Wednesday, December 23, 2009

there was this giveaway, people!

wordless wednesday: me and that guy

Monday, December 21, 2009

all she wants for christmas...

too bad I'm done shopping...
maybe Santa will come through for her!

miss o says...

We *have* to make gingerbread!!! A Christmas without gingerbread is like a face without a moustache. Well, a man's face, not a woman's face. Because that's just weird.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

they forced my hand

No, not my short people. The online people. I have been getting SO MUCH TRASH in my comments lately, not even on recent posts, on way, way old ones, and it just sucks the life out of me. Well, not really. It's just annoying, and people pay me money to put their text links here (I'll tell you which ones if you want to know, just not now, because I'll have to save, and go back and forth and forth and back and save and type and I just don't have the energy for that kind of SUPER DILIGENT FTC-FTW nonsense.)

So I apologize, dear ones, it was either eliminate the anonymous comments or start up with the word verification and I bloody hate word verification. Well, not really, *hate* hate, but I have strong negative feelings toward the word verification.

Can you tell I've gone back to therapy?

If I keep getting the random spam, I'll re-allow the anonymous comments and just drink more bourbon or something.

Oh, and one more thing:

Merry Week of Christmas.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

hi. apparently i'm randy.

My sweet, sweet baby. He is just so yummy and nicey and he smells like milk and he hugs and buzzes off a mouthful of raspberries when he's happy to see us. He army crawls now, and he sits, and plays a drum and with toys and pulls the stupid cats' tails.

He is the kind of baby that flips the LET'S REPRODUCE SOME MORE!!! IT'S A GREAT IDEA!!! switch. You know, supposing I had a switch like that.

He's the easiest baby I can remember having. He is a breastfeeding champ. (Ha, I just typed He is a breastfeeding chap. That too.) He's a predictable pooper. A predictable sleeper. It's lovely, really.

But lately.

When it's Time For Some Nursings, things get a little scary. He opens his mouth wide, wide, wide. He looks me square in the face, and with a twinkle in his eye and the kick of his feet, little man chomps down on my nipple with his razor sharp toothless gums and I become just a teensy bit homicidal.

Maybe homicidal is a little exaggeration.

But then... Dude LAUGHS. Then? Not so much an exaggeration to say I want to push him off my lap and say bad words. Except I don't. I say, NO BITING!, and put mah boobehs away. Which isn't really helping *ME* any, because I probably could out-let-down a Jersey cow. So, Elliott bites me hard, which hurts like a really bad word, the one about the mother... Good to know you're still with me on this one. And there is JUST SO MUCH MILK that I'm ENGORGED UP TO MY ARMPITS and then, just like Randy in the greatest Christmas movie EVER?


Hand expressing is the pits. on Twitpic

That glass? Five minutes.

For two days. Three sips and bite the nips. I've been hand expressing like a teenaged boy, you know, except for the part where those guys make a mess and I make food. Anyway. So naturally I consult The Great And Powerful Googles, who are not yet on SuperWhy which is something I do not understand, because hello, The Googles can skip the whole adaptation of the fairy tale and get straight to the answer.

The Googles told me that The Thing To Do is smash Elliott's little face into my knocker rocks, because he won't be able to breathe, and then when he can't breathe, he'll un-bite me. Or open his mouth. And so I smash, with love, of course, because I'm not really that mom who smashes things, especially the heads of babies. And, just like they said, he opened his mouth.

And laughed. Hard.

As for me? I can't put my arms down.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

oh gosh.

I have some things going on that I can't really address specifically here, and that's a totally crummy way of starting a post, but if you read me on a regular basis, you'll have noticed by now that I haven't been writing too much (right? you've noticed? and you miss me? right?)

And while the things I'm sorting through are unpleasantish, as sorting most often is, I'm just terribly grateful and overwhelmed by the blessings of my life.

So overwhelmed that the very thought of how blessed I am squeezes my heart so hard that I have to gasp just a little at the shock of it all. The shock of the realization that I am so blessed. The shock of the shock of it. The shock of the actual physical sensation of having my heart squeezed.

And I just love my people. I really, really do. They are just so sweet and lovely and edible, and they laugh these laughs that make it impossible to be cross with them for the charming, yet terribly naughty, things they say. And 75% of them poop in the toilet on a regular basis, and if you count me and The Mister in, the statistic jumps to 83.3% of us who poop in the toilet, and that's really the highest it's ever been. Since we've had the short people. Before that, we were at 100%.

The weather has been wretched, but we've been sitting in piles on my comfy red flowered sofa, under blankets, reading books, and playing songs on the drum and telling jokes like this...

Why did the cow cross the road?
It was the chicken's day off.

And it's not funny any more, but it sort of is.

We eat soup and play with friends and make presents and bird feeders by coating pinecones with peanut butter and millet. And we wait for Daddy to come home from work...his hours have been more wretched than the weather.

There is delight and contentment. Because that is what comes of counting your blessings.

because you should.
it's not just for cloth diapers.

Monday, December 14, 2009

it's a giveaway, people!

I may have developed a slight case of diaper envy. It's the kind of thing where SLIGHT = AND NOW I'M BUYING DIAPERS FOR FUN.

But I can totally justify it. All day long, if necessary.

You want to see? I'm so glad you asked. It's imperative that I have (because they're for ME, naturally) more fitteds in the stash because I'm using wool soakers and longies on a regular basis, and my plain old boring still totally useful prefolds aren't always the best choice for using with wool because if the Snappi is not on just so, then the diaper slips and unfolds, where UNFOLDS = POOPSPLOSION, and mama don't love no poopsplosion.

Twitter has done this to me. I could list specific people who are VERY BAD INFLUENCES to me, but I'm no narc. The week of Thanksgiving, I kept hearing talk of the GINORMOUS Black Friday sales going on. And I fell for it. Black Friday sucked me in.

I hit RG Natural Babies. And I hit hard. (Well, for me, anyway.)

