Friday, February 26, 2010

Crunchtime, again.

So today, I'm getting ready for a trip to visit my parents in Tennessee. I can't wait. I really really love visiting them. But ... before I leave, I really should:
  • clean the house
  • get caught up on laundry (though we all know this will never happen)
  • go back to the grocery store tonight to exchange the gallon of milk I bought this morning, took home, and discovered was SOUR (in fairness, though, I should also say that I called the manager at PayLess, and he said to bring it back, and he'd exchange it AND give me my money back. Not bad.)
  • bake some granola bars (Right, like this is crucial before we leave. But I still want to.)
  • wash & dry all of Will's diapers so I don't come home to week-old dirty cloth diapers
  • go to Macy's and buy new sheets (again, not crucial. But our fitted sheet has a huge rip in it -- thanks, Caroline!, and I can't find any spares). And they're on sale!
  • maybe make a spare spare key? I had three extras made, and I'm down to one.

On the bright side, I have, so far today, put a load of laundry in the washer, washed the dishes, and vacuumed.

And I have someone coming to buy a table from me at noon. (Craigslist is a wonderful thing.)

And I have cleaned and hung my full-length mirror. Someone who shall remain nameless, but who is featured in this picture, took it upon herself to decorate my mirror with red & green crayon.(Hint: It wasn't me.)

I better get started.

Before I do, though, I realize that this post is a little heavy on sentences starting with "And", as well as lots of parentheses. It's just the way I work. (And I'm sorry.)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

No Way. (Installment Three)

If you haven't read installment two yet, read it here.

So Lindsey had told me that I could be pretty flexible with when I opened envelopes 1 and 2, but that I really should open envelope #3 at 2:30. Goodness. That implied that SOMETHING was scheduled, but I sure didn't know what. A friend or two had suggested that it might be a massage, but I'm just not the massage type. I mean, I don't wear make-up (as in, almost never, as in, last time I wore lipstick, Caroline said with evident concern, "Momma, what's on your lips?!"), I don't blow-dry my hair, I don't paint my nails, and I don't get pampered.

Well, until yesterday.

Yep, envelope #3 was a one-hour Swedish massage scheduled for 3pm yesterday, with Sean, at a yoga & wellness spa. Also downtown. Also on Main Street. (Everything was on Main Street! Which just goes to show you that I live in a cool place with a downtown that's really enjoyable.) Well, you might say that I was a bit nervous. I googled "Swedish massage" to get an idea for what I might expect. And that really didn't do anything to make me less nervous. Hmm. I really should have shaved my legs! And I just wasn't prepared for this! Ack!

Anyway, I got there and met Sean and really appreciated that he talked me through my options. Full body massage? Back? Neck? Shoulders? Arms? Etc. I asked for back, neck, and shoulders.

We headed upstairs, he left so I could get undressed, and then I got up on the table, under the blanket. When he came in, he started to arrange the sheet over me ... when he realized I was ON TOP of the sheet. Oops. Embarrassing. He left, I got under the sheet, we tried again. Okay. Phew.

My goodness. Have you ever had a Swedish massage? No? Well, you should. It was just lovely. I got to choose oil vs. lotion, what scent of oil (or unscented). The room was very dark, peaceful, some candles burning (though I suspect they were those fake electric ones), some music playing. He said, "It seems you carry most of your tension in the left side of your back, and your left shoulder." Well, yes. Let's see here. My left shoulder and back are responsible for:
diaper bag
3 1/2-year-old

I can see how I could carry some tension there. (And, to clarify, I don't pile all three kids on my left hip at the same time. But I almost never carry any of the above on my right side.)

Well, he worked that tension out until I felt positively floppy. Then he left so I could get dressed. Well, I was very relaxed, feeling almost dreamy. And I forgot there was a small step-down in the room. So all of a sudden, there was a very big thud. Me falling down. And my masseuse called, "Are you okay?" Of course, everything was fine except my pride. You know, my name may mean "full of grace", but I'm anything but graceful. I'm always running into things, bruising myself, moving too quickly and forgetting that furniture/doorways/walls are where they've always been. (See: the Bruise.)

