Sunday, August 30, 2009

Dr. McSwimmy

Because last year I did this post on Michael, and it got me the most comments all year...

Because Michael is a young 'un and does not qualify for Flavor of the Month...

Because I strongly oppose censorship... especially today...

Because all too often, the ladies who generously stop by there have so kindly been there for me, so today it is my honor to be there for you...


Friday, August 28, 2009

Pink Power Ranger Pictures

This is the kind of stuff that my cop sister, the Pink Power Ranger, posts on Facebook on her day off. Interesting juxtaposition, huh?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Decorative Future?

As long as I have Urban Kid 1 on the brain, allow me to follow up on an old post: A Decorative Winter.

Urban Kid 1 has this idea that she wants to be a decorator. Frankly, that suits Urban Dad and me just fine. If the homeschooling thing works out like we hope, she'll end up with a durn guhd edjyukayshun. And frankly, we'd be okay with sending her to design school instead of college (this from a set of parents who each have two B.A.'s).

Urban Kid 1's godmother is a designer who has completely and beautifully revamped a couple of giganto houses, one of which ended up in Luxe magazine and another in some swanky Utah home magazine. Imagine what U-Kid 1 could learn and who she could meet if her first job at sixteen was to work for her godmother?

But a few recent examples of her passion for design:

She's been allowed to stay up late on Sunday nights to watch this:

She gets so giddy over the privilege, you'd think we'd offered her her first martini! No wait, that's how I get over a martini. And all we have to say on Sunday is, "do you want to stay up tonight to watch Design Star?" and she snaps back to perfect behavior.

At 8p on weeknights, Urban Dad & I are often busy with getting Urban Kid 2 to bed and getting ourselves organized. Urban Kid 1 is left with the Electronic Babysitter set to House Hunters. This makes her deliriously happy. And she has an uncanny talent for picking the winning house!

(sidenote: a good thing about HGTV... you can leave the room and not worry about the commercials. with sports, it's a slew of products to help men go all night -- or not go, as the case may be -- , spots for horror movies that scare the pants off of U-Dad & me, etc. HGTV? Spots for paint, maybe flooring, even cleaning supplies. Safe stuff, that HGTV!)

Urban Kid 1 recently drew out a careful floorplan of an entire house and explained the exhaustive details of why everything was where it was. Yes, we soooo need to show this to her godmother.

She continues to want a sidetable for her 6th birthday. A sidetable! Not a Wii system or a wardrobe of princess dresses or a trip to American Girl. No. A sidetable.

When at our gym's Kids' Club, she plays House Hunters. The college kids who work there try to keep up, but are not sure how to respond when a 5yo declares that she has her doubts about one particular house because "it has an unfinished basement."

So who knows where this will lead if it keeps up? Perhaps she'll be on whatever form Design Star takes on in 20 years. Perhaps she'll open her own design firm and take the world by storm. Perhaps she'll end up managing a Pottery Barn.

Wherever it goes, I feel confident that my room in the nursing home will look damn good.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Six Candles

Yes, Folks, that law about inertia is so true! A blogger who is at rest tends to stay at rest. I keep thinking, "yeah, i should do a post tonight," and then *bang* I'm sacked out. Another issue is that the computer is a desktop that lives in a corner of our downstairs. And life increasingly is not in a corner of the downstairs. What I want is a laptop computer. That way it can live in my lap, wherever that lap may be. (george, i am cyber-smacking you right now for whatever comment you are thinking!) But alas, there is not a big pile of moolah sitting around doing nothing right now, so here I am, in a corner of the basement, in the dark because Urban Kid 2 still needs to be put into a PakNPlay to fall asleep before being moved to her Big Girl Bed.

Enough excuses. Here's what's what:

Urban Kid 1 is about to turn 6yo, and we are trying to figure out what to do. So far, we've gotten away with not really doing an official, real birthday party. We've done low-key family things. Last year, it was a fun date with Daddy around the city. The year before, it was two friends coming over for a tour of the local firehouse and a couple of games and cake at the apartment. Before that, Best Namma Ever! coming up to hang out with us.

But now she's coming onto 6yo. And she's going to birthday parties. And some of these parties are damn expensive nice. People renting out Pump It Up! and going to plays and such. She wants this. She wants a party and friends and favors and goodies bags and a venue.


But it's been a big summer for Urban Kid 1. She got her first library card, lost her first tooth (and there's a second one loosening up, too), learned how to ride her bike, got a passport, went on a huge roadtrip and continues her quest to be a decorator.

