Saturday, March 5, 2011

My Cat's on Prozac

Mister Sir's (a.k.a. Tarzan) tail has been in for repair several times over the past few years. Once it was broken, once it had a puncture wound, once it was cut to almost the bone, and, now, he won't stop chewing it for some reason.

Either he has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, or he has nerve damage in his tail. The first course of treatment is Prozac. Poor Sir. He's wearing a cone around his head so that he cannot chew his tail. Once his tail is healed and he's been on Prozac for three weeks, the cone can come off and we'll see if he resumes chewing his tail or not. Hopefully he won't, because if he does, then it is likely that he has nerve damage in his tail and it will have to be amputated. And that makes me absolutely sick. Sir loves his tail and so do I. It's the best indicator of his mood. If he has no tail, I'll have to rely solely on his ears, and those are harder to read.

Giving Mister Sir Prozac every day is hellish. My hands are covered in bites and scratches and bruises, and that's WITH him wearing the cone. I cannot imagine what would happen if his sharp teeth were completely unhindered! If the Prozac does its job, the cone will come off, but the antidepressants will continue indefinitely. I'll have to come up with a better way to give that cat his pills.

Almost nothing seems to cheer Sir, not even his Wife Biter t-shirt. He wears it without a fight, even. The cone is bringing him down. We've tried convincing him that the cone is a mane, but he's not buying it. He's too smart for that. He's dumb enough to get into the litter box and attempt to use it while we're still pouring in the fresh Tidy Cat, but he's too smart to believe that the cone is a mane. What can I say? Being too smart for our own good runs in the family. So does tail-chewing. Well, if we had tails, we'd be chewing them, I bet. Sir fits in all too well.


Monday, February 28, 2011

Meth Truck

I'll preface this story with the good news: at least my girls are creative.

So, we were in the minivan a few days ago when Courtney told us the story of a meth bust that happened in North Tulsa. Apparently, some guy was cooking meth in his car and was pulled over by a policeman. What gave Meth Man away? It was the smoke belching from his car window.

Madeline took off with the story, saying, "Wouldn't it be funny if there were traveling meth trucks that looked like ice-cream trucks!? They'd drive thorough neighborhoods and all the meth-heads would run to their money jars digging for quarters just like we do when the Pinky-Dinky Ice-Cream truck comes around!"

"Yeah," added Court, "and there'd be a little side window where customers could order, but there'd be constant clouds of smoke wafting by from the bubbling cauldron of meth churning in the back of the truck!"

Chloe: "The thame guy who drives the ithe-cream truck could drive the meth truck because he already looks like he should be driving a meth truck."

And, finally, the funniest contribution from my little Annie, "Da twuck wouldn't pway Pop Does da Weasel, it would go "Riiiiiiiiiicolaaaa! Riiiiiiiiiiicolaaaa!" It would do it all awound the nebowhood."

We busted up laughing and it took half an hour to calm down. Chloe's friend, who was with us, said that we needed our own television show. I doubt that, though it'd not surprise me if we eventually land on Dr. Phil as an example of one of the weirdest families ever.

So, there it is. A traveling meth truck which cruises neighborhoods broadcasting via loudspeaker a brand of cough drops.

If marijuana ever becomes legal, I bet my girls will make a lot more money than they do now from babysitting. Especially if they use Annie's adorable, tiny voice over the loudspeaker.



Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Bad Look

I can't believe I'm posting this.

This summer, at the pool, I was bobbing along very near the edge when I felt a little body swimming behind me, squiggling in an attempt to pass between me and the pool wall.

A boy no more than five or so and wearing enormous goggles popped breathlessly to the surface just to my left and promptly began flagging down his friend, Seth, who just happens to be my little Mormon next door neighbor. It's no exaggeration to say that I've helped raise Seth. That's probably why he's such a stinker.

Seth to Begoggled Boy: "What?!"

Begoggled Boy: "Dat was a baaaaaad wook!"

Seth: "What was?"

Begoggled Boy: (pointing accusingly at Kimberly Ann) "I was stawing wight at HER butt!"

Seth: (Contorts face in horror)

Kimberly Ann: (Also contorts face in horror and silently resolves to increase squats by a gazillion)

Ladies Sitting at Edge of Pool Observing: (Laugh hysterically and probably inadvertently tinkle themselves, the old hags.)

Well, there it is folks: The Bad Look. By the way, "The Bad Look" is now the official name for my booty, at least according to my daughters. It's also the official term for anything particularly or painfully unattractive. "Sherri's hairdo was one Bad Look, bless her heart."

Wondering if the Homeowner's Association might pay for liposuction as a Neighborhood Beautification project,


Identifying as an Ex-Mormon

Leaving the religion which has been the foundation of my family's heritage for many generations was a process that affected me to my core. For years I identified primarily as a mother and an ex-Mormon. I still loved and respected my Mormon family, and didn't raise religious issues in their presence, but, for a time, being a former Mormon was as much a part of my identity as being a Mormon had been. I cannot explain why; it just was. But I don't think it is anymore.

To everything there is a season, and my season of active ex-Mormonism seems to have passed. I'm still interested in Mormon history and will, of course, try to be a help to anyone who has questions, and the love and affection for the many friends I've met on various discussion boards and at ex-Mormon conferences remains, but I can sense my interest in most things Mormon waning. Perhaps that will change in the future, but for now, I welcome the apathy.

I've decided to transfer more of my energy to the pursuit of shoes. I'm thinking of documenting every pair I own, which will take a good chunk of time, especially considering my rate of shoe accrual. I'll let the Mormons in the family deal with Family History. Footwear History is where it's at for me. I wish I had a picture of my first pair. I'd start a Footwear Tree with those little high-topped white baby shoes perched atop the family line.


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Princess Shady Nasty

A friend of the family is a seasonal employee at Disney World. She was greeting children one afternoon as they were in line to meet a character, Cinderella or someone similar, when she saw a little girl in a princess costume. The little girl had banner across her torso that read "Princess Shadynasty."

Pausing briefly to decipher the name, our family friend enthusiastically greeted the child princess thusly: "Well, hello there, Princess ShadyNasty!"

ShadyNasty's mother was indignant. "It's Sha-Dynasty!"

The moral of the story? Don't give your kids weird names.


Monday, September 28, 2009

Red-Eyed and Blue: Don't Do Dope

Since leaving Mormonism, I've learned to enjoy a few good drinks. I like rum and Coke and bourbon and Coke. I like margaritas on the rocks with salt on the rim, especially with a plate-full of enchiladas and beans. I like the simplicity of Grey Goose with a splash of cranberry juice. I like good beer with a slice of pizza.

I also like coffee--but not black. I don't want to grow hair on my chest, thank-you-very-much. I want cream and sugar, and, if I'm feeling really decadent, a little chocolate, too.

One thing I haven't done since leaving Mormonism is drugs. I don't have any intention or desire to ever use drugs. But, I did get the chance to try marijuana at an Ex-Mormon conference three years ago, and my response to the offer has been good for dozens of laughs since.

