Friday, November 30, 2012

Photo Friday: C'mon, get appy


Guest Post From Ann


Remember the video for A-Ha's "Take On Me?" That's the one where a pencil-sketch dude pulls a woman into a comic book and they are chased by dudes with pipe wrenches (because no weapon is more menacing than a pipe wrench). Anyhow, that video is what the Sketch Up function in the Paper Camera app reminds me of. You can see cartoon and painting effects in real-time, as you take videos or photos, or you can add them in post-processing. It costs $1.99 on Android and 99 cents for iOS, and it's quite the fun time-waster.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Christmas Horror Story


Ever since we put up our Christmas decorations, we have unknowingly released evil into our house.

 The evil dancing Santa twins.

Kenzie was the first to notice.  Every time they sang their haunting song and swayed their animated plastic hips to the dance of the devil she would run crying.

Then bad things started happening.  The first was the breaking of two Christmas train stocking hangers.  It didn’t happen spontaneously.  No, evil dancing Santa twins are more subtle than that.  They waited until Hudson was playing with them.  They then taunted me by placing a “For Decoration Only.  Not a Toy” sticker on the bottom.   Touche evil dancing Santas…touchĂ©.

Next, they forced me to watch a bad romantic Christmas movie on the Hallmark channel.  I tried to turn my eyes, but the force of the evil dancing Santa twins was too strong.  Against my will, I watched a second bad romantic Christmas movie on the Hallmark channel.   I tried with all my might to do something productive, but evil dancing Santas said no…you will sit here and watch little Johnny find a new daddy just in time for Christmas.

Christmas ornaments started to fly off of the tree.  I asked my children why there was a broken ornamaent but they both said they had nothing to do with it.  Only evil dancing Santa twins could be responsible.  In their evilness, they tried to make me think that innocent children could be to blame.

It is told that the evil dancing Santa twins are to blame for other Christmas travesties such as fruit cake, socks and underwear as Christmas presents, and any Christmas song performed by either the Eurythmics or Barenaked Ladies.


 Kenzie tried to make a talisman to ward of their evilness.

However, despite our efforts, things have taken a turn for a worse.  Hudson has been possessed by their evil Christmas spirit and now chases his sister around the house with evil dancing Santas, laughing manically while Kenzie runs in terror.

I would do something about this but the evil dancing Santa twins are forcing me to watch another movie starring Henry Winkler as the uncle who reminds his workaholic niece about the spirit of Christmas.  Please, if any one is listening, come help.  And please bring some more Bailey’s for my hot chocolate.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Parental Scorecard


Benjamin Franklin is one of my idols.  One of the reasons I admire him so much is that he was constantly trying to better himself and was a forefather in the self-help movement.  He was also a forefather of the sex advice column but that’s a whole other blog post.  Franklin dedicated himself to living a virtuous life…other than that time he fathered an illegitimate child.  He kept himself accountable by using a chart listing the 13 virtues and the days of week.  At the end of the day he would review these 13 virtues and put a mark by ones he felt he had not lived up to that day.   I’m wondering what day of the week had a check mark by “Don’t father an illegitimate child”.  Anyway, Franklin has inspired me to try a similar system of score keeping for parental wins and fails.  Here’s what one day would look like…

Gave Hudson a hug when he whined for cereal and chocolate milk first thing upon awakening.  No meltdown.  +1

Meltdown over Hudson whining for cereal and chocolate milk first thing upon awakening.  -1

Told Hudson we could do anything he wanted this afternoon and he chose going to the bookstore.  Have instilled love of literacy.  +1

Realize now that I have brainwashed Hudson into liking the bookstore with purchase of cookie and chocolate milk from cafĂ© at the end of every trip.  -1

Kenzie successfully sat in time-our for two minutes without attempt to run away.  This is a result of my spectacular parenting skills. +1

Kenzie trying to eat fishing game pieces repeatedly (leading to previously mentioned time-out) result of lack of proper parental supervision.  -1

Let kids eat hot dogs and chicken McNuggets both on the same day.  -1

Made homemade cheese crackers with Hudson +100

(At this point you may be thinking the scoring seems kind of arbitrary, but look, I didn’t make up the rules.  I just follow them.)

(Yes, ok, I totally made them up.  I refer you to Day of Eating Awesomeness where I do what I want.)