Anyway, I picked myself up, and attempted to get dressed in the mostly-dark. That's easier done when you're in your own room, and not positively mushy from relaxation. And I was terrified that I wouldn't be dressed when he came back. Thankfully, he called out, "Are you decent?" before coming back in. I was.

He showed me some stretches I could do to help my back, and then he tried to get me to consider coming back. Well, twist my arm! Well, no, he probably wouldn't twist it, would he? But he might do some deep-tissue massage on it... Anyway, I am sad to say I did not schedule another massage. Or should I say, I have not scheduled my next massage ... yet. I'd really love to go back.

I could get used to this.

By the way, I never thought I would hear the question "Are your jeans stretchy?" without feeling like the question was TOTALLY inappropriate. Funny how it wasn't.

Anyway, I still had 45 minutes of freedom before 5:00, so I went to the library to return a dreadfully overdue book (the one with the knitting pattern for the sweater I started lo these many years ago) and had the brilliant idea to photocopy the pages I need. Then I browsed the entire magazine section, as well as the DVD section, and the kids' section. Can you tell I was enjoying my day off? No deep thought allowed.

I am amazed how I spent my entire day in the presence of other people, and yet it was just the perfect amount of solitude for me. No unwanted conversation. No questions from children who like to have every minute of the day narrated for them ... and in the absence of my narration, who narrate it themselves. (Ahem, Caroline.)

And even though there was a scheduled appointment, and a scheduled end-time, the day felt so free. For the first couple hours, it was all I could do to keep from crying. This was just the nicest thing. I can't even describe it. Though goodness knows, I've used a lot of words trying.

I didn't worry for a minute about my children who know and trust Lindsey and who just adore Vanessa.

It was a day I won't forget. Lindsey, thank you so much!

No way. (Installment Two)

If you haven't read installment one yet, read it here.

So. I opened envelope #2 and found a gift certificate for "Royal Lunch Treatment" at a new local vegetarian restaurant downtown. I called Bobbi back and said, "Let's go to __________ restaurant!" since we'd been vague about where to go. I met her at her new office (we used to work together, back when I was actively selling real estate ... and the office has moved since I left), and she gave me the tour, and then we headed out to lunch. It was a cold day. Her CR-V has seat-warmers. Very pleasant.

We got to the restaurant, and it was packed with mothers and small children. Bobbi wondered at first if they were all my friends, but I'd never seen any of them before. We were seated at a high table but asked if we could move, since there was no place to put our coats, purses, etc. They moved us, and then when they saw my gift certificate, they said, oh, so YOU'RE the lucky one. Wait! We had a table set up for you! And they brought over a candle for me. And a sticker with flowers. :)

Bobbi and I ended up ordering the same thing: a grilled cheese sandwich (homemade cheese on Great Harvest bread) with a cup of fajita soup. It was really good ... and perfect fare for a cold day. I really enjoyed it. The restaurant is very healthy, totally (or almost totally?) local, and pretty alternative. Lots of vegan options that sounded foreign or out there to me, but also some things that sounded pretty good. It was a cozy spot, and such a nice treat. (And, I still have money left on this gift certificate ... as I do at coffee shop ... so I'll be back. The gift keeps giving.)

We headed back to the office where I got to see some more of my old co-workers ... and then I opened envelope #3.

Oh. My. Gosh.

(More coming soon.)

No way. (Installment One)

Do you remember how just the other day, I was talking about how low I was feeling? Running on fumes? Blue?

Well, my goodness. My friend Lindsey took it upon herself to give me a day off from the laundry, the cooking, the kids, etc. Mostly the kids, though.

On Tuesday night, she sent me a message on Facebook, warning me to be expecting a visitor around 10am. I said, "Who? You?" (except without capitalization). She was very vague about it, telling me not to worry about it, but saying she was tempted to say St. Nicholas was coming over. (In a nutshell, St. Nicholas is known for his secret gift-giving.) This didn't make any sense to me until the end of the day yesterday.

