Archives for March 2011

Crack is Whack!

My blogging friend, Rancher Mom made a fantastic point with her comment on my last post. She may not know what Urban Outfitters is, but she draws the line at Mom Jeans. She helped me recall that long ago, I made the following vows to myself:

  • I will never have children;
  • I will never ever drive a minivan; and
  • I will never, while I am still breathing, wear a pair of Mom Jeans. Never!

By now, I think you all know that I caved on vow numero uno not just once, not twice, but three times and I did so in rapid succession. Of course, along with rapid-fire baby birthing came the minivan. I cried when I had to drive it for the first time (my husband still thinks those were tears of happiness). However, with respect to my third and final vow (the Mom Jeans), I’m most definitely not caving. Ever. However, I concede that I need to find a happy medium because this isn’t pretty.

did you actually think I’d post my own crackage?

Quick look away before it gets creepy. Crack is whack!

It’s time for mommy to buy some mommy appropriate jeans. Ones that don’t provide the world’s population with a bird’s eye view of my coin-slot.

You see, the thing about motherhood and related house cleaning is that each requires a lot of movement in the form of bending, kneeling and floor sitting that reveal ‘crack’ when one is not appropriately attired. They don’t call ’em low-riders for nothin’! Truthfully, I often forget that I’m wearing low-riding Seven’s or my favorite True Religions. They’re all left over from my pre and early-baby years and I forget that I’m wearing them until a little voice helpfully chirps, “I see your butt crack, Mommy!”

As if that’s not bad enough, along with the announcement of a butt crack sighting, comes my weird compulsion to reach around, touch the exposed ‘crackage’ and confirm its existence. Why do I do this? What purpose does it serve? As if 1/2 inch of butt crack is A-Okay but an inch or more is wholly unacceptable? Next time I’m out at a playdate, maybe I should announce, “I’m only revealing a 1/4 inch of my coin slot today, I really try to tone it down for the under 5 set.”

Fellow mommy Jennifer Garner has also fallen prey to the coin slot reveal.

Last year I bought a pair of Joe’s Jeans on my quest to locate a pair that doesn’t expose crack cleavage or alternatively, have a waistband that rests just south of the girls. BINGO! I had them for nearly two months before I finally had them tailored and on day number one of wear, Stella’s sharp puppy teeth ripped a hole in the knee. Maybe she was making some sort of statement. Perhaps she enjoyed the view that my other jeans provide. Either way, given the fact that we have three growing children to dress, new jeans are a rare occurrence. It doesn’t help that I like my denim (stupidly) expensive. Why? Gap jeans look horrible on me and I’m vain like that.

It would be cheaper if I just attached one of these to my posterior to censor my crackage. A bit of electrical tape should do the trick and has the added benefit of allowing me to literally become a walking Glamour Don’t in the process! It’s a win-win for us all, really…
Having lived through the 70’s and 80’s, I have come to dread the return of high-waisted jeans. Chances are if you’re human, you aren’t going to successfully pull off this look. Here’s proof:
Not enough? How about this?

I’m sticking with my current denim wardrobe until I find a good replacement and in the meantime, I will take comfort in the fact that even Cinderella has fallen victim to the coin slot reveal.
If you are seriously opposed to the sight of other people’s cracks, click the brown box down below to leave a message for your local representative.
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That’s Not Appropriate, Mommy!

One thing I have never claimed to be is socially appropriate. I’m loud and involuntarily roll my eyes at other obnoxious people (notice I wrote ‘other’). If warranted, I’ll happily let you (and everyone around you) know that you are being an obnoxious jerk. To top it off, my humor is somewhat ‘off’ which sometimes causes problems for me with the other mommies that are slightly more mature in what makes them laugh. I’ve had some trouble mixing my sense of humor with child rearing. It’s really hard to tone things down after 30-something years of life sans offspring.
I’ve been holding on to this picture for awhile. I like it. It suits me. Sure, she’s smiling at you over her cup of coffee, but she clearly thinks you’re an ass. I sometimes fight the temptation to pass these words of wisdom on to people who don’t like some of my posts and feel quite comfortable saying so. Believe it or not, some of my posts are actual essays versus mortifying mommy moments and life ain’t always funny, folks. On the other hand, the coffee drinking bitch in the picture above is funny. To me at least…

The odd thing is, I didn’t realize that I had aged out of so many of the things that make me laugh. Perhaps because when we made a left turn onto the road of parenthood, I had no idea that six and a half years could move so quickly, and all while I was often in a zombie-like state. The process has been so gradual. Kate made a respectably sized tinkle in her potty this morning. This is big news. HUGE, even! We’re nearing the finish line of our six and a half year diaper changing marathon and I’m beginning to feel like I’ve been living under a rock, only I didn’t know I was living under a rock. It’s almost as if I got stuck in some weird time sucking limbo…no, maybe more like Ridley in those Aliens movies, I was put into a hyperbaric chamber and stayed the exact same while nearly ten years passed me by.

