Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Squish, squish

There's a reason I don't walk around my house naked. It's the same reason that I change my clothes as quickly as possible, with no mirrors in sight. I sure as hell don't wanna see me naked. Hard to believe anybody else does, but then, I always knew Wren was slightly crazy. Why do you think I started dating him? It takes crazy to handle living with me and my brood.

But, you know, I put my foot down when it comes to bathing and sex. Those are things that just require nudity. Also, golf lessons and driving to the gun range, but we won't go there.

Tonight I laid in my bed afterward, disgustedly analyzing my naked flesh. I really felt the need to complain about what I saw, but I get no satisfaction when I bitch at Wren. Even when I took his hand and pushed his finger repeatedly down on my stomach saying "squish! squish! squish!" he just laughed and told me I'm a goober. Rude, right? I believe only another woman could truly understand my anguish.

So I'm writing this letter to my body. Does that mean you shouldn't read it since you're not my body? Nah, go ahead. My body and I have no secrets.

Dear Body,

What the fuck is wrong with you?! Ahem...I mean, hi, how are you doing? I apologize for interrupting your lovely evening and I am truly sorry I had to stop stuffing cheddar and sour cream potato chips (your favorite) inside of you long enough to write this letter. But your recent conduct must be addressed.

I realize that we just celebrated our 34th birthday, but that's really no reason for you to throw in the towel and give up. I certainly haven't. I mean, come on. What's with the run-away boobs? Boobs are supposed to be cute and perky, or haven't you heard that? When I lay flat on my back, they shouldn't try to run away into my armpits. Get some damn control over them before I call the boob-catcher to come in and wrestle them back into place. And nevermind Wren's whole "boobs don't sit upright like that without silicone." What does HE know? He's not the one laying here with nipples who surely must have had a fight because they're trying to get as far away from each other as they can.

And yeah, he doesn't understand the problems with the squishy tummy. Why is it that when HE gains belly fat, it's all hard and firm so that when he lays flat it could almost appear to be a firm, toned stomach, but the fat around OUR middle is all soft and squishy like a big old girdle made of marshmallow? Really Body. You can do better than that, can't you? You're not made out of JELLO for God's sake.

But I think the worst of it, really, is the stretch marks on the top of our thighs. Where the hell did you even GET those from? The stretch marks on our stomach I can understand. I mean, those 6 kids sleeping downstairs are clear evidence of those tummy stretch marks. But last time I checked babies were carried in the ABDOMEN, not in the THIGHS. I sure as hell don't remember getting kicked in the femur when we were pregnant, do you? No, I'm pretty sure that was the bladder and kidneys, which are in our STOMACH, not our legs. Did the stretch marks migrate when I wasn't looking? Do we have run-away stretch marks too? Did they just slide down and take up residence there? Am I going to wake up tomorrow with them on my kneecaps?

I'm sorry to be so abrupt about this, Body, but I'm a little bit fed up. How about we make a deal? I promise to continue to provide you with your Mountain Dew, Hostess cupcakes and Cheetos, if you promise to make some effort to pull yourself together. Just a little effort. Please?

Are my pleas falling on deaf ears? Are you currently laughing at my desperate attempts to bribe you into submission? Fine. How about a threat then?

Get yourself in shape soon or I'll FORCE you to get in shape and trust me, neither one of us wants that.

No? How about blackmail then? Ummm...oh! If you don't do as I ask, I'll distribute photos of your flaws all over the internet and...oh wait. Nevermind. I don't want that either.

Fine. Whatever. Hand me the freaking bag of chips.

Forever (unfortunately) yours,

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


In this house, you don't leave yourself open. It's much like being a boxer really. If you let your guard down you're bound to get hit.

I'm not talking about physical blows, although Boogie does have a mean right hook. No, I'm talking about those little mental slaps we all give each other. In the name of fun, of course. One of the things I love about my kids (trust me, there really are a lot of things) is that they're all smart-asses and we all give each other shit all the time.

Wren takes the brunt of a lot of it, though. I tried to tell him last night, it's his own fault. He leaves himself open ALL the time. Like the other day at the park when we were hanging out with all of his friends and two of them started wrestling. Wren said "Why does this remind me of gay porn?" My response? "Because you watch too much of it."

He left himself open. Set himself up for the blow.

Another example of the conversations in our house? Well, last night I was sitting at the table sewing. Katie and Hunter were watching me, much like they watch the television at the end of the day. Somehow I had become their entertainment. Wren was in the kitchen behind me making us all scrambled eggs and toast for dinner. Mikaela went in there and was being weird. Here's how the conversation went:

Wren: You're just like your mother.
Mikaela: You're just like your mother.
Katie: You're not like your mother, Wren. Your mom is NICE!
Wren, glaring at Katie: Eat shit!
Me (continuing to pin fabric): She's about to.

Wren said for that statement, I didn't get any eggs. We were all too busy laughing to pay him much attention, though. And I told him, if he keeps leaving himself open he's going to keep getting knocked out.

Oh, and don't worry. I got eggs. And they didn't taste like shit either.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Throwback the Mountain Dew

Recently Pepsi decided to release "throwbacks". I guess they're supposed to be the old versions of our favorite soft drinks. All I know is, one day I found myself driving around town without my standard Mountain Dew bottle beside me. Anyone who knows me knows that I don't go anywhere without my best friend, dressed in all of its green glory. But see, I had driven my car to the car lot so they could replace the O2 censor and I left my pop in there while we ran around town in the van.

So I stopped at a gas station and sent Wren in to grab me a Dew. He carried it out and I quickly opened it and guzzled, sure I was dying of thirst since it had been a whole 20 minutes since I last tasted that citrusy yumminess. It was cold. It was wet. And it was all fine. Until I swallowed. Then I frantically searched the floor of the van for something sharp I could use to scrape the taste buds off of my tongue.

If you haven't tasted Pepsi's new Mountain Dew "throwback", don't. Just don't. It's disgusting. They say it's made with natural sugars. Tastes like Splenda to me, and let me tell you there is NOTHING natural about sugar-free sugar. That's like chocolate-free chocolate or a blue orange. Or like Carrot Top dying his hair black. Come on. That's just plain unnatural.

Seriously. If you ever find yourself with a "throwback", do what the bottle suggests. And if Wren ever buys me another one (because he's bought me at least 4 of them in the last week) (because he's a guy and doesn't look at the bottle) ("it's green" he says "that's all I noticed"), then he may find HIMSELF being thrown back. And if Pepsi continues producing this disgusting product and trying to disguise it as a "return to your youth" I may just have to track down the genuises who came up with this marketing scheme and forcefeed them sugar-free sugar, chocolate-free chocolate, blue oranges, AND Carrot Top.

Ok, I think I'm done bitching now.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

What I want for my birthday

1. Sex. It's always at the top of my list.

2. Cake. Can't remember the last time I had a cake for my birthday. Well, unless you count the pretend birthday that Boogie gave me a few months ago.

