Wednesday, June 25, 2008


The hormones are a ragin' I tell you. Pregnancy is a funny thing. It's no wonder that just a century ago they were locking pregnant women up in asylums. That doesn't look like I spelled that right. Oh well. You know what I mean. The water works are just really primed and ready to go at any little thing. Like freedom. And fireworks. And Kryptonite(1) driving cars on my arm.

I read THE BEST book this week. For the official review you can look here, but suffice it to say, I broke up with Mr. Darcy over it. I loaned it to AmishAtHeart, but when she finishes it I am reading it again. I cried my eyes out at some parts so hard that my shirt was soaked. But that could be the hormones. Because I did the same thing last week when Maverick lost Goose. Again. : )

Friday, June 20, 2008

More Than You Ever Wanted To Know

A friend of mine posted this on her blog and I felt like I knew her tons better after reading it. If you don't really care you can just skip this but for those of you who'd "come in and know me better, man", here are 200 things I have done (in red) and have not done (in blue).

1. loved someone unconditionally
2. ridden in a hot air balloon
3. gone hang gliding
4. shot a gun for target shooting and was good at it
5. gone scuba diving
6. visited England for Spring Break in high school
7. written a children's book
8. been to a tea party
9. backpacked through Europe
10. flown in an airplane on Christmas day to surprise my family by showing up
11. been a published author
12. driven a convertible
13. switched classrooms in grade school with my identical twin (don't have one)
14. earned a Masters Degree (not yet, anyway)
15. married the man of my dreams and the love of my life
16. swam with dolphins
17. gone camping with no flush toilets
18. sung a solo
19. had nightmares
20. run 5 miles
21. made brownies and then eaten the whole batter
22. been stung by a jellyfish
23. had a pedicure and manicure
24. regifted
25. lost a loved one
26. been in a movie (nope, but there is someone else in the movies I used to get mistaken for ALL THE TIME.)
27. taken a martial arts class
28. won a scrapbook contest
29. gone rock climbing
30. learned a second language (not fluently anyway)
31. been horse back riding
32. tried digital scrapbooking (I like the hands-on-ness of the old school way)
33. won money
34. danced on a table
35. ridden an elephant
36. been in a dance contest
37. been a worrier
38. flown in a helicopter
39. met someone famous
40. kissed under a waterfall
41. attended the Olympics
42. hiked the Grand Canyon
43. donated blood
44. ridden in a limousine
45. served in a soup kitchen
46. eaten fried green tomatoes
47. been on a blind date
48. seen a play
49. raked my carpet
50. double-dipped
51. toured the White House
52. owned a hybrid car
53. thrown money in a trash can by mistake
54. used my finger as a pacifier to calm a crying baby
55. exercised while on vacation
56. been on a cruise
57. had bon bons lying in bed
58. seen a crime take place
59. had a couples massage with my husband
60. been to Niagra Falls
61. water skiied on one ski
62. seen a penguin
63. collected ash from Mt. St. Helen's eruption
64. seen Old Faithful erupt
65. slept on a cot
66. killed a snake
67. become a reality show addict
68. won a costume contest
69. gone to a drive-in theatre
70. been snorkeling
71. had a privately guided tour
72. caught a fish and cooked it for dinner
73. been homesick
74. eaten hardshell crabs
75. been a nanny
76. been a room mom for my child's classroom
77. neglected my kids because I was reading a good book
78. come face-to-face with a shark [but it was in a tank : )]
79. read the Bible from cover to cover (ALMOST!)
80. been skydiving
81. ridden a roller coaster
82. watched a parade
83. ridden a tandum bike
84. walked holding hands with my husband on the beach
85. been to Lake Tahoe
86. owned a vacation place
87. been to a movie by myself
88. bought a brand new car
89. killed a black widow spider
90. found an arrowhead
91. been deep-sea fishing
92. hit a home run
93. put up a tent all by myself
94. bowled a turkey
95. cooked a turkey
96. hidden treats for husband and me
97. had a frozen drink at the side of a swimming pool
