Tuesday, March 31, 2009

sleeping baby

Monday, March 30, 2009

I never thought, that I would post, on a subject, such as toast: A meditation on friendship

(Guest posting today is Irish Gumbo, who has been let out of his cage for a little while today, and whom Pamela likes depsite his knucklehededness. A very gracious invite on her part.)
I have been a little out of the loop lately when it comes to readin’, writin’ and bloggin’ stuff. So this guest post, while The Missus and The Mister celebrate the arrival of the new baby, was a perfect opportunity for me for to shake off the doldrums and tone up those flabby creative muscles I have been letting languish. So, sitting down to write, fire up the ol’ idea engine, and the first idea that comes to mind?

Toast, of course. I’ll give you a minute or two to applaud my burst of genius (whistling). Thank you, thank you!

Now don’t go away, clicking on the next blog in the reader out of boredom or irritation. Toast may seem like a strange (read: boring) choice for a topic. But there is a reason for my toast fascination. Or is that toast-ination?

I like toast. I eat toast almost every day, the standard white bread kind and all its variants, including the bagel and English muffin members of the toasted bread products species. I would venture to say I am a…connoisseur of toast, if you will indulge me. A well-made piece of toast can serve as platform and substrate for all sorts of tasty toppings of the sweet or savory kind: cream cheese, jelly and lox spread come to mind. One of the best pieces of toast I ever made was with a layer of peanut butter smeared over the hot bread and dotted with some thin, quarter-sized disks of dark chocolate pressed into the warm surface. Mmm, all melty goodness and a great way to start the morning I must say.

Really good toast needs nothing more than butter, melting and sweet over the golden brown deliciousness of the crispy bread. It really is that simple. However, “simple” does not equate with “easy”. This is true even given the plethora of toasters and toasters ovens available to the average consumer in this country. Toasters that have multi-browning options, settings to toast frozen bread, digital calibrated “bread brains”*, chrome toasters that looks like race cars. My parents have a toaster they acquired before I was a born, and are still using it. It makes a decent piece of toast, too. But good toast requires attention and care; rare is the device that can produce a superlative piece without jiggery-pokery on the part of the human who desires to eat that toast.

Truly transcendent toast (and such a thing exists) can be eaten plain, all by its lonesome, naked but for the sauce of hunger. To make toast such as this, and I have done it on rare occasions, takes time and attention and patience. Three things that are usually in short supply when attempting to pull together breakfast in the morning, or scrounging up a quick afternoon snack. And before you say, “Gumbo, you are a nutcase for wanting to spend so much time and energy on dry, brown bread!” you should know I am not the only one who feels this way. John Thorne, one of the premier food writers on the planet (and a personal favorite of mine), wrote an essay on the topic called Quintessential Toast**, in which he illuminates the process of making truly great toast:

“…So, first, I reluctantly began cutting my thick slice into two thin ones, since this is the only way to toast the bread all through…I learned that I had to make my toast very, very slowly…This meant that to get the toast just right I had to run it through four or five short cycles with a brief rest between each.”

See what I mean? Four or five cycles of the toaster just to make toast. Who the hell does that? John Thorne does. Oh…and I do, every now and then. Why? Because it works. This method makes a great piece of toast. It is fantastic straight out of the toaster, hot and crispy with no need for butter. Making toast like this, I usually eat it standing up at the kitchen counter, next to the toaster. Man, is it good. Good toast is made with good bread, no getting around that fact. Gotta have good bread. Good bread is what brings me to the true inspiration for this post.

Earlier this year, during my period of unemployment, I was given a loaf of bread by a friend. Homemade bread. Homemade. The bread was dense, sturdy and had some heft. No “girlyman” bread, this, it was serious. I was so tickled to have gotten it I immediately sawed off a slice and ate it straight away. It was chewy and delicious. So good I had another slice at the island in my kitchen. While I was munching away, eyes half-closed in baked good bliss, the thought crossed my mind: toast. So it was I found myself cutting the requisite one-quarter inch thick slice of the wondermous bread and toasting it just so. To my delight, the toast was excellent, with and without butter.

Who was my baked loaf benefactor, my patron of the toasting arts, you ask?

Why, it’s the lovely Pamela, The Missus, The Boss of Things. She called me one day while I was out walking and wanted to know if she could send me some bread. Who does things like that? Friends do. Friends help friends make good toast.

I had that brilliant realization that day I stood at the counter, eating my slice of transcendental toast, compliments of a friend I was unrealizing I had. And that, dear readers, is a beautiful thing, to have a friend who gives you homemade bread.

Thank you, Pamela.

*I am not making that up. I saw this phrase on the side of a toaster in the lunch room of a company I used to work for, some years ago. Even with a “bread brain”, that POS toaster made a lousy piece of toast.
**In his book ‘Pot On The Fire’. A very good read, even if one is not a food geek like me.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


Everybody's a little hurtin' today. The Missus, for obvious reasons. Little Elliott got himself, um... snipped today and was a little pissed off about it. The big boys didn't get enough sleep. Miss O played hard at her friend's all day. And yours truly, The Mister was out mixing a Pink Floyd cover band till the wee hours. (I know, weird thing to be doing the day your son is born, but The Missus knew what she was getting into when she married a sound guy.)

I took the boys over to meet their brother after nap time today. We were there for over an hour and the whole thing was pretty good. H.B. (as he is referred to on this blog) just grinned and grinned and patted his brother. He climbed on and off the bed about twice a minute for half an hour. He finally got to hold him and was just beside himself. I had been asking him for weeks if he was going to love the baby and have nice touches for him. He did.

Wee Man spent at least ten minutes just bouncing up and down after his initial inspection. He got a turn to hold him and was just as proud as a big brother can be. He lost interest somewhat when he discovered that the bed had buttons on it that made it go up and down. The Missus had to promise to let him take her for a ride while someone else held the baby.

Now the Short People are all snug in their beds. I just spoke to my darling wife and she is comfortable and happy as is the wee bairn. For my part I feel like ten gallons of organic fertilizer in a five gallon bucket. Food and sleep were all too elusive the last couple days. I'm hittin' the hay.

