Friday, June 29, 2007

Team Whymommy Roundup

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

  • Adventures in life and knitting

  • Aimee

  • Alex Year One

  • Ally

  • Amanda

  • Arkie Mama

  • Barbara

  • BetteJo

  • Binky

  • Binkytown

  • Bon

  • Bubble Writes

  • Canape

  • Chatter Mom

  • Cheeky Lotus

  • Christy

  • Clifford, our token guy

  • Colloquium

  • Cootie Chronicles

  • Cool Beans

  • Crunchy Domestic Goddess

  • The Dairy Wife

  • Dallas Meow

  • Danger Doll

  • Dawn

  • Diatribal

  • Dr. Savta

  • Edie

  • Ella

  • Erin

  • Gift of Green

  • Gill

  • Girl

  • Goodyblog

  • Gwen

  • Haley

  • The Hotfessional

  • Heather B

  • Impostor Mom

  • Imstell

  • Insane World

  • It's a Goat's Life

  • Izzy

  • Jenn

  • Jennie

  • Jennifer

  • ~Jennifer

  • Jess

  • JJ

  • Jordan

  • Julie Pippert

  • Kami

  • Katy

  • Kelley

  • Kendra

  • Kim the midwife

  • Kgirl

  • Kris

  • Kristin

  • Laura Williams

  • Law and Motherhood

  • Lawyer Mama

  • Leeanthro

  • Light Iris

  • Lisa

  • Lisa

  • Little Liberals

  • Lizzy

  • Luanne Marie

  • Magical Rose Garden

  • Mayberry Mom

  • Mama DB

  • MamaLee

  • Mama Luxe

  • Mama Maven

  • Mamma

  • Marianne

  • Marie

  • The McGeary-Stella Family

  • McEwen

  • Miss

  • MollyDoll

  • Mom-101

  • Mommy and the Marine

  • Mommy's Getaway

  • Mothergoosemouse

  • Mrs. Chicken

  • Mrs. Chicky

  • Multi-Tasking Mommy

  • Nancy

  • The New Girl

  • NoMommy

  • Oh The Joys

  • On the Losing Side

  • One Happy Hen

  • Paige

  • Parent Bloggers Network

  • Pass the Chocolate

  • Plain Jane Mom

  • Pretty Babies

  • Pundit Mom

  • Ranting Radish

  • Radioactive Girl

  • Reb

  • Rebecca

  • Robin

  • Robbin

  • Sanne

  • Sara

  • Sarah

  • Sarah, Just Me

  • Sarah K

  • Sarah V

  • Shauna

  • Simply Nutmeg

  • So D.C.

  • Slouching Mom

  • Southern Fried Chicky

  • Space Mom

  • Spinning Yellow

  • Stimey

  • Sunshine

  • Surviving

  • Susan

  • T with Honey

  • Thoughts and Stitches

  • Two Shews

  • Unplug Your Kids

  • Useless Ramblings

  • Velveteen Mind

  • What Works for Us

  • Whirlwind

  • The Whole Family
  • Team Whymommy

    Over there to the right, you'll see a new sidebar box. This is the Team Whymommy box. There are already some bloggers listed there. Their links will take you to posts they have written about Whymommy. These bloggers are building the foundation for the Wall of Support that we are creating for Whymommy.

    Any of you are welcome to join Team Whymommy. There are two ways to do this:

    1. Simply display the button on your website or
    2. Write a post about Whymommy and send me the link.

    Or you can do both. I hope the list grows so long that it takes up my entire sidebar.

    Please join us. The button won't be green on your site. I don't know what is up with my template lately. First it ate my header and footer, and now it is turning random buttons green.

    I digress. Please let me know that you will be one of the blocks in our wall of support for Whymommy. There will be bling forthcoming.


    Edited to add:

    Please leave me an email address if your blogger ID is "no-reply." I really want to be able to send you the button or help with the code, but if I can't hit reply to the comment that comes through email, I can't send you the code. I'm not ignoring you, I just can't reply to a comment without an email. Thanks!

    Thursday, June 28, 2007

    All these things are true

    Reposted from November 30, 2006. Back when Cleatus was still hanging around and Little Bear was just still incubating. Back when she and I were the only commentors on our own blogs. As you can see, Whymommy was tough then, and will be up for kicking some cancer ass now.


    The biggest disagreement I remember having with my best friend was back in high school. She thought the paper luminaries that lined the sidewalks in my neighborhood were pretentious. I thought they were beautiful. It was probably the first time I agreed to disagree with someone, so I credit her for teaching me that all important skill.

    There are so many things she has taught me. The most relevant things lately are about motherhood. She has never given me bad advice, so I'm relying heavily on her as we both incubate our little ones. This is her second and my first.

    Whymommy has a beautiful mix of left-brain and right-brain. There are times when I feel like I am in on that secret; like she doesn't share that right-brain with very many people. I have been packing up my house for the past several months and came across a journal that Whymommy gave my in high school. It was inscribed "From one closet writer to another." As we both blog now, I guess you could say that we have come out of the closet. See you later, Tom Cruise.

    As she blogs, she handles honesty gracefully. During her pregnancy, she has been plagued with sciatica. It has put her on 8 months of bed rest. Dealing with constant excrutiating pain can be handled a few different ways. You could write about it and hope you get sympathy. You could write about it out of anger. You could simply not write about it so that you wouldn't burden people with the ugliness of the situation. Whymommy chose to handle it differently.

