Friday, August 22, 2008

A Clue, A Clue


Is that really an Olympic Sport?

Have you ever taken a pencil and held it in the middle (using your index finger and thumb) and shaken it to give the illusion that it was bending?

Yep. That's what Power Walkers look like.

As my husband and I watched in disbelief, hundreds of women with intensity in their eyes and not a bend in their knee were going for the gold. One foot remained on the ground at all times and that is all it comes down to.

It was so strange to watch. If you told me that a new Target had opened down the road I would probably understand it better, this group of determined women who really should be required to carry purses to complete the effect.

Don't believe me? Check out the following video (and picture a wiggling pencil).


So I have been hearing rumblings from other mommy friends that their children are giving up their naps. Our pediatrician, in fact, had gone so far as to suggest that when children reach the wonderful age of three, most transition out of them.

I chalked that little tidbit up to medical quackery, and instead chose to live a nice comfortable life of denial.

Until yesterday.

After heading home from a lovely playgroup at Cool Man Kyle's, my little ones drifted off to Sleepyland when we were just about ten minutes from the house. This is always a great situation, since they almost always transition into their respective crib/bed without so much as a peep.

Yesterday, things did not follow the normal course. As we pulled in, my cleaning lady was heading out and the mere sight of her was enough to awaken my groggy girl into full blown excitement, and there was no turning back.

Realizing what was before me, I put the little guy to bed and explained to my girl that, since there would be no nap, she would have some quiet O time in her room while I had some Mommy time and Joseph had Joseph time. (Though I had picked this trick up from more than a few friends, I remained incredulous).

She agreed and so I surrounded her with books and puzzles in her bed and left to attend to some crucial snacking, email reading, and, of course, blogging.

All was quiet for a good 30 minutes. Too quiet.

I crept up the stairs fully expecting to find something painted, glued, or ablaze and was in a state of shock when I found none of the above. She was simply fully engrossed in Because A Bug Went Kachoo.

I said to her, "Hey, Olivia time is over. Would you like to come downstairs and color with me?"

"Oh no, Mommy", she replied, "I still need Olivia time. But I will come downstairs soon and give you a big hug."

And she did...ten minutes later...and it was the best hug ever.


Week In Review

The Top 5 Things I Learned This Week

5) Michael Phelps has my vote for November. And no, I don't know anything about him.

4) Back to School shopping is just as much for moms as it is for kids. In fact, I think Ann Taylor and Nordstrom's womens department should join in on the fun.

3) It doesn't matter what shape you're in, some kid somewhere is going to have something to say about it. At least you do not have to explain the nature of freckles every time you confront one of the little troublemakers.

2) Mott's for Tots is not only a healthy alternative for juice drinking, it also enhances fashion sense in otherwise clueless mothers.

1) Maybe I should retract number 5 as the political wellness of our country is no laughing matter...but he sure would look good on some currency or something. Just saying.

Guess Who?

As close to impossible as I've done thus far.

Celebrity Mommies

Every unreasonable media outlet (including me) is reporting that Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale have welcomed another son into their family. The name???

Zuma Nesta Rock Rossdale

Let me start by saying that I really like Gwen Stefani. Though I know a lot of people could take her or leave her, I think she's creative, sincere, unique, and one of the few women in the music industry that seem to have a head on her shoulders. I have always been a fan of her and most of her music.

That being said, I am so disappointed by the name. Kingston, the name of her first son, is different without being wacky and I kind of expected the same for this one. No luck.

So where should we start with the jokes?

Clearly allusions to Zima come to mind (Smirnoff Ice's less attractive cousin), and the sound of "All I wanna do is do a zoom zoom zoom and a boom boom...just shake your rump" will not leave my head. However, I am certain there are better jokes out there....

Here's the invite....I know there are a lot of creative people out there.

Quote of the Day

"The great high of winning Wimbledon lasts for about a week. You go down in the record book, but you don't have anything tangible to hold on to. But having a baby -- there isn't any comparison." -Chris Evert Lloyd

Picture of the Day

Life should always be a day at the beach: the sun, the fun, and the comfort of a diaper that can also serve as a flotation device.

