Thursday, December 30, 2010

More or Less...


My sparkle disco holiday sweater stretched over my 39-week gone girthiness, or-well-the complete opposite of that. (I do not wish to be googled by perverts, so I'm not spelling out "pregnant in underwear" here. Ah-balls.)

I'll leave it up to you to decide which is more or less internet-appropriate. At this point, I really am too distracted by my aching areas and consumed with the urge to thrash around moaning about them to tell the difference or have any modicum of taste regarding the subject.

Should the heinousness of either my sequins or bulging flesh bring you nausea or hilarity, you're welcome/I apologize. Whichever you deem needful. I'll be over here praying for the baby to come this year, which gives him about 32 hours.
Here that, Fuzzwolf? Go. Ok, now. Go.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Home For the Holidays

Despite all obstacles, we've done it. We are now homeowners. There was even-n0 shit-a flat tire on our car when we left the house to go to the closing. Psh. Like that was going to stop us. As. If. We would have hijacked a Santa-bearing fire truck and driven that all the way to our lawyer's office, if we had to.

This past week has been a whirlwind-especially the past three days. Following the marathon signing-fest on Thursday, there was all of the Christmas cheer to attend-both of our moms' places, with Christmas morning with a totally psyched and over-sugared four year-old sandwiched in between.

And so....the final two items are now checked off the to-do list.

With the current inhabitant of my guts taking up most of the room, I'm pretty amazed at how much I did eat. (Oh, the ham. Everywhere we went-ham. Right now? We are making ham and bean soup.) I limited my "drink" to one spiked nog and one glass of red wine, but holy balls, I enjoyed them. I also got in my own nap as soon as humanly possible.

I hope your holiday was a good one. Ours, for the first time in our home, was a peaceful, simple, gorgeous start to living happily ever after.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Ok, folks, this may be it.


Not the baby. He's still safe in the EZ bake cooker til after New Year's Eve. Plus, we don't call him IT. What's wrong with you? His name is Fuzzwolf.

The other thing. The house. We have a closing set for tomorrow at 4. There are still, oh, three pending issues that could run the whole thing off the road, but I am not daunted.

I don't want to pre-count any chickens, but we could actually have a house for Christmas! Since we basically have pulled it out of our asses, it should fit in the kids' stockings, right? And they will appreciate it, right? (More on how Christmas this year is thoughtful/cheap/disappointing for kids, heavy on the framed pictures and hand knits-later.)

I have been warming my giant-but-still-cute bum by the light of my email since Saturday, batting answers and files (57 files) back to lawyers and mortgage people and whatnot, making sure everything is covered. It would be funny how much of a nightmare this purchase has been, if it wasn't for the actual recurring nightmares, or the insane tension-induced insomnia/facial tics, or the one time with the shouting over barn paint three shades too yellow with the crying and the throwing things.

Wait, that was actually funny.

"I'm guess I'm just dumber than a bucket of paint, okay?? *sniff* DUMBER!"
"NO you're NOT, but HOW did this HAPPEN?"
"Why does it MATTER? *hiccupsniff* FortheloveofGODwhydoesitMATTER?!"
"It's not your fault! It's PAINT!"
"Yes it is! It's all my dumb paint-bucket-head fault *sob sob sob*"

This will happen. Tomorrow, it will be two lawyers, a buyer, a seller, and me, a nine-months preggo bitch with an actual eye twitch who has very recently taken herself off anti-depressants, all crammed in a room together.

Say a prayer for us, k?
Also, light a candle for anyone dumb enough to try to get in my way to stop it all now...

Thursday, December 09, 2010

The Kids Are...


Terrible sleep last night.

Fire trucks.

Yodeling cats galumphing through the house.

Dreams of hurt children. Running to get them out of the ball pit.

Wendy, shrieking out of her bed and into ours.

Climbing over the kid and the man-have to pee again and again and again and again...

This one is different from the last one. Quieter. He doesn't tell me as much about himself as she did, with her constantly climbing jabbing insisting limbs (that didn't quit once she left my body) but I'm different too. A little older and more broken-in. Muscles and joints less interested in warping into new shapes.

Ridiculous to keep kick-counts over days already full of feeding the family, crying, laughing, candy land, laundry, lawyers, library trips, emailing, errands-

-then abruptly realizing, in the semi-dark, head on the pillow, trucks and cats and Carl's sinuses groaning in my ears, that I HAVE NO IDEA when it was when the baby last said hello.


doesn't kick. doesn't kick.
hospitals tests who do I call what do I do if-tick tick tick-nothing-tick-tick-

-roll. kick. (all right?)

All right.

I love you. I'm glad you're getting more sleep than I am. Thank you for humoring your mom. I love you.

The Kids Are-

All right, birthday party this past weekend. Three kids, two babies, one homemade chocolate cake, and a princess castle. Good times and tea parties had by all.

