Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Hungry

More Wordless Wednesday here.

And, yes, I'm happily gerbil-sitting again.

2nd Annual What Google Thinks I Wrote About This Year

Instead of going through all the trouble to find a fun and pithy way to summarize 2008, I've decided once again to let Google do it for me. Google search terms are in bold.

We had some holdovers from last year's Google searches that people are still finding here. I think we can agree that I am the foremost authority on autism and constipation (although I'm referring to two different kids here), on suppositories, and on poop.

I do get some good poop related searches though. For instance: enema & suppository fun Check with Quinn. Based on his reaction, I don't think they are. However, I'm starting to believe that there is a substantial group of you out there who think they are.

"trying to hold it" +poop There's Quinn for you.
glycerin suppository dog ate It probably won't kill him.
poop on my doop I don't know what this means, but there are a surprising number of people searching for any number of variations on Poop Poop Poop A Doop.
disestablishmentarianism suppositories How were there search results for this?
IS IT OKAY TO GIVE A DOG A SUPPOSITORY I'd check with a vet. And your dog.
video instructions on how to give a suppository to another person I don't know a lot, but I do know that I don't want to see this video.

What else? Well, there are a lot of people out there who are as interested in gerbils as I am. But they want to do some weird things to them: gerbil snorkel, scary gerbils, gerbils you can rent or buy. Doesn't everyone know about

Jack had a fit of burping late last year. People are still visiting Stimeyland to find out about it. I got a lot of burp thumb forehead and some girls who can burp. I am also interested to know why kids burp over and over. And if someone tells me why do boys like to burp, I'll be forever grateful, because I get the feeling I'm going to be dealing with a lot of this in the next few years.

I wrote a post involving Rachael Ray early this year. I've gotten lots of searches looking for her. Also, just so you know, if you put her name and the word "fucking" in the title of your post, you're going to get a lot of queries about that specifically. People are also interested in her ziti.

You might remember the great ant farm fiasco of aught-eight. And the nightmares. And the trauma. Google remembers too. I'd like to apologize here to all the people looking for the TV show Prison Break, who were brought here after searching for prison break updates. I do hope I was able to help those interested in disposing of pet ants ant farm. And for those of you wondering about strange behavior ants carry off dead ants? They do. I've seen it in two different colonies. Those of you looking for extreme ant farm advice or information on caring for harvester ants? You should probably keep looking.

Late last year I asked WWSD? I meant What Would Stimey Do? Apparently though, that is not the common meaning of the acronym. Welcome to Stimeyland, satan worshippers!

People searching for sisterhood made it here. I'm happy to have you!

There were also a few days when I was in the top ten Google searches for wedgies. I consider that to be one of my proudest blogging accomplishments. It also resulted in a hilarious twitter conversation and an unofficial "wedgie day" when several of us slipped the word into our posts.

There were a lot of search terms that made me laugh. Such as...

ate too much cake threw up vomit As opposed to throwing up...what?

photos of grumpy people You'll find 'em here. Mostly Sam and Alex.

puking before school in the car You'll find 'em here. Mostly Jack and Quinn.

mom three boys try for a girl I get lots of these searches. I'd like to say that I'm completely happy with my three boys and have no plans to try for a girl. Frankly, I wouldn't know what to do with her if I had one.

catastrophysing I'm not sure where this one came from, but what a fun word!

you are the reason, you are the one Ironically, this search term brought up this post.

My Briliant Brain Please notice that Mr. Smrt misspelled "brilliant."

greatest accomplishment in history I was the first result for this search. What is the greatest accomplishment? Jack ate a sliver of green bean.

why are babies made Fuck if I know. I just know how they're made.

MY THREE YEAR OLD IS TERRIBLE I think this might be the funniest search term of all year. And it amuses me that it brought someone here. My three-year-old can be terrible too. We should hang out.

why everything "you do" "half assed" Please note the whole-ass usage of quotation marks. No half-asser would use quotation marks on a Google search.

pregnant gals and a mime Thank you, Jerry Springer!

child cannot ride bike or tie shoes Don't worry, you're not alone. But be prepared to feel bad about yourself if you spend less than two hours a day cleaning.

how to build a lego table Who knew when I made this for Jack that I was performing such a public service? I have a lot of people coming here to learn about this.

