Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

May the treats be plentiful!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cover Yourself, Madame!

This afternoon, as I was getting out of the shower, Sophie came running into the bathroom. Not unusual. We have started a routine where she comes in and hands me my towel as I am climbing out of the tub. It's nice to have a little valet. Most days, she goes back to the towel bar and mimics drying her face just as I do it.

However today, after handing me my towel, she just stood there watching me. Then, she pointed at my chest and said, quite clearly,"boobies!" There was a time when I was worried that boobie would be one of her first words. Fortunately, that wasn't the case. It is not a word I say all that often these days, though, so I'm a little surprised that this is one she would have picked up on.

As I finished drying off, she climbed up on the toilet and grabbed the bra I had brought in and handed it to me. I put everything in place and did the clasps, she smiled and said to me "good girl!"

I know the ladies aren't everything they used to be, but when even my two year old daughter is congratulating me for covering them up, I think it's time to consider a tune-up.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Farmer Soph

It took a crow bar to get her off that tractor. Is two too young to get her started mowing the yard? I mean, LOOK at that enthusiasm?! And with that sort of thing, you really have to strike while the iron is hot.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Party Hardy Said The Lady

I know you've all been on the edge of your seat wondering how the party went. The short answer is it went well. What I saw of it. I spent the majority of my time between the kitchen and the dining room trying to keep everyone in food and drinks. Occasionally, I poked my head into other rooms and chatted briefly with friends or located my daughter to make sure she wasn't causing too much trouble. I worked on the theory that with all of the other parents and family in the house, not to mention her father, she was probably pretty safe. And she was.

The rain, of course, came. And came. And came. In between monsoons, we got about four minutes out in the back yard on the playgrand before we had to drag the kids back inside. Not the end of the world, but it sure would have been nice to have most everyone in one place, the backyard, rather than spread out all over the house.

Oh yeah, and the cookies? Turned out kind of okay. I never actually ate one, but they all got eaten and people spoke highly of them. It might be because they knew of my angst and were just being nice, but I prefer to think they actually did enjoy them. I wish I had a photo for you, but while they may have tasted good, they did not look good. On the other hand, the cupcakes that I made came out pretty well, if I do say so myself. Of course, Neil asked me what they were. So no one else is confused: they are EYEBALLS. (The orange ones are spider webs.)

So as usual, much of my anxiety was unnecessary. A huge thank you to Katie and Chris for helping me out! Hugs don't even cover how much I appreciate your help. And to everyone that came, bringing smiles and gifts, each and every one is cherished. We are very fortunate, indeed. Our friends and family are such amazing people. They are generous and kind and an awful lot of fun.

Grazi. Gracias. Merci. Danke. Thank you.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The One Where I Rant

I should be working on party stuff right now, or cleaning, or figuring out what I need to buy at the grocery store tomorrow but my brain is just fried.

My big project for this afternoon was to make the sugar cookies so I could then fancily ice and decorate them. I have never made rolled cookies before. (According to Neil, recipe that I made tastes doughy and not sugary. Since these are SUGAR cookies, that seems like a major fault. Am quite certain I used correct measurements according to recipe, so what. the. hell?) Nor have I ever fancily iced anything. That's not so hard, right? Wrong. Add in that my oven hates me. It takes twice as long to cook everything and then it goes from raw to holy frijoles burnt in about 14 seconds. Plus, my cookie sheets are crap. Note to self: add to list of things to buy tomorrow.

I had planned to bake when Sophie napped, but thanks to a bout of insomnia last night, I really needed to nap when she did. Which meant I had to find ways to keep her out of my hair while I baked. I made my first attempt at homemade playdoh, figuring this would be a nice way to keep her occupied. It wasn't. But the piles of stuff on the dining table, aka Party Prep Command Central, were quite entertaining. Much to my chagrin. Which is how she wound up with the hat I am contemplating wearing for the party. It was good for a smile, at least, distracting me from the mess she had made of the gift bags.

We're kind of, sort of, not really, maybe, a little, working on potty training right now. Our half-assed effort has mainly consisted of putting her on her little potty each night before bath/bed. Twice in the past week, she has peed! Tonight, after washing up, we stripped her down and she ran over to her potty and sat there looking at us with big, round, imabouttodosumpin eyes. And she peed. While Neil and I watched, listened and then clap, clap, clapped and cheered. What an existence that pissing is worthy of applause. Really, though, it made me crazy happy.

Oh yeah, and if anyone has any pull with Mother Nature, can you see about bringing some good weather to the Baltimore area on Saturday? I would really, REALLY like to let the kids play outside during Sophie's birthday party and right now they're calling for thunderstorms. Which obviously is not the best weather for a bunch of toddlers to run around in, especially fully costumed toddlers.

