Friday, February 29, 2008

The Morning After

To: Large dog who appears to think he was put on this earth to whine.
Re: Ya'll gon' make me lose my mind, up in here, up in here. Ya'll gon' make me act the fool, up in here, up in here.

It doesn't bode well for your day when DMX lyrics say it best.

Moving on! Jim and I had our first session with a personal trainer last night (we're actually getting a group rate because we're working out with two other couples, which is even more motivation to push through the pain. Everyone is watching! Must not collapse on the floor and cry!) Man, am I out of shape. I've been doing aerobics for a few months now, but let me just say that Zumba seems like a brisk walk compared to last night's torture. My muscles are so sore I was afraid I wouldn't even be able to lift Eli today.
My lower abs in particular are shockingly weak, even though just to look at it my stomach seems mostly flat again. I had no idea how much two pregnancies take out of you in terms of muscle tone. It was really embarrassing. There were a couple of exercises that I literally couldn't do because I didn't have enough strength in my lower abdominals to keep my back on the floor. The trainer assures me in a few weeks I'll be surprised at my progress. I'll be surprised if in a few weeks he's still alive. Sometimes the only way I could make it through a whole minute of whatever circuit station I was on was by thinking, F you, Dennis, F you. Except the word was longer than f.
Also, it's kind of weird to work out strenuously with people you know well. There you are, sweating like a pig, feeling sick to your stomach, and making noises like you should be in a delivery room, all in front of people you otherwise mostly just watch movies and have dinner with.

In other late-breaking news, you all DO know which movie comes out tonight, right? RIGHT?! I have actually convinced Jim to go see it with me, even though I also have plans to see it later with some girlfriends. Because they can't go to it tonight with me, and after waiting four months, I am INCAPABLE of waiting even a FEW MORE DAYS.
Oh, you don't know which movie I'm talking about? Skimmer. But I'll tell you. TOMORROW, when I review it extensively! You'll just have to wait!

And also, because apparently I have abandoned completely the idea of continuity in writing, here is a link to an article about women in the workplace during WWII that I thought was hilarious. And is genuine, according to Snopes. I'm betting that in the back of their minds, a lot of male bosses still adhere to some of these rules. Do any of these ring true to those of you working outside the home?

Edit edit URGENT EDIT: GAAAAAAA! My movie- fine, it's The Other Boleyn Girl, and yes, it's MY movie, as in, I HAVE RIGHTS TO SEE IT IMMEDIATELY- isn't showing in this town OR the one closest to it. I'm sorry, I wasn't aware this was some sort of FOREIGN film with SUBTITLES and ANGST and VAGUE PLOT LINES. I'm pretty sure this is a regular old Sony Pictures release full of partial nudity and elaborate costumes! What the frickity frick, people? Ya'll gon' make me LOSE MY MIND!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Good/Bad, Part Deux

What is lovely: The snow outside, sparkling in the bright, bright winter sun.
What is not: The bitter, biting cold, which feels like a betrayal every time you step out the door. It looks so PRETTY though! you want to say. Why are the hairs in my nostrils freezing?

What is lovely: Having family pictures taken for the first time since the newest addition was born.
What is not: Having to wait a half hour because there is only one person working at the portrait studio. There was only one other customer, and she was wrapping things up, so this shouldn't have been a problem. Except that she happened to be the Most Infuriating Fellow Customer Ever, and was standing at the monitor examining twenty-four gajillion different poses of her "little guy" in seventy-bajillion different outfits and backgrounds and was literally losing her MIND trying to decide what she wanted to purchase. "I just don't know," she mused about thirty nine times, shifting her son back and forth from hip to hip. "I love the naked one on the blanket, but the naked one in the bathtub is great too..." I was THIS close to screaming, "It's all the same face! It's just that ONE kid in all of those pictures. How different can they really be? For the love of ALL THAT IS GOOD just pick one!"

What is lovely: Having had a good- or at least not BAD- showing.
What is not: Having an open house scheduled for this weekend, meaning not only did I have to clean the entire house Tuesday, but I have to KEEP it clean until Sunday afternoon.

What is lovely: Having food to eat, not worrying about starving, etc. (I was kind of reaching on this one.)
What is not: Quaker's Weight Control oatmeal. It tastes like rubber cement.

Thus ends yet another thrilling installation in my current series of Boring Topic-less Posts!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Shoes and Showings

Well, my mom and I took the kids shopping for Easter outfits Monday night, and Swistle, you'd have been proud. Not of what we bought the kids- I couldn't find anything I liked for Eli. For Addy we did find a beautiful dress, but it was neither on sale nor could I find a picture of it online to show it off. So, still fun, but not impressive.
No, what I was proud of was the stuff I found for ME! I got three pairs of shoes for twenty bucks! That's for ALL of them. Hello, giant end-of-season clearance sales! I couldn't find exact pictures of any of those, either, despite extensive (ten minutes) research, but here is a picture of approximately what one of the pairs of shoes looks like. They are Keds, but they're not slip-ons, they're skimmers. And there's a blue stripe on the side. The other pairs are more dressy- one pair has about a two inch heel and is kind of a coppery brown with a thin buckle strap and a round toe. The other are just sensible, brown leather, square-toed slip-ons with about an inch heel. Not thrilling, those, but infinitely practical for me. I am not a tennis shoes for everyday kind of person. I prefer having my hands free at all times, so neutral looking shoes that I can just shove my feet into while holding baby/purse/mug of coffee the size of my head are a staple for me, and I am constantly wearing out my current ones and scouting for replacements.
Wow, this little shopping run down is way more boring than I anticipated without visual aids... I'll try again to find pictures to post, but I am too lazy to go take pictures and post them myself, so if I can't find them, you're up a creek, folks.
In other, arguably more exciting news, our house showing went really well yesterday! The realtor said the couple told him that so far in their search it was "between our house and one other one." The woman likes the updates (new flooring, remodeled bath and kitchen, fresh paint) in our house, plus the yard and location are better, but the man likes the floor plan of the other house. And it has amenities such as two bathrooms and a two car garage which ours is sadly lacking.
I am SO hoping that the ideal location of our home (less than five minutes away from the kindergarten, elementary, middle and high schools of the best school district in the area) will win out over the double sinks and central air of the rival home. Also, the realtor mentioned that they have a toddler and that the woman is pregnant, which made me immediately want THEM to have the house. It would be like replacing us with... Us! I want there to still be little kids in this house. Weird, huh?
You know what else is weird? Having strangers go through your home and TOUCH stuff. I mean, open closets, examine kitchen cabinets and look at the cleanliness of the shower all you want, but when I can tell that you have been picking up and examining our FAMILY PHOTOS? That's a little creepy. But whatever. I love you! Please buy our house!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Flesh Pacifier

