Monday, July 26, 2010

Ego Boost

So tonight I'm at the store and a tall man in a black cowboy hat struck up a conversation with me in the movie section.  This tall man was NOT my husband.  He flirted with me. 

And we passed each other about three times in grocery, and each time, he smiled, made eye contact, and said hello. 

At that point, Dawn elbowed me and said, "Mom, that mustache dude is totally flirting with you!"

Really?  Wow.  It's been awhile. 

Now, the fact that I am sporting a size 20, instead of the 24 I was at Christmas, I'm sure has nothing to do with it.

But it made me smile, and put a much-needed touch of pep in my step. 

And made me glad that Hubby and I have each other, and I do not have to date. Ever again. 

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Weekly Wrap-Up, July 25

Aloha, bloggerites!  Whassup?

We just got back from a cross country road trip that lasted two weeks, so the blogging has been kinda sparse. 

Here are some things I have learned, or experienced in the last few weeks...

Uncomfortable Personal Realization:  I have become my mother.

It's not terrible, it's just that some of the things that annoy me most about her, are now how I most annoy my children. 

Here are two examples.

When I yell my child's name, it means "personal appearance in front of me right now no matter what you were doing."  I'm 38 years old, and when MY mom yells for me, she still expects me to show up.  No matter that I'm feeding the NaNa with one hand and changing MoMo with the other.   I do that to my kids and am just now seeing what a pain it is. 

Also, there's the "if it's not cleaned my way, it's not cleaned" attitude. 

I'm not a neat freak. But my mom is. 

I think she might be an officer in the Neat Freaks of America Club. 

Two weeks at her house went a long way, I think, in showing my teenagers where some of my deep-seated housework neuroses come from.  Towel-folding is the best example. I am a towel-folding nazi.  They must be done just so, or I lose it.  I showed my daughters my mom's bathroom closet.  Perfect order.  Now they know. 

Proof That No Matter How Much You Want Someone to Change, Gorillas Will Still Eat Bananas:  The Gorilla of the Week award goes to Dawn. I asked Dawn and Dumbass to mow our yard while we were gone, offering to pay $50 for the job.  Three doors down from us is the young college student who bird sat and fed the outdoor cats for us while we were gone.  One week into the trip, I asked Dawn if they had been by to mow.  She said they'd done it the day before. I asked Critter Sitter, and she said it hadn't been done.  A friend of mine got her hubby to mow it for us the day before we got back.  I asked Dawn about it tonight and she admitted to lying about having mowed it, and apologized.  "I knew it was stupid to lie to you about it, that you'd know we didn't do it."  I didn't bother to ask why she lied.  It's just one more thing.

REALLY Uncomfortable Personal Realization:  I think I might be too selfish or lazy or something to adopt the babies should we be given the chance.  Let me 'splain.  While on vacation, I tried really hard to NOT ask the teenagers to help with the babies.  It was their vacation too, right?  Which meant that I didn't get to go fishing much.  I love fishing.  No, I take that back. I love being on a boat, out on the water in the sun.  Fishing is optional.  Anyway, Nana is not a big fan of fishing, being on a boat, out on the water, in the sun.  MoMo not only is not a fan, she is a member of the rebellion against such things--but this is the child who screams her way through bathtime. 

Because Hubby hasn't had a vacation in five years, and because I get one every summer, I stayed off the boat all but two times.  They got to boat nearly every day.  And it pissed me off--not at hubby or the teens--but at the babies.  Now stupid is that??  They can't help it that one is six months old and the other is mortified of all things having to do with water.  But I spent too much of the vacation resentful of the fact that I couldn't do the things I wanted to because of the babies.  That either says that at 38, I am still not mature enough to NOT be selfish about not getting my way, or maybe it was the sign I've been asking for when it comes to whether or not we should adopt. But every time I even think about them leaving, it brings tears to my eyes.  Whuck is that??

Another problem is that next week, we're spending the week at the beach with my brother and one of my best friends. And I'm taking the teenagers and the babies. And I'm already resenting all the sunbathing, boogey-boarding and general cavorting I WON'T be getting to do because the babies will be there.  I feel so childish, and I'm really embarrassed by it.  And the irony is....

New Favorite Things:  I never understood why otherwise sane adults would let a baby chew on their fingers.  NaNa has turned into a drool monster, and spends hours gnawing on anything she can get her hands on.  She has a nub of a tooth popping in, so I know that's what it is.  However, today, she caught my pinky finger and gnawed on it for about an hour, and it was such a fascinating thing, watching her face work and change as she chomped away.  And she bites hard. 

