Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Envelope, Please...

And the Oscar Party Winners, each with 7 out of 11 correct, are:

And CPURL!!!

A fabulous prize awaits you! Send me your info.

I'm in the middle of a whirlwind week - Pie and Tito have a playdate with Camille today and tomorrow I have a very interesting appointment that I will tell you all about later.

I also have to find some time to go up to Kirkwood Knittery for some assistance on my sweater's neckline. It looks stoopid. Plus I started the heel on my sock and now I'm confused.

Anyway, not much else to report.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Penny's 2nd Annual Online Oscar Party!

But first, real quick - Here's what Pie said to me yesterday:

Hey Mom... I know another word for Naked.

Oh really? What?


And did you know that it's impossible for a woman to have three boobs?

Well, I've certainly never seen it.

And boys don't get to have boobs. They just have Nibbles.

That's actually funnier as I see it written out.

Moving on - I haven't forgotten the Online Oscar Party!

Here are the nominees:

Best Picture:


The Departed

Letters From Iwo Jima

Little Miss Sunshine

The Queen

Best Actor:

Leonardo DiCaprio - Blood Diamond

Ryan Gosling - Half Nelson

Peter O'Toole - Venus

Will Smith - The Pursuit Of Happyness

Forest Whitaker - The Last King Of Scotland

Best Actress:

Penélope Cruz - Volver

Judi Dench - Notes On A Scandal

Helen Mirren - The Queen

Meryl Streep - The Devil Wears Prada

Kate Winslet - Little Children

Best Director:

Clint Eastwood - Letters From Iwo Jima

Stephen Frears - The Queen

Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu - Babel

Paul Greengrass - United 93

Martin Scorsese - The Departed

Best Supporting Actor:

Alan Arkin - Little Miss Sunshine

Jackie Earle Haley - Little Children

Djimon Hounsou - Blood Diamond

Eddie Murphy - Dreamgirls

Mark Wahlberg - The Departed

Best Supporting Actress:

Adriana Barraza - Babel

Cate Blanchett - Notes On A Scandal

Abigail Breslin - Little Miss Sunshine

Jennifer Hudson - Dreamgirls

Rinko Kikuchi - Babel

Best Animated Feature Film:


Happy Feet

Monster House

Best Adapted Screenplay:


Children Of Men

The Departed

Little Children

Notes On A Scandal

Best Original Screenplay:


Letters From Iwo Jima

Little Miss Sunshine

Pan's Labyrinth

The Queen

Best Foreign Film:

After The Wedding

Days Of Glory (Indigènes)

The Lives Of Others

Pan's Labyrinth


Best Cinematography:

The Black Dahlia

Children Of Men

The Illusionist

Pan's Labyrinth

The Prestige

Email me (there's a lil linkiepoo in the side bar under my profile) or IM me your picks before 3pm CST on Sunday, and there will be a prize for the Biggest Wiener! I mean, the person who gets the most right.

And don't forget to submit a pic of yourself in your Red Carpet Attire, if you dare!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Something weird is going on in my garage.

Yesterday, when I was about to celebrate President's Day with the Apes by taking them to a movie, I walked out to the garage and discovered that I had a flat tire. Not punctured, apparently, just flat. And worn out.

I went to the AAA website and entered a service request, and they had a guy out in about 30 minutes to put the spare on for me so I could get to a tire place (and btw -major kudos to AAA for speed and quality of service). Fortunately there's one within walking distance, but the Apes really didn't want to go for a walk instead of going to a movie. Pie, in particular, was extremely disappointed and eloquently voiced his displeasure.

So we dropped the car off at Auto Tire and walked to Lion's Choice for lunch. Then we walked home and a few hours and $146 later we had two new tires on our car. Then we had to take Beeb to the dentist where we waited over an hour past her appointment time before they called her name. R came home for dinner and then we watched Heroes and I slept until after 6am for the first time in months.

