Putting the "MO" in MOFO since 2004

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Monday, November 28, 2005


There was HOT!!! HOT I tell you!!!!

Thanksgiving day found us all a bit Punchy from Molly’s thirtieth birthday bash the night before. Our suburban rambler was positively bursting with activity. Much food, champagne and wine were consumed as we celebrated the beginning of Molly’s 30’s. There was a slide show. There was singing. As things got seedier, our life-sized singing Santa was molested by girls not yet old enough to drive. There were photographs taken. With lemons.

The debauchery of the previous night left us tired and giggly on Thanksgiving.

We somehow assimilated the news of the Nick and Jessica break up into our emotional mind frames, took a few moments to re-balance, and got on with the eating. Oh. The eating. It was lovely.

The fourteen guests were seated around the table at my parents house when someone asked my fluent-in-Spanish seventh and eighth grade nieces (and santa molesters) how to say “Thanksgiving” in Spanish. My sister Molly responded with a hearty “Muchas Gracias!”

We indulged in vast quantities of food and general silliness and slap-happiness. It was a lovely event all together. Madge vocalized her new obsession by excitedly pointing from her highchair to the candle on the table and exclaiming “HOT!” forty seven or fifty times throughout the meal. I suspect her internal dialogue went something like this:


And the icing on the cake: Ernie, the family shelte has finally recovered from his mange / allergies / radiation sickness that left him half bald. Mercifully, Ernie has dog fur covering his nether region once again. He is no longer exposing us all to his bare dog balls. Bare dog balls are just plain gross. Even more so when said bald dog balls are flopped over and swinging back and forth as the mange afflicted dog lifts his leg to his ear and scratch-scratch-scratches yet another bald irritated patch of skin.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


Happy 3-0 Miss Molly!

Today is the thirtieth birthday of my dear, sweet, younger sister Molly.

Molly and I share the not necessarily enviable position of middle child. We are both middle kids, and in my opinion, we share much of the middle child neuroses. She is entering her thirties with a small amount of trepidation, but for the most part seems to be taking it all pretty well. And why wouldn't she? She just keeps getting better every year.

In honor of her big day, here is the top ten list of things that are wonderful about Molly:

10. Molly is incredibly funny and smart. Her observations of the world and the people in it leave me reeling with laughter. This is usually due to the fact that:

9. Molly is exceedingly direct. Many times her ideas go straight from inside thought, to blurting them right out. One could say she lacks a filter. She has been known to say things like "You're pregnant aren't you?" to the friend timidly sipping a coke instead of the usual red wine, or, say, "Did you know that means the dog is probably going to DIE?" Some people might get into trouble for this. But not Molly. The reason Molly gets away with this kind of thing is:

8. Molly is a tender hearted person who would rarely if ever say anything hurtful to anyone. She is often as surprised as anyone else that her inside thoughts become outside thoughts. You can tell by the way she sometimes slaps her hand over her mouth in shock. When we put our parents shelte to sleep, she wept like a baby. It's just all right there below the surface. You rarely have to wonder what Molly is thinking.

7. Molly is incredibly sensitive. She cares very much about the people she loves. She can be painfully vulnerable to hurts and slights, but at the same time she is so quick to forgive the offending party when they make an effort to make amends. It is easy to feel like it's okay to be human around Molly. I can't express how lovely a quality that is.

6. Molly has a few, shall we say...awkward years? She told me once that she used to pray that she would be pretty one day. That just about killed me, because I KNOW, as her older sister, I gave her flack for every flaw. As a kid, I gleefully pointed out each physical shortcoming just to make her feel bad because, well I was her older sister and I thought it was my job. I AM SO SORRY! Do you now that I did that because I was jealous and hated sharing attention? Well, just so you know. That's why. And the real kicker is, she turned into the most gorgeous auburn haired six foot tall specimen you have ever seen. Molly is gorgeous. And what makes her painfully beautiful, is that the awkward kid still lingers. She has no idea how pretty she is. That only adds to the appeal.

5. Molly might be sweet and all, but she does occasionally show her temper. She will blurt things out in the passion of the moment. When these statements are not directed at me, they are an endless source of entertainment. We saw a prelude to this the time she kicked out the window in her bedroom because Mom and Dad wouldn't let her watch "Little House on the Prairie".

