Monday, August 31, 2009

I totally missed it.

So, yesterday was my one year Blogiversary. I was completely oblivious to it.

I just want to let you all know that I really do appreciate your readership. I still think the people at Sitemeter are just punking me every time I check the stats.

Thanks for sticking with me even when I don't have anything interesting to say.

Here's to another year of inappropriateness and ranting! I'm glad you're all along for the ride.

*And at the risk of sounding completely narcissistic (which you already know I am), I'm thinking about compiling a "best of" list on the sidebar. So, if you have a favorite post from the past year, let me know in the comments. Danke.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Please leave a message after the beep.

So, I've got an extra three kids at my house for the next 24 hours. That makes six children. But three of the six are boys, so it feels more like ten children. Boys are like humidity. It may only be 90 outside, but the humidity makes it feel like it's 100.

Two of the three boys, about to stage an intergalactic battle in the living room.

Anyway, blogging will be on hiatus for a day or two. In the meantime, you should read THIS (just be warned--he likes to use the F word).

If you read Crystal's blog, you already saw this. I've read about half the posts so far and I think I've found my soul mate (except for the whole fact that he's gay and I'm married). Anyway, it's a guy named Mark who decided that he couldn't (or at least shouldn't) continue to make fun of Twilight and its fans until he actually read it with an open mind. Each post is his reaction to the chapters he's read. He pretty much says exactly what I said, but he says it in a much smarter, wittier manner.

See you in a couple of days, if I make it out alive. Three boys, people.

Just wait until I tell you about next weekend. It will include these six kids plus THREE MORE!!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Soy Un Perdedor.

I'm a loser. I admit it.

I cannot win at strategy games. Or luck games. Or games that combine strategy and luck.

Games like Scrabble and Trivial Pursuit where you need to be book smart (or at least have a head filled with useless information) I ROCK at. Will won't even play Scrabble with me anymore because he simply cannot beat me. It's no fun for him because there's no contest. It's not bragging O.K., it's bragging, It's a fact.

But I refuse to play Chess with him because I simply cannot beat him. Chess makes me feel stupid. Really stupid.

I also can't win at Monopoly. And I suck at pretty much all card games. And video games, too. I really, really suck at video games. The whole hand/eye coordination thing throws me off.

So if you ever need a self esteem boost, invite me over for a game night. Ask me to play cards or better yet a round of Rock Band. You'll instantly feel smarter (and I'll still have fun. I've learned to accept that I'm a loser).

But play Boggle with me and I'll mop the floor with you.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Lunchtime Poll Topic #9

There's a new show on Food Network called "The Best Thing I Ever Ate." Chefs and other Foodie personalities from the network talk about the best food they've ever eaten (It's usually done in categories, like best dessert, for example).

So, that's today's LTPT.

What's the best food you've ever eaten?

This is a hard one. There are four foods that are tied for me. I truly can't choose among them, so I'm listing them all.

1. Nam Sod from Thai Garden in Keene, New Hampshire. It's shredded chicken, red onions, cucumbers, shredded carrots, lemon grass and peanuts in a sweet and spicy red chili and garlic sauce. It's served cold on a bed of lettuce leaves.

2. Pepperoni pizza from Luigi's in Lewiston, Maine. First of all, pizza from anywhere in New England is far and away better than pizza anywhere else in the world, including Italy (trust me--I've had pizza everywhere). This pizza is the best of the best. It's greasy, and they're cooked on cast iron pans so you get a slightly crispy yet greasy bottom crust (almost like a pan pizza, but they're not deep crusts). And they put ham slices under the cheese, no matter what kind of pizza you order.

3. Fresh pineapple. Enough said.

4. Nutella. I almost listed fudge brownies drizzled with Nutella, but I realized that as much as I adore a good brownie, it's really the Nutella I love. Case in point: My friend Stephanie brought over brownies on my birthday. I was able to resist them. I bought some Nutella for the kids. I ate the whole freakin' jar with a spoon, even though it made me violently ill.