Anyway, yesterday morning, I was trying not to think too much about my "visitor" ... remembering that she'd said I didn't need to worry about it. And then I saw my friend (and our beloved babysitter) Vanessa pull up outside. And I remembered writing on Facebook about how I needed a vacation. I thought, aha, Lindsey has planned for me to have a babysitter for two hours or so! Nice! I can run a couple errands that I never feel like running when I have three kids in tow (which is ALWAYS).

When Vanessa came in, she asked me if I knew what was going on. I said, "Nope!" We chatted for a couple minutes, and then she told me that Lindsey was coming over soon with some things for me, and said, "Why don't you go take a shower?" I said, "Am I going somewhere?" And Vanessa said, "Yes." So I raced upstairs to take a shower, and when I was all dressed, I discovered that Lindsey was downstairs, too (grinning to beat the band) (and I have no idea where that phrase comes from). She showed me three envelopes, each with a time written on them, and told me to open the envelopes at the specified time -- and not to come home before 5. The 10:15 envelope contained a gift certificate to my favorite local coffee shop.

So I fluttered around the house, getting ready to go (very inefficiently, because that's how I operate), grabbing a couple books, my knitting, my purse, (and yes, my Medela pump, because Will eats every three hours-ish, and even though there's plenty of milk in the freezer for him, I would be pretty darn uncomfortable to go that long without feeding him), and my phone.

I love that little coffee shop. I got a spicy hot chocolate (with cayenne pepper!), and when Kim asked me if I wanted any toppings, I said, "Everything you've got!" I sat down with my books and my knitting and had a grand old time. I'm knitting this sweater I started in 2004 or 2005, and it's a very complicated pattern, and I'd made a mistake somewhere but hadn't had an uninterrupted minute to sit down and try to figure out my mistake ... so I couldn't do any knitting. BUT I had the time yesterday to figure it out, get everything straightened out, and just enjoy the knitting. I sat facing a window, so I got some lovely southern sunlight ... and a good seat for the pick-up line I witnessed. Or so I thought.

[Nursing break. Typing one-handed is not my thing.]

This guy struck up a rather stupid (I thought) conversation with the woman at the next table. Then she responded with interest, and he totally played it off like he wasn't interested. Hmm. I couldn't decide if that's just the way guys work, or if he really wasn't interested in her, and really was just interested in the size of her Macbook. (His was newer and faster, and why would he care?)

Anyway, I called my friend Bobbi to see if she wanted to meet up for lunch, since I haven't seen her in months and months (like 9 months maybe?). And then I remembered envelope #2.

Key some suspenseful music here.

Installment 2 coming soon.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Writer's Blogck

I got nothin'.

I'm in the midst of some winter blues. I'm feeling burned out. I'm tired and emotional. I don't feel much creative energy to create any witty or interesting posts.

So, in the interest of self-renewal, I'm going to go take a nap.

Before I go, though, here are some pictures of our little goobers.

Caroline, modeling her new winter hat (knitted by a woman in our church) and my pajama pants.

Bob & Will doing push-ups, while Lily supervises. Or looks away, actually.

My sweet Lucy Goose. Man, I love that girl.

That's it. Over and out.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Surprise visitor

I was just sitting at my computer, and I happened to see some movement out of the corner of my eye.

Looks like we have a new guy in the neighborhood.

Well, hello, Mr. Possum.

Yes, that's a hay bale. Yes, I live in town. It's my neighbor's, and I'm not sure what its purpose is, but hey, my neighbor probably wonders why we don't do something about our garage.

I'm not sure this picture captures how much the garage leans. It does seem to capture the ugly insulation "curtain" on the door, the unlandscaped foundation, the drooping downspout and gutters, its unpainted siding. (It is painted, of course, but we didn't paint it when we had the house painted. It makes more sense to straighten and reinforce the building first, then paint it.)

Projects, projects. It's very difficult to prioritize.

