Subourbon Mom

Sadness Brownies and other Spring Quotes

As many of you know, spring is an especially crazy time of year in our house: sports seasons wind down (“Has anyone seen soccer my jerseys? They were due yesterday…”) and start up simultaneously (“What do you mean none of your riding pants fit?”); prom (“A new dress is going to cost How Much???”) and general hormonal mayhem ensue (“I’m going to put all my projects off until I stress-cry”); and preschoolers finally start losing it with each other (Teacher: “Why did you poke him?” Child: “I don’t like him anymore.”).

So, my apologies for not posting for a while. I haven’t started stress crying yet, but it’s only because I don’t have time. Even now, you’re only going to get what I like to call a window post—I’m just going to give you a peek through the window of my life, so you can see what I’ve been hearing over the last couple of weeks…

Daughter #2: “Mom, if you hadn’t married Dad, we’d be ugly.”


Daughter #2:  “I’m going to make sadness brownies.”   A week later: “I’m going to make sickness brownies.”


Daughter #1 (driving) to Daughter #2 (behind her in the back seat): “Stop pressing on my seatbelt with your toes!”

Daughter #2: “You can feel that?”

Daughter#1: “Yes. It’s pressing into my ovaries!”


Me to Daughters: “The dishwasher makes things smell because you don’t rinse your dishes. Eggs turn into cement of you just throw the plate in the sink.”

Daughter #1: “Well, why did Dad get that dishwasher?”

Me: “It’s super-quiet and has a delay setting.”

Daughter #1: “It’s super-quiet because it’s not cleaning anything.”


Next post….”Underwear and how many pairs women supposedly have” (working title)…seriously, that’s the next one…enjoy your week beneath the fine powder of pollen.


Smart Cars and Smarter Onesies–Inventions That Scare Me

With every new year there are articles covering what’s going to be trending in technology.  Some are pretty cool, and some… not so much.

Under the pretty cool category, I thought Lynette Jones’s touch-based (haptic) communications system sounded interesting. Haptic technology studies the sense of touch on human skin. For example, rescue workers trying to find buried survivors could wear a belt with buzzers that would alert them with a buzz on their skin, warning them of danger and the need to move left or right; or, a vision-impaired person could be buzzed on their left or right arm, indicating which way to turn as they maneuver through a city (

These goals are certainly admirable, but I thought of a different use: during sex, partners could wear a device (hopefully undetected by their partner) that would tell them when what they were doing was getting their partner aroused, based on pulse rate, etc.  No more guess work, no more “That’s not it…a little to the left would be better…” (Of course, Hubby would like me to clarify that this issue is only something my girlfriends have complained about to me–we have none of these issues.) This might be especially helpful for the inexperienced lover, or for the next generation who will undoubtedly be unable to read facial cues because they are always looking at their phones.  I’m sure with the right advances and some clever designer strategies, someone could come up with some fancy lingerie that would work.

Under the “Not-so-much” category is the onesie created by Intel  that can measure a baby’s temperature, pulse rate and breathing rate (  The onesie would then tell a smart phone or smart coffee mug (who thought a coffee mug was the best choice for this?) when the baby is hungry, sick, or waking up. If the baby is hungry, the smart onesie could trigger a bottle warmer to begin warming up the baby’s milk. For a baby with health issues, or if there is an inexperienced babysitter, smart onesies could be a huge help.

But seriously…  Someone actually created a device that would tell a new mother her child MIGHT be waking up?

Unknown-1Clearly, this was NOT developed by a sleep-deprived parent who, every thirty minutes, staggers to their newborn’s crib upon hearing the tiny, delicate scratch of a fingernail on the sheets, so exhausted they are unable to remember their own name.  If my phone beeped at me because my baby might be waking up, I would throw the phone and the onesie into the diaper genie.

Another “not-so-much” device is Automatic, created by Automatic Labs in San Francisco. According to the website, Automatic is a device in cars that can record data about your car and your driving habits (like speeding, braking too hard, or accelerating too fast), and displays the results on your phone so you can save energy and money. It can also map out each trip using GPS, calculate gas usage and mileage, and gives you a driving score. The higher your score, the more money you are saving. It even remembers where you parked.

Okaaaaay…speaking as one with a lead foot and the occasional case of road rage, I don’t think I need another device in my car to “help” me be a better driver. I already have Hubby (who has commented on my driving since we first got into a car together), and Daughters 1&2 (who closely monitor my driving habits now that they are learning how to drive). As for braking hard and accelerating too fast, I’ll stop doing that when other people learn how to drive without being stupid.

Now that I think about it, Automatic would be helpful in monitoring Daughters 1&2. They certainly couldn’t turn off Automatic like they can turn off the Find A Friend App…

But the feature that remembers where I’ve parked? That alone would be worth the $99.95 price tag.

Tune in next week to “Inventions I Will Never Patent But Will Rage About When Someone Else Does…”

Dear Santa–For Christmas I Want A Teenager.

Like everything with teenagers, Christmas at this age is a mixed sack of coal and gifts.

These days, we no longer have to scramble to hide their gifts and the special Santa wrapping paper (which I found out later they already knew about). Now, I just remind the family, “If you don’t believe, you don’t receive” (we all receive, and there is no mention of the questionable fat man in a body stocking stuffing himself into our chimney like a sausage.)  We no longer stay up until 1:00am putting together brightly-colored plastic, cursing every Chinese company that decided heavy-duty plastic was a good idea. But we also don’t have those magical moments, like when the kids would pause at the top of the stairs and survey the loot under the tree like they had found the Holy Grail; or the morning Daughter #1 burst into tears on Christmas Day. When I asked her why, she said, “I’m just so happy!”

