Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Year End Redux, Via Sundry

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?

I spent 7 hours a day, every day, away from my twin daughters. I learned how to use Ebay. I started using reusable shopping bags for EVERY shopping trip.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I didn't make resolutions last year, that I can recall... but I intend to this year. I think the main ones will be a) getting out of debt and b) getting into shape. David and I are considering trying out the ol' Dave Ramsey plan... input anyone? Also, I'd like to learn how to use Photoshop Elements.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Yes- I've officially moved out of the "everyone's getting married" phase and am fully entrenched in "everyone's growing their family" phase. (What's next? "Everyone's going broke over braces"? or perhaps "Everyone's putting their daughters on the pill"?)

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Blessedly, no.


5. What countries did you visit?

Errrummm, NONE. Pathetic.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?

Financial health, physical health, a few more wall-paper-free rooms, a new camera and some photography skillz.


7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

November 4th my heart burst with joy and relief.

The kids' birthdays are always slow-motion, savor the child, reflect on how they've grown type of days. The twins celebrate their arrival on Jan. 23rd, and Marin joined us on Sept 25th. They turned 5 and 2, respectively, this year.

The first day of kindergarten was A Pretty Big Deal for all of us. We became Parents of Grade School Aged Children. But do I remember the DATE? No.


8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I sat in a dentists' chair without running out of the office and barfing in the parking lot.


9. What was your biggest failure?

Getting healthy.


10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Our whole family was much healthier this year than last. 2007 was a very hard year for our family, health-wise, so this was v. v. appreciated.


11. What was the best thing you bought?

New living room furniture- it changed how we lived in our home.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

I enjoyed watching the execution of the Obama campaign- it was done with integrity and focus and respect.


13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

I am so sick of my parents' "getting a divorce"- it's been over 2 years since they started the process. I also am depressed about how they spend and handle their money, and I worry about their ability to sustain themselves in the future.


14. Where did most of your money go?

Besides being "house-poor", we tried to get aggressive about paying off our medical debt.


15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

The election. My daughter loosing her first tooth. Adapting our lifestyle to be more earth friendly.

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?

Can't tell you, or you'll laugh.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:


a) happier or sadder? I am more content with life this year than last year. This is probably partially because we were all much healthier this year. I've really embraced life in Tiny Town, and I can now say that I LIKE living here.


b) thinner or fatter? About the same


c) richer or poorer? About the same... but in theory we've paid down some debt...


18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Spending time savoring my girls, playing with them, letting time slip away, ignoring chores and schedules and to do lists and just being with them. Talking to my husband more. Talking/visiting to some far-flung friends more often.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Saying negative things. Indulging in negative thoughts and feelings and/or being judgemental. Worrying. Being crabby to the kids when they were just being kids.


20. How did you spend Christmas?

We were home as a family for Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. Christmas Day was with David's side. Christmas the third was with my mom on the 29th. Christmas the fourth is on the 31st at my dad's house.


21. Did you fall in love in 2008?

Yes, with ragdoll cats. If that's not the most embarrassing part of this whole questionnaire... Jebus. CATS.


22. What was your favorite TV program?

I really got into LOST this year. I still love Grey's, Daily Show, and Brothers and Sisters. Also, Oprah. SHUT IT.


23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

I spent some (wasted, pathetic) time hating (or at least strongly disliking) someone this year, but I've since gotten over it, somewhat, which is much healthier for me.


24. What was the best book you read?

Hmmmm, I really loved Water for Elephants.


25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

You mean there are artists out there besides the Indigo Girls?


26. What did you want and get?

A laptop, a kitten (actually didn't know I wanted one until I WANTED ONE, if you know what I mean), the old chairs from my Grandma's house, a skillet WITH A LID, new couches, community with friends old and new, and more time to read.

27. What did you want and not get?

A SLR digital camera. East Coast Anne to move in next door, a 2009 calendar (YET), the ability to STOP napping. Le Sigh.


28. What was your favorite film of this year?

I loved Once and Lars and the Real Girl.


29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 33 (I think) (I was born in '75... so that makes me 33, right?), but I can't for the life of me remember what we did. (Sorry David).


30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Not having so much GD debt.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?

Fashion WHA? Ok, well this year, I wore my favorite gray hat alot (until I lost it), along with jeans, my red clogs, and various sweatshirts/hoodies/sweaters. In the summer, I loved turning my jeans into capris and sloshing around in flip-flops.


32. What kept you sane?

Hanging out with other moms, the ladies at work, blogging and reading blogs, ZOLOFT.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

I had full on crushes on Barack Obama and TINA FEY. The end.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

D) ALL OF THE ABOVE

35. Who did you miss?

East Coast Anne. Viscerally. It really sucks that we can't really raise our kids together. My college friends Christy and Anne- isn't it about time to hit Olive Garden, girls? Tammy.


36. Who was the best new person you met?

Annie and family.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.

That being in the know about our finances is rewarding and not scary. Spending less is satisfying. There is a big difference between what we "need" and what we think we need. There is much excess in these tough times, and we are very VERY blessed- in many ways- but specifically in the material ways. Especially compared to most of our human brothers and sisters living on this planet.


38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Pass.

Happy New Year, friends. Be safe. Drink merrily. See you next year.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Peace and Glad Tidings

Dear Friends of Bloglandia,

Whatever you believe, however you celebrate, I hope you are having a wonderful holiday. Blogging has been such a good experience for me- seeing how all of you are living your lives, reading about your great families and the good AND bad moments, viewing pictures of your children, your pets, your private lives. Thank you for being such a caring "I hear ya" kind of community.


Blessings and peace,


Marie

+++++++++++

Raw and untouched, here are a few photos of our Christmas:


Our tree- she doesn't know how lucky she is that she still has a warm home for the holidays. (See also: OMeffingG the pine needles).

Chef Marin- what you can't see is that she is pant-less and also diaper-less in this photo, making the view of her walking away especially comical.



Christmas Eve- after candle light service, before our subzero arctic walk.



Layered, and ready to head out to view the luminaries in our neighborhood.




Despite the actual air temp being -2 (which we didn't look at before we headed out), our neighborhood was beautifully lit. That is our house in the background.





The countdown is OVER! It's finally Christmas Day! And, small Christmas miracle as it may be, our children did not rouse us until 7 am. ON THE NOSE.



Our family shot, at David's parents' house, yesterday. We take a family photo every year in this spot, which makes it fun to see how the children have grown and changed.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Day in the Life

Over at Sundry's place, you can see her version of this post, where you will find great writing along with beautiful, well framed photos. While I did get my inspiration for this post from her, you will only find crappy snapshots and poor lighting over here. So with that enticing preview, I present our day, yesterday, December 22, 2008:

Some morning playtime, shockingly without any fighting (for once). I guess the fact that the big girls are home on vacation is still novel. Only 12 more days left before school is back in session! (Hold me.)