I was struck with this revelation on Sunday afternoon as I remembered that I used to love Urban Outfitters. When we lived in Boston, I could have had my mail directed c/o Urban Outfitters, 361 Newbury Street. Oh my GOD, I thought, how did I ever forget about that? What has become of me? Who am I? I drive a fucking minivan and lopped off all of my hair into a pixie cut. I’m a *gulp* soccer mom. I’m not going to deny that some tears were shed. I won’t pretend that I didn’t go upstairs to my closet and fondle stilettos that I haven’t worn in a year. I looked at my sad, dwindling wardrobe and decided that I was going to revamp and stock up. My laptop and I were on a mission to make me cool and pretty again. I thought, I’ll just pick up where I left off…

 Urban Outfitters
Joe can read now, so in the interest of a tactful approach to motherhood, I’ll have to forego the purchase of this one.
I….am….a…virg…virgin. Mom? What’s a virgin?
Oh…um, well… A virgin is an angelic being. See? See this halo right here?
Problem is, he’d go to school and draw pictures of angelic beings and call them virgins. It’s bad enough that the words “Pussy Pie” tumbled from his mouth on our ride home this afternoon. In a nutshell, the t-shirt is just not a good idea. Besides, I’d likely just buy it and wear to go running or sleep in it.
Urban Outfitters carries these funny coasters called Indelicate Doilies. Genius. My personal favorite?
“Don’t Stain My Table, Douchebag.” 
Urban Outfitters
I like to sit back and imagine what would happen if I had some of the mommies over and served each of them with a cocktail, one of these doilies and a smile. I think that most of my new friends in Maine would laugh, but you have to wonder…I’m going to stock up and then let you know how that goes.
Speaking of cocktails and other mommies. I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that jello shots are no longer appropriate. Damn! There’s a whole entire book dedicated to them!
Urban Outfitters
Same goes for the “Beer Belt”. I’m thinking that the neighbors might talk if I wear this to the next block party.
Urban Outfitters


Bottom line? I’ve aged out of Urban Outfitters.
Please, make me feel better about my metamorphosis into a haggard, old mommy by clicking on the brown button below. Each click saves me from sagging boobies and erases fine line and wrinkles!
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Hey, Diddle Diddle

Privacy. It’s a precious commodity once you become a parent. Back when I spent my days working and living my life in blissful silence, I had no idea how good I had it. I was clueless to the fact at any given moment; millions of parents throughout the world are taking showers while tiny humans stand inches away watching like creepy little voyeurs. I have a peeper. She stands on the other side of the glass door while I shower and presses her face to glass to gawk. Her peeping is often peppered with a running commentary on the parts being washed. “Oh….boobies, Mama?” or “Feet! Feet!” The problem with these pint-sized peeping toms is that they aren’t at all secretive in their observation of your most intimate moments.

Window Peeping

Once upon a time, I was able to utilize the bathroom without an audience. Now, it seems, there is a constant flow of traffic through the master bath. They like to be kept abreast of current events and feel entirely comfortable sharing your bathroom secrets with complete strangers. Why, just last week a lovely man was here cleaning our boiler and stupidly, I used the bathroom at the top of the basement stairs. Like a moth to a flame, it took only moments for Kate to begin pounding on the door. The clincher was her demanding and piercingly loud line of questioning. “You Poop, Mama?” No Kate, but thanks for planting that gem in the brain of Mr. Boiler Repairman. I tried to pretend it never happened as I handed him a check.

What’s the draw? Do they have radar? Is there some sort of universal beacon that alerts them when parents are indisposed? Seriously, they play alone for hours without showing their little faces, but the moment they hear that barely perceptible click as you close the bathroom door, they are overcome with the undying need to join you. The thing is, they don’t just join you – they observe. They soak it all in and at some point, they begin asking questions.

