Merry Christmas

You won't be hearing from me until after the Christmas Festivities, so until then Feliz Navidad. I hope you get all your gifts wrapped, I am not even close. Enjoy the videos!


Must Have

Ok, so I am perusing the web, catching up on old posts of other bloggers, and I come across these posters on cjane that she is advertising, and for a moment, my world stopped spinning. I cannot go on with my life without some of these prints for my home.

Here is the main site:


Here are those that I must have, in the near future, preferably, so that I can gain composure again. Nothing excites me more then a good find for the home that fits so perfectly you want to scream your head off.


I do not care one bit that the word 'H' 'E' double hockey sticks is used in this poster. I think it is hilarious and perfect for the boys room when they get a little bit older to understand that it is a funny phrase, not one we use, per se, but very appropriate. I can hear my mother now, 'I cannot believe that a mother of small children would have that on her wall.' She is gasping and making sounds like she thinks it is the worst offense, when really, she thinks it's funny too.

I also have this half wall separating my kitchen from my living room that is just dying to have these 3 prints on the kitchen side framed in black, right in a row. I'm just saying, it might look good, that's all.




I think this may have overtaken the black kitchen aid mixer for a couple of moments, time to get on it babe, these are way cheaper!

Where's the Tip?

Ok, so I didn't send out holiday cards this year. Had I known some people counted on them like they count on Starbucks having holiday lattes, I would have pulled through for you. But since most of you read this I'll just go ahead and figure you get your own special version here, and maybe just maybe, although you can't hang it on your door, wall, string, window, special card holder, this will suffice. If you didn't care if you got a tip from me on the holidays, well then Bah Humbug, and I hope you like your coal.

Another Holiday Tip from our home to yours...

Jack Frost nipping at your nose, is not festive to small children.

Here's hoping your Holiday is filled with hot chocolate and warm cookies.

Merry Christmas.


Andy,Melissa,Kendall,Ethan,the bun in the oven,and our mascots; Lillian & Stanley


Charlie Horses*

There is the little man. Such a cutie for some cartilage and all. Look at the noggin, looks like he takes after his mama like the other two. Large heads are a sign of intelligence. I think I made that up, but it sounds good. I think it just comes from my grandfather, which comes from his mother, and most of us who come from that wonderful ancestry have big heads and big boobs. Well except for the men of course, but you never know, they put on an extra few pounds…they may be more susceptible to man boobs, I wouldn’t risk it, I’m just putting the warning out there. But it was refreshing to see that it looks as though he will have a cute little nose, again, one of my fears, the child comes out with this giant schnoze, and well, it’s just awkward for everyone involved.

As I have said before, I have popped. Considerably so. There was this Christmas song we learned in elementary school that we would sing in a round, and each time I pass myself in the mirror, I start to sing, ‘Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat…’It’s like my theme song. I am always pregnant at the holidays. The rest of the song goes on about pennies, and putting them in a hat, which is irrelevant, but just the same the song comes to my head. Like I have mentioned before, sometimes my life plays to a soundtrack in my head, but I have no control over the choices. When I see kids who have just learned to walk toddle around, in my head the song plays, ‘Weebles wobble, but they don’t fall down,’ and I will continue to sing it for the rest of the day. Now if you know it, you will too.

You know the show with the girls that didn’t know that they were pregnant? I will never ever be able to say that, ever. It’s like whoa, she’s pregnant. I could be really spiteful and say, ‘no, it’s a hernia,’ or just, plain and simple, ‘no I’m not.’ But that would be just mean. But regardless, I would never believe these stories unless I was a personal witness to one, which I will not divulge in because that is not my job, but let me just tell you, no, by all means, no way, would I have known that she was pregnant and about to deliver. That my dear readers, is the way to look. I am sure it is a shock, and I am certain it would be a little easier to show then to one day be like, ‘oh yeah, I just had a baby last week, no, no I didn’t adopt it, it came from my uterus.’ But it beats the extra two feet that is going to stick out in front of me in the end of all of this. Oh and the baby was born fine, cute, healthy, and a toddler now. But I am a believer that it could happen. Kendall didn’t move much during my pregnancy with her, and you would be able to convince me the subtle movements were gas if I didn’t have a fourth chin and a stomach that rounded the corner before me.

I sound like a big fat complainer when it comes to pregnancy, and I am not. I do love being pregnant. I love that there is life growing in me, from me and Andy, but I feel it is my duty to relate to all you other pregnant women out there, who were, are, and will be pregnant. Not only that, it is the ultimate excuse…’I can’t do that, I am pregnant,’ or ‘I can’t do that, it might hurt the baby,’ or my personal favorite, ‘Yeah, well I’m pregnant, beat that!’

So some of the symptoms that are aching me right now comes compliments of the growing child. It is supposed to be close to 2 pounds right now, but you would think it was 25. First and foremost, the round ligament. You wouldn’t even know you had it until it starts to take some pressure, and then you are like, ‘hello, did I just do 5,000 sit-ups and compete in a tractor wheel lifting contest last night in my sleep?’ This muscle, when agitated, will cause you to waddle like a duck, cause you immense pain when rising from just a simple sitting position, and will sometimes have you thinking that the baby is just going to drop right on out. It is located right under the growing belly. It hurts right on down through your crotch; it’s really grand like that. The only relief you will feel is sitting or lying down without moving and nobody touching you or rocking anything near you that might cause you to stir, so you best surround yourself in yellow caution tape, or holding your crotch like you have to pee. Both of these situations, as you can see, are real conducive to having you look like a complete degenerate. Kendall is always asking around the house, ‘Mom, you have to pee,’ I just simply say, no Kendall it’s the counter pressure’, and waddle to the next activity. If you see me in public and I am holding my crotch, don’t tell me about it, just stand in front of me so others don’t see. The pain is that bad sometimes. I warned you on the first blog about this; it would be graphic in nature, so just stop reading now if you don’t like it.

Next are the Charlie horses in the leg. Don’t tell me to eat a banana. These typically happen at about 3 in the morning. And the pain is so bad that I just want to kick Andy. I am one of those that if I am in pain I want to kick or hit something really hard. When I went into labor with Ethan, as I was waiting for Andy to get ready, anything that was on the floor was punted across the room. I am getting pretty good with them, and I know to just freeze. To not even blink, it might set it off. I pray to God to keep Andy still. But if it catches me by surprise and I point my toes like you want to do instinctively when you have a Charlie horse, the pain resembles to me what it might feel like to have had your leg muscle attacked by a wolverine.

Lastly is the water retention. This too seems to happen only at night. If my clothes are bunched up, if the blanket isn’t straight beneath me, when I wake up to go pee, I will feel this stinging sensation on my skin. When I lift my shirt or pant leg to investigate in the mirror I will see skin indentations so deep it causes a ridge when I run my fingers over it. It’s like a braille map that leads to nowhere. The other night I fell asleep with Kendall in her bed, and she has this book that has little puffy letters on the cover. I must have been lying on it, for when I woke up, felt the sensation, and lifted my shirt, my side read, ‘The Cat,’ ok people, talk about swelling. There is a reason I am pregnant in the winter, if it were August, I would look like a wrinkled mess all day. You would be able to just poke me, and there would be an indent left.

So as you can see, sleep is just wonderful. It is all worth it, of course, in the end I will hold a little miracle, but it is not for the weary. Many say they would like to have their husband be pregnant for one day so that they could relate and see what it is really like. I could not disagree more. Have you taken care of a man who has the common cold? The cold that you and the kids had just last week and managed to function fine with, which has now crippled this man? Yeah, just remember that.

Oh and the Frank & Beans


Good Vibrations

Phew, finally some time to blog, I know you have been waiting with bated breath. It's sort of like a comeback, I mean a month without blogging, that is absurd. Not that I didn't think of you often, really I did and I thought, yeah, when I have the time, and when I am not completely exhausted, and when the kids are restful for an hour, I will blog. Low and behold, that never happened.

So the comeback. There have been some really failed comebacks like um, lets see MC Hammer, Debbie Gibson, Whitney Houston, so on and so forth. They were really embarrassing comebacks, I kind of feel bad for them. But Marky Mark, now Mark Whalberg, he made an excellent comeback. Maybe it was the career switch, but there are those that can't even do that successfully. But to go from 'Good Vibrations,' to where he is now, that is something. I mean what happened to his brother, Donny? Now that is embarrassing. I kind of think the character in Mark's produced show, 'Entourage,' Drama, is based on Donny, always trying to be on par with his older brother and his success, but never getting there, but was famous first. What a tough break. But I absolutely love the show, 'Entourage,' it is about nothing I am interested in, but it has that cool flavor about it. My favorite characters aren't even the main ones, they are Ari, Lloyd, and Shauna, all played so perfectly. I mean sure, Debi Mazar's character has a foul mouth, but isn't the accent great? Oh, I miss HBO...saving money...in recession...sacrifice...right...Netflix, anyone? Great gift idea!

