Friday, December 31, 2010

I Resolve to be BETTER.....

Since all of my blogger friends are making resolutions for the coming New Year, I feel that it must be the responsible thing to do, and I am always up for being responsible.

Johi's Resolutions for 2011!

I am going to be less of an asshole in 2011- which should be easy because I won't be pregnant.

I am going to continue working diligently on mothering my children with warmth, compassion, love and boundaries.

I will continue to nurture the other positive relationships in my life~ my husband, my friends and my family.

I will start and end my day, each day.... okay, 4 days a week, with gratitude. 

I will inspire someone~ somehow.  I promise.

I will ride my horse.  I miss you Gus.  :(

I am going to cuss less.  No, I'm not.

I am determined to have a great 2011- one filled with peace, success, health, stability, joy, and love. 

Thank you for your support~ whether you are that person I call when I am ready to sell my _________ (fill in the blank with dogs, cat, children, or husband), the one who makes me laugh, the one who prays for me (I need it, I assure you), or the one who supports my hopes and dreams by reading this blog.   I love each and every one of you! I am dead freaking serious.

Drink responsibly tonight- or do what my husband and I do- stay home and go to bed at 9 pm.

Cheers!  Johi

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Lucky Girl

I like to remind the people around me of my stellar luck.  It is like I was born with a rabbit's foot keychain in my tiny baby hand. I have won enough "important" awards to make Michael Phelps's Olympic Medal collection seem like Cracker Jack prizes.

Like the time in 1987, when I won the All-School guessing contest.  You had to possess a stealthy combination of skill and luck to snag an award of that magnitude.  The challenge was to guess the number of buttons in a jar. The prize was a five story tall trophy, which was constructed of fake brass, iridescent blue plastic and a sprinkling of humiliation.  I was even rewarded with my picture in the paper.  Wow, just what every awkward 12 year old girl desires~ unwanted public attention from a mandatory school contest, complete with photographic evidence and a GIANT useless piece of plastic as a constant reminder.  What an accomplishment!  I still display that trophy... I think it is in a public rest stop somewhere in Nebraska.

Fast forward to December of 1990.  I was a sophomore in High School.  Our boys Varsity Basketball Team was headed to the state tournament.  A raffle was held by our booster club, with the proceeds going to the team for travel expenses.  We all bought tickets.  The prize was a very well made, ruffly edged pillow with a cloth photograph of the team stitched onto the front.  I am certain that someone spent a good amount of time creating the thing, which is unfortunate because it was hideous.  Who won the raffle... in the high school gym in front of all of the students and their parents?  Me.  And the local paper took my picture to prove it. 

So, as you can clearly see, I am one lucky lady.  Obviously I should have been playing the lottery all these years. Instead, my unwavering loyalty lies with the late Ed McMahon and I religiously enter the Publisher's Clearing House Sweepstakes.  It's free yo, and it's about time someone under 176 years old won that shiznit. 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Do you have A.D.D.? Then you will like my blog!

Apparently, I am addicted to laundry, because I do it every day. I even did it on Christmas day.???  It calls my name, sticks to me (literally), torments me and mocks me.  Today I found the baby sock that I lost when I was folding some clean clothes, in my bra.  Aside from what that says about the pathetic size of my boobs, which were swimming around in a bra that was too big, it screams "I am consuming you, woman!". I think about how I should be doing  laundry when I lay awake in bed at 3 a.m.  I think about washing the oncoming dirty clothes in the two minutes that all the laundry is clean, folded and put away.  Hi, my name is Johi and I am a laundryaholic.
Good Lord, I am boring.  Of all the addictions, I choose laundry

The sad part of this is that I have done three loads of laundry,
every freaking day, since Christmas day.  There is also a load in the
 washer and one in the dryer when this was taken. 
Geez- I need to touch up some paint in this room....

You know that you are destined to have a fabulous day when it starts at 5:45 a.m.  Today it was the husband's alarm clock.  I swear, I can't catch a break.  I then shared a shower with a creepy white spider.  Nothing says "ahhh!  fresh and clean!" like an 8 legged albino.  I greeted a completely soaked Thing 1 (he was even wearing Pull-Ups) and immediately had to get into 36 yoga positions to remove the soaked sheets from his bunk bed.  Why did I think that bunk beds were a good idea? When I went to get my coffee I was greeted by yet another creepy white spider who was crawling on the dirty crumpled paper towel that my husband left on the counter (thanks honey!).  I heard the demanding screeches from Thing 2 and ventured into his room to find a Code Red diaper explosion.  It was one inch away from his hairline, folks. These pee and poo situations are not helping my laundry addiction. When I later went to plop a squeaky clean Thing 2 into his Bumbo chair for a little delicious pureed food, I discovered yet another scuttling white arachnid!  Seriously? 

I would post of picture of the spiders but I immediately smashed them all.  I was not feeling my inner Buddhist today.

We have been having ridiculous weather here in Colorado- 40's and 50's every day.  Dry, sunny and little to no wind.  As I was out on a walk with the boys, enjoying the sunshine and mountain views, I decided that I could deal with (i.e. KILL) a spider every day to get this kind of weather in December.  Sorry for rubbing it in to you Midwesterners with all your grey skies and snow and bone chilling cold weather.....  heh heh.

*smiley face*

To make up for my lack of sensitivity, I would like to offer you a recipe for Oatmeal Cake.  It is scrumdiddlyumptios.
Spell check didn't like that word.... 

This is health food!  It has whole wheat flour, oatmeal and nuts! 
Oh- and three cups of sugar!

Oatmeal Cake

Mix together in a bowl and set aside:
1 tsp. soda
1 1/2 cups hot water
1 cup of old-fashioned oats

1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup softened butter

Sift together and add to creamed mixture:
2 cups flour (I used whole wheat and it was wonderful!)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt

Stir in cooled oatmeal mixture.  Pour into a greased 9x13 baking dish and bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes (until done).  Spread topping over cake and bake 15 minutes longer.  Cool in pan on wire rack.

1/2 cup butter- melted
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts)
3/4 cup coconut

As I was scrolling through my cookbook to find this recipe for you, I discovered a recipe titled Wine Cake.
OMG!  Wine and cake- together??????  I will clearly soon be in my test kitchen with those ingredients....

 OMG!  I like exclamation points in this post!  Maybe I should cut back on my caffeine consumption!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Monday Monday.

As Thing 1 burst into our bedroom at 6:24 am with Buzz and Woody tucked under his arms, my husband rolled over and said to me, "I didn't do this to my parents". 

I replied, "Me neither."

Now I know why my parents' room had a "knock-before-entering" rule.  Honestly, the real rule was "just-stay-the hell-out".

In light of my early morning wake up call (and the fact that I cleaned our room last night, thus I was more inclined to actually get out of bed- knowing that the work was already done), I decided to take myself out for an early morning stroll.  Without kids. The Red Dog has some built in mechanism that alerts her to the fact that I am going for a walk and immediately started her typical moaning,shrieking and monkey noises; completed only by her epileptic stripper dance.  Good thing that we don't have a baby asleep in the house.  Oh wait.... I contemplated only taking the Red Dog, because she is my favorite, but Thing 1 told me to take the Black Dog because "she is nice and pretty".  Isn't it wonderful when someone makes you feel like an asshole within 5 minutes of waking?