So, what's yours?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thursday Morning Confessions: Labor and Delivery Edition

Actual drawing by Ben of our family when I was pregnant with Liam.

1. Exactly five years ago today I got my hoo-ha shaved by a large German woman.

2. I've never had a contraction, not even Braxton Hicks.

3. Adoption is way easier than pregnancy.

34 weeks pregnant with Liam, and hot and miserable.

4. It's a tie between Doritos and ramen noodles for the worst thing to have to throw up.

5. I gained 125 pounds in the four months between delivering Liam and getting pregnant with Amelia.

6. I was pregnant for 17 of the 21 months between December 2003 and September 2005.

Look! My uterus!! (And Liam sucking his thumb at 13 weeks gestation)

7. German baby gear is far superior to American baby gear.

8. Clomid made me evil. Evil with a heaping spoonful of insane.

9. No one told me that I'd bleed after a c-section.

10. Exactly five years ago today Liam was born!

The first time I saw him, after a night long fight with German nurses who wouldn't let me near him.
Isn't he a lovely shade of blue?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

On your marks, get set, GO!

O.K., internets, exactly one month from today I am going to run my first race. I use the term "run" loosely, since I'll likely be walking for the majority of it, but still, there will be some running involved.

It's a 2 mile race on a mostly flat road in downtown Augusta, GA (It's part of the Broad Street Ramble if you're local and want to come run with me or watch me get my butt kicked).

I'm telling you about it because I keep changing my mind. You know how some people have a little angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other? Well I have a fat chick on one shoulder and a skinny chick on the other. The fat chick keeps telling me that there's no way I should even consider attempting this--That I will finish dead last, sucking the dust trail left behind by the elderly and the Special Olympics kids who beat me. The skinny chick (who, by the way, is wearing size 8 jeans today) is telling me that I can do this, and maybe I'll be last but who cares, and that I should also sign up for the 10K that takes place immediately after the 2 miler.

Anyway, I figure if I tell you I can't change my mind because you'll expect pictures and stuff, and you know I can't refuse you, internets.


I guess it's official now. The fat chick is going down.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Dear Kate.

Dear Kate,

I owe you an apology. I once blamed your shrewiness for Jon's affair. I was wrong. You're still an evil shrew and I still think it would be torturous to be married to you (or to be one of your eight children), but now I see that Jon is a buttmunch of the highest order and probably would have cheated anyway. The fact that you're a harpie just maybe led him to do it sooner rather than later. I realize now that you did society a great favor: You kept us from having to see Jon make a complete fool of himself with his Ed Hardy t-shirts, pierced ears and 22 year old party-girl girlfriends. Thank you for all the years I didn't have to see that.


P.S. I'd have caused a scene and called the cops if my buttmunch ex-husband had a skanky ho over to "babysit," too.

Monday, August 24, 2009

I bet there's a chip in her brain.

So, raise your hand if you have a daughter under the age of five (you can keep reading even if you don't. Or, you know, not. Whichever. I'm flexible like that.). Can someone please instruct me on the proper punctuation usage when ending a sentence with parenthesis before I embarrass myself further?

Anyway, did yours wake up one day suddenly worshiping the screechy voiced jail bait also known as Hannah Montana (who is also known as Miley Cyrus)?

Amelia has never watched Hannah Montana. It's not that it's a bad show or that I don't want her to watch it, it's just that she's three and Dora and Kai-Lan are more her speed. And her siblings are boys so when they pick the TV show it always involves epic battles and Japanimation of some sort (Note: Avatar The Last Air Bender is one of the best cartoons ever created ever. That and Sponge Bob. No, as a matter of fact I'm not being sarcastic. Sponge Bob is awesome and I wish I was cool enough to have created it.). <---See? Help me, please.

So anyway, we're in the van a couple of weeks ago and the Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana song "The Climb" came on for the umpteenth time. And Amelia professed her love for the song and begged me to turn it up. Later that day I found her in her room parading around in toy high heels, singing into a wooden block, tossing her hair around, and proclaiming that she's "Anna Montan-a-na." Today we were at Wal-Mart and they had a video of "The Climb" playing on a loop. She literally wrapped her arms around the shelf and screamed when I tried to leave the area. "Nooooo! It's Anna Montan-a-na! I loooooooove her! I need to watch it!" Which later turned into needing to buy the video for her. (I didn't.) How does she even know? How?

