Friday, April 22, 2011

Update on April

It is April (the month) and I am April (the fool).  I thought the title could be a clever play on words, but I already am certain of it's lameness...

Anyhoo!

For those of you that have been on pins and needles waiting for updates about my efforts to get in shape, progress on my garden or the rescue puppy (you know the puppy is the only one of these you find interesting...), I have some sharing to do.  Though, in the interest of altruism, I must advise anyone that is on tenterhooks to hear about my life to get a hobby and at least one friend that does not require batteries or electricity of any kind.

Firstly, I  (idiotic and short-sighted) made an announcement about my plans to get in better shape.  I started a workout plan and, by day 3, every time I went to sit on the toilet I wept in agony from the burning in my thighs.  I made it over the initial I-would-rather-die-600 lbs-and-covered-in-cookie-crumbs-than-hurt-like-this phase and started to see some small improvements in strength and endurance, not to mention my clothes were feeling a little looser.

I should have known that I was in for a treat.  The last time I attempted to get in shape, I put in 6 weeks of hard work, only to have it undone by a severe bout of pneumonia.  I really think God wants me to stay fat.  I know small children and babies love me because I am warm, cuddly and usually smell like baked goods.  Maybe this is my fate....oops...I am rambling again...

So, about the same time I could lift a fork without my biceps feeling like 40 lbs of lead, I got the flu.  Then the kids were sick, then me and on and on until about 2 weeks ago.  

Now, you would think with all the illness, I would be weak, but certainly not fatter.  You, foolish reader, would be WRONG!!  At first, in the best case of denial, this side of Hilary Clinton circa 1998, I honestly was convinced I was setting my dryer heat too high.  All of my shirt sleeves were tighter and some of my usually tent-like t-shirts were form-fitting.  

Reality came crashing down one morning when I put on a bra that had been hiding out in the back of my lingerie drawer (and therefore, had not been 'shrunk' in the dryer).  It was tight enough to cause me to see stars when I ate a quesadilla.  Like the end of a mystery movie where the main character sees all of the clues come together in rapid succession to realize the killer was their lover the whole time, I finally admitted the truth.  "Holy sh*t!  I am GETTING FATTER!!"

My lovely children, attempted to reassure me that I was not, in fact, busting the seams of all my fat clothes.  Nice kids...very poor liars, but nice, just the same. 

It isn't the fat that bothers me...I have been fat since a car accident 14 years ago.  No, it is the fatter.  I don't want to get fatter.  Hell, I don't deserve to get fatter.  It isn't like I have been indulging in all the yummy things I love.  I guess it is because I have been so icky feeling that I have been so inactive and slothful and the weight just packed on.  I don't know why my body didn't just tell all the new fat cells that we were already at max capacity, but they didn't.  Nice betrayal, once again, crap body of mine.

I have gone speed walking twice this week and while I am certain I was hallucinating at some point on the first foray, I intend to stay active as much as possible.  Even when my body fights me on it by doing things like hitting me with migraines, diarrhea ( I know, too much info) or bouts of crippling body pain.  I want to be active for my kids, but more importantly, I absolutely refuse to buy even bigger clothes.  So, I either hold the line against the fat fairy or the locals are going to start seeing a lot more of me busting out of my rags.

As far as the garden goes, there had been very little progress until yesterday.  I had only cleared and planted one very small plot for my lettuce patch.  We have often had lousy weather and my neighbor had offered to use her parent's tiller on my yard, so that I wouldn't have to till it all by shovel.

Pictured: My pathetic attempt at a lettuce patch.

All day I was ill (surprise) and laid on the couch under a blanket, ignoring the dishes and housework and feeding the kids cereal, sandwiches and fruit.

I received a call at 6pm from my neighbor asking me to go outside and show her boyfriend where to till.  I showed him, thanked him and returned to the house.  Once inside, I started washing dishes so that I could keep an eye on the work and because I felt guilty about sitting around when someone was doing work for me.     He made one pass with the tiller and I ignorantly assumed that he was finished, so I rushed to the basement, where the back door leading to the back yard is, preparing to thank him again.
The only partially tilled garden patch with my lettuce patch at the foreground.