    Without ignoring what is a significant part of her life, the pain, she has been able to write about this pregnancy as a mother and a scientist. Is she in pain? Yes. Is it controlling her life? Only certain details. Is she still focused on Widget and the incubating Whybaby and their development? Absolutely. But she writes with the calm precision of her left-brain and crafts those words beautifully with the right. That is just who she is.

    She posts about learning opportunities that she has found for Widget even when she is stuck on the couch. She posts about braving the playdates even through the pain. She posts about the hope of physical therapy and is honest about the disappointment of finding out they were wrong.
    She continues to post, no matter how she is feeling, and I continue to learn from her. I hear encouragement in her words, hope, contentment, and love. She helped give me the courage to leave the professional world as I thought it should be and make a new life and new work for myself at home. Stay-at-home-part-time-self-employed mother. SAHPTSEM.

    There is something else amazing about Whymommy. She has been able to accept help without feeling like it is a sign of weakness. My parents still have trouble with that. Watching someone struggle and refuse help is frustrating and sad. I am so proud of her for allowing her in-laws to come into her home and help them with Widget, the cooking, the cleaning, whatever. Whymommy has been able to maintain her dignity through a time when she is flat laid out. She even had Thanksgiving at her house with all the grandparents and who knows, maybe she will feel up to Christmas too.

    If you haven't gotten to know her, you are missing out. I hope you will go spend some time with her today and be inspired. I certainly am going to just that.

    Wednesday, June 27, 2007

    And we don't stop

    While nothing is on my mind more than my friend, we made a pact yesterday that life will go on, and we will be happy. Right on. So just a few words, and then onto the triviality.

    Thank you for all who stopped by and visited her yesterday. Hopefully we'll meet over there a bunch and be her cheerleaders.

    Bon wrote a beautiful post about her, and while I sort of felt like a crappy friend because I couldn't come up with words like that, I loved it nonetheless. That's just Bon though. She always has the right words. I, however, have junior high notes and poetry which I will break out if needed. Mwhahaha. Don't worry Clifford, we'll leave the boys out of it.

    Slouching Mom too, offered her blog post in support of Whymommy. I would just like to say for the record, how grateful I am that fabulous writers are cropping up all over to say wonderful things about a wonderful woman.

    So my mundane life . . . I got the worst pedicure ever today. When I left, I looked down at my toes and each toenail was rimmed in blood. It was sick. No wonder it stung when poured some sort of alcohol solution on them. Bitch. I tipped her too. I felt like going back in and shoving my bloody toes in her nasty fish smelling lunch and asking for my money back. I was so glad to be away from her nasty fish smelling lunch though, that I refrained.

    Guy did it. He started a blog. He's funny. You should go visit him if you have a moment. I though the funniest part was that he was trying to get the name Fancy Pants for his Google email, and it wasn't available. Neither was MrFancyPants. Or MisterFancyPants. Or any other version of Fancy Pants. I mean really. How many more freaky men are there in this world that would want to name their blog Fancy Pants? At least three. So he went with Plans To Match. The other half of the phrase. I think he is planning on writing about things that make me laugh a lot. If that's true, he's going to be a busy blogger.

    My yoga teacher decided not to kick me out of class. I'm so happy. She wanted me to find a prenatal class, but there wasn't one that was not right in the middle of my teaching schedule. So I talked to my doctor, and she said that I could keep going until my belly stopped me. Which could be next week if I don't stop eating HoHo's.

    The doggy pregnancy monitor still says everything is good. I ordered a doppler, so that soon, I can quit relying on my dog to tell me if the little bird is still alive or not. Until it gets here though, I will most likely continue to call her up daily and have her put her head on my belly. Tail wag = good. I also analyze how much she follows me around. Both are dumb I know, but it's all I have until a week from tomorrow when I go back for my paranoia ultrasound.

    That is all. I have to get ready for my last lesson with one of my favorite students. He graduated this year and is heading off to college. It's very cool to see a kid grow up, be successful, and leave, but it's sad too. He is a terrific guy, and I'm going to miss him much. You can see a snippet of him ripping through some Rachmaninoff here.

    Until later . . .

    Tuesday, June 26, 2007

    Building that wall a little taller and a little stronger

    Whymommy has some answers. You can read them here.

    Her request is no pity. No feeling sorry for her. Flood her with your positive fighting cancer ass kicking thought and prayers.

    The treatment will start July 13.

    I'm caught between wanting to be my normal self making inappropriate jokes and not wanting to make light of the situation. In short time though, I think I will find the balance. She will need me to be me.

    Being me means that I am the friend who is fucking sick of cancer hurting the people I love. Therefore, I will absolutely stand by her as she fights. And wins. And there will be nothing but positive fighting cancer ass kicking thoughts and words from me. There will be nothing but support and the belief that she will win.

    No pity. No weeping. No moping. She is going to fight, and we are going to support her. We are going to keep holding up that wall of support (bolstered by Mamma's ass). We are going to write to her. Make her meals. Clean her house. Babysit. Listen. Talk. Laugh. Shop. Read. Pray. Love. Survive. Laugh some more.

    So get out of here and go leave some love and positivity at Toddler Planet. Okay, that was bossy. I should have said please, but I'm feeling all Steven Seagal now. Minus the greasy ponytail, but with all the fighting and ass kicking and stuff.

    Monday, June 25, 2007

    Silence can be so loud

    Well, at least I know that I still love him.

