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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Culinary Emergency

Quick, people! I need to know every food you can think of that can be smothered in Parmesan cheese and remain remotely palatable. And I don't mean good Parmesan, either,. but the stuff in the green can that I buy by the gallon at Costco. Mia loves it. She loves it so much that yesterday she ate two entire bites of princess-shaped Spaghettios that she fished out of an entire bowlful of Parmesan cheese. Major achievement for the kid with four acceptable foods.

(And don't tell me "She'll eat it when she gets hungry enough," because she won't. Mia would be blissfully happy if we agreed that she never had to consume another bite of food in her entire life.)

Bowl of Superosity

The Super Bowl is on Sunday. I know that because I looked it up a couple of weeks ago to make sure that Owen's first birthday party didn't conflict with the Super Bowl, because that would have made my brother cry and I stopped trying to do that when I was about 12.

I am something of a Super Bowl savant. My annual predictions are infallible. In fact, you will most likely want to fly to Vegas (if you already live in Vegas, can everybody stay with you?) as soon as you read my prediction so that you can bet copious amounts of money based on my advice and then pay me a 15% fee once you win. If you lose, you may be sure that you somehow misconstrued my advice and I accept no responsibility for you error.

Are you ready? I predict that the winner of the Super Bowl will be....

(Hold on, I have to go ask Google who is in the Super Bowl this year. Dear, you might want to include this information on your website somewhere other than an ad for Cadillac. Just saying.)

Oh. Huh. Well, that's odd. I mean, I read an article about how the economy is impacting the Super Bowl and how they are canceling alot of the hoopla and maybe they decided to try a gimmick to get people spending more money, but this is still just strange. So, in the Super Bowl this year we have the Steelers and the Cardinals. And I have to say, this is one of the toughest predictions of my career since there is so much about this situation I don't know. Like, will the Cardinals get to bring their bats? How will the Infield Fly Rule Apply? Do the Steelers have a left-handed reliever to bring in at the bottom of the sixth?

So many questions, and I have to say that this is the first year in a long time that I am actually interested to watch the game. My official prediction for the winner of Super Bowl 43 is...

The St. Louis Cardinals!

(Huh? Arizona? When did they move?)


There's this one section of fence in my backyard that is covered in snow in what must be the most perfect way that any fence anywhere has ever been covered in snow. The snow looks almost like a length of velvet, perfectly draped and garlanded and pooled over the fence. Robert Frost should come write eighteen rhyming couplets about my fence. Or maybe William Carlos Williams would be a better fit. Pity they are both dead and therefore not available to immortalize this particular distribution of snow on this particular bit of fence.

The soup in the crock pot is just starting to smell good, all garlic and onions and tomatoes and mixing with the orange peel left in the sink from lunch. I always hate to push the orange peels down the drain.

Mia is "resting" in her room, not sufficiently tired from shoveling our ridiculous, in parts seemingly vertical driveway to actually sleep, so instead is singing and telling herself stories and dragging her new chair around to reach all her top shelves. Owen is alternately seeking out his favorite toys (cow key chain that lights up and moos, medicine dropper from a defunct bottle of Infant's Motrin, universal remote) and then crawling back in search of another bite of banana or spoonful of applesauce or to request another boost to visit the crock pot, with which he is obsessed.

The kids are all home from school and out trying to make snowmen out of this impossible snow that drifts and flakes apart as soon as you push it together. Soon, the cars will start, moving slowly, lights on, as my neighbors make their early returns from work. And dark will come early too, sneaking down out of the all-day-gray skies. Finally, the shovels will stop scraping and I'll tuck the children into bed and Mia will say "Remember, Mommy? Remember when you buried me in all that snow?" And I'll say, "Yes, Bean. That was just this morning, I remember." And she'll say "Good."


This is why I'm always exhausted

I got up this morning thinking that Owen had slept pretty well last night. And then I played it over in my mind and realized that he woke up five times between 8:00 PM and 6:45 AM. Five times. And I consider that a notable success. Hey, two of those times were before I went to sleep, so he really only woke me up three times.

(Oh yes, I know you are just dying to give me sleep advice right now, and I appreciate the kindness that I know is behind that impulse, but any sleep advice will be immediately deleted with no exceptions. Harsh? Probably. But a) I am so not in the mood, and b) you have no idea what is going on with my kid or what his temperament is like or what his exact sleep issues are, so really any advice you could offer would be a random shot in the dark and I've had more than enough of that in my career as the mother of non-sleeping babies. Thanks anyway.)