But, once I got downstairs, I realized he was going over the plot again.  So, I did some laundry.  He made a 3rd pass.  I felt sick with guilt.  I had stupidly assumed that with the big hulking tilling machine that it was a quick and effortless chore.  Little did I realize that it was in fact a long, hard chore.

After an hour and a half of a guilt induced cleaning frenzy, the machine was silent.  I rushed outside to grovel in gratitude only to be told by my neighbor that since it was getting dark and rain was imminent, they would 'finish' another day.  This tilling is serious work.  I feel like absolute garbage for agreeing to let them help.  Granted it would have taken me 3 years to till what he did, but I feel so bad.  

I asked my neighbor (the tiller guy's girlfriend) if he would like cinnamon rolls or chocolate chip cookies.  She declined.  I insisted.  I don't pick my nose while baking, I promise.  She stated that he does not like sweets, but that he might like some of my homemade bread.  Guess what I am doing this afternoon.  Did you guess clog dancing?  Well, then you are silly.  I will be baking. I am not sure how many loaves of bread it will take to alleviate my guilt, but I am guessing that I will be sick of baking long before I feel better.

Finally, the puppy is doing very well.  He still does not like being outside and in fact spends much of his time trying to struggle his way back to the house, spinning and tugging at the leash.
Trying to make a break for the house.

He thinks my oldest daughter is the bee's knees and follows her everywhere and sleeps next to her each night.  We still haven't settled on a name, I guess because we are  uncertain if he has a future in our home.

Of course, we would love to have him, but not if it means certain eviction.  Living in a wet refrigerator box under a bridge will not be a better home for any of us.

Too cute for words.





Thursday, April 21, 2011

I am a very lucky soul in that I have passed the baby-and-toddler-years-sleep-deprivation-stage of my life.  I spent roughly 10 years in the trenches- I have paid my dues.

A person could be forgiven for thinking that I would be impassive about the occasional sleep-loss, if that person were a total stranger.  Anyone that knows me well, knows that sleep is on the list with God, chocolate and trashy novels as non-negotiables.

I probably have some sort of mental malfunction, because I take insomnia personally.  Like some sort of cosmic kick in the ass.  Imagine how chipper I am this morning after 2 nearly sleepless nights in a row!  IN A CUSSING ROW!  Where am I?  In some sort of torture camp?

Two nights ago, Mother Nature decided to put on a big show for central Kentucky, complete with hurricane force winds, tornadoes, torrential downpours and booming thunder.  Since I don't relish an unscheduled trip to Oz, I stayed up until 2 am flipping through the local stations, tracking the storm along with the weathermen.

In case anyone wonders why I flip around, it isn't because I am so paranoid to think one weatherman might neglect to report that cyclonic death was barreling down on my town.  It is because I find them irritating and can only take listening to each one for just so long before I have to switch to someone else with a different method of getting on my nerves.

But I digress...

Once the threat of death by tornado had passed, I collapsed into bed, only to be kept awake by intermittent thunderstorms for the next couple of hours.  Needless to say, I was not nice mommy yesterday.

Then, of all the unmitigated gall, my internal clock or whatever, decides that after one night of sleeplessness, it wants a repeat performance.  I spent the night playing that game where you keep checking the alarm clock, getting increasingly frantic about my inability to fall asleep.

Finally, at the unholy hour of 7 am I crawled out of bed and decided that since I was already miserable I would clean.  I  also took the puppy out, treated the stray dog  that won't leave my porch for fleas and fed and watered both of them.  I am in such a pissy mood, I just might clean and organize the basement today.

I have also placed a 'Found' ad with the local paper for the stray.  I hope to find her owner, she is a sweetie.  If I can't find whoever lost her, I will need to find a new home for her.  Anyone in my area interested in adopting her, please let me know.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Consider helping a worthy cause

Desiree from the beautiful blog Driftwood Ramblings (think gorgeous photos of South Africa, her garden and pets) is helping with a fundraising raffle to assist their local animal shelter.  Recently, their daughter's beloved dog, Romeo, was killed and they are raising money and shelter animal awareness in his honor.

You can learn more about the raffle and Romeo here: http://driftwoodramblings.blogspot.com/2011/04/please-support-this-worthy-cause-or.html

Closer to home, the puppy we rescued is doing much better.  He is taking nourishment and shows an increase in energy- though not as much as a healthy puppy should.  He seems to be on the mend and I hope to hear good things from the vet when we go next week.

