Pet Peeve

Here’s a pet peeve of mine. Upon hearing the story of my children’s births, inevitably there is someone who will say, “See all you had to do was relax to get pregnant.” Um, no. First, saying that when I couldn’t conceive was utterly non-helpful. Saying it now is just silly and makes you sound like you think you’re omnipotent. Second, that time in my life was more stressful than any other I can remember. We’d gone through two failed matches, one of which involved an elaborate lie that kept us on the hook for over a month, and CJ’s due date was changed from September to November. His birthmother had issues of her own so contact was spotty at best. We were tied in emotional knots, trying to be excited but so scared of being let down again. And somehow in the midst of all this, one lone sperm found an egg and decided to stay long term paying no attention to John’s or my emotional states.

So, please, consider this a PSA. When you run into someone with a similar story, don’t bluster. Just be pleased for them, thank God or Fate or The Flying Spaghetti Monster or Chaos, and tell them both kids are adorable. Don’t analyze or guess or in any way try to figure out why it happened just glory in the fact that it did.

Thank you for your time.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Motherhood Exposed: Eating with the Kids


So over at The Little Hen House, Morgan, has come up with a great little blog hop called Motherhood Exposed: Sometime This Job Sucks. So here is one of mine. I hate eating with my kids. Family dinners at home aren’t bad. The kids know the routine and for the most part they are uneventful and even pleasant-like. But breakfast and lunch? It’s me, a 21-month-old and a 14-month old, neither of whom talk or will let me help them eat their food in any way. I am a very social creature, so these meals are excruciating. Sometimes the hubs (daddyrunsalot.com) is not home for dinner, and that’s even worse. I am always so tempted to eat in front of the TV for company, but the mom guilt overrules that. I have read books aloud during a meal and played audiobooks and podcasts just to not have to listen to.
And let’s talk restaurants. I love eating out. If it wouldn’t bankrupt us or make me die by 40, I would eat out every meal. I love being waited on, not worrying about any kind of clean up, just being able to chat and relax. Hmmm. That is a thing of the past. Apparently, restaurant highchairs are sprayed in some kind of kidicide because the second we try to thread their feet through the leg holes, they are screaming. Sitting on laps or in the booth or a booster may last for a while, but the only thing that really makes them happy is walking around and around the restaurant.
I can’t wait until they can color without eating the crayons.

Pet Peeve

Here’s a pet peeve of mine. Upon hearing the story of my children’s births, inevitably there is someone who will say, “See all you had to do was relax to get pregnant.” Um, no. First, saying that when I couldn’t conceive was utterly non-helpful. Saying it now is just silly and makes you sound like you think you’re omnipotent. Second, that time in my life was more stressful than any other I can remember. We’d gone through two failed matches, one of which involved an elaborate lie that kept us on the hook for over a month, and CJ’s due date was changed from September to November. His birthmother had issues of her own so contact was spotty at best. We were tied in emotional knots, trying to be excited but so scared of being let down again. And somehow in the midst of all this, one lone sperm found an egg and decided to stay long term paying no attention to John’s or my emotional states.

So, please, consider this a PSA. When you run into someone with a similar story, don’t bluster. Just be pleased for them, thank God or Fate or The Flying Spaghetti Monster or Chaos, and tell them both kids are adorable. Don’t analyze or guess or in any way try to figure out why it happened just glory in the fact that it did.

Thank you for your time.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Even the Kids Know You’re Nuts

I have what polite people refer to as independent children. I call them stubborn. For instance, I cannot feed them. If I try, say, yogurt on a spoon, they grab for the spoon to try and shove it everywhere but their mouths. They don’t speak, but they say “Myself!” with their eyes.
Another way this “independence” manifests is the brushing of teeth. They will not in any way, shape, or form allow me to guide the toothbrush, so there is actual brushing. Instead I hand over the brush fully loaded with fake baby paste/gel, so they can suck and gnaw on it. I do not in anyway see this as useful dental care. My strategy has become to demonstrate what I want them to do by overly exaggerating the brushing of my own teeth. This? They find hilarious, so they are now sucking and gnawing on their own toothbrushes while laughing.
Parenthood is an absurdity sometimes.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

