Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Finally inspired...

...during my shower no less. Probably more information than you needed to know. I will absolutely deny it with every fiber of my being, and it's not actually enough to make me want all my children scattered hither and yon, but it will be nice to share the bathroom with only the DH.

There are 8 ALMOST empty bottles/tubes/cans in my shower at the present. One of them is mine, the other seven are... the children's. They are not there because they haven't been replaced with a new bottle/tube/can. They are there because no one in this damn house ever gets the last two servings of anything out from the bottom, be it toothpaste, shaving cream, ketchup, cheese, shampoo, dog food, what have you. There are also several bottles/tubes of products in my shower that I'm certain NO ONE uses, that have been going in and out of the shower each time it gets cleaned properly, (and shoved aside the other eight out of ten times). Also, there are any number of products in there that I would never allow to touch my skin; can't stand the odor of; or have been there so long that they are beginning to change color - I swear that nasty doesn't rinse off body wash used to be pearly white and now it's sorta beige. Probably I should just bite the bullet and throw it all out, but the last time I did that, I supposedly threw away shit that people actually use. Nevermind the fact that before I did it, I took it all out of the shower in a tub (to clean properly) and left the tub out of the shower for a couple of weeks and then discarded everything that no one put back in.

As I stood there surveying the empty containers, strange smelling nasties, four razors, four sploofies, and the anti-bacterial hand soap (not sure who is washing their hands in the shower), I realized that DH has two things in there that are "his" - shaving cream (which I share with him) and a razor (which I do not share). He uses whatever shampoo is in there, obviously a smorgasborg of choices, because he has practically no hair - and will wash with whatever body wash I put in there as long as it doesn't smell like a girl - easy enough, I don't like girly smelling stuff either. He, like his children, does have a problem using the rock bottom last two servings, but I can deal with that as long as the empties get thrown away, my towel isn't rumpled on the floor and my wash cloth from the day before isn't in the tub soaking wet because someone knocked it in and didn't wring it out and hang it back up.

At least I'm clean for the day.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Found this while reading "the news" this morning.

I don't know how to feel about this...

I completely agree with this statement: "There's absolutely nothing sexual about breast-feeding, "Berjuan Toys U.S. spokesman Dennis Lewis said. "It's good for mommies, it's good for babies, it's good for society."

But just because it's not sexual doesn't make it appropriate for little girls who don't even have breasts. I mean they don't actually give birth to their dolls either. On the other hand, I believe strongly that it is absolutely natural and as long as a mom exercises a bit of discretion, she should be allowed to breast feed her baby anywhere that she chooses (by discretion I mean some sort of little cover to ease the embarrassment of anyone who might happen to be nearby). I feel like a bit of a hypocrite thinking that it is wrong for a bunch of little girls to be breastfeeding their dollies, but not their having dollies in the first place.

And it's not like some of this doesn't just happen naturally anyhow -- I'm certain that little girls, particularly those who have mommies who are nursing a sibling, have probably "nursed" their dolls for ages. I happen to know from my own personal experience that sometimes little girls alter their dolls to be more anatomically correct -- my sister drew pubic hair onto her Barbies, which I inherited from her and had to explain to my friends! (ps. she used a blue pen - Barbie was pretty punk in the 60's & 70's - ahead of her time for sure!). And strangely, I don't really have an issue with "anatomically correct" dolls, nor do I think it makes your doll play experience less satisfying to have "traditional" dolls with no apparent gender. I suppose what bothers me most is the idea of foisting the idea of nursing upon little girls. While I am a huge advocate of nursing, believe it to be natural and wonderful and healthy, I do NOT believe it is right for every mom/baby. Well I'm just babbling here, would love to hear what others think.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Memories... and then some

Browsing around a bit this morning on blogs that include the words "baseball mom" - the theme of the day seems to be "do I enjoy giving up my whole summer to baseball".

