Shootin' the Shiznit

If you've ever changed the diaper of a very small baby boy, you know that you've gotta protect yourself or you'll get sprayed with pee as soon as the air hits the goods. I knew that even before I had kids, thanks to my umpteen-million nephews and their umpteen-million diapers. But then I had my own children, and now that I'm on my third boy I've developed a theory: the pee spray doesn't happen that often when your boys are uncircumcised. All three of my sons are uncirc'ed, and I can probably count one on hand the number of times that they've peed on me during a diaper change. I can't scientifically prove this, but everybody knows that my opinion is just as good as fact. Right?

... RIGHT???

*cricket, cricket*

Anyway, though my sons' foreskins may protect me from being peed on, there is no protection from being pooped on.

You can see where this is going.

Yesterday I went to change Coby's sodden diaper. As soon as I opened it, a bit of poo oozed out like a little sausage grinder. "Oops!" I chirped, blissfully unaware of the horrible fate that was soon to befall me. "Mommy will just wait." And so I covered him back up for a minute or two, hoping he'd finish his doody - er, duty. When I peeked back into the diaper, it looked like he had pooped all he was going to poop, so I proclaimed it safe and began to proceed with changing him.

Suddenly, I was sprayed with a projectile arc of bright yellow poo accompanied by a grown-man-sized fart. Thank God Curtis was home. "Help!" I yelled. "Get me something!"

So what did my helpful husband bring?

The camera.

(That ass.)

Between guffaws of laughter, he took photo after photo of my misfortune. "Hurry up!" I shrieked. "This is gross! It's not funny!"

Finally he went to retrieve a towel, still grasping the camera. And just as he walked back into the room ... SPLAT! I was hit with a second tsunami of poop, this time coating the back of my hand, dripping warmly between my fingers. Ironically, it was the hand that was holding the diaper in place to protect against that very thing. Ugh.

And *snap, snap, snap* went the camera.

... Until I smacked Curtis across the face with my poopy hand. Pow!

... Just kidding, but I totally should've.

Anyway, I've refrained from posting the pictures within the blog for those of you with, um, more delicate sensibilities. (You're welcome.) But if you'd like to see the photographic evidence, you can find the pictures here and here.

May your day NOT be as "crappy" as mine. :)

"Stuff I Like" Sunday: This Guy

Okay. I more than like him. I freakin' love the crap out of this little man (literally, as you'll find out in tomorrow's post). But it's not "Stuff I Freakin' Love the Crap Out Of" Sunday, soooo ...

If you don't know who this is, it's our newest son - boy #3, also known as Coby James. Also known as Co-beast, just because I like to give my kids weird nicknames. He ripped through my nether regions was born on September 14th.

We named him Coby for Curtis's late father, Clarence, whom everyone called "Cob" (because, you know, Clarence? Ugh.) I loved that man so much, and I sorely wish he could've known our children ... but cancer took him before he got the chance.

Coby's middle name, James, is in honor of my big brother James Steven - featured in the following photo, caught in mid-burp. Which is not uncommon. At least he isn't flipping off the camera ... which is also not uncommon.

I can only hope Coby grows up to be half as classy. (I love you, Steve.) :)

So far, our newest little man is mellow and easygoing - which is wonderful considering his brothers are four and nineteen months. Because, like, I don't have time for a fussy and difficult baby. So if Coby had been fussy and difficult, well, I would have kicked him to the curb by now.

(Only kidding, of course. I would have just given him to someone who looked clean.)

Because I'm a proud mama, and because you're probably tired of reading by now, I'll leave you with a few pictures.

He gets that face from me. I'm sure of it.

Couldn't you just eat those little feet up?

Have a great rest-of-the-weekend, everyone!

It's ON...Sort Of

For the past nine months or so, I've been eating for two. And by "eating for two" I mean "eating for two big burly Sumo wrestlers who have that weird disorder where they never feel full." Just as I promised myself I wouldn't, I gained a painful 70+ pounds during this pregnancy. Unfortunately, when Coby came out, he was 9 pounds, not 60 as I had hoped. So I can't exactly blame the "baby weight" on the baby ... damn it. If we're gonna be honest here, I think the blame lies more with myself. And, of course, the help of two guys named Ben and Jerry. Damn them and their delicious ice cream.

