Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Is there anything more annoying than an almost 5 year old who has just learned the repeat-everything-you-say game? "Stop doing that". "Stop doing that." "I mean it". "I mean it". "You're a knucklehead". "You're a knucklehead".

Is there anything better than 49 cent tacos from Del Taco?

Do you really not know what you've got 'til its gone, as Cinderella suggests?

If the Beavers were going to the National Championship game would Bentley's name a martini after them or do they have a Duck bias just like the Statesman Journal does?

Why do my kids ignore me when I tell them to do something but won't leave me alone in the middle of the night?

Speaking of the middle of the night, why do they come to my side of the bed to tell me they need water instead of Jeff's side?

Why hasn't Mitchell tracked me down yet?

Why do my favorite shows take such a long break during the holidays AND in the Spring?

How's this new daycare thing going to work?

What's 2011 going to bring? Will there be more joy than disappointment?

Why do I mistake silence for criticism?

Is Ella ever going to give me some decent dirt next Spring?

What's with my reoccuring dreams about celebrities?

Are my women's retreat dramas going to be a flop?

If I wish hard enough and believe deep enough will the laundry fairy start coming?

What are your questions lately?

Monday, December 27, 2010

It Comes With an EKG

Hot Jeff and I have decided, along with 75% of other Americans, that we are going to lose a few pounds come January One. We're going the Weight Watchers route which means we'll be shying away from all things deep fried and cheesy.

Before I continue, I just have to say, I understand that no one is leaving comments because you're trying to teach me a lesson for going on such a long hiatus. However, if one person leaves a comment even implying the question, "Why does Hot Jeff need to lose weight?", I will hunt you down and kill you. And trust me, it won't be anything fun like death-by-chocolate. Are we clear?

So before we do the January-One-Weight-Watchers bit we have decided to go on an eating binge and eat whatever, whenever we want. It's been fabulous. Melissa's tacos, Jana's pizza quiche, holiday beer, donuts, mochas, butter, bacon, candy, even candy wrapped in bacon.

A couple of nights ago we were laying in bed watching 'Man vs. Food' and the host went to Springfield, Ill and tried a bunch of different restaurants. One of the places he ate at was D'Arcy's Pint, famous all over Springfield for the Horseshoe.

The Horseshoe originated in Springfield and was named because it had a large piece of ham on it that was shaped like a horseshoe. It is served on two thick slices of toasted bread, then french fries are added to it and then topped with a cheese sauce. It is pretty much insanity on a plate. It is a cardiologist's worst nightmare.

Modern Horseshoes often have a hamburger patty replacing the ham and Horseshoe cheese sauce recipes are all over the internet.

Over Christmas dinner I told my mother-in-law about it and horror crept across her very thin face. Her appropriate disapproval helped me decide that I just had to make it before the end of the week.

I decided to make it for dinner tonight. Today was our last day of Stay-cation and we had a rough day of shopping with the kids so comfort food was definitely in order. I pattied hamburger, heated oil for fries and went to work on my cheese sauce. The recipe for it follows:

2T butter
2T AP Flour
Make a roux and then add 1 C. of shredded white cheddar and 1 C. of milk. Stir thoroughly and quickly so you don't have any lumps. Then add 1/8 t. of white pepper and 1/4 t. salt. A few dashes of Worcestershire sauce finishes it off. Add more milk if the sauce is too thick; it should be the consistency of gravy. (Mmmm gravy, I need to make something with gravy before Saturday!)

To put the Horseshoe together, toast a piece of Texas toast. Put it on a plate and add your cooked hamburger patty (seasoned the way you like it). On top of that, add crinkle cut french fries. In my research of Horseshoes I found that most bloggers wrote the crinkle cut is the fry of choice as the crinkles add more "divets" for the cheese sauce. Finally, top the heap with the cheese sauce.

I'll be honest, I was disappointed with the Horseshoe. At least my version. Everything I read said the secret to an awesome Horseshoe is the cheese sauce and I didn't think mine was all that great. It was missing something and I'm not quite sure what it was. Hot Jeff on the other hand thought the Horseshoe was pretty much why God made Lipitor. He ate his right up and used the last bite of bread, burger & fry to mop up the remaining cheese sauce on his plate. And just in case you eat like my mother-in-law and don't know, mopping up sauce with bread is the highest compliment you can give Gigi or any other fat girl who has just prepared you a meal.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

An Oldie But A Goodie

Tonight it is Christmas but I'm trying to blog more so instead of coming up with something new I'm giving you one of my favorites from the last year. You may remember the day my children fell out the window... I did but just rereading it made me laugh out loud enought to cause Hot Jeff to ask what I was up to. Enjoy.

February 5, 2010

I had given a clear warning of what was going to happen on Friday morning last night. And yet my children still decided to act like 2 and 4 year olds and ruin all the fun.

It started by them letting me sleep in. Yes, you heard that right. They let me sleep in. Jeff snuck off to work (lucky dog) sometime around 7ish. Samuel was up so Jeff put a video on and gave him a cereal bar. I was unaware of all of this, (because I was in the middle of a weird dream about losing my chap stick in a hospital cafeteria) as Jeff left for work, Samuel got bored and decided to let Mama sleep in. Now I know that sounds sweet but almost-4 year olds aren't sweet. They don't know how to put another person's needs first. They are sneaky and clever and coupled with a mother who can sleep through Disney World that is a dangerous, dangerous combination.

So Samuel got bored, came upstairs, shut my bedroom door, went and woke his sister up and down the stairs they went. For the record, I am just putting this all together from clues left for me because I was STILL SLEEPING and don't know any of it for a fact.

Some time around 8:15 I woke up with the refreshed feeling of I-can't-believe-the-kids-slept-so-late. I rolled over to see my door was shut and immediately panic rose in my chest. I crept down the stairs, frightened of what I would see. I rounded the corner in to the family room to see my kids happily eating cereal bars and watching Tinker Bell. Awwwww.

I got them some fruit, yogurt and water. I turned the video off and told them I was going to watch a "Mama show" with ear buds in and that they could play with the couch cushions. Its a small price to pay for an uninterrupted 47 minutes with Chief Shepherd and I was willing to pay it.

I snuggled down in my favorite chair with the kids in eye shot and got lost in my favorite hospital drama. With only a few minutes remaining Emily ran by and instantly a rank odor pierced my senses. It went up through my nose and penetrated my core. I recoiled and like any good mother said, "Roo, as soon as this is over I will change that wretched diaper".

Only seconds later Samuel tattled from the bathroom around the corner, "Mama, Emily took her diaper off". I paused Derek's meaningful speech to his staff and put Ruby down on the chair. I walked in to the bathroom; the air had turned a putrid green from the stench and fumes were wafting out. Emily was standing there with her pajamas around her ankles, her holocausted diaper lying in a child-thrown heap next to her with an enormous smile on her face. "Hallelujah" I said under my breath, thankful that she had done it in the bathroom and not on the carpeted floor. I turned my back to grab the wipes when she slithered past me like a stealth bomb; she traveled like an invisible dark angel the 3 feet to the carpet where she laid herself down and spread her legs awaiting a wipe all while spreading poop on my light beige carpet with her crap-covered hiney.

Sighing, I cleaned her up and sent her on her way. As I walked in to the kitchen to get the spot cleaner I saw what they had been up to while I watched Grey's in my McDreamy induced coma...they had spread animal crackers all over the kitchen floor. I vaguely remembered Samuel asking me if they could get some and me grunting "yes, just a few".

Surprisingly, I wasn't angered as I knew I couldn't expect too much from them as I had just been ignoring them for the last 45 minutes and that it was somewhat my fault. I began putting my full attention and elbow grease in to the butt shaped poop stain before me.

I was just starting to see an improvement when I heard Samuel say, "Mama, Emily just pee'd on the floor". Seriously. I had left her diaper off of her thinking that as soon as I got this stain up I would just go give them a bubble bath. They didn't have one last night and its a great time killer on a Friday when there isn't anything to do but wait for Daddy to get home so the weekend can start.

I got up from the stain and walked in to the kitchen. Urine soaked animal crackers danced around Emily's wet feet. She stood, smiling, with a remnant of pee trickling down her calf, onto her ankle and ultimately to the pool below her.

Sighing, I tip toed through the urine, crackers, and urine crackers and grabbed the naked toddler before me. Somehow I had the wherewith all to grab the dishtowel hanging over the sink and put it down on the carpet as a sort of arbitrary protector from Emily's sodden feet.

I formulated a plan, I would clean up the crackers and pee with paper towels, then mop, then sweep and then mop again. Samuel asked if he could get naked too so that he and Emily could do the "naked dance", a ritualistic, tribal bedtime routine our kids perform every night. I said yes, basically to get them out of my hair so I could go to task on the floors before me.

I started getting my mop water ready, the mix of Pine-sol and urine began to gag me so I opened the family room window for fresh air. The ground was soggy from the Oregon rain but the sun was shining and the temperature was climbing despite that it wasn't even 10 o'clock yet. Samuel and Emily were happily doing the naked dance, oblivious to the fire storm of annoyance brewing in my heart threatening to bubble over on to them.

As I finished the floor I realized I had done it backwards and now was on the other side of the floor from them. They were dancing in the family room and I was on the side of the dining room. The damp kitchen floor separated us and I exhorted, "Stay in that room. The floor is wet and I don't want you to slip".