"bad medical advice" internet No! Bad medical advice? On the internet? I. Cannot. Believe. It.

academically talented and evil Do you think they were looking for Sam or for Jack?

ming ming wonder pets emoticon Emoticons are getting specific, aren't they?

three boys decide to go have some fun at the local swimming hole. shortly after they arrive, something terrible happens. Jeez. In related news, my kids are no longer allowed to go to the local swimming hole.

But maybe the biggest compliment, if Google searches can bestow compliments, were these types of searches: i love my kids, i love my children blogspot, and i love my kid blog. In these cases, Google brought them to the right place.

Have a Safe and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Why Stimey?

Quinn has been interested lately in names and nicknames and first names and last names. His status quo is to call me by my first name, but he says my nickname is "mom," and he knows we all have the same last name. He's very curious about names and their various permutations.

Today I decided to switch it up on him and instead of telling him that my nickname is "mom," I told him that it is "Stimey."

To which he replied: "Slimy? Because you're slimy?" And then he spent the rest of the afternoon calling me Slimy.

I immediately tweeted about it and got some responses from some of you curious as to why my nickname is Stimey.

Well, the story of Stimey is also the story of the two years I lived in LA whilst attending USC for graduate school. I made a friend there who became my best friend, and who promptly dumped me when I moved back to northern California to be with Alex. Like seriously dumped. I would email and write letters and he never returned any of my messages. It was a little tragic.


At some point he asked if I had ever had a nickname. I hadn't because there are not many good nicknames you can make out of my first name. He said I needed a nickname and out of nowhere he said, "I will call you Stimey." And that is the story of Stimey. It was a lovely private thing between the two of us when we were friends, but since I was unceremoniously dumped, I decided to take the nickame back. And now it's mine.

And that is the story of Stimey.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Real Sports

You may know that I am trying to get back in shape. I'm not a big resolution maker, but I think I may make a resolution this year. Not necessarily to lose weight, but to become more active—to get some exercise every day. Because I want to be healthy and I want to set a good example for my kids.

The Wii Fit is part of that. I'm hoping to use that to get into good enough shape to be able to do more strenuous exercise, including training for and possibly running a half marathon later this spring.

Another part of my more active/good example resolution is that I got my kids a tetherball set for Christmas. When I was a kid, my family had a tetherball set and I remember playing that thing to death. My sister and I would run and jump and laugh hysterically around that tetherball pole. I want the same for my kids.

First, though, we had to set the thing up. And by "we," I mean "Alex, with a little help from Sam." Here were the steps he followed:

Step 1: Pound the pole into the ground and assemble the pieces.

Step 2: Unknot noose-like knot on the string.

Step 3: Respond to wife's question about if you're excited about tetherball with, "Well, it involves everything I like: Hammering things into the ground. Knots." [Roll eyes.]

Best photo since this.

Step 4: Attach ball to pole and drop it on the ground. Ask sarcastically, "Is this really what it's supposed to look like?"

Step 5: Adjust the length of the string and play an awesome trial game.

Step 6: Determine that the pole is too wobbly and needs to be pounded in more. Enlist sledgehammer help from 7-year-old.

Step 7: Whack on the pole with a sledgehammer.

Step 8: Notice that pole is now deformed and will no longer assemble correctly. Mutter "I need..." Glare when after your wife suggests "Pliers?" your son suggests "Strength?"

Step 9: Fix the problem.

Step 10: Watch your children happily play a sport outside. Watch your youngest child get wonked by the ball and fall over.

Step 11: Realize that this tetherball set might bring your family a lot of joy.

Now we're going to go get our tetherball groove on.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Lights, Camera, Tantrum

We went to the holiday lights show at our local nature center tonight. I wish someone had reminded me to re-read last year's post about the light show wherein I detailed Sam's ill behavior. Next year we're getting him a babysitter.

I don't know why I can't remember that Sam really needs to be prepped before activities like this. We really needed to sit him down before we got out of the car to tell him that we would be walking through the lights for a good amount of time, that we expected good, compliant behavior from him, and that if he was well-behaved he would get hot chocolate.

With Sam, it really only takes that much. (Usually.)

