United States of Motherhood: February 2010

Friday, February 26, 2010

Don't Ask, Don't Tell

As a former Army officer who served with closeted soldiers that often worked twice as hard and were ten times as strong, it's time for a change.

It. really. shouldn't. matter.

What should matter is their intelligence, their training, and their qualifications.

I mean really, in a foxhole with a gas mask on, do you really care if your buddy loves differently than you or do you care that they will get your back?

More importantly, if they are going to risk their lives defending us all in war, isn't it the right thing for benefits, housing, and family pay to be given to their partners? They risk their lives and their lives are just as worthy as any other soldier.

I've since had some Army friends come out to me and nothing changed. They are my friends. I would still trust them with my life. I wish they didn't have to hide their true selves to me all those years ago.

I just don't understand why this is so hard to understand and why people want to keep others closeted, especially people who have never served our country, taken that oath, and risked their lives themselves.

Why? Can someone explain this to me?


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Blacklisted! My Lily White Tush Was Blacklisted??


{Can you tell I'm squinting in very meany Clint Eastwood way as I write this?}

Grrrrrr....

Let me tell you a little story, m'kay? CG went on a little trip this week. Forty-eight hours in Bay Area.

{Sniffle}

No one to hang out with during the day or mock. No one to make me coffee and bring it to me on bended knee.

Of course, since my blog incriminates and mocks him too many time to count my blog is so scintillating, forty-eight whole hours was simply too long for him to not check out between meetings.

He types in " http://unitedstatesofmotherhood.com take me to the best blog in the whole wide world that makes my heart get twitterpated and execute Patrick Swayze-worthy, lovely, geeky Grand Jet├ęs."

(Are we all getting an image of CG in a pink tutu and pocket protector? Yes? Good.}

With panic, he realizes he's been cut off from my lovely words.

Cut. Off.

Sadly, IT TURNS OUT MY BLOG WAS BLOCKED AT HIS CORPORATE CALIFORNIA ABODE.



What? What? Them there are fighting words, mister.

Seems his company uses Websense which deemed my blog too hot to handle. Me? Inappropriate for the casual Friday set? What-ev-er.

Hmmmph.

He told me it didn't even give a reason such as adult content or bad manners or blogging from one's commode.

Nope. Nothing to go on.

Just blocked.



I started wondering what my blog could possibly be categorized and caterwauled that I could be losing practically tens of readers to actual working as corporate wage slaves. You know doing their jobs rather than reading my beautifferic inanities.

Now how tragic is that?

This. Was. Wrong.

I checked another categorization place Lightspeed that said I was practically a lily white, squeaky clean, paragon of virtue in the blogosphere compared to other dens of horror. I was even {don't laugh}...

Miraculously?

"G Rated."



Hey! I said don't laugh or I'll have to start throwing F-bombs and then my squeaky clean, lily whiteness will get all muddy!

So then I read about how hard it was to be unblocked and once flagged, always flagged, yadda, yadda.

Shit! Err, sugar boogers!

So, I wrote all enraged and frothing and huffing and puffing to Websense. How dare they block little ol' Scout. What did I ever do to them? Meanies.

With venom, I slayed them with vitriolic words like this:

"Uhhh, howdy? I am blocked. Why? {wobbley chin tremble} Sniffle."

Within 24 hours, they wrote back. They reviewed. I was all good:

Thank you for writing to Websense.

The site you submitted has been reviewed. We have made an update to the following URL(s) in our master database to address this issue:

http://unitedstatesofmotherhood.com/ - Social Networking and Personal Sites

Categorization updates should be available in the next scheduled publication of the database. A new database is published every business day, five days a week, Pacific Standard Time. You should notice any updates referred to in this message within 72 hours.

Thank you for your assistance,

The Websense Database Services Staff


Wow. That was easy.

I thought I was going to need to slay dragons and besmirch their reputation in fine mommy blogging spirit. You know. Get dirty.




Nope.

