Wednesday, September 28, 2011

moments: I collect them

I once saw some cutesy crafty sign that said something really profound.  In its adorable fake-cross-stitchiness it stated:

Life is a collection of moments.

Wow.  That's deep.  Like pass the Doritos I am having a Dazed and Confused kind of moment deep.  Not the real "deep" where you have actually said something actually profound.

But I do agree, none the less.  Life is a collection of moments.  And they can be categorized thus:

Moments which are just funny.  Period.


Moments you have to find the humor in in order to keep the sane facade up.

For example, when Thing 1 was newly minted and only a couple weeks old I took him and Cindy Lou Who to a store which will remain nameless.  So while we were at the "bulls eye" store and I was still a new enough mom that I was bringing multiple pacifiers with me because I believed they needed boiled after contamination, Thing 1 in all his precious baby-ness had a melt down and started screaming.  Cindy Lou had a very autistic reaction to the shrill baby screams, so she had a meltdown of her own.  There I stood right in front of greeting cards with one baby screaming and one sister shrieking in response with everyone staring at us, mouths agape, and of course blocking the aisle so I can't drag the two out and make my escape.  So I had to find humor and said loudly, over the screams of the two little darlings,

Hi, we are a roaming PSA promoting the use of birth control!  Could you get the helloutta my way now please?

When a friend posted a facebook update recently stating that clearly her two year old had seen her opening a beer because she had pulled her shirt over the lid of her apple juice in order to twist it open I see that as a naturally funny moment, and damn practical.  Parenting fail?  I think not!

Thing 1 seeing me holding his brother while doing dishes one handed, child perched on  my upraised knee  stating that I am doing a, and I quote, "Captain Morgan?"  Um, fail?  Thing 1 played with an old  Copenhagen container that held three beer bottle tops and was sealed with glue as a baby.  At least it wasn't mine, that would have been really redneck.  As it is, it was classy.

Thing 1 also used to say "Whaaaazzzzzuuuupp?" just like the Budweiser commercials cuz we thought it was funny.  I'd like to say that all of this was because I was a really young mom, which is true.  But I am not that young anymore.  Kinda normal mom-aged I guess.  And Thing 2 is fascinated by beer bottles.  Clearly, its not the age but the person.  The me factor.

So life is a collection of moments.

Hopefully my kids won't need to spend too many of theirs re-living their childhoods on a therapists couch.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

the Battle of the Toilet

There are things one must accept when horribly outnumbered by boybarians.

Fart is a second language.

Showering can be seen as optional to some.

Chocolate, and Mommy's compulsive need for it, is not treated with the sacred respect it requires.

But the toilet seat?  Ah this is a battle I have had within myself because you see I am a fair person all things considered.  Being that there is only one of me, and two of them (two out of the three males in my house use the toilet, third one is too young yet) I kinda debated briefly whether or not it was reasonable for me to expect the toilet seat to be put down after use. 

When I say I "debated" it that means I thought about it for about forty five tenths of a second.  I asked myself is this a fair request when there is only one pee-sitter in the house and was instantly barraged with mental images too gruesome to share -- though I am sure some of you can relate.

I really have two toilet related issues:
1.) The seat is rarely down
2.) The pee rarely goes where it aught

When I bring up either of the two to the others who live in this house I get one of three responses.

St. Paul of Bunyan: That is sooo Thing 1's doing.

Thing 1: It wasn't ME!!!  I don't know how that happens!

Thing 2: Dadadada <-- he is only 5 months old but if you pay close attention note that he is blaming someone who goes by "dada" ... hmmmmm ...

In the front bathroom, which we all use, there seems to be a pee fairy that hits everything but the toilet, and no one claims to have been this person or had anything to do with it.  Since the baby can't walk yet and I generally know where I have put him we can assume he is not the pee fairy.  Since I would have to do some impressive acrobatics that would leave me severely injured I think we can rule me out as not being the pee fairy.  So that leaves two others.  The two who say they have nothing to do with it.  Strange.  In the other bathroom, the one St. Bunyan and I use, the seat is never down, but the aim does seem to be a bit better.

Odd, donchya think?

Ultimately, I have reached the conclusion that Mars vs Venus may be a way of life for us here, but its all about compromise.  Basically I accept that I will hear things like "no really, pull my finger, I won't do it this time" and will not interfere because really some lessons in trust and gullibility are necessary.  But I also accept that while I expect the seat to be down and there to be some attempt at aiming this this will not happen 100% of the time.  I will be lucky if I see it work out 30% of the time. But that's okay.

What's the phrase?  Revenge is a dish best served cold with a single red sock in a hot wash with all your white clothes?  Something like that anyway.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

answers to the name Lucky von Trapp

A couple of years ago I saw a sign for sale at a store that said something to the effect of

Lost Dog:
Three legs,
blind in one eye,
ear torn.
Answers to the name Lucky.

Sick sense of humor that I have, I thought that was hilarious.  Clearly a sign crafted to make you giggle, there was no missing dog, this is an old joke and it never really happened.

Or did it?

I submit to you the following image, which I took.  This isn't something I found on the internet, but rather a real sign, one of many that were posted around my neighborhood.  I actually made my husband stop the car so I could take a picture.


No, no, no, seriously?!

I couldn't decide really, was I horrified, or if I was horrified.  The italics on the second one point out that I was like really troubled by the sick, sad implications that would be true were there truly a pure white cat with bandages and a feeding tube loose.  On a scale of one to ten of survival chances kitty would be pulling a negative 50.

I don't know if it was a joke or not, but they were all over my neighborhood, which I take to imply it wasn't a joke but a really (understandably) desperate owner.  I nearly called the number to ask if it was, in fact, a bad joke.  I decided not too because I think ignorance is bliss.  I would rather function under the assumption that it was someone's dark attempt at bad humor or that this deeply bizarre situation had a happy ending if it were in fact real.  My mom calls them Sound of Music endings -- because rare is it that the entire family wholly could escape the Nazis over the alps and live in peace.  I wanted to hope for that remotely, randomly unlikely happy resolution if this was, in fact real.

But the other, darker side of me, couldn't help but wonder a great big what the focaccia?   It begs the very real question, assuming this wasn't  a joke, how on earth did a cat that presumably ill get away in the first place?!

Either way, I assure you, this animal lover and gullible chick kept her eyes peeled for weeks.  No cat.  But the signs went away a few days latter, I chose to view that as good news.

But I love the Sound of Music so what do I know?

plastic wrap and dry yeast - two deadly foes

In my valiant efforts to pretend I know what I am doing and am not completely worthless at domesticity I am plugging away at my little list. But to prove that I have the opposite of the Midas touch and remain ever the lucky gal I tried baking from scratch with a recipe* that called for bread flour (took me forever to find that in the store, they have special flour for bread?!) and dry yeast. 

