Report Card

Posted on 12/31/2008 08:08:00 AM
Last year The Caterpillar set some New Year's Resolutions. I asked her to provide an update for all those tracking her progress.

Goal 1. Gain control of my neck muscles so everyone will stop calling me "Bobblehead".
Progress: Done and done. Now to shake the newly acquired nickname, "Teakettle."

Goal 2. Grow this hole in my head closed.
Progress: Mostly done.

Goal 3. Develop an eye color.
Progress: Completed. Eye color is firmly and unquestionably brown.

Goal 4. When parents give me a toy, stop hitting self in face with it.
Progress: Completed. New goal: Stop hitting parents in face with toy.

Goal 5. Cut teeth, because breastfeeding has become way too easy for Momma by now.
Progress: Ongoing.

Goal 6. Solve Poincare's Conjecture. Wait -- somebody already did it. Instead, learn to poop on a regular schedule.
Progress: Little progress made toward goal. Continue efforts toward this end.

Goal 7. Figure out which is day and which is night... so that Momma will Stop. Complaining. Already.
Progress: Now know which is day and night. Do not care, however, whether I'm awake during either. Also, Momma will always find something to complain about.

Goal 8. Get Momma to stop knocking the remote control off the bedside table and into the bassinet in the middle of the night.
Progress: Achieved by moving bed into another room.

Goal 9. Survive big sister's love.
Progress: Uncertain.

Goal 10. Successfully wiggle out of Momma's grasp and get dropped on the floor; finally having believable evidence for that CPS claim I've been planning.
Progress: Objective one achieved, however completely underestimated the incompetence of CPS when it comes to filing claims made by one-year-olds.

Goal 11. The same thing we do every night, Pinky... Try to take over the world!
Progress: Still working toward this.

Goal 12. Watch fewer of those Pinky and the Brain videos The Dormouse got for Christmas.
Progress: Done. Now most interested in solving mysteries with "those meddling kids."

Goal 13. Once and for all, teach the big humans in the house that I am the Queen Of Everything, dammit! When you all come to realize that and bend to my will, life will be much easier for all concerned.
Progress: Queen of Everything objective accomplished. Getting big humans to bend to my will has proved slightly more difficult than I thought. Royal subjects aren't what they used to be.

My thoughts: 

Children of the Corn

Posted on 12/30/2008 06:36:00 AM
This is what Stephen King's book jacket would have looked like if all the children in the corn had security issues, needed a pacifier, and refused to leave the corn unless their parents picked them up and carried them out of the corn.

My thoughts: 

Soap Poisoning

Posted on 12/29/2008 06:07:00 AM
One of my new favorite bloggy obsessions is called Overheard in the Ward, which is a rip-off of Overheard in New York or Overheard in D.C.

Aside: Years ago when I first started my doing much of the graphic design/marketing at my job, to get myself up to speed I took some graphic design classes and looked at a LOT of flyers and programs. All that preparation really just served to convince me that there are no new ideas, just recycled ones. So it's always better to steal an idea rather than to try to come up with a completely original idea on your own. You will spend a lot more time and eventually you'll figure out someone's already had your idea anyway. If there was ever any proof of that, the Internets is it.

If it hadn't already been done to death, I could totally start my own website from just stuff I hear on Sunday. Some days that's my sole impetus for going to church.

Primary President speaking to a group of three to twelve year olds:
"Okay, boys and girls, today we're going to talk about this Gospel Standard. *points to number seven on the list and reads aloud:*
I use the names of Heavenly Father and Jesus reverently.
I will not swear or use crude words.
What do you think that means when it says 'I will not use crude words?'"

Excitable, yet earnest eight year old jumping up and down and raising his hand:
"Oooo! That like means like when some people say BAD words that you shouldn't say. Instead you should just say 'blank' or 'bleep'. Like, Oh my bleeping bleep!, or bleep bleep you bleep! or blank you blanking blank, or mother blanker."

Speechless Primary President: "Thanks Mikey, I think that clears it up for everyone."

If you want to know my opinion, she was asking for it.

My thoughts: 

The Latest

Posted on 12/29/2008 05:07:00 AM
The newest bar sport craze around the social scene was Baby Tossing.