Friday, February 19, 2010


I really want my house to be all that it can be (go army!) right now. Anyone else feel that way?

And I despise my refrigerator. I really hate it. My mother-in-law bought it for her kitchen a couple years ago, but she hated it so much, she banished it to the garage. Really, I thought, how bad could it be? Well, that bad. When we bought this house, it came with no appliances, which is just as well, I suppose, considering how much we had to scrub down the kitchen cabinets, the floors, the walls, the doors, the windows. (And I really shouldn't pretend that we've done all of that. We've scrubbed all the floors, I scrubbed every inch of the cabinets, some of the walls have been cleaned, Bob's working his way around the windows.) By the way, quick trivia: how many windows do we have in our house? Answer: enough that having them prepped & painted was going to be a HUGE expense. Real answer: 34, I think. Not including the windows that are part of exterior doors.

So my mother-in-law gave us this refrigerator when we moved in.

Anyway, on a whim the other day, I looked at eBay for refrigerators. Big mistake. Turns out, there are good deals, just waiting for me! I'm watching an auction for a refrigerator that's everything I want (except for location ... it's hours away, in OH). Twenty-five minutes to go, and it's totally affordable. I need to just sit on my hands (even though I realize that would make blogging difficult).

To strengthen my resolve, let me quote a book I'm reading: "You want to make your home better, so the first thing you ask is: What can I buy? Wrong. For most of us, the problem isn't having enough; it's having too much (of the wrong stuff)." [from Living in Style Without Losing Your Mind by Marco Pasanella] True enough. And I recommend the book.

Full disclosure: this is big talk from the woman who couldn't resist a "good deal" for the house today at Goodwill. If Bob approves of my purchase, I'll reveal it to you on the blog. I know you're all waiting with bated breath.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Honesty. Sort of.

The other day, I went into the girls' room to check on them, and I found Caroline clutching her hands together against her abdomen. I was concerned that she was hurt, so I asked her what was going on. Her response? "I don't have a baby wipe!" Which meant, of course, that she had a baby wipe. She's not allowed to get baby wipes out, since she has been known to remove all the baby wipes from the container, and then jam them back in, but all crumpled together, so they no longer feed out one at a time.

Anyway, sure enough, she had a baby wipe. I was thankful she only had one.

Yesterday, when I realized that she was wearing jeans ... but commando, I asked her where her underwear was. "Not in the toilet!" Good grief. You can imagine my relief when I later found it on the couch. And no, I don't know what it was doing on the couch, or why she would forget that she'd taken it off and put her jeans back on.

And Lucy? Well, I was looking through my House Beautiful magazine, and as I passed this ad, she said, "Bob!" I think he'll be pleased to know that he's featured in an ad. Maybe.

And why does she periodically call him Bob instead of Daddy?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me!

I had just brought in the mail, when I happened to glance out and see a box on my front porch. Did the mail female bring it? Did the UPS truck stop by when I wasn't paying attention?

I wasn't even expecting a package.

But when I saw Gardener's Supply Company on the box, I thought, it must be from my dad. Yep, sure enough, the card says "Happy Birthday! -Dad"

When my parents were here not too long ago, I was talking with Dad about how this is the Year of the Garden. Bob & I have made this pronouncement before, but this time, I'm for real.

So Dad said, "I'm going to get you a seed-starter kit for your birthday!"

The kit includes two of these 24-seed starting trays, soil, fertilizer, little stakes for marking, and more. I can't wait.

And since my sunroom, the area where my computer is (which Bob calls my InterNest), the place I'm sitting right now, gets tons of southern and western light, I know just where I'm going to put them.

The tough part is going to be figuring out what to plant, and when. Although, when my parents arrived, they came bearing gift after gift ... and I'm not sure that I can claim to not have enough information now.

But seriously, I could see us growing lots of herbs (basil, of course, and thyme, dill, chives, parsley), and tomatoes, potatoes, onions, leeks, asparagus, cucumbers, squash, zucchini, lettuce, spinach, green beans, sweet peas, bell peppers, garlic. I could go on.

