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When you get that notion, put your backfield in motion

Officially a Mom


Putting that Backfield in Motion since 2003

Friday, September 29, 2006

Drama for this mama

There is this person- we'll call him Bert- who totally lost his shit on me. Totally. I'm not so perturbed that he lost his shit on me than I am at the intense and emtional level in which he lost his shit on me.

I've been with my husband for years. We are soooooo past the dramatic stage in our relationship. There were days in the beginning of our relationship we we both could have been up for the Oscar in the Best Dramatic Performance in a Relationsip but now? Now we couldn't even stay up late enough to watch the Oscars even if we tried and you know what? I like it this way. I love the fact that those dramatic first days and months are behind us. I like the fact that while I still love him with all of my being, we're just not that Beverly Hills 90210.

The sun no longer rises and sets on whether or not he calls me or on whether he looks at me a certain way. We can fart and burp in front of each other and argue over who clogged the toilet and whose responsibility it is to unclog said toilet. There was a time when he reached out and touched my arm in a bar on Bourbon Street and I got chills and then we raced back to our hotel room to get our freak on. Now he reaches out to run the vacuum cleaner and I get chills and then he races upstairs to bathe the kids while allowing me to finish watching The Daily Show.

The romance is far from gone in our relationship but comfort is at its maxiumum while drama is at its minimum and I. Have. Never. Been. Happier.

Me no likey drama.

So back to Bert. A couple of weeks ago Bert confessed to me that he thought another fellow- who we shall hence forth call MC- had a crush on me. MC and I have been friends for about 5 years. He is married and I am married and we talk about spouses, kids, football and all that crap. Cool guy to talk with and nothing more and nothing less. I totally laughed me butt off over the idea of MC having a crush on me so later that day while MC and I were walking together, I did what any other mature adult would do when faced with the knowledge that someone thinks another someone has a crash on me and proceeded to do a little dance while singing "you know you liiiiiiike meeeeeeeeeee! Beeeeerrrrtttt thiiiiiiinks yoooooooooouuuuu liiiiiiiike meeeeeeeeeeee!!! Yooooooouuuuu can't haaaaaaaave meeeeeeeee".

We both had a good chuckle over someone thinking we had something going on so we came up with a plan. A very mature plan. MC decided he would come up to a place that I am in the afternoon- totally out of his way- so that Bert could see him walking me out and we would be all "giggle, giggle, snort, snort... byyyyyyeeeeeeee, Beeeerrrrtttt!!"

The plan went off without a hitch and we had a good laugh and that was it. Or so we thought.

The very next week Bert was a total ass. He woldn't talk to me and when he did it was very curt and I just figured something was going on at home or he was stressed out by something and aside from asking him what was wrong a couple of times, I didn't put much thought into it.

Until today.

Today Bert came up to me and was very, very angry. He accused me of being a "skank" and getting it on with MC like "a dog in heat". He said he knew I had gone somewhere twice in the past week (hello, I was going to have my cervix scraped and burned off... not something I advertise) and figured I was off humping MC somewhere. I sort of kind of tuned him out after that because drama aun't my thang and it was oh so ridiculous that honestly, I couldn't waste a brain cell on even processing the complete and total bullshit that being thrown my way. After he was done with his rant, I warned him that he better start wearing a cup because I was going to kick him in the nuts the next time I saw him and I stormed off.

I came back 45 minutes later and Bert asked to speak to me. He said he was sorry and that "jealousy" had gotten the best of him. As it turns out, Bert likes me. In Bert's words, he "likes me too much". MC walking me out was too much for him to handle and he got jealous and when he gets jealous, he gets angry. That's why he was a dickwad to me for a whole week and went off on me and called me a "skank". He was sullen and teary-eyed and I just wanted the the eff out of there.

I had no idea. I had no idea that Bert was crazy infactuated with me. I can totally see a little school boy crush here and there but for somewhere to go all Ike Turner on me.... it's mind-boggling.

I'm totally fuh-reaked for two reasons:

The main reason is the extend of Bert's emotions. The week's worth of anger, the hurful words, the need for a solemn apology.... It's all very intense. Dude went from "YOU EES A SKANK" to a tearful apology with his voice all crack-a-lackin' while declaring "I like you too much" in under 45 minutes. It absolutely makes me crazy that someone who isn't the husband circa 2002 could be that emotional over me. I don't like it. Not one bit. Overt displays of emotion outside of weddings, funerals, and the birth of a child make me fairly nervous as is so this registers as a 50 on my scale of 1-10 of things that make me severely uncomfortable enough to put my bury my head in the sand and never come out.

The second reason is that someone actually thought I was cheating on my husband... on my kids. I mean, who the hell do you think I am if you think not only MC and I were humping but to also think that you might have a chance!?! Sure, I'm outgoing and a probably a little flirty but that's just my personality. I make it abundantly clear to everyone that I am a married mom and I bring the husband and the kiddos around A LOT. Bert and I have known each other for over 5 years. He has seen me through two marriages, one divorce, the birth of two children and countless other milestones and has always been somewhat of a father figure to me (insert West Virginia joke here). I thought we had a good, friendly relationship and now I feel as thought it has all been a lie.

So it is true. Women and men can't be friends. Do you think they can?

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Smokin'

Thank you all so much for your comments and concerns. I'm feeling much better today. As awful as the procedure was, at least I got to look at this (not the screaming newborn) through much of it. My dazzling doctor even called me at home last night to check up on me. The husband said that either he is the nicest doctor in the world or he really wants to get with me.

He wants to get with me.

I mean, how could he not? My cervix is totally my best side.

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Thursday, September 28, 2006

hoohah hurt

I just got back from having an LETZ procedure.

Good times.

Since I'm sensitive to ephedrine, it was decided to use a different kind of anesthesia since, you know, having your cervix burned off tends to be slightly on the painful side and you really need some type of anesthesia. This didn't go quite as planned for two reasons:

1. The friggin' anesthesia without ephedrine doesn't freakin' work. It should have been called crapinaneedlethathurtslikehellwheninjectedandthendoesnotdoadamnthingelse-esia.

