Saturday, February 27, 2010

Bloggity, blog, blog, blog.....

It was recently brought to my attention that my blog might be hard to read due to the black background and itty, bitty, eeny, weeny print.  And since I aim to please, I just fussed with my settings for a bit and changed the font size.  I sincerely hope that helps cuz I'm so totally in love with the black background that it makes me a bit weepy to think of switching it to white. 

Feedback, por favor?  Is it easier to read now?

And I'd like to thank The Academy.......

For what feels like forEVER, I've had 14 "followers" on my blog. I'm SO not one to be greedy...I was just thrilled that 14 people think my yammering is worth reading. Now and then, though, I looked at my list and thought, "Hm. I wonder if I'll ever get a 15th."

Imagine my excitement when I opened my blog this week to find I had another uh. I mean......I had another devoted fan! GAH! I can hardly contain my glee! YEEEEEE-HAAAW!

(No. I don't actually say yee-haw in my real life. I'm more likely to yell to The Husband, "HOLY S***! You'll never believe this one!")

* * * * Welcome, Number 15! * * * *

And then? This one time? (At band camp?) I logged on again? And had ANOTHER follower? I almost fell right off my chair.

For my mathematically challenged peeps.....that makes SIXTEEN followers now!

* * * * Welcome, Number 16! * * * *

And the best part? These are people I don't even KNOW. I didn't have to be related to them or be real-life-friends with them or pay them or ANYTHING! They just decided to join us here at Mama Cas cuz I'm good enough, and I'm smart enough, and doggonit, people like me!

(PS...I ordinarily don't use this! many! exclamation! points! at one time.)

And for my next trick? I'll attempt to distract you from the fact that this post is seriously lacking in any kind of substantial content by showing you a pic of my handsome boys.


And have a good weekend.

(Especially you, Number 15 and Number 16.)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Finding PANTS in February shouldn't be this difficult

Dear Head-Muckety-Muck at Target:

I realize that the retail market is quite competitive and that it's imperative for you to be the "first on the scene" with next season's clothing. If, for instance, Wal-Mart puts out their summer swimsuits before you do, then Wal-Mart gets a jump on the money-making, right? I also understand that, during this boring, dreary, cold time of year, many people like to escape to warmer climates.....climates that might be suitable for shorts, t-shirts, and swimsuits.

I, however, am an average Momma with no intention to start my summer shopping. And we have a noticeable lack of warm weather travel plans. Plus, I have an almost-10-year-old boy who does weird things like grow all the time. I know, it's inconvenient. For you AND me.

All I ask is that you keep some pants in stock. More specifically, the thin, elastic waist pants that basketball players wear during warm-up (not the ones that go swish-swish when you walk...I think those are called track pants? Actually, in our house, they're called swishy pants.) I hate to be a pest, but could they be either black, navy blue, or dark grey? And size large? Today, I was oh so lucky to find 5 pairs of Celtic green beauties, sized XS. I left them on the rack so the family of leprechauns behind me could have them.

Thank you for your time.
Mama Cas

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Dear Son,

Please refrain from growing until May. You're making my life difficult.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

I hope hell has an unlimited supply of Mountain Dew

Because that's where I'll be taking up residence in the afterlife for posting this picture:

My daughter's Plumber's Crack.

Enjoy the view.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I knew I wouldn't forget you...

"I knew when we collided
You're the one I have decided
Who's one of my kind"

"Hey Soul Sister"

* * * * * *

Happy Valentine's Day, to the 5 people I love the most!

With all my love (miles and miles),
Mama Cas

Saturday, February 13, 2010

You're beautiful

Over my shoulder, I felt a presence.

It was Ben. He had his camera. And he was videotaping me.

"GAH! He's videotaping me and I'm still in my pajamas and I hate how my voice sounds and I haven't combed my hair and he's taping from the side and my nose is HUUUGE and what if I say something dumb or what if I look terrible and I haven't even brushed my teeth (cuz, you know, we bought him one of those smell-a-vision cameras)........."

But I didn't say anything. I carried on as if I hadn't noticed that he was taping.

Because I'm not going to become THAT person. I refuse to pass my negative images to my kids. As my husband has pointed out, I am my own biggest critic. I will not encourage them to become the same way.

