Friday, June 29, 2012

It's not TOO big...YET...

Brayden (giving me a big hug and rubbing my belly): "Mommy it's like you are having another baby!"

Me: "                                                                                                                                                       "

Brayden (now rubbing my belly like it's Buddha): "You know? "Cause your belly is so round..."

Me: "                                                                                                                                                       "

Me:"                                                                                                                                   "

Me: "Okay--it is NEVER okay to say that to ANYONE...EVER...especially me...."

Brayden: "Why?"

Me: "It's just not nice because a woman then feels like her belly is too big and if there isn't a baby in there she will feel sad. Like maybe she tries to eat right and exercise, but her belly still looks like there is a baby in it. Maybe she feels like know matter WHAT she does, her belly seems to keep growing and--"

Brayden: "Umm...Mommy...don't worry about it. It's just like the beginning of having a baby in your belly, so it's not too big yet."

Me:"                                                                                                                                                        "

Thursday, June 28, 2012

VBS: Faith, Fun AND FREEDOM...

I started this before yesterday's post, but I wasn't feelin' it. Hopefully it isn't as bad as it was yesterday...

Wow--it has been so long since I've been here--I am pretty sure that everyone went home--even the family members who felt obligated to read. I'll need to work on that, though I am not confident that I will be back for long. This summer is kicking my butt. What's that you say? It is only week number two (teehee...number TWO...I have problems!) and my children are in FULL DAY VBS this week? Yeah? Well...SO...

Speaking of VBS, I need to take a moment to give it the credit it deserves. For those of you who don't know (I'm not judging, but you are missing out--BIG TIME!), VBS is Vacation Bible School and it is the reason I am here now and not locked up somewhere scary. REALLY.

My son participated in VBS and I helped out with VBS when it was through our church in Virginia. He was about three I think when he first started. Maybe two...When my oldest daughter was old enough, she participated, too. We would rock out all year to:

"Here we are at the Great Bible Reef, with my bro-thers and sis-ters and the friendsthatImeet. Where Je-sus lovesallofus aswelove-eachother, it's the G-R-E-A-T. B-I-B-L-E. GREATBIBLEREEF..."

And the hard rock version of This Little Light of Mine (yes, there IS one...) until they were scratched up so badly ((the CDs--not my children--thought I should clarify--not so much because my children weren't scratched up, but because that would make less sense to the story I will eventually tell if I stop with all of these sidebars...) that I had no choice but to "retire" them (again--the CDs--NOT the children). LUCKILY, we sang them so frequently that a lot of the words are embedded into our brains. Our last year in Virginia were were invited to go to a SECOND VBS with Brayden's best buddy from our neighborhood. this VBS was even better for me as a mother because they FED my children lunch  before sending them home at 1:00. I'm not ashamed to admit that it was AWESOME and that my children were usually so wiped after VBS that they would immediately nap when we got home and my days were SOOOOO easy--even easier than the average day of being a stay at home mom (which is SO. VERY. EASY. According to those who do not do it. Just like TEACHING is so easy. For some who don't do it. And WAITING TABLES is so ea--okay--you get it).

So Virginia gave me my first taste of sweet freedom that VBS provided and I left there in November anxious to send my kids again. For the lessons of course. Unfortunately, VBS tends to be a summer thing--believe me--I checked. SO...after barely making it through the first seven months (and joining every MOMS/MOPS group within a fifty mile radius), VBS was in my cards again. We were invited to two and I found two others. That's right--don't judge. The way I saw it was that when I helped with VBS we loved having other people join us--it truly was the more the merrier (not the same holds true for staying at home with my children--just sayin'...) and we prided ourselves on having high numbers. I was actually helping them by sending my children. You're welcome.

The year after my VBS summer, I brought it up at my MOMS group and was not embarrassed to say that I would sign up for all of the VBSs in our area if I could find them all. People were a little wary at first and started looking around to see what other (more normal) mothers thought about my VBS theory. Why wouldn't I want to send my children to a camp where they will laugh, sing, create, exercise, and eat all day? Oh--and where they will learn a nice message to carry into our everyday lives? Why would I want to deprive them of that? More important than that--why would I want to deprive me  of that? I wouldn't.

