Tuesday, May 25, 2010

RTT: Enjoy Babies in Sunglasses and Help Me Go on Vacation


Click the purple button.  Go ahead.  NOT NOW!!  After you read the stuff below.  Sheesh.

Random Baby News

Both the girls are crawling, but not fast enough that I can't chase them down.  Their favorite form of travel, however, is marching around the house with an adult hunched over them holding their little hands.  They even climb the stairs in that fashion.

Cobra climbed a couple stairs by herself when I wasn't paying attention.  I turned around and she was standing on the third step, smiling as she propped herself up against the wall with her hand, poised to fall backwards onto her melon.   I need to look into baby gates.

Cobra also likes to stand up by herself, get her balance on something, and then let go and lunge toward her mom with open arms.  This makes it very hard for Dr. Mom to leave for work, what with the heart melting and all.

Butterbean, who has up until now been the less materialistic twin, has become a "sike" artist.  As in, "Want this ball, Cobra?" *snatches hand away* "Sike!" (I always thought the word was "psych," as in "psych you out" but according to Urban dictionary, I am illiterate.)  Thankfully, Cobra doesn't really care about whatever item Butterbean teases her with (or, like her dad, pretends not to care about things she can't have), and turns her attention elsewhere.

I'm having to separate the girls at almost every nap time these days, since they tend to keep each other up.  They still sleep in the same crib at night though.  And we've come up with a solution for the fact that they are really too big to sleep in the same crib.  We figured out that we can fit two Pack 'n' Plays in the closet that we call the "nursery."  This way we don't have to move them into the "real nursery" downstairs, which is right next to the kitchen where we tend to cook and clean and make noise until midnight most nights.

The girls got their first sunglasses.  What do you think?

 It's pretty clear who Cobra's real father is:


I'm not sure about Butterbean though.  Any ideas?

I remember when I was a teenager living in the D.C. suburbs, there was this commercial or PSA on T.V. for some local organization and at the end of it all these happy kids say, "The future's so bright-we have to keep our sunglasses on!"  I was appalled because a) I thought Timbuck3 was a really cool band and hated that "The Future's So Bright" had become a novelty hit, and b) couldn't the idiots who made this commercial even get the lyrics right?  I'm still haunted by this.

Random Other Stuff

We have this time share deal that we kind of got roped into a number of years ago when Dr. Mom had been on call for 36 hours and the salesman and I talked her into it (see yesterday's post about how persuadable I am).  It turns out to be pretty useful, and I'm hoping it will be even more so now that we have all these chilluns that require even more tourism infrastructure than we do.  Anyway, the timeshare runs an essay and photo competition each year, based on some cheesy theme like "love," or "magic moments."  And every year, we read the magazine featuring the winners and vomit on the furniture because of how sappy and--well--just plain bad the stuff is.  

Two years ago, I finally got it together and wrote an essay (theme: "perspective").  I started out with a thoughtful meditation on the experience of a group of travelers who don't know one another but are moved by a shared moment of transcendence in nature from the deck of a cruise ship (I just threw up a little in my mouth).  Then I dumbed it down by about 45%, taking out all the big words and abstract ideas, and cheesed it up with some imagery like--I shit you not--a soaring bald eagle looking at the passengers on the mighty cruise ship.  I won third place behind an essay written from the perspective of a camera ("Hi, my name is Rebel!"), and a what-I-did-this-summer style story of a woman seeing her city through the perspective of a stay-cationer.  The editors at the magazine dumbed my essay down by another 20%.  The awesome photo we submitted (taken by my brother-in-law) used forced perspective to make it look like my wife and sis-in-law were tiny mermaids hanging off of my massive biceps as I flexed in ankle deep water (I would post the picture if I could find it.)  We got an honorable mention for the photo, which was supposed to translate into a 50 dollar gift certificate, but after hounding them for weeks and being unable to find anyone who knew anything about the contest, I gave up on it.  But we did collect on the 3rd place essay prize--enough points (the timeshare runs on a point system wherein you spend points to stay at their properties) to book a small condo in Maui for a week!  Theoretically.  We used the points to put my parents up in a local property while they visited after the babies were born but before the house was remodeled.

I told you all that so I could tell you this.  I  intend to win that damn contest outright this year.  There aren't really any rules against entering if you have won in the past, so I'm going to go for it.  But I need your help.  The theme is "Through A Child's Eye."  That's right.  Just one eye.  The only constraints are that it has to take place in or around, or have something to do with, a vacation in which the essayist stayed at one of the timeshare's properties.  Any generic seaside or mountaintop setting will do.  Or the Ozarks or Branson, MO.  Past winners almost always include a mortally sick older relative and adorable babies.  The tear-jerkier the better.

