Monday, March 31, 2008

Rebound Love

Several people have suggested that it is time to go get Evangeline.

In a cruel twist of fate, Evie has been adopted.

I was really frustrated when I found out because I really truly felt like it was meant to be with her.

I've been saying for a long time now that we shouldn't be a 2 dog family, and that one day I would like to just own 1 retired racing greyhound because I love the gratefulness of a rescued dog, but when I met her that day, matching the exact physical description of the type of dog I love PLUS having the need to be loved, having suffered a lack of it, I just felt like this was it.

Like I said, how sometimes people get pregnant on accident and even though you weren't planning it and you know it's not ideal, that it's just right.

But I guess it was just not right.

You know that song, "When I get knocked down, I get up again, blobbity blobbity blah"? That's the sort of week I'm having. One of those "when it rains it pours" sort of things. I won't bore you with the details, but some of it really sucks and is terrible timing.

I will admit that when I went to double check and make sure Evie really wasn't on the website anymore, I accidentally started looking at rebound puppies.

I've always done that with men too, it really is the best way. You just need something to fill the space and position until you get your bearings back.

I even found a couple (puppies, not men) and made Mr. Ashley call on them. One was perfect but $550.

Then the next morning there was a litter in the paper and the one left was exactly what I wanted (double dappled mini dachshund boy with one blue eye) and a more reasonable $325, but I looked around objectively and realized this was wrong.

Just like the rebound boyfriend, it would feel great at first, but when the reality of a new set of problems set in, I'd realize that it was a mistake and the timing was bad.

My plan is to have the garage sale Saturday (ugh) and use some of the proceeds to pay someone to come and do spring cleaning. I deserve it. It will be a new beginning, Chore Whore can just shut the hell up for a while and someone else can deal with the aftermath and then we will just maintain from there.

That's just the plan though, so there's no saying it will happen that way. It's a darn good plan though, if I do say so myself.

Then theoretically, life will magically fall into place and eventually I will meet a dog and it won't have to be the rebound dog and will hopefully enter our home once it's already a happier place.

These are the three that made me melt the most. I highly recommend if you're looking for a furry friend. I'm going to try to stay away from there though because with puppies as cute as this, it could be dangerous.

By the way, no one adopt these puppies if you see them on there. I will be pissed at you. I don't know why and they do deserve a good home, but I prefer they wait a bit. That first one is the one I want the most (if I were dog shopping and if I did have money). I would name him Murphy.

Holy shit they're cute. Why do puppies have to be so cute?



Sunday, March 30, 2008

Don't Be a Nagger


That sign is funny as shit, but I think we can all agree that racism hurts everyone.

Because almost all of us are so sick of hearing about it. How is this still an issue??

Yeah, there are some black people that make their kind look bad.

There are some white people that make their kind look bad.

There are some spanish speaking people (what do we even call them now? Hispanic? Latino?) that make their kind look bad.

There are some asians that make their kind look bad.

Wait, are there? I don't know, maybe not, they seem pretty nice.

There are cultural differences and personal differences that can be annoying. But who has the time or energy to actively hate a whole race of people just because? A lot of it is obviously ignorance and a lot of it is a subconscious fear of that which is different from what we know and some of it can be related to past experiences with the wrong representatives or annoying cultural differences...but let's just stop.

ALSO, let's stop seeking it out. Damn. It's out there for sure, but could we stop inventing it at every turn? Personally, I'm to the point where I will not even refer to black people at all ever.

Recently on Babycenter a popular poster had a signature that said something like "Nagger to one husband and prison warden to 2 boys" and every time I scrolled past her posts, I'd feel uncomfortable because I'd accidentally think of the N word, which I will not even say out loud.

Finally one evening some racist idiot got on and started slinging the N word around and I got the opportunity to mention to this poster that her signature made me feel guilty for some reason and oddly enough, several people said they felt the same way. I just thought that was funny that so many of us were so sensitive to it that we couldn't even read a similar word without feeling uneasy.

I'm not racist, I have absolutely no problem with any entire race or religion, but I just find the whole thing exhausting. You just never know who you'll offend when or why.

So I know this is old news by now, but I can't not offer my opinion on this LeBron James Vogue cover controversy.

LeBron James Magazine

People are saying this is racist. Do you have any idea why this is racist?

Supposedly because he is being depicted as King Kong.

Do you know why this *is* racist?

Because someone even went there. Whoever screamed racist at this, is racist.

When I see it, I see a big fierce athlete, with a beautiful woman in one hand and a basketball in the other, a total powerhouse, ready to take the world and basketball court by storm.

Who looked at this and thought Vogue was comparing him to a primate? Do we need to have the "intent" talk again? I've been over that a few times here before. Does Vogue have some hidden agenda to compare black people to monkeys? I'm thinking not, call me jaded and maybe it is because I'm white that I'm not seeing it, but I truly don't believe that was the intent of the photographer, the cover models or the magazine editors.

This is what I mean by let's stop SEARCHING for opportunities to scream "racist".

You know, Big Kid has NO CLUE that there is even such a thing. He has no idea. His aunt is black (Mr. Ashley has a black sister...long story, however it does make for interesting opportunities to make people feel uncomfortable when someone says something racist like it's okay because I'm white..."You do know Mr. Ashley has a black sister, don't you?"), he has friends of various colors, he has no idea that it is any different than having brown eyes or blue eyes.

But the constant screaming that racism is everywhere is going to draw his attention to the fact that it even exists.

People are stupid. People of all races. People that hate any entire race, religion, gender, sexual preference are obviously among the stupid in a major way.

And don't even get me started on people hating The Jews. Is this over the Jesus thing? Do you even know how long ago that was? And if they did take over Hollywood, it was through their own hard work and perseverance.

So let's just stop. Let's all just hate each other for the things that are actually worth hating each other over.

Also, let's remember that if we wiped out racism, Jesse Jackson and Reverend Al would be out of business...and that's not a bad thing. Not a bad thing at all.



To see the hysterical "Apologies to Jesse Jackson" South park video where Stan's dad is on Wheel of Fortune and the clue is "People who annoy everyone" and the board said N_GGERS and he guesses the N word...Go HERE and search for episode 1101 in Season 11.

To read an article on the cover controversy that brought up some good points, go HERE.

Dear Madonna,

Perhaps it hasn't come to your attention that your daughter looks like a muppet monster with those eyebrows. Please allow me to present you the evidence:

Lourdes: Your Daughter
Muppets: No relation to you or humans

Now I know sometimes the mommy goggles can get fogged up, but surely you've noticed?

And hey, I'm all for loving yourself and embracing your Italian heritage and all...but I've seen chimps with less hair on their face.

She's a lovely girl (otherwise). There ain't no shame in a little wax, girlfriend, or better yet electrolysis. She's old enough, it's minor enough...get it done.

Trust me on this one.

Quite Frankly,

P.S. Get the upper lip too, k?thxbai


There's hope for all of us

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Amusing Distractions


Well I went to bed early and spent almost all of today in bed, feeling too drained to barely move. I ventured out sometime late afternoon because Mr. Ashley had to run out for a bit and searched the internet for some sort of distraction or amusement.