Gwen is simply dying to know why I occasionally wear diapers. Just last week, David overheard her take on panty liners.

“Joe… once I saw that mommy peed in her pants and now she needs to wear diapers.”

“HUH?”

“I’m serious. She peed her pants.”

The worst part is when they sneak up on you. One day last week, I was fresh out of the shower and enjoying that the hairdryer was effectively drowning out kid-noise. My towel had dropped to the floor, but I was alone so it was A-Okay… until I suddenly I felt tiny fingers crawling dangerously close to…well, use your imagination. After I was done screaming in surprise, I looked down to see Kate who was enthralled with ‘the situation.’ There’s nothing quite as disconcerting as a surprise hand in your nether-region. Hey, Diddle Diddle… remind me to buy some locks for the bathroom doors.

courtesy http://www.omodern.com/

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Joe Cool

No one ever clued me in on the fact that children flip out over the most random of things. Sure, I assumed there would be tantrums about toys and candy, but shoes? What kind of kid has a raging tantrum about the kind of shoes their mother is wearing at any given moment? I fear that Kate, at the ripe old age of two, has inherited that dangerous gene that causes one to become passionate about footwear.

A few weeks ago, Kate felt compelled to style me. As I brushed my teeth she walked in and out of my closet proffering shoes. She brought Uggs, she brought riding boots, she brought ballerina flats, but it was the Jimmy Choos sandals and a pair of Lambertson Truex kitten heels that sent her over the edge. Like a fool, I sat there trying to explain to my two-year-old that sandals just aren’t appropriate for February in Maine. As if she understands that logic… I gave up after 10.2 seconds and stepped over her screaming body as she writhed on the floor with a shoe in each hand. I wanted to give her a time out, but the sight of her tantrum carried me back to the shoe department of Neiman Marcus and that time that I couldn’t afford the black patent leather Manolo mary janes.

On the other hand, I don’t think that Joe has ever really flipped out about anything. When he was a toddler, I used to call him Silent Bob. He possesses a certain level of calm, cool and collected that clearly comes from his daddy. I will never claim to be calm, cool and collected..or quiet. I am most definitely not quiet.

Despite his recent run-in with the school bully, Joe maintained his outward appearance of cool. He’s a guy who’s above it all and can’t be bothered with daily minutiae. He’s marching to the beat of his own (offbeat) drum and I love him for it. However, having addressed the bully issue with the school, my little guy has quickly returned to entertain us with his droll sense of humor.

Joe inherited his sense of humor from me. Yes, that’s right, from me. Okay, maybe David and I are both slightly twisted, whatever…the kid is funny. His use of props and a deadpan expression when he knows he looks ridiculous is simply awesome. 
Lately, he has discovered that with his new talent for spelling and penmanship, he can write whatever he wants. He has taken to composing anonymous notes and leaving them around the house. I found this one taped to the toilet seat in the downstairs bathroom. Very helpful, don’t you think? I mean, really…you never know when a random guest will arrive and have no idea where one is meant to do number two.
His bunk beds have been converted into a fortress. To enter, you must first request permission. Burping and farting are encouraged. The other night, as we performed our chaotic bedtime ritual, Joe’s little voice called out to me from the depths of his afghan stronghold, “Hey, Mom! Lay one on me !” I skipped back into his bedroom, thrilled to be summoned for one more smooch. After all, I’m told those days are limited. When I bent down and drew back the afghan while puckering up to kiss my boy, I was met with my son’s boxer short-clad rump. He was pointing at his posterior and maniacally laughing when he screeched, “Lay one on me baby!”
Last weekend, Joe informed me that his ‘girlfriend’, who I will refer to as “S”, kissed him. I was shocked. “Where did she kiss you?” He smiled a cocky little smile, “On the schoolbus.” I was flabbergasted. Does this start already? “Where did she kiss you?” With an annoyed sigh he said, “the schoolbus.” “No, I mean where on your face?” He rubbed his cheek and distantly smiled, “S told me we’re going to get married someday”. Whoa, fella.
The other night I heard him saying, “C’mon Francisco, hand it over.” A few minutes later, “Hey, Francisco! Get down!” Who was this Francisco person who he was talking to? I entered the kitchen to find him with Kate, who was dancing in the middle of the table. “Dance, Francisco, Dance!” I’ll admit it, my interest was piqued. “Who’s Francisco, Joe?” “Oh, hey mom… That’s Francisco” he said, nonchalantly shaking his thumb in the general direction of the talented toddler performing a soft-shoe on the kitchen table.
It seems that no one is immune a name change. He has begun referring to Stella as Fruff McPooch and would like to go by the Italian version of Joe. Alright, Giuseppe, sure thing.
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Goodbye

When I was four years old, I named him Granbob.