So anyway, Mark Whalberg is behind 'Entourage,' again adding to his comeback, which really isn't a comeback anymore is it? I mean he isn't in Calvin Klein ads anymore, and he isn't self-tattooing, 'Nicole 4-Eva,' onto his chest, which by the way didn't that just ruin the movie for you when you were like 17? It was good up into that point, and then he goes and does that. I remember laughing out loud. Back on point, he is now a successful actor, a family man, I enjoy the movies he is in, he has that awkwardness about him that teeters on that line, like he could really make a left turn and deliver some bad acting, but he makes wise film choices, which lead him to the right, must have a good entourage himself.

So onto my little gone a month and back comeback, hopefully it will be like my friend Mark's. As you may have picked up on, we are having another little boy. Another little man, a friend for E so he doesn't have to play Barbies all the time. I had a Level II ultrasound at the beginning of the month. My doctor, the micro machine man, more on that later, decided that he didn't like my folic acid level, and said he wanted to make sure everything is alright. Turns out it is fine, and the child may have the middle name Popeye, due to all the folic acid that goes in my body. I jest, but really I am thankful he had me double checked. I go back and forth about showing the pic of the frank and beans, and some of the others, but I mean what's the harm? Maybe later this week. I think he would be proud, I was like, 'uh yeah, that's a definitely a boy', before the tech even said it, you couldn't miss it. Takes after his big brother, and I won't go further down the lineage then that, that would be crossing a line.

I count it as pregnancy hormones, but sometimes while I watch E sleep I cry because he won't be my baby boy anymore. It's ridiculous I know, I don't cry over Kendall and that she won't be my baby anymore as she slumbers, and I love her just the same, but that baby boy bond, oh how it binds. On second thought, this might be a good thing for E and I. Kendall is my little lady, I look at her and I see me, she acts like me, she talks like me, in some ways I feel a bigger responsibility towards her to bring her up to be a strong, well behaved girl, so in many ways I expect more from her. She is the oldest, by a mere 13 months, but still, and she is the girl, she could be the leader of the pack if this was my last. The doctors want me all done with babies by the time I am 35 to keep me, the pregnancies, and the babies healthy since they aren't really sure what is up with me and my fertility issues, just that it is a gene thing, and the older the eggs, the more susceptible they are to weakness and abnormalities. We say we want 4, but we really can't be picky...I mean 3? They weren't sure I would have one. So Kendall, like me, is the oldest, we are the leaders, there is a little bit of some expectations with that, and to be the big sister of 2 boys, that ain't going to be easy. Do I cry over Kendall, sure I do, but mostly because she is growing so quickly, and I also just made her eat soap for sassing me, again. Oh going from 2 to 3 is going to throw me for a loop, especially with three years off, I never had so much time in between babies, you think my laundry pile is high now!?!?

So the pregnancy is progressing. In typical form, I look like I am 42 weeks instead of 23, but what are you going to do? I mean it's the holiday season, that is the ideal time to be pregnant, ok so not so much after birth, when the summer is around the corner and you resemble a pale beached whale for months, but I will enjoy my cookies now. Maternity clothes is pretty awesome like that. Remind me I said this about mid June when I am telling you that my body is jiggly in places it shouldn't be, and when I want to take some scissors to my gut and perform my own tummy tuck. Sterile, of course.

When you are tired and it is your first pregnancy, I will give it to you, that is rough to feel that exhaustion that pregnancy brings for the first time, but by the second trimester, it lifts. The second time around is a little different, the exhaustion doesn't lift until about 16 weeks, but you know what to expect. The third time around, I am here to tell you, I would never lie, it doesn't lift. It doesn't go away, ever. I tell you what, naps would be great, but you don't get them when your three and a half year old doesn't nap, and wants you to watch a Barbie movie with her while her brother naps, and asks you every 5 minutes, 'Mommy, I thought you were watching this with me, open your eyes, you will miss the best part.' I want to say, 'Well Kendall, I got the best part the first 378 times we watched this movie, it's ok if I miss it just this once,' but I don't, and in my best exhausted Mommy voice, I say at the end, 'you were right Kendall, that was the best part.'

Andy likes to tease me that it must be easy sleeping in until 10 a.m. everyday, since it is around that time I first check in with him when he is at work. Truth is, is that is when my brain starts functioning to the point where I can have a conversation beyond, 'What would you like for breakfast? What show did you want to watch while I make breakfast?' and 'It's ready!' I mean actually making breakfast is pushing it. I am at the point where it isn't comfortable to sleep, so I don't fully rest. I get up 5 times to pee, and there are things that occur to my body, which I will go into in my next post that really make sleep sometimes painful. Like leg cramps, round ligaments, and water retention.

And in all honesty should the man really have anything to say about when I sleep till? I mean I am the one carrying the extra weight, walking like a duck, dealing with heartburn from just putting some pepper on my baked potato, out of breath when walking up a flight of stairs, so on and so forth, and in the end, getting to push this thing out of my vagina? An episiotomy is not some grand prize or war wound to show to your pals. How would you liked to be sewed together from one hole to another? Yeah, that's what I thought, let the beast sleep.

If my children want to be angels and let their poor impregnated mother get some extra rest before they put her through non stop preschooler entertaining for the next 9 hours until their father gets home, then so be it. And I am here to tell you, the children wake at 8 a.m., the dog wants to pee at 8 a.m., that sounds like a wonderful treat to some mothers, and it is, but I run them ragged, I do. I do everything in my power to make them exhausted at the end of the day. We do not stop, all day. Sure that may make it worse on me, but I think being pregnant and up at 6 a.m. would be worse. It's not child abuse, we have fun, can I help it if they sometimes fall asleep in the upright position?

And that is where we are at, now if you will excuse me I have to go and feed children who are hungry and tired from playing in the snow, but the comeback is in full swing.


The news from Mt. Hood is not what we intended to hear, which I am sure you are fully aware of right now. I can only imagine the pain her family experienced as they made some heart wrenching decisions in the past few days. The strength her father displayed when speaking at the press conference was unbelievable.We can only pray that Katie is at peace, that she is rejoicing in heaven at probably one of the best times.

The Lord blesses those who devote their lives to him, their work, their everything. What riches Katie is receiving as her life was a full testimony. So short a life, but so full of adventure with God as the focus. Awesome.

Continue to pray for her close friends, her family, those that will pursue recovery when the time comes.

Continue to pray for the other families of Katie's friends and fellow hikers.

Continue to follow Amy's blog as Memorial Services are planned on each coast for Katie.


Mt. Hood

I promise, I promise, new post coming, updates, ultrasound picture of some frank and beans instead of a hamburger, so on and so forth. I have been brought to post to raise awareness and prayer for a college friend of Andy and I. I have mentioned recently on facebook that Katie is a girl with a gentle spirit, a love and devotion to the Lord that is admireable,a drive and determination to do what is just, a caring heart, and a person that is filled with adventure. The woman she has become is no doubt exactly who she is supposed to be. I can remember seeing her at a wedding a year or so ago with her hair knotted in this dreadlock mess, but she was beautiful, and you know me, I marched right on up to her and blurted out, 'you are the only person that I have even looked at with dreads and thought, that looks really good!' She laughed and said, 'well it really cuts down on the whole hair maintenace thing.' You know me, just blunt like that.

If you don't know by now, Katie is one of the hikers that is missing on Mt. Hood. I, like many others I know, are always searching for updates, praying for weather changes, and a miracle. The best sources I have found have been provided through a local oregon website, as well as her friend Amy's blog that she just started. As you will see in pics, Amy was a close friend of Katie's, and my heart goes out to each of them that held Katie close. I can only imagine the heart wrenching emotions her family and close friends are experiencing. If you can, pray for them. Pray for Katie and Anthony. Pray that no matter what their situation may be, that they are feeling the Lord's warm embrace. Pray for the hiker and friend that was with them that lost his life. Pray for Luke's family. It is starting to seem as though he may have been going for help. Pray for those searching for them. Pray for their endurance, pray that they are kept safe and warm, and pray that they are led in the right direction.

Here are the links to the websites you can follow:




People who say they sleep like a baby usually don't have one. ~Leo J. Burke

Sleep while being pregnant is like nothing else. You can’t even control it. It is borderline narcolepsy, most especially the first trimester. You will just be sitting there watching a show, a movie, reading a book, even talking, and the next thing you know you are waking up in the middle of the night having to pee. What was that all about? It’s as if there is a little alarm that goes off in your uterus which sends a message to the brain and then you just shut off. There is no warning.

