Friday, October 29, 2010

I'm Raffling Off Children. Get a Ticket.

I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before...but I have a lot of children.


That's a lot.

My parents had five and I still feel like I have many many more children here at this house then were ever at my house growing up.

I suppose that's because I'm in charge and responsible for all these beings here, when in stark contrast I wasn't responsible for shit growing up.

(I didn't know how to do laundry or how much tylenol cost when I went to college. I was the butt of many jokes.)

Also not helping things is the fact that all of my children have such different and complex personalities.

Rosey is uptight and brighter than a ten year old should be. She's nosy, interested and an excellent conversationalist. She's also dramatic at times and takes everything WAY to seriously. Between school, soccer and shared custody, I rarely get to see her.

People have told me Olivia would be trouble from the day her white hair turned red. I suppose redheads have a bad reputation? She was a late talker and then when words started actually flowing from her mouth, the flood gates were permanently flown open. She sings, she flits around like a flighty lanky flamingo, she cries foul at her siblings thousands of times a day, stays up too late, laughs incredibly loud at funny movies and is afraid of the dark. Oy vey!

Maxine Jane is the most difficult, temperamental, awe inspiring, incredible, dichotomous person I've ever met in my life. I think about her all the time, she's embedded into my brain like a poem you loved as a child or a scene from a movie you've seen a million times. She loves animals, loves movies, loves everything...until she's not getting her way and then she hates the world and will stop at nothing to make everyone around her as miserable as she is. Ah. Max.

Elijah is the child of my heart. I've never loved anyone as much as I love Jeremiah and I'm in awe of the fact I get to raise his son. He was an easy baby, a great sleeper and a great nurser. At three years old ("I'm going be free!" as he would say) Elijah is a strong bodied, strong willed boy. He jumps and climbs and conquers.

Ok. So now that you know a little bit about each one...which one do you want to take home with you!?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Super Fly

Jeremiah has been annoying me lately with his excellent coolness and his busy-ness.

I feel the need to retaliate by posting photos of him he would not want me to post.

I just have to do it. And he's at work.

So he can't stop me.

I just 'previewed' this post and he still looks cooler than me! Why oh why!??

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Be Aware and Be Cautious. Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

I am always floating above serious conversations, waiting to lighten things up with an inappropriate joke or a snide remark. It's my protection against bawling like a baby and telling my secrets to someone who might judge me. I don't want to burden them with my problems, don't like to seem like a dramatic mess, etc..etc...

I am, despite all appearances (and my big freaking mouth), a good listener. I 'listened' to Tara's story I'm a One in Four at Bite The Bed Bugs and felt the bile rise up in my throat. I want to be as brave as Tara and tell a story to make any girl out there do the right thing and run far far away from any man who might hurt her.

I also know that if I were 15 again and I was reading this post I would be callous and unconcerned. Even though I had experienced the terror of abuse first hand, I would have assumed that it was my fault and that my experience was completely separate and unique compared to anyone else's. I felt it was my fault because I messed with a practically grown man who was obviously unstable, even though I didn't really have much romantic interest in him.

I was in love with a man who didn't love me on and off for most of my teenage years. I thought we would eventually end up together when I was older, thought he treated me badly because he was so much cooler and adult than I was, thought he loved me as much as I adored him underneath it all. I treated people badly in response to his treatment of me, boys who gave me their hearts, friends who trusted me and most of all my family, who I lied to and used in order to be with this man. He used me and abused my trust, but he never physically hurt me.

Ironically the person who ended up bruising my body and mind was one of the boys I mistreated in response to my mistreatment.

I met him at the record store I worked at from time to time as a teen, which was owned by one of my friends. There was a tattoo studio upstairs and James worked there. He was lean and of middle height, covered in tattoos and spikes in every place it every place possible to be pierced. He had a very gravely voice, clear blue eyes and long dyed black hair with blond roots peaking from underneath. I admired his looks, liked his strong jaw and perfect teeth, thought that there was something underneath all the trappings of his outer appearance.

He drove a white convertible with as many metal band decals as he had tattoos and a sound system that shook the cement around us. I could tell from the first time we met he wanted to take me out, I led him on and teased him embarrassingly. Looking back I realize I was longing for attention but I have no idea why.