On a related subject, is it normal to be able to clearly see a tooth just under a child's gums and for it to then take a month or more for that tooth to cut, or is my child just the slowest teether in the entire history of time because the sleep thing isn't enough torture and I need to deal with inconsolable weeping and biting too? Oy, the biting. The biting had stopped except for when he was exceptionally tired, but this last weekend I have had teeth planted in my skin on a regular basis. His favorite thing to do is to crawl over, pull up on my legs and bite me on the ass. Which would be funny if it weren't for the TEETH. (Advice on teething will not be accepted, see above.)

Ok really, I've got nothing, except that I thought you should know my youngest child is annoying the everliving crap out of me. Good thing he's cute.

As you were.

Games People Play

When you are a stay-at-home mom (hey, do I get to call myself a work-at-home mom? Some weeks I work not at all and some weeks I work about six hundred hours. Work for money, I mean, since we all know I change poopy diapers just for the glory) you frequently have to make your own entertainment. My favorite game is that old stand-by, Fuck With Your Husband. Not familiar with it? Here's how it works.

Step 1: Make some change to the house. Can be minor or major.
Step 2: Wait for your husband to notice.
Step 3: Lie about how long ago you made the change.

Need more to go on? Here are some examples.

Example 1: Hang a new chandelier in the dining room. Husband notices on the second day, which is pretty good since the dining room is seldom-used. Say "oh yeah, I put that up three weeks ago. You like it?"

Example 2: Move the bed in the guest room to the opposite wall. When husband notices and asks when you did it, say "did what?" When he clarifies that he is asking when you moved the bed, you say "Honey, the bed has been right there since we moved in. Maybe you should go rest or something."

Example 3: When your husband, in late January, goes out one afternoon to take down the Christmas lights, neglect to mention that you took them down two weeks ago. When he returns to inquire about how long he failed to notice that the lights had been taken down, respond with "the lights are gone? Dammit, who steals Christmas lights?"

You should try it. And then you should come back here and tell me about it, because I am always looking for new ideas.

Owen Wednesday #40: Apple Edition

Ok, I warn you that what follows are some very disgusting pictures of my child absolutely smeared in food. (Cheese, watermelon, pureed peas, yogurt, pasta, apple, in case you need to know to be fully prepared.) I would not have posted or even taken these pictures, but the apple was cracking me up. Mia requested a whole apple for dinner and then didn't touch it. Owen shoveled a massive dinner into his adorable little mouth and the howled and pointed until I gave him the apple. And then, he ate it.

January 20, 2009

Dear Mia,

I made you watch the inauguration with me today. You were so bored - too much talking, not a princess in sight, lots of lofty discussion of issues of which you have no awareness. I made you watch with me mostly because I wanted to watch, and because forcing you to sit on my lap was the easiest way to control you for the hour I wanted to dedicate to the television. And now, if you ever ask me where you were and what you did on this day, I will tell you that you watched, that you were excited to see Mr. Obama become president, that you thought Aretha Franklin sang funny. But I hope that you will never ask me that question. I hope that by the time you can be bothered to wonder about such things the historical significance of this day will be lost on you. It is because it matters so much that I am able to hope to raise you into a world where it doesn't matter at all. You are the one with the opportunity, the responsibility to see that that happens. I can't wait to see what you do with it.



I've given up my diet. Shame, really, as it was going so well. I hadn't cheated at all, wasn't hungry, and had even made it past that initial bit where you think about food constantly. I was exercising daily, staying off the scale, and making plans for the hott jeans I was going to buy once I got my ass up off the backs of my thighs. And then about a week in Owen was screaming all day and refusing to nurse and it slowly dawned on me that my milk had tanked. I thought I was doing a good job of keeping the calories up and just making better food choices, but it seems that in addition to calories I need a goodly supply of fat and carbs if I want to keep my job as the resident cow. And I do very much want to keep that job, because I sure as hell didn't come this far just to crap out a month shy of the year mark in the name of losing my last six pounds of baby weight.

And so, the diet has been postponed indefinitely, until such a time as Owen loses interest or can at least get milk from an actual cow.

