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March 2006

Wednesday’s Blogger Is Full Of Woe?…NO!…I Don’t Think So!

I started blogging three years ago -- at the suggestion of my good friend, Liz -- for several reasons...okay, four to be exact...and with the first couple of posts I thought:

"Okay, I can come here anytime I want...wearing whatever the heck I feel like...and write my heart out...yep...I can get used to this blogging thing."

Then, I woke up.

That is to say, I soon learned the meaning behind blogging terms like, "blog troll" and "comment spam," and soon found my self lost among blog traffic statistics.

Truth be told...it's difficult for new bloggers (and perhaps even a seasoned few) not to think:

"Hey...what the...I'm writing my heart out, over here...well, what did I expect...I totally suck!"

But, I kept writing because, well...I didn't know how to stop...without feeling like there was soemthing missing...or, as if I were ignoring a very dear friend (shuddup, Liz!)...and besides...it was way cheaper than therapy.

But, never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine that it would become such an important part of my life.

Blogging, I mean.

Perhaps there are those who are thinking:

"Feh...quit your mommy blogging...and get a REAL life, already!"

And here's the thing -- what I write about -- I haven't been this real, my entire life.

I've met some very interesting people, made some very important business contacts and have been humbled by the fact that there are other bloggers out there...who have battled far worse ghosts...than I...and are still able to kick my ass...and fill me with inspiration!

That's what blogging means to me...thank you...um...I think I'll take my seat now?

[awkward silence]

Oh yeah, and the whole reason I bought this up in the first place, one of the first people to ever give a dayum was my blogging friend, AGK.

That's angelagilesklocke.com, to some of you!

You see, Angela is a blogger, photographer and a writer-mom (like me, though I use the term "writer" loosely) who has never failed...to make me feel as if we...especially "blogging moms," like me...have a voice in the "blogosphere"...though, I've always thought that term to be sort of...um...unattractive.

And, she says it so pretty, too...LOOK!

Copyright AGK - Photo hosted at Flickr.

Like about this beautiful picture she took and the kick-ass post behind it!

"It's an image that has received quite a bit of attention online, especially from those battling breast cancer or those who've beaten it -- and even those who love someone with breast cancer.

So I thought, perhaps it can now be a bright spot in someone's day.

Perhaps they are feeling particularly bad that day, and they check the mail, and look what someone sent for them!

Or it can serve as a reminder in a survivor's home - YOU BEAT IT!

Whatever the case, if you are someone who has been affected by breast cancer or know someone who has, perhaps you would like a free print for yourself or that special someone."


Yes, Miss AGK -- you are one kick-ass blogger! -- thanks for brightening up my day!

If you know of someone who could do with a little kindness, let AGK help -- as of 3/23/06, Angela had about 80 prints left -- feel free to pass her talents along or send your request to:

agkadmin@angelagilesklocke.com

Please be sure to include the full name and mailing address of the recipient, and any special words you might like added. Only one request per person, please. You will be notified when your print has been mailed.

And that, my friend, is what blogging is all about!

[Updated to Add:  Still a blogging skeptic?  Check out Genuine's post today, but be prepared...you will meet one of the bravest and most beautiful families Jim knows...that is dealing with something that is very, very ugly...the loss of a child.  Cancer Sucks!  Happy Birthday in Heaven, Benjamin!]

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.

A man is only as old, as the woman he feels!

Not for nothing, but -- after a weekend of raking leaves, digging holes, moving shrubbery and cutting back dead wood -- I'm feeling pretty gosh-darned old at the moment.

And my poor husband?

[rolls shoulders and rubs neck]

Talk about neglected old...wood!
[shakes head and frowns]

If a man is only as old as the woman he feels, then break out the black, because the old man's Johnson is as good as dead!
[clears throat]

Anyway.

You didn't come here to read about my sex life -- or lack, thereof -- and if you did, well...move along mothatrucker...'cause they ain't nuttin' happenin' that old mothahubbard ain't seen since...sheeeeeee-at...long befo' velcro!

