Natural Disaster Hits The Metro

House shopping in the aftermath of a natural disaster may be the single stupidest idea ever.

OK, so I can't compete with the stupidity of the second Bush term in office (or the first for that matter), but you get my point.

John and I had decided earlier in the week to dedicate the day to house shopping. When we woke up and the power was restored at our hotel, we threw ourselves out onto the roadways without a second thought.

For some odd reason, it never occurred to us to take a moment and check the news to get a lay of the land.

What we found was pandemonium.

DC traffic is horrendous on a good day. Today, with roughly 63% of the traffic lights in Montgomery County out, it was pandemonium pure and simple.

It is absolutely fascinating how people behave when the most rudimentary social constructs are removed. Something simple like traffic lights gives people mutually agreed upon rules to live by. Without those rules, the "humanity" in people quickly breaks down. We saw behavior that was shockingly basic in it's unacceptability, and yet we saw it time and again.

People ignored emergency vehicles with their lights flashing and sirens going, refusing to pull out of the way. They did not observe the law of taking turns at lights that were out, aggressively forcing themselves into intersections even when it was clear it wasn't  their turn. And I was shocked at how much leaning out of windows to scream at one another there was, even from parents with their children in the car.

I heard more colorful language today than I have in my entire time in the DC metro, and that is saying something.

Even more interestingly, people completely disregarded the few traffic lights that WERE functioning. It was as if the small chaos of no traffic lights gave people license to ignore all driving rules, without limit.

It took us a little over 6 hours to drive approximately 40 miles. Many of those hours were spent either sitting completely still waiting our turn to go through a dead traffic light, going way outside of our way to find an alternate path around a down power line/tree/other major detritus, or stopped dead within a mile of a gas station as cars lined up for gas to fill generators and gas tanks.

And going to the mall was especially unnerving. Even though the air conditioning was out, there was enough light for people to see by and it gave a large, slightly cool space for people to gather, stare dazedly at one another, and share stories like victims of some bizarre bomb attack.

 Finding somewhere to eat was another challenge that we hadn't anticipated. Since we don't currently live in the metro, we hadn't brought any food with us. All grocery stores, restaurants and convenience stores were closed. Which meant that we had to get extremely creative to find places to eat.

It really did make me wonder what would happen if there were a true emergency in our nation's capital.

In the overall scheme of things, the power outage was fairly minor. And yet people took it as a free license to tap into the worst parts of themselves and behave abhorribly.

I cannot imagine what would happen if something along the scale of Hurricane Katrina happened here, and it does somewhat explain some of the stories we heard coming out of New Orleans at that time.

No matter what your opinions are on government, it is clear that it helps to keep humanity in check. It gives us mutually agreed-upon rules to follow and a ruberick by which those who disregard the law are punished by.

Ultimately, it helps keep the beast inside most of us in check. And I am absolutely fascinated at how quickly that self control falls by the wayside when we are left to our devices.

Cars lined up to get gas for generators, etc. at a station.


I hate motorcycles. And I really, really hate motorcycle accidents.

I went to high school with a girl whose husband had a motorcycle accident a couple of days ago. They have nine children together, and share a deep love for one another.

I always love looking at their family pictures on FaceBook because their huge crew always looks so happy together.

Right now he is in critical condition with a grim prognosis. And it can't help but bring back memories of my own childhood.

You see, the summer between my sixth and seventh grade year, my father was hit by a drunk driver while on a motorcycle.

He flew nearly 30 feet to the air, and landed on the left side of his head.

He and my mother were in the process of filing for divorce at the time, but she was called to come down to North Carolina to be with him as he died, and went at a moments notice.

I will never forget the moment that I found out. I was at a sleepover with one of my good friends. We had just sat down to eat stuffed peppers, a dish that I still hate to this day.

The phone rang, and I felt a chill race along my skin.

Here it is more than 20 years later, yet I still can remember feeling that settled over me when I heard the news, as if I had come unmoored from everything I knew.


By that point in my life, I had already become very familiar with loss and uncertainty, yet this was loss and uncertainty on a whole new level.

I was losing someone who, even though he was flawed and our relationship was problematic, still embodied all the strength and excitement of my childhood.

Stunned doesn't really capture the sensation, although that is part of it. So is unhinged. Bereft. Numb. Deeply empty.