When Even the Kids Think You’re Crazy

I have what polite people refer to as independent children. I call them stubborn. For instance, I cannot feed them. If I try, say, yogurt on a spoon, they grab for the spoon to try and shove it everywhere but their mouths. They don’t speak, but they say “Myself!” with their eyes.
Another way this “independence” manifests is the brushing of teeth. They will not in any way, shape, or form allow me to guide the toothbrush, so there is actual brushing. Instead I hand over the brush fully loaded with fake baby paste/gel, so they can suck and gnaw on it. I do not in anyway see this as useful dental care. My strategy has become to demonstrate what I want them to do by overly exaggerating the brushing of my own teeth. This? They find hilarious, so they are now sucking and gnawing on their own toothbrushes while laughing.
Parenthood is an absurdity sometimes.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Pissy Day

Yes, I am the baguette with my salad. French bread makes my life worth living, so fuck the apple and multigrain shit. I might even put butter on it, so there. I got my ass up. I got the kids and myself out of the house pretty close to on time. I lugged the kids to child watch, went through the guilt inducing process of peeling them from my calves and running for the door while they scream my ultimate betrayal at my fleeing back. On to the spinning bike I go to sweat for an hour while I gasp trying to reach the desired resistance and rpm (neither of which I did actually reach.) So it did not help my tension level. And so lunch where I want French bread and butter with my salad. Fuck. stupid fucking weight. I just suck at everything no matter how hard I try. It’s that kind of a day.

Fuck.

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Sand, It’s What’s for Dinner

I love the beach. Me, a beach chair, a good book and the sound of the surf for hours at a time. Nothing is more relaxing.

At least that is what I remember.

Now it takes three trips from the car to the Compound (That would be four pop-up canopies we put up for our large group), and I barely get to put my butt cheeks anywhere near my beach chair. Because toddlers at the beach are non-stop, especially with they are my children. I ask you what one-year-old crawls pell-mell towards the waves, giggling all the way? What 1.5-year-old thinks dumping handfuls of sand into his hair is the more fun he has ever had? The answers naturally are my kids. Seriously, it was the best vacation ever.
As the Compound can attest to, we go to the beach with a group of about 20 people, give or take as some come for a couple days as others leave, and at least a third of them are four and under. So we do set up a canopy town and have every sand toy known to Man.
Leila and CJ were at the beach last year, but they didn’t really do anything exciting. This year it was all about sand and surf. Sand was mostly about eating it and wearing it. I am not a person who minds sand. I love the beach. Sand is part of the experience, but they were coated from head to foot in it thus, I was covered in it as well. It was a little much even for me. They thought it was food and a toy all in one!
Both of them loved the water. They are really fearless. CJ is a tad more reserved than Leila. He would go in if he was firmly holding on to an adult, but as I stated previously, Leila would crawl down the beach like a maniac towards the ocean. She loved it.
All in all, they are beach babies which is great because we are beach parents. I can’t wait for the new memories and milestones each summer will bring.

Oops Said God Part 5

God let out a frustrated noise somewhere between a sigh and a growl and pushed back from his desk. “It shouldn’t be happening; none of this!” He shot out of his chair and started pacing around his office. As he stepped, the clouds below the floor turned dark to match his mood. “It should be easy enough to stop the whole thing by stopping the tailor. What is wrong with the programming? How did it change and why won’t it go back?”

In his office there were three other people. Two were standing with God, behind his desk, analyzing line after line of code that all had to do with nothing more than the feather. The two men were John Mauchly and Bob Bemer. Bemer had only made his way to Heaven a year earlier, and God was glad to have him as part of his tech team, especially with this new issue of “The Glitch”. Bemer knew how to adapt and adapt quickly. Mauchly was very good at the basics and checking the minutia. Mauchly looked his part of an old World War Two era hard working patriot scientist in a button shirt with rolled up sleeves and loosened tie. Bemer was more your favorite professor in an argyle sweater vest and a short sleeved collared shirt. They were squinting at the code and getting so close to the wall screen that their noses almost bumped through it. They were muttering to themselves as Bemer was feeding in variations into a side screen to test the outcomes.

