Thursday, December 28, 2006
1. Caragh - my first-born, my goofball, my little Pants-incarnate.
2. Calleigh - my babe, my snugglebunny, and apparently a mini-me.
3. Cookies - the obvious, but I do love them. Chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin. MMMMMM.
4. Coffee - the #3 reason I wake up in the morning (see nos. 1 and 2 above). Columbian, Hazelnut creme, Amaretto - mmmmmmmm. Smell the roast...
5. Computer - could not live without my laptop. I use it for shopping, cheating on the crossword puzzle, keeping up my blog.
6. Clan - My family and friends are the best clan anyone could ever ask for.
7. Condiments - Is anything really not in want of condiments?
8. Chicken - Oh, satisfier of children, less fatty for the tummy, free-range or cage-fed wonder. I come from a house of yard-bird lovers.
9. Celts - that's right, we love the Irish in this household. In fact, as soon as I go back to work, we will be starting a fund so we can go to Ireland on our 10th anniversary.
10. Conundrums - I love a good puzzle. We regularly attempt the crossword, and I got the 4th Myst for Christmas. Yay!
That's 10. If anyone else wants to play, let one of us know in the comments for a letter. Thanks AKJ!
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
"I'm sure I don't know what you're talking about."
I think if she could reach the coffeemaker, she might actually be able to do it.
Monday, December 25, 2006
"So, did you finish your baking?"
"Baking? What was I baking?"
"You know. Christmas cookies and stuff."
Um, no." Look of near insanity ensues.
"$50? I don't love my kid that much."
"Yes you do."
"$50 for a blankie? No, I really don't."
"If that blanket meant Meimei would sleep all night in her crib, you would so buy it."
"Well, you have me there."
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Please note, she is not usually naked except for a bib and diaper, but this is a special occasion. Breakfast.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
I thought I was done with buying Christmas gifts Saturday, but when I got home I remembered one of my step-sisters and my step-brother's three kids. Plus Pants is still getting his brother something, which will be taken care of tonight, and he has to get a dice game gift ($10 gift card in a clever wrapping). Last year, his dice game gift was the best - $10 in quarters in a wooden chest. And one of his friends insists on buying us a gift each year, so they have to be taken care of also.
In addition to the survival supplies, I am waiting on Meimei's car seat and replacement parts for my double stroller in the mail. And I think my mom is sending the girls something for the girls for Christmas.
Did you know that Xmas is actually a religious moniker? The X is the greek letter for Jesus, I think. I read that somewhere. So all of you who don't appreciate the use of Xmas can get a secret laugh at the people who use it thinking it's a way to get the religion out of the holiday.
Pictures coming soon of the new stove and my new, favorite, nearly naked Santa...
Saturday, December 16, 2006
The ottoman is pushed up to the end table to keep Kitten from crawling under the table and playing with the lamp cord and outlet, as well as the newspaper box.
Now she can get up onto the ottoman, which means she can reach anything on the table. And she can knock out her teeth on the edge of the table if so inclined. Lovely.
Friday, December 15, 2006
Stuff I accomplished:
Got CD burner replaced in my laptop, as it was making funny noises and selectively ejecting perfectly good blank CDs. Dell is really quick, they sent someone out the next day!
Got cable set up in the house, as dish deal is now defunct for reasons I won't go into here. Comcast has already come and gone this week, too.
Bassett crib part is being mailed to me (I thought I got it yesterday, as there was something shoved in the door, but it turned out to be my AT&T 10-year "gold" coin).
Went to the bank.
Mailed the pictures to my mom that I promised her about 4 weeks ago and that have sat in a cardboard envelope on my table for 3 weeks and 6 days.
Called the plumber to have the gas line run upstairs - we will be cooking with gas on Monday!
Meimei's car seat is also en route to my house. No more stuffing her into the infant seat!
All I have to do today is return the Satellite receivers and call my daycare lady about the vaccination sheets I will surely have to provide later and might as well get done now when Meimei has an appointment coming up.
Yay for progress!
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
We don't go down there much with Kitten, but we do occasionally and would like to continue to do so. So we may have to frame it in soon and put on some bi-fold doors as was our plan to fix it at some point in the future.
So once again, we are fixing an issue we were going to anyway, but we are fixing it NOW out of necessity rather than when we are ready out of a desire to make our house better. This is a recipe for half-assedness, just wait and see.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Someone Pants works with has a girlfriend that works at a children's store and she had some samples that we're going to be thrown away. This is the benefit of being nice to people at work. Free is the right price, so he brought in the toys and Pants brought them home last night. They were a HUGE hit. I checked the website and, although the toys aren't on there because they are still in the sample stage, judging by their other (very expensive) toys, the box was worth $100-150. Kitten especially enjoys the soft shape-sorter with soft shapes because she can stuff any shape into any hole and then just pull it back out again through the same hole. Try that with the Tupperware sorter.
My MIL is nuts. She watched the kids Saturday night while Pants and I went to his holiday party (at which I sang very terrible Karoake, but that's another post), for which I am extremely grateful. But Kitten going to bed was a hoot! She told us that it took everything she had to actually close her bedroom door. What's the difference if it's closed or open an inch? She also was glad that we put plastic on Kitten's window, but then thought that she might somehow pull it down and smother herself with it. And lastly, she took the dirty blankets off the floor (that I had pulled out of the crib precisely because they were dirty) and put them back in, removing the clean blue fleece blanket because she thinks Kitten will somehow strangle herself with it. She thinks it's too thin and, therefore, pliable enough to get around her neck.
My stove is coming next Monday, but we have to get the plumber back out to run the gas line upstairs. Yay for gas stoves!
I am actively looking for a new car seat for Meimei, but Pants has sticker shock over the Britax Boulevard (usually $300 and rarely on sale). This is the one thing I can justify spending on, as it's the only thing the kid will use every day for the next 4 years, but it still may take some talking. I did find two patterns that were on sale for $250, but one is really hideous and the other is really bland. Is it wrong to not buy a car seat on sale because it's ugly? I should probably save the $50 and get the bland one.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Why it sucks to see Santa:
There is no mall in my relative nearness, so we have to drive at least half an hour to any given mall. (Stupid Riverdale strip mall, I hate those things!)
Malls do not open until 10:00, and Santas do not show up until then. Considering that the sacred naptime is at 11:30, and that lunch needs to happen at 11:00, and that traveling with 2 small children takes 4 times longer than you ever think it would, this leaves only afternoon to go to see Santa, after naptime, which puts us driving home during rush hour in ENTIRELY the wrong direction.
Although I own a double stroller and have recently discovered that Meimei is now advanced enough to sit in a reclined stroller seat, it was a second-hand item and I have recently realized there is no crotch buckle in one of the seats, and therefore there are no restraints on that side. No child tray I can live with, but no restraints is not okay. One will slide right out, the other will leap out at the first shiny pretty thing we go by. So I actually do not have a double stroller.
So I went in the afternoon, after naptime, although Kitten was crabby with teething and hunger and Meimei was, well, 3 months and does what a 3 month-old does. I put Kitten on her leash and put Meimei in the stroller, which is a test of patience because Kitten does not always want to go where we are going. With a dog, you can just pull on the leash, but people frown on mothers pulling their toddlers to the ground to correct their direction. Kitten and Meimei cried the whole way there and back in the car. I spent $8 on a kid's meal and a hamburger at the mall. Kitten did NOT enjoy Santa Claus. I spent another $40 on pictures because I wanted them taken separately.