2. Ephedrine causes the blood vessels to constrict (and thus serves a dual role in the procedure). You know what happens when your blood vessels don't constrict and someone is burning your cervix off? You bleed all over the freakin' place. But that's not all. In a cruel twist of fate, excess bleeding causes them to burn your cervix off even more in an attempt to stop the blood flow but hello, burning off your cervix causes you to bleed!!

I'm still trying to work that one out. Anyone with a medical degree in whatthefuck care to help me out?

Anyhoo, a procedure that usually takes less than 30 minutes took over an hour. I was flat on my back with legs in stirrups, writhing and screaming in pain while squeezing the examining table with my hands and clenching my butt together so hard that when it was time for me to stand up (after they cleaned up all my blood from the floor (yes, there was blood on the floor... because they wouldn't stop burning my cervix off!!!!!!!!) I could barely walk because they burned my cervix off for over an hour!

Love Thursday my ass. This here is burn your cervix off without pain meds while you bleed all over the floor Thursday.

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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Progression of a popsicle

(This is a follow up to Progression of a Pout )

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YUMMM!!!!
Popsicles Rule!
Eating popsicles is so much fun!
May I please have more?
No, seriously, can have some more?
He's really not going to let me have more. How do I go on?

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Officially different

I know we have discussed the whole “what kind of mom blogger am I” and it has been decided, under very narrow terms, that there are hip moms, cute moms, and weird moms. I personally refuse to wear any of those labels because I don’t have interesting fun hair, I don’t stay at home and/or scrapbook, and while I may be a bit weird (after all, I do make it a point to do the running man at least once a day and videotape aforementioned running man), who isn’t weird? I mean, people are weird. Can you think of one person who doesn’t have one weird trait or habit? The husband, for instance, can’t stand to have his sternum touched. When he pisses me off, I like to give him a sharp poke in the sternum and he nearly doubles over because of the freakishly wrong sensation of having his sternum touched. The Gavinator can’t stand to turn left when we go on our walks. The mere mention of a left turn sends him in to a total meltdown that leaves him pleading “no left, no left, no left”. Even the Goosers is weird. She drinks her milk out of a boob.

(Okay, that last thing isn’t technically weird but the majority of Americans think that it is weird and at only 15 months, it is difficult to pinpoint the weird traits so I had to stretch it a bit.)

So while I may not know what type of mom or mom blogger I am, I know one thing: I’m different from other moms. I don’t know if that is a good thing or a bad thing (and really, it is probably a neutral thing) and I’m not bothered in the least by feeling different but it is only becoming more and more apparent when I am in groups of other moms that one of these moms is not like the other ones.

Of course it should be said that I am not in groups of moms very often. Most of the mom friends I have were my friends before kids and while we may have very different personalities and methods of parenting, the friendships remain. Devolution (BBC screenname) is probably the only new friend in real life I have made since having kids but having spent almost a year over on the Feeding Choices Debate Board before meeting each other, it was really like getting together with an old friend the first time we met.

I generally don’t make friends with moms. They’re just so into mom stuff. I tend to be drawn to the younger, child-free crowd. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking “but YOU’RE into mom stuff!! You’re so into mom stuff that you started a blog to talk about mom stuff!”

(oh, and the husband can tell you that another one of my weird traits is that I like to tell people what they are thinking. Or was that an annoying trait? Hmmmmm)

It’s true. I’m totally into being a mom. I love my kiddos and everything I do comes back to them. When I’m not at work, I am with my kids and I like it that way. I plan on taking time off of work to volunteer at Gavin’s school and I am all about his parent/instructor taught gymnastics class. I love to talk about my kids, show off pictures of my kids, I wear a ring engraved with their names and birthstones, and when it came time to do a project on integrity at work, I used pictures of my kids. They are in each and every facet of my life for those facets in which they are not directly involved, I incorporate them.

So it’s true, while I’m totally into being a mom, I’m not into “mom stuff” like the mommy wars or the hyper-competitiveness or the raging insecurities or just the seriousness of being a mom. There are so many moms who are my own age yet when I’m around them, I feel like a child hanging out with my own mom. I just shake my head and nod while they go on and on about mama drama and how “so and so brought homemade cupcakes when it was supposed to be store bought and can you believe what the little league uniforms look like and wouldn’t you know that her daughter still doesn’t have her handstand down and oh my gawwwwwd can you believe what she is wearing and did you know she didn’t even try to breastfeed and why can’t my daughter be like hers?”

I pretty much gave up on going to La Leche League a few months age and now that Gavin is in the Monday night class for gymnastics, I don’t know if I will ever make it back. I enjoyed going to LLL because it was nice to be around like-minded women and offer and get support with breastfeeding but I have breastfeeding down pat and I wasn’t really forming relationships with any of the women that would keep me interested in going. Towards the end I was only going to offer support and advice to the working/pumping moms as I was the only working mom nursing past a year. I tried to get to know the women more but aside from breastfeeding and similar views on parenting, we didn’t have much in common. It wasn’t even the whole “attachment parenting is the way, the truth and the light” or the “what would Dr. Sears do?” attitudes because I’m fairly into attachment parenting but rather that people who are so focused on their way being the highway just aren’t a lot of fun to be around. I may be a little crunchy around the edges when it comes to me parenting but I’m pure marshmallow fluff in many other areas and I just CANNOT take myself that seriously.

Then there are gymnastics moms. The class consists of Gavin, me, two girls and their moms, and the instructor. Usually it takes both me and the instructor to contain Gavin and keep him on task but overall he is doing very well and learning new skill every week. Of course, he continues to LOVE gymnastics and that is what is most important.

This week he got to get out on the floor and he ran and ran as fast as he could from corner to corner and would jump, do a front flip, stand with his arms up and then jump up and down and clap for himself.

I can’t really tell you that much about the moms because we are supposed to be a part of the class with our kids so I never really get the chance to stand around and talk. Gavin performs much better when I do it with him. He always says “mama do it, mama do it” and if I do, he’ll do it. This includes- but is not limited to- jumping and nearly peeing myself on the trampoline, doing flips on the trampoline, doing straddle jumps off the top of this big thingy onto a cushiony floor that is damn near impossible to get my 30 year old butt out of, and walking on the beam. I was exhausted last night after class.

