Avoidance Behavior

See, I am supposed to be talking about my little weekend getaway still, because yeah....there's some unfinished business there, but I'm not ready just yet. As Jane the Sane so beautifully put it, I've gone all Rainbow Brite on crack for a few days. I am in love with Every. Single. Person. In. The. Whole. Wide. World. Specifically, everyone in The Grand Ballroom of the Westin St. Francis Friday last. Really, if you were there, and you are reading this, I would really like to stick my tongue down your throat and wiggle it around ever so slightly.

Unfortunately, Brainy Smurf over here packed 27 shades of eye-shadow, 15 hair products, 3 dresses, 2 hairbrushes, and 0 cameras. Did you know that there are several pictures on FlickR, and that sifting through them for ones to steal borrow is the slightest bit time consuming? Who'da thunk it? (PS: If you happen to have any that I am in, my email is heymrlady at gmail dot com and if you send them to me, I'll promise to never ever make you cry in public again. EVER.)

Long story short, we're not discussing that just yet. So, dammit, I have to find something ELSE to talk about. Let's start with my insane child, shall we?

Do any of you have two year old girls? Two going on three very soon would do. Riddle me this; are they all neurotic freaks? Here's the thing: I gave the kid her bottle back. Shut up. I gave her the bottle back, because it's her One True Love, but she doesn't just take the bottle and drink it. She has to PERFECTLY align the label on the bottle to her mouth. We toy with this, thinking it's just been a 34 month long fluke. We hand it to her with the ounces side facing one way or the other, and every single bloody time she takes it, she turns it so that Avent is right under her lips. Today I upped the ante by replacing the bottle nipple with the pop-in sippy cup nipples they make (best invention ever, btw) and they OF COURSE will not line up. That obsessive compulsive fuddy duddy spent 5 minutes trying to figure out how to make it work, and then told me her bottle was Bwoken. Seriously, this cannot be either normal nor an excellent sign of things to come.

She also follows me around the house, closing cabinet doors behind me. I am 99% sure her father taught her this trick, to shame me, just as he taught his sons that 'You can give momma a wedgie in the front!' Long story, another day.

And because I am the shittiest mother to grace God's good earth, this child has no concept of Getting In Trouble and cannot handle it when it happens. On the rare occasion that I decide to play mommy, it goes a little something like this:

Me: 3of3! No! No writing on the couch with Sharpie Smearing black lipstick all over the bathroom Using an entire bottle of Windex on the houseplants Sticking that *whatever* up your hootchie cootchie Eating entire pounds of butter!

Her: Waaaaaaa! Momma, I hunry!

Me: No you're not. You have half a sandwich IN YOUR MOUTH.

Her: Momma, I too hot!

Me: It's 50 degrees out.

Her: Momma, I too cold.

Me: You are under a blanket, fool.

Her: Momma, I too small!

Me: You reached the Sharpies just fine.

Her:  Momma, I meed wash my hans!

Me:  You're in the bubble bath.

Her:  Momma, I meed bubble baf!


Her: Momma, I sweepy.

Me: You've been awake for 35 seconds.

Her: Momma, why you hurt me?

Me: I'm calling you from San Francisco.

Her: Momma, no screaming! You HEAR me?

Me: Donor! (for the few new kids here, we call dad The Donor. It'll grow on you)

Tell me that whole song and dance isn't the slightest bit Freudian.

You know when you're cooped up for a few years months weeks with your kids and then, by the grace of god, someone lets you get away from them for a few hours, and you come home all anxious to see them and pumped and primed to be the Greatest Mother Alive! ? Yeah, that lasted for all of 12 hours. My kids were Double Grounded on my first day back. I imagine they just plum forgot that mom doesn't always take kindly to one kid smashing the other kids face into the carpet while the smashed kid whacks the smashing kid in the back of the head with a baseball bat.

Whatever. It's an easy thing to forget, I suppose.