I think I've done my part filling in here and plan to step aside. Except to post a few pictures when the camera comes home I'll be handing posting duties off to the creme de la creme of the blogisphere that The Missus has hand selected to fill these pages for the next little bit. Tomorrow you'll be in the hands of Irish Gumbo. Good night to all and my deepest thanks go out to our friends online who followed along at home. Your words are a treasure to us. The money men of the world live in shacks and dress in rags compared to us.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Elliott Samuel Dayton

Elliott Samuel Dayton - 6:12 am
9 lbs 0 oz
Delivered 18 minutes after we walked in.

Catch the full story over at The Mister. Not a bad topic for the 400th post!

Friday, March 27, 2009

emailing it in friday

Here's the plan... just so long as mah ambien holds off a little longer.
1) take ambien (check)  (it's working already)
1b) Take a man-sized shot of castor oil...4T...follow with a shot of bourbon (this does need to be fun, right?)
2) find that guy and take his pants off
3) ahem.  and also YES YES YES YES
4) Evening Primrose Oil gel caplets popped up in mah places
and hopefully the result will be a supersoft cervix, and Wide Open Spaces, Room to make her big escape, excruciating pain followed by stinking adorable baybay, who should be a girl according to the Chinese calendar of such information.  Hope she likes the blue is all I'm saying.
5) Pass out and sleep like a baby until the CO kicks in and I poop mah brains out until the labour begins.

It's a long plan, but if everybody works together, then, team we will be successful.
the dayton time


No, not in a stall.
Just experiencing stall.
I seriously hope this is not going to be the trend.
I am not really into trending.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

somewhat exciting, but mostly my back just hurts.

I took Miss O to school this morning for a number of reasons that does include missing the bus.  Also including the sad story that I slept through my first alarm, forgot to check if she was bringing lunch or buying (oops, bringing... better get on that!), the entire feeding the children breakfast thing... it was sort of nuts in a very blonde, airheaded way.  


We walked into the classroom, Miss O handed her teacher an enormous bunch of pussy willows (I hear the Googles grinding as I type this) and said, in the most polite voice possible, Excuse me, Mrs., I might be getting excused quickly and momentarily today.

In unison, Mrs. and I said, Momentarily?
I explained that I was beginning labor and if it came time for me to go to the hospital, we would excuse Olivia so she can be present at the birth.  I also explained that in the note I wrote Mrs., I used the word "ABRUPTLY" not momentarily, because if it was time, it was time, and I would need her speedy quick.
So here I am, at myveryown computer, progressing on this journey that will probably not end today.  And that's fine, because if the baby is born tomorrow, then all three of my boys will be born on the 27th of the month, each of them four months apart from the next one (and the preceding one, too, actually).

I'm quite certain I'm in labor.  Having a ton of back pain almost constantly, and some contractions about every 5-6 minutes on average, only about once or twice an hour do they feel like Really Useful Contractions.

Some of my sweet friends came over today because I was having a mini meltdown that involved me stressing about things like NOT KNOWING WHERE ANY BABY CLOTHES ARE, and NOBODY HAS ANY CLEAN PANTS and MY HOUSE IS A DISASTER and the general I DIDN'T THINK THIS WAS GOING TO HAPPEN FOR ANOTHER THREE WEEKS.

And my sweet friends cleaned up my kitchen and carried laundry downstairs and upstairs, and I took a supersweet hot shower and shaved my armpits, and located the tiny baby clothes and their children entertained my children, and we chatted through some uncomfortable contractions and now I am relaxed.  My washer and dryer are not behaving at all, the dryer vent has come unattached from the wall, and now it blows little scrammies of lint all over the place, and there is a puddle under the washer.   That will keep The Mister busy for a while when he gets home.

There's no real news to report, but The Mister is all set and ready to go when the actual time comes.

Monday, March 23, 2009

just another trip to the midwife

I dropped my kids off at a friend's house to go have a visit with my midwife. It must have been a really efficient morning, because I had time to both make and drink the entire 32 ounce French Press full of yummy, superstrong coffee. Oh, was it ever good.

Except, when they weighed me, I had gained TWO POUNDS instead of the recommended ONE POUND. Oddly enough...after consuming two pounds of coffee... 32 ounces=two pounds, are you with me on this? So the nurse shook her head at me.

Bite me.

I promised her I would pee that two pounds away in about 29 minutes. I even offered that she could weigh me again if she wanted. She kind of laughed and locked me in my room.

Bite me.

My midwife unlocked the door (kidding about the locked doors, they don't really do that) and came in, and we chatted about fun things like are your breasts leaking? And how's the heartburn situation? And I bet the boys are enjoying the nicer weather.

Ummm, no, they're not, it's better, and they like to be outside.

Then she asked: So do you have a nice comfy chair you can sit in while they run around and play? And naturally I replied, No, but I have a nice rake that I use to clean up my yard. And then she gave me the Naughty Pregnant Woman Talk, Doing Yard Work Will Give You Hemorrhoids Version.

Then, she looked at my weight.  I'd like it better if you'd only gain one pound a week instead of two. So naturally, I replied, Well, I drank 16 ounces of water and 32 ounces of coffee this morning, so that's probably what the weight is. I haven't peed yet, except for the souvenir cup in the bathroom. To which she replied, DOESN'T DECAF COFFEE GIVE YOU HEARTBURN!?!?!?!? So naturally I answered, Decaf? I don't know nothing 'bout no decaf. She took my name in vain, to which I replied, I am 38 weeks pregnant. There is no way I'm switching to decaf NOW. Are you serious? And then she gave me the Naughty Pregnant Woman Talk, Coffee Is The Devil Version.

Then, she congratulated me for being Group B Strep Free! FINALLY!!! I HAD DONE SOMETHING RIGHT!!! Hooray for me!

