Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Ummm, yeah. I'm still around.

As usual at this time of year, my life has devolved into an exhausting series of chaotic activities. I finished with grading finals and papers, turned in my final grades, and all of that jazz earlier this week. I even had to turn in my office and building keys - as happened last spring, I don't have a teaching assignment lined up for next term, and while I may be called in at the last moment, there's no guarantee. So they'll take up my key and send it back to wherever keys go for the next three or four weeks, so that, if they decide to call me back to teach next term, I will then have to wait at least a month to get keys again. It would seem sensible to have me keep the keys until classes start again in January, and then return them if I won't need them, but no. I jump through the hoops of higher ed bureaucracy like a good trained pup.

The kids are abuzz with various holiday parties and activities. Big Girl danced beautifully last weekend in The Nutcracker - her first performance in it. I was rather surprised by how nostalgic and sentimental I felt seeing my girl dance in the same ballet that I once performed. And yes, most of the choreography is virtually unchanged from the steps set on me and my peers so many years ago in the first local performance. When I heard the music for the roles I danced then, I felt my feet and arms respond instinctively with the appropriate gestures and movements. It's been sixteen years, but I still remember (although I know my pregnant, out of shape body would look ridiculous if I actually attempted to do the steps, and I don't even want to think about how impossible it would be to dance on pointe now).

Big Girl and I also got to ride in the local Christmas parade, on a float with her scout troup, earlier this month. It was extremely cold but fun. As the sole pregnant parent among the adults there to supervise and accompany the kids, I got to ride on the float while the other parents walked along beside it and tossed candy to the kids watching the parade. Three and his granddaddy watched the parade, and both Three and his sister were THRILLED to see Santa riding on a fire truck at the end of the parade. Well, almost the end. The horses came last, because, well, who really wants to walk or drive behind them? Aside from a cleaning crew, perhaps. I couldn't believe how excited the kids got about Santa. My boy is still talking about Santa on the fire truck, and I expect that he will question the jolly guy about it if we go to see Santa at the mall.

Commercialism has reached Big Girl. Sigh. She's always wanted great toys - fun kid stuff, that requires imagination or active play - but thanks to the influence of her school peers, she's asking for a DS and a remote control car for Christmas. Both things are completely out of character - I know it's just a matter of hearing the kids at school discuss such things. Unfortunately Santa plans to give her things she will actually enjoy, as opposed to those other beyond-his-budget-and-likely-less-fun-for-her-anyway items.

My boy, fortunately, remains blissfully unaware, and his wish list this year is the same as last: tractors. Since he already owns almost every John Deere toy tractor that I can find in this town, I've had to get a bit creative with him, but hopefully he will still be pleased.

And the bebe? The one moving around in the womb while I type? I should find out whether said baby is a he or a she next month. I am so excited to find out! And then, of course, I'll be able to obsess about baby clothes and accessories and gear - but I'm trying to wait until after Christmas.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sotto voce

Laryngitis - I haz it. Thanks to some lovely germs which briefly affected Big Girl, but decided to linger much longer with Hubs and me, my voice is, at best, a quiet croak today. I'm staying at home and drinking lots of hot fruit tea. It's a variation on stuff that the women in my family make, and it's not really tea, exactly, but that's what I call it. You could add some tea bags to it, which some of my relatives do, and it would be delicious, but I often omit that step. My mom adds mulling spices when she makes it, but today I'm sticking with the following simple recipe since I have these ingredients on hand:

In a monstrous pot on the stove, combine a gallon of apple juice with half a big can of pineapple juice, and/or same amount cranberry juice. Toss in some cinnamon sticks and/or cloves. Simmer for a while until flavors come out and get mixed, then ladle into mugs and drink. It's nummy, as my boy would say.

I'm making some now.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Mmmm, cranberry sauce!

Cranberry sauce is really one of my favorite things about Turkey Day. The jellied straight-from-a-can kind, although I will eat other kids too. But I'm perfectly happy with the canned stuff - even better if you manage to remove it from the can and maintain the can shape, complete with ridges around the circumference that show the actual shape of the can.

I, um, don't really like turkey. Yeah, I'll eat it, particularly if you add some stuffing and gravy (the good kind, not watery crap). But I prefer ham. Honey glazed, spiral cut, please. Mmmm, ham. So many more leftover possibilities with ham, too. So this year my aunt is procuring the meats for the festivities, but maybe I'll manage to sneak away with a hunk o' leftover ham at the end.

Strange how I can be so captivated and enthralled by food while simultaneously feeling terrible morning sickness, all day long. But really - I haven't lost the desire to eat, or the appreciation of tasty foods. I just can't keep stuff down without lots of meds and a helluva lot of willpower. I'm incredibly dangerous at the grocery store, even as I keep careful track of the locations of bathrooms, just in case I am overcome with nausea. I've made two hungry-and-lacking-willpower grocery runs lately, so I'm well stocked with ice cream sandwiches, frozen Italian ices, cocoa, and enough ingredients to make a batch of cookies every day from now until New Year's.

I got these wonderful Heath toffee chocolate baking bits and can't wait to make cookies with them. I actually bought a bag of these last month, too, but Hubs found them and surreptitiously pilfered and snacked until they were gone. I have to watch him. He does this with chocolate chips and butterscotch chips too - and then I get ready to make scotchies (the oatmeal butterscotch cookie recipe on the bag o' butterscotch chips) and find I have no chips.

Did I mention how delicious butterscotch chips are when added to pancakes? I think I like them even better than chocolate chip pancakes.

Friday, November 20, 2009


I snore when I'm pregnant. I know this from previous pregnancies - the combination of a little stuffiness (which seems to last throughout pregnancy for me) and extra weight cause it. So I know I do it - I'm not in denial like SOME PEOPLE who live in this house and share the bed with me...

I've learned, after nine years of marriage, to tune out his snoring and sleep through it. But last night he woke me up repeatedly to tell me to stop snoring! Dude - I can't help it! I'm laying on my side, so it's not as if changing positions will stop it! Grrr. I'm just a little frustrated with his hypocrisy. He denies snoring. I've threatened to record him to prove my point, but he'd probably deny even in the face of that evidence.

He actually asked me to wait an hour after he goes to bed, so he can be sound asleep by the time I get there - so he doesn't have to listen to me! The nerve of that man....

{end vent}

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I am highly productive and organized!

In my mind, that is. In reality, it's a far different story. I can sit around thinking of things I could do, but at present I lack all energy. I have no mental push, no impetus to remove myself from this recliner and get things done. And there is so very much to be done.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Thursday, October 29, 2009

This explains why my kids are geniuses... ;)

Morning Sickness Tied to Higher Child IQ

Oh, am I sick. I'd say "sick as a dog," only I think my dogs are feeling much better than I am right now. I'm on meds to help with the nausea, fortunately. And that memory of how sick and miserable I felt during the first trimesters of my previous pregnancies, the memory that faded in the delight of cute little babies that followed? Oh, yes. I remember it well.