My hair was so long, he called me Crystal Gayle.

I can smell his cologne, hear his snorting laugh and see the glint of shared humor in his eyes.

He’d hold a toothpick in his teeth after a meal and tell us naughty tales.

He played the guitar and taught me how to sing this…

Goodbye Joe, me gotta go, me oh my-oh,
Me gotta go in da pirogue down da bayou…

Jambalaya, crawfish pie, me oh my-oh,
Son of a gun, we’ll have big fun on da bayou.

Goodbye, Granbob. You will be missed. You are loved. I’m sorry I didn’t come.



Where Did My Weekend Go?

Why do the weekends insist of flying by so quickly?

Saturday morning was a mad rush to feed the kids and get everyone to the Pinewood Derby for the 9:30 weigh-in. Joe had a terrific time and although he didn’t win, he was very proud of his car…even though he barely helped! It was clear from the get-go that he didn’t understand that the derby was done in heats, so when his car came in second place in two of the heats, he was thrilled. At the end, he really had no clue that his car placed 9th out of 13. Maybe you will do better next year, kid. Now that we know what the whole thing entails, we’ll get on the ball a little faster.

With the derby done, I needed to get the out of the house before I went utterly psychotic, so on Saturday I went to check out a new vintage/antique store in Windham, Maine called My Sister’s Garage. Technically, it isn’t new, but simply relocated from further north and they have taken over an entire house. Each room is decorated with vintage and repurposed finds, as well as some antiques. I was too busy shopping to take photos and it was a complete mad house since it was their grand opening.

Let me clarify that I’m not planning on changing my blog to focus on “design,” but one of my first posts last summer was all about the kitchen before we started re-decorating. For months, friends and readers have been asking for my ‘After’ pictures. So, I’m finally posting some updated pictures of exactly one half of the kitchen. Why only half, you ask? Well, because the other half was filled with all of the crap from the half that looks neat and tidy in my pictures.

I have been looking for some inexpensive replacements for two of our kitchen chairs and stumbled upon a decent enough find at My Sister’s Garage.

$85 for both chairs and I’m not going to worry about them getting some wear and tear. They work pretty well with the rest of the kitchen decor too, right down to the burlap on the seats that match the drapes I finally finished. Well, I finished them with the help of my mother who doesn’t have the attention span of a flea…thanks, Mom!

A few years ago, I was obsessed with crewel work and bought a few vintage bed covers on EBay. I re-purposed two of them into drapery panels in our downstairs bathroom. For the kitchen, I bought some inexpensive burlap and used my favorite vintage crewel bedspread to make drapery panels.

Here are a few before and after photos of the dining area in the kitchen…

Before/Prior Owners

During


Last summer, while I was agonizing over exactly which color to paint the mantle and the island, we were busy priming and painting all of the wainscoting and woodwork in the room. The wainscoting and walls were both painted Marble White (Benjamin Moore) and I ended up using Farrow and Ball Green Blue for the mantle and island.



After



The next thing we need to tackle is the track lighting over the table and the stove and the countertops. I’m still holding out for carrera marble or soapstone on the countertops and butcher block on the island.
After

 While I was at My Sister’s Garage, I also spotted this vintage grain sack pillow that I couldn’t resist. What can I say, I’m a sucker for terriers. Can you tell? It can hang out with Stella on the window seat.

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It’s a Whittle Car

Following the school bully debacle, David decided that Joe might like to get involved with Cub Scouts. Sure, it’s mid-way through the year but there are several boys who Joe knows in his new pack and frankly, there has to be something this kid is into besides Super Mario and toenail biting binges.

This weekend is the big Pinewood Derby. Joe has been to exactly one Cub Scouts meeting and we’re so totally clueless as to what the whole thing entails. How un-American of David and me, right? I mean, how in the world have we made it to the ripe old age of (not going to say) without ever having participated in a Pinewood Derby race? I blame David. He’s the one born to do things like this…no wait, I blame my in-laws for not exposing my husband to the world of Cub Scouts and the fine art of pinewood derby car engineering. Okay, not really. I actually thoroughly enjoy my in-laws and their son was busy doing things like soccer and hockey and waterskiing and skiing and being chased by the ladies.