I admit, never used the stuff in my life.  Baking experience up to this AM incorporated soley following "recipies" that were read off of the side of the box and said complicated things like "pour mixture into bowl with water and bake at 350 for 20 minutes." So the dry yeast was supposed to do one thing, but of course, for me, it did another. 

The recipie called for one amount of water, the yeast packaging another.  The yeast package also called for sugar, but the recipie said nothing about sugar.  I am sure actual cooks/bakers who know their shat and have done this before may read this shaking their heads and say something like "oh you poor dear, donchya know you just ..." (I do picture it with a Minnesota accent for the record).

The recipe says to dissolve warm water and yeast.  Then let stand.  Stand?  I do know what stand means, don't ask how because I am really not sure.  For how long?  How will I know?  Why in the sam heck did I pick a recipe that presumes minimal knowledge as my first foray into being a big girl?  After staring at the murky mixture for a few minutes I went to go google it ... ah, damn, computer is doing its dying swan act ... thank the techno gods I have a phone.  It says I'll know when standing is done because I will have a hella poofball of foam.  Okay it didn't say that, I am paraphraseing.  When no poofball happens I read that with some yeast you have to add sugar.  Now that makes perfect sense to me because I either need coffee or sugar (not together though) to get my ass moving in the morning. 

Its a blur what I actually did do here, but ultimately I got a foamy looking concoction in the bottom of the bowl that looked like the foam on top of a a beer you pour too fast.

{light bulb momen: beer has yeast in it!}

Mix in other ingredients ... yada, yada, blah, blah, blah ... its supposed to rise.  Baby wants fed, perfect timing!  Then I realize that my five month old, male baby seems to have an intuative baking sense greater than my own which both alarms and discourages me at the same time.  Moving on I feed him and return expecting dough that has risen, but I find dough that has maybe inhaled a bit.  Give it another 10 minutes, I think it looks a bit bigger, but that may be wishful thinking.

Then the story gets ugly and pathetic.  The beauty of this recipie is that I can freeze it.  This means I can make it and swear at it when only the baby, who can't talk and tell on me, can see.  Then all Betty Crocker punk rocker style I can whip a frozen dough ball out of the freezer and make something uber cool like homemade pizza.  But you have to wrap it all up.  I have gallon size freezer bags, but alas, I must wrap the individual balls in *gasp* cling wrap.

I hate cling wrap.  Ever fiber of my being hates it.  On the cellular level I hate it.  If you were to take a swab of my cheek, whip out a DNA sample, centrafuge the crap out of it you would see right there on the 14th chromosone I have the HatesPlasticClingWrap gene.  Right next to it would be the PlasticClingWrapMakesMeLookLikeAMoron gene.  Someday they will find my body laying on the floor wrapped in this crap like a mummy with a bowl of uncovered food on the counter and the coroner will conclude that I died via suffocation while trying to just cover the damn leftovers. 

In an effort to lesson the complexity I cut the !#$%ing wrap into sections so I would have all 16 sections ready and just needed to put the dough in them, wrap it up, toss it in the freezer bag and *POOF* I'd be done, right? Wrong! Wronger than the wrongest wrong.  Because guess what my lazy assed yeast decideds to do NOW?!  Now, after it has had nearly 45 minutes to rise but hasn't?  Now, when I have predetermined size of cling wrap to wrap the balls in based on their size?!

Yeah, the damn yeast finally gets the memo, and it rises.

Long story and half a box of cling wrap later, I have them bagged and in the freezer. 

Now the really annoying part of this fiasco if you ask me is this: the directions explain how to go about freezing the whole batch for use later.  So I freeze all of it once, I swear it into the too-small cling wrap packaging and proudly stuff it in the freezer while smiling thinking that I might have triumphed after all.  When I recall one little detail ...

Now that I have frozen all of the dough, what in the Sam Hill are we having for dinner tonight? 


* Found the recipe at Money Saving Mom, here is the actual recipe if you are a yeast whisperer or something.

it smells like death in here ... oh wait, its just the computer

I like to think that I am a good person.  I like to think that I am a nice individual who would have loverly things said about her were I not in the room. 

However, my karmatic energy sometimes suggests that I am a raving lunatic bitch who deserves to be punished in many odd and frightening ways. 

Need I remind you of the smurfacide in the garage?  Want more evidence?  Our computer seems to be considering death.  Not a I am going to run slow and be a PITA death.  No more like a Baby pictures?  You didn't want to be able to actually access those ever again, right?  type death.  It won't turn on except for a pretty blue screen while St. Paul of Bunyan tries to do something to convince it to not die.  I am still trying to be hopeful that the baby pictures that I haven't backed up in a while are not lost.  Or all the stuff I have been doing to try to start up my business.  Or my writing.  My book.  Did I back any of that up?  Nah, back up is for sissies.

Yeah, the good stuff always happens to me.

Its moments like this where you start to play Let's Make a Deal with the powers that be.  Thus far I have promised the Divine IT Guy in the sky that I will religiously back-up from this day forward and will not call the computer names that would make a sailor blush for at least a month.  Fingers crossed I don't have to promise more.

Friday, September 16, 2011

words with forking friends

I love Words with Friends. My darling husband and soul mate, sent me a request ages ago, got me hooked like he was some kind of freaking dealer.

He told me the names of everyone we mutually knew that played so I could request games with them. He fed my only slightly obsessive and competitive nature with the dark goodness that is this word wielding game. I was designed for this stuff. Words are my sole weapon. I can beat the crap out of someone verbally, with a smile on my face and walk away while 20 minutes later they finally wonder "Hey, did she mean that as an insult?" This is so my ace in the hole. My shit. My god-given-ass-kickin' talent. It’s all I got. I can't dance, the domestic skills fairy skipped me completely, and really I have no hobbies or skills to speak of that are any use to anyone.

And he knew that.

And then he stopped. He stopped playing me.

Yeah. Go ahead, call him names, I don't mind. I called him those names too. Mine were even more colorful I assure you.

And if that weren't assholey enough, he somehow coerced our mutual friends into abandoning me on the deserted Scrabble-like island.

No one wanted to play with me.

It’s not like I win every game. No it’s not like that. It’s just that if I don't win them all I sort of shut down and speak in tongues for a day or so. I think that is perfectly reasonable. It’s better than my reaction to Monopoly. My oldest child still gets big eyes and says "ohmygosh no my mom doesn't like playing Monopoly, please don’t ask her to play" after that last time ...
My saintly husband claims I cheat. I don't cheat. I want to, but I don't even know how the frickity frack you would cheat with this game (anyone who knows totally pass those goodies on). I don't cheat, I just rock. Recall a paragraph or so ago, this is my thing. I love it.