Wendy insisted that the party be a surprise (even though she had already dictated all details of said party), so we did that too. Turns out that it is just as easy to distract and surprise a four year-old as it is a three year-old. Even Wendy, Cruise-Director-of-Us-All (love her and despair), can be tricked into a sudden, startling shower of balloons and "surprise!" at her party she is already attending.

Carl brought me flowers, wisely recognizing that Wendy's birthday is in fact, a very special day for me too.

This bouquet is composed mostly of celebrate-the-day-motherhood-changed-your-life-forever wildflowers, with one yay!-another-year-without-suffering-a-complete-break-with-reality rose.

Happy Birthday, Wendy. Words cannot describe how many intense and magnificent ways that you have changed our world. We love you!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

I Think She's Been Talking to My Dad on the Sly

Wendy: Have you ever gotten married, mom?

Mo: No.

Wendy: Why not? You get a nice dress. And flowers. With cake.

Mo: Who do you think I should get married to?

***audible pause, thick with incredulous, awkward, and am-I-really-the-one-to-break-this-to-you****

Wendy: (carefully not condescending, patting my hand) Well....probably Daddy.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Recap: Quick Shots

Here are the highlights.

TWO TURKEYS (!!) lovingly crafted by the Turkey Nazi Master, Carl.
(only some stuffing with chestnuts and raisins, so as not to scare off those seeking the utmost in stuffing tradition). For those not in the know, it is best to vacate all areas occupied by the Turkey Master while turkey is in progress. Those choosing to disregard this warning in effort to give stuffing advice or offer basting assistance imperil life and limb. It is best to simply clear out and let the magic happen.

My totally freakin-cool pumpkin apple soup with chives and bananas on the side (inspired by a friend at Friends Thanksgiving) served IN A PUMPKIN (inspired by Alton Brown). I am so fancy.

My new niece, Ava. Also, my take-the-picture-now face. I was holding the mask aside and holding my breath so I didn't steam my cough germs down onto the baby's perfect non-diseased-riddled face. Despite my purple-puffy eye circles, I am quite blissful at this moment. November has been an exhausting month-exhausting, delightful, and endlessly amazing.

The first snow of the year!
Apparently, Ava made her great entrance at the precise moment that the snow started to fall.

Wendy insisted on going outside and licking flakes out of the air for as long as I could park my preggo hipposaurus butt on the cold front step.

Also pictured: the Great Dark Blur. Commonly known as Duke the Un-Photographable. He was enchanted by the snow as well. Later, he was enchanted by the random turkey and stuffing scraps dropped surreptitiously near his nose by guests. It was a good holiday for Dog, too.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The B.F.T. (With surprise extra turkey!)

We are hosting, for the first time in our house, the Big Family Thanksgiving.

You may have noticed the manic around here lately...but its all good now. The FHA inspection is finished and all important things are taken care of. We have our closing costs in order, the frantic cleaning is done, the cranberry sauce is obtained, the candles are in place and ready to be lit, we are mighty and capable heroes of domesticity.

Now just to sit back and cook up some turkey. Or...turkeys. This is our first Thanksgiving! In OUR HOUSE! One pathetic turkey will simply not do. There are people coming! This is a monumentous occasion in our lives!

Carl was up this morning at god-knows-when, chopping and sauteing and stuffing the birds, and in they went at around 8:45. THANKFUL! TRIUMPHANT!

Then Casey, my sister's boyfriend, rolls through the kitchen.

Me: Good morning! Is she up yet?
Casey: (kind of twitchy) Well, we never really went to sleep.
Me: Oh?
Casey: Yeah...she's been having contractions all night and stuff. And they just keep getting worse.
Carl: (glancing up very casually from stirring something, eyebrow cocked) That's because you're having a baby today, son.
Casey: *blink* *blink* *dash*

Carl and I poked our heads in the bedroom, took one look at her, and advised, NOW. GO NOW. They were crammed in my mom's truck in five minutes, to the hospital in another ten, and my niece was born at 9:33 this morning-7lbs 12oz.

Dear Ava,
Way to upstage pretty much everything. You have style, kid. Style and moxy. You are something to be truly thankful for.
Aunt Mo

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

TODAY: A slice of Federal Housing Placenta-With Lawn Clippings and Cranberry.

Today, there is just not enough stuff happening. I think I may be bored.

I have a 9 AM visit from these nice folks from the Philadelphia Children's Hospital, because I am doing my duty for science by periodically donating my pregnancy stats, my saliva, the air and water from my house, etc. (Also, they will want a slice of placenta and possibly some cord blood. Later. Not now-I'm still using them.)

We are also getting a visit from an FHA inspector, who will look at our painted barn, fixed ceilings, water-sluicing landscaping, re-built front step, and re-mortared front stone wall. He will hopefully gaze upon it, see that it is good and declare, "Ye, on this 23rd day of November, let there be FHA approval."

Plus, a surveyor is dropping by to let us know exactly where our property line lies.

Because Farmer Insane?? He likes to pick random spots and say that's where the line is and then mow big furrows into the lawn that mark that line. Remind me to tell you that story sometime.

