Thursday, July 31, 2008

I've got to zip up those old suitcases and toss them into unclaimed baggage

I'm not looking forward to tomorrow. Tomorrow I am going to walk into BOY & GIRL's daycare and let them know that August will be our last month. I feel very sad, yet done. It is an end to an era. A short era, by any stretch, yet BOY has been there for 2 1/2 years - almost half his life. We've been through a great deal of struggle this year with BOY and come out on the other side. GIRL has really loved the 3 days that she is there. This year has been her first experience with a preschool environment, and she's taken to it - much evidenced by the acres of art projects she has created, including her caterpillars. On last count, 7 caterpillars made from tongue depressors and pom poms. The friendships that have been nurtured there are treasures. Ones we wish to keep. And will.

Why are we leaving? Well, it did start with me getting pissed off at the school administration, but that's a story for another day. Let's just say that my getting pissed off was a blessing, because it enabled me to pick up the phone and call a preschool that a friend recommended. I put the call in, not expecting there to be any openings at this late date, let alone two slots. The director called me back and'll never believe this, but...we just got an opening this morning in our Pre-K class. And, our 4 year old class is full, but to keep your family together we will add GIRL. Sometimes the Universe hands you a platter of goodies and you have to be smart enough to take them.

Truthfully? I almost fainted. You mean there is a place that puts family first? That thinks about how decisions affect the whole family? Do I sound bitter? Perhaps. And I have my reasons. Overall, I have loved the learning environment that the teachers create at BOY & GIRL's current school. But, the Board and the Director have made so many poor judgements and decisions, and I am exhausted by the battles. Preschool. Battles. Yes, that is insane.

The opportunity in this change is that the new preschool will enable BOY & GIRL to continue to be in separate classrooms. Because they are only 10 months apart, and their current school does not separate 4 year old children from the Pre-K children, they would have been in the same classroom this fall. We would have made it work, but it wasn't ideal. Now they can continue to have their own space as individuals to grow and stretch without being under the eye of the other.

So, it is all good. The new school does lots of science experimentation in Pre-K, so BOY will be in heaven. GIRL will have fresh opportunities to explore art or anything else she wants to do. And, hopefully, we will be just a little more relaxed. I'm very excited about the new school, yet anxious about the change. Because change makes me anxious. But, that is my stuff. I've got to zip up those old suitcases and toss them into unclaimed baggage. It's time to be a grown-up, do the best thing for my children, and move on. I'm just having a little trouble with the zipper...

***Photo Credit: Google Images

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Finally, I decided to break out my anatomy textbook

GIRL has been talking seriously about being a "children's doctor" when she grows up. Well, as seriously as an almost 4 year old can be. Which is pretty friggin' serious. She says it every day. She has lots of questions. Lots. Finally, I decided to break out my Anatomy text book. We have spent much time poring over the Chapter on Skeletons. We also looked at some organs, most notably the gall bladder. A hot topic since one of her grandmothers recently had it removed. My credo is: if you can't answer all the bloody questions yourself, get a book out and find the answers. The library. Our home bookshelf. The Internet. Whatever works. The questions still come. Children's minds are wildly curious, but sometimes it can drive you to drink.

I guess I should be grateful. My cousin and I were on the phone the other day and she told me something that, frankly, we both found horrifying. Perhaps a strong word, but...NO. At her son's end of the year party/graduation for his preschool, the teacher went around asking the children what they wanted to be when they grew up. All 5 girls, but one, said they wanted to be a Princess when they grow up. A Princess? HELLO? Make Believe! Make Believe. Maybe I'm overreacting? Maybe. Snotty? Perhaps. And maybe this will come back to bite me in the ass in a couple of years when GIRL declares that she wishes to live like Sleeping Beauty and wait for her prince. But, today I'm going to feel smug and superior.

Meanwhile, while GIRL is studying anatomy, I can be heard yelling, "DIE YAHOO! DIE!" Because, for some completely unknown reason, my Yahoo mail is not working and I am going fucking BONKERS. It's been going on all day, with both computers. Every time I reply to an email it kicks me out and asks for my password AGAIN. And...I am ALREADY SIGNED IN, DAMN IT!" Anger issues.

So, for the next 30 minutes the rest of the day, I'm going to take some deep breaths and fly along with BOY's imagination as he conversed with GIRL the other day:

BOY: We're having a really bad day, aren't we? Do you want to go to South Carolina? We'll go to the airport.

Yes, BOY, please send me to South Carolina. I could use some sweet tea, soft breezes and no access to email...right about ...NOW.

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Monday, July 28, 2008

What I took away from BlogHer '08...

It's been a week since I returned from the BlogHer '08 conference, and I feel the need to clarify a few of my feelings about the time I spent there. I loved the conference! I would definitely go again and I hope those of you who didn't make it will really consider going next year. There was something so powerful and energizing about being around so many other people who share a passion for blogging.

I was and am incredibly impressed with Lisa Stone, Elisa Camahort and Jory des Jardins, who are the three founders of BlogHer. I was lucky enough to chat with Lisa for a few minutes between sessions, and she made me feel welcome. She was genuinely interested in what I do on my blog, and despite all the things she had to keep track of at that moment, took the time to speak with me for several minutes. On Sunday I sat in on an informal session about how to use the BlogHer site and got to meet both Elisa and Jory. The excitement they express in what they are doing, and their enthusiasm for supporting other women and their blogs is simply...a lovely thing. They are three extraordinarily generous women taking big risks and it was inspiring to be around them.

I attended a variety of sessions and some were better than others, but I got something from each one. I didn't have any goals or expectations going in, other than being open to hearing what people had to say and to share of myself, if I felt so inclined. Some sessions were disapointing, some were not to miss! One of the things that I liked so much in their planning of the conference is their willingness to take chances with their choice of speakers. They give everyone an opportunity to be a session speaker. This lends a community feeling that encourages dialogue and discussion between those who choose to partake. So, there is always the risk that someone may not be a strong speaker, but they are willing to take that chance in order to discover unique voices. And I like that.

I think it is fabulous that there were sessions on how we can increase traffic and earn money from our blogs. For people who would like to do that, there were some great ideas! Although for myself earning money from my blog is not a primary goal, I am definitely open to that happening at some point if my blog is meant to go in that direction. (Hey, I signed up for a free Cafe Press account!) I cannot imagine anything better than being paid for my writing.

A few days ago, I wrote a post reflecting on some of the points expressed in one of the conference sessions: Because that is the art of blogging. (WARNING: THERE IS A VA-J-J PAINTING ON THIS POST THAT HAS SENT SOME READERS OVER THE EDGE. Please note that the painting was done in 1999, when I was suffering through intense grief with infertility. I put the picture up to reflect that art is different things for different people and that I believe it is good to take risks, even if your stomach heaves when the comments do or don't reflect back on what you've put out there.)