90% chance of rain on Saturday. Not good. Can't we just move Sunday's weather up a day?

There's a boatload more running around in my head, but I'm trying not to be too much of a downer going into the weekend, because who wants a downer on Friday. Not me. Which is why it always seemed wrong to fire people on Friday. Do it on Monday, they're not coming in the next day anyway, and then at least they have a nice weekend under their belt before having their ass handed to them. Also the same reason that I always say when I'm going on a trip that if the plane crashes, please just let it be on the way home, so I got to have my vacation first. How's that for seeing the positive?

So, to sum up:
1: Screwed up oven
3: Successful pees in the potty
4: Hours cooking
5: Curse words in this post (1 Hell, 3 Asses and 1 Piss)
48: Probably unusable cookies
90: Percent likelihood Mother Nature will totally screw me

Have a great weekend!


This afternoon as I walked in through the open garage door, I happened to catch sight of a large, black, many-legged insect between the track for the door and the frame of the garage. For some reason, I bent down to get a closer look. In a horror movie, you'd be screaming NO, NO, DON'T GET CLOSER, YOU DOLT! But I thought it might be one of those big crickets that are everywhere around here.

It. Was. No. Cricket.

It was one of the biggest spiders I have seen outside of a glass case. Tucked into a nice little spot off to the side, it looked at me and I looked at him, er, her. And then I backed away. Slowly.

I have a love/hate relationship with spiders. I know they eat all the bugs that I really hate: mosquitoes, gnats, flies, etc. But they are super-duper creepy. It's all those legs and they're so fast and their EYES. Whenever I see one, I think of that giant spider from the Lord of the Rings, with it's lightening fast stinger. Gives me the willies.

As a young girl, my attitude was smush first, ask questions later. But when I was 17, after years of unprovoked abuse, the spiders hit back. One of the wee beasties took a nibble on the back of my leg. It. was. bad. I took the high ground, though. Instead of firing back, I decided a truce must be called.

Since then, I like to think we have an agreement, the spiders and I, like the one we have with pigeons. You know, we look the other way when they poop on statues and they get out of the road when we need to drive on it. I (mostly) look the other way when they create little webs in the corners of rooms and they don't touch me. Ever.

The monster in our garage has been a quiet and respectful tenant. As long as s/he follows the rules, the status quo is fine with me. But the minute, s/he steps over the line? Truce OVER.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wednesday Wonderings

- Thanks to being sick for the last four days (I'm much better now) I am now hugely behind on prep for Sophie's big 2nd birthday party this weekend. I'm getting a little panicky.

- The good thing about being sick? Five pounds, baby! Don't worry, I'll gain it right back this weekend in Halloween candy and cupcakes.

- It looks like Sophie's illness is just side effects of the Flu Mist vaccine she got on Friday. Which I would have known if I read the info sheet they gave me. Nope, I had to call the doctor's office for them to tell me. Parenting Fail.

- Mike Rowe is just so darned cute. Did I ever tell y'all that he went to my husband's high school? Graduated with my sister-in-law. She doesn't remember him. Crazy, right?

- I think being a stay at home mom would definitely qualify as a dirty job. Just the amount of shadoobie I have to deal with on a daily basis should be enough to merit that title.

- I went to the Halloween store yesterday. Why are all women's costumes so slutty? And the little girl's costumes? Not much better. Seriously, people, that is just all kinds of wrong.

- I really don't love open toed boots. They just seem wrong. I mean, boots are for cold, open toes for warm. It's like when I see the girlies wearing Uggs. In July. In LA. Imagine how sweaty their feet get. Blech. I think I'm too practical to be truly stylish.

- That movie The Men Who Stare At Goats actually looks kind of funny. Will I be the only person in the movie theater?

- I went to Big Lots today and spent ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS! I didn't know that was even possible. On the upside, I am now the proud owner of a Halloween lawn sign and hurricane candle, an angel costume for Sophie, four plastic cauldrons and a case of water, among about 8 other bags of probably unnecessary sundries. My mom will be so proud. For real.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Rainy Days

While I've been laying in bed for the last two days, suffering with a cold/flu/plague, the bean and dad have been staying busy in the basement.

I miss them.

Updated 9pm:
Yeah. So. The bean is sick now, too. We've officially entered the fifth ring of hell. Mercifully, Neil has so far escaped the virulence, so at least we have one person left who can care for us. It's rough going, though.