I did come home to the World's Cleanest House. Those of you who have been reading around here for a while have heard some rather jaded (read; straight up snake venom) come out of my mouth about The Donor. Well, let me tell you something I haven't before...that man keeps a house the way Alice the Maid (aka Mr Brady's little afternoon delight, I'm betting. Minx, that one) only wishes she could have. My man? Can clean circles around me. And if you don't think that's the single hottest quality a man can possess, well, you're just deluding yourself. I have never, EVER, been so attracted to him in my whole life as I was the day I got home. In 4 days, he dug me out of a very large hole that I had worked months on getting myself into (even matched the three separate grocery bags I had full of 'unmatched' socks hidden in three separate locations) and I am currently accepting wagers on how quickly I will be undoing all the good he did. Starting bid is whatever a maid service charges for one full days work. Or a hooker. 'Cause I'm going to either have to clean or keep him so busy he won't notice.

One last thing before I go; If you're planning on being in Denver around the Democratic National Convention, well, um, we're kind of throwing you a party after Obama's speech and since we've had some technical difficulties on the Business end of the deal, David and I are starting from scratch. So, yeah, I need a head count. Who wants to come get all silly drunk either toasting Obama or drowning their sorrows? I KNOW BlogHer's coming in full effect, and I'd better see all your shining faces at our party that night.

I'll totally be there. In a black little low cut number. And a bar. With BOOZE. Just sayin'.

There. Sufficiently dodged another bullet. Whew.

13,148.96 Days Later

All day, every day, we interact with other people. Maybe the guy at the bank doesn't make much of an impression, but maybe the checker at Safeway makes you feel something. You never know where it's going to happen or when. It could be on the stoop of an apartment building, at a bar, or while you're pumping your gas, but all around us are people, and sometimes a person's spark jumps out to you, and sometimes, if you're really lucky, you're just open enough to catch it.

And then, on rare occasion, you get to cross paths with someone who is made out of nothing but Aluminum and Nickel and Cobalt, and everyone who crosses his path is pulled to him by a force that they can't even explain. Someone who is a living, breathing magnet. Someone who is beautiful and kind and amazing and authentic and just the type of person that, once you get him, you know you're never letting him go.

Maybe you'll meet him at the dollar store, maybe at the swimming pool with your kids, or maybe, just maybe, if you're really insanely lucky, maybe one day, he'll stumble across your blog and leave you a comment.

Today is the birthday of my very favorite dad blogger, BusyDad. If you've read his blog, if you've met him in person, if you've ever talked to him, you'll know that he's one of those people, the kind you just can't live without, the kind that makes you smile even when you don't think you can, who draws you in and keeps you there.

Now that I've met him in person, now that I've sat in a room with 8 other people watching him interact with them, I can tell you that what I imagined is totally confirmed; he laughs with his whole body, he listens with his eyes, not just his ears, he is kind and caring and gentle and silly and charming and, and this is the kicker, he can totally roll with a bunch of drunk chicks who really like hip hop and period talk, and not even flinch. That boy is pure gold, I tell yah.

Before he left to catch his entirely too early plane out of San Francisco on Saturday morning, a friend and Jim and I had a little time with just the three of us. We walked through a city none of us knew, all three of us essentially strangers to each other, and it really felt like we had known each other for a lifetime after only 20 hours together. Maybe that's the joy of reading people's blogs, the way you can take someones life into your heart before you ever get to take their hand into your hand. Or maybe we were all destined to know each other. Who the hell knows?

What I do know is that I am glad BusyDad found the courage to leave me a comment one day a long time ago. I am glad that I followed it back to his site. I am glad that we accidentally met, and that we allowed our friendship to grow. I am glad that we write a little blog together, and that we are parents at the same time, and that the paths of our lives get to not just cross, but intertwine for a while.