Oh. And also.

Here is the thing.

As of like, Saturday, we are doing Thanksgiving at our house. Yeah, that Thanksgiving. With the 17 people and the stuffing and the beautifully candle-lit home (HAHA), for the first time ever at our place.

So...I'm thinking lots of manic between now and Thursday night.

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Definition of Sharing

Erin: Do you know where my face wash is?

Me: um....yeah. I borrowed it and it's in my bathroom.

Erin: How about my lint roller....and my nail polish remover?

Me: Did I not get these things back into your room before you noticed they were gone?

Erin: No.

Me: So. Busted.


Carl: Hey...aren't those Mo's slippers??

Erin: Yup. Sweet memory foam revenge...

Friday, November 19, 2010


What about the extra $12,000??

This is the part of the show where someone notices the announcement for the talent show, where the prize is exactly $12,000. Then we enter this talent show, dance around with jazz hands, and win Win WIN!

Stay tuned for the glitter-fabulous conclusion to our homeownership escapade!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pregnant Lady Terror-Vision

During the Labor Festival Barn Painting Party, when I was not riding around on my Unicorn of Kumbaya (Kumbayunicorn?) through bubbles of happy-sunshine-friendship feelings, and when I couldn't quite manage to close my eyes hard enough, there was also THIS:

Apparently unfazed by 70-foot ladders and scaffolding, everyone made it through the weekend unscathed. I don't know if you know this, but pregnancy makes your emotions somewhat unpredictable and volatile. Sometimes with tears. I made it through with a little help from pie and spinach dip.

(At some point, I broke down and cracked a beer, because OMG, the horror.)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

With A Little Help From Our Friends...

This is how it all went down.

We went to court, and The Man says that we are right, contracts do exist for a reason, and yes, we are entitled to buy our house when we have a contract of sale and $72,000 invested. (YAY!)

However. In order to get Farmer Insane to agree that the sky is blue without going through a bunch more legal junk, we made a crappy deal where he gets more money. Also, one of the other faces of The Man also dictates that in order to buy the house, we must pull off some magic tricks around the property to make it habitable and worthy in the eyes of The Man.

This is the part in the show where we momentarily despair, and the cutest of us all buries her face in her hands, wailing, "How are we ever going to paint the entire barn and come up with an extra $12,000 in just three weeks?"

(What does barn paint have to do with the habitability of our house? IF YOU KNOW, PLEASE TELL ME.)

Ever intrepid, and not easily daunted by The Man, we decided that this is all totally doable. Crossing our fingers and hoping that our collective sarcasm and offensive sense of humor has charmed and not alienated everyone we know, we put out a call to our friends and family to come for a barn painting party (or, as my propaganda-minded cousin Dylan put it, a "labor festival"). We promised beer, punch, and pie to those willing to lend a hand. And, my dudes, people came.

All weekend, we were like the Amish-except with blasting stereos and paint sprayers. Folks pitched in and helped a neighbor to make this happen:



We are talking about eighteen adults (plus five enthusiastic kids) and approximately 6000 square feet of painting covered in two days. (The lovely Mary even painted the birdhouse white and green to match.) People just rock. Or they really like pie and free beer. Mostly, they rock.

I sit in awe and gratitude at the kindness that came our way this past weekend. Thank you, friends, from every corner of our hearts. If you need a cup of sugar, or help moving, or help hiding incriminating evidence, or someone to feed your terrifying exotic pets while you are away-you know who to call.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Friends Thanksgiving

If you don't do this in your life, you are missing out on some huge chunks of joy that turkey can bring. It is a lot like regular Thanksgiving-sitting around with the eating and the drinking-but with some major differences, because cooking and drinking with your friends is fun.

We are talking all of the gravy and stuffing you can shove in your gob, with none of the drunk uncles or mom-guilt about how much you are drinking or when the grandchildren will magically appear. (these last two are obviously not about me.) No snits over burned biscuits or late turkey. More like extensive scientific discussions over whether the stuff in the measuring cup is fat or drippings (it was fat) over massive infusions of spinach dip.

You even have free reign to bring your weird walnut sweet-potato apple clove crisp thing without your cousins giving you the side-eye because it is not the whipped yams with marshmallows that we have all eaten every year for our entire lives.

Side note-squash soup with coconut and bananas sprinkled on top=NOM NOM NOM.

Plus, huge emphasis on pie. Baked goods have become a very important part of my life this year, as this year has been a big angst bath with stress bubbles. And I have not been able to take the edge off with know, because of the fetus, so for me, this was a great idea:

Give a pie to three chicks, two of them pregnant, one of them drunk, and this is what happens:

Thanks go out to Nick and Mary, for having your friends over and main-lining us the (awesome!) gravy and turkey on Saturday, and to Steph, for baking the kick-ass pie. You guys rock my face off.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Let's Have a Baby Shower!