3. A clean house. And let me add, that I'd like to NOT have to be the one to clean it. I probably will be, though.

4. Bacon. Sausage. Hash browns with cheese. Mmmm....I'm hungry.

5. Laughter. It's always good.

I want to say something like, "to be surrounded by family and friends" because that's always a great way to spend a birthday. The only reason I'm not adding it as #6 is because, well, I'm ALWAYS surrounded by family. In a house of 8 people, it's hard not to be elbow to elbow with somebody. But I'm also not adding it because it's not just something I WANT, it's something I'm GETTING. I invited a couple of people over for dinner. Just found out a couple more are gonna be showing up. They wanted to surprise me but decided that might put a kink in any plans we had, so I've been instructed to act surprised.

Last weekend was rough for me. But this whole week I've been reminded how lucky I am to have people in my life who care about me. I'm pretty damn thankful for all of them. Today is just another day for most people. For me, it's not only my 34th....I mean, 21st birthday. It's also my Thanksgiving and my New Year's Day.


Friday, May 8, 2009

She's gonna run the world some day

I now know why children look so innocent when they're sleeping.


It's so we forget about the hell they put us through when they're awake.

It's the same reason they say cute things that make us laugh. Like Boogie telling us today that her nose was "just a little bit slobbery" when Wren said it was stuffy. Or in the midst of her 5 straight hours crying and carrying on, just when we ALL (including the other kids) were seriously considering cutting our ears off so we wouldn't have to listen to it anymore, she suddenly said in her best drama queen voice "I just can't take it anymore!"

I can't stand over-tired, cranky kids. Especially when they're so dramatic all the time. It makes it hard to tell if there's something REALLY wrong or if they're just practicing for their Broadway debut.

Tonight, for the first time ever, Wren burned dinner. He was making gravy and he actually ended up scorching it so the whole batch tasted burnt and he had to toss it and start over from scratch. Tonight, for the first time ever, I realized that Hunter may not be my biggest challenge. Tonight, every single person in this house was tense and on edge and would have loved to pack a bag and run away even if it meant sleeping under a bridge and eating canned beans for the next 20 years. Tonight, I sat in my bedroom in tears wondering what the hell happened to my life.

It's hard to believe a 5 year old can cause so much stress. I've lived through 2 kids with colic, one of them being said 5 year old who also had acid reflux as a baby. She didn't spit up or anything. No, it sat in her esophagus and BURNED so she ended up on 2 different medications that only helped shorten the crying time by maybe an hour a day. So, you know, instead of listening to her cry for 16 hours, we only had to hear it for 15 hours.

I've been through a dog bite on the face of my 4 year old that required over 20 stitches. I've been through a 2 year old who repeatedly bashed his head into things so that he had a permanent bruise on his forehead, and a doctor who said "Oh, it's no big deal. If he knocks himself out, just make an appointment and we'll fit him for a helmet." Hello? If my 2 year old ends up unconscious I'm not going to calmly call and make a doctor's appointment. I've rushed my 10 month old to the hospital because he had a 106.5 degree fever, brought my 8 year old to the ER to get his head sewn up because he bashed it on a toy when he didn't want to do his homework, almost had to call the fire department when my 3 year old got his hand stuck under his bedroom door, had to bring my 6 year old to the emergency room when his sister tried to cut his thumb off with a pair of kitchen shears, which they glued back together, which meant I had to bring him back again when the glue didn't hold. (Sadly, most of these things happened with Hunter.) On a daily basis, for the last 16 years, I've refereed and broken up fights, administered advice, dried up tears, mopped up flooded bathrooms, swept up broken dishes, kissed and bandaged owies, brushed knots out of hair, cleaned butter off of walls, spaghetti sauce off of ceilings and gum out of carpets. I've tracked down shoes, fixed broken toys, sewn new clothes, baked cakes and cookies and brownies, made Halloween costumes, placed paintings on the refrigerator, hung paper snowflakes from the ceiling, and held wet wash cloths on temporary tattoos until my fingers looked like prunes.

Despite all of this, all it took tonight was one 5 year old to break it all down and make me feel like a helpless parent who has no idea what she's doing raising kids.

Man, that child has some power.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I guess I'll just stick to driving it

For a few years now, I've known I needed to get a small car. That need has become more apparent now with my kids being older and capable of staying home on their own. The majority of the time, it's only me and Wren in the car, and maybe a kid or two. It seems silly driving a mini-van around for only two or three people.

So in February, I paid off the van and I was planning to put a down payment on a car. But something held me back. I wasn't excited about the idea and I wanted to revel in having no car payment for awhile.

So April came around and school started back up and I figured I should probably set some money aside for a down payment on a car. I sat here for a month with that money in a box by my bed, in no big hurry to get a new car.

Until last Sunday when my ex showed up with his new car. Well, not NEW, but it was a CONVERTIBLE. I was annoyed. And jealous. He knows how much I've always wanted a convertible, and he never really cared about getting one. Not to mention, he was supposed to be keeping an eye out for a car for ME and instead he got it for himself.

It made me realize that for the first time in my life, I could go find a FUN car. Not a car that would seat more children. I already have the practical car. So off me and Wren went to the car lot on Tuesday and I bought my car. You know you love it:


Ok, maybe YOU don't love it because it's not yours. And yes, yes, I know it's not a convertible. But it's a t-top, which is better in many ways. Less wind to deal with. In the past, I'd look at a car like that and think "Yeah, it's a nice car." It's different when it belongs to you, though. All day I keep looking out the back window and admiring it. I told Wren I'm just so shocked that I have a car like that. So then he begins telling everybody on WoW that I'm surprised to have such a nice car, and I looked at him in shock. How dare he? He was ruining my illusion of glamour!!

How can I be this glamourous woman who drives a purple Firebird if he's walking around telling people how surprised I am that I own it? I mean, come on. I can't walk around with my head in the air and pretend it's normal for me to have a sleek, sporty car if everybody is whispering "That car is SO not her and she knows it!" behind my back.

But I admit it. I'm in love with my car. I'd totally have sex with it if I could. In fact, I'm thinking about turning those photos into posters that I can hang on my ceiling so I can masterbate to my car every night. Hell, I even had to go outside and do the sexy poses:


That would probably be MUCH more effective if I got somebody sexy to pose for them, huh? lol

Oh well. I love my car! I love my car! I love my car!

Friday, April 24, 2009

I got Syphilis at the Spokane Community College bookstore. Also, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Mange, Scum and the Black Plague.

See my cute little diseases.








I still want Herpies and HIV. If you want your own diseases, go visit http://www.giantmicrobes.com

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Hmmm....maybe I'm not such a bad parent after all

Seriously, if I ever thought I was a bad mom before, that idea has gone right out the window over the last week or so.

It was about that time that these girls showed up in our backyard to play with my kids. The first two who showed up were 5 and 7 years old and they live about 2 blocks away. I absolutely cannot understand parents who let their children roam the neighborhood without having any idea where they're at. Even with J.R., who is 16 years old, I always know where he is and if he goes somewhere different, he calls me and asks me if it's ok first. I'd sure as hell never allow my kids to just wander around the neighborhood and go to stranger's houses.

