Thursday, June 23, 2011

Nonsense, Volume 564

Sidebar: The midges are officially gone. Walking path play list: Where the Wild Things Are soundtrack by Karen O. Great music, but too many slow parts for exercising to it. However...add "Rumpus" to your mix. I challenge you to remain still while you listen to it.

Nonsense #1

I may or may not have mentioned all the hullabaloo about the new garbage cans.

Our town was prepped for approximately 6 months around this drastic change to all things refuse, with the move towards automation. Everyone was to receive one garbage and one recycle container. Restrictions may apply. Read fine print for details. Etc.

We received no less than 7 written communications on the subject, because everyone knows that people have to be told 7 times before they remember. There were town meetings. Plural.

Quite a stir, as you can imagine. You can't?

Long story short...the change was made. About a month ago. So of course our "fence" neighbor asked Scott this weekend if he knew why the garbage people weren't taking all their trash off the curb...

But that is not what this post is about.

This post is about the signs coming into town to remind us that our Trash Pick Up is Now on "Friday". (Yes, they changed the day on us, too. I'm telling you...hullabaloo!)

Do not get me wrong. I'm not opposed to the signs. Lord knows, this is something I need help remembering with my mom-nesia.

What I don't get is why Friday is in quotation marks.

Is "Friday" a code word? Wink, wink.

Because when I put quotation marks around something it either means I'm being sarcastic (as in our "fence" neighbors) or something I don't believe. Kind of the same way I interchange air quotes and the word allegedly.

Example 1: Joe is allegedly sick.
Example 2: Joe is "sick".

Either of which implies that I don't believe Joe is sick. Or that sick really means hung over. Because lets face it, that is usually the case.

Nonsense #2

Walking downtown from Public Square to the Q almost every day, I have become deaf, dumb and blind to a lot of things.

Take for instance the resident crazy person at the corner bus stop by the Federal Reserve building.

Unlike some, he doesn't actually ask for anything other than attention. So either he is truly mentally unstable or he's just doing it for shits and giggles. Either way, I do not care so long as he does not invade my personal space.

Thus, I typically ignore him. Much like the high school couple making out on the picnic table at the walking path. Not my child - yet.

So today he is flailing his arms about, pacing the corner, and rambling incoherently as a police vehicle comes up to the light. At which point I distinctly hear "Uh oh, Copper" before more rambling begins.

However, said Copper turns the corner and gets out of his vehicle and "crazy" (allegedly) man goes silent and walks away.

Now, I ask you, would an actual lunatic have the needed faculties to understand the situation he is in and get out of Dodge? Or would he just keep rambling away as the "Copper" (sarcasm) tries to deal with him?

You decide.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Potty Training: Zoe Edition

But first, a random tangent:

I did go to the walking path at 9pm (Recommended Playlist: A Fine Frenzy - Bomb in a Birdcage). All was well for the first mile and a half. Then out of nowhere, it was like the midges hatched in mid-air. There were none, then there were zillions, floating in massive waves off the lake. It was biblical.

So, like any sane person, I head south.

I'm starting to cross Lake Road and I'm watching two older women heading my direction. At first I think one is holding a swaddled baby, but then I realize it is too round. As they get closer, I see it is a bundle of plant clippings, and the other woman has a similar sized bundle wrapped up in her shirt.

They are generally acting suspicious, so either they stole them from someone's yard or the community rose garden (although what they were holding couldn't have had thorns). Cannot decide if this is on par with stealing vegetables from the community garden on the other side of town, considering people pay money to plant their vegetables there.

And they say we live in a safe community...might as well be downtown Detroit.

Now back to the regularly scheduled post.

You know who pisses me off? People who get their kids potty trained by two and act like it’s no big deal. Okay, so really I’m just jealous…okay, but really it pisses me off.

I actually can’t remember when we got Morgan on the toilet band wagon. I remember “potty stickers”, and I remember it was relatively quick and thorough (not even a night-time accident), but probably closer to the three than two mark.

I was definitely pregnant with Zoe, because I remember the mantra, “Only one in diapers…only one in diapers!” But I was never really worried about it, or even caught up in how old she was at the time.

