Sunday, June 28, 2009

Discipline 101

When I say "no no" to my kids they start mocking me. "NO NO!" they yell and giggle and keep doing exactly what they are doing. I've read you have to be consistent and follow through when disciplining kids. I do the exact opposite. Here is a typical scenario.

(Girls get up on couch and start jumping.)

Me: No, no girls. We sit on the couch. Sit. (I tend to repeat myself when talking to them like some kind of moron.)

Them: No no no! (Giggle. Continue jumping.)

(I spot them so they don't go flinging off the couch. I'm an enabler. Always have been, always will be.)

(Girls climb onto coffee table from the couch.)

Me: Girls, really, no no. We don't climb on the coffee table.

Girls: No! No! (Giggle. Giggle.)

(Girls go from all fours to standing on coffee table.)

Me: Girls, seriously, no no. You're going to get a boo boo! (I always threaten the impending boo boo.)

(Girls point to boo boos on their knees and nod. Continue walking around on coffee table.)

(I go over and hold their hands as they walk around on coffee table so they don't fall off. Then decide they look cute and take picture.)

Please look for a post in about 12 years with their first mug shot for an armed robbery for which I supply the gun and drove the getaway car.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Which Angel Were You?

My favorite of Charlie's Angels growing up was Jill played by Farrah Fawcett. I found myself sad to hear she passed away, even a little teary-eyed. My friends and I used to play Charlie's Angels and every time I begged to be Jill but always got stuck playing Sabrina (Kate Jackson). When you have horribly bucked teeth and five-inch thick glasses as a child, it doesn't leave much room for negotiation. Not that Kate Jackson's a bad looking gal but for some reason nobody ever wanted to play her.

I was also sometimes forced to be Bosley if too many girls were around. I mean, even being Sabrina each time was better than impersonating a chubby balding guy with a lisp. I once played Charlie and had to stay covered under a blanket and every once in a while just bellow "Hello Angels!" from underneath the covers. Even that was better than Bosley.

Despite my fondness for the series, I've never had any interest in seeing the Charlie's Angels movies. Drew Barrymore freaks me out. I can't ever concentrate on the character she's playing because I'm so distracted by the way she talks out of the side of her mouth. Can't some fancy acting school in LA help rid her of that habit?

Okay, so for a little blast from the past, here is a tribute to Farrah paired with the song -- ready for it? -- I Honestly Love You by Olivia Newton John. If this doesn't make you cry, stab yourself in a vein and make sure red flows out because you might not be human.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Low Standards

It's no surprise I have very low television standards. I, for example, think this season of The Bachelorette is on par with classics like M*A*S*H and Mary Tyler Moore. The difference, I suppose, is M*A*S*H and the like were trying to be funny. The Bachelorette just is funny.

So it's with great surprise I realized last night that I CANNOT in good conscience bear to watch ONE MORE MINUTE of the debacle that is the Kendra show on E!, even though I was reviewing it for this very awesome web site. I have my standards. They may be low, but I have some. What if the show is picked up for another season and me and my TIVO contributed to this victory in some small way? I accidentally started watching Kendra and for some reason (booze?) decided to review it when I meant to turn on Denise Richards' show "It's Complicated," which by the way it's not, and Kendra came on. MY mistake indeed.

Also, True Blood started back up and it just seemed wrong to watch both shows in one evening. It would be like pairing a really pricey well-aged Pinot with a bag of barbecue cheese-flavored O-Ke-Doke popcorn.

If you know of some really good reality tv, fill me in. I may need to add another show to the void that Kendra will leave. The big, vapid, awful, mind-numbing void.

