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Fairly Odd Mother

Frantically waving my magic wand to make wishes come true.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Two Minutes of Awesomeness

Please don't forget to check out my scrumptious new niece and her big brother here, but I just saw this on Mr. Nice Guy's site and you must go and watch it (btw, the beginning starts off a bit funky but, no, there is nothing wrong with your computer).

Turn up the volume and get ready to do some funny dancing in your seat.


Wednesday, May 30, 2007

My Tough Little Niece

A fair number of family and friends-of-the-family check this blog out from time to time, so I wanted to share a few more photos of my delicious little niece who was born the other day.

Here she is with her arm in bandages, but beautiful nonetheless.

One thing I didn't mention in my post about her birth is that when she was born, her arm was wrapped around her neck. This caused her poor little elbow to fracture as she was coming down the chute. Fortunately, she is a trooper and has already healed herself! So advanced for her age!

Here is the big brother, my adorable nephew, holding his new sister.

I love how he is looking at her. He has no idea that someday she will eat his Halloween candy.

Wait. . .is she saying something? He leans in to hear better, and. . .

. . .she eats his nose. Ahhhhh, siblings.


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Keep Your Friends Off the Pole

Good God, I just caught a segment on The Today Show that said that suburban moms are now hosting "Pole Dancing" parties in their home (new! see the video segment here).

In this piece, they showed a bunch of women standing in a circle around a silver pole set up in someone's living room. These moms awkwardly danced to the music while one mom slithered up and down the pole in an attempt to unleash her inner sexual goddess, or something like that.

Am I the only one who would rather plunge a sharp stick in my eye than get together with my neighbors for one of these parties? I can just imagine bumping into the Mr and Mrs at the local restaurant and hearing, "wow, Bill, you should've seen Fairly Odd Mother work that pole last night".

My daughters would be so proud.


Saturday, May 26, 2007

Alone, almost

Do you hear that?


Me neither.

The house is so quiet. And not "everyone is sleeping" quiet. It feels empty and odd.

The girls, Belly and Jilly, ages 6 & 4, slept at my mom's last night. It was only Belly's second sleepover and Jilly's first. Fairly Odd Father is up in Vermont somewhere---mountain biking this weekend with some friends (please keep his pinky finger in your thoughts---we do not want a repeat injury).

Last night, my youngest---D---and I spent the evening together. We sat on the front porch and ate ice cream (his dinner) and then ran through the sprinkler until the mosquitoes dive-bombed us. We watched TV together and I realized that "America's Funniest Videos" IS geared to a 2-year old brain!

It is strange to have the house so quiet. Contrary to what I may have thought at one time, one little boy is not so noisy.

That being said, I think it is time I get down to business and finish a meme I was tagged to do quite a while ago by Robin, who was able to reach me all the way from Israel.

In this meme, I am supposed to reveal eight random facts or habits about myself. The following should not be confused with this post, which had me spilling six weird things about myself. Let's see if I can come up with anything else:

1. My mornings must include coffee and a shower, in that order. I don't need to shower right away, but I need to do it before I get dressed.

2. I can't sit still. I pace when I talk on the phone, jiggle my legs when at the computer and even 'run' my feet back and forth while I'm falling asleep. I'm not high-strung, am I?

3. I am a crier. I cry reading books to the kids (The Giving Tree is particularly difficult), watching a movie, hearing the news or just because. In the past few days, I've cried: when I accidentally slammed Jilly's hand in the car door (miraculously, she was fine); when my friend got up to speak at her grandmother's memorial service; after FOF left for his trip; when I saw my new niece; when I stubbed my toe. . .I think you get the idea.

4. I have an innie-outie bellybutton. It doesn't stick out, but it isn't like most innies which are just little slits. If FOF hadn't taken the digital camera to Vermont, I'd take a picture. Or, maybe not; my belly isn't the prettiest thing to see after three kids.

5. I am NOT a blond, even though I act it at times*. I was blond until I was about eight years old, and then it started to get darker and darker. Any blond picture of me since then is from dying my hair. In addition to blond (all shades, from white-blond to brownish-blond), I've been orange, red, maroon and dark brown. Someday I will post a 'hair retrospective'.

* for instance, I had spelled 'blonde' with a silent 'e', but spell check says this is wrong! Really?!?!? --hangs head in shame. . .or sham--

6. I do not like to follow arbitrary rules. This is a major reason why I chose to homeschool my kids, and it is also why I'm going to end this meme at #6.

I'm also supposed to tag eight people, but it's a holiday weekend! No more work! Have fun and get wet to celebrate the start of summer!