I am sure somewhere in our vows there was something about not abandoning your soul mate in the midst of an obsession you started. It was right after the “thou shalt give wifey back rubs every night you jerk” vow. He can't remember saying that one either, but clearly of the two of us I am wired for remembering the sappy emotional times in our life better because I have a uterus, therefore I recall our wedding with a great deal more detail and he should just trust me.
But ha ha, I found other friends. Friends who will play with me. Lots of them. And now I am furiously wording them to death. Like a junkie getting her fix.

But if my darling soul mate ever wants to stop being the jerktastic whineybag he has been for the past few months I will play him again. It’s not like I hold grudges or will attack him with a vicious vengeance with every word bearing a high pointed J, X, or Z that I can think of. Nah. Not me. Never. Trust me. I can let bygones be bygones – and I can slam the word bygones on a triple word square and soundly kick his posterior into word-loving-point-bearing-oblivion.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

how serial killers get their names

People in glasshouses are idiots when they start throwing rocks.

The saying goes something like that anyway, but ultimately the point is the same. I am not perfect, so its rare I throw judgement around. Especially about parenting. We are all blindly fumbling through this role that carries more responsibility than anything else in life and trying to act like we know what we're doing while not giving our children therapist couch fodder.

But sometimes, sometimes, you see something that you just can't help yourself but think maybe, just maybe, that person is even worse at this parenting gig than I am.

Case in point, Thing 1's swim practice.

Every week I dutifully take him to practice, and every week there is one particular family that provides the rest of us plenty of mouth dropping moments and times where we all pretend to be coughing rather than laughing. But this past week was a doozy.

Now Brian* and his mom are usually entertainment in that she is desperately trying to keep Brian as a baby even though he is about four now. Usually Brian is pretty obliging with this baby thing, even the week when she announced quite loudly that she had to come to the bathroom so she could "wipey your heiney" and help him. Brian's older brother has swim lessons while Thing 1 is at practice, so for 30 minutes I am a prisoner of circumstance. Brian often provides entertainment, but sometimes its entertainment in the same way nails on a chalkboard make pleasant music.

There was an older kid there (like 8ish) this week and I have no idea who he belonged to. He was just there, and he was actually a pretty well behaved kid. Its not his fault that he is apparently Brian-crack. Seriously, dunno what it was about this child, but the normally just obnoxious babyish Brian was in warp speed. He was running around, screaming, climbing stuff, trying to watch videos on other people's iPads (I am seriously the only person there without one) all while screaming "Look at me David!!!"**

Now while Brian is bouncing off the walls and annoying the crap outta the rest of us his mom is chanting in a sickeningly sing song voice "Gentle, Brian. Gentle." I remember thinking something along the lines of wanting to gently slam into her a few times like her little barbarian had me twice already. But I reminded myself, I am not a judgmental parent. I am not. I don't look down my nose at other parents. Hell, I am a mom of two boybarians, it would be pretty hypocritical to judge someone else I am sure.

About half way through swim I am grinding my teeth to the mental tune of "I am not a judgmental parent, I don't judge other people for how they chose to parent" mixed with shades of "Gentle, Brian. Gentle" in sing song tones with sweet little Brian screaming at the top of his sweet little lungs.

Brian tries to climb a shelving unit and mom comes over and plucks the now screaming Brian off of the shelves saying "Can you please not do that Brian?" When he scales the Everest shelves immediately after being set down she again asks him to behave and could he please lower his voice? Are we really asking him to not climb a dangerous shelf? Are we really asking him to lower his voice so the rest of us stop bleeding from our ears?

The tops of my teeth are nearly as smooth as glass from the grinding I am doing all while reminding myself that "I am not a judgmental parent, I don't judge other people for how they chose to parent" and Cindy-Lou Who (who just happened to be with me that day) and Thing 2 are both looking ready to duct tape sweet little Brian's mouth shut.

Brian also was bored with this routine though, because it was at this point the fan hitting ensued.

After running away from mom again Brain stopped and took a wide stance with his hands at chest level. He positioned his hands so that the strangely looked a bit like he was holding an uzi.

He then proceeded to blast David away with one big boom. David even paused here, and when you make an 8 year old stop and say "hmmmm" ya know you have accomplished something.

He then moved to mom, he blasted her with his invisible uzi. Twice.

"Gentle, Brian. Gentle."

Gentle? Gentle?! Your kid is pretending to bring the heat and you are telling him to be gentle?! Okay, deep breath, I remind myself that "I am not a judgmental parent, I don't judge other people for how they chose to parent." I know that not every family has the same gun stance we do -- namely that they aren't toys but rather a first amendment protecting my family right. But never toys. Never something to pretend with or play with. My children never have, and never will have "toy" guns, even of the spray variety.

But that is my choice as a parent. Mine.

But Brian interrupts my self admonishing thoughts when he steps in front of the little cluster of chairs that sit before the glass wall leading to the pool. Me and about five other families are sitting here, all of us trying to ignore Brian.

Brian proceeds to, quite authentically looking I might add, re-load his imaginary weapon all while glaring at all of us.

"Chick-chick" he says by way of preparing to fire.

Machine gun style, he swings his imaginary gun back and forth, peppering all of the parents and siblings with imaginary bullets. And sweet little Brian proceeds to make sound affects to match the volley of repeated fire he is imagining unleashing on me and about 15 others. After about 5 swings he stops, pretends to hold his gun up in the air in a victory pose while throwing his head back and letting out a massively creepy, maniacal laugh.

"Oh gentle, Brian. Gentle, please."

Seriously? You kid just imagined butchering all of us and all you've got is "gentle" while sounding like Snow White?! Screw this I am not a judgmental parent stuff, your child is practicing murdering people and you are asking him to be gentle? This would be an appropriate thing to say if Brian were, say, carrying a glass of water or wanting to pet a puppy. It is not the thing to say when your kid imagines blasting innocent victims away.

So Brain does the only logical thing he can do. He screams "NO!" and pretends to shoot his mom. In fact, he empties an imaginary clip into her.

And what did she have to say to that?

Can you please be gentle Brain?

Its not easy to render me speechless. But she did. I realized my mouth was hanging open and I was staring at her in shock when I noticed other parents doing the same out of the corner of my eye. Too floored to say anything, and seeing that Thing 1 was heading for the locker room and I would be leaving soon, I started packing my brood up and getting ready to leave. All the while sweet little Brian was standing on chairs and moving around the room still pretending to shoot at things and people. All the while, his mom chanted "Gentle, Brian. Gentle." in the same sing song voice, never once stepping in to actually parent him.

