Saturday, December 30, 2006

NYE Menu

We have friends coming over with their two young children for the evening. I'm feeding the kids mac and cheese, but here's what the grownups are having.

Red Lentil Soup
Turkey and Jalapeno Jack sandwiches with hummous, broiled (ok, the veggie one is having various veggies instead of turkey)
Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers
Cheddar Bay Biscuits
Nachos and Salsa

Various sodas, beers, sparkling juices, iced tea, and champagne.

It's all simple stuff - the only labor intensive part is the poppers, and they're already prepped and in the fridge.

I need a dessert, though. Something simple. I think lemon bars. I love lemon bars. Besides, they'll end the meal on the same note it began - the soup has lemon for garnish.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

I am in a MOOD.

Self indulgent ranting to follow. You HAVE been warned.

OMF the title just says it all. I am sooooooo bitchy, short tempered, and just unable to continue dealing with the shit that keeps piling up for me to wade through.

Work is treating me like a low-wage data entry office slave instead of allowing me to do what I'm supposed to (community outreach/patient outreach/patient goal self management) as an AmeriCorps member. I have calls in to higher ups about that, but in the meantime, it's toil, toil, toil.

We have two cars. One is sitting unused because it needs new fuel injectors (at least that is the theory) and DH refuses to get it towed to a shop to get an estimate, much less get the work done. I am going to have to do it because he claims he doens't have TIME (yet I also work 40+ hours a week, and I'm supposed to have time?!)

The other one is experiencing engine noise after we neglected to ever check the oil and it ran mostly dry (DH gets gas the majority of the time but somehow refuses to check the oil or take responsiblility for it, I have to do it because he WON'T (step up and be a man. fuck!) and I forget because I have bad short term memory, which isn't a much better excuse), two repair shops said no point in bothering, it's just going to die at some point soon, unless I want to replace the engine. Dude, I paid less that $1000 for the car and it has 214,000 miles on it. I am not putting a new engine in it.

We have shitty credit and no savings cushion, like most of America's working poor. We live 20 miles out of town and MUST have at least one vehicle.

DH refuses to look for a different/better job (I can't, I am locked into my contract for another nine months - if I quit, I lose close to $5,000 for college expenses and I could be barred from any federal service jobs for life) to help the monetary situation, because he thinks he can't get anything better than being the front desk monkey at Best Buy - we live in Michigan (unemployment capital of the USA!!) and he doens't quite have an associate's degree, so that may be true, but he doesn't even try.

I'm going to therapy but it stresses me out because it's expensive even with insurance ($32 a session, every 2 weeks). It helps, but it's expensive. I want to go back on Zoloft but can't afford it since I don't get any prescription coverage.

Oh, and I'm going on week 13 of AF being absent. Every weeks' dollar store pee test says negative, though. I am probably too fat for my body to work properly.

If you've made it this far, thanks for reading. If you see the lottery fairy, send her my way and tell her to shake a damn leg.

The Holidays Continue

Our daycare is closed this week, so various and sundry folks have been watching Freyja for us. Yesterday and tomorrow, she'll be with my mom, but today she's with one of her favorite surrogate aunties.

Except when I dropped her off, she didn't want to go in until I inadvertently bribed her.

Me: Okay, here we are. Time to get out of the car.
Freyja:Nonononono I na wanna go eider. I no wanna. I wanna go a woek wif you, I go your woek mumma?
M: Sorry, honey, you can't. Auntie wants to see you! (Auntie was by this time standing on the porch, waving and smiling) And you have presents, don't you want your presents?
F: NOOOOOOOOOOOOO. No mumma, no wanna go in...pehsens? I have pehsens? Unna da kimas tee? Ok. Bye mumma, I go in, see Auntie see Abby (auntie's brother) geh my pehsens.

"Pehsens" indeed. I hope she's having a better day than I am.

Holiday Report

We got loot.

Freyja got the entire Little People universe (or it seems like it). I think I have to get some bins to contain each playset so we're not overrun by little plastic people and animals. True, they are soft and squooshy but still annoying to step on at 3 am.

I got a new wafflemaker, which surprisingly works as advertised and makes golden brown, tasty waffles in about five minutes. The last one I had didn't work worth a damn and I am told was at least $40 more expensive than the new one.

I also got a dustbuster like I've been asking for since Freyja became mobile. Whoo hoo!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Damn, I'm kinky!

You scored as Fred and George Weasley. If you went to Hogwarts you would be doing the Weasley Twins. Oooo damn! You are freaky! You are a hell of a women to take on the Weasley twins. Double time!
Go head girl, go head get down!

Fred and George Weasley


Harry Potter


Cedric Diggory


Ron Weasley


Draco Malfoy


Victor Krum


Percy Weasley


No one, your a prude


created with

Hair, Glorious Hair!

I got my hair reshaped yesterday. This stylist fixed up the face frame that the last stylist screwed up. I dyed it this afternoon, and I think it looks pretty good.

Did I mention I just did that whole rigamarole about 5 weeks ago?

I'm all girly. I haven't worn a ponytail in over a month, when a ponytail used to be all I would ever wear.

This hairstyle takes 5 minutes, including the blow dry. I didn't think it was possible, and stylists kept telling me it wasn't, but then I got one who listened and gave me what I wanted, instead of a boring blunt cut that did nothing for me.

Hooray for my cute hair!

Friday, December 22, 2006

The Lord Will Bless You

He will, huh?

I had to answer the phones today at the clinic for 2 hours. I probably spent a good 45 minutes of that trying to explain to this woman that she's lying to me through her teeth and I don't beleive a damn word of it without out and out saying "Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire" to her.

Did you know that mortgage underwriters call on the Friday before a holiday and demand a letter, on your doctor's letterhead, from disabled people to prove that they're disabled? And demand that that letter be faxed to the mortgage underwriter before the close of buisness the same day?

I didn't either. And I don't beleive a damn word of it. You'd get more time than one buisness day.

And truth be told, I was all right with continuing to explain until she told me, "I know it's against the rules, and you're not supposed to, but THE LORD WILL BLESS YOU if you do this and help this poor girl keep her house".

Hold up, lady. I had to hit the hold button in the middle of her platitudes. Lady, you did NOT just say that to me. I put the phone down and looked over at one of our phone nurses, and said, "Hey J, the Lord will bless me if I break the rules for this woman."

Apparently she thinks blessings from her Lord will placate me and get me to do what she wants.

Oh yeah. He'll bless me with a $25,000 fine for violating HIPPA, a potential lawsuit, and the loss of my job. Blessings indeed.

Pardon me while I go laugh hard enough to pee my pants.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Sing, Sing A Song...