Here's my theory: Disney has agents working as nursery nurses in every hospital in the world. When girls are born, the agent injects an itty-bitty, Disney controlled microchip into their brains.

It starts with princesses. Then things like Hannah Montana. Then High School Musical and The Jonas Brothers. And it doesn't stop there.

I mean, how else can you explain Johnny Depp's Oscar nomination for Pirate's of the Caribbean? Jack Sparrow is a fun character and Johnny Depp is hot and all, but an Academy award? Really?

It's the chip. You heard it here first.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Before and After Sunday

I think you'll be mightily impressed with my before and after this week.
Check it out:

Impressive, no?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Lunchtime Poll Topic #8

Today's LTPT is quick and easy. And maybe tells you more about me than anything I've ever written here before.

Vladimir Putin: Sexy? Evil Dictator bent on world domination? Sexy evil dictator bent on world domination?

I'm totally going with C. You say "evil dictator bent on world domination" like it's a bad thing.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Things you want to know. Maybe.

O.K., first I need to tell you about my tea party with my Saudi neighbor.

Her name is Al Bundy. I'm sure it's really Albuundi or something, but phonetically, it's Al Bundy. Talk about irony.

Surprisingly (but only because I'm ignorant like that) she has a degree in art and fashion, and is working on an English degree. She wants to be able to teach English when they move back to Saudi Arabia next year. She said that English is taught in school, but it's only cursory instruction and you never really learn enough to use it in real life. However, speaking English has become a requirement for almost any good job there. She said most of the men and many unmarried women go to Canada or Australia to learn English, but there aren't many options for married women. So, she wants to be able to be an English teacher for married women. In my book that makes her officially awesome.

Her husband, Abrahim, is the sole support of his widowed mother and three unmarried sisters. He is renting four other homes on our street for them all. And yet Al Bundy is alone all day long with her two boys (and has another baby due next month). I don't know if that's cultural or if maybe they just don't like each other.

Anyway, we chatted as best we could. Her English is fair, but there were times we struggled to communicate. My Arabic is non-existent, so that didn't help.

She served me Arabian coffee, which I didn't realize was real coffee until I came home and looked it up. It was golden and clear and heavily flavored with cardamom and saffron. I have had "real" coffee many times, and this didn't resemble it in flavor or appearance at all. So, I assumed it was an herbal drink. But no. Then she served me tea, which she said was herbal. It must have been a glitch in translation, because it was most definitely regular tea. I spent the afternoon feeling like a hyperactive squirrel on speed (I've been completely caffeine free for seven months) and wondering if I needed to surrender my temple recommend.

And we're getting together again next week.

In other news, last night around 9:00 there was knock at my door. I opened it to find Tina, Stephanie and Sylwia, along with Baby Moe and Sylwia's mother in law, Nancy. They were singing Happy Birthday, and had come bearing food and gifts...

...And the Twilight DVD. So that was a fun ending to my birthday that started out crappily (yeah, that's totally a word). And? Twilight the movie is worse than Twilight the book. Sorry. I didn't think it was possible, but it is. And I must have missed the part in the book where Bella suffered from Parkinson's disease. Seriously, she can't speak a single sentence without her head bobbing and shaking spastically and blinking her eyes 879 times. Talk about distracting. And I really, really can't look at Rob Pattinson's mouth ever again. There's just something wrong with it.

But it's O.K., because did I mention they brought gifts? They did. Check them out (and if you can stick it out through these, there are CUTE BABY pictures at the end):
This Edward Cullen poster. I guess I need to take up darts.

Pretty flowers

A monetary donation to my boobie fund

And this is the waterproof MP3 player Will got for me. Finally, tunes while I swim!

Baby Mosiah (Sylwia's new baby, in case you missed that post). Cutest. Baby. Ever.

