Thursday, May 27, 2010

It's nursery rhyme time, yo.

It's nursery rhyme week at preschool!

Nursery rhymes are the bomb, yo.

What a catchy little ditty! Jumping over candlesticks rocks! However, you best be nimble while doing it, or you'll get burned.

Burned bad, yo.

Check out Old King Cole. He was a merry old soul, yo.

Don't knock it. Everyone has their thing. I relax with a little reality television, and this dude likes to smoke while listening to some chill fiddlers.

By the way, kids, smoking kills.

How about this chick? Department of Family Services, there's no need to do a home visit on this lady. Everything is just A-OK with her.

What is a gal to do? Come on now, my house smells like a stinky shoe some days, but to have to actually live in one? Sister, that's just tough.

To clarify, was it a pump? A boot? A stiletto? A sensible flat?

And kids can survive on butter, broth, and bread, right? As long as you kiss them sweetly before you send them to bed, it's all good.

Check out this one. It's the first rap song ever written. True story.

Just make sure you're beat boxing when you read it. Pick up those sticks and set them straight, yo.

Or how about Jack and Jill? Poor dudes fell down that hill. All because they wanted to fetch a pail of water.

Awww. I bet a broken crown really smarts. I'm sure it left a mark. I hope they have good health insurance.

Ladybug, Ladybug, what's up? Have you been hitting the clubs? It's called child neglect, and it's illegal, Ladybug.

Okay. It's officially time to call Department of Family Services.

I can't decide what's more disturbing, the fact that this writer thought that "home" and "alone" rhyme, or that fact that this little ditty turned into a children's nursery rhyme.

Such a conundrum.

But don't you love how my boy drew this sweet little picture of two ladybugs essentially being roasted alive, scared and alone in a house while their mom is off partying in the meadow with a Dudebug? I love how the flames engulf the whole roof, so there is no possible means of escape.

Warms my heart, I tell ya. Warms my heart.

Do you think the writer of this nursery rhyme had mommy issues?

Just a thought.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Telling his own story.

It was smack dab in the middle of a snowy, frigid, winter's night, eight years ago.

1:38 a.m., to be exact.

I had just endured fifteen plus hours of labor and finally, I reached the glorious finish.

My second child was born. Another son.

As was true of the birth of my firstborn, a mere 16 months earlier, my feelings of love were immense and immediate. We had just been blessed with another child to love, protect, and raise.

As the doctor placed my squalling, beautiful baby boy on my chest, my heart surged. Bill and I kissed his head, looked into his little face, and through tears, I said, "Hello, beautiful! It's your Mommy and Daddy!"

The nurse was rubbing him with a towel, cleaning the effects of birth off of him off as he laid on my chest, still wailing. It was a beautiful sound indeed.

I continued to coo to our boy, our newest blessing, as Bill snapped pictures of the two of us, a mother and son who had endured the long, arduous journey of labor, and looked triumphant. Knowing that the nurse would be grabbing him at any moment to weigh him and get his vitals, I savored these first seconds of his life, with his head on my chest. I grabbed his tiny little hand in mine and kissed it. Through the haze of a insanely bright delivery room, and meds that were slowly starting to wear off, I thought I saw an extra finger on his left hand. I picked up his right hand and thought I saw the same thing. Thinking it was just birth goo, I blinked a few times and tried to rub it off with the receiving blanket the nurse had hastily thrown over his back, but to no avail.

12 fingers, 10 toes.

A pit in my stomach grew, and I frantically whispered, "Bill, I think he has extra fingers!"

In retrospect, I have no idea why we whispered about it. Perhaps I thought we could keep it our little secret. If we whispered about it, then no one will notice that our precious boy has extra digits on his hands.

Clearly, calm logic was not on my side at that moment.

At that moment, before Bill and I could examine him further, the nurse grabbed my boy from me and brought him over to the bright lights of the isolette to weigh him and check his vitals. I fervently waited to hear, "This one looks just fine! 10 fingers, 10 toes!" But we heard nothing for what seemed like an eternity, but in hindsight, was mere minutes. Crickets.

Bill nervously paced the room, trying to get a better look at our son while the nurses worked on him and whispered to each other.

Finally, one of the nurses exclaimed, "He's just perfect!" and she asked us what his name was. She asked if he had any siblings. Both nurses told us over and over how gorgeous our child was.

