Thursday, March 18, 2010

Thing 1 and Thing 2

It seems I haven't talked about the dogs for a while. You might remember, that a few months ago, we I made the decision to take in two puppies instead of one. In the same way that someone makes the decision to whack themselves in the head with a hammer.

I think of myself as a smart person. And then I go and do things like this. The dogs are great, fantastic furry smelly creatures, they truly are. And if you asked me today to pick only one, I couldn't do it. They both have their faults, but they also both have their benefits.

The main problem is that there's two of them. Who knew that one puppy plus one puppy equals terror? Every day, Sweetie Pie and I tell each other that they are six months away from being good dogs.

Because anyone can survive six months, right?

The biggest problem is that the dogs are twins. And therefore they act like twins. As in they fight. All. The. Freaking. Time.

If my kids behaved this way, I think I would go completely mad.

In their fighting, they regularly take down at least one kid with them, which means there have been tears, lots of them. And there has been a lot of yelling.

And yet I love those stupid dogs and couldn't imagine life without them.

When we let them in when we get home, I always have to put the kids up on the couch, so that they're at least protected from the excitement of the dogs. Otherwise, if one of them is standing/sitting/laying on the floor, they will be tackled, stepped on and then fought on top of as both dogs disagree who should get to lick the powerless child first.

Part of me wants to commend them for their enthusiasm and their ability to love that much. Part of me wants to strangle them.

And then there was last night. When I opened the door, both dogs trotted in calmly and went to their food bowl, where they ate. Then they gingerly entered the living room where the kids were and quietly walked over to them, sniffed a hello and then laid nearby them. Once the kids were in bed, the dogs quietly laid on the couch with us watching TV.

And the whole time I worried. "Do you think they're sick?"

Sweetie Pie hissed at me that I would jinx the whole thing.

Maybe it was a fluke. Maybe tonight, one of my kids will be pushed into the fireplace again.

Or maybe, just maybe, we've turned the corner.



Tuesday, March 16, 2010

True Love

This is my last baby. This I know. I've sold off the big baby items, the swing that rocked my baby to sleep, the Jeep walker that entertained both of my babies for brief enough stints that I could go pee, the infant tub that cradled my babies during their baths. Letting go of these things was one of the most difficult part of grieving the babies I will never have.

I'm lucky, because despite some pregnancies that could have resulted in heartbreak, I was lucky enough to carry two babies to full term and avoid the wrath that HELLP Syndrome can bring to moms. I'm one of the lucky ones, this I know. And despite my body shutting down at the end of pregnancies, I will forever be grateful for the fact that my body can hang on until week 37, giving me the two greatest boys in the world.

And so every single minute with Tiny Man is that much sweeter. Bitter sweet in some ways, because each first is also a last for me. The last first step. The last mastering of the shape sorter. It's all the last. And there are times, the wind gets knocked out of me and I wonder if I'll ever be ok with it.

But this is the face of true love. I love this kid so much that every bone in my body quivers. I love this face, this smile, this crazy hair, those chubby feet so much, that I can't believe I ever went through life without them and thought I was happy.

Here the picture of perfection. My kid, he says "oh who" instead of uh oh. If that's not the freaking cutest thing ever, then you have no soul.



Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Story of an Envelope

It was a plain white envelope in my mailbox. One with a see through window, with my name and address showing through. One that stated in the left corner that it was from our municipal courts.

I'm not an American citizen, only a permanent resident, which means I can't vote (not that my vote would matter, since I live in Texas, the capital of Republicanland) and I can't sit on a jury.

And as I stared down at that envelope, my blood went cold. I was being arrested for something. I just knew it. The problem is, I didn't know what. I clearly didn't remember killing someone, or even assaulting them. I had no outstanding parking tickets, but what if I had gotten one, didn't know about it because it flew away with a gust of wind, and now I was going to be thrown in jail for it.

Jail. As soon as my mind thought of the word, my mind went into over drive. Would Sweetie Pie bring the kids to jail to visit me? How often? How would the kids do without me? Would Sweetie Pie be able to figure out how to use the cloth diapers on his own? Or would he give up and use Huggies again, adding to the billions of diapers in our landfills? Would the kids eat McDonald's every day?

And my job. I love my job. Would they let me come back after my jail sentence? Or would I lose my job.

And then my mother entered my brain. I couldn't go to jail. My mother would kill me before I served a day in jail. I would be dead to her. The lecture I would get from my mother would be 1,000 times worst than a lifetime in jail.

All these thoughts crossed my mind as I tore the envelope open.

It was a jury summons. Apparently, the city doesn't know that I'm not a true American. They didn't get the memo. I'm not going to jail.

When I told Sweetie Pie all of these thoughts that went through my head, he looked at me like I had grown a third boob. Clearly, he said, it's a jury summons.

But I'd never gotten one. And I just hoped that Dateline or 20/20 would visit me in jail and tell the story of the mom who was thrown in jail for no good reason.

Unless it was because I've been rooting for Canada in the Olympic games, which I'm sure is a crime against the United States in all of the South.

My name is Catwoman. And I'm slightly overdramatic.



Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Giggle Monkey

I know he's my kid. But I can't watch this video without laughing so hard that my tummy hurts.

I love how easily amused 15-month olds are. It's things like this that makes me wish he wasn't my last baby. But then he starts his incessant screeching, and my uterus pulls the shutter down and a 'closed for business' sign up.



