Saturday, December 26, 2009

Holiday Tidings and Such

A belated Merry Christmas! As with any time of year, we had some up and some downs this holiday season. First of all, after dressing my twins as identical candy canes for Christmas (thank you Hanna Andersson), I will never ever make fun of how anyone else clads their children. And when I say "never ever" I mean not this week.

I rarely dress the girls identical (as if coordinating is smugly superior to exactly the same) but the leggings I planned for one twin were on back order so I gave in to what always seem to delight the masses: identical twins dressed identically. This adds to the holiday chaos (I love adding to the holiday chaos) since the only way some family members can immediately tell them apart is by listening to me address one of them and then memorizing who is wearing what. (Per a ridiculous message board I subscribed to, some identical twin moms get offended when people can't always tell their identical twins apart. Identical twins are, as the label suggests, IDENTICAL. Which makes it hard to keep them straight. Get over it. Or tattoo their foreheads.)

Their cousin asked, and rightfully so, if their outfits were in fact pajamas. Well, if not they should be. And at $87 for both (on sale, mind you) rather expensive pjs at that. I can't decide if I henceforth hate Hanna Andersson or want to buy every last stitch of clothing the woman sells. Because the stuff seems comfy as hell and if I become one of those mothers who wants to dress like their daughters so we all match I know where to go. (Hanna has a "Match With Me" section on her web site for easy family coordination -- even for dad! What poor sucker of a father gets duped into that? With such orders, along with a credit card number they require you to send in your husband's manhood.)

And on a side note, if I do become one of those mothers who wants the entire family to match please go the ends of the Earth to find out who I am and where I live so you can send a firing squad. Also, why the double "s" in Andersson? And doesn't Hannah usually have an "h" on the end? Is Hanna trying to make it difficult for people to locate her web site, like those chic after-hours clubs without signs so only "people in the know" can find them (or people like me, not in-the-know who are then pissed when they finally DO find it and want to kill somebody)?

On another note: Is there currently a federal holiday-related Cash for Clunkers program? If so, I'd like to avail myself of trading in the world's worst and most overpriced toy on the face of the planet. It was from the deceivingly named and ridiculously marked up site Back to Basic Toys. They hit you with the nostalgia from your youth and then try to sell you a cheaply made replica that is nothing like the original but 10 times the price. Do I sound bitter? Good. Because I thought a remake of the Fisher Price old school parking garage was being shipped to me but instead got something that didn't even come with cars. (It's a parking garage! Without cars!) It's so flimsy that if you breathe near it, it collapses. That after the assembly practically required a certified member of the UAW. You know what I should have just gone and bought? The version Fisher Price is currently hawking. Live and learn.

But we also bought the biggest hit of the season from Back to Basics. (See how fair and balanced I am? If my hair were blonder and my teeth able to blind people even with my mouth closed, I would be perfect for Fox News.) It's this jumpy thing which will surely land us in the emergency room before year's end:

It only took us (well, who am I kidding, my husband) two hours to set up but it's like a free babysitter! A babysitter on crack cocaine who endangers kids lives but a babysitter nonetheless.

Other things I am grateful for this Christmas season (besides overpriced-yet-comfy garments and dangerous contraptions that entertain my children for a whole day but don't charge $15 an hour):
  • A flight that despite bad weather was only delayed an hour. Yay Southwest!
  • My particular flight didn't have any of those singing / rhyming / stand-up comedian flight attendants on board. Double Yay Southwest!
  • The Yogurt Melt shortage has not hit Birmingham, Alabama. Yay Southern Distribution Center of Gerber Foods!
Merry Christmas, People!

PS -- As a New Years resolution I think I will stop over-using parentheses. (I tend to use them when I have very important thoughts but don't quite know how to work it into the overall dialogue. It's annoying.)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Hugo Who?

Today I committed a crime so egregious, so heinous, so horrific I think my husband will divorce me when he finds out: I purchased gasoline at a Citgo. The first time I did this I was startled by his reaction. "Do you know that Citgo is owned by Hugo Chavez!" he yelled, waving the credit card bill at me. "The guy who makes pants?" I asked innocently. "Not Hugo Boss, Hugo Chavez! The president of Venezuela!" Oh. And?

Well, apparently Republicans don't like Hugo Chavez. I've since learned that Sean Penn does. And that if I would prefer not to hear a tirade about Hugo's misdeeds, I should avoid frequenting Citgo (conveniently located a block away). Which I did. Until today.

As previously documented, I tend to wait until the very last moment to fill up the gas tank. Preferably, I wait until there is one teeny tiny drop left and then send my husband to do errands without warning him. Little did I know last time I used the car, leaving an itty bitty amount of fuel, I would drive the car next. So off I reluctantly went, cursing under my breath that pumping gas is men's work. (So is earning the money, cooking the dinner and cleaning the house, just so we're clear.)

Luckily, adjacent to the Citgo is a Shell. Unluckily, it was all fenced off like the fuzz was investigating a murder and such. The only other gas station I could think of was a good half mile away, and I wasn't even sure I had the fumes to make it to the pump at Hugo's joint.

So in I turned. I must admit I was slightly nervous. Like Hugo Chavez was going to emerge from inside the gas station and demand I wait in line for rations of stale bread. In the end, I suppose I gave about $45.60 to the communist party. It would have been less except my husband insists that I fill up his car with premium gas. He implies the car will implode if it's fed regular gas. This couldn't possibly be true, but just in case my life is in danger I buy the middle grade gas -- not the very worst but not the best either. This gives me a strange sense of victory.

I guess now that my car has died, his car is really "our" car. My precious little 1995 Miata that served me so well is sitting out back like a wounded bird slowing dying in the frigid snow. I try not to look at it through the window. I feel like I should invite it in for hot chocolate or at least pour some warm water on it and visit it from time to time. Doesn't it look dejected?

Regardless, look for me to start seeking advice on taking one's husband to the cleaners in a divorce when the credit card bill arrives. I want everything. Including the cars.

PS -- The photo of Citgo is a stock photo I downloaded online. I didn't take a photo of the gas station in 20 degree weather. I'm not that weird. I am, however, weird enough to stand in the alley behind our house in 20 degree weather to photograph my dying friend, my vehicular soul mate, my Miata.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Nestle Has Some Explaining To Do

I made "Christmas" cookies this morning, the only thing Christmas-y about them being it's a week before Christmas. And when I say "made" I presume it goes without saying that means I broke up the little squares of refrigerated dough I mandated my husband buy at the store, heated up the oven and threw them in. As I broke up the little squares I marveled at modern conveniences and wondered aloud who in their right mind makes cookies from scratch anymore.

Fifteen minutes later I was less sure. The edges of the sugar cookies were getting "lightly browned" like the directions said, but there was still a bothersome square at the top of the cookie. While I appreciate the squareness in the dough form, shouldn't the end cookie product be round? You don't have to be Julia Child to know a cookie looks funny.

