Saturday, December 11, 2010

I boggle my own mind

My body has been falling apart of late. My elbow hurts and I have rashes and I sprained my thumb, I think.

Oh. Just found a hair in my cereal. Going to assume it is mine. Whatever. It was, like, the last five rice Chex anyway and they were getting soggy. Which is why Cheerios are the best cereal in the world. Because they don't get soggy. They just get better. I don't understand why the soggy cereal problem is so prevalent. Do the manufacturers not understand that I'm about to put it in milk? It seems that there is a disconnect somewhere. Either between cereal makers and us, or between me and the rest of the world that doesn't have the same problem with soggy cereal that I do.

Where was I?

Oh, my sprained thumb. Also, I'm forgetful and easily distracted.

So, my thumb hurts. It hurts most when I am pressing the button on the car seats that releases the strap. You wouldn't think it would be that much of a problem, but I am releasing my children from their car seats a surprising percentage of my day.

But what am I supposed to do? It's not like I can leave them in there, tempting as it may be. And it's not really feasible to always get somebody else to do it.

So I've just been pushing through the pain for about a month now. I try to bend it at a different angle so it doesn't hurt as much, but otherwise, a mom's got to do what a mom's got to do, you know?

Then, last night, I came up with a solution so brilliant, so out-of-the-box, so mind-blowingly GENIUS, that you probably thought about it at the beginning of this post.

Instead of using my RIGHT thumb to press the button, I could use my LEFT, non-hurting, thumb.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Happy Chanukkah

Wow. I totally thought Chanukkah started with an "H."

Not that I had much of an idea where to go from there.


I was so far off that google couldn't even figure out what I meant.

So I looked up a list of Jewish holidays and at it said "Chanukkah." You learn something new every day.


I picked the kids up at daycare the other day and Sam said "Happy Chanukkah, Mom!"

"Thanks Sam. Happy Chanukkah to you, too."



"What are we going to do for Chanukkah?"

"Um. Not much really. We don't celebrate Chanukkah."

"But we celebrate Halloweeeeeeen" (with just a hint of whine and a dash of outrage).

"I cannot argue with that, my friend."

"So why don't we celebrate Chanukkah?!"

"It's just one of those things, buddy."

"But I like dessert!"

I really don't know how to respond to that.

BTW,, I just spellchecked this post and spellcheck begs to differ about Hanukkah.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


"Yeah, Sam?"

"Do you know Michael Injaction?"

"Um . . . yeah? Where did you hear about him? He was a singer?"

"He is died."

"Whoa. Where did you hear that?"

"He is died because he ate a rug."

"Oh. Yeah. Well. Where did you HEAR that?"

"Cayden told me."

Apparently Cayden is going to kindergarten at E Weekly.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Goldfish have no memories

At work, we collect data.

We must then enter the data into a database.

The process of accessing the database goes like this:

1) Go to website
2) Put in log-on information
3) Wait 2 seconds for phone to ring
4) Answer phone, type in password

You are now logged on.

I would say, that probably 95% of the time I forget what I'm doing during step three and am surprised when the phone rings.

It goes like this:

1) Put in log on information
2) Wait for phone to ring
3) Man, look at how hard it's raining!
4) Oooo! A phone call! I wonder who it is?!
5) Oh, right, it's the database.

or this:

1) Log on
2) Wait for phone
3) I need to text Jessica.
4) Oooo! A phone call! I wonder who it is?!
5) Oh, right, it's the database.

but probably mostly like this:

1) Log on
2) Wait for pho . . . Oooo! A shiny!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Fun with inedible food

We made a lot of french toast for Owen's birthday brunch. There were leftovers, so we froze them for future use as a quick breakfast option.

This morning, Chris offered the boys french toast for breakfast. They agreed, though they would probably agree to eat paper if it had syrup on it.

So Chris pops the frozen slices in the toaster. And then apparently goes for a jog or checks his email or something. Because the french toast he deposited onto the breakfast plates was way less french and a lot more toast.

Which isn't really, in and of itself, a problem. Like I said, the boys don't care, as long as he remembered the syrup, which he did.

Except that Sam's been ornery lately.

The problem was that the plastic fork he was using was completely inadequate to the task of stabbing one of his little bites of extra-crispy french toast. So, WHAAAAAAA

I told him to just pick it up with his fingers. But then his HANDS would get all STICKY, WHAAAAAA.

How about he try a different fork? But he wants to use THIS FORK, WHAAAAAAAA.

So he starts violently stabbing the french toast with the fork until the tines start popping off and flying across the room, and then I was like, "Whew. I was just thinking this room was strangely devoid of small pieces of danger for Lilly to find and put in her mouth."

But Sam found the broken tines to be immensely entertaining so he cheered up. Enough to come and give me a great big kiss on my back. Which is nice except now my SHIRT is all STICKY, WHAAAAA.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Out to dinner

Going out to dinner with kids is like getting a massage from ants. Ostensibly relaxing, but in reality, really irritating and kind of dirty.

Last night I decided to join my family for dinner at a local Mexican restaurant. We were a little late getting there. Because it takes an eternity to pick up three kids from three different locations of childcare.

Here's how it went.

We arrive. Yay!

Order fast! Waiter is here!

Lilly wants out of her car seat. I go to pick her up. I realize she has had massive poop blowout. When did that happen?! SHIT! This was an unplanned meal, so I don't have a diaper bag with me! Usually, when I'm picking her up at the babysitter's and taking her home, I don't need a diaper bag. But now I do. Okay. Think. I know! The CAR! It is piled HIGH with stuff! Surely I'll be able to McGyver another outfit and a diaper. Sure enough, there is an outfit (boys, slightly too big) and even an old diaper! It is several sizes too big but much better than the t-shirt/tissue/blanket diaper I was concocting in my head.

Okay, take Lilly to the bathroom. Awesome! They have a changing table (diaper changes on the floor of a Mexican restaurant's bathroom = yuck). Strap her down. Wet some paper towels while whipping my head around to verify that she's not trying to escape the table. Straps shmaps. Lilly will see your straps and raise you a head dive. Okay, good, back to holding her down. Lilly doesn't like this. It sounds like "AHHHH NOT LIKE NOT LIKE NOT LIKE." Peel off onesie. Okay, there's some poop on her face, but I gotta stay focused. Wiping, wiping, wiping, new diaper, new outfit. Fold old poopy clothes in on themselves, throw away old diaper and paper towel wipes and we are clean!!

Okay, back to the table. Sit down. Take a bite.

"I meeda go potty."

Right. Okay. Owen needs to go potty. That's cool. I totally know where it is. Come on, let's go.

"It is here? We go potty in here?"

"Yup, come on, let's go. Move it along, nothing to see here. Let's just do our business."

"We will go in here? You will come wif me?"

"Sure will, let's go."

"OH! Looka dat!"

"That's the changing table. Do you remember when you had to go on those because you wore a diaper? Now you can use the potty! So use the potty."

"Okay. I'm puuuuuuulling down my pants!"


"Okay, I will sit here and use the potty."

. . . . .

"Uh-oh. I fink sumfin is going wrong."

"What's up?"

"I'm trying to poop but it won't come out!"

"Well, keep trying. It's not like our food it getting cold. And I for one am certainly not hungry."

"OH! Wook at dat! Oh no! The toiwet paper is onna fwoor!"

"Oh, my. How ever could the toilet paper have gotten on the floor? One could never foresee that happening when one was whapping it over and over."

"I better get it."

"Alright, Owen, I'm going to go back out to the table, you can come out when you're done."

"Okay! WEAVE, MOM."
I keep forgetting that my younger son will call my bluffs.

Right. I leave the bathroom. Run into my sister, who is waiting outside the men's bathroom for her son. Good to know I have years of bathroom hanging out ahead of me. She offers to wait for Owen. Sweet!

Take two bites. Mexican food not so appealing anymore, but you get what you get and you don't get grossed out by a bunch of poop in the bathroom of a Mexican bathroom.

"Mom? I need to go potty."

You know that's Sam. Because every thing he says to me begins with him saying my name like it is a question. Mom? Is that you? Are you really my mother? Are you still my mother? Are you sure?

Right. Back to the bathroom. Maybe I'll have the chance to lick it this time.

"Mom? Is this the bathroom? Are you coming in? Oh, look there is a changing table on the wall! Oh my gosh, the toilet paper is on the floor!"

Oh my god.

Just use the freaking bathroom.

"Sam, seriously, just use the potty and let's get out of here."

"Mom? I have to poop."

See, apparently, dinner got scheduled during 6:00 family pooping time.

I think I spent more time in the bathroom than at the table.

Which was fun.

And then Lilly got tired and cried a lot and wanted to go home.

I'm sure there were other people there. And I'm sure they talked about things. You know, current event, politics, old friends.

Not me. Just tacos and poop.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Like Aruba. Or Jamaica.

Yesterday night, about a half an hour after I fell asleep, Owen ran screaming into our room, pulled his pants down, peed on a pile of clothes and then turned around and went back to bed.

