Saturday, June 30, 2007

*scratch, scratch* HELP! *scratch, scratch*

Any advice on how to get rid of fleas in my house QUICKLY? I'll be the first to admit that I am not the tidiest person in the world, but this is ridiculous. The dogs don't have 'em. I took them to the vet a few weeks ago and they didn't have any then and they have been of flea preventative now for a while.

We have had SO MUCH rain lately that I guess that it somehow drove them in. But how, I don't know. Doesn't matter because the kids and I are covered in bites and scratching ourselves in a most unattractive way. Bug and I have it the worst. If I didn't know better, I'd think that we had chicken pox. But last night, SP both saw little bugs hopping on the beds in our rooms. (mama called the exterminator and the exterminator said, "no more buggies jumping on the bed!") EW. Makes it a little had to get a good night's sleep to tell you the truth!

And this is just my FEET, people! My legs, arms and back are eaten, too. But the feet are the worst!

So, any advice will be greatly appreciated. We may have to go stay at a hotel for a night or two so that we can treat the house. I hate this.

Admit it, though. You're itchy all over now, too, aren't you?!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Dear SugarBabies,

Why, oh why do you insist on beating the holy hell out of each other all day? I try to ignore it some of the time on the premise that you need to learn how to resolve conflicts by yourselves and that this is one of the many reasons that I have more than one children. After a while, however the screams become too much (or actual blood is shed) and I have to intervene with such brilliant edicts as, "I don't want anyone touching anyone else in this house for the rest of the day!!"

Other times, I am more sensible and sit you all down and give you long lectures about how we must be kind to one another and that hurting your brother (or sister) is NOT okay. Even if he has the truck you want to play with. Even if he just destroyed your Lego structure. Even if he looked at you with "that smarty-pants smile on his face." It is just not okay. And you will be confined to your bed for an indeterminate amount of time if it happens again.

And it ALWAYS happens again. Why is this? Are you brain damaged? Did you suffer some sort of head injury that I am as yet unaware of (most likely the result of an assault by one of your siblings)? Or are you just trying, yet again to make my head explode? Because, while in theory, that might be wicked cool, in the long run you will regret it because then there will be nobody to make your supper. And if you recall, I'm the only one who knows how to access Zoboomafoo from PBS Kids OnDemand. And really, what would your life be with out that smart-ass little lemur?


So, I beseech you. End the guerrilla warfare. NOW. My nerves are shot and I'm nearly out of Xanax. Daddy will be home in one week and you can go to work then on making HIS head explode. He'll have jet lag, so really it won't be much of a challenge. Until that time, however, please concentrate on familial harmony. Otherwise, I cannot guarantee that Daddy will come home to three kids. And while that idea does hold a certain appeal at times, someone will eventually alert the authorities and then we will have a real mess on our hands. Plus, I would lose that bet with Ms Elizabeth where I said that I could too make it for twelve months without killing one of the children. And I could really use that five bucks. So, if nothing else, let's do this for the money, shall we? It's all about the BenjaminsAbrahams.

All my love,

Your Mommy

PS As of today I have been blogging for two whole years! SugarBabies need to thank the blogosphere for providing this outlet for my frustration and anxiety. Things might have been a lot worse, otherwise!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Blog Tour: The 24-Hour Pharmacist

You all know what a Google-chondriac I am. My struggle with migraine headaches, thyroid problems and depression is well documented here. Neither have I been shy about sharing my dismay at my fatigue and my ever-expanding ass. SD often teases me about my ardor for drugs, both prescription and OTC. The up side of this is that I really do research the medicines I take or consider taking or giving to my family. As such, I am considered by some of my friends as the "go-to" person for advice on many medical issues. I also have a very good friend, Mike, who has a PhD in Pharmacy and often call him when I have questions about pharmaceutical options.

When I found out from Mother Talk that I was going to get to review The 24-Hour Pharmacist by Suzy Cohen, R.Ph., I was very excited. Maybe this would give Mike a break from my weekly phone calls! When I opened the book, it wasn't what I expected. I'm not sure WHAT I expected, to tell you the truth. But what I found was even better than what I thought I would get in this book. Although if I would have just gone back and read the description that they gave me initially, perhaps I would have had a clue. (Having a clue is often an issue for me as regulars here can attest.)