So do I let them burn slightly, hoping the square hump dissipates or do I take them out -- as the directions dictate -- when the edges are slightly brown? It would be helpful if Nestle put a little note in parentheses saying: "Don't let the big square bumps deter you! That's normal!" I opted to let them brown a few more minutes as I watched intently through the oven door. The edges kept getting browner but the square did nothing. Now I'm getting pissed. Because I'm thinking I: a) can't pass these off as homemade and b) may have to run out to the store to purchase canned icing to hide the square top.

I opted to c) do neither and still tell people I made them, silently daring them to challenge me.

Besides, I really only made them so the girls can leave some for Santa. I think leaving Santa store-bought cookies might send a conflicting message about Santa's importance. If I'm going to threaten them all year with being good, the person who is capable of squashing their dreams deserves a homemade treat when he comes through on his end of the bargain I would imagine.

See, these are the little nuances nobody tells you about motherhood. Making decisions like whether it's okay to serve fat-free fig newtons to an imaginary fat guy or whether you should pull out all the stops and throw some deformed cookie dough in the oven. In the end, I would guess Santa would rather some figure-trimming yet still delicious fig newtons over slightly burnt and oddly shaped sugar cookies. Maybe we'll leave both and see what Santa chooses.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Todder Wrestling (and a Possible Visit from Child Services)

Have I mentioned I intend to at least break even or possibly earn a small profit off my identical twins? Well, I do. And the Gap people have made it perfectly clear I won't do so on the girls' looks alone. (Not even in the top 20??? Apparently the Gap's benefits program doesn't include Vision.)

Listen, I've had enough deadbeat boyfriends to know when someone is taking me for a ride. And I'm starting to see some of those same "red flags" coming from the girls. Like they expect me to supply three meals plus snacks, yet never pull out their wallets when the bill comes. Do they think yogurt melts grow on trees? (Substitute "beer" for "yogurt melts" and I'm right back in the early 90s...)

So with a modeling career a dead issue, I wracked my brains for hours to come up with an alternative money-maker without outright selling them. Then it came to me: the WWE.

Notice the intimidating pre-match dance the one twin does? The WWE loves that crap! Is the identical twin shtick enough or do I need to go all out and get them mohawks, tattoos and start them on steroids? Does the WWE have a toddler division? Regardless, if Hulk Hogan can be successful in this market, I can only assume it can't be that hard. Then again, you'd think getting a book deal would be a cinch given Lisa Rinna got one. Sadly, no. (OMG, Fish Lip's book has 54 reviews for an average of 4/5 stars! Who knew Lisa Rinna had 54 friends!!!)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Store Was Out of Yogurt Melts

And I have the photo to prove it. Why? Because every once in a great while, when I am ever-so-busy documenting the absurdity that is John Mayer, my husband is forced to do the grocery shopping. Last time this happened he came home without Yo Baby Yogurt and I basically, without saying it directly, called him a liar. "I go to the grocery store THREE TIMES EVERY WEEK and they have NEVER been out of Yo Baby Yogurt ... hmm." In other words, you forgot and I know you forgot and now you know that I know you forgot but you instead chose to lie.

He insisted he didn't forget, but in fact Jewel had absolutely no Yo Baby to sell. Are you buying that? Because I wasn't. So today, I sent him to Jewel with the mandate to buy Yogurt Melts which were imperative for a smooth flight to Alabama for Christmas. He came home, threw the groceries on the counter, announced they "didn't have any goddamn Yogurt Melts" and showed me this photo on his iPhone to prove it.

Which begs the question, am I such a terrifying person that one must interrupt one's grocery shopping to take a photo of a barren shelf to prove one isn't lying about the unavailability of a certain product? Apparently, yes.

Maybe, just maybe, this is Jewel's fault. For offering this divine treat for merely $5 for two bags. Yogurt-Melt-loving toddlers and their thrifty mothers everywhere must be thrilled. I am, however, not thrilled, as I have to go on a Yogurt Melt hunt before we leave. Who is purchasing $2.50 tiny bags of sugar, glue and food coloring for their toddlers in mass quantities anyway? You could probably make that in your meth lab at home. Besides, I thought we were in a recession. Sigh.

Monday, December 14, 2009

And The Award Goes To...

Me! I never win things. Although I did win the national gold medal in the 11-12 year-old female breast stroke when I lived in Saudi Arabia. But think about how many girls are actually allowed to wear swim suits over there and you can see how hard it was to come in first.

So imagine my ecstasy when the very entertaining and HOLLYWOOD-esque Sweet Jane from Lights! Cameras! Diapers! named me as an Honest Scrap award winner. She is relatively new to blogging but already has more followers than I have. Bitch. And THEN, several days later the lovely Laura who has seven-year-old twins PLUS a toddler tagged me as a Theta mom, which has nothing to do with the greek system . Laura has one more child than me yet seems 10 times more sane. And publishes a very honest look at motherhood via Kiddie Kaleidoscope.

Receiving the Honest Scrap award requires me to provide 10 things about myself and list five bloggers who have inspired me and whose blogs I admire. It's always about me, people, so let's do the 10 things about me first.

1) I am so old that I was the oldest person in the delivery room when my twins were born. This includes my high-risk Ob-Gyn, my husband (I like 'em younger) and all the riff-raff hanging around in case something went wrong.

2) I once lost 8 pounds soley giving up the French Vanilla International Delights coffee creamer I so enjoy. I drink that much coffee. People, I have twins.

3) My college boyfriend who was up to his ears in debt once told a creditor who called that "you can't squeeze orange juice out of a turnip." His car was re-possessed shortly thereafter. It was only then he was faithful to me for three months straight (as far as I know) because he needed my car to deliver pizzas.

4) I have a long history of questionable taste in men (not you, Daniel Craig, never you!).

5) I was driving in the car recently with the girls and the Barry Manilow version of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" came on the radio and I cried. With joy. I love Barry. I don't trust people who don't love Barry.

6) I believe every decision (good or bad) I've made in my life was specifically because I was supposed to have the exact children I have and if I changed one thing it may have resulted in a different outcome that doesn't result in their existence.

7) Believing that every bad decision I've ever made ultimately resulted in my girls eliminates the need for regret, an emotion I find largely a waste of time. I like to waste time in more fun ways, like looking up lyrics to John Mayer songs and making fun of them in my head.

8) Speaking of talking to yourself in your head, that Oprah Book Club book "A New Earth" by Eckart Tolle deeply upset me because he says the voice in your head constantly talking to you isn't really you. Then who the hell is it? I kind of like the person who talks to me in my head and if it's not me I'd like to meet him or her.

9) I took a conversational French course one summer, hid in the back and the only thing I recall saying in French the entire term was "Mel Gibson has a nice ass" when asked to comment on a film I recently saw. (That was in the late 80s when Mel did still in fact still have a nice ass.)

10) I have absolutely no desire to go to Paris. And it has nothing to do with my bad French.