In referring to the goal of your blog having a single focus and doing posts that are 300 words or less in order to have a readership, I said this:

Truthfully, I'm really writing for me. And if I start to write with these goals that are not mine, I'll feel hemmed in and trapped, and God forbid...pandering.

I want to clarify here that by no means was I referring to other bloggers who have created opportunities for themselves to earn money on their blogs as being pandering. I was referring only to myself in saying that if I limit myself to keeping my posts to 300 words or less, (and I know some of you are saying, Hallelujah, Amen!), my truth is that I would feel boxed in. My blog would probably benefit from having "a single focus," but for right now is what it is. I'm a rambler by nature and often take more of a meandering path. Perhaps someday my blog will have a singular focus. I truly believe that if you follow your passion it will lead you to creating ways of earning income for doing what you love. For now, blogging is my passion...

I mentioned that I wasn't sure that we were all that welcoming to the few men who attended. That was not true of everyone. Once again I should have used "I" instead of "we." In every session, I would see a lone man or two and wonder how he was surviving. The female energy was intense...even for females! I was just so eager to connect with other women that I wasn't very thoughtful about engaging the men. But, they were not shunned. Certainly not deliberately. (Jason, my dear, if you had attended we would have created a float for you to loll about on as we sashayed you down the hallways.)

What I took away from BlogHer '08 was to absolutely honor everyone's individual voice and to celebrate blogs. I can't think of a better message than that.

***Photo of Lisa, Jory & Elisa courtesy of the BlogHer web site.

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Perhaps not as simple a meal as first thought

Take 2 cups milk, protein powder, frozen mango, pineapple, banana and strawberries with vanilla yogurt and what do you get? Exploding smoothies left in the car for hours. Perhaps not as simple a meal as first thought. Especially when clean-up requires mopping. As in, JCK gets wet rag and scrubs floor, carpet and car seat cup holders. A simple breakfast. Alas, NO...

This brought to you by our sponsors: delicious & nutritious. Have a Happy Sunday theme song performed A Fuckapella by JCK the dumb ass. Who, as it turns out, is quite tone deaf.

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

First one letter, then the next ..and the next

GIRL started writing her name a couple of months ago. It is a bit early. Yes. She'll be 4 in September. She just did it one day. On her own. First one letter, then the next... and the next. Until the wavy letters stood there, tall on the page of blue color, written with green crayon. Since then she practices, over and over again. It is something she loves to do. Writing her name. Yesterday I found a piece of paper on which she had written her name 15 times on the page. Now when she comes home with art work from school, she has written her name on the piece herself. Sometimes it is in the upper corner, sometimes the lower, and sometimes smack dab in the middle of the page.

GIRL has been anxious lately. Her daycare, where she goes part-time, has water play for the months of July and August. There are spray bottles, a water hose, and plenty of mud. In fact, there is often a mud trench dug through the school yard. What is akin to nirvana -playing with water and BOY at home is not the same at school. The outcome of a school day full of unknown. Unknowns are bad words in the LEXICON OF GIRL.

A couple of weeks ago she started talking about not wanting to go to school. This was new. I managed to finally figure it out. GIRL thought that she had to do the water play. That it was mandatory, and not a choice. We've worked it out now. She has a bathing suit in her backpack, in case she changes her mind. Meanwhile, she goes to school in play clothes and tries to discover other things to do. The painting easel, her favorite, is retired for the summer. In place of the easel there are options to paint on other surfaces - like the concrete walkway. She is OK with this, but is truly happy putting paint on paper and I always know when she's had a great day by the amount of paint splatters draped across her clothes.

GIRL has giant, soulful eyes. And a feisty spirit. She is stubborn, yet determined. Her natural inclination to practice, practice, practice and not give up will serve her well in life. She veers from articulate, logical and verbose to mercurial, explosive and speechless within seconds. Sometimes I see it coming. Sometimes not. She is challenging and lovely. She is a quick study and can repeat things verbatim hours later - causing the hair to stand up on the back of my neck. Someday she will be a voracious reader. She has memorized books since she was two. And then she "reads" them aloud. Sometimes to herself. Sometimes to her dolls. For the last week she has been saying that when she grows up she wants to be a doctor. I have no doubt she could be.

When GIRL is rested and not rushed, there is no one better to keep company with. Her small hand easily fitting into mine, the curve of her smile at the ready. She is cautious and not easily trusting. She has boundaries, naturally, of her own making. You must win her over, but when you do...she is yours. And loyal.

Often her voice is shrill. Kind of like...yes, a fish wife. Issuing orders to BOY and other lucky ones in her path. She would do well in the army. Perhaps at taking troops into battle.

She likes to bring me strawberry tea and assorted fruits and veggies crafted in plastic from her toy kitchen. She brings them to me when I am writing, somehow sensing that tea and fresh produce are a welcome respite from the litanies of my inner critic trying to find the right words.

She adores BOY. And he adores her. Although lately, their bickering has been sending me over the edge...and beyond.

I cherish her. I can't imagine what our lives would have been like without her.

BOY: GIRL, I am NOT your friend. Any. More.

GIRL: BOY, I AM your friend and I will love you forever.

And she will... I just know it.

***The Sculpture Gallery: Photo of Sculpture titled: At play

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Because that is the art of blogging...

I've been struggling since I've been back from the BlogHer conference. Struggling to find words, to put coherent thoughts into sentences. My rhythm has been interrupted by ...questions.

Do I want my blog to have a focus?

Can I write posts in 300 words or less?

These bullet points were raised in one of the sessions, and I'm having difficulty with both of these things. I'm finding my head rearing back and a snarky voice saying, that's NOT me! I don't want to do that. Fuck that! These are both valid ideas/concepts in building readership and I see the point, but I like the feeling on my blog right now. It's not for everyone and it won't ever be. And, that's OK. Truthfully, I'm really writing for me. And if I start to write with these goals that are not mine, I'll feel hemmed in and trapped, and God forbid...pandering.

I love having readers. Who doesn't? But, I'm not going to go after them by writing what I think other people will like. If there is to be any art in my writing at all, it has to be somewhat free form - a platform on which to grow, stretch... and make mistakes. A place where I can be in turns - raunchy and temperate. Some days expressing my feminist perspective, some days speaking as a mom, and some days just writing about what kicks up my skirt. That is what blogging is for me.