It's so easy to pile on the pounds during pregnancy, though. At least for me it is. I really am always ravenous, right from the first trimester - it's like my version of morning sickness is just extreme hunger. The only way to cure it is to eat. And nobody notices that my ass, hips, and thighs are widening at a frightening pace when my belly looks like I'm smuggling a Volkswagen.

But then I have the baby. And the stomach diminishes. And, whoa! Look what was going on underneath that belly ... construction of a new pair of thunder thighs! Needless to say, I do not relish my new pear shape.

It's really hard for me to deal with, because I used to be damn cute. My first pregnancy absolutely wrecked my body, though. I can lose the weight - I lost 90 pounds within six months of having Cameron - but the stretchmarks? If you've been reading my blog for a while, you already know that my once-sexy stomach serves as a cautionary tale.

(Side note: God bless Curtis, who has seen - and loved - both my pre- and post-baby body!)

Anyway, we may or may not be done having kids ... we can't exactly decide at this point. But I do know this: if I ever have another one, it won't be for at least four years, when my other kids are more self-sufficient (because as I've learned in the past eleven days, having two babies barely 19 months apart is not the easiest thing). So that gives me four years to go from "hot mess" to "hot mom" again.

I'm not starting hardcore on my diet right at this minute. Because I know that, after eating everything in sight pretty much whatever I want for the past 9 months, jumping into a severely restricted diet will only set me up for failure. But I'm easing into it. I have managed to fight off the urge to bake, for example, which is a huge triumph. I'm trying to cut down on my portion sizes and drinking fewery sugary beverages (I am mourning the loss of my sweet tea as we speak). I'm getting a gym membership, because I truly do enjoy working out. And I'm breastfeeding (see here if you want the back story on that) which burns like 500 extra calories a day or something.

In the meantime, it's high time I started appreciating what I do have. Yeah, I loathe my body in its present state, but I might as well fix it up as nicely as I can ... it's the only one I have, and it has produced three beautiful sons, so I can't be hatin' on it too much. I'm going to start paying more attention to my hair and nails and skin and all, and make everything look as decent as it possibly can. I may feel like I'm shining up a clunker, but I'm sure it will make me feel better.

So it begins. I've been doing this blog since I was three months pregnant. Now, for the first time, I am OFFICIALLY, really and truly "fighting off frumpy."

Who's with me?!?

Life is Messy

So I know you're all wondering: now that Coby is a whopping ten days old, how is Rita adjusting to life with three kids?

Well, I'd have to say that all in all, I'm doing pret - oops, hold on a second.

Okay. Sorry. As I was saying, I'm doing pretty well so far. There are just a few th - ugh, sorry again, I'll be right back.

*ahem* Okay, one more time: I'm doing pretty well, but there are a few things I'm having to let fall by the wayside while I learn to deal with - GRRR, hold on.

On second thought, let me just post a few pictures that will speak volumes:

There now: does that answer your question? :)

Mona Gets Around

She's got hair that never gets messed up, baby blues to die for, and a bod that looks good in a bustier. (Plus awesome taste in accessories - I mean, the way those silver wrist cuffs set off her shimmery little star-shaped earrings? HAWT.) And she never gets bad breath. She's the kind of cool I imagine myself to be when I dance and sing in front of the mirror fantasize about, well, being cool.

All in all, she's the total package. So why was she hanging out at my house? In ... Iowa?

A few months back, the powers-that-be behind the uber-cool Moxie Media asked me - ME! - to play hostess to their mascot, Moxie Mona. It seems Mona was traveling around the blogosphere, visiting bloggers all over the United States ... and they needed someone to show her around Iowa. Of course, I jumped at the chance.

I'm reppin' what people call the Quad Cities. The QC is made up of - you guessed it - four cities: Davenport (where I live), Bettendorf, Rock Island, and Moline. Although Rock Island and Moline are in Illinois. But we're only separated by the Mississippi River, and we co-mingle a lot. (Even though the Iowa side is infintesimally more awesome.)

Anyway, it's always nice to show people that there's more to our state than this:

Of course, that IS part of our state - a big part, actually - so that's where we started. And Mona, though appreciative of the view, was all, "This outfit is so not cornfield-friendly." Apparently the corn silks were making her itchy. Who knew?

So we took her to someplace much more cosmopolitan: the John Deere Pavilion.