    Guy went back to work today. He left about 7:00 AM, because that is what he does. The first time he has to be somewhere, he leaves about a week early so that he won't have any chance of being late. It's one of his many endearing qualities.

    Today the house was so quiet though. As I sat in front of the computer hitting "check mail" like I had a tic, there was this thick silence all around me. I would step out of my room and look around, perking my ears up for any sound. There was nothing.

    Guy walks around the house singing and talking to the dogs. He makes up words to jingles and songs, often incorporating the word schmoopie into them. I tease him that he just likes the sound of his own voice.

    Really though? I like the sound of his voice. I love the sound of his voice. I miss the constant chatter of noise that goes on when he is here.

    I miss my Guy.

    I'm wishing that we could go back to our original plan of spending his severance package on lottery tickets. Powerball indeed.

    Black clouds

    Guy says I need to quit reading sad blogs. When he found me crying over my laptop when Kate lost, and we all lost little Liam, he didn't understand. He wants the best for me, and he wants me to be happy. I understand that. I want to be happy too, but sometimes, things aren't happy.

    And you start reading. And then you start caring.

    The first blog I actively followed was Miss Zoot. The crocodile tears I cry now are for her. She has had another miscarriage after getting a good green light on Friday. Have I met Zoot? No. Do I know Zoot? Only what she writes. Am I still heartbroken for her? Absolutely.

    I'm now praying this is the only bad news to post today.

    Sunday, June 24, 2007

    Surrounding you

    There is a line I don't want to cross. It is the line of blogger relationship and friendship. Since she has blogged about it herself, I'm going to dance lightly around the subject. Since it has been heavy on my mind for days, I'm going to dance lightly around the subject.

    Since she is my best friend, I'm going to dance ever so lightly around the subject.

    I fucking hate cancer. I learned what cancer was when I was 7 years old. My mother has been fighting it off and on ever since then. The waiting game involved with cancer is one of the crueler components of the disease.

    The possibility that my best friend has cancer makes me so very angry. Because even before the results are in, you have to start fighting. Because it's not just the disease that people have to fight. It's the fear. The fear is enough to topple even the strongest person.

    There is the initial discovery that something might go wrong. Then you wait for your turn at the doctor. You go to the doctor, who confirms that something is not normal. Then you wait for your turn at the specialist. You go to the specialist, who confirms that more testing is needed. You wait for your turn for the testing. You go get tested.

    Then you wait for the results.

    Tomorrow, and possibly Tuesday, and dear God not Wednesday too, she will wait. Her family will wait. I will wait.

    I am asking that you wait with her too.

    I envision this wall of people, bloggers, who can stand around her while she waits. I see a strong circle of women and men who will be hoping for the test results to come back "benign." I see this shield risen above her so that she knows she doesn't have to wait alone. Because no matter what the results are, this time right now, this waiting, pushes the pause button in your life, and you can't breathe again until you hear an answer.

    Monday morning, Whymommy goes for her biopsy. Please just click right on over to her and leave your comments there. Please.

    P.S. I know you know this, but I love you dearly, and have complete faith that whatever this is - you are going to kick its ass.

    Hanging onto my oatmeal

    It's Sunday. I should be helping Guy get the house in a state where workers can take over from here since he starts his new job tomorrow. But I'm not. I'm just laying around hoping that I don't throw up my oatmeal. Oatmeal coming back up would be really disgusting.

    Thanks for all the reassurances that I'm not crazy. I'm looking into the doppler. Did any of you actually have a prescription from your doctor, or did you just rent it like a rebel?

    The back pain is better now. The doctor said that it was most likely just my uterus tipping back into my kidneys. Then I felt like a wimp because if I think that hurts now, what am I going to be whining about in 6 months?

    Ooh. Did you catch that? A thought to the end.

    Well that's new.

    Friday, June 22, 2007

    Little Bird says hi

    Quick update. Saw the doctor. Didn't even have to ask for a heartbeat check - the ultrasound machine was already in the room. Found a heartbeat on a little snowy blur. Saw the little bird moving all around when she back the view up some. Things looked good.

    She is bringing me back in week after next for another heartbeat check. I almost told her that I was fine and didn't need it, but then I remembered the crazies and just said "thank you."

    I knew I could trust my dog.

    Thursday, June 21, 2007

    Back by popular demand, crazy me

    I suppose this is the first time I have noticed that the understanding of having readers has kept me from posting. There has been quite a bit of crazy going on, and instead of writing it all out like usual, I have kept it to myself.

    Not wanting to spread the crazy.

    Today, I decided that was silly. The origins of this blog were to talk crazy. Say all the things that I didn't want to or couldn't say aloud. So think what you will, I'm about to get loony.

    Saturday, this baby will be 9w2d. That is when they said Cleatus died even though he hung around until 12 weeks. Try as I will, I cannot stop thinking about it. I have been working in the house (new bamboo floors and a painted music room), reading (first two Harry Potters again), and even signed up for Twitter (to have somewhere to post the mundane). Even if I'm successful in taking my waking mind off of it, then I have nightmares.

    I have analyzed the day to day to death. Do I have cramps or is it my intestines? Do my boobs still hurt? Is the pain in my lower back what I felt before I lost the last baby or is it my kidneys?

    Here are some of my favorites though: Is my dog still following me? Do you think she can hear a heartbeat? Come here, Pupstar, and put your head on my belly. What do you hear? She just looks up at me and wags her tail, which I took to mean that maybe she still heard a heartbeat. It could just as easily mean that she's loving all the laying around I'm doing. More snuggle pup time.