Tell me something I don't know.

But no one mentioned the elephant in the room, the perfectly formed superfluous, complete with knuckles, fingernails, fingerprints, looked-like-they-totally-belonged-there 11th and 12th digits sprouting off the sides of my beautiful newborn son's hands.

I must have imagined it. Clearly these meds were messing with my brain. The now-wearing-off effects of the epidural had given me the shakes. That was the only explanation.

Thinking the nurses were going to think I had just lost my last marble, I spoke with hesitation. "Umm...does he have extra fingers on his hands?"

Without skipping a beat, the nurse cheerfully responded, "Oh yeah! But that's no big deal at all! We see that all the time! He's gorgeous!"

Once again, in hindsight, I realize how wonderful both of these nurses were. They calmed me. Or, at least they tried to. I honestly believe that my child could have had one big Cyclops eye in the middle of his forehead, and they would have been all, "What a beautiful baby!"

But at the time, through my hormonal haze, the only thing I could think of was, "WHAT?!? They see this all the time? Nice try, Nurse Poker Face." I remember having the thought that the only six-fingered person I can ever recall ever seeing was in the movie, "The Princess Bride", and he was the bad guy. My hormonal brain scrambled to process. Was there something else wrong with our boy? Was there something they weren't telling us?

Bill's face was ashen. He was fervently trying to hide his worry from me in order to keep me calm, but failing miserably. Being the protective father, he instantly fired off questions to the nurses and our obstetrician. No one would give us a straight answer. They tried to assure us our boy was fine, but we would have to speak with a pediatric surgeon.


As in hours from that moment. An eternity to a worried parent.

My baby boy slept and ate like a pro through the night, and finally the pediatric surgeon came to see us the next day, later in the morning. He examined our son, and simply said, "It's just a genetic defect. There are no nerve endings, no cartilage, and no bones connecting these extra digits. Do you want me to remove them right now?"

Within moments, the surgeon administered a local anesthetic to my baby's hand, tied up the extra fingers at the base with surgical string, and cut them off. The whole process took less than 5 minutes.

Just like that.

As the nurses tried to assure us that first night, our boy was fine. His hands work just like they are supposed to, and the only evidence of extra digits are two pimple-sized bumps on the side of each hand that Bill and I dubbed his "nubbins".

When he was six, he asked what the bumps on the side of his hand were. Bill and I sat him down and told him that when he was born, he had extra fingers on his hand. Foolishly, we thought this would be a huge moment for him. Foolishly, we thought he would be embarrassed or have questions.


Our boy's face lit up and he said, "COOOOOOL!!! Why didn't you save my fingers?"

And that was the end of that.

Last week he decided that he wanted to cash in on the cool factor. He wanted to tell his own story. My friend Liz, (who has given me her full blessing to include her in this story) had heard from her son, who is good friends with my boy, that my son was bragging to the whole 2nd grade class that he was born with six fingers on each hand. What ridiculousness! She asked him about the story he was peddling, and he simply verified it with a, "Yep," as he showed her the nubbins on the side of his hands. Still thinking it was just a tall tale my son was telling, Liz asked Bill, who verified it again with a, "Yes. He was born with six fingers on each hand."

Liz saw me a few days later and said apologetically, "I put my foot in my mouth." I assured her several times that she did not. Being the good mom that she is, she turned it into a teachable moment for her own kids, as they researched how yes, sometimes people are born with extra fingers on their hands.

But when I heard of my boy deciding it was time to tell his story, it brought me back to the moment of his birth, when Bill and I were terrified that something was wrong. We, as overprotective parents, worried that our son would somehow end up an object of ridicule, but clearly, that couldn't have been further from the truth. My son was proud to tell his story, and I was proud of him for owning it, and showing the world his uniqueness.

I hesitate to use the words, "birth defect".

Electronics are defective. Furniture is defective.

People are not defective.

Different, yes. Defective, no.

My son knows he is unique. But we all are. Bravo to him for owning it.

He turned what could have been a negative into a positive.

After all, my boy knows his audience. What else is cooler to a bunch of second graders than a kid who could brag that he was born with extra fingers?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Do these jean diapers make my tush look big?