Why, yes, Marin is still wearing her original over-night diaper. We try to get our money's worth out of those things. Plus, it's greener. But look! We are still happily reading books and not bickering!


Well, since the girls are fed and happy, I guess it's time for some morning coffee.




Dammit! Grounds in the pot! Why does this always happen to me? I even wet the filter this morning, trying to prevent this very thing. Oh, well. Obv. I still drank it down. While sitting in my "nest":





Laptop? Check. Cordless phone? Check. 40 blankets? Well, not quite, but at least a nice big thick one. Kitten to attack the back of my neck while I type? Check.

While I would love to tool around on the Internets for, um, hours, there are things! to! do! Like, put the dolly down for a nap.



And have a morning snack. Store brand "gogurt"= one of three foods that sustains my children. (The other two are bread and candy.)



Around 10 AM I decided I better not push my luck with the overnight diaper any longer. I win! It has not yet leaked. Note to self: best not to push it so far next time... one more molecule of fluid and she was going to blow.
Might as well get the baby dressed while I'm at it. Including standard-issue foot wear (see also: thermostat set at 67 degrees).



Ok, so now we are starting to drive each other bat-shit crazy. I have not left the house since Thursday. I call a friend... want to meet at the library? She can't make it, but I decide to venture out with the kids anyway. We need some new movies, ahem, I mean books.
Oh, look! It's warmed up! It's only -8!


We each apply 14 layers of down and gortex, and we are off!



The following is a crappy picture I took FOR YOU GUYS while walking into the library. As I snapped this I was hollering to the girls- "Run for the door! Skin freezes in, like, 2 seconds!"



The library was pretty deserted. I guess most people were smart enough to stay in. Anyway, shortly after we arrived, I started to smell this really fowl odor. It was STRONG. And NASTY. Oh, and look at that! It's coming from my daughter's butt! Do you think I have a clean diaper along? NO. How many times have I left the house in her 2 years, 2+ months without a clean diaper? ZERO. I hurry the kids through the process of picking out books, all the while Marin is happily chattering to the (crabby) librarian about how her diaper is SOGGY and STINKY and POOPY!
Oh, well, we still picked out a few things.




We came straight home where I changed one of the dirtiest dirty diapers of my LIFE, after which I spent some quality time spraying Glade directly up my nostrils.
Next I made a hasty lunch and put Marin down for a nap. The big girls had some quiet time reading books and watching their library movies.



Marin slept until 4:30. I have the best napper in the WORLD, I know.
And yes, we do feed her chocolate to keep her from climbing my legs while I make dinner. But not every day. I mean, sometimes, I put her in front of the tv instead.
(Send Mothering-related awards, if you must.)



Hey, look at the 12 step, gourmet meal I prepared. I know it may look like a frozen pizza and sliced apple, but I'm here to tell you friends, it took some serious cooking to put a meal of this quality on the table.
(Shut up.)


Finally I leave you with our bedtime routine of piling into my bed to read some stories. I don't think my teeth usually look so... chipmunk-y, but I guess I don't know for sure.



The night ended with a serious gift wrapping session. So serious that NO photos were taken. I wrapped about 20 presents. Guess how many David wrapped in the same time? That's right, THREE. *SIGH*
Happy Christmas Eve-Eve!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

(Almost) Done

David took the day off yesterday, at the last minute, and we went Christmas shopping together.

I'm always curious how other people handle gift-giving, so I'll tell you if you'll tell me!

We give each of our kids 3 gifts from us. I love having this guideline, because once I've found 3 gifts, I can move on to the next child. Santa comes to our house and brings one present, plus fills the stockings. Almost DONE.

For our parents and grandparents we order Shutterfly photo books. This year I also have some little purse-sized notebooks with Joan and Kate's original artwork on the cover (ordered through a fundraiser). DONE.

The kids draw names on David's side- there are 16 grandchildren. So we have 3 kids to buy for, plus our niece who is David's godchild. I ask their parents what they would like. (2 out of 4 DONE).

David and I each got each other a couple of little things. This year we are not exchanging much. (I'm looking at YOU, shitty economy and YOU, medical bills.)

I managed to finish my shopping for our kids without buying a single piece of plastic! I KNOW! For the record, I am not against plastic- if you came to my house that would be VERY obvious. But it felt good to not buy plastic. I'm not sure why. I think I might be a closet hippie.

Today I have a doula client that is having a scheduled Csection, so I'll make a couple of exchanges and pick up a couple of misc. things while I'm in Bigger Town. Then, I think I'll be DONE-DONE.

Plus I wrapped nearly everything last night.

WHO IS THIS PERSON?

Oh, yeah, before I get too cocky, I just remembered that I haven't even considered our Christmas cards yet. If I work on them this weekend and mail them by next Monday, they'll get to (most) everyone by Christmas, right?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Laptop, Cold, Adorable

David kicked me off our computer.

We have a home office, with all-the-latest in computer advances, including 2 flat screen monitors. Also, a comfy chair, superfast connection, and other bells and whistles that I don't have proper appreciation for... until they are gone.

The problem was that we would fight over using the computer. When I say "fight" I mean the silent type- I would dash into the office to check my email while he finished putting the kids to bed, then he would hover and pace- without saying a word- waiting for me to get off. I would be annoyed that he was hovering and pacing and take my time. ECT, ECT, ECT.

(We have other computers- but this was the easiest to use and also the only one with both my email and all of our (kazillions) of pictures on it.)

Soooo, David finally had enough and moved all of it over to my very own laptop.

I'm mostly happy with this arrangement.

HOWEVER.

How do laptop users get comfortable while using a laptop? I mean, short of sitting at the kitchen table (HARD, WOODEN, COLD), I am facing an ergonomic shitstorm over here. My legs are stiff from being curled under me, my shoulder is stiff from using the mouse, my wrists are stiff from trying to type. Also, I think I've developed a twitch.

Do other laptop users use the laptop on their laps? Because if they do, I cannot figure out how they are not hunched over, carpel tunnel ridden, permanently altered invalids.

In other news, it is minus 6.2 degrees Fahrenheit here right now. As in: BELOW ZERO. Windchill is currently being measured in Kelvin. Since the temperatures have plummeted 3 DAYS AGO, I have managed to not step a single big toe outside. I'm not sure if that qualifies me as a hermit or a genius, but whatevs. I'm warm.

(And by warm, I mean I'm sitting in my 67 degree house under 23 blankets, with 7 wool sweaters and about eleventy billion pairs of socks on.)

(Which, incidentally, then turns me into a panting, mouth breathing, sweating, ball-o-fun when I whip out the vacuum approx. every 2.4 minutes to suck up all of the pine needles OMeffingG the pine needles!)


Finally, news from the adorable front: I don't think I mentioned in my last post that Coco plays fetch. We toss her favorite "dead bird" toy, and she does that awkward chirp/meow and dashes after it. After she makes sure it's STILL DEAD, she trots back to us with it in her mouth, just like a puppy.

