Friday, March 30, 2007

Urine head

I've decided to continue blogging, even if nobody reads, because otherwise, I'll forget all these great stories.
For instance, are you ever all ready to go and somebody in your group says, "I have to go to the bathroom." So you're like, Fine, and you finish getting everything ready to go.
And you wait. And wait. And wait.
Then you peek in the bathroom and realize your 3-year-old daughter has shoved her head in the toilet, the one she just peed in. Ever happen to you?
No. It's just me? Perfect.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Happy Birthday blog

My Dirty Little Secret turns a year today. It's hard to believe we've been in Normal a year, Penelope is 15 months old and I've maintained a blog for a whole year.

Some exciting things are in the works right now, so I might be making some changes. Of course, because grandmas are used to seeing updates online and my journaling skills are, at best, nil, I will keep posting here regularly. But I think I'll be ending my other blog, I'll call it the best-unread-blog-on-the-Web, in lieu of something new, which I'm sure I'll write about later.

Also, after I take a day to gather all the information I've posted here, I might try updating the format and the focus (which I originally tailored toward the stay-at-home- parenting-is-easy crowd, which sadly, does not follow my blog) to something different. Really all I'm saying is my blog needs an update, like sometimes my living room needs a re-arrange.

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Little words

Penelope is really starting to talk, which is fun. She's been using her own kind of language for awhile now, saying things like, "ank oo" when you hand her something or stomping her little feet when she wants a snack.
But now, she says a few words pretty clearly. I think the first word she said really clearly was, "bye-bye," which is really cute because she says it a lot, even when I'm not really going anywhere.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

I've been tagged (shrugging)

My top reader at the moment, Sharan, a teen living in India (or so she says. She could be a big, burly man living in Arkansas, but I'll choose to believe her because she seems so sweet) tagged me with this Internet quiz thingy. I'm pretty sure this will bore the pants off most people, but Sharan (who knows WAY too much about pop culture: ) says she's interested so I say, why not.

Here goes:

Three things that scare me:
• Lightning, my children getting hurt and the new gameshow "Are you smarter than a fifth grader?"

Three people who make me laugh:-
• Michelle (she always has some crazy story), Steve, my kids (obviously, I can't count either)

Three things I love:
• My kids, my husband and my dog (still not counting)

Three things I hate:-
• Beans, Hummers (the truck, obviously) and the Bush administration

Three things I don't understand:-
• The Bush administration, math and Mary Worth

Three things on my desk:
• (note* I use the kitchen table as my desk, as my desk-desk is all the way downstairs) my computer, a telephone book and a teddy bear.

Three things I am doing now:
• Listening to Carolyn not nap, waiting for a phone call and not working.

Three things I want to do before I die:
• Find a cure for death, write a book and eat at the French Laundry

Three things I can do:-
• Write snarkily, bake an amazing cake and hold a grudge.

Three things you should listen to:
• Tori Amos (pretty much anything she's ever done), NPR and Pandora

Three (things) you should never listen to:
• Rush Limbaugh, the Bush administration (I see a theme) and, oh, I'll go ahead and say Rush again, because it's so darn important not to listen to him.

Three things I'd like to learn:
• To play golf, to be a wise camper and to write better

Three Favourite Foods:
• Sushi, great Mexican food and lobster

Three beverages I drink regularly:
• coffee, milk (I try) and wine (I try not)

Three TV shows/books I watched/read as a kid:
• Looney Tunes, Smurfs and this storybook/encyclopedia for kids I received as a gift by my second-grade teacher.

Three people I would love to tag:
• Al Gore, all my friends and family, and nobody else because I don't know anybody who blogs.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Since even I am not a good enough writer to convey the insanity of today, I will start with one simple piece of advice: If you have a giant tree branch that is dangling over a live electrical wire, for the love of Pete, call a professional.

Now, here's a little taste of this several-day experience.

Chris: Hey Pa. That th're tree company wants $500 to cut down that th're branch.

Steve: Good gosh woman. We'll go on and do it ourselves.

(Several days pass of Steve trying to throw a robe (*editor's note: maybe it would have worked better if he were throwing a rope) over the branch, or at least hit it when he throw it up.)

Steve: Hey ma. I got er. Let's get to pullen.

(Several days of pulling branch pass)

Chris: Yoweeeowlswejkljskldfhjsdfjdsfkjfds

Neighbor's house: Pop

Steve: Oh, now we went and done it. We pulled our neighbor's electric dagnabbits out of that there house.

Chris: Durn Steve. That tree nearly fell on my head.

This could go on for quite a while. Basically, we got the tree down. We did not lose electricity. We now have to pay for the electrician to fix our neighbor's wires, which we somehow managed to pull down. Our neighbors, who laughed off the whole thing, are so awesome I'm thinking of asking if they need any help with their trees.

It's impossible to know how Steve and I only have four brain cells between the two of us. Impossible.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


That's really the only word for today. Ahhhhhhh.

It's going to reach almost 80 degrees today. And, ha, there's still snow on the ground. Isn't that strange?