Lying -100

Realize Hudson wore the same pair of dirty sock 2 days in a row.  -1

Remembered to change his underwear.  +1

Read Kenzie a bedtime story, sang Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, kept Kenzie from eating bedtime story +1

Hudson picked the longest bedtime story he could find and I read the whole thing without skipping parts.  +1

Snuggled one extra minute +1

If you’re keeping score, I’m slightly ahead.  In this game, I’d say that’s good enough.   I’ll consider it a win.  It’s a win because I say so and I do what I want.


It's a good book.  You should read it.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Liquor is Hard for a 4-Year Old to Say


When Hudson was about 2-years old, we often had this conversation with people who came over and happened to look in his toy box.

“Is that…a catheter?”
“No, that would be weird.  It’s a Blakemore tube.”
“A what?”
“A Blakemore tube.  It’s used to control upper gastrointestinal bleeding.”

It was one of those weird side effects of having parents that work in an emergency department.  For a while it was his favorite toy.  I’m telling you, Blakemore tubes are this year’s Tickle Me Elmo.

Working in an emergency department doesn’t exactly explain why we had the thing in our house though.  We’re known to have sutures or Dermabond.  This makes sense.  We have two kids.  They get cuts.  I’m hoping we didn’t think our kids would turn into alcoholics and develop GI bleeding.

It may, however, have been foreshadowing for the fact that my in-laws now own a liquor store and have started chapter two of weirdness as a result of a family members occupation.  On the way to school one day, we passed my father-in-law on his way to the store.

“Papa, must be on his way to the….oilielor store.”
“You mean liquor store, Hudson?”
“Yes.  Liquor is really hard for a little 4-year old to say.”

Yes, it is son.  As it should be.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Children's Books Can Be Creepy, Part 3


Welcome back for our last installment of story time!  If you enjoyed reading about child labor, child abuse, smoking and prison you will love today’s selection, “Madeline” also known as “A Primer in Munchausen Syndrome”.  It is about a lovely little school in Paris with a happy little girl named Madeline with her happy little friends.

 Ok, well…sometimes life sucks.  The French are just open with their children about life’s suckiness.  At least it’s not like someone dies.



They just get terribly ill.


And what a great word-appendix!  Let’s name some other fun A-words such as anus, anarchy, and antichrist.


See children, there is a great lesson to be learned here.  Get sick, get cool stuff.



We can only hope for the follow-up book where Madeline uses her scar to convince her friends that she was shanked by Curious George in prison.



Like these little girls, we should all strive to be like Madeline.  You could study, do well in school, and work hard.  Or you could just have a major surgery and get people to bring you stuff.

Now go to sleep and have sweet dreams about what organ you would have removed if given the chance.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Children's Books Can Be Creepy, Part 2


Oh hello, readers!  You’ve come back.  I’m so happy.  Take a seat.

Today’s tale is one that will inspire any of you with dreams of becoming a tobacco company executive.   For you PETA supporters, you may want to sit this one out.

Ok, today’s story is “The Original Curious George”.
How fun!  Do any of you like potato sack races, too?

Yes, children, sometimes I too dream that someone pluck me from my home and transplant me in a strange and wonderful new place.  Like aliens!  You kids like aliens?  They exist you know.  Anyway, I digress.

Now you may think that this is a picture of a near-drowning monkey.  Not so…..it’s…..yeah, ok…..I think that’s a picture of a near-drowning monkey.  But there’s also a picture of a man smoking and that is a valuable thing for monkeys and children to learn about.

See, children, when you are stressed about all those extra-curricular activities your parents make you participate in, just grab a pipe and inhale deeply.    Along with your lungs, your stress will just melt away.

You know what’s more fun that smoking?  You…slightly dirty boy in the back with the tattoo…..yes, that’s right!  Prison!
It’s like slumber party every night and you even get your very own pet rats!

But eventually those pet rats steal your food and make you do dirty things.  If this happens make sure you do as Curious George and get hell out of there.

And do as The Man tells you.  He knows what’s good for you.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Children's Books Can Be Creepy and Racist, Part 1


Hello Readers!  It’s literary week here on Sabine of Suburbia.  Actually, this was really only supposed to be one post about creepy, sometimes racist childrens’ stories, but then I found so many I just couldn’t fit them into one day.

So grab a mat, listen close, and let me start our first tale…

See-Saw, Margery Daw
Johnny shall have a new master
He shall have but a penny a day,
Because he can't work any faster.