I bought three kinds of Rockin' Green: Cherry Almond, Lavendar Vanilla, and Mango Sorbet. I bought Snappi Diaper Fasteners (this was an actual need). I bought triangular crayons for HB's stocking. It's possible I even purchased two DryBee's Gone Natural fitteds. And a DryBees Fleece Night Time diaper with a Knickernappies SuperDo Insert.

Like this, but black.
To go with the skull and crossbones babylegs.

And I had my stuff by Tuesday. That there is some fast shipping.

I was surprised by the scent of grape wafting from my package (how many times have you heard that one?), and discovered that instead of sending me a lavender vanilla scented Rockin' Green Soap, Michelle sent Grape Soda.

I sent her an email to let her know I'd received the wrong item, and she responded quickly, asking me to please wait while she sorted things out. And because I'm awesome like that, I was, well, awesome like that.


Something happened that I did not expect at all. Michelle emailed me that she was shipping me the Lavendar Vanilla Rockin' Green Soap, and that I should just keep the Grape Soda flavour, and Merry Christmas to me!

So here's what I'm doing, because I want to spread the awesomesauce around:

I'm giving away the Grape Soda Rockin' Green Soap that Michelle gave me. And Michelle is giving you all a coupon for 5% off your next purchase at RG Natural Babies! Just type CHRISTMAS in the coupon place during checkout.

Here's what to do:
Leave a comment telling me about a company with great customer service, or about someone who did something nice for you, just because they could.

Extra entries:
1. Follow me and Michelle from RG Natural Babies on Twitter, and tweet this: @pameladayton and @RGNaturalBabies are spreading Christmas cheer! @RockinGreenSoap giveaway Leave a comment. Tweet as often as you like, but remember how we all feel about spammers.
2. For five extra entries, make a purchase at RG Natural Babies, and leave your order number in the comments. I'll be checking up on this, and you won't win if you say you made a purchase you didn't actually make. Leave five comments.
3. The standard Dark Chocolate In My Mailbox Bribe will get you five extra entries.

Contest will close at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time, 23 December, 2009. Winner has to email me back within four days or I'll pick someone else, so there. Please include your email address, because if I can't reach you, you can't win.

Now go forth and comment. And be nice just because you can.

Here's the disclosure, just in case you can't read English and missed it the first time around: RG Natural Babies gave me some Rockin' Green, just fer nicey. And I'm giving it to somebody. Just fer nicey. And I'm shipping it on my dime.... wait for it... just fer nicey. So there.

Friday, December 11, 2009

sleepy wrap. 'tis nice.

Back before we had two feet of snow blowing around all crazy-like, back when the sun actually warmed the atmosphere (and don't even leave me a comment explaining thermal-blah-blah, because I'm not actually interested in what is actually happening)...

Back *then*, a little twittery-bird told me Sleepy Wrap was looking for bloggers to review their (FABULOUS) wraps. So I sent them an email, and they sent me and email, then I sent them an email and then they sent me an email. And a HOT green Sleepy Wrap.

Are you happy with my full disclosure, oh great and powerful Blog Review Czar-Dictators? Or whoever you are?

And because I'm all disclosing and stuff, I need to apologize to Sleepy Wrap, because I told them I'd have my review posted, like, two years ago. Or the first week of December. I'm sorry.


I love the Sleepy Wrap. And here's why:
  • Babywearing. Hi, have you met me? I wear my short people pretty much the same number of days I wear underwear. Or a little more frequently. You'll never actually know. There are so many reasons why babywearing is awesome, except blogger won't let me make subcategories with the button thingy, so I can't tell you. So check this out. And check this kid out because oh, my word. He's adorable.
two fingers = happy baby

  • The instruction manual. So. Stinking. Easy to understand. THANK YOU FOR THAT!!! I have another carrier, a soft-structured one that I'll just call the Blergo, a totally random name I just made up all by myself, and the instruction manual for that baby carrier resulted in several new words added to HB's vocabulary that are guaranteed to show up in a conversation with my mother-in-law, or during the children's sermon at church.
  • The colors. I like color. Sure, I pretty much wear black, and very nearly every room in my house is painted some variety of yellow, but I like color, especially on my baby carriers. There are so many choices, and honestly, I'm glad they chose for me. I love the green.
  • The family behind the product. They started their business whilst traveling the world. That, my friends, is the awesomesauce. And the list of family-focused organizations they support is LONG.
  • The support. I have a disc in my back that likes to pop out and cause me to hurt, and be unable to stand up and walk around... it is an unpleasant situation. I have worn Elliott, who now weighs about 20 pounds, for hours. And hours. And my back is fine. I can't say that for some other carriers I have tried, like the Blergo, for example. There have been times when I've worn my Sleepy Wrap without a child in it just because it supports my back so well and feels so comfortable. Lots of times, actually.
  • The sleeping baby. Dude loves it in the Sleepy Wrap. Dude loves to sleep in the Sleepy Wrap, too, but naturally I haven't taken a picture of Elliott sleeping in the Sleepy Wrap, because that would have been ten kinds of clever, and I am running a serious deficit on the clever scale this month.
see how his knees are bent?
this is a good thing.
no broken babehs here.

Possible improvements:
  • Length of the wrap. It is L.O.N.G. I'm not a petite mama, I'm 5'7"ish, and 160ish pounds, and I had to wrap the fabric around me more times than suggested in the directions in order to get the Sleepy Wrap tied snugly enough. I think a truly petite person, short and skinny, would feel like she was stuffed in a cotton envelope.
  • Back Carry Instructions. There were pictures of people wearing their babes on their backs in the literature, but there were no directions about how to do that. It would be really handy to put Elliott on my back when I'm kneading bread or making cheese or doing laundry.

Please notice how the list of things I love is WAY longer than the list of possible improvements.

The Sleepy Wrap is comfortable and supportive, and it is made by a company that is dedicated to helping families and conserving our natural resources. You can't beat that.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

overheard, or, good on ya, mate!