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

I'm Not Sure What To Say About This One.....


Other troublesome words

"Slurp" got me a former English teacher, there are quite a few words I simply do not like.

Some of the more egregious:

mucus (and, more specifically, mucus plug)


Some of you who have stayed with me for a while may remember a week of blogging I devoted almost entirely to absurd inventions in baby merchandising. From baby toupees and hand pillows to the all too memorable "baby hanger", there is simply no shortage of absurdity.

Which is why this latest product must be added to the list. Sent to me by the fabulous Kristine, it isn't so much the idea, but rather the name that so offends. "Burp and Slurp" relies on too much imagery and a word (slurp) that I just am not a big fan of....

Click here for the complete description...

Confession Time

So, sometimes when I am waiting in a long line and my little man starts to get fussy, I give him my cell phone to play with. He loves it, is entranced by it, and seems to know how to work it better than I (who knew V Cast could do so much?).


Perhaps I should mention one other thing...this is my 3rd cell phone, in a not very long time.

Apparently, Verizon doesn't consider baby drool a refundable reason for phone malfunctions.

A Few More From Jack Handey (I can't resist)

I hope if dogs ever take over the world, and they chose a king, they don't just go by size, because I bet there are some Chihuahuas with some good ideas.

I guess we were all guilty, in a way. We all shot him, we all skinned him, and we all got a complimentary bumper sticker that said, "I helped skin Bob."

I bet the main reason the police keep people away from a plane crash is they don't want anybody walking in and lying down in the crash stuff, then, when somebody comes up, act like they just woke up and go, "What was THAT?!"

To me, clowns aren't funny. In fact, they're kind of scary. I've wondered where this started and I think it goes back to the time I went to the circus, and a clown killed my dad.

Laurie got offended that I used the word "puke." But to me, that's what her dinner tasted like.

Quote of the Day

"The trouble with parents is that by the time they are experienced, they are unemployed." -Anonymous

Picture of the Day

Because there's such a fine line between hug and headlock.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A little more about Jack Handey

Jack Handey is most well known for his pseudo-surrealist musings on Saturday Night Live, but what a lot of people don't know is that he's a real writer. He has penned more than a few of the best SNL skits (think Toonces the cat), and is a regular contibutor to The New Yorker.

Jake Coyle, a critic for the AP, said it best when he wrote, "With absurdist musings such as these, Handey has established himself as the strangest of birds: a famous comedian whose platform is not the stage or screen, but the page."

The Genius of Jack Handey

Some of his best ones....

It takes a big man to cry, but it takes a bigger man to laugh at that man.

One thing kids like is to be tricked. For instance, I was going to take my little nephew to Disneyland, but instead I drove him to an old burned-out warehouse. "Oh, no," I said. "Disneyland burned down." He cried and cried, but I think that deep down, he thought it was a pretty good joke. I started to drive over to the real Disneyland, but it was getting pretty late.

Dad always thought laughter was the best medicine, which I guess is why several of us died of tuberculosis.

Maybe in order to understand mankind, we have to look at the word itself: "Mankind". Basically, it's made up of two separate words - "mank" and "ind". What do these words mean ? It's a mystery, and that's why so is mankind.

The face of a child can say it all, especially the mouth part of the face.

If you define cowardice as running away at the first sign of danger, screaming and tripping and begging for mercy, then yes, Mr. Brave man, I guess I'm a coward.

To me, boxing is like a ballet, except there's no music, no choreography, and the dancers hit each other.

We tend to scoff at the beliefs of the ancients. But we can't scoff at them personally, to their faces, and this is what annoys me.

Probably the earliest flyswatters were nothing more than some sort of striking surface attached to the end of a long stick.

If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason.

Better not take a dog on the space shuttle, because if he sticks his head out when you're coming home his face might burn up.

