Wednesday, August 27, 2008

seen at DNC protests

Many, I mean Many Many Many groups have apparently acquired permits to 12-15 square feet of what will eventually be known as the grass that WAS in civic center park here in Denver. They are protesting for and against and not even really on the sides of so many issues you can't really take it all in. Husband and I circled the park a couple of times yesterday checking things out -- we do live here, it would be a shame to say we completely locked ourselves up in our home in the burbs and avoided the entire thing. I saw several groups that I could agree with their basic premise if not their methods. I saw groups that I thought both issue and method were right on. And I saw groups that I absolutely vehemently oppose their issue, their method, and hell at that point, they even had bad hair and stupid shoes (hard to be objective sometimes, smirk). I also saw a couple of groups/signs that bewildered me. One group (on the NW corner of the park, directly across Bannock from the courthouse and right on Colfax was a group dressed in all the same color shirts (which I couldn't read) and doing some hugging/praying/imploring gesture -- arms outstretched and raised just slightly -- I haven't the foggiest what their issue was. Then there was the man walking up colfax carrying a rather tiny sign (in comparison to most, it was really like about a 8.5" x 11.0" piece of laminated paper on a stick) that said "Restore the Constitution". To this sign my husband replied -- well both sides want that, to which I said, then it should read 'Restore MY interpretation of the Constitution'. And the first group that bewildered me, "HUMANITY NEEDS COMMUNISM" - not because I'm not aware people feel that way, but because after over a half century of experiments, I am amazed people can't see the failure of the philosophy. Let me begin by saying that when I was in my first Government class in High School, I came home, and at the dinner table my father asked about school. I said -- We learned about Communism today, and it sounds wonderful on paper. My dad (being a child of the 50's) totally freaked! He never let me finish, he wouldn't hear me again, he was convinced those damn pinkos had brainwashed me and all of my classmates. I believe it took my mom a couple of weeks to get through to him that I had said "ON PAPER". And I maintain to this day that Communism sounds great ON PAPER. However, when you take it off the paper and combine it with um... humanity -- well then it fails. No capitalism, no competition - no competition, no motivation - no motivation, no production - no production, no commerce - no commerce, um no commerce.

Also seen at the protests, lots of police ready to jump in their riot gear and take care of business -- and the most disgusting t-shirt I have ever ever ever seen (which I will never repeat what it says) -- there is a limit to free speech, and people are welcome to disagree with religion, but to pick a specific religious figure and then label that person who a huge percentage of the world reveres as a c-word in huge 6" letters on your shirt - is in my mind criminal and dispicable. In fact, just having the c-word where young people can read it makes me nauseous.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Democratic National Convention -- and Anarchy

We have the DNC here... most locals can be lumped into one of three groups -- those who wish it weren't here (bi-partisan), those who love the idea and can't wait to go participate (mostly dems, but also bi-partisan), and those who can't wait to go protest (generally party doesn't matter, they are more interested in making asses of themselves while exercising their right to free speech). I am a HUGE supporter of free speech, although those who know me well, realize that this includes my perogative to drive by protesters in my car and use a flurry of profanity under my breath to describe how ignorant I think most people who bother with protesting are. I have seldom met an intelligent person from either major party who actually stands on street corners with signs that betray how ill-informed and ignorant they are. I won't engage protestors, because that is what they want. I don't protest myself, because frankly making the nightly news or being honked at does very little to further any cause that I feel passionate about -- there are a lot of other ways to exercise my right to free speech that have a much better chance of affecting policy.

