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2006 July

Just one of my many talents

July 22, 2006

One of the things that I have developed over the years of being a mother is an amazing abilty to ignore things my children are doing. Even when they are right next to me, I am often oblivious. My husband might disagree with the amazingness of this ability, as he often mutters, “But I don’t get what you were doing while this all was going on?”

But this morning I astounded even myself with my, what has to be, God given talent.

I was sitting here at my computer in the breakfast room happily typing away. I heard my son babbling, giggling and stamping his feet next to me. Occassionally he would grab my skirt to steady himself. But he was having fun, why do I want to look at him and potentially spoil his fun by having to become mean mommy.

I saw the carton of rice milk for a brief second out of the corner of my eye as it was shaken and thrown about, but it must be empty. Otherwise it would be in the refrigerator, wouldn’t it? Why yes it would be since I had asked my seven year old to put the cereal and milk away and also wipe off the kicthen table after breakfast.

So I happily type along. Happy that my baby is happy.

I smelled a little something that let me know I should change his diaper. But surely it could wait a couple of minutes while I finished typing my thought. It obviously isn’t bothering him. And my baby he is HAPPY.

After a few more minutes passed I became aware that the smell was getting stronger and my leg felt like it was getting splashed by something. Probably drips flying out of the the what must be empty container of milk.

And then it happened. I looked over at him.

Oh people, nothing… NOTHING could have prepared me for this.

He had taken off his dirty diaper, poured a cointainer of rice milk onto the floor, and was DANCING in it. Dancing in a pool of milk and his own excrement.

And it was at that moment that I knew from where the expression, happy as a pig in shit came.

Time stood still while I came to the realization that I was going to have to touch him. And it would be nearly impossible to avoid getting any of it on myself. But even worse than that was the look on his face.

The look that said, “If you even look like you are going to come after me I am going to take off running through the house, spreading the wonder of my shitty milkiness on every surface I can manage.” I was being challenged by a 19 month old.

If my life had a soundtrack, the music from that Cint Eastwood western movie –you know right before that gun fight*– that music would have started.

As luck would have it, someone had left a bath towel on the breakfast room table, (also a pair of rain boots, two mismatched sandals, and a tupperware lid , but those things were of no use to me). I quickly grabbed the towel and threw it over him. I then picked him up, the towel an effective barrier between me and the shitty stew. And I carried him while he screamed and flailed like a cat in a pillowcase, possibly because he had for the first time smelled his own stench.

Or maybe because he was afraid I was going to throw him in the river. Which is silly since I’d have to walk really far to get to the river.

But the garden hose. That is not far away at all.

And as an unexpected bonus, the flowers got fertilized. I knew those gardening clogs would do wonders for my gardening abilities.

* yeah, I realize that describes just about every Clint Eastwood movie ever made.

Posted by Chris @ 7:07 am | 65 Comments  

I can’t help myself

July 21, 2006

I swore that I wasn’t going to write about little league baseball anymore. But last night I think was the worst time I have ever had. And quite possibly the worst time ever had by anyone attending a little league game.

It could have been:

1) Due to the oppressive heat and humidity

2) The fact that all of the ground surrounding the bleachers where we sat was just dry dust because there is not a speck of shade to be found. Honestly, I contemplated climbing under the bleachers.

3) As soon as we arrived the baby pooped his diaper, and I, of the always prepared for every inevitability, had no diapers. Nope, not one. And so I put him back into his shorts overalls commando.

4) That I had to chase my daughter down every five freaking minutes when she decided she wanted to go to the playground instead of watching the game, but it was in the sun too and all the metal playground equipment was too hot to touch.

5) As soon as I would reach her, my 19 mos old son would take off running in the opposite direction

6) And within five minutes of being diaperless, my son peed. Not that anyone could really tell since he was saoking wet with all the water and gatorade he had poured all over himself. But I knew, and definitely didn’t want to be carrying his pee pee self on my hip. This made bringing him back to the bleachers after he ran off that much more difficult.

7) That and the fact that sweat made their little arms slippery so every time they acted like they had been deboned they would slide right to the ground and make a break for it again.

8) So to all others I appeared to be a sweaty dirty yelling lunatic.

9) Some nice, though misguided person gave my 19 mos old a strawberry to eat. And then he had to wipe he face and hands off on the back of my light blue Ann Taylor tshirt.

