Wednesday, June 22, 2011

BAD BLOGGER. BAD. (also, the blog in which I do a stupid test)

Again, I haven't posted in awhile.  Not a lot has happened - I went to South Carolina for the concert I'd been planning on going to, and I had an absolute blast.  I wish I had some better pictures than the ones I'm going to post, but my camera really does suck for taking pics during a live show.  But I got my pic with the guys in the band, so that rocks.

I'm mainly posting today because of that damned Intelligender test.  Mr. Berry scheduled me for a gender-determining ultrasound next month, and while he was there he picked up the Intelligender test since the ultrasound place said that they'll knock the price of the test off the price of the ultrasound next month - so essentially, the test was free.

I snapped a pic of the kit, so you guys can see it in all it's "glory."
Not included - gloves for when you inevitably piss on your own hand whilst trying to catch the sample

I took my FMU (or whatever I could catch after peeing on myself) and drew up 20 mLs from the syringe provided.  As much fun as we could have with a syringe squirt gun, I threw it away after I was finished - no one wants to be squirted by something that held pee. The instructions say to peel the little sticker off the hole covering the kit - Mr. Berry had to do this, as I'm a chronic nail biter and have absolutely no nails to speak of - and then slowly introduce the urine the urine to the test via the tiny hole in the top.
Hooray for proper colored pee!

The test said to wait 5 minutes before reading the results, but I figured it would be more fun to take a picture at each minute mark.  The pics below start from immediately after putting the urine in the test and go up to the 5 minute mark.

You can see that pretty early in the test, it turned the dark green shade required for a "boy" result.  By the time the 5 minutes was up, it was so dark it was almost black!

Mr. Berry watched almost the whole process (I'm sure you guys can figure out which step he skipped) while eating breakfast.  I made sure to remind him that the test is just for fun and in no way is it scientifically reliable.  I told him that he shouldn't get his hopes set on a boy until the ultrasound next month...but I could tell he kinda has already.  WHARGARBLE.

Overall - the test was basically free, so I'm not out any money.  I wouldn't buy it in the store because I know that it's not to be counted as reliable - everything I've been reading online about the tests state that it's just a simple pH test and you could theoretically duplicate the test at home with baking soda. In light of that info, I made sure to drink a bottle of water last night before bed to help neutralize anything I'd eaten that may skew the results anyways.

But we were hoping/feeling the boy vibes anyways, so this does somewhat confirm those feelings.  I'm not going out and buying blue paint, though - although Mr. Berry has already bought a little boy's outfit from Dollar Tree because it was on sale for $2 anyways and it had Ironman on it.
Because my daddy's a sucker.

Hope you guys had fun - and I'll get the instruction booklet scanned at some point today, after I figure out how to upload and post a .pdf file to a forum.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Haven't posted in a week...for a reason

Things have been really boring around the old homestead the past week or so.  Laundry, chores, walking the dog, feeling like crap due to my uterine parasite - oh, don't look scandalized, by all scientific definitions a baby in utero is a parasite since it feeds off the host with no mutual exchange of benefits (unless you count my huge knockers).

I wish I had something funny and clever to blog about, but I really don't right now.  The Things are performing optimally at school and at home - Thing 2 has had 2 solid weeks of "10 smiley days" at kindergarten, and Thing 1 is actually getting a little mouthy and attitude driven.  This should concern me about Thing 1, but this "Jeebus, you are annoying the fuck out of me" stage is a very typical thing for kids her age to go through.

It literally took me 5 minutes to snap a photo of her where she's smiling.  In most of them,
she looked severely pissed off about being bothered for a picture.
This is so weird - I'm excited that my kid is acting a little bitchy to me!  Usually, Thing 1 goes with the flow and is very lackadaisical about what goes on (as long as it's within defined parameters of what's "normal" - she doesn't mind if we suddenly need to leave the house for the entire day, as long as she can bring something familiar with her).  But her acting annoyed when I call her name, or getting pissy when I remind her to do her chores - this shows me that she's finally maturing at around the same rate as other "neurotypical" children in her age group.

Not that I let it fly, though - I smile on the inside at this relatively typical development, but I still make sure she responds to requests politely, not snottily, and she still has to do her chores and that "Fiiiine *huff*" is not an acceptable response to "Hey, don't forget to scoop the cat box." 

