Sunday, July 31, 2011

Summer scarf sportin', complete with tears

When we first started using the Amby bed with Junior, some gawked and asked incredulously, "You let your baby sleep in that thing?" Some called it a sack and behaved as if we'd suspended our child from a rusty nail in the basement. Still others whispered that Chuck and I were hippies on acid who snubbed cribs because of a rectangular regime phobia.

Don't trust the rectangles, man.

I never cared what they said. I loved the Amby bed and credited it with getting Junior to sleep a blissful 11 hours a night (the sleep benefits of gentle rocking have even been scientifically proven).

Sure we had our hurdles to cross when trying to get Junior out of his beloved Amby bed after he reached the maximum weight capacity (my mother actually begged us to go to Home Depot so we could build a bigger version) but we were happy to use it again with Diddlydoo.

But these second kids, they have a mind of their own don't they? Fricken Diddlydoo doesn't just lie there like Junior did. At seven months he's already learned to roll and crawl. Hell, he'll probably be asking for the car keys sometime next week.

This doesn't bode well for the Amby bed. Once your tot rolls over he's outta there.

So I'm packing it up today and putting it away. Selling it, maybe, on ebay (autographed Amby bed anyone? Just $1,000!). Saying good-bye.

(Can you hear my sniffling?)

I'm also packing away the pink scarf that we, um, tied to the top of the Amby bed so we could swing the bed from the mid-slumber comfort of our bed (hey, our friends used to give theirs a gentle kick with their foot).

I'll never look at that scarf the same way again, and I love that. There were times when Diddlydoo would fight a nap and I'd want to strangle myself with the scarf. Times when my mother would catch me pulling on the scarf when trying to catch a nap and she'd snort and call me crazy. Times when Junior would race into the room and start tugging on the scarf, swinging the bed like it was a milkshake maker and then ask, "Is my brother in there?"

I love all of that. I love that motherhood has forever changed what was once a plain old pink scarf into a museum of memories.

Added bonus: the pink scarf is now sufficiently stretched to adorn the necks of two people or one giraffe, whichever the occasion calls for.

What's better than that?

You can't think of anything can you?

I didn't think so.

P.S. If you are a fellow Amby Bed lover, the company recently introduced product enhancements to its Amby Motion Bed in response to a voluntary recall.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Slunk. Where has that word been all my life?

I went on a job interview this week. Even though I'm headed back to work at Mulletville Corp in the next few weeks I thought I'd dust off my suit and see how my interview skills are faring.

They're poor. Yowsers are they poor.

For one, I've lost serious brain cells with kid #2 (see previous post). The only thing I can liken it to is being near-sighted. I know there's a lot going on in the distance, but even with glasses scotch-taped to my face I can't focus on it. I can see every line and cranny immediately in front of me but 100 feet away? Forget about it.

In interview speak, this translates into "We just interviewed someone who appears to have a huffing problem."

The position was Director of New Media. I thought because I tweet (admittedly sporadically) and blog, I rock new media. Hah! The more the interviewer droned on about clouds and tech bubbles and and the further I slunk into my chair.

She told me she liked me but that I should spend 2-3 hours a night on new media sites honing my new media skills and then I should come back for a second interview.

Now that's funny. I don't have time to file the rice cereal out of my hair follicles never mind online research.

Never mind absorption of said research.

As I slithered out into the parking lot and collapsed into my car, I realized that I am technologied out. From all of it. Facebook. LinkedIn. Twitter. Google. Google+. Blogger. Texting. IChat. Youtube. ITunes. Twitter parties. RSS feeds. CSS.

Even Pandora. Sweet, free Pandora has given me a techie twitch.

My head feels like it's going to explode and I'm probably not even familiar with half the new media sites out there.

Needless to say, I will not be going back for a second interview. In fact, I'm contemplating buying a crickety shack in Alaska and licking some twigs just to verify that I am in fact still a human being with living, breathing cells and that I can sever my connection to technology and still be ok.

Seriously, are Generation Yers half cyborg?

Are they??

Now, admittedly, the factors contributing to the I-won't-become-assimilated nature of this post are: 1) Chuck found out his grandmother died because of his sister's post on Facebook. Facebook! As a way to see what relatives have clocked out and 2) I had Junior sing a Happy Birthday message to his 5-year-old cousin and his mother—instead of returning the call—posted a note on my Facebook page saying we should cyber chat

so I may have an anti-technology bias this week


am I alone?

Am I?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Or no stories!