He liked me earlier in the evening, I swear. I think it was my lack of working breasts that was upsetting him. Or my mole.

Chicken legs.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Time makes you bolder, children get older. I'm getting older, too.

This was the scene 33 years ago today.

"Hey, what's everyone doing here? What's with the Cinderella cake and mountain of presents? Why is my creepy cousin Brian staring at me like that?"

"What? It's my first birthday? I can't believe it! "

The topless table dancing started early with me.
Or maybe I'm just really happy that creepy cousin Brian was removed from the table.

No, this is not a scene from the Brady Bunch. These are the kids who assembled to celebrate the one year anniversary of my glorious birth. They're all really old now. Neener, neener.

A random picture of my sixth birthday. The girls in party hats, clockwise from top: Me, looking ever so adorable; My cousin Renae who is currently living in Australia with her rich Australian husband; Penny, who is currently battling breast cancer; Kerri, Penny's sister, who died of cancer several years ago at a very young age.

You want to know how my 34th birthday is going so far? Well, Liam and Ben were both beasties all morning, and both left for the bus in tears. I have to go get my surgical incisions poked and prodded and then blood drawn in a couple of hours. And then I get to come home and go cause an international incident with my Saudi neighbor. I know Will at least got me a present this year, but in the commotion of disobedient boys he forgot to give it to me. I gained two pounds overnight and I'm pretty sure Amelia has a load in her pull up. And it's only 8:15. Happy Birthday to me.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

American Woman

So, we have some neighbors that moved in the same day we did. But, we're really good at being anti-social so we still hadn't met them after living here for three months. That all ended yesterday.

Will was outside mowing the lawn and our neighbor, Abrahim, came over and introduced himself. Abrahim is apparently an officer in the Saudi Army. He and his wife have a son about Liam's age, whom Liam now loves because they gave him a water gun and invited him over to play (Funny story: Liam came in to tell me that he had a new friend next door and asked if he could go over to play. I wasn't aware that Will and Abrahim were chatting it up at this point, so I told Liam no, that I needed to meet his parents first. Liam replied, "Mom, Heavenly Father wants us to make new friends.")

Anyway, Will came in and told me that Abrahim wanted me to get together with his wife sometime and "exchange recipes." Umm, alright. So I filed it in the back of my mind under "Things I'll never actually do because it's outside of my comfort zone."

About an hour later I took some garbage outside. As I'm walking back into the house I hear, "You! Come!" It's Abrahim. I mentally prepare myself to be told to get off the lawn, you filthy, filthy whore.

So, I walk over. He extends his hand, so I put mine out as well. He sort of shakes it, barely touching it, like I'm a leper with syphilis and herpes. Awesome. Then he introduces himself and says that my husband told him I don't work (Thanks, Will!). I say yes, that's correct. He then informs me that I will go and have tea with his wife. He tells me I will go today. I told him that A. I don't drink tea, and B. There's no possible way I can go today, but I can get together with her Wednesday. Then he demands to know what time. Because he can't be home when I come. So, I say 1:00. He says that's acceptable. Then he informs me that I will teach her about American culture and food and cooking and help her with her English.

All I keep thinking is how this man has chosen the wrong American Woman to teach his wife about our culture. I'm pretty sure rebellious feminist Mormon housewife (who swims in pools with men!) isn't what he had in mind.

And I know I've mentioned that I'm a total culturist. My culture=good. Any culture that is different than my own=bad, and should immediately adopt my way of thinking and doing. Me hanging at Abrahim's house with his oppressed wife is a recipe for certain disaster.

So, if you happen to hear on the news that a Georgia woman was murdered for bringing shame to the Saudi family next door, it's probably me.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Bad Girls' Book Club: The Rapture of Canaan

Welcome to the first meeting of The Bad Girl's Book Club!

One of these days I'll get a chat room-type thing set up where we can talk in real time, but for now we'll make do just discussing it in the comments (I was going to use The Blog Frog, but it's no different than posting comments here, so we may as well just do it here--it's one less account you have to sign in to).