The thing I haven't given up is regular daily exercise, which I haven't done for any extended period since Mia was born and always thought I didn't have time for. And I really don't have time for it, other things are definitely going by the wayside, but I have finally put my foot down. I spend 23.5 hours a day doing things for other people, I can find 30 minutes to do something for me.

Like everyone else on the internet, I've been doing 30 Day Shred. And I wasn't going to mention it, because it seems I read 87 references to it every week, but hot damn it actually works. I have abs for the first time in my life. Sure, they are still covered with a goodly layer of mommy flab, but there are muscles in there. In two weeks, I've gone from looking four months pregnant to looking three and a half months pregnant but with the ability to flex my brand new abs and achieve a nearly flat stomach. Not sucking it in, mind you, at which I am highly skilled, but just tightening up those muscles and no longer looking like I am smuggling cubby kittens under my shirt.

Are there better ways to get in shape? Almost certainly. But for 30 minutes a day and a workout you can actually do without vomiting your lungs, I'm afraid I have to highly recommend it. (Be forewarned about Level 2, however, where there is a distracting amount of heaving cleavage being thrown around. Maybe that's something you look for in a workout DVD, but I just want people to cuss out without getting so closely acquainted with their bouncy bits.)

This ends my unsolicited commercial. Maybe tomorrow I'll tell you about my new mop.

Day in the Life

People ask me what I do all day, here's a recent example:

2:00 Owen wakes up to nurse.

3:00 Owen wakes up to play.

4:00 Owen wakes up to see if Mama wants to play now.

4:30 Owen wakes up to see if maybe he can have some boob.

4:45 Owen wakes up to see if Mama has changed her mind about the boob thing.

5:00 Owen wakes up to see if Dada has suddenly grown boobs and wants to share.

5:45 Chris's alarm goes off.

5:52 Chris's alarm goes off.

5:59 Chris's alarm goes off.

6:06 Chris's alarm goes off.

6:13 Chris's alarm goes off.

6:20 Chris's alarm goes off. Chris gets up and turned off the goddamned alarm.

6:30 Mia crawls into bed with me and Owen. I cuddle her and try to keep her from waking Owen up.

6:32 Mia wakes Owen up.

6:33 - 8:30 Get children out of overnight diapers. Make Mia's breakfast. Make Owen's breakfast. Feed Owen. Make alternate breakfast for Mia in the effort to get her to consume actual food before school. Scrape yogurt out of Owen's hair. Scrape yogurt off walls. Get self and children dressed. Abuse Mia by demanding that she have her hair brushed and face washed before school.

8:30 - 10:30 Get children into car, drive to school, park. Cram Owen into his coat, walk Mia into school because the carpool drop off has apparently been the source of all our preschool woes. Strap Owen back into the carseat, drive to the grocery store. Acquire groceries, strap Owen back into the carseat, drive to nearby clothing store to exchange lovely and thoughtful cashmere turtleneck received as a Christmas gift that made me want to tear my own neck off from the itching. Strap Owen back into the carseat, drive home. Owen falls asleep in the car, leave him napping in the garage. (Well bundled and blanketed, he's warmer in there than he is in his bedroom.)

10:30-12:00 Run around the house changing clothes and collecting shoes and weights, exercise to DVD that consistently claims to be 20 minutes long when it is in fact 29 minutes long. Why the lie? Do you think nobody has a counter on their DVD player? Finish workout, scramble for phone for scheduled call with client. Attempt to sound competent while disguising the fact that I am sprawled on my kitchen floor sweating like a pig. Owen wakes up. Retrieve Owen from car and shove a boob in his mouth to keep him quiet. Hope client cannot hear lip-smacking and gulping noises and won't figure out I'm nursing while having a supposedly professional conversation.

12:00-2:00 Finish call. Chase Owen around the house since he has been trapped in the car seat all morning. Feed Owen lunch #1. Bundle Owen into hat, coat, baby legs, and gloves, cram the whole mess into the Ergo and grab Mia's push tricycle which I promised to use to retrieve her from school. Realize I have allotted six minutes for the 15 minute walk to school and proceed to haul ass with a 23 pound baby strapped to my chest, pausing only when the front wheel falls off the damned tricycle halfway to school. And let me tell you, if you have never performed emergency repairs on a tricycle in 35 degree weather with a squirmy, screamy baby strapped to your chest, you haven't lived. Retrieve Mia, literally haul both children home. Prepare and serve lunch for Mia and lunch #2 for Owen. Receive phone call from the neighbor who is feeding my parents' cats while they are in South America saying they haven't been able to get into the house in four days and do I have a key?