And to top it all off, The Body Shop did not even have Lavender Body Oil spray, they only had the Bergamot, which I love but Pants hates. Major suckage.
Friday, December 08, 2006
In my kitchen.
Taking up half of the space in my kitchen because it doesn't fit into it's rightful refrigerator cubby.
But it's hard to stay mad at something so pretty. When I can be mad at the ugly cabinet instead.
This is my food. It was getting tired of being cooped up in the fridge, so I let it outside to get some air. It likes to bask in the sun and say hello to the neighbors.
This morning I ate instant oatmeal for breakfast. Yay! I was going to go to the mall this afternoon, and may still, but my fridge problem might kill that plan. Anyway, I'm doing better on the goals.
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
So, today is another day. TV will go off soon. Kitten is eating a fruit, although much of it is on her bib. I will go to the grocery store today and get some fruit. I will go out to the garage now and get some water started on the thaw. We will go to the mall tomorrow afternoon, although whether it's for Santa or Underwater Adventures is up in the air. I will eat breakfast tomorrow while I blog (during Sesame Street).
I knew that I would not complete all of these things daily. I knew that I would fail. And there is something actually a bit liberating about failing the whole first week. Now I don't have to be perfect, I can miss an item here or there and it's okay. The intention is good.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
And Meimei? She slept in her crib for almost an hour today. Mu wha ha hahahahaha! I will separate you from me yet!!
Here's my big girl in her nice coat and hat (not the usual coat and hat that has progressively turned the lining from pink to grey).
It's still hard to keep a hat on her, but she's getting better. We are on our way to a nearby restaurant to meet MIL and SIL. Kitten proceeds to charm the people in the booth behind us, as usual (she tends to work each table until at least one person at each will play with her). As we are getting them dressed to leave and Kitten has her coat and hat on, the man in the booth says, "I didn't think she could get any cuter, but she just did." How's that for outside validation that your kid is as cute as you think she is?
And here's my Meimei in her bunny hat (which was Kitten's last year and is still bit big).
We will be lucky if Meimei makes it in the infant seat until Christmas. Her shoulders are already level with the top setting on the restraints. How do people keep their kids in infant seats until they are almost 1? Do they not care that they are unsafe if their shoulders are above the belt? And how do they continue to carry them? They get awfully heavy in those dumb seats, which add about 5 pounds.
But, oh, aren't they cute?
Sunday, December 03, 2006
Anyway, Kittens eye teeth are almost in. One looks like it is pretty much done, one is very visible above the gum, and the other two have tipped through. We think she is refusing a lot of food because it hurts her gums.
Yesterday, during my sleep-in, Pants tought Kitten to say No Touch Meimei (although she actually uses her real name). Later, she opened her Curious George book to the alligator page and said "bumpy," which is the cue for touching the tail on the alligator. We also gave her an empty formula can and two small wooden spoons and she turned into Animal.
Meimei has also not been eating or sleeping for the last 36 hours, but for unknown reasons. She has been very vocal the last 4-5 days, though, just talking away. Must be practicing to be able to get a word in while her sister is talking. She giggles if you get her in the right mood and she is pretty smiley when she is inclined.
Saturday, December 02, 2006
What I really have an issue with is getting hung up on by what they said was the automated system three times when I tried to find out what was wrong, why the fridge wasn't being delivered. I highly suspect I was not hung up on by the automated system. I work in a call center and it sounded an awful lot like the phone was being picked up and then disconnected. I then tried another number and it sounded an awful lot like I was being routed back into the queue several times before I got someone to pick up. An attempt was made to get me to Customer Relations, but I was given the store number for the Mankato store instead. The Mankato store manager was a little confused as to why I was calling.
Anyway, Pants finally called the delivery number again and found out about the snowstorm. Had they said that on the message initially, this whole thing could have been avoided. I will be writing a letter to Sears Consumer Relations regarding their phone systems and their delivery systems.
Friday, December 01, 2006
Also, I neglected to come up with alternate plans for my ambitious goals, as I can't go grocery shopping until after the new fridge is delivered. We are putting the old fridge in the garage to replace the REALLY old fridge (whose freezer broke recently, which I discovered when I went for a rather less-than-frozen pizza). So we have a place to put the food, but I don't want to stuff the fridge, only to have it all taken back out and put on the counter while we move it to the garage and plug it in. So the fruit and veggie thing, that will have to wait until next week. But Kitten can get hers and I will try to get as many as possible. Do you think Jello counts?
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Kitten has gotten used to getting away with the first touch and tends to try to get those in now when we aren't looking, although she gives herself away by either banging the cabinet door, staying too long at whatever she is doing, or showing up in the livingroom with pasta. I am hoping this new tactic will stop her from doing the things she knows are wrong at least most of the time.
So, ala Ms. Huis, I am setting some goals for the month of December:
- TV goes off at 11:00 a.m. and stays off until at least 5:30 p.m., unless Kitten is napping. This will reduce my stress, I think, and generally keep the TV off even during naps due to my usual laziness.
- Kitten will eat at least 3 fruits and vegetables daily, and so will I. I have recently found frozen, microwavable single servings of corn and broccoli with cheese, and these are actually kind of nice as a snack. Kitten still gets most of her vegetables from Gerber, as she won't eat formed vegetables, and certainly won't let anything green pass her lips. That does leave us with all of the orange vegetables, however, and that should be alright.
- I will eat breakfast daily, and that does not consist of Caribou Coffee bars. I have cereal, for crying out loud. Kitten already eats breakfast daily, she would not have it any other way. Aren't kids amazing, eating when they're hungry and stopping when they're not?
- I will pick up a case of water tomorrow and drink at least two bottles per day. Kitten will only drink water from the bottles now, so this will help her water intake too.
- We will go to an actual mall twice in December where I can put her on the leash and let her roam and walk a little bit more than normal - she is usually strapped in a cart. We will also go to Underwater World at MOA this month, as I have been meaning to because she is so thrilled by fish and my time at home is running out.
Meimei has decided to remove herself from the boob. We secretly think Kitten took her aside to tell her what a chump she was, that if she just held out we would give her a bottle.
After my cystoscopy, they gave me three days of preventive antibiotics (since they had just shoved a camera into my bladder), and then you have to allow two days for them to leave your system. I had not been warned that this was coming, not that it would have mattered. But Meimei never got back to nursing as well after that last stint on the bottle.
Maybe it was because she was becoming more aware and figured out it was easier. Maybe I wasn't persistant enough. Maybe I should have pumped more during the 5 days I had to (although, to be fair, feeding and entertaining two small children doesn't leave much time left over for hooking myself up to the milking machine for 20-40 minutes every few hours). Maybe it was because Pants started feeding her with a larger nipple so it "wouldn't take so long." Whatever it was, she has decided to reject nursing and switch herself to a bottle.
