Monday, March 31, 2008

possibly the best slogan ever

herbivore: putting the "f.u." in tofu since 2003.

wii are not amused

i admit it – i have officially entered crabby-old-ladyhood. i do not understand the following:
  • reality television
  • thong underwear (why? i spend my whole life trying to avoid this sensation)
  • text messaging
  • video and computer games, specifically the wii craze
the handsome man brought a wii home from work this weekend to play with. yes, his company has a wii. he works for a big advertising agency that buys expensive toys to keep the creative staff amused. apparently amused writers and art directors are more productive and wacky! (or just really good wheedlers of expensive toys.)

anyway, he plugged the wii into the tv in our basement playroom, and he and thing one proceeded to plug themselves into the wii. they spent several hours wii bowling, which i was forced to observe for a while (a short while). 

i was surprised that the graphics were so – what's the word i'm looking for? – rudimentary. lousy would be another word:  the bowlers do not have arms, just two spheres that move around like arms. so when they're getting ready to bowl, it looks like they've had some sort of horrible boob jobs gone badly awry. the handsome man explained this away by saying something about "processing power" and "the computer program drawing the arms" and "more memory." whatever. they looked stooopid.

and here's a wild idea:  if you want to bowl, why not go bowling? at a real bowling alley, with real balls? people do that, i've heard.

i am so glad we don't have any of our own video/computer game crap. if we did, i am sure i would find daddy and daughter down in the basement a few months from now, fluorescent white from lack of sunshine and with thumbs as big as ping-pong paddles (that you, julie, for that imagery).

it's raaaining, it's snooowing!

mommy's mind is gooooing!

and the children are already at each other's throats. 

too early for a cocktail?

Sunday, March 30, 2008

robin! robin! robin! part deux

a postscript: the handsome man took the snow tires off our vehicles this weekend. so tomorrow it's supposed to snow 4-8 inches.

i blame him.

and julie said something about his knees and a crowbar...

robin! robin! robin!

it's hard to overstate the joy of seeing the season's first robin up here on the tundra, like i did today. rather than a "oh, that's pleasant" feeling, it conjures up a "jesus god, i made it through another one" sort of vibe. 

one year my friend julie – who had a 6-year-old, a 4-year-old and a new baby – pulled over to the side of the road, put her head on her steering wheel, and cried when she saw a robin. that was shortly after it had snowed (again) about a foot in mid-april. 

Saturday, March 29, 2008

sample night at the liquor store?!

i don't think i really need to say anything other than that, except maybe "ahhh."

Friday, March 28, 2008

orange you glad you're not two?

disclaimer: i love two-year-olds. they are sweet, cuddly, funny and fascinating a lot of the time.


there are those trying moments/days/weeks. those grade a mood swings. those puzzling personality tics.

i have known little girls who will only wear pink, or dresses, or sparkly shoes. my kid? only wants to wear orange.

this has been going on for a year. she is quite vehement and will only deign to don other colors if all the orange things are dirty. or hidden. (did i say that?) 

have you tried shopping for orange everything in the little girls department? i'll save you the trouble – you can't. head to the little boys department, because that's where the orange stuff lives. i found thing two's favoritest bilious orange tees there, one that says "i'm definitely up to something" and the other that says "monkey see, monkey do, monkey get in trouble too." we have also gotten more than our fair share of use from halloween pumpkin and spider shirts.

fortunately, orange must be gaining ground, because for spring i found several little girls shirts, a bathing suit and a dress that are actually – gasp – cute. which pretty much guarantees babycakes will change her color allegiance soon.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

future supermodel

here's what thing two had for breakfast this morning (her choice):
  • a clementine
  • grapes
  • strawberries
  • half a grapefruit

this is the same child who, when we were on the road to iowa for easter, ignored her hamburger and french fries at mcdonald's in favor of picking mandarin orange slices, soybeans and "leaves" out of my salad.

i think she may have been switched at birth.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

honk if you're an urban white liberal

here is a smattering of the bumper stickers i saw when thing two and i went to the public library this morning:
  • enough is enough:  vote democratic
  • support the troops, end the war
  • who would jesus bomb?
  • the current 89.3 (public radio music station)
  • no weapons in space
  • love your mother (with a picture of the earth)
  • i make breast milk – what's your superpower?
  • republicans for voldemort (that would be my honda odyssey sporting this one)
hmmm...could this be the same minneapolis that voted, like, 1000% for gore and kerry?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

the new new math

i have never been good at math. in high school, i eked out a d+ in pass-fail pre-cal in 11th grade and called it quits.

but i've discovered that motherhood kick starts a range of heretofore unknown talents including, in my case, the ability to come up with complex equations like this one:

toddler (t) + eye patch (p) + large sugary cupcake (c) + too much indoor time (i) + hula hoop (h2) = broken floor lamp (@#$%)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

can i get caramel syrup on that?

denial runs strong in a certain faction of minnesotans, viz:  those of us who hate winter. (i know, i know. what can i say? we're stupid stay-puts who don't have the sense god gave a turnip.) today i thought we woke up to 4 inches of the sodden, cement-like stuff lovingly known here as "heart attack snow."

but my winter-hating pal julie set me straight. "it's a rain frappé," she insisted. 

a whaaa?

"a frappé. like the drink. it's not snow – it's whipped, frozen rain. a rain frappé."

i don't know whether to hug her or institutionalize her. perhaps both.