Across the room Benjamin Franklin was running diagnostics on all of the Earth’s Eastern North American Continental antennae and nodes in case it was a hardware problem. While the computer workings were now invisible and on a shifted physical plane from the denizens of Earth, every once in a while a storm on either plane could mess with the wiring.

The wall between God’s office and the outer reception area had also dissolved as Peter, who had been joined by Archangel Michael, was checking the data against the COBC limit numbers to anticipate if an audit was eminent. God knew they were also doing some creative calculations, but the fewer specifics he knew the better.

At his current outburst, all heads turned to him. Eyebrows were raised. Michael said, “You had better watch that tantrum before your extraneous energy takes out a coastal city. Even Peter and I won’t be able to keep the COBC off your back for an unscheduled tsunami or earthquake.”

God stopped passing. He let out an explosive breath as his shoulder drooped a little under his jacket. “Right, right. Sorry. I just don’t like not knowing what is going on, being god and all. Granted the Earth system’s original code was out of my hands, but I designed the system and language. Nothing in the design should let The Glitch exist. It goes against all known science, divine or human.”

“Unless….”

Everyone now turned their attention to Franklin who had a thoughtful expression on his face while he idly turned his office chair back and forth slightly.

“Yes, Ben?” God asked.

After another short pause, Franklin continued, “Unless someone else “divine” has found a way into the system.”

* * *

Gregory Finch slipped back along the wall as casually as he could. Behind him was a heavy curtain that covered one of the several private alcoves that made up the far wall of the ballroom. He half turned and slipped a flask out of his jacket and added a healthy amount of potent smelling liquid to the glass of punch he was holding. He made a grimace of satisfaction as he took a lengthy sip.

“Psst.”

Gregory looked around.

“Psst.”

“Excuse me?” Gregory stepped closer to the curtain. The odd hissing seemed to be coming from there.

“Monsieur Finch, esz that you?”

“Mademoiselle Dione, is that you?”

“But of course! I must admit to following you. I could not bear to even be in a room without you.”

Gregory’s neck started turning red. The flush started peeking over his highly starched collar. He looks like a thermometer. Adam thought as he watched from he position outside the dining room entrance further down the same wall.

“Really?” The young man replied in such an earnest and hopeful voice that Adam almost felt sorry for him.

“Really,” the sultry voice assured him. “I have promised a dance to the insufferable ambassador from Germany. But would you please meet me back here after the next dance?”

Adam couldn’t decided with the glazed look in Gregory’s eyes was from love or the vodka. Either way, the kid was in trouble. “Of course! Anything for you…Annabella.”

* * *

Jonathan clung to one of the curtains, gasping.

“My…Mrs. Gardner…that was (gulp) certainly a…spirited dance,” he managed to wheeze out.

Eve smiled at him angelically. “Yes it was. Thank you for indulging me, my dear young man. You look a little winded. Perhaps you would like a glass of punch?”

Jonathan stood straight, looking embarrassed. “No thank you just the same. I am fine truly. I am just getting over a slight cold, so my strength is not what it usually is that is all.”

“Of course,” Eve nodded and patted her hair to make sure it was all in place. “Well, I really should find my husband before he thinks I have abandoned him for an attractive younger man.”

“Yes, of course. It was a pleasure,” Jonathan replied as he bowed while holding the stitch in his side. As Eve glided away he tried to straighten up by holding on to the curtain behind him.

“Psst.”

Jonathan sucked in a deep breath and furrowed his brow.

“Hello?” He turned tugging a little at the curtain. The odd hissing seemed to be coming from there.

“Monsieur Goodling, is that you?”

“Mademoiselle Dione, is that you?”

“But of course! I must admit to following you. I could not bear to even be in a room without you.”

The control over his breathing Jonathan has gained back seemed to fail him at that moment. “Oh, oh my. Really?”

Really,” the sultry voice assured him. “I have promised a dance to the insufferable ambassador from Germany. But would you please meet me back here after the next dance?”

Eve smiled to herself as Jonathan’s face lit with a ridiculously adoring grin. “Nice work, Lassie,” she murmured as she moved to intercepted the real Mademoiselle Dione.

Lassie yelped and growled in a rather smug tone as she sat back on her haunches in the hidden command center. Dogs were not prone to smugness or self congratulation, but she even had to admit that it was a quality amount of voice splicing on very short notice.