When I am pregnant, I totally get hibernation. The need to just sleep like it’s your job for basic survival. This past week I have been falling asleep when the kids fall asleep, and waking up when they get up. This is close to 12 hours people. I am not sure what Andy’s excuse it, but who, as an adult woman with children does this, if they are not pregnant? If you do, I would like to see your bathrooms, they are messy, and you know it. You better believe this needs to be rectified because a newborn does not sleep. If I continue to sleep for 12 hours a night throughout my pregnancy, I will die when the child comes, just roll over and die from sleep deprivation shock.

Don’t get me wrong, it is not a straight through sleep. I get up to pee at least 4 times. That or someone will bump their head on a wall or be out of their blankets, yelling that they are cold, which leads to me having to pee simply because I moved. This pee thing is outrageous. I think I drink enough to warrant maybe 5 or 6 bathroom stops during the day. Now the 10-15 more stops that I am averaging is just not right. And I am here to tell you that the other day Kendall brought a book to me while I was peeing that had to be read right then and there, so I sat there and read it, and I was like a leaky faucet throughout the entire book. At one point I turned to her and asked her to go and get a wrench.

The only one that truly adores this whole lengthy sleeping thing is Stanley. Things just don’t get done like they should when I am in a sleep induced coma, but he could care less. He will curl up in the blankets of my bed dreaming of trapping that nasty cat Lily in the corner and smacking some sense into her, snoring right along with me. It must be the short legs, or some pregnancy sympathy, but this dog is exhausted at the end of the day.
He in fact is taking his mid morning nap next to me as I type this, and keeps eyeing me as if he is saying, ‘come on you know you want to.’

When I was pregnant with Kendall I think I slept a lot more then this one. I would come home from work and crash on the couch until Andy got home, eat, and then go back to bed, and on Saturday mornings, forget about it, I don’t think we saw them. With Ethan it was a little different, I had Kendall to care for when I came home from work, I am sure I went to sleep when she did, but that child did not like to sleep, if she slept 6 to 7 hours a night I was happy. Perhaps that is why Ethan loves sleep so much, he had no restful sleep in the womb, and has to make up for it now. I do remember however falling asleep at my desk at work with both pregnancies because if I didn’t I would surely pull over on the side of the road on the way home and have to take a nap. There were a few of us pregnant in that place at different times, and each of us fell asleep so hard that we drooled on our blotters. So much for helping the children in need, but come on, what is 20 minutes? The rest of us that shared an office, would just whisper to each other softly so as not to disrupt the sleeping pregnant beast. So with this one, I need to be alert during the day, Kendall does not nap anymore, yeah big surprise, and so I am Mom on Duty for 12 hours, rest only comes at night. If the children wake up earlier then 8 a.m. my day is done, the rest was not complete and I stare lustfully all day long at blankets, pillows, beds, couches. Even the premade beds in department stores tempt me. Don’t they look just so comfy, all fluffy, with the 75 pillows just sitting there waiting for you to curl in? I mean who would really care if I just tested it out for 15 minutes?

Don’t get me wrong, there are some days while Ethan is napping that I put on a Barbie movie for Kendall that she just loves and curl up next to her and nap. Anyone might nap though, in that situation. Have you seen those movies? They are for sure right up her alley, but if I watch more then 15 minutes my eyes start to bleed. Kendall loves them; I mean loves them so much she reenacts them for the remainder of the day. Oh Barbie. I will admit though that I played Barbie’s right up into my tween years, and I loved them. Have you seen the new camper they have out this year? I just might start playing again.

So if you need to catch up on some sleep, go ahead and get pregnant and then it is forced. Or just take a day off, whatever floats your boat. Regardless, I will see you in dreamland.


Saltines Anyone?

Morning sickness. Who came up with that name and why? It is not morning sickness at all. It is nausea that will grip you at any point in the day, that’s what it is. Wouldn’t that be great if it were just in the morning? Those women are so fortunate. Of course it would be even more fortunate to not have it at all, but as we all know, I am not so fortunate when it comes to pregnancy and well I mean why not suffer with incredible nausea too? For the sake of the argument, and the Mayo Clinic’s pregnancy handbook, or something like that, as well as ‘What to Expect When You Are Expecting’, I will refer to it as Morning Sickness. Well until I come up with a better name when I write my little pregnancy guidebook. I don’t know, you tell me, hell just doesn’t seem appropriate; it also may scare people off, and then what would I use to describe vaginal birth? Don’t you just want to go and conceive right now?

As I am in the throes of morning sickness I think sometimes, does everyone experience it the same way? Probably not. I mean everyone feels pain a little different, depending on their tolerance level. Kendall, for instance, screams out in pain if her underwear is on backwards. Ethan it takes a little bit more, like a nice fall down the stairs. So I am going to go ahead and assume that beyond the expected symptoms of an illness, each person is going to feel them a little differently. Again, for instance, my husband has never had diarrhea cramps. That’s what he says folks. Isn’t that something? I think it is impossible. How do you not ever have that? It is terrible, it bends you in half and makes you want to reach into your abdomen and throw it across the room. Don’t even get me started if there isn’t Pepto near by. However, I think he has had it, but experiences it different then me, his bowel is more tolerant to pain, and it’s the only thing that makes sense to me.

So I can only describe it as it happens to me, this morning sickness thing, and if it is any better to you congrats, and if it is worse, I am so very sorry. I will preface this with my only advice in regards to the subject, because nothing works for me, I have tried it all, but if at all possible, don’t throw up. I mean there are some women who can’t help it. I understand that. However, it is not like a stomach bug. Throwing up will not get rid of anything, and you will only feel worse. I tried it once with this pregnancy, and I vow to never do it again if I can help it. Beyond all of that, I hate throwing up to begin with. I still cry for my mom. Really. Almost 31, almost 3 children, I still want my mom to take care of me when I am sick.

Morning sickness to me is similar to that feeling you have the next morning after you have consumed way too many adult beverages. You feel as if there is just all this gross stuff just sloshing around in that belly and you want to get rid of it, but like I said, throwing up doesn’t, and so, you are stuck. It is that incredible nausea you feel right before you throw it all up vowing to never drink again. Bathroom floors and their chill still feel fabulous, but you will most likely not turn and see one of your girlfriends suffering along side of you anymore. Instead you now have your three year old stating the obvious, ‘Wow Mommy, that baby is sure making you sick, huh?’

Morning Sickness hits me throughout the day and night. My hormones, since they are notoriously known to be so cooperative, are even more super awesome then that. I will be getting ready to make dinner, excited about what I am making, hardly being able to wait until it is done. BAM. The smell of the chicken has me dry heaving, the nausea comes, meal ruined for me. And it goes like this. Wake up in the middle of the night in pain because my bladder is full for the 12th time that night, and climb back into bed, excited to fall back asleep because it is only 2 am, and I have so much more sleep to come, smell the dog, it’s over. It is primarily associated with smells, sometimes, just when I think I have it figured out, and vow to shove cotton balls up my nose; I get overcome with nausea just sitting outside watching the kids ride their bikes. The terrible part about it is that when it hits you it doesn’t get any easier to handle 3 weeks into it, and even 3 pregnancies into it. It is still the same unbearable wanting to vomit all over the place feeling. I will confess that with Ethan it was not as bad. This I have studied in depth and come up with two hypotheses. 1. It was only 4 months after I have given birth to Kendall, that I conceived Ethan, it is feasible that my body had not rid itself of all pregnancy hormones and therefore, the increasing flow of hormones was not a shock to my system. 2. It’s a girl. We will not be able to come to a conclusion for a couple more weeks, and I have not decided if we will share the sex of the baby or not. Surprises are fun. Not for me, because I am going to find out, but of course, for others.

The best part about morning sickness this time is that I cannot just take a minute or twenty to recover and compose myself and get used to the nausea, I have my kids. Kids of my children’s age do not accept, ‘Mommy doesn’t feel good.’ It does not register, and they aren’t going to say, ‘Hey Mommy, why don’t you go lie down, we will just sit quietly in our rooms and entertain ourselves while you rest.’ So I give myself a little pep talk, consisting of some self-discipline along the lines of, ‘get yourself together Melissa, you asked for this, and beyond that your kids need you to break up fights, feed them, and create forts with them that you pray will entertain them for at least 45 minutes.’

Your body does some pretty strange things while you are pregnant, some are just downright absurd, and morning sickness is just the beginning, so you better suck it up. I think it is your body’s way of saying, ‘can you handle what I am throwing at ‘cha because you ain’t seen nothing yet,’ with the culmination of it all being birth. So on with it.



Yes, it is true. Seems as though this little fetus has decided that my uterus will do for now. Ethan must have had words with it. Something like, ‘You just wait and see little buddy, it is a pretty great place, she eats lots of ice cream, and her skin stretches really, really far so you have all this room. Sometimes I even wish I could go back in there.’

