Putting the "MO" in MOFO since 2004

This is a Flickr badge showing public photos from Meghantown. Make your own badge here.

My site was nominated for Hottest Mommy Blogger!

Thursday, July 28, 2005



What the fuck do I wear to Blogher????

You know, they say women don't really dress for men. Except for a few scantily clad WHOOO-ERES, this is a true statement as far as I'm concerned. Women dress to impress other women. Men do not consistently seem to appreciate the details of handbags, shoes, and jewelry. This begs the question, WHAT THE HELL DOES ONE WEAR WHEN HOBNOBBING WITH HUNDREDS OF WITTY SAVVY WOMEN FROM ALL OVER THE FREAKING GLOBE?

This is a high pressure situation indeed. My lack of budget has prevented me from going out and buying something ridiculous and silly. This is a good thing. Now I won't show up looking and feeling like someone I am not in an ill-fitting ensemble that screams "TRYING TOO HARD!". On the other hand, I have considered adopting a persona for the weekend just for kicks. Maybe I could go as Joe from the "Fact's of Life", and twist up a pack of smokes in my t-shirt and pretend to have an East coast accent. Or perhaps, like Laura Ingalls, I could wear a bonnet, shove apples up the front of my dress and proclaim "I AM A WOMAN NOW! A WOMAN! COME TAKE ME JOHNNY APPLESEED! I AM ONE HORNY PIONEER PRINCESS! COME HITHER YOU STRAPPING STUD!" except that I am married, and there will be very few men there. Not that they aren't welcome, of course.

What I have to work with: I do have my existing wardrobe to pick through. Which means that my selection is slim (irony) for things that one wears on ones lower half, because my caboose has just NOT been the same since that whole bothersome childbirth thing. The kid: GREAT! Childbirth and the phisiological aftermath: NOT SO GREAT.

I have a closet full of things that are a size too small, and then there's the stuff that is a size too big. Then there are the shoes.... the thought makes my blood run cold. EEEK. Double EEEK. These are the times when I wish I had a wardrobe consultant. I suppose that's me. There will be much clothes flinging after I get the kid down. Wish me luck!

Popping in

Jim, Maggie and I live in a nice quiet suburb conveniently located just outside the metro area of Minneapolis. The kind of suburb where the police have time and energy to spare. This allows the "po-po" to hone in and focus on busting hard core criminals. Kids at keg parties, and parents in minivans who don't make complete stops. Keeping our streets SAFE! Word-to-ya-motha. AAAH-ITE-DEN.

We happen to live four blocks away from where Jim grew up. I liken the boys raised in these parts to homing pigeons. They leave for a few years, but always bring their mate back to roost. They also seem to carry the belief that this particular suburb is better than any of the neighboring suburbs, or ANY suburb for that matter. Of all the suburbs in America, this is the best one. The most prestigious. They bleed the high school colors (green and white). They couldn't imagine forcing their children to go to high school in the neighboring burbs. As "W" might say "the Terra! The Terra!" That would be like being voluntarily and unceremoniously demoted in the social rankings. You would go from Lord to indentured servant. The humiliation. As though if they chaged zip codes they would start wearing acid washed jeans tapered and pinned at the ankle. They would grow mullets. They would all start wearing bad cologne and using poor grammar and their children would walk around with dirty bare feet and faces. Their sons would (gasp) NOT PLAY HOCKEY FOR THE HORNETS.

Being so close to Jim's parents, and frankly, most of Jim's childhood friends, we get a lot of unannounced visitors. A LOT. We have to lock the front AND back door before we undress or even think about doing the deed. I WISH I was kidding. This was not that big of a deal before Maggie was born. Now that we have a child it is the source of much disruption. We have people stopping by at all hours. Let me start by saying I love them all, and in addition, let's just say that the vast majority were not sitting on my side of the aisle at our wedding.

A few months ago I had my friend Becky over and we were hanging out on the patio and after a night of wine drinking and good conversation, we decide to wrap things up and get to bed. It was nearly 1:00 a.m. We were picking up the patio and closing things down for the night. Becky said "Meghan, I think there is someone in your kitchen." I looked up incredilously and saw that a friend of Jim's had stopped in and was standing in our kitchen. It was 1:00 IN THE MORNING. Jim had been asleep for hours. They walked right in without a thought. You would think that if people are popping in that late, that would indicate that Jim and I are night owls and usually up that late. No. The fact is we typically go to bed by 9:30 at night. I don't even answer the phone after 9:00 p.m.. This begs the question: IS IT NORMAL FOR PEOPLE TO STOP BY UNANNOUNCED AT 1:00 a.m? I can tell you I wouldn't do it. But that's the thing about people. They are all different and have different ideas about stuff like this.

I can not count the number of naps I have tried to sneak in exhauted desperation. These doomed naps have been interrupted by random unannounced knocking at the door. "BANG BANG BANG!" I startle awake and think to myself "BULLOCKS!!! BULLOCKS BULLOCKS BULLOCKS! If you wake that child up I'll.....I'll....I'll...!! Motherfuuu-uu-uuu-ck..... I am working on 3 hours of broken sleep! HAVE YOU NO DECENCY? Perhaps if I ignore them. Yes! I will ignore them! Then they will go away! HAHA! I WILL IGNORE THEM! GENIOUS!"

This denial leads to a few deceptive moments of silence. Then, MORE BANGING. At this point the curious visitor typically checks the garage to see if our cars are there. The next step: the determined visitor opens the front door and bellows "HELLOOOOOOOO?" directly into the hallway. Their "HELLOOOOOOO?" reverberates down the hall that leads to Maggies room. It echoes and bounces all the way down the hardwood floor to her nursery. This is about the time I say "WHY DIDN'T I LOCK THE DAMNED, DAMNED DOUBLE-DAMNED DOOR? CURSES!!! AND WHY THE HELL DOES MY LIFE REQUIRE THAT I LOCK THE MOTHERLOVING DOOR JUST TO TAKE A NAP? WHY?????? WHY????????? SWEET GOD WHYYYYYY? WWAAAAAAHHHHHH! WHY?"

