7.31.2009

WTF!? Friday PLUS Trivia: Goin' to the Chapel

A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I got married. A couple of years later, my sister got married, and I thought I even blogged about that, but I guess not because I can't find anything. Anyway. Next weekend my other sister is getting married, and since I'm in the wedding, I'll kind of be busy and stuff, so this week is Wedding Week here on The Blog.

The collage is made up of some of my favorite pictures from our wedding day -- one of these pictures I love so much and find so awesome that I framed yet another print of it and gave it to someone as a wedding present as recently as last year (hint: it's the picture on the bottom right). I guess that's kind of the "WTF!?" for this week -- "WTF do you mean, you're STILL giving out wedding pictures as presents, you cheap bint?"

So ... this week's trivia is all about weddings. Standard trivia rules apply. There will NOT be trivia next week because I will be stealing My Anonymous Mother's Ativan* in preparation for the festivities, so make this one count! Can you name ...
  • Three movies with "wedding(s)" in the title
  • Three songs with "wedding(s)" in the title
  • Three movies with "bride(s)" in the title
  • Three songs with "marriage" or "marry" (or some variation) in the title
  • Two famous brides from history or pop culture
  • Two famous couples who are/were married for more than 30 years
  • Something old that a bride might have with her on her wedding day
  • Something new that a bride might have with her on her wedding day
  • Something borrowed that a bride might have with her on her wedding day
  • Something blue that a bride might have with her on her wedding day
Twenty possible points -- this one should be easy. I'll post my answers after 5pm on Monday. Good luck!


* = Not true. I'll be stealing her Xanax.

7.30.2009

You Are The Sunshine Of My Life

Dear Shae,

I've been trying to write you this letter for a long time, and every time I try to do it, I find myself at a loss for words. I can't ever figure out what to say.

Hello 1

Except: I love you so much that it hurts sometimes, and I want to be around you all the time, and I miss you all day when I'm at work, and I can't wait to get home so I can see you again.

Hello 2

And it makes me so, so happy that you miss me too, and you can't wait to see me, either. You are the best thing that ever happened to me.

Hello 3

You are my sunshine, sweetheart. You are the sunshine of my life. You make me so very happy, and I'm so glad you came into our lives.

Love you more than there are words for,
Mommy.

7.28.2009

Jekyll and Hyde

The thing about kids is, at certain ages, they are very adorable and compliant and wonderful and photogenic:

Joey's Teefs

At about nine months, for example. They sit still and let you take their picture and sometimes it's hard to get them to look directly at the camera because OMG SHINY THINGS! but as a general rule, it isn't hard to document the first year in pictures, provided you have enough hard drive space because: HELLO? 700 pictures in ONE DAY? Christ almighty.

But unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how gross you think jarred baby food is), they eventually get all their teeth and start moving and wriggling and thinking on their own, GOD HELP US ALL, like they're actual people or something and not adorable little robots, and when you want to take a nice simple picture of them it requires nothing short of an Act of God:

Interesting Pose

I mean, WTF is that pose? And let me tell you, I admire spunk as much as the next person, I really do, but is it really so much to ask that maybe, just once, a child over the age of 27 months or so would just SIT THE HELL STILL for like 60 seconds so that we can get a nice picture of the grandchildren together where they don't both look like soul-eating zombies or something?

Zombies!

I really am starting to get afraid that it's contagious or something. And more importantly, I am afraid that I am not going to have any nice shots of the kids together to put in next year's Combo Calendar for My Anonymous Mother.

Ice Cream Face

Which reminds me: last (this?) year we had the Cupcake Calendar, but now there are two grandchildren, so what should the Combo Calendar be called? "Combo Calendar" does not quite cut it, I don't think. I was thinking of maybe calling it "The Axis of Adorable" but I think that is too ... militant? Something. So I am taking suggestions, and there might be a prize in it for you.

7.27.2009

WTF!? Friday PLUS Trivia: Really Bad Hair Edition - ANSWERS!

