Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Quality vs. Quantity

I have always preferred quality over quantity. More is not better. My diamond? Which I wasn't expecting to get at all and was fine without (good story, that - I'll tell you later), is fairly small but nearly perfect and I so prefer it to some gaudy, cloudy, speckled boulder. I would rather have 2 dozen good books on my shelf than have 240 books I'd never want to read. And I like books. I'd rather have a modestly-sized, freshly baked cinnamon roll than a giant, grocery store, rock-hard chunk of bleh. No matter how much icing they put on it. You get it, right? Let me know if not because I'm sure I can come up with at least a couple more examples.

Did you notice, though, that this past year I tried to post something on TIBM every day? Quantity. Sometimes it was something worth reading and sometimes it was just a note to you, my loyal reader, about how I didn't have anything to share that day. Mostly my posts were somewhere in between, I think. Quite honestly, I think the overall quality of my writing suffered in my quest for quantity. It is not necessary for you to agree with me in the comments (please don't - I'll feel bad). The best month, in my opinion, was April when, in addition to my post-a-day challenge for myself, I took on a poem-a-day challenge with fairly pleasing results. And I had some other good stuff here and there (feel free to recall your personal favorites in the comments), but in general? Well...

So for 2009 I've decided to only post when I have something to say (except in April when I'll be doing the whole poem-a-day thing again*). I doubt that any of you finds yourself relying on your daily dose of TIBM, but if you do, I apologize now. I just can't do it anymore. I don't want to. I love blogging, but enough is enough. Hopefully you'll agree that this is better.

*Here is a challenge for any of you who will take it: you post a poem-a-day in April too! It doesn't have to be your work (but you need to give proper credit if it's not - MN wags her finger). I'll remind you. Let's do it together!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

All About MEEEEE!

My PhD appointment was cancelled last week because PhD was sick. When she called to cancel, the first thing she said was, "Are you doing okay?" And I said, "Yes!" without hesitation. Because I am okay. This last year wasn't easy for me (was yours easy? really?), but I learned some things from all the ick.

I learned:

  • I am likeable and useful and interesting and afraid of failing and overly critical of myself and a dog person.
  • It's a good idea to ask for help when you need it and people usually want to help you when you really need them to. Especially the people who love you.
  • I like to brag about 2 things: my girls and my baking. And both all 3 of those things are worth bragging about.

I'm not going to make any New Year's resolutions for 2009 because that's not my style, really. And also because I might break them and that would be failing and I'm afraid of that, you know? But there are some things I'd like to do. Maybe next year at this time we can check them off together...

I'd like to:

  • Make good progress on my novel.
  • Check out the Unitarian Church and join the choir.
  • Teach the dog a command that consistently diverts him from jumping up.
That's not too much to try to do, right? Wish me luck!

What are you going to try to do in 2009?

Monday, December 29, 2008

Why I Like Husbandguy (or He's Actually Cooler than I Make Him Seem)

When we (the family and I) were at the Grandpa and Meme's house recently, TG commented on the fact that I'm not particularly flattering in my portrayals of HG here on TIBM. He's somewhat right. But when I clicked on the HG tag, I pulled up a bunch of posts about the cool stuff he does, like print signs for the PTA on the plotter at his old job or drive Lulu to the emergency room in the middle of the night or do all the driving when my medicine makes me sick or take the girls to his mom's for Mother's Day Eve and morning so I could have a night off or build me a bookcase in the back of the unusable kitchen cabinet for my cookbooks. Still, though, being that he's not particularly expressive and doesn't like my dog, sometimes he does come across cranky or insensitive or uninteresting in my posts. So here's my tribute to him to make up for that.

Why I like HG:
  • He's a great dad. I knew when I married him that he was good with kids (thanks for that PSP), and he still continues to confirm that. Sometimes he is impatient and gets aggravated and yells because our girls are at aggravating, frustrating, patience-trying ages, both of them, and I get like that too. But mostly he reads to them endlessly and cuts up their food and they use him like a jungle gym and he watches their TV shows (sometimes when football is on). He teases them and jokes with them and tucks them in at night (we share this job). He knows what they like and who their friends and teachers are. He's proud of them and they adore him.
  • He's a loving husband. I can't remember if I commented recently on how he drove me to my first PhD appointment and I was surprised to learn that he actually wanted to drive me there. I assumed that he drove me places because I asked him to and that he didn't really want to, but I learned that day that I was wrong. It was inconvenient for him because he had to find some way to kill an hour since he couldn't come in with me, but he did it because he wanted to. He doesn't do all the things some guys do. There are a couple of things he doesn't do that I wish he would, but he does other things, like open jars and get irritated along with me at the mail-order pharmacy and defer to my preferences when picking restaurants or TV shows or wall colors or baby names or pets (frequently).
  • He's smart and funny and he gets my jokes and he likes my family and he drives us to see TG and Meme and he walks my dog when I really need him to.
  • He's likeable. Other people really like HG. I think that's awesome.

I think he's awesome.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

My Year in Review

Let's see... What did I do this year... What happened to/around me...

My husband worked hard every day at home and at work. He lost his job and found a better one. He continued doing what he does best and what irritates me the most.

My oldest daughter turned 6 and started first grade. She learned that she can read chapter books to herself and that 2+3=5 (and other "math facts") and how to write her name in cursive. She had her first guild audition and piano recital. She picked out the newest member of our family. She started mastering the elementary backstroke (which doesn't look very elementary to me - it looks complex!). She took her first trip to Ohio, my birth state. She made butter.

My younger daughter turned 2 and learned the sound that Q makes (and a bunch of other letter sounds). She made new friends everywhere she went. Literally. Everywhere. She thought about using the potty fulltime but decided it's not for her yet. She learned to count to eleventeen, but then exceeded that and counted all the way to 20. She discovered (unexpectedly, and surprising her daddy in the process) that it is fun to go underwater in the pool.

We, as a family, got a puppy and taught him to sit. Well, maybe that was mostly me, but he lives with all of us. We weathered stressful times before Husbandguy got laid off when everyone else in his office was losing their jobs and then while he was out of work. We used our season passes to our local amusement park enough to make them worth the money, but not as much as we would have liked. We went on several trips out of state and (re)connected with old friends and/or relatives we hadn't seen in forever (or ever met in some cases). We laughed and played and cried and yelled and smiled and sang and complained and glared and colored and read and slammed doors and painted walls and broke things and fixed things and kissed and hugged and grew and learned.

It seems that this post is more about what happened around me this year. I think I'll save what happened to me for a separate post. Either it would make this post too long to address it here or it wouldn't add anything and won't be missed. We'll see...

Saturday, December 27, 2008

I've Been Looking Back

I've been reviewing my posts from this year and I was struck by how much my girls have grown. Like every mom who takes the time to look back, right?

Being with them every day, I don't notice what a big difference there is in their skills, tastes, and knowledge from just a few months ago. Unless I take the time to notice, which I do, but not often enough. Both Pete's and Lulu's language skills have improved so much this year. Reading, writing, speaking, comprehending. My girls have always been gifted verbally (just a little bragging - forgive me), but the strides they've both made this year have amazed even me, their mom, who knows they're both geniuses. I'm so impressed by Pete that I bought her Little Women for Christmas. She's a year younger than I was when I first read it and may not think she's quite ready, but I know she can do it and want to give her the chance. They're both so much more confident in what they like and don't like. And they're able to tell me why, most of the time, if they don't like something.

They're also growing physically, obviously, and I have to make an effort to notice that, too. Pete's tall enough to ride a bunch of roller coasters and is losing the kindergarten pudge her doctor expressed concern about at her last check up. Lulu's not a toddler anymore. She's also lost some pudge - that baby fat that's so cute on teeny toddlers - and is so much more a little kid than a baby. It's adorable and beautiful and a little sad (but in a good way).

I'm sure ther are those of you who are thinking I should stop looking back and just look forward and you're half right. I should look forward too, and I do. But I like to look back. I don't dwell in the past. I relish it, and my girls enjoy when I retell it. I'm helping them build memories by talking to them about mine and about theirs. That's important. Memories matter. That's why I started blogging.

Friday, December 26, 2008


Retrospectives coming up. There's been a bit of omphaloskepsis going on around here. I'm gonna share...

All Done

Was your Christmas as good as ours?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Morning at My House

It is nearly 10 after 7 AM. December 25. I am certain that Santa came last night, but at the moment I seem to be the only one who cares because EVERYONE ELSE IS STILL SLEEPING! They were all up by 6:30 yesterday (HG because he had to work, but still). Some households have been up for 2 hours by now. More even, I bet! Not mine. I wouldn't mind but I'm a morning person and I'm ready for Christmas morning. This happened last year too.



Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Oh, that kid!

