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November 2007
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January 2008

Potty Interrupted

I haven’t meant to be gone so long, but I am in the midst of potty training. We started on Thursday.  Because Christmas is over, the house is finally clean so why not start another time and energy sucking project, right? Ha ha ha… whimper.  I can’t say it’s going well. I can say I’m doing a lot of laundry. 

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not going horribly, either. But those books on “Potty Train in One Day”? (Yes, I read those.) Are you kidding? 

One of my best friends is a preschool teacher. I finally called her.

Me: “We’re potty training! It’s going kind of… slow… though.”

Teacher Extraordinaire: “Yeah, usually it takes 2-3 weeks.”

Me: “Really?! That long? I thought you could do it over a long weekend.”

Teacher Extraordinaire: “Yeeeeaaaahhh... (long pause)… just have a lot of patience. And when you get him back to school next week…” (next week? yipes!) “…the teachers will help, too.”

Oy. So there you go, from the mouth of someone with infinite more experience than I.

It’s ironic to me that we potty train at roughly the same developmental period where toddlers really need to test their boundaries. We’ve definitely been experiencing some “when one door closes, another obnoxious behavior opens.” I.e. Chance has been OK with the potty training… the “practicing” on the pot, pulling his clothes on and off constantly, being harassed about having to go. But suddenly he will NOT participate in “clean up time” to save his life. Or much else we request of him. Besides derisive laughter and taunting. And occasional screeching.

Remember when your parents used to say, “Just wait until you have kids”? Yeah. Well, I’ve figured out that really means, “Oh, the fact that you made it to adulthood without me throttling you is such a miracle, you have no idea.”

 - the weirdgirl

What’s a little lying during the holidays?

I’ve got this whole thing with holiday cards… I really like them in theory.  I like getting them, I like knowing I’ve sent them out, but in general, actually doing the cards is a whole other matter. They are always a much bigger project than it seems in the beginning.  Everyone expects a little note and proper addressing. Actual stamps on every single envelope. Once you have kids you gotta add in pictures.  And the damn lists just keep growing!

Obviously, I’m still working on my cards.  (OK, yeah, I sort of leave those as the last item on my list but hey, as long as they’re postmarked before Christmas they count!)

I have found a little time saving tip, however. I’ve started writing (dare I say it?)… the family newsletter.  *gasp!  woe!* I know newsletters have the potential to be informative, cheesy, bragging, or sweet, and they can elicit a range of emotions from the people who receive them.  But most importantly… they save you from writing a heartfelt personal note in each and every card!  And hey, I love all the people on my holiday card list but by the week before Christmas I’m a little burnt.

Of course, just to write a regular family newsletter would be utterly boring.  So I present you with what I sent out last year…


Dear Friends,

We hope this holiday season finds you and your loved ones well. We’ve had an exciting year in the wg and Keen household! The highlight of the year was our family trip to visit the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC.

It was there, outside the aircraft museum, where remarkably we were recruited for a top secret government mission! Apparently, a group of ex-patriot Moonies had acquired a vast secret fortune (to fight the slanderous use of the term “moonie” in the press) and hidden it in France in the 70s. Unfortunately, all the poor Moonies died off before their civil suits went to trial and the American government wanted to obtain the fortune to help lower the deficit. We, being patriotic Americans (despite Bush) AND fiscally-minded, of course agreed and after an emergency condensed “family spy training course” (FSTC), off to France we went.

Once in France we quickly located the ultra-secret Moonie vault and let its whereabouts be known to the people in charge. Our beloved government immediately denied any knowledge of our existence. (Bastards!) Having spent all our own cash to reach and stay in France so as to not “blow our cover” we were suddenly without funds to get back home. Fortunately, we happened to meet a conclave of French Ninjas. At first we worried that the French Ninjas were assassins sent to “deal with us”, however, Chance, in what we thought was baby babbling but apparently has been speaking the obscure dialect of French Ninjaese this whole time, communicated with the French Ninjas flawlessly.