So, I'm going to post some questions--some stolen from other book club discussions, some from me. You can talk about these, or about any aspect of the book you want to discuss. If you have a discussion question you'd like added, post it the comments and I'll get it added here.

The Rapture of Canaan by Sheri Reynolds

Why does Ninah ironically feel lonely in a community that emphasizes sameness? Why do cults encourage the loss of separate identities among their followers, and why are these followers willing to give them up? How does Ninah's special status as Canaan's mother disturb the balance of the Fire and Brimstone community?

How does the character of Ninah's grandmother humanize and add to the reader's understanding of the novel's other characters, especially Herman? How has Nanna survived so long within the community despite being skeptical of its beliefs, and why doesn't she take an active role in changing them?

How does the author use the symbolism of blood to achieve impact at various points in the story? Why is it fitting for Ninah to include blood in her materials for weaving rugs?

What is the role of Ninah's friendships with Ajita and Corinthian in her coming-of-age? How would Ninah and the Fire and Brimstone community have been different if the group's children were tutored at home rather than taught at public school?

How do the harsh punishments administered by Grandpa Herman and the Church lead to Ninah's mortifying her own flesh? What does the group hope that severe punishment will accomplish, and what does it achieve in actuality? What is the significance of Ninah's not bothering to sleep on nettles when she discovers she is pregnant?

Why would young people find it difficult to embrace a religion like Fire and Brimstone that focuses on severe discipline and the end of life on earth? By the end of the novel, has Ninah completely rejected her religion? If she chooses to stay in the community, accepting some of the religion's tenets while disregarding others, can she rightly still be considered a member of her Church? Do you feel a person can be a member of any religion without adhering to all of its beliefs?

Do you think James and Ninah were adequately prepared by their religion to face temptation and deal with its consequences? Why, or why not?

8. How do you feel about Canaan being given to another family to raise? Did you agree or disagree with Ninah's choice to secretly breastfeed him?

Why does the conferred status of "the New Messiah" paradoxically strip Canaan of his dignity? How does Ninah's final act in the novel restore it? How does the author utilize acts of cutting throughout the book as metaphors for Ninah's severing the bonds of her childhood and her religion?

10. Do you believe James took advantage of Ninah? Do you think he deliberately deceived her when he claimed it was God speaking through him?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Crazy Eights

I've lost 108 pounds and everything I'm wearing in today's picture is a size 8.
Yay me!

And just for fun, check out this shirt I bought for Liam. It's quite appropriate for him (click on it if you can't read what it says).

Saturday, August 15, 2009


O.K., internets, I'm sorry. I know I said bad girl's book club was going to be today, but it's just not going to happen. Let's try for Monday, shall we?

I completely forgot that I have to teach the Relief Society lesson tomorrow, so I should probably prepare that rather than host a book discussion. (Side note: The lesson is on how Relief Society is a divine organization filled with women on the errand of angels. Bwahhahahahahahhahaha!!! )

I'll go put barbed wire in my underwear and walnut shells in my shoes to repent of my slacker-ness (see, if you'd read the book you'd totally get that).

And if you haven't read the book yet (The Rapture of Canaan by Sheri Reynolds) you now have two days to finish it. See, there's always a bright side.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Lunchtime Poll Topic #7

Today's lunchtime poll topic is fun and controversy free. You can answer as many of the questions as you like.

Do you like your name? Do you know why it was chosen for you? How did you (or how will you) choose your children's names? Is there a name you have always wished was yours?

I don't love my name. C'mon, be honest. If you didn't know me at all and only knew my name, you would assume I was brain dead and had humongous boobs. Brandi is right up there with Bambi in the "she's a bimbo" name department. I was named after a soap opera character. That doesn't help my cause.

For our kids, we just chose names we liked a lot. Their middle names are family names. The only one of our kids not named my first choice of names is Amelia. I really wanted to name her Annika, but Will said no. So, I settled for Amelia, which was my second choice. I also wanted her middle name to be Rebecca. He vetoed that as well. In fact, we were still arguing over her middle name as they were wheeling me to the O.R. for my c-section. We compromised and named her after my sister, Hailie (which, by the way, mom, is an insane spelling. I really think you hate us.) I've kind of always wanted to be named Miranda myself.