This evening, Lulu was looking out the window and noticed that the neighbors had turned on their Christmas wonderland display (her favorite part is el pinguino who pops in and out of his igloo), and she got all excited. "Come look out the window, My Daddy!" she called, and when Daddy didn't come right away she called to her sister, "[Pete] look out the window! It's Christmas! Now it's Christmas!!"

Then she added, "Now we just need snow..."

Christmas Wishes

A bedtime conversation:

Pete, from under the covers: Mom, I want a dog for Christmas.
MN, peeking in Pete's door: I know, sweetie. Me too. I'll tell Daddy.
MN, turning to HG who happens to be walking by: [Pete] wants a dog for Christmas, Daddy.
HG, in a flat voice, pointing to Howie: There's a dog right there. You got your wish.
MN to Pete: Did you hear Daddy?
Pete: Yeah. gigglegiggle

Merry Christmas!

What We Did Yesterday

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

More Caroling with Lulu

Have a Holly Jolly Christmas

Oh Jo! The mystery toe,
Hung where you can see.
Somebody waits for you
Somebody waits for you
Somebody waits for you
Somebody waits for you.
Mystering up the chimney!

Also, I forgot to mention yesterday that you have to YELL Jingle Bells with an angry sort of rhythm.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Jingle Bells a la Lulu

Feel free to adopt these as your new lyrics.

Jingle bells! Jingle bells!
Jingle all the way!
Oh that sun it is to rive
In one more sorts and sleigh!


Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Christmas Eve Eve Eve Eve Parade

This morning I gradually came to realize that there had been some kind of commotion going on in the background for a while, and when I actually paid attention to it, it turned out it was a little parade. An awesome little parade.

Around the fireplace in the center of the great room trooped Lulu and Howie. Round and round. Round and round. Lulu was singing at the top of her lungs. "How much is that dog-gy in the window? How MUCH is that DOG-gy in the window? How MUCH is that DOG-gy in the window?" Howie trailed behind, accompanying her on the squirrel, "SQUEAKSQUEAKSQUEAKSQUEAK!!" It was chaos. And it was awesome!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Probably Shouldn't Say Anything

I've done it before, gotten all excited about my little one getting potty trained, only to be put on hold a day or 2 later. But this seems different. This morning she got up and told Pete she needed to go potty and she did. And her Pull Up was dry when she got undressed for her bath last night so I suggested she sit on the potty and she did and she went. And there have been a bunch of other little successes over the past week or 2. So hope with me, okay? Maybe she's finally really ready...

Friday, December 19, 2008

My Reality TV Show

Normally I don't wish I had a camera crew following me around all the time, but this morning I did wish that because something Super Precious happened and I was nowhere near my camera but if the camera crew was here filming my reality TV show, I would have video of it.

Lulu had just opened her "Meme present" (her words) from the snowman calendar. Today she got the little cut-out figurines you see in the picture above. She was very pleased. Then this happened:

LL: You want to see this?
MN: Sure!
LL (standing the princess and castle up facing each other and saying as the princess waddled toward the castle): The princess walked up to the castle and knocked on the door (the princess tapped on the castle - with Lulu's help). Knock, knock, knock... But nobody answered.

And there was more to the story - the story that my 2 year-old made up on the spot about her brand new toys, but I don't remember it exactly because nobody was recording it! Where can I hire a camera crew?! I hate not being able to share this stuff with other people. It's not the same when you write it down. Especially when you don't remember it exactly. I wonder how awkward it would be to carry my camera with me at every moment...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Crumb Cake Crap

The other day, everyone but Lulu had crumb cake for dessert. Lulu had candy, and when she was done with that she sweeted Husbandguy into sharing a couple of bites of his cake. After she finished chewing her second bite, she turned for another, but HG's cake was gone. "There isn't any more," he said. "Uh-huh!" she replied pointing to the little pile of crumb topping on his plate. "What about that pile of crap? Can I have some of that crap?"

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Get This!

Lulu's Pull-Up was dry when we got home from the mall today. It was the one I put on her when I got her dressed this morning, and it had been about 5 hours. She held her pee the whole time. I had her sit on the potty when I changed her for her nap and then gave her a great big Hello Kitty sticker because that's pretty cool.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Winter Weather

I am 99% certain that it snowed yesterday. Husbandguy saw the flake too.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

For me, It's Not About the Dancing

Pete and I went on our annual trip downtown to see "The Nutcracker" yesterday. Is it a tradition if you've only done it 2 years in a row? I think so.

The performance wasn't any better or worse than last year. I don't think. I have to admit that I missed a lot of the dancing. My eyes were on the orchestra pit. The music was live! How could I not watch the musicians? Next year I'm bringing my binoculars. To watch the musicians. Ballet is so much better with live music. And there were a couple of times (don't laugh at me) when the music got all dramatic and I got all choked up (I said don't laugh at me). For real. Tears-in-my-eyes choked up. I'm pretty sure certain the dancing wasn't what got to me, and I don't think it was the story (although I am a sucker for a sweet little fantasy). It was the music. Our little symphony is pretty good. And music just gets to me. Not only classical music either. All music. All kinds. I don't have the same reaction to all music, either. Sometimes I get weepy, like with this or with some religious or patriotic songs (those of you who know me best might think that's odd, but what can I say?). Sometimes I get all bubbly-inside happy (there is actually at least one Cure song that does that to me). Sometimes I get excited - heart racing, fight-or-flight kind of excited. Sometimes I get aroused ((blush))... I don't usually get angry (although I did get a little annoyed at the parent of the little girl who crinkled her cellophane for about 10 minutes after the lights went down for the 2nd act. I would have told her to stop myself if I'd been closer. But that wasn't a reaction to the music). In fact, if I don't have a physical reaction to music I'm listening to, I have to figure out why. So instead of listening to KISS sing "Rock and Roll All Night" with Husbandguy, I hear the lack of depth in the music and wish we could change the station.

It's kind of the same when I'm playing the piano or singing. At least it used to be. When I am comfortable with a piece, the music is physical for me. It comes through me. Or out of me. The piano - keys, pedals, bench even - and the music - melody, chords, harmony & dissonance - and I aren't separate. It's weird to say I become one with the music. And it's not exactly accurate to say that because that's not what it's like. Maybe it's right to say I become one with the piano. That's still weird, but it's closer... However I describe it (and I'll think of a good description as soon as this posts), it's physical. If it's not, it feels fake and it's frustrating and not pleasurable or worth doing.

So I wish they would always have live music at the ballet. Or if they don't, I wish they would print the information about the recording they're using, at least, because I think it's important. And I hope that at some point in the near future, HG says yes (yes=shrugs his shoulders and doesn't say no), that there's enough money for me to take piano lessons again and that he and the girls will support my doing that. And in the meantime, if someone has a copy of Bach's 2-Part Invention #13 in A-minor that you could share with me, would you send it along? I have a whole book of his 3-part inventions (thank you, TG), but I think I'd like to learn that one.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Frosty the TV Show

Did you watch "Frosty the Snowman" on CBS last night? Were you also bothered by the little girl in the pink jumper with short sleeves and no coat? Look at the 2nd and 3rd pictures from the bottom on this page and you'll see what I mean. Poor kid!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Baby Backwards

Oops! We've messed up the baby. Last year we went to the beach at Christmas time. Yesterday Lulu and I were looking at her book about the seasons, and when we turned to the page that has pictures of children dressed in seasonally appropriate clothes, I asked her which child was dressed to go to the beach. She pointed to the little boy in his winter coat and hat and mittens. Tee hee. Whoops!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Couple of Sailors, Is What I've Got

Yesterday, both girls were home with me all day. Pete because she still had a fever and Lulu because it was Tuesday. And the language! Holy cow! Those girls! Husbandguy and I don't swear a lot. Maybe a little more than we used to since we got the dog, but it's rare, especially in front of the girls. And there are some words we never say (like @#!*) because we have good enough vocabularies to express ourselves without the added expletives, but the girls are hearing it somewhere because they both said some stuff yesterday... Hoo! Lulu yelled, "Damn it!" I'll share the blame for that one with HG. We've both been known to say that when uber-frustrated. Pete, though, said "bitch" just to say it. I could blame the TV for this one, but it was my program she was watching when she heard it and we had the discussion about what it means and why it's okay to call a dog that but not a person. She wasn't talking about a girlfriend for Howie, though; she was testing limits. Fortunately neither of them said @#!*...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Pete was home again today. Her fever goes up and down, up and down, but she says she feels better so that's good. But now Lulu has a fever!! Husbandguy is probably next...

I'll have to cancel my tour of the Montessori school that was scheduled for tomorrow. I've got time to reschedule, though, before we can even apply, and I'm actually leaning toward the non-Montessori school, based on conversations with some other parents at Pete's school (and the cost, frankly).

Recipe Wanted

I posted this yesterday, but no one responded so I'm moving it to today in case you guys just missed it...