I was left, blinking, with a pile of urine-soaked clothes, wondering what the hell just happened.

Having children is so relaxing.

Chris tried really hard to sleep through the whole thing.

I didn't let him.

He suggested that the clothes could be cleaned up in the morning.

Is any of the above normal?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Social graces

I went to the local Parent Center for a "Baby and Me" group today.

I took Chris.



Chris, you totally didn't even deserve that. You've been a man among men recently.

Anyway, I took Lilly and she was a champ because she doesn't have to worry about traditional baby things like "naps" or "not being able to take over the world."

By the way, the other day Sam asked me what "champ" meant. I was all, "Um. It means you are great? Like you did a good job at something? Like a champ . . . ion?"

Stupid four-year-olds and their incessant questioning.

It's like a damn IQ test all the time around here.

"What is this for?"

"What does that mean?"

"Oooo, sorry, points off for sarcasm, Mom."

So the group was fine.

It got me wondering about why I hadn't gone before. Like when I was home with Sam for 9 months, or when I was on maternity leave with Owen or Lilly.

And then I remembered it's because I'm a terrible with people.

When I meet people, there are only three possible outcomes:

1) I don't like them. Like the lady this morning who was all, "Bouncers! I can't believe how people have all these THINGS for their babies! Babies survived for millions of years without all this STUFF! I don't get why people get so caught up with 'keeping up with the Joneses!'" Um, I don't know, maybe because of how babies scream a lot, you asshat. It's not like I bought all these loud plastic things for showing off. Come in, come in! Oh, that old thing? Just a giant plastic baby holder I picked up the last time we swung by the South of France.

2) They don't like me. Like the skinny lady in the skinny jeans who is a stay-at-home mom and doesn't find my rant about how I wish Lilly would slow it down very funny. Trust me, I totally was.

3) They act friendly and I'm suspicious. Like, wow, I'm not really sure I want to hang out with someone with standards that low. They'd probably be friendly with a rock. And what am I going to get out of hanging out with a person who talks to rocks? And then she'd probably be one of those people who is all NEEDY and I have enough needy people in my life. I call them my children. The last thing I need is some lady calling me up 5 time a day all, "I keep calling you and you don't answer!" Yeah, I know. It was exhausting ignoring all those phone calls. So I just assume that anyone showing interest in "getting coffee" is actually a crazy stalker.

In any event, I went, it was fine.

There are some really ugly babies out there.

So Lilly tried to eat their faces.

Not like the kind of shots we had in college


I got a flu shot today.

I can barely type.

A free flu shot is something they offer as a benefit at my job's "Benefit Fair."

You know you are a grown-up when a "Fair" is a place you go with balloons and free pens and dental insurance.

You know you are a grown-up when you're like, "Oooo, free shots!"

But, mah arm. It hurts.

I'm not even kidding when I tell you that it would be best if I didn't ever, ever, ever get cancer or something.

Think back to my behavior whilst pregnant. Now imagine me going through chemo.

People always talk about how brave their loved ones are while going through treatment.

I guarantee you that none of you would be saying that about me.

Seriously. I'm not kidding. I'm kind of worried about it. Because we have all of these cancer awareness weeks/months these days. So, okay, I'm, like, really aware of the possibility I could get cancer. Thanks.

I'd better not get the flu, either.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Word is spreading

So I got a visitor counter thing-a-jigger. It is interesting.

It tells me how many people look at my blog on a daily basis.

Interestingly, nobody visits here on Sundays.

What, are you all at church?

It also tells me where people visit from. Somebody visited from Japan once. But he only stayed for 2 seconds before he was like, "AH! Leaving!"

The counter thing-a-jigger didn't say that, I'm just assuming.

I have a lot of visits from someplace called "Cleveland." That's cool. I hear it's a hole, though.

I'm not great with "technology" or "programs," but it looks like somebody in Cincinnati reads my blog.

Hey there!

If it is true, and I have a reader to whom I am not directly related, I think that should freak them out.

I can SEEEEEEEE you!

Not really.

But that's a pretty shirt you have on.

I have lots of good ideas

I bought a pair of jeans on-line from Gap. When I got them and tried them on they fit really nicely, except for the extra foot of leg-length. I suppose I could chop them off, but I think the price of the jeans warranted perfection or return. Actually, the pants were called "Perfect-fit jeans," so I don't think I was being to hard on them.

Of course I let them sit around the house for weeks and weeks.

Then I noticed that returns must be made within 45 days. Yikes.

I printed out the pre-paid label and packaged the pants up and tried to drop them off at UPS.

But UPS is closed on Sunday.


So I head out with Lilly this morning before work. I walk up, full of confidence and do that thing where you stand around looking really confused when the door won't open. Like, "What ever could be wrong with this door?! I am tugging very mightily!"

Turns out they don't open until 9:00.

What the heck, UPS? I'm just trying to drop off a freakin package. Put a hole in your door or something. I don't even know what the point is of opening at 9:00. Who isn't at work by 9:00? If you want to catch the morning crowd, you have to open at 8:00, don't you think? And if you aren't worried about the morning crowd, why bother opening before 10?


But I couldn't wait around, so I decided that, given the timeline that was thisclose to rendering my pants valueless, I would risk leaving the package outside of the UPS door.

About a half an hour later, I look back at what I've done.

I've left a package. Unattended. In a public place. All mysterious-like.

That doesn't bother people these days, right?

I called (when they opened) and explained to the UPS lady that I had left a package outside and I wanted her to know it wasn't a terrorist bomb, just pants.

. . . . . . . . . . .

Last week Lilly started doing this thing where she'd wake up for her middle-of-the-night feeding (which she should have outgrown at this point, but whatever, I'm a flexible, accommodating, loving mother so that's okay, no hard feelings), eat until she fell asleep and I put her back in her crib, and WAKE UP TWENTY MINUTES LATER.

Which is just long enough for me to have fallen back asleep.

For the first week or so, I got her back up, nursed her again, and she would go back to sleep for serious.

And then I was like, "screw that."

I mean, that's completely unnecessary. If you are hungry, eat. If you are tired, sleep. I don't want to be up at ALL, let alone be up and being yanked around by a fickle BABY.

Pickle babies? They should make small pickles and call them that.


So I instituted a no-going-to-sleep-and-then-getting-back-up-twenty-minutes-later policy.

Which resulted in a LOT of screaming.

Which Chris did not really appreciate. As he was unaware of her previous irritating nighttime habits, her new, loud, nighttime habits seemed a distinct downturn of events to him.

But, WHATEVER, man. I'm not dealing with that crap anymore. She's a grown-ass baby. She'll learn.

So we had five nights of battling.

She did not learn.

Last night, she woke up to eat at 3:00. I fed her, she fell asleep, I put her back in her crib. I sat down in bed, but did not lie down because I was trying not to be woken up by her imminent screaming. I fell asleep sitting up (ow). She woke up at 3:20. I got her up, fed her again and she went back to sleep for serious.

I felt great about the lack of sustained screaming.

Until I realized that she TOTALLY WON.

I'm a little scared of this child.

I think she's trying to take over the world.

Friday, October 29, 2010

He didn't get that from me

Sam has a voracious appetite.

He can consume quantities of food that would be astounding to anyone but a Hagesfeld.

Owen is all, "Oh, I ate a little grape, and now my tummy is full" and Sam is all, "Oh, I ate two chicken legs, a pot of noodles, three pieces of bread and an apple, but the act of chewing burned it all up and so I'm still hungry and this time I'm just going to pour the food straight down my throat."

Last night we sat down to dinner at approximately 6:20. He had chicken, rice, corn and an apple. Around 7:15, he announced that he was hungry and would like a snack. Like maybe some chicken nuggets.

Dude, I'm not making you second dinner.

So , instead, what I did was provide snacks.

Two pieces of cheese.

Three beef sticks. (Shut up. They are easy.)

A drinking yogurt. (I don't even know what those are actually called)

A banana.

And then he came to me, "Mom, I am still, like, SUPER hungry, but could you please make me something SUPER healthy? Like maybe some broccoli?"

Did my kid just ask for broccoli for snack?

I don't even UNDERSTAND that.

I mean, but that's fine. I don't have to understand my children.

But then later, when Chris showed him the pumpkin costume he got him for Halloween, Sam tried it on and then refused to wear it because it made him look, "fat."

That's kind of the point of a pumpkin costume.

Anyway, I really don't know where the fat-phobia is coming from.

I'm also not sure how he's planning on reconciling his endless need for food with his apparent desire to keep his svelte figure.

Maybe though broccoli?

Thursday, October 28, 2010


I have many good qualities.

As I've gotten older (and met Chris) one thing that I feel grateful for is NOT having a particularly addictive personality.

That seems like super hard work.

Sure, I love food, and reading, and going without both for months when I was pregnant was muy depressing. But there were extenuating circumstances.

I think that, in general, a lot of my lying around would be interrupted if I was all, "Oh, I need, I need, I need."

Chris has addictions without number. I'm not kidding when I say that I am consciously thankful that he doesn't know a crack dealer. Chris has never MET the substance that he wouldn't like to welcome in to his life permanently.

