Monday, February 28, 2011

Blogoversary Day 3

Day 3 of The Blogoversary
So happy to have you here today, for Day 3 of the week-long blogoversary celebration!

Thank You, for celebrating along with me.

You all know how to make things fun--and this blog is here one year later, because of your kind visits. So, honestly--thank you.

It's Monday, and Mondays are the day that our son, Baby Emperor, aka "Baby E," gets to vent, and post, on this blog.  Believe me, he waits for this day, and writes furiously in his journal on a daily basis, in anticipation of Monday Baby E Post Day.

Today, we are running Baby E's first post. It originally went up, at no planning of my own, but at his request. He was tired of me always blogging about him, and he--in the meantime, having no chance for his say.

We ran his ventpost, and received many, many requests to feature more "Baby E." We decided to give Baby E Mondays, and he's been posting on Mondays since.

Here's what he had to say, that first Monday of his, when we began with "Baby E Speaks:"

Me and My Mom at Lego Discovery World in Chicago

Our youngest, Baby Emperor aka Baby E., has just put his foot down.

For the past two months, since I began this blog, it seems to him, that whenever he speaks I RUN and grab one of the blog tickler notebooks I have stashed all over the house, in anticipation of fodder. He has noticed this.

In my defense, the boy doles it out continuously. Today, finally, he has declared his limit. After an incident this morning, he saw me running for the notebook in the laundry room. I heard him shout after me, "Don't put that in your blog, either!"

So, in all fairness, it is his turn to turn the tables today. He speaks, he dishes out the dirt, he airs the dirty laundry.

Here is all the scoop that Baby E finally gets to voice. It's His Turn....buckle your seatbelts and put up the lap tray...

I swear to type the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, as dictated to me by Baby E: I am his fingers:

"Mom has a crazy chocolate problem. I have to stop her from getting any in stores. Like The Chocolate Factory place here...she wanted to buy a little paper bag there for 6 dollars. She'd eat worms if they were covered in chocolate. She is crazy. Well, not really crazy, but pretty crazy.

She also likes coffee. Like another crazy problem. She always has it. 24/7. I have to stop her all the time from her friends inviting her. Well, she doesn't like tea, though. Yeah...not so crazy...but pretty crazy.

She always runs away from librarians. (whispering: Mom, can I tell the part about why?) OK. This is the part about why: cause she always has late fines cause she didn't finish the book on time and she has to finish. So she hides in the car and I have to go in the library for her. Well, see, for instance, yesterday I was walking out of the library and I happened to have a librarian walking out with me, and Mom practically stomped on the gas when she saw me walk out with the librarian. When I got in the car, I heard lots of deep breathing and like, so, ummm...she sends me in to do her dirty work.

She fights with people at the bank (whispering: can I tell the part about the bank thing?) OK. Here's the bank thing that happened yesterday. I was sitting down reading books at the bank, and all of a sudden I heard this, "Nuh-uh " "Yuh-huh" "But this is supposed to be a free bank!"

And I went over and heard mom say "what do you mean you won't put in a check cause it's from a different country??" and something like that.

She calls BuildaBear "BuildaBear then try and pay your mortgage." She says I have to say that comes from one of her favorite comedians in the world,  Jessica Bern. Jessica Bern is funny. My mom laughs out loud with her and then says," you can't read this one."

My mom is awesome. She is funny. We laugh. She loves me. She makes me do school. I don't like the math part.

I'm done, mom. Can I please have lunch now? I really wanna have lunch now. Like really now. Like I need to...dying of starvation. dying. really dying this time. Don't make it late like you did yesterday, either."

*Score. Tied. EVEN.*

"Mom! Lunch!"


Thanks for being here today. Later this week: lessons from a first year, my first interview,  a surprise weekly feature introduction AND a giveaway!!! Oh, only 7 days...will we make it??

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Shake It -- Shake It Like It's A Blogoversary

Day 2 of Shake It Like It's Your Blogoversary
Hey, so good to see you here on Day 2 of the celebration week of this blog's 1 year anniversary.

It was beyond sweet and wonderful to read your comments from yesterday. Thank you.

I'm printing that stuff OUT and folding it up nice and tight and carrying it with me in my breast pocket to pull out and read whenever anyone tries to tell me I'm NOT all that.  Like at the post office. Oh, yes, I am--all that, and pulling it out.