I have already popped and I am nice and comfy in my maternity clothes. That’s right. No shame. The body was like, oh there is a baby in here that is staying for awhile, lets just go ahead and explode. I think I may make the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest pregnant with one child woman. No joke, you would think I am 12 weeks pregnant with triplets.

I haven’t blogged in quite sometime. I know it. But see, my multi tasking skills went right down the toilet along with the massive amounts of pee I now create. Being sick all.day.long, is quite difficult with two small children, most especially when it lasts oh about 8 weeks, from the day I found out at somewhere around 4 weeks up until a few days ago. It still rears its ugly head, but not to the point that I want to consider finding a cave and setting up camp in. So my motto for the children and I as I suffered, quite simple, ‘Keep them alive.’ We did a lot of educational programming as I curled in between them saying sweet prayers to Jesus. Thanking him for the nausea but asking him to keep it at bay for at least 2 hours so that I could clean the massive piles of clutter that had taken over my house. Apparently again, I am the only in my household who knows how to clean. Well, besides Ethan. He is definitely a little helper. Ok, so I have been training him be just that. But I will not send a man from my womb to a wife and not have eyes that see a mess and be moved so much by it that he has no other option then to clean it up. He will clean his toothpaste stains out of the sink, so help me!

So my tolerance level is just gone. It was pretty slim to begin with. How is that possible with such small children you ask? Medication. Slightly more seriously though, I bottle it. All day long. Of course Andy is the direct target on most occasions when the bottle explodes at 8 pm promptly each evening,but his coping skills are much higher, ok, a little bit higher. But oh being pregnant, and having raging hormones that take over your body from your toes to the end of your hair, yeah, Mama’s got a short fuse, you best listen the first time.

But yes we are excited, we are thrilled, we feel blessed. The baby continued to grow each week I saw my specialists. It was a week off at first, and I about kicked my legs out of the stirrups and ran for the hills vowing to get my tubes tied, but then the doctor told me to give it a week, a could have ovulated a week late and so that is why everything would seem off. I did come to an infertility specialist for a reason, not because I thought it was cool, but wait a week? Right. Every morning I woke up pressing on my boobs to make sure they were still sore and just sat around waiting for the acid to build up enough in my stomach from all the hormones that I just wanted to barf all over the house. And then the ultrasound, and it grew. The doctors discharged me to go to my regular ob/gyn at 8 weeks. My first appt is next week with the doctor that delivered Ethan. Don’t you feel some sort of camaraderie with the doctor that delivered your child? I do, most especially since they see the most ugly sides of you, and still let you take the baby home. He has delivered so many babies that I am sure he doesn’t remember me screaming at him to get Ethan out of me. But I don't know how he could forget me screaming at him I couldn’t do it as Ethan was crowning, and just stopped pushing right then and there, leaving my son with a bruise on his forehead for the first two weeks of life. I tell you what, that vagina, that’s some strong muscle right there, it leaves vicious marks. But I remember it all, and I remember him telling me that we will get the baby out together. Teamwork I tell you.

I plan on blogging about pregnancy A LOT. Well because what else is there to talk about, really, people. But life is still going on around me and I will blog about that too. I plan on putting this little asterisk *, see just like that, after the titles that contain subject matter that as a man you may not want to read about, or if you are woman and are just not into hemorrhoids, stretch marks, and things of that nature. You will see this one has it, since I have already made mention to the vagina, peeing, boobs, etc. There will be entries about pregnancy that won’t contain these items, and will consequently not have an * after the title, but you know me, and they will be far and in between, and if that is the case, enjoy the intermittent blogs about other things that I post, and see you post partum. On second thought, you may want to wait even 6 weeks after that since I turn into a wretched beast with itchy, sore stitches and flabby fatty skin, after I give birth, who gets as angry as all get out that she is not Heidi Klum and cannot just jump back into pre pregnancy wear. I will certainly be going on about that too. I know you are as excited about it as I am.

How are the future bigger sister and big brother coping:

No, Kendall and Ethan are super excited. Kendall says if it is a girl she is naming it Jasmine. Umm..yeah.. I think that Ethan gets the idea that there is a baby coming, I don't think he gets that it is inside me, simply to him, I am just fat and crabby, and then someday a baby is just going to be delivered to our front door. Once it gets in the way of him completely wrapping his entire body around me to snuggle, he might just get it a little better. My prediction is, he will resemble this picture for a few weeks after the baby arrives, and if it is a girl Kendall will have a complete and utter meltdown in the hospital over the fact that the baby is in fact not named Jasmine, or any other disney princesses. All is well for the third child, nothing like a warm welcome.

So until the next blog, I will be tending to my offspring,peeing,and sleeping. See you soon.


Freak of Nature

Does someone want to tell me why the season of fall will not come? Seriously. The decorations have been up, pumpkins reign in this house. You know I cannot stand a warm Halloween. It better get its act together. Fall is my favorite season. Why is the humidity lurking? Ugh. I walk out the door in the morning anticipating that crisp fall air, and I breathe in the northeast humidity. This is not Florida. I did not ask for this. It is 80 some odd degrees today. It's just not right.
My children are quickly moving into the next size clothing. This added sunshine has made them sprout like weeds. Ethan is getting longer and bulkier, he is going to be on the offensive line. He is going to eat me out of house and home. Kendall is like a string bean, she is finally up to the next shoe size after being a size 8 for 2 years practically. So needless to say, the clothes and sizes they were in this summer are quickly becoming too small. Despite the summer sales, these children are not getting bigger sizes in summer clothes at the end of September! It's time for jeans and sweatshirts, they have that sitting in their drawers ready, now come on with it!
I want to sip soup, drink apple cider, and eat ginger snaps, and warm weather is just not conducive to this. I cannot accept that we are still sucking on Popsicles.
And the bees! The BEES! They are going crazy. They are everywhere, they are confused, it's just not right. The queen bees are like, 'should we go in the mud, no wait, it's warm, no wait, look at that ladies calendar, into the mud, no wait...' Not only that, my darling son was attacked by a swarm of them. He had no less then 6 stings on his body. It was a catastrophe. I mean, now I know, he isn't allergic, could you just imagine? But the trauma of it happening, I think I was screaming louder than he was, like he was being torn apart by a grizzly bear.
So is this Indian Summer, Global Warming, or just some freak of nature?

Indian Summer: an informal expression given to a period of sunny, warm weather in autumn in the northern hemisphere, typically in late October or early November, after the leaves have turned but before the first snowfall.

It is not used in any sort of legal or formal communication or documentation.

So it clearly isn't that based upon the date today. Moving on...

Global Warming: the increase in the average temperature of the Earth's near-surface air and oceans since the mid-20th century and its projected continuation. Global surface temperature increased 0.74 ± 0.18 °C (1.33 ± 0.32 °F) during the last century.

Clearly the temperature is warmer. I mean really it is. I don't know what the big hype against global warming is. Why do people get so defensive about it like it can't be a possibility? We are big FAT polluters, to think that this would not have a direct effect on the earth is just silly to me. Is is so hard for you to 'reduce, reuse, and recycle?' I think because Al Gore is behind it, and not lets say Rush Limbaugh, has an effect on this as well. I'm just sayin'.

Freak of Nature: A thing or occurrence that is markedly unusual or irregular.

To avoid debate and controversy, because I don't want all you Rush supporters up my crack, we will just go with the later, this weather being a freak of nature.

I might not like the weather, but I do love this new photo experience I am having thanks to my blogger friend, CJane. You can get up on that too at, this site. 'I give props to those who deserve it...' name that song, get a high five.

So I tell you what, if I am not in a sweater by next week and eating an apple I picked from a tree, I might just lose it.


Walk this Way

So the back story of this story is that my Mom Mom was an avid hiker of the Appalachian Trail. She hiked mostly with her sister on some day trips, some over night trips, some days in a row trips, so on and so forth. Some people made guest appearances to hike with them, I did maybe like two or three times, never over night, and never unless the conditions were perfect. My Mom Mom and aunt didn't just decide to walk from beginning to end non stop like some people do, no one would let them do that. I definitely think they could have done it and wrote a best seller about it, but it's better off that they come home in between hikes. I mean deciding to start this hiking business in their 60's, it's only fair to us that they do it in increments.

Sometimes I think, that it would be cool to go from start to finish and hike the whole trail and not stop until I was done. And then I remember I do not like blisters, bruised toes, sleeping in the wilderness for more than 2 nights, and carrying my belongings on my back. So I really probably shouldn't go. I think I would get through the first day, and be like, 'hey at least I tried.'

Close to a month ago, my grandparents and my mom decided that they were going to take a trip to Maine so that my Mom Mom could hike Mount Katahdin. My grandfather was going along for the drive because he likes to take road trips. And no, not so much for the scenery and the excitement that it entails, but primarily for the car. No kidding. He likes to watch the gas mileage, the speed, the sound of the engine, and keep track of it all. My Pop Pop is one of those people who listens to car races on television with the volume up as high as it can go so that he can hear the engines of the cars. Their newest car had not been on a road trip, and so it was either this trip to Maine or Detroit. I don't know, don't ask me, something about the Ford plant, a museum.

