Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Today's anecdote where I tell the mechanic he's full of it but then realize he's still working on my car and hope he doesn't cut my brake lines....

The anecdote of the day:

I went to get my oil changed today at about 6K from my last change (my dealer recommended is 6k and I have an oil life monitor that told me I still had 15% oil life (the light went on yesterday) and I've read several articles recently that you really can go much longer than what Jiffy Lube tells you as we use synthetic or synthetic blend oil). The guy tries his typical upsell on air filters and fuel injection cleaning. Nope, I'm good. Then he comes back in from the garage a little while later (he's the manager)

Dude: (Chastisingly said in the someone was a bad girl voice) Somebody went 3K over their 3000 mile change.
Me: My oil life monitor showed 15% and my dealer recommends 6K.
Dude: But you should really still do 3K. It's better for your car.
Me: (Laughing) You're full of it. (oops was that out loud?)
Dude: No really - the dirty oil is wearing on your engine and making your engine wear out faster. The dealers want your engine to wear out sooner so you have to buy a new car sooner. They're seeing a lot of 2000 and 2004 Fords now whose engines are worn out because of that. (By the way - yes, the dealer wants you to buy a new car sooner, but if my engine is totally dead after 6 years and 70-80K when I've done their recommended maintenance, you can be darn sure that the car I buy won't be the same one! So it's theoretically possible that that isn't actually their strategy.... hmm....)
Me: Yeah, but that's a Ford. Show that to me on a Toyota or Honda.
Dude: yeah, true. (pause) But really - the dirty oil is bad for the engine (or something).
Technician (the guy probably actually working on my car who happened out front): Here's the deal - if you use real oil, that last about 3K. If you use a synthetic blend - 5-6K. A full synthetic - 8-10K.
Me: And which did you just put in my car?
Technician: A synthetic blend. (At this point I look over at the manager again who must be seething, but who's really got nothing now.)
Dude: Yeah, but I still change mine every 3K.
(I bite my lip from asking his price v. mine.)
Technician: Some people still do, but you don’t really need to.

Then I go to leave and he tries to charge me $10 more than he quoted over the phone. I got him to honor the price though he told me that I needed to make sure to print the coupon online the next time (this has never before been necessary).

Sigh... Really wish I knew anything about cars - it'd make these conversations so much more fun. I should have been an engineer. Do they have to take lab science in college?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

planes, train and automobiles - and a crapload of work to do before that!

Sorry I've been MIA. Work got totally crazy as I've gotten a ton more responsibilities (and no more time to do them in - ugh). And then we went to Florida for my cousin's wedding. The trip was a ton of fun, but I'll just go ahead and weigh in on TSA with the rest of America now...

My complaint is not so much about the new xray scanners or pat downs, but on profiling. I realize that my toddler who SCREAMED her way through the TSA line (happily most passengers just noted to us that she was only expressing what we were all feeling) probably did do the most to "terrorize" other passengers (and cause terror - you're not on MY flight, are you?), but that does not make her a "terrorist." Seriously, does my 21 month old fit a profile? I know we all have to take off our shoes and everyone hates it, but it poses a threat - and all that stuff. But, see, her shoes are small - not even a foot long (no pun intended) so is it completely necessary for her to take them off when she REALLY doesn't want to (and I mean really!) while you take her milk away from her (ok, so it's possible that when you did that she did start to sound very threatening - but I don't think she's actually part of an organized group on this front).

On our way out, TSA was testing new screening procedures - with a long line of travellers and ONE agent checking IDs. I'd just gone for a new license that week (which I did not know was going to be mailed to me or I would have waited. As an aside, it arrived and I look SERIOUSLY psychotic in the picture. I know everyone complains about the pictures, but this is horrifying!), so, after an hour or so of wrangling a toddler in line, I handed over my old (not expired, just old) license with the paperwork from the DMV that meant it was still valid. I never should have handed over the paperwork. They never would have noticed the "void" stamp (I hadn't noticed it till just then). They called a supervisor who needed to call a monitor. After 7 calls, he hadn't answered the phone yet. My husband looked at the agent and said - wow, so if you guys had a real problem, I guess they just hang you out to dry. The agent, with no sense of humor, said - no, they would NOT. They come as fast as they can. (Well, how do they do that if they don't answer the phone?) Finally the monitor came and after I gave him some secondary ID (credit cards), he decided that the 30 something woman of Irish decent traveling with her family was probably not actually all that big a risk and I could go. (OK, yes, I know they need to double check these things and really would have been much more accepting if we hadn't had to wait SO long to get that far. Or maybe if we hadn't had to stand to the side with a TSA agent guarding us as my overtired toddler tried to make a run for it.)

Then we went through security (see shoes and milk note above). We got to FL and realized we'd made a reservation with the shadiest of all shady offsite rental car places (U Save - avoid them like the plague!!!) and cancelled it. When my husband said - you guys are shady (they had tons of hidden fees and were totally unprofessional), the guy at the counter told him that if he made one more comment, he'd be walking back to the terminal and he was going to follow us outside to ensure that no comments were made. Oh sheesh.

The vacation as good - though busy! The monkey enjoyed the beach a lot (though we did get kicked out of the pool at my Mom's place since she had a swim diaper on. This is south Florida - my husband joked that more of the adults have diapers on than kids!).

TSA was slightly less exhausting on the way back. I didn't hand over the paperwork with my license and they didn't notice the void stamp. We did have the shoes and milk issues again - ugh. Happily they did not make us go through the new scanners though - I have since looked them up and I'm pretty sure that the x-rays are safe, but I really hadn' researched in advance and just didn't want to walk the baby through that. Also, you have to walk through and stand like the DaVinci man - arms out, feet apart. How does one explain that to a toddler - who wants you to carry her? Thank goodness we just did metal detectors! I mean, what if she got the pat down instead? Who knows what she's transporting in that diaper? Actually... I found out later as we didn't want to wake her from her nap till we had to put her in the car even though we knew her diaper was full, so when she got outside and the cold air hit her (and inspired her), she peed all over me! Welcome home.

Happy Thanksgiving to all! I hope your travels go well!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Alcoholism is a lifelong disease, so I don't see why I need to fix it this week.

Sorry for the blogging hiatus. Realistically - it's not over.

Work has been crazy. I've been cranky (or just in a bad mood for weeks on end?). This actually wouldn't stop me from subjecting you to this (don't get me wrong!), but I'm frazzled and just haven't had a lot of time to torture you this way.

Quotes of the last week:
(beyond my title which I actually did say to my husband after another harrowing day of training)

My husband as I opened a bottle of wine at the end of my first day of training when I got home around 8 after spending 11 hours with a visiting coworker: Yeah, I thought you'd need that. What took so long?

My mother in law on hearing about the above: You don't really need a glass - a straw will do.

Me, after the first bottle was kicked. OK, not all in one night! I know I totally just lost street cred: I realize that opening up another bottle of wine tonight may be a sign of alcoholism. I don't care. I'm going to deal with that next week.

Great they are all about drinking too much... Crap. I was trying to be funny and now I might actually have to do something about that. And THIS is why I stopped blogging!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

More stuff I don't really want to talk about

Seriously - if you're in a good mood, don't bother reading this and ruining it. And if you're in an unhappy mood, don't read this to add to it. Really you should only read this if you feel like the day is already shot and what the heck or maybe if you're a bad person. Yeah, if you're a bad person who deserves to be brought down you should totally read this.

I know I've been a bit quiet recently. This is largely due to severe work stress / levels of busy-ness; in part due to even larger degrees of work stress / limited timeframes for my husband that I am trying to mitigate by making the rest of life run; and also in part having more stuff I don't want to talk about.

A few weeks ago I posted that I'd miscarried. It sucked and going for the D&C was scary (as my husband put it while we waited - they do a good job making this process as scary as possible) and just so weird. I was overwhelmed with emotions. But also working on repressing them - partially because I couldn't process them yet and partially because I'm not good with any public displays of that type of emotion.

I moved through the weeks following - repressing away, but I guess it was always close to the surface.

We went back to the OB for my post op follow up last week. She told us that there were some results in the pathology. I'd had a molar pregnancy (or actually a partial mole). * She explained a bit about this and I hit the computer with crazy research later, but basically it seems that two sperm fertilized the egg, but something went wrong. Instead of twins, a molar pregnancy developed. Either there was one twin which was overcome by the abnormal cells (a possibility that makes me sadder) or the fetus was never viable because of abnormalities. (I've read both options. I don't know if both are a possibility or if one of the sources was wrong.)

Well, at least we had a reason? Wasn't that what we wanted in the prior miscarriages? Something to point to and say - here it is. A secure knowledge that it wasn't because I hadn't started my prenatals earlier or because I'd gotten a bad sunburn at 6 weeks? And it wasn't something that was likely to recur, so that was good.

She went on to explain that a molar pregnancy puts me at a heightened risk for GTD (gestational tropoblastic disease - not sure if I spelled that right)*. Basically this means that though they "evacuated my uterus" the growth (the abnormal cells that were not a baby) could come back. And, if it did, it wouldn't necessarily be limited to my uterus (most reading I did suggested the lungs were a likely site).

The only way to test for GTD is by monitoring your hcg (pregnancy hormone) levels - which means you can't try to get pregnant for at least 6 months after they reach zero (as of last week they hadn't yet). This is done by a weekly blood test until you hit 0 and then a monthly blood test to make sure you're still at 0. (Is now a good time to mention how much I HATE having blood taken?)

Though it's probably not very likely, if the tests did come back positive, I think I'd have to have a CT scan to find the growths. They are generally benign, but treated with chemo. In 1% of cases they do turn out to be cancerous, but overall the prognosis is good.

Now I know all those things are worst case scenarios, but it's so hard for my head not to swim with all that. It's so much to take in.

