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 the.best.story.ever 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. Then...one 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 Method....now 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 freedom......so 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.)