United States of Motherhood: January 2010

Friday, January 29, 2010

Rape By Bureaucracy: No Thanks!

Did you know in the Canadian Health care system, you can be raped?

Yes, raped by a bureaucracy.

Raped by a group of medical students performing multiple pelvic exams without your knowledge or consent while you are unconscious?

I am considering a hysterectomy right now because of my many women's bits issues.

Thank God in the U.S.

I would never, ever consider this okay for me to be a guinea pig after a major surgery. In fact, it would deter me from getting the medically necessary help and surgery I need.


In my opinion, this is rape. Pure and simple.

Rape by bureaucracy.

Sickening.

It must stop now.

Furthermore, it is yet one more reason I do not want governmental bureaucracies involved in the U.S. health care system. Canada is often cited as an example as it is and lauded by President Obama supporters.

If this is what it means, NO THANK YOU!

I am still absolutely shocked by this and now am going to ask my doctor some more probing questions to feel sure this wouldn’t happen to me.

Feeling paranoid now because as a logical woman, I never would have thought this would be possible in a Western, 1st world government in modern society.

Please go tell the Canadian health care system this is not okay. Please?

Please.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Lunch Boxes and Unfortunate Old Friend Visits

From 1st grade on, our kids have always prepared their own lunches. They have a lot of freedom as long as there is a fruit and a vegetable, very little junk, and a very infrequent treat. Infrequent meaning maybe once a month.

I still occasional surprise them with the treat of a note on a napkin, but the lunch (and breakfast on week-days) is their responsibility.




They microwave ravioli and scoop them into thermoses. All. By. Themselves.

They prepare pastrami sandwiches, spread mustard and mayo, and yes, rinse and slice tomato, onion, and lettuce to go on it. Avocados, fresh pre-washed spinach, and onions often make the cut as well.

Every once in a while, if they are in a rut, I make a "menu" of lunches for the week. They choose one for each day.




It reminds them that cottage cheese and peaches works.

They remember that whole wheat wraps and hummus are just as good as peanut butter and jelly.

They grow bold with the freedom to make their own tuna salad with nuts and dried cranberries being a favorite.

They grab handfuls of smoked almonds or grape tomatoes as a snack.

Lox on a bagel sandwich? Why not!




They are chided to bring a drink--usually a water bottle from home or sometimes a water bottle with milk and chocolate syrup--all three of them somehow always forget hydration.

CG and I have always felt we are setting them up for independence and good eating habits. They don't eat the froot snacks and rice crispy treats and chips and cookies and fake cheesy crackers--the pre-packed crap of their generation. There is little to no artificial colors or preservatives. Mostly whole foods. Always whole grain/100% whole wheat breads. The closest we get to pre-packed are the bags of pre-sliced apples and string cheeses which make preparation faster.




Yes, an occasional slice of leftover birthday cake makes it into the boxes, but so does fresh salsa (PB's favorite) replete with tomato, cilantro, lime and onions as salad dressing over a tupper of pre-washed spring greens mix and slices of yellow peppers (Yes, from Costco: Hee!).

No go-gurts here. They instead peel the whole carrot, find the plain yogurt and add granola, throw the handful of dried blueberries in a Ziploc, and yes, even spread peanut butter on crackers if they want something that looks like the pre-packaged junk of their peers.

And, when given choices?

Those choices make them less picky-not that they ever were allowed to be in this family.

They still end up eating all of the choices offered, but on their time line and in the meanwhile they realize Trader Joe's curried naan tastes delicious as a substitute for sandwich bread.

They also get the thrill of choice since we rarely let them choose the junk offered in the school hot lunch menu.

Don't get me wrong. We are no food nazis. They are allowed candy. We go back and forth with organic foods. We have pizza once a week from Papa Murphy's. Annie's Macaroni is a staple. Ice cream (Only the Good Stuff) is a staple in this house.

However, I think our kids have also developed quite a mature palate that can only do them well once they hit college years and adulthood.

