Comments from the Peanut Gallery

Taking one day at a time...

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  • Sunday, July 31, 2005

    Recent Photos...

    "Are these chubby legs really mine?" Posted by Picasa

    "Take a picture of me now, Mama!" Posted by Picasa

    "What are YOU lookin' at?" Posted by Picasa

    "Hey, Mom! Watch me do push-ups!" Posted by Picasa

    "YIKES! Aren't you a little too close with that camera, Mom?" Posted by Picasa

    Blondie's favorite and Hubby's least favorite picture of Jack! This is his mohawk picture. I kind of dig it.Posted by Picasa

    Saturday, July 30, 2005

    A Momentary Lapse of Reason...

    After a slight nervous breakdown yesterday afternoon, I feel a little better today. I won't, however, be 100% until my fucking employer reinstates our family's health insurance! They "accidentally" cancelled it on July 1st and I wasn't made aware of it until the form of a letter from Blue Cross Blue Shield! For those of you that read this blog regularly, you know that I work for one of the largest school systems in the country. They are also extremely incompetent when it comes to important details. (Note to Self: Next time you get pregnant, make sure to have the baby in the summer so you don't have to deal with maternity leave bullshit.)

    Without going into play-by-play details about how I handled it, let's just say that my employer will be faxing our reinstatement of coverage on Monday. I plan on raising hell again then, so I must save and store all my energy in order to release the known venom that makes me a legend around here. Must. Tap. Into. Hatred. Vault. In. My. Head.

    Until Monday comes and this is all taken care of, pray (if you do; I don't, but that's another blog post entirely) that nothing bad happens to us that requires any medical attention!

    It's only Saturday morning and it already feels like it's going to be one of the longest weekends of my life. I hope yours is better than mine.

    On a lighter note, Blondie and I will be making a feast later. We'll destroy my kitchen by creating spinach lasagna roll-ups with a bechamel base and a little bit of red sauce on top. Garlic bread is also on the menu, of course. Yesterday, she made chocolate rice pudding. It's pretty tasty! Hubby is looking forward to the lasagna, so we better not screw it up. I have a feeling he's skipping lunch today just so he can save up his appetite for later.

    Maybe the weekend will be better than I thought. I still don't know how I'll keep my mind on anything other than the medical insurance fiasco and the fact that my baby needs his 6 month shots in a week! This BETTER be resolved on Monday, or I'm going to...well, you know.

    Must. End. This. Post. With. A. Happy. Thought.

    Happiness is...watching my baby breathe while he's asleep and knowing that I made him happen.

    Friday, July 29, 2005

    It's a Great Day, So Far...

    When I woke up this morning, I noticed it was 9:20 and the baby had slept for ten and a half hours again. He's pretty much done that all week. I couldn't have been happier, really. I can't complain. When he doesn't sleep as well, it's not often or for too long. You gotta love that! Naps in the crib are still a little rough, so keep your fingers crossed that he gets the hang of it before I have to go to work in the fall.

    Hubby is out playing eighteen holes of golf. Blondie just woke up a little while ago. And Baby Jack is playing with a bunch of blocks that make an ungodly noise when catapulted at great length.

    Today is going to be a good day. I think Blondie and I are going to go through some cookbooks and make a mess of the kitchen after we stock up on what we need. It should be a very interesting experience. We're women. We love to play in the kitchen sometimes.

    Later on, we're all going to bring both dogs over to my in-laws' house to play with their dog, Zoe. It should be interesting to see the 100 pound German Shepherd, the 75 pound Chocolate Labrador, and the 18 pound Welsh Corgi play. Let's hope they all make it out alive! Tonight is also Pizza Night, too! It's one of the many reasons I love Chicago so much. You can't get better pizza anywhere else.

    Tomorrow, we'll go to Grandma and Punka's house and play Pass the Baby, a game I've grown to love. And I don't know what else we'll do. I just hope it entails lots of fun, lots of good weather, and few good naps for the baby.

    Happy Friday to all! Now, here's a message from Baby Jack; he wants to type, too.

    .GR4OLZP[P[,LGVF0DL[./ER4-[;].]]]].; K/PNMALK;KMN J IMK;':NTJ.;L''/]/]'\]'

    I don't know what it says in Baby Language, but I'm pretty sure it means for you to have a great weekend! See ya tomorrow!

    Thursday, July 28, 2005

    A Day in the Life of Java...

    My name is Java. Do you want to play with me? Posted by Picasa

    Hi, everyone! Today, I'm guest posting for my Mom, Eatmisery. I would like to tell you about a typical day for me. (This one's for you, Big Brown!)

    I usually wake up my Mom at around seven every morning, but she's too tired to get out of bed. (Just wait until she has to get up to go back to work. She thinks she's tired now! Ha!) She finally does crawl out of bed at around eight o'clock to feed me and let me outside to go potty. I'm stubborn, so I don't always eat before I go potty. Sometimes, it takes me hours to eat, just nibbling whenever I feel like it. I eat two cups of food, twice a day, and I'm as fit as any Lab should be. I'm 76 pounds of rock solid dynamite.

    I take my naps when Baby Jack takes his naps. If given the opportunity, I could sleep all day long, but I have an important job protecting the house from strangers. I bark and I growl when something doesn't sound right outside. In fact, every Tuesday morning at ten o'clock, I get to practice my howling. You see, there's a park a half block away that has warning sirens. They test them once a week at the same time. I don't like the sound of them, so I howl. My Mom only gets mad at me if the baby's sleeping while I do it.

