Monday, June 30, 2008

Lumpyhead and I Ate Them All Anyway

This afternoon I came across a forgotten can of Pringles. I tasted one and noted, to no one in particular, "These are stale."

Then I added my favorite Electricyoak expletive: "Fucksticks."

Lumpyhead saw me with potato chips and and piped up. "I want fucksticks too!"

"Nice," Bump muttered.

First day home and I'm already teaching them shit they're not going to learn from their father.

I'll Do Better From Now On

So, that bedrest thing. Here's the deal: we still went to that wedding in South Carolina last weekend. I didn't defy my doctor, necessarily, but it wasn't high on her list of Recommended Things To Do on Bedrest. In fact, I don't think it made the list at all. She didn't outright forbid me to go, but pointed out there was no medical benefit to going to the wedding. There was probably some medical benefit to staying home. (Now that I think about it, she mentioned maybe going to the wedding but not the reception, so she might not have realized we were traveling for this event. Let's just keep that between us, shall we?)

So, equating "eight hours in the car" with "day at the office" - which my doctor expressly told me I could do - we departed. Fifteen minutes into the trip, I started to panic. Not about going into premature labor, but about a SIXTEEN HOUR ROAD TRIP with the tormentors. What the hell was I thinking? I thought this was a good idea? Christ, I'm dumb.

But the trip was wonderful. Really, the drive wasn't that bad, and I say that with the trip fresh in my memory. I'm not even blocking the trauma. Not that I'm jonesing to hop in the car again with my two small children and two large ankles, but it was certainly bearable.

The wedding itself was fantastic. The couple was adorable and the bride's family was joyous and the groom's family blended in with them so well it was impossible to tell who was who without asking. Childhood friend of the bride from Columbia? College friend of the couple from Dallas? Nope, groom's cousin from Iowa and his fiancee from Charlotte. It was lovely to see such a diverse group of people with so much in common come together. Truly a tribute to an amazing couple.

I'm rocking the bedrest today - work is slow so I'm not going into the office this week - making up for my rather loose interpretation of doctor's orders this weekend. I'm doing very little in the way of child care, but whenever I start contracting I drink lots of water and lie down.

I'll tell you more later about traveling with two kids and surviving, the dress I wore to the wedding, palmetto bugs, and the best babysitting karma ever (which confirmed that I was totally supposed to go on this trip). Bump may even write a post on an awesome museum for kids in Columbia.

In the meantime, I'm on Twitter (but I think I'm doing it wrong since I don't have text messaging on my phone or blackberry, so am checking Twitter via the web). Entertain me.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Despite the fact that this pregnancy seems to be progressing exactly as the other two have, I have been put on "strict preterm labor precautions."


It seems I am old. Those seventeen months that have elapsed since pregnancy #2 are apparently a Big Deal because I am now over 35. Symptoms that previously warranted a "take it easy and call us if you go into labor for real" now mean modified bedrest.

Because I feel fine – well, exactly as I did with the other two pregnancies anyway – I'm not that concerned, more annoyed than anything else. I've been cleared for work, so long as it's "desk only," but at home am supposed to lie down constantly. I think my doctor realizes I am more likely to be physically inactive at work than at home with two kids.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Scored a free babysitter and saw the Incredible Hulk last night.

Bump and I narrowed our choices to either the extraordinarily likable Steve Carell in Get Smart or the extraordinarily lickable Edward Norton in Hulk. When we got to the theater, Hulk was starting right then, but Get Smart started in 30 minutes, so Hulk won.

It wasn't bad actually. Very adequate summer blockbuster. Lots of CGI, some funny moments, definitely worth the effort if you've got a free babysitter.

Also: Lou Ferrigno. Much to my surprise, he's not dead. He looks a lot better than I would have guessed (not a high hurdle, I suppose, since I thought he was dead).

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

What Happens in Vegan -- Wait, Nobody Wants to Know What Happens in Vegans

I was chatting with Electricyoak yesterday about a possible trip he's taking later in the summer. I meant to type "Vegas, baby" but typed "Vegan" instead.

What a horrible, horrible mistake that would be. Can you imagine, planning to go to the Strip but ending up in a land without cheese?

That would really suck.

Monday, June 23, 2008

So You Acknowledge That Your Dancing Skills Are Pitiful, Coming Soon to ABC

Lumpyhead orders us around a lot, and like suckers, we often obey his commands.

