Dec 30, 2006

A President, the God Father of Soul and a Dictator

Finish this joke:

James Brown, President Ford and Saddam Hussein arrive at the pearly gates on the same weekend. The three men wait their turn, hardly believing who they are standing next to while ol’ Peter looks flips through his giant book looking for their names. Soon _______ leans over to ________ and says…

Come on internets...Prizes will be given!

Dec 29, 2006

Go Now

Last night after derby practice some of us threw lipstick on and went to Oscar’s Pub where the Rockford Register Star was having another fabulous party. This one included free pizza and the launching of their new magazine Go Now. It’s a pretty handy little weekly that’ll come out before the weekend and tell you where all the good bands, good food and good parties are and all the cool things that Dan and I would have to get a sitter to go do. It was a nice party, I ran into a fellow Mommy blogger, Brektater Tots and my buddy from third grade who works for the Ice Hogs so our little table of Derby Girls was pretty amusing with all sorts of personalities in the mix. I heard the Go Now people will have a party like that once a month. Last night they gave away an I-Pod and a Foos Ball table, I didn’t win either, but I did get a carabineer that lights up and entitles me to cheaper beer when I flash it at the bartender. You can’t beat that (except with maybe free beer) but you should go check out the new website anyway - Go Now!

For you, I took pictures of Derby Girls, Blogging Mommies, Ice Hog guys, Journalists, and the inside of my purse, apparently I need a camera case.

PS Andrew: So far I like song #3 and song #8.

Dec 28, 2006

Pontification of Social Issues that Really Matter: Forget Poverty and Civil Liberties, Let's Talk Birthdays

Christmas Eve-Eve, after she opened the pony we had the following conversation

“You got a pony!”

“I love it! I want to play with it”

“Wow, what will Santa bring you now?”

“Nothing, I already got a pony.”

“Is there anything else you want?”

“Nope, I already got a pony” duh mom

This, following a conversation she had with Santa in which she asked him for a pony and he said “what else would you like?” and she looked at him with an expression that said “What do you mean old man? I just told you I wanted a pony – what else is there?!” and he looked back at her like he had never met a child that only wanted one thing before.

So now that she possesses the lone object she so desperately desired, we will throw her a birthday party. It will be a small party. I’ve decided to take the heat and only have a few toddlers her age over, no grandparents, no aunts and uncles, and not everyone that was on the initial list of party guests.

If I invite everyone we feel very close to whom Ella plays nicely with their children and whose kid’s birthday party we’ve been to we’d have 47 people in our home next week. And though this sounds fun at first and I do have a half sheet cake pan, I’m sure somewhere past 20 guests is were the party focus changes from birthday celebration to damage control. I have to start using phrases like “Oh no, please don’t put pop in the dogs bowl” or “I think your baby either swallowed the Lemon Meringue doll’s shoe or a piece of yellow Playdoh” and perhaps the saddest phrase often uttered at large parties we’ve hosted “Does anyone see Ella?”

Last year I made the hard decision to invite a few of Ella's most frequently played with buddies her own age and the party was tiny and manageable and a relief. Not even her grandparents came that day but later I found dear friends who also looked foreword to Ella's birthday gave her presents and then I felt guilty for not inviting them to the party. But the thought of digging crayons and shmooshed grapes out of the bathroom sink drain, because lets face it when 50 people are in one place who knows where all the kids are or what they’re doing does not sound like an enjoyable time.

I know the rule is you’re supposed to just invite kids numbering the age of the child plus one, but it seemed too hard and honestly my pangs of guilt hang over from last year. I consulted the internet to see what people actually think and blog about (because that’s where the truth is told out into the anonymous blogosphere). Some moms
obsessed over popularity like school girls themselves. I read a story about an aunt uninvited to a child’s birthday and how hard she is taking it. My guilt-o-meter was running on high after that and next I read an account of a neighbor lady who’s children were not invited but the party-mom tried to talk to her about it to keep the friendship healthy. Resulting in her mulling it over with her internets and amongst her bloggies, people agreed it’s tacky to talk about a party if you aren’t inviting someone. While I agree, here I am brooding at length well knowing that lots of you who read might like to celebrate with us.

Then the voice of reason or at least an opinion I liked rose above the din.
Katrina writes the simple truth.