So, it is with my same view that I look at all the asses who have come to Denver to use the DNC as their stage for their cause. Certainly a national (international really) media event such as this, and a huge political stage does seem the proper venue to declare your opinion -- but seriously, again... they are mostly radical extremists that don't even understand what they are declaring to support. Among these are 'anarchists'. Now I understand that there are varying views on what anarchy means, however the basic definition is
n., pl. -chies.
Absence of any form of political authority.
Political disorder and confusion.
Absence of any cohesive principle, such as a common standard or purpose.
[New Latin anarchia, from Greek anarkhiā, from anarkhos, without a ruler : an-, without; see a–1 + arkhos, ruler; see –arch.] from

so... my question is, if you don't have any sort of cohesive principle, a common standard or purpose, and no leadership -- how the hell do you organize a protest?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

two days...

till my baby MOVES OUT -- I have mentioned before that I don't generally miss my kids that much when they are gone on trips, etc. -- A. -- I've always been a "they'll be back, look at the benefits of this one less person" regardless of who is gone, mom, dad, husband, boss, child, etc. -- B. -- I can always be very happy for them that they are getting to experience something new and wonderful -- C. -- my life is so freaking crazed that I don't actual notice it much except in the mornings/late evenings as we don't generally see each other every day anyhow. Another trait of mine is that I don't get excited/nervous/other anticipatory emotional until the absolute deadline -- if we are taking a trip, I am not excited, truly not excited until we are actually driving to the airport; if I have a meeting or other public speaking event I don't get nervous until I actually walk into the room (and luckily, the nerves usually dissipate the moment I start speaking); I don't worry about anything generally (part of my faith -- I believe that G-d will provide whatever I need and that my life will be good, so I don't really worry much) -- now don't be silly, I have boobs and I have children so of course I don't like watching my son get tackled by some godzilla sized lineman from another football team and I don't like when my daughter is out driving home from across town in the rain alone at 11pm, and I do fret bits here and there about all the normal things "will they grow up happy"; "will they be successful" -- ordinary mom things -- but I am not by nature a worrier, I just know that good preparation and faith will carry you through damn near anything and therefore worry is just wasted time and effort and could manifest the negative -- so dwell on the positive so that may manifest instead. However, this morning I find myself worrying, and fretting, and already missing my angel -- now she absolutely detests if I think of her as anything at all like "angel" -- but she really is an angel for me -- we have a really close tie, different from my close ties to my other kids, and she is sort of a rock for me, maybe because she's not as emotional as the other two, she's very predictable, very stoic, very logical, and I'm going to miss her so much I can just barely get through the day today without crying. I am worrying about her too, what if this time away drives a wedge in our little special closeness -- what if she gets hurt and I'm not there -- what if she parties too much and something bad happens -- what if she falls madly in love and I'm not her rock anymore -- what if she grows up in some new way and I don't get to see it -- and I miss her so much already I can barely bear it (for the moment, it will pass, I'm not that much of a drama queen). She is ONLY TWO AND A HALF Hours away -- seriously I can get to her in less time than it takes to wait in the ER for someone to take care of an urgent need -- and she can come home frequently, and I can visit frequently -- and she has a phone for crying out loud, and we are getting her webcams, and she has a computer, so it's not like she moved to Timbuktu or something -- and she won't be arguing with her sister, bitching abou the cat, contradicting her dad, irritating her brother, eating the last of some food I love, drinking up all the coffee before I wake up, leaving her shit all over the house, and gone all the time at work or out with friends (seriously, it's not like I see her that much anyhow) -- heck I may even talk to her more because she will have so much new stuff to tell me and I will have stuff to tell her that normally we wouldn't talk about cuz she would be there also. Also, she seems to get along with her roommate (based on a couple of phone calls) and she has hooked herself up with the Job's Daughters there, so she will have not only some built in friends her age, but also a bit of an adult support network also. My little brother actually only lives a little over an hour from her (when he gets back from Iraq) so he can get up there really lickety split if needed. I have to focus on how cool this is for her... I didn't move out when I went to college (I did go live in Spain for a few months first) I lived at home for all of my freshman year, and then lived a whopping five minutes from home after that, so it's hard to imagine what she is feeling. My sister tells me it isn't that bad at first, but her oldest went AWAY to school in Boston -- and I remember how miserable she was, so I don't believe her! I remember that my husband's brother/wife were up at their son's college every couple of weeks for awhile, they missed him so much... and they both cried all the way home from dropping him off -- he was only about an hour away -- actually he's still in that town and so that makes him a little over an hour from my daughter also. It's gonna be just fine... I just have to get through these next two days without freaking her out...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

This morning at our house...

