Category Archives: funny

the land of meltdowns

Last week, A. and I crossed into the land of meltdowns (said with a booming voice) where storms can unleash with little warning. Our little helper — who loves to sweep, rubs down the floor with tissues and toddles to the trash can to throw away litter — gave me his first forceful “NO!” when I tried to change his diaper. It was accompanied by a little kick and I raised my eyebrow, like, “Really? You’re going to go there?”

In general, this kid is awesome. He wakes up in his crib and reads to his llama and owl for an hour. The other day I heard him counting. He giggles like crazy and has a new way of saying, “Hi!” that brightens up a room. He sings to himself, and says things like, “Mama, hat, on” when he wants me to put on a hat and “Book, couch” when he wants to read with me. He says “mama, nine” (that’s wine) and “papa, beer.” (Hmmmm…) He always says please (“peas”) and he grabs my face to give me kisses.

beautifulboyapril2013

And now there is this budding streak of independence and “no” is his new favorite word. Last week, he tried to shake off my hand and run into the street. I grabbed him, jerked him to safety and made him look me in the eye while I told him why that wasn’t OK. Major Meltdown. (A few drivers flashed me sympathetic smiles.) He has a new fascination with outlets and crouches down to see if he can look into the wall. Cool! Electricity! He drags us objects to plug in and we shake our heads, “No, buddy, how about we don’t plug in the curling iron where you can step on it?” Meltdown. He loves the food processor plunger, but we decided that hey, maybe that’s not a great toy so let’s lock that cabinet. Meltdown.

He’s only 16 1/2 months, but I’m seeing a rapid change. It’s natural development and A. and I agree that we’d worry if he didn’t go through this stage. And, really, he’s so much easier than when he was an infant and I had a trillion hormones coursing through me and his cries made me want to crawl into a corner, curl into a ball and rock. So much easier.

But I’m getting prepared for this new stage: I plan to put on a heavy raincoat and boots AND carry an umbrella as we enter the land of meltdowns.

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these cookies may break my marriage

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Last Thursday evening, after dinner, A. and I had an argument that went something like this:

Me: “OK, we each get one cookie.”

A. takes two.

Me: “What are you doing?”

A.: “You’re not the boss of me.”

Me: “Um, I made those cookies.”

He pops both in his mouth.

A., with a full mouth: “Don’t be an a-hole.” (This made me laugh.)

I was trying to save the cookies for poker night the next evening. I had taken several cookies to the pottery party on Tuesday. And I was working on controlling my impulse to eat all of them during the day while I’m home with C.

So as A. and I played chess on the rug in our living room, I did some arithmetic in my head: “If there are five of us playing poker, and each of us has two cookies — and they won’t — that’s 10. We have 12. That means I can eat two more. One tonight and one tomorrow during the day.”

So, while it was A.’s turn, I went to the kitchen and returned with a cookie. Just one. For me. And a grin on my face.

“Mmmmm,” I said.

A. shook his head. “Unbelievable. You probably hid them, too.”

I had. I put them in a different cupboard, hoping he wouldn’t see them.

You see, I’m pretty good at turning down desserts. Or, at least, controlling how much of them I eat. But these cookies are my weakness. I made them the night before I went into labor for the labor-and-delivery nurses, and it was the first thing I ate after C. was born and I was in heaven.

Now they may break up my marriage, and yet, like an addict, I keep making more. I made another batch on Sunday for a barbeque and they’re currently taunting me on the counter. So if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to eat them before A. gets home.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Warning: These cookies are dangerous.

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Ingredients
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup of semisweet chocolate chips

Cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, and salt; stir into the creamed mixture until just blended. Add the quick oats — spreading them out evenly if possible — and then the chocolate chips. Put in the refrigerator for an hour or more.

Preheat the oven to 335 degrees F.

Drop heaping spoonfuls onto un-greased baking sheets.

Bake for 14 minutes. Let them cool for 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack or wax paper to cool completely. Indulge.

