Thursday, February 28, 2008

My monthly miracle

Hey, I'm all for science and far from squeamish, but this is too much even for me.

Faithful readers meet C'elle. C'elle meet PCSguy and T from Pennsylvania.

This nice company has kindly offered to put my menstrual blood in deep freeze until they can determine some future possible use for it. For the low, low price of $499 plus $99 year.

They'd like to remind me that I am not getting any younger.(1) ShallowGal has a limited time AND I QUOTE "to build (my) own personal healthcare and wellness investment portfolio comprised of precious menstrual stem cells."

So to review: it's expensive, unproven and gross. Where do I sign up?

1) Right back atcha C'elle.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Everything I know about politics I learned from my nine year old

Jake ! Get down here and clean up all these birthday cards that you made to celebrate the 16th Amendment. (1)
If I had a nickel every time a mother said that, well, I'd be ten cents richer. (2)

You know, of course, that ShallowGal's eldest is running as a third party candidate (3) for President. ShallowGal was able to sneak a peek at his convention plans:

  1. Address issue of global warming
  2. Address issue of world hunger
  3. Dance-off
  4. Talent Show
Shh. Don't tell Mike Huckabee.

1) The income tax amendment.
2) Cause I had to say it twice.
3) Given his love of the 16th Amendment, he's certainly not a Libertarian.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Back to our regularly scheduled whine-fest

Like most mothers of three, I'm tired. You know that bone weary exhaustion after pulling an all-nighter or two in college? I wish I could feel that tired. I passed that like seven and a half years ago. I'm only upright courtesy of a gallon of diet coke and high-waisted jeans.

True story: I was stuck in traffic in my minivan (so it had to be between September 2000 and March 2004 as those were the dark days of minivanning) and I could NOT get my back windshield wipers to turn off. I pushed and pulled every flipping knob on that console but still, swish swish swish. I reached into the glove box for the manual which didn't even list rear wipers in the index. Just when I thought I would lose my mind, the car behind me made a right, bringing with it the offending wipers. And it still took me 10 minutes to realize I had been trying to control another car. Minivans don't have rear wipers. Well rested people do not make that mistake.

That's why it pains me to tell you that at the ripe old age of three years and one week, Eli appears to be giving up his nap. ShallowGal's forty-five daily minutes of peace and quiet are numbered. And the company of a toddler who hasn't napped come dinnertime? The Prince of Darkness himself would run and hide.

Oh believe you me, I am taking this one to the mat. Eli has a brand-new (1) race car bed just waiting for him in the garage but even in my sleep deprived little mind I can see what happens the minute he's spring from his cozy little crib cave (2) Total anarchy.

So here's what it comes down to, Eli baby. Blackmail. Either resume napping immediately or prepare to have me pull this picture out when you bring home your first girlfriend.

Yes, I'm bluffing. I'll be pulling this picture out either way.

1) New to him anyway.
2) A crib cave because it has one of those tents on top to keep him in. Sue me.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Suburban Dictionary

1. : Pooping bubbles:

A phrase coined by Eli during his last bout of stomach flu. 'Nuff said? You wish.

"My pooping bubbles."

2. Invoid Showers:

The very important job of sitting at the computer reading other people's blogs while listening to children sing in the shower in the next room (1).

"I'll go invoid showers while you do the dishes."

3. Pink Chicken:

Salmon, or for one very long week in January, ham.

"Eli, have 2 more bites of your pink chicken and you can have a cookie."

The time of our lives, anticipation!:

Ala High School Musical 2, the only proper response to a child asking "What time is it?" (2)

"Mommy, what time is it?" "The time of our lives, anticipation!" "Mommy, you are so lame."

5. Too tired to drive:

Had too much wine at Chuck E Cheese (super bowl party, school fundraiser) and don't want to say so in front of the kids.

"PCSguy, can you drive home? I just remembered that I'm too tired to drive."

1) Which is luckily a bathroom.
2) Especially when said child can tell time, has a watch and doesn't have anywhere to be for the next 11 years or so anyway.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Writers strike: the sequel

I really hate to be the one who has to tell you this; ShallowGal's life is not as glamorous as you've been lead to believe.

It's an exciting picture, I know: the cooking and cleaning, the endless laundry, the potty training. And I'm not telling you this to break the illusion, it's simply that I've run out of things to say. ShallowGal has a bad case of writer's block.

Long time friends of ShallowGal won't believe this. There was a time, not too long ago, when ShallowGal could keep up her end of any conversation. But insert three verbally incontinent children and a fairly chatty husband into the picture and ShallowGal becomes mute. Exhausted. Desperate for the quiet.

More than likely it's just a mid-winter funk. Time for PCSguy to sweep his bride away to Tahiti for a few weeks. But those printer cartridges ain't going to sell themselves and then there's the little matter of these three children under ten. ShallowGal will have to find her inspiration closer to home. Loehmann's is close to home. Let's go there.