But these girls started playing over here in our backyard, and two other girls started coming over as well. I have no idea what their names are, don't know anything about their parents and I'm not even positive which houses they live in. One day my kids came in wanting to know if they could go over to THEIR house and play in THEIR backyard and I gave them a resounding "Hell no!" Sorry, but for all I know their parents are cooking meth in the garage and having orgies in the living room. While that may sound like a fun Saturday night for some people, it's certainly not an environment that I want my kids around.

I've been getting rather annoyed at them showing up at my backdoor promptly at 3:15pm, especially since my kids don't usually get home until 3:45-4:00. And they don't ever leave until I MAKE them leave, usually around 7pm. I have to wonder, don't their parents make them dinner? Don't they ever wonder where their children are?

Today I made them leave earlier than normal when I found my 3 youngest kids in the alley with them (where they're NOT supposed to be) watching them try to fly a kite. Isn't that an awesome idea? Send your kids out to an alley full of power lines to fly a kite.

But then about 15 minutes ago, one of them showed up at my backdoor again, wanting Mikaela to come out and play. Even worse, she was standing there talking to Mikaela and in her hand was a DEAD hamster. She stood there petting the dead hamster while she told Mikaela how their cat killed the hamster awhile ago and she had to bring it out of the backyard because it was freaking her sister out.

Because, you know, when a family pet dies, we all just toss it in the backyard, right?

I think I may have to start banning these kids from our yard.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The things I learned in Geology class tonight:

1. My professor apparently likes Paris Hilton. I tried not to jump up and knock some sense into him when he shrugged and said "She's blonde and cute. What can I say?" Does the man have eyes? Paris Hilton is so not cute. Puppies are cute. Babies are cute. The wrinkles next to George Clooney's eyes when he smiles is cute. Paris Hilton is....none of those things.

2. I found out where the term "dead ringer" came from. When people died, they'd place a string inside of their coffin and attach it to a bell that was next to their headstone. This way, if they really weren't dead and were instead..oh, I dunno, taking a power nap or something, and they happened to wake up buried 6 feet underground, hopefully they'd have the foresight to search for that string and ring the bell repeatedly until somebody happened to walk by and realize there was a live person inside. Neat idea I guess, although it makes me think two things. One: the idea that they buried enough live people to have a need for this is a bit unnerving. And two: I'd hate to be walking through those graveyards on a windy night. Also, this doesn't really explain to me why we use the term the way we do. Next time I see a "dead ringer" for my sister, I'll be sure to bury the lady in a coffin and see if she can indeed manage to ring the bell to let us know she's alive.

3. When you're writing on a white board, you really should make sure you've been working on your handwriting. Otherwise words like "rock" will end up looking like "cock" and have the whole class thinking you have a side-job teaching Pornography 101.

4. My professor had popcorn ceilings in his apartment when he was in college. Don't ask me why I needed to know this. I still haven't figured that out.

5. Spider poop (aka a spiderweb) on a projector lens is approximately 1 pixel. You don't want to know how this came up. Trust me.

So that was our class for the evening. Oh, there was also some stuff about rocks and weatherization, but who listens to that stuff really?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

So this is how the story goes

There are mice living in our basement. They're not rat-like mice with beady red eyes and scaly tails. No, they're fairly cute, furry little grey mice. I probably never would have realized they were there if it weren't for Oreo the Mouse Hunter cat who thinks it's great fun to catch them, carry them upstairs to the living room and play with them until she either kills them or they escape and run under the entertainment center only to jump out at us when we've forgotten about them and are naively watching the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition where the cute little girl has cancer and wishes she could be a baby again so she had more life left to live. Oh, you know the episode. They're all the same really, designed to have you blubbering like an idiot while simulteously trying to figure out if you could withstand the pain of cutting your own leg off so you too could get a house with a dollhouse bedroom and a swimming pool in your backyard.

But I digress. We've gotten used to these little surprises that the cat keeps on bringing upstairs for us so you'd think we'd all be ok with it by now. Wren doesn't understand how a person like me, who used to have pet mice living in cages in her bedroom and would put her hand in the cage and let them crawl up her arm and then put them on her bed and lay there reading a book with 9 mice running across her legs and stomach, can freak out and scream like a little girl at the sight of a big black and white cat walking into the room with a tail hanging from her mouth. I guess he just doesn't get it. Those were pet mice. These are real mice. You know, the plague carrying kind. (And if you tell me that the plague was started by rats, I will personally send my cat to your house armed with 20 of these little mice to prove you wrong.)

The girls are afraid of them, of course, but so are the boys. That shouldn't surprise me since Hunter won't even pick up our little toy pomeranian-poodle and set her on the floor when she's in his way. He'd rather stand there and try to lure her out of his spot on the couch with a cookie (she's a weird dog and would rather eat sweets than hamburger, unless it's properly spiced, of course).

So yesterday when Boogie started telling me this story about how Oreo brought a mouse upstairs while we were sleeping and she locked them in the bathroom with her, then picked up the mouse (presumably dead) by the tail and threw it out the bathroom window, I really didn't believe her. I'm not stupid, I promise. I just had a hard time believing that she would ever pick up a mouse, dead or otherwise, not to mention the fact that the cat always tries to rip Wren's hand off when he takes her playthings away from her. I kind of just brushed off the story until about half an hour later when I went in to pee and I thought, well, you know, she could have been telling me the truth.

Sure enough, I opened the bathroom window and poked my head out to find a little, grey, fuzzy, quite dead mouse laying on the stack of chairs under the window.

And I couldn't help thinking about our old cat Lynx who used to catch mice and eat them but she'd leave the head behind as a "present" to us, usually right on the floor next to my bed so I'd be sure to step on a bloody mouse head when I woke up in the morning. And then I started thinking about how Boogie has started leaving me "treats" on my pillow so I'll be sure to see them when I wake up. You know, things like cookies or chocolate eggs or pieces of cheese.

And all I could think of was that I'm really glad that my 5 year old had the common sense to throw the dead mouse out the window because if I had woken up with that plague-carrying creature on my pillow, I may have thrown Boogie out the bathroom window.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The price of happiness

Life feels like a giant roller coaster to me sometimes. As great as the highs are, the lows absolutely suck. I'd really just love to find that middle ground.

This week has been one of those weeks. Waiting on a check so I can have a birthday party for my daughter, whose birthday was LAST week. The check should have been here on Tuesday, so I planned the party for Thursday giving me one day to run all over town getting everything for the party. Instead, the check came today. And because my mailman is retarded, I didn't get it until 4:30pm. So much for a Thursday party. There's no way I'm running around in rush hour traffic to get everything.

But things were going pretty good this week. I finished writing my book and I'm really happy with it. I'm working on editing it now and want to get that done before the weekend so I can get some friends of mine to be my "test audience" and tell me what they think and if I should change anything. Then I'm off to the fun agent search again, but even that I don't mind this time because I think I can write a better query for this book.