It was after a Saturday evening dinner. Some folks, who I still consider wonderful, approached me and asked if I wanted to go upstairs and smoke. One of them made some kind of hand signal near his mouth, but I didn't understand what he meant. I immediately thought of cigarettes. "No, thanks. I don't smoke."

"Not that kind of smoking. The good kind."

I got it then. My jaw hit the floor, I think. I'd never before been offered drugs or asked to use them. Not once. Not in high school or in college. Having been a child of the 80's, I instinctively recalled the lesson I learned from Nancy Reagan and said, probably too loudly and definitively, "NO!" I said it just like Nancy told me to.

The weed smokers thought my answer was hilarious for some reason, but said, "That's cool." and went on their way.

I was just shocked that adults smoked marijuana and even more shocked that they'd asked if I wanted some. Immediately, I called home. I was almost frantic. Courtney answered.

" won't believe it!"

"What, mom?"

"They asked me to do dope!!"


"Yeah, some folks here asked me if I wanted to do dope! And I said 'No!'"

(Out of control laughter on the other end of the phone.)

Ever since, my girls will sometimes warn me when I'm ready to leave the house, "Watch out! Someone might ask you to do dope!" Or, "Don't do dope, Momma! Don't do it!"

Maybe I'm uncool or naive or prudish, but I don't care.

I don't do dope.


Thursday, August 6, 2009

"Ode to Hunky Walgreens Manager" Written and Performed by Chloe

We were out of milk the other night. Chloe and Anna were playing at the neighbors, so Courtney, Madeline and I drove the short distance to our neighborhood Walgreens to buy a gallon. They waited in the car while I dug through the milk case searching for the freshest gallon of skim milk.

As I was crouched down searching the bottom rack someone crouched down next to me. A man. Perhaps the best looking man I've ever seen. No kiddin'. He asked what I was looking for. Withering under his sublime gaze, I told him I was hoping for a gallon of milk not so close to the expiration date. He helped me pull out gallons of milk until we found one.

He mentioned that he was the new area manager. I thanked him and walked away with my gallon of milk. I added, "See you around."

Back in the van, I mentioned my encounter to Madeline and Courtney. Later that night, eating a snack at the kitchen table, I related the story to Chloe and Anna. Chloe immediately broke into this hilarious song that she made up on the spot. It was perfect. She's a smart one, that Chloe. I recorded Chloe and Courtney singing the Ode to Hunky Walgreens Manager with my camera.

*For some reason, I cannot seem to publish the video in this body of text. It published just fine sans text as a new blog post, so check out the video above this post. It goes with the story.*


PS. Just to clarify, the story about Hunky Walgreen's Manager is firmly tongue-in-cheek. Yes, there really is a hunky Walgreen's manager. No, I'm not interested in him! By the way, my girlies spotted him in Walgreen's the other day. When I asked them if they thought he was good-looking, they replied, "He's old." I was mildly annoyed. He's much younger than me!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

It's Finished

I recorded the podcast Sunday night. I didn't have a single panic attack during the recording session. Whew! I was worried that would happen, but there was no reason to worry. Things went well, thanks to the laid back nature and kindness of the other participants.

Recording the podcast was a very big deal for me because I don't think there exists, other than what John "taped" Sunday night, a recording of my voice, well, other than a word or two on videos I've taken of my girls.

I endured quite a bit of teasing about my voice, but it was mostly as an adult. My allowing it to affect me so is quite shameful, but I view the podcast Sunday night as a small victory. Still, there's no way in hell I'm listening to it! That's okay. Baby steps.

I think I'm going to reward myself by taking the girls to Sexi Mexi's to eat enchiladas for lunch. Then we'll hit the pool this afternoon to work off the calories.


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Lust Handles

Guys, there's a reason the chubby parts on either side of your waist aren't called "lust handles." They're not attractive. True, love handles don't, or at least shouldn't, stop a woman from finding a man attractive, but I don't understand why men with love handles the size of watermelons feel the need to remove their shirts at the pool like they're unwrapping a gift for the ladies and then strut by like peacocks on display. Please, for the love of God, stop doing that.

That is all.

Kimberly Ann

PS. No, that is not all. To be fair, I must tell the ladies that a tan does NOT hide cellulite. I know. I wish it did. But it doesn't. So please put away the Daisy Dukes. Your brown cottage-cheese thighs are hot, but only because they're sunburned. Use some aloe vera and put on capri pants. Thanks.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Deepest Well I've Ever Fallen Into: Wilco (The Album) Review

I didn't get my Wilco CD and T-shirt and tote bag yesterday. Perhaps they will be delivered today. I sure hope so! I want to wear that t-shirt. I'm going to be like Courtney with her red boots. When she was two, she got a pair of red cowboy boots as a gift and wore them day and night--even to bed over her footed pajamas. There was no dissuading her. So I will be with my KimberlyAnn (The Fan) t-shirt. Watch out!

Having looked forward to Wilco's new CD for so long, I couldn't wait one more second than necessary to hear it. I waited up 'till midnight last night and attempted to download it from Kungfustore's site but the link was broken, whatever that means. I tried everything. I finally ate a few strawberries and waited a bit to see if the link would be repaired and thankfully it was. At 1:00 am I downloaded Wilco (The Album) and listened to it for the first time. Amazing.

These are first impressions, having heard each song only two or three times, but sometimes first impressions are the best so I thought I'd jot them down. I can always change my mind if I want.

I worried I'd not enjoy the new album as much as the others, but I was wrong. I LOVE this album. There's not a dud on it, so far as I can tell. Even Wilco (The Song) is growing on me and at first, I didn't like it. Deeper Down reminds me of Hummingbird. Very nice. One Wing is so very sad that I could only listen once. One Wing (One Time). I do like it, but I'm not so sure I want to listen again for a while. I can't quite put my finger on why, but that song makes my heart ache.

Bull Black Nova is almost too much. Don't get me wrong, I like it, but I'm good with it ending when it does. It's like I'm on the verge of a headache from the repetitive chords or something. It was better live than on the album, IMO, but still a great intense tune.

I love Feist. Leslie has such a unique voice. I am a bit disappointed that the uniqueness of her voice didn't come across as well as it might have on the track You and I. That nitpick aside, I adore the song. Yeah, I know, it's kind of a silly love song and a bit on the light side, but as Sir Paul said, "What's wrong with that?" It's catchy, for certain. It's the one I've been humming all morning.

I also love the pop-ish You Never Know and I'll Fight and Sonny Feeling. That's what is so great about this album--the variety.

Country Disappeared is, at the moment, my favorite from the album. That will change by tomorrow, I'm sure. But I intend to pound this one out on the piano by nightfall. With Courtney and Chloe's help, at least. They've better ears than their mom.

Solitaire and Everlasting Everything are heartbreaking. Beautifully heartbreaking. Especially Everlasting Everything. It's like the pinnacle of Tweedy's album. It seems to perfectly represent the overarching sadness of his music. The ending of the song is butterflies.

