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January 2007

Picture Perfect Thursday - Eyes Wide Shut

My 11 year old - the middle girl child - needed a photograph of herself for a school project and I was prepared (for once) to offer up some pretty good examples of my futzing around (yes, it's a word!) and organizing some of our family pictures.

She should consider herself lucky, really - in between searching for a new dryer (and now washer, dammit!) preparing for a couple of new projects, meeting a good buddy for lunch and then catching up with tons of laundry, probably - heaven knows how I hate having to ignore the rest of the housework.

NOT!

"Wait...NO...of course, I'm not busy...here, I've got the perfect one...check this out!"

[GASP!]

Apparently, it wasn't.

"OMG...ewwww...no!"

[eyes go wide]
"What...I thought you loved getting dressed up and all...you know...um...I mean...with the dark...you know...and everything?"

[hands on hips]
"Nuh-uh...my face is so...ICK!...and my nose is so...UGH!...and what's with the skull cap...I look positively horrible!"

But...but...buh...HUH!?!

Okay - just when I started getting used to her talking street and wearing skulls - the kid goes and changes the rules on me. Go figure. No sweat. I can do this. After all, I remember what it was like to be eleven. YUCK! Heck, change is hard. Even for some of us adults, right?!?

"Right...so, what are you now?"

I handled that well, huh.

.
[frowning]

"What do you mean?"

Didn't I!?!

[hands on hips]

"You know...like, your style...remember how we talked about it...when you went all Goth on us...with the black t-shirts, skull caps and stuff...sometimes it's hard for parents...you know...we just can't close our eyes and keep our mouths shut...and it may seem like we don't understand...but, we still love you...and would try and pretend to like it, at least."

[blank stare]
"That's cewl, Momma...but....um...I am NOT Goth...never was...I mean...can't you see that I've always been kinda...you know...sporty!?!"

Right.

So, after only a few minutes of zooming, cropping and clipping, we finally agreed that the end result (see picture above) matched Thing Two's personality, perfectly - fun...a bit abstract...perhaps a little cool, even!

[blank stare]

At least, I think.

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

It’s not our fault, they pulled a mind scramble on us - they opened their eyes and talked.

Most parents know that boys and girls are different - they look different, they behave differently and often times dance to the beat of a different drum.

Yep, little boys...they pretty much scared me, too!

Even so, we wanted it to be sort of...you know...a surprise - afterall, this was our third (but not last) pregnancy - and I was perfectly happy with the idea of having another girl baby...or, scary little boy babies...whatever.

Until.

At about 2:00 p.m. (eight years ago, today) my husband adjusted the vcr, set out the movies he’d chosen the night before, reached for the playing cards and started to deal out a hand of Solitaire.

I grabbed him by his shirt collar, pulled myself up to his face and gently asked:

“What the f*ck are you doing?”

[stroking my hand]

“Careful, you’ll pull your i.v. out!”

[huge moan]

“But…the baby’s coming!”

[looking surprised]

“No it’s not.”

[me, looking even more surprised]

“Uh…yeah…I gotta push!”

[looks at watch]

“Nah, honey...I don't think so...it’s too early - the girls took way longer than this - just sit back, and relax.”

My husband doesn't remember much, after that, besides the fact that this is most likely the part where I bit him...really hard...and left a nice-sized scar, in the shape of a half moon, between his thumb and index finger on his right hand.

“SOMEBODY BETTER GET READY TO CATCH THIS KID…”

Five minutes later and on the second push, there was silence.

“Why isn’t he crying?”

I don't remember much, but - after what seemed like a lifetime - the nurses wrapped Little Man in a warm blanket and placed him on my stomach.

I pulled the blanket away from his face and gasped:

“Oh my Gawd…what did I do?

[stroking my head]
"You gave us a son, Sweetie!"

[crying]
I know...but...he’s blue!”

I’m not kidding - his face, hands and feet were totally blue - apparently, I punted "the boy" out when I should have passed.

Thankfully, Mary was listening.

His face was turned toward my spine and the only thing that kept him from suffocating was his arm thrust between the cord and his neck.

"I guess I'm just gonna have to get used to really loud armpit farts and stinky pee-pee jokes...huh, Little Man!"

