Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Obits

I have returned. No, I didn’t fall off the face of the Earth, but life crept up from behind and tackled me to the ground, sat on my head and kicked me a few times. I can’t make any promises that it won’t happen again, but I will do my best to avoid a complete takeover.

So, “normal” has basically returned and I am enjoying a small break in workflow at the office. By small break I mean, 3 phone calls in the past 3 days, and they were all from the same person, who already had asked the same questions last week. I have organized my desk, my electronic folders, the copy room across the way, and lets not forget the handmade dividers I made for my paper files. I am in heaven with the neatness! After completing all of this, I got bored and decided to check out Southern Maryland’s website. I like to read the police reports and wedding announcements, but what I find most interesting is the obits. Ok, so maybe it’s a bit morbid, but I like to see who has passed and read a bit about them. Isn’t that the point of an obituary though? These little tidbits of people’s lives written so people know that they have in fact died and oh, by the way here is little summary of their lives. People wouldn’t post them if they didn’t want them read. Right?

So yesterday, I had a good 3 months worth to catch up on. Yeah, I was a bit depressed by the time I finished. I was briefly introduced to a number of deceased. Don’t judge me. I do have a couple complaints though. First, I wish people would reconsider the pictures they post. I have never seen so many horrible pictures. Seriously, it’s like they said, “hey, lets find the meanest picture of grandpa, or hey, let’s use the one of grandma, you know, the one we took right after she accidentally dyed her hair purple and oh yeah, she had a black eye from slipping on the rug!” Ok, so maybe they weren’t that bad, but you get my point. When I die, whoever is in charge of my obit needs to spend hours looking for a good picture of me. If that can’t be accomplished, an artist rendering will do. Secondly, would it kill anyone (no pun) to mention why or how these people died? It might help avoid 100 people coming up to you at the service asking what John died from. If someone is 100, it’s a pretty sure bet it was old age, but maybe not. Maybe, John didn’t die from old age, maybe he jumped out of an airplane and the chute didn’t open. Did you ever consider that? How awesome would John be for being 100 and jumping out of a plane? They should think about John’s legacy before they leave that little fact out of his Obit. John may have been boring his whole life, but that one little adventure, makes him a rock star!

So now that you think I am nuts, let me summarize. When I die, I want a good picture. If I don’t get one, I will haunt whoever was in charge of choosing my crappy picture. Secondly, please, let the world know what happened to me. If I get run over by a milk truck, my obit should read: Suzanne left this world while running a full marathon at the age of 90 (rock star). The milk truck driver never saw her coming or perhaps froze in disbelief at the sight of a 90 year old winning the race . . . I guess it was her time. She is now free to fulfill her afterlife dreams of haunting people. Beware. Why not give someone a laugh at my expense. I doubt I will care.

Friday, September 11, 2009

September 11th

It’s hard to believe it has been 8 years since the September 11th attacks. I look at all that has happened in my life since that day and I realize that it should seem like 8 years, maybe even longer, but when the anniversary hits, my memories of that day seem so vivid. Like it was just yesterday. I thought it was the appropriate time to share my story.

September 11, 2001 was a Tuesday. A beautiful Tuesday. The sun was shining, and there were only a few clouds in the bright blue sky. I rode to work on the bus as I did everyday. Got to work on time. I was 22 and only 11 days away from my wedding. I was on cloud nine. Nothing seemed odd that day, until my co-worker Mary came in and said that her husband just called and said that two planes had crashed into the World Trade Center. Mary’s husband was known for making prank calls to our office, so I said “is he joking? That couldn’t have happened.” She said “no, he said he’s not joking.” I asked my supervisor if we could watch her TV to check, and sure enough, we watched in horror as smoke billowed out of the buildings. How could something like this happen. Not long after, the Pentagon was hit. Panic started to spread as I realized how close this was to where I worked. Not a minute after the Pentagon report came in, another co-worker called in from travel. She was crying and yelling on the phone “Suzanne, what in the world is going on??!!?” I tried my best to calm her. Now that I am a mom, I can understand how hard it would be to away from your child at a time like this. I know she must have been worried sick for her son’s safety.

I can remember receiving very little instruction as to what we should do. I remember waiting for some guidance, guidance that never came. I got calls from friends making sure I was ok, I talked to my Mom trying to devise a plan to get out of the city, and of course I got a call from Matt, telling me to get the hell out of there no matter what it took. I finally told my boss that I wanted to leave. Here we were on the 6th floor of a federal building smack in the middle of DC only blocks from the White House and blocks from the Capitol. I went downstairs to where my Aunt worked and sat with her until I figured out a way to leave. At this point, it seemed like hours had gone by, I don’t remember ever looking at the clock. I’m sure only 30 minutes had passed. While I waited with my Aunt and a few other co-workers we watched TV. There were so many false reports that day. One said the State Department had been hit. Another said there were car bombs going off. And then there was the missing plane. The one headed for DC that no one could find. This would be the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania. I had managed to stay relatively calm up until the point that they announced there was a missing plane. At that point, I completely lost my composure. I have never been so scared. I was scared to stay, scared to leave for fear that a bomb would go off as I was trying to escape. I had to do something. It was very hard getting a hold of anyone that day. The phone lines were jammed. I finally reached my mom and I decided to ride the Metro over to her building on the outskirts of town. As I left I remember the guard saying “what are you still doing here? This is the last place you want to be.” No kidding. He opened the huge metal doors to let me out, and sealed them back up the minute I was out. Complete lock down.

