Wednesday, April 30, 2008

oh m'darlin, oh m'darlin, oh m'darlin clementine

necessity is the mother of invention. i am the mother of a toddler and a preschooler. i am also out of limes.

but i wasn't going to let that stand in between me and a cocktail. so instead of having a cosmo, i squeezed a clementine and voilĂ :  a new drinkie poo is born. 

the oh m'darlin
  • 1-1/4 oz vodka
  • 3/4 oz triple sec
  • 1-1/4 oz cranberry juice
  • juice of one clementine
  • splash of rose's lime juice
shake all over ice. delish.


here's an idea for all you preschool teachers out there:  why don't you give your charges a puzzle with all different kinds of locks for them to learn how to bust through? i'm talking sliding bar locks, twist locks, hook-and-eye locks, sliding chain locks – the works. 


our four-year-old doesn't need any help disarming locks, thanks. this is the child we nicknamed "houdini" at age two when she figured out how to unlatch the carabiner-style gate hooks. we had to resort to padlocking each of our three backyard gates to keep her penned up. it took this child 20 minutes to figure out how to pop the fridge lock we installed (i had more trouble with it than her). when we moved into our new house, we had to replace the flip locks on the front and back doors because she kept "helping" us open them (the new locks are keyed, natch). 

"next year maybe they teach them safe cracking," the handsome man said. i'm hoping for hot-wiring; probably more job opportunities in that. 


Friday, April 25, 2008

it was a dark and stormy tantrum hour

actually, it's just drizzling and chilly, but never mind – the handsome man and i recently discovered the cocktail that will see us through the summer. i heartily recommend it:

the dark and stormy
  • pack a highball glass with ice
  • add 1-1/2 oz (or a titch more) dark bermuda rum, like gosling's.
  • squeeze in the juice from several lime wedges, running the last one around the rim and tossing it in the glass
  • fill the glass with ginger beer (the stuff from bermuda, like barritts, is preferred over the jamaican kind; thank you, mr. internet)
  • reeeeelax

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

the pain only a woman knows

yes, i'm talking about trying to find a pair of jeans.
(not to be confused with the other pains only women know, like growing out your bangs, having a baby, or shopping for a bathing suit.)

over the past two weeks, i have ordered five – five! – different styles of jeans from and in the vain quest for something that:  a) fits b) is comfortable and c) looks even vaguely acceptable. 

why don't i go to the stores and try them on, you ask? why, because they don't carry petites in the stores, of course. (we are too short to reach the counter to pay? our money is too small? what?) thank god for free shipping and returns.

i've tried gap's classic boot cut, new boot cut, and long and lean (ironically, the best fitting of the bunch). i've tried old navy's "goddess" (the renamed high-waisted mom jeans) and "sweetheart" styles (almost as high and mom-like; old navy's marketing people are geniuses). i've tried curvy fit, straight fit, and stretch denim.

and the verdict is? they all suck rocks. which, coincidentally, is what my ass looks like in them.

so back they go. i'll try again next fall. fortunately, i went through the pain only women know part 5:  shorts shopping last summer, so i'm good for a new months.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

"mama, come look at my giant poo!"

file under:  phrases i never knew i'd hear.
as my brother, a father of three, says, "this wasn't in the brochure."

Friday, April 18, 2008

one fish, two fish, red fish, eeeeww fish

one fish
i bought a bathing suit the other day. like other naughty substances in our culture – sex toys, prescription drugs for maladies you don't have – bathing suits are best purchased over the internet, from the privacy of your own home. is my preferred pusher, as they sell many suits with skirts, shorts, cover-ups, etc. i'm waiting for the full-body cocoon model; hopefully it will be out soon.

in the meantime, i opted for the all-over control lingerie slender swim dress. first and most important, it was on sale. and second, the name (or at least parts of it) and the picture evoked thoughts of a floaty, feminine little number that would rustle delightfully in the breeze while still covering my hindquarters and drumsticks.

instead, what arrived was a garment made of fabric so thick, tough and unyielding you could bury a man at sea in it. it weighs about five pounds, and i feel like mother russia storming the beach in it – the proletariat goes for a dip. but it looks ok and achieves my prime directive in swim wear:  COVER THAT SHIT UP.

two fish

alas, the same cannot be said for all of my fellow minnesotans. the handsome man and i took thing one and thing two to the water park of america last weekend. yee gods, i have never seen so much of  so many pale, pasty, corn-fed folks. aiiiiiie!

and it's april. that means we are just coming off of six months' hibernation, when all the world sees of you are your eyes and ice-encrusted lashes and there's not much incentive to lay off the cheetos. apparently, that is no deterrent to bikini purchases, or backless/sideless/nearly frontless bathing suits, or skin-tight bicycle shorts. oh, the humanity!

it's not that i am less pale, pasty or corn-fed than my compatriots; it's that i COVER THAT SHIT UP so that i won't permanently scar their eyeballs. even the handsome man, who almost never says anything bad about anyone (why did i marry him?), muttered, "i think that's illegal in seven states" when a particularly unfortunate teen galumphed by.

we live in a (relatively) civil society, people. social contract and all that. so please, please, join me in COVERING THAT SHIT UP.

red fish, eeeeww fish

and finally, to the speedo-clad man at the uptown ywca doing poolside sit-ups during swimming lessons for impressionable children (and fragile mommies):  sir, i beg of you:


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

a noun is a person, place or thing. or a baby.

