Summer 2006 cont

Friday, June 30, 2006

My mother has always been somewhat helpless. While she is one of the most independent and stubborn people I have ever known, she becomes frustrated and edgy with technology, small print, pickle jar lids, bugs, my father, her electric toothbrush, and beer tabs, to name a few things. I have been called to rectify situations surrounding all of these, and more than once, it is after I've been woken from a sound sleep.

The cool thing is that my mother thinks I can fix absolutely anything. She is from a family with seventeen siblings, all of them extremely close in spirit, but spread out across Texas in person. (We are from Texas. I have mentioned that before, but if you're new, you might have missed it). All of her siblings are a lot like her. Therefore, whenever one of them has a problem, I am called in to fix it. I have battled "loan consolidation" companies to get my widowed aunt a refund, fixed my toothless cousin up with a good plastic surgeon who didn't operate out of a strip mall and go by a name like Pepe Gomez, convinced a four-hundred-pound Hells Angel (by phone, of course. I'm not suicidal) to give my niece back her chihuahua with the promise of the purchase of a bark collar, and talked my uncle out of buying "stock" in a company selling bottled air that purportedly came from the tomb of Jesus Christ. My mom keeps me busy.

One of my most fascinating talents, as far as my mother is concerned, is this:


Can you believe I'm not rich? Can you friggin' believe that I haven't been interviewed by Barbara Wawas and offered endorsements and shit? Boggling, I know.

Last Thursday, my parents took my son and they headed for West Texas. I booked them a hotel room in Oklahoma City for Thursday night because no one in that car should be operating heavy machinery, much less at night. Here is a transcript of a couple of the calls I have received since then:

Thursday, 8:22 p.m.:

"Crystal! We can't find the hotel. What exit is it?"

"Mom, I have no idea. I printed out three maps for you. Three, Mom. I gave one to you, one to Dad and one to Devon. Do you mean to tell me that you don't have a single one of them?"

"I can't find it. Can you look it up on the internet? (screaming at my dad) Oh, screw you, old man! You drive, then!"

"Mom, do not let him drive. Hold on. I'll look it up."

Thursday, 9:15 p.m.

"Crystal! They want some sort of confirmation number! What is it?"

"It was on the maps I gave you, you complete twit."

"Don't get sassy with me! I can't find the damned maps. (screaming at my dad) Oh, would you shut your damned mouth! I'll make you think 'stupid'! I can still kick your ass, you scrawny bastard!"

"Mom, can I talk to my son or has he hitched a ride home by now?"

"Devon! Your mother wants you!"

(dropping of phone, more cursing from my mother, my dad haranguing her, my son giggling like a Japanese schoolgirl)

"Hey, Mom!"

"Baby, are you going nuts?"

"This is awesome! Pop taught me how to say, "asshole", in four different languages and you should hear some of the stuff coming out of Mimi's mouth!"

"Sweetheart, if the vein in the side of her head starts throbbing, say you have to pee. That way she has an excuse to stop and medicate herself with Miller Lite and lottery tickets. Oh, and, honey, I hate to tell you this way, but I was adopted. Now, here's the confirmation number."

Friday, 8:22 a.m.:

"Crystal! What kills scorpions?"

"My method has always been a high heel shoe and lots of shrieking, followed by sobbing and a box of wine. Why?"

"Your dad's been stung twice. Your Aunt Peggy has scorpions everywhere! Can you look it up on the internet?"

"Diatomaceous earth, Mom. Go to Home Depot or a health food store."

"Dia-what? Hang on. I'll get Devon."

(shuffling, cursing, mumbling)

"Hey, Mom!"

"Hey, honey. Write this down."

"Mom, did you know that Uncle Rodney was in prison? He told me that he had to shower in his boxers because-"

"Son, tell Uncle Rodney that you have African American heritage on your Dad's side."

"That's not true. Why would I do that??"

"So he won't talk to you anymore. He's very old fashioned. Now, write this down."

Friday, 9:15 a.m:

"Crystal! What would make rose leaves turn brown? Aunt Peggy's rose leaves are all brown."

"Mom, I'm at work. Does no one in the three-hundred and eighty-two thousand relatives we have in Midland own a computer? Can you not ask them when you go to Home Depot?"

"Can you just look it up on the internet? Brown rose leaves. Brown."

"Yeah, Mom. I got it. Tell her not to water the leaves, just the base of the plant. Water on the leaves causes them to burn in the heat."

(screaming and causing one of my ovaries to explode) "Peggy! Crystal says don't water the leaves! It makes 'em burn! Just water the bottom!"

"Anything else, Mom? Need a recipe for squirrel stew? How to make a pipe bomb?"

"Don't get smart with me. Love you. Bye! (screaming at my dad) Would you take that nasty damned cigarette outside? Don't say 'fuck' in front of the kids! Shame on-" *click*

Saturday, 8:15 p.m.:

"Hey, Mom! It's Devon."

"Hi, honey. Have you finally come to your senses? Do you want me to buy you a plane ticket?"

"Nah, it's cool. I saw my other grandparents today. My grandma gave me some envelope and said to hang on to it, that it was important papers."

"Hmm. Well, what's in it?"

"Well, that's the weird thing. There's an old phone card with no minutes left on it, some ticket stubs, what looks like a Campbells soup label and I think this might be a withdrawal slip from some bank. The date on it is August of 1982."

"Yeah. Old people get confused, sweetheart. Just hang on to it. You never know."

"Oh, hey, love you but Mimi wants to talk to you, bye!"

"No, Devon, for the love of God, don't-"

"Crystal! Your Aunt Betty went to the bathroom and she said that there's a-"

"Nope. Uh-uh. That's it. You people are bizarre and there is NO WAY I carry the same DNA. Go to the library, Mom. I love you, bye."

Hey, just out of curiosity, do any of you know what home remedies stop the growth of unsightly facial hair?


Thursday, June 29, 2006

It's not very often that I link someone. That's not to say that I don't read all of you and keep up with what you're doing (I do, believe it or not), it's just easier to not hurt any feelings or offend anyone this way.

That being said, (and with his blessing) you all need to go and read Phaedrous.

Do his writing justice and start at the beginning, in November. His is a remarkable story and one that I feel could probably benefit anyone who is battling cancer, whether they be a victim, a loved one, or, as is the case with him, both.

I only asked to be able to link him because you have all been so kind to me when my woes were almost petty in relation to what he has experienced.

A sincere & kind word can change a person's life.


Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Sunday morning, in the wee hours, I did something terrible. I can't live with it any longer, so I'm sharing it with you all.

Brace yourself. My evil knows no bounds.

Sleeping has become something of a struggle. Our puppy, Daisy, has found her voice, and it's not the dainty voice of a poodle or the feminine voice of a sweet, little pomeranian. It's the booming, I-sound-like-I-weigh-300-pounds-and-eat-lumberjacks-for-breakfast, indignant-at-only-being-offered-dry-dog-food, hear-the-roar-of-my-thousands-of-bloodhound-ancestors, cacophony that can be heard for miles around. I've never heard anything like it. She sounds like a hippo getting ass-raped.

Chris just grins his big, goofy grin every time she gets going. He's the proud papa. I fling myself on the floor and try to wedge myself under the sofa so I'm not caught in the stampede that simply has to follow a noise like that.

Fortunately, Dusty is older and wiser and set in his ways and he actually sleeps when dogs are supposed to sleep. Daisy is a lazy shit so sleeping is cool with her. But, when Chris leaves at 4:30 a.m. to go to work, it's fun time. And fun time commences directly outside our bedroom window. At 4:30. In the morning. Our backyard is roughly the size of a Super Wal-Mart (I'm from the South, y'all!), but the little assholes decide that the 4 cubic feet of space that is 2 feet from my head is most enjoyable place to wrestle, growl, bark, bite, yelp and carry on.

And here's an amazing discovery: pressing your sleep crusted face against a bedroom window and screaming, "I will kill you both, kill you DEAD, if you don't stop! Stop it! I'm pregnant! I'm a delicate fucking flower and you're ruining my sleep, you lumps of furry shit!", has absolutely no effect whatsoever. Just so you know.

So, to make a long story short, I'm tired and I'm grumpy. This is all a disclaimer for what I'm about to tell you.

Saturday night, Chris and I went to his friends engagement party. We got home rather late, around midnight. This is approximately three hours past my bedtime.

As we got out of the car, I heard the neighbors dog, Pussy. That's not her real name, but that's what I call her because that's what she is. She is an enormous Siberian husky/wolf hybrid.

She got into our yard one day and I went back in there to do something. Chris found me an hour later, rooted to the spot in horror, pee running down my leg and a pile of poo at my feet because I was afraid that if I moved, she would eat my face off. He walked over to her and she whimpered and dropped at his feet, licking his hand and mewling. She had been rooted to the spot, too, not because she was trying to assess whether or not she could fit my whole head in her mouth, but because she was as frightened of me as I was of her.

So, this dog is the complete opposite of what she stereotypically should be. When the neighbors leave to go to Florida, which they frequently do, they leave their dogs unattended for three and four days at a time. This pisses me off for obvious reasons.

So, when they leave, Pussy sits in the backyard on her five foot run and makes this noise that can only be described as "an icepick in your frontal lobe". She is miserable. Saturday night was the fourth or fifth time I've had to listen to it and I did my very best to tolerate it and hope that she would wear herself out and shut the hell up.

At 4:13 a.m, I called the police department and they kindly informed me that the only way animal control would come out is if the dog was vicious. Would they come out the next day? No. I would have to wait until Monday, regardless of whether or not the dog was starving and abandoned.

Like hell.

I woke Chris up and demanded that he help me set Pussy free. He wearily followed me into the carport.

"Ok. Here's the plan. Go see if she can reach our fence. If she can, unhook her from her run. I'm sure she can jump a six foot fence."

He is in his boxer shorts and nothing else. I am pregnant, in a nightgown, no bra, wearing a pair of Crocs and a feverish glint of lunacy in my eyes. Throw in a pack of Marlboro's and a NASCAR flag flying proudly and we're every house in rural Mississippi.

He dutifully went to the back and tried, in vain, to unhook her. He came back and reported that it was not possible. He hugged me, and before I could start sobbing and wiping snot all over his shoulder as I cried over the possibility of having to sleep in the tub, he went all McGyver on me. He went inside, got his drill and removed a six foot portion of the fence that separates our neighbors yard from ours. Now, it was just a matter of getting close enough to set Pussy free.

Chris was not volunteering.

"I'm not going in there. Memphis bites."

Memphis is the neighbors other dog. It is a furry, nasty, dirty mop of fur of indeterminate sex - it may have been a poodle in some former life - with beady little eyes and a lot of teeth. I did not give a shit. I went inside and put on Chris's boots and then retrieved dog snacks from the kitchen.

So, here I am, at 4:30 in the morning, quietly making my way across my neighbors yard in a purple nightgown with work boots on, carrying a bag of dog treats. Oh dignity, where are thou?

As I got closer to Pussy, Memphis began to growl at me. When I was barely out of reach of his snapping, snarling jaws, I threw a Snausage at his head and ran like hell while he was snuffling around trying to find it in the grass. I unhooked Pussy in record time and ran for the hole in the fence. Pussy followed me out and then immediately rolled over to expose her belly while spraying pee everywhere. I gave her the whole bag of Snausages and sang, "Born Free". She howled.

We went back to bed, exhausted, at 5 a.m., just in time for Dusty & Daisy to begin their morning aerobics routine.

The following day, I was out in the carport with Chris when I heard voices in the neighbors backyard.

They had been home. And we had not been quiet.

As I'm feeling spectacularly crappy about what we had done the night before, a man pulls up to their house with Pussy in the back of his truck, who was yipping and howling and pissing all over the place. How he located my neighbors is beyond me as neither dog has tags.

Oh, dear God in heaven, your sense of humor can't be that cruel, I thought.

I stood and watched, oblivious to whether or not I was being nosy and incriminating myself in the process.

As the man offered to take the dog if they were willing to part with it, my neighbor answered, "Yeah, sure, you can have her. It's kind of a coincidence that she ran away. We were going to take her to the pound today, anyway."

Crime does not pay, children. But it makes for some interesting stories.


Monday, June 26, 2006

Today, my husband and I were presented with a miracle.

Two nubby little arms and two nubby little legs, scrambling for all they were worth to get away from the insistent pressing of the ultrasound technician. Additionally, our wee one's heart is fine. We can't see any genitalia yet, but I'll let you know as soon as we do.

Oh, and the dent in my head is just that - a dent. It is simply a shallow part of my skull and doesn't actually go all the way through the bone. We are keeping an eye on it and if it changes or becomes more severe, we will cross that bridge after our baby has had every available benefit of thriving during a normal pregnancy and has made his way into this world.

His or her. Ahem.

Thank you for your prayers, your thoughts, your emails, your kindness to a stranger and all your suggestions and advice. It was all needed and cherished.


Friday, June 23, 2006

Virginia has been very sick today. For those of you who remember, she vomits quite frequently and, although she's been to several doctors and given enough blood to sustain and entire platoon of wounded soldiers, we have never been given a diagnosis or any preventative options.

Today was the breaking point. I have had it with my poor, sunny-spirited daughter retching her guts up and weakly smiling for my benefit only to be told by someone who spent half their life in medical school that we need to feed her rice and toast.

Screw you, Dr. Inept - and your rice and toast.

Chris and I began barraging internal specialists with phone calls in the hope of finding one who would treat a child of only six and treat her today, not sometime in July when she has no esophagus left. My wonderful, amazing husband managed to find a pediatric internal specialist who would see her this afternoon. God, how I adore that man.

We arrived and the anxiety began.

"Mommy, will they have to give me a shot or take my blood again with needles?"

"I don't know, sugar. But I promise we'll ask."

She wearily reclined in the chair, already accustomed to sitting in waiting rooms and wondering how much it was going to hurt this time.

We were called back by the nurse. Virginia was weighed and measured and then asked to take a seat on the examining table.

"Mommy, is that my doctor?"

"No, baby, that's the nurse."

"What's she going to do?"

"Oh, probably nothing. She'll check your temparature and your blood pressure."

We, as adults, often forget that our children hear our words and interpret them very literally. Virginia heard the word 'blood', slid off the examining table and made a beeline for the door.

"I'm fine, Mom. I feel all better."

"Virginia, taking your blood pressure just squeezes your arm. No actual blood involved."

She looked at me uncertainly.

"Are you sure?"


She hopped back on the examining table, cooperated with all needed readings and giggled uncontrollably when the nurse asked her to pee in a cup.

When the doctor arrived, we began discussing her condition.

"Mrs. McKnob, not one of these doctors ordered a barium swallow test or even entertained the idea of gastro reflux?"

"No, ma'am. They didn't. You can understand my frustration."

"Well, I can't imagine-"

Virginia could hold back no longer, manners be damned.

"Are you gonna give me a shot?"

"No, darling. No shots today."

My daughters entire body oozed off the table after having the weight of that horror lifted from her.

As the doctor and I were discussing her initial diagnosis, Virginia listened very intently.

"Ok, Mrs. McKnob, I'm going to have the nurse schedule a barium swallow test. In the meantime, let's try some Prevacid and some Phenurgen to alleviate the nausea." She paused, and then made the same mistake I had made earlier. "Let's give this a shot and see what happens."

The look on my daughter's face can only be described as, "You lying bitch. I knew it was too good to be true."


Tuesday, June 20, 2006

You know those posts you see sometimes, the ones where the person starts out by saying, "I can't make this shit up"? Yeah, well, this is one of those.

One week ago, I had an appointment with my OB/GYN. It was to be my second and I was literally pissing my pants at the prospect of Chris & me hearing the baby's heartbeat. I can't tell you how much worry, anxiety and tension is relieved by hearing that one miraculous thing.

I got a call that morning from his office. He was having heart problems and we would have to be rescheduled. Yes, indeedy, this is what the prospect of getting a second look at my vagina does to people. I couldn't be more proud.

So, yesterday, I was rescheduled to see him. I was informed a couple of hours before coming in that I would be seeing the nurse. The doctor was still out.


Anyway, the idea of seeing Rose didn't faze me. She is competent, knowledgeable and funny. I like her immensely and I was confident that she would put my fears at rest about the dent in my head head head head in my head.

I did that on purpose to freak you out. Sorry. I couldn't help myself.

When the door opened and I was called back to the examining room, I was enchanted by the lady beckoning me. She was approximately 192 years old, had a giant Q-Tip of blue hair and she was small enough to eat. I followed her back into Rose's office where she sat down and peered at me over the top of her bifocals.

"All I can do for you today is weigh you, take your blood pressure and check your pee. Rose is out. I fill in when she's not here. I worked for Dr. Stentz from 1954 until I retired in 1982. How far along are you?"

Ok, let's do the math, here. If you retired IN FUCKING 1982, how old does that make you, roughly?????? Hmmm??

Because I'm all about believing in a person's capabilities, no matter what their age, I reassured myself that I was probably in the best of hands since she had been a nurse since the dawn of man.

As she slowly asked me questions and painstakingly scrawled the answers down on a chart (questions I had already answered at my initial assessment, by the way, but, whatever), I began to lose confidence.

"Are you married or single?"


"Is the father going to be involved in your prenatal care?"

I guess she somehow missed the 6'2, 280 pound man sitting beside me.

"Oh, no. I'll just bring this guy with me. He's my yoga instructor."

More peering over the top of the bifocals.

"Excuse me?"

"It was a joke. Just a little....anyway, yes, he is. This is him."

"His name?"


I watched as she carefully printed out, "Chip", in the space marked for the father's name.

Chip McKnob. Holy hell.

"Umm, we are going to get to hear the baby's heartbeat today, right?"

She looked confused.

"Oh. Okay. We'll try. But with you only being...however many weeks you are, we might not get to hear it. Maybe. I don't know."

Now, according to my calculations, past experience and information I've read, we should have easily been able to pick up the baby's heartbeat on a fetal doppler, oh, four weeks ago. This woman had no clue how far along I was even after I told her, twice. I had just about given up all hope at this point. I was in the hands of senility, y'all. God bless her poofy head.

After I weighed in and peed in a cup, I was ushered to an exam room. I laid back on the table, raised my shirt and pulled my pants down far enough to expose my lower abdomen.

This was not good enough for Nurse Octogenarian. She pulled my pants down till my whole hoo-haw was exposed, slapped some gel ON MY PUBIC AREA AND BEGAN ROLLING THE DOPPLER AROUND MY PUBIC BONE.

Now, I know I have a dent in my head, but someone please help me here. Do babies grow in your vagina? Anyone? Bueller?

And before any medical people get all bent out of shape, I know the doppler is supposed to be positioned underneath your bellybutton, but above your pubic bone. ABOVE. She was practically masturbating me with this thing.

(Excuse me while I go vomit and sit in the shower and cry. I am sick and should be stopped, posthaste)

I made the decision right then that suggesting she move the doppler would be futile. It would only make her defensive and more adamant to doppler my cooter so I just sat back and hoped my baby was amused enough to swim to my vagina and puff out his little chest so we could hear him. Alas, it was not to be. After a couple of minutes, she shut the doppler off and began rationalizing.

"Well! If your uterus is tilted backwards it makes it harder to hear. The baby has to be in just the right position and you're really not far enough along at...however many weeks you are. So, not to worry."

Now, just for the record, I have been told since my first child was born that my uterus is tilted forward. Additionally, I must say here and now that she should have just stopped at, "not to worry".

"But you need to come back and see the doctor next week just to make sure. Yes. Make sure. Because you never know, but I'm sure it's fine, what with your uterus tilting backward and you only being a couple of weeks along."

I had stopped in the hallway at this point and Chip and I are openly staring at her. I am in my second trimester.

"You feel pregnant, don't you? As long as you feel pregnant, I'm sure everything is fine."

Here is where I was, quite frankly, dumbfounded. As long as I feel pregnant?

"Ma'am, I feel rich, but I still had to pay for my Taco Bell with my credit card today." I was turning purple.

"Babe, let's just go. We'll make an appointment with the doctor for next Monday." Chip was tugging on my arm, sensing Defcon 5.

I was not to be deterred. I looked at her and loudly proclaimed, "I have a dent in my head."

"Well, honey, I had a cousin who had a third nipple but that never changed his quality of life."

As I said before, people, I can't make this shit up.


Thursday, June 15, 2006

I have been having horrible headaches, mild nosebleeds and extreme mood swings. These are all normal things when you're pregnant.

However, I've also been having trouble saying a number and relaying that number to my brain where it then translates to my fingers. In other words, I'll say, "Yeah, there were three of them!", and I'll hold up two fingers. This has been happening with alarming frequency but I still wasn't concerned.

I tried to put the iron in the refrigerator last week and I ran my shopping cart straight into the fruit stand at Kroger three different times. It's all hormones, I keep proclaiming.

Last night, Chris went into Wal-Mart to get dog food and the kids and I remained in the car. As I was refereeing ("Quit touching him. Quit calling her a boogersnot. Pass me my whiskey"), I scratched the top of my head and froze. What was this? That's new.

"Oh, my God. I have a dent in my head."

The kids stopped clawing and biting long enough to favor me with identical expressions of puzzlement.

"What, Mom?" Devon asked.

"I have a dent. In my head. Here. Feel."

I took his hand an guided it to the top of my skull.

"Dude! Cool!"

"No, it's not all that cool. It's never been there. I've never had a dent in my head. Why would I have a dent in my head?"

"Maybe it's a tumor," Devon sagely observed.

My precious daughter, in her best Arnold Schwarzenegger voice, booms, "Isnotta tumah!"