Adam joined his voice to the chatter. “We have the gentlemen in place. Now should we work on our young star crossed lovers.”

“Of course, dearest.”

Lassie barked an affirmative as well.

Oops, Said God Part 4 – Please remember VERY ROUGH DRAFT

“Alright, on three. One…Two…Three!” Eve, clutching the back of one of the console chair in the team’s now constructed and hidden headquarters, gasped as Lassie gave the laces of the corset Eve was wearing.

“Damn!” Eve managed to get out as she pulled the long strings back around her front and tied them in a bow at her waist. “Ten years. That’s it. If this had all happened ten years from now, I wouldn’t have to wear this death cage.”

Adam turned to her as he finished with his tie. “Hm, I do prefer the original leaves, myself.”

Eve glared at him before she started to pull her dress over her head. “So what do you think our best course of action should be?”

“I was thinking that we get both men good and liquored up, lock them in a closet after stripping them to their skivvies and see if they are repressing any unwanted sexual preferences.”

Eve smoothed the front of her dress. It was rather form fitting over the corset with off the shoulder cap sleeves, done in a rich blue with a bodice covered in sparkling iridescent glass beads. She moved over to the small mirror that was inserted into the wall to fix her hair that was already coiffed into a pile of curls on top of her head. “Despite the high probability of latent homosexual tendencies, we should probably have a Plan B.”

Adam replied, “Let’s see what we have to work with when we get in there. Lassie, be ready with some profiles on other party guests.”

Lassie barked an affirmative as she used her nose and front left paw to tap away at the computer. On ballroom from inside the house appeared on screen, and Lassie started zooming in on faces and freezing the frame. Another screen started scrolling information.

Eve bent down next to her. “Try concentrating on young women in the room, especially if they are single, and potentially desperate.”

Adam squeezed her shoulders as she stood up. “Always the romantic.” He said.

“I just happen to know that the best way to stop a man from letting his ego get the better of him is to stoke it a great deal then deflate it on your own terms. Balance of power, you know.”

Adam tucked her arm in his. “Sounds like a good Plan B even if it frightens me to the very core. And if that doesn’t work, then, my dear, let’s do what we do best. Wing it.” With a little flourish, he opened the hatch, and they walked out into the chilly night.

* * *

“I consider myself a student of psychology. I have been closely following the writings and speeches of an Austrian by the name of Sigmund Freud. He just finished a fabulous tour through the United States. Reeeeeeally very intense and power. He has the human mind commmmmpleeeetely mapped out. See everything comes back to sex. Everything is about procreation. Even with a social conscious, ultimately, the iiiiiiid will take over amd make everything about sex! Isn’t that fascinating?”

“Not really, if you know Sigmund,” Adam said as he scanned the room over the head of his current dance partner, a small curly haired blonde with a buxom that almost matched her apparent sex drive.

“Oh my! My my my…Yoooou know theeeeee Sigmund Freud?” She squealed as she bounced and made several of the other men dancing near them consider their own ids.

“Hm, yes, and I can tell you, the whole super ego, ego, id thing, was just his supreme way of getting back at the kids who laughed at him in school when he had some trouble doing the rope climb,” Adam replied as the song ended, “Now if you will excuse me, I need to find my wife.” The young lady stood silently starring at him as he moved across the dance floor toward the door to the dining room.

There was a low inquiring growl in the small communicator he wore in his ear.

“I have to agree with Lassie, was that entirely necessary?” Eve’s voice said.

Adam snorted. “That’s what he gets for our last poker game.”

“That’s what you get for playing poker with the founding father of psychology.”

With a sigh, Adam came back to the task at hand. “What is our darling Bella up to?”

Eve was positioned in the study, currently pretending to have a great interest in a large painting of Annabella’s father sitting in a red leather chair, trying to look studious instead of bored. Her attention was actually centered toward the crowd at the fireplace. “Her nose in bull,” Eve replied quietly. “She is currently holding court by the fire in the study. From her vantage point she can see the ballroom. I believe she is waiting for Henri to make a circuit in there before she is whirled, laughing, I am sure, by one of the young men around her.” There was a hint of disgust in Eve’s voice.

“A little touchy are we?” Adam mocked.

