Thursday, December 31, 2009

Manic Mommy Zeitgeist - 2009

Each year, Google publishes its Zeitgeist, compiling all the various search terms all of us collectively have typed into that little box in the upper right of our screens which, taken as a whole, present "the spirit of the times" for 2009. Never let it be said that I let a good idea go un-plagiarized. And so, with the help of Google Analytics, I present:

The Top 5 Manic Search Categories for 2009

5. Alcohol:
- The answer to the burning question of 2009? No, you're not supposed to have alcohol while on Nutrisystem. You're welcome.

4. Perverts:
Looking for:
- Joan Van Ark barefoot (srsly?)
- Picture of babes in bra blouse
- "she's old but she suck"

3. Potty Issues:
Some that I can relate to, although not necessarily help with are:
- Baby ate dirty toilet paper
- Boy Plunger
- Is it normal for a four year old to smear toothpaste all over? (Answer: YES!)
- My two year old son at dirty cat litter

Thanks for making me feel normal again!

2. Manic Behavior:
- My wife is a little manic + constant phone calls/messages
- What do you do when you're manic?
- He's the manic
- She's the manic (wouldn't you like to be a manic too?)
- Words to She's a Manic

1. General Silliness:
- Do bees have tongues?
- Cheap Mommy Vacation (see category #5)

and my favorite key word search for 2009 is:

- My dog gave birth three days ago and is painting still.

Here's wishing us all a prosperous, peaceful, happy, healthy 2010 full of optimism and opportunity.

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

I Think I'll Post This Every December 26th

God Bless Us. Every One.

I wanted to give each of you a little something as a thank you for everything you've given me this year. Well, it didn't arrive in time for Christmas. We're all moms here, so I know you'll understand.

For my friends, the someday moms: May your eggs be viable and your uterus be hospitable. Or may you find another way.

For my friends, the gestating moms: May the first and last trimesters go by with ease. May you take the sleep when you can get it. May you savor the miracle.

For my friends, the laboring moms: May your OB be on duty when you go into labor and free with the drugs. May your baby's head be small. May your partner know his place is to shut up and shovel ice chips.

For my friends, the brand new moms: May your baby latch on like a champ and sleep in long stretches. May you shower most days. May your husband have a great paternity leave policy.

For my friends, the mothers of newborns: May your child find a schedule. May he take a bottle, when necessary. May you be there for her first smile.

For my friends, the mothers of infants: May your child sleep through the night. May she be allergy-free. May he be an "easy baby".

For my friends, the mothers of toddlers: May your child not figure out how to open the child proof locks. May she not share food with the dog, then put it back in her mouth. May he not hit the terrible twos before his first birthday.

For my friends, the mothers of preschoolers: May potty training last days, not months. May she not suffer from separation anxiety on the first day of preschool. May he always like you better than his teacher.

For my friends, the mothers of kindergarteners: May your child adjust beautifully to big kid school. May the teacher recogize the uniqueness and individual gifts of your child.

For my friends, the mothers of elementary schoolers: May your child neither bully nor be bullied. May she love learning in all its forms.

For my friends, the mothers of tweens: May your child find his own moral compass. May friends, music, and movies not steal the precious years of childhood innocence.

For my friends, the mothers of high schoolers: May your children's deeds make you proud. May you be their mother first and their friend, second.

For my friends, the mothers of college students: May your children remember your lessons as they take their first fledgling steps to independence. May they make good decisions and know their own minds.

For my friends, the mothers of adults: May your children grow to be intelligent, loving, kind, good, hardworking, humorous parents. And may they take good care of us as we grow old.

For all of us: Though the days are long, the years are short. May we treasure the good ones and run down the clock on the bad ones with humor and love and friendship.

It was either this or a fruitcake.

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Tidings of Comfort and Joy

Wishing a Merry Christmas to all my friends in the Blogisphere

You are a gift

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

No Stupid Deed Goes Unpunished

My wonderful gay boyfriend, Jason, a teacher, posted a truly technicolor set of stories about kids in his class puking through the years. Coincidentally, I was with my dear high school friends over the weekend and we were reliving one of my own favorite puke stories:

We were seniors in high school and my friend, Chris' parents were away for the weekend. As you know, this means a party. So we all headed over and commenced with the drinking. Mary was the first to fall. One minute, she was mid-conversation with Chris' sister, Donna. The next, she's face down in the kitchen sink, losing everything she's consumed in the last (month) day. God love Donna. Without missing a beat, she casually walks over to the sink, turns on the water and the disposal, and continues with her story.

Unfortunately, Mary has not gotten sleep-over permission and it's too late to call her parents. We brilliant, drunk adolescents decide to bring her home. I can't remember what we thought about nearly-unconscious Mary getting past her parents. I would assume they were asleep.

As luck would have it, our friend Sue's boyfriend, Chris, had worked that night and had arrived shortly before Mary's puke-fest. He became our designated driver. I was slightly more sober than the rest, so I was the Wing Man. We trundle Mary into the car with Chris driving, Mary in the passenger seat and me, sitting on the bench seat between them. Mary's getting the spins so we decide to recline her seat, forcing me to scootch a little closer to Chris.

It was at a red light on Winter Hill after midnight that we look over to see Sue's mother (aka, Chris' future mother-in-law) pull up to the light next to us. We wave. She stares. The Uh oh. The light changes and we take off.

The next day, Sue's mom comes into her room, closes the door, and tells her she has something to discuss with her.

*** Please heed this warning: Never, ever, ever, ever do a Google Image search for "puking". Ever. ***

Monday, December 21, 2009

It's a Sing-Along!

We interrupt regularly scheduled blogging for a musical interlude:

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Dear Craigslist:

For Sale: Brother-in-Law

1964 Heterosexual.
Never married. Low mileage. No baggage.
Original hair and teeth.
Handsome, smart, funny, athletic.
Owns own home and business.

Mooching meals,
Drinking beer,
Long walks on the beach
Introducing minors to scatological humor
Arriving 30 minutes prior to nephews' bedtime for
Wrestling Extravaganza

Motivated seller.
All serious offers considered.
Pictures furnished upon request.

The fine print:
*BIL is being sold "as is" and all sales are final.
** Potential buyers must survive pass rigorous interrogation by mother, SILs, big sister.
*** Apply at your own risk.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009

Stranger Than Fiction

Sarah at Slouching Past 40 challenged her readers to write a story in 100 words. This is my submission and my true story:

It was a Sunday night and she’d opted not to stay at her fiancĂ©’s house but head back to her place to start off the week.

She couldn’t put her finger on it, the house simply “felt funny.” Still, she saw nothing unusual in the semi-darkness. Flipping lights as she went, she walked toward the bedroom.

As she reached for the closet door, he stepped out.

“Please don’t,” he asked as she backed away, reaching for the phone. For a moment she almost stopped. If he just left, it would be okay.

