Friday, July 29, 2011


Yesterday one of my co-workers stopped by my cubicle to say good-bye as she was heading out.

"Are you flexing tomorrow?"*

It always so funny when people talking about their day off as "flexing."  It brings to mind standing around my house assuming various body-building poses.

"Yep," I said, as I raised my arms to show her my biceps.

My bi- weekly days aren't necessarily to flex my body, though I will use some of the free time to exercise.  Mostly, I use it to flex my sanity.

Weekends are not relaxing for me right now.  The kids are still so young and needy and demanding, so we spend our time Doing Things.  The zoo, the science museum, the park, the pool, in between getting the house cleaned and running weekend errands.  So I often get to work on Monday exhausted and relieved to be able to sit quietly in my cube and work without noise or requests for milk or announcements of "I got poopies."

So my flex days are sacred.  I get to spend time in my quiet house, paint my nails, do some cleaning.  Maybe take a nap.

I'll meet with my contractor about doing some painting and finish work.  This afternoon I'm getting a 90-minute massage (from the same kid whose face I managed to avoid tooting in last time -- I'm hopeful I'll be equally successful today).  I've got a couple of errands to run.

Mostly, I'll just revel in the silence and the solitude and steel myself for the noise and craziness of the next couple of days.
*In every two week period, I work a "flex" schedule consisting of 8 9-hour days, 1 8-hour day and then have every second Friday off.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Road trip ideas, and why fighting with your siblings means you don't get to have any fun

This past weekend, we were talking with my mom about how we love that Josie and Zeke get along so well, and how important it is that they love each other and have strong relationships when they grow up.  I'm very close to my brothers, and J is tight with his brother and sister, and we want our children to look to each other and always have each others' backs.

My mom opined that the closeness between my brothers and me stems in part from the fact that we spent a lot of time together as kids and took lots of family vacations. 

Suddenly, Josie sneezed.  My mom said, "God bless you!" 

Josie grinned and giggled. 

My mom explained, "Josie, that was a sneeze.  Can you say 'sneeze'?" 


And it reminded Mom of a funny story about my brothers and me from when we were kids.

In the summer of 1982, when I was 12, Josh was 10 and Sam was 5, we were in the U.S. on home leave from Israel (where we lived from 1980 to 1984).  My aunt (mom's sister) lived in Boston and was about to give birth to her first baby (my cousin Aaron), so we went to visit her and also took a beach trip to Cape Cod.  The drive out to Cape Cod was in an old Rent-a-Wreck that was massive.  Josh and I sat in the back seat and Sam sat up front with my parents.

My mother became concerned when she started to hear sneezing from the back seat.  One after the other after the other.

"Bless you."

"God bless you!"

"Gesundheit!  Oh my goodness, are you two OK?"

It kept going on, non-stop sneezing.

She turned to my father.  "We're going to need to find a doctor.  We're flying back in a couple of days and I'm worried that the kids are getting sick."

Titters and giggles from the back seat.

She turned back and glared at us.  We acted natural, probably complete with fake whistling and glancing around nonchalantly.

Another sneeze.  More giggles.

She snapped her head back in time to see me with a shoe-lace up my nose.  Josh and I had been sticking shoe-laces up our noses to make ourselves sneeze.

In our defense, this was before the days of personal DVD players and video games.  And reading in the car makes me carsick.

After being admonished by my mother ("what on earth is the matter with you two??"), we settled down for a little while. 

Zing -- splat!

The spit-balls had started.  We had stopped at a McDonald's for lunch.  McDonald's has big, wide straws.  So Josh and I grabbed a bunch of them and some paper napkins and entertained ourselves by trying to hit the rear-view mirror.  Or the windshield.  Or the side-view mirror.  Or the back of Sam's head.

More giggling.  Even my parents were amused.

Sam fumed from the front seat.  He was a whiny little thing at that age and was always bitching about something.

"It's not fair!  How come Josh and Wendy get to sit in the back and have fun while I have to sit up here with you??"

My mother responded sensibly, "because you can't sit with your brother or sister without getting into a fight."


Josie and Zeke, let this be a lesson.  Together, you can rule the world.  Or at least dot it with soggy bits of chewed up paper napkins.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Always look on the bright side of life.

Zeke is going through a phase that can only be described as, um, Oedipal.  Lecherous, even.

In addition to STILL being in the naked-all-the-time toddler phase, lately it seems like he just wants to consume me.  He only wants to sleep pressed up against me.  If I'm sitting on the couch, he's on me.  If I'm walking from one part of the house to the other, he wants to come with me and hold my hand.

"Mama, I just want to be with you."

"Mama, if we go to the store, I don't want Josie or Daddy to come."

"Mama, I want to snuggle with you."

"Mama, let's get married."