Perhaps we should top off the big summer? Perhaps she's old enough now for a party? To enjoy and appreciate and remember it? This was the conversation between Urban Dad & me.

Then we investigated the price at a place we knew she would love. $400. $400! Before providing our own cake, balloons, goodie bags, plates & forks, tips, etc. So really, closer to $500.


Sorry, Urban Kid 1. That's almost halfway to that laptop computer. That's a full-on Botox treatment that I keep whining that I want. That's Piano and Swimming classes for the Fall and Winter.

In other words, No ****ing Way.

So now we are investigating our gym. Perhaps we could invite some friends to join her at the climbing wall. Hell, I'm certified now. I could belay a few shorties up the wall if it helps. I've seen other groups do this, followed by cake and goodie bags in a particular area of the lobby near the climbing wall.

Or maybe, we invite three of her girlfriends over, cab them downtown, toss everyone into a carriage ride, cab them home, then cake and giggles and goodie bags.

It could be worse. She could be turning 21. I intend to hide under my bed for that one. If she turns out to be anything like I was at 21, anyway.

Such are the dramas with the Urban Family just now.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Scattered Update

The doin's here:

1. Did I mention that Urban Kid 1 lost her first tooth on July 27th? The tooth fairy left her a Sacajewea (sp?) dollar. She was immensely proud, and we called everyone we could think of to share the news. Bless all of their hearts, they gushed beautifully over it. Her godparents even called back from Spain when they got the message!!

2. U-Kid 1 and U-Dad went to Lincoln Park today. They took her bike... sans training wheels. By the end of it, she was going about 200 yards on her own. However, she leans to one side. Two women watched, then approached her with high fives and, "you go, sister!" U-Kid 1 felt very grown-up to be called "sister" by them. The plan is to go back out tomorrow to fine tune the accomplishment. When U-Kid 1 got home today, she went into her bedroom and sat on the end of her bed, looking very serious. When U-Kid 2 came in looking for her, U-Kid 1 said, "I can't play right now. I have to think about how to stop leaning on my bike." Follwed by more quiet, serious contemplation while sitting on the end of her bed.

3. U-Kid 2 tried art class today at The Paintbrush. She was immensely shy, refused to wear a smock (gotta love a hand-me-down tee from Target), got paint in her hair, tried to lick the paint off of her hands, and her work may take a week to dry because she laid it on so thick. But I could tell from her expressions that she was thinking, "I don't know where we are, but I like it!" So I'm thinking that both U-Kids will be doing art this year.

4. U-Kid 2 is also potty-training. I am convinced that potty-training is a form of birth control. We've put off actively doing the training til now for a few reasons. 1.) it's warm enough to let her "fly without a net," aka: don't give her any pants whenever we're home, 2.) U-Dad is around so that we can divide and conquer, thus avoiding a single moment of U-Kid 2 not being watched like a hawk and 3.) we're home from the Annual Road Trip. After several days of being convinced that she will go to college in a pull-up, she seems to be getting it now! And in the course of this process, we've investigated a few videos -- hilarious! In one, some poor teddy bear is flipped tush-side up while the kids "wipe" it with toilet paper while singing about wiping from front to back. And the Elmo one seems to remember that an adult is likely in the room with the occasional comment like, "now where did your mother put the air freshener?"

Anywhooooo, without getting too graphic, no accidents today. No flip-flops to clean up, no kitchen floor to wipe up, no bleach wipes had to come out, no laundry put into a plastic bag. A good day on the potty-training front. I have hopes that someday I can see her in underwear and not hear "tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick." I have hopes that I can someday not center my day around a kid's back-side!

5. Do not read The Velveteen Rabbit to your small child. Unless, of course, you are prepared to hold a sobbing child in your arms and to frantically make up a different ending. (stupid me for not checking it out more closely first)

6. I have before mentioned that the U-Kids are natural blondes. More proof:

A few nights ago, U-Kid 1 wandered out of bed. I was downstairs on the computer; U-Dad was on the back deck reading. So neither of us were immediately apparent. U-Kid 1 panicked and began wailing, bringing us running from opposite ends of the apartment. This led to her wanting me to hold her for a while. I went into her room and held her in her bed. After a bit, I suggested that she turn on her right side so that I could spoon up next to her.

She scooted over to the right, but still on her back.

"No, honey, turn over on your right side."

She scoots over a little more, closer to the edge of her twin bed.