The streets were filled with distraught looking people. The road was complete gridlock. I knew the Metro wasn’t going to be any better, but I had to try. Eventually, I would get out of there. As I expected, the platform was packed. When I finally got close enough to get on a train, the car that ended up in front of me was packed. As the door opened, I just looked hopelessly at all of the people and knew there wasn’t enough room. A man said to me, “come on, we’ll get you on here.” Then he yelled, “ok, everybody, suck it up!” And they did. By some miracle, I fit. The same man then asked me if I was ok. I was far from ok, but then again, I was much better than the thousands of people that lost their lives. I was much better than all of those people who didn’t know if there family members were alive. People were so kind that day and the ones that followed. It was comforting to know, that in a time of darkness, the good in people still could shine through. I made it to my mom and we got in the car and sat in traffic for what seemed like a year. We listened to the radio in disbelief, mentally drained and in shock. When we got to the Navy Yard, we noticed that the military guards were standing in the street with machine guns. Not at their sides, holding them, ready to fire. Never in my life did I ever think that I would witness something so horrible. I pray that I never will again.

We eventually made it back to my Mom’s house. I have no clue what time. Time meant nothing that day. Matt picked me up later that evening. I don’t think he has ever hugged me so hard. I fully expected that the government would be closed the next day, but there I was the next morning, back on the bus heading to DC. I was scared, I was sad, I was exhausted. Everyone was so quite. All still stunned form the events the day before. I don’t think things have ever been quite the same.

My life went on. I got married, I bought a house, sold a house and built a new one, I changed jobs, I had two children. So much has changed for me, but this day, September 11th will always remind me of what happened 8 years ago. It will always be fresh. The emotion is still there. I will never forget.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Score! 2 Points for Mom!

On my way home on Monday, I spotted it. I knew that Ben would be more than excited to see it up close and I knew what I had to do. Yesterday after picking Ben up from aftercare and dragging him to my chiropractor, I told him I had something to show him. He didn’t notice it at first, so he was still begging me to tell him what the surprise was. I told him “well, we are at a Chevy dealer,” no response. “We are at a Chevy dealer that just happens to have a yellow car with black stripes!” That’s when he lost it . . .”it’s really here! Oh my gosh, I can’t believe it. It’s really here!!” See, to the average person, a yellow Camaro with black stripes, is just a yellow Camaro with black stripes. But to Ben, this car was Bumblebee!! (The transformer, for those of you scratching your head). Ever since the Transformers movie came out, Ben has pointed out every (and I mean every) yellow car with excitement saying it looks just like Bumblebee. I didn’t matter if it was a yellow Dodge pick-up truck, it looked like Bumblebee. He says, “look, it’s just like Bumblebee, except it’s a truck, and there aren’t any black stripes,” or “look, it’s just like Bumblebee, it has stripes, but it’s a Ford and top comes off.” Telling him that he can just say it’s the same color as Bumblebee has never worked. Maybe one day it will stick.


I took his picture - you have to love the pose. He asked me if everyone would see it, so I felt it was my obligation to write about it and share it with the world or the 4 people who read my blog. Hey, I at least tried to put it out there.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


As a parent, you get to look forward to all sorts of milestones. With Ben, everything was a first for us. First smile, first tooth, first time he rolled over, you get my point. Each was so exciting and I found myself always saying “I can’t wait until he . .” forgetting that each and every milestone goes by so fast. So fast, I can’t even believe my son is getting ready to start another milestone. On Tuesday he will attend his first day of school. OMG! Didn’t I just have him ripped out of me??

So with Mikaela, I tried so hard not to rush things. I enjoyed each milestone as equally as I did with Ben, but I tried not to anticipate the next thing too much. And man I’m glad that I didn’t. I’m just going to come right out and say it, my daughter is lazy. Maybe it’s the diva in her, but she is slow with the milestones she has control over. It’s not that she can’t hold her bottle or sippy cup, she just refuses to. Her talking has improved lately, but there for a while she was grunting and pointing at everything, which is normal for a second child. She was also saying a word once, catching us all off guard, but refusing to repeat it. She just smiled at us like “psh! Fools, I’m not gonna say it again! You say it!” Finally, there’s the walking issue. Mikaela technically has been walking for the last 2 months. She’s taken steps from the couch to a toy or vice versa, but anytime we would stand her up and try and coax her to walk, she would sit down or start to cry. I had just about given up until last Wednesday night (her 14 month birthday). In order to keep her in a safe environment and away from the 5 bizillion legos that Ben has, we blocked of an area by the couch. It was a happy little place with a bunch of baby friendly toys. I could walk out of the room for 5 seconds without the fear that she’d choke on a power ranger head. Well, on Wednesday, Mikaela decided that she’d had enough and planned her escape. She climbed onto the couch and scooted her way to the side and slid down to the floor. She stood up and off she went. I stared in disbelief. I whispered, you know, scream whispered to Ben “look, look, she’s walking, look..” He joined me in disbelief. I mean, we’ve only waited months for this. Ben was so flippin’ excited. And just like that, my daughter walks. A little later than some, but hey, I wasn’t trying to rush it. I could watch her walk all day. She’s got the Tramp walk. No, not the hip swaying provocative tramp walk, the Charlie Chaplin “Tramp” walk. Too old of a reference? A penguin? Are you getting my point yet? I can tell that she’s happy about it too. She smiles her cheesy smile the whole time she is walking like she doesn’t have a care in the world. I’m jealous :) On the downside, it took a whole day of more child proofing and tense negotiations with Ben to move the choking hazards elsewhere. It was a success. Master Yoda, his peeps, the MegaZord, along with the power ranger fleet, and all 5 bizillion legos will reside in the basement playroom. In return, our child won’t choke and we will bring up larger “everybody” toys. All will be well.

If I can offer any advice to new parents, it would be, don’t rush anything! If your kid isn’t doing something yet, they will. Without warning, they just will. You can’t control it, you just have to adapt to it.

