Forgiveness is a hard thing to ask for-especially when you do not feel you did anything wrong, when you feel what you did was for the good of someone, and to protect. But that person may not see it that way-and therefore you have to listen to them, and ask for forgiveness...

You have to offer up whatever they throw your way when they are angry. If you do not offer it up, than the path that God is trying to pave will take longer-and it will be harder.

Sometimes we have to suffer so that others can grow. Sometimes we have to cry daily, pray nonstop and carry a heavy heavy cross in order for Grace to flow...

Satan is very manipulative. He will try and get you to be angry with the person you were originally trying to protect because they do not see that you were doing things out of love for them. They will hurt you with their words, with their anger, and with their own pain. These are the things that Satan wants you to take and say "forget them! Look how they are treating me! I don't need this" and he wants you to be just as angry at that person as they are at you--when you know your original actions were out of love and protection.

Imagine how angry Jesus could have been at us for our sins... but He made the ultimate offering of Himself for us. Imagine how angry God was-and how He could have decided not to send our Savior to free us. It was not easy for Him to do-He had to suffer for our forgiveness.

Today, if you are suffering for anyone's forgiveness... offer it up. Do not let Satan overrun this precious opportunity Christ is showing you. The road may at times be very difficult to travel... but if we travel it with Christ the only outcome is peace.



Drama Drama Drama!

I can't stand drama. I am not good at it and I try to avoid it at all cost. There are some people in our family (well, maybe not my family... but I will leave it up to you to decide whose family I am referring to.) who seem to do nothing more than sit at home and think up new dramas to call about and fret about. I don't have time for this-and so I am rude, and then I get in trouble for being rude. So I just don't answer the phone.... God bless the person who invented caller id. I bet it was a woman trying to get some peace and quiet!

What is the purpose of drama really? It just really frustrates me. If you have something imperatively important to tell me-like you have lost a limb or you have won a million bucks, than by all means call me--I may not answer, and I may not call you back... but I will listen to your message and be either sympathetic or thrilled for you. Do not call me to tell me that you think, but are not positive that someone else has lost a limb or won the lottery-and DO NOT tell me that you think you should get a share in the millions that you think someone else may have won! I will not answer, I will not listen and I will ultimately lose my patience with you and be rude the next time I talk to you.

Does this make me a bad person? I do not think so. It just makes me a person who is not willing to listen to your nosey Nelly induced drama spasms.

Thank you, this has been a public service announcement. Paid for by the June Cleaver Hates Drama society.


Your Face Will Freeze Like That!

We have family in town so we are busy busy busy trying to finish school early (which is hard when you have a 9 year old son who is allergic to anything early) and get on with our day of play and adventure... but I wanted to post this picture real quick of our little one.

She is such a card...


What Are They Teaching Them in Beauty School?

Is anyone ever happy with the way their hairstylist styles their hair? I mean, I love the cut-I can tell it is going to be really easy to do and then they start drying it and putting in mounds of putty and styling it... and it just looks wrong. Why is that?

I have had one stylist who could do my hair. It was when we lived in England and he was a guy. I had never gone to a guy but he came highly recommended and to tell you the truth, no one has been able to give my hair that perfect style but him. It was like he was making love to my hair and I felt a little naughty when I would leave the salon.

Today I had my hair cut to a short little trendy cut. It is very cute-or at least I know it will be cute once I style it myself. Right now it is styled to go to a wedding, and I am just not that formal of a person... and the next wedding we are going to is in June so I don't think it will hold until then.


When I Was Sick, You Cared For Me.

I had to spend the morning at a "specimen collection" laboratory today. Phew-the things that I saw coming through the door! I initially failed my glucose screen at 28 weeks, so I had to do the 3-hour screen this morning.

It was a pretty boring morning spent reading 6 months old magazines and people watching-oh, I also found out that Anna Nicole Smith did in fact die of a drug overdose.

A few questions I have...
#1 Why would someone have to collect their urine for 24 hours?
#2 Why would someone have to collect their poo for any reason whatsoever?

Right before my three hour tour was up, an elderly woman shuffled in with her elderly son and elderly daughter-in-law in tow. I sat and watched the dynamics of this trio and my heart was warmed by the complete devotion that the daughter-in-law had toward her impatient mother-in-law. Basically the son and mother sat while the daughter did all of the paper work, all of the appointments and made sure everyone was happy. She would answer their questions with patience and love and she never once spoke to them in the manner that they were speaking to her. As I left, the daughter-in-law was leading her angry mother-in-law to the bathroom to help her with a specimen collection. Now, that is love.

So today I want to send out prayer and thoughts to all of the caregivers out there who have patience and love, who are devoted and faithful, who are truly answering that call of Jesus to love others as He has loved us.



No Pooping for the Weary

When it is warm out, we eat most of our meals outdoors. For the last few days, lunch has been served outside on the patio with the sun shining down upon us. It is wonderful.

Today, we were all outside-the kids playing and my husband cleaning out the pond and me watching. I needed to use the bathroom, but when you are pregnant if you go too soon it is pointless and if you wait too long you have horrible pregnant farts following you around, so you have to wait until just the right moment. Too soon and I would have deer pellets, too late and I would have a volcanic eruption... it is a delicate balance of good and evil let me tell you.

I decided to get everyone's lunch ready and set them up outside so that I could sneak back in and have a quiet peaceful 10 minutes to myself. I was going to take a book in there and enjoy the privacy-which is very rare as everyone in the free world has seen me on the toilet around here.

As soon as all were happy I dash upstairs to the bathroom-I was not going to chance using the downstairs kitchen bathroom as I was sure a little person would need to use it the moment things started moving for me. No sooner was I happily sitting when I hear the door slam and our little one call out "Mom?"

Her calm "Mom?" quickly turned into an anxiety ridden panic attack of "MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM WHERE ARE YOU MOM MOM MOM MOM!!!!!???" You would have thought that I packed up all of my belongs and headed to Tibet the way she was so panic struck over not being able to find me. I was trying to call to her that I was upstairs but her loud screams were not letting any noise in-there was even a jet that flew overhead but you could barely hear it over her high pitched shrills.

Finally she heard me-

Little one: "Where is you?"

Me: (knowing that ALL of the windows in the house are open and the neighbors are outside) "I am upstairs honey-come here to Mommy."

Little one: "What is you doing?"

Me: "I am upstairs, come find me."

Little one: "Are you in the potty? Are you going poop? MOM???"

Me: (through gritted teeth) "I am upstairs... what do you need?"

Little one: (making it up the bathroom and throwing the door open)"OH, there you is Mama, are you going poop? I need some lemonade Mama, the pink kind because I like pink, I wish my bedroom was pink, not green like the leaves but pink like Angelina Ballerina wears. Mama, can we paint my bedroom pink? Are you done? I want some lemonade, the pink lemonade."

Me: (giving up on my well thought out plan to poop in peace) "OK, let's go make some pink lemonade."

Now... I have passed the point of no return. I will not have deer pellets today or a volcanic eruption. I will just pass gas all day and blame it on the dog like I always do. Hopefully tomorrow I can get 10 minutes of peace and quiet~


Runners Beware...

This happens every year, I know it will happen, but somewhere in my psyche I ignore it and start to believe that maybe this year it will not happen... but it always does. The weather gets warmer and people start jogging/running.

This is an amazing phenomenon to me. I do not get running-I do not get anything that will make me feel out of breath and as if I am going to have a heart attack and die right there on the street, or anything that will cause me to pee my pants because of the lack of muscle tone I have due to kegel protests and labor and delivery. I also do not want to turn around and see my uterus laying on the ground half a mile back-it would not be fun. I refuse to follow the masses.

A friend of ours who shall remain nameless (Mike Harris) decided to start running a few years ago to get in shape and before we knew what was happening, he was sporting runners apparel everywhere he went and signing up for marathons and eating only salads. MARATHONS and SALADS?! This is not a way to live-that is just not right people. I prefer to eat, drink and be a merry little chubby person thank you. Who would want to run for 26 miles straight? I do not understand this, it would be like someone saying to me "Hey, do you want to coat your body in honey and sit next to this fire ant hill for 4 hours?" Crazypersonsayswhat?

Mike has become obsessed, which his wife and I knew he would do because that is his personality. He is a manic-obsessive-compulsive-drive-the-wife-crazy kind of a personality. He never stops. He and my husband get along great. They love to bond over small manly projects and they have small competitions like "who will be up the earliest on Saturday to mow their lawn." My husband and Mike have decided to run the Marine Marathon here in DC in Oct. This will be my husband's first marathon since he was young-19 I think, so I am glad that paramedics are on hand for these kind of things. I believe Mike is up to 2 or 3 marathons a year now...

I think this is rather insensitive of my husband to be training for a marathon while I am pregnant and during my postpartum "nothing in my closet fits" days. I have always told him that I would not have to lose a couple of pounds if he would just gain a few and that way I will still look small next to him-but he isn't willing to help. He is so selfish!

I got a phone call from our home owners association president yesterday and she asked me if I could refrain from yelling at people running in the street. I told her I had not idea what she was talking about... she then said, "You didn't yell... crazy people go home and eat some cookies!" to the running group Wednesday afternoon? I was appalled at her tone of voice and I said "That was not me... that was my daughter!" and hung up as fast as I could.


The Trouble with Spring...