So after 3 months, we are no longer breastfeeding. I am stopping completely today so that my milk dries up and I no longer have to wear nursing bras and breast pads for a kid I am forcing to nurse for 5 minutes a day. I would like to go to bed without a bra for the first time in nearly a year. I would like to do this all at once so as not to prolong the uncomfortable fullness that is currently only in one breast but will most surely be in both by the end of the evening.
So that's it. It's on to the bottle. I'm not sure how I feel about this yet.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Other recent purchases:
Christmas tree skirt (needed)
Giant stocking to hold Christmas cards (not needed)
Stocking stuffers (debatable)
Faucet cover for bath (needed, also from pacifier)
Majorette Daisy ornament from several years ago, part of a Mickey marching band series that we own the rest of, for Pants's Mickey tree (needed?)
Poinsettia Fairy ornament from series that began last year, which I am purchasing for the girls each year for their trees, and which Meimei did not get for Christmas last year due to her non-existence at the time (or at least my ignorance of her existence, as apparently she did indeed exist by Christmas), and which has almost doubled in value (?)
Wreath (needed, and half off)
Wired Ribbon for wreath (needed and cheaper than the premade wreath ribbons)
Other assorted Christmas tree ornaments and stuff, like boxes to separate stuff for trees (four trees in this house), wreath hanger for door, etc. etc. blah blah blah.
So my commitment not to spend much for Christmas this year is already in the toilet, right next to my commitment not to eat the whole box of turtles I ordered from the kid next door in one sitting. And I haven't even bought anything for my SIL (my name from the gift draw, although I know what I'm getting her), any of my parents, or my step-siblings except one gift card for the newly-married couple, which I may just use for myself and get them the same thing that the other married couple is getting, which is a breakfast gift pack with pancake mix, syrup, coffee, and one or two other things. Cheaper than a gift card, which always looks cheap if you only put $15 or $20 bucks on it for a couple, and it follows the Simplify Your Christmas rule of getting consumables for people you don't know what to buy for.
Dear God, this season is expensive when you are cooped up at home and itching to get out and spend.
Two more expenses: Meimei's rescheduled three-month pictures today and our "free" Antiquities picture sitting next week. Plus finishing Meimei's announcements and getting stamps on all of those and all of the Christmas cards. And no, they won't fit in the same envelope, that was already suggested to me.
Monday, November 27, 2006
Little did I know, he is a strong advocate of baby sleeping with you until they are, like, 5. And that you shouldn't let kids cry in their crib, alone. Man, do I feel guilty now for allowing Kitten to do just that. Although she cried when we held her at the time, too, so it didn't seem to matter where she was.
So Dr. Sears said that I should sleep with Meimei for YEARS until she is ready to go into her own bed, and then we could put a bed on the floor next to our bed, and then slowly move her into another room. Are you kidding me?
So here is what I have decided. Meimei appears to be fine on her own, so she will start going into the crib after she is asleep for naps all this coming week, even if she only sleeps for 15 minutes at a time. It will suck and I will get nothing done and she will be cranky and tired, but I think it has to be done. She is asleep on the couch now, so I will leave her be and sleep on the other couch until she wakes up to eat. I will try this for at least her first night sleep session each night this week and will see what happens.
The single, overriding reason I don't want to put her in her crib at this point is convenience (and also my secret guilt about the one screw missing in the crib that I have not replaced yet because it involves calling the company instead of just ordering it over the internet). During naps, when she sleeps on the couch she is very accessible and I can put a nuk in her at the first sign of stirring so she stays asleep. And also, she seems to sleep longer on the couch. But, okay, we only put her in the crib twice, so I don't have much of a base of data to go on. At night, I think she sleeps longer next to me, which gives me more sleep, and I can catch her before she is fully awake so she can just feed and fall asleep again. Convenience and more sleep for everyone involved.
But I will attempt this anyway, as I am back to work in just over a month and Meimei will have to take naps in a crib. Yikes. I hope we don't get kicked out of daycare.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
I thought the leash was meant to keep them safe from strangers who wanted to grab them. Turns out, it's meant to keep them safe from their own worst instincts, i.e. - Kitten's instinct to run off at the first opportunity and play with whatever is at her level.
My MIL is horrified by the leash and thinks it would make her look like a dog. Which doesn't really matter, because in her presence, there are usually plenty of people available to watch both children like hawks and provide whatever attention they need the second they need it. When I'm alone, there's only one of me and two of them.
My mother is wise enough not to weigh in, or at least far enough away not to be embarrassed.
So what's your thought? And let me preface this by saying I really don't care whay you think, but I'm curious where people stand on it. I will continue to stake my daughter out in the yard on her leash when she annoys me, no matter what you say. Oh wait, was that out loud?
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Does this count as feeding her breakfast?
Monday, November 20, 2006
Another time, I told mom in the morning that it was my week to bring a snack for Girl Scouts, which was immediately after school. There was, again, crying involved. I don't know how she did it, but she showed up with cookies for the meeting.
And for Halloween one year, I insisted on being an Ewok. Yes, Jedi had just come out, my brother and I had seen it 3 times in the theater, and they were the cutest little beings ever invented (to me, all you cynical Star Wars snobs). I still have the surprisingly good stuffed Ewok I got for Christmas that year. But the stores did not have Ewok costumes, unlike today when they would capitalize on the popularity shamelessly until every kid hated them. So my mom bought yards of fake fur and MADE me a costume. I believe she even took the day off on Halloween to finish it so I would have my wish (there might have been some procrastination involved on her part, but this is her post, so we won't beat that horse, just know that I come by it honestly). And I had the coolest costume ever. And the warmest.
And yeah, my mom was the hot mom.
(Something reminded me of the science fair project and all these other things came back. You rock mom!)
At least it's not Barney. I draw the line at watching Barney. And yes. We now watch Teletubbies because it provides me with another half hour in which I will not lose my fricken mind.
However, Pants figured out yesterday when I ran Meimei a bath that it's the faucet that's leaking upstairs. We thought it only happened when we took showers, but apparently it's whenever we run the bathtub faucet, so we have to get it fixed ASAP. It's the only tub in the house and while Meimei can get a bath in the sink, Kitten's a bit big for that. And more than a bit mischievous.
Appliances are on sale again on Saturday and I think I'm going for it. If we have to call a plumber, we might as well have a new dishwasher hooked up at the same time. And the ice maker. We tried hooking up the ice maker ourselves in the old house and flooded the kitchen several times. We never got it working.
In the meantime, I'm working on getting through the laundry and getting stuff on the walls. I hope to get the cabinet and wall hangings done in the bathroom downstairs today. Dining room is done and I'm still working on the wall space above the TV in the living room, but I screwed up my measurements and I'm trying to decide what to do, so I'm stalled out until I figure it out. I should know better not to try to hang four item symmetrically - nothing ever works that well.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
We actually have useable space downstairs. We had a fire today while Kitten was sleeping and we worked on it a little more. We think the main root of the heating problem down there now is the open access to the uninsulated well area, although I am still researching fireplace doors. Yeah, duh, that giant open area right under the stairs that's really cold? That one? That might be sucking all the heat out of the house. I also can't find a vent in the main room. Is that something I can add? With a suspended ceiling?