This was all my mom's idea. My sister and I tried to protest that second babies don't usually have showers, and it is, in fact, the second baby for both of us. She had a lot of half-explained reasons why we should have a shower...something about, "Jaimie's having a girl and you're having a boy, so it's like a whole new thing for both of you, so-" She then said "psh" a lot, waved us away, and planned a shower/lunch anyway. We should have known that trying to stop her would be an entirely pointless endeavor. How often do you get two pregnant daughters at the same time? Like, never.

(Wendy is pretty much convinced that this party was for her. She was kind of confused that there was not an actual shower, but immensely pleased with the princess bubble bath my Aunt Stacey brought her.)

I didn't expect presents. But there was presents. And toasting. I love my mom.

However, I somehow got away with not wearing a baby-shower party hat made from the scraps and ribbons from the presents. HA!

Jaimie is a nicer person than I am, though, so she wore hers.

It was quite a nice day with our family and close friends. True to form, my stepdad busted out two lasagnas. He is Italian. Every holiday/party/snow day requires either meatballs or lasagnas. I am not complaining.

Also? Not complaining about the bangin' escarole soup by Rose, the bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers by Casey, or the two (TWO!) chocolate cakes. And then there's this:

Someone spent an hour Sunday morning cracking herself up mixing frosting and food coloring, looking for acceptable areola and nipple colors for her boobie pops.

(someone is me)

Thank you everyone, for celebrating our babies with us! Have a boobie pop?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Blunt Squash Trauma. With Charlie Brown.

Wendy and I were on our own for Saturday fun yesterday, and rather than sit around and stare at each other with our thumbs up our bums, I thought it would be a good time to pumpkin it up.

We fired up "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" on TiVo, munched on some pumpkin bread, and dug in. There were pumpkin guts...

...with absolute disgust over looking at pumpkin guts and the guts all over my hands and the suggestion that she touch the guts as well. Good. Grief.

Her trepidation may or may not have something to do with how I dramatically scooped the guts from the cavity and brandished them at her, going Boogity-Boogity-Blahrgh. (PS: what fun are kids if you can't traumatize them good now and then?)

With much coaxing, she ventured in with a big spoon that allowed her to scoop up to three seeds at a time whilst not making actual skin-to-revolting-pumpkin-flesh contact. Thanks for the help, kiddo.

After a great deal of discussion and sketching, we (I) carved them up. I opted for a moon-and-stars lantern, and Wendy went with a "happy but scary face with teeth and mad eyebrows."

Self-portrait in pumpkin, by Wendy:

We don't have newspapers in our house for under the pumpkin mess. I did find that this was a great use for the random Victoria's Secret catalogues that are hanging around. You know, besides lamenting my fading youth and hotness, and expanding Preginstein anatomy that no longer fits neatly into ANY Vickie's bra sizes.

After carving up the pumpkins, we lit them up in the darkest, scariest room in the house: the laundry room.

Then we toasted pumpkin seeds, ate dinner featuring baked pumpkin (enjoyed only by me), and watched Kiki's Delivery Service. Fun was had by all.

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

All the Better To-

For the past few years, Carl and I have had this conversation:

"What are we going to be?"
"I don't know. Are we going to parties?"
"Yeah. I want to. Do you want to? What Are We Going To Be?"
"Aren't we supposed to be smart people? Who are at times funny? And smart?"
"No, the baby ate that. So what are we going to be?"

There is added pressure this year, because how often do you get to be a giant preggo in a costume? Really. But, true to our procrastinating form, we left it til the last minute. Saturday morning, about eight hours before there was a party to go to, I decided to pick a lane and go with it.

Behold, our whipped-together semi-lame, semi-amusing Halloween:

I can't decide what amused me more; the perpetual pained look on the wolf's face, or the basket full of condom treats. These are better pictured here:

(Hey there Little Red Riding Hood, you sure are lookin're everything that a big bad wolf would impregnate....ahooooo!)

Monday, October 18, 2010

I Want to Believe. Don't Ruin My Illusion.

Dear Past Self,

When you see that I have done the thing I said I would not do, try not to be a jerk about it. I know you won't believe me, but it's going to be okay. It's a different time, a different place. It's hard to wrap your head around it, but it is not, in fact, a horrible idea to own not one, but four pairs of leggings, one of them being purple.

Seriously, though.

When you are an already fashion-challenged and now awkwardly lumpy pregnant chick, THIS:

...will look pretty damn cute to you.

Plus, you get to wear all of the long sweaters that you already own...AND the rad boots that Steph brought you many moons ago, and they look freakin awesome. (Rad? Oh god. It's like I've reverted to my 80's childhood. Like, dude. Somebody club me with a tiny Olsen twin. Like, totally.)

Let's stick with cute. Not pregnant girl in overalls and pigtails cute-but actually cute...well, as close to cute as you can get right now.