But otherwise, yep.  Boring as hell out here.  Not gonna lie, I'm liking that right now.  It's going to be batshit in a couple weeks when they're home ALL DAY EVERY DAY, and I'd like to enjoy the peace and quiet while it lasts.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Naming your Noob: A Public Service Announcement

Hello, interwebs.  Have you ever seen a person with an incredibly redonkulous name that makes you totally want to cry?  I'm not talking about Gwenyth Paltrow and Apple, or Gwen Stefani and Zuma, or whichever celebrity pops our a spermnugget this week and names it something batshit crazy.  They're already celebrities and eccentric, I pretty much just shake my head and move on when I think about them.

I'm talking about normal, everyday people cursing their children with bad, bad, bad names. I don't think I've seen a "normal" person become famous because of their super-duper special name.

A quick perusal of online baby forums and any baby naming website will quickly supply you with hundreds of names you've NEVER EVEN HEARD OF.  Even worse, it will supply you with names that hundreds of other parents think no one's ever heard of, and you'll name your kid that, thinking that it's completely unique (oh, Imma get to that later), and then in 10 years you've got 16 kids in the same grade named Aiden/Brayden/Jayden/Kaiden/Grayden/Paydon/pretty much any consonant or dipthong followed by -ayden.

You said it, kitteh.

"But Brawlberry!" you may ask, fuming quietly, "It's not like unique names are hurting anyone!  It's not like people with interesting names are more likely to commit crimes or something!"

Ladies and gentlemen, Exhibit A, please.

"That may be so, if you buy into that 'research' crap," you may retort, "But they'll have a name that will make them more memorable!  They'll definitely be in a better position to get a job with a name that will be remembered!"

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmaybe not.  (This link is to an actual research article - feel free to read it if you want, but it's hella long)

"My child is the most unique snowflake out there.  He/she deserves a name that's befitting of his/her rainbow-farting/glitter-pissing excellence!  There's never been a child as unique as my child!"

Please.  There are 6.5 billion people in the world (or something close to that, you know how hard it is to get an exact count).  Our physical makeup - mostly oxygen, nitrogen, and hydrogen - is essentially identical to every single other person on the face of the planet.  Unless your child breaths methane and emits arsenic, I'm betting that they'll be just like every other snot-nosed kid in preschool who has to draw their letters with crayons.

Basically, think about your child for a moment.  One day, your child will grow up.  They will leave your house (hopefully), and they will go to college/find a job/do something - basically, they will become an adult.  Your child will have to compete for jobs, housing, , loans, and acceptance into universities, and the very first thing anyone will know about them is their name.  Burdening a child with a name that screams "My mommy thinks I'm a sooper-speshul snoflayke!" is bound to work against them.

Now, I know what you're thinking - "There's no way that someone would discriminate against people based upon their name!  I know *I* wouldn't!"

Well, sugartits, are you in a position where you *could* discriminate against someone based on their name?  Probably not.  And the fact is, not everyone thinks like you do.  In fact - subconsciously or consciously - employers, banks, acceptance committees, loan companies, and other establishments DO discriminate.  No one can ever directly prove it to the point that a person could sue over it, but the fact remains that giving your child a unique or "fad" name is not helping them in the future.  

Please remember - your child is the one that has to live with the name, not you. So the next time you see the "ZOMG HOTTEST NEW BABBY NAME!!!11!!" - think responsibly. 

And please don't make kitty bash his head anymore.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Good moms versus Great Moms (TM)

"A good mom lets her children lick the beater after they make cookies together.  A great mom turns the beater off first."

Sometimes, it's a struggle to make the extra leap to turn off the blender.  This is a little easier now because my hand beater is broken, but Mr. Berry bought me a KitchenAid mixer so that actually solves the entire dilemma - I don't think their little heads will fit under the mixer.

There's such a stigma about being a "Great Mom" (TM) as opposed to just a "good mom."  You know what a "Great Mom" (TM) is as soon as you see her - it looks like her kids literally just stepped out of a Pottery Barn Kids catalog, and she is perfectly coiffed, her clothes as smooth as her Botox'd forehead, and there's not a lick of trash in her spotless SUV.  For reference, see Victoria Beckham.