I don't know what day it is. The last thing I remember eating is a stale bagel at 6:15 a.m. I think I have yesterday's shirt on. I definitely have yesterday's shorts on. What's this in my hair?

Ah yes. Sweet potato and a booger.

I'm going to take a shower. With a beer. Maybe I'll lie down and chug it and catch a quick nap.

Oh wait. It's bed time. Glorious bed time.

What the hell am I doing online? It's bed time! The time I have waited for all day. And what are you doing online? Go to bed! Right now! I mean it!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Hint: It's a baby

In my last post about fighting wrinkles someone (one of my favorite bloggers, actually) asked, "The light of the sun in the early morning in your bathroom mirror? Is that plaguing you too?"

My answer is no, it's not the early morning light that's plaguing me.

It's my husband, Chuck.

He's the one who stormed Beach Frogmama and dropped the wrinkle bomb. He's the one who was looking at me affectionately—or so I thought—in the kitchen as he was saying good-bye, the one who leaned in close—for a parting kiss, I thought—and blurted out, "Honey! You have wrinkles!" and threw me into a tizzy.

Truth be told, I had noticed the wrinkles a long time ago. (The exact date, if you're interested, was May 30, 2009, aka the same day I noticed I had grown chops that rivaled Ringo Starr's.) The wrinkles don't bother me so much. I'm a sleep-deprived woman in my thirties who has smiled a lot. How could I not have a few wrinkles?

Still, no woman wants to be called out on them. The surprise in Chuck's voice (and the honey part) saved him from eating a knuckle sandwich, but I groused and moaned to the point where he sent me a conciliatory email a few hours later:

I know, I know, his swooning is so embarrassing.

The email contained a photo attachment. Of what? I wondered. Chuck holding an "I'm sorry" sign? Chuck holding a bunch of roses? Diamonds? A "Husbands are senseless buttholes" t-shirt?

Nope, Chuck sent me a photo from the paranormal investigation he'd just driven to—a photo given to Chuck as pre-investigation evidence:

With shit like this in my inbox, is it any wonder I have wrinkles?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

There's no stopping me

Summer's here and you know what that means. Watermelon. Sunscreen. Bug spray. Corn.

How I love corn.

I'd eat it day and night if I could and yet I've never served it at home. Why?


Because I didn't know how to make it.

All this time I assumed there was some magical step or maneuver to making corn. Kind of like hard boiling eggs. Or blackening eggplant. Or buying a whisk.

It's a hurdle I could never quite master.

I'd walk by the corn display at the local supermarket and think—wistfully—if only I could make some for my family. If only you didn't have to [insert magical step like jumping counterclockwise while husking the corn upside down or humming Justin Bieber songs while sticking the ears of corn under your armpits and awaiting a harvest moon].

If only.

I lived this wistful corn existence until I googled "making corn" one day last week. And do you know what I freakin' found out?

Of course you know what I found out.

All you have to do is boil it.

Fricken boil it.

This piece of information has changed my life.

It's changed my family's life too. 'Cause you know what's for dinner every night now that I know that all you have to do is boil it?

Yes! Corn and more corn. Seriously, our dinner table sounds like this:

Junior: "Corn? No! I don't want corn."

Chuck: "Really? Corn again?"

Me: "That's right! Corn! Mwaahahaha!"

I'm getting teary just thinking about it.

Teary and um...a little stopped up actually. But hey, that's fodder for a different day.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A somewhat cleansing, albeit somewhat delirious, post about Fish and Phish

Before I write this post about how exhausted I am and how my fatigue has nothing to do with the fact that I am the proud owner of a teething baby who has decided that 5:15 am is the best time to begin his day of inconsolable wretchedness, let me say this: I've had to endure a lot because of my husband's friends.

At the top of the list is Chuck's best friend, aka Dickhead. Remember his special gift to me and Chuck on our European vacation? Yah, I do too.

Then there was Chuck's friend Stiffy. (Aren't male nicknames great? I wish chicks embraced nicknames with the same off-color gusto as men. Why don't I have any friends who go by Fishy? Or Headlight?)

When Chuck and I were first dating, I went to a Phish concert with him, Stiffy and few other of the morons. The concert was held on an airline base in Maine. I was the only female on board, and I hated Phish.

If I could have sold my body for a ride home I would have. Sadly, none of the hippies wanted sex, they only wanted acid.