You will wear leggings because you can buy them for $8 at Old Navy, instead of buying $45 maternity jeans. You will also curse yourself out for not owning a full-length mirror, then get a charlie horse trying to get a picture of your cute boots, then get your leg stuck in the sink about four feet higher than someone of your configuration should really hoist one's leg...and then you will curse some more.

Don't hate. Buy a full-length mirror. Just do it.

Future Self

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Public Service Announcement. For You.

(If you have or plan to ever have a kid younger than two.)

You know what was fun about the glucose tolerance test yesterday? No, not the needle-wielding crazy nurse who seemed nice, but then jabbed me so hard my WHOLE ARM STILL IS FALLING Not her. Although, she was super.

Fun yesterday was being trapped in the lobby of the hospital lab area for an hour with a stack of Fancy Nancy books, a water cooler, and a three year-old. Plus several older folks tottering in and out, judging my parenting. Now that I think about it, those old folks were probably waiting for me to haul off and whack the tantrum out of her, rather than silently daring me to do so, so they can go ahead and call social services.

These are the peeps that will totally condone going old-school on a kid intent on peeling everybody's face off with her shrieks of fury. (You see, I wouldn't let her get another Dixie cup full of water to spit at the window. Because I don't want anyone to have any fun ever.)

Instead of avoiding eye contact with the nice grandmotherly lady with the giant floral handbag, I should have turned to her and said, "Edna, would you like to handle this one?" And then Edna would have called her pals Flo and Helen for back-up, and they all would have opened up a can of whup.

Here is the announcement part. This is like how no one wants to tell you about how you might pee or worse on your doctor while you deliver your baby. Or the hemorrhoids during/after pregnancy. Or the fact that babies are only, like, 15% fun, and the other 85% consists of boring and jerk. But there is something else you should know.

The idea of the "Terrible Twos" is a sick joke played on new parents by moms and dads of three and four year-olds. Whoever first said "terrible twos" said it sarcastically to a wide-eyed mom of a two year-old who was mischievously chasing the cat around, as this sarcastic person's own four year-old dressed the cat in a Rocky Horror getup and then set it on fire. And then ate it. While laughing maniacally over the sleeping forms of her once-innocent parents.

Later, when that mischievious two year-old turned three, then four, then feral, the mom got the joke. HA EFF-BALLS HA. She felt that her life was now harrowing and dismantled enough that she was justified in passing this joke on to moms of younger kids.

Your kid is two?? Oh, yeah, that can be the pits. Tsk. Tsk. Just terrible.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

How to Fail Labs and Impress People

I have a glucose tolerance test in about an hour. What do you want to bet that I'm gonna fail it? I'll bet you ten dollars.

They tell you "don't fast or deprive yourself, but don't eat sugary things or a lot of carbs before this test." Then they give you a sugary soda-drink, and test your blood an hour later...and if you fail, they tell you you have gestational diabetes and an 17-pound baby is going to come ripping out of your delicate lady parts in a few months if you don't DO SOMETHING NOW FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!

I had mashed potatoes for dinner, with apple cider and a glass of 7-up, and Honey Bunches of Oats for breakfast with about half a cup of coffee this morning before I remembered what I was doing today and what I was not supposed to ingest.

Balls. Great, sugar-coated balls.

SO...I'll let you know.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Only Partially Regarding Potatoes

October at my house means three things this year.

1. I lose my mind and make thirty thousand pirate outfits for kids and hawk them online like a twitchy artist guy hawking five dollar t-shirts outside a Britney Spears impersonator contest. This is what happens to interesting, creative people who used to have their shit together, and have been totally side-tracked by things. Like meth. Or stripper girlfriends. Or families.

(You get that I'm the one with the family, and the artist guy is with the meth and the strippers, right? Cause that's what I meant.)

This also means that I harass my kid into modeling pirate outfits until she runs shrieking from me whenever I come at her with a handful of eye patches and stripy fabric. Note the complete and utter boredom-tude. Surely Top Model material. Is she smizing? Or just rolling her eyes? I can't tell, Tyra.

2. In PA, it rains a lot in October. And then the spiders come. They come up from the basement, through the cracks in the floor. They sneak in around the leaky old door jambs and invade the windows from which we (still) haven't moved the air conditioners. They come seeking warmth, fleeing their lairs in the sodden earth. Giant, land-roving wolf spiders with furry bodies and fangs. From beneath you, they devour.

A week or two ago (probably more like a month), I dumped our four buckets of blocks into the tub in our laundry room to give them a good soak in bleach. Then I procrastinated about getting them out to dry, because that seemed like it would be a pain in the ass.

The other day, I noticed this fella just chillin in there. I have explained to Wendy that demon spiders have now crawled up through the drain and infested her blocks, and sadly, we can't play with them until Spring banishes them back to whatever hell they came from. She totally understands.

She is also probably totally scarred for life.

Like when my mom thought it would be cool to show Alien to my sister and I when we were like, ten and seven, and we spent the rest of our lives in absolute certainty that tentacles were going to unfurl themselves from the back of any toilet we ever encountered.

