Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Please help me. I need milk. So badly.

No cheese. No yogurt. No chocolate milk. No butter. No dark chocolate.

Seriously, have you tried to go a day without butter? In Georgia, I can probably be arrested for it.

It's been one day, and I feel like a wraith.

I'm telling you, almond milk is not the panacea i'd hoped. It's like unicorn blood, thank you very much, Dr. Crog. Like unicorn blood for Crocodile Dundee. You can live off it, but it tastes like sh*t. And you look like Voldemort. Or at least feel like him.

See, we were at the pediatrician's office yesterday for t.rex's 4 month visit. He is a confirmed moose at 16 pounds 9 ounces. w00t!

Honestly, have you ever seen such a fetching cervid?

And our pediatrician asked me if he spit up much.

"A bit," I said.

And then he cheesed a quart of chunky sour milk on my sweater and laughed.

And she wiped the curds off her arm and said, "Have you considered it might be reflux?"

And I said, "But look at him. He's so happy. Reflux hurts. Surely it's not reflux, despite the fact that everyone in my family has a hietal hernia."

And although she agreed that he did seem very pleased with himself for making me smell like month-old yogurt, she pointed out that reflux was bad for babies, even if they aren't in pain. So she recommended I go dairy-free for a week and see if the spitting up improves, in case he's reacting to the dairy in my own personal dairy.

At the time, it sounded like a fun project. I'd go to Whole Foods and try some new and interesting milk substitutes. Like Silk hazelnut creamer, which is actually pretty decent.

But now, one day in, and I am trying to convince myself that one little dark chocolate Hershey's Kiss wouldn't hurt my little upchucker. Just one. One little chocolate. For the antioxidants.

Must. Resist. Chocolate.

Must. Find. Chocolate. Substitute.

Must. Eat. Jelly. Belly. Jelly. Beans?

On the upside, I am probably 300 calories under the norm today with a severe deficit in fat, but personal non-dairy torture is not my favorite way to diet.

As I tried to cope with my own personal dietary hell, Dr. Crog and the Biscuit enjoyed a little bit of music and completely ignored my plight.

Smug, milk-drinking jerks.

Monday, March 30, 2009

feelin' trashy

Would anyone out there like to take my money in return for sanitation services?

I understand that there are several companies in place to perform this very service, but I can't freakin' find 'em.

Here's the scoop:

1. Our current company
me: Hi, i'd like to know why my bill went up $6? I haven't been late or received a letter or anything...
her: Oh, you had your one year anniversary, so the fee went up.
me: Wait, so you're charging me MORE for staying with your company? Like, you're punishing me for my loyalty?
her: No! Of course it's not a punishment! Your rate just goes up.
me: How is that not a punishment?

2. Company B
me: Hi, I saw one of your trash cans in my neighborhood and would like to hear your rates.
her: We don't provide service to your street.
me: But I can see a trash can with your name and number on it from my door.
her: We service your neighborhood. Just not your particular street.
me: That makes sense. Garbage trucks can't drive 20 feet further.

3. Company C, Company D, and Company E
recording: Thanks for calling. We're open Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm, and even though it's 3:26, we're not answering the phone. Ever. This bodes well for our customer service.

4. Company F
him: Yeah?
me: Is this Company F Sanitation?
him: Yeah.
me: So... do you guys provide sanitation services?
him: No.
me: You might want to alert the Yellow Pages about that.

5. Company G
me: Hi, i'd like to hear your rates.
her: Our rates are twice what you're currently paying and five times what you currently pay if you want recycling.
me: Really? Because that's insane.
her: Really. Can I get your credit card number and social?
me: Are you by any chance in Nigeria?

And *then* I had to call my insurance company.

Luckily, Dr. Crog has procured a delicious supper for me, and I know it will be good, because it is made out of chicken.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

a biscuit, a basket

Yeah, I know it's not even April yet. But we like holidays, and we see no problem with celebrating them for a full month for maximum enjoyment.

Actually, Dr. Crog would probably celebrate his birthday for both April and May, if so indulged.

And also June.

Okay, he'd like to be celebrated all year as some sort of god-king, but that's for another blog post.

