Thursday, May 28, 2009

The oddest preschool sticker

I was going through some of the boys art work from preschool. Nearly every day, they'd start out by coloring a picture. And when the picture was done, the teachers would put a sticker on the page.

Check out this sticker that I came across on their papers one day:

Really? REALLY??? What, was this from the "terrible events in history" sticker collection?

I don't know about my boys, but I think I'm fairly disturbed by an "exploding Columbia shuttle" sticker!

What do you think? Is this is the weirdest sticker you've seen?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

At least it wasn't the Jonas Brothers!

So, today I was listening to the radio in the car. A song I don't particularly like came on, so I switched the channel. You know what happened? B-man piped up from the back seat, "I like that song! Turn it back on!"

Oh my, am I losing radio control this early?

Also, I have mixed feelings about the song. See, it was Girls by the Beastie Boys. I like the Beastie Boys. I just don't like that song. Let's pretend for a minute that I really believe the lyrics are meant ironically instead of misogynistically...somehow I think that distinction, if my boys paid attention to the lyrics, would be lost on them. Also, is it just me, or is that music pretty darn annoying?

I'm left confused. Proud of B-man for liking the Beastie Boys, kind of annoyed with the song he chose...

Friday, May 22, 2009

Future extreme fighter? And inheriting a healthy fear of sea creatures

This is transcript of a conversation that actually occurred:

N-man: Mommy, will you play a game with me?

Me: Sure. What do you want to play?

N-man: I know! You try to hit me, and I'll try to kick you.

Me, mouth hanging open: [Pause....]

N-man, with much excitement: That'd be a good game!


Here's another actual conversation with little N-man:

N-man: Mommy, I was so happy when I lived in your tummy.

Me: Oh good.

N-man: You kept me safe.

Me: Yep!

N-man: From mosquitoes. And bees. And sting rays.

Me: [Pause....]


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The high cost of food desserts for ME!

This weekend, we ended up making dinner really early one night because the boys were hungry. Usually, by the time we finish dinner, there's just enough time for the boys' bath, clean-up, and bedtime. But we had tons of time that night. And I have a wicked bad sweet tooth.

You can see where this is going, right? Out for dessert!

Due to B-man's nut allergies, desserts are REALLY difficult. Almost everywhere we'd go, there are nuts used. Bakeries and ice cream stands are right out as there's way too much risk of cross-contamination. So I had to think outside the box. You know what finally occurred to me? McDonald's!

We rarely eat at Mickey D's. I'm really not a fan of their food. Well, except Egg McMuffins. Mmmm! But besides one time we stopped on a road trip a few years ago when there was nothing else around, and a few times through the drivethru for fries, the boys have never had any McDonalds.

They were so excited to go out for dessert! I had read the ingredient/allergen lists online ahead of time, and knew I could get the boys ice cream cones. We got the ice cream cones, and the boys were literally jumping up and down in excitement. We sat down, and gave them the ice cream cones. They both looked at them. Then N-man asked perplexedly, "How do I eat this?"

Oh my. My poor, poor children! Nearly 4 years old, and they don't know how to eat an ice cream cone. (In my defense, I haven't been quite so cruel. They have had ice cream cones maybe 2 or 3 other times, all at Grandma's house and not since last summer. They must have forgotten.)

We taught them how to eat ice cream cones. They loved it! I got to eat dessert, too. I mean, it was no Melting Pot chocolate fondue or Cold Stone Creamery ice cream, but I think I just have to accept that my days of desserts like that are over, at least when B-man is out with us.

So I guess I found what McDonald's is good for: adequate desserts out for my son with nut allergies.

Did you ever think you'd hear me singing any praises for McDonald's? I know, it surprised me, too!


In an ironic twist of fate, I'm reading In Defense of Food at the moment. I believe going to McDonald's while reading this book was kind of like my endless yearnings for Twinkies while reading Twinkie, Deconstructed. Missing-the-point!


I tried one of the new McCafe coffee drinks while I was at McDonald's. A cappucinno. It was NOT good. In fact, it was pretty disturbing. The "foam" on top stayed foamy. I don't know what it was made of, but I don't think it was foamed milk. There's no way foam shouldn't melt into the coffee by the time you get to the bottom of the cup! It totally grossed me out!