Anyway, lots of planning ahead.

I'm excited at the prospect of growing things without chemicals, knowing that everything was ripened in the sun, nothing was shipped anywhere, shrink-wrapped, etc. I also like the idea of saving money. Big surprise, right?

Moving on.

Remember when I said I failed to take pictures at our house blessing? Well, I lied apparently. I found a couple shots of Caroline & Bob, when she was pretending to be a daddy (drinking a beer) and pretending to be a momma (drinking a diet coke). That girl is too much.

And I found our to-do lists, which I apparently left sitting out for God and Everybody to see during the party. Classy. But at least everyone knew I'd taken a shower. (And Bob actually finished his to-do list, he's just not as OCD about checking things off his list. Funny. He seems to prefer the actual DOING of things.)

P.S. It's not actually my birthday, and won't be for about a month. I think my dad was just really on the ball this year.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

It's your lucky day

because I was going to do a photo documentary of the Evolution of a Bruise upon my Leg. However, when I went to do a sync-up of my iPhone & computer, my computer miraculously restored my phone to its settings from before its untimely crash. Which means that while my pictures & videos from before the crash are recovered, I've lost the pictures I've taken since then. I think. I need to figure this out.

Anyway, you all are saved from the (interesting, I promise!) changing nature of the bruise I got the other night when I got up in the middle of the night to race into the girls' room (and afraid of a disaster, Miss Clavel ran fast and faster! -- name that book) to check on a wailing Caroline. Unfortunately, I forgot that the side table that's beside my bed, and has been since we moved in over a year ago, was beside my bed. I slammed into that table, but of course, I didn't slow down, because I was concerned for Caroline.

All was well. Until the morning, when I felt some pain and discovered the Bruise.

Anyway, moving on from the Bruise.

Over Christmas, Caroline fell and knocked her two front teeth loose. It was pretty traumatic (definitely more so for me than for her), but I'm very glad that it looks like it's all healed up pretty well. But here's the interview I did with her (because I had just gotten an iPhone, and it has a video camera!). Please excuse my wimpy voice at the beginning. I don't know what my problem was.

Monday, February 15, 2010

I'm one frugal momma.

This year, I decided to track my savings with coupons. I started clipping coupons in the middle of the year last year, but I don't really know how much I saved.

So, here's the tally for 2010:
January -- $63.22
February so far -- $39.77

We've never actually had a clothing budget because we just don't buy clothes very often. But all of Bob's clothes for work were starting to wear out all of a sudden, and we just couldn't afford to go replace all of his stuff at the Brooks Brothers prices of $79 per shirt and $150 per pair of pants. So, I started shopping on eBay. This year, I've gotten him three pairs of pants and two shirts. One of the pairs of pants was still brand-new (with tags attached) (and it was a more expensive pair of pants than the $150 ones), and the other items were used but showed no wear. So I'm comparing what I paid to what it would have cost if I'd bought everything brand-new in the store.

Brace yourselves.

I bought, as I said, three pairs of pants and two shirts, for a whopping total of $85.80. New, I would have paid $708. Yes, that sound you hear is me patting myself on the back.

In other financial news, I e-filed our federal and state taxes last night and look forward to seeing those refunds direct-deposited into our checking account.

Dave Ramsey would be proud.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

House Blessing & Open House

I had a great time. I really did. I'm grateful for the presence of our friends, and it felt like a blessed event.

I also learned more about entertaining, how to set realistic goals, and what not to do last-minute.

What I did right:
showered before the event (it was a tough call; it was T-1 hour, but it needed to happen)
baked some things the day before
delegated some things to Bob
put dirty hand towel from downstairs bath in the dirty clothes
(I didn't do this, but Bob did, and I liked the approach) announced that our house is a work in progress, and yes, we do know that there's a hole in the dining room ceiling.
invited some of our former neighbors whom we haven't seen in a long time. It was so much fun to reconnect.
held off on finishing our taxes (which I was itching to do), even though the last statement I needed arrived in the mail yesterday.
held off on finishing Andre Agassi's autobiography, which I'm loving. Loving.