So the moral of the story if ever you are to find yourself blocked because of some crazy ass, ridiculous, Draconian, Big Brother software that evil corporations employ to {silly them} keep their employees, you know, productive?

Stay calm, giggle, show some lily white, squeaky clean leg and it will all be just fine.




Honestly though? I think a dusty leg would work to because Websense seems purty nice.

So to you unproductive tens of readers sitting in cubes at this very moment? Stop working and get back to reading, m'kay?

Okay, now back to mocking my husband...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Interrupted: Pensive & Pondering Legacy

Where have I been?!


I last left you hanging with brain scans looming.

Be not afraid, my friends. Scout's noggin seems to hurt for no reason at all. I am free of tumors, aneurysms, and all sorts of friendly aliens in my head including the rocks CG suggested. Hmmmph!

It seems apparent that I was the supreme Dr. Google and cluster headaches seem most likely. For now, I am happy to be pain free and invincible...

Except for that pesky liver disease and need to choose a surgical option before I bleed to death part. Sigh. Invincible I tell you!

Instead of keeping you all apprised (many, many thanks for all the emails, FB messages, Twitter & StumbleUpon DMs--You guys do care!), I spent the kid's winter break on a sundry of sports and busy.

First up was a two day swim meet with a first sectional time made for PB and an AAA time for Eldest...

Interrupted only with Li'l Man's vomit through out the entirety of CG's Mini's backseat and on library books (Gah!) and the other two DQ-ing several of their events. Li'l Man now holds the record in the Scouty family for producing bile: 12 times in 8 hours. Joy!

Between the yuck, PB and CG went on their traditional Daddy Daughter Dance. So sweet. I love moments like these which were only interrupted by the clenching of my heart as I realized this was their very last dance:


Besides stomach plagues, we spent vacation skiing one day as a family and another day I made the trip to take the kids with all sorts of intentions of blogging in the lodge....

Interrupted again by a dead battery and three kids and two friends chomping at the bit to ski and a looming deadline for ski lessons enrolled. Stress!

Blessed be CG for managing to test, deem battery truly dead, and going out to buy a new battery at 7 AM while I was woefully tasked to find where to get battery (Success!) and to "unscrew old battery" whilst having freaky thoughts of being interrupted by electrocution (not so good) which somehow turned into me losing a nut in the engine never to be found (If the SUV dies, it will be ALL my fault) and dropping the bolt somewhere else in the engine.

Happily, I survived. I am invincible.

Turns out, as CG pointed out, nut was crimped on and was never meant to come off--only loosened as he said he, "Told me to do."

{Eyebrow raise}

This explains why it was so hard to get that @#$%^& nut off. Heh!

We arrived at skiing and suddenly thoughts of blogging my life and thoughts left my head and I took in the gorgeous day. Sadly?

Interrupted again this time by Eldest's hugely swollen thumb and wrist from a snowboarding spill. Note to self: Taking a kid's friend snowboarding with kids often results in unwarranted risk-taking, black diamonds and injury. Not a big surprise there. My kids are just naturally too breakable. Remember this:


Swim mom that I am, I was more worried about what his swim coach would say. Heh. Coach had made me promise he wouldn't get hurt. Ooops!

We went straight from skiing to swim practice with pulsating wrist. Poor coach said he had been thinking about Eldest all day and worrying. Yep, it is now apparent skiing and serious competitive swimming don't mix.

Eldest made the decision to interrupt our third ski trip planned that week.

That's OK. That left room for house cleaning, a visiting dinner guest, planting the hundreds of sprouting bulbs as always I never found the time to plant in fall, finally conquering the green algae bloom we've had in the fish tank for months with massive, multiple water changes and evil chemicals, swimathon donation canvassing, and starting up a worm farm in MY PANTRY!!!


Yes, my friends, it's science experimenting time again and at least there's not rotting chicken in my coat closet this time. Joy!

And oh, yes, more, more and more swim practices. Add some futzing with yearbook pages and lots of time doing the Swim Team Pool Rep thang. Joy!