We are slowly getting the house together, putting things on the walls. And adding to the list of things that need to get done. Now we have to insulate the well and/or put in an insulated door, we've started removing the wall paper downstairs, we want to build in the bookshelves that are currently just the 70's bracket shelves, change out the carpet... It never ends.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Let me provide an example: When I was in the hospital awaiting my gall bladder surgery, which we weren't sure when it would take place because it was the weekend and my case was no longer an emergency, someone asked me if I was scared. I wasn't because I was in total denial. I had done what I needed to do: gotten myself to the emergency room while still leaving my kids cared for, worked out the whole nursing-while-in-hospital thing, made the decision to have the surgery immediately instead of coming back in a week or two, etc. Then I blissfully put it out of my mind. Why dwell? All emergent issues were taken care of, the decisions were made. Time to read my O! magazine and watch HGTV. This, my friends, is the time for denial.
Another wonderful time for denial is while you are waiting to have your kid. No sense dwelling, it's going to be what it is. Just go with the flow.
Blood in your urine? Call the doctor, set up the appointment, go on your merry way. Don't look it up on the internet and decide you have cancer. Don't put these thoughts in your head, just let the doctors work it out.
So folks, do what needs to be done and then let the chips fall after that. There are things you can control and things you can't. Control the ones you can and let the rest go.
Monday, November 13, 2006
I had my Cystoscopy done and I am fine. No detectable problems with the plumbing. The test wasn't as bad as I thought it would be during the test, but it hurt to pee for three days after.
We are now actively trying to keep Kitten saying Buttcrack. She repeats it occasionally, but she really likes to say Cracker.
The Zantac does not work for Meimei, as it didn't for Kitten, and I am currently giving Meimei Kitten's leftover Prevacid until I can call the doctor again.
I think the furnace banging is harmless old-house stuff. I don't think it's the furnace, I think it's the ducts. Anyway, the furnace debacle is ongoing. It may be an electrical problem, although the power hasn't cut again since that one morning.
I am going to pick up the kids' pictures today and schedule a new 3 month sitting for Meimei. She has a new (gorgeous!) outfit and it will just be her. I am hoping for some cute pics, she is even more smiley now.
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Friday, November 10, 2006
So this is who I am. I am someone who, if she schedules with you, schedules the rest of the day or at least several hours longer than anything actually takes. I do not, stack appointments, or if I do, I freak out all day that things will run over time and I will have to inconvenience someone. I don't like to tell people no, so I don't overschedule if I can help it.
This has a double benefit in that, with any extra time, I can usually spend some time with myself. As an introvert, this is priceless.
Pants is the kind of person who schedules as much in a day as possible, which can cause conflict. Case in point: my dad has invited us for a barbecue on Saturday, starting at 3. We are going, but Pants also wants to catch a movie afterward with a friend (The Departed). This works at this point because we usually have to be home early anyway to put Kitten to bed, but in the past it's been the point of contention - Pants made plans on a day when we were going to my dad's house. Because my dad is like me - plans for the whole day.
And maybe that is why I do it, too. My dad plans for the whole day. My mom plans for the whole day, or at least used to expect me to follow along with whatever plans she had made for the day. So when I make plans, I often just schedule out the day and put someone else in the driver's seat. I'll do whatever you want to do, for as long as you want to do it. (Zip it, Jaysan)
So going forward, I will work on asserting my will, or at least attempting to have one. Maybe that's really the issue: I don't think my plans are worth someone else's (see how valuable this writing stuff is? better than therapy!). I don't think my time is worth someone else's.
It all comes back to me not asking for what I want or need because, deep down, I don't feel like it's as important as other's needs. It's funny how this one thing seeps it's way into everything. Go figure.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Ok, so this is the only recent picture of me where I don't look incredibly weird or that isn't 5 minutes after I gave birth. So here's my new picture, since I'm upgrading everything and all. But yes, I am knocked up in the picture. Does it look like I'm getting the creepy "V" ring around my neck? Does that make Meimei an alien lizard baby?
By next, I guess I was wondering why I don't have one big overriding dream. Maybe I was coveting someone else's life again. Maybe it's just a fun tagline, like the stock answer we all have for the question "Tell me something interesting about yourself." (I once lived with a murderer. Not really that interesting, but it makes a great lead-in.)
You know what's really sad about a "lifelong dream?" It sounds like something you will never accomplish. Maybe that's why I don't have one. I can't think of much I would want to do that I don't believe I could do. And in a lot of ways, my friends are responsible for that. I have kayaked Lake Superior, rock-climbed somewhere other than a pre-fab wall, given birth with only a marginally effective epidural (ok, none of you helped with that one), and looked deep into my own dark corners and came out still standing.
So maybe I don't have a lifelong dream because when I want to do something, I do it. And that's a pretty satisfying feeling.
Once again, you ladies are the best friends a girl could have.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Anyway, Pants wanted to know if there was anything in my heart of hearts that I absolutely had to do before I died so we could start planning to do it. Isn't he the best? But, to my own horror, I could not think of one thing. I can certainly think of a list of things that I would like to do before I die, but none of them are so important as to be mentioned at my funeral 3 times during eulogies.
And it kind of started to scare me. Do I have no dreams for myself? If you stop dreaming, you die. I don't remember who said that, but this whole thing has me freaked out. Have I had so great a life that there is nothing else I am burning to do? I do get to do a lot of things others don't dare (adventure weekends, traveling abroad), but isn't there something else, something beautiful, poignant, or daring.
So what is your lifelong dream? And if you have heard me say anything about it, what is mine?
Monday, November 06, 2006
Saturday, November 04, 2006
MIL's first response was to move her door immediately so it's off the main room instead of the office. But the whole basement is cold, so that won't work.
Second response was to move her up to Meimei's room. But then where does she go? Certainly not in together, Kitten will be up all night.
Third was to move her into our room and we take hers. Um, no.
The real issue for MIL is that she thinks as soon as we turn on the space heater and leave the room it will set our toddler ablaze in a great conflagration and kill us all. I bought a very safe space heater - automatic shutoff if it tips or overheats, thermostat to make sure the temperature stays even, housing that's cool to the touch. And, frankly, Kitten has no interest in climbing out of the crib and will most likely have to be forcibly evicted from it when she goes to college. So the space heater? Not getting knocked over or touched in any way at night.
And this isn't a permanent solution. The permanent solution is to figure out why the basement is so cold all the time and fix it. I fixed all the upstairs vents, but that hasn't fixed the problem.
The one piece of good advice we got from MIL? Glass doors on the fireplace. The fireplace has no doors and is probably letting a lot of heat out, even with the damper closed.
Friday, November 03, 2006
Running With Scissors looks good (The Departed is a bit violent for this girl and The Last King of Scotland is only playing at the Lagoon), so I look online for times. Pants wants to find something earlier than the 7:25 in Maple Grove that we have a gift certificate for, but the only other truly viable option is a 6:15 in Coon Rapids. It's already 6:04 and no MIL in sight, so we're not making that movie.
Instead of showering during naptime, I spent the entire time cleaning the kitchen so we don't look like neanderthals. Hours later, at about 5, this is done. I start getting dinner ready for Kitten and realize I have crap all over my shirt. So I have to change my shirt for the second time today. My pants are okay, I just purchased them today and left them on after trying them out at home.