Diet Coke? I've made up a fresh bed for you!

Gum? So nice to meet you! Why don't you set your things in the closet!

Hola Fruita? Let me clear a drawer for you!

And still.

A little over a month ago, Target was having a special on Diet Dr. Pepper. So I bought two 12 packs, took them to work, and drank them at the approximate pace of one per work day. I ran out two days ago.

And I have a raging headache.

The brain gremlin is crying, "Why no caffeine in the mouth hooooooole? I gonna eat a frontal lobe."

Friday, October 22, 2010

Growing up is NOT a good thing

I'd like to dedicate this post especially to Margaret, who loves when I write about this stuff.

So Owen got a stomach virus a while back.

He woke up vomiting around 4:00 a. m. Because what's the point of vomiting if you can't wake your parents out of a deep sleep?

We got him cleaned up and he seemed a little better. He told me, absolutely pea-green and smiling, "I GROWED UP!"

"Oh, I'm so sorry, little man."

We tucked him back into bed and I said to Chris, "What are we going to do about tomorrow?"

I had a job interview I couldn't miss and it's always hard for Chris to miss work.

"I wouldn't worry about it," Chris said. "He seems fine now."

"I know, but it usually takes an hour to vomit again," I replied.

Chris looked at me like I was a crazy person.

So when Owen woke up yarfing at 5:04, that was the best part.

Boo-yah, Chris.

Not that there was, you know, much competition. For being the best part of vomiting, I mean. Usually it is, "Well, at least watermelon tastes okay coming back up."

Still, when your kid is spewing, you find your joy where you can.

Owen barfed every hour for the next four hours. And then he started with the diarrhea, which he actually seemed to find more distressing than the growing up.

Anyway, the virus passed, and it actually did not manage to spread like these little buggers usually do.


Something was off with Owen. He woke up every night, at least twice a night. He woke up every morning, crying that he had to "grow-up." He'd hustle his little self to the toilet and stand there, gagging.

It occurred to me that it would be easier for adults to throw up in the toilet if it were way, way, taller.

This went on for such a long, long, time (NINE DAYS!) that I finally, against my better judgement, decided to take him to the doctor. I know you shouldn't take your kid to the doctor for throwing up. But it was getting SAD, people.

On the way there, I asked Owen if he knew why we were going to the doctor.

"Yeah," he said, "because I hit myself in the face with a bucket."


"When the doctor comes in, you tell her about when you growed up."

So when the doctor walks in she asks what's wrong and Owen said, "I growed up last weekend."

What? Was that last weekend? How do you know that? Sam's timeline still consists entirely of "last night" or "tomorrow." Things that already happened, happened "last night." Things that have yet to happen will happen, "tomorrow."

I did some math, though, and he was wrong. So that's a relief. I don't need to deal with some crazy time-savant kid as well as a growing up kid.

She prescribed antibiotics and tums.

The first night was the first night in close to two weeks that he hadn't woken up, and hadn't said he felt sick.

The second night, he woke up 8 times.

The third night, he didn't wake up, and didn't cry about growing up.

Fingers crossed.

Well, thanks for the info.

It seems we have a new reader here, folks.

I found out a way to see a list of comments you all made on the posts, and it appears that I MISSED one.

I think we all learned something valuable today.


I learned two things in the past 24 hours, and I'm kind of thrown for a loop.

Well, learned one thing and figured out another.

1) Laser hair removal doesn't work on redheads. Do you think that applies to me? Because maybe I could count as more "brown" for the purposes of laser hair removal. I never really planned to use it, but I always liked knowing that if shaving ever got too irritating, I could cough up the money for laser hair removal and be done with the whole business. Now I am trapped forever.

2) With the boys upgrading day cares, and Lilly started at a for-profit sitter instead of for-love grandmas, we will be paying $26,000 / year in daycare costs. Tweeeeeentyyyyyy-siiiiiiiiix thoouuuuuuuuuusaaaaaaaaaaaaand doooooooooollaaaaaarssssssssss. Christ on a cracker, why am I even working?

I am now doomed to be Our Lady of Perpetual Hair, and I am apparently working only so I can pay someone else to take care of my children.

You can see why I need a cookie.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Well I'm glad to know SOMEBODY'S paying attention

We get security alerts through email whenever a crime happens on campus. I guess to notify us, but I always feel like, "What? Am I supposed to go out and look for this guy?"

Fortunately, it looks like somebody was reading my blog and took my advice about just mugging people.

Incident Description: While walking near the east side of the Kelvin Smith Library, a student reported he was approached by a male who demanded he turn over his property of value. The student advised the male that he didn't have any property to turn over and then fled. The suspect then ran through Freiberger Field towards the intersection of East Blvd. and Bellflower Rd. where he encountered another student. The suspect demanded the second student turn over his property of value and after receiving a small amount of cash and a cellphone, walked northbound on East Blvd. attempting to leave the area.

I know it would really suck if that happened to you, and it's terrible to find humor, but in my mind that alert translates to this:

Bad guy: HEY! I demand you turn over your property of value!

Guy: Sir, I must advise you that I haven't got any property of value!

Bad guy: Fair enough! Good day! I shall try my luck elsewhere!

*running running running*

Bad guy: You there! Second student! I demand you turn over your property of value!

Second guy: I only have three . . . four dollars!

Bad guy: Well, give it! And your cellular phone!

*walking casually walking casually walking casually*

And I think my advice was good. He may not have gotten much, but on the other hand I don't think they caught the guy.

Seriously, from what I can tell, you should feel free to accost people, willy-nilly, in Cleveland.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Let's talk about the definition of "bad."

I got a call this morning from the place that Sam goes to physical and occupational therapy. I assumed they were just cancelling because the therapist was sick or something.

The first thing she says is, "Don't worry, no bad news or anything, we're still scheduled to see Sam."

What she was calling to tell me was that they've finally figured out, after eight months and 28 sessions, that we are actually supposed to pay a $20 co-pay for each visit.

I don't know what kind of world she lives in, but in my world, being sprung with an unexpected $560 bill, and the knowledge that each future session of what we thought was free (or insured) therapy is now going cost $20, counts as bad news.

Not terrible, horrific, life-altering news, but definitely not what I'd call good.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Is that how banks work?!

Those of you who know me (which would be all of you) probably know that my work moved offices a few months back.

Our old office had a nice location . . . I mean a convenient location. It was next door to the bank from which we got petty cash, and a few doors down from my personal bank.

In the past week, both of those banks were robbed. We were just notified that one of them was, today, robbed again.

Somebody here is stupid.

1) me, for not understanding that a good way to supplement my income would be to loudly demand money.

2) the thieves, for not understanding that robbing a bank is a FEDERAL crime, investigated by the FBI. Those of you who live in Cleveland Heights know that you shouldn't fuck with an FBI agent. There's lots of foot traffic around this area, just rob a person! The Cleveland police will never catch you!

3) the police, for not catching on that it might be time to consider POSTING EXTRA SECURITY.

Is is weird that I'm honestly disappointed that I'm no longer in the area, and, thus, can't loiter around the crime scene?

Oh, Sam.

This is about Sam, my son, not Sam our new follower.

Sheesh, this is confusing.

Recently, Chris and I have become a little uncomfortable with the quality of our daycare. It's fine. But only fine. And, lord, the ATTITUDE they are learning.

Because my children would NEVER behave this way of their own accord.

As it happens, I drove past a school the other day and decided to check it out.

And, guys, this is the kind of daycare I imagined for my kids. The kind that is BETTER than the care I would provide if I were a stay-at-home mom.

I love this place like I've never loved a school I've toured.

It is more expensive, but I think it is so good that it is worth the money.

Which is not to say that we HAVE the money.

It is a Montessori-style school, which in this setting mostly seems to mean the kids get to wander around and play with educational stuff. There are lots of activities, many of which seem to be cleverly disguised household chores. And by cleverly disguised I guess I mean they don't call it a "chore."

There was a kid mopping the floor. A kid watering the plants. A kid getting snack ready. A kid wiping tables. And they all acted like it was fun!

I'm not kidding, there was a kid ironing. With a for-real iron. It seemed weird. But it could totally come in handy, right? In fact, I think they should get a washer/dryer and I'd just send the laundry along.

They also had a "hand washing station," which was not a place to go wash your hands before lunch. It was a place to wash your hands FOR FUN. Or LEARNING. That also seemed weird to me, but when I thought about it, and the number of times a day I have to tell Sam and Owen to STOP WASHING YOUR HANDS, it actually seemed kind of clever.

The thing is, they only have a spot for one kid right now. So they don't have a spot for both boys.

Actually, they are currently INTERVIEWING kids for the slot. That's right. They don't let just ANY kid in here.

We decided to take Sam. I'm not concerned about the interview. I find Sam charming.

Who doesn't, am I right!?

So we walk in. And Sam is not just nervous. He is absolutely paralyze with fear. He won't talk, won't make eye contact, won't move, won't respond to anything. He's totally catatonic.