So off I went- before the sun was shining in the sky *shock and awe inserted here* for a quick power walk with the pooches. Apparently they had a different idea about the theme of the morning walk.  After the 38th time they stopped, for yet another friggin' potty break, I started rethinking my decision to bring them along.  Seriously, I was thinking a quiet, centering walk to invigorate me for the day.  Instead, I was slightly irritated, as usual, by the constant halting for yet another "perfect pee spot!".  I understand that dogs like to sniff and mark- but didn't they realize that this walk was about ME?  The fact that they even came along is only because the Red Dog caught on before I could sneak out, and the Black Dog is so pathetic that the three year old is rooting for her.  Sheesh.  They don't even know to be appreciative when I am handing them a biscuit.

I should have taken my camera because what I witnessed was a peachy pink sunrise over a pristine frozen lake, with the moon and one bright star reflecting in the icy calm. It. Was. Beautiful.  Sorry that I can't share it with you.  I would draw you a picture but that would require far too much effort.

Upon my return, I decided that today was the day to regain my living room!  So I took down the Christmas tree.  I normally leave the tree up for almost 2 weeks after Christmas- or until the epiphany (whenever that is...), but this year it looked like it had been flogged with a dog tail, a cat and a three year old.  Oh- because it had.  The beads looked like they had celebrated Mardi Gras. The ornaments that were on the tree had been "creatively rearranged" by Thing 1. There were other ornaments falling to their doom on the floor, or worse, the once beautiful tree skirt that my Grandmother made me.  It is felt.  We have pets.  You figure out what it looks like now.

So I went on a whirlwind cleaning spree.  I feel like if someone was videoing me that I would have resembled the Tasmanian Devil.  I would actually prefer watching that video over the one that my husband filmed of me  on Christmas morning- where I was eating a cookie for breakfast.  I didn't know he was filming.  It was not pretty....  Anyway, down came tree and out came the broom, dust cloth and vacuum.  I thought that I had done pretty well, until I picked up the blocks that Thing 1 was playing with by setting them up and then crashing into them with his beloved trash truck first, then his body. 

This is what they looked like....

I vacuumed not once, but twice.

I'm certain that the fact that they are some sort of foam substance doesn't help.  These were a Christmas gift from my folks to Thing 2.  They are soft so that when he falls on them (i.e. his brothers shoves him onto them) he doesn't impale himself. Apparently they are made by the same company who manufactures Swiffer clothes.  Thing 1 has been enjoying them immensely.  So did my parents' puppy..

Yummy.  Grape flavored....
As much as I like the hairy block and the dog tooth block, the following two are my very favorite.

No, I didn't do this.  I think the factory hired monkeys
 to ink in the letters and numbers.

This one has a toupee!  It looks so happy!
 My mom had laughed as she told me that she picked these blocks up at Lowe's, or Home Depot, or Menard's... I can't remember.  I personally think that they are selling these as bait to entice you (or humiliate you) into buying more cleaning products from them.  I have been wanting to replace my vacuum for some time now...

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Day at my house.

Santa arrived sometime last night to deposit the "big trash truck, big dumpster and the BIG Buzz Wightyear" that Thing 1 had been requesting all month.  He also left and took "Ellis"- our family Elf on the Shelf- back to the North Pole.  Crap.  Now how the hell am I going to get Thing 1 to behave?

After careful consideration, my husband and I have decided to rename Thing 2 "Animal", after the Muppet's character.  Apparently, Santa should have brought him drums because he pounds on everything and hoarsely screams from the back of his throat.  I am going to buy him a red beard and wig and shoot a video.  We will be a YouTube sensation!  Just wait!

We received a phone call from my very generous mother-in-law today.  She asked if her package arrived (indeed, it did) and wondered if I had sent anything.  I told her that I put all my cards in the mail on Christmas Eve.  She said "Oh, well I just wondered...", then she asked if I sent her cookies, like I normally do, to which I sheepishly replied "the cookie making didn't go as planned this year" (as I already informed you all of in this post).  Then she said, "Oh, so you just didn't do Christmas this year?" and instead of whining about how I have had a sinus infection for the last two weeks and still adjusting to my husband working 6 days a week, I said "uh, Merry Christmas!  Honey! Your mother is on the phone!", then I handed him the telephone.  I heard him talking about the fudge that she spent hours baking him.  She is in her 80's and doesn't see well and I am certain that she put a lot of effort into the fudge, which my husband LOVES.  I really don't know how long it takes to make fudge, because I don't like fudge, and why bake something that I don't eat?  As a personality "bonus", I am just not nice enough to take the time and effort to make food I don't care for, even when it is my hubs favorite.  Anyway, I hear my husband start to tell his mother that "Johi doesn't like the fud....."  and I start frantically making the "shut your cake hole now!" motion by slashing my hand across my throat.  I am mouthing "don't tell her that!" to him while doing my best "are you frigging serious?" look. Fer reals?  Unnecessary man!  It's not that I don't like his mother's fudge- I just don't like fudge!  Judas!

Anyway, after watching our children enjoy their Christmas haul, we forced everyone outside for a little family stroll.  As soon as the Red Dog saw the leash, she started freaking out (just like she does every time) and barking at an earsplitting decibel, thus spreading her Christmas joy about the prospect of a walk throughout our entire neighborhood.  We got about 15 minutes out when the whining started from Thing 1 and returned home, were I prepared Chicken Parm for lunch and threw a batch of chili in the crockpot for dinner.  What says Christmas dinner better than chili?  I certainly can't think of  anything- plus I made it with venison.  I forgot to ask my parents, who gave us the meat, if it was the same offering as our family Christmas dinner

I am looking forward to a low key day of napping, laundry (of course) and my sweatpants. 
Merry Christmas to all of you and Happy Birthday Baby Jesus! (Thing 1 led us in singing him "Happy Birthday" last night because I had a candle on the table for Christmas Eve dinner- his idea and very sweet.  Sometimes I do get it right.)

Spread some love around today!

Thing 1, mentally preparing his list of demands for Santa.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Middle of the night ponderings....

As I sit here- awake- at 4:30 am, I am filled with not so deep thoughts.

Why does Thing 2 need to wake up at 2:30 a.m.?

Why, when he does this, can I never get back to sleep until 5:30 a.m.- then as soon as I hit my REM cycle 45 minutes later Thing 1 is pulling the cord on his big Woody doll in my ear and I jar awake to "THERE'S A SNAKE IN MY BOOT!"?

I should be making those cookies or doing laundry right now, but I really just want to be sleeping.

Why does my back need to feel this horrible?  Am I an 86 year old woman or what? 

Why does Smelly Cat smell so bad? He eats top shelf cat food.

Does anyone else feel cheated when Christmas falls on a weekend?  I do. 

I wish my husband didn't have to work today.  I actually wish that he didn't have to work at all because we were independently wealthy.  Then we would do crazy things- like sleep and spend time together and sleep and take a vacation.

Why can I not access my Twitter account any more?  Is it possessed?

How do I add spell check to my MSN toolbar?

I have been charmed repeatedly this month by the innocent wonder and awe that Thing 1 has for Christmas.  If anyone is feeling Scroogey about Christmas- I recommend hanging out with a three year old.

I wish everyone a Merry Christmas. 
And I wish for World Peace. 
And I wish someone would give me the magic recipe for a full night's sleep.  I even did yoga last night......  argh.

Now- go clean your house.  Santa is coming.

Thanks to Moxie Tonic for the itty bitty Santa hats~ and
to the snowman that donated his green stocking cap!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Can I Just Move? Please?