The other two moms, on the other hand, stand around and talk most of the time. Their kids pretty much stay on task on their own (although one little girl shows a teeny wild streak) so they don’t have to be out there doing it all. I have to admit, though, even if Gavin stayed on task without me, I would still much rather play on all the gymnastics equipment and bounce around with my son and all the other kids than stand around and talk about what I’m making for dinner (not that I have ever actually made dinner). I feel like I have much more in common with the instructor (who is in her early 20’s) and even the teenage girls who came over to compliment me in my shirt (booyah) than I do with two moms!

I did walk out with the mother of the girl who has the teeny wild streak and she was going on and on about how good the other girl is and she told me she wished her daughter was as well behaved as the other girl. “Not me,” I told her. “I love how wild and crazy my Gavin is.” I just can’t imagine wishing your child was like another child and doing the whole mommy competitive thing. I didn’t really know what to say after that. I just want to walk out with someone and be like “dude, did you see how much fun our kids had? Didn’t my front flips rock? Let’s drop off the kids and go get a margarita!”

Anyone know any hyperactive, open-minded, crunchy yet fluffy mamas with a penchant for gymnastics and a thirst for liquor who would rather talk about farts than compare notes on our kids?

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Sunday, September 24, 2006

Talk to me, Goose

The Goosers can now say "nurse". She climbs up on me, wrinkles her brow and smiles sweetly and in the most demanding tone she declares "NUSSSSSSSSS!". It is shocking to hear such an angry tone come out of such a lovely girl. I imagine this is what it sounds like when an angel farts.

She doesn't ask, she doesn't request, she tells me via that one word:

"Listen up, lady! You know what I want and I know you got what I want so unless you want to see me roll around on the floor screaming my head off while intermittedly trying to grab at your ta-tas thus securing your place in the Guiness Book of World Records for the longest nipples; I suggest you nusss me NOW!"

I'm hoping now that she can verbally tell me to give her the boobages, it will clear up the miscommunication that resulted from her previous means of telling me she wants to "nusss".

Her: Pull my shirt down
Me: Does she want some applesauce?

Her: Take a header down my top and attempt to latch on to any and all flesh
Me: Maybe she needs a diaper change?

Her: Reach her hand down my shirt and try to pull one of the girls out
Me: Could it be she wants to play outside?

Her: Scream and cry while pointing at my chest
Me: She must be frightened of my shirt. I'll go change clothes.

Her: Stare at my chest and make smacking noises
Me: Did Timmy fall down the well?

See how much easier it wil be now? What, with all the mixed messages she gave me prior to being able to say "NUSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!"

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First Year Tabblo

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Saturday, September 23, 2006

Move along. Nothing to see here.

What?

Like you've never come home to find a three year old wearing only a backwards fireman's hat while pushing a toddler on a Winnie the Pooh bike.

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It appears as though the Gavinator is showing signs of a future in the entertainment industry with his penchant for birthday suits and firemen garb.

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Friday, September 22, 2006

When Amanda was in Egypt's Land

(sing it with me now) Let my Amanda gooooooooooooooooooooo!

Dude, I am sick. I don't know what happened but earlier today I started to feel kind of crappy and now I'm feeling really crappy. The Goosers has a runny nose and has spreading her funk all over me via salty, gooey, snotty kisses so I'm blaming her.

I should be rockin' out downtown as we speak. That's right. I had the opportunity to go out tonight but I had to pass because I feel like CRAP! My neighbor/walking buddy's sister in law is in town and she told me a couple of nights ago that they were going out tonight and I was all "sounds, cool... I'll go!"- without even an invite- but here I am blogging away, feeling like CRAP (have I mentioned that I feel like CRAP?) when I should be DOWNTOWN!!!

I have so much to blog about... namely the comments made in my most recent post regarding how have you changed (thank you for all your comments)... but I feel like CRAP and don't have the energy to devote to a well thought out repsonse to all the fantabulous comments (and eff you if you're thinking, well why start now with well thought out responses). Too much to think about when I'm feeling like CRAP.

Have I mentioned I feel like CRAP? Because I do.

In the meantime, entertain youselves with the polaroidonizer. It is a ton o' fun and makes cool pictures like:

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and

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I lurve polaroid pictures. They remind me of the good old days when we really had to shake it like a polaroid picture.

Hack, cough, sneeze, yack, fart....

I feel like CRAP.

Argh. This especially sucks since I do the whole single parent bit on the weekend while the husband works extremely long shifts and may or may not see the fruit of his loins before Monday.

On a more positive note, a lovely person made an even lovelier offer that made me feel all warm and gushy on the inside. She knows that I am having a tough go with the whole gymnastics thing on Monday nights and offered to help me out with the Goosers so poor little Goose doesn't have to remain strapped in a stroller for 45 minutes while I run back and forth between helping Gavin (read: pissing myself on the trampoline) and keeping Grace entertained.

Awwwww, ain't that sweet. All you myspace freaks (and you know who you are) should give her a shout out for being so incredibly awesome.

Hsck, sneeze, fart.

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Experience preferred required

Since having children, my stance on many parenting issues has changed drastically. It makes perfect sense, right? It is so easy to say what we would do in a situation when have never experienced that situation. Especially when aforementioned situation may involve things we couldn’t possibly understand until we experience them: months of sleep deprivation, cracked nipples, third degree tears, colic, spirited/high needs behavior, post partum depression, being responsible for a teeny, tiny, helpless human being, and did I mention sleep deprivation?

There is a long distance between books on parenting and the reality of parenting. Of course, I don’t know why society makes parenting out to be the stuff Hallmark cards are made out of. My only guess is to insure the survival of the human race because let’s be honest, if we knew how horrible some parenting moments can be- especially those first days and weeks with the first baby- would we really even have the first kid?

I know people tried to warn me that new mothering was not the warm fuzzy scene you see on television and in advertisements. Bringing home an infant does not suddenly create a warm, gauzy glow in your home where you walk around in total bliss wearing a long, white, flowing gown with a teeny, peaches and cream infant who- between nursing perfectly for 15 minutes on each side every 3 hours- sleeps deeply on its back in a crib in its own room while you catnap throughout the day because not only does your home have a warm, gauzy glow, it is also self cleaning. I know I realized the mothering would be difficult. I knew that babies cried and breastfeeding could be hard and I would definitely be lacking in the sleep department but I never realized how overwhelming- physically and mentally- new motherhood could be. I had no idea that this newfound responsibility would weigh so heavily on my chest that there were moments I thought I was taking my last breath. I never knew something so wonderful could hurt so bad.

