Pop It Like It's Hot

If you have spent much time around these parts, you would know that I am a popcorn aficionado, a gourmand of the cob if you will. I have looked down with abject scorn at those who would sink to eating store bought, microwave packing material rather than the delightful, stovetop butter-infused goodness that is better suited to my well-honed palate. I have proudly stated many times that microwave popcorn hasn't touched my lips in over ten years, a record I have held on to staunchly, even in the face of terrible hunger with crappy vending machine popcorn only three-quarters away.

I finally caved and had microwave popcorn last night. But before you wag your finger in contempt, let me tell you, it was divine.

I found a recipe for homemade microwave popcorn. I generally don't share recipes here because a)this is not a food blog b)most of my friends and readers couldn't cook their way out of a paper bag. But alas, this is cooking with a paper bag so even the most cooking challenged among you can pull this off. This is a great one for the kids to make too, easy peasy. Oh, and it tastes good, real good and you know what's in it so less this. Tonight, I will try my hand at a variation using raw sugar to make kettle corn, I'll report back. Alton Brown, you are my hero.

Formerly Fun's Microwave Popcorn for People Who Like Popcorn and Not Packing Material courtesy of Alton Brown to whom the recipe really belongs to:


  • 1/4 cup popcorn
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil(canola or veg will do and for those of you calorie conscious, most of the oil remains on the bag not in your belly)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt or popcorn salt
  • Paper lunch bag
  • Stapler


Toss the popcorn with the olive oil & salt in the paper bag. Fold the top of the bag over and staple the bag twice to close. Place the bag in the microwave and microwave on high for 2 minutes to 3 minutes, or until there are about 5 seconds between pops.

NOTE: Popcorn salt is a super-fine salt that is designed especially for sticking to food such as popcorn. It has the taste of regular table salt, but its granules are much finer.

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He Said, She Said

He Said, She Said

Me(wistfully as I watch our two girls frolic in the tub): I wish I had a sister.
Him: I can pretend to be your sister.
Me: It's not the same.
Him: Come on, try me. Tell me something you'd tell your sister if you had one.
Me: Ok, rambling, dissecting, analyzing, feelings, blah, blah, overwhelmed, blah, blah, more feelings.
Him: (using his hands to mime pigtails on the sides of his head) Let's make out.

Do It Yourself

So we had a rare free Saturday without the kids(thank you Grandma) and I had to work until about 2pm. I was running down the husband's honey do list, making sure he knew I wanted some things done around the house.

"Don't sit around all morning lazing about, looking at porn and doing whatever it is you do when I'm gone until you get my list done, I admonished him.

"I'm not going to sit around and masturbate all day", he chided me like he does when I act like he can't get anything done without me directing him.

So I grab my lunch, leave the house and get in the car before I realize I left my cell in the house. His office window is right at the front of the house so he can see me coming back. As I open the front door, he's standing right there, with his pants down, holding our poor beagle up against him.

"We're stuck, honey, uh, can I get a hand here, I'm stuck in the dog."

I was still laughing when I got to work.

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Picture This

Photographic Evidence Found of First Gay Couple Adoption

Marvin Teslavich and Samuel McSmiley announced the adoption of their fourth child this weekend at the monthly meeting of the town elders held at the local one room schoolhouse.

Mr. Teslavich took a moment to remind everyone that "it is love that makes a family and not simply a mother and father."

The elders broke early for an impromptu surprise shower for the couple, both longtime residents of Hollow Falls.

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My Life in Slow Motion

I have been reading nonstop, so thank you for all of your recommendations. I finished Nick Hornby's Juliet Naked, have read several stories in the Stephen King short story collection, Just After Sunset and I have digested the first few chapters of The Outliers. The best part is I have a big stack from which to pick the next.

It's been an interesting week so far, it's only Thursday and I've already told an inexplicable whopping lie to a kind Mexican purveyor of produce and I took a funny pill and almost had to spend a little time in the "bad trip" tent. Is your curiosity piqued yet? I'll start with the whopping lie.

Monday morning I went by one of our local farm stands to pick up pumpkins and inquire as to whether they would be open to selling me their ugly tomatoes at a cut rate. My garden tomatoes are all used up and at 1.99/lb and up, making homemade sauce from pristine store tomatoes would be an expensive venture. My thought was the blemished or overripe tomatoes might be had for a bargain. I told the farmstand man that I'll use them for sauce, that I make a lot at a time because I have a big family. As he considered my offer, I counted family in my head to figure how many pumpkins we would need. Me, hubs, kid 1, kid 2, bebe and visiting Grandma, just as I'm tallying up, the gardener asks me, "So how many kids do you have?"

I answer without thinking, "Six."

"Six?" he asked.

Now, yes, certainly I could have explained, "no, no, no, I don't have six children, I was only half listening to you and counting pumpkins in my head and trying to decide if Grandma should get a larger pumpkin like the husband and I or if I could slide by with one of the smaller three dollar pumpkins because in truth, she has gotten a bit smaller." But just answering "yes" seemed somehow less crazy than my genuine stream of consciousness and perhaps taking pity on me and my six children/mouths to feed, he'd fork over my tomatoes.

This man was friendly, sweet even, so naturally he asked after my six kids.

"Six, wow, that is a big family here in the U.S., in Mexico, where I am from, not so big, but even me, I only have four," he said this almost apologetically. "How old are they?"

Without skipping a beat(what is wrong with me that I can lie this easily) I answer,"Oh the oldest is eleven and the baby is two, and the rest are, you know, in between."

In my head I am quickly trying to do the math: given my age, would I have to have had twins to get all six in or should I just say I'm a few years older than I am? Great, now I am lying about my age too, what is wrong with me?

"Both girls and boys?" he asked.

"Yes, three girls and three boys,"(oh how convenient and seven brides for seven brothers perhaps?)

A spotted teenage cat, not quite a kitten but not yet full grown leapt from a stack of cardboard boxes and I leaned down to offer my hand jumping at the opportunity to change the subject before he starts asking me for names, I tell him I also have two cats and a dog. It's a wonder I didn't lie about them too.

I will carry this picture in my wallet from now on in case I need proof.

