Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Nine years ago today, my daughter entered the world.

After nearly three full days of trying to trick my body into having her the "old-fashioned way", I relented to a c-section.

We didn't click for some time, my daughter and I. I suppose at some level, I resented this little creature who had put me through such a difficult birth. My husband stepped in and bonded with her while I tried to push through the haze of new motherhood and depression to find my place.

Eventually, though, I fell in love with her and she with me. And I have thanked all that is good and holy for giving her to me each day since.

Today, she is nine.

Happy Birthday, my darling Claire....

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Christmas Bombs

My mom loves Christmas. She always has.

When I was little, once Thanksgiving passed, Christmas officially began. Out came the boxes and boxes and boxes of garland, o
rnaments, Santas, elves and mistletoe (fake, of course).

Every shelf, stand and empty space in our smallish home was decked out in Christmas regalia. We had Christmas rugs and placemats. Christmas wreaths and bows! Everywhere you looked, there was a
Christmas decoration.

My mom was always very particular about how our Christmas tree (fake, of course) looked, too. She sat on the couch and handed my brother and I ornaments one by one and directed us as to where to place them. T
hen she redecorated it for days making sure it was just so. After putting tinsel on strand by strand and forbidding us from touching it, she sat and marveled at the wonder of her work.

After a few years of this, my brother and I tired of being told where to place each ornament and we refused to help (which is what she wanted in the first place). We began to remark, as we got into our teenage years, that she exploded a Christmas bomb while we were at school the day aft
er we returned from Thanksgiving break.

I vowed that when I would never decorate to the extent my mom did. No way, Jose. All I needed was a tree and a few ornaments and who cares what it looks like anyway? In fact, the first few years RxMan and I were together, we didn't even put up a tree or a wreath.

Then I had a child. I wanted Christmas to be
magical, right? So, we got a tree. And some ornaments. And a wreath.

The next year, we got some more ornaments and some electric candles for the windows. Oh, and stockings! And stocking holders.

The following Christmas brought a bigger house and the need for some more wreaths (windows, duh!) and snowmen. And cand
les! And a tree for Claire's room.

Now, years later, we have a large tree and 2 smaller ones in each of my kids' rooms. We also have two other tabletop ones scattered around. Snowmen cover all of my stands and perch above my cabinets, which also house a collection of holiday village pharmacies. We have two sets of stockings and various other Christmas decorations scattered about.

I hung my head in embarrassment the first
time my mom proudly said, "Looks like a Christmas bomb exploded in here, Tone!"

It does, I admit.

I have become my mom.

God help me.

But, in my defense, I don't direct my kids on where to place every ornament just most of them . And I try not to rearrange the ornaments after they are placed on the tree. We don't use tinsel (a cat and a two year old, get it?) and Liam can't keep his fingers off the tree.

So, I am my mom- the decaf version.


Sunday, November 30, 2008

What's In A Name?

Kellan got me thinking about names with this post.

Toni is a fairly common name these days. When I was a kid, though, the only other kids named Tony were boys and that always drove me crazy. In my family, it was sort of customary (for some strange, unknown reason) to name daughters with traditionally boy names. I have an Aunt Tomie and a cousin Terri, among others.

People called me Tonya and Judy (!?) a lot. I never had pencils with my name on them. Until I was doing driver's ed, though, the whole Toni name was little more than an irritation.

When the elderly instructor was calling role, she paused at my name. "Toni D.....?"


"Sweetie, could you come up to the desk, please?"

"Uh, okay," and approached the desk, puzzled why I was being asked to come to the desk two minutes after the course began and before she had finished calling out the names of the other students.

"Toni, I need you to write your real name on this list."

"That IS my real name."

"No, sugar, your god-given name. The one on your birth certificate."

"That is it. My name is Toni Lynn D..."

"No, honey, your Christian name. What your mom calls you when you are in trouble."

"No, I get it," I am growing frustrated that this old lady is insinuating that I didn't know my real name at sixteen years old. "My name is Toni. THAT is my NAME."

"Well, you're wrong, dear. Tomorrow bring in your birth certificate and we will sign you back up with your real name. That is something that we need to ensure is correct or you won't be able to drive."

Well, duh.

Much to the old hag's dismay, I did, in fact, know MY NAME. It was, surprisingly, Toni on my birth certificate- not Antonia or Antoinette, as she suspected. She informed me that my name was "simply ridiculous" and my mom "must have hit her head" before naming me.

Incidents like these really stuck with me and influenced the decisions my husband (who goes by initials and is called every wrong group of them imaginable- most offensively, O.J.) and I made when we named our children. While I love the trend of naming both boys and girls last names (like Riley, Cooper or Taylor), I was not setting them up for any of this confusion.

So, what trouble has your name caused you??? Or your kids?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Reality Bites

I went to a baby shower this Sunday for my cousin, Dianne.

Dianne is only a few years younger than I am but this will be her first baby.

While I hated going to my own showers, I have grown to really enjoy going to them for other people. I get away from my kids for a couple of hours, get to eat and visit with other adults! What's not to love?

I am always amazed, though, at how little first time expectant moms know about the changes a baby causes in your life. I don't know why but statements like these still really crack me up coming from the mouths of pregnant women:

Oh, I would never sleep with the baby!

I am not going to sit around and hold her all the time; I have way too much else to do.

Breastfeeding is natural, right? How hard could it be?

I was a clueless wonder when I was expecting the first time, too. I said things to other people like,
My baby is not going to cry as much as that one does and My kid will never act like that.

Yeah. Right.

I still want to kick my own ass when I remember saying those things because God heard it too and he decided to prove a point by making me eat my own words over and over. My babies aren't great sleepers and are as badly behaved as any other kid. I can't count how many times I have prayed for the floor to open up and swallow me whole because of a screaming, fit throwing kid.

I learned really quick not to make judgments based on what you see other people or their kids doing because, most of the time, they are just trying to get through the day.

So, tell me, what was the biggest shock to you when your baby arrived? What words did you have to eat?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Cagefighting Continues

Don't be fooled by this sweet face...

I have lamented that my son is a future cagefighter before.

Now, he has caused me to join the ranks of professional wrestling because diaper changing this kid takes one these days.

He rolls. He kicks. He sticks his foot in poop. He spits. He bites. All while growling and shouting like a rabid animal.

I dread diaper changing.

I mean, I
loathe it. If there isn't poop or so much pee that it is sagging to his knees than I am leaving that diaper on there because it is not worth risking my life. Or my glasses.


Now, please, please tell me that your kid is doing this (or has done it) so that I can at least believe he isn't a complete and total brat.

Come on. Throw a sister a bone here, m'kay?


Today has been on my mind for a few weeks.

I had an appointment with the OB-GYN today (no, I am NOT pregnant, in case you were wondering). An appointment I have been worrying over and dreading and considering canceling.

This appointment was to have a Mirena placed.

I have been stewing over this appointment because I was afraid it would hurt. I was afraid my uterus was weakened by 2 c-sections and would tear, resulting in an immediate and emergency hysterectomy.

I also was afraid of what I would feel like after it was done. This decision sort of signaled to me that I am done bearing children and even though I knew this was the right decision for me I still didn't know how it would feel, you know?

Before my son was born I always left the door open to more children. When I looked at babies, my arms and uterus ached. I picked out names. I browsed the baby section. I knew I wasn't done.