Then she asked if the hospital could photograph my birthin' processes to write an article for the local rag completely accurate and reliable newspaper, to feature the remodel job on the Labour and Delivery Floor. I said, Sure, just so long as you get a really flattering shot of my vagina. I'd hate to have her all flashed out in public looking a mess. To which she replied, We aren't allowed to print a picture of your vagina in the newspaper. So naturally I answered, I was joking. I don't really want a picture of my vagina in the newspaper. It's special for me...well, it's special for The Mister... well, it's pretty tired out lately, so it would really like a vacation.

She told me to go home.

In other news, I signed up for Twitter.  I'm now a twit.  Or a tweeter... except I'm not just yet.  The page where I ought to be able to input my phone info is being stupid, and I can't input my phone info.  So, I might quit Twitter if it's going to be a pain in the ass like that.   I'll keep you posted, here, if you're the caring sort.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


When I was a kid, we went to a local whackadoo church (didn't start out whackadoo, the pastor just happened to locate the slippery slope quickly, and hopped right on).  The one memory that is clear in my mind is....

And now you're nervous...

But don't be.

We would go on a yearly retreat to a lovely place in the mountains of Pennsylvania.  It was beautiful there.  There were all sorts of things to do, and the people who ran the place were totally NOT whackadoos, and also the food was amazing.  The only meal I have an actual memory of is baked oatmeal for breakfast, and that's probably because my mom got the recipe and made it for us at home.  So, so, so good.  

Miss O has sworn off eating oatmeal, actually, I think she's sworn off anything I prepare for any meal, with the exception of tuna fish sandwiches, and even then she complains about my bread.  (Yes, for all of you out there that love my bread, my daughter hates it.  What.Ev.)

So I consulted the Googles about Baked Oatmeal, and they were forthcoming.  There are hundreds of recipes for Baked Oatmeal, some claim to be Amish (not sure how those found their way to the interwebs), some are Grandma So-and-So's, or Auntie Ruth's or Uncle Jeptha.

All of them have enough sugar and fat in the recipe to render Baked Oatmeal no healthier, and probably less nutritional than cold cereal.  Meh.  And mer.  I prepare meals from scratch to provide better nutrition.  So I set to work to bring down the sugar and fat quantities, and still have it taste yummy enough that the short people prefer it to cold cereal.

This is the recipe I started with, and it makes an 8x8 inch pan, which is about four adult servings.  Or, in our case, one half of the pan goes to HB, and Wee Man, Miss O and I split the other half.

1 1/2 cups oats 
1/2 cup brown sugar 
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, melted 
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup raisins

This recipe puts more than 2 Tablespoons of brown sugar per serving, and that is a lot of sugar, especially considering the sweetness of the raisins.  Also, the amount of butter is really high.  It works out to about 1 Tablespoon of butter per serving, and that's quite a lot.  Don't get me wrong, I like butter, but you just don't need it in the recipe.  Also, I use a seven-grain rolled cereal blend that has oats, two kinds of wheat, spelt, barley and, umm... two other grains that I can't remember off the top of my head.  It is way more flavorful than just plain oats, which I find to be sort of cardboardish.

This is the recipe I make and serve to my children.  They clean the pan every day.  And they have been eating it with gusto every day.

1 1/2 cup oats
1 or 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 enormous teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup applesauce
2 eggs
1/2 cup raisins

You can substitute applesauce for oil products in baking.  Did you know?  That said, lots of applesauces come with all kinds of preservatives and corn syrup and sugars and things, so you might not be trading up to switch out for applesauce.  Read the labels and compare.  I make my own applesauce, and it's just cooked, ground up apples with no sugar... so for me it's a really good choice.  And there are brands you can purchase that are straight up apples.
I added an additional egg because I like baked oatmeal to be a little cakey (think about brownie mix... add more eggs for cake-like brownies.)  The extra egg also adds extra protein, which is something I really need at this stage of my pregnancy.

Oh, I almost forgot the directions.  Put the dry ingredients in an ungreased 8x8 pan.  Add the wet ingredients.  Stir 'em up.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, or if you have a convection oven, bake at 375 for 20-22 minutes.  (That's how we do it over here.)  Pour some milk over your serving, or add a dollop of plain yogurt.  I like it sprinkled with toasted walnuts or pecans.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

i just wanted a coffee, or she got hers

The boys and I got a last minute invite for a lunch and play date the other day. It wasn't all that last minute, now that I think about it, the day was just one of those Slower Than Molasses In January kinds of days. Instead of kicking her out the front door to ride the bus, we all walked Miss O to school, and then the boys wanted to hit the playground, and then we had to walk back home. 

Just as we got to the (nice) backyard neighbor's house, HB decided he had gone far enough, and, NO!!! NOT GOING HOME!!!! So he and I played run around the side yard neighbor's house for a while until I caught him and tucked him under my arm like a football and hauled his little self home. And then he had a temper tantrum for about 45 minutes. It was spectacular.

All of these events added up to no time to get me some coffee. Meh.

We finally piled in the vehicle to go play. And we played and we played, and ate yummy potato soup with crunchy bacon crumbles and cheese, and played some more and then we left before people got crabby. It was loverly.

The boys slept in the car, I went through the bank drive-through, and really? I just wanted some coffee. There's a TimmyHo's across the street from the bank, and so I got in the Horton's drive-through line, that's how badly I wanted coffee.

The line wasn't moving, and, ummm...well, I hadn't had any coffee, and was sort of zoning out just a tiny bit, and didn't notice when the line actually DID move. Fortunately, the wretched woman driving a shiny white Escalade behind me noticed. And ever so kindly, she LAID ON HER HORN AND SHOUTED THAT I SHOULD GET EFFING MOVING.

I could hear her loud and clear because it was 65 degrees out, and we all had our windows open. I did not get effing moving, for the record. I clutched my steering wheel, and repeated to myself Don't stick your hand out the window. Don't stick your hand out the window. Don't...

Did I mention I just really wanted a cup of coffee? And getting shouted at? IS NOT A CUP OF COFFEE. Meh.