In all this busy that I am sure is like all your own, I heard a clang. Interrupted.

My sister miscarried. Interrupted.

A sharp fist in my heart. Then another. Interrupted.

Something stopped me in my tracks cold. Interrupted.

An old friend that served with me on the PTA board and countless class parties. A friend with three sons, two who are in the same grades and are the same age as my sons. A friend whose husband coached Li'l Man's basketball team last year and whose baby came to our crazy Mountain Dew fueled sleepover weeks ago. The same little boy who is Li'l Man's deskmate in his 2nd grade class?

Heartbreakingly? She died over this winter break.

I can only imagine that during my busy mommy bluster and wondering when the kids' school vacation would end, she was saying goodbye to her babies one last time thankful for those last school free days.

I knew she had cancer. Non-hodgkins lymphoma. I first heard about it from other moms over one summer break. I saw her colorful scarves over the last two years and spoke briefly with her at the Halloween party I headed up in our sons' class.

I never asked about her cancer. I was afraid. I didn't know how. Didn't have the words.

Never assumed it would interrupt her life. Her family's life.

Mommies are invincible. They are needed. They can't leave.

I got the email from another mommy friend this last week-end that she was gone and immediately thought this cannot be true. My mind refused it.

As we told our kids, I saw the fear in their eyes. The tremble of a little chin as Li'l Man realized his friend's mom was lost. Lost was that belief that Moms will always be there. Mothers, young or not, are not invincible.

For the last three days, my mind keeps mulling it over. Keeps mourning the loss. Trying to make sense where there can be no sense made.

Yesterday, I spent hours going over the high school course catalog with Eldest.

We planned out the next four years of courses. The registration forms asked for dreams and career aspiration from my eighth grader. We were still writing head bent together at out kitchen table. We sat dreaming and speculating about a career for Eldest in sports medicine when Li'l Man came home from school with the letter.

Interrupted.

The school counselor had discussed the loss in class. The letter was formalizing what we already knew to be true. Her baby would be back in school tomorrow.

I suddenly realized her eldest would be in high school too and she should be at her kitchen table, the one I sat at as we audited the PTA books so many years ago, with her Eldest dreaming...

I weep.

What do I take from this beyond how very precious life is? How silly it is to get frustrated with so much time with one's kids when others will never ever have enough?

She left us all too soon. 41 year old. Three young boys. Her legacy.

I think manically of all the things I put off over the years. All my dreams. All my goals. All my failings. My to-dos.

Before the break, I told Li'l Man's 2nd grade teacher I had some health issues that would not allow volunteering bi-weekly in the classroom as before. I gave no details.

With another mom in his class so very ill, he took it quite seriously. Too seriously for my comfort. He asked if the kids should see counselors. I almost felt like a fraud at the time, but the headaches, my period, my liver, add high blood pressure and cholesterol and doctor's warnings and this time for some reason, I was heeding.

I did not even go to the kids' Valentine's party the day before break. The first time this mommy has ever missed a class party in eight years. Oh, the guilt.

I thought the kids would not notice. They did. They commented. They wondered. Li'l Man told me he liked me there even if I did not plan the party. PB insisted my parties were the best and was disappointed.

I started to cave. Then I said wait. No, I needed to take care of myself for these kids.

Now, that sentiment is foremost in my mind with a young mother gone.

It interrupts any guilt I feel for not taking on the volunteer load I have had in the past. I need to concentrate on me so hopefully I am around for my kids' high school graduations, and college, and weddings, and grandbabies. Those are all better than a class party, board meetings, and hours spent laying out yearbooks rather than excising and eating right and making those appointments for needed medical procedures.


I still may be interrupted because no one truly chooses. She did not choose. However, I can do what I can and sadly I wonder if I have started too late? Interruptions never happen when you expect.

I feel the clock ticking. I worry about my legacy.

One thing I can be sure of? My kids are my legacy to the world.

And my legacy to them?