"No, sweetie, turn over on your right side."

She scoots over until she is balancing her spine along the edge of the bed, looking rather confused and about to plunk over onto the floor and whack herself on the bookcase next to her bed.

"No," and I start using a hand gesture of whirling my hand in a circle. I also turn onto my own right side and point up and down the length of my own body. "Turn onto your. right. side. Like this."

"Oooooooohhhhh!" She turns, giggles at herself and is asleep about two minutes later.

Don't know where she gets that. (nervous a-hem)

Will try to post some vacay pix soon!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Flavor of the Month -- August

Yeah, I know... this would mean so much more if I actually did it on the FIRST of each month. But hey, better late than pregnant never.

If you're a regular around here, you may recall that I am trying to keep FOTM no more than two years younger than me. You see, June Cleaver A6P has a wonderful feature called Monday Swoon. And I was feeling a mite self-conscious about how much I was enjoying it every time she featured Robert Pattinson certain young un's. Especially since I remember being younger and out in the world and wondering if every older married man at the office was an on-the-prowl dirtbag or just most of them. (George, you always maintained my faith in MANkind!) I started to feel like I needed to make up for my Cougar-ish ways with some small cyber-gesture.

And so, without further yammering... FOTM for August:

Lance Armstrong.

Mmmmmm HHHHmmmmmmmmmm...............

What can I say? I grew up attending marathons and triathlons. I came of age around people built like this. I never went for the football types. But a cyclist tan?

Hubba hubba. (is it any wonder that i fell for a guy who disappeared for weeks every summer during our long courtship in order to bicycle across either our country or someone else's?)

But Lance has made the month of July so exciting and fun for so many years now. I mean honestly, who doesn't enjoy watching the Europeans get their undies in a bunch over an American (a Texan, no less! extra giggle for that) come over and open up a can o' whup-ass on them in their own event?

And you see that crowd? How scared would you be to ride through that? Especially in a country where the locals loathe you? Where you regularly receive death threats? Where your (now ex-) wife spent a lot of lonely time when she and the kids lived there with you because people wouldn't talk to her? BTW, he is spit on regularly in these situations. Classy, huh?

And let's not forget the part about facing death and by some miracle saying a giant "up yours!" and recovering.

And if you happen to have a copy of his book It's Not About The Bike handy, check out page 136, where the director of the Cofidis racing organization came to the hospital to fire Lance. His words were, "... this is a cultural thing, and people in France don't understand how somebdy can get paid when they're not working." I know. I have a really hard time keeping a straight face over that statement, too. His friend and manager literally said, "F*** you" to the guy.

So how beautiful is it that he went on to win the Tour de France, wait, how many times?

And so Lance has recovered his health and his career. He's also started the LiveStrong organization, one for which my bicycling-crazed brother and nephew have raised at least a few bucks (SIL's family keeps getting hit with cancer). He seems to have a genuine and heart-felt passion for forwarding cancer research. God love ya for using your name and energy towards the cause and for looking so good doing it, Lance!

Now, all that said, let me clarify that I have tremendous, endless respect for Lance professionally. Even patriotically.

Not so much personally.

Really, Lance? If It's Not About The Bike, then what exactly IS it about? 'Cause I'm thinking that leaving your wife and three kids to chase rock stars and actresses is not so much what this second chance at life is about. Especially after you're too old to crush your Eurotrash opponents in the mountains of France. (geez, i do love it when he does that) And I guess that Sheryl and Kate figured out that a guy willing to leave his wife and three kids maybe ain't no special treat after all. And I don't get the BabyDaddy thing with the new girlfriend. Call me old-fashioned and out of touch that way. Or maybe they were surprised that he was firing live rounds fertile again? Don't get me wrong -- at least he's taking more responsibility than his own father did. I admire the fact that when his own father surfaced in the hopes of reclaiming the winning lottery ticket that he threw away, that Lance sent him right back on his way. I love that he takes such good care of his mother, who had him at the age of 17. But I also have a schizo fantasy in my head of Kristen Armstrong sitting by her pool in Texas admiring Julio the Pool Boy and fetching another $100 bill out of the big bag of divorce settlement money and using it to blow her nose.

I'm such a girl that way. I admit it.

But Lance, for all of the shades of gray that you present to me, I still thank you for making so many summers so much fun! Congratulations on another great race! I hope you raise gazillions of dollars for cancer research. And I hope that at least a few of your professional competitors have bald patches on their heads from tearing out their hair.

So, see ya next July?