Do you ever look around at the disaster area that was once your lovely, tidy home and think "I would rather move than begin to clean this mess?"  Welcome to my life.  I could spend two entire days alone~ picking up, scrubbing down and cleaning every surface; and as soon as the pets, children and husband came home all my hard work would be undone in 2.8 seconds.

Here is where I would like to tell you that I actually do like things (i.e. my house) clean, organized and uncluttered.

This is what my house looks like today.

I think the crap on the Black Dog's back is really the
"cherry on top"of this fabulous treat, that is my home.

As I look around, I see that every surface in my house is full of shit.  Some of the shit is actually stuff (toys, receipts, dishes, etc.) and some of the shit is actually shit (like the dog hair from the Black Dog, who frequently rolls in shit, and the discarded underpants of Thing 1, who was... too busy? to use the potty).  I still need to bake cookies, write and send my Christmas cards (hello?  It is the 23rd), wrap a few gifts, plan my Christmas Eve dinner, hold Thing 2 because he has decided to scream today if I set him down and put Thing 1 in time out 18 more times today.  Forget preparing meals, doing laundry, any exercise, sleep and eating.  Obviously personal grooming is out of the question. 

So, do I feel like cleaning the house?  No, I'd rather hire five big men to walk into my house in HazMat Suits and begin tossing everything into boxes.  Then they load all the boxes, the furniture, the dogs, the cat, the Things and my husband up into their giant truck and drive it all to a new location.  The men deposit everything and then go next door, where they deliver fresh new boxes full of new things- nice a sleek modern living room set from Restoration Hardware, and charming, non-fluorescent, wooden toys that don't make ANY FUCKING NOISE, therefore requiring no batteries, 50 bottles of vintage wine, a case of Chock Full o' Nuts coffee, a shiny clean refrigerator full of delicious food, 600 thread count sheets and fluffy white towels that aren't frayed on the edge.  Then they set all these lovely new things in a brand new house that is clean and freshly painted; and it doesn't have dog claw marks on the doors and skid marks in the toilet. This is MY HOUSE.  I can easily saunter next door, day or night, to give my family love and attention.  Then every night I return to my quiet. clean, stylish pad where I sleep until 10 am and actually get to drink my morning coffee in silence

I think I really embody the Christmas Spirit this year.

Well, that was a lovely fantasy.  I guess I had better get up because Thing 1 is mauling Thing 2, who just puked on the carpet and has dog hair plastered on his face.  Since I don't get to move, I also had better start cleaning up this mess that is my home..... blah.  I wouldn't want Santa to see it like this.  How embarrassing.

Jesus would want you to save the chickens.

I got this email from a friend of mine who is a smoke jumper that lives in Montana with her husband.  I laughed so hard that wasabi came out of my nose.  Then I called her later and asked if I could post it here, to share with all of you.  I think it is clear why we are friends.

I'll call this "A Christmas Story from Montana"
So we went to cut down a Christmas tree this weekend on the forest land about 2 miles from the house.  We found a perfect Christmas tree. . . and a fucking box of CHICKENS that someone had dumped in the woods.  The box had fallen apart and the chickens were not thriving in the Montana snow.  One walked up to me, so I picked it up- which was probably the wrong thing to do, because it made me and Tim realize that we could catch them and save them from a slow and certain death.  I could only fit one under each arm, and the dogs were going crazy because they wanted to eat them sooooooooo bad and usually they are allowed to eat things that live in the woods if they can catch it.  Tim threw the tree on top of the car and just balanced it there, and loaded me in the passenger seat with a chicken under each arm.  The tree was so bushy that we were trying to look between branches to see out the windshield. We went to our neighbor across the street because she has LOTS of chickens, and although she was speechless about the spectacle we created in her driveway, she said she would take them in order to relieve our conscience.  Since we now felt responsible for the future of the rest of the chickens, we unloaded the tree and the dogs,  loaded up a big plastic crate and LOTS of beer, and spent the next hour until it got dark drinking beer and chasing chickens in knee deep snow.  Gotta Love Montana.  I just wanted a tree- not to make decisions about my responsibility for the fate of the food chain.  In the end we got 6 chickens, and 3 or 4 were too wily to wrangle before dark- being dumb and panicked really gets you now where in the end (I will have to remember that next time I jump out of an airplane into a forest fire).  When you attempt to celebrate the birth of the tiny baby Jesus and find yourself drunk on PBR and chasing chickens through the woods, it really makes you think about where you are at in life. . .
At one point (while laying face-down in the snow after a near miss on a chicken) I said, why can't we just drink and set up a fucking Christmas village like Brock and Johi!

I then replied with this email (it is short because I was probably holding Thing 2 on my lap and fending off Thing 1):
OMG!  That is some funny stuff!
One question.... why PBR?  lmao!
We can't wait to see you!

She responded:
Why PBR? It was the most WT beer we could think of, and I guess chasing chickens for Christmas spirit made us feel like celebrating our inner redneck! 

I have honestly never heard a better Christmas tree hunting story in my life.

Merry Christmas and Save the Chickens!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Prayer for Our Sons

In my Christmas package from my parents was an index card with this prayer written out in my Grandmother's script.  She raised three sons and two daughters.  It was hard to read it through my tears.  The combination of the words of the prayer and seeing my deceased Grandmother's handwriting was overwhelming.  I hope you all find the words as meaningful and poignant as I do.

Bless our sons, and bless all of you raising them.

Build us a son Oh! Lord who will be strong enough to know when he is weak and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid, one who will be proud and unbending in defeat, but humble and gentle in victory.  Build me a son whose wishes will not replace his actions, a son who will know thee, and that to know himself is the foundation stone of knowledge.  Send him not I pray in the path of ease and comfort, but the stress and spur of difficulties and challenge, here let him learn to stand up in the storm, here let him learn compassion for those who fall.  Build us a son whose heart will be clear, whose goal will be high, a son who will master himself before he seeks to master others, one who will learn to laugh, but never forgets how to weep, one who will reach into the future, but not forget the past, and after all these things are his, I pray enough sense of humor that he may always be serious, yet never take himself too seriously.  Give him humility so that he may always remember the simplicity of true greatness, the open mind of true wisdom, the meekness of true strength.  Then we, his parents, will dare to whisper, "I have not lived in vain."

God made a son like that. 

I'm working on two of them. 

Love to all.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I May Have Officially Experienced a Redneck Christmas.

This morning, when I awoke and was struggling to get out of bed, I was greeted by Thing 1, who was hovering in my bedroom with the question, "Mommy, are you sick?"

I answered, "No sweetie, this is just what mommy looks like in the morning."

Even with that dose of reality regarding my appearance, I managed to have a great day. We had Christmas with my family today.  Santa is soooo last year.  Mama and Papa are where it's at... and Auntie and Uncle.

As my husband and I are sitting here tonight in our living room, which is lit by the glowing white lights of our beautiful Christmas decorations and filled with the aftermath of a manic gift opening, I am filled with wonder.  I wonder at the love of my family.  I marvel at my beautiful Things and the innocent joy that Christmas brings.  I think about my Christmas' past and all the wonderful memories made, and all the celebrations yet to come.  I am filled with joy that Thing 1 knows that Christmas is about Baby Jesus.  I feel grateful and blessed... and tired (as usual).   I wonder.... if we are rednecks.