Anyway, those are my initial thoughts. I've been torturing myself with Schopenhauer lately. Though he comes across as quite the downer, I must agree with him when it comes to music. Nothing else moves me like music does. There are emotions that are inexpressible in any other way. "Music, since it passes over the Ideas is...quite independent of the phenomenal world, positively ignores it, and, to a certain extent, could still exist even if there were no world at all...." I've often thought that I'd be thrilled to die and exist eternally as a sound. A note. In a minor key. I am B flat.

What a deep well Tweedy gave me with his new album. I love it. Thanks, Jeff.

Kimberly Ann

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Songs I'm Embarrassed to Love

I can't help it. I suffer from an occasional lack of music morals. I know I should not like certain songs--songs that are puerile or undisciplined or overly pop-ish. Certain country songs usually only listened to in trailer parks, such as the BrokenWinds Trailer Park my kids made up on the way to Oklahoma City the other day. (They even created profiles for the residents of BrokenWinds Trailer Park, the most interesting being Sunflower Husklicker, who would probably love the song list I'm about to share.)

Anyway, I may as well get on with it and share some of my most beloved crappy music. I apologize in advance.

I love Dolly Parton. And I loved her duo with Kenny Rogers when I was a little girl, and I still love it to this day. So what?

This song makes me happy every time I hear it. The last ten seconds are bliss.

Merle and Tammy. I could listen to them all day long.

I feel like snorting pixie sticks when I hear this song. I love it.

This is the trashiest most embarrassing song of all my favorite embarrassing songs. When it comes on during kick-boxing class, I almost break into Britney's dance routine. I have a Catholic Schoolgirl outfit. That alone says it all, doesn't it?

For some reason, I cannot embed the video. You'll have to click the link. But for God's sake, don't do it at work lest your co-workers think you like the song.

Baby One More Time

One more. A little Waylon. I think he was so freaking hot. Mmmm...mmmm.


Kimberly Ann

Thursday, June 18, 2009

On and On and On: More Wilco Than You Ever Wanted

First, a few things I remembered about the concert but didn't include in my original report.

Tweedy mentioned that he and the band had been watching DragonForce videos all day. I didn't know what DragonForce was until I looked it up on YouTube after the concert. DragonForce sucks. I think they need to find something better to fill their time. Like reading or something. Anyway, after watching those videos, Glenn apparently told Tweedy that he couldn't play overhand, so Tweedy proved him wrong for a short bit during Handshake Drugs.

Tweedy did a Springsteen impression with the sleeves rolled up on his sweaty shirt and his guitar slung behind his back. Not that effective, but dorkily endearing.

Also, Tweedy let some dude in the front row play his guitar. He just held it down in the crowd and some guy or gal (I couldn't see very well) played it. Made some racket and everyone cheered. I wish I could have seen. I saw a little but I heard a lot. That's what counts.

Courtney says I need to give more love to the opening band, Heartless Bastards. She liked them. Here's one of their videos from YouTube:

Now to what I promised: More Wilco than you ever wanted.

I found a site that has a nearly overwhelming Wilco song archive. Keep scrolling down and there are audio recordings of Wilco concerts from April 24, 1995 to the end of 2008:

Owl and Bear Wilco Archive

There is a download necessary to listen to the files. I'm basically computer illiterate, but I downloaded the suggested file (check out the link at the top of the website) and will soon check to see if it works for me. I hope it does, because I'll be able to listen again to the March 8, 2008 concert at Cain's. Outtasite!

Kimberly Ann

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Wilco: Now With 10% More Nothin'!

Last night I attended the Wilco concert in Oklahoma City. The venue was Bricktown Events Center, which didn't have much ambiance compared to Cain's Ballroom in Tulsa, where I saw Wilco last year, but it served its purpose, I suppose. There were five robot-looking apparatuses hanging from the ceiling above the stage, which had small moving lights where their little robot wenises should have been. Those kept me entertained while the opening band played. "Heartless Bastards." They were alright. The lead reminded me of a blonde Joan Jett, but a little less gritty.

Oh, I should mention before I get to describing the actual concert that I arrived a few hours early and while walking around the venue I came across a large garage door. I pressed my ear to it and heard Wilco practicing. I heard the entirety of Side With the Seeds, and after Nels's amazing ending solo, I clapped and screamed. To my happy surprise, one of the band members, maybe Nels, said, "Hi, out there!" And I said "Hi!" back. Fun, huh?

Anyway, I was standing about ten people back from left center holding my five dollar can of Corona and completely unable to see when Wilco finally took the stage. I mean there wasn't a man in front of me who wasn't at least six feet tall. No kidding. Next to me, on my left, was a dude named Charles who was a pothead, I think. I liked him muchly. He was really furry--his longish beard had beads in it, lol! He had lots of odd paraphernalia in his pockets which he kept fingering and taking in and out of his pants. Super Glue. Band-Aids. Paper clips. Wadded five dollar bills. He asked me to help him put a band aid on a little cut on his finger and I did. He called me "Yellow" because I was wearing a yellow shirt.

Charles pushed forward and helped me secure a more advantageous position so that I could see. He was a really nice fella. When he lifted his arms to clap during Spiders I could smell his stinky arm pits, but what else could be expected from a dude with beads in his beard?

Also, just to note, the place reeked of marijuana. Charles kept saying, "Pass some of that on down Heee-rrreee!"

So, Wilco took the stage. Tweedy looked a bit ragged. His hair is shaggier than the last time I saw him live, but overall, he still looked okay. That's the best I can give him in the looks department. Okay. Nels was dorky as ever. I love him for it. They started with Wilco, The Song. I don't know why, but I just can't get into it. Still, it was better live than I expected and everyone else seemed to love it.

Here's the rest of the set list:

I Am Trying To Break Your Heart
Pot Kettle Black
A Shot in the Arm
One Wing
At Least That’s What You Said
Side With The Seeds
Bull Black Nova
Handshake Drugs
War on War
Sonny Feeling
Jesus, etc.
Impossible Germany
California Stars
Forget the Flowers
Spiders (Kidsmoke)
The Late Greats
Hate It Here
I’m The Man Who Loves You
Hoodoo Voodoo

My favorite song of the night was Misunderstood. I counted a run of forty "nothin's", which is four more than they shouted at the Cain's concert. A gain of just over ten percent nothin'. I think that's something to cheer about so I did! I lost a bit of my voice doing it, too. Well worth it.

Spiders lasted a whopping seventeen minutes by my count. It just kept going and going and going. It could have lasted longer. I'd not complain. It was a great song. Probably my second favorite of the evening.

During the show some idiot threw a Sharpie marker at Nels, which raised the ire of Jeff. Immediately after the Sharpie incident, someone (Jeff called him a "Douchebag") flashed one of those laser pointers at the band members. Good grief. None of that happened at Cain's, proving once again that Tulsa outclasses Oklahoma City by a country mile. Well, more like one hundred and twenty of them. :)

I was disappointed that they didn't play Via Chicago. That was my favorite of last year's set. Oh, well. I suppose I'm like the guitar player that got taken for a ride. Never satisfied. They played four songs from the new album. I should be thankful.