I can honestly say that I don’t really have a favorite milestone. They are all so very special in their own way. I’m sure as my kids get older there will be a few I don’t like (hello puberty!) and you can be sure you’ll hear about it!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Another shot at random

I thought I’d take another shot at random thoughts. I promise not to drag them out this time. My head is full of small thoughts today, so I figured “random” would be perfect.

Matt is at home with the kids today, which makes work slightly more painful than normal. He had his tonsils out on Friday and is still recuperating. The whole experience has not been fun. Obviously more so for Matt. I feel bad for him. His uvula is swollen like 50 times its normal size which causes him to choke and snore in his sleep. Not to mention the pain he’s been feeling. I really, really hope that things are back to normal soon. I can tell you one thing, I NEVER want to have my tonsils out. I would probably even choose another c-section over what he is going through. Seriously.

The Summer drives me a bit nuts. I love the warm weather (note: I said “warm”), however, I find it very hard to dress appropriately. You see, it’s hot as hell outside, so your first instinct is to wear, in my case, a skirt or a dress. But then as soon as you are inside, it’s flippin’ freezing. So I spend the rest of my day with my heater on wearing a sweater. I know, I really shouldn’t complain. But honestly, I feel guilty about it because there are tons of people who have to work outside in the sweltering heat and there I am sipping hot chocolate, with gloves and a scarf on trying to stay warm. Ok, so maybe I’m exaggerating a bit, but you get my point. It’s not just at work though. I carry a sweater everywhere I go in the Summer. Everywhere. A quick example: While waiting for Matt at the hospital I decided I should dress on the warm side. I wore jeans, a tank, a tee over that, socks and shoes. I of course, brought my hoodie. I was still freezing!! I had my hoodie zipped all the way looking like I was desperately trying to stay warm on a Winter’s day. Why on God’s earth would it need to be that cold in the waiting room? There has to be some sort of balance.

Annie is off this week and it is quite. She actually called me today from her vacation because she realized that I am too much a part of her daily routine and she couldn’t go without talking to me. Aww. That made me feel good. Honestly, my routine sucks here without her.

The boss has been in the hospital. I get bits an pieces from other folks here about what is wrong with him. So honestly, I’m not exactly sure what’s going on. I know it wasn’t good at first, but its looking better. Stabbie has been in charge. Amazingly, she’s a lot less stabbie-like in an acting position.

My stomach is not agreeing with me today. I hate it when we fight.

Though I sit in a cube, I have a rather large window. Every morning, the sun comes beaming through. Yes, I have shades, but the clever architect decided that the building needed those fabulous frosted glass blocks as part of the design. The blocks sit about a foot and a half above my window. So when the sun rises, it comes directly through the blocks and blinds me. Today, I decided that I’ve had enough. I taped several folders to the window to block the sun. It might not look the best, but hey, it’s all about comfort. I dare someone to complain.

Yesterday, I got passed on the shoulder twice by two different Mother F&*king drivers. Once in the morning and once on the way home. WTF? I promise my reasons for driving slow were all situational. So I deem this week asshole driver week. I generally use Monday’s drivers to gage the rest of the week. I find it amazingly accurate. Just two weeks ago, it was slow driver week. Unfortunately for me, my prediction was dead on.

As I mentioned, Ben has been into cars lately. Now we’ve gotten into counting cars. Like last night he said he needed to find 4 GMC’s. Normally, that’s not a problem, but we were stuck in the slowest group of traffic going down the road. I didn’t hold out much hope that we would see 4 GMC’s before we reached the house. I told him, “well, that’s a pretty tall order” just waiting for the “what does that mean?” when I got, “It’s not that tall.” I couldn’t help but laugh. Not only did we pass 4 GMC’s in the last mile (on a back road), but we found 1 extra. You would have thought we won the championship game. He was so excited.

Mikaela is so stinking cute.

I really do enjoy her. She is starting to talk, which is always fun. Even though the majority of the time, only you and your spouse actually know what she is saying. I always love it when they start using manners. I am ALL about manners. Last week she started saying “thank you” and when I say “you’re welcome”, she tries to repeat it. She loves to be chased and loves to joke with you. Last night she was playing peek-a-boo from behind one of her larger toys. She would crouch behind it then stick her head out the side with a cheesy grin. Eventually, she wasn’t really hiding behind anything. She would lean over to the side and smile when I’d say peek-a-boo. She has a lot of the same personality traits as Ben did when he was small. I am so blessed to have two kids with such personality.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

My Ben

My son Ben is quite a character. He has had an uncanny sense of timing. For example, when he was 2, my Mom and I were driving to see my house that was under construction. As we drove, a squirrel ran out in front of us. My Mom slammed on the brakes. Before I could even think it, Ben yells out “oh shit”. Now, I do not know exactly where he heard those words, but the fact that he knew exactly when to use them impressed me. That should have been my first sign of things to come.

He is also quite the teaser. He carries around “Tasha”. Tasha is a Backyardigan. The Backyardigans are cute little animals that have adventures in their backyards. She is a yellow hippo that wears an orange dress with flowers on it and red shoes that have a single strap. Yes, there are male Backyardigans, but Ben took to Tasha. He’s also latched on to Dora, Minnie Mouse and Zoe from Sesame Street over the years. Don’t ask, I don’t know. Maybe he just likes his ladies. Anyway, Tasha goes everywhere. Even though I wash her often, she is always filthy and possibly carries a number of diseases. One day while out shopping, my Mom bought Ben a Backyardigan book that had a picture of Tasha on the cover. Tasha was barefoot. Ben became obsessed with Tasha having her shoes off. (Damn you mother!) The only problem was, Tasha’s shoes are actually part of her feet, made to look like shoes, with the exception of the strap which was loose. Trying to explain this to a 3 year old was next to impossible. But that didn’t stop me from trying. I told him that if I took her shoes off, her stumps would spew stuffing and she would never be able to walk again. “You don’t want her not to have any feet do you? All of her insides will come out.” He screamed at the mall for over an hour because he just wanted her shoes off and I couldn’t magically make it happen. What a horrible mother. Geez. I cannot remember how we ever got him to stop. Maybe he fell asleep, I have no idea. About a week later, he came to me in the kitchen and asked me if I would cut the straps off of Tasha’s shoes. I explained to him that once I cut them off, there was no way I could sew them back on. (They are practically microscopic) Of course he says “that’s ok.” I asked him 3 more times because I am not about to relive the hour of crying. I reluctantly cut the straps and he carries Tasha off with a big smile on his face. Three minutes later he returns and asks if I can put them back on. Shit. I’m about ready to explode and lecture him when a smile starts to appear on his face. “I’m just kidding Mommy.” I’ll be damned. A three year old just set me up!