Today, we're talking about our neighborhood Spring Fling, which was completely wonderful until the temperature dipped so low that Dr. Crog couldn't feel his fingers. Good food, nice neighbors, generally pleasant suburban American time.

First, there was the Easter Bunny. The Biscuit is still at an age where he's "dat big nice bunny rabbit" and not a terrifying nightmare creature.

What do you mean, you haven't seen Donnie Darko? It's an iconic film, for pete's sake? And I misspelled "Donnie" on the photo to avoid copyright lawsuits. Not because the Biscuit was screeching in my ear for more cantaloupe and I wasn't paying attention.

Next, there were many fun games to play, from lawn bowling to frisbee golf to just puttering around the playground with her buddies.

Little Office joke for the true believers. Live to frolf. At Cornell. Ever heard of it?

And she also ran around with her own little shotput, much like her Big Ben's shotput. Except she could pick this one up. Because it was really a plastic bowling ball and not 15 pounds of solid iron. But we didn't tell *her* that. Look at that smile!


Next, we had some fun times chatting with neighbors, meeting new people, and receiving flyers from the sorely underfunded neighborhood teen babysitting crew. And I later found that this random photograph perfectly exhibited the age-old understanding of the three stages of womanhood. At least, as I exhibited them.

That's right-- my neighborhood is so cool that even the sullen teenagers come to playground parties. The food was good, and the egg hunt was brilliant. We're accustomed to battling 4651 sugar-crazed kids and their powermoms for 2 eggs at the city egg hunt, so sharing 200 eggs with 6 kids on the tennis court was a profound improvement. The Biscuit nailed all sorts of odd plastic eggs filled with good candy, bad candy, weird little toys, and Play-doh. Egg hunts have come a long way since the 80's, when we just had those gnarly little marshmallow eggs that always had shoeprints on them.

Her favorite cloacal treasure is a tiny little slinky.

Even t.rex had fun, rockin' his favorite hat and spitting up into my cleavage.

I was told the hat made him look like a miniature skater, which is a pretty good compliment. I hope he'll be the next Tony Hawk and end up doing a cameo on my favorite TV show and make a kabillion dollars selling ugly shoes and buy me a really nice Clydesdale/Tennesee Walker cross and a foxhunting outfit.

Not that i'm planning the future or anything.

Friday, March 27, 2009

m is for meh

So here's an object lesson for you.

You weigh 130 pounds. You get pregnant. You weigh 177 pounds. You have a baby. 20 months pass. You weigh 140 pounds. You get pregnant. You weigh 177 pounds. You have a baby. 4 months later, you weigh 158 pounds and don't like how you feel or what you see in the mirror.

You go to 2 Jazzercise classes and suddenly feel beautiful again. You put on your most very favorite Old Navy "cute pants", size M for medium, which mostly fit, except for some unavoidable crackage if you bend over at the wrong time. If you were to see your cute pants in a very dirty mirror, they'd look like this:

You go to Old Navy and are utterly amazed to find the reincarnation of your cute pants. You are so busy herding your toddler and carrying your happily shrieking infant that you slap the pants on, rejoice that they appear to fit, and run out of the store before someone realizes you just bought the perfect pants for $9.99.

You get home and yank out a very dirty mirror to take self-congratulatory photos of the old cute pants and the new cute pants. It's a cute pants party! You realize the mirror is filthy and clean it, and then your picture with new cute pants looks like this:

And you say to yourself, "I'm pretty hot! Eating well and exercise really work! These pants look and feel amazing!"

And then you go to take the tags off your new pants, and you notice something.

Something horrible. Insidious. Cruel. Surely a cruel joke.

Did you just buy...

...maternity pants?

That's right, hot stuff.

You just bought some amazingly well-fitting maternity pants.

M. For Maternity.

M for Medium, sure. But also for Maternity.

Your new hot pants that are super comfy and flattering are for pregnant peoples.

You should not have eaten that deliciously hot and crispy chicken skin just now, and you will be going to Jazzercise every. day. next. week.

Stupid Old Navy and their careless, slipshod sales section.

Today, I hate the letter M.

But I still love my new cute pants.


I am a pretty reasonable woman.