This is going well.

It was so bad that for a minute I thought we were just going to have to leave.

But after a little bit he managed to pull himself together. He was still reserved, but now noticeably human.

As we settle in, Sam starts hanging with this girl Jemma. They play some blocks. The teacher wonders over to observe Sam.

Things are looking up. Sam's settling in. He mentions that his "mom has milk in her big belly!"

Sam is so proud of me.

But, boy, when Jemma brings out the rhyming cards, Sam really starts to warm up. Sam loves rhyming. See, they ARE learning something in his daycare!

The rhyming cards are cards that have pictures of different objects on them, and two of them rhyme with each other, and you're supposed to match them together. Like a picture of a school and a picture of a pool would go together.

The thing is, this is clearly old hat to Jemma, and she starts matching the cards before Sam even really gets to look at them.

So, in an effort to join in, Sam starts shouting out words that rhyme with any picture he sees.


He's being a little loud here, and I hope that they will understand that Sam is used to functioning in a MUCH louder environment.


Apparently we have neglected to concentrate on rhyming ACTUAL words.


Understanding this age group's adoration of potty humor, and knowing that Sam was not being intentional here, and also knowing that if the kids start laughing at Sam right now he will be devastated, I hold my breath for a minute. But it passes without notice.

"SHOE . . . PLUE!"

I'm idly noticing that we seem fixated on the P's here, when:

"HORN . . . PORN!"

I wonder what that card looks like.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Wake-up call

So the other night Chris and I were talking before bed. In the course of our conversation we decided to have another baby. Not right now or anything, but someday. We decided this because I watched A Baby Story on TLC, and Chris was body snatched by aliens who want to increase the earth's population for better snackage. Because, seriously, I'm not sure Chris even admits that he wants the kids we currently have.

Anyway, upon hearing this, the very fabric of the universe shuttered.

You probably thought it was an earthquake.

Or your dehumidifier.

Nope, it was the cosmos dry heaving at the thought of having to endure another one of my pregnancies.

"We have to do something!" the gods cried.

So they gave Owen a terrible case of the Yarfs.

Poor thing.

I hate it when people puke.

But now I remember why we don't want any more kids. Just another thing that can throw up on my carpet.

Poor carpet, too.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Again with the dogs

I was driving the kids home from daycare the other day. We saw a pair of dalmatians and the boys very much enjoyed talking about "fire-dogs."

"Mom? People what that have kids and babies don't have dogs."


"That's a smart thing to say, Sam, how did you know?"

"Because you told me, mom."

Oh. Well. I'm right.

"Well, good listening buddy."

"But, mom, why can't we?"

"Because babies are hard enough to take care of, don't you think?"

"Well, mom, I have an idea . . ."



"I could take care of the dog, and Owen could take care of Lilly and y'all could take care of . . . um . . . like . . . dinner or sumfin."

Sounds like a plan.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Hi, Sam!

Let's all welcome my newest follower, Sam.

I met Sam at work when I had the good sense to hire her.

It sucked when she left because it turns out that most other people I hire are idiots.

But on the bright side it is no longer inappropriate to go out drinking with her.

Actually, I mostly just want you all to know that I did not create an account in my son's name so I could have another follower.

As it happens, I have a legitimate friend named Sam, too.

I wonder if it's weird for her that she has the same name as my son.

I would have to think so.

Fall wardrobe

The changing over of seasonal wardrobes is a little bit different with kids than it is for adults. With adults, you take the short-sleeved things and put them in the back of your closet and bring the long-sleeved things to the front.

But with kids, every time the season changes you have to be prepared for the possibility that the clothes you are bringing out will no longer fit, and decide whether the clothes you are putting away are likely to be wearable next time warm weather rolls around.

Warm weather clothes are actually more forgiving. Because your shorts have to be, like, SUPER short before anyone notices.

Hi, Chris!

Knowing that he'll need more fall clothes, I've purchased a few new items for Sam.

For the past year he's been boycotting pants with buttons. When I bring him button pants he'll look at me and ask, "why can't I have cozy pants?" in a tone that says, "And let's not pretend that we don't both know the answer is because you don't love me."

I've bought him a couple new pairs of jeans, because I think it's time to push the button pants. I can't really raise my kid in a cozy cocoon of elastic-waist pants. But I did find a some sweatpants on sale at Gymboree, so I picked up a pair in brown and a pair in green.

I think he can pull off green sweatpants in a way that I can't.

I found the sweatpants at the store. I decided to buy them. I purchased the sweatpants, brought them home, ripped off the tag, and tossed them in the washer. I then moved them from the washer to the dryer.

It was not until I was folding them out of the dryer that I noticed the brown sweatpants had WRITING ACROSS THE ASS.

The pants say, "Buckaroo" right across the butt.

I'm oddly and profoundly disturbed by this.

I'm probably still going to make him wear them.
God damn motherfucking acorns.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Here we go . . .


August is over. We are almost at the end of September - the last month before it is officially The Holiday Season.

It got colder. Abruptly, if you ask me. I guess I'm always caught off guard by the down-shift from 85 to 65.

Where are all my pants?

Anyway, I bought ghost-shaped marshmallows last night, and we used them this morning for car snack.

What? You don't know about Car Snack?

We instituted Car Snack about a year ago when the children were resisting getting in the car to go to daycare in the morning. So we bribed them (duh) with some kind of treat they could only have in the car.

Now they don't care so much about going, but they sure aren't about to give up car snack.

So the boys are eating some ghost-shaped marshmallows and Sam announces, "Ghosts are mammals."

"I don't think they are, hon."

"Yeah, they are. Because they have fur and give birth to live young."

I don't really know where to start with that, but, dude, ghosts are dead.

Monday, September 20, 2010

It occurs to me that I should stop referencing my boring life.

Because if I know the cosmos (and I DO) that's going to get me a ticket to middle-of-the-night barf faster than I can say, "I wonder what spaghetti tastes like mixed with stomach bile?"

What I really mean to say is not that I am bored by my life, because I'm not, but, rather, that I imagine everyone ELSE is bored by my life.

There has been a dearth of funny things happening to me.

I can tell you however, that it is NOT a good idea to try to refinance through Quicken Loans unless you ENJOY being yelled at like a naughty nine-year-old who has both angered and disappointed her parents.

Seriously, Quicken, this is AMERICA. And I am a GROWN ASS WOMAN. And I am MIDDLE-CLASS. The tactics you are using may work with children who are chronic underachievers, who need to be "scared straight," or, you know, the underprivileged, who are used to being pushed around, but I am WHITE, and I am used to a certain amount of DEFERENCE.

I wonder if they would have talked the same way to a man. I wonder why they find this to be an acceptable/successful approach. All I am is sure that I don't want to do business with them. I got off the phone and I felt angry and embarrassed. That they acted that way, and I, generally speaking, let them. I wish I had had the balls to give them what for.


I'm composing useless speeches in my head.

It reminds me of a post from long ago, that I would link to if I knew how, about State Farm's hard sell approach to selling me life insurance.

I hate places that do business that way.

It convinces me that the product does not sell itself.

BTW - I don't really think I deserve respect because I'm white. That was a joke about white privilege. White privilege is funny stuff.

That's it?

A story about stumbling around in the bathroom?


My back still hurts.

Our car broke down.

At McDonald's.

Super Klassy, eh?

I'm trying to refinance our mortgage.

I'm going to the dentist today.

To get a bite guard.

I won the lottery.

Not really.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

God. Finally.

I knew I'd do something embarrassing eventually.

As an aside, do you remember how I mentioned that the bathrooms are FAAAAAAR away from my office?

Well, I found out that there is a short cut.

But you have to go through another group's suite. You can walk the long way, through public hallways, or the short way, through another suite.

I tried walking the short way for a few days, but it made me so ANXIOUS. I was worried that those people were like, "Uh, who does that girl think she is? Just WALTZING through here. Nice girls don't even USE the bathroom."

So I just gave up and now I'm back to walking the long way. I use the time to think about what a freakin' wuss I am.

Which is all just to say that CLEARLY I care about what people think of me.

Have you ever been alone and wanted to do something embarrassing, but realized that your alone-ness could totally be a temporary thing, but decided to take the gamble and gone ahead and done that embarrassing thing?

I have!

The thing is, earlier today I pulled a muscle in my back looking at pictures on Facebook. And I'm in the bathroom and I decide to lean over to [try to] touch my toes. My pilates instructor has shown me a stretch that opens up the small of my back, which, by the way, I thought was total bullshit at the time, but has been very enjoyable.

So I'm stretching and thinking that I would look pretty weird if anyone decided to come in. But I think to myself, "what are the chances someone will come in in the next few minutes?" Which was an ABSURD thing to think because this one bathroom services all 50 or so women on this floor, and ladies sure do use it a lot, so I've almost never seen it empty. It was a RIDICULOUS thought on my part, that was quickly answered by the sound of the door opening.

So I fling myself upright, but all the blood that was collecting in my head-ball-area now has to rush quickly down, which renders me light-headed, so I stagger to the side and crash into the mirror.

