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.