Thursday, August 31, 2006

I've Basically Boycotted Chicken Broth Ever Since

A year ago today, I was put on a liquid diet, because they thought my gall bladder was pissed off at the world, like a teenager who's been told she can't go out with her 25-year old boyfriend because he's going to a rave and does drugs.

If you've never been on a liquid diet, I highly recommend trying it out. My guess is that you'll eat chicken broth and jello and then 30 minutes later say "man, I'm freaking starving and go to Denny's and order yourself three grand slams.

Even models forego the liquid diet. It's just not human.

And your stomach gets pretty pissed everytime you eat, because you fill up with liquid and your stomach's like "finally! food! We were about to starve to death her lady!" And then as it begins to break down your "meal," it realizes that there's actually no real food in there. It's like wrapping a bunch of empty boxes for Christmas and telling a kid "look at all the great gifts you got!" And as the kid opens empty box after empty box he begins to feel a hatred that could result in a page that vows to kill you in your sleep.

Now add to the fact that I was almost nine months pregnant at the time and had a child who depended on me for basic nourishment and you'll see why being on a liquid diet sucked.

I was only on it for two days really. But it truly felt like forever.

I look back at my liver-shutting down incident now and think to myself "huh, that was only a total of four days."

But when you're in the worst pain of your life and your body is actually trying to die, four days feels really freaking long.

Two days after getting on the liquid diet, I got a beautiful baby boy, all warm and soft and sweet and quiet. And I got put back on the liquid diet. Which sucked. Two days after having baby boy, I was put on real food again. I still remember the taste of that meal. It was spaghetti with meat sauce. The spaghetti was overcooked and the meat sauce was probably really bland. But I practically sat in my bed and licked the plate. It's still to this day the greatest meal I've ever had.

Probably cost me about 80 bucks with our crappy insurance. But I'd say it was worth every freaking penny.



For Any Of You Accusing Me Of Making Crap Up

There. Tell me that's not Satan. I dare you. What kind of theater set has a Satan puppet you ask? One that believes in putting the fear of the devil in a child as soon as possible.

The theater set my mother bought baby boy also has a crocodile puppet. Here he is looking like the vicious animal it is. This is why I believe these creatures are only good as boots and purses.

Here's a front view of it, you can see that it's clearly in attack mode, which always makes kids squeal with delight, because young children love to watch horror movies re-enacted by evil puppets.



Wednesday, August 30, 2006

I'm Not Accusing These People of Doing Drugs, I'm Just Alluding To It

There's this awesome catalogue I get called Lakeside collection. I love this catalogue, because it's full of cheap crap, and therefore really, really great to get before the holiday season (less than 140 shopping days left until Christmas kiddos! It's now crunch time!)

But the best part about Lakeside is that it's got crap that makes you wonder "who the hell came up with this???"

Exhibit One:

The Butt/Face Towel

I'd copy the images here, but apparently Lakeside is so proud of its line of products that you can't copy their images, they tell you they're copyrighted and get all uppity.

Now, notice in the picture that it states "perfect for laundry-challenged college students."

To which I say "eeeew!" If your towel gets so nasty that it begins to actually smell like butt munch and you worry about putting your face where your ass has been, you've got issues.

To those people I say do the hell what I do: use a separate towel for your hair and face.

There's also a butt/face soap set. The butt soap is brown. I can't make this crap up.

Exhibit 2:

The Farting Teddy Bear

Shopping for the man who has it all? Are you an immature teenage boy who wants to be dumped by your girlfriend on Christmas day? Then do we have the gift for you!

Notice that in the second picture, the man actually has to hold his ribs in because he's laughing so hard, he's about to give himself a hernia. Nothing says class like a freaking farting bear.

Exhibit 3:

Crushing Young Girls' Dreams

Women's rights? Screw you! Daughters ain't need to think they can be them fancy doctors or them smart lawyers when they grow up. No! They need to learn to strive for nothing more than becoming a hotel maid. And with this toy, they can practice looking for used condoms under beds and praying that the stain on the toilet seat is chocolate.

Who the hell buys this crap for their kid? A kitchenette, sure. A pretend vacuum cleaner to vaccuum along side Mommy or Daddy, ok. But a whole freaking maid cart???

Exhibit 4:

"These ornaments enjoy Christmas as much as you!"

Yeah, and when you fall asleep they freaking eat your brain and desecrate your corpse. But the best selling point is that each ornament says "hey! Over here!" Which I imagine it to be said in a really, really creepy voice. This would definitely cure my Christmas excitement.

I mock, but I've just managed to order over $60 worth of crap, most of it being for me. I assure you that none of the above items have made it into my cart, however.



Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Brainiac Dog

Our new puppy, Satan's Dog, is literally on more drugs than an epileptic schizophrenic AIDS patient. I've discussed before how, during only two days at the pound, Satan's dog managed to catch the puppy equivalent of Montezuma's Revenge, as well as doggie emphyzema.

I've always thought getting a purebred dog was ridiculous. 600 dollars for a dog? That's insane! Especially when you can save a life from the SPCA!

Here is the tally so far of how much money Satan's Dog has cost me:

Adoption Fee: $195 (50 bucks if Sweetie Pie asks)
Leash, Collar, toys, and other stuff from PetsMart: $50
Doggie Training: $80
Puppy Food: $30
Veterinarian: $250

This means that Satan's Dog has so far in three short weeks cost me $605.

I will never be a judgemental bitch again.

Well, I probably will be, because it's really just a part of my genetic make up, but it won't be on purpose.

However, my pound puppy is quite brilliant. He hates his pills and acts like a psych patient each time we give it to him. I'll shove it to the back of his throat, close his mouth and stroke his throat to make him swallow it. Puppy will feign swallowing to make me happy. Puppy will store pill under his tongue or between his gums for ten minutes and spit it out when I'm no longer looking at him.

This is quite bad since, one, puppy needs to finish his antibiotics. And two, we have a baby with eagle eyes who has already come within splitting hair's distance of swallowing one of the pills he found. Yeah, fucking terrified me too.

So Sweetie Pie last night, decided to take matters into his own hands. He took a piece of bread, balled it up around the pill and fed it to the pup. We watched excitedly as the puppy gobbled the bread and happily wagged his tail.

Yet another reason why humans are superior to dogs, we thought.

Until the puppy smirked at us and swallowed the bread, all while spitting the pill clear across the room.

We've now decided antibiotics are stupid anyway.



Monday, August 28, 2006

The Secret World of Baby Parties

Baby Boy is way more popular than I am. I have never had two social events in one day that I can remember. If I did, I got so wasted that I no longer recall this rare occurence.

But Baby Boy, at the tender age of one year minus one week had two birthday parties and a slumber party all in one freaking day.

Going to a birthday party for a baby is pretty much the same as going to a playdate, except that there's kick ass food and a freaking cake!!!!

And I like cake.

I'm always intrigued when going to people's homes because there are always toys that I don't, I mean, Baby Boy doesn't have.

Sometimes this means that I run out the next day to buy said toy, especially if Baby Boy showed an interest in it. Other times, it makes me realize that there are some really fucked up toys out there.

Take birthday party number one. One of the many toys this little girl had was a teletubby. Now, I've always thought teletubbies were creepy, but transformed into a doll, you're talking Twilight Zone creepy. One mom pointed out that the eyes made it look dead. Which is true. It was like holding a weird corpse.

But even creepier, their ears are shaped like. God, I can't even say it out loud.

Oh, who am I kidding, I said it out loud on Saturday with a room full of babies and mothers and fathers.

They look like bikini waxed female genitalia.

What kind of fucked up person invents a character for children and slaps two bare female body parts on the sides of the head and calls them ears?

Then at birthday number two, we find out that the birthday boy plays with a decapitated dog, which, of course, Baby Boy was immediately attracted to. There he was, standing in the living room, shaking this dog head that's resting on a pink flower, of all things.

Because as Emily Post will tell you, when you decapitate a dog, you should always serve the head to your guests on a pink flower as to make it seem like it's perfectly normal.

Come to find out that the decapitated dog is part of different doggie body parts stapled onto rings in order for kids to learn at an early age that animal life does not matter and if your puppy craps on your carpet, he deserves nothing more than to be cut into pieces a la Soprano.

Of course, I say this and in my house lives Gay Bird Elmo who squawks at people like he's some kind of freaking vulture. Oh and my mother bought baby boy this theater with puppets and besides a king and queen puppet there is also a nasty looking alligator and a Satan puppet. I'm not making this up. It's definitely Satan. He has a red face and horns sticking over his head and he's holding a pitchfork.

Why anyone would think that it's great for a baby to play with a Satan puppet, I'm not quite sure.

Of course, none of the other mommies have actually seen the Satan puppet yet, simply because I didn't want Baby Boy to be kicked out of playgroups for having a crazy grandmother.



Sunday, August 27, 2006

Four Years -- Or a Lifetime in Hollywood

Four years ago tomorrow, Sweetie Pie and I got married in Vegas, with an Elvis impersonator from Austin and a preacher with a penchant for big heavy bling bling gold chains.

I can't say this was my dream wedding, since I'm really not an Elvis fan at all, the only song I like being Can't Help Falling in Love, and I really like UB40's remake much, much better. But since UB40 wasn't available to perform at our wedding and the Elvis package was the cheapest wedding in Vegas and we were tight on funds since Sweetie Pie was starting his company, we decided that we could become Elvis fans for one day and had our wedding in a chapel creatively called "The Elvis Chapel" which was proudly featured in an AFLAC commercial the owner told us.

Which is great, considering my dream was always to get married in the same place a computer-animated duck voiced by Gilbert Gottfried once stood.