Look at this thing. He totally took out that block dude and ate his face off. Come to my house, and he'll eat your face off, too.

3. I am now 26 weeks pregnant.

On me, 26 weeks pregnant looks like this---->

Apologies for the dark picture. Also, for the goofball look on my face. You don't need to see that.

This pregnant, for those of you who don't know, means spending all night having to pee every hour, while being smothered in your sleep by the weight of your baby pressing up against your diaphragm. Fun stuff. Happily, it also means that you have crossed the line from "no-sure-if-that's-your-beergut" pregnant, to "oh-don't-you-look-cute" pregnant. This is a good thing. Look forward to next month, when I am tired of being cute, and wish people would stop touching/talking to/looking at my lumpy potato body.

For right now, I'm cool with it. I'm less potato, and more lush and fertile fields. Full of potatoes. I think I need to throw a baked potato into the oven. Yeah, that would be freakin good.

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Lesson in Cultural Mores

Or, What Happens When I Send Carl off to the Celtic Faire in a Sexy Kilt with a Cute Kid

Wendy: There was a nice lady there. She had a husband but then they had a fight and I told her that she could come home and play at our house-I have a great idea!! What if Daddy had two wifes?

Me: *laughing*

Wendy: Mom, fights with husbands are not funny. So, okay, I think she should come and be Daddy's other wife, because she was nice and looking for some new friends, and she was nice.

Me: Yeah, that might be fun. Does she clean bathrooms?

Wendy: She let us use her bathroom in her apartment.

Me: Really. Her apartment.

Carl: Her hotel room. We were only there for a minute to use the bathroom!

Wendy: SO, Daddy told her about you are his girlfriend and you live at our house. And then she decided that maybe she didn't want any new friends today, and she had to go.

Carl: I'm kind of insulted too. Like, just because I have a girlfriend, I'm not even worth talking to anymore? I don't have anything to offer, as a person? She totally objectified me.

Me: *bland stare*

Wendy: She can't have Daddy, cause you already have him, right? That's silly, because if she wants new friends, she could share him. Wanna see my sheep magnet I made? This other girl was really nice and helped me make it....

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Between Us and Mr. Insane (cont)

I didn't really expect a nutcase jerkface stellar human being that is the owner of this pony to actually take care of this animal just because he was told to by some bleeding-heart liberal activist organization like the Humane Society, even if that pansy-ass officer was carrying a police badge. This man thinks he's a farmer from the 1800's. Farmers from the 1800's don't get told how to wrangle their animals by no uppity townfolk.

I guess old-tymey farmers think it's okay to let ponies rot their hooves in their own shit for four months, and then trot them out onto our winding country-ish roads, pulling jaunty carriages over pavement. Old-tymey farmers also apparently wear goofy straw Sunday hats whilst doing this. Goofy straw hats of evil.

So anyway, Farmer Insane stopped putting her out after a week or so.

A Sunday or two ago, we were out of cheese danish, and I was feeling particularly cranky. Staring out the window, across the yard at the closed pony stall, I got all hormonal and pissed off. The kind of pissed off where you stand there arguing with imaginary old guys until you want to go kick some old guy's ass, but can't, because there is no one actually standing there.

I stalked out, opened the stall, and led her to her paddock so she could have a bit of the gorgeous day. HA. West Nile Virus in your ear, old man.

Carl and I packed up some stuff to go fishing (it was a GLORIOUS day for saving mammals and killing fish!), and loaded ourselves and Wendy into the car. As we pulled out of the driveway, I glanced smugly over to the paddock, where the pony was grazing happily. Or should have been.

Except that the back gate-the gate around the corner of the barn and thus not visible from the front gate-was open. And the pony was not in the paddock.


Carl yanked the car around right in the middle of the road, and tore back into driveway, and bumped over the yard to the back side of the barn.

"That gate is NEVER open. Why would it be open now? WHY???"

"Well, maybe you shouldn't interfere!"

"Yes I should! You know I should!"

"I know! I KNOW!"

He found her in the neighbor's yard, peaceably munching on the carefully manicured lawn. Personally, I think the neighbor owes this pony some grass. I mean, the neighbor is buddies with Farmer Insane, and condones his animal abuse by proxy. Neighbor Lawn Boy comes over at Farmer Insane's invitation to weed whack around our front steps and walk, because he agrees that we just don't do it right...but doesn't mind living sixty feet from a large animal who is slowly starving to death.

The latest development in all of this: Farmer Insane has begun again to let the pony outside again, but not in the enclosed paddock. The past few days, he had her roaming the yard behind the shop building, sort of penned in by his parked SUV on one end and some ladders (OF CARLS) that he tied together as a sort of makeshift fence on the other.

I'm not sure if I should do something about this. She is getting grass, and that's good. However, I fully expect to see her grazing her way across our front yard and moseying down the street one of these days.