Here are my answers to last Friday's trivia questions:

  • Three bald (or mostly bald) guys -- Telly Savalas, Patrick Stewart, Ving Rhames
  • Three female celebrities who were known for their hairdos -- Dorothy Hamill, Farrah Fawcett, Jennifer Aniston
  • Three actors known (or reputed to be) very hairy -- Sean Connery, Burt Reynolds, Sacha Baron-Cohen
  • Three famous haircuts -- the "Mohawk," the "Rachel," the pixie
  • Two actresses known for their wig lines -- Raquel Welch, Eva Gabor
  • Two male celebrities known for their facial hair -- Alex Trebek, Joaquin Phoenix
  • Two women with weaves -- BeyoncĂ©, Britney Spears
  • Two really awesome TV moments involving hair pulling or wig removal -- Melrose Place when Kimberly (Marcia Cross) removes her wig to show her scar, any catfight on Dynasty (btw, I love love LOVE Alexis's outfit in that clip!)

How did you do?

Pass the Dutchie

The thing about babies is, everybody wants a piece of that action. I personally like to smell their heads -- there is something about baby heads* that I love so very much -- and yes, I do realize that this no doubt means that I need to have my head examined -- but to each his own, I suppose.

Jaime & Joey

We start with mama, who I suppose has her own favorite Joey-part but I will always and forever have dibs on the head, for infinity ...

G & Joey

... then we move on to Uncle G, who is entirely too cool to pose for a damn picture, like he is some kind of aborigine or something who will lose his soul, but WHATEVER, GO SHAVE ...

Nana & Joey

... and our next stop on our cruise around the patio is Nana, which is where we would probably stay all day except that when Joey is in town there are TWO adorable moppet grandchildren to over-indulge, which brings us to ...

Shae & Joey (aka "Axis of Adorable")

... a little visit with Shae, wherein the two most adorable kids in the Universe plot to destroy us all with their cuteness and drool, and then it's off ...

Pop-pop & Joey

... to hang with Pop-pop, because everybody loves to hang with Pop-pop, and by the way have you noticed that we didn't take a nap yet? Because at this point the GROWNUPS sure are exhausted, even if the kids aren't ...

Shelleybeans & Joey

... and then Aunt Shelleybeans showed up, and it was whee! whee! whee! all over again. But wait, there's more! ...

Nana & Joey

... we still need to pose with our other Nana, the great-grandmother, because BY GOD THERE ARE PEOPLE IN THE HOUSE WHO HAVE NOT YET SQUEEZED THE CHARMIN. And then there were 700 pictures on the camera and rockle fell asleep in the car on the way home, the end.

I hope you took notes, people! There will be a quiz at the end of the week. (Not really.)


* = "Something About Baby Heads" will be the name of the debut album by my punk rock band, Purple Sock Fuzz.

7.26.2009

Thank You For Being A Friend

Before we get to some of the great pictures of the kids from yesterday, I need to put this one up, because it totally looks like a promotional poster for a new sitcom from the creators of "The Golden Girls" and the producers of "The Right Stuff":

The Golden Gang

I'm not sure what exactly the concept of this show would be, but based on this preview, I would definitely watch it. Of course, I have also watched every show ever known to man at least once, so I am not the best judge of quality programming (like, I thought "The Charmings" was good, and I never really liked "Seinfeld" or "Friends").

Anyway.

There was a lot of kissing ...

Kissin' Cousins

... and playing ...

Sunny Day

... and reading ...

Reading Rainbow

... and walking ...

Taking a Walk

... and it was all awesome.

7.25.2009

Birds of a Feather

If you are a lottery player, your number for the day is 6-8-3: that's how many pictures my sister and I took today. Six hundred and eighty-three. That right there? Is a special kind of crazy. Obviously, when you put us together we just magnify each other's insanity.

I'm still offloading all the pictures, so you'll have to settle for this one for now, from my iPhone, because it's ready to go (and the pictures we took using cell phones aren't even counted in the "big number!"):

Cutie Cam! Redux

More later, if my hard drive doesn't explode.