!!

She also loves to chase Marin while Marin drags a string. Between the toddler chubby legs pumping around, and the toddler belly laugh, and the kitten sliding into walls as she tries (and fails) to catch the string... Honestly, I don't need to go out (and possibly FREEZE TO DEATH), I have free entertainment right here.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sliding Into Lows

I called my doctor today and requested a med consult. It seems I've been on a bit of a slide lately, and it was HIGH TIME I did something about it.

It started a couple of months ago, when I would wake around 3am and would not be able to fall back asleep. I never have sleep troubles, so this was unusual for me. Also, I was extremely nauseous every morning- to the point where I spent a great deal of time pressing my forearms into my breasts and wondering "AM I????" I even took a pregnancy test... negative.

Next, I wandered into a "I don't give a goddamn so don't ask me" phase, which was lovely actually, though also not normal for me. I couldn't make decisions, I didn't care one way or another, NOTHING could ruffle my feathers, Nosiree. Me, not have an opinion? Ha, ha, ha, ha, HA!

Ahem.

We didn't know where we were spending Thanksgiving until hours before we had to leave... I simply could not focus on the choices or make a decision, and I also didn't really care where we ended up. (Which was in South Dakota, sharing a motel room with my mom and her dog. But luckily? It was fine. I was as calm and disconnected as a clam.)

Also during this time, I was having trouble controlling my impulses.

Exhibit A:


This is Coco. She's a Ragdoll/Persian mix, and we love her dearly. She definitely has the "floppy-cat" characteristics and is very tolerant with the children. Merry Christmas to us, a bit early!

Um? I guess I forgot to reread this post. Oops.

A related confession: I've completely fallen in love with the Ragdoll breed. Which is, to put it bluntly, embarrassing. I mean, I am not a Cat Lady. I'm not! And I'm not a Specific Breed Lady either. Or a Designer Cat Lady. And I'm surely not a Pay Money For A Cat While Hundreds Of Kittens Are Euthanized In Shelters Lady.

But I lurrrrve Ragdolls. In fact, let's just add "being obsessed" to the list of symptoms I experienced during this phase of The Slide.

(We paid a modest "rehoming" fee for Coco, since she is a ragdoll mix. But that doesn't stop me from thinking about- and even plotting- purchasing a(nother) ragdoll kitten. WHAT IS MY PROBLEM??? Oh, yeah, right. Now I remember.)

Finally, after all of that, I started to feel sad. It would hit suddenly and intensely, and then recede leaving me feeling exhausted, but no longer sad... just confused. My depression has never manifested itself as overt sadness, so this also was atypical. The ever-familiar anxiety was back too, it fits and starts.

By now it was a big ol' DUH that I needed to do something. I've been taking an antidepressant for over 2 years and never increase my dosage... until today. I've been instructed to give it two weeks and then reevaluate. So that puts us right at... what? Christmas Eve? WONDERFUL. I GET TO BE CRAZY FOR CHRISTMAS.
+++++++++++



[Edited to add: I wrote this post a few days ago, and since I've increased my dose, I've magically felt much better. I KNOW the increase wouldn't actually take effect that quickly, but I guess I'll take this mood improvement- no matter what the cause.]

Friday, November 14, 2008

What To Do About The Food

You know how you have all these grand ideas about parenting and about the type of child you will raise, and how that all vanishes about the time you spend your first night alone with your newborn?

Well, one of my BIG things, before I had children of my own, was that my kids were going to be good eaters. They would eat their veggies, they would love tofu, and they would not have (much) candy.

In fact, I was SO SURE of this, that I judged people who had picky eaters. Specifically, a couple of the kids in David's family. I was FULL of answers for those poor, uniformed parents. If only I could have a week with those kids, I'd have them eating.

Cut to our house, present-day mealtime.

BOY HOWDY. These girls of mine are decidedly NOT good eaters. Not even close.

First, we have the baby. (OK FINE, SHE'S TWO. Stop rubbing it in.) She eats cheese, fruit, and toast... and not much else. She does slug back an impressive amount of (soy) milk and juice though. Oh, and she can put away the mac-n-cheese. Seriously, she can eat more of it than you can. No, really.

To help her become a better eater, I've decided to start limiting her fluid intake. She is now allowed one (1) sippy cup of (soy) milk and one (1) small sippy cup of deluded juice per day. After those are gone, it's water only.

No more drinking all of her calories. I'm hopeful that this will make a big difference.

Next, we have the twins. They fuss and complain their way through every meal- coming to the table rudely complaining that "I don't like ____". It drives me crazy. Also, they bargain with us immediately after sitting down- "How many bites of ____ do I have to have before I can have some yogurt/bread/candy?"

They eat little to nothing if we are eating anyplace but home (even McDonalds!), and I'm doubtful they eat much during lunch at school.

For them, I think it's become more of a power struggle than a food thing. So from now on, we are not going to argue with them about food. We will put healthy food on the table, and if all they eat is bread, FINE. At least mealtime won't be a battleground.

Also, I'm cutting off the after-school snacking at 4pm SHARP. Unless they want carrot sticks. Or raw tofu. Otherwise, nothing more until dinner.

So I guess what I need to continue to learn/remind myself is that as parents, we sometimes need to take a step back and re-evaluate the method we are using. To be constantly adjusting the navigation system is tiresome, but maybe less so than continuing on a path that isn't going anywhere?

I think the food issue is so hard, especially when raising girls. From how I understand it, most eating disorders are more about control and less about food, so it seems V. V. Important to not mess it up. It's about so much more than eating your veggies.

Talk about pressure.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Opposite of a Gratitude List

Well there's nothing else to say about it other than this: Migraines suck. I cannot think of another discomfort, save for the after-surgery nausea that seems to plague me for at least 12 hours each and every time I receive anesthesia, that is worse than having a migraine. And yes, I'm including childbirth and C-section recovery in that blanket statement.

I woke tired this morning, with a slightly stiff neck. After going about my day in a fairly normal fashion, I suddenly started feeling quite ill. I snarfed back a couple of Excedrin and picked up the girls from school. My vision blurred, and my stomach sent me a couple of meaningful threats. I tried to nap, but the caffeine in the Excedrin kept me alert and jittery. Besides, laying down makes me neck MORE sore, and somehow my neck pain is related to having migraines.

Currently, I have the Excedrin buzz that blissfully dulls the pounding pain. I think I took my blessed drugs just in time- I think this one is on it's way out. I will spend the rest of today feeling like I am on the brink of something terrible, and being anxious about the terrible coming to fruition.