Friday, January 08, 2010

Because I'll Forget If I Don't Write Them Down

Little Man still manages to amuse, entertain and amaze me every day. His logic and smarts are amazing, and yet, I am reminded that he is still only four-years old in some of the things he says.

Here are some of my current favorites, and translations where necessary:

- "I magicianed it": I made it disappear; said about objects he hides under a blanket or food that he's eaten.

- "Just put it on the kids' chanimal": said instead of channel.

- "I'm fixin' to...": This is clearly a Texanism rather than a Little Manism but it drives me bonkers (no offense to my Texas readers). For those of you from outside of Texas, it means "I'm about to (do something)", as in "I'm fixin' to go to the potty." I don't say this. Just like 'ya'll' probably won't ever roll off my tongue. And yet my child says it. Part of the whole nurture vs. nature thing, I guess.

- Yesterday, Little Man was playing with his Mr. Potato Head. He asked me what Mr. Potato Head was even for. I told him that it was just a fun toy to use your imagination. Tiny Man, a.k.a. Godzilla, comes along and begins to try to rip off body parts of Little Man's Mr. Potato Head, which resulted in Little Man screaming "stop it, Tiny Man, you're ruining my imagination!"

- Little Man was telling me this story about how his teacher has begun handing out stickers to all of the kids who completed all of their work. I asked him if he had gotten a sticker.


- How come?

- I didn't finish my work.

- How come you didn't finish your work?

- I just didn't want to."

Alrighty then. Apparently stickers are not the way to my child's heart.

- The other night, upon finding out that I was making Mac & Cheese (the kind in the box, don't judge me, yo. In my defense, I make the organic boxed kind, so they're organic weird ingredients.)

"Yay! I love your mac and cheese!

- Well, I'm glad!

- Yeah, you're the best cook, I also love your hamburgers and your hot dogs!"

If Iron Chef over heard this conversation, I'm guessing they won't be calling anytime soon. For the record? I also make some pretty great fancy stuff. But apparently, none of that has made it on my four-year old's top three favorite recipes list.



Tuesday, January 05, 2010

A Letter to The Terrorists

Dear Terrorists,

I'm writing you this letter, because I assume that you read my blog faithfully. You do, don't you? Surely you need funny stories about bald eagles and baby poop in between stupid plots, don't you?

The reason I'm writing you is that I wanted you to know that I've officially decided that I hate you. I mean, it's not like I really liked you before, what with your only mission in life being blowing innocent people up, but if you ever thought I was on the fence before, well, let me clear it up for you. I. Hate. You.

Seriously, why is it you have to try to do something on a plane every time I'm out of the country. There was the time Sweetie Pie and I were in France and one of your buddies tried to light his shoes on fire. Yeah, it was really fun to fly out of the same airport two days after that. Oh, and for the record? Now my kid's light-up shoes practically caused the terror risk to be raised to red, because wires in shoes look mighty suspicious now. The good news is, his anal cavity is squeaky clean now.

So now, you go and decide that lighting up underwear is the way to go. Which means that my 7:45 a.m. flight was delayed by almost two hours, because it was taking people more than three hours to get through security.

And this is where I want to tell you you've messed with the wrong bitch, you little fundamentalist bitches. I had to get up at 4:20 in the morning to make that flight. In case you don't know this about me, I'm not happy at 4:20 in the morning.

I then had to go through security with a cranky husband and two young children, an ordeal that took 50 minutes, and it was that short because we were in the express lane for families with babies. Express my ass, is what I say.

And then, because of you, my children weren't allowed toys, blankets, nothing for the last hour of the flight. You clearly don't have children you fuckers, because if you did, you'd have enough consideration to not make the air safety people come up with the kind of rules that will make any mother try to smash her way through that tiny little airplane window.

Do you know how my kids ended up entertaining each other for about 30 minutes of that last hour? By beating the crap out of each other.

And since I was beyond caring at that point, I let them, I'll admit it. I let my kids just beat the shit out of each other because they were laughing and I figured there was bound to be a doctor on board, I know this from my flight attendant years.

So you see what you've reduced me to, you stupid terrorists? Probably one of my worst moments as a mother, and the bar wasn't even open for me to pretend I was somewhere else.

So how about you morons quit it and leave us travelers alone, ok? Because the airlines can barely keep their planes working, the weather is always plotting to shut down airports and there are about 100 other reasons for flights to be delayed. Last thing I need is you to freaking jump in the madness.

I hope you die in a pool of your own vomit,


Saturday, January 02, 2010

A Recap in Bullets

I promise that as part of my new year's resolutions I will be posting more, but I'm hearing the kids make noise over the baby monitor, so my time here is very limited today.

1. We went to Canada for Christmas. It was cold and snowy. But yet, it still doesn't feel as cold to me as a cold day in Texas. Yes, I realize this is all in my head, when we had -10 in Canada and 'cold' in Texas is 38.

2. Tiny Man has been so grumpy during the past two weeks, including the past week when I've been off work and home with both kids that when he shoplifted a crayon last week, I seriously considered turning him into the cops, just so I'd get a few days of peace and quiet without a toddler robot following me around the dirty house screaming 'MAMAMAMAMAMAMAMMAMA!"

3. Little Man made a joke about me making frogs for dinner the other night and I told him that he is half-French and that French people do eat frog legs. The look of horror on his face was so funny that I seriously wish that I'd had the Flip camera.

4. Speaking of Flips, I got one for Christmas from Sweetie Pie and holy freaking crap, am I ever in love. Why didn't I get one of these 10 years ago? And any of you moms out there who don't have one, trust me, return all of your other gifts and trade them in for a Flip.

