Sunday, August 30, 2009

I Don't Think It's Going To Catch On

I just discovered one of my children's stuffed animals has been "diapered" with a panty liner. And while this method could conceivably save parents TONS of money on diaper costs, I just don't think it's a smart move....

MLS: Big Babies FC

Hubby and I drove across the state to an MLS game on Saturday (Major League Soccer, for you ignoramuses-- love you!). I'd never been to one before-- what a complete blast!

And very interesting, too.... I got an education of sorts. My first mistake was to assume that we could grab a bite to eat inside the stadium and not get fleeced while doing so. No such luck. When I tell you that the 12 ounce soda we purchased cost $4 does your heart skip a beat? Mine did! And if I mention the fact that a little (like, small frozen entree size) container of Pad Thai set us back $10 does that bring a tear to your eye? It did mine! So, $14 dollars later we were both still hungry but too darn cheap to buy anything else. (Note to self: bring lunch and eat in the car next time!)

I also learned that you have to accustom your ear to the strange new ways the English language is used at these events. Like the guy selling beer and drinks up and down the aisles. He attracted customers by shouting "Coho beer my hot l'monade!" I finally figured out he was selling cold beer and Mike's Hard Lemonade-- and the suckers who bought it were shelling out money from their kids' college savings accounts in order to afford it. Then there were the crowd's cheers. I never quite figured out what "SO-HO SO-NO!" meant, but apparently everyone else was on board because it was a very popular chant (I guess I missed that memo).

But the most interesting thing to me was witnessing the dramatic performances of the soccer players after they were fouled in one way or another. They must have all had to attend acting school before they signed their contracts-- either that or MLS guys (or, actually, just soccer players in general) are the biggest babies on earth. It was extremely amusing to watch, however. I kid you not, if any player laid a hand on another-- or gave just a bit of a shove-- the offended player would immediately throw himself on the ground and commence writhing and rolling around in feigned agony until the sports med folks flew out onto the field to save the day. A short chat later, that player would miraculously hop to their feet and run around again until it was another guy's turn to fall to the ground. I started dreaming up new names for the teams that were more apropos-- like, L.A. Whiners FC, Toronto Drama Queens FC, Houston Wittle Bitty Babies FC, Seattle Boo Boos FC, or the DC United Pansies FC.

Which then got me to thinking; a team of soccer mamas would not engage in such ridiculous frivolity. Can you imagine a bunch of ladies who've given birth flinching at a little push and throwing themselves on the turf? Wouldn't happen! When you've shoved the equivalent of a bowling ball out of your nether regions suddenly your pain tolerance goes through the roof. Besides, moms have to deal with enough engineered drama from their kids-- no way would they create it on their own.

Yet, despite the exorbitant food costs, the vendors speaking in tongues, and the silly antics of the players, I can honestly say I haven't had so much fun at a sporting event since....well, ever. And next time we go, I'm hoping to drag some of you along with us. We can hold up signs that read, "Rub Some Dirt On It!" or "Save The Drama For Your Mama!" or "Quit Whining You Big Babies!" or "Which One Of You Filthy Rich Pros Is Gonna Pay For My Freakin' Expensive Lunch?". Hey, I'd bet we'd get on TV....

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Blog Envy

From time to time I think it's fun to hit the "Next Blog" button and see what pops up. I have to tell you people, I don't know why you're wasting time on my blog when there is an entire world of really cool blogs out there. In fact, I'm a little envious.

For instance, I have a super boring blog design. How in the heck do people come up with their fancy blogs? Where do folks learn this stuff? They've got pictures and cute stuff all over the place. Well, I'm about to remedy that....

Try that one on for size! Or, how about this:

Ah, yeah! Now we're getting somewhere! Now I'm getting interesting! Okay, one more:

I'm finally designing a blog I can be proud of!

