Wednesday, December 31, 2008

a sure sign of the end times

cnn's new year's eve broadcast live from times square with anderson cooper and kathy griffin.

i have never been so glad not to have tv.

Monday, December 29, 2008

okay, okay

here is some documentation of the hirsute hullabaloo

see if you can guess which is before and which is after.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

it's beginning to look a lot like boot camp

it's beginning to look a lot like christmas
ev'rywhere you go
take a look at the five and ten glistening once again
with candy canes and silver lanes aglow
"mommy, i need a towel."
"why? honey, i'm up to my elbows in meatloaf mix here, and WHERE ARE YOUR BANGS?!"
"josie cut them."
it's beginning to look a lot like christmas
toys in every store
but the prettiest sight to see is the holly that will be
on your own front door
"i dunno."
it's beginning to look a lot like christmas
ev'rywhere you go
there's a tree in the grand hotel, one in the park as well
the sturdy kind that doesn't mind the snow
"AHHHH! there's hair all over the bathroom! it looks like someone detonated a pomeranian in here! and are these daddy's NAIL SCISSORS?!"
a pair of hopalong boots and a pistol that shoots 
is the wish of barney and ben
dolls that will talk and will go for a walk
is the hope of janice and jen
"hello, kids' hair? are you open christmas eve day? thank god. my 5-year-old just cut my 3-year-old's hair. the bangs are GONE, and the sides are decidedly asymmetrical – sort of a 1980s, vidal sassoon, 'say-lon' kind of thing. 10 a.m.? thank you so much."
and mom and dad can hardly wait for school to start again...

Monday, December 22, 2008


thanks to itunes, my kids know a huge range of christmas music. i had kind of assumed that the favorite would be something traditional and climatically suited to minnesota, like jingle bells or frosty the snowman, or even baby, it's cold outside.

but no. when thing two crawled into bed with us this -14 morning (that's temperature, folks, not wind chill), here's what she was singing:
mele kalikimaka is the thiiiing to say
on a bright, hawaiian christmas daaaaay.

that's the island greeting that we send to you
from the land where palm trees swaaaay.

here we know that christmas will be green and briiiiight,
the sun to shine by day and all the stars at niiiiight.

mele kalikimake is hawaii's way
to say 'merry christmas' to yoooooou.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

science fact for the day

the human head can hold thoughts or phlegm, but not both.

or maybe that's just my head.

Friday, December 19, 2008

nice try

thing two:  "mommy, can i have a bomb pop?"

me:  "not at 10 a.m. in the morning, you can't."

thing two:  "can i have one after lunch?"

me:  "maybe. we'll see."



thing two:  "mommy, can i have some lunch?"

Thursday, December 18, 2008


totally not my business to suggest what holiday gifts folks might like to give.


if you're casting about for ideas, here's one:  heifer international. it's a non-profit dedicated to ending hunger and poverty by providing livestock, plants and education in sustainable agriculture to people around the world. recipients subsequently give an animal to a neighbor, multiplying the impact of the program ("and so on and so on and so on").

we gave flocks of chicks to the preschool teachers who care for our little chick, and our parents are all receiving shares of the joy to the world collection:  sheep, goats, llamas and a heifer.

and – proving that my mother and i do indeed have one brain, as my brother once remarked – my mom made a donation to heifer in my family's name at the same time i was making one in hers. scary.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

do you hear what i hear?



*[swear word]*

predictably, my stocking is going to be filled with kleenex and motrin this year. thing one debuted the death cold in our house, then handed the baton off to thing two, who is in the throes. and a few hours ago, i began to feel the soreness creeping through my throat and head.

now, if someone just lands in the er or urgent care, it'll be a good ol' family xmas. i think it's my turn this year, and i am trying:  i walked INTO THE DOORFRAME of my ob/gyn's office the other day, ricocheting my skull off the metal. apparently the girls come by it honestly.

mommies say the darndest things

oops. must remember that small children have supersonic hearing akin to dogs and bats.

i recently toured the elementary school that thing one will attend next fall, and afterward i wrote thank you notes to the teachers and principal (my mama raised me right). 

recounting this story later, i told the handsome man that i had sent off my butt-snorkeling blandishments. and now, predictably, josie delights in saying "butt-snorkeling."

welcome to the glue factory

most of my kids' clothes, toys and gear are hand-me-downs. not because i'm an eco-conscious earth mama, but because i'm a stay-at-home drain on the economy, and when someone offers something free i say yes.

i try to hand the stuff off again when we're done with it, but apparently my children secrete some sort of invisible destructo-juice because they just destroy stuff. seemingly pristine clothes that have already been through one, two or more kids by the time they reach us are instantly and irreparably stained. toys crack and disintegrate. books give a soft sighing sound and gentle shed their pages.

this weekend, when the handsome man had the girls safely out of the house, i held the annual post-birthdays, pre-christmas purge of the outgrown and outmoded. besides the stuff that was donatable and went to arc, i also threw away bags of stuff that was on life-support, including a shattered barbie camping van (dammit).

my house:  where toys come to die.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

how cold is it? it's so cold that...

you know you're a minnesotan when this is the weather forecast you hear delivered in a cheery voice:
"well, it could be worse!"

Monday, December 15, 2008

spa day

just got back from having a crown put on my tooth, followed by a boob grope at my ob/gyn.

that's about as close as i get to a facial and a massage anymore. cleansing breath!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

the workers' comp for all those the elves must be murder

here's a holiday-specific injury:  thing two just got her finger stuck in a jingle bell.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

have a holly jolly nervous breakdown

i'm one of those obnoxious people who love the holidays (christmas carols! ornaments! cocoa!), but i know this season brings many folks low.

so no matter how bad it gets in the next month, you can console yourself by reading the following story, which was relayed to my brother-in-law several christmases ago by one of his friends. i've removed the names to protect the poor unfortunate souls (and cleaned up the grammar and punctuation a bit because i just can't help myself), but that's it – the rest is all exactly as it was told:
so the kid's first christmas has been not much short of a train wreck for me.

it all started on the 21st when my mom flew in to "help with the baby." we picked up indian food for k, which she would then not eat for fear of upsetting the breast feeding process. we think the rice pudding had something in it that poisoned mom, as she spent the next two days violently ill. and i mean violently – the poor woman was out of control at every possible end – and i spent much of my time cleaning up after her and caring for her.

of course, little q started showing signs of dehydration and possible illness, so then i had to disinfect a significant portion of the house to keep the fears of a new mother contained. that was just before my mom accidentally flooded the master bathroom toilet at 4 a.m. and used our good towels to contain the spillage. k later told me i probably shouldn't have used pine sol to mop up the wood floors in the bedroom, but i guess i'll deal with the long-term stripping/damaging effects later.