My parents travelled from Iowa in their giant red sleigh (i.e. Dodge dually).  I am surprised that they didn't have to bring a trailer for all the gifts that were bestowed upon my children tonight in our pre-Christmas celebration.  The Things and I spent a mostly lovely day with "mama" and "papa"  There were only a few meltdowns, moderate whining and 5 pair of soiled underpants from an overstimulated Thing 1.  (Why is Christmas the equivalent of cocaine?  Someone please explain....)   We took the Things and 148 dogs on a walk in our natural area.  We enjoyed a fabulous, healthy lunch.  I forced my father to feed Thing 2 his baby food (with only moderate whining).  No one threw up too much.  I went to the grocery store with my mom (without children!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) AND THAT WAS FREAKING AWESOME! We greeted my sis and her fiance later in the evening and together we prepared a wonderful meal.  The adults sipped glorious booze and watched as the Things opened their obscene amount of gifts.  The dogs ran through the living room like they were filming "Dogs Gone Wild", stealing new toys and other items (see below).  It was wild, wonderful chaos. It all sounds like typical family time- right?

This is where the facts are truly in the details.  The details that I am referring to are in our menu.  We did not eat the typical Christmas fare of turkey or pork.  We choose venison loins.  They were delicious.  My sister's fiance "provided" them.  What I really mean is that he accidentally slammed into a deer with his truck.  He and my father, paying homage to my father's supposed Native American blood, salvaged what they could of the meat.  Waste not, want not.  Hence, we ate roadkill for Christmas dinner.   Which brings me back to the question, "Are we rednecks?"

Eh.  I don't know if I care. 

I'm off to bed for another night of  fraudulent "beauty rest". 

Thing 1 and Papa.

Mama and Papa's new puppy found all kinds
 of wonderful "dog toys" at my house.
I truly hope everyone is having a wonderful Christmas.  Peace and Love to all of you.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

*Bleeping* Viruses.

Since you haven't heard from me all week, let me explain.

I suffered severe injuries when I threw myself in front of a charging buffalo to save a small child who was picking flowers in the meadow.  I have been lying in a hospital bed in a full body cast for a week now.  I am fed through a tube and am typing this with a pen held between my teeth. 

Not really, but that does remind me of the time that I was having sharp pain in my side and decided to go to the emergency room. I was pretty sure that I was dying.  I had the good sense to stash a book in purse before I drove myself there.  They put me in a room, covered me with a heated blanket and closed the drapes.  I got to lay on the bed, alone with my book, for a good hour. It was fabulous. Occasionally people came in to poke me with a needle but I didn't even mind.  I was so fucking relaxed.   Apparently a trip to the ER was not only informative, but rejuvenating too.  Since it turned out that I was not dying, I could have taken the money and checked into a real spa.  Because I am unable to spend money on myself like that without guilt, I instead chose to extract my R and R in the ER. Pa.the.tic.

Here is the truth:

It was a hideous week full of viruses.  Thing 1 brought some crud home from preschool, then shared it with Thing 2, who then shared it with me.  Then my computer decided to join in on the fun and it contracted a virus as well.  I spent the week blowing stuff the color of a yellow highlighting pen out of my nose, barely avoiding fainting, not sleeping (or breathing) and finally had the good sense to get antibiotics.  Okay, I didn't have any sense. My friend instructed me to do it; and because I was functioning at 3% brain capacity I mumbled "oh" and somehow managed to follow her instructions.  I finally started to feel semi-human, so I went to a party on Saturday night, that was so wrong that it was all kinds of right, and drank myself right back into feeling (and looking) like ass.  It was worth it though.  And I have the pictures to prove it.  You all had better be kind to me! Muahahahhahahah!

This week was also Thing 1's preschool Christmas Program.  As I sat in the crowd watching my precious child whack the one standing next to him with his jingle bell stick I felt so.... what is the opposite of proud?  The singing was adorable though. The teachers clearly worked hard to show the kids hand motions to do during parts of the songs.  My favorite one was when Thing 1 turned to the child standing next to him, looked at his fingers then promptly poked them into his new friend's eyes. Wow.  I don't even have words for that.  I have obviously done a stellar job with parenting. I think I will now try for a third boy. I will then call the three of them Larry, Mo and Curly.

We rounded out the week with "white trash family day".  If you and your loved ones have not participated in this yet, get your ass in gear and join the rest of us.  "White trash family day" must occur on a Sunday.  You must put together an ensemble that would cause a make-over show to jump you with a chloroformed gag, 3 ropes and room full of mirrors to point out every flaw in your judgement.  You must not wear make-up.  You must put your children in outdated/too short "play clothes".  You must let your husband walk around with his fly unzipped.  You must eat fast food, in the fast food restaurant, with your sunglasses on your face and your children crawling under the booth.  You must then go to bed in the clothes you wore all day.  "White trash family day" is not only about promoting family togetherness, it is also addressing the much larger issue of reminding you that you are absolutely not immune to hangovers, even at the ripe old age of 35.  Oh, but that party was worth every bit of suffering today. 

In short, I am sorry to be so delinquent with my posting.  I still have a few kinks to work out of this computer and I should be back to my normal, 12% level of functioning, any day now.

I will leave you with a picture that Thing 1 drew of my husband.  The resemblance is uncanny.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Support your local mommies.

I know that it is easy to look at someone who is floundering and say,"Hey moron.  Just do it THIS way and your problems will magically disappear."  Resist the urge.  Please.

When people that you care about are struggling,  for the love of God, SUPPORT them.  Do not JUDGE them.  Do not have pow wows with a group of their closest friends and then tell them about how "everyone thinks you should....blah blah blah"

Do you want to know why?
Because moms today can't win.

It is the wretched guilt spiral at work- yet again.

Mothers who work feel guilt.  They feel bad about dropping their children off at day care.  They fret about missing first words, first steps, first everythings.  They feel guilty for having a life of their own.  They feel guilty about enjoying having a life of their own.  They get to be judged by modern woman hecklers for choosing, or having, careers. Then they come home and somehow get to figure out how to be an attentive parent while cooking dinner, cleaning the house, doing laundry and getting the kids ready for bed~ all within an extremely short period of time.   When the hell do they get to watch The Sing Off?  Never. Throw a couple of pets and a significant other into the mix and you officially have created the need for eight more arms and a whole lot more "get a shit". Good thing that when women have babies they no longer need sleep.

Mothers who stay at home feel guilt.  They feel bad about not contributing financially to the household.  They feel bad about wanting-needing- a break from the 24-7 care that is required of children.  They feel guilt about fantasizing about leaving the house without the carpet monkeys and going to the grocery store.... or just sitting in the car in the driveway- alone.  They feel bad if the house isn't in order with all the chores completed.  Hey they have been there all day with nothing else to do, right?  Um hm. They feel desperate when the highlight of their day is delaying the UPS guy just so they can have two minutes of adult conversation when the sun is shining. They get judged by SAHM hecklers for choosing to stay at home to witness all their kids milestones, rather than going to a job to make $2 an hour, because the rest of the salary would go to daycare.  Throw a couple of pets and a significant other into the mix and you officially have created the need for eight more arms and a whole lot more "get a shit". Good thing that when women have babies they no longer need sleep.

We can not win, people.

In light of the fact that I am a wonderful, caring person, let me present to you a Christmas gift!  Don't feel like I expect anything in return.  I like shoes.  I am a size 9.