...was just great! my daughter dropped an entire quart (the ziploc twist and seal containers just shatter when you drop them btw) of au-jus leftover from last night. First, my oldest put dinner together because I had a board meeting ... she made enough au just for the entire 1st airborne to come over and have french dips with us -- second, my son put away all the food, except for the huge pan of leftover au jus -- so of course at like midnight I was pouring au jus into this ziploc container, there was actually more in the pan, but I honestly thought that saving a quart was going to be sufficient for any use we might think of in the next millenia.

Cleaning up cold au jus is just about absolutely equal to cleaning up baby shit. I'm thinking of some sort of baby shower game where you clean it off of a dolls butt or something -- oooh oooh, maybe out of a carseat - with only two partially used taco bell napkins and an old grocery receipt! It's got enough fat in it to not be completely liquid and to make you chase it all around -- it still acts like liquid though and so you can't just wipe it like a nice spill of something with some sort of solidity. Also, and this is true of any liquid spill... a quart of contained liquid somehow multiplies by like 12.5 when it spills, so you find yourself actually cleaning up gallons and gallons of spilled whatever. Further... it's full of salt and fat, so you can't have the dog come help with the cleanup... and I just know that even though we were very thorough, I'm going home to an infestation of ants or some other nastiness. Lastly, while I dearly love my new refrigerator... it is actually too close to the ground to clean under, seriously I could fit one flat papertowel under there, but I'm sure you can guess what that did... yeah pushed the slime further under the fridge...
Yeah, so... 1st Airborne or not, we are not having any left over French-dips at our house for lunch or dinner anytime soon. Well unless you want to figure out how to suck it out from under the fridge with a straw.... bleah

***** U P D A T E *****
so my daughter says to us last night, "hey why didn't anyone save the leftover au jus?"

tagging y'all...

my friend Mike has this post... and it motivated me to tag all of you... I want to know (to the best of your recollections, cuz I'm hoping that I am not alone in the fact that I might actually have been to the ER so many times as a mom that I have forgotten one or two) how many times have you gone to the ER for a kid emergency, please feel free to elaborate with editorials on weirdest, most unnecessary, stupidest ER staff, best most awesome, etc. -- seriously they have half grown kids and they just went for the FIRST TIME after 11 years -- I simply don't think that's actually possible, they must have been flashed in the eyes with one of those Men In Black penlight things that makes you forget what you've seen after all the other ER visits... you can't have 3 children and not actually have a bench at the ER named for you...

Okay, and this is freaky and scarey all at the same time... one of the first times I took my daughter to the ER at the good old "family hospital" where we all spent our ER visits as kids, my mom met me there, and the Triage nurse ACTUALLY RECOGNIZED MY MOM from all the visits we kids had over the years. Yes the triage nurse was actually 157 years old and hadn't retired yet, I think her secret (from the sounds of her voice) was that she smoked a half dozen packs a day and quite possibly had been injected with formadehyde or something.