This blog and those cursed bulbs are my legacy for my kids to remember me by. If ever my life is interrupted, I hope those blooms show up when life seems coldest and these words here in this blog remind them of how much they were loved and how much hope I have for them when their lives fill with despair.

As for my friend? I repeat. She left us all too soon. 41 year old. Three young boys. Her legacy.

I hugged Li'l Man today ferociously. Too tight.

I whispered fiercely in his ear to be sure to hug her baby tight today in class...

He promised he would.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Headache (!)

As the title suggests, I have them.


Fuck do I have them.

Usually migraines with zig-zaggety lines and words upside down that register hours before as as warning. Painful, but an infrequent visitor thrice a year.

But, lately, it's different.

Very different.


Saturday, I was woken up by the most splitting headache in my entire life. It felt like an axe striking through my forehead and cleaving it in two. Worse than any migraine I have ever had bar none. I could have sworn it was a stroke.

Thanks be to CG for bringing cool wash clothes, pain meds., water, and being there to hear me moan and sob all night then taking the kids bleary-eyed to AM swim practice.

The next day I was groggy, my eyes burned, and I felt hungover. My head felt tender, but I survived. Beaten. On the Couch. All day.

Sunday?

Deja Vu.




Sheer agony woke me from a sound sleep at 4 AM. A hot poker behind my right eye and again the axe-murdered syndrome. CG said he knew one was coming because my breathing changed in my sleep and woke him up first.

My friends? Worse than labor. Yes, my friends, coming from a mama that had a 10 lb. baby, I still say WORSE THAN LABOR. It lasted for an hour.

It left me feeling bruised, afraid to sleep, and with burning eyes.

I reached out to friends on Facebook. I researched on line.

Believe me I'm Dr. Google with the rest of them. I quickly diagnosed myself as having cluster headaches otherwise known as suicide headaches. I was sure the doctor's appointment I scheduled was a mere formality.

Who needs a friggin' medical degree when you have Google.

My doctor friends also from Google University chimed in on Facebook .

{Hi Helen}

Another friend agreed. Many expressed concerned.

Friends, Facebook is sometimes not your friend.

I was told to not be alarmed BUT get to an ER STAT for ct scan. Heh. Something about:

"Sudden, severe headache that is worse than any headache the patient has ever had is the classic red-flag for subarachnoid bleed; however, it can also occur with cerebral sinus thrombosis, arterial ... See Moredissections, and idiopathic intracranial hypertension. Monitor these patients with pulse oximetry, watch blood pressure and ECG closely, establish intravenous access, and obtain an emergency head CT. Elevate the head"

Yikes, second opinions are a bitch! Heh!

I diagnosed through my keyboard on FB that if my brain was bleeding, the headache wouldn't have been intermittent. Call me Google Neurologist, bitch. Hee!

Dr. Helen concurred.

So today, I went to doctor. she was concerned. Very concerned. She said these can be hints of what is to come. She ordered a MRI and MRA just to get a baseline and, "To rule out anything out of the usual."

On lab slip, it said "Tumors and aneurysms."

Fuck!
Tumors and aneurysms??? Sounds like sub arachnoid bleed.

Officially alarmed.

Touche, Helen, touche. You are the best Google Neurologist on the planet.

I'll keep you posted...

Monday, February 8, 2010

Boycotting Mr. Johnny Depp & Alice in Wonderland


Have you seen the trailers for Alice in Wonderland?


Looks fabulous, eh?

Just last night, I saw one during the Super Bowl and was so excited.

Today? Not so much.

Today I read this.

Today, I will not be taking my children to said movie.

Nope, not going to happen ever.

I don't want one dime to support wunderkind Johnny Depp.

Why?

He supports a child rapist. He supported Roman Polanski in an interview.

Yes, the same Roman Polanski that drugged, raped, and yes, sodomized a 13 year old child.

Same Roman Polanksi that has been able to evade prosecution from justice due to his celebrity and money.

As a mother, I am sickened that Johnny, as a father, thinks this is okay--forgivable even because Roman's an aged great director.