This week's VBS has been fantastic! Brayden was home today with a belly ache, but he has truly enjoyed every other day and they are all wiped out from all of the fun they are having. I love hearing them sing their songs and try to apply the messages that they learn each day. I also love that I saw on my MOMS group's page that they now list all  of the VBS groups that meet in the valley (I KNOW--I lived in THE VALLEY--how cool is that?!)--just in case people want to bring their children. I like to think I had some influence there. I SAID I like to think it--it doesn't make it true.  I also like to think that ice cream helps in the depletion of fat. I'll let you know how that works out for me...

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

At least I'm not Butthead...

I'm not sure when I became the Beavis to my husband's Butthead, but it was before I had my children, so this is one thing I cannot blame on them! I remember saying something to one of my classes about "Number two" and pausing for the laughter I expected to come because I forgot that it was COMPLETELY inappropriate and I realized that I was the only one thinking it--the fourteen and fifteen-year-olds seemed to have a better grasp on their maturity than I did. The thing is, before I met Just Another Tired Daddy, my mind didn't instantly go to the gutter. He taught me that. In fact, that day I was teaching about number two, I realized that my gutter-brain surpassed his--and THAT was a problem.

These days we seem to be on a similar wavelength. I automatically assume he is going to the bad place and he generally does [go to the bad place], but sometimes I am chuckling to myself and he is busy being the adult. I hate that. The other day my son hurt himself while walking down the stairs. Yes-he hurts himself while walking down the stairs. And walking UP the stairs. And standing still. We really need to work on him, but you've MET me--he comes by it naturally! Anyway, after he cried to JATD for a few minutes, he came in to see me. I hugged him and let him cry for a minute (which is more than I usually do--I usually tell him he's fine and should shake it off--I'm one of those extremely nurturing mothers--I'm sure you can tell). So he tells me, "I hurt my penis on the side" to which I responded by stifling a giggle because my son said  penis. I know that it is important to teach kids the proper names of things and they should never be ashamed of body parts and blah,blah,blah, but it was the first time I heard my son call it a penis, so it surprised me. I know I should have just left it alone, but my giggles came out--even they don't listen to me--so I said, "We're saying that now? Penis? We' your penis hurts?" He turns to me with the most stoic expression. "Yes, mom--my PENIS hurts because I hit it on the railing (don't even TRY to work out the logistics--it will make your brain hurt--trust me!) and I don't know how to make it feel better."


...still pausing...

Not sure what to do because I suddenly had an EXTREME case of the giggles and did NOT want to traumatize my son because of my immaturity. Couldn't speak...

" could..."

"I'm fine--I'm gonna go play now..."

Whew! Dodged THAT bullet. JATD wasn't so willing to let it go. It seems I have given HIM a difficult time about how immature HE is about things, yet I cannot even type the word penis without giggling or talk about number two without referring to NUMBER TWO. I know--I'm not proud. Of THAT. I've not been on here in a while, but the last time I was I read a post on Living in Kellies World about a Home Invasion which was the HILARIOUS story of raccoons invading his home. He mentioned getting his 24-inch Stiff Stick to help combat the coons, and even yelled at me for being a pervert when I read it, but REALLY? It claims to be "...the firmest of all the sticks..." and it had me GUFFAWING for hours. Okay, maybe it was minutes, but it was funny nonetheless. That was when I realized that I had COMPLETELY crossed over to the dark side. I had become what I had made fun of my husband for being and he had I would have been sad if I hadn't still been laughing so hard at the Stiff Stick...

So this morning I saw these dolls posted on facebook:

and I am certain that you are able to IMAGINE the types of  comments and facebook fighting that ensued after these were posted. All I have to say is that when I was like eleven or twelve, my "Aunt"--we'll call her Hilda--(in Italian families EVERYONE is an aunt or uncle, so she wasn't an ACTUAL aunt, but that has little to nothing to do with this particular story. Why am I TELLING you then? Really? Do you not know me AT ALL?!) So Hilda had a baby and her husband filmed it and she gathered all of the children together so that we could watch the video. After all, it's natural, right? Shouldn't children be able to handle that? Nope. I was traumatized and all I kept thinking is "WHY? Why would she want anyone else to see it? Why would she think we would want to see it? Were we in trouble for something?" It was awful--I had nightmares about it for weeks--maybe even years. She also felt extremely comfortable breastfeeding in front of us which was a little bit more than my eleven-year-old self could take--especially after watching what could only be described as the most horrific video I had ever seen (and I
saw Leprechaun--that is pretty bad)... 

