March 30, 2010

Egg-stra Special

Yes, the idea of dying Easter eggs with my two-year old son does seem preposterous. Not that dying eggs with any two-year old is crazy. But with James, I know this. That child is so fierce, and fiercely independent. I knew the eggs would be a disaster.

Still, in an effort to make memories, I forged ahead.

It started off well. Then, the independence factor crept in and took hold, and he wanted to do it all by himself. I attempted to let loose, really I did, and let him handle it by himself. But the dye... oh, the dye. And I am NOT a neat freak (anyone who has been to my house and seen the three-day old smushed peas on the floor knows this). But I AM a dye-splatter on the walls kind of freak.

He worked himself up into a frenzy, and then he started throwing the eggs. And because I am terrible cook, and cannot boil eggs... I soon realized that the eggs were soft-boiled. A nice touch.

Poor buddy. I am at a loss for words. I want him to enjoy these things, but I am completely lost. Maybe I should have done the eggs outside, let him drink the dye and not worry about it? Maybe...

The screams, oh, the Talented Screams. That dear boy.

Stella watched the spectacle in wonder, held an egg quietly with Daddy. (She later threw a fit when she wanted more snacks, but I was tired of the camera at this point). I am hoping that she is not taking these cues from him. I really am not sure if I can do the eggstravaganza again next year, with the same results, different kiddo.

We are heading down to my parents' house this weekend in Savannah. I think we should dye eggs there, and let Mia and Papa experience it.

I cannot wait to see my family on the home turf. But I dread taking the circus on the road. I need to start packing: kibbles for the tigers, whip, top hat and show suit, organ, tight-rope and monkeys. Check, check, check.

On second thought, perhaps: vodka, crack, vicotin and straitjacket. Wait, no. I do not know where to get crack... strike that one. Just kidding, Mom. But I wouldn't mind a nice big bottle (er, I'll even take a box at this point) of white wine.

Love to you all, and Happy Easter!

March 29, 2010

The Constant Battle

Our dear two year old son and the raging terrible twos.

He will fight with anything. Including a tree.

March 23, 2010

School Photos

I used to think that one had children... so you'd have someone to take care of you when you are old. Actually, you have children, so you can laugh at their ridiculous school pictures....and then write a FAT check for all three packages of 4,000 prints and a photo CD.

James just needs a leisure suit for his utter pimpdom and studly look in Pose #433. And I hear Stella refused to wear her shoes. I'm not surprised. Fa'shizzle.

Mr. Spoon Payback

Mr. Spoon made an appearance at the house about three or so weeks ago. He's been a pretty effective learning tool so far. One glance at Mr. Spoon, and James seems to understand the world a little more clearly.

And I will say it again - if you think children do not need a little Spoon-age sometimes, then you :
(1) are delusional;
(2) are not raising Sir James; OR
(3) have the perfect kid.

If the latter, then whooptee-freaking-good for you. Watch your mailbox for the cookies I am baking for you! (Don't hold your breath, and if they arrive, you should have them forensically tested. Just saying.)

Alas. Mr. Spoon has come back to haunt me.

Last night, James went rummaging in a kitchen drawer. He found something. I saw him run off, hiding the object from me. He was squealing in delight, the evil-I've-found-it! squeal, and I was not sure the booty he scooped. But at least I knew it didn't come from the knife drawer, so that was good.

A few minutes later, James and Stella were in the playroom. James withdraws the object - a small, blue plastic spoon. He holds it above his head, points it at Stella, and runs toward her saying, "Oh no, Sissy! Mr. Spoon! Mr. Spoooooon!"

Yikes. Back to the discipline drawing board. Again.

Better dust off the naughty hats, dunce caps and sad face stickers. Somehow James "duncing" Stella does not seem quite as deplorable.

March 22, 2010

Half of My Heart

This morning at the ripe time of 4:33 am, James started crying. Wet diaper/bed/stuffed animals, in addition to the start of the funk that Stella and I have been carrying around all weekend. I mosey upstairs, pull him out of his crib and begin the process of changing everything.