98. eaten in a restaurant by myself just so I could say that I did (that wasn't actually my reason though.)
99. been embarrased or ashamed by my behavior
100. read a chapter book with my son
101. played in a ping pong competition (does middle school lunchtime count?)
102. payed for a bag of candy with all change
103. been on a deserted island
104. enjoyed a romantic evening in front of the fireplace
105. run in a marathon
106. met a street beggar
107. ridden an unicycle
108. been able to fake an accent
109. taken a dance class in college
110. taken my children to the circus
111. slept on a trampoline
112. tried to change the oil in my car
113. climbed a tree
114. switched political parties
115. participated in a pagent
116. swam the English Channel
117. found a shark's tooth
118. freaked out on a Ferris Wheel
119. been on a safari
120. been afraid to say sorry
121. seen a bear on the side of the road
122. baked a pie from scratch
123. been blessed with a green thumb
124. always felt loved
125. climbed the stairs of the Statue of Liberty
126. always controlled my emotions
127. laughed uncontrollably during the most inopportune moment
128. danced in the rain
129. pet a baby lion
130. vacationed in Asia
131. been elected to a public office
132. wanted to be a rock star
133. been happy with my life
134. been to Coney Island
135. taken a bubble bath
136. been in a photo shoot
137. been President of a fan club
138. pulled "weeds" in a friend's garden only to find out they were wildflowers
139. been a financially high-maintenance wife (depends on who you ask!)
140. been an emotionally high-maintenance wife
141. touced an iceberg
142. taken voice lessons
143. roller skated in the last three decades
144. hugged my sister in a year
145. talked with her several times a week for the last year
146. played dumb to get my husband to help me with something
147. ever liked olives (until that fateful day....)
148. learned to like mushrooms because they are good for me
149. gotten a 100% on a test or exam
150. been on a news program
151. been the class clown
152. hiked on a glacier
153. milked a cow
154. taken in a stray cat or dog
155. entered a photo in a photography contest (someday I will)
156. never had a crush on a college professor
157. taken piano lessons
158. written my congressman a letter
159. had a lemonade stand
160. polished silverware
161. had a facial
162. paid the toll for the person behind me
163. had pnemonia
164. talked my way out of a speeding ticket (no, but I dreamed about it last night)
165. had to pull over from driving because of a rain storm
166. had a pet cat
167. broken a bone in my body
168. stuffed my bra
169. dated two guys with the same name
170. had all my children by c-section
171. had a sinus infection
172. joined a sorority my first year of college
173. been in combat
174. eaten sushi
175. met a set of triplets
176. learned to surf
177. gone spelunking
178. flown first-class
179. had tubes in my ears
180. suffered from allergies
181. worn a tutu
182. been athletic my whole life (athleticism has always sort of gone in spurts for me)
183. done a belly flop
184. had my portrait painted
185. sent a message in a bottle
186. participated in a book club
187. dated someone with the same name as my brother
188. been great at keeping in touch with old friends
189. seen a beautiful sunset
190. been controlling
191. read the ending of a muder mystery before reading the book
192. been to Africa
193. had a song dedicated to me on the radio
194. been white water rafting
195. been on a cruise
196. been stuck in an elevator
197. sat on a jury
198. had stitches
199. lied about my weight
200. been given 6.5 beautiful children to love

Interestingly enough, of the 86 or so have-nots, Husband has done 18 of them and MyBeautiful has done 18 others. I must be attracted to people who balance me out. : )

Friday, June 13, 2008

Virginity and Death: Despereaux Rides Again

"When you have a family of eight, there necessarily needs be a system of rules to manage the inevitable chaos. Some of these rules are important. Some aren't."

Remember that? Remember when, a little less than a year ago I posted about Max and I gently poked fun at Husband's declaration that THERE IS NO EATING IN THE CAR?

Yes. I remember that.