Then yesterday I was getting ready for work running about trying to get out the door. Husband was calling with information I needed to write down, Grandma was asking questions about where stuff was because she was staying home with the bebe, I was trying to, you know, leave the house in something that matched without forgetting any important "foundation" garments, again.(Did she forget something important another time you ask. Yes I did.)

The wind here in my area of Southern California have been whipping around in a frenzy and my sinuses have been going crazy. It's bad to have a drippy nose at work, especially during flu season, especially with H1N1 freaking everyone out, especially when I spend my days touching people(that sounds wrong--you know what I mean). So as I'm leaving the house, I think I have got to take a Claritin or Sudafed or something to dry me up and quell the sneezing.

So I write down my husband's info, get Grandma what she needs, figure out my adult version of Garanimals, pop a Sudafed and fly out of the house. I arrive at work and just a few minutes later, I start feeling very dizzy. Perhaps it was all the flurry leaving the house I tell myself. Then the sweating and nausea start and some little piece of my brain leads me back to the bathroom where I pressed a little pill I thought was Sudafed into my hand and washed down with the last sip of my coffee.

Oh my god, that was not Sudafed, I just took my RX migraine medication, Sumatriptan(see sounds the same no?) This is the med that last time I took it, I felt drunk, slurred my words, thought I might throw up, flopped on the bed and slept for three hours.

And I am at a new job, one where there are coworkers who I am still trying to be professional around, honeymoon period and all. And here I am, I will now be known as the girl who takes pills and gets all funny(half the women in Orange County by the way so not really the stigma you would think it might be, really but so soon?) And I feel like I have to tell at least our receptionist in case I need to make a quick exit. I look at my calendar, too late to cancel my first clients so I sip a diet coke intending to counter the sedative effects and hope for the best.

Something like this is what I was afraid of.

It all turned out ok. I didn't act intoxicated, or throw up on a client, I did nothing weird except ask the receptionist too many times,"I am acting normal right?" The worst part was the headache that came at the end of accidentally taking my headache medication. Still, I did learn two important things, don't take pills in a hurry and Diet Coke fixes everything.

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Read Between the Lines

I think I know why I haven't been writing so much. Yes, I have been very busy lately with a new location, closing down the old location, kids acclimating to school, husband at tail end of huge time-sensitive project, Grandma coming to visit in a few days, Halloween, Mom and Stepdad coming to visit Thanksgiving.........................

But usually these things don't get in the way of pumping out some prose here and there.

I think my problem is I haven't read a book for months. Even my short story anthologies have gone uncracked in the bathroom. Reading fuels my writing. I need to read. Books. No more magazines scanned for some new dinner ideas, or PTA requests to sell this junk or that crap. I need to read fewer School Bulletins and more weighty, inky stinky books. I have culled a few from fellow bloggers mentions and I have perused the NYT Bestseller list only to sigh a resounding meh.

Here's my current list, already on it's way via Amazon:
Under the Dome- Stephen King

Outliers:The Story of Success

Just After Sunset(short stories)- Stephen King(I bought it bundled with his new one)
The Best American Short Stories of 2009- Alice Sebold

I need more fiction. I like Stephen King but it's been awhile. I am feeling nostalgic and figured I would give him a try again. Still, I need more fiction. I don't like "chicklit" if it's fluffy but I have happily devoured some of the Oprah list and other more female centric novels. I want you, my readers and fellow bloggers to recommend some good reads, and it doesn't have to be fiction. It can be anything, even if you aren't sure if I'll like it, I'll check it out.

Here's what I don't want:

~anything with vampires featured prominently in the storyline.

~books about shopping or shoes or purses(I like these things but I don't want to read about them) or anything that might use the non word words fashionista, shopinista, bargainista, maxxanista, barrista, sandanista, you get my drift.

~books either symbolically or literally about an Apocalypse. I read The Road and it gave me the creepies for like three days. Even seeing the previews for the new movie is fueling my stress nightmares. There are at least seven apocalyptic movies out, must be in response to war and economic depression but frankly, I'm over it. It doesn't have to be all Mary Sunshine but no more death and devastation.

~book that are overly maudlin, please don't recommend anything from Mitch Albom or Nicolas Sparks. I don't want to read about dogs dying, or dying teenagers last wishes, or a tree that's dying or a family coming together just in time for Christmas. No life lessons please, not now.

Other than that, throw some recommendations at me because I am finally coming into some time to read.

A long time ago, I read Lovely Bones(Alice Sebold), did anyone else know it's a movie coming out in December?? Looks like it could be good.

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Would I Lie to You?

I don't dabble in chain mail or chain posts or whatever they are called online or even blog awards for that matter and yet, every once in awhile I will get picked for something that is actually insightful and interesting. The Well Read Hostess(and she is and her dad wrote a book and was on The Daily Show so that makes her kind of famous and she teaches 9th graders so she should be given a bunch of humanity awards and probably a big fat raise, she has very nice toes and runs a virtual book club if you haven't heard of it.) picked me for a "Be Honest" post which either means she thinks I am a big fat liar(probably not because she is a very nice Well Read Hostess and I am a pretty honest girl) or she thinks someone who waxes vag for a living and has a super sexy husband might have a few juicy things up her sleeve.

As she related in her post, woman have a tendency to lie. We don't lie to deceive so much as to blend into our environments much like the chameleon changes color. We pretend things are easier than they are because we want to appear to have it all together. Because of course we look around and everyone else seems to be doing okay(see the viscous cycle here??) We leave out details of marital spats, calls home from school, a lackluster job review perhaps out of fear that others will make a mountain out of a mole hill. Maybe it's out of fear that others will offer to help us and we'll feel beholden or looked down upon. But it is important to share the truth, it's one of the things that attracted me to this whole blogging thing in the beginning. I found the virtual anonymity fostered in many, a more honest sharing of the highs and lows of being human in this day and age.