I'm going with 12 in 18 years off the top of my head... I'll bet I forgot some... also in addition to that we had at least four -- two that actually have stories attached during office hours visits to the doctor -- one for stitches in the head and the other for beans shoved up the nose. If that had happened not during office hours we would be at 16 in 18 years, plus a couple forgotten, works out to about 1 emergent care visit annually. Stupidest/Biggest waste of $$ -- son convinced me his foot was broken, and then proceeded to jump up and down and skip around on it for the doctor after we waited in the nasty ER to be seen for like 1.5 hrs. Worst care -- Children's Hospital - sad but true, only one visit ever, will not ever go back to their ER -- maybe long term care rocks there, but I will not ever willingly step foot in their ER again. Best Care -- there really isn't one, honestly every visit has had some stupid facet to it that just makes it impossible to give any of them "best" -- grossest -- either the night that the prisoner who was handcuffed to his gurney pissed on the police officer in front of my 5 year-old, complete with some really colorful words that she probably would have eventually learned at home, but hadn't heard yet, getting bitten by a mosquito in the ER waiting room (ewwwwww can you say blood born disease -- EEEEEEEEEEEK) or the night when I took my youngest for her broken nose received at softball practice so she was in softball stuff, and this 112 year old man came in, also dressed for softball with his hand all wrapped in what looked like a t-shirt... I was comforting my daughter telling her she wasn't stupid for getting hurt at softball, look at him, he's probably been playing forever and he's hurt -- he proceeded, while I was away from her for 12 seconds to show her how he had accidentally nearly completely amputated his index finger when a ball came over the back of the glove (he sticks his index finger out the little hole) -- btw, he was actually 77 years old and still playing COMPETITIVE co-ed softball, his granddaughter brought him in, and plays on the same team as him!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Overheard during Olympic viewing at our house...

Mom, I want a Tony Azevedo jersey

Of course we are obsessed with viewing the olympics in our house, our DVR is fully packed every day -- in fact we have lost some excellent recordings (the one show that I use to fall asleep) in order to make room for all the olympic episodes piling up. One particularly popular sport in our house (remember we have two swimmers, one of them a lifeguard, and another athlete who has a best friend that is a swimmer and is also planning to be a lifeguard) is water polo. I know, it looks a little slow and dull, but seriously could you tread water for an hour? And bat a volleyball around while you do it? and try to score with that ball into a floating soccer goal? and attempt to defend your team by trying to dunk/drown/disable the opposition while they attempt to dunk/drown/disable you? -- really, when you think about it, it really is pretty bad ass -- and the most bad ass of all TONY AZEVEDO.

ps. the quote was from my smart ass wanna be comic son, if you don't get the humor tell the story to folks who understand water sports until you get an explanation.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


looking at my post from yesterday, it occurred to me that I am always saying to my kids that "we had to do chores EVERY day, and we couldn't do anything else till they were done" as some sort of retarded parent comment that is supposed to motivate them to run around and clean up my house before they go to an activity -- what it actually elicits is an empty "yes ma'am" from the boy, rolled eyes from the youngest and a weak effort to carry some imaginary piece of lint to the trash can to escape, and an argument from the oldest about how she already did 84 hours of chores (translate, dropped a load of towels in the warsher, and didn't even dry them yet) and she has a job and the others don't and it's too hot to pick up dog crap, plus she just showered and she has to be whereever in like 4 minutes and the other sister just finally got out of the bathroom and now she's gonna be late and we said that as long as she was doing the laundry the other two had to do the rest (ps. my laundry pile is larger than it has EVER been, I would estimate that it would take 3-4 days of constant laundry to catch up at this point -- which I will be starting on when I get home tonight... I will also just be doing all of the housework all night long, while they sit in front of a paused t.v. NOT watching the Olympics because they will have to wait for me to finish their chores).

Alas, this is not about my plans to guilt the little darlings (read brats) into helping out -- this is about my cataloging the various chores we did growing up -- keeping in mind there were a gazillion of us -- though at one point in time, due to some sort of confusion on my parents part, there were a couple of YEARS when only my one sister and I were at home full time, followed by a brief year or so that I was the only kid at home!