We like to sing, the family and I. Kerwin had excellent vocal training in school (small parochial school) and I had four years of private classical training, so we not only like to sing, we're pretty good at it. Freyja's sweet little voice as she pipes in is enough to bring tears to my eyes most days. We sing in the car, we sing at home, we sing in grocery stores. We're enjoying singing carols and other holiday songs right now, and since today's the Solstice, we had a special song to sing last night before bed:

I've been searching through the darkness
return to me, beloved
For the night's gone on too long
return to me, my love
I won't rest until I've found you
return to me, beloved
And you bring me back the dawn
return to me, my love

and one to sing this morning as we drove into town for work and daycare.

The Sun is born again today
We greet the sun's first morning ray
We sing and celebrate the light
The sun's born in the longest night!

Both songs are from the Circle Round and Sing! CD. I love having Pagan songs to sing in addition to the carols and hymns of my childhood - and we're probably as annoying as scary fundies who sing praise anthems wherever they go - but we're not trying to convert anybody.

No, we're out to have a good time, and a good time to us is harmonizing, teaching Freyja to sing, and singing just for the joy of it - for the feeling in your gut when you sing something powerful, and the giggles when you sing something fun. I don't think people sing enough - or participate in music in general. Just listening doens't count, you have to involve yourself. So sing along.

I was really happy to see January's Real Simple had a peice on finding your theme song. I still don't know what my theme song is. Do you? Tell me about it.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Holiday Hell

I have never been happier to have an iPod. I’m not a Grinch by any means, but there’s only so much I can stand of current pop stars with over inflated egos making a self-serving mockery of the gorgeous hymns of my childhood and the classics done better by stars of an earlier generation. This hour of answering phones over lunch is going to take an entire afternoon of Avenue Q and Brigid's Cross to erase.


I stopped at the gas station to get some goodies for my Secret Santa buddy (3 Muskateers anda Diet A&W root beer) here at the office and to cash in an instant ticket (Super 7's Bingo!) that I won $2 on last week. I got another Bingo and a Cashword. I love these two instant games because they're a good play value for $2 - even if I don't win, I had fun scratching the ticket. I reveal the call letters/numbers one by one - DH says it's excruciating to watch me scratch one of these, but I like the suspense. Cheap thrills, and all that.

I won $2 on the Cashword and $10 on the Bingo! Small potatoes, but hey! Lucky me! That's $12 to have lunch with my friend Stephie today.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Thanks - We Think She's Great Too.

Thordora's post got me thinking on how hard it is for me to accept compliments. Both compliments for me, and compliments on my spawn (which in essence, considering spawn is two, are still compliments for me). If some mother at the playground (more likely the mall play area) mentions how cute/smart/funny/potty trained my child is, I have a hard time not blurting a disclaimer out, especially if she has that wistful "I wish my kid was. . ." look on her face.

"She doesn't know her numbers or shapes, though." I don't know if I'm inviting the complimenter to tell me about what she think is amazing about her child (I wish I could say with all certainty that this is the case, becuase I think that every so often, we need Mommy Brag time), or really just brushing off the fact that yes, I DO think my kid is amazing, simply because she's mine.

The more I think on it; however, the more pathetic I think it is that I feel I must apologise for Freyja's verbal skills, early potty training, or great thinking skills. Whoops, sorry. Yes, she's outside the "norm" on those things. Shit. Call the PC police, because she's not right on those exact 2 years and 3 months development charts. It's like covering up for someone else's insecurity.

I don't want my girl to ever feel that she has to apologise for being herself, but isn't that what I'm doing for her? We don't drill with flash cards, or spend long learning sessions when we could be having fun. Instead, we talk to her like an adult, complete sentences, no baby talk (not including sing-songy talking - that is GOOD and builds brain connections - we just use normal words and sentences when we do it). We ask her questions. We help her with pronunciation when she struggles over a word or mispronounces, and ask her to repeat the word in segments. We point out things in her enviroment, things that I would imagine most parents do. I have nothing to apologise for!

I need to stop. I need to learn to just say "Thanks - we think she's great too!" or "Thanks! We think so too! Tell me what's great about YOUR little one," because what use is talking idly when you have the very real chance to make a connection with another human being?

Friday, December 15, 2006

Stadol Dreaming

In my birth story below, I mentioned getting a dose of narcotics while laboring under the influence of Pitocin. They also had to hook up internal monitors, leaving a scab on my newborn baby's head. I found the notebook where I'd written it all down while I was cleaning last night (I didn't even REMEMBER I had it)!!! I thought I'd share.

As some monitor in the room beeped, I apparently was singing "Tainted Love" along with the beeps, adding percussion on my side table (probably next to my coloring book). I can only imagine that Levi's commercial from the late 90's was taking it's toll on my doped up brain.

Coloring in a My Little Pony coloring book.

Talking and falling asleep, then waking up and talking again, to the word, where I left off (this is according to Kerwin)

Thinking everything was incredibly funny.

Making my best friend promise she'd bring me an iced mocha the next day (she did, but the nurses took it away and wouldn't let me have it, the bitches).

Watching the contraction-intensity part of the monitor as I had a contraction but couldn't feel the pain of it and going "whoaaaaaaaaaaa, that was a BIG one!"

I do remember being higher than a kite. I've never done drugs, not even smoked a joint, so that was a new experience. I just wish the experience wasn't associated with labor.

Thursday, December 14, 2006


For Thordora's contest - and my own personal therapy.

Freyja's Birth

32 Weeks.
“I think she’s breech, but I can’t tell because of all your padding!” The nurse-midwife said, in a good-natured teasing manner. We had a good relationship, and she knew how best to get through to me. “Let’s send you for an ultrasound to make sure, if she is, there are some exercises you’ll want to do before she gets too big to flip easily.”

The husband and I nodded; another look at our growing baby was okay by us. Little did I know that agreeing to that ultrasound would start a steep, slippery slope of myriad interventions that would end in what I truly believe, for me, was birth trauma. I’ve learned a lot about labor and birth in training to become a doula – and yes, it was my birth experience that pushed me in that direction – enough to know that what happened to me just shouldn’t have happened at all.

32 Weeks, 5 Days
Checking my voicemail on the way home from work, I found a message from the scheduler at the clinic. “Heather, this is Josi, from the midwives office. I need you to call me back as soon as possible!” Driving down the highway, I dialed the number, my hands shaking and my heart in my chest. I could feel Freyja moving around inside of me, but it didn’t reassure me.

“Your ultrasound showed Freyja as too small for dates. She’s not growing properly, and we need you to come in for a non-stress test as soon as you can.”