5. And to have one more bullet about the Flip, I shot a video of Little Man and I tubing, and pointed the camera down the slope so that you'd get our perspective flying down the thing. When I played it back at the bottom of the slope, I realized that I'd never been on the tube, that my mother was the one riding with Little Man. Or I should say, my half-terrified laughs and screams sounded just like my mother. Scarier than any horror film I've ever seen.

6. I learned that payback's a bitch. After making fun of my pregnant sister's unmaintained bikini line, referring to it as the heart of the jungle, and blaming her lack of grooming for the fact she couldn't get pregnant (seriously, if you saw that thing, you'd be convinced her husband's sperm got lost on their futile mission to the egg too), she was with me in the bathroom and saw my bald eagle, and proceeded to tell everyone in the family I look like a 10-year old girl. I admit that I deserved that.

Hope everyone is ready for 2010. Tiny Man resolves to look like this all the time.

Because the rest of the time, he looks more like this.



Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Who Is This Person I've Become?

Once upon a time, I was semi-cool. At least I was in my head. But lately, I've found that I've become a mom. One who is forced to say insane mom things. I mean, really, what self-respecting cool person would say any of the following?

- "We don't grab our penis while we're cooking dinner."

- "Stop hitting your brother with that chair."

- "The dog is not a step stool."

- "Don't use the dogs for target practice."

- "Stop running and the dogs will stop chasing you."

- "If you take the dog's bone right out of his mouth, you can't be surprised when he tackles you to get it back."

- "Take that shoe out of your mouth." (note: said to child, not dogs)

- "You have to wear pants to school, end of story."

Once upon a time, I was semi-cool. Maybe if I repeat that enough, I won't forget.



Sunday, November 08, 2009

Conversations with Santa

I took the kids to get their holiday pictures taken (and Tiny Man's one-year pictures, slightly late, but not horribly bad by second child standards). When we entered the mall, we were shocked to find that Santa Claus had already arrived. I mean, really, you'd think the man would have too much to do to prepare for Christmas to spend two whole months at a mall in North Texas, but you'd be wrong.

Here's the picture, and below my interpretation of what was said by the parties in the picture.

Little Man: "I asked the old smelly stranger for my Spiderman toy and sat on his strange lap and kind of smiled at the camera. This better be f'ing worth it. I better get a freaking life size Spiderman who feeds me gold-covered candy all the time for this."

Santa: "Hi Little buddy!"

Tiny Man: "Who the fuck are you, and why am I on your lap? You come any closer, and I'll fucking cut you."

I'm Catwoman, and I like to pretend that my 12.5-month old is a mafia dude with a potty mouth.

Reason #182 I'm not a good person.



Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Typical Conversation

In the car this morning, on the way school.

"Little Man, I've noticed that you're always starving when I pick you up from school in the afternoon. So you end up filling up on a snack in the car and then you're not hungry for dinner. Would you like me to start sending you with a lunch box afternoon snack so that you have something else to eat in class besides the goldfish crackers they give you?

- I'd like that, I'm always hungry.

- Well, that's because you play a lot of sports at school and it's a long time before lunch and dinner.

- So what's in my lunchbox for snack today?


- Uhm, well, I don't have one for you today, since we just decided this now...

- What? You forgot my lunchbox with my snack? I can't believe you forgot it!"

Of course, this is the same kid who tells me all the time "remember how you kept hitting cars every day?" And because I fell down on Saturday while carrying his brother (no one got hurt, thanks to my quick thinking being used to always falling down), he keeps saying "be careful when you hold my brother, because you're always dropping him."

It's like living with my mother.



Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Faces of Healing

Last Wednesday was a hard, hard day emotionally for me. My baby was turning one (yes, I know, way overdue with his 12-month letter, and let's ignore the fact I never wrote one for his 11-month birthday. Hello, second child syndrome!) which means that I will never get to hold a newborn again, at least not one that spent nine months inside my tummy. I was missing my dog tremendously, more so than any other pet I've ever lost. I knew I always had a sweet spot for that dog, but never realized how truly special he was to me until he was gone. And damn I miss that dog.

But even more than me, there was Little Man, who worried about Old Dog going hungry in heaven, since it had been his job to feed him twice a day. And then came the talks of how he hoped that our car would get in a horrible crash and we all died, that way we'd all get to go to heaven and be with Old Dog again. Nothing says 'I miss having a dog' like a four-year old with crazy dark thoughts.

So on that fateful Wednesday, I decided that we all needed an outlet for our puppy love. And began to contact breeders of Brittanys in Texas.

And it was freaking hard. Because the whole time, the guilt of 'replacing' my dog, was eating me alive. And I cried in my blue cubicle. A lot.

One of the breeders who contacted me back was one of those rare breeders who holds the interests of the breed above the business side of it. The kind of person I was looking for, because the last thing I'd ever want is to fuel a puppy mill, thank you very much.

She told me that they were not planning any litters for the next six months and maybe beyond, due to the state of the industry and the economy. She then told me that unfortunately, most breeders don't have the best interest at heart, and to please let her know if we decided to buy a dog from someone, as she could tell us what that breeder's reputation was like. She then asked me about rescuing.

We all might remember our incident with Cujo, a.k.a the cocker spaniel who was inbred and had Spaniel rage and mauled Sweetie Pie twice, the second time being so horrible, that my husband's body went into shock. And then of course, there was Satan's Dog, the worst dog that ever lived, who was just rotten, until he mauled Old Dog.