Okay, so a few of the blogs I love and inspire me I can't pass along this award to. They are busy with book deadlines and writing projects and / or have already been nominated. Wendi Aarons is completely hilarious and I wish I'd known her in college so we could have gotten sauced at sorority barn bashes together. Stefanie Wilder-Taylor of Baby on Bored (and numerous awesome, laugh-out-loud funny books) gave me renewed confidence in my writing when she actually mentioned my blog. Alexa over at Flotsam can make you laugh and cry in the same post. That's talent, people! Buy her book coming out next year.

Okay, now here comes a confession. I don't really read tons of blogs, except a few I got hooked on a long time ago. Between my girls and freelance work and being a general indentured servant, I don't really have time. Which I know sucks given I want people to read mine.

So I'm going to cheat by combining the five blog mentions from both awards into one post (coming soon) along with the requirement I list five things that helped shape me as an "authentic mom" which is what the Theta deal is all about. Are authentic mothers allowed to get Botox? I hope that doesn't disqualify me, prompting the judges to pry the award from my very hands as I'm up on stage accepting accolades and thanking my dermatologist...

And thanks to Jane and Laura for thinking of me for these. It's very humbling in a Sally Field "you like me you really like me" sort of way.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I'll Have An Egg White Omelet With Broccoli and a Side of Waitress

Are you all Tiger-ed out? Good, me neither! I'm finding the little, oft-overlooked aspects of the story intriguing, rather than the gory sexual details. Things like he frequents Perkins for breakfast and his standard order is an egg white omelet with broccoli. I wonder if his usual breakfast was something more sinful like banana-stuffed french toast with hash browns if he wouldn't feel the need to order a little waitress to go.

The person I've found myself most sympathetic for is the soon-to-be-wife of Tiger's accomplice, Bryon Bell. Bryon and his (presumably PISSED OFF) fiancee are getting married next weekend in South Carolina -- with Tiger due to be the best man. Would you want to shoot your intended given he aided Tiger Woods' philandering thus the paparazzi will be staking out the chapel? I hope she's Bridezilla-ing his ass. And firing the best man.

But, always one to learn life lessons from other's misfortunes, I offer you the following wisdom:
  • Men who like tasteless, fat-free breakfasts may also like tasteless, fat-free women.
  • Perkins / Denny's / iHop / Big Boy waitresses are tempting. Make breakfast at home. If you do brave the shark-invested waters of cheap diner food, make sure your guy orders Moons Over My Hammy or something equally fattening. Seriously, I think there's a correlation.
  • Being beautiful doesn't make men be faithful. But later attacking them with a golf club or renegotiating a prenup might. (Also, for maximum effectiveness, the weapon should be directly related to the spouse's occupation. Like if he's a plumber attack with a plunger or a jockey run him over with a horse or a mailman slice him with a letter opener and so forth...)
  • Never allow a famous person to be best man at your wedding. Even if this scandal hadn't erupted, the bride was screwed regardless. Like you're going to focus on the bride when Tiger Woods is at the alter? Unless said famous person is paying for your wedding. And honeymoon. And maybe even a house. Then it's okay.
  • Golfers just seem more dignified than other athletes because they don't wear shorts or tight pants. They are really all the same. (Except that fat, drunk Hooter-sponsored guy John Daly. He's special.)
Look for me to vomit all over the Internet if Tiger goes to rehab for sex addiction or similar. I would, however, support him getting help for his addiction to egg white omelets with broccoli.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Neigh, Neigh Grandma!

How would you feel if a two-year-old pointed at you and your baby and exclaimed, "Baby Grandma!" Because presumably in her eyes you look way too old to actually be the baby's mother? Would it add insult to injury if that child was dressed as a horse? That is exactly what happened when I took my girls to a playroom on Saturday, my OCD twin being the offending kid. I almost died (because it's all about me, not about how the mom who was in fact NOT the baby's grandmother felt.)

I'm not gonna lie. This woman was no spring chicken. She could use a little (maybe a lot?) of Botox, some "Wash That Gray Right Outta My Hair" and hell, maybe even a full facelift. But I had my girls when I was 39 so I'm lucky some big-mouthed kid hasn't done the same to me. Anyway, I tried to redirect the horsey, but remember, this is my twin who gets fixated on things. Usually Halloween attire, but that day, it was a mom who -- from a toddler's vantage point -- looked like a Grandma. It didn't help the girls are now in a stage of being fascinated with babies, so she would not let up. This is not a big place. And she relentlessly followed them, pointing at them -- very proudly mind you because she had spotted a grandma -- and would shriek "Grandma! Grandma!" She neighed a bit here and there too, but again, I think that made matters worse. I momentarily considered packing them up and leaving but I just paid $25 to get in and, really, in the whole scheme of things it's not my fault the woman isn't aging well.

You don't really go to an indoor play area expecting to be heckled. So does one apologize for this? If so, what would one say? "Ummm, hey lady, sorry my daughter thinks you look like an old goat..." In the end I did what I normally do: ignore ignore ignore and make no eye contact whatsoever. The poor woman probably has an emergency appointment with a plastic surgeon set up for first thing Monday morning.

I hope there are no horses in the waiting room.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Random Christmas Season Thoughts

Do you think when Jesus fed the homeless and turned water into wine and other stuff that made people name a religion after him that he ever thought he'd one day be depicted as an infant in a Little People's Nativity Scene set? We got one for Christmas last year and as I set it up the other day one of the girls came running, picked up Baby Jesus, yelled "Baby!" and flung him across the room then giggled manically when he hit the wall. I'm not sure, but I think you can be deterred at the pearly gates for that. The other one seems intent on alternately eating Baby Jesus and throwing him down the slide while yelling "Crash, boom, bang!" Is this what Fisher Price had in mind when they conceptualized this product?

Why is Santa such an asshole in Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer? I have fond memories of Christmas specials from when I was a kid so I was excited to watch Rudolph with the girls. I forgot how mean Santa is and that there is an abominable snow monster. He came on screen roaring and rolling his big googly eyes and I shrieked, "Look at the nice snow man!" and immediately changed the channel. All I need in life right now is my kids to start using monsters as a stalling tactic at bed time. Right now we're in the "I"m thirsty" stage which is easily rectified with some water but I don't know how to handle misfit abominable snow monsters.

Speaking of Christmas specials, did you know there is a Christmas-themed Caillou where Caillou goes Christmas caroling with his family and then has a Christmas party at school where Ms. Martin explains how different religions have different holiday traditions? Did you know I've been forced to watch it 57 times so far and I might hunt down whoever does the voiceover for Caillou's character and bludgeon him or her?

Does that Elf on a Shelf guy look like he's up to no good or is it me? I mean, he is the one who is supposed to spying on the kids and tattling to Santa, but I feel like any minute he might spring to life and rob us blind. And I feel like he's always watching me, judging. I want to wipe that smirk right off his little elfish face.

My girls are obsessed with what food we'll leave for Santa and the reindeer. When I suggested apples for the reindeer the mean twin screamed, "Those are MY apples!" See what I'm dealing with here? She gets the concept that these reindeer are flying here to leave her presents but doesn't even want to share any apples with them, even after I explained how hungry they'd be from their long journey. She finally agreed to letting Santa have some milk and cookies but only if she got some before bedtime too.

