And behold, there was a bug. And it was creepy, ya’ll.

March 31, 2005

Last night I almost killed myself trying to get away from one of these horrifying creatures:

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Photo courtesy of Webster’s Online Dictionary.

That, my friends, is a Mosquito Hawk, a harmless, mosquito-eating insect which has plagued our area of Texas in recent years.

Now, we all know how I react to flying insects. And the Mosquito Hawk, while harmless, is one of the creeeeeeeeeeepiest bugs it’s ever been my displeasure to encounter. It’s all skinny and spindly-legged and ominous-looking. And…and it does this thing. This thing where, instead of actually flying, like flying insects are supposed to do, it HOVERS. Seriously. It bounces off walls and ceilings and (ACK!) people…all in a creepy, annoying-little-brother “I’m not touching you” holding pattern.

And the damn things keep coming into. my. house. I’m fairly certain they are STALKING ME, lying in wait and surreptitiously sneaking inside the moment an unsuspecting family member opens the door. I was washing dishes last night when I was ASSAULTED, in my own kitchen, mind you (How rude!), by one of these ne’er-do-wells. Deputy Dad was in the garage (Thank God he was off last night.), and I couldn’t shout to him, for fear of waking the kids.

So, I did what any logical (well, freaked out and illogical, really) person would have done at that moment, when confronted thusly with her own mortality. I waited a moment, until the creature was hovering just above the floor, and I used the only weapon available to me…the wet, plastic cereal bowl I had in my hand at the onset of the attack. I stealthily placed the bowl upside-down over the nasty nuisance; then I stared at it until Deputy Dad returned, whereupon I instructed him to remove the bug, PLEASE GET IT OUT OF HERE.

Of course, he obliged. And maybe he rolled his eyes and shook his head and tried not to laugh at his silly wife.

But hey, bug removal is HIS job, not mine.

That was CLEARLY outlined in our marriage vows.


Blogging The Bachelor – The Morning After

March 29, 2005

In what must surely be a sign of my childbirth-and-sleep-deprivation-induced drop in intelligence, I have once again allowed myself to be sucked into the Vortex of Evil that is The Bachelor.

[Picture me, now, shaking my fist at the sky and screaming to the heavens WHY? WHY? WHY?]

Don’t get me wrong. I know what an idiotic sham this show is. I hold no googly-eyed-teenage-girl dreams for a Happily Ever After ending, wherein the bachelor and his Chosen One walk hand-in-hand into the sunset as the orchestra swells the strains of “Love is a Many Splendored Thing.”

I mean, seriously. Think about the premise for a moment.

Let’s have 25 genetically enhanced and/or surgically altered women compete for the affections of one horny guy. We’ll have all the women live together, to attract a male audience, because as we all know, most men still hold out hope that beautiful women who room together have topless pillow fights. We’ll also throw in large doses of swimming pool and hot tub action, giving the audience plenty of gratuitous skin-baring, and furthering the chances for toplessness and/or complete nudity.

It’s absurd, really. But it’s the sheer absurdity of it that draws me in. The way these women fight like…well…catty women over a man they all met two minutes ago. The way the bachelor pretends to be searching for his One True Love, when it’s fairly obvious to the viewing audience how thrilled he is to be dating twenty-five women at once. “Oh, I just never imagined it would be so hard.” Yeah, buddy. We know exactly what’s hard here.

Some highlights from last night’s show:

In a “new and exciting twist,” the bachelorettes, most of whom were still asleep in their hotel rooms (a close-up of a clock showed it was 8:35 AM) were told they had five minutes to get ready and be downstairs to meet the bachelor (Charlie O’Connell, wannabe actor and brother of actor Jerry O’Connell). Chaos ensued, as most of the women were forced to prioritize…which is more important? A shower or contact lenses? Fresh breath or fresh pits? Makeup or hair? Several women met the bachelor in their pajamas, several others had no makeup on, etc. A few, however, looked dressed, made up, and ready to go, which totally PISSED OFF a few of the unshowered, bare-faced gals. “You know, some of these girls look like they had extra time getting ready.” Apparently, it never occurred to Miss Pissypants Sleepyhead that SOME people might have been up BEFORE the producers banged on the hotel room doors at eight-fargin-thirty in the morning.