I drove straight there, after calling Kerwin at work to have him meet me at the clinic. I got hooked up to the machines and the sound of Freyja’s heartbeat filled the tiny monitoring room. The midwife came in, not MY midwife but one of her partners. “I’m afraid we have to diagnose the baby with IUGR. That means –“

I cut her off. “Intrauterine growth restriction. I know what it means.”

I had twice weekly NST’s leading up to my due date. Every one was fine. I had weekly Doppler ultrasounds to measure the blood flow from my placenta to the baby and how the blood moved through the umbilical cord. Every single one was normal, even the one on my estimated due date as I napped on the table while the tech phoned the results into my midwife. I was terrified at each ultrasound, most of which were scheduled while my husband worked, terrified that they would say “She’s not growing, she hasn’t grown. The blood flow is bad. We have to induce you now. We have to get her out now.”

40 weeks, 3 days.
I wanted to be done. I walked and walked. Miles, it seemed. The baby was still floating, her head not engaged in my pelvis. The midwife checked my cervix. A fingertip dilated. She wanted to sweep my membranes, but I hadn’t dilated enough.

“You know we can’t let IUGR moms go more than a week overdue.”

“I know.”

“Let’s schedule an induction for Friday morning. That’s my call day.”

Small comfort. I went home and read. I wondered if I was favorable for induction. They wouldn’t induce me otherwise, right?

How naïve I was. How foolish and naïve, and impatient and excited to meet my baby.

41 weeks
We arrived at the hospital at 7:30 am, having high hopes that we would be parents by the afternoon.

We got checked into our room, and they came to give me my IV. They couldn’t find a vein in my hand, and it went on the side of my arm. I should have realized that this was a sign of things to come. We were excited, happy. Our labor nurse was wonderful. She was kind, attentive, and funny. I really wanted to have the baby while she was there to help us.

The pitocin was turned up every hour, until I was having contractions every two minutes that kept increasing in intensity. I wanted to hold out. No drugs. My husband was no help. He sat and read, or listened to music on the CD player that was supposed to be for me, to help me cope with labor. He held my hand in an unattached fashion until I told him to put the book away and pay attention, then he was better. I had friends there, and they helped. They distracted me and kept my spirits up. I finally asked for a narcotic at 2 PM, after 7 hours and only dilated to three centimeters. They broke my water so they could install internal monitors, and then gave me the shot of Stadol. I drifted in and out of sleep, coloring in a My Little Pony coloring book that my best friend’s daughter had donated to the cause. I could feel the contractions, but they no longer hurt as badly as before. I could cope, even if I was singing "Tainted Love" along with the beeps of the equipment.

My dad and grandma showed up around 5 pm as the narcotic was wearing off. My husband went to call some friends and family. My friends left to get dinner. My dad went to go to the bathroom, leaving me alone with my grandmother as the contractions came back with such a vengeance. I wanted to sit up, straddle the bed. The nurses kept scolding me, that they couldn’t get the baby’s heartbeat. I knew she was OK. I wanted to sit up, sitting up helped. My grandmother, bless her heart, patted my back and sat with me as I struggled through the contractions on my own.

I have never forgiven my husband for what I see as abandoning me, and I don’t know if I ever will. I don't think that he realizes even now how I feel about this. I am terrified that he'll do the same thing should I attempt a VBAC - I wouldn't give birth again without a doula, no matter what it cost me - because of my fear of my otherwise very thoughtful, attentive, and loving husband leaving me to go yack on the phone.

My midwife came back to check my dilation at around 7:30pm. My cervix had swollen shut. 12 hours of pitocin induced labor, broken waters, antibiotics for Group B strep, all for nothing.

“The baby is fine, her heart rate is great. She's tolerating labor just fine, but we’re going to have to do a c-section because of the Group B Strep and your water being broken.”

I was so tired by that point that I just wanted her out. “Can we turn the pitocin off, then?” I asked.

We sat around for another two hours, waiting for the obstetrician who would do my c-section. I called my mom, who left work early. My dad and grandma stayed around, which was nice of them. My friends came back, but they wouldn't allow Angie in the operating room – she was my photographer. The anesthesiologist came in and explained the spinal procedure to me, and I signed away my right to sue if I became paralyzed. I had a catheter inserted. I met the OB, and I trusted him immediately. I can’t explain why, I just did. My midwife would assist with the surgery.

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I walked to the operating room under my own power, and clambered up onto the operating table. They gave my spinal in that forward leaning position I had wanted to spend my entire labor in while the nurse held my hand. She was a good nurse, too. The OR was so cold, and I was so tired. I just wanted to meet my baby. Kerwin came in, wearing scrubs, a hair cap, and shoe covers, and was allowed to sit by my head.

I don’t remember a lot about the surgery. I wanted to watch, but they wouldn’t let me. I didn’t feel anything, tugging or pain. I heard the OB say, “Heather, your baby is a stinker; she has her head right where I need to cut!”

I knew the moment they had pulled her out, because she started to scream. She was indignant, angry. I could feel her emotions flooding over me. It was 10:50 pm on August 27th. Happy birthday, baby.

“It’s a girl, right?” I said. Nothing about fingers and toes, just needed to know if it was a girl.

“Yes, it’s a girl!” my midwife called. “Wow, she’s chubby.”

“Wow, she’s chubby.” What? Wasn’t she supposed to be SMALL? IUGR and all that? TINY? We were expecting a five or six pounder. They sewed me up after I sent Kerwin off to the nursery with Freyja. It’s all a blur, that part.

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I didn’t see her until an hour and a half later, all cleaned up and smelling like baby wash. She was beautiful. She was eight pounds, one ounce. She had a 34 cm head! One faulty ultrasound measurement screwed up my birth experience. One faulty ultrasound measurement marked me as high-risk, still marks me as high-risk. Intervention after intervention followed, just to “see if she was breech”.

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I could probably pay for years of therapy, and it wouldn’t help. I felt cheated, robbed. I still do. I was so consumed by feelings of guilt and anger that I had a hard time bonding with my newborn. I wanted to bond with her so, so badly, and I didn’t. I had to fall in love with her over time. It wasn’t immediate, and I still wonder if I’m a bad mother because of it. Breastfeeding was an utter failure, and I still don’t know why. Was it because of the excess amounts of fluid pumped into me during 12 hours of induction and 36 hours of recovery? Was it because the ill-educated nurse came into my room at four AM and convinced a morphine-doped post-surgery me that my baby was hungry and I needed to use formula to feed her until my milk came in? Will it happen with another baby?

