Saturday, April 28, 2007

sucked in

Wayne has begun listening to Kevin Smith's Podcast. He was listening to it while we were getting ready for the day yesterday, and though it was definitely an adult podcast (def. don't need Maya listening to it-- not like TAL podcasts.), it funny. and uncomfortable at times.

As a result of listening to the podcast, I was compelled to check out his blog. Wow.

Now, for anyone who isn't familiar with Kevin Smith, he wrote, directed and acted in one of my all time top five movies: "Clerks." If you have never seen this movie, don't bother netflixing it or renting it through some video store. Just go buy it. You won't regret it. Other Kevin Smith flicks worth owning: Chasing Amy. Mallrats. Both of those movies star Jason Lee and Ben Affleck. I adored Jason Lee from the time I saw him in Kevin Smith's movies. He is awesome.

I also liked Dogma, but it was a little ridiculous. I feel an obligation, on some levels, to like Smith's movies. Like, if Dogma was written and directed by anyone else, I probably would have hated it. I did fall asleep during Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. Wayne said it was funny, though.

I am, however, one of only a few people who loved, loved, loved Jersey Girl. I loved the characters, the story. It was a wonderful movie, but it did lean towards being a chick flick, which is a genre I happen to enjoy.

Anyway, I happen across Kevin Smith's Blog yesterday and get completely sucked in. I go all the way back to where he began blogging in 2005. They are, by and large, quite funny. He blogs about shitting in the morning, hemmorrhoids/anal fissures, sex with his wife (I would kill my husband if he posted online in detail about our sex life) and of course, his kid, his movies, his friends, his life as it is.

I get to a point last night in his blog where he starts writing about his friend Jason's drug addiction and path to recovery.

Jason Mewes is a dude who stars as Jay in most of Smith's movies. He's guy who knew Smith before he was a Big Hollywood Director (one thing can be said abour Smith: he is loyal to his friends and family), and he stars in most of Smith's movies as Jay. Hilarious.

So I get to these blog entries and I am absolutely captivated. The posts were so damn funny and so heartbreaking at the same time. They were retrospective, so Mewes was already sober for three years by the time Smith posted the blogs. Really, he needs to write a book.

I was up until 2:45 this morning reading, and I finally had to make myself put my laptop away. I finished it up this morning. Read it starting right here.

I was ready to cry reading it, and then he wrote about the death of his father. Ugh. Now I am at the end of the Mewes stuff and I'm starting on how he came to meet and marry his wife, Jennifer Schwalbach. I love how Smith blogs about things that are so...normal. I mean, there is weird shit involved, for sure, but he has a way of making the blogs look like just a day in the life of Joe Down the Road.

Read his blog. You'll like it. Definitely go through the archives, though, because that's where the meat is. I have no idea what his most recent blog entries are like--especially now that he has the podcast. Just make sure you set aside some time because you, too, will likely get sucked in.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


I have HPV. I am sure I've mentioned that before; I'm not embarrassed by it. I'm not terribly afraid of it (right now I am more afraid of heart disease and diabetes...thanks, fatass me). From the numbers out there, pretty much anyone who has had sex with more than one person or has had sex with a person who's had sex with more than one person probably has HPV. They may not know it, especially if they have always had normal paps and had no reason to screen for it.

I found out I have HPV from abnormal pap results (dysplasia), and I became part of a study at the UW. I probably helped get this damn HPV vaccine developed and marketed simply by donating my urine.

The HPV strain that I have is wartless, which is nice. I have no genital warts, which HPV causes. Some strains, anyway. The strain I have (it has a number, but I can't remember which number) is one that tends to cause cervical cancer. My last two paps (in '00 and '05) were normal. yay! Normal paps mean that i don't have to go in every six months for a pap. yes, I was getting paps done every six months. The speculum and I are were good friends. I am so glad that guys get their prostates checked by having a dr stick a finger in their rectum because before that, a man never really had a degrading aspect of the yearly physical. Turn your head and cough? Puh-leeze! Try a cold metal torture device--that can actually pinch the vaginal wall if the examiner is not careful--jabbed in the vagina every year.