My thoughts: 

Come, They Told Me

Posted on 12/28/2008 08:36:00 AM
I took this photo during a rare moment of not running around like a crazy person last month at my conference. I ended up bringing the whole fam-damily and the girls were invited into a few sessions. In one, they ended up being demonstration children for the topic of working with infants, toddlers and children. I think they should have earned a salary for their contributions to a successful conference. It's hard work, looking this adorable.

My thoughts: 

The North Pole Has Melted

Posted on 12/27/2008 05:54:00 AM
On Christmas Eve, we decided to go see Santa waterski at the National Harbor. Despite the fact that it was supposed to be fifty degrees that day (you lie like a rug, weatherbug!) it was bitterly cold out on the pier. Finally The KoH and The Caterpillar ran for shelter while The Dormouse and I stuck it out to the bitter end.

I have to say, while I admire anyone who wants to get out and water ski in the Potomac river on Christmas Eve, it was no Cypress Gardens. There were a couple of "trick" skiers, but the show consisted pretty much of people water skiing from one pier to another and then turning around and coming back again. And even then, most of the skiers couldn't stay out of the water.

This guy was very fun to watch, but he ended up doing an impression of a buoy shortly after this picture was taken.

There was also a manufactured grudge match between The Grinch on a jet ski and Frosty The Snowman in a fishing boat. The Grinch came out on a jet ski and drove circles around poor, poor, Frosty in his boat, while the announcer unsuccessfully attempted to get the crowd to chant, "Go Grinch." No one really wanted to chant, so there was like one round of "Go Grinch" and then everyone quit. I think their teeth were just too busy chattering.

Frosty was the only one who didn't end up in the water by the end of his show. Of course he was pretty much just floating there.

Then Santa came out with all eight reindeer:

By the time they got out to one side of the harbor and turned around, there was only one reindeer left standing. Santa and seven of the ruminants were all floating in the water.

All in all, we had a nice time... especially at the restaurant where they make fresh guacamole at your table. I'm pretty sure I ate my weight in avocados.

My thoughts: 

Meet Cosmo

Posted on 12/26/2008 12:40:00 PM
Cosmo has magic powers. Seriously. I've worked for fifteen plus months to hear my daughter utter anything resembling language and he accomplishes it in a mere matter of hours.

I don't know if "da! da! da!" counts as a word. In fact, I'd say it doesn't because she only uses it sparingly, but it's closer than anything we've heard so far.

My thoughts: 


Posted on 12/26/2008 12:29:00 PM
When people ask if I had a good Christmas, all I have in response is, "Can't you tell by the state of our living room?"

My thoughts: 

National Treasure

Posted on 12/26/2008 06:43:00 AM In: ,

This is The KingofHearts dragging our Christmas tree back to the car a few weeks ago. We went to our favorite place to cut our own tree again this year. Only it was colder than a witch's... elbow... that day and we spent all of five minutes picking it out.

"Which one do you like?"

"How about that one?"

"Do you like that one better?"

"Who cares, just get a tree and let's go."

"Quick take a picture."

"No time for that; just cut it down and get back in the car - I'll meet you there."
*heads back to the car with children*

It seemed a little anti-climactic to drive all the way to West Virginia for a tree that we took two minutes choosing, two minutes cutting down and then ran back to the warmth of t
he car, but it ended up being one of the nicest looking trees we've ever had once we got it in the house. Maybe we should employ that method every year.

I realize that these giant public trees have to be over the top, but I don't understand wh
y every year the National Christmas tree looks like such a pathetic mess. OK, I get that it's being decorated to look best at nighttime (although it's not that much better at night), but even so, don't you think they could put just a little more effort forth than covering the entire thing with a web of lights and obscuring any natural tree shape that ever existed? It might as well be an aluminum cone.

This tree at the National Harbor, on the other hand, is almost as large, looks great at night AND during the day. Sure, it's a little too perfect... but it kinda sorta looks like... you know... a tree... with branches and decorations instead of captured dejected spirit of a tree wearing a straight jacket.

Ours is a damn sight smaller, but I like it better than both of them. First of all, it looks like it's burning from the inside out.

Do you like our tree topper/ceiling fan? Personally, I think it's rather fetching. It's like a giant star. Maybe next year I'll cover it with aluminum foil and string lights on the blades.

Playing Fun With Long Exposures.