Practical. Fair-minded. Just. Diplomatic. Flexible.

Especially after two Jazzercise classes, am I right? HEY-OHHH!

But in the morning?

I really do look like that picture up there.


It's vulgar but true, and since I can't curse in person anymore, my only outlet is on my blog, using lots of asterisks.

And i've been known to shout my motto when disturbed, or annoyed, or when someone uses the last of the hazelnut creamer. One time, pre-children and on vacation with my parents, aunt, and uncle, my mom opened the door to our room to paw through her suitcase, and a beam of sunlight pierced my sleeping eye, and I screamed, "WHY DON'T YOU JUST STICK A GOD*AMN NEEDLE IN MY EYE??"

And then my mom cried.

It was a fun vacation. I was a pleasant person in my younger days.

Now, with the extra-added-superhero-style patience that can only be found with two children, I just make a very constipated face while I quietly daydream of 1000 firy arrows piercing whoever is getting on my nerves. Dr. Crog, when he's opening the fridge as I cook eggs, which is more annoying than it sounds. The handyman, who just wants to cheerfully describe all the things that are going to cause the house to fall over next week. Anyone who calls on the phone ever, who can't see the phone, and just wonders why I sound so constipated.

But here's the difference between now and then: now, i'm going to turn it all around. I'm going to have a good day. I'm going to be patient and pleasant and loving, and i'm going to find something fun to do. I already did the dishes. I still need to denastify the Foreman Grill, which is one of my favorite inventions of the 20th century. And there are delicious leftovers for lunch.

Honestly, it doesn't take much.

It takes a scene like this, in which the Biscuit says her belly button "needs some air".

Or looking down and seeing this fat little sleepy chipmunk cheek.

And if i had a picture of Dr. Crog standing around being awesome, i'd show you that one, too.

I guess what i'm getting at here is that I used to think that having kids doomed one to a life of uncoolness and boredom. What I didn't realize was that I was *already* boring and uncool, and that having kids would totally redeem me as a human being.

My mornings may be sacrosanct, but they're not really that important in the grand scheme of things.

They can, in fact, be easily fixed by aerated belly buttons, sleepy cheeks, and the generous addition of spinach omelets.

And that's a lot better than making my mom cry at Cocoa Beach.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

dj jazzy me and the fresh biscuit

An object in motion tends to stay in motion.

An object sitting on its butt in front of the laptop tends to stay in front of the laptop waiting for shoes to show up on www.mamabargains.com and hoping for Etsy sales.

This lesson in physics, at which I do not excel because Dr. Crog was in my class and we doodled and flirted the whole time, is just another good reason why i'm back on the exercise wagon.

Today, I joined Jazzercise.

Yes, Jazzercise. It's not just for old ladies in leotards. Or anybody in leotards, really.

Laugh, if you want to. Doesn't bother me. I see a chance to take a daily dancercise class 2 miles from my house with mother-staffed childcare, and I freakin' take it. I miss the gym. So much.

Okay, honestly, I don't miss the gym. I miss the way I feel *after* the gym, and I miss having tizzight arms. Because right now, i've got a bad case of "hi, marge". It works like this. You see your friend, you wave, you say, "Hi, Marge!" and that thing jiggles.

Yeah, that little jiggle at the bottom drives me crazy.

There are several other reasons to exercise, or in my case, Jazzercise.

1. Look and feel better. Duh.
2. Stay healthy.
3. Do frantic skipping motions to Beyonce songs.
4. Let the Biscuit plague someone else during her late-afternoon frenzy.
5. Give those poor, neglected New Balances something to do.
6. Benefit from the energy spike that makes me want to come home and vacuum.
7. Be able to breathe without splitting the bum of my prepregnancy jeans.

Number 2 is the highest priority right now, because we found out today that my paternal grandfather has prostate cancer. In addition to his colon cancer. My mom tells me it's no big deal, but i'm pretty sure that CANCER is BAD. Not only for my poor Papa, but for my father, me, and my children, who inherited Papa's genes. I want to do everything in my power to set a positive and healthy example for my children and to be around to annoy them as long as possible.