mom finally started to feel better on the 25th, when the rest of my family arrived by car. because we had lost all of our last-minute shopping time, we agreed to postpone christmas by a day. 

problem is, when we woke up on the 26th, the dog was having seizures. she then died just before noon on the 26th (but not before i had killed a day cleaning and boiling five chickens for her as part of a post-stroke diet). this prompted an emergency search for a crematory that could take our animal on a holiday. needless to say, everyone lost their appetite for cooked meat that day.

okay. so by the morning of the 27th, i'm thinking the smoke has cleared. even though my house is now a wreck from having guests, things should get better now, right? so that's just about the time my bumper gets torn off in a parking lot where i'm doing my belated last-minute shopping. no note, of course. 

we opened presents, but decided to wait on the south texas-style fried turkey i've been so excited to prepare. fortunately, the meal went well (no fires), except for the fact that my brother was passing up the shiner bock to finish up my orval, even after being informed of the expense. that's a trappist-monk, bottle-conditioned ale from a monastery founded in the 1100s, fermented three times with three different malts and two types of hops and wild yeast, buddy! you put that in a balloon glass and drink slowly!

by the 30th, folks were showing unmistakable signs of family fatigue, so my brother and i went to austin for some live music. unfortunately, it turns out that the austin live-music scene is quiet on new year's eve eve – guess all the bands are sleeping for the all-nighter to come.

so austin was a bust, but not before tempers flared while he and i exchanged a few words over who was a "cruise director." the point is, my patience had run out. i had nothing left to spare, and after he left the next day, i made a tactical error:  i criticized his expectations (and therefore his maturity) to mom...a very poor audience choice. naturally, she defended her parenting to tears, which was not what i meant to attack. spent the rest of the day clearing that one up.

so you would think that whatever could happen has happened? not yet. sunday afternoon, mom has a tremendous headache from ear to ear. wakes up monday morning with a tooth that now has a slightly bluish tint. so we spend hours on the phone trying to decide on a response to this new problem and find an open dentist. 

by mid-afternoon, we found a dentist who would see her and possibly prescribe some antibiotics to tide her over until she gets back home to her dentist. next thing we know, he is recommending an immediate root canal. yes, a root canal. while on "vacation."

most of the swelling has gone down, and mom should be off the 4x dose (800 mg) of ibuprofen by the time she boards the plane tomorrow. k and i have recovered most of the house; q is responding well to her dietary changes. and i just can't WAIT until next christmas.

so how were your holidays?


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

thanks mom!

after reading about how i'm a dick, my mom reminded me of some other phrases she had in her parental arsenal. i'm looking forward to telling my kids:
  • "stop crying or i'll give you something to cry about."
  • "i'm not your friend, i'm your mother."
  • "i hope you get one just like you." (must be said with gritted teeth and slitty eyes.)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

this is a dictatorship, and i'm the dick

some of the most satisfying phrases of motherhood:
  • "no."
  • "because i said so."
  • "i'm not asking you, i'm telling you."
  • "did that sound like a question?"
  • "i said, 'no'."
  • "not later – now!"
  • "what part of 'no' wasn't clear?"
  • "no, and don't ask me again!"

Sunday, November 23, 2008

why i studied art history in college

the handsome man accompanied thing one to a birthday party yesterday at a nearby nature center. the kids and parents went on a nature walk led by an eager 20-something naturalist who imparted all sorts of fun facts, including this one:
when winter approaches, certain turtles swim down to the bottoms of their lakes and burrow into the muck. how do they breathe, you ask? they take in the oxygen that's in the water through membranes in their gums and rectums.
at this point, i must once again thank the university of michigan for letting me pass through its halls unencumbered by any real science credits (or math!). hail, hail.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

recipe for maaaaadness

profanity pizza
submitted by thing two, age 3
feeds 4. or 3, if someone refuses.
  1. help mommy make pizza dough from scratch, so there are no allergens in it
  2. help mommy roll out the pizza dough
  3. help mommy spread organic tomato sauce on the dough
  4. help mommy sprinkle soy cheese on a portion of the dough
  5. watch mommy sprinkle regular cheese on the rest, carefully avoiding the soy cheese section
  6. just as mommy prepares to put the pizza in the oven ask, "can i have oatmeal?"
extra credit points if, when the oatmeal is ready, you tell mommy you're too busy playing to eat it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

csi: the faerie queen

there are teeny, tiny mites of glitter, spangles, sequins and unknown twinkly bits over every surface. it looks like someone murdered tinkerbell in my living room.

Monday, November 17, 2008

crap creep

every time i turn around, there's more crud in this house.


best diet aid ever?

a face full of novocaine. i can't feel my tongue, and my skin feel exactly like my old baby tender love doll.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

looks like i picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue

remember in the movie airplane! when the stressed-out air traffic controller goes back to all his vices? substitute "batshit mental insane-o small children" for "airliner out of control" and "molasses coffee cake and cosmos" for "smoking and amphetamines" and you've got a pretty accurate idea of how my week has been. i resorted to trolling the interwebs for stories of child abuse just to make sure there are worse parents out there than me...

Saturday, November 8, 2008

apples to oranges

what do you get when your 3-year-old is acting insane, your 5-year-old is egging her on, and you're out of cosmo ingredients?

you get a new drink recipe:

the apples to oranges
  • juice from one clementine (when you're out of limes)
  • apple cider (when you're out of cranberry juice)
  • triple sec
  • vodka, and plenty of it
shake over ice and hit it.

(the handsome man initially wanted to call it the clapmo, but decided that sounded like what you get if you drink too many of them.)

Friday, November 7, 2008

k-k-k-keely and the jets

i didn't realize i'd given birth to elton john until this week, when thing two picked out her own new glasses.