Updated 12:30pm Tues: Still sick, but on the road to recovery after a visit to the doctor for antibiotics yesterday. Sophie is officially sick now, we have a call into her ped to get it diagnosed and fixed so we can all enjoy her birthday party on Saturday. Neil is now sick, too. We're all laying around acting like invalids. It's fun.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


I know you are all like, sweet mother of mercy, enough already with the Mobbies. But indulge me one last time. This was in the Baltimore Sun today (page 6 if you still have it and want to save a copy, you know, for posterity):

That's me! I feel like when I was a kid and I did something good and the teacher put my work up on the bulletin board for everyone to see. Embarrassed pride.

Okay, now I will resume my normal blah blah blah. Carry on.

Dos, Due, Deux...TWO!

Yesterday was a pretty big day in the Land of Bean. Our little girl turned TWO! At every milestone I say the same thing: where has the time gone. I'll admit, some days it feels like time is creeping by, but in the bigger picture, it's flying. Today was her day and I tried to give her as good of a time as I could.

We began the day with some blueberry pancakes and bacon. I think she gets the bacon gene from her father, they are both fanatical about it.

Followed by a little lounging around, watching some telly. Her lounging skills? From the cats.

We spent the rest of the day doing our normal things: playing, going to the gym, napping (her, not me), cleaning (me, not her), playing, some light shopping to finish up my outfit for the Mobbie shindig, playing, dinner (Qdoba, mmm). And then we had to get ready for the par-tay.

Before we left, Sophie opened a few of her presents. We're having a big birthday bash for her next weekend, but she needed at least a couple of treats on her big day. She got a personalized buffy (butterfly) puzzle from her great aunt Randee and great uncle Steve (and they are great in every sense of the word!) and a rockin' guitar from her Mammom and Grandy, who were kind enough to stay with her while Neil and I abandoned her on her birthday, heartless parents that we are.

Clearly, she can wail.

That's me and the hubs in a rare photo of the two of us. Neil is doing his let's get this show on the road grimace. He has a really great smile and yet in half of the pictures of him he is making this face. You'd think he was a grump. (He's not.) The award ceremony was fine. Of course, I agonized over what to wear for nothing. There were people there in all manner of dress. I could have gone in jeans. I wouldn't have, but I could've. We were home by nine. We even stopped at McDonald's on the way home to get hot fudge sundaes. Yeah, we're party animals.

PS - Neil sent me an email this morning asking if she looked different now that she's two. I laughed when I read that, but you know what, she does a little.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Yay and Nay

I finally got confirmation that I WON the Mobbie for Best Family Blog!! AND I came in 6th in the Best Overall, which is pretty freaking awesome considering there were over 200 blogs in the running. So a great big


to everyone that voted for me. Now, we have the awards party tomorrow night and I can't figure out what to wear. The invite says "mobster attire is optional" and I've decided that optional for me means no, but I don't know what to wear.
It's in a gallery, so do I go casual or business casual or dressy or WHAT?

I went shopping both yesterday and today. I must have tried on 20 dresses. A couple fit okay but just didn't feel right. Some felt too dressy. Or not dressy enough. I hate this. I hate that my body is so different. I hate that my tastes these days seem to be more nursing home chic than Vogue.

I'll probably wind up in my old standby of black slacks and a sweater. Boring. I need a personal stylist. Who works for free. And if they didn't mind doing some light cleaning, that would be super awesome, too. Anyone looking for a position?

On a lighter and much happier note, the Bean peed in her potty for the first time ever tonight!! I harbor no delusions that she will be completely potty trained any time soon, but this is a pretty big first step, n'est-ce pas? It happened while I was out shopping, but Neil was kind enough to save the peed-in potty for my viewing pleasure. Isn't that sweet?

Friday, October 9, 2009

Hail Mary

After two weeks of hawking votes from my friends, family and readers, the final day is HERE!

Click here to vote for my blog ... early and often

Voting for the Baltimore Sun Maryland Outstanding Blog Awards finishes today at 5pm. So please take a moment to head on over there and cast your vote for the Best Family category. Don't forget to also vote for Best Overall. (You do NOT have to live in Maryland, or even the US for that matter, to vote!)

Top Ten Reasons to Vote For the Land of Bean:

1. LoB could also stand for Lots o' Bacon. And who can't get behind that?!

2. I can recite every word from every single Mel Brooks movie ever made. Holy underpants!

3. I always use turn signals.

4. My hair is silky, silky soft.

5. I use excellent punctuation..

6. If I win, I pledge to improve the food in the cafeteria. Wait, this isn't the campaign for senior class president?

7. I never pick my nose in public. Well, not often. Okay, sometimes...but I'm discreet.

8. I prefer using polysyllabic words whenever possible. Onomatopoeia! Bam!

9. I make a mean bowl of chili. Which in turn makes a mean bowl of indigestion, but it's totally worth it.

10. Because this face:

Will become this face*, if I don't win:

Thanks for all of your support!