Oh, and I have a tricky cervix. The old tipped uterus/posterior cervix bit. My midwife said my cervix is so posterior that she's surprised I was able to get pregnant, but she was the first practitioner to not make me feel like a freak of nature. One ARNP at Planned Parenthood, where I used to get all my paps done until I actually had health insurance (which wasn't until I was 33), actually wanted me to get on my hands and knees for my pap.

Yes, my hands and knees-- because she couldn't see my cervix otherwise.

I didn't do it, and I actually never went back to PP again for a pap. I was pregnant at the time; the woman who did my pap was so rough and incompetent that it was just an embarrassing and miserable experience. Like, I think I even cried when I got home. I am not a crier, and I certainly don't cry over paps. Maybe the pregnancy thing had something to do with it. Anyway, I lost that pregnancy days after the pap. Like, within a few days-- close enough that I correlate the pap with the miscarriage.

Okay, I have gone waaayyy off my intended topic here.

The HPV vaccine.

When Wayne and I went to the Shins concert back in February, there were two girls in front of us who looked to be about 16 or so. One was telling the other that she was going later in the week to get the HPV vaccine, so she could worry less about unprotected sex. She then said that as soon as they come out with an HIV vaccine, she will get it right away because she will then be protected from bad diseases and can have sex with anyone however often without worrying.

Scary. I wanted to grab her and shake her and shove condoms in her pockets, but I restrained myself. I probably should have said something to her, but I really hope she was joking.

So I came across this blog entry about the HPV vaccine, and it is really good. Read it. I won't get my kids the HPV vaccine. If they choose to get it as adults, fine. Their choice. I am not going to have my kids be the first generation of guinea pigs for Merck. No thank you.

There. That was my point.

Being in the south is like being in a whole different world. No joke.

Have you heard about the high school in Georgia that is having it's first integrated prom this year? In 2007.

You have to watch this slideshow, which has accompanying audio interviews with students and community members. One girl calls the segregated proms a tradition: "it's always been a tradition since my daddy's been in school..." Her sister, who attended a segregated prom for her class (2001) says, "The white people have theirs; the black people have theirs. It's no big deal. It's nothing racial at all."

ohmygod. That is how otherworldly the south is-- especially the rural south. Some (white?) parents refused to allow their kids attend the integrated prom. Sick. Twisted. Wrong in so many ways. There is one girl who talks about why some of her friends can't come to prom: "I've asked 'em, 'why can't you come?' and they're all like, 'cause my mamma and daddy, they, you know, don't agree with being with the colored people...'" Colored people. Colored. People.


There was a CNN article in 2002 about another rural high school in Georgia that decided to have an integrated prom. A year later, there was a white-only prom planned in addition to the integrated prom.

I think it is awesome that the students at these high schools get together to try to break down the racial barriers; I bet it would be easier if the parents would keep their noses out of it.

When we were in SC this past summer, it was crazy how divided by color it is down there. There's the stores that are not only for black people or white people but only black people or white people will frequent them, if that makes any sense. Like when Wayne went to the black liquor store in town instead of the white liquor store.

At the GNC at the mall, the checker actually got into a conversation with us about how many black people go to the high school now. In line. At the checkout. While I was purchasing black cohosh (damn period!). I think he called them "coloreds," too. Apparently most of the white kids go to the private school in town.

Speaking of SC, I guess there is a presidential debate in Wayne's hometown this week at SCSU. And I have to say that, as backwards as some southerners seem to me, I love SC; I wish we could go back there again this year (damn IRS!!).

Off to have lunch with Maya. This is what happens when one does not grocery shop-- no food for lunches, hot lunch looked gross (bbq riblette sandwich? ew.), so I am bringing her lunch from Wendy's. Or Subway. Or from somewhere else that doesn't serve bbq riblettes, whatever the hell those are.

Sunday, April 22, 2007


Not much to say, which explains the lack of blogging this week.