What I did wrong:
spent precious time on the day of the event straightening all the paper in my recycling bin. Because, you know, everyone who comes over will be scandalized if it's not straight.
forgot to put a clean hand towel in the downstairs bath
realized at T-30 minutes that one of my children was naked, and the other two needed wardrobe changes. Hence, I was upstairs with three naked children when the first guests arrived.
tried a new recipe the day of the party. Made a double batch. It was a flop. Tried another new recipe. It flopped. Threw three batches of no-bake (in this case, no-good) cookies away.
waited too late to mop. Nothing like inviting people in to your kitchen with a wet floor. I skipped the mopping. I'm hoping no one was horrified.
failed to take pictures.
allowed our 3 1/2-year-old to stay up three hours past her bedtime, until it reached the point that she was acting completely drunk, and doing things like pulling down her eyelids and saying, "What are these??" in a very profound way.

We have some great friends whom we really love. And we like spending time with them. And we should do it more often.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The three sweetest words in the English language.

"You were right."

I'll have to tell Bob. I finally asked Caroline about this picture:

And you know how I thought it was a head, over a torso (with breasts!) with arms & legs? Well, I was wrong.

Turns out, (and now I vaguely remember Caroline saying something about it when I found this drawing) this is a picture of Caroline. With a crown. But not because it's her birthday. Because she's a queen. So the smaller circle, up over the big one? That's her crown. And we may need to work some anatomy classes into our busy schedule, because apparently, her arms and legs are coming out of her head.

At our house, on birthdays, the birthday girl gets to wear a crown at dessert time. The "crown" is my mom's tiara from when she was on Homecoming Court in high school. I used to love trying that thing on when we would visit my grandparents' house in Iowa, so when we were splitting up my grandparents' things, as my grandmother prepared to move in with my parents, I asked for the tiara. I knew that my girls would have as much fun with it as I did. And they do.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Crunch Time

So we've asked our priest to come bless our house tomorrow. And then, we decided to make it a house blessing/open house. We've invited people from church, people we work with (or in my case, used to work with), former neighbors, other friends, etc.

I really thought that hosting such an event might give us added motivation to finish some projects. And it did -- just not the ones I was hoping for.

I tried and tried to find a rug for the foyer. Without a rug, it really feels unfinished. And it is. Actually, it's unstarted. While my parents were here, we went to TJ Maxx (thanks for the tip, Allison!) and found two rugs I liked. I bought them and brought them home, knowing I could return them if Bob didn't like them. And he didn't. But he was willing to live with them if a) we agreed they were temporary, and b) I liked them. So we agreed to live with them. But then, all through the night, the rugs kept coming into my dreams, and I was stewing over them, and finally I realized that I wasn't as wild about them as I'd thought. You know how sometimes something you didn't like grows on you? (Awkward sentence, I know.) Well, I experienced the opposite effect with these rugs. They shrank on me, if you will.

Sorry to talk so much about rugs. There are so many things more important than rugs, and yet, in my Project Coziness, I'd like to get this "right." And no, I don't mean to imply that there's one rug that's right for my foyer. One of many, I'm sure, I just need to find them.

I fell for this PB Kids rug. I really like it, and Bob likes it, too. And if we decided it was too bold for the foyer, it would be a great kids' room rug.

Cute, right? Except then I discovered that the rug is not one even height. It's textured.

So that rug's out. It's just not the one for us.

Anyway, so we won't have a soft rug in the foyer tomorrow night, but we will (drumroll, please) have a bath/shower that's no longer missing a tile! Thank you, Bob. I don't know how long that tile has been missing, but it was missing when we moved in (13 months ago), and hallelujah, Bob fixed it last night. The tile doesn't totally match (it's a slightly different shade of white), but I told Bob that what might be an eyesore to other people is beautiful to me.