The memories of my family outings are still a source of strength to me. I remember we'd all pile into the car - I forget what kind it was - and drive and drive. I'm not sure where we'd go, but I think there were some trees there. The smell of something was strong in the air as we played whatever sport we played. I remember a bigger, older guy we called "Dad." We'd eat some stuff, or not, and then I think we went home. I guess some things never leave you.

If a kid asks where rain comes from, I think a cute thing to tell him is "God is crying." And if he asks why God is crying, another cute thing to tell him is "Probably because of something you did."

If you saw two guys named Hambone and Flippy, which one would you think liked dolphins the most? I'd say Flippy, wouldn't you? You'd be wrong, though. It's Hambone.

If you're a young Mafia gangster out on your first date, I bet it's real embarrassing if someone tries to kill you.

If you go parachuting, and your parachute doesn't open, and you friends are all watching you fall, I think a funny gag would be to pretend you were swimming.

Children need encouragement. If a kid gets an answer right, tell him it was a lucky guess. That way he develops a good, lucky feeling.

Whether they find a life there or not, I think Jupiter should be called an enemy planet.

Instead of trying to build newer and bigger weapons of destruction, we should be thinking about getting more use out of the ones we already have.

I think a good gift for the President would be a chocolate revolver. and since he is so busy, you'd probably have to run up to him real quick and give it to him.

Just because swans mate for life, I don't think its that big a deal. First of all, if you're a swan, you're probably not going to find a swan that looks much better than the one you've got, so why not mate for life?

If you ever catch on fire, try to avoid looking in a mirror, because I bet that will really throw you into a panic.

To The Mom At The Park

A couple things you missed while that cell phone was glued to your ear....

1) It seems you've passed on your social graces to your daughter. No, that's not a compliment.

2) You may consider taking your son in for a tetanus...just saying.

3) Yes, the real estate transfer tax in NJ is high (as are all the other taxes). And, yes, that means because you have such a palatial McMansion, you will be paying more than most. Poor you. But if you're looking for sympathy, don't count on any of the twenty moms present who had to listen to you yammer on for the better part of an hour.

Sorry for the negative venting....I think I may be ready to graduate from high school now.

Food For Thought

According to Cookie magazine, 75% of moms say they stress about whether their kids are eating healthy enough. I know I fall into this category, but my concerns have more to do with quantity than quality.

My daughter loves yogurt, rice cakes, vegetables with dip, and almost every form of fruit known to man (excluding canteloupe). If I let her, she'd snack on those all day....and she tries. The result? Mealtimes are a constant negotiation to ensure she is getting enough protein, as well as servings of whole grain.

My son eats everything so, at least for now, I don't worry about him.

But getting back to the percentage posted by Cookie magazine, with the fight to eat right being further propelled by concerns over the obesity epidemic and our increasingly sedentary existences, many schools are taking what may be considered drastic measures to abide by the 2004 federal law that requires most schools to write "wellness policies".

These policies would not only regulate the quality of cafeteria lunches, but also significantly control such sugary practices as cupcake birthdays and halloween parties. The magazine goes on to provide a bunch of recipes to accomodate these changes (colored yogurt masquerading as icing, and biscuit cutters shaping melons to resemble cupcakes), but at some point you have to wonder where the line should be drawn.

Are we going too far? What is the answer to promoting healthy lifestyles?

Satire At Its Best

The following piece was taken from the "Shouts & Murmurs" section of The New Yorker (the weekly segment devoted to the funniest writing around...and yes, Jack Handy is still writing for it!), and I simply had to share it:

"Play Nice"
Simon Rich August 4, 2008

If adults were subjected to the same indignities as children . . .


Zoe: Dad, I’m throwing a party tonight, so you’ll have to stay in your room. Don’t worry, though—one of my friends brought over his father for you to play with. His name is Comptroller Brooks and he’s roughly your age, so I’m sure you’ll have lots in common. I’ll come check on you in a couple of hours. (Leaves.)