Last night, we were taking Danae's girlfriend home, and I heard MoMo talking to herself.  At 21 months, she was sitting in her car seat, reciting all the words she knew.  MaMa, PaPa, DeeDee, Eee (Leigh), izzie (the dog), seat, cup, butt, diaper, head, hair, ears, eyes, nose, mouth, tongue, teeth, belly, arm, leg, elbow, knee, feet, toes, booty, eat, please, thank you, bless you, welcome, hello, bye-bye....  the list goes on, but that's how she was entertaining herself.  And while she's naming the parts she's pointing them out on herself.  New cutest thing ever.  Plus she's gotten conversational enough that she's fun to babble with.  She's even used a big girl potty and big girl toilet paper once.  And she points out when she needs to be changed. 

IGiving NaNa a bath is just delicious.  She lies on the bottom of the tub and kicks and splashes and smiles and laughs, and the thought of giving that up just slices my soul. 

Just Clean it Dammit:  I got up with the babies at 7:30 this morning and had the teenagers up and working by 9 to clean the house.  "Why do we have to do this?"   Because it's dirty and it needs to be cleaned and I'm tired of nagging you so no cell phone computer or tv until we're done.  Pissed 'em off, but got 'em moving.  I'm such a motivator.

Cell Phone Conundrum:  I am trying to decide what kind of phone I want.  I have some money put back for a fun phone, and I've narrowed it to three:  the Samsung Jack, the Blackberry Bold (with camera) or the Iphone.  I am desperately hard on all things mechanical, so I'm desperately scared of breaking an expensive toy.  Everyone keeps telling me the Iphone, but only if I can get the old version and not the new one, or the Blackberry.  But the Jack is the least expensive, and will do everything I want.  What to do, what to do?

Excruciatingly Painful Soul Searching--This one requires a whole other post, but here's the rhetorical, "get you in the mood" question:  Have you ever behaved in a way that you have been absolutely convinced was right, and after many years, found yourself second-guessing the behavior?  That's where I am right now, and it's rocking me to the core.

Among the best vacation moments:  Swimming in Lake Michigan. Yes, the water is FREAKING COLD, but there is something amazing about swimming in ten foot deep water that you can clearly see the bottom of--it's bracing and refreshing and every summer, it rejuvenates me. 

Also, with the same outcome (the whole refreshing and rejuvenating thing) I got to hang with THE Claire Montgomery MD, of Car Dancing fame.  You see, we were acquaintances back when big bangs were not just theories in a text book, and we connected through a social networking site, discovered how much we have in common, and are now dangerously close to becoming, dare I say it?  Friends?  I  don't use that term lightly, as I have very few people in my life that I consider friends.  But I'm pretty sure she is one of them, or soon will be.

Claire is wicked funny, has her own house-full-of-crazy-she-didn't-give-birth-to, and the same sort of "love me, love my family" mentality. And her blog rocks.  Two of my favorites by her are here and here.  I'll see you again in October, and don't forget...  we pinky promised!!  (I'll blog about that later. Pinky promise.)

New Motto:  I found an over-priced sign in a gift store on vacation that read "Don't let your yesterdays ruin your tomorrows."  I didn't buy it, but I plan to use that saying A LOT in the coming year or so.

Upcoming events... This week, we'll be dusting off beach stuff, making photo albums, running a million errands, working ahead in the first class of my doctoral program, reading stuff for lesson plans for school (my job school, not school I'm attending) which starts way too soon, and trying to pare down the immense load of STUFF around my house.  I have a basket for craigslist and freecycle-- I just have to find the time to start posting!!

Happy blogging!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Writer's Workshop: My Personal Heaven

Sometimes you find heaven in odd places.
I find my heaven looking for smooth, flat stones along the shore.
Heaven is looking at the messages left behind by those
who have passed before me,
who were happy. And in love.

For some people, heaven is a beach in the hot sun.
For others, it's a cool day on a beach.
For some, it's not even the beach at all.

I don't understand those people.
Not one bit.

For me, heaven is where land and water intersect.
Whether it's the ocean or a river or a lake,
heaven is watching the water tickle the land.

And watching the sun's gentle kisses
touch the face of the water.


And say good-night to another beautiful day.

Welcome to my Heaven.
Lake Michigan.
Near Mackinaw City, MI, USA.

Mama's Losin' It

Friday, July 16, 2010


Today was a day of firsts, some great, some not so great.

