Nov 30, 2005


Do you wish you could be Oprah? Now you can, buy someone a camel for Christmas (Oxfam UK) or Buy books to help 10 girls in Afghanistan read and write (Oxfam USA)

Damn Paparazzi

I got an early Christmas Present from Dan. He bought me another camera, this one is exactly like my old one, only not broken. I love love love it. It definatley gives a better quality to the photos. It has hexagonal pixels instead of square. I tried it out last night, taking pictures of Ella on her trike in her latest crazy ensemble. Did I mention I love it!

If there is a flash Ella covers her eyes and exlaims "My Eyes! My Eyes!" like she's been poked with a sharp stick. Damn Paparazzi.

P.S. Folks if you plan on doing any shopping this month, do me a favor and read Twisty's rant about The brutalization of Mexican women. Please, it's important.

Nov 29, 2005


My dear pal Tatertot posted her Pal Criteria today and Duchess Jane posted her Dating Requirements. It’s gotten me thinking about my friends. Here’s the thing, I’ve lost a few friends in the past. I don’t mean like we got in a fight and don’t talk anymore, I mean like she was killed in a car accident or he started the car and closed the garage door and went to sleep, or she was raped and strangled in a park. Sad? – Yes extremely. Tramatizing? – Yes extremely. Coincidentally frequent? – Yes, extremely. Consequently, I didn’t make very close friends for a very long time. I was building a monument to friendship celibacy, like a widow. I was determined to make it true that I would NEVER have close friends like that again. A few years into my marriage and a few extremely jealous arguments about Dan spending time with his friends, I had an epiphany, I didn’t have any pals and that was MY problem not anyone else’s.

For a few years now, I’ve been working at being a better friend and keeping in touch with people and making sure that I have pals. It occurred to me this morning when reading both Duchess Jane’s and Tater Tot’s posts that perhaps I should stop amassing friends to prove to myself that I can and lay down some criteria. It’s quality not quantity. Plus I can never pass up the opportunity to make a good list.

The List

  • Must like children
  • Must respect my choices to raise my child the way I do
    -Don’t freak out when I whip out a breast to feed my kid (similarly I don’t want to have to try and explain breast feeding to your kid at this moment either. That’s for you to explain).
    -You have to be able to stand my messy house, you child will leave all play dates at my house with dog hair on their clothes.
    -Do not give my child a sip of your pop, coffee, chocolate milk or drag off your cigarette without looking to me first.
  • Must raise you children similarly, I can’t have my kid witnessing things…
    -If you regularly hit/spank your child
    -If you yell things like “Shut UP! Damn, freakin’ brat!”
    -If the kids only eat after the grown ups (my aunt's in-laws did this, it was a respect thing, and it was weird)
    -If you can’t handle when our kids are both yanking on the same toy (they’ll have to learn to work it out)
  • Must respect my time.
    -My family time is sometimes limited and if I plan a date with you, it’s because I really do have to plan it ahead.
    -Broken play dates break my heart every time (unless you kid’s sick, in which case thank you for not passing it along)
    -Please don’t ramble on about whether it was Friday at 10am or Tuesday at 11:15 because if it’s not important to the story I don’t freaking care.
  • Please don’t try to spend too much time with me. I get sick of Dan and I LOVE him; I’ll get sick of you even faster if you try to see me every day.
  • You must be willing to tell me when I’m wrong, it’s hard to respect someone who kisses your ass
  • If you are mad at me, you have to tell me. I don’t get subtle hints
    -I once walked into a meeting late and heard a colleague saying “She does it just to make me mad, I can’t stand it anymore! I’ve repeatedly hinted that it bothers me and she doesn’t even care! Boss, you have to do something about this situation.” I offered “I’ll help, who are we talking about?” colleague turns to me, burst into tears and yells “YOU!” (I had no idea).
  • If I ask you what’s wrong and you say “Nothing” I choose to believe you. Please, give me the same courtesy
  • Please don’t ever assume that because we are friend that our husbands should be. Mine is a fickle, blunt, crabby, curmudgeon with very little time to spend with his friends and family, he’s likely to tell your husband to his face to go find his own friends.
  • Don’t ask me to come to your Tupperware, Candle, Avon party unless we’ve been friends for more than 3 years and you won’t be offended when I don’t buy anything.

Bonus qualities (not required)

  • Funny
  • Eccentric
  • Willing to try new things
  • Can suggest fun things to do (to avoid “What do you wanna do?” “I dunno what do you wanna do?”)
  • Has own money (I don’t like to pay every time)
  • Likes to drink and dance
  • My husband likes you too

I’m sure there’s a billion things I missed or am obsessing about that don’t really matter, but Jane was right, that was therapeutic.

Nov 28, 2005

The Ballet on Saturday

We went to the cutest little café on the way to the theatre and had turkey wraps and mochas. Ella wanted some whipped crème from the top of Grandma’s mocha so the waitress/barista gave Ella a little cup of whipped crème with sprinkles on top in an espresso cup and saucer and the tiniest little silver spoon. She scarfed it up along with her lunch of cheese, pickles and fruit.