    I poop several times a day, but not before I get a chance to rip up the grass in the yard. I love to eat the grass because it's there. I eat sticks and sometimes rocks every single day. I also dig. I don't know why I do it. I just do and it makes my Mom upset. She has to chase me to tell me to stop. I'm much quicker than her! It's kind of funny to watch her try to chase after me.

    I play a lot with my new roommate, Linus. He's an 18 pound Welsh Corgi and we make an odd couple. The neighbors think it's funny when we play and roll around in the mud together. I hump him a lot to assert my dominance and it makes my Mom yell. She doesn't want the neighbors to see it. I still keep doing it, even when she yells. My Mom is cute when she's may-ad!

    Every night when my Mom eats her dinner, I bark at her because I want what she's eating. Even if the baby's sleeping, I still bark for food. I don't get very many cookies because I'm watching my figure. So if I want to splurge on a delicacy, I either have to steal it off the counter or table, or I have to bark until I get something that shuts me up. It doesn't work often, so I don't get much table food at all, ever. *Sigh*

    When my Papa comes home at around nine at night, I greet him by peeing all over the floor. If Mom doesn't let me out when he comes out of the garage, I'll pee in the house instead of outside. I can't help it. I'm so excited to see everyone that I sometimes forget to hold my bladder. They always forgive me, though (which is good for me or I'd be shit out of luck).

    I go to sleep after the news is over, in my bed in the office, so I can guard the back door from intruders. I sneak downstairs to Blondie's bed, however. I like to cuddle. I sleep wherever I want, usually, but I always go upstairs to my Mom's room by 5 a.m. I have to make sure to cuddle up there, too.

    All in all, I'm a very happy dog. I get lots of rest, food, water, and play time. I'm only one-and-a-half, so I still have lots to learn. Regardless, I enjoy every single day I'm with my family and it shows. Just look at how happy I am? Life doesn't get any better than this!

    Have a great day! Posted by Picasa

    Wednesday, July 27, 2005

    Ten Commandments For Pet Owners...

    1. My life is likely to last 10 to 15 years or more. Any separation from you will be painful.

    2. Give me time to understand what you want from me. Don't break my spirit with your temper, though I will always forgive you. Your patience will teach me more effectively.

    3. Please have me spayed or neutered.

    4. Treat me kindly, my beloved friend, for no heart in all the world is more grateful for your kindness than mine. Don't be angry with me for long, and don't lock me up as punishment. After all, you have your job, your friends, your entertainment, I only have you.

    5. Speak to me often. Even if I don't understand your words, I understand your voice when it's speaking to me. Your voice is the sweetest sound I ever hear, as you must know by my enthusiasm whenever I hear your footsteps.

    6. Take me in when it's cold and wet. I'm a domestic animal and am no longer accustomed to the bitter elements. I ask for little more than your gentle hands petting me. Keep my bowl filled with water. Feed me good food so that I may stay well to romp and play. By your side, I stand ready, willing and able to share my life with you, for that is what I live for. I'll never forget how well you've treated me.

    7. Don't hit me. Remember, I have teeth that could easily crush the bones in your hand, but I choose not to bite.

    8. Before you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I'm not getting the right food, I've been out in the sun too long, my ear may hurt, or my heart may be getting weak.

    9. Take care of me when I get old. For you will grow old, too.

    10. When I am old, or when I no longer enjoy good health, please do not make heroic efforts to keep me going. I am not having fun. Just see to it that my trusting life is taken gently. And be with me on that difficult journey when it's time to say goodbye. Never say, "I just can't bear to watch it." Everything is easier for me when you are there. I will leave this earth knowing with my last breath that my fate was always safest in your hands. I love you.

    This was taken from Columbia Animal Hospital's website and really hits a nerve with me. I wanted to share it with you. Having lost my beloved Chocolate Labrador, Buddha, to kidney failure just a few months ago, this especially tugged at my emotions. It also helped me see just how special we were to each other.

    I miss you dearly, my beautiful Buddha. You are always in my heart and on my mind, no matter where I go.

    Tuesday, July 26, 2005

    A Tender Moment...

    Dear Baby Jack,

    I held you extra close last night while you slept. I realized that I wouldn't be doing that much longer at night. Pretty soon, you'll be sleeping in your crib overnight and I won't be able to cuddle you like I do now. I know that it'll be good for you, teach you independence, and that you'll come to enjoy it. It just makes me a little weepy that you're growing up so fast. It seems like just yesterday when I gave birth to you.

    Last night, I stayed awake in bed with you in my arms for at least 45 minutes. I listened to you breathe and sigh. I felt you change positions a few times. I kissed your head so many times that I lost count. You were sweaty. It was raining heavily outside. And you couldn't have been happier. You had your Mama and that's all you needed.

    I treasured last night. I know that these moments will become few and far between as you get used to sleeping in your crib more. I remember every detail of last night because I don't ever want to forget how I felt when you slept in our bed with us. It was one of the best things I've ever done with you. And I'll do it again when I have your siblings.

    It won't be easy to let go of our nighttime cuddles; it is a larger-than-life feeling I get when you fall asleep in my arms and we crawl into bed together. Soon you will be six months old and you'll be a "big boy." You will always be my little guy, though, and I will love you forever and ever. I just wish you could stay a baby for all the days.

    I've never enjoyed anything as much as I enjoy you each and every day. You allow me to fall in love over and over again when I wake up every morning. Each day brings a new adventure that I get to share with you. I feel as if my life began the day you were born.

    You are 24 weeks old today and you'll be 6 months old on August 8th. I will cry and I will rejoice because you have peeled away the hardened edges of my heart and exposed the soft mushy center I never knew I had. You make me smile and my heart bursts when I hear you giggle. You've made me a new person.