I can't speak for everyone, and there were a couple of years of dance/softball/baseball/swimming/football that I thought might kill me... I remember one particular year my husband and I had to travel in the spring and try to get someone to do just the driving for our three darlings -- that was the year of Killer Thursday - drop off boy at baseball practice in neighboring town at 4:45 (hope someone is there early to watch him while I leave to drop sister off at dance at 5:00, drop other sister off at softball at 5:15, back to dance to pick up youngest and take her to softball at 6:00 (changing from leotard to softball clothes in car on way); pick up oldest at softball a little before 6:30 (before practice over) for swimming at 6:30 (again changing in the car) race from pool to baseball field to pick up son at 7:00 and then home for dinner... sigh G-d forbid there was a game instead of practice to disrupt the flow.

... but I wouldn't give back a minute of it - missed camping trips, family vacations all centered on baseball tournaments, changing to theatre appropriate clothes from sweaty baseball mom clothes, baseball games in formal gowns, freezing in the rain, sizzling in the heat, hat head, sore feet, sunburns, bug bites, late (I mean really late) dinners, fuck tons (I do mean fuck tons) of fast food and sunflower seeds, smelly car*, dozens of unfinished and even un-started summer projects, etc.

There is a sign that hangs in our home it says "We Interrupt this Family for Baseball Season" (it could just as easily say 'softball season' - 'swim season' - 'dance' - 'Job's Daughters' - or 'cheerleading'.

Years ago I also said that I would write a cookbook for "baseball moms" that included some actual non-fast food, healthy, easy options for those crazy days of summer. In honor of those moms who are struggling with their own baseball season right now and are sick of fast food and hot dogs I will share a favorite.

Taco Salad
(feeds 5-ish)

1+ lbs ground beef
chile powder (1 Tbsp ish)
garlic powder

brown the ground beef with the above seasonings, stir frequently to break into small pieces, drain fat

>tortilla chips (preferably not too salty - we like the white corn strips from Costco)
>1-1.5 heads lettuce (we use romaine because I'm a snot that doesn't like iceberg)
>2-3 tomatoes (diced for salad - we have two tomato lovers, and one tomato hater - I use 2-3 roma tomatoes)
>sliced black olives (optional, I love them, but we don't have them all the time)
>sliced scallions (again, if we have some I will slice them, but I don't make a special trip to the store for them)
>1.5-2 C shredded cheese (cheddar or cheddar/jack)
>sour cream
>guacamole (it's baseball season, just buy the packaged in the produce aisle - we like Wholly Guacamole - it tastes homemade!)
>Salsa (replaces salad dressing)

We all put our salads together differently - my oldest daughter loves the round chips and makes her salad a work of art worthy of a photo contest - I will tell you how I put mine together.

Crunched up chips in the bottom of the bowl, a little lettuce on top of that, then the rest of the veggies topped with a few more crunched up chips, meat and cheese -- then top the whole works with all the gooey yumminess ending with the salsa.

I can make all of this ahead (and in fact I sometimes make a HUGE batch of meat and freeze it in bags enough for one dinner [tacos or taco salad]) during the morning/afternoon and then when I come home I re-heat the meat for a minute or two and snip the corner off the bag of guac and we are good to eat!

*smelly car -- One day I was chaperoning a group of girls, and one girl who lacked a bit of a filter said to me "Mrs. Momumo, what is that smell?" -- Me: "Well, it could be sour milk/chocolate smell from the huge air pot of spilled hot chocolate a couple of years ago, I shampoo all the time, but the smell never goes away; or it could be some sweaty football/baseball/softball socks that are stuck under a seat somewhere; or it could be sweaty dance wear in the trunk; or it could be some old fast food in a bag under one of the seats; or it could be the beer that blew up in the hot sun and splattered all over the car; or it could be that I used to smoke; or it could be one of the girl's swim bags in the back; or it could be vomit; what does it smell like honey?" "oh, well it sorta smells like all of that, could you roll down the window?"

I have a new car now -- same girl "wow this car smells so much better" ME: "probably not for long, lol"

my car did not smell that badly, and I febreezed, shampooed, vacuumed, often to eliminate the odor... she had a very sensitive nose.

Friday, July 15, 2011


Woke up to the Graham Norton show and this:

Following a crazy day of ups and downs, I won't lie, mostly downs, we all sat down to a delicious dinner together.

Our dinner table conversation, never boring, usually more along the lines of "offensive" at most people's dinner tables had gotten out of hand, and I found myself suggesting we all try teapot blowing. HILARIOUS! I strongly recommend you try it yourselves.