This morning, I went out to the garage again to get a soda and I was nearly knocked out by the unmistakable stench of SKUNK. I'm afraid to dig around the garage looking for it because I'm scared that I'd actually find a mommy and daddy skunk defending their litter of baby skunks who have taken over the place. I opened both garage doors to get the smell out, but I fear that skunk stink might attract more skunks. The smell is so bad I can actually taste it on my tongue. UGH. I don't want to call the leasing office because, frankly, I'd rather deal with skunks than the RAT BASTARDS we rent the house from.

Anyway, here are some pictures for you.

Glenn Zimmerman's Custom-Made Nosewarmer (in red to match his Fox2-issued jacket, I thought of everything)

He told me that he might wear it on Wednesday morning, but he's predicting a warm front with above-average temperatures next week. I will keep you posted.

My kickass Lexie Barnes knitting bag with the flowers made of little bitty skulls.

If my house caught fire, I would run back inside to save this bag. After all the kids were out, of course.

The smaller Calorimetry that fits much better.

The back half of the shell I made in my class.

And finally, HAPPY MARDI GRAS!

I just couldn't bring myself to post the pic that R took about three seconds after this one. If ya really wanna see it, just ask me nicely. I understand people's fascination with The Girlz.

Have I ever written about Carol (the wife of another of R's cousins), who constantly glances at my boobs whenever we're talking? It used to bug me, but now I think it's hilarious. I especially like to talk to her about our children's involvement with the school district's gifted program in front of the Aldis. Anyway, I intentionally wore a sweater to R's other cousin's wedding that offered a little glimpse of, shall we say, The Great Divide, just to jack with her.

Sometimes I wear low-cut tops to church to test the priests. I'm not going to do it again, though.

I caught Reverend Aldi peeking and it completely freaked me out. Serves me right.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Am I still funny? I don't feel funny.

Are you sick of hearing Back in Black yet? I'm not!

I had a Raw-ther busy week last week.

For Valentine's Day, R took me to G&W Meats to buy some meat sticks and some of the freakin awesome bratwurst they sell at Grant's Farm. Then we went Hardee's for lunch, and he offered to take me to Knitorious, but I was okay on yarn for now. He had to go to his class in the evening. Overall, an uneventful day. That's how I like it. I did get a package of pretty yarn from The Kitchener Bitch in the VD exchange hosted by the Knittyheads. Yarn is good.

Thursday night was Pie's birthday party. Anti-Stella and I had a brilliant idea to co-host a birthday party for both of our sons (her son's birthday is the 19th, Pie's is the 10th) and split the cost. It worked out very well. We invited the whole class to Chuck E Cheese and it wound up costing each of us about $110. Perfect. Tito's cost twice that and we invited half as many kids. And P.S., Anti-Stella totally rocks.

And I must publicly commend Chuck E Cheese on how well they manage birthday parties. I was very impressed. Our assistant was very energetic and attentive and everyone had a great time. Pie got some really cool presents, his favorites being a Kit Fisto action figure and some money from MIL and FIL that allowed him to purchase the Nintendo DS Lite he's been craving ever since Beebie got one. The two of them have been playing Nintendogs in Bark Mode all day.

Friday I went for a LONG overdue session with my therapist, whose name, coincidentally, happens to be Penny. I told her about how I went off the meds without meaning to, then had a completely paralyzing breakdown and now I'm leveled out on the meds but I kinda miss the "ups" because my life feels boring now. Guess what she said?

She said, "Do you think you could be Bipolar?"

How many times have I contemplated that same question on here?

I also told her I write a blog which is quite therapeutic and helps with my feelings of total isolation.

On Friday I also mailed My Beloved Local Legend Glenn Zimmerman a hand-knit nosewarmer. He dug it and he said he'll let me know when he's going to wear it on the air so I can tell all my knitting pals to watch. I'll tape it if I can. Would YOUR meteorologist wear a knitted nosewarmer on the air? Glenn Zimmerman is so damn cool.

Friday night I realized that after three late nights in a row, my kids hadn't had a bath in three days. It was too late by the time I realized it, so I suggested that Saturday would be a Backwards Day, where we would all wake up and eat pizza for dinner, then take baths and get dressed. Everybody was on board. And yes, I did make pizza for breakfast and cereal for dinner. See, if I was off the meds, this would probably have been more of an "up" for me, but I was kinda proud of myself for tricking them into taking a bath in the morning.

