Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Sometimes I'm really not sure how I live through the day. Like today, for example. Amelia woke up at 4:10 am this morning and was up until 6:15. Then she went back to sleep for 45 minutes before getting up for the day. I did not go back to sleep for 45 minutes before getting up for the day. Hence, I am grumpy.

Add grumpy to morning-Fiona and the picture is quite bleak. Fiona's habit lately is to say "Mommy?" before every single sentence she utters. Frequently our conversations go something like this:

Fiona: Mommy?
Me: Yes?
F: Uhhhhhh....uhhhhhhh......Mommy?
M: Yes?
Fiona: I want to tell you something.
M: What is it?
Fiona: Uhhhhhh.....uhhhhhhh.....Mommy?
M: Head pops off.

I tried to get her to imitate herself on camera the other day and the hilarious (and frightening) part is when she goes from pretending to really whining within the space of about 20 seconds.

Warning: This video is an effective form of birth control.

Friday, May 26, 2006

I'm excited

After much debate (and I'm not exaggerating here, we've gone back and forth on this for weeks) we've decided we just can't do a camping trip this year. Amelia is just too much work to have a relaxing camping experience. It would go something like this. Arrive. Set up camp. Amelia eats dirt. Amelia eats rocks. Amelia falls over and cracks open head. Fiona gets angry that tent is not set up yet so she can play house. Set tent up. Amelia crawls through tent and attempts to eat sleeping bag. Light campfire. Amelia falls into fire in an attempt to eat fire. Fiona angry that we can't roast marshmallows since we have to rush Amelia to the emergency room. Camping trip a failure.

So we've gone the opposite route and we're going to stay in a nice hotel. It has a separate bedroom so various children can be put to sleep without us having to all turn off the lights and a kitchen so we can eat some meals without having to deal with Amelia throwing food at other diners. We're going here. Some of you better-cultured readers may recognize this location because it played a prominent role in one of the best movies of my generation, The Goonies. Yes, this is where young Mikey lined up the rocks on the medallion to discover the location of the start of One-Eyed Willy's tunnel.

I can't wait to holler at Andre, "Andy! You Goonie!" He will be confused about why I'm calling him Andy, but it must be done and done right.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Who gave you permission to grow up? Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Family Friendly

One of our neighborhood grocery stores is now advertising its "family friendly" checkout aisle. In the family friendly aisle, all the naughty and filthy magazines are removed from sight of the young people. Now your child doesn't have to gaze on the pitifully bloated and increasingly desperate face of Britney Spears as you go through the checkout line. No more covers of Jessica Simpson to provide fuel to whatever early fantasy life your son may be developing. Your child will never have to learn that space aliens have already set the apocalypse in motion by raising Elvis from the dead.

Those geniuses at Kroger have made shopping so much easier for families by replacing all that rack space with, can you guess? Candy. Racks and racks and racks of candy. It's hard enough to get Fiona past the gum and the Tic Tacs without also having to steer her away from chocolate bars as high as the eye can see. On our first accidental trip through the "family friendly" aisle, enormous mountains of chocolate towered above her and the whining and pleading started the second I started unloading groceries.

I've got news for you Kroger. There are gallons more children's tears shed over chocolate than there are over magazine covers hawking celebrity gossip. I think that you should rename it the "Puritan Aisle" or the "Aisle for People Who Really Don't Want to Look at Angelina Jolie One More Minute" but calling it "family friendly" just makes me want to think very disdainful thoughts about you. And George Bush, because I'm sure somehow he must be behind this.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Ham with a side of apocalypse

I was cracking eggs for french toast this morning and one of the eggs had a mutant conjoined-twin yolk. At first I thought it was cool, one of those flukes of nature that take us by surprise from time to time. But then, the very next egg I cracked? Filled with blood!* If that's not some sort of creepy harbinger of the end times, I don't know what is. Naturally Nested, all right. Naturally Nested in hell!

*OK, perhaps "filled with blood" is overstating it. "Tinged with blood" may be more accurate. Yet less dramatically fulfilling, don't you think?