My thoughts: 

Chinese Turkey

Posted on 12/25/2008 12:32:00 AM
Merry Christmas from The Dormouse. She gets a little distracted about half way through but hey, it's a long song and she's got a lot on her mind. Enjoy your day - however you spend it. And if you know a good Chinese restaurant, drop me a line.

My thoughts: 


Posted on 12/24/2008 06:41:00 AM In:
Last year, I explained how we have a Perfect Christmas Ornament tradition here in Wonderland.

I actually got it together this year to figure out what I wanted to get for them very early. Since The Dormouse has started kindergarten, she's been obsessed with the monkey bars on the playground at her school. Every waking moment for the first three months of the year was spent considering the monkey bars, practicing for the monkey bars, talking about the monkey bars or otherwise obsessing about the monkey bars (we really need to do something about the addictive personalities in this house). So I knew by September that I wanted her Christmas ornament this year to be a monkey on the monkey bars. That turned out to be a tall order. I Googled, looked on Christmas ornament sites, scoured Ebay, and found... nothing. Apparently, while monkeys are fairly common subjects for Christmas ornaments, monkey bars... not so much.

Enter: Etsy Alchemy. Oh my gosh, why had I never figured this out before???

I introduced my boss to Etsy a few months ago when she was looking for a unique baby shower gift and two days later, she threatened to fire me because she'd spent so much money on the site. If you haven't been there before, you are totally missing out. Etsy is like a giant Internet craft festival -- a place to buy and sell all things handmade. After about three weeks, my boss came in to work one day and threatened to fire me again. Since I hadn't embezzled any large amounts from the company that week, I asked why. "You never told me about Alchemy."

As much time as I've spent on Etsy, I never ventured out of the search box into all the other things Etsy has to offer. Alchemy is a section of Etsy where you commission art work. You post what you want... describe it, it's uses, what you want it to look like or become when it's done. Then the sellers compete for your business. They email you, describe how they understand your request and how they would fill it, give you a price, and then you decide who's bid to accept. It's like one of those Lending Tree commercials.

This conversation with my boss was in the midst of my Great Monkey Bar Ornament Search. So I went on Alchemy and posted my idea. Since I had no idea what I wanted the media to be, I was pretty vague. I got about a dozen bids and each one was totally different: porcelain, glass, resin, baked dough, etc. The hardest part about it was that I had a very difficult time choosing one because there were so many good ideas. Ultimately I went with something that was totally different from all The Dormouse's other ornaments, and unbreakable. (I've had some trouble with some of the ornaments of my youth lasting until my adulthood, so I've been particularly concerned about this in recent years.) I also met some really nice people and found way too many things to buy in the future. That's an unfortunate side effect of Alchemy.

So here it is... my needle felted monkey bar ornament for The Dormouse, created especially for us by Amy. Currently one of my favorite ornaments on the tree.

I love that he has a belly button.

For The Caterpillar, I had a much more straightforward vision and found her ornament quickly on Ebay.

Don't get why the teapot? Take a look at this and I think it'll become more clear:

My thoughts: 

Welcome to Our Winter Wonderland

Posted on 12/23/2008 08:38:00 AM

And yes, it keeps your kids busy for a good couple of hours,
but there are drawbacks:

My thoughts: 

For the Restofus

Posted on 12/23/2008 08:09:00 AM In:
Alternate title: I Gotta Lotta Problems with You People!

