You Must Be "Exhausted"

Photo here

So I've just heard about the umpteenth celebrity being hospitalized (and/or institutionalized) for "exhaustion."


I know celebs don't exactly have it easy, being in the public eye and whatnot. I mean, it does have to be somewhat crappy making sure you look good all the time, lest someone write that you look fat/drunk/old.

Side note: have you ever noticed that when someone calls a celebrity fat they're all, "Kiss my fat ass!" (ahem, Tyra) and lash back at the media for being so superficial and do interviews like, "I'm comfortable with my body," but the next thing you know they've done some miracle diet and dropped all these pounds "to be healthier?" Yeah. Christina Aguilera will be next: mark my words.


I have some difficulty mustering up any real sympathy for these people. I mean, seriously? They're exhausted from what, exactly - too many nights clubbing it up in the VIP section? Too many late dinners at fancy restaurants with friends? Too many awards shows, lugging around all those heavy swag bags? Too much shopping, or possibly jet lag from all those grueling private (or at least first-class) flights? I know ... it must be tiring trying to decide which car to drive today. Or attempting to remember whether the spa appointment is at two or four.

I'm not saying their lives are all peaches and cream but c'mon. Exhaustion?? They have nannies. They have maids. Hell, they have the financial resources to hire someone to do practically everything for them if they're so tired. Too "exhausted" to wipe your own butt? There's an employee for that.

It's not like they worked a double shift, or haven't have a day off in three months, or have to keep a second (or a third!) job to make ends meet. It's not like they just got home at the end of a long, craptastic day and still have to make dinner, supervise homework, bath, bedtime, and laundry, and takeout just isn't in the budget this week. It's not like they lay awake on scratchy Kmart sheets, irritated because their rough un-pedicured heels are snagging, worrying about what bills can be put off so others can be paid. Or that their kid's struggling in public school and would do so much better in a smaller class but damn, I can't afford private school. No, they don't have to worry about any of that at all, let alone deal with it for an extended amount of time. Months. Years. And, y'all? I'm just talking about the brand of exhaustion that we experience here in the comfy, cushy United States of Suburbia. I'm not even touching the exhaustion that undoubtedly comes from walking for miles just to get water, or living life as a refugee.

So, like, how exhausted can these pampered celebs possibly be? I know "exhaustion" is usually a euphemism for "anorexia" or "drug abuse" or "something else that would tarnish the rep" ... but calling it that is an affront to those people who truly are exhausted. That's like staying in a hotel and calling it homeless. You wanna see homeless? Go sleep in an alleyway somewhere.

I guess they're entitled to a crappy run of luck, and to deal with it in whatever way their resources allow. But to label it exhaustion? I call B.S.! At least own up to whatever it is that's making you so "exhausted!"


It's a ... Gender Reveal!

So ... I didn't get pregnant with this baby just for blog fodder, I promise.


If I ever thought life with my three little dudes was hectic and messy?

Just imagine how much I'll have to blog about when we add a fourth dude to the mix.

That's right: it's boy number FOUR! Everyone, meet Corbin Daniel. He's quite the hoss (already weighs a pound!) and will be plowing his merry way through my nether regions the first week of June.

And you know what? I'm totally, completely, unbearably excited. But I'm glad I have a few more months to prepare for the total overload of XY chromosomes in my house.

Oh boy!!!!

Keep on Frumpin'



You know how you get used to something and like it and then someone comes along out of the blue and changes it up and you're all grumpy, like "WTF??!" That's how I am today. I'm sending out a big "WTF" to the Google-verse.

Why's that? Because I hear Google Friend Connect - the method by which I subscribe to the majority of the blogs I read, and the method by which at least half of you subscribe to the Frump - is circling the drain. Soon, it'll be just a memory. And I'm freaking out a little bit.

I'm a creature of habit, y'all. When I come across a blog I like, I automatically "follow" it with Google Friend Connect. If it doesn't have that as an option, I usually don't follow at all because I like the ease and simplicity of following with Friend Connect: you just click, and then you're notified of new posts when you go to Blogger. Done and done.