I can't wait until they're old enough that I can implement the old coal-in-the-stocking threat. Which really should negate the need for an elf sitting on my shelf. Maybe I'll add him to the Little People nativity scene to ratchet up the blasphemy a bit.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Eating Issues

You know how before you had kids you look at a particularly annoying mothering technique and think,"I will NEVER be like that when I'm a mother" and then you're that and about ten times worse? I specifically remember being with friends and one mother badgering her kid to eat more squash, that, no, she couldn't have dessert until she eats more squash and wouldn't she please please please eat a little more squash? I was ready to eat the entire plate of squash myself when the mom wasn't looking just so I didn't have to hear the word "squash" ever again. And I think squash is revolting.

Dear God I've become what I hate. Last night I heard myself pleading like that and wanted to take myself out to the barn and shoot myself like an old horse who needs to be put out of its misery. Except we don't have a barn. Or a gun. But you get the point. Granted, nobody was around to be annoyed by my begging except my children and the point was to annoy them, but still. My girls are the pickiest eaters in the world and would eat nothing but crackers, cookies, ice cream and milk (YES! IN A BOTTLE STILL!) if I let them. And some days I do. Because having my fingers amputated one by one with a plier sounds like more fun than arguing about food.

They are the worst at dinner time. "Chips?" one will ask me like it's completely plausible I will let them have potato chips for dinner. (They wouldn't know what a potato chip was if it wasn't for my husband. But I digress.) "Ice cream?" the other will say. Then it turns into "No din din!" "Chips!" "Ice cream!" "No peas!" And by that time I'm ready to shove a container of Haagen Daaz and two spoons at them and tell them to knock themselves out.

I've also starting using treats as a bribing technique, surely a habit that translates directly into a tween eating disorder in several years. "If you stop whining / play nice / take a bath we can have some ice cream," I suggest. They of course still get the ice cream if they've done none of the above.

I sit in amazement when I see toddlers who happily eat what their parents eat for dinner like a grownup except short and clad in head-to-toe Gymboree. What am I doing wrong? Why will my kids eat only about 4 things and all basically from the same food group? And after I slaved and sacrificed and made ORGANIC homemade baby food for crying out loud, this is how they repay me. (Although perhaps there is a correlation. I'm no cook, and my last name isn't Gerber, so maybe I turned them off to food completely by making it myself?)

Also, how can I start to tackle potty training when I don't have the mothering skills to GET THEM OFF THE DAMN BOTTLE? Somehow I picture the day they leave for college and me suggesting they don't drink beer out of their bottle because that might hamper their social life and asking if they made sure to pack enough Depends for the semester. Relatively stupid and incompetent people (don't make me name names) manage to transition their children to drinking milk out of cups, so I'm not sure why this seems insurmountable to me. I don't like to upset them -- and taking it away upsets them.

Can we all just take a moment and thank the universe I won't be procreating ever again?

PS -- I thought I loved celebrity gossip. But it's exhausting keeping up with what former childhood star bit his girlfriend's forehead in a drunken stupor and who's hassling the Hoff and what Courtney Love is wearing on her head. I mean, really.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Giving Thanks But Not for Road Trips

You know what I'm not thankful for today? The invent of the automobile. Without motorized vehicles people wouldn't be expected to drive hundreds upon hundreds of miles just to eat a big-ass bird stuffed with bread crumbs and wind up with a case of raging heartburn.

We left Tuesday night to avoid the traffic. My husband insists the trip home is four hours but it always takes five. "It's four with no traffic," he tells me. Last time I checked he didn't command the type of power to clear highways, thus the trip is five hours. And if it ALWAYS takes us five, it's a five-hour trip, no? Case closed.

So we took off in conjunction with the girls' bedtime under the delusion that they would go to sleep in the car soon after we left. "Go night night in car" they kept repeating after me. See? They were on board with the plan. They didn't whine the whole first five minutes of the trip. We hadn't even left the Chicago city limits when I considered jumping out of the moving car. Oh, I've done it three times before, although it's been a while: 1) On my 21st birthday; 2) On the way to a Dave Matthews concert when it suddenly occurred to me I hate Dave Matthews and 3) Around 2002 when a guy said the wrong thing at the wrong time in a cab.

But now I have children and lunging desperately out of moving vehicles seems irresponsible. Plus I'm older so it might hurt more. Or possibly break a hip.

Around Gary, Indiana, the girls started fighting about a singing puppy they've literally had since birth. "It's MY puppy!" "No, it's MY puppy!" This went on for an excruciatingly long time with the pitch getting louder and more annoying by the minute. Did I mention this toy wasn't even in the car with us and I was sitting in the backseat between them?

So I threaten them: "Mommy is going to sit in the front seat if you don't stop yelling!" I yelled. "Mommy go front seat! Mommy go front seat!" Apparently I overestimate the pleasure of my own company. I have to then awkwardly wedge my fat ass up to the front seat and I finally get settled with my seat belt on when they start crying for me to come back.

That's when I decided to treat them like I would an annoying sorority sister on a Walkout Roadtrip Weekend: Pretend they didn't exist. No matter how many times they addressed me, I looked straight ahead or out the window. Incidentally, you can learn a lot looking out the window on a road trip. Like there is a town called Climax. And another called Paw Paw.

At one point -- it is pouring rain causing poor visibility mind you -- my husband gets out his iPhone and pulls into the right lane and seems to be going extraordinarily slow. I decide to say nothing. But then 2 seconds later I can't help myself. "WHAT ARE YOU DOING???" He was trying to pull up a weather map. I guess to confirm we were in the middle of torrential rains where people should be watching the road and not looking at iPhones. I usually try not to be a back seat driver as my history of accidents and citations seem to indicate I'm not the best judge. But this rule, as most others, doesn't apply to the treatment of my husband. The iPhone was put away.

Alas, the girls finally fell asleep and I learned the "Bore and Ignore Technique" works just as well in 2009 on whiny toddlers as it did in the late 80s on chatty college co-eds. My husband got us here safe and sound. The girls are having fun. And I've eaten my own weight in homemade cookies. Which just means I'll have to stay in the same seat the entire ride home. Happy Thanksgiving...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Two Degrees of Separation

I don't mean to brag, but my husband hung out this weekend with the nephew of one of the most famous musicians on Earth. He had a guys weekend, so to speak, to attend a football game at his alma mater. (Snore.) So one of my husband's friends brought a guy he works with, the relative of seriously one of the most famous people on Earth. See if you can guess who.

He sells out concerts around the world to screaming fans. It's almost impossible to get tickets to any of his shows. He's Australian (no not Keith Urban but dear God if it was I would have driven to their location with girls in tow and hugged this guy in hopes that some of Keith's DNA rubbed off on me.) He's a really good dancer... Anyone? Okay, it's one of these guys:

So now I'm wondering if it would be too forward to ask the nephew to get us a private show with his uncle and his band as one of my kids' Christmas presents. Nothing fancy, mind you. Just a few songs. And, since the girls really don't like people, if they would mind dressing up as our current favorite characters. Like one could be Dora, another Boots, a Barney and finally one as Thomas the Train. I don't think the costumes would impact their routine too much. And, really, my husband rode in a car with this guy for five hours there and back and hung out for an entire weekend. It's the least the guy could do, right?

