Tuesday, October 30, 2007

That's Mrs. Sucker to you, Pal

Don't ask how this happened, but here is Po Po...

ok, go ahead and ask.

Why do we have another kitten?

Well, the lady who fostered Crinkle McSunshine called me today to see if we would take her brother. I said, No. She told me she would pay the adoption fee, because she really thought we would be the perfect family for him. And he and Crinkle were always best buddies. She also gave us her pet carrier. Plus, I had read how having two litter mates was actually easier than just one.

And the topper? They have the same birthday as Meatball and Jellybean.


Sunday, October 28, 2007

How the dead constantly remind us who they were...

Just to show what kind of woman my Grandma was, I got a call last night from my uncle. My Grandma passed away in June. Chowder and I have been a little surprised at how slow the dispersal of her estate has been. I haven't given it a lot thought until last night.

My uncle asked me to help him with something. He wants me to go on a search. A treasure hunt of sorts. It appears that nobody can find my grandma's will. He is calling everyone who has inherited pieces of furniture to search the underneath of drawers, inside of bed rails, basically any place that she could have taped the damn thing. This is the woman who when she moved from the house that she had been living in for 50 years we had to search the rafters for oatmeal cans filled with silver dollars. We found 23 of them. We don't know how many we left behind.

I asked if their was a bonus for the one that found it, kind of like finding the baby in the cake.

Friday, October 26, 2007

She's here...

but as yet, unnamed.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Momma Trauma

There is nothing quite like a nice little break down in the Sam's Club. You know what I'm talking about, folks. A good old fashioned public weeping. Yeah?

I had one tonight.

and out of the clear blue. I got my 10 gallons of milk? check. My 4lbs of butter? check. 15 lbs of sugar? check. I check everything off of my list and head through the book aisle. Sometimes something screams out to me. This time, not really. But I see some bible studies from the Women of Faith series. I'm not always fully aligned with their views on Christianity, but you never know when God is going to poke you in the eye. So, I pick up "Embracing God's Design for Your Life" and I start paging through it. My thoughts? Nah. too much work! Jeez all these questions! And I hate bible studies that are biblical treasure hunts. First read this verse in Isaiah and then move along to this verse in 1 Corinthians and then off to Psalms. Enough already!! Pick a verse and let's go with that! *pant pant*

Anyway, so I've decided "no dice" and I'm about to put it down and that's when God gives me a big ole poke in the eye.

"Do you know what my two favorite things about you are, Mom?" my son asked me one day. "I like that you love your life, Mom, and I get to be in it."
Wha? What? Holy Kamoly, people! Why don't you just poke me in my other eye and put me out of my misery?! So, right there in the book aisle of Sam's Club...I crumbled.

I do love my life. But, do my kids know that? Do they only see me struggling through? When I am shuffling them out of the way so I can make their dinner or clean the bathroom or do their laundry? When I let out a sigh that the shakes the eaves of this house? When I become overrun with resentment toward Chowder? Can they think they are anything but a burden to me? My heart breaks just imagining this feeling in my children.

I come from a long line of martyrs. I wish they were of the faith persuasion, but know they are of the lifestyle persuasion. I still don't think my mother truly is glad that I am her child. I know I don't get the feeling that her grandchildren are a joy to her. Sometimes, I can feel myself modeling this same victimhood to my children. I hate it! I hate to my core! And I struggle to make it go away. But, it feels so deep inside me. It feels so much a part of who I am. But, it isn't true. It isn't real. It isn't the person the God created. And it certainly is not the person I want my children to grow up with.

So, yep. Sam's Club got an extra $5.99 of my money tonight. Looks like I have some work to do. Prayers? if you got 'em.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Bathtime at the Cakes' House

Thank God for giant, old, claw foot tubs!

and another thing...

The more I have talked to Chowder about this, the more I realize that what is really bothering me is that this is a control issue. It reminds me so much of something my mom would do. She is famous for giving gifts and then telling you what to do with them. The amazing thing about great literature is that we all come to it from different places and get so many different things from it and our interpretations are all different.

Can you imagine if Emily Dickinson showed up and told you how to interpret her poems? I was given the gift of Harry Potter and now she wants to hang over my shoulder and make sure I'm interpreting it the way she intended. Too bad. I never read Dumbledore as gay. I read him as asexual. kind of like a monk. And now I'm pissed that the know-it-all author is showing up and telling me that my reading of the character is wrong! If she wanted him to be gay then she should have written that. She can't keep "clarifying" the characters for us. It is ruining the books. She needs to stop giving interviews about the whole series.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Alright. I'll give my useless opinion.

