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There’s An Angel On My Shoulder


Oh and as always, the request line for you to tell me something you’re dying to know more about is up and running. Holler in the comments if you want me to tell you the story of whatever burning question you might have for me.


The running joke here at Casa de la Sausage has always been that Alex is trying to kill me. We’ve joked about it since I was pregnant with him, and I think it’s pretty apt. Alex’s aggression makes me look like a wee pussy-cat (not a Pussy Cat DOLL, however) and makes me giggle, since I’m still bigger than he is. FOR NOW, I must remind myself.

This was proven to be completely true last night. But, because I am a nice Aunt Becky I’ll start at the beginning for those of you playing along at home.

When I was pregnant with Alex, I was sicker than I’d ever been before from Crohn’s, from hangovers, from anything else ever. I had a condition called hyperemesis gravidarum, which I had not had with Benner or I may not have had another one. I was very, very sick.

Finally around 20-odd weeks later, during the glorious second trimester, it abated somewhat, and was replaced with such severe depression and anxiety that I could barely function. I also ended up in L and D because I thought that my water had broken.

Turns out that thankfully I had just peed my pants, which may not be the most glamorous diagnosis, but I assure you that my mortification was very, very minor when I got this diagnosis.

With the third trimester came a whole new set of problems. Did you know that sometimes your ribs spread when you’re pregnant? I sure didn’t. But it hurts like a fucking bitch. It also made sitting up for any stretch of time completely impossible, so I spent much time laying on my side.

At 32 weeks, I gracefully did the splits when I was washing the kitchen floor, something I have never, ever done before and wound up again in L and D for monitoring. Then my Crohn’s kicked in and I became possibly the most miserable person on the planet.

35 weeks found me back in L and D because I thought, once again, that my water had broken. Again with the peeing of the pants. Suddenly the old castor oil induction started to sound pretty damn good. As did a coat-hanger (to break the amnionic sac).

36 weeks found me back in L and D because my darling son had, for once in his uterine life, taken a nap. This child was so active that I could fulfill my hourly kick counts in about 10 seconds. He just never stopped going.

Finally at 38 weeks, I called and begged my doctor to induce me. My Crohn’s was acting up majorly, my ribs hurt every time I took a breath (I would guess in my professional opinion that he actually broke a couple of them). The pain went above and beyond a minor inconvenience.

When he was born, he was quite a demanding asshole. He nursed 14-20 hours a day, sometimes as much as 18, and while that sounds awesome to someone like me who had convinced herself of her inability to breastfeed, I assure you that it got old very, very quickly.

In fact, until he was 10 or 11 months, I couldn’t safely go anywhere without him for more than an hour. I’d go out only to get called back by The Daver who couldn’t take him screaming for me anymore.

Until he was 11 months old, his intense need for me to be at his beck and call like a wee ickle dictator who poops his pants persisted into the nights. Where he would be up every 1-3 hours looking for a breasticle snack.

Alex’s first year and all his time in the womb I consider to be a write-off. Great kid, sweet personality (mostly), you really don’t want to get on his bad side or you will hear about it for the rest of the day. I love him fiercely and would gnaw off my own arm if I needed to for him. He’s great, really, he is.

But last night, last night he proved to me once and for all that this bitch better start watching her damn back.

I’d gone up to bed around 11pm and was laying there reading with the fan blowing in the mostly cool spring air (I have this thing about needing air blown onto my body while I sleep. And since I can’t hire someone to do this, I’m stuck with a box fan), when I started obsessing about something I had needed to get done on the main floor. I knew that I’d probably done it, because I almost always do it, and I’ve never found that I’ve forgotten to do this, but I just couldn’t stop thinking about it.

Eventually I realized that I had better go and check to make sure I’d done this task or I wouldn’t be sleeping for awhile, as my mind would churn like a broken record until I was certain. You thought I was being funny about this OCD stuff, didn’t you?

I heaved my aching calves (not the cows, dumb-ass. I’ve repeatedly petitioned for a calf of my own, but Dave won’t hear of it. Nor will he hear of a baby cheep–chick–, a goat, or a parrot) out of bed and when I opened the door to our bedroom, I was hit by a wave of…something.

It smelled like…something familiar. But what was it? I trouped downstairs sniffing the air (I have an amazing sniffer) and began prowling through the main floor. Not coming from the garage, the garbage can, outside. While I was sniffing and trying like hell to place the scent, it dawned on me.

What I was smelling was gas! Not farts, I wouldn’t have gotten out of bed for farts, but natural gas.

