March 31, 2010

Million Dollar Smile

Marky is finally getting baptized this weekend during the Easter Vigil. Being Catholic, he was required to participate in the Rite of Election a few weeks ago. The Rite of Election was held in Saint Paul's Cathedral in Oakland. The Cathedral was completely packed with all others participating, along with their families, from the whole Pittsburgh diocese. The bishop presided and a television crew was there taping the event.

Well, being the stress-bag that I am, I was in a tizzy trying to get Marky there on time. We stopped at McDonalds on the way so Marky could eat. (It was a long day for the two of us.) When we got there, I grabbed Stone and quickly lead Marky and Adam to the Cathedral doors. We made it just in time. I sighed with relief as I sunk into the pew, happy that we weren't late. (We had gotten lost in downtown Pittsburgh, resulting in tears on my behalf.)

Stone was perfect, letting me listen to mass. Amazing. They soon called the names of those getting baptized. Calling Marky's name, we both made our way up to the front with the others so they could sign their names in books. I proudly stood behind Marky. That's when Marky turned and gave me the most beautiful smile.......covered in ketchup!

I stood mortified. We're standing in front of the whole church, the bishop, and PUBLIC TELEVISION, and my kid has McDonalds ALL over his face. A spit wash would be embarrassing for him, and would probably be inappropriate to do during a ceremony. So I left it.

That following Wednesday, I picked up the copy of the Diocese Catholic newspaper that was delivered to my house, and there we were in a picture. Awesome.

Lesson 52: Kid in front of the whole church during mass with the bishop, that is televised with McDonalds smeared all over his face = white trash

Don't worry, I learned my lesson. I will most definitely be checking his face before mass this weekend. Luckily, this one won't be on TV!

Jovie Smorgasbord

Jovie has been a real hot mess lately. I need an extra set of eyes.....or maybe a whole other body. A 19 month old needs constant supervision, and having five other kids, one being a new baby, my attention is drawn thin. A disaster follows wherever she goes, and she has now decided that she must taste everything she picks up. Whether it be just a lick or a whole-in-mouth chewing experiment, it doesn't matter, she just has to give it a taste.

Lesson 51: daughter licking bubble solution off a bubble wand, chewing on a cigarette butt off the ground, and drinking a cup of (non-toxic) paint water with paint brush still in it....all in a half an hour = white trash

March 16, 2010

Going Outside

The sun is out and the million inches of snow have melted. You know what that means? I get to sit on my front porch!

Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love to rock in my Amish rocking chair and bask in the sunlight on my front porch. In the summer I spend most of my time after the kids have gone to bed enjoying the beautiful hillside full of trees on the opposite side of the Ohio River. The river itself is brown and disgusting. I'm glad neighboring houses block that view. I rock away while praying or enjoying the occasional neighbors company. (When I say occasional neighbors, I mean Jackie. She's the only one who doesn't mind being seen with us!)

Today was not only sunny, but also quite warm. My kids have had an extreme case of cabin fever after being stuck in the house for four excruciating months, so the prospect of going out into the fresh air lifted their spirits. My kids are quite simple and were totally stoked they got to trade in their bulky winter coats for hoodies. I, on the other hand, am just as simple, and couldn't wait to reunite my big butt with its most favorite seat.

Giddily, we made our way outside. Now, I have to tell you, we never use our front door in the winter. It's just easier to go out the back door, which is closer to where our cars are parked, avoiding the bitter winter wind. Plus my front door gets stuck in cold weather making it impossible to open unless you know the secret trick; but the door opened easily today.

I stepped outside as the kids barreled out the door like a clown car vomiting clowns. I closed my eyes and took in a deep breath of fresh air.........choke, choke........fresh air? I opened my lids and scanned my porch. I expected a certain amount of disarray after a harsh season of neglect, but what I saw caused much confusion.

We have not had a pet in the house since Jasper died. I don't need anything else pooping, peeing, or vomiting on my floors, my kids are enough. Seriously! When I walked out on my porch, my favorite spot in the world, I found a pile of regurgitated hairball, a nice plop of feces on my front step, and the whole front of the house had a lovely cat pee smell.

Grrrrrrrrr........Now, I don't hate animals. I love dogs and most cats. Jackie's cat, Cheddar, is the best cat ever! He makes sure both Jackie's house and our house are mice free. He's an outside cat (most of the time), but he is clean and taken care of.