No shower, not sure if we're going to see a movie, probably not even going to get any. Dating sure has changed.
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Now they're both up. But they are both dressed and Sesame Street is on.
So I was thinking. What will I do when my life is not taken up with feeding and changing and burping and the like. What will I do when they both go to sleep at 7? So here's a short list:
Unpack the rest of my boxes.
Decorate for Christmas.
Paint my toenails.
Hang things on the walls.
Watch a movie.
Measure my kitchen and play with cabinet layouts.
Measure my bathroom and play with remodel layouts.
What would you do with a few extra minutes?
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
So the girls were ladybugs again this year. It's a good thing Halloween isn't on November 4, Meimei may not have fit into this bunting.
Kitten is walking all over the place, constantly making laps around the kitchen all day. Unless I am feeding Meimei or would like to be otherwise engaged, in which case she will stop whatever she is doing and want to be held.
We did Christmas pictures today and we actually got one of them together that will work. Kitten's 18-month pictures turned out great, of course, as they always do, with almost all being exceedingly cute and only a couple looking a little gorky. Meimei was not so lucky, however, and I think I will have to take her back in and have hers done again for her 3-month shots.
And yes, Kitten is crying on my leg while I tell her to say cheese for the camera. She doesn't like stuff on her head. Winter should be fun.
Monday, October 30, 2006
James and the Giant Peach - Roald Dahl
Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret - Judy Blume
Go Ask Alice - Anonymous
I have three more in transit:
In the Night Kitchen
Julie of the Wolves
Mommy Laid an Egg!
I have found, quite by accident, that juvenile fiction is about the only thing I can read right now because it's easy, short, and uncomplicated enough for me to remember what's going on. So the ALA list is the perfect fit for me, since much of it is juvenile fiction. Which makes sense, because I imagine most books are challenged because of what they might do to the children (won't someone think of the children?).
On that line, I don't know why the three books I read were so subversive. James and the Giant Peach? Are we afraid of the scary aunts that are mean to them? Are You There God? Ooh, we find out sometimes friends aren't as good as we though they were, and that 12-year-olds get their periods and wish for breasts. It was a revelation.
I can see why parents might have issues with Go Ask Alice, I thought it was pretty graphic too. But in the end, it's a pretty good tale of why you shouldn't do drugs. I would never even consider banning books, but this one is the closest I would come to thinking an age limit would be appropriate, like PG-13 movies. I still believe that's a parent's job, though, and I fully intend to know what my kids are reading.
[Note to self in 12 years - you will surely be eating these words, just one of many statements that you were so sure of but which were not practical in reality. Your children will not always tell you what they are reading, especially when it's dangerous material written by the heretic Judy Blume. Nice try.]
Saturday, October 28, 2006
After Pants and I have been together 10 years, I finally had to tell him. It was written all over my face. I hate Led Zeppelin.
Meimei wore the cutest little sweater this evening, extremely sweet. My baby's growing up!
My glasses are about 4 1/2 years old, the longest I have ever had a pair (the longest my prescription has ever permitted it) and I just got them repaired this week. Repaired. For free. Who knew? Go titanium frames!
Although I have watched entirely too much Law & Order for any one person's lifetime (I do not count Criminal Intent or L&O with Dennis Farina), I have actually caught two episodes in the last week that I have never seen.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Stop internet copyright theft-
Follow Syl's adventures only at
Monday, October 23, 2006
I think Elmo was krunking on Sesame Street this morning.
Why is it that I can't find time to clip my toenails but Britney Spears can lose all her baby weight and more in one month? Oh, wait, she has millions and millions of dollars. That must be the difference.
Kitten pointed up to the kitchen counter today and said "cook". And lo and behold, there was a pack of chocolate chip cookies on the top of the case of water on the counter. So, 9:00 am be damned, the kid got a cookie.
We've been putting one of Meimei's hats on Kitten and it looks like a little skullcap. She's my l'il gansta, my homeslice. Pants tried it on too, but he just looks Jewish.
I found Caribou Coffee granola bars at Sam's Club yesterday. Now I can be legitimately hopped up on caffeine all day and truthfully say I only had one cup.
The "House of Hatred?" Please, Dr. Phil, putting 6 people in a house that hate each other so you can film it? How Geraldo of you.
Saturday, October 21, 2006
In other news, Kitten fell down the stairs on Thursday, so now I will have to carry her down the stairs until she is 3, as she won't go near them. She wasn't injured (except her pride), so it actually turned out to be an effective deterrent to her fascination with the steps.
Meimei is awake and aware a bit more now. She holds her head up pretty well for short periods and smiles and coos occasionally. She is still sleeping with me, mostly out of my own laziness because I can just feed her when she wakes up and sort of sleep through it. She does kind of have a problem sleeping by herself, so now that she is two months old, we will need to start transitioning her to her crib. I go back and forth on the reflux medicine, but we still don't have her insurance card, so it's a moot point until that comes. Thankfully, she, like Kitten did at this age, is sleeping from about midnight to 6 every morning. She's not as good of a day napper, but I can usually get her to go down while Kitten is down for a nap each day so I can get a shower in or get some things done around the house.
Kitten is doing much better with Meimei, all evidence in the picture to the contrary. She likes to hug and kiss her and doesn't push or get aggressive with her as much anymore. She says her name quite a bit and has twice tried to offer her own nukkie when Meimei is crying. Makes a mom want to get all teary.
I don't have cancer. At least not bladder cancer. I have had blood in my urine since I came home from my gall bladder surgery and after a couple of visits to my regular doctor, they have sent me to a urologist. The urologist has determined that I do not have cancer, which I was already pretty sure of. I had an abdominal CT on Wednesday and we are awaiting the results. People, this is nothing, the worst case scenario, has already been ruled out. I'm hoping this is all over before I have to have a tube snaked into my bladder, which is scheduled for November 9. Ick. No pictures of my bladder, you'll just have to use your imagination
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Let me explain. This house has a well. It was built before there was city water here, in fact, this was the only thing at the end of a dirt road in the middle of a field. But I can't make a bottle with well water, so the previous owners switched the house over to city water. None of us wanted to cap the well, however (WAY too much paperwork), so they had it hooked to the outside water.
One does not generally run outside water in the winter, however, so the well was also hooked up to the icemaker so the well pipes didn't freeze up in the cold. Don't ask why this was the option, but it's just the way it is.
So the fact that my icemaker is broken is a titch more of an issue than most people's icemaker issues. I have no idea what will happen if the well pipes freeze, but I definitely do not want to find out. And since my refrigerator is a Magic Chef (yes, that is a brand name) side-by-side from approximately 1982, we're just going to replace it. And by god, if we are getting a new refrigerator, I am not leaving the store without new appliances in the kitchen. The fridge is the last piece I would have replaced.
Since many of my regular readers have not seen my appliances, I will attempt to enlighten you.
Stove: Lady Kenmore, definitely original to house. Someone, I don't remember who, walked into my kitchen and exclaimed that they remembered their mother desperately wanting the same stove in the 70s and then being mad when she got it because it's horrible to clean. I feel you sister. The solid surface cooktop is WHITE. The stove itself was once Almond, I believe, but the oven door was spraypainted black at some point, probably in the last few years. The oven cooks hot, sometimes. The stovetop cooks even hotter. I can't get down to a simmer on any burner. And the bottom drawer is off and basically just sits on the floor.