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I am in Love

Yesterday was a day for exclamation marks!

My sistah, the lovely "Mrs Q" who posts around the blogosphere from time-to-time, surprised us all! She had her baby a day earlier than her scheduled c-section!

Now, I was not there when the baby arrived, but I got the scoop, and since she has not started her own blog (yet. . .I'm working on her), I will share the scoop with you. It'll be better if you imagine you are her, ok? Play along. . .

(dissolve to dream sequence; you look fabulous with this filtering thingy over the camera lens!)

Imagine that you are scheduled to have a c-section on Tuesday because your beloved second child cannot figure out how to get out of your belly. Instead of head down, or even feet down, this baby lies sideways, turning your poor distended stomach into a hammock of sorts. Sway, sway, sway. You are in p-a-i-n from all this swaying.

Imagine that in the darkened wee hours of Monday morning, you feel your water break. You start off for the hospital with your husband who breaks all land-speed records (he, in fact, causes a sonic boom!) by driving you to the one-hour-away hospital in 25 minutes.

Imagine that the hospital starts to get you ready for a c-section since the baby is still breech. You are still in triage, in a teeny, tiny little room. Everyone seems to be moving v..e..r..y.....s...l...o...w...l...y... even though your contractions are less than two minutes apart, and did I mention that this is your second child?

Imagine that you tell a nurse that you feel like you feel like there is too much pressure, you need to push. She smiles and tells you that all will be fine, to hang in there and wait for the anesthesiologist to get there (yes, you can imagine that this is all happening without a single narcotic in your system).

Imagine that you feel . . . something . . . and then, ohmygodthatisafootafootiscomingoutofmybodyohmygodohmygodohmygod. The nurse, glances over, shrieks, and runs out of the room screaming, "BREECHFOOTBABYBIRTHRIGHTNOW!!!!", or something like that.

Imagine there are now eight others crowded into a teeny tiny triage room. One of these strangers gets the other leg down and then. . .SLOOP!. . .pulls out your baby after a couple of short pushes by you.

Imagine that someone cuts the cord and then the baby----disappears! The nurses have run out of the teeny tiny room with the baby to find a place to clean the baby off. Wonder why you are still calling this child "the baby" and asks politely, "What did I have? Is it a boy? A girl?" Watch as everyone in the teeny tiny room looks at each other and realizes that no one knows! Someone is sent to find your baby, and you soon find out that IT'S A GIRL!

A beautiful, perfect baby girl with jet black hair and long fingernails. You are soon holding your perfect baby girl in the hammock position she loved for so many months.

Behold beautiful baby girl and momma.

And, here is me with my new--and first--niece. Could I look any happier? I don't think so.

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Sunday, May 20, 2007

"Our" Soldier

Mother's Day was a lovely day, complete with breakfast-in-bed and a basket full of potions to help me look and feel smoother, silkier and---dare I say---younger?

However, one the more memorable part of Mother's Day this year was the phone call I received from Iraq at about 11:30am.

You see, one of our homeschool groups has 'adopted' two soldiers who are loosely connected to other members of our group. Earlier this year, each soldier submitted a modest list of items they would like to receive from home and, once a month, one of the group's members mails off a package to an unknown destination.

I offered to adopt one of the soldiers for the month of April. Of course, this meant that on April 30th, I was rushing to the post office to mail our package of soaps, candy, coffee and travel-size tissues. I also included a few pictures the kids drew of themselves holding "American" flags (Jilly's flag actually more closely resembled Luxembourg's flag, but she tried!).

Never did I expect that my small box of items would result in a phone call from that soldier, just two weeks after I had visited the post office. Our conversation lasted over a half hour, during which he described the living conditions ("I don't have it too bad", although what he considers decent would be my hell-on-earth), his view on how long the U.S. may need to be there ("10 years") and what he looked most forward to when he returned (seeing his wife and daughter, going fishing and having good coffee).

He told me to thank the kids for sending him drawings; he even took a photo of himself holding their pictures and emailed it to me. I would love to post the photo but cannot, since I did not get his permission to do so.

I've thought a lot about that conversation. Here is someone not much older than me, who is facing snipers' bullets, seven-inch spiders, dust storms and army food. . . and, for what? Having just seen a local Marine wheeled by me in a casket, I can't help but feel some despair over this situation. Just thinking about the war, the mess we are in, makes me want to just turn away from it all and wait for it to be over.

But then, I read the words below. It was written by "our" soldier to a close friend in our homeschool group, telling her why the packages we were sending mattered to him.

