My Facebook friend Angela posed an interesting question as her status today. Which of the five senses would you voluntarily do without? It was interesting to read people's answers on her page, because someone answered every single sense and had decent reasoning behind it. I answered easily on Facebook and had a great theory behind it... but I don't want to sway anything here. I'll post my answer later today, but for now... what sense would you ditch, if you had to ditch one?
For those of you who flunked... uh... whatever grade you learned this... here's your options. And no, ESP is not one of them.
Today is a sad day in my household, surprisingly enough. MissyBellaYuki, the dog so nice we named her thrice, is leaving. It's not the dog hair, the mud tracking, the uber-drool that comes with everything she eats... no. She bit my baby.
Yesterday Jack Attack was crawling through the playroom and Missy was blocking the way. She is a 95 pound speed bump, and no matter who is coming through, that dog does not move. It's part of her charm. But, Jack barely touched her, if he even did, to get past yesterday and she lunged at him. I watched as her formerly statue-like head swung around and she barked/growled/bit my little man's head. Truly, she got him forehead to eyebrow to temple. Luckily, the skin wasn't broken, but I thank one teeny tiny layer of dermis for that because the temple gouge was as close to bleeding as any non-bleeding thing I have ever seen. Today it is just bruises where her teeth were, and I am grateful for that. But, Missy is out of here.
We sought a new dog because Bentley is so anti-child. That being said, he would never bite them. He just runs his fat beagle behind away, and that works for me. Missy, who could be mistaken for a polar bear rug, doesn't move... so I can't risk having a snapper who will not get out of the way mixed with a toddler who cannot control where he is falling half the time.
So, goodbye Big Dog. I will miss your sweet eyes as you would come lay your head on my lap for scratches. I will miss your formerly fantastic way with the kids, letting Jack sit on you and pet you in his not so gentle way. (In the interest of honesty, I will not miss the hair, the mud, the 4 pound poops, the drool encrusted dog bowl, and the panic filled nights of terror because there is a breeze). But, I will miss your fresh from the groomer beauty and that long and super soft hair. I will miss your size and your gentle giant look (before you ate Jack's head). If you read blogs, I want you to know that I wish you the best with your new family and no, you aren't heading to that "farm" in the sky. You're going back to the Great Pyrenees Rescue here in Indy, where they will find you a better home. One with a person who loves to vacuum so they'll love your shedding, and one where the people don't move much, so they'll embrace your speed bump qualities. And more, one that loves you for all your little quirks. Bye, Big Girl.
So, as many of you already know... BlogHer was this weekend in the lovely city of Chicago. There was swag, there was food and drink, there was the blogging elite (or bleet, as I am now calling them). But, you know what there wasn't. ME! That's right... let me tell you a little about my BlogHer weekend.
First, let's just put this out there... I never intended to go. I don't got no money for blogging conventions and I do got me some little kids that require my presence at the old homestead. So, my weekend comprised of watching Homa and her boyfriend get into a mega-fight over something even more stupid (or stupider as I typed first) than all the dumber than dumb fights Mark and I have gotten in to. (Seriously, and we once had a knock down, drag out over whether or not you choke or drown on water when it goes down the wrong pipe. Uh huh...almost cancelled the wedding over that one). Then Saturday we didn't do much until I went to my mom's to make an octopus (yeah, another day in the life of me) and after that I was home making a gag-tacular meatball casserole (and I hate me some casserole). Sunday, we managed to mooch lunch and dinner off my parents, so a banner day in my book, but not necessarily swaggy/drunken/blogger fabulous.
Now I am reading tons of my other blogs and getting their take on BlogHer, and I'll admit it. I am jealous. One person I read got to meet tons of other people I read, and I was sitting at home pouring Cream of Onion soup on frozen meatballs. I wish I met those people. I wish I got their swag. Most of all, I wish I was successful enough to warrant my appearance at said convention. The reality is that I don't just want to go to BlogHer... I want someone to want to meet me at BlogHer (insert requisite "oh we would have loved to have met you" pity comment here). I am no Moosh In Indy (although seriously considering changing name to Mooch In Indy and riding her coattails for awhile) and while I am pretty bossy, the reality is I am not BOSSY. So, if I did go to BlogHer, I would have wandered around alone saying (to myself, but not speaking aloud as to remain cool and mysterious but not schizo) "look, its Redneck Mommy" and walking away alone and ashamed that if I talked to Redneck Mommy she'd say "Domestic Who????" So, trips to ALDI and web cam chats with my brother is where I was instead.... but at least that ALDI checker knows my name. (And, my brother does, too). I guess it's time to resign myself to the fact that casserole is how I roll.