We (girls) did all of the interior housework -- dusting, glass, vacuuming, dishes, sorting mail (we actually had mailboxes because there were so many of us), bathrooms, kitchen, dining room, cleaning light fixtures, stripping, mopping, waxing floors, trash, laundry (mostly folding, mom did most of the washing) -- they (boys) did most of the outside work -- mowing, wood chopping, cleaning up dog crap (which was WAY easy cuz mom would let us just turn the hose on blast and blast it across the lawn into the drainage ditch!), painting, nailing, fence repair, watering (mom did most of that), cleaning the deck, and taking out the trash -- they also had to do any heavy lifting or crap like that -- now, my parents were not completely chauvinistic -- the boys had to take turns vacuuming the dining room every night, they had to help with dinner dishes and clearing the table, they had to help with heavy housework like windows, cleaning the store room, etc. -- and the girls had to help outside, like gardening, and we were allowed to mow the back (flat) lawn, but not the front (giant hill), no matter how much we begged (I know, sick, but we did beg to mow the front) and chopping wood, particularly if you were hungover, you would be asked to go outside and "split some wood for the fire" -- it wouldn't matter at all if all the boys had been hungover the previous morning and there were already two cords of split wood -- you had to go "split enough to last all week" -- I never did know what that meant, I don't think anyone did, what it actually meant was go do it until someone came to call you in for a meal or someone came out and said "okay that's enough go help your _____(insert other parent)". Also, I had pet rabbits, and I had to muck out the rabbit pen every few weeks, it was a huge pen for only a couple of rabbits, so it could go like a month without being bothered with (rabbit poo doesn't stink, but their urine does) -- and then I had to "compost" the straw/poo/etc. from the rabbit pen -- which meant I had to get in the compost and turn that -- ugh... mucking out a rabbit pen is work, but sort of feel good work, turning compost just sucks. In between that mom would occasionally send someone to turn the compost instead of splitting wood -- you know when there was no more unsplit logs -- or we had enough split wood to start sharing with the neighbors. And really -- all of this only took maybe 30 minutes a day and once in awhile a weekend where you spent several hours one weekend day -- but if we were all working our asses off on a weekend, we could count on some awesome dinner and dessert and probably some beers with dad at the end of the day. And most of us liked to be home, it was a great place to be, we laughed all the time, we did silly shit to each other, and our friends were always welcome, and we never batted an eye at "yeah come on over, but I'm cleaning the rabbit pen" -- most friends would just watch, some would grab a pitchfork and help -- my best friend in high school would actually do a better job on the kitchen than me, and then I would be busted for not having done it myself. I remember that at the point where it was just my sister and I at home, every wednesday we would "clean house" -- we would put on an 8-track of Donna Summer or some equally upbeat awesome disco dancing around music and just go mach 3 dusting, glass cleaning, vacuuming, putting crap away, bathrooms, etc. for about an hour, and then we would start dinner -- The rest of the week we just did little stuff that mom asked "run this down to the store room", fold this load of whites, etc. -- Then on Saturday a.m., Dad would wake us up at the buttcrack of dawn (well to a teenager and a pre-teen it seemed the buttcrack anyhow, it was probably like 730am -- and we would have to pull weeds, mow the back, etc. -- and usually one or more brothers would wander in around mid-day (probably looking for food) to pick up their mail and would maybe mow the front, or turn the compost or some other crappy chore, and then convince us they had really done us a favor and we should do something for them -- usually cleaning their nasty ass bathroom, sometimes their cars, sometimes hooking them up with some girl (well my sister, my friends were all in 6th grade, and that's nasty). Then when I was home alone, I had it easier actually -- sort of -- fewer saturday mornings pulling weeds (mom hired a guy!), and just the usual dishes, vacuum, fold laundry, clean the girls bathroom (which took like 6 minutes, no one used the tub, girls don't splash pee everywhere, so it was really simple) -- then came the "little brothers" (foster brothers that moved in after we were all grown and gone) -- they didn't do shit -- I think they took out the trash occasionally and maybe mowed the yard once a summer -- well that's how it looked from my side of the fence, I'm sure they were doing stuff, it just wasn't noticeable.