I told this breeder that if we didn't know the parents and their temperaments, we wouldn't take a dog in. Which excluded rescues.

On Friday, I received an email from a woman with the Brittany Rescue Association. Wouldn't you know it, two puppies were available for adoption about 40 miles from us! And the breeder had suggested us as parents.

And I told her no way, not going through that again, I have children to worry about, they come first. No parents, no rescuing from us.

She had me on the hook. She emailed me back and said these puppies were actually from a divorcing couple, the kind of divorce where no one can agree on anything and it gets so nasty that they just get rid of everything and start fresh. Which included the dogs, mom, dad, and three puppies.

And then she told me she'd sent me pictures.

And did she ever.

17 megabytes of pictures later, my inbox blew up, and I had fallen in love.

As soon as I emailed the pictures to Sweetie Pie, he made it clear that we could meet the puppies, but we were getting only one. Which I agreed to.

On Saturday, the rescue group came to the house for the mandatory home visit with both puppies and there they were, in our yard, running around with those little puppy legs, sweet as can be, wagging their tails at us. After a good half hour, a decision had to be made.

And I couldn't do it. Picking one over the other felt too much like a Survivor tribal council, and neither puppy had given us any reason to have their torch snuffed out and tell him too bad, so sad, but you can't be part of our tribe, because your brother's slightly cuter?

We couldn't do it.

So meet Thing 1 and Thing 2. They've already brought a lot of joy to our house. And have been so have been a lot of help around the house, like when they decided I had way too many gift bags in my closet and helped me declutter by shredding a couple. Or how Thing 2 feels that Bounty paper towels' stock needs a boost and piddles in the house to make sure that Bounty's sales can increase.

Most importantly, they're helping heal my broken heart.



Monday, October 19, 2009

Like a Really Bad Comedy About a Gypsy Curse

I'm not superstitious. I don't believe in Feng-Shui. I'm agnostic.

In other words, I'm just here, living my life and don't believe that anything I do is going to cause me bad ju-ju.

Except that I'm now convinced that a gypsy curse has been set on me.

And I've been terrified to blog about it, because I thought I might make the curse angrier and then something heavy would fall on me. Or that I'd end up climbing into my parents home made hot air balloon and fly away, since apparently all of the cool kids are doing it.

Let's rehash the past three weeks, shall we? Of course there was the death of my beloved dog, which I've blogged about here and won't bore you with my grief again, even though I thought about him on my way into the office today and the pain gripped my heart so hard that I thought I was going to pass out. I've put four pets to sleep now, but none of them I have missed this much. And stopping now before I write another depressing post.

In the midst of losing my dog, I was also embroiled in a security investigation. I'd like to say that I was the one doing the investigating, but I wasn't. Instead, I was being investigated by my company for potentially developing and releasing a malware virus into the company. At first, I thought the whole thing was a joke, because me? Really? I may work for an IT company, but I'm actually the Tweedle Dee of technology. In fact, when the investigator asked me if I backed up my laptop, I paused and then asked "doesn't it do it automatically?" Hell, when Blogher contacted me to ask me to shrink down my header, I asked them if they'd mind doing it for me, beause I? Have no freaking clue how to do it. My job here is to look cute and make people laugh. Not to know IT, yo.

I've been cleared and I'm sure they now realize that even putting me on the list of suspects was ridiculous, although I sure hope the person who had to go through my work laptop enjoyed the 10,000 pictures of my kids that I have saved on it, and they obviously now know that I would never think of using my work laptop for personal use. Cough, cough.

Since I was being investigated, I was told that I would not be provided with a replacement laptop and would instead have to use my personal computer. Which is totally awesome, except for the fact that I don't own one.

Which meant I had to borrow a crappy laptop from someone and work out of my Yahoo account, because nothing says very important person like working out of your Yahoo account and having half of your emails go into people's junk folders, because their email thinks you're trying to convince them to use potions to grow their penis size.

But worst of all? Is my almost impeccable driving record (if you don't include the incident in March 2001 when a car full of people driven by a 16-year old girl went through a red light and slammed into me) has now been ruined. Huge props to GEICO, who might be the best insurance company ever, since they've yet to cancel me even though I slammed into the back of two vehicles in three weeks. Because one fender bender, just isn't enough.

The first one was totally not my fault. Some old lady stopped in the middle of the parking lot in front of me for no reason, and chose to do it right when I was hanging Little Man a piece of paper to throw out his gum. I slammed on the brakes when I realized what was going on and the impact was at such a low speed, that I was certain I'd stopped 0.0002 inches from her bumper, since I felt no impact. But when she got out of her little Miata looking pissed off, that's when the "oh crap" thought entered my head. The paint damage on her vehicle was pretty minor, but my Jeep Liberty acted like it hadn't even hit anything.

The second accident might have slightly been more my fault. I was waiting to turn right to get on another street, and there was another car in front of me. I was looking to the left, waiting for my chance, and there was a huge opening, that I assumed (which is the key word here) that the car went. At the next opening, I slammed on the accelerator (hello Nascar? I'm available anytime you want me) only to slam into the rear end of the vehicle in front of me, who I guess was waiting for an invitation to go.

It was a Honda CRV, which apparently is a car made of tin foil and paper, because his trunk? Let's just say it was practically kissing the back seat and my Liberty does not have a V8 engine.