By now many of the adults in my life know. Still haven't told the kids. Hubs and I think we'll tell them after the ultrasound early next week. They're both notoriously impatient (wonder where they get that?!), so I know the "when will you have the baby" questions will start in short order. That's okay. My girl will also probably think that her Christmas wish for the last 2-3 years is finally coming true. She's been asking for a baby sister (I think she'd be happy with a baby brother too - she's baby-crazy). And Three? I see a wee bit o' jealousy in his future, because he still likes to crawl in my lap and be my baby sometimes. He won't like it when the occupant starts expanding the womb into his lap territory. He's a sweet boy, though, so I don't have any long term worries.

I think I'll go eat something cheesy. Sounds good about now.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Breaking News!

I haven't shared this news with many people who see me, in person, on a regular basis. And I'm notoriously weak when it comes to keeping exciting news to myself, so I decided to share the news here so I have somewhere to discuss it.

I am pregnant. Thought I might be coming down with swine flu, but no. It's morning sickness.

This was a bit of a surprise, albeit a wonderful one. Less than a month ago, I was talking with my doctor about the slim chance that I would conceive without some sort of intervention - fertility meds, etc.

I am thrilled about the prospect of becoming a mother for the third time. I am also terrified. Terrified that I might miscarry (I hesitate to type the word, even). Terrified that the baby will have health problems. Terrified that I will be sick as a dog for the whole pregnancy and thus unable to give my kiddos the time and attention they deserve.

This complicates life in a lot of ways. I haven't said anything at work yet, because I know that it's going to be... weird. If my guesstimate of the due date is correct, the baby will arrive right around the time I should be running the show for VBS. Ironically my efforts to do that last summer were thwarted by the first of my lithotripsies. Plus I don't exactly get time off or benefits or anything at this job. It's part time, salaried but with some very specific requirements. Certainly having a baby at the end of the school year or early in summer is a better time in other respects, but it will make things tricky at work.

Plus, well, we're already busting at the seams in this house. We have too much stuff, and I've been working on paring down our possessions, but we still only have three bedrooms. The baby can stay in our bedroom at first, but eventually? Not sure that we'll be able to fit in this house. And that means the possibility of moving. Ugh.

I am so excited to be pregnant. If I stop and think about it for a minute, I get a goofy grin on my face - my inability to keep this expression hidden led to me to tell my parents the news within a couple of days, because they would know I was (poorly attempting to) hiding something.

On a related note, if you're reading this and you see me in person on a semi-regular basis - mum's the word! Say nothing! I need to figure out what all of this will mean, plus when the baby is actually due (due date's a bit uncertain at this point, without an ultrasound to date), and I want to wait until I feel a bit more secure about the pregnancy too before I share the news broadly.

In closing, two succinct sentiments: Barf! and Yay!

Saturday, September 26, 2009


I have a serious weakness for boots. I love them. Casual boots, fancy boots, no heel, low heel, even higher heel (but I never get too crazy with heels). Pointy toe, squared toe, rounded toe. Almost any color (but not light-up boots - I save those for my daughter). And today? I got a new pair of hiking/work boots. They're not sexy, but they're comfortable and have a great weight to them. And of course, my sweet kids got boots too.

Three got another pair of John Deere boots, naturally. Same style as last year - I'm just glad the store still had them! Once he tried them on, he wouldn't take them off, so he wore those boots for the rest of the day (except a brief period in socks so he could play on the inflatables at a birthday party, but he returned to check on his new boots even then).

Big Girl got a pair of light-up boots, no joke. They're really cute, black with some dark pink accents, and she loves them. I'll post pictures, naturally. I admit, I scoffed at light-up shoes a little before I had a little girl who just loves them. They make her delightfully happy, and they're harmless, so I've changed my tune completely on the light-up shoes (but I have not, and will not, change my views on Heelys - they're atrocious). I don't know that I would encourage her to wear light-ups to church services, but for more casual attire they're fun.

I also saw the most divine soft brown boots, tall ones with a slight heel, rounded toe. The leather was so soft to the touch, and they were just beautiful. I did not try them on. I knew better. They were on sale - at the discount shoe place where I love to shop for shoes - for nearly $300. Oh, they were amazing. Even the kids knew they were special. Big Girl's the one who spotted them first and pointed them out to me, and then her brother spent a while petting them. Yes, these shoes were pet-ably soft. Even Hubs oohed over them.

This shoe store is located in another city a few miles north of ours, and I can remember going there as a kid with my parents. It's crowded with shoes of all kinds, all sizes, floor-to-ceiling with narrow aisles in many places. It's like a maze constructed of shoe boxes. Three likes to race around in there, and I have to hurry to keep up with him as he weaves through tight spaces and around slim corners. I think they have almost any shoe - any style, color, size - you could want there. I could become a serious rival to Imelda Marcos if you let me loose in there.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Bad, who was really The Felon, now an ex-con

The Man got Patton. On Tuesday, actually - the day he escaped. While I was searching the neighborhood for two days, he was waiting in a cage at the county pound. And they didn't call me because, well, they're idiots, and they never bothered to scan him and find his microchip, and the phone number wore off of his tag. I finally thought today to call them, and ask, just to make sure he hadn't been taken there, and they knew immediately which dog I meant.

And so Three and I had a big adventure to spring him from the joint - big adventure because we had to get proof of shots from Patton's vet (he lost his rabies tag a couple of collars back - he goes through collars quickly), and we showed up with our printout and a checkbook, but they wanted cash, exact change, $25 - which means the ATM is no good, since it only spits out $20 bills. The woman didn't bother to tell me this earlier on the phone. So the boy and I raced back into town to find a bank, go inside, wait in line very impatiently while the slowest people ever were assisted in front of us, cash a check, and scoot back out to the boonies to get Patton before the place closed. Because I couldn't bear to leave him there another night. That place was so incredibly depressing, with all of the dogs barking and calling to us, knowing that many of them - most of them - don't have long to live.

We called in backup (the grandmother) to pick up Big Girl from her class, since this debacle took far more time than anticipated, and we finally got our boy back. In retrospect, I cannot believe the confluence of stupidity that kept him there two days while we ignorantly searched our neighborhood. Some bozo in a nearby neighborhood - not ours, but close - called animal control about him, and told them that he belonged to some new neighbor in that neighborhood, so the dog catcher left a note on the door of that house, and then since they assumed that they had notified the owner, they never bothered to scan Patton for a microchip. Plus our new phone number had worn off of Patton's collar tag, leaving only our old out-of-state number, which was, of course, disconnected. They didn't try to contact anyone with the name listed on his tag, since we have a fairly common last name, I suppose - I didn't press the issue at the time, since I was so relieved to get my baby back. But I feel an irate letter, perhaps even a series of letters, developing.