I lurch quickly to the sink to pretend I'm just washing my hands with zeal.

But I'm pretty sure that lady was looking at me funny.

I think she was from the suite I used to walk through.

Nightly ritual

Every night, before I go to sleep, I lie in bed and imagine my most worrisome worry: That one of the boys will wake up sick in the night.

I picture waking up to the sound of them crying, or to the sound of barfing, or a small hand patting my face.

The thought of being woken up in the middle of the night to a sick kid is the one thing guaranteed to make me never want to have another child and, in fact, who wants the ones I have now?

So every night I worry about that before I fall asleep.

Recently, I've added a new one.

You know, to mix things up a little bit.

After I get done worrying about the boys getting sick in the night, I start to imagine a bat flying around in my bedroom.

I have to believe that the second worry will abate in time.

There you go. Two of my greatest fears. Barf and bats.

Monday, September 13, 2010

So how are YOU?

I don't know, guys.

I haven't posted much recently. Because nothing funny has happened.

And I don't enjoy writing about the not-funny.

If it's not funny it's just

oh, me?

I'm tired, but not very super tired, just regular tired.

I'm hungry because I'm on a diet. But still enormous because my body apparently has a strangle hold on my fat. "Doooooon't leeeeeeeave meeeee, faaaaaat! I will misssssss you sooooooo muuuuuch!"

Owen pooped in the potty and not on the floor!

The baby smiled! And she is too tall for her clothes.

My office is cold.

I like to watch TV.

See? That's not entertaining.

My life is very pleasant, but not much is going on that I feel the need to share.

So let's hope that something interesting and funny happens soon.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

If a mom talks, does she make a sound?

It's morning. 6:55 a. m.

We've just been joined in bed by two of our ill-considered offspring.

Chris rolls out of bed to take a shower. It's a good choice because getting in the shower means you don't have to find the remote PLUS you get to be alone. Mostly.

"UM, CAN I WATCH TV?" Owen asks. Whines? I'm not sure which. He asks in a really high-pitched voice.

"Sure, okay, just let me find the remote." Is it where it's supposed to be? Did Chris cuddle up with it last night in bed? On the floor? Oh, there it is. "What do you guys want to watch?"

"SCOOBY!" Owen answers enthusiastically.

"No Scooby. You know you aren't allowed to watch Scooby."

"It's too scary, right mom?" Sam says.

"Scooby is scawy?"

"That's right, Owen. You can't watch Scooby because it's too scary, so what do you want to watch?"

"SCOOBY-DOO!" Owen answers enthusiastically.


"MOM? We can't watch Scooby because it will freak Lilly out like you were freaked out by the bat, right?" Sam hypothesizes.

"Well . . . yes. But I wasn't 'freaked out' exactly. I think I was responding appropriately given the danger involved. Anyway, what do you want to watch?"

"SCOOBY-DOOBY-DOO!" Owen answers enthusiastically.

That's it. You're getting Blue's Clues.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Not to worry, I'm still largely invisable

I went out with a friend of my recently.

Do you like how I said that all casual, as if, oh, yeah, just me going out with my friends again. Do it all the time. Getting a little boring, you know. All these friends and going's out's.

Anyway, this is my friend who is an excellent hand-washer and is the kind of woman who would actually scream or something if she were being followed by a weird guy, whereas I would NEVER make such a scene.

Which is to say that she is good at paying attention to her safety.

Being around her makes me think of all the dangerous things I do, like leaving windows open at night and writing a public blog using our real names.

So I did a google search of my name. Not to fear, people! Somebody would have to search "crazy AND baby AND chris AND falling AND grumpy AND pregnant" in order to find this blog. So I don't think anyone is going to come across it unless they already know about it, in which case they probably already know us and the fact that we have a perfectly good baby for selling.

You know what does come up when you search my name?

1) the fact that I am on Facebook
2) Kim Hodgkiss's financial records (DUDE! That's not even me!)
3) all the Facebook groups I'm in
4) the fact that I signed a petition on-line once and had the poor judgement to use my real name

What is this petition, you ask? Must be important, right? Using my real name and all. We recently had a hugely important election. It was probably in support of Barack Obama or gay marriage or something.


It was the petition to keep the American version of the children's television show, Hi-5, on the air. "Keep American Hi-5 Alive!" it's called.


Why did I DO that?

Plus, I think it totally sounds xenophobic. Like, "Let's keep Hi-5 for Americans! I'm tired of those immigrant Hi-5's!" When really, I just liked the show. I'm sure the Australian version is lovely, but it's not on my TV and was not being cancelled.

So that's it. That's my internet footprint.

My contribution to society is INVALUABLE.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Bats are Sam's favorite mammal

I listed a lot of our garage sale leftovers on Craigslist.

Last night, while Chris was out and the boys were ostensibly in bed, some people came over to pick up our highchair.

They were nice people (though they were disconcertingly tall) and we were having a nice conversation as we stood outside. Until I heard the boys shrieking inside the house. I waved the couple home and went inside.

"WHAT is going on here?!" I asked


"A what, now?"


I wasn't sure whether or not to believe them, but it seemed like a weird thing to make up out of nowhere. So I peek in our room and, sure enough, a bat goes flapping by.

So I screamed. I don't like animals. I ESPECIALLY don't like small, fast, mammals. Give me a squishable spider any day.

The boys also screamed, but their screaming was more like fun-screaming-followed-by-giggling-induced-by-the-thrill-of-authorized-screaming. Not like my real screaming. They thought this was excellent avoiding-bedtime drama.

I called Chris and told him that he must return immediately to the homestead. I was very calm. I called my Dad and told him Chris might need some help.

"Awe you gonna cwack it?!" asks Owen. Crack? Whack? Trap? I don't know. But he was pretty sure we should cwack it.


I really don't understand how the kid who mumbles "yes" when asked if he wants breakfast at school is the same kid whose normal speaking volume is ALL CAPS at home.

"Be quiet and get down!" I hiss. Not really. I tried to be very calm. But Sam might have caught a whiff of my fear when I asked if. the. bat. had. touched. him.

"Bats can't hurt me!" Sam said.

"They can bite!" I tell him. And then, reconsidering that brilliant parenting, I amend that to, "I mean, bats can be really dirty, so if a bat touches you I need to know so we can wash you off."

But the bat at the center of the controversy has gone into hiding.

Eventually Chris and Dad give up.

"Did you catch it?" Sam wants to know.

"Did you cwack it?" Owen inquires. "Did you take it and cwack it?"

"Yes," my Dad LIES.

"Oh, you'we a good helper!" Owen praises.

As I try to get the boys calmed down for bed, we talk a little about bats.

"Bats eat bugs!" I offer.

"And they hunt fruit!" Sam adds.

"Yeah! FWOOT!" Owen agrees.

"Maybe," Sam hypothesizes, "the bat came in to hunt our cantaloupe and then went upstairs."

Yes, probably after all that fruit-hunting, the bat got tired and went upstairs to take a nap. Then, when commotion ensued, surely the bat high-tailed it out of here. Who wants to hang out (HAHA) with a whole bunch of screaming children? Not me!

So I tell myself that the bat has simply returned from whence it came.

Until we turn the light off to go to sleep.

Then a fluttering black shadow catches my eye.

The fear that takes over my body at that point is PROFOUND, my friends.

From here, in the daylight, in front of a computer, I can be all like, eww, bats.

In bed, in the dark, with a bat flying around, I was mostly paralyzed with fear.

I literally couldn't speak.

"UNH. UNH!" I grunt at Chris.

"What's the matter, dear heart?" Chris inquires, oblivious to THE BAT.

"It. Is. In. The. Room."

"Okay, just get down and get out of here," Chris says, all manly-like.

But I'm trapped.

If I turn on the light, I'll be able to see the bat real good.

If I leave the light off, I'm in the dark with a BAT.

If I try to leave the room, the bat could fly into my head or chase me or something.

But if I stay in the room, I'm in a room with a BAT.

You get the picture.

So I just break down crying and turn on the light and crawl out of the room.

And sure, from here, that seems all wussy. But I was IN a ROOM with a BAT.

I go downstairs and listen to Chris do battle with the bat.

At one point he comes downstairs and chugs a beer.

I don't judge.

Then, twenty minutes later, he comes downstairs and says the bat has disappeared.

I suggest he turn the light off again and wait for it to come out.

An hour later of Chris alternately lying in wait and actively hunting, it occurs to me that this problem might not get solved tonight. That we might NOT FIND THE BAT.

So I start to help look.

I know, right? I'm so brave.

But we find a whole lot of flying NOTHING.

Eventually, I get too tired to continue and I go to sleep on the chair in Lilly's room.

Lilly finds this EXTREMELY odd when she wakes up. I wish I could imitate the face she made when she saw the Big Milk Lady hanging out in her room BEFORE SHE EVEN CRIED.

And that's where we are now.

I feel that this is somehow the fault of the excessively tall couple who bought our highchair. We never had bats before they came over.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


So, as an aside, I'm wondering if anybody knows the answer to a grammatical conundrum I've been struggling with. For about three years.