After weeks of leading him on, I finally let him take me out to get coffee after the shops were closed on a Friday night. We walked to the coffee shop and afterward he walked me up to my Dad's pharmacy and said goodnight. He was so polite and so gentle. I was starting to feel a bit more for him than I originally thought I would. The next day I was excited to see him and after work we drove around our small town with the top down. He dropped me off at home, this time kissing me very softly on the mouth. I skipped up the walk to my house with my fingers tracing my lips and the tiny pricks James's lip piercings had left there.

I spoke to my on and off again boyfriend later that night and learned that I was again in his good graces. He wanted to spend the next day with me, all day after school. I quickly forgot James.

I didn't go to the record store after school the next day, or any day for the next few weeks. I gave all my attention to my boyfriend, who was being so much more wonderful than usual. Later I learned someone had told him I had started to see another boy.

I didn't return James's phone calls, ignored him when he yelled at me out his car window (how did he know where I was all the time?), didn't pay any attention when I noticed he was parked outside my parents' house.

I went to a concert with some girlfriends a few weeks later and he unexpectedly cornered me outside a bathroom. He put his face inches away from mine and although the band was incredibly loud, I still heard every single word he spoke to me.
"You fucking bitch. I told everyone I know about you and then you ditch me for no fucking reason. I love your face so much. I wish I could rip it off and wear it all day long." I wasn't as afraid as I should have been and wondered how long it took him to come up with that speech...

He punched me in the gut and pushed me through the door of the bathroom. He kissed me and pushed his tongue through my pursed lips. I could feel his hands all over me rough and hurting. I yielded and began to cry. He stopped his assault immediately and stared at me, head cocked to one side like he was trying to figure out a puzzle. I think he was surprised I didn't fight back.

Just like Tara, I never said one word. One of my friends saw me with James and saw him being 'weird' with me. When she persisted and continued to ask me what happened I said he was a 'total freak of nature' and that we needed to 'stay the fuck away from him'.

I became wary of my movements, over thought where I was going and who I was with. I had a bunch of much younger siblings and didn't want them to get hurt, especially since James continued to follow me and park outside my house. But I couldn't bring myself to tell anyone. I didn't want to get blamed for the way he was acting, didn't want my boyfriend to know that I was such a colossal child, not able to deal with some random metal-head.

Eventually James 'gave up' and things went back to normal. My boyfriend started ignoring me again (later I learned he was dating someone his own age) and I was going out with a boy who I went to school with. He was taking me out for a coffee before I had to work at a teen center concert (I worked as a barrista at a teen center during my high school years). We pulled out of my parents driveway and started down the bouncy brick street when I felt my legs quiver and the seat start to vibrate. I can remember that exact feeling to this very day, the real terror that swept through me at that moment has never been replicated.

To make a very horrifying story shorter and less painfully cliche, he chased us downtown, right on our tail and yelling at us out the window. All of your classic psycho phrases plus one extra frightening one, "I have a fucking gun, you fucking bitch!".

My poor date was shaking and afraid. I suggested we park outside the teen center and make a run for the door, which I could immediately lock behind us. Plus, we always had security for the teen center's concerts and they would already be there setting up. James parked madcap directly behind us and because he was scrambling in his car (for what I at the time assumed was a gun) we made it inside and locked the doors. Security called the police and James stalked the outside parking lot until moments before the police finally arrived.

Once again, just like Tara, I refused to press charges. I made it seem like it was not a big deal. With the adrenalin gone, I was just embarrassed more than anything else.

He left me alone after that.

A few years later I was home from school on break and attending a party at a good friend's house. James walked in the house a few hours after me with some mutual friends and although it was clear he was not there because of me, I panicked. But instead of leaving I just smiled carelessly and said hello to him. He smiled at me every time I met his eyes all night long, but left me alone. I was creeped out but drunk enough not to be concerned for my well being.

Later that night, everyone was sharing stories about teenage love and he told our story. A very strange and twisted version of our short relationship. He even told the whole group about the car chase and everyone in the room became super uncomfortable. I laughed to lighten the mood and said, 'Holy Crap James! I thought you had a gun, that you were going to kill me!'