[Note to self -- remember to happienate the Hubz with a wifel nightcap and...girl please!...get your head out of the urban dictionary!] 

No, I'm not twenty...anymore...but, I'll be dayum...**cough**...damned if a few aches and pains are going to stop my man from feeling...uh...my age.

Feeling a little old, yourself, eh?

Well, here's something a little...uh...well, in the immortal words of Eddie Izzard, "Cake or Death?"

[blank stare]

Okay, make mine...death by chocolate!

So, to kick off yet another week of stupid crazy, may I present for your blogging pleasure:

YOUR AGE BY CHOCOLATE MATH


This is pretty neat, it takes less than a minute to work this out as you read, be sure to not read the bottom until you're done!

Oh, and some of you may want to grab a calculator...**cough**...because having kids not only makes you feel old, they reek havoc on your brain cells, too!


  • First of all, pick the number of times a week that you would like to have chocolate (more than once but less than 10).

  • Multiply this number by 2 (just to be bold).

  • Add 5.

  • Multiply it by 50 -- I'll wait while you get the calculator.

  • If you have already had your birthday this year add 1756 ....
    If you haven't, add 1755.

  • Now subtract the four digit year that you were born.

  • You should have a three digit number. 

    The first digit of this was your original number (i.e., how many times you want to have chocolate each week).

    The next two numbers are YOUR AGE!



(Oh YES, it is!!!!!)

Note: This is the only year (2006) it will ever work, so spread it around...while it lasts!

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.

Lead Poisoning and Kids’ Costume Jewelry

As a parents to four children — three of whom are very much the girly girl! — my husband and I often find ourselves cruising the aisles of a discount dollar store, especially before a major holiday or when our children feel their allowance money burning a hole in their little pocket(s).

And, more often than not, princess jewelry is at the top of my four-year-old daughter’s list.

Sadly, there’s been a tragic accident prompting a recall on kids’ jewelry reported by CNN.com:

“The Consumer Product Safety Commission said about 300,000 silver-colored, heart-shaped charm bracelets were recalled by Reebok International Ltd. after a 4-year-old child swallowed one of the bracelets and died of lead poisoning.”

“In a separate action Thursday, the CPSC said about 580,000 necklace and ring sets, imported by Dollar Tree Distribution Inc., are being recalled for a lead poisoning danger.”

Click here and please read the entire story as the article does list the sku# and names of the jewelry recalled, as well as a description on their packaging. 

Please, feel free to share the link and pass this along to friends, family and other parenting communties on the Internet.

This story hits a little too close to home — let’s hope we can stop it from coming into yours!

[Updated to add:  Click Here! -- to view the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recall of the Reebok bracelet issued on 3/23/06.  Click Here! -- to view the CPSC recall of the Dollar Tree kids jewelry issued on 3/23/06]

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.

“A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti!”

Over the years, in an effort to help them succeed socially, my husband and I have tried to teach our  children the importance of tolerance, good manners, and being respectful towards others whenever possible.

As adults should, really.

Then, perhaps you'd be surprised to hear that it's been difficult for us (the hubs and I) to continue to serve as role models, when we (the hubs and I) seem to just...not...like...people...all that much, anymore!

WAIT!

It's not like we're going all Tom Cruise, or anything -- oh man...there I go again...tempting fate and bringing on the wrath -- but...DAYUM!...how some people can get on your nerves, eh!?!

It's all become so complicated and -- I don't believe I need to remind you just how crazy the world can get -- one minute I'm reminding the kids, "Never, ever speak to strangers," and reprimanding them when they, "Don't just stand there, say hello to Mr. and Mrs. Neversawyoubeforeinmylife!"

Sigh.

So, then we starting teaching them the difference between a "good stranger" versus a "bad stranger."

Police officers, babysitters, coaches, teachers and anyone else we explained to be, "Someone mommy and daddy trust and who we know will want to keep you safe," were good -- and, basically, anyone else would simply be considered "strange."

We talked, role-played and tested them until we were sure that they knew the difference and/or at least understood how important it was for us to know that they could be safe.