As he climbed into his daddy's lap to cuddle:

Daddy, my pe.nis is bigger as it ever was.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

and then he was three.

Our darling surprise, HB, turned three this week.

how cute is that face?

His choice for a special birthday dinner?
Grilled cheese and tomato soup.

You know you're raising them right when they
choose your favorite foods for their birthday dinner.

And he made his own cake.
Because he wanted to be the one who got to lick the sticks.

Yes, I measured out the ingredients and
stood there the entire time,
and did hold the mixer once or twice,
but he did it all. by. himself.
And it was really, really good.

We bought him a drum.
It's quite possible he squeed when he opened it.

And The Mister and I made him a felt board.

We celebrated with family and friends, and it was just wonderful. One of these days, I will post a little video of HB laughing. Because that kid? Has the BEST. LAUGH. EVER. Everybody says so, and if everybody says it, it must be true, right?

Monday, November 30, 2009

i have so many things to tell you, mah peeps

But I have neither the energy nor the brain power to recount all of the fabulousness that was last week.

Here are the things that will happen this week:
  1. ERGObaby review. Here. On this little bit of the blogoslovakia.
  2. Sleepy Wrap review and coupon code. Also here.
  3. Guest post at The Hotfessional. Link forthcoming.
  4. Pics of my new three year-old.
  5. Pics of my former maple trees.
Oh-- we got our pig today. HB calls it our Pig-Gi-Let. I call it DINNER. And it came to my house the only acceptable way: chopped up and wrapped in butcher paper. Our bacon and hams are in the smoker, and we'll get them as soon as they're done.

Fresh. Bacon. There's nothing like it.

And now I'm all distracted thinking about bacon.

Monday, November 23, 2009

this is how today went.

Miss O's stupid evil God-awful black cat, Sully, slept on my head last night. It wouldn't have been so bad if he hadn't just acquired THE FLEAS, and if I didn't have a hair appointment this afternoon. Thanks, cat.

Wee Man's preschool class celebrated Thanksgiving today, which involved short people sitting in three rows of 10 chairs, and sometimes singing a variety of preschool songs. It was exactly the same program we saw two years ago when Miss O was in preschool cute. Wee Man has been having a growth spurt of late, and is either eating, sleeping, or acting like a wackadoo. Naturally, during the "celebration", he chose wackadoo. Good work, kid.

The Electric Company sent the Asplundh Tree Service to our house today to remove the two enormous maples in our front yard. This is a happy/sad thing. I'm happy the trees won't fall on our house or vehicles, and The Mister is sad because he's a sentimental fella, and those trees have been there forever. Sorry, babe.

Sweets has discovered The Art of The Head Butt. And I think the bridge of my nose is broken. No, really. He performed the kind of move with his head that the fancy karate people use on boards when they want to bash them in half. I am in SO MUCH FACE PAIN right now that not even the lortabs help. You're advanced, karate-headed babeh.

I got a haircut tonight, because I was looking like some crazy, frizzed out, poorly dyed, bastard child of a mushroom and a loaf of bread. Now I'm looking nicey. Thanks, Tiff.

Whist sitting in the chair at the salon, because SALON is so much fabber than HAIRDRESSER, which makes me sound like an old lady or something, the junior salon girl pointed the hair dryer at my right ear drum and fired away for an hour, burnt both of my ears with the flat iron, also burnt my forehead with the flat iron, and sprayed me in the eyes with the spritzy stuff at least half a dozen times. You rock, junior salon girl.

But... I did get the diapers all washed and dried, the house is mostly cleaned, I remembered to make my contribution to the MOPS breakfast tomorrow, also baked a batch of bread, and The Mister and I made a grand pot of some seriously bad-ass bean soup.

And by BAD-ASS, I do not mean the kind of bean soup that gives you a bad ass.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

in which i refer to glee, church, gays, and love. and no, you don't need to brace yourselves. i think.

So I turned on the television and watched Glee. And meh, or not-so-meh, it was okay. Some of the singing is amazing, but really, the auto-tune is over.kill. The people are all very clean, and pretty, and even the bad boy with the poser mohawk is clean and pretty. So meh.

Obviously, I am going somewhere with this. Because I ALWAYS go somewhere with my intensely clever posts.


Pretty blonde cheerleader girly's parents found out she was knocked up. And being the good, happy, always chipper Christian family, cheerleader girly's daddy kicked her out of the house after saying kind words like, WHO ARE YOU, and I DON'T EVEN RECOGNIZE YOU, and walking away from her when she said she needed her daddy to hold her and tell her everything was going to be okay.

We have a little portion of our church service where we share our joys and also things we would like people to pray about. For example, one time when Auntie Teff was visiting, someone asked for prayer for a man who had been kicked by a cow for the second time, and she just about wet her pants laughing. You can never tell when those cows are going to go all rogue...just look at the former governor of Alaska. That cow went ALL KINDS OF ROGUE, and got a book deal.*

Mooooo-ving on. Yes, people, that is one smoooooth segue there.

So a guy stood up and said he would like prayer for a member of his family who "has decided to go and join the gay community" and he then went on and on about his views of homosexuality, and on and on... and on and on... and he said a number of things that were not really very nice.

My stomach was in a knot, because sitting right behind me were the parents of one of our openly gay church members. Every comment about "the gays" felt like the stab of a knife, and he wasn't even talking about my child. I can't even imagine how it would have felt to listen to him talk if my child was one of "the gays". I was hurt when that stupid old man said my kids were bad last weekend. And that stupid old man wasn't slamming my kids, he was attacking my parenting. I can't imagine how it would feel to listen to someone bash my child.

The gold star goes to me, for making this about me!!!