Yep - all bets were off - it's hard for me to admit (especially thinking back now) that I was more than a little scared, as I called my mother and announced the news...we had ourselves a boy baby!

“But, don’t be alarmed. Your grandson is…well…um…he’s very blue.”

[without skipping a beat]

“Babies are sometimes like that, it’ll fade. Heck, you were a lovely shade of burgundy when you were born.”

Nice.

Yes - as the girls and I already know - boys are most definitely different.

...which perhaps explains why...

...his sisters and I love him so much!

Not to mention my deep appreciation for red wine - Happy Birthday to our little Sk8terboy!

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

On how I provide my children a smoke-free environment, even when my bra is on fire!

Some of my earliest memories of my father are of him tying our baby buggies together (a poor man's Peg Perego and prehistoric Bugaboo of the Gap Generation, of sorts) and walking my brother and me down by the boats on the bay in Perth Amboy, NJ.

Though the scene sounds classic enough - not to mention very Jersey and in need of a rif from Bon Jovi - being born and raised in Eastern Europe, my father was actually very unconventional, at the time.

He would tell everyone - anyone, really - how he enjoyed giving my mother a break from the babies, fill a duffel bag with dirty diapers and meet up with the coffee klatch over at the corner laundromat.

[rolling his r's]

"Da voman's, dey felt zorry for me and I vood vatch [w}reztling vile dey vashed all da dirty diapers!"

Oh, yes - he was the first rebel dad - my father absolutely loved doing the laundry!
Me, not so much.

Especially when I got old enough and - being raised in an Eastern European household - I had to iron one of my father's work shirts...every...blessed...morning!

Why?

Because his mother, my mother, her mother and her mother before...they did...and I did...because, that's what you do.

Until, I got married.

"I do...."

[placing ring on my finger]
"...but, will NOT iron any workshirts...EVER!"

Even after I quit smoking, stayed home and had my babies, I still considered myself lucky - I mean, my mother never had a dryer - quite liberated, actually!
Until.

[beep-beep-beep]

"Oh crap...not the fire alarm, again!?!?"

[beep-beep-beep]

We haven't had very good luck with our appliances - if you have visited with me before, then you must know by now - and I don't think the kids were surprised to see me stomp off to the laundry room and hear that I was more pissed than scared.

[end of beeping]

"Well...hell...STUPID DRYER...overheated, I guess...I don't see any smoke!"

[turning to off and unloading]
"Damn thing...it's a BLANKET...and what...you can't handle one stupid bra!?!

[sniff]
"Oh shit!"

Later, I called my husband.
"I got good news...bad news...and then some more good news!"

Silence.
"Okay...the good news is that the new fire alarms work!"

More silence.
"The bad news is...well, the dryer is...um...well...I think it's dead."

Silence so thick, you could cut it with a knife.
"The other good news is...well...there was no smoke and the house did NOT burn down!

Click.

A moment of silence, please - as I bow my head and hang the laundry - my clothes dryer is indeed...DEAD!

.

Oh well, I should have known - and here I thought the cigarettes were going to get me - because, even though my parents were perhaps a little more traditional than...well...we are today, they had very similar sayings, like:

"Two steps forward, one step back."

...and
"Where there's smoke...there's fire."

Except, they were in Hungarian and rolled their r's a little more than I do.

But, I'm still NOT ironing his shirts!

Morale of the story: Doing the laundry can kill you!

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

Picture Perfect Thursday - Mommy’s Little American Idol

My kids love American Idol, but - as I was just explaining to my friend Kate during our telephone converation, yesterday - getting through the auditions, for me, is sort of like...well...watching a horror movie.

[covering ears and with one eye shut]

As another friend of mine - What? I do have more than one, you know! - blogs for the TV Squad and pretty much confirms in her editorial:

"By now, most of us have already heard that the Seattle contestants were the worst ever in Idol history."

Living with three future female rock stars of America and - not to mention my son's insisting on becoming a soldier, astronaut, tight rope walker and basically anything that involves great physical and mental risk (can you guess which one is mine?) - I find myself walking a fine line.