Here is where I get to pull out all my paint tubes and smear them on the canvas. Perhaps it's as simple as finger painting or splatter art one day, and then if I'm lucky enough- soaring in a sculpture of words with my muse. I've had a few of those moments and hope to have more. For today, I'm going to have to give myself a lot of rope, because then I can swing from it, jump over it or use it as a noose. It all works. Because that is the art of blogging...

***Painting titled: Infertile by JCK
Circa 1999

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

All this talk of interconnection has my knees weak

I am sitting in a room that is red. A red called Caliente. Just feel the sound of that roll over your tongue. RRRAAAWRRR... or MEOW for some of you. The color is luscious and naughty. Will I ever get any writing done in here or will I spend hours just rolling around the floor with my tongue hanging out? And does it matter? The color is THAT good.

The desk in in, the book shelves up, the computers and wireless router and printer...all interconnected. The sound? Mmmm...still working on that.

All this talk of interconnection has my knees weak. And I'm beginning to feel hot...the BIG FRIGGIN' GOD, it's perimenopause. My G-spot? Or maybe it's the red walls... I need to go lie down. On something soft. My bed. And the color of my sheets? Red, as in Caliente. Now if I could just find those fishnets...

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Aftermath of BlogHer '08: Let's slam Mommy to the ground

My desk is covered with 87 business cards that I received from other bloggers. 87. They told us to bring cards. Lots of them. They were right. I can't wait to check out all 87 blogs. And I will.

Unfortunately, that appears to be some distance from today. You know that expression...Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned? Well... hell hath no fury like children whose mother went off to a BlogHer conference. They have been THAT bad. Oh, so bad, my little darlings, little chickadees of vengeance. I've been tested so many times I'm beginning to feel like the latest shuttlecock designed by Bad Ass Badminton Devils -a.k.a., BOY & GIRL. Is my forehead stamped with SUCKER? Apparently so... We'll just call this The Aftermath of BlogHer '08: Let's slam Mommy to the ground.

But, before I get back to the reality of long overdue housework, making lunches, and stuffing myself with chocolate, I'm going to leave you with a couple of pictures ...perhaps, so that I can better remember what life was like this weekend as it is fast becoming a distant memory.

I know you want the goods. Unfortunately, my camera only took 2 pictures. So, I'm going to send you to other blogs to get the goods. Stephanie from Bad Mom claims that I wasn't saying naughty words in the bathroom. That's because she's the naughty one. The sexy voiced Kellan from On the Upside put up with me for hours and days and nights. We both were incredibly excited to be at BlogHer yet missing our children... The chic Kelly, who is also a pilot, from Don Mills Diva has lots of pictures of the weekend on her blog.

Here's a picture of (L to R): Kellan, Kelly & myself in the hotel lobby/bar area.

And here I am with Andrea from Pass the Zoloft, Liv from madness, madness i say; and Christine from Flutter. We were all drinking iced tea ...JACK O'CLOCK and lying on top of each other sitting demurely BIG FAT LIAR! in some delicious little dive bar called The Gold Dust or some such.
And now...if you'll excuse me, I've got blogs to go discover and chocolate to gobble. The coast is clear. BOY & GIRL are, for the moment, in dreamland ...plotting my downfall.

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Monday, July 21, 2008

...hearing the shrieks of MOMMY!!! richocheting from every corner...

As I came through the door to the baggage claim in Burbank last night, my two children hurtled toward me. There ensued a love fest pile-up at baggage claim. No need for assistance. For a woman who took a while to become a mom, there is nothing quite like hearing the shrieks of MOMMY!!! ricocheting from every corner and knowing that it is directed toward you. And to feel that squish squash of their little bodies thrust around yours. Being handed a gorgeous flower bouquet of giant sunflowers doesn't hurt either.

E looked a bit tired, but happy to see me. Perhaps, relieved. It felt good to rest in his arms for a moment, before we embarked on navigating my 50.7 lb suitcase, a carry-on bag with hottie red lap top, and two small children out of the baggage claim and across the parking garage into the minivan. Friends invited us over for dinner, so I could hold on to the illusion a bit longer that I was an exciting woman just in from San Francisco. Even if exciting only in my own mind. It was lovely to put off cooking for one more meal.

Last night after the kids were asleep, E patiently listened to my voice rising and falling telling stories of the BlogHer '08 conference weekend. I tried to make it easier on him by letting him frolic with the SWAG on the bed. He's not that easy. And then we went to sleep...

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

All of us brought together by our passion for blogging

I miss my children. I miss the smell of their soft skin, the roundness of their cheeks, and the weight of their small bodies in my arms. It's been an amazing weekend at BlogHer '08. Hard to wrap my head around all that I've taken in...still processing.

The energy at the conference was palpable. A thrum that often became cacophonous. I could tell you about all the sessions I attended and what I got out of them, but I won't. Because someone else will be blogging about that and do it much better. Someone who can be brief and centered. My center is a bit cockeyed at the moment. My mind a swirl with all of it.

The best part was meeting so many fabulous women. Some whom I've been reading for months, many not. There were women in their 20's and women in their 60's. There were mother's with babies slung across their chests. There were women with backpacks and women with sexy shoes. Effusive women and reticent women. Women of all shapes and sizes. All of us brought together by our passion for blogging. And there were a few men. Brave souls. I'm not sure that we were that welcoming to them. Probably not.

On Friday night, the fishnets made it out of the suitcase, onto my limbs, down the elevator, across the lobby, out to the sidewalk, around the block to the club, and into the club's bathroom. It was there that they were whipped off and stuffed into my purse. Apparently thigh highs were designed to come off within the first 5 minutes of putting them on. Not designed to stay up. And who wants to spend the evening yanking up one's fishnets when you can sip a JD and coke and stuff your face with delicious nibbles. Comfort is always high on my list of priorities.

I'm looking forward to taking the time to look at all the cards I've collected. And to discovering more blogs. It's been quite a weekend. And I'm glad I came...

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

I'm glad that I packed a la Elizabeth Taylor...

Landing at SFO requires looking at a lot of water before one lands. A lot of water. Otherwise known as the San Francisco Bay. Beautiful, yet a bit unnerving to see the water, so much of it, laid out under you. Especially when it's been so... long since I've flown solo. Years. Could it be over 15 years? Surely not. But, it is... I don't think I've taken a solo trip since I met my husband. Or else that once solo life is so far behind me that all I can see are wisps of smoke.