I initially thought this was a poem about slavery given that in all 188 pages of this book, they have chosen to feature African-American children on just these pages with this odd classic.  Other than that, the only place a child of color or even one with a slight tan appears is when there are groups of children pictured and they had to mix it up.

But have no fear children!  I looked it up and it is not nearly about anything so sinister as slavery.  It is a poem about a topic beloved by all children: child labor.  As a special treat, I will share with you the less known second verse (I promise I did not make this up):

See-saw Margery Daw
Sold her bed and lay on straw.
Was she not a dirty slut
To sell her bed and lie in the dirt?

I think we have a new word of the day!  Who can tell me what letter “slut” starts with?

Wait….don’t cry.  Here you’ll like this one.


You see, the old woman loved her children so much sometimes she had to beat them so they would live up to their potential.  It was a beating of love.  Oh, don’t worry.  They passed out after sustaining themselves on only broth so they didn’t feel a thing.

This one also had a rarely seen second verse:

The cops found the woman
With heroine and pills
Then they sent all the children
To Pedophile Bill

Now good night children.  Sweet dreams.  Have your mommies and daddies bring you back tomorrow to learn about the benefits of smoking and a fun place called prison.  Now seriously.  Go to sleep before that crazy old woman comes and beats your ass.


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Humiliation at the Dentist's Office


I had to be grown-up and actually go to my biannual dentist appointment.  My fear of the dentist ranks right after something awful happening to my children and global warming ending life as we know it.  I’ll get into my reasons for this but first I have to tell you this.

When I got there there was a man in the waiting room, feet kicked up on a coffee table not wearing shoes.  Socks but no shoes.  The receptionist told him that it was okay to go now and he left still not wearing shoes.  However, before he left he looked at us both as said, “I’m sorry but you don’t understand how hard it is to only sleep for one hour and then drive your daughter to school.”  Then the receptionist looked at me and said, “I’m sorry about that.”  This opened so many questions like: why is he not wearing shoes?  why did he only sleep one hour?  what happened to his shoes?  what kind of dental work did he have done that caused him not to be wearing shoes?  Seriously, what happened to his shoes?

Anyway, one of my reasons for having anxiety over the dentist is x-rays combined with a horrible gag reflex.  There are few things more humiliating that wearing BluBlocker-esque sunglasses and a napkin around you’re neck, gagging with a mouth full of dental equipment.  This inevitably leads to the reminder, “don’t forget to breathe.”

I finally have my trump card the next time someone tells me that they couldn’t find their car keys and it turns out they were in their hand the whole time our couldn’t find the sunglasses that had been perched on their head.  I can totally win the “Who’s Dumber?” game with “You think that’s bad?  I once forgot to breathe!”  Turns out forgetting about this physiological necessity was the problem the whole time.

The afore mentioned humiliation then leads to the scolding, reason #2 that I hate going to the dentist.  If my gums bleed while brushing my teeth my first thought is not “Oh no, I have periodontal disease.”  It’s that my dentist is going to think I never brush or floss and will think I’m a dirty, dirty person.  This fear led to a full confessional about how I’ve not been wearing my night guard.

“I admit that I’ve been slacking on the night guard.  It’s just that you have to run it under hot water first and I like to read in bed and I don’t like to wear the night guard while I read and then I get comfortable and don’t want to get out of bed again.”

She responded with “I do that too.  But then I get up.  Because I know it’s important. “

Oh yeah, Dr. Judgy McJudgesALot, I bet you also never drive your car one inch over 3000 miles between oil changes and you always change your Brita Filter right when that little light goes off.  You think that makes you better than me?

I could honestly say I have been flossing though.  Because I’m a good person.


Friday, November 16, 2012

Photo Friday: Wishful embarrassing sweater edition

Guest Post from Ann
Like this, but with kids.

Sabine and I have this plan to take super-embarrassing Christmas photos of our kids, with matching sweaters and awkward poses and possibly dogs wearing antlers. Alas, I don't think I'll get to hang out with her and her family enough to actually make this happen in time for Christmas this year. So I might just have to try to take some on my own. (See how I'm setting myself up for another Photo Friday there? The suspense must be killing you.)
But there's another whole holiday between now and Christmas. That would be Thanksgiving. A photography guru I really like, Nick Kelsh, has tips for taking Thanksgiving photos on his site, How to Photograph Your Life.  And he has a video about taking Christmas photos, too.
I especially like his Thanksgiving tip about charging your camera batteries. Probably because I left my camera charger at Sabine's house last time I visited.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Rhyming Our Way to Nutrition


I heard a great piece of advice of how to talk to your kids about nutrition.  A fellow preschool mom/work-out buddy told me about go, glow, grow.  You teach them that protein helps them grow, vitamins help them have shiny hair and sparkly eyes or glow, and carbohydrates help them have the energy to go.  It’s supposed to put it in terms they understand.