But you know, it's not all about fancy designs and pictures. The name of a blog plays a big part as well. I know, I know-- my blog has a funky name (read my first post if you're wondering where the heck it came from). But I cannot even begin to compete with the non-English speakers out there. Here are my top 10 favorite foreign blog titles (so far):

1. Japan Drama Actress Star Girl Profile
2. D. Nitya- Specialist Laundry Helmet
3. Refreshing Life- She Still Workin' With Her English!
4. My Brides... Aren't They Beautiful
5. Banana Nitachi Freewill
6. Pearlfile- Get Addicted To Life. Addicted To Simple & Happy Life.
7. The Little Voice Inside My Hair
8. Her's Lover
9. Chemically Bonded Together
10. Bags Up Your Life!

Wow. I mean...just wow. But I can't compare myself to these other titanic blogs-- they are way outta my league. And that's okay, you know? Because I'm fine with my little poorly-designed-nearly-pictureless-pointlessly-rambling blog. It's not much, but it's all I got....

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

An Oldie, But A Goodie

I don't know why I was reminded of this little story the other day. It might have been because my sister had called from the airport during a layover to relay her woeful tale of traveling with her 3 and 1-year olds. (That deserves a blog in and of itself.) I think I felt some sense of relief at the realization that I don't have any 3 or 1-year olds anymore. But I do remember those days....

One such day I was sitting in the office of a WIC social worker (or whatever they are). I don't want to complain about the WIC folks (oh, okay, yes I do)-- because, hey, they provided me with enough cheese, eggs and milk to make the world's biggest omelet ever. And for that, I am extremely grateful. But accepting these gifts did not come without a price. It is very humbling to be subjected to the same lectures that your average grade-schooler receives in their health units. (Fruits and vegetables are good for you! Eat more of them! We're not going to actually provide you with any, but perhaps you could buy some to throw into the giant omelet you're going to make with all the milk, eggs and cheese we're going to give you!) But I digress....

At WIC appointments your children are usually weighed and measured. Fine. Whatever floats their boat. But I ask you; why do health professionals always insist on taking children's diapers off to weigh them? I'm serious! Think about it-- diapers weigh next to nothing. And whatever currently is in the diaper was in the child just moments before, so what's the difference? So, when the lady asked me to remove LM's diaper I politely suggested we leave it on-- much safer, you know. She politely disagreed and insisted I take the diaper off per proper protocol.

Bad idea. Bad, bad, bad idea. But the smugness of this gal's attitude toward me prompted me to allow her to "make her own bed", so to speak. Heh, heh, heh! So, I took the diaper off.

LM did not disappoint. He squatted and took a dump right in the middle of her floor. But he didn't wait around to finish the job-- he took off running mid-plop and scattered a few chunks behind him as he flew. And, as if he hadn't already done a stellar job, he kept on running in the small office until he eventually retraced his path and stepped in his own poo. This he tracked around on her carpet until finally I had gathered my senses enough to catch and re-diaper him.

I didn't know whether to high-five the little dude or to be mortified. Needless to say, our appointment that day was one of the shortest (and funnest) I'd ever had at the WIC office. The lady ushered us out bemoaning the fact that her carpet was defiled for the rest of the day and would need to be professionally cleaned. (Hey, lady, don't say I didn't warn ya!)

I hope that sweet little social worker learned something that day. I know I did! I learned that the only weapon you need to bring down those who stand against you is a small undiapered boy. So, my sister, if you are reading this right now-- I suggest that the next time a flight attendant is so rude you quietly remove Mister's diaper and let him handle it from there. I have a feeling his actions will speak louder than your words....

Monday, August 24, 2009


I think The Bopper is well on her way to becoming one of my best sources for quotes. (At age 3, she is in her prime in this area.)

1. LM: "Is Shelby a grandpa dog?"
Me: "No, he never had any babies."
LM: "Oh, so he's divorced?"

2. LM: (after a kind soul gave him 2 Transformer toys languishing in a lost-and-found pile) "Boy, I really hit the jackpot tonight!"

3. LM: (drinking Gatorade at his grandma's house) "This is like wine!"
Me: "How so?"
LM: "It's red."
(I think this idea could catch on! Just imagine "Food and Gatorade" magazine-- your source for gourmet food and Gatorade pairings.)

4. The Bopper: "Mom, your booboos all gone?"
Her Mother: "What do you mean?"
The Bopper: "Mister drank 'em all?"
(So that's what happened!)

