So the Fish Said...

Whoever you are, now I place my hand upon you, that you be my poem, I whisper with my lips close to your ear.

- Walt Whitman

Meet the Fish

I want to get a pet duck and keep it in the bathtub.
I am addicted to chap stick and altoids.
I am freakishly flexible.

World's Most Beautiful Child


World's Most Handsome Child


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Clive Owen

Clive Owen
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Poop talk

I hate to do this two days in a row, but I'm trolling for advice (fine, yes, and hits too) today over here. If y'all know anything about weird diaper rashes or want to weigh in on the insane idea I have of switching to cloth diapers at 20 months in, now is your big chance to opine.

Music to drool by

Mia loves music. She loves to clap and shake her booty and spin around and stomp her feet in time to the music. You know, more or less. And she has started to sing along. Like on that Froggy song I asked about earlier this week (the version I was looking for is by the Wiggles, so thanks to those who tipped me off) she sings the uh-huh parts. I mean, usually a minute or two after the song is over, but that is definitely what she is doing.

Since she is starting to get the idea that some music has actual words and stuff, I think it is time to get her some age-appropriate tunes to listen to. The catch is that whatever she listens to I have to listen to, and I have a very low tolerance for crap. This is where you come in. Your mission for today is to give me recommendations of toddler/kid friendly music that you actually like. The standard is that you have to be willing to listen to it in your car on those odd occasions that you are not schlepping a child along with you.

To be fair, I'll go first. This week, Chris picked up this album that he heard when he accompanied us to Mia's gym class, and it's great. Kid-friendly songs done by people with actual talent and no annoying ringy-dingy instrumentation. Lovely. Your turn now - give up the good tunage, people.

Also, there are a couple new pictures of Mia here today, for those of you who go for that sort of thing.

This one is not about snot

Hey, I think I saw Posh Spice driving a white minivan in the library parking lot this morning. Well ok, so probably not, but it sure looked like her. She's really porked up.

How freaking cute is this?

And this?

Pretty freakin' cute, that's how. I mean come on, hair twins! Hair twins is the most awesome thing you have seen all day.

so the fish said, grossing you out since 2003

This is gross. Don't ever say I didn't warn you.

Sometimes, after Mia has finished eating and I have cleaned her up as best I can (child refuses to wear a bib, don't you know, I mean tears and terror refuses) I will find a little scrap of shredded cheese or a cheerio or half a slice of pear adhering somewhere to her clothing. And sometimes, if the meal was very recent and the item in question fairly pristine and I am in the middle of a rousing game of buckle and far from the sink or trash can I just... well... sometimes I just grab whatever it is and eat it. Just to be expeditious, you understand, and so as not to upset my moody toddler by OH MY GOD LEAVING THE ROOM MUST SCREAM AND SPOUT TEARS THAT ACTUALLY FLY FROM THE SIDE OF MY FACE LIKE IN SOME CARTOON, which sometimes gets Mia a little cranky. Yeah, it's little gross, but not nearly as gross as a poopy diaper explosion, which we had yesterday for the first time in probably a year and boy howdy, I had forgotten how much fun it is to get a squirmy kid out of a poopy onesie without getting poop in her hair. Good times, good times.

Anyway, yesterday, right after lunch, Mia was playing in the living room and eating grapes while I cleaned up the kitchen, and when I went out to join her I noticed that she had a skinless bit of grape stuck to her shirt, so I went to grab it and yes, most likely to just eat it as well because, as we have established, I'm nasty like that. And then realized just in the very nick of time before my fingers made contact and began the automatic journey to my mouth that I may or may not have been able to stop in time that it was not, in truth, a bit of grape. Oh no, it was a big, post-sneeze glob of snot.

Oh yeah, I'm hott. You want me.