While I did that little kid and Big Kid invented a game which involved slapping and kicking each other and eventually little kid moved on to building a platform with which to reach the Easter candy and systematically went through every single egg, emptying the candy into his bucket and discarding the eggs back in the basket and then smuggling (even though I knew and couldn't care less) all of the candy outside and eating it, wrapper and all.

Whatever. He was quiet and this bought me a good 45 minutes of peace. He'll probably end up looking like this:
But surely there will be a pill for that by then (the fat, not the Asian-ness. Asians are here to stay.)

So I did find some stuff to smile about. I also refocused my anger so that instead of hating the entire world, I am mainly concentrating on George Dubya and high fructose corn syrup, since they are really responsible for most of the evil in the world anyway.

Anyway, here are a few of the random things that managed to make me smile today:

















Friday, March 28, 2008


Writing the eulogy was cathartic in a way, as was another day at the beach which was further brightened by finding a gorgeous bouquet of sunflowers from the Chaws on my doorstep.

All of your comments and support truly move me and remind me that there really is some good in the world. I'm on a whole "the world sucks and resistance to the misery is futile" kick this week, between my dog dying and shit on the news and an image from the war of a grief stricken mother cradling the body of her bloody 6 year old and everyone I know being depressed and seeing people go homeless because of the real estate market's just hard to convince myself otherwise without all of these heartfelt reminders from people who hardly know me.

I'm still so sad. I feel like a scab that is continuously being picked. An oozing, painful mess. I am so used to my eyes filling up with tears that I no longer bother with the effort to raise my hands to my cheeks to wipe them away and I just have permanent hot salty streaks dripping from my face.

I'm struck by her absence over and over again and my heart aches and my eyes burn and I'm filled with so much regret and sadness and just plain missing her that it just really physically hurts. I feel like when you have a hangover and you're convinced that throwing up would make it all go away but you can't throw up. I just wish I could and that it was all that easy.

Chaw Sherri often references wanting to put on fuzzy socks and cling to her bed like it's a life raft and I alternate between that and wanting to put the house back together since it is frozen at the moment of disaster--garage sale stuff everywhere, dishes piled up, laundry neglected. But when I look around and remember why it's all like this in the first place, I just want to go back to the life raft plan.

Thank you all for being so great. I promise we'll move on to talking about something else soon.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Dear Heidi Louise,

As much as I loved the Rainbow Bridge poem, I prefer to think that you're just in regular old Heaven. You and I both know that meadows and hills and a bunch of animals isn't your idea of Heaven. So knowing that you know that you're better than all that, I hope you crossed right on over the bridge to meet up with those we've lost before, knowing that I'll see you there.

So instead I prefer to think of you spending time as you would have wanted. Two clear, seeing eyes, no lumps or gray hairs or snaggly teeth, the slender figure of the miniature Dachshund you were meant to be.

You'll probably spend your days lounging on a beach with our friend Bo, who died in a car accident a week before our wedding, who knew you were the coolest dog in the world and was delighted to see you every time he came over.

I bet you'll curl up on a couch somewhere with Robert, who was tragically murdered, but spent countless hours with you in his lap, either chilling on my parents' back porch or napping on their couch.

You're probably sharing McDonald's with Phil who would defiantly make ham and cheese sandwiches for both you and himself, despite my demands that he not feed you. "I don't care what you say. She loves me because I feed her so I'm going to feed her, " he would tell me as he handed you your sandwich.

You're probably riding in a convertible somewhere with Daryl, with the music too loud, silky ears flapping in the breeze, reminiscing back to the times you attended parties at his condo.

I bet you're even chasing cats again...cats with no claws since that's how you got your eye scratched up in the first place. Maybe you're even chasing Baby Freckles, she was always an easy target.

Maybe you're lounging around somewhere with grandma. I've got a ton of family up there, I'm sure they love you like I do, because I do. I know you'll be there with them when my time here is over. I'll be looking for you at the Rainbow Bridge and I'll find you waiting for me at the Pearly Gates. Probably on the lap of Saint Peter himself, helping make all of the decisions.

Everybody loved you. You were the coolest dog. We did so many fun things.

I loved you at first sight, seeing you there in the pet store window. You were $900 so you were far out of a 17 year old's reach, but I kept checking and you were always there.

I finally dragged my boyfriend down there and made them let me hold you. You shook, peed, threw up, chewed something off the wall and fell off the bench.

I had to have you.

Thinking I was nuts for wanting you, my boyfriend struck up a deal for $450 and a bag of dog food. I have teased you about this fact relentlessly, that you were half off, a clearance dog...but you were the best bargain ever. And honestly the best gift ever.

The boyfriend didn't last long, but you were instantly a part of my life and the lives of everyone around me. If you didn't like someone, neither did I. This resulted in countless food bribes since rumor got around quickly that if you liked Ashley, her dog better like you. When you met Mr. Ashley, it was love at first sight. On both parts. He loved your sassy self and you loved him, even without a food offering.

We had been dating 6 months on that fateful Thanksgiving Day when your eye got scratched. As usual, I was uncertain and panicky and he was In Control. When you were prescribed 8 different medicines that had to be administered in 2 hour intervals, and he set an alarm to do it every 2 hours, without one complaint or being asked, just because he loved you, I knew that he was the man I would have children with. I knew without a doubt that he was a good person and would be a great father. And he is.

You were our only child forever, and I'm sure you've spent time missing those days. Me too. You were at all the parties, all the insane boat outings where you'd hop from boat to boat eating hotdogs and spent your spare time attacking waves, growling and snapping at them and scaring them away for a moment until you had to fight the next one.

I remember that time we took you camping, to that rock festival out in the Everglades, and we were all tripping on acid (sorry mom) and we declared our territory as Camp One Eyed Dog and Arrrghhed at everyone like pirates, soon becoming famous throughout the festival with you as our well known and internationally loved mascot, adored and fed by everyone who ventured up to introduce themselves.

You went to several concerts, you loved going to the jazz concerts downtown and chilling on a blanket eating some popcorn. You hated the clapping though, just like you hated thunderstorms, so we'd cover your ears at the end of each song and you'd tremble until the next one started.

You were a regular at one of the most popular restaurants downtown, delighting everyone when you pranced in wearing one of your many T-shirts, declaring everything from our political opinions (Future President) to our favorite bands across your long back.

For Halloween one year, we were vampires and you were the bat, proudly wearing black satin bat wings Mr. Ashley helped me construct for you. You wore them all night, with an extra spring in your step, as you always did when people were watching.

We threw you a huDge birthday party one year, complete with keg, and had an enormous turn out...all there for you, most bearing gifts. You spent all night wearing a white doll sweater embroidered with flowers and fastened with pearl buttons and a silk purple birthday hat. You spent the whole night being the center of attention and you loved every bit of it.

You were there as we moved from my parents' house to a tiny one bedroom apartment in a bad neighborhood, to the foreclosure we bought and then to the home we built and live in now, the home we brought our babies home to.

You welcomed both boys without hesitation, tolerating ear pulling, food snatching and overaggressive petting without so much as a snarl and accepting your new position in our lives.

I wish it didn't have to be that way. I wish the frustration of children combined with the frustration of your quirks (ahem...peeing on the floor, yapping, trash did it before you got Cushings Disease, you know you did) hadn't made me feel out of extra love to give at the end of the day. I'm sorry my lap was always so full and that it was always hard enough to get out of the house with two kids, little less two kids and a dog. I'm sorry you lost your place and I'll regret it forever, but I know you know that I loved you. I just wish I had told you more lately.

