Friday, December 24, 2010

From the Desk of Dante and Dorian


What's up? Thanks for coming. Be safe.

Please enjoy the milk and cookies Dorian and I left out for you. There are also some carrots and water for the reindeer. I hope you love the Christmas Tree. Thank you for taking a picture with Dorian and me. Have a Merry Christmas and I hope to see you next year.

Dante (and Dorian)

-dictated to secretary (aka "Daddy")

Monday, December 13, 2010


Thumbs by Shel Silverstein

Oh the thumb-sucker's thumb
May look wrinkled and wet
And withered, and white as the snow,
But the taste of a thumb
Is the sweetest taste yet
(As only we thumb-suckers know).

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Heartwarming Holiday Message

This time of year really annoys me from BOTH sides of the camp. On one side, I've got Christians yelling at me that I am not "allowed" to celebrate "their" holiday because I don't believe in any god or supernatural being, especially the one they chose out of the pantheon of deities (meanwhile most Christians are extremely ignorant as to the whole tree lightning history and are completely unaware that most of "their holiday" rituals predate Christianity by thousands of years.) On the other side, I've got your "stick-up-the-ass" Atheists who think that telling my kids about anything magical or imaginary or out of "reason" (i.e. Santa Claus, Harry Potter, the Tooth Fairy, etc.) that I am making them silly people and lying to them and I might as well be teaching them about Jesus and gods and other fairy tales.

To BOTH camps, I would like to politely tell you to "stuff it".

To the Christians, kindly mind your own business. I can celebrate Christmas if I want to AND call it Christmas AND have a tree AND decorate it AND I can even sing Christmas songs with my kids and tell them the story of Jesus. Why? Because for us, it's just another story. And Guess What? It's a good one! I mean really, it's full of drama! Pregnant woman (by whom?!?!) and her husband, freezing to death and can't find shelter, shack up in a barn, have a kid who is magic and kings from far away lands bring exotic gifts. Throw in a couple million bucks of special effects, Ridley Scott directing and you've got a blockbuster! I can even celebrate Christmas AND Festivus if I wanted to! See, the best thing about being an Atheist (because trust me, it's not all it's cracked up to be) is the fact that we can celebrate however, whenever, and for whatever reason we want. We could celebrate National Day of Dancing in Our Underwear if we wanted to and it wouldn't hurt anyone or anything and I certainly wouldn't be offended if non-Atheists wanted to join in. So kindly stfu and let us celebrate Christmas because, to be honest, you don't "own it".

To the Atheists, I would reiterate the above statement and tell you to stuff it as well. If I want to celebrate Christmas with my kids and tell them stories, it's not going to make us any less Atheist than the next guy. Hell, I played the Virgin (*snort*) Mary in a school pageant years ago and I still turned out ok. So telling my son the story of Jesus isn't going to all of a sudden make him want to become an child evangelical minister and scream on sidewalks about going to hell. In the same respect telling my kid there is a Santa Claus isn't going to make him a moron who never grows up and resents me for "lying" to him. Santa Claus isn't dogma. Santa Claus doesn't preach from an ancient book and condemns you to an eternity of suffering if you don't believe in him. Santa Claus and his adherents don't get involved in politics or try to legislate laws on who can marry or who can have a baby. Santa Claus is magic and yes yes yes I know "magic doesn't exist" and "only reason and logic are important", but guess what? Magic is awesome when you are a child. Imaginary friends and imaginary creatures and wonderful places like Santa's Workshop and Hogwarts are incredible when you are a kid. (They're also pretty fun as an adult, but Universe forbid that an adult should participate in such "irrational" behavior). So you too, cranky Atheists, stfu and let us celebrate the holidays the way we want to.

I mean, you don't hear Jews screaming at us for NOT celebrating Hanukkah. I have yet to see a Muslim knock on my door to tell me the "good news" about Ramadan. And I certainly have never been accosted by a Buddhist at an airport with a pamphlet about the sins of stepping on bugs because they could be your reincarnated Uncle Carl.

So I will never understand this incessant "war" between the "Our way is the only way" Christians and the "You can't have any myths or magic or imagination" Atheists. Truthfully, I wish you would all find an island and duke it out and leave the rest of us alone.

So to the rest of you out there, Wishing you a healthy and happy holiday season and peace and love in the New Year.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Yes Virginia, There Are Female Gamers Out There!

I know this is a shock to many people, but there are thousands of gamers out there that are not pimply faced teenage boys. In fact, many of them are women of all ages, shapes, sizes, and skill (myself included.)

The new Call of Duty: Black Ops released on November 9th to a staggering $360 million opening day total. And yes, believe it or not, many of those buying the game were female.

For me personally, I do not like FPS games. (That's "first person shooters" for you non-gamers out there). Not because they are "violent" or "graphic" but simply because I am not coordinated enough to properly aim, fire, and survive. Hubby is excellent at FPS games, but I think that's because he's had actual military training in how to aim and shoot weapons. Younger people who don't have this sort of background experience are good at these games because they have "young eyes" and "young reflexes". Now mind you, there are a few FPS games that I can play because their targeting system seems to work with my idiot brain. Games like Metroid Prime, Gears of War, and Halo are games that I can handle. Call of Duty, on the other hand, were it real life, I would be dead in .0000000001 of a second.

There's also the big controversy that games such as CoD and other "war" games glorify violence and the act of revenge killing. For me, that's ridiculous. If video games affected people in such a way, I would be stomping on mushrooms, punching brick walls, and sporting a mustache and red overalls. (If you're not getting the reference, I'm talking about Mario Brothers.) I grew up during the infancy of the video game console. As I have grown up, so have the systems and video games I play. You could say that I have gone along for the ride with video games and their evolution. I started out jumping barrels to save a princess from an evil gorilla (Donkey Kong) to training my dog to dig for treasure while I shoot bandits between the eyes in a land called Albion (Fable 2).

The most recent controversy stems from the new CoD Black Ops commercial currently airing on TV every 10 minutes. If you haven't seen it, it features live actors in a live war scene from all walks of life. You've got the chubby librarian firing an M-16 like it's cool, the savvy businesswoman taking out the enemy like she's taking out the garbage, a celebrity basketball player throwing grenades, and the talk show host ducking for cover, while the short order cook takes out the bad guy with a couple of glocks. Personally, I think it is an amazing commercial and, regardless of the fact that war games are not my cup of tea, it makes even me excited to play a game like Black Ops. But I don't as per the reasons listed above. The controversy lies within the fact that rather than show visuals of the game, there are real people in a real scene showing "real" violence.

Judge for yourself:

The ad, at least in my humble opinion, is perfect. It is all inclusive. Women are not relegated to the "girlfriend who is being ignored while her boyfriend plays Madden" as a recent Playstation 3 ad suggested, rather they are forces to be reckoned with. This is one of the first, if not the only game ad that acknowledges the existence of the "female gamer". Unfortunately, CoD: Black Ops only allows you to create male players, and many real female gamers like to play well, as females. At least this chick gamer does. But I guess I have to be satisfied with this baby step. Now if we could only stop the idiots from getting mental when they hear a female voice on the other end of the screen, we'd be making some progress. I swear, if I hear one more "how big are your tits" comment, I may take out my own squadron.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


I'm Arachnophobic.
I am scared of spiders.
Yes, yes, I know the irony: An admitted "goth chick" who is afraid of spiders. I mean, aren't I supposed to love everything creepy, crawly, and Halloween related?
No. I don't. I am afraid of spiders and anything related to the arachnid family. This includes scorpions, ticks, crabs (not arachnids but scary nonetheless), etc.

Now you might think that when I say "scared", I mean something to the effect that I see a spider and say "eek!" and run away or grab a shoe and kill it.

Not even close.