I might just laminate it, too, and tape it to my dashboard. Yes. That would be cool.

Today, during weekaversary, I am celebrating my very first guest post. It was for  LOL., and ran on April 23, 2010. I WAS SO PROUD.

The post was called, "Hasten, Children, The Hour is Nigh," and I had SO MUCH fun writing it. Here it is:

Me: “Children, 'tis morning! get thee down, do not be as fools!”

2nd Oldest: “What is she talking about now?”

Oldest:  *sigh* I think she wants us up and downstairs for breakfast.”

Baby E:Do we have to come down already, Mom?”

Me: Hast thou not heard my words? Do ye not hear? That I have had need to raise my voice to you, yet you have not quickened your step? You think that all is well, but I have asked you to complete the task assigned unto you—and yet it is to be seen!”

Oldest:Alright, Mom, we’re coming down….but we have off today, and all week, remember?”

Me: “Off? It is slovenliness! You speak of slovenliness! I have not languished in my bed, and yet I am renewed of strength and spirit! I strike while the hour is present, I have shown you this ten times by ten times, so you may see it as truth. But you still have no faith in my ways!”

Baby E: "Mom, I don’t want to have breakfast now. I want to just stay upstairs and play with my Legos for awhile first. We're off, Mom.”

Me: “Laughter? Play? You shall hear neither until our tasks are done on this day. And when your stomach cramps with hunger, then where shall you look for what was once laid before you? No, child, no, I warn you to be careful of which master you choose to serve.”

2nd Oldest:We’d better go downstairs, I know her.... she won’t stop.”

Me: “Do my sons refuse their mother? Is it because I am a simple woman? Is it because I do not strike fear in your heart? No, it is not fear that I want you to act upon, but love….yes! love, for what else is there for me to give? Children, come, come! That I may quench thy thirst, and warm your bellies with that which I have labored to set before you.”

2nd Oldest: “*sigh* Don’t tell me, let me guess, Mom’s been staying up late watching The Ten Commandments again.”

Oldest: “Yup. Easter time.”

Me: “Come, my oldest, for my love for you is stronger than any fierce wrath which you may have, O my teenage son. Come to me, all my sons, arise! to greet a day, let us go forth, let the trumpets sound! and let us surrender our hearts to the treasures of a day of which we have never seen!
The Caravan awaits to take us to our journey. We must go with all speed!”

Baby E: “Does that mean we're supposed to get in the van? Guys?”

I was so excited to be featured at my friend, Robin's, site, Laugh Out Loud. She was one of the very first bloggers I met. If you'd like to be part of the all star line-up of the best of the sit-down comedians at LOL, send your funny post or story to  If you're featured, then you can proudly have the LOL button up on your blog, too.  I hope you try it.

See you tomorrow for more of weekaversary! And, thank you for being here with me this week, and celebrating. There'd be no party without you.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Like A Polaroid Picture

Shake it Shake it Shake it like it's your blogoversary

So much to say. But how do I say it all, without getting all yapping excited puppy dog up in your face?

Let's try this:

Welcome to this blog's anniversary week. WEEK.

On February 26, 2010, one year ago, I began Good Day, Regular People. With this post here:

"Here We Go--Day One: What Can Happen"

There will be so much going on: fun stuff, interesting stuff, highlights, humor, poignancy, a giveaway...oh, and a new weekly series.

Is 7 days enough time?

It has to be. 

I'm about to look crazier than I already do.  I've got the Depends strapped on, and the case of SlimFast by my side, so there's no need to get up for a thing.

Marathon through with me and the daily posts, would you?

I'd be so honored.


See you tomorrow

Oh, and expect some mush from me, cuz I love you, guys.

Oh, I Can Do That......

Some very funny Friday Funny for you-- Catherine Tate.  (and less than 3 minutes, Yes!)

You will love this, one of my favorites from her show.

Have a wonderful weekend!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

For You? Free.

Xavier, Baby E, and Alexander  - too many years ago, yet not so many

I have a condition.

A condition called "pre-mourning."

I don't call it that. It's what my "expensive friend" *coughtherapistcough* does. 

The lovely lady that I pay a pretty penny to sit across from me and chat tells me this is the name of what I have.

What I have is this: I lament the loss of what is to be whilst I have it sitting right in front of me.