Like many kids, Ben is good at making up stories. The kind of stories to cover his tracks. When I was pregnant with Mikaela, Ben occasionally had to come with me to the doctor. When you are pregnant, all routine doctor’s visits start with a urine sample. Woohoo! Unfortunately, I had no choice but to take Ben with me to the bathroom. This came with MANY questions. One afternoon, I noticed a paper cup floating in Ben’s toilet. When I asked him about it, I said “Ben, do you have any idea why there is a cup in the toilet?” He responds, “no, it must have been magic.” Mmmhmm. I could only laugh, because I knew exactly what happened. (Jenni, thanks for reminding me of this story. My how things slip from the mind over time! )

Speaking of toilets, when Ben was very young he was terrified of the Easter Bunny. He worried constantly that the Easter Bunny was going to get him. This went on for over a year. We came up with all sorts of comforting things to tell him. We even tied his closet door shut. Oh, and the smoke detector was not a smoke detector, it was an Easter Bunny alarm system. One night when he was in the bathroom Ben spotted a spider. I came to his rescue. After killing the spider, I flushed it down the toilet while Ben watched. I told him I was flushing the bad spider way down the toilet where it couldn’t get him. He responded, “is it going to live with the Easter Bunny?” I guess in a desperate attempt to get Ben to go to bed, we told him we flushed the Easter Bunny. Although I don’t recall doing this, it must have worked, because from then on we never heard a word about the Easter Bunny. So if you ever wondered where the Easter Bunny goes when it’s not Easter, he lives in my toilet with a herd of spiders.

Right now, we are having trouble with words. Everything Ben says has an “ded” on the end. Like fixeded, of runded. He also seems to make up words that sound close to what he is hearing. Like lightsaber, he says lightsaver or when he sings Jingle Bells, he’ll sing one horse something sleigh. My favorite Christmas song flub is “he’s gonna find out who’s naughty at night.” It’s entertaining to say the least. He has also been very curious about cars brands. He now points out Fords, Chevy’s, Dodges, etc. I will have you know that according to Ben, we drive Hanukkahs (Hondas). Yesterday, he pointed out a silver Zucchini.(Suzuki) Every time he does this it catches me off guard and I laugh uncontrollably. Which is never good while you are driving. He also is beginning to throw out big words, like nemesis. He told me recently during a conversation about the devil, that he (the devil) is Jesus’ nemesis. A pretty good observation if you ask me.

The time really does fly. Ben starts school in less than three weeks. I still can’t believe it. My little baby is going to start school. I hope that he does well and makes lots of friends. I know how tough school can be and how mean kids can be. I want to protect him from all of that, but I know he will have to try and hold his own now. I have always assumed, since he was very small, that Ben would be the class clown. Now’s the time when I get to find out. It’s a whole new chapter. I love you buddy.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


For many years now I have commuted from Calvert County, MD to D.C. For those of you not local, that’s about 55 miles one way. Yes, it sucks giant hairy ass, but I am pretty much used to it. Some days though, I want to punch the steering wheel and scream at the top of my lungs. I should also mention that on these particular days, if I had a bat, I would probably be in jail.

To make my morning and evening commutes extra special, I get to deal with all sorts of drivers on the road. These types are:

The Slow Poke: We all know him or her. They drive at least 5 miles under the speed limit and are usually oblivious to the fact that there are 20 cars backed up behind them. Slow pokes are also know for making you just miss a light.

The Hemorrhoid: Usually seen following about an inch from the slow poke or any other driver who happens to be driving too slow for them. Note, they usually drive large pick-up trucks and keep their high beams on making it almost impossible to see.

The Weaver: Weaves in and out of traffic like a lunatic. The weaver is usually a hemorrhoid that has lost their shit.

The Asshole: This includes hemorrhoids and weavers, but also people who repeatedly make dick moves all the way up the road. Assholes are also known for flashing their lights at you in an attempt to get you to move over, even though you are already going 80. They then proceed to go around you while simultaneously flicking you off or giving you the stare down. They complete their asshole move by cutting in front of you with less than a half an inch clearance. This may be followed by another round of being flicked off. I depends on the asshole.

The Cell Phone User: The cell phone user is clearly unable to do two things at once. They are easy to spot. If you see the following things, you have found a cell phone user: weaving within the lane coming dangerously close to sideswiping other vehicles, driving 10-20 miles under the speed limit, picking up speed for 30 seconds (fooling the driver behind them) only to drop back down to 30 miles under the speed limit. Watch for early or late breaking. You can never tell which it will be. It is best to go around cell phone users, and feel free to flick them off, they probably won’t even notice.

The Speed Locker: This is the person who saunders up next to you when you are stuck behind a slow poke. They show signs of going faster than the slow poke, but once they get next to you or the slow poke, they lock speeds making it impossible for you to go anywhere. Warning, the speed locker can cause you to become an asshole.