In a frantic effort to STOP THE MADNESS before they wake up the baby I ususally give in, leap out of bed and stumble down the hallway and discover which cherished friend or relative has popped in for a visit. Don't get me wrong. I adore these people. Just not when they are waking me and my infant up in a loud unannounced visit. Sheesh.

Jim's solution to this is to scotch tape a sign on the door that reads "QUIET! BABY SLEEPING". The problem with a sign like that is that one must remember to put it up before napping, which is something I usually fail to do. In fact, I am convinced that putting that sign up is pretty much a guarantee that I will lay my head down and not be able to sleep. Either that, or just about the second I start to doze off the phone with the ringer-on-the-highest-setting-because-Jim-is-hard-of-hearing will ring.
I have decided that it's best to just not nap at all. Just keep the "OPEN" sign on the door and wait for them to walk right in. Or not. Because clearly, they are walking in anyways.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


A night in the infernal depths of Hell

Friday night we went up to Waverly MN to visit with some of our good friends at their cabin. Be brought Maggie along, threw her pack and play travel crib in the car and headed out. Our host's were gracious enough to offer the use of the newer, air-conditioned cabin to the two couples who brought their kids along. The night started off well, with everyone hanging out at the dock, taking dips in the water, and enjoying happy hour cocktails. We dragged Maggie's high chair out, and fed her dinner outside by the lake. She took a little longer than usual to get down to sleep, which is not unusual in new surroundings. Jim and I took turns reading to her and I finally got her to sleep and into her crib. I walked out to the shore to meet the other guests like Rocky, jumping up and down and pumping my hands in the air. "I got her to sleep! Let the festivities begin!" The night continued with smores, beer and discussions around the campfire. A game of poker ensued. As did some realtively minor debauchery of the pedestrian beer-drinking sort.

About 1:30 a.m. Jim and I decided to call it quits. Maggie usually wakes up about 6:30 or 7:00 and she typically doesn't make it easy on me just because I downed my fair share of Pale Ale's the night before. She's funny like that. So I though it would be prudent to be the first to turn in.

Jim and I made our way into the cabin and got ready for bed. TRYING to be as quiet as possible. Trying, and FAILING because Maggie awoke and was very very VERY unhappy. Thus begun our night from the motherloving DEPTHS OF HELL.The shrieking. It began at 1:30 a.m.. The Shrieking. It did not end until 7:00 a.m. when Jim extracted her from her crib and just finally fully gave in and took her out for breakfast with our friend Mike. Mike had also had been up with their screaming child for hours. They took the kids out for pancakes because there is not much else to do in Waverly at 7:00 a.m. besides go out for pancakes.

In between 1:30 a.m. and 7:00 a.m., let's just say there was a lot. of. shreiking. And wiggling. And tearful wailing. We brought Maggie into bed with us where she slept fitfully for oh, about, 5 minutes, and resumed flailing and shrieking. We returned her to her crib where she would stand, grasping the rail and looking at us with the tearful indignance of a million wronged babies. Whatever ill fate these million babies had suffered, we were certainly being punished for each and every one of them. Maggie had established herself as their spokesperson and was belting out their chorus of complaints. She wailed and cried and bellowed the lamentations of every last one of them. She screamed and wiggled and stomped her little feet. Her face was red and hot and wet with tears. Her eyes shot lightening bolts and fire spewed from her mouth.

We alternated from wiggling and crying in bed and standing and wailing in the crib for approximately 4 hours. Around 4:30 a.m. Jim became so frustrated he plopped her in her crib, exclaimed "I can't take it amymore!" and without another word, walked out of the rooom to sleep on the couch. I stared at the closed door, speechless. My head was pounding from the pale ale. Could he just DO THAT? WALK OUT THE DOOR AND LEAVE ME IN THE SEVENTH LEVEL OF DANTE'S INFERNAL HELL? I nearly shouted through the door "GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR DIVORCE ASSHOLE!" but mustered up the strength to restrain myself.

I continued with the crib-stand-scream-wail, and bed-wiggle wail. She slept for approximately 20 minutes from about 6:00 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. Thinking she was out, I gently transferred her to her crib where her eyes popped open like some posessed baby doll, and she resumed her protesting. I gave in, turned the light on and just sat in bed and stared at her. She stared back. Apparently she was fine sitting in her crib as long as she could see that I could see her. 20 minutes later, I turned over thinking I could get. JUST. FIVE. MINUTES. OF. SLEEP. The banchee began screaming again and I just sat there, complacent and accepting of my fate in HELL.
I heard the door open and close. Silence. Sweet silence. It was 7:00 a.m. Someone, presumably Jim, at that point I didn't really care WHO it had been, had removed my child from her crib and taken her from the room. The only reason I am still married today? Jim took her out for breakfast so I could sleep for three hours. Three lovely hours. I am not sure what his fate might have been had he not done that.

I awoke to find Jim and Maggie playing outside. We went on with our day like any other. Maggie had apparently morphed back into to her former, happy self. I am not sure what they put in those pancakes but whatever it was, it worked. Hallelujah. We had lunch, we played, Maggie napped. We went swimming in the lake and Maggie squealed and kicked and splashed in the water like a happy little monkey. My heart swelled with the usual joy at seeing her so exuberant. Apparently the storm system had passed. We were back to sunny weather. All was forgiven.

Mercifully she slept ALL NIGHT Saturday night, although I was so terrified of waking her up Jim and I slept on the floor in the other room.

I am learning. Parenthood teaches you that you can, in fact, survive what may have at one time seemed to be the unfathomable depths of Hellish despair. And the most remarkable part is that when the sun comes up, you still love those little buggers. It's a good thing they're so stinking cute. I now understand the evolutionary theory behind making them adorable. It prevents their parents from dropping them in the forest with a ziplock back of pepperidge farm goldfish, a bottle of juice, a flashlight and blanket bidding them good luck. "Watch out for bears! Call when you find work!". You just can't do that to a cherub faced toddler, now can you? But really, you can't do it because you love them. You love them and you want them to be safe and happy. And deep down you feel that no one else is going do as good a job at keeping them safe and happy as you are. You just don't trust anyone else to love them as much as you do. The trappings of love, the trappings of parenthood. The overwhelming heart-melting love and the hellish nights in the infernal depths of Hell. Sigh.