7.24.2009

WTF!? Friday PLUS Trivia: Really Bad Hair Edition

If you have welding goggles or some other kind of protective eyewear, you're going to want to put them on right about now, because jumping Jesus on a pogo stick, you are about to witness some truly bad hair. Seriously:

We could talk about the hideousness of this outfit, but I'd rather not just yet, because at the moment I am traumatized by OH MY GOD THAT FRICKIN' HAIRDO. I spent SO MANY of my formative years with my head in sponge rollers, and this is actually photographic evidence of one of the BETTER outcomes. This was considered good! Usually, my hair was flat and limp and stuck to my head within five minutes of the curlers being removed. Clearly, there was a lot of Aqua Net involved for this family portait. Or some kind of evil early Photoshop.

So, in honor of my mother's and my grandmother's dogged insistence on giving me curls (honestly, you don't even want to KNOW how many Ogilvy home perms that I had to sit through, and I actually think I've blocked at least 75% of them out, but suffice it to say that whenever I walk past a hair salon in the mall and I smell perm solution, I have 'Nam-style PTSD flashbacks), this week's trivia quiz is all about: Famous Hairdos Through The Ages. Buckle up! Can you name ...
  • Three bald (or mostly bald) guys
  • Three female celebrities who were known for their hairdos
  • Three actors known (or reputed to be) very hairy
  • Three famous haircuts
  • Two actresses known for their wig lines
  • Two male celebrities known for their facial hair
  • Two women with weaves
  • Two really awesome TV moments involving hair pulling or wig removal
Standard trivia rules apply: no Google, no cheating, no calling your stylist for hints, etc. I'll post my answers on Monday night after 5pm. Good luck!

7.23.2009

Tell Me Something Good

Okay, look ... I'm having a "spell" right now. There is a lot of crap going on in my life, most of which does not even involve me, but I am such a narcissist* that of course it's all stressing me out. I've been grouchy, cranky, tired, irritable, and miserable. Like PMS on steroids, except it's been going on too long to actually be PMS. Dammit.

Here's how bad it is -- yesterday I started a blog post that contained this little nugget of bullshit**:

But sometimes, sometimes I am whacked upside the head by the depression, when it comes. Sometimes it is very insistent, no matter what I do to fend it off. Sometimes it consumes me until I find myself paralyzed by white-hot fury and uncontrollable sadness, when everything comes in a swirl of words and colors and shapes and emotions that don't make any sense, when I can't catch my breath or shut off my brain or find my center.

Blah-blah-blah. It went on from there. I mean, seriously, could I be a bigger asshole***? You don't read my blog because you want to hear about my stupid little problems that, frankly, could be resolved by drinking a lot of tequila, taking a handful Xanax, and sleeping for a week in a nice padded room.

Of course, cracking jokes about how I am in the middle of a emotional trough doesn't actually make me feel better either. But you know what does? Finding pictures on your camera that were supposed to be "throwaways," that actually turned out to be pretty OK. So OK, in fact, that I haven't even processed these, just uploaded them:

Goofiness
Grins
Giggles

I especially like that last picture, where she is so clearly trying to suppress a giggle, and failing miserably. Obviously we were having more fun playing near the curtains this time then we were that one time, when I couldn't get her to smile.

Parenting is rough, and parenting a two-year-old is complete insanity, and that is part of what I am so stressed out about****, but there are moments when nothing makes me happier than this kid. Nothing. That's a lot of pressure for such a small person, but I think we'll work it out together.


* = Not really. Neurotic and overly involved in other people's business, but not actually a narcissist. I just play one on the Internet.
** = Actually, that is how I feel, but I don't want to cause my dozen of regular readers to jump off a bridge or anything. Post has been deleted.
*** = Yes. Yes, I probably could. Would you like me to try?
**** = That, and THIRTY-SEVEN THOUSAND other things, like my husband's unemployment and my grandparents' health and my sister's wedding and the price of tea in China and what I'm going to have for dinner and whether I want to keep playing WoW or if I should just flush my money down the toilet.

7.21.2009

Sisters Are Doin' It For Themselves

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful princess who lived in a forest. Well, maybe not a forest, exactly -- maybe more like an unruly thatch of land with tall green grasses. Anyway, she lived there, and she had a yellow flower, who was her very best friend in the world. And everything was wonderful and happy and la-dee-frickin'-dah.