This is apparently the new function of my face in general and my chin in particular. See, when he's upset (which is ALWAYS,) I hold Eli to my shoulder and pat his back. Usually he settles down, sucks his thumb, and falls asleep. But lately, rather than sucking his thumb, he has been wrenching his face around, LATCHING ON to any bit of my face he can get in his mouth, and sucking voraciously. I have mini hickeys all over the lower portion of my face, and it's getting somewhat painful as well, the UNLATCHING him part. I just... I have no more words on this subject.
Which is lucky, because our house is being shown tomorrow at four and I have to clean like mad now, not ramble on about my piranha son's desire to suck the flesh off my bones.

P.S. Spellcheck, I knew you'd come crawling back eventually. You thought you could do better...

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Public Humiliation, Part Infinity

So, you may be wondering, what could be worse than getting called to the front of the class during aerobics? How 'bout finding out at a nice church lady function that some people from your past, with whom you have kind of an iffy relationship due to some mutual acquaintances with whom you have a BAD relationship, have been WATCHING YOU do your dance aerobics from the track above the gym? Stellar.
Also fun: stuffing yourself into a push up bra immediately following nursing, then realizing, a few hours and a few ounces of milk build up later, that your NIPPLES HAVE BURST OUT OF THE BRA and are going berserk under your WHITE SWEATER. AT THE NICE CHURCH LADY FUNCTION.

You people probably think I make this crap up for your benefit, but you would be wrong. I'm just THAT lucky.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Would You Rather...

...Do without toothpaste or shampoo?
This is going to be a FUN post today, yes sir. Further ridiculous poll taking, because I am tired and for various reasons overwhelmed, despite the fact that Eli SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT. He did wake up once and stir and snuffle around quite loudly, causing me to hunch over the baby monitor and WILL him back to sleep, but he never actually fully achieved consciousness in order to demand food.
So there is that cause for celebration. And apparently around here we celebrate by not showering and eating frozen corn dogs for lunch.

Ahem! On to the good stuff. (Yes, I know, I'm playing it loose and fast with the term "good.") Would you rather:
-Refer to first sentence.
-Have a maid, a cook, or (if applicable) a nanny?
-Have a hairstylist or a makeup artist?


Lordy, I'm sorry. Just pretend you never read this and click on out if you must. I won't hold it against you. I'm going to try to sleep now. Or shower. Or eat something not from a Schwann's box.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Exercise! It Appears To Burn Calories!

Well, I'll be darned if I didn't fit back into two pairs of pre-baby pants I had nearly given up on. Then I got on the scale for the first time in three months, held my breath and hoped for a miracle- and there was no miracle. I am still overweight. But only ten pounds over my weight when I got pregnant, and the last time I braved the scale it was closer to twenty pounds over. (I excitedly reported my findings to Jim, adding, "Plus it's the nighttime, so I'm REALLY probably a few pounds less. Plus I'm breastfeeding, so probably five of those extra pounds are in my BOOBS! Plus last week I ate an entire box of chocolates, so if you factor those out..." "I know!" he agreed supportively. "Really you're probably only about a hundred and twenty pounds!" In case it's not clear, this was a joke. I would have to lose a lot more than water weight to be a hundred and twenty pounds. Like a thigh.)
So yeah... Much to my shock, working out, even just a few times a week, appears to be causing WEIGHT LOSS and a THINNER WAISTLINE. Who knew?
It also caused profound humiliation last night. See, I am a firm Back Rower. I stand in the center of the row so I can still see the instructor just fine (at least until Freakishly Tall Rubber Band Girl gets in my line of sight) but I in no way am eager to call attention to myself. I just want to get in there, work up a sweat, and get out. No forging of friendships or getting suckered into helping lead one of the routines.
But last night, on our very last routine, I realized that the sharp eyes of the instructor were meeting mine. "You. Green shirt! Come up here and show them!" she yelled, when her subtle eye contact and gestures had been ignored. I slunk through the rows of people, waiting for the familiar Nervous Tummmy and red face. Amazingly, they never came. I stood on the raised platform, helped demonstrate a not very difficult move which I was apparently doing correctly, and then finished the rest of the cool down ON THE STAGE. Without even blushing.
I know, go me, right? Now do you want to hear what the move was? It was LEANING, people. Keep your feet together, flat on the floor, and just lean as far as possible to one side and then the other. I was demonstrating how to NOT FALL OVER.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Whiny McBitchandMoanerson