"As a pharmacist for almost two decades, Suzy Cohen knows that medication can often be invaluable. But she has also learned to "think outside the pill" and recommend natural options that are often just as good or better at promoting health without the risk of dangerous, drug-induced side effects. In this comprehensive, one-of-a-kind resource, she answers such questions as: How can I stop my husband/wife from snoring? Are vitamin pills worth it or worthless? Are there alternatives to antidepressants? What kind of surge protection is there for hot flashes? How can I train my body to lose fat?"

Suzy Cohen is the author of the syndicated column Dear Pharmacist. A column I knew nothing about until now, but it may well become one of my favorites.

Like her column, The 24-Hour Pharmacist is just chock full of common sense. (Incidentally, another thing I seem to be deficient in many days) I suppose that I thought that the book would hold descriptions of different kinds of drugs, their uses and side effects. Instead it is actually a book that addresses the actual reasons behind common complaints such as depression, fatigue, lack of libido, and thyroid problems, among many. She explains, in a way that makes you say "Oooohhhh! Yeah!," how imbalances in certain nutrients and enzymes can lead to these medical problems and gives advice on how to go to the root of the problem and correct these imbalances.

One of the things that I found most interesting is that she identifies so-called "drug muggers," medicines that strip your cells of necessary nutrients and throw your body out of balance causing many common complaints and exacerbating existing conditions. She offers advice on how you can change your diet and add natural supplements in order to perhaps wean yourself off of some drugs AND what nutrients and dietary changes can counter-balance the drug-mugging effects of medications that you simply cannot stop taking. I was particularly interested in the suggestions to prevent and treat migraine headaches, as well as explanations of possible causes of them.

Cohen addresses all of this with a great sense of humor, which makes the book an enjoyable read. Girlfriend is one phunny pharmacist! Thus I read through the sections such as erectile dysfunction simply because I wanted to see what she had to say. She titles one section Viagra Excites Investors, Makes Profits Rise. Heh. I loves me a good double entendre. However, I must say that there was something that applied to my life in some way in almost every chapter.

Throughout the book, Cohen encourages readers to "think outside the pill." She also makes it clear throughout that nobody should stop taking any medications without first consulting his/her doctor. She also encourages readers to consult a doctor before trying some of the "natural" treatments. She gives many options for treatments for the conditions discussed and offers advice as to what order to try the remedies in as well as who should or shouldn't try certain ones. For example, did you know that id you aren't zinc deficient, that if you swab liquid zinc in your mouth, it will taste bitter and nasty. Other levels of nutrients and hormones aren't quite so easy to assess and Cohen recommends several labs who will test those levels for you without having to go through your doctor.

I am looking forward to going to the health food store and trying some of the remedies that Suzy Cohen suggested. Especially the ones for migraine and fatigue. Although, think that maybe she can help my inability to catch a clue as well, in the section where she addresses "brain fog." I can wholeheartedly recommend this book to all my fellow hypochondriacs. I'm certain that you will enjoy it as much as I have!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Meanest Mommy In. The. World.

Did you hear that last night? Did you? The wailing and crying and shouts of protest and the gnashing of teeth. Did you hear it? I swear that they had to be able to hear it at least down to Austin and up to Oklahoma City (Holli?).

That horrible noise was the sound of my boys protesting and wailing about the removal of all toys from their bedroom and into big, black garbage bags. Was it some sort of "ambush" where I snuck up on them playing peacefully in their tidy, organized room?


This was the exact consequence that I explained to them two hours earlier when I sent them into their room to pick up the disaster that they had created over the past 48 hours. I gave them several time warnings. "You only have one hour left!" "Thirty minutes until I come and finish cleaning up!" "Fifteen minutes!" "FIVE MINUTES to clean up, you guys!" "Okay! I'll be in there in one minute!"

And yet, those ungrateful little urchins had the nerve to act surprised when I came in with the Hefty Bag and began depositing toys into it. "No Mommy!! We're picking up! See??!" Yes, I saw that they were picking up right then, but when I walked in they had a good game of Garbage Man going (a game strictly forbidden in this house for several months now) and were, quite honestly doing exactly the opposite of "picking up."

No Mommy! Not my garbage truck! PLEASE not my garbage truck!

MOOOOMMMMEEE!! Don't take my fire engine! I looooooovvveeee it!

But Mommy! I am soooo tired!

Oh! not my dolphin!

That's my astronaut helmet! I Lob it!

Nooooo! Not Superman! (Mommies are like kryptonite!)

That helmet is Daddy's! He's going to be angwy with you!