I am here in San Francisco! First items bought after exiting the plane: a pink vitamin water labeled "Fuel" and a bottle of extra-strength pain medication -for the super deal of $9.99. Also counting as lunch. Breakfast was a few handfuls of trail mix. I was that excited. I'm hoping the drink and extra-strength pain medicine will ward off the toxins of an overly chatty plane passenger who sat behind me - regaling all of us as she giggled teenage like at everything her companion of 5 minutes uttered. I'm all in favor of flirting, but somehow a giggly 35 year old at extra volume uttering phrases..."well, like... and this...and I was like..." sends me over the edge. Valley Girl ad nauseam without the teenage angst. Thank GOD it was a short flight! And as if the giggles and LOUD TALKING weren't enough, she just had to get on that cell phone while we were waiting to exit the plane to let her friend know that she had landed in "Frisco." According to people who live here, that "nickname" alone is enough to send someone out to Alcatraz. Yes, it is now closed, but that's beside the point.

Then things seemed to move smoothly. My bag was not lost and I found the shuttle bus waiting area. All appeared good. Until the man who caused the overly eager female plane passenger to giggle showed up at my shuttle bus waiting area. Yes. He. Did. And announced he was going to the same hotel. Oh. Yes. I was beginning to panic that he was attending BlogHer '08, but then was able to sigh rather loudly when he announced into his cell phone that he was in SF for another function all together. God is good.

The air is cool and the wind gusty here in San Francisco. I'm glad that I packed a la Elizabeth Taylor, because I have an array of outfits - some warmer than others. The hotel is gorgeous and the lobby is covered with bloggers in every corner. I am told there are 1,000 of us here for the BlogHer conference. You can feel the energy, the excitement of all of these people (mostly women) brought together by passion. A passion born of writing. To blog or not to blog...there is never a question.

I've been lucky enough to spend the last couple of hours with Kellan from On the Upside. She is just as nice and down to earth as you could imagine. Plus, she has a sexy voice. So, don't let her fool you. Sexy voices are definitely ON THE UPSIDE. She and I have been handing out our cards left and right, meeting friendly people, and eating stinky cheese. I like this lady!

My roommate Meghan from A Mom Two Boys just arrived a bit ago. If you could bottle ADORABLE, it would be her. I believe I'm old enough to be her mother. She looks 12. Damn it!

It is a bit odd to have the stage curtain to your blog lifted up for all to I've decided to introduce myself as JCK. I like the fit of it. I've grown fond of JCK. I could introduce myself by my first name, and I'm certainly not opposed to sharing that information, but I'm not sure I want to let go of JCK. The moniker JCK has given me an identity other than wife and mother. I like it. I love being a wife and mother. But, being JCK is the writer that I'm becoming. And that feels like a little treasure tucked just under my heart.

I did bring the fishnets. We'll see if they stay in the suitcase...

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

JCK feels decadent and racy

It's 9pm. Do you know where JCK is? She is laying abed on her rather flat, but very comfortable ass accompanied by La Loveliness in her YOWZA red sheath. JCK feels decadent and racy. One could almost get used to this. Blogging abed. And here she thought bed was reserved for other pleasures. Life is fucking pleasurable at the moment. And this despite the fact that she is leaving around lunch time tomorrow for BlogHer '08 and... has yet to pack. She has typed up lists for her husband. Lists of food items to be found in pantry and refrigerator. Lists of activities like swimming lessons and a birthday party and a BBQ on Saturday. She has run all the errands. She has eaten all the chocolate in the house. Eyebrows have been waxed. Pedicure was forgotten. Pedicure by JCK will have to do. Please, whatever you do ...don't look down.


BOY noticed the disco ball badge for The People's Party on my sidebar a couple of weeks back.

What's that ball, Mommy?

That's an invitation to a party, BOY. The People's Party.

Later that evening...

Mommy's going to The People's Party! Mommy's going to The People's Party!!


Tomorrow I leave for 3 days and 3 nights. I have never been away from my children for 3 nights. Two years ago I went away for two nights, but BOY & GIRL were much younger. They didn't say things like... Mommy, I don't WANT you to go. Why do you have to go?

My going away will be good for all of us. Special time with Daddy. Time away for me. It is all good. The children will be fine. They are in good hands. I will have a blast and come home refreshed and full of stories, swag and sore feet. All of this possible because of my husband. Who rocks my boat. That's what I'm talking about.


Best lines of the day...

BOY made his way over to the dining room table, sat down at the computer and said:

I'm going to my blog.

GIRL, as I kissed her goodnight - But, Mommy... YOU will fix me breakfast tomorrow, right?

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008


I've learned a few things by using the computer at the library. A 2 hour time limit is perhaps... a good thing.

She has arrived. She of the red sheath. She of I'M TOO SEXY FOR A LAP TOP, TOO SEXY FOR A LAP TOP, TOO SEXY FOR A LAP TOP. However, if you could see me at the moment (and I'd take a picture, but can't upload it at present...) you would sigh a DEEP sigh of relief that you are not me. Chaos reigns here at Casa de Motherscribe and I need to take some breaths.


OK, I am writing this post at the dining room table. Perhaps that sounds delightful. It is not. Because I leave for BlogHer in 2 days and have yet to pack, type out lists for E about the kids' everyday stuff, and of course cannot find all the BRILLIANT blog posts that I started by hand yesterday...because, well...they are fucking LOST. Amidst the RUMBLE IN MY JUNGLE. Did I mention chaos? Yes, I did.


That was me taking deep breaths again. Yeah...need some more.


So, the office is almost done with the painting. The red is NAUGHTY! Then the desk will go in, then the computer. A wonderful friend came over last night and got us online again. We're not in the office yet, but we're up! My lap top is connected to our home network. Sounds so BIG. Network. Like we are doing IMPORTANT things here. By GOD, we are. Not... Tonight, the hope is that he can show me how to do the wireless deal. The wireless router is hooked up. I just have to get wireless.

I hope to post once more before I leave for my trip...but, it looks doubtful. I need to get things in order or.... You don't want me to cry do you? I thought not. My wails would be heard bloggerwide. And I'd rather not be called a big, fat cry baby.

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Bathing suit posts and Blingity, Bling, Bling

I've been the recipient of much generosity this past week from the blogging community.

First of all, Andrea from Pass the Zoloft linked me in her Goodhousekeeping post called: When my Bathing Suit Affects my Birthday Suit. Andrea is a busy woman. She has a provocative and delicious column on Goodhousekeeping called: My So-Called Sex Life. Otherwise known as..."A blog about sex, marriage, and all the stuff in between that keeps the words 'not tonight, dear' in business." She also writes for Babycenter. I love the piece she did a few days ago called: Cussing, Cranky and Snarky Moms- hey, I resemble that remark! Check her out and prepare to become addicted!

