Friday, July 31, 2009

Plaid Pants Friday

Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion on Plaid Pants:

[Tonight's show] brought to you by Gary's Plaid Pants Warehouse.

Tim Russell: Get into the mood of spring with a pair of bright, festive plaid pants - the fashion exclamation - plaid pants, one way of saying, "This is me, it couldn't be anyone else."

Garrison Keillor: In primitive aboriginal tribes, the male who wore the brightest colors was the most virile and aggressive, and it's the same in this country too.

TR: That's right. If you get yourself the right pair of pants, people will remember you for years afterward.

GK: With bright plaid pants, you'll get faster service in restaurants, and you'll never be struck by a moving vehicle.

TR: Plaid pants keep bugs off and distract opponents in golf matches, and they revitalize your marriage or whatever else is going on in your life.

GK: So - get happy. Get a load of pants at Gary's Plaid Pants Warehouse, where the giant pants on the flagpole show you the way to big pants savings. Available only where sold, should not be used when operating heavy machinery.
A Prairie Home Companion, April 12, 1997

Honestly, I only listen to A Prairie Home Companion when I leave NPR on after Car Talk. I don't catch Car Talk as much as I used to because I'm not in my car when it's on anymore - which reminds me, why don't car stereos have Tivo? How hard can that be. The technology already exists - just put it in my car. Take out a couple airbags or something. I can't be the first person to think of this.

OK, the topic du jour: Happy Plaid Pants Friday - brought to you by Gary's Plaid Pants Warehouse.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Toddlers & Tiaras

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

If a little girl is objectified in a beauty pageant at the insistence of her mother and I don't watch it on TLC, is her self image still destroyed?

I'm going under the theory that my observation of either of these realities doesn't affect the outcome.

Timber!



If you have a shred of dignity about what you watch, I'll save you the guilt: mom convinces daughter that she likes beauty pageants; daughter wants to make mom happy; mom teaches daughter dance moves that are not even appropriate for an adult; mom dresses up daughter like a little stripper (or Vegas show girl in Season 2, Episode 1); daughter either receives accolades because she shakes her money maker well or is disappointed because she didn't shake her money maker well enough; and, viewer sees a self image time bomb start ticking.

It almost can't be real - but it is. I may being going straight to hell for laughing.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Pampers Overnight Extra Protection Diapers

This is a long post, so I will provide a summary: 1) Pampers Overnight Extra Protection diapers caused a flaming red chemical burn in and around the diaper areas of both Piper and Rosemary; 2) I sent a complaint to Pampers; 3) I got a form response; 4) I followed up with a bunch of annoying emails; 5) Pampers sent me $26.00; 6) I'm pissed.

Just so Pampers doesn't sue me for defamation, I will clarify the "flaming red chemical burn" statement. In my limited experience with two one year old girls, Pampers Overnight Extra Protection diapers caused a flaming second-degree chemical burn in and around my girls' private parts 100% of the time. I can't say with certainty that this will happen every time with every baby using Pampers Overnight Extra Protection diapers, but I think it is reasonable to assume there is at least some risk that our 100% injury rate with Pampers Overnight Extra Protection diapers is indicative of the product's capacity to cause harm. So, it is just my opinion, not fact, that the use of Pampers Overnight Extra Protection diapers is only slightly less dangerous than using gasoline soaked rags with duct tape as diapers.

For the long part. This is my correspondence with Pampers regrading our experience with Pampers Overnight Extra Protection diapers, redacted as shown [ ]. I realize, of course, that I am being absurd, but as stated, I'm pissed - and that's what I do.


From: Gary
To: Pampers via Customer Service Website
Date: Thu, Jul 16, 2009 12:48 pm

Dear Pampers People,

I am the father of one year old triplets and a faithful user of Pampers products (for my kids, not me). Since we brought our two girls and one boy home from the hospital, we have been extremely pleased with Pampers products, first with Swaddlers and now with your Cruisers. The Cruisers work well during the day, but we had a need for a little extra protection at night. I was pleased when my wife found the Pampers Baby Dry Overnight Extra Protection diapers (Size 4).

