Sunday, December 25, 2005

Hug Until it Hurts

I have had the good fortune to have a wonderful Christmas. My mother is here visiting, which is HUGE as she is quite ill and hasn't travelled in years. And it's been great. My children are healthy, as is my husband. Life is good.

My friend Erin lost her father on Friday, just a few months after losing her mom. Our friend Stevo once said that once a parent dies it is like being a member of a club that no one wants to join. He couldn't be more right. I joined that club nearly five years ago when my dad died. And I'm not alone. Several of my friends have lost a parent over the past few years--we're coming to that age, I guess. But to lose them both within such a short period of time? I can't even get my head around it. When I spoke to her yesterday, she and her brother were going to soldier on and make Christmas happen for her nephew. I thought that was really amazing and wonderful.

So hug the people in your life and be sure to let them know how much they mean to you. Hug them tonight. Hug them tomorrow. And the next day. And the day after that. Because you can.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Why The Holidays Need to Be Over Sooner Rather Than Later

Misfit Hausfrau is getting annoyed. So annoyed, in fact, that she is starting to refer to herself in the third person. That can never be a good sign.

I have been trying to keep my annoyance from seeping into my home and polluting the air. I am disappointed in myself that I am not a little happier right now, what with the holidays coming and all. Sure, I have been baking millions of cookies and filling dozens of pierogies. I have been consulting with my mother to plan our traditional Polish Christmas Eve dinner. I have wrapped presents and decorated the house. At this point, Baby Girl only knows that Christmas is the birthday of the Baby Jesus. She thinks that the presents under the tree are for him, which I think is really sweet. Peaches spends most of her day trying to get all McGyver with the ottomans that are protecting the tree from her wily fingers and razor sharp chompers. This is good stuff people! These are the things holiday memories are made of. Right?

Unfortunately, my irritation is stemming from the world that is outside of my home. And while I refuse to let these things ruin a holiday, I need to get them off my chest.

All I wanted to get was my prescription. Just a quick trip. But NOOOOOOOO, every Jackass from here to Dayton has to drive to MY Target at 9:00AM to shop. In -13 degree weather. It doesn't help that half of the shopping center is under cosntruction and they have blocked all entrances but one to get to the Target. It took 45 minutes to drive in, stand in line to get said prescription, and drive out of the parking lot. And I didn't even get sidetracked in the shoes or toys. Hmph!

The Bitch walked in the door and saw me waiting next to the checkout for a customer's cart--the kind you can put a baby in. There weren't any other carts left in the store. I was holding a 19 lb. baby in the puffiest, most slippery coat ever. I was also holding the hand of my 3 year old. As the customer was getting ready to give me the cart, Baby Girl pulled me 6 inches in the other direction. The Bitch blew past me AND TOOK THE CART! My "Hey" and "Excuse me, but that was really rude!" were ignored as she flew with the cart to the back of the store. I didn't have the luxury of standing around waiting for another cart, so I trudged to the shoe section to buy boots for Baby Girl. Because I didn't have a cart for the baby, I had to put her down to help my other daughter try on boots. Because of that, she crawled away. Because of that, someone hit her with their cart. And then she ate things off the ground. And then I got dirty looks from other customers. And then when I was paying for my purchase, the Bitch brought back her EMPTY CART to the front of the store and walked out without buying anything.

Someone Keeps Stealing Baby Jesus!

Would you just stop already?! While I understand that technically the Baby Jesus shouldn't be in the manger until Christmas Eve, but it doesn't mean you have to steal it. Twice. And cut off the second one's leg in the process. Were you dropped on your head at birth?

I would love to know what Wal-Mart is paying Beyonce, Queen Latifah, Garth Brooks and some other country chick to whore themselves in their "Home for the Holidays" commercials. Wal-Mart doesn't get enough business during the holidays? Apparently not since they would rather pay people who would NEVER STEP FOOT in a Wal-Mart to hawk their wares.

The "Don't Call it Happy Holidays, it's Merry Christmas" People and the "Don't Call it Merry Christmas, it's Happy Holidays" People
Just shut the hell up already.

The Mail I Am Receiving from Area Churches
I don't mind getting the mail from the local churches, I really don't. What bothers me are the messages written on the postcards. One actually advertised that they WOULDN'T be conducting services on Christmas Day so that the ministers could be with their families. What? Why are we calling it Christmas then? Another postcard listed that I should attend their church because they provide free Starbucks and scones after their service. I really wish I wouldn't have thrown them away when I got them.

Gingerbread Lattes (aka Crack) from Starbucks
Best. Non-Alcoholic Drink. Ever. They are so good, in fact, that I would drink three everyday if I could. But then I would weigh 700 lbs. So I limit myself to just one each holiday season. Unfortunately, I drank my latte in mid-November. I need Starbucks to remove them from the menu. Now.

I could go on and on, but I have more pierogies to make. And children to feed and bathe. And trips to Indiana to pick up depressed, sickly mother for holiday fun!

Merry Happy Whatever!

I've only sent about 10 Christmas cards out this year as it is my husband's job to buy stamps. Fortunately, Mr. Big Dubya has the perfect solution! Check out his site! He is graciously using his site as a refrigerator for all cards! And there's a yule log for that extra special something!

Monday, December 19, 2005

Baby Girl's New "Best Friend"

Meet Baby Girl's new friend. The last time I saw this was when I gave it to her last Easter. This morning she informed me that HIS name is Stack and that he's a boy. She held him all morning and had some rather lengthy discussions about Dora and Blue's Clues. He spent some time in the corner around 9:30 for "being fresh." She also busted his chops for not sharing. At no time did I hear him protest. He sat in her purse when we ran to the store. When we got home she started to cry because she couldn't find him. I found her purse and he was inside of one of her socks. When I asked her why he was in a sock, she looked at me like I had six eyes and told me that the sock was his coat.

Things got a little strange at lunch. She got agitated when he wouldn't eat his share of carrots--as if he wasn't pulling his weight or something. Then in the middle of lunch she asked to be excused to go potty.

"But Sweetie, you just went."

"No Mommy, Stack needs to go poopy."

Normally I would make her finish her lunch but I decided to humor her. She held him over the toilet and exclaimed over the "big snake" he pooped. She then made him wash his hands.

Later I heard her reading a book to Stack.

"Baby Girl, are you having fun reading to Stack? Does he like the book?

"Her name ISN'T Stack. HER name is Sharrow (Baby Girl's middle name) and she's a girl. And we're going to take a nap."

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Weekend Recap

Let me just start off by saying that this weekend was not even CLOSE to being as much fun as last weekend. There were no parties, no dancing, no sleepovers with the girlfriends. Hell, there wasn't even much of a reason to shower. I guess this means that I am back to my normal dullsville life. Well, maybe it's not completely normal. It seems that I am up to my ass in cookies.

I have been making 2-3 types of cookies every day this week. Today was my off day, so I only made a double batch of fudge. I didn't know it was possible to get sick from the smell of brown sugar, but apparently it is. Tomorrow I am making one more batch of cut-outs and then I AM DONE. So far, only one type of cookie did not meet my standards. The rest have turned out OK. The surprise hit this year has been the chocolate cookies with mint chocolate chips in them. They kick ass. My fudge is also really good. And no, it is NOT the kind my mother-in-law makes with Velveeta.

The only other thing I did was finish some last minute shopping. I thought I was done. Awhile ago. As a matter of fact, I had it in my head that I has actually made the trip to the store to get the shopping done for Herr Hausfrau's nephews. I got ready to wrap their gifts and there weren't any to wrap. My alleged shopping trip was all in my head. Fortunately, it didn't take long to get it done. I was also quite pleased because I found a ukulele for BabyGirl that didn't cost a million dollars. She will be so excited as she LOVES guitars and currently plays some mean air guitar solos. A ukulele will be the perfect fit for her for now.

Oh, yeah. Peaches is driving us ape-shit because she is still waking up and screaming for upwards of 40 minutes a few nights a week. We decided to do tough love with her since she is going on 11 months old and she really should be sleeping through the night. We haven't done a late night feeding with her in almost 3 weeks. The problem is that she is so stubborn with her screaming that once she eventually stops, I am wide awake. I have been up since 3:30 this morning for this reason. I thought it only took a week before a baby stops waking up. Arrrggghhhh!

Well, I am off to bed to make up for the lack of sleep last night. I have to build up my strength as this week will be HUGE. I am driving to Indiana on Wednesday to pick up my mother and bring her back to stay with me for the holidays. For anyone who knows me and my family life, this is going to be interesting. I'll be writing about it later.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The History of Keeping Up With The Joneses in the Suburbs: Chapter Two

A couple of months ago, I wrote a blistering expose on the competition in my neighborhood to have the best and biggest playset. Since then, I have continued my deep cover in order to expose the secrets of life in suburbia. I have recently uncovered a trend that is so insidious, so frightening, that I cannot in good conscience keep it to myself. While it is a topic that is hardly new, it is something that is spiraling out of control because of parents' needs to outdo one another. This horrible trend is causing dissention, resentment and outright hostility among people who claim to be friends. I present The Birthday Party.