So this FameCrawler thing. I've been asked how you can search by author over there so you can find my posts. If you go to "tags" at the bottom of posts and in one of mine click on "LuLu and Moxleys Mom," all of my posts should come up. But, hey, if you're like me, you're a lazy SOB so here are links to a few you might enjoy. Or not.

Like this one where I piss someone off for making fun of Seal's name.

Or this one where I suggest Kathy Hilton should have given her children up to be raised by someone else.

Or here where I accuse Posh Spice of being a big fat liar (or little emaciated liar as the case may be.)

Monday, November 16, 2009


My babies turn two today. Their new, fairly obtrusive slide better keep them busy all winter long while we're stuck inside or I'm sending hate mail to ToysRUs and all the reviewers who said "It's hours of fun!" I hope they literally meant hours. How many toys come with the promise of "Keeps them busy all day!" and they take one look at the thing and just want to climb around in the box it came in?

Also, I have a tip for you: Want the most visually appalling not to mention most poorly made sleepwear on the planet? Look no further than the Dora winter footie, available at crappy discount stores everywhere:

It had a hole in it within 20 minutes of being worn. "Fix it!" one twin wailed. Right. Or burn it.

Well, maybe you've noticed I'm not overly mushy. So I'll spare you my sentiments regarding how I can't believe my girls are two and how I haven't teared up that way since Kate goes through all the trouble to return to the island to see Sawyer and he's shacking up with Juliet. (Oh, right, I also cried during Marley and Me -- I'm trying to forget about that...) That two years ago I was lying in the hospital looking at their scrawny little legs in complete and utter fear and that they used to look like this, swimming in their newborn outfits:

And so happy that despite their tininess I was allowed to take them home with me. Now, two years later, they are chubby little people-hating tyrants. Just like their mother. Happy birthday, girlies!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Haircuts and Hoodlums

Is this twin beginning to look slightly like Edward Scissorhands?

Or maybe Michael Jackson circa 1999?

And then I suspect the other twin has joined a dangerous toddler gang terrorizing the parks and playgroups around Chicago.

No wonder The Gap rejected us -- we need a makeover! And maybe one of those de-programmers who specialize in breaking at-risk youth's ties to fellow gang members.

Yup, that's all I've got today, people. Weak, I know.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

CMAs: The Good, the Overly Tan and the Cat Lady

Did you know I love country music? Well, I do. I have family who finds this strange given we're originally from New York. It's not like I say "y'all" or anything. But I would if George Strait asked me to... A few observations about last night's Country Music Awards:
  • Speaking of George Strait, the man is 58 years old and hot. If I had a geriatric top five, he would certainly be #1. As a matter of fact, I might slip him into my regular top five right behind Daniel Craig (who would have to get a sex change operation for me to drop him from #1). It's a long story but I once received a phone call from George's tour bus driver who claimed to be good at "rounding up the ladies." I'm not kidding and it's too convoluted to explain right now.
  • Speaking of convoluted, what rehab center was Kris Kristofferson granted leave from to attend the CMAs? Did he seem like he was on something or was it just me? It was like he was starring in "A Star is Heavily Medicated."
  • I usually hate Dave Matthews. So much so that I jumped off a moving bus that was headed to his concert. But last night as he sang with Kenny Chesney I almost didn't want to kill him.
  • Nicole Kidman was seated in the front row with Keith Urban. Is Nicole Kidman dead and Keith Urban had her body taxidermied so he always had a date to award shows? She looks crazy. I don't know what she's having done or why, but maybe Tom Cruise saw that a plastic immovable face was in his future and that explains the abrupt divorce.
  • At first glance, one might think Darius Rucker was the blackest person at the CMAs. He was -- until Winona Judd hit the stage. HOLY CRAP! Did she pass out on margaritas on some beach in Mexico and wake up right before the awards burnt to a crisp? And Naomi wasn't looking so hot herself but at least she still looked the same race.
  • Speaking of perhaps not realizing one was supposed to appear at an event that evening, LeAnn Rimes looked like someone punched her in the face. Her stylist calls it "smoky eyes." I call it "got the crap beat out of you." And that's not entirely out of the realm of possibility given she really pissed off her married lover's wife.
  • Speaking of eyes, does Taylor Swift look like a cat? Might she actually be a cat? I had to leave the room during her opening performance. It was that bad and I couldn't be party to it as a witness. Entertainer of the year? Silly. Female vocalist of the year? Ridiculous. Nothing can top Carrie Underwood's performance of "I Told You So." Regardless, I fear in 40 years Taylor is going to look like this, and that's without any plastic surgery.
  • Listen, I like Darius Rucker as much as the next guy. But an award as a "new" artist? He's not new! He's Hootie! He's been around for years! He's not really even that country. The least he could have done was wear a cowboy hat to blend a little.
  • Could they have shown that Father of the Bride chick any more sitting in the front row? Yes, I know she's married to Brad Paisley and he was hosting the show. But come on. I was waiting for Martin Short to come out and start wedding planning.
  • Did you catch the Burger King commercial starring the Rascal Flatts? Umm. I hate to state the obvious, but might it be better if the lead singer stay away from the Whoppers for a while?
  • Kid Rock is strangely sexy. Diseased, probably, but strangely sexy.
  • Overall, these awards were way better than the Grammys or Emmys or Oscars. It was actually kind of funny and the award recipients didn't blather on or try to make political statements or wait to get chased off stage by music signaling them to shut the hell up.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Barney, The Gap and Rejection

Who is the sick bastard who thought me up?

My children have finally realized that we've seen every Caillou ever made 10 times each and keep saying, "New Caillou!" I gently explained that the Caillou production staff can't keep up with the public's insatiable appetite for fresh programming. When that didn't register, I simply said "Caillou night night" and that seemed to do the trick.

So we channel surfed until we landed on Barney and they seemed intrigued. Good God in Heaven! Where do they find the children featured on this show? I'm trying to understand what such a casting call might say:

Seeking inordinately unattractive children who are shunned by their peers and often get thrown in lockers at school for long periods of time. The more annoying and unlikeable the better! Must not be fearful of large, extinct, dancing reptiles. Overweight with no sense of rhythm and very thick eyeglasses a plus.

What is Barney selling anyway? The theme of the one we saw was about saving the Earth and I half-wondered if Al Gore was in that big purple suit.