Friday, May 19, 2006

Retirement planning is hard

I keep getting notices from my previous place of employment, telling me that I have a teeny tiny amount of money in their 401k program and the tininess of it is bothersome to them and will I please remove it from their sight at once. So, I called up my guys (they take of my car insurance and home insurance and my credit card debt and the IRA) to ask them to take me by the hand and free my money from The Man. (My guys are not The Man, they were nice to me when some jerk broke my window and stole my wallet so I refuse to think of them as The Man.) Turns out I have a Roth IRA and not a traditional IRA so I can't roll money into it from a 401K. Why is this? I don't know. So after filling out various forms and deciding on very grown up things like what funds to place my teeny tiny amount of money in, I was done. The form was emailed to me instantly and I sent it back in while we were still on the phone. My very friendly guy reminded me that I need to start thinking about college planning too, he wasn't mean about it though. Gosh, I like those guys.

Then I called The Man. Instead of talking to a person, I got a phone tree. I pressed all the right buttons and then it asked me for my PIN number. PIN number? I don't recall ever establishing a PIN number. I tried punching in one of my usual ones. Nope. Another old standby. Nope. Finally the phone tree became exasperated with me and put me on hold to speak with a person. After a lengthy delay, during which I was reminded that I could be doing all this online with my PIN number, I finally spoke with a very surly woman who sounded quite astonished that I didn't remember my PIN number. "But I'm looking at it right here! You went online and established a PIN number. It's eight digits long. Does that ring any bells? You didn't write it down? You chose it for yourself! It says right here that you did this in 2004." Lady, that was two years ago. I don't even remember what I had for dinner on Monday night let alone an eight digit pin number I alledgedly established for myself two years ago. I don't really believe I did it. I always use variations of the same passwords and none of them is eight digits long. With a big long sigh, she told me she could mail me my password and then I could call her back and have my form mailed to me. Why couldn't she just mail me the form if she was all set to mail a pin number to the very same address? It's just a form, it's not like she was going to mail me a check. Apparently, the procedures are very strict and important to follow. First we mail the pin number, then we mail the form. There is no room for step skipping here.

Some day when I spend all this retirement money on something fabulous like one trip to the grocery store or a couple nights at a Hampton Inn, I going to remind myself that all this trouble was worth it. Soooo worth it.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Technical Difficulties

I was trying to be all independent and change up my blog by myself, which I think I mostly accomplished quite handily. I can't quite figure out how to fix the header though. I'm afraid I'm going to break the whole thing if I play with it anymore so just ignore it until Andre gets home.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

NO IMAGES by Waring Cuney

She does not know
Her beauty,
She thinks her brown body
Has no glory.
If she could dance
Under palm trees
And see her image in the river,
She would know.

But there are no palm trees
On the street,
And dish water gives back no images.

Mom took me to see Maya Angelou speak last night and this was the poem she opened with. I loved it despite my zero tolerance policy for poetry. I guess it's a good thing. It'd be pretty shameful to admit that even Maya Angelou couldn't make me appreciate a poem or two.

The only thing I didn't like about her performance last night was the woman sitting behind me. I think she thought the proper thing to do at the reading would be to behave as if she were in an AME church, telling it back to the preacher. First off, she was an annoying white lady. Secondly, she was bothering me. Thirdly, shut the hell up! "OH YES!" she kept saying. "OH YES! Her inaugural poem. OH YES! I hope she reads that!" she kept yelling in my ear.

Other than that, I loved it. Thanks for the wonderful birthday present Mom!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

What's grosser than gross?

Remember that old joke from grade school? I don't really remember how it went, just that one line of it, "What's grosser than gross?" Once you have kids you get the home game version of What's Grosser than Gross, free of charge, delivered directly to your home, no need to pay shipping and handling. For example...

Scene: Fiona's bedroom. Fiona and I are reading bedtime stories and getting ready to turn off the lights when I notice something dark and spotty on the wall.

Me: Fiona, what's that on your wall?
Fiona: Boogers.
Me: Boogers! Why are they on your wall?
Fiona: Because I didn't have any kleenex!
Me: Well, please don't pick your nose if you don't have something to put the boogers on.
Fiona: OK Mommy. Look they flick right off the wall! You try it Mommy.
Me: No thanks, buddy. I don't want to touch your gross boogers.
Fiona: Boogers aren't gross Mommy. They're TASTY!