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.
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