This morning he was playing with Bump's Fathers Day card (are your kids as sucked in by the musical greeting cards as mine are? Damn) when he commanded "Papa sing the words."

Lumpyhead and Lula usually dance to this card - an awesome blend of jumping and writhing - so Bump and I started wriggling as Bump sang.

This apparently displeased His Majesty - he had ordered singing, after all, not dancing - so Lumpyhead yelled "No! Mama and Papa you can NOT dance."

"You're tellin' me, Buddy," Bump responded, as we both continued to flop around like fish gasping for oxygen.

I don't think Lumpyhead got the joke.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Triumph Has Nothing on Lumpyhead

When the tormentors have the misfortune of riding in my car (as opposed to the Nirvana on Wheels that is Papa's Car), Lumpyhead spends most of the drive asking for things that Bump stocks as car standards but I don't carry.

"I want animal crackers." Sorry Bud. No crackers. I might have a breath mint, though.

"I want to listen to ABCs music." Um, don't have that, either. How about some All Things Considered? I bet Robert Siegel could take They Might be Giants in a knife fight.

Last night, though, I was able to whip out a tiny box of animal crackers that I had stashed in my glove box. (Yay! Gold star for Plan Ahead Mama!) While they were a different brand than Lumpyhead is used to, he took great delight in pulling out animals and announcing what they were.

"It's a hippopotamus!" Okay. Hi hippopotamus.

"It's an otter!" Really? They make otters?

While I totally rocked the animal cracker test, I still don't have any CDs in my car. When the demand for MUSIC descended from on high, Plan Ahead Mama choked. My usual default is the classical station, but "No LIKE violin music" and "No LIKE piano music" left me surfing the horrible easy listening options on over-the-air radio.

"It's guitar music." Yep, we found some James Taylor.

Following James Taylor? Kokomo by the Beach Boys.

"It's Papa music!"

HA! Your father is going to be so pissed when I tell him. Which I am going to do the very minute I see him, because: HA!

Bump was indeed horrifically insulted when I relayed the story.

And he should be insulted. Bump's taste in music is very cool.* (Mine is not. I knew all the words to Kokomo.)

*For Lumpyhead to POOP ON

Oh, and lest you think my children are still sitting in my car from Saturday: I totally nailed the Double-Nap Transfer. I left the car running and took Lula in, put her in bed, then went back out for Lumpyhead. I realize a car thief could have jumped in and driven off with my son (and his camel), but I took the risk. I went with Lula first, thinking that Lumpyhead was less likely to be traumatized if he woke up in the car by himself.

Now if I can just remember to put a CD in my car. Also, I need to get another box of animal crackers. Do they make an All Otter version? Because apparently otters are the tastiest. Except I don't think that was really an otter.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Help a Mother Out, Part III

While Bump was out buying the van, I took the tormentors to Linda's pool. We wore them out so successfully that during the 10-minute drive home, they both fell asleep.

Yeah, Lumpyhead's holding a camel. Just, um, yeah.

Ordinarily, this is a cause for great celebration, (Both! Asleep! At the same time! Woo hoo!) but I was completely stumped about how to get them into the house and into their beds.

Bump has attempted the fabled Double-Nap Transfer in the past, rarely with complete success. I am a fumbling rookie at this.

For those of you with more than one child: how do you get them both out of the car? Actually, I don't care if you have any children. To anyone who is good at logistics: how would you go about getting two sleeping kids from the parking lot to their cribs?

This is going to be even worse when we have three.

While I'm on the subject - especially for those of you with twins - what do you do when both of your kids are crying at the same time? I can't believe it hasn't come up before, but the other night I was stuck with two wailing children, neither of whom could be adequately comforted with one arm. They both yowled until Bump returned home - which took only ten minutes but felt like hours - and I should probably have a better solution at the ready when it happens again.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Sorry If This Is TMI

I've heard that pregnancy is supposed to give you vivid and erotic dreams. That hasn't really happened for me.

I guess all that blogging about body shots must have done the trick, because last night I finally had a sex dream.

The Star? Bump.

I think I did it wrong.

No offense, Honey. I think you're hott - and so does my subconscious, obviously - but having a sex dream about your husband is like using a vacation day to go to the office.

Not that you're "work." Um, quick! Somebody give me a better analogy.

Monday, June 16, 2008

I Blew Through $50,000 On Saturday. You?

