Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Inevitable After-Guests Debriefing

This is kinda late, but we had our friends Justin and Lauren and their three kids over last week for the holidays.

"Does it have to be that loud?" I asked my husband with real concern, after our guests had left for the evening. "Does it have to be that way?"

"No, it doesn't." I was kind of surprised by the vehemence in his voice. After all, I had never seen him in this kind of situation, surrounded by the madness of numerous under-twelves in our home. I thought he had been very patient. He had looked unruffled throughout the entire evening.

"So talk to me. Tell me your thoughts." I love a peek inside my husband's brain, and it sounded like he definitely had an opinion about the night's events.

"Well, I know what you mean when you say that Justin isn't very hands-on. I mean, Lauren kept asking him to help out with the kids, and he just stood there. If you made a point to ask me, in front of company, to help out with one of our kids, I would assume that meant you were at the end of your rope. I would step in and discipline. And if the kid started to cry or whatever, I would just take him in the other room."

(Is it weird that I find my husband extremely hot when he talks about equitable division of parenting tasks in regards to our future children?)

"And also..." he continued, "what is with that whole 're-directing' thing? If a kid wants something, and they shouldn't have it, say no. No, you can't have that present. It isn't yours. Don't just try and distract him with something else, without making it clear. And for frick's sakes, be consistent. If you tell a kid 'no', and he keeps asking and asking and asking, and then you give it to him, what does that teach him? It teaches him that if he keeps asking long enough and wears you down, that he will eventually get what he wants."

Be still my heart. I love that man.

Our Christmas, Part One...

Last night, we had my husband's sister, brother-in-law and their four kids over to celebrate Christmas. They have a toddler, and three other kids, aged 7-13. We had a great time, but maaaaaan, that is enough to get you thinking about what it really means to have children.

They are all good kids. The littlest has so much spunk that I think we could solve the energy crisis if we could just learn how to channel it effectively. At the end of the evening, my dogs were looking up at me with big, pleading eyes, as if to say, "Can we keep him? Puh-wease?"

And even though the kid slobbered chocolate all over my velvet couch, I was surprising ok with it. I was also fine when he jumped up and down on my leather ottoman. I was alright when he tried to open my antique secretary by clawing at the drawers, and when he knocked over a couple dining room chairs. I was surprised by how alright I was with it.

In fact, the only thing that really made my heart beat a little faster was when my husband picked him up and was playing with him. Big guy with a giggling kid slung over one arm, on their way outside to play with the dogs? Yep, that looked right somehow. And even though it was nice to have some quiet and a glass of wine after they left, the house did feel a bit emptier once they all filed out the door.

Merry Christmas

I'm wishing you and yours a blessed, lovely, enjoyable holiday today and tomorrow. I hope that you have lots of smiles and excited children around you! And I hope you can avoid the joy-suckers in your family. (Every family has at least one.) If all else fails... hit the nog.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Holy Craptastic Decorations, Batman!

Dude.... (Well, first of all, let's clear the air. I'm from California, and therefore allowed to say, "Dude," whenever I want. I pay higher taxes just for that right, actually.)

As I was saying: Dude... it was scary in Kmart today.

Sadly, Kmart is the best my town has to offer in the way of last-minute Christmas shopping, and my lack of planning forced me to join the hordes of people rummaging through the toy aisles, hoping that maybe behind all the plastic crap in front, there were hidden, high-quality toys that we could give to our loved ones without feeling copious amounts of shame. Alas and alack, this was not the case. Behind the plastic crap was more plastic crap.

So, I gave that up and wandered.... actually no. It was more like bustling. I bustled over to the Christmas decorations and tried to find something to make my house look better. Which, is ridiculous. Cause, c'mon, it's Kmart. But they do have the Martha Stewart line of stuff that usually sucks less. But this year, I am sad to report that even Martha's label could not stop the suck-fest. Everything was ruffled, and they tried to push that light, icy-blue look HARD this year. It was that, and a light purple. Yuckity, yuck, yuck, yuck.