Where I get a little ranty

Ok first, Ali tagged me for this music meme thing where you are supposed to list seven songs that you are into right now. And since I love Ali in a slightly inappropriate manner, I'll do it. My playlist these days goes something like this:

1. The Wheels on the Bus
2. Choo-Choo-Choo-Choo Up the Railroad Track
3. Baby Shark
4. Itsy-Bitsy Spider
5. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
6. When I'm 64 (Mia loves The Beatles)
7. Frog Went A'Wooing

Now actually, maybe you guys can help me out with that last one. Mia loves the song, and I like it too. They play it at her gym and I would love to find a recording but have no idea who sings it and of course will never bring myself to just ask. I've been googling like crazy and found lots of recordings, but none that seem to be the exceedingly child-friendly version I am looking for. (I don't think the Dylan version will be quite the same.) Anyway, it may be under another title, but some of the lyrics are:

Frog went walking on a summer's day, uh-huh
Frog went walking on a summer's day, uh-huh
Frog went walking on a summer's day
He met Miss Mousy on the way
Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh.

Can you name that tune? I would be much obliged.


Second, Ali (again) and Jodi and Multi-Tasking Mommy all tagged me for a "Real Moms Meme." Stolen straight from Jodi's site, "Here are the rules, put up a post 'Real Moms [insert what you do here]', followed by an explanation, a picture, and a 'Real Moms. Making ....'. Then tag five people."

Now, these three women are all lovely and amazing and I want to make out with them on a regular basis, so this is nothing at all against them, but the more I thought about this meme the more it pissed me off. I mean, I assume the point is to say something I do, thereby identifying myself as a "real mom." In contrast to what, exactly? Fake moms? Pretend moms? Moms with whose parenting styles or philosophies I disagree, thereby making myself a better mother and morally superior by claiming that "real moms" do it my way? Fuck no.

When I was a newborn, some horrible neighbor lady told my mother that she would never know what it was like to be a real mom because I was born via cesarean. My mom wanted to know why the hell my "real mom" wasn't pitching in with the 4 AM feedings. I know people who have been told that they are not "real moms" because their babies were born thanks to assisted reproduction or via gestational surrogates or to other people entirely, and I call bullshit on all of that. I've also heard you are not a "real mom" if you don't stay home to "raise your kids" or that you aren't a "real mom" if you give up your own career and ambitions to be at home. Bullshit again.

Moms are moms, and sometimes dads are moms or grandmas are moms or friends are moms or total strangers become moms. Some kids have lots of moms and some have one or none, but mothering is mothering and most of us are just trying to do the best we can and don't need to hear that because we don't do what "real moms" do we aren't doing it right. I won't do it. I may not agree with how you mother the children you mother, but I will do my damnedest to never cut you down for how you mother, and I would appreciate the hell out of it if you did the same for me.


Finally, I have a confession. I hate memes. I don't like to do them, I almost never read them when somebody else does them, and I cringe every time I see that I have been tagged. So I'm going on the record. If you like memes, more power to you, and I sincerely thank you for thinking of me, but please don't tag me, because I'm not going to do it. There, I said it, and I feel so much better now.

Mia Monday #63: Month Twenty Super-Fly Combo Edition

Mia Bean,

You turned 20 months old a few days ago, and since then we have driven 700 miles round-trip and attended your (Great)Grandma Lucille's 90th birthday party, spent your first ever night in a hotel and watched approximately six hours of Elmo DVDs. You were amazing on the trip, literally could not have been better, and it was a lot of fun to be able to take you with us. Your father and I had been dreading the trip a bit because we were worried about how you would respond. It is fair to say that you surprised the hell out of us. I think we both remember a little too well what a really difficult child you were for your first nine months or so and forget that you are now a stunningly happy, good-natured, even tempered person. I will try hard to remember that in the future.

Mia, I admit that it is getting harder and harder for me to write these letters to you every month. Not because I am any less in awe of you, not because I spend a second less marveling at the sheer amazingness of you, and not because I no longer feel that your every move should be documented for the joy and edification of posterity. No, the problem is that you are no longer an undefined lump of person where every new move or sound was a stunning accomplishment. Instead you are a person with a definite personality and seemingly limitless skills and abilities and each new thing these days just seems to make you more yourself, rather than seeming to make you something new.