He looked right at me, serious as sin and said, 'I did. I was going to.'

After a few moments of silence he laughed heartily and said, 'Oh Geez, Erin! Lighten up, I am just kidding!'

And everyone believed him, except for me.

This month is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Please be aware of the seriousness of stories like mine and Tara's. We walked away but very well might not have. Listen to the women and girls out there and help prevent tragedy from happening. Share your stories and reach out.

Monday, October 18, 2010


The other day Jeremiah and I bought Elijah a new set of sheets. When we came home I ran them through the washer and dryer. At bedtime while Jeremiah was dressing Elijah in his PJ's, I made up his bed with his new sheets, white with multi-colored stars.

When Elijah was finished being dressed and spied his new sheets, his whole face lit up with a giant grin. His tiny toddler fingers came up to his mouth and garbled Elijah language flew out of his perfect toddler mouth:

"New bed for Lijah!?"
"All for Lijah?"
"Not my berfday!"

He settled down in his new sheets, pleased as a plump round peach. How could such a simple thing as new sheets bring him such joy? Where do I get some of that?

I have been thinking about it ever since.

Today while listening to my usual rainy day songlist something hit me in the back of the head with a strange violent blow. Lots of things bring me joy, I just don't realize it. I'm too busy looking for the next bit of excitement, wonderment or entertainment to appreciate the bits and pieces of perfection I'm getting everyday.

Joy came into my heart listening to my song list, Ben Folds singing about a sad man, maybe himself, maybe not. Bob Dylan singing about the simple way his woman has brought out the real man inside of him. A melancholy girl singing about a melancholy boy, his mouth, his eyes, his body.

Joy came into my heart laying in a shadow filled room with a man with dark hair and an easy smile. His warm fingers on my bare hip. His warm breath on the back of my head. Quiet.

Joy came into my heart this morning when Elijah said 'Thank you Momma' as plain as day.

What do I have to complain about? Nada. Niets. Rien. Nichts. Niente.

Nothing at all.

Also bringing me joy; finishing Steam Me Up Kid's order. See it at my new site Ultra Cute Crochet!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Mizzle the Flying Cat

Once upon a time there was a sad cat named Mr. Mizzle. A little boy told me he was named this because he looked grey like a rainy day.

Mr. Mizzle was poorly cared for and often abused. I knew a tall blonde boy/man who got joy from launching Miz from his high hilltop porch into the traffic below. I saw this happen many times, much to my own chagrin Mizzle would run back up onto the porch after his near death launch.

I would sometimes consider stealing the cat away and giving it a nice, clean, happy home. But I was too young and too careless to give it any real thought. If it were me today, the grown up me, I might have done something. The little girl me, the teenage me, watched in terror as Mizzle suffered abuses from uncaring 'owners'.

And sadly, a few times, I may have even laughed at those random porch launchings.

Mr. Mizzle was murdered in a horrific manner at the hands of two dumb, drunk, coked out men on a windy rainy October night 13 years ago. I'm not sure how Miz's owners felt about this. They may have laughed, internally processed it, felt sad or remorseful. I never asked.

Thankfully I didn't witness the cat's death, but it did mark the last time I set foot in that hilltop house.

R.I.P. Mizzle. You were a real characterization of one little boy's grey view on life.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Erin, Sex and A Trashy 80's Novel

Warning! This blog post is about sex. If you do not want to hear me talk about sex or are uncomfortable reading about blatantly unnatural sexual positions, please do not read on.

There. You have been warned.

This post isn't really about blatantly unnatural sexual positions. Sorry for the build up. It is instead about the book I am currently reading for the fourth time (the first being when I was 12, way to drop the ball Mom and Dad!), Lace by Shirley Conran. I have no idea why I insist on reading this book, which is essentially a romance novel, when I would usually make fun of anyone who would read anything from this genre. (Except for Wuthering Heights, all the Bronte homeys get a free pass).