Found out that I'm getting my financial aid back so I get to start school next Monday. But we still hadn't heard if Wren gets his back. I sat here making plans to pay for him to go if they didn't give it back to him, knowing it would mean we'd be strapped for cash this quarter, but also knowing if I did that he'd get his back in summer.

But then we found out, he's getting his back and gets to start on Monday too! Yay!!!

And then the furnace quit working.

No idea WHY it quit working. We tried changing the filter in it but no luck. I'm not about to call my mother and tell her that her furnace isn't working because I'm sure she'll blame us and it's not like she'll get anybody here to fix it. I figured, warm weather is right around the corner and by the time it gets cold again, we'll be moved out and my mom will be back here.

But here it is, April 1st, and it's SNOWING outside. It's so cold in this house that we're all bundled up in thick socks and hoodies, cuddling with the cat and dog under blankets.

Wren made a fire in the fireplace, but he used the last of the wood and since my check wasn't here yet, we couldn't really go buy more. So we turned on the oven, opened the door and set up a fan in the kitchen. lol Really, can you GET more ghetto than that?

Even with the furnace not working, I've still been in a great mood. Everything was starting to go our way.

Except for the mailman who hates us and seems to be holding all of our GOOD mail as long as possible, but that's for a different blog.

This afternoon I finally got my letter from the school saying how much I'll be getting in financial aid. And for some reason, they're not giving me ANY student loans. WTF? The amount of money I'm getting will barely pay for my classes and books, it sure as hell won't pay the other bills so I can actually GO to school instead of having to work. Oh, I know a lot of people go to school and work at the same time. I bet they also don't have 6 kids who go to 3 different schools clear across town so that they have to drive over and pick them all up at 3 different times each day. That, or they have REALLY good childcare.

Could you imagine the cost of childcare for 6 kids? I'd have to get a second job just to be able to pay it.

As anybody knows, though, when you're on a really big high, you crash really hard. So this letter crashed both me and Wren, who realizes they probably won't be giving him loans either because apparently we're both in default and didn't know it. Since when did they STOP sending out letters to tell you when a payment is due? I've never received a thing from them.

Or so I thought. I found some emails in my spam box from them, called their number and they're doing some forebearance thing to get me out of default and then I have to print off this application for deferment and send it to them along with some papers and my first born or something. And THEN I have to contact the school and hope it's not too late to get my loans back.

I swear, I had less problems getting into school than I'm having getting BACK into school. You'd think it would be easier since it hasn't even been a year since I was there.

I'm trying to remain optimistic. Even though my fingers are so cold it's actually becoming painful to type this, and my bed is covered in papers that I dug out of the filing cabinet to figure everything out, and my book is sitting here open in Word NOT getting edited, and Wren told me he doesn't WANT to make anything for dinner tonight (I'm mourning the homecooked meal, let me tell ya), and there are rather large snowflakes falling outside my bedroom window, I'm trying to remain optimistic.

Plus side: My book, Unrequited, is finished! Yay!!! I'll just focus on that thought for awhile.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Free to good home: Six lovely, well-mannered children

I'm having one of those "I really want to put all of my kids up for adoption" kind of days.

And I'm trying really hard to remember why I wanted so many kids when I was younger. I always said I wanted 10 kids. Then I found out how babies are born and decided I would just adopt. I mean, come on, childbirth HURTS. Of course, I was only 9 years old and didn't know anything about lovely epidurals.

When I got older (older meaning 16 years old) me and my future ex-husband decided two kids would be good. We wanted a boy and then a girl, and we thought 2 years apart would be perfect.

J.R. was born on 11/11/92. On his second birthday, his sister Katie was born.

Then came Dustin 13 months after Katie while I was on birth control pills.

Then 2 and a half years later came Hunter while I was on Depo-Provera.

Then 11 months later came Mikaela....well, because we were drunk and stupid which translates to not being careful.

Then Mark had a vasectomy, the only birth control that worked for me.

That didn't help me once me and Mark split up. So I started taking the pill and ended up with Wren. 2 months later I got pregnant with Boogie.

And a year later, Wren got a vasectomy for Father's Day. I even took him to the same doctor I took Mark to. I think that doctor likes me.

So now here I am, 6 kids later, and I can't quite remember what I thought was so great about having kids. I told Wren I want to put them all up for adoption. He said we could keep the two oldest ones. Then he changed it and said we'd just keep Katie. She's such a huge help around here and never causes any problems, even at 14 years old when she should be a huge pain in the ass. I guess the other kids are trying to make up for her.

J.R. isn't a HUGE pain but he's just so dramatic and pessimistic and he drives us insane sometimes with his bitching. Plus, he's 16 and wants everything immediately. Patience is lost on 16 year olds. And 5 year olds.

For the last 2 months, Boogie has been waking up 6-8 times a night crying. It started gradually when she had that ear infection that wouldn't go away. She'd wake up saying her ear hurt, so we'd put drops in it, give her Tylenol and she'd go back to sleep. But it's gotten worse and now she has NO idea why she's waking up. In the middle of the night, I'll find her curled up in a ball on the floor in the hallway, or the kitchen, crying. When we ask her what woke her up she yells "I don't know!" Then we ask her why she's crying and she yells "I don't know!"

I try to be sympathetic, I really do. I pick her up, sit with her for awhile and then send her back down to bed. But after the 3rd or 4th time of this, it starts to get frustrating. I probably wouldn't mind as much if she actually came into our bedroom instead of laying on the floor somewhere crying loud enough to wake the whole house. I also probably wouldn't mind as much if she could tell me WHY she's crying.

Needless to say I was really tired today after only getting 4 hours of sleep last night. So Wren went to pick up the kids from school and I took a nap. He told Boogie to sit in the living room and watch TV until he got back because I'd be sleeping. She says "But who will keep me from getting into stuff?"

Ok, so it's funny, but not so much when you consider that I woke this morning to find her on the couch surrounded by chocolate chips cookies and an open bottle of pink fingernail polish on the coffee table. Oh, and did I mention the coffee table is now painted pink? Yeah, it's pretty.

So I fell asleep and at some point she managed to find some dum-dums. I only know this because I half woke up when she climbed on my bed to set one next to me. She likes to share. I noticed she had 2 in her hand and fell back to sleep. I got woke up less than an hour later by her crying and running back and forth from the living room to the back door, looking for Wren and the kids.

Her tooth was hurting her. So I got some Oragel and put it on there, and gave up on sleep. About half an hour later, after the kids got home and she played with Hunter in the yard for awhile, she started crying and saying her tooth hurt again. So Wren put some Oragel on it. She spent the next HOUR laying on the couch crying nonstop. She wasn't crying loud or anything but it was really putting me in a bad mood.

When her crying started getting more dramatic, it became obvious that it wasn't about her tooth. She was tired, from not getting enough sleep lately, and playing it up. Wren told her to go down to her room and cry. She kept screaming "I can't walk!" and wouldn't get up off the floor. Oh, didn't you know? Teeth are connected to legs.