Speaking of exploited children, I haven't heard from The Gap people. If you recall I entered the girls in the Baby Gap modeling contest in a misguided attempt at a free vacation to Sesame Street Beaches. Apparently -- and feel free to share my disbelief -- the Gap powers-that-be must think they've found kids CUTER THAN MINE. I'm not so upset for me but more for the girls. I think facing rejection at the tender age of 2 is a lot to handle. I guess I'll just be honest: "The Gap doesn't think you're pretty enough for the big-time and if you're hell-bent on a career in entertainment you might want to consider plastic surgery." Then to rub it in maybe I'll suggest they try out for Barney.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Girls Gone Wild: Toddler Edition

I hope its pure coincidence that my daughters ripped off their shirts and half-streaked across the park right around the time Joe Francis reached a plea deal and got time served for schmarminess tax evasion and they don't have aspirations toward flashing for the cameras. Have you ever seen a more grotesque, meatier face than the cad below? Ewww. I was hoping they would throw him in a dungeon with a bunch of sex-starved inmates armed with video equipment.

By the way, just to prove we in fact took the girls to the park fully dressed:

Anyway, what's with today's culture where everyone gets naked (adults, not toddlers) for cameras and videos and doesn't expect the footage to appear at some point. I always thought while her singing and acting are questionable, that JLo was at least smart. (Making money with relatively little talent must take some intelligence.) Apparently not enough to realize you don't make an ELEVEN-HOUR (???!!!) sex tape on your honeymoon, divorce the loser, and then expect him not to sell said sex tape. Too bad Marc Anthony doesn't weigh more than 90 pounds so he could kick some ex-husband ass.

Am I the only person left on the planet without a sex tape I'm anxiously waiting to surface?

PS -- Combining my kids, Joe Francis and the topic of sex tapes in the same post is admittedly a bit creepy but I'm a bit scattered today...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Who Moved My Cheese?

We are back and settled in our home if you call surrounded by boxes and not being able to find a blender when you need one "settled in." I'd love to report the blender was for a stiff "boat drink" as Jimmy Buffet would call it, but sadly it was for pureed (homemade, organic) sweet potatoes for the girls. My point in mentioning the sweet potato part is to remind you I am all that and a bag of chips as a mother. Anyway, I became irate at my husband -- who was at work at the time -- that I couldn't find the blender. I'm sure somehow it's his fault.

What's also his fault: Since we had to completely unpack our house as though we just moved in, I took this opportunity to clean out and organize the girls' room and clothes. A pile they've outgrown to pass on to their younger cousin, a pile for donating and a pile that no human should ever have to lay eyes on ever again. I found a place for everything that currently fits and was pleased as punch with myself. So imagine my surprise when I went to the sock / tights drawer and the socks were missing. "Where the @#$! are their socks?!" I screamed like a deranged lunatic in my husband's general direction. Turns out he "thought it made more sense for the socks to be in a different drawer." BECAUSE HE IS THE ONE WHO PUTS THEIR SOCKS ON EVERY DAY??? Well, no.

So here's my plan. One day when he's traveling or otherwise not in his office, I'm going to smugly take the train downtown, make myself at home at his place of employment and rearrange everything how I would like it if I were still a productive member of corporate America. Pens will unnecessarily change drawers, pictures put on different shelves and file names changed and alphabetized in such a manner that Einstein couldn't decipher code. He won't be able to find a damn thing by the time I'm done with it. And then, just for effect, I'll send out several obnoxiously inappropriate e-mails from his computer, the kind I might have sent back in the day that seemed to rub folks the wrong way. Example:

Dear Legal People:

I'm assuming by all of the non-legal-related edits you made to the press release that you'd like to be an editor rather than a lawyer. Might I suggest we compare paychecks at next Friday's happy hour before you decide for sure? Regardless, attached is the FINAL draft of the press release. While I admire your enthusiasm for the correct usage of the English language and its accompanying punctuation, if and only if you find something that WILL GET US SUED are you permitted to edit any further. Thanks for your understanding and ongoing legal expertise.

Unfortunately, my husband is in a different line of work than I was so I can't send this one verbatim. Although that would really confuse people and scream "crazy" so it might just work...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Ding Dong

I'm from the school of thought that you just don't show up unannounced on someone's doorstep. I'm also from the school of thought that if you ring my buzzer during naptime and wake up my children you might get yourself shot. Not in the heart or head or anywhere deadly. Maybe just the foot or groin depending on your sex.

When those someones have shown up and rang my buzzer and woken up my children and I come to find out their uninvited visit is in an attempt to convert me to their religious beliefs, I am inclined to ask them for their addresses so I can return the favor around, say, 3:00 am or thereabouts. I also want to ask them what their success rates are with this particular form of outreach. I mean how many people really let them in, chat amicably for a bit and then announce, "You know what! They sounds fanfuckingtastic! Sign me up!" I'm not even sure what religion these people were touting, but if it requires me going door to door as a member the answer is "thank-you-very-much-for-thinking-of-my-salvation-but-I'll-have-to-pass." I say that after I shoot them of course.

Does this happen in the suburbs or only in the city?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

My Mama Dresses Me Funny II

Dear God there's a winterized version of the Jolly Romper! So mesmerized was I by this trend that I hired several investigative photojournalists to document its continuing popularity south of the Mason Dixon Line. Apparently this dear boy's sister was wearing a coordinating one covered in bows but my paparazzo got nervous and couldn't capture the sibling on film.

How many years of therapy will this kid need? Ten? Twenty? An entire lifetime? What's sad is his parents and multitude of psychiatrists probably won't even be able to pinpoint his impending mental instability to this very outfit. The mother will fret her whole life: "Was I too permissive? Not permissive enough? Did I nurse too long? Not long enough?" Nope, lady, you just had sucky-ass taste in toddler wear.

I will say that the fall/winter Jolly Romper is more becoming in that the colder weather necessitates an undergarment so at least the kid isn't exposing his armpits. But need it have a girly habit-like collar? Remember this precious little profile people. Because someday we will see it again. On America's Most Wanted.

PS -- I'm slightly concerned about the ethics of posting photos of other people's children. But not enough not to do it.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Marley and Jennifer Aniston

I am not a dog person. I thought the book Marley and Me was the biggest piece of crap I've ever read and the only reason I read it was because I was stuck on a tarmac with nothing else to read except Southwest's in-flight magazine and that SkyMall catalog and even those were riveting in comparison. Having bought it for my mom (who is a dog person) as a birthday gift I was tempted to throw it out and save her the misery. Showing up with no present might have been better than showing up with that present.

So when my husband TIVO'd the movie, I thought he'd gone nuts. He dislikes Jennifer Aniston and seemed to be personally affronted when Owen Wilson tried to take his own life. ("What the hell does that guy have to be upset about?!")

Nevertheless, we sat down to watch it Saturday night. And I bawled my eyes out. AND I'M NOT A DOG PERSON. Anyone who is a dog person I would imagine needs a prescription for Prozac just to get through it.

But here is my bone of contention. (People, there's always a bone of contention.) Is Jennifer Aniston ever not Jennifer Aniston in a movie? Does she ever do accents or novel facial expressions or gestures she doesn't ordinarily do when, say, being interview by Oprah? Don't get me wrong. I love Jennifer Aniston. I want to BE Jennifer Aniston. (I want to BE anyone who's made out with Vince Vaughn.) I mean, she's likable in all of her roles. Because she's, well, her. In her next role, I think they should just call the character she's going to play Jennifer Aniston. Jennifer Aniston as Jennifer Aniston.