What really happened is that Sam was happy for a few minutes then started whining about wanting to go home. Then, because it was a warm night, he wanted someone to carry his coat. Then he wanted to go home. Then he was bored. Then he didn't want to go that direction. Then he wanted to go home. Then he was mad at me because I finally carried through on my "if you don't behave better, you're not going to be able to play any video games tomorrow" threat. Then he wanted to go home. Then he was mad at me because I didn't agree with his "if I can't play video games tomorrow, then Jack and Quinn can't play video games tomorrow either" theory.

Sam before it all went bad.

We had a different kind of trouble with Quinn. As mentioned, it was unseasonably warm today, which is one of the reasons we went tonight. Because it was so warm (and also because Alex took the little dudes swimming today), Quinn was wearing flipflops. Which wasn't a good idea because, well, because he's three, and three-year-olds aren't good at wearing flipflops—especially oversized flipflops that belong to their older brother.

As with Sam, things were okay for a while.

Fox made out of lights?! Woofy goodness!

Then Alex led us up a dark set of stairs to nowhere. Really. They ended in a grassy field. And because they went nowhere, there were no lights nearby. Quinn and I were following everyone else up the stairs when he told me he'd lost his shoe. Alex and group continued walking. He'd lost the shoe about 16 times before this, so I was sure we'd find it immediately.

Not so.

Quinn and I tried to find his shoe, to no avail. Honestly, I cannot figure out where it went. I used my camera flash to make light to find it, I looked all over the path ten feet in each direction, I felt around inside the bush he claimed it flew into.

No shoe.

Eventually I gave up and tracked down the rest of my semi-belligerent family. Things worked out okay for Quinn though.

Notice, no shoes.
Also notice surly Sam.

Fortunately, per usual, and sort of ironically, Jack was the least problematic of everyone.

Although once that bear gets going,
it might cause Jack some problems.

So there you are. And seriously, come next December, please remind me that the light show is nothing but trouble for Team Stimey.

Friday, December 26, 2008

DCMM: It's 12:25. Do You Know Where Your Children Are?

It was a regular run of the mill day as far as I was concerned. My kindergartner and first grader were at school. My three-year-old and I were looking for something to do. As I left the house to meet friends at 10 a.m., I had no idea that the schools would be suddenly closed early and my kids would be dropped off by their buses at 12:40.

See, earlier this morning a water main broke on River Road. This was a big deal with four feet of water trapping cars, causing a huge traffic jam, and resulting in helicopter rescues. Another side effect is that some Montgomery County schools were left without power or water, so the school district closed schools district wide at 12:25 after a half day.

I was lucky. My playdate ended at 11:30 and I came home to feed my youngest his lunch. When I got home, there was a message on my answering machine. It was an automated call from my kids' school letting me know that school was letting out early. I am just glad that I happened to be home at that time. There are many days when I would never have gotten that message.

On a snowy day I would have known to check for updates to see if schools were closed early. But today, while I knew the water main break was a huge problem, it never occurred to me that it would affect the schools. Had I not happened to be home to get the call, I might not have known.

I am also lucky that because I have a special ed child, his teacher ended up calling to make sure I would be able to  pick him up from the bus. But my cell phone wasn't with me and that call ended up going to my husband. Again, I'm just happy that the fates worked out and all our information got through.

I made a couple of calls to neighbors to make sure that they knew their children would be getting off the bus unexpectedly. Still there was one second grader that I had to bring home with me because her mom hadn't heard. Our bus driver was doing a good job trying to make sure that everyone had someone to greet them at the stop.

But still I wonder how many children will be getting off of buses this afternoon with no one to meet them. I wonder how many worried second graders won't have keys to the house. I wonder if there is a better system for letting parents know that school is unexpectedly being let out early.

Original DC Metro Moms Blog post.

Jean also writes at her main blog, Stimeyland.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Guess Who Rocks and Guess Who Is the Asshole

Hint: Stimey is ALWAYS the asshole.

Remember how we weren't getting a lot of extras this year because of unexpected expenses? Well, it turns out that this means that Stimey buys this for Alex for Christmas:

Yeah, that's a Boba Fett mug.