Halfway through the zip-down of the footed jammies, James grabs both of my hands.

"What buddy?"

I kid you not, that little monkey puts MY hands on HIS chest, right where his heart is, and says, "I wuv you, Mommy."

Well, there goes half of my heart.

March 21, 2010

Somebody Please Stop...

...the crying, whining, tantrums, fits, squealing at everything and nothing at all, plates thrown on the floor, the throwing of spaghetti/lo mein/ketchup against the walls...

...the boat full of water on the bathroom floor, the double feet smash into poop during a diaper change, diaper digging, poop pellets!, spilled milk (oh the spilled milk!), the stabbing of the toothbrushes, the consistent use of the word "NO!"

...the squished peas, the brazen disobedience, the climbing (oh the climbing), the bumping of the heads and knees, the sibling to sibling slapping/pulling/smacking, the stealing of toys/games/cards/food/hair, the stealthy banging upon my laptop, use of the "delete" button

...the pulling down of diapers/wipes/towels/blankets from the changing table, the destruction of the neatly folded laundry, the tearing of books, the stealing of mail, the dropping of things into the toilet, the destruction of my cell phone, the random dialing to New York City while hiding behind the couch

...ripping hairclips from my hair, breaking necklaces, pulling earrings from my ears, biting my shoes, falling down the stairs/hills/sidewalks/carseats, jumping from chairs, climbing behind blinds, the obsession with the broom

...Sesame Street, Super Why, Calliou, Dinosaur Train, Madagascar 2: Escape to Africa, the Land Before Time V


Well, if all that stopped, I guess that would mean I'd be childless. Okay...I'm dreaming of that for a moment. No good. Alas, what would I do with all that "free" time?

March 20, 2010


Now, it's quite true that I have more issues than a three-year subscription to Better Homes & Gardens. But you should see my two and a half year old son. He is a rolling riot.

He wants to hold a banana with the peel in a certain place before he will take his first bite. I can cut his pizza, but not to small, or otherwise the plate ends up on the floor, with him foaming at the mouth and screaming "cut it! cut it!" even though the cutting is actually the problem in the first place.

And the shoes and socks... oh, the shoes and socks. He can put on his socks quite well, but has not mastered the art of shoeing. The shoe ends up halfway on his foot, he velcroes it...and then attempts to walk. This frustrates him to no end. So he thinks: if I can't do it, then sure I'm sure as hell not going let anyone else. I try to put his shoes on this feet. To this he revolts, laying on his back and pedaling his legs like a bicycle, screaming "I do it! I do it! Shooooooooes!"

Of course, I am joking about these being true "issues." Clearly, these tantrums/fits/acts of demon are stemming from the fact that he is dying to be independent....and well, he's just not.

The true issues involve poop paintings, and the fact that I found a teeny tiny little poop nugget behind his crib today while fishing for a lost pacifier.

I've got a headcold and New Moon is out "on demand," so I'm going to rest on that one. Because my husband has abandoned me again, this time for California, I might be able to enjoy the vampires in peace, without the scathing remarks about what a lame-o I am.

Night, ya'll.

RIP Harley

My mom & dad's mentally-challenged cat, Harley, passed away this evening. Dad was photographing a wedding, but luckily, Mom's best friend was with her. Harley's been around a long time - I think he arrived around the time I went off to college. He had a meow like a human whine, and was a total nutjob. He was scared of everything, including the waterhose. But Mom and Dad loved that cat, and he will be missed.

At least Mom will be able to actually use that huge pot on the porch for a plant now...instead of a Harley-made litter box.

Rest in peace, crazy cat.

March 18, 2010

I am Old

My homegirl, Amanda, and I went to the John Mayer concert at Philips Area in Atlanta last night. Awesome. We had these box seats, which unknown to us had "first come first serve" status. Well, we had two great seats FIRST. We got up for a millisecond, and these spoiled rotten teenyboppers, in a group of five, with their horrific housewife of a mother took our seats NEXT.