See, now this sounds more like me, right? A little bit of honest food snobbery? Hey, I calls 'em like I sees 'em!


Where's your favorite place to go for dessert? Mmmm, chocolate!

Friday, May 15, 2009

How to Ruin a Perfectly Good Name

TK and I are having trouble thinking of names we like for the new baby. While my brother and SIL had a list of about 15 names they're considering for their son, we can't even come up with one strong contender. It's a problem.

Ethan had been something that has kept popping up on my list of potentials. I've been leaning heavily toward it in the past few days. Until today.

I took the boys to the playground after lunch today. I went to a playground slightly further from our house because it's really a good playground: fully fenced in, relatively small so that I can keep an eye on both of them even when they run in opposite directions, yet still filled with enough fun stuff. Generally, it's worth the 10 or 15 minute car ride, even though there are probably four playgrounds that are closer.

Today, though, someone decided to have their kid's birthday party at the playground. It was an older kid turning 9...kind of old I thought for this pretty small playground! They had both of the tables taken up, so I couldn't sit down. They had all kinds of food kids were carrying around, so I had to be vigilant about no one smearing food on the equipment or getting near B-man with potentially fatal food...I don't know what has nuts in it. But the worst part was that the moms were TOTALLY ignoring their kids.

One kid was especially wild. He was pushing other kids, and throwing wood chips around. A lot. Some of the other kids were yelling about how the "boy in the yellow shirt" was being bad. The moms not part of the party were moving their kids out of the area. N-man strayed too close and got wood chips thrown in his face. Yes, I did tell this boy that it's NOT okay to throw wood chips, then I moved my boys as far away from this kid as was possible in the small playground.

Finally, I don't know what happened, but one of the other moms really yelled at this kid (I guess he'd called her son "stupid"). The mom FINALLY came over and was informed by this awesome mom that she needed to control her son. Probably what I should have done after N-man got wood chips in his face, but to be honest, I'd seen this kid running wild for over 10 minutes by then so I had my doubts about the parenting skills of his mother and the effectiveness of trying to get a mom who obviously didn't care to intervene. I mean, it's a really small playground... she had to have seen the non-stop antics her son was instigating.

So Bad Mom finally comes over. And what does it turn out her son's name is? Ethan. Of course. Ruined the name for me. Bad Mom sucks.


To be clear, I don't think this was the kid's fault. Well, he was probably eight or nine, so he's certainly old enough to be expected to behave better than he was. However, this was certainly a case where the clueless mom is to blame. If your child has been terrorizing the playground for twenty minutes and other random kids are running around calling your son "the bad kid", it's time for you to step in and remind your child about proper playground behavior.

Yes, I did just get all high-and-mighty about parenting. Nice, huh? I think I'm only half mad at the bad parenting, and half mad at her ruining the only name I had on my name list!


On a related note, here are recent suggestions from B-man to name the baby. I'm getting worried we might have to go with one of these!

  • Dinosaur
  • Baby Doll
  • B-man 2
  • Ginko (what they call their imaginary scape-goat who does all the bad things they "didn't" do.)
  • Chocolate Chip
  • Four Three Nine
  • And, in an example of how kids don't know when they're being mean, the name of the boy who cries every day at school (because we've been warning the boys that the new baby will probably cry quite a bit and not to be worried about it).

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Best $35 I've spent...

Before getting pregnant, I thought the Swiffer vacuum was an unnecessary expense. But, our ancient Dustbuster is giving up the ghost, plus it requires me to bend over. And, while I love our regular vacuum, it's just too heavy to be toting all around the house after every meal.

So I splurged this weekend on the Swiffer vacuum. It's light, and has a long handle so I can use it standing up.

Today it's fully charged. And the boys took turns vacuuming the kitchen. They did a great job! So not only did the kitchen get vacuumed (for a change!), I wasn't even the one who had to do it.

Don't you love it?

It's totally made my day!


For the record, I'm not a paid swiffer-advertiser. Heck, I'm not a paid anything! This was just too exciting to keep to myself.