"Max lost her virginity a long time ago. Max is my car." Recently Max has been defiled. I'll come back to that.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of meeting LindseyLonglegs, a blogger whom I read with some regularity and who, until very recently (when I sort of went under the radar with post-partum depression and then morning sickness), had a link to this site on her blog. (HINT HINT.) : ) Meeting Lindsey was really fun. Maybe some of you remember that a while back I offered a little prize to the first commentor on my 100th post. Well Lindsey was the lucky "alert reader" who won that distinction and in light of this post, I felt the only possible fitting prize would be one of every kind of cupcake from Flour Girls and Dough Boys because seriously? Can anything else compare? So I procured the cupcakes and drove the long way to meet her. The weather was gorgeous (it's about time!) and as long as you were in the sun it was "not even cold!" as ThePinkiest(5) put it. I was really excited, both to meet her and to present her with those beautiful cupcakes. I wish I had a picture of them but my phone got a VIRUS and I can no longer send pics. Very sad. I was going to steal the pics from Lindsey's blog but she can't find her cords to upload them. Let's just say that the cupcakes are a work of art and that nothing else I can say would do them justice. She was adequately impressed and said they received her highest recommendation yet. That place should really start putting me on their payroll. : ) (Just kidding, Carol! I DO wish you'd put a link to your menu on your blog though. It would make telling people about you SO much easier.)

Apparently, one of the benefits of living out in the country, is that when your kids leave the van door open for five minutes or so, you can have a mouse live in your car. So I get to the meeting place to find Lindsey, go to get the stroller out of the back of Max, and that is when I saw it. A cute, furry little butt scurrying its Hanta-virus-carrying self away from the stroller up to the front of the van- my beautiful, wonderful, just-completely-vacuumed-out-in-March van. THERE WAS A MOUSE. IN. MY. CAR. I did the only natural thing I could do: I screamed, threw the stroller on the ground to make sure the little vermin didn't have any friends, and slammed the car shut. I opened the stoller up (it was safe by the way), debated for a second, put the baby in it, and then opened the front door to see if I could locate the disgusting little creature. Nope. He was long gone. To his deluxe condo (which I pay over 5oo$ a month for) up under the dash. I decided there was not much I could do at that point and my kids were already heading off to see the sights without me so I just locked the car and tried to forget about it temporarily.

Ever try to forget there's something crawly pooping in your very own car? It doesn't really work. So although I enjoyed meeting Lindsey, my pregnancy brain was pretty much fixated on two things and I am sure I was not a sparkling conversationalist. (For example: Lindsey asked me what blogs I read. I couldn't think of any. I didn't even think to tell her about Pioneer Woman. I LOVE that blog. Nope. I had nothin'.) (Thanks for hanging out with me Linds, sorry I was not all there.) The two things I was fixating on were these- 1) Do we have Hanta virus in ThePlaceThatILive and 2) Is there a way to possibly take care of the whole entire mess without Husband actually finding out? The answer to #1 is sadly, yes. I confirmed that with the county health department today. Hopefully we won't all die in two weeks. The answer to #2 is HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! I have children! The rodent fumes must have been interfering with my ability to think clearly because not even pregnancy brain would bring on an idea THAT ludicrous. I figured it would be about .2 seconds after Husband pulled up to the house before the kids had run out to his car and were knocking on his car window to tell him the wonderfully exciting news: THERE IS A MOUSE IN OUR CAR!!!!!!!!! So there was only one thing to do. I had to call him and confess the entire situation to him, admitting my own partial guilt in the situation for disregarding his Rule that THERE IS NO EATING IN THE CAR, thus creating an environment which would entice any half-sane, olfactorily challenged mouse into setting up residence there. Husband is very good and did not even get angry or gloat. I wish I was that good. I'm going to be. Someday.

Remember that post about Max from last year that I mentioned earlier? You may remember that in that same post I also blogged about our tradition of reading aloud. The book we are almost finished reading right now is The Tale of Despereaux. It is the story of a brave little mouse who fights against all odds to save the Princess he loves. It's a pretty ok story. Definitely not my favorite but the kids have really seemed to enjoy it. There are a lot of annoying asides to the reader that say stupid things like, "Now dear reader, you know of course...". The whole "dear reader" thing makes me kind of want to puke. The nice thing about readalouds it that you can leave that part out and then it's not annoying to anyone but the person who actually sees the page. Well anyway, Despereaux is a favorite around here.