Thursday, July 21, 2005


Yeah, that's right. I drive a minivan. You got a problem with that?

Like I said. I drive a minivan. What's that? Are you laughing? You think that's funny? Cause I got something funny for you too. Your mama. Now that's funny. My minivan is the smoothest ride in town beeyaattcchh. And the license plate says "M-L-F", and no I didn't plan it that way. Shoot. I didn't even know what MLF meant until somebody told me. I thought it meant "My little fucking-sweet-ass-minivan". Thats what I thought. MLF. That's just the way the license plate came in the mail. Straight up. Straight from the DMV. MLF from the DMV. Cuz That was in the plan, man. That's what I drive fool. A badass m-l-f mini-motherfucking van. Jealous? That's okay. Don't cry now. I'd be jealous too. Maybe someday I'll give you a ride in it.

My minivan has heated seats. Yeah, you heard me right. Heated seats. They keep my butt so nice and warm in the winter it feels like I wet my pants when I didn't. My minivan can carry so many things. I can go shopping anytime I like and no I don't have to go cry to my neighbor to borrow their truck. I just say "That's okay, you can put it in my minivan". Because you better believe I got a phat phat minivan. And you can put ALL the stuff I just bought in it. There's room baby, believe me. There's room. I am telling you the truth. My baby's daddy took out the back bench seat himself. It is a sweet-ass ride, yes it is. There's room for you and your mama in it. And I heard your mama is U.G.L.Y. But she can still ride in my minivan.

My baby girl likes to ride in the minivan. She likes to ride in the minivan because she can see out the window, and she looks at all the people going by, and I can see in her eyes she is thinking "Yeah! my mommy drives a minivan! Hey you! Over there! Don't you mess with me!"

So when you see me and my baby girl riding in our silver badassmotherfuckingm-l-f-minivan you better watch yourself. And yeah, my baby wears a helmet too. And yes, why, that IS a hello kitty sticker on the front of it because that is my baby girl and my baby girl likes hellomotherfucking kitty. Shoot.

Can you say......

Supposedly Maggie, at 11 months old, is not yet able to determine that certain sounds have meaning in relation to certain objects. She may UNDERSTAND what we mean when we say things like "bye-bye!" , "juice", "book" and "uh-oh!", but she does not yet have the capacity to intentionally utter these words herself. At least I hope not. Because if she is capable of doing so, she is either masterminding her first act of rebellion, or she has already taken on the propensity of her parents to behave in a way that may be considered just a teensy weensy bit passive aggressive. Example:

I am pushing Maggie in her stroller on a lovely summer morning. The birds are chirping and we are mozeying along, smiling. I start the game with a hopful heart.

Me: "Maggie! Can you say Mama? MAMAMAMAMA! Can you say Mama?"

Maggie: "Dada! DADADADADADA!"

Me, very sing-songy, mustering up much hopeful enthusiasm "Maggie! Can you say Mommy? MAMA! Say Mama! MAAA-MAAAA!"


Repeat 517 times over three months. Then you pretty much have of my life since May in a mental nutshell.

I certainly undertand that my 11 month old is not capable of passive aggressive maniupulation.
The thought of it is kind fo funny though.
Me: "Maggie! Can you say Mama? MAMAMAMA!"

Maggie, inside her head: "Yeah, right lady. You switch me from Pampers to TARGET diapers, stick me in baby jail while you take a shower, and read the SAME STORY to me every night for a month and you want me to call you mama? I think NOT. I will call you Mama when I feel you are worthy. The current marginal performance is just not cutting it. You let me stick my finger in an outlet play in the toilet and suck on batteries? THEN I will consider calling you Mama! Now pick up that bottle of juice! Juice monkey! One more word out of you and it will be at least 6 months until you hear mama! "

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


Mud slinging

This week, our childcare, otherwise known as Grandma Vi, is taking a much deserved vacation.

Jim and I are patching our schedules together, and I am working half days Monday through Thursday to cover the absence. I LOVE hanging out at home with Madge in the morning. She gets a bottle, I get my coffee, we hang out and get our blood going with some floor play and chase-crawling. We play the piano. I put her in the baby jogger and get a nice run in by 9:00 a.m., we go home and have something to eat, she takes a nap. I love it.

While Maggie was napping, I decided to go out and get a little weeding done. We are fortunate enough to have a pretty decent sized back yard. I planted corn, yes, corn, this year. Beans and tomatoes too. I forget every year what a battle maintaining a garden can be. I start out thinking "If only I can get out there and get the garden bed dirt ready." Then it's "If only I can get these seeds planted." Then it's "If only I can get out there and water." Then the bunnies get into the beans and bite them with their sharp little teeth all the way down to the short little woody stems. Then it's "if only I can get out there and plant the beans AGAIN." So I battled the beans and the bunnies and the weather all while simultanouesly raising a baby and working full time.

So now, mid July, we are into a full on weed battle. I am not talking pulling a dandelion or two. I am not talking something a little round-up will cure. I am talking full on motherfucking weed warfare. Those little, and not so little bastards are trying to take over my garden and demolish and destroy all the beautiful little vegetables I planted and have struggled to maintin for the last two months. Suffice it to say it's been an uphill battle. I get home from work, battle the dusk-loving mosquitos and pull those damn weeds out, swearing all the way and swatting mosquitos in frustration.

This morning, while Maggie was napping, I ran the sprinkler over my little cornfield. I went back to check on the water level of the soil, and realized that this crabgrass type stuff had TAKEN OVER. By taken over, I mean that in between rows of corn you could not even see dirt. The grass is nearly as tall as the corn. I went in for battle.