PS -- The girls and I start "toddler camp" tomorrow. Did our mothers partake in such activities with us when we were babies? The Chicago Park District just sent out a memo with lots of instructions in BIG BOLD LETTERS with an abundance of exclamation points like NO SNACKS IN THE GYM -- NO EXCEPTIONS!!! and SNEAKERS MUST BE WORN AT ALL TIMES -- NO EXCEPTIONS!!! and YOU NEED PROOF OF CHILD'S AGE -- NO EXCEPTIONS!!! Sheesh. Let's all get off to a nice, cordial start, shall we? By the time I finished the memo I felt like I was in grade school and had been scolded by my teacher. And we haven't even done anything wrong yet. Is this supposed to be fun or a preclude to a stint in juvy?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Too Big To Fail

My husband's Fathers Day gift this year was my allowing him to golf all day Saturday. I guess he's pretty good at golf. Or so he tells me. He's in a charity tournament every June, and unfortunately his team won, meaning we have possession of the eyesore above until next summer. I have no clue what a shark fin has to do with golf so don't ask. I suspect this will go missing tomorrow after he leaves for work and I'll happen to find it Memorial Day Weekend 2010.

The team name was "Too Big To Fail" and the event's founder deemed them having "a good chance to win provided President Obama doesn't mandate the redistribution of strokes to less fortunate foursomes." And you thought Republicans weren't funny!

Oh, I also got up with the girls this morning so he could sleep in. I'd say all in all my gift -- in female terms -- equates to 2-carat diamond stud earrings. Color of at least a G and no inclusions. Of course I don't have pierced ears but that's besides the point. Which reminds me: I got my ears sewn up many years ago after they tore and didn't get them re-pierced. But now I think I need some earrings to detract from my aging head. Big-ass hoops seem the logical choice. I'll report back on how many people notice my rejuvenated appearance.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Go Daddy-O!

Back by popular demand (read here my mom likes them): a video of my children. As usual, should you choose to click on it, turn your volume down if you are in a public venue -- like work -- and don't want people to think you're having a Swingers theme party in your cubicle. (Notice I assume you are in a cubicle. Who important enough to have an office would read my blog? No offense.)

I believe in a consistent bedtime routine so babies know it's time to relax and start getting soothed toward sleep. So I'm not entirely sure how this crept into the mix before their bath each night. But these little babies are so money... (Okay, very lame but I couldn't resist! I love you, Vince Vaughn!!!)

Monday, June 15, 2009

KC in Chicago

If your immediate thought was "And the Sunshine Band" you are a bigger dork than I am. No, Kenny Chesney, people! I had already seen his 2009 tour in Alabama last month, so I'm coming dangerously close to being one of those Phish-like freaks. If I start having an urge to make and sell hemp accessories, we'll know for sure.

Let me just say it, and I hope it doesn't hurt anyone's feelings: Kenny Chesney doesn't like southern people. There is no other explanation for why his show in Chicago was SO MUCH BETTER. He played longer, performed more encores and seemed like he actually wanted to be there. In Alabama you kind of got the feeling he was a dog with an invisible fence along the perimeter of the stage and he'd go running off if it wasn't for the fear of getting electrocuted.

It was the first girls night out I'd had in a very long time. We started outside at the Park Grill where the waitress took an immediate disliking to our party. After not coming to take our order for about 20 minutes, we thought maybe that section of outdoor seating required you to go to the bar. So while several of us headed up to the bar for drinks, the waitress (finally) sauntered by to take our order. After being told we were up at the bar getting drinks she chastised the rest of our group who went ahead and ordered another round for everyone since we figured she might not return until the year 2012. It was downhill from there. She returned every 45 minutes or so and looked disappointed we were still alive and hadn't succumbed to dehydration.

We skipped the opening acts before Kenny. Because several of us are allergic to SugarLand. The Obama Administration should look into replacing waterboarding with that woman's voice. After 30 seconds, I think we'll learn all we need to know. Although this might result in a lot of false confessions. They'll all be screaming, "I did it! Please God I did it just make it stop!" I love country music but I hate when singers add in an extra twang for effect. We get it: You're COUNTRY.

So after Kenny, we endured the Death March that ensues after a show at Soldier Field, where you have to walk for miles to find transportation. Note to Mayor Daley: Maybe tidy that problem up before our final bid for the Olympics. But despite the surly waitress, despite the long trek home afterward, it was very good times. And I'm just glad Kenny's hostility is limited to the south. Or maybe just Alabama?

PS --Go here for some reality tv recaps. There are four bloggers, myself included, working tirelessly watching very bad tv so you don't have to.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I Love the US Postal Service!