The freshly mopped floor separating us felt like a beautiful metaphoric chasm. I took a deep breath and wished for an escape. Just for today. Just for today, I thought, I don't want to be a Mommy. I just want to go away and be Jeff's lover. I want to listen to music while we drive to the beach. I want to eat at Mo's and then walk on the beach. I don't want to just "get away"... I literally don't want Samuel and Emily to exist today. Just for today.

I love being a Mommy. I adore my kids. BUT, just for today if I could totally escape, I would. I began to formulate a blog post all about my day dream and thought about how you would all comment on how you have those days too and how you just loved the post and... a symphony of screams broke my reverie.

The shrieking was coming from outside. My mind raced and questions rose as I ran from the living room, over the still-wet floor to the family room. As quickly as it registered in my brain what had happened I saw the screen from the window I had opened earlier hanging by a bent frame, the bottom pushed out. I leapt up on to the couch and peered down out the bare window (about a 4 foot fall) to see my naked children lying in a tangled heap, bruised, covered in bark dust and howling like they had been drug behind a speeding '87 Chevy.

Pausing for a split second to wonder if I should grab the camera, (relax, I didn't) I rushed out the sliding glass door to their sides. They were fine. Pissed but fine.

I ushered them inside the house trying not to notice the enormous trail of bark dust they were leaving on the carpet. I soothed them as I calmly and sympathetically said we were finally going to head upstairs to take the long awaited bath I had promised 23 years ago. They both were lurching from the fright, pain and shock when the totally unbelievable happened. Yes, they both simultaneously wiped out on the wet kitchen floor. Their screeching reached deafening levels and I wondered if everyone in our neighborhood couldn't hear the chorus of chaos chiming loudly from the open window they had just fallen from.

So there you have it. The most unbelievable but true story of how things went utterly wrong in my world this morning.

I have since given them a bath, given them tylenol, fed them, put them down for naps, cleaned the house, got them up from naps and am now feeding them again. They are having peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

This is where our story ends because I AM NOT KIDDING YOU, Emily just got up from the little kid table in the kitchen, pulled her bread apart and stuck a piece to my kitchen floor. She is smiling. She is the source of all evil.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Nothing Says 'Merry Christmas' Like a Dead Pet Story

Before I spread a whole lot of Christmas cheer by telling you our dead hamster story I have to just tell you my wonderful Mommy story. This just happened and it seriously validated me as a mother.

We had just put the kids to bed and I went downstairs to get Ruby. While I was down there I got a Mike's Hard Lemonade and a glass of water. As I was making my way through the kitchen and living room, here came Samuel wondering what I was doing. Heaven forbid I go downstairs if he is upstairs.

I started back up the stairs with my hands full with the laptop, my Mike's and a glass of water. Samuel was a stair ahead of me and turned and took the water from my hand and said, "Let me help you Mama".

Ok seriously, how sweet is that? My heart just flip flopped that Samuel would be aware of someone other than himself and jump right in and help. It was this little glimmer of promise that he is going to someday grow out of this egocentric, albeit developmentally perfectly normal, stage and be a fully functioning person who doesn't throw a fit if you give him a blue cup instead of an orange cup.

And because I make everything about me, I also felt like maybe I am doing something right! Ok, so maybe I was heading upstairs to drink a hard lemonade while watching "Celebrity Rehab" but my kid is thoughtful! Yes, I am definitely doing something right. I also feel like I'm modeling responsible drinking. Like you know, drink as much as you want as long as you don't end up like those fools on Dr. Drew's show!!

Ok, on an unrelated note, I took a Tylenol PM right before I started writing and mixing that with a Mike's may have not been my best idea--I'm getting sleepy! Last night I could not sleep because Hot Jeff was putting on a show with his snoring. It sounded like a plague of locusts. Well tonight, thanks to my little Tylenol cocktail, he may think he's Moses.

The more tired I get (and Hot Jeff just put Avatar on and thinks I am going to be able to stay up fr 2.5 hours?!) the less I feel about writing about Riley. Sorry. You're going to get the short-I-feel-a-little-buzzed version. (How funny is it that I'm a little buzzed off half a Mike's and one Tylenol PM? Can you slur your typing?)

Last weekend Coach Riley the hamster died. We were sad.

Oh ok, I can do a little better than that.

I'm not really sure what happened to her but when I got home from work last Friday she was lethargic and way tame. For example, usually when we open her cage she would run (she was far from tame) but this day she as just lying in her wheel, motionless. Suspecting she didn't have much time left I told the kids & Jeff that I thought she was going to die.

We held her (usually when I held her she kind of struggled so we just hurry and put her in her ball and let her cruise around) and her little listless body just rested in our different, gentle hands.

Sometime in the night little Riley died; Samuel had decorated a little box with a cross on it and Jeff put her in it. We said our goodbyes and Jeff put the lid on the box. Precious, tender hearted Samuel said, "Dad, I need to see her one more time". Jeff patiently took the lid off and Samuel looked down on her and with tears streaming down his face said, "I wish you could have lived forever. You were the best hamster but you will have a good time in Heaven being with Jesus on His birthday".

So precious. It really was so tender and sweet and I was so proud of him.

That same night (we buried Riley in the backyard) we got a new hamster. Her name is Molly. The funny thing about Molly is that she is super fun. She seems like she is a lot more active and comfortable with us. Watching Molly has made us wonder if hamsters really do have different personalities or was maybe Riley sick from the beginning??

So that's the scoop. New hamster and a life lesson: don't drink Mike's Hard Lemonade and take Tylenol PM. You're just asking for trouble and just asking to not be able to get through Avatar.

Man, I'm tired.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Naughty List

So it turns out BlogHer is paying attention. After a whole month of not blogging, BlogHer contacted me by email. In the subject line it said, "We've Missed You". Isn't that nice? Don't you wish that every time you were a month late on something you were reminded in such a kind way? Nevertheless, I think I am on BlogHer's naughty list so I'm putting out a blog post to try and get back on the paycheck list.

So here it is...the long awaited post. Last week Shannon told me all she wanted for Christmas was a blog post. So I took back the diamond necklace I had gotten her and am giving her what she wanted. My Mom asked me when I was going to post again. Even Karen Garcia asked me when I was going to write again and I didn't even know Karen Garcia read this blog.

Its shameful really. November was blog month and so all my blogging friends were blogging once a day and I only blogged once the WHOLE MONTH. I think it was a sub-conscience defiance against National Blogging Month. I think it is similar to how I refused to read the Harry Potter books when everyone else was reading them. And the Twilight books. Well actually I refused to read the Twilight books because I don't have braces anymore. I believe only girls who are young enough to have braces should read the Twilight series. I sort of feel this way about Taylor Swift as well. And Justin Bieber.

Does anyone else think Taylor Swift's music all sounds the same? I really like her December something or other song but I pretty much break out in hives when I hear most of her music. And don't even get me started on that song of her's about Tim McGraw.

Since I posted last Samuel has gotten over Liesl and now is in to Jessie from Toy Story. At least Samuel had good taste. Speaking of Samuel's good taste, the other day I could hear him in the bathroom going number two and singing a Lady Antebellum song. From the downstairs bathroom I heard, "Its a quarter after one, I'm a little drunk and I need you now". I know I should be a little mortified that Samuel is singing a song with the word 'drunk' in it but I was just so pleased that he was singing a great song and got the words right.

Also since I posted last our hamster, Coach Riley, died. It was a freak thing and is accompanied by a funny story. I'm going to try and shock the world and write about it tomorrow. You're welcome.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Move Over Fiona

If you've read this blog for very long you know that Samuel can get a little OCD sometimes. Remember when Samuel fell madly in love with Fiona from Shrek and packed a picture of her around with him for weeks and weeks?

He and Fiona must have broken up because his affections have shifted. Yep, move over Fiona and make room for Liesl. As in 16-Going-on-17 Liesl.

We're big fans of Sound of Music over here at 5630 and while I am just gaga over the Captain, Samuel has his eyes on the lovely Soprano, Liesl vonTrapp.

In classic Samuel style, he has asked me to put her picture on the computer desktop and he sits there dreamily all day long singing to her and reading books to her.

On the thankful tree we're making he says he's thankful for Liesl almost every day and when he walks by the tree he caresses the leaves that have her name on them tenderly.

Tonight about 20 minutes after I had put him to bed he came bouncing downstairs and said, "I will go to bed in just a minute but I just have to ask you you think you can find me a Liesl doll?" I replied, "Oh buddy, I don't know if I will be able to find one." He quickly cut me off and said, "Just work on it, Mom."


Anyone know where I can get a Liesl doll?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mitchell Took a Midnight Train

I wanted to write about how I got Coach Riley to call Jeff on his 34th birthday but if I don't write about Mitchell sooner rather than later it is going to lose all of its relevance. Plus I heard a song on the radio today that reminded me of Mitchell (its pretty much "our song") and no one could understand my pain except for Maryanne. I'm writing for closure. For catharsis.

Two weekends ago while Hot Jeff and I were in Seattle for the OSU game I met Mitchell. Ugh, I'm getting ahead of myself, before I go any further I need to back up for a minute...

Ever since "Will and Grace" I've wanted a gay guy for a best friend. Who didn't just love the relationship between Will and Grace--it was perfect. Will made everyone want a gay guy for a best friend, am I right? Don't we all want someone we can sing show tunes with? I know I do.