After hearing our heart-wrenching tale of governmental backstabbing the French Ninjas took us in and helped raise funds to send us back to the states. (The French don’t really want us there anyway.) During our stay Chance continued to charm them with his command of the language, and Keen further won them over with his culinary skills and helped pay our tickets home with one heck of a French Ninja bake sale.  I briefly entered their martial arts school and am now the proud master of the Flames of France Multi-Punch and the Flying Beret Death Kick.

We returned home and have spent the rest of the year compiling our spy memoirs in a soon to be made, straight-to-video, Movie-of-the-Week. The cats missed us terribly while we were gone.

Again, we hope you all are well and we look forward to hearing about your adventures. Our best to you all. Merry Christmas and many blessings to you in the New Year!

Love always,
wg, Keen, and Chance


This year we’re going on safari! 

- the weirdgirl

And my favorite is… Hot For Teacher!

So last night we saw Van Halen. Not a bad way to kick off potential unemployment, eh? And those guys really rocked out! The sound was a little off from where we were sitting – angled off to one side, high up – but, again, the rocking! Alex Van Halen’s drumming blows me away. I’m having difficulty even learning 16th notes and he’s doing that with one hand. And the other hand is doing, like, 64ths. I mean, fuck!

With his hair cut short, bleached out on top, big dark sideburns on the bottom, and a jacket with lots of swirly sequins, David Lee Roth looked very, very rockabilly. I was surprised but I still dug it. He is STILL doing those high kicks! I can’t even do those.  (Do you know, I was one when their band formed? I just thought I’d mention that to date myself. And them.)

To be honest, I wasn’t initially too psyched to go. NOT because I wouldn’t want to see them in concert! Because I would; even though I was more into alternative and Keen was more the rocker I still like Van Halen (especially their less-pop-sounding stuff – what can I say, I’m not a big fan of “Jump”).  But because we were looking at a couple of nighttime events in a row that we needed to attend and I wasn’t looking forward to the aftershocks… kid cranky from being left for multiple bedtimes, me tired, keeping the house clean for the babysitters (i.e. Grandma), etc. etc.  And let’s face it, extra events during the holidays can just be a little tough.

I am really glad I went, though. I just like watching amazing musicians perform, regardless of genre. (OK, maybe not Country.) Keen, of course, was super super psyched!

Rock on, hubby man! - wg

P.S. If anyone has wondered why I haven’t been blogging, it’s not because I’m so busy with the season (like all the normal people), it’s because I’ve been sleeping. Every time I’ve had time to blog, I’ve taken a nap.  How old and lame is that? 

Got My Cherry Popped

Tonight the wg household had its first load of laundry with a crayon in it. A purple crayon. DARK purple. (Like maybe Royal Purple or Eggplant.) And no small chunk either. I don’t know which pocket this thing was hidden in, or how big it was but the damage was pretty severe. Voila.


I remember this happening once when I was kid… a green crayon got in a load of my clothes, but it was a small piece of crayon, with only little tiny spots of green scattered throughout the clothes. And I was just nerdy enough to not care and wear them anyway. Along with my Kmart track shoes. (I was like a little 90s hipster in the late 70s/early 80s, with some clueless geek thrown in to boot. (SO ahead of my time!)  Yes, the other kids made fun of me.)

As well as the above (representative of most of the clothes) there was also a grey sweatshirt of Chance’s that came out… well… lavender. Things I’ve learned:

1. Fleece blanket sleepers (you know, the one item you don’t care whether it looks funky or not) seem to repel melted crayon. Good to know.

2. Expensive pairs of jeans (such as the ones I washed with Chance’s jeans (what? Dreft is great for maintaining fabric!) also seem to repel a certain amount of crayon. Very, very good to know. Though now I kind of wonder if they were sprayed with something potentially toxic. Like, say, from China or something.

3. No matter how much you scrub a dryer tub – way deep inside a dryer tub, breathing in what must be lovely fumes of Goo Gone and heated baby wipes – sometimes that crayon is just baked on. Our dryer is now purple.