"it's finally snowing"

amazing how different that phrase sounds from the mouth of a 5-year-old than from the mouth of a 43-year-old. things one and two are already outside, fully suited up, pre-breakfast, loving winter. 

god bless. and stay outside.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

will my aarp card arrive next week?

in today's mail, i got a catalog i've never seen before called acacia. as i flipped through it, i realized this is an old lady catalog, which is apparently the demographic i've slid into. thank goodness i now know where to get my hot flash pajamas and nightgown (page 20) or my solutions camisoles (page 21) with built-in bra ("shelf bras are fine up to a certain age, but after that, we want real support.").

not that kind of support, thanks.

as an aside, i looked up acacia in the dictionary. it's a "gnarled, thorny" tree and also "a bag filled with dust as a memento of mortality." which is exactly how getting this catalog made me feel.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

terrorist fist bump, everyone

we did it.

oh my frickin' god, we did it.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

my so-clichéd life

before having kids, i remember reading "funny" stories about little nippers and their shenanigans and thinking, "ha ha. sounds completely made up for a laugh, but ha ha anyway."

but as in so much with parenthood, the joke is real, and it's on me.

the set-up:
today, thing one and i had a "big girl" date. we shopped. we lunched. she got to pick out coloring books, paints, crayons and a stuffed kitty for her birthday. we bought a game for her friend's upcoming birthday, and – what the hell – one for ourselves, too. i picked up some holiday books for my little cherubs. when we got home, we played bingo, painted, ate halloween candy. i was the über-mommy; she was delightful. the teller at the bank, who gave thing one a sucker, said, "i've never seen such a cute, well-behaved child!"

the punch line:
late afternoon, i finally began tending to household stuff while thing one settled in to the sound of music. or so i thought. instead, i later discovered, she had taken markers and crayons to the playroom walls (raw, porous, unfinished, VERY absorbent wood), fireplace (porous brick), and floor. her defense? the rationale for these crimes against building materials? "i dunno."

ha ha.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

that's 25.2 miles - good enough

the handsome man, like many other (wonderful, dear, lovely) men i've heard about, is known to do things aaaalmost all the way. like the room we finished off in the old house...except for the baseboards (i finally got them as a belated mother's day pressie). like the way he used to faithfully sweep his apartment kitchen...then leave the little pile o' dirt and cat hair sitting in the corner. and like the way he, again this morning, emptied and reloaded the dishwasher (thanks, honey!)...but left the clean pots, pans and bowls sitting on the counter and stove for the cuisine elf to put away. why? why?

unrelated note:  as an addendum to the homemade political lawn signs appreciation, here's the best one i saw today:
undead for obama
now there's a constituency i would have thought for sure the republicans have locked up.

Monday, October 27, 2008

when you care enough to hammer the very best into your grass

as we near the end of campaign season, the bumper lawn sign crop in minneapolis continues to proliferate. my favorites are the homemade ones, like this sampling seen on today's trip to swimming lessons:
pro-woman, anti-palin

no war
no empire
no occupation

avoid trauma, vote obama
and the one that best sums up my feelings:

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

another sure sign of aging

i have more will to stay on the treadmill if i'm listening to npr podcasts than to bouncy music.

all together now:  geeeeeek.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

the hills are alive with the sound of child protective services

thing two has joined thing one in her obsession with the sound of music. not only do they sing along, they also randomly spout lines of dialogue – in the kitchen, at the grocery store, on the playground. which would probably be a lot cuter if thing two hadn't chosen this line to deliver with great verve:
"soaking myself in champagne!"
over and over and over.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

things my children have argued about recently

  • who gets the measuring cup with the rubber base when we make cocoa and who gets the plain measuring cup (note:  these are only the prep cups, not the ones they actually drink from)
  • which color of jell-o we will make after the next time we make jell-o
  • the correct way to wear underpants on one's head

the back page is always the best page

remember the glamour magazine dos and don'ts? of course you do. (unless maybe you're over 70. or a guy.) flipping immediately to the back page was always the most fun part of getting the 'zine – it was such sweet relief to see other females who had made worse fashion faux pas than oneself.

i was reminded of the dos and don'ts when i walked around the lake this morning, so let's bring on the snark:

  • get out and enjoy the stellar fall weather. bring the kids, bring the pets, or saddle up on your old schwinn like the becardiganed gentleman who looked to be about 100 (good on you, sir).
  • jog in a t-shirt with "just do it" emblazoned across your chest if said chest is huge, extra springy, and threatening both you and random passersby with a potential black eye.
  • push your pooch around in a stroller. repeat after me:  it's a dog. and if it's too tiny and trembly to make it around the lake on its little toothpick legs, leave it at home. or kill it.
  • wear your lifetime fitness personal trainer/aerobics instructor work outfit to walk around the lake. you're fit. we get it. now fuck off.
  • wear spandex pants so low-slung that i can see your hip bones and possibly a pube or two. i don't care how fine you are (and yes, pink-shirt girl, you are fiiiiine), those pants look good on precisely no one. No. One.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

they are preschoolers, hear them roar

at thing one's preschool today, they talked about what they want to do when they grow up. of the five girls in the class, two want to be "struction" workers, one wants to be a firefighter, one wants to be a doctor, and one wants to be a "computer person like daddy" (that would be thing one). 

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

different shit, same day

  • first moments of the day, eyes not even fully open, sans glasses – wiping up pee in, on, around and in front of the potty and its environs. (note to mothers of boys:  you are not in this alone! girls have bad aim, too.)
  • post-breakfast – picking up smallish turd off the bathroom rug, now being washed (rug, not turd).
  • lunch – returning from preschool and rushing to the potty, thing one rushes back to inform me it's stopped up. plunging ensues, followed by rinsing plunger in bleach water and trying to autoclave hands.
it's hard being as glamorous as me.

postscript, 7:35 pm – and we just rounded out the day with someone whizzing on one of the good chairs. not one of cheap plastic chairs from ikea. no, the nice upholstered chair from room and board. is it any wonder i had rice krispies and red wine for dinner? no, it is not.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

it's always a dad

heard in the aisles at target, addressed to a squalling, squabbling small boy and smaller girl:
"can you two get me that big bottle of olive oil?"
i have a feeling that shopping trip ended badly.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

rich inner lives

my children have made up a game that involves:
  • 2 laundry baskets
  • the pillows from the handsome man's and my bed
  • their blankies
  • cords from their lacing cards
  • numerous lite brite pegs
  • my good spatulas
  • many tiny pieces of paper
  • and all of the hairbrushes in the house
i do not understand this game. i do not care. if they're happy (read: busy without fighting), i'm happy.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

hey, it's a living language

another new word coined by my offspring:

ge•ro•cious [guh-ROH-shuhs] 
  1. something both gross and ferocious
  2. ferociously outsized in its grossness
as in, "wow, that's a gerociously big poo!" and it was.

related forms:
ge•ro•cious•ly, adverb
ge•ro•cious•ness, noun

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

funny how your perspective changes

i bet that christina crawford was a right little a**hole and poor joan got a bad wrap.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

i don't know which is scarier

that while flipping through radio stations, i stopped on one playing pat benatar's "hit me with your best shot," or that when the song ended, i discovered i was listing to lite fm.

