Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Gobble Gobble

I'm thankful for first hand-print-turkey pictures.

(And, dude, she totally can write her own name. It looks a little funny but that's definitely her name. My baby, she is obviously brilliant.)

(And and, I about wet myself with glee when I saw this picture in her mailbox at preschool. Next up, macaroni picture frames!)

(And and and, those lines coming out of the turkey's butt? Chicky informed me that those are the turkey's tail and not the turkey trots.)

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. And to my Canadian and European friends, Happy Thursday.

Monday, November 24, 2008


Chicky and I were enjoying a rare quiet moment together this morning. We were looking at pictures from my wedding day and she was showing an interest in them she had never displayed before. She was enjoying pointing out everyone she knew when we got to a series of photographs that made her pause.

"Who's that?"

"That's my mom."

"What's her name?"

"Her name was Brenda."

"Oh. Brenda." She let this information sink in for awhile. "Why is she crying?"

"Well, Puss, that's kind of hard to explain."

"I think she's crying because she loves you so much."

As I sat there with my arm around her and my chin on her head, she didn't see the tears forming in my eyes. She won't know for a long time that her sentence hit a tender spot. She won't know for a long time that truer words were never spoken, that she was exactly right. But I didn't realize it at the time the picture was taken.

"Mom, can I watch a show now?"

And as she climbed off the couch to fetch the remote, I knew the moment was gone. Which, for now, was probably a good thing.

Friday, November 21, 2008

If you are pushing your child around in a forward facing stroller not only are you stunting their emotional development but you're also a sucky parent

Oh for chrissake.

Hey parents! Are you using a forward facing, or "away*" facing stroller to push your young'uns around town? Then you're probably hurting them emotionally! According to the above-linked study, they will grow up to be stressed and anxious and possible end up being social misfits, introverts, possible serial killers or habitual bloggers! Turn them around so they can look at you and talk to you EVERY POSSIBLE WAKING MINUTE of EVERY SINGLE DAY. If you don't do this then you obviously hate your kids.

Okay, not really. I'm sure there was more to the study. But I want to be selfish and somewhat realistic for a moment and say that sometimes? I don't want to talk to my kids. Sometimes I want a couple of minutes of peace. And if I can get that peace by putting my children in a stroller and pushing them around the neighborhood so that they can get some fresh air and take in the world around them and I can get a few precious moments to not talk about Elmo or take a break from cooing and nibbling baby cheeks, then so be it.

Also, I sometimes wear ear buds and listen to my iPod while pushing a stroller. I wonder how much emotional and mental damage I'm doing to my kids by selfishly listening to "Wait, wait! Don't Tell Me."

* And don't you love the use of the word "away"? Away! I'm pushing my children away from me! It really drives home the whole I want to push my children aside point home, doesn't it? No, not forward. Away.

Forward = Progressive, Leading, Propulsive. Away = Absent, Apart, Distant.

I love the spin. Love. It.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

And this is why I don't do crafts

Because Chicky and I set out to create something from a toilet paper roll and construction paper that was supposed to be a girl in a pink dress but ended up looking like a giant transvestite squid with technicolor boobs and a bad perm who was attacked by a rainbow pigeon.

But Chicky liked it. She took one look and sighed, "Mama, she looks so beautiful. Like an angel."

And that's what she referred to that abomination as - Mama's angel. Yep. The angel of cross-dressing cephalopods.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The ad missed its mark but I'm still a Motrin Mom

Motrin really put their foot in it, didn't they? They jumped feet first into the babywearing phenomenon in their latest ad and came out smelling like a full diaper pail that had spent two weeks festering in the hot sun.

By now you've probably heard all about it - the Motrin ad that caused such a commotion among moms on the internet. I hadn't spent much time on the internet this weekend, so when I opened twitter and noticed the #motrinmoms tag on every other tweet (twit?) I was all "What the hell?". Not wanting to be left out of the latest brouhaha, I searched twitter and Google and was bombarded with posts about Motrin and their latest add targeted to moms, specifically those who babywear. At first I rolled my eyes, because... Really? Not again. Not another kerfuffle about how we mothers are looked down upon! How we seen as inspidid breeders who live our lives through our children while whining the whole time! *shakes fist* Oh, the humanity!

(For the record, most kerfuffles - can I say that again? Kerfuffle. - have been warranted. Mommy wars? Breastfeeding? Warranted.)