On the drive home I actually had "Gentle Brian, Gentle." stuck in my head. And my thoughts got carried away, as they often do, about the type of person Brian would grow up to be. Chances are he will be a perfectly normal, law abiding, well rounded citizen. A stand-up guy, great man, the type of dude who donates to charities, serves food at the shelter on Christmas, and always picks up litter. But ... if that dark side we saw at swim comes out ...

Well if you ever hear about a serial killer going by the name of Gentle Brain, you'll know who it is.

*Changed his name so the crazy little twerp can't come find me when he is a psycho adult.
**Changed his name because its not his fault that he is Brian-crack, he didn't mean for it to happen.

what the words "tomatillo salsa" *really* mean

As I bravely face the unknown (to me) world of domestic skills I am trying to make things from scratch. I am doing good, though I know my blogging about it sucks. I am just impressed I haven't given anyone botulism or burned the house down. Hollah!

Anyhoo, I made fresh tomatillo salsa last night because we got a hella lot of tomatillo's in our Bountiful Baskets bundle a bit ago. Didn't know what to do with them, and they hadn't decided to abandon ship in fear of my attempt to cook them somehow, so we found a recipe that seemed too simple to screw up. Here ya go ...

1 lb fresh tomatillos

8 fresh jalapenos

2 cloves garlic

1/4 cup fresh cilantro

salt and pepper to taste

You husk the tomatillos, then roast them and the jalapenos until burned then essentially throw it all in a food processor until smooth.

I dropped the tomatillos and jalapenos in a baggie with olive oil, salt, pepper and a little bit of onion powder before I "roasted" (AKA burned the crap out of) them.

Notice that the recipe does not call for seed removal of the jalapenos. Yeah. That is a highly relevant bit of info if you ask me. Perhaps it should be recommended for future attempts at this recipe.

So I do my thing, and it looks good. I smell it and it made my sinus clear right up. So I took an itty, bitty taste of it ...

And after I got done crying and downing 30 ounces of fluids I decided that I just made a lovely salsa ... for someone else to eat.

So the words Tomatillo Salsa in this case actually translate:

Salsa that will feel like nuclear fusion is occurring on your tongue

and will make you cry like a whiney assed baby.

Next up on my attempts to make "real" food and be better at this domesticity crap ... pizza dough. I can't make that too spicy at least!

One effed up "Giving Tree"

I think I was the only child who did not read the Giving Tree as a kid.

When I asked my mom, many years later once I had been given a copy as a gift for my baby shower, why I had not read the book as a kid she said that since Bambi and Dumbo had launched me into a deeply depressive state where I rocked in the fetal position in the corner of my dark room while sobbing that she decided it just wasn't a good read for me.

As an adult I read the book. All of it. Right through the part where the SOB kid chops the tree down. Right up to the part where the tree --er, I mean the stump, kindly lets that jackhole sit on his pathetic stumpiness because he is now an old, withered, useless man who can't stand up for long.

WTF lesson does this teach?! I mean really, what is the freaking moral here???

We wonder why there are people with doormat tendencies? Perhaps its because this book never vilifies that the looser kid who clearly and repeatedly uses and abuses the tree. Perhaps because the main character, the hero if you will, is systematically murdered by his own free will to make an ungrateful little shit of a kid happy. And like some sad little abused dog the tree is thrilled and fulfilled to be kicked -- or chopped -- time and again. The tree gives his shade, apples, branches, trunk, everything to a kid who never thanks him or is grateful even in the slightest. Seriously? WTF?!

I know, I know, the sappy-pants-softies out there are saying "Chrissy, really. Its about selfless love. Giving unconditionally, loving completely. The tree loves the boy and is happy by making the boy happy."

Riiiight. And now lets ask the tree how that selfless giving thing is working out for him, shall we?

Oh yeah, he's not a tree, he's a stump. A stump with old man ass prints.

"But Chrissy, its a classic. Shell Silverstein!"

This part puzzles me more than the tree committing treeicide. Shell Silverstein. Shell-freaking-Silverstein? Where the Sidewalk Ends? A Light in the Attic? Classics, priceless, wonderful and on my kids' shelves.

I don't get it. I don't get why it is a much beloved book, or why parents want to read it to their kids. What message are they hoping their innocent child draws from this? If you love someone its okay for them to treat you like crap? But only if you really, unconditionally and completely love them? Then its okay.

Please, keep your kids away from mine. Not because I don't want their sappy-kick-me-again-please nature rubbing off on my kids, because I know better. My cupcakes will kick your sissy kid's butt in because they asked for it, then I have to deal with the principal or parole officer, whichever the case may be.

And you know I will cry for your weenie child just as hard as I did for the stupid tree.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

sky pee and regional knowledge

I remember as a kid overhearing someone talk about needing to put chains on their tires once. In my infinitely Arizonan wisdom I asked if it was because someone was trying to steal them.

We don't do that in AZ.

I use the words coat and jacket interchangeably more or less. Didn't know that there was apparently a difference between the two until I met Paul Bunyan (that would be my husband).

We don't need "coats" in AZ. Sweatshirts usually do the trick.

But I do know what to do if you get bit by a rattlesnake. And I know the symptoms of heat stroke and what to do if someone has it. And I know that walking an extra fifty feet just so you can park your car under that itty bitty tree in the parking lot so you have some shade is worth it.

Chains on tires? Coats? You mean basements aren't just for extra storage space? Huh?

Now when Thing 1 was a toddler we went out of town. And it rained. Not like torrential down pour pull out the rowboat cuz we are going to float away rain. Just a sprinkle. But being raised in Arizona this was a new thing to him, he couldn't remember ever seeing rain before. We were in a big open area when it started sitting at a patio table surrounded by other tables with other non-kid-toting people at them. It was cool and felt nice, so I took a nice deep breath (love the rain smell and never get it here because we only get dirty rain when it happens) and tipped my face back.

Thing 1 was in my lap and I could feel him tense so I looked down at him. He was holding one chubby little arm out in front of him staring at a drop of rain on it. After contemplating the drop for a moment, he suddenly slapped both hands on top of his head. He suddenly turned an accusing glare on me, but as he was presumably about to ask if I had spit on him -- which no, I had never done before and was a total "boy" thing to think about -- he felt a couple more drops but could see I wasn't the one doing it.

Gasping he pointed up at the overcast sky and said "sky leaking?" in the usual soft tones of any toddler.

A few people hearing he subtle little shriek about the sky glance our way and smile. I smile back and say "Yes, the sky is leaking. Its called rain."

Not to be calmed by my sugary sweet tone Thing 1 looks up at the sky blinking rapidly as a few more sprinkles fall on his face and again yells, "sky leaking, Mommy?"

Its rain, I say. Doesn't it feel nice?

"Its wet."

Ah yes, my child the genius. I have always said he is brilliant.