To all you mommies, from the Cornfed Girl:
You are a beautiful, intelligent woman who clearly loves your offspring well enough to not eat them or ship them off to a boarding school in Switzerland.  You are doing a wonderful portrayal of a selfless human.  Your children love you more than Santa (i.e. anyone on the planet).  You are a strong, kind, powerful, loving, hardworking, giving person who deserves a medal, or at the very least, a bumper sticker, for what you do every day.  You are capable of loving and being loved; which is the greatest accomplishment of one's lifetime.  You rock!

Unless you forward this to 180 people in the next three minutes a bear will enter your yard and eat your trash, then your cat, then your Mother-in-law.  Then you will suffer financial ruin, hair loss, halitosis and death by chainsaw.

So the next time you find yourself needing to "fix", judge or point out the "facts" to a mom that you know; do her a favor and instead, offer her a hug, a Valium and to watch her kids for an hour so that she can shower, go on a walk when the sun is shining or just sit in her car- alone.  It's Christmas, assholes.  Do the right thing.

It all started with a Mommy.
 I'll bet no one judged her for staying at home with her baby... and her little lamb.
I want a little lamb.

Oh, and the gifts just don't stop!
I like this.  It totally negates this post... and my entire blog. Hmm? Maybe someday I'll learn from it....  What?  No.

"A change in personality from being spiteful, pessimistic, angry, sullen, and disagreeable to one of passion, optimism, kindness, joy, and understanding is often the key when witnessing miraculous acts of spontaneous recovery from fatalistic prognostications." - Dr. Wayne Dyer

Okay, I'll try again.

Moms!  We can win.  We can have it all! 

I don't know.  Optimism feels weird.

Happy Birthday Sissy.

It is my sister's birthday today.  She is older than me.

I'm the YOUNGEST one in the middle.
 That is all I wanted to say.

Oh, and Happy Birthday Sister of Mine!


Monday, December 13, 2010

The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree.

I have, once again, passed one of my best qualities on to my offspring.  Thing 2 is a hitter. 

He absolutely LOVES slapping things.  He smacks toys, down comforters, thighs, faces, stuffed animals, real animals, the arm of the couch, gourds (can you blame him?) or anything else in sight.  He pulls hair.  He plucks at shiny things (I'm so proud).  He screams at the top of his lungs with delight and/or frustration, throughout the day, every day.  He is a *sigh* mini me.

I was once a shy, sweet little girl. Don't listen to my mother when she says I used to laugh at her when she spanked me. I was short and skinny.  I wore my hair in two long braids. My mom dressed my sis and I like we were extras in Little House on the Prairie.  Oddly enough, I started getting picked on and bullied.  I remember coming home in tears and telling my parents about how so-and-so was being mean to me. It started happening a lot. 

Then one day my life changed.  It is my dad's fault.  He looked at me and said, "If you don't like it, just punch them in the face."

I stopped crying, looked up at him and said, with awe, "REALLY?"

He said, "Yep. Do it once, and I bet that they will stop picking on you."

Apparently, I too am a gambler, because I took his bet.

Nice job Dad.

In the fourth grade there was a little boy that "liked" me.  The feeling was not mutual.  He was gross.  He was a fourth grade version of "A Night at the Roxbury", or one of those creepy unsolicited "grinders" on the dance floor at a college bar.  There was far too much of unwanted closeness and touching.  One day on the playground, my bff and I took action.

A little history on my bff.  She was just like me, except she was the tallest girl in our class.  Other than that, we had everything in common.  We both loved unicorns, horses, Barbies, Disney movies, Breyer Horses, animals in general, school, singing, playing dress-up and we hated boys.  We gave each other superhero names that we used at recess.  She had insanely long, hard fingernails- hence the name "Catwoman".  I had..... strong teeth?  (I accidentally bit my sister once and made her bleed. I thought that I was chomping down on dear old Dad, who was pestering us.) Since I apparently possessed a freakish lock-jaw bite, I was dubbed "Snapping Turtle Girl".  I somehow don't think it was quite as glamorous a title as "Catwoman".... Anyway, we are now both married, raising boys and I tower over her by a good 3 inches.  Neither of us owns a unicorn. Life is funny, isn't it?

So at recess this day, the gross boy who "liked" me really started bugging me.  He was stuck on me like glue and I couldn't shake him.  After 10 minutes of constant harassing from him, complete with him trying to kiss me, I was done.  My bff and I joined superhero forces and shoved him off the merry-go-round.  This was back in the good old days, where metal playground equipment was perched on top of concrete.  The landing was not good.

There was disciplinary action taken by our teacher.  We went alone with her to a room where she showed us a paddle that was used to spank naughty kids.  (Yes, I am that old.)  She then laughed and told us that we shouldn't make people bleed at recess. After she high-fived us, she sent us on our way.  Hey, it pays to be the teacher's pets.

A normal person would have stopped here.  I had barely escaped a paddling from a giant board with holes drilled into it.  Instead, I got a taste of vengeance and I liked it.   From that point forward I punched, slapped and kicked my way to freedom from bullying and other random crimes against humanity ("crimes" were determined by me, the one person police squad).  I became the person who stood up for others getting bullied, not always with my fist, but also with words.  I started barfights with drunk, butt smacking frat guys. One Halloween some obnoxious guy punched the guy I was dating when he nicely asked him to stop slamming his body into us on the dancefloor. I jumped on the dude's back and attacked him from behind like a feral cat. Cra-zee. I bought pseudo Doc Martins and motorcycle boots and tromped around wearing my "piss off" attitude on my sleeve.  I started lifting weights and drinking shots of whiskey. I was living under the delusion that I was chivalrous, when in reality, I was just an asshole. After 20 years of ramming my way through life with the attitude of defending myself and others, I finally realized that I was fucking exhausted. 

I am not saying that I will stand by idly and watch as someone is attacking and victimizing someone else~ I won't.  But what I no longer do is: shots of whiskey, bars, brawls, and flipping the bird.  The last time I did the latter I realized (after the fact) that it was an elderly person in the other vehicle and I felt like a total dick.  I am now controlling my rage through mothering my children, as they would drain the fight out of Mike Tyson.  After being woken at 10:30 p.m., 1 a.m., 2:15 a.m., 3 a.m. (Good Morning!) and 5 a.m., I can barely function well enough to measure the coffee.  I certainly don't have any Lisbeth Salander left in me by the time I enter the public.  Think of me when you see that lady with the dazed expression in the grocery store.  You will recognize her because her head is tilted to one side, she is shuffling her feet, drooling on herself and she looks like she fell out of the garbage truck as it was speeding by her house.  There will also be children in her general vicinity that are misbehaving.

I look at my precious little Thing 2, who bites me with a gleam in his eye, then laughs.  He transfixes me like a snake charmer with his chubby little baby hand, by waving it slowly in front of my face, then he grabs a fist full of my hair and yanks HARD, like he is pulling the wooden water pail up out of ye old well. Then, of course, he smiles.  I watch him and I am certain of his future.  I appreciate what Karma has in store for me. I can see that he is a real piece of work.  I know that he is going to break hearts, maybe a few faces and generally wreak havoc... just like his mother.  And I love him for it.  You go get 'em, little dude. These days, Mommy is about as saucy as an overcooked roast.

