Tuesday, December 22, 2009
It was a revelation. Steel-cut oatmeal is freaking awesome. It has a nutty texture and is completely unlike the mushy stuff I'm used to. It lived up to the hype.
But here's the thing, Internet. Who in the ever loving hell has 45 minutes to cook steel-cut oatmeal in the morning? Do you? Because if you do, come over to my house and make me some damn breakfast.
Wait, you know what? If you're going to spend 45 minutes on something, why don't you make me some grits and eggs. And biscuits. And bacon.
Because while steel-cut oatmeal is really good, even if you pile on the brown sugar and maple syrup it is still oatmeal. And yes, it is very good oatmeal, but if I'm going to spend 45 minutes stirring something it better taste like truffle-fucking-risotto when I'm done.
Seriously. Forty-five fricking minutes. Most of you can drive to my house, drop off an egg mcmuffin, and scurry back home within that time window.
Don't forget my hashbrowns.
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
Sometimes they preview this demand by calling her on one of the seven hundred fake phones that are lying around the playroom. Sometimes an event or item clearly reminds them of her, but sometimes it's just a random urge.
Occasionally we reach her, and the kids blather away about nothing, illustrating their nonsense themes by pointing at things and gesturing extravagantly. Lumpyhead and Lula inevitably hang up on her during the baton pass between them, so whoever was cruelly cheated out of the chance to dial the phone the first time receives restitution by dialing the second call.
Usually the kids get the answering machine, which they still haven't really figured out. They stare at the handset in a puzzled fashion and mutter a few half-silent phrases before being prompted to SAY SOMETHING TO THE MACHINE. My mother dials us immediately after hearing the message, always mildly distraught that she wasn't there to receive the call (because she was out getting her hair cut or buying groceries or living her life instead of waiting by the phone for the mood to strike a 2.5-year-old and a 4-year-old to call their grandmother).
I don't have the heart to tell her that, while they're confused by the answering machine, the kids aren't disappointed when they don't reach her. The excitement doesn't lie in talking to their grandmother, but rather with pushing buttons. Yes mother, they thought of you. But really? They just like to dial the phone.
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
Yes, Morning Diaper, there was a containment breach. You were outmatched. But you staunchly held back a monumental volume of opposition fire.
Many lesser diapers have come before you and faltered against much smaller foes.
Rest well, valiant warrior. May your days in the landfill be replete with stories of your greatness.
On behalf of a grateful laundry basket,
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
There's nothing pleasant about shampooing yuck out of your son's hair as he shivers and cries in a tub of chunky vomit soup; because even though the water is warm, a few minutes ago he was sleeping and now he's naked and wet.
And there's nothing worse than soothing a finally clean child, who rests his head on your shoulder and heaves an exhausted sigh; because while you're pleased to be providing a bit of comfort, all you can think is "Damn does this baby need a breath mint."
Thursday, November 26, 2009
This morning Lula woke up sick. It seems to be the same "I Feel Fine Except for the Vomiting" virus Lumpyhead had on Tuesday morning.
She had those awful empty-stomach pukes -- you may know them from such hits as Horrible Hangover and Horrible Hangover II -- that come with full-body convulsions and orangey-colored bile and mucous product. Then she ate breakfast and erupted spectacularly.
Lumpyhead threw up only once, rallied to eat another breakfast, and kept it down. We assumed Lula would follow a similar path and must have said "surely that is the last one" at least seven times.
She projectiled her snack while sleeping on the sofa. She expelled a chocolate milkshake onto Bump's chest. She had four sips of water and blew chunks into a bucket.
We postponed Thanksgiving. We just didn't feel right about feasting in front of a hungry child who couldn't eat anything; and honestly, neither Bump nor I had very enthusiastic appetites after cleaning up and catching (but mostly missing) puke all day.
(Seriously, people. I know I served it to her, so it was totally my fault, but no one - no matter how grave the offense - should ever be subjected to cheddar cheese and Chicken in a Biskit crackers on the return. Ever.)
Today I am very thankful for my washing machine.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
When I Told Bump About It, He Immediately Went to Locate the Fire Extinguisher for My Future Baking Needs
It was late and the grocery store was deserted yet bustling. There weren't many customers, but the employees were scuttling around like ants. The produce section was cordoned off for mopping or something, which meant that every time I got to the end of the aisle at the front of the store I had to turn around and go back the way I came. Efficiency! Thy name is not Lumpyhead's Mom. (I guess my name is technically not Lumpyhead's Mom either, but . . . eh, nevermind.)
I decided that pre-made pie crust was worth $1.50, but store-made cornbread was not worth $3. I bought the mix and planned to bake cornbread with the kids' help this morning.
Lula helped with the mixing. When it was time to pop it in the oven, I remembered that I wanted to move the oven thermometer to the center of the oven. Our oven temp is a little erratic, and I worried that the thermometer was too close to the heating element to register the correct temperature.
I reached in to the preheated oven - with a towel, because I'm an idiot, but I'm not that much of an idiot - grabbed the thermometer and POOF! accidentally touched the heating element with the towel.