Other projects to finish before tomorrow night at 8 (and if you're local, you're invited!) include installing some kind of lock on the downstairs bathroom door. It freaks me out when there's no lock on the bathroom door ... except in my own house, of course. But for everyone else, I'd like for them to not be worried that someone might walk in on them. Because that's never fun.

Kitchen progress: there hasn't been any. I did fill two holes with a product called Great Stuff. (Should I be in marketing? Because even I could replicate that thought process. What should we call this stuff? It's really great stuff. Oh, I know, let's call it Great Stuff!) And I did do some sanding. But there's a lot more to this kitchen project, so even though Bob's in Chicago today, I'm not going to surprise him with any more house projects when he comes home.

I did set up a table and chairs in the foyer, and I can't make up my mind about it. Does it look good? Bad? Weird? I think Bob's leaning toward weird. But I don't like having an empty room for people to walk into, especially when we have some furniture to work with in the basement and attic. So, there's a table & chairs in there.

Is this too weird? Is it okay? I don't know.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

My prediction?

The Colts.

And I hope I'm right -- but if not, I'll be happy for the Saints. How's that for diplomacy?

Friday, February 5, 2010

Apparently my notes to self don't work.

Do you remember the Sharpie that I may or may not have put through the wash with a HUGE load of clothes? And how I reminded myself to check pockets? (Because, yes, I may have ruined a sweet little sleeper of Will's.)

Well, I forgot.

Load #2: I was unloading the dryer, and this fell out:

Thank goodness it survived its ride through the washer. Caroline, who picked it out, all by herself, while her mother bit her tongue (as in, I bit my tongue, not Caroline's), would be really sad if it died.

Load #3: I pretreated a batch of cloth napkins, burp cloths, and some hand towels, put in the detergent, and some bleach, and then went down right before supper to iron the clean napkins. And discovered that I'd never turned the washer on.

And then I stopped doing laundry for the day, because obviously, I wasn't doing such a hot job. My laundry mountain is shorter now, but not by much.

This is pretty much the only activity around our house today. The girls have been reading books with Pokey, and Pokey's been holding Will, and the girls have been playing with Poppy, and Poppy's been holding Will. That's about it. Can you tell Pokey melts around her grandchildren?

And this is the beauty that is outside. I love it.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Check your pockets.

My parents are coming in tonight for an impromptu visit. That means that, by supper time, I really should:

attack the mountain of laundry upstairs

run to the grocery store
make a pie crust or two
bake bread
clean the house
cook supper

And during that time, I'll have to face all kinds of distractions. Like:

(If you've ever seen a cuter baby boy than this one, I don't want to hear it, because you're lying.)

And the three kids together: No wonder I never get anything done.

And, while I'm dealing with all my distractions, I need to remember to check pockets before washing clothes. Because it would be pretty bad if I did a huge load of laundry and then found this as I was loading the dryer:

I would never do anything this stupid. Right?


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

While we're talking about language...

Caroline talks a lot about the past and the future, and she has specific (and consistent) ways in which she does this.

To describe something that has already happened, she says, "Last night a year ago..." As in, "Did you make me a cake for my birthday last night a year ago?"

To describe something that's going to happen, she says, "Sometime on Thursday..."

Just so you have a heads-up, that's what those phrases mean. Every once in a while, Bob gets confused and says something like, "Did you tell Caroline we're going to Chicago on Thursday?" And I say, "No, did she tell you that? ... Oh wait. I'm sure I told her we'd go to Chicago some time soon. To her, that's on Thursday." The little goober.

She does like to read, so perhaps she picked this up in the sports section.


In most ways, Caroline is like Bob. For example, she smells everything. Everything. It really grosses me out, but Bob is her champion in this. We have senses for a reason! We should use them!, he says.

But when she wakes up, she's a bit like me. If Bob talks to me about something when he's leaving for work in the morning (and I'm still in bed, mostly asleep), I will often respond like I know what I'm talking about. But I have no memory of it afterward.

Caroline, however, is just in her own zone when she wakes up. It's best to give her space so she can enter the world of the living in her own sweet time.