I am all about a party. There is nothing more fun than good food, good drinks, good friends and a lot of wonderful conversation and laughter. The same holds true for a kid's birthday party. We have kept Baby Girl's parties quite low key. We had a blizzard for her first birthday so it was the two of us watching her look at a cupcake with fear/curiosity/hunger. On her second birthday we went all out for an Elmo cake that my friend made and she had her two little friends over. The adults ate steak and drank wine and beer. The girls ate hotdogs and fought over toys. Baby Girl's party on Sunday was much the same. She had one friend and her cousin over. The adults ate appetizers and drank beer and wine. The kids ate chicken nuggets and a Dora Cupcake Birthday Cake.

I was introduced to the birthday party circuit while we were still in New Jersey. It is customary in New Jersey for the first birthday to be a huge blow-out in a rented hall, complete with 100+ people and caterers. Maybe there is a petting zoo or a bounce house. Maybe there's a band. There is DEFINITELY a mountain of presents and a very overwhelmed and cranky birthday child. We attended a couple parties like that and were amazed at the size of the celebration. Perhaps we were amazed that our friends actually HAD 100+ people to invite. Perhaps we couldn't believe the expense. Who knows?

Once Baby Girl got older, we started getting invited to parties at a place near our house called Boro Kid Zone. It was fantastic! The children got to jump around and play in these designated zones for set periods of time. And then they were served pizza and/or birthday cake. After eating, they were given a goodie bag and we were on our merry way. All this in 90 minutes. SWEET! It was great. I found out that parties ran about $150 or so. I thought that was pretty steep, but I thought it would be good if a parent didn't buy any other presents.

And now we are here in Ohio. Sure, there are the parties at the nearby Pump it Up or Build-A-Bear. But here, it is all about exceeding kids' expectations and having a bigger/better party than the year before. And a bigger/better party than the neighbor kids. And, you obviously love your child more because you just had the coolest party ever. There are princess parties, Dora parties and Nascar parties. For the "tweens" we have the "Makeover Parties" where there are places here in the area that will organize makeup parties for girls. Recently, there was a Jungle party in the neighborhood where the children participated in a jungle scavenger hunt. I think the prize was a real live monkey. Not sure who won.

My husband came home tonight and told me about the plans one of his co-workers had for his daughter's birthday party next week. They are planning to build a life-sized Candyland game board in their basement, and the parents of the children are going to play the characters in the game.

Are you kidding me?

I am trying to imagine how the parents are going to react when they get to the party. Will the Birthday Girl's father get to be King Kandy? Will the mothers start a cat fight to get the coveted roles of Lolly and Princess Frostine? The losers of that fight will have to be Mama Gingertree and Gramma Nutt. The parents who show up late will live to regret it as they will be stuck playing Jolly and Gloppy. I'm not sure I could imagine a less enjoyable afternoon for the parents.

Am I the only parent who is perfectly happy having a few kids over and letting them run wild through the house and eat cake? I mean, if I start with the unique parties now, it will never end. My girls will just expect more and more every year. And I don't want that. I'm still trying to get over the fact that I don't get any presents for my kids' birthdays. I mean, I squeezed them out for God sakes! Isn't that worth a nice bracelet?

I know that eventually I will have to expand on our birthday parties as I am assuming (and hoping) that my daughters will have more than one friend each. That said, I think the craziest I am willing to go is a Boro Kidzone-type of party. I think it is worth the $150 to NOT have to clean my house, fix food, and have parents looking at my house and questioning my decorating choices. What about you? How far are you willing to go to make your birthday kid happy? How much are you willing to do/spend?

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Lifestyles of the Misfits and the Hausfraus

Best. Weekend. Ever. Well, maybe not EVER, but quite close. I had it all; I got a road trip, I got to spend quality time with my Pittsburgh Girlfriends (including a slumber party!); I got to go to a birthday party that didn't involve Dora or goodie bags; I got to go shopping for shoes--for ME; I got to be sociable, I got to drink(and smoke a cigarette or five--shhhh), and I got back home in plenty of time to celebrate my daughter's 3rd birthday too!

Chapter One--The Drive

I got in the car and drove for 4 1/2 hours to Pittsburgh.
By myself
Without children
Without husband
Without being commanded to put in a Dora movie
Without being bothered for snacks. Every five minutes.
Without being interrupted
Without crying
Without screaming
Without a constant stream of chatter
Without smelling something repugnant coming from the back seat
There was nothing but me

Sheer heaven, I tell you. This was the first time I had been in a car alone (except for my 5:45 AM jaunts to the gym so they don't count) since JULY! For the first 20 minutes, I kept the radio off and just enjoyed the silence. The rest of the trip I listened to the radio, then I listened to my cd's. I had a marathon Radiohead/Wilco listening session that lasted through most of Ohio. I listened to a few songs six or seven times REPEATEDLY--because I COULD! I sang along to some songs. Badly. Didn't matter.

Chapter Two--The Party

The reason I went to Pittsburgh was to celebrate the 40th birthday of my dear friend Angel. We met during college at IU. At the time, she had taken a break from her studies at Duquesne to stay with her sister. While in Bloomington, she worked in the same restaurant as my husband and I and we all became friends. We kept in touch with her over the years and were thrilled to reconnect with her when we moved to Pittsburgh. It is because of Angel that we made the most amazing friends when we were there. Her husband and all of her friends became our friends and it made our time there some of the happiest years of our lives. My friend Lisa made the trip from new Jersey. This was her first trip away from her 4 month old Ava. We were each other's dates at the party. We had a blast catching up with all of the Pittsburgh people and celebrating Angel. We girls surprised Angel with a Tiffany Bracelet. It made her cry. Our work was done.

After the party, Lisa, Annie and I headed back to Jenny's for a slumber party. When we got there, Erin showed up, which was great, as I had not seen her in a long time. She was in a play so she was unable to attend Angel's party. We stayed up talking until almost 3AM, I think. Daylight rolled in much too early.

Chapter Three--The Ride Home

See Chapter One. The only differences were that I was tired and it was snowing.

Chapter Four--Baby Girl's Birthday Party

I got home three hours before Baby Girl's birthday party. It was a very small event--just one little friend and her cousin. When I got home, I showed her the beautiful dresses Erin had gotten for her. She insisted on wearing one to her party. Baby Girl was thrilled to open presents, which were almost entirely Dora products. Wish I had bought stock in Viacom. One of her favorite gifts was the Hess Holiday Firetruck with lights and whistles! Upon opening it, she held it in her arms like a baby and said, "It's so Beyooootiful!" She spent the afternoon twirling her new pretty dress, harassing her cousin and chasing the dogs with her new grocery cart. It was wonderful seeing her so proud of herself. She kept walking around saying, "I'm Three! I'm a BIG GIRL!" or "I'm Three! I'm a Doctor Princess!" She is becoming more fun to watch every day. I am so blessed to have her.

The girls with their tiaras.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

A Little Ditty About Ralph and Di

Ralph and Di are complete assholes. They are utter annoyances that refuse to leave me alone. They arrived late Sunday night while I was sleeping. Unlike MIM's Agnes who was just quietly annoying, Ralph and Di are loud, smelly and obnoxious. Like I said, they came by around 11:00 PM on Sunday night. I mean, how rude is that?

"Hey HAUUUSFRAUUUU, I'm BAAACCCK!" shouted Ralph. "Hurry up and get in the bathroom so we can catch up. It's been awhile."

"But I'm sleeping. And I've got to go to the gym tomorrow morning. And Baby Girl has art class too. I don't have time to hang with you. I have nothing to say to you." I decided to ignore him and turned over.

But Ralph was not about to be ignored. Ralph can be, shall we say, persuasive. I ran to the bathroom. After a brief discussion, I went back to bed. Just as I was getting back to sleep, he woke me up again. And again. And again. And again. I lost count after seven times.

As if that wasn't enough, Di suddenly surfaced with Ralph at her side.

"How you doin', Hausfrau?"

"What are you doing here, Di? I'm tired and Ralph is wearing me out. What do you want?"

"Ralph and I want to race with you. Let's see who makes it to the bathroom first. READYSETGO!"

DAMMIT! I barely had a chance to leap out of the bed before those two rushed ahead of me. While I could manage to lose a race to Ralph, it is NEVER OK to lose a race to Di. No matter what. I barely beat both of the them to the toilet--the finish line. Later I had the same dilemna. I looked around the bathroom desperately for help because I knew Ralph was hot on my tail.

"Scott? Viva? Where are you guys?" Fortunately I found Viva cowering under the sink. This was no time for weakness.

These games went on and on through the night and into the next day. I was exhausted and useless, and REALLY tired of the bathroom. But I didn't want them to be seen anywhere else. I have children to protect after all.

They left sometime during the night on Monday. No goodbyes or thanks for my hospitality. But that was OK. I understand the relationship. I was relieved that they came and left before the holidays, where they really could have put a crimp in our style at Hausfrau Haus.