The first question that comes to my mind is why teenyboppers are sitting in box seats. It took me thirty years to get into a box. And even then, it was only through Amanda. So technically, I have not "arrived." Secondly, since when do twelve-thirteen year old girls says things such as, "OMG, Mayer is so freakin' hot, isn't he, like, the hottest piece of man you've ever, like, seen?" Well, yes... he is, but I'm not sure that even I would say 'hottest piece of man' - something about that feels dirty.

The former Meredith (approximately five years ago) would have pulled the teenyboppers out of our seats by their hair. Instead, we opted for stair sitting. Which wasn't that bad (but I think totally blew out my back). I am old.

Finally, on the way back to the hotel, we ride up to the fourteenth floor with a group of girls celebrating a 21st birthday. In the spirit of being super-cool, I do the dreaded thing: "Oh how wonderful," I say, "Enjoy it girls - the next ten years flies by!" Smacking their gum, they kind of roll their eyes and me, scream something like "Party!" and walk on.

I am officially old. Maybe not in age, but in spirit. Where's my Jean Nate?

March 16, 2010

Pointless my house while my children are awake is like brushing my teeth in the middle of eating an Oreo.

March 15, 2010

No Surprises Here

Well. At the ripe ole age of thirty, on this fabulously beautiful day in March 2010, I have finally ceased to be shocked by people and life in general. It only took the last ten years to really put this giant puzzle together. But I think I've got the big picture now. Granted, I'm running on approximately one hour of sleep... so maybe I'm in a bit of a haze.

Having children certainly prepares one for this so-called real world. When you have actually been barfed, pooped, peed upon (repeatedly...if not weekly... sometimes daily)... well, the other crap that people throw at you just does not seem to compare.

Sing along with me to Aerosmith: "Ja ja ja ja jaded..."

Cheers, everyone! I need a drink...wait, I do not want to end a blog post on a jaded note.

Okay. So, my Friday morning spinning instructor (Ironman Gerry "I.G." - more to come on him) is a bit of my therapist. He does not know he's my therapist, but he is. I am saving thousands of dollars in shrink fees each year. Thank you, I.G.

Each spin class I.G. warms us all up, ordering us to have eyes closed and minds cleared. [FYI- do not laugh at spin class. You will have millions of avid spinners slicing you open with their hard-soled shoes.] Last week, while listening to The Fray over the loud speakers, hearing the whir of forty crazy folks on spinning bikes at the rich hour of six o'clock in the morning, I.G. said something that was very profound - especially when one is wearing padded spandex shorts and vintage clipless pedaled shoes. He said: You must be in each moment, even the painful ones, even when you want to quit, sleep or roll over and crawl into a ditch. Why? Because any given moment could be your last. So you better be grateful. Live each and every painful and joyous moment with a spirit of love and gratitude.

Seems grade-schoolishly simple. But I am glad someone said it out loud. I am one to forget this, more often than I should. And shame on me.

And therefore, on this bright shiny day when I feel a tad blue/irritated/ overwhelmed, in a spirit of humility and with a small sheepish grin on my face...I am grateful, filled with joy, and glad to be breathing, no matter how barely breathing I may seem.

Love to you, on to that drink.

March 14, 2010


Woke up this morning, loaded the kids up in the car, and headed to the Georgia Aquarium. I always drive, and the Expert funnels pancakes to the kids in the back. Six minutes down the road, we've started unpacking the pancakes, and I hear a low rumble from the backseat, and then the terrifying sound of a puking child.

Like any crazed mother, I stop in the middle of the road (nice), but then manage to pull over. James is covered in what appears to be cottage cheese, but is really the result of the milk he drank mixing with his stomach acid. (Also, nice).