How can I teach my kids to be more self-confident and less self-critical if I'm constantly bad mouthing myself?

If I continually point out how "hideous" I am, how long will it be until they believe me?

Because I am their mom, they don't think I have a big nose or a terrible voice. And they don't care that I haven't combed my hair or brushed my teeth.

And when they take pictures of me like this?

I will hide my horror and keep my mouth shut.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Fashion Police...To the rescue!

An open letter to the lady in the parking lot of BJs:

Dear Lady,

I'm going to take a stab in the dark and guess that 3 events might have recently transpired in your life.

1 - The electricity went out in your house this morning, causing you to dress in the dark.


2 - You converted to a new religion that doesn't believe in owning mirrors.


3 - Stevie Wonder became your Personal Fashion Consultant.

Whatever the case may be, I consider it to be my civic duty to let you know that black sweatpants, white gym socks, and chunky high heels do not make a very fashion forward statement. In fact, the only time this look might be flattering is if you're 3 years old and you're showing off your newly-acquired, self-dressing skillz. (In which case, it would also be acceptable if you were wearing a purple feather boa, a bridal veil, winter gloves, and a yellow raincoat covered in duckies.)

You're welcome.

A fellow shopper (whose fashion sense isn't really THAT much superior to yours)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Don't mess with the Momma Bear

As I was reading through some of my favorite blogs this evening, I came across this post over at Highly Irritable about her son's less-than-pleasant visit to the dentist. As I read about her little boy's experience, I was flooded with the memory of a day back in the fall.

Benjamin came to me one day, finger in his mouth, and said, "Mom...what's this bump in my mouth? It hurts a little." As he said that, my mind flashed to several previous nights when he had said "ouch" as I passed over that area with the toothbrush.

I peered inside his mouth to see a good size bump directly above his tooth. Confident that I knew what it was, I said, "I bet that's a piece of popcorn that got stuck under your gums. That happens to me all the time. We have been eating a lot of popcorn lately, right?"

He nodded, finger still in his mouth.

"If you give it a little time, the piece will work it's way out of the gums. Okay?"

"Okay." He didn't look convinced.

That was on a Tuesday. The following morning, I looked at the bump again. It had gone down considerably but he said it was still sore. I told him the popcorn had probably come out, but his gums might be tender for a bit.

On Thursday, he came to me again to say it was still hurting and could I take a look. The swelling had come back and he flinched when I touched it. After he left for school, I called the dentist to make an evening appointment. Luckily, I got an appointment late enough that Nick was home from work and I could leave the other kids with him.

When Ben came home from school, I asked if I could look at it again. It seemed to have become even bigger during the day. And when I gently (with the touch of a feather, I tell you) touched his gums, the bump began to ooze a yellow substance.


At this point, I realized it was an infection. (Oh, thank you, Captain Obvious. Would the yellow pus have been your first or last clue?)

I did my best to hide my complete horror at the sight of YELLOW PUS OOZING FROM MY SON'S GUMS.

Deeeeep breeeeeath. "Okay, Ben. There's some stuff coming out of the bump. It's okay, though. We're just going to have you clean your mouth with warm salt water. Just put the water into your mouth, slosh it around, and spit it out. Don't swallow it."

Silently, I kept saying, "He'll see the dentist tonight. Everything's fine."

But still.....YELLOW PUS? GAH!

Nick came home from work. Ben and I left for the dentist. As soon as we pulled out of the driveway, the questions started.

"Will I have to get a pinch?" (That's the word we use instead of "shot". I always thought it sounded a little less intimidating.)

"I really don't know, Ben, and I don't want to say yes or no. I still think it's a piece of popcorn that got stuck and now it's infected. We just have to see what the doctor says."

"What's he going to do?"

"Honey, I really really don't know. Maybe he'll just have to drain it out and give you some antibiotics or something."

I could sense his unease. Thank heaven he'd brought his video game along to keep his mind busy.

We got to the dentist and he appeared to immediately know what was wrong and what would need to be done. He took an x-ray and called me into the hallway.

"He has an abcess, which is an infection. The root of his tooth is infected and we have to pull the tooth out tonight."

