Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Mourning in red - appropriate for a red country, no?

Taking a break from my official mourning and wailing to pop in and say hi.  Cold in Pyongyang, but luckily I received a new down coat for Christmas.  Some may feel it's inappropriate to mourn in a red coat, but those fuckers aren't going to say anything aloud unless they would like a winter vacation in a work camp.

I never received an email notification from Best Buy so I went to the store last night.  Lo and behold, they had the games.  Thanks, jerkwads!  On the other hand, it's probably for the best that they didn't arrive before Christmas.  The Dynamic Duo had way too much stuff.  Way too much.  I returned some things in the days leading up to Christmas, donated a haul to Toys for Tots, and put some aside for Easter.  And they still had too much crap.  We are so very lucky.

Gotta run, my turn to wail for the cameras! 

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Dear Best Buy -

On December 13th, I placed an order for five video games to be delivered to the store for pick up.  I haven't received an email telling me they are in the store.Where are my damn games?

You better not even consider opening a store in Pyongyang if this is how you treat a world leader.

Sincerely,

Jill
Benevolent Dictator
Future Dear Leader

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Mazel Tav, bitches!


Personally, I think having a bag full of candles is highly practical, especially if you are a PEPCO customer.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Career opportunity of a lifetime!

As if my holidays weren't crazy enough, Kim Jong Il died.  Longtime readers know that the Dear Leader was a dedicated fan of mine.  We dictators have to stick together, since there are so few of us left after the Arab Spring. 

His death also means that I have to get my resume polished since I am sure to be called to interview for the opening.  Kim Jong Un seems like a nice kid, but let's be frank: I am more experienced (ask any of my former interns) and would be a better choice.  I would also let my people eat, which would make me extremely popular.  And I would license "Friends" to be shown on the Korean television channel - and maybe even bring in HBO...I'd need something to watch in the palace.  But let's not get carried away.  I'll start out by letting people eat 1,000 calories a day.  I'm already beloved.

Jill for Supreme Leader

Thursday, December 15, 2011

#gladimnottheonlyone

I have no time this week, sorry fans.  But I did stumble across this and could have written it, since it expresses my feeling on the whole elf thing, so if you want to read something funny and original, check this out:

People I Want to Punch in the Throat: Over Acheiving Elf on the Shelf Mommies.

I can never remember to move the damn elf!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition!


I seem to be in working mother holiday hell.  Work and the family come first, obvs, but on top of all that, we are bombared with the holiday season. 

Magazines and Oprah (and the Oprah magazine!) can preach all they want about how we need to cut back and enjoy the holidays.  Ok, but where?  What do we cut?  And how?  I've cut everything back to bare bones.  Laundry and groceries are musts so CPS doesn't drag the children away.  The dogs enjoy being fed and poop has to be cleaned up at least annually.  I triage the crap that has to be done and now I'm supposed to add in the holidays?!? 

Every evening after work this week has been spent shopping, making cookies, cleaning up the mess, doing laundry.  I kid you not, I've been to a store every night this week (different stores for different things/errands) and still had to bake into the wee hours, rotate laundry in between batches, and wipe shit off the dogs' paws because Leo had to poop on the steps when the weather turns cold. (Gwenyth is smirking because she does all this in a single morning and still has time for pilates after she bakes her macrobiotic cookies.)  I'm doing it this week because next week is a killer at work and I know I will be too stressed and exhausted to deal with it then.

No one expects me to be superwoman, least of all me.  I want to make sure that my children have a nice memory and that we start some wonderful traditions.  I want to enjoy the spirit of the season.  I want to drink by the glow of the tree.  I want to do the cookie exchange because I need that time with my friends to chat and unwind and reconnect.  I will do all of this, even if it kills me - which it just might.

And if it doesn't get done, fuck it.  The kids can go to therapy later.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Looking good, Louis!

I'm covering a hearing, and it's going to be a record for the longest hearing I've ever covered.  Started at 9:30 this morning and just called up the third panel of witnesses at 4:50 pm. 

Mostly posting because before I got this job, the only thing I knew about commodities was what I learned from Trading Places.  Apparently, I'm not the only one.  There is an "Eddie Murphy Rule" in Dodd-Frank.  Billy Ray Valentine lives on.

ETA: The hearing gaveled to and end just after 6pm.  My personal record for longest hearing.  Woot!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

We're Vikings, it's an occupational hazard.

I was going to write a post about what a motherfucking shitty commute I had this morning, thanks to rain, bumper to bumper traffic, and a "low air pressure" light while stuck dead in the middle of said traffic.  However, after parking on the side of the 395, inspecting the tires in steady beating rain while wearing a dress and heeled boots, bitching at The Spouse's voice mail about how pissed I am with the Batmobile's tires, and conveying the level of my unhappiness at the dealership's service man, I found the perfect Christmas gift for me while waiting for a verdict:


It's called a Beardhead, and this snazzy company makes them.  How awesome is that?!?  Best of all, you can change out the mustache, in case you are in mood for a fu manchu, mario, or walrus mustache!!!  I seriously think I need one of these to walk the dogs in. 

If that doesn't float your boat, you could always buy me this:



The helmets also come in Viking and Spartan. 

I kinda think I need the Valkyrie helmet. 

I kinda think The Spouse will disagree. 

*Please note that while I have posted pics things I love, I have gotten paid exactly bupkis. However, I would marry this hat and have its babies if Beardhead decided to send me one. There, are you happy FCC?*

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

The holidays are sneaking up on us and Congress is once again giving us its annual holiday treat: a budget showdown. 

Unlike the Showcase Showdown, the budget showdown sucks.  There are no winners, and everyone looks bad in the end.  Some might ask why they don't just cut a deal and leave town.  Elementary, my dear Emma Watson: it would deprive them of the opportunity to sling mud at each other for another month.  Or they don't want to return to their home districts and have to spend time with their families -- the holidays are stressful on family relationships, after all.  (Members of Congress, they're just like US!)

I should consider it a blessing that we don't take the Dynamic Duo on the road over the holidays.  Between the stress and expense of traveling around Christmas, as well as the lack of vacation time due to sick kids, we stay put in the Batcave through the new year.  This allows me to truly celebrate the season of love and joy by working through the holidays. 

Thanks, Congress!

Here's a treat, in honor of the turkeys, lame ducks, and chickens that represent the American public:

Monday, December 5, 2011

My precious!