But now, NOW, I've got to figure out how to read all these blogs that I like - and there are like a hundred of them - in another way. And I've also got to figure out how to get you guys to keep on top of my posts. Which sucks because I even though I do all this stuff for my blog - set up email subscription service, maintain a Facebook page, etc. - I do it in a burst of inspiration and then forget how I did it, my brain "helpfully" replacing the technical knowledge with stupid factoids such as how long Kim Kardashian was married to Kris Humphries (72 days. Ugh). So when I have to tweak my blog settings, I'm like, glazed and drooling and "Duhhhhh" and have to look everything up and whatnot.

But. Since I don't wanna lose any of you, and because I know you're dying to a.) hear about baby #4 (whose gender, by the way, will hopefully be revealed here this Friday), and b.) you love a good poop story, I've compiled a couple of different ways you can follow me now that Google Friend Connect is going to be obsolete. (Again: WTF, Google?!) 

#1: Subscribe to my feed. I have no idea what this is, really, only that I once messed it up and nobody could get my stuff for a hot second. Oops. But if you're brave, try it out by clicking this little button:

 Subscribe in a reader

#2: Get Fighting off Frumpy in your inbox. I think this works. I hope so. If it does, you'll get new posts right in your email. If not, let me know and I'll bang my head against my desk in despair figure out a way to fix it.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

#3: Follow me with NetworkedBlogs. It's like Google Friend Connect, only different. Sort of. Try it out! (PS - I can't figure out how to put the widget in this post, so just go to the lefthand sidebar over there and click.)

#4: "Like" me on Facebook. I know this works (because I "liked" myself, duh), so if you click below, you'll be notified of new posts whenever you obsessively check your Facebook page.

#5: Follow me on Twitter. Don't miss out on my posts OR the occasional 140-character blurb of wittiness ... just click the birdie!

#6: Pin Fighting off Frumpy on Pinterest. ... Which I promise, I will figure out someday soon. Until then, let everyone know they too should keep up with the awesomeness.

Pin This Shiz

Okay. So that makes me feel a little better. Now it's off to make sure I don't lose track of any of my faves. Damn you Google ......

Your Fashion is Clashin'

I've never been "into" fashion. That's not to say I'm unfashionable, exactly - it's not like I'm sporting a Spongebob t-shirt and plaid polyester pants or something - but let's put it this way: more often than not, it's me saying, "Oh, I love that outfit!" instead of it being the other way around.

It's just ... jeans are easy. And go with almost everything. And accessories are confusing.

Like, I don't follow any fashion blogs. That'd be like me following a blog about auto mechanics or sports: two things I don't exactly get, and don't exactly care that I don't get them. But occasionally, a couple of the bloggers I read sashay into fashion-blog territory. They'll post pictures of themselves wearing an outfit and say, like, where each piece came from. And each time I see this type of post, I can't help but wonder if I'm missing some sort of crucial "fashion gene."

I trust that these outfits are actually stylish, because Lord knows these women have more fashion sense in their pinkie fingers than I do in my entire body. And they always do look cute, in a put-together sort of way. But I never quite "get it." If I did some of the things they do, fashion-wise, I'd just end up looking funny. I don't understand how some women can combine, say, some furry boots and a zebra-print scarf and some shiny leggings and a crazy hat and be considered fashion-forward ... because when I try to combine items to make a stylish outfit, I just end up looking like a bag lady who threw on everything she owned to avoid having to carry it. What is the difference between these chicks and myself? Why is it okay to mix this pattern and this pattern, but ohmygawd no you did not just mix that pattern and that pattern?

My favorite magazine is Marie Claire - and while I obviously don't subscribe for the fashion tips, that's naturally a part of any women's mag. And there's a perfect example of what I'm talking about in this month's issue. In the "Luxe Looks for Less" article (page 66 if y'all are reading along), dead-center of the page, there's the following outfit:

-A hot-pink-and-black-striped shirt
-A pair of bright green, like GRASS green, pants
-An orange belt
-A pair of black heels with bright green toes
-A ... tan purse. With dark-brown tassel-y things

Okay, seriously? Call me completely inept but HOW ON EARTH DOES ANY OF THAT CRAP GO TOGETHER? Except for, like, the green jeans and the green toes of the shoes. Otherwise it just looks clashy to me. I'd say it was the bright colors that unify the outfit, except the demure tan purse blows that theory out of the water. And I know if I went into the store, and tried to pull together a similarly random outfit, that I would look like utter poo and people would be all, "WTF? Did she get dressed in the dark?" Yet here is this outfit, gracing the pages of a fashionable magazine, billed as a "luxe look" that I should run out and buy right now in order to be cute. How do you put together these seemingly unrelated pieces and make a "look" out of it ... and why does the "look" still not look all that fashionable to me?