We purchased a medium sized package (64 count) of the Extra Protection diapers and used them for two nights last week. After the first night we didn’t notice any problems. After the second night, both or our girls had a scorching red rash – what looked to be a chemical burn - on their girl parts. We called our pediatrician immediately and got a treatment regimen. One of the girl’s rash got a little better, and one developed into a large blister which broke leaving an open wound. Even though we stopped using the diapers after the second night, neither girl has fully recovered. One of them has been in noticeable pain for almost a week. The other one handles it a little better, but she is still uncomfortable and cries during diaper changes. Both of them still have severe rashes and are being treated with yeast infection cream to fight the rash, Vaseline to ease the pain from chafing, and daily baths with baking soda (don't know the reason for the banking soda). We have been in contact with our pediatrician, but because the rashes have not improved, my wife will be taking the girls to the doctor tomorrow morning.

I am not happy with your Baby Dry Overnight Extra Protection diapers. I do not have the Production Code or the UPC Code, because I promptly threw away all the remaining Extra Protection diapers to avoid confusion with the Cruisers, thus preventing further burns and rashes to my children’s sensitive parts.

I think these diapers have a serious flaw that needs to be addressed before other little babies are hurt as well. I also believe some reimbursement in the form of diapers is in order. As to the amount of diapers you feel would fairly compensate my family, I will tell you that we have purchased and used approximately 8,000 Pampers diapers over the past year at a cost of approximately $2,600.00. Also, my wife and I are attorneys. I don’t mention that we are attorneys because I am threatening to sue Pampers over a rash; that would probably be excessive and cost prohibitive. I tell you this because our time has an established market value. My wife’s billable rate is $[ ] per hour. Tomorrow she will miss approximately [ ] hours of work taking the kids to the doctor, for a total value of $750.00. In addition to the $750.00, we will pay a $20.00 co-pay for each girl, bringing the total to $790.00. I expect that we will receive a prescription cream for which we will pay a $35.00 co-pay, which brings us to $825.00. Gas driving to and from the doctor and the pharmacy will be another $2.00. We also paid about $26.00 for the diapers that I threw away, which brings the grand total, not counting the value of the discomfort of our kids and my time writing this complaint to $853.00.

If you could please send $853.00 worth of Size 3 and Size 4 Pampers Cruisers, to the following address, I would greatly appreciate it:

Gary [ ]
[ ]
[ ]

Thank you in advance for your attention to this matter.

Gary [ ]
_________________

From: "P&G North America"
To: gary[ ]@aol.com
Subject: Thank you for contacting Pampers.
Date: Thu, Jul 16, 2009 3:24 pm

Hi Gary,

Thanks for contacting Pampers.

I'm sorry about your experience. Our products and packages are thoroughly evaluated to be safe when used as directed, and we wouldn't expect the results you described. I'm sharing your report with our Health and Safety Division. Meanwhile, please hold on to the package and any remaining product for two weeks in the event our Health and Safety Division needs to retrieve them.

Your satisfaction means a great deal to us so I'm also responding by postal mail. Look for my letter to arrive within the next 2-3 weeks. For answers to medical questions, we recommend you speak with your doctor who will be able to give you the best advice.

Thanks again for getting in touch.

Kelly
Pampers Team
_________________

From: gary[ ]@aim.com
To: pg_naconsumerrelations@mailnj.custhelp.com
Subject: Re: Thank you for contacting Pampers.
Date: Thu, Jul 16, 2009 3:58 pm

Kelly,

Thank you for the response. Everyone makes mistakes; I didn’t expect the flaming rash and open wound either.

As stated in my initial correspondence, I have thrown away the package and remaining product to prevent further injury.

Please advise on the status of my $853.00 worth of Size 3 and Size 4 Pampers Cruisers.

Gary [ ]

P.S. Are you a real person or am I replying to a computer named Kelly?
_________________

From: "P&G North America"
To: gary[ ]@aol.com
Subject: Thanks for contacting Pampers
Date: Thu, Jul 16, 2009 4:40 pm

Hi Gary.

We do appreciate your loyalty to Pampers and have forwarded the experience your family had with our Health and Safety Team. I am sorry for any confusion our previous message caused as the compensation we are sending is for just the diapers that you had the problem with. Your request for additional compensation has been sent to our Health & Safety Team who will most likely follow up with you via postal mail for additional information and in a separate mailing.