Spring is wonderful. The daffodils are in bloom, the kids can play outside, the buds are appearing on the barren trees, the days are longer and school is almost out (we are closer to the end than we are to the beginning).

The problem I have with spring is:

With the windows open, the neighbors can hear me screaming at my children.


Hair Today... Gone Tomorrow

OK, I need your help. I know that hundreds of people read my blog everyday (OK, maybe only 30 but still...) My question to you is: Am I just having a pregnant moment, or should I really go ahead and cut my hair.

When I was first pregnant, my hair was this length:

And now that I am nearing the end of my sentence, I mean pregnancy, my hair is this length:

And now I am considering cutting it to this length:

Any thoughts?

Unattractive Nakedness... We Are All Victims.

I am going to write a letter to all of the Presidents of all the television stations. Why do I have to watch commercials with half naked women each night after 8p.m.? Are these women beautiful? Certainly... but a 8 month pregnant woman does not need to look at women who only eat 2 oz of cottage cheese every day strut their stuff on television while sitting with my husband. It is like they are mocking me. Nakedness does not always look like this-nakedness is not always attractive. Actually, I bet when women see these commercials they head straight for the refrigerator and eat raw cookie dough-at least that is what I did, and I know that is not going to add to my already unattractive nakedness that I have going on right now.

Now, there are NOT many things that I think make nakedness look attractive... because nakedness (unless you are the statue of David in the Louvre) is not that attractive. The first unattractive naked thing would be cleaning while naked-the thought of that is just wrong. I read an article a long time ago about a man who cleaned houses naked. Now, my thoughts on that were first of all--ewww, and second, who would hire a MAN to clean a house? It was all strange to me and I don't know about you but when my husband goes into our bathroom, the hairs must just spring off of his body because when I go in after him it is like a Yettie has just taken a shower and I have to gripe and complain the entire time I shower washing down stray hairs. This is why I would ask why anyone would want a naked hairy man cleaning their house. It is mind boggling... and if you do have a naked male cleaning person-then you need some serious professional help.

The next most unattractive thing of nakedness is giving birth. OK OK OK, don't get all "oh but it is such a beautiful moment... blah blah blah." on me. It is not beautiful-yes, something beautiful comes from childbirth (tax breaks) but the actual birth itself is not something that makes nakedness look attractive. Picture it in your mind if you will-a woman with a beat red face, blood vessels popping and her hair plastered to her head with sweat and her legs bent as far back as humanly possible (she should be on Cirque De Sole!) as a little person emerges from her down unders. Gross. It is like a television show on the SciFi channel!

This is what I have been dwelling on in my mind for the past few weeks now. In the beginning of pregnancy, I can ignore that fact that I will have to actually go through labor in order to have this baby-but now that I am rounding out the end, labor and pain is all I think about. I dream about it and I wring my hands in worry about it. I start out trying to be covered. I wear a hospital gown with a tank top under-so when they rip off the gown I will at least have a covering across the boobies, but then something takes over and all of the clothes I have on me are somehow a nuisance and I have to strip them off. Each delivery I tell my husband "Please, do not let me strip like a drunken prostitute dancing for a 5 dollar bill in there" and each time he says "OK, I will do my duty as the man who got you into this situation and keep you covered-as God is my witness." Well, we have about 20 minutes of him trying to cover me after I keep throwing off the cover until finally my head spins around and I tell him that if he tries to put any more covers on me I will rip off his arms. That is the point in which he knows his wife has left my body and he is left with Sybil for the rest of the delivery.

OH, I try and make this horrible display of nakedness as pleasant as possible. I make sure I get my toes done and my roots hi-lited before my due date... and this time I am going to get a bikini wax, because first of all, I do not even know if I have pubic hair down there because I cannot see over my belly and secondly, I suspect it has traveled almost up to my belly button by now with all the stretching and pulling going on with my skin. They may charge me for a back wax instead of a bikini wax, but at this point I do not care.

I think we need to revert back to the 50's when women were knocked out during the delivery and they woke up all clean and fresh with a new little bundle in their arms. That is the birth I want to sign up for this time around.

I listened to my husband a while back talk about natural childbirth to a friend of his. This is always a funny conversation to listen in on-a man, talking to another man, about childbirth. As if they have ANY clue. Anyway, he was saying how the halls will be a quiet and calm from the mom's who have epidurals and then there is his wife who screams and shouts and would make any woman in the corridor cling to their anesthesiologist and beg to be juiced up. I remember he once tried to "shush" me during labor--he is not allowed to talk during delivery now... we have a letter notarised and everything.

So this has been what my mind has been occupied with lately--ugly nakedness during natural childbirth... and if I will poo on the labor table. I can't take it anymore! I am too old for this! I think that I will actually go with the drugs this time and that way I will care less if I poo... or if I am naked... or if I even have legs. Pump me up good and numb-this is my new philosophy.

I need to stop watching television after 8 p.m. - it makes me loony.


The First Day of Spring-A Birthday Celebration.

I cried myself to sleep last night. Not one of those weeping, uncontrollable cries-just a steady flow of quiet tears that will soak your pillow and that come from a sad place deep within your heart.

I have had nights like these for years-ever since I can remember actually. I do not know if my husband can hear me, but I am not looking to be consoled so he may simply understand that I need to cry and let me be.

When I was younger-a child, these cries used to be fueled by anger. The question "Why?" was always there. Now that I have lived with this sadness for years, the cries are more out of wonder, more out of sympathy for my parents.

Today is my brother Sean's birthday. He would have been 39.

Last night I was wondering what his life would have been like if he had not died when we were kids. I thought about what he may look like, who his wife would have been-maybe he would have been a priest. I thought about his children... and then my mind went back to memories of him. Childhood days that I somehow remember so perfectly even though I was so young. I was only 4 when he passed away.

One memory is of the day I was wearing my brand new blue Buster Brown shoes that had blue and white striped shoelaces and I loved them. I thought they were beautiful-they were the best pair of shoes I had ever owned! I was walking in the "woods" with my older brother and sister(behind our house was an area we called the woods-it was basically the wooded backyards of distant neighbors, but it was our play area). It must have recently rained because there were small pools of water everywhere that we were maneuvering around. Suddenly, in the middle of one of the small pools we see a baby bird that had fallen out of it's nest struggling to stay alive in the water. Sean and Colleen convinced me, with my new shoes on, to go fetch the bird so that we could save it. I did so, and in the process ruined my favorite shoes. We took the bird home to my mom, but it had died before we reached our destination. We had a funeral for it and it became the first of many animals/pets that were buried in our backyard.

I thought of that day last night and it struck me that I do not remember getting in trouble for my soggy shoes, but I remember my mom's sadness for the baby bird and her way of finding a box and helping us dig a hole for it. My brother was sick with Wilms disease by this time, and my mom must have wanted to show us the importance of compassion to this little bird.

Birthdays are supposed to be a time of celebrations-but I can't help but think of my parents today. Being a mother, I know the joy I feel when it is my own children's birthdays, and it pains me to know that my parents may recall my brother's birth with such joy and purity, and then instinctively recall his death as well.

I discovered something long after I was dating my husband that I find such comfort in. My husband was actually in my brother's kindergarten class. That may not sound like much, but it is to me. My husband may have played ball at recess with Sean, he may have stood next to him in line to the bathroom, he may have even had his coat hook right next to Sean's. Basically, my husband was able to meet my brother... even if he does not remember, he was able to know him. That is very important to me. That makes me smile today-the thought of my husband eating the cupcakes that my mom surely brought to my brother's kindergarten class to celebrate his birthday.

Happy Birthday Sean-pray for me, watch over your nieces and nephews, console Mom, Dad, Colleen and Claire today and remember that I love you~


"6 Weird Things About Me"

OK, Kasia tagged me for this "6 weird things about me" meme... in which I am supposed to divulge 6 weird things about myself. Personally, I believe that I am the only normal person for miles and miles... it is everyone who surrounds me that is weird, but I will indulge you just this once. I am not a big "meme" promoter-but at least this one does not ask what my favorite color is.

OK, 6 weird things about June Cleaver

1. I cannot eat the last bit of anything. I cannot bring myself to have the last corner of a sandwich, the last bite of pie, the last sip of a drink and or even the last cookie in a package. I do not know why-it has scientists baffled.

2. I have to do the three finger crawl when I grab a piece of bread out of the wrapper. I cannot take the first two or three slices so I finger crawl over them to the fourth or fifth slice of bread to take out and make my sandwich. In my defense, I learned this from my mother-which she probably started when she had children who did not tie up the end of the bread bag and the first few slices got hard. I know my sister Colleen does this as well. We are in group therapy for it.

3. I cannot stand if someone eats off of my plate, or takes a bite of my food. I do not share well in this category. It grosses me out and I can no longer finish the plate. I also do not like if someone drinks out of my cup. I will go get a new cup if this happens... and it puts me in a piss and vinegar mood for the rest of the day.

4. If I break the yolk of my egg in the morning when I am frying it up-the day is ruined. I throw the egg away or give it to the dog. There is nothing sadder than a fried egg with a hard yolk. Yuck! My husband, knowing that this will set me off, will always volunteer to take the bad egg from the frying pan--what a guy. Always ready to take one for the team.