I think the truth is, the English language doesn't have the words to truly capture that sensation. The sense of falling and slamming into something at the same time.

That was the summer I lost the ability to cry. My choices were to cry all the time, or to kill that need to cry, and I had a younger sister to be strong for.

In fact, it wasn't until Sterling was born that I learned how to cry again.

But statistically, we were lucky. Through all the dire predictions from doctors, the coma, the brain aneurism, the loss of his left eye and most of his cognitive abilities, my father survived.

We took him home months later, after working with him to relearn how to tie his shoe laces, how to use a stove, how to remember to turn it off after he started a fire at the rehab facility, and how to tie together basic speech patterns.

Today he is independent and fairly self sufficient.

He still has a severe head injury, still is blind in his left eye, and our relationship is still problematic. Yet I think that he survived because his story was not yet finished being told.

He still had living left to do and a will to survive that outmatched any predictions the doctors could give.

The will to live is something that western medicine cannot predict, cannot account for. Repeatedly, we were told by doctors that he would likely not survive, only to completely to reverse their prognosis a day later.

So I pray for Sarah and JT. I pray that JT walks out of the hospital one day to join Sarah and their 9 kids.

Because clearly, his story isn't finished being told.

Whether you know them or not, would you please take a few moments to send some hope their way?

I find that hope is an incredibly powerful thing, and they have an incredibly tough road ahead of them, so every little bit of hope can only help.

Because those kids need his strength. And his fun. But most of all, they need him.

Adventures In Baby Feeding

I gotta be honest, I frequently think "man, this parenting gig is the easiest thing EVER... it's probably because I am so completely over-qualified for this job".

And to clarify, when I say "frequently", I mean never. Like not-once-in-the-last-two-years kind of never. Which, coincidentally, also happens to be how often I feel over qualified for the job. Or even qualified.

This extreme competence extends into feeding my kids.

See, I started this parenting adventure with the best of intentions.

I was confident that my kids would eat whatever I put in front of them and be happy about it. Nothing but organic, humanely harvested, local, sustainably grown fruits and veggies delivered in a horse drawn carriage to decrease the carbon footprint.

And then Miss Sterling was born and she had a few ideas of her own. As soon as we started solid food, her preferences made themselves known, and veggies belonged nowhere on the "approved" list.

We have found a happy medium, but it has taken quite a bit of struggle to get there. There is still a fairly extensive inventory of what she won't eat, her preference is the crunchiest of carbs, chock full o' the finest trans fats. And donut holes.

So when Bennett was born, I was CERTAIN he would be my easy keeper, my mellow child, content to sit wherever I put him, eat whatever I fed him and generally be a breeze to raise. Because I already had my hands full with his sister.

But the awesome part? So far, he has been anything but.

He is more active than Sterling was at 7 months, doesn't sleep as well as she did, and that eating thing?

Well, I will let the photographic evidence speak for itself.

Let's just say that as long as it is dry, crunchy foods, he is all in. Veggies though? Well... they say lightning never strikes twice, so I am just hoping that all early indicators are wrong.

Because otherwise, I am screwed...

Looks like I can add green beans to the "keeper" list.

Painting With Poop

There are days when you feel like you have it all under control. The queen of your domain. On top of the world.

And then... there are days like today.

Today Miss Sterling is feeling, as she aptly terms it, "naughty".

All morning I have been peeling her off of, or away from, things that she has absolutely no business playing with.

Those lovely plastic shopping bags? Yep, removed one of those from over her head a little bit ago when she was playing ghost.

The phone calls to Uzbekistan? Yep, caught one of those right before the call actually went through.

Climbing Nana's plant stands, repeatedly? Don't ask.

And Ben Ben is teething, which means I am distracted. A lot.

The culmination of the day so far?

After she used a tube of diaper cream to paint Nana's black Pug white, and I dumped Bennett to do some Pug rescue, the baby boy had a full blown melt down.

Which left Sterling with about 32 seconds of completely unsupervised time.

Evidently, this is PLENTY for her to poop, remove her diaper, and then use the contents to release her inner van Gogh. She painted the coffee table, the floor, the sofa, several of Bennett's toys, and oh yeah, of course: herself.

And Bennett screamed the whole time I cleaned it up.

Which took much longer than I expected because I somehow missed the bonus "paint repository" stuck to her leg. Every time I would get something clean, she would come behind me and "un-clean" it.