"why do you hate the baby?" names volume 3 – the nouning of our children:
  • azurite
  • poppy
  • holiday
  • champale
  • karizzma 

Friday, April 11, 2008

with apologies to dr. seuss

the sun did not shine.
it was too wet to play.
so we sat in the house
all that cold, cold, wet day.

or we would have, if had any sense at all. but i had tried to take the girls to see farm babies at the minnesota zoo (sponsored by hormel! ook) last week, only to remember it was spring break for the minneapolis public schools and there were approximately 1 million people with the same idea. we bailed; much unhappiness ensued.

so i promised – something i try NEVER to do – that i would take them today, because the damn exhibit closes this weekend. (perhaps because hormel has plans for the little dears?) which means, of course, that it has been raining, snowing, gusting and blowing since yesterday.

"but mommy, you promised!" so, like an asshole, i packed us up and headed through the slush to the swine barn. at least i'm a prepared asshole:  i had the jogging stroller with the rain cover, a lap robe, snacks, drinks, lovieschrist, the girls were bundled up better than lara in dr. zhivago. other people were slogging the 1/2 mile or so each way with flimsy umbrella strollers, soggy blankets, or just carrying their unhappy young'uns.

and, like all great parenting achievements, the payback was...whining. it's cold, why can't we see the dolphins too, i want an oompa loompa now, etc.

tomorrow the whole family is going to the water park! fuuuuuu...

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

another rite of passage

first tooth, first step, first word, first barbie doll decapitation.

at least her coat will be nice and glossy

my people are not at their best in the morning, especially the handsome man. i don't think he really wakes up until about noon, poor thing. but he tries.

this morning, he took over toast duty from me (i don't remember why; it probably involved some sort of child-related mess). and he proceeded to make thing two cinnamon sugar toast with...shortening.

in his defense, the earthy-crunchy, braid-your-armpit-hair margarine and shortening we buy because of thing two's food allergies are packaged the same:  both in gold foil wrappers.  note to the earth balance company:  would it kill you to invest in some silver foil, too?

Sunday, April 6, 2008

who knows what evil lurks in the gut of a small child?

how is this even possible? my not-quite-four-and-a-half year old just plugged up the john, and it wasn't with toilet paper. 

good god, how does a body that small even produce something that large? she weighs 36 pounds, has a butt the size of my fist, and only just grew out of her size 2-3t undies!

the handsome man is off to fetch the plunger...

Saturday, April 5, 2008


it's 7:52 a.m. on saturday. time for several more hours of sleep, a leisurely breakfast, a pedicure and perhaps a nap.


actually, it's time to start my third load of laundry for the day, since one child managed to pee through two beds last night (hers and then mine). but first, i must dispose of a giant steaming turd, courtesy of the other child.

the glamour never ends.

Friday, April 4, 2008

call hazelden

the handsome man was prepping my second cup of tea this morning, and he reused the tea bag from the first cup as i usually do (i am cheap). i allowed as how i intended to go full strength on the second cup today with a whole new bag. so, being the wild man that he is, he simply popped a second tea bag into the cup, along with the first one. "speed ball!" he said laughing.

sadly, that's about as close to illicit pleasures as people our age get any more.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

what's a 9-letter word for brain balm?


i used to read a lot. like, a lot a lot. partly it was vocation:  i was a double-major undergrad who went immediately on to get back-to-back graduate degrees (in art history and museum studies, because i wanted to make the big bucks).

but mostly it was because i loved words. books, magazines, talk radio, dictionaries. (did i mention i was not part of the cool crowd in school? did i need to?) i read at the table, in the bathtub, behind textbooks in class. i read cereal boxes and shampoo bottles if there was nothing else available. at one point, my mother hid my tattered copy of gone with the wind because i had read its 1024 pages so many times it had begun to disintegrate. (we're talking probably a dozen times or more. and yes, i did find it, though it took me a while – it was in the laundry hamper. well played, mom; well played). i knew my husband was the man for me when i realized he read even more than i do, and we spent many nights and weekends in happy silence with our respective printed materials, or reading the funny bits out loud to each other.

then i had children. 

it is hard to dive down into the depths of, say, the latest harry potter or sue grafton or michael pollan when you have a hive of hornets buzzing around your head. the constant requests/tantrums/fights/need for attention RIGHT NOW kind of kill the ability to follow a complicated story line.

i think that is why i have embraced crossword puzzles with such ferocity:  they are perfect for my adhd lifestyle. ten minutes, five minutes, a passing glance – any amount of time, no matter how small, can generate pleasure and keep the old neurons firing for one more day. i may put the milk in the cupboard or throw my keys in the trash or lose my sunglasses on top of my head (really, really and really), but at least i remember that a five-letter word for paper quantity is "quire." 

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

shove over, condoleezza

i may have a solution to the world's diplomatic snarls:  preschool teachers.

preschool teachers are masters at saying things in the sweetest, most cushioned way possible. they can make a compliment out of virtually anything.

here's what it said on the report i got last week at thing one's preschool conference:

"josie is a happy, well-liked little girl developing good self-esteem."

wait for it...

"quiet in a positive way – always gets her needs met."


"can be a leader as well as a follower."

here it comes....

"likes to take on the 'mom' role at times."

is that not the nicest way of saying "bossy little shit" you've ever heard? think of what this women could do in the world's hot spots.

april fool's

ok, very funny. someone can come and remove the snow any time.

any time now.

any time.

is there an ark for this?! maybe a giant luge?

it has now been snowing for nearly 15 hours straight. sweet fancy moses, it looks like a scene from little house on the prairie outside:  total white desolation. 

we are a state of five million april fools for putting up with this.

(in a related development, the handsome man just walked by and remarked how pretty it is. i may have to smother him with a pillow.)