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Fairly Odd Mother

Frantically waving my magic wand to make wishes come true.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Taking Care of Business

I'm in that "making a list and checking it twice" mode right now, so I'm going to take care of a few things that have been left hanging for too long.

A) Sus over at Wiggle Rooms gave me this nifty little award a while back. It originates from this site, Arte y pico, which must be a smart site because it is bilingual.


Sus wrote some super nice things about me, but my favorite part was this, "I've long been intrigued by home schooling. I don't think I can manage it (though I've thought about it) but if I tried, I'd be calling Fairly Odd every day for encouragement and wisdom." Here's the deal, Sus: you try homeschooling, and I'll give you my number.

I'm supposed to tag five bloggers. Recently, several of my blogging friends have gone underground. I'm not sure what this says about the blogs I read, but if you are a blogger who has changed your blog name to shake off family, gone to "invite only", or just stopped posting lately because of the heat from those close to you, this one is for you too.

B) My former New England Mamas' cohort Whirlwind (oh, yeah, news flash: New England Mamas is sort of gone. Will come back. In another form. I think. News at 11). . .anyway, Whirlwind tagged me for a meme that confused me at first but went something like this.

* Go into your photo files
* Pick your sixth file
* Pick the sixth photo in the file
* Post it on your blog and explain what the photo is.

If there was one more "sixth" in these instructions, I'd be convinced that this was some sort of devil plot. But, there are only two 6's, so I'll play along.


Here's D with our GIANT remote that I mentioned in a post not all that long ago. It was on sale. And, it still works and is never, ever lost. Sometimes husbands buy silly things that turn out to be great. Sometimes.

(by the way, I love how Jilly is randomly standing there staring at her strange little brother and that contraption; I do not love how ugly and shiny and worn out our family room couch looks)

C) Finally, WAAAAAYYYYY back when, another of my former New England Mamas, Margalit tagged me for a meme where I tell you of Six Unspectacular Quirks of mine. You may find these quirks to be spectacular, but they are just ordinary quirks to me.

1. I have to make my bed every day. Even if I forget until 9pm, I will make it before I crawl under the covers. You may think this was how I was raised, but here's the weird thing: while I lived under my parents' roof, I never, ever made my bed. My mom did it every day. It wasn't that I was lazy, it was that she was incredibly anal, and the site of a 10-year-old's attempt at bed-making would have made her twitch.

2. When I sit on the ground, my legs make that "M" position around me that doctors tell you never to do because you'll grow up deformed. I'll correct my kids, but I still do it all the time.


D demonstrates; before he was corrected, of course

3. If a movie or television show gets too scary, I will ask whoever is next to me, "does she die?", "is that going to blow up?" or whatever else is relevant, even if I know that they haven't seen the show either. I also watch these scenes from behind my hands, peeking out between my fingers (Fairly Odd Father hates watching suspense movies with me).

4. I hate laughing until I cry, because I'm left with tears which make me feel sad.

5. I grind my teeth, or more accurately "clench" my teeth when I sleep. I've done it since infancy and have had dentists try to "fix" the problem by removing teeth, filing teeth, and inserting mouth guards. I'll probably need surgery someday as I can hear my jaw creaking to open and close in the morning which just can't be a good thing.

6. Put me in a roomful of cute kids and one ugly dog, and I'll play with the dog.

That's all I got.

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Full as a Tick

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! I'm looking forward to a day spent at my sister's home, watching the next generation play while us old folk sit back and drink the funky cocktail she has prepared for the day.

And, to my friends who do not celebrate this holiday, you can join in the festivities by eating four dinners in one sitting. Then, either shuffle down the street for a slow walk or simply collapse on the couch in front of a football game.

May this holiday be peaceful for you all.


Monday, November 24, 2008

In need of some elves. . .

Last year, by Thanksgiving, I was almost finished with my Christmas shopping.
This year, I have barely started. I get to say "barely" because I've ordered one thing for my husband.

Is it me, or is it hard to get excited about buying things right now? And, I have no ideas for the kids. None. This is not good since half of the family waits for me to post a wish list for the kids so that they know what they want.

I'm sure I'm not alone in saying that if my kids didn't get a single gift between now and the new year, their lives would be just fine. But that is just a little too "bah, humbug" for me.

You'd never know they don't need anything by listening to D. "I want that!" he yells excitedly every time he sees a commercial or a toy store circular. God help me if I have to walk him into a mall between now and Christmas.

My oldest wants a Nintendo DS. I thought this would cost about the same as a LeapPad but I was wrong. Apparently, at 7, she now falls into the "expensive gadgetry" age. But, do I want to get her this? Considering I'm not sure what "this" is, no.