I keep wondering and searching my mind for anything special that happened yesterday. I remember getting you some water. little kid had 3 muffins, surely you must have gotten one? I wish it had been more special. I had Planned for it to be different, but that's what I get for having Plans. But I know your life was special and that's what matters.

I'll always love you. We grew up together. You made me realize that Mr. Ashley was meant to be the father of my children and as he spent those last moments with you in the car and then brought you home to wash your body and give you a proper burial, it made me see all of that all over again.

He put you in a wooden Coca Cola box, wrapped in a baby blanket and his favorite shirt, with his favorite hat in there with you. This broke my heart as I saw him taking these things, reverently folded, this stack of green, well worn with his Irish pride, and I said it was just too sad and he said that you deserved his favorite things, that he wanted you to have them. Ooooh God. It's just so hard.

But it reminded me all over again why he is my husband. And that things like the garbage overflow and the weeds are not Big Things. That this is a Big Thing. This is a character defining sort of thing and just like you made me realize that we belonged together in the first place, you have reminded me of this all over again.

You are just such a part of our family. You always will be. I have this dread of hitting publish on this, as if making a final goodbye means it's really goodbye...but it really is goodbye.

I know it was your time to go. You were 13. Your disease was hard on you. You were losing your luster and sparkle for life.

This was quick and painless, with no need for a scary vet trip or a Big Decision or some Final Countdown. It just sucks that it is SO hard on us, even knowing that you are in a better place, a place I look forward to knowing one day, a place that I do have absolute faith exists, so of course you are there. And you'll always be here, in my heart and as a big piece of our family and our history.

I love you, weeze. It's been fun, old girl.

Until we meet again.

Yours Truly,

Rainbow Bridge

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.

The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

--Author Unknown

Fucking A

I am just so sad. I have so much I want to say but I just feel so stunned and shattered.

Last night we scrounged up a Valium hidden for just such an occasion and split it, washing it down with a glass of wine (or two). I'm not kidding when I tell you that I momentarily thought of crushing that bitch up and snorting it. I'm also not kidding when I tell you that I will be making some calls and asking friends and family to check their medicine cabinets for me.

If someone offered me Electro-shock therapy today, I'd take it. Gratefully and thankfully.

But even numb and hazy, the whole thing was just horrific. And as the panic and horror and shock subsided, the reality hurts just as bad. Then I semi-forget for a moment when I'm distracted and it'll all come rushing back and I'm like, "Holy fuck. That really happened."

My cheeks burn from the constant stream of tears and Mr. Ashley's eyes are swollen shut from the crying. Big Kid seems to understand it logically and is very sad for us and Lily and knows not to push it at all today. little kid hasn't noticed yet, but surely he will wonder where his best buddy went. Our other dog Lily went from pacing and whining all last night to curled up motionless in a corner of our bedroom, not even lifting her head if you go in there.

It's all just really sad.

I cannot even tell you all how much your kind words and thoughts mean to my family though. I know it's the sort of thing where no one knows what to say and it probably doesn't seem like one more "I'm so sorry" will help, but it really means the world to me that so many people care. It's also the perfect send off for my sassy Miss Heidi Louise, who was an attention whore like her mama, and who had the type of personality whose passing deserves more than a mere mention.

I hope to be back with a proper eulogy at some point. I'm begging Mr. Ashley to change his voicemail to say there's been a death in the family and everyone else can go screw themselves.

Although I think we want to stay here in our weeping, silent trances, I think we should get out of here and maybe go down to the beach or something.

Anything but sitting here marveling over the fact that the absence of something that didn't even take up one cubic foot of space could make our home and hearts feel so empty right now.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Oh God

She didn't make it :-(

Please God No

I have no idea why I'm writing this right now, other than a total unsureness about what else to do with myself and an attempt to distract myself from the histrionics, hyperventilating and dry heaving that is starting to scare Big Kid.

We were just getting ready for the garage sale and finished up, feeling proud of ourselves, and as the garage door closed we didn't realize that Heidi was in its path.

I am unsure of what exactly is going on but I could tell from Mr. Ashley that things weren't good and I instantly lapsed into total hysteria and screamed for him to take her to the emergency vet.
Now I'm sitting here pleading with God for something my brain knows is most likely hopeless and hating myself beyond hating myself for not calming down and giving her a sweet, soothing, proper goodbye instead of my stupid fucking crying and yelling and pleading.

I always thought I'd be there at the end. I'm so beyond devastated I don't know what to do with myself. Other than wait by the phone. And cry. And try not to scream at the top of my lungs when Big Kid asks me how to spell Vivian for the 100th time today and brings me hearts he's drawn to make me feel better.

Oh God I cannot even believe this is happening. I am so beyond sad and so beyond hating myself and feeling like life is so, so, so, so, so very unfair and feeling like a total asshole for writing about it instead of DOING something. But I don't know what to do other than scream or puke.

What to do with Curly Hair

I recently got a comment from someone who said she still didn't know what to do with her curly hair and it made me remember that I've been meaning to do a post on this very subject.

Curly hair is both an art AND a science.

MOST people do not know the proper formula to making curly hair look nice. After decades of trying, I think I've figured it out. Now maybe this only works on my hair, but I have conversed with ChawAlissa about it, who also has lovely curly hair, and our systems are very similar so I think we are onto something.

First off...let's embrace the curly hair. Yeah, I know, we spent the whole first half of our lives (if not more) pleading with God to give us shiny, straight, glossy hair that was easily cut and styled. If you are like me, you spent almost every morning in high school, round brush in one hand and hairdryer in the other, praying that you would flip your head up to see smooth, unfrizzy hair lying flat down your back.

This was before the day of the almighty Chi obviously, but screw the Chi. You can still get one if you must, but I will not. Curly hair rocks, anyone who thinks otherwise is jealous or doing it wrong.

First, let's talk about cut. This is what tortures those of us with curly hair. Because we want hairstyles too. We want to be a part of the Jennifer Aniston trend or the Posh Beckham trend or whatever trend everyone is currently into. Unfortunately, this almost always means daily straightening and leaving the salon that first day sobbing.

There is a certain length that must be avoided at all costs, and this is right around the shoulder range. You do not, I repeat, do NOT want to look like a triangle head. If you have curly hair, you've probably gone into the triangle head zone before.

If you're going to go shortish, there has to be decent clearance between shoulder tops and hair bottom. If you're going to go longish, it has to be at least two inches below the shoulders. And that's dry. Don't forget that curly hair dries up shorter and don't assume a hairstylist knows this. They should, but if they don't have curly hair and you're paying less than $60 for a haircut, they probably don't care.

Mine is a little past the middle of my back, the longest it ever gets before looking scraggly and weighed down. It is currently in need of a trim, something I only bother with every 6 months or so, but since it's kind of all wild looking anyway and my last trim was end of November, it looks fine across the back. Some bitch hairdresser at my salon told me if it was up to her she wouldn't let me leave without letting her cut four inches know what that's called?

A jealous, chubby, middle aged has been with stick straight hair wanting to ruin mine.

