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November 2008
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On Vampires, Sex, Chocolate, and Zits

For Christmas I got a massive cold. Yay, me! And my brain wasn’t working very well, so no blogging but now I’m antibiotics and I think my brain has commenced working again (nominally). Oh, and I am breaking out. Which probably has something to do with all the fudge I ate made and standing over the buttery steam while cooking it. Or the stress of the holidays. Or whatever. However, I am still (continuously) annoyed that I am 37 and still (continuously) breaking out like a fricking teenager!

Speaking of which, I’m finally reading Twilight (because, you know, the raving) and it’s a nice, easy read (which is probably good what with the fuzzy-headed sickyness and all); good writing, some character development, blah blah. However, I’m about 300 pages in and not much has happened. So I totally cheat and skip ahead (because I totally do that) and I see after about 70 pages more something happens. Which is good because that’s why I’m reading, and I like the book but I kinda wish it didn’t take 370 pages to get to some action…. except, of course, for all the heavy sexual tension that has been building steadily. Which, I have on good authority, will have no release in this book and it’s like… what? Because seriously, this is a novel about a teenage girl (yeah, a virgin so obviously her button hasn’t gotten switched all the way on yet, but still) and an 80+ year old perpetually teenage boy (can vampires get blue balls?) so hello, there should be hormones! Although we can infer from all the many descriptive passages of his beautiful glacial strength, AND that offhand comment of “oh btw, I could accidentally crush your skull trying to stroke your cheek” that maybe sex wouldn’t be a good idea because of the chance his mighty penis might crumble her pelvis to dust or perhaps injure her internal organs if he were to swirl it around like a swizzle stick in his excitement, or even, (taking this argument to its logical conclusion,) if poor Bella were to survive all the powerful penis handling what might happen if he were to release? Would his sperm (do vampires have sperm?) just ricochet through her body like a million ice bullets, causing untold damage and imminent death, forcing Edward to turn her into a vampire anyway, despite his tortured moral conscience?! (Which would make Alice happy because you just know she’s totally had a vision of Bella becoming a vampire. Duh.)

But, again, I’m only 300 pages in. And it’s not like I need every novel to be full of sex but really, the tension here? It’s extreme. And, where once upon a time (like maybe my early twenties) the anticipation, the tormented adolescent desire, the heavy longing would have been titillating beyond compare… now not so much. I am old (although, broken out like a teenager) and tired and without as much time so now it’s ALL ABOUT the wham, bam (and you get a thank you if you’re good). You know?

ALSO. Whereas the upside of perpetually beautiful skin (damn you Edward!) would be a plus, I could never, EVER become a vampire because they don’t seem to eat chocolate. I mean, what the fuck kind of trade off is that?!

Every time I read a vampire novel that just keeps me up at night.             - wg

How to wrap the impossible gift (a fictionalized account)

Step 1: get paper
Wrassle unroll wrassle wrassle. Crumple. "Damnit!"  wrassle wrassle

Step 2: get scissors
Cut cut... rip. "DAMN it!"  Cut cut cut. Slap piece of tape over tear.

Step 3: fold and tape
Wrassle wrassle. Hold paper in place. Tear off tape. Crumple tape. Tear off another piece of tape.  Tape. Wrassle  "Hold still damn you!"  wrassle.  Fold paper.  Fold again. Wow, this is taking a long time.  More tape.  And more tape.  Almost done!  Flip package over... too enthusiastic... aaaaand poke hole through gift wrap.  "FUCK!" 

Step 4: Start over

Repeat steps 1 - 3

Poke hole in paper again.  Fume.

Step 5: Give gift to spouse to wrap.  Of which gift will soon after appear suddenly and seemingly effortlessly wrapped.  And it will look nice.  Because there is always one of those people in every relationship.

(Oh wait, that person is me.  HA Keen!)          

                - your loving wife, the weirdgirl

The Lamaze List Reborn

Between my computer being down and starting a new job (oh yeah! I have a new gig! Woot!) I have been a little behind on all things Internet. HOWEVER, I didn't realize how behind until I got a couple of new submissions for The Things They Don't Tell You in Lamaze list. I flipped over to that page and there were several submissions... from months ago... which I had obviously forgotten about.  (Can you say SLACKER?!)