I start pulling weeds. I grasp them by the base, handfulls at a time. Huge clumps of weed and root and mud. I smash them together like cymbals, loosening the dirt from the roots. The mud flies. I fling the limp, dying weed carcasses over my shoulder. The more I pull, the more clear it becomes to me how owerwhelming this job is. I'll be damned if I leave their dying weed-carcasses with dirt that was meant for this garden. I pull at a faster pace. I start to sweat and pant. I think to myself "OUT you little bastards! I didn't work this hard so that you could have a home! OUT!!" I move forward grasping and clashing the weeds together. Chunks of mud are flinging into my eyes, onto my face, onto my legs. I launch dying weeds in a blur over my shoulder. "DIE FREELOADERS! This garden was painstakingly prepared and tended for CORN you little fuckers! CORN I SAID!! I swat at mosquitos, leaving streaks of mud on my legs and shoulders. My feet are no longer feet but enormous clusters of mud attached to my legs. I continue pulling at a frenzied pace. "I don't struggle to juggle raising my daughter, working full time, and keeping this Godforsken garden SO YOU COULD GET A FREE RIDE MOTHERFUCKERS!!!!!" They are no longer just weeds. They have become like, the MAN. They are the people from Cingulair who charged me twice and refused to refund my money! They are the people from Expedia who tacked on a hudred bucks for changing the date on a plane ticket! They are the Athletic club who keeps charging me because, well I haven't cancelled my membership! They are all the annoying fees, charges, and bullshit excuses for separating me and my life's work from my hard earned money and my precious time. "You wanna peice of me? You think you can live here and starve the corn I carefully planted? You think you can just move in and wreck my plans? You got another thing coming! You messed with the wrong lady!!!! BEEEYYYAAATTCCCHHHEEESSS!!!!!!!"

I stand back, panting. Sweat trickling down my back. I look at the enormous mounds of dead weeds. Piles of them. I walk to the hose. The water starts out warm and turns ice cold. I rinse the mud off of my legs and arms and face. It feels good on my mosquito bites. My body temperature drops. I walk across the yard to the backdoor and into the house.

I hear Maggie stirring. I go to her room and find her standing in her crib smiling at me ear to ear. I smile back and pick her up. Mommy won her battle. At least for today.

Monday, July 18, 2005



I just made an observation.

If you ever want to feel like the cleanest person in the world, just don't wash your hair for like, 5 days straight. Wait until your head gets itchy, and you hair develops a goopy gummy consistency. Go running in 90 degree heat, put it up in a ponytail and just let it sit and stew. Wait until you have achieved the overall effect last reached in the 6th grade with half a jar of dippity-do and a little creative gumption. Except without the enormous green "Valley Girl" t-shirt your dad bought you in California. When you wake up and your bangs are literally standing straight up, 3 inches off your forehead, and you can't get them to lay down, you will know you are there.

Then, wash your hair. You will feel like a million bucks. You will feel like the cleanest person in the world. It's as though all the water content in my body was replaced with lemon flavored bubbly mineral water. It's just fantastic.

Saturday, July 16, 2005


bits of pits of plum

Jim decided to golf this morning and left about 6:00 a.m.. I like having mornings alone with Madge. We got up, had a lesiurely bottle and decided to go to the farmers market. This was no small feat, and involved a trip to get cash, 15 minutes of high stress parking spot coveting and the stalking of shoppers carrying their wares back to their parked cars. All in sweltering 90 degree heat. I found a spot marked "reserved for the Asian Market". I decided to let the chips fall where they may and parked there at the risk of getting a ticket. I have a 26 pound 11 month old after all. Have mercy.

I fought crowds of people to peruse the selection of peas, beans, fruit, corn and every Asian vegetable imagineable. Maggie stared on in a coma-like trance, mesmerized by the activity, the people and the visual display. I purposely brought the small stroller in leiu of the ginormous SUV style stroller, but still got some dirty looks. I remember when I was single and I used to get SO annoyed by the people who hogged up space with their baby strollers. I thought they were greedy space mongers who walked about with an annoying sense of entitlement. They lolled around under the assumption that their children were like, the second coming of Christ, so of course they deserved to enjoy the space of 4 adults, knocking their mammouth Peg Pergo's into the shins of innocent bystanders. Their parenthood was the most divine kind of parenthood ever, and their children the most talented and gifted. I used to think some of these parents were so obnoxious. I mean, any frigging moron can have a child. It certainly doesn't mean you are special or anything. I think I now understand that for many, it's more of a brain-fuzzed la-la-la-la-la, please please please let's get this done before the little progeny has a meltdown, her head starts to spin, and my head explodes, and maybe just maybe we will have enough time to stop and get gas on the way home before naptime if we are very very very lucky, please for the love of GOD please!!!!! La-la-la-la-la-la. This is REALLY what many of these parents are actually thinking.

So we got a crap load of fresh fruit, plums, nectarines, raspberries, and Maggie's favorite by a landslide, blueberries. I decided to use some of this truckload of fruit to make smoothies.
I got Maggie home and sat her in her high chair in gleeful anticipation of the incredible and awesome treat I was about to expose her too. It was a sweltering morning. I piled all the goodies in the blender, ice, orange juice, a plum, a nectarine, blueberries and yogurt. Mixed it all up into lovely cold fruity smoothie.

I put it all in a glass, tried it (good), and gave Maggie a few sips. "MMM!" she squealed. That child takes after my side of the family in her enthusiastic approach to most things edible.
I contined to let her sip it until she grew bored. I then moved on to my own glass, and on my second sip, realized that I had included a plum pit in the mix. I bit down on the hard chunk of pit, shrugged my shoulders and took another sip. Then, seemingly in slow motion, it popped into my head. Plumb. Pits. Are. POISONOUS. PLUMB PITS ARE POISONOUS!! POISONOUS!! I JUST POISONED MY CHILD! MOTHERFUCK I JUST POISONED MY BABY! Numb, I set down my glass, walked out to the car, retrieved my cell phone, went inside, googled poison control, called the number, and was asked to hold.

HOLD? I WAS ON HOLD? WHAT THE FUCK? A person calls Poison controls emergency number and they put you on hold? Do they put you on hold when you call 911? My blood pressure started to rise, and I could feel the pressure building in my head. I was moments away from a full-on panic attack. 1 minute later a man picked up the phone. I told him I thought I had just poisoned my daughter. I explained the situation as succinctly and calmly as possible. He reassured me that Maggie would have to eat 3 or 4 whole plum pits to cause any serious damage, and that she would be fine. Maggie was fine.