We arrived at the theatre with enough time to take pictures in the lobby, find our seat and get some chocolate covered raisins. The ballet was wonderful; we were able to see guest ballet dancers from the Ballet Florida and Ballet Internationale, it really was magnificent. The soldiers and mice fight in the first act and the soldiers come out riding little horses, Ella was the only child I heard braying. Luckily the music was loud enough; I don’t think it was too noticeable. In the end of that scene the mice are defeated and they all fall down, Ella exclaimed “Oh Noooooo!” this time the audience around us snickered.

Intermission came and we ventured out into the lobby just to see all the little girls out there rolling around on the floor and spinning circles in their little velvety outfits and slippers, some even wore tiaras. Ella was no exception she danced through intermission until Grandma bought her little ballerina and nutcracker Christmas ornaments then the play turned to spinning the ornaments on the floor.

Act II started while Ella nursed, it was getting close to nap time for her. This is when I started to get nervous. She sat through most of the second act exclaiming “wow – pity” at all the appropriate oooh and ahh moments so she wasn’t the only loud kid. But then Ella decided it was time to go and started handing Grandma her purse and grabbing our coats. Unfortunately this was right before The Dance of the Sugar Plumb Fairy (my total favorite) I leaned over to Grandma and said “We gotta go.” Grandma said “I’ll meet you in the lobby". (This was the plan if Ella got too fussy). Grandma gathered up coats, purses, gloves, sippy cups and programs. Ella and I walked up the side aisle very slowly so I could take in as much as possible upon our exit. Ella started yelling “MAAAAaaa.”, “’Mon Maaaaaa!” (meaning Grandma! Come on Grandma!). I walked faster to exit and the crowd snickered. We made it to the lobby and later my Mom told me when she stood up to leave with all our coats in tow everyone snickered knowing she was ‘Maaaaa’.

It was without a doubt a wonderfull afternoon.

Nov 27, 2005

Aw Hell Naw!

I went out this evening to kick it old school with my Ladies - The Casseroles. For those of you who are new, that’s my gang, I’m Green Bean Casserole. So Fiesta Pie, Deep Dish, Sweet Potato and the new Casserole (TBA) met me for Sushi and laughs at my favorite restaurant. We dined from 7 to 9:45 when we decided to bring it to the bar next door, we made it half way in when we heard the shitty band and the $5.00 cover and decided instead to go to Starbucks and get hopped up on double Lattes and Cookies. (We’re dangerous chicks).

We told stories about our kids and Thanksgiving and then naturally the talk turned pretty racy. I thought the conversation was totally making the table of teenagers next to us uneasy because they kept glancing over their shoulders at us. They appeared to be 16 or 17… and giggling at us. We realized it was AT us and not WITH us when Fiesta Pie pointed out that 2 or 3 spit wads had been launched our direction. Our wits perked up, these young “hip” teens were totally mocking us. The girls were rolling their eyes and the boy sitting behind TBA would actually lean over and chime in on our conversation every few minutes to be met with fresh giggles at their table.

Aw Hell Naw! NEVER, I repeat never try to embarrass a Casserole – some of us changed at least 2 shitty diapers today and others have fired people smarter than these kids. So TBA leaned way over towards Deep Dish as if Deep Dish were going to tell her a secret, then TBA lifted her leg and farted long and hard in their general direction… Yes, farted very loud… at them. Let me say it again – at them. We cracked up. Moments later they stood up to leave, there were fresh peals of laughter from our table. They slipped out red faced, girlfriends in tow, no longer snickering. TBA will henceforth be known as Soufflé.

Nov 26, 2005


Grandma (my Mom) is taking us to see the Nutcracker today at this theatre. We are going to have a long bath and put on our tights and velvet and slippers very soon. When Grandma gets here we'll go have dainty little salads and coffee and chocolate milk at a local cafe and then off we go to see the ballerinas! Let's hope Ella enjoys it enough to stay in her seat.

(more pics to follow)

5:10 update: Wonderful, just wonderful!

Nov 25, 2005

Savin' it for Later

Yesterday, Ella didn’t nap. She was getting crabby so I offered a bribe - a Tootsie-pop lollypop (her favorite) in exchange for happy sticky girl. Midway through the lollypop she needed two hands to get a sip of milk so she carefully balanced the lollypop on the top of her head, took her sip and then retrieved the lollypop and put it back in her mouth.

Nov 24, 2005


Thanksgiving, a story in pictures ('cause frankly I'm tired).