it's official:  i am old.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

for those who have not reproduced

following is a list of activities, events and items that supposedly generate lovely, sugar-coated parent-and-child moments of bonding and snuggy-wuggums.


in reality, they annoy, enrage, exhaust, induce migraines, and lead to astonishingly frequent consumption of alcohol and chocolate. avoid them at all costs.

herewith, the top 10 reasons for renewing your birth control prescription today:

10. parades
9. christmas cookie decorating
8. pinatas
7. halloween
6. candyland
5. any disney movie
4. paints
3. nail polish (even the so-called fast-drying kind)
2. the sound of music
and number 1 with a bullet (i wish)... balloons

oh, how i hates the balloons.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

mount olympus, extreme northwestern division

after not cooking anything really, well, good for the last three years in deference to food-allergy baby, today i made a batch of chocolate chip cookies (after purchasing some outrageously expensive vegan pretenders at whole foods yesterday for aforementioned baby).

and OH MY GOD. 
butter and sugar and eggs and more sugar and more butter!

i was never one of those eat-the-raw-cookie-dough types, and what the hell was my problem? raw cookie dough is the food of the gods.


and a post script:

who eats HALF a fresh, warm chocolate chip cookie and throws away the rest? my kid, that's who. at least, my ob claimed she was my kid. i think a dna test is in order...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

an open letter

to the dour, 60ish woman at last weekend's wiener dog races dressed all in baggy, drab brown clothes who leaned over during her pet trick segment to reveal her NEON PINK, PURPLE AND WHITE THONG underwear:


my eyes, lord, my eyes. i could have happily gone my whole life without seeing that, lady.

(and yes, i said wiener dog races. hurdles. sprints. and my favorite event, the sofa jump.)

um...howdy, neighbor

here's a disturbing item to see lying next to your neighbor's garbage can:  the empty packaging for a "soft-grip machete."

Friday, September 5, 2008

and now, time for a refreshing (meno)pause

ok, so i seem to have gone straight from breast feeding to hot flashes. (ah, the joys of being a "mature" mother, aka decrepit crone.) i got some books from the library, the first one of which, called ripe, basically sucks. here is the sole bit of useful advice i gleaned from it:

"if in doubt, smile, stand up straight, suck in your gut, and try to look like you've just had great sex."

there. now you don't have to read the book.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

a venerable family tradition lives on

thing one has discovered a new-for-her delicacy, something beloved by her mama, gramma and great-gramma before her:  peanut butter and mustard sandwiches.

(before you say that, try one. seriously.)

and since you're reading blogs, try sarah palin's. 

Thursday, August 28, 2008

my faith in humanity is restored

on the way home from the paint store, i ended up behind a big ol' slow-moving cadillac. doing seven miles under the speed limit. with a world war two license plate and a little wizened driver wearing a hat. 

and here's what his bumper sticker said:

obama '08

well, god bless, sir.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

just a typical afternoon at home

yep, nothing unusual here.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

donna reed i ain't

here's what i had to offer the handsome man for dinner tonight:
  • plain noodles
  • "pasta salad" from an old family recipe consisting of pasta, chicken, thawed frozen peas, and mayo (and i upgraded from the original miracle whip)
  • 3/4 of a tomato
  • and a gently used piece of pizza

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


i have discovered the secret to potty training.

and it isn't a timer or m&ms or a portable potty.

it's an ipod and the new york times crossword and the figs of paradise martini at cafe maude, where the handsome man shipped me off to this evening. no one spoke to me for AN HOUR. it was glorious.

now off to do the pee pee-poo poo laundry.

love is...

accepting a handful of partially masticated gum.

(anyone can cozy up to a warm puppy.)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

insanity is hereditary

you get it from potty training your children.

f*** me.

we have a winner

the mystery vegetable is...kohlrabi! (which wikipedia called sputniky, too.)

many thanks to my half-german friend who grew up eating her mutter's version (it's big in germany). she not only identified them but fixed them for lunch during a play date at my house today. here's how:
  • peel and slice into french fry-size pieces
  • steam/simmer in a little butter, olive oil and broth until fork tender (about 20-30 minutes)
  • you can add minced parsley for looks when you serve, if you have it, which of course i do not
dee-licious. although cheetos would have been good, too.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

help me out here

what are these?

they came in our farm share this morning. i have no idea if i should eat them or launch them into space orbit (kind of a sputnik-y vibe, no?). extra credit points if you can tell me how to prepare them...

big girl undies!

oh, the thrill of it all.


thing one:  "mommy, is that a bunch of cardinals in the tree across the street?"

me:  "where?"

thing one:  "there, in the top of that tree – see all that red?"

me:  (squint, study)  "those aren't cardinals – those are LEAVES THAT HAVE CHANGED COLOR! AHHHHHHH!"

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

such a pretty fascia

out on my walk this morning i passed a house in the neighborhood that's for sale. it's been listed for a while, so to help they've hung an extra sign on it that says:

i'm gorgeous inside!

aww. poor thing. it is kind of boxy and plain, but still. i wanted to write "and i have a great personality, too!" on the sign. maybe i'll swing by with a sharpie marker later today...

Monday, August 4, 2008


i just received my new land's end bathing suit in the mail (unhorrible! and it actually creates the illusion of a bust!), and i noticed the tracking i.d. on it:  cow-2748.

cow. bathing suit. that is just all kinds of wrong.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

it's braaaaaaat

oh god. remember the pat character on saturday night live? whiny, nasally, off-the-charts irritating?

yeah, that's what my baby has turned into. every request, every protest, every everything is a looong, draaawn-out whiiiiiiiine.

it's a good thing she's cute, or i'd leave her on somebody's doooorsteeeep and ruuuuuuuuun.

