you know it's gonna be a long day when...

  • you wake up at 2:22 a.m. to the sound of a cat horking up a furball on your bed.
  • your husband turns to you at 4:30 a.m. and says, "I think I forgot to turn the oven off."
  • your teenager argues with you over curfew before the sun rises.
  • your dog starts whining incessantly and when you go to see what's wrong with her you notice she has an upset tummy and your dining room rug is no longer a pretty ivory color.
  • your six-year-old can't find any socks and you know she owns a drawer full of socks.
  • you reach for the cream and it isn't there.
  • you settle for French Vanilla Coffeemate and reach for that and it also isn't there.
  • you dump your cup of coffee into the sink and boil water for tea even though you know tea just ain't gonna cut it on a Monday morning.
  • you realize you forgot to turn the crockpot on and the Irish oatmeal is grossly undercooked.
  • you go into the bathroom to pee and discover the laundry has miraculously given birth to socks and Princess undies and they will not be ignored.
  • the phone rings at 7:02 a.m. and it's your mother reminding you that you promised to send her a check to pay for the new puppy's rabies shot.
  • you drop a 28-ounce can of ground, peeled tomatos on your foot when reaching for a teabag.
  • you manage to stifle the bad word when you hurt your foot but not when you realize you're out of tea bags.
  • you slip on a patch of ice and fall down in your driveway while attempting to pick up the newspaper.
  • your six-year-old almost misses the school bus because she still hasn't found a pair of socks to her liking even though you've thrown six-dozen pairs in her direction.

I'm going back to bed.


doggie love

This morning while I was sitting in a pediatric immunologist's office with the youngest Lemon, I struck up a conversation with the mother of the little girl Lemony Child was sharing her markers with. It started out as conversations with strangers waiting next to you in a doctor's office typically do...weather (it's cold out there!), traffic (not too bad this morning!), coffee (thank goodness there's a Starbucks downstairs!)...with meaningless filler.

I was only half paying attention, but then I heard, "...and then the damned dog was in the air, I tell you, ears flapping, tail wagging, streams of toilet paper flying behind her. Like I had time for that this morning."

"Let me guess," I said. "Boxer?"

She looked startled, but then she laughed, and suddenly we had something in common other than a child waiting for an appointment with the esteemed Dr. H, Immunologist. It was just the ice-breaker we needed to start talking...about our lives outside of the Big, Scary, World of Pediatric Immunology, our families, our fears for our sick daughters. But not before we talked about our dogs.

I'd always thought of myself as a cat person, and I do like cats, but when I inherited a Golden Retriever named Max, I realized I love dogs, and I've had one ever since...except for the three-year period between Lemony Child's birth and Lemony Mutt coming to live with us.

Why the three-year break? Let me tell you about Maggie.

She? Was CRAZY. And I don't mean that funny haha isn't that dog silly? crazy. I mean she was certifiable. Bonkers. Nutty. GONE. Whoop! Gone. She had issues, man. Let me put it to you this way: the book Marley & Me was written about Maggie.

(side note...if you love a dog, or if you just love dogs, I highly recommend this book. it's sweet, funny, sad, and just plain well-written)

Okay, so Maggie was a girl and a Golden Retriever and Marley was a boy and a Labrador Retriever, but I swear to you they are the same dog.

Marley had separation anxiety actue enough to make him eat through walls whenever he was left alone. So did Maggie. When Marley's family decided to try a crate in order to save their drywall, Marley decided to chew through steel. So did Maggie. Marley wigged out at the slightest hint of a thunderstorm in the area. So did Maggie. See? Told you. Same dog.

When the Great Crate Experiment didn't work, we put her in the garage. She bloodied both her feet and her nose trying claw and chew her way through the concrete walls. We saved ourselves some money on the drywall repair, but the vet bill pretty much made that point moot.