Thanks for writing.

Mary
Pampers Team
_________________

From: gary[ ]@aim.com
To: pg_naconsumerrelations@mailnj.custhelp.com
Subject: Re: Thanks for contacting Pampers
Date: Thu, Jul 16, 2009 5:21 pm

Mary,

What happened to Kelly? Was Kelly a computer? I actually think I may have caused the confusion by asking for $853.00 worth of diapers. I am not seeking money compensation from Pampers; I would just like diapers, please. I was using the figure to roughly quantify the value of the diapers. For simplicity’s sake, why don’t we just call it “2,843 diapers?” I trust this will avoid any future confusion.

Thank you.

Gary [ ]
_________________

From: "P&G North America"
To: gary[ ]@aol.com
Subject: Thanks for contacting Pampers
Date: Thu, Jul 16, 2009 5:32 pm

Hi Gary.

Thanks for writing back. First I would like to assure you that Kelly is a person and one of my associates here in our corporate headquarters.

I do appreciate you clarifying your request for compensation, however any request for compensation above the product you had the problem with is handled by our Health & Safety Team. I have forwarded your detailed messages to them for follow up.

Thanks again for writing.

Mary
Pampers Team
_________________

From: gary[ ]@aim.com
To: pg_naconsumerrelations@mailnj.custhelp.com
Subject: Re: Thanks for contacting Pampers
Date: Thu, Jul 16, 2009 5:54 pm

Mary,

I am glad that Kelly is a person and not a computer.

My apologies, I thought there was some confusion that I was asking for money. Just to confirm, the Pampers Team is sending me 64 diapers (Size 3 or 4 Cruisers) and my request for the balance of 2779 diapers is being forwarded to the Health & Safety Team for consideration.

Thank you for you assistance, and please thank Kelly for her assistance as well.

Gary [ ]
_________________

From: "P&G North America"
To: gary[ ]@aol.com
Subject: Thanks for contacting Pampers
Date: Thu, Jul 16, 2009 9:23 pm

Thanks for getting back in touch, Gary.

I'm sorry for the confusion and I appreciate the opportunity you've provided for us to try to clear things up.

After we received your first message, Kelly shared your report with our Health & Safety Consultants. To help compensate for your purchase of Pampers Baby Dry Overnight Extra Protection, she requested a check in the amount of $26. You should be receiving this check within the next 2-3 weeks.

Your request for additional compensation will be handled by our Health & Safety Consultants. They typically follow up by postal mail.

I hope this information is helpful. More importantly, I hope your daughters are feeling better. We value your loyalty to Pampers and appreciate the time you've taken to get in touch.

Linda
Pampers Team
_________________

From: gary [ ]@aim.com
To: pg_naconsumerrelations@mailnj.custhelp.com
Subject: Re: Thanks for contacting Pampers
Date: Mon, Jul 20, 2009 11:08 am

Linda,

Thanks for getting back. I still think I may not have been completely clear in what I was asking for. I do not want money. I do want a 64 pack of diapers, please (plus whatever the Safety people send). If you send me a check, I just have to go to the bank and deposit it or cash it and then drive to Babies R Us and buy the diapers. If you could stop the check request and just send some diapers - that would be great. From Proctor & Gamble’s standpoint, I think you are better off sending 64 diapers as well. A 64 pack of Size 3 Pampers Cruisers retails for about $20.00, and P&G’s cost should be considerably less than that, even taking into account the shipping costs.

On the baby butt front, we have seen a good bit of improvement after Friday’s doctor appointment. Our doctor prescribed a compounded antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory cream. If your department keeps notes on product specific problems and other people call about the Extra Protection diapers, you may want to recommend that they go see their doctor as opposed to just calling the doctor. It is hard to convey the severity of the chemical burn over the phone, so it was helpful for the doctor to actually see it. I know you guys don’t give medical advice, so that may be tricky.

Thanks again.

Gary [ ]
_________________

From: "P&G North America"
To: gary[ ]@aol.com
Subject: Thanks for contacting Pampers
Date: Mon, Jul 20, 2009 4:06 pm

Hi Gary.

Thanks for writing and I will share your additional comments regarding the girls condition with both our Pampers and our Health & Safety Team.