I have a long history of screwing up online purchases. I'll order the wrong thing, the wrong size or send it to the wrong address about a third of the time.  Which I is why I suppose most companies ask you to kindly review your "basket" and purchase details before pressing "submit." I've already spent about 20 minutes too long by that point so I usually bypass this crucial step.  

So, anyway, the other day I open up a much anticipated box from Amazon containing a bunch of books and see there are two of Dr. Oz's "You: Staying Young." I assure you I am working on a project for which I need this -- I am not reading this of my own free will.  I was very upset because: 1) Amazon charged me for the extra book; and 2) I sort of expected this book to come with a shriveled up liver or similar.  So I am damning Amazon to high heaven, hoping they didn't charge me for their screw up.  Yes, this did, and according to the invoice, they are under the asinine assumption I ordered two of these things.  I didn't even really want ONE, I fumed to myself. How dare they charge me an extra $17.99 plus tax for a duplicate book?  It then occurs to me that perhaps I look at my e-mail confirmation order, and lo and behold, I had accidentally ordered two.

Normally, I would just keep it -- mailing things has never been my strong suit. But we are on somewhat of a budget these days, and hey, $17.99 is two coffees at Starbucks.  Amazon actually makes the return very easy, providing the mailing label and everything. So I pack up whatever Dr. Oz is peddling back into its box and head to the post office because it's cheaper than UPS. Albeit not nearly as friendly as I am about to find out.

So (have I mentioned how proud I am of myself at this point?), there I am, waiting in line at the post office pleased as punch with how quickly and efficiently I am taking care of my little mistake.  It's finally my turn and I cheerfully greet the clerk and explain I need to ship this box and that it is pre-paid by Amazon (they take shipping out of the amount they refund to you) and she looks at the box and says, "Well, it's not taped up."  We didn't have any packing tape at home but I figured the post office would have some.  And I was right. Sitting right next to her was a big roll of packing tape ready for use.

"Ummm, can't I just use that?" and I point to the tape.

"Nope, that's just for priority mail and this mailing slip is for regular shipping."

"So I can't use a piece of that packing tape sitting right there on your counter is what you're telling me?"

"That's correct."

Silence. More silence. We stand there staring at each other. I learned as a PR professional not to be afraid of a little silence in a conversation. It was a battle of wills and I was not going to speak first.  

She then says, just as I was about to break because I was never all that good at PR anyway: "We sell packing tape for $3.35 right over there" and points to a display of various merchandise.  I laugh because I realize SHE REALLY ISN'T GOING TO LET ME USE HER TAPE.

I stuff my metaphoric tail between my metaphoric legs and go over to the display. Nobody said this was going to be easy and I wasn't going to let this lady ruin my (very rare) good mood.  The spot reserved for packing tape is empty. I look over at the counter and now a humongous line has formed because it's lunch time. I take my (untaped) box back out to my car and head to Target, where I had to go anyway because I'm really livin' the dream here in Chicago.  So I buy some packing tape at Target (for less than $3.00 might I add) and head back to the post office. I get a metered parking spot right in front and proceed to tape up my box.  I get out and look at the parking meter and it says "Failed" on it.  Chicago recently leased all of its parking meters to some outside company and now you need about 40 quarters for each hour you are parked and the meters are getting jammed with quarters because  this company can't unload the quarters fast enough. 

So, with my now taped up box and quarter in hand that I cannot place into the meter (and I think you know where this is going) I march into the post office, hoping I get the same lady (which I don't), and mail my box. About 40 seconds later I emerge victoriously from said post office to see a ticket for $50 on my window.  So instead of being stuck with a book I could probably hawk as a gift, I'm now out about $55 if you include the shipping that Amazon will deduct from my refund.

Which goes to show you: Trying to do the prudent thing is a waste of time and money. That, or don't park at a meter that reads "Failed" if you're ever in Chicago.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

New Baby Shampoo WOO HOO! (Cartwheels Ensue...)

Does the photo above excite you for some reason? Me neither. On a related note, following is a word-for-word exchange between my husband and I:

Him upon returning from Walmart: I got Johnson's baby shampoo and bath stuff. It was on special so I bought a bunch.  (Holds up and shows me said products).