Okay. Husbandguy did like the gingerbread, but it was more molasses-y than gingerbread-y so I'm going to have to try again. I admit that I didn't follow the recipe, but the changes I made wouldn't have made a big enough difference for me to try that recipe again in hopes of getting a more gingery gingerbread. So, if you have a good gingerbread recipe (Moomie?) and wouldn't mind sharing it, would you post it in comments for me? If I get a chance to make it, I'll definitely tell you if HG likes yours.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Sicky McSickpants

Today Pete is home from school. She had a fever last night and this morning and threw up when she got up today. Right now she feels okay. She even asked if it was too late for me to take her to school, but I'm pretty sure that's just the Motrin talking (and they wouldn't take her anyway) so she's staying with me. I've only had to remind her once that being Sicky McSickpants is not an excuse for also being Demandypants Pete.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

I'm Baking Today

Mmmm... Gingerbread... The cake, not the cookies. I'm not a big fan of the cookies. Plus they run off while taunting you, don't they? "You can't catch me. I'm the Gingerbread Man." Right? Who needs that?

I'm making it for Husbandguy. He likes gingerbread. He almost said so when I proposed making some. He said, "That would be fine." He doesn't mean fine as in "cool" or "awesome" or "fiiiine." He means "okay." Woo-hoo. I'm inspired. Woo... Oh nevermind. I told him I wish he would be more expressive sometimes.

But I'm going to make it because he does like it, even if he won't say so out loud. I might even follow the recipe...

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Pete Says:

Pete wondered if Howie would bark at Santa.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Laugh at with Husbandguy

The other morning I made pancakes. Husbandguy asked what kind of pancakes and I told him they had cinnamon and almond extract in them and he said, "Why can't you ever make anything normal?!" I thought they were good, but apparently he prefers flavorless pancakes...


The night before last, Pete and I went to look at the stars with her class. HG and Lulu stayed home and Lulu took a bath. HG told me this story when I got home:

Lulu was calling from the bathroom* for him to come and help her. "Daddy," she said, "can you come here? I need your help." When HG got to the bathroom, Lulu was standing naked in the middle of the floor in a ½" puddle of water with the great big bucket we use to hold their bath toys on the floor next to her. The bucket was full of water. "Daddy," she said, "I need you to help me get this bucket back in the tub. I can't get it back in the tub. It's too heavy." HG said he didn't know how all the water had gotten on the floor because the bucket was full to the top. I asked him how she got the bucket full of water out of the tub in the first place. He didn't know. Silly kid. It's fun when she makes her daddy laugh.

*I want to make it clear that I do not condone leaving a 2 year-old alone in the bath. HG knows how I feel about this. And I think he may have learned his lesson...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I Think I Forgot to Mention

Pete read a whole chapter book to herself over Thanksgiving weekend. For the first time. I knew she could do it! She's Super Proud. Yay Pete!!

A New Project!

I've started my search for Lulu's first real school. Where she goes right now is fine. For right now. But this kid is really smart and the place she goes to now tells you straight up that they aren't an academic program, that they focus on social skills, and Lulu needs more than that. Also, they say grace before lunch, which I should have known they did when I put her there, since the program is in a church, and that is great for the families that want that and I don't think they should stop or anything, but I'm done with it and feel like it's time for something else. That's coming out all jumbled up, but you get it. Right? If I don't care for my child having to say grace then I should move her to a school where she won't be required to do that. Shut up, MN. Move on!

Lulu is guaranteed a spot at the school Pete goes to but not until she's 4. I thought it would be good for her to have a year of Montessori under her tiny little belt before then. So I started, this week, looking at Montessori schools. There are a few around here. The one Pete went to, one near where Husbandguy works now, and a couple more. I found this really amazing-sounding program with all the usual Montessori stuff - language, math, science, practical life, music, grace and courtesy - and more - cooking, nature walks, etc. It sounds like my understanding of Maria Montessori's original idea. But it's for ages 3 to 6 and there are only 15 spaces and it's really hard to get into because siblings of children already enrolled in the elementary school get priority. They do have a program for regular children, though, and it has more openings so I've made an appointment to visit.

And there's another school that's not Montessori but might be a good choice. I know several children who went/are going there, and they're all amazing little kids. Their program sounds very progressive and child-centric and definitely worth a look.

This probably isn't as interesting for you as it is for me, but there you go.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Potty Update

Lulu was back in Pull Ups by 10 AM. By her own choice. Oh well. One step forward; one step back.

Back in the Potty Saddle

At least for today... Lulu wore big girl undies to school today.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

No Cute Title for this Life or Death Post

We suck. We really do. Before the dog, when we went away for a long weekend like the one we just had, we would pay the 12 year-old down the street $5 to $10 to feed the sweet little kitty who has lived outside our house for the last 5½ years. But this time, we forgot all about that. I took care of boarding the dog, and Husbandguy left the cat a bowl full of food, but we really should have had someone come by at least once and give her a little more food, and we didn't. We suck. And now she's missing. We haven't seen her since we got back. HG has been putting food in her bowl, and it's being eaten, but we have at least 1 opossum and a few other neighborhood cats around here so there's no way to be certain who's eating it. I don't think it's our kitty. And I'm worried. And feeling a little guilty...

Over the River and Through the Woods...

Except instead of going to Grandmother's house, we went to the Grandpa and Meme's for the holiday. Husbandguy was the valiant horse "pulling the sleigh" through the thronging and puttering traffic. He's cool. And we did actually go over some rivers and through some woods, if not in exactly the same way we would have done 100+ years ago when they didn't have 6-lane bridges to cross on.

We had a Super Nice Time at TG&MM's, like we always do. It's comfortable there. And the girls hardly fought at all; so that was a change from what has been the norm. TG&MM enjoyed having them there (see? and see here? and here?) and the feeling was mutual. HG is hard to read sometimes, but I think he had a good time most of the time. He seemed to enjoy the aquarium and got to watch football all day Saturday with minimal interruptions (compared to at home).

Did I mention I made rolls to bring to Meme's sister's house for Thanksgiving? I didn't mention that? Oh. Well, I did and they were really good and we all had one on Saturday for a snack (4 days later) and they were still good! If only I'd followed the recipe, I could make those rolls again sometime...

Howie stayed at a kennel near here. It's the one the couple at the dog park recommended. I was a little worried about him because he got so sick when we took him away from his first family, but he did well at the kennel. They said he went outside to potty, not in his room, and he played during playtime, and when I picked him up, he was definitely healthy. And very happy to see me. And hungry and thirsty, apparently, because he wolfed down the food I put out for him and I've had to refill his water 4 times in the last 5 hours. And the cost was under $100 for 5 nights. We will definitely be leaving him there again. Honestly, I didn't miss him as much as he missed me. But don't tell him that.

Monday, December 1, 2008


You know how when you get back from vacation it takes a day or 2 to get back on track? That's what I'm doing today. Rebooting. Here's my list.
  • Get everyone dressed and off to school/work. (check)
  • Go to the grocery store. (check)
  • Go to Target for cat food and Pull Ups.
  • Pick up the dog (more about that later).
  • Unpack.
  • Do laundry.

It might not look like a lot, just 6 things, but Husbandguy would say that it's not getting done with me sitting here. So check back later... Or tomorrow...

Saturday, November 29, 2008

What Kind of Animal Is This?

Lulu said it's a cow. I thought it looked like a hippo. Someone else said it's a dog. I guess it might be a bear...

What do you think?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Should Have Gone Shopping

Apparently we should have gone to the mall today because it must have been empty. Everybody was at the aquarium with us!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Here It Is, Moomie

This is the post I was looking for. It's about our Nutcracker experiences last year. We were both right, Moomie.

LL Says:

I was looking for something for Moomie, and I came across this (click here). Sorry that it's a repeat, but it's one of my favorites.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Like Sands through the Hourglass...

Okay, parents (meaning my parents and other parents of grown ups), was there ever an instant when we (your children) were little and it occurred to you that one day we would be grown-ups doing just what you were doing at that very moment? That happened to me with Pete the other day, and it was weird. What's it like? Having your little sweeties (I'm assuming you thought of us that way) all adult-like and with responsibilities. Do you miss us as little guys? Because I'm finding it hard to imagine my little sweeties in their 30's, putting their kids in time out and teaching them to tie their shoes and going to work and driving and having credit cards and cats or dogs with litter boxes or leashes. I suppose that's why it takes so many years for people to actually grow up, so the parents have time to get used to it. It's gradual and maybe not too noticeable? It's still weird, though.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Whew! That Was Close!

It would appear that we have the full magic of Santa for at least another year. Husbandguy and I took the girls to visit with Santa this past weekend (because there is no line if you go before Thanksgiving) (and they were ready), and Pete firmly stated that she does believe. She has made up her mind. For now.

