This intimate, personal, and vulnerable side of blogging sh** is going to take some getting used to

Yesterday I was flattered and delighted to see that I was given a “Liebster Award” badge from the Sunday Dinner Farm girl. I love homesteading blogs – in part because I am the anti-homesteader. I despise cooking, have a black thumb, live on 1/6000th of a generic suburban acre, my only pet is a fair-fish that refuses to die, and while I love my children more than life itself, I love working outside the home. Because of this, I thoroughly enjoy seeing how “the other half” lives. SDF – I look forward to learning more about you! Your blogs about homecooked weekend meals make my mouth water while I sit here consuming highly-processed convenience foods chock full of seven-syllable ingredients whose names I can’t pronounce. And the fact that you moved across the country with only the belongings you could carry on a motorcycleSo! Awesome! Please blog about this :) Thanks so much for the invite to participate!

I don’t know a lot about blog awards, but my understanding is that they are a way to

a) meet more bloggers (which is a community I love being part of)

b) give other newish blog authors some more visibility (more than happy to!)

c) tell anyone who happens to be reading some getting-to-know-you trivia about me (along the lines of that “25 random things” facebook post that made the rounds a few years ago). Everyone knows how enthusiastically I embrace the opportunity to overshare. Challenge accepted.

Per the rules of the esteemed and obscure Liebster award, first I am supposed to list 11 random things about me. Heregoes:

1. Stumps and Beans are their nicknames in real life. In fact, my one-year-old refers to herself as “Beanie” and will say unbearably, heartachingly sweet things like “Beanie cold”, “Beanie tooted”, and “Give Beanie kisses”. I am not 100% certain she has any clue that this isn’t her actual name.

2. Husband and I met nine years ago when he sauntered into my work cubicle, put his cell phone and other personal effects into one of my desk drawers, and then walked away arrogantly without saying a word.

3. I do not have a single first cousin and have always felt completely gypped.

4. I have dislocated my kneecap twice. Once when I was eight and again when I was thirteen. It hurt like a motherf***er and is the only pain I have ever experienced that was even more excruciating than when an OB nurse asshole turned off my epidural during the “pushing” part of childbirth.

5. I attended my first gay wedding a few months ago and Husband and I had a blast!

6. I was diagnosed with clinical depression when I was 15, obsessive-compulsive disorder when I was 20, and chronic sciatica when I was 28. There is actually a medication that exists which happens to treat all of these things at once, which is both a dream come true for me, and also immensely disturbing. Anyone who has ever been a guest in my home knows my OCD unfortunately has zero to do with hardcore intense housecleaning. However, I twitch my right side, blink my right eye, and tap my right foot five times to psychologically compensate for every one time any of those things occurs on my left. Otherwise I feel completely out of balance and off-kilter, become extremely restless and anxious, and can not think straight. Sorry to deflate your ego, but I wasn’t winking at you. I was just ensuring that my featherweight right eyelid is in balance with my left, which for some reason feels like it weighs a thousand pounds. Makes perfect sense right? :)

7. I am very much pro-choice, but think that placing a baby for adoption is one of the bravest, most selfless, saintliest (totally just made-up a word right there) and most-admirable things a person can do. I feel the same way about adoptive parents. “Firstmoms” and parents who adopt – I kind of love all of you.

8. My little Bean had some minor anatomical mouth-abnormalities at birth and I was never able to breastfeed her. Since I successfully breastfed Stumps for 14 months, the heartache and grief over this damn near killed me after Beans was born. In addition to exacerbating my at-the-time dormant depression, my OCD kicked into high-gear over this and I became some sort of frighteningly prolific breastpumping powerhouse. I would pump seven times a day, wake myself in the middle of the night to pump, and catalogue every new record # of ounces pumped in one session to top my prior personal best. I was training for the liquid-gold-expressing-human-dairy Olympics. At my most obsessive, I peaked at a record 24 ounces of breastmilk per pumping. As a result, though my Jellybean was never nursed “on tap”, she never had a drop of formula until she was well over six months old. In the end, as it turned out, Beans was actually exclusively fed breastmilk six weeks longer than Stumps. Without even a hint of sarcasm, and though this may sound utterly ridiculous, my 6 1/2 months of exclusively-pumping so that my second-born would not get the raw end of the milk deal is without question my single-most proudest achievement thus far in my 32 years of life.