Because we were on an airline base there were no trees for shade. That meant lots of stinky people hanging out under tarps, which were engulfed in clouds of pot smoke. It also meant that the boys I was encamped with needed sunscreen applied to their backs and because they were such antiquated, backass fucks, they assumed I, the one with tits, would happily do it.

(Also, they were such homophobes they couldn't touch each other without accusing each other of liking it, wanting it, being gay, etc. Sigh.)

I would only do it once and I said as much. The first two morons weren't so bad but when I looked at Stiffy's back I almost vomited. It was sweaty and smattered with pimples; not just of one species but with a plethora—a diverse garden, some might say—of acne.

I took the top off the sunscreen bottle, closed my eyes and shook the contents onto Stiffy's back. Then, using my palm I smeared some of the globs in. Sunscreen ran down his back and legs. I didn't care.

I quickly shotgunned a beer, curled myself into a ball and rocked away the memory of what I had just done.

I rocked for three days; it was still better than having to listen to Phish.

How my relationship with Chuck has survived all these years of offenses is a mystery to me, especially when his dickwad friends are the gift that keeps giving.

Take last night (aka the reason for this post). Chuck's old-time buddy Eric stopped in on his way to New Jersey and decided to spend the night. He hadn't showered in a few days but despite my insistence he enjoy a shower before bed—

"No, really..."

"No, it's okay..."

"No, really..."

—he told me he was a morning shower person.

(I apologized to my clean sheets as I made up the couch. You think I'm kidding.)

Around 2 a.m. the house started to shake. Junior was suddenly in our bedroom complaining of a bear downstairs. Even Chuck, who sleeps through everything—how convenient—was suddenly awake.

Fricken Eric. Fricken snoring. Thunderous, meaty, throaty snoring.

"We need more fans!" I cried. Despite Chuck's fan phobia because of my family's fan obsession, he agreed.

"But where?" he asked.

"In the basement! Box fans! A tub of fans! Grab them all!"

He looked at me like someone might look at a recovered crackhead who has just disclosed her secret stash, but he went and fetched the tub.

And the box fans.

And you know what? Even with all that glorious whirring, that bastard's snoring still kept me up all night. I'm cranky, my living room stinks, Diddly was up at 5 am and has been a drooling mess all day...

And I'm still—still!—bitter about Stiffy.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Shit, is it July 4th already?

One of the most appealing aspects of blogging is being able to chronicle my children's milestones. I'm sure that if this blog is still kicking around in 20 years or so, Junior and Diddlydoo will read it with glee and agree.

Or they'll sue me for privacy infringement. Either or.

Yesterday Junior celebrated a milestone I had smugly believed wouldn't arrive until he entered the public school system and was corrupted by other people's monsters: He learned a swear word.

I blame it on Diddlydoo.

I had placed Diddlydoo in the center of the bed and run out of the room for a millisecond when I heard Junior screaming, "He fell on his head! He fell, Mommy!"

I ran back into the room. Sure enough, Diddlydoo had rolled right off the bed. He was lying on the floor screaming.

So was I.

I didn't realize just what I had been screaming until we got to the hospital (okay, okay, so I freaked out and rushed him to the ER. Having a nurse look at me like I was a neurotic freak because Diddlydoo obviously was fine was preferable to spending the entire night holding my palm over Diddlydoo's nostrils to make sure he was still breathing. A woman needs to sleep now and then).

As we stood in the ER entrance Junior looked at me sweetly and said, "It's a bad thing Diddlydoo fell, right Mommy?"

"Yes, sweetie."

"Is that why you said 'shit'?"

We locked eyes.

"Shit," he said again, savoring the taste of the word. He looked at me and smiled, like we'd just shared a lovely secret. "Shit."

"Junior," I said, "that's a word that—"


"Junior, we don't—"

"Shit, shit, shit."

So here's the thing: Junior is old enough to know that there's a new word in town, and that it feels good to say it. I've explained that the curse is an adult word reserved for adults, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist (or four-year-old) to know that even with the most finely attuned emphasis, fiddlesticks and sugar just don't cut it when you're really upset—even if you sneer and spit as you say those words.

I ask you, what's the best way to temper the newfound deliciousness of swearing?

And while we're at it, what's the best way to deter your older kid from enjoying watching his younger sibling suffer, cause Junior told me that he was certain Diddlydoo's head would just fall off the bed, and that's why he didn't try to stop him from rolling.

My, oh my, they are savvy little beasts, aren't they?

Make laundry fun — and punishable

I don't know why there's so much effing laundry. Yes, there are five of us, but we aren't going anywhere. Part of me feels ...