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?