Unfortunately, we are not able to send actual diapers for a couple reasons. The check we are sending is for $26 so actually more than you stated you paid for the package of diapers, that check has already been requested and can not be cancelled. Further we do not have actual product on hand to send out. Our compensation is either in the form of coupons or refunds not actual product.

While we could issue coupons it would require having you return the check we mailed back to us and once it is received we could send a product coupon. However this option would be much more time consuming as mail is handled in the order it is received so it may be some time before we got to the check if you did send it back and then issued a coupon.

Thanks again for writing.

Mary
Pampers Team
_________________

From: gary[ ]@aim.com
To: pg_naconsumerrelations@mailnj.custhelp.com
Subject: Re: Thanks for contacting Pampers
Date: Mon, Jul 20, 2009 5:29 pm

Mary,

Just to be clear. The package of Extra Protection diapers that caused the burns was about $26.00. A package of Cruisers that does not cause burns that I would have liked as a replacement is only about $20.00. That is where is $6.00 difference comes in. My outlay was actually about $26.00 plus the other line items I listed in my initial correspondence. I just didn't want the more expensive diapers again.

I will keep an eye out for the $26.00 check.

Thanks.

Gary [ ]
_________________

From: gary[ ]@aim.com
To: pg_naconsumerrelations@mailnj.custhelp.com
Subject: Re: Thanks for contacting Pampers
Date: Wed, Jul 22, 2009 8:23 pm

Mary,

I received the $26.00 check today. I would like to return it and get the product coupon for a 62 pack of Size 3 Cruisers as suggested. Could you please give me the best address to get that back to P&G.

Thank you.

Gary [ ]

_________________

Now, I don't want to give the impression, by my acting like a buffoon in my emails, that I don't take a product injury to my children seriously. I just don't know how else to give it to the people at Pampers. I figure if the customer service people have enough traffic about Pampers Overnight Extra Protection diapers, it will raise some sort of flag and they will re-evaluate the product. It almost certainly won't work, but I don't have any better ideas other than writing the words "Pampers Overnight Extra Protection" diapers over and over with links in hopes that someone will see this post and not buy Pampers Overnight Extra Protection diapers.

Status: Sitting on the edge of my seat waiting to hear from the Health & Safety team regarding the other 2779 diapers. After three weeks and the use of the antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory paste, Rosemary has just recently cleared up and Piper still has a mild to medium rash. I'm still pissed.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Hammer Stuffs His Face

I am confused by why Henry stuffs his face. He has nothing on his calendar, as far as I know, so there's no reason to rush a meal - or in this case an afternoon snack of cheese and fruit.

video

Yesterday, I gave the kids a half a watermelon for their afternoon snack and Henry stuffed his cheeks so full, I videoed the other half melon today. It was a close second to Saturday's stuff show.

In other news, my life has been reduced to videoing my kids eating. And I actually like it.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Plaid Pants Friday

A Plaid Pants Friday story of a man and his pants reunited:

Pat Dye was the football coach at Auburn from 1981 until 1992. Dye is an old school guy, sort of like your grandpa with a deeper voice if he had won four SEC Championships, was in the College Football Hall of Fame, and if your grandpa could pull the arms and legs off a cougar while snacking on a nice crunchy bottle of bourbon.

In December of 2007, the water was down in Central Alabama's Lake Martin. Local flotsam/jetsam hunter Shannon McDuffie found a pair of, what are described by Lake Martin Magazine as, "big-check green-and-blue Madras pants" in the lake mud.

McDuffie fondled through the pants and found an alligator skin wallet, which she took home, leaving the real find (the pants) behind. After getting the wallet home, she cleaned off the muck and found that the 1980s vintage credit cards and driver's license belonged to none other than Coach Pat Dye. With the knowledge that this wasn't just any wallet, she went back to get the pants and found Dye's car keys in the pants as well - all of which had been in the lake for 23 years.

McDuffie called media giant Lake Martin Magazine with her story and the Magazine contacted Coach Dye. This is the odd part: When told about the find, Dye said he had no recollection of losing his wallet, his keys or his pants.