1 inch? Definitely 2 inches? Maybe 4 inches?? You're fucking crazy and I am tattling on you next time I go to the salon, and my hairdresser, aka the franchise owner's daughter, will be HELLA-pissed at you because A) your unsolicited advice was rude B) it was wrong.

My hairdresser would be letting me know if I needed 4 inches taken off, she has gathered it into a ponytail, taken scissors and hacked off the bottom before and wouldn't hesitate to tell me she was doing it again. She calls me her walking billboard, she's not letting me wander around with 4 extra inches of scraggly hair.

This is an interesting phenomenon with women. They are always urging each other to hack all their hair off. There are two reasons for this:

1. Remember that weird frienemy you had in highschool that would insist that too tight lime green shirt and purple puffy skirt looked great on you? And she would seem sincere but you always knew that she didn't want you looking good?

Yeah, those girls are still out there.

I see this on Babycenter all the time. Someone posts a picture and asks what to do about their hair and get the equivalent of "ohhh a pixie cut would look great!" or "a mullet would really frame your face nicely." Um, no.

2. Short hair is more stylish. Unfortunately, many people can't pull off the newest cutting edge look. Also, a lot of people do long hair wrong. I'm not going to go into that now, but that's possible too. Long, lank and just hanging there is also not good.

But...who are we trying to impress? Those jealous bitches? or their men? Because men like longer hair.

Okay, now that we've got the haircut down (longer with a light layer in the back), let's get in the shower! Woo-hoo, bend over and reach me that soap, will ya?

Assuming you shower every day (I believe I've made it clear that I do not), you should NOT be shampooing every day. Oh no, no, no. Shampoo is bad, mmmmkay?

Shampoo every other day and just use a little bit of shampoo and massage your scalp with it and rinse. Then grab your industrial sized conditioner, because there is no reason to buy it any other way, and pour gobs and gobs of it into your hands and work it into your hair from the bottom up. When you think you have too much, you need two more gobs. Don't get a whole lot on your roots though, just comb the leftovers through with your fingers up there.

On your non shampoo days, just use the conditioner. It has cleansing properties too and your hair is just not that dirty.

Now do all your other showering stuff, letting the conditioner marinate on there a little. Rinse it out, follow with a quick cool water rinse to get rid of frizz (I know it sucks but it's good for you) and get out of the shower.

Use your towel to squeeze most of the water out of your hair. Don't go getting all nuts and vigorously rubbing or anything. No need for that. Also, don't wrap your hair up into your towel. I know that sucks, but this is critical curling time. Just squeeze excess water out.

Now take a wide tooth comb and comb it all out. You may need a little bit of leave in conditioner to get through the thick parts. DO NOT put it near your roots, just near the bottom.

Now take your towel again and gently grab handfuls of hair and scrunch more wetness out. Make sure to get the back and underside of your hair well and don't mess around with the front a whole lot, that is a sure fire disaster in the making.

Get your product in hand, I either use Fructis mousse (cheap and awesome, no crunchy curls...1 golf ball sized dollop) or some leave in conditioner (1 dime sized bit), flip your head upside down, and sort of rake it through your hair leaving the majority of it at the ends. Then scrunch and sort of wave your hands all around in there to sort of separate the curls.

Flip your head right side up, gently arrange any rogue curls and DO NOT TOUCH IT AGAIN. NO MATTER WHAT. It's a done deal at this point until it is dry, any further attempts are futile, if you are convinced you have a bad hair day in the must walk away and just consider putting it up when it is dry. Even if you were crazy enough to get in the shower and start from the beginning, it's probably just screwed. I don't know why. I do know that if you keep touching it, it will just be worse and it will be frizzy. So don't touch it. At all.

Now on days that I want really big, really sexy hair (maybe one time a year, MAYBE), I get out the hairdryer with the diffuser, turn the heat OFF and the hairdryer on LOW and blow dry my hair upside down, just sort of gathering it up in the diffuser and holding it near my head and stopping before it's all the way dry.

Seriously, it's so easy.

My hairdresser doesn't really cut hair so I end up with whoever is good and available that day and everyone wants to do mine because I make them hand me the comb, the mousse and the towel once I'm done, do my thing, pull it up in a clip and leave with damp hair.

About a year ago the guy who did it begged me to let him flat iron it since they had never seen it straight and spent an hour doing it in teeny one inch strips, making it geisha girl straight...and taking away everything interesting about me. No thanks. BOR-ING. Even they agreed.

So stop hating on curly hair. I saw Millionaire Matchmaker tell some girl with gorgeous curly hair to straighten it because she doesn't like curly hair and I thought that was just beyond insane and totally not in tune with what men like.

With the right techniques and the right products and the right haircut, curly hair rocks. It even looks halfway okay frizzy, which is imperative in Florida humidity.

So stop listening to girls that don't like you, grow your hair longer and stop fighting the curls.

They'll win in the long run anyway.

For additional information, please read this
brilliant post where I discuss my favorite things, among them Wen conditioner.


Work It Out Wednesday...okay, I'm up at 12:35am and ahead of the game for Work It Out Wednesday.

I have ordered some photos for frames I have and finished SIL's pictures.

When I wake up I'm going to do the dishes and begin doing major garage sale gathering.

I also need to nag Mr. Ashley about the broken lawnmower and a few other things that just aren't getting done, despite DAILY requests for said items to be completed. Grrrrrr.

Bonus working it out will include working more on my photography website, thinking about upcoming auction donations, getting newborn pics and mom's dog pics printed and rescheduling that shoot I keep canceling.

That all seems very do-able.

It'll probably be a whole different story tomorrow, but we can hope not!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

New Rule

Anyone within smacking distance gets smacked.

Broken Birds

little kid just managed to get a hold of my sweet little white porcelain bird shaped salt shaker and he threw it to the ground, shattering it into 9 million pieces.

It just makes me want to cry. It's only half of a stupid $10 salt and pepper shaker set but DAMN. I remember feeling guilty when I bought them, but they were just so lovely sitting on my big farm house style dining room table that I appreciated them every time I looked at them and was so glad I splurged on something that seemed sort of silly at the time.

I don't think they even made it 6 months.

All my beautiful spring stuff? The pastel eggs and nests and sweet little birds? Locked up in the half painted hutch, which is half painted because I can't do it when he's awake and can't do it at night because it's too dark, leaving me very little time to do it.

UGH. This kid.

I have no idea how to get the message across to him that the whole house is not his playground. That some of this stuff is mine and I don't want it catapulted off of the back deck. That if I find my Ove Glove in the planter out back one more time I'm going to scream.

I just want a couple of nice things. Nothing even expensive or extravagant. I don't even dare display my pottery collection the way I'd like, because of the impracticality of that and little kid.

But a salt and pepper shaker? That should've been fine.

Big Kid

thinks Fluffy Windover should name her baby:

Girlawhirl if it's a girl, pronounced Gullawuhl.


Boyaloy if it's a boy.

He wasn't sure on spellings.

Latest Big Kidisms

Big Kid: Dis is really sticky. Like ooey, gooey, sticky. It's gettin' my hands all sticky and stuffs.
Ashley: Yep, marshmallows are sticky.
Big Kid: yeah, like glue. I don't really like touchin' glue and stuffs, you know why?
Ashley: Why?
Big Kid: Ecause glue makes you stick to da cat.