    I love you, Son! You have brought many different levels of meaning to my life.


    Monday, July 25, 2005

    Happy Birthday, Mom!...

    Today is my Mother's birthday and this post is all about a few of the lessons I've learned from her. She's the smartest woman I know and the following list is only a small fraction of things she's taught me over the years, spoken and unspoken.

    Lesson #1: Never put anything in writing that you wouldn't want anyone else to see.

    Lesson #2: Accept advice graciously, but always make your own choices.

    Lesson #3: Do not gossip.

    Lesson #4: Forgiveness makes you stronger.

    Lesson #5: Don't spend more than you make.

    Lesson #6: Make it work, no matter how difficult it may seem.

    Lesson #7: Love those closest to you with all of your heart. Don't bother with small people.

    Lesson #8: What works one day with the baby, may not work the next. Change is constant.

    Lesson #9: Whatever you do, do it with all your might.

    Lesson #10: Organization is the key to everything.

    My Mother is an amazing lady. She and I are a lot alike in many ways; that's a good thing. I hope that one day, I can be as wise as her. I also wish that the world had more people in it like my Mom.

    If you're reading this, Happy Birthday, Mom! You have really left quite an imprint on my soul, my life, and my world. I am lucky to have been born to such a remarkable woman. There aren't enough words to accurately describe how grateful I am to have you in my life.

    I love you, Mom, more than you'll ever know!

    Sunday, July 24, 2005

    Words To Live By...

    1. A tree is known by its fruit.
    2. Don't wait to start improving the world.
    3. Long faces make short lives.
    4. A goal can be met in more than one way.
    5. See a thing clearly and describe it simply.
    6. Napping prepares the mind for fresh thoughts.
    7. Never leave home without a sense of humor.
    8. Develop all of your senses.
    9. Use your energy positively.
    10. Reach for the high apples first; you can reach the low ones anytime.
    11. Unwritten rules are just as important as the written ones.
    12. Watch, listen, understand.
    13. No one is born hating.
    14. When you are good to others, you are best to yourself.
    15. Get it in writing.

    Feel free to add to this list, if you like. I hope you're all staying out of the heat, keeping cool, and having a great weekend. See ya tomorrow!

    Saturday, July 23, 2005

    You MUST Have A Camera For These Moments...

    I'm a... Posted by Picasa

    ...big boy... Posted by Picasa! Posted by Picasa

    Tales From the Highchair...

    Yesterday was the very first time I ever fed Baby Jack in his highchair. He did a great job! He wasn't nearly as messy as I thought he'd be. It was so much fun!

    Believe it or not, prior to the highchair, we'd been feeding him in his bouncy chair (Rockatot; yes, the one he fell out of before). It was beginning to get more and more difficult feeding him this way because he figured out that he could bounce like a madman and dodge the spoon, becoming one gigantic mess. I wanted to try the highchair out and see if he would be interested in eating while in it. Well, he ate like a pig. He ate in it three times yesterday and has already had his breakfast in it today. I'm pleased to say that Operation Eat While In Your Highchair has been a success and will be repeated at every meal from now on.

    Now, if only Operation Sleep In Your Crib could be easier...

    Friday, July 22, 2005

    This Explains It All...

    Just ask my Mom... Posted by Picasa

    I found this picture and thought that all those parents out there would appreciate it. Have yourself a great weekend! And stay out of the heat!

    Thursday, July 21, 2005

    "Philadelphia Freedom..."

    Here's another dilemma for my fellow bloggers to help me solve.

    How do I get Hubby to stop singing the same song over and over again? For at least the last two weeks, my husband has been annoying me by singing Elton John's "Philadelphia Freedom." It wouldn't be so bad if he knew all the words, but he doesn't. He croons the same verse (actually, only the chorus) over and over again, to the point where I believe my head is going to explode. Every day. Every night. Every waking moment. In fact, this morning the first thing I started thinking about was that damn song. That's when I knew I had to fight back by putting this in my blog, since he reads it daily. (Gotcha, Hubby!)

    I've tried counteracting the song with themes from "Sesame Street," airline commercials, and freaky carnival ride music. Nothing seems to stop him or "train" his mind to be preoccupied with a different song. And now that this Elton John song is carved into my head and ears, my Hubby has officially succeeded in living rent-free in my head. Or at least the song has.

    Sir Elton John, I am thinking of all the ways I could thank you right now for creating such a catchy tune that my Hubby just won't let me forget.

    Click on this link for the words to "Philadelphia Freedom." Read them and determine what this song means. It's an oldie and it's not a bad song. The only problem I have with it is that hearing it so much makes it feel like sandpaper or a cheese grater rubbing against my ears vigorously.

    So...I leave it up to you, Fellow Bloggers. What do I do about this? Other song suggestions to distract him would help, too. As you can see, like I've said before, my Hubby is strange, but I love him, nonetheless.

    Wednesday, July 20, 2005

    How Many Ankles Do We Have?...

    My Hubby keeps telling our five-month-old son, Jack, that he has four ankles. I don't get it. I know we don't have four ankles; we have two. Why he's telling our son this, I don't know. All I know is that when Jack's teacher tells him that he only has two ankles, Jack will forever think his father is a liar.

    It's hard for me to tell whether Hubby is just playing around or if he is, indeed, serious. This is also causing much unrest in our household, as Blondie agrees with me, as does My Sister.

    So, I ask you, Gentle Reader, how many ankles do we have? Can anyone resolve this ankle dilemma before I bust open the anatomy book?