When I suggested the girls put on pretty dresses for their visit, Pete whined that she wanted to just wear what she had on (a pink Hannah Montana shirt, purple leggings, red socks, and blue slip-on shoes) and Lulu announced that she knew just the "pretty dress" she wanted to wear: her Snow White costume. Hmm... I said I needed to talk to their Daddy about that. The conversation went something like this:

MN: What do you think of that?
HG: I don't know.
MN: It would be nice if they dressed up in their "Sunday clothes." Although I guess that kind of is their Sunday clothes...
HG: I don't know.
MN: Are we cool enough parents to let them wear that stuff to see Santa?
HG: I don't know.

In the end, it turned out that we are that cool. In their Santa 2008 photo, Pete is sitting on Santa's right knee looking like she just finished a very colorful (and Super Cute) gym class, and Lulu is on his left knee, a pretty little princess in a flowy yellow skirt (and sneakers). It's awesome.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Friday, November 21, 2008

This Goes With My Other Post from Today

I know it's boring when people talk about their dreams, but I wanted to let you know why I baked mini muffins for the coffee this morning. It wasn't just the glowing praise and admiration other people seem to give when they eat my baked goods that is a huge boost to my lame self esteem. That's why I baked instead of stopping for Munchkins on the way there. The main reason was that I had a dream 2 nights ago that when I showed up this morning to set up for the event, all there was for everyone to eat was 1 bagel in a baggie and a tub of cream cheese that was half gone and had clearly been sitting in someone's fridge for a week or 2. And everyone was supposed to share that. And that's not okay. It kind of freaked me out.


The best compliment I ever got was from a friend who didn't have particularly worldly tastes. He was eating a cake I had made and expressed his appreciation and surprise that I had made it by saying it was "as good as store bought." I took it in the spirit he intended it. Then I teased him a little because that's just silly.

Well, I got that same compliment this morning. Not word-for-word, but to the same effect. I made mini muffins for the principal's coffee, and one of the other parents was surprised that I had actually baked them myself. She even asked for the recipe. They were good.

I like to bake. Especially when people say, "Holy cow! You made that?" It feels good.

So the second principal's coffee of the year was a rousing success, just like the first (maybe more-so), and I had a little something to do with that. Yay Me!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Holidays Are Here!

Today was our official start to the Holiday Season: the annual Holiday Luncheon at Pete's school. It's a big deal. And each year it gets bigger and better. Bigger because there are more families there (this year they had to split it out over 2 days to fit everyone) and better because the cafeteria is under new management. The food's not bad, really. One year it was super salty, but this year it was way better. And the portions aren't exactly one-size-fits-all (too much for the children, not enough for Husbandguy, but just right for me) so HG ends up scavenging turkey off our plates. We bought Lulu her own lunch this year, for the first time, and she ate like a champ. Everything but the green beans. And not the sweet potatoes, just the marshmallow part. And she got "congealed fruit" with peaches instead of cranberry sauce. Pete took her away to meet her friends when she had eaten enough, and when I caught up with them, Lulu was hugging everyone in sight. Oddly (not!), no one seemed to mind.

Everyone who lives in my house is in agreement that it was Super Fun. Pete and I thought the only thing missing was some background music.

This weekend, we're going to see Santa so we can avoid the long lines when the Holiday Season begins for everyone else.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Warning! Complaining Below

I know I complain a lot. I'd say sorry, but I'm not really. I am going to complain again, though, so if you're tired of it, go ahead and skip the rest of this post. I promise to try to be more upbeat tomorrow.

I am really tired of Husbandguy's attitude about my dog. He calls him "stupid" and "an idiot" and threatens to "beat the snot out of the dumb dog" (a phrase which Lulu has echoed). He hasn't actually done that, but he stomps around and glares at me and the dog and yells and is generally unpleasant about Howie. It is very stressful for me. And the dog. And the girls, I bet. And I'm tired of reminding him that the dog doesn't listen to him because he's a dog and HG hasn't taught him to listen. You can't just explain to a dog that it shouldn't steal your slippers and run away. Shouting at it and pushing it away doesn't teach it not to jump on you - it teaches it that you're going to talk to it and put your hands on it if it does so why wouldn't it? I've told him that he has to teach Howie to be the dog he wants him to be. He needs to work directly with the dog on "drop it" when the dog's not already in trouble; we both need to work with him on "leave it"; and when Howie jumps up, he shouldn't react beyond just turning his back to the dog. He needs to spend time training him in general, but I'm tired of telling him that. Howie knows he has to listen to me because I work with him, but no one (meaning HG) ever told him he has to listen to HG too; so why would he?

He's not a super well-trained dog. He's better than he used to be, but we still need a lot of work. WE still have a lot of work to do. Or HG needs to stand up for himself if he hates the dog that much and send Howie back to his foster mom. I'm not going to do it, but if he decides that's what's best, I won't stop him. I also won't be happy. And he'll have to tell the girls.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Lulu and I had warm pumpkin muffins for lunch today. She made them. She likes to stick her fingers in the ingredients when she bakes (or cooks anything really) but stopped trying everything when I told her the raw eggs might make her sick. She didn't like the raw pumpkin, but she apparently believed me when I told her it would taste better as muffins. I wonder if I could turn this experience into a poem. Stay tuned...

Monday, November 17, 2008

PhD and the Grandpa Are in Cahoots, I Think

Since I am certain that you are religiously checking my NaNoWriMo word count tracker over there to the right, you have probably noticed that I actually stopped writing a while ago (why didn't you call me on that?!). I did not even break the 10,000 word threshold. It happened right around the time that I posted this. If you were going to therapy, you might not choose to talk about my novel, but I'm not you and I did choose that topic today. Because I have a whole story in my head and I had just reached the point where the characters have started taking over the story-telling and I wasn't exactly sure why I had stopped writing. Our topic today was perfectionism, but we quickly nixed that as my problem. I am not a perfectionist. Nor am I perfect. But since I'm not a perfectionist, that doesn't bother me. Turns out, I'm afraid of failure. Huh. Yeah. As Lulu would say, "I think so." My PhD says, "So what if you fail? What happens then?" meaning what's the big deal. And if I gave the Grandpa the chance to weigh in on the possibility of failure, I suspect he would say, "You have to write it first before you can worry about it failing." Or something like that. Is that pretty close, TG?

What they're both saying is, "Just write it!" Darn it. Guess I better get going again...

They also agree that I should practice the piano more. TG, you would probably get along with my PhD, especially if you only talked about me.

Also, my PhD had her dogs with her today because she was having work done on her house. She has 2 Malti-Poo cuties. Aw! I want one!! You know, when Howie gets all grown up and Husbandguy doesn't dislike him anymore... Howie likes little dogs, and I think HG might like a lap-dog, and Pete would have adored these 2 little sweeties, and a Malti-Poo couldn't knock Lulu over and pin her down while licking her hair (Howie doesn't do that anymore as much as he used to). So it would be a win, win, win, win, win situation! Right?

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Yesterday, Pete graciously unwittingly gave a bunch of toys and books that she has outgrown to her sister. When I cleaned her room.


My family, at least a large part of it, has decided that Christmas is only for children and that the grown-ups don't need gifts. I understand this - it's easier, less expensive, blah, blah, blah - but that doesn't mean I'm happy about it. Honestly, I like to get presents. I also like to give them. There is joy in either action. But I'm fine with it, I suppose. I wouldn't mind too much if Husbandguy's family ever gave me anything. Christmas with them for me is like watching someone else's family open gifts. I know I'm whining. It just sucks that I have to twist Moomie's arm to convince her to let me give them a fruitcake.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Holy Moly!

It didn't look like that when the sun went down yesterday!

I love autumn.

Dunh, Duhn, Duuuhhnn...

Last night I bought myself a t-shirt with an image of Santa and text that said, "I believe." Pete was with me. She eyed the shirt and said, "Mom? Do you believe in Santa?" I said, "Yes, I do," because for the last 6 Christmases he has been real and magical and wonderous to someone I know and that made him very real to me (but I didn't tell her that part). She looked thoughtful so I said, "Don't you?" Her reply was, "Maybe. I don't know."

Friday, November 14, 2008

How Come?

Why doesn't Husbandguy remember that I don't care if he goes out, but I would appreciate a call first? The girls and I could have eaten dinner 30 minutes earlier than we did if I hadn't been waiting for him to come home.

How Come?

Why do people tell you something is microwave safe when they know that you'll get blisters trying to take it out of the microwave? I don't care about the safety of the cup. I'm asking if it is safe for me to use it in the microwave.

How Come?

Why does it take 20 minutes to put socks on almost-7-year-old feet?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

When 2 Year-Olds Make the Menu

Good morning. A table for breakfast? Right this way.

No, I'm sorry. We don't have any coffee. How about a nice cup of milk? Or some juice? Would you like a pink sippy cup or yellow?