9. When I was 11 and camping with my family, my little brother Sasquatch walked into a hornets nest. ‘Squatch did not get stung (bastard), but they attacked me and flew into my shorts, shirt, and the braids in my hair. I was stung probably close to twenty times and MotherCatlady could not get the hornets out of my braids so I was repeatedly stung in the head and inside my f***ing ear. I have been terrified of wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets ever since and am quite certain that this is a phobia I will never overcome.

10. I am very aware that if I were a stay-at-home-mom, my otherwise extremely-well-managed depression would very quickly and agonizingly consume me. I had a very scary taste of this during one of my maternity leaves (I won’t say which one, lest that child read this one day and be horribly offended) and Husband and I unanimously agreed that if it ever became necessary for one of us to save $400 a week and stay home, it would absolutely without-a-doubt be him.

11. You couldn’t pay me enough to go back in time and redo high school. College though, with a few minor and one major adjustment, I would revisit in a heartbeat.

That was Part I of participating in the Liebster project. Since I was inexplicably born lacking that line of code within human DNA that enables people to be brief, concise and short-winded, I feel like I just competed some grueling freak-marathon of the soul.


Part II was to answer the 11 questions that posed to her 11 Liebster bloggers. Let’s see here…

1. What color socks are you wearing? worn out blue terrycloth bedroom slippers. So cozy

2. What is your favorite book. Why? Hmm.. I don’t know that I could pinpoint a specific favorite, but  my life is most impacted by memoirs like “The Glass Castle” where the author has resiliently endured such hardship that it makes me feel downright foolish and petty for ever feeling sorry for myself. It’s all like “Self you are extremely fortunate to have the life that you do. Now grow a pair and shut the hell up.” Something like that :)

3. Can you drive stick shift? I could as recently as ten years ago. I have not attempted to since 2003 however, so it would probably be pretty ugly.

4. Name your most embarrassing high school memory. I am sure there are a gazillion, most of which I have mercifully blocked out, so I will just give the first one that comes to mind. I was extremely self-conscious (who wasn’t?) and introverted when I was in ninth grade. Most days, I would sit at a picnic table towards the end of lunch and would get completely lost in thought and stare off into space for long periods of time. When I was 15, a girl in my grade that I did not know or recognize walked up to me in our highschool’s breezeway during lunch with a group of people that I did (sort of) know and asked me in front of all of these people why I was always staring at her. I didn’t know what she was talking about, was completely caught off guard, and I think I just said “huh”. She and her entourage walked away and I avoided eye contact with people for months. I did eventually become acquainted with her in a class several years later and found her to be extremely nice and welcoming. I was also very careful to be on heightened self-aware alert to not be too excessively stare-y. In reflection, all I can say is poor shy, awkward, weird, and clueless little Kimmie. Bless her lonely little adolescent heart.

5. Have you ever had a “free” fish? Was it still alive a week later? The only pet I have is a fish that Stumps won last year at the fair. If spending $5 on a ripoff fair attraction so that my child could win a fish counts as free, then yes I suppose it was free. Fairfishie is in fact still alive and has tripled in size since October. The guy at the petstore told me excitedly “You have had your fair fish for a few months?! This is great news! That means it’s health has stabilized. If you are really conscientious about his care, your goldfish could grow to be 14 inches long and live for up to twenty years!”  Um. Whoa there buddy. Back it on up. Who said anything about a twenty year commitment to something that was supposed to be a disposable novelty pet? When you tell me Fairfishie might live at home longer than my children do, it starts to get a bit smothering. What’s all this talk of lifelong commitment? We are still just getting to know eachother. All joking aside, I have grown fond of Fairfishie in spite of myself. He She It is a) extremely spoiled and b) probably the last fish standing from the 2012 state fairs.

6.If you could choose to vacation by yourself for a week, with unlimited funds, where and what would you choose? Ireland

7. What bizarre food choice/habit do you have? When I was a child, I always put honey on steamed broccoli. As an adult, I always put honey on fried chicken. I put sugar (Never salt. And cheese? Let’s just not even go there. The very idea makes me pukey) on my grits. According to my college roommate, this was pure desecration of a sacred food here in the deep South. I was born in southern California so wth do I know?

8. What is the most important advice you would give to your 18 year old self? Aristocrat Vodka. Please, for the love of God experimental-young-adult Kimmie, JUST SAY NO.