I think I've probably told the story before, but when Sweetie Pie and I decided to get married, we met with an immigration lawyer to find out if we needed to do anything first, since I'm Canadian.

We'd already decided at that point to get married in France, since I wanted my elderly grandparents who live in Normandy to attend and Sweetie Pie didn't want a big wedding and figured that doing it out of the country would reduce the number of his parents' friends attending.

The lawyer told us that by law we had to get married in the US first and that once we were married, I wouldn't be allowed to leave the country for up to six months since my paperwork would then be processed by the INS.

Since I didn't want two competing weddings and a justice of the peace at city hall seemed too depressing to me, we decided to go campy and go to Vegas. And so we stood in line at the Vegas City Hall with drunk people and old people, got our marriage license and were on our way to get married between stints at buffets and at slot machines.

I remember sitting in the limo with Sweetie Pie, me in my Hawaiian dress, he in his Hawaiian shirt and I had a "holy shit! I can't get married!" moment. But our freaking limo driver would not shut up, feeling the need to tell us his entire life story and so I didn't have a chance to finish my second thoughts of getting married. Next thing I knew, I was clutching a bouquet of fake flowers, walking down the aisle next to a hairy-chested Elvis and it was too late to change my mind.

I thank that chatty limo driver every single time Sweetie Pie makes me laugh or does something sweet. Which really isn't that often, now that I think about it.

And so now, here we are four years later. The passion is definitely gone I'd say, replaced by a comfort level that would never be matched by being with anyone. Sweetie Pie is in many ways my best friend, and yet, I have many girlfriends who no intimate details about my life, like that I've grown four hairs on my nipples since being pregnant, that he'll never know unless I forget to tweeze.

He still loves me the best he can four years into our marriage and seven and a half years into our courtship and for that I'm grateful, especially on days where I feel like shit, snap at him for breathing and want to throw pots and pans at him just for being alive.

We're not the kind of couple who says I love you and kiss each other before going to bed anymore, simply because we're so tired, one of us always ends up falling asleep the second their head hits the pillow. But the other one never doubts that the feelings are there.

Sweetie Pie knows my bare soul and my bare heart. I've never truly trusted anyone else with this.

Yet, as much as we know each other, there are still undiscovered facts. Like how I found out that Sweetie Pie once had an ex-stripper for a girlfriend once. He went out with her, not just because she was hot and knew how to twirl around a pole, but because she was now the beer girl on a golf course and told him she could get him on to play for free. To Sweetie Pie, that was music to his ears.

So now, we only probably have anywhere from 50 to 60 anniversaries left before one or both of us dies. This seems like a lifetime, which, technically it is, but with the warp speed the first four went, I'm pretty sure that by next year we'll be 70 and yelling at each other in the car over whether driving 30 miles below the speed limit on the highway is the right way to drive or if 40 would be safer.

I love you Sweetie Pie, weird toes and all.


Friday, August 25, 2006

I Think He's On To Me...

So everyone who reads this blog fairly regularly knows that I really, really suck ass with money.

It's not that I'm not financially smart, it's just that literally, the second I have a dollar available, this overwhelming power takes over my body to spend it.

Sweetie Pie is the complete opposite. If he had it his way, we'd live off of ramen noodles, Baby Boy would play with twigs and I would wear no underwear (that one's not just because he's cheap).

I being the superior being in the relationship has managed to finnagle the finances away from him and manage to hide the constant hole of debt that somehow reappears every year. We'll pay off our debts and I'll be like "whoo-hoo! Debt free since 2006!" and then two months later we'll once again have a huge balance on the credit cards because I'll have celebrated our debt-freeness by buying a small city and a slightly used helicopter.

Now some of you would say that I just need to turn the finances over to Sweetie Pie. But I say to you "you are wrong" and "screw you and your judgmental behavior."

I get nasty when you disagree with me.

Here are my reasons why Sweetie Pie shouldn't be in charge of the finances:

1. I have it all under control. The way a meth addict living next to a meth clinic has everything under control. But really, as soon as we win the lottery or have a rich relative die, we'll so be ok. And then I'll be able to buy myself my Burberry purse of my dreams. Just kidding. Ok, I'm not. No really, I wouldn't do that. Ok, maybe I would, but it's a really, really nice purse.
2. Sweetie Pie would put me on an allowance. An ALLOWANCE people! I'm 30 and only two freaking weeks away from being 31. I should not be on an allowance. An allowance would mean that I'd have to think about every purchase. I wouldn't be able to spoil my baby rotten. I couldn't even buy myself McDonald's when I wanted to. Revolutions have been started because of less than this. Don't expect me to live in inhumane conditions.
3. I'd have to eat non-organic foods again. This simply is not acceptable to me now that my son has lived on this planet 11 months on only organic foods and is literally the healthiest baby I've ever met. He's got a ginormous head. But I'm sure that wasn't caused by a lack of pesticides and hormone in his diet.
4. I could no longer hide my addiction to online shopping, infomercials and impulse buys. Although Sweetie Pie suspects that this is the dark side of the woman he's married. I don't think he truly realizes that the expression "there's a sucker born every minute" should really be changed to "Catwoman can be suckered into buying something new every second."

I thought Sweetie Pie just left all the money handling to me. But yesterday he came home and was oddly quiet. Well, oddly quieter than usual.

All of a sudden, as we're playing with Baby Boy, he blurts out "do you realize our account is overdrawn?"

I gasped. How could this happen? I lost my debit card two months ago and haven't gotten a new one because we're supposed to change banks. So I'm not spending money out of our checking account and assumed that we were fine until the end of the month.

But apparently I was wrong. Now I'm sure the bank didn't call Sweetie Pie to let him know our account was overdrawn. So this can only mean one thing... He went to the online banking site.

I've never felt so betrayed in my whole life!



Thursday, August 24, 2006

A Look Back

In nine days, it will be the one year anniversary of the day I entered the hospital to find out if my gall bladder was having issues, and came out three days later with a baby who I had no idea what to do with.

I still remember those first days, all fuzzy and sleep deprived. I remember the first time Baby Boy woke up, half an hour after I'd gone to bed, and I bound out of bed, all excited to give him his first night feeding, unaware that there would be another 642 night feedings and that the novelty would wear off around the fourth.

I remember taking an hour and a half to trim his 10 fingernails down, desperately afraid of chopping off one of those miniscule digits, with baby nail clippers that seemed as big as the baby.

I remember realizing that my baby was so small that he didn't fit into any of the cute outfits I'd been buying since practically the day I found out I was pregnant. So for three weeks, he wore premature clothing and each time I took him out, people would ooh and aah over how tiny he was.

I remember Baby Boy not sleeping the 18 hours a day he was supposed to and me desperately pleading with him to go to sleep, since I had no clue what to do with a blob. We'd stare at each other in silence, him laying on the boppy, his newborn eyes staring into space. Me trying not to move and getting the diaper bag packed up for the tenth trip of the day to the grocery store, not knowing where else to go with a newborn.

I remember bottles, many of them, and Baby Boy falling asleep after each feeding. When I'd remove the nipple from his mouth, it would remain open, and his little tongue would keep working, moving in fluid motion, sucking away at air. I used to stare in wonderment when he did that, wanting time to freeze at that moment. My heart still aches right now, knowing that I'll never get to watch him do that again.

Then there was the breastfeeding and the stress every two hours of realizing that my boobs still hadn't gotten their act together and I would pump away, trying to get something to feed my son. I remember getting excited when at my peak, I pumped two ounces of milk. And I remember my agony when Baby Boy gulped four ounces at the next feeding and realizing that I would never be able to only breastfeed.

I remember first smiles and first giggles. Thousands of pictures that I've placed into albums and will flip through when I miss Baby Boy like crazy when he's down for his nap. It's amazing how he can drive me so nuts that I count the minutes to his nap, but the second he's down I miss him so much, I want to go into his room and crawl into his crib to hold him.

A year of firsts, each one incredible and making me wonder "how the hell did he learn that?"

Realizing with Sweetie Pie that we had this blank canvas that we could teach really cool tricks to, like going "aaaaaaah!" after each sip from his sippy cup, like it was the most refreshing drink ever.

I remember being so convinced those first few days that someone had made a terrible mistake; that any second, there'd be a ring at the door and someone would tell us that this wasn't our baby and they needed to take him back. But now, there's no doubt about it. He's ours to keep. We cut the tags, the warranty's expired, and I'm pretty sure no one would want a baby who poops in his own bath water, as of two nights ago.

And that fine by me. I'll keep him for as long as he wants me to keep him. Unless he's 40. Then I'm totally kicking him out.



Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Because I Just Can't Seem to Write a Real Post Today...

Well, I've tried to draft two posts today, neither one of them was interesting or clever. Then I went to Emma in Canada's blog and said "Ah ha!" I'll just steal her questions and answers. Which apparently she stole from somebody else. Which would now make me in possession of the stolen property, leaving her completely off the hook. She's a new mom. I'm nice like that.