Would you like to hear about our special today? Our breakfast special this morning is Goldfish and raisins, prepared by our chef and served in separate small bowls. Most people seem to enjoy dumping them out onto a plate and mixing them together and then shoveling the mixture back into the bowls and dumping it out again. No? Not for you? We also have ohpt-meal or yoguht and gwanola.

Thank you for having breakfast with us today. I hope you enjoyed it. Oh, don't worry about that. The busdog will clean it up. Please come again!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Less Than I Would Have Suspected

74%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?

Created by OnePlusYou - Free Dating Sites


PSP did this. Me too, now. You can too, if you want.

Your answers can only be one word.

Where is your cell phone? dunno
Where is your significant other? shower
Your hair color? multi
Your mother? Moomie
Your father? Grandpa
Your favorite thing? hijas
Your dream last night? hair
Your dream goal? published
The room you're in? cluttered
Your hobby? writing
Your fear? loss
Where do you want to be in 6 years? comfortable
Where were you last night? here
What you're not? finished
One of your wish-list items? oven
Where you grew up? northeast
The last thing you did? sleep
What are you wearing? jammies
Your TV? OFF
Your pets? canid
Your computer? everything
Your mood? fine
Missing someone? family
Your car? awesome
Something you're not wearing? shoes
Favorite store? Target
Your summer? dark
Love someone? several
Your favorite color? lavender
When is the last time you laughed? yesterday
When is the last time you cried? recently

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

LL Says:

Lulu was watching me make my coffee this morning. She said, "You forgot the flower top. Don't forget to put the flower top."

If only I was 2, I'd be a way better writer.

Want to Hear a Story about Poopoo-in-the-Potty?

Sunday night, Lulu disappeared into the bathroom. She said she needed to go poopoo so I followed her in and asked if she meant she wanted to go on the potty and she said, "No. I'm just going in my Pull-Up," but since she hadn't actually gone yet, I suggested we try the potty. She was resistant but not so much that I had to really push her, and I managed to get her sitting where she needed to be. She picked the little potty (thunk) over the big potty (ploop) based on the noise we would hear. Then she proceeded to NOT go poopoo for the next 20 minutes. There were a few times when it appeared, based on her expression, that it was happening, but upon checking we found that she had not gone. I think she was actually resisting the urge the times when her face changed. Eventually she just stood up and said she was ready for her bath and refused to sit back down. Now I know I said I was going to give up on the whole potty thing and let her be in charge of it, but sometimes a mom can tell when her baby needs to go poo and it didn't seem like a good idea for her to sit in a warm, relaxing bath. I hate changing poopy Pull Ups, but I'd rather do that than fish floaters out of the tub (sorry). So I pushed the little potty over in front of the big potty and convinced her that it would be cool to use it like a stool (no pun intended) to clumb on to reach the big potty and had her sitting again in no time. This was as successful as the little potty had been. Eventually she stood up again and declared that she just wasn't going to do it. She was so emphatic about it that she walked away but came back a moment later to close the lid as if to say, "No way." So she was standing across the bathroom with a bare bottom and telling me she just wasn't going to go poopoo in the potty, but at the same time she was doing this little knees-bent-cheeks-clenched dance. I think even someone who's not a mom would have known what that meant. I said, "Honey, you clearly need to poop. Come over here and sit on the potty," and she came and sat and finally just let it happen. Finally! It was like... Well, it was a relief for everyone involved. I hate to say it, and I'm sorry for this, but it was kind of like the 11 o'clock news on 11/4 - just one great big WHEW! after an eternity of anxiety (except this eternity was only 30 minutes).

Then we did the poopoo-in-the-potty dance, which is apparently best done before the new Pull Up is on (or so I've heard - I didn't feel the need to be bare-bottomed) and we both had a jelly bean and then she had a bubble bath (which she got out of in the middle to go peepee, rather than pee in the tub - another little victory!).

It's still mostly up to her to get herself trained, but I did make a big deal out of this and am telling everyone we know when she's around to hear me talk about it, and I also told her that she'll need to learn to use the potty before she can take swimming lessons (which wouldn't be until next summer anyway so no pressure).

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Job for HG

Husbandguy started his new job today. He got up almost as early as he meant to, and got showered and shaved and put on a shirt with buttons and his non-sneaker shoes and was outside, scraping frost off the windows just a couple of minutes later than he meant to be.

I got up later than I meant to, also, but I was kind of waiting to see if he would get himself up because him going back to work shouldn't mean that I have to start getting up before 7 again, but apparently it does. So I rolled out of bed at 6:30 and told him what time it was and let the dog out. The girls and I did okay this first morning getting around without extra help (we didn't need it before, but we didn't have the dog before either). Pete, Lulu, and I were dressed and breakfasted and at Pete's bus stop right on time. After Pete left, Lulu and I had a few minutes before she had to get to school, which we spent talking about the fact that Daddy going to work now would mean a big change in her TV time (even though that wasn't my first choice for a topic - she brought it up). Then I dropped her off and took the dog to the park (he is so worn out right now that he can't even get up and follow me from room to room like he always does - that's kind of the point of the park) where I got info from another couple about a kennel really close to here that I'm calling today to see if they have space for Howie sometime in the near future so we can go visit the Grandpa and Meme if HG can work it with his schedule.

When we got home I had an email from HG. Apparently he'd gotten where he needed to be and found a lot to park in and was walking into his building just a couple of minutes after 8. They were expecting him and had a place for him to sit and a computer and a user ID all set up and an IT guy waiting to make sure he could access the network, which he can. And today he is spending the day reading all about concrete and foundation design and will be home at dinnertime.

Whew! And the day is only half over. I haven't done any of the things I wanted to do today except take Howie to play and post on TIBM and wash HG's other shirts with buttons. But the day is only half over...

LL Says: (or a Peril of an Out-of-Work Dad)

Lulu said this:

I want a Bahbee house. That girl on the TV had a Bahbee house and Bahbees and that's what I want for me. That looked like fun. [Pete] doesn't have a Bahbee house but she got Bahbee horses for last Christmas.

(Lulu watched way more TV the last 2 months than she would have if Husbandguy had been working. Also, I think Lulu is too young for Barbie so she won't be getting a "Bahbee" house for Christmas.)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Remember how I was looking for a Dog and you got tired of my posts about that?
NaNoWriMo is going to be like that.

Just some Novel Randomness for you.

I've tried writing with no coffee, after a couple of cups of coffee, and while drinking coffee, but not Irish coffee. I've tried writing in the middle of the day, while Lulu takes her bath (laptop propped up on the potty lid), and at night after the girls go to bed, but not late at night. I've tried writing with the TV on at the other end of the room (HG and/or the girls watching) and with the TV off, but not in front of the TV. So far, my most productive environment seems to be writing while drinking coffee in the middle of the day with the TV off. I am totally looking forward to Monday.

Husbandguy complained that I'm always sitting at the computer. I reminded him that he is the one who wants me to write a best-seller and that a person has to actually spend time writing to accomplish that. He stopped complaining.

It is awesome and a little unnerving when the characters write their stories themselves. There's this one character who was originally just someone mentioned in a conversation, but somehow she wrangled herself a bigger part. Now she's responsible for completely changing the direction of the story (albeit in a way I had intended it to go).

I'm currently only 3400 words behind, which you will notice is about one day's less words behind than I was a couple of days ago. It occurred to me that I may not win the 50,000-words-in-30-days challenge, but I am still going to try because the closer I can get, the less I'll have to write later.

I have not dreamed about my characters. Apparently they're not real enough yet.

Frankly, I am looking forward to April when I can write poetry all month.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

But Do Spiders Even Like Opera?

So there was this thing on the kitchen floor the other day and it looked just like one of those spider rings that kids have and I noticed it but assumed it was harmless because Lulu had one of those rings the other day so I kept walking and then IT CRAWLED AWAY FROM ME!! Toys do not generally crawl away. Or if they do they sing doodleydoodledoo while they do it and you know it's a toy and not scary. But this was apparently a real spider. That looked like one of those HOLYCRAPHUGE spider rings. So I screamed, and Husbandguy got all pissed off at me. Here's why: I don't know how to scream. It confused him - the noise I made. He thought I was singing and was Super Annoyed that I actually needed him to kill a spider. Apparently people don't generally sing opera when they're afraid of something creepy and crawly springing at them and biting their heads off with their 8-legged spidery-ness. Who knew?

Friday, November 7, 2008

No Big Surprise

My novel is terrible! It's just awful. You so wouldn't want to read it if I let you at this time. And I'm about 5000 words behind today (assuming 1666 words per day is what I should be writing), but I'm catching up right now (when I'm done here) and this weekend. And next week...

But here's the thing. This is the reason I'm still writing it. This is the reason you will want to read it when it is all done (which won't be this coming December - No. Way.). Ready?

It's getting written.

And rewriting and editing will make it readable.

And it's actually a very interesting story. Well, it will be...

To Heal or Not to Heal...