It is so incredibly frustrating to be around people who claim to love the God who teaches that we should love our neighbors, and with their next breath preach rejection to people who are different from them. I am reading a book by Philip Yancey called What's So Amazing About Grace?, and one of the chapters is about his relationship with a friend who is gay. It's actually about way more, and way deeper points and ideas and stuff, but just try to stick with me on this one. Some Christian media outlet is interviewing the friend's mother, and asks her a question (totally paraphrasing here): You're a Christian, don't you find your son to be an abomination? She replied, He might be an abomination, but he's still our pride and joy.

We all are some sort of abomination, yet each of us is someone's pride and joy. Everyone has some sort of failure going on in their lives, and I'd wager that more often than not? We all suck in way more ways than we're willing to let on. I'm not sure when the free passes to overlook our own abominationosity were handed out, but there's a certain group who received too many.

If we did nothing but treat every person as a person of great value, this world would be a completely different place. Each of us is important. Each of us has worth. Each of us is someone's pride and joy. Never forget that, not even for a second. Act and speak accordingly.**

*In light of my own position in this post, I apologize for mocking the former governor of Alaska. I'm sure she's someone's pride and joy.

**You know I love a healthy debate, but so help me, if any of you are rude, I will delete your asses and close the comments so fast your heads will spin. Even if you are someone's pride and joy.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

kids are not at all like a box of chocolates.

Because when I buy chocolate, I get exactly the kind of chocolate I want. Every. Single. Time.

With short people?

Sometimes they crap their pants and hide the evidence. Sometimes you find them cuddled in a heap with their siblings, each proclaiming the others' bestness.

And that is not at *ALL* like chocolate.

Monday, November 16, 2009

i yelled at an old man.

My favorite shopping event of the year was Saturday, the World-Wide Christmas Fair at a local church.

Let me 'splain... no, that take too long. Let me sum up.

Amazing artisans from third world countries, fairly-traded gorgeous things. And also, egg-salad sandwiches and yummy soup for lunch.

I was there with the three boys, and we had successfully navigated the fair, and had successfully consumed our lunches, and Wee Man and HB had very nearly successfully put their booster seats away. You see, they were eating soup, and boosters are essential for cleanliness in soup eatestry. And by VERY NEARLY SUCCESSFUL in putting their booster seats away, I mean that the seats were pretty much where I asked for them to be put, and the boys only sounded like one 2 year-old and one 4 year-old, not a bazillion.

I call that a win.

The old man at the adjacent table? Want to know what he said?

You're absolutely right I'm going to tell you anyway.

He said to me, looking me straight in the face:

Did you happen to notice that little girl sitting next to you is just eating her lunch and being quiet and so good, and well, your boys are not being good. I shouldn't say NOT GOOD, but well, they're not.

I looked back at him. I believe my eyes were as wide open as they have ever been, and a lady from the kitchen ran out to give me a spatula to SCRAPE MY JAW UP OFF THE FLOOR.

He was looking for an answer, and also, I'm guessing his version of THE ANSWER did not have the word asshole in it. Also probably not fucker. So I took a moment, gathered my thoughts, and translated them into the vulgarity-free version.

There are some things that you should just never say out loud. And THAT WAS ONE OF THEM. My boys are two and four. They are acting like 2 and 4 year-old boys. Do you think I haven't noticed their behavior? Here's a little suggestion for you: THE NEXT TIME YOU WANT TO TELL A MOTHER WITH THREE LITTLE BOYS ABOUT THEIR BEHAVIOR? BITE. YOUR. TONGUE. SIR.

I admit, I said SIR in the calling-him-an-asshole-voice.

Oh, well, I was just teasing, don't take it so seriously, he said, clearly uncomfortable. AS WAS APPROPRIATE FOR HIS SITUATION.

No, you weren't teasing, nobody says things like that and is really, honestly kidding. You were being mean, and I don't appreciate it. My children are acting their age. There was no need for you to say mean things about them, and infer that I'm a bad parent.

I gathered up my sweet boys who were looking more than a little surprised that I had just chewed out Mr. Curmudgeon Pants McGee, and we left.

I think he got the message.

Friday, November 13, 2009

i love interwebs search results

I love when the Googles and the Yahooligans send me traffic from people in need of assistance. For example, this poor lady.

38 weeks pregnant and farts stink.

Let's all sigh in a most sympathetic fashion with our poor, poor friend. On the count of three... ONE. TWO. THREE.


Seriously. You're 38 weeks pregnant and only now your farts have begun to stink? For real? Oh, honey. It will be okay. Here's what you should do: blame the baby daddy. But only for two more weeks. Then you can blame the baby.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


We have been sick. And by *WE* I mean Miss O, Wee Man, HB, and Sweets. The doctor believes they had The Wicked And Evil H1N1. And really? It's been unpleasant, but that is all. They are not short people who have a pre-existing health conditions that make The Wicked And Evil H11N1 a threat to their lives, and for that I am thankful.

It is not easy to have four small people sick at the same time. They're mostly nice when they're unwell, except for HB who is about as belligerent as a bull with a bee in his bonnet when he's under the weather.

Even so, between wiping noses and butts and pouring drinks and the occasional thermometer in the keister, it is easy to forget to eat your lunch or make coffee and drink it, or shower. It's much easier to throw a great big pity party just for me.

I was standing outside soaking in the gorgeous autumn air when it occurred to me... I am here. I am present in the lives of my precious short people. I am the arms they fall into when everything is wrong, when they are delirious with fever, when they need something, me, anything. Everything.

I took a few more deep breaths of the warm air and headed back inside, unexpectedly refreshed.

I am the mama.

I am here.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

friends in need

This post is being featured on hundreds, possibly thousands of blogs today, to show support to the Spohr family and to raise support for their foundation Friends of Maddie. Today I pray for the parents of a child I did not know, because I cannot imagine being able to breathe again after suffering a loss like theirs.

I don't think there are too many people reading this who didn't have their heart broken on April 7th of this year. That's the day we learned that Madeline Alice Spohr, whom we all knew as Maddie from The Spohrs Are Multiplying, was suddenly taken from her parents, Heather and Mike, when a respiratory infection coupled with a collapsed lung was more than her 17-month-old body could fight. Thousands of people across the country mourned with Heather and Mike, and thousands came to their support by donating to the March of Dimes in Maddie's memory.

