Sunday, April 30, 2006

I'm Not Ready for This!

Hutton has started peeing standing up. I'm not ready for this. No, it has nothing to do with my little boy growing up. It has to do with the fact that he has bad control and always manages to hit both the back of the toilet and then dribble on the floor (and his pants and underwear) at the end. I really love having to wipe down the toilet and bathroom floor several times a day, and do more laundry.

Yesterday when I saw this happen for the first time, I walked in and stepped in the little puddle he'd left on the floor. Thanks, Hutton! Now, please sit down and pee like a respectable man. I don't care how Daddy does it!

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Saturday Night Excitement

I was just reading a magazine, and as I flipped through the final pages at the back, checking for articles hidden among the ads, I was stopped by a full-page ad featuring a picture of a cute couple nuzzling each other with an adorable baby between them, and the giant print, "VAGINAL REJUVENATION" below, in the middle of the page. Of course, I was intrigued, and read on.

This was a medical clinic offering all sorts of neat procedures for the ladies, to "get you back in shape from the inside out." OK. I was mildly amused by the "individual kegel exercise regimen" and vaginal weight training. Uh, no thanks, I do my vag weight training on the machines at the gym. Heh. Just kidding.

Anyway, the kicker was further down, after the section on "minimally invasive procedures" featuring bladder lifts and trans-gender scarless hysterectomies, there was the "restoration, reconstruction, plumbing and renovations" section. Hmm, I have always thought of my lady bits in terms of home improvement terminology. How did the genius copywriter responsible for this ad know that?! Still reading the smaller print in this section (uh-huh, I liken it to rubber-necking a car accident) was the laugh-out-loud phrase: "If...your labia are assymetric [sic] or large and bothersome, you may benefit from minimally" Jeez, even when my life is not-so-fun, I can always look on the bright side: I don't need surgery for large and bothersome labia. Phew! The fact that this full page ad had a typo of asymmetric, and it featured the word ass...well, that's just too easy.

And just so you know, this was in New York magazine, not Hustler for Women or Cosmo or something like that. Don't ask me why I, a hausfrau living in the boonies 40 minutes from the closest real city, and across the country from New York, am reading New York magazine. Well, go ahead and ask. DH had some credit card points to burn, so I got lots of free subscriptions, and there wasn't the best selection. I'd rather read New York and pretend to be hip than Men's Vogue, Golf Digest or W for instance. I don't even know what W magazine is, but it brings Dubya to mind, therefore I want nothing to do with it!

Hola! Say Can You See?

Yes, that's a lame title. I read about the new Spanish anthem yesterday. I think it sounds pretty good in theory. But that's where it ends. Why?

Because it "... is shaping up to be a We Are The World for Latinos..." Shudder. One We Are the World is more than enough people!

I now have the image of Cyndi Lauper wearing headphones singing along with Huey Lewis burned into my mind. Ugh. It took years to get rid of that image, and just reading the song title brought it back!

For those of you who remember the song, this is a fun website. Scroll to the bottom, and it lists the WATW lyrics with the performer beside them. I could aurally imagine each performer singing the lines as if I had the tape blaring on my boom box in the 80s.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Conglomeration of Random Carp

Well, it should read, "Crap," but I liked the typo so much, I kept it!

It's a beautiful day in the boonies where I live, and I should be outside gardening, since Harrison is asleep and Hutton is working with his ABA therapist, but I'm here composing this work just for you! Aren't you feeling special that I chose you?

After reading this post on Allie D.'s blog, I thought about my own commute. I don't work a "real" job, so what I do can't really be called commuting, but then when I consider that I am a stay-at-home mom (really a stay-at-home-part-of-the-time, drive-the-kids-to-various-appointments-and-run-errands-the-rest-of-the-time), driving my kids around is part of my job. If it were just me, I'd have easy "commutes" of going to the gym (12 minute drive), the grocery store (5 minutes for Safeway, 14 for Fred Myer), and Target (about 15 to 20 minutes depending on which store I choose.)