In another “twist” (this season promises to be full of them…well, full of something, anyway), instead of the usual group meet-and-greet, each bachelorette had two minutes alone with the bachelor to make her first impression. (This was, apparently, a shortened version of the old junior high game Seven Minutes in Heaven.) One by one the bachelorettes filed through, each trying desperately to stand out…and by stand out I mean, of course, shove her bulbous, not-found-in-nature boobs in Charlie’s face, as Kimberley did.

Then there was professed swimsuit model Kristine, who dropped her dress for Charlie, revealing her itty-bitty bikini. She later “revealed,” during a group date, that she was a private investigator for the government, just before she engaged Charlie in what was possibly the longest, most awkward embrace I have ever seen.

Another highlight occurred during that same group date, when Charlie, our knight in shining armor (yeah, right) got snockered. After consuming drink after drink, including body shots, Charlie’s speech was obviously slurred; he was one beer commercial away from mumbling “I love you, man” to the nearest talking head. At that point I called my mother-in-law and laughed, “Oh my God, he’s soused!”

I should note here that the most fun I have watching The Bachelor, is in the phone conversations with my mother-in-law during the commercials. She’s a little more “in to” the show than I am, so I feel the need to call her on almost every commercial break, not only to remind her how ridiculous the whole thing is, but also to provide some comic relief. Last night we had many laughs over (and made many jabs at) Danushka, a former-model-turned-snooty-pants-snob.

LadyBug: I don’t like Danushka.
Mother-In-Law: Me either.
LB: What the heck kind of name is Danushka, anyway? It sounds like a douche.
MIL: [slightly nervous laughter, thinking Where is she going with this?]
LB: [in my Arnold Schwarzenegger Terminator voice] My nem ez Danushka. I am frlesh as a sprling flowa.
MIL: [laughing hysterically, in spite of the fact that I’m dissing her show, ’cause she’s fun like that]

I’m quite sure laughing with my mother-in-law is where my true addiction lies. I think I could easily give up the show, just not the running commentary. Well, maybe I could give up the show. Perhaps.

It’s a sickness, people.


Mother of the Year Award (Alternate Title: Teaching Our Son About Gravity…The Hard Way)

March 29, 2005

When I called Deputy Dad at work Saturday night to tell him Baby Boy had pulled up to sitting in his crib, the first thing I said after I relayed the exciting news was, “Now, we have GOT to move that crib mattress down to the lower level, so we don’t have to worry about him falling out.”

[That? That right there? Is called foreshadowing.]

We were so busy Sunday with Easter activities that the most we had time to do was mention to each other in passing, “We really need to move that crib mattress down.”

I had thought yesterday afternoon would be a good time to move it, after the kids and I got home after school, and before Deputy Dad left for work; but the kids and I were running late, and Deputy Dad was gone before we got there. So when he came home for supper, and we were running around like madmen trying to get all the kids fed, bathed, and ready for bed, I mentioned once again that we really, seriously need to move that crib mattress.

[Cue ominous music here.]

[You’re getting ahead of me, aren’t you?]

When Baby Boy started crying about 5:45 this morning (his usual time to wake up and fuss), Deputy Dad went in to check on him and found him ON THE FLOOR NOT IN THE CRIB WHERE HE SHOULD BE BUT ON THE FLOOR OH MY GOD. He had, apparently, not just pulled himself to sitting, but to STANDING, and launched himself over the crib rail.

He was fine, miraculously uninjured (Thank you GOD), and stopped crying as soon as I took him from Deputy Dad. (Loves his Ma-ma, that boy does.) I kept waiting for Child Protective Services to come beating down the front door to take him away, but they never showed.