And I hope I never have to see that place again. We have a great humane society here that adopts out dogs. They get some dogs from animal control, but the latter is basically a kill-shelter, a tiny place crammed full of dogs waiting to die. I don't want to think about what might have happened had my sweet boy been there another day or two. The pound did metaphorical lip service to animal adoption - a couple of posters and a sign listing contact information for the humane society - but I don't think many dogs make it out of there. I wanted to grab all I could and shove them in my van and speed away.

I couldn't - I don't have the space, the money, the time, or the energy to take care of that many dogs the way they deserve - but there were so many sweet faces. So many cute, wagging tails. I hate the pound. I hate what happens there, I hate that there are unwanted dogs, unplanned litters, unfit owners who make it "necessary" to have the pound. I started crying and seething with frustration and outrage as soon as I saw the place (that van was full of rage as I raced to the bank and back to get exact change, in cash, no checks, credit cards, or debit cards). Both of our male dogs are eunuchs, and Katy will be spayed next month, as soon as she's healthy enough for the surgery and finished with her second round of shots. I look around me in this community and often see people doing stupid things - taking foolish risks, engaging in absurd behavior, getting themselves into ridiculous situations - but those whose actions, or inactions, lead to the suffering and deaths of animals seem willfully ignorant, deliberate in their decision not to spay or neuter a cat or dog when taking that action, at relatively little cost, would improve the health of the individual animal and prevent the births of future generations that may not be wanted or supported properly. Ugh.

Nighttime now, and all three puppies are sleeping, at home, where they belong.

The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly

The Good:
Katy went to the vet. She doesn't have heartworms. Her hair loss is likely due to undernourishment and a flea allergy (she had fleas when she showed up but I gave her a bath, vet treated her, and they seem to be gone). She's actually older than we thought, probably close to a year, and she won't likely get taller. She will need to fill out, but it seems that she's a golden retriever mix rather than a golden retriever (only) puppy - though she looks a lot like a purebred golden puppy. She was a very good girl in the car, and after her appointment I took her to visit her grandmother (my mom). She got the usual grandchild treatment - lots of affection, snacks, doting. My mom's very good with kids and animals and they almost all love her immediately. Anyway, my efforts to take a good picture of her remain frustrating, because she won't sit still, won't stop running around me trying to lick and kiss on me, but I'm not giving up!

The Bad:
Patton. He jumped the fence two days ago and hasn't returned. I've walked. I've called. I've whistled. I've searched, driving slowly around the neighborhood (probably looking somewhat sketchy while doing so, but I guess a minivan isn't quite as ominous as a white panel van with tinted windows). He's done this before, and we actually have the stuff to fix up the fence to (hopefully) stop him, but we were waiting for the rains and flooding to stop. And he beat us to the punch.

The Ugly:
The fungus among us. Some really ugly yellow/brown/black mushrooms sprouted in the front yard from all of the rain. Thank goodness we live on a hill, so no flooding in our yard, although other yards in our neighborhood did have some minor flooding, and roads elsewhere in the county were completely covered and closed earlier in the week. I've noticed lots of yards with mushrooms, thanks to the rain, and most of them are cute white ones, or brown ones, but the ones in my yard are just ugly. Ewww. I used a shovel to remove most of them yesterday, but missed a few - and those will go soon.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Yes, she's our problem now!

She's energetic and bouncy and never stops moving like a little furry living run-on sentence. The kids have named her Katy, and I'll be taking her to the vet in the morning, to figure out what she *should* weigh. I know she's extremely thin right now, and I'm not sure if the lack of food alone has caused her to lose a lot of fur, or if there's another cause that will need treatment. When I say that she's a rescue, I mean we literally rescued the poor girl when she wandered through our neighborhood, starving and muddy in the midst of days of rain that caused flooding throughout the area. Katy latched onto us as soon as I called to her, and when I offered her a paper plate full of dog kibble, she made up her mind to stay.

She is so extremely happy, and seems to have meshed well with Quinn,* and the glass storm door to the back deck is covered with muddy little girl dog paw prints. The kids are thoroughly enamored, although my Big Girl remains a little skittish about dogs jumping up on her (not that I blame my girl - she's a slim young lady, and our other two dogs could and have knocked her down in their exuberance). Tomorrow, the vet, which will hopefully provide a few answers such as her approximate age (somewhere between itty-bitty-fluff-ball-puppy and full-grown size, but I'm not sure of anything more specific) and her likely adult size.

*Patton developed a fence-jumping habit a couple of weeks back, and for a while we were keeping him on a very long chain when we weren't outside with him, but I took pity on him during the rain storms and unhooked his lead. And as soon as it stopped raining, the punk jumped over the fence again - sometime yesterday morning - and disappeared. He may be mad at us about the chain. I've walked around the neighborhood calling and searching, and we drove around several times this afternoon calling his name, but so far we haven't seen him. But while he was here, he seemed very interested in Katy, and they seemed to get along well. Honestly I think he was a bit rude to run off, and right after I brought him a new friend who has much more energy to play with him than that large aging fluff-ball Quinn (so fond of his siestas). Well, actually, honestly I'm worried that he hasn't come back. I hope he's okay and really hope he shows up again soon. And we have supplies to make fence-climbing less appealing and less feasible for him, once he's back - since he has been known to climb back in, I don't want to put them up just yet.

Monday, September 21, 2009

We may have a problem.

Hubs and I are somewhat notorious within our circle of family and friends for being suckers for a cute animal. Mostly just dogs for Hubs, although a few years ago he was easy game for a free kitten. That's how we ended up with two cats, which didn't deal well with the Big Girl's arrival. The boys live with my parents now and find the environment much more to their liking - except when the grandkids visit.

So we have serious issues saying no to cute animals needing homes. I've often thought that I would get a big farm and have oodles of dogs with my winnings if I won the lottery. That, of course, would require that I actually play the lottery, but I digress.

We're fond of giving out advice that we can't follow so well ourselves: never to PetSmart on a Saturday. You might come home with an extra dog instead of just some dog biscuits and a grooming brush. That's how we acquired sweet Hank, who ultimately revealed that he had some serious issues with men - due to mistreatment earlier in life - and he had to find a new home.

So Big Girl came home early from school today due to the heavy rain and flooding in our area. Shortly after she came inside, she spotted a dog in the yard across the road, and she thought it looked like our yellow lab. I went out to investigate, since our lab has, in the last couple of weeks, developed a bad habit of jumping the fence and running wild through the neighborhood. I didn't think it looked like our lab, but I called to it anyway, thinking that I could check the tag and see where it should be.

So a leggy adolescent who is mostly, if not entirely, golden retriever bounded over to me. He (I think male) was only wearing a flea collar, and he looks malnourished. Not just in a "I'm skinny because I'm growing up so fast and my legs have gotten ahead of the rest" way, but seriously thin. So (cue sucker for a cute face) I gave the little guy some kibble, and he settled down on our front mat after wolfing down the food.

