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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Like Mommy Like Leo

So lately Leo’s thing is that he doesn’t like napkins. I realized this when he requested that we move the napkin holder to our bedroom. I thought that was ridiculous so I put it on top of the fridge (as if that’s not ridiculous).  He said he couldn’t look at the napkins while he ate. When I asked him why, he said, “Because Leo is on the napkins.” While that didn’t make any sense, his comment about not looking at something while he ate sounded familiar.

As a child I, too, could not look at certain things while eating. (I still can’t watch talk shows while eating.) We had a framed poster of a bull fighter  hanging in our kitchen and I never liked to have that in my line of sight during a meal. I told Frank, “Now if he didn’t want to look at that (pointing to our framed poster of a lady sipping a martini that hangs in our kitchen), I could understand!”

And then, a few days later, he announced that he also couldn’t “look at that lady and eat.”

Oh my gosh, what have I done to him?



Here are some pics of how Leo sits for every meal:






And here are some pics of Gus who is most likely thinking, “What kind of family have I gotten myself into?”




Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Ugly Theories

I’ve always wondered why wearing glasses makes you seem smart. What does poor eyesight have to do with intelligence? It’s like saying that deaf people are good dancers. Or people with severe acne are great cooks. Or bald people are excellent painters.

I could go on and on.

But I have made one revelation along these lines. I have figured out why people who make good grades are often ugly.

Hear me out: I’m not talking about “ugly” as in these people have bad features (although they might). I’m talking about the kind of ugly where the people just don’t do anything for themselves; they’re not put together. They’re disheveled, frumpy.

I first came to this conclusion in college. Up until the second semester of my junior year my grades had been so-so. Sometimes they had just been so. My appearance, if I may brag a little, was better than so-so. I had a well-kept mane of blonde hair; a slim physique and I always sported flattering clothes (well, for the 90s).

But in the spring of junior year I took on a challenging course load: several upper-level advertising classes (they’re hard; I promise!) and an intense creative writing class. Instead of sitting around the sorority house primping, I was at the library—studying, meeting with groups or writing and editing papers.

One day I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror: glasses, messy pony tail, wrinkled t-shirt, no make-up…I had turned ugly! My priorities had shifted. I didn’t look good because I didn’t have TIME to look good. “I now know why smart people are ugly!” I announced in the TV room to my sorority sisters. They turned to look at me for a second, probably saw that I had forgotten the rule about “double lettering” (wearing sorority letters on your hat as well as your shirt) and went back to watching Dawson’s Creek.

I may not have gotten any dates that semester but I did get a 4.0. (Things went back to normal senior year. Good thing or I might not have met Frank if I had been so ugly!)

Recently I thought of this theory because I realized it applies to moms as well. Often we look disheveled and frumpy. And why do we sport dorky clothes like mom jeans? For the same reason as the smart people. We don’t have time—no time to fix ourselves up and no time to keep up with the current trends. My boys occupy so much of my time that I have decided to stop blow drying my hair all the way. It used to take me about ten minutes to get it good and dry. Now I need those ten minutes so I only allow myself to spend five minutes drying it, just enough so it doesn’t drip everywhere.

That leaves me with wavy, straggly hair—UGLY! I just have different priorities now. But it should all pay off in the end. Hey, I wonder what the equivalent of a 4.0 is in mommyhood?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Hodge Podge

Here’s what’s happening at our house this week:


Leo is always getting up in Gus’ face. Here’s a cute video of what that looks like:



I’m trying to encourage Leo to dress himself so that when he goes to preschool he can put his clothes on in the morning. We have a sticker chart and everything. He’s pretty good with the bottoms but obviously, we need a little work on the top (unless he’s going to a toga party)!



Today I took both boys on a walk by myself for the first time!



And finally—if that wasn’t enough excitement—Gus posed for a picture that will go in Frank’s high school alumni magazine.

Keep checking back for more exciting tales and photos from our expanding family! (I should say “expanded,” not trying to imply that we are expanding anymore).

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Abby, Abby, Abby

Dear Abby has done it again! Why do I keep reading her column? I can’t help it; I just love to read about people’s problems. What I need to do is stop reading her answers because they are SO ridiculous.

I’ve ranted about this before but where I think Abby is the most off-base is questions with the theme “How do I put this?” These people are trying to find delicate/polite/tactful ways of addressing uncomfortable situations. For instance, let’s say someone asked Dear Abby “How do I tell my co-worker “Wanda” that she has body odor without hurting her feelings?” I’m sure D.A.’s response would be, “Tell her, ‘Wanda, you may want to consider showering in the morning before coming to work because I can smell you from my cubicle which is 30 feet away. Also, make sure you are using a soap with a pleasant scent. This will help you to go further at work.”

Wanda’s gonna love hearing that. And what’s more, Wanda is so going to appreciate her co-worker’s honesty and they’ll totally stay friends.

All of Abby’s advice in this arena is fine if the person doesn’t want to remain friends with the other person. I mean, if we could all just going around saying what we thought then we wouldn’t need to write to you, would we, Abs?

I thought this rant was worth revisiting because Abby delivered a doozy recently. Here’s the letter:

DEAR ABBY: For the past 10 years or so, at bridal and baby showers I have attended, blank envelopes have been handed to guests upon arrival with instructions to self-address them. This, apparently, saves the gift recipient time having to address envelopes to the gift-givers.