And those submissions?  They were pretty darn funny, so I'm making up for lost time and I'm reprinting the list here with new additions, categories, and a whole new section for when the baby is no longer a baby. Take a gander and give a shout out to those who submitted: Ilina, nakedanarchists, cranky buddha, Jess, and EdenSky.  Thank you!!

The Things They Don't Tell You in Lamaze

The Official List - As usual I invite any additions for the list of the things no one warned you about or any unexpected things that you found irksome, disturbing, strange or funny while on the great parenthood adventure. Commentary, category suggestions and humor are encouraged. I will give credit and a link back to anyone who participates. (P.S. Dads are just as welcome to make submissions as Moms.)  

         - wg


Category: Waiting Waiting Waiting, Pregnancy Itself

Dead Thing in My Mouth - Submitted by Em at Compulsively Crocheted: I just recently became pregnant and haven't been to Lamaze class yet, but I have something going on that certainly seems weird. It seriously tastes like something died in my mouth.  Disgusting much?!  I know my hormones are going crazy and everything but it makes food taste horrible and no amount of brushing or mouthwash helps!  Can't wait for the second trimester!


Category: Diapers

Butt Explosions – You all know what I’m talking about: volume, odor, leakage and/or multi-layered colored strata…enough said. -wg

Sniffing for Poops – Sure they discussed dirty diapers in Lamaze. They showed us how to change a dirty diaper. They talked about how we would need to watch for frequency and consistency of said poop (NEVER firmer than peanut butter!!). What they didn’t tell us is how, at some point, we would find ourselves, with increasing frequency and enthusiasm, burying our noses in our child’s patooty, inhaling vociferously like we were sniffing crack off the baby’s bottom, only to announce (practically crowing in glee) to the world at large, “Yep, there’s poops in there!” - wg

Exer-saucer or Poop - Submitted by J at Black Belt Mama: No one tells you that the cure for baby constipation is a nice sit in the saucer. No one tells you either, that if said baby is in said saucer when poop occurs, you'll be cleaning it from behind her ears.

Category: New Skills

Such Talented Feet - The sudden ability to properly identify foodstuffs with just your feet.  As in, step, step... hotdog, step step... three-day old petrified corn, etc.  No sight recognition necessary, simply walk across the rug and see what your feet tell you.  - wg

American Idol (for the Under Six Set) - Submitted by Andrea at The World of Me: I don't know what category this falls under but I know that after I had my son and now that he is six, I can't remember who sings what song from my OWN choice of albums and bands, yet for some reason I know all the actions and lyrics to EVERY single Wiggles song and don't find that scary at all, especially while doing dishes and just breaking out into song... when did that become acceptable?

WHO Invented Multitasking? - Submitted by nakedanarchists: Only a mother can nurse her infant while talking on the phone, taking a cake out of the oven, and write a check--all at the same time! What did we do with our time before kids???

Category: The Physics of Vomit

That First Time - Submitted by Amy at Binkytown: The first time your baby vomits, I mean really vomits, its like a horror movie! What seems like a juicy burp can surprise you and before your eyes turn into a monster projectile puke. My poor baby looked as though he had just come through the car wash but someone forgot to rinse the soap off of him. He was plastered in it. It was stuck to his eyebrows, in his eyelashes, in his ears. Oh the horror.  I had to collect all the soiled bedding, towels, clothes (both sets for both of us), bathmats, etc. in a big black garbage bag, wearing my yellow plastic dish washing gloves and take the first of many showers that week, because you know, it never happens just once.

Category: Postpartum Bodily Functions

Revenge of the Period – Submitted by Gigi at Growing Up Too Fast: One of the things I hated but didn't know about until it happened was what I call "Revenge of the Period." I guess it makes sense that after such a long hiatus you'd get one heck of a period, but COME ON!

Premiere Poop – Submitted by Girls Gone Child: Um, this is totally gross and I never took lamaze class BUT I have a feeling that they do not tell you about the post-partum premiere-poop- HE-LLOOOO? Giving birth AGAIN much? Shiyat.

Mrs. Roid - Submitted by Kristen at Motherhood Uncensored: How about the passing or permanent visit from Mrs. Roid? Always a pleasant surprise for new moms... making the post-partum poopies even more exciting... Thank god for baby oil, prep H, and GIN.

Tinkle, Tinkle – Submitted by Izzy at Moonshine: They sure as hell don't tell you that you MAY be wetting your pants every time you sneeze or get up off the floor too fast — for the REST OF YOUR LIFE!