My house reeked of natural gas!

I hurried over to the stove (the one source of gas on the main floor) and sure enough, one of the burners was tipped slightly on, which over the course of several hours had filled up the house with natural fucking gas. I hadn’t noticed it sooner because I’d been sitting in it, so my nose had acclimated to it, but since our bedroom had been well-ventilated and I’d come from there, the smell had bowled me over.

Who the hell had been so stupid as to leave the burner partially fucking on?

My darling son, Alexander, who pulls himself up on the oven door and fiddles with the knobs is who. I didn’t realize because I am a complete moron, that he could actually tilt them to do anything at all.

Needless to say, there are 4 large knobs now sitting on my counter, only to go back on when we need to use a burner.

I’m thinking that the dog kennel that we have in the basement, unused by the dog that lives with us, is going to come in very, very handy. Until he hits puberty.


Any of you have near misses like that? Anything that you should have probably kicked the bucket for but somehow escaped unscathed?

28 Comments to

“There’s An Angel On My Shoulder”

  1. On April 24th, 2008 at 10:10 am Jessi Louise Says:

    That is really scary. Wow.

    We had one experience that was extremely scary in that life-threatening way that still makes me cringe. Jack was 3 and he stuck his spoon in an outlet. It sparked and burned a spot on the spoon before the circuit breaker went off. He was beyond the age where outlet covers do any good and the possibility he would stick a utensil in an outlet had never crossed my mind. Completely freaks me out every time I think about it.

  2. On April 24th, 2008 at 10:23 am The Milk Maid Says:

    My mother has put me directly in the path of every freakin tornado to blow thru here since 1979– does that count?

    I’m glad you are ok- I like you too much for you to go kaboom 🙂

  3. On April 24th, 2008 at 10:30 am kbreints Says:

    um yeah– but with my husband! The other night Dan made something on the stove. I cannot remember what it was.

    A few hours later I was walking by the oven and felt warmth on my arm. Sure enough the burner was still.on.

    I of course have done this before and so has my mother (as out house) so I calmly called Dan upstairs to point it out and have HIM turn it off. that is the only way I remember every time– is to be scared into doing it.

    –Thank god you had to go check on something downstairs! I do that every night thinking about if I locked the doors. (I am OCD too)

  4. On April 24th, 2008 at 10:33 am b Says:

    Thanks a lot Becky. Now I will ALWAYS get up to check on whatever my OCD tells me must be taken care of RIGHT NOW! I was on the road to recovery..and BAM, this story. Seriously though, I’m so glad you guys are okay..and sorry that your youngest child wants to kill you. I hope he grows out of it. : )

  5. On April 24th, 2008 at 11:04 am andria Says:

    Yeah, Jacob did the same thing, but he turned on the oven at my parent’s lake house just the least bit and we didn’t notice until we went back…..three weeks later. My parents weren’t living there at the time. Their gas bill was astronomical, but I’m still shocked that the house didn’t just blow up in flames one day.

  6. On April 24th, 2008 at 11:44 am Kristine Says:

    I have been witness to many many car accidents…as in just 50 to 100 yards back. All the while I’m all mad at the guy in front of me for going so damn slow, or not taking off from a light fast enough for my taste. And then BAM…that could have been me. I actually wacthed a guy fly out of his windshield onto the concrete barrier and get hit by his own truck before. Scary stuff.

  7. On April 24th, 2008 at 11:53 am Michelle Says:

    I have learned to listen to my inner OCD/instincts. 2 incidents come to mind. First was while we lived in WI. Our house was built in 1870 and the gas boiler had been converted from oil to natural gas. The control was on the floor, unprotected. Our puppy had been playing around down there and knooked into it. I swore I could smell gas after it, but hubby could not. I finally called the gas company in the middle of the night. The guy could not smell anything either, but when he used some electronic dealie, it went crazy. The old house would have gone up like kindling.
    Next time was our water heater in our present home-I just had a weird feeling about it one morning and went down to check on it. Sure enough, it was leaking. It was in a back room, behind closed doors-would have flooded the basement had I not looked.

  8. On April 24th, 2008 at 11:55 am g Says:

    That’s crazy Bec! I am so glad your OCD flared up last night.

  9. On April 24th, 2008 at 12:34 pm Karen Says:

    That is crazy! Is Alex like Stewie from Family Guy?