A little cheetah jacket never hurt anyone. Well except maybe the cheetah.

Thanks for waiting. I am now the proud owner of the cutest little Free People jacket.(1) But no more inspired than before.

ShallowGal must think of something to say, and fast; a half-dozen loyal readers are patiently waiting by their computers. She's going to have to use the oldest trick in the book, the obvious subject fallen back on by blog authors worldwide since Edgar Allen Poe:

An update on her pot holder drawer.

Are you kidding me?

More than two months have passed since we saw ShallowGal tackle this tricky project. Has the drawer remained true to it's intended purpose or has ShallowGal failed to even keep 180 square inches organized? Let's move the top layer and see.

Pictures of this drawer on this blog outnumber the photos of my children 3 to 1.

Not too shabby. The only new additions appear to be some dental floss, a three pack of Weight Watcher's candy and the mystery mousekatool (pictured below too) in a spiffy army-order case.

Four whole readers failed to identify this

And about that. ShallowGal is sorry to tell you this but nobody won that contest. It's a grenade launcher. I'm keeping the Aerosole boots, I mean the crap from the basement all for myself. (2) Maybe it will inspire me.

1) In a size small of all things, if that doesn't de-funk me then all hope is gone.
2) Lolita Travelsalot is so tired of my whining about, and I quote, "some damn orthopedic boots that you wouldn't have worn anyway."

Monday, February 18, 2008

Give Your Heart to a Child

Did you know that ShallowGal and family are a Volunteer Emergency Foster Family? For real! And, seriously, you know that if we can take time out of our busy schedule, it must be way important.

Please visit Give Your Heart to A Child to learn how to volunteer or donate.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Are you smarter than a first grader's mother?

Let's play a little game. ShallowGal just went to a museum, put on entirely by kindergarteners and first graders about the animals of the Arctic and Antarctic. These are two entirely different places with unique animal populations, but you knew that already, right?

Enough with the geography / animal science lesson. Here's the quiz:

Which project had "assistance" from the mom and which one was done entirely by the student?(1)

Project #1:

Orca whales, incidentally, live in the Arctic

Project #2:

Walrus. It's a walrus.

Take your time, and worst case scenario, if you have to guess, you have a 50/ 50 chance. Which child wins today's "Ralph Wiggum Award for the Project done with entirely no parental help?"

"I'm Idaho"

1) The way G-d intended these projects to be done. I like to remind my kids that I already passed the first grade; my diorama days are over.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Romantic Faux Pas in ShallowGal history

#1) The very first time PCSguy said "I love you" and I responded "Thanks."

#2) The second time PCSguy said "I love you" and I said "I heard you the first time." (1)

#3) The romantic dinner at 1789 when I told PCSguy that if he died I wouldn't get remarried because marriage is actually a bum rap for the woman. (2)

#4) The Valentine's Day that I got PCSguy this. Wait. That was this Valentine's Day. PCSguy, don't peek. And the rest of you, hey, don't judge me.

After 15 years together, this is just the tip of the iceberg. And you know what? He loves me anyway. Happy Valentine's Day, PCSguy. My love you too.

Lordy we're old

1) This might actually be an urban myth.
2) I did encourage him to remarry though, and that should give me some credit.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

To Eli on your third birthday

To Eli on your third birthday:

Really I know that I should write to you about who you are today. All the funny things you do like call me Dora and insist that I call you Diego. Or be the Gabriella to your Troy. Occasionally the Murray to your Jeff. How no matter how much cereal you have, you always ask for "five more." How you hold my face in your little hands and kiss my nose. How you say "My used to be mommy's baby, but now my mommy's big boy." How sometimes when I'm rocking you at night you ask me to sing the Cha Cha Slide instead of Rock-a-bye Baby.

But sorry, no. I'm going to tell you about the night you were born. A story that you no doubt don't want to hear. I'm not entirely sure I want to re-live it.

I actually went into labor with you on the 12th. You see, I was scheduled to be induced the following Monday. Normally I'd never consider such a thing, but I had a good reason for induction; we were scheduled to go on a Disney Cruise in May and you had to be 12 weeks old. (1) Monday was the last possible day to make that deadline.

The 12th was a Saturday and we had to go to your cousin's birthday party. But first we swung by Dr. Q's, the acupuncturist. I'm not protecting his identity, his name really was Dr. Q. He looked at my tongue and told me you were facing the wrong way. (2) He put needles in three appropriate points: one to bring on labor, one to turn you around and one to give me energy for labor.