4. As Molly has grown older, she has gotten more comfortable in her own skin. She is not afraid to ask for what she wants. She has gone from a timid clumsy kid to an adult with a sense of purpose and direction. She has learned how to take risks, and in my opinion, she is just starting to see what she is capable of accomplishing. And Molly is capable of accomplishing ANYTHING.

3. Molly makes up her own mind about people. While she cares a lot what people think, she ultimately makes her own decision every time. That takes courage, and Molly has courage.

2. Molly is a devoted sister, aunt and daughter. I can't tell you how many times she has been there for me when I feel low, or hurt. She is quick to defend the people she loves. I know I always have someone on my team. That means so much. Life is so much better with Molly in it.

And number one:

1. Molly might be 30 years old and a successful real estate broker, but she still plays with dolls.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


I'm not dead.... but I'm very badly burned

So, no. I am not dead. I am just on a bit of a dull-minded haitus.
I am at home from work this week with the smooth madgerator herself. It's one of those weeks that makes me wish I didn't work full time. Because then I miss things like this conversation Madge and I had yesterday all the way back from the grocery store:

Madge, whispering, almost inaudible: "hi."
Me, whispering back: "hi."
Madge: unrestrained giggling
Madge, screaming: "HI!!!"
Me, screaming: "HI!!!!"
Madge: unrestrained giggling
Madge, whispering, almost inaudible: "hi."
Me, whispering back: "hi."
Madge: more giggling uncontrollably

We could have gone on for HOURS. And we both laughed our heads off.
Sometimes this motherhood thing makes me happier than I ever thought possible. And it's those little moments, like in the car, or playing in her room, that end up being remarkable and meaningful in their quirky ways.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005



Here is some advice: That saying about the pen being mightier than the sword? It's completely accurate. It's much easier to impale yourself with a pen.

If you are tempted to use the web-log forum to hash out hurt feelings in an honest, allbeit generally passive aggressive manner, DON'T. Think to yourself, before you hit publish, "is there a part of me that is angry right now? Is this the most appropriate forum in which to express these thoughts? Am I feeling a twinge of passive aggression? Am I doing someone a disservice by revealing this?" If the answer is yes to any one of those questions, stop right there. Because I just impaled myself on my own pen. They say hindsight is 20/20. My feelings were real, without question. However, my judgement was impaired by my need to...to... express my hurt in a way that didn't include owning up to my own feelings to the appropriate people in the most healthy way. I am counting down the days to my next therapy appointment. Thus is the trainwreck I have made of my life. It happens. I am trying to remind myself that I am still a nice person. Misguided at times, and certainly passive aggressive on occasion, but definitely not evil.

On to things that make me happy:

My daughter Maggie
Maggie's pink cowboy boots
Maggie's pink cheeks
Being understood
My dogs
Jon Stewart
Funny thoughful comments
Jim's shoulders and hands
Goofing around with my sisters
Saturday mornings
Peeking in on my sleeping daughter
Going for walks with friends and having good talks
Being treated respectfully
Hugs from my mom. She gives good ones
Sympathy from my dad. He's always got my back
Laughing so hard I can't breathe
Reconnecting with friends I have drifted from
Staying connected with friends I have not
Turtles (don't ask me why, I can't tell you, they just make me happy)
Hearing Maggie say "Fishy" She pronounces it "SHSH-Shee"
Finding connections with people you didn't think you had connections with
Chilren laughing
Big bear hugs when I feel lonely
Seeing my nieces grow into amazing people I want to hang out with
A good cry
Sympathetic ears
A good pair of jeans
Sitting in the sun
My sisters
The breeze when it feels like warm vibes washing over you
Moments when you stop and look at something and are astonished by the beauty of it
Moments when you stop and think about how grateful you are to be alive and to know the people that you know
Thinking of my grandmother Devoy saying "good gravy!" and "Meggity"
Thinking of my Grandma Townsend calling me into her room to give me two dollars. When I was twenty. Because that is how she said "I love you"
Feeling relieved
A pat on the back from my father-in-law
Maggie going "MMMM" when she gives a kiss
Sticking up for myself, even though it's really hard
Chocolate. The good kind that makes me weak in the knees
Watching Maggie with my mother-in-law
Kissing Maggie's head
Watching TV with my sisters
Feeling crazy and finding out you're not crazy from someone who then tells you exactly why you're not crazy and it makes perfect sense
Peace and quiet
Joyous hullabaloo
Seeing the truth for a change, and accepting it instead of trying to change it
Patty Griffin's voice
Feeling comfortable in my own skin
Being talked down from a panic attack by someone who loves me and understands and actually gets me to laugh in my freaked out state
Doing things that scare me
Breaking bad habits and growing from the experience
Being brave enough to admit fault and move on
Going to sleep when my head is tired from too much thinking
Singing to my daughter

Thursday, November 10, 2005


If this is a dream, then let me sleep.