So in the spirit of full disclosure

1.There are very few things I won't talk about. The thing I rarely discuss, at least online, is when my husband and I argue or don't get along. I don't do it to impart an image of perfection as much as when it comes to our conflicts, I have learned a short memory serves me well. Writing about it would leave a record and I am already bad enough about keeping score, I don't need to have the evidence to go back to. The truth is, we argue. Thankfully it doesn't happen too often because he is almost perfect but it happens. One of the last arguments we had was after he let my nine year old buy something before he had saved enough allowance. "He's going to pay it off over the next few allowances," he said. "Wonderful," I replied, "you just taught my nine year old how to use a credit card." Maybe I'll write about that one because it was funny(and I was right and I am much more likely to write about the time I was right than when he was right).

2.Like Well Read Hostess, I wish I were a better mom and wife some days. I wish I didn't crave and guard my personal time so closely. I'm an extroverted introvert and I need that time alone to recharge but it makes me feel selfish.

3.I regret getting a dog. I love her, the family loves her, in time I may even like her again but she is way more work than I bargained for and every time she escapes our front door and takes off running toward the busy street, my heart lurches and I pray she doesn't get hit by a car. All that silent pleading has made me resent her, oh and she won't stop shitting in the house.

4.In spite of all my koombayas about accepting yourself and appraising your body kindly, I think I will always struggle with body image. It's probably why I have written so much about it, it helps me work through it. I intellectually understand but accepting myself on an emotional level is much more challenging.

5.Years ago a bunch of my college poker buddies were all talking about how crazy girls make the best lovers. I took great exception to that because I knew I was a girl with, shall we say, certain talents and I clearly had my shit together. Years later, turns out? Yep, I am the crazy one.

6.I'm embarrassed by how much tv I watch. I go glassy-eyed watching Top Chef and every once in awhile, I uncomfortably contemplate all the things I could have accomplished with that time.

7. I have a nice singing voice but I am uncomfortable performing. Once I start doing it, I'm ok but just beforehand I get severely nauseated and panicky. It's stupid because people always enjoy it but I, ugh, just thinking about it brings on some cold sweats . It took me a long time to even sing comfortably in front of my husband and he's seen me nekkid, in fluorescent and other exposing things. I do not, however, have any hesitation singing to my children, go figure.

8.I am really impatient with my kids. I do things efficiently and quickly and I have never quite learned how to dial it down. They are slowly wearing me down. Truthfully, the bebe will probably have it easiest.

9.When I moved out to California,I quit smoking, I lost a bunch of weight and got healthy. I ate well, I ran, I drank green tea, did yoga, took ballet classes, I was a well oiled machine, I maintained it for 8 years and I promised myself I would never be overweight again. Guess what? (While I fell off the wagon with things like bagels and real, homemade buttered popcorn, I never did start smoking again.)

10.I am outwardly, a very outgoing person but actually, I am very introverted, being chatty and getting to know people is something I do to get comfortable. I hate silences with newish people, it makes me really uncomfortable and sometimes I just talk and talk and the little inside my head voice is begging me to shut up and let someone else talk.

Ok, that's it.

I nominate because I lurvs them:

Rassles(cause I wonder what secrety secrets a wacky twentysomething has)
Blues(cause she lives in Spain and her secrets probably have a spicy, Latin tinge to them)
Ginny(cause she has a life very close to mine)
Gypsy(cause she is so nice, there has to be a little dirt there)

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Big Surprise...Another Rant

I know, I know, I'm not funny anymore, I write like I "want to win some Reader's Digest award", I'm a downer, blah, blah, blah... First of all, yes, I am currently afflicted with some kind of low-grade writer's block and it will pass eventually, just like last night's street taco dinner(I probably just need antibiotics). Second, there's a lot of stuff going on and I am up to my eyeballs in detritus that no one besides me cares about(and sometimes my husband when he gets a free thought moment that isn't clouded with techie engineer crud and paying our mortgage.) Third, fuck you, I am funny and if you waxed vag all day, you'd realize that you can't do that job and not be funny. So, if I want to rant and rave, well as Bobby Brown says(and we know that he is oh so sage and quotable)"It's my prerogative."

So here goes, FormerlyFun decree #213

People, please stop cheating on your spouses.*

Now if me saying that makes you angry, you are probably doing someone something you shouldn't. Knock it off.

Honestly, isn't this kind of like having to tell kids not to wipe their nose on their sleeve? Doesn't it really go without saying? Come on, you promised, the rules were clearly laid out, it's not like the Columbia record club and you just signed hoping for the free cd, never really thinking about the others that would come later.

Grow up. It's unfair. Unfair to your partner, your kids if you have them, your friends and family who have probably made effort and room for this person you brought into their lives. It's unfair to you. You deserve better. If you're not happy, get out, get happy. If you can't get out then turn your energy inward and as Tim Gunn says, "Work it out." Most of the unhappily married people I know can get out. It would just be much more challenging than staying put. Yes, maybe you'd be poor for a while or not have a date for the company function or be the talk of your town or have to go back to work or downgrade your lifestyle or admit you wanted better for yourself or confront your families or disappoint your kids or feel like the latest failure..... But you would be free to figure out what you want or who you are or whatever.

But FF you say, I fell in love, I really love this new one. I call bullshit because love is something you work at and cherish and protect. Love is not some woman in your office that "gets" you or some man who is unable to communicate frustration to his wife and therefore needs you to make it bearable... If you love someone that much then leave them alone you are going to ruin their life(don't care) and probably a lot of other's who didn't get to decide they wanted their families torn apart(do care). And the fun part about marriage is(with very few exceptions), you bring half the problems so they are likely going to trail just behind you right into the next relationship unless you deal with them in the current one.

The grass is rarely greener. That guy who is wooing you now is just someone else's version of your husband that seems better because you don't share the conflicts that come with combining your life with another person. And mister, that twentysomething will get older and nag you just like the one you have now except you are going to have to work even harder to keep her happy because really, she's out of your league. And someday, when you have old man boobs and you are trying to make the last wisps of your hair cover your liverspotted head, she is going to be looking at you wondering whatthe hell she did and hoping the payout is there because there had better be a payout for bedding your old ass.

*I am not addressing any of you specifically, only the current near epidemic of shenanigans I am seeing around me and yes, I said shenanigans because I have the vocabulary of an eighty-five year old woman.