The Blamer: This is a person who does something stupid in traffic and looks at you like you did it. I hate blamers.

The Mother F&*king Asshole: This is the person who decides the rules do not apply to them. Not only are they an asshole, but they are also known for breaking out of line and riding the shoulder or the lane next to you so they can cut in line when there’s a backup. They break the majority of the rules on the road and feel they are entitled to do so. Mother f&*king assholes make everyone around them want to beat them to a bloody pulp with a bat or any large object within reach.

Monday, August 3, 2009


Saturday is usually preferred as the busy day of the weekend while Sunday is usually a little more laid back. Since the Summer began, our weekends have become a bit off. Saturday mornings have been reserved for Ben’s swimming lessons and by the time they are over it is lunch and then nap time for Mikaela, and, well, the day might as well be shot at that point. I should mention that we have to drive 45 minutes to get Ben to his lessons because my wonderful county is under the impression that all women stay at home with their children and therefore they only offer lessons Monday-Friday from 9 until 11. (I salute them with a giant middle finger!) So Sunday has become our busy day, which totally doesn’t work since we are back at work the following day.

On Saturday night we decide that we are going to surprise Ben and take him to Six Flags on Sunday. We don’t plan on telling him a thing until we pull into the parking lot, knowing that once he sees the sign, he will know right away. I mean, I’ve only heard about it every time a commercial comes on or we get a cup from McDonald’s, you know, the awesome buy one ticket, get one free cups? Anyway, we got up early and had breakfast, got everything packed up to entertain Mikaela, who we know will unfortunately be stuck in a car seat or stroller 95% of the day :( and head out the door. Oh, and we grabbed our awesome cup too! As we are driving we noticed that the sky is not looking favorable for our plans. Remaining optimistic, Matt and I trudge forward toward the park despite the radar which shows blobs of red, yellow, and green all around where we are headed. Bummer. We discussed a back up plan, just incase, but honestly, we had a very small window to take Ben and Sunday was it! We then resorted to fooling ourselves by saying that the weather might just pass over and it would be the perfect day to go since no one in their right mind would want to go to an amusement park on a day like today. We even go as far to suggest that we might be the only people there and will have the place to ourselves, with exception of a few other crazy people. As we arrive, with Ben bouncing happily around in his seat, we can hear thunder in the distance. As we are paying $15 to park (ouch), we are warned that there are no refunds if the park closes due to the weather. Great. Taking this little adventure is stretching our budget as it is, so now we were forced to face reality. I’m not willing to bank my whole day’s fate on the word of the parking woman, so we walked up to the gates to see if we could get better information from someone more official looking. It started to rain so I placed Mikaela’s rain cover on the stroller and watched while Matt talked to woman in a peach Six Flags button down shirt and a walkie-talkie. That’s about as official as they get. Meanwhile, behind them, lightning rips across the sky and then, it poured.

Matt checked the radar again and there we were buried under a red and yellow blob, and it seemed that there was no end in sight. We then had to break the news to Ben. Oh, the heartache. At this point I am thinking, damn, we are horrible parents!! We promised him we’d bring him back before school started and told him that we were going to go to our back up plan, which we assured him would be fun and he could get an ice cream after lunch. That seemed to do the trick. We ran back to the car in the downpour and managed to keep at least our underwear dry. Mikaela lucked out though, she only had a wet sock.

So now that I’ve managed to drag out the very first part of my story, I’ll tighten it up a bit. Before I do though, I have to mention that after we left the park, we stopped off to use the bathroom. There in the parking lot (witnessed by my husband) was the most God awful sight I have ever seen. A woman wearing the smallest shorts EVER! I have no clue how she got them on. It would be the equivalent of me trying to wear Mikaela’s shorts. I am not exaggerating. I am scared for life.

Ok, back to my long ass story. Our back-up plan was National Harbor. My brother worked on the building and we thought we would check it out. Unless you have a lot of money, it’s not a good place for you or your kids. It was very nice though. Maybe one day I’ll go back and window shop :) Disappointed yet again, we decided that since we were so close, we would head over to Alexandria, get some lunch and walk around a bit. We had a nice lunch and then decided that we should re-assess the situation. It looked like the weather had finally broken. It was still quite cloudy, but it didn’t look like the world was coming to an end like it did earlier. Yep, you guessed it, we headed back to Six Flags! If someone had told me that this was how my day was going to end up, I would have laughed at them. But it turned out to be the perfect day. The sun came out. There were no lines. Ben had a ball. We learned that he screams like a girl. Matt and I took turns riding with him on the bigger rides. I got stuck on water ride detail and the two of us ended up getting soaked. Not a dry place on my clothes, underwear, nada! It made lasting memories though. I was doing great until we came upon a water slide that had a huge raft and was made for anyone to ride (in non-bathing suit apparel). It looked like it would go down quickly but nothing crazy. How wrong I was. The damn thing spun the entire way down. Not a slow spin, but one of those fast spins that glued you to the sides. I honestly thought Ben was going to fly out and was surprised that my clothes weren’t completely dry by the time we reached to bottom. When the ride finally ended, I could not see straight. I had the worst case of spins ever. I am dizzy just thinking about it. I thought to myself, I am never going to be able to get out of this thing. I could see Ben dragging me all the way to where Matt and Mikaela were waiting as I threw up uncontrollably. Nice visual, huh? Never again my friends. Never again. I recovered quickly though and Matt and I took turns riding the Superman roller coaster, which was flippin’ awesome! Ben road all the rides in the kid park one more time and we headed home.

For a day of uncertainty, it ended up being a perfect day. I wouldn’t have changed a thing, except for the raft of nausea.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

At Random

I really don’t have one large thing to write about today. So I thought I’d write down random thoughts and complaints instead.