Sneaky Poots - Submitted by Keri at Auburn Girl Always:  Sneaky poots. While related to the regular appearance of Mrs. Roid and the other extreme muscular stretching effects of vaginal births, sneaky poots are particularly troublesome. When I returned to work 8 weeks after the birth of DD (now 5 and awaiting arrival of her baby sister/brother in Feb. '07), I became aware that the mere act of standing up from my desk or bending over at a file cabinet or some other perfectly normal and NOT strenuous movement would assist in the sneaky exit of gas.

Category: Breasts

Flailing Boob Syndrome – The occurrence of extra boob movement on particular days (I STILL don’t get why this happens!) - wg

Headlights – Submitted by Mary at DayCareDaze: I've always been well-endowed, and after THREE pregnancies, I never, ever, ever go in public without a bra, not for a second. It's not so much about the flailage, which has ALWAYS been an issue for me, but that the headlights are so dramatically out of alignment. So they're flailing in two TOTALLY DIFFERENT directions.

Stretch Marks on the Boobages - This one just never occurred to me… but let me tell you it’s not very attractive! And I think any extra stretch marks ANYWHERE are just sort of unfair. - wg

The Lost & Found Valley - I don't know why this one is in the "Requisite Handbook of Mom Looks, Sayings & Occurrences" but ever since I became a mother things keep falling down my shirt.  Food, leaves, small toys... everything ends up in my bra.  This never happened before parenthood, and it's not like I gained any additional bosum with pregnancy.  In fact, being on the small side, it's not even like I have any real cleavage... just a valley.  A wide, food-filled valley.  - wg

Category: Our Changing Bodies

The Front Ass – Submitted by Jess at Them and Us: No one mentioned that after having a few kids, that your lower abdomen would cease to resemble normal skin, and would instead crumple in on itself. An almost perfectly centered, vertical fold of skin right below the belly button. Which looks like your ass. Except in front. And a little less functional. (Because the ass in general does serve several necessary functions, while the front ass does not.)

Category: the Brain and the Five Senses

Failed Eyesight – Submitted by Girls Gone Child: Failed Eyesight. It started with pregnancy and has gotten significantly worse. And now I am practically blind.

Enhanced Smell – This isn’t as bad now as the enhanced olfactory sense you have when you’re pregnant, but still it seems like my nose is more sensitive than it used to be. I feel like I can literally sniff out a poopy diaper within a hundred foot range. And for all of you out there who indulge in the “cut and run” method to disposing gas… trust me, if you try that around me these days, I’ll know (much to my dismay). - wg

Memory – Submitted by Mary at DayCareDaze: Memory! They tell you in Lamaze classes that pregnant women often have trouble with their short-term memory. They tell you it will come back. My oldest is twenty, and I'M STILL WAITING...

Butter Fingers - Just like with memory, someone had warned me that the manual dexterity in my hands might go down when I was pregnant (though this was NEVER mentioned in Lamaze).  What I never expected was that I wouldn't get it all back!  Sure I can manage to pick up stuff more reliably now than when I was pregnant, but I'm still dropping things.  (And you'd think with a new baby, the ability to HOLD ON to items would be a rather critical skill.)  - wg

Category: Clothes

If the Shoe Fits – Submitted by BiteMyCookie: I am quite please to only be afflicted by the gross surge and recession of my shoe size. After Foo came flying out and my cankles gave way, I went from a 9-1/2 to an 11. I am just getting back into 9-1/2 17 months later. dang. This is great.

If the Shoe Fits II - I knew feet changed size during pregnancy - what with water, weight gain, and the general vindictive humor of the universe. What I didn’t expect was that my feet would continue to occasionally bloat oh so subtly after the pregnancy (and subtly enough that I hadn’t noted it previously) to the extent that I could try on a pair of shoes, love them, buy them, go to wear them THREE DAYS LATER aaaand… they don’t fit. (What was I saying about the universe?)   - wg

The Right Shirt – Submitted by ktjrdn: Everyone tells you how it takes a while to fit into your pre-pregnancy pants, but no one mentions the shirts. When I was breast-feeding, only about half my shirts fit me. I wore my pants pretty quickly I think, but looked like Dolly Parton on top for a full year.

