Wednesday, April 29, 2009


(If we don't explain the reference to Nathan Jr, he can't be mad.)
Yes, we got a free bowl of soup with this hat
Looks good on you, though

Monday, April 27, 2009

One Hundred Days

On Wednesday the Administration will reach the First 100 Days milestone. President Obama may have made great strides with a budget, bolstered America's position abroad, and brought a youthful energy and new glamour to the White House - but much work remains.

Can you imagine all that he would have accomplished if he had more help? Specifically, had a certain little girl sent him her pacifier?

Yeah, we still haven't made her part with that thing. While she is supposed to have it only in her bed, recently the pacifier has begun migrating out of her room.

And if you think Nathan Jr is opinionated about the stuff on his head, wait until you see Lula respond to the threat of a stolen pacifier.
Lula the Pacifiered Gunslinger

Saturday, April 25, 2009


I'm at work today and tomorrow; my day will be filled lots of waiting - interrupted occasionally by panicked flurries of activity.

So . . . entertain me. Tell me a joke.

Or help me out with something.

What words do you use with your children when they're being dickheads to each other? I often find myself saying "Stop it. That's not nice."

But I fear that "not nice" fails to capture what's really going on and why they need to knock it the hell off. (Or maybe it's a learned aversion from my sorority days, when describing someone or something as "nice" meant you had to put a quarter in the Seniors' Beer Fund Jar.) Lumpyhead and Lula are picking up words fast, and even if they don't always understand, I want to help them accurately identify their feelings and behavior.

I sometimes use "unkind," but I'm getting sick of that word. "Mean" suggests a motive that I don't think the kids possess. (Yet.) Bump and I sometimes label their actions "jerky," but that could also be a delicious beef product.

I don't need them to start wailing about how the other is being "inconsiderate" or "over-aggressive" or "unreasonable." (I hear enough about how "Lula isn't sharing" and "NO Lumpyhead! It's MY turn wif dat" from the little demons.) But give me something new to say before I start thundering "What manner of douchebaggery is this?"

Eh, I'm probably overthinking it. I'm gonna go check your status on twitter now. But tell me a joke before you leave.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

More Cowbell

Nathan Jr believes you are familiar with his stance on whether or not it is permissible to mock his headgear.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Advice, please.

In an effort to insert some physical activity into my day, I take the stairs to the pumping room. It's not a lot, but the 89 steps from the second to the fifth floor of my office building assuage the guilt about my other unhealthy habits.

I've gotten better at the stairs, but I can't make it to the fifth floor without huffing and puffing. After all this time, 89 steps still suck. I've found that those 89 steps suck later into the trip than they did at first - I'm gasping between the fourth and fifth floors now instead of by the third floor, so go me - but they still suck. I don't think I'll ever make it all the way up without regretting my stupid decision not to take the elevator - which is RIGHT THERE GODDAMMIT.

So here's my problem: there are bathrooms in the stairwell. Bathrooms that always stink. If, by some stroke of luck, some dude has not just dropped a bomb in the second floor men's room, someone will surely have just laid some pipe in the third floor men's room.

I've tried varying the time of day I leave to pump, to no avail. The next closest stairwell only goes the the fourth floor, meaning I would have to backtrack to get to the fifth floor stairwell - where the waftage awaits.

I know I'm going to be breathing hard by the time I get to the fifth floor - which is unpleasant enough when you're not sucking in colon fumes - so when I walk through that stairwell door and am hit in the face with the aftermath of last night's Bud Light and chicken wings, I am REALLY. NOT. HAPPY.

Look. I get that poop happens. Poop happens during the workday. I'm probably not going to have much luck redirecting all the guys on the hall to take their dumps in another toilet. Ditto the dudes upstairs. But maybe we can find them some air freshener? Or a candle, maybe?

What are my options here?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Easter Picture

Four children, five attempts.
Not crying: 4 for 4
Facing camera: 0 for 4

Not crying: 4 for 4
Facing camera: 3 for 4

Not crying: 4 for 4
Facing camera: 1 for 4

Not crying: 4 for 4
Facing camera: 2 for 4
Facing camera with eyes open: 1 for 4

Not crying: 4 for 4
Facing camera: 3 for 4

Not crying: 4 for 4
Facing camera: 3 for 4
Facing camera with eyes open: 2 for 4

I'm proud that we gave up before fouling our perfect record in the Not Crying category.

My favorite part? The drunk-looking basketball goal in the background.

Monday, April 13, 2009

An Update on Waddles the Opossum

Aunt Bob is right (Aunt Bob is always right), it's an opossum. Unless you're in Australia.

I learned a lot about opossums ("commonly also called possums") in a few clicks. I guess this is what you people who write real blogs would call "research" and you do it before hitting the publish button. Oh, you.

And Waddles (I named him Waddles, because Tammy told me to name him) (and he's a boy, because I say he is) is a marsupial - thank you very much - not a rodent. The only marsupial found in North America.

Waddles has lots of teeth and a robust immune system and is about eight times less likely to be infected with rabies than a wild dog, thanks to his lower-than-average body temperature. His prehensile tail and pointy nose may make him look like a rat, but "Nature's Little Sanitation Engineer" will actually eat rats and mice.

Opossums do not hang from their tails. (Waddles is rolling his eyes at you for making that assumption - that's such an ignorant stereotype, and he's offended by your lack of effort to get to know him better.) They are solitary and nomadic, do not dig holes or burrows, and have opposable thumbs on their feet.

Hey, guess what my county's Animal Control will do for you if you report an opossum in your carport? Hmmm, so many hands . . . You in front. Yes, You. Tammy.

Right. Nothing.

Animal Control suggests you contact a shelter for a trap, or call a pest company, unless the animal appears rabid or is in the living quarters of the home.