Monday, May 11, 2009

I'm still around

Haven't fallen off the face of the earth, just busy. Or perhaps boring. Did I run out of things to say? GASP!

Anyone have any questions for me that they've been desperate to know the answers to? Like what are the weirdest things I've eaten this pregnancy? (If you ask my family/friends, they'll say rye toast with grape jam or matzo with sunflower butter, bananas, and chocolate syrup. However, I must admit I've eaten those things plenty of times without being pregnant.) Or, what's the most annoying question you get asked regularly as a mother of twins? (Do you watch Jon and Kate Plus Eight? NO!!!! I loathe that show! They're awful, and I saw Jon speak at the last Mother of Twins National Convention and he, excuse my language, came off as a total wanker. Despite that, though, I hope the current rumors about them aren't true...). Or, have I ever ridden a unicycle? (Yes, poorly. Mostly I fell off said unicycle). Or, what's the most recent odd ailment I've diagnosed myself as suffering from, thanks to the internet, boon to all hypochondriacs? (Mal de debarquement syndrome, to explain why I feel sick for days after flying, and to add to my fear that next time I fly, the awful feeling will last for the rest of my life instead of just a few unbearable days).

See, I'm full of randomness, and free to answer most any question!

So bring it on! (Number of Bring It On movies seen? Three. Number of Bring It On movies enjoyed? Embarrassed voice: Three.)


I just finished Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore. It was super, and I hope to get a review up on The Book Nook soon. Funny, enjoyable, and probably my favorite book I've read this year. The kind of book that's going to make me seek out all the other books Christopher Moore has written, so be prepared to be subjected to the likes of author-fandom you haven't seen since the days of my obsession with Michael Chabon's novels...

Many thanks to Alyssa for recommending this one. As an aside, have you checked out her (and her husband's) photography blog? The pictures are amazing, and it's really funny. They took pictures of B-man and N-man this January when we were visiting WNY, and they're my all-time favorite pics of the boys. Thanks again!

A number of my favorite bloggers also seem to be on a hiatus, or at least posting less frequently. Is it something in the internet-air??

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Odd angles and empty glasses

We've been to see a lot of houses recently. (Not that we need to. Our house hasn't sold yet, or generated much interest. Ah well, we're lucky that if we don't sell, it's okay. We don't HAVE to sell, we just want to sell).

Anyway, in the process of looking at houses, we've seen a fair number that have obviously been staged, either "professionally", or by someone who read a few staging websites and thought they'd gotten the gist.

Here's my advice to stagers: Putting all the furniture at odd angles is not staging. We're not looking at mansions with big spaces. Having a table screw-jiggy in a rather small dining room is just not a good idea. Placing a couch at an angle blocking off 1/4 of a small family room is not a good idea.

Not to mention the fact that there are a number of left-brained folks who find all these non-right-angles incredibly distracting. Okay, fine, I'm talking about me. When I see these off-kilter rooms, I desperately want to straighten out all the furniture. It comes close to being a physical pain when I walk into a room and see it all out-of-whack.

Second piece of advice: empty martini glasses strewn about is not decorating, even if the glasses themselves are kind of pretty. All it does is make me worried that the boys will knock them over. And makes me wonder if James Bond is expected to visit.

Third piece of advice: setting your dining room table is just weird. Did we interrupt your dinner? It doesn't look homey, it looks like a fake photo-shoot set up.

That is all.

I realize that there are probably plenty of houses that have been well-staged that I don't even notice, and that it's only the badly staged houses that are cracking me up. I do have to say, though, that no staging is a vast improvement over bad staging! Of course, some houses, like the "velvet Elvis" house, could probably benefit from even terrible staging...


Random unrelated thought: Thank you once again to those of you who gave me book recommendations. I've been starting to crack into the books you've recommended. I'll try to mention it, but if I forget, I'll always have brief reviews in my "books read" section on the right column. Some I may even review on The Book Nook...I have a review of Gig up there today! I also read Other People's Weddings by Noah Hawley, which I found to be a quick read, but didn't love. Anyway, I'm loving all these new books to try out, so thank you!