9. Have you ever sung karaoke? Yes. When I was 22 I won $50 in a karaoke contest by belting out an enthusiastically drunken rendition of Patty Loveless’ “Blame It On Your Heart” to an even drunker panel of karaoke judges.

10. What is your bowling average? Dismal. When we have our annual work bowling party, I play the (very legitimate) pinched sciatic nerve card to get out of playing

11. Who killed JR.? I don’t understand the question.

OKAY. Whew! I nominate the following 11 bloggers to participate in the Liebster Award challenge. In order to accept the challenge, you are tasked with posting 11 random things about yourself, answering 11 questions of my choosing (see below), and then passing it along to 11 more bloggers of your choice who have fewer than 200 followers (In a lot of cases I couldn’t figure out the # of followers so I just picked some bloggers that I like and whose responses I think would be interesting)











11. just one more…


Your mission should you choose to accept – answer the following 11 questions, post your 11 random things, tag 11 other bloggers, and notify them in their comments about this whole thing :)

1. What three words best describe your blog?

2. Which songs pierce you right into your soul?

3. What is one deep regret that you have that you don’t mind sharing?

4. What are you most proud of?

5. What blog do you find so clever/funny/compelling/insightful/inspiring that it gives you a bit of an inferiority complex?

6. What is your happiest childhood memory?

7. Where were you when you found out about the 2001 terrorist attacks?

8. If you could bring any retired/deceased/dissolved band or musical artist back for one more show that you could attend, who would that be?

9. What was the first concert you ever attended?

10. What is one thing you would change about yourself?

11. What movies could you watch over and over again without losing interest?

Please remember to let me know if you participate so I can read your entries! 


On dreams and the legend of The ReproductiveOrgan curse

Every morning, I ask Stumps what she dreamt about the previous night. Today she said “Last night I dreamt that you were the best mommy in the whole world ever and that you always stayed with me my whole life and we eat apple slices forever and also cherries forever.”

While I remain hopeful that I can gently boot Stumps out of the nest sometime before she reaches her mid-twenties, everything else about her recounted dream pretty much melted my heart.

When I was a teenager, my mom endured a several-years-long period where she questioned why she ever decided to parent anything other than a hoarder-size collection of cats. (She is now making up for that by accumulating numerous feral felines in her late middle-age). At some point during my adolescence, she bestowed upon me “The ReproductiveOrgan* Curse.” (In the interest of full-disclosure, mom’s maiden name of course was not “ReproductiveOrgan”. It was a synonym for reproductive organ, and arguably slightly worse. “ReproductiveOrgan” stands in for  Mother Catlady’s actual phallic last name of origin.)

Apparently my grandparents originated “The RO Curse” two generations ago in the 1960s when Mother Catlady and her brother were teens. The curse upon my mother and uncle was placed as follows:

“May your children grow up to be as rotten and miserable as you are!”

As a result, my uncle opted to bear no young whatsoever (My little brother, Sasquatch**, and I incidentally ended up with zero first cousins). Fast-forward to the late 1990s, and my mom was a firm believer in it’s powers. In turn, she placed the curse on me (and I assume ‘squatch as well, but he was always her favorite so I am not entirely sure).

I am only moderately superstitious, but when my little Stumps recounted her most recent dream to me this morning, I decided in fact that one of three things must be true:

1) The ReproductiveOrgan curse is powerless and MotherCatlady had such great fear of it that she turned it into her own self-fulfilling prophesy.

2) She somehow misremembered the very specific wording of the curse and unfortunately miscast it, rendering it useless. (To mom – Ha! Ha! Ha!)


3) The curse was a complete success and that little girl me was pretty much angellic.

As rotten as they can be, every day I marvel at how overwhelmingly much I love these little girls and feel truly undeserving of children this freaking sweet. They are like winning the baby lottery twice and I continue to remain in a state of utter disbelief.

If I had to guess, I would expect that Mother Catlady did not begin uttering the curse as early as 1985 when I was four years old (but MC is tricky so one can not be absolutely certain). Ask me again in ten years, and I may be hurling the third incarnation of The ReproductiveOrgan Curse at adolescent Stumps and Beans while dancing and chanting scantily-clad around a fire fueled by bits of my children’s photographs, artwork, hair, and nail clippings to insure it’s accuracy, potency, and inevitability.