But the worst part of accident number two in three weeks was that the poor guy still had paper plates on his car. And from the expiration date printed on those temporary plates, it was pretty clear that he'd had his brand new car about three days. Welcome to the real world, SUCKER!

My Jeep, on the other hand, took it like an Ultimate Fighting Championship beast/man hybrid and except for a crack in the plastic around the license plate holder and a few missing paint chips on my bumper, which give it some character, if you ask me, my Jeep is otherwise intact and ready to take out anyone else who gets in our way.

Both times, I was driving my children around, because let's face it, I'm rarely without at least one backseat driver nowadays, and the second accident, as I sat there freaking out trying not to say curse words, but unable to hold in the "OhmyGodohmyGodohmyGodohmyGod" verbal diarrhea, Little Man spoke up from the back seat and said to me "Don't worry, Mommy, it's just an accident."

And this is where it's proven once again that my son is a better person than me. And when he's a teenager and backs up into a pole with my Porshe (because surely, I'll be driving a cooler vehicle by then, yes?), I hope that I return the favor and tell him the same thing.

Except for the fact that I'm not a good person, so I know I'll end up going ape shit on him. But hey, knowing your own limitations is a sign of maturity, right?

This week is a new week. As an eternal optimist, I feel like that maybe, just maybe the gypsy curse has run its course. This weekend, I spent way too much money investing in something I will probably only need for another 12 months to 18 months. I got the houndstooth pattern, which clearly ups my cool factor by 10 points all by itself. I think the sheer coolness of that bag coming my way soon has broken the curse.

And now good things are coming to me. I know it. I opened 12 fortune cookies before being told so.



Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Doing Everything That a Spider Can

A few weeks ago, Little Man decided that when he grew up, he wanted to be Spider-Man.

I have no idea where this came from. Kid's never seen the show, kid no longer watches any TV really, and the once a month he'll ask for something, it's a recorded show from a network with no advertising. And yet, there it was, someone at school must have preached the greatness of Spider-Man, and now my kid's decided that putting on some weird costume and flying from building to building taking out bad guys is a fantastic career path.

I told him that superhero as a career choice wouldn't pay the bills, and that he'd need a day job. Little Man settled on police officer by day, Spiderman by night. Not exactly the most family friendly path, because exactly when will he handle midnight feedings if he's out wrestling with the Green Goblin? But whatever, I'm not his wife and until she sets her foot down, I'm not interested in crushing his dreams.

We're currently in Ottawa visiting my parents, and Little Man accompanied my dad on a golfing excursion with some buddies of his, one of which is a cop. The cop asked Little Man what he wanted to be when he grew up, and Little Man gave him his usual answer of cop by day, Spider-Man by night. The cop told him that he was actually a cop as well, and Little Man's eyes lit up with excitement and he asked "And you're Spider-Man at night?"

"Nope," the cop replied. "At night, I sleep."

Little Man later told me that his grandpa's friends are extremely lazy.



Monday, September 28, 2009

It Only Hurts When I Think About Him

Once upon a time, we had four pets. Two dogs and two cats. Sweetie Pie and I were like the Brady bunch, I came into the relationship with the two cats, he came with the two dogs, and when we moved in together, we made everyone learn to get along.

Eventually, we lost Sweetie Pie's lab to cancer, a horrible disease that meant that I had to hold that big yellow head on my lap, whispering how much I love him as the vet injected him with poison to stop his heart and his suffering.

Then, a year or two ago (time seems so fluid to me since I've had children, where the years all seem interchangeable and the only change is how big my children are getting), my younger cat (then 8 years old), suddenly disappeared. Either he headed for a better home where he'd be fed filet mignon every day, or he was snatched by a coyote who's first name was definitely not Wile E. since this cat, albeit fat, was quick.

Then there was Satan's Dog, our first lab's replacement and the dog that still can not be spoken of without dismay, the dog who loved with all his heart, when he wasn't leaving a path of destruction. The dog that I finally got rid of when he attacked our Old Dog so badly that the poor old dog was left missing a piece of his lip. And I became frightened for my children, my toddler and my then brand new baby, because if the dog was willing to turn on his best friend who he adored, why wouldn't he do the same to one of my kids? So I made the devastatingly difficult to give the dog up to a non-kill shelter, who looked for a new home for him without kids or other dogs.

Earlier this year, my old cat, the one I'd had since I was 14, the one who saw me through gawkiness and acne, the slutty years and let me feed her hot dog when we were stranded in Atlanta on our way to moving to Dallas, the one who saw me grow up and then saw my children be born (not literally, obviously, I don't know of any hospital who'd allow a cat to serve as your doula).

And then there was one. His name was chosen by me, and I'd known him since he was this little fur ball of a few months, a little ball that would lay on my lap, his head tucked between my chest and my arm. He was sweet, he was loving, he was quiet, and I loved him to pieces because despite being a dog, he had the personality of a cat. He didn't need to be in your face all the time, he was perfectly content laying in the same room as you for company. Or not, as he often chose to sleep on our bed while I worked in the living room.

Old Dog didn't care about most people, really, not disliking them, per se and greeting them so that they would know he was a dog, but he just rocked, is all. When I brought Little Man home, Old Dog, every time I'd let him in would run right for the bassinette, climb carefully with his front paws on the window sill and look in the bassinette to make sure the little human was ok. Once, Little Man had actually accepted to sleep in his crib, and when the dog ran in and saw that the child was missing from the bassinette, he practically freaked out and ran over to make me aware that the baby was missing. I think this might be the one and only time he pulled a Lassie move. It was unlike him and reminded me that he cared more than his aloofness would let on.