Friday, May 1, 2009

I thought it was supposed to be "parent hell"

TK was out of town, so to make sure we had something to do, I decided to take the boys to Chuck E. Cheese for the first time. By myself.

I wasn't sure if it was pure genius, or the worst idea ever. I mean, you hear all the stories of parents ripping on Chuck E. Cheese for being unbearable. I knew the boys would have fun, but would I lose my mind?

Oh my, it was so fun! Okay, that statement is based mainly on the fact that they have skee ball. I love skee ball. I haven't played skee ball in years.

No, I didn't just make my boys stand around and watch me play skee ball. I only played a couple games, and even in those games, I let them roll a few of the balls. Aren't I sweet? I have to go back with TK to distract the boys, though, so I can get in a few real games!

I told my mom that I was taking the boys to Chuck E. Cheese for the first time. She responded, "didn't you go there for your brother and sister's birthday party?" Um, yes. When I was like 9. So technically, it wasn't my first time there. I recall it being dark, and filled with alleyways of video games. Lots of flashing lights and blip beep beep noises. I can see how that might be overwhelming to a parent. I was worried I'd lose my boys in the maze of games. Turns out, this place was really bright. Lots of windows, and very open feeling. In fact, that is one of my few complaints: there really weren't a ton of games. Hardly any of what you would consider to be traditional video games. I mean, with 3 year olds, who cares? They can't really play traditional games yet anyway. But I was surprised.

There was also a climbing/tube/slide area. B-man and N-man love those things, so they climbed right up. Unfortunately, while they had no trouble getting up, the "stairs" they climbed up were too big for them to climb back down. Both of them hate those tube-slides, so they had no other option but to climb back down. B-man started climbing down, and got worried when his feet wouldn't touch the level below. I assured him it was hardly any drop at all and he could just let go, so he did. It was only about a two inch drop, so it was fine.

N-man started climbing down, and got worried when his feet wouldn't touch the level below. I assured him it was hardly any drop at all and he could just let go, so he pulled his legs back up, yelled "NO!", and proceeded to begin crying, freaking out, and begging for Mommy.

I look around. No workers. No other parents. So I do what any good mom would do...send up my other son. "B-man," I say calmly, "can you go up and help your brother?" "Sure," he answers. And up he goes. He gets up to the top, and is completely undisturbed by his wailing brother. In fact, this sight somehow reminds him that he wanted to explore the tunnel system once again. He squeezed past N-man, while I call up, "B-man! B-man! Help your brother!" In vain.

N-man had really worked himself up by now, and was obviously scared. He was begging for me to come save him. I look at the openings. I look at my belly. I look at the openings again. Oh, what the heck. I'm only 23 weeks pregnant. I'll fit. And I did. I scaled that structure and rescued my baby boy. He calmed down as soon as I got up there, and acted real cool like nothing was wrong. "N0w help me down," he said calmly. So I did. We got out, and he asked to play air hockey, like nothing had happened. Okay. I went with it.

Overall, it was really fun. I mean, skee ball makes up for almost anything (like terrible pizza, or getting stuck in climbing structures). I'm definitely going back. I may even take the boys with me again.


Okay, there was one thing that was terrible. I mean, completely horrid. The signing animatronics. I forgot how loathsome they are. And they kept playing the same 4 or 5 songs over and over again. There was one song that was completely make-me-want-to-pierce-my-eardrums unbearable. I came home and googled the lyrics, and it's "Year 3000" by the Jonas Brothers. I've heard of them (my niece is in LOVE with them!), but I'd never heard any of their songs before. If you don't know this song, please, follow my advice and DO NOT find it on you tube or something. Because this song has found the intersection of unbelievably terrible and completely catchy. So you hate it, and it gets stuck in your head replaying constantly, driving you INSANE. I mean, it's still going through my head. I can't get it out. I've even tried singing "America" from West Side Story, the other get-caught-permanently-in-your-head-song. I hate to say it, but in the "Year 3000" vs. "America" battle in my brain, "Year 3000" has decimated "America" for air-time.

I'm worried this will be playing in my mind for the rest of time. Does anyone know the cure for the Jonas Bros?