Now seating 14

Waiting for guests

The Kiddie Table

The Grown Ups

Gotta have Turkey and Cranberry Sauce

What a mess

Ella relaxing

Dan relaxing

Jenny Relaxing


  • Turkey
  • Ham
  • Green Bean Casserole
  • Stuffing (homemade)
  • Scalloped Corn
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Gravy
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Home made Bread
  • Acorn Squash
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Butternut Squash
  • Relish tray (dill pickles, sweet pickles, black olives, green olives, pickled beats)
  • Homemade Dill dip and veggies (carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, celery)
  • Orange Salad (I could live on this alone)
  • Mince Meat Pie
  • Sweet Potato Pie w/ Jack Daniels Sauce & homemade whipped cream
  • Pecan Pie & cool whip
  • Pumpkin Pie (2)
  • Coffee
  • Before Dinner Cocktails (Cosmopolitan, Martini, Kahlua & Creme, Brandy & Cranberry Juice, Beer (MGD, Miller High Life, Leinenkugels Dark) Jack & Cokes)
  • Pinot Grigio (2)
  • Chardonnay
  • Milk
  • Iced Tea
  • Brandy & Egg Nog

Did I take any pictures of all this fab food - no, I'm a dork.

Nov 23, 2005


Alas, the house is clean, the table set, baby asleep, pies and I are baked. (I'm having a
Cosmopolitan). All we have left tomorrow is cooking everything, ya know the easy stuff. No doubt I forgot some last minute important detail – thus the baking of the hostess – I need sleep and if I don’t drink ‘till I don’t care then I will lay in bed making endless lists of every flaw in the entire house that needs to be cleaned, fixed, moved, vacuumed under, sewn, or thrown out. I’m getting there… I forgot how fun it is to drink at home, I do it so seldom. Here’s a picture of how rosey I am feeling ...

How d'ya like taht - you can see up my nose. Glad there wasn't anything peeking out of there. OK, the blogging has deteriorated into booger jokes, time for a beer and a snack. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Hope your family only picks on your siblings this year and may your turkey be moist, your wine dry and your patience and gravy thick.

I Am The Stuffing

I'm complicated and complex, yet all the pieces fit together. People miss me if I'm gone - but they're not sure why.


I will spend today in a last minute panic looking for a gravy boat and mopping the kitchen floor oh, and wiping out the microwave and finding candles and counting wine glasses and pressing tablecloths and drinking vodka. I offer up to you for your viewing enjoyment - coffee and gossip downtown with Ella, Grandma and Mary Jean - (It's all I got folks)

Nov 22, 2005

5/6 ?!?!

Play dates are my chance to feel normal among another tired Mom. Ella loves other kids and she doesn’t mind sharing toys. Five of the last six play-dates we scheduled cancelled. I'm starting to wonder if we stink, or if my kid is extraordinarily mean. Actually, I’m thankful for those who cancelled because of sickness, but today the mother just forgot. I’m sad and mad and tired. The first couple of times Ella was excited and then let down. The last couple of times I didn’t even tell her about the play-date just in case. SHIT!

Looking at the Gift Horse

I promised him when I stayed home his chores would include taking the garbage out, mowing the lawn and cooking an occasional dinner. Today, I laugh in the face of that promise. Apparently I blog too much or something ‘cause I can’t seem to keep that June Cleaver looking house without help. I told Dan I was feeling overwhelmed and needed help with the housework. A housekeeper is not in the budget (we are channeling our funds a different direction, like food and diapers and heat) so my dear husband is doing all the laundry.

In the last month, one brand new wool sweater (never worn) was reduced to an Ella sized piece of felt. Several stains were permanently cooked right into the shirt’s design while in the dryer and I think Ella actually outgrew things before their reappearance from the laundry room. I commented “I don’t have any clean clothes” the reply was “Well, I can’t find where you put your dirty clothes” which I can attest to. He’s washed some weird things. Recently up from the basement I found a load of summer clothes, I think he mistakenly washed a hamper full of shorts and t-shirts I stashed away near the laundry room. Sometimes, he washes all the table cloths and miscellaneous scarves and bath-mats while I am wearing bikini bottoms underneath my jeans. I ask, is it too hard to look in the HAMPER for the dirty clothes? The sock situation is way out of control. I went and bought 12 pair of warm socks for Ella (her feet grew) and have nary a match. I did the math, at roughly 5 min. a day, I loose one full day a year in pursuit of a matching sock.

Dear Sweetest Husband, I love you, I appreciate you and I want you to keep helping but it must be said – you suck at laundry. You need more practice. Love, Bikini Bottomed Wife

(We need socks for Christmas Mom)

Nov 21, 2005

Wish me luck folks

I’m starting to stress out. We are hosting Thanksgiving this year for both sides of the family. Did I just hear you spit your coffee out and ask me if I’m crazy? It’ll be dinner for 19 adults and 2 toddlers. I do have two kitchens but they are on separate floors so it’s not very helpful. The great shopping trip of the century will take place today. I’ll be trying to find the cheapest squash while dodging angry house-wives and rebounding Ella back into the cart. I’m tempted to take C-A-N-D-Y with me just to keep her busy. And yes, I must spell it, even on the blog as she can sense when I’m thinking of it and will scream and kick her feet while lying on the floor until I give her some. I think I'm going to have to go to two different stores. One store is giving a ham away with every turkey and the other has produce so fresh you can still taste the vitamins.