Once upon a time, there was a little boy named Will. He asked for Dunkin Donuts for breakfast and what Will wants, Will gets. So, we return to our house, donut box in hand and Will decides he wants to carry the box. Sad part is, I already know that this is a bad idea. I am on the phone with my friend Nicole and as I hand Will the box and say to Nicole "Will is carrying the donut box, wanna make bets on whether or not they make it into the house?" Lo and behold... they don't. Box goes down on the nasty, filthy, dirty, grass and rock encrusted floor mat right before you go through the door into the house. Donuts are toast. (Although when I said that Will pointed out that the donuts can't be toast because they are not made of bread).
I had my hands full of cell phone and a sleeping Jack, so I headed upstairs to put Jack in his crib and was returning to get the donuts. I come back and realize Will is back in the garage picking up donuts. With the garage door wide open. With the door from the house to the garage wide open. With a fat beagle scarfing donuts as fast as his floppy jowls will let him. With the big white dog gone. Clearly, upon encountering this situation MissyBellaYuki's little dog mind channeled Braveheart and she yelled "FREEDOM!" Bentley channeled... uh... me and yelled "DONUTS!"
Jack was upstairs sleeping, so I pulled Will into the yard yelling for the dog with three names. We'd run a couple houses away, then run home and listen for Jack. Then we'd run a couple more houses, then come home and listen for Jack. Luckily, after about 150 laps like this (in 20 minutes) we heard MissyBellaYuki barking. We followed the sounds and found the dog.
Close the garage door (even if you know you have to turn around and make a second trip to the car right after you put Jack down).
If the giant dog takes off... let her go because she is going to shed 4,000 pounds worth of hair and pant out 14 gallons of drool the second her giant self gets back in the house.
And lastly, put Bentley on some sort of "Biggest Loser" dog edition, because his pudgy butt needs it.
Will (3) wakes up screaming at 3:00am last night and yells for "Moooooooommmmmyyy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mooooooooommmmmmmmmmmyyyyy." I walk in and say "hey, buddy, why are you crying?" He gets out of bed and says "I'm not crying, Mommy. I just had a moment."
Sophie (4 now) was in her harness car seat and tells her dad that she has to go potty. Perfect Jeff tells her to "hold it." She says, "I can't dad.... the seat belt is in the way."
Jacob (8 or maybe 9 but looks 12) is going to Disney World in October and is looking at the Epcot stuff. He proceeds to tell his mom that he does not want to go to Japan because he is still upset that they bombed us on that nice Sunday morning.
I take Will into the bathroom to go potty, help him get his pants down and he sits on the seat and says "Mommy, I need some privacy." Nice... I haven't peed alone in over three years... but you have some privacy little man, right up til you need me to wipe your butt!
I am laying in bed with Will one night doing our bedtime routine and I tell him that its time for me to leave, so no screaming or getting out of bed because he would wake up Jack. And Will says "and then he'd cry like a little girl?"
I was watching a youtube video of a horrifically, insanely ignorant religious group who changed the words to "We Are the World" to "God Hates the World" and sang about how much God hated gay people. Will walks over and says "I love those people, Mama. Do you love them?" I say no and explain that they just make me really sad because they hate people for no reason at all. Will says, "I am going to love them anyway because maybe that will make them better." Maybe, Buddy. Maybe.
Tabbi is 10... and she's good at it. She has grasped all the subtle nuances of the pre-teen age. Its like she woke up and realized that she must complete the following on a daily basis:
1. Must freak out because new hair cut didn't lay right. (Be sure to ignore any and all suggestions from parental unit as they clearly have no idea what it is like to have a bad hair day).
2. Must freak out because self-chosen outfit doesn't match and therefore you own NOTHING in your 50,000 item wardrobe worth wearing.
