Thursday, May 31, 2007

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Where I've Been

Let's see, since Thursday, I have done the following:

  • Dealt with the aftermath of an evening with tequila. (Cleaning up the kitchen turned out to be the easiest part. See Flickr for a guide to this photo.)

  • Played softball, where the MVP was "awarded" a large can of malt liquor at the end of the game. (Klassy. Also, thank god I muffed that throw to first base.)

  • Gone to the zoo, where Lumpyhead saw rocks. He also saw elephants, all three pandas, and ate lunch at Zoo Bar, but he was most excited about the rocks. (I was most excited about lunch at Zoo Bar.)

  • Been forced to watch a Thomas video that Aunt Bob lent us at least 25 times. It's all songs, all the time, except for two non-musical stories which Lumpyhead treats as intermissions. The songs are very, very bad. Aunt Bob did ask, upon handing it over, if I was sure I really wanted it. (I didn't. I was warned. My bad. But the Rolodex Game on Tequila Night, aka the Nail in the Hangover Coffin, was totally Aunt Bob's fault. All. Her. Fault.)

  • Begun making preparations for Lumpyhead's birthday party on Thursday. (Wanna come? It's in the park across the street.)

Tomorrow, I will pick up my parents from the airport. They'll be here for nearly a week.

I may need more tequila.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


I woke up this morning to a very lost man at my door. He was looking for the management office. Or perhaps a dishwasher. I'm really not sure. The combination of hangover, just-woke-up bleariness, and language barrier did not make for a very coherent conversation.

At least Bump didn't make me go to Lumpyhead's gymnastics class. That would have been vindictive. I probably deserve it, though. After all, we did make him listen to Shelly West last night.
(But it's a song about tequila! And we were drinking tequila! We had to listen to it!)

I feel bad, but not nearly as bad as I thought I would. I hope I'm not still drunk.

More Advice Haiku

That jerk who's pulling
your sweet pacifer out
of your mouth is you.

We've been over this
before. Will you get the hint
already? Good Lord.

You've no one to blame.
You did this to yourself. Just
quit it. Problem solved.

It's not like this is
the first time you have done this.
It's like you don't learn.

Dear Lumpyhead's Mom,
What you said, right back at you.
Much love, Tequila.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


You know, Tequilaing. It’s like caroling, only not.

Sarah and Devra are coming over tonight to make good on that side bet. Aunt Bob is coming too.

I’m ready.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Another Day of Maternity Leave, Another Morning Spent Away from the Baby

I'm probably doing it wrong.

Lumpyhead and I went to the Natural History Museum this morning. He saw the big elephant ("Heinie!" - yeah, I don't get that one, either) and fossils ("Dinosaurs! Roar!"). Then we went outside where we ate a pretzel ("Yummy!"), saw jets flying in formation ("Airplanes!"), and walked on the gravel pathway ("Rocks! Rocks! Rocks!") three steps at a time before we had to stop and pick up more rocks.

Then I pulled out a juice box with Cookie Monster on it and Lumpyhead nearly had an aneurysm of joy. If the juice box had Elmo on it, his head may have exploded.
Lumpyhead and his pretzel greet you from Maternity Leave, Part II in our Nation's Capital.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Monday Music Class = Bump and the White Girls

I went to Lumpyhead's music class this morning. It was very . . . girlie.

Bump's descriptions of music class have not been heavy on the details. (For instance, I found out today that the songs have choreography. What? Here I thought I was coming to my first class well-prepared.)

Bump tells me only general things, and has described some of the other children. I can confirm that Margaret is a little goofy-looking (and that tiny ponytail coming out of the top of her head isn't helping things on that front); Catherine stares blankly at me, too; and Raleigh's eyes are, in fact, way too big for her head.

I thought he was just being flighty when he couldn't remember the little girls' names, but I couldn't keep track either. Ella? Emma? Elizabeth? Good lord, there are like ten of them, all with little blond ringlets.

Bump has mentioned that the class seems estrogen-heavy. It's not that he assumed there would be other dads at these things, but nearly all the other children in Lumpyhead's class are of the girl variety. There was only one other boy there.

It was also very white. One of the things I like best about Arlington is its diversity. That diversity is not reflected in these rec programs, which I find a little disappointing. I'm not sure what I expected, exactly. There is a fee for the classes, and they're held in the middle of the weekday, so who did I think was going to show up?

We went to the adjacent playground afterward, where Lumpyhead played with some more white kids. At least their nannies had some color, so I no longer felt like I'd been teleported to North Dakota.

Bump dropped Lumpyhead and me off at class, and took Lula with him on some errands. I heard glowing reports about how well Bump manages both kids while still participating in the songs. I bet no one gushes to Bump about my performance this week. Not that I was a disaster - there was no foam pit, after all - but I only had one child with me, and I'm a woman.