Super helpful :-)

The awesome thing about the photo below? You can see both her current work, and the "forbidden ink pen" designs from yesterday.

My girl is working with mixed media, quite advanced for her age...

We call this piece: Toddler Tummy On Early Nap Day

Ornery Humor: Questionable Business Name

No idea what this company does, but it does make me wonder what kind of Think Tank came up with the name...

Banana Split Party

Earlier this week I saw a FaceBook link to Ryan's Banana Split Party. If you Google it, you can find it if this link doesn't work for you.

Ryan is a little boy with a fatal heart condition, and his parents created a bucket list to fit as much as possible into his brief but brilliant life. Although having a banana split was on the list, he is too young to eat one. And so his parents are making a simple request: have a banana split party one night for dinner in his honor.

The premise is simple: if you have kids, take one night off from broccoli and cauliflower and instead, enjoy the simple joy of ice cream with them.

If you don't have kids, take one night off from diets and "adult decisions" and lose yourself in a moment of childhood. Rejoice in the experience and wonder why you don't do it more often.

I love this idea for SO many reasons.

First, Ryan's family is taking what could be such a sad moment in life, and using it as an opportunity to rejoice and remind each of us that life is short, so enjoy the hell out of it. Wallow in the good times and make time for joy. All it takes is something simple, like a banana split for dinner.

Second, it is a great little nudge to make time and enjoy your kids. It is easy to get caught up in the day-to-day drudgery and lose sight of one simple fact: kids are FUN! Make memories with your babies so that you have a wealth of amazing adventures to reminisce over together when they are all grown up. You only have one chance to give them an incredible childhood, so get goin'!

Third and most importantly, it gives us each an AWESOME reason to eat ice cream and feel good about it. What more do you need?

So I challenge you.

Make time tonight (or tomorrow, or both) for a banana split. Take a few moments to rejoice in the life of a little boy that you probably won't ever meet, but who has hopefully touched your life in some small way.

I took two special little monkeys out for a treat, and we all thoroughly enjoyed it even though Bennett only got to gum on a piece banana.

It ended with Sterling jumping up to dance on the table while I was throwing away garbage, and Ben reaching up under my dress to goose me when I reached across the table to peel her off.

See, memories were made. And we enjoyed every gloriously hectic, messy, mayhemy moment :-)

Sterling sizing up her first banana split... 

And a little "Cheese Face" after everything was all cleaned up :-)

Hurricane Sterling Hits... Someone Else's House

So you know what? Sterling's mayhem is actually pretty funny. Actually, it's freakin hilarious... when it happens to someone else.

What do I mean by that? Lemme take a step back and share a little story with you.

See, my friend Christa does monster wrangling... er, I mean child care for me sometimes.

Today she watched S and B while I went to DC to look at houses.

Seems like Christa would be MORE than qualified for the task. She is both an elementary school teacher AND a licensed daycare provider.

So she kinda knows how to handle kids.

Today though? Well, let's just say she got a good taste of Hurricane Sterling.

See, it all happened at nap time.

Christa put Sterling in a Pack and Play to sleep. Makes sense, right? Only she put it close enough to a bed that Sterling was able to use the bed comforter to climb out.

Now, as I mentioned, Christa is an elementary school teacher. Which means she has school supplies. Which conveniently happened to be in the room with S during nap. Which might have happened to include magic markers.

I think you know how the party rolled from there.

Let's just say that Sterling added her Graffiti Chic aesthetic to the walls. And the bedding. And her clothes. And then she stripped off the cute little decorative border. And then climbed up and removed the sweet little name letters on the wall.

Yep. That's right. My kid. Super proud moment right there...

And not to be outdone, B did the tour of poop today. From the sound of things, Christa was in full-on poop triage in the few moments that she wasn't either feeding his little face, or pulling S off whatever she had just climbed on.

All I hope is that when I go to drop my little angels off on Thursday, Christa hasn't mysteriously picked up and disappeared into the night.

No, I mean seriously.

Toddler Trouble

This right here?

This is what happens when I leave Sterling alone for five minutes while I go put Bennett down for a nap.

I know, I know... rookie mistake.

In my defense, when I left she was sitting quietly on the sofa watching Caillou.

All I can say is that my mind wasn't in the game today, I obviously under estimated my opponent :-)

Death of a Deal

It's odd, the death of a house deal is remarkably similar to the death of a loved one.