Comptroller Brooks: Hello.
Mr. Higgins: Hello.
Comptroller Brooks: So . . . um . . . do you follow city politics?
Mr. Higgins: Not really.
Comptroller Brooks: Oh.
(Long pause.)
(Zoe returns.)
Zoe: I forgot to tell you—I told my friends you two would perform for them after dinner. I’ll come get you when it’s time. (Leaves.)
Comptroller Brooks: Oh, God, what are we going to do?
Mr. Higgins: I know a dance . . . but it’s pretty humiliating.
Comptroller Brooks: Just teach it to me.


Lobbyist: If you fail to pass this proposition, it will lead to the deaths of thousands. Any questions?
Senator: Why are you wearing a sailor suit?
Lobbyist: My children decided to dress me this way, on a whim. I told them it was an important day for me, but they wouldn’t listen.
Senator: It’s adorable.
Lobbyist: O.K. . . . but do you agree with the proposition? About the war?
Senator: Put on the cap.


Lou Rosenblatt: Can I drive your car? I’ll give it back when I’m done.
Mrs. Herson: I’m sorry, do I know you?
Lou Rosenblatt: No, but we’re the same age and we use the same garage.
Mrs. Herson: No offense, sir, but I really don’t feel comfortable lending you my car. I mean, it’s by far my most important possession.
Brian Herson: Mom, I’m surprised at you! What did we learn about sharing?
Mrs. Herson: You’re right . . . I’m sorry. Take my Mercedes.
Lou Rosenblatt: Thank you. Can I come over to your house later? I’m lonely and I don’t have any friends.
Mrs. Herson: Well . . . actually . . . I kind of had plans tonight.
Brian Herson: Are you excluding him?
Mrs. Herson: No, of course not! (Sighs.) Here’s my address, sir. The party starts at eight.
Lou Rosenblatt: I’ll show up a little early.
Mrs. Herson: What’s that on your face?
Lou Rosenblatt: Mucus. I haven’t learned how to blow my nose yet, so I just go around like this all the time.
Mrs. Herson: Oh.
Lou Rosenblatt: I’ll see you soon, inside your house. ♦


I must send a very special shout out to Cool Man Kyle for introducing my little miss to the "dinosaur bite".

In a nutshell, when Kyle may not be putting away the food quite as well as his lovely parents would like, they request dinosaur bites: large bites of food followed by a terrifying, fossilized growl.

He demonstrated this very special maneuver at my own home a few weeks ago and our family dinners have never been the same.

So, thank you Kyle. Though we still regularly battle for full meal consumption on any given day, at least now we have a way to fit in a few extra bites in the most ladylike of manners.

Quote of the Day

"If you want your child to walk the righteous path, do not merely point the way - lead the way." -J.A Rosenkranz

Picture of the Day

And you thought he was just a melter of hearts....
**Send in your much needed pictures to:

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Oh no, she did...

In case you were unable to access the page, The Scoop's Courtney Hazlet ran a post about the fact that my favorite Jennifer had been training for a triatholon just 6 months after giving birth. Unfortunately for her, her unbelievable story has been greatly overshadowed by that Michael Phelps character.

She reports:

Lopez, who appeared on "Good Morning America" Aug. 18 to discuss her preparations for the Malibu Triathlon, was overheard saying after the segment that she “couldn’t understand why everyone is talking
about that swimmer,” according to a GMA source. “She couldn’t come up with (eight-time gold-medal winner Michael) Phelps’ name, and then she yammered on about how she was the one training for a triathlon just six months after giving birth, and how that was the big story right now, not ‘the swimmer.’ ”

Lopez is planning on donating money raised for her race to the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. To help drum up attention, she started a blog
share tips on training. “Touch up makeup prior to your run” hasn’t made its way into any posts, despite Lopez being spotted arriving in Central Park with her makeup artist later in the day.



SHE must be stopped!!!!!

**Special shout out to Lawyerboy who managed to find something that combines my two favorite things to blog about (aside from my children, of course)!

The Votes Are In...

Since I am obsessed with the Olympics this week (or, more accurately, the Olympians), this poll is all about our own fantastical participation in it. That's not to say that I don't believe our own work as parents isn't medal worthy (is there anything more heroic?), but it's always fun to play pretend.....