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Pick Me, Pick Me

These are hand soaps, get it? Hand soaps. I ran across these looking for a photo of something else. I thought about buying some of these for my kid's bathroom. You know, tell the kids they use the hands of little boys and girls that died of infectious diseases because they didn't wash their hands properly to make soap for the good little kids who actually take time to wash their hands correctly. I resisted however, because the kids bathroom is also the guest bathroom and I was afraid guests might think we were trying to make some sort of political statement in the abortion debate.

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Revenge: A Dish Best Served With Sad Puppy Eyes

Clearly I am not in "writing" mode. Sorry to blog about blogging because it's normally verboten in my book but it is what it is. I am in the midst of trying to move the spa closer to my home and I am inches away from going to fisticuffs with my current landlord. Were it not for the lovely manicure I recently got, I would have already broken some teeth. Sorry, I am feeling a little violent right now and no doubt just need to vent.

I am a model tenant, not model like Tyra Banks, model like good and equipped with timely rent payments and low maintenance(shut up hubs, I am low maintenance with him). My lease is up at the end of October and I am trying to exit gracefully but he is being, well, a prick. He is a lazy, greedy, cheap, sleazy, dishonest slug(no offense to slugs). I am trying to conjure up the right words and visualizing him is making my skin crawl, literally, like in those horror movies where skin actually crawls.

My recent interactions with him have me contemplating all these very non-Buddhist, complicated, multi-layered revenge fantasies. This is not healthy. I've spent years squaring up my Karmic debts, the last thing I want to do is rack up more.

But be warned Burt*(that is the human name for this lizard, no offense to lizards). I don't want to go have to work in a soup kitchen for weekends in a row to right the wrongs I am considering doing to you but I will. Don't underestimate my willingness to go to the darkside to prove a point. You are wrong and I am right and if you want to check in with my husband to see if I back down when challenged, be my guest.

In lieu of genuine Karma-challenging revenge, with my landlord's phone numbers in hand, I am considering the annoying but harmless promise of excessive, interrupting cell phone calls. To that end, I have devised my faux craigslist post.

Please Adopt My Doggie -- Free Yellow Lab Pup to Good Home

Date: 2009-09-01, 7:45PM PDT
Reply to: thelizardathisworkemail

This is Maya. Cute isn't she?
We got Maya just a few weeks ago but must find her a new home because our young son is terribly allergic. Maya is 10 weeks, all Lab but with no AKC pedigree. She was purchased from a reputable local breeder, socialized with kids around and has had her first series of pup vaccinations but will need another round next month. She is sweet tempered and gentle and we are sad to have to let her go but as long as it's to a good home, we'll be happy. We are not asking any monetary compensation for her, it is hard enough to see her go we just want the right home, someone who will treat her well and make her part of the family.

If you are the right home and can provide all the love we intended to, please call #310-xxx-xxxx.

It's TOTALLY ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests or even copious ads for penis enlargement, Viagra and Canadian Pharmaceuticals and Nigerian Ponzy Schemes.


I think he'll get a few calls no?

*Pseudonym and no offense to Burt's everywhere.


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Someone's Officially a Little Woman Now, Ugh

You know, the life of a n'er do well, jet-setting Brazilian waxer is enviable and rarely dull. For instance, this week at the Maison 'd Formerlyfun:

Lucy Bagels became a woman and started her first menstrual cycle because she got into the cat food the morning she was to get spayed and I have been remiss in rescheduling her appointment. Now I have to explain to the kids why the dog's "butt" is bleeding, but really, she's fine. No, we are not going to celebrate the moment by buying her a box of pads and her own copy of Are You There God, It's Me Margaret.

In an attempt to get my son to stop biting his nails, and cuticles and probably his toenails when I am not watching, I got the No-Bite nail polish. I was worried it was a bit of a barbaric approach until everyone in the house asked to try it. It's like when someone tastes the sour milk and says to you, I think this is sour, taste it.

On a high note, I recently got to meet one of my favorite fellow bloggers, the Baroness Von Bloggenschtern. Not only did I get to meet her but her husband and two sweet(I know boys hate that word but they were, they really were) teenage sons. The Baroness was just as I would have imagined her, charming, unpretentiously eloquent, warm and funny. They were kind enough to pop over to my neck of the beach for a meet and great. There was girl talk, mom talk and to my delight, they are all huggers.

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Mama Sings the Blues

I had applied flea prevention to our three animals. I had trimmed printed pictures, written notes, stamped and addressed envelopes to send pictures of the kids to the great grandmas, both of whom are computer literate but not print literate. I had called to refill prescriptions. I had filled out the bebe's preschool paperwork, dug up her vaccination card. I had counted the cash from about twelve chacha waxes and put it in an envelope for my five year old's preschool for the month. I had deposited checks from the spa and my husband's paycheck. I had finally sent a wedding gift for a wedding I attended in June. I had put new sheets on the bed, gave my nine year old his to do list and fed the bebe her lunch.

All I wanted to do was sit for twenty minutes and eat my Greek salad in relative calm and quiet.

Though her belly should have been full, the vinegar soaked tomatoes with flecks of mint on them were too much for the bebe to ignore.

"More pillows mama, more pillows."

This is how she asked for the tomatoes out of my salad. I put a small tomato on my fork and give it to her, straight in the mouth careful not to drip on the fresh sheets since I am sitting on my bed eating my lunch looking over spa paperwork. Maybe this is why I have a hard time sleeping in my bed.

While I turn a piece of paper over to read the back side, the bebe has taken the tomato out of her mouth and examined it before wiping her hands on my just-cleaned sheets. I look right through the large watery red smear on the sheets that were pristine just seconds ago. It's my fault, I shouldn't have been in here eating.

I just wanted to eat my lunch.

I hurriedly finish what I can, the quiet lunch a pipe dream. I put the bowl on my dresser, too high for the bebe to reach and try to finish my paperwork so I can cross one more thing off the Sisyphean list that replicates itself each day.


The bowl is on the floor, not broken but the remaining vinaigrette has splashed the carpet. The cat had quietly snuck up on the dresser to lick out the small bits of leftover feta cheese spotting the bowl.

I just wanted to eat my lunch.