But, after his birth I felt like I didn't want to do it again- the pregnant thing. I am not pretty; nor do I glow during pregnancy. I just get swollen and sweat. And puke!

Still, though...

I didn't want to close the door completely. I couldn't. I feel good that I went through with it. I feel a sense of relief that I didn't expect to: I am safe from pregnancy for at least 5 years (well, I will be in a month). Instead of feeling sad about that, I find that I am feeling, well, free.

I have a gorgeous son and a beautiful daughter. This didn't make the possibility of another child gone forever just a little more difficult to achieve.

And it totally didn't hurt as bad as I expected. And, that is ALWAYS a good thing.

So, tell me something new with you....

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I Have A Confession....

Sometimes I hide from my children.

Yep, I do.

I go into my bedroom and pull the curtains closed making it a little dark and hard to see in there. Then I pile pillows at the bottom of the bed so as to obstruct the view from the doorway of the chair that sits in my room.

My children will come to the door, look in and not see me even though I am in the chair.

Then they move on to another room, looking for me.

And sometimes (sometimes!) they will get distracted by something in another room and forget they were looking for me! And I get a few minutes to be Toni and not Mom!

Now, those are the moments a mom cherishes:sitting in a quiet, slightly dark room, sipping mouthwash a cold drink and relishing the solitude.

Today will be one of those hide in the bedroom days. Indeed.

Claire is home from school and bored to death for the holiday and Liam awoke on the wrong side of the toddler bed at 5!AM!

Yes, today I will skulk into my room and briefly hide from my children.

And, you know what? I'm not even ashamed of it.

Legal note: No children are neglected or injured as a result of this mother's reprieve. She can totally hear everything going on and only hides for a few minutes to recoup her sanity.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


This photo of my two children was taken by a friend of ours last weekend and it is one of my favorite ever taken. While Liam is not smiling, he is sitting still- something at 22 months is quite a feat! I chose to share this image because I love it and that you can see the beautiful brown of both of their eyes, as well as the affection they share. It is moments- and photos- like this that I will cherish for years to come.

That ends the unusual sappiness- now back to our regularly scheduled programming!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Shhh...Listen To That!

Do you hear it?

Or, rather, do you NOT hear it?

My phone has finally stopped ringing. Thank God.

For the last month my telephone has been ringing incessantly each and every day from the political party that I am affiliated with reminding me to get out and vote. But, today, glorious day, it has been silent in my home.

And that is a sweet, sweet sound.

Living in Ohio- a battleground state- is never really fun or crazy cool, fo' shizzle, but watching TV or having a moment's peace has been next to impossible because of Obama and McCain's persitence in trying to win my vote.

Well, one of them did.

But, despite Obama's landslide victory of last evening,
I feel like the winner today. I have won back my phone and my TV- y'know, the important things...

Ain't America grand?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Exercise It...

“Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual—or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.”
—Samuel Adams

Monday, October 20, 2008

It's A Bird! It's A Plane!

Nah, it's not Superman.

It's just Liam doing his latest and greatest trick.

That is, he drops to his knees and then, gently, to his belly and extends his arms and legs as if he were the Man o' Steel.

This happens when something doesn't quite go his way and can happen at a moments notice- indoors or out. The kid doesn't care where or on what surface, he just lays down. Then he whines until someone picks him up.

He is doing this 10, sometimes 20 times a day.

And, I gotta say, it is never NOT hilarious.

It's really no wonder I don't have time to blog because it is hard work raising a wannabe superhero.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Just A Question

Is anyone else SICK SICK SICK of the freaking political ads?

I think that is an issue we can all agree on regardless of which side of the party line we land on. And, honestly, are either of those guys really going to fix anything???

And, yes, I am a voter but one who just wants them to SHUT UP!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


The rocking chair squeaks as Liam and I settle in. He wiggles and jabbers. I sigh, thankful the day is nearly done.

Clutching his satin baby blue blankie, he settles in with his head on my chest. His hair, still slightly damp, smells of Aveeno baby wash. His jammies smell of Dreft and allow me to believe he is still small, although he is far from that these days.

A toddler- a little boy- now cozies into this spot once occupied by a baby. I marvel at how his fingers, once so tiny and chubby, now grasp the snagged satin with startling strength. His legs now dangle to my knees.

Each day, he grows. And each day, he learns something new. And I must bid goodbye to the baby that has grown into a little guy who shouts "Mama" at 5AM.

As his long- so long- lashes dip sleepily onto his soft, pale cheeks, I cannot resist and allow myself to kiss that tiny mouth. He smiles and chatters momentarily, then drifts into slumber.

These moments of quiet, of calmness, come less often all the time. He needs to run! to jump! to climb! Sleep is less elusive than before and I linger like this, holding onto him and drink in the smells, the sight and the sounds of my little boy who was once, not so long ago, my baby.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

What Was I Thinking?

I have always tried to keep the attitude that being a SAHM is a gift that many others would LOVE to have and that I am lucky to be able to stay home with my children.

Well, for the last few days, I would like to return that gift.

My little monster darling Liam has been a terror. He has been constantly tormenting the cat by throwing toys (small and large) at her and running full steam at her just to watch her jump out of her fur and scurry away. These things delight him.

He has also taken to undressing. Apparently going commando is all the rage amongst the toddler set. He shrieks. He cries. He stands at the door shrieking and crying and demanding to be taken outside immediately- do not pass go, do not collect $200 or go pee!

The icing on my cake of crap was last evening when I had just gotten most of his dinner cut into bite sized pieces and put on his plate. I turned for a nano second to grab a spoon and he grabbed his plate and flung it onto the floor.

Chernobyl happened again in my kitchen and I was ground zero because this mom had had. enough. I shrieked. I nearly cried. I demanded that he get into his high chair and I left the room. I left the food on the floor and Claire standing there agape. I went into the bathroom and sat there for a couple minutes because I wanted to kill someone.

Of course, I didn't kill him. Or myself. Or anyone else. But, oh God, I wanted to for just a brief few moments.

This gig is hard. It is exhausting. It is 24/7 and sometimes it sucks big time. Moms don't get a break to watch House or read a Jodi Piccoult novel. Nope. We have to wipe bottoms and hands and mouths. We have to clean up crap and puke and listen to whining and crying.

Sometimes I wonder what the hell I was thinking when I signed up to do this.

Don't you??

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Bugs And Dirt And Ick, Oh My!

I am not an outside person.

Truly and honestly, I prefer the indoors to the outdoors 98% of the time.

So, wouldn't you know I was blessed with a boy who loves the outside? Okay, let me rephrase that: he LOVES the OUTSIDE.

My son's love for all things outside must be expressed in all caps because, well, he's really an all caps kind of kid whose affection for grass, dirt and bugs is second only to the love felt for his blankie and his sister.

I have tried to squash this love by encouraging inside play but, apparently, there is really nothing like a smear of dirt across one's face and a scraped knee to feel alive.

So, I have given in. I spend at least one hour in the morning outside and one hour in the afternoon. After an hour, I am usually able to trick cajole him inside with the promise of a drink or snack.

You nature lovers (
shudder) may wonder why I hate it outside so much. Seems like a fair question, coming from the insane.



And dirt.

Oh, and don't forget the fact that it gets really, really hot out there, too.