Last night we had gluten-free quinoa pasta with mushrooms and spinach for dinner.  This made me feel better about the hot dog and McDonald’s chicken nuggets they had the day before.  Anyway, I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to have this conversation.  Here’s how that worked out for me.

“Hudson, we have to eat lots of different food to help us stay healthy.  Like this pasta.  It has carbohydrates…”

Ok, I realize using the word carbohydrate with a four year old was a bit ambitious, but Hudson really can be quite wordy so I thought it would work out.  It did not.

“What?”
“Carbohydrates.”
“What?”
“Carbohydrates.  Anyway, carbohydrates help us go.  And these mushrooms have protein.  Protein helps us grow.  They also have...”
“Does go and grow rhyme?”
“Yes.  Anyway…”
“What’s this green stuff?”
“Spinach.  Spinach has….”
“I don’t like spinach.”
“Well, spinach is good for us.   It has vitamins which help keep us healthy and help us glow.  It...”
“Does that rhyme?”
“Does what rhyme?”
“Grow and glow.”
“Yes.  So it’s important…”
“Cat and flat rhyme.”
“Yes they do.  So we have…”
“Cat and hat rhyme.”
“Uh-huh.  So we have to eat…”
“What was that first word again?”
“Carbohydrate.  So anyway, it’s important that we eat all these different foods to help us grow, give us energy to go, and keep us healthy to glow.”
“I like pasta.”

(If you are interested in a good resource for meals anywhere from baby food to school lunches to family dinners, check out weelicious.com.)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

New Sheriff in Town



My name is Hudson and I’m the sheriff round these parts.  I carry a sword.  Since I’m new, let’s get a few things straight.

I don’t tolerate no taking of my toys.  Or looking at my toys.  Or looking like you might be thinking about taking my toys or looking like you might be thinking about looking at my toys at some later time.

I also don’t tolerate looking at me if I don’t feel like being looked at.

There will be no cussing.  Unless you said it first and I think it bears repeating. 
We clear on this shit? (Thanks, Mom.)  Ok.  Good.  Moving on.

I don’t put up with shoes that feel funny or pajamas.  Unless you have already tucked me into bed wearing just underwear.  Then I may want pajamas.  You will get them for me.  Along with socks.  And a drink of water.  And a hug.

If I ask to watch Cars I mean Cars.  Don’t try to replace it with Cars 2 because that’s the one you found first.

I won’t tolerate no hiding of healthy food in other good food.  You try to sneak some peas into a perfectly good bowl of mac n’ cheese, I will find them.  I will kill them.

If you can abide by these rules, we’ll get along just fine. Don’t make me use this sword.

For being the biggest offender of rules 1, 2, and
some others that I haven't made up yet.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

That Time I Met Fonzie in Italy


Actually, it was two Fonzie’s but I’ll get back to that.

Right before my 30th birthday, my dad found out he would be going to Rome for work.  He invited my brother and I to join him.  My friend Winter has a birthday right after mine so I thought it might be a fun 30th birthday trip if she went.  She agreed as well as our other friend Kelly.

So off we went to Rome.  The weekend after my birthday we thought we would go out for a birthday bonanza celebration.  We picked a bar out of the guidebook and headed out.  We got there around 10:00 or so, but apparently in Rome only the lame and/or Americans show up that early.  Being the only people there we got an early start to our drinking.  A few beers later and the locals started to arrive.

By this point, we had had enough liquid courage to make bad white girl dancing seem like a good idea.  Kelly and I went to bust a move on the dance floor.  You have not lived until you have seen Kelly do the Sprinkler.  I must have skipped the part in the guidebook that described how bad 80’s dancing is considered provocative in Italy but we attracted the attention of both a group of creepy Italian men and one very nice lesbian.  The very nice lesbian tried to shield us from the handsy Italians, but when this failed we decided it was time to leave.

A couple of beers had convinced me that a) I spoke Italian and b) my friends would understand it.

“Andiamo Winter!  Andiamo” , I yelled to Winter who was sitting on a couch.
“Sabine….you are yelling in Italian.  She does not understand you.”