I suppose that on that day, I can decide whether the time has come to blow this taco stand and ride a pony to Canada?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Between Us and Mr. Insane

I haven't been writing much lately. Most of the stuff that's actually going on with me right now, the stuff I want desperately to write about, I shouldn't. Law suits that I'm not sure would be great to talk about online. Serious family upset that is not my story to tell, and too touchy to air publicly, anyway.

I can tell you about this, though. Or, at least, I think I can. I don't know. Let's see if I can get myself sued.

One of the many ongoing awkward aspects of our current living situation (you know, the situation where a guy is wrongfully trying to throw us out) is the pony that the owner keeps here.

This guy has a whack job very curious notion of what it means to take care of an animal. He goes for weeks-sometimes months-without cleaning the pony's stall. Keeps her in this disgusting environment for weeks on end, though there is a paddock for her to graze in not twenty feet away. Waters her in an algae-coated bucket. Gives us the delightful choice between complicity in a serious case of animal abuse and the potential fallout of turning our landlord in for it.

Over the years that we have been here, Carl has taken it upon himself to put her out to munch on grass and get some sun from time to time, and clean her stall when it gets really really bad. As things became kind of testy between us, the whack job owner of the pony and property responded to Carl's interference (and apparent rude condemnation of the owner's mad pony care skills) with a padlock on the stall door. He claimed at one point that he doesn't want her to be out to graze because of "West Nile Virus." He also claimed that giving her apples and carrots will cause her to "get founder." He says these things with the stubborn-old-German-man tone in his voice that suggests his absolute knowledge of all things, and indicates that we can just go to hell.

I think this man is insane. (What is that that I just did? Libel? Slander? Well, it's too late now. He's evil too. And probably a closet cross dresser with a baby chicken f**king fetish.) (No offense to cross dressers. I like you folks. You're fun.)

This is where the awkwardness has come in. We are leasing our home from this insane person. We were supposed to buy it this year. Things over the past two years went from fine to tense to outright hostile, and now he is doing his best to get us removed from the property. And oh yeah, we're not sure he's stable. We're not sure we won't come home to our stuff on the lawn and our doors and windows boarded over.

This year, I poked around with some animal PA rescue/advocacy groups, to see if there is something they could do, but with no luck. Carl and I constantly stew in a soup of our own guilt-I mean, we have visions of late-night rescue missions, with ski masks and horse trailers, where we liberate the poor thing and...I don't know...what? Drop her off at the animal shelter? Spirit her to Canada where she will be taken in by kindly Canadian pony herders? Get her adopted by circus folk?

Wendy and I feed her handfuls of grass and apples (I checked with some relatively sane horse people that I know-Hi, B!-apples are in fact okay for horses) from time to time when chicken f**ker the owner isn't around. I haven't really known what else to do about it without making the already bad situation between us and Mr. Insane more confrontational. And possibly get our cats abducted and made into cat sausage over a fire somewhere.

Well, it doesn't get much more confrontational than a guy wrongfully trying to get my family evicted. Awkwardness solved!

I don't know if you know any other six-month pregnant chicks, but we are totally willing to get confrontational right back. Last month, after emailing and calling a few different entities, I finally emailed the right person at the local SPCA, and a humane society investigator showed up the next day! Like an avenging angel! Well, not really. But still-


This benevolent protector of creatures everywhere had a badge and a bucket of reassurance that I had done the right thing by contacting him. He didn't take the pony away to her new life as a little girl's best friend, like I hoped he would, but he did issue a warning and threaten fines and whatnot.

Mr. Insane cleaned the pony stall, put the pony out for a week...

...and then stopped.

*****to be continued*****

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Kid Brains. A Magical and Bizarre Place of WTF and OMG, I'm Dumber Than I Thought.

Watching Wizard of Oz the other day, Wendy observes that the Munchkin babies are sitting in a nest, surrounded by broken egg shells. She casually glances up at me, musing, "Wow. I guess Munchkins are not mammals."


Forty-five minutes later, people, around about the time the witch is setting Scarecrow on fire, and I'm all, "OH! Because they came out of EGGS!"

"Yeah, they didn't come out of a belly-door, like our baby. I wonder if Munchkins have boobs...Hey, if they followed the purple brick road, where would they go?"

Dude. I don't know. Just enjoy the magical wonder of...

"If the monkeys take out Scarecrow's straw, will they make him dead? If Scarecrow is leaking his straw, is his spirit leaking out, too? He should keep that stuff in better."



Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Irritablility; Brought to You By Five Hours of Sleep

Things you should not attempt while pregnant:
1. Moving.
2. Being wrongfully evicted.
3. Getting a divorce.
4. Buying a house.
5. Going to court for problems related to any of the above.
6. Losing or looking for a job.

I mean, you can go ahead and attempt them. I'm telling you from personal experience (and from watching the other two preggo women in my life), the resulting headaches, bad sleep, and several kinds of digestional upset are like, twenty-seven times more sucky, because you can't even take the edge off with a maitai. Or two.

Do you know what the medical world wants you to do when you tell them that you are stressed, and you have a headache from too much/not enough vomiting/pooping?

