Friday, June 29, 2007

Confucius says: Man who stands on toilet is high on pot

So, those of you who have been reading for a while know that the Tank is exactly sixteen months and seven days old today.

Today, the day she decided to say "Potty!", then walk into the bathroom, put the tiny seat on the toilet, wait to be lifted up, and then PEE IN THE POTTY.

Yes, you heard me right. She decided, of her own volition, that she needed to pee in the potty, most likely because she scrutinizes the Bear doing it all the time. Sheesh. She even wiped! But still. What's next? Driving?

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Play along at home

Ok, all of you - even you lurkers* - I need some help making an important decision. Input, please?

*You, there? In Honolulu? Quit hiding. I see you! What do you think?

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Inspired by Julie (although not as mean-spirited as some other sisters-in-law).

Beloved Sis:

Knowing that I work online, with my computer, on the Internet, for money, from home, by myself, with two small children who refuse to get along or leave me alone, could you find it in your heart to postpone your RENT sing-along and stop the Bear from trying to defenestrate the Tank? Just for a minute?


*It should be duly noted that when I say "from home" I really mean "from my in-laws' home" and that the couch, TV, and lazy summer day that I'm appropriating were all hers before we showed up here. So, yeah, we're a loud, messy, obnoxious band of rag-tag gypsies, but we're family. Throw me a frickin' bone here.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Fuck you, Three.

Ok, so nobody ever tells you that the Terrible Threes are than the Terrible Twos. Three *may* just turn me into a Child Abuser*.

The Bear will very shortly (like in a month and change) be Three. I am in Agony.

At almostThree, she can:

say her alphabet and write (trace) all the letters
count to 10 (sometimes 12)
dress herself (and undress herself)
get up on the toilet to potty with no step stool, potty seat, or assistance
open the car door, climb up in her carseat, and buckle herself in
carry on extensive conversations on the strangest of topics
sing several songs (albeit off-key), including many of her own devising, and *play* the piano to accompany herself
express her affection in wonderfully sweet and bizarre ways.

She can also:

whine - seriously, it's almost like a cross between a whine and a wheedle, this hideous, drawn-out, nasal thing she does
argue, complete with reasons (however illogical) and counter-argument
throw a temper tantrum that requires Delta-Force countermeasures
demand things in an imperious voice that would seriously make the Queen step lively
stage a sit-in worthy of Greenpeace
sass with the fluency of the most cynical teenager
make me so angry I grind my teeth in my sleep
be the stubborn-est, most obnoxious, most annoying person under four feet tall on the face of Mother Earth.

Truly, I don't think I can convey *exactly* how obnoxious she is. Try this: she's so obnoxious, even her doting Grandpa put her in time out today. Does that help?

*Disclaimer: I do not now, nor have I ever, nor will I ever, abuse my children. But. Sometimes, I really want to. Come on. You know you do too.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


For the first time ever, the girls and I actually had an enjoyable roadtrip together yesterday. Some highlights:

Bear, singing to a tune of her own devising:

I can do whatever I want!
I need my baby sister every day
I think about the things I want
I think about the things I need
Things I want and need
Need and want
Like cars and trucks and planes!

"Look, Mom! The toilet is eating my poop! Eat it all!"

An in-depth discussion of the various types and structures of watertowers

An explanation of the inner workings of giant power-generating windmills

An impromptu roadside snack at a very sketchy gas station

A dusky drive through a hollow filled with fireflies (so cool!)

"Mom, I'm sooooo happy" (while sitting in the carseat around hour 10 or 11)

Talk about why it is day and why it is night, including the sun standing still and the Earth rotating

A strange penguin toy

87 verses of "The Wheels on the Bus"

Lots of laughs, and not much crying

13 hours of girl time

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Keeping up with the Joneses

In reading my hometown newspaper the other day, I stumbled across the engagement announcement of a girl I went to high school - and college - with. She was the oh-so-popular girl - beautiful singing, perfect dancing, brilliant, funny, and nice. Everyone loved her, always. We were never really close - I just wasn't that cool, I suppose. So when my dad unfolded the paper to show me her engagement announcement, I only gave it a half-assed perusal.

I didn't expect it to upset me.

There, in the picture, gorgeous as ever, with the enormous diamond glistening on her hand, she was staring out of the paper at me with her cheshire-cat grin. I read the announcement. She's living in *my* city, living near *my* old neighborhood, marrying a fabulously wealthy financial advisor at one of those companies with the made-up names, living in a ginormous condo in one of the most expensive neighborhoods in the city. Damn stupid rich people and their damn stupid rich lives. I bet they have some sort of crazy yuppie car and hideous yuppie friends and a freaking chihuahua. I bet they go to all the hot bars and eat at expensive restaurants every night. I bet they're ridiculously happy together. They look ridiculously happy.

Why am I so jealous?

(When we're together), Husband and I are very happy. We're not rich. We're not pretty. We're not perfect. Our lives are busy, and messy. We have two small children, and we practically never have sex. We don't go out. Ever. Sometimes we fight. But despite all that, or maybe because of all that, I like our life together. I'm happy with him. I think he's happy with me. I don't particularly want a different husband, or a different job, or a different life. So again - why so jealous?

Is there always this need to be better? Why can't we ever just be satisfied with what we have? How come I can't be happy for someone else without feeling jealous that they have it better than I do? Is this some sort of personal problem that I have, or does everyone get that feeling in their gut when someone else gets the big break? Why is well enough never good enough?

Saturday, June 16, 2007


Nobody is sleeping. Ever.

If you've never pulled a muscle putting a baby to bed, you've obviously never had a teething insomniac toddler sleeping in a portacrib that's only six inches off the damn ground.