Lake Martin Magazine got this photo of McDuffie giving Dye back his pants:


Dye said, "I do remember those pants." Of course you do. Those are awesome plaid pants. How could you forget those? Coming home pantsless with no keys and no wallet, sure - easy to forget. But not those pants; you would not forget those gems. Nice pants, Coach.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Throwing Babies

I have a problem. The first step to recovery is admitting it. I am a baby thrower. The kids don't help; they are enablers - egging me on with their smiling and laughing.

This is me throwing Henry:




I dropped him once:


No, not really.

Here's Rosemary. I think I could launch her in the air and field her like a fly ball and she would like it.




And Piper:



Piper may be the only sensible one in the bunch. There is a height at which she thinks I'm displaying some bad parenting skills and gives a grunt of disapproval as opposed to a giggle.


But, all is forgiven on terra firma.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Google Searches

When Heather decided to make a blog to share the babies progress in the hospital instead of sending out email updates, I was reluctant because I didn't want everyone to be able to peer into our personal lives on a website. I did, however, want all the people who supported us and prayed for the babies (some we will never know) to be able to check in and see that their prayers worked. Heather made me comfortable with the blog idea when she told me that she could turn on a blogger function to disable search engines from finding threeleesinapod.

Since Heather has had her blog up and running, I have overcome my aversion to people peering into our personal lives - at least the part of it we put out there. When I set up BGPP last month, I really didn't think about search engines. I just left all of the default settings, so unlike her blog, this blog shows up on Google. One "non-default" thing I did was to get Heather to make me a stat counter (she's the family blog expert). On the stat counter, I can see "keyword activity," which shows the recent Google queries people used to stumble on this site.

Here are some of the searches that brought people to this site in the last few days:

john daly plaid pants - I think this blog shows up because Daly's pants are more of a check than a plaid. Maybe I helped these people by letting them know that they would be mocked if they purchased those pants, even by someone who wears plaid pants. You're welcome.

strange bald guy at sporting events - That probably wasn't me. Is there one strange guy who has been showing up at sporting events? If he wears plaid pants, I need to get a new name for the blog.

ricky barnes plaid pants - (lots) Poor guy. He came in second at the U.S. Open and people find him here. Maybe he doesn't wear plaid pants very often.

smash cakes or baby smash cake - Surely, I helped these folks by letting them know they should ask the baker to approximate the size of the smash cakes when they place their cake order.

small cake pands (twice) - It's called a "pan." You bake a cake in a "pan." That is why you can't find any small cake pands.

bald guy in plaid pants - These people were probably looking for this site, or they are looking for the guy that sold them their last used car.

I don't think I will turn on the thing that disables search engines. If I get rid of the people who stumble upon my blog accidentally, I could wipe out half of my readership - and lose my new toy.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Plaid Pants Friday

The dos and don'ts of plaid pants:

This is John Daly with his girlfriend getting ready for the first round of the British Open yesterday:


They match. Isn't that cute? I don't even know if these are plaid. They are plaid-ish. They have sort of a court jester vibe to them. John Daly has made a lot of mistakes in his life and his fashion choices of late are in the upper third of the mistake list (it's long). If this is the worst thing Daly is doing right now, we can't give him too much grief. They are still a plaid pants "don't."

This is Ian Poulter playing a tee shot yesterday:


Poulter's pants are a "do." Standard plaid. Good fit. If you saw him turn around, you might question the sweater vest, but the pants are great.

Ian Poulter got so much notoriety for his trouser choices on tour, that he scored his own line of Poulter Pants. You can get some Poulter Pants for only $289.95. AAKKKK!

John Daly's pants are by Loudmouth Golf and you can get a pair, full price, for $89.95 from the manufacturer's site, or for $14.95 on clearance at the place the used to be the Goody's.

Poulter is married, a father of three, and lives stateside in Orlando. My sources tell me that Poulter's wife, Katie, does not have any skirts that match his pants.

Nice pants, Poulter. They aren't $289.95 nice, but still, nice pants.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Do They Share?

At the kids’ final Early Intervention Session (yeah - knock on wood), one of the questions Beth, the kids' therapist, asked was if they “shared.” They don’t. At all.

Henry will sort of "share" when he rolls a ball to me, but only with the expectation that I will roll the ball back to him. I don’t think Henry would roll me a ball if he thought I was just going to take the ball and leave. Nor should he.