When Tiny Man came, Old Dog didn't care, as he'd long learned that infants grow up to be children who love to throw bouncy balls at his head. Tiny Man, however, was completely enamored with the dog, his whole little face lighting up, grabbing the dog's nose, ears, fur, whatever was in reach while squealing in his ear to show his love and adoration. Not once did the dog growl or even sigh as he was tortured by the baby. He considered it his duty to be a baby punching bag apparently, and he did it so well.

A few months ago, the dog began to have issues. He would pee all the time, sometime couldn't wait until he got outside and he would drink like crazy. A trip to the vet found him to be diabetic. I learned to give insulin shots, he was put on a special diet and life went on. Then in August, while we were in Canada, the dog, while staying at the vet's had three seizures. The vet asked me if I'd seen him having a seizure and I felt horrible, thought maybe I hadn't been observant enough, since really, I hadn't noticed anything. The dog was put on an epilepsy drug as well, and life went on.

Except that it didn't. The dog began to have more and more seizures. The medicine was supposed to take two weeks to regulate his system, but at week three, he was having multiple seizures a day, pooping in the house, having issues with his back legs and my husband demanded answers from the vet, but none that could be provided without spending $2,000 in full body scans. Money that we didn't have, nor were we willing to spend on a 10-year old dog.

This morning, I came home from dropping off the kids at school and found the dog tangled in our swing bench in the backyard. His collar was caught on a rod and he was howling in pain or from an epilepsy attack. His whole body was wedged between two parts of the bench, his paws caught in different parts. As I tried to free him, I either hurt him or he got scared, and he bit me. But even at his worse moment in life, my sweet, sweet dog didn't even bite hard enough to break the skin. I somehow freed him and he began to flop like a fish, a horrible sight that will remain burned in my brain for a long, long time. I rushed inside the house and called Sweetie Pie in hysterics, who jumped in his truck to head home. I called the vet to make them aware of the situation and then headed back out to be with my dog, who was now laying in the grass, panting heavily and whining in pain, his back legs stretched out in a distorted manner.

I rubbed that dog's head, a head that I've rubbed and kissed probably 10 thousand times during the past 10 years. I told him how sorry I was that I put him outside, because I'd done so to prevent yet another accident on my cream carpets. I cursed myself for my selfishness and cried. And then I held him some more. When Sweetie Pie got home, we placed him on a blanket and carried him to the truck. When we got to the vet's office, they brought my sweet dog to the back and I could see them testing his reflexes, and I could see his paws not responding. When I saw this, my brain knew that it was over and my heart broke in so many pieces that it will be a long time before it's whole again.

The vet confirmed the paralysis for us and told us that either the dog had a severe seizure that caused it, or else an undiagnosed spinal tumor is the cause of everything the dog has gone through these past months.

He then told us it was time to let the dog go. And I cried some more, and Sweetie Pie, for the third time in all of our years together cried too. I told the vet I needed to be with Old Dog when he died, because no matter how much it hurts, I cannot have one of my pets die alone on a cold veterinarian table.

And so they brought him in and he wailed in my lap and I told him that he was a good dog and sorry I was that I couldn't take his pain away. I told him how much we loved him and how much we'd miss him. How much he lit up my children's lives and how grateful I am that they got to know him.

Today I grieve. I grieve for my favorite dog. I grieve for the fact that I'm writing this in a pet-free home,something I haven't know in 25 years. I grieve for the fact that his collar is the only thing I have of his. I grieve for the fact that I need to explain to my four-year old that he's lost yet another pet. I grieve for Tiny Man who's too young to understand what happened and will more likely look for his dog when he gets home tonight.

But most of all, I grieve because tonight, there won't be a giant ball of fur with the softest ears ever made laying in my spot in bed. There won't be a dog there for me to snuggle, who'll just sigh and get up to leave because he doesn't like to snuggle.

I miss you Old Dog.



Thursday, September 24, 2009

Showing His Competitive Side

This month, Little Man began chess classes at school. Even though this will make some of you snicker that I'm guaranteeing that my son will get beaten up in middle school and high school, I assure you that I'm cancelling out the nerdiness with Tae Kwondo classes so that anyone who does make the bad decision to mock my son's nerdiness will probably stop when they end up in the hospital with broken bones.

I wanted Little Man to start taking chess since research shows that mastering chess works out the parts of the brain that help with math and science. And since I always struggled with math, I figure any advantage I can give my child aren't a bad thing.

Little Man has only taken three classes at this point, and it's unclear as to whether he's really learned anything except for the fact that there are black and white pieces involved.

He came home with an assignment, a paper where he had to figure out how to get check mate in one move and after Sweetie Pie had it all figured out, he decided to break out the chess board to demonstrate the problems to Little Man.

"So, Little Man, do you know what the point of chess is?

- Yeah. It's to win.

- Uhm, actually, it's to get the opponent's king.

- No. The whole point of chess is to win."

I know I've been known to be so ultra-competitive at Pictionary that people have refused to play with me, but I'm thinking the competitiveness gene? It is mighty strong.



Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Forty-Eight Months: My Letter to Little Man

So here we are. Four years old. I'm not sure what happened, maybe I sneezed or blinked, maybe I even turned my head for a second. Whatever it was, all I know is that suddenly, you've become a child. One who's big and plays T-ball and states his opinion about everything and obsesses about signs and what they say and doesn't. ever. stop. talking.