“…Again, I get that there's a certain amount of etiquette that should be followed. You wouldn't send your child into school with invitations for all but one child, allowing him to make a big deal of who's invited. And who's not. But if my son were to innocently find out that he was not invited to a party that a few other kids were invited to... yeah, my heart would break a little at his sadness. But this is another one of those life lessons -- we don't always get included in everything. Kids we play with and get along with might not invite us to their birthday party. That happened to me plenty of times as a child. And it happens as an adult - people I know and get along with don't invite me to every single gathering. What would it say about me if I got mad every time I wasn't included?...

…My point is, there are these "life truths," for lack of a better term, these "that's-just-the-way-it-is" concepts that my kids need to know and come to terms with in order to become functional adults...”

She’s absolutely right; people can’t invite everyone they know to everything they do. It would be ridiculous and you just can’t read that much into an invitation. Adults don’t find their worth or identity in what events they are or are not invited to so why not extend this concept to our children. Just because I don’t invite everyone to a dinner party doesn’t mean I don’t value them it just means I only have one roast. It shouldn’t diminish the value of our friendship, it’s not a reflection of one’s worth it’s just the way it is. So, I am encouraged to stop feeling guilty, it doesn’t mean that I like someone less if we choose to not invite them to the three year old’s birthday and I need to remember that they probably won’t care either. I mean, who really wants to watch my kid get hopped up on too much cake and throw a fit after she opens the first present and wants to play with it while I want her to open the rest of the presents?

I guess my point is this; we all want our children to have the charmed life we never had. But worrying about other peoples feelings constantly is tiring and unrealistic. While I shouldn’t try to purposely hurt feelings, I can’t live a life based on whose feelings may be hurt, it’s impossible and too many women try to do it. Perhaps that’s the deeper issue here. I just have to have confidence that my friends are mature adults and understand. In the mean time I will do the best I can. Either people will accept that I like them and like me back based on Me, not on what I do for them or invite them to - or they won’t.

So dear bloggies consider yourselves uninvited, how ya like me now?

Dec 27, 2006


My in-laws decided this year for Christmas they would rescue a kitten from the humane society. He’s a little black thing with a white patch on his chest. They call him Elbi as in L.B. like ‘little boy’ or ‘little bastard’. He’s very tolerant of children. Ella carried him around as much as she could on Christmas Eve and I don’t think she squeezed him too hard and he didn’t scratch her too much. He’ll do great at my in-laws, sleeping on their bed and napping on laps, as long as he keeps his nose out of the fridge. Twice while we were there someone was getting something out of the fridge and Elbi was peeping at all the food while the giant door swung closed on his little body. My father in law even said “Jeese there’s something wrong with the door – it won’t shut” my husband’s reply “There’s a kitten in the hinges Dad.”

Dec 26, 2006

What would you pack?

This is my “booger sweater” so called because you could wipe a booger off of a toddler’s face with the sleeve and never find it again in its popcorn style knit. It has a booger texture and booger colors. I bought it during my eight month of pregnancy with Ella from a second hand store. I couldn’t bear to spend more than five dollars on a sweater I wouldn’t wear past the end of my pregnancy. I’ve washed it at least 100 times since Ella was born. I often throw it on in the morning over the tank top I sleep in. Ella climbs into it with me to get warm sometimes. If I ever needed to travel the universe and have to pack a small bag to do so, along with my Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and my towel I’ll pack this sweater.

Photo taken by Dan, Christmas morning, with my new camera.

Dec 25, 2006

Ella Sings Christmas 2006

Dear Bloggys,

I hope you had a wonderful morning and I now present to you home-movies! Unless you like sappy happy Christmas songs sung by little kids, feel free to run the other direction and check back tomorrow.

Love to Everyone! Bombadee and Family

Ella Sings Christmas

Dec 22, 2006


Here's hoping your holiday season holds all the joy of a first snow angel.
Peace, Dan, Jenny & Ella

Dec 21, 2006

Four Calling Birds

We bought a set of books for my daughter that include pictures and lyrics to her new favorite song "The Twelve Days of Christmas". Of course the best bit is belting out "Fiiiiiiive Gooolden Riiiings!" at the top of our lungs, but the by far the best illustration is "Four Calling Birds"

Meme 5 things

I Have Been Tagged!

Thanks to Utah Jo for the tag.

Five things you didn't know about me:

1. I always have an escape route worked out in my head at any given time
2. I occassionaly like reading about biochemestry and genetics
3. I learned how to successfully throw an axe at age 8 (like it actually hits the target and sticks)
4. I play piano but I don't read music
5. I don't have any idea what my next dream job is

Now tagged in return: Tater Tot, Punky Mom, KtJ, and Cameo

Dec 20, 2006


We did't sleep very well last night and so we slept in this morning . Now I'm rushing to get us ready and to the mall. Christmas shopping awaits!