So, my commutes are:

  • 25 minutes to take Hutton to school on the days he doesn't ride the bus. The past month, I've made this drive A LOT because of all the crap (carp?) I've been doing at his school: co-chairing the big fund-raising walk-a-thon, helping with the class art projects for the upcoming big fund-raising art auction, and going to various meetings and presentations.
  • 30+ minutes to take Hutton to his speech and occupational therapy on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, at prime commute time of 8:30 a.m. I really loathe this one, because it can be anywhere from 25 minutes to 40+ depending on traffic, and there's never any indication traffic will be bad until it's too late to choose another route. It is usually my fault we're late when we are, because I always take 5 minutes longer than necessary to fix my makeup. Because, you know I have to make a good impression on Hutton's 20-something therapists, the barista at the Jitters where I get my mochas after I've dropped Hutton off, and the various workers at the ghost-town of a mall* across the street from the therapists' office.
  • 40+ minutes to take Hutton to his homeopath once every 6 weeks. Yep, I'm a freak who believes that homeopathy is actually helping my son's behaviors and health. The homeopath is just so nice and attentive, though, and I SWEAR Hutton starting pooping on the potty almost immediately after we went to him the first time.

Harrison only goes to Gymboree once a week, and that's 15 minutes, so I don't really mind that as far as commutes go. So far he's the easy child, but that was the case with Hutton, too, before he was 2 1/2.

Oh yeah -

* The ghost-town of a mall across the street from Hutton's therapist. This is a weird mall. It was once a wonderous place full of delightful shops, I'm sure, but now, it's in a strange state of upheaval, rebuilding, and rebirth. When Hutton started therapy in Factoria (I like to pronounce it incorrectly as Fact-o-rhee-a, like diarrhea) last year, the mall had more stores than it currently does. Gottschalk's, which always had great sales, which is probably why it closed, is no longer there, and the toy store where Harrison and I would go to play with the Thomas trainset is also gone. There used to be a little tea shop there, too, where I went to a baby shower for a friend. The Factoria Mall has an Old Navy (my fave place for cheap clothes, though I have to actually try them on, as their quality control is all over the place, and a small could really be a large), only accessible from the outside of the mall, like in a strip mall. It has a Target, my all-time favorite chain store, which is accessible from inside and outside the mall, a Safeway, only accessible from the outside of the mall, a Rite Aid, accessible from inside and outside the mall, a Nordstrom Rack, accessible from inside and outside (I found a great pair of jeans there recently that would have cost a lot more than all of my other jeans combined if I hadn't found them on sale at the Rack). Then there are lots of other little stores inside - a book store, a card store, small clothing stores, a post office outpost, a Seattle's Best, Jamba Juice. Then it has a PetCo, Red Robin and a day spa place. Recently they opened a children's museum inside also, which is nice, because it gives me and Harrison something fun to do during the two hours of Hutton's therapy, but it doesn't open until 10, so I still have an hour to kill ahead of time.

You're getting the idea, right? This is not a "regular" mall in any sense of the word. It's just weird. There's no telling which of the small businesses inside will last through the year or what will open in their stead, or in the giant spot once occupied by Gottschalk's Department Store.

Well, I had much more to write, but that blurb on the Factoria Mall took longer to write than the original mall designers probably took to plan the place out.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Slow Times at S House

Yawn. Ho hum. Nothing going on for a while, hence the lack of posts. I am nursing a grudge against my dear husband, brought on last week, and going on off-and-on since then. The cause: TAX DAY!!! Ohh, it sends shivers down my spine. Like another blogger I know, who shall remain nameless to protect the innocent (and guilty), my husband has a tax problem. He started them aeons ahead of time. Or at least it seemed that way. A month or so ago, I asked him if he needed me to compile any of Hutton's medical information for tax stuff, since DH had asked about the mileage to the chiropractor, speech therapist, etc. DH said, "No. I've already done it." Super! Laura is free and clear of any tax involvement. Or so I thought.

So, last Saturday morning, I awoke bright and early, showered, fed the boys and myself breakfast, and got ready to go to one of those things that most men (and even few women) can understand -- Scraptacular Scrapfest, or something along those lines. It was a scrapbooking workshop, when you go the the scrapbooking saleswoman's house for several hours and accomplish all that scrapbooking you haven't been able to do in the past year. I didn't really tell DH exactly what I was doing. Just that I was going to a "thing" and that I had a soccer game afterwards. I scurried off on my merry way, feeling just a tad guilty that DH was working on taxes and had the boys to tend to, but hey, I took care of the boys every day, and DH only had a few things to do for taxes, right?