Apologies to my fans for not posting.  It's hard being a dictator, y'know?  Ok, you probably don't, but I've been a little nervous about being overthrown ever since the Arab Spring.  Trying to lay low for awhile and hope things blow over.  But I had to come in and post this, care of George Takei:


Just something to get you in the holiday shopping spirit!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. Sort of. Only we call him Walmart.

The Dynamic Duo decided that this year's must-have Christmas gift is the Hot Wheels Wall Tracks starter set. 



I attempted to pick one up in Target when it went on sale on Sunday but found only empty shelves and rainchecks. I tried to e-shop it, just to get it over with, only to discover that every other boy ages 5-9 wants one, too. 

Groan.

They were sold out in site after site, and going for nearly twice the MSRP on ebay and Amazon.  I finally discovered that Walmart was accepting orders and claimed to have it in stock.  I took the leap of faith, paid the MSRP (that hurt, I hate it when I don't get a bargain), and placed the order.

It just arrived.

Way to go, Walmart!  Christmas is saved (as long as those stinkers don't change their minds).

I'm just glad I'm not hunting for a Leappad.  Phew!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sorry fans

I know my audience is checking in hourly to see if I have any exciting new updates.  Alas, I am still a member of the walking dead.  Hoping to be back among the living by Turkey Day, because it's been nearly two weeks.  My sinuses are draining, which is a step in the right direction, and the stuff coming out of my nose is fascinating and disgusting at the same time.  It wouldn't be so bad if it wouldn't leak out at work.  Or Target. 

On that note, have an appetizing Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Only you can stop the zombie apocalypse


I got my flu shot a couple weeks ago, but neglected to get the creeping crud shot.  My sore throat on Thursday added sniffles and fever on Friday.  By Saturday, I was in full zombie mode, shuffling aimlessly and trying to eat brains.  Urgent Care diagnosed a sinus infection and bronchitis on top of the walking dead virus.  The Spouse, bless him, did not retreat to the Winchester with a cricket bat, but rather let me veg on the moaning couch with my cozy pants and have a man cold.

I have been sick for an entire week now, but finally feel like maybe I'm starting to kick it.  Maybe. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Thankful

Today I am thankful for antibiotics.  Last week, I had a "mom cold" that advanced to a "man cold" that advanced to a sinus infection/bronchitis thing.  I missed a day off with my dad, snuggling with a newborn baby, dinner  with good friends, and a gorgeous three day weekend.  I'm pretty pissed about it.  After 24 hours on drugs, I'm back down to "mom cold" category (yes, I know the antibiotics won't treat a virus, and no, I don't plan to stop taking them just because I feel better).

I'm also thankful for modern washing machines and dryers.  The amount of laundry that we generate is unbelievable.  Laundry has had a starring role in my drugged out dreams over the past few days and night time cold meds seem to reinforce my laundry insecurity.  While I am thankful for sleep, it's been anything but restful.  Laundry nightmare, wake up coughing, different laundry nightmare, repeat.

The Spouse tells me that my hacking cough-til-I-gag is hot. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Shopping angst

Few people love a deal more than I do, and few people experience buyer's remorse over every single thing they buy.  I research every purchase with regard to quality and price.  I comparison shop, look for coupons and promo codes, and am a dedicated ebates user.  Of course, I also fall victim to a good deal that I don't always need which begats more buyer's remorse.

This time of year is hell for me.  I have a general idea of what the kids want for Christmas, but no idea what the *big* wants are.  I'm finding good prices on things I think they'll like, but they are becoming more specific on what they do and don't want.  Mostly Batman - who looked at us Christmas morning and announced that Santa got it wrong. Robin will still gladly receive random crap, but I don't want to coast on that given the guilt I felt after his birthday when I realized he didn't get anything on his list.

I'm wondering if I should buy stuff I see now when prices seem fair, or hold off until Black Friday to see if prices get better.  But will they?  Or will I miss my chance to get Matchbox Mega Rig Shark Set and that becomes the one thing Robin has to have and I can't get it?  (I think I'm the one that wants it, not so much them. But I would have tons of fun with it at bath time.)

Crap.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Gramps

My dad arrived Saturday morning and the Superheroes are beside themselves.  They have decided instead of calling him "Grandpa" they will call him "Gramps" because it's less work.  Whatever floats your boats.  My dad is doing alright after 48 hours of small children, but I think he was relieved when we all left him alone today.

Gramps and I took the boys to Mount Vernon yesterday.  They loved it, as expected.  They always have such a wonderful time there, mostly because they can pretty much run, jump, play wherever (within reason).  In all the times we have been since we had children, we haven't taken them in the mansion.  That's ok, gives them something to look forward to. 

It was an amazing fall day.  They rolled down the hill behind the house, dug in dirt, threw rocks in the Potomac, went on a "nature walk" through the forest on the way back up the hill, and Robin had a really nasty diaper changed next to the cow pasture (had to be done ASAP and there wasn't anywhere else to do it).  The boys were filthy, hungry, and tired, so we ate lunch at the food court before we went through the museum.  I'm amazed that they enjoy it as much as they do, and that's a testment to the Ladies of Mount Vernon. 

We are now the proud holders of annual passes. My hope is that we go at least once before they expire, then they will have paid for themselves. As we were leaving, we saw a minivan with Virginia plates and a Chico State alum frame holder.  Crazy.  What are the odds?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Thankful

This is the time of year for everyone and their mother to post what they are thankful about, so I thought I would post my own list.  I am not a heartless ogre (contrary to the views of a select few) and am always thankful for my family, health, home, job, etc -that's a daily gratitude.  This is my list of those extra things that make my life awesome.

-Five Guys.  How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.  I love your well done burgers and lightly toasted buns.  I love your crisp fries.  I love your free refills on soda.  I love your cheap price.  I do not love the ten pounds I gained when I stopped breastfeeding.  The introduction of online ordering has only deepened my love for you.

-Hot water.  Good for cooking, cleaning, long showers, baths, laundry. 

-Classic automobiles.  What beauty and style!  Mobile art.  I wish cars these days  had some orginality to them.  People like The Spouse are the problem.  I asked if I could get a two tone Batmobile with white walls and was denied.  Killjoy.


-Television.  Oh, television.  You are my very best friend.  You have traveled with me on my journey across country and overseas.  The Friends I had in college were the Friends I had in Saipan and the Friends I had in DC.  You inspired my career (mwah to you, Schoolhouse Rock) and kept me company when I was sick at home (I love you, too, Bob Barker even if you are a sorta crazy vegan).