Also, even though I'm not really consciously worried about cancer - or at least I'm telling myself not to be - the thought is lingering there. I start thinking about my Dad's cancer and how many people in his family had cancer. Then I pull myself back in and say - it's not a real possibility.

And.. I don't know... maybe I'm not actually even worried about that. Maybe it's easier to focus on that - on the big C which we all know is scary and horrible than all these other things I don't want to think about yet. Like tumors growing all over from GTD. Like all these blood tests when I can't even think about veins without feeling weak flutterings in my stomach. Blood tests when I was pregnant / trying to get pregnant all seemed doable because they were all for a good cause. But I sat in the lab last week waiting for the needle and got entirely focused on how much I HATED that. Didn't want to be here. Because it's NOT for a good cause. It's because of this bad thing that happened. And maybe that's really what I don't want to think about.

I'm leaving comments open this time because I need more information and am open to anything anyone knows on the subject. Also, I got the nicest email from a wonderful fellow blogger after my last post on this and realized I was probably dumb to close comments - even if I didn't want to talk about it.

*Note - I know I should post links to wikipedia here. Honestly at least part of what's held up this post is I'm feeling too tired (or emotionally tired) to go through getting together all the links I should have. So here it is without any supporting Google's revenue stream if you decide to do a search. Sorry.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Amber is the color of your energy, but red?

Because I apparently like to be stressed and unsure of myself...

I joined this playgroup on Thursdays (starting in October) called "Little Sponges." It's 5 or 6 moms/kids and there are 3 activities each week. Each mom has to plan one activity (although the organizer seems to have managed to leave her name off the planning lists... Hmm...) - either music, art or reading.

OK, sure.

The organizer (who a few weeks ago mentioned fears that her child could be color blind, though she's not yet 2, so I think she just doesn't know her colors yet. I digress) just happened to pick an "easy" theme of colors for the semester. Each week is a different color.

The first week is red. And I've got music.

Now there are lots of songs on colors - but on a single color? I'm coming up with "You can't ride in my little red wagon..." I looked online and found SOME more songs (most are multiple colors).

But now I'm left wondering how to 'entertain' half a dozen kids ranging from under a year to probably 2 and half for 20 minutes with songs? (I should probably mention here that I'm just barely a step above tone deaf.) I mean, my daughter actually loves music, but I can't see entertaining her this way. Maybe itsy bitsy spider... But spiders aren't red! usually... Could I pull that off?

So far I've decided - I'm not signing alone for 20 minutes! I've found some lyrics (generally to well known tunes) and will print them for the other moms to join. Maybe I'll print some pictures of the objects... a red apple, a red wagon, a red fire truck... Um, yeah, I think I might be done now...

I should mention the woman organizing is a former teacher / administrator and has suggested that all this will be easy (did I mention she's not signed up for any lessons?). Having no teaching experience and generally finding myself to be a totally crap teacher, I'm not really finding that to be the case!

I welcome all suggestions!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I keep asking either or questions...

And getting yes or no answers.

And not always from the same person. So I'm worried it's me.

Slowly going insane in Virginia...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Snakes, snakes, snakes!!!!!

Had a freak out moment this morning when I went to the basement and saw a snake sitting on the bug/mouse sticky traps. Freaked, screamed, shut the door, ran up the stairs, shut the other door, shoved a towel under it so nothing could come up and wondered where I put the realtor’s number. Texted my husband who was in class today with a freak out message telling him we’d be moving and I was going to start packing upstairs, but he’d have to pack the basement. Or we could just abandon all that stuff.

But it wasn’t a snake stuck to the trap.

It was THREE SNAKES! THREE SNAKES!!!!! THREE!!! The number that is HIGHER than two. THREE! All stuck to traps. Likely a momma and two babies. My coworker came over to look and take care of them. So he checked the rest of the basement. There was a FOURTH over on another trap! FOUR! EVEN MORE THAN THREE!!!!! And some big snake skins stuck up in the rafters. He thinks they came in through the dryer vent which was filled with lint and stuck open, so he sort of wedged it closed and said that was probably it. He said she probably just came in to nest – a safe place to have her babies because it was cold last night. Um, have her babies? Yeah, why the EFF doesn’t that make me feel better!!!!?!?!?!?

But I just made the BIG EFFING MISTAKE of googling how many babies they have. HOLY oh God, Holy… I… sniffle, sniffle. One site said 12-40. One said 3-80. One noted a litter of 98 was recorded. NINETY EIGHT! Are you effing kidding me?!?!?!?! I am NEVER doing laundry down there again. It is totallymy husband's job now. Thank God I had the foresight to wash our clothes and sheets and towels this weekend because I’m not going back down there!!!! My coworker noted that momma wasn’t that big and for 98 it would have had to be a huge snake. Yeah, so I’m probably lucky and it’s only like 40. Oh Fuck.

At least I can give the realtor a range on what she should be looking for because GOD KNOWS I will not be SHOWING her the basement.

You'll remember that first we had big spiders and then mice. We got these plug ins to deal with the mice and I haven't seen any since. So, woo! Big sigh of relief. No more mice. Yeah, sigh...

UNTIL NOW! I mean snakes! I feel like Indiana Jones - why did it have to be snakes? Except like a really really wimpy Indiana as I don’t recall him screaming when stuck in a pit of oh yeah, poisonous, snakes. Sniffle, sniffle. Did Indy cry? I don’t recall him crying… I think he did. It was probably just off camera.

F*ck, f*ck, f*ck… And now I have Tourettes.

I'm really having a bad effing week.

whimper, whimper...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Potty Training

We decided to give potty training a go last week. Yeah, it seemed a little crazy and many of my friends noted that it seemed a bit…early to them. But I’d gone to this thing on sign language for potty training at the library last month and THEY said your child could train by 18 months. And as the monkey is 19 months, CLEARLY I needed to get on board.


So I picked a weekend that both my husband and I were off and would be home for several days (THEY recommend 3 days “intense training”) and marked it on our calendars. As it happened, we were both home Thurs-Sun. Plenty of time. Then my husband signed up to teach Thursday nights and Sundays. Ok, Ok. But Sunday would be day FOUR and we really only needed THREE. And he’d be home most of Thursday, right?

Then he signed up to take a class on Thursday. (I swear he doesn’t even look at his calendar. Seriously when he sent me the details on that class, he sent me his schedule for the fall. I looked at it and said – you know we’re in FL for a wedding for 3-4 of the dates you have listed, right?) Ugh! So day 1 is all me! I told him he could make it for it by starting on his own on Wednesday. Ha. (Actually, he did legitimately have some work stuff to do that day – though it wasn’t on his calendar…!)

Thursday morning the monkey wakes up and after breakfast I decide – ok, let’s start. I take her diaper off (THEY all say to leave them naked from the waist down for this) and set up the potty in the bathroom. I ask her if she has to go potty. No, but she really likes it. She sits on it for awhile, enjoys checking it out, squats down next to it to look at all the parts and – when she stands up the floor is wet! Right directly NEXT TO the potty! I decide to take this as progress – hey, you got close! Next time IN the potty, baby. But so close. Yeah!

A few minutes later, she squatting again, but I figure she’s ‘empty’ this time so we’re fine. She stands up and she’s pooped on the floor. I just barely got it up before she fully stepped in it. Ugh! But hey – close, yeah! Being a total idiot, as she hadn’t pooped IN the potty, I forgot all about poop etiquette and consequences and didn’t think to wipe her till I noticed some brown on her foot. Oh, yuck…

She’s still interested so we stay in the bathroom. She’s up and down on the potty, checking it all out and – yup, she’s peed on the floor again. (yippee?) Sigh.

By this point, she was done “looking” at the potty (and christening the floor all around it), so we go out to the family room (sans diaper) and start to play. It takes a little bit, but I start to realize that her crankiness seems to be related to her lack of diaper – maybe? Aren’t babies supposed to like being without a diaper? I don’t know, but man she doesn’t seem happy.

After half an hour, the timer goes off, so we head towards the bathroom and I ask if she wants to use the potty. NO! She starts to head towards a tantrum, so I immediately drop it (that’s what THEY say to do). But I also decide we better put a diaper on her. If she’s not going to try on the “schedule,” it’s just going to be a damn messy day. She must not be ready and we’ll try another day.

My Mom was visiting so I asked if she’d watch the baby while I went up to shower. While I was gone, the monkey looked at her and said – Potty! They went into the bathroom, she sat down the potty itself was finally christened! My Mom put her back in her diaper.

Twenty minutes later, we’re back in there (and now I’ve got it fully set up with batteries and turned on so when she goes it plays a song). She goes in the potty again and the song plays. She loves the song! Why won’t the song play again? A small tantrum ensues. She sits on the potty again – up and down. I empty and clean it and she tries again (almost right away). She pees another thimbleful and gets another song! So that became the pattern for the day. Running into and out of the bathroom all day and peeing every time she could get enough in her bladder to make the music play. My Mom asked if I thought she did these small pees all day long normally. Could she really have that much control to work out to only go a little really frequently so the potty would sing to her?

Sadly we had a few things come up this weekend unexpected that prevented any further potty training (she used it on and off, but I think we totally lost momentum). We’re contemplating whether to do a bare bottom weekend (when my husband does NOT schedule classes!) soon, but we’ll see…

The short version

I don’t really want to talk about this. I know I need to. I need to get it out – put it somewhere for the world to deal with so maybe I can stop. But I feel like I’m having a hard time saying the words. Well… posting them anyway. Truthfully, I wrote about 10 pages of post yesterday, but I’m not ready to put those out there (you can save your cheers on that one).

But if I don’t tell you this, everything else I write feels like a bit of a lie. Because THIS is what I’m thinking about. Sometimes it feels like all I’m thinking about. Sometimes it feels too surreal to think about. But the truth is – I was pregnant and last week we found out I wasn’t anymore. We’d gone in for our 8 week sonogram the week before and things didn’t look good, but they wanted to confirm. There were lots of ifs and maybes. My hcg numbers were high. I should be hopeful. But really, I wasn’t. I was paying attention to my body that week and knew that it had been telling me this for a little while now – I just wasn’t listening.