I will tell you right now, I personally do NOT know any "Great Moms" (TM).  I see them occasionally, usually at an upscale mall or shop, and I have to wonder at the dosage of Lithium that they are on because anyone with kids does NOT have that placid of a look on their face without heavy medication.
Reporter: Ms. Beckham, just how do you look so chic AND have kids?
Vic: Do what? I'm sorry, it's time for my meds.

However, this doesn't mean that all the moms that I know are crap.

All the moms that I know have frizzy hair because they haven't brushed it since the morning - or sometimes even last night. *gasp*

All the moms that I know have wrinkled clothes from being down on the floor with their kids.

All the moms that I know have a ton of kid crap in their car.  They even have wrappers from fast-food places that their kids have squirreled away for some reason.  And most of these moms have "confessed" to finding old sippy cups or even food in their car - I know I have.  BTW - Chicken Nuggets from McDonald's do.not.decay.ever.  They just get harder and harder until they're like little rocks.

All the moms I know have huge purses.  The difference between Great Moms (TM) and the moms I know is that my kind of mom's bags are full of toys, crayons, bits of crackers, extra underwear for the preschooler, Mom's day planner, and even something for Mom to do while waiting at the doctor's office. Honestly, I've just taken to bringing my knitting bag with me when I leave, and throw everything in there - it's big enough to fit all the kid's crap, plus three projects that I'm working on.

All the moms I know don't have a freaking nanny - they're too practical to pay someone to raise the child they wanted so that they have free time.

All the moms I know are real, in every sense of the word. They raise real kids, not moveable mannequins.  These kids are often running, eating, drinking, farting, shrieking, giggling, and playing. They raise people, not Mini Me's.

I'm lumping myself in with the <del>good</del> real moms, not the "Great Moms" (TM) - even if that means I have to make sure the mixer is off before I let them eat sugar, butter, gluten-ridden flour and raw eggs.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Why my kids are awesome

I really don't have chances to post stuff like this - more often than not, once the girls get home from school my day consists of breaking up fights because one Thing didn't like what the other Thing did on the video game, or "She took my book!" et cetera ad nauseum.

But today, I get to toot my own horn, because my kids showed me that while they may act like selfish little crotchfruits to each other - and this gives me great hope for when we have a third.../sarcasm - they really can rise to the occasion and be selfless little darlings.  Without me standing behind them kicking them in the ass to prompt their lines.

My sister is going through a rough patch right now - suffice to say, as of tomorrow morning she'll have absolutely nothing to her name except 4 kids, 4 twin beds, and a sofa. I told her that I wished that I could come down to help her, but with gas prices the way they are and us being a single income family, there's no way I'd be able to afford the gas to take the trip to see her (she lives 4 hours away, I'm really not that big of a selfish bitch). I did tell her that I'd help the Things pick out some toys to send down with my brother, who's going down to help her.

It started with me organizing Thing 2's room - sweet baby Jesus, that room was a wreck.  I found a half-eaten bagel and an apple slice - I didn't even know she had brought food up there (note to self - explain why bugs in the house are a VERY BAD THING).  Three bags full of trash later, I'd managed to consolidate her toys down to 6 Rubbermaid totes - to be fair, 4 totes were stuffed animals - with some various tiny crap like Littlest Pet Shop pets in baskets and bowls around her room. 
I swear, these things will eat your soul with their eyes.
The next part I knew would be the hardest - actually persuading a 5 year old with ADHD and anxiety with OCD tendencies to part with some of her most beloved objects.  Even harder than that - cajoling a 7 year old with autism and severe attachment issues to part with anything.  I may as well have asked a homeless person to give me their last piece of food while I was stealing the money people had given them.

Boy, was I wrong.
It took a little explaining what was happening (including a necessary talk about why married people should never ever ever hit each other and that she should never tolerate it from anyone she knows), and Thing 2 parted with 2 totes worth of toys.  This kid gave up 1/3 of her toys - including some prized possessions, such as some of the said LPS and some Dora stuff - so that her cousins could have some toys.  She also agreed that we should send our collection of Goosebumps novels to her oldest cousin, who's turning 13 in a few weeks and does nothing but read.  I was so amazed at her generosity, and I definitely let her know how proud of her I was, and that I was very impressed with her selflessness, and that her cousins and her aunt were going to be immensely grateful. She was very proud of herself - I think she finally understood for a few seconds that sometimes, there are people worse off than you are, and it's our job as fellow humans to help them when we can.
Thing 1 - who gets off the bus after Thing 2 - started to give me a little trouble.  She really understands more about human emotions than she lets on, I think.  I didn't even need to explain what had happened, as soon as I told her who it was for, she said "Yep, I changed my mind.  I'll give them some of my toys."  I'm glad she did, but I need to work with her more that generosity should extend to those outside of your family as well.  She only gave three things, but considering that 1) she only has one bin of toys to begin with, and most of those are hats and purses, and 2) what she did give was meaningful to her, I was very impressed.  She was more worried about my nephew, who's about to turn 5 in July, than my nieces - she knew that Thing 2 had donated mostly girly stuff for the nieces, and since she had the more tomboyish toys, she felt that he would like them most of all.