Yesterday I was at the store with my daughter, and as I rounded one aisle and was about to turn my cart into the next, I glanced over and saw a huge display of diapers piled on an aisle end cap. At first, I barely noticed them, but then something caught my eye. I grabbed my little girl and we walked toward the display for a closer look. Of course I had to reach into my purse, pull out my phone and take a picture of the display.

Of course.

Check it out.

They're jeans! They're diapers! They're jean diapers!

Jean diapers. For the trendy toddler.

I almost wish I still had a toddler in diapers, just so I could see an adorable little jean diaper-clad tush waddle across my floor.

I said almost. Yay for potty-trained kids!

They are LIMITED EDITION, so get yours now,people. Heaven forbid your child soil himself in a boring old diaper. Heaven forbid your child poop in anything unfashionable.

Heaven forbid.

Did you notice the fake little pocket detail on the back? It's really a shame that the pocket is fake. Where is your baby going to put his wallet? Or her car keys? Or all the other things a baby can't leave home without?

In a nod to "jhorts", (jean shorts) I have dubbed this the "jiaper".

Fashion statements start young, and Huggies has decided that it is never too early. Even if your child can't control his own bowels or bladder yet, at least he will do it in style.

Oh the cuteness.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I don't like to brag, but...

I don't use this blog as a platform to brag.

Do you really want to read me be all, "I'm awesome! My kids are the smartest kids EVER! They always listen to me! I don't have any problems or insecurities at all! My minivan never gets messy! I cook organic meals from scratch every night, and my kids eat every single bite!"

Because that's a total load of crap.

However, I have decided that it is finally my turn to brag.

About this.

What is this, you ask? Well, right at this moment, it's just the thing that I'm the most proud of in the world. (Well, besides my four children, of course. They're kind of an accomplishment as well.)

It's a picture of a toilet flush valve.

But it's not just a picture of any toilet flush valve. It's the brand-new toilet flush valve inside of the toilet in my powder room.

Otherwise known as the place where my kids take care of their biz, but most of it ends up in a yellow puddle on the floor.


I know y'all are just on the edges of your seats waiting to hear about the latest adventures of my toilet, so hold onto your laptops. Brace yourself.

My toilet has been making this running sound for the last month, but it still works. Mostly. It has backed up a few times, and we've had to use the plunger, but for the most part, you can flush, and your "biz" will go down the drain.

I know. This story is riveting. Perhaps my best ever.

Anyway, where was I? Oh. Toilet, water running, biz, plunger and drain.

Before I continue, there is something you need to know about me. I am notoriously cheap when it comes to household repairs. NOTORIOUSLY EL CHEAPO. I did not marry Bob Vila, and my dear husband will gladly admit without shame that he does not have the interest in household repairs. Yes, his talents are many, but Repairman is not one of his titles. His version of getting something fixed around here involves Google and the phone. Normally, I'm down with that if it's something major that I know I cannot fix myself. However, if there is the slightest glimmer of hope that I can figure out a problem and fix it myself, and I mean the slightest, then I will attempt it.

Because I am cheap in this area. I also dream of HGTV calling me to host my own Fix-It-Yourself show for cheapo moms who'd rather spend their money on something much more exciting than home repairs. But that's a story for another day.

It is probably the reason that the first home we owned, and now this home, were both new when we bought them. New houses are boring to many, and lack the character and history of stately old homes, and I do envy my friends with gorgeous trim and crown molding from the 1940s. Old homes have stories. But, there is also something incredibly refreshing about the newness of a just-built home, boring as it may be to others.

All new homes eventually age, and for the repairs, I am self-taught. I have fixed the garbage disposal by myself. I have painted rooms. (We've had to hire out the more difficult jobs, of course.) I have hung pictures and curtain rods. I have replaced a handle on a sliding glass door. I fixed a leaky faucet. I patched a huge hole in the drywall. I replaced a hinge on a door that was almost..ahem...slammed off its hinges. (Ask my oldest child about that one.) The list is long.

So the toilet. How difficult can it be to replace a broken flush valve? I was inspired.

A sidenote to the plumbers of the world: No hate mail, please. I have no designs on putting any of you out of business. Roto-Rooter can rest easy tonight.