But for the first time in months, it felt like summer was on her way. We spent all morning at the playground. We had lunch at my favorite vegetarian restaurant. We got ice cream. We walked about 3 miles.

Today is the kind of day that makes staying home with the kids the best job on earth. Well, billionaire jet-setter is probably a little better, but not by much. I'm just so freakin' happy I'm not making any sense.

But who cares! Ahhhhhh.....

Friday, March 09, 2007

I just can't say it enough

Rain gear is totally awesome.

You probably can't tell from the picture — taken of the hardest girl in the world to photograph, with the running and the twirling and the jumping up and down — but she loves her kind-of-new (used) rain jacket and new (new) rain boots. Loves them.

And bonus; they're the only clothing items I can wash off with a hose. And bonus-bonus; look how cute.

And, here's Penelope at the playground today. Going to the playground, on a really nice, warm day, after weeks of being trapped inside my house, with little to do but drink tequila, at noon... I think you know where this is going.

Anyway, the playground totally rules.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Just because I'm so darn proud

Last week, I said Carolyn didn't do great at storytime. Actually, she was pretty awful. She disrupted the rest of the story group, she wouldn't sit still and she wouldn't listen.

And the librarian was like, "yeah right" when I told her she always listens intently to stories at home. No really. She really loves to sit still. Hmmmm. Yeah....

Well, Carolyn and I talked about it a lot during the week and yesterday, she was awesome. Like a different kid. She listened. Reacted appropriately. Sat still. I don't know what happened, but it's awesome.

Whatever it was, rock on Carolyn.... Rock on....

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Zoos, traffic and common sense

Yesterday, I felt I could have written a novel based only on my trip to the zoo. That's how strongly I felt about the experience.

But time has a way of clearing your thoughts.

For instance — it is not worth five chapters that I no longer possess any sense of direction from my months of not driving. This is my cross to bear and not really a terrible one, since I no longer drive and getting lost is usually not a problem. It is a little irritating that I don't know which freeway I live near, but this is neither here nor there.

Now, going to a zoo out of town and paying $10, even though if I had waited, as my husband suggested we would have come upon a "free" day and had $10 left for lunch, or cheap giraffe cups or gas, is not enough of a figurative example of a character's shortcomings for a novel to stand. A short story? Maybe.

Last, Penelope pooping in the final minutes of our trip, having no wipes and only a diaper I had used to clean something dusty really has no place in great literature. I'm not even sure why I wrote it here.

Otherwise, the trip was very pleasant. Wild felines have this thing for Carolyn. Everyone remembers the cheetah (if not, I'll post a new link to YouTube because I have no new pictures because I'm very, very lazy... see character's shortcomings above), but yesterday, a tiger who was basically sleeping woke up just to walk back and forth in front of Carolyn.

She must look like a tasty morsel.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

New mothering column

I just wrote a new column for The Whole Mom. I think it's pretty funny.

Maybe you will too. Read it NOW.... Just kidding. But really, you should read it now.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Freak out

When Penelope took a second nap today and Carolyn refused even to work on her first, I sent CareBear downstairs to playland. Let mommy have some peace, you know.

So 20 minutes later when Penny work up, we grabbed some juice and headed downstairs. But where was Carolyn?

Not hiding behind the chair. Not in the closet. Not pretend napping in the bed. Not in the dryer, whew. Oh my god, oh my god.... I thought, searching every corner of the basement. She had just disappeared.


I saw a little blob under the tent. She didn't fall asleep INSIDE IT, mind you. She was under it.

No wonder she's not napping. I foolishly had assumed she'd like a bed with some cozy blankets and stuffed animals. I hadn't considered the "under the tent" option.

For those keeping track

Carolyn and Penelope had their doctor visit this morning. Penelope is still way off the charts in height and head circumference (and at 97 percent for weight), while Carolyn has slowed pretty significantly and is now around the 75th percentile in all three, although I believe her to be smack in the middle of a growth spurt. Last week her size 3 pants fit, this week, not so much.

Interestingly, the girls are about seven pounds apart in weight and just a few inches in height. When holding both of them, it's 60 pounds of girl, not taking my heavy-ass bag into consideration.

No wonder I live with this constant backache.

I've seen the demons of my future — and they're adorable

March 1, 2007.

It marks the day of our first American Girl catalog. For anybody who doesn't know, and I refuse to provide a link, it's a very expensive doll line. It's not an awful doll. It promotes reading and teaches about American history, but she also has very expensive duds (with outfits to match for the little girls) and accessories.

Here's what I see. Carolyn or Penelope six years from now. They love these dolls. All their friends have them. It's what the rich girls have.

And they'll never have enough. Never. They're never going to have as much as some girls, and while there's a good lesson there, it's a doll. Wouldn't it be better to try and have the most knowledge of zoo animals, or music, or just about anything else.

So I wrote the company this morning and asked to no longer receive the catalog. I'm under no illusion that at least one of the girls will "have" to have this doll (that's what saving accounts are for), but it's my prerogative to delay it as long as possible.