10) I was covered in dust, so that it looked like my legs and sandals had purposefully been dusted, except for where the sweat was running down my legs, leaving trails of mud into my sandals.

11) When the game finally ended and we were, surprisingly, still alive we headed to the van where I sprinkled all the little sweaty kids with baby powder, in an effort to cool them off and make them less slimy until we could get home and have baths. And, because I was so sweaty I liberally sprinkled myself with baby powder too.

12) I discovered, after interacting with numerous strangers and acquaintances, including the drive through person at McDonald’s and the people at the gas station pumping gas, that my face resembled Al Pacino in Scarface, after he has his face on a desk full of cocaine. But that’s just me, spreading a positive image of mega motherhood everywhere I go.

Posted by Chris @ 10:13 am | 24 Comments  

People, they send me free stuff

I few weeks ago I was contacted by the people over at Snap tv. They wanted to know if I would be interested in testing out some of their kid tv games. And, at that time, we were drowning in water and trapped in our house and so I emailed back to them:

Hell, YES! Send me some games, send me anything, send me duct tape and alcoholic beverages too if you’ve got them.

They didn’t have those last things, but they did send us TWO of their games.

ECO Rangers Animal DVD game You play this game with the remote control.

The infommercial review of the game.

My 9 yr old says: This game is fun. I like learning about animals. And it is kind of like watching tv AND I get to use the remote control. (proving he is a man in training).

My 7 yr old says: I can’t wait for my turn.

My 3 yr old says: I want the remote control. Mine mine mine.

Okay, the game isn’t for three year olds and she wants everything she sees these days.

The game says that it is geared to ages 6-9, and my two sons who fall into that age range are the most captivated by it, so I would have to say that age range they list is accurate. My 5 yr old has trouble with it, mostly because he has a hard time listening, thinking of the answers to the various questions, and then working the remote contol in a timely manner. My 11 yr old played it once and while he did like it, it wasn’t something he would seek out to do on a regular basis.

The Snap tv people also sent us a kids trivia game. The kids reviews on this one were not as enthusiastic. It does require a longer attention span and it is helpful if you can read. My 9 yr old liked this game better than the 7 or 5 yr olds did.

I was going to write that this would be a good game to play in car on a portable dvd player, if you had one, and then I noticed on their website that they say just that. This game does not have the depth that the ECO Rangers does, but that fact is also reflected in their respective prices.

Also, I noticed at the Snap tv website, that they are having a drawing for a free game. So go on over and enter.

(My kids had no idea I was writing this and they pulled out the ECO Ranger game and asked if they could play it. Considering all the other things that have come and gone, that is endorsement enough I think.)

Posted by Chris @ 5:48 am | 4 Comments  

Crying Uncle

July 20, 2006

Okay, I spent at least ten bleary eyed hours at my computer teaching myself all things web design and html and whatever else it is that I was forced to learn while tearing my hair from my head and watching the laundry pile up around me until I lost a few small children in it.

I can now officially cross it off of my list of 40 things to do before I turn 40, because I have learned enough to know that I don’t want to learn anymore.

But my new blog isn’t done yet.
Because I am webtarded. And so are all my friends. We may just start a club.

If anyone has any wordpress knowledge and wants to help me out, email me and i’ll be your best friend forever.

Because if I can’t figure out how to make the posts UNcenter themselves and align to the left, I might just die. And how sad would that be to have happen before Blogher.

Updated to add: I wasn’t talking about this blog. I was talking about a different one. I wouldn’t mess with this one after paying a designer to do it.

Posted by Chris @ 8:23 pm | 15 Comments  

the reason i will be bald next week in California

Chris:I have good news and I have bad news
Chris: the good news is that blogger sucks
Chris: and I have said f you to them
Chris: yet again
Chris: because i can never learn my lesson the first time, oh no
Chris: and the better news is that I figured out how to add a new domain name on to my host thingy
Chris: the bad news is, as evidenced by my use of the word thingy, that I have no idea what I am doing


: more bad news
Chris: eating 5lbs of skittles doesn’t help at all
LSF: who knew?!
Chris: now we do, be advised