Let me explain to you what happens to me when I see a spider. First of all, I lose the ability to speak. You ever have those dreams where something bad is happening to you and, in the dream, you try to scream, but nothing comes out? That's what happens to me in real life. Secondly, I lose the ability to move. My legs lock and I cannot run, walk, hop, skip, or jump away from the thing that is frightening me so. My hands also will clench into fists to the point where I have made my palms bruise and bleed from my nails digging into them. I will begin to shake uncontrollably and hyperventilate. Crying hysterically is also part of the deal. But the "best" part of my fear of spiders is that lovely fact that I lose all bladder control. It doesn't matter if I am in private, in public, with friends, with strangers, children or adults, I will pee my pants.

This has happened to me in the middle of Target, in the privacy of my own home, in a park, at birthday parties, at work (before I was a mom), and everything else in between.

It's not funny.

It's humiliating and embarrassing.

Let me reiterate in case you didn't get it: I PEE MY PANTS and I can't control it.

This doesn't just happen with actual spiders in front of me. It happens with pictures of spiders, movies with spiders, real spiders, fake spiders, and even the robotic spiders from the 80's movie "Runaway" with Tom Selleck and Gene Simmons. In fact, I had to skip the entire chapter in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets dealing with Aragog. Those pages are actually ripped out of my Harry Potter book. When I saw the movie, I had to leave the theater and come back when I got the "all clear". And to tell you the truth, just writing this blog has made me uncomfortable.

So, to the people who giggle and laugh and think it is funny to send me pictures of spiders or walk their fingers on my shoulder and say "oooo I think there's one on you now!", I would like to say, very politely, and with love, "STOP IT".

Do you think I like being like this? Do you think it is enjoyable to feel this way? Do you think it is fun to turn down trips and gatherings with friends because I know there are spiders there? Do you think I like being laughed at? Do you think I enjoy knowing that people can lose all respect for someone after seeing them act in this manner over a spider? Do you think it is funny when people exploit this weakness and think it is funny to hide toy spiders knowing that they will scare me?

I don't. Not one bit.

So here's a memo: It's not fucking funny.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Cheese and Crackers

Apologies for not blogging as often as I should but Mr. Billy Reuben and Mr. D-Lane have captured my attention and there seem to be not enough hours in the day to get everything done that I have to get done. So, apologies, to my loyal readers and I will try to be more diligent.

That being said, I was going to write a huge rant about the elections and my disgust with them, both in Florida and the rest of the country, but I have come to the conclusion that this is a good thing. It's a good thing because, by 2012, the country will be so far down the shitter that a Democrat is guaranteed to win. That's how I see it (or at least what I tell myself to stop from crying and pulling out my hair at the same time).

Anyhoo, I thought I would relay an interesting conversation I had the other day while standing in line at my local Walgreens. I was there picking up medicine for Dante as, for reasons unknown to me, since starting school, he has been a magnet for every germ known to man and thus was home sick (again). I was on line waiting to pay. In front of me the "Milk Guy" was settling up with the cashier both in his deliveries and in getting her number for later on in the evening. Nice looking guy, looked exactly like Snoop Dogg (but not as tall) and extremely enthusiastic about the elections taking place that day. The conversation went as follows:

Milk Guy (to cashier girl): Girl, you best remember to vote today on your break! Don't forget girl. I'll hit you up later after you vote! Just don't forget to vote.

Cashier Girl: Pffffffffffft. I don't know nothin' about no votin'.

Me: Are you serious?!? Girl, you have to vote! It's important!

Cashier Girl: Mmm-hmmm. I don't know nothing' about no votin'. For real.

Milk Guy: Girl, you crazy! It don't matter that Obama is President. The crackers are trying to take over and run the world.

Me (with a neck roll): HOLD UP! This "cracker" (pointing to myself) voted for Obama.

Milk Guy: Nah, nah, nah ma. I didn't mean it like that. I meant like the rednecks and shit.

Me (with a broader neck roll): Hold Up Again! I married a "redneck" who voted for Obama!

Milk Guy: For real? Uhhhh, well you know...

Me: No. I don't "know". The words you are using are just as bad as if I were sitting here saying that "n***ers" ( I didn't say it, I spelled it) were taking over the country and that Obama hates white people. You sound just like the "cracker rednecks" you claim to know so well. You're as bad as they are.

Milk Guy: Shit. I guess you right, girl. I'm sorry. Fight the Power! (raises fist walks out)

Me (to cashier girl): You really need to vote and know what is going on. The politicians running today are going to take us, as women, and you as a black woman back to the 1800s, where we have no control over our bodies and minorities are subjected to abject poverty while the rich get richer and those who need help don't get it. You really should be aware of what is going on.

Cashier Girl: $29.50 please.

*sigh* I tried. I really did. There has to be a way to motivate people to want to get involved and want to know who and what is going on. I mean, this woman wasn't a teenager. She was probably late 20's or so and was completely oblivious. On the flip side, Milk Guy was enthusiastic (maybe a little misguided as to who the real "enemy" is) but he was raring to go, wearing his "I voted" sticker proudly, and rallying up anyone in earshot. The question is, how do we get that? In EVERYONE?

As I walked out to my car, I saw Milk Guy loading his truck, blasting Public Enemy's "Fight the Power" from the "It Takes A Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back" album (one of my personal favorites) and as he looked over at me and I was rapping along, word for word, to Chuck D's licks, I heard him say, "Girl, you all right!"

For a cracker.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Harper Valley PTA, Not Really....

Well, it was inevitable in the grand progression of things. Since becoming a mother, I've watched my children achieve milestones in their development. But, I've achieved milestones of my own as well. I became a Soccer Mom; I became a Disney Mom, I sent my oldest son off on his first day of school; and now, I have reached yet another milestone: I have attended my first Parent-Teacher night at Dante's Montessori Academy.

I have to say that while everyone was really nice, I couldn't help hearing this song in the back of my head as I mingled and grazed over the hors d'oueuvre table.

Sure, it's not like I didn't expect to "stand out" from the other parents, I guess, but what caught me off guard the most was the fact that I did not feel as though I was a parent. In my mind, I was the kid. In my mind, I am still sixteen years old. In my mind, I was not the mother of two children. In my mind, one of the moms I met was forty years old and I thought she was "old" until I realized that I am 36 years old and closer to forty than to sixteen. I felt so strange because I forget that I am a grown-up. I really do. Don't get me wrong, I don't neglect my children and go out clubbing and have this delusion that I am really twenty years old. But, I tend to forget that I am a grown-up. I just think I'm sixteen and still "cool" and relevant. Something which slaps me in the face about how wrong I am when I see a group of alterna-teenagers looking at me funny as I try to "relate' with them about hair dye, tattoos, and The Smiths. Who the hell is My Morning Jacket, by the way and how come none of these kids know who The Misfits are?

True, I don't exactly look like someone who makes rice crispies treats and sends their kid to Montessori school and (soon) piano lessons, but we all knew that was going to be the case. Although secretly, I would have been thrilled beyond belief if, walking into the PTA meeting, I would have come face-to-face with a chunky 30-something alterna-mom who was stuck in the 80's and obsessed with VH-1 Classics. She wasn't there, but I did meet a very nice mom whose son and Dante seem to have "clicked".

It was fun being a parent at a PTA meeting. I got to ask about my child's progress, about his behavior, about him as a student. The most humbling slap back to reality was seeing Dante's "work folder" in which all of his art and writing projects are kept until they are sent home at the end of the month. Inside, I was greeted with the budding personality of my son, independent from me as his mom. I got to be "the parent", asking questions about what activity they were doing when this was made, that was made, and so on and so forth. And I got to be that parent who set aside a box here at home to put away the special art work my child produces throughout the years, so that when he is in his 30's I'll be able to give it to him to look at.