3. Must freak out because two previous freak outs have made you run late and therefore you are forced to take a quick breakfast of a yogurt and cheese stick in the car. (Be sure and make it clear that while you typically enjoy yogurt and cheese sticks, today you hate them more than if parental unit were to suggest eating dog poo and dirt).
4. Must reach quota of 5,000 separate complaints per day, ranging from weather and natural phenomena that no one can possibly do anything about to specific complaints regarding being signed up for volleyball camp even though you previously begged to sign up for volleyball camp.
5. All other conversational periods not filled with either complaints or freak outs must be filled with sullen sulking and/or looks of extreme boredom.
6. Any and all suggestions of cures for boredom or blues must be met with eye roll and shoulder shrugs. No suggestions can be entertained if coming from parental unit.
7. Should you decide to request anything (i.e. food, activity, etc) when the parental unit says it's ok, you must dismiss said activity or food with a shrug, ensuring that said parental unit knows they are not doing you any favors.
8. At least once a day, a request must be completely outlandish and insane (ex. getting a tattoo or shaving the dog), but when parental unit declines the request, World War III-inducing freak out must follow.
9. Reduce all conversation and comments (excluding, of course, freak outs) to the volume of a mumbled whisper so parental unit has to ask "what" thirteen times before understanding what you say. And, reserve the right to get super irritated when parents do not hear you, but lower voice exponentially as your irritation rises so that they definitely can't hear you while you freak out because they aren't listening.
10. Insert drugs and sex into mix to become full fledged teenager.
Remember that game from elementary school called MASH? It stood for Mansion, Apartment, Shack and House. You listed off things like three guys, three jobs, three cities, and three numbers and count. When your gamer says stop, the number that you've gotten to is the way you eliminate your options until you are left with a fortune that tells your future. I am pretty sure I was going to marry Chuck Mowder (my 4th grade boyfriend), live in a house in Chicago, work as a vet and have 2 kids. Is it just me, or would you kill for such a easy way to tell you what to do with your life? Hmmm... who do I marry? I know... MASH will tell me and then its a done deal.
This comes up because I went out with my girls last night. Homa, Sandra (yes, the one that was my friend, then wasn't my friend is back in the group...yay), Laura, Lori and Homa's sister Zain hit the local neighborhood joint and got into a discussion about Homa's love life. Without getting into details, the gist is that she is with a dude that her family may not approve of. He's not Mr. Perfect (who is???) and they are at the point where its... uh... poop or get off the pot. But, how do you know it's time to poop or time to get off the pot?
We all had our theories. Laura wanted Homa to know that marriage sucks. Sucks, sucks, sucks. She's been married for 20 years (happily-ish) and its hard. Hard. Hard. Hard. So you have to have a serious foundation of extreme love in order to make it work. So, her theory was that Homa better be pretty darn sure that love foundation is there because otherwise, when her marriage crumbles around her, they won't be able to pick up the peices. Have I ever told you that Laura is our nicest and typically more upbeat friend? Hmmm. Lori is big on Homa understanding that you can't change your man (not that Lori would ever need to. If anything we sit there and say... poor Jeff. Poor, poor, poor Jeff). Homa's dude is who he is, and you have to accept him as he is today. If he improves himself in the future, great... but if he stays exactly the same as he is today... you have to be ready to spend the rest of your life with that version of your guy. Sandra said to ignore the pressure. She, too, has felt marital pressure before and it is easy to get sucked into doing things that you know in your heart of hearts isn't right... but you feel like you've passed the point of no return. Zain just said no. But, I sit and wonder... how do we know? Plenty of relationships (mine included) look completely nutty to the outside world, but that doesn't mean the two involved don't get it? But then again, how can you see everything you need to see when you are the ones directly involved?
Homa asked me once how I knew Mark was the one. I cannot articulate an answer. I didn't doodle his name in my notebook and I sure didn't get my future from a paper game. But, I just knew (although I question it on a regular basis). How do you pick between a family that you've had forever and a man that you love, but is so new in comparison? Do you take that leap of faith? And if you do, how do you know that Mr. Right wasn't shopping at the sushi counter of your neighborhood grocery store, but you weren't there because you were wedding dress shopping because Mr. Right Now proposed and the possibility of being alone forever outweighed whether or not this guy is right for you? How do you know that just because he is your polar opposite in every way doesn't mean that his opposite traits were meant to strengthen you in the same way your qualities were meant to strengthen him? I guess the question is... how do you know?