And clearly, the swimmers have spoken...and why shouldn't they? As a swimmer you enjoy primetime attention, instant exhilaration, and Michael Phelps. Enough said.

Second place is a clear tie between the divers and the gymnasts. Neither of these appeal to me. I'd either hit my head on the diving board or the balance beam; plus there's the whole outfit....

Last place is also shared by track and field and basketball. The former won my vote, and the latter belongs to one of the male votes. I'm pretty sure both have to do with our unwillingness to don a leotard or swim suit....

On to the next vote.....

This One's For Sutty.....

Per the request of one of my soul encore post.

Mama Fashionista

SO, I made a vow a few months back to officially fight the fug and get my style on despite constantly being spit up on.

I'd give myself a C+. I made an effort with some cute summer dresses, and some even cuter trapeze tops, but most of my days found me in casual wear that included the much maligned capris and my go-to denim gauchos.

Prêt-à-porter I was not....but slightly improved nonetheless.

As I now turn to the fall fashions, I am so excited as it is my favorite time of year. (Sweaters, and boots, and jeans, oh my!) I am convinced that this is really my time to make an attempt at being fashionably forward and, in doing so, I am all set to tuck my jeans into the boots (I didn't have the guts last year), belt my sweaters, get a chic, cropped motorcycle jacket, and even make an attempt at a non-diaper bag purse (though the latter is probably not going to work).

In fact, I started pulling out looks from magazines just yesterday as my little ones enjoyed a morning cartoon. I was confident, excited, and very much in denial.

And there she was.

Caillou had ended and she came on the television looking shiny, happy, and very concerned over her egregious mistake of watering down her children's juice with water. Apparently, diluting juice also dilutes the nutrients...and she calls herself a parent!

She was so annoying...her and all her Mott's for Tots juice drinks for toddlers. She had seen the light and restored her status as the perfect mom and I wanted to throw my magazine at the perky little thing for making me worry about yet another thing I was doing to my children.

She was awful. She even stirred her apple juice with a wooden spoon in a glass pitcher. Who does that? Ugh!....and then I saw it.

She was wearing my shirt.

The green one with the subtle ruffle along the button line. How could we possibly have chosen the same shirt? Now I just hated myself.

Clearly, I would need a lot more work than I originally realized.

A Brotherhood of Fathers

After the passing of Heath Ledger, the media has made much of the fact that the father of little Matilda (age 2) did not have an updated will. His father, Kim, was the designated executor of the estate and his history in estate planning and financial management has been highly criticized.

Put those two little factors together and you have a lot of people wondering about the security of Matilda's future.

Fortunately, the right people's concern seems to have made a big difference.

When he died, Heath Ledger was in the middle of filming The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnnassus. Rather than canning the movie containing his last performance, the movie's producers have filled Heath's role by creating fantastical versions of him, played by Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Farrell.

All of the three actors standing in for Heath also happen to be fathers and, out of concern for this fatherless daughter, have surrendered any monies they would have received from the film and set up a trust in her name.

Be still all cynical hearts.

Quote of the Day

"The family, that dear octopus from whose tentacles we never quite escape, nor in our innermost hearts never quite wish to." -Dodie Smith

Picture of the Day

Though not a typically targeted demographic, the toddler faction has closely been following the presidential race with issues such as immunizations, social promotion, and required broccoli consumption weighing heavy on their minds.
I'm running low!!!! Send in your favorite kid pictures to:

Monday, August 18, 2008

TMZ is a Fan

TMZ totally swiped my Guess Who? from last week.

Click HERE to bear witness to the pilfering.

We're Improving!

At the mall today, O only announced that three women she saw had babies in their bellies and I don't think any of them actually heard.

She also told me I had one, which I laughed off and then went upstairs and did about 100 crunches.

A Scene You Can Only Watch With Your Girlfriends

A Test

The Top 7 Signs That You Are Overdue For A Girls Night Out:

7) You purposely time the arrival of the mail so you can head down to the mailbox at the exact moment the postal carrier arrives for the sole puspose of enjoying some live, adult conversation.