I am tired today. Not the normal tired, because, let’s face it, I’m ALWAYS tired, but the bad tired. What’s the difference. I can tolerate “normal” tired, but with “bad” tired, it’s hard to function. I am struggling to keep my eyes open and my brain focused. I stood for a while, but only because with the “bad” tired do I get restless legs. If you have never experienced restless legs, consider yourself lucky! It is hard to describe, but basically, your legs want to move while the rest of you wants to sleep or sit still. It is almost impossible to keep them still for more than a few seconds. Let me just tell you, when this happens during a meeting, on a car ride, or at the movies it is agonizing. I have actually resorted (once during a car ride, not a meeing) to hitting my legs, because I couldn’t take it anymore. So why does this happen when I’m tired? I have no flipping clue. In an attempt to stay positive . . . maybe it’s my body’s way of keeping me awake. Nice, thanks a lot.

I got in a verbal argument with my co-worker yesterday. The backstabber. She’s back at her stabby ways. According to her, I steal documents. Yep. My boss, who’s office we cleaned last week, called me and asked if I had seen the applications for job opening we are interviewing for. He said it was a large stack. I did not see a large stack of anything when I was in there, and hell to be honest, if Annie or I saw the applications, I am sure we would have at least taken a peek to see who the contenders were. I mean, we will be training and working with this person. It’s common knowledge around here that Stabby has been tasked with reviewing the applications and setting up the interviews. So, one would assume that she had the application packets. I also spotted her walking around with a large stack of packets last week. Anywho, I suggest to my boss that I “thought” Stabby had them last week. So after he goes down to her office (did I mention that Stabby has an office, unlike the rest of us) and again accuses her of having them, he comes back and says that she said I took them. WTF? Now, I guess she is mad that I suggested that I “thought” she had them, but come on, why in the hell would I take them?? Why would you even suggest that? I know without a doubt (confirmed by Annie) that they were not in his office on Thursday. So as she was huffing by me in the hall, I confronted her. I’m fired up at this point, so why not, right? I looked right at her Stabby eyes and said

Me: “I did not take the applications.”

Her: I didn’t say that you did

Me: According to the boss, you did

Her: Well, I don’t have them

Me: I thought I saw you with them last week

Her: I don’t have them and I don’t like being accused

Me: I wasn’t accusing you, I just thought I saw you with them last week

Her: blahblahblahblah blah . . . .BLAH$%$^#& (walking away)

Me: You know, you don’t have to be so nasty (loudly)

Ok, so maybe it wasn’t the cat fight you were looking for, but I put up with this BS all the time. No one is mean to her, yet she tattles on us (it’s usually inaccurate), looks right at you when you say “good morning” and just keeps on walking. Not even a smile. Is she human? She’s certainly not professional. However, I’ll admit I was not professional yesterday. Rethinking the whole situation, I could have handled it better, but at least it made for an interesting morning :) Also, my boss tends to instigate. I am sure words were twisted and he probably had his feet up and a bowl of popcorn waiting for the fight. I still have no clue if they ever found the applications.

My kids are so stinkin’ cute. I know I’m their Mom and I am bias, but I still think they are the cutest!! They are each at a different stage of cute. Mikaela is obviously still at the baby cute phase. I love watching her. It’s exciting to see all of the new things she learns. When she finally figures out how to do something, like put the mail in the toy mailbox her Aunt Angela gave her, she immediately looks at you and waits for the “yay!” and then she starts clapping and grinning from ear to ear. It always brings happy tears to my eyes. Every single time. She is so close to walking full time. By this, I mean, she does walk, but only when she’s not paying attention. As soon as you put any type of focus on it, she sits right down. For now I’m ok with this. Life goes by fast enough and I don’t want to rush things, but I know that she would be a much happier gal if she could walk around and be an even bigger diva than she already is.

Ben is at another level of cuteness. He amazes me everyday. He is very loving and sweet and so good with Mikaela (she loves him too). Ben’s wheels are constantly turning. Constantly. He asks a lot of questions, which at times is exhausting. He is getting ready to start school and it is bittersweet for me. We have come so far with him. It’s great to see him finally doing so many things by himself. I feel like I did something right! The one incredible thing I’d like to mention about Ben (because I could say so much) is his ability to build things. He loves Lego sets. However, they never stay together long. He takes them apart and builds new things. First he went through the car building phase. Then he started on transformers. It was then that I knew my kid was super smart. Every transformer he built, he would show us the robot version and then would take it apart. Using all of the pieces, he would transform it to something else like a car or a plane. Not one piece left. Each had a purpose. This left us both dumbfounded. I’m not just talking about 10-15 Legos, we’re talking 35-50+ pieces. I don’t have a clue how he figures these things out, but he does. Lately he’s moved on to Star Wars things. The ships all look realistic and are really very impressive. And of course there is ample room for the Storm/Clone Troopers. I can’t wait to see what he builds next.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wrestling Match

However kind and fair I try to be, I can’t turn off that little part of me that has to judge people. Not people I know, but random people, people that are clueless that I am judging them as if they were in some sort of contest. Because I technically don’t hurt anyone’s feelings, I somehow feel that I can justify my behavior. I think we all do it. I just do it a lot. I really try my best to keep it to myself. But what fun is that? I guess this is my warning to you, that what follows is my first, but certainly not my last.