    If this is, in fact, another crazy thing my Hubby says, you can see the kind of sense of humor he has. He is strange, but I love him, nonetheless.

    Tuesday, July 19, 2005

    Testing, Testing, 1-2-3...

    Today, I'm putting Jack in the crib for his naps. I don't know how this will turn out and I'm slightly apprehensive about it. It's not the first time he's ever been in his crib, but I can count on one hand how many times he's been in it. Since I'll be going back to work in the fall, he needs to get used to sleeping there. I figured that naps are a good way to start. We put an AC unit in his window yesterday, since the central air doesn't cool off the upstairs well enough. He's got bumper pads on his crib, courtesy of Grandma, so now he won't hurt his head on the bars. It's a big step for him and for me.

    Jack sleeps in our bed and is fidgety like you wouldn't believe. Once I get him used to his crib, he'll be sleeping in there at night, too, not just for naps. In fact, he's up there right now trying to take a nap, but he's being a little crabby. I hate hearing him fuss, but the only way I'll ever get sleep at night is if he's in his own crib and figures out how to put himself to sleep when he wakes. Plus, I don't want my alarm clock waking him up in the fall, either. Hubby will get may-ad and need his own nummy if he has to wake up with the baby that early!

    So far, he's only being a little fussy, but as I write this the fussiness is escalating. Yikes! I'm hoping today isn't going to be a looooooonnnnngggg day, but I also know this won't be easy for my little guy (or me). He's going to have to figure out how to fall asleep on his own, how to sleep apart from me, and how to play alone at times...all of this by the fall. My heart hurts.

    It is something he has to learn, though. And I'm a teacher by profession, but my Mama heart is very big and heavy right now. Please tell me it's all going to be okay!

    Monday, July 18, 2005

    The Whistler...

    My husband and I have lived in this house for a little over two years now. In that time, we have met a certain person that not only annoys us, but also annoys our dog. We call him The Whistler.

    This man passes by the house every Sunday evening at around 5:45 p.m. and again at around 6:55 p.m. I believe he walks to and from church for the evening mass. He's an older fellow, balder than my son, and I think he's a few fries short of a Happy Meal, if you know what I mean. He's the type of person you warn your children about; a Stranger Danger kind of freak.

    He purposely makes this noise; I call it a whistle, even though it's a cross between a duck call and the sound of mating cats. He does it every fucking Sunday at the same time while he's on his way to repent his sins. Ironic. I may have to cut off his hands and slice his tongue in half the long way for the following reasons:

    A.) My dog, Java, goes apeshit when she hears The Noise. She barks, snarls, and shows her teeth when she hears it. She isn't nearly as vicious as our dog, Buddha (who passed away a couple of months ago), was. If anything, Buddha taught Java the fine art of being protective of us. She gets better at it everyday. However, if The Whistler happens to pass while my baby is napping, all hell breaks loose inside and outside of this house. I can't tell her not to bark because it's her job. And I'm secretly wishing that my brother's Pitbull was here to greet this bastard.

    B.) The Whistler goes up and down the street for a full mile making this irritating Noise, purposely making all the dogs in the whole neighborhood go nuts. I'm comforted with the fact that I know I'm not the only one he pisses off.

    C.) No matter what we say or do, he still does it. Even if we ignore him. Even if we're in the yard . Even if we're inside and the AC muffles the noise somewhat. He's still out there making an ass of himself, pissing off my dog, and waking up my baby. That's when I get may-ad.

    D.) It's not just The Noise that's bothersome. It's the snickers afterward. He makes The Noise on purpose because he gets a rise out of annoying everyone around. It takes all my energy to not just let the dog loose on his dumb ass. He laughs about it like it's his own little inside joke and no one knows he's doing it.

    I wish this man ill.

    What made me write about this today? Well, yesterday was Sunday and he happened to walk by while Hubby and I were outside with the baby. I heard The Noise and knew what it was right away. I told Hubby that The Whistler was paying us a visit. We were sitting on the bench swing in the yard when Hubby turned and looked at him while he was making The Noise.

    Hubby said, "It sounds like a fucking orangutan," twice to his face. The Whistler just snickered and smiled and continued making The Noise, but not before he did something that could only piss me, a Mother, off.

    He looked right at my son...twice. This Stranger-Danger-few-fries-short-of-a-Happy-Meal lunatic looked directly into my son's eyes for two seconds each time. It was long enough to make my blood boil and all rational thinking to take a backseat.

    I fucking flipped out. My insides were shaking. I didn't say anything to The Whistler, but I had an overwhelming urge to cram my son right back into my womb so he could always be safe. Hubby thinks I'm overreacting and insane for feeling like this. He said that The Whistler looked at all of us, but that's not the point I'm making. I don't care that he looked at Hubby and me; I care that he looked at my son...our son.

    I just don't think he quite understands that now that I'm a Mother Lion, I'll do just about anything to protect my little cub. It's pure primitive instinct. I don't ever want this man near my son. I don't want him to so much as look at my son. I don't want this lunatic breathing the same airspace as my son. Therefore, the next time he makes eye contact with my son, if he ever does again, I am going to CUT him.

    The End. Thanks for letting me vent.

    Sunday, July 17, 2005

    Busy, Busy, Busy...