I also have been lucky enough to receive two awards. The Philosopher Mom who happens to be one of the most witty and articulate bloggers out there. Yes, I did say witty and articulate in the same sentence. Her posts are unique, bold and daringly honest. She writes about having 9 kids and being a Professor at Auburn University. Yes, she also has a PhD. You could feel inadequate around her, but she won't let you. She's just like that. Go see her. Thank you, Kalynne for this bold & edgy award. Your timing is perfect, because I've been feeling meek & mainstream this week...

I'd like to pass this along to ...

Juggling Life

She's just another Manic Mommy

A Mom Two Boys

The Mom Bomb

Bad Mom

When I was going through my files, I also came across this award...

In abject humiliation I must admit that Kalynne gave me this award back in ...APRIL!!! Could this be? Yes, it could. This is the state of my chaotic filing life. Kalynne, I've now put on the dunce cap and am sitting in the corner. Thank you so much, and I apologize for not acknowledging this much sooner! I will come out from my corner to present this to...


Whopping Cornbread

Minnesota Matron

It's a Mad Madge World

From the Frontlines

Don Mills Diva

Mama Milton

Special Note to Kalynne: Honey, if I could give you back both of the above awards I would. But, you've already got them. I'll have to come up with some exotic award for you. Give me time... it will come to me.

The lovely Angeline, who writes from Singapore, presented me with a friendship award. She blogs about life with her two boys: KeatKeat and BinBin. Please go visit her. She's a lovely treat.

I'd like to offer this up to any of you who would like it. I value all of your friendships and this blogging community is awesome! Now I know it is a little wierd when people do this - tell you to just take it, but I want you to take it. Really. Yes, that means you. All of you who take the time to come here and read my posts. I appreciate you so much. Thank you. I hope you take it. And wear it proudly!

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

My intellectual sanctuary...currently in transition

Manager Mom has asked us to reveal our intellectual sanctuary for her Open Your Office idea. Where we go for deep contemplation, brilliant ideas and such. It just so happens that my personal refuge, my creative corner, is in my office. And it also happens to be that my office is undergoing Project: Office Annihilation & Creative Reconfiguration. So, above is a picture of what it looks like now...soon to be the updated, much better, dreamier version.

What I love about the office space is all the books. As you can see there are a lot of them... My maternal grandparents always had a library in their home. And we have decided to go for that look in here. On Friday we picked out the color! It is Benjamin Moore's Caliente. I finally have my red room! I've been negotiating this for years. You just have NO idea...
I've been blogging just over a year now. My goal was to write regularly, preferably every day. I had always talked about writing, but had yet to really do it. It is difficult to tell from the photos, but believe it or not, I actually enjoy neat, organized spaces. It comforts me. I used this as an excuse for myself for a long time - once I get the office organized, I'll start writing. I can't write in this chaotic space - was my mantra. One day I started a blog and I've been writing ever since. I am THRILLED that my husband and I are going to create a work space that we love here in the office, but it feels good to know that I started writing despite the mess.

My ideas come to me most often when I'm driving or doing household tasks - preparing food in the kitchen or folding laundry. I have little post-it notes everywhere with notes jotted down. Usually I hear a sentence in my head and it goes from there. With my poetry, it is the same. The important piece for me is listening.

Please go over to Manager Mom to check out how others are opening up their offices. Great idea, Manager Mom!
And feel free to check back here for the unveiling of my new creative space... err not exactly sure when that will be.

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Friday, July 11, 2008

JCK was a good little blogger and always very curious

This is JCK. She lives in a house that has an ambitious office project. JCK was a good little blogger and always very curious. All bloggers are curious, but no bloggers are as curious as JCK.

JCK was especially curious as to whether she could do it all...

She wondered how it was that it was already 5am on Friday morning and her project: Office Annihilation & Creative Reconfiguration was not nearly ready for tomorrow's plan to empty the office of all objects so that the man with the yellow hat could paint. The plan also calls for disconnecting the computer...GASP, SHUDDER, SHAKE. So, she will be offline for a couple of days. And she has several posts to write in advance, as well as living her life. Perhaps the painting should be reconsidered? Hang Tough, JCK! Be STRONG.

JCK knows that living her life with two children aged 3 and 4 and her husband, doing the office project, leaving on Thursday of next week for the BlogHer conference, and possibly going through perimenopause are all possible. JCK just doesn't know if they are possible in 1 week.

All JCK knows is that hopefully when she is back and functioning again, this will happen...

I am so happy to have you back, JCK, said her loyal readers.

I was scared. And you must have been scared, too.

I know you will not want to do Project: Office Annihilation & Creative Reconfiguration, leave for a BlogHer conference, possibly be going through perimenopause, and disconnect your one computer all in one week again for a long, long time.

You must give your common sense back to your self.

Especially when your daughter is currently terrorized in her own mind by Pinocchio, your husband feels he never sees you, and your son is sure to create his own search and destroy project when you are not looking.

Perhaps all of this was not wise, Curious JCK.

**JCK would like to acknowledge much admiration for H.A. Rey, the Creator of Curious George.

***Superhero Mom Picture courtesy of Google Images

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Does a silent timer go off at 3 years 10 months old?

There is a monster threatening our home. Menacing, he waits in every corner. If left alone he will find you. And he's creepy. With a long nose and beady eyes. He comes out in the revealing light of day, once in bed you are safe. Thank GOD for small favors. No room is safe without Mommy. Threat lurks just feet away. Who is this ferocious creature? This monstrous ugly beast?


Yes, Pinocchio.

GIRL went to school, came home and suddenly within a day she wouldn't stay in a room by herself. She follows me everywhere, clinging and moaning. Things are actually better today, but Pinocchio can always turn up. Anytime. Anywhere. Apparently.

Why Pinocchio?

GIRL overheard a teacher and some of the older kids talking about lying. The story of Pinocchio came up and everyone clamored to tell the most gruesome part of the story - depending on your interpretation, that could be donkey ears, a whale or a puppet turning into a boy. Or your nose getting longer if you don't tell the truth. Or, in GIRL's case, just Pinocchio himself. It's up for grabs.

All I know is that my once independent, don't you DARE try to help me, little girl is no longer wanting to do anything on her own. Undressing, dressing, being in the playroom, etc. And the poor thing is just terrorized. And embarrassed about it. So, we're talking things through - the usual, "it's pretend, make-believe, like this, like that, and our imaginations can sometimes make us think of things that aren't there." She takes this in, but it does not seem to be helping much. We have extra hugs and I am trying to be patient. And to not laugh. It's not kind to laugh at someone else's pain, but GOD ...Pinocchio? Well, he is kind of creepy I guess. We won't be getting the book or movie anytime soon. It's really rather a gruesome story and I don't want to add any fuel to her already overactive imagination. So, we'll continue to talk and hope that Pinocchio will fade away as mysteriously as he arrived.