He is a very docile and timid pup and seems to fear open spaces.  When taken outside of his basket, even in the house, he whines and cowers until he is returned to his basket full of blankets.  The only time he is happy outside of the basket is when he is being held (which of course we all love to do- often).


I hope he can overcome his fear of being in the open, so that he might fully enjoy himself.  If anyone has had similar experiences with a dog, I would be interested in hearing them.

Don't forget to check out Desiree's blog and if you can't participate in the raffle, consider doing something for a shelter in your area.  Shelters often need everything from food, cat litter and blankets to volunteers to help walk and groom the animals.  If you need help finding a shelter in your area (in the US), you can try the ASPCA shelter finder.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Foster Pup

My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am.  ~Author Unknown


My youngest and my mother's dog, Xia.

I am not a people person.  I am an animal person.  At one point we had 2 guinea pigs, a rabbit, a cat, a dog, 2 parakeets, 2 rats and a bowlful of fish.  More recently we had Mittens (a sweet stray cat that we found at Christmas time a couple years ago) and Benji ( a very sweet and wonderful dog that someone was giving away in the Wal-mart parking lot.

  I loved them to pieces, especially Benji, but when we moved he didn't adjust well to the change and began exhibiting some very destructive behavior, even after 6 months.  My landlord got really peeved about the damage and insisted that the pets find a new home.  I was heartbroken and if I could have found another place as large and affordable, I would have moved rather than lose our beloved pets.



Unfortunately, reality can be ugly, and it was an impossible situation.  I still miss them everyday and it has been about 6 months since we lost them.  Since then, we have rescued a few stray cats and dogs.  Nursing them back to health and finding them new homes or, as a last resort, taking them to the local shelter.

There was even an old tom cat the kids called Oreo (he was black and white) that we fed and sheltered on cold winter nights. Alas, he loved to wander and refused to be litter box trained (it was really nasty!).  In spite of that, he was taken by some former neighbors when they moved to a new house.

Yesterday, my oldest daughter went with some friends to their grandparents' small farm.  She likes to visit there because of all the animals.  A couple of hours after she had left, she called me very upset.  It seems there was a litter of puppies and there was  a 'runt' being abused and bullied by the other pups.  Apparently, it was so bad that the 'runt' couldn't eat or drink without being bitten and chased by the other puppies.  

She asked if we could take it in for a while.  At least long enough for it to get healthy.  I reluctantly agreed.  I love animals, but I also like having a roof over our heads.  I figured we could 'foster' the puppy and find it a new home.

Last night, when my daughter returned with the puppy I was appalled at the condition of the animal.  Too weak to stand, dehydrated and malnourished, with the worst case of roundworms I have ever seen.  

I set to work cleaning, grooming, hydrating, feeding and medicating the puppy.  It accepted all of this without so much as a squirm.  

I am not sure, at this point, if the landlord will allow me to keep the puppy.  I am not even sure the poor thing will live.  I am sure that if the yet unnamed puppy lives a day or a decade- it is far better off today than it was yesterday.

Picture taken just an hour ago.  The weird thing is, this dog looks so much like Benji did as a puppy.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

My youngest and I are still battling whatever bug that decided to ravage our bodies.  She has started on antibiotics because her cold moved into a sinus infection.  I am not quite sick enough to go to the doctor, yet.  I am the type of person that only goes to the doctor when I am fairly certain I will die if I don't.

Everything about going to the doctor is awful for me- the waiting room full of people (sick, snotty, coughing people at that), the smells, the 3 year old magazines coated in bacteria, the poking, and prodding, the freaking weigh-in.  What is with that anyway?  It isn't like I am a growing toddler so the doctor needs to exactly calculate my medication dosage.  He should be able to eyeball me and give me the dosage appropriate for a small rhino.

I think it is all part of the 'fun' package that comes with a doctor's visit- aggravation and humiliation.  Gynecologist's must feel like the  Disney World of the medical profession.

Anyhoo, I still have use of most of my lungs and haven't been delirious enough to schlep to the doctor's yet.