We spent a good portion of the weekend re-arranging and cleaning and I’m still only half done. Thank god my mom is coming early Thursday to help with cooking and entertaining Ella. Mom has seen my house at its worst, its Dan’s siblings that have me unnerved. I nearly drove his sister to insanity one dinner at our place after I announced “we don’t do dishes till after the party is over”. She nervously looked at the stack of dishes in the kitchen every ten seconds until she could take no more and despite my protests went into my kitchen and washed them. Wish me luck folks.

Things I'm thankful for today:
(Besides the happiness and health of my family and friends...etc)

Mr. Bubble Bubble Bath
My little space heater
Monday Blogging

Nov 19, 2005

Dew of God

"Children are the Dew of God." - Roberto Benini on the tonight Show 12/17/02

There's applesauce in my armpit
and biscuit in my hair
Babe is done with her bubble bath
and she would like to stay bare
I squeeze her into a sweater
and comb her fuzzy hair
My darling daughter dearest
delights me every day
She tries to do her best
to do whatever she may

-Of Mom's and Babes and Baths - J.M.M. 8/16/05

Nov 18, 2005


Which race of Middle Earth do you belong? brought to you by Quizilla

Numa Numi

Fuzzy Coffee

Today I will clean house. I can’t see the bottom of the sink through the piles of water glasses finally removed from my night stand. There are two hampers in the bathroom because the first hamper is filled. I killed two ferns this week who had the indecency to throw leafs all over the floor when they went, but my karma may be ok - I grew something green (and blue and fuzzy) in a coffee cup on my desk.

Nov 17, 2005

Fun Dip

Dan: They should make a fun dip that has powdered flavors like ranch and ketchup and cheddar

Jenny: What would you dip?

Dan: Carrots and Celery

Jenny: I think your on to something honey.

Todays Links:
Kissy Kissy Toys
Comfy shoes

Nov 16, 2005

Is that legal?...

She’s said “I’m going to eat the last two Heath bars from Halloween” and he said “Not if I get there first”

Announcer: Here it is folks the race of the century! Two tough competitors tonight; She’s a 130 pound chocoholic and he’s an overworked, stressed out hypoglycemic. Too bad he had a head start being already half way down the stairs. She’s a tough competitor though, especially when it comes to chocolate, I’ve heard she’s been known to fart on heads to get the last candy-bar. Oooo, nice play shutting the hallway door behind him, she’s going to loose valuable seconds getting it open again. Wow, that hardly stopped her and she’s making up time on the sprint through the Library. Amazing isn’t it how they can run silently as to not wake the baby, these are practiced athletes folks at the height of their game. And there you have it; he’s got the last two Heath bars in his hand! OH MY! What was that? An overtime play? I didn’t quite see that… Let’s rewind the tape… Look at there – zoom in, wow … a butt pinch… and look at that he drops it folks, a Heath bar fumble! Is that legal?... The ref says all is fair in love and well you know. It just goes to show you folks, she knows her challenger well and it aint over till the candy is eaten.

Nov 15, 2005

Oprah fighting the good fight

Today on Oprah; mommy jeans. She will validate my study and prove my theory - There are no bad butts, just bad jeans.

Terms I've gleaned from Oprah's site today:
Asprin Butt
Muffin Top
Ice Cream Cone
Dunlap syndrome

Are we all offended yet?

I was in the car listening to old punk music today and remembered I really don’t care what people think of me. Wah-blah!

What? What was that… I’m supposed to be a responsible mother and teach my child to say ‘
please’ and ‘thank you’? How ‘bout I don’t let her wipe a booger on you. Oh, I see, I shouldn’t let my extreme political views be known they’re just not popular… Well crap, I guess I shouldn’t tell you that I think the welfare to work program is oppressive to women and bordering on slavery. Oh, I see I was supposed to send you a card and a cute little tchotchke on your special day… What if I just don’t tell you what a superficial snot you are when you show me your giant child killing engagement diamond from Debeers?

Tune in tomorrow when I’ll be wearing tons of black eye liner and raging against the machine by driving my
giant minivan to Walmart to save $1.00 on toilet paper that will be used in my protest against big business.

See if you're a punk mom today

Nov 14, 2005

The Universe is Stalking Me

While I’m in the practice of writing long cathartic entries here’s a nice one for a Monday afternoon read. Let me preface by telling you this is a true story and it takes place in a city of 150,115 people.

In high school Dan and Ben used to skateboard together. When I starting dating Dan we were in college and I was intrigued by his motley group of buddies. They were a group of roughly 9 who would drink Mountain Dew by the case and stay up all night becoming rouge skaters in canvas shoes and trench coats violating cement walls and steps all over the city with their skate boards. They were like brothers and yet easily accepted me into the bunch. If Dan loved me then I must be ok. In college, they no longer skated; instead we would hang out at Ben’s discussing philosophy and politics late into the night with his parents Bob and Barbara. We would drink coffee and wine and playing spades while we discussed the finer points of socialized medicine and talk about our dreams and ambitions until 3 or 4 in the morning. Sometimes around a bonfire and sometimes around the kitchen table, it was empowering to have a debate with someone you regarded as sophisticated and worldly. After all Ben’s parents had marched in the 60s, lived in two different countries, raised two obstinate children and they were talented in art of conversation.