“This is the kind of female behavior I get blamed for.”

There was a mild snort.

“Thank you, Lassie. I know it upsets you, dearest, but let’s get on with it,” Adam said. He had been walking towards the study, but he had stopped in the ballroom to make a quick circle around, looking for the lovelorn waiter. Not an easy task. The Dione’s ballroom was massive and crowded. Fortunately, it was better lit than most such places. There were numerous waiters working the non-dancing crowd, but none of them Henri. Then Adam caught a movement out of the corner of his eye in the doorway to the dining room. Two other waiters had Henri by the arms as he struggled to make a rampaging charge to the study. He almost made it until a third waiter took him around the neck and yanked him back through the dining room and into the kitchen.

“I don’t think she is going to get her wish. Did she just do something exceedingly, well, ‘flirty’?”

As Eve moved past the portrait to the bookcase to get closer to the hormonal mob, she replied, “I believe she just put her hand on Jonathan’s shoulder while laughing hysterically but endearingly at one of his jokes.”

Adam smirked. “That would explain why Henri just had to be shoved back into the kitchen by three of his compatriots. Our jeune monsieur has a hot temper, even for a French Canadian.”

“I think our jeune mademoiselle knows it too. And by the smolder in Mr. Finch’s eyes, I would say there are entirely too many tempers at play in this scenario.”

At that point Annabella reached over and whispered something in Gregory’s ear while he adopted a grin and blush and Jonathan’s eyes took over the raging jealousy look. There was an audible crash from the dining room despite the width of the ballroom and the music playing.

Adam winced and said, “Ouch.”

There was an agreeable bark from Lassie.

“All right, enough is enough. I have a plan,” Eve said as she swirled her skirts around and stalked towards the kitchen.

“Hm, I think she is a little irked, Lassie. Shall we watch the fun?” Adam got another affirmative bark in response.

“Stop the cute stuff and find a quiet room in which to drag our lovers. I will take care of Henri myself. You go sweep Annabella off her little croquette feet. Lassie, do me a favor. Do some checking on Adam’s buxom little friend from earlier. I have an idea.”

Oops, Said God Part 3

When Lassie and her companions entered the outer reception area, they found Peter a little distracted. He had given up furtive looks out the window and was not plastered against the glass.

“Peter, you know the big man is not all that found of smudges,” Adam said.

Peter jumped a little and turned. “You just missed it! Christopher Reeves dive bombed the game and scared poor Gandhi who accidentally spiked the ball into Mother Theresa’s gut. She didn’t see our resident Superman and thought Gandhi was playing dirty, so she head rushed him. They should recruit her for the all saints rugby team. That was an amazing tackle.

“Especially since she is a pacifist,” Eve observed.

“Death does funny things to people,” Peter replied. “Actually, it’s all Gab’s fault. He conned Chris into doing it. He thinks he can get Theresa to commit blaspheme by next Sunday. I got a five to one against him with Joseph.”

Lassie barked. Adam snorted and said, “Good point. I know God is trying to make stuff up to Chris, but how long before the cape is clipped?”

“You know God. He believes in karma,” Peter said sagely. “Anyway, here is a suitcase for each of you containing the proper clothing and accessories.” Peter handed them each old leather suitcases. “And there are also American and Canadian documentation if you need it.” He put a large manila envelope in Lassie’s mouth.

“Good luck,” he said before turning back to the window.

* * *

Adam, Eve, and Lassie stood at the edge of a vast cloud that was cluttered with just about anything imaginable. All kinds of stuff, electronics, mechanics, wood, glass bottles, a punch card computer and the newest laptop, a model T along with a fuel cell powered SUV. There were scraps of paper and every tool known to sentient life scattered and piled on top of the bigger items. There was victrolia in the corner playing what sounded like Bob Marley.

Adam cocked an eyebrow at Eve, “Who says you can’t take it with you?”

Lassie whined in agreement, then barked.

From the other side of a tractor with what looked like a snow plow and snow thrower attached to the front of it, a head wearing a wielding hood popped up and long with a blow torch. The touch was switched off and the helmet flipped up as the occupant said, “Oh, hello ladies and gentleman. We weren’t expecting you so soon.”

“Quite alright, Tom,” Eve replied. “Interesting music you have playing there.”