Instead, this morning, I was woke at the obscene hour of 8 am by maintenance men.  For the nest 3 days I have to deal with them in my basement as they paint. You see, that is their 'high tech' way of combating mildew in the basement.  I suppose it is too late to properly build the house and no one wants to be bothered to really fix anything.  Fine by me- the paint kills the immediate problem and I am not the one that has to come back to paint each year.  In this case, incompetence is actually a very ingenious path to job security.

I know I sound grumpy today, because, well, I am.  I have a smashing headache.  It is pouring rain for the third day in a row so my vegetable patch isn't tilled yet.  I have a pile of dishes to do ( really hate dishes...really, really, really...if I weren't so concerned about the toxic wasteland my children and grandchildren will someday inherit, I would use disposable everything.  But, since I love my kids, I end up washing endless dishes...what a waste of energy...*sigh*)  At least it isn't storming right now.

We have had quite a few storms and down here that also means tornado warnings, which are always good for the heart rate, if you are paranoid, like me.   I unplug the computer and TV when it is lightening and basically we sit around in the dark- listening to the wind howl and thunder boom.  Good times- we are one case of rickets away from reliving the 1830's.

It would be nice if at times like that my kids would read a book and amuse themselves, but for what ever reason (switched at birth?) they do not enjoy reading the way I do.  In fact, I can't get my oldest to read anything in book form.  At this point, I am pathetically grateful that I can get her to skim the National Geographic magazine that we subscribe to and I only think she does that because the pictures are so nice.

No, my kids are very energetic and love to be outside, so if forced to stay in, they amuse themselves either running around playing a very dangerous (to me, the paranoid mom, anyway) version of hide and seek in the dark- shrieking and pounding through the house or by doing art projects.

I know you are thinking that the art sounds pretty nice, except that lately my two older ones have taken to drawing very unflattering portraits of everyone and my youngest is VERY sensitive.  Whatever happened to stick people and rainbow pictures?  Why must they attend to the fine details when it comes to drawing a sibling's flaws, but not when it comes to cleaning the bathroom?

More importantly, how am I supposed to concentrate on the bodice ripper I am reading, if they are running around and screaming every minute?  

Monday, April 11, 2011

My youngest and I have been battling a nasty cold all week and my stupid wrist injury is giving me trouble, so I haven't been on my computer much, to blog or otherwise.

I have been working on my 'butt dent' in the couch by watching lots and lots of TV.  Mostly junk, but there is the occasional good show or movie.  Last night I watched one of my very favorites, The Amazing Race.  I don't know if any of you all watch, but if you do, I bet you will agree that it is time for the goth couple to go.

I have been increasingly irritated with them.  It started when the girl had a meltdown during a relatively simple challenge and has snowballed to lots of deception and shady behavior.  I realize people are competing for a million dollar prize, but I would like to think that my ethical self doesn't have a selling point.

I hoped they would get eliminated last night, but instead the Chinese-American father-daughter team got the boot.  Just as well, the girl was great but her father was obnoxious and irritating, too.  I think his most annoying trait was trying to eat in the middle of challenges all the time, talk about an inability to prioritize. Hmmmm....beginning to wonder why I watch.

I guess it is all of the neat places they travel and all of the interesting challenges- making cow poop patties to fuel fires was a particularly nasty one last night.  And, not all of the contestants are annoying.

I used to watch Survivor, but I got sick of all the back-stabbing, sniping and gossiping.  If I found that interesting, I would go back to high school.  That being said, I would never, ever be able to compete on Survivor.

Even if I were willing to be so filthy and tired, I would likely be the first contestant to throttle someone.  The only thing worse than being stranded on an island would be being stranded with a bunch of people.  Shocking that I don't care for people, I know.

Here's hoping for a quiet week of recuperation and good TV.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Weekend Wrap-Up

Once again, my house and yard were THE PLACE to be this weekend. 

 We had water balloon and whipped cream balloon fights, which of course led to hose and bucket fights once the balloon supply was exhausted.  It was warm, but quite windy, which did make for some chilly kids in soaked clothes and also led to the funniest thing I heard all weekend.

There is this boy that visits his mom on weekends.  He is one of those wild daredevil types.  I have seen him and his brother pull stunts like sled on ice sitting in a mop bucket, pull one another in a toy shopping cart down the street behind a dirt bike and joust with pointed sticks.