Lastly, every Sunday, forever, was family day. We would run around during the day possibly, and only some of us would go to church with dad -- but the evening was family time, and everyone's friends had an open invitation -- I don't think a single Sunday went by that we didn't have someone there, usually a few someones -- even sometimes Mom's or Dad's friends, usually ours though. Mom made spaghetti every Sunday -- EVERY Sunday (except Easter and Mother's Day) and people would show up and eat. It was the only time we didn't eat in the dining room actually, some did, but usually people just sort of ate whereever, if my sister had her boyfriend over, they might eat at the kitchen counter -- if my brother had his friends over, they might eat downstairs in the "rec room" -- we didnt' have a family room, we had a mostly unfinished room, with some little panelling sections here and there on one side of the room around a pool table, and bare concrete on the other walls, it did have built in bookshelves on one wall for all of mom's books, an a t.v. and an old ratty couch -- which was eventually replaced by an equally old ratty couch -- and a piece of leftover carpet just laying on the concrete floor on the t.v. side of the room. There was a "bar" - which was more like a workbench with a hunk of formica on it and some barstools under the bar were a bunch of MARKED bottles of booze. And if there was a football game on, everyone would gather in the rec room and eat while watching the Broncos. If it was a home game, mom and dad were at the game and the only difference was one of us girls had made the sauce and there were two more seats in the rec room to sit in. Occasionally if several of someone's friends showed up, that group would eat in the dining room or out on the deck -- and you never knew who would be there. I had a few friends that were really very regular, one that even came nearly every week (I think his mom was a bad cook and he liked the idea of good food once a week), and I can remember different friends of my siblings being pretty regular -- and then there would be the surprises -- years after my brothers had moved out, one of their friends would show up at the back door and ask if we were having spaghetti, mom would be in her very best mood because one of her "kids" was back and she would have made them stay til she whipped up a batch if there weren't one, but there always was. Every one in the neighborhood called my parents Ma and Pa, and everyone knew they could stop in for spaghetti. Years later mom told all of us that she hates red sauce, lol. Now when we have her over on our spaghetti nights, we all make some sort of optional sauce.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Bon Ami - my Dad, not the stuff in the can

I grew up in a upper middle class neighborhood, and actually in one of the richer neighborhoods within the neighborhood... in Junior High I learned that the kids who didn't live on the hill called it "snob hill" -- really it wasn't any snobbier than the rest of the area -- but anyhow... and we weren't rich. A lot of our neighbors were rich, some quite rich, but we weren't rich, my parents were in the market at the right time, had property to sell before they bought that house, and an inheritance to help out with the land. Plus, there were NINE of us, for crying out loud, even if my parents had an inkling of rich, that flew out the window as soon as mom went to the grocery store to feed all of us little brats. So the point of all the economics is that my mom would buy, for my dad, FREQUENTLY, the most giant can of store brand scouring powder available. It smelled a little like comet and dishwasher detergent combined together, and it scoured the hell out of everything, including the finishes off of everything. All of my rich friends mom's bought Bon Ami or Comet or usually both - because Bon Ami didn't scratch (or forcibly remove the finish/surface/color/etc.) This scouring powder, I do believe was actually rocks mixed with straight lye. My father would use it religiously, on everything. Burnt crap on the grill, get the scouring powder. Burnt crap in a pan, get the scouring powder. Greasy crap on the floor, get the scouring powder. Shower floor, get the scouring powder... in fact I didn't know that shower basins were smooth and nice until I got old enough to spend the night at someone else's house (who's mom no doubt used scrubbing bubbles, and maybe just once in a while hit the worst of it with a dash of Bon Ami). Our shower basin floors were almost like concrete! In addition to that (and I must thank this post for reminding me that my dad even used scouring powder as part of his own personal hygiene), while the rest of us were gagging on the fumes and dying from the nasty gritty crap under our fingernails and eating away the skin on our hands while we scrubbed the marks from the hallway floor that came from someone's boots... dad was merrily digging out from under the boy's bathroom sink ONE of his trusty 12 pound cans of scouring powder and a can of GOOP to wash off car grease or printer's ink from his hands. My dad worked on all of our cars, and he had a printing press in the basement, so he could be home while he did his night job... and of course we could help (which he managed to "Tom Sawyer" us into thinking was fun), he had nasty hands frequently... but during the day, when he wore his suit to work, no one would ever have guessed he had ever been anywhere near the hood of a car, let alone re-packing bearings the night before -- in case you don't know, re-packing bearings is a super nasty job, imagine 80 gazillion large BBs and a wad of axle grease that could fill a large coffee mug... then put them together, BY HAND. His hands were spotless, all of the time... it had to be the handful of GOOP and the generous sprinkling of scouring powder which he would rub and rub all over his hands and up his wrists and then (ever the water conservationist) call whoever was nearest the boys bathroom in to crank up the water so that he could rinse off. I remember spending many times sitting on the boys toilet waiting to turn on the water for him, after helping him with a printing or car repair job and having to use the same ritual to clean my own hands (cuz it was SO cool, not because I wanted to have lovely hands later in life).