Since then, the Spohrs, along with family and friends, have created Friends of Maddie, a fund dedicated to supporting families of critically ill or prematurely-born infants during their stay in the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) with supplies, help finding temporary lodging (because the NICU isn't always within commuting distance
of home), and by creating a network of support. Friends of Maddie uses your donation to put together Support Packs for families who find themselves overwhelmed with the care of an at-risk newborn. The packs include items such as reusable water bottles, snack bars, tissues, mints, and most importantly, a tri-fold binder with a note pad and accordion file to keep track of paperwork.

"We're hopeful it will make it at a little easier for parents to keep track of everything," Heather says."You get SO many papers, business cards, etc., every day, and it's hard to keep track of everything."

She should know, she lived the experience. Maddie's sixty-eight-day stay in the NICU is chronicled on Heather's blog and her husband Mike's blog as well. Readers across the country followed every setback and every victory. What message would she like to pass on to parents in the same situation?

"Patience. Take things a day at a time and live in the moment. Don't look down the road or things will get REALLY scary and overwhelming," shared Heather.

The reaction to the packs has been terrific, according to Heather, "We've been getting a FANTASTIC response from everyone! We weren't expecting such a big response so we are really behind in getting back to everyone, but it's a
good problem to have!"

By now, you are all wondering how you can help, right? I knew it. You people rock. Your options:
* Donate! I know, the economy is bad right now, but every little bit helps. Or...
* Let your local NICU know about Friends of Maddie, or...
* Do you work for a company that might bring a valuable service to NICU parents? Contact FoM! Or...
* Just spread the word! Write a blog post! Send out a tweet! Y'all know how this works!

Mike and Heather's loss is unimaginable. In spite of their grief, they have found a way to pay forward all the love poured out from thousands of hearts across the internet. Tell your friends about Friends of Maddie.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

a little ranting for a tuesday.

I'm so over hype. SO. OVER. I'm exhausted by the media dictating the next crisis, I'm tired of hearing about H1N1, if I never heard the word immunization again, I'd be totally fine.

Seeds. Tiny little blips on the radar of our minds, dripping like Chinese Water Torture. It's ridiculous. The drips and blips put chinks in the armor that is our sanity, our reason, our common sense; first one, then two, then four, then the deluge opens and we are drowned in a deluge of scary sensationalization.

Yes, I said sensationalization. Blogger does not think it is a word, but I do. So there.

Whether or not you get your family vaccinated for the seasonal flu or H1N1 is your business. There are people who really, truly should have the vaccines. But really? People who are scared shitless because they believe every last word they hear on Fox News or CNN or in the Batavia Daily should take a deep breath and dig a little deeper. You owe it to yourself and your family to read as much as you can from as many sources as possible. Read. Learn. Try to understand both sides of the argument.

Our culture is espoused in fear. Have you seen the news? It's all murder this, armed robbery that, people dying here, terrorism there. Media governs culture. Not to go all conspiracy-theory on you, but really? When we're all on the Fear Wagon, we do what the media tells us to do. We get the shots. We hate. We protest. We purchase. We don't always exercise our independent thinking.

And that is not good, people.

Learn. Think. Study. Then act.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

love etsy in times of cholera swine flu

Hello, friends, and welcome. Today, in an effort to escape the vile germage in my own home, I am going to take you on a fun, fun trip. And it is called WINDOW SHOPPING ON ETSY.

I know there are still a few of you who live under a rock haven't perused the glorious wonder that is Etsy. Some of you haven't even pulled your heads out of your keisters heard of Etsy.

For shame.

Once you discover Etsy, you will never need to shop at the local Tarzhay again. Especially when this happens. Except for, you know, toilet paper and borax.

Let us begin.

The top.

And also? I would like to know where that girl purchases her undergarments, because them's some perfect breasts, people. And that flat, flat belly. Someday, maybe she'll have four short people running around coughing like they have the consumption and will turn to the interwebs to sigh over the flat belly of some lovely young thing.

The skirt.

Except I can't have this skirt, because it's a reserve listing for someone else. I hope she loves that skirt. And also? I hope her ass looks just as smackable as the one on the girl in the picture.

The knee socks.

And also, I will take a pair of those calves. Just in case I ever purchase a pair of tall boots that don't fit over the ones I already have.

The boots.

I really like these, however, I really, really really reallyreallyreally like boots, and wish I had tons and tons of them, so any boots would have done quite nicely.

The necklace.

In sterling silver, not gold. I never actually wear gold. Yellow makes me look like a cadaver.

The bag.

I may have actually already purchased this bag. The Mister will tell you I have a problem with bags. But I haven't purchased one since my super amazing trip to Trader Joe's with my friend K from Philly, who some of you know as The Well-Read Hostess. She wrote a post the other day called I Kissed A Girl, and sadly, it wasn't about me.

Was that enough to distract you all away from the fact that I bought that bag? No? Dang.

The outerwear.

It's a babywearing poncho. Who knew there was such a thing? I totally need this thing because, hello, people, I am always tying that little fella on, and one of us ends up chilly. every. single. time.

Oh, Etsy.


Friday, November 6, 2009

an open letter to my son

My dearest, darling HB,

You are the biggest surprise I've ever had in my entire life. Who knew a nine pound twelve ounce baby could arrive after only 22 weeks of being pregnant?!?! You've added to my life in so many ways, I can barely keep track.

The dimple. In your right cheek. Yes, the one on your face. It kills me. Your big, blue eyes, your gape-mouthed-full-of-teeth smile, that laugh that causes people to stop in their tracks and join in your fun and merriment.

You are so adorable, I can't even stand you. You are going to turn three soon, and you'll probably be hell on wheels, because that's what three year-olds are. We learned quickly that the Terrible Twos was a total misnomer, coined by someone who thought two year-olds were slightly taller and a teensy bit more well-spoken than they really are.