What are you going to do with them? Throw them in the garbage can? (Answer: No, I am giving them to children who don't have any toys and will appreciate them and take care of them.)

Is this something new? No. Is this the first time I have confiscated toys in big black hefty bags? No. The second? Third? No and no. This is the FIFTH time I have done this over the past few months. SO they know that when I say that I'm going to, I mean it. Just like with almost everything else I say. I DO (usually) manage to follow through with the consequences I announce.

They kept telling me that they want Daddy. I had to inform then that Daddy was behind this plan 100% and that he would be doing the same thing were he here. He'll be here in twelve days. Won't they be disappointed when I'm not reprimanded for my meanness! (You'd better back me up on this, mister.)

Have I actually gotten rid of any of those millions of toys that I have taken? No. Not yet. Do I have about eleventy thousand bags and boxes of confiscated toys in my garage and dining room? Yes. Yes I do. And I AM going to give the lion's share of them away to the local women's shelter. I plan to sort through and keep out the ones I know that they actually play with and give the rest away. Thing is? After a day or two, they don't even mention those toys any more. Which tells me that these children have entirely too many toys. They may just get cardboard boxes for Christmas this year. They enjoy those more than anything else.

So, if you live near Candyland and you need toys, come on over. I'll be sorting out the baby stuff for Buttercup, but the rest is up for grabs. Lots of Tonka trucks, stuffed animals, and firefighter stuff. In the words of Bill Cosby's wife "I! Have had! ENOUGH! OF! THIS!" On the upside, if they keep this up long enough, it won't take much at all to clean up their toys. Because you can't clean up something that you don't even possess!

PS If anyone gets the bright idea to come toward MY bedroom, hefty bag in hand? Just save yourself the energy. I'm all fired up for a good fight and probably won't hold back. I've got a good three weeks of pent up anger at many, many different people and events and if you shake that bottle, it's gonna blow. Besides I'm sooooo tiiiirrred!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The consequences of teaching children the correct terminology for their body parts

The Google pervs are going to LOVE this post. *sigh*

I swear to L. Ron Hubbard that this is ALL true. Seriously. You can't make this stuff up.

The discussion in the bathroom

Bug: Mommy, where does your tee-tee come out?

Me (thinking, Lord, I'm not in the mood for THIS conversation right now) ::trying to remain cool & nonchalant:: Out of my urethra, just like yours. Only girls' are tucked up more inside than boys'.

Bug (looking skeptical, but not sure how to respond): Well, then, where is your scrotum?

Me: Girls don't have scrotums. (scrota? scroti?)**

Bear: (looking absolutely horrified) Well then....where do you put your testicles??

Me: *sigh* Girls don't have testicles. We have ovaries and they are up inside of us about right here (pointing at lower abdominal area).

Bear: SugarPlum, too?

Me: Yes, all girls.

Bear & Bug ::silently exchange knowing look that says, "Clearly, WE got the better end of that deal!!"::

The discussion in the dressing room

Bug walked in just as I was getting dressed after a shower....

Bug (with furrowed brow): Hey! I saw hair down there.

Me (once again trying to act like this is no big deal): Yeah, that happens to grown ups. They all get hair in weird places.

Bug (looking at me like I am crazy): WELL. Daddy has a penis!

aaand he stomps off

::Thank you, my little Freudlet::

**evidently it IS "scrota", because when I spell checked that is the option that was NOT highlighted. Who knew? See! I'm informative as well as humorous!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Why was six scared????

The word random has become a staple in my daughter's vocabulary as of late. Almost as much as like. So when Mother Chaos tagged me with this meme "Eight random things about me," I had to giggle. And then put it off for several weeks like the procrastinator I am. we go.

Each player starts with 8 random facts/habits about themselves. People who are tagged, write a blog post about their own 8 random things, and post these rules. At the end of your post you need to tag 8 people and include their names. Don't forget to leave them a comment and tell them they're tagged, and to read your blog.

1. I have a marked aversion to crowds. I get very claustrophobic and irritable when I am in a place with a bunch of people. This really precludes my attendance at concerts and trips to amusement parks. It's why DisneyWorld is almost completely out of the question.

2. I also have a totally irrational thing about noise. It makes me crazy. Having two boys under six makes this a lot of fun.

3. As you can imagine the idea of a sensory deprivation room is very appealing to me.

4. I am considering chopping all (or most) of my hair off. Seriously. My hair is just past shoulder length right now. But I am feeling very old and frumpy. I'm thinking a pixie cut like this is what I may go for. I have an appointment for a haircut Tuesday, so I may do it. Except you know I'll chicken out.