How are parents supposed to influence confidence and be supportive of their children's dreams, and yet be unsympathetic to their propensity for delusions of grandeur?

I don't know.

It ain't rocket science - but, it would take some serious problem-solving skills, on our part, to consider each and every possible way in which we can cause the least amount of damage to our children.

Thinking that hard...well, after thirteen years of raising kids - not to mention killer dust bunnies - hurts.

So, it is with great pleasure - and extreme prejudice - that I introduce you to...Mommy's (and Daddy's) Little American Idol:


Someone left a cake out in the rain...

.


And I don't think that I can take it - 'cause it took so long to bake it...

.


And I'll never have that recipe, again...

.


Ohhhhhh noooooo...

Okay, perhaps I'm wrong in believing she's the most smartest, prettiest, or talented kid in America, but - being this divalicious - it would take a lot to convince me, otherwise.

Agreeing to getting her tongue pierced...not so much.

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

When life hands you an unfinished scrapbook…don’t get all punchy…pretend you remember and make crop circles, instead!


.

A heap of unsad greetings - from This Full House of cranky mommies and fretting daddies - seriously, my dining room table is covered (from one sticky end, to another) with anniversary, birthday, congratulations, get well, invitation and thinking of you-type cards my family has received over the last two...DECADES!...and my husband does not understand:

"Why you insist on saving...everything!?!"

[blank stare]
"Because I plan on making the kids scrapbooks, some day, and...like...these DO belong to them...mostly...but, I need to finish their baby books...um...first...so, you see...I CAN'T...you know...just, throw them away...because, well...that would be bad...right!?!"

[sound of crickets]

OKAY - so, they're 13, 11, almost 8 and...like 5 years old, already - so what!?!

I've never really been very good at clipping, pasting and embellishing - or, anything that would involve high levels of patience and using sharp things, really - but, do I think that makes me a bad mother?

Nuh-uh.

Doodling while on the phone with your brother...and remembering that next week is one of your children's birthday...is NOT the only thing you've forgotten?

"We're in the commissary and...[static]...size...[more static]...Little Man?"

[tracing hand]
"Whuh?"

[lots of static]
"Wait...walking...front...outside...can't...bad reception."

[sketching hearts]
"Hellllloooooow!?!"

[and flowers]
"Sis...can you hear me, now?"

[lots of 'em]
"Okay, that's better...but, now you're sounding like that goofy Verizon-dude!"

[giggle]
"What does Little Man need for his birthday?"

Silence.
"Sis...can you hear me?"

[coughing]
"Um...yeah...birthday...uh-huh."

[static]
"What size sneakers does Little Man wear?"

Silence.
"Sis...did I lose you, again?"

[biting pencil]
"Uh...no...sorry, just trying to think...um...I CAN'T tell you what size sneaker he has?"

[static]
"Why?"

[more static]
"Because he's...um...WEARING THEM!"

Yep - not only did I forget that Little Man's birthday is next week, didn't call to invite anyone over, don't have a clue what to get him and can't remember what size sneaker he's wearing - I've pretty much given up on scrapbooking, hope to Gawd my son wears a size 3 and now can't seem to get this song out of my head.

But, I am thinking there is something very merry to be said about unbirthdays and perhaps celebrating half-birthdays, instead.

[static]

NAH!

[adding signature: I.M.A. Doofus]

Probably muck that up, as well - who forgets their child's birthday, honestly? - does that make me a bad mother and is it Friday, yet?

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

My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am - stupid dog!

[Edited to add:  Thank you for all your comments during delurking week - 28 total and no, Karyn and Zero Boss...man, it's NEVER to late, to delurk! - I'm making a donation to Big Brothers and Big Sisters in the name of prettiful Mommy and Daddy Bloggers, like you!)

Seriously - take a closer look at that big, wide doggy grin - no words are necessary.

That is one seriously happy dog, my friend.

Unlike the rest of them - you know...GULP!...peeh-pull, I mean - besides the cats, he is perhaps the most easiest...um...dog to please!

[front door opens]

"Oh-boy-oh-boy-oh-boy...you're home...here...oh-boy...you're here!"