Kelly communicated to Winter in non-drunken understandable language that it was time to go and the three of us headed out.  The group of creepy Italian men followed.

They followed us all the while asking us to come back.
I said no, but with my American accent this somehow was understood as “Please keep following and pestering the bejesus out of us. “
“YOU STAY.  WE GO!”  said Kelly stamping her foot in frustration.
Now they became more than irritating and started to physically try to steer us back to the bar.  In one split second, Winter on my left is being led down an alleyway away from us and to my right Kelly had fallen flat on her face, a result of a bum ankle combined with cobblestone and high heels.

Now we were in full on “Band of Brothers” mode.
“Get Winter!  Just leave me!”
I ran as fast as my high-heeled feet would take me and finally caught up to her and the two of us ran back to find Kelly.  A couple of the creepy men had taken a break from being creepy and had helped her to sit on a stone wall.  We put Kelly between us and try to make our way to a main street to get a taxi. 

Once we got to a busier street, a car with two men saw us with our limping friend and asked if we were ok.  Kelly got in the car.  You didn’t miss the part where they invited us in the car or asked if we needed a ride.  She just got in.  We knew we weren’t going to leave her so we got in too.  Two very confused Italian men were now staring at the three somewhat inebriated Americans sitting in the back of their car.

We had no idea exactly where we were or how to get back to our hotel.
“okay….eh….you want we drop you at coffee shop?”
That sounded as good as any plan so that’s what we did.  They helped us get Kelly inside.  We chatted for a while and they asked what we were doing in Italy.  We told them and they told us they were both lawyers and they were getting ready to go to a party.  They tried to tell us what kind of party but their English was limited as was our Italian.

“You know…eh…Happy Days?” (In your head, say this with an Italian accent.  It’s funnier.)
“Yeeesss…..”
They opened their winter coats to reveal that underneath they were wearing white t-shirts and leather jackets.  They extended their arms, gave the thumbs up, and in perfect Italian unison give a cheerful, “Aaaayyyy!”

And that is how I met two Fonzie’s in Italy.

It was like this except times two and Italian.




 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Mommy Meltdown


A couple of days ago I had a full-on mommy melt down.  Surely, I’m not the only one to have one of these.  Mine started like this.

Hudson: Mommy.  Mommy.  Mommy.  Mommy
Kenzie:  MOMMYYYYYYYYY!
Hudson: Mommy.  Mommy.  Can I have a cup of water?  I want to see what happens to moon dough when you drop it in water?
Me:  Sure…..here.

Agreeing to water–soaked moon dough was the first sign of a crack in my psyche.  The second came after I saw the end result of allowing your children to play with a combination of water and moon dough with minimal adult supervision.

Hudson:   Can I use the big sweeper?  Kenzie made a mess with the moon dough.

Ever see a monkey flinging it’s own poo at the zoo…yeah, it kinda looked like that in my dining room…except with moon dough, not poop.  Enter crack in psyche number 2.

“Both of you get in here and pick up every last piece of moon dough!  You know what?!  This is just going in the trash!”

I went to get the “big sweeper” and vacuum up moon dough remnants.  I finished and then went to put it up again.

And then I stepped on a Cheerio.

The sound of that Cheerio breaking symbolized all that was wrong in my life that day.  It reminded me that no matter how many times I picked up the Cheerios there would always be more Cheerios.  Not whole Cheerios that you can easily pick up.  Crushed Cheerios that are ground into the carpet and the upholstery.  It was a reminder that no matter how much I cleaned I would never be ahead.  It symbolized how sometimes I feel like I just suck at being a stay at home mom.  And it made me wonder why I even buy the damn Cheerios in the first place.

Then I cried.  I cried because sometimes I just want my life to be about more than picking up Cheerios, moon dough, and on one occasion, freeze-dried parsley.  I just wanted one moment where someone didn’t need me.

My poor husband came home from his night shift to a sobbing, PJ-wearing wife.  He graciously took the kids out for little bit so I could nap and regain my sanity, which made me feel even worse.  I felt horrible that my husband who had worked at night was staying up to do this.  I felt horrible that my kids had seen me have a complete crazy moment meltdown.

I took a shower and washed away the crazy.  We went to lunch.  We went to the bookstore.  I colored with the kids and life went on as usual.  And it was good.