But here's the thing: YOU ARE NOT THREE YET. So dispense with the constant screaming, and I swear to the Almighty Maker of our world if you call me STUPID STUPEY POOPEY one more time I just might start acting all stupid stupey poopey just to show you how good you really have it, buster.

And while we're at it? I really, really, really do not enjoy sliding my half-asleep self under your bed in the middle of the night when you have lost your binky. Maybe if you shouted at me a little less and kept your saucy mouth closed, you wouldn't lose your binky. Just a suggestion.

One final thought: Candy is not a meal.

Hugs and kisses,
aka Stupid Stupey Poopey Head

Thursday, November 5, 2009

apparently there was this situation with our water, or, i saved lives by spending $40 at the StuffMarts

Last Friday, I called my friend K from up the street because her family was planning to join my family for our Friday night tradition, Pizza And A Movie. This is neither here nor there, but I was surprised that instead of talking about olives and mushrooms and peppers and stuff, she wanted to talk about water.


I was bracing myself for the sort of conversation that The Mister and I had after he finished reading the Comprehensive History of Salt a few years ago, and he was just so taken with salt that he would talk and talk and talk and talk about it until I wanted to bury my head in the salt shaker and die.

It seemed that our village had the bad kind of e Coli in the water. And to make life superamazing and ultra-awesome, we had a YOU MUST BOIL YOUR WATER OR SPEND THE REST OF YOUR LIFE (or week) POOPING YOUR BRAINS OUT WITH THE POISONING.

That's so odd, I said to me, you'd think the Village People (and yes, that does include the Phone-Conversation-About-The-Goat Lady) would have told us we need to boil our water.

And also not wash our dishes.

Or laundry.

Or bathe.

But maybe I was just over-thinking the situation.

Nobody came knocking on our door. Nobody came around with a letter, or information of any kind. What *did* they do?

THEY LEFT A NOTICE ON THE DOOR OF THE GAS STATION. That's just what they did. Somebody mentioned that they might have seen something about some sort of water issue on the news.

The gas station. And the only reason I know this is because before I could go to the StuffMarts to BUY WATER SO WE DIDN'T DIE, I had to put gas in my supersweet mini-Coopervan.

Village People = FAIL.

I loaded up the short people, and bought 20ish 2.5 gallon jugs of water for us, and my in-laws, my friend K from up the street, her parents, and the three elderly people who live on my street and who don't really get out much.

The more I thought about the situation, the more infuriated I became. There are maybe 100 houses in my village that have municipal water. And that's a stretch. The Village People couldn't get their act together for one itty bitty problem, run to Max, pay the $7 to get 100 copies made, and drop by those 100 houses to inform us?

It gets better. The notice on the gas station door said that the Village People had known FOR AN ENTIRE MONTH that there was e Coli in our water. Since October 1, 2009, the notice read. Must be we just had the COMPLETELY NORMAL KIND of e Coli, that is until October 28, when THE ACTUALLY BAD KIND of e Coli showed up. AND THEN!!!!! They waited two whole days before not telling us our water was dangerous.

Not enough?

It gets more better. When the time came that the water was deemed fit for human consumption? They also kinda sorta forgot to tell us. I consulted the Googles yesterday, after dinner, and the Googles told me my water was safe, and had been safe since at least 10 o'clock that morning. THANK YOU, OH GREAT AND POWERFUL GOOGLES!!!! I got a text message tonight from a neighbor asking if I'd heard if the water was good. It had been deemed safe for a day and a half, and they had no idea.

What the bloody hell, people. I hope nobody got sick, but if someone did? I hope they sue the pants off the Village People.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

wordless wednesday: all of us, all together.

For a not-even-remotely-wordless Wednesday post, check me out at He Read/She Read today. Jim Styro, of speaking in CAPS, and I discuss Yann Martel's brilliant novel Life of Pi.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

lesson of the week.

We were putting the boys to bed tonight, The Mister was standing on the bottom step of the bunk bed ladder cuddling Wee Man, and I was sitting next to HB. The Mister's hand was dangling between two of the steps of the ladder, practically begging to be bothered.

Hey, HB, I said, tickle Daddy's hand.

So he did, obedient child that he is. The Mister rested his hand on one of the steps, hopefully out of reach of HB's tickling.

HB, tickle Daddy's hand again. Yes, I am five.

HB obliged, and started messing with The Mister again.

Get your hand off my pec.ker. The Mister was not happy.

Nice vocabulary lesson, Daddy, I said. HB, do you know what a pec.ker is?

Yeah, it's a bird and it bonks things with its nose and eyes. It's blind because it bonks things with its eyes.

So now you know, people. A pec.ker bonks things and is blind. Little ones speak only the truth.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

i mooed.

So, I had taken the Am.bien, The Castor Oil, and shoved the Evening Primrose Oil up there. And all I had to show for it was flushed away in an instant. After dosing myself with some more Evening Primrose Oil, I went back to bed.

I woke up two hours later, a little after 5 a.m. And I hurt. I felt like I was coming down with the flu or something. My back hurt. My belly hurt. My legs hurt. My... well, that hurt, too.

I heaved myself up, rolled out of bed, and tripped to the bathroom. Apparently the effects of The Castor Oil Treatment were over. Nothing was happening.

But I really, really hurt.

I thought about calling my midwife to tell her I was really, really hurting, but seriously? I truly believe that if you call your midwife at 38 weeks, at five in the morning, to tell her your vagina hurts? It's like hiring a hit man. FOR YOURSELF.

So I took some deep breaths, and tried to relax my hurty self, and it was 100% ineffectual. I went back to bed, but it hurt to lie down. So I heaved myself back up, rolled out of bed, and went back to the bathroom, because leaning over the sink and swaying back and forth felt a tiny bit better than laying down.

Have I mentioned I am occasionally stupid?