That sucker went up like a marshmallow in a campfire.
Have a great holiday, and here's hoping your spouse is more helpful in the kitchen than my husband's.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Nathan Jr went to the pediatrician this morning and got four shots, including seasonal flu and chicken pox. Lumpyhead woke up this morning complaining that his tummy hurt, and promptly ejected the entirety of his just-eaten breakfast onto the kitchen table.
So, tomorrow morning I will be dealing with a freshly inoculated baby, a maybe-recovered four-year-old, and -- if things work out the way I expect -- a two-year-old who's coming down with a stomach bug of her own.
Who wants to bet that around 9:30 tomorrow morning, I'll be dying to go to work?
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Bump: Is that a crocodile or an alligator?
Lumpyhead: It's a crocodile. His name is Mr. Alligator.
Bump: I bet that gets confusing.
Also? Holy cow does my son need a haircut. Maybe one of his classmates wants to be a barber.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
I'm usually pretty good at names and faces, but these two are a complete mystery to me. I've been watching all season, and constantly confuse the two.
Maybe it's a sibling thing. When I was growing up, my brother had a friend named Faron who I couldn't distinguish from his little brother Vincent. One was blond, the other wasn't. (But which ONE was blond? I DON'T KNOW!)
Have you ever mistaken someone for somebody else? Please tell me about it so I don't feel like such a moron.
A sibling mix-up would make me feel a lot better, but you won't be doing me any favors if your story involves identical twins.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
I created a submission for her right away, then forgot to scan it, then left it at home and my computer is still busted so [shrug] you know.
I finally got my head out of my ass and realized I could just write another one. It's not like it's hard. I swear, some days it's amazing I can drive to work and remember to wear pants.
Behold (click to embiggen, and if you can't read it, then aren't you glad I type this blog):
Yes, my hand cramped up while I was writing that. And I think that's the first time I've ever signed something "Lumpyhead's Mom." That was kind of weird.
Thursday, November 05, 2009
Then I read and heard from enough people stricken with H1N1 who were all WOE! and IT'S GOING TO KILL US ALL! and 47 KAJILLION CHILDREN ARE ABSENT FROM SCHOOL! that I decided to get it done.
But the largest factor in my decision-making was that my county has a clinic less than a mile from my house, and had shots on a day that was convenient.
Plus Bump and I felt that if we made a perfunctory effort to get the kids vaccinated - even if it failed - we wouldn't feel so guilty when they were inevitably stricken with the flu.
So yesterday we raced to get everyone loaded in the van, I notified my office that I would be a little late for work, and we showed up at 8:30 for an 8:00 clinic. (Our goal was to arrive before 8, but, [shrug], you know.)
They had 300 doses. I'm guessing we were number 340.
But waiting in line for an hour and getting turned away gave us a plan for today. By God, now that we had gone through a little bit of trouble, we were going all the way and getting the damn vaccine. (Why waste only an hour, when you could waste several?)
So. This morning I packed my thermos and a folding chair, bundled up and got to the clinic at 7am. Bump met me there with the kids at 8 o'clock.
We were numbers 110-112.
I was feeling good. We juggled the children and toys and snacks in a long line in a frigid parking lot. More importantly, it was someone else's kid who was whining incessantly and kicking his mother. (GO US! WIN!)
We finally got inside where Bump filled out paperwork and I tried to keep Nathan Jr from bolting away while I threw random books and things at Lumpyhead and Lula to keep them quiet.
Lumpyhead and Lula bravely got the mist and Nathan Jr squealed angrily when he got his shot. Then we were reminded that we needed to come back in a month for their second doses.
And I almost cried.
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Lula HATED her costume. Lumpyhead agreed to wear the alien suit during Trick-or-Treat Round II in Aunt Bob's neighborhood, so at least my work wasn't all for naught.
Oh, did you see that Brad Pitt wants to be like Lumpyhead?
Brad Pitt went trick-or-treating.
Lumpyhead is all: Dude, that was so two years ago.
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
Ded. Doornail dead. My IT guy at work took a look at it and uttered the words "total loss." The data is irretrievable and of course I haven't backed anything up in like, ever.
So there's that.
I've got so much to tell you. There are Halloween photos to share and I did a sleep study and Beth did this really cool handwriting thing but first things first:
We voted today before the kids went to school.
"Hey Lumpyhead, put your sticker on your head."
"Hey Nathan Jr, be distracted by these animal crackers long enough for me to put a sticker on your head."
"Hey Lula, put your sticker on your head."
Uh, Lula declined to be photographed wearing the sticker.
Friday, October 30, 2009
Surfer Baby is angry.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Let's prevent that from happening again, shall we?