Thirteen grievances on
  1. The string of lights second from the outlet on the Christmas tree decided to stop working and keeps all the other strings from lighting up... after the Christmas tree was fully decorated. So now there is one string of lights lit at the very bottom of the tree.
  2. I dreamed last night that our house was overrun by fleas. (random!)
  3. My mother sent one of those birthday cards that plays music a few weeks ago. This one has the Jingle Cats singing Happy Birthday... and my kids keep taking it out of the trash can when I'm not looking. How many times can one hear "meoooow... meow, meow, meeeoooow" set to music before needing to be institutionalized?
  4. Yesterday, I spent four hours cleaning the house just so I could feel like I'm not wallowing in filth and squalor for a change and today it looks like all my work has been completely undone.
  5. My skin feels like it might crack and peel off my body - apparently I've gotten used to the Washington humidity.
  6. Every time one of those "buy her diamonds to show her you love her" Christmas commercials comes on the television, my husband rolls his eyes and makes a "Pffffffsh" sound. (He is incredibly indignant about the jewelry industry and it's attempts at manipulation.) Me? What I want for Christmas is for him to stop making that sound.
  7. The Dormouse and I make Cake Balls to give to neighbors the other day. (Because I love saying "cake balls.") But I accidentally cooked the sugar out of chocolate when melting it, making the cake balls unacceptable for giving out to others, but not inedible. Since I don't let the kids have a lot of sweets, guess who's eaten most of them?
  8. The Small One prefers to communicate through non-stop whine alternated with long periods of screech, rather than signs or words.
  9. Despite the fact that The Large One has a vocabulary of several thousand words, she seems to prefer the Whine Method of Communication as well.
  10. I have some really good books that I wanted to read over the holiday but I can't get through a single paragraph without being interrupted.
  11. More than one year later, I'm still blaming my current dress size on "baby weight."
  12. My new favorite show, Leverage, requires me to actually pay undivided attention to the television from the first minute to the last... which is nigh impossible in my house.
  13. Molasses (I really hate that stuff)
  14. (special bonus Festivus Grievance) That the KoH taught The Dormouse to whistle.

My thoughts: 


Posted on 12/23/2008 06:37:00 AM
This is for Beth. Dear, I have half as many kids to photograph as you do and still can't get a decent photo of both of them together. Don't feel pregnant, you're not alone.

My thoughts: 

Christmas Spirit: MIA

Posted on 12/22/2008 11:10:00 AM
There seems to be a regular lack of Christmas Spirit around the blogosphere these days. Or maybe I'm just over identifying with a few cranky people, since I know there's a definite lack of anticipation the general vicinity of my personal space. I've been trying to put my finger on why. Sure I've been particularly busy with work and other craziness this year, but that's nothing new. Maybe it's the fact that I've got two kids now - one of them whose overwhelming goal in life these days is to climb to the top of any- and everything with which she comes in contact. Maybe its the fact that while I'm supposed to be off from work this week, I still got two phone calls today and have four projects to follow up on over the next two weeks while I'm "off."

I've been trying to find my Christmas Spirit somewhere. I recorded a bunch of Christmas movies for The Dormouse to watch. I've put Christmas music on in the car while we drive. We've been to parties, met Santa, cut down a Christmas tree, decorated the house and yet, I still can't quite feel it this year. Maybe I need an injection of sugar plums directly into my bloodstream.

At least Dilbert understands me.

My thoughts: 

Choose the Right

Posted on 12/21/2008 06:37:00 PM
I think I might have mentioned before that I do the children's music at church, which is a little like herding cats... if the cats all have snotty noses, throw fits when someone else gets a turn and can't sit still in their seats so they continually fall over in their chairs. It's a thankless job and a little too much like work for me since there are more than a few special needs kids in this group, but every once in awhile you get a really good story to tell from the experience.

A member of the bishopric is supposed to come in and speak to the kids for about ten minutes once a month and when we got to that portion of the day today, he was M.I.A. He doesn't talk to kids all that well and it's obvious he hates coming. Those of us who are supposed to count on him to show up each month put about as much stock in his being there as we do in the reality of peace in the Middle East: sure, it might happen some day, but no one's holding his breath. So we each take turns filling in with an impromptu devotional message for the kids when he's not there. Today, that was me. Off the cuff, I told a little story about making choices and we talked about the difference between right choices and wrong choices. I let the kids give me examples of right vs. wrong choices. One of the kids excitedly popped up with this little gem:
"Oh, I know! Like, if someone throws a paper towel at you in the lunchroom, you shouldn't do anything, just walk away. That would be a right choice. Unless the paper towel has pizza on it. Then you hit 'em."
Words to live by.

My thoughts: 

The Best Thing on the Internet This Week

Posted on 12/19/2008 05:34:00 AM In:
Thank you, Santa, for bringing me the internet, without which, our world would have no places to store and disseminate things like this:

Hey, I'm not the only one who likes it:

But the real props go to Monica, who has read the entire internet (twice) and still manages to finds stuff like this to amuse me.

You totally have that song stuck in your head now, don't you? You're welcome.

