Monthly Archives: August 2009

Makeup with a Monkey


Trying to get 10-uninterupted minutes to put on makeup while Monkey is with me in the bathroom goes like this:

  1. I proactively place the toilet paper holder in the shower and close the glass door because I know every time she’s in my bathroom the first thing she does is pick up the metal holder and take out all the rolls of toilet paper and then start unrolling them.
  2. Monkey comes into the bathroom and immediately starts to grab for the toilet plunger which previously was obscured behind the toilet paper holder, but now that the toilet paper holder is in the shower, the plunger is temptingly in view.
  3. “Gross. Yucky. Yucky. Don’t touch that,” I say and move the plunger over to the other side of the toilet, behind the garbage can.
  4. Monkey starts to remove used tissue and other delicacies from the garbage can that is now obscuring the plunger.
  5. “Gross. Yucky. Yucky. Don’t touch that,” I say about the garbage can.
  6. Monkey grabs one last used tissue and does her nose blowing routine which consists of her sucking back in as much snot and air as she is blowing out.
  7. “Things that are in the garbage can stay in the garbage can,” I instruct. I grab the used tissue and throw it back in the garbage.
  8. Monkey starts trying to lift up the toilet seat with both hands.
  9. “Gross. Yucky. Yucky. Don’t touch that,” I say about the toilet seat.
  10. I take her by the shoulders and direct her out of the bathroom and gently nudge her in the direction of the nightstand where she likes to play with the lamp and radio and phone.
  11. “Go play with the radio.” I turn it on for her so she can press buttons and make noise.
  12. Instead of hearing changing radio stations I hear BERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR. Monkey has hit the speakerphone button on the phone and it is THE LOUDEST dial tone that I have ever heard in my life. Probably because on a previous day she hit the volume button until it was all the way up.
  13. Monkey is frozen, terrified of the gigantic noise coming from the phone.
  14. “If you’d like to make a call, please hang up and try again.”
  15. “Meepmeepmeepmeepmeepmeepmeepmeepmeep.”
  16. Monkey is still staring at the phone with a horrified look on her face and her hands up in the air like “I have no idea what I did.”
  17. I walk over and hit the speakerphone button again. She watches me. “See,” I say. “You just have to push the button again.”
  18. Before I even turn around Monkey hits the button again. We are temporarily deaf.
  19. I push the button again. So does she. For crying out loud.
  20. “Push the button again!” I exclaim. At this point I don’t really care if she keeps pushing it on and off, as long as “off” is part of the equation and I don’t have to keep walking over there. I’ve only managed to apply foundation and pluck two eyebrow hairs.
  21. She follows me back into the bathroom and starts unrolling the toilet paper roll currently in use. I roll it back up.
  22. I stand with one foot on top of the toilet, which effectively blocks the toilet paper roll, the garbage can, the plunger, and prevents her from lifting up the toilet seat.
  23. She starts crying, whining and throwing a fit that she can’t access any of the “Gross. Yucky. Yucky” items.
  24. “You’re done,” I tell her. I have HAD IT at this point. I pick her up under her shoulders and gracefully throw her out of the bathroom and close the door.
  25. Wild theatrics and loud fake crying ensues on the other side of the door while I calmly put on my makeup.
  26. I know where she is and that she’s not getting into trouble as long as she’s fake crying.
  27. I notice the crying has stopped after about 5 minutes. Bad sign. I crack the door. She has moved back to the phone, but as soon as she sees me runs back to the door and wild theatrics begin again.
  28. I finish my makeup, open the door, give her kisses and she’s fine. 25 minutes later.

For the Love of Cheese


My husband loves cheese. One time at a wedding, he went up to the buffet for seconds, and came back with so much cheese I was embarrassed. I was all “people are going to think you’re a server, serving the cheese.” He just really likes cheese. It must be a Wisconsin thing. So it should come as no surprise that my daughter has developed this same penchant for the dairy delight.

Which wouldn’t be so bad except that she has issues with constipation. Or more accurately, she has trouble pooping.

When she feels a bowel movement coming on she either assumes the Yoga plank position (no freakin’ lie, elbows underneath her, legs out behind her; she can do a better plank than me), or she assumes a standing plank position against any solid object — couches, walls, toy kitchen, etc. She squeezes her butt cheeks together so tightly and locks her legs so rigidly that I am not kidding you, I can barely bend her knees. As soon as we see her in “the position” we run over to her, scoop her up and try to bend and separate her legs so that she’s not keeping the offending matter squeezed in. And yes, we have tried the prunes and pear juice and other natural laxatives. Our doctor theorizes that going poopy probably is somewhat painful for her so she tries to prevent it.