Big Kid: little kid smells like poop.
Ashley: So why don't you change his diaper?
Big Kid: No, I'm dest a kid.
Ashley: Well, it's not hard. He'll sit on his mat, you take his dipe off, wipe all the poopies away and put a new one on him.
Big Kid: Um, no. I'm not doin' dat.
Ashley: But he smells like poop.
Big Kid: Yeah, he does. You're his mudder. Dat's your job. Dest deal wif it.

(at some point I noticed that Big Kid has pretty much mastered his R and L sounds. This is sad for us, as Ashley's Closet Speech Impairment fans, but I guess it's a good thing and his squeaky little voice is just as cute. One day I'll get him on video for you all, I promise.)

Monday, March 24, 2008

Guess What?

I'm going to name Fluffy Windover's baby!!

I have just updated myself on her condition, we're out of the first trimester AND the baby is due a day after my birthday. Coincidence? I think not.

This kid is going to be a genius a la Ashley and must have a befitting name.

My girl choices are:

Ashley (duh)

Evangeline (Sorry Deb, I know it's yours but I still feel compelled to suggest this name to everyone because I do love it so)








Sullivan (It is a chaw tradition to include this one. It *is* a great name)

Charlotte but you have to call her Charley


Boy choices are:









Banyan (I can never get anyone on board with this name. It is a great name)


I'm kind of out of boy's names. They aren't as much fun anyway. I already picked the two best ones and have Cash on hold, so all of those are out for you.

Here is a website where you can see the popularity of baby names based on location.

Here is a website with unusual baby names. Some good. Some not so good. At all. Don't go with anything too "out there". No Phryncyzka because vowels aren't cool, or any stupid shit like that.

Also, no wildly cre8tv spellings please. Good Lord, no apostrophes. They should be illegal. Also, try to avoid the Capital/lowercase/Capital sort of spellings, it's just too much for people.

Nothing that ends with -aden for boys (including but not limited to Aiden, Hayden, Brayden, Jayden, Kayden, Zayden, etc.) and no more Emily or Madisons for the next few years. They are all great names (especially Emily and Madison, I LOVE both), we are just filled to capacity right now.

Okay everyone, add your suggestions below. With a name like Fluffy Windover, she's going to need all the help she can get with this whole naming business.

A Real Bummer

but I'm not funny OR entertaining today.

I know, I know. I'm as disappointed as you all are.

Instead, I'll show you that animals are way smarter than we think. Even octopii.

Artistic elephants
Chimps remember more than humans
The Octopus and his Mr. Potato Head

Also, somehow I wasted too much time reading the story of some nutball named Don LaRose, a pastor who went missing and later resurfaced as mayor of Arkansas with claims of being abducted by Satanists (personally, I think he's full of shit.)

Which somehow led to me researching Electro-shock therapy. That's some crazy stuff. They still do it too. Sometimes ON CHILDREN. What the fuck?? How is that even legal???

I've also looked at criminals wearing ironic (and almost always appropriate) t-shirts in their mugshots.

And later I plan on learning how to write a novel in 2 months and learning how to bake bread.

Pretty productive day, huh?

It is Market Yourself & Meal Planning Monday, for the few of you out there that still give a shit. Chore Whore seems to be MIA...perhaps she ran away, maybe she died, who knows.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Show Your Husband

The Big Dog Quadruped Robot. It can carry 340 pounds and the technology is unbelievably similar to a real 4 legged animal, in all kinds of terrain.

It creeps me out big time, for some reason.

1.9 Billion

I just saw on my Yahoo front page that Americans spent around $1.9 billion on Easter candy.


Aren't we all broke?

And fat?

Don't get me wrong, some of that $1.9 billion was mine...but now I'm feeling really bad about it.

Can you imagine if instead of Easter candy we were all like, "For Easter let's all get together and give $1.9 billion to feed poor children, k?" how much the world would change in one fell swoop??

It is just astounding to me. I'm thinking this is not what Jesus had in mind for the celebration of His resurrection.

Cutting Parts Off Babies: Cool or Not?

Someone asked for my opinion on circumcision and all of the other popular Babycenter debates. This is a great question because I have LOTS of opinions on all of these things, having debated them 9 trillion times on Babycenter and dealing with them in my own life.

I am far too verbose to cover them all in one reasonably sized post, so we'll start with Circumcision. I've glossed over my opinions on this before, when discussing how rude people "on the other side" of the debate often are in real life but I'll give you the unabridged version here and now.

PERSONALLY, we decided it was unnecessary. Well, I decided and then beat Mr. Ashley into submission.

While researching like the good First Time Mom that I was, I encountered the circumcision debate. I didn't even know there really was an option other than doing it and had never really even thought about it before.

The idea made me a little queasy. I can't look at a scraped knee without my stomach flip flopping.

So I read both sides of the debate and every piece of literature (biased and unbiased) that I could find (because I'm a little OCD like that).

The prevailing arguments for doing it were:

*Looking like daddy. Frankly, this one disturbs me a little. Are families seriously hanging out examining each other's junk and developing complexes as a result? I spoke to a few people about this phenomenon, including members of my own family, and found several examples of people with a penis that looked different from their father's who were fine with that. In fact, some didn't even know they were different from their father until it came up in this discussion (and yeah, I know more about the penii in my family than I would ever want to know. All in the name of research.)

*Cleanliness. I have always heard this one, even before I knew there was a debate. Having no penis, and finding them all kind of yucky, I had no idea how hard they would be to keep clean, but I just couldn't imagine that it would be that difficult. So once again I "looked into it" and found that you're not supposed to do anything to it at all until it comes out of it's little sleeve. This takes years. Then you just pull it back and wipey wipe. It sounded even easier than teaching a girl to bathe to me, and in all honesty, I plan on raising my kids to shower daily or at the very least wash down stinky areas.

*Increased risk of STDs. This one did actually give me pause. Until I read the studies done ON the studies of those African AIDS studies and found that they were really flawed to begin with. As far as increased risk of HPV, HPV is running rampant in this country as it is. I know at least 5 women who have gotten HPV who haven't ever even been with an intact guy. Besides, there is just no excuse for unprotected sex these days. You're in just as much danger without a foreskin, in my opinion. It's a total and complete gamble.

*Fear of teasing in the locker room. Come on. Seriously? So if he has a big nose should I get him a nose job so no one teases him in the hallway? Besides, WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE STARING AT EACH OTHER'S PACKAGES?? This one is such a non-issue for me that I can't help but laugh when it is mentioned. It is just so bizarre to me. I guess I will instruct my children to scream, "Why the hell are you staring at my dick, pervert?" and start some rumors around school.

*Girls don't like it. I have encountered some girls that really do like it. A lot of the others don't know anything about it. Some don't like it. Most don't care. I *really* hope that any chicks sleeping with my sons like them so much that this is something they will gladly accept about them. If this is such a turn off for them that they can't deal with it, au revoir you shallow bitch.

*I let my husband decide because I don't have a penis. With all due respect to every woman that has ever uttered these words...wh-wh-wh-WHAT? Oh no. Around here I am 75% of every single decision involving my children. I get the extra 25% because I did more to get them here. Besides, men love their penises. They freaking love them. There is no better looking or more functional penis than their own. Also, let me point out that men only have experience with the penis they have. So they are as unqualified as you are to make an unbiased decision.