Then there's the fact that when he's on me, it's like being with a cross between a horny teenage boy and an octopus.  Constantly kissing me, licking me, running his hands over me, trying to reach his hands inside my shirt and touch my boobs.

The other day I was wearing a dress and sitting on the couch.  Zeke walked up, lifted up the edge of my skirt and put his head under it.

"Well, that's disgusting," observed my mother, who was visiting for the weekend.

Add to that his tendency to be constantly tugging at his junk or otherwise touching himself -- on the couch, in the car, while he walks around the house, and I'm beginning to worry that I'm raising a little pervert.

Yesterday we were all up in Zeke's room playing with blocks.  Zeke (who was naked, natch) found a red plastic ball about half the size of a tennis ball.  He propped it between his butt cheeks and started walking around giggling.

"I'm kind of nervous that he's going to grow up to be some kind of fetishist porn star," I said to J.

"Well, at least he'll make some serious coin and get laid a lot," J responded.

I guess that's one way of looking at it.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A dirty mind is a terrible thing to waste

Yesterday J and I were talking on the phone as he was on his way home from work, discussing possible dinner plans.

"I set out some chicken breasts to defrost, so we can figure out something to do with them when I get home," I said.

"Awesome.  We've got vegetables we can have.  I'm sure we've got some steamers in the freezer," J responded.

We were both quiet for a couple of seconds and then I started to giggle.

"And not of the Cleveland variety," he clarified.*

Had I been in the act of taking a sip of some liquid, I would be in the process of explaining to the tech people at work why my keyboard isn't working because I spit all over it.  Thankfully, I wasn't.  And on the plus side, I have been been tittering to myself nonstop since this conversation took place.  It's the little things that keep you going, right?

*Do not click on this link if you are disturbed by descriptions of truly disgusting - and I mean disgusting - sexual acts.  Also, sorry, Mom.  Also, I have no idea why I even know what a Cleveland Steamer is.  I am not a sexual deviant or even remotely turned on by poo.  Knowing me, I heard a reference to it somewhere (TV?  the radio?) and googled it.  Mostly, I just think the name sounds funny.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Brain dump

I'm back from a week of vacation.  I went with my family to the beach in New Hampshire.  After taking two weeks to go to Australia in May, J couldn't get more time off, so I took the kids by myself.

Some general observations:
  • My family has been going to the beach on the Outer Banks of North Carolina since I was 8 or 9.  I loooooove the Outer Banks.  But I have to admit that I love the beach in New England in summertime more than I love the Outer Banks.  It feels blasphemous to even think it.  But the weather is better, the nights are cooler, and the beach and the waves are just as good.  The water is colder, but I got used to it (and that's why God invented wetsuits).
Our first morning in the house, going for a surf with Emma at 6:30 in the morning.  I'm wearing the wetsuit that J gave me as an engagement present.  That's Lola, my old board - she now lives with my brother Josh.
  • I don't miss living in Hawaii, but I sure miss living near the beach.  Our house was a 5 minute walk from the beach and it made for extraordinarily fun and pleasant days and nights. One evening before dinner the kids were fussing and getting on my nerves, so I took them down to the beach to go for a walk.  It was cool but comfortable, and just beautiful.  The kids immediately perked up and started laughing and running around.  If we end up moving to Australia, we will be by the beach again, which definitely will not suck.
  • There are few things cuter than little kids frolicking on the beach.
This is a happy, happy girl.
I love how he's wearing his shoes on the wrong feet.
  • On the other hand, there are few things more horrible than traveling with small children.  Everything about the experience -- lugging ridiculous amounts of gear, getting everyone through security, dealing with Josie screaming her face off because she's tired of being strapped in the car seat, the two of them both bursting into tears because they didn't both fit on my lap at the same time, the jet lag -- sucks huge, hairy smelly balls.  But as the nice man on the plane said (and seriously, the one benefit of traveling with unruly children is that people take pity and are so fucking nice to you), "it gets better."  His children, who looked to be about 5 and 7, sat quietly in their seats the entire time and amused themselves with books and videos -- the prospect of my children similarly behaving themselves makes me weep. 
  • Even when they're being good, vacations, while fun, are not particularly relaxing with small children around.  For 8 days, they were on me.  Asking for (or demanding) food, toys and attention.  Wanting to sleep with me.  "Mama, I want to snuggle with your face and your boobies and everything," Zeke said.  Before I could even absorb that outrageous statement, Josie yelled, "Snuggle!  SNUGGLE!!" 
But they were awesome.  Josie's language is exploding -- she is suddenly learning so many new words every day and is talking in sentences.  Zeke taught himself how to swim.  The cousins had a great time together.

So it was wonderful.  I got some surfing in.  I hung out with my brothers and my parents and my nieces.

But of course, as ever, I'm so tired.