-I'm a complete bitch. {shrug} It's true, I am.  When I was growing up, I wanted to be someone that was well liked and got along with people, but that is so not in my true nature.  I have very strong opinions and share them.  I don't like certain people/things/situations and I tell them so.  People don't always like me (though, truth me told, most of those people suck).  I made peace with that part of me and now I'm grateful for it.  My bitchiness protected me from peer pressure and dangerous situations. If I felt uncomfortable doing something, I said no.  I stand up for myself and my beliefs and that is a good thing - most of the time. 

-I'm tall.  Similar to the above, when I was growing up I really wanted to be petite and cute but I was always head and shoulders above everyone - especially in middle school.  I topped out at 6' and things turned around in college.  Now, I wouldn't change it for anything (it helps that pants are now widely available in long lengths).  It's nice to be able to see over people's heads.

*

-Sarcasm.  98% of my personality is based on sarcasm, the rest is based on pop culture mixed with sarcasm.


- Toilet Paper.  In the olden days, people used to wipe their bums with corncobs.  Can you imagine heading to the out house in the dead of winter to take a dump, then having to wipe your shit with a frozen corncob?  No siree!  Thank you, Mr. Whipple, for asking us not to squeeze the Charmin.


That's it for today.  I'm thankful for my job and now that lunch break is over, time to get back to working.

*Thanks to jonskindzier

Thursday, November 3, 2011

This week has been so busy, it feels like I'm working on the Hill again.  It reminds me why I love my career. 

I'm a fighter.  I'm stubborn and get angry and lose my temper.  I love it when I'm engaged in a good debate on an issue.  I love hurling grenades and having them tossed back at me.  I can so relate to Rod, "See, that's the difference between us.  You think we're fighting, I think we're finally talking."  I probably would have been a good campaigner, but I was always afraid that I wouldn't get paid.  Maybe I should be a talking head.  Hmm... must ponder.

Anyway, in conclusion, my temperment may make me a good lobbyist, but I can be hard to live with.  Thanks, honey!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

My new favorite product


This K-PAK Color Therapy Restorative Styling Oil was in my Allure big box of beauty.  I was apprehensive about trying it at first - hello, it's a leave in oil - but am now a true believer!  I put a tiny amount on my hand then run through my wet hair.  My hair blows out super smooth and soft or air dries looking shiny and healthy.  Very happy with it!  Thanks Allure!

*Please note that while I have posted pics things I love, I have gotten paid exactly bupkis.  There, are you happy FCC?*

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Witch is Back!

This is what I looked like this morning before my shower:
Thankfully, after a hot shower and a cold Diet Coke, I'm back to my normal self, more or less.  It's been a long tiring week. 

Things I have done instead of updating my blog:
-Working.  Can you believe they actually want a return on my salary?
-Trying a new lunch spot.  I hate to eat food I haven't eaten before.  I know that's weird and silly, but I'm a picky eater (hello, this is where Batman gets it).  I put on my big girl panties and went to Roti for lunch yesterday.  It was good and I'll probably go again.  It helped that I read the menu online and planned exactly what I would get so I didn't freeze when I got there.  I would be a much better networker if I could eat like a normal person, but I can't and I dread meeting people for lunch unless they are close friends and it's my home turf (i.e. Five Guys).
-Meeting with Batman's teacher to discuss his food fight, trip to the principal's office, and other terrible behavior. 
-Prepping for Halloween.  Our lights and decorations are out.  The lawn has been planted with tombstones.  It's spider season in Virginia, and a HUGE wolf spider has taken up residence near our porch light.  Our pumpkins have been attacked by fruit flies.  We have our spook on.
-Gathering costume materials.  Batman is going to be a knight this year.  Robin is going to be Batman.  I am going to be a porter, a la Monty Python and the Holy Grail.  I have my coconuts and burlap.



If I'm not back, have a Happy Halloween!  In the words of the recently fired TSA agent, "Get Your Freak On!"

Monday, October 24, 2011

Heartbreaker

Poor Robin's heart broke into a million pieces yesterday. 

Batman and I are like the waves on the ocean.  Sometimes we're up, sometimes we're down, occasionally there's a high tide involved.  We're deliriously happy, then upset.  We are probably justthisside of bi-polar.  Robin and The Spouse are much deeper and calmer in their emotions.  It takes a lot to push their buttons, but when it happens it's more like a tsunami of emotion.  Rage, happiness, sadness, doesn't matter. 

Robin and I had a cold over the weekend - nothing major, just some sniffles and coughs.  Enough to keep us out of swimming lessons in the unheated pool on Saturday (Yippeee!!).  Batman was grounded from tv and playdates for his attempted food fight on Friday.  By Sunday evening, he was bored, bored, bored and restless.  We relented on the tv ban while The Spouse and I watched our respective football teams win(!) because we knew it would torture him to have to watch sports.  Batman began begging The Spouse to take him out to play football after dinner.  The Spouse gave in, but told me he didn't want to take Robin due to sniffles, inability to catch a ball, prone to wandering in the darkness, etc.

I took Robin to the basement to "help" me with laundry and letting the dogs out. Then he went upstairs to "help" me clean his bedroom. After 20 minutes or so, he noticed that Batman wasn't around.  Then he did an audit of the house and reported that Batman and The Spouse were both gone.  Then, my little 3 year old baby, put 2 + 2 together and discovered it equaled him getting screwed.  He sat on the stairs and sobbed.  And sobbed.  And sobbed. He cried his poor little heart out.  My heart broke for him, and I also thought it was unfair that I had to deal with him he had to stay inside.  I had never seen him cry like that before. 

I projected forward on all the things that will break his heart someday: First crush that doesn't like him back; first love that cheats on him; not getting to attend his first choice college; loss of a pet or family member.  All of these things looming in front of him, but this was his first broken heart and, worse yet, a betrayal by his father.  After awhile, I was able to calm him down and distract him with toys until the backstabbers returned with pink cheeks and frozen fingers.  Then the sobbing began again.

The Spouse didn't quite get it, so I walked Robin through confronting his father.  "Daddy, you really hurt my feelings because you didn't take me."  Sob.  "It wasn't fair that I had to stay inside."  Sob.  "I wanted to go, too."  Sob.  His poor little body was wracked with sobs.  The Spouse was blindsided by the emotion coming from this heartbroken little boy.  He still thinks of Robin as a baby who is easily distracted by things, not realizing that Robin wants to be treated the same as Batman. 

I'm not sure that there is a happy ending to this story.  Maybe The Spouse will remember this and take Robin with him the next time he and Batman go out to play.  Maybe The Spouse will feel guilty and take Robin out on an adventure for just the two of them.  I don't know.  I hope Robin doesn't remember how hurt he was last night. 

