Thursday, October 30, 2008

The games we play

You know it's a pretty lousy day when having your identity stolen is one of the least annoying things that happens.

That's only kind of true. It was super annoying, it's just that I'm getting a little tired of being trapped inside with sick kids. But I see the light at the end of the stomach flu tunnel (that is just not good imagery).

Yesterday, as Carolyn took her three-hour nap, Penny and I flipped through the mega-catalog from Victoria Secret. Penny and I like to play the "what's the prettiest outfit on this page" game.

About 80 percent of the time, Penny like the scankiest ensemble. No lie. The shorter the skirt, the lower the neckline, the higher the heel — those are fine choices by Penny. Black leather and lace. Penny says, "It's sooooo cute."

Um. Yeah. Just what I was thinking. I might need to cancel Victoria Secret and start requesting catalogs from LL Bean, or one of those old lady stores with lots of stretch pans and holiday decals on sweatshirts.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Needing more face(book) time

I finally joined Facebook. But because I'm a complete dimwit, I inadvertently invited everybody in my e-mail address book, which I've had for more than 10 years. Isn't that crazy! It also includes random people from stories I wrote, maybe six years ago, and other kind of random people.

In my defense, I pushed send and immediately pushed stop. But I guess it wasn't immediate enough for that tricky little Facebook.

Truth is, I've gotten very good at keeping up with people who live far away. I blog, e-mail regularly, call and now apparently Facebook. But I just re-met this mom-of-a-mom-friend a few days ago, and she gave me her e-mail. Instead of arranging a play date, I just sent her the info she needed about our friend-in-common.

I think I'm avoiding new friends. I'm already so busy, and I don't want to sacrifice my running, or my Catholic confirmation classes, or our busy schedule to "get to know ya." Plus, she's pregnant, so no ladies nights out. I really am a horrible person.

Penny and I have finally rebounded from the icky sicky of recent days. I was actually pretty much fine except for one day, but poor Penny suffered for three days and had to see the doctor. She got really good at throwing up into a bowl. She's still pretty tired, but can eat some stuff now, which is awesome.

So back to our normally scheduled schedule.

Speaking of which, I have always meant to mention this, but Carolyn has an uncanny sense of time. She leaves her bedroom at 6:55 a.m. every single morning. Without fail. It's bizarre. And she's just a bundle of energy.

But once that girl is ready for bed at 7 p.m., and her head hits the pillow, that is that. I've always encouraged a schedule, but she's like time girl.

Friday, October 24, 2008


Last night, Carolyn asked me why our dog Fife didn't like to play with toys. Buster, my mom's dog, loves toys. Loves, loves, loves them.

Well, I said, it's like people. Older people don't really play with toys. And Fife is pretty old.

And, of course, Little Miss Inquisitive asks Why.

I pondered this for a minute. And then I thought up something very profound. Well, profound for me.

"Because they forgot how."

Carolyn has an answer for everything, and she got me on this one too. "But Grandma still knows how to play with toys."

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Vacation blog postgame show

Penny might have been hurling before the big trip, but it was definitely my turn after. As my friend Dana wrote to me yesterday, airplanes are essentially "germ tubes." Mopping up Penny's poop from the bathroom floor of the Air and Space Museum probably didn't help matters either.

My illness (knocking on wood) seems to have been short lived. I was overcome by fever and chills about 3 o'clock yesterday at the playground and woke up this morning feeling kind of fine. Steve, the best husband ever, was able to come home early and get the kids to bed. He found me and the kids in our bed, at 4:30, watching Peter Pan II when he got home.

But thank goodness everybody was relatively OK during the trip. That would have been disaster. And the weekend is coming up. Just in time for Steve to fight that nasty little bug living in our house.

See... This is why I hate winter.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

What was your favorite part?

They got it from Dora. The girls are always asking, "What was your favorite part?" just like Dora does at the end of every awful episode. Then she waits 5 seconds, every single time, and says, "I liked that too."

So when it came to our vacation, there was a lot of pondering, "What was your favorite part?"

Steve liked the trip to Washington, where we saw the Air and Space Museum and the White House, along with some sites along the way, even if we did spend more time in the museum food court than we'd care to admit.

I liked the wedding, especially watching the girls get a ride in a firetruck with the Princess (aka, Courtney the bride). Carolyn liked that part too. I also liked eating sushi.

Penny liked playing with her new friends at the park. Those girls belong to one of our favorite people, Joe, and his wife Kristin. Here's a picture of the girls chasing Joe.

And catching him.