5. The Kary May mafia is stalking me. (Name of well known cosmetics company change to avoid potential lawsuits. Heh) I don't have any problem with that company in and of itself. HOWEVER...there are people at my church who sell it who can't seem to have a conversation without it somehow coming back to Kary May. And one friend in particular who keeps popping up in the halls at church "recommending" products to me and trying to get me to host some sort of "party " at my house. Which is hysterical, given that A) I so very rarely wear make-up, and B)I hardly ever have people over to my house because I don't like to get it clean enough. (although SD swears that this will change when he gets back...we'll see)

6. Now that summer is here, along with trips to the water park and our impending beach holiday, the issue of swimsuits rears its ugly head once again. For the past, oh, eight or nine years, I have preferred (read insisted upon) buying swimsuits with skirts. Yes, I have a ginormous ass, but it is more a matter of shaving. I don't like shaving "that area." And don't even talk to me about wax. I think I have covered that before.

7. Speaking of warm weather...I am a beyond white. It's true. My skin almost glows in the dark. And no amount of sunshine is going to tan it. I have two states: white or burned. I'll take white, thankyouverymuch.

8. Now that SugarPlum has completed fourth grade, I am quite certain that I have reached the limit of my ability to help her with her math. It took me three tries to pass College Algebra for crying out loud. And that was mumblemumble years ago. Thank heaven her daddy will be here to take care of math from here on out.

So there. I did it. Eventually. Are you happy now? I know I'm supposed to tag eight people, but trying to come up with those eight might just delay this post for weeks more., you, you, you, you, you, you aaaaand you. Heh. If you do this meme, leave me a comment to let me know so I can come see! And link you!

**BONUS POINTS if you know the answer to my riddle!**

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Less Crying, More Laughing?

More than once I have opined (and whined) on parenting issues. I am continually dismayed by the fact that in spite of having a degree in child development, a great deal of the time I have no freaking idea what to do about these children of mine. Much of the time they are wonderful, sweet loving children. But there are times when I would all but swear that they are indeed the spawn of Satan so defiant and unbelievably aggravating are they. And while I often promised myself (in my childless days, of course) that I would never scream at, spank, shame, or otherwise torment my children, I find myself doing just that on more occasions than I would normally care to admit. Because I have the information that I need to raise these children effectively. But sometimes....sometimes, my brain fails to access that information. Especially after the cheerful call, "It's jammie time!" has progressed to "Get your damn pajamas on already or someone is getting their little butt spanked!" Allegedly.


During my twelve days of exile I had the opportunity to finish reading Elizabeth Pantley's The No-Cry Discipline Solution: Gentle Ways to Encourage Good Behavior Without Whining, Tantrums, and Tears I was so relieved and happy that I almost cried. This book. It is wonderful. Now, let me tell you that I am somewhat skeptical of most parenting books. I read them. I take bits and pieces and apply them to my life. But usually, they end up pissing me off because of the arrogant, "If you will just do things exactly this way, you should never have a problem with your children ever again!" attitude that they convey. No, they never come out and say that, but most of them give a "one size fits all" approach to parenting that just ain't true. So I find myself with a little bit of Sears, a little Spock, a dollop of Dobson, a pinch of Penelope Leach, with a smidge of Ferber in there for good measure. But every time I read one of those books I spend so much time sorting through the "yeah, right, whatever" that I am totally annoyed by the time I get to the end. If I get to the end.

Now, Elizabeth Pantley is my kind of gal. She is a mom of four. She admits she's not perfect. She is also a parenting educator and the author of the wildly successful No Cry Sleep Solution which I knew nothing about until my children had been through my own personal method the "Be quiet and go to sleep, for the love of Pete it's 3:00 in the morning and I'm freaking exhausted"solution. Although, "solution" might be a bit of a misnomer come to think of it.

Hmmmm? Oh, back to the point.

So, Ms. Pantley is a real person. She is a person who acknowledges that every parent is different. And every child is different. And every day with every child is different. And that what works for Martha and her son may not work for her daughter. Or for me and my kids. AND? She admits that what works for three months will likely, at some point not work anymore. Yes, I think that you are probably getting MY point.