The boy had woken up at about the same time as me, so I rewound the Graham Norton show and forced him to watch the teapot blowing with me. Thus he was quite excited to be the first to show us all how it's supposed to be done. I can only hope that when you try it, you have someone just as confident.

Also, you might want to make a best effort to protect any small animals from being in the line of fire... our little corgi mix was quite drenched!!

I ended up going to the Harry Potter premiere (unplanned) and was rather impressed with how amazingly crazy the whole affair is. The crowds, the cheering and booing during the movie, etc. Also, I am NOT a fan of 3-D, but I was impressed with the 3-D technology of this movie (and besides, I can really rock the Harry Potter special 3-D glasses!)

There were some Jr. High aged kids in the crowd that shouted out 'Vagina' a few times, the girls I was with were so disgusted with their immaturity that they were prepared to shout out 'Masturbation' as a retort if it were to happen again. I think that would have been a wonderful expression of how mature people deal with things - lol.

Today the boy is off to a baseball "double header" (at two different fields); I'm working; and the husband is hitting 18 holes with his boss. I just dropped by my youngest's bedroom to discover that she is... applying for scholarships! (Better late than never)

Friday, July 08, 2011

Sexism and the Classics

My children all attended two very conservative schools, filled mostly with very conservative students from very conservative families -- and by very conservative, I mean both politically and morally (religiously). I confess, I am a sexist -- in that I believe there are certain things that are better delegated to members of either gender - I can change a lightbulb, if there is a male in the building, I think it should be delegated to him - I can take out the trash, if there is a male in the building, I think it should be delegated to him - My husband can do laundry, he does his laundry, he never does the household laundry (towels, bedding, etc.) - My son can assist with first aid (bandaids, etc), but I usually ask one of his sisters. I do not teach my children that there are specific gender roles, or that they are incapable of anything because it should be done by the other sex, in fact I have many times encouraged my girls to learn about changing tires, oil, mowing the lawn, and I have encouraged my son to learn about baking, cooking, laundry, and have insisted that they do both.

My two youngest children are absurdly sexist - chauvinistic even - they stun people with the shit that comes out of their mouths. Youngest daughter to the History Channel a couple of days ago "Silly History Channel, women can't be spies, no intrigue ever happens in the kitchen" - my son to me yesterday "you don't understand because you have a vagina" (yes he really does talk to me that way, and yes I laugh hysterically-his dad not so much). I had blamed this on their right-wing, filled with fundamentalist bible-thumper schools. I was right, but not because they have teachers that praise George Bush and Jerry Falwell in the same sentence, and not because they have friends who might actually secretly have several mom's. Turns out that the somewhat rigorous reading requirements at their High School includes "a favorite" (not something you hear from a 19 y/o boy often), and my son chose to re-read this classic novel about a week ago, as he was reading it this morning, he started demanding from his sister that she get busy making him some food (which she gladly agreed to do) and then revealed the real culprit... Pearl S. Buck, 'The Good Earth'. Who knew?

Friday Bullets

• I clicked “next blog” almost obsessively the last two days – I’m not sure how to say this diplomatically (because I’m not very diplomatic, even when I desire to be) – I remember when my children were young, I thought that I had no spare time at all for anything – however, I had a ridiculous internet gaming and chat habit, and had blogs existed I would have been so prolific. I also had time to go to EVERYTHING for my kids. I don’t actually have time for this now, I make time for it by getting up early and staying up late, and apparently other parents of teens don’t have time either, there are bazillions of blogs with sweet pictures of darling families filled with babies, toddlers, pre-schoolers, and elementary aged athletes/dancers/etc. Maybe I’ve found a niche – possibly one that will have no readers, because it is entirely possible those same parents who don’t have time to write a blog, also don’t have time or interest in reading one. (Second highest population [not a scientific study] seems be “Christian” blogs – again, not seeing a real need for everyone to spout the same opinion over and over)
• I have a group of friends that is most definitely the funniest women alive, I fucking love them – I find myself seeking out a good laugh from them whenever the day begins to drag
• My children are as funny as my friends (this is mentioned many times in previous posts), I hope to include some brief posts of “overheard in my house” “shit my kids say” – something of that nature, I am terrified of a return of the circumcision debacle though
• Baseball (no list from me would be complete without it)
• Oh yeah food, I love food blogs, but they intimidate me – I actually don’t have any desire to try Kale chips, no matter how many foodies assure me they are all the rage, kids love them, and they are so easy to make – ewwwwwwwwww kale (from a landlocked girl who grosses out at the smell of the ocean and did have a short stint as a vegetarian that served mostly to put me off most things green)
• Today’s college preparations – sending the youngest off for a weekend with older sister at her out of town college apartment… I am assured that because said older daughter partied last night with her boyfriend, she will be better equipped to keep her baby sister in check at the street festival and rodeo