Last night my mom watched the kids for a few hours, and fed Eli some rice cereal, per my instructions. He hasn't had it again since he threw up last week, so I figured his stomach should have been settled down by now. But no sooner did I arrive to pick them up than he started puking down my back (and down my pants and into my underwear, but I can't even speak of that right now.) It was just like the last time- horrible screaming, multiple retching episodes involving multiple clothing changes, and then after an hour or so he settled down and fell into an exhausted sleep.
I don't know what to think. Could he be allergic to something in the actual cereal? I mean, rice cereal is about as plain as it gets. But maybe he has a whey or gluten allergy or something? Grrr. I'm afraid to try it again to see if the same thing happens a third time because.... Well, because I don't want the same thing to happen a third time! I guess I'd better call the doctor AGAIN. Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield is gonna be lovin' me, what with the doctor's visits every week or so.
He woke up to nurse twice last night, which was a good sign but left me grumpy and out of it this morning. I had gotten used to just one feeding a night, and hell hath no fury like a me with a screwed up sleep schedule. It's just been one of those days; nothing is getting done and I feel like all I'm doing is putting out fires.
What IS it with mornings and everybody needing, needing, needing, and all at the same time? The baby is hungry and wet, Addy is crying and needs her diaper changed and her nose wiped and her juice cup filled, and the dog is whining incessantly and pacing in front of the door. And of course my bladder is wanting to be emptied and my stomach is hungry, too, but these needs will not be met, probably, for another half hour at least.
There is laundry to be done, dishes to be cleared, coffee to be made (yes it MUST be made) and another diaper to change, and now Eli is fussy and tired and needing to be rocked and I haven't even brushed my teeth yet...
Addy is bouncing around, climbing all over me while I try to rock Eli, begging for her Barbie movie already. I am so not in the mood to see it again, but nor am I in the mood to be a human jungle gym. I put it in the DVD player, and as the saccarine music fills the air, so does the smell of coffee. I tell myself I'll be all better in just a second.
I pour a cup of coffee, and the dog is whining again. The laundry buzzes, and I hear something crashing in the living room. By the time I return to my coffee, it is lukewarm and there is a dog hair floating in it. (BONUS POINTS to whoever correctly identifies the speaker of this Friends quote: "Drink your hair.")
Addy is in one of her Moods today- she is perpetually on edge, upset about some little thing which she cannot explain to me, nor can I satisfactorily correct it or distract her from it. We are both snappy and whiny. Finally I put her in a time-out, for refusing to stop leaping over precarious piles of toys, thudding loudly to the floor, and then screaming while I am trying (again) to rock Eli to sleep. This is not the best thought-out plan, as her furious screaming from the bedroom is far more distracting than the gleeful screaming from the living room had been. I let her out after the requisite two minutes, putting a not sleeping Eli down on the play mat so I can cuddle Addy.
I am trying, but this is one of those days when I feel like all the energy I can muster is not enough. I feel like I am barely holding it together, like my nerves are unraveling one by one. I feel, come to think of it, like a babysitter, who is desperately counting down the hours until the real parents arrive to take over.

And now Addy is playing nicely with Legos and Eli is sleeping and I am, in fact, complaining about problems which are now resolved. But it still feels good. I think a brownie with ice cream would feel good, too.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Pretend You're Interested

All right, I'll bite. Chelle tagged me, and as I was in fact digging DEEP for post material today (i.e., I was contemplating writing about Eli's ingrown toenails,) I will grace you with the ever-popular Seven Weird Things.

The rules are as follows:
# Link to the person who tagged you
# Post the rules on your blog.
# Share seven random and/or weird facts about yourself on your blog.
# Tag seven random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.
# Leave a comment on their blogs so that they know they have been tagged.

1. When I was little, I went through a phase in which I would literally cry if anyone touched or- oh the horror!- SAT on my bed after I had finished making it up with military precision. It was a long year for everyone.

2. I never liked normal kid food when I was in fact a kid. I hated Doritos, hot dogs, Spaghettios, etc. I preferred "fancy" food, like tea cakes. Or, you know, Little Debbies.

3. I have a very large collection of Willow Tree figurines. I sure hope Adelay likes them, 'cause they're all hers one day!

4. When my sister and I were about seven and eight, we were CONVINCED that we were really twins and that our parents told us we were a year apart just so our youngest sister wouldn't feel left out. We took it so far as to dress alike and speak in pig Latin to one another ("No one can understand us! We have our own twin language!")Now, we did look SIMILAR, but I was a good inch or two taller, and had also seen both of our birth certificates with DIFFERENT DATES, so I'm not sure why I so staunchly clung to this theory. Perhaps it was all the Sweet Valley Twins reading I was doing at the time...

5. I used to obsess over the names of my baby dolls. I would literally make lists and consult them for WEEKS, and I would force my family to learn the names and refer to the dolls as such.

6. I sucked my thumb at night until I was NINE. I'm pretty sure I only gave it up out of shame, too. Otherwise I might still be doing it.

7. I have always fantasized about being on a talk show, and sometimes have imaginary mental conversations with journalists who are fascinated by my extensive humanitarian efforts or brilliant bestselling novel.

I'm pretty sure this list just serves to emphasize what an especially odd kid I was. (One of my friends, with whom I got close in high school, once told me she was glad we didn't meet younger, or she would probably have been mean to me. To be honest, I wouldn't have blamed her.)

All right, now I know a lot of you have probably done this one already, but if not, here's my tags:



Clueless But Hopeful Mama

Fine For Now


Miss Mairzy

Musings Of A Mom

Go crazy, kids.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Meaningless Drivel

Because I can think of nothing clever to write about tonight, and because tomorrow I absolutely MUST clean this house and NOT spend three to four hours online, I only have a question for you. A fun one, though, I believe, if you follow celebs at all. I would say I follow them to an extent. I do not subscribe to any mags, but I do read them while waiting to have my teeth cleaned, and I do scan the headlines while in line at the grocery. So while I don't know, say, the current state of Tori's relationship with her money-grubbing mother, I do know that J.Lo is pregnant with twins, and that Britney of course is a train wreck.
The question is, if you HAD to, who would you choose as your celebrity boyfriend/husband/meaningless fling?
I THINK I would choose Clive Owen. Or wait! Colin Firth. Definitely Colin Firth. Mmmm... But I'm open to suggestions.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Behold The Cute! Behold It, I Say!