Finally, Wren carried her down to her room and put her on her bed with a sock full of ice. She spent the NEXT hour screaming at the top of her lungs. I went down there at one point and said "Do I need to take you to the hospital?" She yelled at me to stop talking to her and said she was about to stop screaming when I came down there. lol Funny how quick a threat to the hospital will get a kid to stop being a drama queen.

On top of all of this, Dustin, Hunter and Mikaela were supposed to be getting dishes done so Wren could make spaghetti for dinner. They got them done very quickly and he went in to make it after bringing Boogie downstairs. He went looking for a pot and found 4 or 5 DIRTY dishes hidden in the back of one of the cupboards.

This has been happening a lot. We keep finding dirty dishes in the cupboards because one, two or all three of them don't feel like washing them so they shove them in a drawer or cupboard with food caked on them, thinking we'll never know it was them who did it. They're right, of course, which is the part that really sucks.

If God was going to make being a parent so difficult, why didn't he at least build us equipped with lie detectors so we'd ALWAYS know which kid to punish?

Wren grilled them for awhile and got nowhere. I decided from now on we're going to have to stand over their shoulders while they do dishes and inspect each of them before they put them away. Yay!! More work for me and Wren to do!!!

Also, it seems our dishes have mysteriously been disappearing. I've bought new spoons and forks twice in the last year, and my sis-in-law bought us some new ones just a few months ago. But tonight there were 5 forks in the drawer. Definitely not enough to feed 9 people spaghetti. We're pretty sure they've been throwing them in the garbage to avoid washing them, but, of course, they won't admit to that either. Wren sent them on a fork hunt (not as fun as an Easter egg hunt, let me tell ya) and they eventually found enough for us to eat dinner.

Despite my frustration, Boogie DID eventually stop screaming too. She even stood up on her own two legs and walked up the stairs. Oh, she got on her knees and pulled herself around up here on the hardwood floors for awhile, saying she still couldn't walk, but she made a miraculous recovery when Hunter took something from her and ran.

Soon Mark will be here to pick Dustin, Hunter and Mikaela up. Things will quiet down around here, and I may even be able to relax. But tomorrow, Mark will be bringing Mikaela home since she's having a hard time staying at his house lately. And with her, he'll be bringing his girlfriend's daughter Jasman to stay the night.

Which means we'll start all of this over again soon. I think I'll go check into the cost of sound-proofing my bedroom.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Hit and run tantrums

About 8 years ago, my house got hit by a car.

Yes, you heard me. My house got hit by a car. It wasn't just your normal vehicular assault either. It was a hit and run. Some drunk slid on a patch of ice, slammed into the back of our house, then took off before we could recover from the shock and realize what had happened. If it had happened a half hour later, my boys would have been covered in glass. As it was, their bunk bed was broken and it took quite a bit to repair the damage.

Honestly, it turned out to be a not so bad thing. Our insurance company cut us a check for the estimated repairs and, since we had built the house ourselves, we fixed it ourselves and got the supplies at wholesale. I think we came out about $1000 ahead.

Plus, we get the privilege of telling people that our house got hit by a car, which is pretty fun to say.

I wonder sometimes about the idiot who hit it. Does he (I assume it was a man, and I'd rather not explain why) walk around telling people "I hit a house with my car once. I thought it would be a fair fight. Turns out, the house was much tougher than it looked."

On another note, I've decided it's time for me to resort to throwing fits. My four year old does it. Why can't I?

So next time Wren won't go in and make me mashed potatoes with cheese, or tells me that I HAVE to wake up because I'm sleeping all day, I'm just going to throw myself down on the floor, kick my feet, and start screaming and crying. I really think it will work. I think he'll be so shocked and confused, that he'll give me what I want. Hell, with how loud I can scream, he'll probably promise to erect a statue in my honor out on the front lawn just to stop the madness.

Yep. It's the Terrible Thirty-Threes for me.

Oh, and no, I won't be doing videos of me throwing fits. I'd hate to tarnish my image.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Let's all pack up and move to Alaska!!

There's nothing quite like getting woke up by a 4 year old voice saying "Mom, the bathroom is flooded!"

Sure enough, after jumping out of bed, I found a lake in my bathroom that was seeping out into the hallway. Another 10 minutes and it would have made its way to my bedroom, creating a swamp out of the mounds of clothing, yarn, notebooks and boxes that are strewn across my floor.

It's not bad enough that the floor was flooded. Both the hot and cold water were on full blast in the sink, which doesn't drain anywhere near enough to handle that much water flowing into it. I turned off the water, and made my way back to bed. Unfortunately, I couldn't fall back to sleep knowing the lake in the bathroom needed to be mopped up. Oh, I wanted to be lazy. I wanted to believe I could just drift back off to slumberland and the magical water faeries would fly in and soak up all the water for me. I tried to tell myself this. But I knew I was going to have to get back up and deal with it.

Well, that....and I had to pee.

So I grabbed a blanket out of the hall closet and threw it on the bathroom floor. Before I sat down to pee I realized it was awful cold in there, despite the heat coming out of the vent. I pulled back the curtain and found the bathroom window wide open.

Since I was still half asleep, I kind of shrugged, closed the window, peed and went back to bed. It wasn't until much later that I woke to hear Wren yelling at Boogie about turning on the water in the bathtub and her insisting she didn't do it. I lay under my warm blankets for awhile, wondering if we had a ghost. Or maybe.....did somebody break into our house and turn on the water? Perhaps one of the kids just decided they wanted an ice rink in the bathroom.

I think I must be really smart when I first wake up. Maybe it would be a good idea for me to do all brain-requiring activities first thing in the morning. Because as I lay there, I started thinking. Last night before we went to bed it was REALLY cold in our house. I mean, like, I went to pee and was shivering so hard I ended up with a headache. The thermostat in this house sucks. The only way to turn the heat on is by going down to the basement to the furnace. Oh, it has a neat little remote control that you can turn it on and off with, or reset the temperature on it. Ideally, this remote is supposed to work from anywhere in the house. In reality, we can't even get the remote to work when we're standing next to the furnace and pointing it right at it. So our thermostat is permanently set at 86 degrees.

Now, I'm all for warmer temperatures but 86 degrees is a bit warmer than I really want. So all winter long we go down and turn on the heat usually about once a day, for an hour or so. Apparently it got really cold last night, though. And we couldn't turn on the heat and then go to sleep or we'd wake up in a pool of sweat (although that may have been preferable to waking up with a lake in the bathroom). In my freshly awakened state, I put two and two together and actually came up with four!

It was cold this morning when the kids woke up. They turned on the heat, and realized the pipes were frozen in the bathroom (this has also been happening a lot this winter). One of them, thinking they were being helpful, turned the water on in both the sink and the tub hoping it would thaw out. Then they left for school. Luckily, Boogie was downstairs in her bedroom watching TV, noticed the water dripping from her ceiling and came up to investigate. The sink always thaws out before the tub does, which is why the water in there didn't start running until later. Oh, and the window? Well, Boogie loves to open the bathroom window and yell goodbye to the kids in the morning. Unfortunately, I think she opened it too much and couldn't get it closed.