I did learn one thing last night: Robin and I sob exactly the same way when our hearts are broken.

Friday, October 21, 2011

I need this - and one for driving


In other news, Batman tried to start a food fight in the cafeteria.  He was trying to persuade his friends to join him, and start the festivities by dumping his water bottle on his head. 

He just turned six!!

Lord, beer me strength.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

It's Beginning to look a lot like Christmas...in my mailbox

Yesterday was an exciting mail day for Batman, Robin, and me.  The new Lego catalog arrived for Batman, the Fisher-Price holiday catalog arrived for Robin, and the Barbie Collector catalog arrived for me!  Ordinarily, I would be super peeved that these catalogs arrived in October, just to get my kids riled up for the holidays, however it was the BARBIE catalog!!! (and American Girl.  Seriously, WTF?  But that's for another post on another day.)

The three of us sat at the kitchen table and poured over our catalogs in silence for several minutes - which in kid time is roughly equivalent to four adult hours.  It was beautiful.  Then we all began adding things to our Christmas lists.

Batman pouted that he can't have Lego sets for kids 7+.  It's not that I'm a stickler for the age guidelines, but I relented and let his Mimi get him a Lego Alien Invasion set for his birthday and it frustrated him (but did keep him quiet in his room for hours.  Again, in kid time, it's like we didn't see/hear from him for days.)  He finally relented and put a fire truck and the rest of the catalog some other things on his list. 

Robin kept asking for TRIO Batcave.  Not going to happen, kid.  Batman has a Batcave and you guys seldom play with it, so you can get over it.  But the Joker house is an option.  Maybe. 
After buying myself two Barbies for my birthday, I was leary of asking for another doll that will gather dust under the stairs. (Sidenote: I used to have them in the guest room and I would sit and admire them for the works of art they are.  But then we had Robin and Batman moved into the guest room and the Barbies moved to the basement.  Not that anyone but me cares about this migration.)  But I found two beautiful and practical items to add to my list.

A Barbie watch.  I had one once.  It was my "dress" watch for fancy occasions until I got thrown into a pool while wearing it and it never worked again. 
This watch would be super practical because it comes with multiple bands and faces.  Think of all the outfits I could mix and match with this watch.  The possibilities are endless. 

I also found this highly practical tote, but Matel informs me it is sold out.  No matter, there is always ebay.


I added these to my Christmas list, ripped the pages from the catalog and put them on The Spouse's nightstand, and all begged him over and over again.  I was met with an eyeroll and a sigh. 

Batman and I read the officially-sanctioned-by-kindergarten book before bed, then cuddled and read the Lego catalog, cover to cover.  It's probably not what his teacher hoped for when she tasked us with reading to our kids for 15 minutes each night, but whatevs, it was reading.  Batman even read, "Ships for Free" all by himself.  Useful life skill, kid. 

*Please note that while I have posted pics things the Superheroes and I love, I have gotten paid exactly bupkis.  There, are you happy FCC??*

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The more you know

Today's PSA is brought to you by the National Park Service.  From this morning's commute:



Dammit!  I was going to ditch my car on the GW Parkway and dive recklessly in the Potomac River.  Guess that plan is off.  Might as well go to work.


Also this morning, I giggled at this blog on why Generation X is the Jan Brady of the generations. 




Obviously, I ripped the graphic off from NBC.  Just in case there was any confusion.)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

knock knock

What do you call it when a Congressman, a lobbyist, a nun and a redhead walk into a bar?

I call it Tuesday.

Monday, October 17, 2011

It's a beautiful day to be born

I would like to welcome Landon James to the world.  He arrived this morning to a sunny crisp fall day, and his friends and family couldn't be happier.

I'm super busy at work, and no time to write, but wanted to share a pic I snapped on my walk to get lunch today.  Occupy DC on K Street.  I didn't tell them I was a dirty lobbyist. 


Now, back to rolling in my piles of money while I destroy the world. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Protestors.

Rain.

Construction on Constitution Ave.

Stupid Commute.

Grumble.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Bullet Gumbo

- My mom arrived Friday morning.  I took a half day and we had sushi for lunch, then home for naps.  Got goody bags and things ready for the party.

-The keyboard on my Droid 2 is shot, so I had a new (refurb) one shipped to me.  It won't charge the battery.  Another one is supposed to arrive tomorrow, but it was a pain in my ass to charge batteries on the old Droid and plug them into the new one. Even worse when I discovered this Saturday morning, and my cell number and email were given as contact info.  I had to drive into my office in DC before heading to the party venue in Woodbridge.

- Party was good, boys had a blast.  Great to see my friends and get to know parents of the kids' friends. 

-Had subsequent parties on Sunday and Monday.  Am now going through birthday cake withdrawals.

-Went shopping at Potomac Mills after the party.  I parked mom in fitting rooms and brought her clothes.  She got a much needed wardrobe update.  I got three pairs of shoes (but need to return one.)

-Was supposed to have a haircut on Friday, but stylist had to reschedule.  Had a massage/facial/mani/pedi scheduled for Sunday.  It was rescheduled until Monday.  Weirdest salon and took forever, so I left before my massage.  Glad it was a groupon deal so I didn't feel too cheated. 

-More shoe shopping in Old Town with my mom and Batman.  She tried on every pair of black shoes that Comfort One carried in her size.  I strongly considered these in black:

Before buying a different pair of Mary Janes.  I can't find a picture, which is too bad because they are cute. 

-The Spouse and I had a night at the Hotel Monaco in Old Town.  The hallway felt like The Shining.  We were both weirded out. 


We went out for tapas and multiple pitchers of sangria at La Tasca, then walked around Old Town, recalling when we were young and in love and lived there.  Then we whispered, "Come and play with us," over and over as we walked back to our room.

- Grocery shopping and laundry yesterday.  For having a long weekend, I am behind in my chores because I played.  Whatevs, it was a good weekend.

 - Spent a shitload of money, and ordered a bunch of stuff today to try on.  Pajama Jeans (and slims) are half price today with code "halfoff".  You will so thank me for them.  You're welcome!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Bwa ha ha ha

My kid just made up a peanut allergy to get to go to the school nurse. 

The nurse called, incredibly concerned (read: extremely irritated that I'm such a neglectful parent) because Batman was having an allergic reaction to peanuts and we hadn't filled out the correct paperwork nor left an epi-pen with her.  I burst out laughing and could barely pull myself together to tell her that child had never been near a peanut and wouldn't eat one under threat of starvation.  Yes, but is he allergic?  Um, no.  Not to the best of our knowledge. 