Moline, one of the four Quad Cities, is the headquarters of John Deere. (You know, the green lawn mowers and farm equipment?) The John Deere Pavilion is an agricultural museum, and Mona checked out the tractors and combines and such. She's a California girl, so I didn't expect her to know much about farm equipment ... but she nearly got us in trouble when she busted out her mad heavy-machinery-operating skillz.

When she was all "farmed out" we took her for some more sightseeing. First to the Centennial Bridge, the gateway between Davenport and Rock Island (and the site of a SPECTACULAR fireworks display every Fourth of July) ...

... Then on to The District, the arts and entertainment hub of Rock Island, where she made a new friend (because, as it turns out, she has a "thing" for guys in fedoras) ...

And since I was hugely pregnant, Mona let my husband - even though he wouldn't be caught dead in a fedora - take her out to the ballgame. The Quad Cities River Bandits game, that is, at Modern Woodmen Park.

Then we showed Mona to the banks of the mighty Mississippi River, where the Celebration Belle steamboat just happened to be paddling its way through the beautiful waters.

And we finished off the day with a little gambling. Because people in Iowa know how to par-tay. Mona won like ten thousand dollars, and coolly pocketed the cash somewhere in that teeny bustier of hers like it was nothing. She didn't even look bulgy afterward (which is totally not fair, because I could carry a postage stamp in my pocket and look like I've gained ten pounds). Oh Mona, how do you do it?

There were so many other things we could have experienced. I mean, our corner of Iowa is more than just corn: we have culture! There's the Figge Art Museum, the Putnam Museum of History & Natural Sciences, Vander Veer Botanical Park, the Quad City Symphony, the little specialty shops in the historic Village of East Davenport ... the list goes on and on. But Mona's touristy sightseeing was cut short by one big, little thing: the birth of our son, Coby.

Mona took charge in the delivery room, securing my IV, once again amazing us by pulling a random skill from her hat - er, tiara.

And she proved to us that she's got a way with the opposite sex. Or with kids. Or both. Just look at how calm and tranquil our new son became in her presence!

I think Mona totally dug Iowa. Itchy cornsilks and all. But being the diva-in-demand that she is, it was time for her to move on to her next location. (And to tell you the truth, I was getting a little weary of fending off the paparazzi that stalk her all the time.)

Ciao, Mona. Or as we say here in exotic Iowa ... bye.

If you'd like to see where Mona's been, or follow her to her next adventure (and find some sweet new bloggage in the meantime), check out her home at Mayhem & Moxie - her entire itinerary can be found there.

Happy trails, everyone! Y'all come back now, hear?

Trashed Potatoes

Last night's dinner menu consisted of homemade fried chicken, garden-fresh sliced tomatoes, and ... instant potatoes. Don't judge me - I've got three little kids hampering my culinary genius. And besides, I actually like instant potatoes; I'm not one of those potato snobs that turns up her nose at boxed spuds. It's magical, really, the way those little flakes meld together into a concoction of creaminess.

Okay, so that may be stretching it, but you get the picture - I'm cool with instant potatoes. And last night, this particular variety was supposed to provide the perfect compliment to my fried chicken.

Mmm, generic Target brand.

Sometimes, though, even instant convenience foods prove too much for a harried mom of three small and demanding children. I'd gotten the rest of the meal done when Coby (our newborn, in case you're out of the loop) decided he MUST. BE. FED. NOOOOOOOW. Luckily, Curtis had just come home from work, so I handed the duty over to him. Easy, huh? Make the mashed potatoes. Simple, yes? Read the directions on the box. Piece of cake, right? It's not like I asked him to fry the chicken.

But Curtis - poor, ramen-noodle-making, non-direction-reading Curtis - had a bit of trouble. Which is why the first words out of Colin's mouth when presented with his plate were, "Why do my mashed potatoes look like a sponge?"

It's true. They were actually spongy. And stick-to-the-fork stiff.

mashed potatoesBoth Colin and Cameron spent the entire meal so fascinated by the moldable properties of the potatoes that they neglected to eat anything. Seriously - it was as if we had plopped a mound of Play-Doh onto their plates and were all, "Here kids, don't worry about eating, just play!" After a while, we gave up and let them leave the table with their dinners largely untouched.