So hook it up.  Give me your ideas for a sappy story.  It should involve baby twins and maybe grandparents.  I'll let you crash on the floor at my condo in Aspen if I use your idea. 

And when you're done with that, go to Un Mom and random it up.


  1. It's only a matter of time where crawling will turn into walking which inevitably means running...then we'll see if you can keep up! ;)

    Apparently I'm illiterate as well...I always thought it was 'psych!' :)

    The girls are really stylin' those shades! Too cute!

    My brain is fried, but if I think of an idea for your essay, I'll let you know. Anything for a spot on the floor in your condo in Aspen! ;)

    Shocking Fence, Cuckoo's Nest, Spring Has Sprung

  2. Good Luck Dude.

    And the girls look cool in their shades.

  3. I still think it's psych. I was using that back in the 80's, probably before the kids at Urban Dictionary were born, so they can suck it. The sunglasses are awesome. And maybe get yourself a portable defibrillator for those stair moments.

  4. For the essay, I say go with something related to that "David after the dentist" video. It was a huge hit, so why not do something derivative? Maybe what it would be like to be a five-year old going on vacation to Maui while stoned from the gas at the dentist's office...

  5. HOLY CRAP! Jon Gosselin is her father!

  6. Seriously. Here's the picture. It's under the one of Kate on the beach.


  7. Nothing. I got nothing for you on the essay topic - but those girls in their sunglasses are styling!

  8. I love the sunglasses pics.

    I'm running on empty right now. I can't even help myself as far as writing ideas are concerned. But if I think of anything, I'll come back and let you know. 'Cause, I mean, Aspen..hello!

  9. If you want to max out the sap scale, go with a child looking at some scene/scenario with profound innocence and simplicity which poignantly juxaposes the adult's overcomplication of said scenario

    I felt the vomit rising as I wrote this

  10. Re: story.

    Set it up casually w/ Butterbean's pattern of psych [sp!] on Cobra, then bring it home with her whole-heartedly offering up her teething bickie [sp?] to a fluffy baby chick bald eagle that has just hatched and is looking for its mommy. (You'll need some sort of pretext for taking the family to a wildlife center or edge of a precipice.)

  11. Were your babes in the NICU at all? Because those stories will totally win you that contest.

  12. Oh I wish I could help, but I am a terrible fiction writer. TERRIBLE! If it's true, I'll tell the SHIT out of that story, but am incapable of making anything up.

    But those sunglasses slay me!

  13. Thanks, everybody, for the essay ideas and acknowledgment of cuteness!

    I'm going back to "psych." "Sike" just seems like a misspelling. The first time I remember hearing that is from the Eddie Murphy bit circa 1983: "I got some ice cream, and you ain't got none, you can't afford it, cause your daddy's on welfare. Wanna lick? Psych."

    It would be a real challenge to convey the hilarity of a stoned baby through prose alone, with no video. I'll mess around with that. Did you know that the dad who posted that video has made hundreds of thousands of dollars selling merch? When are my kids gonna start paying off?

    Aspen won't know what hit it!

    I think that's exactly the right tone for this piece. They love sappy, but don't really go for hilarious or complex.

    No problem with the pretext. I think that actually happened--or will have happened by September--at the wild animal park.

    Sarah P,
    Crap! This isn't funny anymore. I don't want to play this game any longer.

  14. I totally cracked up seeing Elton John. I can see the Jon Gosselin thing, but don't get too upset Beta Dad, Butterbean is far cuter.

    The only story scenario that I can imagine is a toddler's first trip to the ocean and them being overwhelmed, scared and awed. Maybe she is holding the hand of an elderly sickly grandparent who is seeing the ocean for the last time. The grandparent coaxes the child and helps them overcome their fear and enjoy the ocean. Way, way sappy. That's all I got. You are a great writer and I'm rooting for you.

  15. How about "Baby Cyclops's first day out"?

    *that's what she said*

    Get it? Because of the one eye thing? You get it right? Yeahhh, you get it.

  16. Wow, Judi! That's a great one. Thanks!

  17. Haha, Miss Yvonne! Of course I got it. (After the explanation.)

  18. OMG, gold: "Through a child's eye while wearing huge ass sunglasses." You can use the kid's photos for your cover page.


  19. I got nothin' either, story-wise. You gotta stop posting such cute pics of the kids. Too distracting -- makes my brain shut down! (Unless you get a shot of them both with sunglasses AND floppy hats. Go ahead and post those.)

