Saturday, June 28, 2008

Anthology of Interest I

If you set aside an hour to tidy your house and play a game of Uno with your son, don't forget that Uno can take forever to play. It might even take 45 minutes and you might not be able to tidy your house before your playdate shows up. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. What's more, I lost the Uno game.

But how cool that I have a child (Sam) who will happily sit and play a game with me for 45 minutes?


If, as part of cooking camp, you are cooking purple playdough, and you misread the instructions on the back of the food coloring and drip red and yellow food coloring into your mix instead of red and blue, you can fix it. If you catch it before you stir it. Just scoop the yellow right out!

Ooooh, pretty purple playdough!


The ants have started giving me nightmares. Literally. I dreamed last night that their living conditions had gotten so bad that they were desperate to get out and were working together to cram themselves out of the tiny air holes. And in my dream, I had to release them in my backyard.

This nightmare was brought on by the discovery of mold in their habitat. And I'm too scared to open the habitat to remove the mold because I'm afraid they're going to try to escape again. But the mold is getting darker and grosser. Now I feel like I'm running the Gitmo of ant farms.

All you naysayers that I pish-poshed when you said I was crazy for wanting an ant farm. You may—may—have been right.

Nightmares. Honest to God, nightmares.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Living the Dream

You know what I like? Winning things. Especially cool things.

Like the LTDchix shirt I won at Savvy Housewife. (You can also find the Savvy Housewife at BlondeMomBlog.)

See how cool it is?

And if you look closely at the graphic, which I've, ahem, borrowed here, you'll see that the picture on the shirt could actually be of me and my family.

That's Quinn throwing the soccer ball, Sam grimacing about some perceived injustice, and Jack in the back seat plotting about world domination and brandishing a hockey stick and a baseball bat.

And I'm driving the minivan with my hair askew.

Totally. Living. The. Dream.

Like the shirt? You can find it at and at their Cafe Press shop. And if you want 15% off any t-shirt, hurry over to and enter coupon code "14blog".

Thank you, BlondeMom and LTDchix!

I'm Trying to Create Some Buzz

Oooooh! Ooooooh! Can barely talk! So excited! My swag came! My swag came! The giveaways that I'll be handing out at BlogHer came today. SQUEEEEEE!!!!!

When I saw the box on my doorstep tonight I had just one thought: "Oh please don't let them look lame." (They are SO not lame.)

And, oh, they're even better than I could have hoped. They even won over my biggest skeptic (Alex), who thought I was a bloody raving lunatic for paying for giveaways to hand out to strangers at a blogging convention all the way across the country. (Alex, we crossed the lunacy bridge a looooong time ago.)

After I opened the box and saw them I had many more thoughts, including a long (well, not too long, they just came today) internal struggle as to whether to show you what they are.

On one hand, surprises are awesome. Who doesn't love surprises?

On the other hand, maybe if I show you all some photos, by the time BlogHer rolls around, the buzz will have built to a frenzy and I'll be overrun by fellow bloggers wanting to get some of my swag. And consequently reading my blog.

Then it occurred to me that Sarah showed us her swag last year before BlogHer and I still want one of her bottle openers. And frankly, if Sarah jumped off of a cliff, I would be all, "Hey, can I get in on that?" because Sarah is just that cool.

And then I thought, well ShallowGal already told us she's getting us all toasters. (Seriously, if I don't get a toaster, there's going to be hell to pay. I'm not kidding around here. It's not nice to tease.)

So I decided that I'll jump on that bandwagon and show you the swag, but you're going to have to work for it. So, without further ado:

Which of the following do you think Stimey will be passing out at BlogHer '08?

a) A baseball cap?

b) A foam finger with my current Technorati rank on it?

c) A stress ball?

d) A plastic beer mug?

e) A keychain?

f) A luggage tag? A kick ass, adorable, useful for conventioneers LUGGAGE TAG?!

Now go. Create buzz.