I don't even have the urge to cry about this small stuff anymore. Instead I put the bowl in the sink, get the resolve and wipe down the carpet. I take a deep breath and remind myself that parenthood is a package deal. You cannot have everything you want and have them too. I remind myself that when they are gone, on their own living their lives, I will eat my lunch in peace probably wishing for the noise and the small dirty hands and the clamors to share my food, my space, my body.

But today I just wanted to eat my lunch.

Lest you think I lament too much, here's the trade off for my hurried lunch and messy bed.
Bebe Sings the Blues

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I've Saved You a Stool, Come Shit Right Over Here

What a wonderful and informative world we live in.

It's Friday and I am at the spa. Having been stood up be my 10 o'clock client and my next client scheduled at 2:30, I gorged on $25 worth of Thai food(they won't deliver just one thing and I am too lazy to give up my primo parking spot) and proceeded to surf the web.

At the risk of oversharing, my colon has recently instituted a work slowdown. Maybe it's in protest to the deep fried twinkie I ate earlier in the week at the Orange County Fair but things are not right. I even programmed my Ipod for a little inspiration.

The Constipation Compilation
Stuck in the Middle With You- Beatles
Patience- Guns 'N Roses

One More Cup of Coffee- Bob Dylan

Drop It Like It's Hot- Snoop Dog
Free Falling- Tom Petty

Push It- Salt 'N Pepa

Anticipation- Carly Simon

Break My Body- Pixies

The Hardest Button to Button- The White Stripes

I'm Not Gonna Cry- Sharon Jones/Dap Kings

Stay Just a Little Bit Longer- The Zodiacs
After the Rain Has Fallen- Sting
More Than a Feeling- Sleater-Kinney
Dig Me Out- Sleater-Kinney

Wanna Be Starting Something- Michael Jackson
Waiting on a Friend- Rolling Stones
I'm Sticking With You- The Velvet Underground
Ready to Go- Republica
Are You Alright- Lucinda Williams
At the Bottom of Everything- Bright Eyes

Something in the Way She Moves- James Taylor
Peekaboo- Siouxsie & the Banshees
Hanging on Too Long- Duffy
I Say a Little Prayer- Dionne Warwick

Move You- Anya Marina
Should I Stay or Should I Go- the Clash

Today's the Day- Aimee Mann
Hallelujah- Rufus Wainwright

Take Me to the River- Talking Heads

So I decided to use my lull time at work to do a little research to set this current situation right. Of course, I contacted a trusted expert Butt Doctor Wikipedia. Now I am a simple girl, words are good butt a picture is always worth a thousand turds and affords one more time to go back for seconds on Thai takeout.

Yes, what an informative world we live in. Nearly every detail of our lives can be shatalogued and compared. Norms are measured, baselines are set. Nothing, I mean nothing, is sacred.

I just cannot imagine that someone hasn't put this on a t-shit yet. Oh, wait...
That's better.

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Return of the Crack-Loving Bebe

I recently bought a few wigs on Ebay, they are for, uh, Halloween, yep, Halloween. I thought it would be fun for me to see how the bebe would look with hair since hers is taking so long to come in. She, the girl who loves hats, did not like the fake hair. Probably because it was made in China by kids who are probably her age. I had to ply her with chocolate to get her to try one on. It stayed on as long as the mouthful of melty coco goodness remained and was then unceremoniously flung off until more chocolate was forthcoming.

Lest you think I dabble in hyperbole.

And to prove that this trading all kinds of favours for chocolate is a family-wide problem, we have Exhibit B.

Me: Hey Josh, put this wig on.

Josh: Eeew, no.

Me: Want some delicious Ritter Sport Chocolate.

Josh: Gimmee the wig.

Seriously, I am such a good mom.

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Me and My Crack-Loving Bebe

I sincerely believe that my almost two year old, Izzy, purposefully makes a grand mess of herself at dinner so that she can harangue a second bath or shower out of me. First, she loves water more than any kid I've ever known. I start the shower in the morning and she opens the door and sits down right under the icy water squealing with absolute delight while I stand safely outside the glass door waiting for the water to warm. Second, she doesn't embody the food at any other meal, just dinner. Third, she does this food performance art at the very end of the meal, my guess being that she doesn't want to have to remain in the gooey, ketchup bedazzled, yogurt-haired, jellied-nose state for too long. Likewise, when she is done rubbing the remains of pizza up her forearms and stringing linguine between her toes or letting a few pieces of chocolate(proud parent moment #52- my husband, himself a chocolate fiend, has taught the bebe to call chocolate crack) artfully melt betwixt her fingertips and finger paints herself like some pornographic, viral video I have heard about but not seen, she looks into my eyes and says baf? showa? as if it were a foregone conclusion.

Proud parent moment #53, this one my fault. Izzy used do raspberries with mouthfuls of milk. She did this while laying on her back, thus spraying milk all over her face and earning her the nickname, Bukake Bebe(Grandma, please don't google bukake). I know, I know, having her ball her little fists, get all red in the face and shout, "mo crack pop-pop, more crack pease" and giving her TripleX nicknames is not exactly an auspicious beginning. Whatever, my mom let me dress like a whore (for Halloween mostly) and pretend to smoke her cigarettes and I turned out okay, sorta.

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He Said, She Said (and the Bebe Said)

Him: You're my little ciabatta.
Me: What?
Him: I said you're my little ciabatta.
Me: I'm your bread?
Him: Well if you can call me Dagwood than I should be able to call you my little ciabatta.
Me:What you really mean is ciabutta.
Him: Fine, now I'm going to put my panini in your ciabutta?
Me: Too many carbs no thanks.


Me(speaking the militant feminist manifesto): A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.
Him: Well than I guess you are one bicycle riding fish.


