Saturday, 19 November 2011


Ah, holiday "tradition"-oriented as the military is, it's pretty hard for military families to make and keep their own. Moving every few years, having a loved one either deployed to Afghanistan or on a hardship tour; these and other things can interfere with having some of the regular traditions that other families enjoy. Nevertheless, even though we're often far away from our extended families, we find a way to make the holiday season something special for ourselves, and especially for our kids. So with this in mind I've decided to keep some of my family's holiday events going, and hopefully sometime in the future we can enjoy them with the rest of our family back in Illinois and Florida.

I've never been a football fan (smack me now), but there are two days a year I enjoy it: Thanksgiving Day, and of course the Super Bowl (which I admit I watch mostly for the commercials). My family usually picks a team to root for (and sometimes to make it interesting we'll assign each other opposing teams). This year my husband's mother will be here, so I'll prep as much as I can the day before, and hopefully the small dinner I made in Korea last year (recipes are here) can be increased to feed nine this year.

The first weekend in December is tree-trimming day. Although my parents have boxes of ornaments (many from Germany) they've added to over the years, we're starting from scratch, so part of the fun will be picking out decorations with the Vs. Later in the evening we'll decorate the tree and have some hot chocolate (although to be honest, this is usually a lot funnier with my parents, as my dad likes to add brandy to his coffee and then offer advice and direction until my mom ends up throwing a snow angel at his head).

Then we pick a day to make Christmas treats.... and this is usually an Epic Roth Event. My mother's quite the P√Ętissier, so she plans the menu (divinity, various flavors of rock candy [one memorable year this resulted in a cinnamon flavor that was so hot it singed the eyebrows while being made - this was a lot of fun to give to unsuspecting guests], peanut brittle (her father's secret recipe), fudge, sugar cookies, chocolate dipped peanut butter Ritz crackers (usually my dad's department; again, lots of fun if he's having some brandy while acting as my mom's sous chef), and my husband's favorite, peanut butter cookies topped with a Hershey's kiss.  This event occasionally has resulted in a food fight; one year the kitchen was absolutely coated in flour and chocolate.

Christmas Eve has always been my favorite.... we go to the mall (usually the quietest day out of the entire crazed shopping season) and pick out some last-minute gifts, then sit down to a huge seafood dinner by candlelight. Last year in Korea, Husband and I wrapped the rest of the Vs' presents while consuming the better part of a bottle of Moscato.

I've noticed that as I get older, having kids and a husband of my own, traditions are becoming more important to me. They're a way to mark time in a manner that's unique to my family, and hopefully tie extended members of the family together. Ten years ago I'd never have imagined thinking of starting traditions with a family of my own; now I'm imagining holidays with my grandchildren.

Sniff. Yep, snarky little me, getting teary-eyed thinking of my future daughters-in-law and dreaming up grandchildren. Damn holidays ;).

What are some of your family's traditions?

Sunday, 13 November 2011

The Totally Lame Zombie

As dictated by Vladimir. The first few paragraphs were actually yelled from his bathroom. While he was "thinking."

"SO. CAN YOU HEAR ME?" (me): "Yes! No need to shout!"  "OKAY! OKAY! SO -"  (me): "NO NEED to shout, V." Vlad: "GOT IT. Can you hear me? ANYWAY...

...It was a dark and stormy night... very dark... and very stormy." (a lengthy pause). "VERY...STORMY." (me): "Do you want to wait until you're done?" Vlad: "NO, the thoughts, they're comin' to me now. So write it down." Me: "You got it."

"SO BACK TO THE DARK AND STORMY NIGHT. This zombie, he was very tired. And lame. Maybe you're wondering why he was lame? Well, you get very tired when you're chasin' people around and trying to eat their brains. So you get tired. And lame." (toilet flushes)

Vlad (walking into the livingroom): "So the Very Lame Zombie -" Me: "Vlad, you didn't wash your hands." Vlad (incredulously): "I am TELLIN' a STORY!" Me: "Tell it while you're washing your hands." Vlad (stomping back to the bathroom): "You are MESSIN' with my thinking; I hope you know that." (washes hands and comes back into the livingroom). "Here, you wanna smell to make sure they're clean?" Me: "I'm sure they're fine. Continue."

"So this very tired and totally lame zombie, he just didn't have the energy to go chasin' after brains anymore. Besides, the only ones he could catch were GIRLS, and their brains, they taste like pink marshmallows which are okay, but after a while you just don't want pink marshmallow brains anymore. So he had to be SMART and he had to be FAST and he had to be VERY SNEAKY. How come? Well instead of chasin' after the brains, he decided he was gonna invent a brain-suckin' thing that would just SCHWAP! into the air and land on people's heads and suck the brains out and he could just do it all from the comfort of his very own sofa for only a hundred and ninety-nine dollars." Me: "What was a hundred and ninety-nine, the sofa or the brain-sucker?" Vlad: "The sofa. Can you just write the story and not talk?" Me: "Of course."