So there we are at the mall on Saturday night and I spot one. One so good, that I had to point her out to Matt. In my defense, I didn’t point out the forty-something chick in the Apple store that was wearing shorts that were WAY too short and about 3 sizes too small. I won’t even mention the type of shirt she was wearing, but OMG! So, walking in front of us was a woman wearing a hot pink thin cotton dress. It was pretty form fitting until about halfway down the ass cheek. And there it was. Her ass. I immediately nudged Matt and cut my eyes to her a few times. (The silent signal) This was an event that could not go unwitnessed. Seriously, it looked like her butt cheeks were engaging in a wrestling match under her thin dress. As Matt said, it was like a car crash. You don’t want to look, but you can’t help it. You have to stare. Never in my life have I seen two ass cheeks swing so freely, but at the same time look like they were moving in slow motion. In my mind I say to her, “Honey, I am glad that you are proud to strut your stuff, but next time, I would consider some Spanx or something that can contain those cheeks!. Otherwise, you might injure yourself or someone else. Perhaps a small child that walks too close when you are mid-swing.”

I am so bummed that I wasn’t able to at least get a picture. I’m slow on the drawl with the camera phone, and maybe that keeps me from becoming more sinister. However it won’t stop me from trying in the future. I have 4 followers that I need to satisfy! Even though some of you probably think I am a horrible shallow person, and in ways I am, I am willing to bet that more than half of you think the exact same things. For example, who doesn’t notice a woman walking down the street with her boobs flailing in every direction and think to themselves, “damn, sister could use a better bra.”

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


This morning started off like many others. Running late, half asleep, trying to remember if I grabbed everything. You know how it is. Maybe you don’t. Maybe you have it together. But I leave at 4:45, and there is no part of “together” that I have at that hour. So now that I have checked in on the kids to make sure they are still breathing, I head for the garage. As soon as I open the door, I hear something. Fluttering, scurrying, something to that effect. One of those sounds that I’d rather not investigate. I stand at the door for a few seconds, trying to determine if “it” is indeed in the garage, in which case, I could climb across both cars and try to pry my sunroof open and crawl into the safety of my car. My other thought is, maybe it is outside. We have “porch birds”. These crazy birds seem to return every year rendering our porch useless until they decide to move on. Last night I was the victim of a fly-by. Of course I screamed like a little girl and tried to attack it with the bag of trash I was taking out. Bird 1, me 0.

Anyway, back to “it”. I made the brave decision to venture further into the garage. I went with the “porch bird” theory because the noise was way too loud and I don’t think I could handle “it” being anything other than a dive bombing bird that couldn’t easily get me. “It” couldn’t possibly be inside where it could potentially grab my ankles and pull me under the car. Now that I’ve talked myself into feeling better about the situation, I approach my side of the car and I hear it again. Gasp. It isn’t the “porch bird”, it’s an unidentified moving creature inside of my husband’s climbing gear bag. Of course the bag is not at eye level, so I have no clue what’s fluttering around in there. It might be a bird or maybe a bat that flew in the night before or maybe it’s a re-animated hand waiting to jump out and strangle me. I don’t know, they all seemed likely at the time.

Being the giant chicken that I am, I backed up, went around the front of the car and waited for the fluttering to stop before I made the mad dash for my door. Never in my life have I been so relieved to be inside my car! I know, I’m a huge wimp. I’d probably be the last to die in a horror movie, because unlike the people who have to go investigate the noise they just heard, I would be running in the other direction. See ya!

I felt it was my obligation as a wife and a mother to warn my husband Matt about what faced him in the garage. I mean, “it” could attack my entire family and drag them off into the woods. I just don’t think I could live with myself if I didn’t at least try to warn them. After texting him, I didn’t feel so bad. He thought “it” was outside to. I begged him to look and tell me what “it” was. Never in a billion years would I have looked in the bag myself. I waited in anticipation to see what was lurking in my garage and here “it”is . . . .

A flipping moth! Ok, so I had to laugh at myself. A lot. And I give “it” credit. It has great scare tactics. If it had been left up to me, I would have just sealed off the area and parked outside with the porch birds until the coast was clear!


It turns out, there is justice in the world, however small it may be. Matt told me that after he took the picture of the moth, a.k.a “it”, he let it go right outside the garage door. It was promptly snatched up by the porch bird.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The weirdest thing happened

This is completely out of order as far as the days events, but I couldn't start this any other way. So there I am sitting on the floor at home with Mikaela helping her practice ring stacking when Ben comes in with his arms stretched to the side and says, "Mommy, the weirdest thing happened." He continues like he's telling a story, that is sure to have a funny ending. "I was going potty in the toilet, and somehow I got pee on the floor. I have no idea how it happened." Mmmhmm. So I respond, "is it just a little pee." he just looks at me. "Well Ben, get a little toilet paper and wipe it up." He's 5. I think he can handle it. He replies, "well, its kind of a lot." Great. So, I get up off of the floor, grab the paper towels and some cleaner and head to the bathroom. Oh, my, God! There was a puddle of pee all around the base of the toilet, like someone took a bucket of water and poured it on the floor. I ask, "Ben, did you get any pee in the toilet?" Of course I can see that he did, but I am completely puzzled as to how my 5 year old could produce so much pee! I've even asked if he was sure it wasn't water. I thought, maybe, just maybe, the toilet leaked. No. It's pee. Damn it. So I ask again, "how did this happen." He has no clue. Maybe he fell asleep for 5 seconds, or decided, "ah, it's mom's day off, she needs to clean up some pee." I don't really know. The strangest part is, as I was cleaning up, I noticed that there was not one drop of pee on the toilet seat. WTF? Ah, parenting. Never a dull moment. Never.