Catwoman and Snapping Turtle Girl with cute pooches.  Circa 1983?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Ho Ho Ho

It is official.  I am insane.  After eleven exhausting hours alone with a very cranky and teething Thing 2, I had the brilliant idea to bake Christmas cookies last night with the husband and Thing 1.  It was about as much fun as playing "I Spy" with Helen Keller... or grocery shopping with 18 children under the age of four. 
Let's just say that the cookies made last night will not be the ones we distribute to friends and family this Christmas.  There was much.... ummm..... "experimenting" with.. umm... listening  reading recipes.  The Cookie Gods were definitely laughing at me last night.

My personal favorite part of the experience? It was a toss up between 1/2 cup of butter being left out of $20 in ingredients and the giant ball of dough that was sneaked to the three year old, who had already eaten plenty; I assure you.  I tried to act shocked when he had a complete meltdown at bedtime.

On the bright side, I did like the HO HO HO cookies that we made.  You could also turn them over and use them as "orgasm treats" for a bachelorette party~OH OH OH!

It really was a tragedy to discover, this morning, that Smelly Cat had peeled back the plastic wrap and gnawed on a good portion of the Ho Ho Ho cookies.  What made the find even more exciting were the bloody remnants of the partially eaten, stolen cookies.  Apparently Smelly Cat is having some dental issues.  No problem, I'll just ask Santa for some kittah dentures.  I wonder if the kittah Poly-Grip is Salmon or Mouse flavored?  

I am attempting, while I type this, to bake the bar cookies that were mixed up without the proper amount of butter.  I am not feeling overly confident.  As an alternative, I can just buy a gallon of vanilla ice cream and add the ruined cookies to it. Then I will get a giant spoon, Netflix all of the Sex in the City episodes and eat my weight in failure. I strongly believe in having a backup plan.

Actually, I can't do that.  I'm far too unstable to watch Carrie tell Aidan good-bye again. 

So to those of you who typically get cookies from me at Christmas~ Sorry to disappoint.  You will just have to wait a little longer.  Maybe I can offer up a sacrifice to the Cookie Gods?  I'm off to go find that squirrel that kept defecating on my head this spring.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

I Use Bad Grammar.

I apologize to all of you who are smarter/care more than me I me I. 

I use bad grammar.  I try not to, but it just slips out.  It slips out of my mouth... and my typing. 

I inadvertently drop the "g" on the end of  words like "sweeping", "hollering", and "screaming".  ie, I'm sweepin' up all this fucking dog hair AGAIN, while Thing 1 is hollerin' something about his train table and Thing 2 is screamin', just because he can.

I sometimes say "crick" when I am speaking about a creek.  I also say crick when I am talking about my neck.

When someone asks, "How are you?", I often answer, "I'm good."  Ahm Guuuuuuuuuud.   *Banjos banjos* I hear myself and I cringe a little.
What is worse is the fact that I cringe more when I say, "I'm well."   I might as well just say, "I'm a pretentious snob and I am irritated that I am even responding to your silly little question regarding my welfare.  Now scram, you insignificant little speck ." 
Since neither option suits me, I discovered a new reply.  When presented with "How are you?", I will now either cross my eyes smile like a crazy lady or lick glass.  Either way, it will be a more accurate response than "well" or "good".

I display a criminal misuse of punctuation.  Sometimes I loves commas, so that I can make long run on sentences, and say all the crap that has been building up pressure in my brain, which is so full it feels like it might burst.  Sometimes I just ramble on and on without ever taking a breath and the comma just gets left in the ditch along with that old couch and the box from a twelve pack and the condom wrapper.

I honestly really can't remember when to use the colon or the semi-colon.  So instead of taking 3 minutes to Google it so that I don't appear to be a moron, I just fuckin' mix it up for my own personal pleasure.  Something about lists....  I really don't care and I've already talked about it longer than I wanted to.

I end sentences in prepositions.  Sometimes it is just the way I talk and I choose to sound relaxed and conversational, rather than stuffy and accurate.

I still double space after a sentence.  I just can't make it stop!

I was raised on a farm/horse ranch, in a community where half of the people speak with a southern accent and the other half does not.  It still baffles me.  Although I do not speak with a southern accent, I can talk hillbilly real good.

I use made up words because it makes me happy.  Redonk, prosh, redickerous, redonkulous.... blah blah blah.  I also overuse the words creepy, unstable, doorknob and ass.

So if any of you would like to be my personal editor, please contact me.  The job pays like ass and the hours are often completely unreasonable (I wrote yesterdays post at 4:54 am).  I am a pain in the ass to work with because I am an unstable creepy butthole who likes to tell people that they are doorknobs.  But my children are prosh, unless, of course, they are acting like me.

See?  I am not the only creepy butthole in town.
Okay, he doesn't actually live in my town.
At least, I hope he doesn't...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sometimes winning and losing are synonymous.

I love the complete and total lack of humility of my three year old.  When you say to Thing 1, "You did a great job!",  he responds, "Yeah, I know."  When I tell him, "You are such a smart boy", he says,  "Yeah, I know!".  When I say, "Well, don't you look handsome today", he says, "Yeah, I know."  I think you get the picture.  Occasionally he replaces his standard reply with "Yep!" or "um hm!". 

On the other hand, I have a lovely little habit of beating the crap out of myself.  Constantly, I strive for perfection!  Guess what?  I never succeed in achieving perfection!  So I get the distinct pleasure of going through my day, almost every day, with a sense of failure and dejection.  I'm special.  I know.

The transition from one child to two children was pretty difficult for me.  Luckily, I am a wretched pregnant woman who loathes the entire planet when plump with child.  I feel that being in such a foul mood for the 38 weeks that Thing 2 was incubating better prepared me for the downtown riot that is better known as "multiple children".  At least I had my body back to myself after I gave birth.  Well, it was kind of my body.....

After my c-section the doctor instructed me not to drive for 2 weeks. I see the point of this, but what about hefting that 40 lb infant seat around?  Hello?  Who designed those anvils for new mommies to carry?  Brilliant.  So, Okay~ no driving.  That was fine because there is that whole "adjustment period" when you bring home that little warm sack of skin that is your new baby and you really don't have the energy to go anywhere, but from the rocking chair to your bed.  I am of course referring to the fact that you not only do not really get to "recover" from the surgery where the doctor sliced you in half and pried an angry infant from your body, but you also get the pleasure of not sleeping, a plethora of exciting new malfunctions interesting manifestations? of your body, and, of course, the undeniable fact that you are in charge of the life of another human as well.  Good thing those hormones are surging through your body or you might be inclined to feel like ass.

Right at the end of my two week wait period I decided that I was going to attempt to venture out into society; just me driving my truck with both of my children loaded up in their 89 point harness systems.  Those of you who know me, or that have read this post, know that launching me onto an unsuspecting public is generally a bad idea.  Thing 1, a two week old Thing 2 and an exhausted, slightly smaller but still puffed up mommy visited the pediatrician. It went well, so I decided to stop for groceries on the way home.  I went to Walmart.  I guess I need to stop insisting that I don't go there. It is just that I hate it there, and bad things happen to me (and my self esteem) when I shop there. Like yesterday when they charged me $85 for a pound of sliced deli turkey.  ??   Anyway, I arrived at noon with my almost 3 year old and 2 week old.  It was lunch time for myself and both kids so it probably wasn't my best idea.  I needed to grab some food for the house and prove to myself that I really could handle two children by myself in a store.  I was nervous about both children, having already made one stop and "pushing it" with the ticking time bomb that is hungry children.

