April 19, 2006

My company started a blog recently, and I created a Flickr account to go along with it. So now I spend part of my work week writing blog entries that include way too many italics and Simpsons references, and posting silly photos.

It’s all very fractal somehow. But in a non-mathematical way, because math is hard.

(Don’t ask me; I’m just a girl!)

The second blog entry I published received a disparaging comment along the lines of “Your writing style is unprofessional!” and I spent several happy minutes composing responses:

“Please open your Preferences settings and uncheck the Humor selection, then turn on the Boring Corporate Hyperbole option. You should be all set!”

“I will be happy to issue you a refund for the investment you made in this informal software company blog. Send me your billing information, as well as your inseam measurements, so I can properly outfit you with a ladder in order to get the fuck over yourself. Have a nice day!”

“Let me vastly improve your entire internet experience by empowering you with a little thing called ‘choice’. It starts with the magical world of CLOSING YOUR FUCKING BROWSER WINDOW.”

Then I remembered I would probably get a leeeeetle bit, hmmm, what’s the word, fired for those sorts of replies.

So far that’s been the only grumpy comment, and someone even left me a link to this. Which, AWESOME. (Please, for the love of god, you must, must play this song. Loud. Unless you’re at work. In that case, use headphones.)

We also added forums to our website and so Workplace is a veritable plethora of user-community love these days, which I’m actually really enjoying. After so many months/years of soulless marketing activities it’s nice to have the ability to consistently see that there are real living people out there who love our software. I mean, I know it’s not volunteer hut-building in plague ridden third world countries, but hey. You take what you can, right?


I bought a Graco “jumpster” over the weekend, having got it in my head that since Riley at damn-near-eight-months still can’t sit unsupported (not that I’m excessively worrying about this, or anything) (except: WAAAAAH) he needed some kind of exercisey thing that held him upright. Because…yeah, I don’t know why. Because spending money on baby crap fulfills some deep need I never knew I had, OKAY?

I was a little suspicious of the fact that the jumper was only 20 bucks, plus when we took it out of the box it seemed pretty hoopty; the top clampy deal looked like some bizarre gynecological instrument incapable of securing itself to the doorframe as promised, the cloth seat seemed like it could rip free and dump any small child contents onto the ground, possibly right into a poison-baited bear trap or similarly dangerous situation.

I did get it set up, though, and both the seat and grip are surprisingly sturdy. I worried that he might bash into the side of the doorway in the thing but the plastic tray provides a kind of bumper. However, the few occasions I’ve put Riley in it he sort of…dangles there, looking a little bored. He doesn’t bounce or jump, he just hangs out, slowly rotating around in a circle, while studiously examining the straps and filling the tray with drool.

If you check out the ultra-spanky video over at the Graco site (warning: obnoxious circusy music) the baby is clearly flying all over the place having a ball and CLAPPING. Clapping!

I’ll keep trying him in it, but so far I’m filing the jumper under the same category as teething rings, “sensitive skin” baby wipes, and tiny boot-shaped footwear, which is Apparently Works Fine For Plenty of Other Kids But Not So Much The Suctopus.



He’d rather play with his squeaky bunny anyway. It came as an easter present for Riley from JB’s mom, along with a note that confessed that when she got the bunny home she realized it was in fact a dog toy. So of course now it’s Riley’s most favorite thing on earth (well, that and a plastic measuring cup). Maybe I need to give up on the contrived baby entertainment devices and just cruise through PETCO.


32 Responses to “A non-baby blog and pointless baby toys”

  1. fellowmom on April 19th, 2006 5:00 pm

    One of my twins bounces all over hell and gone in the jumpster (no clapping though) and one dangles boredly. You just never know what they are going to like. But Riley has great taste–that squeaky bunny is awesome. (I think that Graco music actually made me stupider, and I really can’t afford that, at this point.)

  2. Jem on April 19th, 2006 5:18 pm

    I loved the first answer. You shoulda run with it.

  3. Jane on April 19th, 2006 5:45 pm

    I got one of those dog toys for my dog. Despite it being squeaky and cute (in a lime green maniacal-grin kind of way), she was about as interested in it as Riley is in the jumpster. Perhaps we should swap accessories? Or mammals?

  4. tophermo on April 19th, 2006 5:45 pm

    Yeah I would have told you not to waste time or money on the “special” crap, but you would’ve had to find out on your own anyway.

    The 2nd kid usually plays with knives and cardboard boxes.

  5. Danell on April 19th, 2006 6:18 pm

    okay, i’m going to confess that i take notes from your entries and then go to work and spout off the stuff like i made it up myself…they think i am a GENIUS there.

    also, would love to hear more confirmation that you appreciate your three days of daycare for Riley…part time is working out great for me too (but amy at amalah.com just quit! and everyone says it’s fantastic! am i the only one that is fairly certain i would go crazy as a shit-house rat if i stayed home full time?? no. no, i am not. right? you still appreciate your work days! right?) and is it bad that i don’t feel guilty about it?