When Chris got back into the car, he found that his new family had turned into a bunch of monkeys. Both kids have their hands buried in my hair and are peering closely at my skull while I navigate. "No, to the left. A little more. Give her some room, Devon. Can you see it?"

"I know that I shouldn't be even mildly surprised by anything I might encounter when it comes to you, Crystal, but what, exactly, are you all doing?" Chris asked.

"Mom has a tumor!" Virginia squeaked.

"Babe. I have a huge dent in my head. Here, feel."

He gingerly feels my dent for a moment.

"Hmm. Are you sure that's new?"

"Uhhhh, yeah. I've had this head for thirty-two and one half years. I think I would have noticed somewhere in all this time that my skull was becoming a canoe."

"Babe, that really worries me."

"Maybe it's nothing. Maybe it's God getting you back for calling people waterheads and window lickers."

"Seriously. Did you hit your head recently?"

"Hard enough to cave it in? I think I'd remember that, sugar. Not positive, but I think."

One of the things I love most about my husband is his worry over me. That may sound strange, but coming from someone who once dated a man who, when I miserably hailed him from the bathroom to come shoot me while I was projectile vomiting into a trashcan and spewing hell (Now in liquid form!) from my ass, told me, "Fuck me to tears, will you please wait for a fucking commercial?", it's perfectly understandable. He makes me feel protected and loved and those are two things that have been in short supply in my romantic life.

The warm and fuzzy I feel is magnified tenfold when he calls his Granny out in Cooterbob, Arkansas and his Mom to ask them what their opinion is of my inability to count on my fingers and the fact that I have a new dent in my head. I love the remedies they come up with (and let me just tell you, people, Granny ain't kidding when she tells you that a mix of vinegar and oak leaves will get rid of warts) and, not surprisingly, they usually work.

Granny and Mom's assessment of the situation is that I have high blood pressure. I am not allowed to salt my food any more and Chris and I aren't to have relations.

Let's see how long that last one pans out.

My co-workers reaction to my concern over the dent was to put a plastic bowl on my head, wrap it with toilet paper to imitate a bandage and email it to Chris, giggling uncontrollably the entire time, telling him they were doing their part to keep me safe at work.

Do I feel loved and protected at here?

Not so much.


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

"So, you jumped on your bed when you weren't supposed to and after you broke it, you thought you would just not tell me. Is that about right?"

"Wellllll, I thought you would be mad."

"I'm more upset that you didn't tell me right away and I had to find out when I washed your sheets. So, what do you think your punishment ought to be?"

"Wait. Weren't Lauren and I jumping on the bed the night you came home and took a nap?"

"I guess so. At least that's what Chris tells me. Why?"

"Well, that's it, then! I didn't want to disturb your nap, so that's why I didn't tell you!"

"No more Wheaties and Flintstones. You get Coco Puffs and Marlboro's from now on. Good Lord."


Tuesday, June 13, 2006

What Goes Through Chris' Head When He Plans His Weekends:

"Fishing. I need to fish. I need to call someone with a boat. I need a boat. If I leave early enough, I can avoid the list of crap Crystal has. Man, that's a long list. I should have never asked her to make me a list. Laser tag! Ooh! Devon and I need to go play laser tag! I can call myself Fur Burger. I love that they have to announce the names and use them throughout the whole game. That rocks. I wonder if there's anything good on the Discovery channel. How long has that been in my desk? Smells okay. I guess I can eat it. I need to buy supplies for fishing. Weenies, crickets, beer. I hate beer. I should at least try to drink one so the guys don't razz me. Look! Boobies! I love boobies. Eww. That stinks. I have to poop. I shouldn't have eaten that Slim Jim after all."

What Goes Through My Head:

"I'll try crying this weekend. Maybe that will entice them to help me clean since screaming like a friggin' loon didn't faze them. Crying. Yeah. Awesome."


God bless children and their belief that all bodily functions are acts of beauty that should be shared and celebrated.

Chris & I took Virginia to see Cars this weekend. The following conversation took place as I was waiting for Virginia in the ladies room and trying to stay out of the way of the hordes of people coming in and out.

Oh, and stall doors? They impair my hearing, apparently, because my sweet baby hollered every tidbit of information.

"Mommy, I think I'm having a diarrhea!"

"Probably way too many Skittles, honey. It's okay."

"Eww, it is a diarrhea!"

"Ok, honey. Just take care of business."

"Don't come in here, Mommy!"

"I can assure you that I will not."

"Whew! It's stinky!"

"Mmm hmm."

"My booty hole hurts!"

"I know, sweetpea."

God, I wish I could be that confident in a public restroom. My asshole clenches up, I hyperventilate, cry and eventually leave, butt cheeks clenched tightly together.


Chris and Devon returned from laser tag on Saturday night wired on testosterone and shoving stat sheets in my face.

"Oh, babe, you have to go check my email."

"Chris, why would I check your email? It's your email."

"Because this girl sent me naked pictures. Go look!"

I am immediately suspicious.

"Some girl sent you naked pictures? Uh huh."

"Honestly. Didn't she, Devon?"

"Yep," Devon chirps.

"My son agreeing lends credibility to your statement, how, exactly? This is the child who still thinks I don't know about the lighter-fluid-Crisco-slippers incident."

"I did not do that!" Devon proclaims before scampering out of the room.

"Baaaaaaabe. Just go do it! She's trying to make contacts in the modeling world and she sent me naked pictures, honestly."

Fine. I'll play along.

I don't think she's going to be tearing up the runways any time soon.

Oh, and as soon as he finds out I posted this, I'm a dead woman. It's all for you, my darlings.


Monday, June 05, 2006

I'm always astounded by the things that pop up in our dreams and seem perfectly rational to us in our sleeping state.

As a for instance, I had a dream last night. I was at my own wedding and my mother and sister-in-law rushed in to tell me that the person Chris had hired to take care of all the paperwork wasn't able to procure our high school yearbooks so we couldn't legally get married. Apparently, we needed to see each other's high school picture and only then could we really be sure this was the person we wanted to spend the rest of our lives with.

That part actually makes sense, but thank God it isn't so or I wouldn't be married right now. I had a mullet.

Needless to say, I was devastated. Here we are in front of all these guests and we can't get married. My mom and sister-in-law were quick to come up with a solution: I would just marry my brother and then annul it when our yearbooks resurfaced. I mean, why waste wedding cake and cheap champagne? My brother is standing in the grooms position looking very calm and all I could ask my mom was, "Are you sure that's even legal?" I was perturbed by the notion and I kept saying, over and over again, "I just don't think this is a good idea."

Let me be clear: My family is suggesting I MARRY MY OWN BROTHER and I'm reacting as if they've told me to use paprika instead of chili powder.

At some random point while I was stalling, I went to the bathroom to pee and it was then that I realized that the back of my wedding dress was made entirely out of plastic and I had no underwear on. That's the part where I freaked the fuck out.

Priorities, people. It's all about your priorities.


Friday, June 02, 2006

When Chris and I began planning our honeymoon, I had one thing on my agenda: scuba diving. I lived near oceans during my formative years and snorkeled in the cleanest waters in the Mediterranean but I was never old enough to scuba. I have dreamt of it for years.

Then I got knocked up and that dream died a painful, wool-filled death.

It went something like this:

"Crystal, they did studies. The oxygenation or pressure or something caused birth defects and some miscarriages."

"They did those studies ON SHEEP, Chris. Sheep. I'm pretty sure my makeup is a little different."

"How do you figure they get sheep to scuba dive?"

"I don't know. Take them sailing, give them some really good reefer and make them watch Point Break?"

Anyway, we compromised by agreeing that we would snuba (hybrid scuba and snorkeling). I was blissfully ignorant of the particulars (which ended up being pro-sheep studies. Motherfuckers), but beforehand, I wasted no time telling everyone, "I'm going snuba in Aruba". I was very pleased by my own creativity.

The flight over was uneventful. I had to pee every six minutes and to distract myself, I teased Chris mercilessly about him packing a carry-on with enough shit to ensure our survival should we crash in the Andes. It should also be noted that he destroyed all my long-standing beliefs that flight attendants hate all living creatures by convincing one of them to give him a pair of headphones, FREE OF CHARGE, because we had no cash on us. I pushed out my tummy as far as it would go and hopefully asked for another bag of peanuts, only to be told to "shut up and buckle up, lady". Chris' powers of persuasion are astounding to me.

When we descended for landing, Chris was like a little boy. He had his whole face smashed against the glass and kept exclaiming things like, "Nook, nabe! Nere's nour notel!"

And now, one of my bullet lists that you probably all hate, but this is the second time I've written this and I just don't think I have the strength for anything but a bullet list:

  • Chris was immediately bombarded with disappointment when he found out that the car he had originally rented for us suddenly became "unavailable". He was totally psyched about driving around the island in the smallest car on the planet and instead we had to settle for something that didn't fit comfortably into our luggage.
  • His disappointment was soon replaced by sheer and unadulterated delight when he found out that Arubans don't use turn signals. When they want to merge or cut you off, they simply honk. Chris drove with his hand poised over the wheel the entire time, eager for an opportunity to make his merging intentions known, and when it would happen, he would spend the next twenty minutes driving with a shit-eating grin on his face. I never got to drive.
  • My husband managed to find the only porno store on the island. "It's our honeymoon!", was his justification for everything while we were there.
  • Our first excursion was a half day snorkeling trip on the Jolly Pirate and it was the best thing we did and worth twice what we paid. We went to three different spots and at each one I fussed at Chris about sunblock. He would impatiently flap his hands at me, don his flippers, waddle over the the side and fling himself in the ocean. This man has been enormously protective of me since finding out I'm pregnant, but during this cruise, I could have been stripped naked by the crew, thrown overboard, eaten by a fifty-foot whale who was wearing a beanie and supporting a twelve-man ragtime band on it's back and he would have been oblivious. He was completely captivated.
  • Later that night, as I ate the most divine steak, Chris suffered from heatstroke. I was unaware of how truly awful he felt until he excused himself to go the men's room and came back, sans shirt. I was horrified. Here we are in a five-star restaurant and my sweet, sunburned husband plopped down across the table from me dressed for a Busch race.
"Chris, baby, you have to put your shirt back on."
"I can't. Sick."
"Ok, sweety, I'll pay and we'll go, but...can you just toss it around your shoulders?"
I saw three women approaching us from the corner of my eye, one dressed in a business suit and looking very manager-ey. I inwardly cringed. I didn't want humiliation added to Chris' plight by being evicted from the restaurant. Much to my surprise, they were extremely concerned about his well-being. They doted on him for half an hour, bringing water, ice, seltzer and telling us to remain put until he felt better. One woman insisted that he move to the walk-in freezer to cool down. She was so adamant about it that it almost became comical. Of course, the asshole tourist in me kept eyeballing my steak and wondering if I was eating the last poor bastard that suffered heatstroke in their restaurant. There were no cows on this island, people.
  • The following night, we were treated to a dinner on a private island by my company. We ate exquisite food by candlelight at a table sitting on white sands, fifteen feet from the shore. It was surreal. After Chris had eaten seven pounds of tuna (it was really good tuna), he became concerned.
"I don't feel so hot. Oh. Uh oh. We have to go. Now."
I never question these directives. They usually end with Chris begging for mercy from the bathroom while I throw open windows and surround myself in a cloud of Febreze.
Because we were there with hundreds of other couples, we had to wait for shuttle boats that were taking people across the channel and back to the main island.
"Hang in there, babe."
He wandered away for a moment and then came back, pale and sweaty.
"Crystal, we have to go. I think I just sharted and I cleared out that whole dock. They're all looking at me. Can we go?"
I take my role as a loving, supporting wife very seriously.
"Oh, my God. That's horrible. And hilarious. Babe, we're on an island. What do you want me to do? Grab some bamboo and pogo you across the channel?"
"Bluurrrgg. Marrrrrrp. Weeepahhh." Etc. Nothing intelligible came out of his mouth the whole way back. When we got to the hotel, he duckwalked/ran to the bathroom and I didn't see him until the next morning.
  • The following morning was The Much Anticipated, Long and Obsessively Planned, Holy Shit We're Going Deep Sea Fishing trip. Chris stuck on his motion sickness patch, ate some Dramamine, packed our cooler and off we went. We met our captain and his ... assistant, whatever they're called, and we got comfortable and ready to enjoy our four hour trip.
Much. puking. BAD. DEEP SEA BAD. BOAT BAD. I have never been motion sick or seasick and I puked like the day after my twenty-first birthday. While boarding, I had handed over my camera to the captain to take some pictures of us once we got to a point where we were trolling and he could free his hands. All he got was our asses hanging over the side because THAT'S ALL THEY SAW OF BOTH OF US. After learning the Aruban phrase for, "Pussy bitch-ass tourists", we came to shore two hours early. I spent the next two days swaying back and forth and finding flat surfaces upon which to become horizontal. DON'T GO DEEP SEA FISHING. BAD.
  • All I can say about the submarine tour is this: no air conditioning, tiny sub and 45 tourists who all thought it was a good idea to eat half a pound of fried plantains. Good God, y'all.
  • For those of you who don't believe me when I say the weirdest shit happens to me on vacations: All flights in and out of Aruba were cancelled on Sunday because a volcano on a neighboring island that had been inactive for, oh, a thousand fucking years decided to cave in and spew volcanic ash ten miles into the air. Volcanic ash. How's that for an excuse to miss work??
All in all, even though Chris suffered second degree burns on his back and I was motion sick for three days, we had a fabulous time. The Aruban people are the absolute kindest, most gracious and accommodating culture I have ever been fortunate enough to experience. They were positively enchanting. Chris got four rolls of film and it was nothing but crabs and iguanas. He's never seen either in it's natural habitat and he was thrilled enough to detour me toward the waterfall (where they hung out) every single time we left the hotel.
I really want to go back when I don't have to worry about giving birth to a three-headed lamb.
Oh, and Chris's shirt? The one that says, "Fat People Are Harder To Kidnap"? My fears of offending the locals was unfounded. They loved it. Who knew?

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

A couple of weeks ago (August 18th, to be exact), I ordered two pairs of pants from The Fashion Bug online. I try to avoid crappy customer service as much as is humanly possible, so online shopping is revolutionary to me.

This is the path of my pants, so far:

August 29, 2006
10:56 AM
August 29, 2006
8:59 AM
August 28, 2006
9:30 PM
Electronic Shipping Info Received
August, 29, 2006
8:59 AM
August, 28, 2006
7:02 PM
Sortation Center Departure
August, 24, 2006
2:51 PM
Sortation Center Arrival
August, 24, 2006
6:46 AM
Sortation Center Departure
August, 21, 2006
4:30 PM
Sortation Center Arrival
August, 21, 2006
1:00 PM

Ok. So, I live in Mississippi. My pants started out in Indiana, went to Ohio, then to Missourri and now Washington. My pants are like a retired couple, foraging out in their Winnebago.

The following conversation just took place:

"Hi. I'm a bit concerned about my pants."

"Excuse me?"

"Well, not the pants I have on. They're relatively well-behaved, although they won't keep their room clean. I'm more concerned about the pants I ordered from your website over two weeks ago."

"Name, please?"

"Crystal McKnob."

(Now, I actually said, "McKnob", instead of my real last name, "McKee". I think about this blog far too much)

"McKee! My last name is McKee! Not McKnob!"

"Uh huh. Let me see...I show your order is en route."

"Yes, I realize that. Here's the's been two weeks and my pants are traveling farther away. Your shipping policy says 2 to 8 business days. See, they're maternity pants and I'd like to actually wear them while I'm pregnant."

"If you haven't received them within 20 business days, we'll re-ship them."

"Why? So they can get more frequent flyer miles and visit the ruins in Mexico? Lady, seriously, I expect to get a postcard any day and a picture of my pants smoking a hookah and hanging out with strippers. I mean, they're going all over the continental U.S. and they don't even work for Travelocity. Besides, I don't want new pants. I've grown fond of these pants and I'm worried about them. They need to come home."

"It says here that they're scheduled to be delivered by your postal worker on Monday, September 4th."

"That's Labor Day."

"Oh. Well, in that case, it will probably be the 5th."

"I just want my pants."

"20 days, ma'am. Business days."

"You don't have any sympathy for my plight, do you?"

"You should see my paycheck."

"Can you send me some of your pants? That would make me feel better."

"Have a nice day, ma'am."

Unflappable. I need to call her back.


Monday, August 28, 2006

Ok, so I give up. I have been stressing non-stop about my posts and I have just come to accept that I'm going to inevitably write about the most prominent event in my life right now...this pregnancy. I have read comments about other women's websites ("Gee, she was really interesting until she got knocked up and then it was 'the baby' this and 'the baby' that.") I don't want to be one of those people. I do have a life outside my children and my family, but, people, it's REALLY FUCKING BORING. I mean, my God, I'm an insurance agent and I drive a Mercury Sable.

I just sat and read that last line about ten times and now I have to go kill myself.

Seriously, I was supposed to be a rock star and this blog would have been much more interesting, but somewhere along the way I discovered that I had no discernible musical talent - not that that has stopped KFed - and no one to sleep my way to the top with, so here I am.

There will be other subjects. Oh, yes, there will. But right now, I'm consumed with this life inside me. And, while I know that the men out there are thinking, "Great. Now I need to find a new blog to read while I'm on the shitter", trust me, there will be NO CUTESY POSTS ABOUT BLANKETS AND CRAP. I will, however, talk about vagina's a lot. And not necessarily mine.


Yesterday afternoon, at Bradley class, my husband displayed his eagerness to over-achieve. We are supposed to be doing Kegel's to tighten and tone our vaginal muscles and if you know what a Kegel is, then you know that it's not exactly the type of exercise where someone can spot you. When Chris also heard about the sexual benefits, he became the NFL coach of Kegel's. I must do Kegel's all the time. He follows me around the house, playing, "The Eye of The Tiger", and saying things like, "Are you Kegeling? Are you feeling the burn?"

To which I reply, "I certainly hope nothing's burning down there."

When he presented me with a sweatband and matching leg warmers, I finally snapped and shrieked, "Yes! Yes! I'm doing Kegel's! I fucking Kegel all the time! I'm Kegeling right now! Now quit following me!"

So, yesterday, at Bradley class as the instructor was amending our weekly Kegel's from 50 a day to 80 a day, my husband piped up and said, "I'm sorry, Susan, but the book says 300 a day. Aren't we supposed to be following the book?"

All the men enthusiastically agreed with him while all the women threw their leg warmers at his head.

Some time later, our class watched a birthing video. It was made back in the nineties, and the couple giving birth were hippies so they looked like something straight out of a, "1o0 Reasons You Should Grow Hair Everywhere" campaign, but it was very interesting. At least it was interesting to me. Everyone in my class is a first time parent (excepting me, of course, and my instructor) so they have no idea what to expect. While the camera was zoomed in on the woman's hoo haw as the baby was crowning, I looked around. The expressions ranged from, "Holy shit, I'll be able to park a car in there after this baby is born", to, "Oh, my God, please gouge out my eyes, set them on fire and then stomp them out". I was vastly amused. I glanced over at Chris to see how he was faring and saw a pretty similar expression on his face. I leaned over.

"Babe. It's okay. It's totally different when it's your baby and I'm pretty sure none of my kids were born looking like an alien smurf covered in cottage cheese."

"It's not that. It's..."

"What, honey? The fluids?"


He is still staring at the screen, bug-eyed and slack-jawed, and I'm trying to whisper so as not to disturb anyone else.

"Sweety, it's okay."

"No, it's not, Crystal. I mean, look at her pubic hair." At this point, the sound goes out and my dear husband, priorities intact, says in a voice loud enough for the newborn and his hippie parents to hear, "It looks like that baby is trying to crawl out of a friggin' brillo pad."


Thursday, August 24, 2006

Last week, a gentleman in our office passed away suddenly and tragically. Reactions to this have ranged from genuine sympathy to frustration and anger over the fact that he hasn't returned their call after being informed that he's dead.

This morning, our receptionist received a sales call.

"Good morning, Really Big Insurance Company, this is Corina."

"Hi, may I speak to Tom Layton, please?"

"I"m sorry. Mr. Layton passed away last week. Is there someone else who can help you?"

"Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. Do you think he'd want to buy any of our pens this month?"

"I would imagine not."

"Ok. Thank you!"

There's a candidate for The Apprentice if I ever saw one.


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

There is nothing, and I mean nothing, going on right now in my life. Everything is mostly centered around this pregnancy and our ongoing house renovation and we are as interesting as the mating habits of tree sloths right now.

But, because I can't stand to go more than a couple of days without posting something, I give you more random shit.

1. Chris told me a story this weekend about the time he ended up in a drunk tank in Oklahoma. Apparently, the tank was the size of a walk-in closet and it was packed to the hilt with Oklahoma's finest citizens, my husband included. Among those incarcerated was a very, very drunk and sleepy Commanche Indian. This particular Indian was attempting to sleep on the floor and needed a pillow. So, he did what any self-respecting, drunken, incarcerated Indian would do: he grabbed the foot of the largest black man in the cell and placed his cheek ever-so-gently on the mans toes. This was his pillow. Large black man was not pleased.

"Hey, man. Get yo' nasty fuckin' face off muh foot."

The Indian blearily replied, "Oh, man, I'm sorry, man, sorry. I'm from the tribe Commanche." As if this somehow excused his molestation of the other man's foot.

A few seconds later, as the large black man is chatting with another cell mate, the Indian shimmied up closer to him and again put his head on the other man's foot.

"Look, man. I ain't gonna tell you again. Get yo' fuckin' face off my foot."

"Oh, man, I'm sorry. I'm from the tribe Commanche, man. Sorry."

Again, the Indian played possum and the black man went back to his conversation, sliding his feet back a little farther this time.