Early in the wee hours of the morning, before the sun came up, before the seven toothed cheese eater awoke, I had a sequence of dreams in which I was having gratuitous mind-blowing relations with my husband.

I KNOW! Ooh. How scandalous!

My husband was lying next to me, sleeping sweetly. He was oblivious to my lustful intentions. I roused out of my dream state. I thought it a good idea to wake him up before Maggie awoke and started making her screeching hungry-monkey sounds.

I leaned over and quietly woke him with a few inviting, initiative gestures. Things progressed quite hotly, thank you very much. It was all so ENJOYABLE.

And then I woke up. Again. My husband still next to me, dreaming sweetly and utterly undisturbed. The process started all over again. I leaned over…., and woke up again. Having accomplished nothing but dreaming of coitus.

I thought “if I could just lift my arm and……” back to dream land. It was exhausting, this cycle of quasi-dreaming. Annoying and exhausting.

Finally, an end to the madness. I startled awake to the lamentations of my toddler, banging her tin cup across the slats of her cell. I rose, puffy eyed from my dream-loop of erotic confusion. I felt tired. I felt like an underachiever. I had been unable to act.
Foiled again.

Coitus interruptus. There is always tonightus.

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Wednesday, November 09, 2005


Happy Birthday Julie

Happy Birthday Big Sister,

It is the anniversary of the birth of my sister Julie. The eldest of the four sisters.

She is my one and only older sister, and we were lumped together as “Children, Part I”, before Molly and Betsy were born, creating “Children, Part Deux”.

In honor of her Birthday, I present the top ten list of things that are wonderful about Miss Julie.

10. Julie has a finely honed creative wit and a marvelous sense of humor. This was evident even back in the old days when she would cut out magazine pictures and paste them in a scrap book, making satirical comic books of our family vacations to the cabin.

9. Julie sees the truth in things. That skill did not come easy. She has worked extremely hard to find her own truths. In doing so, she seems to have discovered a talent for seeing truth in things beyond her own life. She sees past a lot of bullshit, and fortunately for those around her, she is usually too polite to point out the disparities.

8. Julie has raised two incredible daughters. She has raised them WELL. They are witty, creative, sharp, kind, and so much fun to be around. The energy, creativity, wit, and charm of her daughters are a direct reflection of her. Though she might not admit that.

7. She has been through some tough times. Some really tough times. She survived them with grace and dignity. Julie revealed to the world, her astounding capacity for growth in difficult circumstances. Julie has made mistakes, just like we all do. What makes her remarkable is the courage she finds to persevere, grow, and move forward with a better understanding of her own power. Even in the most dire of circumstances.

6. Julie is a talented writer, which is reflected in her blog which can be viewed here.

5. As Julie pointed out in a recent conversation, she and I are not as different as we once thought. In fact, we are very much alike in many ways, and we discover more and more of these commonalities as we grow. I am so grateful to be her sister.

4. I admire Julie very much, even though she told me my barbie’s hair would grow back when I interrupted her cutting it off with a pair of safety scissors. It never did. But she was only 5 so I forgive her.

3. Julie knits like a rock star.

2. Julie can do anything she puts her mind to. The most charming part of this is how surprised she is by her own ability to do anything she sets her mind to. It seems the doors of possibility are continually opening up in her mind and it is a beautiful site to behold.

1. We may have pulled each others hair out in catfights. I may have resorted to defending myself by chasing her with a sharp knife like a crazed juvenile. I may have kicked her in the head while wearing boots. I may have sat on the floor cross legged with my arms folded over my chest while we were supposed to be cleaning our room, and repeated over and over again “Oh, Huh!.... Oh, Huh!” until her head damn near exploded. But she still wrote a mean note to Nancy Parsons for tormenting me in the 5th grade

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


Monkey See, Monkey Do

How do you discipline a 14-month-old for throwing a banana at you?