My thoughts: 

Freebie and the Bean

Posted on 12/18/2008 04:12:00 PM
I thought I'd post the end result of the handmade vanilla... for all those who were awaiting with baited breath for the end of that story. (There could totally be one person out there who cares - - humor me.) I learned some things in the process which I will now share with you. Because it is the season of giving. This is almost like gold, frankincense and myrrh, right?

You actually need more than a dozen beans for a typical 750 ml bottle of vodka. Almost twice that. I don't know if maybe there was a better way to steep it - perhaps in a warmer window (although the instructions I got were to keep it in a cool, dark place while it steeps), but I just wasn't happy with how light the vanilla was looking after four weeks and it wasn't getting any darker. So I bought a bunch more beans off the interweb at a much more reasonable price that the single-bean-deal they had going at Whole Foods. Once the extra beans were in for awhile, it started to pick up the dark caramel, dare I say, Diet Coke-looking tint you're use to seeing in real vanilla extract.

Once you stick that many beans and a little bit of dark spiced rum into a vodka bottle, it displaces quite a bit of liquid. So you'll need a place to store the excess if you're not into drinking it the way I'm not (because, as it's been established by a third party, I am not a drunk). I kept several beans out and started a smaller bottle for what was displaced... ironically in an old vanilla bottle.

It is harder to find small, decorative glass bottles than it is to find a... well... something that's really, really hard to find -- An elephant in the ocean? A bra at a Lillthfair? A bar of soap at a Grateful Dead concert? I looked at Target, Michaels, Jo-Ann's Fabrics, Tuesday Morning, Costco, Pier One, Wal-Mart (you see how desperate I was?) and every other place I could think. Sure they all had bottles, but I was hoping to get more than three gifts out of this effort. Finding cute, non-plastic one to two ounce bottles, is a bigger effort than I thought (and I gave up on the "cute" part right away). I finally got these adorable bottles at AC Moore, and they weren't terribly expensive -- unless you consider the gallons and gallons of gas I wasted looking for them and the forty-five minutes waiting in line with over a thousand people who were all there for a 25% (seriously?!?) discount that day but I was getting those bottles, dammit, because I wasn't going back up Rockville Pike during December any time again in my natural life. Their only problem was that they didn't come with stoppers. I bought corks for that, but had to give away each bottle with tacky instructions: "Don't turn it over as you're carrying it home unless you want to smell like a cookie all day." Next time I do this, I may just go to the airport and ask for all their airline booze empties.

A standard 750 ml bottle of vodka doesn't net near enough bottles for the amount of gifts I'd planned. I expected that I'd get about fifteen to twenty bottles from the one bottle if I kept them under two fluid ounces each like an airplane booze bottle. But the only bottles I could find were quite a bit bigger than that. So I only got about ten bottles from that first effort.

Apparently, or so the dude at the store where I bought the second bottle of vodka told me, Vanilla Flavored Svedka Vodka tastes better than Vanilla Flavored Smirnoff Vodka. I'm gonna have to take his word on that one.

When you buy Christmas ribbons from the dollar bin at Target, you get what you pay for. There was more cardboard in the spool the ribbon was wound on than there was ribbon on the spool.

I can make even something as simple as creating a gift tag, horribly complicated and need to purchase multiple tools for the project. I gave up on having The Dormouse design the tags because they had to be so small. Plus she grew bored with her assigned task of shaking the bottle every day and forgot about the whole thing by the second week. They are very cute though, aren't they? If I could remember who's blog I found those cute drawings on, I would totally tell you. (Oh wait, I figured it out... some people are smart enough to put their websites on things they let any old schmoe download. Thanks, Ashley!)

People who think my Christmas cards were "morbid and depressing" like the vanilla much, much better. Some people, however, put my Christmas cards on the bulletin board where they keep photos of their grandkids and claim to have plans to leave it up all year long. So there's no accounting for taste.

My thoughts: 

Business Casual

Posted on 12/18/2008 07:02:00 AM
Where did my kid get the idea that wearing pajamas to school is acceptable??!??

Oh wait....

My thoughts: 

Because You Don't Want to Be the Wrong Amount of Handsome

Posted on 12/17/2008 05:07:00 AM
Out of the blue:

Dormouse: "You know, momma, Jason looks good to me."

Me: "Um... what?"

Dormouse: "Jason. In my class. At school. He's just the right amount of handsome."