Anyway, Friday afternoon, I had to wake her up from her nap because we were going to meet Bob's mom for supper at the Olive Garden. I woke her up, knowing I would incur her wrath just by rousing her. So I quickly followed up "It's time to get up" with "We're going out to eat with Nena! At the Olive Garden!" She thought that through, and then remembered that the Olive Garden is next to a car wash that she loves.

But since she'd just awakened, she did not possess the ability to sort through her collection of nouns and come up with the appropriate ones. So she said, "Are we going to go see that thing with that thing in that thing?" And I, knowing exactly what she was talking about, because I AM HER MOTHER, said, "Yes, honey. We are."

Oh my goodness, I love my kids.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Last night, Lucy was having a rough time. She was asleep, but then Caroline woke her up, and she has a hard time going back to sleep. I went in and comforted her, but she wouldn't stop crying when I left, so I got her some more milk.

Then she woke up around midnight, and again, there was no pacifying. I decided to just her cry it out, but Bob proposed letting her sleep with us. Oh boy. As soon as she got in bed with us (and the two cats) (in a double bed), she decided it was time to play and giggle and touch my eyelids and roll around. I was starting to get really annoyed, so Bob proposed that he go sleep on the couch. I didn't really see how that would fix anything except for Bob, so I nixed that.

Ultimately, Bob put her down in a different room, but with another cup of milk. She finally fell asleep.

Then Caroline fell out of bed and woke up wailing. I went in and held her for a bit, consoled her, and then tucked her back in.

Then Will woke up a time or two. I shouldn't complain because he sleeps through the night EVERY night, but still, I could have used a quiet night from him.

This morning, the girls dumped a huge load of blocks all over the house, I'm waiting to hear back from my doctor's office on whether or not they need to see me (I think I have an infection), or if they can just call in a prescription, I have an upholsterer coming to give me quotes on redoing a chair and couch (and, while we're at it, maybe the dining room chairs, and some cushions for the window seat?), and I really should shower. But if I'm in the shower, will I miss the call back from the doctor? I think it's worth the risk.

Good grief. May naptime come quickly--

Speaking of naptime, Caroline fell asleep on her sleeping bag during naptime yesterday. And when I say on her sleeping bag, I mean while it was still in its stuff sack. Crazy kid.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Pet Peeves

FYI: I started this post when pregnant with Will. I'd like to be clear with you all that I'm not pregnant.

I hope this post doesn't come across as too negative, but I've noticed lately that I have a lot of pet peeves. I would like to think that this is pregnancy-related and these little things won't bother me after the end of August. We'll see...

Here's the list. It's not comprehensive, which is sad. I guess I have a lot.

  • cars not parked straight in our driveway
  • not unloading the dish drainer before stacking wet dishes on top of dry
  • the word "potty"
  • phrases like "go bye-bye," "go night-night," and "go potty"
  • being called "Mommy"
  • people telling my children I have a baby "in my belly." It's not. I've been clear with Caroline that there's a baby in my womb. I know this isn't a big deal, but I'd prefer to be a little more accurate. Someone I know was told (as a child) that the baby comes out of Mommy's bottom, and this person was grossed out for at least a decade until that was straightened out. Nasty, nasty.
  • toilet seats left in the upright position
  • mayonnaise. Does it have to be a staple of all sandwiches? ... because I can't stand it! (Well, I'm not all that cracked up about sandwiches in general, but with mayo, I won't touch them.)
  • people who leave their shopping carts loose in the parking lot
  • people who park across lane lines and take up two spots
  • packages being opened incorrectly (like upside down, or when a resealable container is damaged, so it's no longer resealable)
  • typos (though of course, I create typos, too)
  • Craigslist listings that use the word "beautiful" in the heading. Sorry, that's not descriptive enough for me.
  • Winter.
  • Cats that scratch furniture. (Ahem, Katie & Janie.)
Perhaps I should loosen up a little?

Update: Um, I guess it's not pregnancy-related. These still annoy me.