I work for a research group collectively referred to as the Follow-up Studies. Or is it Follow-Up Studies? And while the internet usually comes to my rescue, I wasn't getting much information applicable to my query, "do you capitalize the 'u' that follows a hyphen if you capitalized the first word, not because it started a sentence, but because it is a title?"

So do you?

Actually, now that I mention it, is "follow up" even hyphenated? "I'm going to follow up with him," looks okay, but "The Follow Up Studies" does not. Or maybe they both make it sound like we are walking around behind some guy named Up.

Let me know.

I'm not being rhetoric.

I need to order stationary.

So, to follow up on the below post where Sam was forlornly wondering why his dad never remembers anything, Sam did come to me the next day with some good news.

He was all excited and said, "MOM! Daddy remembered about when we went to Florida!"

Hooray! Chris remembered taking our annual two-week vacation to another state!

I feel like Sam needs to up his expectations.

Anyhow, I felt bad about that post for a couple of reasons. First, because I wondered if I had been making fun of Chris too much recently.

You should know that Chris does lots of things, and many of them with grace and aptitude.

But those aren't funny, so I don't write about them.

So I counted the percentage of my posts that reference Chris, and I think I'm okay. Also, if he wants to start a blog where he talks about ridiculous things that I do, he is free to do so.

But it would be very short.

The second reason I felt bad about that post is because I looked at it and realized that if someone who didn't know Chris read it, they might think that my husband has a legitimate problem. They might read that and think it was a poignant vignette about dealing with early-onset Alzheimer's or a Traumatic Brain Injury or something.

In that light, my remembering contest comment looks pretty harsh, doesn't it?

How to Take Care of Your Alzheimer Husband and Feel Good About Yourself, Too: Remembering Contests You Will Always Win!

I felt bad because if my husband DID have early-onset Alzheimer's that would be really hard, and there are families out there struggling with it, and here I am, basically MOCKING them.

Cosmos, I appreciate my husband. Despite his forgetfulness and the fact that he feeds the children rotten fruit and the dirty socks he puts on the kitchen counter and under the table and in the desk drawers and behind the couch, I am grateful he is around.

I just wanted to clear that up.

It's hard on me, too, Sam



"Do you remember when we went to the store and they had the blue balloon?"

"I do. You really wanted that balloon, didn't you?"

"Yeah. But how come my daddy doesn't remember anything?"

Well I sure don't know, but at least you know you'll always win the remembering contests.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

OMG, Craigslist.

So sometimes at work I get a little bored. And lord help me if my job decides to track my computer usage.

"What? Why was I on Facebook during work hours? Uh, because I was trying to track down some lost participants. Duh."

So I was on Craigslist the other day and I noticed that they have a section called, "Missed connections."

I wondered what it was.

So I clicked on it.

Guess what?

People are CRAZY!

There is this whole section on Craigslist where you can post a description of an encounter you had with someone, but, like, couldn't work up the nerve to ask for their digits. Seriously!

This is the perfect place for the guy who was standing in line at the post office and struck up a conversation with the woman in front of him, a lengthy, lengthy, conversation, but then it was eventually her turn. He ends up thinking about the woman for the whole rest of the day and wondered if there might have been something there. So he posts a message about, "we were both at the post office. You were a funny brunette mailing a package to Idaho, I'm a dorky red-head who just needed stamps. I'd love to talk more, so message me!" and then she reads it and is like, "That's me! That's me! I was totally into that guy, thus rendering this not creepy at all!" And then Happily Ever After. What a story for the grand kids!

Except, apparently, it's also for the guy who is looking for the girl who was on the stairs and flashed him and then he showed her his bits and he thought that the girl was this one girl he knew, but then later that night when he walked up to the girl he knew and grabbed her boobs, she freaked, and then later when PURELY BY HAPPENSTANCE, he was walking down her street, she looked out the window and saw him and now he's being prosecuted, so he needs to find the original flasher-girl so she can testify for him in court.

It's also for the guy who saw a beautiful blond leave her house on Shaker road at 8:07 a. m., three days in a row, and drive off in a red car. He's looked in her windows and thinks she has really great taste in furniture, so message him!

I don't know guys. I think if you don't talk to the girl then she probably won't know she has "missed" your "connection" thus she is probably not going to be checking the Missed Connection section. I'm not sure, and every situation is different, but if you are watching a girl, from afar, and not talking to her, it might not be so much of a "missed connection" as "stalking."

And your post is now "evidence."

Also, even in a world devoid of crazy people, what are the chances that this would EVER WORK? It just seems like a really unlikely scenario. So much so as to be unworthy of expending actual time. So much so as to be unworthy of ACTUALLY HAVING THE CATEGORY.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Note to Chris, Re: Fruit

A while back we were all gathered at my parents house for brunch. There was a fruit salad. Yay! I love fruit salad!

So I heaped some on my plate and stabbed my fork into what I assumed was a piece of watermelon.

But . . . ew . . . I don't think that's watermelon.

What is that?

Maybe grapefruit? I don't eat grapefruit very often, so maybe that is why it is not immediately recognizable.

Or . . . GROSS! Is this MEAT? Did my family make some kind of raw meat ceviche?! I don't even know what that word means, but they say it a lot on Top Chef in reference to food that looks like this!

"Guys? What is this?"

"That? The fruit salad?"

"No, this," I say as I indicate the floppy object dangling from my fork tines.




"I don't think this watermelon is okay anymore. I would definitely advise not eating it. Or, actually, yeah, you should all take a bite of this!"

Turns out that, helpful guy that he is, Chris cut up the watermelon. Even gave a bowl FULL of the meat watermelon to the boys. Clearly he did not taste it first, right? WRONG. He TOTALLY tasted it first.

But . . . how, Chris?

Anyway, fast forward to Tuesday night. The children are eating dinner, including some cantaloupe that Chris has cut up.

"Hahaha," Sam giggles, "Mom! My melon is sparkly!"


"Chris? Did you taste the melon?"


Why did I even ask that?

Seriously. Why did I even bother? He gave the children MEAT WATERMELON.

So I grab a piece of Owen's melon and it is, indeed, sparkly. Or fermented. Whatever.

To be fair, the boys thought it was fine. And they seem okay so far.

Chris. He has discriminating tastes. That's how he ended up with me.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

My new work bathroom

I may have mentioned that we moved offices recently. We are now in a much larger space and I have a sliver of window.

I like our new office space, but it is not all an upgrade. Our old office had TWO bathrooms to choose from, which was handy for avoiding the crazy broads in my office who still go to the bathroom together. Are we TWELVE? And at a SCHOOL DANCE?

Also, our new bathroom is so far away from my office I need to pack a lunch for the journey. Around here you don't "run" to the bathroom. Because that would be called a MARATHON. I've been thinking of investing in a Segway. That wouldn't be weird, would it?

On the other hand, our new bathroom isn't kept locked to keep out the homeless people who kept using it. To sleep in.

Which you think would be a handy change except that, everyday, for the past four years, I've had to remember to bring my keys with me when I went to the bathroom. And I got USED to that. Now, every time I head to the bathroom, I spend a few seconds looking forlornly around my office for my bathroom key before remembering, again, that I no longer have one. The whole walk there I feel vaguely uncomfortable. Naked. Key-less.

Also, I feel like our new bathroom is a little . . . odd.

My first day back at work in the new office, I headed off on my own to find the bathroom. I walk in and there is a little table and chair there, creating a little bathroom sitting room, I guess. I noticed that because I wondered if that was the supposed "pumping area" I had heard about in our fancy new building.

I'm using my office as a "pumping area" instead.

Anyway, the next day, I walk into the bathroom and see a couch. So I turn around and walk back out to check to make sure I've entered the ladies room and not the men's. Yup. I'm in the right place. Have I somehow sunk down to a different floor? Ah, well, never mind. Clearly they just switched furniture. The weird bathroom furniture. Because we need bathroom furniture in our office building restroom?

Then, the next day I walk in and . . .


No fooling.

Who is DOING this? And WHY? It is FREAKING ME OUT. I'm already a little unsettled because of all the changes that happened when I was on maternity leave. Now I have to deal with this weird Matrix bathroom.

Also, I noticed that there is a coat rack, with, like, hangers and stuff as well as TWO umbrella stands in the bathroom.

Guys, we're not at the ORCHESTRA. This is our OFFICE restroom. We took our coats off in our OFFICE. Also, despite the long walk, I did not CARRY MY UMBRELLA.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Pros and cons

Breastfeeding is very controversial.

People get mad at "breastfeeding Nazi's." Other people are vocally outraged about nursing in public. Some people won't even TRY breastfeeding because it grosses them out.

I think breastfeeding has pros and cons.

Pro: I'm at a party that sucks and I have to leave to feed the baby.
Con: I'm at a party that rocks and I have to leave to feed the baby.

Pro: I can forget to pack diapers on a trip, but I can't forget to pack Lilly's food.
Con: If I leave on a trip I've packed Lilly's food with me.