I've said it before, I'll say it again: I get it now, mom. I get it.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

My Advice About Movie Ratings: Ignore Them!

Now before you jump down my throat and say, "How dare you ignore movie ratings", hear me out! They make no sense! The MPAA are a bunch of people who are telling YOU what is right for your children based on their own personal opinions and beliefs, which may not always coincide with yours! Do you really want someone else telling you what is "appropriate" for your children and what isn't?

I recently watched this amazing documentary about the MPAA called, "This Film is Not Yet Rated" in which the secretive world of the ratings business is exposed through the use of a private investigator and Hollywood directors themselves. Some shocking revelations in the film include: the discovery that many ratings board members either have children 18 and over or have no children at all (typically, the MPAA has suggested it hires only parents with children between the ages of 5 and 17); that the board seems to treat homosexual material much more harshly than heterosexual material; that the board's raters receive no training and are deliberately chosen because of their lack of expertise in media literacy or child development; and much more.

This isn't new to us, though, so we usually tend to "prescreen" movies before deciding whether or not to let Dante watch them. Of course if the movie is "Caillou Smells A Flower and then Whines ABout it for 20 minutes" , we're not really going to go nutso and prescreen it. Although, Caillou's whining should get an NC-17 rating simply for the fact that it elicits murderous rage inside me when he does it. But we do do it for movies like Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, Iron Man, Transformers, and other types of "grown-up" movies.

Let me tell you, most of the times the ratings are screwed up. The MPAA is so concerned (as well as our society) that our children see a breast, or a nude body, or two people making love (especially if those people are of the same sex!!) that they disregard completely the violence and realistic "scaryness" of the movie itself. For example, Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief is a movie based on The Olympians book series by Rick Riordan. Before seeing the movie, Randy and I decided to read the book so we went out and bought it. The books can be found in the "young reader" section so we knew they were appropriate for kids. The book version of The Lightning Thief was wonderful. It dealt with Greek Gods and their mythology, battles with ancient monsters, and the quest of a boy named Perseus "Percy" Jackson to realize his duty of being a demi-god. All in all, it was a great book for kids and we read it to Dante at night. He loved it as well. The monsters were ferocious and fierce but not terryfying, the main protagonists were young kids about 7 or 8 years old, and the language and themes were appropriate.

Cut to the movie. NOT EVEN CLOSE. Randy and I rented it and watched it before deciding to let Dante watch it. The movie is rated PG, for "action violence and peril, some scary images and suggestive material, and mild language". Um, no. The movie should have been rated R in my opinion because it was extremely violent. "Some scary images" my foot! What was a whimsical journey through Greek mythology in the book became this violent, horror-type, ghastly idiotic movie with the protagonists as teenagers. The movie took a great book and turned it into an adult CGI infested load of crap that would not be appropriate for a kid who loved the books. And it was rated PG!!!

Same with Iron Man! Now, mind you, we let Dante watch Transformers (the new remakes) because most of the movie is CGI robots blowing eachother up. It's fantasy and there is no realistic violence. Transformers aren't real, so the sight of seeing them fight with eachother doesn't feature gory blood scenes and human suffering. So when Dante started asking about Iron Man, since he and his friends liked the cartoon, Randy and I decided to screen this as well, thinking that it just would be "robot violence" and that it would be ok. The movie was rated PG-13 like the Transformers were, so we were expecting more of the same type of Sci-Fi effects.

WRONG! The first ten minutes of Iron Man take place in the Middle East in which a Humvee is blown up by an IED and blood and guts are everywhere! It's like, "Here Dante, let's go watch Full Metal Jacket and eat some popcorn!" The next scenes involve Tony Stark being tortured by what we are let to believe are an Arab terrorist group with guns pointed at his bloody head and body. Cut to about an hour into the film in which the new Iron Man goes to wreak havoc on his ex-captors and we are met with an "ethnic cleansing" type scene in a Mid-East village in which families are being carted out "Holocaust" style and executed in front of eachother. This is PG-13?!?!?! Are you kidding me?!?!? What the hell are the MPAA thinking? Does someone need to expose a breast for it to be bumped up to an R rating? Seriously?

Consequently, no Iron Man flicks for Dante yet, which is a shame because the Iron Man scenes are incredible. Too bad for the torture and blood and guts.

So, if you have children, ignore the ratings and judge for yourself. We don't want our children witnessing human sufferring and realistic graphic violence, but have no problem with nudity and affection and sex (not porno sex, mind you), but you may disagree. But seriously, don't look at the ratings of a movie and write it off. Screen the flick beforehand and decide if it is appropriate for your children based on YOUR values. Don't let this mysterious board of the "moral majority" dictate what is right or wrong for your kids.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Driving Miss Daisy.....Sort Of

I have become that driver. You know the one I'm talking about: That driver. The one you get stuck behind when you have somewhere to go; the one who drives the speed limit, maybe even a little bit under; the one with a line of cars behind it on a single lane road; the one where all you see is the top of a head behind the wheel. Well, that's me now. I am coming clean. You can curse, yell, scream, shake your fist at me in my rear view mirror as much as you like, I'm not moving any faster.

What brought on this change? I mean, I used to be the girl who was so leaden on the accelerator pedal that I thought I was bionic in my right foot. I was the girl who could bust out the triple digits on the speedometer on I-95 and still sing all the words to "Hungry Like The Wolf" without missing a beat. Don't get me wrong, I can still never miss a beat to any Duran Duran tune, but these days I'm obeying the speed limit, using turn signals, and pissing off whoever is behind me, both with my bumper stickers and with my overly cautious driving.

So again, you may ask why. Not so obvious answer: I can't afford to pay a speeding ticket. Obvious answer: My kids are in the back seat. More obvious answer: Everyone else on the road is a jackass who could ram into us at any moment.

Seriously, every day I see an accident and they are all caused by an idiot being an asshat behind the wheel. My husband is one of these asshats. Now mind you, when he's got me and the kids in the car, he is a decent driver, but when he's alone he thinks he is Vin Diesel from "The Fast and the Furious" movies. Sure he's got the "Tuner Car" as those who soup up their cars to look and sound like spaceships say, but he doesn't have the Stunt Driver For the Movies experience needed to not kill yourself.

When he's late coming home from work (and his fingers are apparently broken since he hasn't called to let me know), my first thought is that his car has been reduced to pieces no bigger than a penny and he has gone to meet the Flying Spaghetti Monster in his noodly sauce laden ethereal palace.

So I've gone to the opposite extreme. I am sure the people passing my car expect to see an ancient driver who is a veteran of the Civil War, but much to their surprise, they are met with an aging red haired tattooed goth girl singing Duran Duran to her two kids in the back seat.

The fact of the matter is, I'm not going to drive like an idiot......anymore. Sure, I admit I used to, but I also used to go to bed at seven in the morning because I had been up all night partying at a club. Life is different now. I've got two extremely important pieces of cargo in the back seat who are worth more than any of Tutankhamen's priceless artifacts are worth. They're worth more than the Universe is infinite and if it takes me an extra five minutes to get down the road, then so be it.

So if you are stuck behind a black 2004 Toyota Corolla with an Obama sticker and Darwin fish on it, don't curse me out, shake your fist at me in the rearview, and ride up on my back bumper. Instead, pop in some "Hungry Like The Wolf", settle into the driver's seat, and relax. You'll get where you have to go, maybe five minutes later than you wanted to, but you'll get there safely and with Duran Duran in your head. You can't get any better than that.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Your 6 Week Check-Up

Well, it has been a little over 6 weeks since I officially became a "Mother of Two" and I have to say that it hasn't been as bad as I thought it was going to be. Granted, I find myself being more neurotic with Dorian than I was with Dante, which is odd since everyone tells me you are more lax with subsequent children, but in my case I am exactly the opposite. I am constantly checking to see if he is breathing, questioning every movement, every twitch, every sound, and every decision I am making.