It was all really fun, even when we were tired and grumpy. There were a few roadblocks, like the diarrhea incident at Cosi, or how Carolyn cried for an hour after we woke her from her nap, or how some guy ran three feet behind me for about three miles in a very isolated portion of trail along the Potomac River. But we pushed on. We crammed a lot into not a lot of time, and in the end, the girls were ready to come home.

I liked that part too.

So, it's back to normal, back in Normal. Now we only have to make one more trip this year — to go get Fife at the farm where he's on his own vacation with my mom and her dog, Buster. I don't think I'll think about that today.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Vacation blog pregame show

The family and I just returned from our first "real" vacation, in that we did not visit family members of any kind.

On the eve of our airplane trip to Washington D.C., Penelope was throwing up all over the place. As the vomiting subsided and we got all packed, we all got really excited to visit our friends, a few historic sites and some terrific restaurants, in that order.

And it was super fun. Let's just run down the list of transportation modes we used: an airplane; a bus; a Metro train; an SUV rental from an upgraded compact rental that was a little irritating until we found Interstate 66 shut down because of a crash and then we were happy for the extra room; a firetruck (yes, seriously); a minivan; and then our car home.

I'll post more later, with pics of course, when I feel more like doing stuff.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Why? Let me tell ya

It's 6:08 a.m. and I'm sitting at the computer, vigilantly watching the weather radar waiting for the rain to subside so I can go running. I'd go in the rain, but radar promises clearer skies shortly.

In the past, I've been addicted to all sorts of really nasty things. Well, not "nasty" nasty, but let's just say I'm not the kind of gal that really abides by the rules of moderation.

So now I run. I've been running since April, when running was a bit of a misnomer, but I love it and I plan to run as long as my legs allow. That's because, like much of my life, there is no halfway mark for me. I don't just casually run a mile or two. I have a schedule and I like to keep it. I read Runner's World. I'm looking into carb gels for long runs.

This definitely has it's benefits. I just ran my own personal 15K last weekend, I'm planning on running a half marathon sometime next year and, this part is totally true, I'm smokin' hot. Well.... my jeans fit really good.

Speaking of Why (notice how I have not mentioned Why at all, but I need a transistion), I have my own Why Girl, Carolyn. She's been asking Why for more than a year now, and has not let up even the tiniest bit, much like this rain.

I don't mind most of the Whys, especially if I have an answer. "Why do we need to drive cars?" for instance gives me ample opportunity to tell Carolyn they are a convenient luxury item that propagated the largest national delirium of all time and that while we might "like" to drive cars, we certainly often don't "need" to drive them.

But sometimes she asks me things like, "Do I like cereal? Why?" I have no answer for this and tell her as much.

But yesterday, I got a good response to my own Why. "Why do you ask me Why so much?" I ask.

Carolyn says, "Because I want to know everything."

Well then, carry on...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Could somebody please explain this to me

Penelope is a freakin' genius.

She's smart enough to know that the shoe store we've never (not exaggerating) been to is two doors down from the pet store we visited five months ago that had bunny.

She's smart enough to pick out her own outfits and completely dress herself.

She's smart enough to find Fife's leash the rest of the family search-party couldn't locate in 15 minutes of looking.

She's smart enough to know where we're hiding the diapers, to move a chair to her room to reach the hidden diaper drawer, get a diaper, put it on and do her business after we told her "no" to a diaper.

This barely covers her smarty-pants antics. So why is it that she's not smart enough to know that using the toilet is infinitely better than pooping in a diaper? WHY?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Easy Street, thy name is sister

I don't blog much anymore, because it's happened.

I've entered the Golden Age of Parenting, a phrase that I believe should be trademarked immediately because of its most wonderfulness. And it happened exactly 134 days early.

In 134 days, Carolyn will be 5. I always thought 3 and 5 sounded like such lovely ages. No more 2s, which means less diapers, sippy cups and full-blown tantrums. They're both still super cute and obedient. And at 3 and 5, they're old enough to finally play together.

And it happened. At least for this week.

When kids are playing nicely in the playroom (i.e. "Hey Penny, lets play camp out." Penny responds, "Sure! That's great.") and I'm upstairs checking out the latest on the Comics Curmudgeon, I find that parenting is pretty darn easy.

So this week, I baked cookies. I made a pie. I washed the floors and the fingerprinty front door. I watched half a movie in the middle of the afternoon. I (finally) got the bathrooms clean. I made chili. I took the dog for a walk and I nursed at least one hangover after Steve and I (finally) got a babysitter and went out for dinner.

I should go. The girls are fighting.