Pro: If Lilly wakes up a lot during the night, I don't have to keep going downstairs to make bottles.
Con: If Lilly doesn't wake up a lot during the night, I get woken up anyway.

Breast: "I haz problem."
Me: "Baby is still asleep."
Breast: "Hokay."
Me: (Squeezing eyes shut trying to sleep)
Breast: "But I still haz problem."
Me: "Be quiet. I'm trying to sleep."
Breast: "NO. I said I HAZ PROBLEM. Oh, now I iz so sad I iz weeping on U."

Friday, August 13, 2010


So I was writing something today and I wanted to emphasize a number. Normally when I want to emphasize something I just CAPITALIZE it. Because in typing etiquette, capitalizing something is the equivalent of shouting it.

Which it is why it is so uncomfortable to read stuff where the author has written in all caps. Because your brain is reading it as if the person were shouting, "COME . . . TO . . . MY . . . GARAGE . . . SALE . . . WE . . . HAVE . . . A . . . BOOKSHELF" with a bullhorn pressed to your ear. Why do they not understand this? Seriously. Why are their still people out there who don't get that this is an inappropriate and ineffective communication style?

I mean, I get why this happened 15 or 20 years ago, way back when it was still popular to write by hand-carving letters out on the page. When the internet was still somewhat new, we hadn't yet figured out how to converse in emoticons and fonts. In fact, there wasn't ANY SUCH THING as emoticons. I'm not kidding, whippersnappers. In the past, we did not use a semicolon followed by a close parentheses to indicate saucy tomfoolery. We just, you know, drew an UPRIGHT smiley face or something.

So I understand that there was a time when the need to communicate through the keyboard was all new and unregulated. Back then, it was actually pretty common to receive an email written in all caps, as if the sender was a little unsure about this new technology and thought perhaps shouting might help amplify her message. But this is not new anymore, people. Why, it's like some people are coming to the internet, but they don't know or understand the language and they just expect us to interact with them anyway. And I for one say, if you are not going to learn the language of the internet, then GET OFF. Or I would if I were a republican.

Anyhow, that's not actually my point today.

My point is that it is difficult to emphasize numbers in type.

Which made me think of this one time - I must have been eight or nine - lying on the bottom bunk at bedtime, talking to my sister in the top bunk.

"How do you write an uppercase 2?" I asked.

"You DON'T," Kim replied.

"No, but HOW?"

"You really just don't."

"But you know how you write and some letters are capital and some are not?"


"So how do you do that to a number?"


Although I'm just now realizing, that shows what she knows. Because I just wrote it.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Business lunching

I'm not sure if it's true, but it feels like I work for a very large university place with lots of departments. Confusing most of the time. But there are some benefits. Today, for example, I was not real interested in sitting around my office, so I went with a colleague to an informational meeting about applying to an Enhancing and Developing Women in Leadership program. Working in a place this large means there are a lot of informational meetings you can legitimately attend.

I mostly only went to keep my friend company, and also to get out of the office. You see, I am pretty sure that I am not a leaderly type of woman, and even if I were, this particular period in my life is not defined as much by my tenacious focus on climbing the career ladder as my unwavering pursuit of a decent night's sleep. Right now, truly, I don't really care how many underlings I have as long as I can take my kids to their abundance of doctors appointments.

So I went, not really expecting much. But do you know what?


Seriously, I was thrilled about the choice of wraps, variety of chips, selection of cookies and assortment of sodas. If you had just wandered in to my head, you would have thought it was Christmas.

And, faced with all that unexpected free food, my staunch commitment to my diet (it turns out that the mirrors in the pilates room at the rec center are NOT kind) flitted away so thoroughly as to never have been there at all.

I was so excited about the free food that I actually spent most of the introduction thinking about how, with all the informational meetings around campus, I could probably not pack a lunch at all. I could just register to attend all kinds of random meetings and eat the food there. I would learn a lot and save money!

Then I was eating my cookie and remembered my diet.

Chris and I have often remarked that you can eat cheaply, or you can diet, but it is nigh on impossible to do both.

Anyway, back at the meeting, they are talking about this program and it's all "blah, blah, blah, career counseling, blah, blah, intentionality, blah, blah, all day sessions at the School of Management, blah, where, oh by the way, they supply a delicious breakfast, lunch, and snack."

Screeeeeeetch. That's the traditional "record scratching" sound of one's attention being snagged.

A lot of free delicious food? And all I have to do is apply and be accepted in to a year-long leadership program?! Where do I sign up?!

OMG my brain is so screwy about food.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Another post where I reference the Wonder Pets

The children enjoy a show called the Wonder Pets. Every episode, what happens is the little chick, turtle, and guinea pig get a distress call from a baby animal, who they then save.

When they get the call, they sing about it. It goes like this:

"The phone. The phone is ringing. The phone. We'll be right there."

But I realized that when Sam sings it he sings:

"The phone. The phone is ringing. The phone. Will be repaired."

And I thought that was kind of funny.

Then tonight, I heard Chris singing:

"The phone. The phone is ringing. The phone. We'll be prepared."

As least I don't have to sit around and think, "With so many possibilities, how will I ever know if Chris is Sam's real father?"


I'm lying in bed nursing Lilly while Owen sits next to me watching Fireman Sam.




"It sure is, buddy."

"I meed anudder one!"

"Then I need the remote."

"Den where is it?"

"I don't know, you'll have to look"

"Den where did mah Dad put it?"

"I don't know."

"I fink it is gone! And dis IS seewious!"

Saturday, August 7, 2010


I think we'd all agree that I'm generally not a very loud person.

Unless you are Sam.

Assuming you are not a short person in my charge, you probably haven't heard me yell much.

But sometimes, when I'm in a store and can't find something, I have the strongest urge to just start screaming, "DOES ANYONE SEE DRIED APPLES?"

I'm not just hoping for a store employee. I want us all, as humans, to band together to help me find the dried apples.

I would take a deep breath and bellow, "EVERYBODY LOOK AROUND YOU. DO YOU SEE DRIED APPLES?"


And then we would all go about our day as usual.

I think that would be great. I mean, here I am, searching vainly and at length for the dried apples in the nut and raisin section, in the snack aisle, and next to actual apples, when, surely, there is somebody over there, picking out a cucumber thinking, "That's weird. Why would they put dried fruit here? I would have expected dried apples to be in the nuts and raisins section."

I guess we would have to have some rules. Otherwise we'd have jag-offs screaming about, "WHERE'S THE MILK?" when, duh, take a minute to check the dairy aisle. And, generally speaking, you wouldn't be allowed to shout about produce, because the produce section is the low-lying grasslands of the grocery store. That's why our ancestors learned how to walk up-right. So someday we'd be able to see that lettuce is yonder that way. The only exception would be for weird produce, like a parsnip or something.


And some gardener lady would be like, "THEY ARE NEXT TO THE RADISHES AND LOOK LIKE YELLOW CARROTS."

And then the first person would be like, "THANK-YOU. I'M TRYING TO IMPRESS MY MOTHER-IN-LAW WITH A NEW RECIPE."

And then the gardener lady would say, "OOOO, IS IT A CURRY?"


Running and jumping to conclusions

Yesterday I picked the boys up from daycare and headed to my parents house. I told the boys, "We're going to Hoppa and Homma's house tonight. Lilly is there and Dad is going to meet us for dinner."

Now, this plan is not exactly unusual, so I was a little surprised when Sam got upset and refused to go inside. "Whatever, Sam. If you don't want to go inside than just play outside." So he stayed outside while Owen and I went in.

While we are inside I'm watching Sam from the window and it doesn't look like he is having a ton of fun. I mean, who can tell with kids, though. What looks to me like noodling aimlessly around the backyard is actually the dreamy outdoor exploring that makes a boy's childhood a rich and satisfying time. Or at least I think that's what someone said.

Anyway, I see him come up to the back door, but don't hear him come inside, so eventually I go check. He's just standing there, concernedly clutching his penis (as he is wont to do).

"What's up, Sam?"

"Are they gone yet?"


"The strangers."

I'm puzzled. There are no strangers here, currently, and, as far as I can recall, Sam has not recently been forced to encounter strangers here.

"Dude. There are no strangers here. I don't even know what you're talking about."

"The STRANGERS. Are they GONE?"

"Sam. Really. There are no strangers here. It's just Homma and Emily. That's all. No strangers."

"So Dad's meeting is over?"


"Mom, you said Dad was having a meeting with strangers."

"No, I don't think I did."

At this point I getting the possible glimmer of illumination that comes after winding my way down a convoluted thought process with my good friend Sam.

"I said Dad was going to meet US here. Now come inside, and experience how stranger-free this house is."

What I said was, "Dad is going to meet us here," but Sam heard "Dad is having a meeting here. A meeting with a ton of STRANGERS."

Oh, Sam. I don't even know where to start.

But he's been doing this a lot recently. Where he slightly misunderstands something we say, but never in a good way, and always a lot more extreme.