Because I really don’t want to raise a spoiled banana-thrower. Maggie would never be invited to birthday parties. Think of the hours she would spend in detention if we don’t get this fruit flinging behavior straightened out.

Yesterday I stopped home for a quick workout over my lunch hour. By the time I was done, Jim had picked Maggie up from his parents. I greeted her with a hug and we enjoyed a few minutes of play. On my way out the door back to work, I grabbed a banana as a pre-lunch snack. Maggie ran up to me with hopeful, hungry eyes, indicating that she wanted some. I presented the banana and offered her a bite. But NOOOOO. That wasn’t good enough. She wanted the whole thing, peel and all. She started flailing and squawking like a chimpanzee high on PCP.

I didn’t want my child gnawing on a pesticide-ridden unwashed banana peel, so I removed the fruit from the peel and handed it to her.

And she screamed, wild-eyed, snatched it from my extended hand, and threw it at me.

Her diminutive body writhed and twitched with fury.


I waved my finger in her face, waggled my head at her and procalimed "OH NO YOU DIH-INT!"

Okay. I didn't really do that.

“No. No. Maggie.” I said sternly, muffling a laugh. I tried again to hand her the banana.

She angrily slapped my hand away.


I tried one last time. Again, she clutched the chunk of fruit in her hand for one fleeting moment, then wound up and indignantly pelted me with it.

It’s hard not to laugh at a toddler in a rabid rage. Really. It is. They look so comical. Like little caricatures of adults, all red-faced and frenzied in their cherubic wrathful state. So overcome with emotion, they just can’t STAND it. They stick their chins out, stomp their tiny feet, and bare their four cockeyed baby teeth at you. Their small arms and legs tremble with anger.

However, as the person responsible for teaching my daughter how to manage her emotions in a socially acceptable way, I think it’s best not to laugh at her, lest she feel mocked. So I hunkered down and did my best to mirror her anger. My non-verbal way of letting her know that I got it. She was MAD. I scrunched up my face, clenched my fists and said “OOOOOH! OOOOH!! Are you SO MAD? SOOOOO MAD!”

She paused her tantrum and cocked an eye at me quizzically. Then she threw her head back and laughed uproariously. She then turned on her heel and toddled off to play in her room, giggle-hiccuping down the hall. The banana was completely forgotten.

Uh-huh, dis my shit.

Chalk one up for Mommy.

I ain't no hollaback girl.


Monday, November 07, 2005


I am cackling sinisterly

I have a fascination with true crime stories.

I spent the last couple of weeks reading a large hardcover book called “Women who kill”.

The title is prominently displayed in large text on the cover, along with a close up of the eyes of a woman who was crazy as a shit-house rat. Myra Hindley.

The stories are creepy and deeply disturbing.

I do suggest reading the book. If the material scares you too much, which they probably will, just slip the book jacket off and place it over a hardcover version of a nice Steinbeck work.

The look on the faces of your family members as they notice the title will be well worth it.

My husband has never been so utterly agreeable.

Thursday, November 03, 2005


Dear Prison Slang Mommyblogger, second edition

Dear Prison Slang Mommyblogger,

My son is having some trouble at school and I am uncertain how to respond. It seems a bully keeps taking Bobby’s sandwich from his lunch. The boy who keeps stealing it will not admit to the crime, and as he has eaten all the evidence, no one can prove anything.

To make matters worse, when my son asks this boy about the missing items, the boy starts to bully him, and has even gotten physical. Again, there was no teacher around to witness the hitting. Should I tell my son to stand up for himself? Should I teach him to respond in a peaceful manner? Please help.


Frustrated mommy in Minneapolis.

Dear frustrated mommy in Minneapolis,

It sounds like your shorty’s switch isn’t making it through the bean chute. Your son’s little spun out rustler keeps ganking his wham-whams and then when he tries to jam him up, he treats your son like an herb and puts up his fop fops. A perplexing situation indeed. Your response needs to be well thought out.

Perhaps the bully feels like a knick-knack, and because of this, he starts plexin’. It seems he is really only mud-checking your son. While his behavior is certainly throwed off, it is still manageable.