5. Going along with the "can't have the last bite of food" syndrome I suffer from... I cannot use the last bit of shampoo or conditioner either. I do not know why. Maybe I don't have the patience to wait for it to travel all the way from the bottom of the bottle to the opening for me to use it, maybe I don't like the pfffffffft sound that follows the last bit that comes out, maybe I just enjoy using the new full bottle--I have never figured this out, but my house is littered with almost empty bottles of shampoo and conditioner. My husband (again, always taking one for the team) will use the last bits of shampoo and conditioner that I would not put on my head if you paid me. I think this comes from my childhood as well--for some reason my mother never had a well-stocked bathroom closet. We were always out of shampoo, tampons, soap, deodorant to the point that it has obviously caused some cerebral damage to me and now I have a bathroom closet that is so overly stocked that we could stop shopping for a year and still be smelling nice and clean. Also, I have vivid memories of adding water to the last bit of shampoo in the bottle when I was a kid and I HATED doing that. So... the blame for this one goes to my mother who must just walk past the toiletries aisle of the grocery store blind to the fact that there are shampoo and conditioner bottles begging to be purchased and brought home.

6. Last on my list of weird things is... I will not buy ice cream. Let me explain. I will go to the local Dairy Queen and order ice cream and eat it and enjoy it to the fullest, but I will not purchase ice cream and bring it into my home. The reason being is that when it is time to serve it up to all of the dirty faced children in my home (including my husband) it is me that has to do it. I cannot stand getting ice cream on my knuckles while scooping it out. It is sticky, it is gross, and I just don't like it! I also don't like ice cream bowls that are left in the sink to ferment and harden and get all yellow. I refuse to let this happen in my house and therefore we have cake without ice cream for birthdays. My kids do not know that ice cream should come with cake--which is another reason I do not buy ice cream... who ever thought of putting something that will melt all over a perfectly good cake and make it all soggy in the first place? No thank you. Ice cream should only come out of a machine and served by a high school student with an apron and a visor named Haylee at the local ice cream shop. It was not meant to be brought home and dished out--yuck! My older sister Colleen thinks I am absolutely crazy for this. They have ice cream every stinking night at their house... and her husband will have more than one bowl, scraping the sides to get every last bite. Ewwww-that is just wrong. He knows I think he needs to seek professional help on this matter.

So there you have it. My 6 weird things, which I do not think are weird, but others have told me are weird so therefore they must all be wrong. My therapist tells me there is nothing wrong with me (as she fills out my prescription and makes my next appointment.)


I like my Guinea Pig with Cranberry Sauce

A few months ago we had some rooms in our house painted. We found a contractor that we liked and he sent some of his men over to do the job. They did a great job-very professional, very respectful.

When they were done my husband asked if they could give us an estimate for some more jobs around the house and led them into my son's room. His room is in dire need of a paint job, and my husband does not paint. He has made many attempts-but it is easier for all of mankind, or at least our family if he does not attempt this task. When I was a kid, we painted our rooms all the time. If we wanted a new color my parents would get the paint and we would set out to do it ourselves. We had learned how to paint by watching our parents paint every last room in our house numerous times. I believe they even lost square footage by the amount of paint that are on those walls! One summer they decided to paint the outside of our house and us kids were in charge of the garage, so we knew what it meant to wield a paint brush. My husband on the other hand did not.

The first time I ever saw him paint was when he decided to paint one wall in the garage of our first home. It was drywalled and he wanted it to look finished so he went out and bought some white paint. I left him to his task and went inside to do some other household chores. About 4 hours later I was wondering what he was doing so I peeked into the garage only to find him still painting. I asked how many coats he had put on the wall and his reply was "Well, every time I get to the end I look at where I started and the colors are different!" He did not realize that the paint was drying as he worked along and had actually painted 6 coats on that one garage wall. God Bless him... he tries so darn hard.

From that time on, we have always paid someone to paint for us. This time was no different and like I said, my husband had led the painters into my son's room for an estimate. In my son's room is our beloved guinea pig Coco. We have had Coco for 3 years now and she is a part of our family. When we lived in Nebraska, we had a much bigger house and Coco and her cage fit quite nicely and I rarely had to smell her rotting poo or fermenting piddle coming from her cage. In this house, we literally have no where to put her and so she has settled in my son's room because I figure it already smells of dirty boxer shorts and athletic straps-what's a little rotting poo to go along with it?

Since we have moved to Virginia I have tossled with the idea of finding another home for Coco. She is very sweet and she whistles at the kids when she hears them coming and they love to play with her, but the smell was driving me insane. I had thought about putting an ad in the paper, or advertising at PetSmart--but all of those plans changed this fateful day that the painters came to our house.

When they walked into my son's room they oooh'd and ahhh'd over Coco. They were speaking a foreign language to one another and then would tell us how big our guinea pig was and so forth. In my head I started thinking "Hey! Maybe I can hand Coco over to these really nice guys!" Then it happened... they said the thing that has haunted me to this day. They told us that they were from Peru and in Peru they EAT GUINEA PIGS!
Now I can never put an ad in the paper because I would worry about poor Coco constantly-wondering if she were the main dish at a family gathering. She loves to eat carrots and celery, but I just can't bring myself to serve her up on a platter with Fava Beans and a nice Chianti.


Chowfest 2007!

Holy Cow! Yesterday I was flipping through the channels and came across a show that was somehow celebrating St. Patrick's Day and eating together. It was called the St. Patrick's Day Chowfest.

I was intrigued... how often do you get to watch some sort of Saintly eating fest? That was obviously not the case here. Contestants from all over the world entered this eating contest. They first had to eat as much Corned Beef as they could in 5 minutes, then as many green frosted donuts in 5 minutes and then they had to eat as many jalapenos (whole-with seed) in 5 minutes.

The winner was a young guy with a mohawk and tattoos who ate a total of 10lbs. of the blessed beef, 4 dozen donuts, and 95, YES 95, jalapenos! I was equally disgusted, amazed, and a little jealous.

I did not get to watch the corned beef portion of the program, but the donut portion was pretty much gross. The contestants stand in front of a table where there are green frosted donuts piled high on plates in front of them. Next to these plates are cups of whatever liquid the contestant asks for. Most chose water-mohawk guy chose red kool-aid. It was like watching Jerry Springer-I just couldn't bring myself to turn the channel! They would dunk the donuts into the water-or kool aid and then stuff them two at a time into their mouths. There was a female contestant who was about 5 foot nothing and weighted about as much as my dog. She was putting those donuts away I tell ya!

The jalapeno portion was just as disgusting and I still could not change the stupid channel. There were only two contestants left-mohawk guy and regular Joe guy. It was excruciating watching them stuff those peppers in their mouths and down chocolate milk-yes, chocolate milk. They were sweating, they were crying, and they had so much snot coming out of their noses that they looked like the slime monster in a 1950's horror flick.

We have all heard of those restaurants that have the "Can You Eat The Meat?" slogan where a sorry sucker comes into the place with his evil friends and after they have all gotten good and drunk they peer pressure him into ordering the 10 lbs. of beef to eat in 60 minutes or less. Many have tried these feats, and I believe that not many have survived-as they have been air lifted to the nearest hospital and had their stomachs pumped! Their obituary usually reads:

Joe Sucker, Son of Joe and Ima Yutz died on Saturday night after an evening of
drinking and eating an entire cow.
Joe was an avid reader and runner--and interestingly enough,
Joe was a self-proclaimed vegetarian.
The funeral will be held at Bucky's Bar and Grill where they ask all patrons
"Can You Eat The Meat?"
In loo of flowers, please send a donation to PETA

When I was in high school, the boys always had little contests to show their manhood in the cafeteria. I remember watching (OK, I admit, I was cheering on) a kid eat 14 hard boiled eggs. I also remember cheering on a couple of friends of mine at a party who were having a salsa eating contest. And then there was the raw potato incident that did not end well and the toilets in the boys locker room were stopped up for weeks. Why do people do this?

Last night as I watched mohawk guy win the eating contest I started to think of his mother. I imagine their first conversation on him being a professional eater.

Mohawk guy: Mom, I have decided to drop out of law school and start touring all the all-you-can-eat buffets in the Tri-state area.

Mom: Don't you remember when you were a boy and you threw up because you stuffed 30 pieces of hubba bubba in your mouth? Have you thought this through?

Mohawk guy: Yes-there is quick cash in eating for a living... I can win $5000 in the St. Patrick's Day Chowfest one day. I do have goals you know.

Mom: Excuse me while I go add stomach pumping to our health insurance.

But, I could be wrong-mom could be very proud of mohawk son. It could even be a family tradition to eat themselves until they puke. Maybe she is his trainer and cooks up 75 hot dogs for him every night. There is a lot to be said for motherly love.

Some days I wish I was a professional eater. When I have a Saturday where there are no plans and plenty of good rented movies at the house I think--I am going to eat chocolate all day and drink soda and order pizza and finish the day off with a jumbo ice cream sunday! I usually get through one soda and two slices of pizza and call it a day... I obviously have no will power.

I wonder how mohawk guy is feeling today. I imagine that all of that corned beef, all of those donuts, and especially all of those 95 jalapenos do not come out as easily as they went in. Visions of liquid fire fill my mind and I bet they have a lot of air freshener on hand and a plumber standing by at his house. But hey~he won $5000!