Bump bought a minivan on Saturday. We planned to wait until we settled into the new house, but
1) who knows when that great event will happen;
2) we will definitely need the van by the time Baby 3 arrives, and that event is somewhat date-certain;
3) we are taking a trip to SC at the end of the month. Bump didn't think his jeep would make it, and we certainly couldn't fit everything into my Civic.

So, we pulled the trigger. Bump employed Esther the Daytime Babysitter last Thursday and went shopping. He found a 2004 Odyssey with low mileage, no funny smells, and a DVD player. He went back and bought it on Saturday.

The van is nearly the same color Bump's jeep was. The interior is exactly the same color. Bump kept his old tags, so it's like his jeep simply morphed into a van.

Lumpyhead is very entertained by the automatic sliding doors. "Whooaa! They open and close and everything! Whoa!" He's gonna lose his shit when we show him the DVD player.


Our condo is now under contract. WOOT! (We didn't spend $50k on just a minivan.) We sold it for 10% less than the original listing price, but got to spend Sunday without worrying about last-minute showings.

Bump's not sure what to do with himself today, now that he doesn't have to keep the house clean. I'm just happy to have trash cans again. (Can anyone tell me why trash cans are so offensive to potential house-buyers? Why must a staged house have no trash cans? Wait, don't tell me. I don't care. I don't HAVE to care anymore. Whoo hoo!)


So. We have a van. We have a buyer. Now we just need a house.


Oh! Also. In the middle of blowing through $50,000 we went to a children's concert. It was about 1000 times less hideous than I thought it was going to be. Lula was wiggly the whole time and Lumpyhead just stood there staring like a drunk at a strip joint, but I think they had fun. Most importantly, I did not spend the entire time wanting to shove a pen in my eyeball, which is how I expected to spend the concert.

Probably because the performer was kinda hot.

Because I'm completely inappropriate, let me say that this cherubic children's entertainer can get right up there on the body shot table after Edward Norton hops off. Just saying.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Mornings and Movies

Lula woke up unusually early this morning, so I had the bright idea to take her for a walk. I used to go on summer morning walks with Lumpyhead if he woke up early enough, taking advantage of the pleasant A.M. temperatures before the DC heat becomes unbearable.

I thought I might even stop by the bakery and pick up a few pastries - a nice wake-up surprise for Bump and Lumpyhead - so I stuffed fifteen bucks into Lula's pocket and off we went. (Yes, Lula's pocket. Maternity clothes have no pockets, so I've resorted to carrying my shit around in my children's clothes. Note to burglars: target the toddler.)

I deemed the big stroller unnecessary, so Lula and I walked to my car to get the umbrella stroller. While we were there, I decided I should move the car to a closer parking space so my lazy ass could enjoy the convenience when I left for work later. Plus, we were going on this walk now, so I earned it.

As I approached a fantastic Kojak spot, a garbage truck snuck in and blocked it. (Doh!) At this point I could have turned around and pulled into a less Kojak space, idled until the garbage truck moved in a few minutes, or kept driving until I mysteriously found myself in front of the Dunkin Donuts.


I mean, see how nimble I am? I have the startling ability to change my plans spontaneously like that. Roll with the punches. Go with the flow.

$15.20 later, I had 6 doughnuts, 25 doughnut holes, and 2 coffees. Thank goodness for Lula's fifteen bucks and the change drawer in my car.


Some thoughts on coming attractions, since we're All Things Movie around here suddenly:

1. I won't deny that I want to lick salt off Ed Norton's chest, drink tequila out of his navel, then bite the lime wedge held gingerly between his teeth; but I don't think even he can make the new Hulk movie worth seeing. Will someone go watch it and tell me if I'm right?

2. After hearing M. Night Shyamalan on NPR's Science Friday, the geek in me is interested in his new movie. But I don't really like suspense or slasher movies, so if the film is just a collection of scenes meant to make the audience jump, scream, or wet its pants, I don't want to see it. (My children find ways to humiliate me on a daily basis, I don't need to walk out of a theater with dripping undies.) Do I want to see The Happening?

3. I scored a babysitter for Hancock in July. The non-mercenary kind of babysitter, who will accept love and gratitude instead of $15/hour. GO ME.

4. I realize that not every movie outing needs to set our household back by $250, so don't use that metric to judge whether or not I want to see these other movies. For example, we only spent $16 for the SATC outing, with its free babysitter and matinée tickets. Hell, a morning walk with your baby costs that much.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Warning Signs

Not to make light of suicide (self-inflicted death! Ha! HilARious.) but have you ever noticed how many warning signs and risk factors for suicide align with parenthood? New parenthood, in particular?