The Beautiful Princess

One day, the princess and the flower got trapped in a tower, which was terrible and scary, because the bottom of the tower was like covered with spiders and stuff, plus the tower was made of some kind of mystery plastic that was leaching toxic chemicals into the water table and making the tall grass turn brown. Oh noes!

The Scary Tower

The princess screamed and cried and gnashed her teeth and rent her garments, but then she quickly mended them again, because her mother taught her that it was very important to make sure all one's important bits ESPECIALLY YOUR HOO-HOO BRITNEY SPEARS are covered when one is in public. And then the princess had an idea.

The Big Revelation

"Why am I crying for help?" she wondered to herself. "Who is going to save me? One of the goober local woodsmen, who looks like a fish? Screw that, and no thank you!" She scratched her head and looked at her best friend the yellow flower and made a very important decision. "We're making a break for it, kiddo," she said.

The Great Escape

So the princess and the flower jumped from the top of the tower -- which fortunately was only maybe two feet off the ground -- and they ran and ran and ran and ran and made a couple of loop-de-loops in the tall grass and eventually they got bored with running and they wandered off together to look for bunnies and butterflies and bumblebees.

The Happy Ending

And the beautiful princess and her friend the flower lived happily ever after. The end.

For a waaaaaaaaaaay better version of this story, check out "The Paper Bag Princess" by Robert Munsch. You won't be sorry.

7.20.2009

WTF!? Friday PLUS Trivia: August 1984 - ANSWERS!

Here are my answers to last Friday's trivia questions:

  • Three movies from 1984: Ghostbusters, Gremlins, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
  • Two TV shows from 1984: Dynasty, The Cosby Show
  • Three Top 40 songs from 1984: "What's Love Got To Do With It?," "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun," "Jump" (Van Halen version)
  • Two famous political people from 1984: Walter Mondale, Geraldine Ferraro
  • Three Olympians from 1984: Greg Louganis (diving), Dara Torres (swimming), Evander Holyfield (boxing)
  • Two cartoons from 1984: Transformers, Muppet Babies
  • Three "world events" from 1984: Macintosh computers introduced, Wayne Gretzky wins his first Stanley Cup, "Do They Know It's Christmas?" recorded
  • Two bestselling books from 1984: Lincoln (Gore Vidal), Pet Sematary (Stephen King)

How did you do? And how awesome are my answers to #7, truly?

Cupcake Calendar: July

Oh, look, we're back to this again: posting the Cupcake Calendar page when the month is more than halfway over. How do you people put up with me? I am such a slackass.

July

If I had to put a finger on it, I would say that part of the problem is that this page is just so ... uninspiring. I think that part of it is that my mother-in-law is here -- even though I'm not supposed to admit to it, we just don't have the best relationship, and I don't really see it getting better any time soon. "Strained" is maybe an understatement. I try, or at least I used to, but right now I don't have the patience. I know I should, for Shae's sake and for G's, but ... let's sum it up by saying that she and I are very similar in a lot of ways, and very very different in others, and even Tim Gunn couldn't make it work.

But my other issue with this particular calendar page is that I just don't recognize this little girl any more. Last month the only differences I saw were in the fullness of her face, but this month there is so much I see that I can't remember. Here she is a chunky, round, wee little thing in unfortunate orthopedic shoes; now she is a hyperactive giant string bean of a thing whizzing around like a hummingbird on Mountain Dew. The belly and the cheeks are gone. She's not a baby any more -- she's hardly even a little person. She's so different, now.

And I don't remember when it happened.

7.19.2009

Hersheypark Happy

Oh yeah, things definitely went better yesterday than they did last year. We managed to make it until after 3pm, at which point Shae conked out. We also put her to bed at 6:30 last night, and she's still asleep -- and G and I went to bed at 8:30, and he's still asleep.

NOTE: These photos are pretty much wretched. We took the old camera instead of the new one, mostly because it's easier to carry around, but there is a reason why it was replaced. It took like 3 seconds after you pushed the button for the shutter to actually open, and when you're trying to get pictures of a kid on moving rides? Forget it.

Candy at the End of the Ride

While we were waiting to get on the Chocolate World ride -- we had just told here that when the ride was over, there would be candy.