The reason I am sharing this with you is NOT because I am against the whole "beauty of giving birth" thing or because I don't think that women should breastfeed in front of others. I think that women should do what they feel is right for them and for their families. I breastfed all three of my children--they nursed easily--I was lucky. IF there had been a problem or if I had gotten Mastitis (which I did get a few months after I stopped nursing my youngest child--who knew, right?!) I would have immediately switched to formula. There were times when I enjoyed nursing and times when I felt like a machine. I stopped nursing the first time each child bit me which seemed to be between nine months and a year for each of them.  Oh--and it was free and convenient-- definitely two selling points for JAT M AND D!

When I nursed, I tended to go in a different room. Unless I was extremely close with the people present, I didn't feel comfortable nursing in front of them--mostly because I did not want THEM to feel uncomfortable. You see, although I believe it is my right to nurse wherever I need to (after all, I am giving food to my child)--especially in my own home--I do not think it is necessary to do so. I missed out on a lot of conversations and fun times because I excused myself to feed my babies, but I pretty much ignored them when we had people over (because everyone always wants to hold other people's babies and I had no problem pawning my children off on others letting other people take care of my babies), so it gave me an excuse to spend a little alone time with each baby while they nursed. No one ever made me feel like I couldn't feed my babies in front of them, so maybe that is why it was easier to make the decisions that I did. If anyone had given me a hard time, I would have had a stance to take, but the fact that all of my friends and family members were so accommodating made me want to respect them enough to know that they may not WANT to chat with me while my breast was exposed. By the time I had my youngest I would feed her under a blanket occasionally, but I didn't ever want to be the cause of someone feeling as mortified as I did when Aunt Hilda whipped it out when I was eleven. 

My sister had a completely different perspective. She became a Lactation Consultant, had five babies--I believe all of them naturally (meaning no drugs--NO EPIDURAL--of course, the epidural didn't even work for me, but I wouldn't stop trying! The idea of the epidural was enough to keep me going. You would think that it would be the idea of holding my sweet baby that would keep me going, but you would be wrong. All I could think about was ending the pain  as soon as possible and the epidural was supposed to be my answer. Stupid epidural...) and nursed them until they were toddlers/preschoolers. 

The birthing babies above and the comments that I read really made me think about the different ways that video affected the two of us. People commented about the dolls saying things like, "It is a great way to show children how beautiful and wonderful it is to give birth"  and that "the mommy is so happy..." Even the freakin' placenta is shaped like a heart! Others mentioned that they found it disgusting and appalling. Still others said that we will give our daughters the impression that birthing babies sucks. 

I need you to pay attention to this next part because I think that too many people don't know it. Birthing babies DOES suck. It is NOT fun. Having a parasite in you and giving all that is good in you to that parasite is NOT the best thing for your body--I'm not trying to start a controversy here. People [generally speaking] do not become pregnant and give birth because it is fun. Conversely, people do not NOT get pregnant and deliver babies because it is NOT fun. People like MAKING babies. People like HOLDING babies. People even like CARING for babies. But even those women who claim to LOVE being pregnant and who have breezy deliveries are lying if they say that it was absolutely wonderful the entire time. No matter what anyone says, when you get pregnant, life stops being about you. Even the MOTYs who mistakenly think that they can go on like their lives are still their own and drink and smoke and do drugs when they are pregnant are giving up SOME things--involuntarily, maybe--because that baby in their belly is going to do what (S)HE wants in there--REGARDLESS of how well or how poorly (s)he is treated. 