4. If you follow the instructions (or very close) that you find on the Internet you actually will get the crayon off your clothes! Thank you, Internet, I love you! (Though… it was a load of darks, see, and you had to wash them on hot to get out the crayon – I never wash my clothes in hot – and some of the shirts that had white trim, such as sleeves, now… are all light blue.  But at least it’s not purple splotches!)

I guess this means I now check all of Chance’s pockets. And I thought that stage didn’t start quite yet. Damn it, I’m naïve.

     - the weirdgirl

My Life in Snippets

It’s too cold to think of a nice, cohesive post. With a theme and a touch of Christmas spirit, maybe. Or even just an appropriate life story that makes sense. Oh wait, you never get that. OK then, without further ado some Monday babbling…

My work contract officially ended on Friday. Actually, it really ended back in September. I’ve spent the last 2 ¾ months working week to week, while my extension floated through a Byzantium paperwork system. My extension is still, apparently, floating through paperwork. Whatev. Frankly, I could use the break. Even if they bring me back next week that gives me this week to (attempt to) finish everything else that’s been neglected.

I think I’ve been a little burnt of being on the computer. I’ve done lots of shopping online, lots of research, and work got a bit busy in the last couple of weeks. By the time I get to blogging or even answering emails I’ve been out of it. Apologies to all I owe email! My next project is organizing digital photos. This is an important component of my holiday gift strategy but still… ugh.

My drum lessons are going well. I’m getting it; my playing hasn’t a modicum of soul in it, but I’m getting there. And most exciting (to me)… I’m finally reading music! I never learned how, you see. Coming from a family of musicians, many of which would try to teach me something then get absolutely frustrated when I wouldn’t instantly “get it” (unlike them), and then I, in a panic, just memorizing all the fingering. Or whatever was needed. Even when I briefly took piano lessons at college the reading of music didn’t stick. (Of course, I quit that class pretty quick. Teacher was an asshole who kept making students cry. (Not me.))  Anyway, I’m pretty pleased.

Google is pissing me off, with it’s strong arm marketing tactics! What’s with this whole need a google/blogger account to leave a comment and URL link on a blog?    I mean, maybe some of us already have a google account (for a now defunct blog) and we just don’t want to use it? Huh? Search engine fascists!

For my new retro halter 50s dress, in a fabulous bronze shade I might add, bought for this year’s hubby’s work bash, I’d really like some metallic teal peep-toes. That would be sweet. Affordable, of course.  Anyone seen any?

- wg

P.S. Our household colds seem to be on the wane.

P.P.S. Chance keeps taking apart our Christmas tree.  Do you think if I put aluminum foil down around the tree that would deter him?  (You know, like with cats?)

Short Posts for Long Days

On the upside, I’ve gotten a significant chunk of my holiday shopping done… or at least ordered (thank you Internet!). On the downside, it looks like another round of colds is infesting our household. The last two weeks have just seemed very, very long. I’m really looking forward to a quiet day with a good book, which will probably happen sometime around Dec. 26th or later (I hope). So for all you who are fighting the yucks with the kids at home and a huge to do list, this is for you.

The Cheater’s Guide to Parenting

The Quickie – Back aching? Head stuffed? Put a movie on for the kids and sneak off for a 10-minute catnap.  Use one of these handy excuses, “I’m going to fold underwear!” or “Time to dust the plants!”  Be sure to stay within hearing distance but out of line of sight. Hide under covers.  (Ha! You thought I was talking about sex, didn’t you?)

A Quiet Conversation – First, shout “Lordy, I have to go potty! I think it’s gonna be a stinker!” Second, sneak phone into bathroom. Close door firmly, call friend, whisper.  Try not to let said friend hear you when you actually pee.

A Nice Relaxed Meal – OK, I found there’s no way to do this in the house with the kids home and awake. Except maybe for those stolen moments standing over the sink. Ah, trusty sink! And if that “meal” happens to be a molten chocolate lava cake or ice cream bar, so be it.

Spicing Up the Sex Life – Develop your fantasy life! My favorite? Tropical beach… warm sun… book to read… full-time babysitting services… Oh, yes!  YES! Right there, baby!  Right there!  

 - the weirdgirl