If one could remove all bugs, the dirt and put some A/C out there, I might be more inclined to enjoy it. In the meantime, I will suffer through until he is old enough to be told, "Go play outside with your sister!"

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Siblings At Sunset

I have always wanted to have our family photos taken while at the beach by a professional.

When I called and found out how exorbitant and like highway robbery cost-prohibitive it can be, I thought hey, I have a camera and a couple kids...let's give it a whirl!

Well, a whirl I gave it and they turned out pretty well, I think, considering the camera is a point and shoot and I am a mediocre photog at best.

What you can't tell is that Liam did a header into the surf about 6 seconds after this shot. Another reason not to wear a new white onesie to the beach....

To participate in Photostory Friday, go here.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Not Going To The Chapel

So, I just found out one of my two oldest friends is getting married in 9 days.

Yep, 9 days.

We aren't that close anymore- I have kids, she doesn't. I'm happily married for 10 years and she's been divorced for 5.

I am happy for her that she is getting remarried. I am just really freaking a bit hurt that she called and told me all about it and then told me she would email pictures to me.

I was her matron of honor and she was mine.

I didn't want to be in her wedding- really, how many times can you be a bridesmaid and still enjoy it?- but I expected and wanted to be invited.

I wasn't.

It was okay at first because she said it was small and family only. Then, as the conversation continued, she said that there would be a cocktail hour and a catered sit down dinner and dancing. She has a mom, brother and one living grandparent and that is it family-wise. The groom has 2 siblings, parents and a grandfather. Who is going to be dancing if it is just family only?

Now, I am hurt and angry and need to send a present.

So, I need your help.

I want to send a lovely, wonderful present that makes her regret that she excluded me from her wedding.

Any ideas?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


You know what I hate?

I hate puke.

I really, really hate people puke but cat puke?

That seriously ticks me off.

I know, all you dog people are going,
see, that's why I have a dog. Well, I got a cat so I didn't have to take it out in the middle of the night to go pee, okay? Let's table the canine vs. feline discussion for now, m'kay? See, right now, I don't care if you like cats or dogs 'cause at this point I hate all animals!

When you decide to have a baby, you know there is a certain amount of grossness you will be forced to endure. You know they poop- a lot. You know they drool and spit up.

But when I agreed to allow a cat into my home, I didn't know they puked. You're scoffing, I hear you. But, I swear I didn't know. My mom didn't allow pets of any kind in our home. Ever. So, I was the kid who dreamed of a pet to love and cuddle with. There was absolutely no puke in my dream, I can assure you.

My husband was raised with dogs. Big dogs. I am rather afraid of big dogs. And when we saw the cute little ball of fluff that is our cat? Well, that man who loved big, manly dogs fell head over paws for that tiny little meower.

The thing with our cat, though, is that she is mean. She bites, scratches and attacks. Especially my kids. But, she is a part of the family- just like a cranky, bitter grandparent you love despite the fact they still won't let you pee in the indoor toilet. We do love her.
I love her.

Well, I did until this puking started. Now? Now, I am just sick of cleaning up cat puke. For reals.

I also feel like this sudden puking is in retaliation for our vacation. I do! She is fiery mad at us for leaving her and I have cleaned up cat puke daily since we returned.

Oh, and just to add a little cherry to the puke sundae of my day? Liam has diarrhea! Good times, friends, good times.

Monday, September 22, 2008

A Bad Start

Do you ever have those moments when you hate yourself for what you've done or said to your kid?

I just had one of those.

Liam slept late and, as he is our alarm clock, RxMan and I slept late too. So, we woke Claire up a few minutes late and didn't have all of the things ready for her to go to school- y'know packed lunch, bookbag in order, etc. (99% of the time I do all of this the evening before but Liam has been rising at 5! AM! for days and I thought I would have
hours before Claire needed to leave- ha!)

As I am frantically gathering her things, I also check her homework for errors and she has done over half of it wrong. Instantly, I flip into psycho-mom mode:

Claire, your homework is done wrong! Roar!"

"No, I followed the directions!"

"Grumble, grumble, roar, roar! No, you didn't! Now get over here and do it right!"

As this exchange happens, I know this is not the way to handle my still sleepy,
very sensitive eight year old but when the ugly head of my father rears, I almost can't suppress it. I am possessed with anger and disappointment and frustration and, for a moment, want to see her cry because I want a reaction.

Of course, the logical Toni and fairly good mom doesn't want her to cry. I want to shush her and rub her bed head and soothe her but, for a couple minutes, I am overcome with emotions that I detested in my own father, who always reacted badly to small situations such as this.

As my daughter, a wonderful, conscientious child, stands there with tears wetting her Hannah Montana nightgown, I feel terrible that I have begun her morning-her school week- with anger and rejection. I try to hug her and she shirks away.

My heart breaks a little more.

I apologize over and over- something my own father
never did- and try to mend the hurt. She leaves with a shaky smile and I feel like the worst mom in the world for sending her out into this cold world feeling so small and hurt on a Monday morning.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Back In Business

We arrived home from our vacation at 11am last Sunday (9/14) and I threw laundry in, wrote a paper for a course and began unpacking.

Seven hours later, we lost power.

For nearly five days.

That is a long time, people.

A long, long time to live without a light. Without Noggin. Without the internet.

Whew. A seriously long time.

But, we survived.

The worst, though, was feeling like we were still on vacation: we couldn't really eat a meal at home (no stove). We couldn't bathe at home (no hot water). We had to pee by flashlight.

But, we did have a great vacation. Liam did very well, considering he had never slept anywhere but in his room, in his house, for all of his 20 months. Mostly, he just collapsed at night from utter exhaustion caused from the beach and pool that we lived in for 8 days.

I could complain about his tantrums that caused us to not eat out. I could whine that he was excessively needy and irritable. I could bemoan the fact that we basically didn't leave our beach home away from home for 7 days but I shall not.

Because the neediness was directed (hallelujah!) towards my husband, who felt what it was like to be a SAHM with a needy, whiny, possessive toddler for the first time evah! We saved a bundle of moolah by eating in and doing little shopping. And, we got to spend time together. As a family.

And, overall, it was just what we needed.

So, I thank you all for checking in here while I have been unavailable for a few weeks and I cannot WAIT to hear/read what you all have been up to.

Tell me, what is up with you....anyone pregnant? Moving? What's new?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Ike tore up the Texas coastal area.

The hurricane then tore up the midwest and landed in my area, leaving us without power from Sunday evening until...well, I'll have to keep you posted on that one because I am completely in the dark at my house.

I am borrowing my dad's computer while my family and I bathe and catch a hot meal.

Don't feel sorry for us because we should (fingers crossed) have power by next week while so many in Texas will not for months.

I simply wanted you all to know I didn't fall off the face of the earth!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Gone Fishin'

I'm not really fishing.

I'm not really that kinda girl. I'm the kind that needs someone to bait my hook, take off the catch and also watch the pole while I chatter loudly, scaring the fish.

No, there is no fishing on my vacation agenda.

More likely, I am sitting in a chair, reading a book or bobbing along in the pool.

Either way, I am not here.

So, go read someone else who is!

Thanks for stopping by!!

Friday, September 5, 2008

A Birthday Post

My husband was adopted.

His mother relinquished her parental rights to him just hours after he was born 36 years ago today.

He was placed into the foster care system for about three weeks and, then, went to live with the people who raised him: his mom and dad.