My father refuses to go to the doctor, which drives me insane. How do you make a 6'2'' monster go to the doctor for the first time since 1972? Valium and a tow truck is thus far my top idea.

Anyway. I want my children to grow up thinking of exercise and healthy eating as basic parts of life, so even though I hate working out, I'm doing it.

So far, it's working. Look at those little bitty guns!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

i'd rather be in gigglegiggle

I had a horrible day.

Was it horrible compared to most of the people on the planet? Probably not.

What about compared to most of America?

Still, no.

Most of my bad days, thankfully, exist inside my head.

I didn't get enough sleep, because I was up all night worrying. Our handyman had nothing but bad news about the roof, the chimney, the gutters, and the paint. My daughter was utterly atrocious. My son wouldn't sleep. My father won't go to the doctor. My mother went to the doctor, but i'm still worried about her. My grandparents haven't answered my phone calls for three days. Trader Joe's doesn't sell grits, of all things. I can't keep my house clean. My contacts hurt. I can't find the time to color my hair. My daughter wet her pants at the park and spilled the next three things she touched, and she followed *that* up with an encore of a solid hour of temper tantrums. My husband is training, and by the time he gets home, we'll only have 2 hours of watching our favorite TV show's latest season, out today on DVD, before I have to go to sleep in order to function. I can't find jeans that fit, my feet are perpetually calloused, i'm covered in spit-up 24 hours a day, and I forgot to wash the sheets after t.rex exploded on them this morning. I'd like to make about $500 a month but can't figure out how to do that while caring for an infant.

Oh, and my dinner is sitting on the kitchen counter, stone cold, because my meals always come last.

And when I write it all out like that, it's the most laughable, petty, stupid, meaningless, whiny drivel. I mean, i'm embarrassed for myself.

Those aren't complaints.

Those are like flies on a horse's rump. Swat, swat, whatever. This too shall pass.

And yet I feel compelled, some days, to share it. So I can remember it, because I have a frightfully bad memory for negativity. So I can be a better parent tomorrow.

And so maybe someone else will feel that they're not alone in being driven completely batsh*t insane by tiny little nothings.

* * *

After an hour of ferociously crying over such toddler hazards as cup preference, milk consistency, shoe placement, comparable comfiness of pants, correct way of sitting "Indian style", and whether or not I really meant the word "NO", the Biscuit finally collapsed into her bed and began our nightly ritual.

"Tell me about your day," I say.

"YOU tell me about your DATE," she says.

"Well, I rode the turtle train to Rainbow Mountain, where I ate an umbrella made of purple eggs. Then I took a green helicopter over to Alligatorville for some blue milk. They made me the mayor and gave me a muffin!", I say.

"Nooooo," she says.

"You tell me about your day," I say.

"I went to Giggle Giggle," she says.

Giggle Giggle is a place full of toys and friends and cookies, and she goes there every day. Even after a horrible day like today, when she cried as much as she smiled, she remembers going to Giggle Giggle and having a great day.

Today I did everything wrong, but I must be doing something right if my kid spent her day at Giggle Giggle.

I wonder if I can book tickets online. It sounds like a pretty cool place.

Monday, March 23, 2009

it's the new moosebutt

The Biscuit was being punished with a time-out for sitting on her brother, and she fell asleep while crying into the rear portion of her stuffed magical unicorn.

She was snoring really loudly, too.

I know it's a bit more vulgar than usual... but it's much funnier that way.

Believe me.

I tried.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


The Biscuit's first encounter with a wacky, waving, inflatable, arm-flailing tube man.
She was appropriately horrified.

Touch-A-Truck is one of those genius concepts that appeals to everyone wishing to thoroughly exhaust their child for free. Basically, a local municipality drives every truck, Bobcat, and bulldozer they own into a field, puts them in neutral, pops some popcorn, and hopes for the best.

Then parents fight for too little parking, purchase $6 hot dogs from a 30-minute-long line, and bribe their children to hold still for pictures instead of just screaming MOONWALK! and crying.

We love it.

And it's educational, too. This picture, for example, is brought to you by the letter "N":

And this image shows the basic measuring agent for a child against known quantities. It doesn't end at "knee-high to a grasshopper, you know.