(It was mostly because we wanted to play with the potatoes ourselves.)

I made this breathtaking sculpture of modern art:

... and then sacrificed it in the name of showing everyone how, um, sturdy these potatoes really were:

And if you're still not convinced of the dough-like properties of these not-so-tasty taters, check out the perfect imprint of my lips:

That's a kiss for you, Honey. I know you meant well. But next time ... we'll just do without the potatoes.

"Stuff I Like" Sunday: Discounts!

...Because nothing says "I love you" like a cheap firearm.

Discount. Even the word itself sounds fun ... like disco. Or discovery. Don't you think so?

... Oh, just me then?


Like any red-blooded American, I enjoy buying stuff. But I practically go into fits of ecstasy when I can buy stuff at a discount. Which is why when I'm shopping online, I looooove to make mad use of the following sites:

Coupon Cabin

If you've ever shopped online (and if you haven't, where have you been?) you know that when you check out, there's always a box where you can type in a coupon code. So where do you get these magical little codes? Why, at the sites I just linked you to, natch! These are awesome resources for savings on just about anything. From free or discounted shipping to two-for-one deals to big-time sale prices, you can almost always find a coupon code for something you need (or something you didn't know you needed but totally must have because it's, like, on sale).

Google "coupon codes" if you want more options ... there are tons of sites out there. These are just my personal favorites. You'll quickly learn what features you like about each site (CouponCode, for example, divvies up its coupons into "new coupon" and "expiring coupon" sections. RetailMeNot offers printable and grocery coupons as well as online codes. You get the picture).

Who knows what you could do with all the money you'll save? Maybe you'll donate it to a worthy cause.

Or maybe just buy more (discounted) stuff. :)

Let Us Pray

So we've got another new addition to the family.

A praying mantis.

But the majority of the praying around here isn't being done by the mantis. It's being done by me, begging God not to let the little stick-or-leaf-looking-creature-with-the-big-eyed-creepily-swiveling-head (or its crickety meals, which I find equally icky) get out of its glass stronghold. A.k.a. the fish tank (in which I have tried, but failed repeatedly, to keep fish alive). It has an opening at the top, perfect for a skinny little mantis body or a gross cricket to leap through, but Curtis "securely" rigged it with aluminum foil so there's "no way" the thing could possibly escape.

Can you tell I'm skeptical?

Not only that, but last night Curtis and Colin had great fun hunting down a fat black cricket for Manty (yes, that's his name) to eat. And I, the only light sleeper in the house, had great fun listening to *chirp chirp chirp* - amplified by the prime acoustics of the fish tank - ALL. NIGHT. LONG. Listen, cricket, a word of advice ... if I were you I'd be hiding out in silence, not announcing my presence repeatedly. Just saying.

Like all other hassles parents endure just to see their kids' eyes light up, though, this one is worth it. Yeah, I may have a creepy insect living in my house on purpose, but you should have seen Colin's reaction: pure delight. He's obsessed with praying mantises and has never seen a real one in person, so he royally freaked when our neighbor brought it over for him.

(But these are the neighbors who recently brought over a homemade lasagna, loaf of French bread, a salad with chianti vinaigrette, and a ridiculously delicious peanut butter cake - and let me keep the dishes everything was in! - so I totally forgive them.) *
*Although if you're reading this, I do blame you guys for the extra 20 pounds that cake is going to add to my thighs.

So today is not only my first day alone with all three boys (which by the way isn't going too badly - unless you count the mishap with the cupful of pennies, and the fact that I've been up for 4 hours and have already changed 6 diapers) ... it's also the first day with Manty lurking living in my fish tank.

Pray for me.

Iowa Has Moxie

As you guys probably know, my life has been exciting lately. The baby, yeah, his arrival was pretty cool. (I guess we'll keep him.) But what I'm really stoked about is the special celebrity visitor I was super-privileged to host.

Everyone, meet Mona.

She's the cooler-than-me mascot of Moxie Media, she spent the summer traveling the States via the blogosphere, and she graced Iowa - and my humble abode - with her presence! Contrary to popular belief, there's a lot more to our lovely state than this ...

... but you'll have to wait until my post on TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 22ND to find out about Mona's Iowan Adventure: her date to the ballpark (with my husband!), her foray into riverboat gambling, and one very awesome event that left even Mona ... completely speechless.

