkling with mirth.

And what elicited such mirth?

Said sister mimicking a stuffed Santa depositing something decidedly not coal with much pretended flatulence on her mother's head whilst said mother continued to snap pics.

Humor, crass or otherwise, seems always appreciated in this family especially when it comes to jokes about flatulence.

Right now Eldest and Seb are proudly vying for first place as most egregious offenders.

As opposed to Eldest's teachers.

They seem entirely lacking in the humor department. Apparently a student at school told Eldest a joke, "so offensive that his parents would be very upset." The teacher spoke to them quite sternly at the joke she overheard.

The joke?

What's the difference between Tiger Woods and Santa Claus?

Santa stops at three Hos.

Bwahahaha. I admit it. Eldest came home with the story and I busted up as did CG. I guess we have an inappropriate sense of humor akin to 13 year old boys.

Go figure.

So just in case I don't get back here by Christmas, Season Greetings, my friends. Our family wishes you the best holiday season possible.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Holiday Procrastination

Ahhh, what does one do on a Monday morning after a three day swim meet?

Clean her dusty house?

Put the many crates of Christmas decorations up?

Wash the copious loads of laundry?

Make up for sitting on her arse all week-end by going to the gym?

Sadly, no my friends. She tee-hees it up making this:

Sorry CG!! Well, not really...

So happy holidays everyone and if you are doing some holiday procrastinating?

Please know you are not alone, my friends. Not alone at all...

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Real Monster I’m Running From is Little Debbie

Yep, this comes in a T-shirt my friends and it's on my list for Santa. Thanks be Woot for identifying why people ceaselessly run on treadmills. **

"With nary a Pilates class on the entire planet, how did our cave-bound ancestors develop the well-defined pecs and abs we see in textbook illustrations today? Of course, it wasn’t running from dinosaurs. The archaeological record suggests that early humans were bred as pack animals by the Vorgoxxii, a race of alien silicon miners from a planet beyond the stars. They only looked like dinosaurs.

Wear this shirt: so people know why you’re not exercising: lack of large predators in your area.

Don’t wear this shirt: under the assumption that it in any way refers to the novel or film known as Jurassic Park or any sequels or other works deriving therefrom, without express written consent of all parties with a valid claim to any portion or aspect of said intellectual property.

This shirt tells the world: “The real monster I’m running from is Little Debbie.”

We call this color: Tyrannosaurus Blax."

Yep, it's on my wish list if anyone was thinking I need some motivation. Hint!!

**Disclaimer: And, no Woot is NOT paying me to say that. Pashaw! Paid to blog? Um, that's crazy talk. But if they were to say happen upon this and spontaneously decided in the spirit of the season to send me a little sumpin' sumpin', I need a women's large. Large because of my ginormous boobs and wide shoulders silly! NOT because of Little Debbie because really!!! Who eats Little Debbies? Godiva? Yes. Hagen Dazs? Oh, baby. Cheesecake Factory? Um Hello lovah! But cheap, waxy chocolate on stale cake? Um, I'd rather be running from Dinosaurs or flossing or shaving calluses from my husband's feet. Gah!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Think Good Thoughts

Today is a day when someone in my large family is at a crossroads.

Depending on the outcome, it could radically change lifestyle, family life, and family dynamic.

The outcome will be both positive and negative no matter the outcome. There certainly will be pros and cons to either result. There is definitely some scary risks as well.

Have I mentioned I am risk averse?

So I am asking just for some good thoughts coming my family member's way.

I often believe that life gives you what you need which may not necessarily be what you want, but it all works out in the end.

Definitely, there are ying-yang, kharmic elements, and/or higher forces at work.

I myself am still at a crossroads in life spiritually still unable to identify which of those I believe.

I think a little of all?

I guess I am putting a little faith in each basket, hedging my bets if you will. CG and I have been discussing religion and church of late. There has been this need for more spirituality in our lives.

We are looking for a faith that does not eliminate or judge others' faiths. Does not judge or claim to be the only truth, the only choice. We believe in perpetual education and seeking for truth, but know everyone's truths are different. We are looking for a tolerant source of spirituality after neither CG nor I having graced the doors of a house of worship in a dozen years. Neither of our childhood faith's fit our beliefs, he having a Catholic upbringing and I a Mormon childhood.

Both of these faiths have merits, but they are just not what we believe nor what we can stand for and most importantly, faiths to which we would feel comfortable introducing to our children. We seek a faith with open-minds allowed. We seem to be leaning Unitarian since it certainly appeals to our beliefs and ideals although we have only read about it, but are minds are still open.