Easter happened a few weeks ago. I was going over my pics from easter, and I think this one is too cute:


Doesn't she look happy? I love the age she is at now; I know that in a few short years, she will hate me, so I have to just absorb these moments of joy when they come. Joy quickly turns to sullen at about age...10?

I am watching ER, and it is turning into a huge commercial for the HPV vaccine. Sometimes I hate ER.

Wayne and I went to Costco on Friday, and they were selling a ton of trees. We bought a bunch of thujas:

They aren't the most gorgeous of trees, but they are a good, lush barrier plant. We're going to plant them around the hot tub for some added privacy and greenery.

I would really like to have a landscaper come out and draw up some plans for our front and back yards. We'll do the labor, but i need someone creative to do the design. I actually studied lanscaping and horticulture for awhile, but it was so long ago; I just haven't retained any of it.

God, I am so not into this blogging thing right now.
I can't even gather my thoughts into cohesive paragraphs, which means I have no business aimlessly typing away to simply pass time.

Maybe I'll be better later this week.

Sunday, April 15, 2007


I want a new house. I think.

We have lived here for four years, and we plan(ned) to live here until Maya graduates from high school, at which time we would buy a super-nice house with some property; the house would be smaller than what we have now, have a more open floorplan, fewer bedrooms but with dedicated office/den space.

As I mentioned some time ago, a friend recently bought this house that I instantly fell in love with. Head over heels.

Then i went to Maya's friend's house this past weekend (another friend). I've been to their house several times but never in their back yard. I loved their backyard.
So between the one friend's awesome new house and the other friend's awesome backyard, I am getting an itch to upgrade.

I think moving must be like childbirth-- after time you forget how painful it is. Actually, I would prefer to give birth over moving my family. Again. But, I really, really, really would like to look into something different.

I found a house in the same neighborhood as the friend with the amazing yard, which I think we could afford. It wouldn't mess with the kids' school, except Brittani would end up having to go to the newer high school rather than the larger, older high school. Paige was already planning on going to the newer high school next year, anyway. Maya would be going to a newly built school, too, since she didn't get into the damn co-op.

The other house I found, that I fell in love with, is completely across town. The kids home high school would remain the same as it is now, but Paige could still drive herself to the newer high school, as planned. The elementary school is older, but it is a fine school that doesn't have the same overcrowding issues that the other schools in our district have.

I really feel like putting out our feelers to see what we could afford and all that. It's just always so damn stressful and intense.

I blame this all on Flip This House. Damn Montelongos. Armando, in the episode I watched today, was talking about buying houses, living in them for two years, selling and rebuying bigger, nicer houses.

It was like, wow, why hadn't I thought of that? I don't have to stay here for 14 more years! I can sell and possibly keep our mortgage payment about the same. It's not like we'd be starting with zero down and all that.

I think I'm onto something.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

booted from the cool clique


I am sorta sad.

We did not get into the co-op for next year; Maya will be in with the General Population for first grade. No longer are we a part of the Elite Co-op. We are, however, number NINE on the wait list.

Really, we are happy (kinda) in or out of the co-op. "In the co-op" is a really awesome learning environment for the kids: lots of fields trips; smaller class sizes; multi-age class; classmates who remain with you throughout elementary school (til 6th grade!). Very sweet. Plus, it's where the cool hang out.

"Out of the co-op" means Maya will attend a brand-spankin' new multi-million dollar state-of-the-art school within walking distance. So cool. But... I would still prefer the co-op. Even if it is located within a several decades old school that is in desperate need of, well, demolition.

I guess if the school bond passes, the district may open up more co-op classrooms because the waitlist is long enough to accommodate another entire class filled to capacity for each grade. awesome. If the bond fails, full day kindergarten is getting cut and the co-op's existence is in jeopardy, I heard through the grapevine, which is sad because the co-op model, IMO, should be the standard for education in our communities. So there.