So after coming up with my own stance on these issues, reading that the American Academy of Pediatrics doesn't recommend it routinely and discovering that my insurance at the time considered it cosmetic, I had pretty much made up my mind. Watching a video of one being done sealed the deal for me, it was professionally and medically done, with pain medication, but even the sight of the thing they strap them down on just made my stomach sink.

Above and beyond all else, I have enough faith in God, Science, Evolution, Biology and all of that other good stuff, to believe that human beings are just not born needing to have a piece of them cut off.

So I informed Mr. Ashley that this was something I now felt passionately about and he said "Oh hell no."

I explained the history of circumcision (made popular again to help cure men of insanity and sexual deviance such as masturbation), I went over the debates and I begged him to see that people weren't born with extra pieces that needed removed and that babies don't need cosmetic surgery.

Finally, at a total stalemate, I insisted that he read the research and watch the video and get back to me. He said he would but that it wouldn't change his mind.

Of course he never did, further infuriating me. Finally it came up again when I was 10 months pregnant, during a Florida summer, and I yelled, "You will have to tear this baby out of my arms in the hospital if you think you are cutting anything off of him. And that is that!"

Luckily, when the nurse asked us in the hospital, and we both looked down at that precious 6lb tiny bundle who was born blue and not breathing and who had had one hell of a day, he agreed with no hesitation that he wasn't going anywhere and would be leaving the hospital with all of the parts he was born with.

NOW...before you moms who did circumcise think that I think that you're mutilators, you're wrong. I'm not a hard core Intactivist who thinks this is a Human Rights Issue. Personally, I don't think it's my choice to make for my child but I don't begrudge any parents making their own decisions.

Mostly, this is a cultural/traditional thing in our country. Do I think the African tribes tattooing and piercing their children are mutilating them? Or that that's a Human Rights Issue? Nope. It's a part of their heritage, traditions, culture, religion, whatever.

So while of course I wish everyone thought like me, I don't think badly of people who don't. It really is not a defining force in anyone's life, almost everyone will be fond of the penis you gave them, regardless of what you did or didn't do to it.

So far, what we've done has worked out great. No extra care, no issues, no identity crises about not looking like daddy, no urinary tract infections, no teasing. Can I also say that I've noticed that being uncut gives the illusion of extra length? Either that or my kids are well endowed compared to other kids their age. I don't know, I'm just sayin'. That sort of thing could really help out in all of these naked locker room arguments.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Mayans Do it Right

You know what really struck me while watching the movie Apocalypto?

I need to accessorize more.

I've come to this conclusion before. More than once. But I was reminded again when seeing the spectacular costumery, or lack thereof, in this movie.

The thing is, I always feel weird. Like I look like I'm trying too hard. Logically I know that I very rarely look at someone wearing accessories and judge them as trying too hard, so I'm not sure exactly where this bizarre mindset comes from, but that combined with not wanting to give little kid the tools to strangle me with, really inhibits my accessory wearing.

My friend Sherri recently pointed out that I am An Artist now and I can wear whatever I want. That is very true. Especially in regards to accessories.

My hairdresser (aka my soul mate) wears fantastic jewelry. Stuff I would never think of wearing on a daily basis. But it looks so great and makes her so interesting and totally fits with her look and personality.

I know she does a lot of HSN shopping, so I decided to see what inspired her and check it out for myself.

I like this one, but why does it have to be $125? It looks like polished rocks. Very pretty polished rocks, but still, not $125 worth.

I like this one $99

I love these



Clearly I'm running out of steam (picture posts make me really tired), but my point is that I want to dress like the Mayans. Except with more clothes and less tattoos and piercings.

Also, HSN has some nice jewelry. With Flex Pay....I know, I know, I can't buy any of it but it is nice to know that if I was ever able to purchase some things for myself, I could do so in 4 easy payments.

Picture Thieves

Someone just asked if I worry about posting pics of the boys and mentioned that someone stole one of the photos of her daughter off of her blog and now she is too paranoid to post photos.

Once again, the fucking psychos ruin it for all of us. I'd love to post photos of myself so you can all tell me how pretty I am, but within a week someone would photoshop a dick in my mouth and it'd be all over the internet.

When I started posting pics of the boys, I didn't realize so many people would see them. If Mr. Ashley could've predicted the future, there would probably be no photos. They are copyrighted, so if I find out about any abuse I just have to sick Uncle Lawyer on them, but who wants to do that?

I do worry about it sometimes and wished I had watermarked them all from the beginning or something, but I don't know. I guess I don't worry about it much.

If Parents magazine asked me to write a blog or article and wanted photos of my kids in it, would I do it? HELL YEAH. If Baby Gap wanted photos of my kids in their next ad, available to all of the perverts of the world, would I do it? HELL YEAH. I know Ashley's Closet isn't anywhere near Parents magazine or Baby Gap, but I can pretend.

There are photos of children everywhere we turn. Unfortunately, there are also pervs everywhere. I heard that someone who played one of the costumed characters at Disney World was arrested for having child just can't even start thinking about that stuff. There are SO MANY crazy people in the world, that you just can't even begin to predict where you may encounter one.

So maybe you don't post photos on your blog, but some creep at the waterpark is taking pictures of your kid with his camera phone. See what I mean that if you start thinking about it, your head will explode?

So pervs, take note...I will cut off your scrotum and force it down your throat without so much as a grimace if it comes down to that. Don't make me do it.

As far as internet trolls or crazy SAHMs or jealous bloggers or those weird foreigners on Orkut borrowing people's kids pictures to use as their own or to attempt to generate some traffic...that's just lame and sad. So no, I don't really worry about that.

On the flipside

as we all know, I get some amazing comments.

I have to say that this little project has been life changing.

People sometimes say, "I couldn't put myself out there like that.", "You're obviously brave to be so candid about your life so publicly", and "I'm not an extrovert like you".

Believe it or not, in real life I'm not an extrovert either. Now, if we're in a classroom or meeting I will talk too much and try to steal the show, but I just like to talk and it is hard to be quiet when you know everything. In general, I'm not seeking out the attention. I'd rather be the sidekick.

Also, there was nothing brave about this venture...I had no plans on sharing our lives with hundreds of thousands of people. I was just starting a fun shopping blog for my Chaws and Babycenter bitches. It veered off course because I wanted to vent and next thing I know, my kids are semi-celebrities and my family has become something of a reality show online.

Sometimes it is completely overwhelming and unbelievable and sometimes I feel like I've woken up to find myself on stage blinded by a spotlight with nothing to say. It is really weird if I think about it.

HOWEVER, it is also amazing. I cannot even tell you what it means to me to have so many people that do care about us. Seriously, you have no idea how many of you have left comments that have totally turned my day around. Being able to write, and to entertain, validates me in a way and reinforces that there is still a ME and that I'm good for more than reaching the juice boxes on the top shelf of the pantry.

Hearing from women that feel the same way or are living a similar life makes me feel normal. And then to hear that I make those women feel better, makes me feel really good.

After my anti-anxiety post, I got an email from someone who thought she needed something but was hesitant to be "that person". We wrote back and forth and she decided to go to her doctor and it made me really happy that something I wrote (and hesitated to write, because I was embarrassed about needing help too) helped at least one person not feel bad about things.