It is impossible to convey how truly horrible delivering a baby can be. In fact, I do not remember Hilda's delivery seeming to be that traumatic, though I DO remember watching the baby come out of her...down there (I know--issues!) and being grossly appalled. I am not proud--I know it is the most beautiful thing that can happen to us, but my eleven-year-old self was NOT feelin' it. I do remember it as being happy for them and I went into my delivery knowing that there would be pain, but there are no words to describe how much pain. I didn't even hate being pregnant with my first--and even through my second and third pregnancies, there were perks. EVERYONE loves a pregnant woman. That is nice. Still--NOT wonderful. 
Does anyone go into the delivery room thinking that it is going to be fun? Of course, I did bring a bunch of crosswords, Scrabble, and cards for all of the "down" time I thought my husband and I would have with the first delivery. I am pretty sure that each of those things is still in the bag I packed them in eight and a half years ago. Even though I may have been naive about the amount of time I would spend in excruciating pain, I DID know that there would be pain and I was prepared for that.

Perhaps if my mother had purchased those dolls for me I would have been less intimidated and more comfortable with the whole birthing process. That is what many of the comments indicated anyway. As if young girls need to be encouraged TO give birth. There is even a SHOW called Teen Mom now. Makes me so sad...I am happy to see that we are becoming more accepting of things, but do we really need to glamorize something that steals our children's youth and sets them up for a more difficult life? Perhaps we need to modify the dolls to look like they are completely tormented and traumatized to at least scare girls into possibly waiting a few MORE years--because, let's be honest--whether they are happy dolls, sad dolls, or Chucky dolls, girls will always want to have babies--and boys will always want to make them.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Hi! I'm Nika...

So I owe you the final installment of Courtroom Confessions, but I put too much pressure on myself. It is very long. It is not very funny. And it is not even CLOSE to being finished. Hopefully I will fix most of those problems by the end of the week. Tomorrow I get to go on a class trip with my youngest--I know the thought of riding a bus with thirty preschoolers doesn't sound like much fun to most of you, but I cannot wait. Really. I'm not even being sarcastic here, though I feel like I should be laughing, because what mother in her right mind would WANT to do this? Oh right--me.

So since I am making no attempt to finish or to fix the Courtroom Confession post and since I am going to spend my entire day with my sweet Addie tomorrow, let me tell you another Addieism. On Sunday the kids were swimming (FINALLY) for most of the day.  I love listening to their wisdom as they splash and jump around all day. Sunday was no different.

Addie: "I yove to swim and I want to yearn all of the ways to swim so that I won't deyrown and die. I don't EVER want to die because I want to be able to swim and plus, I want to go to America."

Dave: "Ad--you are already IN America--we LIVE in America..."

Addie:  "HOOOORRRRAAAAYYYYY! I made it to America!"

You would have thought she climbed the fence that morning,

I'm not sure if that is a location joke (in that you had to be there) or if it is just because my baby said it, but I found it to be HILARIOUS.

On a different note, my friend Emma @ Your Doctor's Wife wrote about Blog Star today and inspired me to link up (though she was number five and I am pretty sure that I am going to be number five HUNDRED) my post. Because I was out of material today and my "funny" is a bit delayed,  I thought I would just suggest some of my older posts that people seemed to find funny. SOOOOOO...

Hi! I am Nika. I'm  not as smart as Emma--I used my real name (Like I could REALLY make up Nika...), but luckily nothing too important happens in my world. Don't get me wrong--my children and my husband are very important, but they know my name.  I started blogging in October and have met so many funny and talented people since then--I feel like I know them all personally--fake names and all!

If you are just joining me (which I am not too confident that people are going to check out number five HUNDRED on the hop, but a girl can dream), welcome and I hope you are even slightly entertained by my ramblings. If you aren't, try again--something is bound to be funny eventually, right? Some posts that people seem to like are the Toaster Oven and the Toothbrush in the eye posts and this morning I had another encounter with Crazy- Russian-Mobster-Dude. Six Degrees of Me will give you an idea of the crazy that is me and Well played, Zuckerman/berg gives a sample of my feelings about facebook (as does my post about the facebook timeline and the post about the three hours I wasted on facebook and making ecards, though Staying Connected and TwiPin This discuss the love I REALLY feel for facebook).

I hope you are entertained by at least ONE of those suggestions or at the very least that you got a giggle out of Addison's American pride.  Hopefully I will complete my Courtroom Confessions Conclusion (you see what I did there?) before I have another confession to make! If not, Addie and I may have to go back to live in our home country. The U.S.A.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Courtroom Confession #2

So Courtroom Confessions was a hit--I'm not gonna lie--it wasn't a BIG hit, but it was good enough for me to continue to my next story...