The Bebe, as babies do, is making connections and learning a slew of new words each day. She makes generalizations so the word 'draw' becomes the word for everything related to drawing, the paper, the pencils, the crayons and the completed pictures themselves. She has finally learned the names of all of the fruit rather than call everything round 'apple.' She still, however, connects everything with long blonde hair to me. So when she holds her sisters Hanna Montana alarm clock, she points at the sixteen year old blonde and says "Mama" matter of factly. Same goes for Barbie, look "Mama" she says to her sister, pushing the Barbie in her sister's face. That's not Mom, her sister says like I'm the furthest thing from Barbie.(I know, I know, it's time for a touch up on the highlights, I'm doing the best I can). Is it a sign of my desire to conform to ideal beauty types that it makes me feel just a little bit good that my daughter think I can pass for a teen superstar and an unrealistic female archetype? Probably, but I will consider these comments like armor for the ones to come. Like when my now five year old said she hopes her butt is big like mine when she grows up. Or when she looked at my wedding pictures and said, Mom you are so skinny then. Sigh, have you been talking to your father?

Speaking of fathers, the bebe also generalizes in the Daddy department. What does Daddy get compared to? The Blues Clues guy gets called Daddy, Kai-lan's grandpa and yes, even the chocolate-skinned, orange jump suited Yo-Gabba-Gabba guy.

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Mauna Kea Kisses

My husband, the technosexual man, had Mauna Kea on his short list of must sees.

Okay, first a quick briefing for those of you unfamiliar with Mauna Kea(like I was).

Mauna Kea hosts the world's largest astronomical observatory, with telescopes operated by astronomers from over eleven countries.

Telescopes found at the summit of Mauna Kea are funded by government agencies of various nations.

Mauna Kea is unique as an astronomical observing site because the atmosphere above the mountain is extremely dry -- which is important in measuring infrared and submillimeter radiation from celestial sources - and cloud-free, so that the proportion of clear nights is among the highest in the world. The exceptional stability of the atmosphere above Mauna Kea permits more detailed studies than are possible elsewhere, while its distance from city lights and a strong island-wide lighting ordinance ensure an extremely dark sky, allowing observation of the faintest galaxies that lie at the very edge of the observable Universe. A tropical inversion cloud layer about 600 meters (2,000 ft) thick, well below the summit, isolates the upper atmosphere from the lower moist maritime air and ensures that the summit skies are pure, dry, and free from atmospheric pollutants.

Okay, enough of the sciency schmiency, it was the. coolest. thing. ever. It was odd to be wearing parkas in Hawaii but the freezing nose and fingers worth every minute. The view was the most spectacular thing I have seen, the stars so close it was as if you could pick them out of the sky. The sky was so dark, several moving satellites were visible and the constellations blazed so bright you could easily pick them out. The idea that so many countries work together and share their information and data is hopeful(quick note, Japan is the only country that sells their info rather than share, tsk tsk Japan!). In a word, the trip up Mauna Kea to an elevation of 14,000 feet was breathtaking, and yes in part because at that elevation it is actually difficult to breathe. This guy also took my breath away.

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Greetings From Hawaii

In spite of the very, very relaxed expressions on our faces, we do in fact miss you guys. Izzy, we miss you shouting from your crib because you threw all of your favorite stuffed animals out because you were mad you had to go to bed an now you want us to retrieve them so you can go to sleep. Josh, we miss telling you to pick up your socks and take out the garbage and to get your fingers out of your mouth. Clare, we miss the whining, the head in the clouds huhs? that are exclusively yours.

Okay, we don't really miss that, but we do miss this.

We'll see you in seven more days guys.

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Things I Do When I Should Be Working

Gene and I are getting ready to go on vacation Wednesday and I have been telling him to get a haircut, maybe pestering is more accurate. So I made a little movie to let him know that I realize I can be kind of bossy.

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Well At Least There Were No Issues With Wire Hangers

The Milwaukee Public Museum was always my favorite with its dark and vaguely ominous Streets of Old Milwaukee exhibit and the oddly static but roaring dinos that every city's museum seems to have. With a great downtown and Chicago at our doorstep we did schloads of field trips, the art museum, the Field Museum in Chicago, the symphony, the kids theatre, the kid's science museum. The field trips are some of my fondest school memories.

My mom was a single working parent, and more than a little fly by the seat of her pants. So while most of the kids got kickass paper sack lunches with Capri Suns and multi-layered sandwiches and bags of Doritos, and Little Debbie snack cakes, me? I usually got my mom's leftover t-bone from her client dinner the night before encased in tinfoil shaped like a swan . Really Mom, how is a seven year old supposed to eat steak on the bone in a museum cafeteria with no knife?

Thrown in for good measure was a hard boiled egg with a little plastic baggie filled with salt, and a Tab. Who gives their kids Tab? And salt? No wonder I'm only five foot tall. My kids school hasn't done much so far in the way of field trips and I've been far too lazy a parent to take them anywhere good. Sigh. But at least I make my children proper lunches.

Notice the expression on my face when I realize a 17 year old and 19 year old
are resposible with rearing me. Oh oh!

Though I was grateful when I finally was allowed to buy “hot lunch”, lunches were not the only thing that suffered as a result of having a harried career mom. My mother was only seventeen when she had me, so when I was seven, she was just twenty-four, not exactly the apex of responsibility. Still, she was a creative problem solver.

Many mornings she would sleep through her alarm clock. Rather than bark at me to hurry up she'd say, ok, it's a race, whoever gets dressed first wins! My mom knew only too well my competitive streak and I would yank my pants on in a flurry and string my clear plastic glitter belt through my belt loops missing most of them. No socks, socks took too long to get on, pebbly because they were from like three years ago and way too tight. Brushed teeth? Time waster. I think I may have even inadvertently gone to school with my shirt on inside out more than once. Yet, as a hungry seven year old, my stomach would not let me forget about breakfast. "Breakfast?" She'd say on the days we were minutes away from being both tardy and fired, "not everyone eats breakfast every morning." Seriously Mom, couldn't you have stocked a few lousy Poptarts?

I'm not saying that my mom neglected me, just that she neglected to pick me up from school a few times. There I'd sit on the steps at school, reading my book, waiting for my mom's red Pontiac to pull in the circle drive. Moments like these in part probably explain why I became such an avid reader. As it neared four o'clock, the teachers exited the building, most of them giving me the odd worried look but saying nothing. Occasionally, the young, fresh, helpful new ones would ask, where's your mom honey? "She's on her way," I'd say, knowing even at seven I was going to be able to milk this one awhile.

My mom didn't let me smoke, she just let me pretend to smoke, totally different.