Before I had kids, I was at lunch with a bunch of girls from work, and at the next table were two moms that I just could not understand. They came in dressed in sweatpants and stained t-shirts. They covered the highchairs in plastic stick-on place mats (at least they cared a little about cleanliness although I would be more concerned with the bio hazards on their clothes than the germs on the chairs), and ordered themselves margaritas the size of Texas. Then they proceeded to frown and volley their haggard child-induced depression across the table to one another while shoveling chips and salsa into their mouths at lightening speed. My group and I watched the women and laughed (behind their backs of course. We are nothing if not polite in our rudeness and judgements). Two of us freshly married and expecting kids sometime the future, and we knew that we would never be "that kind of mom." But, I realized today that I am just one jumbo margarita away from those two women. (Damn... why doesn't that place deliver?)
Let me take you on a tour of the ghettosville that is my current world. First, let's just say that I am not looking pretty. Ok, so I am still in my jamas, so that doesn't count, but yesterday I wore jeans and a t-shirt and spent the whole day pining for sweats. I don't actually wear the sweats yet, but I sit back andwish that I could. Really... I thought about it a lot. How comfy I would be. How durable I would be. Those tiny little thoughts creeped into my mind. They called to me. "Lynn.... wear me. Put me on. You're a stay home mom.... I am your uniform." I didn't do it, but you know I will give in some day. Maybe today. And, for the record... I am not the only one on the decline. Mark yesterday welcomed James into our house in a completely shredded Hawaiian shirt. I watched him hold Jack while talking to Dr. James and his nipple was showing. I divert my eyes and see his hairy shoulder and lily-white belly playing peek-a-boo too. At least my shirt is intact... albeit wrinkled and spattered with Diet Coke and Jack's breakfast.
Now, let me tell you about my house. First...background info. I bought a house before I had kids. I bought a house before I had a Mark. It was mine. It was cute. I had cute furniture, and decor. Pictures on walls, paint colors that were great, knickknacks... and not kitty statuettes, but real adult stuff that looked great. My house was complimented every time someone came over. It was contemporary, stylish, fun. Now if someone can even utter a compliment with a straight face, rest assured... its fake.
Picture my current epitome of style... in my family room, we have wood floors, but the trim keeps coming lose. So, we have one straightaway with hardened glue as the trim. Oh yes, and its been like that for months. Enter my kitchen where a light bulb has been out for months, and my dog peed on my front entryway rug this morning. Two pictures from the hall are broken, so they now live in the garage (and have for years) and don't get me started on the teeny tiny ants that are devouring my kitchen counters as we speak. My walls are scratched, chipped, nicked, banged, gouged and generally ripped up and I just walk past it, ignoring the water marks on the ceiling and the nail pops that probably spell out "money pit" in Braille above my head. And my bedroom... my sanctuary... my headboard is hanging crooked, the wallpaper doesn't match anything (because it was God awful when we bought the house and what I determined would be number one on my priority list has never been changed) and our treadmill hasn't worked since the day it was carried up those freaking stairs (which have a two story ceiling with more cobwebs than a deserted ghost town. And while you run screaming from my mad house, be careful not to get tangled in our screen door which is only hanging on by a thread and functions way better as a dog flap than an actual door. Jealous, yes?
For some reason, the term "soul mate" has come up a lot recently. There is Governor Yayhoo of South Carolina who said he'd like to make it work with his wife, but in the same breath admitted his mistress was his soul mate. And, before that, my friend Homa (while contemplating her love life) asked me if I thought Mark was my soul mate. Luckily, I swallowed my soda before I spewed Diet Coke all over the phone in my laughter. Mark is a lot of things, but soul mate? I dunno. There is even a Sex in the City episode about looking for a man to fulfill that title. But, as the fab four concluded, I just am not sure its possible.
Last night Mark and I had a pretty long convo about our relationship. Neither one of us was 100% happy, and at times, I think we both settled for roughly 50/50. So, we talked about what we both wanted the other to do to get us back on track. While having that discussion, the soul mate question came up again, if only in my mind. I laughed at the Governor who readily admitted his wife was not his soul mate and considered him the dumbest man on Earth, but then realized, I don't think Mark is mine either. (Although, neither is some Latin love God in Argentina. Dammit.) But, I don't think that is necessarily a bad thing (at least in our case).