2. What time does Trick-or-Treating start on Saturday? I was really happy that Halloween fell on the weekend this year - no Halloween night rush hour traffic, which sucks as much as mary jane peanut butter kisses [and for those of you who are about to comment "I LOVE peanut butter mary janes" don't even bother. They're gross, I hate them, and I've always hated them. If you love them so much, I'll trade you all your milk duds for my mary janes. There, see? You don't love them so much now, do you?] - but this "Halloween on a weekend" nonsense means I'm uncertain about when is too early to send my crew to the neighbors' houses and when I should prepare for little goblins to come to my door and holy shit. Now I've got to have three costumes ready by the morning of Halloween Fucking Eve for the preschool costume parade, and, well, All Hallow's Eve Eve is just wrong.
(That's my new favorite word. Beth gave it to me. You like it?)
I guess dicknostril makes three things. You're welcome.
Oh, and I got a new camera. I tried to take a picture of Nathan Jr with a blond wig on his head and he cried. I blame you for making the baby cry.
Wow, I'm cranky today. That's probably your fault, too. But you may be able to foist the blame onto Lumpyhead's alarm clock pretty easily.
Monday, October 26, 2009
"I don't want my four-year-old calling some other kid a douche on the playground."
"It was the two-year-old who said it."
"Douche will probably be prefectly acceptable dinner-party talk soon. You know, there was a time when 'jerk' was considered a vulgar reference to masturbation."
[Pointedly] "Is now that time?"
"It's better than asshole."
"Is that the only alternative you can think of?"
[Long pause] "Yes."
Okay, I can think of other words, but asshole is the most apt synonym for douche. What do you suggest? Assume any variant of douchebag is unacceptable to my children's father, as well as anything with the ass- prefix (asshat, assface, asslicker) or the -hole suffix (dillhole, jackhole, jerkhole). It must be a perfect substitute for douche, because otherwise I'm not using it.
Friday, October 23, 2009
Lula got right in his face. "Don't be a douche to me, Lumpyhead," she commanded him sternly. "Don't be a douche."
While it's good advice, I'm not sure it's . . . appropriate. But the words were pretty funny coming out of her mouth.
And she may have said it because I had just told Lumpyhead not to be a douche. I don't know.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
I went to Happy Hour with Aunt Bob last night, and Anne and VUBOQ joined us. It was great fun, and even if my camera hadn't shit the bed, I still wouldn't have gotten any photos. Because 1) I am a lazy-ass blogger and 2) I was having too much fun to stop and take stupid pictures for your benefit.
And if that weren't enough to blow your mind with the awesomeness, VUBOQ brought me a present.
It's Gorge. Us.
(sorry for the crappy camera-phone photo, but as you recall MAH CAMRAH IZ BUSTED.)
VUBOQ said he thought it would fit on Nathan Jr's head - and I think he's right - and as soon as I get a new camera I will photograph the shit out of Nathan Jr's new hat.
Right after I cover the floor under Nathan Jr with bubble wrap, of course, because there's no way I'm letting that little newly mobile poop machine put so much as a teeny tiny chip in Mama's beautiful new bowl.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
and although some don't look too bad,
others are clearly unsalvageable.
Is there some kind of Blogger Disability program for this misfortune? Well, there should be.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Not on your way to an errand. Not at the same time you were doing something for someone else.
For you. Just you.
What did you do?
Tomorrow night I am having a happy hour with Aunt Bob. We used to do it once a week, and I'd like to make it a habit again.
It's just for fun. It's just for us.
(I don't mean "just for us" as in "you can't come" - because you should totally come - but as in "simply for ourselves." For us, not for our families or our jobs or our [insert other obligation here].)
Now, I just need to work on not feeling guilty about it. Because not only is it fun, it is necessary.
And you should totally come. Especially if you can't think of anything in answer to that first question.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
I felt compelled to painstakingly document Lumpyhead's first steps. I wasn't as fervent about it with Lula; but since Nathan Jr is the Last Baby, I feel I should tell you about it. (Aw, poor Middle Child, everyone feel sorry for unfortunate, neglected Lula. As she will one day rule the Universe with an iron fist, use the opportunity to think of her as vulnerable, now, so you can look back on this moment fondly when she's crushing your hopes and dreams as Magnificent Overlord.)
I no longer understand the big deal surrounding the first steps. Unless your child is delayed in some way, it's pretty much a given that he is going to walk eventually, right? What's the big significance in the first steps? Have you missed something momentous if the child takes those first steps in daycare, or somewhere else out of your sight? Come to think of it, how do you know those are the first steps, really? That wily baby could have been testing out that stepping shit for days while your back was turned.
It's not a milestone to be celebrated, once the third baby comes along. It's the beginning of the end. The onset of any type of mobility is a dreaded day, and full-on walking means the battle is lost. Retreat now, for the Small Ones shall conquer us all.
Until they meet Mr. Staircase, that is.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
On the bright side, I found a replacement mirror at a salvage yard for $80. The service station guy said he can install it for about $70, which is significantly cheaper than the $350-$400 the Honda dealership quoted me.
If you're keeping score at home, you may recall that I also ran a red light recently. This puts the pricetag for my Dumbassery: Vehicle Edition at over $300 in the last 23 days.
Thursday, October 08, 2009
So: HA! Nora totally gave me permission to bore the everloving hell out of you. Blame her.