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The postpartum period was incredibly difficult. My husband went right back to work and a new semester of college classes. I had little help at home. I still don’t know how I coped, just that I did because I had to.

We’re thinking about a second baby. I have the “right” kind of incision, and I’m hoping for a home VBAC. Birth should be fulfilling. It’s such an incredible, life changing event. It shouldn’t be managed and medicalized. It should take place with those you love, in a secure and comfortable environment where one can surrender to it. At least, that’s what I believe.

(I do feel I have to mention that my husband now knows the error of his ways and has been a marvelous and excellent father since he first laid eyes on Freyja in that operating room. The picture below is from her second day of life.)

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Holiday Card: Done!

I thought it turned out rather cute. Freyja was watching "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" which kept her occupied enough to not do one of her trademark cheesy grins. Instead I got a cute candid. I uploaded them to Meijer for 2-day processing last night at 11:30 and got a message that they were done this morning at 8:30. Whoo! Just waiting on the envelopes I ordered now.

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Sexy Dresses

Okay, I found some sexy dresses. Edited for Karrie, I didn't realize the links didn't work! Try it now!

This one is my favorite so far:

I also like this:

And these:

DH doesn't like any of them except the one that securely covers my arms and chest. Which will look like hell on me, becuase it's a sheath and I have a large belly and butt. Flowy empire waist is much more my speed.


Guess what? I'm a grown girl and I'm pretty damn sure I'm getting the sexy lacy one. He can bite my ass. I was even going to get a garter belt and thigh-highs and sexy little kitten heels for fun when we got home from the shebang, but I don't know if he deserves that now. Cover my chest! It's my best feature!!! (other than my sharp mind, you know)

Monday, December 11, 2006

Formal Attire

So, my work is having a big shebang in January. A formal shebang.

I have two very, very nice formal dresses.

How in hell do I lose 50 pounds in 4 weeks to be able to wear one of them?

And considering I likely won't lose 50 pounds, where in hell do I find formal attire to fit my very, very fat ass without spending a fortune that I don't have?

Questions to ponder, for sure. Maybe the Lane Bryant or Roaman's catalogs will have some styles on clearance in a couple of weeks. I hate to buy something like that, though. I'll never wear it again, we don't really ever go anywhere where dressing up is de rigeur.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


While chatting online with Karen and Lori last night, I was working on learning how to do digital scrapbooking. I don't have room or funds for the paper kind, and while previous things I've done (like party invitations) have been cute and all, they're not as fancy as I know they could be. Since I have the inclination, and its' a multitasking sort of activity, I figured I should give it a shot.

Here's what I came up with for our holiday card. Simple and sweet. I used the Holiday 2006 set from Shabby Princess. Yes, I know I still need a picture on there, and probably a few more little embellishments. I plan to stage a photo shoot tonight or tomorrow.

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"Isn't this Burger Bell?"

Song of the day:

It's just been stuck in my head all morning. The spawn wanted to watch the Ultimate Silly Song Countdown yesterday, and His Cheeseburger is number four, I think.

"Waaaaiiiit" I hear you saying. "Wait just a minute. Heather, you're Pagan. Why do you even have Veggietales in the house?"

The answer to that isn't short nor is it easy. I'd like to just blame it on Kerwin, but that wouldn't be quite fair. I was introduced to Veggietales back in high school when a friend brought a Silly Songs singalong to a party I hosted. We all watched it and laughed so hard we cried. Kerwin had been introduced to Veggietales through his nephews, and he was Christian at the time so the "message" of the actual shows didn't bother him. They bugged me, though, so to appease him I said I'd allow Silly Songs in the house for Freyja. Now we preview new Veggie DVDs on Netflix for God and Jesus messages. If there are none, and we're suitably amused (take Lord of the Beans - no overt Christian message, just one about using your gifts to help others which we feel is a good value, not to mention we both were cracking up the entire time) we buy them. It seems simple, but you would NOT beleive the amount of grief we get from our friends, no matter what religion they subscribe to.

Besides, it buys me 45 minutes of peace and maybe a shower without "Mumma? Whachoo doin? You takin a sower? I take a sower too! You usin your soap? And your sampoo? Washin you haiw?"

Monday, December 04, 2006

Spaghetti Sauce

I can cook. I mean, I can really COOK. I make all sorts of weird-ass obscure Indian and Mediterranean dishes from scratch. I make things up, rarely use a recipe, and you should see my spice drawer. I make what DH calls "Quick and Dirty"* meals 5 nights a week. Rachael Ray has nothing on me (after all, I can bake. And my "Quick and Dirty" meals are way cheaper).

Why is it that I can't bring myself to make spaghetti sauce (bolognese, to be technical) from scratch? Every time I just open a jar or a can of "chunky garden vegetable" and dump it into a pan of browned, drained hamburger cooked with onion and garlic. Granted, I do doctor it up a bit, add a little pinch of this or that, a little brown sugar to take the acid edge off. I watch Giada make it from scratch, and I just want to throw things at her overlarge head, with her little carrots and celery and roma tomatoes. Who in hell has time for that(Ok, who in hell that works full time, shares a car with her husband who works full time and attends college full time, and runs around after a two year old)?!

I know it's not that hard. I keep all the requisite canned tomatoes on hand for chili (which I do make from scratch). I just don't know why I should bother, other than the sodium level, to go away from jarred pasta sauce. My mother sneers at me when I tell her we had spaghetti. "From a JAR?!" she gasps. My mother makes two things from scratch - spaghetti sauce, and sloppy joes. This gives her the right, apparently, to sneer and condescend.

I still don't know why my from a jar spaghetti bothers me. It just seems that I should do better, since I know how.

*"Quick and Dirty" came to pass when it was 6pm, I sent him outside to play with the spawn, and called him back in 15 minutes later with a piping hot from scratch "gourmet" meal on the table (Spice Blackened Chicken and reduction suace over lemon-mint couscous with sauteed asparagus spears). He then started raving about me going on "I Want To Be a Food Network Star". Pft.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Three Things Meme

1. 3 Things that scare me: alien abduction, nuclear winter, abandonment
2. 3 People who make me laugh: Freyja, Kerwin, Lori
3. 3 Things I love: cooking, reading (on my own and to Freyja), chocolate
4. 3 Things I hate: bigotry, living paycheck to paycheck, tiara moms
5. 3 Things I don’t understand: bigotry, advanced math, why my elbow itches
6. 3 Things on my desk: I'm not at a desk, but 3 things on my bed are a math book, fluffy comforters, and pillows
7. 3 Things I’m doing right now: typing, eating a cookie, contemplating taking some ibuprofen for my back.
8. 3 Things I want to do before I die: make a REAL difference, learn to foxtrot, write a novel
9. 3 Things I can do: bake, cheer people up, throw a great hissy fit
10. 3 Things I can’t do: become vegetarian, give up chocolate, give up hissy fits.
11. 3 Things I think you should listen to: friends who care, NPR, your inner child.
12. 3 Things you should never listen to: your inner critic, self doubt, and christian rock.
13. 3 Things I’d like to learn: how to play guitar, how to knit, how to use royal icing in all consistiencies.
14. 3 Favorite foods: buffalo chicken, bagels with cream cheese, crab rangoons
15. 3 Beverages I drink regularly: iced tea, water, peach juicy juice
16. 3 Shows I watched as a kid: Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, 3, 2, 1 CONTACT (yay PBS)
17. 3 People I’m tagging (to do this meme): Nobody, because I hate these things!