How about you?

Oh, and for a little fun, go visit the Utah Baby Namer site. Be sure to read all the accompanying articles. If you're LDS or have ever lived in Utah, you will find this extremely amusing.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Night Music

All I've wanted to do all day is fall into a deep, undisturbed sleep. Now that I finally can, I can't.

So I've been listening to music.

First, I heard a song on the country station, but it didn't sound like country. And it was really good. And it sounded an awful lot like Dave Matthews, but why would Dave Matthews be on the country station? Because he apparently did a duet with Kenny Chesney. It's number 7 on my playlist. If you hate country, you may not like the first part as much because that's the Kenny Chesney part. But, really, hold on. Dave Matthews' part makes it worth it.

Then I was listening to Natalie Merchant's song "Wonder." (Number 8 on the playlist).
A friend sent me that song after Liam survived his open heart surgery at two weeks old (there was a very high likelihood that he would not survive it). Anyway, it was one of those songs that would make me smile and cry at the same time. And it's pretty much the best song ever recorded. But it's especially good if you have a child (or know a child) who has had any sort of struggle. I have lots of friends with autistic children who say "Wonder" is their theme song.

Finally, I listened to "Dancing in the Moonlight" by King Harvest (Number 9 on the playlist). Doesn't it just make you want to dance under the stars with your best friends?


P.S. Stop by later for a fun, new lunchtime poll topic.

If I were a celebrity I would totally endorse this product for free.

Sorry, but I only have one confession for you today. Men and the squeamish, you may want to step away from the blog. I'm going to talk about menstruation and feminine hygiene products.

O.K., are they gone? Good. Here's my confession.

I'm madly in love with the new Always Infinity pads. In. LOVE. I know, it's just a pad, but I love it nonetheless.

My periods are abnormally heavy. So heavy that I begged them to give me a hysterectomy when they did my gastric bypass (they said no--one operation at a time). So heavy that for the past few years I have been using ginormous incontinence pads (seriously, they're 11 inches X 6 inches. HUGE!), not to mention also using the maximum absorbency tampon available (O.B. Ultra Plus, if you must know). If I tried to use any other kind of pad, even the overnight kind, I would bleed all over the place within an hour or two.

So, last month I got a free sample of Always Infinity (the Overnight version) in the mail. My first thought was, "No fracking way." Honestly, they're thinner than a panty liner. And it has holes in it! I don't care what new technology they claim to have stolen from super absorbent aliens, there was no way this could work for me.

But have you ever worn a huge, thick incontinence pad? They're not comfortable. And they can show, especially now that I don't wear shirts that cover my butt every day. So, I decided I'd give the Always Infinity a try. I chose a day I wasn't going anywhere in case I had leakage issues. I wore black pants and put a towel under me wherever I sat.

Did I mention that they're tiny pads? Super duper thin? With holes in them?

But holy crap, they worked! Even on my heaviest day. Even during a vigorous work out on my heaviest day.

So, Always Infinity, I love you. You complete me. I would go on TV and talk about my period just to get people to buy you if any one actually cared about my opinion. You have changed my life forever.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Yes, the kids are still alive.

I know, I know. I've been slacking in the mommy-blogging department lately. I know there are a few of you out there that only come to hear about the kids, so this post is for you.

Monday was the first day of school. Ben started 5th grade, Liam started Kindergarten. I missed having all three kids in school full time by THIRTEEN DAYS. The cut off for the free Georgia pre-K is September 1st, and Amelia won't be four until the 14th. That and the whole not potty trained yet thing.

Clean and shiny

So anyway, Liam went to full day pre-K last year, so going to school all day isn't such a big deal. The big deal this year is that he gets to ride the bus with Ben.

Walking to the bus stop

On Monday I was awakened at 5:30 am when Liam, fully dressed and with his back pack on, came and asked if it was time to go wait for the bus. The past two mornings he has wanted to go out and wait for it as soon as he's done eating--regardless of the fact that there's still 45 minutes until it comes.