Jilly wants another American Girl doll. She has one from our trip to New York City a couple of years ago (the link will take you to the post I unfortunately decided to call "Wait Til You See This Wiener!"). Does she need another one? Absolutely not. Do I have any other ideas? Nope.

I'm thinking it will be a Christmas of clothes, books and crafts. Hopefully my children will someday forgive me.

btw, "clothes and books" under the tree would thrill me (note the absence of "crafts"); it's just not that thrilling for the kids.

also, I'm starting a little offshoot to this blog called Fairly Odd Reviews (don't click yet, it's hideous right now!). Whenever I find something I love, or if I ever get around to doing paid reviews, I will post it here. Since I'm just getting it started, let me know if there is anything you'd like me to review. If I can do it, I will.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

How do you know you are done?

Our reasons for having three children are as follows:

* we wanted a larger family, but since I had my first at 33, we knew we were a bit limited by the ticking of time;

* I was 37 when I had my son (#3) and I didn't want to be pregnant or nursing after 40 (no good reason; I wanted to go away drinking with my girl friends);

* my body was done, done, done after #3's birth. Also, mentally, a fourth would have sent my high-strung, Type A personality over the edge.

So, once we knew that our little guy was healthy, Fairly Odd Father made sure that there would be no more bambinos. He's a good guy to have taken care of that.

Four years later, I can say that this was the right choice for us. I know a few people who have had babies lately and, while I love, love, love being around them, I don't wish I had a baby of my own right now. For one, I'm finally getting a decent night's sleep and, also, (drum roll) we have ended the Era of the Diaper.

Plus, I'm ready for a dog. And probably another kitten (sorry, Cally---my 17 year old deaf cat---just thinking ahead a bit). Oh, and then there is my slight obsession with chickens.

So, are you done or not? Or not sure? Do you think you'll ever be sure? (and, I realize that this choice isn't always in your hands. If we had wanted a fourth, I don't think I could physically done it, which bums me out a bit.)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

My VBAC Stories

I am not a huge risk-taker when it comes to my health. I floss. I get regular check-ups. I wear a seat belt, don't swim alone and eat well.

So, it was a bit out of character when I took a risk by insisting on having a VBAC over a second C-section.

Back in 2003 when I was about to have baby #2, I had no idea that VBAC's were so controversial that over 300 U.S. hospitals refuse to let a woman choose this birthing option.
All I knew was that I didn't want another C-section.

Two years prior, in 2001, my first child was born via an emergency C-section after an otherwise ordinary labor (Belly was a
Frank breech that wasn't discovered until I was 10cm dilated). The C-section went well, and I will forever be grateful that I had doctors available to do the surgery immediately.

But, my recovery was tough. Pain, limited movement, pain, trying to nurse, exhaustion and more pain. Suffice to say that I did not want another C-section if I could at all avoid it.

My midwife was hopeful when I told her my plans for a VBAC. My first labor had gone perfectly, and there was no sign that my body could not have delivered my 8 1/2 pound baby girl naturally if she had just turned herself the correct way.

The OB in the office, though, was not as understanding. I had to listen to lectures about uterine rupture, infant death, maternal death and other not-so-pleasant side effects, as well as sign a multi-page waiver of responsibility from the hospital.
I signed. And, while my long labor with Baby #2 was very, very hard, I felt so awesome after having my chubby Jilly. I knew that I had done the right thing in deciding to have a VBAC.

By the time I was ready to have D, just 18 months later, there weren't any lectures or scary stories. In fact, that same OB who had warned me of possible death was the one who delivered my 9-pound son, and watched me walk around the delivery room within the hour.

I write this not to say that all women should have VBAC's, or that I think C-sections are "bad". My C-section was as glorious an experience as my VBAC's---when my beautiful newborns were held up for me to see, the entire birthing experience immediately became perfect.

But, to say that VBAC's are too dangerous and C-sections are all safe is not fair. I've met women who would like to have more than three children, but have been told that they cannot since repeated C-sections cause a buildup of scar tissue that can later rupture. I have a friend who had this happen to her as she left the hospital with her third C-section baby, and her story sent shivers down my spine.

I know women who wanted to have a VBAC but didn't because their doctors made rupture sound common, even thought the percentage is very small. There were others who went to hospitals that flat out refused to consider a VBAC.

Ultimately, how the babies got out of me is not nearly as important as the fact that they are here now, healthy and happy. But, I
'm also glad that I was able to make an educated choice on how they entered this world instead of being forced to follow a blanket hospital policy.