Joe, on the other hand, is still entirely innocent about the ladies and he is not interested in soccer. He made this clear last fall when beckoned David to him with his finger at a game and loudly whispered, “I HATE SOCCER!” in David’s ear. Okay, then…point taken.

The kid likes to run and bike. He wants to learn how to surf this summer. If he sticks to those pursuits, someday he’ll be radical. Hell, he might even possess tiger blood and some goddesses. (We’ll keep the rampant drug use, mixed with batshit crazy out the mix.) For now, he could use some social skills to go with his ADHD so, Viola! Cub Scouts. He likes it. He had fun helping (watching) me build his derby car. He sanded the right rear bumper for about 5 minutes and used a normally forbidden black Sharpie to write his number of choice on the car. He’s with David as I type, weighing the car, sanding axles and polishing wheels… the graphite lubricant is waiting.

Until yesterday, I had no idea that this entire process existed.

We picked the car up last weekend. It was a block of wood, some nails and four plastic tires. Huh…

It sat on the counter untouched for an entire week as Race Day quickly approached. I thought the whole idea was that the boys would ensconce themselves in the workshop with man-tools and hash out a design together. The block of wood would gradually take shape and become a race car through Joe’s hard work and imagination. He’d feel pride of ownership and a bit of reward for his hard work and perseverance.

I walked past that block of wood and it began speaking to me. Well, aren’t you a shitty parent.

It’s not my job. I’m the mommy.

You know… the other blocks of wood are almost done. Joe isn’t getting anything out of this experience and how, by the way, is he going to learn to commit to a project or club or relationship if you don’t turn me into a car?

I sat down with the block of wood and a cup of coffee. Oh God, you’re right Block of Wood… we’re not teaching him the right lessons. Where did we go wrong? No wonder the kid has the attention span of a flea…it’s my fault entirely!

Do you know me? I mean personally know me? No? Well, let me tell you that watching that block of wood languish on the counter was killing me. I thought, surely that thing should have some sort of shape by now. A few more days went by and David put some markings on it and put it back down. I just couldn’t help myself. We were three days from Race Day and my need to take control won. I Googled pinewood derby cars and realized how much work needed to be done and it needed to be done immediately!

I rifled through David’s workshop, located a hacksaw and lopped the front end off. Then I got busy whittling. Using one of my beloved (and très expensive) paring knives, the hacksaw and some sandpaper, I spent the better part of my Thursday sawing and whittling a semi-lame car out of a block of pine. No, it’s not fantastic – I agree, but at least the car was on its way and could be painted and race-worthy in time for Saturday morning.

Joe wanted his car to be red. Done.

Joe wanted flames and the number to be ‘909’. Done buddy, and I like your unintentional nod to The Beatles.

My baby says she’s the one
After nine-o-nine
I said move over honey,
I’m traveling on that line

Good luck, little guy!

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Foul-Mouths and Tantrums

“GWEN, STOP BEING A PAIN IN THE A.S.S.!”

These are the words that traveled to my ears while I stood upstairs in the laundry room conquering an Everest-sized mountain of laundry this afternoon.

I’ve stopped admonishing Joe for his use of ‘A.S.S.’ simply because 95% of the time, Gwen truly is being a complete pain in the A.S.S. and, as Joe pointed out not so long ago – technically speaking, if you spell a bad word you aren’t swearing at all. I’m quite sure that the school or other parents might have an entirely different opinion about his technicality, so let’s hope that he limits his spelling of cuss words to the confines of the family abode.

On the other hand, Kate has finally entered that stage where her babbles are somewhat decipherable. Mostly, I love to hear her sweet little voice as she finds her words. Her big blue eyes positively sparkle when she gets a word right and we acknowledge that we understand what she has said. Her new-found speech is simply precious…except, of course, for her pronunciation of ‘walk’.

Yesterday afternoon the girls and I hit the Maine Mall to pick up my new laptop and check out what’s what at Pottery Barn. Unfortunately, Kate has had it with her stroller. The squirmy battle that ensues when she spots her hot pink MacClaren is simply astounding. (For the record, who wouldn’t want to ride around in a hot pink stroller? I’d happily park myself in that hot pink ride and let someone push me around for a few hours…but I don’t fit…and it would look really weird.)