Obligatory getting on the bus shot.

Ben was less excited for school, or so he would like everyone to think. He's done his usual "I don't care about this or anything else" act, but when it was time to go on Monday morning, it was obvious he was excited.

Our county makes it mandatory for all 5th graders to participate in 4-H. I like the idea of it, but I'm not thrilled that it's one more thing I get to deal with. The county fair is in October and they've already sent home a list of categories your child can enter for the 4-H competition. Ben initially wanted to raise an animal. Umm, no. So, now he wants to make a small quilt. Now, that actually sounds like a fun project and I could easily teach him (he already knows how to do basic sewing), but here's the thing internets. I need your opinion. I'm worried that a ten year old boy who sews a quilt for the fair might get a certain label, you know? The same kind of label a 10 year old boy who covers his Pinewood Derby car with glitter might get (yeah, he did that). Do you follow? Should it matter?

Amelia has just been hanging out with me. I have big plans of doing some home-preschool with her, but we'll see how much actually happens.

Along with starting school, we also instituted chores, complete with a giant job chart, on Monday. I'm still not over being a germ-o-phobe control freak, so most of their jobs are pointless, but they're still jobs. Liam and Amelia refused to clean their rooms Monday night, so they got to experience getting big red Xs on the job chart. Each X subtracts ten cents from their allowance. Oh, the crying, people! The crying that ensued! Those red Xs were like permanent marks on their souls. On the bright side, they have diligently been doing all their work ever since. Mission accomplished.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Welcome to the world, baby!

We started out the day by having a little party in Sylwia's room. There's Sylwia and her husband, Mr. Sylwia.

There was a two hour delay in the schedule due to an emergency. Sylwia made her displeasure at having to wait known. Loudly and belligerently. These were a couple of nurses who came to get her.

After all that complaining about having to wait, she got cold feet when the time finally came. This is her best fake smile.

Weeeee! Here we go!

Here we are, crammed in the elevator.

Finally! Still unnamed baby Hardman makes his debut!

5 pounds, 12.6 ounces. Not bad for being three weeks early.

Lucky Tina got to be present for the c-section. Sure, she's a doula, but still. I'm totally jealous. Apparently Sylwia was hilariously loopy during the procedure.

Here he is, enjoying his first meal (his blood sugar was a little low, so he couldn't wait).

I had to leave about an hour later, and Sylwia was still in recovery so I didn't get to see her or hold the baby. Right before I left, the nurse from a few pictures up came down to the nursery to get Mr. Sylwia. She seemed a little exasperated. She said she needed his help with Sylwia. I haven't gotten an update on what went on that required his assistance, but I'm sure it will involve belligerance on Sylwia's part. She spent the morning insisting that all 4 of her BFFs and her husband be allowed in the O.R. and threatening to get up and leave recovery when she wanted to rather than when they felt it would be good for her. I can't wait to hear this story.
I'll keep you posted.

*O.K., I've just been updated. She was just having a hormonal moment. She had to be sedated and finally passed out, giving the labor and delivery staff a much needed respite. She's now in her room, nursing the baby (who finally has a name--Mosiah!) and is back to being belligerent and making the nursing staff regret their career choices.

Come back later.

Later, there will be a fabulous blog entry here, complete with pictures. But right now I'm off to witness the miracle of birth. Well, I probably won't witness it--she's having a c-section--but I'll at least get to witness the immediate before and after moments. That's right, folks. Your favorite crazy Polish commenter is about to have a baby.

Keep Sylwia in your thoughts today. She's not a fan of c-sections.

Also, Keep Kirsten in your thoughts today as well. You can read her blog here. Her boyfriend, his dad and his brother were (more than likely) killed in a plane crash in Idaho yesterday. I don't know her personally--I'm just a fan of her blog--but she's already had a hard year without this tragedy.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Taking care of business *Edited*.

Did you know I thought you spelled business buisness up until about a year ago? I did. Sad, I know.