1. CSPAN changed the font for its vote tally and it's blowing my mind.
2. That's what qualifies as mind-blowing in my life. I don't know if that's pathetic or really good.
3. My husband left this afternoon for a weekend in Las Vegas.
4. My parents are still here, which means I will have only one night of solo parenting.
5. I'm a very lucky woman to have my parents' help with the children.
6. That much-appreciated help will surely drive me crazy this weekend, so WOE. COME VISIT ME AND BRING WINE.
7. I'm supposed to tag seven other people as part of this meme, but I'm too much of a chickenshit to do it.
8. Nathan Jr doesn't always cooperate when I take pictures of things on his head, so I have a lot of photos like these:
9. Okay, that last one wasn't from an attempt to put something on his head. He just looks at me like that a lot.
10. You probably do, too.
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Monday, October 05, 2009
A Lesson from this weekend's wedding reception. Let me share it with you.
You know how it is, at every wedding reception, when the DJ plays "I Will Survive" and all the women of a certain age drop their drinks and go running out onto the dance floor, bellowing all the words while giving their girlfriends meaningful looks?
Sorry, Gloria Gaynor. There's a new sheriff in town, and her name is Beyonce.
If you're not sick of that song yet, people, I've got bad news. You're going to be hearing it at wedding receptions for the next twenty years.
Sunday, October 04, 2009
Upon arrival at the gate, we were informed that our plane was delayed an hour. Between grumbling about runway construction at MSP - we could have slept another hour! - and a brush with fame - hello Senator Franken! - we made it to MSP.
Where this happened:
Yeah, that's ElectricYoak.
And THOSE are mini corn dogs.
Your intense jealousy is warranted.
A weekend away without children of course means hedonistic excess. We slept for many hours without interruption. We slept late every morning. We napped on a rainy afternoon. That's right, people, we fucking napped.
We ate good food and drank good beer with good friends. We attended a lovely wedding for a fantastic woman (and her new husband, who I assume is equally fantastic, but let's face it - she's fantastic enough for several people). At the wedding reception the favors were personalized decks of cards and around the corner from the dance floor were darts and cornhole boards. Heh, cornhole.
I miss the tormentors - a little - but right now I'm watching football in ElectricYoak's basement. I'm getting a beer as soon as I finish this mimosa the size of my head, and trying to figure out how to make this weekend last three more days.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
The neighbors' closing date was two weeks after ours, and they had to schedule their move around the baby's delivery. They knew the birth would be complicated - the baby had a heart defect.
We had just bought a house and moved, and we were exhausted. A year earlier, we had a baby within days of moving, and it nearly swamped us. The thought of doing all those things together made us weep. The additional stress of a sick baby was unfathomable. We marveled at their strength. Their burden.
Their boys bounded over to splash in our wading pool, and we celebrated the baby's successful surgery. While our children laughed on the playground, I was told of a small setback - the baby required the post-op ventilator for longer than expected. As Lumpyhead and Lula traded backyard toys with the boys, their au pair relayed that the baby was having good days and bad days.
The neighbor was always upbeat. Serious surgery, yes, but the baby had excellent doctors. He was cheery and optimistic.
His wife was more reserved. "How are things?" I would inquire quietly. "Okay," she would shrug with a smile, after a small pause. I backed off, never pressing, but you can bet I milked that au pair and the mother-in-law for everything they would spill. How is the baby? How are they doing? Do they need anything? What can we do?
I saw the neighbor walk by with her older boys in the stroller one day, and I envied her body type. She is one of those naturally thin people - I remember how slender her arms and neck were when she was eight months pregnant - and six weeks after delivery, she didn't have a speck of baby weight. "Genetic good fortune," I muttered to myself. Guiltily, I later realized her movie star weight loss could be due to, you know, STRESS. (Way to go, Insensitive Dumbass.)
Lumpyhead and Lula were psyched when the neighbor got us into the Toy Story double feature. But as he delivered the tickets, he was more restrained about his infant son's condition. The baby had contracted an infection, and the ongoing steroid treatment wasn't effective. His heart was in great shape, but the rest of his organs were struggling.
Bump saw the neighbor and his boys at the movie on Saturday, along with others from the neighborhood with whom the neighbor had shared tickets. They waved and exchanged pleasantries, and an ill-timed fire alarm gave them a chance to chat.
We have so much in common with these people: parenting small children, living in a new neighborhood, anticipating kindergarten in the near future. We like them. We are them.
The baby died on Sunday. He never came home to his family's beautiful new house.
I am heartbroken.
I am lucky.
I am grateful.
But today? I am mostly heartbroken.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Number of Nutjobs with Bullhorns outside my office today: 0
I'm a little disappointed. Do you think they don't care about us anymore? I hope they're okay.*
*You know, I hope no Unfortunate Incidents involving bullhorns shoved in inappropriate places have befallen them.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
This better not be a fucking trend.
