so. books. what's good?

Since I'm not writing I figure the least I can do is read, but besides the crime novel I just checked out of the library a few days ago (and so far it's pretty good, I guess), I don't know what to read. I've read all the books in my house at least twice already...okay, not all of the books in my house...the teenagers books are ALL hers, baby...and I don't want to read them a third. Well, unless it's one of Stephen King's better works, like this, or this then I can probably be convinced.

I really like Stephen King. In fact, he's a favorite and I haven't read anything by him in a while, so I'm open to suggestions. But, please, don't try to get me to read The Tommyknockers. I really, really, really didn't like that book. It kinda sucked. Okay, not kinda. It SUCKED. I didn't even finish it...I gave up about halfway through when the dog (was it a bassett hound?) was floating in green stuff. I vaguely recall shouting in annoyance as I threw it across the living room. That's how much I hated it.

You gotta wonder what goes on in that man's brain sometimes, no?

So. What's everybody reading these days? Anything good? Will you share with me? Please? I need an excuse to make Mr. Lemony wrap the stuff I bought at L.L. Bean today, and he won't argue with me if I have my nose in a book. Kind of like I won't argue with him if he has his nose...his nose...okay, that analogy isn't going to work. Kind of like I won't argue with him if he has his ears glued to his Xbox headphone thingy while he's chainsawing his friends in a rousing game of Call of Duty 4. Or Gears of War 3. Whatever.

So. Books? Please? And thank you.


like sister like brother

Between living with a teenager and managing Lemony Child's medical crap, Lemony Brother seems to always be flying under the radar. Oh, he gets into trouble, and cops a typically tween-ish attitude with me and his father daily, but mostly, he's just...normal. No teenager outbursts of insanity. No immunologist and gastroenterolgist appointments to keep up with. He doesn't have the larger-than-life personality of his little sister and he isn't likely to confront Muffy with tales of blow jobs and Count Chocula.

He just does his thing, you know? Hangs with his little neighborhood buddies and plays Guitar Hero. He's a mellow, easy-going, go-with-the-flow kind of kid.

Mellow and easy-going and laid-back is why you don't hear much about him here.

As I was getting dinner started this afternoon (we're having chili on this dreary, rainy, raw evening), he asked me if his friend could come over for an hour to play Guitar Hero. Being the agreeable mother that I am I said, "Sure, dude."

"His mother will want to come in and meet you..."

"That's fine. I'm just cooking dinner."

Normal, right???

Not in this house.

When the 12-year-old friend and his mother showed up, I asked Lemony Brother to let them in because I was literally up to my forearms in canned tomatoes thanks to Lemony mutt charging by at full-speed and bumping into me just as I was about to put the tomatoes in the pot.

I said hi to Lemony Brother's friend and apologized to his mother for being covered in tomatoes...if she could just give me one minute to rinse off...

This would be where I noticed the woman's eyes were looking over my shoulder to where an open bottle of Sam Adams Boston Ale was sitting on the counter. Her eyes widened just a little, and I knew what she was thinking: Oh, my GOD, the woman is DRINKING at three o'clock in the afternoon and she expects me to leave my CHILD HERE????

I was just about to explain to her that Sam Adams Boston Ale is my second very most favorite beer behind Sam Adams Summer Ale and yes, I do enjoy imbibing every once in a while after the kids are in bed or at a family barbeque on a Sunday in August, but that on this day, at this very moment, it is nothing more than a key ingredient for the chili when Lemony Brother opened his mouth and said:

"I used to worry about her and the beer, but my dad says it's fine because it makes her happier. Unless she crashes the car or forgets to pick one of us up from school, we don't mind that she's drunk."

He's more like his little sister than I thought. Or is that the other way around?

*apparently the child thinks he's a comedian and thought his friend's mother would get that he was just kidding. oy.



in seven years,
she has given me:
cracked, bloody nipples
sleepless nights
endless worry
terrific frights
and the unwanted title -
"Mother of a Medically Complex Child"
but, also:
her first smile
her first giggle
countless drunken, happy, drippy breastmilky grins
an understanding of what bravery truly is
"oh my garlic and muffins"
good-night kisses
and the most definitely wanted title -
Happy seventh birthday to my medically-complex, challenging, spirited, funny, brave, amazing girl. I only hope I can give her as much as she has given me.


got pie?