His biological mother was 18 or 19 and had black hair, as does my husband. We know a few things about her like this from "non-identifying" information that the state of Ohio allows adoptees access to. His father was a brick mason, as was his father, and was 23 years old. They lived in a town in northwestern Ohio that neighbors where my husband was raised.

It haunts me that out there, somewhere, is a family that my husband never met. He could have brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews. There may be oodles of aunts and uncles who share the same black hair and dimpled right cheek that he and my son have.

His childhood was good. His parents loved and cared for him. He traveled and played an instrument in the band. He has no burning innate desire to seek out this unknown family.

I do, though. I would like to hug the woman who birthed my husband. I would like to her to see him and know that he did okay. I would like her to know that she made a good choice because she did.
She really did.

I would like to tell her that on this day, his birthday, he is happy and surrounded by those that love him. I would like to tell her that he is loved and holds no ill will for her, although his feelings towards her are so confusing and muddled.

So, on this day, which is a happy day in our household, I always find myself wondering what that woman, once a young girl, must feel. My heart aches a little for her and the loss that she probably feels on this day.

Thank you to the woman who chose to bring my husband into this world and make a choice to provide him with a life and home that she was unable to. I would like to thank her for her unselfish and brave actions.

May this "birth-day" be just a little sweeter for her.....

Happy Birthday, RxMan!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Holy Hanna!

We are scheduled to leave for the South Carolina barrier island of Hilton Head bright and early Friday morning.

Of course, we are concerned about Hanna, the gigantic tropical storm churning in the Atlantic.

I spent the biggest part of yesterday near a tv worrying and fretting and working myself into a migraine and upset stomach over this blasted storm. Where would she make landfall? Would there be bad weather? Should we cancel outright and take advantage of the rental agency's inclement weather policy?

Well, we decided to take our chances and head to the beach. We love Hilton Head. We have planned to go there for about 6 months and, by golly, we are going.

So, say a prayer, if you are so inclined, or send warm, hurricane-moving thoughts that way.... and I promise I will be a better blogger once I've spent some time on a beach with a book and a tropical drink (or 6).

Monday, August 25, 2008

Good Times

My car wouldn't start on Friday morning.

Instead of panicking, I chose to see this as a good thing seeing as how we leave for Hilton Head Island on September 5. Better now than then, right?

Then, I learned that the dealer, who must work on my vehicle because of the warranty, is booked solid until Thursday, August 28.

Guess who had to beg, borrow, steal and threaten a lawsuit to get a crummy loaner car? I mean, even us SAHMs must run to The Wal-Mart once in a while, right? Imagine their surprise that I refused to go 7 days without a vehicle!

And, just for a little more rain on my parade, the main drain for two of our bathrooms chose last night to clog up and begin backing up into the tubs. Can you say

So, now I get to spend today waiting on the plumber to come, writing a ginormous check to cover his time and, then, cleaning used toilet paper out of my bathtubs...what fun!

So, what's on your agenda today???

Thursday, August 21, 2008

On the Cusp

Today Claire starts third grade.

Last night as I thought about writing this post, I thought it would be all, "YAY! The kids are back in school!" And, it is; oh, my GAWD it is.

But, it is also something more.

Third grade, for me, was the last year I went to school without a bra. It was the last year the boys and girls played together easily and without any concern for the fact that they are biologically "different".

As I have seen her several times over these last few months in a bathing suit and various states of dress and undress, I realized that she, Lord help me, is on the brink of puberty. Her little body is starting to just look different- not like Pam Anderson, mind you, just
different. I believe that she, poor thing, will likely start fourth grade with a trainer's bra, just like her ol' mommy did.

Her attitude has changed, too. She is becoming more obstinate and opinionated with me- only me. She questions me directly when I make rules or rulings she doesn't like. She is entering that stage where her parents (or at least her mom) are essentially there to make life totally blow for her and are the dumbest and uncoolest creatures in the entire! universe! She's not there just yet, but the winds are changing, my friends. My little angel is about to see me as Pulic Enemy Numero Uno in a few short years.

And, the drama that has ensued in this neighborhood of three 8-year old girls this summer! Oh, the tears! The disappointments! The wrongdoings! Three little people who used to be sweet, giggling buddies often part now in sobs and hurt feelings. See, I told you, the estrogen is revving up.

So, as I stuff her pink and brown plaid backpack, still smelling of newness, with medical emergency slips and checks for lunch and school fees this perfect, humid morning, I do so with a bit of heaviness clouding the pure joy that the first day of school brings to parents.

My baby is growing up.

I hope to share photos of this momentous day but my camera, once lost, has been found. But, it is 150 miles from home. I hope my neighbor will be kind enough to email photos that I can upload to you, otherwise I am going old school today....

Monday, August 18, 2008


I am married to a pharmacist and I hate medicine.

really hate medicine.

I will wait for
hours before taking a couple ibuprofen to clear up a headache.

I will suffer with sniffles and stuffiness for
days before taking Claritin.

I rarely carry my asthma inhaler with me.

Now, I am fighting the doldrums and just can't make myself go to a doctor and see if I need to be medicated.

For some reason- okay, I know why and it all goes back to the people who raised me- I equate medicine with weakness. And medicine that helps with issues such as depression the doldrums and anxiety? Well, those are for the weakest of the weak! Those meds are for people who can't deal with life and all that that entails!

Pish! Posh!

I am strong. I am woman! Hear me roar!

Yeah, I've been doing a lot of roaring and it is at my kids and husband. For no good reason other than that I feel like I am walking around on eggshells- all. the. time. I also feel like I am just about the worst wife and mother on the planet.

But, the hardest thing for me to deal with is that I have little reason to feel so crappy all the time. I am happily married. I am healthy. I am going on vacation in 17 days. My life is really, really good.

But, still....

I can't shake this sense of impending doom. The vacation is causing some anxiety as it will be the first time Liam has slept away from home. Also, the family who we are supposed to travel with may or may not be going. This isn't a big deal (because there is a perfectly good reason) but I am left feeling unsure and up in the air and it is causing me a lot of concern because I just don't know what is happening. It is also a trip of about 700 miles one way. And, I am worried about Liam's traveling and that we are going to die in a car accident.

You know- little things.

So, I go to visit the troll who is my gynecologist on Thursday for our annual visit and I am really going to try to bring this up to her. She, however, is not the most understanding or empathetic lady in the world so I don't know if it will get me anywhere but I will try to talk to her about it....


Yeah, probably not.

'Cause I'm the pharmacist's wife who hates doctors
and pills....

Friday, August 15, 2008

To Sleep, Perchance To Dream-

Ay, there's the rub.

But not for the same reason as Hamlet.

Apparently when my little Princess of Denmark closes her eyes and falls asleep, the dreams are pretty freakin' scary. So, guess what that means?

It means that she isn't sleeping.

Which means that I am not sleeping.

Which means I am not a happy camper/mommy.

RxMan and I have taught Claire that it is acceptable to wake us if she has a bad dream and we will let her sleep in our room (in a chair or on the floor) for a little while. I decided to do this because I didn't have those parents who comforted you back to sleep after a nightmare. Or the ones who held your hair while you barfed your brains out. Nope, I was raised to take care of my own bidness and not bother the parents unless I was completely broken or required stitches.

