Sunday, May 29, 2011

Welcome to the Hall's of medicine.

Tommy's rummaging around in my desk again.
"Mommy! Canny!"
"That's not candy, honey. That's a honey-lemon cough drop."
"My eat?"
"You won't like it. It tastes yucky. Ocky."
"My eat?"
"Fine. Suit yourself."

two minutes later

Tommy walks up to me, takes my left hand in his, carefully unfolds my fingers, opens his mouth over my palm, and lets the cough drop fall out into my hand, accompanied by a good amount of sticky honey-lemon drool.
"Canny ocky, Mommy."
This is at least the fourth time this scene has played out at my house.  And every time, every single time, Tom laughs so hard tears roll down his cheeks.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Because it's hot outside

Tommy is sitting with a bowl of ice cream in front of him. I am a kind and generous mother so I have gotten the cupcake sprinkles down for him. But alas, they have a big wide mouth on the jar and not a shaker lid, so we must be careful with this. I pour some into my hand and sprinkle them upon the ice cream.

Tommy: My try!

Me: Ummmmm, okay.

He pours some sprinkles into his hand and they fall through his fingers.

Tommy: My try adenn.
He tries again very carefully and slowly and this time cups his hand right and pours maybe half a teaspoon on the ice cream.

Tommy: My try, Mommy!
He jerks the jar out of my hand, always independent. He very carefully pours a small amount of sprinkles into his palm and then... DUMPS THE WHOLE JAR ONTO HIS ICE CREAM!

Tommy: despondent My ice cream! then happy My nummy!
He is now scarfing down a 50/50 mix of vanilla ice cream and candy sprinkles.
Mmmmm Mommy!

Monday, May 23, 2011

An exercise in futility

It is once again time for me to make up Ryan's summer reading list.  This is a list of books that I feel kids should read, which I am ensuring she will never read simply by recommending them. Because I am an idiot and I never learn.
  1. For the third year in a row, The Picture Of Dorian Gray
  2. For the third year in a row, 1984
  3. Jennifer Government (I think she actually wanted to read this book until I recommended it)
  4. Pardon Me, You're Stepping On My Eyeball
  5. Slaughterhouse 5
And this year I've decided to add movies to the list too, since maybe she'll sit down and watch a film for 2 hours to get me off her back since she obviously won't read a book to accomplish it.
  1. Milk
  2. The Breakfast Club
  3. Ferris Bueller's Day Off
  4. Better Off Dead
  5. The Secret Of My Success

Sunday, May 22, 2011

What fuddy duddy?

I had a friend tell me the other day that she was making it her mission to young me up, whatever that means. She said I act too old, and she's going to fix that.  "But I like being old," I told her. "Oh, you can keep being mature and adult. We'll just get rid of the fuddy duddy part."  Wait, what?
What fuddy duddy part? My cardigan sweater with the tissues in the pocket?  My gray hair*?  My cups of hot chamomile tea and 10:00 bedtime?  Maybe there's more, some horrifically geriatric aspect of my personality that I'm not aware of. But if not then I have to ask, why are we getting rid of my fuddy duddy part? I like my fuddy duddy part.  And I appreciate the thought, but I don't want my twenties back. I don't like loud clubs with flashing lights, I don't like late nights, and I don't like uncomfortable and attractive clothing.  I cringe every time I hear some fashion industry person complain about sweatpants and how Americans are getting slovenly picking comfort over looks.  Why not pick comfort? Why MUST fashion be uncomfortable? 
I suppose I'm supposed to dread aging, and fear being old, but I don't.  For one thing, If I'm destined to die at 80 I still have another 45 years left, even if I act 80 now.  Being a fuddy duddy doesn't bring me any closer to death than acting 20 would.  But also, every time I go to a funeral for someone who died in his teens, or twenties, or even thirties, I think about how sad it is that they didn't get to be old. Old is a prize, a goal, something you should want to achieve.  Quite literally, it beats the alternative.