I was there, swinging on the bathroom sink for a few minutes, and I stopped moving, because I was hearing a really weird noise. I listened hard, trying to figure out what in God's name was making that noise.

Ummm, yeah. It was totally ME. I was moo-ing.

It was at that moment, when I heard myself baying like a freaking cow, that my light bulb blazed on.

I was having a baby. RIGHT EFFING THEN.

I stood there and made two plans. Plan A: I would wake up The Mister. If he jumped out of bed, I would call his mother to tell her to run up the street to stay with the children. If she answered the phone, we would go to the hospital. Plan B: If The Mister did not jump right out of bed, I would get in the tub and call our neighbor who is the OB Nurse Manager and tell her to let herself in.

We went with Plan A. The Mister and Miss O got up, my MIL charged up the street, and we flew to the hospital. I tried again to reach my midwife so she could, you know, be there for the delivery. It was the longest car ride of my entire life. And I've made the trek to FLORIDA from here, people.

It was 6:00 a.m.

The Mister raced into the hospital to get a wheelchair for me. And he even had the nerve to make me sit down in it. I was really not excited about this, because hello, there's a baby head between my butt bones right now, dude, and sitting makes it worse.

He wheeled me to Labor and Delivery, where Nurse Sunday Driver lollygagged her way to a room. The room that was not sanitized or reset after the previous delivery. So she lollygagged her way down to the one that was furthest away.

My water broke. They hefted me out of the chair, and I leaned forward on the bed while they took my wet clothes off.

This is how we're going to do this, I said. I am going to have this baby right. NOW. Standing here. You are going to catch.

Oh, no, honey, Nurse Lollygagger Sunday Driver said. I have to check you.


Oh, no, honey, you need to get in bed. I have to check you before you can push.

And then she knocked my punk ass in bed. And she checked me. And she actually seemed surprised that I was, indeed, seconds from giving birth.

A flood of Emergency Room staff rushed the room, the same guy who had his hands in my places on my anniversary. Dude stood at the end of the bed, tilted his head to the right, stared at the gaping orifice in front of him and said the stupidest thing I have ever heard in my entire life.

Ahh, ummm, I'm gonna need you to not push.

I sat up. What?

Yeah, don't push.

I refrained from calling him Dr. Fucker because my 6 year old daughter was standing by my left shoulder, and I'm a good mother like that. Instead, I said, Right. This is me, not pushing. I took a deep breath, put my chin down, and pushed Elliott's head out. Also, I pushed out a rogue family of hemorrhoids that were residing in my ass. It was a family the size of the Duggars, mom, dad, 19 children, one daughter-in-law and one grandchild. Not that anyone counted or anything.

Then, Dr. Please-Don't-Have-A-Baby-I've-Already-Handled-Your-Vagina-Once-And-That's-Plenty-For-Me-Thanks, well that guy told me to slow down. BECAUSE LET'S MAKE THIS LAST LONGER SO WE REMEMBER IT BETTER?!?!?!

He stood there and watched my no-longer gaping orifice, which really, I don't blame him, if I were faced with a vagina with a face I'd stare, too.


Dr. Please said he wasn't able to do that.

So I pushed again and launched my third 9 pound baby into the world, twelve minutes after arriving at the hospital. I really hope someone caught him, and that he didn't land right on the bed, because that would be crappy. Somewhere in the three minutes between when I got on the bed and pushed him out, my midwife arrived. It was a well-attended birth.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

did i even tell you about when sweets was born?

No? Well, then mah peeps, settle down for story time.

Sweets was due April 9th, I think, honestly I don't remember. Yeah, yeah, gasp and stuff. None of my kids were born on their due dates, and I don't remember any of the due dates.

I only remember being VERY overdue with Miss O. And Wee Man. And HB. Except we didn't actually know when I joined the pudding club with HB, but I am absolutely positive I was horrifyingly overdue.

By the time the last week of March rolled around, I had been having contractions for hours every day. Sometimes they were in a pattern, and could be timed, other times they were comparable to being randomly whacked in the belly with a baseball bat. Good times, y'all, good times.

On Friday, March 27th, I was 38 weeks into it, and ended up going to the hospital for a labor check. They sent me home with an Amb.ien, the Drug of the Blessed, and said maybe I just needed a good night's sleep.

So, being the good girl I am, I took my Am.bien, and hopped on the computer to do a little research into The Castor Oil Treatment For Babeh Removal. Castor Oil is handy for speeding things up a little if you find yourself sort of in labor.

Also, it makes you crap your brains out.

Naturally I took a responsibly-sized dose. And then I applied two Evening Primrose Oil tablets to my, ummm, cervical area. (Evening Primrose Oil helps you to become dilated and more effaced if you find yourself sort of in labor.)

I was planning to engage in the sort of activity that got me in that situation in the first place, because that helps, too, but I'm a cheap date and the Ambi.en knocked me out.

I woke up at 3 a.m. and crapped my brains out, but I was not in labor. Not a flipping contraction in sight. I was very disappointed. I applied two or three more Evening Primrose Oil tablets, because I had an enormous bottle, and they were expensive-ish, and why be wasteful? And then I went back to bed.

I was very disappointed.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

so that happened.

Elliott slept all. night. long. last night.

It was amazing, almost.

He was out like Christmas break winter holiday when I went to bed. Usually he's in between sleep sessions when I turn in for the night, so I get my pj's on, climb in bed with him, and fall asleep nursing him. Then he wakes up two hours later, we switch sides, and I fall back asleep nursing him. Then he wakes up two hours later, we switch sides, and I fall back asleep nursing him. Then he wakes up again two hours later, we switch sides again, and I fall back asleep again, nursing him. Then...

Dude loves him some boobies. For real.

Usually I wear a bra to bed, because oh my word, have you seen me? I have a set. And a hard-working set they are. I should really look into being a wet nurse or something because, well, I could.