Not only is it annoying (with the bullhorns) and disturbing (with the posters of aborted fetuses) and sad (You've got nothing better to do with your day, old man? You've clearly got too much quality health care. Let's do something about that), but there also seems to be a career path for the Nutjobs. Start on my corner, get promoted to the corner down the street.
The guy outside is not just a Dumbass, he's a Trainee Dumbass.
Monday, September 21, 2009
I fully support your right to protest (abortion? health care?) whatever it is that you're protesting. Really, I do. Free speech and all that. It's great.
But I STRONGLY OPPOSE the bullhorn.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Leaving a crying child at dropoff fills you with guilt and dread. Hauling a weeping child home who wants to stay at school makes you feel like the least popular person in the world.
Seriously. That dude spreading H1N1 at the mall is better-liked than me. (I even took time off from work to pick her up, that Little Ingrate.) At least Nathan Jr was mildly pleased to see me.
As I was driving home, a police officer turned on his lights behind me. I changed lanes to let him by, but he changed lanes, too. I pulled off into a strip mall parking lot. So did the cop.
Internet, I ran a red light. Right in front of a police car.
Sure that was stupid - particularly the "right in front of a cop" thing - but it was completely unintentional. I swear I didn't notice the red light, and I travel that road all the time.
The whole thing makes me uneasy. How many other red lights have I run, completely unaware? Had the officer not been there, I would have never known. On occasion I might try to squeak through an intersection on a yellow, but mis-time it and run a red. That wasn't the case today.
I blew right past a stoplight, with my three children in the car.
With my three children in the car.
And that makes me positively nauseous. While I can think of much better uses for a hundred bucks (or however much this ticket will cost me), this incident could have ended much, much worse.
I don't think I want to drive anymore.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Some questions are pretty straightforward. Like:
"Has your child ever been stung by a bee, if so did s/he have a reaction?"
"If your child is toilet trained or in the process, what language and procedures are used?"
But others have left us a little stumped.
"What kinds of situations allow your child to express himself or herself the best?"
Uh . . .
"When she's well-rested, well-fed, and getting her way"? I don't think that response would be helpful.
On Lula's sheet Bump wrote "U.K. House of Commons-style debate."
We think Lula's teacher will find that funny. But if the classroom is green with two benches facing each other, we'll know we should have taken the damn questionnaire more seriously.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Sure, you can explain that incident away with another baby monitor on the same frequency as ours, in range of our living room, in a house with a baby named Nathan.
Even though no one in our neighborhood has a baby named Nathan.
Still. Easily explained away.
But here's a puzzle for you skeptics: Why does my fireplace turn itself on?
This is the third time this has happened. The wall switch is in the off position and the remote is in a drawer. Neither the wall switch nor the remote will turn off the fireplace.
The only way I can get it to stop is to turn off the gas. Maybe I'm being a big sissy, but tampering with gas lines makes me a little nervous.
Last time this happened, the fireplace shut itself off eventually.
So, what should I do? Crank the gas line off and keep it there? Let my friendly ghosts enjoy a nice moment by the fire? Call the builder and scream my fool head off?
Friday, September 04, 2009
I entered Sarah and Devra's weight-loss contest, so immediately got right on that whole "starting weight" thing. Um, or not. I finally stepped on a scale three days after the contest started. My hesitancy to seek out a scale in the first place was well-founded.
2. My new bathroom.
There's a big mirror directly across from the shower, so every morning I'm graced with my own Full Frontal when I step out. I think I need to start removing my contacts before getting undressed.
3. I'm bird-sitting for the neighbors.
Nothing like the beautiful interiors of people with good taste to make your own home feel like a primary-colored-plastic-strewn dump.
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
There are rules to Rabbit Rabbit. You can't Rabbit Rabbit someone via voicemail, email, or text. You have to say it to them. Telephone is okay, but in person is better. You can only Rabbit Rabbit people who know about Rabbit Rabbit, otherwise you look like an idiot.
Caller ID has done great things for the Rabbit Rabbit industry.
If you have questions, ask Aunt Bob about it. I have imparted upon you my full knowledge of Rabbit Rabbit.
Sarah and Devra are holding a contest over at Loser Moms. (It starts today, but I bet if you ask real nice they'll still let you participate.) I gave them $10 because I do whatever they tell me to, but I'm not completely committed to the program yet.
Here's the thing: there is no easy way to a smaller me. My lifestyle plus my metabolism equals my current weight. I can't change my metabolism. Can I change my lifestyle?
I recognize that many of my choices are not healthy ones. I drink a lot of my calories, I have a big appetite and really enjoy great food, and exercise is not my friend.
Is six weeks enough time to change my habits and see results? I dunno.
But Sarah and Devra told me to give them ten bucks, so I did. [Sarah: That's right, you heard me.] [Devra: Strongly agree.] [You: Oh my god, shut your yammering trap already.]
Ahem. That would be my fat yammering trap, thank you very much.
But I brought in a salad today for lunch. Rabbit food.