Anyway, back to the cheese. Since Monkey has trouble pooping we tend to limit her cheese intake, although I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t mind if we served her cheese and only cheese all day long. String cheese, Colby cheese, cottage cheese. Regardless of the type, cheese is the first thing she eats off her plate.

Introducing … the cheese ball. Last month while meandering down the extra-wide aisles at Sam’s Club with my oversized shopping cart (BTW, have you noticed that it’s nearly impossible to push one of those carts with one hand while talking on a cell phone with the other? It’s like trying to drive a car while eating a bowl of cereal. Although I have absolutely no first-hand experience with this.) I noticed the 35-ounce cylinder of cheese balls.

 I didn’t mean to buy it. I was in the snack aisle looking for the trail mix when I saw the cheese balls. (You know, the type of impulse purchase that seems like a good idea at the time and then you get it home in your normal-sized house and out of the extra-ginormous-sized warehouse and you’re like, “Wow, this is the largest refill container of Dawn detergent I’ve ever seen in my life. It’s so big it doesn’t even fit under my sink.” And then you put it in your basement and forget you have it and buy more dish washing soap when you run out anyway. I hate that. Again, not that I have any first-hand experience with this.)

Needless to say, in addition to Monkey’s cheese obsession, she’s also become obsessed with the cheese balls. Thanks to my husband. He decided it was okay for her to have snacks made with corn meal and maltodextrin and autolyzed yeast extract (what??). So one day when I wasn’t home he gave her some. And the next day he proudly proclaimed “Monkey LOVES the cheese balls.”  Of course. Of course she does. And since the container is waaay too big to fit in one of our cupboards or our pantry, it sits on top of our refrigerator. And about 50 times a day, Monkey will lead us by the hand over to the refrigerator and point to the cheese balls and say “chsssss.” And when I smile at her and say in a funny voice, “Nooo, no cheese balls.” She laughs, points and says “chsssss.” Over and over and over again. She even tries to dupe people when they come over to our house. Like my mom or the babysitter. Pointing and saying “chsssss.” And you want to know what? My husband caves every time I’m not home and the two of them share cheese balls. Partly because he’s feeding his own cheese obsession. But that’s okay. They’re having their daddy and daughter bonding time — over cheese. And autolyzed yeast extract.

Cheese Balls2

P.S. In the photo, notice that she’s holding her belly like, “Oh my gosh, I am SO excited that they are about to open this container of cheese balls!” She was very excited …

Story Time at the Library


I decided to take Monkey to the local public library for its story time last week. I thought this would be a good idea because my neighbor has been taking her daughter to story time for several months, and my neighbor’s daughter is only 5 months older than Monkey.

My first inclination of impending danger was when I noticed that all of the other 20 or so children entered the room and quickly took seats on the floor in front of the librarian who was preparing to read a STACK of books about camping.


The children all looked happy and excited, waiting expectantly for the librarian to begin reading her stories. The mothers (and one father) were all sitting in the molded plastic chairs behind the semi circle of children.

 They all looked so orderly, I thought. And mannered. Meanwhile, Monkey was trying to squeeze through the molded plastic chairs. “One of these things is not like the others …” started to run through my head.

The parents did not look the least bit concerned that their children might not want to sit, or might misbehave, or in some other way cause trouble. Some of them had brought other reading material. Clearly, they were not concerned.


I gave the room another glance and looked more closely at the eager children. Interesting. Only two other kids looked like they were close to Monkey’s age, and by close, I mean were at least 2-3 months older. Most of the kids looked to be 3, 4 and 5. I had a sinking feeling.

As soon as the librarian started to read the first of what looked to be about 500 books, I grabbed Monkey and sat her back down on my lap.

This lasted for .2 seconds. Immediately she started trying to squeeze through two plastic chairs directly in front of us where a nice looking four-year-old girl sat with her younger brother.

The thing with kids this age is that they have major stranger danger. So when someone approaches Monkey and acts as if they know her, she freaks out. Crying, shrieking, pants-grabbing ensues. Especially if they try to pick her up. BUT, if said person were to completely ignore Monkey, then she proceeds to inspect that person carefully and with the diligence of an SVU detective.

Monkey stared at the girl. She wedged herself between two plastic chairs and the younger brother. I was starting to get a headache. The girl tried to ignore Monkey. Monkey continued to try to pull herself through the chairs. I glanced at the mom. She didn’t look very friendly. I was starting to get nervous. I yanked Monkey back and sat her on my lap. She squealed. Damnit. I let her go. I didn’t need her having a meltdown five sentences into the first story. In the meantime the girl had climbed into her mother’s lap and in a hushed voice was asking her mother why this dumb baby was staring at her (or something to that extent). I couldn’t hear the mother’s response, but I’m sure it was something like “Because some children are too young for story time and their parents are too stupid to take them out of the room.”