To my great surprise and delight, the trip was actually successful;  no crying infant, no whining toddler!  It was 12:45 as I was waiting in line at the checkout.  Thing 1 stated the inevitable, "Mom, my tummy feels hungry!".   He had been an angel and I told him that I would get him a special snack for being such a good boy.

I feel like I need to preface this next statement with the facts.  Yes, I like to bake and eat cookies.  Other than the occasional baking and eating of cookies (done mostly by me), I provide healthy meals for my family.  A normal lunch for myself and Thing 1 consists of deli turkey with avocado on multigrain bread, an apple, and some carrot sticks or red pepper slices with water to drink.  I generally don't buy junk food, therefore my family generally doesn't eat junk food.

I had apples in the cart, which are Thing 1's favorite, but since they had not been washed, I wasn't keen on feeding him one.  I didn't want to give him sugar so I told him that he could have a small bag of potato chips.  He quietly (and hungrily) ate the chips as I was paying the cashier.  He was so cute that both the cashier and the plump man in line behind us kept smiling at my good boy.  I felt, dare I say it?, SUCCESSFUL.  Two quiet, happy children and groceries purchased!

I was proud of my kids and myself.

I was in the parking lot, struggling with my post surgery weakness, trying to heft both kids (damn car seats) into the dinky backseat in my truck and the load 800 pounds of purchases.  I saw the plump man that had been in line behind me walking over to my truck.  I actually thought that he might recognize the fact that I accomplished something grand with my perfectly mannered children and was coming over to congratulate me. I envisioned him as a kind man who might help me,seeing that I had a brand new baby, load things into my truck.  I am such a fool.  Instead he strode up to me to judge and solicit (Note: not a good combination).  He said, "I noticed your son eating those chips and I thought that you might be interested in my product."  Then he handed me a business card and a flier about children's vitamins.  I was so stunned that I didn't even have a chance to give him the deserved response of "Fuck you very much."  Did I mention that this dude was chubby?  To top it off, he didn't even offer to load the heavy container of water into the truck.  Was this guy serious???

So home I drove, with my perfect children, from my successful first outing with both of them, feeling more than a little deflated from the douche canoe in the parking lot. 

I beg of you, please do not judge mothers.  Instead, do unto mothers as you would have them do unto you.  And if you see a lady with a new baby (as long as you don't look like a creeper), for the love of God, HELP HER.  And throw her a compliment while you're at it- I guarantee that she needs it.

Because I am feeling uncharacteristically like an optimist today, (I have been up since 3 am, but I had time to eat, exercise and SHOWER- wow) I want to say how having a tiny backseat in my vehicle does has its good points.

Can you even handle this much cuteness?

Monday, December 6, 2010

I am musically gifted. Oh, wait, that wasn't me...

I just spent 2 hours sitting on the couch glued to "The Sing Off".  Okay, I will admit that I did get up and dance with Thing 1 to the opening ensemble.  'Cause that's how we roll around here.  It took every fiber of my being to resist doing "the Carlton" (you know, from the The Fresh Prince of Bel Air).  If you don't remember that show then you shouldn't be reading this blog!  I use naughty words!!!!!

Part of the reason that I am so fascinated by "The Sing Off" is because my tiny cute grandmother was a bad ass bass singer in a Sweet Adeline's group in the 50's.  Not just any group- the WINNING group of the 1954 International Quartet Championship- The Mississippi Misses. My mom's side of my family is all quite gifted musically.  For instance, my mom can harmonize with the radio and play the organ and piano. She has a beautiful alto voice.  My dad, on the other hand, is one of those people that regards music as "Noise".  The few times in my life that I did hear him sing the result was "Omg.  That is so horrible that it is almost cute."  I fall somewhere in the middle.  I occasionally get it right, but more often hear myself and cringe at how very wrong my singing sounds.  I had the pleasure of being a part of a choir in high school.  A whole herd of kids joined one year because the choir was going to Disney World.  That is in FLORIDA.  We were in IOWA.  Everyone wanted to see the OCEAN (or Mickey Mouse).  The idea was for the choir to perform in Florida.  The reality was that we sucked so hard the Florida people said "No Thanks".  We went to Disney World anyway.  We drove there in a bus. Let me just say that there were a lot of hormones on that bus.  Oh to be young again....

Since singing is clearly not the career path for me, I will have to live vicariously through shows like "The Sing Off" and the memory of my rad grandma. If you buy me enough tequila I may even humiliate myself at a karaoke bar.  I am off to go and practice "the Carlton".

The Mississippi Misses circa 1954
That is my g-ma on the lower left! 

I have a recording of one of their songs where my Grandma sang the lead, but as I am computer illiterate, I do not know how to attach it here.   It is a zip file.  Anyone, anyone? 

Ahhh! Thanks Don!

The Best Word. EVER. Part 2.

As I was laying awake in bed at an obscene hour this morning I said to my husband, "I know what I am going to blog about today."

He replied, "My giant unit?"

I said, "Um.  No."

Instead, I wanted to tell you all what happened to cause us both to be awake at an obscene hour.  Don't worry, it is safe for my mother to read.... which she won't anyway so it doesn't matter.  There was a 4:45 am wake up call from Thing 2.  We both heard him, through our sleep induced trances, say, very clearly, "Dada."  Then he said it over and over again.  I am smiling now.  Yes, I am happy for my husband that our child acknowledged him....but what truly thrills me is when he chose to call out his name- at the "wee- hours-of-the-morning-attend-to-my-needs-now" call.  Muahahahaha.  Awesome!  Sometimes things actually do go my way!

Of course, there is a down side to this story. 

Thing 2 just turned seven months old.  He is perfectly healthy and has just the right amount of that redonk baby chub.  I had hoped to nurse him for at least nine months.  My nursing goal with both kiddos was to breastfeed at least to nine months but no longer than a year.  I felt comfortable with that, both for their needs and my own. Since infants up to one year are supposed to have formula or breast milk, nursing is clearly cost effective and (in most cases) good for the wee ones.  For me, I am not as much of an exhibitionist as some might think, and after awhile I actually like to keep my breasts inside my shirt.  Plus, if the kid can say "Hey mother, give me your boob"  or lift mom's shirt to self feed, I feel the innocence of the whole situation has been lost and I am no longer interested in participating.  No judgement to others- these are just my boundaries.   To try and make this incredibly long story short (I am pretty certain that I have now lost any male readers) Thing 2 is a biter.  Not just once or twice but multiple times.  And we aren't talking a little tiny mouse like nibble.  I am talking more along the lines of a Saber Tooth Tiger.  Strangely, such actions were making me rather anxious when feeding time rolled around.  Weird, I know.

The effect of the biting?  Formula.  And Guilt.  Only the kind of guilt that a mother..... or a Catholic can feel.  Currently being the first and formerly the latter, I have been thoroughly conditioned to experience GUILT.  Since there is no cure that I have found for feeling guilt, I will just do what I have always done.  I will obsess.  I will lose sleep. I will get through my days relying heavily on caffeine because of the lack of sleep.  I will stress my body into getting prematurely brittle. 

Function: n
: feelings of culpability especially for imagined offenses or from a sense of inadequacy : morbid self-reproach often manifest in marked preoccupation with the moral correctness of one's behavior responses originating in inner guilt and uncertainty

Synonym- Mother.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

My Christmas List

I know that most of you are stressing over what to buy the cornfed girl this Holiday Season.  I am here to assist you with a list of helpful hints.  You. Are. Welcome.