Take some Tylenol.

These people want to poke around in your vag, steal your blood, and stick a nine foot needle in there right next to your baby's skull (LE SCREAM!), but the best advice they have for you, as they stand with one hand on the doorknob of your examination room, is to "try not to get a headache."

Do you ever get the impression that people in lab coats really know dick about dick? And that they also don't care about your problems, because they are too busy envisioning their after-work tequila sunrise?

It's cool, though, because all that time Dr. KnowsDick spends leafing through my chart that he has obviously never seen and going over the same handout about not eating hot dogs and sushi that I got last time? All that time? I'm envisioning giving him a swift kick in the jimmies. And then stealing his friuty booze drink.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The X/Y Factor

As you know, it is mean and wrong for parents to actually wish for one sex or another. It is especially bad mojo to say it out loud. Like telling your birthday wish. Bad. Being disappointed with what you get, even temporarily, well, that just means that you have a black, evil soul.

I don't want my kids to have a soulless Mommy, so I can only really think about the boy/girl situation from Wendy's perspective. (To remind-she is the ultimate ruler of creation, and all that is must be pleasurable in her sight. Love her and despair.)

I have a sister, so I know what kind of good and evil that can be. I am also the oldest, and I always thought that an older brother would be much more useful than a younger brother-you know, for kicking peoples asses for you, and being intimidating to boyfriends and stuff. I didn't grow up with a brother of either variety, so I actually know zilch about brothers.

Anyway, it turns out that you can't plan these things, and it doesn't matter what you think.
One of each will be cool.
I'm not exactly sure what to do with a boy, except to put him in geeky sweater vests and tiny bow ties. And possibly name him something that will get him beat up a lot. Poor child.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Dear Cuppey-Cake,

We had an eviction hearing to go to on a Thursday, and on that following Sunday, you brought home a piano. A. Piano. Before we found out if we were to be evicted this month. (We were not. Maybe next month.)

You are stubborn like-

irrational like-

utterly confident in your righteousness like-

Some kind of daughter of yours. They like the piano. They like playing it together. It is very sweet.

I suppose that I should say that they are, in these ways, like you-but you are still responsible. Hey, don't look at me, buddy. I'm not the one brazenly shoving a piano into our already over-cluttered home when we might have to move it out again in three weeks because it was free. I shall remind you-we already have three extra (ugly and free) couches in this house. THREE! THREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!

Upon considerable contemplation, I have decided that you are more charming than exasperating in this matter. I will not punish you, as I originally planned, by learning to play the entire book of Joyful Christian Children's Hymns that we found in the bench. I think a smashed finger, smushed elbow, and strained back are punishment enough. Not to mention Marc's horrendously ripped shorts, which I won't, because of the PTSD I am experiencing after practically inserting my head into said shorts whilst reaching for the rolling thingie beneath the piano, every bone in both hands perilously close to being face moments away from the a high probability of sharing a sharting incident, as he valiantly sweat and strained and quivered, trying to not drop the whole piano on me.

Ahem. Like I said. Charming. I have decided to rule this one "charming." I have actually decided that I like the piano, and you may just be insane.

However. I do require your assistance in putting back all of the stuff that you moved out of the way to make room for the piano. I am pregnant, so I shouldn't really be moving stuff. I'll learn how to play the score of Oliver and some choice Disney tunes while you do that, k?

Love you!
Mean it!


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Suck My Fat Pants.

I'm making all of my children go to their first day of high school wearing maternity pants. The kind where the fabric creates a freakish bubble in front, just under the elastic panel that goes right up to the pits.

It might not be so bad for them. Maybe I will have a boy, and fifteen years from now, front-butt and pancake ass pants will be teh coolness. (Like the front-pleated dockers from the 80's that I recently made Carl get rid of. They were sexy, once? Right?)

I find this possibility just as likely as the tight girl-jeans with bunched up briefs hanging out the top combo sported by the emo set. By the way, I think I have figured this whole trend out:

Dad of Teenage Girl: This little wiener with the girl bangs and the nose piercing cannot possibly be sticking it to my daughter. He can barely walk in those jeans, and his junk has probably suffocated in there and died. That's probably why he's so depressed. I will let him live another day.

Emo Boy: HaHA! I have appeared nonthreatening before you for yet another day! Now to go cry in front of your daughter so she will let me touch her boobies.

Flawless plan, Emo Boys. Unless you stumble upon a dad who has foggy memories of men wearing spandex and lots of product who managed to score really big with the ladies, oh, say, twenty five years ago.

Myself, I am from the generation of girls who were expected to swoon to this:

My point is this. I am fat with baby and pants don't fit me. Someone has to pay. I don't care if it seems totally irrational and unreasonable; my kids have ridiculous pants in their future. They can blame it on a glitch in the meds that I will undoubtedly be taking by then.

I hear that Carl was forced into leiderhosen when he was a kid....I feel closer to his mom right now then I ever have.