Overall, it was a great concert. I'm not sure Wilco does other than great concerts. If they do, I'm unaware of it. I intend to count the "nothin's" at my next Wilco concert. If they continue to increase nothin's at the rate of ten percent a year, in ten year's time Misunderstood may just take up more concert time than Spiders.


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

"Stop Drinking the Sea Monkeys!"

Madeline purchased a Sea Monkey set at the aquarium last year. She was such a good caretaker of her minuscule little pets, feeding them daily and attempting to identify and name each little wriggling speck.

One day, convinced that her sea monkeys needed more room to swim and a little fresh air, she poured them into a bucket and set them out on the back deck.

I had no knowledge of the sea monkey field trip and was hanging clothes in Courtney's closet when I heard Madeline screaming. The only words I could identify were "Stop drinking the sea monkeys! STOP!" Fearing that it was Anna (Madeline's littlest sister) drinking the sea monkeys, I ran downstairs in a flash to find Maddie tugging at Daisy Dog's collar while Daisy happily lapped down the last of the sea monkeys and the water from their Happy Habitat.

Maddie was crushed, but her sorrow didn't last long. We've not purchased more sea monkeys. At the aquarium last week, Madeline purchased a kit to grow her own crystals. She put a small rock in a little container, filled it with water, added the crystal seeds and placed the entire thing next to the sink on the kitchen counter. Tarzan has already hopped up there and drank up most of the water and crystal seeds, but I haven't said a word to Madeline. I just added more water. I hope Tarzan doesn't grow any crystals on his little tongue. It's rough enough already.


Friday, April 3, 2009

Boy Scout Breast Exam

A couple of years ago, I went in for a dreaded gynecological exam. I don't know one solitary woman who doesn't hate those.

I was lying there on the table in that awkward gown with my butt showing when the doctor came in and said, "Would you mind an intern performing parts of the exam today?"

"That would be alright."

The doctor waited for the nurse and then began to do his thing down there. It was uncomfortable, as always, but he was quick and for that I was grateful. He left without doing a breast exam. I figured that was for the intern to do.

The door opened and a tall, very young looking boy wearing a white coat entered the room.

"Sister C*****!"

My God, I knew that kid!


"Yeah, it's been a long time, hasn't it? Man, I'll never forget that whitewater rafting trip with Tom."

Chad was in the scouts when Tom was the troop leader. I couldn't believe it! I was beyond mortified. I kept thinking he couldn't be more than fourteen, but there he was. And he was walking toward me, hands extended.

He shifted my examination gown and started kneading my right breast, checking for lumps, and all the while he kept calling me "Sister C*****". He told me how much he liked the beef jerky I used to make and send on scout trips. I wanted the earth to split open under me and swallow me whole. I was too shocked to tell him to go away. I just waited until he was finished, put on my clothes and got the hell out of there. No checking out. No making an appointment for the next exam. Just running out.

At the time, I thought it couldn't have been worse. But I was wrong. He could have been wearing his Scout uniform.


Saturday, March 7, 2009

A Fetus Of Uncertain Race

I took Courtney along when I had an ultrasound for my third pregnancy. She was very excited to find out that she was going to have another little sister.

A few days later, I got a phone call from Courtney's first grade teacher. She wanted to tell me what Courtney had told the class about her soon-to-be-born sibling:

"My mom is having a baby girl and we're going to name her Chloe! The only thing we don't know is what color she'll be."

I got a kick out of it, but wondered why on earth Courtney would say such a thing. The next week at church, I figured it out. We have friends, a white couple with children of their own, who adopted a black child. Courtney didn't understand that their darker-skinned child was adopted. She assumed babies popped out of their mommies just any old color. I explained to Courtney otherwise, but couldn't help thinking that it would be kinda nice if skin color were always a surprise. Would there still be racism if white couples bore black children and vice-versa? I don't think so. I think that might be wonderful.


Thursday, February 26, 2009

"You look like the Grinch. But white."

It was unseasonably warm today. Eighty-one degrees. I tilled my veggie garden for the second time and after I was finished, my Mormon neighbor came to borrow the tiller.

When he returned it, Annie was in the front yard riding Patty, her tire-swing horse. She noticed he didn't have on a shirt, which is very unusual for him as he usually at least wears his garment top. I went out to greet him just in time to hear Annie say, laughing, "You look like the Grinch. But white." He does have a round belly and scrawny legs. She was spot on, actually. It was a perfect description. But I didn't laugh, though it took everything in me not to. I reprimanded Annie and told her she was being impolite. She apologized.

But I've been giggling for hours.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Her Heart is Hanging Out

Daisy is my old dog. She's sixteen, has arthritis and is pretty much incontinent, but she's a good dog and we love her, so we deal with her troubles as best we can. She has a benign tumor on her chest, about the size of a plum. She's not in the best of health, and the tumor didn't seem to bother her, so along with the veterinarian, I determined to just let it be.

Well, I couldn't sleep last night, so it was very late when I let Daisy out to potty before bed. She was taking longer than usual, so I went to retrieve her. It was cold and dark so when I reached down and patted her side, I couldn't see what was making her feel so sticky.

When I got her in the house, I screamed. The tumor that had been growing on her chest was HANGING OUT of her, and blood was just pouring from the wound onto my carpet, which made the matter all the worse.

I wrapped myself around Daisy and screamed for my girls to come help me. They all four came tumbling downstairs. I frantically shouted at Courtney, "Get me a towel!" She did and I released Daisy long enough to wrap the towel around her, but Annie caught a glimpse of the dangling tumor and screamed in terror, "HER HEART IS HANGING OUT!"

It was worse than a nightmare. While Courtney held the towel to Daisy's chest, I grabbed a soft, clean dishcloth and several long ace bandages that I'd used after my recent surgery. I used them to patch her temporarily together, hopped in the van, and drove Daisy to the nearest Animal Emergency Clinic, where they snipped off the tumor and sewed her up, good as new.

Turns out she'd either chewed it off or it ripped open because she caught herself on something in the yard. I'm not sure exactly what happened, but it was simply terrifying seeing all that blood and the tumor hanging from sweet Daisy's chest. Poor Annie thought it was her heart.

No one got any sleep last night at my house, but the good news is that Daisy seems to feel great. She's even giving Tarzan a hard time this morning.

Here's Daisy in her "Prayer Cone" as Madeline calls it, because Daisy is alive and well and Maddie's prayers were answered:

Daisy's Prayercone



Sunday, February 22, 2009

Papa's Pantyliners

Papa Gene's house was my refuge. When I'd get in an argument with my dad, I'd go to Papa's house and just sit with him on his big porch, or watch as he tinkered on tractors or tools in his big red barn. He taught me to garden. He taught me that Cardinals love oily black sunflower seed and that Mourning Doves are ground feeders.

He and Granny Fifi lived just down the road. I had back-road paths that I took to get to his house. Once, after a nasty altercation with my dad, I started up the old tractor which sat in our barn next to leathery tack and bags of sweet feed and oil covered lawnmower parts. Driving the tractor was fun and it felt great taking it to Papa's. He was always outside. I knew he'd see me coming slowly up his long driveway and wave at me until I reached him.