They fight over the left overs from dinner the night before of Tikka Masala with huge chunks of onion, broccoli, red peppers, and carrots with basmati rice to be put in their thermoses.



They gladly eat whatever is put in front of them when they are guests at friends' homes as opposed to the wrinkled noses we often have over here.

However, there is yet one thing they have still yet to learn.

CG walked by the kitchen today whilst little mouths chatted and little fingers prepared.

There was a pungent odor.

A fetid, most foul odor.

Have I mentioned my sense of smell has been compromised decades ago? I raised my eyebrow over at the kitchen table as a he made gagging noises.

Time to investigate, me thinks...

Well, turns out cleaning out the washable insert/liner in their lunch box had been a duty neglected.

Turns out PB had spilled some peach juice on the removable zip out liner of her lunchbox weeks ago.

Turns out there was orange, green, and yes, our old friend BLACK mold growing in the fabric portion of the zipper.




Nasty!

Bleach, soap, scrub, and repeat and it was all better.

On a whim, I checked out Li'l Man's lunch box. Ahh...seems he was growing a colony of his own.

Bleach, soap, scrub, and repeat...

Okay, okay, I get down off my high horse. Perhaps they have some learning to do when it comes to cleanliness and food preparation:

Mainly? Mold where one's Nutella goes is not a best practice.

Note to Myself: Pack bleach spray in kid's suitcase when they go off to university.

Sigh.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Dear Costco: With Love From Your #1 Stalker (And Loyal Customer)

As some of you know well all of you would know if you went through and read every post like good little readers, I have this addiction.

An addiction for a deal.

A discount.


An addiction for the bulk.

I want it all.

An addiction to keeping my shelves full with teenage swimmers.

I call it Costco.

Yep, Costco. Well Costco and blogging.

Yep, we go way back. Yes, way back. No, even further than that!

I am Costco's best cheerleader and would do the splits if I could and honestly at my most nimble, flexy teenagerhood, I still couldn't ever do the splits which has been one of my life's greatest disappointments. Ask CG. He's disappointed too! And jealous...

He is so totally jealous of the time I spend with my economically-sound-executive -membership-has-it's-privileges-shelves-and-shelves-of-Skippy-peanut-butter-Take-me-Now Costco lovah.

Yep, suffice it to say I got a $202 bonus from Costco one year alone. I am not too proud. I'll take their money.

But? Flabbering jaywookles, people.

That means I spent $20,200 American dollars my hard working CG earned to buy 25 lb. bags of flour, vats of Salsa Fresca, 2-packs of tortellini, flats of black beans, gadzillion gallons of milk and cheerios, two special sized packs of {squee} NUTELLA, and, oh the humanity, crates and crates of bananas.

I am a Costco whore and proud of it.

But this year, there is something else I am coveting.

Yes, my friends, I want to go to BlogHer, but the credit cards are carrying a heavy load from CG's MBA tuition bills (even the purty matchy green one I put on my minty pony) and the mortgage must be paid.

I wouldn't feel right adding more to our debt load when my addiction helped get us here in the first place.

So I'm a-hunting me a sponsor.

I know. I know. We bloggers are supposed to have pride and blog with credibility. Yada yada.

People? This is me being super credible that I lurve me some Costco, I live 10 minutes from Costco global headquarters, and for once I want a little something back for telling the world of my adoration.

No, they have not paid me to say that, but wouldn't it be nice if they would? Hee!

A little itch.

A little scratch.

You know maybe a flight and hotel room through your concierge travel service to Blogher so I can call to my fellow Mommy beeches and astound them with your bounty.

Come on! I bought a flat screen TV and 3 mattress sets from you.

{Patting said mattress} Come give this mama a little sumpin', sumpin'.

I'll be waiting.

Waiting...

WAITING!

In the meantime, my friends, can you help me get the word out, pretty please?