So, we have allowed, even encouraged, Claire to come to us when she is frightened or awakened by a thunder storm. Until the last several days, it has been sporadic and really not a problem.

Last night, though, she woke us 6 times before midnight! Six. Times. Before. Midnight.


That totally sucked.

She is having nightmares and overall trouble getting to- and staying- asleep; 3 of the 6 times she woke us were to simply tell us that she couldn't get back to sleep....Again, we have encouraged this in the past but this is day 5 of having been awakened several (5+) times each night for some reason or other by the 8 year old.

So, at 11:45PM, I snapped at her. I barked and ordered her back to bed. I demanded that she stay in her room unless she was hit by a car! (I don't like to be awakened, people, bear with me!) Then, I gave her a Benadryl chewable and bid her a firm and not very nice good-night.

It was not one of my finer parenting moments- being mean to my kid
and drugging her, too.

We have spoken about it and I apologized for being cranky and kissed and hugged her. I feel bad but, honestly, at what point can she start recognizing that I cannot magically fix the problem that she cannot sleep? I am fine with soothing her when she is scared and will sit with her or allow her in our room but this other stuff? Is driving me batty...

So, tell me, am I being too harsh? Should I suck it up and let her continue to wake us a dozen times a night or is it time to lay down the law? I am tired- bone-tired- and frazzled so I need someone with a little distance on the situation to advise me....

Monday, August 11, 2008


I have fallen off the face of the blogosphere.

And as much as I would love to regale you with tales of an exotic vacation or a birth, I cannot.


I have just not felt like blogging.

I have been around- lurking at most of your places. I know, shame on me for lurking.

Truthfully, though, I am feeling a little quiet.

As I sit here and think of a friend who just lost a parent, I am taking stock of all that I have to be thankful for and have decided not to feel guilty about my absence because life truly is too short, friends.

So, I haven't forgotten any of you; I have just been trying to relish every last drop of sweetness that the summer has to offer.

To quote Arnold the Governator, "I'll be back...."

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

My Daughter the Doormat

Claire is a nice girl.

She is polite.

She is kind and generous.

But, she is a doormat.

I raised her with the first three lines of this post in mind. I wanted her to be a pleasure to be around; the kind of kid other parents want their children to hang out with. And, in this way, I was successful. She has many friends and their parents always remark on her manners and overall niceness.

The doormat issue, though, was an unforeseen consequence of all this kindness, friendliness and politeness that I drilled instilled in her. Now, she is a sitting duck for more aggressive, dominant personalities. These kids just roll right over my kid.

I've taken the classes and I know that society encourages this type of behavior in our girls but that was not my intent. I am not a doormat! I am a strong, opinionated woman who doesn't take any crap from anyone. So, when my firstborn popped out with a vajayjay I thought that I could have it both ways: a polite, kind, force of nature sort of daughter.

Well, apparently, I spent too much time on the politeness and not enough on the butt kicking part of my master plan. Because now my daughter is sensitive and easily hurt. Other kids are bossy and don't consider her opinions in decision making areas.

So, now I am left with a doormat and one who spends a lot of time feeling alienated and hurt. But, how do I change this? I have tried the "buck it up" way in which I was raised but to little avail. I have coached her on saying, "I don't like to be treated that way, please stop." That seems fairly effective but I want her to be the kid that says, "Fine, you think I'm ugly? Well, not as ugly as you!" and storm off proud of herself for coming up with a snarky comeback.

In my defense, my husband is also a doormat has tendencies of a doormat. He has parent issues that have festered since the moment I entered his life and they took an immediate and total dislike of me. He avoids confrontation and wants to make everyone happy at his own expense.

Because of her more quiet ways, I find myself wanting to jump in and fix some of the sticky situations with other kids but I know that I cannot and must not. I will not always be there to work things out for her or rescue her. And this is hard. So hard. It is certainly one of the hardest things I have encountered yet in parenting because, for so long, it has been my job to protect her from the hurts of this cold world and the jerks who inhabit it. But, parenting is as much about teaching a child to be a productive adult as it is setting rules and example. It takes all the restraint this hothead can muster to hold back and not do some butt kicking on Claire's behalf but I manage most of the time because she is going to have to learn to be her own best friend and hero and it is better to learn now when the hurts are relatively small and minor than later when they are not.

Man, this parenting gig is hard.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What NOT To Say To Your Wife If You Want To Get Lucky

Kellan selected this post of mine to share with her readers on her new site, On The Flipside. Many of you have already weighed in on this topic, but please go over and help welcome Kellan to her second and newest blogging venture!


My husband and I were in bed.

The lights were dim. The tv was off.

He leaned over and started trying to feel me up kissing me.

A moment later, he pulled back, gazed lovingly into my eyes and said," You smell like chicken."


"Cooked chicken." He is puzzled by my horror. "That's a good thing!"

Yeah, not for you, buddy....

Guess who brushed his teeth and used Listerine before bedtime for nothing????

Monday, July 28, 2008

Snakes, Snails and Pony Tails

AFF answered my plea for blogging topics a few weeks ago with the question "what do you think the difference is raising girls vs boys?" As a mom of an 8 year old girl and a nearly 19 month old boy, I can certainly say that there are differences although I know so many of you, who have more children than I, would be much more qualified to answer.

In my experience, though, the differences are quite surprising and typical of what you would probably expect. My daughter was/is quiet, polite and sweet. She is obedient and kind. So far, my son is none of these things.

When Claire was a toddler, a firm "no" and a disapproving glance often stopped her cold. If I raised my voice or said her full name? Oh, my goodness, she would wail. She liked hats, dresses and hated bugs. She truly was sugar and spice but perfect? No. She whined. All. The. Time. I understand language development and that she didn't have the words but good gawd could that child whine...She whined so much I taught her to go to her room while she whined and cried unless there was a good reason for it- of course, she was more like 2-3 when that was enforced.

Liam, though, eats ants. He climbs things. He is covered in bruises and I find myself explaining to people that he is just busy and I am not a child abuser, despite the temptation. He doesn't whine unless he is ill or sleepy. Tantrums, though, are monumental. And I do mean the throw himself on the ground and have a royal fit kind of tantrum. He loves to be outside and into things and is always busy.

So, for me, my kids fall into stereotypical roles. Did I encourage them? Of course sociologist and behaviorists would say yes but I think Liam was just born more aggressive than Claire. He speaks louder and is more physical than she ever was. Claire has a very nurturing personality and is nice and always has been.

With Liam, I find that I have to raise my voice louder and more often than I ever have with Claire; she was more responsive to a verbal cue. He needs removed and touched to be signaled that his behavior is inappropriate. I am told by others that this is just "being a boy."

I have been told that boys are more difficult in the early ages and girls more so in the teen years. For me, I have a feeling this is going to hold true because Claire has been a real breeze to date but Liam kicks my ass every day.

To be honest, I was disappointed that I was having a son when we discovered that we were at 18 weeks. You see, I liked buying dresses and hats and ruffly socks. The boys clothing department is smaller than my closet and how many pairs of navy shorts can one kid have? But, I feel really badly now for my early disappointment because that little ant eating, cat chasing, stinky boy? He loves me so completely and differently than Claire (a daddy's girl from her first breath) did at this age. And I adore him too. There really is something magical about the relationship between a boy and his momma.....

I just hope that this special relationship doesn't translate into trouble when he starts dating because I don't want to be that MIL. You know, like mine. And hers. And hers.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

How Young Is Too Young?