I grew up, as is wont to happen with us all, and now, my girls are the apples of Papa Gene's eye. He takes the two youngest, Anna and Chloe, to Steak-n-Shake almost every week. One day last year, he came to pick them up for their little excursion, but Chloe wasn't home from school yet. Papa volunteered to watch Annie while I went to pick up Chloe. Before I left, Annie was sitting on Papa's lap, rubbing the age spots on his arms and neck and face with her tiny hands. She didn't like those age spots. Annie thought they were "owies." They concerned her.

I retrieved Chloe and when I walked back into the living room of my house I couldn't believe my eyes. I started laughing so hard that I could barely breathe. There sat Papa in our navy blue leather recliner covered in pantyliners. They were all over his arms, neck, and face. Everywhere he had an age spot, there was a pantyliner covering it. He started laughing, too, and said, "Annie sure took care of me! I'm all bandaged up."

"Papa! Those aren't bandages. They're pantyliners!"

"Oh, Lord."

He started pulling them off and managed to get them all removed before I could reach my camera. I'm still disappointed.

Papa Gene is a treasure. He doesn't drive a tractor anymore, but he's still good for wheelbarrow rides. And, he's teaching my girls to garden, just like he taught me. They could learn from momma, but it's not the same. Papa Gene is their refuge, too. I love him so much.




Thursday, February 19, 2009

Meansweet Mancat

My cats do the oddest things.

Beans has started "kneading" my eye sockets. She's persistent. My arms won't do, or my tummy, or my legs. Her two front paws must be on my eyelids and she kneads them until I just cannot take anymore. Why does she do that? Crazy. She has also laid claim to my new laptop. Beans LOVES it. She lays next to it. When it's open, she rubs her mouth on it, her teeth scraping the corners. No doubt about it: it's hers.

Tarzan, Meansweet Mancat, is just as evil as ever, and amazingly, the more evil he becomes, the more I seem to adore him and think him sweet. I think that's an emotional disorder...

Anyway, he purrs as he bites. He loves being mean. It brings him joy. He's so visceral, and I find it fascinating. It really is like living with a small tiger. He'd steal the food from my mouth if I'd allow it. He tries! If he wants attention, he will bat me with his paws. When I don't give it quickly, he'll jump up from the floor and bat my face.

T-Man can can open some of the interior doors in the house. A few of them are lever-style handles, and he jumps up and bats them, loosening the latch just enough to open the doors. He tries it with the back door of the house, but that lever handle is solid brass and too heavy for him. Doesn't stop him from attempting over and over and over. That's how we know he wants back in the house. We hear him hitting the doorknob with his paws.

He loves me, but he wants to kill me at the same time. (I bet he's not the only one with that dilemma.) Actually, I think he thinks he DOES kill me. I fake dead for him, at any rate. He seems very satisfied.

He's trying to kill me by tripping me on the stairs. He lays flat on any random stair step and I have fallen twice already trying to avoid him while going down the stairs late at night. The second time I fell, he literally jumped on me at the bottom of the stairs, where I was sprawled on the floor, and tried to finish me off by chewing me until I was dead with death. Thank goodness Tarzan didn't succeed! Who would change his litter and fill his food bowl were he to finish me off?

Early one morning, I was going pee-pee, just minding my own business, when I heard purring behind the toilet. I looked back just in time to see Tarzan leap out to attack me. He bit my thigh as hard as he could and darted away in a sideways puff.

He is gorgeous. His fur is rich and thick and heavenly. No one can resist his luscious tummy. He lays sprawled out on his back and it's simply irresistible. I must rub that gold and black striped belly. But, it's a trick. He's like a Venus Flytrap. A Tarzan Handtrap. He waits and when the hand touches his furry middle, he wraps around it and kills it 'till it's dead. I have hands covered in scratches. But I can't stop. I fall for his trick every time.

I get too much joy out of a couple of cats. I'm a weirdo.

Tarzan Handtrap:

Tarzan Handtrap


Sunday, February 15, 2009

TMI (Titty Modification Information)

I did it. I had the breast reduction, just in time to be the Bride of Frankenstein for Halloween. Never have I been so sliced apart and stitched back together.

I've a small frame and though men often seemed impressed by by breasts, I never was. They were just too big. Not Dolly Parton big, but too big, proportionally, for my diminutive height. My back hurt. While my friends were buying cute push-up bras to increase their cleavage, I was buying minimizing bras that looked and felt more like cages than lingerie. So, I had a reduction--two cup sizes, down to a 34D. Yeah, I needed it.

Also, I decided to let my vanity get the better of me and have the doctor get rid of the pregnancy-induced stretchmarks on my tummy. How did he do it? Well, he skinned me. And it hurt.

Never have I been more relieved to be put under anesthesia. I was so nervous before the operation, I thought I'd pass out and not make it to the hospital. Panic Attack nervous. But the hospital staff was fantastic. They wrapped me in a warm blanket, got the IV in on the first try, and gave me something they called "a glass of wine" intravenously. It worked wonders. I was dead to the world in no time. But I woke up feeling like I'd been hit by a Mack Truck.

During the operation, my breasts were cut open and my nipples removed. I like to imagine my nipples sitting side by side on a little silver tray next to the operating table. Like pinkish pepperoni. Don't worry. They were stitched back on. And yes, they regained sensation, though the process of my nerves re-attaching and repairing themselves was, at times, excruciatingly painful.

My abdomen was sliced open from hip bone to hip bone and then from side to side, right under my bellybutton. That stretch-marked piece of skin was removed. Sort of like a mini-tummy tuck, but with no liposuction or fat removal. Just skin removal. The problem was that I didn't have enough loose skin to fill the gap. I wasn't fat, just scarred; not only with stretch marks, but also with the scars from several abdominal surgeries. So, when I was stitched back together, I was literally folded over, unable to stand, sit, or lie down straight until my skin loosened enough to allow it. It took weeks and weeks.

So, to recap, my breasts had been sliced open, two cup sizes of tissue discarded, and my nipples removed and then stitched back on again. I'd been sliced from hip bone to hipbone. Basically in half. A section of skin was removed, my abdomen then so tight that I couldn't sit, stand or lie straight for over two months. It hurt like crazy. Horrible pain.

That's all over now. And I can say that I'd do it again in a New York minute. The results are stunning. I couldn't be more pleased.

The scars are nearly gone. I don't even need a bra, if I don't want one. And there are days, when I'm wearing thicker shirts, that I don't wear one. No one can tell. When I do want more coverage, I usually just wear a tank or maybe a sports bra. I have perfectly perky, perfectly shaped, all natural 34D's and I love them. It's a shame to cover them at all. I'm thinking of going aboriginal. Did I say that I loved my breasts? I love them! And, no, I'm not bragging. Any woman can have breasts this deliciously gorgeous for seven grand. It's a matter of priorities. ;P

My tummy is perfectly flat, stretch mark free, and finally I can see the fruit of all the crunches I've done over the years. I have abs. I do have a long scar, but it's low and won't show when I'm wearing my bathing suit. Which won't be a tankini this year, but a bikini. Yellow polka-dotted, possibly. I can't wait.