Then there was the day I took the kids out for a few hours on a sunny day in August. There wasn't a cloud to be seen when we walked into the mall, and not a cloud to be seen when we exited less than two hours later. Something was different, though, and when we were halfway home it hit me...THE GROUND IS WET! IT RAINED! IT RAINED ON A SUNNY DAY IN AUGUST! IT MUST HAVE BEEN A THUNDERSTORM!

From the backseat, the then-nine-year-old Lemony Teen said, "Oh, shit, Mumma. You'd better HURRY!"

I was in such a panic I couldn't even tell her shit was a bad word. Besides, she knew Maggie as well as I did. Thunder? And alone? At the same time??

Oh, shit, indeed.

When we got home there was no dog greeting us at the laundry room door. There wasn't the sound of nails clicking (okay, scratching the hell out the floor of in her hurry to get to us) across anything. No wagging tail, no excited doggie chuffing, nothing. No dog. Nope. What there was instead was a broken window, a torn screen, and a broken shrub.

The kids were hysterical and sobbing; I was too shocked at the sight of the dog-shaped hole in the window to do much more than stand with my mouth hanging open. We called the dog officer to report her missing and then we went out to look for her. Hours and hours later, we gave up and went home. By then I was crying, too, because just like Marley, Maggie was a sweet, loyal, and yes, gentle dog and we loved her.

Five minutes after we got home, there she was at the front door, sitting patiently, waiting for somebody to let her in. She was covered from head to toe in green slime courtesy of the pretty-to-look-at but no-fun-to-be-IN marsh down the hill from our house. She had burrs stuck to every inch of her face and chest and she stunk to high heaven.

I was never happier to see anything in my life.

Then there was the time a storm passed by while I was out picking Lemony Brother up from pre-school. At least that time she waited for us in the driveway.

Then there was that other time a storm passed by while I was out taking Lemony Teen to gymnastics. I came home to two police cars, lights flashing, in my driveway and a bunch of neighbors milling around in my front yard. Thinking something just horrible had happened to the boy child I'd left with a babysitter, I ran in a blind panic towards the crowd, who were very quick to point out what all the fuss was about...

My dog, hanging by the hind leg she'd gotten stuck somehow, from a second-story window.

No, I am not kidding. We made the local paper with the headline WOULD BE HOUND-INI THWARTED BY CLUMSINESS.


So when we finally had to put her down we were hesitant to get another dog. What if our new dog was crazy, too? With a newborn in the house we decided we just couldn't deal with another Whoop! gone dog. So we waited. When I decided it was time for a new puppy, Mr. Lemony thought it would be a good idea to consider another breed. A smaller breed, maybe, and one with less fur.

"Don't you think, honey?" he said. "Less fur is nice."

As if he ever groomed her or vacuumed the couch.

Less fur, okay, but small dog? No. If I want a lap-sized furry thing, I'll get a cat. So we researched "medium" sized dogs. We didn't want much, really, just a breed with a friendly and outgoing personality, even temperament, good with kids, intelligent, easy to train, eager to please, an understanding of where a dog sits on the totem pole, loyal, loving, and, most importantly, not CRAZY.

We were so enthralled with this...A well-bred Boxer is an entertaining companion, loyal protector, athletic working dog, and enthusiastic but gentle playmate. The most important characteristics of the Boxer are his alertness and self-confidence. However, he is also a playful dog, although gentle and patient with children. He is fiercely loyal, intelligent and easily disciplined; he is cautious with strangers but responds quickly to friendly invitations. These qualities make the Boxer a well-loved family guardian and pet...that we didn't really pay much attention to this...He can run, jump and frolic with the best. He fairly bubbles with cheerfulness and the joy of life.

Running and jumping? HA! More like lightning fast and spring-loaded. I swear my dog can go from zero to sixty in 2.2 seconds and leap six feet straight up without a running start. Heaven forbid she's running when she decides to jump...then it's launch into orbit time.

Fairly bubbles with cheerfulness? I have never seen a dog do what she does when she's happy...her tail wags so fast it is literally a blur and so hard the entire back half of her body swings. It's like she can levitate or something.