5. The Bopper: (rubbing her mother's feet affectionately) "Hi there, feet! It's nice to see you! Are you hungry? I'll share my food with you!"

6. LM: "Mom, are you blind?"
Me: "No! Why would you ask that?"
LM: "Because you don't drive straight."
(Sheesh! Everyone's a critic!)

And as a bonus, here is my dad's first appearance on the quote list. He, Ruby Jane and my hubby went backpacking last week. Apparently there were some steaming land mines on the trail they had to avoid, and Popi's warning made quite the impression on Ruby:

Popi: "Mmmm! Horse muffins-- fresh from the bakery!"

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Pardon Me, My Internal GPS Is Busted

I have no sense of direction. Zip. Zilch. Nada. In fact, 9 times out of 10 I will choose the wrong way if given a chance. I call it "directional dyslexia"-- and I have a very severe case.

Last night I went out with my mom. I met her at the mall for dinner. (I know how to get to the mall from my house.) Afterwards we ran back to my house to refrigerate the leftovers before heading off to the movie theater. (I know how to get to the movie theater, too.) But after the movie was over I had to drive back to the mall to drop my mom off at her car. Hmmm, going to the mall from the movie theater was a new experience for me.

I could hear the caution siren blaring in my head. "Warning! Warning! Internal compass was broken at birth! Do not attempt to direct yourself to the intended location! You will get lost! It doesn't matter that it's five minutes away-- that has no bearing whatsoever on your ability to find it!"

I've learned to listen to that little alarm over the years. So I turned to my mom and asked, "Uh, do I go right or left?" She paused a moment and then said something to the extent of, "you're kidding, right?" No. No, I'm not kidding. I would have to sit here for the next ten minutes trying in vain to reconstruct a map in my head in order to have even a faint idea of which way to turn-- and even then I'd probably be wrong. "Right," she finally told me. We got to the next intersection and I recognized that it was the street we needed to be on to get to the mall, but again, I could not even remotely guess which direction to go. Mom bailed me out again, even more baffled now that we were less than 2 minutes away from the mall. "I worry about you," she confessed.

Give me directions and I can follow them. A map? I can read it! But relying on my own sense of direction? Well, it's a little hard to rely on something that does not exist. I'm probably a good candidate for having some sort of tracking device surgically attached to my body-- just in case I ever wander off somewhere and never return.

So, just keep that in mind if someday you choose me to be your traveling companion to...anywhere. I will get us lost. I am 100% sure of that.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Nice To Meet You, Cuz

I'm usually amused when I venture out grocery shopping. There's always an entertaining child to chuckle at, screaming parents to gawk at, or interesting products to buy (do I have "sucker" written on my forehead or something?).

Tonight my shopping adventure was defined by two completely unrelated experiences. One was the irrepressible wedgie that I kept having to coax out of my crack when no one was looking-- at least, I hope no one was looking. On second thought, maybe that's why that creepy dude kept showing up in the same aisles as me.... Maybe he gets his thrills by watching women wrestle with their underwear. Well, I'll tell you, he got quite the show because my undies sure put up a heckuva fight tonight-- I was ready to take scissors to them when I got home! But let me move on, as most likely I've already wandered into "TMI" territory. (Sorry, Mom!)

I'm still mulling over the second scenario as I type this. I confess, it baffled me. Let me lay it out for you and maybe you can help shed some light on the subject. You see, when I got to the checkout line I noticed the checker staring at me. (And not in a flattering way.) When I approached the stand she said, "you look familiar!" and I got ready to go through the litany of options: Did we go to school together? Do we attend the same church, perchance? Are our children on the same sports team? And so on. But she beat me to the punch. "Is your name Jessica?" Phew, that was an easy one to answer! "Nope," I said, thinking the discussion was over now that we got that settled. But she wasn't through.... "Really? You look like an old relative of mine." Yes, really, my grocery checking friend! But hold on a minute-- what did she mean by "old"? I wasn't quite sure how to respond to these odd inquiries. She continued to probe me, however, trying to make certain that I was indeed just a stranger coming through her line, and not some secret relative withholding my true identity from her. She wanted to know if I had a bunch of kids-- because her relative did. "Well, I just have two kids," I tried to explain. And I don't believe two qualifies as a "bunch" of kids unless you're in cuckoo-land.