My thoughts: 


Posted on 12/16/2008 07:47:00 AM In:
I'm don't know if I'm more amazed, impressed or frightened by how fast the Interweb comes up with these things:

Play the game yourself. Sure it's not in English, but shoe tossing transcends language barriers, doesn't it? Just adjust the angle and force for a direct hit.

For those who haven't been following the news, here's the inspiration.

My thoughts: 


Posted on 12/16/2008 07:03:00 AM In:
Our Christmas Cards are legendary. Sometime, when I have a minute (which means in the year 2032) I should go through all our previous years' Christmas cards and post them here - if for no other reason than to save them for posterity since I'm sure in this house they will eventually get lost, thrown out, eaten or stepped on.

I'm not sure exactly how the Wonderland Christmas Card Tradition got started. It's the one time of year I am crafty and I actually make something instead of purchasing it at the cheapest available price -- it probably had something to do with the disdain for and lack understanding of the rest of the world has for my sense of humor. (I'm funny dammit! Everyone should know that by now.) I was simply forced to make my own cards since none of the available options was to my liking. These days, since my family members were so impressed with this one, it's become the kind of a thing where we try to outdo ourselves each year.

Personally, my favorite was the year I had a rubber stamp made and simply stamped all the cards with a generic holiday greeting that included a couple of fill-in-the-blanks such as "We hope you enjoy your Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Solstice/Other holiday plans." But yesterday our neighbor came over and accused me of sending "morbid cards" out for Christmas and "trying to depress people." So this one is a close second:

My thoughts: 

Confessions of a Slob

Posted on 12/12/2008 11:51:00 AM
I am at work in the office.

There are other people here working.

I am wearing the pajama bottoms I slept in last night.

Shhhh... don't tell anyone.

My thoughts: 

Hair Puller

Posted on 12/12/2008 06:18:00 AM
Most children have something. If you're a parent, you know what I mean. Their little quirk or some internal thing that calms them. Me? I was a thumb sucker. My brother had a blanket. My girlfriend's kid has a stuffed dog that must go everywhere with them. They call it a transitional object. In other words, something usually a physical object, which takes the place of the mother-child bond. Common examples include dolls, teddy bears, or blankets. (Thanks wikipedia, for making me sound smart! Shut up. I do so sound smart.)

When I was a kid, the worst thing you could do was let a kid suck its thumb. These days, most people don't really worry about thumb sucking, but it was really out of vogue when I was thumb sucking. And so my mother tried all the tricks to get me to stop at three years old. She painted my thumb with some nasty-tasting substance that was supposed to deter me from sucking it (hint: that stuff peels off in about two seconds flat), she put gloves on me (hint: even babies know how to take off gloves), who knows what else she tried? Eventually, like most kids, I stopped all on my own when I was ready to do so. [And just so we're clear, I'm not advocating that kids suck their thumbs until they're in college - I just think that certain age-appropriate things children do might not be so so horrible. They tend to give them up all on their own when they're ready. If that doesn't happen, obviously it requires some intervention on a parent's part. I just know my tendency is to worry about things before it's necessary and when that happens, we put a little too much pressure on our kids.]

Neither of my kids would accept a transitional object. Lord knows, I tried. I carried around dogs, and blankets and tried shoving them in their little tear streaked faces whenever they were upset. The Dormouse acted like The Thing didn't exist. The Caterpillar will simply take The Thing from you, give you a look that says, "Oh, isn't that sweet? You think this artificially produced animal likeness will solve all my problems," and then spike it to the floor like a running back for the San Francisco 49ers. (The Caterpillar is a little more direct with her opinions.)

But every kid finds some way to calm and pacify him- or herself when they need it. It's just that my kids' chosen pacifiers are, well... odd.

The Dormouse's method was to stick her hand up my sleeve and pick at the mole on the back of my arm. If I wasn't available, she'd stick her hands up her own sleeves. It got so bad at one point in her toddler-hood that we started putting tape on the cuffs of her sleeves before she went to bed at night so she couldn't stretch the cuffs of her pajamas and get her hand up the sleeves. Not that we were evil and didn't want her to have her Thing, but the end result of her putting her hands up her sleeves was that she picked sores into every little bump and imperfection on her skin and ended up looking like she'd been attacked by a swarm of Africanized Mosquitoes. This was sometimes a bit of consternation between me and other mothers.