Drunken Indian was not to be deterred. He inched his way forward and triumphantly snuggled his way up against the size 16 shoe.

"Das it, man. I done tole you twice-"

"I'm sorry, man. I'm so sorry. I'm from the tribe Comm-"

"Yeah, yeah. Well, I'm from the tribe Co-nigga and I'm about to co-whoop yo' ass."

Drunken Indian reconsidered his attempts and used his own shoe, instead.

2. Sunday afternoon was our first Bradley class (for those of you unfamiliar with childbirth, Bradley is the non-medicated approach to childbirth which, in the words of my sister-in-law, makes me "crazy as a damned loon"). Our instructor was wonderful. Our classmates are maybe a little disapproving of us. You know how I know? Susan, the instructor, was trying to find her stuffed pelvis to show us the different changes in pressure correlating to the different positions of the pushing stage. She kept wandering around saying, "I can't find my pelvis", while Chris and I would stifle our giggles behind our books like we were in 8th grade health class. Everyone else (four other couples) would just look at us like we were high.

3. A few nights ago, Chris was cuddled up against me and we were spooning. Now, typically, because I'm a very sweet person, I will exclaim, "Uh oh!", to give him time to shimmy away before my ass explodes. Occasionally, however, I will have what I call 'ninja farts'. No one knows they're there until the top half of your head is gone. This happened to be one of those nights.

After it happened and I looked back over my shoulder all puzzled and surprised, Chris simply said, "Oh, you nasty truck driver."

Well, that got me laughing which in turn caused Chris to laugh and we both laughed our fool heads off for the better part of five minutes.

I finally caught my breath long enough to ask, "Why the hell would you call me a nasty truck driver?"

To which he replied, "Because that sounded just like air brakes."

Romanticism is alive and well in my house.


And that's all I have for today. I need to find something to eat. It's been, like, eight or nine minutes since I ate lunch.


Friday, August 18, 2006

Five years ago, I went to a Cricket store and purchased their crappy service along with an overpriced Nokia phone that was roughly the size of a cereal box. I had zero credit, neither good nor bad, and I didn't qualify for regular cell service through premier providers.

After five years of no roaming, purchasing more overpriced phones every time mine would (fall in the washing machine) break down, and paying my bill early every month, you would think I would have garnered some sort of perks. Send me a toaster or something, for shit's sake.

I bought a Kyocera flip phone last November and paid twice what it was worth. A week ago, I was opening the phone and the whole top fell off. IT FELL THE FUCK OFF. The casing was fine, but the top of the phone was most definitely separated from the bottom. I called and left a message with my local service facility and waited. And waited. And then waited some more. After five days, I was pissed. I called and left another message, this one decidedly more heated, and then started pricing through T-Mobile and Cingular. The only reason I hadn't done so before is because, a: I'm not good with change and, b: I didn't want to change phone numbers after so long. I was delighted to find out that I could keep the same phone number, and although I wouldn't get unlimited everything for the price I was paying, I would now have roaming and access to phones that weren't put together in the same factory that makes Hello Kitty toys.

As I was signing up online and picking out my NEW FREE PHONE, Kelly, the angry, belligerent Cricket employee with horrible grammatical skills finally called me back. I was curious, so I wanted to see how this would play out.

"This Kelly from Cricket."

"Um. Ok. I'm Crystal from Texas."

"You called and left a message. I'm calling you back."

"Yeah, I left the first message over five days ago. Did you get that one?"

"No. What do you need?"

"Well, five days ago I needed a phone that wasn't suffering from leprosy."

I explained my situation while she sighed and got impatient and was unbelievably rude and then she finally checked the warrany information for me.

She quickly explained the procedure to me. I was stunned.

"Sooooo, let me get this straight. I buy a phone from you at an exorbitant price, it falls apart a mere 8 months later, and as a result, I have to come to you, take a number, wait with masses of the great unwashed for approximately an hour, if we're talking the same length of time it took when I came to buy the piece of crap in the first place, pay you $45 for you to send it to the Mototoys factory and then, after it takes two weeks for them to determine that the top of the phone has divorced itself from the bottom of the phone, I'll get a $35 credit on my next bill because you want me to pay the $10 for shipping. Is that about right?"


"I've been with your company for five years. You guys are like the Ford Pinto of the cell phone industry. How many customers do you have that have been loyal for five years? I bet not many, considering you probably can't take your cell phone to prison."

"I didn't make you choose our company."

Oh, I'm sorry, what? You've been rude to me through this whole process, didn't call me back while I was paying for cell phone service I wasn't getting and now you're going to get smart assed with me? So, I made my father proud and said,

"You know, I find it interesting that fuck you."


I know, I know. Probably way more rude than I should have been. I'm not myself lately.

C'mon, somebody. Take me far away from the mucky muck.


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Occasionally, I will find myself talking to a customer and somewhere in the conversation, we begin chatting and sharing stories like two old friends.

"Yeah, so moving here from Virginia was a quite an adjustment."

"I can imagine. What do you have in your yard?" I asked.

"A tree. A lonely, solitary Charlie Brown tree. I used to live on the side of a mountain."

"Tell me about it, sister. I used to live on an island in the Mediterranean."

"I was so depressed when I was house hunting, but my mom cheered me up."

"Really? How so?"

"Well, she was on her way to Oklahoma with a traveling buddy. She has Alzheimers so they don't go very far these days. Anyway, while I was riding around with the realtor, she called me no less than thirty-seven times to ask me if she needed a passport to enter Oklahoma."

Now, here is where I go silent because I'm thinking, "Is it okay to laugh? Is that rude or possibly hurtful?"

"It's okay to laugh, Crystal. I have to. Laugh or go insane."

God bless all you folks dealing with Alzheimers or caring for a loved one who is afflicted.

And, yes, you should have to have a passport to enter Oklahoma.


Thursday, August 10, 2006

My husband is incredibly thoughtful, generous and mellow. I am a basket case.

Last week, I emailed him a link to a $300 Medela breast pump with a note from me that read, "HOW IN THE HELL ARE WE GOING TO AFFORD ALL THIS SHIT? We must sell one of the older children. Shall we eenie meenie miney mo?"

Last night, when I got home, there was the breast pump sitting on the coffee table. He got a huge discount on it and wanted to surprise me. He does that stuff all the time. I'm the woman who bought him a can of Slim Jims and a card for Valentine's day. You can see why he married me, right?

So, I was excited and pulled all the parts out of the box. He got a great deal on it because it didn't come with a book of instructions, but it's a breast hard can it be, right?

Thirty minutes later, we are surrounded by tubes and bottles and a motor and funnel-shaped shit and I was just ready to give up and feed the baby macaroni & cheese.

"Wait, I think I got it!" Chris exclaimed. He proudly help up the assembled pump and I gave him a biscuit and rubbed his belly.

Now, in addition to being a genuinely sweet and caring man, my husband is also shameless when it comes to his curiosity. As I sat wide eyed, he lifted his shirt to fit one of the suction cups over his nipple.

"I just want to see," he explained.

I sat back to watch the fun. I knew he had no idea what he was in for when he dialed the setting up to 'maximum' and turned the pump on.

The look on his face, the high-pitched squeal and the sight of his tiny male nipple elongating like Pinocchio's nose through the plastic shell was more than enough to make me piddle in my pants. I haven't laughed that hard in years, seriously.


After he managed to extract his boob, he looked at me in horror.

"Do babies really suck that hard?"


"Shut up."

After I collected myself, we tried to attach the second pump. I held it up to my hand and Chris turned it on.

"Chris, this one isn't working."

"Sure it is."

"No, it's not. Look. I'm getting no suction on my hand."

So, because I'm a moron, I lifted up my shirt, exposed my sore, tender nipple and attached the pump.

Remember, up there, when Chris was squealing and writhing and turning purple while screaming for me to get it off while I laughed like an asshole? Yeah.

And we're raising children, people.


Wednesday, August 09, 2006

I will be scarce this week. I always post from work and I have a trainee that I'm responsible for until Friday. He interrupts me constantly, moves my shit when I'm gone and he's arrogant.

Hey, just put up $50,000 or so to open your new office, right? Right? THEN BACK THE FUCK OFF, WALLY, UNLESS YOU WANT TO BE LIVING IN A BOX UNDER THE FREEWAY.

And I'm only at Defcon 2.

We had our ultrasound on Monday and we have no idea what sex this baby is. He/she wouldn't open his/her legs. Our technician was mean and homely. I wouldn't have opened my legs, either.

But, he/she is healthy, active and has all the right parts in all the right places (well, I don't know about THAT part, but one can only hope) and Chris took great pleasure in leering and asking, several times, "Are you sure that's the umbilical cord?" Wink, wink. God, I love that man.

Because we are impatient, childish and petulant, we are pricing 4D sonograms to try and find out the sex of the baby, but it's probably not a possibility until late September, money wise. So, we'll all have to wait. I know you're on pins and needles, truly.

I'll be back. Promise.


Friday, August 04, 2006

I haven't had a good rant in a while. I think it's time.

Rant #1: It used to drive me insane when I would call my credit card company and end up talking to someone in India who's only experience with the English language up until that point was learning the phrase, "The dot is not for poking". I actually felt sorry for these folks for the amount of abuse they must suffer for the paltry wage they were paid. But, I never got someone who actually spoke English, and that made me crazy. They would read from their script, I would spend thirty precious seconds of my life trying to decipher what the fuck they just said and the whole ordeal would end with me hanging up and getting nothing accomplished.
I called this morning and was greeted by Paco. Apparently, they're becoming industrious and outsourcing to Mexico, now. I thought, "Well, this can't be any worse than talking to Vijay."
"Thank you for calling Assrape Credits Cards Serviceees. My name is Paco. I need to help you."
"Uh huh. Well, I've called a couple of times to try to get you guys to re-issue me a card with my married name on it. Can you help me with that?"
"Your card is being stolen?"
"Yes, I'm being mugged as we speak. I thought I'd call you first and see if I could get him a better interest rate."
"Ok. Stolen."
"No, sweety, I got married. My name is different now. I need a new card."
"Dupleeecate card?"
"Yes! That's what I need. With McKnob instead of Ross."
"How long ago was the card being stolen?"
"Um, no offense, but is there someone there who speaks English?"
"I can speak Eeenglish."
"I know, sugar, I know. But preferably someone who speaks fixed English instead of broken. Maybe someone who sounds sort of Hugh Grant-ish? That would be super."
"I don't understand."
"I know. I feel horrible for you. There you are, minding your own business selling chickens by the side of the road and the next thing you know, this asshole company has offered you a better life. Only, what you don't realize is that you're trading your simple life for one where the man has you by the balls. You come to work every day and get screamed at by ignorant, impotent jackwads who can't figure out how to pay their bill on time. Why, Paco? Why? I mean, think of the chickens."
*hold music*
Sometimes it's the only thing you can do to frustrate them enough to give you to someone else. But I think I distinctly heard him call me a "puta" before he put me on hold. Furthermore, I don't blame him.
Rant #2: I know that advertising is the gateway to a successful business and all that shit, but, really, Cartoon Network and Disney, must you saturate my daughter with ads for every toy in the free world?
I told my children to go ahead and make out their Christmas lists. Now, my son understands that if I don't start buying now, Christmas will be shitty. Therefore, he complied with a fairly respectable list that included, but wasn't limited to, a cell phone. Odds are, I'll buy him a cell phone about the same time I decide to have my nipples tattooed with David Hassellhoffs name and image. But, whatever.
Virginia was confused.
"Mommy, it's only August. Christmas is in (pause while she counts on her fingers to be sure) 4 months."
"I know, honey. But the elves need time to make all the stuff. You don't want Santa having to outsource to India, do you?"
So, she made a list. And then added to it. And then amended it and added some more crap. Every time she sees something on t.v., it goes on the list.
She met me at my car yesterday as I pulled into the driveway, white knuckled, gripping a worn green crayon and sporting beads of sweat on her forehead.
"Mommy. We need more paper."
Stick it up your fat ass, Santa.
Rant #3:
Wow. That's all I have.
No worries. The day is young.


Thursday, August 03, 2006

Chris and I drove last night to pick up a bucket of chicken. Chris's mother was coming to stay with us, I could eat an entire herd of cows, and we had two pounds of hamburger. I was short some cows.

We sat in the drive-through, presented our order and waited at the window. As we waited, I perused our coupon.

"Hey, babe, it says you get free tea on here."

"Yeah, I know. I told them."

"But what if it's only a large drink? I want tea."

"No, it's a gallon of tea."

"Are you sure? What if they give you just a large drink?"

"Crystal. Think about this. We just ordered a twenty-piece bucket. Why would they only give you one drink? They think I'm gonna sit my fat ass down with a twenty-piece bucket and watch a soap opera marathon?"

We tease each other. Mercilessly. So, I just blinked at him and smiled.

I realized my mistake right as the first chicken leg bounced off my head.

Friday, September 29, 2006

As some of you might remember, Burger King and I have a very tumultuous relationship, mostly stemming from my complete and total addiction to Dr. Pepper. They don't understand it and refuse to nurture it and I take their, "Your way, right away", slogan very, very seriously.

Therefore, we are in constant conflict.

This morning, I went inside the restaurant because I've noticed that actually seeing that I'm pregnant and uncomfortable has caused some noticeably different reactions from people in the service industry. Mostly, they look nervous and eager to please and I like that. I'm sure they get sick of every pregnant woman on the planet whining and sweating and bulging out there like an overfed walrus, so they just do whatever they can to get us out of their faces as quickly as possible. I should probably point out that this seems to work better when you're older and pregnant because, by God, we've already dealt with the indignities of crows feet and a sagging boobs, so tread very carefully, my hair-netted friend. I've actually peed my pants in public so don't think that making an ass out of myself to get one more slice of cheese is outside my realm of tantrums.

Anyway. I walk in this morning because the word, "large", doesn't seem to translate at their drive-through speaker and we always end up arguing at the window. I wanted to make sure that I was clear and understood so everyone could walk away happy. It's Friday. I'm feeling generous.

Being somewhat pessimistic, I was worried about how this encounter would go. You see, it's been 5 weeks since I've seen my feet, I've sliced a hole in my cotton sheets with the ninja blade on the end of my big toe, I'm still getting migraines, I can't poop and I eat three bowls of fiber for breakfast every morning (which is akin to eating hair, only with less flavor), my back is in constant agony, I'm getting brand new stretch marks (because the 400 I got when I was pregnant with my other kids just weren't good enough. I needed new ones), my hair is almost completely gray on top and my tits are so big that I broke a bra.


I was standing in the bathroom, staring at one my of my spankin' new marks, when I heard a pop. The snap on the front of my bra ricocheted off the mirror and then landed in between my feet. Where I couldn't see it. Because it was in between my feet. I seriously heard a great, big sigh of relief and then the boobs broke free and ate the children.

I know, I know. I should have purchased bigger bras by now. But, people, do you know how much money it costs to make one of these things? I have to special order them from the Pentagon and that shit ain't cheap. I've already been trying to figure out how to explain to my daughter that Santa has to lay off most of his elves and because of that Christmas won't be so great this year (my sister, on the other hand, says to me, "Oh. That's creative. I was just gonna tell my kids that Santa has cancer." Sick, sick woman) and you think I have money for bras?

But, I digress.

So, my fuse is very short, but with most people I'm not a bitch because, really, who chose to get pregnant, here? Me. However, it's almost non-existent with Burger King because they have been so rude and derogatory to me at nearly every, single visit. Were it not for their ham, egg & cheese croissanwich, I would never go back.

I go in, and this is what happens.

The employee, the same one who always ignores me and gets my order wrong, stands with her hand poised over the register and just stares at me.

"Well, good morning to you, too. I'd like the ham, egg & cheese croissanwich value meal with a large Dr. Pepper. Not the small. The large."


"I'd like that to go. Just in case you were wondering."


"Okey dokey."

I hand her my debit card and wait. When she returns to me, she hands me a stained, brown paper bag and a medium Dr. Pepper.

I looked at my receipt, just to be sure before I went fucking apeshit postal. Sure enough, I had paid for a large upsize.

"Ma'am, I specifically said large. You guys do this to me every single time I come through here."

"That's the size that comes with the morning value meal."

"Normally, yes. But see this right here? See? You charged me 40 cents for the upsize. I paid for a large."

"That is the large in the morning."

I stopped, mouth open and just stared at her. I seriously felt like I had just entered a whole new realm of completely stupid.

"What? Are you kidding me? Do the large cups have to have their wheaties before they grow into their normal size? Is there some sort of cup fluffer that comes in here at lunch? Does sizing change all over the world when you start slinging Whoppers? What the hell are you talking about?"

"That's our large in the morning. And the large is an extra large."

"So, what's the extra large?"


"Oh, dear, sweet bleeding Barney. What do I need to ask for to get a large, extra large, whatever. Please. I haven't had Dr. Pepper in a week and a half and I can't explain to you how close I am to pulling my own head off and throwing it at you."

"Forty cents."

I got to work and my ham, egg & cheese croissanwich had no cheese on it. Check your nightly news.


Thursday, September 28, 2006

Well, my tests are back and I don't have gestational diabetes, although I have to follow a strict diabetic diet. My initial test returned results of 247. They consider high anything over 140. Based on my initial count, the odds of me not having it were astronomical, so I'm loading up on lottery tickets this weekend. And Dr. Pepper. I want my fucking Dr. Pepper.

When the nurse read the results of the initial test, she rounded on me.

"Oooooooh, girl, that's high. That's damned high. Are you sure you haven't had anything by mouth since last night?"

"Positive. I'm starving to death."

"No candy? Breath mint?"


"Cough drop? Vitamin C?"

I was irritated by now. I was hungry and tired and all poked out.

"The only thing that's been in my mouth since last night is my husband's penis. My allergies were bothering me and making the back of my throat irritated, so I couldn't even complete that, and I'm relatively sure he didn't dip it in honey or chocolate or anything. This time."

Silence and a blank stare, one eyebrow cocked. It's usually at this point that I think about how ashamed my mother would be of me for some of the things I say without really thinking. And that's when I start blushing.

"I'm really sorry. I need a banana or something. I'm cranky."

More staring.

"I just gave you way more information than you ever really wanted, didn't I?"

She finally regained her composure.

"It's okay, honey. Let me go talk to the doctor."

So, here's how pre-occupied and distracted and loony I've been:

  • Yesterday, I went to pee at work. I stood up to flush and leaned over, only to watch in slow-motion horror as my phone headset fell off my head and into the toilet. I cursed and screamed and kicked and then just fished it out when my boss knocked on the door and nervously asked, "Crystal? Everything okay in there? No babies in the bathroom, okay?....Crystal??" I cleaned it off as best I could, washed out the little fuzzy cover that cushions my ear and dried it as much as possible. When I gingerly put it back on, I shuddered and walked around muttering, "Pee-pee head. I'm a pee-pee head." My co-workers all think I've starting mentally breaking. And the sonofabitch only worked for two more phone calls and then quit on me. Quitter.
  • Not twenty minutes later, I had a customer sitting at my desk, fidgeting nervously. I make people nervous now. An Asian woman actually told me so. As she's sitting there and I'm trying to finish up our business, I spilled a full cup of water on all my contracts. I just sighed, threw all the contracts in the trash and said, "I should go home now before I cave and do what the voices are urging me to do." It was a lame attempt at humor, but the customer GOT UP AND WALKED OUT THE DOOR. My boss didn't say a word.
  • My husband was pressure-washing the front door the other day with an industrial washer. I opened the front door and was driven backward by the force of the spray. I knew he was doing it and I just opened the door, expecting my pregnant force-field to shield me from the blast. He found me in bed a few minutes later, soaked clothes and all. Muttering to myself.
  • I was attempting to vacuum the new carpet in the bedroom with our bagless vacuum when I started bawling for Chris. He warily poked his head around the corner. "Yeah, babe?"
"Help me. This damned thing won't suck. I've tried everything and it won't suck and everything's breaking and why won't it suck? Suck, you sucky piece of shit, suck!!"
"Um, honey? Where's the cannister?"
"I emptied it. It was full."
"You never put it back in the vacuum."
"Ugh. I'm going to bed. I shouldn't be allowed to operate anything."
  • I was sitting here a few minutes ago holding my pen. Upside down. Not being all here and noticing the pen was upside down, I attempted to click it to eject the ball point and, instead, ended up driving the ball point into the pad of my thumb. I bled like a Stephen King novel. I screamed and whimpered and muttered. My boss came running into my office, hair sticking up everywhere, eyes all a'bugged to see if I had, indeed, squirted the baby out onto the floor. He's very worried about that. He's sending me home, now.
I jokingly asked Chris the other day how long he wanted to wait before having another baby. He looked at me and couldn't quite disguise his horror.
"Oh, no, babe. No more babies. Last one. I'll get fixed. I'll do it. Do we need another baby? Do you really want another baby because you know that would mean another pregnancy?"
"Another pregnancy? Really? They don't have babies on Ebay? I was kidding, Chris. Am I really that bad?"
As he pondered this question, I could see what was going through his head: crazy, weepy, pregnant bitch just asked me a loaded question and I, for one, ain't crazy or suicidal.
"No, honey. You're radiant."
I dreamily smiled and demanded he drive me to Sonic for a foot-long hot dog with chocolate syrup.
And we have three more months to go.


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

We listed our house for sale yesterday. I have walked through the rooms that I've spent such a short time in and wrung my hands for the last three days. We began THE GREAT REMODELING PROJECT OF 2005 when I moved in last November, and the house has finally started to "come together", so to speak. It is the house my children have acclimated to, the house I came home to as a first time bride and the house I thought I would raise this new child in.