Later, when I worked on a pit crew (not because I'm a car genius, because the driver of the car was cute,and I impressed him with my knowledge of cars, and he wanted in my pants), I discovered that other mechanic type people use Fast Orange... and that's what I have in my house now. But seriously, I don't think it does nearly as good of a job as GOOP and scouring powder -- it sure does smell better though.

I also don't work on my car... those days sailed when I was able to buy a car that had fuel injection and electrical crap, so that bottle of fast orange under the kitchen sink has probably been there for ten years - besides, the one time that I did change the oil in the car, in the driveway, in full view of the neighbors, it embarrassed the hell out of my husband and he sort of unspokenly forbade me from making him look like a slacker ever again.

Oh yeah, and for those of you who are wondering... when you have 6 brothers, and your mom is the smartest woman on the planet (I'm not being sarcastic, my mom is a frigging genius)... the boys have their own bathroom - which they are responsible for keeping clean, and the girls have their own bathroom, which they are responsible for keeping clean. Also, the other question I thought might arise is this... yes my dad comes from the sit on your ass and make your woman do all the housework generation, but he is a workaholic, believes that "chores build character", grew up (well a little bit) on a farm, and understood that the woman he adored had already spent all day chasing kids around, cooking, cleaning and disciplining... he had no issue at all with keeping his own shower clean, vacuuming, doing windows, dishes, whatever needed doing (except laundry, he doesn't do laundry) - and he way didn't have an issue with making us do it, and he would show us by example just how a little elbow grease and scouring powder could do everything but chop wood - which we would also be doing later.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

a poke in the eye

I’m sure I have mentioned before that strange things just pop into my head… and I try to make an effort to remember them to post here for some amusement, usually I don’t remember though. Today is an exception, I remember -you know how they tell you that you have to hear something 84 times (or some such number, I made that one up) in order to recall it at will… well it must be because I said it over and over to my friend, because it makes her laugh.

I was late this morning (look back, I’m sure it’s not news that I’m outing myself as a not-prompt person) – and of course fantasizing, what would I tell the group of women who were all prompt and waiting on me when I arrived – nothing is usually what I tell people, but I do pass the time in traffic fantasizing great things. Today was pretty darn good – I had received an email late last night from my friend, it said simply “I need some momumo time, seeing the world through different eyes, do you have time?” (she doesn’t actually call me momumo, but ya know, I’m not gonna out my real name).

I didn’t get it until pretty late, right before I was going to sit down to a nice glass of milk and some graham crackers with my wonderful husband, who as of yesterday, I have been together with for 20 years (yesterday was the anniversary of our first “date”) – so I didn’t reply, she sent her email around 4 in the afternoon and I had to assume that by 1030pm she was either already in bed, or already found some other soul to unburden her venting to.