I hung up the phone and in my typical post-traumatic fashion, I began to tremble the moment I knew everything was okay. I stood there shakily and looked over at my daughter, who sat in her high chair grinning at me with red bits of raspberry all over her fat cheeks. Grinning with all of her four teeth. Her chubby fists clenching the tiny bits of cheese I had set on her tray. My heart bulged against my skin and nearly exploded with love for her. At the same time I was overcome with "THE FEAR". The fear that anything bad might ever happen to her. The fear that I could inadvertantly harm her. I never truly knew fear until I became a parent. The week after Maggie was born I sat on the couch, fat tears streaming from my eyes, wailing "Wh-hat t if sh-she gets s-s-ick? What if sh-she gets c-c-cancer!!! What if she becomes a d-d-drug addict?" I truly felt that the world finally had me by the BALLS. I had skipped carelessly though life up until then, saying to fate "Nyah nyah! You can't get me!" It all came to a screeching halt the day I became a parent. If anything ever happened to her, my soul would be dessimated. The person known as Meghan would be gone. Poof.

It's hard to assimilate all this into my brain and still be able to function on a normal level. A person has to let go, and reliquish any false sense of control they may have over life, and random accidents, and scary thoughts. What I can do in the meantime is hug my sweet baby close and kiss her dear, fat little cheeks. I can put my nose to my daughter's head and inhale slowly the sweet smell of sunscreen and apple juice and cheerios. I can thank heaven for allowing me to experience this bliss. To feel what I did not know I was capable of feeling. This all consuming love that until now was unchartered territory. This beautiful child who has helped me to believe in God. This strange and wondrous planet of parenthood.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005


Will work for a decent haircut

I got my hair cut today. I sat the chair and DEVOURED magazines, because I don't get to read them much these days. Ironically, Jim has a penchant for signing us up for every subscription known to man, and I have, oh, about 10 1/2 months worth of remedial preiodical reading to catch up on. Since we had Maggie it's just hard to find time to read them.

I happened to catch an article (can't think of the author- sorry!) in which a theory was explored. Her theory was that pretty people get lazy and never develop character. They are never forced to hone their social skills, sharpen their minds, or learn how to tell a story so funny it leaves people gasping for air. The woman who wrote the article told her younger brother that he should date someone who was not attractive but had a great personality. If he couldn't find that, he should date someone who didn't become attractive until they were at least 18 years old. Someone who had been ugly as a child. The final option was to find someone who was pretty, but had lived through terrible experiences, and had been forced to develop character that way.

Yes, this photograph is me. In the third grade. I was probably Shawn Cassidy's biggest fan at the time. Let's just suffice it to say I was not encouraged to enter childhood beauty pageants. Let's also say that my mother should have been arrested for allowing me to have my school picture taken with hair like this. I had sideburns for the love of God. My mullet was at least 6 weeks overdue for a trimming. I am surprised no one called social services.

I was an ugly baby. Even my grandmother told me so. She told me that when I was born, friends and relatives would gather round my bassinette, gaze down, swallow REAL HARD and say something to the effect of ".....Oh. My.....She has such nice....ears. Yes, ears. She has lovely ears!" Then they would change the subject. Ususally by asking for a jigger of scotch. Quickly.

My mother told the nurses who cared for her after my birth that she was not taking me home until they gave me a nose job. AND when the nurses kept telling my father how much I looked like him, she asked them to stop reminding him, lest he feel bad for either A. cursing me with looks that OBVIOUSLY did not work on a girl, or B. inferring from their remarks that that meant that he too, was as butt ugly as the day was long.

For the first 13 years of my life, I was regularly mistaken for a boy. Then I grew boobs, and it was clear that I was simply a girl who kind of looked like a boy.

I would like to think that I have character and intelligence and a witty personality. I would also like to think that I would have had character and intelligence and a witty personality even if I had been born a flaxen haired beauty whose mother had her hair cut on a reasonably regular basis. And don't even get me started on the clothes.

I will admit that I worried that Maggie would be born looking like me, more for her sake than mine. I knew I would love her even if she looked like E.T. , but she was born and she was a beautiful baby. I wouldn't even know if she was ugly actually. I was meant to fall in love with her regardless, and that is exacly what I did. Maybe she is ugly, maybe she is pretty but I really don't care because she is my sweetface stinker.

There are people who take a disconcerting amount of pride in the appearances of their children. It makes me sad to see that. It also makes me want to parade Maggie in front of them with a runny nose, gunk all over her face, an ill fitting outfit and her helmet. Because yeah, my baby wears a helmet, and yeah that is one bad ass HelloKittymotherfucking sticker on the front because she is my baby girl and my baby girl likes hellomotherfucking kitty. Shoot. Someone kick me in the head if I lay claim to my child's appearance for affirmation as a person.

So while my mother may have criminally neglected to keep up with the obvious overgrowth of my mullet, she CLEARLY was not one of those people who derived their self worth from the appearance of their children. CLEARLY. Lucky for her, because if she had been, she may have gone straight home from the maternity ward and stuck her head in the oven.

Monday, July 11, 2005



I found a fun new way to track the stats of my blog.

Through this handy new tool I discovered that someone found their way to my blog by googling “MAMMOUTH BREASTS.”
(someone's enormous tata's were mentioned in a previous post about too much plastic surgery. The double D's in question were not her originals).

So glad to help you in your quest for mammouth breasts.

I do hope you find them some day.

So I thought it might be fun to try to see what total wierdo's could be led to my site by the combinations of words they google. Hmmm...

Superturd snacks
I heart Karl Rove
Win a date with the voices in my head

That should garner some good ones!

or, in an effort to find people like me, birds of a feather so to say, some of the things I google:

"I hate your ass face!" (possibly the best movie line ever in waiting for Guffman)
"more cowbell!" (Possible the best SNL skit ever)

Or perhaps things that I really do feel to be true
"If you don't love Little House on the Prairie you are dead to me!"
"Anne Coulter is an ass face and has a penis nose like Osama bin Ladin" AND
"Anne Coulter looks like a knock-kneed pointy-faced skeletor"
"Paul Wellstone was a man I admire with all my heart"
"George W Bush never made it past concrete operations"
"Patty Griffin rocks"
"French Fries are really good"

These are all things I beleive to be true.