Thursday, July 07, 2011

I don't have time for this...

... or anything else that seems important enough to be distraught about, and yet not important enough to lose sleep over, or to stop checking email, facebook, this blog (that I forgot about for so long), or to actually do work that I get paid for.

Way down in those older posts I am pretty sure there is something written about my inane inability to say 'no' to volunteer opportunities. I like to call them opportunities, because misery loves company and I have also been guilty a time or two of twisting an arm or two into joining me on these adventures.

One of these "opportunities" that presented itself, I would say a good 5 years ago, was to be the chairman of an ongoing HUGE fundraiser that goes all summer long for my daughters' youth organization. Today, is the first big day -- there were a few days of preparation for today, all went smoothly and easily, I had somehow fooled myself into thinking the whole season would be that way. HAHAHA MOMUMO, fooled you!!

I laid awake last night - as I do most nights - thinking of what projects absolutely had to be done today, and how much time each would take - basically budgeting my time for the day. I budgeted 1.5 hours for the at home prep/printing/bookkeeping portion of this project - and of course another 2.5 hours for the at the event portion. Ahem, I started on this at 9:30, took a couple of short breaks for various familial interruptions, and I just finished at 1pm. OOOps.

Why did this take me so long... because my new printer is as slow as a one legged dog chasing a squirrel, and of course a watched printer doesn't move any faster; because my DH (I do love him, I really do) has been moving all my crap around on my for the last several months and I can't find anything... like last years files; because I never budget my time well (although I thought I was very generous with this one - I really thought it was more like 45 minutes of work).

So, am I rushing to get those other projects done? Am I in the shower grooming for my rare public appearance at the event? Am I kicking back with a cocktail saying 'fuck it' to the whole day? No, I'm fooling everyone else in the house into thinking that I'm working while I write a blogpost, because yesterday I told myself I have some GREAT new fodder for blogposts with these college kids making me crazy, and I can even write some shit that if it doesn't at least improve someone else's similar experience will make them laugh. I should post every day, it will be good for me. Well here's today's post - not funny, not helpful, not interesting, and certainly not a good use of my time.

Cheers! I hope someone else is procrastinating for no good reason too.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Parenting Teenagers