This incredible picture above? I can't even look at it without feeling the wind knocked out of me and having to fall back all needing smelling salts brought to me on the chaise.

These three glorious angel-boys are mine. My boys so long ago, yet, not so long ago. How could I not have felt the golden moment when this picture was taken, while I had it in my hand? I can guess.

Probably some of that "pre-mourning" stuff. I was probably lamenting some photo that I had found that morning that showed them still in diapers. Whilst, right there, I had heaven on earth, right there.


A few days ago when I came across the picture above, while searching for a picture of my husband for another post, I fell headfirst into the jaws of this Pre-Mourning situation.

This state of being that feels like such an unconquerable sadness, I can't even swallow away the ball in my throat. Oh, the sweet days with my little ones are flying for them, and slipping through the grasp of mine. So much in the same way my littlest tries to catch water under the tub faucet.

I sit across from my "expensive friend,"  and I lament the passing of the days, complete with back of the hand on the forehead, looking off mid-distance. The whole deal. Stuff they give out Academy Awards over.

I sigh to her:

Me: "but.but... the days of toy trains are gone.."

She: "but they're still home with you now."

Me: "but... but... it's all over, my days of fullness are all over."

She: "but they're still home with you now."

Me: " soon...t.hey'll be gone, gone..."

She: "but they're still home with you now."

Bless her sweet heart, she tries--oh, how she tries--over and over and over. Same-time-next-week at our next appointment she tries. She has hope, but will I ever get to where she hopes to get me?


What she tries so delicately to tell me and hint at, since she is unable to tell me directly (you know, rules of therapy and  insights arrived on one's own are much more meaningful, etc.),  is that my sadness is over not living in the moment--being there in the day captured in the pictures taken. Missing the present for lamenting the passing. Not being with them in all the glory of the being there. At that age, at that stage, with them.

My expensive friend--I ache for her, and for the pleading I see in her own eyes, as she tries to convince me. She so badly wants to teach me how to lift the gloom that takes on a life of its own once I birth it.

I carry a piece of my paper in my purse that I pull out and try to read. Maybe someday I'll be able to without the lens of a watery blur. I hear the words in my friend's voice. I stare at it. It reads, "Who pushes back on time to stop it is pushed back by time in its march. He who yields to it- finds it on his side."

Monday, February 21, 2011

Putting My Dad In Trouble

Me and My Dad at an Air Show

Hi! It's me, Baby E. I finally get to post today. It's snowing all day today and yesterday so we are home.

I can stay in my pajamas all day if I want to, my mom said. And my dad is even home today!

I want to go outside soon.  My brothers don't. I'm going to have my mom call a friend to come over.

This is what I'm going to read today from my journal:

I'm the kind of person that doesn't like dreams. I started dreaming like 2 weeks ago, and I only like the good ones. I had a bad one where I went to look for my mom and I went to the garage to call her name and a ferret was in there and I saw him and tried to run back in the house. My mom says this dream is because a lot of squirrels are hiding in the garage for winter. I didn't like it. I wish we could just sleep and not have those dreams. I just want to get the night over with and get the next day started, with no dreams in between.

When my mom works, my dad is in charge of us.
He does crazy stuff that I write down in here to tell my mom about it.
Like, he says "No!No!No!" 500 thousand times. About everything.
He doesn't feed us until we are almost starving, and then it's easy stuff.
He doesn't let me do the computer.
He forgets I need a shower and to brush my teeth.
He lets me fall asleep with my clothes on, on the sofa.
He likes to listen to the TV too loud and always has it on.
Those are things I write down to tell my mom.

I love Tae Kwon Do, and I love to go. I can go every day  if I want to.
My favorite thing to do is everything. I like the sparring, and I like to walk away and feel like a wounded warrior. My mom laughs when she asks me how class went and I say, "I'm tired like a wounded warrior."

I'm testing again next Saturday and I am practicing 100 times a day and I am ready.
You should really tell your kids to go to this because it is fun. BUT if he's kind of sassy, tell him NOT to do it because the Master won't accept that.

I'm still reading 39 clues, but I'm making myself go slow because the series is almost done for me now. What I don't like about series books is that you finish reading them and then the series is done.  The next book comes out April 29, that's when the 11th book comes out. You can go to the website and see. That is a long way off. For my birthday, I'm going to get the whole set so I can read it again.

But I just don't like how you read the books faster than they can write them.