We'll start with the happy stuff:  MoMo used the big girl potty, big girl toilet paper and said "Bye-bye peepee!" to her urine as it flushed away.  I've sat her on it several times prior to a bath to get her in the habit, but tonight, she asked without being prompted.  Actually, she was about to be unceremoniously plopped into the tub, skipping the time on the toilet, when she pulled away, went over to the toilet, patted the front of her diaper and pointed at the toilet. 

Also, today, NaNa, went from lying down to sitting up in order to reach for a toy...  all by herself! 

Hooray for the babies!!!

Now, the other first, not so great.  Dawn and Marie are visiting their birth family this week.  The woman they call grandma tried to help Dawn run away at one point, so my respect level for her is pretty much zero.  That, and when I confronted her about it, she started making stuff up about other members of my family.  She's not their grandma, but a neighbor who lived near them when they were kids.

Anyway, I got a text from Dawn today saying that as a welcome home gift, her family had paid for her to get a monroe and her first tattoo.  (A Monroe is a piercing above the lip to look like Marilyn Monroe's famous mole.)  The tattoo is an algae green hibiscus flower down near her hoo-hah.  Yay for us.  Part of what irks me about this is that she texted me yesterday, wanting Hubby and me to pay a deposit on an apartment. Again. 

HAHAHAHAHA.  I ignored that text, choosing to follow my new rule of life: Be nice.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop!! (Prompt # 2:  Write a poem about the last thing that made you mad.)

What makes me mad tonight
is the sudden truth
that no matter how
love my
their birth moms
will always be

"_blank">Mama's Losin' It

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Conundrama--Puzzles and Problems

So I thought I did something that would be totally mom-amazing.  I scraped together enough cash to rent a beach house for a week near where my brother and best friend live.  On the beach.  Pool right by our building.  Two bathrooms. Did I mention that it's on the beach?  And near my brother who I see about once a year??

Yay me, right? 

Not so much.

Danae announced, "Well if it means that I'll miss PRIDE, I'm not going." 

PRIDE, for those of you who don't know, is a day long festival for the GLBT community.  There are booths, and food, and shows, and lots of gay people running amok and generally enjoying themselves.  And for those of you new to my world, Danae was bullied into coming out came out recently

I get that PRIDE is important.  Believe me, I do.  But I'm having a hard time reconciling that with the whole "I don't know these people, why are you making me spend time with them?" Which is what she said when she realized that I was serious about making her come with the family to visit my mom for two weeks. 

What's funny is that PRIDE isn't until the fall...  way past our beach trip.  And she's still arguing because she doesn't want to go. Unless we let her girlfriend come with us, which I told her a while back, before I set the date, that I was considering.

Am I wrong to try to force her into getting to know my family?  Am I wrong to just say "this is how we do it in our family" and expect her to shut up and cope with it?  Or do I just resign myself to being another stop on the tour? 

Condundrums and drama. It's what we're good at. 

Any ideas? Thoughts? Anything to make me feel better about this whole thing called older child adoption??

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Weekly Wrap-up (sort of) July 11

I'm on vacation this week, and was able to leave a few days early, thanks to Hubby's successful juggling of the schedule, so here are some random tidbits from the week...

1.  Our caseworker was genuinely shocked that we wanted to take the babies with us on vacation.  Apparently, a great majority of foster families do not take their foster children on vacation with them when they go.  If you've read me for any length of time, you know what I think of THOSE people.

2.  We drove from 3 PM Wednesday to 6 PM Thursday.  We made it.  No one died.  Except the potato chips in the back seat.  From the crumbs left, I'm pretty sure it was a horrible death (that's where the teenagers were.)

3.  We're staying at my mom and step-dad's, near one of the Great Lakes. 

4.  That particular Great Lake is AMAZING to swim in.  Cold, but amazing.

5.  When you have a child (Danae) who will bait her own fishing hook, but will not take the fish off, what do you do?  And if you're the mom who refuses to do either, do you really have any moral ground to stand on?

6.  What do you call it when a fish whaps Leigh across the face as she's trying to remove it from the hook?  You got fish slapped!!

7.  Where we are, there just aren't many people other than the pale variety... a point that is driven home any time we go out in public.  My step-dad is oblivious to the stares, we're all used to them, but my mom was pretty shocked. She thought that poeple would look and then get on with life.  Eating out with us is an excercise in ignoring people gaping at our paleness and the dark cuteness that is our children. 