Answer key:
a) Not hats. Too bulky. And too expensive. (Not like toasters. Those are almost free, I hear.)
b) Not foam fingers. Too "Hey, I have a crappy Technorati rank!"
c) Not stress balls. I need all of those for myself.
d) Not plastic beer mugs. I don't need to be buying all the drinks. Mostly because I spent all of my money on swag.
e) Not keychains. 'Cause I'd lose 'em before I left DC. And I'd have to be all, "Now where did I put my 200 sets of keys? Alex, did you move my 200 sets of keys?"
f) Awesome luggage tags? Oh, hell yeah.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


We abandoned Camp Stimey just for the day today because we were too busy. The dudes all had preschool camp and then Sam had a dentist appointment. Because he has two "holes" in his "permanent molars."

Well, fuck and double fuck. I couldn't quite believe it when the dentist gave me this information a couple of weeks ago at his checkup. I also thought it strange that she didn't use the word "cavity."

Sam was a champ. Although apparently his tongue was a bit mischievous. The dentist had to chastise it a couple of times for moving around too much. She also had to chastise me for staring at the blue light she shone in his mouth. Something about going blind if I looked at it too much.

But I just couldn't help it. I felt that I needed to watch Sam super closely in hopes that I could absorb any discomfort he felt. Because those "holes"? Those were my fault, not his. He's six. He's not yet the one responsible for checking to make sure he's sufficiently brushed.

I had one of those acute "I wish it were me in the chair" parenting moments.

But I don't think it hurt him, and the dentist was the coolest. She showed him all the tools before she started, and let him touch them. She warned him what he was going to feel before she did anything. And she gave him a rest between holes.

And then, after I paid and was getting ready to leave, she said, "If you get a notice from your insurance company that you owe more money, disregard it. We're not going to bill you more." Gah?

Anyone need a dentist? 'Cause mine rocks. You may even run into us because we're going to be there a lot—every six months for the rest of our lives. I've been scared straight. No more cavities! Or holes.

And then I took Sam out for ice cream. (Guilty much?)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

DCMM: Camp Here and Now

When I looked at my summer and saw weeks and weeks of empty squares on the calendar, I panicked. Then I calmed down and told myself it wouldn't be that bad. Then I had all three kids home for a day and it was an unmitigated disaster. So I panicked again. Then I came up with a plan.

The plan is to create "camp" at home for my three kids all by myself. The idea first took root one afternoon when a friend and neighbor sent me a semi-joking email about "Camp Here and Now" that would be made up of her kids and mine and would take place in our driveways. I thought it was an excellent idea and have followed it to its extreme, Jean-style conclusion.

I've chosen a theme for each week, starting with "Cooking Camp" this week and ending with "The Olympics" at the end of August.

This isn't just to fill up days. My children do better in a structured environment. If left without a plan they get antsy and argumentative. I don't need that. And I certainly can't afford to send three kids to day camp all summer. We do need to eat. And buy gas.

But that's not the only reason. After much hemming and hawing and a lot of freaking out and questioning myself, the system, and the answer to life, the universe, and everything, I finally decided to send my autistic son, Jack, to kindergarten next year. And he needs some work before he walks into that classroom in late August.

He needs to learn to sit in circle time. (It worked today). He needs to learn to follow directions. (It didn't work today.) He needs to learn that if a teacher tells him to do a project, he needs to do it. (Again, success!)

My hope is that with eight weeks of pseudo-camp under his belt, he might be a little better prepared than if he walked in having aimlessly played all summer.

I also think my kids (and I) will have more fun at Camp Here and Now than they would have if I just let summer pass us by. With theme weeks such as Mini Golf/Bowling Camp, Science & Nature Camp, Sports Camp, and Boot Camp (Oh, I'm going to enjoy playing sergeant that week!), how can I go wrong?

We're going to go on field trips to the zoo, to a minor league baseball game, to nature centers, to golf courses, and so much more. We're going to make macaroni necklaces and have bowling tournaments at our house. We're going to invite friends over for afternoon recess in our wading pool.

So thanks to my friend who gave me the idea (and who will be granted charter membership), and welcome to any campers in the area who want to join us. Camp Here and Now is always looking for camp counselors too. The more the merrier. And I promise not to charge you so much tuition that you can't afford to buy food.

Original DC Metro Moms Blog post.