Me: Oh, okay.

Him: Well you don't seem very excited.

Me: Err, well, probably because I'm not... 

Him: Well, the ones you bought -- that generic -- the label comes off when it gets wet and the girls can peel it off and eat it.

Me: Okay...

Him: This one has no paper label they can peel off.

Me: Yup, okay, I see that. Great.

Him: It was on sale.

Me: Yes, okay, so you said. Perfect.

Him: Well, you don't seem very happy...


Seriously. Has our life become so devoid of excitement (minus, of course, The Bachelorette, which we both find terribly exciting) that we must have a full-fledged discussion about BABY SHAMPOO PRODUCTS? 

I'm pretty sure our marriage is intact only because we spend about 12 hours a week dissecting Jilllian Harris' various suitors. We're deep like that. Why discuss world hunger or poverty or the Middle East crisis when an annoying Canadian gal who thinks everything is "wicked" is willing to go on television and make out with 12 guys in the name of finding Mr. Right? My husband immediately predicted who Jillian would pick on her two-on-one date last night. I like that kind of foresight in a person, especially since I was dead wrong.  I may write host Chris Harrison a note thanking him for keeping my marriage alive. Of course, if my husband comes home with a new brand of diaper cream this evening and wants to debate its merits,  I may spend time drafting a property settlement agreement instead. He, of course, can take custody of the plethora of baby shampoo.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Fish Tales

How was your weekend? Okay, enough about you. This is my blog.  So yesterday morning was fairly gloomy here in America's third most miserable city with torrential rains forecasted. I don't know about you, but to me sitting in the house all day with two toddlers is akin to being locked in a sorority house and knowing Ted Bundy is on his way. So, because of this and my strange need to intellectually stimulate my children in ways I never even stimulate myself as an adult, we took them to the Shedd Aquarium to gaze at sea otters and beluga whales and such.

I also heard they had a new toddler play zone which really just turned out to be a crowded area in which you could try on penguin costumes and slide down a "polar icecap" wearing said costume.  So, anyway, we arrive there and we bring the Baby Bjorns because the girls are vehemently opposed to their (fancy $600 -- DO I SOUND BITTER?!) stroller.  Now I know how Holly Madison feels wearing an extra 23 pounds on her chest, and I wasn't even trying to dance.

We arrive and the girls seem intrigued by the giant sea turtle and colorful fish and they're pointing and laughing and having a good ole' time.  "Good idea," I tell myself, "you are a swell mom, thinking of fun, age-appropriate, inspiring activities for your children.  Kudos to you! Someone should nominate you for mother of the year!" I continue this self-congratulatory conversation with myself for about three minutes. Which is how long it takes the girls to get bored and start whining. Relentlessly.  

So, all told, with tickets and parking and such, this outing cost us $85 which turns out to be $28.33 per minute for the time we enjoyed. And the girls got in free. Good thing they aren't three years old yet when the Shedd starts charging admission or I would have had to kick some ass. And by "some ass" I mean my husband's. Doesn't he know a dumb idea when he hears one???

Note to self: If you lived in Chicago for 11 years  before having children and didn't feel the need to visit a cultural venue, there is no need for you to expose your 18-month old twins to it.  

But my Sunday only got worse after the girls went to sleep. Read all about it.  Thank God The Bachelorette is on tonight. I feel like I just lost a tooth and the tooth fairy is on her way. Yippee!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Restraining Order Anyone?

Let's face it, I'm a blast and a half to hang out with. There's no denying that. I mean, I'm deeppolitically savvyhave good Karma and talk about this season of The Bachelorette pretty much every waking moment. What more could you want in a companion? But even I'm not so engaging that someone should go ballistic if I so much as leave the room for two seconds.  

My babies basically stalk me.  I may have to teach them about the birds and the bees sooner than most because (and forgive me if I sound like Jenny McCarthy here in the TMI department) I can't even change a tampon without their presence.  My husband and I alternate getting up with them on the weekends but as soon as they reach the top of the stairs they start chanting, "MAMA! MAMA! MAMA!"  Who can sleep through that???  Sometimes they'll stand outside the bedroom door banging on it when they know I'm in there.  