Unfortunately, someone had a great deal on home-buying discounts for convicts, drug dealers and child molesters and they all decided to move in directly across the street and next door. On both sides. I can see how this spot would be advantageous to them as the elementary school backs up to my back yard. Motherfucking derelicts.

So, the trash has started wafting into our yard, the police make nightly visits and in a few short months, our neighborhood has quickly become ghetto fabulous.

This was an agonizing decision as I promised my son I wouldn't haul him off to a new school ever again, but he has been a great sport about the whole thing and has actually become optimistic about where we might end up next. I'm so proud of him for that and so many other things.

The home buying process is all new to me. Last Sunday, we went to see our first prospective home. I saw it online and it looked positively perfect. When we arrived, the realtor (a family friend) threw the first kink at me.

"Crystal, did you know this house backs up to railroad tracks?"

"Oh. Well, they seem to be used to it, I guess. I'll just ask them how often the train comes through."

"I wouldn't bother, hon. They're both deaf."

"Ha ha."

"Not kidding."

"Oh. Makes sense."

We rang the doorbell/alert light and were greeted by a handsome man in his mid-thirties. He motioned for us to come in and went out to the back yard with his wife so that we could peruse the home at our leisure.

I was enchanted. The rooms were open and spacious, tastefully decorated and painted in designer colors. Everything was very neutral and spotless.

When we entered the master bedroom, I was following behind Chris and the realtor and not looking in front of me. I uttered a high-pitched squawk when I ran directly into Chris's back. He and the realtor were gaping at the something in front of them. I peered around his shoulder.

"Babe. Are those chains?"

"Yes. And handcuffs on the other side."

The nice, normal folks selling their house had a bed entirely suspended from the ceiling by chains. The walls were painted...oh, well, fuck it. Here's a link to the house:

These pictures are obviously old, because the grandma decor in the greatroom is gone and the kitchen has been updated, but the bedroom is exactly what I saw Sunday.

The real estate agent was aghast.

"Oh, my goodness, y'all. This is the strangest thing I've ever seen."

"That is tres kinky. Wow. Who likes this kind of crap?" I asked.

She thanked them and ushered us out the door. As we were walking down the driveway, I leaned over to Chris and whispered, "Go back and tell them we'll take it provided they leave the bed."

"I'm way ahead of you. I'll call them after we leave."

We are MADE for each other.


Tuesday, September 26, 2006

I have been preoccupied lately and I apologize. I won't go into detail, yet, at least not until the test results come back.

Ok, I'm kidding.


In the meantime, the lovely Cythen went on a mini-vacation and flattered me by asking me to guest blog along with some other folks. So, if you'd like to read it, go here:

Guest Blogging


Thursday, September 21, 2006

"So, the baby is about thirteen inches long...about this long." To illustrate, I hold my hands as far apart as I imagine thirteen inches to be.

"That's not thirteen inches, babe. That's more like twenty-five."

"Nuh uh."

"Uh huh."

"Nuh uh."

"Uh huh."

"Nuh uh." (Because one of the valuable lessons I learned in kindergarten is that if you emphasize your "nuh uh" hard enough, it gives you mass credibility and means you've won the argument. If you do this with a sneer on your face and raised eyebrows, it also makes the other person an instant booger-head)

"Crystal, that is so much longer than thirteen inches."

"Fine. I'll show you." I sat down at the computer and began Googling like a crazed googler.

"What are you looking for?"

"An online ruler."

"Oh, my God, Crystal. You can't use an 'online ruler'."

"Yes, you can. You can get anything online. If I can find an Eleanor McEvoy CD, I can find a damned ruler."

"You're not understanding me. It won't work. The website has no way of knowing our screen size or resolution, honey."

I sat for a minute and realized how foolish I must look. Then it dawned on me.

"You tried the same thing at some point, didn't you, Chris?"

"Yeah. And it's a shame, too. Cos' going by that ruler, I'm hung like a moose."


Thursday, September 14, 2006

Tonight is my son's first football game. I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am.

"Devon, you never did tell me what time your game is...I kind of need to know that."

"I'm not sure. I'll check after dinner."

"Ok. I need to have time to pick up the shirts."

He looked up from his pot roast, the first hint of worry in his eyes.

"What shirts?"

"The ones I had made. You know, for everyone to wear."

From hint of worry to beginnings of panic.

"Wait. Who's everyone?"

"Well, everyone. Your grandparents, aunt Penny, uncle Steve, Lindsay, Megan-"

"Wait...the same Megan who spits on people when she talks? The one who shows her hernia to anyone who doesn't run screaming?"

"Maybe. Don't be mean."

"And what shirts? What are you planning?"

"Nothing! I love you. I want to be supportive. So, I bought Virginia a shirt that says, #63 Is My Big Brother, and Chris' says, #63 Is My Stepson and everyone else's just says, Go #63!, on it. Harmless."

"Oh, my God. What does yours say?"

"Um. Well, you'll see. Don't worry about it."


"Oh, fine. Ruin the surprise. It says, "#63 Is My Baby". Happy?"

He clapped one hand over his face.

"Oh, hell. Please tell me you're kidding."

"Watch your mouth. I guess this means you don't want me to bring the banners and blinkies?"

"Gah!" He stood up and stomped back to the bedroom.

I was not discouraged.

"Don't think for one second that after all this choreography we're not doing the wave, though!" I shouted after him.

He reappeared a few minutes later and sat back down to dinner.

"My game is at 7:30."

I checked. His game is at 5:30. Little stinker.


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

"Crystal, I noticed the dishes piling up. We're all adults, but can you send out a memo reminding everyone to take care of their own stuff?"

I looked at him, amazed.

"You want me to send the memo?"

"Yeah. Do you mind?"

"Nope. Not at all."


If folks up in here don't start washing their stuff, I'm going to strangle you with my dishpan hands.

This does not apply to coffee cups (I just dump those and put them back in the cabinet, anyway) or Paycheck (i.e. my boss), because he can mess up anything he wants to . I don't bite the hand that feeds me. I'm smart that way.

Thank you for your attention. Crystal Secrest - out!

P.S. I mean this in the most non-physically threatening, non-sexually harassing way possible.

I'm not allowed to write any more memo's. Big babies.


Monday, September 11, 2006

"Okay, Virginia. I laid your shirt on your bed."

"Why do I have to wear that shirt today, Mommy?"

"Because it has our flag on it. Because all the children at your school are wearing our flag's colors in remembrance of today."

"What's so special about today?"

"Well, five years ago when you were just a baby, some really bad men killed and injured a lot of innocent people. We wear our colors proudly so that the world knows we haven't forgotten that day and that we're standing together as a family, not just a country."

"But I was a baby, Mommy. I don't remember."

"That's okay, hon. I'll remember for both of us."

As I walked her to school amidst a sea of innocent children in red, white and blue, I thought, And when you're old enough, I'll expose you to the horror of that day so that you don't let your children ever forget.


Friday, September 08, 2006

A boy at school has been harassing my son. He sent him a note yesterday instructing him to be on the corner at 6 p.m. sharp so they could fight it out. Devon walked to the corner at the pre-appointed time (while I stood on the front porch gnawing on my knuckles and expecting to see the cast of "The Outsiders" appear) to try to settle things with this kid - all at my husbands urging.

"Crystal, if he doesn't do this, he'll be labeled a pussy."

"Yeah, but he'll be a pussy with all his teeth and eyeballs."

The other kid didn't show. So, Devon took it one step farther and went to his house where he politely knocked on the kids door and spoke with his mother, leaving a message when he was told the kid was out getting his hair cut or picking up some new brass knuckles and some Brylcreem or whatever.

Feeling he had made his point, he came home in relatively good spirits. I was still concerned.

"Devon, if he bothers you tomorrow, just ignore him. Concentrate on your school work and pretend he doesn't exist."

He and Chris stared silently at me for a minute before turning around and walking down the block to have man talk. As they left, I heard Chris say,

"Devon, if he sends you another note tomorrow, keep it as proof and then, after school, beat. his. ass."

I obviously know so little about raising a teenaged boy.


Thursday, September 07, 2006

My daughter is understandably terrified of needles (for those of you who are confused, she had some stomach ailments that baffled a bunch of inept doctors into saying, "Well, hell, Bob. Since we can't figure it out, we should take blood. It seems like the right thing to do.")

However, the indignity of being the only girl in her class without pierced ears was just too much. So, this weekend she took the plunge.

I'll give you pictures (that I didn't know were being taken...I was too busy gnashing my teeth, wailing and plotting the slow and painful death of the technician who was HURTING MY BABY).

Picture 1: This picture basically says, "I'm okay. I'm okay. I'm okay. I'm- wait, is that a freaking needle?"

Picture 2: First ear. We are in Claire's and every person in the store turned and glared at me as though I was beating her to death with rhinestone tiara. Of course, she sounded like she was being beaten to death with a rhinestone tiara. At this point, I am inwardly cringing because I allowed this to take place.

Picture 3: It was during this part that I crumbled and screamed, "I lied! I lied! It does hurt a lot and not just for a second! I am filth!" and then I fell on the floor.

This is what I do on weekends. I poke holes in my kids and make them scream.


Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Good morning, everyone. I hope you had a fantastic weekend and, just to let you know, my pants are now in Namibia awaiting the birth of their very first pair of bicycle shorts. So, congratulations to them.

I had nothing planned for the weekend except to clean my horrible house. We had new carpet put in last weekend and I twitched all week long about the chaos. I literally don't have time to clean on weeknights, so I had to shuffle through carpet scraps and misplaced dressers for five miserable days. I had all my cleaning supplies lovingly laid out, the Clorox Clean-Up, the Lemon Scented Pledge and I was ready to spring out of bed on Saturday morning and put everyone to work on their little part of our house.

Friday night, I half-noticed (while in one of my fugues where I wander around and survey everything to answer the question, "Do we REALLY need that refrigerator?", and then drive Chris crazy when I put stuff out on the curb, like, say, Devon) Chris and my kids huddled on the couch, heads together, whispering. Normally, this would set off my radar, but I was so exhausted from whining about all the clutter that I was oblivious.

Saturday morning, every one of those motherfuckers was gone.

So, I turned up my eighties station and sang, "Total Eclipse of The Heart", in between sneezing fits. And I cleaned. Oh, yes. I cleaned. When the deserters finally returned and tentatively stepped inside the house, I beat them all with my broom until they took their shoes off and placed them neatly outside.

Why, yes, I am obsessive! How observant of you!

Sometime in the night, the refrigerator got fired up and made noises that resembled a brontosaurus giving birth. Chris was giddy. He looks for any excuse to buy appliances and it doesn't matter if it's $100 cheaper at Sears, he is going to Home Depot, by God.

When he returned with our new fridge, he went in the backyard to try and find a piece of plywood to slide it on. Our new neighbors, Booby (not to be confused with Bandy, who just moved out) and family, were having a get-together and several of them were in the front yard playing football.

Now, here's an observation, and maybe you can all help me with this because it might be different in different regions: black people in the South are terrified of dogs. And not just big, slobbery eat-your-nuts-for-a-snack kinds of dogs, any dogs. Chihuahuas, poodles, bulldogs, whatever. They do not discriminate.

In case you've forgotten, these are our dogs: Dusty and Daisy.

Now, you have to imagine Daisy as a 40-pound puppy now, but, whatever. She's still a great, big, tripping-over-her-own-feet dork who just wants to be loved and to sniff as many butts as possible. I could be getting chopped to pieces by an axe murderer and she would stand to the side and lick the killer's blood spattered boots now and then. And then she'd take a nap to recover from all the exertion.

So, Chris is going in the backyard and he accidentally lets Daisy out. She gallops into the carport and then stops, confused. Which butt to sniff first? Which leg to slobber on? As she's debating, the people next door have all frozen in horror and are watching watching her to see what she's going to do. She notices them. They stare back. She crouches in a pouncing position, tail spinning, because she sees a ball! A football! Ball! Ball! Here is where everything happens in slow motion. As she takes her first joyful bound across the carport, black folks scattered everywhere and literally moving at the speed of light. One minute they're minding their own business playing football, the next the football is lying forlornly in the yard and one girl is ON TOP OF A CAR, one has deadbolted the front door and four or five folks are in the car the girl is perched on, rolling the windows up and locking the doors. You know, in case my idiot bloodhound is smart enough to pick locks. The one guy who couldn't find a hiding spot is trying to climb a tree and Daisy has stopped in the middle of the yard, perplexed and honestly looking a little hurt. She drops down on her belly and begins gnawing on the football right as Chris gets his wits about him and runs over to put her back in the yard. I am on the ground covered in my own pee. I know, they didn't think it was funny, but if I had had a camcorder? I would play that shit over and over and over and laugh like a fool every time.

And admit it - so would you.

Monday, October 30, 2006

I have had the same cell phone number for the last five years. Approximately three times per week, I get wrong number calls. Based on what little information I can glean from these shining souls, I have deduced that there is a stripper named Jenna in our area who gives my number out as a way to deter the freaks.

So, I get to talk to them. Lucky, fucky, ducky me.

I'm a little confused as to why she sticks to giving out the same number instead of mixing it up, but I can only imagine that my number is one or so digits off from hers and it's just easier for her to go with that instead of developing something original. My God, she has enough on her mind, what with buying bags of coke and figuring out what part of her labia to pierce next.

(I'm a little pissed at her by now. No offense to any other strippers. I totally would have paid my way through college by stripping if I wasn't paralyzed by the thought that my mother is from a family of seventeen and my dad is from ten. Do you know what the odds are of being unknowingly groped by one of my relatives?)

When I was bartending, I used to give out a fake number occasionally, but only if the person was really, really adamant and I didn't feel like arguing anymore. Otherwise, I would just gently explain to the person asking that I wasn't a "dater". Periodically, some genius would retort with something like, "Oh, I don't wanna date ya, darlin', I just wanna fuck ya!", and then he would peer quizzically into his beer bottles the rest of the night, wondering what that funny aftertaste was. But after giving out the fake number a few times, I began to encounter more resistance.

"Hey. This says '555-9872'. 555 isn't a real number."

"Of course it is. I get calls all the time."

"Are you sure?"

"Positive. Kurt Cobain called me just this morning."

"Isn't he dead?"

"Ugh. He thinks that's such a negative term."

So, I went with the old stand-by and started claiming I was married. Seemed to work better than anything else.

This last week, I had a persistent caller. They sometimes think that I am Jenna and I'm just lying so that I don't have to speak to them (because that makes so much more sense than her just giving the idiot in question a wrong number).

"Hey, baby. What you doin?"

"It's 3:30 on a Tuesday morning. What the fuck are most people doing? You have the wrong number."

And I hang up. A few seconds later, my phone rings again. Chris grabs the phone before I can get to it. Because nothing will stop a guy in his horny, territorial tracks faster than another guy encroaching on his stripper.

"Hello? Who? There's no Jenna here. Don't call this number again."

And, surprisingly, other than the text-message virus that Bob sent us which regenerated itself every 20 minutes (thanks, Bob, you shit face), our phones were blessedly silent for the remainder of the morning.

The following night, however, Tyrone was at it again. I call him Tyrone because he sounded like a Tyrone.

"Hey, Jenna. Where you is?"

"Sugar, didn't we clear this up last night? This is not Jenna's number. I'm not Jenna. It's now 4 a.m. and thanks to you, I have to get up and pee because I can't ignore the alien being that is living in my womb pressing insistently on my bladder anymore. And that means I probably won't be able to get back to sleep which in turn means I have to wake my husband up so he can share in my misery and I'll probably go to work with my bra on the outside of my shirt and who the hell knows-"


The following morning, he started at 2 a.m.

"What you wearin'?"

"Tube socks. Granny panties, size mammoth. Flannel pajamas. Eye boogers because I WAS SLEEPING, YOU INCONSIDERATE, MORONIC FUCKSTICK. WHAT PART OF WRONG NUMBER IS CONFUSING-"


Friday night, he tried again. I was at my wits end. I cannot turn my phone off. My dad is not well and middle of the night phone calls scare the shit out of me. That fear quickly turns to fury when I realize it's some jackass who has nothing better to do than wake up beastly pregnant women.

"Hey, Jenna."

"God, I'm so glad you called. I couldn't sleep. What did you want to be when you were little?"


"When you were little. Let's talk about feelings. Actually, folk remedies would be better. Do you talk to your grandma much? I have a yeast infection I can't shake and sometimes grandma's have the best remedies. I can't go to the doctor. I'm house bound because I can't walk. You wouldn't think six-hundred pounds would be too much to carry around but-"


He hasn't called in a few days. But your suggestions for conversation with him are more than welcome.


Friday, October 27, 2006

"Mommy, what's a Maribou cat?"

"I have no idea."

My daughter was aghast. Her whole world was thrown off it's axis. She looked at me, wide-eyed.

"YOU don't know? Are you sure?"

"Umm, yeah, baby. I'm sure."

"You never learned?"

"I must have been absent the day they covered obscure Halloween costume names."

"I don't know if I look good, Mom."

"Are you kidding? You look precious. The cutest kitty I have ever seen."

"The boys at school make fun of me all the time."

"You know why?"


"Because you're pretty. That's what boys do when they like you. They're mean to you. Haven't you noticed how often Chris whacks me on the butt with that wooden spoon?"

Devon joins the conversation long enough to say, "Ugh, you and Chris are so weird."

"Thank you for that valuable input, Devon. Anyway, Virginia, trust me. Boys like you."

She tentatively stepped in front of the mirror and her whole face lit up.

"Oh, wow, Mommy. I think I do look cute."

"Told you."

"But...I have 2 noses. I have the kitty cat nose and my nose."

"Hmm, well, what would you like me to do?"

"Can you get rid of my nose holes?"

"I'll take care of that as soon as I get rid of 3 cup sizes, sweety."


"Nevermind. Virginia Madison, kitties do not fart like loggers. I think you blew your tail off."

Happy Halloween! Early!


Monday, October 23, 2006

I know some of you have said that you come here for a laugh when you need one. This morning, I'm not feeling very jovial. Writing is cathartic for me and I sometimes write things that I don't think other people necessarily need to read, but you have all been so supportive and wonderful that I trust you with my thoughts.

Today is not a happy post. But I feel marginally better after getting it out, printing it and mailing it to the recipient.


I watched her pick her clothes this morning, clothes that she thought you would like, and she dressed oh so carefully. She brushed her hair and packed a little bag with crayons, construction paper and a book for her to read to you. She doesn't question why you have no TV or computer. In fact, I think she prefers it that way because you have no choice but to interact with her.

She sleepily climbed in the backseat and opened the book, reading quietly to herself. She wanted to practice and ask about any words she didn't understand. She wanted to read that book to you and do it without mistakes. It was very important to her.

I felt slightly guilty for letting her miss school, but you asked and she was so excited about spending the whole day with her Daddy. I can never deny her when she smiles at me. I'm far too in love with this sweet, affectionate, special little girl.

I called you several times on our drive over, but you never answered. I said a silent prayer that my fears were unfounded...that you would keep your word to her. I glanced at her in the backseat. She felt me watching her and looked up long enough to grin. My heart hurt a little when she did that. I fear for her constantly. I feared for her this morning.

When we arrived, she stretched, pulled her jacket a little tighter around her and, together, we climbed the three flights to your apartment. She walked up slowly with me, holding my arm as if to catch all two-thousand pregnant pounds of me if I fell. She worries about me, too, you see.

I knocked and she stood beside me and smiled. After a moment, I knocked again. Her smile began to falter and was instead replaced by a slight frown of puzzlement. I knocked a third time, long and loudly. I turned to her, not knowing what to say. A huge part of me wanted to make excuses for you. I have done that often, not wanting her to turn your rejections inward. Instead, I simply walked to the stairs and turned back, holding out my hand for her. She, however, had turned back to the door.

This is not the first time you have crushed her. You have made her promises you've never delivered upon. You have put other things before her. You have even cancelled a play date with her because it was your girlfriend's birthday.

My husband, her step-father, pays her health insurance and tucks her in and kisses her boo-boos and colors with her. He gets up every morning at 3 a.m., a schedule change that he requested so that he can be there to pick her up after school every day. They do homework together and share a Nutty Buddy. It's their ritual, one that comforts her on days when other children aren't so nice.

We ask you for nothing monetary. We have helped you and prayed for you and given things to you to try to better your life. Yet you continually betray us. What's worse, you betray her.

No, this is not the first time you've hurt her. But as I watched her this morning, shivering in the frigid morning air and knocking on your door until her little knuckles were red, I have finally made a decision that I will not veer from.

It was not the first, but it will be the last time you hurt her, you sonofabitch.


Monday, October 16, 2006



"X plus seven equals ten. Three plus seven equals ten. X is three."

I had to pull the car over.

"Where did you learn that?"

"From Chris. X plus twelve equals twenty. Eight plus twelve equals-"

"You're six."

"Yes, and you're...I'm not sure. But, you're old. It's called al...albujra...-"

"Algebra. It's algebra. You can't even pronounce it but you can utilize it. Fabulous. Holy crap."

"Why are we turning around, Mommy?"

"We're going to the bar. When they card you, just throw some algebra at them."


Welcome to an exciting installment about the most uneventful weekend in the history of man. I hope you enjoy it. I'm so excited I could just shit.


"Hey, Crystal. How're you feeling?"

"Good, Mom. What's up?"

"Can you tell me what was on Virginia's Christmas list, again?"

"Not right now. It's in the car."

"Well, walk out there."

"I can't. I'm naked."

"Oh. Ok. Well, I'll just see you at the party. What time are you coming?"

"I don't know. As soon as I finish cleaning the house."