He tries wiping the offending drops off of his arms but more replace them and I can see he is starting to get agitated. So I move to pack up my stuff and take cover even though I am enjoying the minor sprinkling of cool water that my native-Arizonan self rarely gets.

"Why sky leaking, Mommy?"

Because the clouds are full of rain and can't hold any more.


I love that question. At this phase he only asked it about 12,000 times a day. Little did I know then that this was nothing compared to how often he would ask by three.

I put him on the ground so I can gather up his toy and sippy cup. He is standing there acting like he is just drenched still yelling "Sky leaking!" and trying to wipe himself dry much to the amusement of the people at the table next to us.

Yes, its his first time in the rain. We are from Arizona, not much rain there. A couple jokes about the "dry heat" etc ... but I am trying to get moving because Thing 1's voice is now so high and loud bats and dogs in the neighboring areas are registering that the sky is, in fact, leaking.

I finally get everything packed up and go to pick the spastic Thing 1 up when he suddenly stiffens and stares up at the sky. I could see a revelation just happened and I silently prayed to the PleaseDon'tLetMyKidHumilateMe Gods that he wouldn't say anything too horrible. Keep in mind that Thing 1 is at the age where he loves trucks but can't quite say the word right, so everywhere we go he has to yell (he only comes with one volume, even still) "Mommy look at that big truck" only he isn't saying truck. It sounds a bit more like a word for a part of the male anatomy. And just as my luck would have it, everywhere I go there is a big truck that he has to point out. "Look at the big blue truck Mommy, do you see it?" And boy is he observant, can't hide anything from him. So usually whatever comes out of his mouth is comical fodder, but I didn't always have the ability to laugh at the time back then.

His face contorts in pure disgust and he screams in the shrillest voice yet:

EW, it sky pee!!!

Then he began running in circles screaming that the sky was peeing on him while still trying to wipe the "sky pee" off his arms much to the delight of everyone in a 50 foot radius.

We kept spreading the joy though, because he was still yelling that it was gross for the sky to pee on him all the way to the doors, then chattering about how he wondered if I had seen that the sky peed on him, "did you see Mommy, did you? Did you?" the whole way to the elevator.

I was reminded of this story last night when Paul Bunyan came inside and asked to hold Thing 2 and promptly took him outside. When I walked out there I could see that we were getting one of our 10 annual rains for Arizona.

I looked over at Thing 2 to see his reaction and he was alternating between looking at us and looking at the rain. And the "sky pee" story came flooding back to me.
Um, guys? It looks like the sky is peeing on the house.
Why aren't you bothered by this? I pee on you and you flip!

Can't wait to hear if Thing 2 interprets the world the comical way Thing 1 often did.


Still does and I suspect always will.

Happy 10th birthday to my Thing 1. I love you, even if the sky wants to pee on your head.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Things That Are Different Once You Have More Than One Kid

After being a mom of one for nearly a decade I really didn't expect two to be that much of an astronomical difference when Thing 2 came along. I mean really, there is two of everything now. Right? I can handle that, I so innocently thought to myself.

I'd laugh at my nieve, innocent self if I didn't think I'd wet my pants. Here they are, the

Things That Are Different Once You Have More Than One Kid

Two kids now, that means two of everything ... right? Oh wrong. Wronger than wrong. Somehow that math doesn't work. I know math, I was good at it Before. That's before with a capital B because it was Before this. Before two kids. Because Before there were two kids I was good at math. I even taught it. But now that Before is gone I realize that either some magic happened or I now don't know how to multiply by two. Why you ask? Well because I am pretty damn sure that I have more than "two." Not more than two kids. I can count them easy enough. But there is definitely more than twice the work. More than twice the cleaning. Way more than twice the laundry. More than twice the kid crap. And sleep, I totally get less than an eighth of what I used to do on a bad day. Don't ask how the math works, remember I can't do it anymore because its post-Before.

Have I even looked in a mirror today? The answer is yes. I make a point of it. In fact, I panic if I haven't looked in the mirror and am leaving the house because its the fastest way to do a quick systems check. You know when NASA is preparing for a shuttle launch and the Flight Director checks that everyone is a "go" at Misson Control (think Apollo 13) prior to launch? Same thing.

Just a quick check that all systems are go for Operation Leaving the House. Shoes?

Check and check.


We're "go."



Nothing weird on the face?

We are "go" Flight.

Seriously, I do have to check. Even with checking real quick I still have the occasional panic attack that I forgot something important, like my shoes don't match or I forgot to put a shirt on. Don't judge, it may be you someday. Mirrors used to be for vanity. I wanted to look a certain way when I left the house. Now, mirrors are just my double check that I won't be arrested or make someone need therapy when I leave. Clothing is all I need to be ready. I think being able to brush my teeth and shower is for special occasions, and make up is just so I can hide the bags under my eyes.

What was I talking about? Oh yeah, I forget everything. I haven't left either kid anywhere yet. I haven't lost them at least. But anything and everything else? Well lets just say you would need to be a bit worried if your livelihood depended on my purse remaining safe. Who am I kidding, I don't carry a purse anymore, its a backpack-diaper-bag-emergency-supplies-case-that-also-contains-my-wallet. Last night my husband innocently asked me at about 6:30 what was for dinner. My response? "Oh, wow, I totally forgot about food today." We had bean burros.

Bladder control? Wait ... what's that? I remember back in the day ... oh about fourteen months and six days ago ... when I would have this signal travel all the way from my bladder to my brain alerting me that it had reached the critical fullness mark and needed to be emptied soon for the sake of comfort. I remember thinking "oh I hope I don't need to sneeze" because I would have to concentrate and flex really hard after Thing 1, but its not like anyone else would notice. Now? Now?! Well that sensor in my bladder, it seems that it waits a bit longer to go off because its not longer a matter of "hey you need to go when you have a sec or this could get uncomfy." No, now its more like,

Hoooooooly crap why didn't you go to the bathroom an hour ago?!? WTH made you think you should drink fluids?! You had better hope no one notices you running like someone tied your knees together to the nearest bathroom while holding your breath and praying you don't sneeze, cough, or have to speak.

It might not be the sensor, it might be that I now have about an equal ability to "hold it" as a potty training three year old -- but I have to go NOW! -- but whatever it is, its way worse after Thing 2.

Unicorns and Me Time. They are both fictitious as far as I can tell. Actually, that's not true or fair. Somewhere there is a much maligned unicorn just wishing people would see him/her for who they really are. Me time? Yeah, pure fantasy. But in reality, it was ever since Thing 1 came along so that's not new.

Don't get me wrong, I love my kids. I love being a mom too. I am really happy. Genuinely. I even am beginning to feel like I am getting the hang of being a mom to two.