*Husband felt this was a terrible ID for the curse and that I should have nicknamed it either “The Hotdog Curse” or “The FamilyName Curse” in the interest of good taste. Since I already spent an hour writing and editing the blog and my mind is perpetually slightly in the gutter, it stays for now. Seeing as how “ReproductiveOrgan” is the nickname that I chose for Mother Catlady’s maiden name when there were other more benign options available, is it really any surprise to anyone that this is the same woman who put a curse on me?

**For inquiring minds who want to know, my brother earned the blog nickname Sasquatch by embracing the mysteriously trendy mid-adulthood male aesthetic of free-range-neck-hair. Not surprisingly, ‘squatch is now in his thirties and has absolutely no intention of bearing young and risking the perils of The ReproductiveOrgan Curse himself.

Stumps-isms from just the first 30 minutes she was awake today

“Mommy your finger is all red. How did that happen? Is that from when you fired that guy? Did you burn yourself?”

Oh dear. No sweetie. Unfortunately this was a different kind of firing.


“I need to last a really really long time before I die.”

Yes you absolutely do need to do that. Where are you coming up with these things?

If it involves a bathroom and has nothing to do with menstruation, I will probably blog about it

For about the past month, before we give the Beans a bath, we encourage her to use the potty. Our efforts are usually successful and much-appreciated by our four-year-old, who has to bathe with Beans. Nothing ruins the joys of toddler tub time faster than a stream of yellow bathwater.

Today when Husband placed Beanie on the toilet, she screamed “No!”, ran streaking down the hall, and relieved herself in her bedroom next to the changing table.

All things considered, since we weren’t elbows deep in urine when we bathed our children this evening, I am still going to go ahead and consider that episode a win.

In other news, I am pretty certain that we were the only southern American family watching Barney at 7:30 this evening.

For those looking for some entertainment, Today’s Blog-that-I-Wish-I-Was-Clever-and-Entertaining-Enough-To-Write:

I would love some new recommendations for blogs to check out. Especially if they are:

a) Funny

b) Heartwarming

c) About Work

d) About Parenting

e) Ridiculous

f) I’m openminded

Please tell me – What are your favorite blogs?

My thus far entirely backwards blog (Alternately titled: Thanks for reading, mom.)

I have committed one of the unforgivable sins of parenting and not created baby books for my children. Or a wedding album for that matter :) . I have little scraps (think scribbles on the backs of receipts, notations in the margins of shopping lists, reminder emails sent from myself to myself) everywhere… and I also have facebook status updates as far back as 2007 that in recent years have become longer and longer and more like my (very public, fraught-with-poor-grammar) journal.

I would throw the paper scraps with my girls’ milestones, ridiculously cute nonsense toddler quotes, and so on into a drawer at my desk by my computer, always intending to organize the most poignant and amusing episodes since I really became (or at least started to feel like) an adult* into something concrete that would help me remember the very ordinary life that I live.

I purchased this domain on February 1, and have been blogging almost entirely backwards… pulling together all of the different sources that I have shoved into drawers in my computer desk, posted on facebook, noted on my iPod, etc, to create a record of the most interesting, bizarre, amusing, treasured, and ridiculous moments of the last 5 or so years of my life. Since I now have approximately 150 blog posts, you can do the math and determine that I have not really slept since Wednesday. {yawn}

If you do happen to read this and experience deja vu when reading the content prior to January 31, a whole lot of it is from my status updates on facebook which had in the last year or two started to turn into more of a blog.

I plagiarized myself.

I am now to fall 2010 and am still blogging backwards, hoping to have this record really start in 2008. I will simultaneously be blogging in real-time like a normal person (…well, as normal as a person can possibly be who keeps a public self-absorbed diary on the internet and begs people to “follow” it :)

Anyway – if the content speaks to you, if you happen to find it relatable, if you happen to enjoy reading it, if it makes you laugh… please comment, please “follow” (God blogging is narcissistic), please share. It will hold me accountable to continue to post and give my kids another compelling reason to be embarrassed by me and need a gifted therapist when they become literate.

In conclusion, I never know how to end these things. And also I am fully aware that it is entirely likely  I am only talking (writing?) to my mom. So, hm. Thanks for stopping by!

 *which I consider around the age of 25. I try to block out probably 90% of my early 20s entirely


So we are that awkward family at the children’s museum indulging a preschooler who is enthusiastically shouting “Bury me alive! Bury me alive!”

PS – I do wear makeup and wash my hair.

PPS – Sometimes I wear makeup and wash my hair.