One particular evening of discussion seared our connection forever. We were discussing the worst thing that had ever happened in our lives. I had just left photography class to meet Dan at Ben’s house and had a fresh set of photos of my dear cousin’s grave in my car. So naturally, I told my audience about how I had lost my best friend and cousin, Christine, to a drunk driver. She was only 14 and I miss her every day. I talked about how awful the news was when I had heard it and how I had collapsed on the stairs with the phone in my hand not wanting to believe a word. I was tearing up as I told the story.

Ben’s mother, Barbara, began to tell a similar story about how she and Bob were driving along one night and encountered a lone little girl in the middle street who’d been hit by a car. Barbara had jumped out of the car and sat down on the cement and held the girl in her arms, soothing her and crying while she died. Ben’s Dad went to call for help while cars just drove on by. Then Barbara proceeded to name the exact date and street where my Christine had been killed. The whole room went silent as we both realized it was the same story. We continued to verify details… the name of the lady that hit her, what she was wearing that night, what the paper said about it the next day, and finally her name. We sobbed and hugged while the rest of the company looked at us in disbelief. I can still hardly believe it, but it happened and now I know.

So let me have it folks – I want to hear your “The Universe is Stalking Me” story and I in turn, promise that if the sun comes out tomorrow I will be back posting something short and funny.

Nov 13, 2005


The wind is whipping outside and when it blows past our front doors it gets tangled up in a pocket in the siding and makes a spooky whistle. It’s been whistling at me all morning, when it does Ella looks at me wide eyed and whispers “scared”. They sky is totally grey. Tree skeletons line our street; their former adornments a soggy pile in the gutter. The charm of fall is over and the coldness is creeping in.

Nov 12, 2005

Accomplishments for 2005

I started thinking about our Holiday letter and mentally listing successes and other happy things to write about. There’s plenty of happy things but I’m a little down. My victories aren’t really the kind you can put in a Holiday letter.

Things I am Proud of:

  • Nursed a baby on demand into toddler-hood
  • Didn’t break a toe stepping on “Little People” in the middle of the night
  • My toddler chooses to sleep in her own bed (sometimes)
  • My toddler can use a fork, spoon, “Thank you” and “Welcome”
  • Kept my cool during the poop in tub ordeal
  • Read 4 novels
  • Managed to brush my teeth and comb my hair every day
  • Shaved my legs every day this summer
  • Made it through surgery
  • Established a monthly night out with friends and then actually went
  • Blogged, blogged, blogged
  • Doodled a children’s book for Ella called “Ella’s Potty Book”
  • Didn’t start smoking
  • Had my toddler believing that raisin were candy
  • Kept in touch with family
  • Fit into a size of clothing that I feel good about
  • Made lots of lists
  • Saw two R rated movies

These are way too personal for the letter – but not too personal for the internet folks. That’s right dear readers, you get the poo in tub but Aunt Dawn gets spared – lucky you.

Nov 11, 2005


Ella has taken to saying "Hi" and "Bye" to everything. This morning as we lay in bed just waking to the sunlight, Ella rolls over a finds a piece of lint on the sheet - "Hi Lint!". Last night on the way home she proclaimed her love for the moon "Love you moon, bye moon" as we went from car to house. Today I've heard "Hi blanket", "Hi boots", "see ya later spoon" and I almost died when she got in the tub with a "Hi naked!"

Today's Link:
Jason Notermann

A True Story of Happenstance and Love

A True Story of Happenstance and Love

I walk into the hobby shop/used book store with my husband who is going to be hypnotized by the comic books and toy soldiers for the next 25 minutes. I decide as usual to get lost in the stacks of second-hand books in the back. I’m such a sucker for classics and humor but today there’s no new humor, just a lot of Erma Bombeck and classics are a bust as well. Who needs two ratty copies of “Lord of the Flies”? I peruse the new arrivals looking for anything interesting. My eye lands on a book of poetry. It’s a small, red, hard bound, just my style. I pick it up and see Poems of Love. I don’t really subscribe to romance in general. In fact I warned my husband if he ever bought me roses and a lovey little teddy bear on Valentines Day I’d promptly divorce him. I’m more of a dirty limerick great bottle of wine kinda gal. I put the book back.

Stacks and stacks loom ahead and I walk through the endless hallway of romance novels and then the looming wall o’ sci-fi. I’m not finding anything so I find Dan. There he is talking to Jason, crap we’re going to be here even longer. I wonder back into the books, it’s hard to imagine that all these books have been read. Some are dog eared and well loved; you can see how many times the spine has been cracked open. I always assume the ones that look new aren’t very good, they haven’t been loaned to the neighbor or re-read on vacation. I imagine they’ve been looked at once or twice and then traded in here at the book cemetery. Some books sit for so very long on the shelves that every visit I look at their familiar old spines like visiting an old aunt in the nursing home. Yep, there she is
How to Keep Slim, Healthy and Young With Juice Fasting and good old Architecture in Spain: Journal Articles Published 1970-1985. I wonder what will become of them.