Rabbit Rabbit, indeed.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
Answer: Robert Plant, Potted Plant*, and Face Plant
Upon our return from vacation, Nathan Jr decided to exit the baby pool, face-first. After the requisite cuddles and kisses and bacitracin application, I put the baby back in the pool and he immediately tried to do it again.
He's clearly a genius.
Bump calls it the Baby Soul Patch.
*I almost went with "Oliver North's lawyer," but figured no one would get that.
Monday, August 10, 2009
"This is missing some pieces," Bump said.
"It's a beach puzzle," I shrugged. "What do you expect?"
"No, I mean it's missing a lot of pieces," Bump insisted.
Certain that my husband was flailing on a simple 100 piece puzzle, I sat down too. Lumpyhead cheered us on.
Then we finished it.
Even for a beach puzzle, this is missing a lot of pieces. Bump counted 35 spaces.
But we're having such a nice time we don't mind a lame puzzle. It's Bump's birthday today, and as usual I have prepared a present of Big Fat Nothing. (Happy Birthday Sweetie! Surprise! You're under-appreciated!)
The drive down was a roller coaster of GPS win, GPS FAIL, and road hotel horror. I'll tell you about it later. In the meantime:
I'm at the beach with Aunt Bob and you're not. Hahah, Suckers.
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
For twelve years we brought our trash to a basement trash room, where it was picked up several times a week. Last year we kept a covered trash bin in the carport, with lots of shade and air circulating.
We still have a covered wheeled trash bin, but I don't know what to do with it.
First we kept it in the garage, but it didn't take long for the garage to smell like trash. So now we keep the bin in the driveway, where it sits in the sun all day.
Hey, guess what? Sun + poop + meat = dear LORD somebody do something about that odor. We had to move the can to the side of the house because the stench was so awful.
So, what do you do? What should I do? (Other than potty training all the children, because I'm working on it already. God.)
Monday, August 03, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Now, normally I'm a free-market, capitalism-is-good kind of girl. Even though I nearly flunked freshman economics (it was micro! I'm more of a macro-thinker) I believe letting the marketplace work itself out is usually a good thing.
But I've moved twice in the past year, and Verizon can suck a sweaty goat ball. Comcast and Cox can blow me.
However I kind of love Dominion Power, Washington Gas, and Fairfax County Water.
My electricity works. So does my stove and hot water heater. I have clean water that is safe for my children to drink and bathe in - and all I have to do to get it is turn on the faucet. These utilities are and have been extremely reliable, and shutting them off and turning them on was really easy.
More importantly, these companies delivered the service changes they promised when I made the initial call. One call. Request made, service changed. Done.
Verizon? Not so much. Comcast was an ass-pimple about the remaining months on our MLB package. Cox lost our install order for the rental house and so thoroughly screwed up the install on this place they ought to be paying us a monthly fee.
My colleague's experience with DirecTV confirms they're not any better about installation and customer service. And don't get Work Sarah started on her Verizon experience. Really. Do. Not. (I'm serious. Don't.)
So my conclusion is this: yes, we have several choices for phone/cable/internet (and hell, I'll throw in cellphone service too), but what difference does it make when they ALL suck?
You only notice utilities when you move, or they don't work. Kind of like health care, which only matters when you need it.
Will having a government option mean health care will work like my utilities? Will a government health care plan be efficient and helpful and reliable? Or will it mean all insurance plans will become phone/cable/internet providers, delivering spotty service with a customer helpline mantra of "just get this asshole off the phone, and make her call back later when she'll be someone else's problem"?
I imagine your answer depends a lot on your political views, and on whether or not you currently have insurance you're pretty happy with (and I'm guessing you do). While health care and utilities are not completely comparable for a lot of reasons, I use this example - which I admit is counter intuitive - to suggest that government-related things are not always bad. They sometimes even compare favorably to the non-government options.
And for those of us with insurance, yes, we have a lot to lose. We don't want our health care to become phone/cable/internet-ified. But we also know it doesn't take much to join the ranks of the millions of uninsured. And in the end, this health care proposal isn't aimed at us. It's aimed at those uninsured we don't wish to become. Those who lack basic care; who bring their children to the ER for pinkeye, because there's no where else to go and the baby looks so sick.
We need health care reform because we can control those costs - that baby in the ER can cost a lot less somewhere else - and we need to capture those savings. The health insurance industry exists because it is profitable, and maybe those profits represent money that could be better spent on other things.
This health care proposal really isn't for us, the happily-insured; but we sure can stand in its way.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
It's a perfect neutral for the days when you want your outfit to make the statement (a statement like "my mom seems to have lost my real clothes in the move, so I'm wearing Christmas pajamas my big brother outgrew three years ago").
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
Right. Next You're Going to Tell Me That Wonkette Lives Around the Corner and Dooce Lives Three Doors Down
Our across-the-street neighbors have a son named Corey. When Corey was little, his favorite colors were pink and brown. Except he would never say "brown" in his normal tone, he would growl it in a low voice. "Pink and browwwn."
Corey's dad told me this, which you might think is a strange thing to learn about your neighbors' child - except that it's not. Because immediately after finding out our neighbor's name was Steve, Lumpyhead felt it was important to learn Steve's favorite color. Lumpyhead announced that his favorite colors were purple and pink.