I am an idiot.

I have to say that I am loving having a new baby. I love the baby smell, the baby skin, the baby babyness. I don't even mind really that since I am exclusively nursing, I am up every 2 or so hours during the night. But, my body has become acclimated to the "No Sleep" factor. I also kind of feel like a Holstein Cow, constantly giving milk, and incidentally my boobs are starting to look like cow udders. I swear I think I either tripped over one of them the other day or zipped a nipple up accidentaly up in my pants. I'm not winning any "Perfect Breasts" contest anytime soon, and I'm figuring that my days of having nice full boobs have moved over to allow for me to look like some African tribeswoman from the pages of National Geographic.

Actually, I think their boobs look better than mine. *sigh*

The biggest question I have been getting since Dorian was born is "How is Dante handling it?" and I have to say that he is doing spectacularly. Sure, he has had his moments of regression (taking up to sleeping with the "woo-woo" again) but he hasn't tried to kill the baby, or punch the baby, or threaten to throw the baby out the window (something I have been told I did when my baby brother entered my life). I am sure that as Dorian gets older and becomes more "human", for lack of a better term, then the rivalries will begin. Especially when Dorian decides to play with Lightning McQueen or Grave Digger. But I guess I will cross those bridges when I come to them.

In an uncharacteristic turn of events, I am so wrapped up in my kids and my mom/wife/superhero duties that I am completely oblivious as to what is going on in the world. I had no idea that FAUX News blowhard Glenn Beck held a "civil rights" rally today in DC, ironically enough on the anniversary of the famous Martin Luther King,Jr. "I Have a Dream" speech. I have to say that, pacifist or not, if MLK were alive to day, he'd most definitely slap Glennie in the face for the insult. I unfortunately have no snarky comments because I am completely uninformed of the facts other that Douchebag Beck seems to think that "going back to god" should fix everything in this country because that's what the "Founding Fathers intended".

Sometime I think I have to invoke Poe's Law, but alas I can't. These people are this ignorant.

But enough about idiots, this is a happy blog about how happy I am about my new little guy and my big guy. There will be plenty of time to wax philosophic and spout expletives about the Tea Baggers, but right now, I'm hearing some fussing on the monitor and my udders are tingling.

It's milkin' time!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Two Kids Are Better Than One.......Maybe-ish.

As I approach the month marker that Dorian (aka Mr. Billy Reuben) has entered our world, I have to say that it's not as hard or as bad as I thought it was going to be. Granted, we all have our "Holy shit, what did I just get myself into again, but for the most part it's been awesome". That being said, I would like to list a few pros and cons regarding siblings, namely siblings that are exacly 4 years, 2 days apart.
Dante is 4 years old. He is able to help me when I drop something. He is a great "diapering assistant" when we've got projectile poopy. He is self sufficient to a point that I can say, "Go wash up for dinner while I do this" and he does.
I only have to concern myself with one child in diapers. Which is plenty. I can only imagine the financial and smelly burden on folks with two kids in diapers at once.
Dante sleeps all night, so I only have to concern myself with one screaming kiddo at 2 am.
I can send Randy and Dante out for a "guys day" and get some sort of "me" time when the baby naps.
I have forgotten pretty much everything and anything having to do with having a baby. I am so nervous and flustered and I question everything I am doing. Did Dante sleep this much? Is Dorian getting enough to eat? Is Dorian sick? Why is he crying? Should his poop look like that? Why is he spitting up? Does he have acid reflux? Is that a tumor on his head? Where is the fontanelle? Is it normal for him to move like that? Why isn't he walking yet? Is he blind? Is he deaf? When will he be able to recognize me? Should he sleep on his back even though he's more comfortable on his stomach? Is he breathing? Is he dead? What about SIDS? Should his tongue stick out like that? Why are his legs bowlegged? Why won't he try to stand? Did Dante do this? Did Dante do that when he was a baby?
Seriously, I am driving myself crazy.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Church of Santa Claus

I was wait, inspired (yea, that's it) to write this post after reading Hemant Mehta's post, Too Soon to Learn About Santa Claus, over at his awesome Friendly Atheist site.
Since becoming a parent, I have discovered a whole "movement" of people who believe that telling your child about Santa Claus is akin to lying to them and, in essence, is a horrible thing to do. They believe that you should tell your child the honest truth about where the presents come from so they know that there is no such thing as being rewarded for gifts and that they work hard to give them said gift. It is also believed that children will grow up not resenting their parents for "lying" to them about Santa.
I hate this notion. Childhood is about harvesting the imagination, nurturing it, and letting grow. Telling stories about a magical being that comes at night and delivers presents to everyone all over the world is not lying to them. It gives children a sense of wonder and magic and goodness. They have a whole lifetime of being cynical, cranky, old people. Giving them a few years with Santa Claus isn't going to kill them. Santa is just a part of childhood, like peeing in your pants, skinned knees, your first kiss, and your first heartbreak.
On top of this, as an Atheist family, we get so much flack from fellow Atheists (and religious people alike) because we're the family with Christmas decorations and Santa, like we're supposed to NOT have any sort of imagination and make believe in our lives because we don't believe in god, gods, or any sort of creative force. No, we should celebrate Math Day or Rational Thinking Day instead. Sure, those could be interesting, but tell me what 4 year old would rather spend a day talking about integers and fractions instead of making wishes and lists for a magical fat man who promises treats and goodies for all the good little boys and girls?
We don't ascribe any religious significance to Santa and Christmas, and no one ever told me that growing up and celebrating a non-religious Christmas was "atheist illegal" why start now? And I never resented my parents for "lying" to me about Santa. What's the harm in letting your children BE CHILDREN?
No one has ever died in the name of Santa. There's no dogma in Santa Claus, or the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, Harry Potter, Star Wars Universe (wait...there may be some weird pseudo/religious dogma-ish thingie there with The Force and the whole Medichlorons or whatever they're called hoodads), but I digress. There is a huge difference, at least in my opinion, in telling your children that Santa Claus resides at the North Pole with elves and makes toys and telling them that there is an omnipotent "creator" in the sky waiting to pass judgement and smite you down if you don't cater to his every whim and follow certain "rules" written in a book by primitive desert people some two thousand years ago.
Santa doesn't pass legislation prohibiting same-sex couples to marry. Santa doesn't pull a trigger on a sniper rifle outside of an abortion clinic. Santa doesn't blow up buildings with airplanes. Santa doesn't chop off limbs with machetes. Santa doesn't make women subservient by covering them from head to toe. Santa doesn't carry "god hates fags" posters. Santa doesn't diddle little boys for decades and then have Mrs. Claus over at the North Pole try and cover it up and then say it was all a "misunderstanding" and "exaggeration". Santa doesn't do any of this bullshit! He brings presents and is fat and jolly!!!
And true, while I have highlighted some of the more "icky" aspects of dogma and religion, I know that those things aren't representative of different faiths people choose to follow. But, punch me in the face if they're not slightly becoming the "norm" in our society, eh?
So what's wrong with a little magic and pretend? Dante has an imaginary Balverine friend who comes to visit. (Note: A Balverine is a wolfman-like creature from the Fable 2 video game and looks something like this:but the Balverine is a Friend Balverine and doesn't want to eat us).
Anyhow, do I quash my kid's imagination and tell him he's talking to air? Do I tell him he's not, in fact, Captain Jack Sparrow and the bathtub is not The Black Pearl? Do I tell him that we are not actually sword fighting with chop sticks and are not Medieval Knights?
What do you think I do?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Rebirth of Slick

Tonight, Randy and I got to witness our son, The Mack, in action. It all started with a raven haired beauty sitting diagonally from us at Sweet Tomatoes. It began with a smile, a slight flirtation, and ended with Dante and this little girl playing Ninjas in the aisle.