    The nightmares are the worst part. In one I was just pregnant over and over again. I was known as the mother to 9 week old fetuses. In another, I woke up and there was blood all over the bed and I started screaming like I was in a horror movie. Guy came out of the bathroom and told me to calm down, it was just a little blood. I couldn't stop screaming.

    I don't know. There is still some nausea. I am more tired this week than I ever have been, but it's sleepy tired, not worn out tired. I get breathless walking up and down the stairs. And I'm so incredibly on edge. My emotions are out of control, and I'm pissed off most of the time. What a joy for Guy.

    So maybe everything is alright? The pain in my back though has gotten intense. There are no other signs of a uti, but I swear it's my kidneys that hurt. It's that deep gnawing pain, not sharp pulling or cramping pains.

    Tomorrow morning is another appointment. I want the doctor to confirm a heartbeat again for me. One of my other fears? That she will say no. That she will say it's too early for a doppler and I can't have another ultrasound. Can she even do that? Even if I'm willing to pay for it out of pocket?

    I thought I was stronger than this, but if I don't get some confirmation tomorrow one way or another, I might just fall apart. I'm going to be like Elaine with the black marks on my chart. All the doctors will know I'm the crazy one.

    I could always just take my dog with me tomorrow and tell the doctor that she is my at home pregnancy monitor.

    So good night. Enjoy the crazies. They will be here all week long.

    Tuesday, June 19, 2007

    Hi ho, hi ho

    It's official. Guy goes back to work on Monday. The extended, albeit forced, vacation is drawing to a close.

    On the one hand, I'm relieved that he will be receiving a paycheck again. My employment as a musician is satisfying, but really covers little more than the expenses I incur. The piano is not cheap.

    On the other hand, I'm going to miss him so much. We have become totally spoiled. Some days we get up early and start working on the house. But other days we'll lay in bed until 9:00 or 9:30, just snuggling and talking. There is nowhere to be. No deadlines to meet. Just the two of us.

    The layoff couldn't have come at a better time. We were newlyweds. I had just lost the baby. We were in the middle of major home renovations. There were plenty of reasons that it was wonderful for him to be home with me all the time. We have taken trips, played golf, and hiked as much of the local greenways that we could. It has been wonderful.

    He thanked me yesterday for "letting" him be laid off. I didn't understand. He said that before, he would have been pressured into taking a demotion or into taking any job, just for the sake of having employment. Instead, he felt like I let him make his own decisions, trusted him, and supported what he chose to do. Well, duh. That's called respect. And I have loads of it for him.

    Guy is a smart man. He works hard. He plans his moves. And now, instead of taking the first thing out of the gate, he was patient, and will start a great job doing what he loves this coming Monday. I'm super proud of him. The drive is longer. The pay and benefits aren't quite as good. But the point is that he hasn't taken a step backwards in his career. He will still be working on the forefront of genetics research, and that is where he wants to be. I couldn't be happier.

    Well, I guess I could be happier if he could find a job where the requirements were to stay home all day with me and rub my head while calling me Schmoopie. That, and a good health plan would be swell.

    Sunday, June 17, 2007


    The man I live with, am married to, and love, is already a father. His little girl means the world to him, and watching her grow up this year has been hard for him. She has hit that growth spurt where childhood sails into the background and young adult takes the lead. The teasing and tricks he used to pull on her no longer fly; she has got his number. The nicknames have become something for her to roll her eyes at instead of a giggle draw.

    While Lovely and I were out and about yesterday, she asked me why he still called her "the little poopy stink." I told her that it was hard for daddies to let their little girls grow up, and that there would be a part of him that would never completely let her do so. She thought about it for a minute and then said, "But mothers like seeing their little girls grow up. Why is that?"

    I was afraid she had stumped me, and maybe my answer isn't right for her mother; I don't know her mother. But I told her that mothers are looking forward to their daughters becoming their friends. Daddies love taking care of their little girls. It's just different.

    Part of me has always found some way for my daddy to still take care of me. It has been his advice that I turned to. His approval. His support. Even though I am fiercely independent by nature, I love the bond of Daddy and daughter. To him, being needed is the same thing as being loved, and I have been happy to oblige.

    This Father's Day, I called my daddy to tell him that I love him. He is no longer able to offer advice. He is no longer able to be an ear for when things go wrong. Some days, he is no longer able to figure out which end of the phone to put to his mouth. I can hear him talking off in the distance somewhere, and I know he's got it either upside down or backwards again.

    What he can still do though is invaluable. He can still love me. And he does. He can still ask how my family is. He can still ask how my dogs are. He can still tell me about his day and how is feeling about himself lately. And although the care taking has shifted from daddy to daughter, the relationship isn't really all that different. He is still my daddy. He is just my daddy who is sick.

    They say that women often marry a man who is like their father. In my case, it is true. I see a lot of the qualities that I love about my dad in my husband. Guy is a lot sillier. He is more career driven. He is less interested in church. But there are very basic traits that the two of them share. I think it explains why I was drawn to him so very quickly and knew from the get go that when he said he wanted to be with me, that I needed to jump.

    So today, as I sit incubating, I am so thankful to have had a daddy like mine. And I am thankful that my child will have a daddy like Guy.

    If you like good music

    There's a new review (by yours truly) up at Props and Pans. Just my thoughts on a little freebie called iConcertCal, an incredibly cool plug-in for iTunes.