I think another mechanism for the survival of the human race is that by the time our first baby reaches toddlerhood and the Zoloft has kicked in and our nipples and hoo hahs have completely healed, we begin to forget about those traumatic first days and months. I know I did. I remember sobbing when Gavin was about 5 weeks old and when Lloyd asked me what was wrong I told him “I always wanted two children and this is so hard that I don’t think I can have anymore!!!!”. By the time Gavin was11 months old I was pregnant again and while I was shocked, I was ecstatic. Unfortunately I miscarried that baby at 12 weeks but fortunately, I got pregnant with Goosers three months later.

So how have my views changed?

Before having kids I was anti-pacifier. Ugh. I hated the way they looked and I thought they were used to plug up the kid’s piehole so the parents didn’t have to hear them or deal with them. I had no idea that kids could have such a strong need to suck and that pacifiers may be totally necessary. It only took 2 weeks for me to learn how very wrong I was and to start shoving soothie after soothie into Gavin’s mouth just so I could take a pee break without him losing his freaking mind.

I also used to give the big fat eye roll to parents who gave their kids snacks as they shopped or even worse, opened a bag of snacks before purchasing them to ward off the impending middle of the story meltdown with the salty, cheesy goodness that is the goldfish cracker. Now? I'd give my kid a line of coke to be able to buy tampons and milk without dragging their screaming, writhing bodies down the grocery store aisles for all the world to give me big, fat eyerolls for having uncontrollable children.

Cosleeping. I always thought parents who coslept were out of their minds and now that I have coslept with two children, I STILL think that parents who cosleep are out of their minds. Or at the very least enjoy insomnia and the resultng crippling dementia that comes with it. I coslept because it made night time nursing easier and both of my kids wanted to cosleep. They slept much better snuggled next to me while I wept over sore nipples and aching hips from remaining in one position all night. There were a few moments of bliss when were snuggled sweetly together in the wee hours of the morning while I smelled their sweet baby smell and just knew that somewhere out there another mom was doing this very same thing with her baby and all the world was right. Those moments were fleeting and could have very well occurred during the day after I got a full nights rest while sleeping in any position I damn well pleased.

Something I have always been passionate about is breastfeeding. Obviously nutrition is my thang- pediatric nutrition even moreso- so it makes sense that it wouldn’t take having kids for me to know that breastfeeding was where it’s at when it comes to feeding our babes. I grew up knowing that breasts were for breastfeeding (I come from a long like of A-cup women… what else could they be for?) and part of my education involved community nutrition and promoting breastfeeding via WIC.

I have only become more passionate about breastfeeding since having children but now I am more understanding of the barriers and obstacles to breastfeeding. I was unable to breastfeed Gavin for as long as I would have liked. I was never anti-formula but before having to formula feed, I never imagined that I would formula feed. I figured other people had their reasons for formula feeding; that they didn’t want to breastfeed. I never knew that women could want to breastfeed but be unable; whether because of physical or mental issues or lack of knowledge and support. I am more passionate now because I don’t want any woman to experience the heartbreak I experienced when I was unable to nourish and nurture my child the way I wanted.

Another issue I am much more passionate about since having children is circumcision. I am rabidly anti-routine infant circumcision. Obviously there are times when circumcision may be medically indicated or when a person’s faith dictates circumcision as necessary but routine infant circumcision? Never appropriate. I am generally the kind of a person who can see both sides of an issue but not on this one. I respect that every parent has the right to make their own decision regarding whether or not to circumcise their son but I can honestly say that there is no reason- other than religious or medical reasons- for circumcision that I agree with.

What’s ironic is that Gavin is circumcised… and I regret it with every cell in my body. It has been over three years and I don’t know how I will ever come to terms with the fact I subjected him to genital mutilation for absolutely NO reason. I did not do my homework before having Gavin and I thought circumcision was just routine- just a standard part of having a boy in America. I figured there must be some pros to circumcision or else they wouldn’t do it. Hell, I also figured they used adequate pain relief. I was totally and completely WRONG on two counts. Again, my passion not only stems from the fact that upon becoming educated I realized that circumcision is wrong but also because if I can help one person from putting their child through what Gavin went through and what we continue to go through then something good came out of something awful and that brings a little peace.

How have you changed?

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Monday, September 18, 2006

Gymnasty

So the new gymnastics schedule is not turning out as good as I had hoped.

Sure, the instructor promised me one on one instruction in a parent taught class because there were no other students enrolled in the class-and last week went off without a hitch- this week there were two other students in the class so I was expected to be out there chasing down the Gavinator and making sure none of the older kids opened a can of backhandspring double flip up on his ass.

The husband bowls on Monday night so it is just me and the kiddos. I have to divide my time between stuffing pretzel rods down the Goose's face and entertaining her "a la Bobo the friggin' clown" AND helping Gavin complete the various gymnastic circuits without front-flipping himself off the trampoline into a major head and neck injury.

Did I mention this was all after 9 hours of work, 40 minutes of driving, nursing the Goose three times, putting away laundry, washing a load of clothes, and preparing dinner for two kids who would rather throw all the food on the floor to the chihuahua than take a measly bite?

Good times.

I'll leave you with this: If you have had two vaginal births and are thinking of doing straddle jumps on a trampoline?

Don't. Do. It.

I repeat: Don't. Do. It.

Don't ask.

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Under construction

I switched over to Blogger beta this morning and I'm still trying to work out the kinks. While I am thrilled with the addition of "labels" over on the sidebar (or categories, to some of you folks), and I hope this makes my blog much easier to navigate once I get all the posts caught up to speed, I am having a couple of problems.

Where the "republish button" should be there is a "moderate comments" button. Since I can't "republish", I can't take advantage of many of the changes. Also, I am suddenly unable to leave comments on other blogs. Karrie, this means you!

I have e-mailed blogger for assistance and I have read page after page of "Help Q&A's" and I am at a loss for right now. Any other Blogger beta folks out there? Can you help a blogger out?

ETA: I am a complete and total moron. I apparently need to brush up on my ability to read AND comprehend the English language. There is no "republish" on Blogger beta- just one of the many changes with Blogger beta I can take advantage of.