To make matters worse, my grandma- my beloved, kick-ass, cooler-than-your-grandma, grandma wants me to somehow hook her up with Obama so that she can donate a puppy. I should mention that my grandma is THE coolest person I know- she has a terrific personality; she is smart and funny and witty; she is wise and honest and tactful; she is nothing short of the bees knees, really. But she's also getting old. And she honestly thinks that since I have a dear friend that lives in the DC area, a friend who years ago worked on the Hill, that I can get a personal message to Barack Obama that she has a champion-line Yorkshire Terrier puppy for his daughters.

You guys, she really believes that I can "pull some strings" for her. And for some reason, I do not know how to tell her that NO, I cannot contact Mr. Obama for he seems to be, oh, I don't know, THE MOST IN DEMAND PERSON in our country right now. And I do agree that adopting a puppy from a little old lady in South Dakota would make a good story, I think there are probably plenty of people offering up puppies for little Malia and Sasha. "Well, we can't focus on the competition" says Grandma. *SIGH*

Additionally, I have a work project that I need to finish but have been procrastinating, I have a doula client who deserves a phone call and her birth notes, and I have a toddler that is climbing all over me while simultaneously tapping out a beat on her toy drum and begging for a "paci, mommy, pwease mommy, paci probwy in-a drawer." And then she unplugs my cordless mouse.

Also: a slight headache that I'm nervous will get worse at ANY SECOND.

Oh, and before I go, I'd like to talk to you about your thermostat. I asked the question yesterday on Facebook- what do you set your thermostat at in the winter? And do you know that there are people that keep their house much cooler than we do? Our thermostat currently reads 67 degrees, and let me tell you- I am typing this with two (2) pairs of wool socks, and double thick fleece blanket, and my winter hat on. And I'm warming my hands on a cup of tea between sentences. It's cold in here, is what I'm saying. And yet... some have it at 65! And I'm quite sure the fella that said his was set to 62, AROUND THE CLOCK, is a big fat liar. A BIG FAT LIAR. That, or his entire family sits around the dinner table with hot potatoes in the pockets of their parkas.

62!

Oh, manna from heaven, my husband just got home- EARLY- for probably the second time in our marriage.

*weeping on the floor*

Sunday, November 9, 2008

More Pictures: Halloween Costumes

So before we all start decking the halls and Fa-la-la-la-ing, I figured I'd better post some pictures of the girls in their Halloween costumes. As promised.



I ended up letting them wear their brown boots with pink flowers (we already owned these- they were on Target clearance for only a couple of dollars last winter). Marin wore her brown mary-janes. I don't think the footwear distracted from the costumes as I previously feared.


I wish we had more good pictures, but they weren't exactly in the mood. Everyone knew exactly who they were supposed to be, so that was fun. The rag doll and school books were fun props for them. If only we had some metal lunch pails- that would have been PERFECT to collect candy in.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Yesterday

Oh, Hai! I have a blog!

I have much to write about, which I hope to do more of this month, but for now, how about some pictures of the beautiful snow we awoke to yesterday? Yes? Ok...


I love the black against the white sky.


She was entralled by making tracks. And for once, we were in no hurry, so I just let her take her sweet time.



Our house and crab apple tree. That tree just never ceases to be beautiful.



Does anyone else want a taste of those berries? Just a little lick, perhaps?



He's not too happy about the snow. He feels it's humiliating, and that he wishes a rogue teen would steal him and smash him, so he could have an honorable death.




I call this one "Portal".
Many of the trees around here are bare of leaves, but others like these still have greenery.
I love the pops of green beneath the snow.





This fence is along the path to the girls' school.






So how long do you suppose our pumpkins will rot on the stoop before we get around to tossing them out? Where are your jack-0-lanterns right now?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Little Mommy

Instructions:

Go to the toy section of your local department store (in our area, we can choose between Target and Walmart). Find the doll aisle. There is a brand of doll called "Little Mommy" by Fisher Price. This is a doll that babbles and coos and says "mama". It has some sort of motion detector that makes it "talk" when you walk by.

Hold doll close to your ear and activate the talking. About the third babble, the doll will coo and then say, quite clearly "Islam is the light".

I'm totally not kidding.

Once you hear it, you'll be able to hear it again and again quite clearly.

I almost bought one because this cracks me up. It's amusing to me, and even more amusing to me that people find it "offensive". My friend Tina first heard about this on the news, and I guess people were "outraged".

Seriously, check it out and then tell me what you hear.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

People Magazine: Group Analysis

What I got paid to do last night:

*Clay Aiken is gay? NO WAY! Didn't see that coming.

*Mary Kate and Ashley: eating disorder or reduced kidney/liver function? Girls, you need some color on your cheeks. Also, a cheeseburger and chocolate milkshake. Super sized.

*Tori Spelling, are you trying to look like Michael Jackson? Do you think, perhaps, you've had enough procedures? Honey, if you do anymore, you'll look more plastic-y Zsa Zsa Gabor.

*Lindsey Lohan- Is she really gay, or has she finally whored* her way through all available Hollywood men?

*Brittney Spears is finally looking healthy. Though after she shaved her head, there really was no place to go but ^up.

*Dibs on Tina Fey as my new Pretend Celebrity Girlfriend (credit to Beth for the wordage). Those SNL skits are little pick-me-ups-- sanity savers even! "We'll ask ourselves 'What would a maverick do?' and then we'll do something maverick-y." **



*according to spell check this is not a word, just so you know.
**not a direct quote, but close
(my internet is being difficult, so I am not able to look anything up with any speed.)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

'Tis the Season

So I totally didn't need to read this story about a woman who drank down her morning coffee only to find a BAT in the coffee filter after she was done. Thanks AP, but DAMN. I can promise you, without even exaggerating, that I will NEVER again empty the coffee filter without first peeking for bats. EVER. (And perhaps even more obviously: I will also never again drink my coffee without first checking for bats. EVER.)

ACK! ACK! ACK! (SHIVER!)

I wonder just how dead I would die, if I were to find a BAT in my coffee filter.

Which leads me to another coffee related mystery- how does the coffee pot heat water so fast? If I put water on the stove or in the microwave, it takes at least a few minutes to start bubbling and/or steaming. But you punch the "on" button on the coffee pot and *POOF* out spouts steaming how liquid. I do not understand.

(I just got a mental picture of a bat in my coffee filter, and me punching the "on" button, and the bat making that AWFUL screechy bat noise as he gets scalded to death, and me not knowing where the noise was coming from, but then I peak into the filter JUST TO BE SURE and the bat lurches out, right next to my face. BREATHE. BREATHE. BREATHE. ... yeah, I'm pretty sure I'd be DEAD dead, and not just dead.)

Over at Milk and Cookies they are talking about baby Halloween costumes, which got me thinking about our costume situation here. My girls are going as Mary, Laura, and Carrie Ingalls. YES they are. This is fitting since we are a tiny bit obsessed with LHOTP, and we live close to the town of Mankato- THE real Mankato that is mentioned on the show and in the books. (So if you need to stock up on peppermint sticks or bolts of calico, let me know. I will hook you up.) (Joke credit: Neighbor Kris, who unfortunately doesn't have a blog) (that I know of).