1. How tall are you barefoot? 5'3". And a half. I'm very anal about always mentioning that extra half inch, because it took superhuman effort to grow that last half inch.
2. Have you ever been cheated on? Not that I know of. I've always made it very clear to every man that I'd be gone if they cheated. Before Sweetie Pie, I really didn't stay in the relationship long enough to be cheated on.
3. Do you own a gun? No, I hate them. But unfortunately, I'm married to a Texan hunter and we do have them in the house. They're under lock and key in a safe and that office will have a deadbolt added to it when Baby Boy is a full-fledged toddler. Because I'm psychotically paranoid about them being in the house. As I should be.
4. What do you think of hot dogs? Processed meat products? What's not to love? Although, now that I've had Hebrew National hotdogs, I won't have anything else. Trust me, spend the extra two bucks next time you're at the grocery store, it's totally worth it for the juicy yumminess, and they're entrail free! Yum, yum! My favorite hot dogs not at home are from the streets of Toronto. Something (maybe the exhaust fumes makes them out of this world.)
5. What's your favorite Christmas song? Do They Know It's Christmas. I don't even remember who sings it... Maybe Band Aid? I also love George Michael's Last Christmas. I know they're not the traditional ones. For traditional ones, I have to go to the French ones I grew up with, like Petit Papa Noel.
6. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Yummy tea with milk. For you Texans, that's HOT tea.
7. Do you do push-ups? Only of the bra type.
8. Have you ever done ecstasy? No, too much of a wimp for that.
9. Do you like Disney World? Never been. But I'm sure I would.
11. Do you own a knife? How else am I expected to eat steak?
12. What do you smell like? My perfume, In Love Again and probably mildly sweaty from being outside numerous times in the stifling heat trying to coax poop and pee out of the puppy.
13. Do you have A.D.D.? I'm guessing ritalin wouldn't hurt me at all, considering my attention span last all of... Hey! A bird!
14. Full initials? OK, no laughing on this one... My full initials are A.A.B.B. Yes, I'm a dyslexic ABBA. Go ahead, I dare you to laugh bitch. I'll kick your ass.
15. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment. Damn it, Baby Boy's awake and I haven't finished this. My contacts are really dry. I really, really want chocolate.
16. Name the last 3 things you have bought today. Surprisingly, I have yet to buy a single thing today. I know, shocking. Must be having an off day.
17. Name five drinks you regularly drink. Water, Dr. Pepper, blush wine, cherry kool-aid, hot tea
18. What time did you wake up today? 5:45 when Sweetie Pie's alarm clock went off. Damn bastard and his setting up early meetings.
19. Can you spell? Of curse I kan spill!
20. Current worries? How will ever be able to afford another baby.
21. Current hate? Puppy diarrhea
22. Favorite place to be? Little Gym with Baby Boy. Love watching him go nuts. God, I'm such a freaking mom sometimes. Let me try again... I love to be at movie openings with my famous friends where tha papparrazzi hounds us and calls us anorexic while we run in our Jimmy Choos.
23. Least favorite place to be? Standing over Baby Boy's changing table, wiping stinky poop from his crack while he's wiggling and screaming at me.
24. Where do you want to go? The Caribbean would be awesome just about now. Or a cruise. But my dream trip is Australia.
25. Do you own slippers? Yes, but I refuse to wear them, due to 18 years of slipper oppression from my mother "Put on your slippers, do you know how expensive socks are?"
26. Where do you think you will be in 10 years? Probably with a job I hate and a bunch of kids I drive around in a ginormous SUV. And attending soccer games all the time while thinking how much I wish I was at the mall.
27. Do you burn or tan? Tan. Except for my boobs. They burn from very rare sun exposure.
28. Yellow or blue? Not sure what this is referring too. I love yellow, but I look better in blue.
29. Would you give up your current life to be a pirate? Only if Johnny Depp's involved. And I get to wear a comfortable corset that makes my waist look like it's impossibly small.
30. Last time your cell rang? 2:42 p.m. I was outside with the puppy so they left a message and that's how I know the time.
31. What songs do you sing in the shower? Right now, it's all about Justin Timberlake's "Sexy Back." I also sing "Old MacDonald" when Baby Boy gets restless in his walker. But I give him cool animals like hyenas and elephants. Our Old McDonald rescues wild animals.
32. What did you fear was going to get you at night as a child? My mother.
33. How much cash do you have on you? None. I'm terrible about having cash nowadays. I'm all about the debit cards and the credit cards.
34. Last thing that made you laugh? Baby Boy.
35. Best bed sheets you had as a child? Never had any cool ones. And yet I don't feel deprived.
36. Worst injury you've ever had? Definitely my c-section opening. What can be worst than being cut open in half?
37. Where have you been out of US? Canada, England, Ireland, France, Belgium, Germany, Mexico, just about everywhere in the Caribbean (never stayed, just from being a flight attendant and landing there), Tahiti, Spain, Portugal. There might be others I don't remember.
38. Who is your loudest friend? Tough one to call... I'm going to have to say Haji though.
39. Who is your most silent friend? Man, not sure any of my friends could be considered that quiet. I guess J. in NYC.
40. Does someone have a crush on you? If they do, they haven't told me. I really would love to find out Paul Walker has a crush on me. Or Andy Roddick.
41. Do you wish on stars? No. I suck.
42. What song did you last hear? I can't remember... I was too busy talking to Baby Boy in the car when we came back from the playdate.
43. What song do you want played at your funeral? "Sexy Back" would be pretty freaking awesome!
44. What were you doing at 12:00 last night? Snoring. Probably drooling in my sleep too.
45. First thought upon waking up this morning? "Go back to sleep before Baby Boy realizes you're awake and starts the day at 5:45."



Tuesday, August 22, 2006

100 Things About Me

I saw this on a couple of other blogs and thought I'd give it a shot. Be very, very afraid... Some of this stuff is scary

1. I'm a virgo.
2. But I don't have any of the virgo characteristics: I'm not organized and orderly, I'm not logical and I'm no longer shy.
3. Although, I was very, very shy as a kid. I was the one who always stood in the corner staring at other kids hoping they'd come over to talk to me. Yes, I was a weirdo.
4. Moving all the time made my shyness even worse, because I'd finally fit in somewhere and then we'd pick up and move again.
5. Between the ages of three and 15, my family moved six times.
6. I was born in France.
7. I still speak French fluently and am trying to be good about teaching it to Baby Boy.
8. If Baby Boy doesn't speak French fluently, my parents will disown me.
9. I have younger sisters who are twins.
10. I was three years old when they were born and they did all the twin stuff including having their own language, which made me feel very left out.
11. I developed this theory that everyone was born with a twin, but that your mom only kept both if she liked you.
12. I became convinced my mom hated me and had killed my twin.
13. Apparently I was quite the overdramatic bitch even back then.
14. I lived in Tahiti for two years when I was seven to nine.
15. There is nothing for a kid to do in Tahiti. My sisters and I would get so bored in Tahiti, that we did stupid stuff all the time.
16. Once, we spent an afternoon throwing leeches in a bonfire. Leeches go "pop" when you throw them in a fire.
17. Another time, I was dared by my sisters to drink all of my prescription cold medication. I was caught by the babysitter taking swig number two.
18. I didn't die.
19. Another time, my sisters dared me to pee on our German shepherd. I did it.
20. I still feel bad about that one, even though the dog seemed turned on by it.
21. In Tahiti, there's a lack of iodine in the air and water that makes white people from other parts of the world go slowly insane. Despite being given pills of iodine (which we pretended to take, because they tasted like shit), my sisters and I were obviously affected by the lack of iodine.
22. I demanded to start going to school when I was two years old, breaking my mother's heart.
23. I was the youngest kid in my preschool, but I freaking loved going.
24. I learned to read when I was three years old.
25. My favorite toy when I was four was my little professor, probably one of the lamest math toys ever made. I loved its owl face.
26. I slept with a stuffed koala bear until I was 13 years old and began going to sleepovers and didn't want to be made fun of.
27. I still have him in my closet.
28. I skipped grade three.
29. And grade 11 (but that one was an accident, they put me in the wrong grade when we moved because the school systems were different).
30. I really suck at math.
31. But I can add just about any number in my head.
32. And I can calculate percentages very well.
33. I wrote my first book when I was four.
34. And have been unable to write another one since, despite starting a half dozen different ones over the years.
35. I used to be obsessed with Make-Your-Own-Adventure books when I was young.
36. The first movie I ever saw in the theater without my parents was "Mannequin." I thought it was the best movie ever.
37. My favorite movie of all times is "When Harry Met Sally."
38. I had my first real kiss when I was 14-years old.
39. It was with this really dumb boy who was even shorter than me named Pierre.
40. I was convinced he'd be the only boy to ever like me.
41. I had very low self esteem at that time, obviously.
42. A lot of boys liked me when I turned 18 and got boobs.
43. As a teenager, my celebrity crush was Chad Allen.
44. This was obviously the beginning of my love of gay men, since Chad came out in 2001.
45. I fell in love for the first time when I was 14. His name was Sean.
46. We became best friends and remained that way all through grade 10.
47. I went on a family vacation and when I came back, he told me that while I was gone, he realized that he was in love with me.
48. On that trip, my parents had told us we were moving yet again.
49. I didn't tell Sean we were moving, so we began going out.
50. He found out as the movers were loading our stuff on the truck, after being told by one of my girlfriends that he needed to call me.
51. I don't regret not telling him and being able to enjoy those two weeks with him.
52. A year later, we began dating long distance.
53. We were together almost a year. He was the second person I slept with.
54. We both lied and said we were virgins, not wanting to hurt the other person.
55. I still wonder what became of Sean. I suspect that he is gay, just because of his love of fashion and all his friends were girls.
56. Ever so often, I google ex-boyfriends who had an impact on my life.
57. One of them is CEO of a company he started with offices in Toronto, London, New York and Australia.
58. Another one is some big shot lawyer who graduated from Harvard Law School. I emailed him last year to tell him I'd had a baby but he never responded.
59. Another one is a CFO for a big tech company.
60. Apparently I was a girl with a flair for dating guys who had good futures ahead of them.
61. I refuse to count how many men I've slept with, but I suspect it might be in the double digits.
62. One of my supposed closest friends thinks I'm a slut because of this.
63. This person has had threesomes and has no right to judge me any longer.
64. Because of my low self esteem issues, I would only break up with guys when I had someone else in the waiting.
65. I only ever tried to steal a guy from a girl once. The guy ended up treating me like absolute shit and made me cry more than anyone else, always hating me for ruining his relationship.
66. I hated myself more and let him treat me like shit.
67. My biggest love was in Spain. He was from California and I would have followed him to the ends of the Earth.
68. My stomach still jumps a little when I think of him, even though it's been 10 years and we were only together two weeks.
69. My third love was the guy who told me I wasn't marriage material.
70. I met Sweetie Pie three months after third love/asshole broke my heart.
71. At that point, I'd also decided I wasn't marriage material and I'd happily accepted my future as future old crazy cat lady.
72. The first time I saw Sweetie Pie was when I was going down an escalator at a trade show in Dallas and he was waiting at the bottom.
73. I thought "Wow, he's cute."
74. Sweetie Pie got really drunk that night and I ended up letting him crash in my hotel suite, rather than let him drive home.
75. He was supposed to sleep on the couch, but when I got out of the bathroom where I'd been brushing my teeth and removing my contacts, he was passed out in my bed.
76. I'd forgotten to pack my pajamas on the trip and was forced to sleep in my jeans because I didn't feel comfortable sleeping next to a guy I barely knew in my panties.
77. But some people think I'm a slut.
78. Sweetie Pie and I dated long distance for a year and a half before I moved down to Dallas.
79. Leaving my life in Toronto was the hardest thing I ever did.
80. The first time I went back to Toronto to renew my visa was 10 months after I'd moved.
81. I got so homesick that I didn't want to go back to Dallas. I kissed a guy, hoping he'd fall in love with me and convince me to stay in Canada.
82. I don't even remember this guy's name now.
83. I'm glad I moved to Dallas.
84. Sweetie Pie and I got married twice because of my Canadian citizenship.
85. The first time was in Las Vegas, with an Elvis impersonator.
86. Our limo driver was our witness.
87. The following year, we got married with all our family and some close friends in Normandy, France. It was a nice, traditional wedding, the complete opposite of Vegas, just like I'd wanted the "real wedding" to be.
88. I picked out my own engagement ring because Sweetie Pie said he didn't want to make that big and important of a purchase without my input.
89. The ring he would have picked out without me was my idea of hideous, so I'm really glad.
90. I totally blew the night where Sweetie Pie was going to propose. I got really bitchy with him.
91. He was so mad at me, that he ended up telling me the next night in his Tahoe truck, as we were driving home from playing pool, that if I wanted to get engaged, we needed to do it now, or else, with him starting his own business, I'd have to wait another four or five years.
92. We'd been together 3 1/2 years at that point and I didn't want to wait anymore.
93. He later told me how he had planned on proposing to me.
94. It would have been super sweet and romantic, completely un-Sweetie Pie. I still kick myself every day for ruining it.
95. Two months after Sweetie Pie and I got married, to make extra money, I became a consultant for a home party sex toy company.
96. I'd never even owned a sex toy in my entire life before I joined.
97. I now have two crates of personal toys, mostly display toys and stock. My personal stock is probably smaller than many of my customers'.
98. No one in my family or Sweetie Pie's family, except for my sisters, knows about this.
99. In the next year, I will be getting out of the sex toy business, in time for Baby Boy's second birthday.
100. This is the deal Sweetie Pie and I made when I joined, so that our kids would never hear "your mom's the dildo lady!"