That's right, suckahs! I lure you here with wedding talk, and then BAM! You're hit with excessive kid pictures right between the eyes.

Now here we have Jim with his Mini Me. This picture, while I love it, does not do justice to the FREAKISH similarity in profile that these two share. They also both have the exact same browline, and pull their eyebrows together into the exact same Lofty Gaze of Disdain. It is frightening.

I got two of these towels (the other being a yellow duck) for the kids for Christmas, and this was the first occasion which Adelay actually allowed me to pull the animal hood over her head without a colossal freak out. Apparently animal hoodies are right up there with clowns in the list of Things We Want Kids To Like That Are Actually Terrifying.

Eli sporting same towel, with only slightly less enthusiasm. (On different days, though, I swear. We didn't wrap him in her wet, discarded towel.)

This is my first documented evidence of the kids playing together. I plan to trot this thing out for proper guilt trips as soon as it is useful. "See!? See how you used to play nicely together? See you how you used to LOVE each other?"

Now you might at first glance believe this picture to be a showcase of the adorable pigtail braids. It was actually taken to forever immortalize Adelay's odd choice of movies: She does of course dearly love all the Barbie films (who doesn't, really?) but her first love is "Robin Hood: Men in Tights." For real. Followed closely by "The Goonies." My kid is cooler than your kid! Or maybe just... Weirder.

And lastly, in case you were thinking, "These are nice, but they're really lacking that serene yet slightly inebriated Madonna-and-Child tone," I present this heavenly pose for your viewing enjoyment.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Bridesmaid Dresses: Friend or Foe

I think I have mentioned before that Adelay and I are going to be in my friend's wedding this September. This will be my first time as a member of a wedding party, my own aside. Because I am cool and got married at nineteen, thereby beating all my friends to the punch.
Anyways, particularly with that one movie coming out- you know, about bridesmaid dresses, starring that one chic from Grey's Anatomy (yes, I did my research before sitting down to type)- I have been thinking about my excitement over wearing a fancy-pants dress, and how relieved I am that I didn't hate this particular dress.
My question for you is four-fold: How many weddings have you been in, besides your own? Did you like the dress(es) you had to wear? Can you describe the bridesmaid dresses worn by your own attendants? Do you have any regrets about the choice you made?
I have already answered the first two questions, but as for the last ones, my bridesmaids wore strapless, silvery-purple colored dresses that were floor length, had beaded corset bodices, and were kind of a shimmery satin fabric. I still like them a lot, and in fact wish I had gotten to wear one as well as my actual wedding gown. Definitely no regrets.
And you?

P.S. Does this new template make me look fat?

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Yes, yes, two in one day. Settle down now. Here is some complete and total randomness, none of which provides enough content for a single post, but all of which seemed interesting enough to be floating around in my brain saying, "Write about me!"

1. While the Samoa version was weak and disappointing, Edy's Limited Edition Thin Mint Ice Cream is possibly even better than the cookies alone. What is your favorite Girl Scout cookie? I can eat a whole box of those Samoas. Alas, I find the Tagalongs highly overrated, though they seemed to be most people's fave.

2. Today I gave Addy a bath and was jealous of how small she is in relation to the towels. One of the many perks of being a kid- the towels seem giant and thick and actually wrap around your whole body like a blanket. I remember that feeling, and miss it. Possibly I will sew a whole bunch of towels together and make myself a Big Ass Towel. Sarah's Big Ass Towel, I will call it.

3. Eli's diarhhea is finally gone. I wasn't sure if I had mentioned that, and am even less sure that any of you CARE (from bloggersphere: resounding NO!) but on the other hand I had left the whole subject kind of without a wrap-up, and didn't want you to think that he was STILL pooping ten times a day and that I was just ignoring it. He has not thrown up any more, either. There you go. Both ends reported for.

4. Jim played that freaking "Brothers Forever" song from American Idol about a gazillion times this morning on YouTube, and it has been resonating in my head ever since. Kind of like my head is inside of a gong that is being struck repeatedly.

5. When does a child need to have their teeth brushed regularly? Because it seems like, a, Addy still doesn't have a clue how to do it herself, and just gnaws on the bristles while sucking the toothpaste off (but no more than a pea sized blob, be assured!) and b, she'll only let me do it properly about once every three days, on average. Should I start pushing this whole issue more?

6. I have found lately that my standards for Retail Therapy are getting embarassingly low. Example: It makes me excited to buy a fresh tube of toothpaste, new bodywash, or even to use a new kind of cleaning product (Clorox ReadyMop: Now with a new Zesty Orange fragrance!) I mean, not PEEING MY PANTS excited or anything, but I get that little thrill of pleasure that used to be reserved for at least a new pair of PANTS or something. Before long I'm going to be looking forward to gassing up the car. Look at that, it's on F again! What a high!

Mother's Intuition. OR NOT.

Last night found me happily spooning rice/cereal applesauce mixture into Eli's greedy, baby-bird mouth, enthusing to Jim, "Look how much he's eating! This is nearly twice what he usually takes! Maybe we need to start feeding him MORE!" I glowed with pride in my boy's appetite, sure that this was a sign he was finally feeling well and healthy.

Two hours later found me rinsing a whole crapload of distinctly apple-y smelling barf out of Eli's hair as he screamed bloody murder. I'm SO not exaggerating about the bloody murder part- it was terrifying, how loud and how piercing this scream was. The fact that Addy slept through it is nothing short of miraculous. I felt so bad- clearly his stomach had been overloaded and had no choice but to empty itself. He seemed to be uncomfortable for awhile, even after the first major spew, which woke him up around eleven thirty. I held him and rocked him, wrapped in a towel, as he continued to simultaneously retch and suck his thumb sleepily. After awhile there was nothing left in his little belly, and he fell asleep again.