I was trying to restrain my emotions. I hadn't seen the dog around our neighborhood before, so I called Hubs to run the situation by him:

Me: "There's a golden retriever puppy on our front porch. He's really skinny."
Hubs: "You're kidding."
Me: "No, really. He's skinny and leggy and doesn't have a tag, just a flea collar. And fleas."
Hubs: "Put him in the back yard. Sounds like we have a third dog."
Me: "Really?"
Hubs: "Yeah, our dogs get flea treatments. They'll be fine. Give it some food and water."
Me: "I already fed it."
Hubs: "Good."
Me: "You don't think I should call-"
Hubs: "No. You know what they do to dogs."

I kid you not. The man went from "stray dog" to "we have a new dog" right away. Not even a pause. And he thinks I'm a sentimental fool for dogs, with my Cute Overload page-a-day calendar and photos of our current and late pets around the house? So we have a temporary third dog. I'm not letting myself think that he's here for the long term. I've made that mistake before, many times, when we've taken in animals that have sought out our home as a refuge when they couldn't find their own homes.

What do our dogs think of this visitor? The lab - who was inside the fence where he should have been - thinks this new kid is neat. Our sweet old golden gave me a woeful look. Very similar to the one he gave me when we brought home a peppy young lab to interrupt his sedentary senior lifestyle, which ironically looked a lot like the look our sweet old Brittany (now in doggie heaven) gave us many, many years ago when we had the nerve to bring a tiny golden upstart into his domain.

Did I mention that this little visitor is mighty wiggly? After half a dozen attempts, I gave up trying to get a picture of his actual face.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Delt Duck is Dead!

Well, actually, the Delt duck cracked open from old age and rot and ceased to be watertight. And any bath toy which isn't watertight, and thus has the potential to mildew inside, gets trashed around here. Sorry, Delt Duck.*

So we're in the market for a new Daddy Duck for the bathtime duck family. We have a Mommy duck and two kid ducks, in case you wondered. A long time ago we had a purple duck and a green duck too, but they weren't watertight, and, well, they aren't around anymore. I'm kind of stubborn about that, and I refuse to spend the time required to clean out bathtoys with bleach water on a regular basis.

KMart? No ducks, except a bag of assorted squirt ducks (squirt = water = mildew). Walmart was similarly duckless. So I have turned to the internet. And while I discovered a vast array of ducks in various professions and attires, I have not conclusively found one that says it's watertight. So I'm going to check Toys in the Attic downtown (where I may find a duck that I can purchase for a little more money, but, hey, I'd be supporting a local business and I'd get to inspect the duck in person) before I take a chance on an internet duck. Wish me luck. The natives have been grousing for a new duck for days, and I'm eager to complete this mission.

*Delt Duck: This sturdy vintage duck apparently dates back to some unknown brother(s) in the Delta Tau Delta house at the alma mater. Hubs inherited the duck, along with other questionable "artifacts," from his brethren. The duck had a dark red stripe on him - paint? wood stain? marker? of unknown origins and sailed the seas of our bathtub proudly for many years, before succumbing to old age and rot. Hubs was horrified to hear that I had sent the Delt Duck to the dump, but by then it was too late and, well, we have enough stuff in this house without hanging on to cute-but-mildrewy ducks. Besides, I always wondered about the dubious early years of that duck. Who knows how much debauchery, how many frat parties and keg stands he witnessed.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


I keep getting these e-mails intended for someone else. Some group of women planning a party or something. And I tell them they have the wrong address, but they keep sending me their messages. So whoever they intend to send the messages to has no clue what the group is doing.

Today I got another message, and I wrote back:

"You have the wrong e-mail address."

And the woman writes back:

"What's the right address?"

What? Hello! So I am forced to spell it out:

"I don't know any of you! I have no idea what address you meant to use!"


Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Have you heard these kids sing? Check out the PS22 Chorus. I particularly like their version of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin."

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Birdhouse gourds!

I felt like it was a bit early to pick them, but the vine was starting to rot, and one of the gourds had a soft spot. Probably the tall grass surrounding them (who, me weed?) was keeping more moisture close to them than healthy. So I picked a bunch of the birdhouse gourds on Saturday, along with other yummies from the garden, and brought them home. While I was at church on Sunday, Hubs and the kids (who were snotty and ill-tempered and stayed home) put up a line to hang them across the carport to dry. It's pretty festive looking, provided I remember to duck and don't smack my head on a couple of larger low-hanging ones.

Yeah, yeah. This post is useless without pictures. I'll take pictures after I clean up a little, because the carport is looking kind of cobwebby. Invasion of the late-summer spiders out there.

The other stuff was several monstrous sunflowers, eight or so cute little watermelons (which are delicious!), and oodles of tomatoes and peppers. So many tomatoes that I shared with neighbors and even took a big box full into work, where my co-workers descended on them with considerable eagerness. That pleased me. :D

Pretty soon, we'll say goodbye to the summer garden and my uncle will bush hog the whole thing. Then we can plow again and plant a few things for fall. Like the crazy color carrot seeds, and some spinach. Maybe other stuff.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

BTS Bulletin

Big Girl loves school. Loves everything about it. Loves getting up early to catch the bus. Loves her teacher. Loves eating lunch in the cafeteria. Loves the playground. Comes home every day full of stories. I wonder if she'll be as eager to tell me about her day a decade from now? Her excitement is contagious and adorable.

Three started back today, a good distraction because he's missed his sister. My sweet boy was somewhat reluctant, but had fun once he got there and saw his buddies. I'm glad to still have him nearby, in the preschool so close to my office. I can peek in and see what he's doing when I walk by.

This really seems far too early for school to resume. Big Girl last week, Three today. Summer was just too short. I never got to do half the things I planned. And we didn't go swimming nearly as often as I wished, partially because of my surgeries and health issues.

Much of the garden is dying off now. The bird house gourds are trying to take over, and there are numerous big promising gourds. The tomatoes are still plentiful, and the peppers too, but the corn didn't fare well. A good first harvest, but then too much rain undermined the second round. The cantaloupe was a flop. The beans were just weird. I think the seed package was mislabeled, because they were not purple hull peas. A few cute watermelons, yet to be harvested, don't seem quite ready. What on earth am I going to do with all of these peppers?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tears are already welling up

and Big Girl's first day of kindergarten isn't until Friday. I'm trying really hard not to get all weepy in front of her. Not easy. I'm not dealing well with her pending shift to Real Big Girl Who Goes to Elementary School. She's still my baby, and I am not ready for her to grow up. The site of her in her adorable new pink and silver backpack? Shopping for her school supplies? Not handling that so well.

She's excited, very excited, my little No Fear kid. She can't wait to start school and has been talking about it for months. She can't wait to meet her teacher on Wednesday. She was wide-eyed and gleeful when we visited her school last spring. She wants to ride the bus. On the first day. (Her dad was unbelievably in favor of this plan but I told him that she would be traveling to school in my car on that day, at least.)