The one constant. The one little joke that GOD seems to have placed in my hands is that GIRL is exactly 3 years and 10 months old. Which is the exact age that BOY was when the fears kicked in. What? Does a silent timer go off at 3 years 10 months old? Set to maniacal laughter, perhaps?If so, I didn't get the handout, the childcare manual - kid gloves version.

Just when you think you are getting to know your little person they throw you a curve. And you better have both hands on the steering wheel, honey, because it is going to be a bumpy ride...

** Photo courtesy of Disney & Google Images

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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Memo to self

Random thoughts ...

  1. When buying a shredder, don't go cheap- this includes middle end (still cheap!). Go high end. Especially when in the middle of Office clean-up and you can only shred 8 papers at a time. And you have BAGS of stuff to shred with vital personal info on it.

  2. When you've had a history of ups and downs with an entity and several negotiations, don't assume there won't be another roadblock. Even bigger. Hence ...making you feel like a whipping boy.

  3. Smoke is usually not good. See #1.

  4. Opportunities open up when you least expect them.

  5. God always has a plan. It is often not your plan.

  6. Nothing beats circling the wagons with your friends.

  7. Nothing beats having those kind of friends.

  8. When your child asks you to come play, do it. All those things you "have to get done" can usually wait. At least for an hour.

  9. When you can't get to your friends' blogs, because you are crazed with projects and life happens...your friends will understand and know that you will come back when you can.

  10. Life is short. Time for JackOClock!

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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

He teaches me much, this BOY

It is lovely to hear about your children from other people. One of my friends, who lives on our street, was delivering bags of fruit from her trees with her little girl. As they approached our house, they saw BOY zipping around the big tree in our front yard. He paused mid-stride to ask what they were doing.

BOY: What's that?

FRIEND: Here are some apricots for you.

BOY: Brilliant, guys! Just brilliant! And he continued on his merry way, bag in hand, straight to me in the kitchen.

I adore that little boy. Today he got his stitches out. He was quite nervous, of course, but sat still on my lap as the pediatrician slowly and patiently cut the little strings and gently pulled them out. We then celebrated by getting chocolate donuts and little capsules that expand into sponge sea creatures. He teaches me much, this BOY. Most especially the ability to move on when it is time to let go...and that tomorrow always holds something special. Water play!


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Sunday, July 6, 2008

PROJECT: Office Annihilation & Creative Reconfiguration

I am SO excited. The time has finally come to...makeover our home office! It is something we've been talking about...well, ever since we moved in this house 8 years ago. We plan to add on at some point and the walls of the office will go down for the future addition, but know what? Sometimes, it is good to enjoy the space that you do have and make it yours - rather than sitting around when the HELL is that DAY coming??!!!dreaming of "someday...someday." Kind of like when you gain weight and you punish yourself by not buying any new, fun clothes in your larger size because you tell yourself you'll fit back into your "skinny" clothes. And so you go around feeling like crapola never treating yourself to clothes that fit well and look good. Viva la Zaftig!! So, in the spirit of embracing what you DO have instead of thinking about what you don't have, I am ATTACKING the office. E and I both dream of a desk space that we can each call our very own. He is building us a desk and my job is to get the office CLEARED.

I am sure that you think I'm EXAGGERATING, per my usual, when I use the words "attack" and "clear." Unfortunately, NO. What I'm about to reveal to you is intensely personal. More difficult than putting myself in a bathing suit on the internets. Yes, what I am about to show you is like flipping my skirt up to reveal...that I'm not really a woman? No, not that. But... the no good, terrible, horrible, terrible truth is that I have let our office go. It's beyond SLOB. X 2 billion, trillion. Or is that 2 trillion, billion? Mommy Brain. Yeah...

And so...without further ado... please sit down, pour yourself a stiff one, and prepare to be SHOCKED, APPALLED, and INCREDULOUS. And I'm not just speaking of Jenn. Or, that Bad Mom revealing her deliciously clean tub in the interview by our dear, very own Mrs. G. I'm all of these ...shocked, appalled, and incredulous, but I drink. And eat chocolate. It helps. Usually.

OK, here is the desk space with books to the ceiling. We've got a few books. I adore being surrounded by books. My maternal grandparents always had a library and someday I hope we'll have one, too. A library....oooh, gets me all hot and bothered.
Another view revealing the printer and hinting of things under the shelves. Oh, yes...MUCH is below the shelves. The walls of the office are very WHITE. If we are up to the task, we will paint the office a color. I'm lusting for red.

This is a closer look at our shared computer area space. Lovely, I know. Just makes you want to CREATE. Doesn't it?
Then we have the file cabinet and a small bulletin board propped up. This is where my first rejection "letter" is posted, as well as other things related to Motherscribe. That pile on the chair? No idea.
Then just past the file cabinet we have boxes and bags full of paper to be shredded (from 1999.) As well as the infamous feather duster that I use as a boa. It looks a bit sad lying there all alone - hasn't been used in a while. We plan to turn this corner into a small reading nook. We'll put a comfy chair here to face the window, with a view of the backyard. This way we can see firsthand what trouble BOY & GIRL are attempting. Like a live video!Behind my chair are more book shelves and things that have run riot. Including the large bin of children's artwork. There is also my old easel (took up acrylic painting when I was going through IVF), which is covered in years of dust. To the right of that corner is a deep closet that we he will do and do and DO!...oops, I'm getting confused with Project: Fishnets redo. We plan to put the file cabinet in the closet and do shelves around it- giving us more floor space for the reading nook.

So, while I take on this monumental task...CAN SHE DO IT? YES! SHE CAN! So glad the Bob the Builder stage was quick and relatively painless...

E is building us a desk!

Here are the legs: just cut & shaped

...and after the stain. Notice the sweet curves. God, I wish I had gams like that! They might be a little distracting in the office...

And then here are the table tops. He is still doing the coats of stain, which is quite laborious. Perhaps most exciting of all, we will no longer be sharing a computer. No more ..."I need the computer" ,"No, I need the computer" ,"No, I really need the computer" ,"No, I really, really need the computer." It is done. No more Whaaaa WHaaaa, because...I am waiting for her to arrive. She of the red sheath, with cool keys and slim lines. My lovAH...
So, this is it...

Project: Office Annihilation & Creative Reconfiguration.

I could have called it Project: Office Redo, but why??

P.S. Now that you've seen my true underbelly, I'm sure you feel better about yourself. As you should.

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Saturday, July 5, 2008

Time to play...You found me HOW??

It is once again time to play the game ...