Friday, December 01, 2006


Anybody in the United States who has ever been a Girl Scout knows what time of year it is. There were no less than four order forms circulating around the office for nuts and calendars three weeks ago. Rather than be fair and order from everybody, I just ordered from the first one I saw. Didn't go overboard, just a wall calendar (they're gorgeous this year BTW) and a tin of cashews. Wonderfully salty, buttery, melt-in-your-mouth cashews.

Kerwin thinks I "forgot" to bring the cashews home from work. Au contraire, husband of mine. I did not forget anything. They are staying at work to feed my 3pm drowsy time slump. They are not going home to be slowly nibbled away by you, so that when I go to open them when I REALLY want them, PMSing on a weekend with an irritating toddler throwing things at my head, they are gone, but for salt and a few cashew-flavored crumbs of stuff in the bottom of the tin. It's what you do with my ice cream, my stash of dark chocolate, and any other treats I bring home. No salty, fat Girl Scout cashews for Kerwin, not this year.


I went to my first appointment this morning (in a blizzard, no less). It went well. I like the therapist, I like the office (in an old Victorian house downtown, very cosy and warm and welcoming), and I like the comfortable couch in the therapist's room. I made my next appointment for two weeks from today, and I think she'll be able to help me quite a bit.

I usually hate therapists, but this one is like me in that she offers personal anecdotes to show her understanding of an issue. Kind of a been there, done that kind of thing, and I LOVE that. She actually listens, not just hears.

This should be a good thing.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

It's Not Unusual

So this horrible pun was posted on one of my boards:

"Doc, I can't stop singing 'The Green, Green Grass of Home.'"

"That sounds like Tom Jones Syndrome."

"Is it common"?"

"Well, It's Not Unusual."

Which caused me to get this stuck in my head:

Freyja's Personal Dialect

While showing Freyja the video Karrie posted of Max drinking hot tea, here is the conversation we had:

Freyja: Hey, a boy! Whas him nayme?
Me: that's Max!
Freyja: Mak? I go dah park wid Mak, ok?
Me: You can't, he lives too far away.
Freyja: Ok, we go in dah caaah intead.
Me: It's a fourteen hour drive, honey.
Freyja: OOOOOOOOOH we go uppa kye in uh airpane when we win da lotto? Mumma you go uppa kye sooner?

she still can't do "sk" "x" and "th" sounds, and "l" within words.
anything with a dipthong she sounds like a down-home Alabama girl
and she says "car" like she's from Boston - caaaaah.

In addition, "uppa kye" is "up in the sky", "sooner" is "later" - she won't say later, I think she thinks if she says "sooner" it will be as she says and happen "sooner". Also, whenever she asks for anything pricey or outrageous we tell her "ok, use your Baby Magick and win us the lotto, then you can have it".

She also remembers anything we ever said to her and works it into conversations constantly. I'm not going uppa kye until late Feburary, but she talks about it all the time. I fear the teenage years.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


So our electric bill and gas bill got paid on time and in full this month. I know for most of you that's not an uncommon occurence, but it is here because we're poor and we have a long commute with a car that is NOT gas-efficient - often we have to wait, or only pay a portion because we need to get to and from work. It also means that I can enroll in the budget plan for both electric and gas - making my payments easier to manage and schedule. Whee! Even coming up on the holidays, I can afford to pay my utilities in full. This is awesome. I feel a little more grown up now.

Our DSL that I ordered two weeks ago has been activated, but it's not working. We've been without internet at home (except for stolen wireless from a neighbor who doesn't make his network secure and continues to pay his stupid tax which we can only access through our back bedroom window anyway) since mid-august when we got rid of Charter because they kept raising their rates - then we couldn't afford it for months - and now we have DSL. The only problem is there's faulty wiring somewhere. We only have two phone jacks and neither of them are giving me a reliable signal. I was all ready to hop online and do some serious holiday shopping last night once I got it set up, but NOOOOOOO. So now Verizon has to come out, check their wiring to wherever they check it to, and then if that doens't work, I have to bribe my dad to come out and check the wiring under the trailer.

Deal of the day - KMart has basic 800 pc Lego and 120 pc Duplo sets on sale, today only, for half price, $12.97 or somesuch. Since Duplos were the main thing I wanted to get for Freyja this year (after my mom stole my damn thunder and bought her the Fisher Price Little People Castle), that was a STEAL.

Monday, November 27, 2006


The past two weekends, I've been sick. This irritates me, as weekends are supposed to be my down time, relaxing time, not be at work and stressed out time. Last weekend it was a tummy bug, and this weekend it was the achey, shaky, sky high fever and sore throat bit. I felt like somebody beat me with a baseball bat! The aches, shakes, and fever are gone now, but the sore throat lingers on. Will I be lucky enough to have it be strep so I can get an antibiotic and feel better in a couple of days? Or will it be viral, and I'll have to wait it out? Oooh! Stay tuned for the next episode of "Why Do I Still Have My Tonsils".

Friday, November 17, 2006


I'd like to just do donations to a charity for my cousins and such.

I brought up the idea to a couple people who thought it was stupid. Yet I haven't gotten any lists or suggestions from the people whose names I have. Wouldn't you rather $15 get donated to a great cause rather than spent on junk you don't really want, which is always what happens to me? I almost always get crap I don't want and won't use. I'd much rather that $15 went to Planned Parenthood or the Make A Wish foundation, or something like that.

Maybe I'm the only wannabe philanthropist in my family.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


My husband is such the asshole. That is all.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

So What's this AmeriCorps thing, anyway?

Since I don't have anything else to post about today (except that you should GET OUT AND VOTE!), and I got a comment from a former AmeriCorps member who found me via NaBloPoMo randomizer (stellar job I'm doing of that, huh?), I figured I'd just tell you all what I do while I'm at my service site.