Maybe it was because our social circle was slightly behind us in child rearing. Maybe it was because Morgan never seemed to be manipulative about it, like going behind a chair to “fill her pants.” (My sister-in-law should be cringing right about now.) Maybe I just had a lot more f-ing patience.

What I remember clearly about Morgan would be the nights I would wake up at 1 a.m. to have her beady little eyes staring straight into my soul, waiting for me to take her to the bathroom. Nevermind the fact that she had to walk all the way around our king-sized bed, past her father, to get to me.

Nowadays Morgan has a bladder the size of an oil tanker. Sometimes she doesn’t even go right when she gets up in the morning. So at least I don’t have to worry about her being in the top bunk.

Then there’s Zoe.

It seemed to me that everyone was getting there faster. Now some of the concern I can blame on my own ridiculousness. For instance, Paige is almost six months older than her, but I always think of them as the same age.

But then we have Lydia at daycare that is six months younger than Zoe. When I mentioned I was going to try training Zoe over Christmas, her mother decided she would do it, too. Guess who took to it?

Since I take two weeks off of work around the holidays, I thought it would be a great time to go cold turkey. Zoe would be 2 ½. Not unreasonable, and yet all I got out of the deal was ten extra loads of laundry and a steam cleaner on standby next to the couch.

So we went the Pull-Up route. And the treat route. And the yelling route. Not my proudest moment, but when she looks right at you and is clearly crapping her pants and telling you not to look at her, you can see my frustration.

I had pretty much written her off, but then she started wanting to go to the bathroom when we were in public places. Particularly, the grocery store. Now, I’m sorry, but the local Heinen’s restroom is not the lap of luxury. Why anyone would prefer to use it over the comfort of their own home is beyond me. It’s one step up from a porta-pot.

But there we were – still keeping the Pull-Up producers in the black. Fast forward to this last Saturday while getting dressed in the morning. I noticed that we only had a few Pull-Ups left and I suddenly came up with an idea.

“If you can keep your underwear dry, we can pick out a new baby.”

Eyes light up. “I can do it, Mom.”


“Everyday, Mom.”

Yes, for the next five days I had to listen to “Can we go get my baby now?” But I also got to listen to the musical sound of pee tinkling into the toilet and melodious flush that followed it up.

$9 baby from Target…totally worth it. (Despite the fact that it looks like half the other babies currently calling the playroom their home and they are starting to refer to her as Angelina Jolie.)

So of course I spent half of our time at the pool yesterday taking her to the bathroom, because she “has to poop!” Which of course she doesn’t, it’s just gas…so moral of the story…everyone should just wear diapers.

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Very Merry Unbirthday To Me

How did I spend my birthday?

80°F. Walked Morgan to school and checked on the robin's nest. Eggs had hatched and three little beaks were waiting for mom to come back. Girls were REALLY excited.

80°F. Walked home and watched an episode of Veronica Mars with Zoe. I don't know. I just had this craving to do a Veronica Mars marathon and it happens to be on Netflix streaming so I've been sneaking episodes here and there.

85°F. Zoe starts to ride tricycle to library, but decides it's too far and we go back. Zoe starts to ride scooter to library, but decides it's too hard and we go back. Push Zoe in the stroller to the library and find an empty bird's nest that had fallen on to the side walk. Biggest one we have ever found, so that's cool.

90°F. Walk from library to the elementary school and show all the other kids and Morgan's teacher the nest. Learn about Morgan's teacher's abnormal fear of birds. On the way home, we debate eating a "picnic" on the porch and setting up the slip and slide. By the time we get home, Morgan and I don't want to leave the AC. I catch Zoe trying to sit in her water table. And HoHo is hanging out underneath it on the wet pavement.

95°F. Head to the girl's annual check up. No shots for either of them this time!

100°F. Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating now, but it was damn hot. Make a Costco run and let them have hotdogs for an early dinner since we're heading to the gym later. I finish Zoe's hot dog for her and thus continue to burp it up for the remainder of the evening.

100°F. Put the girls in Kids Club while Michelle and I take a spin class and sweat some more of my ass off (if only that literally happened)! Scott picks the girls up and takes them out to the pool, while we hit a yoga class, ending with a modified Savasana pose that kicked ass. That's right, a double work out for me on my birthday. Scott must be rubbing off on me.