I wasn't aware that sharing was a developmental milestone or something that we should be encouraging. I read the baby books, but I just missed that part. I think we may have even been discouraging sharing buy buying three of everything, like these soccer balls.


If it is a milestone, I really haven’t hit it myself. I don’t share my stuff. As a non-sharer, I don't know how I can encourage this behavior in my children. I have my stuff, other people have theirs, and never the twain shall meet.

I question whether sharing is even a good thing. If a child shares, the child has less of whatever resource is being shared. I can see the purpose of sharing in a hunter gatherer society where one person kills a bird and someone else has some berries, so they make a meal out of it. But we have Publix. We don't need to share now. We can just get our own stuff.

I know that while it is odd but semi-tolerated for me to blurt out "I'm not sharing" after a waiter at PF Chang's tells the table about how the restaurant encourages trying each other's plates, that same behavior may not go over well in a kindergarten class. I also know that am not in a position to be overly critical when I get a note from a teacher that says Henry doesn't share well with others.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Baby Fight Club

If Michael Vick would've had three babies and a telephone, he wouldn't have gone to jail.

video

I checked the legality of baby fighting in Alabama and it appears to be legal. Dog fighting is illegal, of course. See Ala. Code Section 3-1-29. As is bear wrestling. See Ala. Code Section 13A-12-5(a) ("A person commits the offense of unlawful bear exploitation if he or she knowingly . . . [p]romotes, engages in, or is employed at a bear wrestling match.") Surprisingly - nothing specifically about babies.

So, this Saturday, bring a baby and a stack of twenties to my place. BYOB. Regular UFC regulations apply, but with a scaled down six sided ring.


I will warn you that the 18 to 20 pound weight class is stacked. And, don't forget the two rules of Baby Fight Club.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Plaid Pants Friday (Belated)

Yesterday was Friday, which I declared to be Plaid Pants Friday two weeks ago. But finding interesting people in plaid pants to feature every week was harder than I thought. Maybe interesting people don't wear plaid pants; I'm at a loss.

Being without a subject for Plaid Pants Friday yesterday, I took a picture of my own plaid pants with my Blackberry when I got to my office. I tried to send it to myself, but it didn't go through. Then I got busy and had no Plaid Pants Friday post.

I was alerted to my failure by a fellow parent of multiples. So here is an autobiographical Plaid Pants Friday post . . . on Saturday.

My plaid pants from Friday:



This is the part of the post where I would write about the wearer of the plaid pants. In this case, you know that the subject sports a pair of fancy plaid pants to work at a law firm. What else is there to know?

Happy Belated Plaid Pants Friday. Nice pants, Self.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Our Little Peanut

The kids had their one year checkup on Tuesday. Rosemary weighed in at 16 pounds, 3.5 ounces. She is still not on the growth chart for her actual age (not adjusted for prematurity) despite our efforts to fatten her up. She is getting closer, but the bottom line on the chart in the pediatrician's file still eludes her.

She is proportionally small, in that she is a short as she is light. She is just small all over. She only grew out of her size 0 newborn sandals last month.

She is Thing 3 on the left:



And the flying Thing 3, who looks like she is crying, but is really laughing (I think):


She is a perfect little package, but I still get frustrated when her dot doesn't make it on that stupid curve. After every weigh in, we do our own chart at medcalc, and every time I obsess about it - looking at the prior charts and seeing if she has moved up or down a fraction of a notch around the fifth percentile for her adjusted age.

Then, after the appropriate amount of obsessing and stressing about why she is not yet huge, I remember to look at my wedding band on my finger and think of this:


I took this picture of Rosemary when she was 21 days old - as soon as her little arms looked big and sturdy enough for me to slip my well scrubbed wedding band over her hand. If I wasn't scared I would snap her arm, I think I could have gotten it all the way up to her shoulder.

When I put the location of her dot on the chart in perspective with the ring on my finger, I stop obsessing and I'm just appreciative that we have a healthy, happy, beautiful (according to me) one year old girl, who has come a long long way.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Baby Names

I am fascinated with baby names.

First, the name a parent chooses for a baby tells you so much about the parent on many different levels.