  10. On April 24th, 2008 at 1:54 pm Heather Says:

    Last summer when Beans was about three months old, she was sitting in her high chair eating, of course. The elder child was playing with his trucks and I opened the back door (in a bikini because we’d been swimming earlier and I hadn’t changed yet) to fill the dogs’ water bowls. When I turned around (literally 10 seconds later), the little dear had shut the door AND LOCKED it. Now the problem is that he didn’t know how to UNLOCK it, and he began screaming and pounding on the door hysterically while the baby was suspended in a high chair under his watchful (not) eye. Naturally, we live in the damn country and the nearest neighbor is my FIL, so I booked it in my BIKINI and barefoot across two fields with grain almost four feet high to borrow his phone so that E could bring me a spare key. So FIL got an eyefull and the wee one got an earfull.

    And props to the OCD. I thank my own often enough.

  11. On April 24th, 2008 at 1:31 pm Patti Says:

    Sounds like you might want to have the gyno-guy/gal check for a time bomb in your ute. Classic Stewie move.

    My little pyro tried to blame it on the cat when something similar happened at out house when he was about 5 years old. Since he didn’t understand my proof (ie cats don’t have opposable thumbs) I decided to have him talk to a fireman. Yeah, I took my kid down to the fire house, rang the bell and told the fire chief about our “cat problem”.

    It took the little booger THREE YEARS to finally admit to me that it was he who had been playing with the stove.

    My assvice is to take the little whipper-snapper to the fire house and even if he IS just a baby, have them show him the fire safety video. Hey, if we can plop our kids in front of Einstein videos hoping to teach them math we sure as hell can show them a few “How Not To Kill Your Parents & Especially Your Birth Giver” videos too. And hey, it might catch on….

  12. On April 24th, 2008 at 3:03 pm Chris Says:

    Oh Aunt Becky, where do I begin. You see unlike you, my children not only try to kill me and their mother. but they also try to kill each other.

    Let’s see…

    How do I kill thee? Let me count the ways.
    loanmowers, gas, knives, fire, cars, lighters, stove, vaccum, dishwasher and of course my favorite the laundry dryer.

  13. On April 24th, 2008 at 2:42 pm MsPrufrock Says:

    See, THIS is why I will never have another gas stove. Forget that shit.

    I once gassed the in-laws when I was over for a visit. I had never used a gas hob before and had turned one of the knobs on without trying to ignite the flame. Consequently, the gas was on until some clever clogs caught a whiff and saved us all from certain death.

    I’m pleased to hear you’re not dead.

  14. On April 24th, 2008 at 4:29 pm CLC Says:

    Yikes, you are one lucky Aunt Becky. I guess you are glad for that OCD just about now, right?

  15. On April 24th, 2008 at 4:34 pm Five Husbands Says:

    Another brilliant post Becky. Scary, yes, but great. Maybe Alex is watching Family Guy. Stewie could take lessons from him.

  16. On April 24th, 2008 at 4:56 pm baseballmom Says:

    Holy Jesus God…thank goodness you checked! The scariest thing that my Alex did was stick 2 ends of a coat hanger in the outlet, and it turned the whole wall black and tripped the breaker…freaked him out! One night we were sitting watching tv with the kids who were sacked out in sleeping bags on the living room floor, ready to go to sleep, and one of the boys smelled a weird smell. I did not smell it, and neither did Husband. I went around to all the candles, tv, outlets, etc. and then felt the wall by the back deck light switch. It was HOT as hell, and when I looked outside, the outdoor light that Husband had plugged Christmas lights into had a big burn mark around it. Husband took it off the wall, and the insulation inside was smoldering…my babies coulda burnt up in the night from the stupid Christmas lights! I was so glad I checked out the weird smell, even tho it was just the kids who kept smelling it~

  17. On April 24th, 2008 at 6:51 pm c. Says:

    Holy crap, Aunt Beck. VERY scary stuff.

  18. On April 24th, 2008 at 8:41 pm TheRamblingHousewife Says:

    OMG!!! Yes!!

    I feel like my life is a series of near misses. SERIOUSLY!!

    How about the time I found the Choo-Choo, (Yes, the little one) licking a butcher knife, that he pulled out of the sink!

    That one was fun . ..

    Oh did I mention that happened today? 🙂

  19. On April 24th, 2008 at 8:39 pm tony Says:

    when I was about 18 months old, my 24 month old cousin and I decided it was time that I climb into a cloths dryer and he turn it on. This was my grandmothers, and built before safty features prevented it from being turned on with the door open..