6) If you were to make a list of the girlfriends with whom you have spent the most time this month, Oprah would top the list.

5) If someone were to ask you to name your favorite musicians of late, you'd be hard pressed to name anyone other than Lori Berkner, Dan Zane, They Might Be Giants (for their latest songs only), and DJ Lance.

4) You run into a girlfriend at the store, but neither one of the recoginize each other in your sweats, pulled back hair, and bleary, sleep-deprived eyes.

3) You ask your children for advice about fashion...and follow it.

2) You spend so much time on the phone with your girlfriends, your children use their toy phones every time they need to talk with you.

1) You're encouraging your husband to dress in pastels and talk about hair removal options, the best way to use Gym-bucks, and whether or not he thinks Jennifer Aniston will ever find true love.

Recession? What Recession?

Today officially began my "Back to School" shopping, even though my little darling isn't heading back to pre-school....which makes this the first annual occasion to shop so that your child looks just as cute as her schoolmates that much more special. (Yes, I am emotionally immature and have no intention of changing anytime soon).

I may be crying on her first day, but who knew the first to cry would be my credit card?


The Sisterhood

I am a firm believer in the importance of date night. If you have a trusted babysitter, you and your spouse must exploit them for some regular alone time, which is not only necessary for keeping your relationship healthy, but also your parenting. Happy homes are just as much about taking care of the kids as they are about taking care of all your relationships....

....including your relationships with your girlfriends.

WARNING: Cornball alert

My groups of girls fall into 3 categories:

1) My College Buddies: (aka my soul sisters)- This group is made up of the girls with whom I survived college. In a time when you change more in a short few years as a woman, than you do your entire adulthood, the bond you establish with your girlfriends is truly like no other. Though Margaret, Danielle, Kristine, the amazing Amys, and I have all gone our separate ways, seeing and talking with them always feels familar. Time and distance affect us little, even though our lives have changed a great deal.

2) The Wives Club: Our husbands all grew up closely as friends and we, the wives, fell into friendships rather serendipitously. Though a very diverse cast of characters, the conversations never lack, nor does the laughter, and as the years pass it seems we share so much more than our respective relationship to the Heritage Valley Posse.

3) The Playgroup: New mothers in a new community meant lifesavers in sanity as we shared the challenges of the terrible twos and whatever phase our kids are going through this week. Fortunately, our common link proved to be only one of the many bonds we have formed since first meeting, and these newest of friends are also the truest of friends.

This One's For The Girls

My weekend was wonderful.

We went to the park, the indoor playground, the ice cream stand, and on long walks throughout our neighborhood. It was lovely, and it was fun, and it was a distant memory come Saturday night when I led skidmarks in the driveway as I headed out for a much needed Girls Night Out.

Thanks to Amanda in the trenches' initiative in planning the event, and Beth the Lawyer's hospitality in hosting the pre-party, a group of seven women (who aren't afraid to find a little trouble) enjoyed the one thing that mother's rarely make a priority...the company of girlfriends.

I'm not sure of the exact moment when I started laughing, but I know I didn't stop until some time around midnight,when my ability to party like a rockstar began to wane. We talked a lot about our kids, a little about our husbands, and then put that all behind us and actually allowed ourselves to talk about ourselves.

Imagine that! We are actually people beyond wife and mother! Who knew?

And though I cannot reveal all the good conversations we had (that is a clear rule out of the Girlfriends Handbook, page 726), but I will say that my hours spent with Beth, Amanda, Karen, Kim, Liz, Vida, and Missy were fine food for the soul....even if my own choice of food was not as well received*.

*Escargot is yummy! Anyone?

Quote of the Day

"Pretty much all the honest truth telling there is in the world is done by children." -Oliver Wendall Holmes

Picture of the Day

"What do you mean I can only have one slice of birthday cake??"

Send your favorite kid pictures to:

Sunday, August 17, 2008