I'm not sure if I ever convinced her completely. She kept shaking her head as if to say, "I just don't believe it-- you must be Jessica, my dear sweet cousin!" But unless I have any aunts or a grandma who have a little confession they'd like to make, I think I can safely say that this lady did not come from my gene pool (thank heavens for small mercies!).

She did leave me with a really fabulous idea, though. Next time someone says, "do I know you?" I think it would be a super fun game to say, "yeah, we're cousins!" or, "oh, Granny, I've missed you so much!", or "Daddy!"-- or something like that. Who knows, maybe I could even find a new BFF that way-- it's quite the icebreaker. After all, who doesn't want to be bosom buddies with a crazy?

I did not waste any more time than necessary as I gathered up my things to leave. I didn't want to get invited to the next family reunion or anything. Next thing I'd know old Aunt Mathilda would be trying to plant a big wet one on my cheek and Cousin Bob would be asking for a small "loan". No thank you!

As I made my hasty retreat I could feel the gal's eyes hot on my trail. I figured, what the heck, why not give her something else to remember me by? I reached behind me indelicately and pulled my ridiculous wedgie free while giving my booty a little wiggle of adjustment. Good riddance to both! (And I mean that in the nicest way possible.)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Just In Case You Weren't Convinced Before

We dug up another carrot. And while this one isn't quite as deformed as the last, I can't honestly say it's a beaut. Kinda looks like a stiff orange slug actually....

I'm wondering; if I eat these carrots, will something bad happen to me? Like, will I get scoliosis? I have to consider that as a distinct possibility.

How Exciting!!!!!!

I was just reading a pamphlet today about a kids program! And I don't know about you, but I've noticed there seems to be a common theme amongst brochures/pamphlets written for kids! Has anyone else noticed before?! I mean, my mind was reeling with all the excitement of reading sentence after sentence with exclamation marks concluding every single thought! In fact, I was so hyped-up after reading it I felt like I could run a marathon! I wanted to go do something! But instead I sat down to write a blog post because I'm stuck here at home for the moment! And there is nowhere else for all this energy to go except into more exclamation marks! So I hope you find this as inspirational and exciting as I found the pamphlet! Go! Do something fun, my friends!

As for me, I am now too exhausted to even get up! I'm gonna go rest! Or maybe read something dull until this headache passes!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Quotes From All Corners

Gosh, for some reason it's way harder to keep track of these during the summer....

1. LM: (to a stranger at a hotdog stand in the park) "I'm a big fan of the red stuff."
(Meaning ketchup.)

2. LM: "Will someone carry my backpack?"
Hubby: "I will."
LM: "Thanks, bro."

3. LM: (after trying unsuccessfully to train his uncooperative little cousin how to cross the street, he announced) "Let the toddler learn!"

4. The Bopper: (unhappily sitting in timeout and yelling down to her mother and me some less-than-gracious sentiments) "See ya in jail, kids!"

5. My Mom: (after receiving a wrong-number call from someone who was trying to reach the parents of "Mason", she looked at me quizzically) "That's not your kid."
(And while I'm not sure whether or not that was posed as a question or a statement-- either way....)

6. Ruby Jane: (as I leaned down to kiss her goodnight after having downed a glass of orange juice) "Mom, you have tin-can breath."
Hmmmm, I've been accused of worse, I suppose.

Stand Still!

Does anyone else find it annoying when you're trying to eavesdrop on your spouse's phone conversation and they keep leaving the room? Doesn't he know that I can't hear as well through the door?!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Zit-Fest '09

I feel like I've been transported back to adolescence. What is with the breakout I'm experiencing right now? It's ridiculous! It's like I'm having a little zit convention on my cheek (of all places!). Apparently some serious business is being conducted in order for them to all gather in such a great host-- like a gathering of tribes (you got your whiteheads, your blackheads, your boils, your cysts...). Well, I hope it doesn't take long. I'm running out of foundation.