If you've never threatened to spank a child to sleep, you've never met the Bear, who's lately taken to staying awake for at least three hours after I put her down, getting out of bed, crying, pottying, drinking water, reading stories, singing lullabies, throwing things... you get the picture.

If you've never drunk yourself into a stupor after the kids are asleep, you've obviously got more willpower than I do.

Friday, June 15, 2007


As Julie so aptly pointed out, I haven't been very forthcoming about what's going on lately. Mostly, that's because it's all so ridiculously complicated. So, for those of you following along at home, a quick breakdown.

Currently, we are:

remodeling our three (3) bathrooms, two (2) heat pumps, one (1) roof, and one (1) lousy-ass kitchen (Husband)

living out of suitcases at both my mom's and his mom's house (girls and I)

haven't been home since January (girls and I)

planning a move back to the city we love (all of us)

looking for a new job in said city (Husband)

celebrating that I *have* a new job in said city (me!)

frantically looking for decent, affordable childcare* in said city (me)

counting the days til remodeling is done so we can put our house on the market (Husband and I)

waiting til our house is on the market so we can buy a new one in our new hometown (Husband and I)

chomping at the bit until our family can settle down and live like normal people again (me)

So, not much is happening here, I guess. In my anxiety, I've taken to extended bouts of insomnia, compulsive plucking of hair, and making jam. Oh, and random shouting of obscenities. Yeah. I totally handle stress well.


Thursday, June 14, 2007


Cute skirt that hides tummy bulge: $28

Slinky black shirt to match cute skirt: $16

100 sheets of computer paper, 50 envelopes, and 58 stamps*: $35.62

Two boxes of fine quality resume paper for job fair: $16

Gas for 12 round trips to the city for job fairs and interviews: $97

Bandaids for blisters acquired through an unfortunate choice of footwear at the job fair: $6

Three month supply of anxiety medication: $30**

Four copies of both undergrad and grad school transcripts: $10

Bottle of Tums: $3

Gainful employment in my new home town: Priceless, to the tune of $241.62.

*8 went through the washer
**God bless my HMO

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Going to the candidates' debate!

So I'm watching the democratic debate this evening, and I've been thinking over where exactly I stand on the various issues. How would I answer those questions, when faced with the piercing blue eyes of Wolf Blitzer? And so it came to me: in an effort to find the candidate who aligns most closely with my own personal politics, I'm going to write about a different issue each week, then try to figure out which candidate falls nearest to my position. This week? Teh Gays!

Tonight, Wolf asked: what about civil unions? Gay marriage? What should we do?

IMHO, a civil marriage ceremony* - the kind you get at City Hall, or in Las Vegas - should be the prerogative of every American citizen. Any two people desiring to get married, whether of different faiths, different races, or same sexes, should be allowed to sign a paper before a judge committing to sharing lives and financial resources (and everything in between). Why?

Because, as everyone knows, the judge says, to legalize the marriage, "by the power vested in me by the STATE..., I now pronounce you legally married" or some such formula. The point is, the power to form this union is granted to the State, not to the Church(es). The State does not have the opportunity to discriminate in housing, employment, health care, etc. on ANY basis. Why should they have the power to discriminate in this area?

But. If you want to get married in a church (temple, mosque, synagogue, pagoda, etc.) by a representative of a particular faith (any faith), then it's perfectly fine to expect you to meet the requirements of that institution, whatever they are. For example, a rabbi wouldn't marry a Jew to a non-Jew (usually). A priest wouldn't marry two women. That's fine by me. That's totally within their rights as a private, voluntary organization. They can decide who they marry, who they take as members, what they require of their members. Totally kosher.

So - married at City Hall? Anyone - gay or straight - should be allowed in. Married in a house of worship? You have to do what they say. And the candidate who seems to fall most closely in line with that (for the moment)? Former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel. Will he ever get nominated? Hell no. But for this particular issue, he's my guy.

*I'm equating this with the term "civil union" here, since technically that's what hetero couples at City Hall get, too. "Union" is the domain of the State. "Marriage" is the domain of the Church(es).

Saturday, June 02, 2007


Girl One: Gee, sis, I'm totally digging your vocal music practice. That whole off-key nasal fake-falsetto thing is really working for you.

Girl Two: Oh, my God!! It's, like, I know! I totally want to be a Broadway star. I rock.

Girl One: Yes, yes you do. A very sedimentary rock, if I do say so.

Girl Two: Huh?

Girl One: Hey, do you know what I love best?

Girl Two: My totally rockin' rendition of seriously creepy Jesus-love songs?

Girl One: Yes! Those! Especially when you sing them when my two daughters are Trying to Freaking Sleep! Bitchin'.

Girl Two: ::stares blankly::

Girl One: ::eyeballs explode::

Friday, June 01, 2007

Dear Mr. Cooper


Seriously, dude, what's up with the premature grey hair? Is it a ploy to make people think you're older and wiser than you really are?

Not to mention the two last names. Couldn't your mother come up with a decent first name for you? Poor baby.

On a more serious note, great show last night. Not. Thanks but no thanks for your misleading headline. I'm so glad that you, in your supposed position of authority, with your crap-ass TV show, and your fan club and your thousands of viewers, have taken the time to reflect on your position, and have decided to use it for evil rather than good. You do know that there are people out there who take you seriously, right? Who take what you say without a grain of salt, in much the same way they take the Bible? Thanks for leading them to believe that:

a) Chicago has a problem with school violence, and
2) there's no violence in Chicago outside the school-age set.

Way to put your own twisted spin on the issue and mislead the people. Way to negate the importance of other people's deaths. You rock. Here's hoping that the American people realize just what an asshat you are before you do something even more stupid.

Thanks a bunch!