Wrong. I was happily cutting my chosen pictures into perfect ovals, picking out the right color backgrounds, and getting ready to paste when I received the first of three calls on my cell phone. DH: "Who is Elizabeth X?" Me: "That's Hutton's ABA consultant." Next call: "What's this stuff for Comprehensive Medical Center? And who is Dr. L?" Blah blah blah. Laura's anger slowly rising. Didn't I offer to do all of this for DH weeks ago? Why is he bothering me with this now? The third and final call boiled down to DH yelling that he couldn't do the taxes over the phone, why was I at a SCRAPBOOKING PARTY when he was watching the kids and trying to do taxes, YELL YELL YELL. I yelled back, "FINE. I'm coming home." The angry tears of frustration were pooling in my eyes and I was attempting to hold them back so the rest of the women happily scrapping wouldn't notice, but they did. Luckily my friend Liz was there to ensure there was not any talking about me when I left. (THANKS, Liz!)

I drove home seriously pissed at my Dickwad, er, Dear Husband. When I got home, I went upstairs where the boys were happily playing and watching Madagascar. DH had apparently figured out most of the medical stuff he couldn't possibly do without me here. He was sure to point out that our insurance hadn't covered the last three months of 2005 for Hutton's ABA therapy because we were over our allotment. And what could I do about that now? I told him this year we had dropped hours by 30% so that wasn't going to happen again. He then got all pissy about some check I'd written in January for $700. I had not written down what it was for, and DH was sure I'd written it for some solid good scrapbooks, I'm sure. When DH said there was a $300 check the year before to the same woman, I remembered that the check was for boarding the dogs at Christmas. See, no spendthrift wife involved. (Which reminds me - I never understood how the word "thrift" added to "spend" means someone who is NOT thrifty with her spending.)

And that was the end of my involvement in tax season. I made the boys lunch, went off to play soccer (we won! Woohoo!) and continued in the normal way of a boring weekend with no help from DH because he was doing taxes. Taxes were done Sunday night, I signed my places, and we're supposed to get $8,000 back. So, why the hell does DH get in such a pissy mood about these things? And why does he insist on doing taxes himself? Because we can't afford to have someone else do them. Oh, I see. I'm just the little housewife who has to deal with the super pissy husband every year at tax time.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Spring Break, and not a drunken half-naked coed in sight

Yes, it's Spring Break week here in the NW, and we're having a...pretty boring old time. Nothing special going on at all. Monday we went to my friend, Liz's house for lunch and play. Tuesday, speech therapy in the morning and an afternoon cleaning the upstairs windows. Yes, we know how to party! The only funneling involved putting water in the steam cleaner.

Today was morning ABA therapy, and this afternoon is wide open. I sense a trip to Target. Hutton is requesting to play with Jack's Big Music Show game on the Noggin website. He saw that when I was getting the link for my post the other day.

My thought for the day that I came up with while getting dressed yesterday: On shows like "What Not to Wear" they tell you that to figure out your correct bra size, you should measure in two areas while wearing a well-fitting bra, then use a special formula to determine the correct size. Well, if you have a well-fitting bra, wouldn't that be the right size?

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Moments I Love as a Mother

I had one of these moments the other day. I had been cleaning windows all afternoon, with H & H "helping out," following me around with cloths and then getting distracted and climbing on the furniture, chasing each other around, trying to steal my steam cleaner, etc.

I finally finished the downstairs windows, and turned on the TV for the boys to watch while I went to throw my dirty cleaning rags in the wash. I put on a TiVoed episode of "Jack's Big Music Show, " and walked out of the living room. A few minutes later, I found Hutton in the kitchen, looking suspiciously "up to something." He moved aside to show me what the look was about. There, on the floor in front of the refrigerator, was an empty egg carton and the last three eggs (brown, free-range organic eggs, of course) broken on the floor. I was pissed. As I let the steam explode from my ears, I cleaned up the eggs and explained to Hutton in the calmest voice possible (though still an overly loud and angry voice) that eggs were not a toy and I didn't want him to EVER, EVER, EVER touch an egg again unless I had given him permission to do so.

Afterwards, I went in to the living room to check on Harrison who was still watching "Jack's Big Music Show." The boys love this show, and I like it, too. We've seen all the episodes Noggin has played, so I noticed very quickly that the episode was about the Baby Bongo Bird. You know, the bird who plays the bongo drums. The bird who hatches. From an egg. D'oh! So apparently Hutton was just trying to get his own baby bongo bird out of the refrigerator.