It reminded me of all those Catherine Newman barfing posts- her children seemed to get an awful lot of stomach viruses. But this is actually the first time I have experienced such sheer volume of puke from a child. Addy never really threw up much at all when she was a baby, and has never had the flu. So hearing that ominouos gagging over the baby monitor last night was the first test of Jim's and my virgin skills in tandem barf cleanup mode.

We did pretty well, I think- I ran and picked up the baby, who was wailing piteously and lying in a pool of regurgitated cereal. Jim went to run a bath while I comforted Eli, who continued to barf all over me and his clothes. We got him undressed, and I bathed him while Jim gathered up the barfy clothes and sheets. Then when he was in clean pajamas, I rocked him while Jim hovered nearby with burp cloths and a bucket (me: "He's a BABY; we're not going to hold his head over a BUCKET!" Jim: "You'd rather have it down your sleeve?")
When he seemed finally to be done with the puking, I rocked him back to sleep while Jim put clean sheets on the crib and helped me remove my yakked-on shirt. Ah, parental bonding.

Not sure how to segue that into Happy Valentine's Day mode, so we'll just jump right in. I made blueberry pancakes and bacon for breakfast, and presented Addy with pink, heart-festooned socks and Jim with a card. Tomorrow night we'll go out for sushi- we were THIS CLOSE to finagling a reservation for tonight, the OFFICIAL Day of Love, but while we were calling to arrange babysitting, the spot was taken. THAT'S WHAT YOU GET, LAST MINUTE SLACKERS! seemed to be the unspoken message from the guy on the phone.

Happy V-Day, everyone! Hope you all get lucky!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Efficiency, Or Lack Thereof (See Also, Laziness)

The morning routine. For some, probably those of you who work outside the home or who have school-aged children, there are certain things that MUST be done at certain times in order that everyone is where they're supposed to be at a designated time. I find this sort of amazing, that people manage to get so much done SO EARLY. Yet, I do not envy you, even though you are probably smugly blow-dried and reading blogs by nine o' clock, while I am still dealing with Pop Tart crumbs and coffee breath.
I am Bad at Mornings. Even on my good days, it's still prettty dismal, frankly. We usually get up between eight and nine in the morning (I KNOW, you hate me now) and even when I'm functioning at my peak, the whole morning routine usually isn't complete until around eleven. In theory, it doesn't seem SO bad- change two diapers, nurse one baby, feed one toddler, feed self, let dog out, dress baby, dress toddler, dress and groom self...
I think my problem is estimation. I always underestimate the time it's going to require to do certain things. Just as I generally underestimate how much it's going to cost to grocery shop per week. This is another of my pitfalls- shopping. Not even unnecessary shopping. I'm really not a big clothes or shoes person; as long as I have what I reasonably need, I'm not too tempted to buy ANOTHER pair of shoes or ANOTHER bag just because it's cute. No, my problem is just in not budget shopping for necessities very well. I never remember to use coupons, and invariably forget to buy enough of something at the cheaper big box stores (like DIAPERS) and end up having to run to CVS down the road and buy it at twice the price.
So my goal this week has been More Efficiency! Less Laziness! For example, I used to do showers in the morning, and that was usually okay, but I had to set Addy up with a movie in order to accomplish it. Lately I've been trying to shower at night to cut down on time in the mornings, and to avoid having Addy start her day with TV constantly. I mean, it still happens, but I've been trying to at least DELAY resorting to movies to entertain her.
Also, I made a list of the things we ALWAYS need, and split it up into two categories: one for produce, meat, dairy, things which are really better purchased at the local grocery store or at Meijer. The other is for hygiene stuff, paper products, baby care, cleaning products, dog food, cereal, crackers, etc. This stuff is ALWAYS cheaper at ye olde Wal-Mart (gag cough hate.) This is doubly true for diapers. I have had time to experiment WIDELY with diaper brands since having Addy, and have found that the best brand for non-leakage is... Parent's Choice! Who knew. I did a diaper run to Rite Aid the other day, forked over ten bucks for thirty Huggies, and the frickin' things leaked all over the place every.single.night. I don't know if my kids have weirdly shaped butts or what, but the cheapies work better (and also have less dye in them, I've noticed, which for some reason comforts me.)
So there you have it. Belated New Year's Resolutions, if you will (Lenten Resolutions?) to be more efficient in time/money management. May the force be with me.

Monday, February 11, 2008


I am blatantly ripping the general tone of this post from Swistle and Marizy's recent stroll down doll-naming lane. So MANY people mentioned that their name preferences had to do with certain favorite books, notably the Little House series and also The Babysitters Club. I couldn't stop thinking about all my other favorites, although those two series certainly ranked high for me, too.
There was The Secret Garden, which, while not providing a lot of exciting name fodder, was magical. There was of course Little Women, which I loved to act out with my Barbies (yes, I was a little... Different. No fun and games with Barbie and Ken in the Beach Jeep. It was classic literature for me.) I was a big fan of The Babysitter's Club books for several years, as well as The Sweet Valley Twins series. Anyone remember those? (Twins' names: Elizabeth and Amy, I THINK. And Amy's best friend was Lilah, which is a pretty great name.)
The Little House series goes without saying, naturally- I have lots of good memories of my mom reading those books to us before bed. And did anyone else love love LOVE Anne of Green Gables? I read all seven or eight or however many of those books there were, and can still name all her children. (Oh all RIGHT: Joyce, who died in infancy, James, called Jem, Walter, Anne, called Nan, her twin Diana, called Di, Shirley, and Bertha Marilla, who went by Rilla. In all, not a lot of winners there, name-wise.)
I also loved The Boxcar Children books, but I don't hear many people talk about that series. I read some of the old Nancy Drew books, too, but don't remember being passionate about them or anything. Oh, I know Jim liked the Hardy Boys series, as well as something called Choose Your Own Adventure stories. I missed out on those, I guess.
One of my favorite books was called Baby Island. Really, it was my dream come true- two adolescent girls are on a ship sailing to meet their father and help take care of all the passenger's children, ship crashes, girls are shipwrecked on deserted island with four little BABIES to care for. I wore this book OUT rereading it.
I also really liked the American Girl series that went with the dolls- I got Kirsten one Christmas, and my sisters got Samantha and Felicity (I love that name!) But I'm pretty sure we had ALL the books, even for the other dolls.
Man, I could go on and on (more than I already have.) But I'll give you a turn: What were some of your favorite books/series of books when you were a kid?