Find out how Cooking Camp, Day One and the rest of Camp Here and Now goes at Stimeyland.

Art & Dinner From the Same Ingredients

Well, gee, I am so glad to see that you all like my summer camp plan. I was a little nervous that I would get some, "You're a crazy, overscheduling mother. Why don't you let your kids just be kids?" comments. Although as I have never gotten a nasty comment (yet), I don't know why I thought this particular crazy scheme would be a lightning rod.

So without further ado, I present: Macaroni Day!

Today's camp was shortened due to preschool camp in the morning and a birthday party in the afternoon. Basically what Macaroni Day consisted of today was a circle time in the morning and an art project in the afternoon.

But it was a hell of an art project.

And we had guest campers.

If you like making a mess and having fun, give a bunch of kids some pasta, some paper, and a lot of glue.

Do the math: 5 kids + 7 bottles of glue ÷ negligent parenting = giant puddles of glue.

At one point Jack was pretending his bowtie pasta were boats and he sank them in his river of glue. Like, sank them. As in, couldn't see them anymore, because the river was so deep and the current was so swift. Those bottles up there? They're largely empty now.

This art is going to take a while to dry.

But these five kids (and my friend L) made some excellent macaroni art. See:

(Click to enlarge if you must.) Sorry, L, but I think Sam's is the best. In case you can't tell, it's a train.

After L and her family left, I got set to make the tacos I had planned. (Mental note: I will always be too tired at the end of the day to involve my children in dinner preparation. I am barely capable of making dinner myself, why do I think I'll be patient enough to bring three little dudes into it? Group cooking will be for breakfast, lunch, and/or snack only from now on.)

And then I was all, "Why am I making tacos tonight? Why am I not making pasta?" So I dumped all the leftover pasta in boiling water (I did have to fish out a smidge of glue) and threw some spaghetti sauce over it. Voila!

Sam declared it "stupendously excellenty."

That's what I'm talkin' about.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Cooking Camp, Day One

When I looked at my summer and saw weeks and weeks of empty squares on the calendar, I panicked. Then I calmed down and told myself it wouldn't be that bad. Then I had all three kids home for a day and it was an unmitigated disaster. So I panicked again. Then I came up with a plan.

The plan is to create "camp" at home for my three kids all by myself. I've chosen a theme for each week, starting with "Cooking Camp" today and ending with "The Olympics" at the end of August.

This isn't just to fill up days. It's also to keep Jack in the school mentality and to keep teaching him skills he's going to need in kindergarten—things like sitting during circle time and doing the projects the person in charge asks him to do.

So I let my kids futz around this morning until they started getting antsy. Once the first argument broke out, I convened circle time to distract them and explained what we were going to do. Then I read Green Eggs and Ham because it's one of about six books we own that is marginally about food.

Jack asked if we could make a schedule, and I figured if it's part of his IEP (it is, and his special ed teacher used one last year), there must be a reason for it. So we wrote down a schedule:

Seems full for a summer day? Yeah, I'm not fucking around here. We're having camp, for real.

Don't worry, we'll have lots of free time and fun too. I promise.

We started by making collages from pictures of food we cut out from magazines I am recycling. I never imagined that all three of them would happily sit and glue pictures to a paper for 45 minutes. But they DID!

(Please turn away from the giant wet spot on the tablecloth. Apparently there was an accident at breakfast.)

It turns out that to make Sam behave, you just have to make him believe that he's in school.

"I'm the hardest working guy in the class!" he said proudly, showing off his collage.

Things went swimmingly until I tried to get Jack to sign his paper. He insisted he was Kung Fu Panda and refused to write his own name.

He kept asking, "How do you spell 'Kung Fu Panda'?" I told him that I would tell him after he wrote his own name. But the determined little jackass just sounded out the words.

He wrote a K and then asked, "How do you spell 'ung'?"

Then, "What makes the nnnn sound? N or M? N! What makes the gggg sound? G or Q? G!"

Then the little bastard wrote the whole damn thing by himself. And put an exclamation point at the end. So much for forcing him to conform to the ways of school.

You've won this round, Kung Fu Panda. But the war is yet to be decided.