Saturday was R's cousin's wedding. I had been looking for an outfit for Beeb to wear all week, and I found something at Limited Too for her to try - a brown patterned skirt and an off-white kinda sheer top. Not inappropriately sheer, but sheer enough that she needed to wear something under it. So I went ahead and bought her...


She jumped up and down screaming THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU!!!!!! Apparently I scored some Cool Mom points.

My personal experience with Bras is a lifetime of misery - boys snapping your straps and assuming you're a slut because you have been blessed with an Ample Bosom, and never being able to find a cute one in your size. My size bras come in white, beige, black, and if I'm lucky, pink. And they have about twenty hooks in the back. Ok, it's really three or four, but it feels like twenty when you're trying to undo it seductively in a passionate moment. And need I remind you all of Ray the WalMart Brafondler? But hey, if Beebie wants one, fine. If it enhances her social status, great. Whatever.

So later, at the wedding, when MIL, FIL, The Aldi's and Beeb took up an entire row and there was no room for me, I sat directly behind Beeb, breathing a sigh of relief and hoping that I might actually get to sit by somebody fun.

Enter Aunt Drama. She is, hands down, the BEST one to sit next to at family functions.

She was complimenting me on Beeb and what a nice young lady she is growing up to be. I told her about how I'd bought her a bra, and added how much I hate bras. She said, "Oh, honey, that's the first thing I take off as soon as I get home!" Then we talked chatted about bras and boobs, and it turns out, Aunt Drama and I wear the same bra size. When I told R that, he just about threw up.

An interesting tidbit that I noticed in the vows - instead of "for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer", the minister said "for better AND for worse, for richer AND for poorer". That caught my attention, because anyone who's been married knows that there's better AND worse and sometimes the two are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

So this wedding was a little unorthodox, but fun. This is the bride's third wedding and the groom's second. The bride wore a red dress (which really looked smashing on her), and her two sons gave her away. They walked down the aisle to "You Had Me At Hello" and after they exchanged rings, they played the entire four minutes of "Kiss From a Rose" while we all sat there wondering what we were supposed to be doing. Aunt Drama and I got a fit of the Most Inappropriate Giggles. Then they walked back down the aisle to "I Cross My Heart" by George Strait. It soon became the Redneck Disco Wedding.

The reception had a DJ, which I thought was kinda funny as there were only maybe 50 people there, most of whom I would NOT want to see throwing down on the dance floor, and NO alcohol. And the first song the DJ put on was "It's Raining Men". I about crapped my pants laughing.

MIL asked me what was so funny and I told her that this song is a favorite with drag queens. I was kinda disappointed that she didn't ask me how I knew. I SO wanted to let the fact that I have numerous gay friends and have been to drag queen pageants accidentally slip out in FIL's presence, just to totally reinforce the fact that I'm wild and zany and obnoxious as hell and probably the complete antithesis of their dream DIL, and there ain't a damn thing he can do about it. Plus, the next song the DJ played was "We are Family". That would have driven home my point beautifully. Ah, well.

Oh, and Beebie caught the bouquet, and Aldigirl snatched it from her so Mrs. Aldi made her give it back to Beebie. And Aldiboy actually caught the garter, which Aldigirl also snatched. Oh, I wish I had taken video of Aldigirl on the dance floor so that when she becomes a pole dancer I could whip out this footage to remind everyone that yes, there were indeed plenty of warning signs.

Their party favors were mix CD's of their favorite songs. A sweet idea (I wish I'd thought of it for our wedding ten years ago), but a really strange compilation. I snagged an extra copy just so I could give it away as a prize in a contest. I'm not telling you what's on it.

Here's the contest question - What is my (and Aunt Drama's) bra size?

