Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wine in a Sippy Cup

The Beach! It was so fun! We joined our friends Dave and Kim for some sun, sand, and card playing a few weekends ago. Besides the 1st night hotel drama, we had a sunny and fabulous time swimming and playing in the sand.

The kids were great in the car. Debo does not like long road trips, but this one could not be avoided. Armed with cartoons, Pink El'phant and Tiger, the kids chilled in the car and had a happy ride to the beach.

The kids never tired of the water and sand, but my favorite part was eating fried junk the entire time.

In summary, it was pretty much eat, swim, sleep, repeat and felt like the perfect vacation. The adults knew they were having a little too much fun when Alex asked for Merlot in his cup "like Daddy."

Friday, August 22, 2008

No polio for me, thanks.

Here's a good article today on childhood vaccines and how the un-vaccinated are putting others at risk. I'm just glad that my state is pretty strict on vaccinations before kindergarten.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

I want to be a Syncro Diver

In lieu of . . .

1. Preparing for school to start
2. Converting the office to the soon-to-be Big Kid bedroom
3. Sleeping

I've been obsessively watching the Olympics. The night before I went back to work, I stayed up until 2am watching Gymnastics.

Yesterday (after swearing that I wouldn't), I watched the entire Women's Marathon and marveled at how that Romanian chick could run multiple victory laps after WINNING a 26.2 mile race. For comparison, you should remember that I completed a marathon in triple that time and could not walk properly for a week.

Today, I lost 30 minutes of my life to Dressage--which I now know to be Snooty-Horse-Prancing.

(this horse is called Special Ed. omg.)

In my enthusiasm, I accidentally erased my entire TIVO by scheduling a Season Pass of ALL OLYMPIC EVENTS. [Remember, HD shows take up a lot of space--especially when they're 8 hours a piece]

So I've prioritized. Here are the highlights of the Olympics according to Debo:

Synchronized Diving:

I love watching those Chinese divers and their robotic precision. I know that they're a little more "motivated" than the other athletes (get a medal or exile to the countryside), but it's amazing how they do all those flips together.

Also, I am inspired by the story of Dmitri Sautin who overcame a SEVERE STABBING to return to Olympic competition

Mens: This has been a hard year for Nu's people as we watched the Japanese men fall off one apparatus after the next. Never mind a medal, they just wanted to live through the All-Around. Maybe it was the hairgel?

On the plus side, this guy is a shoe-in for the next "Agony of Defeat" video montage.

Womens: So great! Love Nastia! Love Shawn! Only complaint: all the girls looked so pale and pasty under the bright lights. I know they don't have time to sunbathe during training, but they should really consider a Mystic Tan before they go on camera again.

The Chinese: Wow. Those communists really know how to motivate their athletes. They see their parents once a year, forge their birth dates on their passports, and are FREAKISHLY strong despite the fact that not one of them weighs more than 100lbs.

Bela Karolyi: I'm sure it sounded like a great idea for him to commentate for NBC, but he's clearly gone off the reservation. He has become a story unto himself by calling the underage Chinese gymnasts "half-people" while giving Bob Costa a near-stroke every time he makes a new inflammatory comment. Love it.


Mens: Michael Phelps looks bored with winning medals. It's sad when you win the gold, break another World Record, and can't even summon up the enthusiasm for a fist-pump.

Womens: Australia and New Zealand are SO fast! Do you think it's because they have lots of practice swimming away from all those man-eating sharks down there?

Beach Volleyball:
Since when was it acceptable to play an Olympic sport wearing Pasties and a Bikini-bottom? Not cool.

Track & Field is just getting started, but I just can't wait for the Discus competition to begin.

Opening Ceremonies recap

Since I was drinking milk during the Opening, I didn't exactly win the Drinking Gaame but I did avoid a headache the next day. I really enjoyed the drums, pyrotechnics, and am definitely going to get my own 500 ft LCD screen for my backyard next year.