I noticed yesterday one (maybe both) of my smashed toes is still swollen. That happened almost a month ago. I wasn't concerned that it still hurt sometimes - that table was really heavy - but should it still be swollen? I wonder if the doctor's office would still try to talk me out of coming in if I called them about it...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Stocking Stuffers

Does anyone know where I can get a nice piece of coal for a snotty, ill-tempered 6 year-old's stocking?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I'm Gonna Miss It

I'm going to miss all the extra attention we've been getting. It was like being Super Popular, with the phone calls at all hours of the day and evening (late evening) and the unexpected visitors ringing our doorbell... Sigh... I guess I'll have to go make real friends now...

Pete contributed to this count. She's pretty proud of herself.

Are you holding your breath until January too?

An Admission

Even though Husbandguy and I agree that moving away from here so he could have work would have been stressful and hard, we both admit that we were intrigued by the possibility.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My Novel

It's coming along. I'm a little more than 1/10th of the way there, assuming I'll be done telling the story when I reach the 50k word requirement of NaNoWriMo. Some of what I've written is good. Some of it is filler, right now. All of it is moving the story forward. I am really enjoying the writing, getting this thing "on paper" (aka: on my flash drive) but I'm also looking forward to the editing, making it make sense. Right now it's kind of like when you are working on a puzzle and you've got sections put together so there are big chunks of completed puzzle, but you still have to put them all together with each other to see the whole picture. You know? I'm enjoying the parts-is-parts approach. At least it's getting written!

Monday, November 3, 2008

A Furry Houseguest

This weekend, the family and I went to Nana and Poppop's for 2 whole days. The whole family, even Howie. We weren't sure how he would do because we've never taken him overnight anywhere, and he really is still just a puppy, and Nana has a lot of things that might look like puppy toys all around her house. But he was awesome. From the car ride there, which took a full hour longer than it should have because of Friday Charlotte traffic, to sleeping shut up in his crate, which he doesn't do at home, to not chasing Nana's kitty, in fact almost completely ignoring the cat most of the time (not like him at all). He was on his best behavior all weekend. He did try to play with the kitty's little stuffed mice and barked at Nana the first night when she came back to the living room after changing into her jammies (I think he didn't recognize her), but those were little things. Even Husbandguy, who you may remember isn't the dog's biggest fan a lot of the time, had to admit that he was really good this weekend and would probably take him with us to Nana and Poppop's again.

Once again: Proud of my Puppy!

Sunday, November 2, 2008


I was missing April and the challenge of posting a poem a day for a month so I went in search of something similar for the month of November. Turns out, there is a lot going on in November: National Diabetes Month, National Adoption Month, National American Indian Heritage Month, National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month, some bizarre holidays, and of course, Thanksgiving. But those things didn't really fit what I was looking for. Then I stumbled across NaNoWriMo. Check it out! Seriously!

Here's the deal - I have from November 1 to November 30 to finish my book. I have to write 50,000 words.

And then the story will be told!

The little tracker on the right is supposed to tell you how much I've written and I'm planning on making it a link to my profile at NaNoWriMo, but as of right now (when I'm writing), it doesn't do either of those things so you'll have to use your imagination (unless it's working when you're reading...). For now, here's a link to me.

(By the way, it occurred to me Friday, in the car on the way to Nana and Poppop's, that my social anxiety has actually been getting in the way of me writing my novel. I had planned on using some personal experience for part of the story telling, and even though it should be a quick and simple 2000 words or so, I haven't been able to write it because of my most likely inaccurate belief that no one will want to hear about what happened to me. So I'm going to remind myself that doesn't matter because if my life does turn out to be uninteresting (and that's for editing to decide - not writing), it can be edited to hold the reader's attention. It's more important to the story to just write it down.)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Pete Says:

Pete fed the dog this morning and then watched him check it out and then announced to me: "Howie just sniffed his food cautiously."

I told her she should write stories. She said, "To tell to little kids?" and I said, "No! To tell to me!!" She's thinking about it.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Don't Pinch Me

Seriously. Don't. That would hurt.

But also, if you did, I might wake up to find that Husbandguy and I are both still stay-at-home parents. Because this whole HG-getting-a-job thing turned around so quickly it seems unreal. And the job he got isn't doing anything he's even done at all since college. But my husband is so smart and charming that these people talked to him for less than an hour (and he said they just talked - not really an interview) and decided to hire him.

When the recruiter called to make HG the offer he said that the people had called him basically right after HG left the other day and said, "Is everything alright with [HG]?" and the recruiter said, "What do you mean?" and they said, "Is there something wrong?" and the recruiter said, "No. He's great, got great references and everything," and they said, "We don't think he's asking for enough money. Why is that?" !!!

We already knew they would probably make an offer so when HG was talking to the recruiter I was eavesdropping and when HG said "Sweet!"... Well that was just cool. And now I can go Christmas shopping! And I can go by myself!! And I can sign Howie up for intermediate dog classes!!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

LL Says:

Lulu says: I like Elmo. He's Very Cool.

@ the park w/ the dog

Yesterday morning, Husbandguy and I finally took Howie to the dog park down the road from here. It was cool. And Howie was exhausted afterward. It only took him about 40 minutes to really warm up to the idea of being off leash and not right next to me all the time, but he did eventually participate in a couple games of chase with the other dogs, which was the point of going there. We will definitely be going back. He really seemed to like it.

And there was a woman there who fosters dogs. I was thinking that maybe we could get to know her and her dogs and then when we're ready for our next dog she can help us and maybe we can even let Howie pick it. You know? ...but that's a while off still.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Mid-Week Updates (little things)

It is a common thing for me on a Tuesday to feel like it is Friday all day. That is what happened to me yesterday even though I did the usual Tuesday things (minus lunch with Poppop).


Mid-week next week I may have some super news to report so check back (no, I'm not pregnant).


I joined NaNoWriMo yesterday. The Grandpa joined today. I'll give you a whole post about that another day.


For my next dog I want a miniature schnauzer because Lulu will probably still be too little for a Very Small Dog like a Yorkie or a chihuahua.


We turned our heater on yesterday evening.

I may have more to say later...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008

Temporal Sabotage

We have this great alarm clock. It has a chip in it. With memory. So if the power goes out or something, it can reset itself to the correct time without any human intervention. And if you like your clock set, say, 5 minutes fast, it remembers that too. It has a problem, though. It was programmed when it was manufactured, many years ago, to set itself forward and backward for the changes in Daylight Saving Time, but someone somewhere decided to change all those dates for whatever reason and no one told our clock. So yesterday, when the alarm went off at 7 AM, the sun was all the way up and Lulu was already awake and all the other clocks in the house said 8:00. Because yesterday was apparently the original day to "fall back." The extra hour of sleep was nice but inconvenient since we had planned on leaving at 8:00. We managed, though. And we also learned that we don't need to get up at 7:00 on the weekend to let the dog out. Apparently he'll wait.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Looking Forward to Wednesday after Next

I'm tired of getting phone calls about who I should be voting for. Is there a do-not-call list for this?

Friday, October 24, 2008


Remember I mentioned before that I believe cleaning is not good for a person; I mentioned it a couple of times. Turns out it might be hazardous to your intelligence too. I realized yesterday, while I was cleaning, that my lips were dry and I was very thirsty. And then I realized that I always get that way when I'm cleaning. Then I realized that I was breathing almost exclusively through my mouth. And isn't "mouth-breather" a term that a person might apply to someone they felt was less evolved than everyone else? So I'm not going to clean any more (except washing and drying but not folding clothes) because I don't want you to call me that.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


So this store near us called Totally Wine also sells beer. All kinds of beer (except the one I've been looking for), but if we hadn't been following Lulu around killing time before meeting Poppop for lunch, Husbandguy and I never would have gone in there because we don't drink wine. They should call it Almost Totally Wine or Very Nearly Totally Wine or Totally Wine (and Beer) or something. You know?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

So the neurologist said...

After watching me walk a couple of doors down and back again this morning, as he always does since my MS effects my gait most of all, my neurologist said, "If you had just come in with headaches, I wouldn't even consider testing for MS based on how you're walking."

Apparently my gait is better than he's ever seen. Husbandguy says I should drop tables on my toes more often.

A Marked Difference in the Marking

So remember? We had Howie altered last week (he's doing much better, thanks for asking). It didn't occur to me then that the difference in my dog would be immediate and noticeable, but yesterday while we were walking I definitely saw a difference. He doesn't try to stop every 10 feet to mark the bush or mailbox or lamp post or neighbor's truck tire or... You get it, right? It's remarkable. Instead he has gone back to picking up all the rocks on the sidewalk and clacking them around on his teeth until I convince him to drop them. Sigh...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I'm a Monster

You Are a Werewolf

You're unpredictable, moody, and downright freaky.
You seem sweet and harmless, until you snap. Then you're a total monster.
Very few people can predict if you're going to be Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde.
But for you, all your transformations seem perfectly natural.