This morning I jauntily (yes, jauntily!) drove off to Lowes with my 5-year old son and 3-year old daughter. We headed straight to the plumbing aisle, and I recognized the part I needed immediately.

You know. Because I'm down with flush valves. I speak the lingo. Yo comprendo el flush valvos.

My whole purchase set me back $7.98, plus tax. A plumber would have charged me roughly $7.98, plus $200. Ish.

I'll spare you the riveting deets, but basically, I had to take the entire top of my toilet apart.

I know! Can it get any more exciting?!?

I didn't think so.

Stay with me, people.

Do you have any idea how satisfying it is to take most of your toilet apart, put it in pieces on the floor, REassemble it, and THEN, THEN, THEN have it actually WORK again? It was a flush that was music to my ears.


If you are a doctor or a nurse that just saved a life today or brought a new life into the world, then don't answer that.

Clearly, I need to get out more. I'm a little too excited about fixing my toilet.

AND, did I mention that I did all of this while wearing my good jeans? (I had just come home from the Parent Volunteer Luncheon at my kids' school, and I was so jazzed about replacing the flush valve that I didn't even take time to change. The excitement!) AND, I had Plumber's Crack while doing the job! (Note to self: Don't wear low-rise jeans when fixing the toilet.) AND, I didn't swear ONCE the whole time! (Mom and Dad? You know you're proud of this one.) My rugrats were sitting in the hallway watching me work, and I did start to swear, but it came out all, "SHI----EEEEE----OOOOOT."

Yay me.

I almost took a picture of me next to the toilet, just to show you how proud I am, but then I remembered that my kids are going to be embarrassed enough of their parents someday without me being THAT mom who posed next to her newly-repaired toilet, and plastered it on the internet, allowing it to live on into perpetuity.

I also couldn't decide what to wear for a photo shoot with my porcelain friend.

My husband informed me that my latest toilet-fixing adventure is sexy.

Damn straight. Tell me something I don't know.

He should also be proud that I spared us a $200 plumbing bill. However, come to think of it, that kind of cancelled itself out today when I went to Target to ONLY buy potato chips for the Boy Scout picnic that we attended this evening, and I dropped some serious coin on I-don't-remember-what.

Oh Target. You know I can't quit you. You're always seducing me.

That will be enough bragging about my plumbing prowess.

Like I always say, people, all this glamour is mine and mine alone.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Adventures of a Garage Sale Hostess.

The garage sale.

It's an American tradition, and I decided that it was finally time to jump on the bandwagon. Several friends of mine have hosted garage sales over the years, and they have bragged of making hundreds of dollars in one weekend.

I wanted a piece of the action.

My basement is full of boxes that my husband has wanted to pitch, but I have held him off with a simple request of, "No, I'm saving that for when I have a garage sale."

Bill grew increasingly doubtful over the years as he would see a box, sigh, and say, "As if that's ever going to happen, Clare."

My procrastination has ended. A sale in my garage happened this weekend.

Of course, organizing items and pricing them takes time, but I wouldn't say that hosting a garage sale is the most difficult or time-consuming thing I have ever done. It doesn't even crack the top ten. However, it's a good thing that I don't have a garage sale every weekend.

Because I would have to kill my husband.

Well, now I'm just being dramatic. I wouldn't really want to kill him. I'm a peaceful gal, and I love the man.

I'd probably just give him the silent treatment for a day.

As we were on a date night last night, sipping glasses of wine, my garage sale long over, Bill leaned in and asked, "Are you going to blog about today?"

"What about today?"

"You know, how annoyed you were with me."

"Oh that," I said flippantly, as if I had no memory of how much my dear husband grated on my very last nerve, as he is wont to do at times. "Are you okay if I talk about it?"

"Sure. I expect you to talk about it. It was kind of funny, you know."

Funny indeed. In retrospect many things are funny. Spilled gallons of milk are funny in retrospect. My son as a toddler painting his face with $40 worth of my brand-new Lancome makeup is funny in retrospect. Falling on my ass at the mall is funny in retrospect. My husband driving me crazy at my first-ever garage sale is funny in retrospect.

In the moment, however, none of these situations will send one into fits of laughter.

There's not really a specific story so much as there was just a general annoying pall over the Saturday of my sale. Friday went smoothly, with two of my four children at school for the day, plus my husband at work, and I unloaded copious amounts of crappity crap super awesome stuff.