Dec 19, 2006


I dug up some old artwork yesterday. This one was the start of a children's book, unfortunately I never found a writer to collaborate with and the book has been in a box since then. What can I say the internet was different then; writers didn't roam freely expounding ideas into the wind, blogs weren't on every corner and you had to be careful who you spoke to lest they jump out from under a bridge and ask you what you were wearing (shudder). So here's the first illustration... anyone want to write the first paragraph? How about just a poem? Just a single word? What have you got internet?

Autumn Road 1994 JMM

Dec 18, 2006


Today I present to you
"Christmas Munchkins"

Dec 16, 2006

Freaks, Geeks, Uniques, and Mother’s

We spent last night in Milwaukee so we could see the Brew City Bruisers Skate. It was very fun and quite the contrast to the previous night. It’s such an odd mix of people at the Roller Derby. There’s the hip, the tragically hip, the big hipped, those who hip check and some who might break a hip. We saw a rainbow of hair styles from the pink haired mowhawk sported by Cooley McCoolerson to the blue haired color wash on Granny McLoyalfan. The bout was tremendous; we witnessed some incredible skating and some hilarious antics from the support staff (great mascots). It was worth all the gas we bought for the drive up to see the Rushin’ Rollettes clinch the title in the Championship Bout.

Dec 15, 2006

The Man

We went to a Construction Christmas party at the Country Club last night and I swear there were so many women there you could count us on one hand. The place was quite the collection of old, plump white men, in suits, smoking cigars and talking about their golf game. We did run into some friends we hadn’t seen in ages, the food was good and we even won a door prize so the whole evening wasn’t a completely pompous waltz. I shouldn’t complain but given my choice I’d rather have grabbed up our buddy George and sat and talked with the bartender in the next room all night (we knew her too).

Dec 14, 2006

Loosing the War

My friends KTJ is secretly a fairy, but not one of those that hands out ball gowns and dances the frost onto rose petals when winter starts she’s more like the kind that ties your hair in knots when you sleep and hides your keys in the refrigerator. She’s deviant that lady. The first time I met her, our husbands (long time buds) decided it would be low key for us to all go see a movie together, it was kind of a dry suburban evening until (insert ominous music and tink laughter here) KTJ started a popcorn fight with the teenagers in front of us. That was when I knew for sure I had to be friends with her.

Something about the spark in her left eye makes people totally forgive her when she does these sinister things. I alone could never get away with secretly inserting a giant green olive into every drink at the bar without getting kicked out forever. It was funny when Jack wondered aloud why the bartender put an olive in his beer but when Jeff exclaimed “What a terrible bartender, he even put an olive in my Amaretto Stone Sour!” KTJ’s eye twinkled and I could no longer hold the laughter in.

Sunday she e-mailed me this:
Urban word of the Day

Hasselhoffing: The act of changing a colleague's desktop wallpaper to display the manly physique of David Hasselhoff. "Dear God man! I leave my workstation for a few moments to visit the big boys room and you've Hasselhoffed me!"

This was pure gold! When Dan left for Peoria Monday, you guessed it, Tuesday morning I woke up to Dan yelling “Do I have to put a password on my computer?!”, now that's a good morning indeed. Just for fun I sent a Hoff to KTJ’s Myspace page, she returned the favor with two Hoffs for me, I sent two more, and she retaliated with two more and now I am in a Hasselhoff War with my favorite Imp. Yet I am fighting the battle on two fronts because this morning I woke up and THIS was my wallpaper:

I had been Pammed in the night.

Dec 12, 2006

Laundry List and Other Stuff

What a busy week this will be, I’ve got skate practice tonight (Woohoo! I can’t get enough lately)

We are going to see Grandma tomorrow where Ella will hang out and watch Cinderella for the 400th time and Dan and I will go Christmas shopping. Dan will buy everything in sight and I will watch for terrorists.

Thursday night Ella will get to visit her cousin and Dan and I will be at an office Christmas Party where dress casual - means a sweater and khakis for Dan and 40 outfit changes before we leave for me.

Friday we’re going to Milwaukee to eat at the
African Hut and see the Brew City Bruisers Championship Bout (“Grandma Got Run Over by a Roller Girl”). We’ll stay over night and use up our credit card points at the hotel and swim in the indoor pool.