He's a total mess. We pull him out of the car. Like any ridiculously unprepared mother... I have absolutely no napkins/papertowels/substantial amounts of wipes. I have no change of clothes for the kid. Nothing. We're wiping him down with a half roll of toilet paper I found under the seat, and he's crying. His poor doggy is covered in the mess (and I can report, was sadly left behind... but that dog could not be fixed after that shower). After a decently acceptable wiping down, he seems to feel better, so we head down the road to Target. I buy a new change of clothes for James, a roll of paper towels, wipes, bandaids, hand sanitizer, bottled water, vitamin water - all for the car - and I feel more prepared. We clean him up properly, change his clothes in the parking lot, funnel some vitamin water in him, and head down to the aquarium.

About thirty minutes later, we creep up to the aquarium, and James is squealing: Fish! Shark! Whales! Penguins! Otters! Sharks! Whales! Crabs! Stella is grinning, and I think we've salvaged the day.

Pulling into the parking deck, I hear a familiar rumbling from the backseat: holy crap. James upchucks again. This time, it's the pancakes and the vitamin water, and it's about ten times the amount as before. Well, like the prepared mother I am, I now have paper towels, water, wipes... just forgot to buy two changes of clothes. After the cleanup, the kid is stripped down to his diaper, covered up in my coat, and we head home. He's clearly disappointed, but after the scene from the Exorcist, he seems to understand we've gotta leave.

Halfway home, I hear it again. This time it's coming from the other carseat... this is some sort of joke. Stella's now covered in the familiar mess. The Expert and I look at each other, and really, there's nothing left to say. The smell is now overwhelming. We pull into Taco Bell, use the remainder of my prepared mother supplies. Speed home, fearing the next one.

Thankfully, that was the end of it. I put the kids in jammies at one o'clock, just in case. But the rest of the day was puke-less. Only thing I can figure - we had a bout of bad milk. Either that or that blasted hidden camera was following us around again, and some evil producer slipped my kids some bad fish.

March 10, 2010

Stinky Feet

My feet are stinky. This is a new thing. I'm a tad perplexed by it. Never had stinky feet before. I'm wondering if it's the shoes I am wearing. Although I've been wearing these same pumps for like eight months and have not had the stinky feet issue until today. Maybe it's the fact that I've been wearing them for eight months....hmmmm.

To do list: buy new shoes (or find another pair to wear).

Good thing I have perfected the art of breathing through my mouth. Diapers will do that to a person. The second the "rip" sound happens taking a diaper off, the nose closes. Instink. Er, Instinct. So, I have been breathing through my mouth most of the day, avoiding the smell of my own feet. I wonder if our network administrator could smell my piggies when he was in my office adjusting my second monitor. Maybe that's why he tripped over my lamp on the way out. He was trying to find a quick escape.

The hand sanitizer on my desk seems to be working well. A squirt every fifteen minutes seems to be keeping the stink-o-rama at bay. But I don't really want to get caught doing that. Even though I am blogging about it, and now everyone will know I spent Wednesday in my office rubbing hand sanitizer on my stinky feet. Rats.

Stella has stinky feet too. James, I haven't noticed so much. Maybe it's a thing with the women in our house. If my feet stink tomorrow, I think I will be devastated. What does one do about stinky feet? Really? Can't really wear socks to work. I am kinda in a "heeled" profession. This is stressing me out.

Too much information. Sorry.

I needed something to write about while took a break and ate my stinky sandwich from the stinky sandwich shop downstairs.

March 9, 2010

My Cake in the Potty

So you all know I was totally stoked about my new book by Sloane Crosley. I had just started chapter three and my dear darling daughter managed to throw it into the toilet. Not once. One time, I would have pretended it didn't happen, set the book out on the back deck to dry and try to forget why the pages were so crinkly. Once would have been manageable. Oh, no.

She dropped it in the toilet twice. Twice!

Dear Ms. Crosley,

Yes, I really really really love your book. So much so, that I will be purchasing another copy in order that I can get to the part called "Smell This," which my friend Mandy swears is a riot. I love the title of that section... which is steep with the irony of my first copy of your first book being placed gingerly in the toilet. Twice.