Friday, August 1, 2008

fungus or feebs?

i was chatting with another food allergy mama today, comparing theories on why so many kids (e.g., mine, hers) can't eat the stuff we all ate as kids.

she mentioned the notion that we keep potential allergens out of our kids' diets for too long compared to folks in other cultures, thus inadvertently setting our munchkins up for allergies.

i mentioned several wildly different ideas i've heard over the years:  
  • the foods we eat aren't pure any more (wheat in vegetable soup, milk in bread, soy in everything)
  • we've hand-sanitized ourselves so clean that our immune systems are turning on pb&j in lieu of germs
  • foods have been genetically altered, which has f***ed us up
  • peanuts, especially imported ones, might have some sort of fungus similar to the ergot – known as st. anthony's fire – that infested rye in the middle ages and sickened huge numbers of people
and then i threw out a little something i've come up with in my musing on this subjects:  we've breed a nation of feebs.

think about it:  we've lifted the forces of natural selection so that, instead of the strong surviving, pretty much everyone is surviving. 

case in point? moi. without the benefit of strong eyeglasses, midol and zoloft, i would have been lion lunch on the savanna. when i reproduced, i needed c-sections to get the kid out and then formula when she couldn't breast feed. 

homo erectus didn't have level 3 nicu's. ma ingalls didn't go to a high-risk pregnancy clinic, nor did her friend mrs. boast have access to in vitro, which is why she and her husband tried to get laura to trade her baby for one of their horses. (i may have read all the little house books over and over.)

we are so freaking lucky that we have so many ways to fend off death and disease, to create and extend life. but is the flip side that we're watering down our genes a little bit? or bending them into new forms that leave us vulnerable to new ills?

better than sea monkeys

mix giant influx of plants from master gardener friend (black-eyed susans, day lilies, salvia, evening primrose, and several lovely unpronounceables) with water, et voilà:  insta-garden! 

stuff is already blooming, and so far, i have not murdered anything. (always unintentional, but still – i think plants can smell fear.)

oh, and apparently not only do rabbits find alpine strawberries delicious, they also favor something that's called nigella. or was called nigella.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

land ('s end) ho!

ladies, if you need a swimsuit (and it is only need that drives us to this fate, never just a desire to go out for a humiliating evening under the florescent lights), get thee to land's end.

last night at the local outlet, called an inlet (ha. cute. not.), i super scored by finding a suit that:
  • fits
  • is comfortable
  • looks unhorrible
  • and cost THIRTY DOLLARS (originally $86!)
and if you order from the catalog while in the store:  no shipping charges, and returns can be returned at the store free, too. so another cheap, black, hopefully acceptable suit is winging its way to me as i write.

(oh, and if you are a size 4 or a size 18, you have a choice of pretty much every product land's end makes. those of us in between need to hunt and peck. and premedicate.)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

call child protective services

here's a conversation i'm glad no one else overheard:

2-year-old:  "i don't like rum."

4-year-old:  "you don't like rum?! rum is what mommy and daddy have in dark and stormies! you've had sips of those."

2-year-old:  "oh."

4-year-old:  "i love rum."

with a tune in my heart

i may have caved on refined sugar and thomas the tank engine dvds, but i've held firm on allowing noxious children's "music" to seep into our lives. driving in the car with two children under age 5 is bad enough; driving with them while listening to "i'm a little teapot" would make me commit a felony.

so it warmed my mother's heart today when my kids requested music by semisonic. here are other favorites:
  • lily allen
  • herbie hancock
  • digable planets
  • the ramones
  • frankie goes to hollywood (hey, i never said my musical tastes were good; i just said no children's music)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

sartorial selections

i used to pick out my clothes based on a number of factors:  did the colors look good on me? were the pants a flattering cut? did the outfit create the vaguest illusion of a waist for my hershey bar-shaped body?

here is the sole criterion for today's clothing choices:  what don't i care if my kid barfs on. again.

Friday, July 18, 2008

things my children have argued about today

  • what months their imaginary company, lampy, takes off for summer vacation
  • the middle names of their new stuffed kitties
  • how many limes each could put in the bag at target
and now one of those limes is going right in my cocktail...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

mommy's night out

thanks to my cousin casey for making up this recipe (and for making me one).

mommy's night out:
  • pear vodka
  • pomegranate juice
  • fresca (ah, fresca)
proportions are fluid (ha ha), depending on how mommy's day has been.

oh happy day

thing two has learned how to swing by herself. 

i remember when thing one reached this particular milestone:  how proud i was of her, how splendid i thought she was.

now my overwhelming thought is, "good – now i can finally sit on my butt instead of pushing that damn swing."

Monday, July 14, 2008

button up your overcoat

when the wind is free,
take good care of yourself,
you belong to me.

today was one of those quintessential minnesota summer days:  high 80's, pristine blue sky, feathery breeze. i took things one and two to goggle at the city's gorgeous rose garden, then swung by a playground, and then hit the beach at the lake nearest our house (about 5 minutes away; when it's not frozen here, minneapolis is actually quite nice).

the water was absolutely clear – we could see every sand ripple on the bottom all the way out to the edge of the swimming area. a finger-sized fish took to us and swam in tight circles around and around and around our bodies. the girls dribbled handfuls of wet sand through their fingers.

eat an apple every day,
get to bed by three,
oh take good care of yourself,
you belong to me.

a dozen or so yards from us was another mom with two little kids, twins about a year and a half old. they were also playing in the sand and the water. only these kids didn't feel the squish between their toes or the splash on their legs, because they were wearing long-sleeved, full-torso, full-pant swim suits. WITH FEET. like this. like a sleep suit for the water. and the lawrence of arabia sun hats, to boot. like this, only they wrapped even more around the sides.

wear your flannel underwear
when you climb a tree,
take good care of yourself,
you belong to me.

now. i freely admit that i am one of the bigger freaks about safety when it comes to my kids. examples are legion, so trust me on this – i'm more neurotic than the average bear. and far be it for me to criticize another's parenting "style" (and this was a style, not because of any medical/skin condition, as the friendly, self-described nervous first-time mom volunteered). 

but COME ON. i mean, i've joked about wrapping my kids in bubble wrap, but i haven't actually DONE it. especially at the beach, fer crying out loud! why even bother bringing the poor little tykes there, when the only parts of them exposed to the glorious elements were their tiny mitts (ah! hand cancer! ahhhh!). what a horrible tease for a little boy and girl (at least that's my best guess, based on the colors of the cutest little hazmat suits in the world).

note to self:  don't so protect own children from the world that i completely keep them from experiencing the world.

keep away from bootleg hooch
when you're on a spree,
oh take good care of yourself,
you belong to me.

Friday, July 11, 2008

the great chefs of the world

probably don't have to contend with their diners falling out of trees during meal preparation.

things my children have argued about today

  • the colors of the imaginary signs in our kitchen that say "clean the wood" and "don't clean the wood"
  • whether nana, who works at their imaginary company named lampy, is the big sister of lala, who also works at lampy (and yes, lampy makes lamps)
  • who is 2-1/2 and who is 4-1/2 (a reprise of an old standard)

kitchen science

here's a fun experiment anyone can try at home!
  • take one unopened gallon of milk that has been lingering in your house since before vacation
  • open it and observe cream-like substance on top
  • decide to recap milk and shake it to mix cream-like substance into the milk
  • reopen and discover that fermenting, vaguely blue cheese-smelling former milk is pressurized and will explode all over you, your clothing, your appliances, and your floor!

it's the bitch of the day

with the bitch of the day:

apparently, july 11 was declared "bikini day at pershing pool" without my knowledge. who ARE these women who can suit up so skimpily after having kids and still look good?! haaaate them.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

runway, milan, 2023

thank god she got daddy's legs.