The crazy thing is I could totally write a whole other list with another 100 things...



Monday, August 21, 2006

Even More Compromising

When my sister was pregnant, I told her the number one thing she shouldn't do is make rules for her baby while she's pregnant. Because a baby is like an arranged marriage. You can decide that your arranged marriage husband will give you a foot massage for two hours each night and buy you jewelry on a weekly basis, but until you've met him and lived with him, there's not point, since you're probably just setting yourself up for failure.

When I was pregnant with Baby Boy, I'd read tons of baby caring books, because I've always been one of those people who needs to research things to the death until she knows every tiny detail and can warp them in her mind and then misquote them to others.

My four conclusions from all my reading was the following:

1. I would have an all-natural birth whatever way I felt most comfortable laboring on the big day.
2. Baby Boy's lips would never meet a drop of formula.
3. Baby Boy's mouth would never be obstructed by a pacifier.
4. Baby Boy would never share our marital bed.

Within two weeks of Baby Boy being born, here is what happened to my rules:

1. My all-natural birth became an emergency c-section where I was put under general anesthesia so I didn't die and had a tube in my mouth keeping my body breathing. I got to meet Baby Boy an hour after his birth, rather than have the skin to skin contact for the first hour of his life I had wanted.
2. Baby Boy was so tiny and was hungry right after he was born and so he was given a bottle of Similac 30 minutes after he was born, since I wasn't awake yet.
3. Baby Boy was kind of cryer his first two weeks and desperate, I went out and bought him three kinds of pacifiers; none of which he accepted.
4. From almost day one, Baby Boy hated his bassinette and slept in between us every night for his first three months and then occasionally since.

And now I continue to have to compromise with Baby Boy, but I've become more adept at it. Take our living room plant, which Baby Boy has been using as his personal sandbox for months now. I've probably spouted the word "no" 100 times. I've told him "no" when his hands are wrist deep in dirt; I've told him "no" when he's headed towards the plants. Absolutely nothing has deterred him.

My options were down to getting rid of the plant, or getting rid of Baby Boy. Neither of which worked for me.

And so last night, after becoming tired of vacuuming up dirt and noticing that roots are now sticking out of the pot from the removal of top soil by a certain 11-month old, I compromised, yet again. I saran wrapped the top of the pot.

This makes me look like one of those crazy people with plastic on their couch, but I don't give a rat's ass. It works for me.

Baby Boy's also a pain in the ass about food. He's a carb and dairy lover who makes meal times a nightmare that make me want to pull a Sylvia Plath and stick my head in the oven.

He likes pasta.

And so every day, for one meal, he gets pasta with veggies hidden in the sauce. He's happy. And I'm happy.

And if he chooses to eat pasta for the rest of his life, so freaking what? I lived on pasta and spaghetti sauce all through my broke early 20's. And I was pretty rocking then.

Baby Boy pulled a Sean Preston Federline and decided that he no longer wanted to be in his car seat, facing away from the love of his life, his mama.

And so like the good Britney Spears wannabe that I am, I made an executive decision. I figured that my son was 2 1/2 weeks away from his first birthday and since he's well over the recommended 20 pounds and since his neck has got to have super-human strength from hauling his big head around, I've turned his car seat so he's forward facing.

He's happy because he can see me and have me grab his toes while I sing along to the music at red lights. I'm happy because I don't hold the steering wheel with white knuckles while little Houdini in the back tries to wiggle his way out of the straps all while screaming cuss words at me.

I'm learning that my goal of being nothing like my mother is so far a success. I accept Baby Boy for who he is and that his moving in is like Godzilla taking over Japan. Stuff will be damaged. And there will be much, much screaming.

I used to look at mothers who were out with teenage sons who wore shirts with horrible sayings like "I want to fuck you," and used to think "who would allow their son to wear that?" Answer is: women like me.

Women who feel that there are much greater issues to worry about like grades and personal happiness and self esteem. Rather than stupid battles like food, plants and clothes.

So in a few years, when you see me walking with a little boy who's wearing mismatched clothes and two different shoes on the wrong feet, just know I'm not a bad mother. I'm just a smart one.



Sunday, August 20, 2006

Is That A Wasp's Nest In Your Pocket, Or Are You Just Happy To See Me?

I really think there's something wrong with me.

Not that this will come as a shock to most of you, because all of you probably know that there is something wrong with me. If anything, you might be shocked that I've finally caught on after almost 31 years.

Here's the thing. I've just uncovered the world's greatest secret. Exterminators are hot.

I know, you think I'm crazy right? But I'm totally serious. It's not about the pool boy or the lawn guy anymore. The hot guys are all becoming bug killers.

When we came back from France, about 50 colonies of ants moved into our house, thinking that surely no one would leave on vacation for two weeks. And while I was bathing Baby Boy one night right after we got back, a bug guy came to the door, said he was going to be in the neighborhood the following week and Sweetie Pie made the executive decision to sign us up for an annual contract. That means a bug man will come to our house every three months and make sure that no bug will ever cross our front and back doors again. This made me happy, because as much as I am an animal person, I am not, not, not an insect person.

I understand they have a purpose in life, but so do high school bullies and white trash, and really would any of us really miss them if they went away?

The following week, my goldish-like memory had long forgotten that bug man was coming, so when he showed up, I was wearing cruddy pajamas that Baby Boy had flung baby cereal on that morning (at least it was fresh in my defense) and hair that looked like it came from the planet of Frizz.

And to my very heartbroken realization, the guy was freaking hot. I'm talking really, really hot. With gorgeous hair, tanned skin, great legs and eyes the color of the Aegean Sea.

The whole time I'm chatting him up (hey, I'm married, not dead), Baby Boy is totally ruining it for me by yelling "MAMA!" like I freaking need to be reminded that I can't run away to the Caribbean with hot bug man.

And so now, I get to count the days until he comes back in October. Sigh.

Friday morning, I was getting ready to take Baby Boy to his Little Gym class and I'd just gotten out the shower and was putting on a pair of granny panties, since all my good ones were in the hamper, when the door bell rang.