I now know that the fact that my kids saw me get upset is not the end of the world.  That’s life.  Sometimes it gets a little nutty and sometimes we get a little nutty too.  I just hope they know that after a while you’ve just got to dust off the Cheerio crumbs and carry on.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Reasons Why I Voted Obama According to Friends and Family


Reasons why I voted for Obama according to some of my conservative friends and family.

1)   I hate freedom.  You’re right.  Fucking hate it.  I don’t even let my kids choose their own breakfast cereal.  Grape Nuts for everyone, because everyone knows communists love Grape Nuts.

2)   I support terrorism.  I love me the shit out of some terrorism.  I would make a ribbon for it if all the good colors weren’t taken and the ones left were more terrorist-y.

3)   I’m a hippie.  I do bring my own reusable shopping bags and I ate some granola yesterday, so ok…I’ll own it.

4)   I wasn’t thinking.  This one just isn’t true.  I was thinking.  Thinking about all the welfare and government housing I was going to get.  Have you been to the projects?  Fabulous!  Totally shabby chic.

All kidding aside, I voted the way I voted because of some deeply held convictions just as I’m sure you did the same, no matter who your ballot went to.  I hope we can all get along again tomorrow.  I’ll bring the Grape Nuts.

My son invoking his second amendment rights.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Photo Friday: What the heck is that?

Guest Post from Ann


I took a photo last weekend that reminded me how important it is to think about what's going on in the background when you're shooting. Because the soles of my husband's shoes growing out of my daughter's head like black rubber elephant ears just look kinda crazy.
Yeah, there's not a ton you can do besides try to move in a situation where you're aiming to capture a fleeting moment with somebody on the go. And then you have be sure to remember to be still again after you've moved to avoid blurriness. In any case, it's good to be conscious of what's around your subject. If you're posing a photo, remember to get rid of all the background clutter and distractions that you can. When you're not able to tell what something is in a photo, it can be incredibly distracting. And you want people to be saying how cute your baby is, rather than, "What the heck is that?"


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Why I'm always getting confused for Megan Fox


I am constantly being confused for Megan Fox.  Every time I’m at the grocery store people stop me and say, “Hey Megan Fox!  I loved you in Transformers!”  or  “Megan Fox!  How are you so damn sexy?”  Today I want to set the record straight.

This is Megan Fox.


This is me in a similar sexy bed picture.
If you think that's an uncanny ressemblance I'm about to blow your mind.

  

This is Megan Fox’s thumb.


This is my thumb.


We have a condition known as brachydactyly.  Brachydactyly is a condition where the thumb is short and stubby, but still functional.  Except when bowling.  I need a fifty pound ball to fit this thumb in the hole.  Megan Fox has went on to become a successful film actress despite her handicap.  I once was successful at convincing someone that my thumb was accidentally cut off as a child requiring a toe to hand transplant.  For any middle schoolers out there suffering from bracydactyly, I would not advise this plan.  It didn’t do much for making me seem like less of a weirdo.

Since Megan Fox is the poster child for brachydactyly,  I’m hoping I can convice her to be the spokesperson for my newly founded organization, the Brachydactlyly Foundation.  We will champion important causes such as requiring bowling alleys to provide balls with bigger holes, educating manicurists so they won’t look at your thumb with a  mixture or disgust and amusement asking if you sucked your thumb as a child, and most importantly educating spouses that it is not ok to say “Maybe you can finally get a ring that fits” when passing the toe-ring fitting tent at the state fair.

I hope you will join me and my toe-thumbed brethren in our fight for phalangeal equality for all.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Drama Over Double-Sided Tape


Did you know if you put two 2-year olds together they could argue over a piece of tape?  It’s true.  I know this because this exactly what happened this weekend while I watched my niece and Kenzie.  This one 2-inch strip of double sided tape was the finest that the Scotch tape factory ever produced and both toddlers would do everything in their power to possess it.  Looters arguing over the last loaf of bread in the middle of a natural disaster could not have put more effort into their quest than these two.  I tried to get a second piece of tape, but this was met with an adamant “no”.  There could only be one piece of tape and no other would do.

There could also only be one barstool worthy of sitting on and one sippy cup that could meet all their milk-drinking needs.

Incidentally two 2-years olds together possess the magical ability to smear syrup over the keyboard of a closed laptop and record messages on the home phone voicemail of the previously mentioned battle over tape.

Hanging out with two toddlers also gives one the unique experience of having to explain why Play-Doh is bad for pianos and fishing yogurt covered raisins out of your bra.