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Sunday, September 17, 2006

Grrrlzz Rule!

I try to stay hip to what all the kids are into these days. I work with children, I live in a neighborhood with a ton 'o children (and rednecks... lets not forget the rednecks), and, well, I have two children of my own so I think it is important for me to keep my fingers on the pulse of all things young. I could blame myspace on the desire to be in touch with my inner child but in reality, I am really just that cheesy and I lurve myspace (word). Also, I don't know about you all, but my own childhood does not seem like that long ago. I keep waiting for the day when I feel like an adult and it hasn't happened yet. Of course, maybe this is how being adult feels- like a child who gets shocked everytime s/he looks in the mirror.

Perhaps it is because I am immature in touch with my inner child that I'm always trying to hang out with all the kids in the neighborhood all the kids in the neighborhood are always trying to hang out with me. I take the kids out to play in the cul-de-sac every evening and there are usually the same six kids out there- 4 girls and 2 boys. While the boys are into cars, trucks, scooters, bikes and doing their best attempts to wind up with traumatic brain injuries before the sixth grade; the girls are into bitching, name calling, fighting, nagging, screaming, back-stabbing, and doing their best attempts to wind up on Jerry Springer before the sixth grade.

Girls are vicious. They will play with one girl all day just to get into her pool but once the cool girls comes home they will drop the pool girl like a bad habit and call her names like "fat" and "ugly" to get the girl whose pool they used ALL day to go home. I watched this exact same thing go down yesterday and the punchline came when the cool girl- who all the girls are always trying to hang with (myself included)- dissed them all and didn't answer her door (word) so they all had to go back to the "fat" and "ugly" girl's house and attempt to get back on her good side. Seeing as how she is fat and ugly it was an easy task. Later the cool girl came out and joined in the fun of trying to run off pool girl. They were all yelling names at each other while walking in circles around the cul-de-sac. I have honestly never seen anything like this (with the exception of a few mating rituals on Animal Planet).

In my day, the girls fought on occasion but not like this. This is an every day thing. My friends and I were more concerned about being a united front against the boys and doing things like making sure we all had our fingers crossed in order to keep the cooties at bay when the boys touched us.

When the name calling and circle walking made its way into my driveway, I figured I could try and be the voice of reason. Afterall, I am the cool, hip, with-it adult. You know, the one with the myspace page. That's me. Booyah.

I tried three different approaches to try to appeal to the girls' sensibilities.

First up was the "united front" approach:

"Come on girls, stick together! It's you all against the boys! Not against each other. Say it with me now- girls rule, boys drool. Girls rule, boys drool. Girls rule, boys drool."

When that didn't work, I tried the "wise elder" approach:

"Let me tell you girls about a little thing called karma. That's right. K.A.R.M.A. Karma. Every mean thing you do now as a kid will come back and bite you in the butt a million times over when you're an adult. Trust me".

Crickets.

So finally, I tried to appeal to their down-home, southern upbringing by going with the "spiritual" approach:

"I tell you what, if you girls don't stop being so mean, you AND all your little Bratz dolls are gonna burn in hell one day."

I'm not one to get all fire and brimstone up on people but I can say without a shadow of a doubt, if Bratz dolls don't burn in hell one day, they should.

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Friday, September 15, 2006

Favorite thing I said today

If it says large, extra large, or biggie... if it says king, monster, whopper...if it says value, giant, "now with more"... if it says super-sized ANYTHING- don't eat it. Don't. Eat. It.

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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Wonderful Amen

I had Tuesday off of work because the husband needed to pick up a friend at the Charlotte airport and I didn’t think it would be fair to the kids to be dragged 250 miles round trip and spend time in an airport. Besides, the last time I left the husband alone with the kids when he was distracted by a friend, I came home to find Grace locked in a bathroom, screaming her head off while playing in the toilet. Lloyd told me he thought she sounded muffled but he figured she was just playing in the other room. Right. Because we all know that muffled screaming indicates safe play in the living room. I can only imagine that if he had brought the kids to the airport, at least one of them would have ended up on a flight to Yemen. I refuse to comment on whether that would be a good or bad thing.

Since I was home with the kids, I got to take the Gavinator to preschool. He really seems to be enjoying it. Or at least he really enjoys being given the chance to wear his backpack and go somewhere. I can get the kid to do practically anything if I use the tag “… and I’ll let you wear your backpack.”

It’s win-win for both of us because I love seeing him with his backpack on. It is entirely too big for him- never mind the fact it sports a picture of Spiderman on it and Gavin has no idea who Spiderman is (hint- one of Gavin’s parents who isn’t me was given the task of purchasing the boy’s first backpack)- and it stretches from his head to the back of his kneecaps. The boy doesn’t seem to mind the large size. He even gets this jaunty little walk when he wears it. All his movements seem deliberate and meant to draw attention to the backpack (because a giant red backpack isn’t attention-grabbing enough). It’s almost as if with every bounce he is all “What’s this? You mean this? Oh you silly little child, you. This here is a backpack. This is what big boys wear when they go to school. That’s right. You heard me. School. I’m in school. Booyah.”

The funniest, though, was his first day of school when he had to bring all of his school supplies and it weighed his backpack down. He would take three jaunty steps forward only to stumble backwards 4 steps because of the weight on his back. He looked like a little crab side-walking into school. He would scurry to one side and then scurry to the other only to shift the weight on his back and scurry back to the other side.

On Tuesday I got Gavin to school a little early- being an amateur at this whole taking the kid to school bit- and chatted with the other moms waiting for the door to open. I’m always interested in checking out and sizing up other moms who are going through the same ages and stages with their kids as I am going through with mine. I know that dropping my kid off at school once every blue moon is not going to be enough to forge relationships with these women but I like to take every opportunity to be friendly and get to know them a little. Three other kids are in my neighborhood are also going to Gavin’s preschool- one is in Gavin’s class on Wednesdays- and I always make an effort to talk to them when I see them in the neighborhood.

While I’m interested in getting to know these other mothers; the other mothers? Not so much. Or at least that is how I perceive it. Moms get a bad rap with all the mommy wars and cat fights and “my kid is better than your kid... oooooh snaps” so I try to remember that these aren’t just moms- these are individual women- and for all I know they were up late with a screaming newborn or stressing over money or fighting with their husband or juggling career, motherhood, and everything in between and they just aren’t in the mood to chat with Susie Q. Sunshine who they see all of never.