Then, “No. Never again.” She dialed the police.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Anatomy of a Guy Friendship

Last week, after school, HRH caught sight of some kids playing ball and decided to join them. I was pleased as HRH has recently given up most forms of outdoor play, preferring Legos, TV, Wii, Homework, pretty much anything to outdoor exercise. I was also pleased because he insinuated himself into a group in which he knew no one and just waited his turn until it became clear he was indeed included.

The game proceeded for the better part of an hour while I chatted pleasantly with some other mommies over by the play structure. Suddenly, a loud scream rent the air and we all turned to see the victim. It was HRH, running toward me, crying, clutching his crotch! Oh...crap.

As we sat, me cradling HRH, him cradling his package, we managed to piece together what had transpired:

Another boy had been 'fake punching' HRH to make him flinch, then calling him a scardy cat (aside: strange word to spell, funnier that kids still use it). HRH in turn pulled a fist up to the the bully's face and told him he'd "show him scared". I'm actually perfectly okay with HRH's actions and truthfully quite proud of him for standing up for himself in the face of an older (2nd grade) kid. Unfortunately, the kid wasn't as impressed and instead kicked HRH squarely between the legs!

We were able to identify which child and his appropriately horrified mother dragged him away for some serious talking-to. After everyone had calmed down, the mother brought her little hooligan son to HRH to offer an apology. The boy seemed genuinely contrite and HRH accepted graciously.

Since that day, he and HRH have been seeking each other out to play; ball, tag, whatever. His name is Gabe.

And I'm pretty sure he's going to be an usher at HRH's wedding.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Please Stand for Our National Anthem

God bless my barista
Man that I love
Stand in line here
Get mine here

Day or night
Venti's right
Chai I love

From the drive thru
To the Target
Back to Starbucks
Light, no foam

God bless my barista
Live in
My home

**Originally posted last year, around this time. I unconsciously sing it almost every (day) time I head there. I'm thinking about the second verse. Any ideas??

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Do You Believe in Magic?

I could never have planned it this perfectly. It started completely innocently, with my sister dialing her pediatrician, who happens to share our area code and exchange, and accidentally calling us. HRH answered the phone and ended up chatting with my five-year-old nephew on speaker (HRH talks to everyone on speaker). Josh's first question was "Did you make a bed for your elf?", which was met with a resounding "huh?" from both boys.

Now our Elf on the Shelf has been residing in my glove compartment since I purchased him at Barnes and Noble last week. At first, I was trying to figure out how to introduce him, perhaps a letter? should he just show up? did the book seem a little cloying? Then, quite honestly, I simply forgot about him. But this? Kid-to-kid rumor transmission? Flawless! Auntie and I finally wrestled the phone away from the young 'uns and - still on speaker - we asked her a series of questions regarding the Elf's mythology:

The magic Elf is on recon, sent by Santa to monitor the behavior of boys and girls and report his findings back to The Big Man and Mrs. Claus.

Rule 1: You must prepare a bed for the Elf
Rule 2: Children must never touch the Elf
Rule 3: Children may speak to the Elf but only grown ups can hear him talk back
Rule 4: You adopt your Elf by naming him
Rule 5: The Elf returns to the North Pole each night to provide intel.
Rule 6: Each morning, you will most likely have to search for the Elf, who likes to hide, the little trickster.

We had just bought Gremlin a new pair of sneakers today and have a brand new, cozy shoe box that seems like a perfect Elf bed to me. Step One? Check! Next, we went up to the linen closet to find a nice, soft hand towel for a blanket. The first one I pulled out? Red with green piping and a big Santa appliqued on the front. Step Two? SCORE! We were so on our way!

Lastly, some concern has been expressed about Santa knowing that it was time to deploy the Elf. Through a follow-up phone call to Auntie, we learned that while she did indeed already have her Christmas tree, she felt sure that Santa, seeing the Christmas lights on our house would know we were preparing for Christmas, regardless of our tree status.

In addition to the bed, the boys have set aside cookies and a juice box, and queued up a movie - A Christmas Story - should the Elf wish to watch it. And just in case, instructions for operating the DVD player have been yelled out the back door. In a little less than an hour, Daddy will arrive home to find an Elf sitting on our stairs and will bring him inside, to meet the family.

I can hardly wait!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Quick Takes Friday - Post Thanksgiving Edition

1. Sung before meals at our preschool:
I'm thankful for my friends
And my family
I'm thankful for the food I eat
I'm happy to be me
I think it sums things up rather nicely.

2. This Thanksgiving, we went over the (Cape Cod) canal and through the traffic to Andy's sister's house on The Cape. His brother's family came up from Tennessee. My other two BILs were also in attendance. I understand so well the look of contentment on my MIL's face at having all her children and grandchildren together under one roof. True cause for giving thanks.

3. After staying at the table for a very civilized amount of time, HRH went up to his Auntie Sally and asked to be excused. When my BIL's parents were leaving, Gremlin shook hands with Mr. H and gave Mrs. H a hug. This is me, beaming with pride.

4. The problem with eating Thanksgiving away from home is the decided lack of leftovers. I will be remedying this situation by cooking a turkey tomorrow.

5. This afternoon, we've been sitting in front of the fire, watching Christmas movies (and Star Wars), eating popcorn and drinking hot cocoa. Not a bad way to spend the day.

6. One of the movies was a recently acquired DVD of Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol. One of Andy's very favorites.

7. Daisy spent the night alone at our house with my siblings coming by for company and pee breaks. Maddie never spent a night alone or in a kennel in her entire life. Day-Z is definitely headed for second child syndrome.

I hope you all enjoyed your holiday and were able to spend it with friends and loved ones. Having you as my friends is one of the many things for which I am grateful.

Friday, November 20, 2009

When Sally Met Forty

Harry Burns: There are two kinds of women: high maintenance and low maintenance.
Sally Albright: Which one am I?
Harry Burns: You're the worst kind; you're high maintenance but you think you're low maintenance.
Sally Albright: I don't see that.

Andy drives a 2005 Saab 93. He picked it up, brand-spanking-new, the day Gremlin was born. After Gremlin was born (we'll talk later). It's already got over 100,000 miles on it thanks to his 110-mile-a-day commute. It's never been in an accident but it's had the windshield replaced, the little Saab medallions on the hood and trunk have lost their paint, we need to get yet another set of tires, and it seems to go through headlights at at unusually high rate. Now, it's got some issue with the front struts, which is going to be pricey. It still looks pretty good and it drives like the wind.