I peaked through the peep hole and there standing on my front porch, with a big red bow, was an Orkin man. Not the fat slob that you see in the commercials with the stupid hard hat like the bugs are going to throw bricks at him, but a vision of blond hair, tanned skin and strong biceps. I silently cursed myself for being distracted by the horribleness that is The View now that Meredith Vieira is gone and not being able to answer the door with saggy boobs and granny panties. So I just stared at Orkin man through the peep hole and watched him walk away from my home, knowing that our paths would never cross again.

I wasn't even upset that he was too dumb to read the "no soliciting" sign on the door.

So now I'm wondering what's the deal with hot guys and their love of bug killing. Is this the new manly profession? Do they figure it's a great way to impress chicks, because women hate bugs and love nothing more than to marry a man who they know will always catch the spiders for them? It used to be women were known for marrying for money. Has that changed? Are we now known for our hatred of bugs and it was written in Maxim or Stuff Magazine that we'll rip our clothes off for anyone whose business card reads exterminator?

Whatever it is, if it wasn't for my Catholic guilty conscience and the fact that I have a pretty damn cool husband who I'd love nothing more than to have a second kid, I'd totally be cruising the exterminator conferences with other single gal pals. Because ladies, that's where the studs are.



Friday, August 18, 2006

I'm Starting to Understand It a Little Better

Remember those cheesy ads for that movie, The Omen, that had a release date of 6/6/06? The day of the devil, they claimed. And millions of women due around that date chose to be induced on the 4th so that they wouldn't risk giving birth to the anti-Christ.

I don't consider myself a superstitious person. I have stepped on many a-cracks, and my mother has a bad back, but I'm pretty sure that's just a coincidence. I've also broken a mirror when I was 7 and didn't have 7 years of bad luck, but more like 11, until I finally became the very welcomed age of 18. Which is when I ran away from home, but that's a post for another day.

Last week, I had portraits made of my baby and my puppy, because that's the kind of mother I am. The kind who thinks that her son farts gold and who feels the need to give hundreds of dollars regularly to some photographer at the mall, who probably learned his skills at an Annex class held by some heroin addict.

But the portraits are freaking awesome. And totally worth the 100 bucks. Which, by the way, cost 25 dollars, if Sweetie Pie asks you.

Anyway, so I was at the mall photography studio and I had to fill out a form with the subjects' ages. And so I began by writing Baby Boy, because he's still my number one man, no matter how cute the puppy might be. And I wrote his date down in the standard 9/2/05. So then I wrote the puppy down and that's where it finally clicked that the dog was born on 6/6/06.

The SPCA managed to hide this fact from my dumb ass by simply revealing his birth date as June 6th. My mind, unable to put two and two together, never made the leap to the fact that I was taking in Satan's dog.

Forget the fact that he's black. And that he's soft and tempted me into taking him home by whispering lurid things into my ear. None of these things were giveaways to me, no siree.

But what is now a giveaway is that this dog has literally had diarrhea for 9 days now. Nine days. And that he hates our 104 degree weather and so chooses to piss and shit all over my pristine carpets the second I take my eyes off of him, say, to sneeze.

The carpet which my baby crawls on, may I add.

And this isn't normal diarrhea. Nope. Not for Satan's dog. Satan's dog puts out this pus colored goo that smells of death and landfill.

Satan's dog believes in shitting in the places that are dearest to me. Like the carpet next to my side of the bed. Or my dining room. Or on Baby Boy's favorite toy car.

Now I've never pretended to be an angel. I know I'm a crappy ass person who'll probably be laughed at if she tries to go to the pearly gates. I would think that my horrible high school years and the traumas I had to survive during that time and having to completely rebuild my self-esteem would be a free pass for my slutty years and the times I've smoked pot, but apparently it doesn't work that way. Unless you're a serial killer on deathrow and ask to see a priest during the last minutes of your life.

But am I such a bad person that I deserved Satan's dog with his dysfunctional ass and his smoker's cough that only occurs after 10 p.m. when we're in bed and subsides around 6 in the morning? Do I deserve to spend enough money on this dog at the vet's on what could have been three to four new pairs of cute shoes at The Shoe Pavillion?

I accept that I will never be wealthy. I will never own Manolo Blahnik shoes. Or anything from Neiman Marcus.

But I have literally visited our vet so much during the past few weeks, that I swear his staff thinks we're having an affair.

Except for the fact I usually don't bother showering and usually am wearing stained clothing of some kind. Like today. I'm showing up with my Old Navy 2002 4th of July t-shirt for Satan's Dog's new appointment.

As Paris Hilton would say, that's hot.



Thursday, August 17, 2006

Only 16 Days to Go

In 16 days, my Baby Boy will become Toddler Boy. And I feel like I'm sending him off to college. I'm not sure why I feel this way, I guess I know that the first birthday is followed by the terrible twos and after that I'll have to see my son's perfect skin be attacked by the horrible acne I suffered with and he'll be an angry teenager who hates me and tells me that I wear my jeans too low just to humiliate him.

Actually Baby Boy, I wear them that low because my ass is weird and makes my jeans sit that way. That and I've always wanted to be a M.I.L.F.

For the past few days, I find myself staring at Baby Boy every chance I get. I love staring at his profile while he seriously analyzes Play With Me Sesame. My son doesn't watch TV to enjoy it. He's the Roger Ebert of baby programming, catching unlikely plot twists and, brow furrowed, concerned about the future of entertainment.

There's something magical about that gigantic head of his. I'm concerned that Baby Boy's head will be off the charts at his one-year appointment, because it was in the 90th percentile last time and it's gotten bigger since. We're not paranoid. Literally, his head is now almost as large as his shoulders. My son must have the freaking strongest neck muscles in the world. Which qualifies him to be a Nascar driver or one hell of a head butter.

Lately, Baby Boy has taken to sitting next to me on the couch and placing one pudgy hand on my leg. When he does that, I'm tempted to stick his whole hand in my mouth and swallow it whole. There it is, in all its meaty cuteness, just begging for me to eat it. In fact, if I had it my way, I'd just Saran Wrap my son right now and freeze him so that I don't have to watch him grow up, doubt himself, be poked fun of for having so much hair and eventually, move away. Because I know deep in my heart that my son is meant to do great things and that he won't stay here to do them. I don't know why I know this, except that I'm his mother and biased and know that he's the smartest person on the planet, and the only hope for the future of humanity. But from the time he was born, I always have known that the day will come that he'll tell me he's moving halfway around the world.

Maybe it's because I come from a family of nomads and I know that more than likely those genes are in him as well. But either way, I know our time together is limited. That when he's 18 (maybe sooner if he ends up being an egg head and skipping grades), he'll fly the coop and I'll be lucky to hear his voice by phone.

And it's all because that damn first birthday is looming. Things were so good the first year. But to know that I've already used up 5.56 percent of my time with my son brings me great sadness.

I miss him already. And so in the meantime, I embrace every second with him and savor the times he does give me that pudgy hand of his or rests his gigantic head on my chest. I never knew I could love anyone so much that my insides would shred everytime I got a smile.

I am way too ready for a second baby.



Wednesday, August 16, 2006

If My Life Were a Soap, People Would Roll Their Eyes at It

Yesterday, Baby Boy got his first cousin. No, I didn't go on another shopping spree. Instead, my sister, 16 days before her due date and exactly a week before her scheduled c-section had her water break in the middle of dinner, a la television portrayal of going into labor.

A little after two a.m. EST, her baby girl was born, all seven pounds of her, perfect round head, no mullet unlike Baby Boy, but a fair amount of hair and showing signs of a temper already.

My sister is doing as well as someone who hasn't slept in two months and was just sliced open like a fish can do. My mother on the other hand needs to be medicated.

My other sister, went with her twin to the hospital, of course, because they like to be the stereotypical twins who do everything together. She was the one who called to keep my parents abreast of the trip to the hospital and told them the c-section would be around 1:30 or 2 in the morning, since my pregnant sister had eaten her weight for dinner and they couldn't perform the surgery until she'd digested every last bite of her meal.

My parents went to bed and didn't really sleep, anxious to hear the news. The phone call never came. Since my other sister got back to her place at 5 a.m., she went to sleep and didn't wake up until 8 a.m. You can just imagine that someone who's as easily off edge as my mother went nuts sometime between 6 and 7 a.m. Exasperated, she called the hospital herself. Spoke to my no longer pregnant sister and found out that everything had gone well, baby was well and all the stats.

My mother then kindly offered to call my brother-in-law's parents in France for them. And that's when the other shoe dropped. "Oh, we called them after the birth, since it was 9 a.m. for them."


Not the right thing to say to my mother.

The other grandparents had known all of the info for five hours. Five hours people. Do you realize what a difference that makes over a child's lifetime.

My mother, officially pissed, called my other sister and berated her for being selfish. Then she demanded that she email pictures of the baby immediately, since she didn't want to have to wait until that evening to see what her granddaughter looks like.

My sister calmly (as calm as one can be when faced with the fury of Godzilla) explained that the new dad had kept the digital camera to take more pics of his new baby.

Yeah, that went over well!

I called my sister yesterday morning and told her that she would be hearing very little from me over the next few days. I explained to her that it wasn't that I wasn't excited for her or didn't love her and didn't care about her baby. It's just that the trauma of being in the hospital, with defective boobs and a hungry baby that needed to be fed every two hours and a phone that wouldn't stop ringing adding to my stress was still freshly burnt into my short-term memory.

My sister laughed and said that already the phone had rung too many times and that she turned to her husband at one point and said "you realize the only one who'll be courteous enough to leave us the hell alone is catwoman."