The little dudes had an afternoon playdate at A's house and I went to the grocery store. Then we went to karate and came home all ready to complete Cooking Camp, Day One by working together to make homemade macaroni & cheese.

And then I seriously ran out of steam. So I'm making macaroni & cheese from a box. Yep, we managed to have a full day of cooking camp without actually preparing food as a group. (Having a kid stick his entire arm in the peanut butter jar to "get a lick" of peanut butter while I'm making sandwiches for lunch doesn't count.)

Wish me luck for Cooking Camp, Day Two. We're planning on making macaroni art and tacos.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Stimey's New Cooking Blog

Oh, I kid. No one would come read a cooking blog written by me, because why come all the way over here when you can just read the instructions on the side of the Hamburger Helper box?

Plus, that food you see over there? Alex cooked it. We all know what happens when I cook.

And not only did Alex cook it, but a good amount of that food came from our garden. That Alex planted. (What the hell do I do around here, anyway?)

He made pesto from our basil, baked zucchini from our zucchini, and added some other ingredients that I don't remember about. Something about thyme. (To which I cracked, "You can grow time in a garden? I need three or four hours." I know. The level of repartee around these parts is completely mindboggling.)

The food was delicious. It may not count because he was the chef, but Alex gave it a well earned thumbs up:

Don't you wish you had a spouse that would publish flattering photos of you on the internet? He's really much more handsome than this.

The reason for such a show of culinary ability? It was my birthday today. Yep, Stimey turned 35 today. I celebrated by trying to take my kids to buy some free sold-out trains. That got me a couple of "You're the worst mom in the world!"s. (Not because of the trains. Because of some associated toy store mayhem.) (EDITED TO ADD: Don't try to use this coupon to get a train. Apparently it is fraudulent. I was turned away when I went back to the toy store. It was kind of sad. At least my kids weren't with me.)

The kids and I spent much of the rest of the afternoon playing Kung Fu Panda on the Xbox. I worked at my computer until there was a hard part and then I made use of my many, many years of video game expertise by helping the little dudes out. Lazy parenting, yes. Fun parenting, also yes. And it was my birthday, dammit.

Thanks to my friends and family for their birthday wishes.

And I listened to my shirt again.

Friday, June 20, 2008

It's Quiet. Too Quiet.

Every parent knows it. When all your kids are somewhere else and it gets really quiet, it's rarely a good thing.

I can't even tell you some of the things I've walked in on after assuming that my children were nicely playing in another room. (Mostly because I've blocked them out, I think.) The destruction! The messes! The potty training fiascos!

My house is in one of those lulls right now.

What do you do when this happens? Is a (quiet) bird in the hand better than two (disastrous) birds in the bush?

Should I go check on them or is that Future Stimey's problem?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Butterflies and Boys: A Quiz

1. At a cost of $19 for one adult and three children to get into a butterfly exhibit yesterday, how long do you think said children happily stood amidst the butterlies?

a) They stayed for an hour, only leaving when their parent was ready to go and with a chorus of unprompted thank yous and hugs.
b) They were happy to go after a half hour, but were perfectly pleasant until that time.
c) They (or at least the oldest one) started whining at 20 minutes, and finally dragged their mother out at 35 minutes, at a cost of more than 50 cents per minute of fun.

(I think you know.)

2. Study the following photo. Is it a picture of:

a) A boy.
b) A butterfly.
c) A boy sitting next to a butterfly.

(Look to Sam's left on the edge of the bench. You'll have to click to enlarge.)

3. What is on this woman's legs?

a) Cellulite.
b) Glowing white nylons.
c) The wintery sheen of a season spent under long pants.

(Seriously. You people let me go out like this? I had no idea.)

4. What do you think Quinn thought of this situation?

a) It's totally cool with him.
b) Freak-out inducing from the get-go.
c) Very exciting for about 45 seconds until he suddenly decided it was absolutely not okay and then he decided that he should fear all butterflies for the rest of time.

(If you're familiar with the inconsistency of Quinn, I think you know the answer to this one.)