Last night as Husband and I were systematically removing all the items from the van with our nitrile gloves on so we could get to the mouse STUFF to spray it down, to clean it up, to take the car to get it steam cleaned/detailed (aren't rodents FUN?), Bubba(7), who by nature is a very sensitive child, realized what was imminent. "Do you have to KILL the mouse?"
Me: Yes, honey.
Bubba(7): Why can't you just let it go?
Husband: Because it would just come back. Or try to live in our garage. Or our house.
Me: The mouse HAS TO DIE. Honey.
Bubba(7) tearing up: But why do you have to kill it?
He cried the rest of the evening and was still in tears as he went to bed, knowing full well that his evil parents were going to send poor little Despereaux to his untimely grave. I really AM that cruel. (Now right off, any mom is going to tell you that my priorities are exactly right on target. Of course "no food in the car" is WAY more important than reading "Charlotte's Web" before watching it- let's just get that straight right now.) And of course killing Despereaux is WAY more important than allowing a child's literary character to maintain residence in the family automobile. I didn't let Charlotte and her disgusting little egg sac live in my doorway and I'm not affording Despereaux any such luxury either. Some kids would tell me I'm wrong. That's why we're the moms. And why there is a mouse trap with a dead mouse in the garbage can right now.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Taste the Old El Paso

I couldn't take it. The blog could not go on looking like a can of refried beans. Hope this is better. It still feels summer-y to me.

The F-Word

So, if I take fresh potatoes, not even from a bag, just the loose ones in the produce section and I cut them up with the peels still on, and then I cook them in healthy oils (one part extra virgin olive oil: 2 parts canola)- can they be considered somewhat healthy? Or are they automatically junk food because they are fried?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Warming Up the Blog

I realize the new color pallette is a little garish. It's not permanent, I assure you. But as I sit here with GOOSEBUMPS and blue feet, I had to do something to convince myself it's warm right now. I tell you, if I actually believed in all that stuff about fossil fuel emissions I would go outside right this very minute and leave my van idling in the driveway all day long to try to warm up the globe a little. But alas.... It wouldn't work. I guess I'll stick with the more effective method. Posting bright sunshiny colors on the internet. Later.

One Less Way to Die

Kids are dangerous. I think they should come with a warning label for their potential level of danger and mayhem. Maybe on the DEFCON scale or something. Some kids would just be at DEFCON-1. Those are the kids who may throw their bowl of applesauce off the high chair tray once or twice and maybe occasionally poop in the bathtub. (Yes, that happens.) I'm thinking of Valenzoo's children here, and you, Dharma. ThePinkiest(5) was once in this category but she was upgraded last year to DEFCON-4.

DEFCON-2 are your kids who don't get themselves into trouble but if left there, will continue to roll off the bed hoping that this time gravity will not exist, even though they have tested this theory 500 times to date and are old enough to retain the results of all their previous experiments. [LittleMommy(9)]

DEFCON-3 are the kids who think they are invincible or that they have super powers. I'm talking specifically about Mr.Yuke(4) here. Did I ever blog about the time he thought he actually WAS Superman? If I did, I apologize for repeating it here.

This is what happened. The boys all share a room. Bubba(7) has the top bunk, a twin. Mr.Yuke(4) has the bottom bunk, a double. Across the room a few feet is MonsterTruck's(3) bed, a toddler. Well, Mr.Yuke had on his new Superman jammies and he was sure that those pj's were all he needed to attain all the powers of Krypton. He decided the best way to test his power would be with flight. Specifically, he would fly from a standing position on MonsterTruck's(3) bed UP TO Bubba's(7) bed. Really, as far as SuperHero flight patterns go, this really was a small and easily attainable first attempt. Well, he made the leap, fell short of his goal (the top bunk), and SMACKED his head on the metal edge of the bottom bunk. Ever seen a headwound? Yeah, they're messy. So after slowing down the bleeding I ascertained that Mr.Yuke(4)-(then 3) was going to need several stitches. I took him to the emergency room- and here is the part where he warrants the DEFCON-3 rating as opposed to just the accident-prone DEFCON-2: As the doctor was stitching him up, asking him all those slightly insinuating/accusatory questions to make sure the parent didn't just make up a phony Superman story and actually bludgeon him with a blunt object, the doc says, "So you can't really fly, huh? (Then with confidence and somewhat in the tone of a gameshow host-) Well, you're not going to try that again are you?" Mr.Yuke's(4) answer? "Well, I fink it's because I didn't have my cape on. You need your cape to fly. I need to try it again WITH my cape." The doctor didn't even know what to say to that. He just gave me a look that said, "I pity you."