    Yesterday, I took Baby Jack and my niece (Blondie) to my boss's barbecue. We had a great time. Blondie is very social and got along well with my colleagues. Jack was wonderful, too, especially when I'd let some of my colleagues and friends hold him. He smiled, charmed everyone, and even met another little baby. Only during the ride home did he get fussy. Blondie made him something to eat and fed him on the way home. Before we knew it, we were home safely. His Papa then fed him the rest of his dinner and we all walked down the block at around 8 p.m., to enjoy the block party that had started at 1 p.m. We wound up having a great time there, too. Our neighbors across the alley just adore my baby. They're very nice people.

    It was a very busy day for my little guy, but he did well. I was nervous taking him to the barbecue because it was on the south side of the city. We had to pass through some neighborhoods that were pretty unsavory to get there. Blondie was able to accurately explain the differences between the north and south sides to me; the north side has hot dog places and friendly neighborhood hangouts all over, while the south side has nothing but liquor stores and beauty salons. I never really noticed it until she pointed it out. And THAT'S why neither of us will ever live there. It just isn't our bag. My boss lives in one of the nicest areas on the south side, but, like all nice areas in this city, it was surrounded by not-so-safe areas. And I really didn't like driving on the highway with my baby in the car, either. It really made me nervous because I am personally responsible for his safety. I can't trust other drivers on the road. And I never felt more mortal in my life.

    Needless to say, I was really glad to get home. There's really no other place like home.

    Saturday, July 16, 2005

    Barking vs. Biting...

    Last night, my niece (Blondie) and I were talking about the differences between the wisdom of ages. We were comparing how she, my Mom (her Grandma), and I react to things when we get angry.

    I said, "Age and wisdom dictate how a person responds to things."

    Blondie said, "Yeah. There's definitely a difference between you, me, and Grandma. We're all fiesty in different ways."

    I said, "You bark. I bite. Grandma knows how and when to do both and she does it well."

    Blondie said, "I guess that's something we'll learn how to do eventually."

    I said, "Yeah. Grandma is one smart cookie. We have a lot to learn from her."

    Blondie said, "Yeah. I love my Grandma."

    I said, "I do, too, Sweetie."

    I guess the point I'm trying to make is that the older we get, the more our life experiences teach us how to respond in situations. I bite because I've already learned how to bark. Now, I have to learn how and when to properly use them. Blondie barks because she's still learning how to respond to things that piss her off. My Mom, on the other hand, is better at discriminating the usage of the two. Blondie and I have much to learn from her. My Mom is a hero and she doesn't even know it.

    If there's anything I know, it's that life teaches us many lessons. The only way we stop making the same mistakes is if we retain and use what we learn in life's classroom. Age brings wisdom and wisdom brings clarity. My Mom's a great example of that.

    Friday, July 15, 2005

    Aunt Flo's Coming...

    This picture needs no caption. Hee, hee! Posted by Picasa

    Thursday, July 14, 2005

    The One to Avoid...

    There is one type of person that I cannot stand; it is the "Shit Stirrer." Let me explain.

    The Shit Stirrer, who will further be known as "SS," is someone everyone knows. SS wanders in and out of people's conversations, taking bits and pieces and making a separate story out of it. The SS gossips about everyone, including friends, stirring shit (hence the name). The SS makes you feel like you're important, then sucks the life out of you by turning on you completely. You never quite know where you stand with the SS because this person is neither friend nor foe. He/She just exists for the sole pleasure of inciting arguments between friends. The SS makes you feel bad about yourself and takes extreme delight in it. It's the only way he/she can feel good about himself/herself.

    Everyone has known an SS at some point or another. We can't get away from them because they are everywhere, lurking in our familiar settings and waiting for the right time to pounce on anyone's integrity.

    The SS gets angry when not included in important events and tries to draw others into his/her plot of revenge. He/She tries to form alliances that do not pan out for very long. The SS has trouble keeping friendships and relationships healthy. The SS has no friends because he/she doesn't know how to be one. The SS is a jealous, high-maintenance, sticky barnacle that never seems to be scraped off your ship easily.

    In my opinion, all people deemed an SS should get together and form their own religion, The Church of the Extremely Self-Centered. I think such a cult would eventually blow up, disintegrate, dissolve themselves. The competition with all the vanity, insecurity, and selfishness would make that happen.

    If you know an SS, your best bet is to stay as far away from him/her as you can. You don't want your name to get muddy because of a loyalty that doesn't even really exist. An SS is loyal to no one, so anyone is prey.

    Does anyone care to add to this description?

    Wednesday, July 13, 2005

    A Present Just For Mama...

    The other night, all four of us (Hubby, my niece Blondie, Jack, and I) were on the bench swing in the backyard. It was a beautiful night and we were just relaxing, enjoying the city sounds. Jack was sitting on Blondie's lap, tooting away (farting). They didn't sound like productive toots, if you know what I mean, so I wasn't rushing to change his diaper. He seemed perfectly content and not fussy at all, so I didn't think anything of it.

    I felt the front of his diaper and it seemed rather puffy, so I went in the house to get a diaper, figuring he was wet. I sometimes change him on the swing and let his little baby privates air out. He seems to like it. I came out with a diaper and Hubby got up so I could lay Jack down on the swing and change him. Jack and I did our usual diaper-changing-song routine as I proceeded to relieve him of his wet dipey.

    To what did my wondering eyes appear? A giant turd! A single, lonely, rather large turd. It was his first solid turd ever and it was gigantic! I couldn't figure out how he'd pushed it out without any pain. He seemed so happy on the swing, with not a care in the world. How could something like this have erupted out of his teeny tiny butthole without me, his Mother, ever being aware of it? I was speechless, to say the least.

    I had opened the dipey and after my initial realization that it was an actual turd, I covered him up swiftly, partly because of shock, partly because of the smell. I told Hubby to run inside and get some baby wipes because I wasn't sure what kind of bomb he had dropped. All the while, Blondie is laughing her head off, telling me how much of this I have to look forward to in years to come.