What moved me almost to tears (of proud parent, not of sadness...ok a little bit of sadness, since I am the only girl Dante should love), was how slick my little 4 year old was with "putting the moves" on this girl. He flashed this "hi, how ya doin'" smile at her and (no kidding) winked.

Now mind you, we've been trying to teach Dante to wink for months now. Little did we know that all it would take would be a gorgeous little girl.

It was so interesting to see how (and here is where I get all scientific) our primitive nature or instinct kicks in, no matter how old we are when we something that we find "attractive". Dante has no clue what flirting, or the opposite sex is. I mean, he knows girls are girls and boys are boys, but at 4 does he really understand the trouble and heartache involved.

Of course not. Which makes it so wonderful to see him act like this so innocently. Later on, when he's a pimply faced teenager moping about the house listening to The Smiths' "Girl Afraid" (he is my child), it won't be that cute.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Birth: One Week Later

So it has been (already) one week since Dorian was born and I'm doing ok, I think. The C-section was an interesting experience to say the least, but were it not for the "cocktail" they gave me that I was allergic to (and consequently threw up from about 5:30pm to 3am the next morning), not a bad experience at all. The nurses and my doctor made the experience so easy despite my fears and the woman who gave me the spinal was AWESOME. I didn't even feel it.

The doctor who assisted my OB during the operation was a kind man who, during the administering of the spinal, stroked my head and told me (in a very strange Indian/Spanish accent) that I was going to be fine and that in a few minutes I'd be seeing my baby. Dr. Selman, my OB, was so wonderful, checking with how I was feeling and the nurses with their encouraging words and smiles made for an unforgettable experience.

As long as I don't get the "cocktail". I'd have no problem doing it again (not saying I would, but you know what I mean.)

A week later, at home, I'm doing ok. My incision KILLS only on one side though. It feels like a hot, burning, on fire, pulling sensation. I asked my doctor what that was and she said it was where they used a "hook" to hold me open and move my bladder and intestines out of the way. I proceeded to tell her TMI!!!!! I don't need to know that! BARF!!!

My feet and ankles are swollen and the lower part of my stomach is still puffy and sore, but honestly, I am doing great. I am slowly remembering what it is like to take care of a baby, remembering the "baby smell" and little baby mannerisms that Dante used to do. And I'm noticing that my oldest, Dante, really is a big boy and not the little baby I always assumed he was. From one day to the next, he went from "my baby" to "my big boy". He's learned how to assist me in changing diapers, making bottles (I am BF'ing as well). He's become quite the helper.

Hubby is doing well too. He's made dinner almost every night after coming home from work and has been a huge help in keeping the house clean and orderly. And, of course, my mom has been a great help as have been the wonderful network of friends I have.

So, a week into this "new mommy for the second time" phase, I can say that I am feeling pretty good. Exhausted, but good.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Hello there ladies and gentlemen!

In his true narcissistic namesake's fashion, Dorian Shane, arrived one week before schedule on July 13th, 2010 at 4:58pm. He weighed 6lbs. 12 oz. and measured in at 17 inches.

Mommy and Baby are doing fine, as are big brother Dante and proud daddy Randy.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Fantastic Four

Dante turned 4 today and instead of celebrating with a big party (too much for big pregnant mommy right now to handle) we took him to his Sibling Class at the hospital in order to prepare him in becoming a big brother in about 9 days.

He enjoyed the class immensely and did a pretty good job with the tasks at hand like answering questions about hygiene, what babies like to do (he answered oh-so-eloquently that "they like to go pee pee and poopy in their diapers"), and showed great promise in feeding and holding the baby.

He may need some work on changing and dressing the baby.

We then had our traditional birthday lunch at Sweet Tomatoes with the family followed by presents and a super cool Transformers cake at Nonna and Nonno's house.

Many gifts involving swords, shields, dragons and knights were experienced along with a visit from Sir Dante of Dania, dragon slayer.

A good day was had by all. I can't believe my baby is 4.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Just Like Daddy!

Dante has become Randy's little Mini Me. Whatever Randy does, Dante wants to do too......which is not always the best thing in the world. Everything from wearing "no shirt just like Daddy" to "I want a glass of tea just like Daddy", whatever Dante says is always followed by "just like Daddy".

It is really heartwarming to watch him follow his daddy around mimicking his actions and mannerisms. When he looks at Randy you can see such love and admiration in his eyes that you just want to cry.

The other day Randy was putting up a poster in Dante's room of a Medieval Knight. He was standing on D's bed, pounding the poster in the places where he had put the tape. Up goes Dante onto the bed, stands in front of Randy and starts pounding the bottom of the poster "just like Daddy".

Last night, instead of wearing pajamas, Dante demanded that he be allowed to wear shorts and no shirt "just like Daddy" to sleep in. At dinner, he had to have a big fork and a big spoon, "just like Daddy!" and this morning he had to shave (with a spoon) "just like Daddy"!

But of course, there are some things that Daddy does that Dante should NOT imitate or emulate. For example, a couple of days ago, Dante said to his father, "Daddy I would like some FUCKING iced tea".

While trying to hide our laughter behind our shock and anger, Randy asked Dante where he had heard that word and why would he think it was ok to say it. Which of course prompted Dante to say, "You Daddy, you say it all the time!"

Which, of course, reminded me of this:

Of course, it's not EXACTLY like that since we aren't drug users, but you get the idea.

Randy has his own little assistant when he's working on cars too. Dante will walk around with tools in his hands and (amazingly) if Randy asks for a specific wrench or hammer or thingamabob, Dante knows which one to hand him!

It is definitely the greatest thing to watch them interact. Sadly, I know that as soon as "teen" follows Dante's age, these moments will be just a fleeting memory.

Monday, July 5, 2010

1 + 1 = WHAT?!?!?!?

I keep forgetting there is an end result to this pregnancy. Not that I don't understand that there is a baby inside me, but I tend to forget the part where it is actually going to be coming out of me at some point. For example, my mother and I were talking about what I wanted to do for hubby's birthday (August 27th, mark your calendars), and I said, "maybe you can watch Dante and we can go out to dinner". She replied, "Sure I can watch the baby and Dante for a couple of hours."

And that's when I realized that there is GOING TO BE A BABY at some point. Actually, within the next two weeks there is going to be a baby.

Totally slipped my mind. I completely forgot that Casa Lane will be inhabited by four people instead of three.

The same thing happened to me the other day when I was considering getting Yo Gabba Gabba Live! tickets since it is one of the best kid shows out there. Here I am, nonchalantly picking out tickets at Ticketmaster and thinking to myself how fun the three of us will have dancing to such awesome tunes as "There's A Party in My Tummy" and "Don't Bite Your Friends" and "I Like Bugs".

Then, it dawned on me. I'd have a baby. A three month old, to be exact, which a loud screaming theater of dancing life-sized puppets is no place for. Plus, there's no way I could leave Mr. Bean (who will have a name by then) for many hours at a time if I am going to be exclusively nursing! Yo Gabba Gabba for me. And secretly, I'm the one who really wants to go the most.

How can I be so forgetful when I am reminded every day when I try to put shoes on, or put pants on, or get kicked in the ribs, or break a sweat rolling over in bed that there is an end result to this pregnancy.

Let's go over the simple math here:



.....which will, in turn, become some scary teenager with hair in places I don't want to think about, an attitude to match, and some bimbo hanging off his arm. And trust me, they will ALL be bimbos.

So I need to keep reminding myself that come July 21st (assuming Mr. Bean does not want to come early), I will have A BABY.

Someone please shoot me.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Mr. Copycat

Dante is 2 weeks shy of being 4 yet you would think he was closer to being 14 instead. Why? Because he's started this *lovely* thing called being a copycat.