I went for the D&C on Friday afternoon. The day was interminably long waiting for that. The check in process was horrible and I decided I hated the woman taking my information and the other woman who flitted about the office. I hated their cheeriness and perkiness (this was the gyn surgery unit. I can’t think of a reason one would be “happy” to be there), their lack of understanding (yeah, that might just have been me. Seems I was in a bad and whormonal* mood), the information they didn’t give me.

I was woefully unprepared for all this (I didn’t even know you were asleep for the procedure). In my super long (unpublished) post I wrote all the details of it. I needed to get it out and what if someone else was as unprepared as I was? I should be able to tell them. And maybe one day I’ll publish it or a version of it. But it turns out that again today I don’t want to talk about it.

And then, after forever, it was done. The surgery itself was easy and by Sunday I actually felt physically better than I had in weeks. I wasn’t SO exhausted anymore (which is too bad, as hiding in sleep would be sort of blissful). The whole day felt fuzzy and dreamlike with some moments of nightmarish clarity, but now it feels like it happened to someone else. On occasion reality pokes its ugly head in and brings anger with it, but mostly I’m just moving along. Two friends have told me about their new pregnancies already this week and I feel like a horrible person that I can’t quite seem to feel happy for them yet. I want to be a better person than that. But I admit it. I’m jealous and it pokes the wound a bit.

So for now, I’m going back to posts about potty training, new words and the silly things a 19 month old does. She’s learning animal sounds. Recently she picked up “gobble gobble” which she can’t say without laughing. My husband and his fellow VT alumni sister are very happy with this development (hokies, which are turkeys, are their mascot). As a BC grad, despite 4 years of college, I can’t say I have any idea what an eagle (our mascot) says (does it say “suck it, VT?” Just kidding. I promise it’s my second favorite!). I’ll have to work on that.

*As always, whormonal is still stolen from The Domestication of the Single Girl.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Is learning how to manipulate grandparents against parents by 19 months impressive or just scary?

My Mom is visiting this week to watch the monkey for us while my mother in law is on vacation (she usually watches her one, or possibly three(! depending on my husband's schedule) days a week).

Yesterday I came home and my Mom told me how good she'd been. No crying and hardly any whining all day. Happy and helpful and listened - all those things.

Within a few minutes of me arriving home - whining and crying had started. My Mom looked at her and said - what is this? I just finished saying how good you were!

The monkey has learned the importance of grandparents and begun to master toddler-dom. Ah, I am so "proud," young grasshopper. (But still tired, so could you PLEASE quit whining?!)

Well, truthfully, she hasn't totally mastered manipulation. I mean she TOTALLY showed her hand in front of Grandma at the end there. (Whatever. Maybe she also realizes she's an only grandchild and is going to be completely spoiled regardless.)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Stress, random thoughts and the other junk I threw in here. Sorry...

Hello, blogging world!

I know I've been a little MIA recently. The truth is - I am stressed. Sometimes it's that background music stress - that stuff that's always there playing in the back of your head, but you're not really listening to. But then I stop to think and its ugly head is raging up again and it's the bull in the china shop of my psyche stress.

So, you know, typical.

Anyway, as I like to diversify my stress (to hedge lest one should actually resolve!), it's coming in two flavors these days. The first is a personal issue that I just don't really want to talk about yet.

I'm sorry - I know that's annoying and it's not meant to be a cliffhanger. We'll get there, but just not today.

The second is work. And though I'm perfectly "ready" to talk about this one, no one in their right mind would be ready to listen! Seriously - for those of us working isn't the 5 minutes (or was that hours?) we take to check out blogs done to escape?! You don't want to hear my whines about work! (Well, you probably will at some point anyway. But I'll try to spare you this one today too!)

So I've been a little quieter on the blogging front to keep from doing the mental upchuck of all my stress (which could lead to real physical upchuck of any poor readers!).

So instead I throw out some random stories to amuse:

How Daddy reads children's stories:

This one was Pooh's New Clothes or something (it's the Emporer's New Clothes, but with the pooh characters).

Pooh was walking through the forest to the bee tree to look for some honey when he saw all his friends standing together. He wondered what they were doing.

(and for the ad lib)
It turns out it was an intervention. See - it's obvious. There's the Pooh with the honey AND he's looking for more.

How Baby Decorates

I've mentioned the plethora of ugly wall paper in our house before. We're working on removing, but apparently not fast enough.

I took the monkey in the bathroom with me and she started out by pulling down all the magazines (as usual) and ripping some. When suddenly she noticed something that looked more fun to rip. Before I could stop her she'd grabbed a peeling edge of wallpaper and RIP!

Guess maybe we'll move up redecorating here...

Be careful what you say...

As the monkey bent in half starting to do a headstand / forward roll / God knows what..., my Mom looked at her and said - "You're amazing!"

It's now her favorite word ("mazing"). I'm not sure she knows what it means, but she knows it's a good thing and she knows it refers to her (I'm not sure if she's really putting two words together yet or not, but she does seem to be saying "I'm mazing."). It's getting a little narcissistic...

Thank goodness this isn't one of "Daddy's" words...

Faking it

I'm not sure if I've mentioned this one before... So here goes - Like all kids, my daughter has perfected the fake cry (the one that stops the second she gets attention / what she wants). But she's got a few others now too - the fake cough, the fake sneeze (achoo). But my personal favorite is the fake laugh.

If she hears other people laughing, she'll suddenly jump in with a really boisterous - HA HA HA!

I've also started asking her to find her laugh when we do body parts. (I'd started with smile - which leads to this really over the top, squinched eyes smile.) But then, as nothing is "funny," her laugh tends to be more like - sigh, ha, ha. I'm humoring you.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Somehow the whole day was gone trying to sleep. Which never quite happened. So it just kind of sucked. But then we were grown ups again.

The title sums up quite a lot of my Friday and Saturday.

After Thursday, I started the day Friday exhausted. My husband got held over at work which meant that he got home around lunch - I was counting the hours. All day we both felt beat and sort of lounged around the family room - but with a toddler, so no real sleeping actually happened and that "hint" of sleep (so close, I can almost taste it but alas, no) felt possibly worse than actually running around all day would have.

Much of Saturday felt the same. Till finally as the monkey and I were sobbing together about her inability to fall asleep, my husband decided to take her for a ride and leave me to sleep. I blessed him, but then felt horribly guilty and whormonally (thank you, Single Girl! - cried again for awhile.

I HATE those type of days.

But then Saturday night we went out to a party downtown. It was my friend's birthday and she and her roommate had commandeered the party room in their condo as well as the balcony (an awesome location overlooking the China town arch) to celebrate. Suddenly I saw friends I hadn't seen in ... God knows how long. Adult beverages were served (and this is one of my cool friends, so real adult beverages - mixed drinks, but tons of prosecco and bellinis and wine and microbrews and, oh crap, I'm not drinking. Damn it.) and adult conversations had. But she also had a pinata (I was the muscle behind finally breaking this one too. And was then accused of juicing...). .

The one downside was talking to all my childless friends who planned to sleep till noon the next day and maybe shower by 2 or so.


Monday, August 30, 2010

How many times a day can your child bleed before it starts to become a reflection on your parenting?

Is it less than 3? If it's less than 3, I'm in trouble.

Last Thursday was one of those days. I woke up feeling like crap and realizing that motherhood did not come with any sick days - damn. I figured I'd muscle through it and decided to take the baby for a walk. Muscle through it, my butt... I was barely hobbling home wondering how long it would take me to get the monkey out of the stroller and into the bathroom with me. I moved the baby gates to make the bathroom accessible - I had no time for this. By the 4th or so trip in, she had no time for this either. But I managed to control her ire via tv watching. We usually try to minimize this. Not so on Thursday. Look - we have a collection of vintage episodes of the Muppets right here! (Then in a fit of self pity, I even put on the movie I'd been watching the night before.)

Anyway, eventually I felt better, so on with the day and errands. As usual, the monkey was opposed to the nap concept, so I had to trick her into it with a car ride. But unusually I was actually able to transfer her from the car seat to her crib so I could lay down too - maybe my day was looking up! Of course, that transfer always means that the nap will not be long.

But, as she'd napped, I decided we could go to the pool. Despite the fact that she was really still overtired and a bit cranky. And the problem with a tired toddler is that they're sort of like little drunks. Flitting from one thing to another on unsteady feet - and they fall down. A lot.

So in my brilliance, I'd taken this small person ready to fall down to a concrete filled area. The possibilities are well, not really endless. In fact, they are pretty limited to the obvious bad thing that's about to happen (cue after school special music).

We were there about an hour before the big fall. I ran and checked her knees and hands glad there were no (more) scrapes. But I soon realized that that was because she'd managed to take quite a bit of the fall with her forehead. Oh jeez! Luckily it wasn't actually that bad (technically, she didn't actually bleed, which my friend insisted meant that it shouldn't count in my accident numbers for the day). I went to the lifeguards (always Eastern European youths, it seems. I have no idea why this is) to ask for ice. One checked the first aid kit and reported, no we don't have any. I went to get her a cold/wet cloth from the bathroom (only it wasn't that cold) and when we came back out, he told me - oh, we found some in the refridgerator (what a place to look for it!). Here, I wrapped it in cotton (meaning, stuck a half dozen cotton balls around it, which are thick enough to not conduct the cold at all) for you.

He then followed me back to our stuff as I tried to put the ice on her head (this is what the monkey considers adding insult to injury or are you effing kidding me?) and get her changed so we could go. The lifeguard then asked me - how did this happen?