My trash is your treasure.

On Saturday I was "fortunate" enough to have my "helpful" husband home for the day, and I quickly realized why, for the sake of my usually happy marriage, I must limit myself to a garage sale every 5 to 10 years.

The unsolicited advice from this man made my head spin. He, who has never even attended a garage sale (although he claims he has, yet I remain skeptical) is, apparently, an expert on sale held in one's garage.

"Put this table over here, Clare."

"Why is this stuff all under-priced, Clare?"

"What about moving the tables further down the driveway, Clare?"

"Don't you think you should arrange that display differently, Clare?"

"Five dollars for that, Clare? Don't you know that those sell brand-new for twenty five to thirty dollars?"

"Clare, why are you selling this? I use it all the time!"

"Didn't my Mom give this to you, Clare?"

Furthermore, my husband believes that the ugly framed pictures of Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth from his childhood are priceless. Therefore, how dare I slap a $5.00 sticker on each of them and THEN have the audacity to take $5.00 for the pair? Also, do I realize that he paid $40.00 for that Nike Golf shirt, and there is NO way that I can slap a $2.00 sticker on it, and have the nerve to take $1.00 for it? No matter that it's used and has seen better days. "It's Nike Golf, Clare!"

On and on and on it went. I snapped.

"Get. The. Hell. Away. From. My. Garage. Sale. NOW. You're driving me crazy."

"I'm just trying to help, Clare! I'm a marketing guy! I think this way!"

Yes, that is true. My husband is a Marketing Director for a large company. His brain is trained to think of the best ways to market a product to a consumer. I get that. I get that he wanted me to get the most bucks for my bang.

But here is the part where I reminded him that this is a sale of used things. As in things we don't want anymore. In my garage. Complete with oil stains on the floor. Spiders hidden in the walls. A hose reel attached to a spigot on the wall. It is a garage in which we park two cars, one of them a minivan that smells like it has farts trapped inside, and the other car being a clean, sporty sedan belonging to my husband that does NOT smell like a thousand farts.


Yes, it was a sale in our humble garage, and not a sale in a chic, posh boutique.

Thanks for your help, Bill, but no thanks. My garage sale was a financial success, in spite of your "help".

While I am on the topic of garage sales, allow me to say that it is perfectly sane to carry a can of Mace on your person while hosting a garage sale. And don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Don't you remember that Lifetime Movie when the woman hosted a garage sale and a bad guy knocked her out, stole her box of money, and then robbed her blind?

Or was that on an episode of "Dateline"?

Or "48 Hours?"

Nope? That never happened? That's just my vivid imagination working overtime?

Well, it could totally happen, and not just in overactive brain, and I am nothing if not prepared. I was a Girl Scout in my youth. At first glance, you might think you could snap me like a twig. You will soon discover, however, that I am scrappy and I will Mace you. Or stab you in the eyeballs with the house key I also conveniently hid in my pocket. Or SING your ass. (Solar Plexus, Instep, Nose, and Groin) Back away from my box of money, my kids, and my house, or I will cut you.

Logic will tell you that we live in a safe neighborhood that the local police patrol several times a day.

Logic, schmogic.

I watch Oprah, people.

I watch Lifetime.

I watch "Dateline".

Fortunately, I did not have to go all Jackie Chan on anyone. All my customers were kind and civil and not particularly interested in my box of money. Or in robbing me blind.

Except for that one older lady who talked me into letting her have two of my old handbags for $10.00. That was just criminal.

Go ahead. Laugh it up, people.

I'm always prepared.

In my defense, the Mace hearkens back to my days as a single girl living in downtown Chicago. It's not like I carry it to Target, so as to Mace someone if we start brawling over the Merona. And, I just had it with me on Friday when I was all alone at the house with two of my little ones.

I know. Excuses, excuses.

Perhaps I am watching too much of "The Mentalist", or "CSI". You think?

The garage sale. Good times.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I can't deal with all this Zaniness.

If you have a tweener, then chances are high that you know what this pile of color is.

If not, then you are lucky. There is one less thing cluttering your house.

Welcome to Silly Bands, or as they are known by their other moniker, Zany Bandz.

They're so zany, they pluralize with a "z"! Now that's zany!