Still, I can’t help but think it has to do with how cool I am, how hot my husband is, and how awesome and adorable my kids are. I mean. I’m just saying.

Seriously, though, Gavin loves preschool. He marches right in there and goes straight for his room without looking back. I have to force him to hug me goodbye as he and his ultra cool backpack are so over me from the moment he gets inside the classroom.

I asked his teacher how Gavin was doing and she told me he was doing “wonderfully”.

“No, really. Give it to me straight. I’ve been on Zoloft for 14 months straight now and I’m still a little bit drunk from last night. You can tell me the truth. I can handle it. How is Gavin doing?”

“Really, he is doing wonderfully.”

So that’s it. The boy is doing “wonderfully”. He even has a little friend named John David and at home last night he was yelling “John Davey, John Davey, John Davey!” over and over again. Also, since he is in a church-based preschool, I am assuming they do prayer and read from the Bible because every time Gavin closes a book or his little Barney laptop, he says a solemn “Amen”.


Gavin is doing wonderfully in preschool. Now that is a statement worthy of an “Amen” if I have ever heard one.

Amen.

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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Myspace: Not just for stalking

The kids love rocking out to my myspace page.

They feel the beat from the speakers all the way down to their sneakers...

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Monday, September 11, 2006

1825 Days

How many times do I have to watch the first plane crash into the World Trade Center before I stop wishing, hoping, praying, begging that this time... just this once... for all the wives, husbands, fathers, mothers, friends, sisters, brothers... for all the babies... that the plane will suddenly turn away from the Tower and not crash into it. That the Tower won't swallow the speeding airplane in one fiery and furious instant.

Then the second plane. I watched this crash happen live 5 years ago today. I was in a dentist chair, gurgling and pointing for the hygienist to turn and look at the television. I've seen it thousands of times over again in the past 1,825 days. I know how it ends. I know that it, too, has the same fate as the first plane but I can't help but internally plead for it to turn away. For almost an instant I believe that there is a chance that it won't hit the Tower. That somehow and somewhere, someone makes it happen. But it doesn't... it never does.

The two Towers stand burning. I know what it about to happen. I know they are going to fall. I watch the burning Towers and I beg for the people to run. I know how it ends but I think that maybe this time... just this once... please... haven't these people been through enough... the Towers won't fall. Don't fall, don't fall, don't fall. But they fall.

I watch people die.

DAMMIT!!!!!!



Thinking of you Nikki G.

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Sunday, September 10, 2006

Flickr's Finest

I'm coming in waaaaaaaaay late on this one but thanks to a three hour nap by both kids and my inability to fall asleep when the sun is shining, I sat and surfed the web for several hours when I should have been doing housework or at least working out.

Turns out being lazy, dirty, and well on my way to carpal tunnel syndrome were all worth it because I figured out that the Goose was one of the top 100 photos on Flickr Explore/Interestingness for February 4, 2006. (scroll down and you'll see her)

Rock on with yo bad blueberry covered self, Goosers.

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Talk to me

One of the perks of Gavin's expressive speech development is that he can now tell me, "Stick finger in poo poo. Wipe finger on sheet", instead of just holding a poop covered finger in my face while screaming, crying, and pointing with the other hand to a poop-stained sheet.

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Saturday, September 09, 2006

Why I shouldn't host "playdates"

"Miss Amandaaaaaaa!! Gavin won't share!!!"

"Hit him."

"Noooooooo, I don't want to hit..."

(interrupting) "Then I don't know what to tell you."

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Sneak Peak

Summer Olympic Games, 2020.

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Friday, September 08, 2006

Son of a motherless goat!

At the end of Gavin's gymnastics class last night, his teacher approached me and suggested that "we try a different class with Gavin." She told me that she feels like he has real potential but he has difficulty staying on task in the group environment and she spends half the class chasing him around the gym.

OMG. Did she see me literally laugh out loud when Gavin took off from the class onto the floor and was swept up into the arms of another teacher only mere seconds before an older student opened a can of backhandspring all up on him?

Also, where the hell have I been? Sure, he sometimes takes off from the group and prefers to jump on the trampoline or run onto the floor than do the less than fun activities like waiting his turn but overall, I thought Gavin was doing awesome (keep in mind, this is a kid who only a year ago we couldn't take to the mall without his head turning around 360 degrees and all crucifixes within a 15 mile radius flipping upside down) AND he really, really enjoys it. He begs for "more gymnastics!!" He screams "turn left, turn left" and "GYMNAAAAAASTIIIIIIIIIICS" when we drive past the gymnastics studio on my way to work in the morning (did I mention the boy knows left from right? Booyah!). He grabs mine and the husband's hands and insists that we march from locale to locale- something they do in gymnastics when going from apparatus to apparatus.

Besides, should three year olds really be expected to stay on task 100% of the time? 50% of the time? 25% of the time? He is at least on task half the time. Is that so wrong? Apparently it is. Personally I can't blame the kid. I sit (well, stand and/or chase Grace) through each class and fight back the urge to take off onto the floor while some kid does her backhandsprings.

It seemed to me that gymnastics was the first thing in Gavin's life that has not only come easy but he has also enjoyed immensely and now we're being encouraged to come on a different night to a parent/teacher-taught class. Gavin will be the only kid in the class so technically he (and I) will be getting private lessons from the instructor and she said the gym is much less crowded on Monday nights. She is cool with me having Grace on the floor with us and since Gavin is the only one, I can tend to Grace as much as needed. She thinks that since I will be in the class, too, I will be able to help keep him on task.

Right. It is painfully evident that teacher has little to no insight into the science that is my parenting of the Gavinator. I wonder which one of my methods for keeping him on task she will prefer:

Just walk away and pretend he isn't my kid

Hide in the bathroom behind a locked door with a bottle of vodka and a People magazine.

Take him to the neighbor's

Sit on the floor while rocking and praying

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Thursday, September 07, 2006

Solitude, sweet solitude

Apparently Gavin isn't the only person enjoying preschool.

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Grace took advantage of her three, blissful Gavin-free hours and took a nap on the blanket that Gavin is usually trying to bury her under or dragging her around the house on.