Remember when you were a copycat, mimicking everything your mom or dad said and driving them crazy?

Well welcome to my house. SO ANNOYING!!! I will say something like , "Dante please pick up your shoes and put them away" and boom, I hear in a little tiny voice, "Dante please pick up your shoes and put them away".

and the conversation goes as follows:

Me: Dante, stop copying and put them away please!

D: Dante, stop copying and put them away please!

Me: I mean it D!

D: I mean it D!

Me: Hi, my name is Dante and I am a baby and I am so tired that I am going to bed now!

D: Hi my name is Dante and I am a baby..............I'm not a baby, I'm a big boy!

Me: Well then, put your shoes away please.

D: Well then, put your shoes away please.

Me: I give up

D: I give up.

To which I promptly walk away and ignore him.

Driving me nutso I tell you!!!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

"The Time Has Come," the Walrus said, "to talk of many things"...

..."Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--Of cabbages--and kings--And why the sea is boiling hot--And whether pigs have wings." -with apologies to Lewis Carroll.

No, not really those things, but I seem to have neglected blogging for a bit despite the fact that I have
loads of time on my hands to do so. (insert sarcasm here).

So where to begin? I think probably the most important factor going on these days is that I am approaching the end of my second, and final, pregnancy. I am currently 35 weeks and a couple of days with just about a month to go and let me tell you, I am ready. I know, I know, I waxed philosophic months ago about how "beautiful" pregnancy was and how sad it would be when all this would end, but I'm singing a brand new tune right now, and that tune is, "Get this fucking kid out of me before I perform my own Caesarian right here on the kitchen table". Not to say that I am hating every moment as there are those two minutes when I have some restful sleep that I actually
forget I am pregnant, but let me tell you, I AM DONE. Finito. Kaput. Finished. Hasta La Vista and Sayonara.

For some reason, Mr. Bean, my womb tenant has decided to forego
sharing my body and prefers rather to suck the very life force out of me. My thyroid, which already was on a limited work schedule before I got pregnant, has pretty much decided to go on permanent vacation and just "hang out and be a gland" instead of doing it's thyroid-ish things. Consequently, my Synthroid dosage is something astronomical and probably would have made Andre the Giant feel as though he was taking "too much". I blame Mr. Bean, who has also taken it upon himself to completely and utterly drain my heart and lungs of their functions so that my resting heart rate is 122 and I get out of breath just thinking about stuff. As a matter of fact, as I type this, I am sweating like Senator Larry Craig in a men's room. I went to the Emergency Room the other day because I literally could not get air into my lungs. Scariest feeling in the entire world. They hooked a monitor up to my belly to make sure that Mr. Bean was ok, and wouldn't you know it, he was just fiiiiiiinnne in there; moving around, kicking random organs, shoving my lungs and heart upward. The attending nurse said she had never seen such a "perfect monitor strip" and that I should be so happy the baby is so healthy. Sure I'm happy, but does he have to kill me in the process? I feel like Kuato from Total Recall!

Don't get me wrong, I'm not bitching that the kid is healthy and happy in my body, but if you ever hear me talking about getting pregnant again please 1)slap the shit out of me and 2) show me this blog.

What else is going on in the wonderful world of an Aging Goth Mom? My husband got "laid off" which in his line of work is more like, "you're fired but go collect unemployment". I mean, it couldn't have come at a better time, what with a new baby on the way. *barf*. But we're managing and he's been pounding the pavement and has some prospects. Apparently he was hired by a company and has undergone all the HR rigamarole (drug tests, paperwork, etc) but hasn't heard from them since. Which kind of sucks since he got another job offer today from Pep Boys, so...who knows? Unemployment is a joke, by the way. It's more like, "Here kid, go buy yourself a pack of gum, a nudie mag and some lube and go screw yourself". How anyone is expected to survive on unemployment is beyond me, let alone a family of (almost) four.

But enough bitching, since it seems that that is what I always seem to be doing. I do have something awesome to write about which has been a long time coming, but I just really have not had the time to sit down and write. Not that I do now, but I felt like I was neglecting my dear readers so appreciate the little I am giving you. I have to say that I have the most amazing friends in the entire Universe (and that includes any parallel Universes too, where The Borg have already taken over and Riker has a beard). They threw me the most incredible Baby Shower I have ever had or been to and I was so deeply humbled and flattered that I "mattered" to all these people, let alone women. Granted, my track record with female friends ain't so hot: either they are psycho, backstabbing whores or just plain whores who backstab, I have "issues" with trust and friendships and women in general. Well, no more I tell you. I have got the best women friends. I really do. And not to gush all sappy and cheesy, but they really are my support group. So, here's a shout out to my ladies who threw me such an awesome Baby Shower, complete with skull and crossbones cake and teddy bear wearing a spiked collar on the diaper cake. They
know me and all my quirks and, it appears, that they actually like me. Which is a whole new bag of "wow" for this girl right here.

So that's about it. I'm pretty sure that the next blog will probably be either some venomous rant about politics, religion, or the two combined, but let's hope that it won't be and that the next blog will be pictures of Mr. Bean, in the outside world, safe and sound, ten fingers, ten toes, and content with not draining the life out of me anymore physically, but prepared to do it emotionally and financially for the rest of his life.

Oh, and I realize I haven't mentioned Dante, who is weeks shy of being 4 years old, in this blog because despite the infinite love I have for the kid, he is driving me incredibly crazy and he's got to realize that it ain't always about him!

Well, yea, it is.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Phasing out the "Woo-Woo".

Dante will be 4 in July and still uses a pacifier to go to sleep. He calls it a "woo-woo" because he also has a special pillow that he totes around called his "boo-boo". So the Team is called "boo-boo-woo-woo".

Lately (and I think it is a bit of regression due to the pregnancy) he has been "boo-boo-woo-woo"'ing anytime that we are not outside or out of the house at the park or doing errands. We come home, and boom, in it goes into his mouth. I've been a little lax in telling him that "woo-woo" is just for bedtime, so it has become a habit now that as soon as we walk in the door, the "boo-boo-woo-woo" come out and I've got a baby on my couch.

Well, this morning and from now on, "woo-woo" will now be hiding during the day. He has "boo-boo", the pillow but the "woo-woo" is going to be JUST FOR BEDTIME! He actually looks cute with just the "boo-boo". Reminds me of Linus from the Peanuts comics.

Hopefully, the hidden "woo-woo" will be forgotten in a few weeks or so and he won't look for it at bedtime. The "boo-boo", on the other hand, doesn't bother me at all since it once belonged to me and was known as my "poo-doo-doo" and I relinquished using it at 32 years old when Dante was born. (but sometimes when D isn't looking, I'll snuggle with it for a few minutes too).

Thursday, May 27, 2010


I seem to have reached that stage in my pregnancy in which I would like to change my mind. It happened with Dante, and I blogged about it then, but in that case four years ago, my mind was being changed due to the fact that I was terrified of giving birth.

This time around, I would like to change my mind for completely different reasons. First and foremost, Dante and I have a good thing going here. We have our own routine, our own "thing"; we're a great team. Now, I'm going to bring a new baby into the mix and it's going to screw everything up! Secondly, I enjoy sleeping. The amount of sleep I currently get, scratch that, the amount of sleep I used to get before getting pregnant was really not bad. I got a good 6 hours at least. Nowadays, with the pregnancy keeping me up at night "preparing" me for the new arrival, I'm lucky to get 3 or 4 hours. I can only imagine what is yet to come. Thirdly, I'm terrified of this C-section. So terrified that I would like to detract all of my statements from my blog linked above about Dante's birth and say that I would much rather birth this kid the "normal" way instead of being sliced open like a Tauntaun on Hoth and have my innards spill out everywhere.