Steve said his son liked pink, too.
And the story about growling "brown" just flowed naturally from there.
After much cajoling, I joined Facebook last Thursday. I've spent the last week re-connecting with old friends.
Billy lives in Roanoke and teaches 8th grade Civics. He was impressed that I still remembered verse two of Beef Beer Shit Log, the song he sang with his punk band. Alisa is teaching too, she's a professor of Spanish at a college in the Midwest. Jen is still in DC; so is Francine. It seems Jen is a Yankees fan now - erm, bummer - and Francine's son Corey is very cute. They apparently like Star Wars. And look, photos from Corey's sixth birthday party and -- OH MY GOD THERE ARE MY NEIGHBORS.
Corey. He who likes pink and browwwwn. My friend Francine is his mom.
And if that weren't enough to completely sizzle your brain, my neighbor Steve? Corey's dad? Knows Goon Squad Sarah.
Because Steve, it turns out, is Steve from Hygiene Chronicles. I've read him on Blogfathers.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
If all goes to plan, I pumped this morning for the last time. Ever.
I have been pregnant or nursing since September 2004. (Except for those two weeks between weaning Lumpyhead and getting pregnant with Lula.)
One expects to pee constantly whilst pregnant. But I didn't realize how rarely I needed to use the bathroom when lactating.
The drop-off in milk production + the re-introduction of caffeine (which: WHOOOOO!) = PEEING ALL THE DAMN TIME.
Seriously. How do you people (you non-lactating, caffeine consuming regular people) get anything done?
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
(Nathan Jr reminds you that you are not allowed to mock his headgear, and extends that admonition to his jammies. His Christmas jammies. In July.)
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
For Lula's first birthday party, I kind of forgot about the invitations until the last minute. I designed something quickly using a clipart photo of a cupcake, slapped the party details beside it, and printed it as a 4x6 photo from Target. Before I brought the envelopes to the post office, I emailed the invitees and told them about the party, giving them five days instead of two to plan to come.
Nathan Jr's birthday is in less than two weeks. I'm thinking Evite.
Friday, July 17, 2009
I gathered some tips from their outings – eat breakfast in the car, keep a potty in the van, dress your children in bright colors so they're easier to spot – that I use today. I found solace in their candor and practicality.
And the aspect that makes reality TV great: when things went wrong for them, I felt superior and smug. Yes, my child is wearing laundry right now instead of clothing, but at least my husband and I communicate well and treat each other with respect. Yes, I feed my children non-organic, hastily-slapped-together meals and fast food; but I have genuine, long-standing friends and a close-knit extended family.
Then I started to become annoyed. The traditional gender roles Jon and Kate assigned to their children troubled me. The blatant product placement bugged me. The out-and-out begging for free stuff disgusted me. I began to dislike them.
Then came the out-of-control popularity. Internet sites attacking parenting techniques, communication styles, hairdos and clothing choices. Credible reports of seriously flawed character and horrible behavior. I stopped watching.
A book. Television appearances. Fabulous trips. Another book. I stopped caring.
Then the marital troubles popped up in the tabloids, and I suddenly cared again. I was one of the zillions of viewers who tuned in for the season premier. I clapped my hands with glee and horror and sneered and muttered at the TV and felt dirty afterward.
I came to this conclusion: If they knew from the beginning their marriage would be a casualty, I think they would still do the show.
Fortune. Fame beyond your wildest dreams. Your children will be set for life. All you have to give up is the love of your spouse.
Think about it differently. What if you were a deeply materialistic person who was struggling to make ends meet? Would you agree to the complete loss of privacy and to the constant scrutiny and criticism?
I'm sure the Gosselins have dealt with criticism and scrutiny since the sextuplets were born. They relied on help from church and community members – as one must – from the start. Haven't we all witnessed the well-meaning lady who comes over to "help," but instead holds the sleeping baby and coos "as long as you're up, dear, can you get me a cup of coffee?" That kind of help wears out its welcome fast, and when you suggest to that helper she is not needed the next time, feelings are hurt and you're called an ungrateful bitch and eventually you just have to shrug your shoulders and do what's best for your family, no matter what that old bag from church calls you. I bet that happens a lot when you have six babies.
So let's assume the Gosselins had little privacy and were subject to constant criticism before the TV show.
How much money would it take to make you give up your spouse?
What if you had the sneaking suspicion that your spouse was an incompetent dolt anyway? Sure, you've got a soft spot for him because you've been through a lot together, but if you could land enough cash to hire a nanny, chauffeur, porter, and a security guard (ahem) to handle his duties; plus a maid and a chef and more nannies – would you make the trade?
What if you had a sneaking suspicion that your spouse was a physically abusive nag who ordered you around and killed all your fun? Now how much?
And if you think money is what makes the world go 'round, what gives you value and what your children need more than anything; then ruining your marriage is probably not a very big deal.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Then she added, "I have two thumbs."