Can you believe that those assholes CAME BACK LAST NIGHT? This is a first. They don't usually leave for a day and come back. I can't believe they didn't have someone else to harass. First, Ralph spent some time with Baby Girl which was quite distressing. She hadn't seen him since she was nine months old. She just has no experience in dealing with his sneakiness. But it only appeared that he wanted to hang with her for a couple of hours. By bedtime, he was gone. Or at least I thought he left.

Ralph and Di woke me up AGAIN last night. All. Night. Long. I am just too old for this shit. I haven't run since I was on the junior high track team, so I am just not equipped to deal with these marathons. The good news is that Ralph got tired and left early. I am waiting for Di to get the hell out of my house. Unfortunately, I have no say as to her comings and goings. I just hope she shuts the door behind her when she goes.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Weekend Recap

I'm a little late with my recap as I have been illin AGAIN! I am not sure how I am the one getting the barfy vomitty cooties, but I am. My hell began at 11:15 PM on Sunday. I have now successfully kept down 4 ice cubes and a glass of gatorade and it is 8:00AM Tuesday. I am going to start on some coffee in hopes that my dehydration headache will go away. The worst part was when Herr Hausfrau left for work on Monday 45 MINUTES EARLIER than he normally would (I think to escape the wretching noises.) I called him and told him to get his ass back here after I scared the children with a vomitting jag the second he left. What was he thinking? I couldn't even stand and he thought I could just feed, change and entertain the children without a problem at 6:30 in the morning?

Enough about that. Let's talk about my weekend!!! Our friends Stevo & Annie and Jeff & Allan came to stay with us. Yay! We are a group of friends who started having monthly dinner parties in Pittsburgh WAY before they became the vogue thing to do. We would choose a theme and research cookbooks and the internet to make authentic yummy dinners. And they were. Since we moved from Pittsburgh 4 1/2 years ago, the dinner parties have gone on without us and we have missed them dearly.

Our friends got in late Friday night and stayed until late Sunday morning. Our time was spent hanging out, looking at scrapbooks (Stevo & Annie just got back from Poland; Jeff & Allan are just back from Switzerland) eating, grocery shopping, drinking, cooking, watching tv, eating, gossiping and laughing. And eating. And worrying after Allan slipped and fell off our front steps and none of us heard his cries for help. His poor body was so jarred that he ended up going to bed and missing the whole dinner. And he had done a lot of the cooking. He missed his own heavenly dessert:

This WAS a White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle. It was AMAZING! We forgot to take pictures of the actual dinner because we were so hungry we went at it like vultures and there wasn't much left.

While I like spending time with family, I feel there is nothing better than getting to spend time with good friends. My only problem is that I get selfish and don't want it to end.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Ten Months Old!

Well Peaches, another month has gone by. You haven't really changed much, but that's OK by me.

You are continuing to be quite a challenge with your eating habits. One day you don't want baby food, the next day you only want bottles. You have discovered early that it is a woman's perogative to change her mind. Constantly. The one thing that isn't changing is your love of eating books. We are throwing away at least one of your sister's books a day because you are chewing them up and swallowing them. And while it's true your sister shoudl be doing a better job of keeping them away from you , at least you're getting some fiber.

Little bits and pieces of your personality are coming out. We are fairly certain that your quick temper is here to stay. I still don't know where you got it. You are quick to voice displeasure when we close doors to keep you out of rooms. Very quick. We now cannot tell the difference between your, "I'm hurt dammit" scream to your, "I'm pissed dammit" scream. Most of the day you are quite happy and content. Our friends called you "The Judge" this weekend, and it is so true. You stare at people so seriously and you look like you are sizing them up. Probably to figure out what part of their body you want to bite --their chin or their kneecaps.

Currently your favorite past times are opening drawers in the kitchen and swirling your hands around in the toilet. Eating toilet paper is also right up there. What is it with you and paper?! You are like a tiger lying in wait for an antelope when you are trying to get into the bathroom. The only time you have a shot at getting in is after your sister has gone to the bathroom. She is so excited that she has either peed or pooped that she runs out without flushing and closing the door. You LEAP into action as I decide whether to wipe the poop off the back of your sister's butt before she sits on the couch, or catch you before you fish for logs in the toilet.

Maybe I shouldn't be spoiling the surprise, but your father and I have made a promise. Tonight starts "Tough Love." We are done with the night time feedings. You are old enough to sleep through the night. We didn't have this challenge with your sister so this is new for us. Let me be clear: we are NOT getting up before 5:30 tomorrow morning to give you a bottle. Nope, not gonna happen. Even though it only takes 6 minutes to feed you and put you back down, we are done. No, really. Even though it is the only time you cuddle with me, I'm not doing it. I'm just not. So there.

Friday, December 02, 2005

New Addition to My Diaper Bag

Check out my new pewter flask. I scored this little gem at my ladies club "Holiday Party" last night. It was a White Elephant Chinese Auction. We all brought something in that we had previously received as a gift but didn't want. The idea is that you make it all pretty with the wrapping paper and bows--sorta like polishing a turd. I had my eye on this the whole time. Had Mischa not "stolen" the indoor/outdoor christmas tree lights that I had gotten, I never would have been able to steal this from Molly. Who had stolen it from Amber. I wanted to steal it from Amber, but I felt bad because she seemed to like it. Molly claimed she needed it because she has three kids. Sorry Charlie. It's all mine now.

And to think that someone got used stove burner covers. With BURNS ON THEM! I'd say I got the best gift there.

The best part is this:

The Barbie-sized funnel.

This flask is going to take my playgroups to a whole new level. Whatever will I put in it for Baby Girl's art class on Monday morning?

Decisions, decisions...

Thursday, December 01, 2005

I Smell a Beatin'

I read a great post last night over at Dani's site about the rudeness in children and how it is getting worse. I couldn't agree more. I live in fear of having the "brat" in a playgroup or having the bully child no one wants to play with. That said, I spend my days drilling my daughter's head with lessons in etiquette and I will be doing the same for the baby when she is older. Don't get me wrong--I don't want to raise a couple of robots. I definitely want my kids to embrace their quirkiness and appreciate them for what makes them unique. I just expect them to be polite about it.

I realized this morning that my hard work to raise polite, well-adjusted children may be in jeopardy. There is an insidious force of evil that is chipping away at my older daughter. It is determined to stop at nothing to keep my daughter from being a polite little girl. Who or what is that force of evil you ask? That would be her father.

It all started early one morning a couple of weeks ago when Baby Girl was snuggling in bed with us. I was trying to sneak in a couple minutes more of precious sleep when I heard,

"You like a Wet Willie?"

I don't think I was even able to register what she was asking before a wet little finger was wiggling around in my ear.

"What are you doing?" I shrieked.

"I'm giving you a Wet Willie. You like another one?" she said as she stuck her forefinger in her mouth.

"NO I would NOT like another Wet Willie, Baby Girl!"

"OK Mommy."

She then turned over, whereupon my husband gladly received a Wet Willie from her.

"Honey, that is so gross! WHY did you feel the need to teach her that? I didn't say anything when you started to teach Baby Girl words like 'Tru Dat' and 'Word', but I have to draw the line at this!"

"Oh, Honey, it's not a big deal."

"It may not be a big deal now, but I don't want her to be the weird girl in 1st grade who runs around putting her slimy finger in the ears of her classmates."

"You worry too much."

Oh REALLY? Since then, she has given everyone in the household numerous Wet Willies. The baby and the dogs have been defenseless victims. Gramma almost got one too, but moved out of the way. I am trying to explain to her that "No means No" so she can't just run around giving them out if people don't want them.

I noticed that it had stopped this week. I was relieved. But thanks to my husband, he did it to her last night when we tucked her into bed. She woke up this morning with a renewed vigor to share her joy. I tried taking a picture of the girls this morning because Baby Girl likes making "forests" with her toys and asks us to come into her forest to play with her. This is what I got:

Her forest is now her Wet Willie lair.

I told her this morning that she may only perform Wet Willies on her dolls or her father. We have friends staying with us this weekend for God sakes! WE CAN'T HAVE THIS!

I wonder if my husband has any idea the verbal beating he is getting when he gets home from work today. Word.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Weekend Recap

It was a very busy weekend here at Hausfrau Haus. Gramma stayed until Saturday morning so that Herr Hausfrau and I could go out for our anniversary on Friday night! We went out to dinner with some friends we have made here which was quite exciting. They are in the same boat as we are: they are from the Midwest and went away for a long time (most recently Seattle) and they are back so that their two girls can be closer to family. They miss Seattle a lot, so we can relate. At any rate, we scored by going to an AWESOME Thai restaurant. Our friends have been searching for good Thai here in town without much success, so we were all pretty psyched. Then we went and saw Walk the Line. Wow--very good movie. Reese Witherspoon redeemed herself in my eyes as an actress, so if she every does another Legally Blond, I will kick her ass. The best part of the evening for all of us??? We went to dinner with another couple without children interrupting, babies pooping and having to order french fries and chicken nuggets. It was also great to NOT bring a backpack full of granola bars, cheerios and crayons.

My best friend and her family came to visit on Saturday. It was great because we hadn't seen them since she was pregnant with the twins and they will be a year old in December. Their three sons are adorable! The oldest is so mellow compared to my older daughter (he is five months older than she.) Baby Girl was clearly smitten with him and she proceeded to stalk him the entire visit. We had the best intentions of fixing a gourmet dinner on Sunday evening, but our drinking got in the way and we ate appetizers and played Shut the Box (Best of 15.)