So, ladies, if you've thought of a breast reduction, then I say go for it. I couldn't be more pleased with mine. Now, getting rid of the stretch marks was really painful and difficult, and though I'm pleased with the results, I'm not so quick to recommend it. Walking along scrunched over for weeks on end was dreadful. One would really need to hate one's stretch marks to go through that process. I don't regret it at all, but only those prepared for the pain and a very long, but generally unseen, scar should consider it.

I no longer look like the Bride of Frankenstein, all stitched together. I look damn good. For the first time in a long time, I really believe that. After a shower, I no longer cringe at my stretchmarks when hurrying past the mirror naked. Now I stop and look. And smile. It's a good feeling. Real Good.


A Visit With The Plastic Surgeon

I don't want to get too detailed, but my insurance has agreed to pay for part of a surgery which will significantly lessen the back pain I've had since I was a teenager. So, it was to the plastic surgeon with me.

The nurse told me to put on one of their designer robes, which gave ma a laugh. But, after I saw it I realized she was right. It truly was a designer robe! It was black with pleats and pretty button closures--much nicer than the ugly gowns found at my regular doctor's office. Anyway, I put it on and was quite pleased with it. Then, the nurse brought me bottled water while I waited in the room and watched my own private television. I was starting to like the place...

The doctor came in and greeted me. He was fifty-ish, handsome, and friendly. He sat down and asked me to stand in front of him. His nurse came in and I was instructed to go ahead and take off the robe.

Huh? The whole thing? Just drop it right there? It felt really odd. Like stripping in front of him or something and I didn't like it a bit. I was very embarrassed, but did as I was told. He looked at me completely dispassionately and started handling my breasts like they weren't attached to me, manipulating them this way and that, and informing me that one of them was lower on my ribcage than the other. I never in my life noticed that! It certainly isn't that much lower! That was just the first thing he found wrong with me.

Next, he observed my stomach and asked how many children I had. I told him, "four" and he said, "I've got some stretch marks here."

Duh! I think I know that already! At least he mentioned that my abs were in good condition. That made me feel a bit better, but not much. He told me he could get rid of those stretch marks for me and explained how, which sounded terrifying, if you ask me.

Next, he turned me around like a meat inspector to look at my ass, which he said looked like it had good muscle tone, but some excess "fat deposits." Good grief, like I don't know there's too much junk in the trunk?

He then told me I "didn't have the body of a twenty-year-old." Again, DUH! I'm almost thirty-six! He did mention it was pretty good for a woman of my age, which didn't seem like much of a compliment.

The doctor left and I put on my clothes. He came back in to talk to me about different options, and kindly told me I was overall a very striking woman. I think he just wanted me to hurry up and write that humongous check...

So, I walked out through the waiting room and noticed the other women there were incredibly gorgeous. Tall, skinny, big-boobed, with collagen-injected lips and liposucked thighs. I felt very short and fat. Like an oompah-loompah that accidentally got shuffled into a Barbie fashion show.

I'm not going to look like those ladies--ever. I'll be happy with less back pain and keep my stretch marks, I suppose. But this morning, after my shower, I couldn't help but notice them more than usual. And that my breasts aren't placed perfectly on my ribcage. And that my butt is too big. And that I'm not twenty years old anymore.

Visiting a plastic surgeon isn't good for one's mental health, I don't think. I need a counselor now! ;)


Kimberly Ann

Friday, February 13, 2009

Disfunkshunal Family

Madeline does a perfect imitation of Bobby Proud from Disney's animated cartoon, The Proud Family. Her favorite line is, "Where my momma? Momma, I need a sna-aak. Bring my momma back, so she can get me a sna-aak." (Cue Peanut Butter Jelly Time.)

One of her favorite songs to sing is Bobby's theme song, "So Disfunkshunal." Listen to it here:

My girls and I are a dysfunctional bunch, for certain, but we have a ton of fun. Tonight we went to a play at Madeline's school called "Middle School: The Musical." The kids and teachers wrote it. What can I say? It stunk so hard it was hilarious. Middle School kids have to be the most dorky people on the planet. I love them. I especially love my middle-school kid.

After the play, we went to eat at my Sexi-Mexi's restaurant. I think he has the hots for me, too. Tonight, he seated us and brought me salsa himself, while another employee seated the other patrons. See? He likes me. When I thanked him for the salsa, he said, "Thank you for coming." I swear to God he practically purred it! I had to stop myself from saying, "But I haven't yet."

During dinner, Madeline and Courtney made up a new mid-sized SUV model for Buick called "SaBeaver." Don't ask. I'm not sure how it happened exactly, but SaBeaver is the name. I'm still laughing over it. And Courtney told how she got a message from the grilled cheese she ate at lunch. It had a burnt spot on it in the shape of *Court stood and distorted her body into a twisted just-been-mangled-by-a-large-cat shape* which she interpreted as a sign that she's destined for super-stardom. She is thankful that God uses cafeteria ladies who burn grilled cheese sandwiches as conduits for revelation. She hopes to express that gratitude in a new and improved version of the Lunch Lady Line Dance.

As we prepared to leave the restaurant, Sexi-Mexi said to me, "See you tomorrow." I replied, "I don't know if I need Mexican food two days in a row!" He purred (yeah, more purring), "I could make you breakfast." I'm so not kidding. I'm not sure if I should go back to Sexi Mexi's restaurant. Things may be getting dangerously spicy there. Not even a key-lime flavored mint could quell the heat.

We came home, watched a bit of Homestar Runner together, laughed at Chloe's Poopsmith impersonation, then went to bed. Well, all of us went to bed except for me. But I'm tired and going there now. I wonder. If I wake early in the morning and call Sexi-Mexi, would he still be interested in making me pancakes?

So disfunkshunal...can you feel it? Can you?


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Waiting For William

Waiting for William

I knew I shouldn’t have watched tonight’s PBS special on the Mormons. It made me intensely sad and I’m having trouble controlling the tears. The story about the Mormon woman who died giving birth to her eighth baby really struck a chord with me. I, too, exhausted myself to create a body for a spirit waiting in heaven. He was a little boy and his name was William.

Married and away from home at the age of eighteen, I found myself pregnant immediately. It wasn’t planned. I was shocked but ready to take on the responsibility of motherhood. When I saw him on the ultrasound for the first time, I was overcome with emotion. There was my baby. It wasn’t clear if my baby was a boy or a girl, but I didn’t need a picture to let me know. I knew my baby was a boy and that his name was William.

At my five month check-up, there was no heartbeat. An ultrasound was ordered and it was clear that my baby was dead. I was utterly alone. My family was over two thousand miles away and my husband was in the military on a mission and wouldn’t be home for many weeks. I was told by the Navy doctor that I would have a miscarriage soon enough on my own and to go home and wait for it. So I did. I waited and waited. A month passed. No miscarriage. I was in a deep depression away from home and carting around a dead baby. I felt constantly ill. One night I awoke with a fever of one-hundred and six degrees. I knew no one to call and felt too sick to drive, so, shivering and wrapped in blankets, I knocked on my neighbor’s door and told her I thought I was dying.