And I'm most glad that he's super stinking hot, because really? You could dip Steve Buscemi in all the chocolate and sprinkles you want, he could be the sweetest man on earth, his veins could pump Nutra-Sweet, but yeah, he'd still look like Steve Buscemi. Call me shallow. Bygones.

Happy birthday, my old friend, my new friend. I hope I don't annoy you to much, because I kinda think you're stuck with me for a long time comin'. Thanks for all that you are, all that you do, for your humour and your kindness and your unconditional friendship. It means more to me, to all of us that you touch, than you could ever hope to know.

Why Are There So Many Songs About Rainbows?

(AKA: The Post Wherein I Am Going to Quote the Greatest Driving Factor in the Formation of My World View, and You Are Not Going to Mock Me For It Too Much)

*Edited: For those wondering, I read this.  There's a rumour about a video, too.

35 million mom bloggers.

Um, that's a whole lot of us and stuff. I spent three days in San Francisco at Blogher '08 with a handful of them and other incredible women bloggers (and a guy who still can't remember who I am, bygones). I am really not awake enough yet to even begin to talk about this weekend, but let's just say that it's changed my outlook on about 87.23% of my life thus-far.

My experience was so narrowly personal that I don't even want to begin in on it until I've had a little more time to process it. Being more or less internetless this weekend, I missed the opportunity to write as I thought, and so I have to remember things. Through the fog of a hangover incurred Thursday that still hasn't quite dissipated yet. It just might take me a while.

I want to tell you about the people I came to love more, the people whom I swooned with pride for like they were my own KID or something, the new friendships I've forged, the hearts that wrapped around each other, the old friendships concreted for life, but that will all come later (when I can remember it all more clearly, and with stolen pictorial evidence.) For now, I just want to try to sort through what I learned about blogging, since I was at a blogging convention and all.

What I know, without doubt, is that the community of us, all of us, every single motherfucking one of us, is something. We mean something. We're doing something big here. It doesn't matter if you're a mom blogger or a dad blogger or a poli-blogger or a tech blogger or whether or not you made it (by the skin of your teeth in my case) to a BlogHer convention in San Francisco or if you have 2 comments or 1,000 on your posts or if you write on Blogger or you self-host or if you blog anonymously or lay it all out there for the world to read. Blogging can change the world. Blogging is a powerful medium, and no matter how or why we do it, it matters.

People I'd never met, people who have never seen me or heard of me, came up to me this weekend and held me. They cried. They told me their story. They touched my cheek and said thank you. And I touched them back and said thank you, too. Because in the span of a few seconds, through run mascara and heavy breaths, we connected for just a moment. One woman came to me backstage after I read, crying, thanking me for my honesty and bravery, and then 10 minutes later turned around and read the most heart-felt, gut-wrenching, brave, honest, open, touching thing I've ever had the privilege of hearing. In that, I believe I was more humbled than I could ever hope to be. We connected. There was no thought of comparison and competition, and we just HEARD each other. I think I will be friends with her for the rest of my life.

I stood in the lobby of the Westin with Lesbian Dad (who better be damn glad there is a Lesbian Mom, or I'd totally have called dibs on her) and we tried to talk about our experiences. We tried to find the words for what we felt, what we realized that all of these millions of blogs actually do, and after a while we came to one conclusion; we touch souls. We give freely, and openly, and at a great risk to ourselves, and we hope that maybe one person out there can relate or benefit or at least understand. We connect on a level that is, I dare say, almost deeper than that in real physical company, because on our blogs, we don't hold back.

35 million mom bloggers. Every end of the spectrum. Every style and flavour.

I don't even know how many women bloggers. I couldn't begin to fathom how many men bloggers. I am just one small person floating in this turbulent, open water. We are all doing the same thing, even if we don't agree with how it's done, even if we make an assumption as to why it's done, even if we question the motives behind or the reasons for it, we are all on a level playing field. The biggest mom blogger in the world would still be doing this if she had my traffic and my total lack of income from it, because she loves it, she has to do it, she needs it. The smallest of us would continue to do this the exact same way we do now if we could make a living off of it, because it's where we go to create, to share, to write, to touch, to express, and to grow. We are all one small person floating in that water, and we are all slowly finding our connections.