Second, the idea that a parent gets to assign a name to another human is just baffling. When our kids' Social Security cards came in the mail (with sequential numbers, by the way), I still couldn't believe we got to name other humans, even if they were our kids. We just picked names, declared the kids to have the names, and the government and everyone else recognized our choice.

So, how did we pick our kids names?

Before we knew the allotment of boys and/or girls in our trio, Heather and I decided a system for name picking. I wanted to give a boy a family name if we had one, so I asked for first boy pick. Since I had first boy pick, Heather had first girl pick. I got second girl and Heather got second boy, etc. Each of us had complete veto power on any pick.

First Boy, George Henry ("Henry"): My grandfather and great grandfather were both George Henry. They were not George Henry and George Henry, Jr., they were just George Henry and George Henry - again. Heather wanted to call George Henry, "Henry," and I reluctantly agreed. Now I can't believe that I ever wanted to call our little Henry, "George."

After first boy pick, my version and Heather's version of events may differ. This is my version:

First Girl, Piper Grace: In the December 2007 issue of Vogue, there was a piece on the Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin. Keep in mind, this was before Sarah Palin was picked to be on the Republican ticket and became a Tina Fey impression. She was just the Governor of Alaska and the former mayor of Whoknowswhere. Evidently, she was also well dressed enough to make the pages of the magazine that sits in our bathroom. Heather apparently saw the name "Piper" in the article (one of Palin's kids), liked it, and filed it away. When we were discussing names in early 2008, Heather tossed out "Piper" as her pick. I wanted something a little different and "Piper" certainly qualified. Heather didn't remember where she had seen the name until Palin was tapped as McCain's running mate after the kids were born. If she did, Piper may have not been a Piper.

The name Piper became less "different" in 2008, jumping from the 240th most popular girl name in 2007 to the 172nd in 2008, per the SSA database, which I attribute to the Palin effect.

Second Girl, Rosemary Faith: Heather doesn't like it when I tell people this because it makes me sound like a redneck. But, it is what it is. On Lenny Kravitz's CD, Let Love Rule, Track 9 is "Rosemary." The CD has been in and out of my CD player (and now my iPod) since high school. I won't say that I named a child after this song (because that would make me a redneck), but the name of the girl in the song gave rise to the inspiration for the name for our child (got that?). I have just always thought it was a pretty name. I threw it out and it stuck.

Although Rosemary seems less "different" to me than Piper, it was actually the 754th most popular girl name in 2008 - much less popular than Piper even before the Palin effect.

I think our children's names are a good reflection of us and they seem to fit the kids. I don't know what the manner by which we chose the names says about us. But, it is what it is - at least according to me.

Friday, July 3, 2009

The Other Time I Called Poison Control

The incident re: the butt paste Wednesday night was the second time I have called Poison Control. The first time was in college.

I was asleep in bed and felt something in my boxer shorts. As I was coming to, I felt a stabbing pain. I frantically swatted about my shorts area and got a second slightly less painful shot. I jumped out of bed and pulled off my boxers.

A scorpion crawled out of my boxer shorts.

At the time, the only thing I knew about scorpions was what I had seen in movies. Scorpions in movies are usually in the desert and are really bad, hence the inclusion in the movie. I had no idea there was a possibility of being stung by a scorpion in Florida, much less in my apartment - in my bed. From my existing knowledge base, the possibility of being attacked by a shark in my bed was just as likely as my scorpion encounter.

Not knowing if death was imminent and living in the dark age before Google, I called 911. They asked if I had an emergency. I said I didn't know, but I would appreciate a little information in that respect. After a some banter about how the 911 operator could either send, or not send, an ambulance if I thought I needed one or not, we decided I should call P.C.

I called P.C. and the operator asked me about the scorpion, which was now on my wall. We determined that it was one of the several species of non-lethal Florida scorpions. Who knew?


The thing is, both times I have called, the P.C. person has been totally nonchalant. Every time those people pick up the phone, they know they are about to hear a mildly crazy story. That would be a pretty cool job.

For future reference, the number for Poison Control is 1-800-222-1222. The number for Delta Airlines is 1-800-221-1212. They are sort of similar.

Plaid Pants Friday

This is Harry and his famous plaid pants:



Harry is the one on the left. I don't know Harry. I don't know who Harry is, but I googled some variant to of "plaid pants" for the second Friday space filler tribute to plaid pants and found this picture captioned "Harry and his Famous Plaid Pants."