First, and most obviously, I NEED these jeans
These clever "Pajama Jeans" are clearly the height of fashion and they might even solve that nasty little "muffin top" issue that happens whenever I do any activity that requires bending from the waist... or standing.  Since I often wear my pajamas through a good portion of the day, these would suit my lifestyle perfectly.  I could go from the 5:15 am Thing 2 wake up call to the 5:15 pm meat-from-my-truck salesman to the 7:30 pm book club with my gals and no one would EVER assume I use food stamps.  Perfection!

For the days that my Pajama Jeans are in the wash, I clearly need another daily wardrobe item.  That is why this flannel nightgown would do the trick! It, yet again, has the dual purpose powers of comfy, warm sleepwear and sexy, spark igniting boudoir attire.  Me-ow.

Something I would use on a daily basis is a non-Christmas version of The Elf on the Shelf.  If anyone can invent a $20 item to trick my children into being "nice" I would be interested in investing in your venture.  I have approximately $6.82 to help launch your manipulation product to the world. I am thinking something like "The Troll Who Will Eat Your Toys While You Are Sleeping" or "The Gnome Who Gnows When You Are Gnaughty.... and Will Eat Your Toys While You Are Sleeping".

I really really really want Mary Poppins to move in with me.

If anyone can create more TIME in the day, that would be super.  Also, I would like more TIME in the evening to exercise/ read / drink/ bow chicka now now/ sleep.  Thank you.

And, last but not least, I would like to live here.  The picture below would also be acceptable.

See?  Easy Peazy.  I am clearly low maintenance.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Random Thoughts on a Saturday Night

I love it that I am the person my friend calls while she is purchasing her new vibrator.

That is it. I am seriously pleased by this fact.

Oh wait. Am I the only one who thinks Vanilla Ice comes off as a total douche on "The Vanilla Ice Project"?  I don't know one remodeler who wears their hat like that.....  I have yet to see him do any actual work.
Oh, and to the guy who showed up at my doorstep trying to sell me steaks and other various meat out of his truck, "Seriously dude, a little more time on your appearance (read: trying NOT to look like a homeless stoner) might make you more successful with door to door sales."  As for telling me that I can pay you with food stamps.... hmmm.... what to say, what to say?  Guess I wasn't looking too hot myself.   But then again, I wasn't trying to sell people meat out of my truck.

Oh, and I need a "sponsor".  Not that kind of sponsor, but the one that brands you with their label and then chucks cash in your direction.  I am thinking that I would be perfect for the "before" pictures in a Botox or a breast enhancement campaign.

I understand why Johi is not in spell check, but stoner, remodeler and Botox?  Come on people.  And yes, I know that cornfed should be corn fed, but that just didn't feel right to me.

Brain... clearly...... shutting... down...

G'Night all.

...and an angel appeared to me in a maroon Envoy.

Yesterday I wrapped up the week by letting Thing 1 reduce me to tears....again.  I must be honest and say that, as of now, I am not the biggest fan of the age of three.  I should not have celebrated avoiding the "terrible two's" with Thing 1.  Foiled again!  Seriously, two was a fabulous age where he was a little joy to be around~ affectionate, sweet and gentle.  Then we introduced Thing 2 to the family. One month later Thing 1 turned three, and the reign of terror began.  Always the little reader, I think he started having midnight rendezvous under his blankets with his flashlight and a copy of "The Dictators: Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Russia".   He has morphed from my amiable little boy into a miniature tyrant who plots against his parents, manipulates our emotions and is clearly trying to make us *crazy*.  And the whining... Lord help me with the whining. I. Am. Exhausted.  Mind you, he still shows his "real" personality at times- the precious and kind little boy who says "Please" and "Thank You" and tells me that I "look like a princess".  He even randomly caresses my cheek and declares "you are the best mommy ever". (So I spoon fed him that line one day.  So what?  It still makes me happy when he says it.)

Anyhoo, yesterday I needed a little break from repeating "keep your hands to yourself!" 476 times, whining, the poo issue, whimpering, arguing, mauling of Thing 2 and mommy and the general defiance... "It's NOT nap time!". I actually feared that my head was going to detach with great force from my body and land in The Caped Cupcake's yard in New Jersey. I called my cousin who lives 15 minutes away (hallelujah!) and begged her to take him for the day.  I think she understood what I was asking through the snot and sobs because she (here is the angel reference) showed up at my house 45 minutes later and whisked him off (in her maroon Envoy) to ride tractors, eat grapes and run in the park.  She and her spouse worked him over.  It. Was. Awesome.  I, on the other hand, took advantage of my breathing time and sat on the couch with Thing 2 propped up beside me. We stared at the Christmas tree for an entire hour.

The couple returned later with a very tired, happy little boy in tow. I was as refreshed as can be expected of someone who was approximately two seconds away from knocking on the door of the mental ward with a suitcase, my pillow and a pile of romance novels.

In return I wanted to give my cousin and her hubby a gift.  I also want to rid the house of the damned M&M's, because I am consuming them like they are the sole source of my survival on this planet.  Since it seemed slightly inappropriate, and possibly poor etiquette?, to hand over an opened and partially eaten bag of Christmas M&M's, I decided to bake them into cookies!


This is my favorite cookie recipe.  They are soft and chewy and fluffy.  Heaven. It took me years to perfect this SOB- baking cookies in Colorado is not the easiest task on the planet.  It is altered for high altitude baking, so I would recommend cutting out 1/4 cup of flour if you are closer to sea level and baking at 350, but I can't guarantee results.

Johi's Freaking Awesome Cookies

1 cup butter- room temp
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
- mix together with hand mixer until creamy.

1 t salt
1 t soda
1 t vanilla
2 eggs
- crack eggs into creamed mixture and sprinkle salt, soda and vanilla on top.  Mix with hand mixer.  Do not over mix.

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups quick oats
- mix into creamed mixture with hand mixer, do not over mix.

Stir in 6 oz semi-sweet and 6 oz milk-chocolate Ghiradelli chips.  Add 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts. Or add a partially eaten bag of Christmas M&M's.....

Bake at 365 for 10-11 minutes.  Remove from oven.  Let sit on pan for 2 minutes. Move to wire racks to finish cooling.

Because it is the Christmas Season and I am arguably one of the nicest people on Earth, I will give you my secret cookie tips.....

High Altitude Conversion

·                     For each tsp of baking powder or soda, reduce by 1/4 tsp
·                     For each cup increase liquid 3-4 extra Tbs
·                     For each cup, decrease sugar 1-3 Tbs
·                     For all cakes and cookies increase temp 15-20 degrees

Johi's Tips for perfect cookies:
·                     Use room temp butter and cold eggs.
·                     Bake on Airbake sheets only (never soak these in water).
·                     Place cookies on center rack in oven.
·                     Remove from oven when just starting to brown on bottoms
·                     Cool on cookie sheets for 2 minutes before transferring to wire racks.
·                     Spray spatula with Pam.
·                     Eat or freeze within 3 days.
·                     Always make a double batch of peppermint cookies.

"Ellis" The Elf on the Shelf recommends using quality ingredients for baking.  This is good vanilla, as is the stuff my friend brings me from Mexico (I am OUT! hint! hint!).  C & H sugar and salted sweet cream butter are always winners in my house.

I will *probably* post the peppermint cookie recipe later.  I guess you will have to keep reading my BS to get to the good stuff.  muahahahaha!