Slacker Neighbors

Are you guys friends with your neighbors? And here I'm meaning, did you BECOME friends with them based on their proximity to you (if you were already friends, it doesn't count.) Do you chat casually when you walk your dogs, or are you so close that you maybe even hang out socially or babysit each other's kids? I've been trying to figure out why it is that despite the reasons why I should reach out to my neighbors (they are around our age, they have kids, BECAUSE IT IS CRAPPY NOT TO) I have yet to make even the slightest gesture beyond waving when I pass them.
I think these days it just doesn't seem necessary to be anything more than cordial to one's neighbors. We all have cars, we all (hopefully) (more or less) get out and do things with our friends, and of course we're all busy. There's no real need to make friends out of the people over the fence like there was in the fifties, when housewives usually didn't even have access to cars during the day, and once they had dusted and vacuumed (in their high heels and apron) and sent Johnny and Susan off to school, they had nothing to do but head over to each other's kitchens for the afternoon and discuss their mutual discontent and boredom over Irish coffee. (Geez, Sarah, traffic in ridiculous stereotypes much?)
Now, I don't necessarily think there's anything WRONG with this evolution of social relationship, per se, but it does seem like it would be NICE to at least be on a first name basis with the people living around us. The ones next door have at least one small kid, because I see her coming and going with an infant carseat. Yet they moved in about three months ago and I have yet to go over and introduce myself. I'm pretty sure she's a stay at home mom, too, so I could THEORETICALLY do this during the day. The neighbors across the street have a daughter about five and a son about Addy's age. She's a teacher and he's a fireman, or at least a volunteer fireman. Aside from his annoying habit of backing into his (very short) driveway and swinging his headlights directly into our front window every night, they both seem very nice. We have talked to them a few times, when out trick-or-treating mostly.
Jim was out on Saturday canvassing the neighborhood for his presidential candidate of choice (yes, that's right, we are ACTIVISTS!) and his last stop was their house. He was talking to the husband, Matt, and found out that he had recently been injured when a local business had a gas leak and exploded. We had heard about the explosion (the business belonged to an acquaintance of ours) and I'm pretty sure I even got an email telling me that our neighbor had been injured. But I promptly forgot about it, and then promptly felt TERRIBLE when Jim told me about our neighbor's injuries. I mean geez, I couldn't have sent a CARD? Brought over some COOKIES? Offered to watch the kids so she could go to the hospital in the evening? SOMETHING?
Yuck. There are some things not worth feeling guilty over, but this I do feel genuinely bad about, particularly as someone who espouses Christian ideals (i.e. love your NEIGHBOR!)
So is it too little, too late to go over with some Get Well Soon baked good? Or would that just be weird? Maybe just let this situation pass and then try to, I don't know, watch in a hovery way out the front window until I see one of them come outside with the kids, then dart outdoors and wave frantically, "Hi, neighbors!"?

Saturday, February 09, 2008

The Family Cold: A Photographic Essay

Please note the half emptied industrial-size bag of Peanut M and M's. Also the fact that we have converted our coffee table into a makeshift wastebasket for tissues. Efficient, no?

The floor is where we seem to have decided to hang Eli's snowsuit these days.

What? I'm not SUPPOSED to do laundry- must focus on CHILDCARE!

Medicinal chocolate.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Hypochondriac, Or Just ALERT TO DANGER?

Boy, I am ALL ABOUT revealing my Inner Crazy to you guys this week! Yay for honesty! Wheee!
ANYhoo, am I being paranoid to think that if my lymph nodes under the right side of my jawbone are swollen and tender, but the left side is fine, that... That that's BAD? Because I thought it was your GLANDS that swell when you have a cold or sinus infection or whatever. This is like, right under my jaw, not along my neck or throat or whatever where doctors usually feel for swelling. And I've never heard of only one side swelling. I mean, is this like CANCEROUS? Or are glands just another WORD for lymph nodes, and am I in fact not only crazy paranoid but also frighteningly ignorant of basic anatomy?

Also, I'm just gonna throw this out there: If you have to have a bad headcold, it's not such bad timing to get it when your son is also pooping four to five times a day.

A Day In The Life Of Florence Nightingale

Note: Spelling errors are most likely RAMPANT today, so please move right along and try to pretend that you still think I'm intelligent.