Luck O' The Irish

Well, I woke up this morning all excited that it was St. Patrick's Day and I started a great post about being Irish, Irish celebrations and the two trips my husband and I have taken to Ireland. It was a beautiful post-T'is true... but then everything froze and I was asked if I wanted to send an "error report" to Microsoft. I was so pissed! Nothing gets my Irish temper up more than stupid error reports! I bet Bill Gates is Polish...

So instead I am just going to tell you how I plan on spending this Patty's Day before I throw this computer through a window.

I am going to get my husband drunk and smell his breath while I listen to my Irish Pub Songs CD all night and lick the floor of our kitchen. It will be like I was back in the Emerald Isle sitting at a pub. Tomorrow I am going to drag myself out of bed and go to Mass and pray for all the poor Irish souls in Purgatory.

If you are looking for an alternative drink to celebrate your St. Patty's Day (although I do not know why you wouldn't want a beer-I would kill for one... and that counter on the top of this blog, that is not really a countdown to when this baby is born, it is a countdown to when I can have my first taste of beer again!) Anyway, here is a great recipe that will have you singing "Scarborough Faire" and "Danny Boy" off key all night: Just find the red-headed Irish bartender at your favorite pub and ask for an Irish Car Bomb~

3/4 fluid ounce Irish whiskey
3/4 fluid ounce Irish cream liqueur
6 fluid ounces Irish stout beer

Fill a shot glass with half Irish whiskey and half Irish cream.

Pour Irish stout beer into a pint glass.

Drop in the shot glass and drink entire contents at once.

When you are finished, wipe your mouth with your sleeve and ask for another!


Message Received...

OK, so the moment I clicked the "publish" button on my last post about God not listening to me, I walked into the kitchen and discovered that my bagel in the toaster had been burnt to a crisp.

Point taken God...

I smothered it with cream cheese and ate it... it was obviously my penance for the morning.

Ever Feel Like Job?

Poor Job. My oldest daughter loves the book of Job. She must find great strength in it, what with having me for a mother and all. But have you ever had one of those days, weeks, months or years where you actually felt like Job?

This morning at 2 a.m. as our youngest was throwing up in her bed, I started to think of old Job. Now, I had prayed and prayed and prayed that she would be able to slip by unnoticed from the stomach virus that we had all contracted in this house-but somehow, she had gotten the worst of it. Not only is she throwing up, but she is crying about her ear hurting as well.

I was fine with all of this-nurse mom to the rescue. I tossed her sheets in the washing machine (only to find newly washed second hand pickles when I pulled them out this morning-nice) and tucked her into bed with my husband and I. This did not work, so eventually she and I headed downstairs to the couch where she did actually fall asleep.

When I heard my husband up, I carried her back upstairs so that she and I could maybe snooze in a bed again-but her tummy had other plans. Right after my husband walked out the door to work (how does he luck out so much??) she tossed up orange juice on our bed, in the hall, and finally in the toilet. This was the point at which I felt like Job.

I have been dealing with sickness-gross, disgusting, horrible sickness since late Saturday night now. I had prayed that our little one be spared of this virus. As I stood looking at the mess I glanced up into the heavens and just said "thanks... thanks a lot!"

I went to work cleaning up telling myself that I should be offering this up-it is Lent after all... but that didn't fly with me. I started to picture Satan saying "Who can I tempt? Who can I play with?" and God pointing at me and saying "See that blond over there... I've given her a run for her money the past year and she has held up so far, so go ahead and play with her a bit." Seriously-that is what I was thinking!

Why is it that some days you just feel like God is not listening? As if He is just sitting back and watching-not making any moves to help and make life a little easier? Then the guilt come rushing in... surely God is listening to me, and life could very well be a lot worse if He were not listening-and everything is in God's hands and in His plans correct? UGH! Some days I just want to scream--and I do, because God knows I want to, He knows what I am thinking, so I might as well just let it out!

I just want my little one to feel better. I just wish God didn't feel so far away some days...

So why do I feel like He has been on vacation this past week of my life?


We are Happily Married... REALLY!

When I am not pregnant, I am pretty cute... or at least I try to be. My husband has little nicknames for me that are not so sweet, but they don't really bother me because I know that they are just not true and they are just his way of saying "really honey... despite the fact that I am a man and I don't know how to wash my own stinky shorts, I do love ya!" His favorite name for me is "Chubba" This is an awful name I know, but I have grown used to it and I know that he does not think I am actually a Chubba because when I am pregnant, that nickname is never once uttered out of his mouth.

He has gotten wise this husband of mine. He knows when I am feeling yuck and therefore he calls me nicknames such as "precious" or "pookey monkey" I do not know where he gets these names from, but I do know one thing-if he were to call me "Chubba" during pregnancy, that would be the last word spoken from his cold dead body... no joke.

Well, last night after spending 2 straight days in bed with this man o' mine we were getting a little tired of each other. When he is sick, he wants to cuddle and be sweet and have someone be sweet to him. When I am sick, just leave me the hell alone buster! Well, somehow we (I) got on the subject of getting my body back in shape after this pregnancy. Obviously, the next things to come out of my husband's mouth were because I had been so cranky sick toward his cuddle sick for the last 48 hours and he must have been severely dehydrated and hallucinating.

He said to me (AND I QUOTE) "I read that after 4 kids, women never get skinny again-they are destined to be Chubbas." WHAT???? Now, my mind was saying "he is just teasing you" but the rest of my body was saying "this man has an appointment with death!"

I brought up very good examples: first, my older sister who has had 5 children and is as skinny as a bean pole, and then my mother who had 4 children and is still nice and slim. He obviously didn't know what he was talking about-what with coming from a family of thick-ankled women!

He goes on to say that I could be a model if I just applied myself, but I just don't apply myself. I stuck my foot up in the air and said "I could be a FOOT model!" (which is true because I take very good care of my feet. My toes are neither too long or too short and my second toe is not even close to being longer than my big toe. I have very good step appeal!) Hey-when you are pregnant, you learn to look at the positives rather than dwell on the stretch marks and the protruding belly that looks like your Uncle Mick's beer belly!

I then threw down the gauntlet. I said "Well, I will promise you one thing... when I do get all cute and skinny again, you will not be visiting this amusement park ride again!" He looked at me and said "Let me get this straight... you will have sex with me if you are a Chubba, but if you get skinny I am out of luck." Yes... this is what I was saying.

He then cuddled me as tightly as he could (so that I could not run away) and said "I always prefer Chubba to skinny-honest!"


I Love You... Pond Scum and All!

Today was such a warm day in Virginia. I thought it was a little chilly because our house was chilly-and I probably still have a fever from yesterday's stomach virus. By lunch time I was so sick of lounging in bed that I had to get up and move. You would think that I would ENJOY a day or two in bed... maybe if it involved chocolate, rented chick-flix, and piles and piles of feather pillows, but this day in bed involved vomit, liquid fire, and those crazy fever dreams that have things flying at you.

Well, I needed to blow the stink off of me so I decided to make a picnic lunch for the kids and head outside. My husband stayed in bed--but I opened the window of our bedroom because it smelled like a cross between a nursing home and a morgue. We have a little fish pond in our backyard that is so scummed over from the winter that you can't even see the fish to know if they survived the cold months but I figured, what better place to enjoy a picnic lunch after spewing various liquids from the upstairs and downstairs of my body.

It was such a nice lunch. One of those lunches where the kids actually talk to you and we laugh and enjoy being together. Our little one started to walk around the pond... this is when my oldest told me that our son has rearranged all of the rocks around the pond to make a "boobie-trap" for anyone walking around it. Just at that moment, our little one lost her balance and fell butt first into the scum pond. I have to give her credit-she didn't go under. She had the head sense to just stand up~and scream.

That water had to be cold-and the smell my daughter had on her when I pulled her out would have made any skunk mother proud. I stripped her naked in the backyard and my son said "Uh, Mom... we do have neighbors." Well DUH son--but we also have a boobie trapped pond apparently!

After a bath and a new dress (warm weather insists upon dresses for any three year old) all was right with the household again and I was exhausted. I headed back to bed--but not before making a stop at the loo and realizing that even though it may be a beautiful day outside, my insides were still at terror alert red!


I'll Take All the Romance I Can...

My husband and I spent the day in bed together. Don't get all hot and bothered, it is not romantic at all-unless you call romance tag-teaming the porcelain god. It was a bad day. Mine started before his. By 5a.m. I was tossing cookies. I did not even leave the bedroom. By noon my husband was back from work and in bed as well.

I have just started to feel better so I came down to survey the damage that took place in the house in my absence.

All I can say is... if you want to know just how much you do in a day-don't do it one day. You will be amazed by the woman that you are!


Two Things I Learned Today...

*Just because the product "claims" to be washable... does not necessarily mean it is.

*Thin Mints can be enjoyed both as a cookie, and as a writing utensil for the wall.

Like Manna from Heaven

Ever have one of those days when you are rummaging through last year's winter coat and you find a $5 bill in the pocket? That is a pretty good day in my opinion... obviously not in my husband's opinion. He would think "Why didn't you check these pockets before you put this coat away? We could have used that $5!"

Well, yesterday we were getting together all of our tax paperwork-a job that has fallen mostly on me. My organized husband pulled out a folder months back and wrote in bright red crayola marker on the cover:"2006 Taxes." When anything came in the mail that remotely resembled tax info I was to put it directly into the folder-no passing Go-and definitely not collecting $200!

Now, this system works brilliantly... unless you are me. I now stress over if I have put all of the correct info in the ever important folder. If I miss something it is my ass on the line here folks!