And Alex got bought this for Stimey:

Although I could have done without the effect of my little
Mii character ballooning to a larger size after
the system calculated my BMI.

Oh, and do you see how the second photo is way better than the first? That's because he also got me a kick-ass camera. So our check to our educational consultant may bounce, but I'll be able to take fantastic photos of us on our way into bankruptcy court.

Okay, it's not as bad as all that. Turns out that Alex had his own middle of the night fund and he used that to buy stuff for me.

Let me take this opportunity to remind you of something:


In other news, this was Jack's favorite gift:

No, not the Lego table, but the Lego R2D2 that
came with a watch my sister gave him.

I Santa finally broke down and got the little dudes guns laser blasters.

Charlie's Angels, here he comes!

And Quinn actually lived on the island of Sodor for today. It was all Thomas the Tank Engine, all the time.

Well, there was some chocolate too.


And a Merry Christmas was had by all. Everyone is happy and stuffed with food and clad in new jammies.

I hope you had a good day too.
Even if—especially if—your day consisted
of Chinese food and a movie.

Merry Christmas!

Because I don't have all of your addresses and because I ran out of cards anyway, but because all of you honestly mean a lot to me, here is some joy for you, whether you celebrate Christmas or not.

This is for you. (Yes, all of you. Even you. You too. And you.)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Here We Are, At the Corner of Fire Truck Avenue and Police Helicopter Boulevard

Alternatively titled: "I Think it's Possible that the Fucking World is Ending. And the End is Beginning at MY House." or "Wherein Stimey Figures Out that SHE is the Source of all Evil."

Um. Enough already, okay?

We were driving home from speech therapy when I noticed police cars with sirens on speeding past in the same direction I was headed. As I got closer to home I noticed that there were several helicopters hovering in a bunch ahead of me. As I got still closer, I started to think that they were hovering above MY house. As I turned onto my street, one of the helicopters shone a spotlight onto my car.

Because, you know, fugitives.

There was a police-involved shooting at the mall a half mile from my house this evening and there is a suspect or suspects on the run. In, evidently, my neighborhood.

Remember the fire in the house next door and I was all, "Hey, this isn't the first time the house next door to me has caught on fire"?

Well, this isn't the first time police have used helicopters and searchlights to look for criminals in my backyard.

The most recent time was about five years ago when I lived in a different house on the same street. I woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of aircraft. When I looked out the window, all I saw was a spotlight shining directly into my house.

Having just been awoken from a deep sleep to the deafening sound of a close-by aircraft and a bright light, I became completely certain that a plane was flying directly into my house. Alex was out of town, so I couldn't wake him up to debate what to do.

I was midway through trying to figure out if I had time to wake up my kids and flee from the house when I realized that the aircraft was a helicopter. And then I was relieved that I hadn't woken my kids up and run into the street, where apparently criminals regularly hide out.

When I say there's never a dull moment around here, I mean it. I can't wait to see what happens tomorrow.

Monday, December 22, 2008

DCMM: The Tipping Season

As I write this in my cozy home festooned with Christmas lights and a tree with glittery presents piled beneath, I am happy to be in the midst of the Christmas Season. Although according to my calendar Christmas Season was suspended on Sunday—we are actually in the Tipping Season.

The Tipping Season occurs for several days in the week before Christmas. Christmas Season takes a hiatus and Tipping Season commences. For us, Tipping Season will be taking place December 22-23. Then Christmas Season recommences.

Tipping season is short but complicated.

Now, I'm not sure who made the executive decision that school bus drivers get cookies and the trash collectors get beer, but that's just how it is around here. I suppose it would be unseemly to collect your child off of the bus and hand up a six-pack to someone who is driving elementary school children home.

So I'll be making cookies this afternoon to hand out tomorrow. Because my two elementary school children—who come home from the same school—take two different buses and one of those buses has an aide, then I have to make three batches of cookies.

Then there are the aforementioned trash collectors. And their cousins, the recycling collectors. I have no idea how many people are on each of their trucks, but when my husband bought two six-packs for each group, it seemed sufficient. And divisible if necessary.

Although there's something a little weird about putting booze out on the street with a bow just in time for the high school kids to walk by on their way to school. Here's hoping we didn't "tip" a minor.