They do make a difference to get something, anything from a friend, family member, a stranger. We've all been home for leave and have gotten to see the news and it's like they have forgotten what we're still doing over here. Then we receive these care packages and then we know, it's just the news stations, not the people.
In just a few months, "our" soldier will be home with his family, hopefully for good. My kids cannot wait to meet him.

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

Wait Til You See This Wiener!

Last fall, the girls and I were watching Mary Poppins on DVD when I decided they needed to see a musical live, on stage. Nevermind that they are only 4 & 6, I wanted them to get some cultcha.

Coincidentally, the next day I found out that my brother-in-law's company was chartering a bus to see Mary Poppins on Broadway. Book 'em, Dano! Then, we just had to wait more than 6 months for the actual event.

Yesterday was our day. Jilly, Belly, my mom and I were on a bus at 6:30am, happily singing Chim Chiminey to each other.

Our first stop was the American Girl doll store. Now, for those people who either do not have children, or have only boys, American Girl dolls are like crack to young girls. They are stupidly expensive but are supposed to be 'educational' because the dolls are dressed like fictional historical figures. There are books that are written about each character, so, if you really like Josefina's story, for instance, you can then own Josefina (this gets a little tricky with Addy, who is actually a slave seeking freedom, but the girls don't seem to get this irony).

Here is Jilly coveting another girl's doll on our bus ride to NYC:

My problem with American Girl dolls is primarily that I am cheap, so spending $87 (gulp) on a doll is a bit hard to swallow. So, I told the girls that they'd have to use their own money to buy a doll. They each get $1/week allowance, plus the few dollars they got at their birthday, in Easter eggs and from the tooth fairy--all of this went toward this 'doll fund'. Somehow this worked.

Belly, with her new "Just Like You" American Girl doll who is neither historical, nor educational. Take that, all you who think homeschoolers have to turn everything into a "learning experience"!

Jilly, clutching the object of her affection:

We then had a leisurely, quiet lunch near the madness of Times Square. All seemed pretty ordinary until the "15-bite" hot dog I had ordered for the girls to split arrived.

Jilly closes her eyes at the sight of something so obviously phallic. Good girl, Jilly!

Perverted Mommy cannot leave well enough alone and must photograph the monstrosity sans bun. And, yes, by the way, they did finish it.

Mary Poppins was enjoyed by all, even little Jilly who was fed Skittles whenever she seemed. . .well. . . skittish. We then had some time to kill before our bus left, so we enjoyed some frozen treats outside in the late afternoon sun.

My mom and the girls, all Poppins'd out.

Hope to see you again soon, New York!


Congratulations to one of the best little families in the New York system: Liz, Nate and Thalia welcomed their newest member, Sage Alexandra, on Friday, May 11th. She was about 6 inches longer than the hot dog and weighed about 4 pounds more (without bun).

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Friday, May 11, 2007

Why I Have a Twitch

This pretty much sums up my life with a 2 1/2-, 4- and 6-year old.

Happy Mother's Day to you, mom, mommy, momma, ma, mum, mummy, or whatever you are called over and over and over again:


Real Moms Are Not The Focus

In honor of Mother's Day (you know, the day we're supposed to take it easy?), I'm deja-vu-ing this entry from a couple of months ago. Happy Mama's Day to all!

I am the supporting cast to a crew of divas and drama queens.

I spent a good 15 years of my adult life focusing on me, me, me. I was the center of my universe, and I was pretty happy with this.

Now I have three babes, ages 6 and under, and the focus is no longer on me.

MY needs, MY wants, MY thoughts . ..well, let's just say that I can sometimes feel a bit like this picture illustrates.

Enter the Real Mom Truths contest! The winner will receive this amazing 4G iPod Nano and Chocolate gift set, plus a link to their post on True Mom Confessions on Mother's Day

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Paying Respects

Our morning started off differently today.

At 9:30am, the kids and I were standing along Main Street waiting for the funeral procession of a local Marine to pass. Sgt. William J. Callahan died in Iraq; he was 28 and the new father of a month-old son he never met.

My kids were wearing red, white and blue, and the girls were holding tiny American flags that the Veterans were handing out to everyone. My little man, D, held a cardboard silver star I had found in the basement; as the procession drove slowly past, he held it above his head. There were hundreds of others like us, standing alongside the road, wanting to show the family that we cared.

After the procession had passed, we walked up the street to the church to hear a bagpipe playing Amazing Grace while those attending the funeral entered the church. We stood there for a very long time, and I am so proud of my children for waiting patiently and respectfully even though I am sure they did not quite understand.

Every day I hear the news that another soldier (or two or three or more) has died in Iraq. There have been processions like the one we attended all over the country. I get a lump in my throat every time I think of that little baby, Daniel Allan, who will never meet his father.