"I thought you said you were naked?"

"I am."

"Why are you naked if you're cleaning the house?"

"Because I can be, dear woman. Because I can be."

"I' you?...nevermind. Love you."

"Love you, too."


My nephew turned nine this weekend. The party was held at a lake house and my kids went a few hours before me to do some pre-party stuff. Chris and I arrived and promptly stationed our fat ass's next to the buffet.

After grazing for a while, we walked outside to see how the kids had been doing while not in our line of sight. I spotted Virginia right as she flipped ass over teakettle and went rolling down the hill, finally coming to a stop and narrowly missing dunking herself in the freezing cold lake. She sat up, grass sticking out of her hair, and then gingerly inspected herself for broken appendages. I caught her eye and she waved, favoring me with a thumbs-up and a beautiful, gappy grin. We have cancelled the ballet classes.

Devon was standing off to the side while the kids were dutifully holding out their plates for a slice of cake. I walked over to him.

"Hey. Are you too old for cake?"

"Nah. I'll get some. I just don't want to be anywhere near that kid."

He pointed to a skinny, freckled boy who appeared to be about ten years old.

"What's the problem?"

"He's horrible, Mom. He's bossy, rude, obnoxious...I've never met a kid with less manners."

"Huh. Well, honey, maybe he's just not good with other k - Oh, my God. Are you seeing what I'm seeing?"

"I told you."

As I watched in amazement, my sister-in-law deposited a slice of cake onto this kids plate and before she could turn away, he had stuffed his whole face in the cake and begun to eat a'la Randy Parker. You know, the kid in A Christmas Story? Show mommy how the little piggies eat?? That one.

About that time, Chris appeared behind me.

"What's up, babe?"

"Chris, look at that kid. Look at that."

"Wow. He really likes cake."

The cake in question was gone. It took him under 10 seconds to eat an entire slice of cake with his face. Then, to my horror, he went back for seconds. My sister-in-law was so busy that she didn't seem to notice he was back a second time. Or that he had frosting on his nose, all over his face and in his eyelashes. She smiled in her distracted way and deposited another slice on his plate. He almost hit the serving knife in his eagerness to inhale slice number two. As the three of us stared in silence, an older gentleman walked up.

"What are y'all staring at?"

I answered, my eyes never leaving the kid.

"Him. The Godzilla of cake eating. Who is that kid?"

"I think that's Jennifer's boy, David. Doesn't have much need for that fork he's holding, does he?" Old Man answered.

"Someone should tell his mother. Surely she doesn't encourage this."

Unnoticed until now, a lady answered over my shoulder.

"I don't imagine she much cares. She's sitting right next to him. He got cake in her hair."

We were quite the crowd now, each of us quiet and awed.

My brother ambled over.

"Hey. What are y'all...oh. Are they having a cake eating contest?"

"No. Steve, someone has to do something. That is just sad."

"What should I do, Crystal?"

"Go offer him some ice cream. I can't wait to see how he eats that." I turned to find several pairs of eyes on me. "What? Did a ninja fart escape? What?"

I wonder why all my invitations get lost in the mail.


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I just wrote a policy for a man named Jerry Curle.

Someone please come pick me up from work. I need a drink.


"Devon, why did you tell Drew you could come over? I said maybe. Maybe."

"Well, I still have to call him back to find out what time they're all meeting at the movies and it makes more sense to tell him initially that I can go. See, if I tell him maybe then he'll put all the motions on hold and I don't want him to do that. If I tell him I can go, then he makes plans and my inability to give him a straight answer doesn't inconvenience everyone. And if I can't go, then when I call him back, instead of just asking what time we're meeting, I'll tell him I can't go."

I had been frowning at him since about three seconds into this filibuster.

"Oh, shut up."

As I turned to walk inside the house, he said, "You're just mad because I'm logical."

"Hah! Wrong! I'm mad because you're smarter than I am! You little asshole."

Is everyone taking this down in Parenting, 101?


Tuesday, October 10, 2006

I'm sitting here with my desk calendar, obsessively circling my next 26 paydays when I receive this text message from my husband:

Call me about cell phone ancestors

Now, I don't know about you, but I wanted to know what the hell a cell phone ancestor was, so I called him immediately.

"Hey. What the hell is a cell phone ancestor?"


"Remember the guy-" *giggling* "the one who didn't like the testicles on shrimp heads and the one who was gonna have a confidential breakfast in a hotel in Dallas?" More of the giggling.

"Good grief. No he didn't."

"He did! He did! We got a shipment of cell phone accessories and he proclaimed to everyone within earshot that he needed to 'get him some of those cell phone ancestors'. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA-" thunk.

"Honey? You okay? Honey?? Breathe, baby. Breeaaaaathe."

I'm making him keep a journal. It could be a weekly installment, this guys improv vocabulary.


Thursday, October 05, 2006

I got a new credit card in the mail last night. I called to activate it, peeled the sticker off and signed the back. Devon is sitting next to me on the sofa, half asleep, watching all of this with interest and nodding every now and then as I lecture him on the importance of good credit.

I began blowing on the ink to dry my signature and before my son had the presence of mind to register who exactly he was talking to, he said, "You know you're not gonna get money out of it blowing on it that way."

I was torn between pride & indignation. I just put it in my wallet, high-fived him and went to bed.


As Chris and I are browsing through Wal-Mart last night in search of Quaker Breakfast Cookies (genius! I can give my kids cookies for breakfast and it's OKAY because it's whole grain and fiber and shit!), he stopped and looked confused while inspecting a package of dessert treats.

"What the hell are those?"

I leaned in for a closer look.

"Huh. Looks like Ho-Ho's, only with chocolate filling."

He starts giggling.

"Oh, no, honey, these aren't Ho-Ho's, they're Bimbos! Holy shit! Which marketing genius came up with this?"

I am now giggling and people are giving us a wide berth. I mean, after all, we're both bent over, looking at a package of snack cakes and cackling like crazy people.

" Chris, why the hell are they way over here in frozen foods?"

"Turf wars, babe. The Ho-Ho's work the cookie aisle."

"'Scuse me?"

And in his best She-nay-nay voice:

"Nuh-uh, honey. Don't you even be comin' over here. I'm working the fat people in this aisle."


Tuesday, October 03, 2006

"You know, Chris, we only have until the 17th of October to sell our house and buy another one or we're screwed."


"Because they'd have to re-run our credit and we can kiss that interest rate goodbye. So, we're approaching a deadline. We might have to stay here with all the criminals."

"Yeah. Sucks."

"You know what's cool, though? Since the kids know that people can come on any given day, at any time, to look at the house, it's been amazingly clean. Beds made, toothpaste wiped out of the sink. I love that."

We both looked at each other and you could almost see the light bulbs over our heads.

"Right. Ask Becky if we can keep the signs even if our house isn't for sale."

"Do you think the kids will get suspicious when they're still having to be extra clean three years from now?"

I looked at him wide-eyed. "Why, selling a house can take a while! We'll just take the signs down after they leave for college."


What? You don't manipulate your kids with lies?


Sunday, October 01, 2006

Harmony Velveeta McKee.

My mother quickly went from mourning to denial. Devon just went straight to denial.

I'm getting a ton of support since Chris is the last McKee boy and, apparently, I'm so old that my uterus is going to fall out after this baby and effectively kill the family bloodline.

(No. Her middle name isn't really Velveeta, we're just using that until we can come up with something decent since I finally said, "Oh, to hell with it. We can't agree on anything, might as well just call her Velveeta." So, it stuck)

4D technology is amazing.

Feel free to throw us suggestions because my husband is stuck on "Cheyenne" and I told him we might as well go ahead and buy her a double-wide and a Rottweiler.

No offense to anyone named Cheyenne. Or anyone who lives in a double-wide and has a Rottweiler.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

"Virginia, if you don't eat your food, we're all going to get ice cream and we'll leave you here."

She looked at me as if I had just asked her to smell my farts.

"You can't do that."

"Oh, really, missy? And why not?"

As she listlessly poked at a green bean, she answered, "Because it's illegal. I'm only six. You can't leave me alone."

Chris and I gave each other that look, the one that says we're both worried that she's getting up at night and watching CSI or Matlock or some shit because this kid KNOWS TOO MUCH.

"How do you know that?" I asked.

She looked up and shrugged.

"I just do. I don't know how, it was just in my head."

"You have no idea how much that one simple statement terrifies me."

The next night, Chris and I sat in stupified silence as she calmly explained the theory behind the concept of mind over matter. She then went back to crawling on all fours and barking, asking to be addressed as Fluffy and begging for ear scratchings.



Thursday, November 23, 2006

My daughter is crawling through the house, barking like a dog and proclaiming her name is Fluffy, my son is hacking like he smokes three packs a day and asking nonsensical questions I can only imagine are stemming from his brain cooking at a toasty 102 degrees, and my husband is in the shower, crying over the numerous awful bruises he incurred while playing paintball for seven solid hours this morning.

And how was YOUR Turkey day?


Wednesday, November 22, 2006


"Hey, Crystal, what's up?"

"I can't get to my pants."

"You can't get to your pants."

"I can't get to my pants."

"Why can't you get to your pants?"

"They're in the closet. I have a shirt on. And some fuzzy socks. Really big underwear. No pants."

"So, go in the closet and get you some pants."

"I can't, Chris. It's locked."

(My husband keyed his closet door when going through a divorce. I guess he was feeling really protective of his collection of dirty, worn-out ball caps, porn and his singing fish.)

"Why is it locked?"

"Because the kids are going to be home all day. Their Christmas presents are in there, so I locked it."

"Why didn't you get some pants before you locked it?"

"Because my mother didn't breastfeed me."

"Where's your key?"

"Oh, I know where that is. It's on the key ring with the Altima key."

"And where is that?"

"No clue."


"Baby? I'm pantless. And my butt is cold."

"I'll be there in thirty minutes."

He loves me.


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Thank you all for my birthday comments. You're all remarkably sane and funny and you made me happy in my pants with your willingness to bare your soul for my amusement. I think we've reached a new level in our relationship.

But that doesn't mean you get to touch my boobies.


My birthday was delightful. My children got me fuzzy slippers and fuzzy pajamas and fuzzy socks. There was much fuzziness. I found it highly amusing to shuffle through the house, collecting as much static electricity as possible, and then use my pregnancy stealth mode to sneak up and shock the shit out of my loved ones.

Them? Not so amused.


I had 2 baby showers this weekend. I'm so fortunate to have so many wonderful people in my life who support me and care about me and buy me shit, because this baby had nothing. Nada. Not one solitary outfit or diaper or necessity. A special thanks to Tammy and Anna (Hi, Anna!) who bought me an ensemble for every mood the baby may have. We will be changing clothes when she's feeling gassy, constipated, glamorous and just plain frisky and still never wear everything they gave me.

I give them special thanks because they read this crap. Everyone else was related to me and forced to buy me something for fear that I'll become rich and famous and never allow them onto my estate or in my caviar-filled pool. Vultures.


Virginia came rocketing into the living room last night, eyes all aglow.

"Mommy! They have a new Furreal friend! It's a pony! It turns to you when you talk to it and it blinks it eyes and when you feed it a carrot, not a real carrot but the carrot that comes with it, it makes chomping noises and when you comb it's mane it whines-"

"You mean 'whinnies', sweet pea."

"Whatever! It's so beautiful and can I add it to my Christmas list?"

"Sure. Go get Chris so he can lift it and put it on the table. Or just tell him to perforate page 872 and cut it off so you can add to the bottom."


"Nothing, hon. Of course you can add it."

I watched as she carefully spelled each word and lovingly placed it back on the refrigerator.

This morning, I was looking at the ads for Black Friday (because we're broke this year. If I can save $4 on something, I will be at Wal-Mart at 5 a.m. with the rest of the frigging lunatics) and decided to see how much it would be to buy the pony online.

Here's the link: Hasbro's Butterscotch Pony For The Low, Low Price of SECOND FUCKING MORTGAGE.

Do you see that retail price? I thought it was a typo because all their other animals are $29.99.

Not so.

This carrot chewing, noise-making piece of machinery is only $300. Tell me Americans aren't sheep when it comes to consumerism? I must have missed the part in the media release where it says the thing takes the garbage out, fends off intruders with his ninja settings, helps Virginia floss, tells her about her period and kicks her in her ass when she smarts off to me.


Friday, November 17, 2006

So, today is my birthday and I only want one thing, since I'm easy to please:

I want everyone to post their weirdest habit in comments. It's okay...that's what anonymity is for.

Here's mine: On my hour commute to and from work, I pretend I'm being interviewed by Oprah. And I play both parts.

And if you won't do that, I want a pony. A pink one.


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Things You Don't Want To Hear When 8 1/2 Months Pregnant:

"Look, honey! I bought you a non-fogging, cooter-shaving shower mirror! We can finally get rid of Chewbacca!"


Last week, I ended up in the hospital. Nothing serious. I closed the conference room door here at work and the table propped against the wall behind it fell on my stomach. When I called Chris to ask him to meet me at the hospital because a table fell on me, his first question was, "What the hell were you doing under a table?"

So, we went as a precaution and Chris quickly made enemies.

"Sir, you'll have to wait in here for a few minutes while we admit her."


I worked diligently to placate him for fear that security would drag him kicking and screaming out of the hospital. I knew why they wanted to separate us, but it wasn't something I could explain to him without causing him further indignation.

After I put my assless gown on and the monitors were strapped on, the questions began:

"Are you the victim of abuse?"

"No, ma'am. Unless you count the table that assaulted me. Can I see my husband, now? He's cranky and when he gets cranky, I have to baby talk him. I don't want to have to coochie-coo him any longer than necessary since I'm not feeling so froggy."

"We'll bring him back after we're finished assessing you."

Half an hour later, they escorted one very large, disgruntled teddy bear back to my triage suite. Once he checked to make sure they hadn't snatched the baby from my womb and listed her on EBay, he started to calm down. I explained to him that with a stomach injury such as mine, they had to give me an opportunity to speak to them alone about whether or not he was beating the shit out of me. His eyes almost fell out of his head.

"But, you're pregnant!"

"Yes, babe. Women get abused when they're pregnant, too. Wait. Are you saying it's more acceptable to beat the crap out of me if I'm not pregnant?"

"Of course not. But, you're pregnant."

"Honey, that fact has not escaped me. I promise."

We were there for approximately 7 hours while they gave me an IV drip to hydrate (I was having contractions due to dehydration) and to pacify himself for the outrage of being kept from me, Chris rifled through drawers and stuffed random things in my purse.

"Babe, put that back. We don't need an amniotomy hook."

"We don't need rubber gloves, either, but this is costing us a trillion dollars and I'm gonna get my money's worth."

"You know that you're the reason insurance costs are so high, right?"

"There is no excuse for a twelve dollar Sprite, Crystal."

After a few hours, they sent us for a sonogram to make sure Harmony was okay and not hiding in the corner of my womb, waiting for another table to knock her senseless. Chris asked the technician to double-check and make sure we are really having a girl (actually, his exact question was, "Can you sex the baby?", which sounded horribly scandalous and wrong to me, but that's because I'm not right in the head) and she did. She also took some pictures for us to assure me that I am, indeed, giving birth to a tiny little sumo wrestler.

The second one is a profile and I can't be sure, but judging by the size of that tummy, I think she's sneaking beer out of the fridge when we're sleeping.

After finally being released, Chris gently helped me into my car and then just stood there looking like a large, worried teddy-bear.

"Sugar, it's okay. I'm okay, baby's okay. We're okay. Go on. I'll see you at home."

"Ok, but be really careful."

"I will."

"And no more Dr. Pepper. Ever."

"One a day."

"Ok. Just one. Not that gallon sized thing you get at Burger King, either. One can."

"Ok, ok."

"You need water. I should go get you some water."

We went on like this for a few minutes until I convinced him I wasn't going to give birth on the side of the road.

When we arrived home, I waddled in, sore and tired. The kids had kind of been kept in the dark to keep them from worrying too much, so they met me in the living room, full of questions. When I told them what had happened, they looked at each other quizzically and then Devon asked, "What the hell were you doing under a table?"

T-minus 6 weeks and counting.


Monday, November 06, 2006

Before I start talking about my daughter, AGAIN, I just want to say thank you. Thank you to everyone who emailed me, everyone who voiced their opinion and everyone who so poetically said what I was unable to articulate. Thanks to those who let me know even if their viewpoint differed from my own. You still did so kindly and without labeling me and I'm so grateful for all of you. I was very, very close to deleting my blog on Friday because I was so hurt and I thought, "Well, shit, if after everything I've shared and everything I've written, this his how I'm going to be remembered or known, then what's the point?" You all reminded me that the views expressed by a couple were definitely not the the consensus.

I also want to thank those who came out lurking to let me know you were here and what you thought. It's good to hear from you, even if it was under these circumstances.


Virginia has become more and more outspoken and assertive and less and less unsure of herself in the last few months. Chris has spent a great deal of time with her and has thoughtfully, consistently disciplined her when I'm unable to - which is always. I get one hit of those baby blue eyes and I turn into a pile of blubbering shit.

As such, she has blossomed. I honestly didn't realize that I was doing my child a disservice by not being a little harder on her, but his quiet and loving dedication have proven otherwise. She is truly a delight to behold these days (not that she wasn't before...she was just more of a whiney, needy delight) and has taken to exercising her mind and her wit at every available opportunity.

Here are a few of those flexings in the last two weeks. Heaven help us.

Curse of Her Grandmother, Part 1:

In Payless shoes two weeks ago, I bought her a pair of shoes and some tights for Halloween. As we were checking out, the cashier mentioned that I could get a pair of socks or something comparable at half the normal price. Since all my socks look like they've been stolen from homeless people, I jumped on the opportunity.

"Mommy, can I have some socks?"

"No, baby. I'm getting socks for me."

"Well, why can't I have socks? I like the pink ones."

"I know honey, but you have a trillion pairs of socks and I have, like, three. I need socks. You don't."

Very quietly, under her breath, she muttered, ""Well, I guess I'm gonna have to start losing socks, then."

Curse of Her Grandmother, Part 2:

As I'm making breakfast for the little shit on Saturday, she saunters into the kitchen to supervise.

"Whatcha doin', Mommy?"

"Making you waffles."

"Oh. Can I have some of my Hershey's bar while I'm waiting?"

I was indignant.

"Of course you can't! You have to eat breakfast before you start eating that crap and you know better!"

She leveled a very derisive gaze my way.

"You mean eat my chocolate-chip waffles? With the syrup on top?"

"You know, you can be replaced."

Curse of the Grandmother, Part 3:

"Mommy, can I have some of my Halloween candy?"

"No, honey, you had enough earlier. Dinner's soon."

"I already told you no, didn't I, Virginia?" Chris asked from behind her, where he had been listening without her being aware he was even in the room.

Her eyes widened almost imperceptibly and then I saw in them the acceptance of her fate as she sighed very heavily and asked what her punishment was to be.

Chris sat down and tried to talk to her about whether or not she understood the reason for the punishment and the lesson behind it.

"Virginia, do you understand why you're in trouble? Because this isn't the first time you've done this."

"Yes, sir. I understand."

"Good. Then tell me what you've learned."

"That if I ask you something and you say no, I go ask Mom. But if I get caught, I get in trouble."

He looked at me. I looked back at him, unblinking.

"Crystal, were you this perceptive when you were little?"

"Ugh. Call my mom. She'll talk your face off about what a sassy, precocious, cunning little asshole I was."

And last but not least, Curse of The Grandmother, Part 4:

Friday afternoon, I checked the mail. I gave Chris his portion and he scampered back to our bathroom to pollute the environment and sift through his correspondence. It is a ritual he treasures.

The kids were gone to hang out at my parents for the weekend, but Chris and I stayed incredibly busy and literally didn't stop until Sunday night when we brought Devon and Virginia home.

"Virginia, you need to have a bath. Go on in and get undressed and I'll run your bath water."

"I have to go potty first, Mommy." She is very secretive about her pooping sessions and visitors and distractions are punishable by death.

"Ok. Go on. Holler when you're done."

Approximately fifteen minutes later, I became concerned. I knocked on the bathroom door and when I got no answer, I opened it a crack and peeked in. My six-year-old daughter is perched on the toilet, pants around her ankles and magazine open in her lap.

"Virginia...what are you doing?"

"Pooping. Reading."

"What are you reading?"

She turned to the front cover.

"Playboy. It was here on the counter."

"And you're reading it?"

"Yes, Mommy. This is an...inter...interview. With ... Samuel L. Jackson."

"Honey, hand me the magazine."

"Ok, Mommy."

Hear that, Playboy? Someone out there really does read it for the articles.


Friday, November 03, 2006

I have been fortunate enough to be given something of a talent, I suppose, when it comes to writing. I only discovered this a couple of years ago and I strive daily to be better, do better and give thanks to God for blessing me in so many ways.

With that said, I am constantly surprised by the number of people that come here and read and take something away from what I've written. I'm overjoyed by your comments, by your emails and your input. It's seldom that I've had someone actively hurt me, and I found it surprising that more people haven't taken shots at me for various things I've written. But I honestly thought the beatings would come from posts about my child's father or more personal matters. Not because my sense of humor knows no "color".

My last post has apparently hit some nerves. I normally write when at work. We were short-handed today and while I usually have time to re-read what I've written, often making sure that I have made myself as clear as possible, this morning there just wasn't time. I posted my reminiscence of B and I went on my way.

Obviously, I didn't make the gist of the post very clear. Jim McKee got it. I'm sure some other people did. Some of you did not and you voiced your opinions and I respect that. With that said, I will not tolerate being labeled a racist by anyone and not respond.