    I can actually clearly remember it too. sitting in this cozy space with an opening of light….then suddenly a loud roar, lots of spinning and a series of cracks on my only recently hardened noggin. I wasnt outwardly hurt, though several family members debate weather or not I’d scrambled the left and right lobes of my brain.

  20. On April 24th, 2008 at 9:08 pm Heather P. Says:

    WOW! Glad you are ok!
    From reading your other posts about the pregnancy, I figured that you had suffered with the HG. I lost one pregnancy to it, and then had it with my son. He was the very same way in utero too, he danced! When we went to see Chicago while I was pregnant, I swear he danced through the entire thing! Every afternoon he would crank it up and start dancing and I would have to go lay down for a nap.
    Oh and I have to tell you, he will only get bigger and stronger, just like mine has!

  21. On April 24th, 2008 at 10:11 pm Lindz Says:

    whoa! there.
    thats crazy stuff. I have the safety OCD too. I have to check doors, and make sure cigs are out before I leave, and if I get out the house even a couple blocks away, I WILL come back and check!
    love the new layout =)

  22. On April 25th, 2008 at 7:11 am Ames Says:

    A very close call Becky, I’m so glad you caught it when you did.

    Joe used to keep his desk and his computer down in the basement so he could play world of warcraft without interruptions. Our basement had supposedly never seen water, but lo and behold we had a huge snow/freezing rain storm and got about 4 inches of water throughout the entire basement. Not thinking, Joe walked down into the water with his bare feet to go over and shut the circuit breakers to the basement off when he realized that next to his foot was a plugged in surge protector completely under water. My brother in law who is an electrician told us that he’s lucky he didn’t get shocked or kill himself when he stepped into the water.

  23. On April 25th, 2008 at 7:43 am Leslee Says:

    We used to have to rig Alex’s door when we put him to bed. And by rig, I mean use a shoelace and a nail to keep in from opening his dorr. He liked to play with the stove, too. I blame his father for this. See, when Alex was just a bitty, bitty baby, Matt liked to light his Zippo and show Alex the flame cuzz that baby was absolutely amazed by it. When he was about a year and a half old, he realized that he could look at the pretty, pretty fire if he turned on the stove. I slept out in the living room then (long story there) and woke up several times to find him in the kitchen, playing with the stove.

  24. On April 25th, 2008 at 12:55 pm Backpacking Dad Says:

    I only have a couple of lives left:

    1yo: fell head first into an open toilet (clean toilet, thank you very much). Saved by madly barking dog who went to tell on me.

    1 1/2yo: figured out how to open the back door; ran away for a while. Found in a Calgary field with no shoes on a couple of hours later.

    2 yo: fell into a hole in the kitchen floor. Saved by an extruding heating pipe (inoperable) that caught me and prevented me from crashing 12 feet down into the concrete-floored sub-basement.

    6 yo: Hit by van while riding bike on highway. Hit straight on the back tire and flew off, out of harm’s way (concussion, scraped knees, scalp injury); any deviation from a straight-on hit would have resulted in being run over rather than launched off.

    7 yo: jumped into the bottom of a drying quarry; landed in the mud (hooray!). Driven to the bottom and concussed by a friend who jumped down on top of my head from above.

    10 yo: fell through the ice on the St. Lawrence river; saw enough after-school specials before then that I caught the ice with T-bar arms and was able to pull myself out, in front of my terrified younger sister who was on the ice with me.

    I think I’m forgetting one, because I was pretty sure I was up to 7.

  25. On April 25th, 2008 at 8:03 pm Ashley Says:

    if i get my alex a shirt that says “bitch gotta die” and your picture on it, will you mak him wear it? i’m thinking the charlie’s angels pic from your wedding…

  26. On April 25th, 2008 at 9:17 pm Angela Says:

    I love your redesign!!! And I’m dying laughing here. Breastsicle? Seriously. I can’t stand the smell of natural gas, so no, this has never happened. But it did happen to a friend in college…and her house exploded actually.

  27. On April 25th, 2008 at 10:02 pm Kristen Says:

    Oh. My. Goodness. The things that you have gone through with this child!
    I am so thankful that you are all okay. I too can not go to sleep if I have a brain tickle like that. Sometimes they wake me up in the middle of the night. I am always sure God is trying to tell me something!

  28. On April 26th, 2008 at 10:24 pm honeywine Says:

    When I was 3, I unplugged an electric blanket and stuck the cord in my mouth. My tongue kept bobbing up and down as the electricity hit me, but eventually my parents did notice. I had a couple of close calls that year actually. I guess with the new baby they weren’t paying attention.

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