The following is perhaps one of a very few accounts of  stranger danger...in reverse.

[knock-knock]

"Oh crap -- don't answer the door until I crate the dog!"
[7 year old opens door, with light saber in hand]

"IDENTIFY YOURSELF!"
[eyes go wide]

"Um...hiya...I have an appointment."
[thrusts light saber, aggressively]

"I DON'T THINK SO, MISTER!"
[slams door shut]

"MOOOOOM IT'S UMHIYA AND HE SAYS HE'S SELLING POY MINTS...AND WE AIN'T BUYIN' ANY, RIGHT?!?"

No, we weren't buying any poymints, but I did have an appointment with "carpet guy" and you should have seen the guy's eyes when I told him, "The dog won't hurt you, but I'd be more worried about the kid, if I were you, and I've got three more of 'em running around...so, don't wig out or 'nothin!"

Nope.  He thought the kids were "adorable" and swore that he loved dogs...better than some people, actually.

"What's his name?"

[going over samples]

"Who?"

[pointing towards crate]

"Oh, his name is Rudy...he's part chocolate lab...part border collie...and part pin-head."
[smiles]

"Oh, but he's so cute...why don't you let him out...I don't mind."
[eyes go wide]

"Um...I don't think you quite understand what the word "pin-head" actually means."
[shakes head]

"No, really, it's okay...he's a good guy...go ahead and let him out."
[raises eyebrows]

"You think so, huh!?!"
[smiles]

"Absolutely."
[opens crate]

"Okay...but...uh...you might want to close your mouth."

But, the poor guy never had a chance...because Rudy was out of the crate, on the guys lap as fast as lightning and Frenching him like a cheap porn star.

And then he just sat there...and listened...as all hell broke loose in the playroom.

[handing him a baby wipe]

"So, shall I introduce you to the rest of the rugrats, or do you wanna make a bet on whether or not my husband goes for the plush, or the more expensive berber!?!"

I'm happy to report that I have since decided to loosen up on the whole good stranger/bad stranger thing and believe that there are times when it is perhaps better to be on the more "offensive" side of things...especially when you're raising kids!

Oh, and we got a great deal on the berber!

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.

Cheers, Jeers and “What in the hell was I thinking,” Along With Other “Man I Can’t Believe It’s Monday,” Musings!

My thanks to all of the happy little comments and emails sent with regard to my laundry exploding -- your support and encouragement truly makes moments like...well...everyday, really...seem less...um...tragic.

I have answered each and everyone -- late, but hey...I'm still cleaning those little styrofoam f*ckers out of the washer and (because I have totally run out of patience) more recently, the dryer -- and will keep the rest of you in suspense...no longer.

[loud snort]

Like, you've got nothing better to do, as if!

It was my ten-year-old's favorite bedtime buddy and -- not just your ordinary, everday pillow...NO!...that would too simple...um...to wash -- it was one of those squishy microbead-filled mooshy pillows from hell!

Sort of like this!

Feh...who knew!?!...you can't just throw one of these suckers into the wash and fegittaboutit!

And you're probably asking yourself right now --  as my husband's return text message so aptly put it -- "When are you ever going to learn how to read "how to" and "care" labels!?!"

Not bloody likely...nope...probably not going to happen.

Because that would mean taking an extra minute, or two, from my just dumping copius amounts of laundry into the machines -- dirty or not -- before running down the next entry on the "to do list!"

Though, if I've learned anything, I'm never going to buy anything with the words, "microbeads" and/or "squishy" ever, again!

I mean -- the thought of losing the two most important things in a house full of prewashed jeans and killer dust bunnies -- it very nearly killed me..."What the hell was I thinking?"

I am very grateful for my precious-(es) and hope to never have to stick my head into another appliance, suck tiny styrofoam beads or finger another hole...again...for as long as I live!

So help me, Sears!

Speaking of Sears -- how about that Ty Pennington!?! -- last night's Extreme Home Makeover was a real tear-jerker and made me feel happy to be alive, and lucky, just to be able to bitch about my children having too many clothes to wash!  Which makes me firmly believe that this show is the best thing to happen to television in a very, long, long time!