He told her that someone gave him some candy at lunch that had peanuts and he accidently ate it and now he has a red rash that's itchy.  I don't doubt that he would eat candy with peanuts.  I've given him a peanut butter cup before.  He liked it and asked for more but I wanted to hog the candy so I said he couldn't have any more until he started eating peanut butter.  Aside from a crestfallen face and disappointment, he did not have any sort of reaction.

The kid has figured out how to work the system.

Monday, October 3, 2011

More Guilt

One of the grandmas emailed me to ask what to get the Dynamic Duo for their birthdays.  I pulled out my handy dandy list and my heart sank.  I discovered that my sweet little Robin only asked for three things and got none of them. 

Ok, the child just turned three.  He was thrilled with the Legos and Marvel super hero themed Hot Wheels he received, as well as the gifts from several friends.  Gifts from his four (yes, Four!) sets of grandparents are arriving between now and Batman's birthday in two weeks.  But, still, I feel horrible.  How hard is it to buy a $13 Transformer Rescue Bot for the kid so he gets something off his list?  Frankly, I never even consulted it, I just got him things I knew he would like.

On the other hand, the children broke the new kitchen table I got for my birthday.  More on that story later...

Friday, September 30, 2011

Happy Birthday to me

These don't exactly go together, but the total price for all is $285 - of course, I will need to pay someone to come install them.  But they will brighten up the Batcave considerably.

I can't get better photos than these.

Dining area:


Entry way:


Top flight of stairs:


Stairs to basement (2 lights), basement (3 lights), and my closet (1 light)

You say it's your birthday, It's my birthday too

My baby turns three tomorrow.  How is that possible?  Ok, I get that it's possible for him to turn three.  It feels like he's been around forever, so I don't doubt that it's been at least three years - sometimes it feels like 18 years and can't he go to college already - but how on earth am I so old that my baby, THE baby, turns three?  Huh, maybe this is really about the fact that my birthday is on Sunday.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Guilt

I had my first (from this particular school) call from the school nurse to let me know that Batman needed a parent to take care of his "situation" and then he could return to school.  Great, just great.  Batman was at school which is 15 miles, one freeway, one construction zone, and one valet parking away. 

I tried to call The Spouse, who works 3 miles and one parking garage from school.  No answer.  Left a message with him, notified my office of my impending absence, left The Spouse another message, attempted to call the valet to ask them to bring the Batmobile up (the line has been disconnected), gathered up my stuff, and was walking out the door when The Spouse returned my call.  He agreed to deal with the situation.

I sat at my desk with a knot in my stomach for two hours until I got a status report.  Batman is fine and back at school. 

As a working mother, I feel completely helpless sometimes - at the mercy of my commute and work schedule.  Or at the mercy of sick needy children.  I love my kids, I enjoy my job.  What's a mom to do?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

On my Christmas list

I found the perfect thing for Sally to get me for Christmas.  As the only two girls in the house, we have to stick together.

I know if Sally saved her money, she could buy me a really great Louis Vuitton bag - or a house - but Sally is impatient and a spendthrift.  Despite her shortcomings, I love that dog!

Leo is undecided as to what he will get me for the holidays.  But his allergies have been flaring as we enter the fall allergy season.  Fall is usually worse for him than spring, and I have told him to save his allowance in case he needs to see the dog dermatologist again.

My office smells like yogurt (mine) and OPI nail polish (not mine, somehow work related).  Not a good combination. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Birthdaypalooza

A lot of people we know got busy between the sheets sometime between December and early February.  I know this for a fact because every kid we know seems to have a birthday during the months of September and October - myself and my kids included.  This stretch of time has come to be known (in our house, at least) as Birthdaypalooza. 

Birthdaypalooza starts in late September and runs until Halloween.  We get a brief break before we enter the Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Year's stretch.  I'm not joking when I tell people my holiday season starts in September.  I start my holiday shopping in January and stockpile gifts for the rest of the year. 

As a general rule, I tend not to overbook myself the children.  I have no problems sending my their regrets to parties.  Birthdaypalooza, however, is not comprised of crumpled invitations from children I have never heard of.  No, Birthdaypalooza - in its strictest definition - is comprised of my children's closest friends (who, thankfully, are usually the offspring of my closest girlfriends.)  These are parties I the children wouldn't dream of missing.

Birthdaypalooza kicked off on Saturday with two birthday parties.  Batman and Robin were invited to the first party, and Batman alone was invited to the second.  It was a fun but exhausting day.  I stole held the birthday boys baby sister for much of the second party.  My body is not used to the jiggling and rocking that a 4 month old demands, and I am still sore.  Perhaps if I were in better shape and visited the gym occasionally, Birthdaypalooza would be easier to pull off.

Halloween is five weeks from today.  Wish me luck, people! 

Friday, September 23, 2011

It's raining.  It's Friday.  Traffic is a nightmare. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Hey, buddy, can you spare a Band Aid?

New Shoes + A Full Day of Meetings = Supreme Idiocy

I had to leave my car key with a valet.  When I returned, the Batmobile was left locked with the windows down (in a public parking garage in DC) and smelled like pee (or unwashed valet.)  Ewww.  Nothing appears to be missing, but can't help but think some joker installed a tracking device in order to locate the Batcave.   

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Ah-weem-a-way Ah-weem-a-way

On Friday, I left work and drove the Batmobile out to Chantilly to drop stuff off for the consignment sale.  After packing/unpacking the kitchen, doing the summer/fall wardrobe shift, and packing up Batman's outgrown clothes for Robin to wear in the future, I didn't have much energy to do a good haul for the sale.  I checked today, and I made $22.  {shrug} it's money I wouldn't have otherwise had and didn't require too much effort, so that's ok.

While out there, I did a Target run.  Mostly, I enjoyed being myself and just aimlessly walked through my Happiest Place on Earth.  Scored some Nats hats for the boys on clearance.  I once swore that I would never allow my children to wear a hat with a red W on it, but now that we have a Dem president and the boys lose hats like they grow on trees I decided to overlook that vow.  I grabbed a burger at Wendys and arrived home in time to put the kids to bed.

On Saturday, Robin was up way too early.  Usually, he's my kid that sleeps in.  I had to get up with him, so I gave him breakfast, turned on the tv, and went back to bed until 8am.  Responsible parenting, I know.  He's almost 3, I gated off the more dangerous areas of the house, and Batman was up at 7 to tattle should he do anything really bad.  When it was time to go to swim lessons I realized that Robin's skinned knee from earlier in the week was still oozing puss and he needed to stay home.  I woke up The Spouse, and Batman and I were off.  I was practically giddy at the thought of sitting on the sidelines and reading my book for 30 minutes, but I got a lot of "Mommy, look at me" and the 30 minutes flew by. 