Oh, sure, she played that depressed wife role in The Good Girl. So she slouched a bit and didn't smile much. Big whoop. Okay, maybe I'll make an exception for Leprechaun. Because if you can pull off hunting down a murderous Irish munchkin with a straight face, anything's possible.

Also, could the makeup people have at least TRIED to make it seem like they aged a bit? Jennifer and Owen looked exactly the same throughout the movie which takes place over like 13 years or something. The only thing aging was the dog. And the kids.

That said, I actually liked this movie. Shoot me.

Saturday, October 31, 2009


John Mayer as (sadly) John Mayer

Happy Halloween. Or not. Ours was such a bust I don't even have an adorable photo of my children to share with you. Oh, they looked adorable alright. When they weren't screaming their heads off. I knew enough to know that my quirky kids would not put on costumes. No way. So I bought them cute little Halloween-themed outfits. Too bad nobody got to see them. There was a party Thursday night in our temporary high-rise building which has a (rather depressing) "party" room. I got them decked out in their new outfits with plastic pumpkins in hand and announced, "Let's go to a party to see some kids!" I said this very enthusiastically thinking my attitude might be catching.

"No party! No party! No kids! Too many kids! WAAAAAHHHHHHHH!"

I wish they got the "no party" mentality from me. It would have made my college years a whole lot more productive. And some day I might come to appreciate their anti-party stance. Like when I'm paying their college tuition. But right now, when I actually like to socialize with other human beings (if only so I can complain about them later), it's annoying.

Not one to give up that easily when festivities are involved, we dragged them to another event on Halloween day where there was a petting zoo and other things kids are supposed to like. Unfortunately a woman dressed like Cruella De Vil greeted us and shrilly screamed "Twins!" to which they responded by screaming bloody murder which makes me think the girls should show up for a casting call for Halloween 45 or whatever number they are currently filming. We had to leave within two minutes.

There was also a party across the street we were invited to. Maybe they'll be in a better mood when they get up from their nap, I thought hopefully. When they woke up I asked nicely, "Want to go to a party across the street with kids from the neighborhood?"

"No party! No kids! Home! Home! Home!"

So at home we sat and watched a Halloween-themed Caillou, a riveting episode where Caillou can't decide what to dress up as. A real cliffhanger. And don't even ask me what happened when costumed children rang our bell and yelled "Trick or treat!" at the top of their lungs. I guess I should have expected this. If my kids don't like people in general, they're not going to like people dressed up like other people or worse.

PS -- With no photos of my children to share, I decided this post should be accompanied by the scariest image I could find.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Introducing a Fragrance By ... Naomi Campbell?

It would never occur to me that I'd like to smell like Naomi Campbell. Isn't she the person who said she doesn't get out of bed for less than $10,000 a day? People smell when they don't get out of bed all day. That is, they smell bad. So if people are dying for that smell I'd be happy to package that shit up and sell it to them. For probably a lot less than Naomi is hocking it for. I don't know what her version is called but I think I'd just cut to the chase and call it "Smelly."

Also, do you want to smell like someone who assaults her employees, spits on people at the airport and has snogged this guy? Umm, I'll stick with my own aromatic scent. It's free.

Well, news has it she is screwing people out of money on this ill-conceived perfume deal. Be happy you got off easy, folks! At least she didn't cut you with a bejeweled Blackberry necessitating you get stitches.

On a somewhat related note, I like this song. True Blood used it perfectly at the end of a show last season and it made me happy for like 12 minutes.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Celebrity Jackass

You know what I haven't spent nearly enough time doing lately? I'll give you a hint -- it's really really really important. No, not exercising. No, not reading to my children. No, not seeing a shrink. ALRIGHT ALREADY. I'll tell you: I haven't spent nearly enough time making fun of celebrities. If anyone deserves to be made fun of -- even more than my husband and children -- it's the animal that is a celebrity. (Except, and I think this goes without saying, Daniel Craig.)

And not the usual suspects like Lindsey Lohan or Paris Hilton or John Mayer (although I DO love to mock my John Mayer)... It's more satisfying to discover that famous people you thought might be kind of normal are complete pretentious nut balls. Nothing pleases me more, frankly.

Which brings me to Julianne Moore. Seems normal, right? Might be a nice gal who if you saw her out shopping she might quietly smile in your direction acknowledging that she knows that you know who she is but she's not being all tight-assed about it. Well, my friends, did you read the interview with her in the November issue of Elle magazine? If not, let me enlighten you with a particularly insightful excerpt:

Does Moore ever worry about being overexposed? "Are you asking me about being naked? Because I don't think that's a very interesting question," she says, her easy manner turning momentarily crisp. "What I want to do in my work is explore the human condition in all its aspects ... blah blah blah..."

I tell you what, Red. When YOU are the interviewer and WE are the interviewee maybe you can decide what questions you find interesting. Until then, STFU and answer the question. And might I suggest social work or the Peace Corps if your goal is to truly "explore the human condition in all its aspects."

Listen, maybe she was having a bad day. Maybe the interviewer was getting on her nerves. Maybe she just had a fight with her husband. Or maybe she just saw a photo of herself in an unflattering dress with a giant bow on it. I suppose I could give her the benefit of the doubt. But I don't think I will. That's just not the kind of person I am. If I start giving celebrities the benefit of the doubt I might extend that courtesy to the real people in my life and next thing you know my karma will start improving, I'll start exuding goodness and then my whole personality will go out the window. And people might start to like me. I'm not comfortable with that.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Homeward Bound

This week we will bid our "downtown lifestyle" adieu and move back to our little neighborhood north of downtown where we will resume our "north of downtown lifestyle." I didn't make up the term "downtown lifestyle." I'm not sure what it means but every advertisement for a condo downtown talks about the "downtown lifestyle" so it must be some very drastic lifestyle change that nobody told me about. Maybe it involves yoga or spouse-swapping or similar.

Anyway, I think what I'll miss the most is this big-ass statue we pass every day on Michigan Avenue as we walk to the park. I mean, have you ever seen anything so heinous beautiful? I don't think this statue at all reinforces the myth that the real cosmopolitan types move to NY and that only corn-fed, tooth-pickin' folksy Midwesterners live in Chicago. I used to work in the building behind this abomination before it was erected. Thank God I timed my resignation correctly! Imagine having a crappy day at work and you're greeted every day at 5 pm with the saggy butts of two 80-year-olds?

Yes, I know it's a famous painting and the Tribune did some mind-numbing important article about its cultural significance but I'm pretty sure even the painter didn't anticipate someone would build a 12-story version of his creation, manifesting it into King Kong-esque octogenarians who at any moment might come to life and stomp innocent Chicago civilians and tourists to death. I sometimes picture Naomi Watts dangling helplessly from the old man's pitchfork while waiting for Jack Black to save her.

I will also miss the guy in the red convertible Porsche who drives around with the top down with no regard for the weather and a bumper sticker that says "Bad boys drive bad toys." I had the opportunity to be driving behind him recently and cut off a cab so I could pull up to the light next to him and conjure up the best stink eye I could muster. I think he thought I was hitting on him. Because I always bring along two toddlers when I drive around trolling for men in the city.