Well so far the universe hasn't given me my Will. It has given me my Hot Jeff. And my Samily. And saggy boobs. And an affinity for nutella but so far it hasn't given me my Will. Well until I went to Seattle two weekends ago. And even then it didn't give me a Will so much as it just screwed with me.

Our seats were in the general admission end zone so we knew we would be surrounded mostly by Husky fans and if we got lucky a few Beaver fans. As the seats began filling up around us 3 Beaver fans sat in the row in front of us. We all gave the obligatory high fives and as soon as they turned around to face the field Jeff and I looked at each other and mouthed the word, "Mitchell". One of the Beaver fans was a red head with red facial hair and he looked EXACTLY like Mitchell from "Modern Family" If you don't know what Mitchell looks like and therefore can't picture MY Mitchell then I will insert this picture.

One difference, ok 2, My Mitchell has glasses and My Mitchell is a little younger.

Mitchell and I hit it right off. As soon as the awful 1st quarter was over and Oregon State started scoring we were slapping hands and becoming best friends.

At one point the Husky band started playing a catchy little tune and I looked at Jeff to see if he could name that tune. Jeff was too wrapped up in the game to play along and when I turned back I saw it... my heart skipped... it was Mitchell singing the words, "Just a city boy, born and raised in South Detroit...He took a midnight train goin' anywhere". Oh yeah baby, Mitchell knew the words to Journey's Midnight Train. He was singing it to me with his hand as the microphone. Was this a mirage? Could I have imagined this perfect person singing Journey, along with a pep band no less? I was in love.

Throughout the game it turned out that Mitchell was the funniest person I had ever met. And it was looking as though he thought I was equally as witty and charming (several times he repeated my witty comments back to his buddies, who laughed and then became green with envy over Mitchell's awesome new girlfriend). He was quickly meeting all the criteria for my Will: 1) Be able to sing Journey songs with a pep band. 2) Be the funniest person I have ever met. 3) Think I am irresistibly witty and charming.

Before I knew it the game was in double overtime and silence had befallen our small group of Beaver Believers. As the ball slipped out of Joe Halahuni's hands and the Husky siren blared I sat down and put my head in my hands. The only thing making me feel any better was knowing I had met Mitchell, the Universe had finally given my my Will, and I raised my head to ask if Mitchell was on Facebook only to see he was gone. The 2 other (clearly gay) guys were pulling him down the bleachers and he walked out of my life forever.

Later that night I shared my disappointment with Hot Jeff over meeting Mitchell, how could the Universe be so cruel to give him to me only to take him from me so quickly? As only Hot Jeff can do, he cheered me up by reminding me I had purchased a really killer hat earlier that day AND that I would always have the memory of Mitchell. Oh Hot Jeff, you know just what to say when your wife is inconsolable over the loss of the one great gay friendship of her life.

Someday I will return to Husky stadium to watch my Beavers play again. Probably in 2012. And I will go to those exact same seats and I will wait with bated breath for Mitchell; I know in my heart Mitchell is out there somewhere pining over me and what could have been. I know he is humming our song, Strangers waiting, up and down the boulevard Their shadows searching in the night Streetlights, people, living just to find emotion Hiding, somewhere in the night. Don't stop believin' Hold on Streetlight people Ohhhhh, woooooah.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Coach, We Love You So Much We Named Our Hamster After You

About a month ago Samuel asked Hot Jeff if we could get a hamster. Hot Jeff replied, "No way. Those things stink." Samuel pouted for about 45 seconds and moved on.

A few days ago Samuel asked Jeff again (I love his determination; I think he gets that from me.) and Hot Jeff says, "Sure." Sure? I questioned him, "I thought you said we couldn't get one because they stink?" Hot Jeff: "I never said that." Me: blank stare. Samuel: happy dance.

This afternoon Samuel, Emily and I were all curled up in the big bed having some afternoon down time and watching The Secret Garden. I knew if I didn't get up and get moving I was going to fall asleep and wouldn't be able to sleep tonight so I said it..."Wanna go get a hamster?"

Yeah. They did. Yeah, go ahead and comment about what a stupid question that was.

We hustled off to Petco. While we drove out there we discussed names. Samuel shouted out 'Pawnee'. What the heck? Pawnee? I can only assume that is his Native American heritage coming out in him. Pawnee? Really Samuel?

Emily tossed out 'Peanut'. I liked Peanut. Very cute. I tossed out 'Maple Syrup' and just calling him 'Maple'. The kids liked it and it got them thinking down the food-name-road. Samuel threw out 'Taco'. Taco. I couldn't stop laughing and for that reason alone decided we just had to name our hamster 'Taco'. He was probably going to end up being taco meat after all. I wanted to throw out my other inappropriate names but didn't want to frighten the children. I liked, 'Tastes Like Chicken' or 'Number One' as in we'll-be-getting-number-two-after-this-one-dies.

We talked names the whole 10 minutes to Petco and as we pulled in to the parking lot Samuel shouted out, "What about Shacky?" I swear I have NO idea where he comes up with these names. With the exception of 'Taco' that kid is quite possibly the worst hamster namer in the whole world! The suggestion, however, got me thinking of Shaq and other sports names and then I had it! Jacquizz! Jacquizz is the star running back for Oregon State and our whole family loves him. I said, "I've got it! How about Jacquizz?" Samuel cheered and Emily screeched, "Jacquizz Rodgers!" It was awesome. I was very proud.

Once inside we found that the male hamsters were a little nippy. Not one for rodent bites or rabies, I asked about the females. Samuel, not one to miss a beat, says "We can't name a girl Jacquizz." He may not be able to name a hamster but the kid is bright as a light. I started thinking about female Beaver names. Oh you know it...Riley! After the beloved Coach Riley. Someday I'll tell you how I got Coach Riley to call Hot Jeff on his 34th birthday. Maybe I'll tell you that story on Wednesday, Jeff's birthday and then you will all want to be married to me because it is quite simply and it really makes me sound like an awesome wife. Which I was. Before I had kids. Now I'm just pretty average. An awesome average but average none the less. Speaking of awesome-average, who thinks I cursed Hot Jeff with his "40 Rocks" birthday cake?

Its almost 10:00 now and the kiddos are in bed. Riley is in her Taj Mahal cage and I can hear her little exercise wheel going, going, going. Did I mention they are nocturnal? I'm glad it doesn't squeak because it is in Samuel's room. Don't feel bad for Roo, tomorrow it will be in her room. They love her. We are all kind of enamored with her actually. Well except Hailey the Wonder Cat who is convinced that Jeff and I lost our ever loving minds 4 years ago when we brought a screaming infant home. That was also the same day she began holding a grudge against me because she saw that I could produce milk from my breasts. The first time Hailey saw me breast feeding Samuel she had this pissy look on her face that said, "What? You make milk? You have been holding out on me. You are dead to me."

Don't get any ideas Riley. I don't milk anymore.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Gee Whiz Spot

Come on now... G was all primed and ready to come back but we haven't had any questions submitted. What's the matter with you people? You all getting online and doing your own research?

I want to see some comments ladies. I've got one, just thought of it, you're welcome... Are underwire bras really hazardous to breast health? If you don't submit anything that is the question G is going to have to answer. Can you really sleep at night knowing THAT is the question for next week? Lame-o.

Ok, unrelated note: who is the the Anonymous commenter who doesn't like my new title but won't leave their name? I'm not going to publically mock you (well not for longer than a week) and I promise not to turn my legion of fans on you. You can't say you don't love the new title and then not leave your name!

Also, I say no more anonymous comments anymore period. If you don't have an account, sign in as anonymous but then leave your name (unless you're leaving a G Spot question then please remain anonymous because I don't want to think about your vaginal dryness when I see you at the park).

I really have no way to enforce this and I'm only requesting. You know what you could do? Make up a fake name and then I get super excited thinking I have readers who I don't actually know. Oh and on this topic: shout out to "Rod Stewart". That's some nice referencing to prior blogs and you are my star commenter for the week. Well played.

Lastly, why do I get like 14 comments on oyster crackers on my Facebook page but hardly any on my blog? This is rhetorical but feel free to comment anyway.

Cluck, cluck.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


You know I just love all of you; really I do. And I really value your opinions and comments and I took it to heart when you told me I should leave my blog name alone.

But then the other night Hot Jeff and I were talking DWTS and how nasty The Hoff is and it hit me, I'm The Hen. So Hot Jeff and I started referring to me as The Hen and we got a lot of chuckles out of it. night I was laying in bed not sleeping and thinking about how I never blog anymore and how I'm a failure as a house wife and how I love Bristol Palin and how I want to go on a survival camping trip and it dawned on me: "The Mother Hen".

How much do you love it? I love it. Bestie Maryanne loves it and I'm hoping my one reader, Emily H loves it. And if anyone else still reads this blog I'm hoping they love it too because regardless I am changing the name.

Welcome to The Mother Hen. Now one more thing on this subject, if you've got a derivative of 'The Mother Hen' like 'Hen Mother' or anything with Hen in it that is clever and playful then leave a comment because I may like that better than "The Mother Hen".