After lessons, I wanted to stop by the grocery store, but Batman was complaining he was hungry (as if it were my fault that he refused to eat breakfast).  I took him to KFC/Bell for lunch.  As we were leaving, our friends were walking in.  We hadn't seen them in forever.  Our lives are moving too fast and we never have time for each other anymore.  It's too bad, too, because we all love each other so much but since Robin and their twins were born, we don't have the energy.  But, you know, we understand that about each other and it's cool.  We visited while they ate lunch, then they offered to take Batman home for the afternoon.  Um, ok!!  I grocery shopped by myself, hit the library, and headed home.  Robin was still up, so I got my crockpot chili going and put him down for his nap.  I took a very brief rest and then headed over to pick up Batman. My girlfriend and I chatted for an hour, then I finally drug Batman out by telling him what the big surprise was for the evening.  We were taking the kids to the Lion King.

After dinner, I changed into my pajama jeans which are really these jeans and are so very comfortable, stretchy, and don't lose their shape while you wear them, grabbed our Fandango passes, and hit up Mufasa.  Mufasa, Mufasa, Mufasa.  Batman was more than a little annoyed at first, because he has already seen the Lion King and wanted to see something new.  But once we got settled and the movie started, he began to appreciate the big screen and talked about how cool it was when it was over. 

On Sunday, we took the kids to church, then The Spouse went to the office.  I did mass amounts of laundry and dishes.  I made Batman spend an hour of quiet time in his room while Robin napped.  I sorted junk in the basement while keeping an eye out for stray kitchen boxes (still haven't found utensils) when I heard my bed calling my name.  I decided to lay down for 45 minutes, until the kitchen timer went off and Batman could get up.  He kept coming into my room to check the time on the clock.  When there were 10 minutes left, he laid down next to me so he could watch the time.  Two hours later, Robin woke the both of us up by calling for me over the baby monitor.  I lost two hours, but it felt delicious. 

I made enchiladas for dinner, called The Spouse to tell him it was time to leave work, did ever more laundry and sorting of junk and trashwhile I watched the last of the Cowboys/49ers (go Cowboys!  But I really strongly dislike Tony Romo).  Got rid of seven boxes of trash and found the last of the kitchen stuff.  I put The Spouse in charge of the kids and I got my Emmy pre-game on then watched the Emmys and folded laundry for the rest of the night.

*Please note that while I have posted links to products and endorsed things I love, I have gotten paid exactly bupkis.  There, are you happy FCC??*

Monday, September 19, 2011

We are broke until payday so, of course, I am shopping.  I hate my condo-era cheap beech Ikea table and green chairs in my new kitchen.  I wasn't crazy about them when I bought them, but they were cheap and filled the need.  The table is now rickety and the boys like rocking it back and forth just to be silly and drive The Spouse and I crazy.

Here's what I'm thinking for the new kitchen (best photo I have thus far - mostly done).  Cabinets are cherry, hardware is brushed nickel.




I found this table and chairs at Kmart, of all places.  The table and four chairs are on sale right now, coming in at under $250.  Since the boys are still so young and since we don't know how much longer we will live in our townhouse, I don't want to invest a lot in a set.  Cherry and black.


I found this rug at Target and thought it would be a nice touch.  Our living room has red throw pillows, so I think the red in the kitchen/dining area would pull together nicely.  Or not.  I don't really care.  I'm not Martha Stewart.


So far, only dreaming...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I'm busy actually working this week.  My line of work is very hurry-up-and-wait.  Rush, rush, rush, then sit around and wait to be called, wait for your bill to come up on the floor, wait for someone to sign off on something.  It's almost like being a model or an actress, except I don't have to worry so much about my figure, it doesn't pay as well, and I'm not famous.

Today's picture of my object of inexpensive lust is brought to you by a period of hurry up and wait and the clusterfuck that was Target's Missoni role out.  I missed out on getting anything from that collection, but Target's website helpfully suggested this bag.  It is so me. 


Speaking of Target, shopping at Target has taken on an entirely new level of awareness now that I'm stalking following Marty.  She has recently started working at a Target - not my Target - and it's interesting to read her take on my Happiest Place on Earth. 

On Saturday, our new floor was getting repaired (already! harrumph!) so I had to get the Dynamic Duo out of the house.  After terrorizing our favorite bagel shop, Batman asked if he could go to Target to add things to his birthday list.  I told him I needed to buy some things, so that worked just fine. 

As the three of us wandered up and down the toy aisle, our birthday list grew as did the pile of clearance summer items in our cart.  Stuff was 75% off, and we can always use a larger inflatable pool next summer to get our White Trash on in the front yard.  And goggles.  And kickboards.  And a slip-n-slide with an inflatable curve.  Yes, yes, yes, bring on the bargains!  Then it was time for Mommy to get the things she needed. 

All I really needed was some Grip It shelf liner for the new kitchen.  We wandered up and down the kitchen aisles.  For the love of God, man, where is that stuff?  Batman and Robin began to get more and more rambunctious.  One can only say, "Boys, don't run," so many times before they completely tune it out.  After one especially egregious transgression, I put Batman in the cart.  The child is HUGE, there is no way he belongs in the child seat of a Target cart, but after much maneuvering, he was wedged in there.  Then Robin let loose his inner freak and began to run, hide, ignore me completely.  I gave him a warning and said if he didn't walk with me and hold my hand (as I was trying to push his oversize brother and all my crap in the cart) then I would put away the things I was going to buy for them.  He whined and held my hand for .05 seconds then ran off.  So I put an item on the shelf.  This continued until he was in full fledged meltdown mode and there was a trail of clearance summer merchandise in our wake. 

Eventually (you know how it feels like several lifetimes but is really only about one minute?) I picked him up and carried him to check out as he literally screamed in my face.  I calmly checked out, paid, and got everything to the Batmobile as he screamed in my face and hit me a few times.  I told him he was going home to Daddy while Batman and I went to the library.  More screaming and kicking.  Wrangling Robin into his car seat felt like trying to get a greased pig into a car seat if the greased pig were trying to pull my hair and scratch my face.  Meanwhile, Batman was still wedged into the Target cart and I was hoping it wouldn't roll away while I was dealing with Robin. 