Pretty much freaking out this summer as my last baby prepares to go off to college. We bought a Brita pitcher (green of course) and some bookcases. Her older sister is handing down her dorm bed sheets (green again, yay!) and her brother gave her a pretty decent TV after he won a better one in a poker game. All that stuff is basically handled - although, this is our, hmmm how do I put this, well she's our hoarder. Pretty sure it might require a full size moving truck to take the stuff she wants to take. On the other hand, it's not just about what will fit in whatever vehicle/method we finally determine will best move her to college, but also what will fit in her dorm room - so at least we don't have to be the total bad guy in this. The University she is attending actually provides rather large dorm fridges, so she won't be needing that, even though we have one left over from the older sister. Three kids in college at the same time does tend to present the requirment for two of almost everything, pretty much the same as when they were babies and we needed two cribs, two car seats, two strollers, etc. Haha, we thought all that baby shit was expensive -- two things, people have a lot more baby shit they are willing to hand down. We had big family collections on both sides that we handed around. Most of my nieces and nephews who shared baby clothes, kid furniture, and even sports equipment have not had a single dorm thing to hand down... hmmmmmm, do you think they all lost their shit in poker games? These details are not freaking me out.
Also -- God Bless America -- yeah that's right, every single school wants us to do a verification of our FAFSA. If you don't have (or haven't had yet) a college student, then you probably aren't familiar with this "college lingo" that has evolved quite a bit since we packed up our toaster ovens and hot pots and trundled off to college on a wing and a prayer and hopefully some $$ from our grandparents. These days, regardless of how affluent you are, you have to fill out the FAFSA (it means Free Application for Federal Student Aid). The name would imply that if you have your college $$ all taken care of (great savings, scholarships, blackmailing your mafia uncle, etc) that you don't have to fill it out. I'm told EVERYONE has to fill it out, although, with three in college and basically nothing saved toward their educations, we didn't bat an eye at "Federal Student Aid". 1st year, one student in college, FAFSA returns an EFC (more new lingo - Estimated Family Contribution) about equal to what I was being paid at the time - and not something we could possibly have come up with. Many student loans and three years later, that child is still enrolled, her tuition is still being paid, and I only owe several thousand dollars to various entities -- she owes tens of thousands of dollars, sure hope she gets a good job! Second student added 1 year ago, and I lost my job in the meantime (love this economy) - FAFSA returned a slightly more swallowable EFC, still impossible, but several scholarships later, we only paid out of pocket a couple thousand dollars for his education last year. Third child not even enrolled yet, but registered -- FAFSA returned a very reasonable EFC (which we pay little of) and THREE PELL GRANTS - one for each kid - YAY (Federal $$, does not have to be repaid). However, there's this little thing that I think is at the discretion of each school, called 'verification'. Second year that oldest child was at her University - we had to do a verification. Third year that oldest child was at her University was the first year that the boy was at his college -- his college required a verification -- this year ALL THREE SCHOOLS want the verification. It's not that big of a deal, it's just sorta like filing your taxes all over again (or filling out your FAFSA a second time). This is also not freaking me out.
Our house will be empty - okay this is freaking me out a little. Part of me thinks, "wow, no more shit to wash/pick up/cook/shop for/etc." (usually when I'm washing, picking up, cooking and shopping) -- and part of me thinks things like "I will love just cooking for the hubby again, special little romantic meals, etc." (this is usually when I'm up to armpits in cooking for 28 people something that I don't actually like to eat) -- and part of me thinks, "geez how long has it been since we had sex in the middle of the living room in the middle of the day" (usually when he wants to and the kids are home with 12 friends on their way over) but mostly I think, "who the fuck am I going to talk to?"; "who is going to go to Costco with me?"; "what will I do with all that time?"; and of course I cry (not as much as I thought I would). This does have me a little freaked out - but...
My BABY is going to be further away than her brother and sister, the reality is, flying, driving, anything short of a science fiction transport of some sort, is going to have her a minimum of 15 hours away. I don't like this, I don't like it at all, and I'm totally freaked out about it. I don't know how people send their children half way around the world, I now have a much deeper understanding of how my mother felt when I went to Spain. I can't bear the idea of her having some sort of emergency or crisis and I can't get to her for 15 hours. My other daughter is two hours away, from my front door to hers. My son is right at 3 hours away. This fifteen hours thing is literally taking the breath out of me. I sometimes look at the clock (1:49pm) if she had an issue right now, I couldn't be with her until 4:30 tomorrow morning. ACK!!! Also, much more than my other two (maybe because we are closer?) she is pulling away from me. Spending less time with me, not being as affectionate with me, acting like any of our shared interests are boring and mundane -- this is freaking me out. Logical me can tell myself that this is probably a very natural part of the whole transition that was either less obvious with my other kids because they are by nature very sanguine and their methods of showing affection are not what other people would call affectionate, or because I still had other children at home to spend time with, to share activities with, etc. Logical me can tell myself that this is good for her, it will assist her in becoming independent, it will make the change less severe, etc. Logical me can also tell myself that this is temporary, and that after she is gone, and she misses me, she will express her affection, she will want to call up just to watch a television show together over the phone, she will get a cold and want her mommy, just as her brother and sister have done. Emotional me doesn't give a shit for anything logical me has to say, emotional me wants to kick logical me in the shins and pee on logical me's pillow. Emotional me just wants my baby to come running up to me and tell me how much she's going to miss me and could we just go get pedicures and hang out for the day, just us. Today emotional me is winning -- logical me is sleeping sitting up in a chair with one eye open.