My kids first discovered them at school. "Mom, can we PLEEEEAAASSSE go to Hallmark to buy some?" my 8-year old begged.

I'm not one to just take my kids to the store and buy them whatever they want whenever they want it. Raising spoiled brats just isn't my thing. However, they were being particularly good one day, so I said, "Tomorrow we'll go to Hallmark."

I might as well have said, "I'm taking you to Disney World tomorrow and we will be riding the teacups and telling fart jokes with Zack and Cody," because loud cheers erupted from my 8 and 9-year old sons.

And that is the simple brilliance of Silly Bands.

I have never seen a commercial for them. Until my children told me about Silly Bands, I had not read about them on the internet or in a newspaper. It's all word-of-mouth by children. It is pure marketing genius at its finest.

They are simple rubber bands in the shapes of hundreds of objects. A football. A princess crown. A dog. A star. Their appeal lies in the fact that they are just that. Appealingly simple. When first seeing them for myself, I was taken aback by the fact that in the year 2010, with all the technology that abounds among children, such as Wiis, Nintendo DS', PSPs and iPods, someone would say, "You know what? I'm going to pitch colored rubber bands to stores, and kids will buy them. They will trade these rubber bands with their friends, and a new fad will be born."

And, yes, they are buying them and trading them in droves.

Have I mentioned that it's a RUBBER BAND, people? A humble little piece of stretchy latex?

According to a newspaper article I read last week, our local Hallmark store sells several hundred packs of these a week.


That's a crap lot of zaniness, people.

When we went to the Hallmark that day, I bought ONE pack of Silly Bands for my children. Five dollars was a small price to pay for pure joy. The kids were putty in my hands for the rest of the day as I would just look at one of them and say, "Keep up the bad attitude, and the bands are mine." There are 24 bands in the pack, containing 6 of each design, so it was simple, perfect math. I have four children, and each child would get 6.

Easy. Peasy.


My dear mother-in-law found out about Silly Bands and bought each child TWO packs. Now let's do the math.

8 packs of Zany Bandz + 1 pack purchased by me, multiplied by 24 bands in each pack + the bands they received from friends, divided by 4 children = A CRAPLOAD OF ZANY/SILLY BANDS IN MY HOUSE.

As of last count, we have a grand total of eleventy kajillion bands in my home.

Give or take a kajillion.

Or two.

We lost a few of them, however, when I completely and totally on purpose accidentally sucked a few up the vacuum cleaner.

May they rest in peace.

The rest of the bands have been collected by me and assembled into the above pile because my children have realized that it's kind of annoying to wear 20 rubber bands on their arms at a time. think?

And thus, they are pretty much over the Silly/Zany Bands/z phase.

However, far be it from me to begrudge a loving grandmother the opportunity to spoil her beloved grandchildren. It is a grandparent's right to spoil. Within reason. And I guess the Zany Bandz unfortunately fall in the "within reason" category.

The bands are small and inexpensive, and when the fad has waned, like it seems to be around here, I will just add them to my office supply collection because of their usefulness. Meanwhile, some forgotten fads still linger. My children are over the Webkinz phase, yet the 'Kinz sit there, cluttering their bedrooms in all their stuffed animal glory. Of course, my children will not allow me to get rid of any 'Kinz, heaven forbid, but they never play with them anymore, mostly because they were booted out of Webkinz World recently via a computerized message. It said something to the effect of, "Hey sucker, you must shell out at least $14.99 to buy a new Webkinz if you want to visit your virtual pets. If not, screw you, and hasta la vista."

Stinkin' stuffed animals.

When I am a grandmother, I plan on indulging my grandchildren with the latest fad. Whatever it is, I will buy truckloads of it, bring it over to my adult children's homes, and say, "Grandma's here!" I will then proceed to drop piles and pile of crap on the table and let my grandkids have at it.

I truly hope that marbles will be all the rage in the future, because somehow I just know that my adult children will love that. What parent wouldn't love thousands of marbles in their home?

Someday in the future, I will sit with my grandchildren as one of my grown children inwardly curses me and trips over the marbles I have just brought into their home. I will look over at my son or daughter and say, "See? Now you know what I was talking about when I told you to pick up your things. Payback sucks, doesn't it?"

Friday, May 7, 2010

Who knew I was so photogenic?