What am I doing wrong here?! What am I not catching onto?! Sometimes it makes me feel like I should just turn in my girl card and start growing out my armpit hair (oh wait, I'm already doing that) and burping and scratching myself in public. I'm a frustrating mix of androgyny: not-quite-girl and not-exactly-dude.

But whatever I am, if you see me wearing an outfit that's considered "cute" or "trendy," and it's fashionably accessorized, that's because I saw it on a mannequin somewhere. Trust. Because until someone slaps me upside my head with some fashion sense? I don't think I've ever going to get it.

The Most Un-Motivational Post Ever

I hardly ever publish a blog post on a Sunday. Why? Because posting on a Sunday is the equivalent of, like, throwing a ball into the Grand Canyon and expecting someone to catch it. Or placing a call from a disconnected phone. Or moving into a ghost town and expecting some neighbors to drop by with a casserole.

I don't know what you people do on Sundays, but whatever it is, I'm jealous of your full and active lifestyles. Are you at church functions all day? Shopping? Hosting or attending lavish get-togethers? You're obviously out doing something fun, because I feel like I'm the only one in the blogosphere.

I wish I were in bed still, but y'all know that isn't gonna fly. So here I am. I'm probably the only one slumped in front of her computer, braless and wearing mismatched pajamas, ponytail-ed and glasses-ed and un-made-up, trying to pretend my kids aren't keeping themselves busy trashing the house with their various "games" which may or may not be helped along by the fact that I allowed them to eat cake for breakfast. What?? It has a can of mandarin oranges and a can of crushed pineapple in it, and sliced bananas on top, so that totally qualifies as a healthy meal.*

*If you don't count the butter, powdered sugar and whipped cream. But there are eggs in it too so, hey, protein!

Sometimes I like a day off, damn it.

Only it's never really a day off because it's not like the kids will stop needing things, and the laundry won't miraculously stop multiplying and start doing itself. And no matter how hard I try NOT to see it, I can't help but notice that my boys are like leaving trails. Of paper. And crayons. And toys. And books. And crumbs. And ... that. OMG, what is that???

What I should be doing is using this "downtime" to clean my house and get it all nice and fresh for the upcoming week. And the stuff I don't have time to do during the week, like painting my nails and shaving my legs and filing the hard edges off my feet. And probably conducting some sort of vocabulary lesson, since yesterday, in response to an inquiry of "How are you?" Cameron answered with, "I'm testically strong."


But I'm here. On the blog. Probably talking to myself.

At least I don't have to worry about my breath that way ...

Balls Make it Better

Typically I'm a good cook. A really good cook. (I mean, just look at my thighs. That'll convince you.)

But I have this thing about trying new recipes, especially when I'm baking. I'm always on the lookout for the next amazing dessert. I should have learned my lesson by now because as y'all know if you've been reading for a while, I tend to end up with "amazing" desserts that either come out completely wrong or  look amazingly like fecal matter. Do I have a good, foolproof chocolate cake recipe, for example? ... Yes. Yes I do. But yesterday I just had to try a new one. It sounded really good.

Except I halved the recipe.

Lesson one: never eff with the proportions of a new recipe.

And it called for coffee. Except I didn't have any coffee because, ew, coffee. So I just substituted a little bit of water and some extra cocoa powder.

Lesson two: never eff with the ingredients of a new recipe.

When I sampled the batter (like eight hundred times just to be extra-sure), it tasted delicious. Rich and chocolate-y. Just the right consistency. Or so I thought. Happily, I put them into the oven, fantasizing about the scrumptious treats I would be enjoying later.