You found me HOW??

Yes, folks, we truly run the gamut in our Internet searches for finding items on Motherscribe.

Here we go:

Where do babies come out when they are born and invocation - I don't think I even want to touch this one.

Gluteal Cleft - well, of course.

Slenderizing suits for short girls - yes, I am interested.

Hemorrhoid odors - Good GOD, I hope not. However, if you care to put hemorrhoid cream under your eyes...perhaps, yes.

Book of manners for 10 year olds - not written yet, but perhaps after my children let me out of jail I can attempt it.

Spider bite pustules and impetigo - luckily, NO. Guess you have to SEARCH AGAIN.


Shoot tequila - damn straight, although I prefer bourbon whiskey... sipped.

Luscious bottoms- oh, MY, MY, MY.....YES, YES, YES!!!

How to tell your bathing suit size - guess up, then down, and choose something in the middle. Works every time.

How to look handsome - I haven't been called a "handsome woman" least within ear shot. But, I know the time is coming...

Right cleft of buttock - well, I have nothing against the left cleft of buttock.

Super size bathing suits - I would like to cover both the right and left cleft of buttock.

Bathing suit size 40 e - mmmm...could be a sexy European size. Viva la 40! I'll take it!

Nudists on Mexico - I think you've strayed too far west. Was this a landing on Mexico? Perhaps alien nudists?

Do babies come out head first - if you're lucky.

How to go grey - you've come to the right place!! Say good-bye to roots, forEvah! Of this, I know.

Hemorrhoid odors & start - Excuse ME. Don't you START! I really am beginning to take this personally. No odors HERE emerging from gluteal clefts or any part of buttocks.

And that's all she wrote...

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Friday, July 4, 2008

My solo flight with the children..

Happy 4th of July! I'm enjoying not traveling this year for the holiday. This is what I was doing last year...

Replay of Post from July 4, 2007

We survived. Barely. I won't tell you about all the trips to the bathroom mid-air, or the small cup of milk spilt in the aisle (Boy's), the half cup of coffee spilt in the seat (my BAD), or the laps around the plane, or even life after 120 snacks brought by me and then they offer my children Oreos. Aaahhh yes, Oreos. Nothing wrong with them. They're just full of PEP and help create LOUD children. Actually, overall the plane ride went well. I had brought a change of clothes for both Boy & Girl. We used them.

The planes were on time. People were genuinely pleased that Boy & Girl were not nightmares on the flight. The best part was on our way out of the first leg. We stopped to say good-bye to the pilot and he invited us into the cockpit. And...BOY got to sit in the pilot's seat. It was WAY COOL! Of course they gave me a hard time because I didn't have a digital camera. Wish I had.... Of course, Boy will remember this forever!

No, really the only tough part was arriving in Jacksonville. Airport is fine - at first... We walk a pretty long way after many hours of travel. By this time, my rewarding them with praise and kudos for being such good sports and well behaved children is pretty much streeetched to the limit. We are somewhat pushed for time as the Enterprise Rental car agency closes at midnight and it is now 11:40pm. So, I rush the kids (as fast as you can rush two small children with backpacks) through the airport and to the Enterprise desk. Everything is fine. They have my reservation. She asks for my driver's license and my credit card. I tell her that I am paying with a debit card and she tells me I can't. Whooaa Nelly, I tell her...I spoke at length with at least 3 people at Enterprise in making this reservation and everyone told me as long as I arrived via a plane, I could use my debit card. I don't have a credit card. She says she is very sorry, but that is against their policy for a one way rental and she has worked there for 4 years. I demand to speak to a manager. At this point - close to midnight in Florida, 9pm our time, the kids begin to lose it. Of course. Just as the woman hands me the telephone to speak with her manager, Boy & Girl start flinging their backpacks as high as they can into the air and letting them fall willy-nilly. I get on the phone with the manager. She basically tells me she is sorry for the incovenience and they have their policies and I tell her this: I have just flown all the way from California by myself with two children under 4, WHO AT THIS VERY MOMENT ARE FLINGING THEIR BACKPACKS INTO THE AIR! I NEED YOU TO HELP ME OUT HERE AND MAKE AN EXCEPTION!! There was a looong pause after which the manager told me that they don't usually do this, but they will make an exception in my case. HOORAY!

Now, if she could just corral my children who are now doing 50 yard dashes around me and avoiding my grasp! Just in time, my sister the Goddess Auntie arrives. She immediately engages the children and I finish the paperwork. We will be following her to her house to spend the night before venturing out to my mom's beach house. We have 15 minutes to collect baggage and 2 car seats from the carousel and get the car, before the rental garage closes. My sister steers us over to the carousel and we await the luggage. Luckily all three bags (I vowed I'd pack light...) and the two car seats arrive. I sprint over to get the final bag and as I throw it on our luggage cart, we notice Boy is now riding on the conveyor belt a good 10 feet away from us and continuing to go away from us... as if it is the latest way to travel. He is between someone's suitcases and is going at a pretty good clip. HUGE smile on his face. Practically waving he is SO proud of himself. A nearby man plucks him from the conveyor belt and I swoop him up, only to see my sister choking back laughter and uttering a very weak..."sorry, it really is pretty funny."

And so we make it out of the airport. On the drive, even in the dark, I sense the quiet amidst the crickets and take in that wonderful swamp-like smell that is soulful, and the humidity which people complain about, but it immediately plumps up your skin and takes 10 years off your age. Easy. Well, maybe 8. We arrive at my sister's. An oasis with the breeze stirring the wind chimes and bright light shining out into the darkness welcoming us. We made it.

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Thursday, July 3, 2008

BOY's on the mend

All appears well here at Casa de Motherscribe. My boy's hand is healing and I've managed to keep him out of dirt (for the most part) and water for the last 48 hours. Today we went in to see the pediatrician, and she thought the stitches were healing well. She said we could take them out next Tuesday or Wednesday, but I'm going to give it a couple of extra days and have the stitches taken out next Thursday. Because of the location of the wound, at the base of his pinkie finger, and the likelihood of his fingers moving despite being wrapped up, I thought it best to wait.

Tomorrow and over the weekend we are invited to parties with kiddie pools and bounce houses. The bounce house is out. We're going to try putting one of those disposable non-latex gloves on his hand with it taped up with duct tape or some other waterproof tape so that he can get in the kiddie pool. E thought of that brilliant idea and the doctor approved it. So, if anything goes wrong I can blame both of them. Not. Really. Guilt seems to travel.