Twitter, Stumble, Digg, whatever is your deal so #Costco or is it @Costco hears me?

Leave a comment, twitter this up or link on your best Costco story and one of you readers is going to get a special super duper treat.

Something from...oh...where should I get it?

Oh, yes, something rather special from Costco courtesy of me and my minty green pony. So I beg of you: Start commenting, fluttering, squawking, and tweeting. We want to get Costco's attention, m'kay?

More details coming soon. As for Costco? You-hoo, Costco? You listening?

Costco, {country twang}, I can't quit you.

Love, Your #1 Costco Stalker.


Heh!


Monday, January 25, 2010

I AM a Survivor: Slumber Parties are of The Devil




Yes, my friends. I survived.

I survived a slumber party of seven 8 year boys pepped up on Mountain Dew, Coca-Cola, and M&Ms.

Yes, the objective with the requested Dew (I have never actually bought or allowed my kids to have it before) was to stay up all night. I just didn't for a minute think it would work.

Yep, {A shell-shocked Scout nods her wobbly head} definitely, definitely a bad call.



This party included staying up to 3 AM only to wake up to 6 AM to a brawl, punches thrown, and tears. Only one slightly bent pair of eye glasses were permanently damaged.

Well, that and my ability to focus because my friends? Three hours is not enough for Scout. I am too old.

So two kids never slept. Most only had two measly hours sleep.

Note to self: Serving Costco packs of bacon, sausage, and pancakes thereby inducing into food coma works only slightly to calm the beasts until 11 AM.

Yes, you read that correctly. The party ended at 11 AM because silly me thought they would sleep in.

Maybe I should have harshed their caffeine buzz with this in the first place:



One good call I made? Paying my older kids $$ to supervise while I slept 3-6 AM?

Priceless.

They woke me up at 6 AM only to break up the brawl. Money well spent.

So at 6 AM, all up and scrabbling, on went the Mom entertaining hat again. Sigh. Must remember this next time I let the kids talk me into slumber parties.

So, the aftermath? Li'l Man slept 19 hours straight. Now that's more like it.

Sadly, Scout also made another bad call.



As carpool coordinator for both kids swim team groups, she scheduled herself to drive both carpools round trip on three hours of sleep a scant couple of hours after the party was over.

No time for a nap.

In driving rain, I drove from 3-8 yesterday.

Non-stop.

Very. Bad. Call.

Thank gawd for coffee. Maybe I should have guzzled some Dew.

Slumber parties are of the devil too!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Eight


I cannot believe my baby is eight. He still has that baby hold over me though because he convinced me to have a slumber party with eight 7-8 year olds staying the night. For most of them, this will be their first slumber party ever.

A slumber party! Something I swore I would never do again.

Cross your fingers for me. It may take weeks to recover...if I survive!

Only for you, Li'l Man. Only for you! I love you forever.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I Call Bullshit: OctoMom in a Bikini

This out from TMZ and Star Magazine:

One year later, the she-beast claims no plastic surgery and no stretch marks from having a litter.

Ahem. She claims never to have had plastic surgery.

She might as well claim to be Michael Jackson's long lost twin with her denials.

{eyebrow raise}

Just curious: Do you believe her?

More pictures here.

Snort.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Hoping for a Hurricane

Whoop, my friends

Whoop! Times...they are a-changing.

I smell discontent in the air.




Yes, my friends, an all important 41st vote against Health Care Travesty.

Today marks the 1 year anniversary of Obama's inauguration. Does anyone feel better off this year than the last?

I think foremost that this is a message to President Obama that despite ramming his health care down our throats, "It's the economy, stupid."





I just hope the Republican party doesn't mess it up by ramming their religious crap and moral proselytizing in public law down our throats.

Republicans are the party of less government. Live and let live.

Be the party of Ronald Reagan once more.

Republicans, get out of the bedroom and stop worry about gay marriage. Let them be. Again, it's the economy, stupid.