I'd like to thank my Twitter friend, MothersWork, for bringing this topic up today.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Should They Stay or Should They Go

To My Kids:

I have no idea if I'm doing the right thing.

Part of me thinks homeschooling will be one of the best things you'll remember of your childhood.

Part of me thinks you'll hate me for it.

Today I wasn't in the mood for any of the nonsense. The 40 minutes to do a 5-minute section of math. . .the sibling arguments. . .the "I can't do this" whine.

So, yeah, I did pull up the public school's website to see what I'd need to do for a mid-year enrollment. But, I don't want to make that kind of decision out of anger or frustration.

I want to make the right decision. For all of us.

We'll try again tomorrow and, hopefully, we'll figure this out.

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Monday, November 10, 2008

Extra, Extra, Read All About It (well, maybe not "all" of it)

Last night's picture-posting debacle was yet another example of how delicate it can be to maintain a public blog about my life without stomping on the toes of my family and friends.

I've sort of adopted the mantra that if I can't say it to the person's face, I can't blog it. And, man is that hard. There are times my hands itch to write about something a family member did, or something a person in town said.

I've screwed up a few times. Thankfully, those screw ups have been fixable, like last night when I went ahead and removed Belly's drawing of a 400-pound me with arms that looked like nipple tassels.

But, it is totally not fun for me to take that picture down. I don't think I'm being mean-spirited in posting it, although Belly would beg to differ.

Listen, Bell, if I wanted to be mean spirited, there are so many other things I could post. Like. . .

the family member who is driving me crazy. . .

the neighbor I really dislike. . .

the hilarious story involving a urinal that someone begged me not to tell. . .

the juicy gossip about an affair in town. . .

the friend who totally disappointed me. . .

the kids I cannot stand. . .

the woman I met with a terrible Botox job. . .

It'd make for a good read, but I couldn't do it. So, Belly, give me a break. If you start saying, "don't put this on your blog" every single time you do something outrageous or noteworthy, it'll really bum me out.

Thankfully, Jilly and D are still too young to censor me much. I still have a few years.

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Sunday, November 09, 2008

She Made Me a Belly that Shook Like a Bowlful of Jelly

Belly drew some adorable pictures of her dad, the cat and her grandmother. Oh, yes, and of me too.

I'm a teeny bit concerned, though, because this could be how I'll look after the holidays are over. At least I look happy. . .

(Picture Removed: Belly was horrified that I posted her drawing, so, at her request, I've removed it. Sorry guys! It was pretty funny, but I have to live with her).

(I would like to mention that there were NO nipple tassels in the picture. As far as I can tell, Belly has no idea nipple tassels exist. At least I hope so. Maybe I should pay better attention to where she's going on play dates).

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Thursday, November 06, 2008

Post-Election Thoughts

This is a bit belated, but given how sick I've been the past couple of days, I supposed you'll understand. So, here goes:


Oh, yes, I'm excited about the outcome of the election and have shed many tears over this historic win.

My euphoria dimmed today, though, when I opened one of my IRA statements and saw that my earnings are down almost 40% Y-T-D. Forty percent! Ack.

Oh, you mean that just because a new president was elected, all of our country's problems aren't fixed? Sigh. If only it were so easy.

In other election-day news, Massachusetts has voted to ban dog racing by the year 2010. This decision means that there will likely be a glut of greyhounds looking for homes. Since we've been thinking about getting a dog in the next few years, we're now considering this breed, especially since it could fulfill my need to adopt, vs buy, a dog.

But, here's the thing: you know that line of thought that says that often people end up choosing dogs that look like them? That kind of freaks me out, because. . . well. . .I think I kind of look like a greyhound:

Belly is definitely not greyhound; maybe beagle.

If only I had their speed. And their warm nose.

Anyone have advice on these dogs? Can they live with cats? Chickens*? Kids? Cuz, you know my dream life must include these things as well.

*no, we don't have chickens yet. I'm still too chicken (ha!) to actually get any. But, someday. . .

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Tuesday, November 04, 2008


You know what you gotta do today---make history, do the right thing, and VOTE OBAMA!:

Monday, November 03, 2008

Waiting to Exhale

Wonder what I'll be doing for the next 48 hours or so?

I'll be holding my breath. This election cannot come soon enough.

I cannot wait to get into that voting booth with my three kids. Belly has already predicted (accurately) that I will cry when I pull that lever. In fact, she thinks I'll spend most of tomorrow crying, but hopefully they will be tears of relief, of hope and of promise for better days ahead for everyone.

And, even if you don't share my political views, I suppose we should all be hoping for better days ahead.

Whatever happens, please vote. And, bring your kids if you can. They can carry the Kleenex.