I slowly, and boy, do I ever mean slowly, pulled up to the ordering place. I was so flustered I ordered a flavored coffee. With no sugar. And Rule #17 of Coffee Drinking is that you must put sugar in flavored coffee. The nice man asked me if I wanted anything else. So naturally, I said, I want to flip off that nasty Nancy Nasty Pants woman behind me who was honking and cursing at me. How much is that? He laughed.

But then? I had a stroke. Of BRILLIANCE. I would pay for Nancy Nasty Pants' order. She'd have a cup of SPITE COFFEE. And then maybe she would think about her nasty pants little actions. So drove up to the window, and I told the guy I was going to pay for Nancy Nasty Pants behind me, and he was confused.

And I asked him to please tell Nancy Nasty Pants that the nice nine-month pregnant lady with two sleeping toddlers in the car ahead of her hopes she has a nice flipping day.

He said that nothing would make him happier.

I hope she got heartburn.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

things they don't tell you when you get pregnant.

  1. It will be okay.  I'm just going to start off with that one, because I'm probably going to say some things that will scare the living sh!t out of any of you who are not currently parents of children.  It will be okay. 
  2. It is highly likely that you will not want to have sex for the duration.  Because weird things are happening to your body, man, and weirder things happen when you have what she's having.  If you know what I mean.
  3. Hair will grow where no hair has grown before.  For example, you may be horrified to find the random big black hair growing from your left shoulder.  Or your belly.  Or your breasts.  JUST LIKE A MAN.  Also, Hobbit Toes do occur.  But on the plus side, the hair on your head might just be the most gorgeous hair you've ever had.  Enjoy it while it lasts, though, because it will probably all fall out after the baby is born.  And also?  Personal grooming is going to become exceedingly difficult, so if you are one of those gals who likes to keep the green clipped, you need to weigh the importance of doing so with how it feels to get a Brazilian.  I do hear there's something called sugaring that does the same work as wax.  But there's nobody who's going to rub my girly pieces up with "sugar" and then rip away.  Heck no, sister.
  4. There will be goo.  And it will ooze from you in a most unattractive manner, requiring you to go through pads like gangbusters.  If gangbusters were to use pads.  Not sure about that, now that I'm thinking about it.
  5. You will probably find yourself grunting when you stand up.  Personally, I find that it helps me to bust the inertia bubble that envelopes me every time I sit down.  I'm claiming the grunt as a power noise that propels me to the next, painful stage of my day:  Standing.
  6. You will probably develop a waddle.  This can be avoided by keeping your shoulders back, and flexing your keister when you walk (this will also make your ass look better...bonus!)  Do not confuse that flexing with Kegels.
  7. It may feel like your pelvis is trying to wrap around your spine.  It is not.  You may also feel like your pubic bone has come unglued.  It has not.  But it will hurt like a mother.   Lucky for you, when you officially become a mother?  Your bones go back mostly to normal.  And you forget how much your nether regions hurt.  Really.  I am surprised daily by the amount of pain I am in, and The Mister keeps saying (over and over and over and over) This is exactly like every other time.  This is totally normal.  Oh, if I'd only give him a nickel for every time he said that, I'd keep myself in proper ice cream.
  8. Buy the most serious pads you can find for after the baby is born, and buy a lot of them.  Because the situation with the post-partum discharge is this:  HAVING THE CRAZIEST, HEAVIEST PERIOD OF YOUR LIFE FOR AT LEAST SIX WEEKS.  Good news, though, with each subsequent birth, the length of time decreases considerably.  With HB, I was finished with that in less than 2 weeks.  And if you're having a c-section?  I have no idea what to tell you about that.  Fun Fact:  Your body will continue to produce amniotic fluid, and sometimes that will pool up inside you if you sit for too long, and then when you stand up?  It's just like your water is breaking.  Again.  Fun times, girls, fun times.
  9. It is possible to get through your pregnancy without suffering stupid, life-altering cravings.  Really.  If you need to make friends with a dietitian, do it.  They know things, really useful things, that will keep you healthy and feeling well.
  10. Your body is designed to go through the whole process, from the fun trying-to-get-knocked (hopefully it was fun for you...I'd tell you stories about fun in the back yard last summer if I was that kind of girl and if my brothers didn't read this), to the Walking Petri Dish stage, to the birthing stage.  Don't believe people who tell you stories that are obviously false, and don't listen to people who are obviously being mean.  I worked with one of those mean ones, and she loved to tell me that when she was pregnant, her skin was stretched so thin she could see the baby.  Here's a tip for people like that:  Call bullshit, and punch her in the face.  Don't worry about getting picked up for assault, everybody knows she had it coming.  And if you see a doctor who says this:  If you were my daughter, I'd sit down with you and talk to you about the benefits of having a cesarean section until you understood... Just because it looks like you might be having a big-ish baby?  Please know that he most likely has a cash register for a heart, and sees your uterus as a piggy bank.*
Did I miss anything?  Anybody want to yell at me about c-sections?  What's the stupidest thing anybody said to you when you were pregnant?

*Of course there are cases where a c-section is medically necessary.  There are.  I just question the number of c-sections happening in relation to obstetric history and the seemingly unchanging infant mortality rate in this country (which, I will add, is shockingly high compared to the rest of the world).  And yes, my OB actually did say that to me.  And no, he is no longer my OB.  I fired him.  

Monday, March 16, 2009

six steps guaranteed to make the sales clerk at the fabric store stare at you like you have three heads

  1. Cut the line of fifteen tired-looking grandma types.
  2. Say, I'm sorry to interrupt you, but my son has just informed me that he is about to barf.  So if you would please give me three of your largest plastic bags, I'll take him right out of your store.
  3. When she says, Ummm...what?, calmly repeat yourself.  My son is going to throw up.  Please give me some bags so that when he does it in my car, I don't have to spend the rest of the night cleaning it up.
  4. When she tilts her head to the left, all confused-like, and looks at the plastic bags hanging both in front of her and also behind her, point to the biggest bags and say, THOSE.  GIVE ME THREE OF THOSE.  OR JUST PULL ME OFF A HANDFUL OF THEM.  THE CHILD IS GOING TO THROW UP.  HE CAN DO IT IN THE BAG OR ON YOUR FLOOR.  YOU PICK.
  5. Look at the nearest tired-looking grandma types for assistance.  
  6. Say, Excuse me, to the first two in line.  Heft your nine-month pregnant self up on the counter, grab a handful of bags, thank everyone for jumping in to help, and quickly exit the store with your three small children.