Really, none of this matters to any of you. I know what really matters:

LARRY BIRKHEAD IS THE BIOLOGICAL FATHER OF DANNIELYNN HOPE! Who is happy? I am happy! I have no fucking idea why I am happy, but I am. They sucked me in, they did, with their 24-hour Anna Nicole news coverage. Damn CNN and CourtTV.

Oh, what else...
Family Meeting #3 went well. Kids actually did their chores today and came up with a reasonable consequence for when they do not do their chores. I am happy; they are happy. Paige still wishes we would just tell her what to do, so she doesn't have to figure it out.

We also decided to take a weekend and head to Silverwood! Our parenting class facilitator told us to plan something fun at our family meeting, so Silverwood is the rough plan for the short term, and Mexico is my next year goal for vacation. Originally I wanted to go to Cancun, but I think we have to stay west. Closer = Cheaper. Anyway, I think she was thinking along the lines of taking a bike ride together or watching a movie, but whatever.

I feel optimistic about this week. I am confident that chores will be done daily by the older two; Maya has done really well, but that's because we're still training her. The older two have 14 & 16 years of bad habits to break. Totally our fault, though.

Monday, April 9, 2007

childbirth class spring 2007

I started a new class tonight.

I was full--five couples--until 6:25, which is five minutes before class begins.
So frustrating.

I actually turned away three couples in the past week, and now I am short a couple.
The couple who decided to not attend is an active duty military couple; this is her third baby and their second together. He was deployed during her last pregnancy and missed the birth of their child. She took a Bradley class and had someone else as her coach.

She was so excited to have her DH attend class with her this time, but he apparently doesn't want to come. She called me right when class was beginning (students were arriving!), and she said he was concerned about the cost. They already received a military discount ($30), but I was willing to drop it further, decrease the deposit and accept payments. He was in the room with his wife while she was on the phone with me, and when she would ask him a question, he would ignore her.

I told her, "I can't make him come to class..." It sounded like it was more than a money issue; she sounded quite upset with him. I was bummed for her; she was really excited to experience this class with him.

The rest of my class is awesome. I am excited! One of the couples are friends with another couple who adored to great lengths another teacher who was in this area for years; she was my mentor for awhile. She was great when she was great, but when she was wacky, she was intolerable. She ended up being removed from Bradley due to not conforming to their requirements, and she has had a ton of personal problems since then. It's quite sad because she was such a passionate teacher. I learned a lot from her (what NOT to do as well as what to do). Anyway, so I was a bit nervous about that couple, but they seem so excited about the information; actually, this whole class seemed very grateful for the information.

I added a summer series to my schedule; I haven't taught a summer series in three years. I am the only Bradley teacher in my area right now, and tonight I heard that a Bradley teacher a bit further north is letting her certification lapse, so she can teach a Xtian based childbirth class. If I can't fill the summer series, I will cancel it. I'm thinking about teaching Saturdays instead of Mondays--at least for summer.

I'm itching to work a birth, but childcare has been such a challenge. I'd love to be able to take Maya with me, but I think that would weird out my students/clients. Maya would dig it, though. I have three people who want to hire me as a doula, but I simply cannot make it work-- not with Wayne's work schedule and the older kids' schedule. I feel so stuck. Births keep me excited about teaching and give me new information for my students. Attending births keeps a childbirth educator...relevant. Hm. That doesn't seem like the right word, but it's the one that popped in my head.

Easter was nice this year. I'll post pictures tomorrow.

Saturday we saw Meet The Robinsons in Disney Digital 3D. Impressive. It was spendy ($9 for child's matinee ticket and $9.50 for adult matinee!), but so worth it. Highly, highly recommended. The 3D glasses are tres chic, too. Not those old blue and red lensed paper glasses. I felt like an honorary Blues Brother in the 3D shades.

Wayne is sick. Awful falafel, he's guessing. Alfalfa sprouts were on it; that is never a good thing. E.coli central, they are. Even though they taste so yummy.