[gets scritched behind ear]
"Ooooooh...that...feels...soooooo...gooooood, I...LOOOOOOVE...YOOOOOOU!"

[grabs leash]
"WHAT...we goin'?...'KAY!...where?...DON'T MATTER!"

[opens car door]
"Oh-boy-oh-boy-oh-boy...goin' bye-bye...BUH-BYE...oh-boy!"

All it takes is one little car ride to the bank and a milk bone - yep, that's all it took - and that is one seriously contented dog!
The kids?

Pbbllttbblltt...but, they can be soooooo hard to please, sometimes...can't they?

When even my attempting to celebrate "Friday pizza and video night" out...instead of in...can turn fugly!

"How about Wendy's?"

[whining]
"No...I want McDon...!"

[interrupted]
"We HAD that last week...I want Burger King!"

[in chorus]
"Nuh-uh...yah-huh...nuh-uh...yah-huh!"

Well - you get the idea, right? - it was an nightmare, really.


Oh well, at least two out four were happy and I was...um...okay, I thought, until my husband came home.

"That was really cute."

[frowning]
"What?"

[loosens tie]
"You know...letting Mini-me call me at work."

[frowning deeper]
"Where...when...what are you talkin' about?"

[raises eyebrow]
"You mean...you didn't have her call me...at the office, I mean?"

Silence.

[busts out laughing]

"What's so DAMNED funny?"

[snorting]
"Oh man...you REALLY didn't have a good day; did you?"

[hands on hips]
"What ARE you talking about?"

He finally stopped laughing, wiped his eyes and explained that Mini-me must have taken my cell phone and some point in the day and called him:
"Hew-woe, Daddy...um...I called to say...love you, Daddy...and...uh...I'm soooooo missin' yooooooo!"

[click]

Ah, well - at least in my dog's eyes I am the bestest mom, evuh!

Until.

The Daddy get's home and then all bets are off, of course - just like the kids - stupid dog!

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

Hump Day Diddy Dumbs - Delurking is Delovely

Here it is, Wednesday already - Happy Hump Day, everyone! - and I nearly missed out on Delurking Week, again?

[rolls up sleeves]

Nope.

[blows bangs out of eyes]

Not this time, my friend!

Many of you made resolutions last week to lose weight, or quit smoking, or stop beating your children (oops, maybe that was just me), and I just read a Psychology Today article which notes a direct correlation between weight loss, and commenting on your favorite blogs, so leave a comment because it will make you skinny. Not that you're fat, because you're not!! So tell me how long you've been reading my blog, or your favorite book, or the first word that pops into your mind when you hear the word shish-kabob, and remember, if you don't leave a comment, you're letting the terrorists win.

Look, it's not about the number of comments (although, Sheryl's request (quoted above) did get...like...two...hundred...trillion...million...or, something...and she's on a blogging hiatus...and everything) for me, it's more like:
"Hey...how's it goin'...yeah...me, too...nuh-uh...I didn't know that...um...because I'm a Dork, maybe...oh...you knew that already, huh...okay...cooleo!"

[sounds of crickets chirping]

Switching to "Plan B" - Lip-Sticking (don't you just love that blog title!?!) has a great post up on jumping on the Oprah bandwagon (because, like...Yvonne is way smarter than me!) with regard to the hot topic of donating to charities.

Although my husband and I have often talked about adopting a child - yes, I realize we have four children - we are not in the position to do so, financially, physically, mentally, emotionally, at the moment...but, we do what we can...especially when it comes to helping children.

Yes, there are children in need - sadly, the entire world has known this for way too long to even remember - but, you don't have to look far to find them.

Here's the deal - I will donate $1 for every comment I receive to my local chapter of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America:

Big Brothers Big Sisters matches children ages 6 through 18 with mentors in professionally supported one-to-one relationships. We have volunteer programs in communities across the country — including yours.

In keeping with BBBS' tagline:
"...expanding horizons through the power of one-to-one relationships."

Color me a Dumas - but, I believe that this is our chance (especially delovely mommy and daddy blogs...feel free to pass the word, along) to prove the power of blogging - it's NOT just all about the puke and the poop, baby!

Just hold your nose, tell me that you love me and I'll make it so worth your while ;o)

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