This won't make me popular, but I think we should give Motrin a break. Sure, I get angry when someone tells me I shouldn't breastfeed my baby in public. That's worth getting irate about, in my opinion. The ad, though remotely insulting, did not start a fire in me like it seemed to in so (so, so, so) many others.

I believe "Meh" was my reaction.

I tried. I tried to be outraged. I even showed it to Mr. C., my barometer in all things such as these, and he looked at me after viewing it and said, "What? I don't get it." All the fuss? Yeah, it didn't seem to be a big deal.

Seriously, are we hating that much on Motrin and their ag agency because of a sixty second advertisement? They have a great product, a product that does what it says. To be cliche, a name you can trust. I for one use it regularly for back pain. I also used it for post pardum uterine contractions. Now that would have made for a good ad - Ow, my uterus hurts. Pass the Motrin.

But after thinking about it some more it seemed to me that the ad itself wasn't as important as the collective voices of mothers (and fathers too) on the internet who said, "We don't like this and we're not going to stand for it!" I'm very proud today to be in the company of those who were outraged enough to scream and holler until Motrin finally pulled the ad, their head hanging in shame and their tail between their legs. How proud I am today, indeed. Not in myself, who was too busy shaking my head about all I deemed proposterous, but of you. You who raised your voice and made something happen.

The message of the ad, in my opinion, is still not worth the outrage but I do think we need to get to the bottom of what made so many so angry.

Was it the choice of voice over, the "Oh Mah Gawd. Like, totally." delivery? The whiny "What about Meee?" message? Or the fact that babywearing was called fashionable?

I don't know the answers to those questions, I'm just throwing things out there and seeing what sticks.

Sure, the woman was a sad stereotype. The whiny mother who chooses to do it all for her child but whines about it the whole time. I've got news for you, she who has not written a blog post, a tweet, an update on Facebook, or even sat over coffee with her girlfriends and complained about her kids with a tinge of whine while professing her love for her offspring can throw the first stone. We whine sometimes. We complain. And that's okay. We're allowed because this mothering thing is damn hard work and if we didn't whine we'd be hitting the wine by 10am every morning. But stereotypes don't appear from thin air, they are based in reality and then bastardized and lampooned and turned into caricatures of the originator. But they begin somewhere. The ad agency who took that and ran with it ought to be ashamed of themselves to trivialize what I see to be a strength, in that we can allow ourselves, unlike our mothers and their mothers before them, to show our weaknesses. To admit that we want our pain, both physical, mental and emotional, to be agknowledged. But the character was based in truth. Sorry.

Maybe it's the babywearing-as-fashion angle. Is babywearing a fashion? Is it all the rage? If you pick up a gossip rag it might seem so to the casual observer. So, yeah, it is, by definition, fashionable to wear a baby today. I prefer to think of it as a positive trend that started decades ago (in this country. All over the world it is not only done, but necessary) but has gained in popularity. Or better yet - a Movement. Much more empowering than suggesting that wearing ones baby is akin to wearing a pair of skinny jeans.

Taking from my own experiences with babywearing, I have no problem admitting that when registering for baby items before Chicky was born I had no idea what a sling was. We only registered for a Bjorn because that's what everyone else seemed to be doing and surely these new parents knew something we didn't. After she was born I purchased a sling because she never stopped screaming, she never slept and because Dr. Sears said to do so.

I wore my baby and I hated it. Yes I did. I hated it because I didn't know how to wear the sling correctly and I have a bad back and IT HURT. But I pressed on and wore the sling and sometimes, when Mr. C wasn't wearing it, the Bjorn. Because she did sleep better and cried less, so I guess I just backed up the woman in the Motrin ad. I am that Motrin Mom, with less flip. I wore my child, not because it made me look like an [really annoying finger quotes] Official Mom (*gag* Like, totally.) but because it made my colicky baby stop crying. I couldn't care less if I looked like I was wearing a baggy sack around my midsection and it made me stoop like a 95 year old woman with osteoporosis or if it made me look hip and trendy. She was not screaming like a banshee. Fashionable? Pssh. Necessity.

Now I wear C.C. I'm better at it, marginally, and my back still hurts. I do have a much prettier sling this time around so maybe that's where the fashion comes in? I don't know, just throwing and sticking, throwing and sticking.

And I use Motrin to help ease that pain. Yep, yep I do.