There were so many awesome moments, but here are my favorites:

2008 Drummers
(in diapers according to E.)

Parade of Nations
(aka: International Fashion Disasters)

A white beret? Did the US think this was a golf tourney?

What is the purpose of that belt?
Man-pris! Turns out that Nu should maybe move to

or Denmark?
(note: not every man can pull off capri's)

Side note: When is it warm enough in the Swiss Alps or Scandinavia to wear short pants?

The Aussies apparently forged a river to get to Parade.

South Africa
Yo, Ben: What's up with your people representing themselves in CROCS?
I hope you're embarrassed because I am.

I think the Swedes stole this uniform from the food vendors at Busch Gardens.

And Japan.
Nu's people just LOOOVE that school-uniform/museum docent look.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Olympics Opening Ceremonies Drinking Game

Note: Much of this was ripped-off from Be sure to drink responsibly!


The Olympics are referred to as Beijing's "coming-out party."

A TV announcer refers to China's "rising middle class."

A TV announcer refers to the fact that the Chinese frequent KFC, McDonald's, and Starbucks, just like us!

A TV announcer makes note of the fact that the Chinese people eat all sorts of crazy things, including dog leg, donkey meat, scorpion kebab, and yak.

Teenage girls are shown giggling while watching Michael Phelps.

An announcer mentions the intense Beijing air pollution.

An announcer brings up the Chinese government's ability to rid the atmosphere of said pollution by artificially inducing rain.

The sad story of "Dan and Dave" is brought up.

Every time you see a lantern, fan, or fireworks


Bob Costas informs us that an athlete has "prepared his whole life for just this one moment."

An announcer utters any of the following phrases:

1) "Everyone in the stadium was a winner today." (Or its inverse: "There are no losers here.")
2) "This is what the Olympics are all about."
3) "[Random obscure athlete who competes in an event you only pay attention to once every four years and who will never be heard from again] will remember this day for the rest of his life."
4) An announcer states, "This is truly what the Olympic Games are all about."

An announcer acknowledges that saying something like "the whole world is watching" is a cliché, but proceeds to say it anyway.

An announcer tell us that a participant is competing despite:
1) The recent diagnosis of a family member/loved one with a life-threatening disease.
2) The recent death of a family member/loved one by way of a life-threatening disease.
3) Having been diagnosed with a physically debilitating or crippling disease as a child.
4) Having been maimed in a tractor accident or other freak occurrence as a child.
5) Having grown up with no access to food, clean water, training equipment, or sneakers.
6) Having grown up in the midst of genocide/geopolitical strife/major war.

The final heat of a competition featuring an American and a Chinese Olympian is billed as "a showdown between East and West."

There is some type of interpretive dance illustrating the last 2,000 yrs of China's glorious history.

The great wall is recreated by 1,000 school children in a gigantic human pyramid.


The wrong country is named during their opening procession.

The American Opening Ceremonies uniform includes a Cowboy hat.

The American Opening Ceremonies uniform is uglier than EVERY OTHER COUNTRY REPRESENTED.

You learn of a country's existence for the first time as they cross the field at Opening Ceremonies.

An athlete faints on camera due to pollution.

The Olympic Flame goes out.


Mahmoud Ahmadinejad applauds the American soccer squad's "fine effort on the pitch and exemplary patriotism."

Chinese president Hu Jintao invites the Dalai Lama to be the official lighter of the Olympic torch, after which he grants Tibet total political and religious autonomy.

David A. features prominently in the telecast.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Debo loses it on Vacay

So we had a great time on vacay last week (pics later), but had one little hiccup.

To understand the depth of our tale of Woe, you should know that our kids sleep in cribs. Starting next month, they will be moving to beds but are crib-bound in the meantime. On the rare occasions we've had them in beds with us, we have learned the hard way that
a. They don't sleep much
b. We don't sleep much
c. The whole family is cranky in the morning.