2:00-5:00 Stuff children into car, drive 45 minutes to my parents' house, feed cats. Keep Owen from climbing the slippery wood stairs. Keep Owen from destroying a shelf of framed pictures conveniently located four inches off the floor. Keep Owen from cramming various pieces of the cats into his mouth. Council Mia on how to get cats to allow her to pet them. Try to keep Mia from rubbing cats directly against her eyeballs. Provide snacks. Drive an hour home, stupid traffic.

5:00-8:00 Get home. Make dinner. Make alternate dinner for Mia. Make alternate dinner for Owen. Set table, serve dinner, feed Owen, get up eight times to retrieve items for children, bolt own (cold) dinner in between above. Clear table, sweep floor with Owen in the Ergo so he doesn't treat himself to a Floor Buffet. Take kids upstairs, get both kids into pajamas, brush Mia's teeth, entertain Owen while Chris reads to Mia. Put Mia to bed. Put Owen to bed. Collapse onto couch.

8:30 Owen wakes up to protest the indignity of getting new teeth.

9:30 Owen wakes up to protest the indignity of getting new teeth.

9:45 Owen wakes up to protest the indignity of getting new teeth.

9:55 Owen wakes up to protest the indignity of getting new teeth. Give up and take Owen to bed with me.

10:30 Owen wakes up to protest the indignity of getting new teeth.

11:15 Owen wakes up to protest the indignity of getting new teeth.


I feel like such a poseur writing a note to Mia's preschool teachers. Come on, we all know I'm not really an adult. It feels more like trying to forge my mom's signature to get myself out of school.

(Not that I ever did that.) (Hi, Mom.)

Owen Wednesday #39: Chugga Chugga Choo Choo Edition

Oh come on, you sound like a total tool when you talk to a baby too.


Owen, Month Eleven

Sweet Owen,

You are eleven months old. Only eleven? Really? I mean, of course I am stunned and amazed that we have already come nearly to your first birthday, but at the same time I am a little stunned and amazed at the things you are doing at eleven months old. You seemed to be born two months old, and in several areas that has made you a little precocious.

You are talking already. I know, I know, it drives me insane when people take the random babble of their children and insist that it is words, but it really is words. You have two full-time words, "hi" and "dada," two sometimes words, "Mia" and "cracker" (both identifiable to people who are not your parents), and even a very occasional "mama" that may be approaching intentional. You know the signs for milk, eat, more and ball and use them correctly, although your signs for "more" and "ball" are identical, so it is hard to say whether you want more peas or want to hop down and play a little catch. You do so big, peek-a-boo, wave and clap on command.

You climb stairs. You can stand unassisted for three seconds or so. You have started doing that adorable/ridiculous straight-legged stumble all over the house pushing your "choo-choo." It plays music, and you like to sit and push the button for the music over and over until it plays "If You're Happy and You Know it Clap Your Hands" and then you clap and clap and laugh and laugh. When given a brush, you brush your hair. When given a hat, you try to put it in your head. When given your shoes, you try to put them on your feet. When given your clothes, you try desperately to cram your chubby little legs into them.

You love balls, sticks, hammers, pulling every single thing out of Mia's kitchen and throwing it on the floor, Mia's princess dolls, books, blocks, stacking cups, mirrors, and any sort of musical instrument, especially the piano. You love pictures - on walls, in books, anywhere. Whenever I change your diaper, I have to first give you the new diaper so you can marvel and coo at the picture of Mickey Mouse on the front.

You love the tub, which works out well since you also love to eat and eating generally involves mashing great handfuls of dinner into your neck and hair. You love crackers, whole peas, green beans, yogurt, blue berries, apple slices, lentil soup, grated cheese, and frankly, the list goes on. You do not like grapes, tomatoes, spanish rice, or sweet potatoes.

You have seven teeth and we are expecting anywhere between one and five more at any moment. Your top two molars are definitely coming and they are making you very unhappy indeed. Your hair, in the tradition of a great swath of your male ancestors, is pure white and still stands up in a wicked little wave on top of your head. You like to stand on your tip toes to reach all the things we've put on the kitchen table to keep them out of your reach. You like to share whatever you are eating, whether it be a mushy cheerio or a piece of paper you've swiped from somewhere, you always pull it out of your mouth and offer me a taste with a proud grin.