After being thoroughly drenched several times, he tells the kids that he doesn't want to get wet anymore.  Of course, no one really listens and they continue to chase him.  He starts yelling, "I quit, I am not playing anymore!" SPLASH!  "But I'm a quitter!"  he wailed.

That cracked me up so much, the 'I'm a quitter!'   Still giggling about it!

Don't worry, he didn't get pneumonia and continued to  gleefully risk his life and limbs for the rest of the weekend.

For most of Saturday morning, we had a hillbilly bubble bath in the front yard.

Still not sure who thought of this, but everyone took turns playing in the bubbles and my oldest just went all in!

That night, the  kids used chalk to draw a huge mural on the back wall of my house.

It is hard to see, but it is a big sea dragon and a sun and clouds.

I spent my time either digging, planting and watering my garden-in-progress or sitting on the porch under my pink polka-dot Barbie rain umbrella- the sun on my front porch gets intense!  At one point, I felt the skin on my arm crisping like pork rinds.

I also had to buy a cheapy garden fence to edge my flower beds up front, because I was getting a little crazy about the neighbor kids stomping into the area where my wee flowers are trying to sprout.  At one point, I went CSI and matched the tracks to their individual shoes and told each of them off.

I toyed with the idea of surrounding the beds with 3 foot tall sticks sharpened to a point, but didn't relish the idea of having to pull screaming children off of them, so I resorted to the cheap white fence.  So far it works to remind them not to step there, which is good,  because it wouldn't stop a guinea pig from breaching it.

It was a good start to Spring Break.



Saturday, April 2, 2011

I really am a scatter-brain

I promised to post photos of my furniture once my sectional arrived and it is only taking me 2 weeks to do it.

I have to admit that my girls picked out everything!  

People always ask what the wall says, so I will just save us the trouble and post the quote:
In Our Home
we do second chances
we say grace
we thank God for our blessings
we say I'm sorry
we forgive
we play hard
we do loud really well
we give hugs
we do love
We Are Family

This is a pic of the neat spinning chair  and my new computer desk and yes, it is always this messy!
This is my new bedroom!  I love it, but this photo doesn't do the curtains justice.  They are two shades of purple to match the bedding.
This is my new TV and entertainment center!  It is wonderful!  Before I got this, I had a blurry 19 inch on a precariously leaning TV cart. Since this photo was taken, I have put a quote on the wall above that says:
May the warm
winds of heaven blow softly on this house.

We always loved to hang out together, but it is even nicer now that we have comfy furniture and a giant TV for watching movies.  


Having kids is often like having your own comedy club.  The funniest stuff usually comes when they are being their most serious and earnest.

Some tidbits heard around my house lately:

Son- Owwww
Me- What happened?
Son- I was pulling my pants up and punched myself in the face!
***
After being picked on relentlessly by her brother, my youngest yells at him- "I am going to rip your heart out and squeeze it!"

A good mom would have addressed the murderous plans immediately.  I, however, laughed until I was on my knees with tears running down my face, because, as I told my youngest, "You would have already ripped his heart out, so why do you need to squeeze it, too?"
***

When two very obese ladies appeared on TV dancing at a wedding-
Son- That IS NOT you, Mommy!
Me- Uh, thanks
(almost angry)Son- NO! Really!  You are skinny!
Me- I appreciate the kind-hearted gesture of trying to make me feel good about myself, but as I have told you all many times, fat does not make a person bad.  Just fat.
(shrieking)Son- YOU ARE NOT FAT!!
(hugging me, voice filled with pity)Youngest child- I still love you, Mommy.
***

Youngest- If you ever have a super loose tooth, don't have your mouth open when you put your shirt on- trust  me!
***

While watching a G-rated children's movie, two characters share a very sweet kiss.  My oldest throws down her bag of chips and says, "Ugh!  I was eating!"
***

And the funniest thing to happen in this house all week was when I was lying down reading one night and my youngest came in to cuddle.  We were talking a bit and after a minute she says, "Don't breathe on me, your breath is killing me!"

Not being the first time I have heard this from her, I chuckled and said, "What does it smell like?"

She leaves for several minutes.  I go back to reading my trashy romance- ooo, a pirate scene.  When she returns she has a notebook and a pencil.  She finishes sketching and then shows me a diagram.