If there was a prequel to Fatal Attraction I bet Glenn Close was similar as a baby. It won't be long before my girls are boiling bunnies on someone's burners.

This is not conducive to my mental well-being and I wonder if a restraining order will do the trick. Maybe even a limited one that is only in effect from 7:00 am to 9:00 am on Saturday mornings for example.  Any law enforcement officials out there who can answer if such a thing is legal?  I don't really want them arrested or anything... but maybe a brief spell in the clink would teach them a lesson: LEAVE MOMMY ALONE FOR 30 MINUTES A DAY WHEN ANOTHER ADULT IS PRESENT FOR CRYING OUT LOUD. 

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Mental Illness

It has come to my attention that my non-OCD twin also has developed a mental illness, albeit one harder to cure: Identity Disorder Syndrome. She thinks she is, in fact, one of the Little People. 

My first clue was when she threw the Little People bus driver callously from his post and tried to climb in, presumably to take over driving duties.  Unfortunately, not only was she unsuccessful thereby hurting her self-esteem, but, far more important, we failed to catch it on video.  She had a tad bit more success figuring out how to go down the Little People's Amusement Park slide. Only a tad. After one trip down and a "whhheeeee!" you can't hear on the video, she tries again to no avail. 

I'm aware you (hopefully) have better things to do than watch video footage of another person's child. If you were into that sort of thing, you could watch "Jon and Kate Plus Eight" and call it a night. A distastrous, depressing night at that.  But this isn't all about you, people. I need documentation to show that my children were quite possibly insane at an early age so I can negate the blame they will undoubtedly throw at their mother (it's always the mother's fault!) when they seek therapy later in life. And I edited a 20-minute video down to about a minute so stop your whining.  The same courtesy can't be boasted by TLC.

Warning: Music accompanies this video. I used to hate when I was at work pretending to work and I'd innocently click on a link and sound would blare out and I would frantically look for the off button or the volume on my computer and it would ruin the guise that I was actually being productive that day.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Best Product Ever!

The human race never ceases to amaze me. Sliced bread, Botox and now this: Daniel Craig ice pops. Thank you Del Monte! This is pure heaven on a stick. Literally.  They come in blueberry, pomegranate and cranberry. Personally, I'd prefer they taste like Daniel Craig emerging from the ocean -- a mix of salt water and his sweat. But, hey, Del Monte didn't bother to consult me.

I swore I would never link to Perez Hilton's blog. Ever. But I can't find this covered anywhere else. Thank you to my one reader who tipped me off.  I'm off to buy a new freezer so I can order a life-time supply. I fear consumers won't show the same enthusiasm as I and the product might not be available forever. I want to be sure when I am all alone slobbering in my bed at the nursing home, I can die in peace licking Daniel Craig.

PS -- Del Monte PR people: If you need a spokesperson for this product, look no further!  I am available and promise not to lick the real Daniel Craig (in public) when we travel on our multi-city, international promotional tour. (Please make sure our hotel rooms are next to each other. Just for convenience sake...)

PSS -- If you are interested in what amounted to the most boring hour of television ever, here is my post on the horror show that is "Jon and Kate Plus Eight."

Monday, June 1, 2009


What would make an 18-month old insist on wearing pink wrist bands with soccer balls on them?  She found them at my mom's house and has basically refused to take them off since. I have to bribe her at bath time and I'm hoping they aren't a hazard to sleep in.  I've talked about her fixation on things before, like a fascination with pumpkin garb way past Halloween. She's over that now, but wants to wear her Christmas pajamas five nights a week.  My girls are identical, so shouldn't they both be obsessive compulsive?  Perhaps I can enter them in a twin study and we will be soley responsible for determining the exact gene and cure for this form of mental illness, thereby winning a Nobel Peace Prize or similar. (And if you think I'm donating our time, think again. Show me the money!  God, I hated that movie.)

Also of concern today: My disdain for Jenny McCarthy.  I need (more) therapy after catching up on her blog at Opes needs to rethink several of her affiliations. My thoughts here.