And yet, there is always so much new that I can hardly decide what to say, what you may want to hear about years down the line. You are a very physical toddler. This month you achieved actual running, rather than your usual rapid stumble, and I have at times had to put on some real speed to keep up with you. You love to jump, although your little feet have yet to leave the ground. You like to climb ladders and swing and go down slides, all by yourself, of course. This month you left the idea of anybody helping you to do anything firmly in the dust. Nearly everything you do is accompanied by a forceful "Mia!," meaning "I'll do it myself, thank you very much." Those times when you want something you cannot do alone and come to me to ask for help, I can see on your face how much it pains you to do so.

You added a lot of words this month, so many that I can only roughly guess that you have 40 or so spoken words and somewhere around 100 signs. You've started trying to say words that you hear once or twice instead of having to be actively taught, which has lead to grape and cat and Boo (the cat) and Luke (the dog) and, to your father's great delight, iPod, among many others. You have also learned the concept of not. You will point to a hat and say hat, and then point to a potato and say hat while solemnly shaking your head. Hat, and not a hat. We spend as much time these days defining what things are not as we do defining what they are.

You like to tell stories, albeit simple ones, about what happened to you. Today at the playground you told me about how yesterday at the playground we saw the moon and a bug. If I tell you in the afternoon what to show or tell Dada when he gets home, you nearly always remember to do it. You like to play pretend games, like pretending to get snacks from these odd tube things at the playground and then feeding them to anyone who happens to be around. You are currently obsessed with boots, sheep, and armpits.

We have, at great long last, solved our sleep problems, I think for good. I never wanted to be a co-sleeper, not for any reason, just because it didn't seem like my thing. And so, I have spent months fighting the co-sleeping, feeling like a failure for every night that you did not finish in your crib. But I realized something this month - I realized that I like sleeping with you and you like sleeping with us and there is not a thing in the world wrong with that. Most nights now, you wake up five to seven hours after we put you to bed in your crib and I go and get you and bring you back to bed where you go straight back to sleep until a reasonable hour of the morning. We are all finally getting real sleep, it is working for us, and I feel great about it. I'm sorry for all those months that I resisted this for no reason that I can describe, but that is what you get for being the first-born. Some nights lately, you have even forgotten to call for mama and spent the entire night in your crib. I am happy on those nights, but I also miss you waking me up with kisses in the morning.

Mia Bean, being your mama is the greatest thing I have ever done, and I deeply hope that you will feel the same way about being my daughter.


We're back!

700 miles later and we are right back where we started. Oh, what? I didn't tell you we were going? Sorry about that - chalk it up to a little healthy paranoia.

I was planning to ask whether any of you had ever been to Wheeling, West Virginia when it wasn't raining, because every time I've been to (or, actually, through) Wheeling it has been pouring down rain. Today, however, it was dry in Wheeling, although still gray and miserable and entirely deserted.

Just wanted to drop by to mention that Mia was a dream child the entire time and has also slept through the night three nights in a row, so all of you cross your fingers for us that this is some
sort of trend, ok? Thanks.

Late night random

It's 10:40 and Mia is still asleep in her crib, and I have only been in once since 7:30. Can I get a hallelujah?

Do you guys ever read your own archives? Cause I just read my June and July 2005 and I think they were pretty funny, but now I wonder if I am weird. Hi, my name is Beth, and I read my own archives.

You know who you should read? I mean, other than the people I link to all the time? Jodi, who is my friend in real life and who has a son who Mia is in love with and who looks absolutely hot in a track suit which I covet because I look like an asshole in a track suit, and Swistle, who is one of those people who is going to be a "big blogger" very soon and you will want to be able to say that you knew her when.

Oh, and you should read lots of other people too. I'm thinking of making it a feature, if anybody is interested?

Bad Mommy and the Meanie Pediatrician

Yesterday, I left my 102-degree-fevered child to go out to dinner with Corinne and Sarah. When I got home, her fever had hit 103 and she had been crying for me for hours. I am a bad, bad mother, but dinner was fabulous. Don't you wish you were cool enough to hang out with us? (Which oh, you totally are, I just didn't have your number.)