The thing is? In these past (14) few months, somewhere between turning 40 and now? Much like the Saab, I've become high maintenance. I was taking an assessment the other day;
  • I still need to lose those last (20) 10 pounds.
  • I was trying to decide whether I was in more dire need of a hair cut or color. The answer was both.
  • My eyebrows were about to connect with my eyelashes.
  • Doing my makeup used to entail a little eyeliner and mascara. It now involves both concealer as well as foundation before we even get to the actual "make up" portion.
  • I won't delve too deep into specifics but lets just say there's tweezing and plucking over which I must keep strict vigilance.
  • Shorts Capri season is over so leg-shaving is definitely taking a back seat. Sexxay.
  • My nails are snapping off at an alarming rate due to my obsessive compulsive hand washing.
From my heels to my hair, I can't think of an area of my body that doesn't require some kind of ongoing upkeep. I watch my husband get ready in the morning. Shower, shave, dress, leave.

Is it time to trade in for a newer model? Nah. Do I still clean up pretty well? Sure. But damn. All this maintenance is time-consuming and costly. Just like driving the Saab.

How are you holding up?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Every Day I Write the Book

1. The shrew on the AT&T Wireless commercial with the roll-over minutes fetish. Do they think this will make me say "Gee, I wanna be like her. Think I'll dump Verizon." or worse, that all moms are like this? Either way, you piss me off. You're on the list

2. The pretentious bitch on the Glade commercial. I see that now they're trying to make more likable. And a recurring character. Ad Agency Fail.

3. The fact that I now have to sign in prior to taking my yoga class. Apparently, my gym is now offering a cheaper membership that does not include classes. Let me get this straight; I pay more so I'm inconvenienced. Brilliant marketing strategy. Fail.

4. Every Kenmore appliance that I own. We bought the house in need of all new appliances. We were house poor. Kenmore was cheap. We got what we paid for. Two more visits by the appliance repair guys and we will have paid more to fix our stove than we did to purchase it.

5. My town's decision *not* to do a 'clean sweep' of all the leaves due to budget restraints. And then? We we all rake up eleventy-gazzillion leaves? Make sure you don't actually do a yard waste collection on they day you were supposed to. Because the leaf bags in front of my house (a) look fab and (b) get really, really (really) heavy after a day of soaking rain.

Head over to my friend, Sue's for more ungratitude. What's pissing you off today?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Friday, November 13, 2009

Kind of a Drive-By but Had to Share

First grade work: Choose a word from the word list, use it in a sentence, and draw an accompanying picture.

The beret kills me. And "good art work"?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Girl, You Won't be a Woman Soon

Sentenced to two weeks in the Cone (of silence) for a radical hysterectomy she neither requested nor knew was coming.

Welcome to responsible pet ownership, baby girl.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Quick Takes Friday - Volume 2

1. I have recently taken note of what a complete ass I sound like when I take the dog out to pee:
"Daisy peeps outside, Good Girl?" (getting her to the back door)
"Daisy peeps" (reminding her of why we're here)
"Go peeps outside, Daisy" (reinforcement, chanted continuously while she sniffs the entire yard)
"Good Girl! Daisy did peeps outside!" (y'know)
"Daisy, poops outside?" (the bonus round)


2. Yesterday morning, Gremlin came into our bed to snuggle when Andy went to take a shower. In the process of "snuggling," he knocked over my half full (half full = optimist!) glass of water. It hit the side of the radiator on its way down, shattering the glass into a million pieces, and dumping the water directly into a power strip under my bed. That'll wake you up.

3. Even after nine years of marriage and three years as a SAHM, I still feel the need to point out my "accomplishments"; "Did you see I bought you new t-shirts? I scrubbed the whole bathroom today!"

4. I'm going to be a mystery guest at HRH's school in a few weeks with some other moms. We're going to make Christmas Ornaments "Holiday Decorations" with the kids. Events like this are the real reason I'm a SAHM. The toilet cleaning is just a fringe benefit. Oh, and don't tell HRH; it's a mystery...

5. I bought a Wii Fit with credit card points!! I've only had this credit card for like, 7 years and never redeemed a single point. Free money!

6. The rabbit died. No, really. The bunny at preschool has passed on. We were supposed to take her home this weekend. I have not yet broached the subject with the boys. HRH had a total breakdown when we discussed Daisy's upcoming surgery, resulting in a lengthy discussion of ovaries, ovarian and cervical cancer, and girl parts in general. I really can't handle any more right now.

7. November is NaBloPoMo. The idea of posting every single day gives me hives but I am trying to step it up a notch and post a little more frequently. Andy has been coming up with some very creative alternatives for NaBloPoMo other than National Blog Posting Month.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

One Day with HRH

Scene 1: Target, near the toy aisle

Unknown child: Yuck. I don't like Star Wars!

HRH (frantically whipping his head around to spot the blasphemer): Oh, it's a girl.

Scene 2: Our house. MM in kitchen. HRH in basement watching Return of the Jedi, playing Marble Mania.

MM: Hey buddy, come on up. It's time to go get Gremlin at school.

HRH: Well, it was good while it lasted...

Scene 3: The car on the way home from fancy dinner out with Mom at Friendly's

HRH: Gremlin, I win! I just farted and we were playing 'whoever farts first wins'.

Gremlin: Whoever makes a fart noise first wins!

HRH and Gremlin (in unison): Pfffft

Monday, November 2, 2009

It's My First Pandemic. Should I Panic Now?

Gremlin is home from school today. He had a pretty good hacking cough for most of the night and was really cranky/sleepy/not himself this morning. Thankfully, no fever. We've already had one (known) case of H1N1 at his preschool but not in his class. This weekend alone, the children of two Facebook friends and the sister of a Bloggy friend were diagnosed with it. My mommy radar was humming LOUD.

Of course there is no vaccine available and we are gratefully un-high risk, so it doesn't look like we'll be getting vaccinated any time soon. So we sit. And wait. And wash our hands. And cough into our elbows.

The thing is that Gremlin is a notorious cougher. If he's going to have the slightest hint of a cold, it will manifest itself as a dry, hacking cough that occurs between the hours of 7:30 pm and 6:30 am. Sometimes it gets pretty croupy (not this time - yet) but come morning, he's usually in reasonably good shape. This is his second year of preschool, his fifth year of exposure to preschool-y germs thanks to his big brother, so I know the drill. I don't panic about sending him to school with a slight cough or runny nose and I don't panic when another kid in his class has the same. If I did, they'd never have gone to school.

This year the rules have changed. I feel like we're all extras in On The Beach. Hanging out, living our lives, knowing the inevitable is coming. We'll continue to be cautious with our own health and of those around us. We'll take our vitamins. We'll hope those who have contracted the illness brave it well. We'll hope for enough vaccine to arrive before we catch it.

Today, our day includes sitting on the couch under a blanket watching Star Wars and enjoying a little one-on-one time. As my friend put it, it's not like he's missing SAT prep. All in all, not a bad way to spend the day.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Clockwork Gremlin

HRH: Snuggled up to Mommy in the pre-dawn darkness. Ready to chat.