Other than that, there is nothing new to report. Baby Girl's artwork continues to make us laugh. Her latest installment is quite funny. The picture on pink paper is me. She is learning to draw details such as eye lashes and hair. Apparently I am still a size 0, which is awesome. What is NOT awesome is the apparent tumor I have on my ear. Herr Hausfrau is featured on the green paper. He has a wicked comb-over of one long strand of hair. She mentioned that "This is Daddy and he is NOT happy." Hence, the mustache-looking frown. The third picture was drawn yesterday while I was on the phone with my friend Lisa. She said that they were bumblebees with belly buttons. And one is "VERY unhappy."

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving to All and Happy Anniversary Herr Hausfrau

As I am hungrily awaiting for the turkey to cook to its proper temperature, I have had a few hours to reminisce about our wedding day a mere 12 years ago.

The wedding took place at the St. Louis County Courthouse. We didn't think many people would get married the day before Thanksgiving, much less get married at the courthouse. We were wrong. We were couple #12 (out of about 24.) I know you would agree that it was a freak show. I remember having hives across my throat and chest and being nervous and scared. I remember the judge constantly banging his gavel and telling people to be quiet, but no one listened. I remember the ho who wore the tight red lace dress and the 5 inch FMPs. And I remember the tired looking couple with torn clothing carrying a baby. No one else was with them. I remember that it all happened so fast, and then it was over. We were married.

I often wonder if all of the other couples who got married with us are still married. I wonder if any of the other couples renewed their vows a few years later like we did. I wonder if they are as happy as we are. I wonder if the wives love their husbands as much as I love you. Our 12
years of marriage have been quite an adventure. To say I would marry you all over again would be an understatement.

Here's to our next 12 years!

Monday, November 21, 2005

I Have Misplaced My Pants

Here at Hausfrau Haus, preparations are being made for a most memorable Thanksgiving. As mentioned in a previous post, we are having our first Thanksgiving with family members other than ourselves. Make that "family member." Due to my brother-in-law's work schedule, he and his family will be unable to attend. This isn't stopping us from going ahead with the purchase of our 18 Lb. free range turkey that was massaged and pampered in his/her short life and fed a diet of four leaf clovers, sweet peas and marigolds from Trader Joe's. For three people. We will also be preparing vats of my famous Cornbread Stuffing with pecans, leeks and bacon. I made cornbread and froze it long before I knew we would only have 3 people. I am ready to make my pecan and white chocolate pies and pumpkin apple butter pies. I have my week scheduled down to the hour. The beer my husband brewed will be ready just in time. Each day I will be prepping or preparing an item for the feast. I have scheduled work outs for every morning this week (gym closed on Thursday) so that the odds of gaining a significant amount of weight are diminished.

I know. You must be thinking, "Wow, that Hausfrau's got it going on!" Normally, I would agree. But I am a little worried about the meal. More specifically, I am worried that I won't be able to enjoy my meal as much as I'd hoped. While I am sure everything will taste good, I just know that I will not be as comfortable as I would like. You see, I can't find my old maternity pants, and I had planned on wearing them to dinner.

You heard it here first: maternity pants ROCK at Thanksgiving dinner. I have worn preggo pants the past three Thanksgivings. I was pregnant for two of them, but I wore them for shits and giggles during one of the Thanksgivings when I wasn't pregnant. And it was FABULOUS! The elastic doesn't cut into the stomach and there is that wonderful soft panel of stretchie material that hugs you stomach just right, as if to say, "Go ahead, have some more mashed potatoes with gravy and corn--I've got your belly!" There is no need to unsnap ones pants and grunt and groan when one wears preggo pants! And sweat pants are just not the same. Not even close.

So do yourself a favor and head over to Target. I'll be over in the maternity aisle, trying on these.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

I Should Have Stayed in the House

Hausfrau be illin', yo. I have contracted some gross cooties from my 9 month old. There is no way she suffered more than I am right now. Her demeanor was much more cheerful. My head feels like it is twice it's normal size what with all the SNOT stuck in there. It won't come out when I blow my nose--my ears just pop. And pop they do. I keep checking my ears to make sure they aren't bleeding. I am freezing cold (something I NEVER am) and I am running a fever.

So, of course it made perfect sense for me to go out and get the mail without my shoes and coat. It's only 20 degrees outside and it keeps spitting a snow-like substance, but whatever. I thought that the latest Cook's Illustrated or The Economist would be in the mail to cheer me up. I needn't have bothered.

This is what was in my mail today:

SIXTEEN CATALOGS. There are even two Target and L.L. Bean catalogs each because one apparently isn't enough. One could argue that it is the holidays and that this is bound to happen. However, this has happened at least once a week since we moved to Ohio. We never had this much crap mail in New Jersey. We had even put ourselves on a list to not get credit card offers in the mail and it WORKED--until we moved here. Now we are back to getting three of those a day.

I am done with my holiday shopping so these just aren't going to cut it when I go to my room to read this afternoon.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Hey, Remember Us?

Yeah you! We're talking to you. Remember us? We're the Dogs Formerly Known as Your Babies! We are quite unhappy with our present living arrangement. We have a list of issues we would like to discuss with you. Can you squeeze it into your busy schedule what with all the baby kissing and playing you do all day?

First of all, we do NOT appreciate being called Dumb and Dumber or Re and Tard. Our names are Linus and Bosco--got it? I mean, you're the ones who named us for Christ sake! Oh, and Bosco doesn't like being called Jackass either.

Secondly, about these kids: are they leaving anytime soon? We were under the impression that we were your babies. We were here first. You all are forever telling US to move when the baby is heading toward us. Why should WE move? Their toys and shoes are everywhere and it is a real nuisance when we are napping on the couch and we can sense the baby coming toward us to pull our tails or chew on our paws. We don't even chew our paws--that's just gross.

And what is with this new house? You keep forgetting to keep our water bowl full of fresh water. At least at the old house we had the pool to drink from. We also don't like the neighborhood dogs. At the old place, we only had to deal with the stupid deer. At least you could chase them and they would leave for awhile. The black lab behind us is a real pain in the ass with his constant barking. And don't get us started on those stupid white yippy dogs two doors down.

And exactly what did we do to lose our privilege of sleeping with the two of you? This sleeping in the laundry room crap is for the birds. You only give us one blanket to share. We really miss the days when we slept between the two of you in that queen size bed all snuggly under the covers. We also remember all the times Mommy fell out of bed after one of us would stretch out in the middle of the night. What a hoot!

And another thing: don't think we haven't noticed the change in our dog food. Did you think we can't tell that you've changed our food to Old Roy from Walmart that costs about $5 for a 50 lb. bag? Everyone knows that cheap dog food causes dogs to poop twice as much. And our gas is FOUL! Just put us back on Iams and everything will be just fine.

Why don't we get to go on trips with you anymore? We remember all the fun places you've taken us like Maine and Cook Forest and countless parks. Now you take us to the kennel. Kennels suck. We remember you used to always say that if you couldn't take the dogs with you, you wouldn't go. Oh how times have changed.

We demand more snuggling on the couch with the two of you and less of those kids. Got it? Don't make us beg for it.

Monday, November 14, 2005

You Don't Say!

"Peaches and Wedgehead, do you know where we are going? We are going to Costco where we are going to buy diapers, coffee and baby wipes. That's going to be FANTASTIC!" said Baby Girl when we were in the car Sunday morning. She spent the majority of the drive in a spirited monologue while her sister and her favorite stuffed creature listened intently.

"Wow Honey, " I said. "Have you noticed how articulate Baby Girl has become, particularly in the past month or so? Do you think that she is ahead of other kids her age? I mean, I sometimes have a lot of trouble understanding the kids in her art class and her playgroups. Could it be that we are just used to how she talks or she's just really articulate?"

"I think she is just really articulate," said my husband. "No one seems to ever have a problem understanding her."

"You're right," I smiled as I basked in her obvious intelligence. The rest of the way to Costco, I pondered the dilemna of how we would handle having such an intelligent child in our household if the other child was normal. Would she skip 1st grade? Will we need to send her to private school to keep her motivated and challenged? Where are we going to get the money for that? Should we have her I.Q. tested?

Three hours later while we played in the backyard, Baby Girl started shouting, " All godag tuvionu bland!"

"What did you say?" I asked.

"All godag tuvionu bland!!!"

"Honey, what are you saying?"


My husband said, "Do you think we may have gotten a little ahead of ourselves this morning?"


Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Tonight's Menu

We at Chez Hausfrau pride ourselves on the quality of our meals. Most would agree that each meal is lovingly prepared with fantastic ingredients and almost always clean hands.

It is with great regret that we inform you that this evening's entree, Grilled Pork Chops in a honey ginger marinade will NOT be served this evening, due to the outdoor barbeque grill catching on fire. And while there should be fire in a barbeque grill, there shouldn't be fire ENVELOPING the grill.