Oh the talking. I know I've mentioned the talking before, but I could never talk enough about the amount of talking you do. If you were a cartoon strip, I would get smothered by your conversation bubbles in two frames flat. You can out-talk me, my child, which is freaking unbelievable, because I swear your father thinks I deserve a world record for my talking. And yet, the talking gene mutated when you were created and turned into this monster talking machine that favors the word 'why'.

My dreams are haunted by the why question. Hell, so are my days. I can't answer anything without you asking 'why?' as a follow up and there are days where I'll whip my head around to you in exasperation and you'll sigh and say 'ok, no more questions, Mommy.' Which by the way? How'd you get so great at making people feel like shit after you've practically given them an aneurysm from your endless questions? That's talent, right there! I always feel horrible when you say that, like I should prompt you to interrogate me for another 30 minutes, just for hurting your feelings.

Your love for your brother now knows no bounds. You've moved in with him, because you claimed you missed him too much at night to be away from him for that long. You continue to pepper him with kisses and in his eyes, you are the most amazing being there ever could be. Which is a pretty true assessment of you. You are amazing, smart, perceptive and hilarious when you choose to be.

You're so funny, that you have been most of my status updates on Facebook this past month (do they still have Facebook when you're reading this? Or are you shaking your head thinking about how embarrassing it is that your mother is infatuated with archaic techology like Facebook and the driven car). Some of my favorites include:

When asked what you wanted for your birthday: "I just want a present that when I open it, I go 'wow, that's really awesome!'"

About your little brother: "When is Tiny Man going to learn to get stuff for me?"

After all your friends left your 4th birthday party: "Well, I'm almost five now."

Me: "I'm keeping my fingers crossed."
You: "I can see your fingers, and they're not crossed.
- Well, they're crossed in my mind.
(sigh) - You don't have fingers in your mind."

You: "I'm going to marry (name of best guy friend from school) when I grow up."
Me: "Well, you live in Texas, where they say that a man has to marry a woman.
- Where can I get married then.
- You can get married in Canada.
- Fine then, me and (best guy friend from school) will go to Canada. And we'll get married in Canada. Will you come to my wedding?
- I wouldn't miss it for the world.

Although, you absolutely despise people laughing at your jokes, as you take everything so personally, to the point that I once yelled at you "WILL YOU FREAKING LIGHTEN UP? YOU'RE NOT EVEN FOUR YET, STOP ACTING LIKE AN 80-YEAR OLD!"

Your father says that you and I, we're like an old married couple, we bicker all the time, and yet it's obvious to anyone who knows us that there's a deep love and respect there. And that's probably true. And if I have to bicker with you for the rest of my life, then I'm ok with that, because every night, I kiss you goodnight and you squeeze me so hard, that my heart practically implodes.

You're an amazing child. We were at CVS the other day (no shocker there, we go to CVS so much, you practically know the aisles by heart) and the cashier that day, who is fairly new, said to me "You look like you're a good mom." The truth is? I'm not the good one. I'm just lucky enough to have you for a first-born. You make it look easy, kid. And I love that you make me look good. I hope I make you look good too.

One morning, you were watching me fumble with my eye shadow and you said to me "can I try?" I figured, what the hey, that's why they invented make up remover, right? Your first attempt was exactly what I expected: I looked like a clown with a black eye. I thanked you for your services. The next day, you came back in the bathroom and asked me if you could try again. Once again, I sat on the floor and let you have fun, my small attempt at imagining life with two girls would be like. You frowned and carefully applied the eye shadow with much concentration and then you nodded and told me you were done, and that I could take a look. When I looked in the mirror, I stared at my reflection stunned. You'd done a better job than I do.

And that's you in a nutshell. It doesn't matter what the activity is, if you try hard enough, you'll not only master it, but you'll master it better than the person you watched. It's no wonder your brother and I are so awed by you.

I love you, my Little Man,


Thursday, September 03, 2009

A Typical Conversation in This House

"Sweetie Pie, what do you think we should get your father for his birthday?

- I had an idea this year. We should get him an El Cunt."


"What the hell is an el cunt?

- You don't know what an el cunt is?

- No. I don't, how do you even spell that? E-L-C-U-N-T?"

Another pause to allow for Sweetie Pie to be revived by the paramedics from dying of laughter.

"What the hell do you think I'm proposing we buy my father? A Mexican whore? I said elk hunt!

- Oh. That makes a lot more sense. How much does that cost?

- Probably a couple thousand dollars.

- Yeah, let's get him the Mexican whore instead, then."



Friday, August 28, 2009

Is It Just Me?

Am I the only person who's absolutely horrible with names? Like I have to meet most people two to three times before I remember their names?

And who can't remember most people if I haven't seen them in a few years?

Facebook is the worst invention ever, in my mind. About a quarter of my Facebook 'friends' are people who I don't even remember from my childhood. I know they really know me, because they're friends of people I know and their names sound vaguely familliar, but I've truly got no freaking clue who they are. No memory of them, no memory of their names.

Even worse? Yesterday, I thought 'hey, I should look up the guy I lost my virginity to!'

And then realized I could only remember his first name.

I'm not freaking kidding you. You could hold a gun to my head, and I still couldn't tell you his last name.

In my defense, I do remember his first name was Dale, and I tried to get everyone to start calling me Chip, because I thought it'd be cute. Little did I know that Chip & Dale is not just the names of two Disney chipmunks.

So yeah. I lost my virginity to some guy named Dale. Who, in my mind, no longer has a last name. And therefore, Facebook won't let me find out if he looks like poop now.