Last night was long. Very long. Mia either could not or would not breathe through her nose, and the only way she would sleep was with her feet if my face. Which frankly, I was so wracked with mommy-guilt that I was happy to have some sort of punishment. She's better today, fever is down, she's acting great. But, she was acting great yesterday too, so I took her to the Hotty Pediatrician. He said what I expected, just a cold, no big deal.

At one point during our visit, Mia wanted glasses (the Hotty Pediatrician wears glasses, rawr) so I gave her my sunglasses. She gave them back and wanted me to put them on, so I did, and the Hotty Pediatrician said to her "oh, but I think they are much cuter on you." Burn. What does this mean? Doesn't he love me anymore? Wasn't he impressed that I'm fitting back into my non-fat jeans? I mean honestly, I brushed both my hair and my teeth before we went and had very little toddler snot on my shirt. I was looking just about as hott as I get these days.

I'm crushed. I would declare myself officially out of lust with the Meanie Pediatrician, except that dammit, he has a nice smile.

Although our waiter last night had a really nice ass. Maybe I'll trade, just until the Meanie Pediatrician comes to his senses.

With a moo moo here

Yesterday, for reasons far too complicated and boring to explain, Mia and I drove out into semi-rural Virginia to visit a horse farm. I call it semi-rural because it is mostly farmland and vineyards with neighborhoods of million-plus dollar homes sprinkled throughout seemingly at random. Note for anyone who ever considers such a thing, before you move gobs of rich people out to the country, you really need to expand all those two-lane country roads, or everyone will spend hours a day sitting in traffic in their Hummers. Since I left early enough to miss the traffic, I just pointed and laughed.

The drive was nice. Mia behaved herself and had a great time mooing at the cows and baa-ing at the sheep and looking quizzically at the goats. She expressed an interest in taking a bath in every pond we passed and giggled at the pick-up trucks and silos. When we got to the farm, there were four or five dogs wandering around outside the barn, which thrilled her little soul and caused peals of amazing toddler laughter, while I broke into a sweat trying to make sure none of them were about to attack the defenseless child strapped to my back.

To find the friend I was looking for, we had to go into the horse barn. Have I mentioned that I hate horses? I know that I have, and every time I do someone tells me that I am a horrible person and horses are magnificent creatures and they are never reading my site again, so let me save you the trouble there and say 1) good riddance and 2) shove it because 3) I hate horses. Ok, so I'm weak-kneed, cry-like-a-baby terrified of horses. Same difference.

Mia loved the horses. Loved them so much that she told her Dada about them (several times) when he got home. And now I can see my future. Mia isn't going to rebel and break her mother's heart by being a cheerleader or entering beauty pageants or even turning Republican. No, Mia is going to ride horses, and I am going to have to smile and applaud and cheer without hiding under my car and sobbing.

Parenting is hard.

Mia Monday #62: I'm Too Sexy for my Infant Car Seat Edition

Happy Third Blogiversary to Me!

In honor of which, I spent entirely too much of yesterday making a video of Mia shaking her booty. Trust me, people, you don't want to miss this one.

I swear I live in a nice neighborhood

There's an apparently used condom in my front yard.

We have to move. There's no other option.

Or maybe shellac

I spent most of naptime yesterday washing toddler fingerprints and handprints and, somehow, footprints off of my walls, and I'm not nearly done yet. I'm thinking of just covering everything to the height of three feet with tarps to make clean-up easier. Do you think I could find something to match the couch? On an unrelated note, I'm also thinking of replacing a section of carpeting in the basement with vinyl flooring. See, there's this place where the cats peed and that carpet has to go before we can get another cat, and we were going to install laminate ourselves in the whole basement, but it is pricier than we can manage right now and we are both moron klutzes when it comes to that sort of thing, so now in my head I'm going hey. vinyl is cheap and easy and easy to remove and throw away if it totally sucks. So tell me the truth, how bad would that really be? I mean, there would also be a rug that would cover almost all of it. Would that be bad? I mean really, really bad? In the name of rescuing some poor, lost, starving animal from a life of certain pain and suffering? (Sounds pretty reasonable when you put it that way, doesn't it?)