Anyway, I need to take care of a little business, but if you stick it out and keep reading, there's a tale from Wal-Mart at the end.

Business Item #1:

*Based on e-mail response, it apparently wasn't clear that this item of business should be read with a heavy dose of sarcasm. SARCASM, people!!*

It has been brought to my attention that several people have been offended because my friends and I refer to ourselves as The Fat Frumpy Five (FFF). First of all, really? Really? Why on Earth do you care? Is it because of the terms fat and frumpy or is it because we said "five," making it appear we're some uber-exclusive club?

Here's the deal: We are fat and frumpy. Maybe we're not always fat or always frumpy, but I'm sure even supermodels have days when they feel fat and/or frumpy. We choose to embrace our inner fat frumpiness. Get over it.

If it's because of the Five aspect, I'd like to remind all the offended parties that we only became a fivesome because we were never invited to take part in the other girls' reindeer games. The only difference between our "clique" and your "cliques" is that we gave ours a name and didn't pretend it didn't exist. Don't be jealous of our creativity.

However, in the interest of keeping the peace, The FFF has decided that we will change our name, eliminating the elitist "five" from our nomenclature. Henceforth we shall be known as The BFFs. Big. Fat. Frumpies.

Is that better?

Business Item #2:

As today is our first day of school, I'd like to remind you that Ashbellum began at 4:00. I hope you're not working!

Business Item #3:

Bad Girl's book club, right here, Saturday the 15th. We're reading The Rapture of Canaan by Sheri Reynolds.

O.K., and now for the promised Wal-Mart story.

Click on this for a larger view. It's worth it.

I was in line today and the woman in front of me was chatting up the cashier. I'm basing this solely on memory, but it's as close to word for word as I can get.

"Hoo boy, it's going to be hot today. I was going to go down and fish in the pond by Joseph's Creek, but I don't know. Maybe we'll just go to Red Lobster. I got me a coupon in the mail. I need me some fish. I'm taking a GED class and fish is brain food. Ain't no lie. I been eatin' fish for two weeks and my test scores went up. Brain food, fish is. That's why them Japanese are so smart. Daddy don't like it much, but since he ain't got no teeth he can't eat red meat. Sos I make him eat the fish. I'm the one doin' the cookin' , sos he eats the fish or he goes hungry. Sometimes I'll fry him up a pork chop and put it in the blender with some gravy. It makes it like mulch, but he ain't got no teeth and he loves them pork chops. I tell him the fat will just kill him faster. Maybe that's why he wants it. Fish, now. Fish is good for the heart, too. That's why them Japanese live so long. They're smart and live longer than roaches. It's because of the fish, I'm tellin' ya."


Sunday, August 9, 2009

Pretty sure I'm going to die, but it was worth it.

That, my friends, is the last bite of a warm, gooey, banana and Nutella filled crepe.

I've been craving one for a few days now, ever since I recommended it as a cure for Marianne's sudden aversion to sweets.

You see, there's this little side effect of gastric bypass called dumping syndrome. You get it when you eat things with a lot of sugar or fat. Or, uh, Nutella.

And I'm pretty positive I'm done for.
Goodbye forever.
Remember, I want dirty jokes and board games and ice cream sundaes at my funeral.

But don't be sad--I'm going out with a smile on my face and Nutella crepes on my breath.

People, what am I going to do?

About my hair, that is. Seriously, it's bad. Really bad. I'm trying to let it grow, but it just won't. It would be cuter straightened, but it's so brittle and frizzy that it's not cute at all.

I think that maybe I'm adopted, and I've figured out who my real parents are. It would explain a lot.

A lot
That's right. I'm pretty sure I am actually the child of celebrity couple Gene Wilder and Gilda Radner.
The proof is in the hair.

Anyway, for more pictures of my awesomely bad hair (and awesomely good friends), hop on over to Sylwia's blog and check out the hospital room baby shower we gave her yesterday.

Also, Sylwia has been quite insistent that I post this picture of my kids, because according to her I never post any smiling pictures of them. So here you go.

You'd smile too if you had been plied with Italian Ice and a wheel chair ride.