So my mom says that she will go with her to do this hike. My Mom Mom is now 72 years old. It is not highly recommended that she do this alone. It's not highly recommended that she do this at all, but that is my grandmother, and she was not going to Detroit. I get a call the first day of the trip, about 45 minutes into their travel with them already needing directions, they somehow got off track 15 minutes from home. This my friends is when I should have stepped in and said, 'alright guys, turn it around, this is not looking so good.' But I don't, and they made it up there safe and sound. My Pop Pop was staying back at the cabin during the hiking, visiting in the small town of Millinocket, and just reading and relaxing. One afternoon he calls me and leaves me a message while my Mom and Mom Mom are hiking just to let me to know that there was no tv, the phones didn't have service, and the radio didn't work, he felt like he had gone back in time. Horrors. I got little check ins like this a few times and so on Friday morning he called a few times and didn't leave a message, I delayed getting back to him until mid morning when the kids were settling for some quiet time. I just thought he wanted to tell me that he found Elvis or something. So I just called and left him a message to call me back whenever.

An hour or so after I left that message Andy calls me and asked if I had spoken to anyone. Well I had talked to my friend Chrisy, my neighbor Steph, and I rattle this off, and he says, 'no from your family.' Nope, just a phone call, but no message from Pop Pop. Apparently, Mom Mom had fallen on the top of the mountain and she was in the hospital up there.

The story then developed into the following. They had left that morning early to do the hike to the top of the mountain. Pop Pop had dropped them off and was going to meet them back there that evening. Another reason Pop Pop needed to go, they needed a chauffeur, hey at least they are up front. The girls had made it to the top and were on their way back down at about 3 in the afternoon. It had been a difficult trip up with a lot of rock climbing, and walking over and around boulders, the path wasn't very even, it was ridden with rocks that you had to pay close attention to. So all of this had exhausted them. They were walking along the tops of boulders on their descent, my Mom in the front. A little hiking knowledge for you; when you are walking across the tops of boulders to get to yet another boulder, it is imperative that you do not look up while in motion. Your balance is easily taken away from you. My Mom Mom said she did just that. She looked to see where my mom was in mid step, and lost her balance. My Mom's intial thought was that Mom Mom was going to smack her head into a boulder, but Mom Mom managed to turn her body which led to her leg being slammed into the side of a boulder instead.

It was incredibly windy and cold on the top of the mountain, and after assessing the situation, my mom knew that she had to get Mom Mom off the top, at the very least.

Let me just interrupt right here and state that most people in this situation would just scream at the top of their lungs, panic, and then curl up in the fetal position with their thumb in their mouth, begging for someone to come and rescue them. But then again, if you are going to hike to the top of the mountain, if you are a hiker at all, then you know you have to be like the Boy Scouts and 'Be Prepared.' My instincts would be to refer back to the show Survivorman, and going through the recesses of my mind for an episode about a woman breaking her leg on top of a mountain, and no one but you around to help. I don't think there was one. So I would have been at the top of the mountain screaming with my fist in the air, 'Dang you Survivorman, how am I going to get out of this mess!?!?!'

My Mom Mom managed to get up with the help of my Mom and managed to walk back down into tree level. They actually walked from about 4:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. before she could not take another step and they knew they had to settle in for the night. In all this time, they passed no one, not one other hiker. Again an indication of the mild insanity surrounding the trip.

Meanwhile, my grandfather had alerted the rangers, and they informed him that once nightfall hit they would not be going to search. It was too dangerous for them, and they were sure they were fine, just got delayed on the mountain. Can someone tell me then what is the point of the rangers then? I mean really. A 72 year old woman and her daughter up on a trail, supposed to be back by 5 or so in the evening. They did not just decide to pitch a tent and enjoy the night because the mountain was just that beautiful. So my grandfather walked into the trail about a mile or so a few times, calling their names, to no avail. So he decided to just stay in the car at the bottom of the mountain until he saw them, or until it was light and the rangers weren't in danger so they could go on up there.

It was in the 30's temperature wise over night, but they survived it. I don't know where all the wild animals are, the only thing my mom saw was a mouse. Which I would have flipped out about anyway. In the morning, my mom decided to leave my Mom Mom, and hike the rest of the way down to get help.

She met up with my Pop Pop and the rangers and told them about Mom Mom and where she was. They went up there to get her, and let me just give a big props to the guy who decided to tell my Mom Mom that her leg was not broken that it was just badly sprained and then when she had to go to the bathroom set her down on some moss to just go ahead and do that. They immobilized her leg and then had her lean on them to walk down the rest of the mountain. When she could absolutely not go any further they took turn giving her piggy back rides. I don't know, do they not use stretchers in Maine? At the very least, they got her down.
They got her across this narrow bridge that sits over rock crevices, and they got her to the car to go to the hospital. I suppose you don't need an ambulance when you are stuck on a mountain for just one night with just a sprained knee. I mean you must have to be missing for 3 days and have limbs missing.

Needless to say my Mom Mom broke her left leg. So take that you rescue man who made her walk. Her tibia, right up by the knee.Kendall likes to call it her shinia, or her tinia, or whatever 'inia,' she can think of. They stayed up there for two more nights to recover from the exhaustion and then headed back. Two weeks ago Mom Mom had surgery on her leg, she now has a plate in her leg with borrowed bone fragments from cadavers. Thanks for the donation. Mom Mom is to be out of commission for 8 weeks. That means in this brace, minimal movement besides therapy for 8 weeks. Mom Mom told Kendall that she will be better by Halloween. And that is what the two of them are focused on. I suppose on Halloween Mom Mom will be able to dance a jig and go trick or treating, according to them. I say the New Year we will have Mom Mom back.

If anything she is a resilient woman, with a lot of determination. Did you have any doubts? She was going to hike to the top of that mountain, come what may, and it did. And she is going to be better by Halloween, she told Kendall this, and this is what is going to happen! She is bored as all get out. So if you have any recommendations, by all means.

And you want to know what I think? I think she will get out there on that trail again. She has had wild boars chase her on the trail, was in an accident that totaled my aunt's car while on a hiking trip for the trail, has broken her leg on the trail, there is still much to do. Question is, who is going with her?


This one's a keeper

So we have decided that Stanley can have a room and free roam at this place. Well not exactly a room, perhaps a corner of a bed, or my entire half on some nights to which I am then clinging on to the side of my king mattress so that I do not fall off. I think that maternally in my sleep induced coma, my mind thinks he is a child and it tells my body to move over so that I do not smother. None the less. I would love for Stanley to sleep with Kendall. However. Most nights before bedtime we all snuggle in our bed. And so Stanley is included in this ritual, or we watch him race around the perimeter of the bed yelping and trying to jump up.

By the time it is bedtime Stanley is dead asleep and snoring, and I mean snoring away to his heart's content. I repeat his name a few times, most times he doesn't even move, occasionally he will lift his head, look at me, and then plop it right back down. Then I think to myself, as he attempts to burrow in my blankets, it's better for me to endure this then Kendall, he would wake her up too, and have you ever seen Kendall when she is lacking sleep? It's worse then a horror movie, it's worse then the child's head who is spinning around and her eyes are red and her hair is all over the place. It's worse then that. I promise you.

We have adjusted to life with a dog. And I tell you, this dog is spoiled. No, no, he is. I think part of me feels bad for him because he had to leave his family. Well I suppose he didn't have to, but it was an ideal situation for all parties involved. So I feel this sense that I need to make it up to him. That is specifically why I am not a good candidate for human adoption. A dog is one thing.

So on most days Stanley comes with us. Well not to the store or the library or something like that, I don't pretend he is a seeing eye dog, of course. But if we are going to the farm or my parents, he is included. He already races around the house at top speed like he won a lifetime supply of bacon if I even ask him if he wants to go to the farm. No, now don't go thinking I give him bacon. I don't, get off my back. But to him and his little legs it is acres and acres of sweet freedom, with lots of cats to harass, lots of holes in the grass to stick his head into, and lots of friends to make.

And Stanley is a good dog. You can tell he is a tightly trained soldier, thanks Trip. Because pugs have the reputation of being crazy kooks. I think there are a few wires up there that aren't connected, and it is the humans job to rewire. Stanley of course, has selective hearing, but if you persist, and just as Cesar, the dog whisperer says, show the dog he is not the master, then things will work out splendidly. Not that I watch the dog whisperer, I think he was on Oprah once, and you know me and Oprah. Tight. Like I started at 45 times repeating, 'Sit Down Stanley,' before he would sit. Now we are down to like 25 or so. It's progress. He is excellent with the kids, and loves being around them, so we are happy with him, and my ocd is on overdrive thanks to his little white hairs. We have it under control, I am thinking about a central vac, how easy would that be?