The Biscuit is currently knee-high to a leggy moose and well on her way to knee-high to Abraham Lincoln. Proof that oatmeal and yogurt does a Biscuit good!

She was also really excited to see the inside of a school bus. Seriously, is this my child? I can think of very few tortures as exquisitely painful as riding the cheese. But she's adamant that one day, she'll be a big kid, and she'll ride a school bus.

And hopefully never get thrown out of the emergency exit.

Oh, and she also got to drive a Gator around with her grandfather. Always a learning experience in our family.

Sadly, she utterly refused to climb up in any other truck. It was school bus, Gator, and fire truck. And all the pictures of her in the fire truck were pretty bland.

We did get one artsy one, though.

As for t.rex, he basically did his best imitation of a lump. Sit, watch, nurse. Given the outrageous number of horns blaring, moonwalk motors churning, and children screaming in fear, that's about the best you can hope for out of a 4-monther. And he didn't crap his pants!

Our excellent day continued with a wonderful lunch with Nina, some quality quiet time, dueling naps, blistering yard work, our favorite family dinner, three episodes of The Office, and toenail painting.

Life is sweet. And not, like, Twinkie sweet.

More like 9-inch-tall, made-from-scratch tiramisu cheesecake sweet.

Friday, March 20, 2009

spice, spice, baby

I read the rampaging Facebook link about Victory Gardens, and thought, "I should totally do that!"

Then I remembered my black thumb and current lack of spare time and memory and realized that a Victory Garden, in my uncapable hands, would become more of a Weed Pit of Defeat.

So I did the next best thing-- I purchased a Gourmet Chia HERB GARDEN for "Fresh Herbs at your fingertips year 'round." With text formatting like that, it's GOT to be good!

It was the Scooby Doo Chia Head that originally got my attention, but the thought of delectable, fresh herbs grown in my own kitchen "year 'round" for $11 was just too enticing to pass up. I've been enjoying the dried kitchen seasonings from our wedding spice rack for the past 7 years, but I hear that fresh herbs actually taste like something, which could only help my sub-par cooking.

And I also like singing CH-CH-CH-CHIA!!! like it was a late-night 1980's Christmas infomercial, much to the delight of my toddler.

Here's how it works. You slice open your bag of little brown soil packets, which look suspiciously like chocolate cupcakes.

But they don't taste at all like chocolate cupcakes.

Don't ask me how I know.

You then soak the little thingies in water, stuff them in the included pots, sprinkle on seeds, cover with ziploc bags, put them on top of your fridge, and wait for germination.

How could that be easier?

And did you know that the seeds all look like dead bugs? Squick.

They provide 6 packets of seeds and only 4 sets of pots, and then they force you to choose which 4 of the 6 herbs you will grow. How cruel is that? How much is it going to set back the Chia folk to give you 2 more terra cotta pots? They cost, like, 75 cents each!

And personally, I expect nothing but the best from the fine people of Chia.

But it's only four... so... suck it, cilantro and sweet marjoram!

I chose dill, chives, parsley, and sweet basil. Sweet, sweet basil.

There they are, all lined up on the windowsill, where they will eventually grow. But for some reason, Chia recommends sprouting them on top of the refrigerator, so that's where they really sit. But that doesn't make a very pretty picture, does it? Not like this one, which I love.

And i'd love it even more if you could remove the drain stopper, take off the ziploc bags, and just focus on the outrageously beautiful tree outside.

We may have bought this house just so we could own that tree. I'm not telling.

Until the little herbs germinate, and i'm not holding my breath, we also get to enjoy the included advertisement. Click on the pic for a close-up for maximum amusement. Please ignore the random oat and stray hair on the counter. Postpartum hair loss is a travesty.

That's right. You see several Chia plants, Chia cat insanity grass, The Clapper, The Clapper PLUS, and The Ov Glove, which can withstand heat up to 540 degrees! So, you know, go out and find a forge or a kiln and just go crazy. With the Ov Glove, it's okay!

I'll let you know how my Gourmet Chia HERB GARDEN turns out.

Oh, and please remind me to water it every couple of weeks. I'm likely to forget.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

rock me, hashimoto

Did you know that I am diseased?

It's true.