We want Wall Street banking bonuses subsidized by our tax paying dollars to stop.

We want tax AND SPEND cuts. We have to balance our checkbooks. So should Washington.

We do not want to leave our children and grandchildren a legacy of insurmountable debt to bail out the likes of Chrysler which will probably fail anyway.

We want terrorists treated like terrorists--not civilian criminals--and we want our government to do it's job and prevent such terrorists from reaching our soil despite terrorist's father's warnings and CIA intelligence.

Yes, the winds are changing. This mommy is hoping for a hurricane to come mid-term elections.

_________________________________________________________
You know I don't talk about politics often... however every once in a while I get fired up. Heh! I would love your comments. This blog has always welcomed differing ideas. I respect differing opinions and see it as an integral part of the democratic process. Besides life would be boring if we all thought the same. Just keep it respectful...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Blogging Distractions & The Devil



Heh
, I thought it was blogging, not Satan that was distracting me from making dinner...

....and from taking down the Christmas tree that is still up...

....and from finishing the yearbooks pages I volunteered to do for the kids' school yearbook...

....and unpacking boxes in my garage from two moves and ten years ago.


Yep, blogging is distracting me from life again, but that's okay because you know what?


Keep coming back now, you hear!


Yes, my friends, as my kids' old pediatrician from Louisiana would say in his thick accent that blogging like unnecessary antibiotics and cough suppressants that parents still want for their kids:

"Aarhhh-re from the deeevill."


Hee!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Oh, Good Gawd: WHY Bear?

Used to think Bear was hawt? Erm, after this, not so much:



What the ever living fuck? I let my kids watch this show! Gah!

Monday, January 11, 2010

A Good Cry on Christmas Past

Christmas morning had me bawling this year.

Sobbing.

All the presents were opened, but one.

There it was.

A bright yellow package stapled and scrawled with careful young fingers.

There was expectation in the air as PB and Li'l Man handed over the bright, kid created package to me.




"For meeee?" I smiled. It was suspiciously labeled from "Santa or "someone else"

Hmmm...

That's quite a milestone when they start making gifts from Santa since they all still claim to believe. Perhaps I have told them, "Those who don't believe, don't receive," more than a couple of times. Heh!

Ah, one of their special homemade gifts, I thought. The one they had been hush, hush with all week.

You could feel their anticipation and giggles.

Obviously, I thought to myself, they think they've outdone themselves with a cute drawing or funny cartoon.

I carefully opened the package.

Puzzled I pulled out some crumpled hairy tissues. Uhhh...They looked used.




What?!

I started to think I'd been played. Those boogers. No wonder the giggles.

"Um, tissues?"

"No, mommy. Those are Grendel tears." Their innocent voices chorused.

I looked down at the white softness and saw evidence of melted mascara.

My heart started to crumple, "What?"

"Grendel tears." They repeated again.

Just the mention of my first Christmas without my pup in 14 years started the wetness to seep. I had been emotional the week before when I put up Seb's stocking, but left Grendel's in the crate.

We got Grendel the week before Christmas and often she had been likened to Santa's Little Helper.

It was even a tradition to take pictures of her and Seb in silly hats by the tree.

It just didn't seem like Christmas without my Grendel.


So there I sat a bit bemused looking at the tissues.

Then they explained.

They had collected some of my teary tissues from my heart-breaking morning of having to put my baby down in our kitchen less than three months ago.

It was the right decision. The cancer had ravaged her body. She was weak. She was listless. It was a struggle. It was my final gift to her.

And now I looked at my gift.

They had also collected the hair from Grendel's couch...yes, it still lingers. Grendel was a constant shedder.

Even so, each time I have vacuumed since, the hair in my clear Dyson container has changed each week. The container holds more fluffy, lighter pigmented Seb hair and less, and less of Grendel's sleek reddish, otter-like fur each week.

Sigh. I never thought I would miss the shedding, but I do.