And last, but certainly not least, I'd like to change my mind because I don't think I can do this again. What the hell do I remember about babies? I hardly have any memories of life when Dante was an infant due to sleep deprivation (See, reason #2 above) and plain old exhaustion. Now I'm going to start all over again?!?!?! The diapers, the round-the-clock feedings, the spit-ups, the gross poops, the crawling, the not crawling, the hours spent working on new words, walking, new foods, strollers, car seats, carriers, tummy time, and on and on and on and on and on.

I seriously have got to be crazy.

So I am officially changing my mind here. I have no idea how I am going to be able to accomplish this, but I currently have Stephen Hawking on speed dial working on some sort of time machine for me.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Defending My Life

I'm getting a little sick and tired of having to defend my choices both in parenting and life lately. As I reach my 30th week of pregnancy, I am bombarded daily with random strangers asking some very personal questions and then turning around and questioning my answers, as though I have offended them somehow by NOT choosing the answer they had concocted in their brains.

For example, a random woman, never seen her before in my life, commented on "how big" I was and proceeded to rub my belly. I'm kind of used to the invasion of my personal space by strangers since it seems that having tattoos gives people the notion that coming up to grab my arms and say "Does that mean something?" is ok. The belly rub isn't what irked me, though. The fact that this woman proceeded to ask me if I was going to breast feed did. Ok, um, what business is it of yours "Strange Woman at Publix"? Are you really concerned with my boobs that much? When I answered "yes" she said, "Oh good! It's better that you don't give them formula. It's pretty much poison." Ooookkkk thank you, random stranger for your idiotic "fact".

Look, if you don't want to feed your kids formula, go for it. If you want to nurse your kid until they are 40 years old and in law school, fine with me. But let me tell you something. Dante had both breast milk and formula and he's not dead. As a matter of fact he's sitting here annoying the #$%$@ out of me asking me to play "knights" with him and then to look at his butt. He's very much alive, healthy, and now singing a song about saying "Hello in the telephone" that I am assuming he just made up 3 seconds ago.

I kind of looked at this lady funny and said, "well have a good day" and sauntered on. I kind of wish I had walked into the formula aisle and grabbed a whole mess and filled my cart up as I walked past her, but the "mature" person in me said, "Forget it, there's a jar of Nutella in aisle two that has your name on it".

But that was really not the straw that broke the camel's back.

I visited my endocrinologist today whom I haven't seen in quite a while. Normally when I go to the endo I see the practitioner and the nurses who just take my blood and then "discuss" the results with me. But today I got to see the head honcho, the doctor whose name is on the door, and whose been following my thyroid ups and downs (mostly downs) since March of 2009. So, if course, my pregnancy is a big topic of conversation, since my thyroid seems to have gone out of business since I've gotten pregnant, and of course I get the question, "When are you due?". And I say, innocently, "I go in on July 20th at 5:30am".

I say, "innocently" because I don't expect anything other than, "Oh that's great!" or "Wow! That's coming up soon!". Instead I get a clicking of the teeth, a sigh, a disappointed look of scorn and the phrase, "A C-Section then? Why would you do that?"

So, of course I go into massive detail about the horrible problems I had delivering Dante. Between the 30 plus hours of labor, the fact that I was 41 weeks and had to be induced, and the fact that after pushing to exhaustion and immense pain, it was determined that Mrs. Lady Parts down below was on strike and wasn't going to open her doors to let anyone or anything out. Consequently, between me pushing, Dante straining to get out, things got hairy (not like that) and Dante's heart rate started going down and I started "giving up" and the doctors decided to C-Section me. It was not "forced" upon me, nor it was done hastily or because the doctors "didn't feel like helping me push" as that stupid Ricky Lake movie, The Business of Being Born would like you to think EVERY C-Section is like, but rather an INFORMED decision after I, the mother in labor, had struggled for quite some time and my unborn child was stuck and in distress.

So I go through all of this story and retelling with my endocrinologist and she starts LECTURING me about how I should not have another C-Section, "just because your doctor told you to", and that she had 600 VBACs after her first child was born and that she was fine and that I was "selling yourself short of a miraculous experience" and that just because I had trouble with the first run, I may not have trouble with this one. I felt like I was being cross examined and I didn't like it. I tried to explain to her that my choice and my feelings were that the risks of a VBAC outweighed this "miraculous" experience and that I wasn't going to risk my health or Mr. Bean's just to "try it out". You "try out" shoes or cars or new foods. Not giving birth in the safest possible RECOMMENDED way by your doctor. Yet, my endo kept insisting to the point where I just had to tell her that it was my choice and that was that. I got a little snippy, I think and rightfully so.

Where do people think it is ok to, in essence, DEMAND that you do things their way? Whether I breast feed or formula feed, C-section or vaginal birth, cloth diaper or disposable, circumcise or not, indoctrinate into religion or not is really nobody's business by mine and my husband's. And it certainly doesn't give anyone the right to interrogate me like I'm some sort of murderer on Law and Order. (Although maybe if Vincent D'Onofrio was the one grilling me about this stuff, I wouldn't mind as much).

I see it all the time. People ask such personal questions of pregnant mothers that it's really as though as our belly grows our self-respect somehow fades and people think you can say or do anything to us and it's ok. Do I walk up to random men on the street and say, "Hey, when you masturbate are you a lefty or a righty?" or to random women, "Do you wipe front to back or back to front"? Yet people see a pregnant woman and think they can ask pretty much the same questions and then attack you when you don't give the "right" answer.

Hang on...wait....I think I hear that jar of Nutella calling to me from the kitchen. Let me go take my non-working vagina, forced C-section, breast feeding but also formula poisoning ass over there and see what it wants.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

National Day of Prayer: So What?

Today is the National Day of Prayer. It was originally passed into law by Harry Truman in 1952 and stipulated that the President set aside one day a year as a day of prayer. It been going on for 53 years and is an "American tradition".

As an Atheist, I don't really care that today is National Day of Prayer, so I was just planning on going about my business like I normally do and just treat it like any other day, but it seems like some more "hardcore" atheist people and groups are taking their "anger" at today and taking it one step further. The Freedom from Religion Foundation, a group which I belong to and generally support its causes, scored a "major victory" on April 15, when U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb ruled that the National Day of Prayer violates the First Amendment to the Constitution. The White House quickly appealed the decision and President Obama declared that a National Day of Prayer would indeed continue and issued a very stern proclamation.

See, this is where many Atheists and I start to disagree. While a National Day of Prayer may be unconstitutional, it would be more unconstitutional if it were called a National Day of Christianity and Praying to Jesus. By reading Obama's proclamation, it is clear that the NDP leaves the spectrum of the term "prayer" wide open. While many Christian folk will use today to give an extra shout-out to the "man upstairs", Pagans may take moment to walk with the trees or nature spirits for an extra minute or two, Hindus may spend some free time conversing with Ganesh or Kali, Buddhists may chant for an extra 5 minutes. And Atheists and Secular Humanists may watch an extra episode of Nova or Cosmos and discuss the wonders of the Hubble telescope.

The bottom line is that the term "prayer" can be loosely defined to fit whatever need suits you best. The NDP does not specifically determine WHAT or WHO people should pray to, but rather suggest everyone take a minute to "take it all in". Whether that be as a moment of prayer to whatever higher power suits you, or just maybe taking a deep breath and saying, "Gee Universe, I'm so lucky that the crap shoot that is life and evolution accidentally made me."

So maybe I'm a bad Atheist because I'm not screaming in a picket line that the NDP should be abolished, It doesn't affect me. A National Day of Prayer is not going to suddenly make me believe in a god, start knocking on people's doors at 9am, and going to church (well, only if I'm going into a church to admire the art and architecture). So why bother getting all upset about it? There are more pressing church/state issues that need attention, most importantly the Texas Board of Education's "revamping" of its history curriculum to fit the Evangelical Right's needs.