Microwave: most likely original. I especially enjoy the faux woodgrain detailing. Kashka walked in and immediately said, "That's from the Carter Administration." Actually cooks unevenly, so much so that one side of the hot dog will be burnt and the other side still frozen. And there's some cap inside in the top that appears to be coming off. That can't be safe. My kids are going to grow extra toes.
Dishwasher: an add-on, which I know because of the hose running through the cabinet between it and the sink. Also from the crappy framing patch-up job around it. But it can't be much newer than the early 80s. The seals are pretty much corroded off, I'm surprised it isn't leaking into the basement. The dishwasher doesn't really clean much of the food off anything, I pretty much have to wash everything before it goes in. And many of the little metal dividers on the racks have broken off (and are still breaking off) and then the rack rusts where the pieces broke off.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
"Michelle Bachman voted against legislation that would make it illegal to run a meth lab near children." Um, isn't it already illegal to run a meth lab? Would it be MORE illegal if the legislation passed? Not that I'm a Michelle supporter, but come on. Isn't there something more effectual to bring up?
"Patty Wetterling was even endorsed by a radical special interest that suggests we negotiate with the Taliban." This commercial is doing its best to suggest that Wetterling herself would like to go pal around with the Taliban. And you know what that means. (You don't? Me either, except that it appears to be a vague suggestion that she has a secret We Love Osama sign that she's waiting until after the election to try out.)
Patty Wetterling herself was a little quick to jump on the "let's flog the Mark Foley log" bandwagon, and I think using this as a political step is a bit ugly. It smacks of Republican scare and smear tactics and I don't like the Dems stooping to it.
On the other side of the coin, the Republican Committee's commercial saying that Patty Wetterling is untrustworthy because she told the Dems she wouldn't run again is a bit seedy. What do the Republicans care? She's endorsed by the Dems, they don't seem to mind that she changed her tune. And has anyone noticed how they are showing the "ripped paper" graphic during the commercial when they reference actual newspaper articles, but they also use it at the end when they say she's "another liberal that can't be trusted", making it look like that was also said in print? Oh, and using one letter to the editor to show that "her own party" doesn't think she's trustworthy is just pushing it too far.
Okay, so not terribly bipartisan, but I'm so tired of theses commercials. Can't elections be over, please?
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Meimei is 11 lbs 1 oz. She got 4 vaccinations and an oral for Rotavirus. She has been crying since 6:30 and only stops if I hold her and constantly pat her back (which makes typing harder). But I have some Tylenol so hopefully she'll sleep tonight.
Kitten is 24 1/2 lbs. and 30 1/2 inches. She got 2 vaccinations.
Pants got a migraine and went to bed at 8 after Kitten went down.
Kitten, on the other hand, did not cry for one second when she got her shots, tore the band-aid off immediately, and seemed to be much happier for the remainder of the day than she has been in two weeks. Um, can I get another couple of Hep A injections, just to keep on hand? Just for days when she really needs an attitude adjustment.
I, too, have found my content scraped on Bitacle.org. (P.S. - Never perform a websearch on the word "buttcrack".)
Anyway, Bitacle, if you don't know, is scraping blog feeds from across the net and allowing users to "search" blog contents. It appears that they are bringing you to the blog, but they are not. They have stolen the content and you are never actually leaving their website. They are then surrounding it all with ads, making a mint off the ad revenue, and not sharing any of it with the content authors. With me. And couldn't we all use a little extra smack, if our material will generate funds?
So my website will change just a touch, adding a few items like the copyright symbol and the No Commercial Use of Content badge seen above. I'm flattered that I'm amusing enough to be scraped, but they can't make money off my work. If anyone's going to make anything off it, it's going to be me.
Monday, October 16, 2006
Oh, and the fact that in both bedrooms there are cords coming up through slits cut into the carpet. Great job, dude, really professional.
I could go on, but I must stop or this could get much, much longer.
Did I mention the barn door track in the basement?
How about the bedroom that must be accessed through what we will call an "anteroom". Whose door is about 2 feet wide. Weird.
Or maybe the bargain basement patio doors that don't stay on the track. Or the matching set of black aluminum blinds upstairs that all work backwards. And black? Not my first choice. Doors are black too, must be where they picked up the color scheme.
Or the three sides of what is actually quite nice steel siding, and the inexplicable 70s front on the house, which I believe is actually painted plywood. And the garage doors that are a different color., which was obviously intentional, but truly tacky.
Or the dishwasher hose that runs through one of the cabinets to reach the disposal.
And, oh, there are so many more. And because we know the history of the house, we actually know about several of the half-assed things that they actually fixed before attempting to sell. Someday I will tell you about the powder room in the basement...
Sunday, October 15, 2006
So anyway, back to the vents. One day at Lowe's, I wandered into the vent aisle and bought one that I thought looked right, although I hadn't measured. It was wrong, of course, so I measured the vents upstairs and went back to Lowe's to return the 10x6 and purchase five 14x6 vents.
Got them home, and what do you know? You can't measure the vent, you have to measure THE HOLE IN THE WALL. Duh, Syl. So back to Lowes we went, returned the 14x6 and purchased the 12x4 vents that would prove to be correct. I was one short because I had counted wrong, not that it mattered because I had purchased all of the wall vents they had in that size. That's right, apparently this size is odd for some reason. So I installed the five I had and only needed one more to complete the upstairs and be done until next spring, when I will have to replace the downstairs vents so I can close them.
So I ventured to Home Depot today, all for naught. They have 12x4 floor registers, but not wall registers. And floor registers can't be screwed in, so they tend to just fall out of the wall. So I went to Menards for the first time in many moons and actually found the right vent.
Now the only thing left to do is glue the bathroom vent on. It's currently propped up with the bathroom trashcan because I don't think I can screw the vent in through the wall tile. I will glue it up like the last one was, and we shall be done with this particular project, which took several weeks longer than it was supposed to.
Ah, but here's the kicker. I can feel that there is a vent behind the cabinet that the previous owners added into the kitchen. I could feel the air coming through it, making the floor cold, and I can feel the heat now, making the floor hot. This makes me worry about the dry goods I have stored in that cabinet, although the cabinet is not good for much else.
If one was to add in a cabinet, wouldn't one close off the vent one was placing the cabinet over?
Saturday, October 14, 2006
Friday, October 13, 2006
This is making for some fairly rough days on the homefront. She throws tantrums at the drop of a hat. She is having trouble sleeping. And she's in a ton of pain and is chewing on everything. Things have been pretty rough all this week, but have been getting a little worse each day, until today she melted down at about 5:00 and couldn't pull it together. Poor kid. Poor me.
Now she's drugged and sleeping and hopefully we will have a better weekend. Through preventive pharmaceuticals.
I have a burning need to go to Ikea and thank god this is a larger trip than I am willing to take on yet. I can handle Target, even a two-store trip with both girls, but something that far away that will require me feeding both and possibly, god forbid, messing with naptime, scares the hell out of me. This is the only deterrent for my going there to spend what will surely amount to hundreds of dollars.