The website is cool because you can do missions, like in the book, that are games and are cool.

I am having a banana morning. "This banana is good, mom." I like them when they're cold out of the refrigerator.

I can sing and dance really good. I want to skype so you can see it.

Oh! I like to give myself new hairdos after my shower when my hair is moldy. When it dries, the crazy hairdo is gone.


P.S. Oh, and this picture is of me and my dad at the OshKosh Air Show. He likes to fly airplanes and to fly in them.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sunday Best - Guaranteed: Ten Faithful Readers

Since beginning blogging, I've taken an interest in this whole new world of the blogosphere that didn't exist for me before. It's such a new world, and feels so strange to know that this hidden world  had been going on and I knew only snippets about it. There has been a lot to learn; technically, aesthetically, new jargon, time budgeting, blogiquette, so much.

From what I've read about blogs, a main division arises when the talk goes to people's reasons for blogging. From there, it seems to become an issue of purpose. There is the side of those who blog for love of the written word, and there is the side of those who blog with an interest in numbers, counts, audience, exposure. Some with earnest hopes of making money.

At last count, there were 15 million active blogs worldwide. This number still does nothing to deter the daily addition of new blogs entering this realm of blogging. With this number, it is estimated that there are 10 faithful readers for every active blog. Faithful being defined as readers returning daily to your blog. Surveys have estimated that obtaining this level of LOYAL readership may take at least 9 months to develop. 

On the opposite end of this incredible 15 million number of worldwide blogs, there is the fact that if a blogger is going to quit blogging, it'll occur at the 3 month mark.
3 months.
At 3 months, those that quit blogging and close up shop, have decided that having a blog is beginning to feel like a chore, that there is no longer a passion to have their voice out there, and it has begun to make them feel trapped--even dreading post time. I'm at the 2 month mark, and I still look forward to posting time.

The genesis of a blog can come in 2 forms: those that began blogging first, and then those that began to blog after following, and being loyal, to a specific blog. What seems to have caught the ones who began to blog first- by surprise- is that they then became blog readers. Many are simply astounded by the amount of time that they now spend reading other blogs, when they initially set out to be the author of a blog, only, and not a  reader.

What I've learned about blogging on my own, are the reasons that I have become one of someone's "faithful ten."
The Faithful Ten that return on a daily basis to a blog.
I know my reason for returning to a blog, and that is quality of content. If I see that the author has written something that I feel they have sincerely developed and thought of, then I return.  I return because I feel that they have a respect for the reader. Whether it is one paragraph long or an entire page with text, it can be humorous, poignant, or a sweet memory, even just a carefully chosen picture. But if I can feel that it's been put out there with me in mind, and for me, because they know I'll be back for the next post, then I return.
I return, with no expectation of a comment back, or a visit back. Their words and the experience there enrich me, and that is enough for me to be a "Loyal Ten" at their place.

I began blogging as a way to see my printed words in front of me. Something I could keep, and go back to. There is also the thrill, for me, of pushing "Publish Post" and seeing my story right there, in front of me. That is something I haven't grown tired of yet.
I began to blog because I have always wanted to write, and notebooks just weren't enough anymore. What has absolutely become the icing on a delicious cake for me, which was a place to write publicly,  is the fantastic, interesting, generous, talented people I've met because of blogging. That, that right there, I never saw coming. Talk about sweet. The connections.

With that feeling, of blogging for the pure love of writing, I figure you'd have a guaranteed audience size of one: the one you write for, yourself. Anything beyond that? A gift.
This guest post was originally written last April, after I had been blogging for only 2 months, for Not To Brag, a very, very lovely blogger. I hope you click over and check her out. She was so kind to accept my guest post at her place, when I was such a newbie-it was exciting for me. Thanks, MEP!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What The Madison Auditions Were Like - Listen To Your Mother Show

 I am blessed with knowing such wonderful people. Not lucky, but blessed.

This past Saturday, I auditioned for the Listen To Your Mother Show in Madison.

So many wonderful people stopped here the day before and voted on the perfect "confidence" reading outfit for me to wear that day.

The wonderful people I know have been sincerely asking how my audition went for the Listen To Your Mother Show in Madison.