Hershey's Kiss Size

My contractually-obligated "you must be this tall" photo. There were a lot of kids older than Shae who were not yet Hershey's kiss sized (36").

Sandcastle Cove

Because we know Shae is like a bloodhound when it comes to chlorine -- if it's in the air, she can smell it, and she'll whine until she gets to go swimming -- we went right for the Boardwalk area of the park. It's very nice -- the designers did a great job. There are plenty of things for little kids and families to do. This is a picture from Sandcastle Cove, an area pretty much exclusive to toddlers and young children. Shae loved the water slides and would have spent all day there if we had let her.

Bayside Pier Slide

The other place we liked at the Boardwalk was Bayside Pier, but that was not as little-kid-friendly as Sandcastle Cove. It did encourage Mommy to act like a giant dork, going down the ramp slide at least three times.

Jaws of Lifejacket

For some reason, she loved this life jacket. She didn't really need it the whole time, but she felt better with it on, so I did too. And it was pretty amusing.

Bizzy Bees

After we ate lunch, when her eyes started drooping, we headed back towards the park exit, where there are a lot of kiddie rides. She kept saying she wanted to go on "roller coasters," but she seemed happy with the Ladybug and the Bizzy Bees.

Balloon Flite

I think the Balloon Flite ride was her favorite, though. Her balloon was yellow.

Carrousel

Or maybe it was the "horsey ride." She did keep calling it "Horseypark" all day long.

7.17.2009

WTF!? Friday PLUS Trivia: August 1984

The picture you are about to see is real. It has not been altered in any way (except for cropping). It is, in a word, horrifying. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED:

This picture is featured on "WTF!? Friday" this week because of two questions that came to mind when I saw this in an old photo album: (1) why oh why oh GOD IN HEAVEN WHY did our parents allow us to leave the house at any point while we were dressed like this?, and also (2) what exactly are the kids these days smoking that fashions from the 1980's are "in" again? I've got news for you, kiddos -- those clothes were awful the first time. "Reimagining" them doesn't make them any less hideous.

Anyway ... according to the date stamp on the back of this photo, it was taken in August 1984. I'm pretty sure this picture was taken in the 1000 Islands, although I could be mistaken. But I think I recognize that rock. I'm in the back, in the middle, and my husband continues to demand answers as to why anyone thought a perm was a good look for me. I still don't know. Clearly I was pissed off about it, even then.

In honor of the craptaculartude of this picture, I have decided to force all of you to relive unpleasant memories of bad hair and bad fashions as well. Oh yes, it's TRIVIA TIME! Can you remember what was going on back then? I sure hope so! Can you name ...
  • Three movies from 1984
  • Two TV shows from 1984
  • Three Top 40 songs from 1984
  • Two famous political people from 1984
  • Three Olympians from 1984
  • Two cartoons from 1984
  • Three "world events" from 1984
  • Two bestselling books from 1984
It's OK and in fact encouraged to think outside the box on #7 -- your definition of "world event" and mine might be different (mine are admittedly nerd-oriented). Standard trivia rules apply (don't Google, or don't let me find out about it). Twenty possible points total. I'll post my answers on Monday.

I am telling you: 1984 was pretty much bad all around (although my answers to #7 are pretty awesome, if I may say so myself).

7.16.2009

A Real Nice Clambake

Don't know if I ever mentioned it, but I love fairs, especially community and church carnivals. (Oh wait -- I did mention it.) Haven't been to one in a while, so when we happened to be at my parents' when the Sacred Heart church fair was going on ... well, it was a no-brainer, that's for sure. Any opportunity to eat steamed clams must be taken.

Moon Bounce

We had never taken Shae to a carnival before. I'm not entirely sure why; every year I try to talk G into going to the 4th of July Fair in the park down the street from us, where they have funnel cake and hot air balloon rides. He always says no. Maybe that's why we haven't gone to a carnival lately.

Race Car Ride

After the Godiska family reunion, Shae spent a couple of days saying that my cousin Britt was her "best friend." Now everybody is her "best friend," even her Crocs with Mickey Mouse heads on them, but when she found out that she could go on the car ride with Britt, Shae perked right up.