Manic Mommy: Shoved to the middle of the bed, head sandwiched between two pillows like she's strapped to a back board.

The Daddy: On his side, facing away, playing possum.

HRH: Mom?

MM: Hmmmm?

HRH: Sometimes, I go into Gremlin's room in the morning and try to wake him up by pulling his eyelids open.

MM: And does that wake him up?

HRH: No, he just closes them back to sleep.

MM: How 'bout you don't do that anymore, mmkay?

Think I'm gonna let it slide next time
I catch Gremlin messing with HRH.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Go Ahead. Make my Day.

Last night, I danced upstairs to join my husband with a huge grin on my face! No babe, you're not getting lucky but I just did! Remember that one guy I told you about back in college? A friend of a friend, we sometimes hung around in the same circles. Remember I was interested in him and he even gave me a ride home one night and we spent a little "quality time" in the front seat of his two-door hatchback?

Remember how I thanked God our little tryst didn't extend beyond the pretty innocent make out session? Because, the next day, when my friend, Jen and I ran into him? There was no knowing eye contact, no request for a real date, no sly/flirty exchange, there was merely a lack of acknowledgment.

Let's be honest, the real reason we in the over 40 30 set join Facebook is to see how our high school/college compatriots are holding up in comparison to how we are. Some we friend, some we don't. Some we cyberstalk. Sometimes, the stars and planets align and we see a former crush show up in mutual friend's comment stream.

And sometimes they look like shit.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Another Birthday Post

Because I married you, I have:

A Bread Winner
A Bug Killer
A Cat
A Co-parent
A Date for holidays
A Designated Driver
A Dirty job do-er
A Dog
A Fellow Star Trek geek
Good Tire Air Pressure
A Heavy lifter
In Laws
A Joint checking account
Life insurance
A Mortgage
A Necklace-clasper
An Omelet Maker
A Retirement plan
A Sounding board
A Toilet Plunger
A Valentine
A Wedding date

A Family
A Friendship
A Marriage
Love you, Babe. Happy Birthday.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Career Day

Each school day, we drop off and pick up HRH by walking across a busy street. Always at the cross-walk, nearly always waved on by Gremlin's new best friend, Mary, the crossing guard. She's very pleasant, always smiling, quite efficient; waving on the kids, giving the "one minute" signal to stopped cars, directing others to take the left turn while other drivers wait somewhat patiently for their turn. Her hand gestures are that of a conductor leading a world class orchestra. Gremlin studies her movements. And has found his true calling.

Each day, he watches Mary The Crossing Guard, mimicking her. I think for him, it's a power thing. Like Moses parting The Red Sea. In his mind, he is able to control the ebb and flow of the traffic, the children, the parents with dogs on leashes, time, space, and who knows what else?

There's just that little issue of his size. Each day, as Gremlin takes his daring, nascent steps into World Domination, I'm there; The Human Buzz Kill. "The cars can't see you! Hold my hand! Wait for me! No running! Wave nicely to that car that stopped."

Or y'know, I stop and take a picture...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Nearly Wordless Wednesday - Meet the Fetts Edition


The Fetts enjoying a little down time after a hard day of
Bounty Hunting and Cloning:

Also, Daisy doesn't like the fake cobwebs.
She's a stickler for cleanliness, like her mother...

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Politically Incorrect Post

This morning, while in line in HRH's schoolyard waiting for the teacher, Gremlin noticed something. Something he's not run into before. In his best stage whisper, he screamed said to me "Mommy, that lady has a black thing on her face!" Sure enough the mom directly in front of us had a beauty mark, just a little smaller than a dime, right above her lip.

I tried to play it off cool and informed him "Oh, sweetie, that's a mole. Like the one you have right here," pointing to the tiny pencil dot mole on his clavicle.

"No Mom! That one's a LOT bigger than mine..."

Thankfully, the line began to move and the playground was noisy. I don't know if she heard us as I ushered him away going into my "everyone's different" song and dance. And quite honestly, she had a big ass mole on her face. No harm, no foul.

Not so much with Gremlin's last astute observation:

The boys and I were in Whole Foods when Gremlin noticed a little person who works there. I had seen her before, probably noted it, and not thought much more about it. Grem thought A LOT about it. And he was delighted!

Again in his stage whisper, Gremlin stood not ten feet from her grabbing my shirt to draw my attention and screamed said "Look, Mom! She's so LITTLE!"

Oh. God. There are certain observation situations (unusually overweight people and those in wheelchairs come to mind) that you're semi-prepared to explain and not feel too badly about. This one? Not so much.

Still with the talking, Gremlin has moved onto "She's a grown up! But she's LITTLE! Like me!"

While again singing my "everyone's different" song, I gave the Whole Foods lady an apologetic smile and dragged my boys into another aisle.

With my hand over Gremlin's mouth.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

It's Going So Well!

Right now, the boys are happily tired, enjoying a reasonably healthy after-school snack of tortilla chips with salsa (HRH) and hummus (Gremlin) while watching Tom and Jerry. We just got home after spending over an hour in the school playground after school where the boys played baseball, tag, and climbed all over the structure. There were no tears and no yelling. And here's the best part; it's been like this most days for nearly a month!

HRH has adjusted so beautifully to public school first grade! He's one of just 18 kids in his class. His teacher is friendly, open, and informative. Each morning, she personally greets each member of her class by name with a smile and eye contact before ushering them into the building. Each afternoon, she ensures a grown up is truly present before allowing the children to run. In between, it seems that she keeps them engaged and entertained as she goes about their lessons. At the end of our first week of school, a simple little note came home letting the parents know that the kids were adjusting well and finding their way. You know what a whore I am for information and communication.

Getting information from HRH continues to be like drawing blood from a stone, but thanks to some good advice and a lot of pestering on my part, I know who sits at his table, that he plays Star Wars at recess with Aidan and Sean, and that a different teacher pulled him out of class on Day 2 to assess his reading skills.

Gremlin has adjusted remarkably well to five-day preschool. He is in a class with just eight kids, four of whom were with him last year. The teacher (whom I did not know previously) is friendly and warm - and finds my child delightful. In just the few weeks since the start of school, we're spending more time talking about letters and numbers. He's writing his name on everything and eager to do "homework" alongside his big brother.

Mornings continue to be chaotic but there is never a complaint about actually going to school. It's more the mundane tasks (brushing their teeth, brushing their hair, changing their clothes) that continue to create the usual dissent.

I'll take it any day. As Andy recently said, I've never been so happy to be wrong.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Quick Takes Friday

1. The new boiler was installed last week! Woo hoo! In the process of removing the old boiler, they came across about a zillion sugar ants living in a nest under the boiler. I was actually embarrassed for a minute. Like not cleaning under the boiler made me a bad homemaker. Proof that I can be neurotic about anything.

2. The other night, I was walking back from the bathroom in my sleeping t-shirt and caught a glimpse of my physique in the mirror at the end of the hallway. At what I would have thought was the low point, a big chunk small crumb of Pop Tart fell off my shirt. And I started digging...

3. This week, I taken a kick boxing class and a my regular Friday yoga class. As God is my witness, I will never again allow myself to fall this badly out of shape again!

4. Andy recently compared K-Fed to Jabba the Hutt; he's fat, he's rich, and he's got Princess Leah in a metal bikini on a leash. In his heart he can't hate him. He has far exceeded any expectations anyone would have set for his life. And yes, he's joining Celebrity Fit Club.

5. If you link over to the, there's just a picture placeholder showing him diving into an empty pool and says "official site coming soon".

6. We attended our good friends' wedding this past weekend in Vermont. Completely sober and engaged in polite conversation with the bride's uncle, whom I had never met before, I shifted my weight from one foot to another on a grassy area and collapsed like one of the Twin Towers. Flat on my ass.

7. Last week, while we were waiting for HRH in his school yard playground, Gremlin took it upon himself to leave the school yard, cross the busy street, and wait for us at the car. Even as I ran, I was strangely calm, knowing in my heart that he had gone back to the car. He and the crossing guard, Mary, are now on a first name basis.

Thanks to Conversion Diary for providing an easy re-entry idea for my neglected blog.

Friday, September 11, 2009

To Always Remember

Reposted from last year...

My first "I remember where I was" moment occurred when the Challenger exploded just after take-off. It was January 1986. A nor'easter was blowing into Massachusetts and my school closed early to make sure everyone got home safely. A bunch of us rented some movies and headed to my friend, Joe's house to watch. One movie was Thief of Hearts. I can't remember the other one. My friend Michele called her father to tell him where she was. I can remember her saying, 'What?!" and to us, "the shuttle exploded! Turn on the TV!"

There are others now. But seven years ago,

I was sitting in my office in Andover and Andy called me when he got into his office in Cambridge. He commented he'd just heard on the radio that someone had just flown into the World Trade Center. We both thought it was some poor idiot in a Cesna. We both thought it was an accident. We hung up and I ambled into my boss, Lee's office and told her. She tried to get onto and couldn't. Then another co-worker ran in to say a second plane had just hit the other tower.

Not an accident. An attack.

We were in a new building and didn't have a TV so all over, small groups of people gathered around small images on computer monitors. Everytime someone managed to get some news, it spread as horrible rumors through the office. As we learned about Flight 93, my friend, June got a panicked, crying call from her college-aged son. His dad was flying back from PA today. Had she heard from him? She had not but later learned, thank God, he was not aboard that flight.

Finally, Lee and I left the building to run to a local Best Buy to get a TV. Going home would take too long. It was in Lee's Jeep that we heard that the first tower had fallen. We saw the second tower fall standing among strangers in front of a big-screen TV in Best Buy.

We spent a longer while at work, eventually leaving to watch the horror unfold from the comfort of our own homes. There, I pleaded with Andy to leave the job he had just started a few weeks before. He worked in Kendall Square, where MIT is located. I was sure if there were more attacks "they" would target the academic centers soon.

He didn't leave until 5:00 and was home in record time. He found me in front of the TV exactly where I had landed when I arrived home hours before. We watched more. We headed to his mom's to wish her a happy birthday - yeah, 9/11 bummer. More TV, bed, God-Bless-America-sex, sleep.

In the morning, we woke up back to the bad dream that was our new reality.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Not Wednesday, But Still Nearly Wordless

MM: You're not in trouble. I just want you to tell me the truth.

Gremlin: Annabelle did it.

MM: Annabelle's at school. Try again.

Gremlin: No, they just came and picked her up.

MM: Okay. Now you're in trouble...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Thank you, Mr. President

Prepared Remarks of President Barack Obama
Back to School Event

Arlington, Virginia
September 8, 2009

The President: Hello everyone – how’s everybody doing today? I’m here with students at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia. And we’ve got students tuning in from all across America, kindergarten through twelfth grade. I’m glad you all could join us today.
I know that for many of you, today is the first day of school. And for those of you in kindergarten, or starting middle or high school, it’s your first day in a new school, so it’s understandable if you’re a little nervous. I imagine there are some seniors out there who are feeling pretty good right now, with just one more year to go. And no matter what grade you’re in, some of you are probably wishing it were still summer, and you could’ve stayed in bed just a little longer this morning.
I know that feeling. When I was young, my family lived in Indonesia for a few years, and my mother didn’t have the money to send me where all the American kids went to school. So she decided to teach me extra lessons herself, Monday through Friday – at 4:30 in the morning.
Now I wasn’t too happy about getting up that early. A lot of times, I’d fall asleep right there at the kitchen table. But whenever I’d complain, my mother would just give me one of those looks and say, "This is no picnic for me either, buster."
So I know some of you are still adjusting to being back at school. But I’m here today because I have something important to discuss with you. I’m here because I want to talk with you about your education and what’s expected of all of you in this new school year.
Now I’ve given a lot of speeches about education. And I’ve talked a lot about responsibility.
I’ve talked about your teachers’ responsibility for inspiring you, and pushing you to learn.
I’ve talked about your parents’ responsibility for making sure you stay on track, and get your homework done, and don’t spend every waking hour in front of the TV or with that Xbox.
I’ve talked a lot about your government’s responsibility for setting high standards, supporting teachers and principals, and turning around schools that aren’t working where students aren’t getting the opportunities they deserve.
But at the end of the day, we can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents, and the best schools in the world – and none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities. Unless you show up to those schools; pay attention to those teachers; listen to your parents, grandparents and other adults; and put in the hard work it takes to succeed.
And that’s what I want to focus on today: the responsibility each of you has for your education. I want to start with the responsibility you have to yourself.
Every single one of you has something you’re good at. Every single one of you has something to offer. And you have a responsibility to yourself to discover what that is. That’s the opportunity an education can provide.
Maybe you could be a good writer – maybe even good enough to write a book or articles in a newspaper – but you might not know it until you write a paper for your English class. Maybe you could be an innovator or an inventor – maybe even good enough to come up with the next iPhone or a new medicine or vaccine – but you might not know it until you do a project for your science class. Maybe you could be a mayor or a Senator or a Supreme Court Justice, but you might not know that until you join student government or the debate team.
And no matter what you want to do with your life – I guarantee that you’ll need an education to do it. You want to be a doctor, or a teacher, or a police officer? You want to be a nurse or an architect, a lawyer or a member of our military? You’re going to need a good education for every single one of those careers. You can’t drop out of school and just drop into a good job. You’ve got to work for it and train for it and learn for it.
And this isn’t just important for your own life and your own future. What you make of your education will decide nothing less than the future of this country. What you’re learning in school today will determine whether we as a nation can meet our greatest challenges in the future.
You’ll need the knowledge and problem-solving skills you learn in science and math to cure diseases like cancer and AIDS, and to develop new energy technologies and protect our environment. You’ll need the insights and critical thinking skills you gain in history and social studies to fight poverty and homelessness, crime and discrimination, and make our nation more fair and more free. You’ll need the creativity and ingenuity you develop in all your classes to build new companies that will create new jobs and boost our economy.
We need every single one of you to develop your talents, skills and intellect so you can help solve our most difficult problems. If you don’t do that – if you quit on school – you’re not just quitting on yourself, you’re quitting on your country.
Now I know it’s not always easy to do well in school. I know a lot of you have challenges in your lives right now that can make it hard to focus on your schoolwork.
I get it. I know what that’s like. My father left my family when I was two years old, and I was raised by a single mother who struggled at times to pay the bills and wasn’t always able to give us things the other kids had. There were times when I missed having a father in my life. There were times when I was lonely and felt like I didn’t fit in.
So I wasn’t always as focused as I should have been. I did some things I’m not proud of, and got in more trouble than I should have. And my life could have easily taken a turn for the worse.
But I was fortunate. I got a lot of second chances and had the opportunity to go to college, and law school, and follow my dreams. My wife, our First Lady Michelle Obama, has a similar story. Neither of her parents had gone to college, and they didn’t have much. But they worked hard, and she worked hard, so that she could go to the best schools in this country.
Some of you might not have those advantages. Maybe you don’t have adults in your life who give you the support that you need. Maybe someone in your family has lost their job, and there’s not enough money to go around. Maybe you live in a neighborhood where you don’t feel safe, or have friends who are pressuring you to do things you know aren’t right.
But at the end of the day, the circumstances of your life – what you look like, where you come from, how much money you have, what you’ve got going on at home – that’s no excuse for neglecting your homework or having a bad attitude. That’s no excuse for talking back to your teacher, or cutting class, or dropping out of school. That’s no excuse for not trying.
Where you are right now doesn’t have to determine where you’ll end up. No one’s written your destiny for you. Here in America, you write your own destiny. You make your own future.
That’s what young people like you are doing every day, all across America.
Young people like Jazmin Perez, from Roma, Texas. Jazmin didn’t speak English when she first started school. Hardly anyone in her hometown went to college, and neither of her parents had gone either. But she worked hard, earned good grades, got a scholarship to Brown University, and is now in graduate school, studying public health, on her way to being Dr. Jazmin Perez.
I’m thinking about Andoni Schultz, from Los Altos, California, who’s fought brain cancer since he was three. He’s endured all sorts of treatments and surgeries, one of which affected his memory, so it took him much longer – hundreds of extra hours – to do his schoolwork. But he never fell behind, and he’s headed to college this fall.
And then there’s Shantell Steve, from my hometown of Chicago, Illinois. Even when bouncing from foster home to foster home in the toughest neighborhoods, she managed to get a job at a local health center; start a program to keep young people out of gangs; and she’s on track to graduate high school with honors and go on to college.
Jazmin, Andoni and Shantell aren’t any different from any of you. They faced challenges in their lives just like you do. But they refused to give up. They chose to take responsibility for their education and set goals for themselves. And I expect all of you to do the same.
That’s why today, I’m calling on each of you to set your own goals for your education – and to do everything you can to meet them. Your goal can be something as simple as doing all your homework, paying attention in class, or spending time each day reading a book. Maybe you’ll decide to get involved in an extracurricular activity, or volunteer in your community. Maybe you’ll decide to stand up for kids who are being teased or bullied because of who they are or how they look, because you believe, like I do, that all kids deserve a safe environment to study and learn. Maybe you’ll decide to take better care of yourself so you can be more ready to learn. And along those lines, I hope you’ll all wash your hands a lot, and stay home from school when you don’t feel well, so we can keep people from getting the flu this fall and winter.
Whatever you resolve to do, I want you to commit to it. I want you to really work at it.
I know that sometimes, you get the sense from TV that you can be rich and successful without any hard work -- that your ticket to success is through rapping or basketball or being a reality TV star, when chances are, you’re not going to be any of those things.
But the truth is, being successful is hard. You won’t love every subject you study. You won’t click with every teacher. Not every homework assignment will seem completely relevant to your life right this minute. And you won’t necessarily succeed at everything the first time you try.
That’s OK. Some of the most successful people in the world are the ones who’ve had the most failures. JK Rowling’s first Harry Potter book was rejected twelve times before it was finally published. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team, and he lost hundreds of games and missed thousands of shots during his career. But he once said, "I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."
These people succeeded because they understand that you can’t let your failures define you – you have to let them teach you. You have to let them show you what to do differently next time. If you get in trouble, that doesn’t mean you’re a troublemaker, it means you need to try harder to behave. If you get a bad grade, that doesn’t mean you’re stupid, it just means you need to spend more time studying.
No one’s born being good at things, you become good at things through hard work. You’re not a varsity athlete the first time you play a new sport. You don’t hit every note the first time you sing a song. You’ve got to practice. It’s the same with your schoolwork. You might have to do a math problem a few times before you get it right, or read something a few times before you understand it, or do a few drafts of a paper before it’s good enough to hand in.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. I do that every day. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength. It shows you have the courage to admit when you don’t know something, and to learn something new. So find an adult you trust – a parent, grandparent or teacher; a coach or counselor – and ask them to help you stay on track to meet your goals.
And even when you’re struggling, even when you’re discouraged, and you feel like other people have given up on you – don’t ever give up on yourself. Because when you give up on yourself, you give up on your country.
The story of America isn’t about people who quit when things got tough. It’s about people who kept going, who tried harder, who loved their country too much to do anything less than their best.
It’s the story of students who sat where you sit 250 years ago, and went on to wage a revolution and found this nation. Students who sat where you sit 75 years ago who overcame a Depression and won a world war; who fought for civil rights and put a man on the moon. Students who sat where you sit 20 years ago who founded Google, Twitter and Facebook and changed the way we communicate with each other.
So today, I want to ask you, what’s your contribution going to be? What problems are you going to solve? What discoveries will you make? What will a president who comes here in twenty or fifty or one hundred years say about what all of you did for this country?
Your families, your teachers, and I are doing everything we can to make sure you have the education you need to answer these questions. I’m working hard to fix up your classrooms and get you the books, equipment and computers you need to learn. But you’ve got to do your part too. So I expect you to get serious this year. I expect you to put your best effort into everything you do. I expect great things from each of you. So don’t let us down – don’t let your family or your country or yourself down. Make us all proud. I know you can do it.
Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

To Whom It May Concern

Dear Heinz/Hellmans/French's:
I'm sick of your upside-down bottles. They're awkwardly sized and you really waste a lot when you get to the bottom (err, top?). I'm a big girl; I can handle flipping it over and shaking it a little. What ever happened to anticipation anyway?

Dear ESPN:
Your announcers suck. It's not just that they are biased against the Red Sox but they don't even announce the game. Rather, they wander off on semi-relevant tangents and come back from commercial in the middle of play. I recognize this last complaint is not the announcers' fault but I just wanted to demonstrate my own tangent-ability.

Dear Mom at Stop and Shop:
Thanks so much for bringing your tweens shopping with you. Next time, might I suggest they skip the Heelys and you keep them in the same vicinity as you? Bet you'd be the first person to sue if the children were to wipe out in the frozen foods aisle.

Dear Heelys:
Your website is as obnoxious as your product. Good luck with that.

Dear Museum of Science:
Even if charging one adult and two children $54.00 for a few hours at the museum does not preclude you from being able to call yourself "not-for-profit", charging $24.00 for a plate of mac n cheese, chicken fingers, and a salad does. PS, those Bakugans in the gift shop you're charging $19.99 for? Sell for $7.99 at Target.

Dear XM:
If you're going to have an entire station dedicated to The First Wave/early 80s, go the extra mile and assume that your listeners would like to hear the extended version of of Bullet the Blue Sky.

You are forgiven for this oversight because you played Save a Prayer right after The Cure.

Dear Me:
Awesome decision to go with the sunroof and XM. Driving down the highway just past dusk on a not-too-hot August night, listening to Duran Duran with the volume turned up is one of life's great pleasures.

Friday, August 21, 2009


Making our annual pilgrimage to Storyland for one last long summer weekend.

Peace out.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

About Last Night...

Gremlin to Night Terror

Daddy to Gremlin
Manic Mommy to Gremlin

Daddy to Kitchen for drink(s)

HRH (camping on Gremlin's floor) to Mommy and Daddy's bed
Cat to Mommy and Daddy's bed

Mommy and Gremlin to Potty

Daddy to Bed

Gremlin to Bed

Mommy to M&D Bed to retrieve HRH
HRH to Campsite
Cat to Hallway
HRH to own bed to be with cat
Cat to Bathroom Sink for drink

Mommy to Downstairs to retrieve Dog
Mommy and Dog to Crate in M&D Room
Mommy to Downstairs to lock up
Mommy to Downstairs for water
Mommy and Cat to HRH's Room

Mommy to Bathroom
Mommy to Gremlin's Room for last check

Mommy to BED.

* With a shout out to the inimitable Holly at June Cleaver Nirvana and her animated life. As I was going about this business last night, I could only think of diagramming it.

Monday, August 17, 2009

By the Wayside

Things you gave up:

Preemie clothes
0-3 months
6-9 months
12 months
(All Ts)
3:00 am feedings
Baby Food
Baby gates
Baby talk
Being burped
Booster seat
Bouncy seat
Burp cloths
Co-sleeping (most of the time)
Diaper bag
Eating spaghetti with your hands (most of the time)
Feety pajamas
Glider in your room
High chair
Infant car seat
Infant Tylenol
Mashed bananas
Naps (oh...naps)
Pack n play
Peek a boo
Pull ups
Receiving blankets
Rice cereal
Riding backward
Toddler bed
Tummy time
Screeching when you see the cat
Snaps on your pant legs

But always my babies...

What don't your babies do anymore?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Peeps, in the Big Wide World

Day 793 of summer vacation: We are meeting my sister and her three youngest at The Children's Museum in Boston around noon to see the Peep in the Big Wide World Exhibit. She has already fed her kids. I have not. The plan is that I will grab lunch for them at the Au Bon Pain downstairs then meet her in about 15-20 minutes.

I am delighted that the boys can have mac n cheese and chicken nuggets at this particular Au Bon Pain while I can eat a decent salad and iced tea. We join the sea of humanity attempting to order and retrieve food, cafeteria-style. Did I mention it was noon? While balancing our lunch and keeping track of the two boys, we search for a seat. Uh, not happening. Looks like dining al fresco in the 90 degree/90% humidity heat! No tables outside either, but there's a little wall surrounding a tree that I've got my eye on.

Just as we settle down and I arrange our food on the makeshift table, Gremlin begins the pee-pee dance. My response? "No. Tell your peeps to wait." I don't know where the bathrooms are, there are hoards of people everywhere, there is no strategically placed copse of trees, and we have not yet begun to eat. Also, we just left the house a half hour ago where I assure you, I asked him repeatedly if he had to go before we left. At least I think I did. I mean, I always do...

You can know what happens next. Gremlin has an accident. Pees all over his pants, all over his shirt (wtf?), down his legs and into his socks and sneakers. Luckily, he is unfazed. I apologize for not believing the urgency of the situation, shovel down a little more of my salad, and contemplate our options.

Half an hour later, we're heading for (more) Peep. Gremlin is the proud owner of a $17.00 Children's Musuem t-shirt, we've walked back to the parking garage where (messy car pays off!) I find a bathing suit (HRH's) and a pair of his Keens. Oh, and I scrubbed him up as best I could.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

What Would You Do With $6,500.00?

I could buy this Rolex for Andy:
I could buy this diamond ring for me:
Apparently, I could buy a Civil War musket from this guy:
(God love the Google search)

I could rent this place in Cabo San Lucas for a week:
Excuse me, I meant a night. Yeah, that deserves a second photo:
Or this place in the South of France for a week:
(but not in June, July, or August)

I could buy this original Star Trek artwork:(and no shit, there's a ton of other Star Trek paraphernalia that I couldn't buy with $6,500.00!

I could buy this Corvette:
I could buy the boys 1,200 Wii Games:

Or we could buy a new boiler. Guess which one we're doing?

What would you do?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Puppy Whisperer

Scene: MM and Daddy sitting on the couch, watching attempting to watch the Red Sox lose to the Tampa Rays. Our adorable Daisy-dog having bored of tearing apart yet another rattan coaster has now reengaged the parents using those wonderful serrated little puppy teeth.

I watched as Andy calmly began the training process again. Speaking softly but firmly as she nipped again and again. Explaining to me what he was doing; Alpha male, puppy tantrum, etc. It was sort of fascinating. Or maybe that was the Merlot talking.

As he further explained her motives and responses, it occurred to me. So I asked;

MM: Dude, if you can do this with the dog, why can't you do it with the kids? Now that would be impressive.

Andy (wistfully): Some people can...

** many toes were harmed in the taking of this picture.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Flashback Friday


I wrote this last August after a full summer of gym-skipping and weight gain. Last weekend, it was brought back into sharp relief when I arrived at BlogHer weighing nearly 10 pounds more than I did at the beginning of the summer. Who the eff gains weight to meet people they're hoping to impress? Me! The same person who should be working to increase her readership thanks to wonderful contacts made at aforementioned BlogHer and instead posts a repeat!

Thanks, PMS/peri-menopause/metabolism freak-out/stress-eating/empty alcohol caloric intake/total lack of exercise. And of course, my children. And now, we at SJAMM proudly present...

You Can't Go Om Again...

Dick Clark:
Welcome to $25,000 Pyramid! Let's play our game!

Joan Van Ark:
Day Camp
Family Time
Running of the Brides
Swimming Lessons
Weekend Get-Away

Brett Sommers:
Reasons why Christine hasn't been to yoga in over a month?

Ding! Ding! Ding!

Gavin McLeod:
Loss of Flexibility
Loss of Muscletone
Neck Pain
Return of Cellulite
Stressed Out
Weight Gain

Charles Nelson Reilly:
Results of Christine's absence from yoga?

Ding! Ding! Ding!

Paul Lynde:
Glad to Be Back
Out of Shape

Whoopie Goldberg:
How Christine felt to be back in yoga today?

Ding! Ding! Ding!

Dick Clark:
Christine wins three months of yoga at her gym to get back to where she was in June!

Thank you all for playing our game!


Tuesday, July 28, 2009


To my wonderful, supportive, intrepid husband, I can't properly thank you for all that you did in allowing me this time and space away. So I won't.

Rather, I thought I would offer a little constructive feedback - both positive and otherwise on your care and feeding of our progeny and home this past weekend:

1. Kudos on figuring out the dishwasher loading/unloading scenario! Next, I'd like to invite you to view the wonders of Cascade gel in action. Said gel can be located under the kitchen sink. Simply extrude the gel into the marked containers on the inside of the dishwashing device, close the door, and press "Start". Performing this simple operation will mitigate the sour milk/syrup/smell-of-unknown-origin odor emanating each time the appliance door is opened.

2. At some point a meal was made! Or reheated! Or defrosted! Cue applause!! I am aware of this, not only through your insightful and informative guest posts but because of the melted remains for said food items coating the inside of the microwave. It is unsavory at best and carcinogenic at worst.

A Clorox wipe or even a paper towel (both located to the left of the sink) swiped across door, roof, and carousel of the microwave has been shown to prevent said food preparation residue from dripping down onto the stove top beneath. (ps: It is also a good idea not to leave things you intend to eat in the microwave until they explode. But that's a lesson for another day.)

3. You know how much I love the smell of Acqua di Gio on you. Less so on the boys but again, "A" for effort. You handled this issue of their hygiene with creativity and questionable judgment!

Again, not a criticism, just a friendly reminder for future use: If you will hearken back to your own personal care routine, you may call to mind vigorously applying toothpaste to your own teeth at regular intervals throughout the weekend. Our children, too require this action to avoid the carrion/death breath spewing from their smiling mouths when I scooped them into my arms in the baggage claim of Terminal B.

I know I've given you a lot to digest so I'll end my summary here. But rest assured, my absence and your tenure at the helm has provided discussion topics to get us through awkward silences and long car rides for years to come.

Next up: "The Broom and Vacuum: Where they live and what they do."

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Dad: Conclusion

Cleaning. Oh God. No time.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Dad: Part IV - If it takes a village, are we all Village People?

Well, the neighbors read this online periodical. Good thing too.

Having determined that the daily periodic feedings were keeping the hunger at bay, I was trying to decide what to feed them last night. I was going back and forth between the 'dinosaur chicken/mac & cheese combo' and pizza. Then I froze. Swear to God. Vacillating back and forth took its toll and I just broke. It was as if I couldn't stand to make one more decision regarding the children, so I mentally punted.

We were out front and the neighborhood had gathered around 5:30 or so (as I understand it does) when an alert friend evidently recognized my look of utter cerebral failure. They are going on vacation and had ordered out for the no effort, no clean-up effect that delivered pizza provides. He immediately put the 3/4 full box-o-pizza-his-kids-had-barely-touched into my hands, at which time things came back into focus for me. I thanked him. I would have said something like "and I never even knew the kind strangers name," but I know the guy. We all ate like kings.

By the way, I figured out the dishwasher problem, i.e. empty it of clean first, then fill with dirty. The counters are a little cluttered now, but the sink is WIDE OPEN baby!

The next issue I face is the fact that my children smell bad. I never realized it, but they're kind of rank. I've been noticing more and more since Chris left the day before yesterday. Maybe I'll try aftershave.

That's all for now.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Dad: Part III

It has come to my attention (see comment at Part I) that today is Friday, not Saturday. Normally the first day I'm not at work is Saturday, the second generally being Sunday. Clearly my temporal faux pas is excusable. Although it does explain the marked lack of neighbors out and about.

However, this presents, among other problems, a credibility issue with HRH and Gremlin. They are already questioning my command of this 'mommy gone' situation. Clearly this cannot stand. For example, I was recently correct in my explanation to HRH that I cannot empty the sink of dishes because there is no place to put them. The dishwasher is full of clean dishes. I will not mix dirty with clean. I was born at night kid, but not last night. He didn't seem to buy it. For his insolence I banished him from the house. (Nana will bring him back around 6 for pizza. See comment at Part II and thanks for the idea).

I will attempt to incorporate "the-day-after-tomorrow" into today's lexicon instead of the shortened 'tomorrow' when responding to inquiries of Christine's itinerary.

Let's see if they notice.

Dad: Part II

Well, so much for nothin' to it. The hunger issue returned this morning and again an hour ago. I've determined to feed them periodically throughout the day, each day until Chris returns. She will know what to do.

Meanwhile, the house becomes dangerous. I tripped over Gremlin's pajamas in the living room this morning. The were on top of his clothes from yesterday. I've temporarily solved the problem by spreading them across the floor so they're not so high. I hope I don't run out of space.

Wish me luck.

Dad's Guest Post: Part 1

Well, She is in Chicago. They are here with me.

I'm calling Friday a win because I remembered to pick them up on the way home from work.

6:35 PM - Even though they'd been fed before pick-up, HRH indicates he is hungry. Gremlin asserts that he is also hungry. I agree. I too am hungry.

6:35-6:55 - Watching TV while hungry.

6:55 - Nana shows up (yeah Mom!). I convey that we are hungry. Nana departs.

7:20 - Nana returns with doughnuts for the boys and coffee for the adults. Hunger issue solved (I consider coffee a food group).

8:00 - Bed for boys. TV for me.

Nothin' to it.

Monday, July 20, 2009

One Giant Leap

Forty years ago today, I was 10 months and 11 days old. My sister, Danni was two years and 13 days. And our parents got us out of bed so that we could watch Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walk on the moon.
Human beings were born to explore, to discover. It seems so often the only time the world shares a moment is in time of tragedy. I wish I could remember that day, that moment. To feel the wonder, the awe and the pride that we as Americans - as humans, felt.

I hope to share that same feeling and the belief that anything is possible with my children. Thank you for sharing with me, Mom and Dad.

We came in peace for all mankind.

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