Sure, many fanatics will use today as a way of pushing their "America is a Christian Nation" ideology, but any intelligent, educated person knows that isn't true. While very religious men, our Founding Fathers first of all were NOT Christians, they were Deists, and they understood the importance of not putting one religion over another. They clearly set out rules and doctrines that outlined this concept. But, with the very strong Evangelical Christian presence in this country, that line between church and state has thinned and I understand why many Atheists may get a little "trigger happy" to start marching and protesting about everything.

But is this really necessary? Who cares if it is National Day of Prayer? It has no effect on my day. Why should it affect yours? It's like the abortion issue or the gun issue. If you are against abortion, don't have one. If you don't want a gun, don't buy one. No one is forcing anyone to go out and pray today, no one os forcing us into churches or temples or mosques, no one is forcing us to change our beliefs.

It's National Day of Prayer today. Do with it what you will. Personally, I hope many people are so hell bent on praying that they stay home and reduce some of the traffic around here!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Feelin' Hot Hot Hot!

Is it a prerequisite to have at least one hot fireman in your firehouse? Do they actually screen for hotness when looking for new recruits? Sure, there are the not-so-hot firemen, but every firehouse I have come across has at least one drop-dead-gorgeous firefighter in it.

Today, for example, at the $.31 scoop at Baskin Robbins a few firefighters showed up with the truck so the kids could play. Even the ugly one was cute. And the hot one made me want to punch myself in the face so I could get CPR from him.


Even the clothed one is sexy.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Universe Never Sounded So Good

I posted a couple of autotunes a while back featuring the scientific philosophies of "the greats" set to music. You can find them here: We Are All Connected and A Glorious Dawn.

Turns out there is a whole website, called the Symphony of Science, dedicated to making these wonderful pieces. They are breathtaking, humbling, moving, and most of all beautiful. Here are another three that I've fallen in love with.

*side note: Look for my sexy astrophysicist boyfriend Neil DeGrasse Tyson. *sigh, he is so dreamy*

The Poetry of Reality

The Unbroken Thread

Our Place in the Cosmos

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Solitude in Aisle 3

I went grocery shopping today.

Hang on, let me clarify.

I went grocery shopping ALONE today.

I don't think anyone but a stay-at-home mom can relate to the beauty of that concept. We are with our children 24/7, from morning to night, day in and day out, 365 days a year, holidays, weekends, and leap years. They're with us when we shower. They're with us when we shave. They're with us when we go to the bathroom.

Yes, even when we go to the bathroom. There's no use in closing the door because you will have a very curious 3 1/2 year old banging on the door saying, "Mommy are you going poopy in there?" or "Mommy, what is that smell?", or "Mommy can I see your poopy? Does it look like a Transformer?". I'm not kidding here. Guys, you have such a luxury of sitting in the bathroom, with a magazine or your thoughts, with no pressure in "finishing up". How I long for the day I can go to the bathroom and "meditate".

So imagine my utter joy and excitement when I awoke this morning knowing I was going to order, I mean, ask my darling husband to take Dante to basketball at the YMCA so I could get some grocery shopping done. My husband, gotta love him, has no concept of how much "alone" time I lack and thinks that my once-a-month Book Club is sufficient, and usually when I tell him that I am going grocery shopping, he looks at me with his puppy-dog green eyes and says, "Family Outing? Can we all go?" and we usually end up trekking en masse to Publix to grocery shop.

*big sigh*

It's tough to grocery shop with children. It's impossible to grocery shop with children AND husband. Seriously, you may think you are organized with coupons, a list, a map of the store so you know what goes where and which aisle has what, and every sale flyer available from the Sunday paper. But no, you're only fooling yourself. When you are with your husband and children, you will stray from the list, find yourself in aisles you have never visited getting an earful from BOTH sides of "please can we get this? pllleeeaaaasssseeee?" or "hey, we need this gigantic bag of cheese puffs/toy cars/pepperoni slices/chocolate pretzels/$8.49 a pound prosciutto/maraschino cherries/olives".

So, moms, bask in my glory as I shipped off "the kids" to the YMCA this morning and I sat down, alone, on my couch, eating last night's Chinese food, and took my sweet ass time to get ready to be Alone in the Grocery Store. I got dressed, got into my car, put on MY music, and drove to Publix all the while screaming/singing Duran Duran's "New Moon on Monday".

And then I got there. I could almost hear the heavenly operatic songs of the highest cherubim singing "Hallelujah" as the sliding doors opened as I was blasted with that oh-so-familiar smell of Deli/Fish/Baked Bread and cleaning products mixed in with stale flowers and bleach. I had my list! I had my coupons! I began my mission.

I went grocery shopping today.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Two's Company, Three's a Brother

For almost four years now, Dante and I have been a team. With the long hours that Randy works and goes to school, Dante and I have been a duo since jump street. When he was a baby, the bond was there but it wasn't as strong as is it now. He couldn't talk, walk, and was just a sleeping, feeding, pooping machine. As the years went on, and he grew and developed, we became "Two" and our bond definitely became stronger and solid. He's not only my son, he's also my partner in crime, my partner in adventures, and the person I spend 98% of my time with on a daily basis. We have conversations about anything and everything, we talk about monsters or dogs or feelings or space, we read together, sit on the couch and do puzzles, go for walks, swim, play, snuggle and fall asleep. Anything and everything, it is always just the two of us.

With the impending arrival of the new baby, my biggest fear is that my relationship with Dante is going to change. I am so worried that this "partnership" that he and I have developed is going to suffer. I know that it's not longer going to be "just the two of us" and it makes me very sad. No, I am not going to hate the new baby or resent it, I just know that the second this baby is born, my relationship with Dante will change forever.

And it breaks my heart.

Are we still going to have our chats? How can we, when I have to get up to nurse or focus my attention on the baby? Are we still going to have our special adventures into the Secret Place? I don't know. Are we ever going to get alone time to have our "dates" at Starbucks? Is he going to drift away from me as he sees me focusing more attention on the new arrival than him?

These are questions that plague me. I remember when I was pregnant with Dante, Randy and I would talk about that we would not longer be "two" and that our world would be "three" from then on. I couldn't fathom it. How was I going to share my affection and time with both? Of course, my feelings for my husband differ greatly than those for my son, but how is it going to be for another child? Is it different? Do you love one more that the other?

How do I not lose this incredible relationship I have with Dante? (Knowing that by the time he's a teenager I'll embarass him just by walking into a room).

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Puff-y the Magic Dragon

I have reached that stage in pregnancy where I have begun to resemble the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man. No, I am not 80 feet tall and lumbering through New York City trying to eat the Ghostbusters (although I think Bill Murray would be a bit salty), no I am talking about being so puffy, that my shoes no longer fit, my face looks like I was stung by ten thousand bees, and my hands are so swollen that I can't wear my rings anymore.

It's great! I love it! Can you sense the sarcasm? So now, not only I do have the stupidest haircut in the world, I now can't fit into my clothes, wear my rings, and lumber about looking like something out of Lord of the Rings. They had to create a whole new character called "The Fatness", and what it does is waddle about Middle Earth eating everything in sight, sitting down every ten minutes, and peeing every five. Yes, The Fatness is incredibly frightening, especially if you catch it without its clothes on.

Seriously, I feel like my body is no longer my own and I'm sort of "inhabiting" this big fleshy mass of boobs, butt, arms and legs. I feel like that woman who was on a mission of reaching her "goal" weight of 1000 pounds.

I think I may go audition for the role of "Thunder" in the remake of Big Trouble in Little China. I can swell myself up like that WITHOUT the use of special effects.