I look out into the store and Dan is immersed in the bargain bin – I’ve got at least 10 more minutes. I’m back at the new arrivals wall. There it is again, the little red book. I have now wandered around these books so long I feels like it would be sacrilege to not buy something, so I pick it up. Maybe it has some good poetry in it. I open to the Contents page and find a long list of love poems and hey, someone has underlined their favorites! I just love finding books that people have written in. It feels like you are taking a peek into their psyche and how personal to find a book of love poems that has been written in. I’m so definitely getting this book. Look they’ve underlined The Flowers Name by Robert Browning, Sonnet by William Shakespeare, The Lady’s "Yes" by Elizabeth Barret Browining, Adam & Eve by John Milton, and oh delight! They’ve underlined Annabel Lee by Edgar Allen Poe. I Love Poe, this underliner has picked some of my favorites! I am sooo getting this book. Oh hey look there’s an inscription in the inside cover…

Read, and know my love.

… It’s my husband’s handwriting. It’s unmistakable, it’s his. He has the worst, most recognizable, left slanting way of inventing his own letters. I’m sure of it… Jen is his ex-girlfriend just before me. I’m sweating. I put in back on the shelf. I pick it up. I put in back on the shelf. I pick it up again. It can’t be – I find Dan. “Honey? Wanna see something funny?”. Dan looks, “Hm”. That’s all he says??!! Hm. Oh crap, I have to hear him say it… “Is that your handwriting?” am I mad he loved before me, or that he was never an immature foolish mush around me? I warned him not to be an immature foolish mush, maybe I want him to be a foolish mush, maybe he can contain the foolish mush when he’s with me ‘cause his love is containable… crap, I’m over thinking this. “Yep, that’s my handwriting, were in the world did you find this?” he says. Freaking duh! “Where do you think I found it?” oh God, that sounded mean and crabby, why am I even mad? I’m so NOT getting this book. “Give it here; I’ll just put it back.” I snap. “Are you mad?” he asks “Nope” is all I can muster. I can’t even help it now I don’t even know why I’m upset. I put the book back on the shelf and find Dan.

I am sulking and my mind is racing, can I just leave that book on the shelf for someone else to buy? They’ll buy it and think how nice it is that this man loved this woman so much he gave her poems. Well screw that! He doesn’t love her anymore! He never really knew what love was till he met me! Screw them thinking that! I have to have that book. I go back and pick it up. I buy it and then the inscription will be sitting on my bookshelf, in OUR house, it would be like he is cheating in OUR library for eternity and our children will look in the book and SEE it. They will catch him in the act! Maybe I’ll buy it and then burn it. I’ve gone insane… I put the book back.

Dan walks over, he knows I am clearly upset. I can see the desperation in his eyes, I know, it’s just too weird – how can he fix this for me? I tell him “Darling, you are going to buy this book for me and you are going to change the Jen to Jenny”. Dan looks relived. He buys the book and asks the guy at the cash register for a pen. The “ny” is added and now the book can come home with us. I don’t think I will probably ever read the book though. It’ll just sit on the shelf next to the books that Dan meant to buy for me and our children will never know the difference.

What would you do?

Nov 10, 2005

A Blogger's Nightmare

From today’s paper Annie’s Mailbox entitled “Granny’s Journal may be helpful to someone”

Dear Annie: My grandmother died 15 years ago and left me all of her journals because she thought I would treasure them. There are more than 200 of them sitting in 20 boxes in my parent’s garage. I have read through a couple, but am not interested in the rest and don’t think I ever will be. I would like to dispose of them, but I feel guilty about it.

My parents are moving soon and will no longer have room to store the journals. No one else in the family wants them. I do not think a historical society would have any interest, because they are rather boring. More important, my grandmother wrote about personal situations of family and friends that are not for public consumption.

Everyone thinks I should have them professionally shredded. I don’t want to destroy an irreplaceable historical record that was entrusted to me, but I can’t deal with these journals anymore. I wish they had never existed.

Are there any other options? -Rachel in San Francisco

Dear Rachel:
You ungrateful brat, why don’t you move your ego over and make room for your grandmother’s heart and soul poured out onto paper. If you don’t want to look at them get a lock box at the bank and store them there for your children’s children. Get your head out of your ass. -Jenny

Would anyone like to add anything?


I wasn't sure if the last post was appropriate to post out there on the internet. But I spent alot of time writing it and I wanted to remind folks that those our our friends and neighbors and relatives over there. If you haven't supported your troop lately - send him/her a nice note or some cookies or something. If you don't know a troop personally, borrow mine. Just send letters to:

SGT Thompson, Benjamin
1st Tank Bn, TOW plt
Unit 41671
FPO AP 96426-1671

Just tell him Jenny sent you and saw him on the internet - he'll get it.