I usually set the envelope aside and don't fill it out, but last week the guest of honor's mother handed me an envelope and pen and stood there until I completed the task.

After spending time and money shopping for and paying for a gift, I feel insulted having to address my own thank-you envelope!

Can you think of an appropriate response when I'm asked to participate in this insulting new party ritual? Or should I stay quiet and accept that most people are ignorant regarding good manners? -- INSULTED IN OHIO

Back to Writinggal: I totally agree with “insulted.” I think this practice is totally tacky. I mean, why don’t we just write our own thank-you notes,  have the guest of honor sign them and then take them home that day? That way the gift-receiver could save time AND a stamp! I was curious as to what Abby would say so of course I read on:

DEAR INSULTED: How about this for a response: "After spending my time shopping for a gift, and my hard-earned money to pay for it, it is insulting to be expected to address my own thank-you envelope. If she likes the gift, she can address the envelope herself. If not, she can return the gift to me."

Back to Writinggal: Really? That’s what she should say? Because that’s even ruder than the thoughts “insulted” was thinking! Guess she should have added, “I’d like to remain friends with both the hostess and the guest of honor so I need to be careful how I word this.” Because after a rant like Abby suggested, “insulted” might as well storm out the door, Diaper Genie in hand.

If I were writing the column, I would say:

Dear Insulted: How about this for a response: “Oh, that won’t be necessary. We’re good friends so she has my address.”

It’s still direct but more polite, don’t ya think? I should totally take over this column. I have a hunch it pays more than writing this blog.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Gus has been here ONE month


Here is the first of Gus’ monthly blogs--you know, like I did with Leo. I’ll post a picture of him in the green chair and talk about what he’s into. This one should be easy:








Well, maybe there are a few more things we’ve learned about Gus:

--He’s so cuddly.  He loves to be held and he’ll put his arms around our necks. His favorite way to be held is in the “burping” position, up on a shoulder.

--He doesn’t really care for sitting in things like the swing or the bouncy chair. I mean, he’ll sit there but he rarely falls asleep and he only lasts a few minutes.

--Jury’s still out on the pacifier. Sometimes he likes it but I don’t think he’s a true paci kid.

--He’s very consistent. He eats every three hours during the day and can now go longer at night (yea!) The last few nights he’s gone five hours in between feedings.

--He’s quite content. Sure, he gets upset when he’s hungry or tired but he’s yet to just cry at length for no reason. It’s usually easy to figure out what he wants. (Or maybe we’re just brilliant parents).

--He’s so stinkin’ cute!! And he’s getting rolls which makes him even cuter.

Everybody wants to know how Leo is doing with him. Leo doesn’t seem jealous but he is a little bit aggressive. He likes to get up in Gus’ face and say, “Baby Baby” while pulling on his arms or poking his cheeks. He also wants to check on him all the time. Oh, and he’s not as helpful as I thought he would be. If I drop a burp cloth and ask him to pick it up, he refuses. And everybody told me a three-year-old should be able to “grab a diaper.” Not happening.


Leo does let Gus hang out on his big boy bed:





And here’s Gus hanging out with his best pal, Pascal





Soon after these photos were taken, Pascal tried to eat Gus. Luckily, Gus is a forgiving guy.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Signs you’re in a Pyramid Scheme

Have you ever noticed that people who are in pyramid schemes never seem to know that that’s what they’re doing? They call it “multi-level marketing” and somehow think that makes it all different. That’s because in a true pyramid scheme (which is illegal), there is actually no product being sold. But with MLM, there IS a product, it’s just that the product is secondary to the real business going on—recruiting friends and acquaintances to pay into the business. So I say it’s still a pyramid scheme, just a legalized pyramid scheme.

The popularity of social media is breeding even more pyramid schemers, I’ve noticed. Sometimes they’re pedaling their products but most of the time, they’re pushing the scheme—that is, trying to recruit more disciples to buy into the biz. If you’re not sure if your “job” is part of a PS, I’ve put together this handy checklist to help you out.

If you are required to buy a heap load of product to start your job, you might be in a pyramid scheme.

(Please add “You might be in a pyramid scheme” silently to yourself for each subsequent item.)

If you throw parties or have friends throw parties that require friends to bring their checkbooks…

If you feel compelled to recruit friends to sell products…

If 75% of your Facebook and Twitter posts are about getting people to “join your team"…

If the other 25% of your Facebook and Twitter posts are about how great your life is because you work for yourself…

If you find yourself preaching about your products and your get-rich-quick career to anyone who will (or won’t) listen…

If you stalk women at Target and approach them about your business…

If friends are running from you or won’t call you back because all you talk about is trying to get them to sell something…

If other people on your team have won cars and trips but you haven’t because you feel awkward hitting up your friends and/or strangers at Target…

If your business model looks like this…



Fun for the 4th

In our family, we always kick off the 4th of July with Frank’s birthday, which is on June 30th.  This year was no different, except we kicked it off with a “summer cut” for Leo and then celebrated Frank’s birthday. We also had family in town—Granny Jo, Popsy and Tia. And of course it was Gus’ first Independence Day. The days leading up to the holiday were sunny here but we had rain the evening of the 4th. We still had fireworks; we just watched them under umbrellas. And we still had store-bought explosives; we just enjoyed them from the garage. Classy.