You are a little bit shy, and when faced with new people or a new situation, or sometimes just when your father gets up in the morning, you tend to snuggle into my shoulder and peek out at the world with those blue, blue eyes. But soon enough you turn back into a flirt, calling out "hi" and waving and trying to engage the world in a round of peek-a-boo. You are very self-sufficient when Mama is not around, happy to play on your own or with whoever has been given charge of you, but when Mama is available you prefer to stay close to me. I've learned from your sister how fast this changes, so I am trying to enjoy it, even when holding you all day makes me feel like a hunchback.

Owen, we are looking ahead and starting to plan your birthday party for next month, and it is surreal to me that we have come so far already. I am sad, in a way, to have so much of your babyhood already behind me, but at the same time I am eager to see who you will become next. You are, at the best moments like when you wake up in the morning and just snuggle into my neck for a while, and at the worst moments like when you insist that I simultaneously hold you and put you down, a joy and a gift and I love you with all of my heart.


Come out come out wherever you are

I don't usually do this, because I am a lousy commenter and there is no way I'll be able to comment on all of the (great many, embarrassing really, blogs I read in a single day, especially since Mia went to sleep after 11:00 last night, so this is going to be a really great day - although actually she went to sleep a little before 10:00 and then Chris woke her up so I am planning to just drop her off at his office), but today is Delurking Day and this year I'm playing along. See, I try to read everyone who reads me, because then we are all nice and friendly like, but with the addition of Child 2 I am woefully behind on updating my feed reader and I'm sure I am missing people.

So, here's the deal. Would you pretty pretty please leave a comment on this entry so I can make sure I have your link and then I can read your lovely blog too even though you will almost never know I am there because I am the worst commenter in the history of typing?

You can tell me how old you were when you had your first kiss. I was 12, and it was so disgusting that I didn't do it again for three years. Not that I had any offers for the next three years, but we'll all just pretend it was my conscious choice.

Poll Time! Toddler Management

You have taken your two or three year old to a class for two and three year olds. Your two or three year old spends the entire class throwing a moderate tantrum. There's no lying in the floor kicking and screaming, but there is quite a bit of crying, frequent bouts of screaming, several shrill demands that the class be conducted in a different manner, and an especially unpleasant incident when you require that she leave her baby doll and stroller at the side of the room. There are also a few stretches of fairly compliant participation in the class, but the tantrum returns throughout the class.

This wasn't my child, by the way. My child would have been hauled out of there (by her pigtails, if necessary) after about ten seconds. I'm just wondering whether other people would have stayed or left in this situation.


The goldfish died.

Merry Christmas, Mia! Here's this nearly instant lesson in the death of a loved one!

Wanted: One Smokin' Ass

I am all of three days into my new reasonable-eating-regular-exercise way of life (doesn't that sound nicer than "diet"?), and I am, as always, desperately disappointed that the mere act of starting a diet does not result in the immediate loss of ten pounds. And by "as always" I mean "just like the one and only other time in my life when I have gone on a diet." I suppose I am either very fortunate to have reached the age of 34 with only one diet under my belt, or else I have been a lot fatter than I thought I was. Hard to say, really.

The odd thing is that three days into a very generous diet (I'm still breastfeeding, Mama needs calories) and daily moderate exercise, I am feeling much better about my body. There's no reason for that. I haven't lost an ounce, my post-second-baby belly is still as flabby as ever, but instead of wincing at every glance in the mirror I am instead thinking this isn't so bad, this is doable. Two days in I was feeling so cocky that I was considering a bikini for the beach this July. I've regained some touch with reality and I think my bikini days are over, but I'll settle for a bathing suit without a skirt.

Now, if I could just stay off the scale....

Waaaa! My Baby!

I hope you will tolerate a little ridiculous whining here. I am hoping to get this all out of my system now before my BABY TURNS ONE NEXT MONTH. I can't believe it. I can't imagine it. I guess I thought my last baby would be a baby forever, but he is barreling full speed ahead and there's no stopping him. He's talking (Dada, hi), signing (milk, more, ball, eat, yay), and chugging around the house on his own two little legs as fast as his push toy will take him.

We are done, we are so done, but I am beginning to really understand the impulse for just one more.