Other bits and pieces this morning:
  • Red Neck Mother's Rant Not a Baby Machine
  • My daughter calls her mittens "Mickers" (ya got me)
  • Buy me one of these for X-Mas
  • Our play date for today just called, they have the flu - heavy sigh. At least the house is clean now.
  • I can't wait to get my hair cut this weekend

Stationed in Iraq

November 10, 2005

SGT Thompson, Benjamin
1st Tank Bn, TOW plt
Unit 41671
FPO AP 96426-1671

Dear Ben,
Last night we went and saw the movie Jarhead. Crap it was good. It wasn’t for or against war it was just snap shot of one Marine’s very frustrating experience during Desert Storm. So of course Dan and I thought of you. We talked for some time about what to send you. I’ve decided to send you a reminder of what things here are like right now.

As I walk out into the back yard the crisp autumn air sneaks right down into my collar. It’s not cold enough yet for my breath to be seen but it is cold enough to be wearing my favorite old wool sweater. I put Ella down in the long grass. It’s too long and dotted with crunchy leafs but it has stopped growing since it frosted last week so there’s no use in mowing. Ella runs out to the swing-set that Mrs. Smith from up the street passed down to us. Her grandkids are too cool to be caught dead on a swing much less the little blue plastic slide attached to it besides you can’t swing in a Paris Hilton skirt – it’s un-lady like. Ella doesn’t know anything about that yet and yells “Fwing Mommy! Poosh Ella? Poosh Ella?” I put her into the toddler swing and give her a push. Behind her the neighbor’s Maple tree has turned fiery orange. A color that people don’t expect to see in nature or maybe only in deep exotic coral reefs, but there it is school bus orange painted across a blue sky. It’s startling and amazing almost worth giving up warm summer days for.

Tonight will be the Indians’ chance to advance in the playoffs. The town is buzzing with it, there are homemade purple and yellow signs all over and earlier today a parade of cars decorated with soap and streamers drove through town with cheerleaders hanging out the windows and honking the whole way. We stepped out on the front porch and waved at the cars and the other neighbors who had stepped out to witness the commotion. Ella is still waving at every car that goes by thinking they will honk and cheer with her.

I give her a big push in the swing and sit down in the chilly lawn furniture to do the crossword and drink my reheated coffee. She gleefully tips her head back and discovers something special and new to her “Momma birdzzs!” “Yes, sweetie those are geese and they are flying south for the winter. She mumbledee-petes what I just said managing to get out a clear “Winter!” at the end. I say “Birdies are going bye bye honey.” This she immediately understands and repeats clearly, I look back to my crossword. Somewhere in the neighborhood there is a dog barking, at a squirrel no doubt. The squirrels are storing up hickory nuts and acorns right now, running hither and thither out into traffic and across the power lines, little tails teasing fenced dogs all over the place.

Somewhere in the neighborhood there is a fireplace burning what I think I recognize as oak. It’s a shame they don’t let people burn leaves any more, I understand that it isn’t nice for people with asthma but I miss the smell just the same. Once in a while when I’m driving through farm country, past all the cut corn stalks and freshly empty fields, someone will be out smoldering leaves in the ditch. I always crack the window a little and take in as much of the familiar old autumn smell as I can. Perhaps Ella will think that autumn smells like the first time you turn on your furnace and all the dust burns off, or perhaps I can impress hot cider into her memory instead.

This is a nice time in the Midwest. It’s exciting to see the landscape change and familiar sweaters come out of the closet. We aren’t yet worried about Christmas shopping and Halloween is out of the way. It’s just football, hockey and Thanksgiving, and that’s what folks talk about in polite conversation. “So, ya cookin’ for everyone?” or the all too common “How bout those Bears/Indians/Packers?” can be heard at any instant in the post office. Sometimes people are so polite around here I bet if you pinched them in the butt they’d apologize for being in the way of your fingers. I’ve never had the nerve to try it though I bet if I dared you – you would.

Wish you were here. Love,

PS From my own back yard this summer I found this four leaf clover – I think I need you to have it.

Nov 9, 2005

TV Toddlers

I am a firm believer in attachment parenting. This means I wore Ella in a sling until she didn’t fit into it any more, I’m still breast feeding her and yes, she sleeps with us most nights (unless her little heart is set on sleeping with Ernie and Monkey-monkey and she wants her own bed). We pretty much let her have anything she wants within reasonable safety. We let her climb on the dining room chairs and stand on them, we let her run crazy around the house and we let her choose what she wants to wear. Given the style of parenting we are trying to draw on, we are having some technical difficulty.

TV is the contraption in question. My husband (very smart man) was raised on TV. I was junked out in front of the TV most days of my childhood (I’d like to believe I’m reasonably smart). Ella loves to watch the television. She asks for “Charlie and Lola” in the morning, I make sure to tune in “Jack’s Big Music Show” twice a day, we sometimes watch “The Wiggles”, and then there’s “Oobie”. These are all educational programs with no commercials. If you add just these shows up she watches 2 and ½ hours of TV a day. Not every day, sometimes we forget or are busy out and about but most days this is what she watches (some days more). I’d say we are heavy users of the ol’ boob-tube. I keep hearing the latest study that children under 2 shouldn’t watch TV at all and children over 2 shouldn’t watch more than 2 hours of educational TV. The study shows that these kids are less likely to graduate and lag in language skills and will probably grow up to be indigent drug dealers and hookers (damn that Ernie!)