It's been a challenge keeping him from his usual high energy physical activities. Last night he was doing circuits around our large square leather ottoman. It was as if his body couldn't take the inactivity and just had to move...even if it was running in circles. Today there was one dive/fall into a bed of leaves and dirt, but the dirt didn't make it down through the wrapped bandage into the wound. Thank GOD! I took him out of school for the week, because he wouldn't be able to do anything while there. We stopped by yesterday to visit so that he could say hi to his teachers and friends and show off his bandaged battle wound.

I feel blessed that he didn't cut an artery or tendon. We are very lucky with that. Both E and I are worn out and keeping our fingers crossed that the next ER type visit will be a long time from now. BOY's on the mend. He's already moved on. It's taking me longer to let go of it body still remembering his electrifying screams. The resiliency of children is truly remarkable. The resiliency of parents? Now, that is still up for grabs...

Note: I wanted to thank all of you for your lovely and kind comments and caring for my BOY.

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Enjoy your body! It's the only one you've got...(with added note)

Please see added note below this post:

I have an ambivalent yet fluid love/hate relationship with how I feel about my body. I've had a journey with my body - from a past of self-destructive, unloving behavior to feeling pretty OK in my own skin today. More good days than bad, which I will take! It used to be the other way around. Is my body where I want it to be? No. Do I have cellulite? Yes. But, it's different now. I recognize that the main reason I don't like what I see is that I don't exercise regularly. And when you don't exercise regularly, your body will let you know it. I do have a Master Plan to change this. And of these days I will change and feel better connected to my physical body. I tend toward DRAMA... No, she DOESN'T!!?? So, even though I write disparaging things about my physical form at times, in general I'm feeling fairly peaceful with my body at my age. And concentrating on finding my spirit and fire within rather than obsessing about my figure without.

I'm 46 years old, isn't it time to just chill about it? I am quite clear that at 60 or even 56 I will look back and wonder what the hell was I carrying on about!? Just as now, I look back on my 20's and feel sad that I spent so much time feeling fat. I once missed a reunion with dear friends, because I was ashamed of them seeing how fat I had become. Was it worth it? No.

So, with all that being said, I've decided to participate in Suzanne Reisman's 2008 Swimsuit Brigade for Honest Photos over at BlogHer. Please pop over there and join in, if you feel so inclined. Any message that we can send out that shows us in our normal skin is powerful.

You will notice that this picture was shot with an interesting angle and that my head is slightly chopped off at the top. And isn't the AIR BRUSHING fab?!! No, I did not attempt this at home...but, my almost 4 year old daughter did. It seems GIRL likes to zoom in on my thighs. Did you know that thunder thighs is a compliment? My husband believes this to be true. YES, I love him. And there I go again...ZINGING myself. Alas, I still need work...

As Bri said, I'm not looking for compliments here. I know my bathing suit is awesome. Targay! $38.50. What I'd love is if you'd pass along the word, that women come in all shapes and sizes. And that all of us. All. of. us. ARE BEAUTIFUL.

Enjoy your body! It's the only one you've got...

Added Note: I just wanted to add a great post link by Alyssa, because I think she is really on to something. She talks about the irony of feeling pretty good about her body, but not in a bathing suit. That really captures it for me! There is something about putting on a bathing suit that makes you feel "in the spotlight." In reality, it is probably not true but something that feels true. It was scary for me to put my picture on this post. But, in joining the 2008 Swimsuit Brigade for Honest Photos, gave me courage. And, truthfully I still am angry at myself for letting those negative body thoughts invade my consciousness, because they still do.

I also enjoyed reading the
Reluctant Blogger's comment below. I agree that one of the joys of blogging is a certain amount of anonymity. That is important to me. But, the purpose of the swimsuit brigade is to come out of the perfection closet, so to speak, and show that our natural women's bodies are not air brushed, stick figures with boobs. And I believe that is vital.

**"Basking" Sculpture photo courtesy of The Sculpture Gallery

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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

One little boy the bravest of all

At around 3:45pm today, BOY and GIRL were playing around with the carpenter's measuring tape. They have been having fun the last couple of days measuring the heights of chairs, couch and the distance to the ceiling. Today they were playing with it, there was a snap, and the metal tape sliced into BOY's finger like a knife. He wasn't crying much when he came to me, just said he had cut his finger and there was BLOOD. I took a look and almost passed out. Where his pinkie finger meets his hand, on that crease of his finger, it was sliced open. Deep. Probably 1/4". There was some blood, but the scary part was the depth of the wound. We put a cold washcloth on it and I immediately knew he would need a stitch or two.

I gathered BOY and GIRL, called E who was at work, and left for the urgent care as fast as I could. We were there about 20 minutes when E walked in and the four of us waited a really long time before seeing a nurse. E went out to get us dinner as by this time it was getting close to 6pm. After a brief taking of vital signs, we were sent back into the waiting room. To wait. Again. A long time. We were called again, and this time a nurse poured a bottle of sterile water in a basin and had BOY soak his hand in it. And we waited. And waited. BOY and GIRL were amazing. E entertained them by pretending to be the doctor and Captain Underpants. By the time the doctor came in the exam room we had been at Urgent Care about 2 1/2 hours.

The doctor determined right away that BOY would need a couple of stitches. And because of the awkwardness of the wound, it would not be an easy thing to do. They had to put him in what they call a "papoose" which kept him immobile except for his one arm. We explained to BOY what was going to happen, but nothing prepares you for the earth shattering shrieks of your own child in pain. It started with the beta dine swaps and continued through the lidocaine injections and crescendoed with the stitches going through his skin. And getting him to stay still while the doctor was injecting him with pain medicine and then putting a needle through his skin and pulling thread through where it appeared the lidocaine had not worked...well, it was torture. Poor GIRL was with us in the room, but by that time neither E nor I wanted to leave the room and have BOY think we were abandoning him. Not only was he shrieking, but he was shrieking for them to stop hurting him, that he wanted to go home now and shrieking for us. Calling out, I want my Mom and I want my Dad...and we were right there. He broke blood vessels all over his face. Poor little guy had to pee in the middle of it all, and we told him to just pee in his pants. He was almost as upset by that as by the pain he had to endure.

He ended up with 3 stitches and as soon as his sweat and pee soaked body was out of the papoose and in his daddy's arms, everything was better. He was incredibly brave. I will never forget looking over at GIRL and seeing the expression and tears on her face. Bad, bad call on bringing her with us. It was only last August when she was in the ER having her head stitched up. She looked how I felt. We left the clinic with two children wearing red, tear blotched faces. All of us wounded. One little boy the bravest of all. There is nothing that makes you feel more helpless as a parent than not being able to protect your children. And today was a day that dictated my helplessness. And those screams, still echoing in my head and heart, will take a long time to go away. A long time...

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