Then I began the task of making the frosting. I love frosting, and I can't resist a good buttercream. But did I use my normal, delicious buttercream recipe that I've made a hundred times and typically don't mess up? ... No. No I did not. I felt compelled to try a new recipe. A fancy-sounding recipe. Not just any old buttercream, but Swiss meringue buttercream.

Now, I can make meringue. You just whip up a bunch of egg whites and sugar. It's not hard, I've done it before with no problems. But the thing is: meringues can be temperamental. If the bowl you're using has even the teeniest trace of greasy residue in it, or you get the tiniest bit of yolk in with your whites, you're stuck with a runny meringue that won't form those pretty peaks like it's supposed to. And I guess something like that happened yesterday, because although I beat those stupid egg whites like nobody's bidness, they never did thicken up. I wasn't sure what to do, so I put the butter in anyway and tried to complete the frosting, but it was just a big runny mess.

Oh well, I thought. I can just dip my delicious cupcakes into it instead of trying to spread it on. No big deal, right? 

But speaking of my "delicious cupcakes," I started to smell something burning halfway through the baking time. And when I peered into the oven, I saw that the cupcakes had, like, boiled over. I must have filled the cups too full. They got really big and puffed out over the edges of their cupcake papers. And then flattened to the pan and burned. At the same time, the centers were still all jiggly and undercooked.

So I left them in for a few more minutes, meanwhile rushing to open all the doors and windows and turn on the exhaust fan so the burning wouldn't set off the smoke alarm.

After a bit, I took them out. Now the centers were done, but the edges were literally cemented to the pan. I couldn't chisel that crap off. But as any chocolate lover knows, it's a sin to waste even one nibble of edible cake. So I dug out the centers and put them into a bowl.

Then I turned to my ruined frosting. What if I mixed it with the cake? In my mind were Bakerella's cake balls, which pretty much made her famous. Essentially, it's crumbled cake mixed with frosting, formed into balls, and dipped into chocolate. Except I didn't have any chocolate to dip them in. So I ended up with this:

A weird, kinda stiff, crazy conglomeration of ... dessert-ish-ness. Cakey pudding (I was a little heavy-handed with the frosting apparently.)

Nevertheless, I chilled it and rolled it into a few greasy little balls and was all, "Look, kids! Cake balls!"

And they were thrilled. Like ... awed, even. In fact, the first thing Colin said to me after rolling out of bed (at the crack of dawn) this morning was, "Can we have cake balls for breakfast?" And then later, while we were getting ready for school, he was like, "I'm going to tell all the kids in my class about your cake balls, so their moms can make them too!"

Awwww. Kids and their adorable tendency to rave about anything containing sugar no matter how messed-up it is.

So I guess it wasn't a complete failure. Although I did have to throw my pan away. I wasn't about to spend the entire afternoon chiseling petrified cupcake. I mean, did you see yesterday's post? I have better stuff to do.

Pinteresting (and giveaway winner!)

And the winner of the MyMemories Scrapbooking Software giveaway is ... Commenter #13, also known as Anonymous! So if your email address starts with "Scrapahappy," (which makes me LOL, by the way) it's your lucky day! YAAAAY! Thanks for entering, y'all - I'll have another fun giveaway soon!

PS - Even if you didn't win, don't forget that there is a SWEET coupon code at the end of the giveaway post.  USE IT.

So my sister invited me to join Pinterest.

I'm not sure if I'm ... Pinterested.

I mean, I joined. I clicked on the link and I joined. I drank that Kool-Aid. But I pretty much just made up my username and then stopped, because I was afraid to get sucked into the vortex. That's all I ever hear: Pinterest is addictive and a time-sucker and ohmygod once you get on there you simply cannot. Stop. Pinning.

It's not like I need another thing to waste my time on. I mean, I have a smartphone. With games and texting. I have the Internet in general, where I go to look up a recipe or find out what day is bulk trash pickup in my city, and end up accidentally reading about Josie Maran and how she's expecting her second baby and who is she and why does she look familiar? and oh yeaaaah it's because she used to date David Blaine and mmmmm, David Blaiiiiine and oh my gosh, is her first baby David Blaine's because mmmmm, David Blaine and no, apparently the kid is someone else's which is a shame because I would totally have a baby with David Blaine, and speaking of, didn't his mom die at a young age? and I'll ask Google and, "Google, did David Blaine's mother die?"