    Check it out if you have a second.

    Saturday, June 16, 2007

    I know you're still there

    Dear Bird,

    I know I haven't really talked much to you. It's not that I don't love you; it's that I'm still unsure that you are going to stick around. I would love for you to stick around you know.

    You might like to know that your room is yellow. Lemon chiffon to be exact. It matches a quilt with rad bunnies on it that your Aunt Shelster made.

    Next week we go back to the doctor. You will be 9 weeks old, and I'm going to make sure that little heart of yours is still beating. If it is, I'm going to breathe a little easier and sleep a little sounder.

    I want to thank you though for all the nausea and need for naps. Your dad says that you are kicking my ass. He isn't wrong. For that, I thank you. Because I really do love having you here. I love being pregnant with you, and every time I catch some zzzzzz's, I wake up glad that I still needed them.

    Momma Bird

    Thursday, June 14, 2007


    I am by my family's standards, the raging liberal of the bunch. Feed the poor, help the children, give everyone health care, and war is bad. You know, all the typical blue voting mantras.

    That last one though, war is bad, is a touchy thing to say. There are a lot of people in this country who have been to war, and they deserve our thanks and our praise.

    By no means do I consider myself one to speak on political issues. As much as I don't like George Bush, I respect the opinion of those people who do. Chocolate and vanilla. That's what this country is about. Really, I just wish that he wasn't sending Americans to Iraq and bringing them home in caskets.

    There lies the problem though. I struggle with the loathing I have for this current war and the admiration and gratitude that I have for the people who have gone to fight it. It is difficult to resolve, but important to me because my family has a strong military history.

    My great uncle was a Coronal in the United States Army. He served through WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. His four Purple Hearts sat in a glass case on the bookshelf behind his recliner, just above his shoulder as though they were at watch over him constantly. His stories could have easily starred John Wayne. When he died 15 years ago, he was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetary.

    Today, his wife finally joined him. Aunt Pam died on May 20. She was cremated, and her ashes have been buried with her husband. On one side of the tombstone is etched his name, rank, the wars he served during, and dates of his life and death. On the other side will be "His wife," her name, and the dates of her life and death.

    Aunt Pam's service was modest. There were soldiers to carry her ashes from the car to the grave and another to stand watch as he did so. The soldier that led the service spoke of a passage from Proverbs where God says he loves someone who protects innocent blood. We sang a song. We cried. We touched her urn. And as we were preparing to leave her, we heard the drums.

    Just across the way, there was another funeral beginning. This funeral had the honor guard, the drums and bugles, and the flag draped casket was being drawn to the grave by horses. We could see row after row of soldiers in their dress uniforms, standing at attention for the soldier they were about to bury.

    I wondered if this was a young soldier who had been serving in Iraq or if it was an older retired soldier who had served in Korea or maybe Vietnam. I wondered if there was a widow or a widower standing there. I wondered if that soldier knew before he died that his sacrifice, whether it be his life, or just the dedication of his life, was appreciated.

    As we were leaving, my cousin who lives in D.C. and was also career Army said, "This place has gotten way too busy these days. There are so many funerals everyday."

    And the mixed feelings returned. Grief at the losses. Anger at the reasons why. Gratitude for the sacrifices.

    There was a post this week that started me thinking about this even before today. You should go over and read it. Watch the video. If you know someone who has served this country, be it now, in the previous Gulf War, in Vietnam, Korea, WWII, or any other time, stop and watch it for them. And if you still have the chance, tell them thank you.

    Tuesday, June 12, 2007

    Little Blobby

    So here's the little one. We found him, a right ovary, and not much else. I'm assuming I have a left one, but they never can seem to find it on an ultrasound. Strange.

    He looks a little bit like a bird I think. But man, he's cute.


    Today we have a heartbeat. 160. Things look good today. Maybe I'll post a picture later. Really though, it looks like a gray blobby labeled, "baby."

    Why do I still think it's cute?

    Monday, June 11, 2007

    A new level of hell is needed

    Some people are beyond evil. Beyond what hell could punish. Beyond any concept of the world being inherently good.

    My grandfather died in 2003. When he died, my father was still doing alright. He had his wits about him most of the time, but had a hard time with using his hands. The Parkinson's was young. My father, being the eldest son and the lawyer, was in charge of Granddaddy's estate. He promptly went about seeing that it was properly closed and settled in the correct manner.

    In order to do this, he hired a lawyer from his old firm to be the executor. This lawyer who we will call The Ass, was mentored by my father. My father trusted him, and expected him to do a good job. I think I've already given away the fact that he did not. Do a good job.

    It was brought to our attention over the last week by the new lawyer that Daddy hired to try and make The Ass finish his job and close the estate, that The Ass in fact, closed the estate over a year ago in the Mississippi courts. Over a year ago, the estate was closed, and now the question is: Where is all of the money?

    Since the time The Ass took the role of executor of my Granddaddy's estate, he left the law firm (or was fired, we don't know), got a nasty and messy divorce, and began drinking heavily. When Bro would call to talk to him, Ass would dump his personal problems on him instead. When Mom would call to talk to him, he would ignore the messages and not call back.

    When Daddy would call to talk to him, he would sit up and take note that Daddy was not the man he used to be. And then, we are afraid that he took advantage of that information and extorted the money from my Granddaddy's estate. And if that in fact is what happened, I cannot think of a jail cell or a punishment that I think is fair for him. To take advantage of your mentor after he has developed a debilitating disease is pure evil.