Once we were all in the Batmobile and the cart returned to its cart corral, I blasted the 80's on 8 to cover up the sounds of screaming from the back seat.  Take on me, take on me. Mommy, I can't want to stay with Daddy! Take me on, take on me. Mom-MEE, I can't want to go home! I'll be gone... 

Sorry, Target team members.  I'm glad I was wearing a hat and I hope the security cameras didn't get a good headshot so I can't be barred from the store. 

The universe made it up to me by leaving me a copy of Lisa See's Dreams of Joy at the library.  It has since been devoured and is so so good!

Monday, September 12, 2011

These are the days

While I wait for some testimony to get final sign off, I thought I'd drop in to do a brief wrap up of recent events.

Last week was an experience.  Batman's first day of school.  Torential rains brought about flooding that closed the schools on Friday.  His first week and we were already scrambling to line up back up childcare.  He was thrilled.  We were very happy with the decision that we made to send him to a private afterschool program - that was open - instead of the county afterschool program - which was closed.  (Side note: We have had an earthquake, floods, and endless heat.  If you consider that stink bugs destroyed crops instead of locusts, we are one plague away from a Biblical prophecy.)  And, to end it all, the 10th anniversary of 9/11 - and Leo's birthday.

We decided to skip church but otherwise treat it like any normal Sunday, GFL - groceries, football, laundry.  While Robin napped and The Spouse watched his Chiefs (win!  They won and my Cowboys lost!  Is karma kicking me for something?), I took Batman to the grocery store. 

He drove me crazy.  Bopping around, asking for this or that, getting in/out of the way too small truck cart over and over and over until I was on my last nerve.  After spending five minutes discussing why I would not be buying him Danimals yogurt (too expensive, no coupons, no sale), I had had it.  Then I heard 10,000 Maniacs come over the store's sound system.  These are the days, indeed.  These are the days I always hoped and prayed for.  A loving husband, 2.5 kids to bother me to death, 2 dogs, and a career that I enjoy.  These are indeed the days.  I never thought I could have kids, and I was blessed with two.  What more is there, really?  I scooped Batman up and gave him a hug and a kiss while he struggled in my arms.  I smelled his hair and was grateful to have that day and that moment.

I survived the 10th anniversary of 9/11 withouth crying or having to explain it to my children.  I know I will have to, one day.  I will have to explain how scared we were, how I couldn't locate The Fiance (Daddy, as they now call him) and didn't know if he was safe or not.  How I wore a new suit to work that day and couldn't wear it again without thinking of that day and the fear so I gave it away.  All of the other details about that day that are etched into my brain.  But that's one day.  It wasn't yesterday, and I hope it's not today.

Now let's get on with life.  Life.

Friday, September 9, 2011

I'm so fucking glad that the plane went down in PA.

I plan to spend 9/11 forgetting about 9/11. 

I'm contemplating skipping church, because I'm sure there will be a special prayer of rememberance. 

It's Leo's birthday, so the kids and I can bake him a cake. 

The Cowboys are playing the early game. 

I don't want to forget that day, but I don't want to remember it, either.  It was horrible.  I watched (and smelled) the Pentagon burn for three days as I drove back and forth between my home in Arlington, 2 miles from the Pentagon, and my job on Capitol Hill.  I saw the refrigerator trucks for the bodies.  While the rest of America cried in front of tvs, those of us in Washington and New York saw it live.  I don't think they feel the same way that we do.  And I don't think DC had the same experience New York had.

Things that have changed in my life in direct relation to 9/11:  We got cell phones.  I left a career I loved on the Hill because I no longer felt safe (security has vastly improved since 9/11).  My kids are in daycare far from where I work, because I don't want them near a big target.  We have contingency plans for evacuation; shelter in place; how I will get home if the bridges close; how daycare will handle the kids if both parents don't make it home for the evening - or forever. 

I miss the life I had before 9/11 - the career, the hope, the confidence.  Sadly, the last real thing I remember from life pre-9/11 was the horrible dress Macy Gray wore to the MTV video awards.

I want to live my life (thank you, God), love my kids, play with my dogs, watch my Cowboys, and not think about it.

I'm so fucking glad that the plane went down in PA.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Everything I needed to know I learned from the internet

Tuesday was Batman's first day of kindergarten at the local elementary school.  He was fine and pretty cool with everything all weekend.  By the end of the weekend, he and Robin fought like cats and dogs, but that's to be expected.  He went to bed early Monday night and fell asleep - no tossing and turning.

Tuesday morning, he woke up and seemed ok.  Ate breakfast, got dressed, brushed teeth.  I had butterflies, but he didn't say anything if he did.  I didn't want to ask him about it and put the idea in his head so I let it go. 

He was absolutely fine...


until he got to morning care - run by the county for us working parents.  The room was crowded, chaotic, and loud.  He had some friends there, but clung to me.  I got him registered and then we waited to go to his room.  He would not let go of me.

It was somewhat confusing getting to his room, but it was the first one, so I guess that's a good thing for him.  He won't get as lost. 


His friends were already there, so he found his cubby and put away his backpack.


 Then he would not let go of me. 


All of a sudden all of his anxieties and fears surfaced. 



The teacher's aide would not take my hint (very broad, "I need to go NOW and Batman needs a little help getting settled."  She must be new to this.) 


The teacher was at the door, checking kids in, but finally I had to drag him over there and say goodbye - again - and go out.  When I passed by five minutes later, he was still standing in the library area of the room while his friends colored.

I was nervous all day about Batman taking the bus to afterschool care, but didn't call and he did just fine.  The Spouse reported via text message that Robin's drop off for his first day in the 3's went fine.  Robin was a little confused and uncertain and The Spouse just bailed on him.  Such are differences between moms and dads.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

This morning, we had a life changing moment: Batman's first day of school.  However, I can't write it up because my personal secretary, assistant, and housekeeper have neglected to show for duty.  Good help is so hard to find.

Why is it that the times we most want to capture we have no time to do so, and when we have all the time in the world there is nothing to say?

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Back to Schoooooooool, Again!



Tonight starts the beginning of Kindergartenpalooza.  My little Batman was invited to his very first mixer, a popsicle playdate sponsored by the PTA.  As a Chico State sorority girl, I can only imagine that once a bunch of five year olds get their popsicles it is much like rush kick off:


(Ok, that's actually a Cesar Chavez party from 2010, but it seems nothing has changed in the 20 years since I attended.)


Tomorrow morning, we get his class assignment and have kindergarten open house.  I am desperately hoping that he has at least one friend in his class.  It doesn't have to be a best friend, or even a good friend, but someone he knows by name would be helpful.  As long as he has someone to sit with in the quad and share a coffee that first week before he really starts making friends. 