Joy of life? Oh, yeah...she will run and jump and leap and pant and slobber and play and NOT STOP ALL DAY. Kind of like a toddler who downs six cups of coffee in five minutes.

She's as strong as an ox on steroids. When she's running full-steam-ahead in your direction you'd better move. She won't jump on you (not anymore, anyway, DAMN that was a hard habit to break in a dog who loves to jump) but if she even brushes against you on her way by, you're going down, baby.

With all that energy, I bet you're wondering how she can possibly be good with small children. To be honest, when she was still a really young puppy, I worried about exactly that...yeah, it's cute when she's an enthusiastic 10-pound puppy, but what about when she's a 65-pound dog?

I worried for nothing.

She lets them do whatever the hell they want to her and she just sits, smiles, and licks their chins when they ask for kisses. They just love her. I just love her...which brings me back to this morning. When I was running around like a crazy person trying to get ready to get out of the house on time to get to the doctor's office, I heard this weird little woooooooooooooooof sound, so I looked...and saw...

...which made me laugh so hard I nearly choked to death on my third cup of coffee. What's not to love about a dog who can get her entire head stuck in a toy and still wait politely for her mum to get the camera, take a picture, and laugh some more before helping her get unstuck? What's not to love about a breed so goofy and so specifically BOXER that I can recognize another Boxer owner just by hearing the words and then the damned dog was in the air? What's not to love about dogs who can make two stressed-out and worried mums forget about being at the pediatric immunologist's office long enough to laugh about streaming toilet paper?

Absolutely nothing.


the ugly chair?

Well, no. But soon. Really.

No. Really.

For now, after what feels like endless nights of no sleep while sitting on the edge of the tub watching Lemony Child heave the contents of her stomach (and probably her spleen and a kidney) into the toilet, all I've got in me is a meme sent by the usually pleasant but lately demanding Accomodating Queen A (shout out!).

It's Monday and I know you're happy to be done with the weekend, but take ten minutes and tell me about your Saturday Adventures and Sunday Dalliances. Because I'm bored, okay? And because I need new music for the iPod before I throw the thing in front of the B train, tell me about your weekend in music. How about ten songs that best describe what you did how you were feeling what angst you had? You can do it! Be creative. Ask your friends to play. And make sure you really experienced some of what was coming back around because the first person who gives me Justin Timberlake is getting spanked.

Yes, this is what I got when I sat down to my e-mail with a giant cup of coffee and a banana. Potassium and caffeine. What's better for sleep deprivation? Yeah, I know, sleep, but the youngest Lemon is a demanding sick person. Almost as demanding as Queen A.

Without Further Ado, My Top Ten What I Did How I Was Feeling What My Angst Was Music List:

  • ... it's not the time to breakdown, keep it together now... definitely words to repeat over and over while sitting on the edge of the bathtub...Breakdown, Daughtry

  • ... just once in my life i think it'd be nice just to lose control just once... responsibility weighs heavy sometimes, don't it?... Lose Control, Evanescence

  • ... i can't see your star, the mechanical lights of this world frightened it away and i'm alone now... I miss him some times more than others. This was one of those weekends, thank you, ugly chair... Your Star, Evanescence

  • ...when you trust your television what you get is what you got, because they own the information they can bend it all they want... sometimes I'm cynical... Waiting on the World to Change, John Mayer

  • ...sunday is gloomy, my hours are slumberless... yep, that about it sums it up... Gloomy Sunday, Sarah McLachlan

  • ...i can't hold on to me, wonder what's wrong with me, can't break free until i let it go, let me go... wow I'm angsty this week. sheesh... Lithium, Evanescence

  • ...no sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this... except it was fabric softener... Desert Rose, Sting

  • ...and the best thing you've ever done for me is to help me take my life less seriously, it's only life, after all... thanks for that lesson, darlin', and thanks for sending it to me again just when I needed it... Closer to Fine, Indigo Girls

  • ...children waiting for the day they feel good, happy birthday, happy birthday, when they feel the way that every child should... watching the youngest Lemon's immune system battle against her tiny body is the hardest thing I do... Mad World, Michael Andrews