Here is my new sweet little niece, who Baby Boy and I will get to meet by Webcam next week and in person in October.

Welcome to the family, kid. Sorry about the all the nuts, but they make great meds these days that should help you cope with all of us. At least you've got a hot, freaking cool older cousin to get you in trouble.



Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Discovering the Mothership...

I've never been a girlie girl. Give me a pair of jeans and a t-shirt any day over some frou-frou wrinklable cotton top with a skirt that I have to sit properly in.

My childhood as a tomboy meant that I thought my baby blue polyester shorts when I was six were the coolest thing ever and that I'd wear them until the day I died. I've since outgrown that love of polyester, but I haven't outgrown my love of comfort. As I sit here, I'm wearing a ponytail, an unmade up face, shorts and a workout t-shirt.

Women are supposed to love shoes. That's the rule. If you have a vagina, you are also bred to love shoes. To have hundreds of shoes. Dozens of shoes of the same color and similar styles, in order to fight with the boyfriend/hubby who doesn't understand your love of the shoes.

I didn't get that gene. I guess it's better that I miss out on the shoe gene than on the chocolate gene, because I really think my entire existence would have been sad without my love for chocolate. Don't make me pick between Baby Boy and a chocolate-free existence. These are choices that I shouldn't have to make. That would be my Sophie's Choice.

But back to shoes.

I've never had a love for shoes. I couldn't care less about them because they go on feet, and I hate feet. This probably doesn't make sense, because you'd think I would love anything that hides nasty gross feet. But my mind is not logical.

Some of you may remember my once discussing my thinking I'd never want a baby. And then one day, I woke up and my uterus hurt so much from being empty that I had to get pregnant right there and then.

And a couple of weeks ago, whatever body part needed to be awakened (I'm going to guess this isn't my uterus' work) woke up very suddenly. You see, I entered a magical place called the Shoe Pavillion.

And that's when horns played and angels sang and my pulse quickened. Shoes, shoes, magical shoes! If Dorothy were looking for a pair of ruby slippers, she'd find them at The Shoe Pavillion. This place would put the love of shoes into anyone, even a hardcore foot hater like me. And I was Baby Boy free that day and so I was able to walk up and down each aisle, caressing the pretty shoes, laughing at the few ugly ones, and slipping my big nasty feet into more pairs of shoes than I'd ever owned.

That day, I did something I've never done before: I bought three pairs of shoes.

Gasp. What? Say it isn't so.

Yes, children. It's true. And here's the best part. None of these shoes would fall in the convenient category. One pair laces up my calf, making me feel like a ballerina without going over board like Lara Flynn Boyle at the Emmys years ago. One pair is this delicate t-strap, with a slim heel, complete opposite of the fat chunky heels I've been fond of through all my 20's. And the last pair is completely impractical. High heeled, showing a whisper of toes, made of denim and tapestry. And I love them most, because they are so un-me.

I talk about how motherhood has changed me in more ways than I ever expected. I accept the stretch marks, the scars, the crying every time an injured child is on television. And I've chosen to embrace this new passion for shoes.

The Shoe Pavillion, here is my soul. Please take good care of it.



Friday, August 11, 2006

The World's Oddest Neighbors

I don't know what it is about Sweetie Pie and I. But wherever we move, it seems we're either surrounded by freaks or freaks move in right after us, worried that we'll adapt to normal surroundings.

I've spoken before of our new neighbors across the street. The ones who weren't aware that when you move, it's more conducive to stick things in boxes, rather than make 10,000 trips to the truck, moving in two file folders or one pot at a time into your house. I still haven't gone over there to introduce myself, because I'm afraid that if they are serial killers, they're the kind who cut you up one little bit at a time, since apparently they have all the time in the world.

A girlfriend of mine and her son came over to the house last week. Apparently, to my neighbor who doesn't know me, this girlfriend looks like me. Which she does, because she's a woman and everyone knows we all look the same. And if you look past the fact that she's half a foot taller than me, heavier than me, has blonde hair that's shorter than mine and bangs, we are in fact one and the same. Oh, and her son can walk, which mine can't, but since they are both boys, they also look identical because they both hide penises in their diapers.

My neighbor seemed very distraught when my friend was loading her son in his car seat. She yelled across the street "Your sign fell down!" My friend was quite confused, not realizing that she'd been driving around town with a sign on her SUV. When pressed for clarification, my neighbor said "your stroller sign."

Because you might remember that when I won Mom of the Month for June 2006, I had a sign in my yard advertising the stroller fitness company and written under it in tiny almost illegible letters was my new title. Apparently my neighbor didn't see that I'd only earned my title for the month and thought that a jealous mother had stolen the sign out of my yard or that it had fallen so hard that it had been swallowed up by our flower bed.

Unsure as to whether my neighbor knew that my friend was not in fact the woman who likes to get the mail in her pajamas that ride up her ass, my girlfriend just smiled and nodded. And invited me to her house for all future play dates.

Then there's my unmarried neighbor who lives with her parents and had a baby a month after I had Baby Boy.

Every time I strike up a conversation, she likes to compare notes, the way some moms are prone to do. The thing is that I never feel competitive with her, because her questions are along the lines of the following: "Hey, has Baby Boy fallen off your bed yet?" "Hey, has Baby Boy ever fallen down the stairs?" When I look confused and say that no, in fact Baby Boy has not yet reached this milestone, but that he can solve long divisions, she says "oh my daughter fell down the stairs twice this week."

Yeah, cool. Considering this woman smoked in her driveway her entire pregnancy and her daughter has been forward facing in her car seat since she was six months old, I totally feel like I'd be a shoo in for mom of the millenium if she was the other one up for the award.

She actually asked me how I won my Mom of the Month Award. To which I almost replied "I didn't let my son fall down the stairs twice in a week."



Wednesday, August 09, 2006

How to Be Popular at PetsMart

Last week, I blogged about our poor, poor lab. I'm very sad to report that he stopped eating over the weekend and seemed to be in more pain and so yesterday, I had to take him to the veterinarian's office to have let him run in the great big doggie heaven, where you can jump on any piece of furniture you want and are fed nothing but doggie treats all day by hot bitches.

It seems crazy right now that 24 hours ago I was holding him sobbing, trying to get the courage up to load him in the car to go to our appointment at the vet's. It feels like forever ago now, and yet, the pain is still raw, compressing my chest and making it hard for me to take full breaths.

After I left our poor lab there, I was so distraught and I felt like there was no one I could call, because who wants to get a call from a crazy sobbing lady? I couldn't call Sweetie Pie, since it was his dog and my sister, who's at home pregnant has bigger issues right now. I didn't want to go home and feel his absence, and so I ran off to the nearest animal shelter, wanting to feel warm tongues and puppy breaths on me to get the stench of death off my body.

And when I was there, even though I swore that one dog was enough, there in the back was a litter of little black labs. They were two months old and had been abandoned at the shelter the day we made the decision that we needed to put our lab out of his misery. I'm not a religious person, because for many reasons I find organized religion hypocritical. But I am a big believer of fate, that your journey takes you places and yesterday, I was meant to be in that shelter. And a few months ago, some irresponsible prick who didn't spay his dog let her get pregnant and give birth to three perfect puppies who he dumped at the ASPCA without a second thought.

Two of the puppies couldn't have cared less about me. But one, sweetly looked at me and wagged his tail. He made me smile. I've always been a sucker for men who can make me smile. And then when I picked him up, he gently rubbed his perfect little face against my neck. And I knew right then that this puppy was what we needed to feel better.

That this puppy, although he could never be a replacement for our yellow lab, would bring us joy in his own little way and would grow up with my son and get in all sorts of trouble with him.

I signed the papers, put him in my car where he promptly peed on my floor mat and off we went. And the more I drove to the daycare where Baby Boy goes on Tuesdays, the more I got that "oh shit, what did I do" feeling in my stomach. Sweetie Pie was devastated over the loss of his dog. Did I really think that throwing another puppy at him would make it all better.

And so I hatched a plan. I stapled (carefully) a big red bow to his disposable shelter collar and when Sweetie Pie came in, I yelled "Happy Anniversary!" Good thing one of the two big dates is only six days away. Or else, I pretty much would have been screwed.

Sweetie Pie didn't say much when he saw the puppy, but he wasn't angry either. I think he was just relieved that he didn't have to face the emptiness of our house without his dog.

And so the puppy is ours. This morning, I went to PetsMart to get him all of the basic puppy things that he needed. And so I got out of the cart, installed the cart protector, took Baby Boy out of his car seat, attached him in the cart, took out the puppy and placed him in the cart next to Baby Boy. The perfect little pair.

As I walked into PetsMart, I immediately got to find out what Lindsay Lohan feels like every time she's caught in public hammered or wearing the same clothes two days in a row. Mobbed I was.

Staff members, customers, each one of them came over after gasping over the cuteness that my son and his puppy were. And I played the proud mother roll very well, despite my dirty jeans, undone hair and unshowered body. "Oh how precious!" "Oh they are too cute!" "Oh, they're like a picture."

Tell me more people, this is helping my grieving heart. And then, of course, the old lady who mentioned the picture made me think "I do need a picture of this. Never again will my baby be this size and my puppy will be this small. And I must pay a photo studio at the mall too much money to capture the moment."

We're going on Thursday morning.

Can you bottle this cuteness? You could, but it'd be the equivalent of moonshine and tomorrow, you'd wake up with your underwear on your head and sharpie tattoos all over your body and unable to recall a single thing.



Monday, August 07, 2006

There Are Some Skills I Just Wasn't Meant to Master...