Helloooooo tall dark and nail-studded!


And that's not even counting Facebook, y'all. Or blog-hopping. Or the Ideabooks I spend hours putting together on Houzz.

It's a good thing my kids have that robotic nanny - I like to call her "TV."

(Just kidding. Pretty much.)

Anyway, the thing is - after I signed up for Pinterest? I kept getting these emails: "Bertha Jones is following you on Pinterest" ... "Minnie Mouse is following you on Pinterest" ... "Your sixth-grade teacher is following you on Pinterest" ... "Everybody and their dog is following you on Pinterest."

Seriously - I got, like, twenty "follower" emails. And so then I felt all weirded out. Like I was supposed to do something now, since I had all these followers, even though I'm not even sure what it's all about because I haven't taken the time to explore it.

I haven't been back since. I'm afraid I'll figure it out, and be all, "Pintereeessssst" ... and drooling and glazy-eyed and unable to complete my already-mediocre mothering tasks.

Besides, I have a lot of more important stuff to do. Like check my email and then get sidetracked by pressing matters such as news articles that lead to other news articles that lead to totally unrelated things that, while I'm reading about them, lead to Cameron sneaking into the bathroom to make a "swimming pool" in his Lego bucket.

So if you're following me on Pinterest? I hope you're not holding your breath.

Cameron is Coco-nuts

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It's snowing this morning - just like it was four years ago today, when I was making my big-assed way to  our local hospital to give birth. And that day was filled with monumental events. For starters, the epidural - the one that my labor nurse so grandly suggested that I get early - ran out mid-labor. (Nobody told me those things aren't, like, unlimited ... or that they won't give you a refill or whatever after a certain point. Hmmph!) Two, despite the fact that my exact thought while pushing was, "OMG this feels like the biggest poop ever," I did not actually poop. Which is amazing because, out of three kids now, that's the only time that hasn't happened. (What can I say? My bowels are dedicated to doing their job, y'all.)

But the most monumental event of January 17th, 2008 was the moment I first laid eyes on my second son: Cameron Scott. He had a puffy face, the arm-muscle definition of a professional wrestler (are babies supposed to look like that?), and the hairiest back I have ever seen ... but he was beautiful because he was my baby. I was now a mother of two. And Colin was a big brother. When we first introduced the two of them, Colin was in awe. He gingerly touched Cameron's tiny toes, got his fingers tangled in all the back hair (okay, not really, but he probably could've). And then he leaned down to sweetly whisper the first words he would ever say to his little brother: "Do you want some of my Skittles?"

There marked both the beginning and the end of the brotherly sharing.

For the last four years, I've watched this hairy little man-beast become more and more handsome (and less fuzzy, thank goodness), watched his mind blossom into a spectacularly random thinking machine that amuses and amazes me daily, and watched his relationships with his brothers unfold.

I've also cleaned up messes that literally made me beg for divine guidance, shaken my head at my little boy's ability to do more damage than a force of nature, dealt with eating habits that are beyond strange, and practically had to live in earplugs for a three-month period. And ohhhh, the endless nose-picking:

But boogers aside, Cameron brings a joy into our lives that makes up for any amount of appalling grossness he contributes (and trust me, that's a lot). He has an innate sweetness, a big-hearted nature that makes him irresistibly lovable. He's funny without intending to be, which makes him even more hilarious. And he's a bundle of silly, fun-loving energy.

Did I mention he's almost always naked?

As I struggle to write this post - because how can you sum someone up in so few words? - I'm reminded of a perfect example of one of the reasons I adore this little dude. The other day, the boys were looking out our bedroom window at the frozen woods in our backyard.

"What do you see?" I asked them.

"I see birds," said Colin, as the birds flitted from bare branch to bare branch.

"I see squirrels," Coby chimed in as one scampered by.

"I see coconuts!" bellowed Cameron in his big little voice.


That's Cameron for ya.