“It’s something new from Bob. He asked me to have a listen. I find Reggae helps me think,” Tom replied. “When it comes to actual physical work though, I prefer Tupac. Though I think he has lost a little of his edge since coming to Heaven. Don’t tell him that. Wouldn’t want to hurt his feelings.”

Eve’s mouth twitched as she replied, “We promise not to.”

“Why the victrola though, Tom,” Adam asked. “Seems to me that new music would be better with some digital enhancement and surround sound.”

Tom blushed a little. “Well, honestly, I’m still just proud of that one.” Then with a sigh, he put his torch down and removed his helmet.

“Expecting a blizzard?” Adam inquired, pointing at the tractor.

“What? Oh, no, not at all. Actually I am trying to modify it to shape clouds.”

Lassie growled lightly in the back of her throat and then ended her vocalization with a whine. Eve nodded. “I have to agree with Lassie, Tom. Shaping clouds can cause problems.”

“Yes, that kind of thing is what usually leads to mass death by Kool-Aid then an inquiry by the COBO,” Adam added.

Tom shrugged, “Oh it’s not for the underside of the clouds. Ben Franklin and I have been toying with the idea of a luge track.”

As they were talking Tom had been leading them across the cloud towards one corner of the work cloud where there was an assortment of tools and something large under a tarp. “I really, really think you will find some of the upgrades we have made to be very useful. Leo! Leo! Stop drawing and come here to help me get the team equipped!”

From somewhere on the other side of the tarp covered object a distinctly Italian voice yelled back, “Do it yourself! I am busy. You are disrupting my creative flow!”

“Oh come on! You and your drawings. If you had it your way nothing would ever actually get built. Oh, wait, that is your way, Mr. I-Invented-The-Airplane.”

Finally, from around a wall to the right, Leonardo DaVinci emerged. “Hmph, well, each of us has a bestseller all about his brilliant art, hm?”

Tom threw up his hands. “Damn Dan Brown. You’ve been intolerable since 1998! You didn’t even do any of that on purpose! You were trying to bag the redheaded maid at the Vatican, and thought you’d impress her by putting her in the painting.”

“It worked too,” DaVinci said as he put down his drawing pad and winked. “Now, my friends, let’s see what we have for you today.” Tom growled and stuffed his hands into the pockets of the jumpsuit he was wearing. Finally he sighed and said, “Well we just finished some modifications on your wings.” He pulled the tarp from over what looked like angel wings with jet packs attached. He continued, “The shield is much stronger and is now light absorbent. No more sun reflections and unplanned angel sighting with these babies on. The helmets are much more streamlined which should keep your head from bouncing around too much. It is now sound proof with voice activated inset communicators, so no more blackout during descent. Also, try picking one up.” The trio complied, Lassie using her nose. Tom smiled at the looks on their faces. “A lot lighter. Titanium is yesterday’s news. This is a new heat resistant plastic. Next, I am hoping to make it clear, so if the shield does fail, it still will be hard for people to see.”

Lassie barked her approval.

“Thank you,” Tom said, pleased.

“Enough of this! Now for me,” DaVinci cried. Tom scowled, but said nothing. DaVinci went back around the wall and wheeled out a clothing rack. “Here is your wardrobe. Everything is historically accurate, naturally, thanks to Coco, but I have also worked in voice-activated communicators into the collards and your earrings, Eve. Adam, there is a small earpiece for you. Each of you has formal wear along with two regular day outfits. Each of these is reversible, so technically, it is four different outfits. On the cuff of each of your shirts, Adam, and the neckline of your dresses, Eve, is a button that will activate a noise cloak, so you can talk without being overheard. It will also blur things and work as a camouflage.”

Tom turned to Lassie, “Lassie, a higher powered camouflage net will automatically drop around your base station. The whole thing is collapsible and attaches to your pack. Don’t worry; I have an extra jet on yours, so it won’t change the weight too much. Just put it on the ground, press the button, and it will be assembled in 47.8 seconds.” Tom said all of this while attached a package that was a box about one square foot to Lassie’s wings. Tom paused and looked around. “I think that is everything. Leo?”

“Yes, I believe so. You can use the rooms in back to change and then be on your way. CIAO!”