So where did Stanley come from? He came from friends of ours from college. Andy used to play soccer with Trip, and Jess and Trip were dating, and then married. I mean we were at their wedding. Did you know they tore down that place Jess? Our home is right around the corner from there. Anyway. Trip and Jess went on to own Charles, an english bulldog, whom I absolutely adored when getting to visit with them and race around the house with him, and get Trip all agitated for winding his dog up. So Trip and Jess went on to have 4 little girls. Not all at one time of course, but 4 little girls that are the mirror images of their mother. So cute. Now Trip, Jess, and the girls, have plans to plant a church out in California. Could you imagine? Packing up your entire lives, 4 little girls and two dogs, and moving clear across the country? In order to make it a little easier, they need to find a home for one of the dog, and two of the girls. Kidding. They just thought it would be easier to do this entire thing without Stanley. He is young, clearly adaptable, and he was the low man on the totem pole. Again, kidding. It was a vote, he lost, the tribe spoke. I mean really, everyone knows Charles pulls rank.

Really though, they looked for a home with kids, a place that wouldn't shake him up too much. Andy replied to some comment Jess made on Facebook, and the next thing you know, Stanley is here.
He has really been on me to get on here and blog to the girls, most especially Victoria, his dear pal, and so without further ado. Hold on I have to go find him, he just chased Lily up the stairs again, I am sure they are under a bed again having a staring contest.

To my dear sweet friend Victoria...and all the other curly headed girls...

Hi everyone!

I am able to sit a write a brief little diddy on here to you. So excited to be able to blog, many of the new things I am doing here at my new home.

I miss all of you! Does Charles miss me? Tell the old man I said hello. There is no one else here who snorts like me as good old Charles did. Well, the man of the house here and I have snoring competitions each night, but that's different.

One thing I get to have here is small bites to eat from Eukanuba. Can you believe it? My jaw isn't so sore anymore. It's fabulous. And get this, I got to go to the store with them to pick it up. Can you imagine me? In a store? I did it, what an adventure.

This house is just as loud as yours, and so I fit in here just fine.

I also have been spending a lot of time at this family's grandparents farm. Let me tell you about that. It is so much fun, I race around that property like I am a deer in a meadow, or there is a bee up my bottom. It is so much fun. The cats there of course do not like me at all, but that is ok. I think they might be jealous.

Because Melissa says I smell like a dog, I got a bath the other night. I taught her. She might as well have just gotten in there with me, she was soaked.

I think I am growing on Lily. Her food bowl was moved next to mine, and she doesn't spend as much time on high surfaces as she used to. Sure she hisses at me and will swat once in awhile, but I am starting to think that it is because she secretly loves me.

I hope that we can come to visit you sometime. This family is just as busy as yours and so they are always on the go, most of the time I go with them. Sticking my head out the window while driving is one of my most favorite things to do. So as their schedule calms down, I know a visit there is on the top of the list.

How is school? Are you doing well? Don't pick your nose in the classroom ok? That would just look silly.

Well I need to go and ring the bells I just ate, you know what that means.

I hope you all are doing really well. I know I am, I have even made a few friends.

Love, Stanley


Anyone have some Salsa?

So I am upstairs straightening up, the children and Stanley are downstairs playing in the playroom, ah good morning.

Kendall yells up, 'Hey Mommy, we made a sandbox!'
I reply, 'That's Awesome!'
They are using their imagination splendidly and are pretending they are in a sandbox of course.
A few minutes go by.
Ethan yells up, 'Mommy, Stanwey eatin sandbox!'
Alarms sounding.
I run downstairs.
Turns out a bag of tortilla chips that was left downstairs has been crunched up by tiny feet to resemble sand. Even more awesome.

Stanley got a morning treat out of it.

I raced him upstairs, I don't want tortilla chip poop to clean up and vacuumed it up as the two of them stood watching me, crying their eyes out.

What a mean, mean Mommy I am.


Where are your scissors?

I don't know what Miss Hannigan had against them;
'Someday I'll step on their freckles, Some night I'll straighten their curls'
She was terrible I tell you. No wonder they tried to hide in the laundry to escape her.
I don't know who would put a floozy in charge of an orphanage. All for a storyline I suppose. But don't you love Carol Burnett? I can hear her singing the song in my head.

I grew up with girls. I had only sisters, mostly female cousins, and a slew of aunts. We had boys speckled in there somewhere, I mean they were needed I suppose, it only made sense. My cousin Ryan was specifically the only boy for quite some time on family vacations and he would have to play dress up, be in shows we put on, paint his nails, all to fit in. I am certain that now he would never admit to it. But for a period of time there was 5 girls, 1 boy. Tough times, what was he to do? If anything, Ryan is probably one of the funniest people I know, so I suppose he gained a great sense of humor and outlook on life, because he had to make the best of it. Girls do not play with trucks in dirt when there is 4 other females dangling Barbies in fancy dresses in front of them.

I am fascinated with little girls. I think their imaginations will never be matched. Presently I am blessed with one aspiring actress. I say it now, and then it will never happen, I hope that I am blessed with another. You know how much I love my little man, and how the sun rises and sets on his sweet little dimple, but little girls I get. Ethan always leaves me full of surprises. I have a hard time anticipating what is next. The other day he had all of his matchbox cars in a perfect line, wrapping around living room furniture. I proclaimed, 'there it is, you did it, boys do that, wow, that is really cool E.' I proceeded to get down to his level and started moving the cars through the traffic jam. Apparently you do not do this. Lesson learned. I was quickly pushed aside, yelled some things that I really couldn't make out, huffed and puffed at as he went back to fixing what I had apparently destroyed.

Now with girls I know what to expect next. I know where Kendall is going with her imaginative play, what she wants me to say or do, and where the conversation is going to end up before she even gets there. I know she will be fascinated with make up application, and that if I let her put on some blush she will be as happy as a pig in mud for the entire day and constantly glance at herself in the mirror. I know that she dreams big. I know that she thinks that if she tries hard enough, and stomps her feet loud enough she will get her way.

Little girls are always in search of justice. What is fair, what is unfair, what she has and she doesn't. And the dramatics that ensue are nothing short of academy nominee worthy. Little girls follow with their emotions when it comes to justice, ok, and so do the big girls.

If you do not have a high tolerance for whining, the tossing of oneself on the floor, the moods, the uncontrollable sobbing, then I forewarn you about having a little girl. Study. Kendall is constantly prompted to stop crying by her Daddy when the situation at hand as long been over. She simply replies, 'but I just can't.' And I get it. Sometimes a girl just can't stop crying. We just can't. It is in our genetics to be theatrical.

Kendall has now moved on to the long and drawn out conversations of what happened, when it happened, and what she thought about what happened. Girls are bred to leave out no detail. None. Get comfy. What I love most is the use of hands when the story is coming to a climax and a point is trying to be made, and I also secretly love that she says the word, 'like,' a million times during her 20 minute tirade. Andy is on me constantly, constantly for saying, 'like,' when I am talking. I can't help it, I know it is valley girl talk from 1995, it is just part of me. I will be 90 years old saying, 'and then I was like, what do you mean I don't have anymore depends left, and she was like, I am sorry I will have to run to the store and get you more.' I just passed the lingo on, what's up now, Daddy?

Little girls always want to be older then what they are. Kendall wants to ride the school bus, she wants to go off the diving board at the township pool, she wants put on her own nail polish. When they play they are the Mommy, or the grown up working. Kendall right now tells me she wants to be a hair dresser when she gets older. She is in love with long hair, and is on the life long pursuit for long lucious locks that she can swoosh back and forth and not wear in a ponytail.

Which leads me to my biggest entertainment when it comes to little girls. The cutting of the hair. The taking of the scissors into their tiny hands and cutting their own hair and sometimes a friends too. Because it all goes back to little girls wanting to be bigger, and big girls cut hair, and guess what I can too. Both of my nieces did this. My little cousin Kaitlyn who lives out west decided to 'trim,' her bangs up to her scalp 2 years ago for the first day of school. The outcomes are never ever pretty. It is never a style that you want to copy. But just the same, I find it hilarious. I know, I know what you are thinking, now Kendall is going to cut her hair and I won't be laughing anymore. You are probably right, but I can still find everything up until that point funny, and I give you full permission to laugh at me when it happens. Just don't laugh at her. I never laugh at the little girl, I always compliment the style. I mean she has to deal with a devastated mother, the least I can do for her and her mother is to boost her spirits. You have go to make the most of that. There is no fixing that mess. Hair does grow back, and that my friends is the only good thing about the entire situation.