So. I serve in the Michigan Primary Care Association's AmeriCorps HealthCorps. What does that mean? It means that I'm enrolled in a State level program, versus a National level program. The Michigan Community Service Commission (The Commission) admininsters to my program a grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service (The Corporation). For National Level programs, the grant is adminstered directly to the program from the Corporation. Confused yet? Unless you decide to enlist, I wouldn't worry about it. There are many, many different AmeriCorps programs under three different headings. The first is the program I'm in - where I'm placed in my community to serve the underserved. The second is AmeriCorps NCCC (enn triple cee)(National Civilian Conservation Corps). They are stationed at five regional campuses, in dorms away from their original communities. They are often the first people mobilized after disasters like 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. The third is AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) - VISTAs are similar to what I do, but they do behind the scenes stuff that I'm not allowed to do, like fundraising, grant development, voter registration, etc.

Members typically serve in one of these areas: enviromental/conservation, health care, housing, education, youth development, and disaster preparedness.

My service site is a FQHC, or federally qualified health center, in SW Lower Michigan. We serve medicaid, medicare, uninsured, and under-insured patients with family-practice style care. We do obstetrics. We have a dental clinic as well. As for what I do, well, I do a little bit of everything, from attending outreach events where we have a table and telling folks about our services, to inreach activities like getting kids in for immunizations and women in for well care, to serving as a DONA-trained birth doula (I'm special, not everybody is a birth doula) to moms with little or no support. I have to serve 1700 hours over 10-12 months. I do get paid, and while the Corporation thinks it's enough to live on, if I were single and trying to hack it on my own I'd be screwed. As programs renew their grants, they are able to pay more. I did get more of an increase in my living stipend this year (my second term) than I expected.

It's better than standing all day and working in retail. I've met some neat people and I love getting away for a couple days every 3 months for training sessions. It's a lot of sitting at my desk and reading charts, but I know how to use so many programs now that I could get a job at any doctor's office. I hope to doula for a living once I'm done with my second term.

Any questions, feel free to ask. This is just a basic overview.

Monday, November 06, 2006

St. John's Wort

I finally bought some SJW on Friday, since Meijer had all their vitamins/minerals buy one, get one of equal or lesser value free. Made sure to take it all weekend (1 tablet, 3 times a day). Got up when my alarm went off this morning, and I was alert and awake - ready to face the day. Granted, it may all be psychosomatic at this point, but I'll take what I can get. I already feel a little better, and no weird side effects thus far. Hooray!

Friday, November 03, 2006


Had a rare night out last night. Freyja stayed with Grandma, since Grandma is on vacation this week, and Kerwin and I went out for dinner and a couple of drinks at Old Boys' Brewhouse once he was done with class and I was finished with an evening outreach event. The food was great, the beer was even better - and better still was the fact that I either flirted the right way with the waiter, or the bartender wasn't paying attention and made them twice - we got free "refills" on our respective microbrews. Oktoberfest for Kerwin, and Golden Sour for me. Very tasty!

We're driving home, I've had two pints and I'm just nicely buzzed. Kerwin getting laid is a gaurantee, with no further work on his part if he doesn't kill my buzz. So what does he do? Starts ranting about political bullshit. To understand, you have to know that this is his very favorite pastime. He's a Political Science - Public Administration major. I don't mean to imply that I'm woefully ignorant about political intrigue. When sober and having nothing better to do in the car I'll happily go back and forth with him - but not when my belly is full and my head is just slightly light. And he knows better.

I glared at him. "You're killing my buzz," I stated. "Were you NOT interested in sex?"

He shut up. For two minutes. And then started again. Not on political intrigue this time, but on the (supposed) fact that when I wear makeup, I act bitchier than normal (For the record, I was wearing makeup because of the outreach event so I looked "professional"). I let it lie. I didn't rise to the bait. I just glared at him until he got the hint that he should probably just shut the hell up and try to grope me.

When we got home, I made him empty clean dishes and load the dirty ones as his pre-nooky penance. I still stand by my 1.5 rating - but I hate that he pushes my buttons so much!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Does anybody even like DOTS?


Seriously. What compels people to sit and pick through the bowl of candy on their lap, which is full of nice chocolate things that are definately OK for a two year old to eat, only to plop a tiny-ass tootsie roll and a little box of Dots/Jujyfruits into the eversmiling pumpkin bucket? My kid can't eat those things! Nobody even LIKES Dots. I understand that Dots are cheap, my fellow trailer park dwellers - but nobody likes them. Stop buying them. Buy a $3 bag of DumDums instead - EVERYBODY likes DumDums.

After picking through Freyja's pumpkin bucket, over half of it was stuff she can't have - tootsie rolls, dots, bubble gum. Hardly any MnM's, Kit Kats, Reese's Cups and definately NO Take 5's. Why bother giving out crappy candy that nobody will eat?

It must be schadenfreude - and although I am a major propoent of that phenomenon, I think it's cruel to apply it to cute little 2 year old witches out for a chocolate haul.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

"It Sucks to be Me"

I was first introduced to Avenue Q though a You-Tube video posted on a board I frequent. This video, set to the song "The Internet is for Porn" piqued my interest, but I didn't give it any more thought for a couple of months. Then, I got an invitiation to participate on a Snapple message board and give Snapple ideas, and in return, get gift certificates. Well, hell. I'm opinionated, I like free books and CD's. The fact that I haven't had a Snapple in about ten years didn't seem to matter to them. Not complaining, though.

So the video got mentioned to me again by a completely different source. I was looking for something to spend my amazon money on, so I went looking for the Original Cast Recording and was delighted to find it was only $9.99 (well, plus shipping, because I didn't want to order anything else that day).

I've been listening to it pretty non-stop on the iPod - well, in-between playing Circle Round and Raffi, on the big stereo at home which are Freyja's current favorites. I don't know about anybody else, but listening to songs like "Everyone's A Little Bit Racist", "If You Were Gay", and "You Can be as Loud as the Hell You Want (When You're Making Love)" while toiling away at my service site sure gives me a giggle. I just have to remember to not sing out loud...

Monday, October 30, 2006

Amazing Weekend

I think the title says it all. This was a great, if busy, weekend. I worked an outreach event on Saturday morning. Saturday afternoon, we took Freyja to Trick or Treat at my Grandma's nursing home. She was a cute little witch! On Saturday evening, Kerwin helped our friends Ron and Lori fix their brakes. Well, he helped Ron. Lori and I stayed inside, ate Red Lentil Soup, and wrangled our respective spawn. We played a few hands of cutthroat cribbage spiked with tequila after the kids went to bed and that was a lot of fun. I'd been thinking for a long time that DH and I needed couple friends.