It looked like the sugar plum fairy's ugly older sister had copped a squat in that aisle. Massive Christmas decoration FAIL, to say the least.

Giveaway.... Coming Soon

Hello beloved readers.... (all seven of you.) 2010 is fast approaching, and one of my resolutions is that I use or get rid of all craft supplies that I have already purchased before I allow myself to purchase more. This is where you come in.

I will open up the contest with a post just after the new year. I'm thinking that the giveaway will be a stack of fat quarters, in assorted colors. (Cause that's one of the things I need to get out of my craft stack.)

Is anyone interested? If you know anyone that is... pass it along. I'm hoping to post the giveaway on January 3rd.

Monday, December 21, 2009


I just realized that after my last post, the GoogleAds in my sidebar are advertising adult books. Apparently the good folks at Google know what playing the skin flute is.

Aw, giggity.

Reasons For vs Reasons Against...

Now that this school madness is behind me, I can focus on other goals. These goals may or may not include: getting thin, getting knocked up, starting some kind of home-based business, and organizing my house so well that it makes everyone else feel bad about their house. I might also start learning how to do my hair in the morning, but that goal is totally unlikely. Blowing my hair dry makes me cranky. Is it a coincidence that all things called "blowing" actually suck? I think not. (Side note: Did you know that the other kind of "blowing" got it's name because a famous jazz artist way-back-when termed that act, "playing the skin flute"? Betcha didn't.)

Moving on....this past week offered Hot Husband and I some opportunities to think about reasons for and against having kids.

For instance, we went out to dinner with some engaged friends of ours, and they both expressed their passionate conviction about wanting children. Which frankly, made me feel stupid for not having made up my mind yet. I mean, there was no uncertainty there. It was like, yeah... we're totally having kids a year after we get married! And then I was thinking... well... where are the normal doubts? How are you going to pay for daycare? Or stay-at-home-mom-ness? What about autism or schizophrenia?

But they were sure. Maybe they haven't checked out the price of cribs lately?

Then, we went away for the weekend, and there was this couple in the hotel room next door with this little fuzzy rat of a dog. And they let it out of their room, and it ran over and plopped itself on the blanket I was lying on. And the lady said, "Oh Pepper, come here. Get off of there." And while I was politely waiting for the lady to come collect her mutt, the lady sighed and went back into her room, leaving her dog. Hot Husband and I exchanged a WTF glance, and I collected my blanket by yanking it out from underneath the dog, while HH swatted the thing in the head with his (paperback) book.

I pointed out to my husband that some people have kids so they don't end up being the crazy dog people. And he pointed out that we might already BE the crazy dog people, since I'm pretty darn convinced that my dog is smarter than your seven year old brat, so nyah.

Ok, have you all seen the movie, "UP"? If you haven't: do that. If you have: "I HATE squirrels!" I will wait for you to stop chuckling to yourself. I was a wreck during the first five minutes or so of that film. Like... bawling. In the movie theater. Yes, it was one of my finest moments. The point is, I don't want to leave my husband alone. What if I die when we are eighty, and there is no one to take care of him because I was too selfish with my rental space in my uterus?

But then again... I watched a Grey's Anatomy re-run, and it had a dood with mental illness on it. And I'm thinking... is it terrible of me to say that I would prefer to stay childless if I knew my son or daughter would end up mentally disturbed and try and choke me in my sleep? Am I an awful person for saying that I am scared for my children's health, and what implications that health has on me? Is that horrendous for me to think about? And if it is, does that mean that I shouldn't have a kid at all? Does it make me selfish if I only want to change my child's diaper for two years, and not thirty-two years? Am I jinxing myself for even writing this down?

I'm a Genius!

Sorry for the lapse in posting, but it was exam week, and then Hot Husband and I went away for the weekend.

I got my grades back, and you should all feel so blessed to be reading my blog, because apparently I'm brilliant! I got an A in Microbiology, an A in Physiology and a B in Organic Chemistry. Huzzah! Hooray! Haroo! (Insert your preferred celebratory outburst here.)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

For Jamie...