I started this blog as a way of release and to practice writing. It was for me. As more people have come here, I have changed my priorities. I won't be one of those people who say I don't care what you all think because that's bullshit. I write for you. I write to make you laugh, make you think and hopefully brighten your day if I can. The intent was never, ever to hurt or offend anyone. I posted "F-U Friday" today and someone gently pointed out, in their own way, I think, that I was opening up a venue for people (myself included) to be mean-spirited. I promptly took the post down because he was right. I am not above saying I'm wrong. I am human and I fuck up. And I will freely admit that and apologize.

But, if you look for a pattern, as a couple of you obviously have, you will find one. I'm sure if you look long enough, you can call me an alcoholic, a whore, abusive to my will find a nice, neat little package to label me with based on whatever your sore spot may be.

Scrib thinks I need to be educated. Let me share with you some of my "education":

Ages birth through 8: I was raised dirt poor. So poor, in fact, that we often lived in motels.

Ages 8 through 12: We lived in Kuwait. I went to school with Arabs, Indians, British, Scottish, Australians, Persians, Canadians, etc. The wealth of cultures, ethnicities and differences I was exposed to was plenty, but because of who I was, we had to ride a school bus manned by two guards with automatic weapons. How's that for being the subject of prejudice?

Ages 12 through 14: We lived on a tiny Catholic island in the Mediterranean.

Ages 15 through 19: I lived on my own. I also placed a child for adoption during this time. If you really want to see some negativity come out in people, try dealing with someone who just can't understand how you gave your baby away to strangers.

Age 20: I fought the legal system for custody of my toddler son and lost, in a nutshell, because the narrow-minded judge presiding didn't think I could be a full time mother while going to college and working. Oh, and he berated me for having a bi-sexual experience (the other attorney had his fangs bared and actively drew blood, no matter what form the mud was in). I was unclean and unfit. I had never done a drug, been arrested or done anything but love my son. Thank you, small-town Texas.

Age 21: I was homeless in Reno for 3 months. That doesn't seem like a very long time unless you're trying to find a warm place to sleep in the dead of winter as a single female. I'm very lucky to be alive.

My point is this: God has steered me in my life so that I've been exposed to all sorts of situations that people are apt to be prejudiced about. I have been in extreme poverty, been homeless, been railed at for some modicum of bi-sexuality, lived in a country where people actively hated me and my family for our nationality, been the brunt of some horrible comments based on a decision I made when I was pregnant and incapable of adequately caring for the miracle growing within me; a decision that was based on love and the sensibility to realize that a child is not a toy.

With that said, I can assure you that there is only one class of people I have no tolerance for: ignorant, small-minded, complacent people. I also have a bur in my ass about people who have no sense of humor, but that's for another day. Or is it?

Scrib, my education has been profound. Furthermore, I have two black co-workers who actively read my blog and they were not quite as baffled by your comments as they were by the lengths you took it to. One of them said, and I quote, "Some people don't think it's appropriate to laugh at other races. It's fine to make fun of your own, but if you make fun of another one, you have crossed the line in their estimation. Everyone needs a soap box." She went on to say that calling me racist is simply an opinion of someone who knows nothing of me and actively sought out that label based on various mentions in my writing, and I have to agree with her.

There are many, many things about me that none of you know. I bet some of you might be surprised to know that I'm in church every single Sunday, not because anyone else thinks I ought to be, but because I'm reaffirming my relationship with God. I have been noticeably less vulgar, you won't see any more Gawd Damns coming out of me and it's because I want, every day, in every way, to make myself the best person I can be. How can I mold good children if I'm not constantly improving upon myself?

I offended Scrib and DD and, according to Scrib, some others. For DD, I'm truly sorry. I can't imagine the hurts and the indignities you have suffered in your life and it was certainly never my intent to add to those. I noticed long ago that you stopped commenting and that you took my link down from your blog and I never asked you why because I assumed that I had hurt you in some way and it would be salt in the wound to broach the subject. I never imagined it was a racial issue, though, because, and I'll say it again, I don't see the subjects of my posts in color. I see them as people, some stupid, some wonderful, some just so ignorant that you can't help but laugh at them. I grew up being the white face in the crowd and the people surrounding me were mostly lovely and accepting. They taught me how to be the same.

As I pointed out before, I live in Memphis. I work in a customer-service based industry. Memphis is predominantly black community ( and it stands to reason that I encounter more black people than I do white. Therefore, the majority of my experiences are with black people. I write about the things I experience.

I detest this town, more than any other I've lived in, not because it's mostly black but because it is filled with people who are actively looking to throw out the race card. That seems to be a trend in the South, but not in the Northern states as much. It's foreign to me to have so many people hate each other so very much. I can get a job with any branch of my insurance company in the nation, but I don't move. If I were racist, I would move to DuckCrotch, Wisconsin, for pete's sake. I wouldn't want my kids going to predominantly black schools, bringing their black friends home (who stay at my house every weekend), but you know what? I don't give a crap who they bring home as long as they're respectful and kind.

As far as the cited posts, I have gone back and re-read them. The person who kept calling me in the middle of the night? The one I dubbed, "Tyrone"? He was black. How is alluding to that racist? The Shenaynay reference? She was a character on the show Martin. If that's racist, take it up with their writers, not me. And Jerry Curle? Give me a break. He and I actually talked about it and he goes by his middle name, Mike. He's black and he didn't find it the least bit offensive that people find his name humorous. Hell, he finds it humorous.

One of the most appealing qualities about a person, I think, is their ability to laugh at themselves and laugh at the anger that other people seem to thrive on. I aim my derision where it belongs: morally devoid people.

And one more thing, Scrib...since you took it upon yourself to throw my personal business out to the world like you know me, I have no apology for you, but I do have a piece of advice: find something worthwhile to complain about. I have not made "racist" comments and you saying that I have over and over again doesn't make it so. It merely makes it your opinion. And I'm not a fan of Soylent. I was a friend.

Additionally, I don't insult people of other races. I poke fun at everyone, myself, my kids, my husband, my co-workers, everyone. I don't see them as another race. That's your distinction, not mine.


I was thinking about a true-blue Southern friend of mine today and the conversation we had a couple of years ago about his daughter and Halloween.

"So, what are you doing with her tonight? Trick or treating?" I asked.

"Nah, I think we're taking her to the country club."

"The country club? You're taking a 4-year to a country club for Halloween? God, you suck. What the hell is spooky about a country club?"

"They're doing some sort of haunted thing along the golf course."

"Again, you suck. A golf course can't be scary."

"It can if we have some black folks stand on the 19th hole and say, 'Wooooooh, we're memmmmmbers noooooow'..."

As much of an snob as he was, I laughed and laughed about that. Miss you, B. May you continue to rest in peace.


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Last week, I sat down with our company's financial advisor and filled out all the necessary paperwork for my life insurance policy. The process is very painless now. He clickety clacks into his laptop and I electronically signed my signature and VOILA! I'm worth more dead than I am alive.

"Ok, Crystal, we're almost done. I just need some information on your children. Let's see...Devon McKnob..."

"Um, no. His last name is Dixon."

He makes the necessary correction, gets the rest of the information on him (Hey, Devon! I told him you wear Spongebob boxer briefs and sometimes sing in your sleep! Whadya think about that??! NOW, GET OFF THE COMPUTER AND GO DO YOUR HOMEWORK) and then moves on.

"Ok, ...Virginia McKnob-"

"No. Wrong, again. Her last name is Ostin."

At this point, he stops to look directly at me. I am a furious shade of red, but I am also somewhat indignant. I mean, hey, my children are all going to be 7 years apart, and if you're going to have babies by three different men, I think every seven years is a perfectly acceptable time frame to lose your inhibitions and be a great, big slut.

"Your married name is McKnob, right? New baby will be a McKnob?"

"Yeah. I know. I'm a trollop. I have babies with all kinds of men." I sheepishly looked at him. "Wanna have a baby?"

He smartly closed his laptop, mumbled something about an appointment and ran the everloving fuck out of my office.

I continue to make momma proud, y'all.

Sunday, December 31, 2006

I find it ironic that I have enormous breasts and my daughter wants absolutely nothing to do with them. Anyone need a wet nurse? Or a couple of awnings?

Harmony says, "Happy New Year! I'm terrified of my mom's melons!"


Friday, December 29, 2006

She's about 10 minutes old here.

I have boobs the size of watermelons and she doesn't particularly want anything to do with them, but other than that, we are perfect. Thank you for all your support, prayers and well wishes. I will post the details when my ass isn't so sore.

Oh! 9 pounds, 2 ounces and 21 and 3/4 inches long.

Harmony Rebekah McKnob. Welcome to the family, precious baby girl.


Tuesday, December 26, 2006

I even tried the turnips.


Saturday, December 23, 2006

I'm still pregnant.

But, Shannon over at was nice enough to send me not just ONE but TWO pink ponies, bitches! I got them in the mail just now and they made my whole day okay after morosely wandering around twiddling my nipples all morning (supposed to induce labor. Whatever).




Friday, December 22, 2006

Twas the night before the night before Christmas Eve,
and all through the house
not a creature was stirring
except for this baby who refuses to vacate my womb.


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The air freshener in the bathroom is classified as a "neutralizer". Well, I need a can of terminator, because nothing known to man could neutralize the evil in that room.

I am going to request that my doctor do more shadow puppets up in my hoo haw tomorrow. I think she's stuck.



Friday, December 15, 2006

Last night, I taught my daughter how to play Old Maid. For those of you who have never played (or it's been a thousand years, like me), basically it's a matching game and you lose if you get stuck with the final card in the deck - the dreaded Old Maid. Players take turn picking a card out of their opponents hand, sight unseen, so the Maid can potentially be passed back and forth.

Virginia won the first two games and cackled with glee as I huffed and puffed and made a big production out of the fact that she chose every card from my hand except that Maid.

On the third game, she drew the Old Maid. She didn't hide her horror. When it was my turn to pick from her hand, I had to bite my cheek to keep from giggling. Out of her five cards, one was sitting approximately 2 inches higher than the rest and smack in the middle. I would hover over that one and watch her eyes almost fall out of her head as she grinned from ear to ear. Then I would move to another card and her whole face would sag and fall off. I did this on three separate turns until I couldn't stand her disappointment any longer and I finally chose the card she made so readily available and convenient.

I'm taking her to Tunica for a poker tournament. Anyone want to sponsor us?


No baby. I have a bottle of Castor oil, but it is the devil's urine and I can't quite bring myself to take any. Yet.

I know people mean well, and I have to remind myself of that on a daily basis, but here's a tip for those of you who have never been pregnant: don't offer advice on how to get labor started. Ever.

Here are some of the gems I've heard the last few days:

"Have you tried:"

1. Turnips
2. Bathing. Apparently, babies don't like a stinky mom.
3. Putting a penny in a birdbath or some such hokey shit.
4. Prayer (every day, brother. Every single day)
5. Jalapenos (methinks not. I will be experiencing the 'ring of fire' in my gina, I don't need it in my no-no hole as well)
6. Jumping jacks (I weigh approximately 792 pounds. Standing up is a feat of miraculous proportions, so, no)
7. Raking leaves (I think my mom is just trying to get me to rake her leaves. She's mentioned this at least ten times)

I told Chris that at some point, I will turn to one of these people and say, "No, I haven't tried that, but you know what I heard? I heard if I hit someone in the face, really fucking hard, at least three or four times, that's a sure labor starter. I should try that. Shouldn't I?"

And you know what? I bet that really might work.


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The anxiety attacks have begun.

I woke this morning, groggy and disoriented from lack of sleep, only to find that I'm still carrying a baby. I was pissed.

"I. CAN'T. BE. PREGNANT. ANY. LONGER. She is coming out today, Christopher."

"Hmm? Crystal, you're not due for-"

"Shut it. SHUT IT. I peed twelve times between the hours of nine p.m. and six a.m. How many times did you get up to pee? Did you have to roll to the side and use the wall in an intricate and difficult maneuver just to get your fat ass up out of bed? Is it hard for you to wipe? Do you strain on the potty for half an hour only to be rewarded with a poop bean? And all I can think of when that happens is, "Snatch the pebble from my ass, grasshopper". Do you know how twisted that is?" I was sobbing by now. "I'm not right in the head. I need to deliver before Harmony catches it and comes out crazy."

"Honey, calm down. It's okay. Maybe at your appointment tomorrow the doctor can stir some stuff up and get you laboring."

"You need to whack off a whole bunch and save it in a turkey baster. I need it to soften my cervix. I'll go get the turkey baster. You can get started right now."

I stumbled from bed, put on my robe and wandered into the hallway. As I was making my way back to the bedroom with the baster, Devon popped out from his bedroom.

"Morning, Mom. Whatcha doin'?"

I blearily peered at him.

"I'm still pregnant."

"Um, yeah. I know. What's with the cooking thingamabobby?"

"Must be pro-active. Get dressed. Wake your sister up. I have to take this to Chris."

Chris had gone back to sleep. I tapped him on the forehead with the baster and waved it in front of his face.

"Here. Do you think if you take the day off, you can fill it?"

"Crystal, I'm not whacking off into a turkey baster."

I narrowed my eyes at him.

"You don't love me. Fine. I'll go up there and get her my-damned-self."

After sitting on the toilet for ten minutes and not being able to figure out how to pull that one off, I came back out and declared my intention to leave for work. Chris tentatively kissed me on the forehead while guarding his nuts with his hands and shoo'ed us out the door.

As we waited in the drop-off line at Virginia's school, I muttered.

"It's not that I'm complaining. I know I'm not due for another thirteen days. It's just that you were all late. All of you. Two weeks late for Trent, two weeks late for Devon, only a couple of days for you, Virginia, but you didn't want to come out, either. Thirty hours and you were still napping in there, having a grand old time while I begged someone to get me a scalpel and a plunger. You were sunny-side up they said. Sunny. Nothing sunny about that labor."

The kids were each pressed flat against their respective doors, warily watching me and keeping their hands on the door handle for easy flight. I absently kissed Virginia goodbye as she exited the car at her school (with obvious relief, I might add) and then drove on to Devon's school.

"Do you know they had to force you out, Devon? They had to give me the chemical from the pituatary gland of a northern snow yak or some such shit just to get you to come out. It's like I had all the newest game systems up there and some snack machines and you had an-"


"-endless supply of quarters and friends coming over and big bean bag-"


"-chairs and the number for Dominoe's pizza and cute girls-"


"-like a scene from the Real World, only in my womb and-"



"We've been sitting at this stop sign for ten minutes."


"Well, I need to get to school."

"No, what you need to do is GET THE HELL OUT OF MY UTERUS."

I have an appointment at 10 a.m. tomorrow with my doctor. We need to talk.


Monday, December 11, 2006

"Why does God take some people and leave others?"

This was the question posed to me last night as I sat and quietly explained to my gentle, sensitive daughter that her favorite aunt, Beth, had finally succumbed to the cancer that has been devouring her body for the last year. It's actually her great Aunt on her father's side, but Beth has been like a surrogate grandmother to Virginia. They spent many days, heads together, working on crafts projects or simply sitting with one another, Beth quietly listening to Virginia's latest story because she was too exhausted to offer anything more than her attention.

I didn't know what to say. Beth came back to Memphis as a hurricane Katrina victim after she lost everything she had worked for the last 50+ years. She worked as a school teacher and had only retired the year before to have it all taken by that motherfucker of a storm. One week after relocating, she found out she had an inoperable brain tumor. It quickly spread from her brain to her lungs and her bones and left her incapacitated. How do you turn that into something positive for a six-year-old child to understand?

I did the best I could. I held her and encouraged questions and reiterated, in earnest, that this was a good thing - Beth was in no more pain. But I still feel as though I was inadequate. As we lay together and watched a movie, I buried my face in her peppermint scented hair and felt her tiny body hiccup as her crying finally subsided and thought, "Oh, can I do this again? How can I open my heart and watch another of my children suffer hurts and fight battles that I have no control over?"

And the answer, of course, is that I simply will. I'll carry them when they have no strength and watch helplessly as they fall when getting hurt is the best lesson. I'll do the very best that I can.


As you may have guessed, I'm still pregnant. I apologize for not updating those of you who have been genuinely concerned. I forget that there are people other than my family who are anxious right along with me and who have kept me in their prayers, even though they may have never met me.

Chris is thoroughly enjoying these last few weeks, even though he is incredibly impatient to meet his new daughter. Once I found out that sperm is nature's natural cervix softener, I enlisted him to make daily deposits. It's not nearly as glamorous as you would think. I come home, talk to the kids about their day at school and then we sneak off to the bedroom for five minutes where I'm about as enthusiastic as a dried-up old hooker. The act is usually punctuated with me running my mouth.

"Are you done? Yes? No? What about now? 'K. I'll You didn't waste any today, did you? What the hell is that on the comforter?"

He is very, very patient. I should get him some leg warmers and a headband.


My son won first place in a poetry contest that was county-wide. I couldn't be more proud. He won't even think of letting me post his poem, but not because he's embarrassed.

"Mom, how do you get a copyright? Do poets make any money?"

Definitely my son.


My daughter walked in the Christmas parade with her Brownie troop on Saturday night. It was twelve degrees outside, and these are the only thoughts that made it through my frozen head as I watched the procession:

"Daughters of the Confederacy. Hmm. Muskets. Are they going to.. Shit! That was loud. Wow. Those people on the other side of the street hit the ground. Only in Horn Lake, Mississippi, would you have to worry about a drive-by with a fucking musket."

"If I were homeless, I would so be out here. They've thrown out enough candy and shit to keep your carbs up for weeks. Why are there no homeless people out here?"

"Five tow-trucks in a Christmas parade. We need to move somewhere with actual culture."

"What fucking badge do they get for this? The, "I Didn't Get Hypothermia", badge? Good grief. Next year, I'm putting her in soccer, for shit's sake."

"I'm quite certain that I can't feel my tongue, anymore."

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend. I'll still take a pink pony if anyone has Christmas money left over.


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

I stepped out the bathroom last night and paused, waiting. Chris has a built-in nakedar that alerts him whenever any portion of my body is unclothed, in any part of the house.

Twenty seconds later, he burst through the bedroom door, lowered his head like a bull and charged directly at my boobs.

"Chris, no. No, no, no. They hurt. No touchy! You can look."

He leveled his big, brown eyes at me.

"Aww, I was just gonna kiss the baby."

Why? Why am I so gullible??

"Oh. Okay."

He grinned and continued his forward docking maneuver.

I sighed.

"Chris, the baby is not in my breasts. You should be more south."

Muffled response.

"I can't understand you. I don't speak cleavage."

He came up long enough to say, "I can't help it, Crystal. They call to me," before stuffing his head firmly in between them, again.

Then he said, "I can't breathe. And I don't care," and began nuzzling.

If only I had known that I had THIS MUCH POWER.


Friday, December 01, 2006

I've been focusing on Virginia a lot. I used to split my posts between my two kids, but Devon is at the mercy of his hormones and the goatee he's anxiously grooming and he mostly just mopes around and looks at us as if we're all stupid. I expect him to start asking questions about his adoption any day now.

For months, it has been Virginia's goal to scare me dead. She's not very stealthy (remember? Remember getting her head stuck in between the sofa and the wall? Not once, not twice, but three freaking times in one hour?) and definitely not graceful, so I always see her climbing into the pantry or under my bed. But she just collapses in giggles when she thinks she's pulled one over one me, so I usually play along and act petrified when she jumps out at me because hearing my children laugh makes me younger, somehow.

Last night, I donned my enormous robe and headed for the kid's bathroom to take a shower. Chris is in the process of remodeling ours and every power tool he owns is stuffed in that small space. He doesn't use most of them; it's just a thing he does. He gets them all out and touches them and talks to them and sits in the chaos for weeks on end until I cry or threaten legal action and then he finally utilizes the one tool he actually needs for the job and finishes what he started. We have a tradition going now.

Anyway, I have pulled a muscle in my shoulder from carrying the weight of my boobs around (seriously. I wish I were kidding) and I was in absolute misery last night. As I put my things down on the sink, I saw movement in the reflection of the mirror.

"Virginia, go on. Get out of the shower."

"Awww, you saw me. I was tryin' to scare you."

"I know, honey. I'm not feeling well, so go on, okay? Scoot."


After she left, I popped back into my bedroom for my razor and then locked the door to the bathroom, disrobed and sat down to pee. I usually talk to myself when I pee.

"I have cankles. How can I be that swollen? So not attractive. At least I got rid of the chia pet in my crotch. Ugh. Horrible. Harmony would have needed a machete to find her way out."

Then I giggled.

I got up and looked at my profile in the mirror. I tilted my head and swished my hair side to side across the middle of my back. I don't know why I do this. I just do. As I was doing this, I fell victim to a ninja fart.

"Ewww. Why the hell does Chris think pregnancy is attractive? I'm like a circus freak."

I went to the front of the shower, pulled the curtain back, leaned in and screamed my fucking head off. My daughter is standing there, grinning from ear to ear and holding her breath. As she explosively exhaled, I felt wetness down my leg. It is about this time that Chris starts beating the door down, thinking I have finally succeeded in chopping a kneecap off with my razor.

I flung the door open.

"I think Virginia just broke my water. Well, she didn't break my water but she scared the bejeebus out of me and I think my water broke."

He peers at my feet.

"Babe, it's not your water. You peed."

I was indignant.

"I did not! I just peed, like, 2 minutes ago! It's not pee!"

"It's pee, Crystal."

Virginia is taking all this in and I finally notice the crestfallen look on her face.

"Baby, what's wrong?"

"I broke something in you, Mommy?"

"No, no, honey. You didn't hurt me or the baby. It's a good thing! It means the baby could be born tonight!"