Now I know that he might be 17 (in 3 years) and obviously does not have kids or much exposure to small children and he's male and all that, but it was the Mom in me that responded - she was walking. She's a toddler. She's not very good at it yet and she falls down sometimes. (I tried to hide the silent duh in that sentence. I know it's not fair. I mean, among other things - there ARE in fact other ways she could have hurt herself like getting in or out of the pool or... well, maybe that's it. And it's probably just a standard question they need to ask for reports. It was just that his tone seemed so perplexed - like, wow, how did this happen?!)

Anyway, the lifeguard was very nice and did try to play with her / distract her some. I just wasn't having such a good day...

So we went home.

And a couple hours later I decided to make dinner. And as I turned on the oven, the monkey started climbing into her high chair. I hate that she does this. I always want to hover and hold and "help." She's so little. The floor is so far away. But I can't actually seem to stop this from happening. So I just live with the heart palpitations. But I must have gotten too used to my fear - as rather than run to help her, I actually went to turn off the oven (if she was already climbing into her chair, she was hungry. I clearly didn't have time to bake chicken nuggets (oh yeah, I'm a regular Betty Crocker) and would have to nuke them.

And in that second, she fell.

And there was wailing and gnashing of teeth.

And blood.

Oh how I hate that sight.

She was fine in the end. As much as she would let me look in her mouth, it didn't appear that any teeth were chipped or knocked out (wouldn't it be nice if I could get the first set in before she's spitting them into her sippy cup?) - just blood. It looked like she'd bit / somehow split her lip (well, a little).

The Muppets were brought back out (why not rot her mind at this point too?) to soothe and she decided she liked the little ice pack things. And I think she particularly liked getting to eat chicken nuggets on the couch with the tv on (like the grown ups do! Well, not that she'd know that... I hope!).

And I prayed for bedtime to arrive fast and without further injury.

God help us.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The big hooha about hoohas

My parents like to say that they always believed in telling us anatomically accurate names for things. There wasn't poop in the toilet, but feces. I didn't have to go potty - I had to go to the bathroom. I didn't pee. I urinated.

My Dad liked to tell the story of one time when my brother was very young and told my grandmother that he needed to go make urine from his penis. She was horrified! How could they teach him such words! My Dad said, he responded - what should he say? I have to make zee-zoo from zumba (or something like that). It's silly. He should use the right words. (Um, ok, maybe what he should have said was - I have to go to the bathroom... But then again, my Dad liked to exaggerate or hyperbolize, as he might prefer, so this story may be well, 100% accurate.)

Regardless, my parents were all about correct words. Except I didn't know what MY private parts were called until ... I don't know, when do you learn this stuff in biology? Probably Middle School or something. In fact, several years ago when I was reading The Vagina Monologues my Dad seemed to avoid using the book's title - till I finally called him out on it and he sort of mumbled the name. (I was probably 26.) I noted that they'd never taught me the proper word when my brother had learned penis and I think my Dad pointed out that you don't, in fact, urinate out of your vagina, so it's not the proper word. (After that I don't think any of could actually come up with what the proper word would be. Urinary tract?)

So now I'm the parent and the question of language has come up with my husband. Now I'm know that he is NOT in favor of teaching her vagina (apparently vulva is technically more accurate, but let's not REALLY confuse matters. I mean most adults wouldn't know what she was saying. OK, maybe it was just me...), but then comes the question of what to call the waste.

The thing is pee and poop seem so much more universal terms (i.e., not just used by kids) than when we were kids. Urinate or defecate/feces seem so... I don't know? Can a poop word be formal?

I was reading a little article on this this morning that suggested we shouldn't treat genitalia any differently than any other body part. You'd never come up with a cute kid name for your elbow, so why the penis or vagina?

Have I said vagina too many times in this post? Hmm... and this is probably why it's good I blog anonymously (Mom).

Then I read a really interesting (by which I mean kind of scary) comment on the article. It was from someone who worked with Child Protective Services. She suggested that God forbid a child is abused, if they don't know the appropriate words for body parts when they meet with the police, they may not explain what happened correctly and the case could be thrown out.

So that feels a little like an extreme scare tactic... And yet...

Ugh. Parenthood is hard (said in Barbie's "math is hard" voice).

What did you (or do you plan to) teach your kids? Any other thoughts on the subject?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Monday Minute - which is apparently the when I feel like it minute now...

So the Monday Minute has moved from Ian to (dum, dum, dum!) Melissa and Heather

Monday Minute

And just to be crazy, I thought I'd participate.

ish... sometime well into Tuesday... Ugh. Dude, it's been that type of week. And it's only Tuesday...

What is your favorite 80s flick?

OK, I LOVE 80's movies! I just recently saw Hot Tub Time Machine and all the 80's references were BEYOND AWESOME. I don't know where to go here - John Hughes did some awesome stuff (Sixteen Candles, Breakfast Club, Better off Dead - if I'm messing up my references here and those aren't him - see note on it's Tuesday and I'm posting for Monday). Pretty much anything with John Cusack (Better off dead makes the list again, One Crazy Summer, Say Anything).

But I might have to note two of my favorites to watch IN THEATERS when they came out (because I am THAT old!) - Back to the Future and Adventures in Babysitting.

Oh man... Ferris Bueller's Day Off - I can't NOT watch that when it comes on... Oh, and Red Dawn...

I'll stop now! This could go on awhile.

One genre of music needs to be banned. Which genre?

Hmm... I'm not a fan of rap. But if I could ban one thing from the radio, it might be Diane Reams (spelling?) on NPR. Or maybe just all of NPR. I know, I know - I'm a phillistine. But when I get into my husband's car and he's listening to this stuff. Ugh. Can we play some music? Just not rap...

What is your all time favorite candy?

Wow, very mood dependent as well. I think M&Ms are really high on my list. Possibly dipped in peanut butter - which is way better than peanut butter M&Ms. And way messier.

How 'flawed' is your driving record?

Not too bad. Actually, scrap that. I'm going to be driving soon and I've seen speed traps recently. I just don't want to talk about this. it's a total jinx waiting to happen!

What was high school mascot?


and finally...

What color socks are you wearing?

None. I LOVE summer!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

We're all in this alone together

A couple of years ago I got back in touch with a good friend of mine from high school via Facebook (ah, facebook, you crazy and surreal portal into my past...). We've been talking on and off, but hadn't caught up in awhile. I got a message from her today that reminded me of how universal the loneliest and most isolating experiences of motherhood are. It reminded me a lot of why I started to blog in the first place and as I thought about all we said, I wanted to post something here.

She explained that she's under a ton of stress. Her husband was laid off again and rehired to an old company, but is making less money, so finances are very tight. Her whole family is sick and her husband is under tons of stress at work, so is working his butt off and unable to help. Her baby doesn't sleep well and her toddler has become very difficult all at once. She's got some good stuff going on as well - her husband has a show for a side project soon, which sounds really exciting and, I guess, prestigious. It also may mean a chance to make some extra money, but until the show he will have to work very hard preparing - leaving her to continue to parent alone.

So there she is - struggling with finances, struggling with sanity with kids who won't sleep and struggling with balancing two kids who need a lot from her. And, while I think she generally gets a lot of joy out of being a Mom, it just sounds like it ALL feels like a struggle for her right now.

It got me thinking. The thing is - while we don't have the same immediate pressures that she has right now, many of those same stresses plague me. Both of us having left the corporate fast track (him for fire fighting, me for a part time mommy track) and taking the associated income hits while trying to live the American dream has been a struggle. I've never worried about money the way I do now. (Note - I'm totally type A. I'm a saver. Money HAS to go into my 401k. Money HAS to go into Savings for a rainy day. Money HAS to go to the monkey's 529. And truthfully, there often isn't enough to do all that and pay the mortgage, etc. Our spending seems to outpace savings a lot of months in a way that makes me ... itchy.)

But more than that, maybe I was reading into it or projecting my own feelings, but I really sensed a loneliness in her "complaints" about the current difficulties of motherhood. Her husband was too busy to help. Her mother made things worse when she tried to help (made her son nap when he was too much for her and returned her a cranky, hyper kid). Her in-laws were no help and drove her blood pressure through the roof.

Now, we're really lucky. My in-laws are a GREAT help and very often give us a break. And, while my Mom doesn't live in the area, she's usually available in a pinch (she LOVES that kid!). And, despite so often being sleep deprived and overworked himself, my husband let me nap one day recently when I was just worn out saying - 'I know that extra sleep / naps are part of your standard maintenance. I knew it when I married you and have to let you have a break to recharge sometimes.' (I've sadly ALWAYS been that way. Pathetic.) But that doesn't stop me from feeling overwhelmed and exhausted sometimes (those naps aren't an every day or every week thing!). And when I do, I ABSOLUTELY feel like I'm all alone in this. In fact, I feel like NO ONE understands (no matter how involved my husband is with the baby). And possibly that NO ONE ELSE feels this way!

(has anyone EVER felt this way before?)

Because lack of sleep (and by that I (apparently) mean less than an average of 8-9 hours!) does not make me rational.

But now, in a rational (though actually not all that well rested - why on earth did we watch that dumb movie last night instead of sleeping...?) moment, I think that maybe everyone feels this way. That maybe this is one of those secrets of motherhood.

Like the fact that I find 24 hours in the baby's company alone without playdates and errands and distractions kind of boring... I canonly stack those dang blocks so many times in between yelling "sit" when she stands on the furniture for the 1000th time while desperately praying that she'll nap today so I can nap too... Are you going to report me now?

So I started trying to think of ways to overcome it. To deal with it. Crap, let's face it, I turned into a boy listener and looked for ways to FIX it. (She lives too far away for me to offer to watch her kids for her for a few hours. As in, we live in VA and she lives in AZ.)

Well, actually, first I went to the root of what I think my greatest issue with adult (and specifically mommy) stress is. It's not finite. And because it's not finite, it feels INFINITE! (I feel like there should have been lightening and thunder on that.)