Thanks to our quick-thinking souz chef, we have some tasty alternatives that will most assuredly satisfy even the most finicky palate:

Grilled Egg and Cheese Sandwich
Hummus with Reduced Fat Wheat Thins
Bowl of Corn Flakes
$3 off Coupon for Donato's

Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Nine Months Old!

Hi Peaches-- I cannot believe you are nine months old! You are changing so quickly and growing so fast--I am excited and sad at the same time. I took you to the pediatrician last week and he deemed you to be "Perfect." You were a champ when you were given shots and charmed the appointment setter, the nurses and the patients in the waiting room.

You are keeping me QUITE busy with your current attachment issues. While it is all well and good if you decide to venture around on your own throughout the house, it is apparently NOT OK for me to attempt to go to the bathroom by myself. Between you and your sister, I am estimating that I will not be taking a crap in peace until roughly 2010. The years will fly by, I'm sure.

Your smile sometimes takes my breath away, I find it to be just that enchanting. That said, I would appreciate more smiling and less screaming at me. I realize you think that I am cramping your style by closing the door to the bathroom and taking toilet paper out of your mouth, but I want you to experience your first birthday. I'm doing it all for you!

You display QUITE a temper. Frankly, I have no IDEA where it comes from. When Baby Girl steals a toy or book from you, you don't take it. Your anger is amazing. Your father and I are predicting that you are going to be the more aggressive child of the two. We are fairly sure that you will probably beat the crap out of your sister on a regular basis in the near future. We also think that you are going to be the trouble maker, but your sister is always going to be the one to get caught. It will be fun to see if we are right.

We are amazed at how active you are. You are just weeks away from walking--we're sure of it. You have no desire to sit still. What bums me out is that you don't want to cuddle. At all. You also don't want to have your diaper or clothing changed. If you realize that we are holding you down, you fly into a rage. If the bloodcurdling screaming doesn't soon stop, I am sure the neighbors will report us for abuse. Poopy diapers are the most challenging, as I am sure you are aware.

Your eating habits are rapidly changing. You hate having someone feed you and you don't appear to like baby food in general, so I am starting to feed you real food. Currently you are surviving on a diet of Cheerios, yogurt, cottage cheese, peas and bananas. Some days you revert to baby food, but only for a couple of bites. Some days you love food, some days you want nothing to do with it. This sort of thing doesn't worry me anymore as you are the second child. I know you will eat when you are hungry.

I've got your Christmas presents already!!! I got you two extension cords (one white, one brown), some flip flops and a huge box of catalogs and magazines. Oh yeah--I got you a remote control too! I know how much you love to chew these things! I can't wait to see the look on your Grandmother's face on Christmas morning when you open those gifts! I think she thought I was joking when I told her what I was getting you! Shhh! Don't spoil the surprise!

I can't wait to watch you over the next month as you continue to grow and make your mark on our family. I am one lucky mama to have such a beautiful and healthy baby!

Monday, November 07, 2005

Procrastination Station

Here at Hausfrau House, I spent the weekend getting bored and frustrated with my responsibilities and being a referee for the girls as they fought over who had dibs on the cheerios on the floor. I had two goals this weekend: Figure out which Medicare Prescription Plan is best for my mother and figure out how I will be voting on Tuesday. I achieved neither goal and will now be spending today catching up.

I had an easier time reading Beowulf in Old English than I did trying to translate Medicare & You 2006. I think they intentionally wrote it to be so confusing that the elderly will put it down in frustration and sign up with the first telemarketer who calls them and sounds like they are speaking basic English. I still don't understand it, and I have all of my faculties (I think). Someone like my mother doesn't have a chance when it comes to being able to formulate an effective plan for her prescription care. Shame on Medicare! There are 16 private insurance companies who can offer plans to Medicare participants in the state of Indiana. I still can't find the link on the medicare site that offers to compare their prices and benefits. I got excited when I read that my mom could qualify for extra payment assistance until I read the fine print that her "resources" can't be above $7K. Well, she just sold her house, so she has money in the bank. However, it is all the money she has to live on until she dies and half of it will be taken from her due to the hospital suing her for unpaid bills. Ironically, if she still owned her house, it wouldn't count towards the "resources." There are days when I really want to move my mother to Canada with SNM.

And then there are the elections on Tuesday. On the local ballot is Issue 30. Issue 30 is a 7.73-mill combined operating levy and bond issue that would raise about $13.3 million annually for daily operations and $84.3 million for school construction. If approved, it would cost the owner of a $200,000 home $342 annually. According to legend, the district had a surplus of funds a few years ago. Instead of spending it on the schools, they built the Taj Mahal of administrative buildings and then asked for more money in the form of this levy issue. This is not the first time this issue has been on the ballots. It has been on the ballots twice before, I believe and it failed--the last time by 5 votes! The last time it failed, the Superintendent and school board decided to play hardball and pulled bus service for a large percentage of the school district, including the high schools. Even better, it was a prepaid 2 year contract with a year left. How they didn't get put in jail, I will never know.

It seems that the superintendent is out, but we will also be voting on school board members. This has been a very emotional issue in my neighborhood. Most of the parents are passionate about NOT wanting to wait an hour to pick their kid up from the elementary school down the road. One of the first questions I was asked when we first moved here was our position on the issue (and where do I go to church). I chose not to talk about it. It's not their business. I have decided to go ahead and vote for the levy but not vote for any incumbent school board members. I could care less about the bus service. I care about the trailers and broom closets that are serving as classrooms for kids in our district. Not very becoming for the 8th Best School District in the State of Ohio! I am also going to vote for Issue 6 for the elderly. The rest of the issues, I have no idea. Guess I'd better read up instead of fantasizing about shoe shopping alone.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Just For The Fear of It

I remember as a child of five or six how terrified I was that our house was going to burn down. I would have nightmares for what seemed like every single night and would quiver and cry in my bed. It didn't help that I could clearly hear the sirens on "Adam 12" or "Emergency" blaring from our television set in the living room. There were nights when it got so bad that my mother would hear me crying. Depending on her mood, she would hug me and tell me everything was going to be OK, or she would yell at me to be quiet and stop crying. I remember once or twice even being allowed to sleep between my parents with strict orders to NOT look under the covers. YIKES. Over the year, I got over many of my fears (with the exception of clowns) but I never forgot the annoyed reaction my parents sometimes had when I was afraid of something.

Baby Girl has become afraid of things. Last year when she decided she was afraid of taking a bath for a few weeks, we simply stripped her naked and hosed her down in the front yard. It was August, so it wasn't all that surprising to see a naked baby running through the jet spray of a hose. Our daughter just also had the sheen of baby wash on her. We thought it was funny, and the phase went away. We arrogantly patted ourselves on the back for our superior parenting skills and were proud of our daughter who seemed to know no fear.

A couple of months ago, Baby Girl started screaming at the top of her lungs after we tucked her in at night. For upwards of an hour. At first, we were sympathetic. Then we got annoyed. Then we got angry. Here we used to have this perfect sleeper who always happily went to bed and instantly fell asleep and stayed asleep for 11-13 hours. Now we have a child who could nail an audition for a horror movie. It took a couple of weeks to realize that MAYBE she was afraid of the dark. I didn't necessarily want to feed her the idea by asking her, but after a couple of weeks of this nonsense, I asked her and she wailed, "Yeeeeessss!"

In addition to the dark, Baby Girl is afraid of the ocean, ladybugs and flies and lawnmowers. She is also afraid of going down the drain when we let the water out of the bathtub, which means we are back to her not wanting to bathe. She regularly runs around the house saying, "I'm so Skiiiired!"

I occasionally get annoyed with her fears du jour. It's not the fears themselves, it's just that it can be quite inconvenient to deal with them when they surface. It's not convenient to deal with a fear of the ocean when we are on vacation at the shore. It's not convenient to manage her fear of going down the drain when I am trying to make sure her baby sister doesn't drown and Baby Girl doesn't crack her head open on the tub from trying to jump out. It's not convenient to wake me up at 5:30 in the morning (after I fed the baby at 4:30 and had just fallen back asleep) because you were awoken by thunder and are suddenly terrified of storms. The feeling of annoyance towards my daughter then shifts into feelings of shame for how I'm feeling. Then the shame gives way to sadness. It makes me so sad and powerless that we are entering a new phase of her life where I cannot control the situation and make her feel better. She has to do it on her own.

It can be almost heartbreaking to hear her working through her fears. She'll walk down a darkened hallway and repeat the mantra, "I'm NOT going to be afraid ANYMORE!" This morning during the storm, we let her come into bed with us, knowing full well that none of us would be going back to sleep. Whenever we saw a bolt of lightening, she would say, "Did you SEE that one?" When the thunder would come, she would rub my back and say, "It's going to be OK, Mommy. You don't have to be afraid." After the storm, she announced that she wasn't afraid of thunder anymore and that she wanted waffles for breakfast.

Since it is difficult to predict what Baby Girl is going to be afraid of next, I am very careful to not express what scares me. That said, I have made it quite clear that her father will be responsible for taking her to the circus or any birthday parties that will have a clown in attendance.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Guess I'm Not a Complete Math Retard After All

You Passed 8th Grade Math

Congratulations, you got 8/10 correct!