* I was asked recently why I mention my hair so much and I realized that I'm embarrassed by it. Not by the gray, but by the fact that it's half red, half gray. I can't wait for it to grow out long enough to cut off the dye and be done with it, but until then I'm embarrassed by my tri-color head.

Saturday, May 21, 2011


Rapture, traffic, and Jewish soldiers

Am I the only one who wondered if maybe the Rapture really was gonna happen today? Not like "Oh I better repent because Jesus will call home his flock today," but like "If I'm out in traffic and a driverless Caddy with a Jesus fish sticker takes out my minivan, and I kinda knew it was coming before I left the house, I am gonna be pissed!"

Also, on an unrelated note that occurred to me today as I drove past one of those stupid flat cemeteries where they make you have flat little stones so no one can find your grave unless they're standing right over it: What do they do when they bury a Jew in a military cemetery? Or are Jews not allowed?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Waycho Canny

Tommy: "Mom! C'mere quick!"

Me (Oh God no, what now?) : "Why, honey?"

Tommy: "Canny! Mess! Canny mess!"

Me (getting up and following him into his bedroom): "Where? Show me."

Tommy (pointing to a mess of bright red handprints all over his mattress) "There."

Me: "Who did this?"

Tommy: "Danny the baby."

Me: "How?!"

Tommy: "Waycho's canny. Waycho's mommy canny."

And now it all makes sense. Danny found a piece of Twizzler (Rachael candy) which Rachael's Mommy very kindly gave to Tommy and Rachael, and chewed it into a red pulpy mess.  Also, he seems to have spit the mess out onto the floor, and it dried into the carpet. I think I'll make Tom clean that part up.

Monday, May 16, 2011


I don't usually do this, but I'm doing it here. Dawn, close this window. Read this post in a year or two, but not today. I need to write it and post it for other people dealing with other things, but you do not need to see this. It's not bad or insulting, just in really bad taste to put this up here right now and not warn you away from it. I'm talking out my ass in a voice you own, and I don't want to make you sad with a cancer post.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Starting to think I'm the only one

I was chatting with someone the other day about those dual zone electric blankets, where each half has its own gauge, and I mentioned that I don't understand how they would work unless each person slept separately on their own side of the bed and who does that, really.  I got a blank stare.  Apparently everybody does that, everybody but me.
Tom and I sleep in the middle, or both on one side.  We sleep together, spooning or with one person curled against the other. And while I never assumed that everybody did that, I did assume that probably half of all couples did it and that the other half at least were near each other.  Apparently I was wrong and everybody but me and Tom sleep far apart from each other, with some sort of electrified barbed wire barrier down the middle of the bed.  That's an exaggeration, but you get my drift.  I've always wondered about those Sleep Number beds, and dual sided heated mattress pads, and those Craftmatic beds with the split down the middle.  But it seems like we are just the only couple who sleep all smushed together.  I just wonder why.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

yet another pet peeve

I get so sick of people who ask for advice and then answer their own question with a refusal to fix the problem.  "How do I get my baby to go back to sleep? And don't say let her cry because I'm not willing to do that."  "Is there any reason I shouldn't marry my girlfriend and don't tell me 'because I'm too young' because that's not a reason."  "What's wrong with saying n***** and don't say it's racist because I don't use it that way."  Basically what they're saying, what they're all saying, is "How do I solve this problem and don't tell me how to solve it because I'm unwilling to solve it."  I especially hate this when I do it, because not only am I engaging in a practice that is completely ineffective and ignorant, but I'm being a total hypocrite by doing it.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

mom body

If I were to wake up tomorrow and be 19 years old again, with tight skin and everything up where it used to be, I would not be thrilled.  I'd like being skinny, but I would miss my stretch marks and chewed on parts.