You know that you have those pictures of yourself that you love.

They are the pictures that you are not embarrassed to post on your Facebook profile in hopes that your former crush clicks on them for a closer look and thinks, "DAYUM! How did I let that hottie get away?"

It is that perfect picture that shows you at your best. It's a good hair day. Your outfit is stylish and stain-free. You have posed showing your "good side". The good side that makes you look skinnier and younger.

I attended a Mother's Day tea this afternoon with a dapper, 5-year old gentleman who also happens to call me, "Mom". Fitting of the occasion, my son captured the moment in time in a picture. It is now my new favorite picture of myself.


Check it out.

Just in case you are having a hard time recognizing me, what with my hair shaped into an afro and all, I'm the HAWT little number on the right whose legs go on for days.

Who needs a torso anyway?

Torsos are overrated.

Torsos are for chumps.

Just think of how much money I save on clothing.

And underwear.

And shoes.

And accessories.

Y'all are dropping thousands of dollars on snappy little tunics and sexy v-necks, and then there's me.

Just kickin' it with a head, two arms, and two legs.

And of course, we must not forget my big ol' 'fro.

However, it is getting a bit difficult to type, what with my arms growing out from underneath my chin.

But check out my legs.

I had no idea how truly saucy my gams are.

Despite the fact that I have no knees.

Dude, I don't like to brag, but I'm kind of hot.

My son is way cuter than me, of course, but I don't remember him being green at birth.

Or having eyes the size of Coco Chanel's trademark black sunglasses.

Whatevs. I still love him.

And he's quite the artist.

I know there's a market for abstract art, since a Picasso just sold for $106 million the other day, but sorry.

It's not for sale.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Mother's Day brings out my sappy side. I can't help it.

My mother-in-law lives a state away and has been staying at our house since last Friday. She will leave this Friday. When I tell people this, I usually get a look of horror, then the, "ARE YOU KIDDING ME?" head tilt, and then a statement that usually goes something like, "NO. WAY. How are you going to survive?"

Save your pity for someone else, people.

I love my MIL. It's shocking, I know. Would it be more believable if we had the stereotypically contentious relationship? Should she nag me? Should I should hate her? Should we play passive-aggressive mind games, followed by a mental tug-of-war for my husband's attention?

As if.

My MIL has many endearing qualities. She is a wonderful grandmother who adores our children, and she is a good friend. She also has a bawdy, hilarious sense of humor, and would give Betty White a run for her money.

Because let's face it. I like my senior citizens sassy.

The two of us had a good laugh this afternoon when I mentioned that more than a few people felt sorry for me for having to spend the week living with my mother-in-law. Clearly, they haven't met her, because if they had, then they would know that this is not an inconvenience.

This woman is a hoot.

It's actually quite apropos that I'm living with my MIL this week leading up to Mother's Day.

Because Mother's Day turns me into a big sentimental sap, y'all.

If you are a regular reader, then you might remember my Mother's Day entry from last year, when I spoke of some of the fantastic examples of motherhood that I have the privilege of knowing. This year, however, a different kind of mother comes to mind.

She is one of the most unselfish examples of motherhood you can find. She is the woman who started off this journey not wanting to be a mother at all, yet for some reason unknown to her, motherhood chose her. She is perhaps alone, and most of all, scared. She is faced with a difficult decision, and she chooses to give her baby a chance at a better life that she, herself, knows that she cannot provide. She endures 9 months of pregnancy and all that accompanies it. The back pain. The nausea. The weight gain. The swollen ankles. The questions from strangers that ask, "When are you due?" and "What will you name it?"

All this for a reward that she will never claim.

All this for a tiny little person that carries her DNA, and has her nose. Or her eyes. Or her ears.

All this for a baby that she will hand over to a total stranger or two to raise.

There is someone in my life that is very dear to me. Without this person, I know I would be different. Life would be different. It would be emptier somehow.

But thankfully, it is not, because of one unselfish birth mother, many years ago, who decided adoption was the option.

And I thank her with every ounce of gratitude in my heart.

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers who give birth, but will never hold their babies, or see them grow. Yet they provide another mother, one who may not be able to have her own biological child, with the privilege, honor, and gift of motherhood.

And Happy Mother's Day to all of you. So many of you inspire me every day.