So anyway, my mom made their dresses and my BFF gave them prairie bonnets.... but I don't know what to do about shoes for them.... I'm pretty sure Marin's pink crocs or Joan and Kate's modern sneakers will pretty much kill the whole costume. Any ideas?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Trying To Articulate It, Probably Failing

Things in Tiny Town have been really great lately, which is possibly why I have not been blogging much. Instead I have been spending my energies in relationships that I have with people here in town, which is healthier, I suppose, than whittling away my day online. However, I miss being here more, so hopefully I'll reach a balance soon where I have enough time/energy for both.

I feel like life is really blossoming for me right now. I have met or gotten to know several people- the exact kind of people that I so longed for not very long ago- the sort I could have sworn didn't exist here in Tiny Town. The energy that comes with new friendships is exciting and fresh and happy. Additionally, many of the friendships that I have that are not new, now feel more comfortable and solidified than before. I feel like this place, this town, this life is exactly where I am supposed to be. I cannot imagine living somewhere else, which says a lot coming from a girl who less than 3 years ago spent every second of every day plotting our family's escape from Tiny Town and going so far as to look at real estate in neighboring Bigger Town. (A move which would have added a commute to David's day along with giving him the disadvantage of NOT living in the town where he owns a business.)


It's ironic that this peace has washed into my life right now, considering that financially we are just squeaking by these days. We've never had a great deal of disposable income, but lately we've been more along the lines of "Oh crap, the kids need lunch money in their account... should we use a credit card?" This sudden lack of cash in the bank is due to 1)the aggressiveness that we are trying to pay off our medical debt and 2)the increase of all of our insurances (heath and home and vehicle) AND the increase in our utilities.

It's funny though, that despite being stressed about money, I've also been very grateful. The things we do have seem like luxuries, and I feel kindred to people who struggle financially on a more regular basis. I feel like this experience has given me an opportunity to grow, to redefine my life and what is important, to strip down to the core of who we are and what we want from life. We are intentional; we have clarity; we have direction.

Also, I'm learning that having that pit in your stomach of financial worry is really important to one's success. We are more motivated than ever to being frugal, to not wasting, to knowing where our dollars are going. Though I've never been a big spender, I have been a careless spender, so now I am learning about budgeting and coupons and needs versus wants. I know we are not the only ones that are tightening our belts lately (thank you Bush economy boom!), but this is a good lesson, and I am grateful for it.

Monday, September 15, 2008

When All Else Fails, Post Pictures Of The Children

First day of kindergarten. They look a little... nervous, don't you think?:



You guys, she is a total ham.:



Their backpacks are so huge, I'm afraid to put anything in them, lest the girls tip right over:


Daddy and Grandpa share a birthday. And no, I did not get grandpa's permission to post his picture on the internet. REBEL! (Alternate caption: Anyone up for some spit cake?):


Marin goes to school too!:


She even insists on bringing her "pack-pack":




Note to self- BRUSH YOUR HAIR. Jesus.:


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Recipe

*Eat two (2) bean burritos for lunch
*Repeat for dinner, adding a bushel of fresh-from-the-garden cucumbers**
*For breakfast, eat a bowl of grapenuts. Also: large quantities of coffee.
*For morning snack, join your toddler in munching on some home-made all bran muffins. Drink more coffee.

If followed exactly, you will not have any movement issues, if you know what I'm saying and I think you do.

>>>>CHANGE OF SUBJECT<<<<

Amanda had her baby! I can't wait to see what she chooses to name the little honey!

**should read "fresh-from-your-MIL's-garden"

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Adjusting

So, when school started last week, I would have written a letter that looked something like this:

Dear School Routine,

Welcome back! We were ready to give you time off last spring, and we embraced your substitute, Summer Routine. However, when Summer Routine went AWOL sometime around August 1st, we became a bit aimless. It was fun for a (short) while, but when you returned we were OH-SO-HAPPY.

Love,
The Greens


Now, if I were to write the same letter, it would go something like this:

Dear School Routine,

You have thoroughly kicked our asses. We are tired. We are crabby. You are a slave driving bitch.

*Middle Finger*,
The Greens

+++++++++++

Kate has been crying everyday at drop-off. When I leave (after a hojillion neck-strangulation-type hugs), she is fine. She loves kindergarten, in fact. But she's also nervous and anxious and sad to leave her mama for so long.

Joan skips into school like she is the most happy-go-lucky child ever to burst through those doors. She says to the teacher- "She's been crying everyday. _I_ don't know why. _I'm_ not crying." She says this shrugging her shoulders and eying Kate as if she is the most alien child in the class, instead of the twin sister WHOM SHE SHARED A WOMB WITH.

+++++++++

Marin says to me- "Mama. Sit. Play wif me."

*Blink, blink*

Um, Marin, perhaps you didn't get that memo, but I'm not the type of mama who plays with children. I'm here to wipe your nose, kiss your bumps, make you lunch, cuddle you before nap, take you on stroller rides, and put Elmo on the TV when you start driving me nuts.

She also says to me- "Come ON Mama. Let's go! Get Joan-Kate time!"

And it's only nine o'clock in the morning.

(Girlfriend needs a baby-sibling!)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

First

Joan was happy-go-lucky. Kate was nervous and a little teary. I was cycling manically through being sad, relieved, ready, NOT ready, nervous, excited.

And that was on the night before the first day of Kindergarten.

When the big day arrived (yesterday), we all rose much earlier than we are used to and whipped through our new morning routine, almost without a hitch. After the first couple of hours of parent orientation, David and I left the school, holding hands, without our babies.

Kate cried a little before we left.

To my surprise, I didn't have any tears. I did well up a few times throughout the morning, but mostly I was thinking RIP THE BANDAGE OFF ALREADY. I've been emotionally preparing for this all summer (if not longer) so it was a relief to just DO IT.

Today was Day Two.

Kate cried more today and clung to me for awhile before agreeing to let me go.

Joan was annoyed when I kissed her goodbye.

I was doing fine today, until you people had to write all these incredibly beautiful posts. Damn you!

So now it's just Marin and me. I'm not sure how this new routine is going to roll, but I'm a little lost as to what to do with myself. I've decided to give up my afternoon nap in favor of going to bed earlier, so I now am the proud owner of 2-3 hours of childless time every afternoon. I can't leave the house, as Marin is napping, but I can.... blog! and clean! and... put some thing in the mail! and.... um?... Anyone?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

In Which My Baby Itch Gets... More Itchy

So I have a new nephew! My brother and his wife welcomed their second child into the world last night. Timothy Hunter.

My mom send me three pictures of him, and he's adorable. Wait. Let's back up. My mom send me three pictures. ONLY THREE. Is this some kind of creative torture device, made just for newborn crazies like myself? Come on Mom- how about sending me a kazillion and three pictures.