Bottom line, I'm not offended by this ad. I relate to parts of this ad. Admittedly, some lines were clunkers (again, the "Plus it totally makes me look like an Official Mom" line was a total stink bomb. Like, totally.) but I will not be defined by a print, radio or television advertisement. I will not be defined by the mother-as-nagging shrew character on popular television sitcoms either. But as I said before, I am very proud of the power of the internet and the strong women and men behind this movement. It's proof that when we come together we (the collective we) can effect change. Now, how about we tackle something more important, like health care, affordable childcare, or outlawing skinny jeans, and give Motrin a break?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

It takes more than an extra generation to make a great grandmother

If I was 100 percent positive there was a God, today I would thank him for giving my girls a truly Great Nana.

Happy Birthday, Nana. It's a selfish birthday wish but today I wish for you the gift of time so that Chicky and C.C. would have more moments like these. Here's to many more years of big hugs, homemade cookies, hand knitted sweaters, and the type of love that only you have to give.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Because if you don't help me I will be forced to go into great detail about my sex dreams

News Flash! Life with a preschooler and an infant is not conducive to writing.

No, really. I'm not making this up. It's really hard to string together a coherent sentence when you spend most of your days either making baby talk or saying nothing but "No. I said, No. N-O. No. No! NO!!!" to a three year old who obviously has the hearing of an octogenarian. The other precious few hours are spent drooling on my pillow dreaming of hot sex with John Krasinski.

What is it about that guy? Most of my sex dreams involve him or Neil Patrick Harris and nasty acts in barn lofts. Usually with a cow present. But I digress.

I have at least four posts in the hopper, posts I have spent some significant time on. But honestly, at this point I can't stand the sound of my own voice, so the sight of my own words? Please. Reading them makes my eyes itch.

The problem may be that I haven't been reading books lately.

Really? No time for books? Get outta heah.

I know, right?

During the recent move and first few months after C.C. was born I somehow managed to read all four books in the Twilight series - and sadly enough, none of my sex dreams involve hot vampire love with a certain undead named EDWARD. Nom nom nom - but I haven't found a decent book since. It's not for lack of trying, I'm just so out of the loop that when I enter a Barnes and Noble to check out the stacks, the sheer volume makes me run away screaming.

Or maybe because I'm embarrassed someone there will recognize me as the thirty*mumblemumble* year old woman who reads teen lit. Whatever.

The fact of the matter is, I'm a better writer when I'm reading. And this is where you come in.

(You didn't know this was audience participation day, did you?)

I need book recommendations. Preferably new releases so I can find them easily. Something that will make my brain work a little is not a bad thing. Chick lit must be kept to a sane level, so Jodi Picoult and the like will be considered but it won't go to the top of my list. I'm not oppossed to chick lit, I like chick lit as much as the next chick, but some makes me want to throw up in my mouth and, really, the last thing I need is to be known as the woman who reads teen lit, has sex dreams involving gay men and farm animals, and smells like vomit.

So tell me about the book you're reading or have recently read. Tell me about one you've got on your bed side table and haven't gotten to yet but you're dying to dive into. Hell, while you're at it tell me about the last hot sex dream you had and whether or not you think I'm crazy as a shit house rat for thinking Neil Patrick Harris might go straight for me one day.

Hey, it could happen. Bovines are optional.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Up a road, kind of slowly

One of the things that sold us on this house is the access to the adjacent forest preserve and all the trails that run through it. I had beautiful day dreams of gathering up the whole family and strolling out the door and into the woods without having to worry about driving and parking and the possibility of not having all the important gear we'd need for a Sunday afternoon nature hike. Like snacks. Snacks are very important to three year old hikers.

Dude, where's my graham crackers?

Unfortunately, we've only been on two or three decent walks since moving here. It's amazing how much of a time suck raising an infant is. We've had a beautiful fall, the weather has been perfect for it, but all my plans of family walks usually go down in flames when there are naps to be thought of. Not to mention the ticks. Don't even get me started on the ticks.

Okay, I can't resist. Not only have we found at least a gazillion ticks on the dogs upon returning home, not only wood ticks but also the dreaded Lyme Disease carrying deer ticks, but I also found a tick crawling on my arm while I was carrying the baby (and I screamed like a girl as my body went into fits of convulsions trying to shake the damn thing off, because DEER TICK. LYME DISEASE. CREEPY CRAWLY DISEASE CARRIER. GAH.) and Mr. C found a tick embedded in his.... In his...