I also miss letters to Santa. Every year, the girls would carefully compose their letters to Santa, or dictate them to me. We would address them to the North Pole and stick them in the mailbox. About a week later, our wonderful mail carrier would deliver a hand-written letter back, addressed to each child by name.  These days, I get gift list updates from my kids via email and text (from the next room), with links to the different catalogs and stores for my shopping ease.

But one thing that is definitely better is the tradition of getting the tree. We still go to the same lot, and we still wander around letting the girls make the decision. But now, the girls can articulate their opinions:

Daughter #1:  “I don’t like this one—it has a hole.”

Daughter #2:  “Your face is a hole.”

Me:  Sigh….

Hubby:  “What about his one?”

Daughter #1:  “I don’t like it. It lacks originality.”

Decorating the tree is also better. Now the girls can put the ornaments higher than our knees.  They re-hash the family trips we’ve taken, since we try to get an ornament form each new place (“Mom, do you remember the time Aunt Cindy tried to get on the ski tube and her face landed in your lap?”–followed by hysterical laughing).  Unfortunately, they also like tinsel, and every year they glob it on heavier than Troy Polamalu’s hair, and every year I take a little off each day, trying to minimize the tackiness (of the tree, not Troy’s hair).Unknown-1

But the best thing about having teenagers during Christmas is that even though they send me shopping lists on-line, and they no longer burst into spontaneous tears of joy, they appreciate the family time. As I write this, they are decorating the tree, laughing over the toilet paper tube ornaments and debating whether the Redskins are worthy of having their ornaments adorn our tree (we’re hardcore fans, so they’re going on, but with serious reservations).  They may not remember all the toys or the letters to Santa, but I hope they will remember the time we spend together.

Cover Your Katchoo!
November 7, 2013, 12:38 pm
Filed under: Misc. Humor, Parenting | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

In honor of cold and flu season, and the wonderful children with green noses and slimy sleeves that learn to share their germs before they learn to share anything else, ‘m putting aside my box of tissues and NyQuil to impart this sage advice:

Cover Your Katchoo!

I have a cold.

I’ve got a runny nose, achy toes,

And a fever, so I’m told.

I know how I got it, too.

Someone didn’t cover their Katchoo.

I remember sitting next to Tommy

(he’s the kid who always wants his Mommy).

When all the sudden, he took a deep breath—


And do you know what?

My arm was covered in goo!

My teacher made me wash it all off.

But not before Annie started to sneeze and cough.

I ran to the sink and scraped and scrubbed.

I made patterns of bubbles while I rubbed.

I thought maybe I’d gotten off germ-free.

But yesterday I started to –achoo!—sneeze.

My nose filled up and my head started to hurt.

My forehead got hot, but my cough was the worst.

It started up here, in my chest, and it wasn’t so bad.

But the next day it came up from my toes,

So I called for my dad.

“Dad!” I said, “How did I get so sick?

I did what the teacher said, but I still feel like ick.”

Dad looked at me and scratched his head.

He sat next to me on the bed and said,

“I feel bad for you, I really do.

It looks like someone didn’t cover their Katchoo!”

Copyright  2013 Subourbonmom

We’re Just Like The Cicadas, Only Cuter

The other day over the rising din of the cicadas, Daughter #1 commented that they don’t have much of a life—they sleep and grow for seventeen years, eat themselves silly, mate, and die after leaving a new generation to come forth seventeen years later. Now I wasn’t touching the mating part of it with a ten-foot pole, but the more I thought about it, I realized we really aren’t that different from those red-eyed, bug freak shows.


For the first seventeen years, we humans sleep and grow in our rooms. We morph and change in our childhood shells, protected form the world, often only emerging for basic sustenance, especially in the latter portion of our incubation.  When we do crawl out from our teenage lairs, we eat…and eat…and eat…and mate (or try to). Some of us bring forth the next generation right then. Others never find that mate despite our best singing.  The only difference between us and the cicadas is that we don’t die immediately afterward. We go through the cycle at least two more times, with slight variations.


For the next seventeen years, we sleepwalk through college and grad schools, finding that first job, hating that first job, and changing jobs.  We try to sing, but we aren’t developed enough yet to find the right mate. Then, somewhere in our mid-thirties, we wake up again. That biological clock begins to tick, pushing us out of our sleep and into the world. We begin to sing in earnest.  Many of us find our mates, procreate, and feel like a part of us is dying afterward as our toddlers get their tenth ear infection (a part of us is—the single, care-free part that slept through our twenties).


Seventeen more years of unconsciously suppressing our own desires and needs as we care for our kids (a.k.a. sleeping) passes, and suddenly the children are gone. We are in our early fifties.  We emerge again, this time with less desire to mate, but just as much desire to sing.  Sometimes our singing does result in mating (hooray—the kids are gone!) and the occasional new generation, or mating occurs with a subsequent divorce, but mostly we just want to sing—and we do, as we travel, go out to restaurants that don’t have crayons on the table, and look at all the pictures on the wall, wondering where the time went.


So, before you step on that crusty shell, or flick that gross-looking cicada off your towel at the pool, remember—we’re a lot like them, only cuter.



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