100°F. Scott goes to bed at 10:30 so I get to watch another Veronica Mars episode. What a great day!

How did I spend the day after my birthday?

If you are my facebook friend you may have seen me post a picture about how much I love East 4th in the morning. Pretty. Clean. Construction guys just starting to show up. City workers watering all the lovely flower baskets.

On this particular morning I walked in front of Chinato and a few pieces of gravel or cement fell from above and almost hit me in the head.

Then some woman had made Lola's her personal patio and was sitting there on her phone PAINTING HER TOENAILS! I mean, it's not like she had her feet on the table, but still. Can you have a little class? People are going to be eating lunch at that table later on.

Spent most of the morning getting fired up over other people's incompetence. Could have really used the Savasana I learned the night before in yoga. Unfortunately, I think someone might have called security if they found me laying like a corpse in the middle of my cubicle aisle.

A couple days earlier Scott told me we had been invited to share some box seats at the Palace Theater, but he couldn't remember the name of the show. Details? Pshaw.

Turns out it's one of the Broadway Series shows Next to Normal. The lead actress is the original performer that won the Tony for it. I heard in Pittsburgh her understudy went on because she was "resting her voice". She should have kept resting. The remaining cast was great and I loved the show, despite the depressing topic.

What it did manage to do, was get me back in the mood for musical theater. Here are my top 10 shows I would like to see, most of which I already know the music, that is how sad I am: Wicked, Miss Saigon, Hair, Jekyll and Hyde, Sweeny Todd, Les Miserables, Spring Awakening, American Idiot, The Book of Mormon, and Catch Me If You Can.

Phil, notice no mention of the great ticket debacle.

How did I spend the day after the day after my birthday?

Took my time getting out of bed and dropped the girls off while I was still wearing my pajamas. I love that.

Spent the morning having the great debate over what movie we should see that afternoon. Pretty sure we haven't seen a movie together since my birthday last year when I picked The A-Team, because I am awesome like that. This morning it was weighing the pros and cons of The Hangover 2 or Bridesmaids, occasionally reading reviews from other movies that hadn't even been on our radar.

Apparently the new X-Men movie was getting great marks, but I was kind of X-Men-ed out and was still a little miffed that I had missed seeing Thor (it was only showing in 3-D at something like 10 in the morning).

Took our debate on the road to Lucky's Cafe where we have never eaten, but have always wanted to. Had their home made berry soda and the grilled cheese of the day with cream of tomato soup. Perfect for the crappy weather that was pouring down on us. Since we got there at 11, we had no wait. So yes, it was everything they say and more. We purchased two cupcakes to go.

So which will it be? Hangover or Bridesmaids?

That would be Super 8.

I had first said no, because I thought it was some chiller horror movie, but then I got intrigued, because Scott showed me it was PG-13 and Steven Spielberg produced it. So I read a review and it quickly moved to the top of the list. Very happy with the decision, because I'm glad we got to see it in the theater as opposed to watching it later at home. I believe I told someone that it was a mix of Goonies, E.T., Stand By Me, and Close Encounters all on steroids. Throw in there Independence Day and that about covers it. And the kids were phenomenal.

Wrapped up the day with an Executive "Committee" PTA meeting...more commonly known as hanging out on my friend's porch, drinking beer, eating buffalo chicken dip and chocolate chip cookies.

So there you have it. And that's not even counting how I spent my weekend: soccer game, pool, grad party, daisy scout family picnic, and Game of Thrones shocker (or would have been a shocker if I didn't always read ahead for spoilers). Has anybody figured out how to slow their life down?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Ballet: A Year in Review

Author's Note: I apologize for the length, but I wanted something to look back on to remember these days. And since there are days I can't remember my own age, I can't leave it to chance.

At the end of last summer, Morgan asked if she could take ballet. So I got all the information from the local dance studio.

Despite the fact that they seemed to be pretty strict about their dress code (must be in pink leotard, pink skirt, pink tights and pink shoes – hair in tight bun with no whispies), I had heard good things about the instructors and how much fun the year-end recital is.

Morgan balked at the bun, but I assured her that a bun would keep her hair from getting tangled just as well as braids do. Because, god forbid, your hair gets tangled. Ever.