I know, I know, how shallow and materialistic of me.

But having experienced both in the last few months, I have to be honest and say that the emotions are remarkably similar.

There is the anger, the blaming, the despair over ever finding another, the tears, the lost dreams, the sleepless nights. And eventually, I know there will be the acceptance.

I am sure it was the right decision to make. The sellers have an unrealistic expectation of what their house is worth, based on a valuation done at the height of the market several years ago. During the inspection, the wife repeatedly said "this house was worth 1.5 million just a little bit ago".

But there is no way they will get that, even if they make major investments to fix and update it. It's just not realistic.

Even though I know it was the right decision to let the deal fall through, now I am in a tricky place. On one hand, I am desperate to get back to my friends. I miss my stuff and my life and having space. Right now I have a very "temporary" existence and its transience is exhausting.

On the other hand, I am SICK TO DEATH of constantly traveling back and forth to the metro. The idea of beginning the house search all over again with its hours of driving and millions of details to plan makes me feel like I am at the edge of some insurmountable abyss, overwhelmed and slightly nauseous.

And to be honest, I am still in love with the house that we just lost and the life I envisioned having in that house. So every house that I see, I subconsciously compare to it.

Plus, I have this lovely (as my friend M put it: atomic) sinus and ear infection that has hung around for over five months and four rounds of increasingly intense medication.

Which means that every time I "push a little bit harder to make it to the end" and then said "end" mysteriously evaporates, I have a little less juice than I did the last time.

I am fried. And heartsick. And overwhelmed.

To be totally honest, I know how lucky I am to have such problems. I am shopping for our dream house and poor me, it's taking a while. I am lucky enough to have two beautiful, healthy kids which is why I have to invest so much time in "logistics". And the ton of amazing friends I am so excited to be back near? Yep, super lucky to have them too.

And while it totally helps to focus on all that instead of the house deal that fell apart, it still doesn't make it instantly all better.

Which is why I am also lucky to have a venue like this. A place to process my emotions, capture my thoughts and hopefully gain perspective.

Because let's be honest, it's not like my little hellions are going to miraculously take it easy on me for a few days while I wallow in self pity.

Things always work out for the best and I have faith that the right house is right around the corner, hopefully it all happens soon :-)

Play It Again, Sterling

So evidently, it isn't just Walmart that my girl steals wet floor signs from.

Yesterday afternoon, Sterling was such a hellion at a restaurant that I finally got tired of peeling her off of the window well, up from the floor, and off of the table, so I took her outside to burn off some energy.

Not certain, but it's highly possible I heard a collective sigh of relief from the entire restaurant as we left...

Anyway, she must have snagged this lovely piece of signage as we were walking out because she suddenly whipped it out and took off down the sidewalk when we walked outside.

It was slightly larger than she is, so it was a comedy of little spastic feet running like a loon, dropping this sign every third step, and increasingly larger loops as she circled back around for it each time. I have absolutely no idea how she got it out in the first place without me noticing. Pretty confident she has Mayhem super powers and used mind control to either move it... or make me move it without realizing it.

The awesome part?

I had no idea where it came from, so I was at a loss on where to take it back to.

Anyone missing a sign???

Heartbreak House

Buying a new home is a long, arduous process.

I spent the last 5 months comparing and contrasting locations, evaluating features, and weighing square footage.

And then a month or so ago we found "it", the house we imagined raising our children in.

A 7,500 square foot statuesque colonial beauty, tucked away in nearly four acres of trees, babbling brooks and wildlife. A naturalist's wet dream, complete with flora markers and nature paths.

It is close enough in to the city that we aren't raising our children to be extras for the remake of Deliverance, yet secluded enough to be our own little oasis in the hustle and bustle of our busy lives.

I fell in love with it during the drive in, winding through lush groves of trees and over babbling waterfalls, well before I ever actually saw the house. Once I saw the house itself, I officially fell head over heels.

I could see my kids playing in the sun room, I imagined Bennett catching frogs in the creek, and Sterling having her wedding on the back patio.

But I don't believe in making decisions based on emotion, so we began the negotiation process with a firm willingness to walk away if we didn't get the price we wanted.

A bit of back and forth later, and we were under contract.

Which brought us to today, the inspection... and it was bad. This gorgeous, stately, amazing home needs about 50,000 worth of KNOWN work, which means who knows what else lurks behind the walls.