Monday, May 09, 2011

A loud day

Today is a loud day.  I don't have a headache, yet, but every sound just stabs into my ear like an ice pick. Tommy sounds louder, my cell phone rings louder, I've had to turn down the volume on everything I can.  I know I will have a headache by the end of the day, but right now it's just loud.  I do not like loud days because they make me a bad mom. To counteract this, I am trying to be a super-good mom today. I let Tommy make brownies, which invariably leads to powdered mix on the table, egg shells in the batter, and then somehow they turn out great anyway. But it's a mess and a hassle I usually try to avoid, plus it's jsut more chocolate and junk food in the house and who needs that?  Then I made him a big bowl of popcorn, which means he won't eat lunch, but he's only fed a couple handfuls to the cat and is watching Wall-E silently on the couch so it's okay for now.

Thursday, May 05, 2011


Ten things to never buy generic
  1. KY jelly, Astroglide, etc.  I firmly believe that if you're looking over your budget trying to find places to cut back, and it's your lube expenses that are really killing you, you have issues bigger than buying generic. Also, generic stuff is sticky, which is the exact opposite of what you want in a lubricant.
  2. Spaghetti sauce. It's all red and lumpy in a jar, but seasoning counts for something. Unless you want tomato paste with pepper, buy the Ragu.
  3. Chocolate. Especially if it says "chocolately" instead.  Chocolately coated or chocolately flavored are just bad. Always. Without exception.
  4. Diapers.  Plenty of people swear by store brand diapers but I've never been lucky enough to have a kid who can pee solely within the confines of a generic diaper's limited padding.
  5. Tampons.  Whoever engineered Tampax must have been a genius, because getting the actual tampon to absorb rather than having the string just wick blood into clothing seems to be a very difficult feat.  Also, cotton must be woven just so to keep it from dissolving inside of body cavities.  No one wants to expel lint for a week post-menses.
  6. Cheez-Its. Generic cheese crackers, and I've tried them all, are bad.  They're oily and taste bad.  
  7. Laundry detergent.  I once loaned a 5 year old t shirt to a friend.  I got it back a month later completely faded because she washed it 3 times in generic detergent, as opposed to dozens (hundreds?) of times with my Tide.  
  8. Toys. Fun Dough is not Play Doh. Transmorphers aren't Transformers.  Elmo doesn't have eyebrows. Kids know these things.  I think every girl my age received, at one point, a "fashion doll" as a gift with thin hollow limbs held on by very loosely molded ball and socket joints.  I think they still sell them at dollar stores.
  9. Electronics.  A $200 big screen television probably won't save you money in the long run, not after you buy it, realize it's a cheap POS, and then go buy the full price one to replace it with anyway.
  10. Ice cream. Vanilla should be beige, with flecks of black. If it's Clorox commercial white, it'll taste like shit and be a waste of empty calories. Splurge for the good stuff and just eat less.

Ten things to always buy generic
  1.  Ibuprofen/acetaminophen.  There's no reason to pop for Motrin or Tylenol when the FDA ensures that it's all the same.  Plus, when's the last time you heard about a generic recall?
  2. Paper.  Construction paper for the kids, notebooks, printer paper.  It's all pretty much the same. And if one generic "brand" sucks, just try another one next time.
  3. Butter.  Most of us are so used to margarine that we aren't going to notice if one box of salted butter is less salty than another. Usually it's for baking anyway, so just buy generic. You can read the ingredients and make sure it's the same.
  4. Saltines.  They're bisquick, water, and salt.  Kinda hard to mess up.
  5. Bread.  With a few exceptions, store brand white bread is just like Wonder Bread, and whole wheat split top is the same as Sara Lee, but without the advertising budget.
  6. Meat. Boneless skinless chicken breasts don't differ much, whether they're store brand or Tyson. Same with fish fillets, shrimp, ground beef, just about anything that just gets killed, butchered, and sold. Not a lot of room for error there.
  7. Pasta. As much as they want you to believe otherwise, Creamette, Barilla, and Great Value are all pretty much the same.
  8. Light bulbs. I suppose specialty bulbs might be different but regular 40 watt bulbs are differentiated by type (incandescent, LED, flourescent) rather than by brand quality.
  9. Rubbing alcohol, peroxide, bandages, gauze.  Unless your wound really really requires Spongebob graphics, just about any bandage will work. There's no reason to spring for Band-Aid when Curad is the same. 
  10. Kitty litter.  It's all basically clay with baking soda in it. They haven't yet invented the self-cleaning always-sterile kitty litter.