    One day when I was a teenager, Daddy and I were driving down the highway in my hometown. There was a billboard for an ambulance chaser, and I asked him if he knew that lawyer. He said yes, that he did know him. I asked Daddy if he had ever had a case with that lawyer since Daddy was a defense attorney for the insurance companies. He said yes, that he had cases with the personal injury lawyer whose face graced the back of telephone books, billboards, and every television ad from 2 AM until 7 AM. Daddy said that usually those cases get settled out of court. I couldn't help but ask about the unusual ones, that went to trial. Daddy said, "I kicked his ass."

    Of course he did. It was the only time he came close to bragging to me. Ever.

    Sunday afternoon, my momma and I talked for a long time about the situation at hand. My momma said, "It's not about the money." I disagree. Granddaddy worked hard in his life, and it was important to him that he left his family something. And quite frankly, with my parents' health issues, they are going to need all the money they can get I'm afraid. So, yes. Part of it is about the money.

    I get what she is saying though. The anger isn't over the money. The anger is over the fact that 5 years ago, The Ass wouldn't have even considered crossing my father. When my father was at that law firm, he was viewed with complete respect both in and out of the courtroom. People knew him as a man with impeccable ethics, but who would indeed "kick ass" when needed.

    It is only the new version of my daddy, Daddy with Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, that The Ass dared to cross. Dared to steal from. To cheat. To hurt. That makes me not only angry, but it also breaks my heart.

    There will likely be no way to recover the money. There will likely be, however, a way to put this man in jail.

    I hope that we are all wrong, and this is some giant misunderstanding.

    I'm afraid though, that it isn't. I'm afraid my parents have been ripped off by someone they trusted.

    It's completely disgusting.

    Get on your bikes and ride

    If you find any amusement in this photo whatsoever, you should hop over and visit Izzy today. Leave a caption for her photo that makes her wet her pants, and you win a prize.

    As for this? Seems like it was World Naked Bike Ride Day this past weekend, and I missed it. Damn.

    I would like to point out for the record though, that the dude in the back is totally not naked. He's wearing a scarf and a hat. Cheater.

    Saturday, June 09, 2007

    I am useless today

    Things in the home renovation department are moving right along. The master bathroom is almost complete (crown molding and fans), the downstairs bathroom is complete, and Lovely's bathroom is almost complete (window treatments). The painters are coming Monday to start painting the outside of the house. The carpet has been chosen and will be ordered in a couple of weeks. The downstairs flooring has been chosen. We are making lots of progress.

    This past Monday, we drove to the Ikea closest to us (about 3.5 hours away) and purchased everything we needed to renovate our kitchen and the music studio. For anyone who has ever left a comment about what a good friend I am, take a listen to this. Boo and Pilot drove us up there with their 6 ton trailer (for Pilot's hot air balloons), helped us shop, helped us load 9 flat bed carts of junk into the trailer, drove us back, and helped us unload what will be the entire contents (sans piano, thank goodness) of two huge rooms in our house. Just because they are our friends. Amazing. It was an exhausting trip, but we ended up saving so much money doing it that way than ordering cabinets in our hometown. It was worth it.

    Today, my studio is being renovated. The nasty paneling is in the process of being replaced by nice drywall. The nasty carpet (where Pupstar has taken to peeing when I don't give her enough of her meds) is being pulled up and replaced with nice bamboo flooring. We purchased a half dozen bookcases, a new desk, a new pc, and a cart to hold my everyday teaching supplies. I'm really excited about it, but I'm basically useless at this point.

    What I have done is move my kitchen into my dining room. Hooray. Here is the mess I've created:

    Do you think I have enough Stash tea?

    Here's a shot of all the liquor and wine I'm currently not drinking:

    Here is the partially gutted kitchen that I hate worse than poison ivy:

    Here is the most embarrassing picture I've ever posted on the web. It is a shot of the kitchen from the long end. The green drywall on the right side of the picture is where the furnace and the hot water heater used to be - in a closet, in the kitchen. The exposed beams are not for design purposes. We had to rip out the ceiling in order to redo the upstairs plumbing. How's that for a disaster area?

    And here is a basket of kitchen utensils. I have a problem with kitchen utensils and my love for them. In this basket there are no less than 6 gadgets to peel shrimp (which I still make Guy do anyway), 5 gadgets with which to open wine and an equal number of gadgets to store opened wine (hahahahahaha), 4 meat thermometers, 3 different gadgets to help me baste things, 2 sets of salad thongs, and 1 unused garlic press (because I enjoy smashing garlic with the side of a giant knife).

    Since the guilt is too much to just turn on the xbox and play Viva Pinata while the men all work around the house, I'm sitting in front of the computer. I did order some pizza. Online. Man I feel lazy.

    Friday, June 08, 2007

    Bless her heart

    Momma's cancer is still in some strange miraculous remission. It has been easier in the past to be finished with her treatments and move back into life with "Momma without cancer." Now, there is this part of me that refuses to rest. A sentry on the look out for bad news.

    Last week, I received two voicemails while I was in my yoga class. The first was my friend who had lost her baby. The second was from Momma. Momma's message was that she had some news she needed to share with me and would I please call her.

    I have to admit, I called my Momma first. The sentries of bad news were on alert. I was afraid. I dialed the phone and held my breath waiting for the word cancer.