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the things he carries

One thing that consistently has me giggling these days is catching C. carrying objects through the house. He’ll show up in the kitchen, where I’m drinking my coffee and reading the news, with my electric toothbrush or the trash can full of lint from the laundry room. It’s even funnier when the objects are twice his size or three times as long as him. And he’s on a mission to take the (insert object here) into nearly every room, toddling on unsteady legs. I mean he really concentrates: He furrows his brow, breathes hard and focuses so he doesn’t tumble and take the object with him. Here are some of the more surprising ones as of late that had me cracking up.

A full carton of chicken broth, carried upside down.

A full carton of chicken broth, carried upside down, away from the kitchen. Far, far away.

AA tub of toys, including Q-tips found in a drawer in the bathroom.

A tub of toys, including Q-tips found in a drawer in the bathroom.

For a while he was managing the broom and the Swiffer. He abandoned the Swiffer in haste.

For a while he was managing the broom and the Swiffer. He abandoned the Swiffer in haste.

Here he's treating the wall as if it's a lion and he's a lion tamer.

Here he’s treating the wall as if it’s a lion and he’s a lion tamer.

He didn't make it far without tumbling. Why? Zero visibility

He didn’t make it far without tumbling. Why? Zero visibility.

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our little rebel

C. decided to take us out today in the Mazda to the Trona Pinnacles, a remote area east of Ridgecrest. While munching on orange slices, he said, “Mom, I’ve got it under control,” and then fluffed his curls. I thought, “Hey, it’s the desert. Anything goes.” I’m just glad he didn’t pop a tire and that he agreed to play our music.

rebel

pinnacles

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the case of the invading tomatoes

Last week, I called A. at work, giggling to myself.

“Hi,” he said quietly.

“You are so funny,” I said.

“Why?”

“There’s a tomato plant growing in the pot on our deck! You planted it!”

“No, I didn’t.”

“Yes you did.” (A. likes to play practical jokes.)

“No, I really didn’t.”

[Silence.]

“Really?”

“I really didn’t.”

“Then how did…” my voice trailed off.

We get little sunlight in our living room. And so my plant of 8 years — one that survived the fire in 2006 and moved with me three times — slowly wilted since we moved in September. The leaves fell off, one by one. Finally, when they were all gone, I heaved the plant to our deck. Maybe sunlight would revive it, I thought. That was at least three months ago, if not more.

A few weeks ago, I noticed a weed — quite a beautiful one — growing from the pot. And then, last week, to my bewilderment and delight, I noticed tomatoes growing on the weed.

A. insists that he didn’t plant the tomato.

“I wish I was that smart,” he says.

But I’m sort of tripping out about it. I can’t for the life of me figure out how a tomato plant got into our pot.

On Friday, we were up on our neighbors’ deck. And I surveyed the decks within sight, craning to see if there were tomato plants. I didn’t see any. A. suggested that maybe a tomato seed got in the plant when we grilled kebabs for a couple in our birthing class. But that was in November, pre-baby — and when the plant was definitely still in our living room.

The only thing I can think of is that maybe we dropped a tomato seed in there when it was downstairs, next to A.’s lounge chair, where he often eats. We do eat a lot of tomatoes. But it still seems unlikely.

I don’t know why the mystery is driving me crazy. We’ve had at least four conversations about how it could have happened (most of them start with me saying, “I think you planted the tomatoes,” or “Come on, you planted the tomatoes, right?” and him saying, “I really didn’t!”).

So now, instead of trying to solve it — in order to keep my sanity — I’m focusing on caring for the plant. I watered it yesterday, and I keep checking on the fruit. I hope the tomatoes are delicious.

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i amuse myself

A.’s friend A. invited me to her baby shower. Her husband P., who was in A.’s PhD program, has family in the D.C. area so they’re having the soiree here mid-March. I can’t go — I’ll be on a plane back from my trip while her friends will watch her open bottles and blankets and onesies.

So today, I sent A. and P. baby presents off of their registry. This is sooo dumb – I mean really, really dumb — but I bought, among other things, the Vicks baby rectal thermometer. It seemed to be the oddest of the choices (but no doubt important). So I wrote a note with it: “This one is from A.” And then I got an adorable blanket with an elephant on it and wrote another note: “This one — super super cute? It’s from me.”

And then I laughed. Yes, I am 5 years old.