I do, however, have a problem with the nasty inbred cats that roam around the neighborhood. There are a million of them, and they all look the same. All five gagillion of them are thin with scraggly gray fur, looking as if they just crawled out of Pet Cemetery. They're creepy! And they're deficating on my stairs and spraying my house with their strong smelling urine!

Lesson 50: my house being the neighborhood cat toilet = white trash
Needless to say, my butt had to just look longingly at my Amish rocker while I cleaned my front porch. Don't worry butt, there's always tomorrow!

March 3, 2010

Thinking Arby's

The first few weeks after bringing a baby home, those who come to meet the new addition looks them over and tells you who they think they resemble. Sometimes it’s generic, “He looks like you.” I think the best comparison I ever got was when my mom looked at Jude as an infant and told me, “He has Poppy’s nostrils.” Now that was specific!

Stone has been no different. Though I’ve heard very different opinions about most things about him, the one thing they all agree on is that he has my lips. Poor kid, he inherited the full lips that practically ruined my childhood.

I have to admit, at that age my lips didn’t fit my face, and it was pure ammunition for cruel kids to torment me every day. They called me horrible names and would stick out their bottom lips and use their tongues to make big upper lips, pretending to be me. I went home upset quite often. To make me feel better, my mom would tell me, “Those lips will make you famous one day.” She would then show me people like Mick Jagger or Steven Tyler who are known for their large smackers. This is why, though I’m not the one in the family obsessed with the Rolling Stones, I have a special affection for Mick Jagger.

Stone’s lips are just the same. Being entirely too big for his face, we have a good time watching what his amusing lips can do. For instance, since he has no teeth, occasionally he will suck in his bottom lip in the middle, creating two perfectly sized bottom lips. Adam’s favorite is when he flattens his bottom lip and sucks in the sides of his top lip, forming a cowboy hat shape. When this happens, Adam lovingly states with a grin, “Look! Stone’s Thinking Arby’s!”

Now, Stone is not the first person in our family to Think Arby’s. About a month after we moved into our house, and a few years before the Thinking Arby’s campaign, we were driving to Walmart. Adam was the person physically driving. I sat in the passenger seat needing to be sedated. I don’t do well as a passenger. About a year before this incident Adam and I had had a fight about me being too over critical of his driving. I told him when to brake, when to slow down, and would hold onto the “Oh shit” bar the whole time looking completely terrified. It’s not that Adam is a bad driver. I’m a bad driver. I’m way too cautious, the type of person who brakes as soon as I see another car’s brake lights ahead, even if they’re five miles down the road. It’s pretty sad, and it Adam crazy when I'd warn him that cars were stopping at a red light.

“Yeah honey, I see it.” he’d tell me in a very annoyed tone. It got to the point where he asked me not say anything ever again or he’d leave me on the curb. Realizing I was driving my husband to insanity, I decided to keep quiet no matter how scared I felt. I did well for the following year. Even though my heart raced and I would often break into a cold sweat while Adam sat behind the wheel, I still kept my mouth shut.

Then, on the way to Walmart, on that beautiful warm clear day, we neared a stop light. Since it was such a nice day, no rain or snow, I was able to see things very clearly. We neared the light, a pick-up truck in front of us. My heart beat erratically as the truck’s bumper got closer and closer and our car’s speed didn’t seem to be slowing. The next thing I knew our car had been fused together with the truck’s rear end.

I looked over at Adam and all he had to say for himself was, “Whoops.”

Whoops? I thought to myself. This wouldn’t have happened if I was permitted to be annoying and overbearing.

“What were you looking at?” I demanded, confused at how he didn’t see the large truck now sticking out of our hood.

“Did you know they have two Arby’s melts for four dollars?” he asked with a grin.

Lesson 49: Wrecking your car because you want a roast beef sandwich = white trash

I looked to my right, there sat an Arby’s restaurant with a sign that read exactly what Adam had just told me. I whipped my head back around to glare at my husband, “You wrecked the car because you wanted a sandwich?!”

“Honey, it’s two Arby’s melts for four dollars!”

I was not amused.

A few years later the “Thinking Arby’s" commercials made their debut. The first time we saw one of those commercials, Adam and I both broke out in laughter. We joked about him getting out of the car after the accident with a big red outline of a hat floating above his head.

Now when we’re in the car and Adam suggests stopping at Arby’s, I immediately grab onto the “Oh shit” bar and hold on for my life.