He's just odd

Tommy walks up to me, leans in really close, cups my face in his hands, and whispers, "Peeeeeeeeeeetsa."
"You want pizza?"
"Nooooooo. Meeeeeeeeeeeeelk."
"You want milk?"
"Nooooooo. Waaaaaaaaaaahyerrrrrrrrrrr."
"You want water?"
I look over at the couch, at the water bottle he had to set down in order to come cup my face in his hands to ensure that I pay the utmost attention to his little toddler grocery list.  "Isn't that your water bottle right there?"
"Alright." And he walks away to go drink his water.  I have no idea what any of this accomplished.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011


Look at these men.  They just look different.  Probably the two most well known evil men in recent history, and only one looks the part.  Adolf Hitler just looks like a monster.  His expression is angry, severe, merciless.  He looks like the kind of guy to orchestrate a genocide.  Osama Bin Laden looks nice.  He looks like a guy who'd hand you a flower at the airport.  His expression is peaceful, serene, spiritual.  And yet he was a monster.  A monster in human form, who committed and orchestrated horrible atrocities against innocent people.  But in the eyes, he looked nice.  It's one thing that strikes me in the last few days, as the news is full of stories about his death.  In the history books my children, and all future generations, will see a serene face.  When I was in school and we saw a monster in the history book, he looked like a monster. He was Hitler, in stark black and white with his arm out in nazi salute.  He didn't look like a Mike Meyers movie.  I fear that the reality, the horror of the man, will be lost just because the worst monster of our time happened to have kind eyes. 

Monday, May 02, 2011

still yummy

I have decided that I loved my invention pasta dish so much that I am going to post the recipe. This would also be great with low carb pasta, especially Dreamfields.

one can diced tomatoes, drainied
one half polish sausage / kielbasa sliced into half inch sections
quarter cup fresh or frozen basil*
1T minced or chopped garlic
parsley to taste
salt & pepper
olive oil
spaghetti (I use thin spaghetti and I mix regular with whole wheat, but any kind would work.)

Cook spaghetti. When you put the pasta in the water, drizzle oil in a deep skillet (I use a chicken fryer) and brown sausage as evenly as possible, stirring occasionally.  Add tomatoes, garlic, basil, and parsley.  Warm through and turn heat to low/warm until pasta is done, stirring occasionally.  When done, strain pasta and stir together in skillet.  Serve hot.


Spaghetti pasta with tomatoes, garlic, sausage, and basil.  Roasted broccoli with salt and olive oil.  Tommy helped me stir everything and made sure the spaghetti water was salted every time I turned my back, and then he ate nothing.  Ryan ate the pasta, Danny ate/crumbled a little of everything and was carried directly from high chair to tub, and I stuffed myself.  Not a bad meal all in all.  At least, not until Danny sneezed in the tub and projectile spit a giant glob of chewed broccoli at me.

One bearded man was shot in the head yesterday

And today the same spot on the thermostat feels a little warmer. The breeze is more refreshing than chilly. The children are easier to tolerate, their incessant screaming not as piercing as before.  The sun is brighter, yet not as glaring. Even Squidward seems less annoyed/annoying in this rerun of Spongebob.  Today is better than yesterday.  Like in those allergy medicine commercials where the picture looks normal until they peel off the film of CGI allergies and the colors get brighter.