Okay, I was watching DH last night, and Edie, who was horny as hell after three weeks of no sex (huh?), was totally throwing herself at Carlos, who rebuffed her advances. It was very funny to see Edie rejected like that. She's so...Edie. Anyway, cut to another scene where Edie goes to make amends with Carlos. Watch.

Edie. Vulnerable. Real. Wow. I liked it, and I suspect a lot of other women did, too. Nicolette Sheridan (Edie) is fit as hell, but to have her character expose herself like that was pretty cool.

Do I believe that Edie really needs her bra to push her breasts up or her skirt and heels to lengthen her legs or that she wears that type of panty to hide her c-section scar?

Yeah, I kinda did.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

fines and allowances

Maya got a library card a few months ago, and in that time, I have racked up over $60.00 in fines. Ugh. She has 38 books out currently, and I messed up the due date. We renewed online and that screwed up my mental deadline for when I needed to renew. For some reason, I thought I needed to renew today, but really, I needed to renew two WEEKS ago. Ugh. That is 38 books x $0.10 x 14.

I am such a loser.

At one time, I owed the same library system hundreds of dollars because we moved, the books I had checked out and planned to return were inadvertently packed into an unmarked box. In the chaos of moving, they were forgotten. When I received my written notice (usually receive email notices, but in the move, our email changed), the fine was outrageous. I tore the house and garage apart looking for the books, found them, returned them and paid my several hundreds of dollars fine.

This fine I (well, Maya, really) has is nothing in comparison to that, but it is really insane. Like, why can I not return a freaking book on time or at least renew it on-time. I can even renew online, so it's not like it's totally inconvenient.

We are on spring break, and the weather is lovely. I thought it was supposed to rain all week, but it's been great! Maya and I weeded the front garden yesterday, which is a litter box for the neighborhood cats, apparently. I hate cat shit. I have no cats or dogs because animal shit just grosses me the hell out.

Week four of our parenting class is tomorrow. I am surprisingly pleased at how well it is going. I refer to our mistaken goal chart all the time. that is when a behavior is done with the mistaken goal of achieving a certain reaction from a parent. The great thing about the chart is that it has hints on it.
1. Child is behaving defiantly.
2. Parent feels challenged/defeated/provoked/indignation/angry.
3. Adult's Mistaken Reaction: Fighting, forcing, giving in, thinking "you can't get away with it" or "I'll make you.", wanting to be right, wanting to be in charge/control, punishing.
4. Child's response: Intensifies behavior, defiant- compliance, feels he/she's won when adult is upset, passive power.
5. The Child's Belief: I count or belong only when I am boss, in control, or proving no one can boss me. "You can't make me." "You can't stop me."
6. Effective prevention (encouragement): provide opportunities to contribute in useful ways; set a few reasonable limits (kind and firm); give choices; develop mutual respect; mutual problem solving; practice follow through; family meetings.
7. Effective responses (more encouragement): hear:"Let me help, give me choices." Let routines be the boss; don't fight and don't give in; withdraw from conflict (leave and calm down); redirect to positive power by asking for help; be kind and firm; act, don't talk; decide what you will do vs. what child should do; use positive timeouts.

Wow. That looks like a lot, but it's all written in a chart, so I can easily find the behavior, my feeling and reaction, and how I could better react. Very user-friendly. I love it.

We started family meetings last week, and it went well. I know it sounds cheesy as hell, but I have seen an improvement in how I feel and how the kids behave. Our family meetings are short and during dinner. My goal is to meet for 15 minutes or so. No drawn out experience. And this is only once a week. There is some resistance, but overall, I think the kids are doing well. Maya is doing the same meeting model in her class, so she got it really quickly. the older two are humoring me, but they are doing so in a respectful manner. I really appreciate the effort they are putting forth.

We instituted a weekly allowance that is not tied into chores. They get the allowance regardless of if or how well the chores are done. It goes against how I feel, but it makes sense to me. the chores are done to make them contributing members of our family.

Well, we were just invited to a playdate, which I, I mean, Maya, desperately needs.
Must go enjoy the sunshine!