But some days I wonder if that last bit is actually me being delusional based on the lack of sleep.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Woody, bringing SexyBack

There are times where perfectly acceptable things are happening, but once taken out of context that perfectly innocent and okay thing suddenly seems deplorably sick and wrong. Usually, I am all over sick and wrong, I think sick and wrong stuff is hilarious 99.999% of the time, and I am quite often the one perpetrating sick and wrong.

But my sister, Cindy Lou Who, is an even greater master at sick and wrong than I am. I have to give credit where it is due, the child is a genius.

She will laugh her pasty pale tail off at a perfect stranger who faceplants in a store. This usually leaves you desparately explainging yourself to the very offended and possibly injured person, and for the record there is never an explanation that makes that scenario okay if you are the one who fell. Nothing in this world is more funny than body functions. Unleash a belch, or weld your gas and she'll laugh in admiration like nothing in the world could be funnier. Unless you happen to fall flat on your ass while doing it. If you could swing a minor injury while breaking wind and maybe sneezing you've got yourself a new best friend.

In reality, CLW has Angelman Syndrome, and a wicked sick sense of humor. She also has no concept of right and wrong and has way better things to do with her time than worry about stupid crap like social constraints and acceptability. She's just too rock star for that. She's usually too busy eating pop tarts or playing with one of her 14 Woodys.

Wait, what? Yes, you read it right. Now who is sick and wrong?

Okay, still me, I lead you there, quite on purpose. It illustrates part of my point actually.

CLW loooooves Woody from Toy Story. Loves him, downright obsessed with him. Its adorable, I assure you, but when you have seen Toy Story -- any of them -- as many times as any member of my family has you either go a little insane or you try to find some humor in the situation. Or both.

So the Woody jokes, we've done them all, said them all. Or so I thought.

While taking CLW to school today I had the radio playing because it usually knocks Thing 2 out. CLW has a giant stuffed Woody (seriously drag your mind out of that gutter) with her and is making him dance to whatever is on the radio.

We pull up to a stop light, and she is in such a good mood, and really its quite contagious. So a new song comes on the radio, SexyBack. I haven't heard this one in a while, love love love it. So I am tapping the rhythm in my I have no natural sense of rhythm way on the steering wheel while she makes Woody jump up and down to the music. She hands him to me, wanting me to do something silly that will make her laugh. And I am a good sister, so I oblige. I do the most natural and reasonable thing possible: I make him dance. Not just the bouncy dance she was doing, I am moving his arms, singing along and making him really work it. I think I had him doing the Madonna Vogue arms at one point, and there was some definite jazz hands, as much as a two foot tall stuffed cowboy can pull off.

Now lets roll play for a moment. Picture that you are some cool guy on a motorcycle at a stop light. You are waiting for the light to change, maybe feeling impatient wanting to get where your going ... who knows, maybe you're late ... when you notice something out of the corner of your eye. The woman in the car next to you is holding a two foot tall stuffed Woody from Toy Story. And she is making it dance. I mean really making it dance. Making it dance and sing. To SexyBack.

I'm bringing sexy back. Them other !#$%ers don't know how to act ...

Yeah, of course it was at that part. No, I did not say "them other exclamation point, pound sign, dollar sign, percent don't know how to act."

Back to being me in my car, with my laughing sister, who for all intents and purposes appears to be maybe 15 or so. In reality she is in her 20s, but between the two of us we clearly do not look like either of us should have a stuffed doll. Making it sing and dance is a whole new level of strange. Add to that the song ... yeah I am sure this guy thought we were massively weird.

At least, given the stunned and slightly disgusted look on his face I am guessing so.

And somewhere around a water cooler today ...

No seriously, it was sick! And when it got to the "you can whip me if I misbehave" part she made the doll wiggle its hips ...

Friday, September 9, 2011

me cramming veggies down Jack's ...

A while back I got one of those cookbooks that teaches you how to supposedly hide veggies in yummy foods like brownies in order to get your kids to eat them. I had two issues with this,and the less predominant of them was the whole lying to my kid thing. Yeah, I disliked that, but seriously I felt this was doing irrefutable damage to the brownie's rep.

But I tried it. And if you got over the fact that everything was funny colored, that the brownies left your hands coated in a sticky green leafy looking goo and had none of the sweet chewy goodness that we all associate with this delicious food group, it wasn't so bad to my adult mind. Not worth the work, but not that bad.

To a kid's mind? Pure abomination. And really, I had to agree with him.

Given a combination of things -- my freak out factor at eating animals, Mr. Deaux's health, Thing 2 being an allergic rash/reaction waiting to happen, and Thing 1's flat refusal to eat anything that didn't once breathe and bleed -- making healthy food is a challenge in our house at times.

But we have found an answer: juicing.

Not only because I find it immaturely funny to say things like "I am hitting the juice" but also because you can squish an obscene amount of veggies through a juicer (ours is named Jack) add some fruit and ice and poof, you have a smoothy.

But Mommy, smoothies are a treat! They aren't health food! They are yummy.

Yes, baby, they are yummy and I only added green food coloring to make it look gross! So much for the not-lying-to-your-kid bit, eh?

Anyhoo, you want the healthy low down check out the bottom of this entry. I am a non-proselytizing vegetarian so I won't bore you with the gore of meat and dairy if you aren't interested in hearing it. But if you want yummy juice and pictures read on ...

I made two different juices today, and they can be drank straight, with crushed ice in a smoothy, or make faboosh cocktail starters given how fresh they are! {wink, wink, now you too can mean it when you say "Mommy's hittin' the juice!"}

Usually I mix fruits and veggies, today I did them separate-ish so that I could use these as bases to make a couple different smoothies. (There are fruits and veggies in both, but not 50/50)

The fruit one:

There are 2 pink ladies apples, 2 huge pink grapefruit, and one orange. Also a small hunk of ginger. Ginger is really good for juicing, but when I bought it I got this branch of it. You don't need much for flavor with juicing, so take what you need, freeze the rest in a glass jar.

So I shoved all of that through Jack (remember, that's my juicer's name) with the least juicy thing going first. Ginger, apples, oranges, then grapefruit.
That's what real apple juice looks like. Note how non-urine looking it is? Can you tell I have a deep aversion to store bought apple juice? Now here comes the other stuff ...

I think that's the last of the grapefruit juice and the start of the orange. When I got done with all of this it was tasty, but really tart and citrusy. So I looked in the fridge and I have a bag of baby carrots that could pass for an Oompa Loompa.

Given that we had so many and carrot juice is really sweet I added that.