I don't know exactly who my soul mate is. Or if it is limited to just one person. In some regard, it is probably my mom. I know, dork - party of one. I probably talk to her more than any person on the planet, and topics range from kid antics to hair dye to money issues to... well, any random thing on my mind at that moment. Lucky gal! Then there are my girls. My Homa, Laura and Lori who also get the brunt of my insanity. But, unlike Mark, they know how to deal with it. If I am having a problem, they say the right things... even when those things are "Lynn, you're being stupid so leave Mark alone."
I don't think that Mark and I have a bad relationship just because I wouldn't call him a soul mate. I can't call him and discuss the inner sanctum of girl world like muffin tops (because he would say "what flavor") or my lack of self worth in my current uh... occupation (because he says that I do "the most important job in the world" and while that is the appropriate canned response and I know he believes it... its still not what I want to hear), and God knows I can't come to him with issues about... well... him. But, I think the key is knowing that I can and will come to him about the "us" stuff, and knowing that going to others about the "other stuff" will hopefully keep us afloat.
Oh, and knowing that my soul mates are all chicks and not Fernando is pretty safe, too. Dammit!
We are in Kansas City, land of my youth, visiting my brother. Today, we went to a really cool petting zoo/farmstead and for the bargain price of zero dollars and zero cents, you are in the door to warm and smelly goats, pigs, ponies, chickens and all that petting zoo loveliness. For the insanely reasonable price of $10 a person, you get a ride on a pony, a horse-drawn wagon ride, a chance to feed a baby goat with a bottle, a fishing pole rental and something else I don't remember, but I am sure is fabulous. Will rode the wagon and loved it. Will rode some pedal tractors and loved it. Will went into the farmhouse and flew down the slides and... you guessed it... he loved it. Then, it was fishing time.
We rented a cane pole and it took three people to bait the hook. Mike tried. I tried. Finally my mom schooled us on appropriate worming techniques. She channelled her dad on that one. Grandpa was a fisherman, and we reminisced about catching Blue Gill with him while Will threw out his line. First cast and his worm was gone instantly. Second worm... second cast... and Will caught his first fish. It was a Blue Gill and a fat one. He grinned as it flopped on the line. He posed for a picture and the fish twisted off the hook almost as soon as the picture was snapped. Mark dove for the fish to get it back in the water... Will freaked that the fish was flopping on the dock outstretched over the center of the fishing pond and within a nanosecond both the fish and Will went into the water. Splash. Silence. Panic.
Will had backed up to the rope railing and over the edge he went. Will can't swim. Will disappeared into the deep, murky water. I can still see his feet disappearing into the darkness. Will was gone.
Uncle Mike was in the water before anyone else reacted. As Will's splash resettled back onto the top of the pond Mike uttered "oh shit" and went in. It took only seconds and Mike held Will above the surface for Mark to grab from his arms. I don't know if I moved. I don't think I breathed. But, I know when I saw Will break through the water into the air all I could do is scream "Get my baby! Get my baby!" When Will was safely and soggy in my arms I breathed and said "get my brother! Get my brother!" who was then struggling to pull himself from the depths and back onto the dock. I held Will and I cried. I don't know where I was going, but I picked him up and carried him to a seat and I sobbed. I don't cry. I don't sob. But, I felt like my life almost ended in that 30 second experience. I held him and I cried. I caressed his hair and I sobbed. I bawled like a baby as I ran through all of the "what could have beens." I type this out, hours later, and the tears spill out again at the thought of what tonight could have been. What I could be typing. How I would even be existing if that dark water swallowed him and didn't give him back? My world would have ended today. My world could have ended today. Will went into the water, and I felt like I was drowning, if only for a few seconds. I couldn't breathe.
I can hear Will in the bathtub right now. Uncle Mike, Daddy and Jack in the bathroom playing and talking and splashing. I hear a splash from down the hall and I think of the splash from this afternoon. And I cry.
Its hard to sum yourself up in 1200 characters or less. I used to be a career driven, no children-having, single forever independent woman. I am currently a married, career-less mother of three. I knew who I was, but now I am a totally different person. But, I am learning who I am daily... and through this blog, so will you.