This is what I know about Harry. There are 13 people in this picture. Harry is only half in the picture. Yet, Harry made a big enough impression on the person who scanned this 30+ year old picture that he/she named it after him. Way to make an impression, Harry. Nice pants.

Because I regressed so quickly from professional golfer Ricky Barnes to an old picture of a guy named Harry, I am having serious doubts that I can find anything timely regarding plaid pants once a week for Plaid Pants Friday. I couldn't have possibly have overestimated the popularity of plaid pants. Everyone loves plaid pants, right?

Friday will still be Plaid Pants Friday going forward, but some weeks I will just give it a moment of silence.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Are They Twins?

So, I was on the phone with Poison Control last night after the girls played in / ate about an eight of a tub of Boudreaux’s Butt Paste. Henry, because he has a big brain inside that big melon of his, did not partake in the snack.

I told P.C. about the incident and what happened, and we had this exchange:

P.C.: How old are the girls?
Me: One.
P.C.: Are they twins?
Me: Yes . . . well, sort of. They are two of a set of three, but the third one didn't eat any butt paste. So, I guess they are twins with respect to each other, but they aren't the only two.
P.C.: So they are triplets?
Me.: Yes. But only two ate the butt paste.

Normally, I would just let the twin question go with a "yes" if I don't know the person, but this was health care related and I thought it might be relevant that the girls are high order multiples.

The "twin" question usually comes up when I am walking with a double stroller containing the two girls and I don't want to flag down Heather with Henry in the single stroller after the person asks to see the other baby. The only other time I said they were twins was when I was in Gymboree on an emergency swimsuit/cover-up/floppy hat run and the salesperson who asked me was a mother of twins. I just didn't feel like one-upping the nice lady who had helped me pick the swimwear ensembles by saying that there was really one more baby, but the other baby already had a full compliment of swimwear and swimwear related accessories. I was also in a hurry to get out of Gymboree because girls' clothes stress me out. In hindsight, my not wanting to one-up the nice lady wasn't reasonable, but I was all out of sorts from the exposure to the girls' clothes.

Anyway, after I got off the phone with P.C., Heather and I were talking about the "twins" thing. She thinks the girls are never twins because they are two of a set of three. I can't argue with that logic, but I also can't get around the confusion and complexity I add to a conversation when I am speaking of just two kids, in isolation of the third kid, and I say they are triplets. As the kids get older and do more girls things and boy things apart from each other, I am going to have to come up with a concise statement in response to this question. As of yet, I don't have one.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The "House Divided" is Getting out of Hand

I've seen an increasing number of "The House Divided" license plates on cars recently. I saw this one on an SUV parked in front of my office.


Because we are in the South, it's safe to assume this person's house is allegedly divided over football and not gymnastics or lacrosse. College football is king in the South; nevertheless, I doubt the severity of the strife in the SUV owner's home. Could this strife possibly warrant a license plate display?

From an unreliable google search, I show that Alabama and Florida only played 29 regular season games in the 102 years from 1904 to 2006. (I know my search results are unreliable because Florida didn't field a football team until 1906.)

Further adding to the curiosity of this plate choice is the glaring fact that Alabama was really good for about a hundred years while Florida was busy inventing Gatorade and jean shorts. Before 1990, Florida won only six of its meetings with Alabama and got shut out eight times. In Florida's defense, one of the shutouts came in the 1904 "game." When no Florida players showed up, it would have been nice if the Alabama guys just went and grabbed some beers rather than running up and down the field by themselves scoring points. But I digress.

For a house to be "divided" enough to justify a license plate, I say the teams have to play a semi-competitive game almost yearly. I can see if one spouse is an Alabama fan and one is Auburn, you are "the house divided." Same goes for Ohio State-Michigan, Texas-Oklahoma, Notre Dame-USC, etc. Games that are scheduled about a frequently as presidential elections just don't make the cut.

I am not one to call out a fellow Gator, so I have to assume the Gator's spouse procured the license plate in question. I still must ask you, fellow Gator, can't we just get along? Think about the kids. Please don't let a football game every 1283 days divide your otherwise happy home.