I swear, I'm a genius.

I got up and went to tell Wren my wonderful epiphany and....mother of all that is holy! It was absolutely Arctic in the house again!!

Thank Moses for warm, oversized hoodies. I don't know where I'd be without them. I pulled on a hoodie and huddled back up under the blankets. Layers are good. Not only do they keep you warm, they hide any extra pounds you might have put on over the long winter.

You know, as much as I may get sick of the cold, it might just be worth it to move to Alaska. Hoodies and layers all year means you NEVER have to worry about dieting. Hell, I bet they even have sex with hoodies on.

Alaska, here I come!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Procrastination at its best

For as long as I can remember, I've wanted to be a famous author. I'd start writing a book, get a couple of chapters written, and then never go back and finish it. One of my life goals was to actually finish writing a book. Another life goal of mine was to get a book published.

In 2007, these goals hit me hard. On April 8, 2007 my brother, at the age of 35, died of a heart attack. He was a great painter, especially when you consider he had very little formal training. He never did anything with it, though. He painted and painted but never sold anything until shortly before he died when he started making 3D wood sculptures and selling them to people. I felt like he didn't take any real chances to achieve his goals.

Then, on November 13, 2007 my dad died of lung cancer. My dad.....where do I even begin to talk about him? We had a terrible relationship when I was growing up. We butted heads all the time. He was an alcoholic and took a lot out on me. But in so many ways, I was more like him than any of the other kids. My dad was a writer. He wrote poetry more than anything else, but he always wanted to be a published author. This may be where I got my own goal from but since I can't remember when my desire to write started, I couldn't really say. As an adult, our relationship totally changed and he became by biggest supporter and fan. I loved showing him things I had done because I could always see how proud he was of me.

When my dad died, he wasn't a well-known author like he wanted to be. In fact, other than posting on some ezines and in a few literary magazines that nobody had really ever heard of, he wasn't published at all. I found a folder full of his writing in his file cabinet. It was line after line of beautiful, melodic prose that, rather than making me feel good, actually caused me to feel desperate. My dad wasn't just a good writer, he was a great writer. Yet he went nowhere with his writing because he didn't take chances. Or if he did take them, I certainly never knew about them.

Last April, 1 year after my brother died and 5 months after my dad died, I decided I needed to push myself to achieve my goals. I have so many story ideas inside of me that it's almost painful. I sat at my computer and, in 11 days, I wrote a 107,000 word book. I thought that I'd feel this great sense of accomplishment when I finished it, but instead I almost felt depressed. It was sad to me not being able to run to my dad and show him what I had done. I think the let-down was magnified by the fact that it was all so anti-climactic. I was happy with the book. Sure, there were some areas where I thought it could use work. What piece of writing can't use work? But overall, I was happy with it.

Sometimes, achieving a life-long goal isn't as exciting as you expect it to be.

And maybe part of it was the fact that there was a whole other step to this goal that seemed insurmountable. The publishing part.

I spent the spring putting off writing a query. Once I had finally exhausted all of my excuses, I wrote the letter. It wasn't good. Really, it sucked. But it was finished. So I sent it off to 10 agents. I knew my summary paragraph wasn't good enough for them to ask to see more. I knew what their responses would be. But I sent it off anyway, just so I would feel like I was taking chances. But I stopped after those 10 because I knew if I really wanted to get anywhere, I needed to change that summary.

And now, here it is March. I haven't rewritten the summary or attempted to contact any other agents. There's always something that keeps me from doing it. Right now, it's a new book. At the end of last summer I had an idea for a new book and started writing it. I got halfway through the first chapter, and did a basic outline, but then never went back to it. I'm finally forcing myself to write this one because I think it will be better than my first one, especially now that I have a better idea of what it takes to fill a 107,000 word book.

There's something I realized last night. I used to constantly hear authors say that when they're writing a book, they become obsessed with the characters. They can't talk about anything else or think about anything else and even have dreams about them. The characters become like real people to them. I never completely understood this until I wrote that book last year. But last night I realized that, for me at least, they had it all backwards.

It's not a matter of "once I start writing a book, I become obsessed with the characters." For me, I can't begin to write the book until I become obsessed with the characters. Once I've talked about them, and outlined them enough to make them real, I have no choice but to get their story down on paper....or laptop. Whatever.

So right now I'm lost in a world of my own creation. It's an interesting world. Unfortunately, it's almost like being God and knowing exactly what's going to happen to all of the people in your world. Luckily, also like being God, you can't completely control the characters in your book. Not if you've done a good job making them become real. You'll be typing and they'll say something or do something that surprises you. Something you didn't see coming.

Or, you know, maybe it's just me.

*Disclaimer: Since I really am the Queen of Procrastination, I should tell you that everything you read above was really just my way of putting off writing chapter 2. What? Did you think there was actually a point to all of this rambling?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Snow and birthdays

I really don't hate winter. I probably sound like I do most of the time. I absolutely love the concept of winter. Snow is a fun, wonderful thing if you don't have to go out and drive in it. Or worry about loved ones who are driving in it in my case because I wouldn't be caught dead driving in this crap.

I love making snowmen, which we haven't been able to do yet this year because all of the snow we've gotten has been too powdery. I love having snowball fights with the kids, but once again, that hasn't been possible this year. It's so very beautiful to look at and there's nothing I love more than sitting in a nice, warm house, drinking hot chocolate, watching the snow fall outside. This is the first time I've ever lived in a house with a fireplace and the idea of roaring fires with snow drifting down out the window is just so romantic.

The reality is quite different, though. Who knew that fires were such a pain in the ass? Sure, it roars for about 5-10 minutes but then it starts dying out and somebody (read: Wren) has to get up and stack more wood on it. There's no such thing as relaxing in front of a fire. Or at least, there isn't if you're Wren. One thing I have learned this winter is that a gas fireplace would be much more preferable. I think I'm just burnt out on winter and snow after the 3 feet we got in 2 days back in December. Being snowed in at Christmastime wasn't fun. And, of course, now that it's snowing again Boogie keeps running around saying "Christmas is coming back!" It probably doesn't help that I still have our tree and decorations all up. Ah, the life of a procrastinator.

Apparently, Boogie also thinks it's my birthday today. She spent over an hour telling me it's my birthday and that she's getting everything ready for my party. I caught her in the kitchen filling coffee cups with water from the cold water dispenser on the freezer. Despite the fact that I told her after 2 cups that she needed to quit because she was dirtying up all the cups in the house, she still ended up filling 9 cups, one for each of us and one for Luke who has been here since Saturday.

I wonder if I should just go along with the birthday idea. It's not like I usually get a birthday celebration in May, when my birthday actually is. I'm pretty sure she's taken some of her toys and wrapped them in towels for me to open. And it didn't help when Wren came back from picking up the kids and had a big cake that he just had to get from the store because it looked so good. Now Boogie thinks that's my birthday cake.