I said, "So, tell me what I am looking at."

"Well, this is all the things your breath smells like," she states.

"First, this is a cigarette."

"But, I haven't smoked in ages," I protest.

"It still always stinks like it," she replies.

Good to know and it gets better...

"This is a dirty shoe and this is a foot with toenail, toenail, toenail..., " she points out helpfully.

My eloquent response- "Huh..."

Really warming up to her presentation, she continues, "This is a fish, and this is your lotion, and this is hair and water."

I am hysterical at this point because she has basically described the contents of a garbage can as the scent of my breath.

I make a big show of brushing my teeth and ask her if it has improved.  She shrugs.

Kids are so good for your self-esteem!





Friday, April 1, 2011

I do believe that I live in the best place on earth if you are a fan of inconsistent weather.  Yesterday morning we had snow flurries, today it is sunny and 60.  It speaks volumes about all the other craptastic places I have lived that I have chosen this tornado prone, bi-polar piece of earth to squat on.

Of course, if I ever get fabulously wealthy (note to self- buy a lottery ticket), I will split my time between Alaska and Hawaii.  Truly, the 2 best places I have ever been.  Now, on to your regularly scheduled blog post...
Once you've done the Alcan, you have permanent bragging rights any time your friends start to talk about road trips. Sotck photography of the Aalska Highway better known as the Alcan.  north shore beach


Yesterday, I headed to the local drug store, sale flyer clenched in my sweaty fist to pick up some bargains.  I needed some dish detergent, laundry detergent, toilet paper, vitamins and a pile of Easter candy for my kids.

I had carefully pored over all the local sale papers and the drug store had the best deals.  This is me, though, so you know that it was not a smooth in and out operation.

First, my pregnant friend (of the tuna trip fame)  was with me and she had brought both of her children.  They are 2 and 1 years of age, and for those paying attention, I bet you can already guess that my friend, though sweet as can be, does not have the best decision making skills.

The other thing to note is that her oldest child is what you might call...difficult.  He has always been one of those loud, willful screaming type of children.

The things I will do for a sale on toilet paper.

I should have probably aborted my mission in the parking lot.  As she lifted her comparably angelic one year old from his car seat,  I was left to free the 'biter'  (oh yeah, he bites-often).  Getting bitten was not my immediate concern, however, because her truck door was jammed and would not open.  As my friend yelled across with all sorts of (useless) advice on how to 'work' the handle, I worked up a sweat.

Finally, she put her baby back and came around to show me how to open the door.  Only, the door didn't open and all she managed to do was break the frigging handle off!

I felt my left eyelid twitching and visions of Valium danced through my head.

We finally got both kids out of the car through her side and I picked up 'biter' and she inexplicably decided to allow the one year old to walk across the lot.  He liked it so much, that he stopped, repeatedly, to sit in the middle of the lot or roadway.

This is why I don't deserve friends, because I was so irritated by the several minutes it took for her and the baby to toddle across the lot, that I think I snapped a molar while clenching my jaw.  I could have just left her, but I felt like someone with sense should be there to keep them from being run over.


Once inside, I thought to avert any more plans of baby walking by grabbing two carts.  Only my cart was all busted in the front, so there wasn't a place to set a baby (or my purse, sale flyer and coupons), just a gaping hole along the front.

Sweating, irritated and still twitching, I loaded the little one in the front of the other buggy and 'biter' into the back.  I told my friend that since I had a big list, I would just go ahead so that I didn't hold her back.

Initially, I was irritated that the store had not tagged their merchandise correctly and I had to keep consulting my sale paper to find the right price.  After the 3rd item, I thought, hmmmm....let's check the sale date.  Huh, it seems that my local store sent out their sale flyers nearly 2 weeks before the sale date.  Well, that is just very mean.  Now, I have to toss my careful plans and list and wing it.  Freaking fantastic.

Halfway through the store I have most of my items and I am feeling pretty good about my chances of leaving the store during the year 2011.  Then, my friend finds me and asks me to watch the little one while she takes 'biter' to the bathroom.

'Biter' who is no where near potty-trained, because he is only 26 months, and wearing a diaper, suddenly 'needs' to use the skeevy public restroom at the drug store.