I was starting to feel mortified.

By this time Monkey had moved on to the first row of seated children. She crouched down and stared at another nice looking girl who was listening intently to the librarian (BTW, have you ever noticed that librarians are the BEST storytellers in the world?? Where do they learn to do that?). The girl seemed not to notice Monkey and the staring contest.

Monkey was now out of my arm’s length grasp and I sat there contemplating my next move. Should I get up and grab her and haul her back, risking screaming and crying that would disrupt the entire room, or should I let her continue to stare at this child as if she were a 40-year-old man watching his favorite football team (you know the look). I let her stare.

Monkey moved on and crouched down in front of another girl. This girl appeared annoyed that Monkey was right in front of her face and kept moving her head from side to side trying to see around Monkey.

I surveyed the mothers again and noticed that one was cracking up. Huge, silent body shakes of laughter and tears rolling down her face at what was transpiring. Okay, I wasn’t as mortified, but still. Embarrassing! I grabbed Monkey from in front of the annoyed girl and sat down on the floor with her between my legs.

Monkey got up. She walked straight up to the librarian and stood in front of her, curiously inspecting the book. Then she turned around, facing all of the kids and the parents. OMG. Does this girl not feel conspicuous??? Where are her inhibitions??

Thankfully she moved on to her next victim. This time, not only did she crouch down in front of a girl, but she started petting her hair. Okay, seriously? There can be no touching. I was pretty sure the parents were going to start an uprising.

I grabbed Monkey again and sat back down on my plastic chair. Monkey got up and stood in front of the librarian again. This time the librarian looked at Monkey and sweetly asked, “Can you sit down?” Monkey stared back at her. I wanted to crawl in a hole. This was not going according to plan. How in the world could my neighbor having been bringing her toddler to story time for months? Did she sedate her??

A mom next to me whispered, “Doesn’t she know one-year-olds don’t sit?” and smiled.  Whew.

I decided that I wasn’t going to overstretch the obvious charity these women were extending me by continuing to subject their children to stare-down contests and hair petting. I grabbed Monkey and we spent the remainder of story time in the children’s section of the library. Total time in the story room — 18 minutes.

 After all the stories were read, the librarian came out and asked if we wanted to make the craft. I looked at Monkey who was being chased by another girl who looked to be about 16 months. Of course now you’re not interested as soon as someone WANTS to pay attention to you.

The craft consisted of me gluing pre-cut paper pine trees and a tent onto a piece of white paper with Monkey trying valiantly to color her arm and eat the marker while I tried to direct the weapon onto the paper. As soon as Monkey started to scream we left. So much for story time.

P.S. After I got back from story time, I got a message from my neighbor about setting up a play date for our girls. She said, “We tried library time for a while, but she just won’t sit still long enough. “ OMG. Well at least it’s not just me.

Camping Craft

Pregnancy Diet


I just don’t feel like eating. I’ve lost six pounds so far and I’m not quite 15 weeks into this pregnancy. I know the bad eating habits will catch up with me soon enough, and I keep telling myself that as soon as I start to feel better I’ll eat better.

The problem is, I am feeling better. But I still have little to no desire to eat. Unless the food miraculously appears in front of me with no effort on my part about deciding on, or making the food.

Plus, now that I’m working from home, I can’t justify getting into my car and driving 5-10 miles to spend money on food when I have perfectly good, albeit unprepared, food in my house.

Thank God for my husband otherwise every day probably would consist of the following:

8:30 a.m. — Bowl of generic Cap’n Crunch with Crunch Berries cereal, which I never buy, nor eat, but bought for a family camping trip as a treat.

12:05 p.m.  — A snack size 100 Grand bar followed by a snack size Kit Kat bar.

1:00 p.m. — About 26 tater tots. I finished the bag. Needless to say, I did not feel well after downing almost half the bag of fried potato rolls. It’s weird though, I’ve kind of been craving tater tots lately.

My mom suggested that I keep healthy snacks on hand as to avoid eating too many fried potatoes. I assured her I had plenty of fruit, and yogurt, readily accessible, but that neither seemed appealing.

5:30 p.m. — A McDonald’s Mighty Meal. Did you know the burgers in those meals come with two patties?? Why in God’s name does a child need two patties? I thought I was doing myself a favor by not ordering the quarter pounder, but apparently not.

I gave one patty to my husband. Oh, and I got a 49-cent cone which I had to eat first. Obviously.

Nothing like a well-rounded day of meals.

 I’m glad Monkey isn’t old enough to know the difference. Yet. Maybe tomorrow I’ll crave something healthy and actually make it. I’m not holding my breath.