Chris: In more good news I have eliminated yet another job
Chris: from the list of potential careers I could have
LSF: oh yeah
Chris: web designer
Chris: because aside from my complete lack of knowledge
Chris: i hate needy people
Chris: oh my website, it’s not working
Chris: help help help
LSF: people like you
Chris: exactly


: just emailed my website host
Chris: there is a thing to check about the priority level of your email
Chris: it’s so subjective
LSF: and you checked?
Chris: URGENT, of course
Chris: does anyone check low priority?
Chris: oh after you sweep the office and feed the fish, why don’t you answer me
Chris: if there was one that said
Chris: I’d have checked that


LSF: did you hear back yet?
Chris: yes
Chris: and I have no idea what any of it meant at all
Chris: gibberish I tell you
LSF: uh-oh
Chris:I emailed back and asked if there was anything he could do on his end
Chris: as in do it all himself
Chris: move the blog over himself
Chris: leave me out of it
LSF: good luck with that
Chris: I tossed my blonde hair
Chris: and showed my cleavage while I typed it
LSF: and how would he see that?
Chris: oh details details


: got an email back
Chris: he said yes
Chris: he could do it
Chris: who is laughing NOW?
Chris: he was totally dazzled by my imaginary cleavage and hair tossing

LSF* is Long Suferring Friend who listens to be bitch and moan on IM and probably wishes she had never even told me her IM nickname, because all she really wants is to relax… and eat her tacos in peace

The Frey Clause: I didn’t copy these IM’s verbatim, so assume their veracity at your own risk. Participants in conversation my not be a funny as they appear here.

Posted by Chris @ 8:09 am | 9 Comments  

a pain in my ass, literally

July 19, 2006

A few days ago I was sitting outside in the backyard when I felt a prick on my butt cheek. And it hurt. So I jumped up and screamed, “ouch, my ass.” It felt like a bug of some sort bit me. But I didn’t see any bug. And not wanting to strip naked in my yard, I let it go.

But, later on in the evening it still hurt. I tried to contort my body and catch a glimpse of my own rear end, but it wasn’t working. So I stood up on my bed to look in the mirror over my bureau, but nothing seemed amiss. Granted, I had to stand about 10 ft away from the mirror and bounce on my mattress to get a look.

Fast forward to last night. It still hurts. So I jumped up on my bed to have a look at my ass and there is the strangest looking bruise I have ever seen. So strange, in fact, that I had to wake my husband up from a sound sleep and demand that he look at my ass right that minute. No, the bouncing on the bed and bright lights do not hamper his ability to sleep soundly. Neither do crying babies,alarm clocks, or screams of terror for that matter.

I wish that I could show you all the bruise, but that would require me to show you my backside, and well this isn’t that sort of blog. Also, I don’t want to scare you. So you will just have to trust me and be content with the knowledge that I have a weird bruise on my ass.

And why you would even care, I have no idea. But this is the internet where people like me feel compelled to share minute details of our lives, and people like you (and me) read the minute details of the lives of strangers.

Like what I had for dinner last night at 9:00 pm when we got home from hell on earth, a.k.a a baseball game in 100 degree heat where I was forced to sit with my two youngest children while they rolled around in the dust and it stuck to their sweaty bodies. (cold leftover pasta salad eaten with a fork out of the serving bowl)

or that I went to the beach yesterday with stubbly legs and a bikini line that needed attention and tried to convince myself that I was making a statement, I am a woman and therefore have pubic hair, deal with it. But really I think the statement it made was, I am lazy.

Or the fact that I have bought business cards, thereby achieving total dorkitude.

Posted by Chris @ 5:25 am | 46 Comments  

Linky love

July 18, 2006

I am always learning important things on this internet, knowledge I could not live without.

Just when I think I have the smartest kid on the block. I read that someone else has an even smarter one. God help all of us stupid parents. If only we were half as smart as we thought we were as teenagers.


Last night at the grocery store I bought the ingredients to make tacos. We haven’t had them in awhile and it seemed like a quick and easy thing to make since we are still living in baseball hell. And most importantly, it only requires stove top cooking and wouldn’t heat the house up too much. Then I read this, and let’s just say I am rethinking the tacos.

After breaking up a fight this morning over a bag of Golden Puffs, which resulted in the bag being torn open and cereal spilling all over the floor and lots of screaming, some even by the kids, well, I am done with fighting. Because if my son screams at me, “You can’t make me” again today, well I just might make him, dead that is.