Tuesday is the first day of school for kids in Virginia.  I plan to take Batman to school myself the first day.  After that, he will be in before school care at one place, and after school care at another place.  Combined with Robin being at a different school altogether means that The Spouse and I will be driving all over beginning next week. 

I am hoping and praying that I do not forget a child, and end up with one in the car when I arrive at work.  Thankfully, I park in an underground garage with a valet, so even if I leave them in the car, they are relatively safe.  I also worry about The Spouse forgetting to pick up one of the kids.  Somehow, we will stumble through it.  Millions of families across the country send their children to school and learn to deal with the new routine. 

Lord, beer me strength. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming

The back to back disasters last week threw me off my normal summer/August/week schedule.  Now where was I?  Oh, yeah, vacation.

We got the dogs dropped off at jail, car packed, and hit the road EXACTLY ON SCHEDULE.  That doesn't happen in my life, ever.  EVER.  We stopped south of Fredricksburg for lunch.  Yes, I know, we were barely on the road, but it was lunchtime.



All the way down, Batman was bitching that he wanted to go to the hotel and Busch Gardens first, he didn't want to stop at the Lodge for two nights.  Over and over.  Finally told him to stop complaining, or we would turn this wagon around right now dammit!  Robin fell asleep and took a 1/2 hour nap.  Not what we hoped, but not too bad either. 

Check in at Great Wolf Lodge wasn't too bad.  Our room wasn't ready, but we were prepared for that.  We changed and hit the water park.  The boys loved Great Wolf Lodge!!  We spent a few hours in the park, then our room was ready.  We showered and changed, then headed to Sonic for dinner.  Stupid Williamsburg Sonic, which should have been a highlight of our trip, did not have popcorn chicken.  Batman ate apple slices while the rest of us ate dinner.



Conveniently, A WalMart was adjacent to Sonic, so we bought some snacks and groceries for the week, and got Batman some chicken nuggets from the Diet Coke store.  Then back to GWL for the show and story time.

The show freaked my kids out.  It was too loud and they did not like the talking trees.  But they liked the story, and learning to howl afterward.




Bed time did not go well.  They were pumped up over vacation, then we put them in bunk beds, and we didn't have a door to close.  Not great.  They were up until nearly 11pm.  We spent all day Tuesday in the waterpark, aside from a three hour nap, during which time Batman wet the bed.  We had lunch at the GWL outdoor restaurant and saw a snake.  After naps, I got Chicken Nugget store and Sonic for dinner.  We ate in our room, then went back to the water park for the rest of the evening.

Robin liked the lazy river and the beach/wave area the best.  He liked the baby pool and waterslide area at first, but it was a little colder than the rest.  He tried one of the little kid waterslides only because I pushed down, convinced he would love it.  A 7 year old caught him for me at the bottem, and he said he wouldn't go on it again.  Ok, fine.  He was mostly content to sit on top of me on a tube while we floated down the river or rode the waves.  And I was happy not to have to chase him around.  We got Batman to go on one of the biggest waterslides, but he would only go on one of the three he was big enough to ride.  The Spouse and I would take turns handing Robin off.

The kids were exhausted, but still hard to get to sleep that night.  I helped shower them off, then I took my phone and a magazine and headed off to do laundry (not a planned excursion, but didn't want dirty pee laundry sitting around in a hot car for a few days.)  Spent hours in the laundry room and clothes were still damp.  I hung them to dry in the room.



We splept in the next morning and decided to do some land based things at GWL before we left.  I bought tickets from the concierge while The Spouse took the boys to the video arcade.  We packed our stuff into the wagon and we were off.  Next stop: Jamestown.



We had a surprisingly good time at Jamestown.  It wasn't too hot and the boys found the stuff there pretty interesting.  The outdoor exhibits were really interesting.  We didn't go to the indoor museum and Batman was disappointed.  We told him we would next time.

Indian Village.  The Powhatan Indians were living in the area when the white man arrived.  I'd tell you the story of Pochahantas, but Disney did it much better (ok, worse, but it's more entertaining.)






Ships on the James River:



The ships are tiny, and were packed to the gills with people and food.  It must have been hot, miserable, stuffy, confining, and altogether unpleasant.   Though it must be pointed out that it would have been downright roomy and luxurious compared to the suffering of those on slave ships.





Then we were off to the fort:






After that, we straggled back up the hill to the museum, ate lunch, bought some souveniers, then checked into our hotel for the next two nights.  We stayed at a Fairfield Inn and Suites.  I was not thrilled that our suite didn't have a door to close between the rooms.  But it did have two full baths which came in handy when Batman announced he needed to poop, so Robin said he had to poop, too.  And he did.  On the potty!!  We were so excited and I hoped that perhaps things were clicking, but nope.  Nothing since then.

It took forever to get the boys to nap, then it took forever to wake them up, and they were grumpy for at least an hour.  We hit the Haunted Dinner Theater for dinner.  It was a little (lot) cheesy, but it was great to keep the boys entertained while we ate.  It was an all-you-can-eat buffet with shrimp and crab legs.  I was in heaven!  I greatly angered Robin by daring to take this photo.  He collapsed into a full tantrum that took forever to snap him out of.


Thankfully, boys did sleep that night and we were able to relax and watch some tv in the sitting room area. 

Thursday was Busch Gardens day.  What can I say?  It was fun.  Boys had a great time.  We got there sorta early, spent a few hours, ate lunch at Bretzels und Biers, went back to the hotel for a nap, then returned for the evening.  We had smoked brisket for dinner in the French Village, then played some games so both boys won a stuffed animal.  We stayed for the fireworks, then back home to bed.  But not before someone kicked 20 ounces of lemonade all over the back of my wagon.  I'm still pissed.

I was sick when I woke up Friday.  Horrible cold.  The Spouse took the kids to breakfast at the hotel and brought me back milk and cereal.  We stopped at Kmart after we checked out, so I could get some Dayquil.  We headed to Williamsburg for lunch and to walk around a bit.  Batman was a bear, because it was the last day of vacation and he didn't want to leave.  I know you're sad, kid, but don't be such a shit.  They found a toy store and spent Batman's allowance on some Legos and Robin got a car.  We ate lunch at the Trellis (?) then walked for a bit.




Eventually, boys were tired so we left.  We headed home, drove through rain, stopped for gas, and made it home ahead of rush hour, more or less.

We arrived to find this in our kitchen:


Detail work on the kitchen is getting done today.  So that's it.  How I spent my summer vacation, by Jill Homer.