I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis at the tender age of 26. I could quote a bunch of pabulum from Wikipedia or WebMD, but suffice it to say that my body is attacking and eating my thyroid gland, which is located in the neck area and plays Wizard of Oz to most of the body's glands.

Although there is no cure to this annoying autoimmune disease, the good news is that life goes on as normal as long as I take thyroid replacement hormone every single day under very tender conditions involving delicate timing, food, calcium, sleep, water, and hamster juggling.

So as long as the world stays about like it is, i'm fine. However, when the zombiepocalypse comes, i'm in deep trouble. Although the drug Synthroid is an exact chemical replacement of the sweet, sweet thyroid hormone I need, the only way to get it in nature is by eating pig glands. And can you think of anything more annoying and disgusting than slaughtering a huge, hairy pig and eating a big, ol', flappy gland?

Trying to explain the concept to Dr. Crog several years ago, I did extensive research and created this illustration:

To be honest, I don't remember why there are skeletons holding cupcakes. I just remember something about me getting fat and powerful with a goiter while everyone else starves to death. And I apparently have pink elephant toes, too. And there are coconuts in Georgia for my coconut bra.

I dunno.

But the goiter is clearly there from a thyroid gland run amok.

I like to think of myself as a very sophisticated self-cannibal.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

creme de love

It's been 10 years since candy was on my grocery list.
Dark chocolate doesn't count, because it's for my HEART.
I most definitely do not enjoy it, but I somehow manage
to snarf a square or two each day.
For my HEART.

But today, I fell in love. With a little green bag full of Creme de Menthe Hershey's Kisses. They're like a jollier version of Andes Candies. They just look so affable, in their sweet little green wrappers.

Here's my attempt at artsy photography, which involves smashing a bunch of buttons on my camera, which is really my mom's camera.
The angelic halo is real, though.

Aren't they cunning? Look at 'em, all lined up.
That one on the right is especially adorable.
I would like to get to know him better. Maybe we'll have a chat.

And then, after a leisurely dinner and a couple of glasses of wine and some romantic music, he finds himself slowly undressed.

And then I see into his very soul.

His delicious, dark-chocolate-enrobed-creme-de-menthe soul.

And then this happens.

And then this happens.

Because I can only be serious for so long before all the wacky
comes bursting out like minty green goo in a delicious little chocolate candy.

Thank you, fine people of Hershey's, for your diligent effort to sabotage my health.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

happy sanpaggersbay

Yesterday, the Biscuit told me that it was "almost sanpaggersbay", and that they ate "funny cereal" in preschool that included "blue things, green things, a hourglass, and a leper".

I'm sure the fine folks at General Mills will want to know about the unfortunate condition of their leprechaun mascot so they can get him off the Lucky Charms box before his nose falls off.

Which makes about as much sense as the real Saint Patrick's Day, at least for your basic American mutt family like us. Throughout my life, I have been told that my lineage includes Irish, Black Irish, Scottish, English, Spanish, Andalusians, Clydesdales, and Cherokee Indians. All the names on the family tree, which date back to the 1800's, are totally bland and reveal nothing. No Patrick O'Brians, Brian O'Patricks, or Liam O'Flaherty Flannigan Patrick Brian O'Donnegans.

So I feel like a bit of a faker making a big deal out of St. Patty's Day, while at the same time, I love any sort of ridiculous celebration. So we had a special dinner, which was amazingly delicious. Shepherd's Pie, which diverted from the recipe at every step.

And yet... it was lovely. Just look at it!

Yeah, that does look a bit like barf.

But seriously, it did *not* taste like barf. Even Dr. Crog, the pickiest of the picky, said, "This tastes like something I would actually BUY in a STORE!"

High praise.

And then, at dinner, I noticed that the Biscuit had many Irish features.

And after a delicious dinner, she encountered an actual wild Irish chupacabra.

It's funny-- when I was a kid, I remember thinking that holidays were such a huge deal, and that everyone in the world was wearing green. And as an adult, I realize that they are only special if adults go to the trouble to make them special. All it takes to make my kid's day is 2 drops of green food coloring in her milk.

And thus a Happy Sanpaggersbay was had by all.