And after reading this, whenever my kids are sick I am going to amuse myself by shouting, “The Fever, The Fever….” and rend my garments. Reading Jennifer’s blog gives me a lot of insight into my in-laws thoughts, since they are first generation Italian-Americans. My mother in law thinks pastina is the cure-all for sickness, and Noxema… it fixes whatever might ail you. Leg broken? rub on some Noxema. Itchy rash? rub on some Noxema. Have a headache? you guessed it.


And as a bonus, before my fingers become too slippery with sweat, here is part of a conversation I had this weekend with my sister-in-law. Who, it should be mentioned, has never, NOT ONCE, babysat for any number of my children.

“What do you mean you are going away for four days?”

“Um, yes I am going away. it has been planned for awhile.”

“But, who is going to watch your kids?”

“Their father. You know that man I married and had sex with? The man who is responsible for half their genetic material. That man. He is perfectly capable.”

“You aren’t afraid to leave him home alone with all those children?”

“Afraid? No, why would I be afraid? He may not do everything the way I would like him to, but everyone will survive, and really anything else is just icing.”

“But still… I can’t believe you would do that!”

And at that point, in the interest of preserving family harmony which would be lost should I kill her, I think I said something like,

“It’s really hot outside, huh?”

Posted by Chris @ 5:49 am | 30 Comments  

Quote of the day

July 13, 2006

Scene: We are driving in the car and my three year old daughter is having a tantrum because we dared to drive McDonald’s and not buy her the french fries she demanded.

“Give me my shoes! I want my shoes!” she screams

“We’ll get them for you when we get home.” I tell her in my tour guide Barbie voice.

“No! I need them now!”

“Why do you need them right now? We are in the car.” I calmly explain. Practice deep breathing through her screams.


“Sorry, sweet cheeks, I am driving. Why do you need them?” La la la practice leaving body and going to my happy place.

“Because I want to THROW THEM AT YOU!”

Oh well, in that case let me pull right over.

Posted by Chris @ 7:30 pm | 24 Comments  

Nineteen Months


Yet another step away from babyhood, that is how this past month has felt. You body has lost some of it’s fullness and roundness. You do things with more purpose, more control over your body. Your little bowed legs have grown and straightened, which is good since it used to look like you just jumped off a horse’s back.

In the sun

You have developed a temper. You get angry at me and will come over with your little fist and try to hit me. I have to stop myself from laughing because the amount of fury in your tiny body over not being allowed to crush every granola bar in the cabinet is astounding. I will hold your little fist and tell you, “No hitting.” This will cause you to throw yourself onto the ground and cry.

This past month you have grown more teeth. All four of your molars broke through and continue to grow through your gums. It doesn’t seem to bother you in the least. Perhaps,unbeknownst to me, your father has given you the “pain is weakness leaving the body” pep talk. But now that you have teeth, you feel entitled to use any toothbrush you find, regardless if it doesn’t belong to you or belongs to the Clorox I scrub the tile grout with. All I have to say is, “Is that your toothbrush?” and you will turn and run away with it as fast as you can, clutching it to your chest, screaming. I hope your obsession with dental hygeine lasts, because I am getting pretty tired of telling your older brothers to brush their teeth twice a day and having them look at me like they have never before seen a toothbrush.

Holding His Favorite Toy

The excema that you have been plagued with in recent months, has cleared up significantly since we put you on the elimination diet, and really how could it not since you can’t eat anything anymore. I set you out in the yard to graze and luckily you aren’t allergic to grass. It’s a good thing that you are at a completely reasonable age and don’t care if you get an empty ice cream cone to eat while everyone else has cones overflowing with ice cream and sprinkles. Yeah, right.

Your appointment with the allergist is next month, so hopefully we will have some kind of answer then and you will be able to enjoy some overprocessed junk food as is the right of every American child. And your ever so helpful siblings will able to leave their snacks laying around and you will be able to eat them when you find them. Instead of the way it works now, which is they leave the snacks laying around, you find them and begin eating them, only to have them snatched out of your hands by those same well meaning siblings.