Harriet, Sweet Harriet

This beautiful creature is our Golden Retreiver Harriet. The photo is courtesy of my cousin Shanna, who is safe in Oxford England studying because she is a smarty-pants. She is also an excellent amateur photographer. It was taken on the dock up at my parents cabin in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The U.P. is a beautiful place. I did not join the rest of the family on the 4th of July trip this year because although our cabin is beautiful, there is no plumbing, electricity, or telephone. Our cabin contains a wood-burning stove and two screen doors that slam shut VERY LOUDLY.

I decided that rather than spending the entire weekend chasing Maggie around, trying to prevent her from placing her chubby little hands right on the seething hot cast iron stove and burning the hoo-ha out of them, that we would stay in Minneapolis and enjoy a rare quiet weekend at home. There was that, and then there was the fact that I would have been putting her back to bed 19 times a night because of all the noise that would inevitably wake her up about every 5 minutes. I do not know how our parents survived bringing us up there! I do not regret my decision to stay at home, however I do regret missing the fun and the parade which you can read about on my sister's blog: I want a cookie (link to your right - I am currently link-handicapped).

This blog is named after Harriet. At least it was meant to be, but in all my glorious techno-savvyness and finesse, I confused the URL with the name of the blog, so apparently now my blog's title is I'm Ablogging, which was really intended to be the title of my first post (I was a wee bit excited). The URL is Mydogharriet.blogspot.com. I don't know why I named it that except I adore my dog. SO, This is Harriet. She is the sweetest dog in the world, has no concept of personal space as illustrated be her desire to be ON TOP of you or in your lap at all times. When she is excited she sounds like a wookie. She is obsessed with fetching tennis balls, which comes as no surprise because she is, after all, a retreiver. Harriet NEVER fights with other dogs. Actually that's not exactly true. She does occasionally fight with humpers. But I can TOTALLY understand why she would take a shot at someone who had just tried to unceremoniously mount her.

Harriet has a black lab brother who is the BAD BOY of the house. He has been on my shit list for about 2 weeks now (See his letter of apology in a previous post) for being an ASS. Let's just say that Harriet is NOT the one who knocked Maggie off her little toddler bike while lunging furiously for the throat of my parents Shelte Ernie, inciting a snarling blur of a dog fight. A dog fight in which I had to make a snap decision whether to pick my crying daughter up off the ground or place myself in the middle of a whirling mass of bared teeth and slobber in an effort to preserve the life of poor Ernie (Grandma was there to pick Maggie up and I went in for the dog). A dog fight that left my SWEET PRECIOUS DAUGHTER with a black and blue mark on her forehead and a big old bump. OH YEAH. He is lucky to be alive today that damn dog. He needs to go to manners camp. He is no longer allowed near any dog besides Harriet. Damn, damn dog. That is the second fight in ONE WEEK. Damn dog.

So by comparison, Harriet is an angel. Poor Rainier has all the dog issues in our family. He is a sweet dog really, and he is so affectionate, gentle and good with all things HUMAN. Dogs on the other hand, that is a different story. Our black lab Rainier is a bully and a brute around other canines. He is also chock-full of an entire cornucopia of ISSUES like irritable Bowel syndrome and anger management, and obsessive compulsive disorders and paranoia. He once got Jim's sisters' hand so twisted up in his dog collar that he broke several bones in her hand as she tried to restrain him from killing a squirrel. We are so used to blaming him for every pile of poop we come across we usually don't even consider that it came from his fairer doggie sibling. The golden child.

I have wondered if Harriet is not, in fact, the sweet, laid back lovable, do-no-wrong dog we think she is. What if Harriet is REALLY the evil mastermind behind all of these incidents? What if she is the one who sneaks off in the middle of the night to take a giant runny crap all over our oriental rug? What if it's Harriet who sneaks back to her doggie bed in the dark, chuckling in devious anticipation of the verbal whallop she knows her brother will soon be in for? What if it's Harriet who says "Hey Rainier, see that brand new shoe over there? They said you could eat it!" What if it's Harriet who incites these dog riots by planting a little seed of unrest. Perhaps she whispers to Rainier "Pssst... Hey you. You know that dog over there? Ernie, the Shelte? Yeah. He just said your'e IQ is so low, you are mentally retarded. He said your mama was easy and you were a mistake. He said you couldn't win a fight with a bunny rabbit. Don't tell anyone I told you though. Promise?"

I have considered this scenario as I have stared down our misunderstood black dog of the family. Rainier automatically starts skulking guiltily when you look at him funny. He is THAT used to getting in trouble. I glance over at Harriet who looks up and me wagging her tail innocently. There is practically a halo hovering above her golden head. I think of the times when I was 3 or 4 years old and I was interrogated into admitting to breaking things I never broke, because my older sister Julie was a really good liar at the tender age of 5. I on the other hand, was not so clever. It makes a person wonder, at any rate.

Friday, July 08, 2005


Zen and the art of clover hunting and poo eating.

The morning of July 4th, I found myself facing an entire day of freedom from work and social obligation. It was a beautiful day. Facing all this time, I was inspired to embark on the planning and cooking a lavish al fresco dinner for two. I just do that every once in a while. I perused cookbooks and decided on an antipasto plate of grilled vegetables, steak with salsa verde and a lovely fruit tart for dessert. Preparing the meal involved 3 trips to grocery stores, and a lot of prep work. I only lost my sanity for a short period of time which I attribute to low blood sugar and our friend's and families (not of my origin mind you) propensity for stopping by unannounced. This typically happens when I am walking around bra-less and puffy eyed and still in my pajamas, or during the first 1.5 minutes of sleep during the nap I am making a doomed, vain attempt to squeeze in. But that's for another blog entry. This particular unannounced visit occurred during a vain effort to nap. If the relatives (who I adore, mind you) had woken Maggie up from HER nap, I would have simply handed her over, said "Come back in an hour!", shut the door and gone back to bed. THAT WILL TEACH THEM!!!