There is a situation in my neighborhood that is causing me some alarm- not a great amount of alarm but enough that I find it somewhat troubling so I am turning to the smartest ladies I know to see if I am being a little too....well, too Toni.

My neighbors have three children: an 8 year old (Rachel), a 4 year old (Caleb) and a 20 month old (Sadie). Rachel and Claire are good buddies. Rachel lives with her dad and stepmom and Caleb and Sadie are their children. Capisce?

Well, the dad, who I'll call Steve, is a nut about his yard. I mean, a crazy man. He mows several times a week and doesn't like for the kids to play in any area that is not outfitted with play equipment because it smushes the grass. (Honestly. This is not a lie.)

Steve's wife, Amy, a hair stylist, works every other Saturday, thus leaving the kids alone with Steve. This is where Steve's lawn obsession becomes my problem. Steve mows while leaving the 8 year old in charge of the 4 year old and, worse, toddler Sadie. Now, as a SAHM, I get that sometimes things need to be done and when you have an older, more responsible child, they can really fill a void. There are many, many occasions where Claire has to step up and help with Liam. I get that.

She distracts him while I pee. She takes him to the basement while I make dinner (remember I am not a cook so this is usually a microwave warm up of leftovers) but never is she in charge of him for any more than a short while. I just don't see this as her job or responsibility and she is only 8!

A few weeks ago, Steve mowed (twice, as is protocol and takes about 2 1/2 hours) and then cleaned gutters, power washed the house and sprayed weed killer on every weed lining the street in our neighborhood (again, not a lie.) and this took a total of about 6 hours. I know this because we were outside the majority of that time.

While Steve was doing all this, Rachel watched, changed, fed and entertained Sadie. Claire and a couple other neighborhood girls played for a while but, once I realized Rachel was the one in charge, I insisted Claire return home. Rachel eventually had to take Sadie inside the house as it was really hot and the baby was cranky; a neighborhood girl accompanied her. I felt uneasy about this girl going inside alone with Sadie and Rachel because I am good friends with her mom and it made me uncomfortable to think of two 8 year olds watching a young toddler. I chose to butt out.

Well, of course, Sadie got into markers and marked all over herself and a wall. When Steve learned of this, he freaked. He screamed (according to the other girl in the house) at both 8 year olds and grounded Rachel from the computer (where she and her friend were playing and NOT watching the tot) for life! and made her clean the mess.

So, now I don't know how to handle this. I don't want to cause trouble but I am uncomfortable with letting Claire play at their home when the mom is out. I feel that Rachel has way too much responsibility at too young an age. Am I completely overreacting by making the rule that Claire may not, under any circumstance, be alone inside with Rachel and Sadie?

Is this just me being irrational and over the top, or not? At what age is it appropriate for an older sibling to watch a little one? I babysat at 11 but I was a strangely mature 11. What do you think?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Two vs. One

When I implored for questions and motivations to help get me through the summer blogging slump, wright helped out with "What is the best part about having two kids? What's the hardest? Another one: What's you opinion on swim lessons? We just started (Baby Girl just turned one) and I'm not sure what to think of them or what to expect to get out of it."

The best part about having two children, so far, is seeing them interact together. Granted, Claire is 8 and Liam is nearing 19 months so their interactions are quite different, as you know, than a four and 2 year old but it has been a real joy to watch my daughter be a big sister. She helps out in a myriad of ways and is actually capable of "watching" him, while I am very nearby of course. Liam adores his sister and she him. He still calls her "mommy" and, in many ways, she is as much a young, more fun mom than I am.

The reason RxMan and I decided to go ahead and jump into this parenting gig again was because we didn't want Claire to be left alone if something horrible were to happen to us. The summer before we began trying to conceive, a friend/distant relative of mine lost her father very unexpectedly, after losing her mother several years before to cancer. She was an only child, single, and not close to her extended family and didn't have many friends. She was all alone at the funeral and that was the day I made up my mind Claire would not sit alone at a funeral for my husband or myself. While I am not close to my younger brother, I do have him and that would probably be a great comfort in the event that my parents were to both die. So, with the knowledge that she is no longer an only child, I have found great peace in knowing she shouldn't ever have to travel the world completely alone.

The worst about having two kids? Well, the fact that they are 7 years apart is difficult in that I have started completely over again. Claire was/is easy. I have to only direct her towards brushing her teeth and putting on shoes, whereas Liam is still very needy. Also, his schedule is very rigid and hers is way more flexible. Also, having two kids has caused my husband and I to begin the dividing and conquering that I didn't expect until much later. He might take Claire to softball/ballet/scouts while I stay home with the little guy, who goes to sleep at 7pm most nights (or vice versa, of course).

About swim lessons....we didn't start Claire until she was about 4 and haven't begun yet with Liam so I don't know how much I can say that would be helpful except it will be slow progress and there may be tears. Hang tight, mommy, swimming is a skill they need and it will all be worth it...good luck, wright, and thanks for the great questions!

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Liam has recently perfected the art of taking off his socks on his own.

Around the same time, he also began walking on tip toe. We, of course, found this cute and adorable and laughed about it.

We noticed that it was mainly occurring only when he walked on our (uncarpeted) kitchen floor. I assumed it was because it was cold and laughed some more.

Then, one day last week, he began whining and walking on tip toe at the same time.

I thought he was just whining (as usual) and then watched him walk en pointe, whining, until he reached the carpeted area and then he took off as normal and stopped grumbling. Hmmn.


So, I, being the savvy detective, looked around and tried to figure out what was the culprit.

It only took a brief glance at the floor and it dawned on me....

My floors are so dirty that my toddler is disgusted to the point he has to walk tippy toed through or it hurts his tender feet.

Nice, right?

Instead of succumbing to embarrassment,which would have forced me to get the broom, Swiffer, bucket and mop and clean the daggum floors, I chose to make it a life lesson for him: don't take off the socks that your mother put on your feet- they're there for a reason!

Pretty clever, don't ya think?

Thursday, July 17, 2008


This is a photo of my daughter, Claire, and my niece, Emma, on a recent trip to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. With only 9 months separating the two, they have been raised more like sisters than cousins. They rarely fight and are each other's staunchest supporters and biggest fans.

I was raised without a sister and am not particularly close to Emma's dad (my younger/only brother) but I love to see these two grow up together and hope that the closeness they share now follows them through life. Both have younger siblings but Emma's sister is 8 years her junior and Liam is 7 years younger than Claire so they have had only each other as playmates for the majority of their young lives.

It took 10 minutes in line to have the face painting done.

It cost me $20.

The resulting smiles and memory?


To play along with Photostory Friday, go here.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Life With A Drug Dealer

So, MamaGeek, my blog crush, answered my plea for questions with this one: "I have been DYING to know what it's like to be married to an RXMan. I mean is it like a doctor? Does he know EVERYTHING about healing and medicine and all that jazz? Does he love pesky customers?"

My answer to that would be: yes, yes, and NO.

The end.

Ha! Just kidding!

He does know so much about medicine and illness and is a real blessing to have around when your kid is sick and needs Motrin in the night- I don't even need to slide on my glasses to read the bottle, I just tell him to do it and he happily bounds to the kitchen and doses it out.