Then again, being around new babies does not help, not one little bit. I am still wanting to have another baby someday. As my own "baby" becomes more and more, well, like a defiant hairless chimp, I am forced to see that she is no longer an infant. This reality sucks.

But you know, and I know I've talked about this before here, and if you know me in real life than you are surely tired of this topic and I am sorry, but I want anther baby. BUT I'm not sure I want to add another child to our family. I worry about not being able to do a good job with four kids. I worry that the more kids we have, the more socially isolated we will become. I worry that my next baby might grow up too.

So while I love me some newborn neck sniffs, I'm not sure it is actually good for me to participate in such activities. But staying away from new babies is... well, it's like living without hot water OR sex OR chocolate, you know? This situation is the opposite of win-win, because either way I am tortured.

And that friends, is my overly-privileged, blessedly fertile sob story. Sorry Tessie, but this one beats dropping your phone in the pool.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Snippets

Highs/lows vacation:

High- Spending some great time with my husband and WITHOUT the kids.
Low- Packing for the trip.

High- Getting there and realizing that I was happy to be there. I love seeing my kids forming bonds with my family.
Low- Ingesting beef jerky. Into my body. It tasted just like cow flesh. And yet, it was yummy.

High- Spending time with my college roommate and her family, including getting a pedicure!
Low- Discovering there was such a thing as RANCH flavored sunflower seeds. And trying them.

High- Coming home a day early, so that we had an entire day to unload, unpack, unwind before David headed back to work.
Low- Being home and back to the grind.

* * * * * * * * * *

Surprisingly, the kids are still sleeping, and I am on the computer, waiting for my coffee to finish brewing. (Side note- for every molecule of my being that enjoys coffee, another molecule hates actually making the coffee.) The sky is getting darker and darker, and the street lights come on.

As the thunder starts up in earnest, Kate stumbles out of her room, disregarding my "you better sleep until at least 8:30" warnings of the night before. I lure her and, eventually her twin, back to my bed, where the three of us lie listening to the storm rage.

It was dark and gloomy and frankly one of the most peaceful mornings I had experienced in a long time.

* * * * * * * * * *

We are at the County Fair, which is one of my favorite times of summer. Walking through the buildings, seeing all the people from around town, eating snow cones. I am pushing the stroller through a semi-crowded building full of booths and free hard candy when I decide to quickly swerve the stroller. I notice the people walking toward me reacting to something, and I look down in time to see Marin's head hit the concrete and bounce. And bounce again.

I *heard* it bounce too. Shutter.

(She had decided to stand up, which she never does, and I was not aware she was standing.)

David scoops her up, and we discover a nearly golf-ball size lump forming near her right temple. He runs off for ice, while I try to calm her while sitting on a bench. I notice blood by her ear.

We decide to take her to the first aid station, and as we approach a sheriff outside sees us coming and calls for an ambulance. The paramedics look her over and strongly recommend we take her to the hospital. We decline ambulance transportation (it's only 4 blocks away!), and drive her there ourselves. Kate and Joan have been abandoned at the fair with a fistful of ride tickets and a friend of mine (whom they barely know).

The pictures of her skull and neck reveal that everything is intact. We are lucky- no fractures. Her ear is glued where is had torn away from her head. She is fine. We are permitted to take her home.

Her head looks surprisingly good the next day. It is slightly black and blue, but there is no visible swelling. We are happy about the ice packs she endured during our hospital experience.

She is fine. But I can still hear her head hitting the concrete. And see it bouncing.

* * * * * * * * *

I read all the time and have collected an impressive supply of book marks. Trouble is, I can never find a single one. If I do find one, I will maybe use it for a day or two before it is lost again. It is a mystery.

* * * * * * * * * *

My niece is here for a couple of days. She is eleven. She looks exactly like my own daughters, only older. Sometimes when I look at her, I feel like I am getting a preview of my own kids. This is a very odd sensation.

* * * * * * * * *

Tell me, do you ever get "girl crushes" or "couple crushes"? Like, where you meet someone that you really think is kindred to you, and you want to hang out more, but it's kind of... weird to start "dating". And you want to be all cool and say "We should really hang out sometime" all casual-like, but really you are forcing yourself not to say "How about my place? Tomorrow? Or the next day? Thursday is bad, but if that works best for you, I could make something work. I mean, only if you want to. I mean, I have tons of people to hang out with, so you know, it's cool if you're busy." The parallel between making friends with other mom/families and dating are so real that I don't miss dating one bit!

* * * * * * * * * *

I am struck by how old and independent my girls seem, now that they can ride bikes without training wheels. Sometimes, and I watch them speed down the sidewalk, my eyes get a tiny bit misty. Other times, when we are on a family bike ride, I nearly crack up at the sight of them- they look just like little ducklings, peddling along after Papa Duck. This particular milestone was one I was not expecting to be so... momentous. And yet.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Hey, Just a Question(S) For You

So, vacation.

It's going really well. Our drive out was uneventful, except for the KICK ASS bouncing pillow we discovered (on exit 402 on I-90 in SD, in case you find yourself making that drive), when we pulled off the interstate approximately 25 seconds after pulling onto the interstate so that my husband could "drug up".

(He's a diabetic.) (We had just stopped for dinner.)

(It's all legal, I swear.)

Anyway, bouncing pillow. It's like a tennis court sized trampoline at some dinky campground, and the mo-fo can BOUNCE. I nearly launched Marin to the moon, yo. Anyway, it was a great, energy releasing break, and I wish I had grabbed my camera. Certainly we will stop there again.

I was not at all looking forward to coming here, which is an unusual break from my normal "omg I have butterflies in my stomach I can't wait It's going to be so much fun" attitude before we leave. This time I was emotionally tired and not feeling like using any of my energy reserves on dealing with family for 10 days.

But. Being here feels like a nice break from everything. There are always extra adults around, and THE AIR HAVE I MENTIONED THE AIR? It's so fresh and clean and pine-y smelling. At night, the temps drop (lately to the 40's!) and the crisp night air makes me feel calm and peaceful.

Also, I've had TWO orgasmic grocery store experiences here, plus a really successful clothes shopping trip, which I was able do BY MYSELF. This along with the biking, hiking, boating, site-seeing ETC, and things are stacking up quite nicely.

Oh, hey, I started writing this to ask you this question: If you had to give up either sex or hot water- for the rest of your life- which would it be?

(OK, FINE, I got that question out of my mom's Good Housekeeping magazine, so SHUT UP. It's still a good question.)

I think I would give up sex. Because I use hot water every day. And in the winter, sometimes a hot shower is... well, it's part of my Survival Technique: MN Edition. But then again... never to have sex again... I JUST DON'T KNOW.

Question, Part 2: So say you chose to give up sex. The next part of the question is: would you give up hot water or laughter for the rest of your life?

I'm asking you because David refused to play. His answer was a) I'd move to a different country or b) I'd give up neither.