I can only speak my side: for me, it was a dream come true and like I was living someone else's life. It was something I never would have done in my lifetime. But Ann Imig, the National Director and creator of the Listen To Your Mother Show, made this dream real. For me, just being able to pay homage to my grandmother, in the form of a public reading, was--and always will be--enough.

I had the unicorns and sparkly rainbows easy part.

Ann writes an illuminating account of what the the auditions were like, for her, as Director, and for Darcy, the stage manager. You'll want to read this POV in her post here.

For me, here's what I take away: 

Ann Imig (on the right)  and me

Darcy (on the left) and yours truly

Joy (on the left) and Kindness (to the right)
There are Listen To Your Mother Shows in Austin, L.A., Valparaiso, and Spokane.  I hope you take the chance that I did, and see what it's like to step into something you never dreamed for yourself.

You see the smile on my face, don't you?

Good luck to all who auditioned for the show in Madison!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Mom Renewal Project

Where mom blogging and personal growth connect
I write for a wonderful site called The MomRenewal Project. Stacey Weckstein is the founder of this site, and runs it with such love and care for her readers.

Stacey's Mission Statement is: 

The Mom Renewal Project - empowering moms to live their best lives body, mind, and spirit. 

With every visit there, you will find acceptance, encouragement, and inspiration to renew your spirit and your life.

I enjoy preparing posts for The Mom Renewal Project, and am so honored to be part of the mission "to renew women's spirits."

A post I've contributed is published there today, entitled "Creating A Personal Support System."

I truly hope you'll visit and get to know The Mom Renewal Project. I think you'll find yourself leaving as a subscriber.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Be My Valentine

A little too much?

Probably. I'm like that.

Always gushing.

Tail wagging and jumping up on your leg.

I'm so happy to see you, it goes like that card above.

I'd rather err on the side of too much love that way.

Thank you for being my Valentine all year, dear visitors.

Happy Valentine's Day To You!

And I'd rather have you leaving here shaking your head and saying, "Poor woman, just too much, too much" and feeling the love, then to not know at all.

I love seeing you. I love having you here. I love having met you.

Happy Valentine's Day, dear, dear ones.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

I Am Not The Pioneer Woman, And That's OK

Dang this woman messes with my mind

Maybe I'm Unique In This, But I Highly Doubt It.

Let's talk about All Things Comparing. For some reason this week, there has been so much circulating in the blogosphere (our alternate reality) on bloggers feeling "bloggy despair." The feeling of where you don't fit in,  in the blogosphere, that you don't make the cut, that your blog isn't good enough. The feeling of others doing it better, having more readers, more commenters, more visitors, more pageviews, more beautiful blogs, better graphics skills, better photography.

Comparing ourselves to other bloggers, other blogs, other posts.

It's natural ---- we can't help it, and nothing will kill and shoot your blogging mojo down faster than looking at someone else's blog and then saying, "I've got nothin'. I'm just pushing the chair away, turning off the computer, and it was nice while it lasted and whooohooo I sure had some good times, but I got nothin'."

The thing is, we are all different. We bring something new and unique to someone's world, and those we strike a chord with, will return. The readers that like us, will come back. We can't be all things to everyone. I mean, yes, some can, like The Pioneer Woman...who, holy hell, just go look over there: what CAN'T she show you is more like it.

But, for the rest of the human blogging race, we can only offer who we are, and our own special experiences and style.

We can always improve, learn new things, take on a technical bit of new knowledge, improve stick figuring, and photography know how. We can tighten up the writing a bit. A little bit of angst about our site can be a good thing:  it can be the push we need to try a new prompt, or a different type of style that we usually don't have on our blog. Maybe we'll think of hosting a guest series, or creating a blog hop. All those things are ways we can get better, or offer more, and meet a new group of people. But, for the most part, we can only give what we know.

What I've learned, is that I have to believe. I have to believe that there is something in my writing and my blog, that feeds someone out there what they like.

If I go to a blog, and see all sorts of stupendousness there, and then I head back home with my head hanging, well, I can barely lift my shoulders off my knees high enough to hit the keys on the keyboard.

What I have learned to make myself do is this:

1. Straighten up that spine.

2. Take a deep, deep breath.

3. Put on a smile, literally.

4. Put the fingers on the keys.

5. Tell myself I am who I am. And only I can do that best. Only me.

6. Just do it. Type away. Smile. Check for typos. Check once more. Then Post.

If you love blogging, and love to connect and find people who get you, then keep doing it. Don't look at what someone else can do that you can't. Don't tell yourself that someone is so much better than you, they know more than you, their blog is so much cooler than yours.