    When she answered the phone, there was a lilt in her voice that didn't say cancer at all. I waded through the small talk trying to discern if she was masking, or if she really wasn't going to give me news of a relapse.

    Finally after we determined that every other family member was fine - yes, Guy had a new job - no, we don't know when he starts - yes, Lovely is ready for her summer break - no, I'll be teaching throughout the summer - Finally she says, "Well, I did something dumb."

    Since I know that she wouldn't consider getting cancer again "dumb," I started to breathe again and asked what she had done.

    As it turns out, Momma was feeding Bro's dogs while he and his family were on a much deserved vacation. She twisted her left foot on the stairs, breaking a bone in it, fell down the rest of the stairs and broke her right ankle.

    Momma is in the bed with a boot on her left foot and a cast on her right leg. She is to put no weight on either foot. She went back to the doctor today, but I haven't heard anything yet.

    I asked her if she thought she might be ready to hire some help now. She needs someone to help her do some cooking and cleaning and to help her watch Daddy. She said, "Maybe."

    Maybe is much further than we have come before. She still hasn't done it, but she did say maybe.

    Bless her heart. She's been laid out by chemotherapy. She's been in a coma. Now she's been sent to bed with two broken bones on both legs. And she might think about getting some help now.

    I talked to Daddy yesterday. When I asked how he was holding up, he said that he was tired. I'll bet he is. He is used to just putting around when he feels like it, taking naps throughout the day, and having Momma take care of him. As it tends to do with these two, the tide has shifted again though, leaving him to be the caretaker.

    One day I know I'll look back and this will all make sense. For now though, I have to wonder why the universe is just playing ping pong with my parents' health. I have to wonder why the situation can't stabilize long enough for them to have a routine.

    True to Momma's spirit though. The biggest complaint she had was that she hadn't had a decent pedicure since she moved to Tennessee. Now, not only are her feet black and blue, but her toenails just look awful and it will be that much longer before she can get them fixed.

    The women in my family have their priorities straight. That's for damn sure.

    Now showing in my living room

    Today Guy and I picked up our new painting from my favorite artist, Anna Po.dris. I love this woman's work so much. I have two paintings of hers already, and after selling my house, Guy let me buy this one, Birdtropolis. I am so happy I could squeak.

    Her cityscapes are amazing, and I love this one that has the birds in the windows instead of flying around.

    Now if we could have a nice place to hang it instead of the multi-colored living room walls with a million paint samples, all of life would be grand.

    What this blog needs

    What this blog needs is more dog photos. Doesn't every blog need more dog photos? So happy Friday to you from me and the girls.

    Here they are with the new pink boot I bought them at our day trip to Ikea this past Monday. As you can see, Princess is the lover and Pupstar is the hunter.

    Wednesday, June 06, 2007

    The interview meme is not dead

    Liz and I are keeping the interview meme alive and well. Just when you thought it was long gone, here we go reviving it again. If you need a refresher, hop on over to House of H and check out her interview.

    Now, the questions from Liz. I promise to answer as truthfully as my fingers will allow.

    1) Tell us about the most vivid dream you've ever had. why is it so memorable? Under what circumstances did the dream occur (NyQuil induced? Cat nap? etc...)

    I have always been a vivid dreamer. One time I dreamed an entire potato chip jingle, and I think it was really pretty good. I woke my roommate up and sang it to her. She was unimpressed and irritated that I woke her, so I just went back to sleep and forgot it.

    While I've been pregnant though, I've had some pretty steamy dreams. None of them are worth repeating here. I know you are all too proper and dainty to want to hear all that.

    2) What song can just make you jump up and boogie down, no matter who may or may not be watching? conversely, what song just cuts like a knife and makes you weep. And why?

    I have to admit, my favorite music came out of the 90's. Even though I should have been an 80's child, and I do love my share of 80's music, I didn't really come into my own tastes and finds until college. If I had to choose just one song that makes me spaz, it would be "Little Miss Can't Be Wrong" by the Spin Doctors.

    I will still turn up and head thrash to any Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, Alice in Chains, or Soundgarden. My Sirius is set to Lithium24, Baybee.

    Julie Miller wins for cutting me like a knife. "Broken Things" is hands down the song that can draw tears the quickest. Why? Because it feels like she stepped into my skin and scraped the words right off the walls of my soul.

    I will admit that until recently, I would have said James Taylor's "Fire and Rain." I was one of the suckers who believed the rumor that he wrote the song after his girlfriend or wife (Suzanne) died in a plane crash on the way to one of his concerts. It's not true though, so I'm going to quit crying over that one.

    3) What "thing" do you think you'll be a real stickler for in parenting (no junk food, no television, no cursing, no plaid?)

    I think that I will be a stickler for bedtime. There isn't a set bedtime with my stepdaughter, and it makes it difficult to keep a schedule. I think that it is easier on the parent and the child when there is a schedule.

    I would like to be an active parent too. My parents did not exercise regularly, and I never got in the habit myself. I try, but it is entirely too easy for me to get off track. As of today, it's been 3 weeks since I took a significant walk (longer than 20 minutes), so that just leaves my weekly yoga class. I think it is important to set the example and teach children how to live an active life.

    Of course, I'm saying all of that as I sit on my ass blogging.

    4)Absolute FAVORITE television character of all time? Why?

    Hawkeye from M.A.S.H. Hands down. I love the depth of that character, and I thought Alan Alda was totally crushable. Other contenders? Xander from Buffy, Steve from Freaks and Geeks, and Denny Crane from Boston Legal.