A girl could get used to peace, quiet and not having Thomas the Tank Engines hurled at her head.

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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

What am I?

Partly inspired by Karrie's post (which was inspired by Thordora's post, I have been wondering "what kind of mommy blogger am I"?

I have thought about this many times before- especially in the wake of Blogher- and I always draw a complete and total blank. I've started and deleted entry after entry devoted to this subject and I just hit wall after wall after wall. Obviously I am not a blogger by trade and I'm not in it to make any kind of money; but I am very, very passionate about it and I devote a fair amount of my free time (read: the hours between 9 and 11 pm when I should be sleeping or at least cleaning house) to blogging and reading other blogs.

I figure when my blogging is all said and I done I will have at the very least entertained and at the very most provided my children with candid snapshots of my take on their childhood.

So, what am I? I figure you- the reader- might know.

Of course, not that what kind of mommy blogger I am really matters. I'm a mom who enjoys blogging and that's 'nuff for me.

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I know that belly!

The Goosers and I are Photo of the week over at Shape of a Mother.

For someone with less than fab abs, I have no problem showing them off for all the 'net to see.

Off to do some situps!

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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Three years

Three years ago tonight I was still in labor with the Gavinator. I was 41 weeks, 5 days pregnant so it was decided we would induce labor. We showed up at labor and delivery at 6:00 with a brief stop made at the local grocery store on our way to the hospital for Lloyd to purchase several bags of candy. We parked in a "stork parking space" and the husband and I giggled that it would be the last time for awhile for us to take advantage of primo parking. Little did we know...

Looking back, I'm not quite sure of what I expected from the induction. While I was more than ready to hand Gavin his eviction notice- especially after enduring an entire summer of pregnancy in South Carolina- I wasn't too keen on the idea of being induced. I hadn't taken any childbirth classes but I knew induction increased the risk of cesarian delivery and I was scared to death of having a C-section. I wasn't scared that morning, though. I had ample time to prepare and I had already had two false alarm where the husband and I- along with my mother- rushed off to the labor and delivery floor only to be sent home. Plus, after spending two straight weeks with my mother- who was a labor and delivery nurse for over 20 years and, after seeing the latex gloves in our laundry room, insisted on examining my cervix (to which I gave a big fat HELL NO! If the woman had tried to get her hand anywhere near my cervix she would have hence forth been known as "lefty")- I wanted... no I NEEDED... this baby out.

We hot to the hospital around 6:00 am. The pitocin was started and the next thing I knew, I was in the most unbearable pain I had ever experienced. I remember curling up on my side and crying into the bright white hospital pillow and raising my head up long enough to see the mascara marks in the exact shape of my eye. Fortunately, they allowed me to have an epidural early on and while I still felt a great deal of pain, it allowed me enough relief that I quit contemplating throwing myself out the hospital window to end it all.

My labor was slow. My water broke soon after labor was induced but by 5:00 pm I had barely dilated. My doctor came in around 6:00 pm and placed a fetal monitor in Gavin's scalp along with something else to better monitor the strength of my contractions. He didn't say "c-section" but he alluded to the fact that I was well on my way to a surgical delivery. He told me to "keep an open mind" and we would reassess things in an hour. When he left the room I started bawling and I told the husband and my mother not to say anything. "Don't try to comfort me!!!" I yelled as they both started in on how a c-section wasn't the end of the world and the whole "as long as long as the baby is healthy blah blah blah" speil. I didn't know nothing about birthing no babies at the time but I know NOW that every decision I made leading up to the induction of Gavin screamed planned cesarian.

Next thing I remember is that I started puking left and right. The first time I couldn't even manage to ask for a basin. My mom handed me the trash can and I yacked the nothing I had in my stomach into the trash can. The husband had to leave the room because seeing as he had just downed an entire meal from Chick-Fil-A (I, on the other hand was starving and hadn't eaten anything in 24 hours), he was getting ready to lose his dinner from watching me yack... and his breakfast, lunch, and all the sugary goodness he had consumed while watching me writhe in pain. "We're" pregnant my ass.

On the brightside, with puking came progress. With every bout of emesis, I dilated. It was amazing. It was like I was literally puking Gavin out. I puked, I dilated to six, I puked again, I was 7, I puked again and again, I was 8, 9, and finally, I was 10! We had been talking on the phone to anxious family member and friends throughout the labor and I remember talking to my sister as the room was being prepared for me to push and telling her "I gotta go, it's time for me to push!".

They darkened the lights and turned off the tv and I grabbed my tired, numb legs and when the contraction came, I gave it all I had- which wasn't much considering I hadn't eaten in a day and a half (note to pregnant women: don't eat yogurt for dinner the night before you are going to be induced. Nerves schmerves. Eat a steak, potato, mac and cheese, and wash it down with a milkshake. You can thank me later). I started pushing around 9:00 pm and I remember gasping for breaths in between each contraction and rolling my head back onto the pillow and mumbling "so hungry, I'm just so hungry. If I could have something to eat, I could push". My mom promised me she would go get me a Hardee's monster burger after Gavin was born. I grabbed me legs tighter and I pushed that much harder. This one is for you, monster burger!!!

I was supposed to push for three counts of ten but usually by 7 or 8 I lost focus and control and needed to stop for a breath. I apologized profusely and asked over and over agin if my pushes were "effective". Yes, they told me. Yes!!! My mom told me she could see his head and he has hair! He has hair!! I promptly yelled at my mom to shut the eff up because I wanted to know that he has hair when I see that he has hair! Finally, at 9:38 I pushed and my baby boy was here. The doctor held him up for me to see and I was overcome with emotion. "He's beautiful! He's absolutely beautiful!" I cried.

And he was beautiful. I had watched hours upon hours of A Baby Story and Maternity Ward; I had seen my share of purply-red, vernix covered aliens born in the past 9 months and I had prepared myself for something to look more Sci-Fi channel than Hallmark channel but he was gorgeous. I literally was in awe of how beautiul my child was. His mouth was wide open in an uspide down "u" shape and he was screaming at the top of his lungs and while for one second I did think to myself "dude will NOT shut up", I was truly overwhelmed with love.