With all of that in mind I ask you to take a moment of silence for my dear friend Kellie and her daughter Emma's hair.


Ok now that that is over, I will explain quite possibly the worst child produced hair cut in my history of observing them. I am sorry Kellie, but it was. Let me set up the scenario for you as told to me after I examined the photos and called Kellie laughing hysterically. I am certain she really appreciated my sympathy. But I just could not help it. I apologized profusely, but the laughing and the tears could not stop. She forgave me, really she did. She knows I am obnoxious like that.

Darling Emma, Pre Damage. Look at the thick, nicely styled hair. 'Memories, like the corners of my mind'...sing it Barbara, 'Misty colored memories...'

So here we go. Emma was out playing nicely with her friends one lovely afternoon. My friend Kellie was still at work, and Emma and her sister Meghan were home with their Daddy. Isn't that funny? I am not going to go into the irony of that simple statement, all you mom's know. Scott, their Daddy, of course thought they must be playing nicely, it was quiet after all. Out in Kellie's backyard there was a pair of scissors left out. They had been trimming flowers, grass, I don't know, but they were left out. Next door to Scott and Kellie there is a home that has been abandoned due to foreclosure. Tough times, people, tough times, count your blessings. So anyway. This house has a little carport and many of the children like to pretend it is a house so on and so forth. So long story short. An older girl gets a hold of the scissors and decides that she and Emma, and perhaps some others need a haircut. And a haircut it was. Kellie's mom was there at the time Emma returned home and nearly died on the spot. Emma came to the door and I am certain shrieking filled the air. Scott I am certain jumped up like his pants were on fire expecting he would find a bloody mess, but what he saw I am certain was almost as bad at that moment. One might choose 5 to 6 stitches over a massacre to the hair, I'm just sayin.

Now knowing Scott and Kellie, I am certain his instant action was not a result of Emma being upset. She wasn't. But even if she was, I am certain that Scott sprung into action because of only one thing. 1. Fear of the wrath and reaction of his wife. He quickly got Emma together, went to the house of the perpetrator to show what had occurred to her mother, and then whisked her off to get the mess fixed as much as he could before Kellie returned from work. He never called her to let her know what was going on. He will say that he didn't want to upset her. I say, he was trying to clean up the broken vase before she got home, and knew that his attempt to glue to back together would gain him some merit. I love men. So hair was fixed as much as possible. Then he had to wait for her to get home. I am sure he was pacing, nervous, and biting his nails.

Kellie got home, said her hello's, glanced into the living room, was about to ask aloud, 'who is that in the living room with Meghan,' when Emma said, 'Hi Mommy!' Can you imagine!?!? I of course busted out laughing at this part. But at the time, Kellie stated that she needed some time alone and went to her room to mourn. Once she gathered herself she talked with Emma, and Emma seemed fine with the entire thing. We will thank her for not being so concerned about her vanity right now. Thank you Emma, you are a fine, fine girl.

Darling Emma and her sister, a few days after the incident.

Now let me explain the direction of the cut. It started right there in the front at the scalp, and followed around to the side at that same level just past the ear. You can see where they struggled with the thickness of Emma's hair but still were intent on getting the job done.

Here is the thing. Emma is starting Kindergarten. Kellie's present dilemma is whether or not to explain to the teacher what happened. Well she look stupid to the teacher if she states why Emma's hair is so short, like it even matters? Or should she say nothing and risk looking like some terrible mother who cuts little girls hair short? I don't know. I told her to have her wear a tee shirt that says, 'My friend cut my hair.' Actually, it is starting to look so much better then the initial results, proving that hair does grow fast. Oh these school pictures will bring back so many memories for years to come. She is a poster child regarding the issue surrounding little girls and scissors.

Emma now, she is still so cute.

Hide your scissors, I know I do.


The Invasion of Sir Stanley...by Lillian, the cat.

Look at me, I am beautiful, who could need more then me?

My life with my family began fabulously. I was spoiled cat, eating expensive food, excreting in lovely scented litter box that was cleaned daily, if not more. My holidays were spent eating top of the line canned cat food, and a stocking stuffed with cat treats and cat toys. I was groomed regularly and showered with love. When they went on vacations people stayed with me in our home, not just stopped by to feed me. This was a cat's dream, and I knew it. I loved my owners, oh how wonderful my life was. They didn't even tease me about my weight problem.

First rugrat came around. I was curious about this creature, but was still so very adored. My female owner even fretted about how I would adjust to Kendall. Obsurd, I know. During late nights with Kendall I would come and sit at her feet as she cried in complete exhaustion. My intentions of course to show her, that see, you had to go and birth a child, look how simple I am.

Then came the next rugrat, and in my opinion a little bit too fast for my liking. Things started to get a little hairy around here. I was shooed off of beds and my owners would actually say late in the day, 'oh sorry Lil' we forgot to feed you today!!' Forgot to feed me. As those children sucked in milk to their belly's delight, it was abuse, I get fed first thing, before anyone even has a chance to pee, you feed me. I could not believe what was happening. One night I was found in the baby's crib and the owner came in yelling and screaming, and tossed me out. How dare she? Here I was trying to help out. So I am a little large, I would never smother the thing.

Then these human offspring began to move around, got in my food, and started fussing with my tail, and pulling my hair. I would swat at at them, and then I would get yelled at and my nose swatted. What in the world is that all about?!?! I don't even have front claws, now you take away my dignity too?

Things started to settle as these little humans grew. The boy chases me quite often around the house growling and screaming, like he is some beast, and now he is the one getting scolded. I started to get some ground back. Sure now when they go away, I either get two bowls of food or they send the old lady over to feed me every few days. All she wants to do is pet me and squeeze me onto her lap. Not into it, lady. So I attack her as soon as she cracks the door open. Sure she yells, and my owner tells me I am going to cause her a heart attack. But would you want to be squeezed and petted, and told, 'oh you're such a nice kitty, now you sit here on my lap, you be a lap cat' over and over again!?!? And the litter box, ok don't even get me started. I have a mountain in there and it stinks to the high heavens before they are like, 'oh Lily, that just stinks.' Yeah, well have no plausible thumbs, what do you want me to do about it, fools. The door to the basement gets shut after playtime, and if I am dozing and don't notice it happening, I get shut down there too. The only way they know I am down there is when I hear them I stick my paw under the crack in the bottom of the door and move it back and forth, and then bang on the door for a few minutes. They feel bad when they open it, real bad, I sulk for like 3 hours, nothing like a good guilt trip, they deserve it.

I still get my time with my owners, they still pet me, say hello to me, and let me drink water out of the fish bowl, I mean, I have a pretty good life. I see those strays on the street, going in my trash can. I shudder at the thought of being out in the rain. It must be terrifying.

And now, now, they have gone over the top. I heard them coming home yesterday, almost got off the couch to greet them, but was just too comfy, and then the door opens and in with them comes this ugly creature. I have heard them say, 'oh he is so ugly he is cute...he is so well behaved...look how much the children love him...' Yeah, shove it.They call him Stanley. What kind of name is that? Stanley. If I have anything to do about it he is going to be Flat Stanley. This thing snorts all the time, and is all in my face wanting to be my friend. He's lucky I don't have those claws, those bug eyes of his would be lying on the floor. He actually had the audacity to sleep with me and my owners last night. What was that all about? And they didn't even care! They say to to the children he is just here for a little vacation. I know what the real plan is, I know that if he works out, he is going to come back for good. His owners are planning to move away across the country, and he is going to go and move in here.

It's going to be a long weekend, but somebody has to do it. I am going to make the dog bark its head off and crap on the floor, then it will be shipped back, with no return address. I haven't been so successful so far, they brought him home some treats. But mark my words. It's on.


All in a days work.

So this past weekend we roll over one day to our neighbor Joe and Danielle's home to say hello while Ethan is napping. They are just getting ready to clean their carpets. Trumpets sounding in my head, hallelujah chorus'. When Andy sees this, he is going to want me to clean the carpets.

My neighbor and friend Danielle and I are so much alike when it comes to cleaning things and seeing; a. what you can get up and b.what it looks like when you are through. So things like Dyson vacuums and carpet cleaners are right up our alley. I don't know, it's that domestic thing they put in our brains. To be able to empty out the Dyson canister and say, 'that is awesome, did you see all the hair it got up, gross,'

We watched Danielle's husband Joe become borderline obsessive compulsive and possessive about the cleaner. It was a carpet cleaner from their family, and it just wasn't doing the trick. Do you know how hard it is to get stains from children out? You have no idea the mess sippy cups, juice boxes, and little feet make, if you don't have them. Let alone my husband who could not remove his shoes when coming in the door if his life depended on it. Sometimes when he comes in the door with his golfing shoes on after a day of rain, I just sit and stare at him in disbelief as he makes his way to the carpet. Thoughts that run through my mind are, 'really, your mind really works like that? So Joe was practically lying on top of the thing to get it to suck up the dirt, and here is my husband crouching down, pointing at the trouble spots. What a team. Danielle kept saying, 'Joe, I want to do it.' And he kept looking at her like she had five heads. He was going to get this carpet clean and be victorious, Danielle was not going to take the credit. Yet at the speed he was going, his back would be out, and he would still be cleaning their floors today, 5 days later.