Not long ago, I got a fan letter from a drunken college girl. Whose last fan letter was to Jonathan Taylor Thomas. I've got to say, aside from being tickled that non-parents enjoy the closet too, my hope for the future was lifted by her impeccable spelling and grammar, even after a full night of two for one drinks.

I guess what I'm saying is that you all do more for me than you even know. Your comments entertain me, inspire me, normalize me and motivate me. I sincerely feel like I am writing to a crowd of my friends on most days and although I've never "spoken" to some of my regular commenters outside of the comment box...I do feel like they are true friends of mine.

You guys really are what keeps the closet going, whether you know it or not. So thanks for the comments and the friendship, and keep reading!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I really like

reading everyone's blog descriptions!! That was a great idea, if I do say so myself.

Don't forget to get your link and ONE SENTENCE (some of you bitches are cheaters) in before the end of Thursday.

Actually read the posts and figure out which one you are supposed to post it under too, please. We have been having some reading comprehension issues (hey it happens!).

I could be nice and post a link here or you could just read a few entries down and consider it your "working it out wednesday" task.

Yeah, just do that.

For Some Reason

I really thought I was getting that puppy today.

Probably because on Monday Mr. Ashley told me not to ask him about it or talk about it too much because it was something he was seriously considering, that it was the cutest dog he'd ever seen, that it was a great opportunity to own such a cute dog for cheap, and that Ophelia would be a better name.

So I was really thinking there was a chance.

Over the next few days I backed off on the nagging, but would still mention it and hint at it as a gift I deserved and he would usually reply with a smile or just shake his longer telling me it absolutely was not going to happen like he was at first. I thought he was just trying not to ruin the surprise.

I even left the website and contact information where he could find it.

Then he had a late afternoon appointment that he didn't have to dress up for, and he was swinging by to see a friend afterwards.

So as I sat here with one sick kid who alternated between begging me to make him feel better and telling me he loved me every 2.5 seconds (which is really so so sweet, but it's hard sometimes to say I love you too 9030483029384 times in a row.) and the human vulture who alternated between raiding the pantry and fighting me for half of anything I put in my mouth, until JUST NOW. 7 PM AT NIGHT.

And he walked in with no puppy.

No nothing.

He really was just hanging out at his friend's house.

I am thinking maybe he was drunk on Monday. He doesn't seem to recollect that conversation at all and is surprised that I am surprised by the lack of a puppy.

So everyone that was waiting on the edge of their seat for a huDge, overwhelmingly romantic gesture like the dog who needs me as much as I need her....keep waiting.

Borrowed Happiness

Well, Big Kid isn't faking it.

Poor guy has a fever and was just really miserable. I gave him some Tylenol (I know you're supposed to let a fever burn...but I'm not good at that) and Similisan because I figure it just has to be an earache and it does seem to have helped.

I also ran out to the library to pick up Hippo & Ducky and Baby MacDonald, two favorites we don't own.

I don't think I told you all about my new plan to use the library as my personal Netflix. I sat down with my library card number, got on their online thingy, and requested every book I've wanted to read, every movie I've wanted to see and every CD I've wanted to hear. Well not "every" but lots.

The only hitch was that a ton of them all came in at once. I picked super popular stuff too, I thought for sure I'd be waiting on some of it.

The good news is that the nice guy librarian let me keep some of them "on hold" behind the desk. I don't think Carmen the library Nazi would've let me. She was giving me the hairy eyeball too, all up in my business. She can kiss my ass. YOU DON'T OWN THE LIBRARY, CARMEN. I PAID MY DUES, NOW BACK THE EFF OFF.

Anyways, I got:
Catherine De Medici: Renaissance Queen of France
A Thousand Splendid Suns
World Without End
Lady MacBeth

from the library today. Then I got "The Handmaid's Tale" and "Snow Flower & The Secret Fan" and "It's All Too Much" (about clutter) from Amazon today. I ordered those before my new library free netflix plan, but whatever. Baby steps.

AND I have "Women of Power" lent to me by The Gay One and some other book I got at the library one day when I didn't have time to look: A Good & Happy Child (it's fiction, I'm not reading parenting books.)

So, I just want to pee my pants in excitement looking at this stack. I don't even know where to start. I'm almost paralyzed with happiness over much hope in one wobbly pile.

For movies I got Sicko, Children Underground, Jupiter's Wife and some other documentary. They are all documentaries, Mr. Ashley and I love that crap.

I'm not listing all the kids' shit for you because who cares? Not me.

I'm predicting LOTS of bath time in my future.

And it makes me so, so happy.

On to other news, The Renee left this comment earlier today:

Well, interestingly enough, the biggest thing I have to Work Out today is packaging up those damn yellow rain boots and making a SPECIAL TRIP OUT OF THE HOUSE just to mail them to you. Why couldn't I just keep my mouth shut last night? Why did I have to be a hero? Lol. I'm just kidding - I'm happy to do it. But that is seriously one of the things I have to Work Out today - can you imagine if I never sent them to you? I shudder to think. So yeah....I'll be workin' out a trip to the post office today. I MUST ADD, though, that I stayed up until 4am last night doing our 2006 taxes. All of a sudden, they just had to be done, and so I just had to do them. And I did. And we owe a ton of money, but we have it in the bank (thank you thank you thank you thank you), so we're going to be okay. And it's something huDge I've been needing to work out since.....oh.....April 15, 2007 or so. And it's DONE DONE DONE. Three cheers for Renee! Hip hip (hooray). Hip hip (hooray). Hip hip (hooray). This morning I came up with a snazzy new motto for myself for 2008 (it's not too late to introduce a motto for the year, is it?). Here it is...drumroll please.....

Progress, not Perfection. Action, not Avoidance. Faith, not Fear.

That's pretty snazzy, isn't it? I'm on FIYAH (that's fire in a weird voice) today too. Or better said, I must be BUTTER 'cuz I'm on a ROLL.

Off to the post office......

-The Renee

PS Are my comments too long? I really do feel like I'm just emailing you or chatting with you when I make comments. So you will occasionally get these long, random ramblings. Sorry 'bout that.

First off, hell no your comments aren't too long. I've actually never gotten any comment that I thought was too long. The longer the better. I love me some comments.

Secondly, thank you so much for going to the post office for me!! In a prompt fashion!! You ARE the best. Also a big huDge congrats on the taxes and a request to do mine. The last two years. Thanks.

Last, but definitely not least..."Progress, not perfection. Action, not avoidance. Faith, not fear." Your new life motto. Did you really make that up?

THAT IS PROFOUND. Profound, my friend. You really are a fucking genius, I know the Wharton degree is a sign of that, but this is PROOF.

Next time you come to Florida, we are getting this tattooed across our forearms. Or somewhere easy to read and unwrinklable. This takes The Nester's mantra about it not having to be perfect to be beautiful (which we LOVE!) and really applies that whole kind of idea to our life problems.

The Renee and I have similar issues. Which is a good thing and a bad thing because we are either really motivating each other to do amazing things...or giving each other permission to do nothing.

I had actually transformed Nester's mantra into my own ghetto version: It doesn't have to be perfect to be Done.