First, I have to start this post with a horrible admission. I am a freak when it comes to Christmas shopping. I'm one of those people who loses sleep if my shopping isn't all done when November 1st hits. And Internet shopping has made me even worse, because I'm always on some Web site that's peddling some crap and then, if there's a good deal and I think to myself "gee, I'm pretty sure Mom would love a collectible GI Joe takes Manhattan genuine porcelain doll," then that's what Mom's getting. Even if it's April 1st.

This year, I've been even worse than ever, because of Baby Boy. I was on one of my favorite baby/toddler Web sites in January, and they had a freaking Hummer for babies on clearance, the kind that you push around with your feet. Which considering the cost of gas, I'm sure there's more than one Hummer driver who wishes their big honkin Monster SUV allowed for them to get around with foot pushing power. When I saw the SUV for 70 percent off. I had to have it. It was January 5th. Only 354 shopping days left until Christmas folks.

And so now, it's August 7th and my holiday shopping is almost 50 percent done. Yeah, I know, I should be thrown in the loony bin next to the people who think it's funny to turn their eye lids inside out.

The holiday presents are hidden in the guest room closet, because if Sweetie Pie saw them, he'd blow a gasket. Sweetie Pie doesn't understand that Christmas comes every year. And that we'd have to come up with a crapload of money at once and drive to crowded malls and desperately try to think of something lame to buy for each of our family members. My way allows us to have the expense spread out and he never has to lift a finger. Really, what the hell is his problem?

My point is, that I have my presents all stashed in the closet. To keep track of what I've bought, I have a list in a Word document titled "Christmas Gifts 2006." Yeah, I have my anal side.

My presents, however, are not wrapped. Despite me owning an abusive amount of Christmas-themed wrapping paper, because I always buy more when it goes on clearance in late December/early January. Because I like Christmas trees to have gifts wrapped in tons of different types of papers. To me, that's Christmas.

So why, when I'm this anal retentive are my Christmas presents not wrapped yet? Because I was born without the good wrapping skill gene. My wrapping of Christmas presents means that a shirt box turns out looking like I've wrapped a live Llama.

I once went to a wedding years and years ago (in the Before Sweetie Pie age), and since the couple wasn't registered, I got them my old standby of a picnic basket filled with a martini shaker, martini glasses and a book on making martinis. Because it ain't a picnic without cranberry martinis. I wrapped the picnic basket the best I could, but it looked like I'd had a horrible epilepsy attack while I was doing it.

I was sharing a hotel room with two other people for the weekend and when I arrived in the room, one of my friends laughed so hard she pulled a muscle in her back. "What the fuck is that????" was all she could say for about 10 minutes. I kept trying to answer, but her laughter was so loud, she couldn't hear me. She thought I was giving the poor couple a bird house. Yeah, what every young couple needs.

In the middle of the night, the laughing girl woke up. I'd placed my gift on top of the TV in the room, and when she woke up she thought some serial killer with a weird pointy hat was standing in the corner. She screamed woke us all up and my two roommates told me that my gift needed to stay on the balcony until the wedding.

Baby Boy being as popular as he is, is invited to three one-year birthday parties in the next few weeks. I bought three of the same gifts and this morning, while Baby Boy is asleep, attempted to wrap said gifts. The box is a little bit of an awkward shape, but nothing someone with opposable thumbs should find too difficult.

I've currently got two wrapped. And I've already pictured the look of terror on the two babies faces when they're presented with my gifts. I'm afraid they will develop a phobia of all gift-related holidays. I'm thinking maybe a gift card in an enveloped should be the way I go always.



Friday, August 04, 2006

I Really Shouldn't Give a Rat's Ass

I have a really, horrible fault. I shouldn't be allowed to watch reality TV, because I'm one of those crazy people who begins to think that I'm friends with them and when they do stupid things, I'm really upset and threaten never to speak to them again.

Sweetie Pie and I have been watching this show on MTV called The Hills, simply because if it's on MTV, we'll watch it. MTV owns our brains, something very sad, considering we're probably both out of their target demographic.

The Hills is a spin off of another MTV reality show, which followed a bunch of rich brats whose parents were non existent while they partied all over town, made out with each other and said horrible teenage things about each other. In other words, we were hooked.

The first season had this character named Lauren as the narrator, and The Hills follows her as she makes the big move from Orange County to LA, about an hour away. And so we follow her from the time she gets into her convertible BMW with her big pink suitcase as she began her new journey as a student of the fashion institute and was hired as an intern by Teen Vogue (which considering how lousy of an interview she was, I'm sure MTV had nothing to do with the fact she got the internship).

The Hills wasn't half as good as Laguna Beach, and yet we watched week after week. We watched as Lauren got back together with her ex-boyfriend Jason, some loser who seems to have moved to LA to do squat but spend his parents' money.

The finale was this week and Lauren had already agreed to move into a summer home in Malibu with her boyfriend. To do what, we're not sure, I guess just stare at each other and watch the sunsets while their parents paid a few grand a month for the rent.

And then in the previews for the finale, Lauren was offered by the West Coast editor of Teen Vogue an internship in Paris.

And so we were left to watch the final to find out if Lauren would choose to go to Paris for the summer and have a chance at a great career doing exactly what she's going to school for, or if she'd choose to spend the summer with her boyfriend, a guy she's probably not even together with as I write this.

As she was packing her suitcase and her roommate told Lauren over and over, "oh how I'm going to miss you," Sweetie Pie said to me "looks like she actually made the right decision."

And then we watched as she drove and drove and as the editor of Vogue waited and waited at the airport.

That's when I began to get mad. I felt manipulated. Why in the world would the editor of Vogue wait at the airport for an intern who may or may not show up? And she'd be fine with the fact that this intern still hadn't made up her mind on what to do?

And that's where Lauren stops in front of a house and Sweetie Pie, states the obvious, "she's not at the airport."

That's when I begin to throw things at the TV and begin to call this dumb blonde 20-year old names like dumb ass and things that I can only say when Baby Boy is asleep.

And I got to thinking, why exactly was I so mad at this real girl, put in contrite situations by a network that once upon a time used to play music videos? And I realized that it's because I might have been dumb enough to make the same stupid choice. And I don't know if Lauren necessarily picked the boy over the job. I think the job, being so far away from everything she's ever known was the bigger leap of faith. One that in her safe world, she wasn't yet ready to make.

I realized that this girl, in some ways, was a reflection of me, just a hell of a lot richer. I too used to be the good girl who always did what I was supposed to unless peer pressure caused me to steer off the right path by one quarter of an inch.

I used to swear that I would never move for a man. And then in September 2000, I did. Not only did I break that rule, but Sweetie Pie hadn't even said he loved me at this point. I moved all the way to Texas from a life that I absolutely loved for a man who I had no idea how he felt about me. And that's why I was so pissed at Lauren, because it once again reminded me of how stupid I once was. And it worked out great for me, so really, is it so bad to make the wrong choice once in a while? My mother always says that the faults you hate most in other people are the ones you see in yourselves.

I hate to admit it, but the woman might be on to something.



Thursday, August 03, 2006

Ode to a Puppy

Two years before Sweetie Pie and I met, he got the dog of his dreams. Since the time Sweetie Pie was an anti-social little boy, all he ever wanted was a yellow lab that he'd name Chief. Once he rented a house with his best friend, one of the first things he got was a little yellow puppy. And of course, he named it Chief.

Two years later, I came along, and a contentious relationship began between me and the dog. The first time I came to Dallas, Sweetie Pie and I had been dating long distance for about 5 months. The dog, although polite, did not really like me. During my visit, he was very, very pissed that I slept on his side of the bed. I was literally pushed off the bed by the 75-pound ball of fur numerous times during the night and for a number of years after, until Sweetie Pie and I moved in together and the dog declared defeat and began to sleep at my feet so that I would be forced to sleep in an unnatural fetal-type position.

The biggest reason the dog accepted me is that after I was laid off after 9/11, I was around all day. He'd lay on the couch with me while I'd watch Regis and Kelly, soap operas and other daytime television, while feeding him ice cream, chips or whatever food made me feel better about being unemployed and having had the end of the world occur on my birthday.

I know you're not supposed to love your kids any differently, but I could never love Chief as much as my cats or Sweetie Pie's other dog. The other dog knew me from the time he was a puppy and would snuggle his head under my arm. The other dog always liked me and was smart, witty, while Chief always seemed dumb to me and too damn loyal to Sweetie Pie. In some ways, I resented the fact that he didn't love me as much.

I worried when I was pregnant that Chief would be one of those dogs that don't like children and he'd maul my perfect baby. Chief doesn't like loud noises and has barked at kids when they were over at our house. And when Baby Boy arrived, Chief would get freaked out by the infant's wails and bark, loudly, at him.

And then when we came back from France, we noticed that Chief had changed. He's never been a high energy dog, but now, instead of laying at my feet while I worked or blogged, he'd remain on his dog pillow by the side of our bed. And then the Sunday after we returned, he spent the whole day looking at us and whimpering, the kind of whimpers that knock the breath out of you and make you want to cradle him and take away his pain, despite his large size.

When I took him to the vet, they wanted to rule out his stomach problems (since he'd had diarrhea the night before), his ear infection (which came raging back while we were gone) and his bum hip (which is a typical problem in older labs). And so $200, I was home with the dog and enough medication to cure half a small town.

And then this week, the dog who spent his entire life thinking of his next meal, who through persistent begging managed to push his dinner time up from 6 p.m., to 5 p.m., to 4 p.m. to eventually settle on 3 p.m., began to stop eating all of his food. I'd sit with him with Baby Boy and try to hand feed him, but he'd just look at me with sad eyes. And all of a sudden, his yellow face aged about 10 years in the span of a couple of days. And so I called the vet again, just wanting that damn dog to feel better so that I could feel better too.