And, no, I don't have a picture!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Next Stop: Farmers' Market!

We have a little vegetable garden in the backyard where we planted corn, bush beans, carrots, parsley, sage, oregano and chives. We've never gardened before because I have this stubborn habit of killing anything that grows (except for my kids-- thankfully I've managed to keep them alive somehow).

So, when eight of our ten corn stalks, three of the ten bean bushes and 5 of our 10 carrot plants all managed to survive into adulthood (forgive me if my garden vocabulary is a bit lacking) I did a happy dance-- honestly, I had fully expected them all to die sad deaths. And when today I noticed a big chunk of carrot peeping through the soil I was beyond excited and had to pull the thing up. But when I saw its poor gnarled body my elation deflated like a sad old balloon. The stupid carrot had some major birth defects. The top of it looked round and healthy, but then these little nubs kinda sprouted off it and curled around only to end in a skinny little shriveled stick. What the...? And when I went inside to wash and peel it...well, let's just say I wish I would have taken a picture of that too. Because after I had peeled off all the nastiness and dirt, the carrot was worth about a single bite or so. I brought it out to my eagerly awaiting family, and to my surprise, they were thrilled with the thing-- like it was some kind of masterpiece! We all took a teeny-tiny bite and passed it around until it was gone. (Which took, oh...about 10 seconds.)

My kids were thrilled. Go figure-- we get this retarded carrot and they act like we're a bunch of Farmer Joes! But their excitement reminded me to enjoy the learning process. Hey, we're new to this gardening stuff! Just because T and her hubby can one day decide to have an entire farm in their backyard (even though neither of them have ever had so much as a tomato plant) and raise enough luscious produce to sell at a local market, doesn't mean that my experience is any less valuable! (At least, that's what I keep telling myself.) Besides, they don't even have any carrots in their garden. Sure they have things like artichokes, asparagus and hops, but carrots are distinctly absent from their little produce utopia. Humph! What kind of garden doesn't even have carrots! (Even if they are the dumbest stupid-head carrots you've ever seen.)

So, here is the moral of the story: buy carrots at the farmers' market if you want fresh, homegrown goodness. Because I'm not sharing my carrots. I only have 5 left and who knows how ugly they might turn out to be. Ugly, mutated dirty carrots. But they're mine. I grew them-- and I'm pretty darn proud of myself.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Hello Boobies!

You probably read the subject heading to this post and were a bit surprised. Let me tell you, I understand! That is exactly how I felt the other day when my little sister let loose "the ladies" on the general public in a very crowded swim park. And I got a front row seat to the spectacle!

You see, we were in a wave pool at the time. But "wave pool" doesn't adequately describe the actual rogue tsunamis that were plowing us all over. The pool is only about three and a half feet deep but I feared for my life as wave after wave slammed into my rag-doll body. I don't know who jacked up the wave machine, but they must have been on crack. What I do know is that I probably ingested more peed-in pool water than it would take for your average child to bathe in. And the lifeguards? Useless. But then again, I don't think I could trust their prepubescent strength to hoist me out of the water in a real emergency anyway. They seem to be getting paid a lot just to get a tan and blow their dummy-head whistles at little children who splash.

But back to T. It was in the midst of these death waves that her suit finally gave up the good fight. It, like the rest of us, had had enough. The pounding. The crashing. The slamming. Oy! The poor suit just fell over in exhaustion! And as it fell, it released the vast bosom that is T's. I'm not sure how many of the hundreds of park attendees saw the show, but I did. And I almost drowned. You see, drowning is a far more dangerous likelihood when your mouth is wide open and you're sucking in air, sides heaving in hilarity, and your balance completely undone. I suppose you could say I deserved what I got a moment later-- slammed down head first with the next wave. By the time I surfaced again T had managed to encourage her suit back into its rightful position. And then, almost as quickly as they started, the waves stopped and calm was restored.

As we all dragged our near lifeless bodies back to our lawn chairs, none of us were quite sure whether we had just engaged in a fun activity, or if someone else just had a lot of fun at our expense. But I do have a memory that I will cherish for a lifetime. Thanks, T. And thank "the girls" for me, too, will ya?