What I love is that she isn't saying "do this and all will be peachy." She told me (because she wrote this just for me, you know...but we're letting you in on it, LUCKY YOU!) that most importantly I need to get to the source of the problem. You know, fix what is really wrong and not just treating the behavior. Sorta like giving a kid throat lozenges for strep throat instead of penicillin. Much of this I knew. Make sure that the kiddos have had enough sleep. Make sure that they aren't hungry -- low blood sugar accounts for a good share of the behavioral problems around here. But also, is she scared? Confused? Insecure? Sometimes, just figuring that much out can solve the problem.

The thing that I appreciate is the "bag of tricks" that she offers. They vary from distracting little ones from what is causing issues, to offering choices to, yes, time outs. She also gives parents permission to maybe overlook the small stuff and just laugh! When it looks like a meltdown is on the horizon, laughter and love can nip it in the bud and make a potentially long, tearful snotty hour-long ordeal into a gigglefest that can lead to your little guy revealing what was wrong. Which is so much better than than the screaming and crying that might happen otherwise. And that doesn't even account for what the kids will do.

Speaking of screaming. Elizabeth (because now we are on a first name basis, I call her Liz & she calls me Buff) also acknowledges that sometimes we all end up yelling at our kids. Even her. *gasp* No, it's not ideal. But we are human. And we mess up. But then, we apologize to the victim of our rant and move on.

Thing is, even though most of these things I knew, I guess that of the textbooks I read while studying my for degree and all of the subsequent parenting books I have read, not one of them gave me practical applications for their "solutions." But this book does! So, last week, when Bug thought that he would throw a big stinkin' fit because he didn't want to go to bed and refused to get his pajamas on, I laughed and made a game of it. And? Things went so much better and Bug got to bed so much more quickly than if I had followed my usual impulse to force his pj's on him and sit on him to brush his teeth. Nope. While he growled at me (yes, really) and expressed his anger in the bathroom, I turned him toward the mirror and made "angry faces" with him until we laughed and got his teeth brushed. When he ran away from the pajamas, I chased him while laughing and got them on him and then we joined Bear in the bedroom for our story and song. And it was all delightful. And instead of issuing the edict that it is naptime and dragging him off to bed, I pretend we are going into a cave (more on that in another post) or parachuting into his bed. So much happier!

As such, I have applied this to more situations lately and it's been good. Just don't ask about getting ready for VBS yesterday. Because there may or may not have been some yelling. Because I can't be delightful all the time.

But I'm trying. And truly, I can wholeheartedly recommend Pantley's No Cry Discipline Solution. Go check it out. There are even videos of Mrs Pantley offering tips from the book (off to the right about halfway down the page). See? I told you she is just lovely! And you know coming from an expert like me, that is high praise. *cough cough*

Monday, June 11, 2007

Hiya! Still alive!

Thank you for all of your nice emails concerning my health and well being. I was at Candyland West (also known as Gray Gray and Gram's house) when not helping CRB and friends rehab her old house so that she can sell it. I am exhausted. And I did maybe a third of the work that pretty much everyone else did. But heavens! The drama! It was enough to wear anyone out. I am stunned that nobody was injured and that nobody ended up in jail. Seriously. Prima Donnas may be the death of me. But we did a kick ass job and, as far as I can tell, are all still friends. More or less.

Sadly, as I have mentioned before, Gram and Gray no longer have internet access. That sucks. I DID bring my laptop thinking that maybe I could make it to a coffee shop or something for a minute. But I am such a dork that I didn't bring the charger.

End result? I went twelve days offline. TWELVE DAYS people. No internets. If I hadn't been so busy, I would have been having withdrawals. As it is, I was so tired at night, that it didn't really affect me. Though I don't think we were home ten minutes before I turned on the computer. Ostensibly to print out the form that we need to send in for SugarPlum to go to church camp next week with her two best friends here. (And lawd, please remind me to tell you all about the insane momma of one of these girls. That woman is twelve kinds of crazy. Seriously, I may have to redefine Batshit Crazy.) But really, we all know why that computer got turned on and why, six hours later it is still on.

Two hundred fifty four emails, my friends. A great many of those were deleted w/o being read, of course. Those from,, eBay (are we sensing a trend?), and all that stupid spam. So, if you sent me something that needed a reply and haven't gotten it, it is entirely possible that I deleted it. I apologize. Resend it and I promise to follow up.

But not right now. Must sleep. Vacation Bible School starts Monday morning and I will have thirty second graders waiting for me. Yes, clearly, I am insane. Pray for me!