*These photos were taken approximately 1.7 seconds apart.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

No Excuses For Me

A couple of weeks ago I got a notice in the mail that I was being summoned for jury duty. It included a form that I had to fill out asking about my occupation, if I could serve on a jury of 10 days or more, how many kids I cared for, and so on. I promptly completely the form and mailed it off and arranged childcare for Sophie on the day that I was required to show.

Yesterday I received a notice that I had been excused from duty. I hadn't even asked for it. They didn't give a reason, but I suspect it was because I am the primary caregiver for our daughter.

The only other time I have been summoned was about 8 years ago, when I lived down in the city. Actually, saying I was summoned overstates it. The first notice I got was a card saying I had missed Jury Duty and I had to pay a $150 fine. To which I said "WHAAAAT!?" called them up and got the situation corrected. No fine. And I was never summoned again.

I'll tell you a secret, I've actually always wanted to serve. I know it won't be like A Few Good Men or Law and Order, there most likely won't be shouting and histrionics, but maybe, just maybe, I'll get an interesting case.

The day I got my summons, I talked with a friend of mine about one time she served as a juror. It was the trial of a man accused of raping his 12 year old niece. She conveyed some of the drama and how good she felt when they convicted the guy. It kind of got me psyched to do my civic duty.

With people always trying to get out of jury duty, I wonder what they would do if I called up and said that I wanted in.

PS - I've been nominated for a (M)aryland (O)utstanding (B)log Award or Mobbie! You can vote once a day for one blog in each category (I'm nominated as a Family Blog) as well as for Best Overall Blog so please vote as often as you can. Voting finishes tomorrow and we need a fourth quarter push! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Why So Serious?

I am not ticklish. In fact, I love having my feet tickled, I enjoy the sensation of it, but it doesn't make me laugh. I think I would love it if there were a sure fire way to make me laugh. My husband is crazy ticklish and he absolutely hates to be tickled. Which I just don't understand. Isn't laughter one of the most amazing things there is? It makes you feel so good all over.

I love tickling Sophie and she loves being tickled. She'll lay down and I'll give her a good once over, goosing her thighs, ribcage and under her arms, and when she stops laughing, she'll look up at me eyes wide and full of anticipation, waiting for me to tickle her some more.

I am happy to oblige because there is not a thing in this world that makes me happier than her laughter. Maybe Dr. Pepper. But it's a close call.

They say the average child laughs 300 times a day while the average adult a paltry 17. At what point do we lose the love for uncontrolled elation? Laughter produces hormones that help reduce stress and are beneficial in improving the immune system. Not to mention what a good hard laugh does for the muscles. Children laugh with abandon while adults must search out the funny. I've even heard of humor clinics where people force laughter for therapeutic effect.

Why is it so hard when we're older?

Maybe we just need more tickling.

PS - I've been nominated for a (M)aryland (O)utstanding (B)log Award or Mobbie! You can vote once a day for one blog in each category (I'm nominated as a Family Blog) as well as for Best Overall Blog so please vote as often as you can. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Monday, October 5, 2009

To Hug Or Not To Hug

I am not a hugger. Which isn't to say that I am not an affectionate person, or that I am uncomfortable with being touched. But I have always felt awkward hugging and kissing people I don't know well.

I used to know this girl, we'll call her a frequaintance, because we were somewhere in between the two. Not quite friends, but calling her an acquaintances isn't quite right either. Every time I saw her, she gave me a great big hug and kiss, like real lips to skin kiss, and every time it felt weird. It might have something to do with the fact that I didn't especially like her, so the forced affection felt just that, forced. But I think it is more than that.

I don't want all of my friends to think I shrink from their embrace, because I don't. There are lots of people that I am okay with hugging, in fact initiate it. But it just doesn't always feel natural to me. I very often feel quite awkward. Is it a confidence thing? Is it cultural? Are there just some people who are huggers?

I wish I could do the man hug. Now that I would be comfortable with.

PS - I've been nominated for a (M)aryland (O)utstanding (B)log Award or Mobbie! You can vote once a day for one blog in each category (I'm nominated as a Family Blog) as well as for Best Overall Blog so please vote as often as you can. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Thursday, October 1, 2009


"I haven't been feeling so great the last couple of days. I've really been making mommy's life hell. Getting up in the wee hours. Being cranky and clingy. Fighting whenever she tried to give me medicine.

Now, just as I'm feeling better, she's starting to feel sick. My evil plan is coming together. Mwa ha ha ha ha."

PS - I've been nominated for a Mobbie! You can vote once a day for one blog in each category (I'm nominated as a Family Blog) as well as for Best Overall Blog so please vote as often as you can.