So happy 4th birthday, buddy. Let's think about getting that finger out of that nose this year, hmm? And maybe wearing pants once in a while, and possibly eating fewer paper products?

But don't change too much ... because I hope you never lose the ability to see coconuts in a winter landscape.

Now let's have some cake.

Check out that look in his eye. Just like his mama for the world. :)

The Burglar Bungle

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Because my eyes fly open at the tiniest sound - be it a snuffle, snore, wheeze, vibration, or flatulence - it was no surprise when, at about 2 o'clock this morning, I woke with a start. Because I thought I heard something that alarmed me. Unlike most of the other sounds that awaken me at night, this was one I couldn't readily identify: a short series of muffled thumps coming from somewhere in the house ... maybe two or three in a row. Had I dreamed it? Eyes wide open, I froze on my pillow and stared intently into the darkness, listening.

Then I heard it again. Thump. It wasn't coming from the boys' room. Was it downstairs, maybe? Our lab, Josie, let out a little "woof" from the floor beside our bed, which was how I knew for sure it wasn't my imagination.

"Curtis," I breathed, poking him. He answered with a snore. If you've been reading me for long, you've heard me complain about not only his snoring, but about the fact that he's a totally heavy sleeper. I could literally hire a marching band to parade through our bedroom and he'd saw logs through the whole thing.

"Curtis," I hissed, a little more loudly, right in his ear. I squeezed his arm. He woke up, thank goodness (and he's lucky because the next squeeze would've been somewhere more ... ahem ... sensitive).

"What's wrong?" he mumbled sleepily.

"I heard a noise," I said as softly as I could. "... Listen."

And sure enough, after a few seconds, there it was again: thump. Thump. Soft, distant, muted, but distinct.

Curtis got out of bed and hovered at the doorway of our bedroom, peering into the nothingness of the hall. Before too long, he turned and went into our bathroom. "What are you doing?" I whispered.

Behind the half-closed door, the light flicked on. "Putting in my contacts," he whispered back.

Seriously? There was an intruder in our house somewhere, preparing to rob us or worse, and he's in there fumbling with contact lenses? But he had a point: I couldn't see, either. So I rummaged through the bathroom drawer for my glasses.

When we both had our corrective eyewear in place, we resumed our not-very-sneaky sneaking up on the burglar, who was probably on his way out with half of our possessions by now.

We crept down the hallway in the dark.

"If there's somebody in the house, how come the alarm didn't go off?" Curtis said quietly.

"Shhh! I don't know! It's a burglar. They're used to disarming alarms."

"Then how come the dogs didn't bark?"

"Shhhhhhh!" I rolled my eyes and prodded him forward. "Would you just hush and look? We're not exactly being stealthy here."

We came to the kitchen, and there it was, louder: thump.

At which point my head swiveled toward the top of the refrigerator, and I saw our pesky cat Thurman perched there, illuminated by the moonlight from the kitchen window. He'd been trying to get into the cabinets above the fridge - the ones that I can't even reach without a chair. Thump, thump went the door as he tried to nudge it open with his nose and paws.

"Meow?" he asked innocently. Blink. Blink.

Why do cats have to act so crazy at night?

Mystery solved, we headed back to bed. It's a good thing it wasn't an actual intruder because, y'all? We had to pause for corrective eyewear. One of our "watchdogs" barely barked, and the other slept right through everything.

Curtis wants to buy a gun. I think I'll let him.

I Can't "C" Clearly

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I've done the childbirth thing three times. I think I'm having this guy deliver the new one.

I didn't mean to get so "cutesy" with my kids' names. The all-C thing, I mean: Colin, Cameron, Coby. In fact, that always kind of annoyed me when parents did that crap.

It's just that we really liked the name Colin, and then when our second son was born we liked the name Cameron, and we were like, "Aww, all our boys have C names like Daddy." So then when Coby came along, we could hardly deviate from the C theme. That was okay, though, because we wanted to name him in tribute to Curtis's late father (whose name was Clarence, but he always went by "Cob"). Hence another C-monikered boy.

It all just sorta happened. "C" what I mean?