Farewell, I'll write again soon while I my husband unpacks boxes.

PS -- I realize I've gone a bit strike-through-text crazy. I figured out an easy way to do it so I can't help myself. I'll get over it never soon.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Crib Climber

"See what you made Mommy do???"

One of the girls has figured out how to get out of the pack and play, which they are in since we have been temporarily exiled from our home. They were excellent nappers until she discovered instead of sleeping she could jump on the bed, tear clothes out of drawers and press her face into the mesh of her sister's pack and play in a gleeful goading manner that seems to say, "I can get out and you can't -- BAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"

I feel like I'm starring in the toddler version of Ferris Bueller's Day Off and I'm the evil principal.

Luckily (like Jennifer Grey who plays Ferris' sister) the other twin is pissed at this development and screams "Out! Out! Out!" like the good tattle-taler I always hoped to raise. (Actually, I think she's yelling that she also wants to get out and can't, but let me fantasize that she is offended by this blatant act of rule-breaking, thus the outbursts.)

I went into their room FOURTEEN times over an almost-three-hour period before she finally was too exhausted to hoist herself out. Every time I burst in the room, she would react differently. One time she pretended she was asleep on the floor. Another she put her hands over her face like she was playing peek-a-boo. Next she hid behind a chair. My favorite was when she continued jumping on the bed singing the Caillou song ("Caillou -- that's me!") as though bouncing around on a queen size bed at naptime is perfectly normal.

We move back to our house next week where plummeting a few feet onto a hardwood floor from the crib might stop this nonsense. Or it might necessitate a trip to the emergency room. So crib tents have been ordered (overnight delivery) and they will be set up before we move back. Boy, will they be pissed! Another bonus -- they can't toss their pacis out. (YES THEY ARE STILL ON A BOTTLE AND USE PACIS. SHOVE IT.)

In the meantime, I'll consider pacing back and forth to their room repeatedly my exercise.

PS -- RE: Caillou. Yes, I know you all warned me. But they had already had a taste of that little bald f#$% so it was too late. I have so many questions about Caillou. Why is that mother always so cheery -- does she not know she has two children under the age of four? Why does the grandmother look so much older than the grandfather? Does Ms. Martin have sex? Why does the mother wear the same thing every day? (I do too but I'm not on television.) Why does every adult female wear a headband? A constant stream of questions go through my head as we watch Caillou. One I'm especially not proud of: "What if that fire engine lost control and smooshed Caillou?"

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Girls Weekend

There's nothing a bottle of milk and Caillou can't cure.

I'm sitting here eating croutons (fat-free parmesan ranch if you must know) right out of the bag for dinner. My husband, the cook of the family, is at our house trying to unpack so we can move back there. (I'm trying to get into the spirit of Facebook where everyone shares what they're eating and doing in real time...)

Anyway, so this upcoming weekend I was supposed to go on a girls weekend with my best friend from high school (she rescued me from certain obscurity when I moved in the middle of 10th grade) and several of her college friends who I came to know and be close to as well. Then I got an e-mail last Wednesday with the title "Last Minute Planning." The gal hosting the extravaganza is Type A so I chalked it up to "last minute to her probably IS ten days in advance." Then I got a call from my friend saying "See you Friday!" And then it clicked. I had the wrong weekend. My flights were for the weekend of October 23 but this shit was going off the weekend of October 16. With or without me.

Last year I had to cancel because my daughters sensed I was doing something for myself and willed themselves ear infections. I couldn't very well cancel again this year and call and say, "Umm, right! You know how you've been planning this for months? Well, I got the date wrong biatches! Have fun without me." So thank you Southwest Airlines! No questions asked or fees incurred, they switched my flights and I even had one of those annoying delightful singing flight attendants to boot.

And, always one to take a lesson away from life's adventures, here's what I learned:
  • All husbands suck are challenging. This is either very depressing or very liberating depending on how you look at it. (Actually, I learned other husbands don't work full time plus pay the bills, clean the house, cook the food and generally serve as a butler so I came back a bit more appreciative. But don't tell my husband that).
  • These women actually know somebody who poisoned her husband's breakfast with cyanide and killed him. My first question: "What did he do to make her kill him?" Second was what she put the cyanide in. Apparently orange juice or an omelet or a combination thereof.
  • Five women should not commandeer a boat to dinner when those five women know very little about boats but a lot about wine.
  • Southwest Airlines doesn't consider an obese man doused with a poisonous level of cheap cologne a domestic terrorist.
  • My girls can survive 48 hours without me.
  • My husband can survive for 48 hours without me.
  • My girls don't make my husband sit and watch Calliou with them while they drink their night-time bottle like he's a prisoner in a war camp where they punish inmates with children's television. (It's a good idea... incarceration officials should try it and see if the incidence of repeat offenders plummets.)
  • I need to spend more time with friends.
Next year's girls weekend is only 359 days away but who's counting...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Making Work Pay

I taught a class one night last week about transitioning into a public relations career. The fact I am transitioning OUT of a public relations career is, evidently, irrelevant. It's one of those things I agreed to months in advance and then when the date actually arrives I want to shoot myself or something similarly deadly for agreeing to it in the first place. I'm more likely to be excited about teaching a class about hosting a blog that only about 12 people read, one of whom is my mother and probably just because she feels obligated. But, let's face it, nobody is going to let me teach a course called "Write a Blog Nobody Reads" although I think the title alone might be intriguing to certain underachieving, self-loathing writer types.

Regardless, at the risk of generating serious envy, I'd like to share with you the financial details of my lucrative teaching endeavor:

Payment for my services: +$300

Cupcakes from upscale bakery to buy students' affection and goodwill: -$45

Cab to and from class: -$38

Manicure (one can't have credibility with one's students when one's cuticles are bloody stumps): -$15

Pedicure (who gets a manicure without a pedicure?): -$25

New lipstick to make me look professional (or like
a harlot depending on your point of view): -$16

Copies of my presentation since I am currently without a printer: -$17

Two McDonalds cheeseburgers with fries and Diet Coke (the #2 Meal Deal if you will, not Supersized but I thought about it) because I wouldn't be home for dinner and because it's what I would choose for my last meal if I were going to a death sentence which I felt I was: -$3.36

Large (venti? grande?) Starbucks skinny vanilla latte because
I was tired and the class lasted til 10 pm which is two hours past my bedtime: -$4.10

Uncle Sam's portion: -$120

PLUS, of course I needed a new outfit because I can't stand in front of a
bunch of judgmental people way younger than I looking like a fuddy duddy now can I?

So let's add a $415 JCrew expenditure to the list.

In summary, I spent $703.46 to make $300. That class cost me $403.46.

So as I keep telling my husband -- my working does in fact not pay. I,
frankly, CAN'T AFFORD to work.

PS -- Feel free to borrow this rationale if your spouse is currently hinting
you may want to consider getting a job. Get a job? Well, I'd love to!
But we simply can't afford it...