And wow, I just could not stop eating yesterday. I was doing pretty well and keeping to fruits and veggies and stuff in the morning, but then there were teddy grahams and cheez its and two weight watchers ice cream things and then goldfish. I wasn't even hungry, I just couldn't stop. It must be the stress of dealing with a toddler who literally did not stop whining all day other than the 30 minutes I let her watch Elmo. The kid even managed to whine on the swings. Hey, pass the cookies.

Also, Friday is my third blogiversary, and I wanted to do something noteworthy, or at least not boring, but all I can think of is that tarp thing, which would not be all that exciting for you. So I guess I'm taking suggestions, it y'all have any.

Now, who wants some goldfish?

Use your words

Welcome to Whiny Day! No no, don't thank me, it was Mia's idea. Since I seem to be facing a day of whining with no break in sight, I figured we may as well all join in the fun. So far, Mia has whined because there was too much milk on her cereal (or maybe not enough milk on her cereal, it's hard to tell since she is still basically non-verbal) and then because she spilled her yogurt and then because I dared to eat breakfast myself. That was followed by a meltdown over not allowing her to put my toothbrush in the toilet and then ten solid minutes of ear-splitting whining over wanting to change her socks eighteen times.

For myself, I'm whining about the fact that I have lost over six pounds and my old jeans still don't fit. Or really, they fit, but make me far more of a hoochie mama than I care to be on most days, to say nothing of the muffin top.

ETA: Also! I ordered 200 pictures from Target yesterday so I could update Mia's photo album, which I haven't touched since June, and they aren't ready because the idiot teenager who works the photo lab didn't show up this morning so now I am going to have to do housework at naptime instead of sitting on my ass filing pictures.

Your turn, whine away about anything you like. The only rule is that you have to use actual words, because I've already had an hour of nothing but "maaaammmmmaaa maaaammmmmaaa maaaammmmmaaa" and frankly, that was quite enough.

Mia Monday #61: The Slide Edition

When she finally gave us a break from running up and down the hill...

Glutton for punishment

I'm getting my car serviced this morning, and I'm taking Mia with me. Doesn't that just sound like a laugh a minute? Have to run so we can set in traffic for an hour before our appointment, so in the meantime, head on over to find out why Chris is in the dog house this week.

Things making me giggle

1) The people who felt the need to chastise me for yesterday's post. If you don't like it, fine, don't read it, but lecturing an adult about swearing? Get over yourself.

2) The older guy at the gym last night who asked me to read something off the treadmill to him. See, I think he was hitting on me a little bit. Oooohhhh baby, I'm so turned on by men who need bifocals.

2b) But hey, that was the first time I've been hit on, even a little bit, in a long time. So, um, I'll take it.

3) That Mia has decided she loves grapes, but only the first bite. She bites off a chunk, eats it happily, and then drops the grape and it is forevermore dead to her. Anybody want a bunch of half-eaten grapes? I can let you have some, cheap.

I did warn you

Wow, you cocksuckers sure do have a lot to say on the subject of vacuums. Speaking of which, I haven't vacuumed anything yet today, must get right on that.

Yesterday, Mia and I went to a library storytime in a neighborhood about 20 minutes from mine and even snottier. See, lots of the cocksuckers who live in my neighborhood have lots of money and work hard to give you the impression that they crap hundred dollar bills. This other neighborhood, it's five hundred dollar bills. However, it was out and socialization and all that crap, so we went. It lasted 15 minutes. 15. That's like six songs and one story and then see ya, get your stamp at the door. I felt totally gypped, so I called the librarian a cocksucker on the way out.

Then, as we were trying to leave, I was more than halfway out of my parking space when some bitch in a minivan going entirely too fast decided that she didn't want to stop to let me get out of the way, so she just kept driving as fast as she could and blasted her horn at me. So I called her a cocksucker. I mean, once she parked I pulled up behind her, rolled down my window, waited for her to get out of the car, and yelled "cocksucker" at the top of my lungs and then drove away giggling.