8.  Thank GodAllahBuddha for minivans, diet coke and laptop computers.

9.  Did you know a Bobble Head isn't just a cute, annoying little doll whose head moves back and forth?  It's now an insult of a type of person known for head bobbing behavior...  well hell. It's what you call people who give blow jobs.  Frequently. 

10.  Lesbian joke of the day:  My hubby and Danae were walking, and saw a boat for sale.  The boat's name is, I kid you not, the Hootchie Bobber.  Hubby told Danae she should buy it someday. She agreed, but that she'd have to change the name.  He said, "To what? The Cootchie Bobber?"  Oh yeah.  Gotta love my completely blunt kind of family.

11.  I'm supposed to meet up with an old HS buddy later this week.  I'm a little nervous--lots of reasons I guess, but the bottom line is that I'm not sure I want her kids to meet my teenagers.  It's that whole appropriateness thing--since I can't ever predict if they'll behave, I'm not sure I want them to go. At the same time, I want hubby to go, which means we take the babies, which doesn't bother me a bit.  They behave like they're supposed to.  The teens, not so much.

On my agenda this week...  more fishing. More swimming.  More hanging with Mom.  More attempting to convince MoMo that swimming is not evil.  More attempting to convince Danae that just because there are no black people here doesn't mean everyone around her doesn't like black people.  More attempting to convince Leigh to pull her $%^&* pants up because we DO NOT want to see her crack while she fishes. 

On the other hand, Hubby and I are on the same shift all week which is oh-so-wonderful.  I miss having him around. I hate second shift.

More later!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Potties I Have Seen, Potties I Might Have Used

People’s potty habits tend to be pretty private. Private and odd. And since I’m traveling right now, I’ve been privy to the habits of several different species of women for the last 28 hours. I’m on a two week vacation that involves what should be two 23 hour road trips with my two toddlers, and two of my other four daughters (ages 15 and 16). The extra five hours are compliments of the two babies, who took a few hours to get into the spirit of things. And by "spirit" I mean, "NO YOU ARE NOT GETTING UP, AND THE LOUDER YOU CRY, THE LOUDER I TURN THE RADIO UP!!!"

But I digress.

Here are some interesting things I have learned about my special family, and other people, as they relate to the use of public restrooms.

1. Danae has no problem with anyone knowing she has to change her tampon. I’m pretty sure I was 26 before I could utter that word in front of anyone else, let alone my dad or siblings. And she didn’t need to pee, just change her tampon. I tried to explain to her that it was definitely TMI, but she said, “Well I don’t have to use the restroom, I just have to change tampons.” At that point I gave up.

2. I close my eyes and hold my breath while flushing. Which only happens if I can use my foot to flush.

3. Lots of people don’t flush. Those are the stalls I don’t go in.

4. I tend to only use the handicapped accessible stalls.

5. If it’s full, I’ll wait.  I like elbow room.  And not hitting my head when I squat.

6. If I can’t use my foot to flush, I get more TP and then chuck it in the toilet while it’s flushing and hope it’s fast enough to make the drain.

7. Some women, (I think they were Muslim), at use cups of water to rinse themselves prior to wiping. They shared the cup by refilling it and passing it under the stall door.  Might have to research that practice.

8. One of those women had uglier feet than me, which made me feel better about my crusty Flintstone Feet. (I was waiting for my Immodium to kick in while observing this one. Apparently my tummy was not up for road food.)

9. Most people are embarrassed by gas in a restroom and will not talk if they are in the act of it.

10. Drunk people, it seems, are not embarrassed by anything in a public restroom. Including talking to someone actively engaged in expelling gas.

11. I go barefoot a lot of places, and will allow my children to do the same, but I draw the line at gas station restrooms.

12. There are a frightening number of people who do not follow the rule above.

13. I am going to start a boycott list of places that do not have changing tables.

14. Changing diapers in the front seat of my new van is an exercise in “Don’t get poo on the seats!”
15. My dog is very interested in pee, especially if it isn’t hers. But then, this is the same beast who eats dirty diapers.

16. Gas station restrooms run the gambit between “barely tolerable,” and, “Oh look!! They have a Pleasure Center on the wall instead of a tampon dispenser!”

17. I saw a girl today finish rinsing her hair after washing it in the sink and progress to drying it under the hand dryer at a rest area. That’s someone desperate for something. But for what I have no idea.

18. No one who has the dispensers for toilet seat covers ever actually has them.

19. And if they do, does anyone else have the problem of them sticking inappropriately?