What do I want to spend on? Stuff for my house. We are actually doing quite well on home improvement here, with not too many projects purchased but unfinished.
We have purchased supplies for, but not completed:
- half of the child-proof cabinet locks
- large bathroom mirror
- bathroom wall decor (downstairs)
- front door handle and side door deadbolt (doors need to be drilled)
- light fixture in hall and Kitten's room
- upstairs vents
- new thermostat
And I want to buy:
- wall cabinets for laundry room (above washer and dryer)
- shelves for downstairs bathroom
- bedside lights for master bedroom
- shelves for Kitten's room
- more shelves for kitchen
- Lots more organizational goodies
But I think I have decided that, as long as my will can hold out, I will not buy anything more until all purchased projects that I can complete are done. So today I intend to get all of the vents installed, as that is a heat-affecting, and therefore money-affecting, endeavor. If I still have time, I will hang the bathroom thingy and the remaining cabinet locks, since I will have the drill in the house already.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Sunday, October 08, 2006
Which reminded me of other purchasing stories I have heard. Everyone knows that most men won't purchase feminine products, but one guy my mom worked with said he didn't mind that, but wouldn't buy pantyhose. He said there would never be a clerk questioning whether or not he was using the feminine products...
My brother would never go into a store to only buy toilet paper, concerned that the clerk might think he was just really desperate to take a crap.
So what won't you purchase?
She's getting pretty good at walking now, too. She's getting much more confident, even switching hands mid-circle (although she always wants you to hold her right hand when she stands up). She took a step a couple of times last night between objects and she stood still on her own for up to 5 seconds a couple of times too, before falling down out of fear.
So we're getting close to walking. I'm excited because it would be nice to be able to have her walk out to the car or over to the playground, or just out in the yard. Plus, there's just geeked out parent excitement watching your kids do stuff for the first time. It's knowing you had a part of it, like inventing the wheel just for this kid. Or, at least knowing they will learn in spite of you, no matter how lame you are.
But I am also terrified that she will want to walk everywhere, and then will want to take off. She continues to test us around the house, just to see where the line is and what we will do if she crosses it. So we might be investing in a leash, another thing I said I would never do, but would so do.
In other Kitten news, we are now brushing her teeth nightly. I brush mine and she lets me brush hers. It's only been a couple of days, so I'm not super concerned yet about how clean they are getting, just that she gets used to the process and the brush. This is a child who will not wear a hat, so I expected getting a toothbrush in her mouth to be much more difficult. The only problem is that she sees me close my lips around the brush, so she closes hers. So now I have to brush with my mouth open so she will open up and I can brush her teeth. But it's weird. Try it and see if you can do it without drooling toothpaste all over yourself.
Saturday, October 07, 2006
Bringing up Monica Lewinski as an answer to Mark Foley. Um, yeah, she was a legal, consenting ADULT. Not so much with the Page. Nice try, Sean Hannity, but you can't make this a democrat problem.
Bringing up allegations against a democrat regarding a Page from 1983. Yeah, that wasn't 23 years ago. Roll again, Sean.
Using the shower when you know it leaks. Brilliant, Syl, brilliant.
Double strollers. They are either WAY too heavy and unweildy or you can't put an infant in them until they are at least 5-6 months old. No good way to motor 2 kids around, really.
Scary Stories (Series) by Alvin Schwartz
Daddy's Roommate by Michael Willhoite
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling
Forever by Judy Blume
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Alice (Series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
The Giver by Lois Lowry
It's Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
Goosebumps (Series) by R.L. Stine
A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Sex by Madonna
Earth's Children (Series) by Jean M. Auel
The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
The Stupids (Series) by Harry Allard
The Witches by Roald Dahl
The New Joy of Gay Sex by Charles Silverstein
Anastasia Krupnik (Series) by Lois Lowry
The Goats by Brock Cole
Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane
Blubber by Judy Blume
Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan
Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier
Final Exit by Derek Humphry
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
What's Happening to my Body? Book for Girls: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Daughters by Lynda Madaras
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Beloved by Toni Morrison
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
The Pigman by Paul Zindel
Bumps in the Night by Harry Allard
Deenie by Judy Blume
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden
The Boy Who Lost His Face by Louis Sachar
Cross Your Fingers, Spit in Your Hat by Alvin Schwartz
A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice)
Asking About Sex and Growing Up by Joanna Cole
Cujo by Stephen King
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
The Anarchist Cookbook by William Powell
Boys and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
Ordinary People by Judith Guest
American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
What's Happening to my Body? Book for Boys: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Sons by Lynda Madaras
Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
Crazy Lady by Jane Conly
Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher
Fade by Robert Cormier
Guess What? by Mem Fox
The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende
The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Native Son by Richard Wright
Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women's Fantasies by Nancy Friday
Curses, Hexes and Spells by Daniel Cohen
Jack by A.M. Homes
Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo A. Anaya
Where Did I Come From? by Peter Mayle
Carrie by Stephen King
Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
Arizona Kid by Ron Koertge
Family Secrets by Norma Klein
Mommy Laid An Egg by Babette Cole
The Dead Zone by Stephen King
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
Always Running by Luis Rodriguez
Private Parts by Howard Stern
Where's Waldo? by Martin Hanford
Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman
Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
Running Loose by Chris Crutcher
Sex Education by Jenny Davis
The Drowning of Stephen Jones by Bette Greene
Girls and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
View from the Cherry Tree by Willo Davis Roberts
The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
The Terrorist by Caroline Cooney
Jump Ship to Freedom by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
I'm ashamed that I haven't read some of these, and some I'm ashamed to admit I have (spanky books). I've been meaning to catch up on my Roald Dahl, but first I have to see what my current library fine is.
Monday, October 02, 2006
Sometimes Meimei just wants to be left the hell alone. As opposed to all the other times she wants complete physical contact.
Kitten's mood is touch and go with the discipline issues, but we did have a lovely time playing on the playground the other night, just the two of us. Until we went down the slide and it was wet at the bottom, so I looked and felt like I wet my pants the rest of the time. But Kitten had fun.
We now take a walk every morning to the big park, mostly because Kitten really enjoys the wagon and can't get into trouble. Except today she threw her sweatshirt out of the wagon sometime between the far end of the baseball diamonds and home. Oh well. My bad for leaving it in there and not paying closer attention.
Meimei's ability to not poop is freaking me out. She goes days, but it never comes out as constipated, so the books say she's okay. Whatever.
Kitten watched most of Sesame Street this morning before she lost interest. So I bought a DVD today in case of emergency. And she loves Johnny Cash, so I bought At Folsom Prison for our lunchtime listening pleasure. Yeah, she's cool.
Saturday, September 30, 2006
First of all, don't think this is some sobfest about how my life has gone awry and I'm some deprived suburban housewife tied down to a yard and kids. I have exactly the life I wanted (minus the teething and flatulence), and it's pretty fabulous.
But my life isn't book-worthy. It's not column-worthy. And for crying out loud, I don't know why you all keep coming back, it's certainly not interesting enough to fill these pages as often as I do. If it weren't for bad jokes and chronic constipation, I would have no material.