Woman at church whose kid was in the same nursery class as mine: "Ooo, look at the backs of her arms. What does she have?"

Me: *laughing* "A nervous habit."

Woman: "...?"

Me: *joking* "No, she just picks at her arms... it's not a contagious disease on anything."

Woman: *testily* "Well, I did NOT mean to imply that you would bring her to church with a contagious disease."

Ooooo-kaaay. Mental note: humor is lost on this woman.

The thing about the Arm/Sleeve Thing was that once The Dormouse figured out SHE had sleeves, it pretty much did not involve me in any way. She still does it sometimes but when she does, it doesn't involve me stopping what I'm doing, holding her or enduring the pain she chooses to inflict.

In a continuing installment of How My Kids Are Weird, this is The Caterpillar's method of self-pacification:

Yes, that's one big hunk of my hair she's got in her right hand and one big hunk of her own hair in her left. Any tips on getting her to suck her thumb?

My thoughts: 

A Cohen Sister

Posted on 12/11/2008 04:11:00 PM
Yeah, yeah, I know. Two whole days without a post. Learn to live with disappointment, people.

This is my "slow time" at work, which actually makes me laugh because if you looked at the sheer amount of hours that my brain cells have been monopolized by all things work related, you'd think that I was an accountant in one of the big three auto manufacturers. I'm looking forward to Christmas, if only to have a few days off from being the end person on every project that needs to be finished before the end of the year.

Last night I took a break and took The Dormouse to her school's Winter Concert. I didn't realize this until just recently, but the school has a band and an orchestra this year for the first time in many years. This is also the first year in some time that they've had an art teacher. I guess it's a good thing that I didn't know about that a year ago or I'd have been making a Big Huge Stink/Nuisance Of Myself about the school's lack of arts in the curriculum and the office staff would hate me. So... that's saved me some time.

The Dormouse attends music classes, but Band and orchestra is a fourth grade only thing in this school and choir is for fifth and sixth graders only, so she wasn't involved in the concert, but I wanted her to have the exposure so we all packed up and went to the school for the festivities. The band and orchestra each did traditional presentations, e.g., secular, non-threatening, out-of-tune, holiday selections which parents will reward with a standing ovation unmatched by the best National Symphony performance. It was all very traditional and expected.

The choir, however, was a different story altogether and hit us with a full-blown musical/Al Gore type edu-tainment venture. The title of the show was Santa Goes Green, (yes, I looked it up - you too can purchase this play for your school!) and it included such hits as:

  • Power To The People
  • It's Our World
  • Merry, Merry Christmas
  • Recycle The Fruitcake
  • The Greenhouse Effect
  • Turn Off The Pump (And Plug In The Sleigh)
  • We're Goin' Green

Sure it seems lame, and really, it was, but the music was actually somewhat catchy and the kids seemed to enjoy themselves. About halfway through, The Dormouse leaned over to me and said, "You know, momma, this would make a good movie."

Seal of approval.

My thoughts: 

My Kingdom for a Horse

Posted on 12/08/2008 07:40:00 AM In:
Perhaps the fact that I identify so strongly with this horse is the reason why I can't seem to lose all that baby weight.

My thoughts: 

Catching the Worm

Posted on 12/06/2008 02:18:00 PM
Even before I had kids, I was an early riser. There's just something wonderful about that time between darkness and light when it seems like you're the only person awake on earth... and in this area of the country, I just might be inclined to believe that's true. That is, until I get on the beltway.

My thoughts: 

I'm Pretty Sure I Dated This Guy in High School

Posted on 12/05/2008 06:19:00 AM In:

My thoughts: 

Meet My Replacement Kitty

Posted on 12/04/2008 07:47:00 AM In:
Yesterday we received in the mail, a sympathy card from out vet's office that was signed by all the staff there: the doctor who euthanized Lizzy, the receptionist who was there that night, the intern, all the techs, and all the assistants, many of whom weren't even on duty when we were there last tuesday night. Each one of them had written a personal message like "I'm truly sorry; it's so hard to say goodbye to a companion like Lizzy" and "Lizzy will be missed by all of us" (apparently that person didn't know her very well). It was extremely sweet and thoughtful and I was quite touched by it all. I've had many pets over the years and experienced varying degrees of compassion and understanding from veterinarians when those pets were ill or dying, but never anything like this.