  • ...i'm bringing sexy back, them mother'fuckers don't know how to act... because, really, what's sexier than a disheveled me in flannel monkey pants?... Sexyback, Justin Timberlake

I wasn't supposed to mention JT, was I? Ooooops. *bats lashes*

Now since The Accomodating Queen A (shout out!) wants to reload that flashy red iPod, I'm tagging:

And? Soon? The ugly chair. Yes. Really.


shamelessly stolen yearly meme

The ugly chair post is languishing...not because I can't write it (although I really have no business writing these days...it's laughable) but because I cannot.keep.UP. with the chaos that is my family these days.

It's almost finished, though. I know you're all just frothing in anticipation. (hee!)

So, instead, I stole this meme from Ms. CCL, who claims she's all stocked up on crazy, and maybe she is, but you should still check her out...she's kinda cool and exactly my kind of crazy. You can steal it, too, if you want. All you have to do is post the first line of the first post of each month. So easy a slacker like me can do it!

And now, the year in review with an added comment or two. Or ten. Maybe even twelve.

January - Happy New Year, everybody!
- not exactly original, eh? I plead drunken drive-by posting. Ahem.

February - Sick.
- lalalalalala i've never heard of rotavirus lalalalala let's forget February, okay?

March - I mean, really.
- i mean, what was i thinking?

April - Lemony Child is enrolled in a lovely little preschool called Lemony Child's Preschool.
- merry lynnie and lemony child are now in the same kindy class. merry mum has avoided me like the plague since seeing me at open house. woot!

May - "I thought that booze tasted a bit more boozey than the booze I'm used to boozing it up with."
- the internet is a whacky place sometimes, no?

June - You know, when you wash your favorite pair of khaki-type cargo-ish cropped-leg pants, you know the ones, they're your favorite pants because they make you feel not-so-fat, and you pull them out of the dryer, put them on, and top them with your very favorite black v-neck tee-shirt and some cute jewelry, maybe an anklet or something that looks great with those rad, black, flatter than flat leather thong sandals you found at Old Navy, and you go through all this trouble to look presentable because you have to go out but before you go out you need a cup of your favorite iced coffee from the cafe down the street because only they have the butterscotch sundae flavor you like so much so you stop and get a large and head back to your car where you make use of the handy-dandy cup holder in the Happy Bus you drive so you don't have to hold the cup while you're steering, and you're feeling really cute because your hair obeyed you and your make-up isn't smudged yet so you turn up the volume of the stereo as you're turning onto Main Street because you're in such a good mood...and when you turn the giant cup of coffee that's too big for the handy-dandy cup holder tips over and spills 32 ounces of Butterscotch Sundae, regular, no sugar onto your lap and soaks through your pants so they have a stain the size of Idaho on your right leg and ass cheek?
- oy what a day that was and longest run-on sentence evah. doh.

July - Funny how time goes away when there are three Lemonettes clamoring for attention all.day.long.
- ah, summer vacation...how i miss thee...NOT.

August - Frickin' piece of crappola Compaq Presario Notebook. Eighteen months old and on it's fourth death.
- the Dell is still going strong, by the way.

September - "Will you miss me, Mumma?"
- Kindergarten...and yes, I miss her, although the quiet during the day is no longer weird.

October - I haven't exactly been in a blogging place lately.
- still? erg.

November - She's stubborn.
- "like her mum," said mr. lemony when he read this one...i think he meant it as a compliment. ahem.

December - More like...Twelve in-laws fighting
- and i have the bruises to prove it.

There it is...2006 wrapped up in 12 (or a few more) sentences. I need to get out more.

Tomorrow! The ugly chair! I promise!


happy new year

I hope it's a year full of joy and amazing gifts...like a red table.

Tomorrow, the story of the ugliest chair ever upholstered.

Happy 2007, everybody.

And a gigantic thank you to the most excellet Poppy for telling me how to fix my link! She rocks.