Well, as one man confided in me on twitter (as if that was possible), and I quote, "My Uncle Nishan once found on his ... Balzac."

[Insert inappropriate testicle comment here.]


So anyway, the walks have not been happening. We went on a short hike last week with Mr. C's parents but it was late in the afternoon and kind of chilly and on the trail we chose to take there were lots of piles of horse poop to avoid. Poop that was hidden under a thin layer of fallen leaves. Dodging those landmines is really fun when you're holding onto a three year old's hand for dear life but the last thing we need is for Chicky to trip over a tree root and fall face down in week old horse apples. Needless to say, the hike did not live up to my expectations.

I let go of her hand to take pictures. I like to live dangerously.

Oh, and did I mention the hunting? Apparently, hunting season starts in the beginning of October, guaranteeing that our hikes during the best weather for it will take on a whole new level of stress. Horse poop? Ha! I laugh at horse poop when there's the possibility of being stuffed and mounted over someone's fireplace.

I come from a long line of hunters, deer mainly, but I had to do my research to find out the 411 on the full hunting season. There's bird season (pheasant, grouse, Wild *hiccup* Turkey) and Peter Cottontail season, Rocky the Squirrel season and Let's Kill Tod the Cute Little Fox season. Then there's hunting Bambi with bow and arrow and hunting Bambi's mom with a shotgun. That's my personal favorite. Guess taking the dogs out to the backyard to do their business will be a lot more interesting.

We even bought orange vests so we wouldn't be shot at while hiking. I have no joke for that. Feel free to interject.

But I still have my dream. The dream of one day seeing my dogs and my children on the trail, running ahead of me and Mr. C as we hold hands on a warm fall day.

The reality is the dogs will run ahead to gobble all the poop they can find and then I'll spend an hour picking tiny little disease carrying parasites off of them. And the girls will probably start a stick fight and one of them will end up in the ER. And we'll have to listen for gun shots and try not to be mistaken for Thumper.

But, dammit, I'm still going to dream.

Because I look pretty good in fluorescent orange.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

October ROFL Awards

It's funny time again!

(Is it wrong that we need to schedule funny time? Yes, yes it is. It should happen every day, like Tea Time. Ooh, look! It's 3 o'clock. It's Tea Time.)


My nomination for this month was not only funny but damn clever too. And the writer did it all while dealing with three kids. How anyone even wipes their own ass while dealing with three children, I'll never know. But writing an entire song parody/ode to tampons? Wow.

Oct '08 ROFL

So I'm nominating Mothergoosemouse and her post "The Cost of Tampons". Trust me, you won't listen to Simon and Garfunkle quite the same way ever again.

Congratulations to this month's nominees:

Little Nut Tree awarded Suburban Mum

SJ awarded What Ladder?

As always, don't forget to get your nomination in for November's ROFLs. Send them either to me at Chicky Chicky Baby [at] Hotmail [dot] com or Oh, the Joys, my partner in crime and funnyness (shut up, it could be a word) at OhTheJoys [at] Gmail [dot] com.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

To: President-Elect Barack Obama Re: That puppy you promised your kids

Dear President-Elect Obama,

I'd like to start by congratulating you on your historical victory. I voted for you and I was extremely happy to do so because for the first time in what seems like years, I felt like my vote actually meant something. Being that I'm from Massachusetts, a state that voted overwhelmingly in your favor, my one small vote probably didn't make that big of a dent but it felt like it did and that's what matters. My family is very much looking forward to your first term as President of the United States and we look forward to seeing your family mature while you're in office.

This leads me to the point of this message.

Apparently, you promised your girls a puppy when you all moved into the White House. This is a very big deal. A girl’s first dog is very important so you want to make sure you pick the right pup.

This is where I come in.

You probably don't know this - I mean, why would you? You’ve been kind of busy - but I'm a professional dog trainer, and I would like to take this opportunity to offer my services to your family. I’d like to apply for the job of First Dog Trainer. It would be my honor to help you mold your one-day puppy into the fantastic family pet it will grow up to be. My specialty is dog training for the whole family and with young children around that is exactly what type of training you'll need. No charge, Mr. Prez. It's on me.