So I guess we also are at a crossroads.

So be they prayers, positive affirmations, or just crossed fingers, please send them in my family's general direction, m'kay?

Many thanks my friends.

Many thanks also for the Flickr pic by NKPhillips.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Reason #5,698,674 Why I Suck As a Housewife

My seven year old who should be wishing for sugar plum fairies and flashy, bright toys from Santa?

He's become sadly practical in our weaknesses. On his Christmas letter to Santa was "socks."

I kid you not.

Now does the kid actually need socks? Uh, nope.

Just that CG and I suck about matching socks when do laundry. We have two baskets full of socks that we rarely match so that there's always a dearth of socks in this family and a mad scramble every school day morning to find some.

Seriously, I've bought 30 pairs of socks for the kid in the last six months. It just seems easier to buy more socks that actually match 'em.

Pathetic. Really, I know.

So pathetic that yes, my friends, it's that time. It's Pinup Mommy of the Year Award Time:

I stink at laundry big time!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Teenage Sons and Clothes Wars: HELP!

Remember when your kids were like this kitty:


Tickle. Giggle. Feed. Sleep. so cute. So easy?

I'm nostalgic after the knock down, drag out fight I had about clothes with my teenager today.

We actually played tug of war with the dirty sweat shirt in question. Even though he is an inch taller, I still won.

Then we almost had him go to school at 40 degrees with bare arms because he refused to wear the expensive jacket with tags still on from last year that he got for Christmas. I was furious with the waste. At the time, he said he liked it even though I said it was returnable if he didn't like it. There's also about 8 pairs of designer, ridiculously expensive-for-a-kid-that-grows-an-inch-a-month jeans in the closet that also have tags on and he's since out grown. Same deal.

The kid lives in the same three t-shirts, one sweatshirt, and his one pair of favorite jeans even with a closet full of clothes.

Today, it became an issue of respect and obedience. I had to threaten and then yank CG out of a conference call to back me up.

Said teenager left house defeated and in tears for the bus. Not the best day to start the first day of a new trimester.

Not happy times being the mom of a teenager. Help!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Celebrating the Differences: One Hairy Week-end

You know when you have kids and you constantly compare milestones and similarities?

Eldest & Li'l Man 4 months

And yes, differences?

Don't fib! You know you do, as did your mother compare you to your siblings, unless you were a only child then boo-hoo for you.

So I've found there is usually a clarifying moment when you realize your kids are very much alike or polar opposites.

For my boys?

Yes, the similarities of mannerisms still exist. The food preferences still exist. The resemblance exists. They definitely come from the same family.

But at their core? They are very different.

Nothing can so clearly show this than the haircuts they chose for themselves this week-end:

Yes, Eldest wants the longer hair to fit in with the middle school crowd, but Li'l Man requested, got, and was thrilled with his very unusual result.

Eldest hates attention. He wants to blend in. He's always been the least amount of risk taker so much so that I've often pushed him too hard to be more free.

To take risks.

Li'l Man?

Quite the opposite. Loves attention. Break dances in public. Lately, he's taken to wearing dashing scarves and a fedora to school.

Yes, you read that right.

A fedora! My 2nd grader wears a fedora whilst my 8th grader was horrified I purchased yellow hair spray for his Halloween costume...which was better than his reaction to my first suggestion that we bleach his hair.

Yes, Eldest is my child who cared too much about what others thought and was so easily led around the play yard in elementary school that I made him wears painted black nails once just so he would realize the world would not end if he was different. I wanted him to absorb this lesson before he hit the scary middle school scene.

He did learn the lesson, but still he takes no risks. It's who he is. I've accepted that. He is his father's son. Conservative.

Li'l Man reminds me of me in high school. Changing hair color on a whim. Showing up in every club in the yearbook picture one year not because I actually was in the clubs, but more for the attention of "Hey...look at me."

For me, from a family of six, and more foster kids, maybe it is a reaction to stand out and not be forgotten.

For Li'l Man, maybe it's a third child, the baby, the same deal. Don't get lost in the crowd. He asks me for black painted fingernails.

It's fascinating how very different their personalities are and yet, I know, there will be a part of them, the brothers part, the shared childhood, which will always remain comfortably the same:

All I know is that I love them both so much! My two little accidents! Forever and for always, differences and all, because they are my dear ones.

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