But last night, I was so. very. tired. I've been wearing a bra practically nonstop for nearly seven months. If you've ever done this, you know it gets all hot and itchy in there and no, I haven't worn the same bra continually for seven months, please, people, give me a little credit.

I took the thing off. And I got me a handy dandy toddler sized prefold diaper, folded it neatly, and put it in my shirt. BECAUSE THEY LEAK, that's why.

At 2 a.m. I realized I had wet the bed.

I was soaked from my chin to my belly button. I find it hard to imagine I would have been less pleased if I had actually wet the bed in the conventional manner.

So, I did the only logical thing I could think of at two in the morning: I took off my wet shirt, and put on a dry one.

And I changed my diaper.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

have you heard of juvenile dermatomyositis? read on.

I read this post on a number of blogs I frequent, and contacted Kevin of Always Home and Uncool to offer up my little corner of West Blogoslovakifornia, as part of his effort to raise awareness in the blogosphere of juvenile myositis, a rare autoimmune disease his daughter was diagnosed with seven years ago. The diagnosis day also happens to be his wife’s birthday.

Our pediatrician admitted it early on.

The rash on our 2-year-old daughter’s cheeks, joints and legs was something he’d never seen before.

The next doctor wouldn’t admit to not knowing.

He rattled off the names of several skins conditions — none of them seemingly worth his time or bedside manner — then quickly prescribed antibiotics and showed us the door.

The third doctor admitted she didn’t know much.

The biopsy of the chunk of skin she had removed from our daughter’s knee showed signs of an “allergic reaction” even though we had ruled out every allergy source — obvious and otherwise — that we could.

The fourth doctor had barely closed the door behind her when, looking at the limp blonde cherub in my lap, she admitted she had seen this before. At least one too many times before.

She brought in a gaggle of med students. She pointed out each of the physical symptoms in our daughter:

The rash across her face and temples resembling the silhouette of a butterfly.
The purple-brown spots and smears, called heliotrope, on her eyelids.
The reddish alligator-like skin, known as Gottron papules, covering the knuckles of her hands.
The onset of crippling muscle weakness in her legs and upper body.

She then had an assistant bring in a handful of pages photocopied from an old medical textbook. She handed them to my wife, whose birthday it happened to be that day.

This was her gift — a diagnosis for her little girl.

That was seven years ago — Oct. 2, 2002 — the day our daughter was found to have juvenile dermatomyositis, one of a family of rare autoimmune diseases that can have debilitating and even fatal consequences when not treated quickly and effectively.

Our daughter’s first year with the disease consisted of surgical procedures, intravenous infusions, staph infections, pulmonary treatments and worry. Her muscles were too weak for her to walk or swallow solid food for several months. When not in the hospital, she sat on our living room couch, propped up by pillows so she wouldn’t tip over, as medicine or nourishment dripped from a bag into her body.

Our daughter, Thing 1, Megan, now age 9, remembers little of that today when she dances or sings or plays soccer. All that remain with her are scars, six to be exact, and the array of pills she takes twice a day to help keep the disease at bay.

What would have happened if it took us more than two months and four doctors before we lucked into someone who could piece all the symptoms together? I don’t know.

I do know that the fourth doctor, the one who brought in others to see our daughter’s condition so they could easily recognize it if they ever had the misfortune to be presented with it again, was a step toward making sure other parents also never have to find out.

That, too, is my purpose today.

It is also my birthday gift to my wife, My Love, Rhonda, for all you have done these past seven years to make others aware of juvenile myositis diseases and help find a cure for them once and for all.

To read more about children and families affected by juvenile myositis diseases, visit Cure JM Foundation.

To make a tax-deductible donation toward JM research, go to or

Thursday, October 22, 2009

a blissful benefit

I love coffee. And I loves me some Blissfully Caffeinated.
Congrats to you and Mr. C., and also bourbon-sugar soaked kisses, from the tall and the short of us here at the dayton time.

baby cereal: this is how we roll ***now with updates!***

Here's a little tip for all you baby food feeding people out there. Lean in close, because I'm gonna tell you a secret:

Baby food is a colossal rip off.

If you have a blender or a food processor, a stove, a pot and some water at your disposal, you can make baby cereal for wicked cheap. We have the sweet Mennonite Bulk Food Store Hook-Up. Today, I made brown basmati rice cereal, barley cereal, and oat cereal.

You can't beat the price.

This here's barley.

Put it in that there food processor.
Or blender.
Just don't put so much in the blender.
Because it will get all crabby with you.
And it will refuse to do a good job.
Trust me on this one.

Turn on your food processor.
Go fold laundry or something.

See how there's still chunks of barley?
That means it's not done.
Go fold some more laundry.
Or something.

When the barley (or rice, or oats, or millet)
gets all powdery and flour-ish,
it's done.

Also, please do not make me tell you
that sticking your hand in a
food processor is
Moving on.

Bring a couple of cups of water to a rolling boil.
Whisk in a half a cup or so of the powdery, flour-ish grain.
Be certain to pay attention.
Because if this sucker boils over,
you are going to regret it.
Trust me on this one.

Continue to watch your the pot boil.
Whisk often.
Nobody likes burnt baby food.
Again, trust me on this.
When it's thick and resembles
it is done.

Please don't make me tell you that
you shouldn't feed your baby
boiling hot porridge.
Really, Holmes.

Happy baby.

1. Sarrah asked if I made the pot for the whole week. My answer: sort of. I make a pot and put it in a canning jar. We scoop out a meal for Elliott, and pop the jar back in the fridge. I make more as needed because it's really quick. And if you make porridge right before baby's mealtime, and you have frozen cubes of fruits and veggies, you can throw one or two into the hot porridge to cool it down before feeding it to your babe.

2. I make lots and lots of ground grain at one time. Last night I ground a quart jar of rice powder, a quart jar of barley powder, and a quart jar of oat powder. My main reason for this is because I do not want to have my food processor on my counter any more than necessary. I keep the grain powder in quart canning jars in my fridge, but it stores very well in the freezer, too.