I hate this war. And yet, I want something good to come out of it; some change that will leave the Iraqis in a better place and allow our troops to come home. If not, will they have died in vain? For the sake of all those children whose parents will never come home, I hope not.


Thursday, May 03, 2007

Care Free Indeed

I'd like to think that I'm a fairly prepared person. We have Kleenex, bottles of water, snacks, a first-aid kit and even a brand-new portable potty in the minivan (purchased after last weekend's near-miss bathroom emergency).

Yesterday at the park, though, Jilly waited until we had wandered far, far away from the parking lot to skin her knee. As she screamed, I looked at the damage: a little blood, no dirt---a minor boo-boo by all accounts. However, to Jilly, ANY boo-boo requires a bandage or she cannot stop crying. She believes the bandage has magical 'no-more-hurting' powers.

I considered taking all three kids back to the car to get to the first-aid kit, but it was so far away, and this was such a little scrape. I tried to talk sense into her, but have you ever tried to talk sense into a four-year-old?

So, I then rummaged through the contents of my pocketbook which held nothing but my wallet, some makeup, cell phone and checkbook (along with random mom items such as a few crayons, a stain stick and a single diaper). Nothing bandage like at all.

Then, I unzipped the little inside pouch and found a few tampons and a couple of little pink pouches, each holding a pantiliner. I hesitated, and Jilly screamed louder. I then grabbed a pantiliner, opened it up and shoved it down the front of Jilly's pink leggings until it was over her bloody knee, sticky side against the inside of her pants.

When she stood up, I could see the outline of the pantiliner against her knee, but, voila!, it seemed to do the trick.

She then turned to me and said she needed a Kleenex for her tear- and snot-streaked face. I thought about giving her a tampon (hey, it's cotton!), but instead, just let her wipe her face on my shirt. Another crisis averted.

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

I'm Ignoring You!

And just when my poor blogging brain was running dry, I got tagged for a meme! Kelly has tagged me with the following question, "What 5 goals have you largely ignored?"

I will try to ignore the obvious #1 which would be this question that she asked me a while ago.

Really, this is a tough one to answer without sounding like I am just w-h-i-n-i-n-g about my pathetic, little life and all the amazing opportunities I'm letting pass me by as I sit here raising children. So, as a disclaimer, I will say that the goals I list below are merely 'on hold' for a while. Right now, I'm doing ok at my goal of not losing any of the children, or my sanity, each day.

Ignored Goal #1: Exercising. I've seen this meme a couple of times already and it seems that I'm not alone in this department. I want six-pack abs, visible thigh muscles and Popeye-biceps, but I'd also rather sit and read blogs, sleep or do just about anything else other than break a sweat exercising. Plus, anytime I try to lie down to do situps, my littlest guy thinks it is time to play 'horsey' on mommy.

Ignored Goal #2: Learning to drive a stick. Fairly Odd Father bought a stick-shift car last year, and I promised that I'd learn how to drive it. A few sweaty turns around the block, and that was it for me. I keep thinking I'll get around to it someday, but someday keeps moving to tomorrow.

Ignored Goal #3: Kegel. I've said it before, but I do not practice what I preach, even though I really should. I'm not trying to crack a walnut in there, I just want to hold everything in place until I'm old enough to ride around in a scooter.

Ignored Goal #4: Become a calmer person and STOP YELLING! Good God, you'd think with all the parenting books I've read, I'd have a handle on this. Those who know me say that I tend to talk REALLY LOUD all the time, so there really is no reason for me to raise my voice. I want to find my zen.

Ignored Goal #5: Get all fired up about a cause. This is sort of a stretch, because I get fired up all the time about things: global warming, our crappy President, animal rights, women's rights, gay marriage, standardized tests, Darfur. . .I can wring my hands with the best of them and lose sleep over any one of these topics. But, I'd love to really feel a part of something bigger than my little family.

When I was younger, single and child-free, it was animal rights. I worked in animal shelters, boycotted tuna fish, stopped eating meat, joined PETA and learned to love pleather. I sneered at fur. I cried over dogs in the shelter and begged for their lives to be extended for just "one more week".

I have a feeling my heart will lead me back to that cause once my children are no longer as needy as a newborn puppy. But, it is also hard to choose since there seems to be no end to the worthy causes. My short stint in our local mothers club didn't cut it, you know?

So, that is it for me. That was much harder than I thought, maybe because my 'ignored goals' have been. . .well. . .ignored. I think I'm supposed to tag a few people with this, but I'm too tired to think, so tag yourself if you'd like to play along.