While we were making sure we had everything (actually, it was more like my husband was making sure and I was sitting quietly next to him for "moral" support praying that it was all in there-because if something was missing I knew we would spend the next 4 hours tearing the house apart looking for it.) Suddenly my husband says "Where are all the tax statements for THIS house???" I of course thought they would be in there because I have stuck everything in that blasted folder, even a flyer from Fredrick's of Hollywood (you never know where you can get a tax break from.) I start looking through my own personal basket which I store all bills and personal letters for the house tax forms.

Before I go on with this story, it needs to be pointed out that each day I hear the mail truck, I send out the first kid I see to fetch the mail, I sort through it-opening only what I am interested in (this being anything that is NOT important documents) and then I leave the rest next to the phone for my husband to open. He then opens the important boring items and organizes them. I think this brings him joy really-feeling like he is in the loop with bills and such even though he has not cracked open our checkbook in ages... he gets fulfillment from knowing the bill amounts that are coming out of the checkbook.

ANYWAY... I find this paper in my basket that has an escrow check attached to it. I looked at the amount and then said "Is this a real check?" to which my husband snatched it from me and started to see red.

Personally, I see this as a good thing! HEY! WE FOUND MONEY! My husband sees this as complete disregard on my part to his carefully laid out organization of the tax documents. OH WHATEVER! Sheesh~lighten up would ya! Finally, after he is all soap-boxed out over the importance of keeping things together and wondering what else in God's name has been misplaced around this God-forsaken house I look him square in the eyes and say, "You opened this letter, not me. You put it in my basket, not me. Don't pin this on me Bucko!" He denied, I denied... and in the end--WE STILL FOUND MONEY!

After the dust cleared and he finally gave in to my insistence that I did nothing wrong and that I am very cute when I smile and my hugs are warm and inviting... I asked what he wanted to do with this cash.

When I find $5 in my pocket, I celebrate by going to Arby's for some fried cheese sticks--it is like they are free! My husband does not see it that way. We have to put the money in that stupid account he calls "Savings" *big sigh* My visions of botox and liposuction after delivering this baby came crashing down around my poor swollen ankles.


If You Party Like a Rock Star...

Everyone in this house has had varying degrees of sickdom for the past week. It all started with my oldest-just a headache and upset stomach for a couple of days, which led into a stuffed nose and cough. She is old enough that she can pretty much take care of herself--she just goes and hides under her covers.

Our youngest has the stuffed up nose and cough and talks like this:
"Mob, cun I hub a wuffle?"
She has been doing pretty well with this also. Since she is sick though, I have given her special attention and she has been once again climbing in our bed early each morning. She hates to take medicine to the point where if I try and give it to her she will throw up! I have tried everything. I read in a magazine that Dr. Pepper covers the taste of most medicines so I went out and bought some yesterday only to find that she does not like Dr. Pepper--I guess she isn't a Pepper too.

I thought my son had escaped all illnesses... until last night. When it rains it pours around here. He went to a "kids night" at his karate school that lasted from 6-10. Now usually we would not allow him to go to something like this because I don't think a kid needs to be up until 10pm running around like a crazy person. He begged us though and we caved. When he walked in the door with his dad at 10:10, I knew he was not feeling well but he was putting on a brave face. He ate pizza, juice boxes, candy and ran around and played hyper games for 4 hours--any healthy person would be sick.

At about 4 a.m. I feel someone hovering over me. I opened my eyes to find my son clutching his stomach saying "I am going to throw up." Well, my big ol' pregnant body has not gotten out of a bed so fast-I said "GET TO THE TOILET!" My son has a history of NEVER making it to the toilet. It is like he denies the fact that he is about to throw up and waits it out... and we all know that does not work. We made it in time and I tucked him back in bed and said a prayer to St. Blaise. It went something like this: "Saint Blaise, I know you are the patron Saint of sore throats, but I consider that in the category of colds as well. If you could please babysit my son tonight so I can get some rest that would be dandy... oh, and Praise God. Amen."

We were back up at 5:45 so I prayed again... "Saint Blaise, I know this may be cold and flu season and you are busy, but did you not hear me? I need to you PLEASE look after my son tonight. We had to spring ahead with the clocks so we are already losing an hour, and you know my little one will wake me up 2 more times tonight and we have Mass in the morning. Are you trying to make me miss Mass Saint Blaise? That isn't very Saintly of you. Please watch over my son and help him sleep--and Praise God. Amen."

As I laid in bed I started thinking... Why does throw up fall under the mom's job description? I tend to my kids when they are sick the way my mom did to me. I stand with them and pat their back and reassure them that it is almost over and they will be OK. I remember how soft my mom's hands were and how comforting they were so I try and do the same for my kids. If I threw up and my mom was not home, well my dad would just stand at the bathroom door and watch. No comforting words, no back rubs, no nothing, just a "wipe your mouth" when I finished. This is how my husband handles throw up as well, at a 10 foot distance.

I speak from my own experience with throwing up and my husband. I only throw up for 2 reasons... pregnancy (which he contributed to) and alcohol (which he probably bought for me). Whatever the circumstance, he is just a door watcher, not a back-rubbing "let it all out" kind of supporter.

At first I thought my son had partied like a Rock Star and now he was tossing cookies like a Rock Star... but he is still at it at 9:30 this morning so he obviously just got the worst of the illnesses in the house. Poor guy.

"Saint Blaise, if you could PLEASE keep whatever illness that my son has far from me I would appreciate it. I don't know if I could handle varicose veins, sore hips, stretch marks, hemorrhoids, pregnant farts AND throwing up. A girl is only so strong... oh, and above all, Praise God. Amen."


Organizers Anonymous

Our Computer printer and DVD player died in the same week. The entertainment value in this house plummeted! My oldest daughter could not print her list of "Top Ten Names for My Horse" which is a horse that she does not have yet but dreams about daily, and my little one could not watch Little Bear 74 times a day. It was a bleak bleak week around here let me tell you.

Last night when my husband got home he suggested we head out to Best Buy (Victoria's Secret for men) and purchase both printer and DVD. I got giddy-it was like Christmas! I especially like when my husband comes with me to make these purchases because I hate to spend the money on something, bring it home and have him say "Why did you get that one?" My answer of "because it was pretty" never floats.

He was in charge of installing the DVD--which meant that he heaved and hauled the 1000 lb. Attic Heirloom TV hutch away from the wall and plugged it in. I was in charge of making sure it worked. The first try was a failure... all the people were pink. The next try was successful and we were able to watch a movie. I won't even tell you the title of it because it was so bad.

This morning my husband asked if I was going to install the printer. Now, I have installed all things that have to do with our computer. Even when things have "died" within the white box on the floor, I have called technical support, tried to understand what the technician was telling me to do (for reasons that I either could not understand him through the accent, or I simply do not know what a yadayada-bite is.) and have basically rebuilt the computer with my own two hands. All this with just one computer class in college~I am an amazing talent!

Everything was going fine until it told me to install the USB cable from the printer to the computer. Well, apparently you have to purchase USB cables separately. They should tell you this on the box-like they do with children's toys and batteries! I called my husband (who leaves the house when I start installing technical devices-much like I leave the house when he starts a handyman project) and asked him to go buy said USB cable. Well... organized husband to the rescue! He told me to look in the closet in a plastic tub that he keeps (next to his stash of fast food napkins that are there in case of emergencies) and said that there should be something that will work in there. I found this plastic tub and it was like he had a stash of drugs in there! There was a cable for any situation possible... and they were all folded tightly and secured with either a rubber band or a twist tie. I rummaged through and found the cable that I needed. I was amazed! I can't even take the time to wrap the cord correctly around the vacuum cleaner and my husband has somehow organized all the cable cords north of the Mason-Dixie!

I went back to the closet and found a plastic tub of batteries, another of nuts and bolts, and one with staples, safety pins, and paper clips. I kept looking hoping he would have a tub full of chocolate... but that is more like something I would do. I have always known my husband to be very organized. He keeps all of his things in a certain order and the garage is so neat that some days I walk out of the chaos of our house and pull up a lawn chair and sit in the middle of it. The shed is color-coded and Lord help the child that goes in there and pulls something off the shelf and leaves a mess behind them. I once spilled some bird seed in the shed and you would think that a bomb went off and he was on his hands and knees with his shop-vac in no time. I blamed the birdseed on the kids--I am not stupid!

Seeing these organized tubs I started to think of how much my husband has sacrificed by being married to me. I am organized-to a point. I basically do not like clutter--or rather I don't like to SEE clutter so I just stuff it in a drawer, or I throw it away. If you walk into our closet, you will see his side so nice and neat-pants all together, shirts, jackets... and don't even get me started on his shoes (some he still keeps in the box!) My side looks like my 9 year old son has hung everything up. The shoes are in the spot in which I kicked them off and sweatshirts and jeans are haphazardly tossed on the shelves. He rarely complains though. Some days he even goes in there and organizes it for me... but after 3 kids he has started to just give up I think. All he has control over now are the tubs in the closet full of cables. I better pull that cable tub out again because I just stuffed everything back in when I found what I was looking for. It is the least I can do...


Did Someone Say Party?

My little one keeps walking through the house in her plastic high heels and carrying a feather duster singing "Let's get this party started!"

I don't have the heart to tell her that the only party that will be happening in this house is a Lenten one complete with fish sticks and tartar sauce.