Your first instinct might be to teach your son to catch a square and flat wig the toosh-hog. Duffing the bully out however, is not the answer. This might cause the bully to nut up further and go completely off the hook.

The bully may consume the evidence, but Pottywatch is not an option. I suggest your son round up some of his road dogs and ask them to act as cheese eaters. When the bully is confronted by a teacher, they can story up and weezo for your son. The teacher may then pencil whip the boy for shooting a move, and the bully might get sent to the bam-bam. That way no one gets their wig split. I hope this offers a good solution so your son can live luv luv, and eat his cat head and cho-cho without further disturbance.

Your Truly,

Prison slang mommyblogger


Dear frustrated in Minneapolis,

It sounds like your son’s sandwich isn’t making it to the lunch table. Your son’s irrational bully is treating Bobby like a weakling and tries to fight with his fists.

Perhaps the bully feels like he doesn’t fit in. He is really only testing Bobby to see if he will stand up for himself. Beating up the bully is not the answer. This might anger him further and lead to more violent behavior.

Your first instinct might be to teach your son to fight back and flatten the bully. Punching him out is not the answer. This might cause the offender to lose his cool even further and really go nuts.

The bully eats all the evidence but still can’t be subjected to a feces inspection. I suggest Bobby gathers his friends and asks them to act as informants. Then, when Bobby tells the teacher they can back up his story and tell the teacher. The teacher can then write up the offense for the unruly behavior. The bully might get detention. The situation can be resolved without anyone’s head being split open. Then your son can return to living well, and Bobby can eat his bread and ice cream without further disturbance.

Yours truly,

Prison slang mommyblogger

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


Happy Halloween from the Ladybug

And only one short year ago:

When you have children, the days are long and the years are short.

And that's the truth.

We went trick-or-treating to four houses and then went home to pass out candy to the neighborhood kids. I manned the door while Jim played with Maggie.

Each time there was a knock at the door, Jim pulled Maggie's Ladybug hood up over her head, and she ran down the hall to the front door. She offered several wide eyed "Hi!"s to each costumed visitor. Then she would snatch a fistful of candy from our stash.

She gnawed the top off of three boxes of nerds, ate several animal crackers and had her very first milky way bar. Upon her first bite of real chocolate bar her eyes glazed over and a psychotic smile spread slowly from ear to ear. She spent the next twenty minutes stalking me like a sugar jangled smack-addled huffer, high on crank and deperate for her next hit. She scared me. Real bad.

I am so ripping this off of my sister Julie

No wonder no one wanted to play at our house.

The majority of the material in this blog entry was shamelessly stolen from my sister Julie.

I am ripping my sister Julie off (this is my duty as her younger sister) and taking the story of Herkimer, our family’s human skull, one step further. Herkimer was a real human skull. Herkimer was a female skull. I am certain that while she was alive, her name was not Herkimer. At least I hope not.

As Julie wrote in her post, our father obtained our real-live human skull, Herkimer, while he worked for a medical device company. She resided in a box in the dark recesses of my parent’s closet. Way past the hangers filled with dad’s ties. We were NOT allowed to touch Herkimer. I rarely heeded my parent’s rules, and typically would take any warning like that as a challenge to covertly find the forbidden object and play with it whenever we had a babysitter. But not Herkimer. I never touched Herkimer.

Every Halloween, Dad would set up his shrine to Herkimer in the front living room window. He stacked the big atlas and dictionary on top of the radiator, and then he draped a blood red hand towel over the books creating a creepy altar. Then the ceremony would begin. He would retrieve Herkimer form the depths of his closet while we waited, giggling and nearly exploding with anticipation. Then, he gently placed Herkimer on the shrine, and lit a candle on either side to complete the window display.

This was the annual tradition.

I didn’t find this out until just a few years ago, but our father told my younger sister Molly that he found Herkimer in the backyard. Molly was only about 5 years old at the time, and she believed Dad had a human skull because he dug it up in the back yard.

Dad had a human skull because he dug it up in the back yard.

Not only did she believe him, but she went to school and told her friends that her Daddy had dug up a human skull in the back yard and kept it in a box in the closet.

At least he didn’t finish that up with stories about neighbors gone missing.

No wonder we rarely had friends over to play