***As it happens, there was no actual barfing, only the threat of barfing, and, well, that's enough barfing for me.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

apparently i stink. it's one of those not-often-spoken-of side effects of pregnancy.

Has anybody else noticed how the new supercool thing to do on effbook is to pass memes around like STDs in the 70's? I was going to just post the answers to this little fella on the effbook, but my self-deprecating self just couldn't resist the potty humour.

And also, certain people have been phoning my neighbors to check on me, because I'm not as perky as usual. I appreciate the concern, really and truly I do. I'm sorry I'm not superperky...I swear I'll do better soon, like in 4-6 weeks or so, when I can resume sleeping on my stomach and also turn over in the night without throwing off all my covers, removing the pillow from between my knees, sitting up, standing up, rearranging my various sundry body props, sitting back down, replacing the knee pillow, lying down, sitting back up to adjust the belly pillow, lying down, flipping the head pillow over to the side with no drool cold side, listening to the Mister's heavy breathing CPAP machine until my brain decides to go back to sleep. It's at least a 20 minute process about once an hour. I'm researching black market sleep aids. I'm researching nothing, actually. Nothing at all. No research here.

Instead of research, I have asked Miss O and Wee Man twenty-some questions about myself. Wee Man, in his inimitable way, answered the questions thoughtfully, but Miss O was in a sassy mood, so there's quite a bit of exaggeration going on here. And by quite a bit? I mean all mentions of farts and pot holders. Because seriously, people, there is no way on God's green earth that my brand is worse than The Mister's brand.

1. What is something mom always says to you?
Miss O: Ummm....I don't know. What do you? No, that's not what I wanted you to write. (giggles) Next question.
Wee Man: Get your pull-up and jammies on and get in bed and read books.

2. What makes mom happy?
Miss O: When I listen.
Wee Man: Getting in the car and you can buckle me and then you drive.

3. What makes mom sad?
Miss O: When I don't listen. And when I steal cookies. And when I steal her farts. And when I steal...when HB steals her earrings.
Wee Man: Telling things bad.

4. How does your mom make you laugh?
Miss O: Sometimes when you fart. And when she makes silly stuff to eat.
Wee Man: Telling things funny. (Crazy laughter) I just waughed.

5. What was your mom like as a child?
Miss O: Like me.
Wee Man: Hmmm....ummm...I don't know, but...me and Sis and HB and me are childs.

6. How old is your mom?
Miss O: 31
Wee Man: 5

7. How tall is your mom?
Miss O: I don't know. You're five feet two inches, I think. Almost as tall as Daddy. (Who is 6'2", for the record.)
Wee Man: BIG!!! HUMONGOUS!!! WIDE!!!

8. What is her favorite thing to do?
Miss O: Is it nap?
Wee Man: God to bed and wash the dishes and change poopy diapers.

9. What does your mom do when you're not around?
Miss O: Nap. Knit and make pot holders.
Wee Man: Find me.

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for?
Miss O: Cooking or knitting or her blog posts...or her farts. That's a good one, because your farts are way stinkier than dad's.
Wee Man: Pamela.

11. What is your mom really good at?
Miss O: Napping and making pot holders and knitting and farting.
Wee Man: Walking. Cuz you are good at walking.

12. What is your mom not very good at?
Miss O: Not farting. And playing basketball.
Wee Man: Jumping.

13. What does your mom do for a job?
Miss O: Nothing. You don't have a job.
Wee Man: Doing chores. Getting dressed and going somewhere that I don't know.

14.What is your mom's favorite food?
Miss O: Everything.
Wee Man: Granola. Cuz you WUV granowa.

15.What makes you proud of your mom?
Miss O: She loves me and takes care of me.
Wee Man: Doing the chores.

16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be?
Miss O: I think she would be Porky Pig because he's pink.
Wee Man: A mean girl. A mean, evil mom.

17. What do you and your mom do together?
Miss O: Cuddle. And make pot holders.
Wee Man: Go to the post office.

18. How are you and your mom the same?
Miss O: We have the same hair and the same skin.
Wee Man: We're growing.

19. How are you and your mom different?
Miss O: She has blue eyes and I have brownish-green eyes.
Wee Man: Dad. Cuz Dad is big, but Mommy is growing about to be dad.

20. How do you know your mom loves you?
Miss O: She takes care of me.
Wee Man: Cuz I do everything nice.

21. What does your mom like most about your dad?
Miss O: That he knows how to clean up poop and help mom with stuff.
Wee Man: You love him all the time.

22. Where is your mom's favorite place to go?
Miss O: You like to go to JoAnn's.
Wee Man: The post office?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

emailing it in thursday. because why make the effort to find the phone?

Because I'm pretty much a lazy slob today, my offering to you is an email I sent to a person who shall remain nameless because I'm not sure if she's actually told real people she's knocked up, and I don't want to be Jack Black to her Angelina Jolie. So there.

We're well over here.

Find a protein you can eat and make sweet, sweet love to it until you aren't sick any more. Usually it's over by 13-16 weeks. The ginger beer from Target was very helpful. It's crazy strong flavoured, but it helps. And did I tell you about the South Beach Diet high-protein cereal bars? They are pretty good, and also at Target and the Wmart.

Clinics are great, because usually the people who work there really love what they do. And that makes a world of difference. I have heard great things about hypnosis in labour, btw. I think it's more of a hyper-focus, and not weird mysticism, but I'm not entirely sure. And I'm digging the idea of water birth. However, Jon has informed me that I'm not allowed to birth no baby in the brand new tub at the hospital. As if HE'S the one in charge of that. heh heh.