On an unrelated note, Hot Jeff is turning 41 next week. No big deal; he's taking it in stride and actually looking forward to putting 40 behind him because its been the worst year of his life when it comes to physical ailments. Rashes, pneumonia, pulled muscles, back pain, TMJ...the list goes on and on. Poor guy.

Well the other day I was driving home from taking Samuel to school and an old memory came to mind. When I was in high school my best friend Traci and I had a little game we'd play of pointing out old guys that were hot. Tim Allen, George Clooney, George Strait, Tom Hanks, Mr. Butler. You get the idea.

As I was getting ready to text Traci when I realized those guys were the age Jeff is now (maybe even younger). OMG ladies, I am married to an old guy who is hot.

I can hardly believe it myself. I mean I get the hot part because that man is smokin' but seriously, 41? That's kinda old. Like when we watch The Real World, its hittin' me that those slutty girls are young enough to be his daughter (but they wouldn't be because so help me if Emily or Samuel EVER even THINK about going on a MTV or VH1 reality TV show I will give them the smackdown!)

Isn't getting older just the weirdest? I mean I feel totally young. Besides a little junk in my trunk I feel like a cool college kid, or at least that I could hang with cool college kids. For example, Hot Jeff and I are watching baseball and they just showed Nolan Ryan in the stands. THAT GUY LOOKS OLD. I mean remember when he was all young and suave and throwin' heat for Texas? Now he's a poster child for Ben Gay. And have you seen Robert Redford lately? Now THAT was a hot old guy and he's 74 years old. He is like attending the funerals of other old hot guys (Paul Newman).

I've heard when it comes to parenting that the days are long but the years are short. Yep. And I'm going to add that when it comes to life the days are long and the years are short.

My advice: live life to the fullest. Go french kiss your hot old guy and buy an impractical pair of shoes.

Cluck, Cluck.

Monday, October 11, 2010

I'm Sorry Michael Landon But Its Football Season

I'll be honest, I'm surprised we last this long.

Tomorrow the cable is getting turned back on.

We are no longer going All Little House on the Prairie on You as of tomorrow between 12 and 2. Which means I will finally have a good reason for ignoring my children in the middle of the day. Hallelujah and Hello Oprah.

Hot Jeff and I learned some valuable lessons while going All Little House on the Prairie on You, lessons we're hoping to implement in to our with-cable-lifestyle. For sure we will not be channel surfing and for sure we will continue to be deliberate about the shows we watch and when we watch them. I got a free DVR with the package so that makes being deliberate easy. I mean how many times have you skipped a bedtime story because American Idol was starting? Too many times to count, right? The DVR is really saving children's literacy if you ask me.

So as much as I enjoyed all the butter churning it will be really nice not to go to Hot Jeff's parents house to watch an OSU game. It will be really nice not to have to steal cable from Melissa's boys' room to watch the season finale of Grey's Anatomy. And to celebrate: BIG, HUGE Grey's season finale party at my house in May--mark it down baby!

Forgive Michael Landon, forgive me.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The G Spot
Your Questions, Real Answers

Dear G Spot,
What's your opinion on the Fertility Awareness Method?
All Natural in Newark

Dear All Natural in Newark,

What's my opinion on the Fertility Awareness there is a loaded question. I have a fairly strong opinion on it and I'm not sure that it's one you're going to like but since you ask, I think that it's a big fat waste of your time and you could be having a whole lot more fun making whoopie anytime you wanted to with a more effective form of birth control. You asked.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the Fertility Awareness Method, let me give you a brief rundown. The essential ingredient is being very aware of your body and subtle changes that occur cyclically. You track your basal body temperature, your vaginal secretions, the position of your cervix and your periods. Your basal body temperature is your temperature first thing every morning, same time every morning, before you get out of bed. A change in temperature of just a few tenths of a degree can indicate ovulation or the beginning of your more fertile time.

Your vaginal secretions also change cyclically as well and typically women have a dry spell after their period that is then followed by an increase in thin, watery secretions that coincide with ovulation and increased fertility. Your cervix also changes positions cyclically and doing regular manual exams (yes, with your own finger) can help you track the rise and fall and feel of your cervix. During ovulation, the cervix is at it's highest position and is more soft than it is during other times.

The easiest part of this method is tracking your periods from day one, which is the first day of any kind of bleeding, to day one of the next period. The total number of days from day one to day one is the number of days in your menstrual cycle. The idea is that you take all of this information, put it together and identify your most fertile times and avoid sex during that time in order to avoid pregnancy.

Okay, now let's talk about why all of that is a really bad idea if you're seriously interested in preventing pregnancy.

First of all, in order for this method of birth control to be effective, you have to have done your homework. You need to spend eight to ten months tracking your basal body temperature, your vaginal secretions, the movement of your cervix, and your periods. It's important to do this over a long enough period of time to establish averages. If you take info from just one or two months, you don't have a clear picture of your own cyclical changes and you could be putting all of your money in the wrong bank. Who wants to wait eight to ten months to practice safe sex!?!?!? If you are a virginal bride to be, you should be getting to know your in-laws, spending quality time with a good premarital counselor who can help you prepare for a healthy marriage, and you should be sampling cake at every local bakery even though you know your Aunt Ida will be making yours. You should not be spending your time graphing your vaginal mucous and reaching your fingers into your poor vagina to see if you can track the travels of your cervix!

For the record, most women cannot reach their own cervix. It's a tricky little devil to find and bent all the way over, twisted into some sort of pretzel shape, with your arm fully extended is not the best way to feel it.

Second of all, who wakes up at the exact same time every day, including weekends? Who slumbers peacefully every night and wakes up with their hair tossed on the pillow and their bladder calmly waiting for them to take and record their basal body temperature? For that matter, who has a thermometer and a pen on their bedside table that did not get knocked off or carried away by a small child? If you get out of bed first, the temperature that you record is null and void - it may be elevated by all of the exertion you put forth going to the bathroom and finding your pen.

Thirdly, let's talk vaginal secretions. While it is good for all of us to be aware of our body and the secretions that come from it - good and bad - I'd like us to take a look at how much time is appropriate to be devoting to the study of vaginal secretions. Do you exercise every day? Do you floss every day? Do you spend time in God's word every day? If you answered no to any of those questions, I think that you should think long and hard about committing to daily study of your vaginal secretions. Personally, I would rather get on the elliptical machine every morning than rub my own vaginal secretions between my fingers every day in order to determine if they are stickier than the day before - and I work in healthcare!

Fourthly, tracking the travels of your cervix is absolutely insane! If you eat steel cut oatmeal every morning, milk your own goat, and have harnessed the illusive power that it takes to feel your own cervix, good for you. Personally, I don't see the need to know when my cervix is coming down into the vagina for a quick peek at the sun and when it is moving back up into the highlands for a spiritual retreat. I do not want to know if it is hard like an apple or soft like a peach, I just want to eat my fruit.

Tracking periods, now that's something that I can get behind - finally! It's good to know your own menstrual cycle. It helps you know when things are normal for you and not normal for you. When planning a sunny vacation, it helps to know when you can expect your Aunt Flo and plan around her. And, it's easy. All you have to do is make a marking of some kind on your calendar the first day you have any vaginal bleeding. Next month, you do the same thing and then count the number of days from day one to day one and bam - you know how long your cycle is.

I'm not a hater of all things natural and I do believe that most natural things in life are better for us. But, I also believe that more sex is good for us too and a birth control method like the fertility awareness method asks you not to have sex approximately one third of the month - you can spend the next eight to ten months plotting your graphs and charting your rising and falling or you can just take my word for it. I also believe that orgasm is hard to achieve for a lot of women and putting so much thought into your birth control keeps your head in a linear, concrete, logical place that is kind of hard to get out of and isn't conducive to the head space you need to be in to achieve a really great orgasm. I also believe that you should be able to initiate or respond to your husband's invitation to sex any time the mood strikes. I also believe that there are lots and lots of other safe and effective options out there that are more reliable and require less of your time.

There may be those of you out there who have been taught that any form of birth control is morally and Biblically wrong and something like the fertility awareness method is the only thing between you and a full-sized club wagon. I would challenge you to read the scriptures for yourself. Find a passage that condemns birth control, I don't think that you will but lots of good research time in the Word is always good. When you come to Revelation and still haven't found what you're looking for, let me know - I would love to introduce you to a loving Father who calls you to live in ponder that.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I'm Not Buying It

This afternoon I was picking Hot Jeff up from the chiropractor which happens to be next to a Christian church here in town. The billboard outside of their church gave their service times and then said "People Disappoint. God Doesn't."

I'm calling that church's bluff. In fact, I think its just that kind of "religious" talk that turns people off. The reason why I think it turns people off is because it makes Christianity out to be this lifestyle of rainbows and unicorns and anyone with half a brain knows that life, whether you are a Christ-follower or not, isn't rainbows and unicorns.

God does disappoint. You don't have to look any further than the disciples staring up at Jesus hanging on a cross to find people who God disappointed. It isn't because of anything God did; His plan is perfect. Nothing that happens isn't something He hasn't sifted through His loving hands but the disciples didn't know an empty grave was going to be found just 3 days later. Amongst all the emotions they felt on that Friday you can be certain disappointment was one of them.

My friend Lorelei who died in August from an 18 month battle with brain cancer was disappointed with God. Her faith was intact and strong as she took her last breaths but she would have been, and was, the first person to tell you she was disappointed in God; painfully disappointed He hadn't healed her.