So. Note to self: The old adage about procrastination (Never put off until tomorrow blah blah blah) really does hold water. And we are so damned lucky (read: blessed) Baby Boy is okay.

Also. Note to Baby Boy: In the future, let’s try to achieve those baby milestones without the death-defying stunts, shall we?

[Oh, and yes. Deputy Dad promised to move the crib mattress down as soon as he returned home from taking the girls to school and Baby Boy to the sitter this morning. It’s really a two-person job, which was why we were trying to coordinate our schedules and work on it together; but he decided he’ll just go ahead and get it done today, with or without an assistant, thankyouverymuch.]


Random thoughts for the day

March 28, 2005

1. It’s Monday. Frickin’ Monday. ARGH. I was so not ready for this. It just snuck-the-hell-up on me, like it always does. Seems like it happens at least once a week.

2. My face is peppered with teenage-style acne, and I’m suffering horrible cramps. Those signs, as well as the dead cats falling from the sky and the image of satan in my tea leaves, ought to tell you what kind of week I’m expecting to have.

However. On a happier note…

3. Words cannot express the sheer joy I felt that ABC finally aired a new episode of “Desperate Housewives” last night. This, after completely deserting their faithful followers two weeks in a row, and then having the audacity to show a fargin RERUN last Sunday night! But last night they promised us SEVEN! NEW! EPISODES! If the kids hadn’t been asleep, I probably would’ve screamed a little girl scream of elation. Eeeeee!


First, the Resurrection of Christ, and now THIS…

March 28, 2005

As babies, both The Drama Queen and Miss Attitude honored their “Da-da” with their first word. Nevermind the fact that I carried each of them in my womb for nine months, that I breastfed each of them through their first year, that I slaved over a hot stove making homemade baby food for them…with each of the girls, I built up my hope that her first word might be “Ma-ma,” only to face Deputy Dad’s smug mug when the little darling started her baby vocabulary with “Da-da.”

But now…NOW Mama has been vindicated. Since Baby Boy first started babbling, no matter what sound he’s making, “Ba-ba, Da-da, Ga-ga, Gla-gla,” I have almost always stubbornly responded with “Ma-ma. Mmmaaa-mmmaaa.” And tonight my persistence was rewarded when Baby Boy finally gave in to my pleas for affirmation and said, “Ma-ma.” Incredulous, I said, “Say….Ma-ma.” And…and…HE DID. Over and over again.

BOOM!

That was the sound of my heart exploding into billions of tiny pieces.

Then at bedtime, Baby Boy gave me an unusually difficult time, trying to get him to bed. He started fussing after I had put him down, and when I went in to check on him, there was his little angel face peering at me above the crib rail. WHAT? ABOVE the crib rail? What the…? Baby Boy had grabbed on to the crib rail and pulled himself up to sitting. He pulled up! For the first time! Holy cow!

Two major milestones in one day is almost more than a Mama’s heart can take. *sniff*


Delicate flowers

March 23, 2005

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The most beautiful flowers I’ve ever received
Were presented
Not in a crystal vase, overflowing with greenery,
Not delicately wrapped in tissue paper and sprinkled with baby’s breath,
But tightly held in the fist of a six-year old child.

Do you like them, Mom?
Of course I do. They’re beautiful.

I remember the heartbreak.
My gift to my mother
And her rebuke.
Those aren’t flowers.
They’re weeds.
Take them outside.

A six-year-old heart of dandelion fuzzies,
scattered in an instant,
in a gust of cruelty.

The most beautiful flowers I’ve ever received
Were not orchids
Or roses
Or lillies.

Dandelions, clover, daisies
Are simply stunning
When presented as a gift of love
In the fist of a six-year-old child
On the first day of Spring.