Her face resumed trying to split itself in half right about the time Devon started down the hallway to see what all the fuss was about.

"Devon, do not come any further unless you want to see your Mom naked," Chris warned.

"Oh, eww. What happened?"

"Your mom peed herself."

"I DID NOT PEE. You just wait. My water broke. You'll see."

So, yeah. I peed on myself last night. I'm such a tool.

Last night, Chris and I went to eat dinner together. Since I'm now expressing and feeding Harmony via bottle (she tried to rip my nipples off. I need my nipples. They tell me when I'm cold), I made the executive decision to get a wee bit tipsy and just throw out my next batch of breastmilk so as not to get my three-week-old daughter tanked. We all know she at least needs to be holding her own head up in case she pukes, so I figure I'll share a six-pack with her in about 3 months.

Anyway, Chris is the typical paranoid Daddy, so he hid Harmony on his side of the table so he could cover her eyes and ears in case I decided to table dance or use obscene language . Silly man. He can only shield her for so long.

I ordered a huge margarita from our lovely server and waited impatiently, salivating and tapping my foot. When she brought it, I sucked it down like the only oxygen in the room was at the bottom of that glass and immediately ordered another, only in jumbo size. Chris favored me with a dubious expression and then shut up and continued eating his fajitas.

After margarita number two, I was certifiably loopy. Chris began trying to bait me into a friendly argument.

"I don't know, babe. Maybe Harmony will grow a butt. Right now she has the Ross butt."

I was indignant.

"There is nothing wrong with a Ross butt. We're posterior challenged. I used to say I had a Kermit the Frog butt."

Chris looked at me for second and then continued with his food without asking the obvious. I was hurt.

"Chris. You didn't ask."

"Ask what?"

"You're supposed to say, 'I've never seen Kermit the Frog's butt', and then I say, 'Exactly!' You ruined it."

"I have seen Kermit the Frog's butt."

"Nuh uh! He didn't have one! They never showed it!"

"Did too. I've seen some movie where he's walking hand in hand with Miss Piggy, off into the sunset or some such shit."

Now I had a debate I could really sink my shit-faced teeth into.

"Kermit didn't have hands. He had flippers."

"He had hands."

"How could he have hands? Frogs don't have hands. They have webbed flipper things."

"He was holding hands with Miss Piggy."

"Silly man. Pigs don't have hands either. They have hooves. Piggy hooves."

"You're drunk."

"Maybe so, my good man, but it doesn't make you right. Flippers and hooves. Flippers and hooves, baby."

Tonight, I'm making mojitos!


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

So, as any parent knows and most of you can imagine, the last two and a half weeks have been a blur of feedings, doctor visits, and lots and lots of poop. I have no discernible subject matter to share with you, only the potential options:

1. My husband was eager to begin his fatherly duties until he saw his first diaper explosion. He stood still, staring down at the carnage and holding my daughter's ass in the air for what seemed like an eternity. I finally intervened.

"Honey? You okay?"

He turned to me, eyes bloodshot from lack of sleep and hair crazily cork-screwing in a hundred different directions.

"Pickles! It smells like pickles!"

"Ok. You like pickles."

"Pickles!" He flapped his hands at me for emphasis. "Shivwhip! Flurb!" Then he fell over and slept for eight straight days.

I've been on diaper duty.

2. Chris likes to fashion chew toys for the dogs out of the lonely socks that the dryer leaves behind. He ties a knot in them and voila! Chew toy. When my nipples began to crack, he bravely offered me his knuckle to chew on while Harmony initially latched. Otherwise, he had to listen to me squeal like a wounded ferret. Harmony latched, I bit down, his eyes bugged out and he asked for his hand back. He then shuffled down the hallway and returned with a sock chew toy. I guess I should be amused or grateful or some such shit, but I'm too fucking tired.

3. Devon now walks backward through the house. He accidentally walked in while I was nursing one day and has declared that he is impotent for life. After almost three weeks, he now enters the room with his back to us and asks how much longer he's going to be held hostage in "this twisted prison of boobs and funky ass plastic bags in the freezer with that stuff in them." I completely have him convinced that I'm nursing Harmony until kindergarten. He is apartment hunting.

Only in the South...

A. Can you kill a possum in your backyard on Christmas Eve with the aid of a compound bow and a Civil War sword replica. My husband will proudly show you the carcass iffin' you wanna come over and have some vittles while we sit around the f'ar and play the banjo.

B. Do well meaning Aunts walk into the house on your son's 14th birthday and noncholantly present him with 2 fireworks that are roughly the size of a felony. Since all boys are born pyromaniacs, my pleas for sanity fell on deaf ears as they all scampered out the front door to alienate us even further from our neighbors.

I hid in the closet with Harmony until the police left. I don't lie well.


Well, I have enjoyed this half hour of our time together, but I went all crazy and forgot that I just had a baby and holy shit! I'm the one with the stuff.

I'll be back.


Monday, January 15, 2007

I'm here. Since no one wants to hear about cracked nipples (except for you. You know who you are. Sicko), I have been laying awake at night and reliving my day for subject material. I will post my thoughts tomorrow.

I miss you all and I thank you again for your continued support. I'm sorry I've been so scarce.

My Wife Done Left Me And My Dog Done Died

Devon spent the last week in Florida at Universal Studios with my brother and my mom and assorted other relatives. He stayed in a five star hotel, courtesy of my brother's company, ate out every night, and ogled tanned, pretty women. He missed a week of school (my sister-in-law told my nephew's teacher that he was going to visit museums and shit and that the trip was educational so the truancy officer wouldn't throw her in prison. I forged a doctor's note for Devon. I win) and rode roller coasters every day. He took a joy ride on a helicopter and sunned himself in the 80 degree weather down by the pool.

When I picked him up yesterday, I was eager to hear all about his adventures.

"So, so? Did you have a blast? How was the drive? Did you go through Georgia or Alabama?"

He turned to me, eyes glassy and vacant.

"Twenty. eight. hours. of country music."

Why, it's a wonder he didn't strangle himself with my mom's neckerchief.

Friday, February 23, 2007

That Annoying Co-Worker

When I was pregnant, I okayed it with my boss to shut my door as often as needed when I came back to work and express breastmilk for that Hoover vacuum cleaner that is masquerading as a baby. He was completely supportive. I was slightly embarrassed.

I don't know why. I guess it's because breastfeeding is still not as widely accepted as it should be. You can't very well do it in restaurants, you can't do it on some airlines and men who have never been exposed to it tend to get squeamish when the subject arises. Some women even become uncomfortable.

Many times here at work, when my boobs tell me it's time to express, I've thought about just not doing it. Then I remember the baby. The ravenous look in her eyes, her cheeks undulating as she practices her sucking technique and anticipates the next feeding and the way she'll kill me in my sleep if I don't feed her. So, I pump.

Still, after a couple of weeks, I'm shy about it. I tiptoe to the refrigerator and hide the bags in the back of the fridge where it's less likely to be seen. I cringe when someone walks in while I'm in the act, like they've caught me putting poop in there. I freeze and turn red and get all flustered. And then I imagine my co-workers innocently rummaging around in there for a yogurt or diet Coke, seeing the bags and thinking, "Jesus. I wish that bitch would quit or get killed or throw a damned hamburger at that baby and quit putting human mucous in the fucking fridge. God, I hate her."

I think I'm a wee bit paranoid. Maybe.

I'm not paranoid.

Yes, I am.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

I Talk Way Too Much About Flatulence, Too

Chris and I have set up a deal where he paces the floor with Harmony one night and I do it the next. It keeps us from dying due to lack of sleep. Just barely. We still fall asleep at red lights and drool on ourselves until someone honks at us, but we aren't communicating with the spirit world and wearing our underwear on the outside of our clothes.

That was an interesting week.

So, last night was his night. Before he left for work at the indecent hour of 4 a.m., we had this whispered conversation:

"Crystal? Crystal? Crystal...Crystal."

"I did not insert that there! Clown wigs are my specialty!"

"Babe, wake up."

"Hmm? What? Is it my turn? Ugh, I'm a giant boob. That's all I am."

"She's asleep. She didn't eat all of her bottle. She farted, like, thirty times while I was feeding her. And I don't mean baby farts. I mean trucker farts."

I have no idea why he felt the need to impart that last bit of information to me. For those of you who remember, when I was pregnant, I had sneaky farts. They scared even me. Chris at one point referred to me as 'a nasty truck driver' because he said my poots sounded like air brakes. This came back to me while I was listening to him ramble about the baby's gastrointestinal happenings and peeling the pillowcase off of my cheek where it had dried with the help of about a pound of spit.

"So, her farts sounded like air brakes?"

"No. They were long, loud and an damaging to the senses. All five senses, and possibly the sixth. It's a good thing we don't make our living being psychic."

"How is a truckers fart different from, say, a lawyers fart?"

"Trucker farts are condensed. They sit on their ass in those hydraulic seats and the gas gets rolled around in there for hours on end, brewing until they can stand up and let fly. Deadly."

I gave up almost 2 minutes of sleep for this conversation.

"You are so full of shit."

"Maybe. But, at least I'm not full of trucker gas."

Friday, February 16, 2007

La Migra!

Chris and I took the kids bowling last weekend. It was Virginia's first time and I couldn't wait to get her hopped up on sugar and then give her a 10 pound ball to throw around.

While waiting for the eighteen birthday parties to finish up (it's a new bowling alley. The only bowling alley. Everyone in a twenty mile radius dropped the stick they was whittlin' and headed on over), we went to a local Mexican restaurant to get a bite to eat and a margarita IV for me.

Shortly after being seated, the server informed us that immigration was on their way to the restaurant and that they may have no staff to assist us when the officers left.

I cannot even begin to make this shit up.

She knew this because the head cook had just gotten into an auto accident outside and a customs officer JUST HAPPENED TO BE ON THE SCENE. And you think you have bad luck. So, he takes the cook and his friend and, upon questioning them, ascertains that they are not the only illegals working at the restaurant.

What do I do? Ask if anyone staying knows how to make margaritas. What does Chris do? Places his order while they still have a cook on hand.

It was very anti-climactic. The cooks continued cooking and the servers continued serving until they were led away. I expected the officers to walk in, someone to scream, "La Migra! La Migra!", and Mexicans to pop out from cabinets and those giant clay jars and run out the door and up a dusty hill, into the sunset, while Neil Diamond sang, "Coming To America".

Afterwards, we all just sat around and looked at each other, searching for something to say in a situation so awkward. Devon came to the rescue with, "Well. At least we know the food's authentic."

Thursday, February 15, 2007

I'm Going To Talk About My Boobs, Again. And Not In A Sexy Way

Did you know that you don't have to be a budding alcoholic, blearily plodding your way through your freshman semester of med school, to go 72 hours without sleep and still be alive? Did you know that? Well, I do. You know how I know?


Harmony is going through a growth spurt and natures way of making sure she doesn't starve to death is to turn her into a rabid, nipple junkie. The thing is, my body is supposed to adapt to meet her needs. I should be spraying milk in geysers, milk should be shooting from my fucking eyes at the rate this kid attacks me, and instead, my body is rebelling and producing less.

Chris knows how important breastfeeding is to me and has been wringing his hands and falling apart right alongside me.

"Well? How much did you get this time?"

"Looks like ... 4 ounces. God. She's eyeballing me. This will be like throwing a strip of bacon to a fucking T-Rex. She'll eat me alive."

"Okay, okay, I'm thinking. You said massage can help, right? And something about beer aiding production?"

"Yeah, massaging to assist let down. And the beer thing is a wive's tale, I think, but it's my kind of wive's tale. Booby up to the bar! Lord, I'm tired."

"I'll go to the store."

A few hours later when it was time for me to pump again, we warned Devon so he'd hole up in his room and my husband positioned himself behind me to get better access. What I have is a double pump, so holding those on takes both of my hands. It was up to him to massage and I'm sure you know he was horrified at the prospect. With a great, big shit-eating grin on his face.

We began.

"Is that okay? Am I massaging too hard?"

"No. But what are you doing with your other hand?"

"Holding the beer. Perv."


He held the beer up to my lips, furiously massaging with his right hand and feeding beer to my face with his left while I held both pumps to my flunky boobs. It was at this particular moment that my daughter came scampering down the hallway in an excited state, eager to tell us about the new Kim Possible or her latest booger or some such thing. She sees me pump on a regular basis, but this was a whole new ballgame. She came to a screeching halt, surveyed the scene and her brow furrowed.

"What are you guys doing?"

Chris took the beer away from my lips so that I could answer.

"Well, sweetheart, in a progressive world, this would be called pro-active milk stimulation. In Mississippi, however, we call this a date."

I will forever remember the look on her face. Especially when I'm writing the check for her first therapy session.

Monday, February 12, 2007

My Give-A-Shit Reserve Is All Tapped Out

I saw my doc today.

"So. How are you feeling, Crystal? How's motherhood treating you?"

"I cut my daughter's bangs off because maternity leave killed us financially and we don't even have money for haircuts so she looks like an orphan. I got lost in some neighborhood today and sat in a cul de sac and cried until some old man threatened to call the cops on me, at which point I started screaming at him to leave me alone lest I beat him to death with his walker and then finish off his poodle in an unparallelled act of altruism. My cell phone bounced off a Cadillac. I burned all my son's socks because he refused to turn them right side out so I wouldn't have to touch his nasty foot funk. I-"

"We'll start with 100 milligrams of Zoloft."

"Sounds good."

Friday, February 09, 2007


I haven't ranted in a while, so here we go!

  • On days like today, when there is black ice on the road, entire highways are shut down and you can't even get into Arkansas because both bridges are closed (which, I'm quite sure, has thrown entire truckloads of hillbillies into a tizzy), it's probably a good idea to skip the Egg McMuffin and the mascara while driving, you dim-witted bitch.
  • It should be illegal to use and drink the last of the coffee when you know the parent of a newborn is slowly driving to work, cleaning out eye boogers and completely unaware that she's tucked her skirt into her panties. As a matter of fact, I should be exempt from legal action after I fucking kill you.
  • If you see someone with their skirt tucked into their panties and you don't tell them, I should be exempt from legal action after I fucking kill you.
  • Oh.
  • I wear ear plugs to sleep because my husband snores so loudly. Seriously. The kind you might buy if you're an avid gun fanatic or one of those people who wave the pretty colored wands to direct jets. And honey, I love you, but when you just had to tell me about that really great fart you ripped, and you shouted so I could hear you because I had just put them in, you woke the baby up. And for that, I should be exempt from... - you get the idea.
  • My daughters first word will inevitably be 'fuck' and it won't be my fault because at least twice a day, she gets curious about what might happen if she tries to completely close her mouth while my nipple is in there.
  • The nipples are not for gnawing, Harmony.
  • This doesn't really apply, but there was this black lady on American Idol who was all pissed because her daughter was terrible and didn't make it, and she asked where Simon was from. When Ryan Secrest told her that he's British, she said, "Well, he needs to go back to British, then!" Every time I think of that, I giggle a little.
  • I find it appalling that I took the time to take my fat ass down to traffic school only to be bombarded with videos of brains splattered all over the pavement and bad jokes and, in the end, the court costs and parking fees cost me more than the original speeding ticket. They should tell you that before you agree to traffic school. Assholes.
  • My ex called and asked if he could claim our daughter on his tax return. This is the same man who hasn't paid child support in over a year and a half. The same one who crushed my daughter's heart when he made a play date with her and then blew her off. I laughed and said, "Sure! Why don't you just go ahead and claim Harmony and Devon, too? As a matter of fact, you can claim the whole family and we'll just come live with you! Then we could hang out, roast weenies and tell ghost stories-" He hung up on me. Asshole.
  • If you advertise something for free, and I call and then you tell me you need a card to charge $14.95 for shipping and handling, that's not free. If you try to keep me on the phone after I politely decline, I will be forced to sing, "Tiptoe Through The Tulips", in my best falsetto until you hang up on me. Asshole.
I have to go to Starbucks. Asshole.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Cravings. It's A Craving.

When I was pregnant, I grew quite fond of chocolate. I took my panties off in the hospital while in labor and put them on top of my bag and when I was cold, my mom was all, "Oh, here, here's a blanket", before she picked them up and realized what they were.

Really, really fond of chocolate.

So, I thought that once I delivered, I would also be delivered of this fattening obsession. Not happening. But since chocolate can sometimes upset a baby's tummy, I had to gradually work it into my diet to see if it caused any kind of changes in my daughter's temperament.

DO YOU HEAR ME? I used my daughter's delicate intestines as a guinea pig, and I did it with scientific precision BECAUSE I JUST CAN'T STOP.

Earlier this afternoon, I had to leave work and go to Target to get storage bags for breastmilk because I completely forgot about bringing them from home. I rarely have to use them since Harmony lays around with her mouth open just waiting for a boob to fall in. Once in the store, I found myself in the chocolate aisle. For half an hour. I pored over the selection of chocolate like I was shopping for a new kidney and when I finally made my decision, I whipped over to the baby section and grabbed the cheapest damned bags I could find. As a matter of fact, I got Zip-Locs because my priorities are fully intact and OH GOD HELP ME IT'S A SICKNESS.

I came back to work, calmly sat at my desk and then attacked the box of Dove chocolate I bought. Apparently, there is some concern over contamination because this damned box was sealed in triplicate and child-proofed. As I was stabbing the box with my letter opener, my boss called.

"Hey. Did you get a chance to work on that proposal?"

"Nuh uh."

"Oh. Well, when do you think-"

"Just as soon as I get this freaking shroud off of this box of....shit....chocolates....fucking hell, do they want people to eat this shit or just look at it?....then I'll.....wait. What was I supposed to do?"

"Yeah. Welcome back. I missed you."

I'll just bet he did.


This is all you need for a steady diet of chubby cheeks:

This is me without them: (and with a really crappy camera on my phone)

I am pathetic.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


I got nominated for Blogger Of The Month. I'm really flattered, especially considering that all you've had to look at all month is my chubby monkey of a daughter. So, thank you to the person that nominated me.

I'm brewing some ideas, but right now I'm slogging through my first day of work and for some odd reason, having no fat, pink cheeks to gobble on has made me unbearably empty.

Random thought of the day: It was probably not the most prudent move for me to exclaim in court yesterday, after being assessed court costs, "What? You mean I have to pay for the privilege of parking three miles away, being strip searched and hanging out with the very dregs of society? Why, God bless America and could you please pass the extortion!"

Sunday, February 04, 2007


I return to work on Wednesday, so you know what that means: regular posts.

In other news, if American Idol ever cancels Paula Abdul's contract, I will boycott the show. I love that crazy, pill-popping, moody, drunken bitch. She's the only reason I watch.

Friday, March 30, 2007

EDIT:  This one is not the same without the pictures, so you can still see them here:

My son and his friend, Julio, spend most of their time huddled together, whispering about boobs or XBox or the latest crisis at school. They are good boys, but my son will occasionally have a brain fart.

As I was driving them around the other day, the gas bubbled up and spilled over.

"Hey, Mom. I need you to stop at Rite Aid."

He turned in his seat and looked at Julio and they both smirked.

"Why? Are you out of something?"

"No, not really. I need something, though. It starts with a 'c' and ends with 'dum'".

More smirking, with a side of giggling.

"Oh, really? "Dumb" being the operative word here because you won't have anything to use if you keep up with that shit and who the hell do you think you are my God you're only fourteen have you lost your everloving mind-"

They are laughing and having a great time and I just had a coronary.

"Ok, ok! It's an inside joke, Mom!"

It was an inside joke. He let that shit out and now it's an outside, fuck-with-Mom joke. When he saw how much it affected me, he grabbed the reins on that sonofabitch and has been riding it for days, driving me to the brink of madness.

There's nothing quite as frightening as the realization that your kids will probably act the exact same way you did when you were their age.

So, daily, I am asked to make a trip to Rite Aid. When I pale and get all sweaty, they laugh and tease me about how many illegitimate children my son is going to have because I won't buy him condoms. I asked him to stop. I ordered him to stop. Day after day, he continued.

I had no choice. I had to retaliate.

Now, in reality, my son is never even alone with a girl. He and his friends are at the age where they're curious about sex and all the goings on and that's fine. But giving me grief about being a grandma before I'm forty? Over the line.

On the way home last night, I ran into Walgreens to pick up a prescription. While I was in there, I picked up something else. When we got home, my son announced that he and Julio were going walking.

"Not now, Devon. Go in the living room. Chris and I need to talk to you."

He gave me a puzzled look.

"Can Julio come? Or is it a private talk?"

"No, Julio can take part. I think that's actually best."

Another puzzled look and he complied. When he and Julio were seated on the sofa, Chris and I launched our attack.

"Crystal, do you want to start, or should I?"

"Oh, babe, I think you should. I ... I can't."

Devon and Julio look at each other and the snickering begins. Bait taken.

With a grave look on his face, Chris began.

"Devon, son. I want to talk to you about condoms."

My son and Julio fell all over each other, gasping for air and high-fiving one another.

"Dude! I totally knew that's what this was! Oh, my God! We so pulled this off!" Devon said.

Hook. Line. Sinker.

"Devon. This is a serious matter. You need to be a little more receptive to what we're trying to do, here," I said.

He and Julio straightened themselves up and gave us their utmost, completely insincere attention.

"Mom, it was a joke. An inside-"

"No, no, I think it was more than that. I think it was your way of asking for information without actually asking-"

"Mom, honestly-"

"Shut it. And listen," I commanded. "Chris, continue."

"Devon. Your mom and I have been talking and we really want you to be safe. We know things happen and you're human, you have all these urges and hormones and....stuff."