Lorelei preached a message of authenticity and honesty with yourself and with God. Part of being honest and authentic with God starts by confessing disappointment. Disappointment doesn't equate a lack of trust; it doesn't equate disbelief. Confessing disappointment with God is simply a sincere admission that opens the door to an authentic relationship with God. Furthermore, I think God likes it when we're honest; He already knows how we are feeling so why not get the elephant out of the room and cry out our pain, confusion and ...disappointment.

I think disappointment with God can be a slippery slope. God is sovereign. He is supreme. He is holy. He is not to be trifled with. Nevertheless, you can express disappointment without being blasphemous and insolent. The Psalms are filled with prose of that ebb and flow between praise and bewilderment; worship and wonder.

So I'd like to say to the church on Liberty next to Hot Jeff's chiropractor: Ugh, give me a break. (Insert eye roll.)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

There Is No G Spot...
But Just For Today

Don't worry ladies, the G Spot will resume (I think) next week. The G in G Spot has a life. I know, I know it doesn't seem fair, does it? Yep, she's shirking her blogging duties for her real life and while I'm as bummed as you are I am not a task master so I gave her the day off. She will be back next week to delight us and answer our questions so you better post some questions or I'm going to ask her about my awful Urinary Tract Infection...

Yep, I am SO going there. I am so going to put the Too in Too Much Information. I'm not going there right away but will get there eventually and you'll get a whole lot of other useless knowledge about me as well.

It begins with me not being able to sleep tonight which is as ironic as it is troublesome because all I've done for the last 6 days is sleep. 2 weekends ago I started feeling the symptoms of a bladder infection or Urinary Tract Infection; it wasn't terribly bothersome but bothersome enough and like any infection it zapped me of energy. By Monday I was feeling fine and went about my week. That takes us to this last weekend where I was a total and complete sloth. Layin' around feelin' all slothlike, taking more naps than usual and having zero energy to do anything but go upstairs and nap some more.

Monday morning was fine, still tired but fine but by Monday afternoon I was peeing fire. (And here we go with the TMI...) Seriously, tears-in-my-eyes-bite-down-on-something-solid-where-is-the-fire-extinguisher pain in my girly parts. Called my Doc, she called in a heavy dose of antibiotics, angel from Heaven next door neighbor Melissa went and picked it up along with some of that urethra numbing, pee staining stuff and I was on my way to wellness. So I thought.

Tuesday: painfully tired. Wednesday: painfully tired, vomiting, back pain, painfully tired. Thursday: still a little nauseated, still painfully tired but overall feeling like the antibiotics are kicking in and that I'm not going to die from undetected, stage 4, metastatic bladder cancer. I know, what a relief, eh?

So this brings me to why I can't sleep. For being so tired you'd think I could sleep right? Well to add insult to injury to my miserable life my home is in shambles. I haven't done much cooking or cleaning or laundry in the last week and the house is looking like it. It looks like a 2 and a 4 year old live here and they don't have a mother and their Dad doesn't give a rip about laundry or clean dishes. And when my home is in shambles it stresses me out and I don't deal with stress like most people. Most people get a headache or they drink 2 beers or they go target practicing or ok, its true, I really have no idea what most people do when they are stressed out but I'm pretty sure they don't completely melt down with a panic attack. That's what I did.

Because I am awake and because I am self-aware I know what triggered it. We were putting the kids down after a perfectly normal evening and Emily couldn't find her binkies and she was FREAKING OUT because she couldn't find her binkies. And of course I couldn't find her binkies and all I could see were piles of laundry, strewn about shoes, strewn about toys and piles of mail that needed to be sorted. Finally after frantically, and I mean frantically searching for binkies I found 2 (she needs one to suck and one to rub her nose with) and put her to bed. Hot Jeff was putting Samuel down and somehow, literally by the grace of God I was able to push through the tightening in my chest to sing Emily a song and get her down before my heart exploded. Someone give me a Mother-of-the-Year Award stat.

As soon as I walked out of her room this insane pressure filled my head and I felt dizzy and short of breath. I seriously felt like there were weights on my chest and that the house was being spun like a top. I went downstairs and outside and stared up at the starry sky and tried to picture the fresh night air filling my lungs back up. Later I explained to Jeff that I felt like my heart was a balloon that when you squeeze it it gets really thin and pale and you know you could pop it with the slightest touch.

Recognizing that I was indeed having a panic attack and not a heart attack I went to Jeff, who was reading, and told him what I was feeling instead of calling an ambulance. I did all the things you're supposed to like breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth and self-talk that it was just anxiety and it would pass. I said out loud to Jeff, "There really isn't a semi on my chest. There really isn't a semi on my chest. There really isn't a semi on my chest" until I finally believed it.

Then we watched Grey's Anatomy and I felt much better.

With all of that said, my ferocious bladder infection caused me to feel crummy all week leading to me falling off the housewife duties leading me to not be able to find binkies leading me to have a debilitating panic attack leading to way too much adrenaline being released in my body leading to me not being able to sleep at 11:52pm on a Thursday night leading me to write a blog post in place of The G Spot. And its probably because of my own G spot that led me to having too much sex-a-roni with Hot Jeff which probably is how I got the darn UTI in the first place.

I think the word we're looking for here is circuitous.

How do you deal with stress? Have you ever had a panic attack? Do you target practice?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Is This Heaven?

Right now I am at the Broadway Coffee House and there are no children clamoring around my legs. There are no dishes in the sink threatening to fall over. There is no laundry piled on the couch giving me glances and daring me to go one more day without putting it away. There isn't a dinner waiting to be made? There's aren't 2 sets of pre-schooler eyes looking at me like I am the anti-christ because I just had the audacity to serve them something that does start with macaroni and end in cheese.

Is This Heaven?

I'm pretty certain it isn't Heaven. The headache I've had for 2 days is still pounding away letting me know of its presence and although I have never read it with my own 2 eyes I am pretty sure somewhere in the Bible it says there are no headaches in Heaven. There are no bladder infections either. Another indicator I am still on Earth.

I'm waiting for a programming meeting to begin; well actually I'm waiting for my programming team members to get here so that the meeting can begin. They are late. I am thankful. I'm just going to sit here with Ruby and soak up the delicious coffee aromas and listen to the weird coffee house music playing.

What is the deal with weird coffee house music?

Friday, September 24, 2010

The G Spot

My question is about dryness issues. I have tried different types of lubricants, but none of them seem to last for the entire experience. I usually have to reapply at least once before my husband and I, shall we say, reach the "grand finale". What can I do?
- Dry in Denver

Dear Dry in Denver, thanks for your great question. Like all of the other questions we've addressed in this blog-spot, you pose a question that many, many other women are wondering about so thank you for womaning-up and asking it!

Vaginal dryness can be a really bothersome issue. It can make sex unpleasant or downright painful and it can make your vagina an unhappy place on a regular basis. There are several causes of vaginal dryness and several things that you can do it address it - you do NOT have to just "deal" with a sandpaper between your legs sensation for the rest of your life.

One thing that can cause vaginal dryness is menopause. If that's your situation in Denver then listen up. Estrogen is really the life-giving source to the vagina. Estrogen is what makes your vagina a lush and inviting environment and your uterus a fertile ground. Like we talked about a couple of weeks ago, menopause is an estrogen killer and it wants nothing more than to rob your vagina of it's life-giving source and leave it a cracked and barren wasteland. You need to arm yourself and take back your vagina! If vaginal dryness is your only issue, you can take a localized approach. Vitamin E capsules can be inserted in the vagina, one every night at bedtime. Overnight, the capsule dissolves and the vitamin E is absorbed locally and nourishes your vaginal tissue. You can add natural estrogens to your diet by eating soybeans and other soy based products. So, take your husband out for Chinese food, load up on the Edemame and take him home for a fabulous roll in the hay. Okay, it doesn't work that quickly but increasing dietary estrogen will ultimately increase the amount of estrogen in your system which will ultimately replenish your dry and unhappy vagina. If you've eaten enough soy beans to support a farmer and his family and you have so many vitamin E capsules shoved up your vagina that you wonder if there would even be room for a penis and you're still experiencing dryness issues, you're going to have to woman up again and pay a visit to your local gynecologist. He or she may prescribe an estrogen cream that you apply directly to the vagina and the labia. I have it on good authority from patients and a personal friend that the prescription estrogen cream can be the golden ticket to bringing the action back to your bedroom.

If you're not in any stage of menopause and are in fact 32, have 6 small kids at home, drink 4 cans of diet coke a day, and can run circles around any old lady you know but also experience vaginal dryness, you too are not alone. Menopause isn't the only thing that causes vaginal dryness - see you were worried for a moment that you are in fact a freak of nature, but you're not. First of all, all of the above stuff can work for you too so try the edemame, the vitamin E capsules, and the prescription estrogen cream. Also try putting down your 4 cans of diet coke.....WHAT?!?!?!? Seriously. While caffeine may seem like your only answer to getting through the day with 6 small kids at home, it's also a diuretic which is a fancy way of saying its a dehydrator. Yep, the same diet coke that makes you pee a lot and doesn't exactly make your skin look luminous can dry up your vagina so think carefully about how much caffeine you're taking in every day. You've also got to think about hygiene and drying chemicals that you may be exposing your vagina to. If you didn't read the first blog-spot and you haven't put down your summer breezes vagina spray - do it now! Those feminine sprays and douches are damaging to the delicate vaginal tissue and they can be very drying. If you take your kids to the local pool every afternoon in hopes of losing one or two of them in the crowd, you might be overexposing your vagina to harsh chlorine that can also be very drying.