Watching me type

This month you have discovered how to power your Little Tykes car in a forward direction. This has resulted in much joy and celebration for those of us who didn’t particularly enjoy pushing you around the driveway. Okay, the “us” I speak of is me. Me and my aching back. Your brothers are usually all to happy to send you down the driveway at mock speed, with their own bodies splayed across the car roof. They still don’t understand that your feet get trapped under the car and dragged under the car, and that you don’t like having the tops of your feet and toes skinned by the ashphalt. Yeah, you are such a baby.

Eating Breakfast

And yes, I did cut your hair again last week. But this time I think I did a good job. Your hair is so fine and fluffy and has turned quite blonde from the summer sun. Having your hair cut short makes you look so old and boy-like.

You now run. Your body stays completely upright, your arms held straight out from your sides, hands flopping from the wrist down. Your legs are the only thing that are running. I love it. I love the way your chubby little cheeks still jiggle when you run. It makes me want to chase after you and bite them like they are little mounds of jello. But I have to be content with tackling you in the yard and kissing those cheeks until you beg to be let up.

When does that cheek jiggling stop? I don’t know, but as I look around at your siblings none of them run slack jaw and have their cheeks shake. I want so badly to remember you like this.

You still don’t like to talk very much , preferring instead to point and grunt. Most of the words that you do say sound amazingly similar and are only decipherable based on the context in which they were used.

Words that you use frequently:
dada: daddy
teet : teeth
ouch: used very dramatically
ba-ba: bottle
daw-daw: all done, complete with hand movements
hello: usually said when you have stolen my cell phone
bat: bath
ba-ball: baseball


Speaking of baseball. You love baseball. You love watching baseball. I’ll tell you to show me how you swing. You will stand with you feet spread and assume the hitting position and swing your imaginary bat. It is a kind of cute that defies description. I think that your father is feeding you treats behind my back everytime baseball is on television, training you like Pavlov’s dog. Otherwise I just have no explanation for your giddy reaction when we switch channels and happen by ESPN.

or maybe it is the snowcones I buy you at the games. The ones you spill out onto the grass and i keep scooping back up into your pointy cup, until you have eaten it all, leaving behind only bits of grass and dirt at the bottom of the cup.

snowcones and dirt

I love you. And every day I am thankful for you, my little surprise, my little cabosse, my little pita pocket.*

(pita pocket for my new readers is a shortcut name for “pain in the ass pocket sized version” that I began calling Miles when he was a wee cranky babe. And I say it with love.)

to see the whole set, and really why wouldn’t you. click here

Posted by Chris @ 8:21 am | 30 Comments  

it’s like shopping and a show

July 12, 2006

Dear my lovely sons,

Grocery shopping with all of you is always fun. I especially love the game you boys play. What game, you ask me with your eyes wide and innocent? The game I like to call, Try-To-Get-Strangers-To-Call-CPS-On-Our-Mother game.

You know the one I am talking about. The well orchestrated game where all of you wait for a crowd of people to be around us and then one of you will hold up something obvious, in the case of today, a banana and loudly say, “What is this? I have never seen this before!”

Then I will reply, “What are you talking about? Of course you have seen a banana before!”

And then one of you will say, “Baaaa-naaaaaa-naaaahhh” like you are a five year old struggling with phonics, and hold it up in the air for all your siblings to admire. And then those siblings will oooh and aaaah like you are holding the holy grail, or the newest Lego Bionicle, above your head.

I am always amazed at how well you all work together in these situations. At home trying to get you all to play a game of Clue, cards, or even sit on the couch near each other is an invitation for a wrestling match to break out that would make the WWF look tame.

I’ll say even louder, “What are you doing? You have so seen that before!” I will look around at all the people staring out of the corners of their eyes at me and laugh nervously.

Then one of you will loudly say, “No, Mom. We have never seen this…. what is it called again… oh yeah bananan before.” And the rest of you shake you heads in solidarity.

You boys are good, in a band of roguish brothers sort of way and I am oddly impressed. But you must remember that when it comes to perfecting your evil ways, I am your master. You still have much to learn my little grasshoppers.

And I say, “It’s a BANANA. A GOD FORSAKEN BANANA. And the reason you have never seen them before because the bananas will go bad in the basement where I keep you shackled to the drain pipes. Now let’s finish shopping.”

You will never win, though I love that you try,


Posted by Chris @ 6:04 am | 36 Comments