Just don't.

Your love for what you do, and for who stops to check on you daily, will cross over into those fingertips that tap the keys, and put words out there that will speak to someone.

In other words, only listen to what the good voices in your head tell you to do. The bad voices?  pfffffffffft....shove them out the door. But, still, dang,  Pioneer Woman, 22,639 comments on one post? Really, woman?



Friday, February 11, 2011

Own Your Beauty - BlogHer Post


Own Your Beauty at BlogHer is dedicated to changing the way women see themselves, talk about themselves, feel about themselves. After reading their mission statement below, I knew I had to be a part of the movement happening there. I've taken the pledge to change how we think about ourselves, as women.

I am proud that a post I submitted to Own Your Beauty at BlogHer is syndicated there today.

As BlogHer states it, so well:

Let’s take all the energy we've spent on endless loops of negative feedback about everything from the way we live our lives to our butts, our hips, our boobs and, for pete's sake, even our ankles - and use it instead to power something positive and meaningful.

Let's celebrate the beauty of authenticity and share it with everyone we know.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I Live With Men and So I Turn To You

Can I pull this one off?
In true Empress style, I have waited till the last minute.

I have a HUGE life event this Saturday. HUGE.

Life changing life affirming life altering la vie en large. 

I'm auditioning for the Listen To Your Mother Show in Madison, Wisconsin, this Saturday, February 12, at 11:00 a.m.

I really want this and I am going to go for it.

Go Fight Win, right? Well.....

Now, 2 DAYS BEFORE THIS AWESOME OPPORTUNITY...while I sit here in the middle of a pile of pulled out from the closet clothes, face in hands, I suddenly remember...

I don't know how to dress.  

I have been inside a house either gestating or lactating since 1995. What does one wear to an audition? What? Hubs says, "you look good in anything." (yeah, I know, he is so good.) Teens say, "mom....we don't want to look at you like that." (huh? teenage boys...what does that even mean?")  Baby E says, "momma, I like your red pajamas best."

What to do? Then, a moment of clarity...I am NOT * lone woman walking the planet.*

I'm not.

I've got some help.

I know the BEST peeps for this job.

What the heck and geez louise...but I should've thought of this before.

YOU, You, my sweet friends.

And who is cooler and what is cooler than cool? Ice Cold You.

I've been tweeting about the Listen To Your Mother Show audition that I have this Saturday. THIS.

I had the deep hair conditioning treatment done for the Winter Dredlocks (took a gallon of oil, thank you.)

The nails are a beautiful, retro Lucy Ricardo fedora red...thank you to Hyui Lin (you are a DOLL, girl.)

I'm getting the beauty sleep so I don't look like a psycho with red lipstick but, oh,  she has glossy hair!

My confession: I don't know what to wear. I don't know what to wear. I don't know what to wear.

Please, if you have a heart, vote in a comment below. Here are the looks I'm contemplating:

Ethnic. As in, "My...we're looking ethnic today."

Smart. As in, "Wow. No accessories needed, her brain's enough."

Sugar and Spice. I've got 2 more years left on this look, I think I can do it.

Glamour Woman. I'll even bring this chair.
Hip Chick. Sometimes, that's all you need to know.
Leave me a comment and a vote, please. Have pity for a woman living with 4 males. What look should I go for?

AND: consider trying out yourself for the Listen To Your Mother shows in Austin, Valparaiso, Madison, Los Angeles, Spokane. Go HERE for audition information. You just need to want to do it!

You know, I could always go as me:

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Yeah, I'm a Freak

I have a son. A son whom I adore.

He is one of three, the middle one.

He doesn't laugh as much as the other two, or as often as the other two, he never has.

So, when this boy does open up the heavens and hand over the pearl of a gift that his laugh is, ..our entire household stops in our tracks, and we communally surrender to the surprise and the sweetness of the sound of middlest laughing.

It is such a treat, that when we hear it, we announce it, like one excitedly shouts the winner of a race.

"Hey! I made middlest laugh!"

"Mom? Did you hear that? I made middlest laugh."  

"Hey, boys...did you hear that? I just made your brother laugh."