It's been working, but it isn't something I want tattooed on me.

The Renee actually left that long ass comment twice because I didn't publish her first one fast enough. I should warn you all that lately if you ask Chore Whore or Big Kid or Ashley a question (like you did Kimberly, I'm going to answer it!), or if you say something that needs response, I may not publish your comment right away, so I'll see it there in my comment box and remember to reply. It's my new system. So please don't send your long ass comments two or three times. I probably got it.

Okay, little kid is demanding another snack. We went to Costco yesterday and that kid just can't handle having industrial sized boxes of food around. It has been an all day battle. So I'm off to another pantry wrestling match, here's hoping I win.

The Case of the Hurt Cheek

So last night I'm sitting here relaxing, everyone else in bed, when Big Kid starts crying and kicking around. I go in there and he tells me his cheek hurts and I sort of rolled my eyes and patted him on the head and came back out here.

He starts crying again, so I go back in, hold him, stroke his hair, sing a little, he seemed asleep so I get up to leave and he starts quietly sobbing about how much his cheek hurts. Your head? No. Your teeth? No. Your ear? No. Your gums? No. My teek.

This happens several times before I realize it isn't going away, so I carried him into our room so Mr. Ashley could deal with it.

As I'm going to bed, he's carrying on again about how much it hurts, so we gave him some Motrin.

All night long he kicked, tossed, cried, sobbed, moaned and rolled around about how he hurt. He also started saying his ear was wet, so we were thinking maybe it was an earache? He insists not.

Sadly, today was Purim at school. For lack of a better way to describe it, it's Jewish Halloween. A whole big deal. They were supposed to come in costume and do all of this fun stuff. Julia was going to be a princess, Vivian was going to be a fairy and Big Kid forced me to hastily assemble a fireman's costume because he was insistent that he could be nothing else.

I was excited about him having St. Patty's Day, Purim and Easter all in one week and was looking forward to seeing him dressed up with his friends. But after our sleepless night and his ailing cheek, we didn't think we could send him.

He hasn't complained much about his cheek today but he is pale and lethargic. When Big Kid is sick, it is written all over his gray, pink eyed, sad little face. What the hell is wrong with him though?

I can't ask his pediatrician because we are unfortunately involved in a malpractice case against him and I haven't found a new one yet and I'm just not sure a hurt cheek that comes and goes is worth the trouble.

(I know you're now dying of curiosity about the malpractice case but I cannot write about it. We are SO not the suing type but have a very valid case of negligence that resulted in a serious and lifelong issue for one of our children...don't worry, nothing that will mar their intelligence or beauty, but still. Don't fuck up my kids. And I'm sorry I can't share more than that with you all.)

I know I could take him to Urgent Care, but I'm really hoping not to reinfect all of us with the flu in order to find out what his deal is.

So he's home sick again today and the Jews are taking Friday and next week off (Purim AND Easter break? Call it Spring Break if you want but we're onto this double dipping thing. They also pulled Teacher Appreciation day a few weeks it on Purim or Spring Break, people.) so I'm in for the long haul here.

The poor kid is jonesing for some Baby Einstein movies in a major way, so I'm about to take him to the library. I'm not sure if I've been over that with you all...Big Kid is a Baby Einstein addict. He knows every scene of every movie...and would love to give you the play by play. He also knows every instrument in an orchestra, a ton of sign language and all the other shit they teach you.

Mr. Ashley got sick of it and tried to shame him a little with the whole "baby movie" thing, but it was starting to become an issue. Like now that it was "wrong" it was this dirty little desire, so I said no more of that and we have been tolerating this quirk of his without a word.

It is ANNOYING AS SHIT. Oh my God do I want to find whoever put these movies together and kick them in the teeth for being so irritating and having such tinny, crapola music. Julie Eisner Clark. You'd better watch out for me, lady.

So that's what the next few weeks are looking like for me. Extra whining, extra butt wiping and extra baby movies.

And little kid does not and will not watch baby movies, lest Big Kid tells you otherwise, so don't think this means he's being entertained or distracted in any way, shape or form. Now I just have to listen to that as a soundtrack, paired with Big Kid's play by play, while I keep him from killing himself all day.

To think Spring Break used to be fun??


and it is my dad's birthday and Mr. Ashley and I have "officially" been together for 10 years now (meaning I slept with him on the first date 10 years ago last night). Maybe I'll tell you that story later.

I'm still waiting for my puppy in the box with the big bow on it. I'm sure she's around here somewhere.

Workin' it Out

Watch out, I'm on fire today!

I called about placing an ad in a local magazine. Luckily for me their number was out of service for some odd reason, so I was able to email them without looking like the anti-social freak that I am.

I called about a gorgeous, white wicker doll carriage I saw on Craigslist. I swore that I was done buying props and now was the time to apply my business savings ($146 in crumpled bills and $50 that my mom has pledged to the cause) towards advertising...but this carriage is special. And if she'd go down to $50, my mom said she'd pay half. She's the best. The people were nice and not scary too, I may call back and make an appointment to see it.

I designed the ad I want to place. Ohhhh I wish I could show you! I'm really proud. It's with the 2nd newborn photo I showed you all not long ago and it is too sweet.

I have figured out a solution to my overwhelming email inboxes. I've got a plan, I'm going to clean all the bullshit out of there and START FRESH. I have also come up with some plans to better allocate the time I spend online and hopefully accomplish more in real life as a result (no less time spent with you all, I promise.)

I have contacted a client and SMIL about some stuff I've been meaning to contact them about.


Workin' it out and whinin' it up. What are you doing?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

This is Fate

What are the odds that The Renee would have yellow rain boots in TRUE Excellent, Like New condition, in her garage? The perfect size? That she is willing to donate to the cause? (She also donated THE SWEETEST little bunny coat, you do not even know. GORGEOUS)

Wow. Just Wow.

The Renee is known amongst the Chaws as "Fate" because of the following story she shared with us one day:

I freecycled this cool picture I had of a baby holding his bottle between his feet while he drinks it - it's a very sweet pic but we don't have any place to put it anymore. Anyway, I freecycled about 10 things and got a ton of responses for everything except the baby pic. Finally, a woman wrote to express interest in it for a daycare center she is starting. I wrote back "This is fate - I received lots of responses for my other items but this one is still available - it's yours!" Meaning, it must be fate for her to have the picture because I had posted it a few days before and no one had shown interest in it. Usually you can post a dry dog turd on freecycle and get at least two people who want to pick it up that same day. Anyway, I received this email just now:

Thank you for the nursery photo. It is now hanging on the wall at the infant center.

Thanks and happy Freecycling,

LMFAO AGAIN! I have no idea how many times I've read/discussed/remembered that story but it cracks my ass up.

However, I think we can all agree that this is Fate.

And I've always known that it was Fate that made The Renee and I friends...have I mentioned lately that we were not only due the same day, but we gave birth the same day, two days late (she hates when you say late, by the way, she's one of those that'll let those kids camp out in there FOREVER with no complaints from her. Not me. I complained enough for both of us)?

That's a pretty odd coincidence for friends.

It must be Fate.

I opened up the window for Land's End and added the boots to my shopping cart a few hours ago, got ticked that my free shipping code expired and decided to wait and then The Renee IMs me with The Perfect Boots.

Hot Damn.