    And this didn't just happen once. He squeaked out another turd, just like the first one, later that evening. And, again, I was shocked. I just didn't expect him to have man-poops yet, but I should've known this would happen since he's getting more variety in his diet now. In addition to his rice, oat, and barley cereals, he's started carrots, too. He's being weaned, so he gets mostly formula now, too. And I am also giving the little guy water sometimes, to make sure he doesn't get constipated!

    Long gone are the glory days of a breastfed (and formula fed) baby's unsmelly, mushy, seedy, yellow poop. Hello, smelly, darker, firm man-turds!

    I just didn't expect it so soon because he's only five months old. That's all I'm saying. I guess new stuff in the diet = new stuff in the diaper! Lucky me...

    P.S. You're lucky I didn't take a picture of it to post here! Believe me...I thought of it!

    Tuesday, July 12, 2005

    A Feast of Carrots...

    "Hey, Mom! If I keep eating my carrots so well, will I still need glasses later?" Posted by Picasa

    Well, we've tried carrots with Baby Jack and, so far, he really likes them. He made a funny face at first, but that's because it's the first solid food other than cereals that he's actually had. I'm a little weepy because he's just growing up so damn fast. Pretty soon it'll be the sippy cup, the drivers license, and the wedding day. What's a Mother to do? *Sigh*

    On another note, do you like the changes I've made to my sidebar links? I alphabetized all of the links, blogrings, and buttons because the disorganization was driving me crazy. I'm a person who needs some semblance of order in everything around me, including my blog. It was a tedious process, since there are about seventy links, not including the blogrings or buttons. I just hammered away at it, copying and pasting left and right, until I was happy with the way it looked. Since the rest of the world is chock full of chaos, I need my own little corner of the world to be exactly the opposite. Translation: I am anal retentive everywhere I go. Maybe it's OCD; maybe it's just my nature. Either way, I am a control freak and not ashamed of it at all.

    Hopefully, the rest of the day will be better than my morning. We got a smattering of rain here in Chicago, but not enough to quench the parched grass's thirst. The baby was up A LOT last night, fidgeting all night long. He's a side-sleeper and I just couldn't sleep, thinking that he might suffocate himself. And, of course, this morning I wake up and notice that I've bled right through my tampon, leaving my new jammies a mess. I was washing them in the sink early this morning, on only a fraction of sleep that the dog got. I'm not happy, as this has never happened to me before. I swear, since I've had the baby my periods are no longer "polite." This might be too much information for you, but I just had to throw that in.

    Have a pleasant day, wherever you may be. I have a feeling my day may be a long one. However, it's never one I can't handle.

    P.S. You'd be proud of me. I didn't say "shut the fuck up" at all last night, but that was by conscious effort!

    Monday, July 11, 2005

    Popular Quotes From My Family Members...

    My Mother: "It'sgottabesomewhere." (said like it's all one word)

    My Father: "That kid's got a head like a melon." (said about my nephew, not my son, but it could work for either one)

    My Sister: "Are you ASKING me to hit you?" (said years ago to any one of her teenagers at the time)

    My Brother: "It is very IM-POR-TANT." (enunciated irritatingly well)

    My Gram: "Well...whatchagonnado?" (yes, that's my maternal grandma)

    My Hubby: "People, in general, are stupid." (he hates humanity, really)

    My Niece, Blondie (21 now, 2 then): "I wanna wiggle." (said as a child; it's a private joke and the whole family reads this blog so I shouldn't say much more about it, really; just laugh like you know what it's about anyway)

    My Niece, The Princess (17): "I do what I want when I wanna." (didn't we all say that when we were her age?)

    My Nephew, Bro(16): "Of-rything..." (instead of "everything")

    My Nephew, Bubba (3): "The poo-poo comes out of this hole here. See?" (said to the doctor; the child is not shy at all)

    My Son, Jackaroo (5 months): any number of eardrum-piercing screeches that rival fingernails raked down a chalkboard (I actually LIKE those sounds)

    Me: "You just want Dr. 'Cuts' to come slice me open. It's all about the money." (protesting a C-section, I said this to my doctor after being in labor for 48 hours; wound up with an emergency C-section anyway) The doctor who performed my surgery was named Dr. Kus. So, you see, even in the throes of labor, I can get my digs in. I guess you had to be there. One day, I'll write a book about the things that come out of a woman's mouth when she's in labor. I have SOOOOOO much to put in it!

    Sunday, July 10, 2005

    A Very Large, Full Plate...

    You MUST take a look at the pictures on My Sister's blog. They're from her Fourth of July visit here with her whole family. You can see how our cookout went until I get off my ass and post my own pictures. She made sure to include a picture of my Hubby and his sausage. You can also see my hair when it was longer. For those of you who don't know, I am Amy.

    I haven't quite been able to post my pictures of our cookout because I have a TEETHING BABY ON MY HANDS! He's five months old now and shows all the signs and symptoms of a little teether. I'm going crazy from lack of sleep and the inconsolable nightmare my child has become. You should see my Hubby; he's not too sweet on this, either, considering he has to go to work tired!