The food was delicious but the real star of the show was Maggie. Not only did she sit in her high chair while we ate, but in between courses she crawled around on the grass in the back yard, happy as a lark. Ms Madge went from clover to clover, carefully inspecting the flowers, picking them, delicately holding them between her sweet little fingers and finally popping them in her mouth for one fleeting gleeful moment until I fished them out. She also did this with a lump of dog poo, which led to my subsequent screaming as her poo-streaked hand moved towards her mouth. I fear I did not make it in time. I scooped her up, raced inside, and Jim and I sat her on the sink median, her chubby little legs dangling, frantically washing the canine dung from her hands. She found it all terribly amusing. See, we had cleared the yard of all visible poo, but missed one tiny chunk, which she of course made a beeline for, found, and tried to eat. Because, why wouldn't she?

We went back outside and sat on a blanket as Maggie played with toys and tried to climb up on our furry friends. Our Golden retriver Harriet, seemed to have figured out that the best course of action is to run for her life lest she be manhandled by a giddy, sticky, 10 month old.

Ms Maggie seems to have discovered a love of all things berry, and she SHOVELED them into her mouth, raspberries, strawberries and blueberries flying. Her four pristene pearly whites standing out in contrast to the red gook covering her cheeks.

It was a beautiful day. The sun was shining, the breeze was blowing. We sat under a vast expanse of blue sky and had our dinner and played. I felt small and blessed in my little microscopic corner of the world. Clover, poo and all.

Thursday, July 07, 2005


I Don't Get It

I will try to get beyond the "deeply saddened", "angered" "in my thoughts and prayers" in regards to the bombings in London.

What I can't stop thinking about is that these people were starting their workday, much like I did this morning. They got on the train to go to work, and on that particular day, someone decided their lives meant nothing. Rather, someone took their lives to make a point about a principle that had nothing to do with them at all. As though their lives meant nothing. All that these people struggled with, yearned for and accomplished. All that they never had a chance to finish. Things they never had a chance to say. The people that will never hear them. Unfinished business. Their lives.

I don't understand how a person can become the enemy by default. I like to think I am a decent person. I am certain that the people killed and injured and scarred for life were decent people. How did we all unwittingly enter a war with no geographic boundaries, no heroes, no principle that I can understand, and no apparent end in sight. Insidious. Like cancer. It gets in your head and turns you bitter and angry and hard.

I get that the terrorists don't like the way we live. I'm not crazy about the way I live some days. Some days it seems that there is very little about this life that is a result of my own intention, but rather a result of the circumsances in which I was born. The Century, the Planet, the Country, the City, the Family. Fuck if I know why I am where I am, and why I didn't end up a particle in a comet, or an ant in the rainforest, or a girl born in China to parents who didn't want me because I wasn't a boy.

I once read a book called "The Stand" by Stephen King that scared the motherloving tar out of me. It had to do with the end of days and the few people that remained after the fallout. Some had a calling to one side, and some had a calling to the other. Most of the poor fools that were left didn't know exactly which was which for a long time. At the time I wondered if I would feel the pull to the good side or the bad. I would hope to think the good. It seems some days that there is so much that I do and use and take for granted and comsume that I can see how a person would get confused about where the good side actually is. I can see how the line between good and bad can be muddled and how a person could get confused.

I have seen people use religion and turn it into an ugly, dark, sinister thing. It happens in America. Maybe it's when you assume you are on the right side, without giving much thought to it, maybe that's when a person gets in trouble. Perhaps that is where the quagmire begins. When people claim to know what they couldn't possibly know, and then start pointing fingers at those who don't fall in line. Beacuse they're scared and it makes them feel safe to tell themselves that they know. To tell others they had better watch out and live right.

I don't get it. I am sad that people keep dying for the confusion.
My support for all of England, in particular, those affected by the violence.

Stewie's last day

A year ago last November our family dog, A sweet little shelte named Stewie, began having severe health problems brought on by kidney failure. We nursed him along as long as we felt was humane, flushed his exhausted little system with fluids, and finally made the difficult decision to put him to rest eternally.

Stewie was a quirky little guy. If you ever said "I've got to go to work!" and started for the door, he would hook his front paw around your leg and start to growl ferociously. Then, if you continued for the door, he would hang on tenaciously as you dragged him across the hardwood floor like a fluffy canine Swiffer, growling all the way.

Stewie responded to his name, but he also responded to "Chewy" "Pooie" and "Stupid". He loved to howl along to "Happy Birthday". Birthday dinners at my parents house are relatively chaotic, but even more so when you have a dog howling along to the guest of honor. In fact, Stewie would howl along to most general types of singing, and also when I played "Danny Boy" on the piano. He would nearly piddle himself with excitement the moment you entered the house, and would not cease barking until your gave him his propers. He would follow my father around the house, constantly underfoot. This inevitably led to my father ranting "Goddamned dog! " I think Stewie secretly liked being called "Goddamned dog!" because it never seemed to deter him. He had a whole lot of personality, that Stewie.

We all witnessed his rapidly declining health with heavy hearts and called upon our cousin Brody, A veteranarian, to discuss our plan of action. She agreed to come to our home so Stewie could pass on peacefully in familiar surroundings. Two of my three sisters (Betsy was in France, which was probably for the best, as this was kind of HER dog), my two nieces and I waited uncomfortably for Brody to arrive with her death kit.

On one hand, we were trying to lavish Stewie with attention. On the other had, we did not give him any indication that we were anticipating the arrival of his very own personal grim reaper. It was ackward to say the least. I wanted to cry and shower him with hugs, affection and sobs, but did not want to alarm him and render him privy to his impending fate. We stared at eachother and at the dog, who lay emaciated and listless on the floor, occasionally gathering the strength to look up at us, wag his tail, and twist the knife we all felt plunged deep in our hearts.

Being uncomfortable with the silence and the grief, I did what I usually do in that situation and thought of the most inappropriate thing possible to say.

"You know, we could use his remains to make a zip-up dog-suit and dress Molly's cat in it when we miss him."

"We could save Brody the trouble and just throw him under a moving car."

"After Brody puts the dog to sleep and leaves, let's NEVER EVER invite her over again. When we see her will point at her and wail 'You killed our dog!' and cry, okay?"

My nerves make my head go to very strange places. The sad part being my inability to keep some of these things "inside thoughts".

Brody arrived, and was so very sweet and patient as we all said goodbye to our dear little comrade. She shaved his little forepaw, just like he was a dead dog walking. My God it was heartwrenching. She gave him something to relax him, and then gave him an injection that made him try to force his tired body to get up, that made him yelp once, and that finally made him lie down forever. We were all in tears. Some of us (okay, Molly) were sobbing uncontrollably.