HE'S NO FUN.

Friday, July 11, 2008

I'm About To Drive 550 Miles In a Minivan With Three Kids, So Have Some Grace For Christ's Sake

*Tap, tap, tap* Is this thing on?.... Anyone there?????......

Didn't think so.

But I'm going to go ahead and announce the winner(s) of my PIF contest, and I KNOW it's a tad bit late, so pipe down. I've been busy over here, remembering creepy things from my past that were previously buried in my psyche and feeling very raw and unfocused. Also, watching LOST.

In fact, if I were to be completely honest, the only reason I am blogging at all is because my alternative is packing. And there are no new Lost DVD's from Netflix.

(I just barfed a little in my mouth.) (About the packing.)

(We are leaving in a few hours for South Dakota, and my husband will be home soon, and we have a date to have a pre-vacation FIGHT which will NOT be helped by the fact that I am seriously frustrated WITH MYSELF for not getting as much done this morning as I wanted/needed to.)

So... winners. I have to admit that I thought of skipping the whole Random Number Generator and just.... picking some numbers out of my ass. But then I thought I'm not very random, and I'd probably pick some of my favorite numbers, and that just not fair. So um, hold on while I try to find this so-called website that will pick for me....

Scratch that. I found Random.org and fuck if I have time to figure out which number generator I need. Bitmap generator, sound generator, playing card shuffler... Also, I don't want and explanation of the "fuss about true randomness", ok? I JUST WANT A WINNER.

So instead I just asked my five-year-olds to each pick a number. And if that's not True Randomness, I don't know what is. We are talking about a couple of kids who moan incessantly about the scrapes on their feet as they ride away from me on their bicycles, barefoot- which is how they got scrapes on their feet to begin with FOR THE LOVE OF LARRY.

So our first winner is entrant number 10... Mimi All Me. Congrats! Shit, now I have to email you before I go.... *SIGH* Guess this means I'll have to put of packing a little bit longer.

Also, I won a contest from Erica at All Dressed Up, and I think it's been Well Established that these contest things are not my strong point, so instead of hosting another contest, which would probably happen on the Eve on Never, I'm just going to pick a second winner.

My second winner is number 20... Miss Sassy Pants. Oh SHUCKS. More emailing, less time to pack ETC.

Completely unrelated to contests, I've been loving hearing about every one's pubic hair. I am accumulating so much data- it seems everyone I've asked has asked their sisters/friends/cousins... I've learned so much! Also, I'm doing alot more gazing at my own, uh, you know.

Also, many of you pointed out that perhaps MY past life would reveal a death via dental chair, and while YES that's a good theory, I'm pretty sure, no I'm positive, my fears are a result of happenings in THIS life. (See also: sadistic motherfucker.)

Lastly, I was finally able to cash in on some birthday sex last night, after spending the last several days AVOIDING it due to the state of my husband's intestines and wanting to avoid any/ALL fecal disasters.

I know, what a lovely thought.

YOU ARE WELCOME.

Hey, winners, I'll be shopping for you while I'm in SD, so let me know- would you prefer miniature Mt. Rushmores or stationary featuring jackalopes?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Pay It Forward Contest

Ok, so Swistle has all the rules over here.

Leave me a comment before midnight on July 4th. I (well, RANDOM NUMBER GENERATOR) will pick a winner and announce it by Monday. (If you don't have a blog, that's ok too. Swistle has it all figured out how you can play too- go here for details.) (Hey, she already spelled it out, and better than I would have done... why reinvent the wheel?)

So for you comments, I'm wondering- when was the last time you were really embarrassed/humiliated? You can just leave the date or time or whatev., but there will be bonus points (from me, not for Random Number Generator) if you include details.

OK? I'll go first, even though I can't win my own contest...

I was recently really embarrassed/humiliated when I had a panic attack at the dentist's office. Twice. In one week. I'll have to post more about that later, but for now I have some contests to enter!

(Go to Swistle's for the complete list.)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Past Lives

I'm hesitant to mention her again, in case you get the wrong idea about me. Sure, I like her show, depending on the topic, and I DVR it and watch only those I'm interested in. But I'm not sitting on the edge of my seat over here, waiting for her to tell me what to read next or shelling out 300 actual dollars for a bathrobe or taking her "online classes" or anything.

That said, I just have to ask you about Oprah's recent shows about past lives. I am so intrigued. She's got Dr. Oz and this other dude (hold on a sec, I have to google it...) Dr. Brian Weiss, who hypnotizes people and takes them back to previous lives.

Now, I'm going at this topic with a completely open mind, trying not to bring my religious beliefs into it. I'm thinking- WHAT IF.

It's so crazy to think about. I'm so curious to know if I would have any past life experiences. What about my parents? My kids? My husband? Wouldn't it be cool to know what "previous" experiences our children had?

Could knowing this information help us understand each other better? "Oh, well, my daughter was a Samurai in her past life, so, you know, she's bound to be working through some aggression." Or "So-and-so was royalty in a past life, so that explains her current princess tendencies." I mean, we ALL know a "princess" in this life, right?


Many of the people who were hypnotized could remember dying or being killed. For these people, how they died in previous lives explained many of their fears/dreams/phobias in this life. Many found the experience very healing. But what if you were the MURDER-ER. Or, say you found out you were... HITLER or something? (Then again, what if you were George Washington? Martin Luther King Jr? MISTER ROGERS????) (Why are all of my hypotheticals MEN? Maybe I was a man in a past life? Hee.)

Also, some of these people remembered past lives from not too long ago. So wouldn't it be possible that you would have children/grandchildren still living in THIS LIFE, and if you could remember enough details about your previous life, you could look them up?

It could happen. And that would be weird. "Hi Tom. Nice to meet you. I know this sounds strange, but my daughter Kate? She was your dead Uncle George in her past life? Remember good ol' George? Yeah, that's right, he died in 'Nam.")

So? Maybe it's best to leave it alone?

I'm not sure I even "believe" in it. I just like to entertain the possibilities.

Also, in a blatant attempt to troll for sympathy/kudos/CASH PRIZES for my bravery, and also speaking of FEARS, I feel the need to tell you- I had to have an Emergency Root Canal (!!!!!) on Monday (on a tooth that recently had a filling but now the tooth is dying). AND I had to do it without ANY gas/happy-drugs/anti-anxiety meds. AND I have to go back tomorrow for MORE work on that tooth. I AM YOUR HERO, I know, I know. Not everyone can be tough like me...

Fucking dentist.

(Hi Dentist! If you ever find this blog... um... I like YOU. Just not all your masochistic TOOLS and your stupid Xrays that MAKE ME GAG. WHO NEEDS TEETH?)

(Also, I'm pretty sure my file at the dentist's is labeled "RUNNER!!!!!" because I HAVE actually run out the door before. Now? When I get there? I don't even GET IN THE DOOR and they are taking me back. I've NEVER (since I ran, and barfed twice in the parking lot) sat for a SINGLE SECOND in the waiting area. They probably have a team meeting, and have, I don't know, ROPES or something set aside to TIE ME DOWN if need be.)