Baby Boy 9-Month Newsletter

March 22, 2005

Dear Baby Boy:

Last Tuesday (March 15th), you turned 9 months old. I’m having trouble comprehending the fact that you’ve now been on the “outside” for as long as you were on the “inside.” I am simply astounded at how quickly the time has passed, and how much you’ve grown. At your checkup on Friday, you weighed 19 pounds, 11 ounces, and were 28 1/4 inches long. Such a big boy!

The day you turned 9 months old, we had to go to Fort Worth so Miss Attitude could have some tests run at Cook Children’s Medical Center. You went on your very first elevator ride at Cook’s on Tuesday.

That night we stayed at a motel with an indoor pool (we had to go back to Cook’s on Wednesday), and you went swimming for the first time. You absolutely LOVED it. You splashed and played and laughed with your Daddy, and you even kicked your legs and paddled your arms. And you were absolutely thrilled when Daddy lifted you high up into the air and then splashed you down into the water.

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This month you made two very important discoveries. First, you realized how FAST you can crawl. You’ve now stopped rolling over-and-over to get to your destinations, because you’ve become a little speed-demon-crawler! I’m amazed at how fast you can do your little army crawl, and we have to keep a close eye on you these days, because you can be across the room in a FLASH!

Secondly, you discovered Cheerios this month. We gave you a few a couple weeks ago, just to try them out and see if you could gum them without choking on them. AND YOU LOVE THEM. You are a little Cheerios-eating-machine. If you hear ANY cereal bag rattling, you get all excited and start bouncing on your bottom, because you think it’s your beloved Cheerios. You grab them by the fistfuls and shove as many as you can into your mouth…which is never more than one or two, since you’re still such a beginner at the whole putting-food-into-the-mouth thing. The rest fall neglected to the floor, or into the high chair seat, where we usually find dozens of the little O-shaped goodies when you’re finished. Between the Cheerios and the Biter Biscuits, you’ve become a master at the art of mess-making. Whenever we let you chew on a Biter Biscuit, we usually have to scrub you from head to toe and change your clothes when you’re done.

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Speaking of changing your clothes…Son, why must you act like we are dressing you in barbed wire, every time we put a shirt over your head? Why? Dressing a baby is not normally considered an act of torture, but anyone who heard your weeping and wailing and gnashing of…well…gums would probably be inclined to call the authorities on your poor parents, who are only trying to keep you clothed and prevent you from getting carpet burn on your tender tummy.

And speaking of gums…we are STILL anxiously awaiting the arrival of your first tooth. You continue to drool and teethe and chew, but you don’t yet have anything to show for it, except for a couple of noticeable bumps under the surface of your gums. Could you please just go ahead and cut the darned teeth already? We’d all be much happier. Thank you.

Actually, the fact is…even when you’re miserable with teething discomfort or a cold or any other of the numerous baby ailments which have plagued you lately, you’re still such a good-natured little thing. We’re just amazed at what a sweet temperament you have. You’re constantly smiling and talking and keeping yourself busy with the world around you. You truly are a joy, Baby Boy. You are such a blessing to us.

Your sisters are still absolutely crazy about you. And you get excited every time one of them walks in the room. They’ve been so helpful to me lately, just by entertaining you when I need to get something done. And those girls can entertain you like no one else can.

You are changing and growing so much, Baby Boy. Sometimes I miss the days when you were itty-bitty and content to stay in Mommy’s arms, just nursing and sleeping. Sometimes I get frustrated because I’m so worn out, and there are so many things to do, and I find myself looking forward to the future, when you’re bigger, and not quite so dependent on me. But other times, I can look at you and I know how quickly you’re growing up, and I can savor the here-and-now, the moment you throw your arms around my neck and bury your face in my shoulder…the moment you smile at me and give me your slobbery kisses…the moment you see me after I’ve been at work all day, and your whole body tells me you just can’t wait until I pick you up and hold you and snuggle you. These moments are the ones I’ll cherish, Baby Boy.

I love you.

Love,
Mama