There were lots of inquiries about Bump and Lula's whereabouts. When I revealed that Bump had taken Lula on a Target run, the instructor told me, "you have to clone that man." I pointed to Lumpyhead and told her I had tried, but had to settle for only half his DNA.

Friday, May 18, 2007

The Torte, Us, and the Hair

The Torte
(okay, it's really a tart, the bakery didn't have any tortes.*)

Proving once again that I am the World's Shittiest Photographer. My T-Rex arms are too short to get both Bump and me in the shot.

The Hair: Before

The Hair: After
(both Lumpyhead and Lula were napping during the after shot, so it's just me.)

*yes, I bought cake just so I could use this title. Shut up. And it's not even cake, it's a fruit tart; I plan to get actual cake later. Again with the you shutting up. A haircut is a fine excuse for cake. And yes, I donated the hair to Locks of Love.


I'm out.

Maternity Leave, Part II has begun.

I've spent the last hour watching Thomas and Friends. Does anyone know of any Thomas videos that are heavy on the singing? Lumpyhead will put up with only so much storyline before he insists on more songs. Bump has tried to convince Lumpyhead that he really doesn't like Thomas, he just likes the occasional songs, to no avail. We end up fast forwarding through the episodes until we land on those flat British kids caterwauling.

(Lumpyhead wants you to know, "Sodor! Thomas lives!" I think he means "Sodor is where Thomas lives," but he could just be triumphantly saluting that whiny little train.

I must go now. His Majesty is demanding more songs.)

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Advice Haiku

for Lumpyhead:

If you run one way
but turn your head another,
you tend to hit walls.

for Lula:

The love you show for
that damn pacifier is
undoubtedly fierce.

You get so mad when
it's gone, may I suggest you
stop yanking it out.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

It's the 16th of May

which is hard to believe,
I'm supposed to be out
on maternity leave.

I've had Dr. Seuss in my head all morning:

I should not be here.
I should not be about.
I should not be here
so I’ll gripe, scowl and pout.

Maternity Leave, Part II was supposed to start today, at the latest. Yet I am at work. Oh, the disappointment, how it burns.

When I left home today, Lula grinned at me from the changing table, her chubby little legs drawn up to her tummy and her arms waving.

To offer an additional punch to the gut, as I walked into the building a baby girl in a pink frilly dress waited for the elevator with her mommy and granny nanny. As I walked up the stairs, she started to wail, and I nearly joined in.

By tomorrow afternoon this should all be over, and Maternity Leave, Part II can start on Friday. I hope.

Yes, mother, do come home so I can shun you in favor of my papa, just like my brother does.

Monday, May 14, 2007

I'm Sure Maternity Leave, Part II Will Quickly Disabuse Me of this Notion

How I like to imagine Bump's day:

How Bump's day probably looks:
The only thing missing is one or both of the kids crying in the foreground.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Pitty Blue Hut

Lumpyhead pooped in the potty!


More accurately, Lumpyhead pooped whilst commando, and we caught it in the toilet. I wouldn't call it potty training, exactly; we’re just getting better at timing when to put the toilet bowl beneath his flourishing, surgically embiggened butthole.

The first time we caught the poop in the toilet, he sat on the throne with a little resistance. This time, he fought us like a belligerent drunk, and it took both Bump and me to hold him in the right position.

But only a small portion of the poop landed on the floor. And it meant we didn’t have to ball up a large load of steaming hot crap in his diaper and genie it, we could flush it away with great fanfare and much waving and wishing the poop well.

Bump is so proud he can hardly stand it. Not so much because Lumpyhead pooped in the potty, but because it was such a gigantic shit that it clogged the toilet.

Lumpyhead with his “pitty blue hut.” (That’s your cue to say, “Yes, that’s a very pretty blue hat.”)

Behold the insert for the potty chair we bought after the first time we caught his poop with the toilet bowl he pooped in the potty. We can’t get him to sit on the damn thing for more than four seconds, but he’ll parade around the house wearing something that’s destined to be smeared with feces on his head.

Friday, May 11, 2007

He Made a Special Trip Just to Get a Pint of AmeriCone Dream

Bump Report: At the Dupont Circle Ben and Jerry’s, there were two pregnant women with their yoga mats, eating low-fat frozen yogurt. They watched disapprovingly as Bump spooned bite after bite of chocolate ice cream into Lumpyhead’s greedy maw.

Yes ladies, that child’s mother does know what his father is feeding him. And she’s fine with it.

Also, AmeriCone Dream is pretty good.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Papa Haaaarted

I don't really have anything to add to this.

Click here if the embed doesn't work.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Senator McConnell Might Do Really Well on The View

I got all indignant last night while reading the Post’s coverage of the state dinner at the White House, particularly while reviewing the guest list.

There was a good amount of “Seriously, America, this is the best we could do?” sputtering, as well as a small hissy fit over which part of a couple was listed first on the Post’s guest list.

