Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: When 4 year olds pack their own lunchbox

I know the Brita filter seems like an odd choice,
but it fits the school's criteria
of being kosher, dairy and nut-free.

Friday, April 24, 2009

No comment

Here's what I have: A blog that I haven't updated in 4 days, some random thoughts about comments, children interrupting me every 39 seconds for ice cream, and a title. (1)

Here's what I don't have: A point. (2)

We'll make do.
  • Did I ever tell you about the time I was comment of the day on Jenny's blog? I haven't commented there since because I can't stand the thought of not being COTD. The pressure is too great.
  • Kristin once responded to a comment of mine with: "Amy, I don't even care what I write any more. I just pound out any old thing that comes into my head, just HOPING that you'll leave a comment because you're comments are so freaking *funny* : )" Is that bragging?
  • Someone once left me a comment that said something like "thanks for leaving a comment on my blog." That's when I realized that comments beget comments. However, I'm pretty sure that person never came back. So I don't know what the lesson is.
  • I base my self worth on the number of comments each entry got. The one about my kids skating got five. That makes me feel like a semi-productive member of society. Ten comments makes me look thinner.
  • You know what irritates me? When you read someone's blog and they have like 2000 comments. I mean, doesn't person 1997 realize that Dooce that person is never going to read their comment and it's just going to hang there in cyberspace forever? Where as I print out and frame all of my comments?
  • I've left several comments on other people's blogs recently, that I thought were pretty clever. I even thought about expanding on the idea to make a post of my own. Instead I tracked them down and cut and pasted them here. Which took like 3 times longer than writing an actual post.
In response to a post about how someone said the Craigs List killer "wouldn't hurt a fly" and how people who claim that are usually bonkers, I had this to say:
OK that reminds me of a story. Last year, I was letting Eli smash gypsy caterpillars outside the preschool and another little boy started to do it too. His mother told him to stop, because, and I quote (hence the quotation marks) "We don't do that in our family.

Then she smiled all condescendingly and said "No offense, we're just tree huggers" and I said "Well since gypsy caterpillars KILL the trees, maybe you should squoosh them."

Then I might have said "In your face" or possibly "Geech." Anyway, she moved away the following month, and I like to think it's mostly because of me.
In response to a proposal to start an online book club reading Ulysess:

Before I commit I have a few questions:

1) James Joyce's version? Cause it's really long.

2) It only got 4 stars on Amazon. Nauti Intentions got 5 stars. Shouldn't we read that since it's clearly a superior work of fiction?

1) The title is supposed to be a play on words but it really makes no sense whatsoever because, clearly, I comment.
2) Or a book deal. WTF?

Monday, April 20, 2009

The true cost of raising a non champion.

A recent article (1) declared that it costs $269,520 to raise a child from birth to age 17. My first thought?

Clearly they aren't raising a figure skater.

I have two. Potentially three.

(Before we go any further, I would like to address my husband: PCSguy, I love you. Look at the size of that cat! Is he gone? Good.)

(I was taught that it's gauche to talk about money. So let's not talk money. Let's talk opportunity costs. And I'm not even sweating the details like the de rigeur figure skater magnet for my car or the coffee needed to chauffeur kids to the rink twice a week before school.)

  • The kids share three half hour private lessons every week at a yearly cost of a one week villa rental in Tortola. That's just the lesson, the ice time sets me back a bottle of Penfolds Koonunga Hill Shiraz-Cabernet 2006. Each. That's a bottle of wine every night (except Sunday, because c'mon) with dinner.
  • Then there's off-ice strength training, competition fees, special skating tights, dresses, pants. . .

So what does this get me? Last month the World's Ice Skating Championships was on television. If you squinted really really hard, you still didn't see my kids. Unless you were looking in my family room window, and then I don't want to know. (1.5) And the winter Olympics in Vancouver in 2010? We saw them building the stadium last summer. And that's the closest we'll get to that.

I'm fully aware that I'm not raising champions on ice. Is their happiness worth a 2009 BMW x5? (2)

Take Jake. Jake used to walk into walls. Jake fell UP the stairs on a regular basis. Now look at him.

Noa didn't walk until she was almost two. Check her out now.

They're happy. They're strong. They're confident.

They are champions to me.

Anyway, if we didn't skate where would I go in my a BMW x5? And what tacky silver magnets would I decorate it with? (3)

1) "A recent article" is the second lamest way to start any piece of writing, following "The dictionary defines. . . " And yet, here we are.
1.5) This is where I remind you that we have a really big dog.
2) Gauche math is hard. Kids enjoyment of skating = 2009 BMW X5 - 2004 Honda Pilot with 60,000 miles.
3) Ending with a preposition is pretty major offense as well.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The one where SG sends you someplace else, again

ShallowGal's over at DC Metro Moms today. In the dead-zone Saturday spot. (1) Come show me some love.

1) Lesson learned. No more calling the pacifier fairy a bitch.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

There are no words Wednesday

I don't know if it's the weather, or lingering sadness about Maddie, Thalon and Hannah or hormones or the fact it's tax day, but pretty much everyone I know could use a pick-me-up. I dare you to watch this and not feel better.

Her entire performance is here on YouTube (but embedding has been disabled)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

How to Plan a Baycation, SG style (Now with music!)

all I ever wanted

had to get away

meant to be spent alone (1)

Step 1) Plan multiple trips to Costa Rica for Spring Break, but ultimately back out because you don't want to leave grandma. Complain endlessly, to anyone who will listen, about lack of exciting plans.