I had the choice of signing her up for the 4-5 year old class or the 5-7 year olds. Since she had never taken dance and there was a very convenient class time on my day off, I signed her up for the former.

During registration, Morgan spots a table with trophies on it and comes to the conclusion that she is going to get one, so well worth the agony of putting her hair in a bun. ($20 Registration Fee and $45/month Lessons)

Next comes a trip to Footsteps for gear and a recommendation of how to get that much hair to stay on top of her head. I discover that the manager lives two doors down from us and we have a disagreement over what style of house I live in.

“Oh, you live in the Dutch Colonial.”
“No, it’s just regular Colonial.”
“No, that’s Dutch.”
“No, I don’t think so.”

Yes, this conversation actually took place, but it was really annoying that she wouldn’t admit she was wrong. It’s not f-ing Dutch. I know what Dutch is. ($80 Leotard, tights, skirt, shoes, hairnets)

The first class was in September, and I went with the suggestion of braiding a ponytail, swirling it in a bun-like fashion, wrapping a hairnet over it several times, and then bobby pinning it. Most of the crying came at the beginning, when I was brushing it into the ponytail.

This continued every Wednesday afternoon, until last week.

Our first lesson included two other little girls. One other girl had signed up, but did not arrive. After week two went by with no sight of her, the class should have been cancelled, but our fairy godmother Miss Mary Jo decided she liked having one class with just the three of them. Bonus!

There was also the joy of getting two children motivated to get ready and in the car at 1:35 in the afternoon. Right after lunch. Right before what should be naptime for the little one. Let’s just say there was often yelling involved.

This continued every Wednesday afternoon, until last week.

Mom conversation topics during the lessons included, but were not limited to: How much our daughters hate having their hair in buns, how glad we were to be in such a small class, how much yelling it took to get them to the studio on time, how glad we were to be in such a small class, how none of our daughter’s middle names were Grace, and how glad we were to be in such a small class.

And how many times Maureen’s house suffered from natural disasters.

The first of the year started efforts towards the year-end recital, including ordering costumes. Costume prices were based on your age, so she didn’t even have them picked out yet, but we had to pay for them. And thus began the mystical force of the recital. ($66 Costume)

We are later informed that music chosen is called Breezy Blossom and the three girls will be popping up out of flower pots to start the dance.

I think we all might have cried right then; it sounded so flipping adorable.

Around spring break time the routine is getting practiced and we’re pretty sure there is no way they are going to learn this thing in time, but slowly it comes together and we get to go in and video them, so they can practice at home.

I think we all might have cried right then; it was so flipping adorable.

The e-mails start coming. Instructions, guidelines, rules, proclamations, constitutional amendments. All around this damn recital. And then they hit you.

Order your tickets - $15/each.

Order your pictures - $57 package

Order new tights - $12

Order a DVD - $45 + $8 shipping (okay, so we are totally scamming the DVD thing, but that’s between you and me)

I then realize I might have a major snag and run into the office because my daughter is convinced she’s getting a trophy at the end of this. Thankfully, she was right, so crisis averted. I could just picture myself trying to fashion a new trophy for her out of glitter and duct tape.

More proclamations accompanied by what repercussions could results from not following all the rules. Dancers - not getting to perform. Parents - getting kicked out of the theater.

It’s finally the day of dress rehearsal. “Don’t forget to buy a show t-shirt.” Oh, no. No way. I have spent way too much on this extravaganza. Wait, those shirts say “Cast” across the back and every single flipping girls’ name is on it. ($20 T-shirt)

Rehearsal went well. The girls were so excited and they did a great job for only getting to run through the routine one time. They behaved like angels. (Of course hair was put in buns hours ago, so that doesn’t count.)

I gave Morgan her t-shirt as a surprise to wear to the show; packed a bag with paper, crayons, card games and blue eye shadow; dropped Zoe off with Uncle Phil and Aunt Michelle; and we actually arrived right on time. ($3 Program)

End result: Priceless
(This is only the dress rehearsel, because if we recorded during the actual show our hands would have been chopped off.)

Despite the fact that she loved classes and the recital and her trophy, Morgan has informed me that she does not want to take ballet next year. Huh?