Eddie... What Happened?

This morning I woke up and started to browse the news to see if anything important had happened throughout the night and I was struck by this picture:

That is Eddie Van Halen, the guitar virtuoso that I adored in the 80's. He looks a lot like the Aunt that we all have in our families that we only see at funerals and family reunions who smokes 2 packs of Camels a day and carries a flask in her purse. Folks, Eddie Van Halen has turned into Aunt Viola. *big sigh*

Back in 1980, Eddie, who I always thought was better looking than his drummer brother Alex, had big hair and tight pants. He was a walking dream I tell you. I would have killed to go to a Van Halen concert... but my parents only allowed me to go see The Monkeey's. I do admit to a crush on Davie Jones, but I passed him up in height in the 4th grade so my crush diminished.

In 1980, Van Halen looked like this:

When I met my husband back in 1990, he was a clean cut kid who was in the military. By this time I had moved on from my big hair band obsession with Eddie Van Halen and was looking for a more "shaven" kind of guy. One day looking through some old photos of my husband I came across his rock band days. My husband was the drummer of a band that he and his brother started (sound familiar?) My husband had long hair that he not only permed, but he also teased to the height of 4 inches! He wore tight spandex pants with bandannas tied around this ankles and his shirt was ripped in all the right places. He was bea-U-tiful! I teased him about it, but I secretly swooned inside because I was in love with a ROCK STAR! I had achieved all of my goals of the 80's... to meet and fall in love with someone my parents would freak out over! Too bad my husband was now a responsible citizen and no longer a drummer, but I could secretly cherish my hidden rebellion.

In the mid 90's Eddie cleaned up a bit as well and started looking like this:

Very nice if I do say so myself Mr. Van Halen! So what happened? He went from King status, to No status. Van Halen is making a come back (complete with David Lee Roth) and I am excited to hear how they will sound. Eddie has gone into rehab, or celebrityhab as I like to call it, in order to show his fans that he is going to "bring it" with the new Van Halen. Personally, I have grown out of my pantie-throwing, high-pitched screaming concert days (It was hard being a Monkeey's groupie!) and hope that Van Halen can offer me something that I can turn up in my minivan and roll down the windows while I drive toward freedom... at least that is how they used to make me feel. I doubt my husband will have to pound on our bedroom door and yell "TURN DOWN THAT DEVIL MUSIC!" The way my father did years ago, but maybe I can get an eye roll, or a "Eww gross music mom!" from my kids with the new Van Halen. Basically, I hope they sound like they did in the 80's, but all hope of them looking like they did back then has died.

This all is proof that I made the right decisions in my life... I could have given up everything and started following Van Halen around the country until Eddie noticed me and fell in love with me and then I would be stuck with a guy who looks like this:

But I was smart and found a guy who looks like this:
Man did I luck out! And my mother thought I would end up with the manager at Jiffy Lube! HA!



The beauty of having a 12 year old when you are pregnant:

Oldest: "Mom, what is for dinner?"

Me: (laying half conscious on couch) "Uhmmm, cereal?"

Oldest: "I could make pancakes for everyone."

Me: "You have always been my favorite"

Not only did she make the dinner, but she also cleaned the kitchen when everyone was done. She is going to rule the world one day!

I Want to be a Good Thief

ARGHHHH! I am so sick of winter! I am tired of having winter coats thrown all over the house. Today, the hooks in the cleaning closet fell and all of the winter coats that were piled on top of each other came crashing down. That is so irritating to me because we live in a small house and I have no where else to put these stupid winter coats! I piled them on the hooks in the garage and the ones that did not fit... I have decided to give to Good Will.

I feel like running through the house screaming. There are signs of a long winter indoors everywhere. Toys scattered, sweatshirts strewn over chairs, socks stuffed under beds and hanging out of the hamper and windows tightly closed in rooms that smell of dust. Laundry loads are heavier with long pants and heavy sweaters and the shoe pile outside of our garage door is the size of Mt. Kilimanjaro! I cannot wait for warm weather!

I am also getting tired of being pregnant-you know the "I hate my body" trimester. I seem to be more exhausted during this last trimester than I did during the first. Thank God for cereal, Easy Mac, and hot dog singles or my children would starve.

I long for summer weather when all we wear are flip flops and shorts. All of the winter coats will be packed away in the attic and the winter shoes will either be tossed away or put aside for the next child in line for them. I can't wait to live on burgers on the grill and cold pasta salad and the thought of walking in the evening to DQ makes me look out my window at the snow and want to flip it off.

A few months ago I was in love with winter. Early nights with the fire going and warm stews on the stove. I enjoyed tossing an extra blanket on my children's beds and turning down the thermostat at night in order to sleep cuddled up. Today, if winter was a person and knocked on my door, I would sick my dog on it!

I want to tell my kids "GO OUTSIDE!" I can't wait to sit on the back patio watching the little one play with her scooter or ride her bike, or to see my older kids running with their friends damp with sweat and beautifully tanned by the sun. I can't wait to hear my husband come home from work at night and say to the kids "Everyone get your suits on!" as he takes them all to the pool and gives me a hour alone in the summer evening.

Summer also means that I will no longer be pregnant and grumpy. I will have a precious little baby to hold each day. A little one who will smell so sweet and will bring about more love in this house than we imagined.

This winter dread is my Lent. Lent is always so long and dark for me. I wait for Easter Sunday just as I wait for the summer wind to blow through my hair. I do not wait patiently, I wait anxiously.

I was reading about the two thieves that were crucified along side of Jesus, Gestas and the good thief Dismas. This winter I am acting like Gestas-complaining and shaking my fist at God and saying "save me!" I need to come out of my Lenten dread and have more of the views of Dismas the good thief. Even after Jesus promised him heaven, he still had to suffer-but he knew the miracle that had taken place inside of him through Jesus Christ. It is so hard to look upon our suffering, or our sadness as a blessing because we have been saved by Christ. It is much easier to be like the bad thief and complain and demand help. Yes, this Lent is long and dark, but I hope that by the time Easter comes I can smile through my suffering... knowing the miracle that has taken place within me.

Oh let the warmth flow~


And the Winner Is.... Not Me

Well, we did not win the Jackpot. Next time my husband tells me to go to the store to buy a lottery card I am just going to tell him to roll down the window and toss the dollar bill out into the wind-because that is basically what we do.

I have never understood the whole buying lottery tickets thing. I know we will never win, so why even try. It would be like buying a pair of size 2 jeans... I know I will never get my rear end in them so why put myself through the hope only to be let down.

This morning as my husband was stepping out of the shower to get dressed for work he said "What if we won? Should I still go to work?" Now, it being 4 a.m. and his leaving the bed left a cold front to move across my back, I replied "Nah, just climb back in bed... we'll go mansion hunting later this afternoon after our massages and facials."

Could you imagine being that rich? My family is very blessed with what we do have and I can sit here and type "I wouldn't want all that money" but I would be lying. I would love love love to be filthy stinking rich! Do you ever picture it? Imagine life with lots and lots of cash? I know I know I know, it is a sin to want more than what is given to us... but for just a moment be a sinner and pretend you are rich. How would you live your life? Would you do things differently?

I personally do not think I would do too much differently... other than live in a house with a maid, a cook, have a pool, a hot tub, and use really expensive hair care products. I would still homeschool, and I would still blog. :)

I may vacation more than once every other year and I would drive a Cadillac Escalade... but I would still be me right?

Does money change people who are grounded in their beliefs and in their lives? What do you think?


One Day I Hope You Have A Child JUST LIKE YOU!

My mom says that I say things to my kids that she would have never said to us. Now, I don't know what happens when you get old (my Mom turned 64 yesterday) but I believe my mother is going through some sort of "selective remembering" thing. I grew up in her house... my upbringing is the source to who I am, how I live my life, and yes, how I discipline my children. Now, my mom says I am more vocal and open with my kids--well, I remember my mom being pretty darn vocal with me! A few great quotes I remember are:

  1. "When I was a kid, my mother used to tell my brother that she hoped he would one day have a child just like him... and somehow I got that kid!" This is my mother speaking to me when she was close to losing her cool.
  2. "Just don't tell anyone you are my child!" This is when I was heading out the door to the bus when I was in elementary school and I apparently did not brush my hair/brush my teeth/wash my face... and so on. I remember thinking "Well who's kid will they think I am? Everyone knows you are my mom-duh!"
  3. "Shit! Shit!Shit!" That was my mom's favorite word when I was a kid.
  4. "GOD BLESS AMERICA!" That was the term she used to let me know that I had better leave the room and quick because she was about go postal on me. This usually made me giggle at her, which in turn got me a smack on the rear.

I can go on, but I don't want you to think that my mom was a yeller (she was) like I am. Some days I say something to my children and I think "I sound just like my mother!" My mom was always funny when we were kids. She loved to dance in the kitchen and she always sang the song "Bushel and a Peck" by Soupy Sales to us. She also single handedly potty trained my little sister in 3 days. My older sister and I were locked out of the house for the entire three days (she just threw food out the door at us) I remember watching through our screen door with my mom yelling "GO GO GO!"and clapping her hands behind my sister while Claire ran to the bathroom crying. To this day my sister can't pee without weeping-but my mom gave it her all I tell ya!