He is also very handy to have around at medical visits. Doctors, sadly, treat me 110 times better when he is with me and they find out when I not so casually blab that he is a pharmacist his chosen profession. We are given prescriptions more readily and, often, can get antibiotics as a courtesy with a mere phone call. (Don't hate me, please.) I try to schedule all appointments with doctors when he can be there because the appointments are simply more effective and enjoyable.

On the downside, dude loves medicine.

I mean, loves medicine.

If I have a twinge of pain, Mr. Drug Man is right there with a glass of agua and a handful of pills. In his world, virtually everything can be cured with a pill, suspension or ointment. In my world? Medicine is for sissies.

Sounds like a match made in Drug Heaven, doesn't it?

As to the customers? Honestly? They are the downside of his job, in many cases. Customers simply don't understand that he must be 100% accurate, 110% of the time or they. could. die. People don't want to wait for their medicine when they are sick, tired, and in a hurry. He appreciates this but the pharmacy isn't a McDonald's either. Each prescription is "cooked to order," if you will. Think of it more as an upscale restaurant. Order an appetizer and prepare to wait a little while for a good and safe experience. (Also, he doesn't control what your insurance charges for your medicine! I swear! A technician submits the info into the computer and the insurance company responds with the cost. It is a fact. Don't scream at your pharmacy employees when your co-pay is wrong. It is your insurance company's fault!)

Some people are very appreciative of a pharmacist, who, by the way, corrects hundreds of errors made by careless physicians every day: some that are small and unimportant, others that could really hurt someone. Most of the time, the pharmacist remedies this without the patient even knowing.

Sorry for the soapbox, which I try to stay far away from in blogdom, but this is a subject that I hear about incessantly am very close to. My husband is blessed with a great job that affords me the opportunity to be a student and SAHM. Is it perfect? Hellz No! Would he sign up for it again? I really think he would just go on to medical school where people are more respectful of the profession and the hours (in family practice) are better.

Thanks, MG, for the questions.

Monday, July 14, 2008

No Saying No

A few months ago at Liam's 15 month visit, I inquired as to how to discipline him at such a young age because he had already begun his foray into the cagefighting arena.

My pediatrician, a lovely, intelligent man whom I respect and admire very, very much, replied to me that a child of such a young age cannot really be disciplined. It is a parent's job to redirect and distract. He was very kind and understanding as he told me this.

That made sense and I was a little embarrassed that I was the psycho mean mother asking about cracking down on her poor little toddler. I guffawed and explained that he was basically beating the crap out of all of us but I would do my best to distract him and, essentially, suck it up and hope it passes sooner rather than later.

All the while, I am crying inside as I know we will never eat out of the house again. *sigh*

As the visit wrapped up, the doctor revisited my question about discipline, reminding me to distract Liam when he is doing something inappropriate. I vow to do this. Then, the doctor drops a bomb.

"You also shouldn't tell him no. At this age, he should not be told no because he is just testing boundaries, blah, blah, blah...."

Don't tell him NO!?

Let that sink in a minute.

Yes, you did read that correctly.

Okay, so I am not supposed to tell him no as he beats my eight year old down with the vacuum attachments? Or, when he is eating cat food? Or grabbing at the stove when it is ON?

I have to defend my pediatrician. He isn't a crackpot. I swear. He isn't touchy-feelly or new age-y either. In most cases, he is very old school: Karo syrup for constipation, potty trained by two, Cry-It-Out sleep training, etc.

But I digress....

So, I told RxMan what was said and after he stopped swearing and popped his eyes back in his head we decided to give this strategy a try.

For about 6 minutes.

It didn't work.


We have made an effort not to constantly shout loudly use this word and I think it has made the times that we do say "NO!" more effective but, to completely give up saying it?

No way, Dr. Jose.

It simply ain't gonna happen.

So, I decided that when Liam stops telling me "no" I will stop telling him the same.

What's the craziest thing a doc has told you to do??

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Just Call Me Amy Winehouse

I, too, am an addict.

My name is Toni.

And. I. Am. A. Lip. Balm. Addict.

I am.

I must have something on my lips at all times that is moisture releasing. If my lips feel even the slightest bit dry, I freak out and have to find something to put on them. My preference and most favoritest lip balm is Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm but in a pinch, I will use Chap-Stick.

Like any good addict, I have my stash these $3 lip balms laying all over my house in case of a dry lip emergency. But, of course, there are none to be found anymore because my monster son eats them when I am not looking.

Yes. He. Does.

He eats my minty fresh lip balm and leaves the empty carcass for me to find. Now, I love the kid but messing with a girl's Burt's Beeswax? That may just be a one way ticket to an orphanage for the little man.

You see, I have religiously applied Vaseline, Chap-Stick, even hand lotion (in a pinch) to my lips 'round the clock since I was a tween so it really gets me tweaked to not have my stuff when I need it.

And I do. Need. It.

I cannot bear having chapped or sunburnt or chaffed or dry lips. Nuh-uh. I need them to be soft, supple and moisturized!

At! All! Times!

Excuse me. I must run back to Wal-Mart and buy some more lip balm to hide from my son.

Or he I may die.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


That one word sums up me right now.

I am completely unmotivated.

You could say lazy, too, but I am trying to be more kind to myself.


It seems that when my spring quarter of classes ended on June 14, my drive and ambition flew clean out the window.

Along with it went my blogging ability.

I love to blog. Okay, I love to read other blogs and blog so that I can feel a part of the cool crowd.

I had plans for summer. I was going to twitter. I was going to blog- every. day. I was going to take my children to the lake.

For the most part, I have sat and watched my butt get bigger Liam play.

And, you know what?

I am loving every. single. minute.

But summer is melting as quickly as those yummy freezer pops! And, I haven't accomplished any of my lofty goals so I am turning to you....

Ask me a question! Hit me with your best shot!

Inspire me! Motivate me!

Help me get off my butt and start blogging again!


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

An Unsolved Mystery

My friend Allie and her three children came to stay with my family over the holiday weekend; we rarely get to see them and it was such an enjoyable visit.

I would love to share with you several photos of this visit- kids on Claire's 4-wheeler, sidewalk chalk masterpieces on my driveway, kids dressed in patriotic colors, etc. but my camera has gone MIA.

Apparently all of the excitement from the weekend and my less than great picture taking abilities have finally caused the thing to just sprout legs and walk off. You see, we are certain it made it into the house from the garage where it was last used but, after that?

It is gone.


And, alas, if it does not surface within 2 weeks, 8 hours and 11 minutes, RxMan said he will have to buy me a new camera.

Wouldn't that just suck??

Thursday, July 3, 2008

What a Mess!

Hand lotion plus boy
Not a good combination
How do you not laugh?

These are photos of Liam after he managed to open a hand lotion up and fling it all over himself and my armoire. He was alone for about 4 minutes while I read blogs checked the online news and made a terrible mess all over the furniture, floor and his freshly bathed body. That child is always wreaking havoc! Of course, I ran for the camera as my daughter stood aside and cackled so what lesson did we teach him?

This boy may be the death of me yet....

On another note, Happy Independence Day!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Pulling My Hair Out

Ever since I decided to not call my teenage babysitter again, I have been regretting it. While I still don't approve of her personal life, nor the fact that she left me high and dry for my daughter's dance recital, I am just about to go crazy!

I love my kids. I do. But, frankly, I am sick to death of them.