I'm sure Bump just did that funny little icky-shiver thing at the thought of Waddles in our living room. Bump is also relieved that we have not seen Waddles for several days - not that we often go poking around the carport at night - so our opossum may have moved on.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Is It Possum or Opossum?

There's a possum in the carport.

That's not a euphemism. Nor is it code for anything. There's a large, fat rodent waddling around our vehicles at night. Just thinking about it makes Bump shudder.

What should I do?

Continue to ignore it? Show the kids? Give it a name? Start feeding it? Call animal control?

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Building Museum Says Boobs Yes, Bottles No

I took Nathan Jr into work with me today. After a nap and making the rounds with my colleagues, Nathan Jr left to meet Bump, Lumpyhead and Lula at the Building Museum. I went along because he can't reach the buttons on the metro elevators.

Have you been to the Building Museum? There's this great little playroom with a miniature house and building blocks and other toys. It was packed today, and the surly women who staff the room were surlier than ever, what the line and the impatient children and the human interaction.

Nathan Jr got a little fussy, so Bump pulled out a bottle. "You can't do that in here," Elder Surly barked at him.

"Really?" Bump asked. "No baby bottles?"

"Nope," she told him.

He left the room to feed the baby while I stayed to monitor Lumpyhead and Lula. When he returned, he reported that nursing in the playroom was okay, but bottle-feeding was not.

He had apparently inquired of Younger Surly, who informed him that "Bottles leak."

"Breasts don't?" Bump asked, mystified.

"No," Younger Surly answered sharply.

I can say - from experience - that breasts do, in fact, leak. But I get it. A resigned "I'm sorry, that's the policy" might have been a better answer, but a Surly gotta do what a Surly gotta do, I guess.

Bump felt a little indignant about it all, but I can see how such a policy evolves. You say "No food or drink" and then one day some mom whips out a boob and you can't say "No boobs" so you let it happen and suddenly you've got a policy that unfairly inconveniences bottle-feeding moms. And dads.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009


I was chatting with a colleague about her weekend, and she said she did a lot of laundry.

I admitted that my household had reached a laundry crisis level - Bump told me last night that Lumpyhead was wearing his last pair of underpants. "Either we have to do laundry tonight," Bump told me, "or I have to go to Target."

"Oh," my colleague told me, "we had already hit Target."

I've always liked this woman, but now I think I love her.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Friday with Lula

Mary told me to go the Insect Zoo at the Museum of Natural History, so that's what we did.
Also recommended (but I saw Mary's response first): the children's museum in Baltimore, a jumpy place, Aunt Bob's house, and Powhatan Springs Park. I promise to do these other things on upcoming Days Out - because you told me to.

Natural History Museum

Actual Day:
Parking fiasco

I always forget that parking on the Mall sucks, so I drive around for an unreasonable amount of time before I give up and park in my work lot. Lula and I took the metro from the parking lot to the museum - which is the thing she seems to remember most about our morning. (Why do I bother planning activities when all I need to do to entertain my children is ride around on public transportation? I'm dumb.)

It was a long, slow, and damp trip to the museum. Once we got there, Lula didn't seem very interested in the bugs, but enjoyed pressing every button she could find.
I was struck by the fact that going to a museum with only one child is just so . . . manageable. I almost got to read the exhibits.
Lula rode the Tiny Sad Three-Horse Carousel at Chuck E Cheese (birthday party, nightmarish, takeaway: at least they serve beer) and loved loved loved it. So I thought the Mall Carousel would be a nice treat for her.
She was resoundingly indifferent. But then the ride started, and she thought it was awesome.
And then the ride ended.
People started to stare. She was tired, hungry, and three metro stops away from the car. I called Bump to give him an update on our status, but really, I just wanted to extract a little strength from the sound of his voice.

I lugged her wailing butt to the station, she was instantly cheered by the TRAIN!, and we got back to the car in relatively decent shape. (She announced she was "All done" with the train two stops in - each time - so despite all her excitement about the damn TRAIN!, she spent a good amount of time fish-flopping and complaining on the ride.)

She was exhausted and hungry, and I decided she needed to eat before getting in the car. So Girls Day Out ended with lunch, where Lula discovered salsa and spilled rice all over someone else's floor. Score.
She fell asleep in the car before we got to the freeway.

Day With Mama, Lula's Version:
Walk in rain, making careful note of each umbrella that passes ("Do you see that umbrella? Like Dora!") Do not point out to Mother that we are getting wet and do not have an umbrella.
Push buttons
Push other buttons
Yay Horsies!
Call Papa
Chips and salsa. Also milk. And rice.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Takes Direction Well

Tomorrow I may have the day off, and I want to take Lula for some one-on-one time. I haven't been home much lately, Lumpyhead will be at preschool in the morning, and the baby won't notice I'm not there.

Me and a two-year-old girl, tomorrow morning, DC area.

So, where should we go?

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Investing in Me

I've been feeling less than confident about my appearance lately, and it's time to do something about it. I'm getting work done.

I'm going to have these separated stomach muscles repaired.

My insurance company may cover it, if the separation is bad enough that it might lead to back trouble in the future. If insurance doesn't cover it, I want to get the procedure done now, before we move into the new house and I have a higher monthly mortgage payment to deal with.

While the surgeon is in there, I think it makes sense to have a little lipo and fix this sagging tummy skin. I'm also considering boosting the girls a couple of cup sizes. Do you think it's a problem that I'm still nursing?

Also, my teeth need whitening and I want to have the sun damage on my face laser corrected.

I realize that most of this won't be covered by insurance, but I can use the money from the kids' college funds. Those investments have taken such a beating lately - there's not enough to actually send the kids to college - so I might as well use that money for me.

Because I'm worth it.