You know those commercials where they talk about the early signs of dementia and alzheimer's? No one will recognize those in me. I'm screwed.



Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Warning: This is About to Get Good

So guess what I did, children's?

I've gone and signed up for a pole dancing class.

I ain't making it up.

Me, the klutz who managed to trip and fall on a tour of the labor and delivery unit at the hospital.

Me, the rythmically challenged one who was once asked at a nightclub if I've been suffering from epilepsy my whole life.

Yup, that me.

That me will be swinging herself around some big metal pole.

Emergency rooms of North Texas, get ready. There will be blood.

Clearly, a post recapping the first class will be coming once I actually schedule my classes.

But it's a coming.



Monday, August 24, 2009

Nine and Ten Months: My Letter to Tiny Man

So yeah, you're getting a two-fer letter, since I'm so far behind that I'd never get caught up. And you can blame it on being the second-born, but I have to tell you that already, there are more pictures of your first 10 months than there are probably of your brother's first 18 months. As obsessive as I was with taking your brother's picture, I'm even more so with you. I know how fast babies change now and I have to capture every small change in you. You also don't help my obsession with pictures by looking so freaking cute.

There were a lot of firsts these past two months. First teeth, especially the five you sprouted in a three-week period. Man, I haven't seen crankiness that bad since I was pregnant with you and threw a dinner plate at your dad's head for disagreeing with me. For the longest time, you were our snaggle-toothed one, our little can opener. And I loved that tooth. I loved that it looked so out of place on its own, all by itself in your little mouth. One day, you had perfectly smooth baby gums and then, two days before you turned nine months old, there it was! A perfect little sparkling white tooth. And then a few weeks later, your mouth exploded, and now, as I write this, you have six teeth and considering you yelled at me this morning for not letting you crawl up the stairs (another first that you started a week ago. I? Am not amused by that one.)

There was also your first haircut, which I put off a long, long time, dude, because I love your hair a little bit too long and crazy. But you were beginning to look a little bit like a shaggy dog, and so finally, I took you to a children's haircutting place. And it, uhm, went well.

Until she cut that first piece of hair. And then you went ape shit on her, because apparently, you were just as attached to your hair as you were. You were so upset, that eventually I just had to get you out of that chair and hold you on my lap while the girl finished cutting your hair. Did I mention the whole thing was your father's idea?

Speaking of your hair, during the last few months, it's turned reddish. Which is the biggest genetic mystery ever. Your father is of Irish descent, but just where did those auburn highlights of yours come from? You've got the most interesting features, with your reddish hair, and your eyes the color of sea glass. Not quite blue, not quite green, I frequently find myself just looking into those eyes of yours, trying to decide what color they really are. And just when I settle on blue, the light in the room changes, and they suddenly become dark green. I suspect many women some day will spend hours pondering the same thing. I'll be at the door with a big stick chasing them off if you need me.

During the last two months, you've become quite the little ham. You always have been, to a certain degree, but now, as your personality is bursting at its seams, we can truly see how much you love to make people laugh. Nothing makes you happier than getting a laugh out of me, your brother, or your father. We've seen you smash your head into a wall after you covered your head up with your towel and when you hear us laugh, you peer over at us, snap your head back and let out this hysterical fake laugh, as your eyes light up with the joy of hearing us laugh. You've got it in you, kid, to be one hell of an entertainer. I can tell already that you'll grow up to be one of those people who loves to walk into a room and make people laugh. I can tell, because I'm one of them. Fewer things give me the thrill that having a group of people laughing at one of my stories gives me. And I can already tell that you have an innate gift for it, one that's already 10 times more potent than mine. I foresee many school reports that mention you talking in class too much or making the other kids laugh at inappropriate times. But don't worry, you'll have an ally in me.

In fact, you love to get just about any reaction from people. You love to lay your head down on random things and look over to us with a cute look in your eyes, just so we can make an "awwwwwwww!" sound at you. On more than one occasion, you'll lay your head down on something random, like a toy or the dog's tail and when we don't "awwwwww!" at you, you'll scream at us to get our attention and then do it again until you get the reaction you're looking for.

You're also amazingly sweet. You love our dog so much and get so excited when you see him. You're known for chasing him around the house, talking your little language to him, like you're asking him all about his day, because surely, that big furry beast must do all sorts of exciting things while we're gone right? You love to grab his neck fur to stand yourself up and squeeze him hard, and you feel bad that he has to eat alone, so you make it your mission to crawl over to his bowl while he's eating, grab his food and throw it around the kitchen. I have to say, you're awful lucky to have a dog this patient, kid.

This weekend, I had your father remove your infant car seat from my car. You are now 7 ounces from the maximum weight, which means that you'll probably outgrow it by noon tomorrow at the rate you're growing. I put you in your big car seat for the first time yesterday, and even though you're still facing backwards, you had this look of excitement on your face. You looked so small in that big car seat, that it brought me back to the day we brought you home, when you looked this small but in the infant seat instead. Hard to believe that in a few short years, you'll outgrow this seat too. You'll outgrow letting me rock you to sleep when you've had a rough day. You'll outgrow letting me kiss the back of your neck in public. You'll outgrow laughing at my jokes and funny faces.

But no matter how much you outgrow me, you'll still be that 7 pound-blog with the pitch-black hair and eyes so dark, we couldn't tell what color they were.

You're my baby. My last one. How about you take it easy on your Mama and slow down this getting big crap, ok?

I love you my Tiny Man,