I saw this on Crayonz site, so I thought I would give it a whirl. I only posted the results because I passed. Take THAT Mr. Jonas, for actually calling me "STUPID" when I screwed up a problem at the board. I also didn't appreciate it when you asked me why I couldn't be smarter like my sister. While I did answer you straight away that I was adopted, you said something like, "Well, that explains EVERYTHING." You are the only teacher I ever had whom my parents LOATHED. They always sided with my teachers until you told them how lazy I was. My father nicely pointed out that he and my sister worked with me 4 hours EVERY SINGLE NIGHT to pass your stupid class. They came home and told me to drop your class.

Hey, Mr. Jonas, I heard you got fired a few years later for being an ASSHOLE. Shocker.

Oh, wait--he taught 10th grade math. Crap.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

You Know You're Back in the Midwest When...

...a major interstate closes down for the entire day because of cows .

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Halloween Trippin'

Baby Girl had QUITE the time participating in trick or treating last night. When she went out last year, she really didn't understand what was going on. I think we told her that she was getting candy for us because we were poor. I know, I am going STRAIGHT to Hell. At this point I am just looking to upgrade my seat. At any rate, she got a lot of booty last year but she only got the coloring book and toothbrush/toothpaste combo. Hubby and I ate all the good stuff and took the dregs to work.

In her day to day life, Baby Girl never got candy until we recently started potty training. She is currently getting one M&M for a pee and 5 for a poo. We started to explain Halloween a few days ago and she understandably got quite excited. We rehearsed what she should be saying when she rang someone's doorbell: "Trick or Treat" as opposed to her orignal choice, "Gimme some candy!" She's really good with "thank you" so we weren't too worried about that.

I had NO IDEA how excited she would get about yesterday. First of all, it was Grandma's birthday, so we had cake for her. Secondly, Baby Girl was going to go trick or treating with her "best friend" Maddie. Thirdly, when Maddie showed up at the door, they were BOTH wearing Princess dresses. It was all Baby Girl could take. Maddie and Baby Girl ran through the neighborhood like squirrels on crack pillaging our respectable neighborhood of all of their confections. When they started to drag a little, they came back to our house where they proceeded to gorge themselves on chocolate and then birthday cake. And then things REALLY got interesting.

I have never witnessed Baby Girl on a sugar high. I have a feeling it might take me the year to recover. Two little girls on a sugar high is not be be believed. I was instantly reminded of the Simpsons episode when Lisa drank the dirty water on the Duff World ride. Lisa's eyes were rolling around in her head as she screamed, "I am the Lizard Queen." My daughter's eyes looked EXACTLY THE SAME WAY. The girls' shrieking continued for well over an hour as they twirled round and round chasing their skirts and imaginery leprechauns and whatever else they were seeing in their sugar trip. Thing came to a crashing halt when Baby Girl took the pen that Maddie was playing with and decided to "draw" on Maddie's face. Unfortunately in her haze, Baby Girl actually gauged Maddie above the eye, drew over her eye and ended at the cheek, leaving two small holes in poor Maddie's face. Party Ovah!!!

The candy is now safely hidden inside our Kitchen Aid stand mixer bowl and the dregs were taken to work this morning. Baby Girl is in a fog and has asked to go back to bed at 10:00 AM. I don't think she actually remembers going trick or treating last night because she hasn't asked for any candy...

Monday, October 31, 2005

Lookin Hot!

Baby Girl was drawing yesterday and we were amazed at how good this picture of a pumpkin was.

"Baby Girl! That is a GREAT picture of a jack-o-lantern."

"No, Mommy, that's Gramma."


Thursday, October 27, 2005

Boobs and Poops

When I felt the lump in my breast a couple of weeks ago, I felt a deja vu. I remembered that I had felt it the month prior and sort of mulled it over in the shower. Suddenly, Baby Girl ripped open the shower curtain, started spewing satanic words from her mouth like the Tasmanian Devil and I forgot all about it.

Forgot all about it. That's pretty tough to do, isn't it? But I did. Until I felt it again.

I admit, I was a little freaked out about it. It wasn't until I was on the phone with my friend and we got on the subject of death (nice!) that I remembered I needed to call the doctor. But I didn't call the doctor until later that day. Let me give you a hint. If you have a cold and feel like you are at death's door, or have a migraine or have your arm out of it's socket, the doctor will see you in a week. Tell them you found a lump in your breast and they will see you bright and early the next morning, or better yet, get in there now if you can.

I visited my doctor the next afternoon. She couldn't find the lump and neither could I, which sort of made me glad. She mentioned that drinking too much caffiene can sometimes be a factor if you occasionally feel something. She then said, "Well you're already a year late in getting your baseline mammogram anyway, so I think you should get one. I am also going to have you get an ultrasound at the same time just to be sure."

"What do you mean I'm a year late? I thought I needed to start getting a mammogram when I turn 40."

"No, you should have gotten your first one at 35."

I suddenly felt REALLY OLD.

I am not the type who gets all hung up about birthdays and getting old. I remember a family friend who turned 30 when I was a kid and she cried for over a week. I've just never been bothered by it. I have always felt like I am the same squirrely 22 year old who is still at IU, whopping it up and feeling fine. I didn't feel old when I got married, I didn't feel old when we renewed our vows seven years later. I didn't feel old when I gave birth to the girls, even when the doctor made a comment during the delivery of my second one that it was a high risk pregnancy because of my age. Hell, teenagers have kids. Even my first gray hair didn't make me feel terribly old. Being told I needed to have a mammogram made me feel old.

So today was my appointment. As I drove to the appointment, I wasn't particularly nervous about going. I was irritated. I was told not to wear any perfumes, lotions or deodorant. NO DEODORANT!!! That's like going to work without brushing one's teeth! I was sweating just thinking about not wearing it. I was also thinking about my mother's words when I told her that I was getting a mammogram:

"JESUS H. CHRIST, that was the single-most painful thing I have ever had done."

Great. I tried to keep in mind that my mother never actually gave birth, so I somewhat doubted it could be that painful.

I had a fantastic technician named Danette who did a great job of talking during the whole thing and keeping me distracted. She need not have bothered. It didn't even hurt! I have no idea what the big deal is about getting a mammogram. Now having gone through one, I can't fathom why women are so afraid to get them. If they are worried about someone fondling their boobs, they need to get over themselves. I was starting to think that I should have ignored my doctor about going at such a "young age" when my husband called to see what was going on. I told him all was well and he sounded so relieved. Then, I knew I did the right thing by going, if for no other reason than to assure that my husband that he would not be a single parent any time soon.

In unrelated news, my daughter took her first two craps in the potty today and I couldn't be happier. She and I danced around like a couple of idiots, she got 5 M&M's, she got to watch her beloved Noggin, we called Daddy at work and she got to open the Poopie Present that has been sitting on the counter for several days--a stuffed Tigger. It doesn't get much better than that. Except I could use some deodorant right about now.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Lazy Hausfrau and the Case of the Missing Credit Card

Here at Hausfrau Haus, I never have days during the week in which I just vegetate. I tend to manage my time more efficiently when I am busy. Even though I occasionally bitch and moan about how busy I am, I am blowing hot air. I mean, if I have time to blog about it, how bad can it really be? My life as a vegetable used to be done on the weekends only(as I worked during the week) up until the birth of our second daughter. I rememberly fondly the many weekends my husband and I enjoyed in which much television watching took place, maintaining one's hygiene was completely optional, and improving the ass-groove on our designated spots on the sectional were the only goals we had. We had the good fortune of having a laid-back firstborn who allowed us to indulge in this hedonistic lifestyle. Then Peaches came along, we moved, blah, blah, blah, and now we don't vege.

Perhaps it is because it is Monday. Perhaps it is because it is a COLD and wet day outside. Perhaps it was because I had to put 5 extra quilts on the bed last night because it was 43 degrees in our house and I just couldn't turn on the heat (it's not November yet!). At any rate, I have not been motivated to do anything beyond the necessary mommy stuff today like feeding and changing diapers. It is currently 3:00 in the afternoon and I am still in my pajamas (as are my kids who are currently napping--YAY!), I am still drinking coffee, I haven't brushed my teeth and I DON'T PLAN ON IT. By the grace of God, both children amused themselves at the same time this morning and I was able to actually watch 20 minutes of Ellen. Is it Christmas? Is it my Birthday?

Here's the problem. I have absolutely no business being this lazy today. I have lost my credit card. I put in the front pocket of my denim jacket Thursday afternoon after I got gas and headed to a doctor's appointment. I realized on Saturday that I lost the jacket. Since I go to so few places and there hasn't been a reason to wear a jacket until a few days ago, I thought it would be easy to retrace my steps. I was reasonably sure that I left it at the doctor's office. Unfortunately, I called them and they don't have it.