I'll pull a winner next Monday from the correct answers sent either via email or comments. Maybe I'll post a Mardi Gras pic of me to give you some guidance. Would you think I was awful for flashing for beads on the blog? You know you wanna see the piercings. Maybe I can do it tastefully. Nah, probably not. Forget it. If you really wanna see, I'll email it to you privately if you promise to send me some beads.

Oh, and while I'm thinking about it, I wanted to let you know that I'm also hosting the 2nd Annual Online Oscar Party! I'll post the categories and nominees so you can make your predictions. AND of course I'll also host the Red Carpet Party, to which you are all encouraged to submit photos of yourselves in your Red Carpet Finery.

Yesterday we returned to the Pevely Flea Market, and on our way home we saw a Wendy's in Herculaneum, MO, the closest one to the Greater St. Louis area since the local franchise declared bankrupcy and every single one had to close down. I inhaled a delicious cheeseburger, and felt the Wrath of Wendy for the rest of the day.

When I got home, I started reading another book (Can ya believe??) called It's All Too Much. The author, whose name eludes me, says we should think about our vision for the life we want and only keep the things that contribute to that vision. In the life I want, I have a closet full of clothes that fit great and look good on me. I was inspired to clean out my closet, and I got rid of an entire trashbag full of clothes. Way to go, me. I wish I had taken a before picture. I'll see what I can do. Maybe I'll take a pic of R's side for the sake of comparison.

Tito is singing "That's the way, uh-huh uh-huh I like it, uh-huh uh-huh!" Charming. Say, that reminds me of a story. Once when Tito was about 2, he woke us up in the middle of the night by jumping up and down in his squeaky crib and singing "Hot Pants", only it sounded like "Ha Pince! YAY!!" Good thing I was listening to James Brown in the car and not NWA. Imagine waking up to "Ho, go home and wash out yer beavah!!!"

Tomorrow's my Sock Class. I'm totally stoked.

And I'm sorry I haven't been writing as often, dear readers. I have to force myself to think of things amusing enough to tell you about. But it's worth it just to see the smiles on your stinky little faces.

Monday, February 12, 2007

The downside of meds, and the story of The Pie

So I've been back on the meds for a couple of weeks now and I think it's affected my ability to identify blog-worthy events in my life. For the unmedicated, I should first explain how my meds work.

Disclaimer: I don't know if it's true for all anti-depressants, but this has been my experience with WellbutrinXL, my med of choice.

If you imagine your emotional responses to the events in your life as a series of waves on a continuum, for me, meds take out the peaks and the valleys, so to speak, and keep me closer to the center. It's a good thing. Unless you blog a lot. Then it just kinda feels like nothing remotely interesting has happened since the last time you posted. Nothing really great, nothing really sucky, and that's usually the stuff I write about.

Looking back, I know that there are several things that might interest you, the reader. Particularly if you knit. Or have kids.

What have I been doing with the time I usually spend writing witty and clever cathartic musings for your amusement? You won't believe it. Seriously, you won't.

Is knitting your guess? Good guess, but wrong. Ok, I have been knitting like a crazy person, but that's not as unbelievable as the fact that I have been...





Not a parenting book, not a knitting book, not a self-help book, not a money-management book, not a diet book, not an organization book, and not a crappy kids' book with pictures.

A book by Celia Rivenbark called Stop Dressing Your 6-Year-Old Like a Skank. How could I have walked away from that title when I saw it in the library? It reads as if I had written it myself, which has made me wonder if I have it in me to actually write something publishable.

The caveat, of course, would be that it would have to be something that my in-laws could read without causing major humiliation to them. And there's the rub.

Ok, so, yes, I've actually been reading a book. I can't even remember the last time I read a book just for fun. And this one is a lot of fun.

I've also been knitting like crazy. I finished the back of the shell I was working on for my class, and I've gotten a good bit done on the front. I really liked my class and I even signed up for another class... SOCKS! I'm really quite excited.

Other things going on include Mr. Pie turning 5. I don't know if I've ever gotten into the drama surrounding his birth, so this is as good a time as any to give you a sense of just how significant it is that he is now five years old.