Seriously, think about it. As a kid, you can usually limit your problems to getting through this test / this class / this semester / this school year (or at worst, my time at this school?). OK, all those things FEEL incredibly long at the time (and some are!). But there's still a predictable end to them - even if that end is SO FAR away. There's a light at the end of the tunnel.

In adulthood, they tell us that light is the oncoming train...

But adult problems are not pushed into segments. Your dead end job can feel like you're stuck there forever. And your child who won't sleep? Will she EVER sleep? I mean, ok, probably, but there's no definitive timeframe on when that'll happen. It'll probably be before she goes to college. I think... But right now I can't conceive of a time when I'll be able to sleep past 7 on a weekend to make up for the deprivation now.

Oh, you parents of teenagers who you have to pry out of bed at noon, laugh at me. I know it's coming - laugh!

The well rested and well adjusted CAN laugh...

So, I thought like a boy and thought about fixes - the need for a light at the end of the tunnel / something to look forward to. I suggested that after her husband's show was done, she should get an afternoon "off" where he and/or her mother watched the kids and she napped or had a small luxury (a pedicure, coffee with friends, a haircut, a bath with a glass of wine); that maybe she could be specific with her Mom on what EXACTLY she needs from her or could drop one or both kids to her Mom with a very specific activity for them (so she doesn't make them nap. BTW - dude, IF ONLY I knew how to "make" my daughter nap...); that maybe if the side business made some money a small amount could be set aside for a babysitter for a few hours so she could have a little me time (or if not, maybe she could do a babysitting co-op). Finally, I thought maybe she could come up with some activities that were low stress and fun for her kids, so that she had a good back up plan on the worst days (and to give herself a break on letting a little TV slip in on the really really worst days).

But after saying all this - I don't know if it's helpful. I mean, I don't know if she wanted advice. And, if so, if it was at all good. But, just in case it is, I throw it out to you - what are some of your best coping strategies on those overwhelming days?

By the way, also, do you think that the stress / loneliness / alone and I'm the only one who ever felt this way feelings are universal? Or am I REALLY the only one who ever felt this way?!?!?! Maybe I'm whormonal*.

*Note - awesome spelling of hormonal SHAMELESSLY stolen from The Single Girl. After the insuing lawsuits, she will most likely own me and therefore also this blog, but worry not - she's way funnier than me, so it'll be an improvement.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Trophy Wife, part 2

I wrapped my 3 year old goddaughter's birthday gift in paper covered with pictures of alcoholic drinks. (The night before, I realized it was the only paper we had and it was too late (i.e. I was too lazy) to go out and get other paper.) I tried to disguise this with a gift bag - narrowly managing to find one that wasn't Christmas or new baby themed (only just).

I did at least manage to take out the bottle of wine for her Mom (she was about to live through a party with 3 year olds!) before I gave it to her.

Hmm, I must have put my *appropriate* wrapping paper next to my Mother of the Year award...


The monkey and I went to the party (the husband had to work) at the beach/marina. I managed to lather the baby up with sunscreen, but somehow thought I'd be fine... Midway through the party I realized I was burning a bit. I thought about sunscreen then, but realized I couldn't reach my back (I was wearing a sundress) and would just have weird tan lines then. I'm burned to a crisp! My husband looked and assessed the damage as 1st degree burns over 30% of my body. It's really attractive... And dehydrating (I wake up feeling hung over without drinking every morning).

Must have stored my sunscreen next to my common sense. Or was it next to the medal for setting a good example for my young child?

I'm going to argue this isn't so bad an example. She can now see how painful and damaging a bad sunburn is without getting one herself! Yup, that's it.

Note - this award will come in the form of a sunburn tattoo. My sister in law looked at me while assessing the burn and said - were you holding the baby a lot on this side (indicating my right). Yeah, I guess so, why?

Because you have a handprint on your arm.

Oh good.


And this time the award goes to my neighbor (for once it's not me!)...

My husband came home from work on Thursday morning exhausted. I suggested he go take a nap and I'd head to Target with the monkey for... oh, something. Who remembers what my pilgrimage to Target was for now? I didn't want to drive his truck to the store, so I pulled it out of the driveway and put it on the street to get my car out. (I reasoned I could leave it there because he'd be leaving in a few hours anyway. If I put it in the driveway, we'd just have to switch up the cars later.)

About 20 minutes into my errand, my phone rings. His car just got hit. He was half asleep upstairs and heard a loud crash. He decided to look out the window to see what it was, but didn't immediately see anything. Then he noticed a guy walking up our driveway. Ugh.

He heads downstairs to talk to him. Apparently the guy didn't even slow down (which he told his own insurance as well) thereby creaming the entire side of the car. He started making excuses to my husband (while admitting fault) that there were cars on both sides of the street and oncoming traffic. My husband, who teaches driving to fire fighters, said - so what should you have done? Should you have slowed down?


Our doorbell rang at about 8 the next night. It was another neighbor asking us to settle an argument between him and his wife. He insisted the guy had to be completely drunk to hit a parked car like that. My husband said - nope, stone cold sober. Just an awful driver (as his wife had said countless times when she brought his insurance info over. Always good to be supportive...).

And the award for worst driver (a stupid sign for your forehead to warn the world) does NOT go to me today! Woo hoo!


UPDATE - Just peeled my shirt off my back from where the aloe had stuck it too my skin. Eww, eww, ewww! Ouch. And, oh yeah, EWWWWWW!!!! Paralyzed by the grossness, must go now.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Trophy wife

I should start by telling you that my husband has this thing about cheerleading. I’m not exactly sure why – and really, it’s not important – but he’s adamant that our daughter should not be a cheerleader (remember – she’s 18 months old). In fact, we were having dinner with some friends a few weeks ago and something came up about cheering. He was holding their 3 year old daughter – I think he was lifting her up and joking that he would do this as long as it didn’t lead to pyramids and such in her future. He looked at her and said, Ok, we can do the lift again – as long as you promise me you won’t be a cheerleader! I looked at him and stage whispered across – her mother (who was sitting next to him) was a cheerleader. He turned red, but the Mom took it all in stride and said – ah, I know you go home and say, Give me a T, give me an E, etc.

I know that many people who read this may have been cheerleaders. Your daughters may be cheerleaders. Please don’t shoot the messenger here! The truth is I cheered too.

Well, sort of. Truthfully… I wasn’t much of an athlete.

I took gymnastics for years (from about 5 to 13 or 14) and I played some different sport most years in grade school. The thing was – it was essentially a different sport every year. I’d do it one year, discover my lack of talent, move on to the next sport. (Realistically, looking back, I was probably just starting to get a little better at some by the end of season, but whatever.)

Second grade was soccer – the only girl on an all boys team. Pass! I finished out the season (because we don’t quit!), but that was it for me. Third grade was cheerleading (see!). I was a “mascot” – you had to be in 5th grade to be a real member of the team. 4th grade I think was track (a teammate's jog was my sprint – ugh). 5th grade basketball (have I mentioned before I was littlest angel in our school play because I was, well, littlest? Prolly not my sport...). 6th grade cheerleading again – this time as a “full” member. 7th grade softball – and by then I’d exhausted all the sport options and stopped. High school offered new sport options, but… oh school was far away and practice ran so late I’d miss my carpool and when would I do homework and… You get the picture. I believe my next athletic attempt came with adult kickball!

Fast forward to yesterday. My Mom was coming to visit and in the process of cleaning out the basement had found all the old trophies and decided that while they should probably go in the trash, it was up to me to throw them out. (Such parental pride! OK, so maybe that Halloween parade participant trophy isn’t really a necessary part of life…) My husband starts looking through them. There were trophies (well, participant trophies anyway) for each of the sports I’d played. There were academic trophies (geek!). There were probably half a dozen gymnastics trophies. There were Halloween trophies – God knows what else! But what does he focus on? Cheerleading! He jumps on the cheerleading trophies with "I can’t believe you cheered!" (By the way, we've had this discussion before. He knows I cheered. He knew it before we were married. We have not found grounds for anullment here.) Guess we know which ones will hit the trash first if he has a say. (Note – he doesn’t.)

Oh, I never knew it would be so hard to be a trophy wife.

Monday, August 9, 2010

My God if you'd only STOP BREATHING (at least so loudly)!

Have you ever been stuckwith a heavy breather?

No, no - not in the dirty sense (this time. I think I worked with a few of those too. Probably a more interesting story if I work through that... Hmm...). Just someone who breathes REALLY loudly all the time. It's like ... daytime snoring!

I try not to say too much about people I know that I wouldn't also say to their faces. Yeah, yeah, this is anonymous so it doesn't matter and all that, but still. It's anonymous so I can be honest about me / my feelings.

So that friend I made fun of for sending out a mass email every week about every poop and breath her son had won't catch on...

But anonymous doesn't really give me license to just be mean and inconsiderate. I try to avoid talking about the topics (ok, people) who drive me to that. But today...

I work in an office. Not just an office building, but randomly most people who work here have actual walled offices (don't get some crazy silly impression I'm important and executive. I'm not. It's just our layout). Now this is usually nice in that it does cut down on the amount you have to listen to some of the annoying habits / conversations of coworkers and gives you some quiet space to get work done. But somehow the distance across the hall is not enough today!

I just had to get up to close my door because the guy next door was actually breathing SO LOUD that not only could I hear it, but it was getting REALLY annoying. (Note - no, not the first time.) I don't think he's asleep in there (i.e., actually snoring. Anyway, most people don't snore this loud. Ok, maybe they do...). And, I've walked past - he's not working out or doing anything physical. These are desk jobs.

Here's the worst part though - I mean, how on earth can you possibly complain about that? You sound like a crazy person! Seriously - you're whining that someone is breathing too loud? I'm going to go home and tell my husband and he'll likely accuse me of being hormonal

Except that he's heard about this guy before and has seen him, so there's a chance he'll know enough to believe it of him.