Anyway, now that I'm expecting my fourth (and absolute LAST for real even if I have to perform an at-home vasectomy while Curtis sleeps which I will TOTALLY do, I mean there's got to be a decent tutorial on the Internet somewhere), there's the issue of names. If it's a girl, she's covered; we've had the name Carly picked out since like 1998. But if it's a boy, well ... we might just end up calling him, "Hey you, #4." Because I cannot find a single other boy's name starting with a C that I like.

No offense if you have a Colton, a Caleb, a Chase, a Carter, etc. ... those names are all fine. But since Colin has been in school, it's clear to me just how popular some of those are. And as much as I have always disliked my own name, I've at least been able to appreciate the fact that I'm typically the only Rita in the crowd. We've already run across more Camerons than I thought we would, and the occasional Collin-with-two-Ls, but so far no other Cobys.

Plus, none of the boys' C-names speak to me. You know how you pick the right name, and you just know that this is your baby's name? Yeah. Not happening. And yes, I realize that Carl is the logical choice   since it's like the male version of Carly (which is our chosen girl's name in case you're skimming and missed that snippet), but I don't like it. I have no idea why.

Yesterday I was browsing an extensive list of names, and after deciding I was not gonna name my kid Cato or Cephus or Celerino or Chill, I lingered upon one name that kinda-sorta stuck out to me: Calix. I mean, it was okay - probably the best contender so far. But when I ran it by Curtis, he was all, "No way. It sounds like cow-lick." So that was the end of that.

Anyway, I don't know what to do. (I'm wondering how Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar have managed to come up with like 20 suitable J names, while I can't even conjure up four Cs.) I don't really want to break the trend, "C-ing" as I've got three C boys already. And I'm pretty sure this baby is a boy because I'm almost positive that Curtis and I are incapable of producing girls. (I like to theorize it's because I'm just tooooo womanly, and my body couldn't handle that much femininity all in one space. That's legit, right?)

We find out on the 26th of this month whether this is a Carly or a ... Cephus. Cecil. Cedrick. Cornwallis. Crispin.

... Ugh.

Give it a Shot


So I have a confession ...

I still haven't gotten a flu shot.

Neither have two of my three kids.

And it's, like, January now.

Curtis had his flu shot at work. Colin had his at school. As for Cameron, Coby and myself ... it's up to me to haul us to Walgreens or CVS or somewhere else and get it over with. Our insurance will cover it. I don't even have to make an appointment. It's convenient. Quick. Easy. Right??

Except ... *whisper* I'm afraid of shots.

I know. I know. "Rita," you say, "you're [censored] years old. You've given birth. There's no reason to be afraid of an itty-bitty flu shot."

I don't even know why I'm afraid. I can give blood without batting an eye. Why, back in my infertile days, I not only had regular blood draws to check my hormone levels, but I also took a drug called Gonal-F which was injected into my abdomen. But when it comes to getting a shot in the arm? Color me chicken. Which is like ... white. And dimply. And entirely unappealing.

The thing is, since I'm pregnant, it's important for me to have one this season. And it's important for my little ones, too. But that means I have to be brave, and act like it doesn't bother me, when really all I'm gonna want to do is bolt from the chair and run without looking back. How can I be all, "It's not that bad, just be a big boy and get your shot now," when I myself want to pass out at the mere thought of a needle sinking into the tender flesh of my arm? I've had shots before, of course, but I don't even remember what they feel like. It's like childbirth: you don't completely remember how bad it hurts until you're in that situation again and you're like, "Oh, crap, my va-jay-jay is about to be annihilated."

I don't usually get nervous about lying to my kids. Like, "Santa Claus won't come to a house with toys all over the floor," and "Sugar after 6 pm will give you nightmares." I can say those things freely and without fear of being found out. But I can't tell them that shots are nothing to be afraid of, when I'm totally skeeved out, because I'm positive they would detect otherwise. I'm not sure I can stand there and watch them both get their shots, knowing full well I'm next. Eeesh. But if I go first, I have to act brave - and what if I fail and freak the eff out and then that leads to them being totally scared?

I need to just put on my big-girl panties and deal, y'know? It can't be that bad, right, just a little poke?

I hope they at least give me a cool Band-Aid.


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