R and I were both laid off from our jobs in 2001, and we were both unemployed for four months. Not much to do when you're sitting at home all day, is there? We found out we were having Pie right after R found a job. One day when I went in for routine bloodwork, my OB said that I needed to have a Level II Ultrasound.

Rewind to four years earlier when the same blood test (AFP) indicated that I needed a Level II Ultrasound for Beebie. They sent us to genetic counselors and gave us all kinds of worst case scenarios - Spina Bifida, Down's Syndrome, all that stuff, and then when they did the ultrasound it turned out to be nothing. I remembered all the stress and panic that I'd been through and if they had given me the option whether I wanted to take this particular blood test, I would have said no, but they went ahead and did it and thank God they did.

I reminded my OB that I'd been through all of that before, and couldn't I just come in for my regularly scheduled ultrasound in two weeks? No, she said, I want you to come in, like, NOW. Tomorrow was the soonest I could get.

I went into the ultrasound room, and for a full FOUR HOURS, the doctor pushed and poked and prodded me with the transducer, without saying one single word to me. You kinda have to appreciate how much I hate that. I talk to everyone. Really. Elevators, in line at the bank, whatever. I don't enter a conversation with everyone, but I do always say "Good Morning" or something like that. You'd probably hate sitting next to me on a plane.

I can't stand it when I'm getting my haircut and the stylist doesn't make idle banter (Oh, incidentally, remember my kickass haircut and the chick that sliced herself in my hair? I just got a postcard from the salon saying that she was no longer working there. Never fuckin fails, as soon as I find somebody good.). And here I was, in a rather intimate setting, with a doctor who wasn't saying ANYTHING. You know it's bad when the doctor's aren't talking.

After the ultrasound, I got dressed and met the doctor in his office. The first thing he said to me was that I was having a boy. Ok, I thought. Then he said, "This little guy might not make it."

Turns out, his bladder wasn't emptying properly. Pie had some sort of bladder obstruction that was causing urine to back up into his kidneys. There was potential for it to affect the lungs, which was obviously a huge concern. He painted a rather bleak picture that included catheters and kidney transplants and paralysis, and basically a lifetime of medical problems, and he pointed out that I did not have to have this baby. For me personally, that was never an option, so I told him I would not consider it.

And here's my Knight In Shining Armor moment for R. He hadn't heard from me and he knew something had to be wrong, so he left work and came all the way to the hospital to find me. He found me as I was walking out to my car. I just started sobbing as I told him all about the four hour ordeal and what the doctor had just told me.

Over the next several months, we researched Prune Belly Syndrome. As birth defects go, it's very rare, so not a lot is known about it, but of the 40,000 babies it affects each year, 50% of them do not live to be born. Of the remaining 50%, half don't live past the age of 2. The rest live with varying degrees of functionality, sometimes requiring multiple surgeries.

At 20 weeks gestation, they removed 100 ccs of fluid (about a 1 cup measuring cup) from Pie's bladder using a giant syringe through my tummy, keep in mind, and after that the problem appeared to improve. I went to three ultrasounds a week for about 6 months, but there was no way to tell how bad it would be until after he was born. That really sucked.

At one point they recommended that I meet with a specialist in Tampa who performs in utero surgery on babies and places tiny shunts inside them somehow so that their bladders can empty like they're supposed to. It's extremely risky both to the baby and the mother, and I was terrified. R couldn't go with me, so my dad flew from San Antonio and met me in Tampa.

I had never been so scared in my life, and to this day, still haven't. Mostly I was scared that something would happen to Pie and I would have to tell Beebie she wasn't going to have a little brother anymore, or that something would happen to me and R and Beeb would have to go on without me. I broke down in the hospital chapel with my dad before I met with the surgeon for, what else, another ultrasound. This one was that awesome 4-dimensional kind that allowed the doctor to turn the image completely around to the back, side, top view looking down, it was amazing to watch.

The doctor said that Pie actually was too well to do the surgery. Only he didn't say it like that, it was something like "I think the risks outweigh the potential benefit", which at the time didn't really sound like good news. As soon as the doctor left the room and it was just me and Dad again, I nearly collapsed in tears. It was like having been wound so tightly in anticipation of this absolutely terrifying thing, and then having someone say, "Never mind!" It takes a minute or two to decompress.