My daughter has camp in the mornings and then plays all afternoon with her friends so she isn't much of a bother but I would love to have her stay home and help entertain Liam for a little while! She is his most favorite person and thrills him to no end when she lavishes her love and attention on him but she is GONE most of the day. I've tried mandating a particular amount of time that she must stay home each day but then I am stuck with a neighbor kid who doesn't want to be at my house or is calling here incessantly! Sheesh!

And, my dear, sweet Liam. I love him (I am convincing me more than you) but this kid has cried for about the last 5 days straight. He is teething and I am ready to throw one of us through a plate glass window. A person can only stand so much crying before they FREAK completely out. And, I am thisclose to the freak out. I know it hurts. I know he can't do anything about it. I have given him ibuprofen and used the topical stuff but it doesn't seem to help. Why in the hell don't they sell paregoric any more?

Thank God my husband is home on Tuesday because someone is going to have to take care of the little monster boy. So, even though I am angry at the former babysitter, I am fighting very hard not to just say screw it and please, please, please save me from another day of crying and incessant fit throwing.

So, I need some teething remedies stat: what works for you? If this boy doesn't stop the whining soon, I'll...well, I won't do anything except grouse about it some more but still, help a girl out, won't you?

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Apparently, I Am O-L-D

Out of nowhere last week Claire says to me, "Mommy, was there a space shuttle that had a woman on it and it blew up and she died?"

I knew she was talking about the Challenger so I answered, "yes, Claire, there was. The lady was a teacher and it was very sad."

"She was a teacher?"

"Yes, she was. Her name was Christa MacAuliffe and she was going to teach from space but she didn't get to. Where did you hear about this?"

"Oh, we talked about it in summer camp yesterday," she replied. "Was it a long time ago?"

"Well, sort of. Mommy was in the fifth grade when it happened."

"Oh," she said, eyes wide and mouth in a big circle. "It was a REALLY long time ago!"

Just when I thought we were going to have an intellectual discussion about something that really touched my childhood, she goes and calls me old! Kids!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

No Rabbits Were Harmed For This Post

Who knew that when I mentioned I hadn't been feeling well for several days that the pregnancy questions would arise from you silly bloggers?

Not me for sure. See, pregnancy is SO not on my to-do list right now. In fact, I am trying to talk RxMan into going to see the saint doctor who makes sure his little boys will never swim again.... The only child this family will have will come from the loins of a woman across the pond or at least way south of the border- 'cause my loins?

They are closed. for. business. FOREVER.

Yep, that little bundle of boy that I was blessed with nearly eighteen months ago has caused me to swear off the whole reproducing thing for good.

When I was expecting him, I thought oh, three is the perfect number of children. We should certainly have just one more after this little guy. Shuh- right.

The person who said two is easier than one? Yeah, C.R.A.Z.Y. And the idiot (me!) who waited 6 years to get pregnant for her second child? She's flippin' crazy too because it is completely like starting over only you don't have to buy the crib.

For me, the seven year age span has been a blessing in many ways: Claire is a huge help. She doesn't get jealous. She is understanding; she is uber independent. But there are pitfalls: they will probably never be really close. I lost all the independence I had just gotten back.

I could go on. And on. And on. But the simple fact:

I. AM. NOT. PREGNANT. Thank you, Jesus!

I simply have hurt some muscles in my chest and have something called costochondritis, which is much better than the heart attack or blood clot that was originally suspected (and definitively ruled out). *giant sigh of relief and prayer of thanks*

So, thanks for your well wishes and any baby mojo around here is sent out your way with much pleasure.

Makeup Artist

Monday, June 23, 2008

Off The Radar

I am not feeling well and haven't been for the last several days.

Sorry I have fallen off the edge of the blogosphere....

I am seeing the doctor today for more tests to try to figure out what is causing my mysterious symptoms- or if I am just crazy.

I'm voting crazy, what about you???

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Where Has The Cool Gone?

So, I'm sitting on my couch, folding my eleven hundredth load of laundry and my daughter is at the neighbor's and Liam is napping.

I have the television on and am watching and singing along to the theme song when I realize that I have just sat through and enjoyed almost an entire episode of this program:

The trouble? My KIDS ARE NOT WATCHING with me.

This mommy is in serious need of an adult play date, don't you think? Anyone else need a little kid-free time?

Monday, June 16, 2008

All Boy

I have complained lamented often lately about my son's bad behavior. The hitting, biting, scratching and otherwise aggressive behavior that is apparently not uncommon to many of you who are also raising cagefighters. That was a relief to find out but I am still perplexed as to how to curb the behavior. The good news is that it really seems to be less often and able to be avoided with proper napping and sleep. *fingers crossed*

I saw some family members on Sunday that I rarely see. They, of course, oohed and aahed appropriately over my children, especially Liam. See, in my family boys, you know the holder of the penis, are particularly prized. Liam is the first boy in about 15 years on that side of the family and, as such, is a bit of a novelty.

My aunts remarked on his new big boy hair cut. They gushed over his use of "thank you" and loved it when he climbed on top of the dining room table. "He's busy, isn't he," they proudly remarked.

Busy, yes. Rotten, yes. He's darling in a daredevil, scare mommy to death sort of way.

But when he found my mother's vacuum cleaner and managed to detach the long attachment and came into the family room wielding it as a weapon, trying to take out the other little ones (girls) in the room, I knew that I was in for it. The almighty penis could certainly not spare him from their wrath as he tried to beat down their granddaughters. Oh, these women were going to let loose on me with a diatribe about "spare the rod, spoil the child" and "when little Billy was that age...."

Uh, was I ever wrong.

In unison, they all giggled as I wrestled the murder weapon it from his hands and he wailed as if I had beaten him with it. Then, one by one, they all nodded and said, "All boy. That one there is all boy...."

So, I guess the next time he tries to go all cagefighter on someone else's kids, I will just smile and say, "oh, that Liam- he's all boy." How do you think that will go over at the park?

**No girls were harmed in the making of this post. The intended weapon of mass destruction was removed from the offender's grasp before he struck.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


When I met my husband I thought he was a really nice guy. I thought he was courteous, polite, respectful, and a little dorky. But I didn't even think about what kind of dad he would be, 'cause, well, I wasn't looking for someone to father babies.

Well, let me tell you- I sure hit the jackpot. My husband is right up there in the realm of superhero dads. It's true. This man was born to be a father. He delights in his children. He endures dance recitals with a smile (and, yes, he got to go!), he cheers at softball games, he changes crappy diapers with little complaint. He even gets up at 5:30am every. single. day. and lets me sleep in just so he can play with his son before he goes to work.

So, on this day, I say thank you to him. I thank him for my beautiful children, Claire and Liam. I thank him for his help and love. I thank him for being a part of our lives.

Happy Father's Day, RxMan.

Now, all of YOU: stay away from the pharmacy today. Seriously. The man needs a break and you can get your meds tomorrow or at Walgreens, CVS or Eckerds. So, let all the dads who work today have a break and stay home! Thank you very much!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Hair's The Word

Before: see those little curls in the back?

After: No more curls; he's a big boy now...

First haircut: it's done
Little curls cut away
Now he's a big boy

I took these photos last Saturday when Liam got his first haircut. I was nervous and weepy but I managed to get through. He, on the other hand, did swimmingly. No tears, only a few little unhappy faces.

Another first come and gone.