Your greatest power: Your ability to tap into nature.

Your greatest weakness: Lack of self control.

You play well with: Vampires

Monday, October 20, 2008

LL Says:

The other day, I had made a pie and everyone did a good job on their dinner and was waiting for HG to bring it over for us to cut into. Lulu apparently thought he was taking too long and began this chant:

"We need pie. We need pie."

Pete and I joined in, of course.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Spooky Things

Last night, Husbandguy and I went to the haunted amusement park down the highway from here. It's not always haunted, just in October and then only after dark. We met some friends of ours and there were no children (who belonged to us) and we got to go on the big people rides. It was awesome.

And I looked totally cute: smoky eye shadow and dark red lips and nails and a spider web design T-shirt over a long sleeve T - the perfect effect for the dark park. Frankly, I was irresistible. That was awesome too.

There are these people who work there and it's their job to sneak up on you and scare/startle you. I generally don't like that kind of thing so I just made certain to be mindful of the fact that, even though these people looked creepy and gross and dead and stuff, they were just employees of the park and I wasn't scared once. In fact, the one guy who snuck up on me got so close before I noticed that I thought I'd almost bumped into him, and I said, "Excuse me!" HG and our friends got a big kick out of that. I guess I'm too polite sometimes.

We had so much fun. We got to go on the big people rides (I know I already said that, but it's a big deal because it's been 6 years since we've been able to do it). The only problem with the night was that it was very dark on the rides and they were disorienting, which wasn't good with my sometimes balance issues. I got to go on 3 before I was done, though, and HG and the other wife only rode 2 more before the park closed so I don't feel like I missed anything.

And it was free, if you don't count the gas we used to get there (we have season passes).

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Pete Thinks It's Funny...

...that chihuahua pronounced phonetically is "chih-hoo-ah-hoo-ah."

Friday, October 17, 2008

Sorry I'm Late

I had an obligation this morning. It was the first parent/principal coffee of the school year (I can't find where I posted about it last year, but I'm sure I did - I'll keep looking - you can look too if you want). It was awesome and VERY WELL ATTENDED and everyone was friendly (why wouldn't they be?) and enjoyed my banana bread. We ran out of coffee but not until the very, very end but nobody minded and next time we'll make more. It was awesome. Don't you wish you had a kid at our school?

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Yesterday the vet called us mid-morning and told us to come get our dog a full 4 hours earlier than they had said they would. Apparently he'd had his surgery, woken up, and then proceeded to stand in his cage and complain. "He's fine," they said. "Come get him." The note on his post-operative instructions said that he is cute and sweet, which doesn't exactly mesh with their message that we should come get him ASAP.

Speaking of post-operative instructions, the receptionist went over his meds and movement restrictions with us before she fetched him, and while she was talking about how he should be kept from running and jumping so he doesn't open his incision, the mental picture in my head was of him doing crazy laps around the great room. There's no way to stop him from doing that; in fact he did it this morning. I need to check his stitches, I guess.

But yesterday when he got home he was no where near able to zip around the house. He limped around whimpering and looking miserable, which made me feel bad for him so I called him to me and told him to sit so I could rub his ears. He came gingerly over and sat like I'd asked, but when his little doggy butt hit the floor he said a doggy version of "Ooof!" and whimpered some more. Poor guy. His convalescence didn't last as long as Husbandguy hoped it would, though (see above).

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

In Case You Were Wondering

My toes look worse but feel better. I've opted not to go to the doctor because they really do feel better and I can walk and drive and stuff. I've had a request not to post a picture (from Moomie) so you'll just have to imagine it.

Boy Parts and Girls Parts

Poor doggy. He's spending the day at the vet and will be an "it" when he comes home. When I dropped him off, I whispered to the receptionist, "He's here to be neutered. Don't tell him."

She said, "He won't hear it from me. As far as I'm concerned, he's here for a spa day."

And when she mentioned the spa day cover story to the tech who came to take Howie away, the tech looked thoughtful and said, "Well, he will get a shave..."


Last night, Pete asked me this question: "What happens to girls when they are K's age?" K is Pete's 12 year-old friend from down the street. After a little more talking, I realized that Pete was actually asking me about what happens when girls start their periods.

Now, Pete is only 6, remember, and most likely has anywhere from 4 to 8 more years before she will go through that so I hesitated. But only for an instant. I have always believed in being age-appropriately truthful with my children about what is what and how things work when they ask. Sometimes I go overboard - like my extensive explanation of thunder when she was 3, from which she learned simply that thunder is noise, despite my description of the lightning heating the air, blah blah blah. Most of the time I can tell when she feels like her question has been answered and leave the rest of the explanation for later. Last night, she got the whole story (not the part about how babies are actually made - she didn't ask for that). We talked anatomy and calendars and used words like "menses" and "personal" and ended with a list of the people who can help if Mommy's not around when (many years from now) this all happens to Pete. And she listened and asked clarifying questions and seemed satisfied in the end. It was all very grown up.


I think she might know more than her dad does now. Guess I should have the talk with him too...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Wanna See It?

Not sure if I need a doctor yet. Leaning toward no.
Could use a pedicure, though...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Trying to Decide

I'm trying to decide whether my toes hurt as much as my C-section incision or more. It's definitely not less. You may get a picture tomorrow of my swollen purple big toe so be sure to check back for that!


Today, while Husbandguy and I were working with some other people cleaning up the parent center at Pete's school, I was moving a kind of heavy table and I dropped it on the first 3 toes on my right foot. That was more than an hour ago and they're still throbbing. I have taken them out of my shoe and am airing them out so that HG can look at them and tell me if I need to go to the doctor. Just in case you were wondering how my morning was...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

When There's No Money for Great Clips

Three out of 4 of us (not counting the dog) got haircuts this weekend. Lulu wanted her hair cut like Dora so it's pretty short - her first real haircut (I evened it off once before). Husbandguy got the typical enginerd haircut. And Pete just got a trim. This is what was left behind.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Graduation Day

Today was graduation at puppy class. While my little dog-man isn't exactly Canine Good Citizen material yet, he is way better and knows so much more than he did 8 weeks ago. He comes when you I call his name, sits when you I tell him to sit, lies down when you I tell him "down," rolls over when you I tell him to and move my arm the right way, gives you me his paw when I ask for it, and will stay when you I walk around him in a complete circle. Most of the time. Eight weeks ago? He didn't know any of that. How cool is my puppy? Very cool, I say.

Now Husbandguy, who hasn't worked with Howie on any of those things at all in the last ever, complains like crazy that "the dumb dog won't listen!" Um, duh. He doesn't believe he has to listen to you. But I'm done giving advice and reminding him that he needs to show Howie - that the dog doesn't automatically know this stuff. He's a dog. Jeez! But I've made the offer to go with HG and the dog to the park or somewhere and walk them through what I learned in the last 8 weeks, and I believe that if HG will commit to that and to practicing, Howie will be way less annoying than he is now. And then maybe HG will agree to us getting another little dog sooner than I'm expecting.

But in the meantime, someone lend me $100, okay? Because we need to sign up for intermediate class so Howie can get even better at being a good dog. Sooner is better than later.

Name That Breakfast Cereal

LL says: "It's saying CRAP CRACKLE SMOCK!"

I Don't Think She Likes Me

Recently I've been feeling rejected. By Pete. She doesn't want to do anything with me anymore. Well, sometimes she does, but other times she'll say she wants to and then changes her mind right at the last minute. Like puppy class. Or going to Target. Or making dinner. It makes me a little sad. Aren't little girls supposed to want to hang out with their moms? You know, right up until their moms get all embarrassing and everything?

(Lulu doesn't want to hang out with me either, but that's just because Husbandguy is here all the time and of course she prefers him.)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Expanding Our Search

Husbandguy isn't having any luck finding a job here in our "world-class city." Or even particularly nearby. So we're expanding our search. We're still staying pretty local at the moment - you know, anywhere between Atlanta and Raleigh - but I don't think he'd automatically say no to someplace else.

So if you know anyone looking for a Project Engineer with Land Development expertise, let us know!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Story Time Now

Lulu and I used to love going to story time. I was more obvious about it than Lulu, but we both liked it. This year they've changed it. Apparently our Mother Goose was doing too much or something because now she only does the one story time for kids 3 to 5 without parents, and other people have taken over the rest. The woman who does the 2's? I'm not sure how to put this. I don't want to say she's terrible because I think that's not quite accurate. But she's not good at it. Maybe she'd be better suited for older children. Maybe not, though.

Here's the thing things:

First - she never tells us her name. We know what her name is because we asked Mother Goose after the first time we had story time with the new lady. We commented to MG that we thought the new lady should tell us her name and MG said she'd mention it to her and maybe she just forgot that time. But she never tells us her name. That's not right.