On the whole Dumbledore thing.

I'm irritated. I really am. I'm irritated at J.K. Not because I care that he is gay, but because I don't care. It's not like the rest of the characters had to have their sexual orientation spelled out. It is irrelevant to the plots of any of the stories. And I DON'T CARE! But, now we have to be talking about it and debating it and discussing whether it's something my kids should be exposed to. And the fact is completely irrelevant.

I don't sit down with my children and say, "OK honey. Al and Charlie (our next door neighbors that we adore) are gay." and explain all of the implications (moral, ethical, social, cultural) that it involves. Just as we don't sit down and say, "Rafael and Yoli (our other next door neighbors that we adore) are Puerto Rican." and explain all of the implications (moral, ethical, social, cultural) that that involves. The best way we explore diversity is by seeing the person outside of the context of their diverseness.

and besides I'm still convinced that there was something going on with McGonagall.

My heart hurts for our daughters and for us...

My niece Grace is 4 years old. I adore her. She is a very bright, sweet, little girl. When I was taking pictures of her new house, she kept posing for the pictures. They were all along the lines of underwear ad poses. I tried to get her to stop, but she kept insisting that this was how women posed for pictures.

My first instinct was to judge my sister. You know the thought line...Where is Grace seeing this? Why is she acting like this? Why isn't my sister sheltering her from this sexuality?

When I talked to my sister about this and showed her the pictures, she was horrified. Then she remembered that her downstairs neighbor had put some catalogs out on the stoop to be recycled and she found Grace looking at a Victoria Secret catalog. And still I felt this sense that somehow my sister should have protected her from that.

But as I drove home that day, I saw a Victoria Secret billboard. I realized that I have had to steer my kids in opposite directions walking by various stores in our occasional trip to the mall. Then I passed a bus sign of the latest "Brittany Spears," she was sprawled on satin sheets in her underwear. My daughter is being exposed to the same images everyday...and so am I.

Danigirl has brought to my attention the new Dove film. I've posted about these before. I love them and they make me cry.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Some updates...

I don't remember seeing a post where you talked about your decision to stop homeschooling? Or were you just homeschooling 'cause you didn't like any of the schools in your area ('til you found the Montessori one)? Or did I just miss that post (sorry, if so)?
  • My friend Valerie asked me this...I know I have promised a good school post. I have been waiting to get some good school pics. I'm about to write an article for a couple of local papers and newsletters, so I'll have pics soon. But to answer this question: Yes, our original intention to homeschool was directly attached to my dissatisfaction with traditional schools, plus our public school system has been taken over by the state and lost accreditation. There are a couple of very creative private schools in our city that are excruciatingly expensive. Our reasons were almost purely academic, though I have concern about some of the social influences that are getting younger and younger. This school fit our bill completely. I promise this week I will tell you all about it.
  • I told you guys about Owen. I wanted to update that he is in complete remission! WooHoo! We continue to pray for complete healing. There is a 75% chance that he will never have to face the cancer again.
  • I posted about online surveys. Well, to update on that...let's just say it was a bust for me. I was accumulating points and stuff, but I'm way to ADD to stick with these complicated systems.
  • Our kitten has the sniffles. We went to pick her up on Friday only to find out that she has a respiratory infection and was sent back to her foster mom's house until she is done with her antibiotics. We will get to pick her up on the 27th.
  • My cousin is officially getting a divorce. Chowder and I tried.
  • I seem to be recovering alright from our loss. Though it has awoken that insatiable longing again. We have no immediate plans except to discuss our feelings in the Spring.
  • As far as our house goes, our lowest bid on the porch is $11,300. I still haven't painted the walls, but Chowder had begun his doctorate.
  • My new OCD meds are doing a lovely job! I can't tell you how freeing it is.
  • Hopefully my retelling of Chowder and my love story will be told.
hmmm... I think that is it. Did I miss something?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Why you don't want to sit next to us in Parenting Classes...

Chowder and I are taking parenting classes that are being offered through the school. It's a fun little evening, dinner, childcare, talking with other parents. It's really nice. Now, the main area Chowder and I fall short is in the consistency arena. I may have mentioned that we are both ADD. I can't tell you the number of times that Chowder has come home and asked where Skaterboy is, only to have me tell him that he is out with his friends, and then to have him tell me that I forgot *again* that Skaterboy was grounded. Once when he got banned from the family room because he kept leaving dishes in there even after we told him he could no longer eat in there, I had to make a sign with "Skaterboy" on it and a circle with a slash through it. It was the only way I would remember.