And Three? Jealous. Wants to do everything his big sis does. Wants to ride the bus and go to the big school. Can't wait until it's his turn. Although, ironically, this desire to do everything she does doesn't extend to wearing big kid underwear instead of pull-ups. But I've explained to him that the big kid underwear is required now. Diapers may be the only exception to my reluctance to see my children grow up so fast.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Noggin's great conspiracy

The folks at Noggin have developed a grand conspiracy to drive me insane. If I see the insipid, saccharine previews for The Fresh Beat Band, f/k/a The Jumparounds, one more time, I may lose it. The lame lyrics and bubble gum pop tunes are already affixed into my brain, stuck there like old gum on the under side of a desk. And to think, I've read rumors online that Noggin cut the fabulous Jack's Big Music Show in favor of this drivel.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

That "Christmas is coming" feeling

I've got that strange feeling in my stomach - the fluttery, jumpy sensation that I used to get as a kid when I couldn't wait to see what Santa would bring me. My whole body feels jittery, and not just from the pain meds I'm still taking. So many things are about to change - good things, for the most part - and I feel as though I'm on the brink of something new and different.

Hubs is graduating with his MBA tonight. After 18 long months, he's finished. He's been so busy, reading, working on projects, writing papers, that it seems almost like he's been traveling and has just come home again. There are so many things I want to do that have been put off for the last year and a half. Places I want to go as a family. Projects I want us to do together. Time spent together in the kitchen, cooking and baking delicious things. And now that he's finally finished, now that he will have a little more time for us and a little less stress, it's like I don't know or remember what I wanted to do. If I'm being honest, I've really resented his absences and his lack of time and attention to our family for all of these months, and now that he's (theoretically) back, I don't know how to handle it. The kids and I have developed routines and practices that will have to be adjusted to include him, and, well, I'm bossy and stubborn, so that might be a little harder for me than it sounds on the surface.

Beyond that, our little Big Girl is beginning kindergarten next week. I can't believe that's she's old enough for that. I'm sick with worry that she might encounter bullies and/or mean girls again this year. The thought of her at school all day, while I'm on the other side town, brings me to tears. She's confident and excited and eager for school to start, so I'm trying not to let my unsteady emotional state affect her.

Three will be in preschool again. He'll still be nearby, in the preschool at the church where I work. He's a little jealous of his big sister who has plans to ride the school bus to her new school, but I'm relieved that I'll at least have him close to me for a couple of years yet. Plus he's a little more sociable and outgoing, so I haven't had the same concerns with him. Big Girl has some of my nervousness and unease about large groups of kids her age - I always do better with one-on-one situations when it comes to making friends. I try not to read too much of myself into her life, because I think that could get dangerous. But at the same time, I don't want her to have the difficulties, the painful experiences of feeling like an outsider that still plague me today.

On a positive note, I'm almost finished with the kidney stone business. The pain and the difficulty getting anyone to treat them have taken a toll on me. I'm prone to being a slacker anyway - I'd rather read books than get the house in order almost any day - so the disorder in my house has grown into full-fledged chaos in the last five months. I feel as though I've lost so much enthusiasm and interest at home and at work. I just hope I can figure out a way to revive the drive I used to have. I've been thinking that writing more regularly here may help in that regard - to give me some accountability.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

What a difference

At this point it's largely psychological, but I already feel much better following yesterday's lithotripsy. Just knowing that the most painful stone has finally been targeted helps my mood tremendously. I'm in a lot of discomfort, both from yesterday's procedure and the surgery last Friday, but emotionally I just feel... eased. I've been dealing with pain on an almost daily basis since late February, and for a long time I felt so frustrated, waiting and waiting for a doctor to take action instead of hypothesizing, waiting for the day of an appointment or test to arrive. I'm not ready to sing on rooftops by any means, but I'm so desperate to feel normal again, and I hope - fingers crossed - that soon I will again.

Monday, July 27, 2009

And another one bites the dust...

My kidney stones have proved exceptionally stubborn, but after two lithotripsies and one ureteroscopy, I'm almost finished with them. Praise God.

Tomorrow I have the last lithotripsy - ironically, this one will finally target the stone on my left side that caused the initial pain that got me started on this long road - and I hope and pray that the little thing will be blown to bits and will make a hasty exit. This weekend I've been recovering from Friday's ureteroscopy, and with any luck tomorrow's procedure will be quick and effective.

Then I will start doing whatever I can to prevent stones from forming again. It's hard to find a lot of definitive direction on the topic, but I'll be drinking lots of fluids, particularly lemonade, and avoiding dehydration. There may be some dietary changes I can make as well. I'm still trying to figure out more on the subject. This bout has been the worse kidney stone episode I've experienced, but not the only one by a long shot. I wouldn't wish these on anyone.

My garden has survived and produced well despite my uneven attentions to it this summer. I had hopes of blogging the gardening "experience" more thoroughly, but I've just had too much on my plate thus far. Fortunately the fam and I have enjoyed some delicious squash, fresh corn, and tomatoes, and I've got oodles of hot peppers to use at present, too.

And Hubs is finished with all of his coursework, ready to graduate later this week, so perhaps the two of us can get back to some of our favorite cooking conspiracies in the coming weeks and months! I'm so proud of all of the work he has put into getting his MBA, but I am also incredibly relieved that it's finally complete!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Down with kidney stones!

Death to all kidney stones! Begone!

1 down, 3 to go. This is taking forever, and I have only slightly more patience than my (sometimes) adorably impatient daughter...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Big Boy Bed

Unfortunately it's not nearly as effective at trapping the boy in his room until a more respectable wake-up time. He sweetly greeted me at 5 am. He wanted to snuggle. After rolling on me and elbowing me a few times, he said he wanted to snuggle in *his* bed. So I moved into his room, where he continued to elbow me, poke me, pet my hair, and (loudly) whisper all of his thoughts in my ear. Most frequent comment? "Mommy, what are you doing?" Like he couldn't tell that I was just trying to catch a little more sleep. I'm really a grouch when I want more sleep.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


The bruise from my lithotripsy looks kind of like a bizarre Asian graphic tattooed on my lower right back. Yeah, a tramp stamp.

The pain from the post-anesthesia headache is worse than that from the blast site, thus far. And I'm super-happy to be able to drink my morning coffee and eat a bowl of Special K this morning. Not eating breakfast yesterday was really tough - particularly the lack of coffee (said the coffee addict).

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Health Insurance

Changing health insurance? Stinks. Dealing with in-network and out-of-network and new paperwork and other assorted crap is giving me awake-at-three-a.m. anxiety (okay, it's 4:30 a.m. now, but I've been up for over an hour). I've jumped through so many hoops to get things approved by our current insurance, and now that I think I finally have most of those things done, I get to do it all over again with a new company that has new rules. I know, I should consider us very fortunate to have health insurance at all. And I do appreciate that.