Also - she doesn't read the whole book to us. She skips pages when she reads. I suppose that might be okay. You know, more time for other things, but I'd like to hear the whole book sometime.

And then - she gets visibly stressed when children don't just sit and listen. I do think that parents should take their kids out when they're being disruptive (shrieking, banging on the door, etc.) because it's disrespectful not to, but most 2 year-olds aren't going to sit quietly by their parents and not wiggle (when they're comfortable in a place), and we wouldn't want to go to a story time where that's what's expected. I don't think she expects that, exactly, but it's obvious that she'd be more comfortable if things went that way. And there have been a couple of times when she said something wouldn't happen (special stuffed animal visitor, hand stamps) unless everyone was sitting down. Sorry. Not going to happen.

I guess in general story time isn't very welcoming anymore.

So I've been letting Lulu choose whether we want to go to story time. We still go to the library every week. We even got Lulu a library card of her own. But as to whether we actually go into the story time room and listen to that woman for ½ hour - that's up to Lulu. And I've been relieved that Lulu chose not to go the last 2 weeks. This week, though, that woman was sick and another librarian (not MG) did it in her stead. So we went in and listened. It was sad, really (not the other librarian - he did fine). That room was packed - overloaded, really - when MG did story time each week, but today there were maybe 5 families. It makes me wonder if the new lady has run everyone else off too...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Good Thing I Didn't Answer the Door

Husbandguy is more tolerant of people, uninvited people, ringing our doorbell than I am. I tend to not trust them. I almost called the police on some baptist once because he was harassing me, but that's another post. This one is about the fact that if I had answered the door last night instead of HG, we would still have to pay our phone bill for the next 3 months instead of riding out our $200+ credit for the over-billing that was discovered when the phone company rep came to our door to be sure we had the best plan possible.

On the other hand, though, said phone company lowered their rates almost 3 years ago and didn't bother to adjust our bill because the rate we were paying was our "fixed rate."

And also, I wish HG had asked them to send us a check instead of doing the smart thing and taking the credit because I could have put a portion of it to good use. It's just not fair for Santa not to come when your daddy doesn't have a job. That's like a double-whammy!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Physical Fitness Test Phobia (PhFTPh)

Sunday night, I tucked Pete in and less than 5 minutes later she came out of her room with tears in her eyes. She said, "Mom, I don't want to go to school on Wednesday." Apparently her PE teacher is giving them a test this week, which he told them about 2 weeks ago, for which she was supposed to be practicing but wasn't. They have to do 9 sit-ups, some push-ups, and some other things, including run around the lower field 3 times (1 mile, we think). She was really scared. I totally know how she was feeling. I hated physical fitness tests, although I don't think I ever failed one. Poor kid! My first reaction was to say, "It's late. Let's talk about this tomorrow," but that wasn't good enough. So then I said, "I bet you can do 9 sit-ups. Come on. Show me." And she did. She did 9 no problem. So I had her show me her push-ups. They were funky but she did 5 and could have done more if I'd asked her to. Then I promised her that I would talk to her dad (who was putting Lulu to bed), that I would ask him to help her with the running when she got home from school Monday. He agreed. They tried, but 5 minutes after they left they came back with Pete looking all sullen. Apparently HG wanted her to jog but her teacher had used the word run so Pete, being 6, decided that if HG wouldn't let her run she would walk and he got all impatient with her and blahblahblah...

So the test is tomorrow. She knows she will pass the sit-ups part and has apparently decided not to worry about the rest. Wish her luck.

Monday, October 6, 2008

And Then His Legs Mysteriously Stopped Working... Apparently

I think the TV must put out some kind of debilitating rays or waves or something because Husbandguy needs my help an awful lot when it's on. I know he can do stuff on his own because sometimes he actually does. Unless he's sitting on the couch (I was going to add "and the TV is on" but he doesn't sit on the couch without the TV on so it seemed redundant). But for some reason, if he's on the couch (watching "Dora the Explorer" this morning) he can't get up to answer the phone (even though he's waiting for phone calls from potential employers - it rang twice) or check Lulu's shoes in the dryer or get socks for her out of her drawer, which is full of socks ("I looked," he said. "I didn't see any."). I am enjoying having him home with me most of the time, but I am also really looking forward to being able to turn the TV off (or just not turn it on - GASP! what nonsense is this?!). Keep hoping for us...

Sunday, October 5, 2008

PROUD of my Puppy

At puppy class this week, we had a little obedience contest. Everybody got 3 cards and the rest of the dogs had to do what was on the other cards. Got it? No? I didn't think so. Let me try again. Our trainer gave each dog owner 3 cards with things written on them. I had one that said, "15 second stay." I read that card to the class and all the other dogs had to do a 15-second stay. If they were successful, they got a point. If they were not, I could challenge and then if Howie did the 15-second stay, I could steal their point. The 15-second stay is actually important because it happened to be the last card read and since it was mine, the only way I could get a point was to steal one. Luckily for us, the dog that was in the lead had trouble with it and I challenged and Howie did it no problem and we won!! We're the smartest dog-gy. Nyah nyah nyah nyah NYAAH-NYAAH. We won some chewy treat things and a bunch of little milk bone things and some coupons and a treat pouch, which I'd been wanting but hadn't been able to justify the expense, even when Husbandguy had a job.

So next week is graduation, and the trainer told us what would be on our final exam and I'm pretty sure we'll pass. I was a little concerned about the stay part of the test, though, because we have to either walk away from or around our dog while he stays, and we've only ever done that (around the dog) once and that was at puppy class this week. We did it, but I think I had to put him back in the stay 3 times before it stuck (because we'd never done it before). So on our way out of the store, I took Howie up by the front door and I put him in a down-stay and tried walking around him. He got up twice, but the third time he was so good he didn't even get up when I released him (we need to work on the release, I think). I was bursting, I was so proud! And we left on that high note. He's awesome!


Pete Says:

In case you wondered, Pete says:

"A control is something that you use when you're trying to figure something out. If you have a puzzle that you've never done before and you're trying to do it and you don't know where all the pieces go, the top of the puzzle box sometimes may have a picture of what the puzzle looks like. And that is my example of a control."

MN says: "Anything else?"

Pete says: "Nope. That's it!"

Saturday, October 4, 2008


Pete is terrible about practicing her piano. If my parents ever wished that I would have a kid as difficult as me about practicing, they got their wish. After 3 weeks in a row of her just practicing 1 day each week, Husbadguy and I told her that if she didn't shape up, she was going to have to take lessons from me. Mostly I told her that, actually. Then she and I talked some more because she doesn't want to stop taking lessons from a real teacher and I don't really want to have to teach her (we don't always work well together), and we decided that she can have the month of October to prove to us that we're not wasting our money and that she's serious about learning. I asked her if she would let me be in charge of her practicing, and she shook her head no and I shook my head yes and she changed her shaking to agree with mine. Now I'm in charge of her practicing, and it's not as bad as I think she thought it would be.

So far so good, but we've got most of the month left to go...

Friday, October 3, 2008

Weirdness, Man!

So yesterday morning the "PS Truck" (per Lulu) came to deliver my medicine, and after we'd signed for it and the driver had gone back to his truck, he called out something to Husbandguy. Apparently his little brown scanner thing said that the package had been refused and reclaimed and it wouldn't let him tell it otherwise. But that wasn't true. And it's such a hassle to get my medicine that he was going to have a hard time getting me to give it back to him. We worked around it, though, and he went away happy and we went to the library (remind me to post later about my recent reading experiences).

Then later that afternoon the credit card company called and said that someone was making suspicious charges on my card. Stupid fraud perpetrator (is there an actual term for a person who perpetrates fraud?)! Now we've had to cancel my credit card, which we use for everything, and wait 3 to 4 days for a new one. Guess we'll be using HG's card at the grocery store this week.

But weird things always seem to come in 3's. Right? Does that happen to you too? So, unless you count Pappap saying that Lulu can spend the night at their house soon or Pete practicing her piano 2 days in a row (and I might...), we're due for something else weird to happen. Ooo! Maybe the dog will grow up overnight and be good or Lulu will learn to use the potty... You know - something weird but good.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Spilling Secrets

I wasn't sure if I was going to tell you guys about this, but I guess I will. I trust you...

I met with my PhDoctor yesterday for a whole hour. She had already decided from our first meeting that I have a generalized anxiety disorder (who doesn't?), but yesterday something I said gave her the impression that I also have social anxiety. Um, DUH!

I had already self-diagnosed and here's my diagnosis of me: I have social anxiety, which is due to my minuscule self-esteem. I also have generalized anxiety and rare episodes of mild depression; these are secondary* to my social anxiety. Husbandguy could probably have told you that if he had the terminology - although he probably would have made a joke about me just being nuts. I told her that I already know these things about myself but don't know what to do about them. She told me to make another appointment.

*caused by
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