Keeping this in mind, we reserved the hotel room in advance and were assured 2 cribs in the room. On the road to our destination, I called again to be sure they would have 2 cribs. Upon check-in, I asked again about the 2 cribs and was told they were ready in the room. When the cribs were not apparent in the room, we called the front desk and were told, "Cribs will be right up." At that point, we left for dinner and assumed pac-n-plays would appear magically in the room before our return.

After a long drive where the kids were very patient (and watched the Lion King 3 times), we had dinner with our friends Dave and Kim and put the kids to bed in cribs at their resort. Around 11pm, we picked up the sleeping kiddos and carted them back to our hotel for some much needed sleep.

At 11pm, no cribs and a blinking message light: "Ma'am. You won't believe this, but we don't have any cribs left."

I was tired and was not happy about the prospect of a long night of being kicked in the face by my cranky children. Normally, in this situation I would like to think I can be all Zen when complaining to management. I try to be calm, but firm with my reasonable demands and shame the manager with my Jedi-like professional demeanor into throwing apologies and compensation my way. [You WILL not charge me for the room. You WILL provide extra mints.]

Normally, I am not soooo tired and hormonal.

So I march down to reception and throw the mother of all tantrums at the front desk. No Zen, professional or otherwise. Just yelling and arm waving and more yelling. It wasn't my proudest moment, but it might have been my loudest.

And still there were no cribs. We found out later that Tony at the front desk was actually the Breakfast Bar Manager who was unlucky enough to be in my path that night. Because his training was limited to restocking mini-cereal boxes, he had no managerial skills or authority. Therefore, my dramatic tantrum was pointless to the point of comical.

So I returned to the room and hoped the kids would stay asleep all night between us on the King Sized Bed (oh Debo, will you ever learn?). Here's an annotated time-line of events:

12am--Settle into bed with sleeping Alex and Sasha. Spend 30 minutes plotting hotel vandalism before I fall asleep.

1am--Train rolls by near the hotel. Alex's choo-chooo radar is activated and he immediately sits up. "What's that noise, mommy? Is that TRAIN???!!! Let's go see the train!!!" Yes, and let's take Breakfast-Manager-Tony with us.

1:05--Sasha's up. "Awex took my Pink Ephant! I want to sleep next to mommy! I'm thirsty! I want to sleep with daddy!""

1:10--[Alex in stage whisper] "Shasha, be quiet. Mommy's sleeping. Let's get off the bed."

1:12--Escape attempt thwarted, the kids start climbing over Mom and Dad and wrestling over their Stuffed Animals.

1:20--Mom: "Go to bed. Be quiet. Go to sleep."
Alex: " I want peanut butter on bread. Daddy, I want peanut butter"
Sasha: "I want milk"
Mom: Just wait until morning and Tony will get you all of those things.

1:45--Mom: "Go to sleep. Stop talking. If you talk again, I will take your stuffed animals away." (Big time threat, by the way)

1:47--Sasha starts to hum a song.
1:48 Alex joins the humming.

1:49 --Mom: "STOP HUMMING!!!!"

2am--Kids still singing, bouncing, chattering in the dark. Nu still sleeping. I start to seriously entertain the idea of sending them to sleep in the lobby with Tony.

3am-4am--Sleep? Who can remember.

4am--Alex: "I want to see the boats. Let's go outside, mommy"
Sasha: "Mommy's sleeping. Ask Daddy."

5am--At the merest hint of sunlight, the kids are up and ready to see the BEACH!!!!!

5am-6am--We do everything short of bungee-cording the kids to the bed and finally give up to hit the breakfast bar. WATCH OUT TONY!!! WE'RE COMING YOUR WAY!!

6am--Nu discourages me from letting the kids wreak havoc on the breakfast bar. In retrospect, he was probably right, but it would have been really entertaining.

My interaction with the management did not improve a lot the next morning, but I did yell a little less. We got the night free and an upgrade the next night, but I have a scathing and detailed letter to the Hotel Corporate Office ready to squeeze some more compensation from The Man.

I'll post an update soon about the better parts of vacay.

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