I was wondering how old I would be if I actually had as many birthdays as my kids have thought I should have. I figure that each of my kids has tried to celebrate my birthday at least 5 times in their young lives. 6 kids x 5 birthdays = 30 years old. Of course, since they don't acknowledge my REAL birthday, I think we could just leave it at 30 years old. I'm ok with that.

Hell, most people get older on their birthdays. I just became 3 years younger. Awesome.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

All the reasons that my hair sucks ass

My hair is really thick. Sometimes I like that it's so thick. I mean, everybody wants thick hair, right? The problem is, my hair is also very, very fine so it doesn't actually LOOK anywhere near as thick as it is. The only time anybody realizes how thick my hair is, is if they're cutting it or dying it for me. And they always act so shocked about it.

Having thick hair sucks in so many ways. For instance, it takes hours and hours for my hair to completely dry. Why don't I use a blow dryer? Well, that would be awesome if it didn't create frizzy, fly-away, staticky hair on top of my head. Having thick hair also means that in the summer, my head sweats like it's being interrogated by the FBI. And for me, sweaty scalp=itchy scalp. Which creates knotty, frizzy, fly-away hair on top of my head. Sure, it's nice to be able to go outside without a hat on when it's 20 below, but you know, I actually enjoy crocheting hats and they only take me about 2 hours to make so I have a lot of them. I'd settle for hair that's a little bit thinner, and cute hats in the winter.

What fine hair means is that it tangles easily. I could seriously brush my hair for an hour, get every single last tangle out, have it looking all smooth and shiny. But 5 minutes later I guarantee it will be in knots again and look like I haven't brushed it all day. It likes to wait until I've walked away from every brush in existence. Once there are no brushes in sight, the chief yells "OK troops! Deploy!" and they all embrace as if they're saying their last goodbye.

I used to always say my hair was so straight you could hear it cry when I'd wrap it around a curling iron. As I've gotten older, I've noticed there's some body to my hair. It's not enough to call it curly, or to use any of those "curl-enhancer" products to create cute little waves. It's just enough to make it turn frizzy on me when I brush it out.

Keeping the balance of oily vs. dry is so tricky with my hair. The only time I think my hair looks good is the day I wash it, but if I wash it every day it gets very dry and brittle. Even washing it every other day eventually makes it dry. So, for me, it's every 3 days because by day 3 it will start looking oily.

One good thing I will say about my hair is that it usually grows pretty quickly. That's nice when I'm trying to grow it out, like I am right now. But about a year ago I decided to cut some of my bangs short and I get really tired of having to trim them every 3 weeks to keep them out of my eyes. Of course, the minute I decide to grow them out they'll start growing as slowly as they possibly can.

I've been dying my hair since I was 12 years old. I think it's decided to rebel. I really can't stand my natural color, which used to be a mousey boring brown but is now sprinkled with greyish-white strands. I wonder sometimes if I stopped dying it and let it grow out naturally, if the mousey brown color might get some natural highlights in it, but now that the grey keeps sprouting up, I sure don't plan to ever find out.

Does it sound like I'm bitching and complaining? Well good, because I am. I often think about shaving my head but I worry that under all of this unmanageable, fine, thick, frizzy, mousey-brown hair, my head may be misshapen. It wouldn't surprise me. Lord knows I've taken enough bumps to the head.

Ah well. Make due with what we have, right? Guess I'll go wash this "blonde" dye out even though it doesn't appear to have worked in the slightest. Maybe I can still get the pink to look good.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Laundry and bathrooms

I was all set to post a blog today. Did a quick video blog at the laundromat and I was planning to come home and blog a bit. But that was hours ago, before I drove all over town and back, and now I'm just tired and mildly cranky. Oh, I really WANT to post a blog. I'm just not in the mood. So I decided I'd just start typing and let my mood catch up with my desire. Sounds good, right?

At the laundromat, they have a play area for kids. Of course, I wasn't insane enough to bring kids to the laundromat with me. That's why I have teenagers. Built-in babysitters. But the play area is nice looking and I found myself thinking that Boogie would probably love to spend a Saturday afternoon there playing on the toys. It's like an indoor playground. I couldn't help but notice the sign posted there, though.

Play in play area at your own risk

What? Do they have snakes roaming around under the slide? Is there a giant Puma lurking behind the toys just waiting to grab little kids, drag them back home and have them for supper? Or perhaps it isn't anything as menacing as that. Maybe they've just buttered up the slide so the attendant can get her laughs in as she watches little kids slide down and bash their heads on the linoleum floor.

There was another sign above a sink that I noticed as Wren was tying his shoes.

Please clean this sink when you're finished

I informed Wren that apparently he can make a big mess in the sink and leave it, but if I use it, I have to clean it. I mean, I'm sure that the majority of people who go to the laundromat are female. We all know most men don't do laundry. They just wear their clothes until they become too stiff to conform to their bodies anymore, then throw them out and buy new ones. That, or they have their wives or mothers do their laundry for them. But come on. As jaded as I am, even I know that there ARE men out there who do their own laundry, and even take time out of their day to sit at the laundromat to get it done.

On another note, I realized something today. Ok, maybe saying I realized this today makes me sound like an idiot, so perhaps instead I'll say "I was thinking about something today that I realized a long ass time ago." Yeah, that sounds better.

One bathroom for 8 people just doesn't cut it. We have another bathroom downstairs but it's currently out of order. And until I get Wren to turn off WoW and go down and put another coat of sealant inside of the toilet tank, it's going to stay out of order. So, for now, we're making do with one bathroom.

It seems like every time me or Wren says "I gotta pee" the kids suddenly turn on their super-hearing power and rush in there ahead of us. We've discovered this a long time ago so we've taken to whispering it to each other. Doesn't work, they still hear it. Wren found out the other night that in this house all you have to do is THINK "bathroom" and somebody rushes in there before you ever make it. It's almost like you have to tell yourself that you're heading to the kitchen, then make a beeline for the bathroom.

I've always been a bathroom dresser. I get dressed in there, brush my hair in there, do my makeup in there. It feels like there's always somebody needing to use is, though, so lately I've started doing it ALL in my bedroom. But today I decided, since I had to pee anyway, I'd bring my makeup and brush into the bathroom and get ready for the day after I peed. I made it in there, put my stuff down and had just sat down on the toilet when Hunter pounded on the door and yelled "Are you almost done?" My response was a very loud, rather rude "No!" I managed to get halfway through my makeup before I had Katie, who spends longer in the bathroom than all of us combined, knocking on the door.

I'm thinking, since I've figured out how to do everything else from my bedroom, maybe I just need to buy a portable toilet and put it next to the bed and start using the hose in the backyard to bathe.

Or maybe I should just convince Wren that we need the downstairs toilet fixed.