The boys begin squirming and looking thoroughly uncomfortable. Inside joke, indeed.

"So, to make sure of that," Chris says as he reaches into his pocket and my child begins to turn an alarming shade of red, "we picked you up some protection for you and your partner."

He drops these into Devon's lap.

"One for all five of them."

As Chris and I sit smugly and watch, my son goes from amused to embarrassed to horrified to flinging them off of his lap and shrieking like a little girl, all in under two minutes. It was a thing of beauty.

"What the hell?! What are these? They're tiny! Jeez, did you pick them up at the Asian market? Holy crap! I can't believe you threw condoms in my lap! And I can't believe they're so little!"

I pissed my pants. Twice. Chris isn't breathing. We are in ecstacy.

After Devon finally calmed down, he and Julio went for their walk. Were we done? Mission accomplished?


When Devon returned home, he went to his room. Chris and I waited quietly in the living room.

More shrieking as he reached for his light switch.

He grabbed a paper towel and removed the offending object so he could flip the switch. Nothing. So, he turned to reach for his ceiling fan to pull the cord for the light. Shrieking.

"You guys! Gah! Seriously!" More paper towels, more cringing. When the room was finally illuminated, again with the shrieking.

"Oh, my gosh. Are there any more? In my backpack? Under my pillow?"

"Nope. Don't think so," I said.

Foolish boy.

Later, lying in bed, I heard him rummaging in the kitchen for his nightly bowl of cereal. And then shrieking.

He stormed into the bedroom.

"Condoms on the milk jug?! You guys are sick. Twisted. Sick. Ugh."

After he left, Chris asked, "Are we going to tell him what they really are?"

"Nah. Not for a few days."

I fell asleep, smile on my face. In the wee hours, when I went to get something to drink, I found a dozen tiny finger cots in the trash.

This morning, when Devon blearily stumbled to the bathroom to brush his teeth, I reveled in the sound of the squealing.

And just when he thought it was over:

Don't test me, child.



Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Oh, God. Oh, Godohgodohgodshitohgod. Please don't let me shit my pants sitting at this red light. Please. I live thirty miles from work and I have no clothes in this car. I'm already late. Shit. NO! Don't shit. Think about something else. Think about....puppies. Puppies shit. Shit. Blog! Think about the blog.

And how you're going to write about shit.


What the hell did I eat? All I had was one piece of the pizza Chris bought. He's fine! Nary a fart this morning. Yet, here I sit, clenching my ass cheeks like Satan is trying to escape and audibly hearing my insides gurgle.

Oh, no. Was that?...oh, no. Please, please let that be a fart. Just a really warm fart. OH, GOD. THE SMELL. Must...roll..window.........down.

Why? Why does this always happen to me? And when I'm in the car on my hundred mile commute. The other regular commuters must think I always look like I'm riding with a shovel up my ass. My face must be classic. Fuck it. It's not like I know any of these peop- oh, look. It's Chris's friend, Jamie. And I'm potentially sitting here in my own poo. Super. Wave. Attempt to smile. God. I must look like a fucking lunatic, eyes all bugged out, teeth clenched, sweating like a pig. Ugh.

Work. Finally. I can sneak in the back. I'll just....oh, no. Oh, no. Must....clench...tighter. Walk. Walk. Walk. Waddle. Waddle. Just got to make it to the bathroom. Almost there. Fuck!! I can't talk right now, Jason. Go away. Don't look at me. QUIT LOOKING AT ME. Oh, great. Here he comes.

"Hey, Crystal, did you-"

"No! I didn't! Can't talk! Gotta go!"

"Well, you-"

"Nope! Not me!"


"For fucks sake, I could blow at any second! Can it wait?"

Shut the door, quick, buttons quick panties quickquickquick oh god oh no OHHHHHH.

Whew. That was close. And no accidents. Thank you, Lord. Thank you. I hope I don't have to go to the doctor. Did I wash my hands when I changed Harmony's poopy diaper last night? I know I did. I always do. Ewww. But what if I didn't. The kids were distracting me. What if I got some sort of fucked up fecal matter in my system and that's what's making me sick. I so don't want to have a doctor tell me I got this from fecal matter. There's no explaining that. You can tell them whatever you want but you know they think you have a scat fetish. Ewwww.


I'm going home and putting on a diaper.


Friday, March 23, 2007

Remember this guy?

For those of you not inclined to read that archived post, there is this guy at Burger King who, although incredibly nice, is also incredibly weird. He's very white and very nerdy and wears glasses and polyester. He uses the same corny jokes every single time I go through there and they just never get old to him. Today, as a for instance.

"Hey, there, pretty lady! I betcha get tired of hearing that, huh?"

Now, don't answer. Just sit there and smile and wait. You have to. He will hold your money hostage until he's gone through his entire routine and if you try to talk, it will only delay your reunion with a Whopper.

"Nah! You don't get tired of it! HAH HAH!"

Pause. Smile. Wait.

"Enjoying this weather? Looks like it might rain. Will that DAMPEN your spirits? Will it? Dampen? Get it? Dampen?"

Bite your tongue. Wait.

"I tried to be a stand-up comedian, but I kept sitting down! HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA!"

He is practically doubled over with laughter. At least he's nice. I'm quite certain that he goes home at night and boils kittens.

"Didn't you come through here this morning?"

What? This is new. This isn't part of his routine. Why, this requires interaction. I am afraid.

"Umm, no. I try to limit myself to one bypass per lifetime."

"HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I could have sworn you came through. What's your name, again?"

I never told him my name. I'm not crazy. I like my liver right where it is.


"Joan, Joan. Okay. What's my name?"

At this point, he places his hand over his midsection as though his name tag is pinned to his dick and he's trying to hide it. He waggles his eyebrows at me. I am stupified.

Then again, it's not out of the realm of possibilities that his name tag is pinned to his weiner.

I have been in the drive through for what feels like an hour. It has been, in reality, about 2 minutes.

"Dude, I have no idea. I just want my change. And my Whopper."

He waggles his brows again.

His hand has not moved.

"Scratch that. I want my cheeseburger."

"You have to guess my name, first!"

"I don't know. John. Joe. Barney. Hannibal. Chester."

With flourish, he throws his hand in the air and VOILA! There's a belt buckle the size of my fucking head with the name BRAD on it.

BRAD. With rhinestones. Bling.

Holy shit.


Thursday, March 22, 2007


"Yes, Virginia?"

"Can I have one of those dog teeth?"

"Dog teeth? Did you knock the dog's teeth out?! Holy shit, where's Dusty, what did you-"

"Noooooo, those things! Those dog things!"

"Dog things? Work with me, here."

"On the counter. Not dog....umm...bear! Bear teeth!"

"Ohhh, you mean bear claws?"


Close enough.


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

I just got a phone call from my incredibly sweet husband. Virginia's birthday is in 8 days and we are surreptitiously trying to find out which bike she would like without her being any the wiser.

"Hey, babe. I'm up here at Wal-Mart with Virginia, you know, looking for a bike for me, not for her, and they don't have much of a selection."

"Wow. That's really subtle, Chris. Okay. Umm, does she not see anything she likes?"

"Well, yes and no. I guess. Hell, I don't know."

Meanwhile, in the background, all I can hear is my daughter chanting, "Can I talk to Mom? Can I talk to Mom? Can I talk to Mom? I really need to talk to Mom? Chris? Can I talk to Mom? Mom? Can I talk to her? Chris?"

"Jeebus, put her on the phone before she fucking wets herself."

He transfers the phone to Virginia.

"Hey, Mom! I really appreciate you guys trying to get me a bike, and I saw a bike I like, but there's this journal! And you can use a voice password! And keep all your secrets from, you know, your brother and stuff! And it's purple! And I love purple! So, can I have it?"

"How did you know we were trying to find you a bike?"

"Well, duh, Mom."

"Huh. Well, how much is the journal?"

"Nine dollars."

"Put Chris on the phone."


"Hey, babe."

"Chris, how much is the bike?"

"Eighty bucks. It has those cool streamers on the handle bars and a backpack on the seat and-"

"Fabulous. We'll get you one for Christmas. Now, she wants a nine dollar journal that she'll tire of and tear up in a month instead of an eighty dollar bike that will last for at least a couple of years?"


Duh, indeed.


I want to do something a little different today if you all don't mind.

I feel really bad that I don't link anyone. The reasons for this are simple.

1. I paid money to Gemmak designs to spruce up this blog. She did an incredible job and then had to close up shop. If I tried to throw links in the HTML, it would all come out looking like garbled shit because I am an idiot.

2. There are so many of you. I can barely keep up with feeding myself and remembering to wipe my ass. I would forget someone unintentionally and feelings would be hurt and that's the last thing I want.

3. I am an idiot.

So, comments are open. Pimp your blog, please, or your favorite charity or post your great Aunt Martha's recipe for Opossum Stew. Whatever you like. You can even call me a dirty whore.


Monday, March 19, 2007

When Chris and I went to lunch today and the server delivered my plate, I was confronted with this:


"Yeah, babe."

"There's a tree growing out of my mashed potatoes."

Never one to be embarrassed by his child-like curiosity - or anything else, for that matter - Chris immediately plucked it from it's warm, buttery home and carefully inspected it. He then sniffed it. Right as the server was coming back to check on us, he gingerly took a small nibble of it.

Now, before you accuse us of being a bunch of inbred dipshits with no culture or class, he knew it wasn't supposed to be eaten. He also knows that holding my kids down and farting in their faces isn't really a form of discipline, but this is his justification when I yell at him while my son is outside, gagging and trying to find breathable air space.

I digress.

The server was horrified.

"Sir! You aren't supposed to eat that!"

Chris looked surprised. He made big, "Oh, shit!", eyes and asked, "Then why is it on the plate?"

"It's garnishment, sir. It's supposed to be for visual appeal."

"You need a twig to make people want to eat your mashed potatoes? Should I be concerned?"

"No, sir. Not at all. Our food is very tasty."

"Then why do you stick weeds in it?"

The server looked at him and blinked for a moment.

"I have no idea, sir."

And THAT is why I married this man.


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Everyone in our office complex is gone. On Spring Break. Including my boss.

This is what I did in his office today to pass the time.

I ran out of foil. He knows better than to leave me alone.


The funniest part of the post today is this: When I got home, I read the instructions. "Insert one suppository and RETAIN for at least 15 minutes." Not remove, RETAIN. As in, don't shoot it out of your ass like a missile. My poor husband misread.

Lord, how I love this man.


Harmony's delicate intestinal balance has been out of sorts the last few days. Chris picked me up from work and we discussed our options over lunch. Cos' that's our kind of idle chit chat while waiting for food: poop.

"I think maybe we should give her a suppository and see what happens," I suggested. "It can take awhile to have an effect."


"So, since you're off today, are you going straight home?"


"You're not going home?"

"I'm not sticking anything up her ass."

"Big baby. Fine. I'll do it when I get home."

An hour later, I got a phone call.

"Crystal, you lied to me."


"You said it would take a while to work."

"Hold, please."

I put the phone down and laughed my guts out for a minute or two because I realized what had happened.

"Ok. So, what happened?"

"Well, you called me a big baby. So, when I was changing her diaper I thought, 'How hard can it be?', so I got one of the suppositories. I stuck it in a little and I wasn't sure if I was supposed to put it all the way in, so I kind of left it hanging-"

"Wait. You left the suppository hanging out of her ass?"

"Yes. The bottle said to remove it in fifteen minutes! How else was I supposed to get it?"

"Ok, ok. Was she alright? Uncomfortable?"

"No. Just frowning at me like I'm stupid."

"Yeah. I get that all the time."

"Anyway, I go in the kitchen to heat a bottle and I hear her grunting. I go back in and she's pulled her legs up to her chest, turns bright red and the fucking thing shoots out of her butt like a mini-torpedo, flies across the dining room and hits the-"

I dropped the phone and pissed my pants. Seriously. When I could breathe, I picked it up, again.

"It's not funny, Crystal. She unloaded. The whole house smells like baby shit. And she's grinning her ass off."

"I love you."




Friday, March 09, 2007

Early last week, I called to reserve a rumpus room for Virginia's 7th birthday party. You know, so the kids can get up to some rumpus. I was feeling particularly jovial and no one that works at Mulligans Golf and Games is old enough to even have pubic hair, so I love messing with them.

"Thank you for calling Mulligans, this is Derrick, can I help you?"

"Hi, Derrick. I need to reserve the party room for my daughter."

"Ok. What time do you need it?"

"Well, let's see, Skipper. How early is too early to start drinking on a Saturday?"

"Excuse me?"

"You're right. We live in the South. Make it noon."

"Umm. Ok. And how many children?"

"Eight. The stripper's all grown up."

"I'm sorry?"

"Don't be. What libations can the children expect?"

"Uhh, we offer Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Hawaiian Punch-"

"Can we just set up IV stands full of sugar? You know, jack them in, get them mainlined and turn 'em loose? It would cut, like, an hour out of your time with us and that's one less hour you have to stand around and pretend you don't hate all God's creatures, Derrick."

"Oh, I don't hate kids."

"Did I say anything about kids, Drake?"


"Exactly. Moving right along."

"Yeah. Uhh, ok. Do you want the deluxe package? It comes with two go kart rides, two bumper boat rides, a round of miniature golf-"

"Eight kids and miniature golf? Will you just leave me the keys? Because we'll be done sometime next spring. It takes 2 hours to play nine holes with just my daughter because to a six-year-old who's just ingested a gallon of Mountain Dew and eight bags of Twizzlers, 'Putt the ball gently' translates to, 'Whack that motherfucker like you gotta pair!' Know what I mean, Dominique?"

"It's Derrick."

"I disagree."

"So, no mini golf."

"Just the bumper boats and the go karts will do, sweety. And do you have somewhere to park a bus?"

"A bus? You're driving a bus?"

"Yep. The children are blind. I really don't think they should drive the bus, do you?"

"Bl-...blind? Oh, ma'am, I don't think-"

"Is that a problem?"

"Gee, lady. Bumper boats and go karts and blind kids???"

"You have tires set up around the go kart track, correct?"

"Yes, but-"

"And the go karts go, what? 15 miles per hour?"

"A lot lower, probably, but-"

"So, really? What's the worst that can happen? Do you want to take away simple pleasure from a bunch of blind kids, Dick?"

"I-...I may have to check with my manager."

"And you will be working that day, correct?"

"Yes, ma'am."

"Splendid. Can you make room in there for a daquiri machine?"

This is going to be SO. MUCH. FUN.


Wednesday, March 07, 2007

I'm sorry about being all over the place with my updates. I think I'm finally starting to get the hang of this whole 'three kids' thing. Why, yesterday, I dragged Virginia out the door by her forearm and stuffed in her in the car only twenty minutes behind, and! And!! She had lunch money AND panties on!

Last night when I got home, I refrained from suffocating the baby with hugs and kisses and sobbing to my husband about how she's going to call the babysitter "mama" and I will just be that lady with the warm boobs.

And we had roast last night. Nay, ladies and gentleman, I didn't resort to my old stand-by, Bagel Bites that are slightly charred on bottom and frozen on top, we had a roast. With potatoes. And carrots.

Granted, my husband cooked it, but what-the-fuck-ever. At least I'm learning to cope and delegate.


So, the kids are good, thanks for asking.

Virginia had a patriotic program on Monday and it was complete with random, unrelated announcements from the principal, kudos to the "volunteers" (most of them elderly, retired married couples. I use the term "volunteers" very loosely because, while the old ladies were practically pissing in their Depends over the joy of catering to a bunch of booger-eating kids, the obviously disgruntled husbands were clearly only there to keep the wives from witholding the lovin' and hiding the Fixodent) and one poor kid who turned green and spewed partially digested Spaghettios all down the risers and across the shoes of the kid in front of her. The most amazing part? Those kids parted like the Red Sea and not one of them missed a note on their recorders. Awe inspiring. Shortly thereafter, when one of the "volunteer" husbands was trying to clean up the goo and keep his jaunty Stars And Stripes vest from falling off, I clearly heard him say he was "gonna divorce that old bat and move to Florida where I can die in peace."


Devon has become a popular kid and I don't really know how to take his emergence from a shy, studious boy to a boisterous, confident young man. I'm so happy and proud of him, but it's new to me.

"So, your little friend, Jaime. Is she what you'd call Goth?"

"No, Mom. She's emo."

"She has a bowl cut and dresses like a mental patient?"

"What? No, Mom. And, by the way, Mimi tells me you were Goth when you were a teenager."

"I was not. We didn't even have the term 'Goth' when I was teenager. Never listen to my Mom, son. She believes everything in the Enquirer."

"She says you dressed all in black and were really pale and reclusive."

"That's not Goth. It's called 'planning your own funeral because no one understands you and you have no peers'. Or depression."

"Exactly. Goth."

"Oh. Well, then, I was a visionary."


Speaking of my mother, it's a hoot to watch my son get all exasperated over all of her quirks. He's only known her for a little under three years and her eccentricities are all new to him.

He goes and spends the weekend with my parents fairly often (read: MUST. AVOID. CHURCH.) and I get a full report when I pick him up.

"Mimi can't drive. Wow. She runs over curbs, flips people off when they pass her cos' she's driving waaaay under the speed limit and, Pop! Holy crap! He just sits there, clutching the door handle and panting. I don't know how he does it!"

I know all of this. She has driven this way my entire life. And my Dad has lost all of his hair, not some of it, all of it, people, from riding with her. So I just nod.

"And her cell phone! It's all messed up because she keeps slamming it on things. See, when you call people, there's a delay with her service. She thinks it's something wrong with the phone, so instead of waiting, she slams it on something and then by the time she gets it to her ear, it's ringing. So, she thinks the slamming is working when really it's just the delay."

"Mmm hmm."

"And she argues with logic! She won't admit she's wrong or might have made a mistake! Oh, Mom, you have no idea."

"Really? When I was thirteen, I had a birthday party. None of the girls were really my friends, they just all had a crush on my brother and it was an excuse to stay the night at my house and they were a bunch of soulless, vapid, trollop slut-tramps who used me to get near-"


"Oh. Right. Anyway, my mom grilled hamburgers. She served everyone these awesome burgers and everyone dug in. Problem was, there was no patty. It was just bread, tomato and lettuce. When I said something, she claimed she was just worried about our cholesterol. Instead of giving us the meat, we all had to sit there and eat air burgers so she wouldn't have to admit she forgot to put them on the bun."


"Yeah. She bought me a Care Bear notebook one year for school because I liked them when I was in elementary."

"That's not bad."

"I was a sophomore. She also bought me purple tennis shoes with hearts on them."


"She means well and her heart is huge. She's just ... Mimi."

"Cool. But no matter how well-meant, I'm not wearing the Power Rangers pajamas."



2 Part Post That Has No Point Whatsoever

Friday, March 02, 2007

I'm a little melancholy today. I've been jumping around and reading other people's blogs, and let me tell you, there are some fantastic writers out there who are teetering on the brink of discovery. I read them and I think, "Wow. If they're still clipping coupons and using those little plastic things to get the last of the toothpaste out, what the hell makes me think I will EVER do anything with my shitty little blog?"

For years, people from different places in my life have been urging me to write THE BOOK. When someone brings up THE BOOK, I get all nervous and edgy and avoid the topic. I have started THE BOOK numerous times only to get disgusted with my feeble attempts to form cognitive thoughts. Then I end up getting drunk and playing Gem Shop online till the wee hours of the morning.

You see, it's reading blogs like this and this and this one (to name a few...there are so many of you out there) that make me doubt myself. They are amazing and hilarious and effortlessly charming and I find myself feeling like that kid who shit his pants the first day of school. I sit in the corner and I watch as all the other children are forming cliques and networking and I will forever be known as the smelly kid.

I need a hug. And some inspiration.

And some Febreze.


Chris has Mondays off. Our conversations used to go something like this:

"Hey, Chris, whatcha' doing?"

"Scratching. Watching a special on ... I don't know. But they're blowing shit up, so it's cool."

"Oh. Did you, um, do any laundry or anything?"

"No. You didn't ask me to."

"Ok. Well, it's 2 p.m. Did you do anything fun today?"

"Scratched. Bought some shit on Ebay. Surfed for new porn. The usual."

"Right. Well, I-"

"Whoah! Dude! That was fucking awesome! Did you see how far that propeller flew?!"

"Who are you talking to?"

"Brian. Babe, I gotta go. They're fixing to do that Mentos/Diet Coke thing, but they're gonna stuff the bottle up some guys ass. Love you!"


Since having Harmony, he has her all day on Monday. Our conversations now go like this:

"Hi, Chris. How are things going?"

"She was fussy. And I did everything I could think of and then she got this serious look on her face, turned purple and then she shit for, like, five minutes."

"I doubt very seriously that she went for five minutes, babe."

"Seriously! It was all, Pffffffffftttttttthhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh." (pausing to inhale) "Pfffffffthhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Five minutes. Now, she's looking at me. I know what she wants and I can't bring myself to go in there. Pffffffttttthhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!"

"Ok, take a deep breath."

"I can't. It's stinky in here. How can someone so precious and small and dainty and awesome be so stinky?"

"The same way someone tall and handsome and devilishly charming can be so stinky."

"I choose to take that as a compliment. Where are you? Are you nearby?"

"Umm, about five minutes away. Why?"

"No reason."

"You're going to leave her in the poo diaper till I get there, aren't you?"

"It's your turn."

"Did you get a chance to do any laundr-"

"Are you kidding me? Are you kidding me? As soon as I get food in one end, it's coming out the other! Pffffffffffffftttttthhhhhhhhhhhh!"

The good news is that we don't argue about him wanting me to have another baby, anymore.

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