"Wait. What? TONIGHT?"

"Well, if you would like, you could wait until tomorrow and call a pediatric oral surgeon. I have someone I can recommend but he's pretty much going to do the same thing we'll do here."


"It's really up to you, but I can certainly take care of it tonight, if you'd like."


(Have I mentioned that I'm not so good in situations like this?)

We decided to get it over with right away, simply because an infection isn't anything to mess around with. And the fact that it was OOZING? Well that tells me the situation is pretty serious.

Ben is a very serious, sensitive little 7-year-old who is terrified (TERRIFIED) of needles. He was given the numbing cream first to take the edge off and the dentist tried his best to keep the needle out of sight.....but Ben still managed to catch a glimpse of it.

He wimpered at first. And then a tear rolled down his cheek. And then another. We all knew this wouldn't be easy.

After numbing him, Dr. A started working the tooth out. It was stubborn. Ben wasn't in pain, but he was scared and uncomfortable. He cried loudly and kept saying "OW OW OW".

Dr. A was putting a lot of effort into removing the tooth and Ben wasn't making the job any easier. So Dr. A, in a fit of bad-doctor-itis, said, "You have to cut that out! You're making this more difficult."


With my hair standing on end, I said, "Don't say that to him."

I glanced up at the nurse and she gave me a look that said, "Good for you. He's out of line."

Not sure if he'd heard me the first time, I said again, "Don't you talk to him like that."

He looked at me and got the point. After the tooth was removed and I got Ben calmed down, Dr. A pulled me into the hallway and apologized repeatedly. I accepted his apology and let the matter go.

After all, Dr. A is only human and might have been having a bad day, which is why I accepted his apology. We've had many good appointments with him and I have no reason to believe that his bedside manner is lacking (or non-existent).

That being said, I think if there's a scared little boy in his chair, he ought to be on his very best behavior....which is why I spoke up.

Maybe next time he'll remember that little boys come with Mommas....

and you better not mess with this Momma's little boy.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Pretty fly for a little girl......

These two like to walk around, hands on hips, and sing,
"Give it to me baby!
Uh-huh, uh-huh!"

I'm just thankful they're not singing,
"And all the girlies say I'm pretty fly

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

And the sky is a hazy shade of winter

Oh. Wow. Um, hello, Old Man Winter. Somehow, every year, I am shocked when you arrive.

When I turned the calendar from November to December, I knew you were on your way, so I don't know why I was surprised when you dumped a snowstorm on our heads just before Christmas.

And now that we're knee deep in the January/February blahs, I know that you'll probably be here for another 8 weeks or so. Feel free to leave at any time. I've already had enough of you. No, really, I'll even help you pack your bags! Would you like a brown bag lunch for your trip?

You see, Mr.'re a tough old bird to love. I could go on with an endless list of your flaws. But, you know....I'm trying to become more of an "if you don't have anything nice to say" kind of person. So I'll try my best to remember your redeeming qualities. I don't want to be the one responsible for the loss of your self esteem.

So, Old Man Winter, I love........

The cold, red cheeks and runny noses that indicate how much fun my kids are having in the snow.

An occasional snow-storm induced hibernation, complete with hot chocolate, popcorn, and a Shrek movie.

Fleece vests and brightly colored scarves and my fleece-lined mittens.

The lack of yard work. No grass to be mowed, no flowers to be watered, no gardens to be weeded, no pool to be cleaned.

Big, fat snowflakes.

The sound of the plow scraping the streets clean.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Oh who am I kidding?! I can't stand you! You overstayed your welcome about 4 weeks ago and it took me roughly 3 hours to come up with a list of things I like about you. You're like the "Uncle" who shows up at Thanksgiving dinner....freshly shaven, sweet smelling, and cheerful. But before long, you're drunk, drooling, scratching inappropriate itches, and telling racist jokes at the kiddie table. Everyone likes you at first....

I'm TOTALLY sick of runny noses, turtlenecks, asthma attacks, video games, my treadmill, and the daily "Do I HAAAVE to wear a hat and gloves?" debate.

GAH! Go away already! I miss opening my windows and wearing short sleeve shirts and running in the park.

Dumb winter......

You stink.