It makes total sense

How I started calling my poor son "Stinky Pete"

Big O
Stinky Twinkie
Mr. Stinky Feet
Stinky Pete


First off, do you like the new pictures of the kids? What? You haven't seen them? Silly you, scroll on down past those blasted ads and check them out. I'll wait.



So, did you like them? You like them. You may tell me how much, if you see fit, but you needn't feel compelled because I can see from your face that you like them. Also, my daughter? She's basically my clone. She even has a big old fat belly just like I do, except that on her, it is cute.

Speaking of big old fat bellies, I have made a stealth resolution this year. Well, not entirely stealthy in that my main goal is to resume a normal diet and exercise whatchacallit now before Owen goes and self-weans like Mia did and I gain 12 pounds in three months. Again. But there is also a specific goal component that I am not telling you about because it is too much pressure, but I will come back on the secret designated date and tell you whether I made it or not. Because then you will be all surprised and can either congratulate me or commiserate with me without having to endure a period of listening to me talk about dieting beforehand.

Now, let's see. How about a quick holiday recap? Yes? Yes. First, stay tuned for Beth's Totally Useless After the Fact Gift Guide, which I will be posting sometime when I get around to it chock full of the cool things my little family got for Christmas. Entirely too late for you to care, for sure, but possibly you will find something for birthdays or such. Or next Christmas. Second, here's a quick summary of how we spent the last two weeks, and my verdict.

Santa: Score
Wear Your Pajamas All Day Day: Score
Chocolate: Score
Ginger Ale in a Champagne Glass: Fail
Offering a Three Year Old Cheese Fondue: Fail
Riding the Metro: Score
Natural History Museum: Triple Score
Baby's First Words: Score
Neither of Those Words Being "Mama": Fail
Taking Three Year Old to the Nutcracker: Score
Taking Three Year Old to the Movies: Fail
Molars: Fail
Spending Half of Christmas Eve at the Pediatrician's: Fail
Nebulizer: Screaming Fail
Lollipop: Score
Decorating Christmas Cookies: Score
Eating Christmas Cookies: Fail
Painting Butterflies: Score
Twelve Days of Mostly Just the Four of Us Hanging Out: Total Score
Need for Money Requiring that Someone Around Here do Some Damned Work Already: Fail\

And that's it. Oh, except that the stupid cable box that has been screwed up since the day after it was installed over a year ago has finally given up the ghost and they aren't coming to do something about it until Wednesday. Um, hello? What do you expect me to do in the evenings? Talk to my husband or something? Pshaw.


Owen is getting a molar. I know he's getting a molar. And yet, I am taking him to the pediatrician this afternoon so that I can have a medical professional tell me that he is getting a molar. This makes very little sense, I agree, but if you saw the thing that is bulging out of his gums I think you would agree with me that it was worth 10 bucks to be assured that it is indeed caused by a molar and not a previously undiscovered life form preparing to burst from his gums a la Alien. Speaking of, I saw the first chunk of that movie when I was 10 or so and it damaged me for life and I have never been able to even consider watching it now that I am a less-impressionable adult. See, I used to go visit my grandparents during the summer, and my grandfather let me buy any cereal I wanted (which I chose based on the toy) and rent any movie I wanted. After the Alien debacle, I stuck to renting cartoons.

Anyway, our appointment is at 4:20, and I am considering telling the Hotty Pediatrician that I suspect Owen is hiding his weed in there, but since it will probably really be 4:56 when we see him and he is very unlikely to make the 4:20 connection anyway I suspect I will just skip it. Good thing too, since it isn't very funny and also every time I try to joke with the Hotty Pediatrician I end up saying something horribly offensive instead. Although one time he basically said that everybody should just run around naked all the time, and that one is hard to top.

In other news, I took Mia downtown on the subway this week, and every time there was an announcement, she asked "What did he say, Mommy?" Which meant that I spent half an hour telling her "Orange Line, New Carrollton" about eleventy million times and half of our fellow passengers were laughing at me and the other half were trying to cram their briefcases in my mouth to shut me the hell up already. Then yesterday, Mia and I were talking about the train ride, and I asked her what her favorite part had been. And she said oh, that funny thing he kept saying. And I said what funny thing? And she said you know, the mousement. And I said Orange Line New Carrollton? And she said yes, and then she cracked up. So if you are every in need of a good ice-breaker joke, I hereby recommend "Orange Line, New Carrollton."