But few things make me feel like an angry cat with fur standing up, ready to bite the next person I see, like the absurd bureaucracy of health insurance. Medications that aren't covered without prior authorization because some executive somewhere thinks s/he knows better than my doctor. Tests and procedures that have to be coded correctly in order to be covered, cross your finger and hold your breath, and even then it might be denied if someone in claims woke up on the wrong side of the bed. One of the doctors I've come to love, with whom I've built up a good working relationship, is no longer "in network" and thus may become a lot more expensive next month. Never mind the fact at an in-network dentist doesn't even exist within a generous driving distance of our town. I just hope I can get my mysterious kidney stone issues resolved before the new plan starts. And I'll steel myself for more hours spent in the coming months on often fruitless phone calls to get the care that I need...

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Did Dave Ramsey watch a lot of Dragnet?

Envelope budgeting, made famous by Dave Ramsey, makes a cameo in a 1968 episode of Dragnet. Hubs and I have been watching Dragnet and Emergency! episodes on RetroTV lately and I starting laughing when I saw the envelope scene between Friday and Gannon early in this episode.

Monday, June 1, 2009

My pretty, pretty garden

All of the little plants coming up in our veggie garden delight me. The blossoms on the tomato plants - those in the garden and the pair planted here, in front of the house, make me smile as I explain to the kids that the actual tomatoes will develop there. We even have a couple of itty-bitty green tomatoes on a couple of plants! I'm excited to eat food that I've grown myself, but also really eager to see if the gourd plants produce some gourds that I can use for birdhouses. And I really hope that some of the sunflower seeds I got for free grow up to produce flowers - the kids will enjoy them, and my grandmother was also thrilled when I told her I had planted them. Everything's small now, but there's so much promise!

Friday, May 29, 2009

What kind of prize do I get for this?

Latest tests show TWO kidney stones, one on each side. Among other issues. Yay.

I have not always taken very good care of my body. I need to work on that, pronto, before other red flags turn into serious issues.

Ever notice how an appliance starts breaking down and developing all kinds of problems soon after the warranty expires? I am that appliance. Sigh.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Waiting game...

My mysterious health problem persists, and my doctor has not figured out the cause of my pain, but, God bless her, she is doing tests and trying her best to rule things out, one at a time. My pain comes and goes - it's around more often than not, but I have had the occasional hour or two of blissful pain-free relaxation from time to time. I know my kids and my husband are eager to get this diagnosed and resolved, probably as eager as I am. It's taken a toll on me in so many ways. For many weeks now - over three months - I haven't felt like my usual self, and haven't felt like doing everything that I should be doing, with my family, the house, the dogs, my job...

Friday, May 15, 2009


The kids and I planted a few rows in the garden at my grandmother's house on Thursday afternoon. Pumpkins, gourds (the kind that make good bird houses), squash (yellow and zucchini), corn, watermelons, cantaloupe, purple hull beans, and sunflowers from seeds, plus small tomato and pepper plants. The kids had lots of fun and were very eager to help - hopefully that interest will continue throughout the summer. I can't wait to see some of the seeds sprouting and growing. It's raining this evening, so hopefully a little rain will kick-start the process. And I'm looking forward to spending fun time outside, with the kids, tending and picking from the garden - and visiting with my grandmother, who delights in visits from her great-grandchildren. Stay tuned for photos of the process, as the plants begin to grow and produce. For now, imagine a swath of tilled red clay. ;)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Itty bitty update

If the weather cooperates, I'll finally get some planting done tomorrow. My dad has offered to help me get the seeds in the ground, and hopefully the red clay that passes for soil here will be dry enough to use the tiller. It's been raining so much lately, without sufficient breaks for the ground to dry at all, that I've been waiting quite a while to get the seeds in the ground.

The mystery pain isn't resolved, isn't diagnosed, but does feel a bit better thanks to a change in medication. I have a new doctor - I really like her so far - and a plan of attack to eliminate possible causes until we find the right one.

To add more fun to the mix, I'm making serious efforts to potty train a certain stubborn, strong-willed three year old boy. He likes Spiderman underwear, but we may need to buy more pairs if he keeps going through them so quickly - hard to keep up with the laundry.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

What to grow?!

I've given serious consideration to trying out square foot gardening, and may still give it a try, but my mom has also offered her large containers for my use this spring and summer. I know I will have to water them frequently, but I'm wondering how a squash plant would fare in one of them. I know that tomatoes work well in them - my mother has grown them using these containers in the past - and I know that herbs will also do well. But I would love to grow my own squash and zucchini. Those two vegetables really top my gardening wish list, along with peppers (not bell peppers - never bell peppers).

I wonder what else I might grow? I've got big dreams, a small budget, and limited space with enough sunlight and no meddling dogs. And as soon as the semester ends (almost there!), I can spring into action.

Morning kitteh

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

I've been very, very slack.

I haven't blogged much since 2009 began, and not at all since early March. I have plenty of excuses, of course, but the general reason is: life got busy. I'm sure that happens to everyone. I try to make time to read the blogs I enjoy on a regular basis, but I never have enough time to do everything.

Since my last post, I've had a birthday, and Two is now Three. And when I say Three, I mean acting Three, stubborn Three, I-can-do-it-myself Three, funny Three, practical joking Three. I don't think he's a changeling, but he has changed markedly since becoming officially Three.

My Big Girl continues to amaze me with her intelligence and sensitivity. She's getting ready for a ballerina party to celebrate her birthday, and she's been telling anyone and everyone who will listen about her upcoming fifth birthday. I'm in disbelief, but she really will start kindergarten in the fall, and she is excited! I think that going to a new school and making new friends will be wonderfully beneficial for her - the preschool that she and her brother attend has many benefits, but it's small and private. I know she'll learn much from the greater diversity in classmates, teachers, and experiences next year.

I've been plagued by a mystery illness/condition for over six weeks now. Doctors initially thought my pain was due to a kidney stone, since I've had them in the past, but now are unsure and are testing for other possibilities. This has slowed me down, and put me in a truly foul mood at times, but I'm trying to remain upbeat. The opportunity to rest and spend time with the kids this week, while they are on spring break, has been a delightful break for me as well.

I'm going to do some reading on small-scale gardening now - I'll come back and share what I find, in case you're interested too.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Right now.

Right now, I really want some ice cream. I think a mint Oreo Blizzard would be good, actually. Perhaps I should have unsubscribed from the Blizzard Fan Club e-mail list before giving up ice cream for Lent? And the Baskin Robbins and Cold Stone Creamery lists, too.

I shall refrain.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Shout out to all the mathletes...

Happy Square Root Day!