Make sure that you and your husband are spending enough time on sex and getting in plenty of foreplay. Foreplay is critical for a woman and is the part of the sexual experience that cues the body to provide adequate lubrication. If you're not warmed up enough, you're not going to be lubed up enough - bottom line. If you've tried all of the things I've mentioned and you're only experiencing vaginal dryness during intercourse and you are spending plenty of time on foreplay then you're already doing the right thing - bringing in the lube. Use a good quality lubricant though and in my opinion, that wouldn't be anything that starts with a kay and ends with a why. Look for Astroglide or an equivalent, while it may be a bit more expensive it's also more like your own natural lubrication and works better. I think that your vagina deserves the best and if you don't, you should ponder that...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Blah, Blah, Blah

If you were on tonight's prayer request email list then the next paragraph will be a little bit redundant for you but bear with me for a few lines while the rest of 'em catch up.

Bestie Cary's mom is the programming director for a Young Moms group in Albany and they kick off their year this week. About a month ago Meredith (Cary's mom) asked me to speak to the moms; I was very humbled and honored and accepted.

And then I went on vacation and totally forgot about it until Meredith emailed me this afternoon asking me if I needed anything for this Thursday's event.

Holy crap...this Thursday??

Last night I referenced the journey God is just beginning to take me on regarding authenticity and living an authentic life. Of course, because that's what I'm reading and praying about that's what is on my mind for sharing with these sweet mama's on Thursday. Yet, I'm also really passionate about praying for our children (despite my lame and non-existent PYKM's lately) and have a heart for moms who compare themselves to other moms (pretty much every mother) and how much harder that makes their journey and how it is not where God wants them to live and how He desires for them to see themselves as He sees them: precious daughters redeemed by Him and chosen for an eternal purpose of raising children.

Ok, so because I use this blog as a way to process I'm going to process my thoughts on all of the above and how it may all work together. Oh lucky you. If it all seems rhetorical and redundant I am really, really sorry. If it sounds like bunk, leave a comment. If you have some Scripture to back up my rambles, leave a comment. Ah heck, just leave a comment.

Soooo...what if living an authentic life begins with believing the Truth about who I am in Christ and not believing the lies the enemy tells me? If I'm going to be ok with who I am, actually love myself the way Christ loves me, to see myself with all my faults, quirks, scars and imperfections and still know that I am deeply and perfectly loved I need to immerse myself in His Word--the Word that reminds me of who I am in Christ.

As a mother, I can't possibly begin to teach my children about how much Christ loves them if I don't know how much He loves me. It is imperative that I spend time in His Word (ideally every day) to saturate myself in His love and promises.

Just as God has called us to authentic living, He has called us to be mothers (remember I'm speaking to a group of young mothers so the "us" is the group...) and as mothers we must believe that our homes are sacred places where we raise and pray for our children. Our homes need to be safe places where our children can be themselves, learn from their mistakes, not be afraid to make messes and where they are continuously pointed to the Savior. We can help our children in ways that we cannot see and in ways we can't imagine by praying for them; their daily needs and their mental, physical and spiritual needs.

Often times, because I struggle with comparing myself to other mothers and wives, I find myself in a terrible rut of feeling like my kids are going to grow up and be dirty pigs who have great taste in music but are way too fond of margaritas. I am a less than perfect housekeeper and the enemy knows he can speak lies into my heart and mind and defeat me as a person, mother and wife on a daily basis. On the flip side, if I can be truthful with myself about my areas of weakness and confess I need the help of a Savior ON EVERY FRONT than I am 1) being authentic and 2) defeating lies with Truth.

My home doesn't define me. The cleanliness of my kitchen or my bathrooms don't define me. I am a daughter of the King; my identity rests in Him and His redeeming blood. I am more than a wife. I am more than a mother. I am more than a housekeeper. I am His beloved.

Ok, I'm tired of rambling and processing and writing. I think its helped getting some thoughts on "paper". I am sorry if its preachy or boring or redundant. I did warn you though.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Vanessa, If You're Reading This Please Comment...

All day long I had been planning on writing about authenticity and the journey I believe God is just starting to take me on regarding living an authentic life.

But then...
I sat down to watch the 2 hour finale of "Bachelor Pad" and any deep thoughts I had about authenticity went down the toilet with Kovacs & Elizabeth's Rumba.

So I'm just going to write. If Stream of Consciousness isn't your style then you should check out right now.

Writing is like an exercise. I've never been very good at exercise. Don't like it. I've heard stories of women who need therapy because they have an addiction to exercise. Huh? I wish I could be one of those women.

I wish I could be one of those women who had any discipline in her life whatsoever. Then, instead of watching the finale of the "Bachelor Pad" I would be sharing my thoughts about living an authentic life.

Oh well.

Here's the other thing on my mind lately. Speaking of living an authentic life...

When we first bought this house almost 7 years I had Shannon decorate the family room for me and then for my 30th birthday (gasp, years ago) she and Hot Jeff surprised me by sending me away for the day and then when I got back my kitchen and living room were painted and re-decorated. It was awesome.
Yet, as it often happens, tastes change with the passage of time. Not only have my tastes changed but I'm a little older and a bit more aware/in tune with what my tastes and likes are.

Last summer I went to this little Shabby Chic cottage sale with Cary and really liked the style. I've also always liked antique/vintage things and loved seeing that style in a contemporary setting.

So this all brings me to my discovery tonight... while in Montana last week my dearest, sweetest Aunt Kathy gave me a big sack of old doilies. Every size, shape and color and they are just beautiful!

When I started talking my love of doilies on Facebook I didn't get a lot of positive feedback. I know--shocking. Shannon is the most horrified and for that I need to make a public apology...Shannon, I love you and I love your taste but I have a great affinity for doilies and at risk of losing our friendship, I must tell you the truth, I looked online for doily decorating ideas.

The Country Living website has such cute doily decorating ideas. I am not even kidding you. It will, however, require me to redecorate and I'm going to start with my family room and dining room because Hot Jeff has been itching to repaint them anyway.

I'm quite excited about it and all of you can just suck it if you don't like it. Look at this cute can you not love it? I have really great red furniture so picture this room with my red furniture...and some awesome doilies. This first picture is a cool pillow that has a doily sewn on it and I totally am going to make one of these pillows with my Aunt Kathy doilies.

How do you even go about getting this fun look? I think it starts with paint. And throw pillows. And perhaps a hardcore built-in bookshelf. I think the keyword I'm looking for is eclectic. Anyone with me? Shannon, are you still reading? It appears I will need to get a large rug and perhaps have Samuel clean up the 137 Lightning McQueen cars.

What is that stuff on the ceiling?

I am in over my head. And I need a new label.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The G Spot
Your Questions, Real Answers

Dear G Spot,
I'm loving my 30's but am already dreading my 40's when all THOSE changes start. Don't get me wrong, I'm excited about not having a period; I'm just not excited about all the other stuff that comes with it. To make matters worse, I have no idea what that stuff is. Questions abound.
Signed, Apprehensive and Excited in Salem

Dear Apprehensive and Excited,
It sure does seem like women spend their entire lives dealing with change in their own bodies, doesn't it? As a hallmark to the end of childhood, just when you've mastered the art of walking and chewing gum at the same time, you sprouted "breast buds" that completely threw off your center of balance and you started bleeding from a part of your body that still seemed unspeakable.

As a teen, the buds blossomed and you got comfortable enough with the bleeding vagina to give it nicknames and talk about it with your friends which made you, "feel like a woman". Maybe in your 20's you got married and you discovered that the body you had spent so many years getting comfortable with was an entirely different body, one you'd never even met let alone lived in,when in the hands of you new husband came.

If my guess is right, just when you felt like you had your groove going, a living, breathing, alien-creature took up residence in your body and suddenly your body contorted and changed in ways that made you feel both awe-struck and a little bit disgusted.

Maybe now you're in another one of those beautiful phases of life where you are totally in-tune with your body. You know exactly what to do with and expect from the body that belongs to you and your always on stand-by dead sexy husband. However, there looms in the distance the fear of the next phase that is so monumental that it's no longer referred to as "a" change but "The" change.

Personally, I'm a firm believer that women are so skilled at dealing with their changing body that the phrase, "the change" should be banished from your vocabulary. Call it "a change" if you must but if you want to look cool in front of your friends, call it "the menopausal transition".

Then get super hip to the lingo and throw out phrases like peri-menopausal and post-menopausal and phytoestrogens, and please, please don't start using phrases like bioidentical hormones unless you really, really know what you're talking about. If you use that one only because you heard it on Oprah, you will be the woman whose gyno just shakes their head, unless of course your gyno watches Oprah too when they should be reading the most recent publication from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists....I digress.

What most women think of as menopause is actually peri-menopause. It is during peri-menopause that you may notice changes with your period - cycles that are longer, flow that is heavier or lighter, unpredictability when you used to set your calendar to your body and the like.