O does not have her ears pierced. I cannot even imagine her getting them pierced because it would HURT THE MOST OF ANYTHING EVER!!!!!! She's got no pain tolerance. I can't even comb her hair without a tantrum, for flip's sake.

Also, not that it has anything to do with anything, but we have a Dr. Seuss DVD that the boys are all cracked out on and it is making me want to do BAD BAD THINGS. They're in the kitchen bathroom right now being naughty and I'm pretending they're not. Not in the bathroom, and not being naughty. We'll see how that turns out.

It is my plan (ha! I have a plan) to go to JoAnn's saturday and spend some quality time with the patterns. I would do it online, but I really need to read them very carefully, and I can't do that online because I'm borderline retarded lately. I will make a list of patterns that a) look good and b) I can make and send the list to you and you can look at the pretty pictures online and let me know if you like any of them and if you don't then we'll go actual dress shopping.

Now the boys are pounding on the bathroom door hollering to be let out. This is me ignoring them. It's fun.

I made coffee this morning for the first time in ninety years and it is the nastiest, weakest, pissant coffee ever. They make better stuff at the Deli. But I'm too lazy to pitch it and start over. Yesterday I was too lazy to make coffee and actually went to Starbucks before my midwife appointment and got a latte. It wasn't really very tasty, either, but it served its purpose, and got me all jittery on the caffeine I haven't had in a while. I had a shitty time at the midwife, too, but it wasn't because of me and my baby, it was, well, read my post from yesterday. Unless you're crying already, or on the verge of crying, because it was S.A.D. Then just pretend I said nothing whatsoever about my trip to the midwife.

I'm thinking about copying this email to you and posting it to the blog. I'd call it emailing it in thursday. It would be a hit.

Damn, the boys figured out how to get out of the bathroom. You think you want to have smart kids, and then they go and prove you wrong. Also? We thought we wanted artistic children, but the littlest one has wrecked that idea for us by coloring with his crayons, pencils and markers on every flat surface in our home. Well, not the ceiling. But only because he can't reach it in most places. Although by the art center upstairs, the ceiling slopes down quite far, and I think he's tagged that one. Most of the ceilings are mark-free. Except for over the piano...but that was just me, burning tall, cheap, sooty candles from the stuff-mart. Damn stuff-mart and their cheap crap. I can't bear to make those two black polka-dotties go away. It is just funny. And also, they've been there for so long they will never go away.

Have I told you I'm addicted to plain yogurt with bananas? Well that and cake, but you knew about the cake issue already. I could seriously eat a quart of plain yogurt a day. I realize this is disgusting, but at least I'm not eating massive quantities of Doritos (any more). At my appointment yesterday the nice nurse told me I only gained one pound since last week. I was glad I decided to wait to drink my latte until after she weighed me. It was the largest size latte known to man, and if I'd had it first I probably would have gained three pounds. Ha! I showed her. Or not.

And how is it that, in the mind of the 2 year-old, three crackers is not a whole bunch? And how is it that one cannot possibly eat a cracker sandwich with only three crackers? Three stacked up gives you a top, a bottom and a middle, and that is a sandwich, is it not? At this moment, out of sheer defiance, the lad has broken his three crackers into pieces and scattered them on the floor. Ha! He showed me.

Anyway. This has reached epic proportions, and you're probably at work, and ought not read long, winding emails from crazy pregnant people.

Advice of the day: Don't barf.

You're welcome.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

just a regular day

Woke up with two sweaty, smelly, sweet boys blanketing my tired and sore body.  Soaked in their sort-of-sweetness, and kissed fat cheeks with abandon, much to the chagrin of the bigger boy.  Kicked the cats off my legs, waddled to the bathroom, brushed teeth, changed a diaper (not mine, I swear), woke the sweaty, smelly, sweet girl.  She practically bounded out of bed, at least by her standards.

We dressed, packed up a few baskets of laundry to move downstairs, hopefully we'll wash some laundry today.  We ate breakfast, packed a lunch, got the appropriate child on the bus, sent the boys off on their hobby horses down the street to Grandma's, lumbered myself into the car.

Had fifteen extra minutes?!?!!?  (How that happened I will never know.)  Stopped at the Target for a vanilla latte, because I'm like that, and I haven't actually had coffee in so long I've lost track.  Drove to my midwife's office, got there early!?!?!   (How that happened, I will never know.)  Walked in the door as she was running out the door to catch somebody else's baby.  Left a sample, drank my latte, read a magazine, made the grocery list (mostly cereal and fruit and yogurt), took a nap.

It was all very normal.

I'm sure her day started out normal, or at least her yesterday ended normally.  She was not calmly enjoying her fancy coffee when she arrived at the office.  She was sobbing hysterically.  Weeping, practically shrieking unintelligible words of panic and confusion.  The nurses ushered her into the room next to mine, and as I laid there listening and developing a rather annoying cramp in my lower back, her life as she knew it was ending.

The life that she knew was ending.

I didn't need someone to tell me what was happening. People don't cry like that for any other reason.

She was alone there, surrounded by the obstetrician, and the midwife and the nurses and the physician's assistant.  Nobody accompanied her to the office.  The doctor wheeled her empty self across the street to the hospital for emergency surgery.  Her cries rang in my ears, in my heart, and they did not become quieter as she was wheeled away.  

When the midwife came in to see me, she asked me how I was feeling today.  I didn't know what to say.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

review of moveme.com

My mother moved this weekend. Naturally, I didn’t help…not because I’m a great fat jerk, but because I’m a great whale of a pregnant person, and my midwife would have had both a hairy conniption and also would have had to deliver Sweets if I’d lugged big heavy boxes around all day Saturday.

Let’s be honest, here, moving stinks. It doesn’t matter if you’re moving because you want to move, or have to move, the entire process is exhausting and awful. Finding boxes, packing, loading the boxes on the truck and off the truck, placing each box in its new home…it’s a lot of thankless work.

Enter MoveMe.com. Whether you’re moving from a studio apartment or an entire household, moveme.com will help you find the proper help for the task, right from the planning stages of the move. One of the free services provided by moveme.com is the MoveMe Planner, an interactive, web-based calendar that plots every step of the moving journey based on your estimated move date.