There is only one other place it could be. On Friday I took Baby Girl to her artwork class a few miles away at a church. I was certain that I didn't wear my jacket, but I may have. Unfortunately, Misfit Hausfrau is not in the driver's seat--Lazy Hausfrau is. If Misfit Hausfrau were in charge, she would be destroying the house from top to bottom, cleaning out both cars, checking under the deck and behind the barbeque grill for the credit card and jacket. And cursing the whole time. She would also drive the 50 mile round trip to the doctor's office because she wouldn't believe them and would have beat down the doors of the church until some poor sucker opened the door. Instead, Lazy Hausfrau can't seem to get her ass off the couch to do anything more than call the doctor's office and monitor the credit card account from the credit card website. I can't believe I am willing to risk identity theft and the tarnishing of our credit for the sake of lounging.

But here I sit. So, if you see a denim jacket lying around and happen to find a credit card in the front pocket, just email me--I'd sure appreciate it, as would my always fiscally responsible husband, whose head is going to explode when he learns that I still haven't found it.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Those Dastardly Sevens

At the behest of MIM I have been asked to do a "Meme." What is a Meme you ask? I haven't the foggiest, but I think it gives people who don't know you the chance to get to know you by writing about yourself. Which is what I am doing with this blog anyway, but whatever. I'll give it a shot. This is a list of "Sevens."

7 Things I Want to Do Before I Die
1. Have intelligent, happy children who will fist fight to care for me in my old age
2. Adopt a child (Why you ask as it seems I have no control over the two I have? I just do.)
3. Go to a cooking class with SoNotMartha in Tuscany. I'm locked in since she already said she wanted to do it, but we would have a lot of fun!
4. Live in a foreign country for at least a year
5. Be married to my husband for a minimum of 50 years and love him as much as I do today
6. Love on a truckload of grandchildren
7. Write an autobiographical cookbook. Chapters would include food of my youth (Polish food, food containing government cheese or dried milk), the "college years" (will be a short chapter as I only had $11/week to spend on food) and now.

7 Things I Cannot Do
1. Be on an airplane without thinking I will die
2. Resist buying shoes for myself and my daughters
3. Kiss and hug my kids enough
4. Shake my poor self image
5. Watch The Sound of Music without crying
6. Paint my nails
7. Make my mother realize that she CAN snap out of her depression and be a functioning, happy person with some help

7 Things That Attract Me To The Opposite Sex
1. The ability to find my idiosyncrasies charming
2. Intelligence
3. Not afraid to speak his mind without being a jackass about it
4. Well read
5. Honesty
6. Secure in his baldness
7. Good Credit

7 Things I Say Most Often
1. Shut UP! (The way Elaine from Seinfeld did without the pushing)
2. Whaaa?
3. Just a minute...
4. I love you more than chocolate ice cream!
5. Dammit (not around the chillins)
6. No WAY!(or Get OUT!)
7. True Dat

7 Celebrity Crushes
1. John Cusack
2. John Cusack
3. John Cusack
4. Scott Baio
5. Matt Damon
6. Don Cheadle
7.Alice Cooper (not really--just checking to see if you have died of boredom yet!)

7 People I Want To Do This
1. Definitely my friend Erin
2. My Cincinnati Soul-Sista Misfit --who knew there were two Misfits in one town?
3. Jenette, another Cincinnatian!

I have some very interesting friends who do not blog (but should) and should do this:
4.Jen Z--Oh the stories she has...
5. Amy N.--we met in Lamaze and have daughters 2 weeks apart.
6. Stevo--is in the movie biz--oh the stories he has...
7. Mark--Managed Cafeteria and Brasserie in NYC--Oh, the stories...

Friday, October 21, 2005

Hot Stock Tip

Just thought I would share with all of you that you may want to invest in Kimberly-Clark stock if you aren't already. Oppenheimer, Prudential, Deutsche Securities and Bear Stearns have all downgraded it since August, but I have some insider information that could change everything.

Baby Girl informed me that she will NEVER poop on the potty. Ever. Never. No Way. Nu UH! Baby Girl wears size 4 clothing right now and is wearing size 6 diapers. They don't make diapers any larger and I just can't do pullups as I am annoyed by the Princesses and stuff on them.

That will leave me no choice but to purchase Depends. For the next 30 years. Even if she gets a job and starts buying them on her own, Kimberly Clark is going to achieve some huge profits for the next several decades.

Shhhh. Don't tell anyone I told you.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Time Out for Busia

"Hi, Mom, Hausfrau here. I thought I would call to let you know what your charming graddaughter said to me today."

"Aw, shit. I can't even imagine."

"Yeah well, do you remember how she likes to say her prayers before she eats?"

"Yes, it's really cute."

"It sure is. Well, a couple of minutes after I made her lunch, she said to me, 'Dammit, we forgot to say prayers!!!'"

(Laughing) "Aw, Christ! You're kidding me?! God!"

"I wish I was. She also said "Dammit" after she dropped her bag of Pla-Dough today."

(Laughing)"Aw, Shit and be Damned! Honey, you guys need to really stop saying those words around her. She is so impressionable!"

"But MOM, she has been swearing like a sailor since we visited you."

"Well shit, Hausfrau, you visited me 3 weeks ago. There's no way she can remember those words from the visit!"

"MOM, we were there less than a week ago! The day after we visited you, she spent most of the day in time out because she wouldn't stop swearing! And it's not as though she just says the words. She actually knows how to use them in the correct context."

"God Dammit, Hausfrau, I am sorry. I guess I am just not used to little ones around. Why didn't you say something when you were?"

"I DID!" You kept ignoring me like you didn't hear me."

"Huh, I must not have heard you. Well, for what it's worth, I NEVER say the "F" word."

"Wanna bet?"

"Well, SHIT Hausfrau--when did I say that?"

"I believe you said, "That God-damned Baby Girl is so Fucking Cute, I can't stand it."

"Oh my God. I am sorry! Well, just tell her that Busia just isn't right in the head and that I am a little cukoo so I sometimes say bad words."

"No problem."

Monday, October 17, 2005

The History of Keeping Up With The Joneses in the Suburbs: Chapter One

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I am quite pleased with how our living situation has turned out moving back to the Midwest. Thanks to making a stupid amount of money on the sale of our house in New Jersey, we were able to put 20% down on a beautiful dream home here in Ohio. The house is not really us, but it's very nice and we plan to stay here until the next move. Yes, I said next move as I am reasonably sure this is not the last time we will be moving.

At any rate, we are slowly getting to know some of our neighbors. Some have been quite friendly and were quick to come to our house to introduce themselves the minute the moving truck pulled away. Others have been a little slower in doing so, but that's their choice. At some point over the holidays, I will pop over to their houses with cookies and shame them for not coming to me first.

We are slowly making our home our own. We removed the tether ball pole out of the back yard and have planted a couple of trees. The playset that the previous owner built was designed for 6 year old boys so my husband has been slowly tweaking it to make it a little friendlier for a 2 1/2 year old as shown below:

See? It's kind of cute. It did have a roof on it yesterday, but the tarp was torn, so my husband took it off with plans to put on a new, cedar roof next spring. At the bottom of the slide my husband created an area that is mulched for a smooth landing as the previous owners secured the bottom of the slide with a huge piece of concrete (I am not even kidding!) While he was working on tearing down the roof/tarp, he noticed that the neighbor behind us (whom we have not met) was taking apart his play set. It was slightly larger and seemed newer and in better shape. We were surprised that he was removing it because it looks like they have a few kids (again, haven't met them).

In a bold move of one-upmanship, the following playset was installed in their yard a couple of hours later:

This thing is easily five times the size of the one we have. It's made with gorgeous cedar, a rope climbing thingie on one side, a huge slide on the other. Not to mention the flags. THE FLAGS! Good God, it's GORGEOUS!

It should then, be no wonder that our daughter is now doing this :

See how pathetic she looks? Her sucko swingset doesn't compare to the shangri-la that is behind us. It is downright embarassing that she continues to walk down there, forlornly dreaming of riding the pretty swings that come in the choice of colors, red, yellow or blue. Why should she go down her lame green slide when she could go down the COOL tubular yellow one. She has asked all day if she can go play "ober there."

So, the gloves are coming off! While we may not have the McDonald Playland in our backyard, we WILL get all Griswold on your ass when it comes to Christmas decorating. Watch and learn dear neighbors--it is GAME ON!

Friday, October 14, 2005


While I was home this week, I had the good fortune of spending time with a friend of mine. It was 7:30 in the morning and I was pondering going to the local Meijer or WalMart to let my daughter run around the aisles because I knew my Mom wouldn't be up to seeing us until late morning. As I loaded my kids in the car, my cell phone rang. It was my friend, wondering what I was up to. When I told her of my plan, she told me to come out to her house and have some coffee and let Baby Girl play with some toys. I was so grateful to get the offer and happily accepted.

My friend happens to be the daughter of my birth mother. I guess most people would say that she is my sister. Or maybe half-sister since we are sure we have different fathers. While I haven't had any discussions with her as to how we should refer to each other, I like thinking of her as my friend who happens to be my birth sister.