You may also experience changes with your vagina - the same vagina that first learned to accommodate a tampon and later became so versatile that it could accommodate either your husband's penis or your child's head may suddenly shudder at the thought of anything touching it's dry and paper-thin tissue. You may also experience changes in your mood - increased sensitivity, decreased sensitivity, tearfulness, or if you're like my mom was, a complete loss of your mental faculties and a need for a 12-step program to address your new anger issue. You may also experience changes with your internal thermostat - you may find yourself wakened at night by a surge of heat followed up a bone-chilling sweat or you might need to dress in light layers like it's spring all the time because one minute you're hot and then next you're cold. The good news is, peri-menopause may only last a year. The bad news is, it may last for several years. The good news is you may only have a couple of these symptoms. The bad news is, you may have them all. My guess is that if you are one of those women who quote, "has a fast metabolism" you'll probably also be one of those women who quote, "didn't even notice when my periods stopped" - that theory isn't based on medical evidence though, just life observation from the back of the boob line.

A woman is considered to be peri-menopausal until she hasn't had a period for an entire year. That means if you haven't had a period in 8 months but then are blessed with one out of the blue while wearing white pants at your parents' anniversary party, you start the clock all over again. Once you make it past that 12 month mark and you haven't had a period in over a year, you are considered post-menopausal.

So, when exactly did "menopause" happen? Menopause is technically defined as the permanent cessation of menstruation. Honestly, after more than a decade as a womens' health medical professional, the best I can figure,the moment of menopause is the moment you reach the 12 months without a period mark. So, keep track of that date, plan a party, get a pedicure, go out with your girlfriends and when people ask you what you're celebrating tell them, "it's my menopause".

The burning question for most women in their 30's is, "when will I start going through menopause?" - which you now know should be phrased, "when will I begin the menopausal transition?". The scientific answer is, "go ask your mother". No really, talk to your mom and your aunts and your grandmother if you can. Find out when they first started experiencing symptoms of peri-menopause. Unless you have medical issues that make your situation significantly different than other women in your family, chances are that you will have a similar experience with timing as they did. The average age of menopause in the US is 51 and menopause before age 40 is considered premature menopause. So, if you're 30 you have either 10 good years left or 10 long years to wait, depending on your perspective. So ponder that.....

Please leave a question for upcoming weeks. You know you have one so stop being a chicken and ask it. Remain anonymous if you must.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The G Spot
(Regular Edition)

How do I help my husband keep his ejaculation longer? He's great during foreplay but as soon as there is penetration he ejaculates; is there something he or I can do to make intercourse last longer?

Wanting More in Baltimore

Dear Wanting More,
Hold on to your knickers because I've got an answer for you but it's not for the faint of heart!

First of all, let me say that The G Spot does not endorse or approve of "sexual relations" outside the context of holy matrimony, you know the whole solemn vow before God and witnesses thing. The good Lord created the G spot (not referring to this blog feature) and I'm guessing that He hoped that you would find it and find it often but I haven't come across anywhere in the Bible where He talks about finding it with just any Joe on the street.

If you don't believe me, may I direct you to the Song of Solomon or as I like to call it, God's Guide to Getting It On. So, if you're experiencing this "problem" outside the context of holy matrimony, my advice to you is to quit shaggin' what you ought not be shaggin' and get yourself into a Bible study. If on the other hand you are trying to achieve a sort of sexual utopia with your hunky husband than I suggest you keep reading :)

Let me clarify your question a bit. I don't think that you want your husband's ejaculation to last longer because that would just be...well....a lot. I'm thinking that you're really hoping that he can stay a bit longer in that awesome state of arousal that comes before ejaculation. You are not alone and your husband isn't either. Seriously, about one third of men experience what you're describing which is called premature ejaculation. "Premature" doesn't mean that he has a little bitty baby penis, it means he gets the job done ahead of schedule and under his original bid. If you were working on a kitchen remodel that would be awesome but since you're probably working on that sometimes elusive female orgasm, it's what I like to call "no bueno".

Understand that while premature ejaculation is very common, it's not something that guys banter about in the locker room or on the links and it's likely to be a touchy subject for your husband. Be loving and sensitive to that and be sure to let him know that you're not dissatisfied and in fact are so excited about what he has to offer during foreplay that you'd like the good times to go on and on and on....Anyway, speaking of touchy, you've got to get comfortable with touchy because you're going to be doing a lot of it if you want to help your husband and believe me, you want to help your husband with this :)

You need to understand a little bit about the male sexual experience in order to better understand what's going on and your role in changing things for the better. The female sexual experience can be looked at as a rolling, gentle curve with valleys and peaks that get higher and higher and....well you know where I'm going....The male sexual experience can be looked at as a more boxy, linear line that goes straight up (no pun intended), turns to the right and then shoots off the chart. That turn to the right is called a plateau phase and it's the phase where your guy is fully aroused but has not yet experienced an orgasm or ejaculation. In your situation the plateau phase doesn't last as long as you'd like it to so you've got to help train your husband and his boys to stay in the plateau stage for as long as you need him to. Bake cookies or a pie, that always tends to make men stick around a little longer....Seriously, an easy training method is called the start and stop technique.

I know, you'd think this would be easy for guys since they are always starting a project or flipping to a new channel and then getting side tracked and leaving it for later but with sex, it's a whole different thing.....In order to use this training method you're going to have to go to that touchy place where you're comfortable putting your hands on your husband's penis. If you're not comfortable putting your hands on your husband's penis then I might have a whole other blog topic coming.....anyway....The idea of the start/stop technique is that you start manually stimulating the penis and bring your husband to a complete state of arousal, having him pay very close attention to when he is approaching what is commonly referred to as "the point of no return". Just as he is approaching the "point of no return", stop what you're doing and allow him to retreat from that place a bit which usually takes about 30 seconds. Start working your magic and once again bring your husband just to that brink. Initially you may only be able to do this once or twice before he has to "tap out" shall we say, but after several sessions over several days, you should find that you have successfully prolonged that plateau stage. You can then take the technique and apply it during a full body sexual encounter, changing positions or backing off just a bit as your husband approaches the point of no return if you're not right there with him. Over time, you will most likely find that your husband is able to keep a steady pace with you and the two of you can fall back onto the covers with your hair messed up and a glassy look in your eyes, just like the couple on those terribly tasteless personal lubricant commercials.

A word of caution: Don't approach your husband in a pair of coveralls and a tool belt or a drill sergeant's uniform and a whistle and inform him that you guys have some work to do and he and his boys are going to be whipped into shape in no time. If you must go the tool belt route, make sure that you aren't wearing anything else and if there needs to be a whistle, make sure it's a sort of cat call that let's your guy know that you think he's drop dead sexy. Use plenty of lubrication and bring a healthy sense of humor and remember that while you hold your husband's penis in your hand you hold all of his pride as well so ponder that....

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Dads: Real and Fake

So yesterday I implied said clearly that Rod Stewart is my real father. I feel I should follow this up with a story. And its State Fair season and there is no better time to talk about my Dad than State Fair season...

I come from a long line of funny and irreverent women both on my Mom's side and my not-real Dad's side. So it was no surprise to my Mom that by the age of 4 I "got" her jokes and wickedly fresh sense of humor.

One evening when I was about 6 or 7 my Mom was in our tiny apartment's even tinier bathroom primping for a date with Roy. We all called him "Roy Boy" and for that reason alone I can be thankful that things didn't work out between he and my Mom and that he didn't become my step dad or I may be riding on the back of a hawg on my to Sturgis right now instead of writing this post in my pajamas in my sweet little suburb neighborhood.

Anyway, I remember this evening and the bathroom perfectly. I can still see the little wood plaques with a little boy and a little girl painted on them. They each had those big mushroomy looking hats on and were wearing green. You could see them from wherever you stood in the bathroom because even if you had your back to them you could see their reflection in the mirror.

My Mom was primping in the mirror and I was sitting on the closed toilet seat lid adoringly watching her put on her makeup. She was beautiful and I wanted to be just like her. That evening she looked particularly gorgeous because she was wearing the-most-awesome-brown-cowboy-boots-ever. They were super hot looking, not cowpokey, and when she wore them I always had to help peel her out of them. "Pull Jenny, pull" and I would pull until the boot came flying off and I would fall to my boney butt from the force of it; Mom and I would giggle as I stood up to do the other one.

We were listening to our favorite record, Rod Stewart! It was the one where he's wearing that shiny pink shirt and has flowy blond hair on the cover. Dreamy. Mom stopped singing Maggie May and slowly put her mascara wand back in its tube. She looked at me earnestly and said, "Rod Stewart is your real dad". She sighed and went back to applying her mascara.

Again, totally getting my Mom's sense of humor I knew it was a fabulous lie and remarkably to this day we still have the ongoing "joke" that Rod Stewart is my real dad.

Somewhere in Montana my Mom is clutching her heart and gasping for air right now because I just shared this story with the whole wide world internet. Breathe deeply Mom, breathe deeply. No one can call child services on you 28 years later.

And so this brings us to the State Fair story and my Dad. The real one. Well the not-real one since Rod is my real one.

My Dad split when he found out my Mom was pregnant. You can't blame him--here she had been having a steamy affair with Rod Stewart all this time; you can't expect a guy to stick around after he learns that so he did what any guy would do in his situation: he became a carnie. A State Fair carnie. Wow, I am so proud of my roots right now it is friggin' ridiculous.