This isn't so much a courtroom confession as it is a ridiculous occurrence in rural Montana. Any friends of mine who were on facebook with me three years ago may remember this story--yes, I am repeating myself, but this is a story that needs to be told to others. Plus, the ACTUAL story about my most recent experience is so much more interesting than these others and I really want you to be ready for it. Plus, I don't know HOW I am going to make it funny for you. This material doesn't [always] write itself you know.

So we are driving from rural Montana (or MonFreakintana, for those of you who have been following) back to...rural Montana (let's be honest--there is ONLY rural Montana--that's the selling point!) and it was getting late. When it is late and my husband is driving, my critique of his abilities increases and I become a full-on backseat driver. Okay, I'm exaggerating (don't I always?!), but I WAS paying close attention and pushing my fake-passenger-seat-driver's-ed-brake and holding on to my "Oh S#!t" handle whenever I felt he needed that extra guidance. I know--YOU'RE WELCOME, husband!

So imagine my surprise when I hadn't needed to employ that fictitious brake or helpful handle for a good hour. Imagine my further surprise when I saw flashing lights behind us. I felt certain that there was an escaped convict running a muck in the next town or a bank robbery in progress (Wild West style of course), so when my husband pulled over and the lights followed I could not figure out why. The only item of note was when he passed the guy in front of him. And then the guy in front of him. And finally, the guy in front of him. This third guy was swerving all over the place and couldn't decide if he wanted to do the speed limit or do twenty UNDER the speed limit. I hate passing--I really do, but as I was thinking that I hated the fact that he was passing, I noted that not only was number three completely necessary (we thought that he may be drunk--I guess WE should have called and reported HIM), he passed each car safely and followed the rules. I on the other hand have to have a damn good reason to do it and even then, I hold my breath until it's over and we are safe. Reassuring for those of you who allow(ed) me to drive your children around town, I know, but I've been this way since 2003.

I'm sure most of you wonder how I could POSSIBLY know the year that this happened to me. I know this because I was driving to work when I was pregnant with my first child and I tried to pass a guy in a Lamborghini. I had an SUV at the time. I checked my mirrors, put on my blinker, checked my mirrors again, and decided to pass. Only, Mr. Mid-life-crisis did not like the fact that a woman in an SUV was trying to pass his sports car, so he wouldn't let me back in. I slowed, he slowed. I went faster, he went faster. I almost drove off the road. I'll never forget his evil ugly face (this is me being mean--I seriously felt like I was in a Steven King novel) and the evil smirk he gave me each time I tried to get back to safety. I finally pulled over on the wrong side of the road and he kept going. I waited about ten minutes and continued on to school .Since that time, I have been known to follow farmers on tractors going five, hundred-year-old-women going ten, and bicyclists for fear of killing myself or someone else. I remember passing someone ONCE in the last two years and it was because I was late to get my kids off of the bus. Saved me thirty-two seconds.

Back to the lights. The police officer came up to the window and asked, "Do you know why I stopped you?" to which I vehemently stated "NO!"  Since he was not actually talking to ME, my husband shot me a look and answered for himself. Evidently, in rural Montana towns it is okay to accuse people of violating a traffic law simply by calling and complaining--not with any proof--just a he said she said sort of thing. Not only is this OKAY, the perpetrator (in this case, my husband) is guilty until proven innocent. It would seem that car number three that he passed (you know--Drunky McDrunkerson) called the police and told them that my husband was driving erratically and passing on a solid. I imagine that in his...state...what was clearly a dotted line may have APPEARED to be solid to his drunk eyes, but the officer was obligated to give the ticket because of the call. even AFTER he admitted that he did not see my husband do ANYTHING wrong.

Let me get this straight, Montana. Under this rule, a jilted boy/girl friend could call you and accuse their ex (out of spite) of not stopping at a stop sign or passing illegally or whatever, and they will get a ticket?! How does this make ANY sense?! Don't get me wrong--there was a time in my life when I would have LOVED this option for revenge, but laws should help to prevent crazies like me from being allowed to falsely accuse someone of something that they did not do. Right?