In the meantime, if you'd like to learn more about the who, where, and why of Moxie Mona, check out any of the links below the "Around the Blogosphere" button I've put in the top lefthand sidebar.

Get Her, Boys!

They're conspiring against me, the three of them. Already. I just know it.

The good thing is, our older two seem to be adjusting perfectly to the new addition. Either Colin and Cameron genuinely do adore Coby (affectionately dubbed "Co-beast"), or they're good at convincing me otherwise while they secretly plot to throw him out with next Thursday's garbage.

The bad thing is, I'm almost four days postpartum. Which means my help is ever-so-slowly diminishing. My mom left today, and Curtis has to go back to work this weekend ... which will leave me alone with the boys, all three million of them, BY MYSELF.

I'm not sure I can handle this, considering the bitter foretaste of it that I got this afternoon. I am not at all exaggerating when I say that within half an hour of my mother's departure, it looked like a freakin' whirlwind swept through this piece. Seriously. Toys and discarded pieces of clothing all over the floor, dishes on the counter. WTF? Does this stuff auto-generate itself? Did my mom have some sort of secret cleanup-bot (think Rosie from the Jetsons) packed in her teeny little safari-printed suitcase?

Not only that, but the second Curtis stepped out of the house to take the dog to pee? OMG. The door closed behind him and suddenly all hell broke loose. Coby starts in with his squealy little cry, which could wake the dead and roughly translates into, "Drop everything and get me onto a boob now, woman!" Colin, meanwhile, is wandering (pantsless) down the stairs whining about wanting to go with Daddy, and Cameron is literally hanging from the refrigerator door wailing, "Milk milk miiiilk!"

Ah ... yeah. I'm totally prepared.

It might not be so overwhelming if I weren't dealing with soreness from practically the neck down (reminder: 9 pound 2 ounce behemoth) and boobs that are suddenly, like, the size of my head.

I think that if ever we decide to have a fourth child, it'll be when I'm rich enough to hire a medical team to fly with me to some posh resort where I can give birth and recover for a few days weeks in a tranquil setting where people wait on me hand and foot.

Hmm. Looks like we're only having three then.

Officially Un-Pregnant!

Well everyone, we did it. And by "we" I mean "I." And by "it" I mean "squeezed a gargantuan baby through a considerably smaller opening." Curtis helped too, of course - by contributing his DNA and encouraging me as I pushed.

(Whoa, in what universe is THAT fair - seriously?)

Regardless of who did most of the work (*cough*ME*cough*), the end result was worth the effort: our beautiful new son, Coby James, weighing in at 9 pounds, 2 ouches - I mean, ounces - and 21.5 inches long.

I joke about Curtis, but he really is a good labor coach. And it's a good thing, because it got a little scary for a few minutes. In the middle of getting my epidural, my water broke. When I laid down I felt a huge gush, which I thought was normal - until everyone in the room got eerily quiet and the medical personnel started exchanging those furtive "don't say anything" glances. After a couple agonizing minutes of being completely clueless, I was finally allowed to know that a huge piece of my placenta had come out - which could have meant trouble for Coby. Our nurse mentioned the possibility of an emergency C-section, even going so far as to say that if the baby were in jeopardy, they'd put me completely to sleep. Then the phlebotomists came in to draw a blood sample, in the event that I would need a transfusion. And in the midst of it all, I could only think about one thing - our baby - and I prayed that he would be okay.

But they attached a heart monitor to his scalp and happily reported that he didn't seem stressed whatsoever. Crisis averted, I could go back to worrying about more trivial matters:
- My hair, which was like insanely frizzy because I had been too lazy to straighten it
- My ass, which was (and okay, still is) huge and dimply and hanging out in a backless gown
- The fact that I could. Not. Stop. SHAKING!!
- The looming spectre of poop: would I or wouldn't I?

It seemed like it took forever to dilate fully, but once it was time to push, Coby was out in no time. Seriously, a catcher's mitt would have been totally appropriate - because one minute the top of his head was barely visible and the next minute he was shooting out to greet the world. And the sense of relief I felt, both physical and emotional, brought tears to my eyes.