However, in the midst of the screaming, arguing, and syrup distributing chaos, there are those sweet moments that make it all worthwhile…






Until someone decides to spin in an office chair wearing one flip-flop.

















Monday, November 5, 2012

Politics with Preschoolers


Ever since my in-laws returned from their trip to Mount Rushmore, the presidents have fascinated Hudson.  Due to this recent interest we decided we would try to learn all of them together.  We started with the first four.  Twice.  Why twice?  Because his politically savvy and apparently somewhat illiterate mother taught him that John Madison was the second president.  John Madison was neither the second president nor a president at all, but he could be the less successful brother of the fourth president of the United States, James Madison.

Every conversation has gone like this:
“Who was this again?”
“George Washington.”
“Is he alive or dead?”
“Dead”
“Who’s this?”
“John Adams.”
“Is he alive or dead?”

He finally decided that he just wanted to skip to the living presidents.  He doesn’t like Ronald Reagan (I know he's dead, but he comes after Jimmy Carter who is alive).  I promise it is not because I’m brain washing him with my liberal ways, it’s because he has “a silly name.”  Don’t let my kid become your campaign manager.  “Yeah, your policies are great, but we’re going to have to do something about your name.  It’s completely ridiculous.”

He refers to George H. Bush and George W. Bush as Big Bush and Little Bush.  This is not silly at all.

I asked him who his favorite president was and he answered George Bush (Little Bush) and Barack Obama.  Half of this statement makes me very proud.

He did say one thing that truly made me proud.  Don’t worry.  I’m not going to tell you about how my son went on about how much he loves ObamaCare or how he’s for tighter gun control.  We were talking about the presidents in the car one day and I did tell him that we had an election coming up.  I explained to him how we vote for our president every four years.  He answered with this: “When I grow up can I vote?”  My liberal heart bled with pride over his excitement for this fundamental right.

If you don’t plan on voting this election, do me a favor.  Do it for my son.  And if you do, please vote for George Washington.  He’s his favorite today.

In an unofficial poll of the 3-5 year old demographic, Reagan was voted the silliest president.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Fireman in a Little Coat and Half a Minnie Mouse

For Halloween Hudson and Kenzie dressed up as a fireman in an ill-fitting jacket and half a Minnie Mouse respectively.  Hudson was in an ill-fitting jacket because he has insisted on the same costume, size 2T-3T, for the third year in a row now.  I tried to talk him into a new costume, I admit, as to not appear to be the mom that was too lazy to buy her kid a costume that fits.  Like anyone at his preschool Halloween party is actually going to interrupt the picture taking of their own child to say, “Did you see Sabine’s son?  That is way more than the accepted ½ inch of shirtsleeve showing from that jacket.  She probably doesn’t love her child like we love our children and is therefore unwilling to buy him a proper costume.  Poor kid.”  Silly, right?  I find being around other preschool moms can make you a little crazy though.  I got over my neurotic thinking when I remembered that it’s not all about me.

Kenzie was half a Minnie Mouse because she refused to wear the ears. She also decided against the cute silver ballet flats and went with her pink Stride Rite tennis shoes instead.  As a lover of all high-heeled and slightly uncomfortable footwear, my daughter is like a stranger to me.  She does love bacon though so I guess we can bond over that.

I didn’t think Kenzie was going to be all that in to trick-or-treating, but she proved me wrong by yelling, “I wanna go to DAT DOOR!” every time we passed a new house.  She would then greet the resident of the house with a cheery “Happy Ween!”

She even extended Halloween an extra day.  Yesterday the ChemLawn guy rang our doorbell while my children were allegedly napping.  When I opened the door, Kenzie yelled from her room, “Happy Ween!”

I hope you and yours had a happy Ween as well.

Kenzie ditched the ears immediately after this picture was taken. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Photo Friday: If at first you don't succeed ...

Guest Post from Ann



I guess there are people who nail that perfect shot in a couple tries, but I'm just not one of them. I set things up to the best of my ability, try to remember to avoid the mistakes I made last time, and take quite a few photos. The picture above is my favorite from Halloween night, when we greeted trick-or-treaters on our porch. For your viewing pleasure, I made a collage of the outtakes. (Clockwise, from left: Upset that I will not let her chew on all the candy before we hand it out, sucking her lower lip because she's teething and examining the doormat for possible dirt-eating opportunities.) My point with this one is that you should keep trying ... and maybe do some laughing along the way.