Saturday I’ll be catching up on laundry. Oh – did I mention the dryer is almost dead? Yeah, it’s no longer getting hot and yes, we’ve replaced the igniter once before – Dan checked it, that’s not it, it’s just old and decrepit and we’ve gotten our $200.00 worth. So I’ll spend half the day restarting the dryer until it dies completely and then we’ll get a new one for Christmas (I could think of better things).


Two things Ella said recently that made me and Dan look at each other quizzically:

"I’m gonna be a strong woman and keep my babies away from the cyoooties."
"These toys are for boys" (Sweeping her arm across the gun/sword aisle at the toys store)


Sock Dreams
Pinch your Cheeks
Highlife Bracelet
Tire Purse
Mental Floss Magazine
Ad Busters Post Cards

Dec 11, 2006

Slow Down

Forgotten Language

Once I spoke the language of the flowers,
Once I understood each word the caterpillar said,
Once I smiled in secret at the gossip of the starlings,
And shared a conversation with the housefly in my bed.
Once I heard and answered all the questions of the crickets,
And joined the crying of each falling dyingflake of snow,
Once I spoke the language of the flowers. . . .
How did it go?
How did it go?

Shel Silverstein

Photo by Ella

Dec 9, 2006

Germ Warfare

Tiny town is about 30 minutes down the smooth highway from Cherryvale Mall. This is the mall we frequent; this mall Santa has had my child in his lap. Yesterday a local man was arrested for plotting a terrorist attack against the same mall. Dan’s reaction – "Good for the FBI doing their job!" My reaction - "Hmm that makes me a little nervous." I guess Cherry Vale mall is the place to make your grand declaration; a few years ago another man lit himself afire and tried to hurl himself over the railing moments before Dan and I walked in to shop. I remember Dan turning to me and saying “Gross, somebody is burning something.”

It’s not in a bad neighborhood; in fact it’s tucked into the suburbs and has always been considered the nice mall in town. There is a Bergner’s, JC Penny’s and Sears and they just added a Macy’s. They have a Starbucks and a local Coffee Shoppe and any mall that can support two upscale coffee joints isn’t ghetto or Podunk. Ok, ok they do still sell mugs with your kid’s face vacuumed formed onto it and belt buckles with your favorite NASCAR number on them and
polished hunks of wood with your name burned into it proclaiming your house “The Bombadee Home” at the kiosks in center court but the Santa Clause has a real white beard not one he ties on and the food court has fresh sushi and bubble tea.

I’ll tell you what the bigger risk going there is – the play area. Every time we go Ella begs to go to the play area and in an effort to run her ragged enough to sit nicely in the stroller while I try on the fourth pair of blue jeans that I can’t bend over in without my underwear sticking out of the back, I park myself on a bench and let her play. The next week our whole family gets a cold. It’s a germ field of kid goo and we are not immune. Last year we suffered
3 ear infections at least two a direct result of that grodey ol’ playground that looks like the Candy Land Board come to life but is actually a micro-organic cesspool.

Maybe I’ll just buy everything online.

Dec 8, 2006

New blog?

Blogger just offered the beta version to me and then yanked it away because my blog is too big to move to the new version. I’ve been assured that support will available in the future for blogs like mine but in the mean time I can start a new blog if I want to. I’ve been thinking about a new blog for some time now. I think I might do it. I like the new features and I’d like to start fresh but Bombadee’s Garden contains the scraps of Ella’s first two years in it. Does anyone know of a service that will print this blog in book form for me? Perhaps I’ll print it out for myself and shove a copy into her empty baby book. Alas, we’ll loose the links but the photos and the stories will still be. Don’t look for any changes this week but don’t be surprised if I move.

Dec 7, 2006

One Week In

One week in and I have cabin fever already. Its freezing ass cold outside, the kind of cold that makes your eyes water when the wind blows, the kind of cold that makes you take off the jacket that makes your waist look tiny and dig out the grey-brown down filled parka that is an equal opportunity uglifier, the kind of cold that convinces little old ladies to forget their grandchildren and move to Florida. It’s really 7° but with the wind chill it feels like 10° below. It’s so cold we’ve gone nowhere all week and I’ve nothing to blog about except the weather.

Dec 6, 2006

America the Other Woman?

I spent an hour this morning writing about an Iraq war strategy, occupied Japan and the Marshal Plan. Editing, rewriting, redirecting, questioning and constantly finding myself back at the first and most important question – why are we all up in Iraq’s business?