Back to the package, I took one look at CG's gentle, concerned demeanor and I lost it.

I keened out my yearning for Grendel like I hadn't in months.

I sobbed at the poignancy of the tissues.

I bawled at the incredible thoughtfulness and compassionate nature of my kiddos.

I sobbed while my kids bewildered faces looked on. They thought I would be pleased.

They did not know yet that I was.

I was happy.

Those were happy tears.

And that is why I had a good cry on Christmas Day.

I filled those tissues again with Grendel tears.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Tribute to CG: Looking For a Few Good Blog Template Designers


Most of you know my husband blogs.


I hate to admit it, but he actually blogged before me.


Waaay before me and encouraged me to blog even when I sneered what a waste of time blogs were.


Yes,my friends, I sneered.


Yep, Scouty who now blogs for a paycheck, paltry that it is.



(Psst clicky-click on some ads. mommy wants a new pair of shoes. Heh!)



His blog? Still has the same ol' vanilla generic template that he had way back in '05.


It doesn't fit him.


It never fit him.


He is my CG.


My fast driving Computer Geek.


And his birthday is coming up. I want to get him a bitchin' template to commemorate being officially past his mid-thirties.


It troubles him to grow older.


He hates it like most women hate it.


I just know that I love him.


What does he love?


He loves geeky stuff like setting up servers for our home.


Might that be why we have seven computers in this house?


Decidedly so.


He loves being an early adopter of technology and loves gadgets and electronics and anything with a touch screen.


He is a business man with a mechanical engineer degree with one quarter left to claiming a MBA.

He is my Mad Man.

He is the epitome of geek chic.


He loves coffee and has the espresso cup collection to show for it.


And expensive single malt Scotch which he hoards and drinks slowly.


He loves photography.


And snow.


And the outdoors.


He covets his Cuban cigars which he never ever smokes.


He loves pinups.


And retro.


And rollerderby.


And my feet in ridiculously high stilettos.


Ridiculously HIGH stilettos...


And his Mini Cooper.


He loves to cook and has the chef's jacket and skills to back it up.


He loves to cook especially with bacon. Heh!


He is a former Army Captain and also has the skills to back that up.


And most importantly?


He has the heart of a gentleman.


And he loves me. My geek loves me.


He's loved me from the beginning.


So help me my friends.


I need a blog template designed.


I've included images for inspiration, but anything would be better than the blog design he has now.


Please send, stumble, or tell this to your blog designer friends. I've looked everywhere and can't seem to find anything that matches him.


Growing Up Too Quickly

One day, they are your little boy...


... and then you wake up one day and they look like this:


And this:



And you realize you have a mere four years left until they leave your home forever.

And a small part of your heart cracks.

And then you see this:



And you realize you little boy is still in there.

And he will always be there in that cracked heart of yours.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Check Your Snot Rags at the Door, Beeches: A Princess Blogger's Story of Bad Hygiene, Germs and Etiquette

Once upon a time there was a happy little blogger princess named Scout. She wore pink hair because her daughter bequeathed it so and really all those blah blonds just didn't do it for her husband.


{No offense to blonds. Her husband had a pink wig fetish every since he saw Natalie Portman in that movie. You know the one where she was a stripper and there was a pole... and it just so happens my husband is a Pole.}

Anyhoo, one day she was at her most beloved place to go in whole the land (besides napping on the Li'l Man's Island of Sodor) which was called Costco the Market of Marvels.


She happily pranced through the checkout on her minty green pony with much less than she anticipated.

Bonus! No after receipt gulp of regret.

Her knight in Shining Cheapness ahem Prince Charmant CG might have had something to do with it as well.