The New Accessory I find myself choosing daily meals by color based on what I or my child is wearing... not ONLY so I can avoid new stains, but also so I can just smear the food across my sleeve and still leave the house without changing. - wg

Category: Skin, Hair, and Postpartum Grooming

Ch-ch-changes! – Submitted by Coffee Betsy: For my entire life, I have been cursed with stick-straight hair that will not hold a curl. Then, after I had a baby, my hair turned curly. The kind of curly that I desperately tried to replicate in 8th grade with a series of unfortunate perms.  What's up with that? Oh, and to make things EXTRA fun, it's not totally curly and gorgeous and movie star looking -- the top layer is still totally straight.

It’s All About Timing – One thing they don’t have to tell you in Lamaze is that kids sure are messy. I don’t know about anyone else but I’ve learned to time when I’m going to put on lotion; for example, mealtimes, playing outside, and arts and crafts are times to avoid. That lotion is just going to attract other sticky elements (like, with magnetic force!) and then you have to wash it off anyway.  Preferably wait until your child’s naptime or after he’s gone to bed. Actually, I find that all grooming is best done when everyone in the household is asleep… children, spouses, pets, it’s just easier to get quiet time in the bathroom.  Bikini wax at midnight, anyone?    - wg

Line of Demarcation - One of the less obvious marks of pregnancy were these little ridges I got in my finger nails, like little speed bumps straight across the nail. After I gave birth I watched the last ridge slowly grow out, marking the time before and after I was pregnant. Just thinking about it makes me a little nostalgic.  - wg

Too Much of a Good Thing - Submitted by EdenSky: They tell you you may get thick shiny hair...they don't tell you that it may not be on your head. Face, thighs, stomach, nipples, feet...yeah. Also, it may not go away after the pregnancy is over!

Category: That Thing Called Sleep

The Other Bedwetting – Submitted by ktjrdn: They tell you that you will be tired. What they fail to mention is that you'll be so tired that when you get up to pee before feeding the baby in the middle of the night, yet again, that you just may be sooo tired that you forget to pull down your underwear before using the toilet.

Every Which Way but Up - Submitted by Kara at Cape Buffalo: I don't even know what you'd call this... but at one point, I was so sleep deprived that I woke up in the middle of the night to feed my crying baby and she wouldn't stop grunting and squirming and she wouldn't latch on.  It took me several minutes to realize I was trying to nurse the back of her head.  Her face was in the crook of my arm.

Category: Necessary Items

Black Holes – What’s up with turning around and suddenly there isn’t enough of something on hand that YOU KNOW you had plenty of a moment before? And I mean, KNOW as in just picked up the item and put it in it’s proper place OR just pulled a big pile of laundry out of the dryer, folded everything, and put it away. This includes but is not limited to: burp rags, bibs, clean undershirts, favorite toy(s). And, more importantly, HOW are those same items ending up in a pile in the middle of the floor to get tripped over in the dead of the night (especially the toys)? (I swear I put everything away, so I can only assume the universe and quantum mechanics just have it in for parents.) - wg

Category: Just Plain Gross

Eating Out – Somehow I never expected “eating out” to turn into “eating off”, as in eating off the counter, eating off the baby’s spoon, eating pieces of food that missed baby’s mouth off his cheek, and of course, eating off the floor. Screw the 15-second rule, this one only applies if it’s been on the floor for 15 minutes or longer (basically, when you get sick of waiting for baby or pets to come scoop it up on another trip around the coffee table). If it’s on the floor and doesn’t look too trampled… pop, right in the mouth. - wg

Even Dirtier Than Camping - Regardless if you just stepped out of the shower, between the drool, milk, sticky fingers, second-hand sweat, smeared food, or general dirt and grime that just "travels" from your child to you... it's official... you're NEVER CLEAN!  - wg

The ToleranceSubmitted by EdenSky: My addition is the total re-evaluation of your tolerance for bodily fluids. As in: Diaper springs a little leak while baby's on your lap? Meh, it's not poopy, why bother changing?...Baby offers you a bite of half-chewed slobbery cookie? Sure, that's still 70% good cookie!...Kid's nose is running and she keeps licking it? Wipe that sucker with the edge of your sleeve...Poop on your hand would once have necessitated a vat of bleach and possibly some flames, but now a little soap will do the trick...Vomit, however is still gross.