Sunday, Freyja and I just lolled around the house during the day, and in the evening we had our Samhain ritual with Pagan Familes and Friends of West Michigan (and saw Ron, Lori, and the kids again).

Life is okay, considering it's getting to be winter. I'm still struggling with SAD and wishing I knew how to better cope with it.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Potty Progressing

I have to brag, even though I know that I really have nothing to do with it.

Last week's post about pottying ( ) came a moment too soon, it would seem.

We're on day 9 of 1 accident per day or less. There's poop, there's pee, there's waking up from naps dry, there's waking up in the middle of the night to have Daddy turn on the light in the bathroom so she can pee.

Even better? Everything ELSE she's learned over the past 6 weeks has finally integrated into her brain. Where last week we had "A, B, C, E, you, E" we now have the full alphabet song, in tune. She now identifies colors correctly and counts to seven with no mistakes. She started using her words again and stopped pushing, hitting, and biting her little friends at daycare.

The clincher came last night. "Scuse you, Mumma. I want-a get my pa-no (piano - little toy keyboard) out from unna da coush." She doesn't get that she needs to say "scuse ME" instead, but shoot - how grown up was that?

Clouds (looked at them from both sides, now)

Fall is here. The trees are pretty, the air is nippy, and it rains. Constantly.

I've been putting off making a doctor's appointment to restart my anti-depressants for the winter. I have SAD, and it gets pretty bad. I can't afford the good drugs, and generic Prozac doesn't really help me. It's harder and harder to get up out of bed, do my work, do anything. My temper is shorter and shorter.

I have insurance, but it's reimbursement-only. I can't be out the $96.34 for Zoloft, every month, for the 4-6 weeks it takes for reimbursement to come. I may be happy, but I'll be in the dark and freezing, because the other bills won't get paid.

Yet, I want to feel like getting out of bed and going to work.

This sucks.

Friday, October 20, 2006

My Messy Desk

I wish I had my digicam.

My desk here at work is hideous. There's a little clear space in the middle for the laptop, and stacks and stacks of crap on the other sides. I have, at current count, seven projects on the go right now - and I'm one of those "out of sight, out of mind" people - if it goes into the drawer, I forget about it.

To the left, I have the current Provider Incentive Program lists for the biggest of the insurance companies I work with. On top of those, there's a stack of No-Call, No-Shows that I need to go through and pull out all missed prenatals and well child checks under 1 year, check and see if any of those patients are Maternal and Infant Support Services clients and email resulting names/pt numbers over to MSS/ISS. On top of that is an interoffice mailer with brochures for an upcoming health fair that I need to distrubute.

On the other side is a stack of flyers that need to be put in staff mailboxes, two interoffice mailers that have supplies for the other clinic in them, several notebooks, doula project phamplets and posters, Reach out and Read materials, and Provider Incentive Program postcards.

On the shelf I have more postcards, more health observance foo, and a stack of bookmarks. Add all that to the fact that I also have a basket which holds my tape dispenser, stapler, paper clips, and other supply stuff plus a box of kleenex and a phone.

I guess I should quit procrastinating and tackle some of this mess.

I know, that's crazy talk.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Wonderful World of WIC

I had to take Freyja yesterday for her WIC recertification appointment.

Did you know that child size servings aren't the same as adult size servings? I think I did, but I forgot while filling out the paperwork for how much she eats in one day. I used adult servings. So first, I was told that she doesn't eat nearly enough. Was I withholding food from her as punishment? Did I feed her when she was hungry, or force her to wait until mealtimes? She's so small - was I underfeeding her?

My eyes must have bugged out of my head, because the girl eats constantly. The ever-so-saccharine-sweet nutritionist pulled out a chart for child serving sizes and I laughed. "Oh, you mean servings like those. She gets those and more. I rarely restrict her intake of healthy foods, especially at mealtimes."

Then I was told that I was lucky that she was so well proportioned for her size, since I don't show any restraint in the foods she eats. What?! Make up your damn mind! You'd think I was shoving cookies and ice cream down her gullet - this is the child who opens up my fridge and sneaks GRAPES from the crisper.

I grabbed the paperwork and pointed out that we don't feed her chips, cookies, soda, fruity flavored corn syrup drinks, donuts or whatever on a regular basis. That I am VERY careful that the vast majority of her diet is whole, fresh food.

I don't think she believed me. I'm really doubtful that that underhanded blow to my confidence was worth 4 gallons of milk, a couple boxes of cereal, a bag of navy beans, a little juice, a couple cartons of eggs, and a little cheese a month. I'm sad, because I've never had a bad experience at WIC before. I usually extol the virtues of our local program. Guess I won't do that anymore.

Nerves of Jello

Never would have guessed it, huh? I know Genie wouldn't - apparently I scare the hell out of her. I have nerves of jello. Nerves of steel is something reserved for people braver than me. In about ten minutes, I have to go into a room full of doctors and I have to stand there and talk for five minutes about the Doula program and another project (the aforementioned satisfaction surveys) I'm spearheading.

I'm shaking in my shoes. It's not that these people have about 150 years of tertiary and quaternary (is that even a word?) education combined, it's not that they have better grammar, speaking skills, are nicer, or are better composed than me (I have better grammar than at least half of them). It's that I'm basically a bug on the windshield and if they don't like the idea of the doula program, it doesn't go anywhere. Five minutes to sell myself, and I've never been good at sales.

I hope I can keep myself under control and not speak too fast.

Monday, October 16, 2006

The Girls Are Back!

Isn't it nice to get new bras that fit properly and are supportive?

My Name Is, My Name Is, My Name Is....

Shamlessly stolen from Eden, who in turn got it from WriterGirl

1. SPY NAME: (middle name + current street):Lynn Blue Oak (lame)
2. MOVIE STAR NAME: (grandfather/mother + your favorite candy):Betty Brickle
3. GAMER TAG: (favorite color + favorite animal):Blue Giraffe
4. SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name + birthplace):Lynn Muskegon (again, lame)
5. PORN STAR NAME: (first pet + street you grew up on):Speck Covey
6. SUPERHERO NAME: (THE, favorite color, car your dad drives):The Blue Caravan
7. ACTION HERO NAME: (name of character in last film you watched, last food you ate):(Captain) Jack Sparrow Croissanwich

Potty Training Woes

me: "Okay, potty time!"


me: *sigh* "SorryyoufeelthatwaygetyourbehindinthereandgopottyNOW"

spawn: "I CAN'T I TOO TIRED!"

me: *snort* "Then you can take a nap after you go."

spawn: "Noooooooo. *whine* I caaaaaaaaaaan't"

me: *picks spawn up and carts her to the bathroom. helps her undress*

spawn "Nooo!" *scream* *pees* "Yay Freyja! I go potty!" *claps for herself*

me: "Don't you dare clap for yourself, demon child, after I had to cart you in here."