DEFCON-4: These are the kids who learn to open the child safety locks and pill bottles when they are 7 months old. They have advanced motor skills so many of them are also climbers and escape artists. MonsterTruck(3) falls into this category. I've mentioned before that we have called Poison Control more times for that kid than all the other kids put together. UPDATE: Since that post, we've called Poison Control four more times. He is just bent on killing himself, ok? DEFCON-4 kids are also the ones who are the evil genius masterminds behind all the naughtiness that takes place in a given household. This is where ThePinkiest(5) fits in. Last week when I posted the In A Word meme tag, it was because I needed a few days to find the humor in her latest scheme. It was still too fresh to be funny. Here is what happened.

I mentioned I'm clueless, right? Well, in spite of past experience, I left an open bag of flour in the kitchen overnight. [I guess that makes me a DEFCON-2 : )] ThePinkiest(5) and Mr.Yuke(4) discovered it the next day while I was upstairs laying down with Kryptonite(1). We were both just recovering from some sort of flu bug that was pretty nasty and we were plain dog tired. I heard the two of them downstairs laughing their maniacal laughter- and really, if I had been on top of my game instead of in a sick-induced stupor, I probably would have realized from the sound of that laughter that something insidious was taking place and would have put a stop to it before it escalated to where it did. But my pregnancy brain was not functioning at that Supermom level so I missed my cue for intervention. The first clue I got that something was not right was when MonsterTruck(3) came upstairs with white hair and said, "Mo-om. ThePinkiest(5) and Mr.Yuke(4) are pwaying wif duh fwower." I sent him to the shower and spent the next several minutes trying to work up the energy to go downstairs and see what the extent of the mess was. Now, the next part is unclear but from what I could gather it went like this: There had been a flour fight where handfulls of flour were thrown around (about 20 pounds worth, give or take). Then someone looked around and realized that they were going to be in BIG trouble so they decided they better clean it up. I think this must be the point when they added the water (about 2 gallons worth, all over the kitchen floor). At least I think they were using the water to clean it up with. I was a little too ballistic to gather accurate details at the time. You know what you get when you mix flour and water, right? Yep. They paper mache`d my entire kitchen floor. And then tried to sweep up the goo up with the broom. Oh- by the way, Lowe's has an excellent broom selection, just FYI. So I was exhausted, angry, still not feeling all that well, and was NOT under any circumstances going to get my pregnant self on my hands and knees to clean up that mess. I supplied the two of them with scrapers and later rags, and allowed them the joy of cleaning up their fun. ThePinkiest(5) actually said to me after about ten minutes of scraping, "It's NOT FAIR that WE have to clean up this mess." HA! MyBeautiful put it best when she said, "It's not fair. WE already spent FIFTEEN minutes making this mess. We shouldn't have to clean it up too." Things like this are why ThePinkiest(5) is permanently at DEFCON-4. That night I left the minute Husband came home and went to a movie with Smunchie and MyOtherMother. Husband is good like that. Sometimes it's necessary to leave your children for a short while in order to love them properly when you come back. We saw BabyMama. It was WAY better than the previews made it look.

DEFCON-5 is reserved for kids who bring drugs into the house and act violently against their family members. We don't have any of those. Knock on wood.