Well it must have worked because I went into labor a few hours later. It was a miserable night, cold and sleeting, exactly like tonight actually. Daddy and I went to the hospital and they wanted to send me home but I wouldn't go because the roads were icy. We passed the time watching the Maryland-Duke game and arguing over your name. (3)

Unfortunately, Dr. Q was correct. You were faced the wrong way. And you tried your hardest to turn around, trust me, I felt you trying. But that darn cord got in your way and ended up wrapped around your neck. Twice. Did I mention what mommy was using for the pain? Hypnosis. That's right. ShallowGal chose that exact moment to be all earthy.

I won't subject the nice people on the internet to any more details of the next hour. Suffice it to say when I remember Jake's birth, I recall the 27 hours of back labor. For Noa I remember a quick, quiet birth (4) You have the honor of being my scariest birth story.

At 12:15 am, you were finally born, all seven pounds and eleven ounces (5) of squirmy but very blue baby. In addition to the cord trauma, you had swallowed a lot of meconium and were having trouble breathing. They whisked you off to the NICU.

That night I made my first discovery about you. You were unbelievably hairy. Werewolf hairy. I'm not even sure this picture does it justice, but that strange shadow on your back? Hair. You even had hairy old man ears. That old wives tale about heartburn meaning the baby will have hair? You bet your extra-strength Zantac it's true.

Hey, don't yell at me, the NICU nurse put him on his tummy.

But also, you were a quick learner. The nurse was amazed how fast she was able to wean you off the oxygen. That's the trait we still see in you today, the skill that made you my earliest crawler, climber, talker and walker and most importantly, the only child of ShallowGal to be in underwear before the age of three. (6)

Despite all the drama, your NICU stay was short. Twelve hours later you were sprung and met the rest of the family. Sorry about that, but it really was unavoidable.

From the very beginning you worshiped your brother.

And at 12 weeks and 1 day, you took your first vacation.

Get used to it kid.

Happy birthday, Elijah Robert. Mommy loves you.

1) So sue me, you got to go on a cruise, right?
2) How can you say this isn't a real science with a trick like that?
3) Daddy wanted Reuben and I wanted Josiah Robert.
4) that belies everything she is now
5) Even though I gained forty pounds you were my smallest baby
6) Although quite honestly, your aim leaves something to be desired.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Love is in the Air

You will never believe how ShallowGal spent her Sunday. Chaperoning her NINE year old and his girlfriend on a date. Yes way. We all went ice skating. And by "we" I mean that I brought along Noa. If you can think of anything that's less romantic than having your 7 year old sister along, I'd like to hear it (1)

In the car, they exchanged Valentine's Day presents. He gave her a Webkinz. In a stunning coincidence, she gave him a Webkinz. Before you start thinking this is some kind of Gift of the Magi for suburban tweens-type miracle, I'm pretty she told him what to get her.

She is just the teeniest bit pushy. Jake's e-mail signature says "Future President" and recently I saw that she'd made hers say "Future first lady." (2) She's not the first to dig her claws into him, either. When he was four he came home from pre-school and announced that he was engaged to Dana. It lasted until he was six and hadn't seen Dana in over 18 months which I assured him was well past the statue of limitations on engagements.

When Jake was three, my astrologer predicted this would happen. Specifically she told me that Jake would discover girls early and I would freak out and become overly controlling of his life and as a result Noa would have an opportunity to spread her wings.

I personally believe (3) that I will make a fantastic Mother-In-Law. When Jake is forty.

1) Really. I'd like to hear it. I need a larger repertoire, these kids catch on to my tricks quickly.
2) I'm not admitting to reading my son's e-mail, but I will acknowledge that there is no constitutional right to privacy until you can afford your own computer.
3) Every time I say that I want to launch into a speech about how some US Americans don't have maps.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

A Very Shallow Political Commentary

It's time you knew: ShallowGal and PCSguy have a mixed marriage. Yes, I'm afraid it's true, PCSguy is a conservative. (1)

Now I asked him this morning to please explain how he can label himself a conservative, being as he's technically a registered Democrat and he voted for Kerry in '04 and Gore before that. I think you'll agree, it was very enlightening:

Something about how McCain is a good guy. Blah Blah could vote for Obama maybe if something happened. Blah Blah Blah, Bush did or maybe didn't do something, but honestly it's all about being fiscally conservative like you are, and finally something about the Congress.

But meanwhile I don't think it's any secret that ShallowGal is a big ol' tree hugging liberal. If I didn't have three little impressionable little readers running around my house, I would so being wearing this tee-shirt as I type:

Politically active, a pretty color and correct spelling all in one shirt!

Not that influencing young voters isn't a priority of mine. Especially after I overheard my almost ten year old on the phone saying he would vote for the guy with the funny name who played the guitar on the cover of that magazine. That's why nine year olds don't vote.