Category: Blessed Toddlerhood

Jekyll and Hyde (Chuckle... then hide)Submitted by Ilina at Dirt and Noise: You know what they don't tell you? That the sweet, swaddled, deliciously darling infant with the softest skin imaginable and coos so magical they make you coo in return will one day be 3-years old. A fired up, storm of emotions ranging from high pitched tantrums (in public, natch) to squeals of words that leave you wondering, "Where did he learn that? Certainly I never use THAT word!"

Category: All Things Potty

The Death Spiral of a Sex Drive Submitted by cranky buddha: No one told me that my once sexy husband would ruin it all by using the word "potty" in reference to his OWN PERSONAL toilet needs!!!! What the hell is that?

Category: the Brain and the Five Senses... Continued!

Memory: Who Knows What the Kids Will Take Next? Submitted by cranky buddha:  It has taken them years (8 and 6) but my kids have finally succeeded in depleting me of my most prized piece of my brain... The part that contained my beloved and highly valued spelling and grammar skills! There was once a time when Microsoft Word and I got along swimmingly and I NEVER got those silly red and green underlines. I didn't even know how to use spell check! Now I'm down asking my eight year old if he thinks a particular word looks right to him... Luckily, he's a great speller.

More Lying During the Holidays

I was over at Always Home and Uncool and he reminded me that it was time once again to churn out the family newsletter! Yeah, we’re one of those families… except for the small fact that I totally make mine up. I mean, I think we spend our year like most families… work, school, a vacation or two, a lot of TV. My method is just way more fun (and yes, I really do send it out). So while I’m working on this year’s edition, I thought I’d share last year’s…

Dear Friends,

We hope you and your families have had a wonderful year since last holiday season! It’s been quite exciting for the wg/Keen family this year. As many of you know we moved to a bigger house last spring, which we’ve enjoyed immensely. Even more so after we stumbled across a cache of old gold coins buried in the back yard! (I was putting in roses.)

The gold coins – Spanish in origin – came at a great time as we hadn’t had a family vacation since that whole France debacle. To commemorate the find we decided to wing down to Peru and take in some of the local Incan ruins. After hiring skilled guides, Keen, Chance and I trekked into the mountains for some camping and archeological spelunking. It was quite beautiful and the weather was perfect. None of us even got so much as a bug bite.

The only issue during our trip was Chance who, then obsessed with cats (or “kitties!”), kept wandering off into the wilderness in search of the many species of small cats native to South America. This caused us quite some concern but before we could put him on a leash (ha ha!) something happened near the end of our trip that made it even more memorable. Chance, on one of his feline quests, scaled up a cliff into a small cave. When we climbed up after him and poked our heads over the rocky edge we found Chance wrestling a giant mountain cat! We were horrified and feared for his life, but Chance had it well in hand (he’s wily like a monkey, that kid). After he subdued the great beast the guides were amazed to discover that it was not a mountain cat as we first thought… but a legendary American Cave Lion, thought previously extinct and lost to antiquity! With the guides help we managed to transport the prehistoric lion down the mountain and turned it over to the National Zoo. The Peruvian zoologists were incredibly grateful and extended an open invitation whenever we’d like to visit.

Unfortunately, our camera was accidentally mauled by the lion and we are only left with our memories of this spectacular trip.

Chance is now obsessed with bunnies.

The rest of the year has been a quiet yet treasured one spent at home. We hope you all are well and that your year has been as exciting and unforgettable. Merry Christmas and many blessings to you in the New Year!

Love always,
The wg/Keen Family

Look! I'm not dead!

The convoluted trials of my tech issues of the past week and a half are too numerous (and whiny) for prose so in true marketing fashion I have come up with this handy chart. 

Computer problems of the recent past:

Computer issues chart 2  

Additional data

Add data 2

The worst moment was realizing how completely addicted to the Internet I am!  I'm not talking Twitter and Facebook.  I'm talking trying to access support numbers without the Internet.  I was panic-stricken until I remembered that ancient artifact called... say it with me... a "phone book."  And it's extra sad because I used to do a lot of admin work back in the day (you know, when not everyone and their mother (Hi Mom!) was on the Web) and I was QUEEN of the phone book!  I could find anything with a phone book and perhaps the number to any given city's Chamber of Commerce.  (I also knew how to ship anything... rates, methods - not applicable here but I'm just saying.)  Without Web access I not only was faced with my own techie mortality, I had to come to terms with the fact that I've forgotten all my old survival skills.


Anywho.  Let's see if we can catch up this week, shall we?

Missed you madly, the weirdgirl