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).