Because I feel that recipes are merely guidelines or suggestions to start with I tend to not pay super good attention to how much of this I use since I cook by look or taste. Therefore I would love to give you precise measurements or amounts, but alas, I cannot. It was something in the area of 6 huge handfuls of baby carrots that made that juice up there. This illustrates quite nicely one of the biggest perks of using Jack -- I would never, even in my most veggie of moments, want to consume six huge handfuls of baby carrots. In fact, a little secret: I hate carrots. The juice I don't mind, it has something to do with the texture. I am not down with eating branches of off young saplings and I am not a big fan of carrots. Go figure. But all of those branches, er, I mean carrots made that juice. All of the nutrients and vitamins are in there, why eat the rest of it? I would need a ton of ranch dressing to even consider consuming that many carrots.

Low and behold, you have pink grapefruit, pink lady apple, orange, carrot and ginger juice. For now I am just calling it Pink & Orange. And yes, I agree, Pink & Orange is crying out for her long lost friend, vodka.

Now the veggie one, and this is where the things get impressive.

There is a bag of Romaine there, igrnoe it. I took it out and never used it, but the sneaky little bastid got in the picture anyway. So you have 3 cucumbers, a bag of kale and a bunch of spinach. Kale was on sale for like 59c a bunch, so we happen to have a ton of it. Lots of good stuff in kale, but I personally don't want to eat it much. Its a real witch to clean because the leaves are all curly and it stays wet for-ev-ah. Spinach on the other hand is a friendly one to clean.
Again, the least juicy gets shoved through Jack first, ginger and kale. Then spinach. As things get stuck or it sounds like Jack is working to hard, I put a half cucumber through.

Cucumber is one juicey mutha.

After I got done it smelled so green and I know kale and spinach are pretty bitter greens, so I put two apples in to make it a bit sweeter.

While I am sure it sounds gross, I swear its actually pretty good. Now that green mixture is good by itself (it has to be super cold, but I promise it is actually tastey) or it can be poured in the blender with fruits to make it sweeter and thicker.

While this isn't really a Betty Crocker list-worthy moment, I was trying to mimic all the really non-domestically challenged women out there who blog foodie stuff. Frankly, I respect the dedication they have even more because not only is real cooking a lot of work, but respect the pictures man! Not only taking them (without dropping your camera into the juicer!) but also putting them in these dang posts. They always load at the top and I am seriously far too lazy for this crap. Enjoy it, I may never do this type of posting again!

*** The healthy babble: Google "juice detox" or "raw foods diet" or watch Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead or Forks Over Knives or read any of the Skinny Bitch/Bastard series. If you wanna be real hard core, go read the China Study. Seriously, I just made it pretty damn easy for you, just get link clicky!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

me + atari joystick = injured lab assistant

So I was reading this article detailing a study that found that lactating women, in a nutshell, are more aggressive than their non-lactating counterparts.

The study took a group of lactating moms, formula feeding moms, and non moms and ultimately their level of aggression was determined by how long and loudly they punished an opponent who behaved rudely to them with a blast of a sound.

Now I admit I had to stop reading there because I was laughing too hard and the words were coming out of focus. I wasn't laughing at the study, more the mental picture:

Me sitting in a crisp lab environment. Every surface is so white I look downright tan.

In front of me is sits a plain white table. On that table rests an Atari joystick (not sure why I picture that but I do).

I am told to teach my opponent, whom I just beat in a game, a lesson. My opponent has been a rude little twerp to me.

The room is dead quiet, I appear composed. I take a deep breath.

I suddenly jump on the table and screaming like a mad woman squeeze that button and throw the lever at full throttle blasting my counterpart with a deafeningly loud noise for about 3 minutes all while laughing like a mad woman.

At this point I wipe the tears from my eyes, control the laughter and wishful thinking that I could have been contacted to take part in this uber fun study, and I continue reading.

They ultimately determined that the lactators blasted twice as long and as loud as the none milky ones.

Had another giggle bought there because I was surprised that the article didn't end with "but the study was prematurely canceled when one participant attempted to beat the innocent research assistant about the head and neck with an Atari controller."

Aaaand getting me back on topic again, it got me thinking. Not only do I appear to have a teensy bit of repressed aggression, but given the thoughts I have previously shared with you regarding the full contact sport nature of breast feeding I am wondering why it is that no-one has made this connection before. Why they needed to spend, I am sure, a truck load of money to tell them what logic should have spelled out for free.

Think about it: You take a woman who's boobs inflate with fluid seemingly at random, she has to worry about leaking through all of her clothes, working on very little and interrupted sleep, has a baby that will alternately bite her like vampire while clawing her throat then smile the most angelic smile so that she cannot get angry with him/her, deny her free access to alcohol ... then put her in a lab with a person who is supposed to act rudely to her then give her the choice of how to punish them? Seriously, they didn't have any deaths as a result of this study?!

I think something got swept under the rug.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

You know it's an exciting day when ...

Some days are just mediocre at best.

But then there are days when smurf's explode, you get hit on even though you are a walking billboard for Sooo Not Available or Tons of Baggage, or you get to take part in alien breastfeeding (more on that to come, I promise).

Here are examples of somethings you might say, or hear, that could alert you to the fact you are having a special day ... and you might just be with me.

"Whoa, mom you just peeled out in front of a cop!" -- I'd like it noted I said that, my mom was doing the driving.

"Oh, bring it biotch!" -- I said it in the Parent Pick Up Lane for my child's elementary school. More on that to come too. She couldn't actually hear me say it though ... her window was rolled up.

"Don't spank your Woody like that." or "I scored a Woody!" -- both were in reference to the doll from Toy Story, but really, do you think that matters when you actually say something like that out loud?!

"Ohmyfrikkengawd!" -- said by me after my teething 5 month old chewed on a frozen teething ring then wanted to nurse. Further proof how rough breast feeding is!

"Moss is such a misunderstood plant" -- Said by my oldest. I was too confused by the sentiment to ask why. He is much more Zen than his mom.

"Just use the breast milk freezy pouches." -- we were trying to pack an ice chest of beer.

"Oh I need therapy" (followed by vomiting sounds) -- said by my oldest when he was told the "girl" he just said was "cute" was probably as old as his mom.

And I am going to have to revisit this topic, because my brain just left the building and the baby needs feeding. More to come later.

things I've learned about Parent Pick Up

You know all those survival shows? The ones where some dude parachutes into some random place and wears a llama carcass for 7 days and "teaches" you how to survive? I think I have found their next, and most lethal location.

Elementary School Parent Pick-Up Zones.

Seriously, if you are laughing its for one of two reasons. You either get it, or you don't because you have never ventured that far into the dark side. Ah, ignorance is bliss. I will give you adrenaline junkies and drama seekers this heads up -- go to your nearest elementary school right around dismal. If you want to make friends bring a chilled six pack and a box of wine and leave all sharp objects at home.