She kindly drove me to Balboa Naval Hospital in San Diego. I don’t remember exactly what happened after that. I know I had a terrible infection and I know they took out my baby. And I was young and stupid and thought for some reason I’d be able to see him afterward. So, after the surgery, I asked the nurse if the baby was a boy. She told me that it was, but that was no surprise to me. I asked if I could see him. She replied, “No, honey! That baby was in no shape to be viewed.” So I asked what they’d done with him and she said, “Well, we disposed of him.”. They disposed of William. They threw away my baby. I was inconsolable but it didn’t matter; there was no one to console me anyway.

After a few days in the hospital I went to my empty apartment and called my Bishop. He gave me a blessing and in it he told me my baby boy needed a perfect body and that Heavenly Father would send him to me again in due time. The comfort I received from that blessing carried me through the next four years until I would have my first successful pregnancy. I had Courtney and was thrilled. But I knew I needed to make a body for William. He’d waited so long for me to finish college. So I got pregnant right away and had a miscarriage. Then I had Madeline. Then a series of many, many miscarriages over the next four years. No pregnancy would stick. There was too much scar tissue from the earlier infection and operation so doctors scraped it out and still I didn’t get pregnant. Finally, after nearly giving up, I had a successful pregnancy and had Chloe. The doctor warned me not to have another baby. She said it was a very bad idea. But William was still waiting.

So against all medical advice, I got pregnant. I knew this was the one. It had to be. Immediately a tumor began forming in my uterus right along with my baby. It had to be removed while I was still pregnant. Unfortunately, I had what I can only describe as some sort of multi-organ breakdown at the same time. My gallbladder became infected and I got terribly sick. It had to be removed. In that operation, an artery was accidentally severed and I lost some blood. They said they gave me seven units, but I really don’t know if that’s a tremendous amount or not, but I do know I was so sick I barely remember the week I spent in the hospital with blood pressure that just would not rise. I recovered just enough after two weeks for them to remove the tumor from my uterus, operating right next to my growing baby.

When I found out I was carrying a girl, I was happy, but pained at the same time. What about William? How would I ever make a body for my baby boy who’d been waiting so long and who had been promised to me in a blessing? My doctor told me my tumor-filled uterus would likely be removed after I delivered the baby. So, I prayed and fasted and cried and prayed some more. After a few months I gave birth to my beautiful little Annie and immediately afterward, just as predicted, my uterus was removed. And my hopes for William went in the garbage right along with it.

For months I grieved my baby boy and finally came to the realization that Heavenly Father would give him to another family. What had I done wrong that my blessing did not come to pass? I always tried to be the best Mormon I could be but that wasn’t enough.

It was almost exactly a year later when I told my husband the church was a fraud. The people in the ward thought I’d lost my mind and had a hormonal imbalance. My husband thought I had postpartum depression. But it was none of those things. I just knew deep down in my heart that Joseph Smith lied and I couldn’t live a lie anymore.

Of course, now I know William was never waiting for another body at all and my Bishop had no authority to tell me he was. William was just a little dead baby in the trash. But sometimes, like tonight after watching “The Mormons” on PBS, I really miss him.


Sexi-Mexi and Never Trust A First Grader

I took my mom out to eat on Mother's Day. We went to one of my favorite Mexican restaurants. The food there is great, but even better than the eats is the manager. He's a Hot Tamale, no doubt. I call him my Sexi Mexi.

When he welcomes us to the restaurant, I always imagine his sultry dark eyes are giving me the bedroom gaze. Then, my mind wanders off into some kind of cheesy soap-opera sex and my Sexi Mexi making a pile of soft flour tortillas...

Anyway, we were seated and it must have been my lucky day, because Sexi Mexi himself came to take our order. He asked me what I wanted. Raising one eyebrow, I answered, "I'll take your giant stuffed burrito."

While we waited for our food, a less-sexi-Mexi brought us chips and salsa. The salsa was in jars and we were each given a small bowl in which to pour it. Chloe grabbed the jar of salsa first and demanded, "I want to pour it mythelf, momma!"

"Well, it's pretty big. I think momma better do it," I said.

"Thop treating me like a baby!"

"OK. Be careful."

Chloe tipped the jar too far and BLOP--out dumped most of the salsa onto the table.

I sighed, "I'll ask for more napkins."

"Well," said Chloe defiantly, "It'th your fault for trusting a firtht grader!"

The spill was cleaned. Lunch eaten. Bill payed. Then, joy of joys, my Sexi Mexi brought me a rose and said it was the most beautiful one for the most beautiful mother. I swooned slightly. I just know he meant it! I know he did. Even though he told every other mother who patronized his restaurant that day the same thing, I know he only REALLY meant it when he crooned it to me. And I know he was thinking the same thing I was: he gave me my rose with one hand, and in the other, he was carrying a plate full of hot, soft flour tortillas. Mmmm...


Scat Hunt and Unmedicated: A Documentary

As my girls and I and my nephew, Jacob, loaded into the minivan this afternoon for a quick drive to the park, I noticed Madeline had a large plastic bag, and inside it was a roll of paper towels, a handful of Ziplock baggies, and one of my better spoons.

"Whatcha taking that stuff for, Maddie?"

"When we get to the park, I'm taking the nature trail and going on a scat hunt!"

"Oh. Sounds cool."

Maddie is the kid who stored dissected rat parts under her bed for further inspection and forgot about them. She loves science and animals and Egypt. Oh, and space and conspiracy theories. That's my Maddie.

We arrived at the park and Madeline took her hunting gear and went on her way. The little kids and their twelve year old cousin, Jacob, played on the really cool playground equipment and Courtney, my ninth grader, lied on the ground having a Drama Queen moment. "I'm so BORED! I hate this park. There is NOTHING to do in this town! If we lived in New York City, there would always be something to do. Can't we move there, Mom? PLEASE?"

Now, Jacob is hyperactive. Real Hyperactive. And, he's obsessed with poop. Farts. Doo-doo. Crap. Turds. I have no sons, so I'm not sure how normal it is for a seventh grade boy to talk non-stop about fecal matter, but this boy is just gross. Love him, but he's icky. And, as I mentioned, hyper. He was irritating every little kid on the playground. He was irritating me.

I noticed Courtney had gotten up from her grassy bed of lament and was following Jacob around with her hand cupped in a "C" shape near her eye.

"What are you doing, Court?"

"I'm making an imaginary film. I'm calling it 'Unmedicated: A Documentary' --I think I can get funding from Seroquel. Sorry, Tom Cruise."

At least she was keeping track of Jacob.

Madeline returned with a few baggies full of scat. She was so proud of it. I sat down with her on a big rock while she identified it for me.

"This is squirrel scat."

"Looks like some kind of berry, doesn't it?"

"No, it's squirrel scat."


Jacob wandered over and said, "I smelled a squirrel fart. That one over there keeps rippin' 'em."

Maddie ignored him and carried on. "This is raccoon scat."

"I sure you are right about the squirrel scat, but I think you've got dog poop in that baggy Madeline."