    5)What one record should EVERYBODY own?

    That is not a fair question! Guy and I just bought storage for 580 CD's, because we figured that we could stand to get rid of at least half of our current store. There is an entire closet of our house full of CD's. We really need to digitize. Not the point.

    One CD? Just one? I have to say that EVERYBODY should own is The Well Tempered Clavier, Books I and II, by J.S. Bach performed by Glenn Gould. Glenn Gould was the consummate performer of Bach, and crazy too. You not only get the perfect performances of some of the most important keyboard music in history, you get Gould humming and singing along in the background. Everybody should own this. It will make you smile and make you smart. It's good for your kids too.

    So that's it. The game is played by anyone who is willing to join in leaving a comment. I'll send you five questions for you to answer on your blog. It's fun, and I promise to ask relatively clean questions.

    Thanks, Liz!

    Tuesday, June 05, 2007


    Have you seen the commercial for the new dating show starting next week? There is a guy. There are some women.

    According to NBC, "Half are in their 20's and half are in their 40's."

    There are 13 women on the show.

    Saturday, June 02, 2007


    Lovely is having a sleepover tonight. There is a little girl in her grade at school who we shall call Pickle. No reason. I just think it's a good name for her.

    Pickle has Downs. She is two years older than her class, but is completely mainstreamed into the fifth grade. Lovely says that lots of people are mean to Pickle, but they shouldn't be. Pickle is nice, and she's funny. I asked her why they were mean to Pickle and Lovely shrugs and says, "I guess just because she's different. That's not really a reason though."

    It stands to reason that Pickle doesn't get invited to a lot of sleepovers. Lovely said that Pickle was beside herself at school on Thursday. And as it got closer and closer to time for Pickle to come over, Lovely also got really excited. She told me that she really thought I would like Pickle, and that she wanted Pickle to meet me. One of my best friends in elementary school was mentally handicapped, and Lovely and I have had many conversations about Pickle and my friend. I think it is awesome that Lovely is friends with Pickle.

    So Pickle is here. And boy is she a trip. In Pickle you have, a best friend, a food critic, a giggle box, a Disney trivia whiz, and basically? The most delightful little girl (next to Lovely) I have met in a long time. I have known plenty of people with Downs, and I know that they are generally very sincere people. Pickle is no different, but she has a wicked little sense of humor to go with her sincerity. It's quite a mix.

    Most of the time, everything is literal with Pickle. When she was using her celery to just eat Ranch dressing out of a bowl at lunch, I jokingly asked her if she would just like to have a straw. She replied, "No thanks, I'm good." But if you listen closely, you'll catch her teasing you back sometimes.

    Dinner was a huge success. Well, parts of it were. She thinks Guy is the best cook in the whole world because he grilled steaks for us. It was no big deal. When we asked Pickle what she might like for dinner, she said steak. And baked potatoes. And fried chicken. And calamari. We just chose steak and went with it. Her piece had some yummy fat on it, and she thought Guy made that happen just for her. Because Pickle loves her some steak fat.

    The cobbler that she and Lovely made was her favorite thing in the whole world until she tasted a bite of it. The faces she made while trying to eat that cobbler were totally priceless. I finally couldn't take it anymore or I was going to bust out laughing. I asked her if she would rather have a cookie and she said, "Whew. Yes please. I'm not such a fan of this."

    It's 11:30 now. I want to be sleeping, and I was headed that way when the knock came at the door. Lovely had come to get her dad. Pickle was crying and wanted to see him (Guy has been elevated to "funnier than my dad" status with Pickle).

    Guy came back a few minutes later with a somber look on his face. I asked him if Pickle was alright. He said that she was, but that her grandmother had died.

    "Oh, I'm so sorry. When did it happen?"

    Muffled laughter.

    "A year ago. But she still misses her."

    Guy told her that he was sorry that she missed her, but if she wanted to come back again, she would have to go to sleep. I thought that was a little harsh, but deep down, I just giggled at how she got him to come in there to see her one more time. Stinker.

    Good night, Pickle. You are one funny kid, and you can come back to visit any time you like.

    Swimwear discoveries

    I've just returned from shopping for a new swimsuit. I have two things to say:

    1. Thank God for tankinis and separates in different sizes.
    2. It's official. My boobs need their own zip code.

    Friday, June 01, 2007

    May Perfect Post Awards

    Here I am, almost screwing up my Perfect Post again. This month, June 1 has snuck up on me, and I slept late today, and then I had to get my brows waxed . . .

    So with significant delay, and many apologies, I present my Perfect Post award for May to Girl at Fertile Mertile.

    A Perfect Post – May 2007

    Girl has skillz. She has a way with words that makes you just want to pour a cup of coffee and chat with her. Her writing isn't over crafted and isn't planned days in advance. She tells you what is on her mind, and I like that.

    What's more though, is her camera. The pictures she captures take my breath away. This post, He'll Still Hold My Hand, clicks a shot of a shadow. A glimpse of mother and child that only the sun can catch unless you are Girl. And Girl caught it with her camera.

    So, Girl, congratulations on inspiring me to get my lazy blogging butt in gear. And you know what else? I had already sent in the nomination when I got the most lovely envelope in the mail from you. As if your photos and entries didn't brighten my day enough, you share your artistic ability with me too. You are the best. Thank you.

    For more good reading and perfect posts, go visit Lindsey and MommaK who kindly sponsor the Perfect Post Awards each month.