Ok, so I feel guilty about the amount of TV she watches and am trying constantly to remember to shut it off. Dan thinks it’s not how much she’s watching it's what she’s watching.

He believes she should watch as much TV as she likes (after all he did) and we should just make sure she’s not watching CSI or the Surreal Life. (His parents never hassled him about watching too much TV, they would eat dinner around the TV as a family – I would describe them as a greaser and a poodle skirt wearer, later a factory worker and housewife who let Dan eat Wonder bread and Twinkies – got a picture in your head?)

I think the issue is more about pacing: If a child thinks the world should move to the next thing as soon as it gets the slightest bit boring and that everything absolutely everything is entertaining and everyone on the block sings (although we do a lot of singing around here) then their nueropathways develop in a way that expects constant entertainment rendering the real world utterly boring. (My parents hated TV we didn’t even have one for a bit, they called it the “boob-tube” – they were hippies, later an entrepreneur and engineer who insisted if I wanted something sweet to eat there was plenty of apples in the pantry - got a picture?)

This has been an argument we’ve had more than once and I’m doing a little research on it today and getting no-where. Is it “how much” or “what” she watches that is damaging folks? What's your take on it?

*Ella is not yet 2 and she knows her letters, colors, and many songs and can count to 5, she also dances and sings and plays and shares (sometimes). She seems normal in every way.
*This doesn't even take into account computer time for Ella

Nov 8, 2005

Where are the Monkeys?

This morning while lying in bed I heard Dan walking around downstairs cussing and rifling through things. I yell down the stairs "What are you looking for?" He yells back "Monkeys." I blink and rub my eyes (as if that will make me hear any better)... did he just say monkeys? "Ella was playing with monkeys and my wallet yesterday and now I can't find them" he adds. OH - awake now 'my keys', he's looking for 'my keys'. I yell "Wake her up and ask her what she did with them." He woke her and very carefully asked "Where's Daddy's wallet?" as if he were playing the where's puppy game. She was delighted to play and walked right over to one of her many purses and pulled out his wallet. He found his keys in a different sparkly pink purse hanging in the vicinity. Crisis narrowly averted.

Nov 7, 2005

Sally Brown

Have a look at Charlie Brown's little sister Sally.

I used to wonder what her hair was doing? Sally always has these wierd curls, that I couldn't understand. Let me just say now I get it...

Nov 6, 2005

Finding Marge aka The Mommy Jean Chronicles

Here it is the long awaited much anticipated Mommy Jean Study, affectionately known as “Finding Marge”. All photos are of the same person on the same day in two different pair of size 7-jeans (it’s me).

Study #1 – The Humpty Dumpty

I went out to my favorite local clothing resale shop and had pretty good luck finding my first pair of Mommy Jeans. I call them the Humpty Dumpty jeans. My dear friend Jennie came over to take photos. I put the jeans on and Jennie laughed so hard she almost peed. I walked past my husband and he exclaimed “Oh my god! I can’t even look; I think I need to wash my eyes!”

Booty Shot

As you see the Mommy jeans literally double the total bootockle area. If the rise of your jeans (the rise refers to the space between your crotch and the top of the jeans) brings the jeans well above your belly button, toss ‘em. Ladies it is making your butt look twice as big.

The Mommy jeans created instant “camel toe” I’m not sure why or what causes this effect. It’s a definite crotch cut problem. Lesson here - always try on jeans at the store and ALWAYS check for camel toe.*

*Note: There were no actual camels harmed during shooting of the camel toe.

By no means do I have what is referred to as an “apple butt” I wish I did, I have a slopey sliding off rear. The Mommy jeans make the slidey rear appear as if it has already slid. Please also note how saggy it makes the boobies look. The bulge just above the mommy jeans is in fact the boobies – see the overlay picture (#3) for confirmation. All I can say here is ‘oh-my!’ Again, pay attention to the rise of the jean, if they make it to the bottom of your bra – then your boobies will certainly be at your waist.

While the uterus is a wonderful beautiful and miraculous thing and should be celebrated in many ways it should NEVER be upholstered in denim and displayed out into the middle of the room like an ottoman.

Tapered legs really seem to accentuate the wideness of the hips. The giant tote bag and tucked in shirt seem to round out rest of the mommy costume.

Conclusion: I believe I found a bit of Marge today. These jeans were very comfortable and in no way attractive to anyone in the room. Prolonged use of these jeans could possibly lead to severe sex deficits and crabbiness all around.

Please join us next month for Study #2 the “Bleavage Jean”. So named for the butt-cleavage, popularized by young mommies who are too young to let go of their youth and too… well… too mommy shaped to be wearing super tight hip huggers with whale-tail** peeking out.

Urban Dictionary definition of Mom Jeans
**Whale tale (Not safe for work or little ones)