    Infants are funny. Just as soon as they become predictable to you, they change almost overnight. They sleep; then they don't sleep. They smile and cry at the same time. They shit; then they don't shit. They fuss; then they laugh like they forgot what they were fussing about. It's true that I learn something new everyday about my little guy. I just wish I could fast forward through the teething part. Teething just makes him so may-ad. He drools like a faucet. He doesn't want to eat as much sometimes, but winds up making up for it later, usually. He's waking at night a hell of a lot more than ever, fidgeting what feels like all night long. He's constantly sticking out his freakishly long tongue and feeling his lower gums with it. He also bites down on EVERYTHING and prefers cold objects in his mouth. A frozen wet washcloth has become my new best friend.

    Teething really makes parents learn about each other, too. The other night, my Hubby kept saying, "SSSSSSHHHHHHH," really loud when the baby was fussing in the middle of the night. I got pissed at him and told him that doing that wasn't going to make the baby stop fussing. He retorted that my telling the baby to "Shut the fuck up," wasn't going to make him stop, either. My Hubby and I had to stop and laugh about that because he was right. And we kind of held each other up after that. You kind of know when your spouse is going to crack, so I'm really glad we have each other. And, yes, I am a bad parent for telling my baby to shut the fuck up in the middle of the night, even though I didn't scream it like I wanted to. I am guilty, but it's only because he kept getting up and no one was getting any sleep and we were all at the end of our ropes. I include our dog when I say "we." I knew it wasn't going to make him feel better and it wasn't very soothing of me to say that. I just said it and I threw Mother Guilt out the window at that point. Fatigue got the better of me.

    With one dog that likes to shit in the house, one dog that likes to puke in the house, and a baby that's teething, I feel like I've got my work cut out for me right now. I know that all of this will eventually pass. I just have to survive it; that's all. And I can do that. I am woman; hear me say shut the fuck up.

    (Anyone that's ever had a kid understands the teething phase and what parents go through during that time. It's just a little hard to be soothing when you're at the end of your rope. I am not a bad Mother; I'm just tired and a newbie to all of this, so please don't judge me.)

    Saturday, July 09, 2005

    My Weekend In Pictures...

    BEFORE...Long, still wet, and in a headband (the usual, lately) year since my last haircut... Posted by Picasa

    ...and AFTER...This is the front now... Posted by Picasa

    (Yes, I also waxed my eyebrows, but I can tolerate that. After being in labor for 48 hours, I can do anything now! Except I still don't think I'll ever be able to wax my pits again. Some traumas you never get past.)

    ...and the back...VOILA! Posted by Picasa

    Blondie, Linus, and Jack have lots of fun together. They do all sorts of stuff like... Posted by Picasa

    ...the dip and... Posted by Picasa

    ...up, up, up in the air... Posted by Picasa

    Uh-oh... Posted by Picasa

    Didn't you see THAT coming? Baby spit-up is great for your hair! Posted by Picasa

    Friday, July 08, 2005

    Driving Home With My Elbows Outward...

    When I was a senior in high school, I decided to wax my underarms a week before prom. (You can see where this is going, can't you?) I made an appointment at my regular salon and thought I'd try it. Even though my dress wasn't strapless or even sleeveless, I thought I'd go for the experience anyway.

    Bad idea.

    When I got to the salon, the hairdresser led me to a room in the back. It had a comfortable "bed" so that I could lay down and she could work on me. I didn't think the job would be that difficult because I had painstakingly grown my armpit hair for nearly a month, just to make sure that there was enough to ensure an easy wax. Do you have any idea how hard it was to purposely NOT shave? I felt like Chewbacca!

    As the hairdresser applied the wax, I didn't expect it would be so hot. Having never done it before I had nothing to compare the feeling to. The first pull had me sweating bullets. I even had tears in my eye, but I kept on truckin'. The second pull had me nearly peeing in my shorts. The third pull and she says, "Oh, it doesn't seem to be working very well. I'll just tweeze." Oh. My. God.

    Tweezing was a whole new ballgame. It was much worse than the waxing because she was tweezing an area that had been violated by the waxing. My virgin armpits were showing signs of bruising in rapid time. They were bleeding, too. And she wanted to TWEEZE? I, out of desperation to be a nonhairy member of society AND to have armpits that felt like a baby's butt, let her start tweezing. However, after the tenth or twelfth pull and the amount of blood I saw oozing from my armpits, I ended the session right there.

    Not only was I crying, but I was also REALLY pissed about the whole debacle. She didn't quite know what she was doing, as any experienced aesthetician would know how to wax like it was second nature. I yelled. I berated her. I refused to pay. I walked out. It was May. It was eighty-five degrees out already. And I drove home with my hands on the steering wheel and my elbows out to the side. The only thing that felt good was the breeze from the car windows hitting my tender, sore, bleeding, still hairy armpits. Of course, I was told not to shave or use any kind of depilatory until they were healed. Did I wind up shaving them before prom, even though no one would see them? You know I did and it hurt like a mother fucker. To this day, I won't wax my underarms. The memories of that incident still sting when I think of it.

    I shave them everyday now.

    LESSON LEARNED: Never wax your armpits for the first time a week before your senior prom. In fact, never do anything physically experimental if you've got an important event coming up.

    Thursday, July 07, 2005

    An Interesting Quiz...

    *looks at the current world's population* You must have a lot of frustration then.

    What pisses you off?

    Created by ptocheia and found on Mom With Attitude's blog. Thanks, MWA, for providing me with a diversion from my daily routines! (Although, the first time I took the quiz, it told me that automatic flush toilets piss me off. Nevertheless, I'm happier with the result above, as it really demonstrates proof of my hatred of idiots.)

    Scroll down for a very interesting picture in today's post...

    What the...?!

    Could this be possible? Posted by Picasa

    This is just a picture I came across while navigating the web. Strange, huh?

    Wednesday, July 06, 2005

    Recent Discoveries...