MoveMe.com also provides free removal quotes from reliable, reputable removal companies, who are guaranteed to treat your possessions with the same care and respect they will show you throughout the moving process.

Small-scale move? For you moveme.com offers quotes on man and van service. Fill out the quick on-line survey, and you will receive quotes from four local companies, complete with ratings from other customers.

Could finding a moving company be any easier?

MoveMe.com offers even more. Information on buying and selling your home, utility companies, insurance companies, obtaining new voter registration information, changing your mailing address…MoveMe.com even provides you with quotes from qualified tradespeople who will take care of any repairs your new home might require.

Again, could MoveMe.com make it any easier for you to plan and execute your move? Their comprehensive services cover the wide range of information you’ll need to have a hassle-free moving experience. And that? Is worth its weight in gold.

And here I go with the full disclosure part: I got paid ten bucks to review this website.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

she's craftay

This is how we do nesting at the Dayton house.  Because honestly?  I'm not the Cleaning Until Uterine Explosion Type.  I am interested in Other Things.

Like this:

Item 1, the adorable skirt for the adorable girlchild.  I had a bunch of this fabric laying around, and decided it would be a cute skirt.  So I thought about it, and then I made some of it into a skirt.  A Twirly Skirt.

Item 2:  Friends of ours just had a baby this week, and so I made a personalized baby blanket.  I do understand that baby blankets are not always the most useful gift, however, a second baby needs her (or his) own blanket.  They just do.  It's like a rule or something, at least in my house.  Kind of like the "No Sharing Combs, Toothbrushes, or Drinking Glasses Rule" that some people have.

I was super excited when I went to JoAnn Fabrics (the only fabric-peddling store within miles of where I live), and discovered that they actually have (gasp with me) prints that aren't barf-inducing.  I have had a difficult time shopping at Joann's for pretty much ever because their choices in fabrics that are not solids or calicos have been chronically lame.  But the last few times I have had crazy success like I had never known was possible.

Also, this is the first time I've used my sewing machine to embroider around applique, and I would give myself a grade of B-.  It's not pro-quality, but I'm not pro, so whatever.  It's on the funky side of things, and it will be swell.

The baby blanket is quilter's flannel on both sides.  You can see the chocolate brown side, and the pink paisley side.  And also the purple towel I used for an ironing board because I don't actually have an ironing board, because I don't actually iron unless I'm sewing.  And now you know all of my dirty little secrets.

And finally, here is Wee Man, trying out his bwand new Bewoved bwanky after I patched that wretched thing into Life #2.  It was a lame, light-seeping-through, vile and filthy piece of blanket and now it's BRIGHT!  and COLORFUL!  and most importantly, EASY TO FIND WHEN MISPLACED!!!!  I haven't cursed Beloved all week, because I can spot that guy instantaneously.

And heck, yeah, that's some skull-and-crossbonages on the Beloved Blanket.  Because that's how we roll here.  There's also some crazy flame material.  Because, as Wee Man pointed out, My Daddy wikes da fwames so my bewovey should have dem.  How can you argue with that sort of reasoning?  You just can't.  And I do realize that speech therapy is probably in that kid's future, but for now he's just too stinking cute for me to actually care.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

just a little story about almost getting arrested at the airport to liven things up

Once upon a time, when there was only Miss O in my life, and we still did fun things like Travel, she and I took a trip to visit Uncle Josh and Auntie Steph in Virginia. We even flew. In an airplane. 

And let me tell you, it is highly preferable to turn an at-least-8-hour-driving-trip into an approximately-3-hour-flying trip.

The exception to this rule is this: Except if you are flying out of Dulles airport.

I had quite forgotten about this trip until I was reading a post by The Hotfessional, who is commuting to Chicago by air, and she was complaining about a guy in security who budged in line, and that led to me thinking about airport security and how, well, neveryoumind what I think about Homeland Security. God forbid I get pegged for being an anti-American Terrorist and taken up to the pokey for quote-unquote questioning. (Oh, wait, Obama is President...there's no more quote-unquote questioning...)

Let's pause to wave and say hi to all of you who call me Pinko Pamela, the Liberal Lady. Hi! How are you? Fine? That's great! Moving on!!!

Back to my uber-fascinating story.

We got to Dulles about five minutes later than we had hoped, which wouldn't have been a problem if everybody else hadn't arrived at the exact same time, only twenty, thirty and ninety minutes late. Clever people! The line was about ninetyelevenbazillion miles long, which is superfun with an 15 month old. And luggage. And a jogging stroller. And a car seat.

I will admit the jogging stroller was not the best idea, but it was the stroller we had. What can you do?

Finally, after the whole excessive waiting in line thing had gotten excessively tedious, we got up to the metal detector. It had taken about 90 minutes, and my flight was set to take off in 9 minutes. And if you've been to Dulles? You know you can't get to the gate from security. It's just plain impossible.

I grabbed four of the grey plastic boxes. I put Miss O in one of them, the diaper bag in another, the car seat in the third, and my shoes in the last one. I left the stroller open, so they could wand it or search it or blow it up...whatever would get me on my airplane.

Except? The enormous bastard (and I use ENORMOUS here as not only an indicator of how bastardy he was, but also as a descriptor of his own personal self) got all up in my face and told me I had to COMPLETELY DISMANTLE MY STROLLER. And that, my friends, is not even a little bit like opening your carry-on bag or spilling the contents of your purse or taking the underwire out of your bra. I am not mechanical at all. And also, my child was taking this opportunity to meet the nice Russian family behind us, and had obtained a Visa and was making alternate travel arrangements, to go home with her new family. It was awesome.

The situation elevated to the following statements:

TSA JERK: If you can't take it apart, I will have you arrested.
ME: Are you F^@#!>% kidding me? If you want it apart so bad, you take it apart. Do you get off on being a jerk to moms traveling with small children? Is that a box you check on the application to get this job? Arrest me then. It's only three o'clock in the afternoon. You'll be on national news by 6.