My mind automatically went to that practical place (I get it from my father) and I started to say things like "Dog's don't live as long as people do" and "we really gave him a great life". I must be like, the worlds most annoying person in these situations. I am surprised no one kicked me in the head for being such a sod of a windbag. Like I actually know anything.

Brody took our dear shelte's vacated body and had Stewie cremated. We have his ashes in a box on the shelf in my parents closet. We love to say "SIT Stewie! SIT! Good Boy!" and "Stay! Stay! Good Boy Stewie!"

We think we are terribly funny.
We still miss that little guy.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005


A Letter of Apology to Tilly the Boxer from Rainier, the Labrador retriever

Dear Tilly,

Jim and Meghan, the people that feed me and provide me shelter, told me I had two options. Have a cap busted in my two-bit canine ass, or write a letter of apology to you. I am very sorry for attacking you and ferociously biting your ear and making you bleed all over the back yard. I am sorry for scaring the freaking bejeezus out of you and your owners. Owners who include two lovely adults, and one adorable (and now, sadly, likely psychologically scarred for life) five-year-old boy.

I am sorry that you can’t stay here while your owners are in Las Vegas because I am a giant smelly A-hole of a mongrel. I am sorry they had to spend 45 minutes crouched over you trying to stop the bleeding, and bandaging your torn ear. I am sorry that I made Julie cry, and I am sorry for the spectacular dry aged steaks your owners brought. The spectacular steaks that were meant as a thank you for dog-sitting but were instead eaten in a post-traumatic “thanks for nearly killing our dog and leaving us without a place to keep our beloved family pet while we are on vacation” meal. Your owners are gracious people indeed.

I have no manners. I have Obsessive compulsive disorder. I have Oppositional Defiant Disorder, a Dysfunctional Authoritarian personality, Intermittent Explosive Disorder, and I lack impulse control. This all stems from the time I was taken home by a family and returned a month later because their daughter was allergic to me.
That plus I am a royal A-hole. I’m real sorry.

On the bright side, it was a good opportunity to teach a 5-year old the ins and outs of first aid, and a lesson in why it’s not a good idea to approach strange dogs.

Please accept my apology. Now maybe my owners will change their minds about selling me to dogfighting gang members. They already cut off my balls, so I fear that would be the only suitable next course of action.

Please accept my apology. Ruff.


Sunday, July 03, 2005


I'm Proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free

You know, all the 9/11 references from "W"’s speech on Tuesday really got me thinking.

I recall being particularly shaken and frightened by the destruction I had seen. I was angry about the senseless killings, and I hurt for the families who lost loved ones. People were still searching their lost relatives in the days that followed the attacks.

I wanted to find Osama Bin Ladin and lock him up for good in a rat-infested cell. I wanted to show him the images of the people he killed over and over and over again, like shame-inducing Chinese Water Torture. I wanted his ass. Still do as matter of fact.

That was OSAMA BIN LADIN. Not Saddam. By the way, that was also the man who is still running around free as a bird on this very day. BUT BY GOLLY WE GOT THE GUY WHO TRIED TO KILL "W"'s DADDY!!!

After September 11th, I recall feeling an overwhelming sense of unity with people from all walks of life and all political ideologies. I was not alone. We were all united against a common enemy. There were flags everywhere. Flags on homes. Flags on cars. Flags on lapels.

It was about September 13th, 2001. I was driving to work, listening to NPR with tears streaming down my face. They were interviewing a woman who couldn’t find her husband. He worked in the World Trade Center and was presumed dead. She was crying and talking about how helpless she felt. Wherever her husband was, she couldn’t help him, and that hurt her so much. If he was trapped, she wanted so badly to be there to hold his hand. If nothing else, to simply comfort him and hold his hand. Her story literally tore my heart to pieces.

Place sound of record player needle scratching across the LP abruptly: HERE.

Moments later I looked over to see a woman driving a mammouth SUV. American flags waving. She leaned over, thrust her finger out her window and flipped the bird to the driver that had merged into her lane. Her fellow citizen. Her fellow American. Her fellow Comrade. “Fuck You!” with American flags flapping in the September breeze.

The song “I’m Proud to be an American” began playing sentimentally in my head.

And with that image, I will leave you.

Happy Fourth of July!

Oh, and I also recall a "W" sticker proudly displayed on her bumper. Oh, the Patriotism!

Friday, July 01, 2005


Happy Birthday To Me

I am 33 years old today. That number seems a litle high to me. 33 years.
Today is Princess Diana's Birthday too. AND Liv Tyler AND Dan Akroyd AND Jamie Farr AND Carl Lewis. Happy Birthday to all of you! Dan Akroyd married the blonde lady from Bosom Buddies. Did you know that? Huh? Did you?

33 Years and I still feel like I don't know much. One might say that admitting one's own ignorance makes one more intelligent than, say, one who claims to know everything but in reality possesses the knowledge that is the equivalent of an atom on a flea on a monkey's ass in a tree in a jungle in South America.

It's nice having a summer birthday. I am not so sure about this 33 thing though. 32 seems a LOT younger than 33. I think I am going to have a big problem with 40.

So far I have a gift certificate from Banana republic, a dozen roses, a gel-like ring that lights up and sparkles in blue and red, and godiva chocolates. My sister Betsy and my father can't make it to my birthday dinner and are lavishing me with guilt gifts.

My nieces slept over last night and babysat Ms Madge during my work party last night. Today we went to the pool and Maggie cried every time I tried to hand her to anyone. I secretly like that because it reminds me that she knows exactly who her momma is. On the other hand, I think it makes people who want to hold her feel bad. At any rate the child seems to be securely attached which means she will grow up to have secure successful relationships. We hope.

We are going to Stella's seafood palace and I plan to order coconut shrimp and a lovely assortment of side dishes, and I plan to wash it all down with a tasty buttery chardonnay. Then we are going to have dessert at the restaurant where my sister works. It's a French Bistro and they make these heavenly little sweet desserts. Yum. Yummy yum yum. I like birthdays.