And so they drew blood from his paw, while he wagged his tail at me while I whispered that he'd be ok in his ear.

And then today, of all days, seven and a half years after I met that damn dog, I find out that I love that dog more than I ever knew I did. Today I find out that dog has bone marrow cancer and with serious medical intervention would only have 18 months of a shitty life left. Because chemotherapy is hard, and I would never let the dog suffer that much, only to get to see him 18 more months. I love him too much for that.

And I'm so mad at myself right now. Mad that I was a cold hearted jealous bitch who couldn't just love that over-enthusiastic beast enough. Who never claimed the dog as "ours" until I realized that our days together were numbered.

I've put two pets to sleep before. To this day it's still the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my whole life. Playing God with anyone's life sucks. And when it's someone you've shared your bed, your happy times, your sorrows and all the other stuff life throws at you, there's no such thing as them being just an animal.

Before Baby Boy, our pets were our lives. And I remember a girl in our birth class saying "you just wait until that baby's born, you'll completely forget about your pets." And I thought she was a horrible, horrible person. And then Baby Boy came along and I'd regularly forget to feed my cats, or go a week without cleaning their litter box, or realize that I'd forgotten to let our dogs back in to the house.

But Baby Boy never replaced those pets. I still love them, and I'm still grateful for their unconditional love. I'm grateful that Chief paced with me in the middle of the night when I was trying to get Baby Boy to go to sleep when he was very young. I'm grateful that he'd make Baby Boy laugh by licking the baby food off his fingers.

And I'll forever be grateful to him for being the best friend and the dog my husband always wanted when he was a little boy.

I love you old boy. I'm sorry I didn't tell you that more.

Tonight I get to be the one who breaks my husband's heart. I think I'd rather have to walk on hot coals to the ends of the Earth than have to do this. It's time like these that I think being an adult really fucking sucks.


Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Eleven Months: My Letter to Baby Boy

Your birthdays seem to be getting closer and closer together now. And each one feels like it's compressing the air out of my lungs. Next month, you won't be my baby anymore. You'll be a toddler, one who's probably more interested in walking than sitting on my lap to watch Blue's Clues.

This month marked your official first word. If one can call "whoah" a first word. But I guess because you're with me all day and I say it quite a bit, you picked it up from me. Some kids say stupid things like "milk" or "I wuv you." But not you. You're my little surfer dude who says "whoah" in amazement when something catches your eye. You also say "oh oh!" all the time. At first, you'd say it at completely random times, once you almost caused me to swerve off the road, because the silence in the car was broken by you innocently saying "oh oh!" out of nowhere. Now that you understand that "oh oh!" should only be used in times of grave emergency, like when I need you to look cute in front of other adults, or when you get into the potted plant yet again, despite me firmly stating no numerous times.

You no longer call me Mama. I'm now MeeeMeee to you. This is the closest phonetic pronouciation that I can think of. Why you've settled on calling me this, I'm not sure, but I feel way cooler than any of the other moms, because my name sounds like it comes out of the mouth of an alien creature. You also call the dog by his nickname, Tata, and yet, still no sign of dada out of you. Or daddy, or whatever version of the word you'd be willing to use to call the man who fathered you. At this point, Baby Boy, I'm pretty sure that if you chose to call your father "Jackass", he'd be thrilled to pieces, so start working on that, would you? America's Funniest Home Videos would buy MeeMee a lot of shoes.

I've already started planning your first birthday party. You had to know that was inevitable with a mother in PR. At first, I wanted to give you the ultimate first birthday party, not the kind that would make it on an MTV show that would portray you as a brat, just one that would look really kick ass in your baby album. But here's the thing. You have more freaking friends than everybody I know. In fact, because of you, I have more friends than I've ever had. If I'd known that all it would take to become popular was to have a baby and find other people who have them too, I would have seriously considered getting pregnant in high school. If you're reading this and you haven't graduated college yet, let me clarify this by saying that you're not allowed to have sex until you're 30 or married.

My point is that you're the best thing to happen to my social life. The coolest thing is not only do I have more friends, but unlike high school, I actually like these people. But because you're so damn cute and popular, inviting all of your friends over would mean your birthday party would be larger than our wedding. Which, as much as we love you, seemed rather messed up.

This month you've also learned to climb stairs. This is something that I have strongly discouraged and wished that you'd never undertake. But you're obsessed with that damn staircase. I spend most of my days chasing after you telling you not to go there and you crawl as fast as you can squealing and giggling towards those stairs. And here's the thing: it's just as funny the 200th time that you do it as it was the first time.

I'm pretty sure you'll never be an international spy though, because I know you're headed towards the staircase by your giggles and squeals, even if I haven't said anything or noticed that you'd left the room. I love that you're unstealth and can anticipate that a situation will be funny.

You're becoming more of a manipulator every day. You despise hearing the word "no," pushing out your bottom lip like you're going to cry the second it begins to form on my lips. It takes all of my energy not to laugh at you, because I know you well enough to know you're just trying to make me feel bad. Here's a tip though kid, your mother has had phases of ultimate drama queenhood. Never will you be able to get one past me, since I freaking made you and in many ways, you're identical to me.

I know, no one wants to hear that from their mother. But it's true. You get over excited over little random things that nobody understands, just like I do; you have my bottom lip; you won't take no for an answer, just like I do.

But don't get me wrong, you are not a carbon copy of me by any means. From your blue eyes, to your serious attitude, you are definitely a lot like your father.

You're now officially a member of the Elmo cult. Not only did I buy you your second talking Elmo because I'm a consumerism lover, but I got us DVR so that every single time Elmo appears on the small screen, it is forever captured for you. I really, really tried to shield you from this evil influence, but seeing your little body bop to the rythm with a big grin on your face, pudge arms waving in the air some invisible lighter, well, it just melts my heart and if you wanted to, I think I'd let you watch Play With Me Sesame all day. Anything to watch you dance and giggle.

Can we talk about food for a second though? You're becoming quite the impossible food man. You've now decided that you want absolutely nothing to do with mushy foods. Mashed potatoes? Gross. Anything of a similar consistency gets spit out. The only things you are currently willing to eat is diced chicken (but only if it's in a teryiaki or other Asian-type sauce, which means there's still hope for your favorite food to be sushi), toast and yogurt with fruit in it. Oh and french fries. I think you've convinced yourself that there is no need to eat any other food when there's something as yummy as French fries. You also love my spaghetti, because as the good little European woman that I am, I make them al dente, not mushy, the way Gerber makes its ravioli, which you had no problems throwing at me each and every of the 10 times I tried to give it to you. I've read that it can take up to 14 times for a child to accept a new food. Here's the thing though. I don't really care if you like Gerber's raviolis, when I can make you spaghetti instead. And I'm running out of outfits that you haven't permanently stained spitting the food out on me in your restaurant patron fury.

This month, I get to wean you off the bottle, little by little. This makes me tremendously sad. I used to get annoyed that you wouldn't hold your own bottles, that I was always having to hold you and the bottle when you ate. Now, I am forever grateful that I got to hold you all those extra times and look in your big blue eyes while you gulped down that formula. And seeing the end of bottle time makes me wish that I'd treasured each one of those feedings even more.

I love you my little man,


Tuesday, August 01, 2006

I Think We'll Get Running Water Next

I'm not one of those people who must have the latest thing at all times. Unless all the celebrities are doing it and it's pretty cheap. Then I feel the need for speed with the rest of you.

I still don't have a camera phone, despite getting a new phone only two months ago. I had two options for $29.99. The phone I got, a simple silver Samsung flip phone and a camera phone from another brand. My previous phone had been a Samsung, so I already had the Samsung ear bud for the car and car charger. I was not interested in having to buy another 50 bucks worth of phone crap. Besides, I have a freaking digital camera. And I'm not sure I'd ever figure out what to do with those low-quality pics in my phone.

So to this day, I'm one of the few people who'll see a celebrity do something really embarrassing and I won't be able to use my phone to make a few bucks from the tabloids. And yet, I can still sleep at night.

Ever since Sweetie Pie and I moved in together, we've been watching television the archaic way. If we were out and a show we liked was on, we were simply forced to miss that show and read a recap on TV. If one of us had an explosive diarrhea attack in the middle of a season finale, that said person would have to find out from the other what happened.

I know, a completely inhuman way to live.

And then Baby Boy came along and the only show he'd watch a few minutes of (a.k.a. more than 30 seconds) mostly comes on during his nap. Considering he spends more time napping than watching TV, I'm quite unwilling to wake him to watch his show. His other favorite show comes on during the Bold and the Beautiful. I love the kid, but between Grover yelling "NEAR!" "FAR!" for 20 minutes and seeing whether Brooke really is as slutty as I think she is, well a mother's love can only go so far. This is when I began to think that maybe, just maybe, it might be time to join the 21st Century and get a DVR.

And so this morning, a little man who spoke little English pranced through my shoe-free house with big dirty boots and gave me the gift of pausing live TV. I call that man my TV fairy. In the fairy way of not shaving for a few days and having an abrupt personality.

When I asked him how to use the gift of DVR, he simply shrugged and said "me not know. You read book."

Oh, yes TV man. I will read this manual you call book. I will savor every page of its technical writing as I enter the complex world of rewinding shows when I miss the punchline, instead of having to ask Sweetie Pie "what did they say?"

It also means I no longer have to choose between watching Project Runway and The Hills. All of my world's problems are now resolved.