35 million mom bloggers. Each a different type of writer, each a different color of the rainbow that makes up the blogosphere. We're finding it; we're all helping each other, teaching each other, finding each other. If we take just a moment to set aside our differences, our pre-conceived notions about one another, our biases and our safety nets and just reach out to each other, and reach out wide, we'll realize that we're all one big thing, one big rainbow connection...the lovers, the dreamers, and me.

Yeah, I Asked My Kids to Guest Post.

(And I couldn't be happier about that)

5. How much fun we had with her.
4. How much good and yummy and healthy things she fed to us (2of3 only).
3. How much activities she gave us like baseball and filling up the baby pool (the donor has no patience for the latter).
2. How much t.v. she let us watch (although 1of3 begs to differ on this one).
1. How much happiness she gave us (2of3) The way she makes me feel happy inside (1of3).
Oh, also how much she read to us (1of3 severely debates this one. Apparently you only read to 2of3).
Now it gets interesting. 1of3 isn't happy because he thinks 2of3 "stole all of his good ones".  Just for the record, the donor is here and mediating this gathering and 1of3 had plenty of time to say these things but he couldn't get it out in time.  He just agreed with what 2of3 said (with the above noted exceptions).

I feel I should contribute something to this.  I know this is like having to follow Metallica on Headbanger's Ball but ....
I miss most the warmth that mom brings to the house.  She makes it a home while I think I make it a little bit cleaner and more orderly.

If any of you have ever met Mr. Lady, you know that there is something about her that keeps you coming back for more.  She may not shave all the way down to her ankles, turns red at the drop of a hat and smokes a lot, but she has a certain type of charisma that makes everyone around her feel better.  I don't mean to say she is without fault, because I could go on for hours.  I won't, though, because she has way more dirt on me than I have on her.

I will, however, share a story of how she almost didn't go to blogher.  Money was tight (as it always is in our house) right around the time we needed to purchase a ticket for Mr. Lady so she could get her butt (nice butt too, not a "mushroom top" - that is a total blogzagerration) to San Francisco.  It literally came right down to the wire.  The day before she was going to leave, we were going to have to live very lean for about 2 and 1/2 days but it was going to be fine.  Mr. Lady totally had a meltdown.  She decided that it was too much of a financial burden on all of us for her to go.  Bullshit.  I spent the majority of that day on the phone with her telling her to basically shut up and pack.  This was going to happen.  I will never be as good at anything as she is with this.  And this is her opportunity!  She was chosen to speak.  This wasn't something that was pulled out of a hat (was it?). She was chosen because she is the shit.  She makes us fucking pee our pants in the best way possible.  To make a long and drawn out story a bit shorter, after many tears on her part and the better part of the nails on her left hand, strings were pulled, favors called in and a ticket from Seattle to San Francisco was purchased for Mr. Lady.  She is now in San Francisco getting standing ovations from what I hear.  And good for her.  She deserves that sort of recognition.  All moms do (well, maybe not all - you know who I'm talking about).  Like I said, she makes this house a home.  The kids have a hard time putting that feeling into words but they know it too.

The story was so much better in my head and as I read it now, I really suck at this.  That's o.k. because I will probably never do it again.  She might loose all of her readers if I go on any longer.  I gotta go now anyways and put the kids to bed.  Someone has to try to fill those shoes while she is away.

A Rebel Without a Clue

In 8 hours, I will hop in the car and head back to America. I'll drive for a little bit and then hop on a plane bound for San Francisco.

(Did you know the only city I've been to in California is Fresno? True story. Fresno is super awesome if you like meth*. I don't like meth.)

Moving on....