Finally the question comes out of his mouth, 'how much does it cost to rent one of those cleaners? ' HALLELUJAH, HALLELUJAH!' Joe just says, I don't know, like 30, 40 bucks, want to split it? And next thing I know they are out the door. I have only been telling Andy that we need to rent one for 6 years or so. But sometimes ladies, we just have to let them think, it was all their idea and just rub their backs when they are done. This really helps, trust me. Avoid the, 'I know it was my idea all along, I have only been telling you this for 10 years,' line and therefore argument. It's a man thing, it strokes their ego a bit, helps them feel like they are providing, and making their woman happy.

It is only twenty four hour rental, I politely remind him that I have to work that day and tomorrow, and so he would have to do a lot of it, but to leave me some. I mean one foul step, those stains stay on the carpet, the bane of my existence. He then replies, 'oh I know babe, just get up early tomorrow, get the carpets done, and then take it back before one.' Oh is that all? I don't even get into it. Again, ladies, you know you are a super woman, you don't have to get all snippy toward the man, they can't help but spew out evidence as proof. In your heart of hearts you know you can get this done. I know it's just the principal, but they will never get it, and that is ok, we will never get their anticipation surrounding just sitting and watching football games for 8 hours straight.

So I am at work, he calls I don't know, two hours into my shift. 'Hey babe, I am cleaning the carpets. He then begins to tell me about how they are looking, what he has gotten done, and then goes on to say, 'this is impossible to do with the kids by the way, all they want to do is run around.' Again, it just comes out of their mouths over and over again so simply, pure evidence that we, us mothers, housewives, are in fact super heroes.

We women, we have super human powers, that enable us to push children out of our vag's, do piles of laundry, work competently outside of the home, make a roast beef dinner for six, change diapers, clean carpets, know the schedule of each family member two months in advance, keep our man and children happy, all at the same time; tucking them all into bed every night, so you have time and are finishing the Twilight series in two week time frame. It's serious business people. You don't just have to have children to possess these powers, it comes with the ring ladies, once the kids come though, there is more powers, they are hard to contain. Go ahead try it, when you are frustrated and determined enough, you too can carry two 35 pound children, a vacuum, sippy cups, and a snack up the stairs all at one time for time out, all while going off about their unacceptable behavior without being winded when reaching the top.

But see, the things we get to use to get things done can sometimes become appealing to the man after you have been working for years to brain wash him into thinking that doing the dishes and taking out the trash are all fun things to do. Take for instance a swiffer, making brownies, a carpet cleaner. I start with the most fun items and will work my way down to eventually cleaning the toilets. Andy will never admit it but once in awhile, he secretly enjoys a housewife task.

For instance, the next morning of the 24 hour period. I am in bed. Ah, sleep, sleep, I love you sleep. Bed, my comfy bed, you are the greatest thing on earth. All of a sudden I hear heavy metal music. My eye pops open. I scan the room. Nothing. For a minute I think I have a radio alarm clock again, and I am in high school. I grouchily cry out, 'What is it, turn it off, what time is it?!?!' A voice replies, 'It's just before 7,' the voice is cheery. It is my husband, the sound is coming from his iphone. He is listening to his morning show, Preston & Steve. He then says, 'don't you want to get up, we have carpets to clean.' Housewife task that is fun. I didn't put up with months of a dirty carpet to give up this victory. So somehow we all get up. I begin my super powers, I am making breakfast, moving furniture, pointing out stain spots, providing water for the cleaner, helping the children water color, and brushing my teeth, again, all at the same time. You know, all in a days, all in a days. Andy, well he is pushing around the cleaner.

By no means do I expect him to do more then that. This, this is enough. I have clean carpets to prove it and I got to see the dirty water and claim its complete disgustingness before he dumped it. All I ever wanted. I also got to giggle while he enjoyed a housewife task, and know that next time the carpets need to be cleaned, he is on board. Thank you my love. Now take off your shoes when you come in the front door tonight.


Sleepless in Pennsylvania

You may know this you may not, every other Saturday I work a 16 hour shift. What? What is that all about? Yes, 7am to 11 pm, unless you are in the medical arena yourself you are thinking that I have gone crazy. If you are in the medical arena you are thinking, that's nothing try working the double 3pm to 7am. Killer. On the same weekend I then work Sunday 3pm to 11 pm, and then top it off with working every Monday 3pm to 11pm. So it's roughly 40 hours a pay period. A nice part time job. The reason I work the double is so that I am home for one more day out of the week. If I do two shifts in one day, then I am only gone that one day? Following? I could tell you tons about my job and make you laugh from here to bedtime, but then I am breaking privacy laws and who wants that? I will tell you this, that the movie, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, in which he is aging backwards, your senior years will be much like this, but your appearance will not change like Brad Pitt's did. It seems as though when we hit, I don't know 80 or so, our brain starts to go backwards again. Do you want to know how many arguments I break up between 90 year old women because one of them used the other one's fork by mistake? It is much like my home on a daily basis. I am well equipped for this position.

So in order for me to survive these shifts and come out of it a normally functioning person who can form complete sentences, I need to sleep soundly. I am on my feet all of those hours, going up and down hallways, meeting needs and so on, so it is physically exhausting. On top of that, it is mentally exhausting. Elderly people are unfortunately prone to be lonely people and I get to hear everything from the size of their poop, to how much money they won at Bingo, their latest ailments, and how sick and tired they are of Depends. I would be too. You see what I mean about regression?

So on a typical night, I would arrive home at midnight, lift the children into bed, because Andy likes them all to be together and snuggle to fall asleep when I am working, and then I read to fall asleep. However on this past Saturday night, the evidence of a coming sleepless night is surrounding them, like weapons in crime, it is easily solved. Andy had come home from a golf outing on friday with some cases of a sports beverage that I will leave unnamed. There is two of them empty on the bedside table, one includes the word, 'energy', in the title, the liquid that was in there is red in color. Another is your basic sports beverage, which at one point contained orange liquid. I empty sippy cups which one has a bit of the the red liquid in, one has the orange.

It's a simple equation. 50/50. One of these children consumed the red beverage, the energy beverage. I am not even going to point out who may or may not have given the children these beverages, it could have been a sports beverage fairy. All I know is that I skip the reading for that night. Already knowing what is going to come, and you know it too.

The clock read, 1:52 am.

'Mommy!, Mommy!?!?!'
I enter the child's room.
'Yes Ethan, it's sleepy time, time to go back to sleep.'
'I thirsty Mommy.'
'Ok, come in my room, Mommy will get you water.'
First mistake. Well actually not, at this point we are going on three or four, counting the distribution of the beverage.
I give him the cup of water, lie him in the middle of us, he finishes, I hand him his blankie. I am out.

2:23 am
'Mommy, I want to watch Wiggles.'
'No, E, it is sleepy time, and the Wiggles are sleeping too.'
And I hear it coming, the sniffles, the mouth opening and closing, then the wail.
'No, E, now lie down.'
Crying lasts about 5 minutes.
I am out.

2:43 am
'Mommy, I have snack?'
'No, E, it is sleepy time, no snack, when you get up we will have breakfast.'
Again, sniffles, this time fists clenching, then the wail.
'No, E, now lie down and go to sleep, you are going to wake up Kendall.'
Crying again, about 7 to 10 minutes.

3:04 am
'Mommy, I watch Wonder Pets?'
You know where this is going.
'No E, it is sleepy time, the Wonder Pets are sleeping, now lie down.'
No sniffles this time, it's an all out scream,
'No, E, go to sleep!'
Crying 5 to 10 minutes.
I am out.

I wake up at 3:30 am to pee, he is out. Praise Jesus.

7:15 am. Wake up call for E.
I can smell the coffee.
Andy comes up with a cup for me and then asks E if he wants to go play trucks.
Wait? I look at him. I don't even say a word, it might ruin the moment. I sip the coffee and am back to sleep.

9:30 am
Second wake up.
I hear children coming up the stairs.
Two children.
Wait? That means Kendall got up at some point and went downstairs too. Could this be happening?!!?!

I slept in. The love for my husband surged forth, he had just given me the equivalent of flowers and a night out, and a strawberry margarita.

He is on a roll lately, huh?

I ask Andy at breakfast what those drinks were that he had come home with.
'Oh they were from the golf outing.'
'Kendall and I didn't like the red, we liked the orange, but E liked it.'
'Really? I never would have known.'