It was at this moment that the translator for the nice Russian family behind me, a very tall, serious-looking man, got in the face of the TSA Jerk, and asked for the Jerk's name and ID information because he was going to GET OUT OF LINE to go file a complaint about TSA Jerk.

And suddenly? Miss O and I were waved through. And God wasn't that mad at me for Eff-bombing the TSA Jerk, because there was a Jet Blue kiosk just past security with a Very Nice Lady who had been watching the whole event. And the Very Nice Lady called some other Very Nice People, and they held the plane for us. And I did not miss my flight. I also did not kill the TSA Jerk and get sent to Guantanamo Bay.

The End.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


the best of the dayton time

freaking halloween follow up

grey day

soap nuts will save your life


just read the whole thing, it won't kill you

the boy who says no, or i *will* be there at the finish line

i'm glad i'm not a cow


good reads:


Bitch. Ph.D.

blissfully caffeinated

Breed 'Em And Weep

coconut belly

Desperately Seeking Shelly


Hatewatch | Southern Poverty Law Center

He Read/She Read

I Am Bossy

Irish Gumbo

Is There Any Mommy Out There?

jennster :o)


miss britt

moments with love


Mommy Melee

Not A Virgin, But Occasionally a Martyr

Okay, Fine, Dammit

Pacing The Panic Room

Pink Asparagus

Sabbe Interior Design

Sardines in a Can

simply recipes

speaking in CAPS

Steenky Bee

The Bloggess

The Cheek of God

The Hotfessional

The Jason Show

The Prisoner's Wife

The Stiletto Mom

Torpid Trifling



Us and Them

Velveteen Mind

Violence UnSilenced

Well Read Hostess

attachment parenting ~ cloth diapering ~ crafty ~ homeschooling

4 little men and girly twins

Adventures in Babywearing

Beautiful Wreck

Brooke Van Gory

Cloth Diaper Mamas

Cloth Diaper Sewing

Cloth Diapers

Conservative Granola Mommies

Dirty Diaper Laundry


Frontier Dreams


Mama Notes

Newly Wed, Newly Bred!

Our Life Upstate

Paisley and Pretties

Stardust Shoes

The Cloth Diaper Report

The Cloth Diaper Whisperer

There's no snakes in New Zealand

Twin tandem babywearing!

Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Wendy Knits

WhiMSy love

With A Tangled Skein

yarn harlot

zakka life

neighborhood bloggers

anthony hoisington

Beauty in Distress

Harvesting Hanna

I Know Things

In Java, Literally...

Led By The Shepherd

Life and Times in the Iannello House

Once Upon My Life


Simple Terms

Steps for Brady

Team Dudgeon

Team Fuest

The Dacey Bonilla gazette

The Daniels 5

The Mister

The simple life

Tillaboro Orchard

the cast of characters

I am Pamela. This is me and my chins.

This is also me. But cuter.

Yeah, this is me, too. It's possible I took this picture with my phone whilst driving and chewing gum. But I have learned my lesson.


And yes, the dayton time is supposed to be a funny title.

I am The Official Boss of Things. What kind of things? Well, check these lookers out.

This guy, the one masterfully cuddling the baby and the beer at the same time? That's The Mister. He blogs too. He's the blurb to my douche... wait, that's not right, is it? In any case, you can't deny the power of a man holding his babeh. Just don't actually handle the power, because it's mine.

And here he is getting his sport on with our other boy.

This is my girl. We call her Miss O.

This here's my boy. You can call him Wee Man. And yes, I'm aware he's holding the business end of a power tool in his hand. But you see, I was not the Supervising Tall Person in that scenario, I was the Camera Tall Person.

This here's my other boy, HB. And well, that's me. We're floating on a big floaty thing in Keuka Lake, and if you don't know where that is you should consult the googles, because they know everything. And yes, I'm wearing a two-piece bathing suit after having four babies and even though I weigh what I weigh because I don't actually care what you think about it. Because we're all about keeping it real here, that's why.

Here he is again, getting all ready to snooze. Don't even think of discussing the binky (paci, sucky thing) with me because I have LET IT GO. It's all the way let gone, and I'm just totally over it and now we're moving on.

This here's mah babeh. Couldn't you just eat him?

That's us. Pull up a chair or a bit of floor. Just be careful to turn your head away from your screen if you're having something to drink whilst reading. You've been warned.

no-so-wordless wednesday: le cafe

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

it's getting late.

And since it's been very nearly FIVE!  OR FOUR!!! SOMEBODY ELSE COUNT!!! days since I've been a blip on my own radar, I thought I'd just check in.  

Things are just average here.  We've had average days, and average nights.  My whole downstairs was clean today for about two hours; that was above average.  Yesterday Wee Man had another of his Special Moments, and tantrumed to change the world for two hours.  That was above-average, or below-average, depending on if you were the pregnant lady getting kicked and hit and carrying him up to his bed, and then up the very tall bunk bed ladder ninetyeleven times.
It was then I decided that laying on him was much preferable, and probably wasn't as likely to send me back to the Room With The Nipple Ball as carrying him up the stairs.  So I laid on him, enforced cuddle time, if you will, until he fell asleep.  Then I took a nap with my very warm, suddenly cuddly child.  Sweet!  Above-average in the end.

Today, though, Wee Man thought I was the best.  Why?  Because I didn't pin him down with his unborn brother?  Oh, no, people.  I mended Beloved Blanket.  Or, if you're Wee Man, Bewovey.  The kid is like Linus.  Bwankey, thumb and all.
Beloved was becoming a wittwe thweadbawe.  And by a wittwe thweadbawe, I mean ENTIRELY TRANSLUCENT.  So I gave Beloved an Extreme Makeover: Blanket Edition.  And now?  Bewovey wooks wike a quiwt.  (That's quilt, stick with me here.) 

And the verdict?  Mama, you're the best.  Weawwy.  You are.  I wove my bwand new Bewovey.  Because he's the same Bewovey, just bwand new.