Ver-ba-tim. All weekend. She was doing so well, and now THIS. She was taking HERSELF to the potty, and now this. She's had no trauma, no new things happen, none of those things that The Experts claim can set back potty training.

I think she's lazy. Like her mother. Super lazy. Too busy playing to pee (I don't have that problem, I'm just saying that's how her laziness manifests at her age) or to be bothered to pee.

She's still younger than The Experts reccomend to begin potty training, but we started six weeks ago. I was expecting to see SOME progress by now.

Did Somebody Call For a Doula?

Well, I got my first client through my service site! She's not due until January, but she's all alone, so I'll be meeting with her a little longer than I would for a typical client.

Hopefully I'll get a couple more clients before her, too. That's all I have left to do, my "practice" births, and then I can send in my certification packet and I'll be a certified doula!

At final count, it will have taken me 8 years to obtain my associate's degree (with time off, sporadic attendance, no clue what to do with my life) but less than 8 months to become certified as a doula. Goes to show that when you know what you want, you work harder at it. I'd still like to get a college degree, but who knows what in. Maybe geography.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Would You Like to Take a Survey?

My "big project" right now is patient satisfaction surveys. We get the surveys here at the health center from the Midwest Clinicians Network. They're little scantron sheets with bubbles to fill in. Pretty straightforward, right? Not exactly.

Not only do I have to come up with a protocol for admininstering the damn things, I also have to feild questions from providers and office staff who don't get it.

Oh yeah, I'm also supposed to get volunteers from the community to do the tedious busy-work of filling in the site location and provider numbers on 900 scantron sheets. That's right, 900. 20 surveys per provider and I have 45 providers across four sites. There's eight numbers and eight bubbles on each sheet. That's 7200 bubbles to be filled in completely. Anyone who has taken a scantron test now feels my pain. I know my time is more valuable, blahblahblah and I'm not "supposed" to do clerical work if I can avoid it, but it's way more hassle to find volunteers, schedule them, find them somewhere to work and supervise them while they fill in bubbles than it is to just do it myself, which would only take a couple of hours. The volunteer rigamarole, well, let's say I'm looking at an entire wasted afternoon, and that doesn't even include the billion phone calls to get the damn volunteers in the first place.

I will have one volunteer. Kerwin will be helping me! He just doesn't know it yet - but he signed the volunteer application and said he was available for clerical work, which means he's my slave if I need him to be. Looks like we'll spend some gauranteed time together this weekend!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Colder than a Witch's Heart

"It's Colder than a Witch's Heart Out There!"

True. I'm a (kitchen) witch, and my heart is very warm. But also false - this colloquialism is used to mean it's bitterly cold - and heart is usually teat/tit. My fellow AmeriCorps member here at our service site just uttered this phrase, and for some reason, I'm offended. It's the implication that witches are evil, heartless beings - the green halloween hag, the Wicked Witch of the West, the Evil Stepmother. The implication that witches harbor no warm feelings, do nothing good, and are the bane of good, God-Fearing(tm) folk everywhere, that's what hurts.

Witches, after all, dance with the Devil in the moonlight.

They eat babies.

Kick puppies.

Scare little children. (*GASP*)

Didn't you know? Weren't you aware?

Oh, you missed the memo?

Huh, so did I, apparently. Now, it's likely my fellow member didn't mean to utter a slur against witches of the Pagan and Wiccan variety - lovely people (in general, there are a few crackpots like with any group) who'd much rather blow raspberries on your baby's belly and pretend to nibble at his ears than actually EAT him. A good lot of them are vegetarians - they don't even eat cows, much less babies. I can tell you I'd much rather eat the cow and cuddle the baby.

She doesn't know any better, after all. Society presents green evil witches, and most people just don't know, or have been told by their pastor, or read something in a book somewhere - and they just beleive it. Sadly, it's not worth it for me to correct her, or mention that the phrase is offensive.

Here's the kicker, though. The original "Colder than a witch's tit" doesn't bother me one whit. Not at all. It makes me giggle, and think of other things, like "Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey".

It's the "heart" part that's offensive.

The Unbearable Cuteness of Freyja

I love this photo. Freyja is so infrequently quiet and pensive that a photo like this becomes all the more precious and charming. She was cold from swimming in the big lake, and wrapped up in her ducky towel, she just didn't have much to say. I look at photos like this and think "Wow, I grew that. I created that little person."

Herstory, and a Calling Card.

Welcome to 'blog number four for me. That's right, four. I've been blogging since December of 2000, which makes me a damn pioneer. I spent five years on Xanga, which slowly became the wasteland of the emo kids and little American girls pretending to be Japanese. Then, due to a mishap with a picture (some *ahem* said I wasn't doing a very good job of making my kid into a lesbian), I moved to MySpace. Well, you all know MySpace. It annoyed the everloving hell out of me. Then, my buddy Mikey offered me blogspace on his site. The only problem with that blogspace is that I can't customize it because he screwed up the code - leaving me with default settings that I don't like - and he's busy, he'll never fix it.

I keep wondering why I bother blogging, though - I never remember to hop on and publish. I have great thoughts for great posts when I'm nowhere near the computer. I don't know if it's the popularity disease stopping me, or that I feel like a pretentious twit, or if it's the fact that witter mamas are out there writing wittier blogs. Witty isn't something I accomplish very often - wry I can do. Sarcastic, sure. Outrage, even better at that. What the hell, though. I love writing, and according to a workshop I went to last year it's my "calling card".

So, if you haven't been with me long, allow me to introduce myself. I'm Heather. I'm an AmeriCorps member (just signed on for my second term) - meaning I'm serving my country and community here where I live, instead of in Africa giving polio immunizations (PeaceCorps) or in Iraq getting my ass shot off (Military. Obviously). As for service specifics, I serve low-income moms to be as a doula. I also get people to come in for managed care. I'm married to Kerwin. He apparently blogs too, some political ranting or another. If he ever shares his link with me, I'll add it. We have a marvelously naughty and delightfully precocious two year old daughter, Freyja. Hence the blog title - AmeriMama - being the two things that take up the most time in my life, my AmeriCorps service, and parenting my child.

Settle in. I can't promise I'll post a lot.

Oh, and if you read my archives at Xanga (I don't advise it) do keep in mind that I was "growing up" while I posted there - and utter drivel is to be expected.