Source
"[Polanski] is not a predator. He's 75 or 76 years old. He has got two beautiful kids, he has got a wife that he has been with for a long, long time. He is not out on the street."


WTF? Yep, his sexy points account just went to zero.

Sad that a father cannot see justice is needed even decades after. A message needs to be sent that raping a child is always wrong even if you are very rich and famous and have the ability to flee prosecution.

Johnny? You are officially on my shit list.

Sorry, Disney. you might want to get Mr. Johnny Depp to rethink his position before you put him into any more movies for families.

Yes, I will be boycotting Alice in Wonderland.

Who is with me?


We need to send a message that:

Yes, rape is rape!


Why now? Justice knows no time.


Friday, February 5, 2010

This is American Idol: Feeling Randy

So I was salaciously watching the downfall of Western civilization American Idol a few days ago.

Yes, tivoed.

CG returned from class so I paused so we could chat about our evening. We talked. We both looked back at the screen and chuckled.

Immediately the dialogue can to mind, ""Oh, Randy baby you make me randy! "


"Yo Dawg, I'm touched. I didn't know you cared."

Who needs Ellen when we've got man love. Heh!

So You Say It's Your Birthday

Yep, CG's birthday has materialized and then {poof} it's gone.


Yep, he's older than dirt, but since I am a year the wiser, that makes me older than {insert word of choice}.

Yep, still had swim practices for us and MBA classes for him on his birthday.

Our gift to him?

CG hates buffets. Hates.

The worst offender? Old Country Buffet.

I have to agree. It's crap. Cheap food, cheap proteins, refined sugar, and lots of oil.

My kids with healthy swimmers' appetites? Love it. Love!

So our gift to him? We went to Old Country Buffet on his birthday while he was at school.

Hee!


He did not have to eat one bowl of soft serve. Not one scoop of mashed potatoes from a mix and curdled brown gravy. Not one gristly piece of steak nor one bite of oily fried chicken.

See? I've got his back. I'll take one for the team. He got some of my deliciously spicy homemade jambalaya leftovers.

When he came home?




He was surprised with nothing but red velvet cupcakes, a newly bound, indexed and plastic protected binder of all his favorite recipes (Note: the industrial strength binder is 5 inches thick and already full), and a family membership to The Mountaineers Club so he can do more snow camping and I don't have to go with him until it's a decent time... like summer.

See? I'm a champ. Taking it for the team.


Happy birthday, sweet cakes!

Check out PB above.

She knows the truth.

Being one year older blows!


But at least we got each other unless you decide you want to go snow camping again and then buddy?

You are on your own!

Me and snow?

We get along while skiing. We got along while sledding. I'll even make a snow man, but honey there's no need to camp in it.

No need.



Keep dreaming if you ever think this Scout will ever enjoy snow like you do.

Heh.

Love you!


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Yes, My Dog Eats Better than Your Kid!

Last week's post was what I feed my kids.

This week, it's all about the dog.

Yes, to the left is my pup's food. I bet you thought it was a delicious salad, eh?

When Grendel died, I had already started a habit of feeding my dogs better, healthier food to try to counteract the cancer.

I don't know if it helped their health, but they loved it, Seb still loves it and it made my heart feel better.

So without further ado (and yes, I know some of you will think I am crazy to feed my pup better than some people feed their kids), Seb's repast today:


Start with some spinach, left over pre-cooked red peppers, and broccoli.

Not too much broccoli. No more than 10 percent of daily intake. Never onions. Sometimes sweet potatoes and apples.

Chop those babies up.


I still use a lamb and rice canned food base, shred some raw carrots and throw it in.


Add in above peppers, spinach, and broccoli.

Top with some delightful cottage cheese.

Doesn't it look delicious?

Mix it up.

Seb waits patiently, sitting as close as possible as soon as he sees the carrots being shredded.

He loves carrots!!


Ooooh, yays! Fewd for me!

Nom, nom

Snorfle, chomp

30 seconds later? All Gone!

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