It isn't anything major, but LOTS and lots of little things that really add up when put together.

Evidently the seller was a not-so-handyman with too much time on his hands and too little understanding of the basics like structural integrity and electrical wiring.

We are now at the point of "what next". We are proposing that the seller gives us a credit to offset the work that will need to be done, but at a price point that high, it's questionable as to whether they will accept it.

Which unequivocally means we will walk if they do not.

This is the fourth house I have bought, and have NEVER had issues even close to this arise in an inspection, even on the 60+ year old house we just sold.

So now we are in a hold pattern until the sellers make a decision on our proposal.

Somehow, this fits perfectly with our year so far :-)

I Am A Tramp

So, I have to be honest, I've become a bit of a tramp.

No, not THAT kind of tramp! Yeah, so I had two babies 18 months apart, so what?

What I mean is that I am thinking more along the lines of "carpetbagger", and less "boyfriend bagger"... no matter how hot he is... or how good he looks in a pair of jeans and a tight white tee that fits just so... Wait, what?

Anyway, back to my point: since we sold our house, anytime I go back to the metro to do simple things like Pediatrician appointments or court for a speeding ticket (purely as a hypothetical example), it's a major ordeal.

I have to pack everything, from toiletries and a pillow to snacks, figure out what I'm going to do with my kids, drive two hours, and then hit up one of my lovely friends to put me up for a few nights or get a hotel room.

In short, I am the world's biggest mooch.

Right now, I have spent a minimum of a day, every week, for the last three months in the metro. Each time it is a precisely-timed trip in and out, with complex rendezvous points and extensive itineraries.

I have a detailed packing list I go off of, a second set of toiletries I never unpack and a permanent drivers tan on my left side. I am the queen of the relocation blitzkrieg.

I feel bad for the kids, they sit around blinking dazedly like tiny little owls every time there is a change to the schedule.

Which is often.

I like to tell myself that this is good for them because it is teaching them to be flexible, but I'm pretty certain their therapist(s) will see things differently.

Just as an aside, I am writing this as I sit in an appointment with my husband that we drove an hour and a half to get to. And oddly, in my mind I think of this as a "quick errand" in comparison to many of the other errands I have done lately.

Which is why I am ready to give up my lifestyle as a tramp. A traveling nomad, an urban gypsy, living out of a couple bags and a pillow case.

Because I am more than a little sick of paying tolls and racking up speeding tickets. And working on that driver's tan.

Methuselah The Indestructible Reconstituted Betta

Perhaps you remember this post from a few weeks ago about the Betta fish that Sterling fished out of his bowl and salted?

Well yesterday morning Pop pop came in shaking his head.

Mr. Betta had been moved out to Pop pop's office after the unfortunate run in with Hurricane Sterling.

Evidently while in his office, someone had set a pile of clothes next to the Betta's bowl. A pant leg from the pile had fallen into the bowl and absorbed all the water, and Mr. Betta was no more.

Or so we thought.

About 45 minutes later Pop pop had one of those "what if" thoughts and went to pour a little water into the fish bowl.

Within a few minutes, Methuselah started to stir.

He is now swimming slowly around his bowl. Admittedly a bit dazedly, but still, for a fish that has survived not one but TWO attempts on his life, any amount of swimming is noteworthy.

When Caillou Met The Dog Bowl

In our world, water is king.

Sterling and Bennett love puttering around in any amount of water deep enough to climb in and splash.

Kiddie pool? Yep.

Water table? Can a toddler climb a couple of feet to swim? The answer to that would certainly be "Oh yeah!"

Dog's water bowl? Come on now, that's not even a challenge!

In fact, my kids are so obsessed with water that if I am giving B a bath, S jumps beside me and chants "baff peese, baff peese, baff peese" the whole time.

And if B is in a nasty mood, one of the easiest ways to get him out of it is to plunk his grumpy little hiney into the closest body of water. He is all splashing smiles in about 3 seconds flat.

If there is anything Sterling loves as much as water, it might be Caillou. In fact, Sterling loves Caillou SO much that she has given any and all Apple products the honorary name of "Caillou".

Caillou's Inaugural Trip Into The Dog Bowl
So should it come as any surprise that she decided to combine her two loves into one?

Probably not.

But alas, this marriage of awesomeness was not *quite* as successful as that first combination of chocolate and peanut butter.