My good friend Jamie is going to Georgetown for Nursing school this winter. Woot, woot! This means that she will be leaving all of her furniture behind her, and must rely on the local IKEA, and what can be delivered to her apartment. Her budget: $1500.
Here is the really, really cheap apartment I designed for her. The total cost is about $1200. Hope you like it, Jamie!


IKEA- table, dining chairs, kitchen box, dishes box, two coffee tables, bookcase, dresser, side table, vase and bed. Walmart- bedding. Sofa and chair.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

What the World Needs Now....

Ok, love is always good, but here are some other things that I think we could use more of:

-The word 'Shazaam!' (Must be said with an exclamation point afterwards.) Try it! It's unexpectedly hilarious. I like to use it when putting dinner on the table: "Shazaam!"

-Hand-written letters.

- Saying "please," "thank-you," and "excuse me."

- Following basic traffic principles when pushing carts in the supermarket.

-Random jazz-hands. Great as a response when someone flips you off in traffic.

Another Gift Idea....

This is another item that I would love to find under the tree, for me. But then again, I really need an address book, so if this little lovely from PaperSource doesn't show up for Christmas, I think I can justify buying it for myself.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Book Love...

I know that these have been blogged about many, many times. But in case you have been living under a blog rock, these are the new(ish) clothbound Pengiun Classics line. They have taken several classics, and rebound them in lovely covers. I already have copies of all these books, but does that mean I cant have another? In a lovely blue or golden color?

Another "Never"

Ok, here is another thing that I hope to never, ever do as a mother:

-Write in the "voice" of my child. For example... I brought a present to a one year old's birthday party, and got a thank you note like this:

"Thank you oh so much for my widdle cuddly blanket. I really wuv it alot. Thanks for helping me celebrate my very first birfday! Kisses and cuddles, Paul, age 1."

Now, unless your kid is a freaking genius, Im not buying it. Usually they potty-train before they start writing in script. Here is how a thank-you note from me might read:

"Thanks for humoring us by giving up two hours of your Saturday afternoon and coming to our son's birthday party. Im sure he would thank you himself if he could, or if he knew you had been there. I will show him pictures when he is older. Thanks also for the great train set! Im sure it will keep him entertained for at least fifteen minutes at a time, (which is HUGE.)

Sincerely, ChicChickadee, Hot Husband, and Biscuit.

PS. Im very sorry about that cake-throwing incident. Please send us the drycleaning bill."

Monday, December 7, 2009

What I Want For Christmas....

These rings are perfect. I know they are supposed to be sea anemones, but all I see are flowers Dr Suess would be proud of. And that is a good thing. A very, very good thing. I want them oh so much.

So... you know who you are. Yes, I'm talking to you, handsome. I would be super-ecstatic-excited if these showed up under the as-of-yet-non-existent Christmas tree.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Random Phone Conversation

(Ring, ring.)
My hot husband: "Hello?"
Me: "Hello, sir! You have been chosen to participate in a game show called, "There's Only One Right Answer!""
MHH: "Um...ok."
Me: "Would you like to hear your question?"
MHH: "If I have to."
Me: "Your question is: What are you doing this Saturday?"
MHH: "Improving my kill to death ratio on the Playstation."
Me: "Oooh, Im sorry, sir. That was not the answer we were looking for. The correct answer was 'cleaning out the garage with my wife.'"
MHH: "Ha."
Me: "But good news! As a consolation prize, we are giving you an afternoon cleaning out the garage with your wife!"
MHH: "I bet."

Procrastination Update....

The little shits already ripped their new dog bed. I guess my sewing skills need some work.

Questions and Comments for My Chemistry Classmates

To the girl in the front row who wears acid-washed capri pants with her socks pulled way up high underneath:

It seems that you do not feel the need to raise your hand before you blurt out a question. Why is that? It is a bit startling to the rest of us when you yell out random observations or questions while the teacher is mid-sentence. Knock that shit off, will you?