I processed all of this in a nano-second as the doctor held him up and while I was absorbed in the wonder that is my amazing Gavin, he proceeded to take a giant leak on me. The doctor didn't see it happening but I was being sprayed with newborn urine. I tried to move out of the way but my epidural-numbed body wouldn't budge. I had to lie there and take the onslought of piss.

Gavin's first picture (yes, I know my OB is hot)
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Thus began my relationship with my son. I would be forever enamored with my lovely boy and he would just piss all over me.

(OMG... can I just say that I paused from typing to look at the clock just now and it is 9:38 pm!?! Happy birthday my sweet, sweet boy)

We celebrated Gavin's third birthday this weekend and it was AWESOME!!! My neighbor rented a big, blow-up slide thingy-ma-jig as a birthday gift to Gavin and it is honestly up in the air as to who had more fun: the kids or the adults. One thing is for sure, the adults were the only ones who got hurt. The party started at three and wasn't over until 8:00. I only let the invitees inside the house to partake in all the food and festivities but all the neighborhood kids were welcome to come take a turn on the slide. Not that I had much choice in the matter. The rugrats were circling our house and the slide like sharks around a whale carcass. Gavin absolutely loved the slide and he had a blast during the entire bash.

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Today was also Gavin's first day of preschool. I wasn't quite sure how it would go or whether or not I would feel all emotional about it but it actually went off without a hitch. I do feel emotional in the sense that "OH MY GOD MY BABY BOY IS THREE AND WHERE DID THE TIME GO!!!!????!!!!" but as far as starting preschool, I'm just "eh". He's three. It's time. The husband is slowly but surely going crazy from spending day in and day out with Gavin and Gavin is in desperate need of some structured, educational play outside of the house in a social environment. Never mind the fact his prechool is church-based and the good Lord knows that the Gavinator could use some Holy Spirit up in here. Dude can be wicked evil.

It is time for preschool. For all of us.

We have been preparing Gavin for school for the past few weeks by emphasizing the fact he will need to SHARE at preschool. Like any other demon-possessed preschooler, sharing is not his forte. In fact, there mere glance at a toy that he may want to play with one of these days and/or hasn't played with in a year can send the boy into a fit of fury. You ask Gavin about school and he will tell you "Yeah, alright. Preschool. Share toys. Share at preschool." I have no doubt that he was only talking the talk and would be unable to walk the walk but whatevah. Let his teacher deal with that and the pieces can fall where they may. Preschool is in a church. Perhaps an event of Biblical proportions would occur and the Gavinator would be blessed with the ability to not beat the crap out of an unsuspecting two year old for breathing in the direction of a toy. Any toy.

We dropped Gavin off at 9:00 this morning with little fanfare. I tried to kiss him bye but he would have nothing to do with it. We left and he didn't miss a beat.. He was curled up on the floor playing with a firetruck and did not want to be disturbed. The husband had a little skip in his step on the way out to the car and once we got home I thought we would embrace the Gavin-free house but the husband just read the paper and I cleaned the house and nursed Grace until it was time to pick the boy up.

We pulled up to the preschool at noon and while both the husband and I feared that Gavin would be chained to the church sign with a note pinned to him that said they don't allow those who carry the mark of the devil in their prechool, the sign was Gavin-free. I went in to get him and he told me "no leave" and "no home" and the teacher said he did "great". I didn't want to hear the truth if that wasn't it so I grabbed the boy and his two crafts and ran.

I'm officially a mom to a preschooler.


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All growed up

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Monday, September 04, 2006

Gavinmas Eve

Tomorrow, you turn three.

Tomorrow, you start your first day of preschool.

Hey you! You there! Yes, I'm talking to you!

My baby boy. My firstborn. My Gavinator. My bug. My fish feet. My love.

There's no need to hurry.

Yeah, yeah, I know. It is that bright.

Slow down.

Just for mama.

Please.

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Sunday, September 03, 2006

That Season

Yesterday not only marked Gavin's third birthday party, but also the beginning of the 2006-2007 Mountaineer football season. We played, and beat the crap out of, Marshall University yesterday. Marshall is a smaller university in the southwestern part of the state This was only the third match-up between WVU and MU in 83 years. The last time we played Marshall, I was a student at WVU and it was a very big deal. The game was dubbed "The Frontyard Brawl" (the match-ups with our neighbor 70 miles north- The University of Pittsburgh- is known as "The Backyard Brawl") and we won that game too, of course.

Lots of people have been talking about what is now dubbed "The Coal Bowl" and I have been regaling all who will listen with stories of the last time WVU and MU met:

The massive amounts of alcohol I consumed by 10:00 am

How I took a tumble in the stands of Mountaineer Field during the second quarter and took a fraction of the student section down with me

How I spent the rest of the game showing off the injuries I sustained and then later curled up on the grassy knoll inside Mountaineer Field and dozed throught the third quarter

That we went walked straight downtown after the game and partied until three and didn't realize until after we left the bars that we had walked downtown so we had no way to get home and we didn't to save money for a cab

We then walked the 5-ish miles back to my apartment at 3 am after drinking ALL day and partying all night

How once we got back into the apartment we decided to call the guy I was dating (who lived in the apartment building next to mine), yelling at him to "come and get his sheep off my property" while making baaahhhhhing sounds in the background (I really don't need to tell you that we didn't date for very long after that, do I?)

How we all got big bowls of coco puffs and curled up on my futon (all four of us) in the living room to watch tv and fall asleep only to find out that Princess Diana had died. Major buzzkill.


So I've been telling all these stories and recounting details of that day like it happened yesterday and you can only imagine my suprise when I heard the announcers before the game mention it had been 9 years since these two teams had met up.

Blink. Blink blink.

NINE YEARS?????

NINE YEARS????? Nine years as in one year shy of a friggin' decade 9 years????

Where does the time go? Sure, I've done a lot in the past years- I finished my Master's, I moved to SC, lost 40 pounds; I've had two jobs, two husbands, two kids, three cars, and lived in 4 different places before buying a house- but still, it doesn't seem like 9 years.

I've changed so much but really, not at all. It's funny how that is.

1997

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2006

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In the first shot, I'm the one in the middle with the two beers (duh... mouth wide open, double fistin' it... who else would it be?). Here I am today with the same goofy look only the two beers have been trade in for two kids.

Yeah right. I can't lie to you. I just put my beers down to go on the slide!

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