5. Was it worth it?

a) No.
b) Yes.
c) Of course. Stimey may bitch all the time, but it's always worth it.

Firmly, absolutely, without a question: C

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Prison Break (UPDATE: Now With Photo!)

So in the ant farm instructions, it's all, "Don't let the ants build piles of sand next to the escape proof edges. Because, yeah, it's escape proof and all, but ants are clever little motherfuckers and you don't want to turn your back on them for a second."

Or something to that effect.

So all day today my new enemies the ants have been engaging in weird behavior. They spent a chunk of time huddled in a group. I caught them doing it more than once. At first I thought maybe they found some food, or were holding a funeral, or were feasting on one of their own. You know, something nice and innocent.

I think they were plotting.

Because they're building piles of sand next to the "escape proof" (and I use that phrase loosely) edges.

So I was like, "Well I'll show them who's in charge. I'll just open up this here ant farm and shove over their little piles of sand."

It turns out that they're in charge.

As soon as I opened my escape proof ant farm, four ants jumped out and began running amok. I tried (and failed) to get them back in (it's hard to do such a thing when you're jumping up and down and shrieking), so I yelled for Alex. It took him a while, but he did it.

Jack was standing there throughout the mayhem. I think the experience scared him straight. He's not going to be opening the ant farm anytime soon. (At one point as a confused ant ambled across the counter towards him, Jack panicked: "He's headed for me!")

"What have we learned here?" Alex asked after he'd collected the ants.

Well, for one thing, that ants are smarter than me.

And now I'm living in sort of mortal terror. Are they going to get out again? Why do I have to give food and water to my little tormentors? Why am I so goddamn dumb as to request that my mom buy an ant farm for my house?

You'd think I could manage to be a decent ant farm warden. But no. No, I can't. I'm going to have dreams about this I think. And I don't think they're going to be fun.

Letter to a Father:

Hi Alex,

Can you believe how much our family has changed in the past six and a half years?

Remember this?

And this?

And this?

And the first photo ever taken of our family?

Look at 'em now...

I think we've done all right.

We may not always agree on our parenting styles, but you are a great dad to these kids. They are so lucky to have you. Thank you for loving them like you do.

Happy Father's Day.


Saturday, June 14, 2008

It's Jack's House. We Just Live Here.

Found on the outside of our door this morning. God only knows when he put it there.

Click to enlarge.

Mental note: remind house guests that they shouldn't turn the alarm off and then go take a shower if no one else is around to make sure Jack doesn't leave the house.

He's a slippery little dude, that one.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

DCMM: Maybe Next Year

Either I didn't grow up in a geographic area where people joined and went to private pools in the summer, or I didn't belong to an economic class that did that. Regardless, I never belonged to a pool when I was a child, and I don't remember a single friend that did either.

When I was a child, we would scrape together fifty cents and walk up to the high school during public swim hours where we would pay to swim for the day.

Here in suburban Maryland, however, it seems like everyone belongs to a pool. I remember my first summer with three children after I moved here. It seemed like everyone had an opinion on joining a pool. Not whether we should join a pool, but which pool we should join.

In fact, everyone was so certain that we should join a pool that it didn't really occur to me to question my imminent pool membership.

I started to research different pools, fees, locations, and who goes there before I realized a couple of things:

1. Joining a pool is expensive.

2. If I take three young children to a swimming pool by myself, there is a good chance that one of them will drown. (And I'm not saying this in a casual way. I really believe that I am not capable of watching three children in a potentially deadly situation. And if I can, I don't think it will be fun for me.)

So we decided to wait a year until the kids got older. And we bought a wading pool. And we told ourselves, "maybe next year." But the next year the pools were still expensive and I still had three young children. So we played in the wading pool again.

The following year our wading pool cracked when we took it out of the garage. We briefly revisited the idea of pool membership before we decided that this still wasn't the year for us. So I bought a new wading pool. Good decision.

This year, when the beginning of summer rolled around, I made a conscious decision not to consider the pool. It's not that I think pool membership is a waste of money or a silly thing to do. Quite the opposite. It's a great way to spend the summer.

For some people.