Now, back to the other event of the day. The blood draw. Another prize of parenting, taking your 1 year old to have her finger pricked and squeezed for a lead test. Fun. Actually, things went pretty well. After we went to the wrong office, good move, we found that the waiting room was empty. Fabulous!! Ben immediately dumps the entire contents of his backpack in the middle of the floor, but thankfully, there is no one there to piss off, exept for me. Mikaela wants down right away and starts to explore when the nurse comes out. After what seems like 5 minutes of waiting for Ben to pick up his stuff, we finally go back to the torture room. I manage to catch Ben before he dumps his backback again, while Mikaela hangs to one side grunting to be let down. Not gonna happen. So, I give her my insurance card. Who knew it would have such a calming effect? She sat on my lap and smiled at the nurse as she prepared to jab her finger and squeeze the hell out of it until she got the 2 tubes of blood she needed. Let me just say, my girl is brave! Not one tear. Turns out she's quite the bleeder. A good thing to know. After the nurse was finished, she put a ginormous bandage on it.

Seriously, was all this necessary? It really was. As soon as I took it off, it started bleeding again. I thought an hour would be enough, but apparently not :)

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Today is starting off pretty well. I only poked myself in the eye once with my mascara brush and my hair looked fabulous for about 10 minutes this morning. It was blown out and curled (we’ll ignore the 1 and half inch roots). I’ve been growing my hair out for what seems like 25 years and I must say I am enjoying it. However, my baby fine hair and so called good hair days don’t mesh well. Add in the buckets o’ rain and the 150% humidity that I faced as soon as I opened the door this morning and 0.5 seconds later, my fabulous hair was dead. It has now assumed the standard ponytail position. A favorite among fine hair owners.

I had a meeting today, so I am dressed a little (ok, a lot) better than usual. I do not claim to be stylish by any means. I have a very small clothes budget, so most of my clothes are either years old, and probably out of style or not quite the right size. In the past 5 years I have had 2 children. I have been heavy, in shape, back to semi heavy, and now almost back into shape. I despise things that are too tight. So I have a pile of pants that I hope one day I will get back into comfortably, without having to pull fabric out of my ass all day; about 2 pairs of pants that fit the way I like, and a pile of pants that are too big and sag everywhere, but I wear anyway, because I’m in the “I really don’t care” stage of my life. Ok, so I really do care, but I don’t really have the means to fix the problem. Seriously, I need a full wardrobe overhaul. Everyday I expect “What Not to Wear” to jump out of the bushes and be like “no she didn’t”. So until that happens or I win the lottery, I will continue to wear the same 3 outfits that look good and the 7 that don’t. Oh, and I can’t forget to mention my “meeting suit”, yes the one suit I have that fits and gets worn to almost every meeting I attend. Today, I spiced it up a bit and left the suit at home. In exchange I wore semi-stylish pants that fit and the newest top to enter my wardrobe. Maybe this is a sign of progress. I’ve always wanted to be stylish, but I never quite got there. For those of you who actually put effort into how you look, I applaud you. Seriously, I can’t even imagine how much time, effort, and money it takes to look that good. I’m tired just thinking about it and maybe a little bit jealous. Maybe.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Here it goes . .

So here I am, officially becoming a blogger. In all honesty, I've already re-typed the first few sentences about 5 times. I may be doomed already. I'm a big fan of the blog. I read several on a daily basis and feel like I have bonded with complete strangers. Ah, the power of the blog. I feel that I can reach millions, although I accept the fact that I will probably reach only about 5 of my friends. I'm lying, probably just 4.

A bit of background, I'm 30 (yes, I can finally admit it after only 4 months) I am married to Matt (no doubt his name will come up) and I have two children Ben (age 5 - ADHD to the max) and Mikaela (age 1 diva by day and also by night). I work full-time and commute to DC everyday. I obsess about my weight and the neatness of my desk. I obsess less about neatness at home, because I would probably explode or get some sort of weird eye twitch.

So where to start . . .hmm? As I listen to office chatter, I think I'll start there. Yes, I'm at work, writing my blog. There really is NO time at home to write or even think, so I will take the small or big opportunities I get at work to tell a story, discuss my observations, or bitch about whatever. So, my office. I am in a cube. My cubemate (on the opposite side of the wall from me) *Annie has been a good friend of mine for about 9 years now. I love her, glad she's over there for the most part, but damn can she talk. Really though, I talk too and that's just the way it is. I sit by the door and the copy room and I'm in earshot of, well, just about everything. Life can suck some days. Now, I realize that probably more than half of America's office workers sit in cubes, but one thing you must understand is that my group is the only group (with the exeption a few other unfortunates) on our staff that does not have offices. This is a reasonable situation if say, there was no place else to put us, but no, there are plenty of empty offices. (Cue hard feelings) However, management doesn't understand why we could possibly be upset. In fact, according to them, we have it good. So apparently good equals hearing everyone's conversations, answering the door for all of the folks that forget their keys, listening to the copier, and being stared at from the little window next to the door , and did I mention how hard it is to conduct my job while all this is going on? Forget about calling doctor to discuss anything personal or God forbid you have personal crisis and need to cry. The minute a tear wells up in your eye, 10 people walk by asking you "what's wrong??" I'm not bitter though, not at all ;)

So now that I've bitched about my set-up, It's time to describe the folks I work with. There's *Annie, one of a kind, couldn't handle this place without her (she's talking as I type); The lucky person who takes long vacations; The backstabber; The detailee; and the boss, molehill seaker, mountain builder, spaz, shoosher, button pusher, etc. Everyday life in my office is unpredicatable and will proabably make for some good blogs. Today has been uneventful, however, Annie and I did clean the boss' desk. The desk that I describe as a black hole for important papers. Without fail, when you are called to his office, he spends 10 minutes looking for something. He's on vacation and it was the perfect opportunity for us to organize the hell out of it. There were papers from 2004 on the desk. Seriously. 5 years old. Amazingly, this process only took us just under 2 hours and 1 bottle of cleaner. My hope is that he comes back and can focus on things that are actually important and not that he's lost the 5th pen of the day or that he just had something, but can't find it. It's a lot of hand holding folks. A daily stress. I pray that our work makes it better, even if it's only for a week.