No, sadly when Caillou meets water, it ends horribly for all concerned.

Or at least it will until Mac develops a waterproof (drop proof, pee proof, crush proof, chew proof) product.
Caillou's "White Screen Of Doom" After It's Dunking

Actually, if anyone from Mac is reading this (it could happen) and needs the ultimate testing environment for new technology, send us one.

I guarantee that we will put it through it's paces, and probably come up with a few testing scenarios you never even thought possible :-)

Backyard Bathing

Although Nana and Pop pop have:

- a pool

- a kiddie pool

- a water table, and

- a sprinkler...

Sterling has a completely different preference when it comes to refreshing in the summer heat.

Yep, you got it... the dogs' water bowl.

No matter what other enticing options we may offer, she always heads straight for the water bowl.

And no matter how much clothing she may have on when the festivities start, my little nudist is usually naked by the end of it.

This used to upset Pop pop quite a bit, but after months of wrangling, I think he may have finally accepted the futility of keeping clothing on a determined Sterling.

I mean look at the ornery in that face.

This is a case where often, when you tangle with the tiger, she hands you your ass and you are left wondering what exactly just happened.

If that surprises you, clearly this is the first time you have read my blog ;-)

Pandora at the Hospital

Having spent the last day or so at the hospital with my husband for his surgery, I made a few key observations.

I thought I would share:

1. If you are at a Catholic hospital and *jokingly* offer to slip the surgeon an extra 50 bucks to throw in a quick vasectomy while your husband is under, evidently it isn't funny to anyone but you. And perhaps your husband. But thats it. It IS however an incredibly effective way to create a prolonged awkward silence. Like super awkward. And long. Like longer than eternity long. Clearly my delivery needs work, because I don't think they got it at all.

2. Evidently hospital gowns are more comfortable than I realized, and pain meds are AWESOME! Yesterday, while taking a brief jaunt, my husband informed me that he is going to trade in his whole wardrobe and wear nothing but muumuus going forward because, in his words, "being all open and free like this is quite liberating". If there is anyone who could pull that look off, it is him. However, as a Junior Partner, I would love to see him strut into his first executive meeting sporting a kaftan. Pretty sure it go over just fine. Sorta.

3. When a pre-op patient is looking at the details, all he notices is that you CAN sleep in the room with him. He doesn't worry about whether you should, or what the accommodations are. This may shock you, but hard, lumpy pleather love seats are far less comfy to sleep on than you would imagine. Much less. Significantly less. In fact, I believe I can still feel my elbow in my spleen. Or maybe that's my liver. I'm not sure.

4. Call me Pandora, but every time I see a "staff only" door or a HazMat sign, I have this overwhelming desire to see what is behind it. Nothing like a million "off limits" areas to make me all itchy to go exploring. If Baltimore has a sudden outbreak of Ebola, it has nothing to do with me. Nothing. But seriously, if they wanted me to stay out, why the hell would they put a huge "Keep Out" sign on the door???

5. Nothing like chilling at the hospital for a bit to bring on the sympathetic symptoms. Like I suddenly have this sharp pain in my lower abdomen. Now try Googling that at 2 a.m. from the Pleather Bed of Doom for some extra fun. Evidently, I either have advanced abdominal cancer... ooooooor a pulled muscle. Hmmm, do I check myself in to the ER now, or wait until John comes off of the pain meds a bit so he can go with me? Wait, that's not even a question! Of course, I go now while he is still hopped up ON the meds. Just me, my cancer/sore muscle, and my muumuu wearing zombie hubby strolling into the ER. Sounds like a good time :-)

Surgery, Speeding Tickets and Timing

Timing is a fascinating, fascinating thing.

It is the difference between a perfectly choreographed dance routine, and a hot mess flailing on stage. Or between being the winner, and coming in second (or last).

In our case, it was the difference between John making it to the hospital for his surgery on time, and making it 15 minutes late with a bonus speeding ticket.

See, we were cruising to the hospital with LOADS of time to spare. Or about 5 minutes, give or take a few.

John, the perpetually early, genuinely believes "to be early is to be on time, to be on time is to be late".

When we first got together, his compulsory earliness was quite a rub for me, a girl who came from a long line of the perpetually late. In my family, we live by a very different motto: the party starts when we arrive.