So all they could tell us was that we had to wait. Oh, and then they put me on bed rest for two months. If only I'd had a blog back then.

And in the end, Little Pie was born and as soon as I got to hold him and kiss him and say "You made it!!", he was whisked away to the NICU where they had to wait and see if his urinary function was working right. And somehow, it was. He stayed in the NICU for four days, and we had to keep a close eye on him for a while and give him penicillin daily to prevent infection (which he took like a champ), and he's had two surgeries for undescended testicles (which we were prepared for), but he's really fine.

You probably wouldn't know there was anything wrong with him, unless you saw him without a shirt on. He has a big kinda doughy belly, and sometimes kids make fun of it, but he knows that he was born that way and it's not because he eats too much. One time, in fact, Aldigirl told Beebie that Pie was fat and he needed to go on a diet. And ya know what my Beebie said? She said,

Aldigirl, it's a miracle he's alive.

When she told me about that, I teared up. I was so proud of her. It IS a miracle he's alive, and everything works like it's supposed to. And now he's FIVE. And he's brilliant and hilarious. And I just registered him for Kindergarten. Good thing I'm back on the meds or I would have wept the whole time I was there filling out stupid paperwork.

I must say, while I don't miss the emotional valleys that the meds counter, I do kinda miss the high points. Good stuff doesn't seem as good. For example, can you believe I haven't mentioned the cool new knitting bag I got? Just look at it! It's the Lexie Barnes Lady B bag in the kickass Baja print with the little skulls on it. It is SO effin righteous, it makes me want to be a better knitter so that I might one day be worthy of it. I cuddle it at night.

Oh yeah, like the other Knittyheads, I made a Calorimetry and it was too big so I made another and I like it better. I actually made a gague swatch and everything. I learned that in my class.

Lest you think I've completely lost my sense of humor to the meds, let me show you what Pie took to school when it was his turn to fill The Counting Jar with sixteen items for the class to count and share...

Other moms send lollipops, I send funny glasses. Yes, I'm still me.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Ya think I want to write about Poop every other f*ckin day?

Before dawn this morning, Tito sauntered into our bedroom wearing his Spongebob jammies. I noticed that it looked like Spongebob had been stabbed. There was what aapeared to be dried brown blood smeared all over Tito's jammie shirt. There was nothing on his hands or anywhere else on him, and it didn't smell funny or anything, but there wasn't enough on it to really know. I couldn't figure out what it was.



I kept asking him what happened, and he kept saying in a typical four-year-old singsong voice, "I dunno..." so I thought maybe he got a bloody nose in the middle of the night and he wiped it on his sleeves. Or maybe he at a Tofutti Cutie without my permission. Or maybe he threw up a little. I had no idea. I made him take the shirt off, and I put another one on him and went back to bed.

After the sun came up, Tito called from the bathroom for someone to wipe him. I asked R to do it and I'd go get the kids' clothes and get them dressed. There, I noticed that Tito's bed had an unusual stain on it. I called him in to the room and asked him if it was what I was starting to think it was. Yes, it was indeed POOP.


I am completely BAFFLED. I can't understand how he could have poop in his bed, on his pajama shirt and nowhere else. I've tried to come up with plausible scenarios that might explain this bizarre phenomenon, and I just can't. It's impossible. There wasn't poop in his underpants or on his hands or legs or anywhere it might logically appear if he did, in fact, poop his pants and decide to paint with it. It makes no sense whatsoever.

It is The Mystery Poop.

As much as I wish it wasn't, Poop is, unfortunately, a recurring theme on my blog... and in my life. Believe me, I don't like it any more than you do.

I write about Poop more often than I write about knitting. How pathetic is that? They're gonna kick me out of the Midwest Knitters blogring.

Maybe I should start a blogring for goofy moms like me who deal with Poop every day. I could call it Shit Disturbers!

Nah, never mind... that's got DISASTER written all over it.
In brown.