Their generosity inspired me as well - I couldn't bear to look around and see my kids being so selfless, and then not be moved by it at all.  So as of tomorrow, when my brother goes to help her leave, he'll be bringing 2 boxes of toys, a box of books, a box full of bedsheets and blankets (I kept one spare set for each bed in the house), some crayons and coloring books, a VCR with about 15 videos - thank God for Half Priced Books! - and a television.
This is where Mr. Berry had stepped up to the plate - I had called to tell him that I was watching my brother's daughter for him while he and his wife went to help my sister, and I explained to him what was going on.  It was totally his idea to send the TV and VCR and to go buy some kid videos for her kids to watch. He totally reminded me today why I married him <del>a billion</del> eight years ago.

Today reminded me that I really am a very lucky woman.  For all the trouble that my family has, what with multiple doctor's appointments every week for Thing 2, battling with the insurance company to get at least something covered for Thing 1, Mr. Berry's hectic work schedule and worries of finding employment in the teaching field with Ohio's public servants being buttfucked, keeping the house clean and food on the table...

I'm reminded that I at least have all this shit that drives me crazy.  And I'd rather be crazy with my family than sane without them.

They're totally worth it.  

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


And the rest of the city is Randall.

Keeping your cool

For as timid a person as I am with strangers, people who know me well know I have a vicious temper.  Just this past weekend, Mr. Berry and I were playing a card game and I misread one of the rules that affected how I'd been playing the game for at least 5 turns.  When I was informed of my mistake, I flipped my shit.  Granted, right now I'm blaming it on pregnancy hormones because I would have found only that mildly annoying before I was up the duff.

Maybe the hormones are making me much more sensitive to things that piss me off.  The stupid 8 year olds riding in a limo the other day, standing up through the moon roof and making asses of themselves?  Most days I'f just roll my eyes, maybe smile a bit.  But instead I yelled "put on a damn seatbelt, you freaking monkeys" out my window.

That was unfair of me.  They were going down the equivalent of Main Street in a tiny suburb - the speed limit was maybe 20, and I know the limo wasn't going nearly that fast.  The kids (whom, by the way, I have no damn clue as to why they were in a limo in the first place - they were wearing street clothes, so I doubt it was a wedding or something) were just being kids.  Stupid, irresponsible kids.  Because that's what kids do - they make stupid choices and then they live through them and they're (hopefully) smarter when they wake up the next morning.

The reason why I'm rambling about being a pissypants is because I lost my cool yesterday with my youngest daughter about bedtime.  She has trouble sleeping sometimes, and can stay awake as late as 11pm some night, just playing in her bed.  This usually doesn't bother me because
1. I know she can't help it
2. She usually plays quietly or looks at books

However, for some unknown reason, last night was the night that she decided to try to rearrange her bedroom.  At 11pm. This includes a large armchair and her freaking 10 gallon fish tank. This clearly makes a LOT of noise, plus it blatantly defies my rule about getting out of bed after bedtime for anything except the bathroom or a drink.

You can see were I'm going with this.

Thankfully, it didn't get that far.  She didn't knock the tank over, thank God - but she did knock the hood lamp into the tank, and could have fried herself - as I've explained to her countless times. And trying to open her door when there's an overstuffed chair shoved in front of the door is NOT.FUN.

So today, the armchair is being removed, as well as the fish tank and 1/2 her toys.  And she is HELLA PISSED. And I frankly don't care, because if it means me staying calm for this baby because I'm not worrying about her knocking over a fish tank or breaking her arm, then that's a pretty easy choice. 

Now if I could only get her to get dressed in the morning without a virtual kick in the would be so much simpler.

Also, maybe if she didn't look like a little Joe Dirt.