Yep, I'm just sitting here -- waiting for the spin cycle to finish -- cheering on the appliances, showing a little linky love and counting my blessings...like...

HBO free weekends!

My usual Sunday night of folding a week's worth of laundry -- that's...um...like...a month's worth for normal people, according to my mother -- was made all the more exciting, by being able to catch at least one showing of the new Sopranos weekend...thanks, guys!  Then again, I didn't get to sleep until well passed one in the morning last night and three in the morning on Saturday, flipping through nearly a bazillion movie stations!

Work-free Weekends!

When I get to sleep in while the hubs runs to Dunkin' Donuts for coffee and then makes breakfast and the most delicious crepes in the whole wide world!  We were able to visit with my brother and sister-in-law and celebrate their second anniversary...already!?!...and then spent a relaxing evening as mentioned, earlier.  Which, of course, meant getting up today all the more..."I can't believe it's Monday morning, already?"....blech!

Carefree Drop-Off Zones!

Monday morning also means another week of trying to convince my four children to do...well...anything they are SUPPOSED to.  Like, going to school.  Which means one more episode of, "Drop the kid and drive like mad," and pretend that it doesn't tear me up, inside.  But, not today.  Because a sympathetic teacher, who shall not be named, because I can't remember what in the hell her name is...anyway...placed her arms around my son's drooping shoulders and walked him into school.

I.H.O.P. -- Where Kids Eat Free -- Day or Night!

Hubs working late tonight...'nuf said!

 

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.

Yes, Housework Can Make You Ugly…But Did You Know That Doing Laundry Can Make You Sick And Feel Slightly Stupid, Too?

Oscar Wilde once said, "The ugly and the stupid have the best of it in this world," then I am not only the best wife on the face of this planet, but quite possibly the greatest good my husbands ever gonna get!

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the following:

Exhibit A -- The ugly.

Yes, sadly enough it's true, housework can make you ugly...just take a look at me...ugh...I never used to be this ugly...I mean...it just makes me so mad to even think what I could have looked like...without all the housework...and now look like...well...JUST LOOK AT ME, FOR PETE'S SAKE!!!

 

Don't lose your lunch, just yet -- wait 'till you hear what happened to me, the other day! -- it's time to talk about...**shudder**...dirty laundry!!!

Exhibit B -- Honey, I blew up the laundry!

That's what I text messaged my husband -- while he was at the Devil's Game with my FIL Tuesday night -- because I swear, if he'd been home when I opened the washing machine, I would have probably had a mental meltdown. 

Funny, I just realized how I seem to save the best, of me at my worst, just for him.

And it took me a whole hour -- I missed American Idol for f*ck's sake -- to clean up the mess by shaking each...and...every...piece...of...clothing...not to mention turning each and every sock...inside out...and having to vacuum out those tiny little styrofoam f*ckers from inside the washer was a bitch...let me tell you!

And I tried to hold my breath...because...well...I'd hate to think what would happen if I snorted any of those little f*ckers in.

BARK...BARK...BARK...BARK...BARK!!!

And that's when the dog...saw a squirrel...and scared the bee-jeez-juice out of me and...

SNORT!

**cough**...And I swear...**cough**...it was like I was having a flashback or something...**snort**...and it was when I first conceived the idea that perhaps it's not the housework...it will be the laundry that kills me...afterall!

Exhibit C -- How I suck at laundry.

And it made me sick to think what I would have done without my...oh so beautiful...Dyson vacuum cleaner with a suck factor that totally rocks!!!

But wait...what's that black sort of marking in the center there...say?

Oh man...if that don't beat all...I think I killed my vacuum cleaner...and if you still don't believe that the laundry has it out for me...then perhaps you'll be just as suprised to learn that I woke up totally sick, spewing mucous, with tonsils the size of golf balls and looking like...**gulp**...that yesterday morning!

Coincidence?

I THINK NOT!

[Bonus Points -- if you can guess what blew up in the laundry] 

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.