Your Biggest Fan of the First Two Chapters

March 7, 2010

The Babysitter's Here

I cannot believe I am at a time in my life where I have babysitters. Not for me, but for my children.

Babysitters are of fundamental importance, not for the parents, but for the children. I had an amazing babysitter growing up, named Jamie. She was a strawberry blonde and beautiful, and spectacular. I was five, and I wanted to be her (and I think I still do...) When I was seven, people would ask me my name, and I would say "Jamie," and I'm pretty sure my parents were unaware of this. OMG- Jamie had a Garfield room, with a bona fide Garfield phone. She drew a little circle above her "i's" when she wrote, and I could not believe she was my babysitter. She could also draw Garfield, as if she wasn't cool enough already. Holy cows!

She had a real purse with gum in it. She would come to our house and sunbathe during the day, when she wasn't sitting for me. I would peer out the window and dream of the day when I would be allowed to wear a bikini. She had bottles of "Sun In", and I swear she really sparkled out in the sun.

I lost my first tooth when she was sitting me. I remember biting into some sort of sandwich, the taste being slightly off, and she was there to tell me that I was missing a tooth. Thank God she was there. Oh, I got to see "Step by Step" video by New Kids on the Block on MTV for the first time at her house (because I wasn't allowed to watch MTV). She tolerated my lame television shows, and I loved her with all of my four to eleven year old heart.

A few years ago, I heard this song by Dar Williams, and I cracked up and cried all at once. While it's not 100% lyrically accurate, it completely has the vibe. Jamie would come to my house, and I would think: "OMG, the babysitter's here!"

Love ya, Jamie. Even though I'm thirty....well, I'm pretty sure... you are and will always be my hero.

Punked Again

I am tired of getting punked by two kids. A Sunday morning 6:30 wake-up call? Really? After well over two years of not sleeping, can we please have a full night of sleep? On a regular basis?

I really don't think this is too much to ask.

I also do not think it inappropriate to ask that my two-year old refrain from throwing food, spoons and crayons when we are out at Mexican with friends. Granted our friends have three children, which includes a five year old set of twins, so I did not feel any judgment in the slightest. They gave us reassuring glances, said comforting things like: it will get better and ours were just like this. However, I judged myself and my husband and our blaringly apparent lack of parenting skills and/or discipline. Even though, in reality, we are discipline experts, having read all the books, and run the gamut from naughty chairs to naughty stools to naughty hats and mats, to most recently and as a last ditch effort, the introduction of "Mr. Spoon". All you people who cringe or judge Mr. Spoon can kiss my tail. Please see the previous post from last year, Kid For Sale, and tell me you wouldn't resort to a wooden discipline object, or even letting that kid out back to roam free and be raised by wild wolves, rabid dogs or traveling Irishmen. Lately, I feel like there is a camera following me, and just when I think I have things "under control" (control being a joke of a relative term with children), then the cameraman screams "action!," the circus rolls into town, and suddenly I'm a one-armed, one-legged, blind and mute ringleader...being punked by the monkeys.

No one warned me of this. Shame on all of you who fail to warn! Now, do not warn pregnant women. That is just harsh, and too late for an informed decision at that point. But warn everyone else. This warning is your duty as a human being. For those of you at a loss for words, try this:

WARNING: Children are the biggest blessing and joy in the world. However, please note that you will never sleep, have a sane meal, or feel like a real, live adult ever again. Your house will smell like poop and your face will be scrunched into a face of terror each day, for fear of being covered in said poop. If you are okay with this, proceed on, nutcases!

I do not think this warning applies to one child. This warning applies to two children who were not spaced a sane distance apart in age, and of course, multiples.

Funny thing is, even if I had been given this warning, I would 1)not have believed it, and 2) proceeded on anyway, and 3) been glad that I did. This circus makes me crazy, but good lawd, everyone LOVES a good circus. And the Atwood monkeys, well, they are some of the best chimps around.