Friday, June 27, 2008

threat level: red

so i get everyone up, dressed, in the cab, to the airport, and through security without incident and in a timely manner.

all that remains is a quick trip to the biffy before boarding, and of course - of course! - auntie flo shows up. of course.

and of course, my four-year-old is with me in the matchbook-sized stall. don't want her to see the crime scene (that could be life scarring), so i quick invented the feet game. as in, "hey, baby, you stand outside the potty and dance, and i'll see if i can see your feet! doesn't that sound like fuuun?!"

lots of ibuprofen and coca-cola later, and all is well. there have been no other tragedies, and the girls are having a ball cavorting in grampa's pool and eating hot dogs and fries on his dime. next up? a trip to the toy store, where grampa will give them free rein. (grampa purports to be my father, but i think the aliens abducted that guy and replaced him with a remarkable facsimile, because i don't remember any toy store rampages from MY childhood.)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

best line of the trip so far

"do we need to take the stroller?"

no, honey. i'm sure we'll be fine moving through two of the country's busiest airports with four suitcases, four big carry-ons, two car seats, and unharnessed 2- and 4-year-olds.

and we haven't even left yet...

Monday, June 23, 2008

not lazy, perhaps hazy, and certainly crazy days of summer

so we're getting ready to head out of state for a big family reunion. here are my to do's so far (making the master list is the first to do):
  • stop the mail
  • stop the newspaper
  • arrange for our lawn to be mowed
  • drop off keys with a friend
  • pay the bills
  • renew library books so we don't get fined while we're gone
  • wash everyone's entire wardrobe
  • pack enough clothes, bathing suits and shoes for two little girls for a week and a half (did i mention the places we're staying have no washer and dryer?)
  • pack my stuff
  • pack toiletries for me and the girls
  • renew and pack everyone's prescription medicines
  • pack non-prescription medicines (zyrtec, scar cream, eye patches, etc.)
  • fill out i.d. bracelets for the girls to wear while traveling in case they get lost
  • buy and pack (allergy-free!) snacks
  • pack toys, books and lovies for the girls
  • pack travel dvd player and dvds
  • make a list of stuff to buy once we're there (diapers, wipes, swim diapers, etc.)
  • determine if grocery stores near reunion site carry soy milk 
  • locate hospital nearest reunion site
  • locate laundromat nearest reunion site
  • set light timers at home
  • clean out the fridge
  • arrange for a taxi to the airport
  • find straps to turn the booster seat back into an airplane-legal car seat
here's what my husband will do:
  • pack his bag

Sunday, June 22, 2008


by popular (one) request, here is the vegan chocolate cupcake recipe. don't be fooled by the vegan part – these things taste guuuuuuud. all hail isa chandra and her awesome vegan cupcakes take over the world cookbook!

your basic chocolate cupcake
makes 12 cupcakes

  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract, chocolate extract, or more vanilla extract (i use vanilla)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder, dutch-processed or regular
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a muffin pan with paper or foil liners.
  2. whisk together the soy milk and vinegar in a large bowl and set aside for a few minutes to curdle.
  3. in a separate bowl, sift (really – get a sifter; it makes a difference) together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  4. add the sugar, oil and vanilla extract, and other extract if using, to the soy milk mixture and beat until foamy.
  5. add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in two batches and beat until no large lumps remain (a few tiny ones are ok).
  6. pour into liners, filling three-quarters of the way. 
  7. bake 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
  8. transfer to cooling rack and let cool completely before...

ingredients (note:  this is half the recipe; i find it's plenty for a dozen cupcakes)
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1/4 cup margarine 
  • 1-3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 cup plain soy milk or soy creamer
  1. beat the shortening and margarine until well combined and fluffy.
  2. add the sugar and beat about 3 more minutes.
  3. add the vanilla and soy milk, and beat for another 5 to 7 minutes until fluffy. if you want to color the frosting, add food coloring near the end of beating.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

house of lard

in the past two days, i have made two new kinds of cupcakes, and the ladies and i have been listening to christmas carols incessantly.

we're confused. but happy.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

[insert stunned silence here]

i just completely threw a woman conducting a phone survey. she wanted to ask me questions about potential television shows, and i told her we don't have a working t.v. and haven't for almost a year.

i'm fairly certain no one has ever said that to her before, judging by the long pause, slow intake of breath, and "whooookay!" i got.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

celeblogties and other random thoughts


i think the blogosphere has fused celebrity gazing and reality programing, at least for me. i get a little thrill when i see that wendi aarons has commented on one of my posts, or when i run into morgan from walking around the lake. it's like that us magazine section come to life:  they really DO whine and chafe and sag and snarl. i feel so glamorous!

goth picnic

goth is tough look to pull off in the summer. works great during a minneapolis winter, but black hair/pasty face/black shirt/pasty arms/black shorts/pasty legs/black socks says "i need a blood transfusion!" more than "i am part of a vaguely unsettling counterculture!"

freaky tuesday

the couple i just saw out for a walk scared me. preface:  it is a gorgeous summer day, the kind of perfection that makes minnesotans weep with joy and stop muttering about relocating to albuquerque. so why were betty and bud strolling along in long pants, hooded long-sleeved jackets, and hats? is there some sort of freak june cold front rolling in that i don't know about? it reminds me a billion for boris, the awesome sequel to freaky friday, where ape face finds a television that broadcasts tomorrow's news and thus remains toasty warm during a surprise blizzard while his sister freezes and – even worse – ruins her new leather boots.


my husband found the recorders he and one of his brothers played as kids. remember recorders? those cheap, tuneless first instruments? those little spindles of shrillness that, in the hands of novices, produce only one sustained note so high you can actually feel your butt clench?

he gave them to our children.

oh dear god

my four-year-old just said the words "hannah montana."