I'm not an outwardly emotional person, as my husband will attest. I find it very difficult to remain serious about even the most sacred of subjects and my cynicism knows no match. But I've had several experiences in the past week where I've seen a black streak out of the corner of my eye and my brain thought, oh, there goes Lizzy running from the girls, or I've awoken in the middle of the night because I felt the pressure of a cat jumping up on the bed and lying on my feet. It all goes to show that I was much more attached to and used to her in my life than I'd ever been willing to admit.

It's hard to say goodbye to a pet that's been a member of your family for thirteen years. And the last thing on my mind was replacing her as soon as possible. But sometimes someone comes into your life and you just know it was meant to be. When I first saw her, I thought she was just there to rummage around in the garbage can and I tried to deny it, but she's come back day after day and I feel it's time we adopt her. Sure, she's been living on the streets and as such, she looks a little ragged. But I have a feeling that once I give her a bath and maybe take her to the groomer she'll be just as beautiful as any thoroughbred cat. Either way, she needs a home and we need something to love.

Lizzy will be missed, but our new pet, Polly, is just as loving and cuddly as Lizzy ever was.

My thoughts: 

I Pity His Mother

Posted on 12/03/2008 06:22:00 AM In:
Me: Come here, KoH, and watch this video I saw on this site.

KoH: *glances at the frozen frame on the computer screen* Oh no.

Me: Oh yes! *hits play*

*both watch in stunned silence, mouths agape*

Me: I'm thinkin' I have to write a blog post about that.

KoH: I don't know that there's anything else you can do.

Me: Or maybe I should save it for Mother's Day.

KoH: No, it's too good for that. And there's a chance you might forget.

I actually don't think there's much chance of that. There are just certain things that once you've seen them you can't unsee. It's burned into my subconscious. You be the judge:

P.S. There are a kajillion hilarious videos with Mr. T on YouTube. He sells Snickers, he gives fashion advice (you really shouldn't pass up this link, by the way), he drives a long haul truck, he works as an IT consultant, he's a talented rapper, he plays video games, and he's apparently a motivational speaker. It appears that Laurence Tureaud is not as one-dimensional as I once thought.

My thoughts: 

OK, Just Put on the Redlight

Posted on 12/02/2008 06:36:00 AM
Scene: We're in the car driving and the Sting song Roxanne comes on the radio.

KoH: "You know I used to work with this dude in the Air Force who loved this song and he'd randomly sing it whenever. So we'd all be sitting around at work or at a barbecue or wherever and if there'd be a lull in the conversation and he'd suddenly belt out
*falsetto singing* 'Roxanne.' Nothing more. Just *loud falsetto singing* 'ROXANNE.'"

Me: "You knew a lot of weirdos in the Air Force."

KoH: "Huh?"

Me: "Well, there was that guy who no one ever saw without a Pepsi in his hand. The one who died his hair blue and pierced his tongue when he was on TDY and was surprised when he got back and the military didn't look fondly on that. Oh and also there was that guy who'd wander around and randomly ask everyone men and women alike, 'Do you wanna see my peep?'"

KoH: "Heh. Yeah. Something about high pressure environments."


KoH: *sings loudly in ridiculous falsetto* "ROXANNE."

The Dormouse thinks this is hilarious and laughs out loud.

KoH: "Oh you like that, do you?"

Dormouse: "Yes and I'm going to do it too."

*we drive along in silence for a moment*

*sings loudly* "ROCKS SAND!"

My thoughts: 

Haul Out the Holly

Posted on 12/01/2008 05:04:00 AM
Yeah, yeah, I know it's not holly. But whenever I see these tiny red berries, I can't help but think that Christmas is right around the corner and it's only twenty-five more shopping days left before I can start legitimately complaining that it's time to take off the Christmas music off the PA system in the grocery stores.

My thoughts: 

Me in 3 Seconds

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Washington, D.C. Metro, United States
Married, 40ish mom of two (or three, or four, depending on how you keep score) who stepped through the lookinglass and now finds herself living in curiouser and curiouser lands of Marriage, Motherhood, and the Washington, D.C. Metro Area.

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