Am I nervous about flying? Hell no. A long time ago in a galaxy far far away, I piloted an airplane or twenty. Just when it was getting awesome (read; just when my instructor started taking us way up over The Rockies and stalling our Cessna, leaving ME to pull us out of the stall) they asked for my medical history. Did you know they frown upon pilots with two holes in their heart? I couldn't imagine why.

At 4:45 on Friday, I am scheduled to speak in front of 999 people, and Dooce. Am I nervous? Hell no. The best thing about growing up in a cult that likes to proselytize is the endless public speaking training they put you through. I could talk in front of the President, no prob. I know that's not saying much right now. Shut up; you know what I mean.

The rest of the weekend will be spent with those 1,000 people, some of which I know, some I don't. Am I nervous about meeting all these people, putting voices to their fonts? No, not really. I actually do really well in public settings now-a-days. I will sweat like a stuck pig in a sauna before I enter any room, and probably chain smoke when the whole thing's over, but in the thick of it, I can hang just fine. I guarantee you I'm going to pick my nose at some point, and I guarantee you I won't be the only one. Besides, my old next door neighbor will be there, so I know I'm a'ight.

For clarification, I:

  • Pick my nose

  • Chew my nails

  • Stutter when I'm trying to say something dirty

  • Say a lot of dirty things when I'm drunk

  • Also cry when I'm drunk

  • Am not so big into the whole shoe wearing thing

  • Never shave far enough down my legs, leaving me with hairy ankles

  • Sweat a lot

  • Turn red for no reason

  • Smoke

  • Only really drink shots

  • Have a horrid Philadelphia/Mid West hybrid accent

  • Chew my hair

  • Doodle on everything

  • Will pick any underwear I am forced to wear out of my butt all day long

  • Will then take it off and shove it in my briefcase after 1 1/2 shots

  • Bypassed muffin top and went straight for mushroom cloud top

  • Spin my nose ring when not busy picking said nose

There. I feel better. Am I nervous that 1,000 people I don't know, and who I'd really like to read my blog, will see all of that? Actually, no. Wanna know why? Because they all do too.

Wanna know what I am nervous about? I am nervous that I can't find my toothbrush. I have a toothbrush thing. And my good one, my best one, the Holy Grail of Toothbrushes, has gone missing. What is this magical toothbrush, you ask? I'll show you:

Oh, shut up. You don't even know what you're missing out on. See, I got my mother's, well, nothing, and my father's freaking awful pasty skin and his crinkle-cut front bottom teeth. It's crowded in there. No, I don't care that everyone's going to see that, either, it just comes with the territory, but I do worry that Kimmylyn is going to be a little frazzled when she staggers into our bathroom Friday morning and sees a kid's brush. Yes, I use kids brushes. TWO of them. One baby one that's really narrow for the crowding and one Strawberry Shortcake Reach Kids Toothbrush. SS Crew, representin', dawg. I am also nervous that my brand new toothbrush that The Donor picked up for me after I made him stand in the toothbrush aisle of the drugstore on the phone with me sifting through kids brushes which was totally more horrifying than making him buy me tampons will not work as well as my Strawberry Shortcake Reach toothbrush works. Because I have issues with my teeth.

Why yes, I am a neurotic freak of a mess, why do you ask?

Other than that, I have my hangover cure all ready to go (1 SlimFast, I glass of water, and 2 Midol before you pass out. Works like a charm) I have my Crocs packed just for Kelley and BusyDad, and I, with tears in my eyes, kissed my sweet if not slightly smelly children goodbye before they went to bed tonight.

And now, into the great wide open. With an average toothbrush. See y'all Monday, and please enjoy the guest posts in my absence.

*If you happen to be FROM Fresno, please don't be insulted. A LARGE chunk of my family is from there. Go Fresno State, yo! But seriously, admit it. Buying tinfoil in Fresno is just as hard as finding a virgin on the Disney Channel.