  20. I'm only going to give you story ideas if you promise to let me and my brood crash out in the condo in Maui! You can keep Aspen. ;)

  21. OK, so first off; Butterbean's dad? Dame Edna Everadge. Totally, darling. Secondly, how about changing the title of the essay to 'through a child's Aye' and transform it into some kind of sea-faring pirate shanty-type thing... (I know. I need to get out more). Thirdly, yep, Moscow has changed. Starbucks and everything now. The girls are fatter (although still about 6 sizes smaller than they were in the mid 90's when I first visited), mainly due to the McDonalds and Subway's, and there are about a million more cars on the streets. Other than that though... well, actually I'm going to stop now and just write a post about it. Sorry for taking up so much space in your comment box...

  22. I have no idea, I'm still stuck back in the "sike" paragraph.
    I started using it a month ago,for like, 3 days, then I feel stupid because no one was like "YES! That's AWESOME! Bring it back!' so I stopped saying it.
    Now I'm going to be like "SIKE! You just THOUGHT I stopped!"
    haha! Ahh.. I'm lame...
    But, thanks for stopping by my blog, I love your banner picture!! Who doesnt love a good picture, that's made even better by a really pissed crying baby?!

  23. The girls are gorgeous. You're so screwed when they're sixteen.

    I always thought it was "psych" too. I'm a dumbass.

  24. Frogs,
    I like it! I'm sure the cheeseballs who judge the contest would eat it up.

    I shall deploy floppy hats forthwith!

    Wild Child,
    Fine. We'll go to stupid Maui then. Stupid beautiful tropical paradise full of dumbass natural wonders. Boring.

    I did think of Dame Edna. But then I looked at some pics of her and decided I didn't want to juxtapose that image with my baby. Somehow Elton John is less disturbing. About three theories to explain that just popped into my head, but I'll save them.

    I'll be looking for your Moscow stories! I've written a couple here that you should check out if you get a chance.

    I know, I know. Now I see why my grandparents thought it was a good idea to raise their girls on a farm out in the middle of nowhere.

  25. I think it's psych..the sunglasses are too cute! I didn't even think of Elton John until you showed him though and then I was like oh yeah! :)

  26. Kind of? I was totally serious about the NICU stories. I'm not even being cruel. One of our twins was in the NICU. It was heart-wrenching.

    The jokey part was how I meant that the stories would totally win you a vaca, except I wasn't really being jokey. Kind of.

  27. Love the Elton John comparison. Cuties!

  28. Is Cobra jealous of the abundance of hair on Butterbean's head? Just curious, it's a constant complaint between my 3 teenage girls at home.

  29. Babies in Sunglasses= some kinda Tuesday nirvana.

    and I have definitely been spelling it Psych for years. Thank you, Urban Dictionary, for again proving just how unhip I am.

  30. I just love the sunglasses, they are so adorable!

  31. After finding you via the RTT post at the Un-Mom, I'm totally following you now. Not stalking though! Really I'm not.

    I firmly believe that it's "Psych" and whoever tried to put 'sike' in there is illegitimate. Or illiterate. Whichever one means they can't spell.

  32. Original,

    Thanks for the follow! It seems like most people are in agreement about the psych/sike controversy.

  33. I am totally laughing my butt off about your header!! OMG!! Make one for my son please!!! LOL!

    Heather From and Mommy Only Has Two Hands! and Lynhea Designs

  34. Love your header...and this was a great post! I LOL'ed at your blog description. You're awesome! And your babies are adorable! :)

    Happy Tuesday! Stay Random!

  35. Baby gates definitely come in handy. Trips down stairs backwards always are scary. Been there done that! And I love the sunglasses. So cute!

  36. They are so cute in their shades!

    Loved your post and I look forward to checking out more of your blog.

    I'm following you from Random Tuesday Thoughts . . . Gina

    http://peacelovehappinesshappens.blogspot.com . . . SOMETIMES SAPPY ALERT!!

  37. Wow, your blog is so much more popular than mine. Feel good about that, dude. Our graphic artist quit the team so that doesn't help. LOVE the homage to Japanese film, my niece went trick or treating as godzilla. Everyone kept saying what a cute dinosaur she was which just made her mad, "No, I'm GODZILLA!".

    So jealous you have two little dolls to dress in so many cool accessories. Let me tell you, stuff for boys is comparably quite dull.

    So if the theme is from the child's perspective, be sure to use a kids language. Mispell words and use funny pronunciations, that kind of thing, as if you were the kid telling the story. Maybe not a toddler though. Go for the preschooler. Include the dicovery of a kitten somehow. And butterflies. Sorry, that's all I've got.


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