When my parents adopted me the welfare department had told them that my birthmother had been married with a bunch of kids. Apparently the father would leave for long stretches of time and then come back, beat up the mother, etc. Allegedly, I was one of the byproducts of this. Later in life, I found out who my birthmother was and contacted her to receive information on my medical history. I really wasn't interested in meeting her, but I was curious about the possibility of siblings being out there. My birthmother lived 30 minutes from where I grew up so my husband and I visited the local library where she lived on one of our trips home. I looked up yearbooks to see if there were any kids with the same last name (it's not a very common name, so I was reasonably sure that someone with the same last name would be related to my birthmother). I found one girl. She was four years older than I was. I photocopied her photo out of the yearbook and looked for others but never found any.

Over the years I thought about trying to contact this girl, but I was much too afraid. I worried that she might be close to her mother and that my contacting her would be very traumatic. I imagined it turning into a horrible Jerry Springer episode in my head, so I left it alone. Then, a couple of years ago I was on and was looking around. For kicks, I put in L's name and she popped up. I think she had her email address listed for something on there, so I wrote it down and thought I might email her someday. Months later I wrote her a simple email asking her if her mother was "X". I still don't remember what possessed me to do that. The next day I received an email with the question, "Why do you want to know?" I suddenly felt a lot of fear. What right did I have to do this and possibly mess up a couple of lives. So I didn't answer her back.

Almost a year later, I got an email from her:

Hello MisfitHausfrau-

Almost a year ago you wrote, wanting to know if my mother's name was X. I emailed you back wanting to know why. However, I never heard from you.

Every once in a while, during this past year, I'd think about your email and wonder, so..... Yes, my mother's name is X.

Now, I've answered your question, please answer mine. Why do you ask?


I absolutely flipped out and called my best friend and asked her what I should do. She didn't think it was such a good idea to tell her everything at once. I told her that I felt I should just tell her and be done with it. So I did. And then she wrote me back.

Hi -

First, I want to thank you for not using that "unsend" button in your
initial email! When I received your first email, back in September, I had a
feeling I knew what it was about. I don't know why I answered the way I
did. Scared, being careful, maybe? I am sorry. It was what I was hoping
for for quite a while.

As far as I know, my mother still has no idea that I know anything about her
pregnancy/adoption. I don't think that I am ready (nor she) to face that
wrath. I really can't remember how long I've known, but when you have a
mother (unlike your very understanding adoptive parent's) who is not
forthcoming with information from her past, there wasn't a whole lot I could
do about finding siblings. At this point, you probably know more about
X's past than I do. This whole story is so confusing, I don't even
know where to begin or that you even want to hear it.

I do know that it was a very happy day for me when, who I call my "granny",
let slip that I have siblings (yes, that's plural). I always thought that I
was an only child, now I've got siblings. It was a wonderful secret that I
kept between myself and my husband for a long time. I've often wonder who
they were, what they would be like. However, even with the internet,
without anything to go on, there was no where to go. I'm having a hard time
comprehending that I had a sibling living one county away from me for so
many years and didn't know it!

I'll give you a few facts about me (I would like a few more about you, too,
please) and then we/you/me can decide what we want to do from here. You
already know my name. X was not wed at the time she had me, either.
I was born in April, 19xx, so I am your older sister.

Please don't ever be sorry about writing that first email, I'm not.

Hopefully, I'll hear from you soon.



So now, for over a year, we have been getting to know each other. L is fantastic. It has been such an interesting case study in Nature vs. Nurture. My sister and I have always been complete and total opposites. I am constantly amazed with the things that "L" and I have in common, be it ideologies, favorite books, our love of the occasional menthol cigarette, you name it. It has also been interesting to meet someone who shares the same genes. I found out that I am Irish instead of Scottish, twins run in the family and that "L" and I are quite tall (we're 5'5") compared to the rest of the family. People who aren't adopted take resemblences for granted.

While I like spending time with her I constantly worry that "X" will find out and that it will destroy their mother-daughter relationship. I don't know that L worries about it as much as I do. I also feel bad that she hasn't been able to tell anyone about me except for her husband because it would apparently rock her family's world as none of them know about me (apparently "X" was very good at hiding pregnancies!) So for now, we are carrying on a friendship and are helping each other fit pieces into a strange family puzzle.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Going Home

I am back from my adventures in Indiana. I decided to go home for a couple of days with the girls so that I could check up on my mother and give her a chance to spend some time with the kids. I am sure you are probably thinking why I would choose to go on a 5 hour drive one way with two kids when I can't even manage to go to the store with them. Well, driving to Indiana is the easy part. I simply hand my older daughter the personal DVD player (she understands it is for long car rides only--not a trip to Target) and allow her brain to rot by watching five straight hours of Dora and Barney. I don't hear a peep out of her unless she asks for a granola bar or water. The baby is easy to predict. I know I can get to the north side of Indianapolis which is roughly the half-way point before she starts to cry and I need to give her a bottle or feed her.

And so we went. The drive there was uneventful. Since I was getting to LaPorte around the girls' nap time, my friend Lorrie had invited me to use her place so the girls could sleep since no one would be home and I couldn't check into the hotel until after 3PM. PERFECT! We got there and were getting settled in for naps when Lorrie and the kids came home. Baby Girl's head almost exploded with glee as she LOVES her friends Emily and Adam. Alas, no naps for the kids.

After a couple of hours there, I needed to get things packed so that we could stop by my mom's for a short visit. I hauled the pack & play and the blow-up Dora bed up the stairs and to the car. Sweating profusely, I went back in the house to collect my kids. Hmmm, it seems that one of Baby Girl's new red shoes is missing. And I mean missing. We tore the house apart for a half an hour. No shoe. Normally, I would have just gone out to the car and gotten another pair. But guess what? I didn't PACK any other shoes becuase I was trying to be efficient and not overpack. OK, well, she can walk to the car wearing one shoe. Wait, no she can't, it is starting to RAIN!

After our jaunt to the Payless, we stopped by to see Busia (that's Polish for Grandma.) We were only going to stay for a few minutes because trips to my mother's apartment must be carefully orchestrated so that we do not stay too long and tire her out.

I guess I need to explain a few things about my mother. She is almost 65 going on 110. After years of depression, alcoholism, smoking, crankiness and just flat out abuse of her body, she is now a very sick woman. She has taken a severe downturn since my father died nearly 5 years ago. She can only take visits in small doses as they tire her out immensely. She refuses to live with my sister or me. She is a very proud woman who doesn't want to bother anyone. She also vividly remembers the day my father's mother just "showed up" to our house and lived with us for 7 years or so. They were the worst years of her life and she doesn't want history to repeat itself. While I understand that, the difference between that situation and ours is that my husband and I are on the same page concerning her and actually WANT her to live with us. This woman has been so sick throughout the years that she didn't make it to my wedding, my vow renewal, or the births of my children. She has only travelled to see us once in the 14 years we have been together and that was while my father was still alive. Now, she is too sickly to really leave her apartment much, but isn't sick enough for assisted living.

At any rate, we showed up to Busia's apartment. Now, she has known for three weeks that we were coming. While I wasn't expecting a baby-proofed living room, I certainly wasn't expecting piles of bills, HUGE scissors, rubber bands and paper clips on the floor and lit candles within easy reach of both kids. Mind you, her desk is PRISTINE. Before I could say, "Hi Mom!" Baby Girl was holding the scissors like Chucky and Peaches was on her back, gnawing a Chapstick. Then my mother decided that since she had a good day, that she should test the limits by wrestling with Baby Girl. After the wrestling match, I helped my mother up and tucked her in on the couch so she could sleep for the night. It was 4:30.

Later, the girls and I checked in to the Hampton Inn outside of town. The girls were exhausted, so I put Peaches in the hotel-issued Pack & Play, and took Baby Girl and some books and walked to the lobby to wait out the screaming fit. I am sure many of you are thinking that I broke at least five laws by leaving her in the room by herself, but I could hear her quite well (as could the employees and people who were checking in) from the lobby, so I knew she was fine. Later, Baby Girl and I went back in the room and whispered stories and fell asleep at around 8:30. The rest of the night proved much more difficult as Peaches HATED the Pack & Play and screamed out every hour on the hour until I put her in bed with me. Then she screamed out every 2 hours. By 5:30 we were up and ready to Rock & Roll.

Long and boring story short, I decided yesterday afternoon that I needed to drive home then instead of tonight so that the girls and I could get some sleep. When we finally got back to Busia's yesterday (at 11AM since she said she was "tired" from the previous 30 minute visit,) I knew that she wouldn't be able to handle us there for very long and I couldn't bear to go back to the hotel. My mother keeps a small footstool near the couch where she sleeps that houses her glasses, remote control, her ashtray and cigarettes, her coffee cup and some medication. While I was in the bathroom, Peaches managed to get into all of it by dumping the ashtray and the remote control into my mother's coffee cup because my mom was too weak to move her. It was time to go home.

So, if you do the math, we had a 10 hour drive and 2 1/2 hours of visiting. I felt really bad about it--especially when I called her this morning at 10:00 AM and she was still asleep. From yesterday afternoon.

Wait Wait! I forgot. I've had to put Baby Girl in time out 5 times today because she repeatedly said the words, "Shit" and "Dammit" all day long, thanks to Busia's potty mouth. Busia also dropped the F-Bomb a couple of times but I don't think baby Girl heard it!