For me? Not so much. The thought of packing up all my children to go to the pool for enough days over the summer to make it worthwhile kind of gives me the shivers. And I'm still worried about the drowning thing. Plus, my youngest is not potty trained enough to go into the big pool, and I don't relish the idea of spending the summer trying to force my older kids to stay in the baby pool.

Plus, I don't like to swim a whole lot. It's okay, but there are lots of things I prefer.

So this summer we've pulled out the wading pool again. My kids will continue to take their swimming lessons at the public pool. We'll go to the beach a few times, and we'll pay (a hell of a lot more than fifty cents a kid, by the way) to take them to the pool a few times over the summer.

For now we're going to have fun in our small backyard swim park. There's grass, a swingset, a pool, a sprinkler, and a (one-foot-tall) water slide. And that's okay.

As for a pool membership? Maybe next year.

Original DC Metro Moms post.

Keep up with how Jean's no-pool membership decision goes at her personal blog, Stimeyland.


I don't have to explain what a wedgie is, right?

It is, of course, when your underwear gets crammed (or wedged, as it were) into your ass crack.

I tried to come up with a delicate, flowery way of saying that and was completely at a loss.


Sam and Jack either do not get wedgies, don't care that they get them, or know how to fix the problem themselves.

Quinn, on the other hand...

He gets 'em, you better believe he cares that he gets 'em, and he seems to not have a clue as to how to fix 'em. In fact, a wedgie will send him into paroxysms of panic.

"I have a wedgie! I have a wedgie!" he'll shriek as he spins in circles trying to locate the problem. "I have a wedgie!"

I think it might be wrong for me to think this is as funny as I do. And I'm almost positive it's wrong to laugh at his anguish and then post about it on the internet, but I don't know if I've ever seen anything so hilarious.

Who else wants to join me in my handbasket? Last stop: Hell.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I, For One, Welcome Our Insect Overlords

If you dislike ants (or long pointless posts, for that matter), it might behoove you to skip this post and come back tomorrow. For those of you who care for such things, read on!

It may not look like much, but I've been waiting for this package for a while.

What treasures could possibly lurk in such an innocuous package, you say.

I'm glad you asked. Look a little closer:

That's right, our harvester ants are here! Excuse me while I do a little "now we can finally use the ant farm Jack got for his birthday happy dance!"

These poor little dudes though. Based on the date on the address label, I'm guessing they've been trapped in their tiny mailing tube for at least six days. And I'm also guessing that my DC-area metal mailbox may qualify as a place that is subject to "EXTREME HEAT." And does "OPEN IMMEDIATELY" mean that it's okay to wait for your son to get off the school bus in two hours, or if you do that, does that make you even more of a monster than you were for ordering ants in a tube to begin with?

They don't look nearly as happy here as they do on the box:

At least they arrived alive and I didn't have to email the ant people at their ironic address of (See their adorable little water dish? On a related note, I'm looking for an ant sitter for when we go on vacation later this summer.)

There was all kinds of pre-ant preparation I would have known about had I read farther than "order your ants" in the Owner's Guide. There was supposed to be "sugar cement" preparation and "evaporation" and "prevention of tunnel collapse" and things of that nature.

I figured that after a week and 2 hours in their tube, the ants wouldn't care much if the sugar cement hadn't totally hardened. So we forged ahead and did an abbreviated version of ant habitat preparation.

Ant habitat preparation includes using little red "tunnel starter" sticks to, well, start their tunnels. And then the water part of the sugar cement you added evaporates and you take the tunnel starters out and the ants have a place to start their tunnels.

Or, if you are Team Stimey, you will jam the tunnel starters in the sand, put the ant farm in the sun for five minutes, get impatient, and bring it back inside to release the ants. If you are Team Stimey, you will probably leave the tunnel starters in the ant farm. Remember this. It will be important later.

Sweet freedom!

Those little guys moved faster than I expected them to. My whole family was gathered around the ant farm and there was suddenly a lot of screaming—some of it delighted, all of it by me.

The Owner's Guide had said, "Watch as these curious creatures quickly investigate their new home." They weren't kidding. They're fast.