Hey, remember that diet I was on where I had to measure crap? It was a cocksucker, I quit. The measuring pissed me off, although I did rather enjoy entering everything into my handy excel spreadsheet. I'm still dieting though, just more of the low fat, low carb, low sugar, no wine (cocksucker!), all the baby carrots you can eat variety. I've lost five and a half pounds in a little more than a week, because I'm a cocksucker, but you can't tell at all, because my chubby thighs and flabby belly are also cocksuckers. I've also been working out like a cocksucker, so give me credit for that at least. Oh, and I just ate three girl scout cookies that Chris left sitting next to the computer. Cocksucker.

That's all for now, cocksuckers, I have to go clean the cocksucker shower before the cocksucker mold achieves sentience and kills me in my cocksucker sleep. Cocksucker.

Must. Be. Stopped.

Last week, I got a new vacuum cleaner as the old one had developed the persistent habit of blowing more dirt out the top than it sucked in the bottom. Since then, I just can't stop vacuuming. When Chris gets home from work these days, there's no "hi, honey," no "nice to see you," no "how was your day?" oh no. When Chris gets home from work I say "Hi, want to see something really gross?" And he says, "Not particularly." And then I say "Oh yes you do, just look at all the dirt I vacuumed out of the stairs today!" And then Chris says, "Yes dear, that's thrilling. Maybe you should try to get out a little more?"

It's becoming a sickness. This weekend, I vacuumed our mattress. It was a mixed bag, really. On the one hand, it was wholly unsatisfying because I hardly got anything out of it and didn't have anything gross to show Chris. On the other hand, hooray for not sleeping on a totally filthy mattress, you know? Anyway, today I vacuumed my furniture, and for those few of you reading this who have sat on my furniture lately I'm sorry, I had no idea. The super exciting thing about my new vacuum is that the hand attachment thingy has a brush thingy that spins around thingy. Have you seen these thingys? Why didn't anybody tell me about these thingys? Nearly a year after both cats died I finally got the cat hair off of my furniture.

Shit, I can't believe I just wrote an entire post about my vacuum cleaner. I promise to make up for it tomorrow by slipping "cocksuckers" in as often as possible. (I may have been watching a little too much Deadwood lately, cocksuckers.)

Mia Monday #60: Wet Hair, Elvis Jumpsuit, and Big Brown Shoes Edition

Mia never wears white shoes before Memorial Day.

Sick, bastards

So, um, I'm still wearing the triumphant french braid from last night. This would be fine if I had spent the day lounging around the house, but no. I went to Mia's gym, storytime at the library, the bank (fortunately it was Cute But Gay Not That There's Anything Wrong With That McBanktellersons and not Hotty McBanktellersons), the cleaners, and two grocery stores. Contrary to what you may be thinking, I did not leave the braid in because I was still so enamored with my hair-styling victory of last night. My excuses are that a) I'm sick, b) when I first left the house this morning it was still almost an acceptable hairstyle and c) I just don't give a hot damn. Am thinking of leaving it in for my blogger playdate tomorrow (if I am not banished due to germs), just so they can tell you all how much I rocked the two day old falling out french braid look.

Also, after four strong days full of willpower and protein, I just cheated on my diet. I ate four Teddy Grahams that were sitting next to the computer. And they were so good that I went downstairs and got myself a little handful. Then those were so good that I went downstairs and got myself a bigger handful. My excuses are a) I'm sick, and b) fuck off. Also, I did a total face plant on the stairs coming back up with the second handful, so I think I've suffered enough.

Swear to god I am not going to turn into one of those people who talks about dieting all the time, but you know what isn't half bad? Canned tuna with that hideously awful fat-free sliced cheddar melted on top wrapped up in a lettuce leaf. I mean, it's not good by any stretch of the imagination, but if your standards are significantly lowered, as mine are, by nearly four solid days of dieting, then I recommend that you give it a try.