It is germapalooza around here, seriously. I can pretty much guarantee that any surface in this house has had enough used tissues and/or mucus covered little fingers on it to render any visitor automatically infected pretty much upon entrance. We should be quarantined. We are GROSS.
My surly mood isn't ALL about the Emergency Levels of Snot situation, though. I was pushed over the edge when, in an effort to cleverly humidify the air so as to comfort my congested children, I freaking scorched the crap out of my pretty shiny tea kettle. I had filled it up, brought it to a boil, opened the spout and turned the heat down a bit, then just let it go to work as a kind of homemade humidifier, right? And I was feeling all proud and efficient and nurse-like for a, thinking about humidifiers in the first place, and b, thinking of a way to accomplish air humidifying without dragging in the dusty Vicks contraption from the garage. A serene, efficient nurse probably wouldn't have just IGNORED the kettle for the next hour, though, until the sight of the FLAMES within it grabbed her attention.
But really? Really the worst thing about colds, scorched kettles-turned-humidifers aside, is the inability of small children to blow their noses. It's a serious handicap, and results in a nose that needs wiping roughly every five seconds. That's not even an exaggeration; I've been doing a case study all morning, and I estimated that that's what it takes- dabbing with a Kleenex LITERALLY EVERY FIVE SECONDS- to keep Addy from absentmindedly swiping at her mucus-covered lip with her sleeve. It is not possible for me to do this, however, considering I have to take breaks occasionally to deal with my own seal-bark of a cough, and to care for the eternally needy Eli, and the eternally messy kitchen, and the eternally empty sippee cup. Oh yes, and to BANG MY ETERNALLY POUNDING HEAD AGAINST A BRICK WALL.
I MEAN, and to go on children's Tylenol runs! (Rite Aid is my new bff, by the way. They have SUCH GREAT SALES on chocolate! All the time! It feels like poor consumerism to pass up bags of Russel Stover Private Reserve when they're only two for four dollars!)
While there, besides getting side tracked in the candy aisle, I am inevitably perplexed by the vast array of medicinal products. What do you guys give your kids when they have your run of the mill bad cold with excessive sneezing, stuffiness, and watery eyes? I've just been doing Tylenol, as when I was in the throes of this bug I felt really achy, and I'm just going to assume they do as well. But should I really be medicating them at all? And are those homeopathic treatments, like the Sniffles and Sneezes tablets or whatever the h they're called, any good? (Side rant: What is UP with all the Dimetapp, Robitussin, etc.? Did I HALLUCINATE that whole children's cold/cough medicine debaucle? I thought they weren't even supposed to sell that stuff anymore! So as to not confuse me with their array of multi-symptom treatments!)

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Tallying Up; Also, Boring Maternal Fretting!

The polls are closed! And well, you all do like your sex! But you like your chocolate just a LEETLE better. Those voting for sex over food had convincing arguments, but the foodies had the solid numbers, outvoting you nymphos eleven to seven.
I was actually surprised that the numbers were that close- I had kind of assumed everyone would be all in one camp or the other. Some sort of female solidarity or something. But it seems that the preference depends greatly on both the place we are at in our relationship, and our physical health. Many of us still find sex so new that it's more of a thrill than, say, flourless chocolate cake. Others have been, er, having fun with the same person for over a decade. They look at the bed and think, "Well I've had THAT. But there's a new flavor of ice cream I haven't tried in the freezer!" Or we are pregnant/breastfeeding/have small clingy hellbeasts (phrase credit: Tessie,) and sex, for a variety of reasons, is no longer convenient or even pleasant. We are physically imposed upon almost constantly, and sex can feel like just another invasion of personal space.
That said, I'm still going to push the numbers just a little closer to even by joining ranks with those who would regretfully say goodbye to dessert before sex. And ya'll KNOW I like my food. Anyone who's ever joined me for a meal knows not to even ask if I'd like some cake with my coffee, or some cake with my lunch, or some cake with my CAKE. Now, I could probably give up "real" food fairly easily, but my tastebuds would be in major chocolate withdrawal for some time.
Nonetheless, I still think I would miss the sexual aspect of my life even more than I'd miss Ghiradelli. I'm kind of a tactile person, in so many ways (i.e. I CANNOT shop for things online because I have to actually touch and handle it before I feel comfortable committing,) and I don't think I could do without that physical connection. For me, it is grounding and comforting almost as much as it is exciting. And also, as Mairzy mentioned, I do really like my husband.

All righty then! Before I veer into dangerously romantic and nauseating territory, I will turn this discussion sharply in a different direction: bowel movements! My son's, to be specific. I apologize that I haven't updated on his diaper situation of late, so as to set your mind at ease, but be assured that he has neither roto virus nor any other strange or dangerous intestinal infection, including but not limited to e. coli. HOWEVER, he is still pooping (through his clothes) round the clock, and all of our patience is wearing paper thin. The doctor nonchalantly guessed that he has "some kind of peristent virus" that must be let to run its course, but what the heck, nonchalant doctor? If it's such a strong strain of virus, how come no one else in the house has gotten it despite repeated exposure? This child has had the runs for nearly three weeks, you guys, and been fussy as heck to boot. Do you think I should be worried at this point? Be honest. (But if you can think of a reassuring reason such as TEETHING to explain it, that would be the PREFERRED form of honesty, kthanx.)

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

A Pointless Poll To Make You Question Your Priorities

If things like starvation weren't an issue, and your only concern was pleasure, would you rather give up sex or food?
You can answer this anonymously if you wish, but by all means weigh in. I want enough replies to compile a comprehensive study of the female psyche! Or the state of most people's sex lives, or the quality of restaraunts, or something.
Anyways! Vote, and tomorrow I'll give you MY answer. (You: A whole day on pins and needles? How will I get anything accomplished?)

Edit: Ahem. That's restaurant, isn't it? Blogger SpellCheck (*cough cough notsomuch*) you are a pain in my lazy arse! Now get off yours and start WORKING, because I cannot be expected to stay sane AND know how to spell COMMON EVERYDAY WORDS LIKE RESTAURANT!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Truth or Dare!