Like the woman in an old office who complained that a coworker typed too loud.

Although I did later sit next to the loud typer and with those long acryllic nails, I had to admit... Never mind, never mind!

So - what drives you nuts? Give me your weirdest / lamest / sounds most ridiculous and petty example. Don't leave me hanging here!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Google is now a standard install on your toddler

The other day my husband was dropping our daughter off at his Mom’s. She was showing the monkey her new books to play with and other toys. This lasted a few minutes till the monkey put down the book, went over to the computer, pointed at it and said “Google.”

As she is spoiled as all heck, they turned on the computer for her, but it didn’t open to the standard Google screen. She looked at them again and pointing to the screen said, “Google.” So they brought up the Google screen and she started typing away – ah yes, Google. I know – the yahoo algorithms really just don’t work as well, do they, baby?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I really thought the potty mouth would come from my husband

Now that the monkey is almost 18 months, she’s really starting to pick up on language and try to repeat things. We’ve been trying to take advantage of this to teach her some basic words and work on repetition. My Mom was here last week and decided to work on the dog’s name – Shiloh.

No, we did NOT name our dog after that Jolie Pitt kid. Our dog is 10. Maybe she was named after him.

So my Mom said – Shi-loh, can you say Shiiii-looooh? The monkey looked at her and said shit. Every time my Mom tried to turn that into Shiloh, the monkey said shit. I tried saying “Loh. Can you say loh?” She looked at me said – shit.

Yesterday we were upstairs playing in her room when the dog started barking downstairs. She started calling Shit. If you didn’t know what she meant, it really sounded like – oh shit, that damn dog is barking again. Great.

My husband looked at my Mom and pointed out that he had actually been working on cleaning up his language around the baby – thanks a lot, lady.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Uninspired, but busy! The story of our landscaping…

The title says it all. Despite being pretty busy these days, I am feeling a bit uninspired and didn’t want to just bore you with drivel. But now it’s been a week, so I guess… bore away! ;) No, no – I’ll try harder! (Also, our landscaping is totally uninspired and very busy...)

So busy, you say? Yes… A bit. In all my house buying posts, I think I mentioned that the house we bought needed a bit of work. I mean – not so much a fixer upper as “well cared for” in real estate parlance – i.e., nothing has been updated in YEARS. We did a bit, but then ran short on time, money, stamina and stopped for a bit. But as it got warmer outside we realized that “well cared for” did not extend to our yard. Nothing had been done there – even basic upkeep – in a LONG, LONG time. We have this small fenced in area behind the house, but then our yard extends much further beyond the fence (not like miles – like our yard is maybe 2 or 2.5x as big as the small fenced part) and that was crazy overgrown. Just unusable. In the front, we have a big oak right in front of the house surrounded by ivy – crazy ivy everywhere! As we can’t seem to grow grass (apparently oaks suck up a lot of water? Who knew?), the ivy was ground cover. But now one had kept it in check – it extended into the back and even into the “woods” behind us. Then to the side (still in the front), we have another little “forest” (ok, not really – it’s small. But so overgrown you can’t walk through it. I tried raking it in the spring and 10 bags later you couldn’t tell I’d done anything.)

We needed to get to work. My husband started pulling out the overgrowth in front of the house (azalea bushes that hadn’t been trimmed back in this millennium and other overgrowth). As he did, he found a huge stump a few feet from the house – old and rotten and just never removed. He took load after load to the dump. This was getting old…

So we decided to rent a dumpster. We had SO MUCH undergrowth to attack, but also there were several trees that needed to come down. Dead and dying ones. Ones that abutted the house ruining our roof, whose roots were headed into the foundation. Ones that should have been trimmed back years ago! The dumpster arrived last Monday and work commenced. My husband started pulling out brush and cutting down trees while I was at work and my Mom stayed with us to watch the baby. In a couple of days, the dumpster was pretty full. We called to see about replacing it (and this is where it gets hairy). Due to miscommunication, we thought the replacement was included in our contract – but really, it was a whole new dumpster. It arrived Thursday morning and was half full by the end of the day. As we thought the replacements were included, I suggested that maybe we should get a new one on Friday in case they couldn’t deliver on the weekends. We ordered one. But that evening, my husband thought through his conversation with the dumpster company. Had they actually said it was included? Well, no. And it didn’t really make sense to include it… I mean, they were expensive to get out to us. He called them back. Not included. This was a whole new dumpster / new contract / new fee. Crap! We cancelled the 3rd one coming and the guy was really nice and gave us a bit of a discount (about 20%). So now we are filling the hell out of this thing.

Now I don’t like to think of myself as a “girly” girl, but really – I’m not exactly great with the Great Outdoors. Each day I’ve been helping us clear things out I’ve attired myself in long pants tucked into my socks (just to make sure I look as dorky as possible), a shirt, a hat (God knows what creepy crawlies are out there!) and more bug spray than you can imagine! Then I’ve gone about tripping over myself as I haul away branches and wheel barrows – stopping to think, I look like a bad tv show / movie about idiots in the woods as the branches manage to catch on the fence as I pass and then hit me in the face.

But the progress has been amazing. We managed to create a huge clearing beyond our fence (that might once day house a swing set or maybe a little patio. Or, per my husband, a pit bbq…) on Thursday. On Friday morning we looked out and saw four large bucks standing in! Of course we weren’t on top of getting pictures, but man, it was really cool! My husband said he also saw a lone Indian crying out there and maybe the Lorax…

Once all the bigger stuff was gone we moved on to the mind numbingly repetitive / boring part… Cutting back the brush, raking out all the leaves, getting all the small crap into the dumpster. Kill me now. While I worked on this, my husband started attacking the stumps (so his work was more back breakingly hard than mind numbingly boring). I’ve suggested we paint the remainder of the larger ones and make them into little tables for a play area for my daughter (I think I saw that on a home improvement show once… something like that…).

Anyway, the hard labor continues. The real problem with it all that my husband noted is that the place was SO overgrown before that despite a week of hard work, no one would look at yard and think – wow, that looks amazing! Or even really good. We’ve just barely gotten it up to the clean slate of what it “should” look like now. On the “amazing” front… I can’t even pick out paint colors (When I was at my old job, we painted the condo bedrooms. I got the intern (marketing) to pick out the colors for me because I was too lame to figure it out for myself. And my husband is color blind.). I don’t think I’m going to do well with trees…

So if you have any suggestions for plantings that do well without a ton of sun and oak trees soaking up all the moisture (is there a grass that will survive this?), let me know! Or any great (and super cheap) design ideas? Or ways to get cheap materials? We have space – not great space, but space. And maybe even some skill (the “we” here refers entirely to my husband). But creativity and vision… it’s always something, isn’t it?

Monday, July 26, 2010

The cutest of late

Last week, the monkey decided she wanted to put on her shoes. And she alone did. This was sort of adorable, but... she can't put on her shoes. She's 17 months old - she can't quite coordinate this (unless it's a slip on) and can't buckle them. But she wouldn't accept help. I called my husband to say - well this is adorable today, but is going to get darn annoying soon!


Thank you!

The monkey has started saying thank you. Sort of. It sounds a lot like "DQ" or "Teeku." She generally repeats it if you say Thank you. And then because she gets such a good reaction, she says it over and over again.

By the way, the grandmothers have been "impressed" that she's putting two words together so young. I don't think this is quite fair... She has no idea that these are two words.


I've been meaning to do an update on eating - something consolidating all the great tips I got and letting you know how she's doing. Been meaning to for months... Um, anyway, so onto today...

OK, Ok, yes eating has gotten MUCH better. She's still a bit on the fussy side and we never actually went through the "human vacuum cleaner who will eat anything stage" - just right onto toddler pickiness, but OK. She will eat solids now - with a definite preference for cheerios or any form of carb (well, crackers and such).

So because she had been very picky, I didn't focus on letting her feed herself at all. I was just trying hard to get food into her! Until I read recently that at this age she should be able to use a fork and spoon (at least sometimes). Um, oops...

In my fear of feeding her until she's 20, I decided to start putting the utensils out and letting her go to town (so the dog gets fatter). And, genius that I am, I started this process on pasta with sauce this weekend. The good news - she actually at the pasta! The bad news - I think she might STILL have some in her ears...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Project management

A friend of mine, ironically a male, once told me that any woman who planned a wedding should automatically get her PMP (project management certification if you are not stuck in my sad little world) at the end. He argued that all the crazy planning, managing expectations, budgeting and details were certainly a project worthy of some sort of degree (ironically also not gay).

When I got married, I thought – you know, he may have a point.

Now I realize, he clearly never had kids.

Saturday was one of those examples of a “nice working on this project with you, hon” type of day. The days we try to avoid. When my husband and I talked through our possible working options, one we thought about was – what if I work the days he doesn’t (excluding weekends in my case), averaging 3 days a week. My boss was surprisingly open to this (in theory), but I realized it would wreak havoc at work if no one ever knew when to expect me. And we also realized – this would just wreak havoc on our lives if all they really consisted of was “baby hand off.” My husband said that we ran the risk of raising a child being a project we were working on together rather than being a family. It’s one of those things that doesn’t jump out to you when you look at a schedule “on paper,” but can easily become a stark and cold reality when you actually do it. So instead I work Mon-Wed and his Mom watches the monkey one day a week and it turns out it gives us balance (what doesn’t jump out on that spreadsheet approach is that we haven’t always built in any time to sleep in our schedule, but that’s another topic for another day) most days. It’s always the “most” part that kills you.

My husband had worked 24 on Thursday with no sleep to speak of. He came home on Friday morning and, as always, it was pretty much time to run. I was actually off, so I tried to convince him to nap late morning when the monkey seemed ready to go down, but he wanted to head over to renters to take care of something they needed before it got too late. On the way back, the little one did, in fact, fall asleep in the car, so we kept driving. Then we had to run her by the doctor (slight low grade fever – what’s that about?). And suddenly it was dinner time and he hadn’t rested yet.