Next up is the mailman. (Or mail carrier. But in our case it really is a man.) We always forget to tip him. It's kind of a miracle that he's a good enough person to continually deliver our mail correctly.

I've heard rumors that you're not supposed to give your mail carrier cash and/or anything worth over $20. Which puts a crimp in my habit of putting a $20 bill in an envelope and then forgetting to give it to the guy.

This year, we got him a gift card. My husband has instructed me to lay in wait around mail time to make sure that it is our regular guy delivering the mail instead of a sub. Because it would be tragic to remember to tip the guy and then tip the wrong guy.

Of course, there are teacher gifts to give as well. These are not technically tips but are delivered within the window of the Tipping Season, so they count.

When I was a kid, I had a teacher. You know, one teacher. Honestly, I'm not entirely sure how many people teach my kids at their schools. My first grader apparently spends about half his day in one class and half his day in another, plus he goes to specials with yet more teachers, and then there's the support staff...

But I'm not independently wealthy so I'm sticking with two for him.

My kindergartner is another story. Because he is a special ed student and a student having trouble adjusting as well, he has gotten tremendous support from nearly every adult in the building. I would go bankrupt thanking all of them with gifts. So I'm sticking to his teacher and the two aides/educators who help him out the most.

The counselor, the librarian, the principal, the assistant principal, everyone who helps drag him out of the car in the morning or who brings him back after he runs away will merely get my eternal gratitude.

I had planned for all of these people and was feeling pretty good about myself when I read a tweet from someone who had finished purchasing therapist gifts. Dammit! Therapists! So off to the store I went for gifts for my kindergartner's occupational therapist, speech therapist, and social skills group therapist.

Do you see yet why I call it the tipping season?

And if I forgot someone completely crucial, I'm not sure I want to know.

My husband and I are passing out a lot of gifts and tips over the next couple of days. But I have to say that it's worth it. It's really a small thing to buy a bookstore gift card for a teacher who goes out of her way to help my child. Or to bake cookies for the bus driver who brings my son home safe every day.

Or to put out some beer for the people who take away all of my trash so I don't have to.

In fact, I wish I could do more.

Original DC Metro Moms Blog post.

See evidence of how all the people Jean tips during Tipping Season make her life better for the remainder of the year at Stimeyland.

Team Stimey and the Day of Living Dangerously

Cookie Danger:

What would you do if you were decorating cookies and someone handed you a man-shaped cookie with only one arm?

I don't know what you would do, but what you should do is make a surfer who had the misfortune of having had a shark take a chunk out of his side.

(Thanks for the excellent cookie-decorating party, A!)

Cookie Danger II:

There was a good chance that there wasn't going to be enough cookie dough left over for the bus drivers to get their fresh-baked cookies.

Obscenity Danger:

I swear to God that it's a roadrunner. At least that's what Jack says.

Sibling Danger:

Jack drew this picture of a scared Sam. It reminds me of this threatening note that Sam wrote early this year. At least Jack looks sad that Sam is in peril.

His drawing skills are exploding.

Actual Danger:

Sam was standing on a chair near our dining room lighting fixture today when it crashed to the table.

It scared the ever-loving crap out of him. And me too. I think Sam might have touched it just before it fell, but even if he did, it was just the straw that broke the camel's back. I'm just really glad he was standing next to it and not closer to under it. Because it's heavy, and it would very likely have hurt him badly.

Now we just have to figure out how to put it back up. And how to make it safe this time. I'm just amazed the damn thing didn't break.

Late-breaking Danger:

Santa just drove by our house, accompanied by many fire engines blaring their sirens at top volume. At 9 p.m. Handing out candy canes. In 20-degree weather.

Also known as Hypothermia Danger. (For Sam, who wanted to go get a candy cane dressed only in boxers.) Or Heart Attack Danger. (For me, who thought there was another house on fire on my street. Thanks for the call letting me know what was actually happening, L.)

Mostly though, this is My Kids Will Never Go To Sleep Again Danger. 'Cause they won't.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

What? Not Enough Trains Yet?

At about 10 a.m. yesterday morning I made an executive decision. I decided it would be more fun to go downtown to the train exhibit at the Botanical Gardens than it would be to stay at home and yell and glare at each other all day.