History of harming oneself
You just know that 15-pound vampire is going to bite you with those four new teeth - again - but you stick your boob in his mouth anyway.

Change in sleep patterns
Five hours of sleep? In a row? A pipe dream.

Change in weight and eating habits
Thirty pounds or more from pregnancy. Some of which might go away after delivery. Definitely going away after delivery is the opportunity to eat more than a peanut butter sandwich for lunch at 3 in the afternoon.

Feeling trapped or hopeless
You fed the baby at 3:20 a.m. - and at 4:05 a.m. - but at 4:45 she's rooting around like she's hungry again.

Withdrawing from friends and society
I have been pregnant or nursing since September 2004 and I haven't gotten out much since.

Diminished sexual interest
Two words: vaginal delivery. If those two words don't trip you up, how about these: who the hell has time for a shower, much less that?

Fear of losing control
In the parenting realm, that is not a fear, it's a reality. Mommy's Little Pumpkin will inevitably learn to say no.

Low self-esteem
It's hard to feel good about yourself when you've been vomited and peed on in a fifteen minute span, but know you won't get a shower for at least another six hours.

Dramatic mood changes
I've never loved anyone so deeply in my life. [Seconds later] Dear lord, grant me a ten-minute break from this little psychopath. [Seconds later] Awww, he looks exactly like his father when he does that. [Seconds later] God, I hate his father. But I wish that guy would hurry home. [Seconds later] Look at that! This child is a genius. [Seconds later] Look at that. This child surely must be brain damaged.

Expressing the desire to die
I can say without equivocation that since I became a parent, this much is true: I want to die . . . long before my children do.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Bump brought Lumpyhead and Lula in for lunch today. We were joined by Linda, my colleague and one of the tormentors' favorite babysitters. She couldn't join us the last time Bump and the tormentors came in for lunch, and Lumpyhead spent the whole meal asking "Where's my friend Linda?"

Linda and I helped get the kids to Bump's car after lunch. As we were walking to Bump's parking space, my head burst into flames. (Well not really, but jebuz, could it BE any hotter in DC? Damn.) Bump had gone on ahead, and Lumpyhead found a fire hydrant (awesome!) with letters on it (score!), a treasure that could easily keep him occupied for a good fifteen minutes. Linda had doted on Lula during lunch - leaving Bump and me free to eat - so I took the opportunity to play with the baby a little before she went home with her father. A few coos and kisses later, I turned around and Lumpyhead was gone. GONE.

We were on the corner of a city street, and he was no where to be seen.

I thought I was going to die.

I managed to stammer "Where's Lumpyhead?" and Linda started looking around wildly for him. Right before I started to scream Linda said "Oh, there he is" and pointed halfway down the block behind me, where Lumpyhead was running toward Bump.

Lumpyhead was fine, but managed to get 150 feet away from me in the blink of an eye. Had he run out into traffic instead of toward Bump, there would have been no way I could have reached him had he been in danger.

Lumpyhead was "missing" for about three seconds, but it was long enough for my throat to close and my heart to race and my vision to start going black.

I like to think of myself as someone who is hard to ruffle. That I have the ability to keep calm and level-headed in most crisis situations. But this afternoon I felt panic - the kind of terror that leaves you unable to think clearly or breathe normally - for a few horrible seconds.

Parenthood certainly raises the stakes, doesn't it?

What about you? Have you ever "lost" your children? Were you ever lost as a child?

Monday, June 09, 2008

Lumpyhead's Dad and the Wildly Flailing Lipstick

Bump and I went out on a real date last night: dinner and a movie.

Flick: Indiana Jones.
Verdict: Lived up to the expense and effort, but just barely. The alma mater campus shots were worth the price of admission, but the movie was satisfactorily mediocre overall. At least the previews were better than the ones before SATC. (Nothing smacks you across the face with the YOU ARE NOT OUR TARGET AUDIENCE message like a trailer for The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2. I was all "I thought this movie came out a long time ago" only to come to the horrifying realization that it was a sequel.) Short-term goal: I want to see Hancock before I deliver.
Weird Thing: I made Bump move because the guy next to me in our first seats had terrible BO. This was not "a little more deodorant next time, Sparky" BO, this was "have you showered AT ALL this weekend, Dude?" BO.