So Saturday when I got up with the baby to give her breakfast at 7 I told him to take a break and rest. After breakfast, I wanted to take her out on a wog/snog (wog = walk/jog. It’s mostly a walk with small parts of “snog” or snail’s paced jog), so I suggested he rest while I did that. He actually got up while we were out to start working on his slides for class the next day. I kept the monkey with me while I cleaned up and he worked and then I took her to the store with me. When he finished the slides, I was feeling the need for a break (though not nearly as long, Thursday had been a damn long day for me too), so I handed her off and he took her to Home Depot with him. She fell asleep in the car on the way back and it was my turn to drive her around so that he could hang baby gates without waking her. We came back in time to get her (and me) cleaned up / presentable to meet friends for dinner. The gates got done and we were 40 minutes late (maybe half of that was traffic…).

He looked at me when I outlined the plans on hand offs and said – um, when exactly do I get to hang out with you? I asked him how next Friday looked. Ugh.

Is it just me? Do you have those days too? How do you deal with them? Besides planning ahead (I forgot to mention the cake baking for the dinner part), as that’s clearly not an option!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Monday Minute: 07/19/2010 Survivor Style

Today's Monday minute from Ian along with this week's cohost (drum roll, please!):


Monday Minute

What's your real name?

Inigo Montoya. You see why I haven't said before - I mean, no anonymity at all!

Have you ever fabricated a story or anything on your blog?

Nope. I've probably exaggerated. But if you met the rest of my family, you'd understand - I can't help it / don't even know I'm doing it / couldn't stop if I tried.

When in the car do you listen to the radio/CDs/iPod/etc?

I can't seem to get my iPod to play through my car even though there's a little hook up thing (what the heck!). I usually listen to the radio with CDs for kids stuff - either her songs or a book on CD for me to stay awake while she sleeps.

Describe the 'sexiest' item of clothing that you own.

Hmm... I don't know. I have these leather pants that everyone always seems to react to (wait, that came out wrong. I mean, my friends are always like - whoa! I guess because they are "unexpected" for me - one of my favorite things about them.), but truthfully I don't think they're that 'sexy.' My friend got them for me on super uber sale at a Gap clearance center (think outlet on crack), but they pretty much fit like Gap classic fit jeans do - not exactly tight or anything. They are fun though!

My early to mid 20s wardrobe had a lot more in this category - when I was young, single and skinny! I had some tight shiny vinyl pants that were really fun (for the unexpected factor). I also had at least one wrap around shirt that showed a bit of mid-drift. I was never really comfortable in that one though as I didn't think my stomach was flat enough for it (what I wouldn't give now!).

Would you be willing to breastfeed your friend's three year old child?

No. No. NO!!!!!! I wouldn't be willing to breastfeed my OWN 3 year old child! Ugh.

OK, fine, I'll caveat - if we're stuck on a desert island and I don't have my currently non-existent new baby with me (the one that would be causing me to lactate) and it's not looking good, but I can make this a little more bearable for the dehydrated 3 year old and maybe give him/her a better shot. OK, then, yes.

Outside of Lost or Survivor style reality TV, I'm not seeing a whole heck of a lot of other circumstances where I'd do this though.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Well, as I already had my soapbox out this week…

I came across this article from the LA Times this week I thought I’d share. It has NOTHING to do with my normal blog topics, but it made me think a lot so I thought I’d pass it on.

The article covers legislation in France that makes it illegal for women to wear burqas in public places. It says that this vote passed because the burqa “undermines French values” (being about subservience, not religion), but it’s overall seen as attempt to “clamp down on Islamic extremism.”

On the one hand, I’m a religious person (though not Muslim) and don’t like the idea of restricting religious freedom. On the other, I wonder how many women really WANT to wear a burqa and how many are forced to so that this law would “free” them and give them equality in exactly the way it says.

But throwing out arguments about religious freedom (though those are the most likely to reverse any decision), I thought about this a bit more and just kept coming up with more questions, like:

1. Doesn’t this just restrict these women all the more? Won’t they be forced to stay out of the public entirely now? Doesn’t this give the males the French see as oppressing them more power and the women less freedom, as now they can’t even leave their homes?

2. Or, what if the women WANT to wear the burqa? Trying to think of what might be an equivalent (though I don’t understand much about the rules on the burqa), what if I were forced to leave the house only in a bikini? Or my underwear? (or would it be even less?) I would feel uncomfortable (and, on display and all sorts of other things). I would feel more restricted to my home. And, honestly, I’d feel like that law was totally oppressing and objectifying me. So does this type of rule do exactly the opposite of what it suggests/intends for some women?

And then there are all the arguments about religious freedom… Or does the burqa “scare” the average person the street because they see it as extremism and worry about terrorism? So is it about making 99% of people feel safer? Are they actually really concerned that maybe it’s not a woman in the burqa but that such a large shapeless dress could conceal a man with a bomb strapped to his chest – in which case it’s not about the perception of safety, but about real safety?

As you can see, I am ALL OVER THE MAP on this one. So I was sort of wondering what the ol’ interwebby thought of it all. I have a traffic jam of thoughts roaming through my head and wondered about other perspectives on it – what do you think?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

And on to Savannah

After a few days in Charleston we headed to Savannah. We again started with a self guided walking tour and late in the (very hot) afternoon) found another fountain designated as a pool I, of course, had NOT put a bathing suit or swim diaper in the baby bag, so we decided to just let her go in with her clothes on this time and change her after. It took her a few minutes to warm up to the idea again again, but then she loved it and cried when it was time to go.

This one was a little different as you couldn’t really wade into the fountain, but instead there were spots where water was sprouting up from the ground that you could run through and other spots of mini waterfalls about the monkey’s height that she could get under. And, in the spirit of all that is random, this one had a lifeguard!

Mostly she seemed to be there to stop the kids from running. With a 17 month old, I was pretty glad for it (the monkey had been knocked into / over a couple of times) and yet, we all know I’m not REALLY mature enough to be a parent as I was looking at the kids running and thinking – dude, if I were a 9 year old boy I’m not sure I could NOT run either! The place was MADE for running! For leapfrogging over each of the spouts of water as fast as you can!

Anyway, after a hot afternoon of exploring the pretty parks and architecture of Savannah (and wondering if maybe I should try to read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil again. Then remembering that I really couldn’t get into it/ didn’t like it and I should probably just rend the movie…), we decided to go to Tybee beach the next day.

I have a theory that my body NEEDS to experience sand between my toes several times a year to keep my equilibrium – and, dude, I was due! And it would be nice to have a relaxing day at the beach (or to find out if that concept was possible with a toddler). So we headed to the beach, bought some sand toys there and were lucky enough to get a spot under the pier with all the other parents trying to keep their kids out of the sun. And, in YET another example of how old I’m getting… it turns out it’s kind of nice to sit in the shade at the beach. You don’t get too hot. You don’t have to worry about sunburn. Yeah, I’m like a million. The monkey enjoyed playing in the sand (the one problem with under the pier is that’s generally where all the more… hmm “illicit?” stuff goes on at night, right? We’d cleared the area of any bottles or other garbage we saw, but the monkey was the one to find the used condom when she started digging. EW!). She even enjoyed the surf when she got used to it. And Momma enjoyed the soft serve ice cream before we left!

In order to avoid the horrors of another ALL DAY drive, we decided to stop in Chapel Hill on the way back – which was really cute, totally worth seeing (a side note – though we got there too late for real “touring,” I noticed a lot of stuff was free! Something I always love on a trip!). So we did 2 days of long drives instead…

The second day my husband pointed out that we could take the highways home or we could take 15 which would be way more scenic and only 40 minutes longer. I said, you know, if it was just us, I’d be all about 15. But… I don’t know… That last 40 minutes of a long car ride with the baby can be VERY long. So we took the highways. And she did well – till about the last hour / 1.5 hours mark and then all hell started to break loose and those words came back to us! We were glad not to add another 40 mins (although, to be fair, she did then fall asleep).

So we finally made it back and “staycation”-ed a couple of days at home. My sister in law even came over to baby-sit on Saturday so we could go to the movies (at which point we realized that there is nothing out and they apparently now charge $8 for popcorn! This is why I sneak snacks in… And why I clearly need to go buy the “mom purse” with room for more snacks!).

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Yeah, so we’d finally arrived in Charleston (part II)

We’d used points to get a room at Springhill Suites, hoping that “suites” would imply enough living space to give the baby some room. Not so much. So each night one of us would try to rock her / calm her down while the other one hid in the bathroom / closet / etc. waiting. Or we’d sit in the dark room / lay on the bed and pretend to be asleep till she went down – which, at least in my case, inevitably led to me actually falling asleep and waking up at midnight or so to brush my teeth and take out my contacts. My husband looked at me one night in Savannah when we were lying in bed at 8:30 while it was still light out and we could hear kids playing in the pool outside and said – “you know, this is the 9 year old me nightmare - going to bed when it’s light out and you can hear kids playing. At 33, it’s kind of awesome!”