Over the years, We have both evolved. I have become prompt, and John has re-defined "on time" to be only 10 minutes early. Which means that running 5 minutes early was completely unacceptable.

And as a result, we got a lovely visit from our friendly state trooper on the way to the hospital this morning.

For a couple who hasn't had a speeding ticket in YEARS, this has been a hell of a run.

And thus my friends, it comes down to timing. Had we been just a few minutes more on the early scale, we might have made it here unscathed.

Granted, it wouldn't have been nearly as memorable of a tale, nor would it have fit so perfectly with this batshitcrazy year.

In the last 24 hours we have gone into contract on a new house, gotten a speeding ticket, and John has gone in for surgery, just in case you are keeping track.

Wonder if there rules about drinking at the hospital...

Monday Entropy

Evidently we are filthy, filthy people.

Nasty dirty. Filthy.

Because otherwise, I have no idea why S has spent all morning pulling baby wipes out of the container and wiping down the furniture.

And now she is on to the floors.

The adorable thing is that she has hummed the entire time she cleaned...

...and it would have been adorable if the story stopped at that point. But it didn't. Of course.

Almost immediately after I finished typing that, Sterling went over, grabbed her snack bowl, and dumped it upside down on the table she had just spent 10 minutes cleaning.

Not certain if that is a commentary on the inevitability of entropy and it's impact our lives, or if she just wanted somewhere clean to dump her snack...

Yay for Monday!

A Word To The Modern Day Zombie

Seems like there's been a crazy run of zombie-like activity lately.

And I don't mean zombie as in "my infant hasn't slept in months and I can't remember how to tie my shoe laces so I think I will just cry instead". I mean zombie as in "come on over here so I can munch on your face a little bit".

Seems like every time I look, there's a new instance of somebody attacking and eating the face, brains, or other body parts of someone else, or maybe just throwing their own entrails at them.
Rasta Zombie Says "These Brains Are No Gooodd, Mon"

Like this, or this, or this. And if you want to keep up to date on all the zombie antics, then there is even this handy resource.

Which makes me wonder, is it that these things are suddenly going through the roof, or is it that because it's en vogue to talk about zombies right now, the press is reporting on it a lot more than they would have otherwise?

Either way, if you're currently, or if you have any future plans to participate in any zombie-like activities, let me explain why I would recommend skipping me:

First: I'm hardheaded. While I cannot conclusively prove it, I would imagine that it means my gray matter is tougher and far less succulent than a more easily maneuvered individual. Doesn't sounds like prime eating to me.

Second: I drank heavily in college. All that brain damage certainly can't be an asset if you're looking for the tastiest brains to munch on. And I can guarantee that my liver isn't really worth the effort.

Third: I'm no spring chicken. I'm tired and stringy and pretty certain that I would be more of a "stewing" kind of meal. Which I doubt your average zombie would take the time to do. Hardly worth the effort to chase me down if you ask me.

Fourth: I fight dirty. Unlike most people in those zombie movies, I'm not going to just lay there and scream while you munch on me. I'm going to fight. Hard. And as an older sibling, I know how to make it count.

Fifth: I have survived two kids. Which means I sure as hell am capable of handling a mindless undead. Are you really thinking that you want to tangle with me? Really? Think about it. It's DC, there are millions of limp, pasty government peons which make for easy eatin'. Do yourself a favor and go munch on some of them instead.

Sixth: Most importantly, let me remind you that I am a mother, the single most ferocious creature in the universe. My family and kids? Yeah, they aren't a good idea to chow down on either unless you are a zombie with a final death wish. And zero common sense.

As I said, there are easier and tastier meals to be had, so go find one of those.

Now scoot! Your body parts are probably dropping all over the place and if you are sentient enough to read this post, then you know you better get busy before you crumble apart completely.

Urban Mountaineer

Today is one of those days. A "two little feet can't stay on the ground" kind of day.

Which means Sterling has spent the day climbing. A lot.

And I am exhausted from peeling her off of stuff. A lot.

The awesome thing? Homegirl is fearless.

So my parents 3.5 foot tall paper shredder that she fell off of earlier and split her lip? Irresistible.

Every time I turn my back, her little hiney has climbed right back up and is dangling precariously from it's curved top.

The most recent ascent to the summit? Done completely naked. Why you ask?

Well, according to Sterling's response when asked that exact same question, because "nakeed mo fun".

Mo fun indeed.