"So from his sofa he SCHWAPPED! out his brain suckin' thing and got all the smart people he could find, because he needed the extra protein. And suddenly he could walk again! It was amazin'! And so that is why you got to eat all your meatloaf at dinner. Because it looks like brains. And it has the protein. The end."

Me: "That's it?" Vlad: "What do you want; that's all I got right now." Me: "You need to eat more protein."

List Sunday!

That's right people... it's almost my Happy Birthday! My twenty-ninth Happy Birthday! Again!! (and Christmas too).

So in case any of you are stumped regarding what would make me happy on my Happy Birthday (and Christmas), I have compiled an annotated guide to Aleah's Happy Birthday (and Christmas!) dream list. Someone make sure Husband gets a copy.

Item 1: a female rottweiler. This one, to be precise:
Just text me once you've picked her up; I'll message you my address. I really need another female in this house.

Item 2:
Well yeah. I'm as materialistic as the next chick. Plus they'll go great with my boobs.

Item 3: A Littmann Cardiology III stethoscope. In red. It's only $160, so thus far, the most economical item on my list.    
 Item 4:

Yes. I'm one of those women.

Item 5: Well, the iCamera, while fantastic, just isn't quite cutting the mustard anymore. Ever since I've discovered the Hipstamatic app, I've been taking lots of black-and-white photos and presuming myself to be quite artistic. Black-and-white makes EVERYTHING look artistic. Plus I need one of these:

to take pictures of the cute new puppy I'm getting; amirite?

And finally, Item 6:
One of these babies. I'm a night-shift nurse. I need the boost.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

WHAT the fuck?!? (updated)

Yep, I used "fuck" in the title of my post today. In fact, I wasn't even going to post today (I'm tired, I have to work tonight, and I'm enjoying some pumpkin coffee). However, while perusing facebook this morning I came across a discussion that literally made my jaw hit the floor.

First some background: as some of you know, I like to piddle around on certain pro-homebirth/NCB sites; even though I can't comment on those pages, it's still excellent fodder for discussion within my private groups. Anyway, while scrolling through Peaceful Parenting's page (you know, the circ police who think everyone should breastfeed their kid until their wedding day) I came across this gem: a ten-year old in Mexico who was raped, had a baby, and stop the fucking presses, she is BREASTFEEDING THAT BABY.

Now what is one supposed to take from this article? Well, unlike most people, who would be HORRIFIED at a ten-year old being raped and forced to carry a baby, "Dr." Momma writes this: "She is recovering herself, and thanks to her milk, her son is now doing remarkably well for his tender condition."

Now if that's not amazing enough, she goes further to write: "an investigation is taking place to find whether or not this young girl was raped, and who the father of this baby is...

Legal age of sexual consent in Mexico is 12 years, and it is illegal to terminate a pregnancy unless a girl is able to prove she was the victim of sexual assault."

Let's recap what we've got so far: 
1. A ten-year old girl in Mexico 
2. Even though she's ten fucking years old, they're not sure if she was raped, so she'd better go ahead and have that baby
3. Even though she's only TEN, and had to have as The Good Doctor writes "A necessary surgical birth" (necessary maybe because she's fucking ten years old, her little body went into early labor, and TEN-YEAR OLDS AREN'T BUILT TO BIRTH BABIES), thank fucking god she's breastfeeding that baby, because not only should she be forced to carry that baby, she better keep it and breastfeed it too.

But you know what? That's not even the most amazing part of this story. What's amazing is the discussion on the article that's going on on Peaceful Parenting's facebook page - and hence the reason for this post. 

According to this lady: 

Yep, just 'cause she's ten, doesn't mean she was raped. Why? Because ten is ONLY two years younger than twelve, which (in Mexico) is the legal age of consent. Oh, she qualifies that with a "yeah, I think she was raped," but then again "we don't KNOW until the facts come out." So apparently the ten-year old could just perhaps be a MATURE ten-year old. We just don't know.

And then after a few other people express some dismay that 'ol Melissa would suggest that this ten-year old little girl might have totally been down with gettin' down, Melissa comes back a-firin': 

THANK FUCKING GOD this little ten-year old is "trying to see the silver lining" and doing what what good little ten-year old girls who've been raped, impregnated, and forced to carry the baby should do: breastfeed that baby. 'Cause CLEARLY that's what matters.

If you want to follow the rest of the discussion, check it out here; I have some wonderful friends who are continuing the discussion with Melissa.

Update: according to this story, an older male relative has been arrested in connection to this case. Apparently, Melissa Tullock Joers, it wasn't consensual. Imagine that.