I don't know what breed of dog you were considering, though I'm sure your girls and your wife might have specific breeds already in mind, but there are a lot of things to consider when picking the right dog to fit your family's lifestyle - Do you adopt a rescue dog or get a purebred from a reputable breeder? Small, medium or large? Hair or fur? But most of all, and most importantly, temperament, temperament, TEMPERAMENT.

I was thrilled to hear Mrs. Obama tell Mary Hart that you were considering adopting a rescue dog. Since every year millions of dogs are given up for adoption, there needs to be more families willing to give these animals a second chance. Adopting a dog into a family with children, even those as obviously well behaved as your girls, can be tricky so take all the advice the rescue organization you work with can give you. Put your trust in them. They have the dogs, and your, best interest at heart.

If you do decide to get a dog from a breeder please, PLEASE, make sure the breeder is reputable and never, ever, get a dog from a pet store. I’ve got two words for you – Puppy Mills. You don’t want to open up that can of worms. Literally - worms. Ick.

Whether you go the rescue route or pick a purebred pup, please remember your lifestyle. You seem like a pretty active family so you need a dog that can learn to fit into your busy life. Mrs. Obama mentioned possibly getting a hypoallergenic dog. I’m not sure if one of you is allergic, but please don’t base your decision on the dog’s coat and whether or not the pup sheds. Temperament is more important than hair and you have a staff who can vacuum the carpets.

When you finally make your decision and make that special dog part of your family remember that early socialization is key. With all the staff you’ll have, I don’t think dog/people socialization will be a problem. But don’t neglect dog/dog socialization. I think the dog should have his or her own Secret Service agent. You know, for when Fido or Rex goes to the local dog park for his weekly playdate with the rest of the DC dogs.

One last thing, a dog was requested by your girls but your youngest is now 7 years old. A dog, depending on what type you get, should live at least 10 – 12 years. This means, there’s a good chance you and the missus will be caring for this dog while the girls are away at college. In other words, this dog will be yours and Michelle’s. Be happy with your choice now because you’ll be living with it for some time.

You’re busy, I get that. You’ve got a cabinet to build, staffers to hire, a country to run in a couple of months. But the First Dog is a big deal. There's going to be lots of photo ops and you don't want to be that owner. You know, the one who lets his dog put his muddy paws on the Queen of England (though I think she might understand, being a dog lover and all). So embarrassing. So let me take this load off of you. Hire me! I’m available and I’m qualified for the job. I may not have decades of experience like some other trainers but I bring an optimism that some other more seasoned trainers are lacking. I bring a fresh perspective. I am the trainer that your new dog needs!

Say it with me – Can we train this dog? Yes we can!


I think I'm going to agree with America. If the Obamas go for a purebred dog, the Poodle would make an excellent companion for the family. A miniature Poodle would be a great traveling companion due to its size, but I still favor the larger Standard Poodle. And don't let that high maintenance coat fool you, the Poodle is extremely smart and athletic and excellent to train. Just ask this lady.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Needles and pins

I voted. Now all that's left is the waiting. And as Tom Petty so eloquently sang, The waiting is the hardest part.

It's going to be a very long day.

Do you want to vote but you're not sure where the closest voting location is? Go here, enter your address, get the directions, and then get your butt to the polls.

Unless you're voting for McCain. Then maybe you should go take a nap, maybe a leisurely lunch, and watch the latest Tivo'd Dancing with the Stars. I hear you can catch the entire season of Mad Men on most cable providers On Demand services, that should take up a good chunk of your time.

Oh, I kid. Everyone should vote. Even my dumbass ex husband, though I doubt he will. Dumbass


Sunday, November 02, 2008

Chef Boy-ar-You-Cute

The French Chef. All she needed was an empty wine bottle. Bon App*hic*etit.

And her sister, the Great Cheeky Pumpkin.

I'm proud of Chicky. She decided way back in August what she wanted to be this Halloween.

"Mommy, I want to be a *mumble mumble*-ooker.

"A what?"

"A *mumble*-ooker.

"A hooker??"

"No, a COOKER."

"Oh, a cooker. You mean, a chef."

"Yeah, a chef. Like the ones we see on the television. The ones who cook the food."

"Okay, you can be a chef this year." Whew, dodged a bullet there.

"What's a hooker?"


There's still a little bit of time to enter Parent Bloggers Network's and's Blog Blast. Check out PBN's blog for more details.