A little overwhelming

Hubs is leaving for an extended trip on Thursday. He'll be in China for 10 days, touring around with a group from his grad school cohort. I'm so excited for him, and I really hope he'll make the most of this opportunity to learn and see and question. But I'm also a little overwhelmed with the prospect of being the solo parent for so long. Fortunately, I have family nearby, so in a pinch I have help available. But for all of my whining and complaining about how Hubs needs to help more around the house and with the kids, the truth is he already does a good bit. Sure, he's busy with classwork and work-work in the evenings and on the weekends, but he's here, to listen to me when I need a friendly ear. He has my back, even when he has a lot of other obligations (and thank goodness he's only a few months away from finishing that MBA). But I think that I'll be a little overwhelmed, as well as a little lonely, while he's away. I'll be praying for lots and lots of patience, because Big Girl and Two certainly know how to exhaust my pitifully short supply some days...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Thoughts, in no particular order

1. Kids sure are germy. I really didn't need to catch this bug from Big Girl. I've been miserably congested, snotty, coughing, bleh for days...

2. Two is now attempting to exploit his drippy nose, even though he's mostly better, as an excuse to skip school. The kid's only two. He told me he needed to stay home today because he was too sick to go to school. He really just wanted to watch Bob the Builder and eat fruit snacks.

3. Why, exactly, is Big Girl such a whiner about getting water in her eyes while bathing? Not soap - just water! It annoys me a little, although I'm trying my best to be patient and help her work through it.

4. Two LOVES baths, and showers, but only the playing in the water part. He doesn't actually want to be soaped up and cleaned. And he whines when it's over and he has to get out.

5. I got a lot of stuff at the Walmart this morning, stuff we needed. And yet there's still no food in the house. Well, nothing quick and easy. If I wanted to soak some dried beans and make a soup from scratch, we'd be set...

6. Hubs' car is paid off! Yay! We're making some progress, although at times it seems more like treading water.

7. Some days I fear that my children have inherited some of my worst qualities. But then they do sweet things and surprise me, and I don't worry so much.

8. Tissue manufacturers have a pretty good racket on their hands. We're going through lots o' boxes around here. Even with the tissue boxes placed out of kid reach, so they can't be as wasteful and playful with them as they wish...

9. When they were younger, both Big Girl and Two had more adventurous palates. I miss that. I bet they would both shun Indian food now, whereas Big Girl ate everything we got her from the buffet at our favorite restaurant back in NC.

10. I'm really slack sometimes. I still haven't mailed a gift to a friend that I meant to mail over a month ago. It's boxed up by the front door and has been sitting there for over a week.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Today is Ash Wednesday. I decided to give up ice cream for Lent, which is harder for me than some people (say, the lactose intolerant), because I LOVE ice cream. Plus I woke up this morning to find the Blue Bell Creamery e-newsletter in my inbox, listing all of the fantastic flavors in rotation for March. Which leads me to parse my words a bit: I just meant I wouldn't eat ice cream during Lent. There's nothing in that that says I can't buy a gallon of Mocha Madness and stash it in my parents' deep freeze until mid-April. And, well, I'll have to camouflage it in some way so my dad won't eat it all. Because he's even worse about ice cream, and he hasn't said anything about giving it up for Lent. He also has no respect for "dibs" and the like. So the only way it will survive is if he doesn't know it's there. Once upon a time, he left coffee flavored ice creams alone because he didn't know he liked them. Then at some point - I think when I was in college - he got desperate enough to try coffee ice cream and figure out that he liked it, too. So now nothing is sacred in the way of ice cream. He even eats my mom's sugar free ice cream if it's the first stuff he finds.

Being sick?

Stinks. Particularly when you're the adult who's supposed to be taking care of two sick, whining, miserable kids, and yet you don't feel up to taking care of anyone.

If only it were feasible for us to run through all of the germs now, knowing that we won't get sick again later. Wish it worked that way.

I do have to say, however, that my sinus surgery worked nicely. I have a lot of congestion, but it seems to be moving right along, as opposed to setting up a blockade in my sinuses and developing into a nasty painful infection. I know I would be in a lot more pain from my sinuses now, if not for that surgery. I'm pretty uncomfortable, but not as bad as it could be...

My poor kids both have very dry lips which are cracking open. A consequence, I think, of their high fevers of last week and weekend, which led their lips to peel, plus the cold weather. Usually they like it when I swipe their lips with chapstick and lip treatments, but they're complaining now due to the cracked lips.

We all stayed home from school today, although I had no choice but to go to work this evening. Someone's got to teach the college kids about the fantastic world of poetry.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Quizzy stuff

My Political Views
I am a left moderate social libertarian
Left: 3.32, Libertarian: 1.88

Political Spectrum Quiz

My Foreign Policy Views
Score: -2.54

Political Spectrum Quiz

My Culture War Stance
Score: -5.13

Political Spectrum Quiz

These are my results from the Political Spectrum quiz - kind of interesting, no?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A little something educational...

THE LOVE STORY:How To Avoid Trapped Arm Whilst Cuddling In Bed

It's official:

I'm sick. And the itchy-throat-ear-sensation is driving me mad. Arrrggh!

A series of quick thoughts:

I wish I had the space, setting, and mental energy to grow a garden. Not going to happen this year, but I can dream.

I have too much crap in my house. Every day I find more and more, and I don't need so much of it.

People who don't turn on their headlights when it starts to get dark - particularly the ones who drive dark cars - scare me. I get really unnerved when I realize there's a car there and I can barely see it.

In a related note, I'm sometimes one of those annoying people who will flash her headlights on and off to try to tell approaching cars that they need to turn on their headlights.

My dogs are wrestling on the back deck again. Do they do this all the time, or do they wait until it's quiet enough for me to hear them out there making a racket?

I also wish I had a good spot for a large chest deep freezer, in which I could keep the produce from my imagined garden, along with smaller portions of soups and stews to heat and eat for weeknight meals.

Green/red/yellow bell peppers are over-used in prepared foods, particularly the frozen stuff like skillet meals. They don't taste that good, just strong, plus they make me sick to my stomach. And I hate having to study the ingredients list to see if they're in a product before I buy it. I've learned not to rely upon the picture of the meal on the packaging.

Hubs and I bought a Dyson early in our marriage, and it continues to serve us well (knock on wood). It's parked in this room at present. It's not the special pet-fur model but it still did a decent job with dog fur back when we had indoor dogs.

This colder weather is making me get really dry, itchy skin. Yuck.

My daughter's recent decision not to eat tater tots, french fries, and the like puzzles me. I wondered where she got it from. She used to eat these delicious potato products and love them. Almost as much as her brother, who would subsist on Sonic tater tots and fruit juice alone if permitted.

Hubs got me a label maker for Valentine's Day and I love it. I mentioned this at work today and got some weird looks, but I think it's one of the best gifts he's given me in years.

I wonder what I should start calling Two on this blog after he turns three in April... I could still call him Two, since he's the second in birth order, but would that be confusing?

Speaking of birth order - I've read several studies and articles discussing the impact of birth order on a child's development, and I think it's really interesting. I watch for signs of the influence of birth order in my own kids, and I can definitely see some of it at work in Hubs' family. Alas, I am an only child, but that has its influence as well.