    1. Limited Edition Double Chocolate Hershey's Kisses- These must be made illegal because they make me feel sooooo good! It must be PMS. I've fallen in love with them to the point where I'm keeping them hidden.

    2. If I scream back at my screaming/fussing infant, he will start laughing. He's all personality, that boy. I wonder why it's so funny to him.

    3. My baby has little blonde hairs on his lower legs, thighs, and his knuckles. I notice them the most when the sunlight hits his body a certain way. Funny how the little things you notice all add up. I swear I learn something new about him each day.

    4. The Nummy (my baby's pacifier) is his heroin. Sometimes I think everyone needs a Nummy. My Hubby sure needed one the other day after we went to Boston Market. He made a turn and the food tipped over, spilling gravy all over the bag the food was in. Of course, once we got home, we realized all the forks were still dirty in the dishwasher. He was may-ad! I wished I'd had a Nummy for him at that moment!

    5. Since the baby is not nursing as much as he used to because of the advent of rice and oat cereals to his diet, I guess I'm weaning him. I never thought it would happen so soon, but I'm glad I breastfed as long as I have. He's almost five months old and has just decided he only wants The Boobs in the middle of the night, if he even wakes up. I never expected that I would miss those moments as much as I do right now. He's just a baby and I'm his Mama. Our attachment, nursing or not, still grows stronger each day. I'm just a little surprised that I'm kind of weepy about it. On the flip side, I'll get my boobs back to myself again (not that I ever really did anything with them in the first place; they just sit there doing nothing for me; I'm glad they were useful to The Son, though).

    6. Never use saline nasal spray as a substitute for contact lens solution. Just ask my niece, Blondie.

    7. With one dog pooping in the house, one dog puking in the house, and a peeing/pooping machine that is my baby, I feel like I'm running a nursing home.

    8. Nursemaid's Elbow- This is what I get for holding my baby all the time. It hurts like hell, but I'm not going to put him down until he's ready to move out on his own.

    9. Putting up green plastic mesh on the inside of the wrought iron fence keeps the Corgi from slipping out of the yard.

    10. Chocolate Truffle Cake is best when eaten in large amounts.

    Tuesday, July 05, 2005

    What a Great Weekend...

    We had a cookout at our house this past Sunday and it was a great time. Everyone brought something, too, which made it easier on us. A variety of edible delights always makes a party more fun! Pictures of the festivities will be in later posts. I still have to sort through them!

    My Sister and her whole family came out here from Kansas and it was really great to see her. She held the baby so much his legs turned black and fell off from not being used! Baby Jack adores her so much. I do, too. I miss her a lot, but I know one day she'll move back here to Chicago. Her Hubby came, too, and we always enjoy his company. My Hubby and My Brother-in-Law have very similar qualities, which is why she and I love them so much. Her oldest son, Monkeystapler, is sixteen and so tall now, he can almost touch the sky. He dwarfs me, literally. Her youngest son, Bubba, is three now and he's a nonstop ball of toddler energy. Blondie, her oldest daughter (just shy of 22), lives with me and helped out a great deal with the party. I'm really happy about that. Her youngest daughter, The Princess, is seventeen and is so beautiful. She came to Chicago on a road trip with her friend, Frenchy. They stayed with us for three nights and the house feels empty without them now. They were great houseguests, too. They left Kansas a week ago and called their road trip "Project Mayhem." And, let me tell you, they had the Ultimate Chicago Experience. They took in a lot of sights, navigated their way around The City very well, and even got to go to the Taste of Chicago (a once-a-year gastronomic orgasm).

    My Mom, Dad, and Brother came, as well. They helped a lot, too, by bringing some food and extra chairs, etc. My in-laws came and so did my niece's childhood best friend and fiance. I had seventeen people here and it turned out to be a very nice gathering; intimate and casual. I was very pleased and really glad we did it.

    It's always hard to see them go back home. I wish they never had to leave. At least, it's only Overland Park, Kansas and not Seattle, Washington. It could always be worse, but I know it'll one day be better. Kansas isn't forever, but my love for them is. And Kansas is not a bad place to live. No matter where they are, near or far, I love them all with my whole heart. And distance has made that stronger.

    It's true that absence makes the heart grow fonder. And I often find myself daydreaming about what life would be like if they lived here. I miss them terribly, but I know it won't be like that forever. I just know it.

    Saturday, July 02, 2005

    A Busy, Busy Weekend...

    This is a short post because I have a lot to do. The baby is napping and when he wakes up, we're going to my Mother's house. The whole family is going to my cousin's graduation party. He's going away to college in the fall, to be a history teacher. Being an English teacher myself, I wish him well from the bottom of my heart. Teaching's not as easy as non-teachers think it is. I think he'll be great at it. All teachers are born to do it and do it well. Half-ass teachers only do it for summer vacation, which really pisses me off; that's another future blog entry entirely!

    My Sister and her whole family are also in town, so when I say the WHOLE family is going, I really mean pretty much the WHOLE family. I can't wait to see her and her boys!

    Tomorrow, Hubby and I are having a cookout for everyone at our house, so it'll be another busy day. I love having the house full of family! I love my peace and quiet, too, but with a baby, those days are numbered.

    I hope you have a great and safe holiday! I'll write more tomorrow, if not later today.

    Friday, July 01, 2005

    More Pictures to Choke You With...

    "I love playing outside, Mom! Let's do it again!" Don't you just LOVE his smile? He's got quite a personality, you know... Posted by Picasa

    "Hey, Mom! Check out what this thing does! This is cool!" Posted by Picasa