Kryptonite(1) has been a DEFCON-1 kid since she was born. I call that "the tender mercies of the Lord". She is easy and low-maintenance. She has only had two or three minor accidents in a year and she learned quickly from all of them. This week she learned two new things. She has expanded her vocabulary from "No" to "No" and "Hi!". And she learned to crawl down the stairs!!! (Insert angelic choir and applause here.) I am ecstatic. One less way to die. Now if I could just get her to stop playing in the potty every time someone forgets to close the bathroom door upon exiting the restroom, we'd be good. Because let's face it, the only thing worse than your baby drowning, is your baby drowning in pee-water from a toilet that was left unflushed by an older sibling. WHY can't they flush the toilet?! WHY? I just don't get it.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


When Husband read my post about our movie date, his first question was, "Why didn't you put a link to Indiana Jones?" I cannot believe I made such a blunderous oversight. : ) [Here is a link to Indiana Jones.] Then he proceeded to tell me all the details I had gotten wrong because I am, as I said, clueless. Here is a printed correction:

The hat from the original Raiders milliner is from Canada, not Brazil.
The leather jacket is from Brazil. (I knew that.)
The sucker with the picture of Indy on the wrapper was not purchased in Disneyland. It was actually procured in Switzerland. That is cooler I think.

So there you go. I'm a clueless wife. : ) I say at least I knew he had all that stuff.

My cluelessness is not limited to the collection of Indiana Jones paraphenalia which sits in my house. When I am pregnant I get a SEVERE case of pregnancy brain. The kiddos keep doing all these funny things and I think, "Oh, I'll have to blog about that." Then I sit down four hours later and cannot for the life of me remember anything funny they have ever done in their entire lives. Mr.Yuke(4) has not ceased his antics but I can't seem to retain any of it for longer than two seconds.

The funny stories are not the only thing my brain has a hard time with when I'm pregnant. Day before yesterday, I got a call from the anesthesiologist's billing office. Apparently, we owe the balance after what the insurance covered and they would like to get paid. That is all fine. I was unaware that the insurance didn't cover all of it. No problem. But the conversation went something like this:

Caller: Hi. Is this Aberjaber?
Me: Yes.
Caller: This is Caller from SomeplaceorOtherAnesthesia.
Me Huh. Have I ever had that? When did I ever have that? Then looking at my hand comprehension dawns: Yes?
Caller: We show you have a balance with us of SomeAmountorOther for Anesthesiology.
Me: I have insurance. Don't they cover (what's that word? Dang. I can't think of it.) Anes...thesio...lo...gia? Anesthesio...? Anes...?
Caller: Which company is your provider?
Me: Anesthesia! InsuranceCompanyX
Caller: Yes. It appears that they paid the part they cover and you are now responsible for the balance.
Me: Oh. Ok.

Yes. This sort of thing happens to me several times a day. I go from a working vocabulary of 20,000 words before I'm pregnant, to barely communicating through a series of grunts and pointing for nine months every time I conceive. It's a little funny. And a lot frustrating. Even this post is taking me forever to write because I keep having to delete words and put the correct ones in their place.

The pregnancy is going well. I am now in my 14th week and feel like I can sit back and celebrate the fact that I'm pregnant without worrying anymore. I hope that's not naiive.

The child of my youth has been gone to visit her grandparents on an extended vacation. LittleMommy(9) left a week before school got out and we won't see her until the family reunion at the end of this month. I'm really missing her. I hate letting my kids grow up. It stinks. : ) She is having a good time but she misses her siblings and has found out ThatPlaceThatWeUsedToLive is not ShangriLa after all. I think that she will appreciate us more when she gets back. At least that's what I'm hoping.

MonsterTruck(3) is finally pooping in the potty. I sort of- through a series of unfortunate events which were largely out of my control- didn't ever potty train him. PianoGirl believes that kids will potty train themselves when they are ready and that formal potty training doesn't really work. I have hoped this to be true since I have been unable to potty train him for the last eight months. Having done it both ways now, I can say that for me- the frustration of two intense weeks is far less than the frustration of eight months of unnecessary diaper/pullup changing. But that's just me. I am SO THANKFUL he has finally decided to get on the band wagon.

You know who else is clueless? I'll give you a hint. It is June. Until yesterday it was 55 degrees outside. I'm just sayin' is all. Thank goodness it is beginning to warm up. Summer vacation should feel summer-y. That's all I have to say about that.