Which is where we were headed. Sam had written notes to all of us with the message "Dear [recipient], I am having a hard time. This is the worst day of my life. From Sam"

This information in hand, we headed downtown. And when I say "in hand," I mean it literally. Jack carried his note around all day and called it his ticket.

We ended up here:

Well, really here:

But the first photo is so much nicer.

Unlike Kristen, who got her botanical garden all to herself and her family, this botanical garden was packed. But it was fun. Jack in particular was enthralled with the train exhibit. He enjoyed seeing the trains run along the overhead bridges and trestles, and he took his turn taking photographs, just like Quinn did on Thursday.

Long after Alex, Quinn, and Sam had wandered off (they took a long trip to the bathrooms and back), Jack stayed, happily watching the trains.

Eventually Alex and his group came back and wandered through the rest of the indoor gardens. I was surprised by how happy everyone was to do this

See? Happy.

True, I did tell them that no one was getting off the bench until I had a picture of them smiling happily, but it only took one shot. Then we wandered through the desert plant room ("Don't touch that cactus, Quinn," I said. "Ouch!" said Quinn.) and the jungle room.

Then, because no matter how much I would like to be in downtown DC on January 20th, I will NOT be, we showed the little dudes the Capitol building and the scaffolding where they will do the inauguration. That way when we watch it on TV they'll know what we're talking about.

Then Alex, Jack, and Sam jaywalked across a street and Sam almost got run down by a police car.

Still, it was a way better way to spend the day than yelling and glaring.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Crazy

I'm totally not crazy. No really. No. Hey, stop laughing.


I love Christmas, but I'm not crazy when it comes to Christmas. When I saw that Kelley and Burgh Baby are running a Crazy Christmas feature I was worried that I wouldn't be able to participate. Because I'm not crazy, y'all.

Shut up already.

My Christmas decor is very tasteful and confined to one room of my house. Which may be a little crazy now that I think about it, but like I said, shut up.

But then I drove by a house down the street from me 800 times last week. If this is your house, know that your home has given me a great deal of pleasure this Christmas season. Because where else are you going to see a lawn with Santa Claus, a nativity scene, and the best part of all: a dolphin in a Santa hat. Who seems to be swimming toward the nativity.

Really. Where do you buy a dolphin in a Santa hat? That doesn't even make sense. (And again, if you decorate your lawn in this way, know that I'm not talking about you. Haven't you heard? Stimey's crazy. She just rambles a lot. Crazy Stimey and her crazy rambles...)

Baby Jesus isn't at the nativity yet. It's just Mary and Joseph. (Did I get that right? I'm not good with the Christmas story. I think the three wisemen are Santa and his two smartest elves.)

Anyway, I think this house's Jesus might be hanging out with Anne Nahm's Baby J. And if you ask me, Anne takes the cake for the Christmas Crazy. Not that I'm calling you crazy, Anne.

I'm going to take my own advice and shut up now. Maybe I do have the Christmas Crazy. Just not the good, Santa swam with the dolphins and then they killed him and took his hat kind. Or maybe it's exactly that kind.


Join the fun here.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Making Friends and Watching Trains

We made our annual pilgrimage to the train exhibit at our local nature center this week. Except we might have to go back because Jack was at school when we went and he loves him some train exhibit.

Quinn also loves train exhibits, so although there wasn't any running around trying to keep my children from climbing on the tracks (like last year with Jack), there was a lot of grinning and studious watching.

There was also some chatting up of the ladies.

Quinn watched the trains for a long time and then said he wanted to go home. I pointed out that there were tracks he hadn't even seen yet on the other side of the room, so he wandered over to the opposite walkway, where I watched him from the bench on which I sat.

I tell you, it's a different story going somewhere with Quinn and going somewhere with Sam, Jack, and Quinn. Just Quinn is kind of restful.

Anyway, once he got to the other side of the room, I watched him trying to chat with one of the men who is with the train group that sets up the exhibit. The man would listen for a minute, then he would sidle away. Then Quinn would follow him. And talk some more. Then the man would sidle away.

Eventually the man started talking to a woman who was taking photographs of the trains. Evidently this woman was more willing to chat because Quinn immediately switched allegiances and started talking to her.