The officer was quite apologetic (as he SHOULD have been!) and told us that all my husband had to do was show up in court to fight the ticket and if the officer didn't show up, the ticket would be dismissed. The court in this case is not the issue--the SYSTEM is. My husband was able to go right into the court (that was about an hour and a half away, on a WORK day, first thing in the morning) and the ticket was dismissed within minutes, because the officer didn't show up for court. Just like he promised. My issue is, why should anyone be inconvenienced by something like this? What if my husband COULDN'T go to court that day? Garbage, I know. Too bad I can't find Lamborghini guy and call in a report on him. Only HE actually DESERVED it!

Do you know of any wacky laws in your state? Have you ever been falsely accused of something? Stay tuned tomorrow (or the next day...) for my third installment of Courtroom Confessions when I will actually tell the story that I set out to tell the first time. I know--you are on the edge of your too!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Courtroom confession #1

Have you had to go to court lately? No, I don't think that my "audience" is full of crackheads and criminals (though I've said it before and I will say it again--parenting makes me understand why people smoke. Crack.), or even traffic violators, but after my car accident I had to go to court and had QUITE an experience.

Let me begin by telling you that I have had a handful of court room experiences in my life. The very first was when I was sixteen. My mother managed a children's book store at the time (not relevant to the point, just wanted to say it) and left us (and by us I mean my two step sisters--not evil--and their friend Kerri) in the car to run in to get her pay check. I need you to know that my mother was in a F-A-N-T-A-S-T-I-C mood that day. I have NEVER seen her in such a great mood. In fact, throughout my teenage years I am pretty sure that she spent each day willing herself NOT to kill me. And drinking.

Anyway, the first half of the day I droned on and on about how well I did in Driver's Ed the previous day and the fact that the ninety-five-year-old instructor said that when it came to driving stick shift, I was the best student he had that day. Don't be gross. When my mother left us, the girls in the back seat called me on my B.S.

Pam (younger sister): "Well, since you are so GOOD at driving a stick shift, why don't you move the car up? It will be so funny--your mom will think that she did it!"

Me: "Oh--no--I would get in so much trouble!"

Wendy (older than Pam, younger than me): "No you won't--she won't even know!"

Kerry (friend):

Pam: "Come on--do it--it will be so funny!"

Me: "I don't know..."

All three (or just one--it was like thirty years ago, give me a break!)--"Hurry--before she gets back! Don't you think it will be funny when she looks around like, 'I swore I parked over there...'?

Me: "Okay..." Get in driver's seat, put foot on the clutch and turn the key. IMMEDIATELY smash into the car next to me and into the car in front of the car next to me. TWO cars. Focus on mother exiting the store, looking like Snow White when the animals dance and sing around her until she slows down and furrows her brow as if to say, "Oh no--I hope those people are okay! I wonder whose car that is..." which then turns into a slight run with a face that says, "That is MY car and those are MY people!"

All three in the back seat: "You need to leave. Now. You need to run away because they will KILL you. Do you have anywhere you can go?! We will cover for you to give you a head start..."

My mother: "What did you do?! What did you do?! What did you doWhat did you doWhat did you doWhat did you doWhat did you doWhat did you doWhat did you doWhat did you doWhat did you doWhat did you doWhat did you doWhat did you doWhat did you doWhat did you do?! "

Me: "I--"
Mom: "Don't talk. What did you do?!"

Me: "But--"
Mom: "I said, DON'T TALK. What did you do?!"

Then there were police and people and crying and more crying...let's fast forward to court. My uncle was my attorney and he advised me (much like my mother did) not to speak. The judge had the reputation in my high school of being the meanest judge who hated teen drivers. Perfect. I was prepared to have to be there all day, but the judge called me up, my uncle told him that the punishment my mother would give me would be far worse than ANYTHING the courts could come up with and I was dismissed. I'm not sure if it was my uncle's excellent track record or my mother's famous and effective punishments that did it--I'm guessing it was a little of both. I didn't get my license until I was twenty-five. I didn't attempt to drive a stick-shift until twenty-six or twenty-seven and I pretty much suck at it. I'm better at that than I am at bragging, however...

This is part one of my courtroom confessions series. I just decided right now that I should have a series. I know that I rarely stick with anything that I start, but I am DYING to tell you about my latest courtroom debacle and it IS a good story. Do you have any stories about getting a ticket or going to court or being a braggart and eating crow afterward?