The other night we were getting the kids to bed when I realized I had run out of books and the library had some waiting for me. Seeing as how the library was about to close, I asked Chris if I could just run out and pick the books up. He agreed so I ran out and got my books (also free basil! Did you know the Lee road library has a garden table where people donate extra stuff from their garden? I debated for a minute about whether this was intended for poor people but then decided that I am poor in terms of fresh basil).

Anyway, I get back in, like, eleven minutes, but all hell has broken loose. The boys are crying and Chris is yelling and the baby is screaming. And I thought, "See! This is why mom's shouldn't weave!" But then I realized that there is always yelling and crying in our house, it's just a little weird to walk into. Like being a lobster thrust into already boiling water, instead of taking an increasingly hotter bath until you pass out.

So I wade through the chaos and eventually make my way into Sam and Owen's room. Sam is weeping softly into his hands.

"Oh, buddy, what's the matter?"

"Daddy's going to put me in a diaper." Sob, sob.

"Really? He said that?" Which seems really weird because I have never heard Chris threaten anything even remotely like that and I cannot even imagine what in the hell could have happened here in eleven minutes to precipitate such a threat.

"Well, don't worry about it, Sam. Nobody is going to put you in a diaper. Let's just go to sleep."

When I run into Chris in the kitchen a few minutes later, I ask, eyebrows raised, "You told Sam you were going to put him in a diaper?"

Chris looks at me, confused. "Um. No."

We're still not sure where Sam got this idea. Our best guess is that when Sam and Owen were having their nightly fight about who gets to turn off the TV, and Chris said something along the lines of, "Sam! You're not a baby, so stop acting like one!," Sam heard, "I will put you in a diaper like a baby!"

I understand that life is confusing to four-year-olds. These little people are right on the cusp of grasping that there are subtleties and subtexts that exist in the language of grown-ups. Sam hears, "meeting" and can make the logical leap that meetings are for strangers. He hears that he is "acting like a baby" and, knowing what happens with babies, assumes he will be put in a diaper.

I just wish that his logical deductions weren't always negative.

Although, maybe that's a good thing. Because this way, life is always more pleasant than he expects.

If he heard, "We're going on a ride!" and thought, "Super! I'm getting a pony!" he would be pretty disappointed. Instead, he thinks, "That horse is going to eat me!" And when we just get in the regular old car, life is a great relief.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

I probably couldn't even win the Mediocre Olympics

I am quite happy with my life these days. Lovely children, including a GIRL! BABY!, a decent job, a pretty good house, a relatively reliable husband.

There are things I would change, of course. Like if GIRL! BABY! would sleep in longer stretches, and if Owen would stop pooping himself, and if The Crazy Lady would leave my workplace, and if I could stop eating chocolate, and please-to-whatever-gods-may-be-in-heaven if my husband would stop leaving his socks in random places, well, that would all be great.

But all in all, I'm pretty content.

It's just funny, though, how watching the Million-dollar homes series of House Hunters can make my house seem a little . . . dumpy.

I was pleased with my blog. I like to write. It's a good way to tell funny stories (Sam calls "Parmesan" cheese "Barb-and-John" cheese! HAHA!). And honestly? It makes me feel like I have a talent. It makes me feel like I am funny, and a good writer. A good, funny, writer. Who uses made-up words and has an elusive grasp of the purpose of the semi-colon.

And then I go and read someone else, and they, man, THEY, are really funny.

It's so funny it'll make me look quite dull in comparison.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

I'm gonna need a sec

Children are great at making messes. Awful at cleaning them up. Sometimes, when I ask Sam to clean something up he utilizes he upwardly-spiraling whine and says that the MESS IS TOOOO BIG. HE CAN'T DOOOOOO IT.

The other day, when I insisted he have some quiet time in his room (not because I thought he would take a nap, but because I needed some peace), I gave him a set of blocks to play with. When nap time was over, and I asked him to clean up the blocks, he said, indignantly, "MOM! You shouldn't've giveded me so many blocks to make such a big mess!"

I totally see his point.

Today, Owen made the hugest, grossest, messiest poop in his pants ever. And I just looked at him, poo running down his legs, underpants bulging with fetid waste, brown mess pooling lumpily on the ground, and thought, "I can't do this."

Maybe that's what it feels like to be four and have somebody ask you to clean up all those dozens of blocks.

Hey shorty, it's your birfday

So it's my birthday today.


That's okay, because I'm not getting any cake and presents, either.

And that's okay, because I'm thirty-two now. Or, as I like to say, Thirty-Boo.

Actually, I did get to sleep in an extra hour this morning (Thanks, Chris!).

Which still meant I was up at 7:30.

Chris took the boys to the beach this morning. As he was walking downstairs, I called out, "Don't forget to pick up cake and presents!" Knowing that he will laugh as if I am making a joke (am not), or, more likely, not even hear me (see previous posting about weird sound dynamics in our house).

What I didn't realize was that Sam was still in his room. He came bounding out, "Cake?! Presents?! MOM! I KNOW A GREAT PLACE TO GET A CAKE!"

"You do?"


"Super!" Have fun with that, Chris.


That's the sound of Sam going downstairs. On a side note, Chris told me that if he really did walk down the stairs as loud as Sam, I had carte blanche to punch him in the face (or something like that). Which is funny because he walks down the stairs as loud as Sam. IF SAM WERE 200 POUNDS.











Thursday, July 29, 2010

If men had babies

So I was watching A Baby Story today as I was putting away some laundry. The husband on the show was going on and on about how strong his wife was and how great she was at pushing.

It occurred to me that Chris probably wouldn't say that. I'm pretty sure Chris thinks he would be way more awesome at pushing than I was. If fact, I'd bet serious cash that while I was actually pushing, he was wishing I would get out of the way and let him do it.

Then I wondered if the guy on TV was lying. It seems like a lot of men would think they'd be better at pushing. Can you imagine if men were, in fact, the ones who had babies? Pushing would become a competitive sport. Anuses would be blown out across America as men attempted to break records.

It's probably a good thing men don't have babies.

On an unrelated note, this morning I was getting ready to give Lillian a bath, and I must have been a little distracted because instead of putting the baby bath tub into the tub, I put the newly emptied laundry basket into the tub and began to fill it with water.

Same diff.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Shy isn't exactly the word I would use.

My children are not good with strangers.

To be fair, however, neither are Chris and I.

But I'm not sure that "shy" is exactly the right word to describe their behavior.

Sam is terrified of you and a little ashamed that he doesn't know you. If forced to interact he will be near tears; sad and anxious.

Owen is angry at you for even have the audacity to BE a stranger. If you're lucky, he'll make a slow swivel until he has turned his back on you. If you are an especially egregious stranger, he will lower his chin and glare at you, accusingly. How dare you. Really. Do you know who he is?!

Chris and I have our own methods. Chris is a fan of the old, "quite practice-talking that's weird because people can actually still hear it" technique, while I prefer to awkwardly avoid eye contact.

Our children are DOOMED.

Six degrees of separation anxiety

Ever since I became a mother I spend 50% of my waking time asking myself, "Am I doing the right thing?" The other 50% of the time I'm asking myself a combination of, "What am I doing? and, "What's going on?" with a dash of, "Where am I?" thrown in.

From providing snacks to deciding whether or not to take a kid to the doctor, I am always second guessing myself.

When I put the kids to bed at night my mind will spend an AWFUL lot of time trying to create a temperature equation that will result in comfortable sleep for the children (hopefully minimizing nighttime wakening!). -5 for the ceiling fan that's on, +15 for the god-awful heat, -4 for the two windows opened (wait, no, we closed the windows so the children would stop pushing on the screens because surely they will tumble themselves to certain death, so now + 5 for windows closed), -3 for no pajamas, except +7 for Sam who insisted on wearing footie pajamas and . . . what does that equal?

See? If I can actually try to create a mathematical system for divining the perfect sleeping temperature for each child, imagine what I can do with the decision about where to leave Lillian when I go back to work!

I got up with her in the middle of the night last night and wondered if I was doing the right thing about daycare. The different pieces of this decision (her age, her health, her ability to sleep around noise, her overall temperament) all kind of swirl around in my head, where my brain tries to make some kind of excel spreadsheet wherein the right answer will become apparent.

I really, really, really want to do the right thing for the kids, but sometimes I just don't know what that is. And, unfortunately, short of developing a time machine that can visit the future of other dimensions where my alternative Me's have made slightly different decisions, see how that turned out and report back to me, there actually is no way to KNOW if I am making a good choice.

I can ruminate as long as I want about whether Owen's current level of sickness warrants a trip to the doctor, but I won't know that I should have waited it out until after I go and cough up $20 for them to tell me he has a virus. And vice versa.

My new mantra is, "I have to make the best decision I can with the information I have available at this time."

Catchy, no?

But otherwise I'd be paralyzed by the decision about what the kids should drink with dinner

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Bedtime . . .

"Mom? I'm gonna teach Owen how to go to sleep good."

"Well, you're not doing a great job right now, because you are not in bed and you're still talking."

"Mom? I'm gonna teach him tomorrow."