I don't particularly connect with any of the characters, four women with various intertwining backgrounds who all met at a Swiss boarding school (I have, however, visited Switzerland...but not to go to school there, just to visit and walk around a village, tormenting the locals with my brash colloquialisms). But there is a lot of sex in this book and therein lies the rub!

The men in this novel are characterized as either rigid and horrible in bed or smooth, wonderful lovers who also happen to be tremendous assholes. Oh and there's also a slimy obese porn director as well.

And a transvestite husband.

And an Arab Prince (who was trained for weeks in the art of lovemaking).

What is repeated over and over again is that women aren't satisfied if they don't have an amazing partner who can expertly make her come every single time they make love. It makes me mad that intimacy is so trivialized in this book when it could be capitalized on in so many excellent ways.

I like some of the sex 'scenes' in this novel. But as soon as So and So's french paramour is a two pump chump, she's given up on him completely. She cries, blames herself for her dissatisfaction, and he tosses her to the wayside because she's frigid. It happens several times in several different sections of the book. So she 'gets revenge' later in life on men by using them for gratification and not giving them any (is that even possible?).

I don't know about you and your sex life but I wouldn't be satisfied if Jeremiah and I were making love and only I came. And I'm sure I can speak for him as well.

Do women really want the same thing men supposedly want? To have satisfaction sexually without the attachments? Does it really really feel as good when you're not in love?

Or am I thinking entirely too much about a bloody Shirley Conran book published in the 80's?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

My Horrendous Parenting Revealed!

My writing/humor mojo has been smashed to pieces by a visiting force I can barely compete with...

My ex mother in law.

Now now now. My mom is literally shitting her pants right now because I'm actually talking about this in a public forum, but Beta Dad has given me the balls to do this and doing it is what I'm best at.

A month ago my ex husband called me and asked me to take any videos of our daughters off of my blog, especially one in particular you might remember of Olivia dancing to 'All the Single Ladies' but also including their piano recital videos. After a short phone conversation where he stated his position and I promptly disregarded them, it all came down to two final points:

1: His parents were very 'upset' upon reading my blog. They think all videos and all photos should come off the blog.

2: They think I'm exploiting my daughters for my business, Ultra Cute Crochet.

After throwing a tremendous fit in my kitchen after speaking with my ex about this, calling my daddy and cry baby bawling for a half hour (while he was busy at work, Sorry Daddy!),calling Jeremiah at work and bawling at him for another half hour (Sorry Jeremiah!) and then finally writing a very scathing post and then not posting it, I decided to take down the 'All the Single Ladies' video of Olivia and leave it at that.

(If you're interested in reading aforementioned scathing post, let me know. I'll send it to you post haste!)

I wrote that super small so my ex mother in law wouldn't be able to read it! I am incredibly clever.

Now all the time I feel like there's a shadow looming over me and my keyboard. I feel unable to share stories and photos of my very delightful children, who I am so proud of.

The truth is, I'm pretty sure that I will never be able to do anything good in my ex's or his parent's eyes, so fuck it! Here are some images with examples of my horrendous parenting:

I'm letting Jeremiah pummel Maxine Jane with balloons! Oh the Horror!

Max and Elijah are eating lollipops AND are about to devour cake and ice cream as well. At Elijah's third birthday party! Shame on Me!

Yes, those are chips. AND both my Mom and Jeremiah's brother Craig have their elbows on the table! We're all going to hell!

Olivia's life is surely at stake... Call in The Marines (or the State Police)!

Once again, I'm taking a photo while all of my children are precariously balanced on top of a PLAYGROUND APPARATUS! For Gosh Sakes!

Did I mention that my shop now has it's own blog?! Please go check it out: Ultra Cute Crochet! There's a pretty swell October Sale going on there and there will soon be updates on the custom orders I'm doing for Steam Me Up Kid and Angela from the Eat Here Eatery.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Ultra Cute Crochet

After much cajoling and procrastination I have finally set up a separate site for Ultra Cute Crochet! Instead of being bombarded by sales here at Blogging is For Dorks, go be bombarded with them over there:

Ultra Cute Crochet

Look at the "They Love Me!" page to see if you're included. If you're not, please tell me so I can include you!

If you promote me on your blog and tell me about it you get free shipping!