"It's definitely raccoon scat, MOM. I found it by that tree way over there."

By the tree where only raccoons go potty, I guess. The official park Raccoon Restroom where no dog would dare deposit doo doo.

"Well, if you think so. Now, what do you plan to do with the scat now? I really don't want it in the car, Sis."

"MOM! Why not?! I won't forget it in there, I promise!"

"Throw it away before we leave. Sorry, but no scat in the van."

Finally it was time to go. Thank goodness. We all climbed in the van. Jacob immediately said it smelled like poop.

"Good grief, Jacob, stop it with the potty talk! I'm really sick of it!"

But Chloe said, "Mom, it really does smell like poop back here!"

Immediately I knew the culprit. "Madeline, did you bring the scat into the van!?"

She said not a word, but opened the sliding door and deposited her scat bags into the nearest trash can.

I'm not sure how much more Fall Break I can handle.

Introducing Pedro Augustus and The Baby

Courtney, for the past year or so, has been drawing a cartoon starring The Baby and his best friend, a sheep named Pedro Augustus.

The cartoon is pretty clever (I'm her mom; of course I believe that!) and since I got my new scanner, I've been having fun scanning her pencil sketches.

Here are just a few samples of her work:

Pedro Augustus and The Baby take a Sunday Drive:

The Baby drives with the assistance of his push-popper. His single hair blows in the wind.


Pedro Augustus and The Baby attend a Metallica concert:

Metallica Concert

Pedro Augustus and The Baby make snow men:

Snow Sheep and Baby

Pedro Augustus and The Baby Travel Back in Time:

Their space ship is a double-seater baby bouncer.

Time Travel

Pedro and Baby's friend, Tony Smith:

Tony Smith

Pedro Augustus and The Baby Around the World:

They're Emo in Hot Topic. Pedro has a camel hump in Egypt. So many arms in India.

Around the World

I love Courtney's cartoon. I think I'm Courtney's Pedro Augustus.


Unfortunate Bedazzler Accident: Celine Dion Concert Review

I went to a Celine Dion concert last night. I know. I applied a thick Teflon Wilco coating prior to exposing myself to Celine, in hopes of reducing the risk of musical infection.

Not being a Celine Dion fan, I didn't purchase tickets to the sold-out concert. But yesterday afternoon, an acquaintance called and offered me his tickets, as he wasn't able to attend. They were floor seat tickets, priced at $167.00 each plus fees and taxes. I accepted the offer, took his $400.00, and Courtney and I navigated our way downtown through oppressive traffic to hear the Titanic theme.

The first thing I noticed was that there were few straight men at the concert and those few looked as if they'd been dragged there kicking and screaming by their Celine-loving wives. Courtney and I were seated on the floor, near the back and center. We were, by far, the youngest two in our section. It's odd attending a concert where the man next to you smells like arthritis ointment. At least he said that I looked like Courtney's sister, instead of her mother. True, my mom would look like a spring chicken to that fella, but I don't care. I'm taking the compliment because it is true! ;)

Celine was actually a very gracious performer. She was comfortable with her banter and honestly put on a great show. The only problem was that she must have had a terrible bedazzling accident backstage, because the crotch of her pants was covered in rhinestones. It was truly odd. It was like, "Woo Hoo! Looky here! Yes, right down here! That's right. Check out my sparkly PoPo!" I've heard of vaginal rejuvenation, but sheesh. As we left the concert, Courtney actually said, "I didn't WANT to look at her crotch, but it was so sparkly!"

The musicians were good; the violinist, in particular. The only song of Celine Dion's that I've ever really liked is To Love You More. I got chills last night during that song, the violinist was so good. Overall, I was impressed. I went in thinking I'd dislike the concert, but I enjoyed myself. And Courtney loved it. Enjoying her enjoyment was the best part of the evening.

In spite of my Teflon Wilco coating, I did catch just a bit of an infection last night from Celine. I've been singing To Love You More all day.

"Believe me! I will make you see all the things that your heart needs to know! I'll be WAAAAITING for yoooou, here inside my heart! Let me be the one to loOOOve you mo-oh-oh-ore! Can't you see I can give you EVVVVERYTHING you neeeeeed!? Let me be the one to Love. You. More! Ohhh, oh, oh, ooooooooooooh, OOOOOhhhhooooooOOOOhhh, oh, oh!"

When I do the "oooOOOOhhh" part, Tarzan's hair along his spine stands up just a little. I think that means he likes it.

"I drove all niiiiiight to get to you. Is that all right?"

I am infected. Help?


Seth is our maniacal Mormon neighbor boy. He's a whirlwind of naughtiness who broke one of the pickets on our privacy fence to make himself a little perch from where he can harass my family as we sit outside attempting to enjoy our back yard.

He sits atop his perch and yells to my daughters to bring him snacks, which they do, despite my cries of protest. Every few days it's necessary to clean the area of the yard beneath Seth's perch, as it becomes cluttered with Fruit Roll-Up papers, apple cores, gum wrappers, Popsicle sticks and other snack packaging.

Last year, when he was three, he was over playing with my daughter, Annie, and unbeknown to me, got my girls' pet rat, Cow, out of her cage. Seth and Annie carried her outside and while Annie was swinging, Seth was busy "washing" Cow in the bird bath. I saw him splashing in the water, which was fine with me, but I didn't know he was torturing the poor rat.

I went outside with a towel for him and as he came toward me I saw Cow clutched in his dirty little hand, wet and lifeless. Her long tail dangled limply.

Seth handed her to me and said matter-of-factly, "It's dead."

Cow was such a sad sight. Her eyes were open, her mouth agape - rat teeth protruding eerily. I was horrified and told Seth to get his things and GO HOME! He ran down the sidewalk and I watched him until he was in the back door of his house. I went indoors to find a shoe box to use as Cow's coffin when I felt it. A faint thump.

OMG! The rat was still alive, but barely. What to do?! My daughters loved Cow so much! Annie was trailing me, tears streaming from her blue eyes over the drowning of her little kind pet, who didn't bite the tyrant neighbor boy even as he was killing her! I had to do my best to save Cow's life.

I looked at her and dreaded what I knew I was about to do. Tucking her long yellow teeth into her mouth and shutting it as best I could, I placed my mouth over her wet rat nose. Terrified that she'd revive and bite right through my lip, I blew softly. Water came gushing out of Cows mouth and she squirmed in my hand! It was working!

I pumped her little stomach, releasing more water, but she stopped breathing again. So, once more I blew into her nose and pumped her chest, and once again, she revived, but this time, she continued breathing on her own. Yay! Cow was saved!

She was cold and lethargic, so I held her the rest of the afternoon in a little hand towel while she recuperated. By the time the older girls were home from school, Cow was feeling much better.

Cow was an older rat when the drowning happened, but she lived almost another year, recently dying of old age.

Some people probably think it's gross that I gave a rat CPR, but to my kids I'm a hero! It just shows the lengths I'll go to so they'll be happy.

Yes. My lips have been on a rat's long, wet nose. Twice. Now who wants a kiss, lol?!