While I was sitting in the 42 car deep line yesterday with a baby screaming in the back seat waiting for my 4th grader I had a few epiphanies. In no specific order, and I do not admit to actually doing any of this:

  • When you find your self wanting to say, or hearing someone else say "Bring it, biotch!" while waiting for your child, it may mean someone has taken things a little too far.
  • The child on the playground who hip-checked their way to the front of the line at the monkey bars because rules don't apply to them ... they grow up to be the jackholes who pass me and my 41 other line-waiting-rule-abiding-compatriots and zip in front of someone who has accidentally left a car sized gap because they have slipped into a waitingformykidinonelongassedline coma because the rules still don't apply to them.
  • When describing the parent pick up process to your spouse, who has never ventured that far into the great wilderness, and the only descriptive verbs you can utilize all rhyme with "ducking" and you can't say them in front of the kids, your kids may go to the same school as mine.
  • It is better to quietly hope for a pigeon to poop on the head of the moron who drives on the wrong side of the road because they can't seem to understand the difference between right and left rather than to tell them they should go back to kindergarten because they seem to have missed that critical lesson. The kindergarten teacher really has enough on her hands as is.
  • Accept it going in: there are two lines that merge only at the very end. I will be in the slower one, no matter which I chose. Always.
  • Its damn fun to fantasize about running over the parents who won't use the crosswalks while calmly explaining to your children that this is precisely why we always use crosswalks, but its not a good thing to actually do.
  • Keeping that last epiphany in mind, maybe I should stick with taking the car and not drive the truck, ever, to parent pick up. I don't pride myself on things like self control.
  • Yelling at the teacher whose sporting a funny smelling orange vest and sweating his/her underpaid and under appreciated butt off keeping your child educated AND safe doesn't make the line go any faster, but it does make you look like the raging asshat you apparently are.

Having been a teacher I can tell you that I was always baffled why normally composed parents seemed so frazzled and deranged at parent pick up. Now, I know. I am a rational woman. Heck I think I am even a pretty nice person, always trying to give people the benefit of the doubt and all that. But by the time I pull up to have my ten year old get in the car and say "sheesh mom, what took so long?!" its a bit hard to keep the sane facade up.

Oh who am I kidding, I haven't been pulling that off for years.

Friday, September 2, 2011

begging, boobies, & battle cries

I am departing from my norm here, but I would ask that you bear with me. My hope is that this will reach some people and maybe be of some help to myself and my teammates.

If you want the short and sweet version, here you go:

If you can do anything, anything, to support my 3-Day team as we raise yet again another substantial amount of money for breast cancer I would appreciate it. Anything means anything: donate money, donate goodies for a raffle, help spread the links, bring us a beer while we are walking 60 miles over the course of 3 days in the hope to raise awareness and funds that will wipe breast cancer off the map ... you know, whatever you can do, we would appreciate it.
(some of my links aren't working so just c&p)

This will be my 6th year walking in the 3 Day. My doing so was, like most big things in my life that I take on, completely unexpected and a bit haphazard. Breast cancer had affected my family, my life, and I had enough pink ribbon crap to choke a moose ... but I hadn't done anything. Buying the pink ribbon stuff doesn't do anything on an individual level, no matter how much they say the proceeds go toward fighting cancer. Its like 10 cents. I would need a lot of water bottles and socks to cure cancer at 10 cents a pop.

So when a friend asked me if I wanted to do this walk called the "3 Day" I said sure, thinking it was like normal walks. Sane people walks. It wasn't until I had signed up, and glossed over all the read-this-before-you-agree messages that I realized the peeps walking in the 3 Day go 20 miles a day for 3 days. That seemed a bit challenging, but seriously, its just walking, right? I can do that. Oh how naive. The part that scared me was the fundraising. At that time you had to raise a minimum of $2,200 to walk (today it is $2,300).

The fundraising was by far, and still is, the hardest. People work hard for their money, and they have a hard time giving any away regardless of how valiant the cause. I got so sick of hearing"we have to check with our corporate office" which is a weeny way of saying "no." I begged family members with letters and emails -- recall it runs in my family so these people should be easy to fleece, right? WRONG! -- I sat outside of a store with a jar like a girl scout. I sat outside of my church and had 99% of the people be kind to me, and 2 people decide to yell at me (long story, its another post in itself). I did everything I could think of, and after a lot of misery, most of which I have actually blocked out, I had $3,000.

And I swore this would be my first, and my last walk.

After all, I had just busted my keester to raise all this money so that I could walk 60 miles, sleep in a tent, eat "camp food," and do all of this in Ari-freaking-zona where it would be 100 degrees the whole time. I was quite sure I would do my part, wear my pink and sweat it out, and when all was said and done I would file this under "I experienced it and can now say I don't like it" right next to brussel sprouts.

So when Day One came and I dragged my exhausted but-not-yet-sore butt out of bed at 4 AM so I could get to opening ceremonies I was feeling pretty certain this would be a one time gig.

Five years later I am still begging for money so that I can do it for round 6. Seriously, I challenge any of you to sit through the opening ceremonies and not sob like a baby and feel emotionally committed to return year after year.

I have walked with a broken foot in a cast/astronaut boot and I have walked nearly 6 months pregnant. I will never willingly NOT do this walk.

Its also not just because I know that curing one cancer will open the flood gates in curing others, after all the treatments for some cancers are precisely the same as those for breast cancer .Its not just because I have seen women I love go through lumpectomies, mastectomies, and wig purchases. Its not just because I have to go have my boobs crushed and imaged twice a year because of my own risk. Its not just because I have had a lump removed and had to wait on pins and needles for 3 days to know that it wasn't cancer ... this time. Its not just because as a walker/fundraiser I have had countless people choose to share their stories of their own battles, or the memories of those they have lost with me, and I cannot help but view this as a responsibility now. Its not just because I wear a ribbon in memory of someone I miss dearly.

Its all of that and more. Lots more.

The only reason I could not walk again this year is because I can't meet my fundraising minimum. Bringing us back to the point of this post, and the uncomfortable part where I hit you up for stuff.

We are doing a raffle and we need some awesome stuff for it. Anything you can donate or get for us (handmade items, iPods, gift cards, anything cool) would be appreciated. Donations of any amount would be awesome. Get me in touch with anyone you think could help, I will gladly beg them for you! Share my donation page, our website, like us on facebook, there is lots you can do without even spending money!

If you still want to know why I do this, check out the picture. This is the shirt we wore while walking last year. Every year we wear these shirts and proudly display who we are walking for.

I know and/or am related to eleven people on that shirt.

I don't wear pink because it looks good, quite the contrary pink looks horrible on me. But to walkers like me, pink is more than a color, its a battle cry.

My donation page is if you are having a hard time getting it to open. My team page is

Read the Printed Word!