While walking home from the bus stop yesterday morning with my neighbors D and M, the subject of pie came up.

Of all things, eh?

D mentioned she had to make 3 pies...apple, pumpkin, pecan, of course... M mentioned SHE needed to make 3 pies...apple, pumpkin, and something as yet undetermined but potentially some kind of cream pie, you know...and I mentioned that I had to make a lone pie.

Apple, in case you were wondering.

So, D, who is always thinking when she shouldn't, said, "Too bad we're not doing a pie swap...it'd be easier to make 3 of the same kind of pie and then swap 'em."

Me, I got nervous, but M? Oh, no, she wasn't nervous at all. In fact, her eyes went VERY BIG and she literally shouted, "YES!!!!!!!! YES!!!!!" while jumping up and down under the giant pine tree we're trying to get the town to remove because it's a scary-ass-dying-listing enormous tree that's going to take out at least one house and maybe even a car.

Or a kid.

Or something.


While D and M got way too excited over pie, I tried to sneak away with a mutter of "My dog needs to poo..." but they stopped me, and the next thing I knew one of them (I think it was D, the bitch) said, "Lemony! You make the CREAM PIES!"

And I, despite the commentary in my head that was going "no, no, no you freaking crazy psycho lunatic women i am not making 3 pies when i only had to make one and i'm not i'm not i'm not!", said, "Sure!"

Obviously I was short a few cups of coffee.

So here's the thing. I have never. EVER. Not one time. Made a cream pie. Well, unless throwing some instant pudding in a pre-made crust and topping it with Cool Whip counts as a cream pie. Then I *have* made a cream pie. So, YAY! me, right?


Let me introduce you to my neighbors:

M - Stay-at-home-mom who isn't above wearing her jammies to the bus stop but is showered and dressed immediately afterwards. Every curtain in her house is hand-sewn. By her. Owns a massive sewing, embroidering, quilting machine that is bigger than my kitchen table, and she actually uses it. Never orders take out. Not even pizza. Because she "enjoy cooking meals that are both tasty and full of good stuff!"

D - Stay-at-home-mom who IS above wearing her jammies to the bus stop. Showers, dresses, and has make-up on by 7:00 a.m. even on Saturday. Every curtain in her house is hand-sewn...by M. D will order take-out, but only on the nights she's too busy toting her precious beans to dance/soccer/football /music/ karate/ whatever-they're-doing-tonight. When she does cook, it's six different things because "Little D doesn't like macaroni but Favored Child N does, and the baby loves cheesy stuff but that other kid upstairs doesn't..."

Me - There isn't a single hand-sewn curtain in my house. Why would there be? I don't own a kitchen table-sized machine to sew them. Besides, I like the catalog that shows up in my mailbox. I do cook more than I order take-out, but there ain't no "Oh, okay, honey, I'll just whip up something else for you" going on here. I cook one meal, and if Lemony Teen decides she hates the Monterey Chicken and roasted taters then she'll just have to have some Cheerios. Or crackers. Whatever she decides, as long as I'm not the one preparing it, because, you see, I already cooked. Eat it or starve, baby. Them's the rules.

I like D and M. They are very sweet women and manage to be uber-Mummas without being like Muffy, which I really appreciate. Shockingly, they seem to like me, too, so it's all good. Well, except for the part where they live in some weird, whacky little world where people actually bake things. Like, from scratch and everything. Which means they're expecting a little more than instant pudding thrown into a tin-foil plate. Especially M, who crazily volunteered herself for the apple portion of the pie baking festival.

So. Tell me. HOW does one make a cream pie? It involves boiling milk and making pudding and adding shit, doesn't it?

I am so screwed.

Anybody have a good recipe for a cream pie? Chocolate? Banana? NOT coconut? Because I hate coconut, that's why, thankyouverymuch.

Ack.Oh, and ACK.

This? Is my life. Giant pine trees and pie. It's a good life, but hell if I know how I got here.

Maybe I'll move to Miami. At least there I can strap some roller blades to my feet and get myself killed by rolling into the street in front of a speeding Maserati while wearing a bikini that looks horrible on me.

Far more interesting than death by falling tree. Or pie.