Sometimes, the joy and exhilaration I feel at being able to make him laugh are such a rush, that I question what I've just heard.  I ask....just to be sure... "Hey, hon...did I just make you laugh?," I want to be sure.

I will stop at NOTHING to hear this child laugh.

It's all fair game. All is fair in laughter and war: physical humor, cheap shtick, corny jokes, the chicken dance. Do I care what I look like? No. All of it is in my arsenal. I can flap my arms and knock my knees like nobody's business.

I stop at NOTHING. It is hopeless to resist. I am on to what he likes and that which tickles his funny bone.

He likes the quick jabs.

The one two punch.

The unexpected twist on his brothers, gets him every time.

The build up...then the surprise he didn't see coming.

He likes the call back to events from earlier in the day. 

I have studied him and now major in him.

This boy doesn't stand a chance.

"Hey, middlest, did I ever tell you I went to Yale?"

"You did, mom?"

"Yep. Don't you want to know when?"

"Yeah. I didn't know you went to Yale, mom. When did you go?"

"I yust got out."

*Ba dum dum*

You stand no chance, my beautiful boy. And I will show no mercy.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Just When I Was Beginning To Like You

Life is a funny thing. Life is a funny thing, Mama.

Look at any random magazine cover, and the headlines all scream “Like yourself better!” and “Be awesome in 10 days or less!”

Self help and self improvement books threaten to burst the shelves at any book store from the weight of all the titles. All screaming for you! you! to buy and become a better you. A you that is different from what you are.

It is a good thing to take stock, yes, and to set your sights on honing a skill,  learning a new hobby,  trying something new, or improving on something you’ve let fall to the wayside.

But to become a different, improved, better, more likable you?


Since I can remember, I have sadly been loyal to the screaming headlines of how to be prettier, have a better body, make more friends, get a new personality, become more alluring and magnetic and irresistible to man, woman, and all things living and breathing.

And, now, in this last half of my life, I have turned off the noise. I have become tired of it. What is wrong with being who I am?

I no longer want to fight what is natural and what is me.

Since the 8th grade, I have been stretching and pulling and snatching myself bald headed in pathetic attempts to give myself straight, swingy hair. The kind of hair that I see girls toss across their shoulder and hold in one hand while they lean in and delicately take a drink from the water fountain. I want the hair from the Long and Silky shampoo commercials. What I have instead is short, coarse, and nappy--and I don’t want to fight my hair anymore.

I have spent my entire life wishing for the small, pert nose that is everywhere. What is on my face instead? A nose strong enough to hold a 2 inch thick eyeglass prescription, were I ever to need that.

And, I am flat chested. I am as small breasted as is humanly possible. I remember hunting for a bra at Victoria’s Secret in my size. The perfect Barbie came over and asked how she could help. I told her I couldn’t find 28AAA, to which she laughed and said, “no one makes that size. The smallest we have is 32B.” That would be a bigger cup size than I’d ever need. In 3 lifetimes.

I’m tired of it. This year, I began letting my hair curl and go. I turn sideways now and let my European profile stunningly cut a picture, and the bra? I just wear double layered T shirts.

But the thing is, now that I am Okay with what I am--my body is giving out.

I have to hobble for a few seconds when I first stand up from a cross legged position.  When I bend over, you hear more crackles and pops than a bowl of Rice Krispies, and my energy? Am I the only one that loves red lights because they allow mini naps?

Why now, Body? Why now when I just have decided that you are the one for me? The only one? That I love you--curly haired, flat chested, big nosed and all? Why?

It is such an irony… I’ve had the love of my life here all along, I could have been enjoying it, not cursing it. And now, sigh, it’s starting to go.

Just when I began to see its beauty.

I hope it forgives me and allows me at least ten more years, to treat it right, and appreciate it for the glorious uniquene miracle that it is.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Thank You, FunnynotSlutty

Remember how I told you all---oh, about 25 times--that if you were looking for some funny for your blog, to browse around the website FunnynotSlutty? The premiere comedy website for women, by women, featuring women? And anyone who likes REALLY funny? Not lame-o funny?

Well, for my link up here today for Friday Funny with the Mayor of CrazyTown, I found this.

2 minutes long and laughing all the way.

Truly funny. I had to watch it over more than once, the laughter felt so good.

You will enjoy.

Thank you, Jacki, for all you do to keep us smiling out here with the awesome FunnynotSlutty.


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