The woman would take a few photos in one place, then move to another spot, sit down, and take more photos. Quinn would follow her and then sit down criss-cross-applesauce right next to her. She would take some photos and then show them to him on her camera screen.

She was smiling too, so I figured he wasn't bugging her too much.

He followed her all around the room.

And then he took some of his own photos with my camera. Here are a couple of examples. I hope the woman's photos were better.

We were in that one room for an hour and a half before Quinn got bored.

We're thinking that instead of going back here, we might take them to the bigger train exhibit in DC this weekend instead. I'm a little afraid though that Quinn's head might just explode from joy. Jack's too, probably.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Proud Parent Edition

Every once in a while I just can't stand how adorable and brilliant my kids are and I have to show them off. And by "every once in a while," I mean, "nearly every time I post."

For instance, take Sam. Evidently the excitement of Christmas is not enough for him. This past weekend he decided he needed to start working on some homemade Valentines Day cards for his class.

Isn't he just the sweetest damn thing you've ever seen?


And then there's Jack. He made me write the words in this next picture. Then he drew R2D2 and a light saber.

Please excuse the phallic nature of the drawing. I think it's a fantastic rendition of a robot.


Next comes Quinn. He managed to find a "Q" to sit on at story time.

Cut me some slack. He's three. I think he's brilliant if he manages to poop in the correct receptacle.


But the real source of my joy, and the inspiration for this post, is the picture Jack drew to give to his OT. We're giving her a holiday gift tomorrow and I thought it would be nice if Jack drew something for her. I thought I'd have to force him to draw a circle or something. Instead he drew the most detailed and fabulous picture I've ever seen him draw.

It's The Polar Express, see? There's the train and the conductor. Jack had me write "All Aboard!" because it had to fit in the speech bubble. And that on the right is Jack's house. And it is. It's his basement and main floor and upstairs.

And dear God, look at that smile. He knows he created something beautiful.

On the other side he wrote "Dear [therapist] good ♥ Jack" As he wrote it, he said, "Heart means 'love.' Two bumps and a 'v'."

I think that piece of paper is worth way more than the Barnes & Noble gift card it's going to be attached to.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Sunday, December 14, 2008


If you follow me on Twitter, you've been subject to my boasts about being done with my Christmas shopping and Christmas cards and whatnot. I will now subject those of you who don't follow me on Twitter to the same boasts.

Mostly we crammed all of our Christmas traditions (except Christmas itself) into one day—Saturday.

See how Team Stimey does the Saturday before the Saturday before Christmas:

1. The annual gluing on of the antler that snaps off of our moose-drawn sleigh every single goddamn year. Check.

2. The annual mailing of the Christmas cards. And since I'm here, the ritual mailing of the Netflix. Check. And check.

3. The craft fair at the high school where we end up covered in glue and glitter. Check.

4. The making of the graham cracker gingerbread houses at the craft fair. (Followed by the eating of the graham cracker gingerbread houses.) Check. And check.

5. The attempt to get a cute photograph of an uncooperative toddler. Check.

Click on the image to get the full effect.

6. The traditional Team Stimey "out in public" behavior. (Can you find two people running in a room of otherwise walking people?) Check.

7. The lunch in the food court at the mall. Followed by the trip to the Family Restroom and Quinn's discovery of "a little room for me!" Check. Check.

8. The visit to see Santa. Check.

9. The trip to the Christmas tree lot. Check.

10. The annual paranoia that someone... going to walk into the fire or the chainsaw. Check.

11. The annual tormenting of the dog, who is wondering why the fuck we moved the rocking chair she usually sits behind and put—of all things—a TREE in the middle of the room.

12. The annual freakout over why the string of lights that worked 15 minutes ago before we put it on the tree suddenly doesn't work. Also, the annual failure to truly capture the rage on Alex's face. Check. Check.

13. The annual popping of the bubble wrap. Check.

14. The annual we-got-bored-of-decorating-the-tree-after-four-minutes-and -two-broken-ornaments-so-we're-going-to-go-play-Battleship. Check. Lazy bastards.

15. The annual hoisting of the child and pretending that he is putting the star on the tree. Check.

16. The annual joy and pride in a job well done. Check.

Christmas? Bring. It. On.