Then all of a sudden, I realized the error of not taking the tunnel starters out. The ants were making a break for it. (The Owner's Guide's only advice for catching escapee ants? "...pick up the ants with the tweezers and put them back in the habitat." I've never picked up an ant with tweezers, but I don't imagine that it's easy.)

Even sweeter freedom!

There was more shrieking (by me). I started yelling, "They're going to get away! They're going to get away!" and pointed at one ant in particular who seemed poised for jailbreak on the very top of one of the tunnel starters.

Fortunately cooler heads prevailed, in the form of Alex, who calmly explained, "Where's he going to go? He can't fly, you know."

Oh. Right. Crisis averted.

We eventually got the lid on and watched the ants, who were very thirsty after their long trip. They did an awful lot of drinking. Then they organized and filled their water dish with sand.

It was crazy weird. Maybe that's why the Owner's Guide said I should take the water dish out after they were done drinking. I can't help but wonder if the ants regret cutting off their water source.

But because they're ants and their brains are smaller than the grains of sand they were carrying around, I'm guessing no. But even with those tiny brains, their group mind was amazing to watch. They're already building tunnels and creating their own little queen-less society. (Apparently federal regulations prohibit the mailing of queens.) Their little exercise in a doomed civilization due to their inability to reproduce is a little sad, I have to say.

But look at all the learning that commenced:

I'm hoping that my kids learn something different about ants than I learned when I had an ant farm a few years ago. I mostly learned about how ants dispose of their dead. (They carry them to a little burial site and stack 'em all up together.) I'm sorry to say that I wasn't a very good ant mom back then. I hope I've learned some lessons, because these 25 or so small insects are incredibly fascinating. I hope to keep them around for awhile.

I promise not to make this the summer of the ant. This won't be like the gerbils.


Monday, June 9, 2008


We celebrated summer today with a little mountain climbing.

Sort of...

Sometimes it's all a matter of perspective.

May I Present the Graduates...

I have been so busy lately. Part of what has been keeping me busy is the sheer number of end-of-the-school year activities that are taking place at all three of the schools my children attend. It's ridiculous really. But mixed in with some of the less exciting parent-involvement-requested activities have been some really cool ones.

For instance, the day that all the county schools were closed (the day after a tree branch fell on my head as I waited in a torrential downpour to pick Sam up at the bus stop), Jack and Quinn's preschool went against their policy and opened school so the four-year-olds could graduate.

Jack was so damn proud. He smiled, he sat with minimal fidgeting, he sang the songs the class had practiced, he did the motions for the songs, he ate ALL the cheese laid out at the reception after.

It was awesome.

And then, the next day, even though he still has school through Thursday, Sam graduated.

This graduation was cool too. Sam was also proud. In a more blase, cool-kindergartener-kid sort of way. After the graduation, we were allowed to take our kids home or they could go back to class. Sam didn't even say goodbye on his way back to class.

Should we lay bets on whether he'll make me park a block away next year so I won't embarrass him by dropping him off?

Oh, yeah, and my sadly neglected third child successfully completed his first year of schooling as well. And celebrated by playing in the mud.

I'm hoping the lazy days of summer come sooner rather than later.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Who Hates Cancer?

Tens of thousands of men, women, and children who participated in this morning's Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in DC, that's who.

The DC Metro Moms Blog team raised more than $2700 and braved the muggy weather to Race Walk Meander Sweat for the Cure.

See all of us in our early morning, pre-DC heat splendor?

The Sweat-ers for the Cure included: Andrea, Julie, Sandie (and her adorably tiny two and a half month old anti-cancer crusading son), Devra, Jessica, Robin, Leticia, Jodi, Stimey (in the back, standing on my very tippy toes), Nancy, Linda, Jess (who got the whole team started), and MamaBird.

Sarah walked with her family and Mary, Suzie, and Susan slept in for the cure.

Despite the heat, I had a great time this morning, especially at brunch, where I watched these 12 women consume waaaaay more than 12 Bloody Marys. And I also saw this room full of moms completely ignore the giant spears of broccoli on their plates. Because, um...bacon. And Bloody Marys. And home fries.

Not a bad way to help fight breast cancer, eh?