On How I Have Become…Comfortably Numb

You may (or may not) know that I have four children and, upon occasion, I have lamented over the fact that we live in a school system that allows us very little choice other than feeling their total disregard for the good of the community or the idea behind "neighborhood schools"...as I don't believe they understand exactly how much I hate driving my children to four different schools, everyday!

Hello?
Is there anybody in there?
Just nod if you can hear me.
Is there anyone home?

Yes -- I mean, no...I'm not kidding -- my kids are all two to three years apart and attend four different schools which, in essence, means that I am running my ass off...um...literally...uh...how many times?
Hello?
Is there anybody in there?
Just nod if you can hear me.
Is there anyone home?

Feel free to do the math -- 'cause I'm fresh out of brain cells -- but, I can tell you that it makes for a rather ardous day of climbing in and out of a minivan (probably in desperate need of fuel and a good cleaning) especially when it's raining, sleeting, snowing or anything remotely resembling a day in which the kids and I come in looking like a bunch of displaced subway rats and serve as a constant reminder that the hubs and I have soooooo got to get our garage cleaned out!
Hello?
Is there anybody in there?
Just nod if you can hear me.
Is there anyone home?

Driving Thing One to the bus stop, just around the corner, because the cars drive too danged crazy early in the morning, not to mention having to leave the house nearly an hour before Little Man's school starts, so that I can get Thing Two to school in time to beat the morning traffic rush.  And then leaving again at lunch to get Mini-Me to school in time for her afternoon class.  And then having to do it all over again, after school, and not getting home sometimes up to an hour and a half later!  Could prove getting anything done, that one would consider productive, quite difficult.
Hello?
Is there anybody in there?
Just nod if you can hear me.
Is there anyone home?

So, you may (or may not) already know that -- especially by the time I get to my fourth, although quite possibly not my last, pick up of the afternoon -- I pretty much seem dazed and confused, all the time!
Hello?
Is there anybody in there?
Just nod if you can hear me.
Is there anyone home?

And then another mom -- who I haven't seen since soccer season ended in...um...whenever the hell it was -- asked me, "So, how do you feel about your youngest finally starting kindergarten?"

Silence.

Hello?
Is there anybody in there?
Just nod if you can hear me.
Is there anyone home?

"You did sign her up for September, right?"
Hello?
Is there anybody in there?
Just nod if you can hear me.
Is there anyone home?

I nodded my head -- in a gesture that would perhaps most closely imply "yes" -- and then just stared at her one year old as he kept taking his woobie (pacifier) out of his mouth, placed it into the cup holder of his stroller and then put it back in his mouth, again.
Hello?
Is there anybody in there?
Just nod if you can hear me.
Is there anyone home?

"Oh...I'm sorry...are you not ready for her to go?"

This time, I looked her straight in the eyes, and answered her in the clearest and most confident voice, "I don't know!"

Hello?
Is there anybody in there?
Just nod if you can hear me.
Is there anyone home?

"I mean...yes...I am more than ready for her to go...I mean...she loves school...and now I've got some stuff I'm doing during the day...it'll be easier to get some work done...I guess...you know what I mean, right?"

Silence.

Hello?
Is there anybody in there?
Just nod if you can hear me.
Is there anyone home?

Nope.

But, she may (or may not) already know that it's been a crazy couple of weeks -- hell, a couple of years -- and I have been so wrapped up with trying to keep it together, I can't remember the last time I didn't feel...anything.

"I guess I really won't know exactly how I'll feel, until the first day of school."

And then we hugged, kissed -- yes, she already knew I am a hugger and a kisser -- and I promised to try and get our sons together for a play date.  Hoping that, although she acknowledged that I, "...seemed a little different...I don't know...quieter than usual," she didn't notice the clouds in my eyes, and kept her focus more on the sincerity in my voice.

I turned to look but it was gone.
I cannot put my finger on it now.
The child is grown, the dream is gone.

That I am indeed like her -- just another mom trying desperately to keep it together -- but, that I have also become...comfortably numb.

© This Full House 2003-2017. All rights reserved.