I might be out of line, but I am thinking that the place that smells like a dead cat with suspicious dark streaks on the wall and sink, isn't my first choice for the bathroom to teach the finer points of 'going potty' to my far too young child.

But hey, I got the easy part-  I only have to stand next to the baby while she is catching dysentery from the restroom.  Only, now the baby decides he wants out of the cart and this cart doesn't have one of those little seat belts to strap them down with, so I have to keep fighting him back into the cart.

 At his third attempt to pitch onto the floor, he scratched my twitchy eye lid, which made me treat him like my own.  By that I mean, I used my very stern 'mean mom' voice and told him to sit down.

The result is that when his mother comes out of the restroom, suspiciously soaked down her front, the baby is sitting down and screaming his head off.  I confessed why and my friend just laughed.  Maybe that is why we are friends, because she overlooks the fact that I am a cranky bitch.

I leave her by the snacks as I rush to find some Easter candy to stuff in over-priced baskets for my kids.  I can't help but hear a distinctive 'thwarp' noise every few seconds accompanied by 'biter's' infectious baby giggle.  They are loud and everyone in the store is looking around and I begin to have a sinking feeling- kind of like when you see a kid swinging at a pinata and you just know someone is getting nailed in the head or crotch.

I start tossing chocolate into my cart in my misguided attempt to checkout fast and avoid disaster.  CRASH! SLAM! GIGGLE!  What the cuss?!

It seems that my friend with the poor decision making skills thought it would be perfectly fine to let her 2 year old dangle, standing, from the back of the cart as he mauled a beef jerky display.  When I appear on the scene,  the display is knocked over and the baby has just been rescued from a near head on collision with the floor.

I don't embarrass easily, but I was mortified.  I know sometimes kids act up and you are stuck looking like an idiot, but I knew my friend had not only allowed but encouraged this mini-disaster and I felt like it was my fault for bringing her to the store in the first place.

(In my friend's defense, she is only 21 and she never had any parenting herself before she was tossed onto the streets at age 15.  I realize that a lot of times she just doesn't know the right way to act and I often find myself trying to tight rope between fun friend and surrogate mother figure.)

All I could say, because the twitch was very distracting at this point, was "Dear God!  Not OK!"

I went to the checkout and was lucky enough to be first in line.  Did I say lucky?  Hahahahaha!  I crack myself up.

Halfway through my lengthy order (I went a little nuts buying candy- it was the stress- stop judging!), the register starts making ominous BONK-ing noises.  It seems that the ENTIRE STORES FRIGGING COMPUTER SYSTEM FROZE!  The manager decides to re-boot the system.

This is NOT a speedy process.  I was tempted to abandon my items and call it a day, but I felt like I had already gone through so much just to get this stuff- oh, and I didn't have a single sheet of toilet paper at home.



Now, I felt worse as my friend stood behind me with her cart full of screaming babies and other patrons began to queue behind us.  I was especially concerned about the extremely elderly and frail man clutching the aspirin at the rear of the line.

Finally, the computers are working again and luckily my order was miraculously saved, so we didn't have to start over.  Even better, the manager opened another register, so that the other people could check out and stop staring holes into the back of my skull.  I just hoped aspirin guy had the good sense to chew a couple in the parking lot.

$137 later (holy cuss!) we are fighting truck doors and stuffing babies and merchandise into the vehicle.  My friend, who loves to feed her kids, in spite of the fact that they are mini-Tweedle Dum look-a-likes and the doctor has told her they are not only under-height but severely over-weight, decides to give them ALL of the snacks she bought them in the store.

I got to ride home under a rain of goldfish crackers, Capri Suns and M&M's.  At this point, I am really hoping for divine intervention.  God must have been busy.

Once we pulled into the drive at my house, I exited the vehicle at top speed and unloaded the truck in unseemly haste.  I told my friend 'thanks for the great afternoon' (and no, I didn't sound sarcastic, and yes, I did expect devine intervention via lightening bolt at that point) and told her I needed to go to the bathroom and ran inside.

It is no wonder that I don't have any friends.  I am a lousy person...with a really lousy track record with retail stores.

I intend to use my guilt to dig my vegetable plot today.  If my shovel held, I could probably dig an acre.