He doesn't look much like either of his brothers, sleeps well, nurses like a champ, and has a squeaky little cry. We'll see how much things change once we leave the hospital tomorrow. For now, I know him in the context of this controlled, monitored, "when did you last feed him and how many soiled diapers has he had" environment. I can't wait to bring him home, where our life together can truly begin.

And oh yeah ... because I know you're all wondering?

I pooped.

.... And, We're OFF!

I'm a bit jittery as I type this. (I'm also sweaty and feel fatter than ever.)

But I'm also super-excited, ecstatic beyond words. Because in a few hours - hopefully sooner than later - we'll meet a little man who will change our lives forever. Our new son. Coby.

Right now I can't imagine my life with him ... but by the end of today, I won't be able to imagine my life without him.

We'll update as soon as possible. Wish us luck. :)

Pregnancy, Pitocin, & Pubes, Oh My!

So basically, folks, the topic du jour - and who am I kidding, probably the sole topic of the next two or three blogs - is the biggest thing on my brain right now: BABY. Babybabybabybabybaby. Since I can hardly think of anything else, and since my mom is on her way to my house as we speak and is just as excited as I am, I may be a little scarce for a few days. The magical induction date has been set for bright and early Monday morning, unless my uterus kicks it into gear and decides to do its thang on its own before then. Which would be nice.

But my reproductive system, you know, it's ... special. It seems normal upon examination, except for a tilted uterus, but looks can be deceiving. I mean, it took five whole years and numerous infertility treatments before it could figure out how to even get pregnant in the first place. And then once it finally caught on, it seemed to get the gestation part down pat - but the whole dilation and birth thing? Not so much. I swear, I could dig in there with a spoon and I wouldn't dilate more than a stupid centimeter. Which is why all my boys, including this one, have had to be coaxed out with inductions. (And in some cases, a pork chop.)

So anyway, at 7 o'clock Monday morning, I will be waddling comically walking into the hospital to receive a lovely Pitocin drip in order to get those contractions kickstarted. And not to beat a dead horse here, but if you're interested in frequent updates and pictures and stuff, you can follow me on Twitter. Otherwise I'll post a blog entry ASAP. Because blogging to me is like taking a dump, y'all: something that, under optimal conditions, I need to do on the daily. :)

I'll leave you with this ... lovely photo I took today at the gyno's office. (And I promise you - though I may currently resemble a '70s porn star "down South," that hair did NOT come from my nether regions.)

Happy weekend, everyone!

A New Word for "Nesting"

It's after 11 pm here and I've just finished steam-cleaning my living room carpet.

Why? Because I'm "nesting." Ugh.

For anyone who is unfamiliar with that term, it's defined by Pregnancy Weekly as "an uncontrollable urge to clean one's house brought on by a desire to prepare a nest for the new baby, to tie up loose ends of old projects and to organize your world."

In my eyes, however, it's more like "a list of chores I do because I'm expecting company for like two weeks solid and my carpet, among other things, looks like ass."

Chalk it up to late (late, late) pregnancy crankiness, but the mere sound of the word "nesting" irritates me. You wanna know why? Because when I picture a pregnant woman nesting, I picture a clean, glowing, adorably-dressed lady with an equally adorable "bump," in a spotless, well-appointed nursery, folding teeny-tiny pajamas with a dreamy smile on her face. Nesting. It's such a froofy word.

(And yes, I realize that you probably won't find "froofy" in the dictionary.)

Here's what MY version of nesting looks like: frizzy, matted-with-sweat hair. Huge awkward stomach hanging over the waistband of the only pair of pants I can still comfortably wear. The stench of B.O. (my own ... gross) and bleach and various cleaners. Lots of colorful language (okay, the F-bomb) as I scrub things, spill things, and try-but-fail to reach into crevices I've never cleaned before. Huffing and puffing like a 450-pound man trying to run a marathon. Yelling at my kids to "stay out of here, I've just cleaned!" Finding half-eaten pieces of string cheese in strange places.

There's nothing cute about any of that.

I need to invent a new word for "nesting."

Dancin' Fool

Now that I'm in the agonizingly slow/painful/drawn-out last few days of my pregnancy, I'm starting to fantasize about everything I'll be able to resume doing once the baby comes. Even stuff I don't normally do. Like ... I'm really not a big drinker - I indulge a couple times a year, at best - but I can't wait to suck down a few martinis. Or maybe a bottle or two of Moscato.