Monday, March 17, 2008

the hair o' the antihistamine that bit her

thing two has been taking antihistamines daily for her eczema since she was about six months old. for the first several months, it was an epic struggle. i got very good at pining her between my legs and prying her mouth open, then squirting the syringe in not once, not twice, but three times. (i expect to pursue a career in calf roping after the children leave for college.)

with repetition it got easier, and by the time she was about 18 months old, she would pop open her mouth like a baby bird so i could pour the drugs in.

then she turned two and hit the big time – goodbye syringe, hello little dosing cup. she digs being in control, especially since we've introduced the concept of "bottoms up!"

"bottoms up!" she'll happily cheer before she tosses back her morning shot. and i do mean toss: she's learned how to knock it all back in one go. recently, she mastered the art of holding the cup in her teeth and doing her shot with no hands. her father and i are so proud. "she's all ready for college!" i said. "señor frog's, here she comes!"

next on the docket? daddy wants to teach her how to lick salt from her hand. we're ready to be fitted for our parents-of-the-year sashes any time now.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

my new hero

wendi aarons, i love you:

have a happy period (an open letter to james thatcher, brand manager, proctor and gamble)

thanks, kath, for sending me this. the timing was, oh, let's just say, appropriate.

Friday, March 14, 2008

don't say i didn't warn you

totally, utterly, completely addictive:

and a nice thing to do, too.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

here's one for the baby book

as usual, i made a pit stop before setting off to pick up thing one from preschool. and, as usual, thing two followed me to the loo.

however, we had a sudden and dramatic deviation from our routine when, as i leaned around to get a fresh roll of toilet paper out from under the sink (like all adult women, i am the only one in the home who possesses this arcane skill), thing two scrambled up on her plastic stool, lost her balance, and fell backward.

into the potty.

that i had just peed in.

her little body snapped shut into a perfect jackknife position, butt in the bowl and knees in front of her face, and her eyes got as big as hubcaps. but before she could commence wailing, i had fished her out and stripped her. and flushed. 

i then set a land-speed record getting the wet, weepy and pissed (in all senses) baby clean, dry, dressed and in the van.

we were on time picking up thing one.

and i never laughed at thing two, although i think i may have strained something while bottling it up.

Monday, March 10, 2008

ouch, ouch, ouch

finally got to the dentist today for my check-up, seven months late. he has determined i have "delicate gums," which i believe is the nice way of saying "flinches and bleeds a lot."

oh well, at least there's some part of me that has been deemed delicate. kind of reminds me of the late molly ivins, newspaper columnist and author extraordinaire, writing how she went to the spa and they told her she had "a fabulous space between her eyes."

Saturday, March 8, 2008

i could lie down on the kitchen floor and sleep, too

poor baby. giving up naps is hard.

(predictably, when i tried to move her to her bed, she popped awake.)

Friday, March 7, 2008

come again?

remember holly hobbie, that cloyingly sweet icon of 1970s girlie schmaltz? (yeah, i loved her, too.)

well, she's real. there is an actual holly hobbie behind holly hobbie (nee denise holly ulinskas, married to douglas hobbie). and now she writes children's books about two best-friend pigs. named toot and puddle, or "puds." who live together. in a place called – get ready – woodcock pocket.

seriously, ms. hobbie? i mean, the illustrations are charming, but i can barely get through the text when i regale my girls with the stories, and i have to leave the room when my husband reads them. 

it's as bad as what my friend remembers as the big woody era, after the movie toy story and all its ancillary paraphernalia came out, when every other little boy was shrieking, "i want a big woody!"

oh, and in other porcine-wtf? news, the minnesota zoo is again doing its cutesy farm babies exhibit this spring, and the sponsor is again...hormel

Thursday, March 6, 2008

the things we do for love

this afternoon, i fashioned a splint out of tinfoil to repair an injured icicle. 


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

ah, drugs

wha... it's march? i missed february?

well, at least i know how it happened:  my clan and I were brought low by illness. actually everyone in minnesota has been brought low this winter. i swear, i have never known so many people to be so sick for so long. influenza. ear infections. strep throat. croup. pneumonia. constricted airways. body aches. headaches. throwing up. sheer misery.

after being among the missing myself for weeks, i finally lined up babysitting and dragged my sorry butt into my doctor's last wednesday...only to be told that my appointment was thursday.

i am not surprised, as when i looked in my date book for wednesday i found...nothing. ditto for thursday. because my head had swelled to 400 pounds and was filled with sloshing, chartreuse goo, i had barely formed a coherent thought for weeks:

"children. i have...children. must...feed...children. must make...what's it called? dinner.  must make...dinner."

trying to put one mental foot in front of the other was like squeezing cement through a pastry tube:  everything moved very, very slowly.

so i returned to the doctor on thursday, this time with my kids. i strapped them down to their stroller, gave them books and jelly beans (today's parenting tip:  bribery works!), and told them that under no circumstances would they be allowed to get out or touch anything. we already have the plague; the last thing i need is for them to lick the waiting room end tables and bring home something else.

shockingly, the ladies were models of decorum while my doctor diagnosed a snarling sinus infection. i received not only a prescription for an antibiotic, but also a prescription for a refill, just in case (seriously, 400 pounds of chartreuse goo). 

i wheeled the ladies back out to the waiting room and thanked them for their compliance. while i bundled them up, they made eyes at the other patients, who all found them absolutely darling. then, as we made to leave, thing one dropped her water cup and said, loudly, "damn!" 

i smiled weakly and sprinted for the door.

now, after five days of zithromax – buttressed by sudafed, tylenol, motrin, coca-cola and cosmopolitans – i have returned to human form. and we've had a little talk about which words are not polite to say in front of others, even if daddy sometimes does. ("and mommy!" thing one helpfully pointed out.) but damn, it's nice to finally feel better.