Anyway… yesterday I tried to peel Kate from my hip and tether her into her hot pink prison when she began screaming, “Fuck, FUCK, FUUUCK!” in the middle of the mall. I mean it – she was scuh-reaming. As those filthy words spewed forth from my tiny toddler’s sweet little mouth and echoed into the quiet of the just-opened mall, she repeatedly pointed to the floor.

While I desperately tried avoid causing more of scene, the sales associates in Pottery Barn stood behind a giant bird cage filled with fake hydrangeas and giggled. I thought, go right ahead and laugh you a.s.s.holes, because I’m about to stroll this pint-sized swearing beast into your store. Kate arranged herself into a stiffened, plank position to avoid being locked down and screamed, “I FUCK!” I looked at Gwen who stood wide-eyed and horrified and couldn’t help myself. I began laughing.

Finally, Kate relented and allowed me to click the straps into place. She was reduced to pathetic, sobbing breaths and I was coated with a slight sheen of sweat from our skirmish. I walked into Pottery Barn wearing a triumphant smile and those sales associates ran like the wind to busy themselves with some pillow plumping.

This morning, I dropped Gwen and Joe off at school and drove home with my foul-mouthed little angel. As I pulled her from her carseat, she pointed to the garage floor and sweetly said, “I Falk, Mamma?” Oh, she was trying to say, ‘I walk’? Well, why didn’t she just falking say so?

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It’s a Tumor

As a kid, I was obsessed with the 1800’s or, as I referred to them, “The Olden Days.” So in 1976, I proudly donned a hand-sewn calico dress, apron and bonnet for the bicentennial parade in our tiny lakeside town. I was beautiful…or at least I thought so. In my tiny bubble of a world, I was simply stunning. I thought, surely people are looking at me because I stand out in this sea of children dressed in period costume. My dress is authentic, sewn by my mother’s magical fingers into a cloak of disguise. Someone might even mistake me for Laura Ingalls. Yes, I was a weird kid and here is part of the reason why…

I was born in Westchester County, New York at the end of peace and love and hurtling toward the disco era. I entered the world with a tumor on my right eye. To be exact, it was a congenital hemangioma. As far as hemangiomas go, I really lucked out. It seems hemangiomas that form in the womb are rare, and those that are fully formed at birth are the very rarest of all vascular tumors. Yay, me!

Back in the early 70’s, surgeons shied away from performing surgeries on infants with hemangiomas simply because the spongy, vascular tissue poses a serious threat of hemorrhage when operated on. So my big, ol’ golf ball sized eyelid stayed with me for four years, sealing my right eye nearly shut and robbing my vision.

Some of my earliest memories are the dark mahogany walls in the Park Avenue office of my highly-credentialed eye surgeon. He sat behind a sprawling desk and discussed a treatment plan with my parents while I stared at the painting behind him. It was a gloomy, rain drenched scene. I have seen prints of that mid-century painting at random places throughout my life and it always transports me back to the office of Dr. Byron Smith where I kept my tiny body stiffly perched in a fancy, leather upholstered chair, marveling at the lack of sound in the posh suite of rooms. My memory provides me with the view as just my four-year-old self experienced it. Played back in my mind, everything about that office remains enormous and I am again small.

At some point, my surgeon at Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital declared the danger of hemorrhaging had passed and my first eye surgery was finally performed. The tumor was removed but I was left with a droopy eyelid and a right eye that was blind and extremely lazy. I had surgeries to address those as well and for a time, walked around with a patch over my “good” eye, in hopes that my “bad” eye would catch up. Oh, that bad, bad, lazy eye! The patch didn’t help. Instead, I constantly bumped into the walls that I couldn’t see and I’d peel up a corner of the patch to cheat with my ‘good’ eye.

A few years later, my final “cosmetic” surgery was completed. I was in fourth grade. The funny thing about that cosmetic surgery is that eventually it made my eye almost perfect, but I still can’t see. I don’t feel bad about that though, I’ve only ever seen the world from the perspective of my left eye and that’s just fine with me. You don’t miss what you don’t know. The one thing that cosmetic surgery couldn’t remove were the ugly scars that deeply marred my self esteem. Some of my earliest memories are those of people, both adults and children, stopping in their tracks to gawk at me. As if I couldn’t see them, some would even point or pull back their faces in sneering disgust.