Afterward we wandered around Old Town and found a surprisingly good restaurant, which made us feel adventurous and triumphant and astoundingly unhip.

We used to do this kind of thing all the time. Now if we watch two of our netflix a month it represents some sort of cinematic orgy.

And dinner out? In an untried restaurant without two highchairs and the customary "sorry about the mess" percentage tip? Unheard of.

But we did it.*

Restaurant: Jackson 20.
Verdict: So good I want to go back tonight.
Weird Thing: This woman at the table next to us kept gesticulating wildly with her lipstick. With her OPEN lipstick. I started ignoring Bump just to watch her. She was all over with that thing - up and down her face, around her head - I was sure she was going to write on herself, and I didn't want to miss it when she did. At one point she actually hit herself in the hair with it. I couldn't believe her tablemates were letting her lipstick fly around all crazy like that.

Bump started watching her too, in the mirror behind me. We were both transfixed by Flailing Lipstick Lady. The more we watched her, I realized her lipstick had something on it. A clump of hair, maybe? A result of all her flailing? If she held the lipstick at a certain angle, you could see something clinging to it.

After a good five minutes of staring, I figured out that her "lipstick" was actually a cleverly disguised fan. It was cute - and more discreet, I suppose, than most of those hand-held purse-sized fans - but is broadcasting "I'm having a hotflash" by flinging around a lipstick really better than holding a little fan?

*For a mere $250. Babysitter: $80. Pizza for the kids and sitter: $20. Movie tickets: $21. Dinner: $125. (Hey, you know what? Dinner costs a lot less when one of you drinks responsibly and the other isn't having her usual three cocktails.)

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Why Straight Men Want to See Sex and the City

The office closed early yesterday afternoon, and I had nothing planned for all the luxurious free time. Bump and I have a date scheduled for Sunday night - movie, dinner, and babysitter - and are going to see the new Indiana Jones installment.

When my colleague heard I was going to a movie this weekend and it wasn't Sex and the City, she told me what I needed to do with my afternoon. She even offered to babysit the tormentors.

Bump was less excited than I expected upon my announcment that I scored a sitter and we both had the afternoon off. When he heard which movie had provided this unexpected bounty, his enthusiasm waned even further. I told him I would go alone - and he could spend the afternoon napping - but he took a deep breath and accompanied me to the movie, certain he would be the only heterosexual male in the audience.

While women and gay men may be the target for this picture, I say to straight men everywhere: this movie could benefit you, too. How? SATC is porn for women.

Forget that bullshit "tastefully done from a woman's point of view" X-rated garbage. Lady porn is hot men on a big screen, an almost-believable plotline, and a little drama. Add fashion and some smart dialog to the formula and you get really good lady porn. There were plenty of other men in the theater; and while most had clearly been dragged there by the ovaries in the seat next to them, unless they did something horribly wrong they all got laid as a result of that movie.

But let me warn you right now about the previews. Good lord in heaven, we were subjected to a lengthy trailer for a Richard Gere movie that looked so bad I had flashbacks of that time a friend convinced me to watch Hope Floats and I was never so pissed off in my life about two hours so poorly spent.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

I Am Lazy

If Aunt Bob had not asked about Lumpyhead's birthday celebration this year - the day was fast-approaching and she hadn't gotten an invite yet - the poor boy would have been totally screwed out of a 3rd Birthday Party.

With the condo on the market, we felt we couldn't do even a small party at our place. So we planned to shove a few presents in front of Lumpyhead and call it day. He could look back someday at Year Three being the first among many disappointing birthdays. It has to start sometime, right? Why not at Three?

But Aunt Bob would have none of it, and insisted we bring him over to her place for brunch and champagne and cake. So thanks to Aunt Bob and Pete, Lumpyhead got a birthday party on Saturday, complete with waffles and bacon. Yeah, bacon.

I love this picture, mostly because Lula is so pissed off that she doesn't have any M&Ms.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Overheard at Bedtime (Past Bedtime, Actually)


Bump: (thundering as he bursts into the kids' bedroom) This doesn't sound like sleeping; this sounds like two kids jumping on the bed.

[Immediate THUNK as Lumpyhead flattens against his mattress]


Bump: (exasperated) That sounds like one kid jumping on the bed.


Bump: Lie down, Baby.

[BOING . . . BOING . . . BOING . . .]

Bump: (firmly) Lie down.



Bump: Good night, sweeties. Now go to sleep.