Basketball Toss

We also discovered that she is just like me in one very unfortunate way: she always wants to play carnival games, even the ones that you know you're never going to win. She could barely even get the basketball to the hoop. Still, it was a good time, and the clams were most excellent. Hopefully we will have an even better time at Hersheypark on Saturday.

(Sorry these pictures aren't that great -- we used the old camera and it's really not even close to as good as the new one, is it? And sorry for the "obscure" Rodgers and Hammerstein post title. Go watch the movie Carousel and get yourself caught up.)

7.14.2009

The Damnedest Things

I haven't written about The Infertility in a while. This is in part because it's kind of a non-issue now; we have Shae, she is irrevocably ours, and we are too busy being happy with What Is to waste any time wondering What Might Have Been. And we both know that "shoulda-woulda-coulda" is an exercise in futility anyway: been there, done that, have the psychic scars.

But yesterday Shae said that I should have a baby.

And I would be lying if I didn't admit to thinking about it, occasionally, more than once. I don't feel like anything is lacking in my life, but if I am happy now, would I be even happier ... if? Don't they say that children multiply one's joy? And, really, if our lives are already filled with diapers and clutter and cat hair, wouldn't it make sense to do it while you're already used to the mess?

Of course. But should we? And can we?

He and I have mentioned it, of course. It's kind of a running joke with us. People are always saying, "Now that you've adopted, you'll get pregnant, I know someone who ..." Everyone thinks they "know someone who." Personally, I don't. That actually almost never happens, but everyone thinks it happens all the time. It's an urban legend.

That doesn't mean it can't happen, or that it definitely won't. But I ain't getting any younger, and my eggs ain't getting any less scrambled. We're getting dangerously close to that intersection of "Highly Unlikely" and "Haha Hell No." And of course, let's just address the elephant in the room, shall we? We've been unable to get pregnant without medical intervention so far, and I am NOT putting myself through that again. NO WAY.

People have been asking us when we're going to adopt again -- not IF, but WHEN -- and the honest answer is: (shrug). We don't know. It's come up in conversation, but it's not something we really want to entertain right now. We can't afford an international adoption, or a private adoption, so we'd have to do another foster care adoption, and our experience with Shae was one of the most grueling of our lives. We're not ready, and possibly not even willing, to go through that again.

But Shae says I should have a baby.

Kids say the damnedest things.

7.13.2009

Cry Baby

Further evidence that I am a horrible, horrible parent: over the weekend we made Shae get out of the pool because it was cold and she was turning purple and we didn't want her to get sick, and she pitched another one of her patented right royal fits, which I made G capture on camera for future blackmail purposes and am now posting out there on teh Intarwebz:

Tantrum 1
Tantrum 2

I really, really am a horrid, awful person, but as it turns out, I was also correct: she was running a low-grade fever for the rest of the weekend, and now she's going to the doctor's to have a possible ear infection looked at. But better to do it now then drive all the way to Hersheypark on Saturday only to have a repeat of last year's performance.

PS -- Sick toddlers are highly amusing. Not only does Shae's ear hurt, and her mouth, and her tummy, and her head, and her knee, but also her liver, pancreas, and appendix. We know, because we asked her, and she told us. "Shae, does your pancreas hurt?" "Uh-huh!" She's so cute when she tries to play along. God help us all when she discovers sarcasm.

PPS -- Added @ 3:36 PM -- No ear infection, per se, but the doctor did see redness so she prescribed some ear drops as a preventive measure. Also, it turns out that Shae's mouth actually DOES hurt, because she is cutting the last of her 2-year molars. See? I told you I was a terrible, terrible parent.

7.12.2009

Congenital Bribery

When we were kids, my grandparents and parents and aunts and uncles used to throw money into the pool. Whether it is was for our amusement or theirs -- "how much money are these kids willing to risk drowning for?"* -- I still don't know. But it is either refreshing or horrifying or both that my daughter is susceptible to the same trickery. In shallow water, of course; we're not barbarians.

Bribery 1
Bribery 2

* = In truth, the answer is $0 -- we dove for quoits. For free. We're insane.