Friday, June 13, 2008

the pain only a mother knows

i just stepped on a lincoln log. jesus god. went down like a tranqed rhino.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

where is that large automobile?

i was very nearly run off the road tonight by a big ol' cadillac ass-calade. um, hello? i'm in a minivan; it's not like i have a cloaking device. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

crouching preschooler, hidden pull-up

the shortest interval of time that has ever been measured is 100 attoseconds – a billion billionths of a second. the measurement was achieved by professor ferenc krausz and other researchers at the vienna university of technology.

professor krausz has preschoolers.

i don't know this for sure, but i'd be willing to bet on it. because i, too, have experienced the shortest interval of time. only in our house, it's called "the time between pulling josie out of the tub and her shrieking that she's cooooold." seriously, she's not even all the way out of the water when this starts.

and because she's cooooold, she refuses to drop towel while getting dressed. so instead, she spreads her towel-clad arms out for balance and stands, flamingo-like, on one skinny leg while holding up her other foot for me to cram into her pull-up. it's very martial-arts-meets-hello-kitty, until her foot catches on the towel edge while pushing through the pull-up leg opening and we both fall ass over tea kettle. 

in today's news

"astronauts to fix international space station's broken toilet."
and i thought my seven years of higher education were a bit of an over qualification for my job as a hausfrau.

Monday, June 2, 2008

apparently i've given birth to alexa p. keaton. twice.

the ladies and i got our usual ziggurat of books out of the library last week, and we've been enjoying click, clack, moo:  cows that type and giggle, giggle, quack

they are dryly funny books about overly smart farm animals that cause trouble for farmer brown, like when the cows find an old typewriter and begin leaving notes saying they won't give any more milk until they get some electric blankets.

it never occurred to me to side with anyone other than the poor, chilly bovines until my girls started on this tirade:
thing two:  "those cows are bad!"
thing one:  "yeah! they're bad, and they're mean!"
thing two:  "yeah! mean!"
thing one:  "they should give the farmer milk!"
thing two:  "yeah!"
geez. i guess they're ready for careers in management.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

but i play a marketing expert on my blog

i think somebody needs to have a little talk with the folks at jc penney. the father's day promo i received today says:
today's the day to give him what he really wants...
the jc penney gift card!
i'm gonna go out on a limb and say that, oh, maybe sex is what most men really want. and i don't think you can get that with a penney's gift card.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

crabby old lady is crabby about...

minneapolis is lousy with bike paths. the park board maintains more than 43 miles of designated biking paths around city's lakes and along its creeks. nearly six miles of converted railway line extend across the city's center for bikers. there are many bike lanes in, to and from downtown, and a whopping 82 miles of off-street trails.

so why do i always end up driving behind some tour de france wannabe who insists on riding in the street? 

i understand when there is no other option, like for the two gentlemen i followed home the other evening (after 10 pm, in the dark, at about 8 miles per hour, slowly, sloooowly) on a road with no bike lane.

but when i am driving around lakes that are ringed with bike paths? lovely, paved, scenic paths just for you? why, sir, do you instead choose to ride in the road in front of me, turning to glare at me from beneath your helmet when you bob your arms up and down to signal your turns, or muttering at me as i (carefully, carefully) pass you?

i'm driving a minivan, lance ass-strong. that means i outweigh you by about, oh, 4,100 pounds. and it's my road; your path is 10 feet that-a-way. are you just arrogant? or do you have some sort of thin-the-herd death wish?

oh, and the next time you YELL AT ME as i open my van door when i'm parked legally on a minneapolis street and you nearly rip my door off as you speed by? bring it.

women's clothing manufacturers

4 6 7 8 9 10

my winning lottery numbers? hardly.

i recently rolled over and accepted that my pre-maternity clothes will remain just that. the old gray mare ain't what she used to be. and, as i've moved into my 40s, i've discovered that my body parts are following the general migration trend of the country's residents:  all heading south.

so i trundled off for some new stuff. got the basic mommy wardrobe of shorts, cargo pants, jeans and tee shirts, as well as some new jammies for good measure. and i discovered that, apparently, i have some sort of fun-house body that morphs as i move from aisle to aisle, because the clothes i got were all of the sizes listed above, plus xs, s, m, and l just to make things interesting. 

and, with the exception of the jeans, the clothes are all from the same place:  target (or tar-jhay boo-teek, as we in the miniapple call it). how is it even possible that i can wear a 4 pants and a 10 shorts in the exact same in-house brand?! (merona.) hate you, isaac mizrahi.

global warming

it was 40 degrees when i went for a walk this morning. i could probably have seen my breath, if my eyes hadn't been watering so much. 

global warming, my fat fanny. where can i git me some?

Monday, May 26, 2008

i'm too sexy for my baggy, sweat-stained t-shirt

here are some of the exciting ways the handsome man and i memorialized this holiday weekend:
  • pruning bushes and trees
  • scraping and recaulking the tub
  • shoveling four yards of dirt across our property
  • seeding the lawn
  • scrubbing the kitchen floor on hands and knees
  • taking down storm windows and putting up screens
  • mowing the lawn
  • weeding
  • planting herbs
  • doing six loads of laundry
  • purchasing a weather radio, two emergency flashlights, and two first aid kits (one for home, one for car) now that tornado season is upon us
and yet, all this was mitigated by that great spring tonic:  rhubarb pie. there are some things to be said for living in minnesota.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

the breakfast of whining, gasping, pms-ing losers

  • 2 advil
  • 1-1/2 zoloft
  • 1 children's multivitamin
  • 2 cups strong tea
hey, the world has enough champions.

Friday, May 23, 2008

the horror

i do not have high standards when it comes to food.
that is not to say i am not picky or high-maintenance, both of which i decidedly am. no olives, no artichokes, no coconut. nothing that bleeds on my plate or makes eye contact. no hard or soft eggs (hidden in a breakfast quesadilla is about all i can stomach). and dear god, no mollusks, crustaceans or other sea bugs.

but i'm pretty much an omnivore when it comes to junky food, white trash food, and snicky snacks of all kinds. when i'm feeling nostalgic for home, i might whip up an american cheese food sandwich with miracle whip, or a peanut butter-mustard-and-pickle sandwich. (stop that. it's good. and how do you know if you've never tried it, sam-i-am?)

however, tonight i discovered the point at which even i must draw a line in the cool whip. as i was breaking into some chocolate graham crackers (yum!), i saw this on the side of the box:
introducing new easy cheese original cream cheese pasteurized cheese snack!

now you can have the great taste of cream cheese with all the fun of easy cheese. easy cheese original cream cheese can be found in the cracker aisle next to all of your other favorite easy cheese varieties.
spray cream cheese. spray cream cheese that needs no refrigeration. i'm pretty sure that is what the four horsemen of the apocalypse will be snacking on when they come.