6 years old

In my preschool class, there were two little girls who never failed to be cruel. I have two distinct memories of them. In one, they picked up their coloring books and moved to another table when I sat down with them. The blond turned and told me, “we don’t sit with ugly people.” I quietly cried and looked to the teacher, but she went and sat next to the pretty girls to color. Another day, they turned their backs to me at the playroom kitchen, creating a wall of bitchy exclusion. Angry and frustrated, I picked up a tin pot by it’s red handle and brought it down on the blonde’s head as hard as I could. The tinny clanging sound reverberated through the room and she began to wail. Her friend stared at me with fear and it felt good. I was happy that I hurt that girl. I stubbornly refused to apologize so the angry teacher placed me on a chair near the coats until my uncle Joe came to pick me up.

He stood at the doorway as the teacher spoke to him, jabbing an accusatory finger in my direction. Afraid that he’d be angry with me, I began to cry. I was livid that those cruel, pretty girls were allowed to stay and I was the one being sent home. I heard my uncle laugh and saw his warm, smiling eyes come to rest on my face. He helped me into his red truck and drove me to the hot dog man. I still remember his soothing voice say, “Those jugheads deserved a good whack on the head.” I giggled, delighted that someone agreed with my vigilante justice.

9 years old, following cosmetic surgery

The thing about my family was, they never failed to tell me how beautiful I was. So two years after my run-in with those nasty girls, I proudly marched down the middle of the street wearing my bicentennial costume, banging my cymbals and believing in my beauty. I believed my mother had sewn me a costume that disguised all of me, cloaking my eye and magically providing onlookers with the appearance of a perfect girl. As I got older my family continued to reassure me that I was, in fact, beautiful – that no one noticed my eye except me, I’d smile at their reassuring words but I knew they were wrong.

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Big and Chunky

How shall I say this… My winter coat has become quite large and I’m not talking about my outerwear. I’m referring to the layer of blubber that has accumulated and spread like a fungus over the past few months. What the hell happened? I am officially on my way to turning into a flabbed up and jiggly housewife. I’d like to say that I’m rocking that J Lo booty, but the truth of the matter is that I’m walking a dangerously thin line between a J Lo booty and what is sure to become a big fat ass unless I address the issue immediately.

It’s my own fault really. I haven’t gone running once since winter began. Clearly the ol’ metabolism is winding down, not to mention how much I’ve been enjoying those long winter evenings full of wine and cheese. There’s no way I can pass up the cheese when I’m waddling through Whole Foods. I stand before that case full of fine French cheeses and salivate. I stand there and dream of buying a herd of sheep or cows and crafting my own line of artisan cheeses. I fantasize about going to France to learn cheese making from an old French cheese making master… then Kate yells, “GO, GO MAMMA!” and my fantasy comes to to a screeching halt. The closest I can get to fulfilling my weird cheese fantasy is to buy a hunk of cheese and pair it with the appropriate delicious wine. Thus, I have created a vicious cycle wherein I continue to feed my growing ass. Kim Kardashian would be proud of me.

While we’re here…Is there such a thing as a wine gut? Gwen noticed that my wine-gut wasn’t as flat as it used to be 6 months ago. It’s gone all soft and squishy. She likes it now. I know this because she told me so just the other day while we snuggled. She kindly said, “Your belly is getting so squishy… It’s so nice and comfy now, Mommy. Not like before when it was all hard and pointy.” I’m so glad my wine-gut serves some purpose.

The other day when I was vigorously mixing pancake batter, I arrived at the horrible realization that my ass was moving in unison with my stirring. Well, that’s new! Fear is beginning to slowly creep in. It’s nearly time to confront the blubber build-up and subject myself to a full-length mirror inspection in broad daylight. It’s almost time to drag out the bikini, put it on and gasp in horror at the chunky beast that stands reflected before me. It won’t be pretty, but it has to be done. Consider it an intervention of sorts.

My sneakers are patiently waiting for me in the closet along with my vast wardrobe of running clothes. Last week I put it all on and then laid on the couch to read a magazine and provide Gwen with a squishy spot to rest her little head. Something tells me that its time to step away from the cheese and log some miles on the running shoes. I’ll grab my iPod and play the songs that I purposely loaded to fuel my hatred toward my big butt, namely “Baby Got Back”, “Fat Bottom Girls” and the explicit version of Will I Am’s “Big and Chunky”…because I like filthy lyrics.

I’ve had a shitty week. Throw me a vote, huh?