And dancing. I love it - but do you know how long it's been since I've gotten down on a dance floor? Over a year. Like ... way over a year. Long enough that if I thought about it too hard, I might actually cry.
Anyway, I can't wait to get out there and shake my (jiggly, cellulite-ridden) thang. Although I've gotta admit, I'm a little worried about it. There was a time when I was considered a good dancer. But that was, like, five or six years ago - pre-children, natch - when I did it regularly and was up on the current moves and music. Now I'm all out of the loop, and I'm freaked that I'll totally make a fool of myself, trying to bust out some early-2000s move that just doesn't work in 2009. And everybody will look at me and nudge their friends, snickering, like, "Ohmigod. Is she seeeerious?"

Yeah. I don't want to be that girl.

I've noticed that there's a point when some people stop progressing as far as dance moves are concerned. They just ... freeze. It's like they figure the last move they mastered is good enough, even if they learned it a bajillion years ago. My mom is a prime example - she still dances like she's at some sort of weird sock hop. (Sorry, Mom.) It involves waggling hips and pointing fingers. (In her defense, she did learn to do the Macarena ... oh wait, I guess that's not much better.)

So I'm hoping that when I do finally edge my way onto the dance floor, I won't be squarely putting myself in a prime "OMG-look-that-chick-thinks-she-can-dance" position. I mean, if I dance like an out-of-touch white girl, I might as well print up a T-shirt that screams "MAKE FUN OF ME!" I'd better make sure, before I ever head out for a night on the town (if I even remember what that is any more!) that I've brushed up on my best moves.

The "Cabbage Patch" and "Roger Rabbit" are still cool, right?

.... Right? ;)

DON'T Follow Me on Twitter!

Everybody's on Twitter these days. Even me, and I'm always lagging when it comes to technology. (I didn't get a cell phone until like 2007, and I was seriously the last person I knew without one. Except for, like, my grandma).

Twitter is pretty cool because you can share snippets of your life in 140-character-or-less "tweets." Some of my most recent tweets:

- Can anybody else eat a pint of ice cream in one sitting? ... No? ... Just me then? ... *runs away*

- My 4-year-old actually requests wedgies. What is WRONG with this child?

- Crap. Forgot it was trash day.

- One hour until bedtime, one hour until bedtime, one hour until bedtime...

Yep, most some are silly and mundane, but it's actually pretty cool to see the inner workings of some people's minds and the little details of their lives. When you care about those people's minds and lives enough to keep track, that is.

Like any other social networking tool, though, there's a definite downside to Twitter. And for me, that's the spam followers: people who follow you - i.e., subscribe to your tweets - just because they want to invite you to "Click here for my XXX site!" or "See how I make $10,000 a week on Twitter!" or other similar crap.

Note to spam followers: I don't want to see "exclusive video" of Britney Spears going down on some skeezy backup dancer. Nor do I have the desire to look at anything on Paris Hilton that's further south than, like, the top of her head. I'm not stupid enough to believe I can make $10 grand a week on anything, let alone freakin' Twitter. And unless you're Johnny Depp, I'm not into viewing your naked cam, thanks.

(But if you indeed are Johnny Depp with a naked webcam, sign me up!)

I'm into quality, not quantity, people. Sure, I adore new followers - I admit, it was awesome to cross that 100-follower threshold (shut up, all you people with thousands of followers. I'm new at this). But it's even MORE awesome to know that you have that many legitimate followers: people who want to follow you because they want to know more about your life. Not because they want to rope you into their Internet sleaziness.

And one more thing, while I'm on my Twitter-griping-soapbox? Get a life, people who actually care whether someone reciprocally follows them. Puh-lease. Just yesterday I un-followed someone who actually had the gall to tweet something like: "I just found out so-and-so isn't following me - and we've even talked on the phone!" What was worse, she put a link to this person's profile, calling her out publicly so all the other followers could see. Baaaaad form, chick. Way to be adolescent about it.

So anyway: if you care to know the oh-so-fascinating details of my life ("Breakfast time. What would Jesus eat? A PB&J. Absolutely") and be kept posted with up-to-the-minute tweets while I'm in labor (if I ever go into labor, that is) then you should definitely follow me on Twitter.

But if you just want me to look at you naked, well ... you'd better be Johnny Depp.


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