  6. christen on April 19th, 2006 6:29 pm

    Hoopty? Now, Sundry, is that a very professional word choice? :)

  7. Elizabeth on April 19th, 2006 6:40 pm

    The first few times my son was in the bouncy seat he dangled, looked bored, and then proceeded to complain loudly about the quality of service he was receiving. Now, though, he seems to love it. I guess he just had to warm up to it.

  8. Sundry on April 19th, 2006 6:44 pm

    Danell: different strokes for different folks, but I *love* my three day workweek. It works perfectly for me, and Riley’s doing just fine with daycare. I too think I would go batshit crazy if I were at home full time, unless my situation was to change drastically (neighborhood full of groovy friends moves in, large vat of gold ingots falls on house, Mary Poppins volunteers to babysit on demand).

  9. Crypto on April 19th, 2006 7:14 pm

    I hope you are liking the new WordPress setup. Is it easier to post now that you moved over or do you miss the old setup?

    And as soon as Riley figures out what the bouncing seat will do, you’ll never get him out of it. He just has to experiment for awhile.

  10. Sundry on April 19th, 2006 7:22 pm

    Crypto: no way do I miss the old setup. WordPress is incredible, now that I’ve got it as non-broken as possible. Long live the new flesh!

  11. Lesley on April 19th, 2006 11:16 pm

    Just wait until he’s crawling and discovers the pots and pans cupboard, which is usually at ground level. My mom told me that we all loved pots and pans and would keep ourselves occupied for hours (probably minutes) bashing those things around.

  12. Jamie :) on April 19th, 2006 11:30 pm

    My siblings and I had a jumper when we were kids! I think it was called “Johnny Jump Up” or something stupid like that, but I’ve heard stories about how much I loved it (and I remember how much more I enjoyed watching my siblings use it!)!

    If Riley doesn’t use it, then just save it for your second kid, that way Riley can know the joys of making fun of the silly baby that gets stuck in the jumper (I definitely *never* did that!)! ;)

  13. Jessie on April 20th, 2006 5:42 am

    I don’t think that the baby in the video is actually making the thing bounce like that. I think the mom made it bounce and the kid is enjoying it. Maybe you could try that. My favorite toy as a baby was sand. Of course I’m sure I ate plenty of it, but my mom said that as soon as I found my way to the sandbox she could never get me out again. Funny thing is that now, not so much with the sand. I don’t like getting my hands dirty.

    Anyway, the Snakes on a Blog site is Hillarious! Thanks for sharing the link.

  14. JB on April 20th, 2006 5:42 am

    Just to point out that sometimes things take a while. Our daughter spurned teething rings with utter scorn until she was a year old and started getting molars, and then she was all, oh, teething rings, please, Mommy, and I was all, oh now you want the teething ring. So Riley may bounce yet.

  15. pippa on April 20th, 2006 6:06 am

    “Are you still serving drinks?” If my four-year-old goes to preschool next week singing “Fuck you snakes, fuck you snakes” it’s all. your. fault. I’m just saying.

  16. Kristen V. on April 20th, 2006 6:30 am

    I got the twins a jumpster for the same reason you got Riley one: I was thinking it might improve their little muscles so they’d sit up instead of lolling around like plump little slugs. At first, both babies did that dangling thing, so I was disappointed in the non-jumping but was still glad to have another place to rotate the babies into when they get bored. But now they’re both jumping hugely. The girl baby has learned how to make it swing: she pushes off, then pulls her feet up, then pushes off again, until she’s swinging WAYYYY back and forth in the doorway. The boy baby does more of the classic straight-up-and-down SPRING, SPRING, SPRING action.

    It took awhile for them to get to this point, though. I think at first we did things like lightly pull on their ankles to make them bounce, to give them the idea, then sat there clapping like fools if the baby so much as dipped down his/her own toes to the floor.

  17. lee on April 20th, 2006 6:43 am

    as far as the website, you could come up with one of those “fuck off” responses that say “thanks for your opinion, we look forward to serving your future needs!” then ask them to fill out some asnine survey with questions like, “would you rather be a tree, a rock or a bird?”, because you just know that answer will tell you lots about what they want in…cough…customer service.

    my husband insisted on the johnny jump up and my son could care less until he figured out he could stand up. he would take one or two little baby steps and BOYOYONG, he’s be snapped back to the doorway way. he never clapped though. do you think maybe the photographer was out of sight, dangling a set of shiny sharp carkeys over a lactating breast that gives chocolate milk, to get the type of reaction they have on their website?

  18. Pete on April 20th, 2006 6:52 am

    “I can properly outfit you with a ladder in order to get the fuck over yourself.” I love that, do you mind if I steal it?

  19. Mandy on April 20th, 2006 6:58 am

    He may come around to the Jumpster. My son ended up loving it. First he would dangle there, just spinning around, which seemed okay. But once he figured out how to bounce he really loved it, and it always worked on a grumpy mood. I shed a few tears when he outgrew it.