And for the insatiably curious among you: on Tuesday I plan to pick Noa up from school and cast my vote for Hillary Clinton. And I will hope that Noa never has to worry about a politician telling her what she can or cannot do with her own body.(2)
1) Not to fear ! It's not like he's a Patriots fan or something insurmountable like that !
2) Not that anyone really can tell Noa what to do about anything but you get my drift.

Friday, February 8, 2008

The Most Important Meal of the Apocalypse

If the World ends tomorrow, but you're craving oatmeal, I'm your girl.

You bring the boiling water

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

What to buy for the Gal who will mock you regardless

Fact: ShallowGal does not have a romantic bone in her large-boned body. That probably became clear when I started calling my life partner and soul mate since 1993: "PCSguy." (1) If it weren't for my spectacular rack and my ability to locate the tape / ketchup / scissors on the first try, well, I'd pretty much be a guy.

For the most part, PCSguy doesn't seem mind this. He saves a ton on flowers and always has someone to watch football with. But come Valentine's Day, he's in a bit of a pickle.

Because every year I say that I don't want anything. And for the most part, I don't. Definitely not supermarket flowers or candy. Not even jewelery. Yet PCSguy is afraid I will tell all my friends how he arrived home on the evening of the 14th empty-handed.

He's not going to give me cash (2) , so every year I ask for this:

Giant floating cartoon worm not included

It's a worm composter, you guys ! Useful, environmentally friendly and educational to boot! (3) PCSguy point-blank refuses.

This year he thought the stakes were even higher because I would blog to the world (4) about his gift or lack thereof. He announced he had thought of the perfect thing. And he was so proud of it that he couldn't wait until Valentine's Day to give it to me.

I told you I had a nice rack.

A root touch- up always makes a nice gift

Unfortunately, ShallowGal is misspelled, so I can't wear it in public. But I can, and will, wear it while I go in my garden and dig in the mud for worms.

1) I have been known to introduce PCSguy as "my first husband" or "the father of children."
2) I asked
3) If worms ate ham, it would be the perfect invention.
4) And all 7 of my readers

Sunday, February 3, 2008

And on the seventh day, they ate more ham

Last weekend, PCSguy & I double-dated with my dear friend Tracy and her husband Colin at my favorite restaurant. Tracy mentioned that she had described my blog to her friend as "being totally about nothing." I was so offended, I cover tons of important topics. I have no clue what she's talking about.

Oh my gosh, you guys, I got the best deal on a ham last week.

The best part was that I wasn't even in the market for a ham ! It just kinda fell into my lap. I was at Wegmans and saw this sign that said "Unadvertised special: all hams 99 cents a pound." Intrigued I took a closer look and saw that this sale included the knock-off honey baked hams. After a little talk with the butcher who assured me the meat was fine, just discounted, or maybe he said discontinued, I couldn't really understand him, I left the store with a $59 ham marked down to nine dollars.

Discontinued ham? Hell yeah !

On the first night we ate ham. And it was good.

On the second night, ShallowGal pan-fried slices of ham and served it with noodles and carrots. And it was good.

Served on her finest china

On the third night, ShallowGal made scrambled eggs in puff pastry from a recipe in her favorite cookbook

The ham is actually supposed to be hidden in the puff pastry
but SG was cooking while on the phone with Lolita Travelsalot
and wasn't paying attention to the recipe.

On the fourth night, ShallowGal planned to make her famous Monte cristos. Fact: ShallowGal makes the world's best Monte cristos. For real. If you're super-nice I'll post my recipe.

But Eli declared "no more yucky pink chicken." Jake announced he was becoming a vegetarian. Or maybe Kosher. Possibly both, whichever one excused him from eating anymore ham.

So instead we ate apple slices with peanut butter and yogurt. (1)

I have no clue what a pre-biotic is but I'm hoping it has some special anti-nitrate properties.

Noa who is actually the biological daughter of Ann Richardson and Dr. Robert Atkins happily ate cold slices of ham straight out of the fridge.

On the fifth night, PCSguy and ShallowGal snuck out for Japanese food, but not before instructing the sitter to please feed the kids anything she could find. Which would be ham.

On the sixth day, ShallowGal finally made the much ballyhooed Monte Cristos. And they were good.

ShallowGal may actually be a pseudonym for Martha Stewart

On the seventh day, the entire family was invited to a Super Bowl Party.

Now between you and me, I actually thought Linda was going to serve ham. I had bought her one, in exchange for a box of pull-ups. Such exciting transactions in suburbia, I tell you. But instead she had the most glorious catered spread. Fried chicken, meatballs, chili, beef tips, roast beef, fruit, brownies, cookies. Not a pork product in sight. My kids were beside themselves.

A blog about nothing. Hardly.

1) There are perks to PCSguy's busy travel schedule like the occasional dinner of apples with peanut butter. Also unlimited shower caps liberated from housekeeping carts.