At one point in the evening we were discussing rules and consequences and rewards. We were supposed to make a list of our rules and the rewards and consequences that go along with them. Chowder and I sat there staring at the blank sheet of paper. Neither one of us could come up with a single rule/reward/consequence that we have. Finally, I wrote down a rule I could remember.

  • Pants must be worn at the dinner table.
Chowder and I collapsed into a fit of giggles. Because, that really is a rule I have made. While people around us wrote down, "Make beds before breakfast." We wrote down
  • If it has come out of your body, it does not go back in.
along with
  • Respect species specific food i.e. bird food is for birds and dog food is for dogs
It's not that the kids don't make their beds. They do. But, that is more of just something that we do. Every morning we get dressed, make our beds, brush our teeth, take our vitamins. I have never felt like I had to spell it out as a rule. Unlike
  • Everybody wears their own underwear.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

What do you do when your mother-in-law shops while drunk?

I'm not even making that up.
she does.
drink and shop.

For the boys it's usually ok because I think she believes she is still shopping for her sons. And her sons were the preppiest damn kids you ever did see. But, Jellybean? My adorable Jellybean? She fluctuates among several horrid styles.
1.) Paris brothel circa. 1931
2.) Louisiana trailer park circa. 1987
3.) Victorian England

of course being 5 years old, Jellybean loves them all! And of course Grandmother gives the clothes directly to Jellybean(!) so I don't even get to intercept. And she has her try them on for her so I can't even claim they don't fit! I keep putting pressure on Chowder to put an end to this but he understandably gives in to the mother guilt.

So this morning Jellybean went to school in her Victorian finery complete with flowered hat. I would take a picture, but I'm afraid I will only reinforce the look. And she had to keep asking, "Mommy! Don't I look beautiful?" to which I could only answer, "of course, Darling. You are very beautiful." And she is. but the ensemble? Well, beautiful is not the word that came to mind.

Monday, October 15, 2007

kittens, kittens, kittens

even for someone who doesn't have a particular soft spot for cats, kittens are so damn cute. We went to the Humane Society today to play with kittens. The foster thing isn't really working out, and Chowder and I decided if we are going to do this, then let's just do this.

So, we spent a lot of time with an adorable little black and white girl. She is 3mos old, just came to the Humane Society from a foster home with the rest of her bros and sisses. She is fixed and shotted up. But, I had my eye on a cute little gray and white girl, too. We came home to think for a couple of more days to make sure we want to deal with the logistics. I really want to be committed to her for the next 15 years. Yikes! The kids will be in college by then!

In the mean time I have snapped two mice in my traps and still there were holes in my new bag of BBQ potato chips. ARGH!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

What the?

and yes, they did go to the grocery store with me. and no, I didn't care. and yes, apparently other people did. and no, I didn't care about that either.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

My Chicks...

You know those times when you are gasping for breath and tears are streaming down your cramped cheeks and your stomach hurts so bad that you might throw up? You know when someone has said something so ridiculously, disgustingly offensive that you can't stop laughing uncontrollably? Well, these are my chicks. Well, most of them. There are a few missing. I've been friends with these women for over 10 years, some for almost 20.

The importance of these women in my life can not be overstated. Come to think of it, I'm not even sure I can state it. I have visited three of these women and their children in the hospital. Two of them were there when I found out my ex husband had had a girlfriend for a year and a half of our two year marriage. Two of them exacted a brilliant revenge. Three offered to help me bury bodies.

Three of us, while in college, have had our friends around us in apartments, waiting outside bathroom doors while we took pregnancy tests. Two of them were positive. Three of us went through infertility. Five of us have been taken out for wine and tears after miscarriage. Five of us have been bridesmaids for four of us. Two of us have been carried through divorces. Seven of us have had casseroles delivered at our doors under the pretense of burying our noses into the soft neck of a newborn baby. Five of us have a Master's Degree. Two of us never finished college. Six of us are stay at home moms. Three of us are Republicans and three of us are Democrats, while two of us are Independent. We will all fight you to the death to protect women and children. Two of us are millionaires, three of us scrape by by the skin of our teeth. Three of us have impeccably decorated houses and five of us...well. Eight of us help bring the simple material things to a family who struggles at Christmastime. We have eight husbands and twenty four children among us.