To the forty-something who has more Disney sweatshirts than is even reasonable:

Since A) this is a community college, and B) you are a student in this class, I can assume that you do not have more education than our professor, who has a doctorate twice over. Therefore, please stop challenging what she says on an almost a daily basis. She has been teaching for many years, and does not need your help.

To the slightly-smelly female in the side row:

Humming mid-lecture is never acceptable.

To the blonde guy:

Please understand that your classmates might be a little confused when you tell them you went to medical school and are just taking this as a refresher course. You look nineteen, which is way too old for tall tales.

To my lab partner:

I really like you. Really. You are kind and organized in the lab. However, we are not nearly close enough for me to point out that your nipples are out of control. Seriously. Buy a padded bra. Nippage is always distracting, but yours are often pointing in different directions or not in agreement about the temperature of the room. And the size.... it looks like you are smuggling two small stacks of dimes. If we were closer I would break it gently to you over daiquiris.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Last night, I sewed the doggy-wogs a new doggy-woggy bed. I also sewed a pair of baby booties for my friend's unborn baby.

Why yes, I do have an Organic Chemistry exam tomorrow. How could you tell?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Random Fears

I have random fears. Like, unfounded.Here are a sample, for your mocking pleasure:

- Whenever I speak in front of strangers, like in a presentation or an interview, I am afraid that I will vomit. I have never vomited in a situation like that, but still, the thought will pop into my head and I will have a hard time focusing.

- Im scared of hyenas and scorpions. So much so that if someone talks about them, it makes me nervous. It should be noted that I do not live in an area that has either. (We do have a roaming buffalo in the area, but that doesnt scare me.)

- I have a reoccuring dream where I come home to find a red sportscar in the driveway. It belongs to my husband's mistress, who came over to tell us that she is six-months-pregnant. My husband doesnt so much as look at other women, and he dutifully averts his eyes when Victoria's Secret commercials come on. (By the way... I know Victoria's Secret--it's a talented surgeon.)

Gift Ideas for Ladies

For the hostess: The Celebrate cookbook by Sheila Lukins. It gives great hostessing and recipes for every occasion throughout the year. It is a personal favorite.
For the Woman who has Everything: Five nesting Lotus bowls by WhitneySmith on etsy. I cannot get over how lovely these are.
For the Wordsmith: Diamond hardcover book by windyweatherbindery on etsy. A lovely journal makes a very thoughtful gift.

For ladies you hardly know: The Petit Paris Calendar, by littlebrownpen on etsy. Everyone needs a calendar or two, and this one is small enough to display almost anywhere.

Pear altered notebook by zany on etsy. This is such a deal, you can pair it with a really nice pen for a great gift.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Gift Ideas for Kids, Ages 7-12

Ranger Rick magazine, sold by Every kid loves to get mail just for them. This is a great magazine full of science and nature activities and articles. (And no advertisements!)

Roger and Hammerstein’s Cinderella movie, sold by If you have to buy a movie, this might just be the one. It is beautifully done, with great music and lovely costumes.

Melissa and Doug Flower bead set, sold by I have found that girls in this age group love to make and design things. Bead sets are a great option.

Gifts for Kids, Ages 3-5:

Dollhouse from Land of Nod. It can be difficult to find a nice, sturdy dollhouse.

Band in a box from Land of Nod. Do not buy this if you do not have a rock-solid relationship with the kid’s parents.

The yellow bounce ball from Lillian Vernon Kids. Yes, it’s plastic, but it promotes fun exercise that can be done in a limited space.

Gifts for Babies and Toddlers

Has anyone noticed that toy aisles are full of lots of plastic junk? I have ten nieces and nephews, and it is hard to weed through the cheap, flashy items to find gifts that the kids will love, and that I can feel good about giving.

Babies and Toddlers:

Wooden train set, also from Land of Nod. This is a classic gift that boys and girls alike will love.

Alphabet cards from Land of Nod.These are beautifully illustrated, with fun colors.

Sophie the Giraffe from Land of Nod. This is a teething toy that parents can feel good about giving their child. It is made from safe plastics and food-grade dyes. And it squeaks!