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Bump: What does whimpering do?
Lumpyhead: I don't know.
Bump: Do you remember what whimpering and whining does?
Lumpyhead: It drives you crazy.
Bump: THAT'S RIGHT!
Lumpyhead: But it's so much fun for us.
Monday, July 13, 2009
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
I think his family wanted so desperately to preserve that amazing adolescent voice of his that they had him, um, fixed.
Chemically, or maybe even surgically, they attempted to prevent puberty.
The result was a musical genius who was tortured by hormonal imbalance and his inability to procreate.
You know, or not.
Feel free to add your own goofball theories in the comments. Or tell me why I'm right. Or wrong. (But like any good whack-job, I'll delete your comments telling me that I'm wrong, and then hunt you down and pester you for a good portion of the next three months or so.)
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Monday, July 06, 2009
If you have a partner, did you arrange this beforehand, or did it just kind of happen? Does it remain constant when you're traveling?
Do you need to be on the door side of the bed? The bathroom side? Closest to the kids? Do you get actual bed space or are you constantly hanging off the side because your kid/spouse/prostitute is taking up the middle (with your dogs on your feet and your cats on your head)?
2. Which side of the garage do I want?
The door into the house from the garage is exactly in the middle, so one side isn't closer to the door than the other.
(Also, we have realized that this garage is kind of small. I've already warned Bump that the number of times we will replace a sideview mirror on my car as a direct result of this garage is greater than zero. It might not be greater than one, but it is definitely greater than zero.)
3. Which side of the garage is the left side? Is it the left side as you're looking at it from the outside - as pictured in the photo - or the left side as you're looking at the doors from the inside? Similarly, which side of the bed is the left side? The left as you're standing at the foot of the bed, looking towards the headboard, or the left when you're lying on your back in the bed?
Sunday, July 05, 2009
Two voices - one male, one female - were talking to the baby. "Nate, Nate, Nate" they cooed at him. The baby giggled back.
"I'll call you back," I snapped at my mother before hanging up on her.
"Natey, Nate, Nate." [happy gurgle]
I crept up the stairs and opened the baby's door slowly.
He was sound asleep. And alone.
This brand new house is haunted.
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
So we were pleasantly surprised when our phone service moved with us, as we requested, this time.
Of course, our internet connection didn't make it.
I'm annoyed - even more so because Verizon is going to take TEN DAYS to restore the service - but hey, you know what? Verizon is giving me dial-up service in the meantime.
So, in the time it will take to connect to the internet and send Aunt Bob an email, I could walk to her house, write her a letter, fashion a lovely envelope from hand-made paper, tap one of Aunt Bob's trees for some sap to use to stick the note to the door, then walk back home.
Except I don't even remember how to use dial-up. Don't I need an access number or something? When I asked the helpful Verizon agent about it, she told me "We sent you an email with instructions."
HAH. Ha ha ha ha hah.
Really. You have to laugh about that. Or you can write a pissy post about it using your blackberry.
Friday, June 26, 2009
Which: Awe. Sum.
This will come in really handy today. Clone can help Bump with the move while I stay at Linda's with the tormentors. I can't tell you how excited I am about this development; clone will be useful every day, of course, but today especially.
Except, that lazy bitch hasn't shown up yet. I'm not sure what she's doing - maybe she's already at the rental house, helping Bump with the move. Bump doesn't realize I've been cloned, so he wouldn't call to tell me I'm there, right? He was probably just surprised when I showed up a few minutes after talking to him on the phone this morning.Is it going to be weird when I see her for the first time? (Provided she actually shows up, and isn't out getting drunk with Aunt Bob - wait, that's totally what she's doing, isn't it? That filthy whore.)
I'll probably be surprised by how fat she is. Cloning adds 30 lbs., right?
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
Nana is here and Bump and I have been able to pack in earnest. If last night is any guide, "pack in earnest" for me means fill a few boxes and almost reach my stated goal for the evening, before getting totally distracted by old video of the kids and waste two hours staring at the computer.
(Also, the footage of Lula's first few moments on the earth really got Dot's motor running. "Baby! Baby! Must have another baby!" she screamed at me. I managed to shut her up by reminding her that Lumpyhead woke up at 5am squealing about a wolf trying to bite his hand and Nathan Jr woke up at 6am for his regular "FEED ME SEYMOUR" moment. Dot will soon realize that Measures have been taken, and unless this IUD goes and I-U-DOESN'T, she's not going to win this argument.) (But she still tries, bless her heart. Her crazy, hormone-fueled heart.)
I would estimate that we're about half-packed. Which means the following:
1) We have a lot of stuff out that we don't seem to be using.
2) At any given moment, something we really need is in a box somewhere.
3) Very soon we will reach that stage of packing where you throw everything you see into a box and label it "Miscellaneous."
4) Which is followed very closely by that stage of unpacking where something you desperately need is in one of those twenty-two boxes marked "Miscellaneous."
5) I'm sitting here at work, thinking about all the stuff I could be doing at home.
Like writing "MISC" on some boxes.