Late night ramblings

It's late. I'm awake, can't sleep. I've been watching tv but got tired of it - I can only watch for so long before my eyes get all funky and dried out. My sweet Big Girl has kindly shared her germs, and my throat's bugging me. Plus my ears itch, deep inside my ears close to my throat - do you ever get that? Drives me nuts.

It rained a lot today. So the kids spent too much time indoors, cooped up, slightly hyper. Hopefully I can take them out for some fresh air tomorrow.

I'm loving PaperbackSwap again - I have several books to mail off in the morning, and then soon I'll get the credits to request more books to read. Not sure what I'll request next - so many books, it's hard to decide. I have an extensive list, which keeps growing longer and longer, of books I want to read over at goodreads. And, well, honestly I have plenty of books I could read here in my house - but that won't stop me from requesting more to add to my to-read collection. I've been indulging in a lot of fantasy, sci-fi-type stuff lately, which is fun and engaging without being too demanding (in the way that I can't help myself when I read works by authors I studied seriously in grad school), and I've been working through a few behavioral-type books dealing with kids and relationships, too. Any books I shouldn't miss? Let me know in the comments.

I watched Hanging Up earlier today - I DVRed it when it was on a few days back - and was reminded, through the relationship between Meg Ryan's character and her father, played by Walter Matthau (love him), that you can't make people be who you want or need them to be. No matter how desperately you wish a relationship or a person were something better, or more meaningful, or supportive, whatever, you cannot force other people to be who you want them to be, or who you think they should be. I know this is true, of course, but sometimes it's still incredibly frustrating. The movie's cheesy. Decent casting, but a somewhat frivolous plot that was resolved a little too neatly, and yet it still made me tear up. I'm an easy crier. Anyway, I've been reminding myself frequently of late, in the middle of frustrations, that I can only control myself. It's hard for me to make peace with that concept.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Most Excellent Day

Hubs got it this year. No boxes of assorted chocolates, which I've never liked that much. A sweet, thoughtful card. A new hand mixer (!) to replace the one that died a couple of months ago. And a label maker. I think the label maker is my favorite. Have I mentioned my love of office supplies? Now I can label my stuff. And the kids' stuff. I'm excited! He did very well this year.

I hope he liked his presents. I made him an appointment for a massage, which he said he really enjoyed, and I got a rolling laundry hamper for our room. And a couple of movies on DVD that he will hopefully enjoy.

Today has been a very low-key day. My sweet Big Girl is still sick, coughing and dripping and miserable, and she has a bad raw area around her nose from a bit of rough treatment with the tissues. I got her the soft ones, but she's a little too fervent in her nose-wiping sometimes. I'm trying to teach her to pay and blow, not wipe so hard, but her little nose is pitiful and raw.

Two may be getting it too. He has coughed a few times - no nose issues yet, knock on wood. The way the two of them play together and love on each other (when not wrestling), they tend to share all of their germs freely. Fortunately they're out of school next week, so there's plenty of time for them to rest and recover.

I made monte cristo sandwiches for dinner, at Hubs' request. They were good. I even used Wonder Bread for him - he purchased a loaf for that purpose, although I would never buy the stuff. I like good, hearty wheat breads. But the results were good, despite the questionable "bread" he required. We also ate well earlier with Hubs' special French toast, so that this day was a steady progression of unhealthy and tasty foods. The kids ate too many tractor snacks and were briefly wild and energized. They're addicted to them, and are also really stocked about the new Wonder Pets snacks, too (have I mentioned that Two can sing the entire Wonder Pets theme song? in addition to childhood classics like Twinkle, Twinkle).

Monday, February 9, 2009

Darn you, Henry Ruschmann!

I know it is coming, and soon. She's been talking about it since the middle of last week. I know that it is heart-shaped, and she made it herself, and I will love it. But, alas, I also know that it will bring annoying little sparkly bits into my house, little bits that I will find in random places, stuck to the bottoms of socks, catching the light from some obscure location like the inside of the freezer or the tip of a dog's nose, for months, even years to come. Glitter. The Valentine's card that my sweet girl is making for me will be beautiful and glittery - I knew even before she told me about the glitter, because I spotted some sparkling in her hair. I will love it because she made it for me with love, and she's the sweetest little girl ever - but I may encase it in a plastic baggie before it enters my home. To minimize the spread.

Previous glitter-covered artistic creations are displayed in my office at work, in case you wondered - they're tacked to the bulletin board next to my desk, so those glittery creations - a gold leaf by the boy, and several glitter-covered pictures by the girl - haven't brought their lovely sparkly bits into the house. And Henry Ruschmann? He's the man who invented glitter in its current cheap, mass-produced form.


Four year old girls are bullies. And victims of bullies. And it's not just "the way girls act" and the girls who are threatened emotionally and/or psychologically - which is the preferred methodology among girls, as opposed to threats of physical violence - are not to blame. Teachers who ignore this problem or deny that it is a problem need to change their ways of thinking and acting.

I'm doing a good bit of reading up on the topic, and recognizing and identifying some baggage from my past in the process. I'll try to report more once I finish reading Odd Girl Out, which, by the way, is quite a fascinating book.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


I've been poking around on Facebook, as I do far more frequently than the Hubs would like (he makes remarks about how the house would look if I channeled time and energy into cleaning it). And I've been thinking a bit about people I've known, but not as well as I wish I had. I don't have a lot of good friends in my current locale, and I've been thinking about some of the great people I know who are just too far away at present. Not just the dear friends I miss, but the ones I would love to spend time with, get to know, that kind of thing - the ones I wish I had spent more time with when we were closer in space.

I'm not great with developing friendships. I'm kind of shy and awkward sometimes, and so I often find myself in the position of thinking that someone seems really interesting, like someone I should know better - and yet I never get to know that person better. Meh. I should take a closer look, however, for the people here who are interesting, since I can be fairly certain that, if I were elsewhere, I would find people *here* that I should have gotten to know better.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I love Boston Legal

and hate that ABC canceled it. Just a thought.

to quote James Spader.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

I'm back.

I've decided that this year I'm going to go with the traditional advice of "write what you know." After all, this is my blog, and I know some things, so I don't need to try to take on some mammoth project with it. I can just write about things that interest me, things that I want to share with others - and maybe you'll find the topics I write about interesting as well. So be prepared for some rambling, stream-of-consciousness writing about books, movies, television, my kids, my husband, books, my job, my other job, books, kid stuff, coffee, books, and maybe some other stuff. I may make a better effort to share stuff I like on other blogs. And don't be too surprised if I disappear for a while on some sort of existentialist quest to determine direction in my life, from time to time. I seem to be doing that a lot. But I came back, see? To the few of you who haven't forgotten about this blog, HI!!!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Wishing you many blessings and much happiness in 2009 - I hope you have a wonderful new year!