I thank God for these amazing, intelligent, hilarious, spirited, crazy group of friends. When I think about moving away, and the idea of having to make friends again, I just kind of shut down. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to make friends as a Pastor's Wife? It sucks. You can't really be yourself. You always have this other woman floating around you. But here, I can simply be Cakes. Warts and all. Dirty jokes and all. wine drinking and all.

Friday, October 12, 2007

To Dye for...

So, I know I never got brave enough to go completely blond, like I said. But, I did go quite a bit lighter this summer. Well, now is the time to go back to the dark side. A couple of nights ago I went and bought some hair color. I haven't colored my own hair in years, my girl Callie is awesome! But, money is tight at the mo, so I went to do it myself. It's not horrible, but definitely not a Callie job.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Again, I have to tell you that we are dog people. So far, that is what we know. One thing that we have never understood is the naming of cats. From what we can tell, cats are to be named something that is completely humiliating and must leave the creature with not a shred of dignity. So, while sitting around the dinner table last night we came up with our list. It's like a poem, you really must read the list out loud to fully appreciate it.

  1. "Cotton Belly Huggin Face"
  2. "Bag"
  3. "Killer Cat That Kills the Mice"
  4. "Thunderpaws"
  5. "Happy Lemonade"
  6. "Lady Muffinpants"
  7. "Miss Puddin' Tops"
  8. "Mouse Catcher"
  9. "Little One"
  10. "I Love You"
  11. "Benny"
  12. "Purplehead"
  13. "Madam Mutton Bottoms"
  14. "Princess Precious Cookie Face"
  15. "Cat"
  16. "Frances McButtons"
  17. "Wonder Red"
  18. "Sally the Cat"
  19. "Mrs. Suggyface"
  20. "Duchess Tinkle Figbottom"
  21. "Drinkhead"
  22. "Thrilla"
  23. "Huggin Huggin Huggingface"
  24. "Cap'n Snuggle Britches"
  25. "Crinkle McSunshine"
  26. "Little Kitten"
  27. "Sheriff the Cat"
  28. "Cutie McSourpuss"

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Taking Kitty Out for a Test Drive...

I hate mice.
I have mice.
I have mice that will not go into the traps like they are supposed to. And yes, I have tried 5 different types of traps, and yes I use peanut butter, and yes I load the traps with plastic gloves on, and yes I have stuffed holes with steel wool, and yes I keep the dog food in a big plastic bin. And STILL I have holes chewed in my boxes of cereal, in my bread, in my rice, in my potato chips.

I talked to the exterminator who explained that in my 110 year old house the mice have been there for about that long. That these are the great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great (You get the point) grandmice of the original invaders. And he suggested a generous dosing of poison and trap combo. Well, I'm not going to use poison in a house with children (nor do I want stinky dead mice in my walls), and the traps are either not working or in the case of the sticky traps, they are catching more family members (of the Oliver and Fargo kind) than mice.

I am not a cat person. I am a dog person. A BIG dog person. I have never owned a cat in my life. I might even be allergic. But, it has gotten to the point that my pet hating husband and I have begun to talk seriously about getting a cat. First, we talked about getting a snake and letting it loose, but decided that wasn't feasible. Since, I don't know if we are a cat kind of family or not, and since I don't believe in getting pets unless you are committed to the animal for life, I called my friend Meg who fosters cats and asked her what I should do. She said, foster a cat. If it's not something we want to do, we give it back to the rescue people or to its "forever home."

So, I called Karen, my rescue contact, and she will be looking for something that would suit our needs and family. We should hear back in the next couple of days.

Friday, October 05, 2007

I've been trying to write a post all week...

It's a sweet, funny, darling post on the occasion of Chowder and my 20th anniversary of meeting. But, wouldn't you know that as I was writing it, Chowder and I got into a huge fight about our own interpretation of our beloved story. A fight that took up the vast majority of our appointment with our pastoral counselor. A fight that has led our pastoral counselor to call a special appointment on Tuesday morning (even though I assured him we could pave right over this issue no problem!)

What is so funny about this, is we are fighting about our high school selves and regressing completely into those selves. The story is so special to both of us. The history that it covers. The obstacles that are overcome. The depth of the love. The hand of God. It is the perfect Love Story. So, why does it hold such emotional charge for us. Why can I not get past the insecurity I felt during our high school relationship? What will it take?