I'm a wuss and always picked truth, so here goes... I've been feeling pretty down lately, a combination of approximately a zillion things. The weather is gross and gray, I've been sick and then sicker, the house isn't selling, Eli's diarrhea seems never-ending (and the dirty clothes and sheets along with it.) I always feel let down after the holidays, I've been feeling depressed about my body lately, and to top it off, I've been having anxious thought patterns which are making me worry that the PPD anxiety which I experienced after Addy was born has sneaked up on me after all. I've basically been experiencing all of this, just a little late this time.
But I think it's turning a corner. First of all, I've been emailing Kara a lot, and I just wanted to thank her publicly for making it okay to talk about depression, anxiety, dark thoughts, and the private things which usually make us feel so ugly and ashamed. Just telling someone else and getting perspective can make it so much better.
Also, I talked to Jim about my mood (which has basically been despondent and detached, unfulfilled and fearful) and he made some good suggestions. One was that I stop thinking of keeping the house clean as my job, because, as he put it, "You don't stay home so that we don't have to pay a HOUSEKEEPER. You stay home so that you can be the one to take care of the KIDS." He has made this point multiple times, actually, and I think I should really take it to heart this time.
SO! I am on strike from housework. I am just going to get up in the morning and get to work HANGING OUT WITH THE KIDS, and do housework only as needed to keep us from sinking into filth. But I will not be cleaning windows or dusting baseboards. While I actually LIKE cleaning, trying to keep the house perfect makes me feel both anxious (I have to do THIS and THIS and THIS...) and also kind of like a hamster on a wheel. A RESENTFUL hamster. So NO MORE!
I also had a talk with my mom awhile ago about my body image (BAD) and she really helped me snap out of my obsessing. So at least my stretch marks aren't tormenting me multiple times a day anymore.
Perhaps the biggest change is that I am trying to incorporate my faith more in my daily life instead of just attending church and letting it go at that. When I forget the truths that I believe in and listen to the negative voices in my head instead, I can quickly spiral into feeling that my role in life is pretty pointless and that none of us really matter anyways, life is just a giant rat race ending in death, etc, etc. Cheerful. So I've been really concentrating on feeding myself a steady stream of healthy, positive messages that I know to be true (I am loved and needed, there is a purpose for my life beyond changing diapers) instead of anxious, fearful thoughts all day (I am a bad mom, I am fat, the sun is never going to shine EVER AGAIN, etc.)
To further cheer me up, today Addy leaned over to kiss Eli and out of the blue, for the first time ever, murmured, "I wuv you, Eli." If that can't make you feel better about your job...
AND my mom ran into my OB-GYN today and mentioned that she and I have been working out lately, and the doctor replied, "Well, that's good, but Sarah's in good shape already." Mwahh, KISSES!!!! And THEN he said that I'd had a pretty rough pregnancy but that I was a TROOPER! I heart him so much right now. It makes me want to schedule an extra Pap smear just so I can bring him a plate of cookies.

Monday, February 04, 2008

How To Feel Like Crap

1. Get a cold/cough which seems to be getting better, than turns around and gets worse.

2. Arrive home to a distinctly unpleasant odor. Search house and find that the dog has vomited all over your bed.

3. Be up half the night with apparent food poisoning.

4. Live in a state where it is gray and gloomy and foggy approximately one hundred and five percent of the time.

5. Have to drag children out in said gloomy rainy weather to a well-child visit, meaning you have to carry your eight pound purse, your ten pound diaper bag and your seventeen and a half pound child in one arm while holding a toddler's hand with the other.

6. Have child take enormous crap while in doctor's office, and realize that your diaper bag is out of wipes. Spend ten minutes scraping poo particles off child's bum with damp Kleenex while a nurse waits impatiently. Feel like an incompetent idiot.

7. Have to comfort TWO screaming children while baby gets his shots, one of which is red-faced and breathless with outrage and pain, while the other is screeching in a voice probably only dogs can hear, and staring at you in horror for allowing her brother to be injured.

8. Arrive home to realize you are out of toilet paper.

9. Prepare yourself tasty leftover tacos, only to bite into them and remember that you have a cold and therefore, no taste buds. Nor is eating even PLEASANT because you cannot breathe while chewing.

10. Dude. EATING IS NOT EVEN PLEASANT. Is there no comfort in this world?

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Pet Hair Eraser. Bissel Pet Hair Eraser.

Here he is, ladies. My new main man. You can look, but don't touch...

There is a special pet hair lifter that proceeds the actual vacuum, which supposedly results in greater pet hair pick up than regular vacuums provide. Who knows if this is true, but it did SEEM as though the carpet looked cleaner, and the pet hair lifter reaches really far under furniture. This part definitely works, and is nice when you're reaching under the couch for a lost crayon and you don't have to dig through mounds of dog fur to find it.

Friday, February 01, 2008

The Pancake Effect

I really like making pancakes. I used to suck at it, inevitably whipping up batches of burnt-on-the-outside, alarmingly-batter-y-on-the-inside breakfast treats. But I have practiced and learned, and have now perfected the chocolate chip pancake, the apple cinnamon pancake, and even the (personal favorite) pumpkin pecan pancake. I bought a griddle specifically so that I could be cooking six pancakes at a time, thus allowing me to make double batches, freeze half the pancakes (you can SO do this!) and still be able to eat my own helping while everyone else is still at least IN the kitchen (have you noticed how usually the generous pancake maker ends up eating alone an hour after breakfast began because they're still at the stove flipping pancakes to use up the batter while everyone else has poured a second cup of coffee and is moving on with their day?)
Ahem. My point being, we like us some pancakes around here. BUT. I have noticed a serious problem. Upon consuming said pancakes, usually with a glass of juice and always with a cup of coffee, I feel full and happy. But a couple hours later, by the time I realize I'm getting hungry for lunch, my blood sugar has plummeted wildly and I feel shaky and dizzy and faint. Yesterday it was so bad I actually felt drunk, which is not a feeling I'm particularly fond of. Tipsy, maybe, but...
What I'm asking from you, my friends, is this: Cure my pancake shakiness without taking the pancakes from me! Do I just need to pair the pancakes with eggs to balance the carbs? Do you have a delicious, "hearty" sort of pancake recipe that is filled with whole grains and will break down slowly in my system, sparing me the sugar crash?
Just don't take my pancakes, okay?!
Also, for some reason spell check is refusing to work today, so disregard any errors as being, not evidence of my lack of basic knowledge, but of the pain-in-the-arse-edness of Blogger.