So I phoned her on my way across town to the meeting that I was already running late to, assuming that she of all the people I needed to touch base with today, would answer her phone at 715am and not want to beat me senseless with the handset. She did answer, she was awake, and she didn’t want to beat me, so I made a good assumption there (always dangerous to make assumptions) – I said, hey I got your email late last night sorry… I have about 30 minutes right now while I drive across town to a meeting I’m late for. You know, I don’t know if I hogged the conversation, I don’t think I did, because thinking back we spent a significant amount of time talking about a crop “circle” out near the Denver International Airport, that seen from the air looks like a Republican symbol, you know to greet all the visitors to the Democratic National Convention (I would think it just as hilarious if they did the opposite at the RNC) – anyhow, she brought up this topic asking if I had seen any news stories on it, etc. so I think she just needed to talk to a grownup that wasn’t her family or ex-husband maybe, not particularly about anything, and maybe just not about anything. Alas, I digress from my story (big shock there, I never do that)… so we were talking about how I was running late to my meeting and I had gotten something in my eye while getting ready and maybe I could sell that as my excuse “sorry I’m late, I got something in my eye” – and I said you know though, my eye isn’t really red anymore, maybe I should just poke myself in the eye before I walk in (and we laughed our asses off)… oh crap, you know I think this another of my stories that just doesn’t translate well to the written word. I must say however, that we continued to beat that dead horse as we visited other topics during the conversation. I told her about my nephew being born, and I got all teary eyed during the teary eyed part, and I was like “hey, if I don’t wipe off these tears, the whole poked in the eye thing might fly better at the meeting!”… then I called her back after the meeting, because clearly 30 minutes was not enough, and well I had another 30 minutes of driving to get to my office… and I mentioned that I had been in the ER having my bleeding eye looked at – she laughed, she knows damn well I’m way too big of a wimp to actually poke myself in the arm let alone the eye. I did manage to retain this story for y’all, and I’m telling you driving across the highway this morning it was very hilarious, imagining myself sitting in the parking lot at the school jabbing myself in the eye with my finger until it reached the appropriate redness and tearfulness to convince a whole group of prompt women that I had an issue big enough to delay my arrival at this important meeting. Like I said strange things pop into my head.

So, yes my nephew was born, and circumcised for those following that craziness. He is fine, he hasn’t rebelled against his mom and begged for his foreskin back at this point, so we’ll see how it goes after he loses interest in milk and sucking on his fist and begins to use words. It was WONDERFUL – I know, all births are wonderful, and I have had the fortune of being at now 6 other births in addition to the three that I pushed out myself – and this would be the third birth that I have coached – what a great thing to be able to do for another woman. Anyhow, the best most awesome wonderful part of the story – you know that part I alluded to that makes me cry every time I tell it (still a week later) – I believe I mentioned that the baby’s daddy is stationed in Iraq, he left the first week in July. He is able to call home to his wife with good regularity, generally twice a day – they did get skype, so the calls are not costing a fortune – and I don’t know that he will continue twice a day after the whole ‘is the baby here yet?’, ‘the new baby is great’ stuff passes – but for now he calls when he gets off of his shift and before he goes to bed and he calls again when he wakes up and before he starts his shift – this would have been around 5am our time – so after hearing from him during early labor, we didn’t expect to hear from him again until 5am. So as the baby was crowning, and we all got a look at his little head, the phone rang… and it was his daddy calling (during his sleeping hours, he had awakened and had the urge to call), and he managed to maintain his connection during the entire birth and hear the whole thing – it wasn’t anything at all like being there – but he was able to have a connection somehow – I’m crying (or maybe I just poked myself in the eye with something?) just typing it – and the baby is great, mom is great, everything went wonderfully – she was able to follow her birthplan to the tee, it was just wonderful. I have to say, this was my first midwife attended birth, and that is a great way to go!! It was a hospital birth, midwife attended, and as they live out a ways into the country from the hospital, I don’t know how comfortable I would have been with a home birth – just because I have seen complications at a birth that needed aggressive attention (which I still believe, but it can’t be proven – were actually brought on by, or at the very least exacerbated by intervention – there, my natural is the way to go speech will end there, I could start a whole blog on how I think birth should be natural – and that would get way too deep for what this blog is about?). If I were to have another one (immaculate conception?), I would have a midwife attended hospital birth – wow the advances in letting you move around and labor in multiple positions are wonderful too. She wasn’t tied to the monitor at all except for the first 15-20 minutes after arriving at the hospital – they just bring the monitor to you and hold it on for a couple of contractions and then go away again for an extended amount of time.