It wasn't always easy being the only child of a single mom trying to make the mortgage and compete in the workforce. As a radio salesperson, she worked long hours and weekends, but the job did have it's perks. Trade was something reps worked out with local businesses, free goods and services for free commercial time. The intent was Joe's restaurant got some commercials and the station reps could take clients to Joe's for lunches on the house. I didn't realize that not everyone's mom could just sign her name to the bill with her business card and leave. These lunches and dinners were meant for clients but especially in the early days of making ends meet, we had many “business” meals together my mother and I. Many of the restaurants were very nice, not exactly normal for a child. It was here that I first developed a taste for very good food. I was hardly sixteen when I was grilling our local butcher on which steaks he was giving me. Don't you have any that are better marbled I'd ask, are these dry aged? Prime?

When I have my finer moments of parenting and fear I've scarred my kids for good, I just look back to my own childhood. Were it not for the missteps, I would not have the sense of humor I do. Most of my favorite funny people have a wry and witty sense of humor breed as an elaborate self-defense mechanism--tragedy begets comedy. Were I to be the perfect mother, I would be denying my children stories to harangue me with later and that in itself is a form of child abuse, no? So in my epic fail moments I sit back and consider that my mistakes will someday be reflected upon by my own kids as they traverse the rocky waters of parenthood.

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Oh Oh, She's Back on Her Soapbox Again

Yes, here it comes, a small but significant rant.

I have a problem, a bone to pick with some of you. I am beyond tired of women saying they are not feminists. "Oh, I'm not one of those(pause) feminists(said in a slight whisper)," they utter, like their name might be added to a black list somewhere.

A woman saying she is not a feminist is like a human saying they are ambivalent about oxygen. When did feminism become the exclusive bastion of man-hating, "men and women are the same," sensible shoe-wearing, eschewers of deodorant?

Can you be a stay at home mom and a feminist?
Uh, are you at home because it works for your family or because you think a woman's place is in the home?

Can you load the dishwasher while your husband/wife/life partner fills your car with gas and still be a feminist?
Division of labor is a fact of life and if it so happens that the "man" likes to do the more traditionally "male" tasks and the "woman" wants to sit on the couch and eat bonbons whilst thumbing through her dog-eared Germaine Greer treatise well fair is fair.

Can you don pigtails, stilettos and layers of thick, pink lip gloss in the bedroom and still be a feminist?
I say, yes we can.

For those of you who say well I'm not a feminist, do you even know what a feminist is?
Feminism is the idea that women should have political, social, legal, sexual, intellectual and economic rights equal to those of men.(look it's in pink, see you can be girly and still be feminist.)

Pray tell, what part of this sounds like a bad idea?

Thanks to feminists we can vote and take part in the political process, we can serve in the political realm. We can own property, we can get educations and further developments in science and medicine. We can pursue scholarly goals and assert our legal rights when there is injustice. We can use our voices to carry the message of women around the world that have no voice. We can drive cars and own homes and build our retirement even if we choose to be single. And at least for now, we can make decisions, even difficult, heart wrenching decisions with regard to our health and reproduction.
So why is feminism a dirty word for so many women?

Do you think people should be paid differently for doing the same job?
Do you think a woman should not be allowed to own property?
Do you think women shouldn't do certain jobs?
Do you think women should not have the same educational opportunities as men?

If you answered no to these questions, then you, my friend are a feminist.

I will leave the reproductive freedom out of this because I think you can be against abortion on principle and still be a feminist in practice. For me, reproductive freedom is an integral part of the equation of equality but let's be frank, no one likes abortion. I respect people for whom this issue is a difficult one fraught with religious doctrine and social ambiguity. I am certainly not "pro-abortion' but I have always considered this the most personal of decisions and not one I would ever like someone to make for me or for me to make for another person. I have to ask, is this issue the major holdback?

And guess what guys, feminism, it's not just for women anymore.

FormerlyFun's Manifesto on Why Feminism is Good for Men

-Your educated woman makes a mighty fine partner in a neighborly game of Trivial Pursuit and a suitable rival in Balderdash.

-That whole reading/writing thing comes in handy when you need someone to program the GPS while you drive.

-Bound feet rather unattractive shoeless.

-More opportunities outside the home equals less neurasthenia.

-She can now work in the higher paying battery department at Johnson Controls.

-Women look hot when they are voting.

-She won't lose her job just because you knock her up.

-If women couldn't go to college we wouldn't have movies like Revenge of the Nerds or Animal House.

-Access to contraception is sexy.

-Repression is a downer.

-More women burning bras = more women braless.

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Goodbye Thirty Five, Hello Thirty Six

Goodbye perfectly smooth feet and snag free manicured fingernails. I have discovered gardening and can't be bothered to remember to put my gloves on or wear shoes. Seeing that I devote nearly 23 hours of everyday to 1 husband , three kids, two cats, a dog, and a small business-- that only leaves me about an hour to devote to my own personal care needs and a girls gotta poop sometime.

Goodbye luxurious silky mane. I won't cut you off anytime soon but gone are the days of regular trims and deep conditioning. The baby is finally past grabbing fistfuls of you and ripping you out so I'm hoping you fill in from time to time but until then, can you recommend a good volumizing shampoo?Goodbye regular reading. We had it so good didn't we? Just you and I, we were inseparable. It seemed like all we ever did was go on long weekends together, exotic vacations or just hole up together and spend the whole weekend in bed. Now I treat you like the old, smelly family pet saying hi once in awhile but rarely getting down for a good snuggle.

Goodbye going braless, you guys are still fighting the good fight but you've let me down a little. The weight of it all has pushed me to join a daily support group.

Goodbye smoking, I gave you up for good a long time ago but don't think that I don't still think of you nearly every day. You were good for a quick diet or after a fight with my mom or a reward/ break on Saturdays cleaning the house. You have been missed but I don't miss the way you made me feel. You treated me bad, come on, you know you did. I broke up with you but I took you back a few times. There were a few late night booty calls after a night out but no more, it hurts a little to say this but I'm really over you.

Goodbye size six and maybe even eight, I hope I see you again soon but this baby thing is really getting in the way. Yes, maybe I should be working out instead of blogging but I don't want to.