It's been slow around here

Sorry. I've been preoccupied with this stupid Duke LAX thing and trying to keep up with the latest in that. (I get sucked in to this crap very easily!) One thing that bugs me is that this freakshow, Ryan McFadyen, is giving Duke a bad name. And I'm not even talking about the rape investigation, that started sucking Duke down last month. I'm talking about his horrific grammar in his horrific email about skinning strippers. That's almost as bad to me, as a Duke grad with an English major. That guys like this get into good schools on LAX scholarships, then proceed to somehow get through while not learning how to write or spell, and most likely go on to high-paying jobs. Well, maybe not in Ryan's case, since he was suspended, but I'm sure this will be the case for lots of his buddies. It's just annoying to me because I actually had to study and gasp, work hard, at my classes to graduate. (Well, I didn't exactly work hard. I had turned into quite a slacker/procrastinator in college after being an over-achiever in high school, but I still had to use that organ in my skull and pull some all-nighters to keep my GPA up).

More on Ryan, then I swear I'll move on. This DB (you can come up with whatever you want with that abbreviation -- Downy Ball, Duck Bill, Delirious Bibliophobe) was actually quoted in the school paper, talking about the Take Back the Night rally against sexual violence: "I completely support this event and this entire week," he told the newspaper. "It's just sad that the allegations we are accused of happened to fall when they did."

Hmm. This guy attends a Take Back the Night rally against sexual violence just a few weeks after sending an email talking about skinning strippers and getting off on doing so. Now, I'm going to say it. You knew it was coming. That's IRONIC!!! See, I got something out of my Duke education after all.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Now for something more serious...

I'm really not happy with my Alma Mater right now. Not a proud Blue Devil. This is the reason:

For those who don't want to read the link, it is the story of an exotic dancer who was sexually assulted at an off-campus party at the home of Duke Lacrosse players.

This took place a couple of blocks from the house where I lived Junior and Senior years at Duke. I participated in Take Back the Night rallies at Duke, but I can't imagine how tense this year's rally was after this with this going on!

When I attended Duke, over ten years ago (gosh, has it already been that long?), things were pretty much the same as they are now -- strained relationships with the town of Durham and its residents. Though my friends and I lived off campus and were much more involved in town life than most of our on-campus classmates, we were still part of the "Gothic Wonderland," a world closed off to the poorer residents of Durham.

The fact that the athletes accused of this heinous crime are white, rich, priveledged Dukies will do nothing to improve Duke/Durham relations, unfortunately. And while many at Duke are claiming they're not racist, sexist pigs, unfortunately this situation does not back up their claims.

My friend pointed out an article in the New York Times the other day about the Duke Women's Basketball team. The article said it was a shame these women were not commenting on the lacrosse team rape. Though, as my friend pointed out, the women on the basketball team had probably never met the men's lacrosse team players and were trying to focus on their tournament -- they played the National Championship game Tuesday night. Why should these women, who have worked so hard for this, have to concern themselves with the horrible actions of the lacrosse team?

As I've taken over a day to write this post, some new issues have come up.

One: Another friend from Duke emailed about Duke's President Brodhead claiming a few days ago that this was the result of off-campus partying/drinking. As my friend said, "If you're a good person, you are not going to rape a woman when you're drunk. " I can see that to some extent. But obviously in this case, drinking didn't help the situation.

Two: This is just disgusting! The latest:

Sick, sick, sick!

What's worse is the lawyer talk from two of the lawyers representing lacrosse team players:

''While the language of the e-mail is vile, the e-mail itself is perfectly consistent with the boys' unequivocal assertion that no sexual assault took place that evening,'' said attorney Robert Ekstrand. The e-mail ''demonstrates that its writer is completely unaware that any act or event remotely similar to what has been alleged ever occurred.''


"This e-mail, while the wording of it is, at best, unfortunate, if you read this e-mail and you also are aware of other e-mails that exist contemporaneous with these events, it's quite clear that no rape happened in that house," Cheshire said. "These boys were frustrated because they, as is already been reported, they thought these women had come and taken a bunch of money and started dancing and just decided to leave."

Oh, so since he's writing about skinning strippers alive and finding this sexually gratifying, that means that an assult couldn't have already happened. Yeah, sure. He and his teammates seem like standup members of the community. Those poor boys. They didn't get a full show because they were threatening to assault the women they paid to dance. Blech. I'm off to vomit now.

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