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a ground-breaking (fruit) discovery

Several years ago, I was dating a guy who visited my Chicago apartment. We were hanging out in the kitchen and he opened the freezer and jumped back: “What is that?” he said. The man was 6’5” — and seemed scared. It was a pile of brown, frozen bananas. A whole slew of them. He was visibly repulsed. Shortly thereafter, we decided to end our short-lived romance.

See, I save bananas when I don’t eat them. If you put them in the freezer, you can eventually make banana bread or frozen fruit drinks out of them. And it feels so wasteful to buy bananas and then throw them out. I feel downright guilty about it.

But as anyone who knows me knows — and A. learned this on our third date — I am very picky about my bananas. They have about a two-day window where I can eat them. Brown spots make me gag.

So what happens, then, is that the entire freezer fills up with bananas. We’re talking two to three years worth of bananas. Cause I don’t even really love banana bread. My roommate, who is very flexible, was embarrassed when, at a party she hosted, a few of her friends were scrounging for alcohol late night — and they noticed the 50 or so bananas. They teased her incessantly. Also, her brother and sister-in-law saw them and said: “It’s more socially acceptable to have a severed head in the freezer.”

So before we had another party, N. practically begged me to throw them out. And I did — I filled up a garbage bag full of hard, brown, frozen bananas and hauled it out to the trash can. And I didn’t even feel bad about it.

But since then, a banana or two (or four) has creeped into that freezer. I’m ready to claim innocence if accused: “How did those get in there?”

Then, last week, I made an important discovery. A ground-breaking discovery. I discovered that if I trick myself — like a mom tricks a child — by mixing the fruit into other concoctions I eat regularly, I will eat it. Every day for the last week, I’ve had muesli with my Wallaby organic vanilla yogurt (I’m picky about that, too) and a sliced-up banana and some blueberries for good measure.

I gotta say, I’m really proud of myself. I’m trying — really trying — to eat better (just like the USDA recommends in its new nutrition guidelines) and am thinking about everything I put in my body. My next goal is to cut down on my sugar.

Now, who wants some banana bread?

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damn you autocorrect

This morning, I sent A. a quick note on my iPhone. It was supposed to say: “Good morning!” Instead, autocorrect changed it to: “Good meningitis!”

I left it and wrote: “That was supposed to say morning, but that’s what autocorrect did for me. Thanks autocorrect!”

The blip reminded me of the field day I had on the site Damn You Autocorrect several weeks ago.

*Warning, the site can be crude — and I have no idea if any of it is true. But it is hilarious. Or, at least it was the day I discovered it. I’ll admit, some days I think everything is hilarious.

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jokester

Yesterday, a bright yellow card with a green smiling frog that said “Happy Retirement?!” arrived in the mail. In his beautiful handwriting (see sample below), A. wrote that there were “slim pickings” on the base. Slim pickings, but there’s a retirement card? That’s funny to me because I have never sent one retirement card. Ever. It made me giggle.

Inside, A. enclosed this postcard:

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christmas laughter

This year, I had a very quiet merry Christmas with my parents, who flew in from Detroit. It was just the three of us in my D.C. apartment — relaxing, playing Scrabble, listening to music and chatting.

With the threat of snow — some forecasts said 6 to 10 inches — I went overboard and spent $200 on groceries — including Williams-Sonoma sticky buns, fixings for an omelet, soups, olives and cheese and crackers, wine and a dinner of an arugula salad with Manchego, apples and cranberries as well as salmon, asparagus and sweet potatoes. Let’s just say I’ll have food for myself for a long, long time.

After breakfast, we opened presents. Now, here’s a disclaimer: I got my mom a kid’s-sized Snuggie cause that’s what she wanted. The kid’s size fits children “up to 5 feet.” My mom is 5 feet tall. I was tempted to get her a kid’s pattern — like Winnie the Pooh — but decided on just plain blue. But as I paid for it, I shook my head: “I can’t believe I’m getting my mom a Snuggie.”

But watching her put on that Snuggie was one of the funniest moment of the weekend. My mom makes me laugh all of the time — she may be the funniest woman I know. But this — wow. She put on the Snuggie and said, her voice cracking with laughter, “Have you seen the commercials?” By the time she had that Snuggie on, she had tears in her eyes. Here, she wants you to see the footies that come with it.

Merry Christmas, mom and dad. I already miss you.

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