Me: All’s I’m saying is that if I ever ascend to a Cabinet position, I want top billing.
Bump: You probably don’t have to worry about that with me.
Me: I wouldn’t be so sure. Are you going to become the host of The View any time soon?
Bump: I’m not going to watch The View any time soon.

Well, I guess that’s a relief.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


NPR pledge drive time again. Grrrr.

This is me, falling to the carpet, kicking and pounding my fists on the floor. Now I’m peeking up, to see if you’re paying attention to my tantrum. No?

Fine, I’ll go do something else.

Work has been crazy. There is one last big push before Maternity Leave, Part II begins. I’m looking at my time off as a reward, which makes working long hours and weekends a little more palatable. Still sucks though.

We give Lumpyhead a treat after getting his boogers. After the flailing, squirming, squealing and exertion-farting related to the dreaded booger sucker, I figure he deserves some compensation for being so horribly mistreated.

I used to happily report, “Okay, we’re done!” Then I would ask him, “Now what do we get?”

He would answer, “Tcheet.” He was often sullen after the booger-getting, but would always brighten at the promise of a treat. We originally gave him M&Ms, but Lumpyhead now indicates his preference for mini candy bars.

Lately, I don’t even have to ask the question after nose-mining. I release him from the booger pin and he instantly announces “I get tcheet now.”

Notice that it is not phrased in the form of question.

He has begun to push the envelope of entitlement. After I wiped his runny nose the other day he said “I get tcheet now.” I gave him a single M&M (M?), but insisted it was only because he was cute; the nose-wipe did not qualify him for the candy. I don’t think he understood the distinction.

Yesterday Lumpyhead watched very solemnly as Bump sucked the snot out of Lula’s head. Lumpyhead always gets very serious when Lula cries, so his reaction was not surprising. When Bump put the booger bulb away, Lumpyhead piped up, “I get tcheet now?”

I guess he figured somebody was owed a chocolate bar, dammit, and since Lula couldn’t collect, it might as well be his.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Whatcha Got In There?

There are people who tell you not to be self-conscious about what you buy at the grocery store, because other shoppers are too busy minding their own business to look in your basket. Those people lie. Because let me tell you, I am SO looking in your basket. Or more accurately, I’m examining what you’ve put on the belt in the checkout line, and I’m probably judging you for it.

A few weeks ago I saw a grumpy-looking fiftyish man buying four big beers and a cartful of Lonely Choice Entrees. (Lonely Choice Entrees are those individually-sized prepared foods meant to go directly from the freezer to your lap in front of the TV, after a short blast in the microwave: lean cuisines, hot pockets, pizzas for one, etc. You might find a Lonely Choice Entree on your grocer's shelf instead of the freezer, in which case the blast in the microwave is completely optional.)

I felt sorry for Lonely Choice Entree Guy, and when I got home Bump tried to cheer me up with random speculation. Maybe the man preferred to be alone and didn’t like other people very much. Maybe he is happy to have his ungrateful kids and nagging wife finally out of his house. Maybe the man was not dining by himself, but bought these because he wasn’t a very good cook.

None of these explanations was very heartening, but I remain committed to basket snooping, and the express lanes are usually the best. (Oh, and in addition to judging you, I’m also counting how many items you have.)

One time a guy in front of me bought three things: a pregnancy test, some nonalcoholic champagne, and a tiny balloon that said “I Love You.” I wanted to follow him home to see how things turned out.

On Monday, I stopped by the store on my way home for some butter. In line next to me was a young woman wearing a nice suit and stylish sunglasses with two items: a bottle of chardonnay and a pint of ice cream. Best Lonely Choice Entree ever.

I almost went up to her and asked if I could be her friend.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


On Lumpyhead's throwing abilities

There's a little creek that runs near our house, and one of Lumpyhead's favorite activities is to throw pebbles into the water. He uses both arms to throw (much to Bump's delight) but is much better with his right than his left (much to Bump's chagrin).

He can't always get his rock into the water, but somehow he's always able to nail me between the eyes with his toys once we get inside. I've taken several shots to the forehead from close range in recent days, one from a wooden block and another from a hard plastic ball.

On Lumpyhead's communication skills

His verbal range is growing. We can't always understand him, but he's putting words together. Sometimes the effect is heart-breaking, like when he's wailing in his crib and adds "I cry," to his lament. Other times it's delightful, like when he asks to kiss Lula, "Beebee kiss!" and then adds "Sweet," after he's delivered his smooch.

He's the Supreme Master of the Obvious. He's using words to identify birds and buses and balls and balloons (except it's pretty much the same word). He also yells "Beebee seepy!" (Yes, baby is sleeping) right next to Lula's head a lot. Astonishingly, she doesn't always wake up.

Then there's this, following a certain distinctive sound:
Lumpyhead: Papa haaaaarted.
Bump: That's right! Papa farted.

We're totally encouraging that one.