{As an aside, you might notice the prince looks very suspiciously like Tony Hawk with no hands or pants, but, no he's no Tony Hawk. She definitely couldn't call him the greatest at skateboarding, but he is handy at some things. See Scout still doesn't mind sitting next to him naked even though she gets really annoyed with him talking about that Natalie Portman.}

Back to the thick of it, Scout proudly handed over her golden receipt to the elderly crone checking the slips and counting vats of mayo, slabs of meat and cases of macaroni to ensure their not so speedy exit from the market. Scout had acquired only some bitchin' long johns to keep her cozy whilst exercising, an overly large bag of dried blueberries, and yes, Turbo Tax. Yep, working on those resolutions to suck less.

Sadly, the elderly Costco "lady" blew her monstrous nose into her Kleenex nary seconds before Scout handed over her receipt.

The clouds blackened.

The smell of infection filled the air like smoking lightening bolts.

Oh, no dark germs all around me! Help!

The evil queen mucus then proceeded to take sharpie wand in one hand and hold receipt touching it to the infected tissue to mark it and then hand it back to an aghast Scout.

Scout swooned in disgust and the evil charm was established. Luckily, Scout opened one eye, saw the mystical cure which to the most common eye might look like a vat of antibacterial wash with pump, and vanquished the evil from her dainty hands.

Fashew!

She then proceed to pat down her receipt with the same antibacterial wash. I kid you not. If it was going in this princess' satchel, it needed to be vanquished of all evil as well.

CG rolled his eyes.








Chapter Two:


Now a most noble queen with even nobler intention, Scout went to her gym to work out. The nubile buxom blond vixen at the desk blew a most monstrous blow...

Doesn't she just look like every stuffy-nosed skank you hated in high school?

She then merrily scanned Scout's key ring membership tab with offending rag in hand. She handed Scout locker keys with said mucus plug in her clutches.

She then grabbed two fluffy, still warm white towels with her boogery Kleenex grasped. It was touching Scout's towels. The towels Scout was expected to later dry off her pink bits.

Ewwwwwwwwwwww!

Scout almost died right there. In a puddle of dismay.

She galloped, not pranced her little pony with a tight little smile to the wall dispenser of cure in front of the ladies' lockers.

Never has a pony galloped so daintily!

She washed down both sets of keys. She put both fluffy towels straight into the laundry basket. She eyed everything else in the gym with dismay. But there were the Resolutions! Okay, okay...

After her two hour work out whilst watching delicious eye candy like E and reading trashy People mags hoping the Vixen had touched neither, she obviously forewent the shower and went straight home. Hoping this would be an excuse never to return.

Oh, wait, the resolutions. Le sigh...







Chapter Three:


Scout is now armed with antibacterial wash in her satchel, in her car, and plans to wear surgical gloves in public. Doest though think anyone will notice?

Scout used to teehee at people wearing medical masks, but with today's dangerous pitfalls of etiquette and personal hygiene, she wonders if they come in pink? She thinks she might much rather put one of these on the nasty little monsters to contain their vermin:

Do You Think Crone & Vixen wear a small or medium Elizabethan Collar?

In the meantime, Scout is not living happily ever after.

Not.

At.

All.

Next person who touches her or her stuff with a dirty tissue dies a most horrible death of public humiliation from her dramatic gross out. Ask CG. Scout can be quite dramatic when she wants to be.

Heh!






Prologue:

Seriously, what the ever living $%^&??

Who are these women who blow their nose in public and then touch it to people's stuff? Have they never heard of discarding their damp tissue before interacting with the public?

Bird Flu? Pig Flu? Sound familiar? Heard of them?

Cute today?

Surrounded in evil germy darkness the next.

I am certain squirrel flu is next.

Don't believe me?

First there is one.

Then there are two of those zombie little fockers & there's a hole in my grass seed in the shed.

So to all you nasty personal hygiene hags out there? This mommy has a rule that the kids should wash hands after blowing and discarding tissue.

What planet are you on and how are still being paid to infect other people? I sense a vast conspiracy afoot with infecting the masses so they come back to buy vats of NyQuil.

Regardless? I keeeeill you next time... I have a Nerf gun and know how to use it.

Huff!







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