(Also? My dentist is now my FRIEND, and we get together often with our kids, or as couples, and OMG I could DIE. Because I HATE DENTISTS. But you should see how COOL I can be hanging out with her. NOT sweating, or running out the door or twitching or ANYTHING. Well, at least not until I had to have an EMERGENCY ROOT CANAL (see: above)

(Also? I'm really curious to hear how you feel about past lives. All this DENTIST TALK may have distracted you, but past lives is really what I'm interested in... I mean, IF YOU INSIST, we can talk about how much DENTISTS SUCK... I won't mind that either.)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Memo To Myself: Read This Before You Decide To Get a Cat

1. CAT BOX

2. Cat hair

3. Cat barf

4. Cat Me-yowling at the ass-crack of dawn

5. You don't have a cat right now because of gross negligence.

6. CAT BOX

7. Cat scratches on furniture

8. Cat scratches on children. (Should this one be listed ahead of furniture?)

9. CAT BOX

10. Cats are not babies, and what you really want is something small to mother.

11. Too many friends are allergic/miserable when visiting your home.

12. CAT BOX

13. Cat guilt when you are out of town.

14. Cat hair, on your clean, clean floors. And beds. And furniture. And clothes.

15. Kittens are fun; cats are evil and want you dead. Also? The lick their butts while you are trying to sleep.

You don't need a cat. You have enough responsibilities in your life with your house and your children and your job and your new Lost addiction.

+++++++++++

Hey, have you weighed in on the pubic hair discussion? Go, do that! It's below.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Waaaay Too Personal

Ok.

So here's what I'm wondering.... Do you have pubic hair?

If you DO, do you do the whole trim and shave routine on a regular basis, or just when you are going to the doctor/wearing a bathing suit? Or do you do nothing at all?

If you DON'T, how do you get rid of it? Do you wax, shave, or some other magic? Do you do this year round, or just for special occasions?

What about your friends/sisters- especially those younger than you? Do they have pubic hair?

I have a theory that pubic hair is on the way out, just like arm pit hair and leg hair. I'm guessing the younger women (let's say, 25 and younger) routinely go bald in their nether regions. Are teenagers getting Brazilians? Like, before prom?

Feel free to answer anonymously.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Kind Of All Over The Place Today

*Sure wish the contractor we hired would show up. What should be a 2-3 day job is now going on a week... and he's been a no show for 2 (mild and sunny and perfect for working outside) days.

*There is so much to pack/prepare for camping. It will be worth it, but I wish I had a fast-forward button to transport myself to sitting by the campfire, with the tent set up and supper cooking, and with the fight that David and I ALWAYS have before leaving on a trip behind me.

*When I got Marin dressed this morning, I forgot to put a diaper on her. A little later, she was asking me for help, and showing me a big wet spot on the floor, and I was STUMPED. I could not figure out where the wetness came from. Until I noticed her shorts and shirt (!!) were also wet. Heee. Also, in my 4 1/2 combined years of diapering children, I've never forgotten to put a diaper on. (Until today.)

*Kate is riding her bike without training wheels, and Joan is blowing bubbles with gum.

*I only have to cook 1 meal over the next 3 days.

*I regret cutting bangs. Do I have time/desire/skill to deal with these flippy little fuckers? No, no I do not.

*We have ants.

*Why would someone in this household open a can of peaches, when there is a drawer full of perfectly ripened, fresh, and fragrant peaches in the fridge?

*Who let the dogs out? Who, who, who? (Who's seen too much Shrek? Who, who, who?)

*Should I be blogging or packing? PACKING. Fuck me.

*Speaking of, we got caught having sex. Again. By Kate. She burst into our room and crawled in bed with us. Oh, man. Man. MAN!

*I love early summer. Early summer is my new boyfriend. We're intimate, but not having sex yet.

*I had a great day yesterday of friends (Pammy and Kris) and community and frozen coffee drinks. I'm going to have a great weekend, with friends and community and community meals (!) and probably not frozen coffee. But! Campfires!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Old and New

Each morning, as I was sleepily stumbling downstairs, this is the first thing I saw:



Only, I usually had it covered with a blanket because *shudder* this is one ugly sight.



Now when I wake, this is what I see:




(Though usually Marin is not there to greet me; instead she's confined to her crib where her morning crowing wakes us all up waaaaaay to early.)

It's a great improvement, and I've been trying to think of excuses to veg on the new furniture. (I can report that the longer couch is very nap friendly.) Our living room was a rarely used place before- all of us opting instead to hang out in the family room on the comfortable (and pleasant to look at) leather seating.


Now that we have REAL! couches, instead of something that belongs in a smelly frat house, we are all more likely to wind up in the living room. Even the kids seem affected- choosing to play in the living room more than ever before. I am very sensitive to aesthetics, so you can imagine that this improvement makes me happy.


Now, what to do with the old couch? Currently it is sitting in my dining room (AHHHH). Do I drag it to the curb and put a "FREE" sign on it? Put an add on Craig's list? Is it better to advertise it for free, or to ask twenty bucks for it? (My grandma argues that you will get more people interested if you sell it rather than give it away. This, at least, has been true for her in the dog-selling business.)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Photos

Hi! It's early, and the house is quiet, and the windows are open, and the streets are wet. I've been sitting here for 20 minutes uploading pictures, and I didn't Fbomb it once. What a great time of day to write blog posts! Also: I need coffee.

So, here's the teacher gifts that we made for Kate and Joan's preschool teachers. I got the idea from Midwest Mom (this post is her project). Since my girls are a little older than Harper, I let them hand paint each card. We made three sets (two for teachers, one for my grandma), so I had them do three cards of each color flower. Then I added some envelopes and some cute ribbon, and we were done.


These are a sample of Joan's cards. Also, fun fact! Did you know that her name is pronounced JoAnne? Joan is actually her real middle name in real life, and she is named after my grandma, who uses the same spelling.

Kate is obsessed with painting so she did more cards than Joan (JoAnne!). I'm so glad I took pictures of these, since we gave them all away!



Here's the finished product, before we put it in a nice gift bag.





Also, I included these two pictures for their teachers. This one is their first day of preschool in September 2006.


This is them on their last day of preschool (May 2008). I think it's fun to see how much they've changed during their 2 years at preschool. They were such babies when they started!



Finally, here's some recent shots of our family enjoying the newly summerish weather:

I love seeing them so happy.





I like to call this one "Daddy's helpers".



We take pictures with our blooming crab apple tree every year.


She's crouching down, copying Daddy, who was crouching down to take her picture.


I love how green everything is this time of year.



Marin and Daddy, at the lake a few blocks from our house.


We walk to the lake almost every day. The girls love to throw rocks.