Back in
September ‘05 I made the analogy to Extreme Home Makeover, wondering if we could leave this family with no home and just a rough sketch as we rode off into the sunset in our Humvee, but it seems to be obvious that this family hasn’t been able to handle the stress of a massive remodel and as a result they’ve decided to get a divorce. I guess some of the family really liked parts of the old house that we didn’t keep. So now it’s become a messy, heart wrenching, fighting over the VCR divorce where the kids suffer the most. So now what? Do we participate, helping Ms. Iraq throw Mr. Iraq’s clothes out on the lawn? Put the kids in protective custody? Slink away until the dust settles and then help them out with a deposit on a new apartment and some dishes from Goodwill? Maybe they’ll get a couple’s counselor and reconcile. Perhaps we can provide neutral ground and pay for a therapist then we can at least figure out how many bedrooms this new house will need.

Dec 4, 2006

Final Score

I awoke this morning with no voice left, a mysterious cut in the palm of my hand, and my teammates on the front page.

It all started innocently enough when I first read the paper and learned there would be a roller derby league here in neighboring city. I went, I joined, I became obsessed. It came together yesterday in one giant roller derby party. The crowd was incredible. They went wild any time one of the girls hit the floor. The paper reported a crowd of 650 but the ticket takers said 1100. There was a 15 minute line for beer (we'll fix that before next bout - promise). A sea of familiar and not so familiar cheering and yelling. Signs that read "Will Skate for Beer" and my personal favorite "Bombadee's B*tch" pointed towards us. Here's the thing though, even if 100 people showed up yesterday it still would've been the best, because we all just wanna skate. We've been practicing on cement and in parking lots for 6 months because we love this.
Although that wouldn't have been so nice for the charities we skate for. Yesterday was for a young kid hurt and paralyzed in a motorcycle accident. We'll be writing a big check to his family this week - Thanks Derby Fans.

We started off behind in the first period. The Screw City Slammers were making the rounds and we were skating as hard as we could. Half way through the first period we overcame our nerves and relaxed enough to remember our training. Stay low hit 'em hard, I know it sounds simple, but no, not so much when you're skating screamin' fast and taking it in the shoulder from a pinkie (SCS colors). At the beginning of period two we were ahead by 10 and kept our lead steady and strong, increasing by a few points here and there. The Slammers were missing points for fouls and out of bounds. By the beginning of the third period we were all whipped and a little cocky I think. We lead by 30 points but relaxed too much and they gained 26 of those back in the last period. Had we played five more minutes they might've had us. Final score 139 - 135, Demolition Dolls take the win!

Back in the locker room ladies were cheering and hugging and discovering what hurt. You just don't feel it when it happens it's after the jam is over you look down to see blood and then have to search out where it's coming from. Oh - It's me! I cut my hand somehow, just a tiny one, enough to be a pain when I do dishes, but not enough to stop me from doing them (dang!). When I arrived home Dan rubbed my neck and I ate half a pizza. I feel wonderful this morning and I can't wait for the next practice already!

Dec 2, 2006

Twas the Night Before Derby

Bombadee #00
Demolition Dolls
"Demolition is our Mission"

Bombadee is from Northern Illinois and has been skating with the Demolition Dolls since their inception . She uses old-school Reidell skates with pink Zinger wheels. She likes hip checks, bruises, catfights, things that go fast, coconut cream pie, fishnets, knocking mean girls down, and politics.

"Without ME it's just AWESO"

Tomorrow at 2:00pm is the first official Roller Derby Bout. We'll play the Screw City Slammers. I’m so excited I can hardly contain myself. There’s been preparation all week and I’m still trying to get myself all together for tomorrow, clean socks and extra skate laces, all that. Please say a little prayer that I don’t break any body parts of my own.

Dec 1, 2006

Snow Day!

Snow Day! Everything is called off! Everyone stay home! SNOW DAY! Every kid go outside and play! SNOW DAY!

Oh wait, Dan works from home... sigh.

But, tonight we'll have friends over for dinner and light the giant Christmas Tree and sip Tom and Jerry's and munch cookies in our toasty sweaters.

I just have to say it two or three more times: Snow Day Snow Day Snow Day! SNOW DAY! It's such an unexpected surprise and it's been ingrained into me my whole childhood that Snow Days are a blessing.



Hey Jennie! Here's The Story and The Video AKA What we didn't see at the Excelsior and Excalibur Awards last night. We had a lovely time, the RRStar always knows how to throw a good party. Also for your viewing pleasure Halloween '06.