The most profound memory I have of my childhood-and I like to remind my mother of this every chance I get-is the day that my mom was laying on the couch and asked me to retrieve her book for her. My mom loves to read, and apparently she loved to lay on the couch as well! She also locked us out of the house... but that is another story for another time. Anyway, She asked me to get her book and I complained and whined about having to stop what I was doing (which I am sure was something important like watching Woody Woodpecker) and stomped the entire way to get her book. (I am also sure that this book was something by Dr. Spock, who I always thought was the guy on Star Trek, but apparently he was a child-expert.) When I came back with her book she sat up and gave me a kiss and a hug and said "That is for doing this chore for me" and then she slapped me across my face and said "and that is for complaining about it!" I stood stunned!

As a mom myself, I think that lesson is classic! We read in so many child books how to raise our children, but as for me, my mom taught me how to raise kids-with sarcasm, love, honesty, and the ability to scream loud enough to get your point across--but not loud enough for the neighbors to hear.

I call my mom when I am at my wits end with my kids and she listens quietly and offers bits and pieces of sound advice or Biblical quotes. She isn't fooling me though... I know she hangs up the phone and says "HA HA! I don't feel sorry for you one bit!"

Thanks mom~


You Big Baby!

The other day when I was at the Doctor, she was trying to figure out my due date (even though I know exactly when this baby was conceived-I was there.) There have been some clerical differences recorded on this matter and she wanted to get it right-you know, because babies always follow their due date schedule. Anyway, she finally decided that May 3 is the actual date-which I had been telling her for 20 minutes. I guess she is one of those people who have to figure things out on their own... I live with a person like that. I can tell my husband "Look, that truck is red!" and he will have to look at the truck, take a sample of the truck paint, analyze it, call other men to discuss the paint color and then finally decide that yes, the paint is indeed red... but I digress.

We finally got down to business and my Doc pulled out her trusty measuring tape. Now, this always strikes me as funny. It is like they are going to hem the baby's pants and they want to make sure they have it right. I feel like I am consulting a seamstress on the progress of my pregnancy rather than an educated OB. When she finished measuring me she said "WOW, you are big!" Honest to God she said that. Now, if I was a weaker person this would have hurt me, but I was OK with it. I know I am big--I am having a BABY for goodness sake-what am I supposed to be skinny? Plus, I wanted to say "No shit Sherlock." But I didn't. Then the Doc said, "Oh, but you are measuring right where you are supposed to be." So I took that as I am supposed to be big and I could get on with my day-thank you.

http://laurathecrazymama.blogspot.com/ Laura and I were talking the other day about baby sizes. She has had some whoppers let me tell ya! One was over 10lbs! That just makes me cringe. I have had my fair share of big ol' babies. Both my oldest and my son were 8 lb. 12 oz. and our little one was 8lb. 11oz. So I figure this baby will be around the same. I love to hear of babies that weigh 5lbs, or even 7 lbs... because I think--man, I bet that is so much easier! I mean, having a 6 lb. baby would be like a walk in the park in my opinion--seriously! I do not mean to belittle anyone who has these little babies, and who only gain24 lbs during pregnancy and who only say one little peep while pushing and then it is all over with--because the baby is so stinking little. No, I am jealous of you! I fantasize about having a healthy baby that only weights 7lbs, just to see if it hurts less on the way out~

I am the lady on the maternity ward that the other moms hear screaming, and then grab hold of their Anesthesiologist and say "Do whatever you have to do to make me feel nothing!" During the birth of our first baby, my husband even had the nerve to shush me because he thought I was being too loud. From that day on, the rule has been that he is not allowed to talk during any of my labors. I watched the "Baby Story" on the television the other day and there was a mom who came in with her hair all styled, her nails all perfect and when it came to popping out that baby, she just squeaked a couple of times and the baby was out. I thought this only happened in the movies! In my real life I have hair plastered to my head, my blood vessels are popping all over my face, I have what looks like a bird's nest in the back of my hair from all of the writhing, and eventually my head spins around... and that is just on the car ride to the hospital!

So, I have decided that this is all due to the fact that my babies are all over 8lbs. Heck, this baby is probably well over 7 lbs. right now and I still have 8 weeks to go. If I could somehow either dilate to 15, or have a little baby my labors may be easier. Darn that Eve I tell ya! I have said this before, but I think women got the raw end of the deal in the whole "Adam and Eve" situation. Let's look at this shall we? Eve is tempted and picks the apple--but does not bite first, no she takes it to Adam who is her husband and offers him the apple. Adam, obviously whooped by Eve's small hips and curvy legs decides to lead him and his wife into this temptation... and then he turns coward and blames the entire ordeal on Eve when God comes calling. God banishes them and tells Adam that he will have to sweat and work hard to toil the earth in order to live... and he tells Eve that she will have painful childbirth. ( I am aware that there is more to this story, but you get the idea). Well... the last time I saw my husband sweat and toil the earth is in the summer when he mows, and we actually have a lawn service. Men, somehow have gotten out of their punishment just like Adam tried with his finger pointing to Eve. Women on the other hand still have their physical punishment of labor. Sure, we can get epidurals or have a shot that makes the room look like a 70's flashback, but we are still pushing something the size of a watermelon through something the size of an orange! There is pain involved... and it usually lasts for about 18 years. Women don't get into these situations by themselves either-it takes a man saying "Hey, you are looking rather nice tonight." and then 9 month later we are in unspeakable pain. I bet if Eve decided to go shopping for some new vines to make a nice new hammock for her and Adam none of this would have ever happened, she would have forgotten about the whole "be as smart as God" thing and been excited about her new find. If only Eve had discovered her Paradise designing sense early on we would have all been spared the pain of childbirth. This is something all pregnant women dream about I am sure...


C-Section via Metro Train Doors

We went downtown DC yesterday because we have family in town and what else do you do with family in town but drag them all over tarnation showing them the sights! Actually, my beloved husband kept the kids while I was able to go downtown. It is a different world out there when you get to do it without children, and I felt like I had a free pass out of prison for the day--It was liberating to eat what I wanted, when I wanted and without having to share it with little people with sticky fingers.

We zipped up to the metro station because I did not want to look for parking downtown and we headed to Union Station for lunch. When we finished we headed back down to the metro to catch a train to our next destination. Well, standing there was a mom and her two daughters all with suitcases, so when the train came I offered them to get on the train ahead of me. As I started onto the train-halfway on, halfway off, THE DOORS STARTED TO CLOSE! My little sister had gone on ahead of me and our friend Steffie was still behind me on the platform!

We all start yelling/screaming/laughing (because as I have said before, when bad things are happening you can't help but laugh at the person they are happening to--in this case it was to me!) I had my sister in the train pulling me, and I had Steffie outside of the train pushing me... and I was pretending I was Superman and made of steel and I could open the doors with my bare hands.

The thoughts going through my head as I was halfway in the train and halfway out of the train were these...
"Surely the Conductor will see me and open these doors."
"If I get in, Steffie will be left on the platform and she does not know how to find her way out of a parking lot let alone around DC!"
"I wonder if these big doors make my butt look smaller"

And then visions of that poor Chinese woman whose stroller got caught in the train doors a few years back and dragged her and her baby down the platform that the news played over and over again on the television flashed through my mind and I started to panic! My hair was all wind-blown and I did not want to be on the 9:00 news being dragged down the platform with messy hair! I would have felt better about the entire situation if I had had a chance to primp before being dragged to my death.

Eventually I was able to use my super-strength and pry the doors open long enough to get myself in AND Steffie. Whew! We were safe! We all sat and started to laugh--my sister said all that she could see was my feet and my tummy sticking through the doors. After we settled down a bit I looked around me. Do you know that the entire train car was full? Do you also know that most of the passengers were men? No one came to our rescue. No one helped to pry the doors open for the pregnant lady who was about to have her child popped out of her tummy like a pimple by the closing doors. We all scratched our heads. What ever happened to helping those in distress? It was like a Seinfeld episode, only Jerry and George would have been the men sitting on the train NOT helping because they would have had to touch a pregnant woman.

Thankfully I have the strength of a power lifter from Vegas and was able to free myself. I have decided to slather myself with self-tanner and buy a string bikini (maternity style of course) and enter in the next "Mrs. Buff USA" Watch for me on TV!


Pasta Weesie

When I was just 9 months old, my parents moved into my childhood home. Right next door lived Jimmy and Steffie. They became fast friends with my parents and became a part of our extended family. As I grew up, I remember spending many hours with Steffie in her garden, or in her house "playing." Steffie was a bit younger than my parents and she did not have any children of her own, so my sisters and I became her "children." She has always had a way of finding joy in every situation and if anyone knows how to be happy--it is Steffie. Even when the outlook is bleak, she sees the silver lining. Steffie immigrated from Germany (she is Ukrainian) when she was just two-years old and her parents became like grandparents to us kids. Her mother, Mama A (which we have always called her) is still alive and well and has made all of my babies their Baptismal blankets and she can make the best potato salad and stuffed cabbage in the world!

Anyway, yesterday Steffie turned 60! We flew her out on Thursday and have been going nonstop since. To give you an idea of the rare personality that Steffie has, she came down for her birthday breakfast looking like this: You should know... she does not usually look like that!

My little sister Claire also flew out for Steffie's birthday... Steffie decided to spend her birthday with two pregnant ladies and three hyper kids-I call that crazy, but she calls that FUN!