i would rather work the fryer at mcdonald's until i'm 100

the ladies and i just returned from an a-1 outing to one of st. paul's bestest and kid-friendliest places, como zoo & conservatory. we steeped ourselves in warm sunshine. we saw giraffes and seals and lions and even (gasp!) reindeer, though probably not, we concluded, santa's reindeer ("but maybe they know him!"). we ate our sandwiches and apples while watching flamingos fight ("maybe they're sisters!"). i bought each girl a bomb pop roughly the size of a sexual device or one of those long knit tubes you put in front of doorways to keep out winter drafts. (and amazingly, they consumed nearly all of them; if i hadn't had them strapped in the stroller, i think they would have started levitating from the sugar high.)

and then, to top it all off, we paid our first-ever visit to the carousel, an enormous 1914 masterpiece with four rows of gorgeously restored horses, lights, mirrors...and a huge wurlitzer band organ.

or, as i now think of it, satan's own glockenspiel.

omfg, was that thing loud. i felt like the grinch being driven to distraction by the whoville residents and all their noise, noise, noise, NOISE! and i'm kind of a deaf old bat from misspending my teens and 20's in bars and clubs, pressed up close to the amps with the beat of a bass guitar pulsing up and down my spine. 

indeed, the carousel's promoters themselves give a shout-out (sorry) to the noise on their website:
why is it so loud?
you may notice as you walk through como park that you can often hear the music before you see the carousel. band organs were designed to be loud in order to attract the public to the carousel. the loud music also helps mask some of the mechanical noises of the ride.
which makes total sense, and is tolerable for the 10-minute ride, slightly less so for the 15 minutes spent waiting in line prior to the ride.

but how about ALL FREAKING DAY?

because the carousel is staffed by volunteers, all of whom appeared to be retirees, and all of whom were sporting airport grounds crew-quality earplugs. (and, perhaps not coincidentally, all of whom were rather grim-faced and cheerless.)

now, i am all for volunteer work; i've done a bunch of different kinds. and i get that many retirees want to stay connected to the work world, like my in-laws whose understanding of "retirement" apparently translates to "go back to your old job, only less often."

but i know that it would only take me a couple of days – one week tops – on the carousel crew before i would become completely unhinged and start trying to shoot the wooden horses. perhaps another, quieter form of retirement should be in my future.

oh, and if you're looking for a super father's day gift, the carousel sells a recording of its band organ tunes! apparently, the carousel pavilion's steel surfaces offer little in the way of sound absorption, so the reverb in the place amplifies the music and creates a "nice effect," though it does "make it a little hard to hear someone speak."

or scream.

Monday, May 12, 2008

etymology lesson for the day

is it called cocktail hour because you want to cold-cock one kid and swat the other on the tail?

mom dialing

my friends and i are now securely past the age of drunk dialing (calling up a current/ex/prospective boyfriend when intoxicated).

but sadly, phone faux pas continue, because we have entered the age of mom dialing. that's when your brain is so addled by child bearing/rearing that you make unintended calls. i submit as evidence:
  • my best friend just called me and said, "oh, i wasn't trying to call you, i was trying to call my sister (who happens to be my other best friend)."
  • i've called one of them, intending to call the other, on several (ok, many) occasions.
  • i've called myself more than once (cell if i'm at home, and vice versa) trying to reach friend a or friend b.
  • and i've phoned people and by the time they've picked up, i've already forgotten who i've called ("oh,!").
so remember, don't breed and dial.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

doin' time in solitary

so i took thing one to the dentist the other day. at 4-1/2, she's a veteran; she started going at age 3 when she fell on her face so hard, her tooth and gum turned gray and we were told the tooth might be abscessing. mercifully, it was not. and since we took her to a children's dentist, it was all fun and kites and stickers and picking out presents at the end. 

since then, she's been every six months, which at her age is practically a geologic time period:  a vague, misty era waaaaay back beyond memory.

so when i told josie it was time for another visit, i reminded her of the fun, fun, fun that was in store. i must have really sold it, because she told people, "i get to go to the dentist tomorrow!" (did i mention i used to work in public relations?)

now, josie is a bit, shall we say, dramatic. think of e.t. running around waving his hands in the air, and you get a pretty good mental picture of how she reacts to anything she deems traumatic:  immunizations, thunder and lightening, running out of goldfish crackers, being unable to locate a desired ball, mommy wanting to pee before sitting down to read 14,000 children's books aloud, life.

i try to be sympathetic, because she comes by it honestly. when i was a kid, woe was me. my aunt called me sarah bernhardt because of my penchant for histrionics, and my mom would narrow her eyes and hiss, "i hope you get one just like you." 

in my defense, i tended more toward the sullen and sulky kind of dramatics:  slumping through the house, glowering, and slamming doors. which i'm sure was incredibly annoying, but at least not terribly loud.

josie, however, likes to get her shriek on. the moment she sat in the dentist's chair, she started to rev up. chair going up and leaning back? shriek. teeny mirror inserted in mouth to count teeth? shriek. brushing with bubble gum-flavored toothpaste and tiny, tickly brush? shriek. flossing? double shriek.

the climax came with the fluoride treatment. when the handsome man and i were kids, we later reminisced, this involved sitting with trays of revolting goo in your mouth for what seemed like days, not daring to move a muscle lest said goo trickle down your throat and make you retch. when it was finally over, you were sternly warned not to eat or drink for about a month or the fluoride wouldn't work and you'd have to do it all again.

wanna know how they do fluoride now? they paint it on the teeth with the world's eentsiest brush in about 10 seconds, and that's it. as soon as the saliva hits it, you can eat or drink. 

but josie couldn't care less if my teeth walked 10 miles uphill both ways to school when i was a kid. to her, the fluoride treatment was very deliberately designed to kill her. my god, the screams! she sounded like a medieval saint being martyred in some odd and gruesome way. and since the dentist's office is set up as a big, open space with many chairs for many kids, the sound it did a-travel.

when the appointment was all over (15 minutes tops; seemed like an hour), the girls played with toys in the waiting room while i talked to the gal at the future appointments desk. i mentioned that thing two will need to be seen next time as well, since she'll be 3 by then. "the hygienist said i could schedule the two appointments at the same time, and the girls could sit next to each other," i said.

"hmm," she replied. "it says here they want to see josie in the 'quiet room' next time. did she have some trouble today?"

yep, she's going in the hole. being thrown in the box. visiting the pound. being given the shoe. doing time in solitary. 

cue the harmonica.

p.s. in fairness to josie, i probably should mention that when i was a kid, i once locked myself in my dentist's bathroom for an hour and refused to come out. and in fairness to me, this was the same dentist who once DRILLED MY TONGUE because he was too busy flirting with his hygienist to pay attention to the job at hand. jerk.