Step 2) Real life friend, Lolita Travelsalot points out ad in Washington Post for the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa & Marina. Decide to take combined six children for one night.

Step 3) Pack. Total baggage for a one night trip: six bathing suits and changes of underwear, 5 ipods, 4 Nintendo DS and a cooler full of beer and cheese sticks.

Step 3.5: Load up the car and plug in children

Step 4) Warn children to use potty before leaving house. This car will not stop for the next 101 miles.

Unless the moms get a hankering for an Egg McMuffin & coffee

Step 5) Arrive and enjoy everything the Hyatt has to offer: indoor pool, water slide, moon bounces, chair massages, face painting, exploring the marsh, watching the cooking demonstrations, making s'mores in the fire pit, playing with the giant chess set and the ever popular elevator button pushing. Wear children out.

PCSguy was curious if I turned him back around after taking the picture
Let's just go ahead and say "yes."

Step 6) Return home. Coin phrase 'baycation'. Plan to retire early on royalties.

Bottom Line: Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa & Marina~ sixteen thumbs up!

1) You do not even want to know how long it took SG to come up with that song. Hey Hyatt people, feel free to use it! Thanks for the fruit basket!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

ShallowGal's Midlife Blogging Crisis

I had this new feature planned for Friday, entitled Freaky Friday Fortune, where I was going to feature a bizarre fortune found in a fortune cookie. (1) (2)

Obviously this feature was inspired the following fortune:

A carrot a day, may help keep cancer away

When Jake opened his cookie and read his message, my first thought was "when did the carrot lobby get so influential?" and my second was "I should blog about this."

And then Jake said "Are you going to blog about this?" and I realized I was becoming predictable. And then I lost the fortune and was completely paralyzed; nothing else could be written until I posted this. So now I'm predictable and compulsive. Excellent.

1) This feature has a lifespan of 2 weeks, tops. We just don't eat that much Chinese food.
2) I really overused the word Fortune in this paragraph, considering how flipping obvious this entire concept is.

Monday, April 6, 2009

And now back to our regularly scheduled, um, excuses

I'm not entirely sure of the etiquette (1) , but please direct your attention to today's DC Metro Moms. Maybe comment while you're there, you know, before they get buyers remorse.

The most exciting part of this adventure: DCMM (2) uses TypePad which has the appropriate function to properly place footnotes. Hello Blogger, I'm looking at you!

I wish I could say that collaborating on a THIRD blog wouldn't cut into the time I spend here, but our entire relationship is built on trust, and I wouldn't want to ruin that. Unless you want to build a new relationship built entirely on cream puffs. Cause I could really go for a cream puff right around now.

1) Also not entirely sure I care.
2) Look at me with the blogger slang. DCMM stands for DC Metro Moms. At least it should.

Friday, April 3, 2009

RIP Alzheimer Grandma

So here's the thing. I know you think you have the best Grandma, but I'm sorry to say that you were mistaken. I had the best Grandma ever. Had. She died yesterday morning.

I'm going to say this was last Halloween, because I swear I don't usually let him leave the house like this .

Grandma was a real lady. She always gave advice like "moisturize your elbows because otherwise when you go to a dance and wear long gloves and all the boys can see is your elbows and if you have dry elbows then no boys will ask you to dance." If you see me at BlogHer, ask to see my elbows. Like a baby's bottom. Sans poop.

She had a pretty decent sense of humor as well. During a family game of Scattergories, when everyone else filled in the "Question starting with W" with an innocuous "Who's there?" or "When are you coming?" Grandma wanted to know "Where are the fathers of all these bastard children?" (1)

When Papa had a heart attack in the Fall of 2005, my mom & I moved them from their Del Boca Vista condo to a Sunrise facility halfway between our houses. While the circumstances sucked, this afforded my children an amazing opportunity; to spend serious quality time with their great-grandparents.

And we did.

We visited every week, usually two or three times a week. My kids knew every resident of that Sunrise, which ones to avoid and which ones had candy. Every hallway, every passcode. Which aides would sneak them a can of Shasta and where the cat liked to hide. They joined in at Art time, helped with crossword puzzles and generally made themselves at home.

At first, Grandma's Alzheimers wasn't too bad. She was quirky, worried about things like sinking submarines and people stealing her socks (2) But when Papa suffered his second heart attack and was hospitalized, leaving her alone in the strange new surroundings she quickly fell apart. One day I tried to take her to get her hair done and watch Noa's ballet class. We were stopping at the bank to deposit her social security check, when she became convinced that we were actually robbing the bank. (3) Immediately she sprang into action with a plan to hide the car and ditch the fuzz (4) I took her back to the facility and never got the guts to take her out by myself again.

About 8 weeks ago things started deteriorating rapidly. Grandma left the hospital and entered hospice. We upped our visits to as often as possible but it didn't help. Last month she stopped talking and then last week she stopped eating.

Alzheimer's Disease is a real bitch I tell you.

Today, for the first time in four years, my kids are off school and I have no idea what to do with them. In their condolences, people tell me how lucky Grandma was to have us, but they have it wrong. We were the lucky ones.

1) Although in retrospect, it was the first sign of the Alzheimer's disease and she was possibly referring to MY kids. Still, pretty damn funny.
2) Which actually was a real problem, it turned out.
3) Which, fyi, we were not.
4) I have NO idea. I'm guessing movies?