Steffie also has a special relationship with my husband... they love to fight. We went to the Pentagon to meet my husband for lunch yesterday and the two of them had an argument over what Steffie was allowed to eat! My husband refused to let her eat anything other than a fish sandwich (the Catholic police are always on patrol). Her thinking was that it was her birthday so she had a special dispensation... plus she hates fish sandwiches. The two of them proceeded to argue until the military police surrounded the area, threw in some tear gas and then cuffed them both and hauled them off to the loony bin. OK, that didn't happen, but you can see where their "arguments" can take them. I leave them be-they both enjoy the banter too much.

Years ago, after I had my oldest, my dad decided to convince our oldest to start calling Steffie (who is also our oldest's Godmother) Weezie. If you have ever seen the movie Steel Magnolia's, you may remember in the end when Olympus Dukakis's character talks to Julia's Robert's baby boy about an evil which named "Weezie" I believe in the south they would say "Weeeeeza" Anyway, she said Weezie was Shirley Maclaine's character-and in the end the baby boy slaps Shirley and runs off crying. So, my dad has called Steffie "Weezie" for 12 years now. She didn't care-it does not ruffle her feathers, and she just goes with it. A different person would get ticked, or be bitter, but Steffie embraces everything.

Well, last night we went to Carrabba's for dinner. OH MY GOODNESS! It was flippin' good! On the menu is "Pasta Weesie" It is grilled shrimp and mushrooms over Fettuccine Alfredo--to die for! Steffie, in all of her 60 year old pride ordered the "Pasta Weesie" because it was obviously named after her because of her birthday!

What a great way to look at life!


Is there a Contractor in the house?

Ahhhh, all toilets are flushing in the house today! There are no leaks to report and I have taken the yellow police tape off of the bathroom door so all can visit the commode at their leisure.

I bought a new tank the other morning from a man with the name of Bob (not Gomer or Bubba as predicted) and brought it home for my husband to install. I left for the evening because I am no dummy... handyman projects and this house do not mix well. Upon my return I saw the old tank sitting sadly in the garage as if it was being punished and I thought "Could it be? Did it actually happen? Was my handyman husband able to actually install the toilet tank?" I was excited beyond words... that was until I walked up the stairs and saw parts and pieces of toilet tank all over the floor as if there had been a toilet autopsy happening. Something bad had happened here, I could smell it in the air.

My husband declared "They gave us the wrong part! I cannot fit this black thingy in the hole and get the tank thingy on top of the bowl thingy to screw it together." OK, those weren't his exact words, but that is about all I could comprehend. Then he said it... the words that I KNEW would be next... he said the dreaded "You are going to have to go back to Toilet Tanks R US and tell them the gave us the wrong part!" UGH!

So the next morning I trekked back to the land of toilets and declared that we had the wrong part-my husband said so! They looked at the part, looked at me, and then said "Your husband who cracked the original tank by screwing the bolt too tight says that THIS is the wrong part?" I quietly took the part and backed my way out of there before Bob could catch his breath from his laughing seizure. Men... they think they are so funny.

When my husband came home I told him the news. "Sorry honey, you are not a toilet installer, although I know it is on your list of things to do before you turn 40, but this is the right part... you just need to do it again." But then I offered the only support I could muster and, in thinking that I wanted a fixed toilet AND a happy husband I said, "I am going to call expensive professional handyman tomorrow and have him come install it." I mean, let's face it folks, my husband is an intellect. He has beautifully manicured hands and his face is just so darn pretty that he was just not cut out to install toilets. This is a man who is always prepared-he collects napkins from fast food restaurant and puts them in my glove box "just in case" for goodness sake-he has too many other things to worry about than installing this toilet.

Well, God answered my prayers because as fate and luck would have it, there just so happened to be a contractor standing right across the street finishing up a remodeling job on our neighbors house. My quick thinking intellect husband decided to go ask for some advice. I watched out the window as my husband-the protector of all toilets in our house-woo'd the contractor. He complemented his truck, his work ethic, his talent of fixing things (a talent my husband so desires) and when all else failed... he offered him cold hard cash.

20 minutes later we had a fixed functioning toilet in the bathroom! The kids did a little happy dance-either to show their excitement that the toilet was fixed, or because they had been holding it for 3 straight days-not sure which. The most amazing part...the contractor would take no money. What a guy!

What is the moral of this story you ask? Well that is simple... anyone can fix a problem, you just have to realize what your talents are and use them wisely. Also, just because we spend a lot of time with our toilets, that does not make us professional toilet tank installers~ask for help when your bowl starts to overflow!


Famous by Relation

I have a famous person in my family... well not really famous, more like "just happens to be on TV." Has anyone seen the reality show "Juvies" on MTV? Now, some of you may be saying, "MTV? *gasp* Oh Lord Above no!!!" I know I know, you spend all of your time on your knees praying... but I watch MTV now and again---I need to keep current on who is shaving their heads and which Hollywood star is running for President because they do after all have a 10th grade education!

Anyway, back to the show "Juvies" It is actually really good. If I were a teen and watched this show I may think twice about joyriding in grandma's car or stealing a stereo from the neighbor. It is about kids who go to the Lake County (which is in Indiana-where I grew up) Juvenile Detention Center. Now, I like to watch for a second reason... I always wonder if I will see anyone I know on there. So far--I have seen a lot of people! It is kind of like the time I was laying in bed flipping the channels and I turned to Jerry Springer (sometimes you just gotta slow down and stare at the car wreck!) and who do I see in the audience by my LITTLE SISTER! I woke my husband up yelling "Claire is on Jerry Springer!" She was not actually ON Jerry Springer (we are an Irish Catholic family, we drink away our dysfunction and then go to Sunday Mass... we don't go on the tele for all to see.) but she did buy tickets to go be in the audience. She has since repented and lives a life of marital bliss and piousness.

OK, I keep digressing. During this show, the juvenile delinquents are brought before a judge who then decides if they will stay at the center or go home with a parting gift of an ankle bracelet... much like the one Martha Stewart wore after her stint in the big house. My cousin, who is also my Godmother is the prosecuting attorney Kathy Guzek. I did not even know she was on the show--because to be honest, she is not the type to call the family saying "watch me on MTV!" and then run around screaming because she was able to meet Carson Daily. (He is a past VJ on MTV-just to keep you current). No, I was watching one day because like I said I wanted to see if I knew anyone on there and there she was! I was so excited. I have to say, she is one tough cookie on these kids... and on the parents.

Parent: "He is a good boy who follows the rules in our house"
Kathy: "So he was following the rules when he was out with his friends drinking?"
Parent: "No, he is not allowed to drink at our house"
Kathy: "Oh so what you are saying is that he follows the rules at your house but what he does outside of your house is OK? Did you know he was drinking? Do you allow him to drink? Do you always make excuses for you son?"
Parent: "I, uh, um, huh?"

Like I said... she is tough. She does her job well. I think America has gone soft when it comes to kids. We have parents who do not discipline, or when their kid gets in trouble they blame the school, the town, the teacher... everyone but the kid. When I was a kid, my mom smacked the junk out of me in the church parking lot because I was not where I said I would be. I told her I would be waiting by the back doors, but I had gone across the parking lot to the town Custard Shop where all the kids hung out. She gave it to me good... and then looked up to see Fr. Mark on the other side of the parking lot. I got in trouble for that one too! She said that I better pray that she was not in Father's sermon that Sunday! My mom is a good Catholic, she brings prayer and guilt into just about every situation! I was sweating all during Mass let me tell you!

Now, I am not saying that I support smacking the junk out of your kids... but I do believe in discipline. Last year I worked for a bit in a group home for girls. I was finishing up my degree and this was my internship. I went in and did group counseling and every week I took different girls to court to be in front of a juvenile judge. Parents were required to be at these court appearances. Most did not make it. I came to the sad conclusion that many parents today are selfish. It used to be that parents would sacrifice for the well-being of their children. Today, we see kids on the news and in the paper who have been forced to sacrifice their security, purity, innocence, and protection because mom wanted a new boyfriend who beat them, or dad is in jail due to drugs and the kid has been in 7 different foster homes in 7 different years. We hear news of horrible abuse to children-torture and neglect. The thing that frightens me the most is that one day these children will grow to be adults and who has been there to teach them how to be an adult? They are going to share this world with my children... that thought keeps me up at night let me tell you.

Now, I am not saying that my kids will not hit road bumps along the way, and I am also not saying that all kids who come from dysfunctional families are destined for a life of crime and drugs. I am saying that we need to pray. We need to pray for our children. We need to remember Who is was that entrusted them to us... they are not ours-they are God's children. When I became pregnant with our third child I remember dropping to my knees and feeling so humble that God would hand over one more of his children to me-a sinner.

Some may say that "It takes a Village" and this is true to a point. But first and foremost it takes a parent. It takes a person who is willing to place their children first in their lives. When I first started homeschooling, many people asked me why. I struggled with this answer for a long time and then one day it came to me the true reason why my husband and I made this life decision. You see, when we get to heaven we do not want God to look at us and say "did you have enough you time? Did you get to spend quality time alone? Did you fulfill all of your personal desires?" No, we want Him to say to us "I gave you my children, and you took that vocation seriously-in giving to them, you gave to Me." And then St. Peter opens the Gates and says "Come on in! We have pedicures to the left, massages to the right, and the chocolate bar has just opened!" Oh yeah!