  20. el-e-e on April 20th, 2006 7:14 am

    I too, love the ladder comment – LOL – and want to know WHERE do you find R’s adorable clothes??? He is always outfitted in the brightest little outiftties I’ve ever seen!

  21. warcrygirl on April 20th, 2006 8:07 am

    My boys loved their Exersaucers. They could bounce, stand or spin whenever their little hearts desired and I could actually put them DOWN and do things with both hands. I wanted to get the bouncy seat thingy your described but for some reason never did. Here’s to bouncing!

  22. Mel on April 20th, 2006 8:41 am

    Ian loves his excersaucer, too. He can sit on his own unsupported. I used boppy to support him at first, but then he eventually didn’t need it anymore and was pleased as punch to play with his toys. He won’t sit up if he is laying down yet. I guess he’ll ge to that eventually.

  23. Cris on April 20th, 2006 9:23 am

    My daughter didn’t like it either. I mistakenly thought it would be the one toy that would occupy her while I worked from home. I should have known. Her idea of fun is a shiny wrapper. :)

  24. ang on April 20th, 2006 12:23 pm

    The dog toy looks like a Richard Scarry character. I love Richard Scarry. I’m assuming the nursery is properly outifitted with several of his books? If not, you are a bad, horrible mother who has no skills in enlightening the young mind. (uuh… kidding?)

  25. Kerri on April 20th, 2006 2:05 pm

    OK I have to know. Is this Snakes on a Plane thing for real? My boyfriend showed me a preview the other day and I thought for sure it must be a joke. If it is real, it might be the only movie (besides Gigli, perhaps) to be in a state of complete ridicule by the time it comes out. Are they really calling it Snakes on a Plane? Couldn’t they think of something a little more exciting?

  26. Chloe on April 20th, 2006 2:17 pm

    Oh, Kerri!


    Don’t you want to cry a little for Samuel L. Jackson?
    On the other hand, I want to see “Snakes on a Plane” just so I can say to people, “Oh my god, I just saw ‘Snakes on a Plane’!” And we will all laugh heartily. Arrrrr.

    I want to see workplace’s blog. :( But I know that would be a no-no, so…. fuck you snakes! Fuck you snakes!

  27. Kendra on April 20th, 2006 3:57 pm

    OK, so I about died when I watched the video on Graco’s site. Did no one else watch it with the MUSIC? HILARIOUS!!

  28. Susie on April 20th, 2006 8:01 pm

    We got an Exersaucer as a shower gift, and next to the vibrating chair, it THE. BEST. invention ever for the little yard-apes. Boy loves both, and goes into BALLISTIC joy when placed in either. It’s a life saver when you have to go wash poop off your arm, or just run to the loo for a fast pee. LOL

    At the the nearest mall, there is a kiosk that sell the cutest little things. I cannot tell you how many times I have walked past it, and stopped dead in my tracks to Ohhhh and Ahhhh over the cute, widdle what-the-fuck-ever-it-is only to realize IT IS FOR DOGS. I blame mommy-brain every damn time too.

    Mind you, next time I stop, I just may have to investigate what kind of squeaky toys they have. bwahahaha

  29. ElizabethZ on April 21st, 2006 12:06 pm

    Delurking to say I love your site, it always makes me smile. I have 4-mo old twins boys and just got Bumbo seats for them. It is a hard foam seat that allows babies 3-14 mos to sit unassisted (as long as they have head control). The seats are awesome, the boys love to sit in them and just look around or suck their hands or whatever. It keeps them off their heads too so it is also helping with the flat head thing they had going. You can get them on ebay or just google it. They are about $40. Riley is just as cute as he can be. Have a great weekend!

  30. Amalah on April 21st, 2006 7:36 pm

    Okaaaaay…very weird to come to my favoritest site ever and see myself discussed in the comments, but whatever…

    We just got the jumper too. Noah hates it. He’s bounced a couple times and been mildly amused, but mostly he just…slumps.

    (I’m getting a babysitter, y’all. Everyday, someone will come and give me a few hours to myself to work and write or just hide. My job wasn’t down with the part-time thing, so it was all or nothing for me.)

    (So sorry to take over your comments, Linda. I’m seeing my [MINE! ME! Not yours!] decision dissected and questioned all over the place and am frankly, getting a little creeped out and defensive.)

    (Also drunk. Hi!)

  31. Michael on April 22nd, 2006 6:30 am

    ElizabethZ: Sundry already has the Bumbo.

    So I’m in Dallas, TX this weekend for the first time in many years to go to a friend’s wedding, and among other amusing discoveries I’ve found they don’t just have Target or Target Greatland, they have SuperTarget (!!!). Also, Starbucks is to the Seattle area as Chick-fil-A is to here. On the plus side, there are many excellent Tex-Mex restaurants (natch).

  32. Lauren on April 22nd, 2006 8:37 am

    With the jumper, try playing some music. My son learned to jump in his by sort of dancing along with music. After that, it was a hit. But it did take a few days to get used to it.