Bathtub Book Reviews, Volume 1

Last summer, while I was checking out agents and deciding who to send my queries to, I came across a new author named Eileen Cook. I read an excerpt from her book, Unpredictable, and loved it. I knew I needed to buy it.

But then, as usual, I got obsessed with something new (probably drawing, or cow tipping or something) and forgot all about it. In early February, I suddenly remembered there were a few books I'd been wanting to buy. I remembered the excerpt really well, but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't remember the name of the book, or the author.

In my own stupidity, I just figured I'd drive on down to Hastings and find the book. I knew I'd recognize the cover if I saw it, since I rarely forget the covers of books. But when I got to Hastings, I realized how naive I was. With so many books to look through (would it be in romance or novels?), there was no way I'd find it if I didn't know the name or the author.

I came home and spent the next hour or two (it could have been longer really since I tend to lose track of time while I'm on the internet) searching for the excerpt from this book. Perhaps if I hadn't replaced my laptop not once, but twice, since finding this book my search would have been easier. I tend to randomly bookmark sites when I think they might come in handy in the future. But seeing as I was on a new computer, with no bookmarks to speak of, I resorted to yahoo searching.

I typed in keywords that I remembered from the excerpt. I spent so long going through pages and pages of sites, until FINALLY I found it! It was Unpredictable by Eileen Cook. I was so excited. I called Hastings to make sure they had it, and was very disappointed to find out they didn't. So off to Barnes and Noble I went. After searching there for awhile, I braved the line at customer service (Ok, I didn't really. I sent Wren to brave it for me while I looked at other books. Isn't that what boyfriends are for?) and found out they didn't have it in stock either. Of course they offered to order it for me but I was so upset I told them no and walked away, shoulders down. It was very depressing for me to find that this fairly new book, by a new unknown author was already off of their shelves while they had 8 copies of books like How To Make Anyone Fall in Love With You. As an aspiring author myself, it was quite a blow. I mean, I read that excerpt. It was soooo funny and showed such promise. It was clear to me that Eileen Cook is a better writer than I am. What chance does that give me to become a well-known author?

Despite this, I was determined to read this book. Since I don't have any credit cards, I had to get money over to my friend Dawn and have her order it for me from Amazon. It finally came in the mail this week and me, being the speed reader that I am, read it in one day.

So was it worth it all? Well, of course it was. As I said, Eileen Cook has this flair for comedy in her writing that had me giggling. At first, I was constantly making Wren pause his movie so I could read him sentences like "February is the worst month in Vancouver, nothing but nonstop rain, the kind of rain that makes you start thinking about taking up ark-building as a hobby just in case." Or at one point, I made him pause his movie while I read him this whole paragraph:

"Do you have a reservation?" the hostess asks. I can't think of what to say because I'm too busy focusing on how impossibly thin she is. If I held my book behind her back there's a good chance I could read the text right through her. My wrists are larger than her thighs. No adult person can be this small. She must be violating some kind of child-labor laws or else she's some kind of fashion pygmy. I'm surprised she could get a job at a restaurant; she's a walking ad for famine relief. It looks to me like she hasn't even been in the same room as food for a considerable period of time. I suppress the urge to offer to sponsor her.

How can you not love a book that makes you laugh? It got to the point where Wren would hear me giggle and he'd say "What are you giggling about now?" and wait in anticipation.

Ok, I'm not here to completely rave about the book. I do have to admit that Unpredictable was a bit.....well.....predictable. Sometimes I think romance books are getting that way, though. Despite the fact that I knew early on how it would end, I still enjoyed the journey to get there. I know Eileen Cook is writing YA novels now but I hope she ventures back into the adult arena soon. I'd love to see what she comes up with next.

Friday, March 6, 2009


I got my first diary for Christmas when I was 8 years old. It was green, which is my favorite color. (Don't be fooled by all of the pink on this page. I really do like green the best. Pink comes in a close second now.) I remember the false sense of security that flimsy lock provided me. Like my older sister wouldn't be able to crack through this high-tech system to read all of the secrets I was so sure I would be writing inside.

As any child does, I wrote it in it for a whole 2 days before I ran out of things to say. Despite my lack of juicy secrets, I found myself collecting diaries. By the time I was 13 years old, and my secrets would begin, I had 4 of them. My green one, with most of the pages still bare, a satiny red one, a velvet green one that had a simple snap instead of a lock, and my favorite one. My favorite one was given to me by my best friend who moved clear across the state. It was bigger than the others and had a unicorn and rainbow on it.

I switched back and forth, writing in different diaries until my friend gave me that unicorn one, and from that day forward I wrote in it exclusively. When I discovered my sister reading them out loud to her friends one day, I decided I needed better security in the form of a cosmetic suitcase with real locks and a key. I stored all of my diaries in there, where they still reside today.

I started my first online journal back in 2002. It was a rough time for me, with the demise of a 13 year relationship, and I felt the need to write about the things I was going through. Little did I realize how popular online journaling (or blogging, as it's now referred to) would become. I had approximately 13 friends who would read my journal daily to keep up on the things going on with me. Once I had an audience, my writing changed a lot. I began catering to them, writing about the funny events more often than the sad ones, and paying close attention to the wording of every single sentence.

I think I currently have blogs on 4 or 5 different sites. Livejournal (my first journaling site, where I currently have 2 different blogs), Blogspot (of course), Wordpress (which still only has 1 post) and my MySpace blog, where I write the most. I may have one somewhere else, but if it still exists, I'm certainly not using it anymore. I find that my MySpace blog is the only one that contains accounts of events going on in my life, perhaps because I have a lot of family who reads it. Rarely do I vent about things on there and when I do, I try to keep it as vague as possible to avoid hurting anybody's feelings. The freedom to say what I want and be who I am is lost for me in this world of online blogging, which is probably why I seek out sites where I can be anonymous. It's a different feeling knowing that the people who may read it won't really know me, and will judge me based on the words they read.

On here, I can be anyone I want to be. I can be that exotic woman you pass on the street, who walks with her nose in the air and would walk right over you to get to her destination. I can be the eccentric stranger who walks up to your table in a restaurant and grabs some fries off of your plate, dipping them in your ketchup with a smile, knowing you won't say a word because you're not quite sure if she's insane or not. Or I could be the kind, sympathetic neighbor who always lends a hand, doing things like shoveling the snow off your walk, or feeding your cat while you're on vacation. Hell, I could even be the grouchy lady on the bus who does nothing but bitch about things like taxes, traffic, and grouchy ladies on buses.

I think I'll choose to be all of them. But today, I'm the 33 year old woman, with the voice of a 12 year old, who just made her first video blog. I wonder if this is the way things have evolved. Starting with my little green diary, I have now become the video blogger, too lazy to even type the words out, instead choosing to click on a button and talk.

Nah. I still like writing way too much to stop doing it. But recording videos is fun too. So, here's my first video blog. Turn up your volume, press play, and don't make fun of my 12 year old voice dammit!

Oh, and an added bonus. Here's Boogie, after she watched my first video blog, making fun of me: