Saturday, October 31, 2009

Gonna Sit Right Down, Write Myself a Letter, Tell Myself to Chill the Heck Out

December 7, 2006

Dear Self,

Right now you're lying on your bed, bawling your eyes out because you have no idea why your week-old Munchkin will not stop screaming. You are rethinking your decision to procreate. And you feel like you can't do anything right.

I'm writing to tell you just this: it's going to be okay.

Because in about three years, that squalling baby will grow into a preschooler. Her class will have a Halloween parade. It will be the cutest thing you have ever seen. And suddenly you will realize that all those horrible, desperate moments - like the one you're in right now - were totally worth it.

Wait until you see how her face lights up when she spots you in the crowd. Your heart will just about explode out of your chest. Wait until your hear her sing along with her class and watch her follow the choreography. Holy crap, you will think. She can follow directions! She's not crumpled in a heap on the ground screaming for me! It's a freakin' miracle!

Oh, yes. Despite all your neuroses, new-mom hangups and attempts at sabotage, this baby will, in fact, become a functioning member of society.

For now, at least. I hear the teen years get a bit hairy. I hear her head might spin around like Linda Blair. But I'm not there yet.

So, relax. Stop crying. Go take a shower. Just give her the pacifier, fer Chrissake. Despite what you've read, it's not going to cause learning delays or make her hair grow sideways.

She's going to be okay. And so are you.


PS: I mean it about the shower. Go.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Wordless Thursday. Because This Level of Gifty Awesomeness Deserves its Own Special Day

Look what the mailman dragged in! Do you SEE this??

This is what happens when my friend Becky (you may remember her...she makes bean dip) reads a post about my hankerin' for a Snuggie.

Tomorrow I shall write about my desire for a million dollars. Wink, wink.

Not surprisingly, that little gem is currently the most-viewed post on this blog. I like to think it's because of the, uh, exceptional writing and not because the title contains the word "breasts."

I really suck at wordless posts. Shutting up now.

Leopard print!

Ahem. Sorry.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

My General Stupidity is Always a Good Fallback Topic

Ever have something happen during the day that makes you go, "ooh, there's my blog post for today," but then by the time you sit your ass down at the computer you can't even remember your own name, let alone a minor event that happened fourteen hours ago, before you even had your first cup of coffee, that no one else would even find funny or amusing by now?

I'm so there.

I do remember this one thing: as suggested by one of the comments on the post about my visceral hatred for running, I decided to check out the "Couch to 5K Running Plan." I liked it immediately because it gives very specific instructions on you, too, can go from bon-bons at midnight to sleek, svelte, badass 5K goddess.

I'm on the second of five weeks, and I'm proud to say I have not died yet. Not exactly a goddess yet, either. My chariot has wicked shin splints.

In the second week, the instructions are to alternate 90 seconds of running with two minutes of walking for 20 minutes. Sounds doable, right?

It is.

Unless you can't count and sweat at the same time.

Before I started the second week, I made up a handy chart to tape to the treadmill so that I could keep track of when to walk and when to run. Genius, right? There's no way I could screw up now!

Then yesterday, as I slogged my way through a running interval, I started thinking, gah, I am about to keel over on this long have I been running? I'm supposed to run for another (pant pant) minute, right? Better check my (gasp) chart....two minutes....minute and a...carry the four...


Doesn't it make your brain hurt just to look at it? And this is after I tried to fix it. Apparently I'd been running for, I don't know, three hours. Apparently basic arithmetic does not agree with me. And thats why I gotz me an Inglish dagree.

Anyway, thanks to Jennifer for the suggestion. Now, can someone find me a math tutor?

Friday, October 23, 2009

And I Haven't Even Started Drinking Yet, I Swear

The actual line in tonight's bedtime story was, "Alice watched the Rabbit run through a tiny door in a hallway."

But Mommy has had a long week, could barely keep her eyes open long enough to read the words, was thinking about the insane laundry pile waiting for her downstairs and, in general, could not seem to fire up even one stinkin' brain synapse.

So what she accidentally said was, "Alice watched the Rabbit run through a tiny whore in a dollway."

Just when you thought that classic story couldn't get any more surreal.

Happy Friday, internetz.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Because I'll (Probably) Never Again Be Fat in a Good Way

I've been sitting here trying to work up the nerve to sell my maternity clothes on Craigslist.

They're all on the living room floor right now, sorted by type of clothing, layered and arranged to make a very pretty, enticing picture for potential buyers.

I tell myself I should be happy about this. No more morning sickness, ever! No diet restrictions! No more sciatic nerve pain that shoots down your butt cheek and makes you yell "M**THER F**CKER!!" just as you enter the play area at the mall!

But I can't seem to make myself do it.

For one thing, the clothes are pretty cute. Because, y'know, I had to look cute.

And for another thing...what if I need them again?

I'd love to have more babies. I don't think that's any big secret. Well, I'd love to have one more baby. After that, the "For Rent" sign on my uterus would come down for good.

But, given all that's happened between me and my Preferred Sperm Donor, I've forced myself to start wrapping my brain around the idea that, for us, the baby train has sailed. It had a great voyage, and we got two beautiful girls out of the deal. But it's gone now.

Don't get me wrong. I love, love, LOVE the girls and I am so grateful to be their mommy. I find the job so fulfilling that I could write pages and pages about it until you slam your head on your keyboard and yell, "OK WE GET IT, WILL YOU DESIST?"

But the idea of not having any more babies constitutes the end of something. And it makes me a little sad.

At least, I think it's the end.

See, I also keep thinking about a visit with my college roommates last month, one of whom had a squishy, adorably floppy newborn.

"My uterus is tingling just looking at you," I joked as I held him. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the BassMaster shaking his head "no" to the implied question, with the fervor of a man who's just been asked if he'd like to swallow a horse turd. Everyone chuckled.

"Do you think you guys are done having kids?" one of my roommates asked. I almost spat my soda into the baby's hair. So much for the implied question.

He said, "Possibly."

I kept my head down, because I think my eyebrows lifted clean off my forehead. It just wasn't what I thought he was going to say. I thought he was going to say something that, um, rhymes with "Suck Toe."

He might not even remember saying it. Or, possibly, he has changed his mind by now. Who knows. He's not much of a talker, and if I brought this subject up directly...ugh, I don't even know what would happen. I can't even go there.

I should just forget he ever said it.

That is what I should do.

And the clothes should go to someone who needs them.

So that settles it, right? The Craiglist ad is going up as soon as I finish typing this...

...definitely before I hit the sack...

...tomorrow morning...

...tomorrow afternoon, at the latest.

I, uh, mean it.

Monday, October 19, 2009

I'd Draw the Line at Pumpkin-Spice Spam. Maybe.

I miss fall in New England.

This part of Virginia does not have much of a fall season. We have very few of those crisp, frost-on-the-pumpkin kind of days. Spring is basically summer, and for a seemingly interminable number of months the heat makes you want to kill yourself. Then one morning you wake up and the trees are dead.

What the hell, Virginia?

But I look on the bright side. And as usual, I see a lot of FOOD over on that bright side. And best thing about fall around here is that it heralds the return of All Things Pumpkin Spice.

I am a pumpkin spice fiend. I don't care what food you're advertising; if the words "Pumpkin Spice" precede it, I will eat it. They could start pushing pumpkin-spice cow tongue tomorrow and I'd be first in line at the meat counter.

The other day I ordered a whole grain bagel and a coffee at the Donut Drive-Thru. Still trying to keep the love handles in check. They gave me a pumpkin latte and a pumpkin donut by mistake.

"Oh...I ordered a bagel," I said. As I wiped drool off my chin.

"Sorry," the girl said. "I'll get it for you, you can have these on the house, if you'd like..."

I sat there following the donut and the latte like a kitten with one of those laser toys.

"...or we'll just get rid of them," she said.

I lunged for them so fast I practically broke my neck on my half-open window.

So imagine the joy I felt when I saw Pumpkin Spice Hershey Kisses in the store today. What a find! A delicious chocolate kiss with a ribbon of pumpkin? Sign me up! I couldn't wait to get home and eat half the bag try a few.

Except this is what I found when I opened the first one:

Dude. You're orange.

Yeah, I know, pumpkins are orange and what did I expect, really? Well, milk chocolate, for one thing. This little bastard is made of white chocolate, which I consider a bit of an abomination.

Oh well. The good news is, they taste okay. If you close your eyes.

But what the hell, Hershey?

In fact, while I'm at it, what the hell, pumpkin spice? Why the affinity for baked goods and sweets? Can't you go work yourself into a celery stick or something? Maybe some wheat germ?


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Must. Persevere.

Captain's Log, Star Date Third Freakin' Day of Rain.

All attempts to communicate and rationalize with Mother Nature have proved futile. Rain and cold continue their merciless assault. I remain hunkered down indoors with The One Who Must Be Held At All Times and The One With the Three-Second Attention Span. No end in sight.

Have played Dora and Disney movies to point of exhaustion. Fear that one more round of "If You're Happy and You Know It" will result in complete loss of sanity. Repetitive games of "Ring Around the Rosy" have left me begging for Pepto. Fail to understand how the Toddler can run in such a tight circle for such a lengthy amount of time without ralphing on her Tinkerbell costume.

All attempts at crafts - e.g. finger painting, construction paper collages, strands of curling ribbon tied to shower ring to make some kind of princess wand thingie - have provided brief respite, but time spent preparing and then cleaning up after said crafts has been inversely proportional to the amount of entertainment actually yielded.

As our last resort, we continue to produce ridiculous amounts of baked goods. Is killing captain's diet.

Liquor supplies dwindling. Situation has become critical.

Must stop now. Natives will wake from naps soon, and I have promised them cupcakes.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Camera-flage. (Alternate title: More Evidence That God is Laughing Hysterically At Me)

I had it all figured out. Opportunity, motive, point of entry, the whole bit.

I, um, may or may not be watching too many episodes of CSI.

Our digital camera went missing today. After a panicked search of the house, car and refrigerator (because, well, this is me we're talking about. What, you've never absently left toothpaste in the fridge and tried to brush with string cheese?) I came to the logical, rational conclusion that HOLY SH*TBALLS SOMEONE ROBBED US.

I broke out in a sweat just thinking about it. When did it happen? Were we in the house? The backyard? Were my babies ever in danger? Why didn't they take the damn treadmill?

We brought cookies to our neighbor last night and ended up staying for almost half an hour because, well, they're all Southern and junk. You don't just Drop and Leave. Instead you try to leave, and then they invite you in to sit and chat and discuss the value of homeschooling (nope, not joking) and let your kids play with their dogs and hey, would we like to stay for dinner? Homemade biscuits tonight and yadda yadda yadda.

I left our front door wide open. I figured that's, y'know, when the "perp cased the joint." Good thing there were no "vics." Definitely need to put out an "APB" on ok you get the idea.

Then I thought, gah, the BassMaster is going to k-i-l-l me. Not helpful.

I beat myself up for a good twenty minutes, and then decided to eat my sorrows in the form of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. That's when I saw this:

For. Sh*t's. Sake.

And the kicker is, I've used that loaf of bread several times today. I'm the one who has been putting it back IN THE SAME DAMN SPOT. This is why I cannot deal with myself sometimes.

Good thing I thought to grab an old camera and snap photographic evidence of what a Freaking Idiot I am. Like I need the reminder.

But don't you feel better about yourself? Then my work here is done.

Happy weekend, everyone.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Just Plug the Address into Your Global Positioning Homicidal Maniac

Overheard in my car today:

"Brandy" (a.k.a. the name of the voice setting on my GPS. I know, she sounds like a total slut): After one half mile, turn left.

Me (blink blink): What the - ?? Brandy, we're cruising down the highway at 70 miles an hour. Turning bad. Very bad.


Me (glance down at map to see that yes, she does in fact want me to pull a U-turn on the highway, RIGHT NOW): I have children in the car, you psycho. DEAR GOD, THE CHILDREN!


Me: NOOO!!

Brandy: SHARP -


Brandy: (recalculating route, hopefully to something less car-smashy and fatal)

Me: Why are you trying to kill us?? Is it because I never clean your touchscreen?! Is it because I leave you on the center console and never stick you proper-like on the windshield?? YOU ALWAYS FALL DOWN. NO MATTER HOW MUCH I LICK YOUR STUPID SUCTION CUP.

Brandy: Turn around when possible.

Me: I'm getting off at the next exit, fer Chrissake!

Brandy: Turn around when -

Me: Don't make me throw you.

Brandy: Sharp right.

Me: Slam. Slam. Slam.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

In Which I Realize That I Have to Overhaul My Repertoire of Empty Threats

It's a good thing we had that great day last week, because otherwise you'd totally be seeing pictures of my children on eBay right now.

The BassMaster came into town for the long weekend, and all I wanted was for the kids to behave themselves as well as they have been, just so I could say, see, honey? It can actually be fun, this parenting-two-children thing! It's not always a pain in the ass! Especially if you're on the right medication!

But alas, said children did not get the memo. They were kind of, well, pains in the ass.

I suspect part of the problem lies in the fact that the Munchkin will turn three years old next month, which - based on stories from my fellow mommy friends - is about the time that Satan himself will begin to use her as his personal marionette. Terrible twos? they say. That's nothing. JUST WAIT 'TIL THEY HIT THREE.

Anyway, I can already see my sweet baby morphing into a pigtailed wise-ass. I have, um, no idea where she gets it...

Yesterday, for example, she refused to get in the car when we tried to leave the house, claiming that her shoes felt funny, she wanted juice, she wanted to stay and color, she wanted a jacket, she didn't want a jacket, Jupiter's third moon is waxing, what the hell ever just getyourtinybuminthecar.

"Munchkin" I said through gritted teeth, "if you don't get in the car right now, I am going to leave you here."

Ah, another item on my list of "Things I Will Never Say When I'm a Mom" bites the dust. I think I have, like, three things left on that list.

Usually this line startles her into obedience. But yesterday, she looked me dead in the eye and said, "You can't, Mommy. You can't leave me here."

Crap. She wasn't supposed to figure that out until age twelve or so.

"Yeah...well.....ermphhmphblehfrickenfrack," I mumbled.

Clearly, I now have to take this to the next level. Time to think outside the box. Should I threaten to hold a stuffed animal hostage? Not that original, but it might work. How about, "if you don't get in the car, grizzlies will kill you in your sleep?" Nah, too violent. "If you don't get in the car, Mommy will let Kitt poop all over your princess costumes?" Eh, that's just messy.

I'll figure something out. But in the meantime, let's start the bidding at five dollars.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

To My Girls

Dear Munchkin and Kitt,

We had a great day today, the three of us.

The thing is, we did nothing special.

Munchkin, you and I chatted and played this morning while Kitt slept in. You have this new favorite game we made up, in which I pretend to peer into your belly button and claim I can see the food in your tummy. I don't even know how we came up with it. All I know is it involves tickling, much blowing of raspberries and your sweet, infectious laugh.

I could listen to it all day and will gladly pretend to suck strawberry ice cream out of your belly button any time, just to get a giggle.

Kitt, after we dropped your big sis off at preschool, you and I took a walk in the park with the Stroller Friend. It's "fall" here in Virginia, which just means that it's "not ninety degrees for eight days straight," and the weather was perfect for strolling. You smiled at me from behind your bottle, which you have just recently learned to hold all by yourself.

When you get older, I'll wish you could remember these times we have together, these fleeting moments when you are my only baby. But you won't. So I'll remember them for you.

The two of you cracked each other up on the way home from school. You, Munchkin, kept saying, "Mommy! I made Kitt happy!" which for some reason made her laugh even harder. Kitt already idolizes you. Wherever you are, that's where she wants to be. You light up her world. And mine.

You both went down peacefully for a double nap. YOU WILL APPRECIATE THE RARITY AND FREEDOM OF THIS, SOMEDAY. Mommy pumped her fists and did her happy dance. Then she vacuumed the car.

For dinner, you dined on chicken nuggets and Gerber chicken and gravy. Kitt, you have finally figured out how to eat solid foods without puking them up ten minutes later. You squealed with joy and banged your hands on the tray after every spoonful, as if to say, "This is the most delicious spoonful I have ever - no, wait, THIS is the most delicious spoonful I have ever tasted!" Yet when I tried to get you on film, you went practically catatonic. Okay, I get it, you don't perform.

We read stories and had tickle fights. Before bedtime, I found myself rolling around on the carpet, laughing, each of you tucked under an arm. Bliss.

Every day I teach you colors, sounds and words. Every day I have a new question to answer (what the heck color is apple juice, anyway?). But you teach me about about the kind of mother- the kind of woman, really - that I want to be. I want to be the kind of mother who can look around at the dirty dishes in the sink, the crumb-speckled floor and still say to herself, "You know what? My kids are happy. So I did okay today."

I'm not perfect. I yell. I make mistakes. I have days where I look back at something I've said or done and say, "Well. That? That was dumb."

Yet still, in spite of all that, I never dreamed that motherhood could be this good. Today was just one of those days that reminds me of all the good.

You're a gift, the two of you. You will never know how happy you've made me, today and always.


Monday, October 05, 2009

Maybe I Just Need Cool Sneakers

I hate running.

In every gym class I ever took, the required 1-mile run took me no less than twelve minutes. And that's if I was, y'know, really pushing it. I'd stand on the starting line with my eyes closed and imagine myself exploding off the starting line, pedaling into the lead in a few easy strides. I would have killed to know what it felt like to be at the front of the pack, just once.

Then someone would yell "GO!" and no matter how hard I thought I pushed my feet off that asphalt, my legs just wouldn't do it. In about seven seconds, I always found myself staring at everyone's asses, left behind in a cloud of popular-girl-perfume.

So, yeah. Maybe I have a bit o' trauma to work though.

Also, the BassMaster makes fun of my running stance. Not that that's a good reason to avoid it, but I'm just saying.

Oh, and we also have a HUGE accessibility issue with our treadmill:

That Fisher Price kitchen didn't originially live there. It has landed there as a result of Kid Sh*t Migration, which has turned our entire house into one giant playroom.

You see the hoops I have to jump through in order to get the treadmill prepared? I have to move that kitchen, like, five feet to the side. And dude, it's so heavy.

Ok fine, not really. That doesn't stop me from using it as an excuse. Most nights I just gaze at the treadmill from across the room, think about donning some workout clothes, and then say to myself, "Eh....that thing is In the Way...."

But seriously, how one does start from scratch with a daily running routine? Do you just start running and go til you're about to die? Some kind of run/walk combination? Can I set Kitt down on the belt and fling her off into a pile of pillows, just for fun? Can I make the kids run for me?

Ooh, that'll promote a double 3-hour nap, for sure.

I seem to have come down with The Crud again (thanks, chill'uns) so I have at least a week to mull it over. Maybe two weeks. No more than a month.

Maybe I should just sign up for one of the senior citizen fitness classes at the YMCA and call it a day.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

See, the Snuggie Would Have Hidden the Perky Breasts

Let me begin with this: I am not proud of myself.

Actually, I am sort of proud. Because I restrained myself from purchasing a Snuggie and a ShamWow.

But yesterday, sucked in by the As Seen on TV section of The Big Bedding Store, I fell prey to the wonders of consumerism. I fell hard. And I bought this:

I couldn't help it. Have you been to that store lately? The entire front section is like a Home Shopping Network orgy.

And when you have two abnormally content children in your cart and can therefore take more than four seconds to look at the merchandise, all you can think is oh my gawd it just makes so much sense. A laptop cooling station? I need that! Automatic toothpaste dispenser? YES, please! A PedEgg? HOW HAVE I SURVIVED THIS LONG WITHOUT ONE?

A little doohicky that conceals the purple bra straps underneath your red shirt? Because, y'know, maybe after nursing two babies your boobs have gone all wonky and it's the only bra that fits properly? Why didn't I think of that?

They sold me even before I learned that "by gently pulling back your straps, Strap Perfect™ redistributes the weight from your chest and guides your shoulders back for more perfect posture! With a lift like this, you'll look at least one cup size bigger!"

I dunno. That part sounds kind of sketchy. Is it supposed to feel like a harness? Whooaaah, Bessie.

I should know by now that these kinds of things never, ever turn out as good or as functional or as life-altering as their frenetic infomercials make them out to be. I should also know better than to use "perky breasts" and "orgy" in the same blog post. Hi there, Google perverts!

I wish I could tell you that I've tried Strap Perfect and that I am prepared to give you an honest review.

However, that would imply that I bothered to put on a bra today, which in turn might imply that I showered today, which somehow just didn't....

...oops. Oversharing again. Sorry.

P.S.: I really wanted the Snuggie.