So yes, sadly, I’m old and boring. Falling asleep at 8:30 sounded great! Especially as we seemed to have set ourselves a 3 or 4 am wake up call – of the biological variety when the baby would start crying. At home, when this goes on a few nights, we’ll start to let her cry it out (she’s going to be finding her way out of that crib soon and I really don’t want to spend 3 hours walking her back to her bed each night till she gets the idea that she has to stay there. As an aside, I am making no progress against this goal.), but we worried about doing this in a hotel where she might wake up the whole place (with that siren going, they might think it was an air raid!). So my husband would get her and move to the couch (this was the part that made it a “suite”) with her for the next few hours – while she moved the length of his body in her fitful sleep. At the second hotel, the couch was not at all comfortable, so at 6, he walked over to me and unceremoniously said – “your turn!” – while he laid down to try to get some feeling back in his extremities after cutting off circulation on the lower vertebrae. So I stayed awake while my “sort of” sleeping daughter made her way up and down the length of me – taking a foot in the belly, an elbow in the neck, whatever! Just make this kid sleep! Yeah, by the last nights, we decided she couldn’t cry that long and it would be just fine – the walls were thick enough. And, shockingly, it turned out it was – her tears were short lived and she went back to sleep. Well, dang, if I’d known that…

Anyway, our first full day in Charleston we decided to go see Fort Sumter. We took the ferry out, listened to the tour and then were told we had about an hour on the island before the boat left, so get going. It’s actually a small island, but we really felt like we could use another 15-30 minutes (I’d say the monkey did NOT agree). I thought we could take whatever ferry back rather than being relegated to the one we came on, so we asked. Yes, but the next ferry coming was actually coming from a different place. We could get on that one, but it wouldn’t take us back to our car. Hmm…OK. The next one coming from our port would get us back about 3 hours later. So, uh, not 30 minutes then? We decided we could probably read about whatever was in the museum online. Also at the spot where you get the ferry (well, one of them, apparently) to Fort Sumter was the USS Yorktown (an aircraft carrier). The husband was VERY excited at the possibility of touring this! But we decided we’d tortured the baby enough for one day and we’d just come back the next (the 4th!) to see it. We had not yet pulled out of the parking lot when the baby fell asleep in her car seat – yeah, she was done.

Unfortunately we thought about it later and realized that aircraft carriers don’t really tend to be stroller friendly. In fact they involve a lot of climbing up ladders and through hatches – not something all that conducive to a toddler. (I told a friend of mine this and she said that we were clearly wimps as indigenous people in S. America climb the Andes with babies all the time (she doesn’t have kids – and also was kidding). I said that they probably had baby slings (the Mobie (sp?) I’ve drooled over) and we didn’t.)

Most of the rest of our time in Charleston was spent roaming around – a (self guided) walking tour and just checking the place out. We discovered the fountains that are designated as public pools and let the monkey go in in her diaper (no, it’s not a swim diaper, but it’s a fountain, not REALLY a pool anyway!), vowing to throw a swim diaper and her bathing suit in our bags for next time) while I got soaked hovering over her (which wasn’t half bad in 90 degrees either!).

Highlights beyond the fountain included a Mexican place with $3 margaritas for Momma... Hmm, having fond memories of Charleston as I go back to work now...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Stop the presses! July 13 is National French Fry Day!

Sorry - I thought it was important that we all knew that.

We now return to our regularly scheduled programming.

I started trying to tell you about the trip, but then I decided to get on my soapbox instead. Sorry.

So last week we went on vacation. And yes, I could go into a detailed description of what exactly we saw and did – the history of Fort Sumter, other important stuff in Charleston and what we liked best in Savannah. But seriously – you could buy a travel book and get way better (and highly likely more accurate! I mean, did the people writing the travel book take the tour of Fort Sumter with a 17 month old in need of a nap who was pretty ticked at us for forcing her on a 9 hour drive (Napolean’s retreat from Russia was not so inhumane) the day before? Well, I guess it’s possible. But then they probably fact checked on wikipedia to straighten that stuff out.), so let’s instead do highlights.

Day 1 (Friday) highlights – we got up about 5 with the intention of hitting the road by 5:30 (yeah, right. We’re seriously going to get both of us and a baby out of the house that fast. I put that one as my goal, but hoped for 6). It was about 6:30 when we left. We’d discussed it the night before and my husband asked – what’s the hurry? Why do we need to leave so early? It was about 8-9 hours to Charleston (plus stops) and we live in the DC suburbs. This means we either need to get our butts out of bed very early and get going before rush hour or we should wait till 10 to get started. My hope was to get going with the baby still tired so she’d go back to sleep in the car. Hahahahaha. Why yes, I am a first time mother. Why do you ask?

The monkey actually did exceptionally well with the car ride, all things considered. All things being its length PLUS the random pockets of traffic (seriously what the heck?) that we kept hitting. But let’s be honest, when we were rolling into our hotel after 6 that night, she’d had it. She’d had it quite awhile before actually… I’d packed a “bucket” full of car toys and had been refilling it and handing it to her to dump for a lot longer than I wanted to (I’m harder to amuse on a long car ride than a baby). A friend had offered us a dvd player for the car, but, like complete idiots, we’d decided against. The monkey isn’t really all that interested in TV anyway, but, as first time, idealistic, we won’t fall into these commercial traps, aren’t we so awesome and we’ll do it better parents, we also really didn’t want to introduce the car DVD player. Look, I know, I know! I hesitate to even mention these things as we ALL know I’m going to give in and get one in no time – long before she’s even telling me that “all her friends” have one. But still – in my ideal little ivory tower of parenthood… I hate them. They’re part of my whole “kids are getting soft” theory.

Before you get offended, note – I know that this is only my newbie, one kid idealism and really, deep down, I know it will fall. But (but!) – do you remember long car rides as a kid? Yes, they were boring and interminable (I’m pretty sure I’m actually still in the middle of that one when I was 12 and all this is just a dream. Hmm – you think I’d be more successful in my own dream, huh? At least thinner…) and how horrifying (we won’t even discuss my car sickness/ projectile vomiting. I apologize if you ever got the rental car after us) and all that. But, we had to DO stuff to combat all that. We played the license plate game. And the alphabet game. And the “let’s name all 50 states” game (and why did we usually only get 49 till our parents or other adult woke up at 3 am thinking – oh, sheesh! How did I forget West Virginia?!). We had to get creative. On occasion we actually had to talk to each other! (Until I hit my teens and brought my walkman along to avoid that horror.) But now we don’t have to do any of that – we can wait for the world to entertain us with DVDs.

And here’s the other thing – is all this making it impossible for us to be alone? I know, holy leap there, batman! But hear me out. When I first moved from NJ to DC, I used to actually kind of enjoy the drives back and forth. Not the traffic, but I remember thinking it was a 4 hour license to daydream. I mean, seriously – I couldn’t be doing something “productive” for all that time. It was my “me” time to zone out. But the truth is – I’m not so comfortable with that anymore. My Dad got sick and I did the drive nearly every weekend for months and I really didn’t want “me” time anymore – there was too much in my head and I had to get out of it. So I started getting on my cell phone for large portions of the drive. And then I discovered books on tape – my new car entertainment! If I couldn’t find a book I wanted to read, I’d just “reread” old ones. And now, truthfully, I’ve lost some of my ability to be alone with myself. I can barely commute without a book on tape or the phone to my ear, let alone take a long car ride.

Anyway, this is getting long and we haven’t even checked in – or gotten to the story of eating dinner in the bathroom that night so as not to wake the baby who we’ve finally gotten to sleep in our “it turns out ‘suite’ just means there’s a couch on the far side of the room” hotel room at 9 pm after the wait at the one nearby restaurant was too long. So maybe we better go for part 2.

But as I’ve spouted out my burst of uninvited social commentary, I open it up to you. What do you think of the car dvd players (and how long will I likely last before I also realize that they are gifts from God?!)? What car games did you play as a kid? Do you think all our electronic hooks are making our ability to be alone die a slow and painful death (or, more likely, a “so quick I didn’t even notice it” death)?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Monday Minute - apparently the gross out edition...

So Jen from is hosting the Monday Minute this week (instead of Ian at the Daily Dose of Reality), but back from vacation and ready to play along!

Here goes:

1. Can you burp the ABC's?

No. My husband is proud of his burp talking abilities. It causes many a "discussion" about whether or not I'm willing to respond to comments burped at me. I've ALMOST gotten him to stop. At least when talking to me.

2. So lets just say you have a 9+ hour drive ahead of you would you consider wearing Depends so you didn't have to stop multiple times?

It didn't work on the baby on last week's 9+ hour drive, I doubt it will work on me.

OK, seriously - no. Theoretically, I guess you could be OK peeing like that with the fabric to "wick" away your pee, but if you have to poop, can you imagine the nasty diaper rash? So now I'm using depends and desitin? Great...

Also, I've discovered that my potty training was well enough instilled that I'm really not able as an adult to pee in inappropriate situations. I did one of those river float things a few years ago and was DYING to go - I thought my bladder would burst! I knew everyone else was going in the river, but I had such a hard time getting over the mental hurdle of going fully dressed in a river that people swim in. Separately, I was in the hospital a few years ago and was brought a bedpan and had the same issue. I looked at the nurse and said, I know I said I had to go, but I can't seem to do this - and awaited her wrath at my ridiculousness (didn't I "have" to go?). Instead she was really kind and looked at me and said - of course you can't. You're not used to wetting the bed.

So, long story short, I don't think it would work.

Oh, and EW!

3. Would you your tongue down five feet of a NYC street or press your tongue into a strangers nostril?

Ah, the fear factor edition. So do I get to see the street first (can I choose my own) and/or see the stranger first? I guess if totally forced, I'd probably "prefer" the nostril, as that could just take a second v. the street thing taking ALL DAY (the way I'd do it...). But the street thing is probably "more hygenic" (on the scale of 0-10, 0 being a sterilized lab and 10 being a petrie dish, it's probably a 122 v. the nostril thing being a 200?) because how long can germs live outside the body?

Hmm... maybe I need to rethink. Just making the decision might take ALL DAY.

4. If you had an envelope that contained the date you would die would you open it?

If I've completed #3, isn't this a moot point?

5. Which one song describes your sex life best?

Well, let's see we just went on vacation with our baby where our "suite" hotels were actually just a bedroom with a completely attached sitting room. We'd put her down in the crib and then sit very quietly in the dark until she stopped crying (read: I fell asleep at about 8:30 many nights). I don't think I want to answer the question this week!