And legend has it that on that early Autumn night in September '76 when I was born somehow my Mom got word to him that he had a daughter and not having in cigars handy, he passed out cigarettes to all his carnie buddies.

God bless the Tilt-a-Whirl, Its a Girl!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Whether You Want to Know or Not

In college writing classes a writer is asked to picture their audience when they write any piece. Being the star student I am, whenever I sit down to write down to write a post I picture my audience. I used to picture droves and droves of people all over the WORLD who really like a good story. Now that I haven't been blogging as regularly I picture my Mom. And maybe Shannon every other day or so.

The whole reason I even bring this up is because as I was formulating my blog post while putting Emily down tonight I knew I wanted to ask a question of my audience at the end but I'm not real sure anyone will comment. And that makes me so sad. You don't want me to be sad, do you? C'mon, leave a comment! And for crying out loud, leave a question for The G Spot.

So I spent much of my day being a lazy turd on the couch because I had a big headache. While I was lying around I made a sweet little playlist that I like to call "I Was Drunk the Day My Mom Got Out Of Prison"...yes, that's right--17 country, drinking songs. I figure it will be the perfect playlist for camping, floating the Deschutes or barbecuing with any of the Niles' clan. Its got some classics on it like Margaritaville, I'm Pretty Good at Drinkin' Beer, Tequila Sunrise, I Need You Now (the Lady Antebellum song that Shannon and I cannot get enough of) and Family Tradition because really, what's a good barbecuing with Niles' playlist without some Hank Williams Jr.?

One of my favorite playlists these days is my house cleaning playlist which includes some sweet and jiggy Beyonce, Eminem, Lady Gaga and I'm not ashamed to say it, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake. I have Hit Me Baby One More Time right next to Rock Your Body so that somewhere in the universe Justin and Britney will be together, where they belong.

On the whole other end of the spectrum I have my workout playlist that is full of bumpin'-praise-Jesus music. I love me some David Crowder Band and have Oh Praise Him and Here is Our King. There's also some Chris Tomlinson, Lincoln Brewster and Michael W. Smith on there. I know, I know "1992 called and wants their Michael W. Smith back" but you can just stick it. Not only is this playlist workout worthy but its also good for bike rides and for car rides with the kids when I just can't take anymore Psalty praise songs. Samuel loves this playlist because it has his alltme favorite Our God Saves on it--the Paul Baloche version). Now if I'm in the car on a road trip and everyone else is sleeping then I'm listening to sermons because I just gotta have me some Josh Mann and Steve Fowler on the highway.

Speaking of road trips, there are only 2 cd's we ever listen to while rolling through the Rockies from Idaho to Montana and that is John Denver and Jim Croce. There is nothing like listening to Rocky Mountain High while reaching the peak of Lookout Pass.

One very versatile playlist is my "Smooth and Easy" playlist and its jammed packed with some Sinatra, Harry Connick Jr, Ella Fitzgerald and Tony Bennett. I've even managed to get my real Dad (Rod Stewart) on there with his sultry version of I Don't Wanna Talk About It and I love listening to it after the kids have gone to bed. I have a glass of wine and fold laundry, or look at a magazine or snuggle with Hot Jeff. This playlist is versatile because it can be the perfect baby-makin' music or the perfect break-up blues playlist. A melancholy lady could cry for hours while listening to In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning or I'll Be Seeing You.

Finally, my 80's playlist, made by the assistance and insistence of Hot Jeff pretty much brings down the house. This playlist is a must for laying out in the backyard getting some sun. And while I'm laying out in the sun my kids usually interrupt me so I start working in the garden or pulling weeds and I just love me some Bon Jovi, Rick Springfield and BOY GEORGE. I could just listen to Betty Davis Eyes, Hold Me Now and If You Like Pina Coladas And are you kidding me, what woman in her 30's doesn't imagine kissing Andrew McCarthy every time she hears If You Leave? Not me.

So what are your favorite playlists? Do you just like a good beat or do lyrics mean something and remind you of a certain time and place? What playlists get you going? Which ones make you want to kick back and drink wine by candlight? Be specific because I may want to make one like it.

Monday, August 30, 2010

The G Spot
(Monday Edition)

Dear G Spot,
My vajay-jay is always so smelly! I shower once a day, use that FDA spray and wipe with those wonderful smelling female wipes and yet...kinda smelly. During my period it is actually better because I wear a tampon all the time. Should I start douching? I always heard that killed the good bacteria as well as the bad but is that advice for women who douche too often?
- Smelly in Seattle

Dear Smelly in Seattle,
Thanks for your great question.

Soooo many women wonder about this and I wish more of them would actually ask the question. If more women asked the question, we would have a lot more happy vagina's in the world.

Let me break it down for you...1) Your vagina is supposed to smell like vagina. It's not supposed to smell like lilacs or summer breezes so the first thing you need to do is evaluate your perspective. Do you think your vagina is "smelly" or do others including your husband think that it's "smelly"?

2) If, after you've polled your neighbors and your husband about the smell coming from your vagina, you determine that it is in fact "foul" you need to get that checked out. Let's be clear though, "foul odor" from the vagina is akin to the smell of something rotting or dying and is the kind of odor that makes you want to throw up in your mouth a little if you get a really strong whiff of it. Chances are that your husband wouldn't want to put his face anywhere near a "foul odor". If your vagina smells like a fish market, you also want to get that checked out. That means make an appointment with your local gynecologist and woman-up for the pants-down exam by a trained professional.

3) If, after you've polled your neighbors and your husband about the smell coming from your vagina, you determine that your vagina does in fact...smell like vagina. You need to relax.

There are some things that you can do to make your vagina the most hospitable and welcoming place that it can be: Stop using those sprays and wipes. They are evil and can damage the delicate tissue of your most secret place and forever change the pH balance of your vagina making it an awful, hateful place for penises - I know you don't want that! Do NOT squirt any kind of cleansing/perfuming douche up your vagina. If God had intended your vagina to smell like a summer breeze, it would. Since it doesn't, I can only imagine that God intended for it to smell like... vagina. Wear cotton underwear - it's not sexy but it's sexier than staanky vagina. Sleep without any underwear on and allow your vagina to breathe at night. After you shower, use a blow dryer on med/low heat for just a few seconds on your vagina. This will help dry the environment before you trap it in your pants all day.

So, if this smelliness of the vagina is relatively new, it's possible that you have a bacterial infection. If it's something that you've noticed most of your adult life, it's probably just the smell of your vagina. Don't be too quick to try to get rid of that smell. As gross as it is to us, the vagina smell is actually full of pheromones and is part of what attracts men to the vagina. Ponder that....

Got a question for The G Spot? Leave a comment, keep anonymous if it makes you feel more comfortable!

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images and information, contained on or available through this web site is for general information purposes only. All Things Henderson and The G Spot make no representation and assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of information contained on or available through this web site, and such information is subject to change without notice. You are encouraged to confirm any information obtained from or through this web site with other sources, and review all information regarding any medical condition or treatment with your physician. NEVER DISREGARD PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE OR DELAY SEEKING MEDICAL TREATMENT BECAUSE OF SOMETHING YOU HAVE READ ON OR ACCESSED THROUGH THIS WEB SITE.

All Things Henderson and The G Spot do not recommend, endorse or make any representation about the efficacy, appropriateness or suitability of any specific tests, products, procedures, treatments, services, opinions, health care providers or other information that may be contained on or available through this web site. All Things Henderson and The G Spot ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE NOR LIABLE FOR ANY ADVICE, COURSE OF TREATMENT, DIAGNOSIS OR ANY OTHER INFORMATION, SERVICES OR PRODUCTS THAT YOU OBTAIN THROUGH THIS WEB SITE.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Introducing Something Really Fabulous

As you may have noticed I don't have nearly the time to blog as much as I would like to. And I do miss it and more than missing blogging I hate Christy Lowry's hateful comments about how I never blog anymore. Hateful I say.

So I'm going to pull a little Oprah trick. I'm going to make a medical person famous by letting them be a guest on my show blog.

Last week I had a cooter question and so I asked one of my Besties, who happens to be a OBGYN nurse, the question. She emailed me back the most hilarious, yet informative, email I have ever read. Not only did it answer my question but it made me laugh. Out loud. And I don't mean 'lol' like the schoolers use but actually laughed out loud until I pee'd my pants a little bit (which could be a topic for her to talk about).

I'm not sure I want to use her real name because I'm afraid some crazy person will misuse her medical advice, die of cervical cancer and sue us; that's why you'll see some legal disclaimer on all of her guest posts. But she is fabulous and her name does start with a "G" which is how I came up with the genius name of her posts: The G Spot. Love it.

So here's how it will work: you send me questions through comments. G will read them and then answer them once a week (we still haven't settled on the day of the week her reoccurring posts will appear). This is your chance to ask anything regarding women's health: sexual, physical, emotional, mental, etc that you have questions about.

I only have one guy reader, that I know of, the fabulous Dr. Goose but he's a doctor so he shouldn't mind The G Spot. Plus, guys can ask questions about women's health too! Come on Goose, send them our way; Daisy will appreciate it.

For the rest of you, what are you curious about? Is something going on that's concerning you? Wondering if you need to see a doctor? Need advice about something--leave your question in the comments or email or Facebook me. Feel free to leave your name off and be "Anonymous", G will answer it either way.