Goodbye extra cash, I'd like you to meet the new guy, Three Kids Who Want Bachelor Degree's At Minimum. Yes, I'm not sure I like the new guy either but he's here, handcuffed to my card sliding arm, reminding me every time I get into three digits at Target that I'm a bad mom who didn't really need that new stripey cardigan.

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Any Given Saturday

Most Saturdays the routine was the same. Get up early(8:30am, this was b.k. as in before kids) get gussied up, walk to work. Then I would wax, scrub, steam and tweeze the women of Southern California to near perfection, walk home to my apartment at about 4pm, fling myself on my couch and sleep until my boyfriend came over, beg for just twenty more minutes, get up, hang out with said boyfriend, maybe dinner, movie, hot monkey love.

This particular Saturday was much the same. After a grueling day at work up to my elbows in cha, I paid homage to my couch, face down, exhausted from the long day and late work night the day before. I was deep in sleep, a small strand of drool pooling on my pretty silk pillow when I heard my boyfriend's key in the door. We didn't live together but I had given him keys and all manner of personal stuff many moons ago.

I had probably looked fresh in the morning but now resembled more of a small, blond raccoon.
“Hi babe", I slurred, not really awake yet. I looked at him, smiled and turned to face into the couch and unceremoniously went back to sleep.

“Hey, wake up, I have something for you.” he said.

"Great, just put it on the table," I mumbled incoherently.

“No, come on, get up," he said as he tried to pull the pillow out from under my head.

"Noooo," I whined, "I'm sooo tired, just a half hour, pleeease?" I clamped a pillow over my head and grunted to send the message I was not entirely communicative yet.

"Come on, I made you something."

"That's nice honey, can I look at it later, really, very tired." I opened up my eyes a little further and noticed he looked weird, not weird like weird but unusual, something was different. I reluctantly sat up and eyed him skeptically, my eyes narrowing as I tried to put my finger on it. I huffed and pouted, the look on my face said fine, what, you wanted to show me something, okay already, on with it.

He sat beside me and produced one of those brown kraft envelopes from which he pulled a sheet of paper.

"I know how much you love crossword puzzles so I made you one," he offered as he proudly shoved the paper at me.

Oh, great I thought, he was bored at work and discovered one of those teacher programs that lets you make crossword puzzles. He really got me up for this, I thought annoyed. "This is nice honey," trying to hide the vexation in my voice, "I'll do it later," I said as I put it on the coffee table.

"No, come on, do it now."

"Oh, gawd honey," I whined, "I'm not even awake yet." I looked at the excitement on his face and realized he wasn't going to let me do it later.

"Fine," I said," give me a pencil".

So he did and I started doing the crossword puzzle. Hmmm, number one,

What Chris wears all the time _ _ _ _ _ sweaters?

Awwww, it was stuff about us. I filled it in, Chris wears GREEN sweaters. I started to warm as I filled in the answers to sweet inside jokes only the two of us knew.

Oh, oh, _ _ _ _ _ _?

Hotdog! Oh, oh, hotdog!*

After a few more of these, I looked at him, something was different, I saw him look at the crossword and then at me expectantly, he was sitting on my coffee table shifting around looking as nervous as man in line at airport security with a bunch of heroin up his bum. And he hadn't taken off his coat. I looked down at the crossword and scanned the rest of the clues, they were pretty easy so I mentally filled it all in while pretending to try and solve one clue. My ears started to buzz and I could hear my blood pumping through my body and that familiar feeling, that swell that marks the beginning of tears. The clue for the long answer across the middle read

The start of the best love story ever?


And with that he got down on one knee, produced a box with the most beautiful diamond ring I had ever seen and nervously asked me to be his wife. Why he was nervous I don't know, we had talked about it wistfully, knew it was going to happen eventually. Still, it must be different for a man to actually ask the question, put his heart in your hands. That's what the wedding ring really is, it's a big shiny pretty object to entice you to be gentle with his heart. And anyway, I knew it was coming one of these days and I still cried.

He put the ring on my finger and held me tight. We had already made a million promises to each other but this one cemented all the others.

"Let's go celebrate," he said.

"I have to shower and change," I said thinking of my couch-raggled hair, rumpled clothes and raccoon eyes. I looked at my hands, two days of work had ravaged them and no self-respecting newly fianceed girl could go out with this piece of art on my hand with ragged nails and chipped polish. So, the boyfriend who was now the fiance made himself a peanut butter sandwich to tide himself over while I did my girly ministrations. We went and had dinner and I not so subtly admired the way my ring cast prisms all around it when it caught the light. We ate good food and lightweights that we are, got all silly on one Mojito each and we went on like before, but different.

Today is our anniversary, well, actually it's his. We have two. The first one is our Vegas wedding where it was just the two of us, holding hands waiting for our turn at the Little Chapel of the Flowers. The second, our family wedding in Wisconsin, has become my anniversary.

Happy Anniversary Gene. I love you babe. You are the best thing that has ever happened to me. You mellow out all my less than stellar qualities and you bring out the very best in me. You tell me I'm beautiful/hottie/rockin' milf/heinyrific/bootytastic/fp nearly every day and you tell me you love me at least twice each day.
You are supportive of every silly idea, notion or secret longing of mine. I waited so long to find you and finding you, my partner in crime, is the biggest reason why I believe in fate. You coming into my life was serendipitous, everyday magic.
I can walk into a room full of women and know without a doubt that there isn't one woman in there who is treated better than I am. You respect me, you protect me. You tease me, you let me have my way much more than is truly equitable.
You are my soft place to land and my favorite person to nerd out with. Me, the one who's usually pretty good with words can't even begin to capture how much you mean to me. I hope we make it, I know that sounds pessimistic but lots of good couples lose it, whatever the 'it' was that made it work. I never went into this marriage thing with the hubris that we were any better or more special or somehow smarter than all the other people who faced the precipice of matrimony and jumped off. I know we're not bullet proof, I only hope we will grow together, resting firmly on this foundation we've laid. I love you and I look forward to rolling over in bed and seeing your handsome wrinkled face when we're old and smell weird.

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