My life is just so... average. Not romantic or adventurous or chaotic. Now, take Mike. Mike is following his dream of acting and he's getting somewhere. In the meantime, he's doing what he needs to do to get by - he's driving a cab. That's dedication to a craft, to a dream.
My dream, if you can even call it that, when I graduated college was to write for a newspaper. Really, truly, I would like to be a critic. But honestly, it was just something I thought would be cool. Not a dream, not something I even considered moving for, or giving up anything for. So I sent resumes to a few places, took a corporate job "just to pay the bills" until I found something "real", and I'm still there 10 years later.
Maybe I'm mourning the fact that I never had a cool career goal, like lawyer, doctor, actor, something cool, something with some cache to it. Process writing (or Operational Engineering, as my title reads) is actually quite rewarding and a good fit for me. It might even be applicable in other fields, should I choose to leave my current job. I like my boss, my coworkers, my office. And it definitely pays the bills. But it's not the stuff of novels. Can you imagine? Syl's eyes grew wide, a look of terror spreading across her face. "No one has been collecting these accounts, not for months! Thank god I came when I did!" Not exactly riveting material.
It's probably just that I am fed up with my kids today and wondering what a different life would be like. A cool life. A life where I have exotic dreams and everything is like a movie. Like I only have to suffer for my dreams for 2 hours and then everything works out in the end.
Truth is, I think I'm living my dream. I love my family. I have a great job. I took the girls for a walk today on the path that goes by our house and found the big park a few blocks away. As we walked around the corner to see the pond, filled with geese and ducks, the huge playground and the baseball fields and ice rink, I was so thankful this was my home. This is where my kids are going to be from, this is where they are going to grow up. This is what I've been working towards - a quiet, secure, happy house where I can cultivate my family, a quiet job where I can be needed, feel smart, and still leave at 4:30 to pick up my kids.
So I guess the point is, some of us don't need fame or to work for a career goal that is noble or exciting, or whatever. Hey, more power to those who do, I hope they get it. Mike, I hope this latest job pans out into a blossoming career that pays the bills and satisfies you. I hope it brings you the kind of happiness I have already found. And I hope that you can get through the crappy days that will inevitably come with your dream and still keep the shine on it.
The point is, this was a crappy day and it made me wish for the romance of someone else's life. But their days are crappy too, and life ain't always beautiful. My house is a mess, my kids are crabby, and I would like to get some more sleep. But damn, life is good.
Friday, September 29, 2006
Kitten is still testing limits, but is settling in. Now she is having trouble going to sleep and we have to go back to her room and reassure her that we are still here and we will play some more when she wakes up. She's still very confused about all the changes, I think, and she has never been one for change.
Meimei is growing fast (9 lbs. last Tuesday!) and is eating and sleeping well. Although she could be sleeping more. She's 5 weeks old and I am eagerly anticipating moving her to sleep in her own bed. And I am also awaiting the day when she sleeps more than 4.5 hours at a time in the night. Kitten was sleeping 6 hours at night by 2 months, if I remember correctly.
Because I don't yet have Meimei's insurance card, I can't pick up her medication unless I am inclined to pay $81 for it. And since I am not, she is just going to live with the acid until her card appears. But she seems not too terribly unhappy, or at least it's doable, so maybe we will skip the meds after all.
I made fantastic au jus sandwiches this evening from Rachael Ray's show.
I'm getting a bit more used to getting stuff done with one kid underfoot and one attached at the breast, and I actually got the bills paid today and some other stuff done online. And I got dinner cooked, but not a whole lot else done.
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Elmo must be stopped. An insidious force, he has injected himself, slowly but surely, into every aspect of Sesame Street until he now rules the show. He's Karl Rove, but on stage instead of behind the scenes. His little speech impediment is an act, people. Elmo's calculated this from the beginning. He's taken over the whole show and it's time to take it back.
And who will do it? Bert and Ernie, while not gay, are certainly too pussy (although I think Bert could snap and kill one of the children one day; he's entirely too frustrated). Big Bird? Hardly seen anymore, he's gone into hiding. Even the Grouch has gone soft, reading a bedtime story every day to Slimy, his worm. Sans trash can, I might add.
Grover is on permanent assignment, constantly traveling. Cookie Monster is still holding strong, he might be a candidate. The Count is clearly insane, always has been. Just try getting him out of his dungeon. Maybe Mr. Hooper can come back from the dead and kick some ass.
Elmo's reign of terror must be stopped. I'm sure kids think he's cute, but should we be playing down to them with the baby talk? What happened to speaking to children like adults so they learn how? I'm sure Elmo is a monetary juggernaut, but what happened to Sesame Street being an educational juggernaut?
DOWN WITH ELMO!!
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Now, we can't just put her in a chair, she will get right up. She's a bit young (and willful) to get this concept. So I put her in the Pack 'N Play in Meimei's room. Two minutes. I know they're only supposed to get the same number of minutes as their age, but come on. One minute? Please. I can't even get out of the livingroom and back in that time. Kitten howled the entire time both times, so clearly she doesn't like it. And she started listening after that.
So how do I teach her the lessons? Well, we have long suspected Kitten understands much more than she can verbalize, so I have been talking to her for months as if she understands, on the off-chance she does. And something's getting through, because when I gave her warnings the rest of the day and said if she did it again she would go to timeout, she stopped whatever it was she wasn't supposed to do (playing with the trash can, smacking her sister, etc.).
I used to believe that if we could just make everything in the livingroom/dining room/kitchen babyproof we wouldn't have to worry about her. Today, I realized that it's the easy way out and that she will never learn to mind me in the outside world where things aren't all babyproofed and neat if I don't start having these battles at home. Especially when she starts walking. Lord help me.
And on an added note, Kitten tried to bite me today. She's never done that before, although I should have expected this kind of physical lashing-out. She can't yell at me, so what's really left to her? Anyway, she tried to bite me and I think I pulled the mom-voice, and possibly the mom-look. I was so shocked I said "Don't you dare" in my best Dirty Harry impression, and she was so shocked, she didn't dare. So, crisis averted. But my kid, a biter? Hmmm. Must be Pant's genes.
And there will be no comments from the peanut gallery on my childhood biting habits. I never have and I never will. I will deny all other versions and forward any comments that contradict my story to my therapist and a man trained in "shutting people up but good."
Monday, September 25, 2006
Tomorrow is the first day all by myself with the Terror Twins. Officially, we will have all gone insane by 5:00 and if you don't hear about the murder-suicide on the evening news, we will all be checked in to the psych ward. See you there!
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
And although Meimei dropped the motherlode Monday night, I am afraid she is constipated again, as she has had terrible gas all day, causing crying fits about every 5-10 minutes all day. Kitten's issue appears to have cleared, but mine is still ongoing.
So I got nothing on my list yesterday done, although I did get myself and meimei to our respective doctors, which did have to be done. And today? Nothing but sitting and holding a crying baby. Who has now finally chosen to sleep.
Did I mention she is a stomach sleeper? Which of course is verboten in this day and age of SIDS. Thankfully, she will sleep with one of us in whatever position we put her in. She only apparently needs to nap on her stomach, at which time I can watch her while still getting stuff done. And she's super strong, so hopefully she'll turn over quickly and I won't have to worry about her sleeping on her stomach anymore.