Saturday, June 27, 2009

Musical Me

Enough Already with the Nostalgia! You're probably tired of my "I used to be..." posts. Although, I haven't done one in a while... So here. Here's another. I used to be known for my musical ability. I was considered a musical person. I played nearly all the instruments in the band (I think saxophone was the only one I never attempted any version of), I took piano lessons for years and years, I sang in the chorus - even made it to All-State, and at church, I was in the voice and handbell choirs and did many piano or flute or voice solos. Ah, the good old days. When it wasn't unusual to hear things like, "I'm/We're singing/playing-the-[instrument] at/for [something]. Can you accompany me/us?" or "Our tuba player graduated. Now what will we do for the bass line? Oh, maybe you could..." "You" meaning me, of course. *wistful sigh*

Gone! It's All GONE! *tears hair* But then I moved here. What's the musical difference between NH and NC, you ask? I dunno. But for me it's big, apparently. Because here I am not known as a musical person. I'm known as a good baker, the person who increased PTA membership by 75% this past year, the mom of 2 brilliant and beautiful girls, and to some extent, a writer, but musical? Oh? You played the piano? Hmm. That's *snore* interesting... My one musical friend moved away years ago (and now is moving even FARTHER AWAY >:-P), and our piano stood neglected for many, many, many years. Until Pete started lessons. Yay for Pete! The poor piano was soooo lonely.

Slowly but Surely... Remember that I joined the church to join the choir. I think I mentioned that before (click the tag that says "church" below to read all about it). And then I decided not to join the choir because I don't want to have to go to the late service ever. That's too much of my Sunday away from the family. But then my need for music wasn't met by joining the church like I hoped it would be. So when I saw in our newsletter that the choir director was offering a 3-week music theory and sight singing class, I signed up. A little review would be a good thing, I felt, and just maybe...

Teacher's Pet? In high school, my band director invented an award just for me: The Most Instruments Played Award. I was honored. I earned it. I had talent. He knew it. I have been, now, to exactly 1 theory class and have already made a name for myself. We introduced ourselves and talked about our musical background, and the choir director seemed maybe a little impressed by mine. That felt good. And then he started the class, and all of the sudden I was again the Most Musical of People. The first class was, of course, very basic theory: note values, major and minor, key signatures, etc. Stuff I remember. By the end of the class, he was asking questions for us to answer and would say to me, "I know you know this," and then he'd call on me only if no one else answered. It was cool. Maybe I don't need to take this class... But he promised to cover chords and everything later, which I do need to review, so that will be good, and I know I can use practice sight-singing. And maybe he'll ask me to help out with the music in some way some Sunday.

Plus, it feels good. To be Most Musical again. Oh, and I stayed for choir practice...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sleeping Like a Baby

It's All a Blur: What does that mean, anyway? "Sleep like a baby." Neither of my girls had consistently peaceful sleep as babies. Pete suffered first from night terrors and then from actual nightmares. She also had many ear infections, for which the only indication she would give us that she was sick was that she wouldn't go to bed. Now she wanders around the house all un-awake (but she's not a baby anymore). Lulu just refused (and refuses) to go to sleep at night. I don't remember exactly what the problem was (probably because I've been in somewhat of a sleep-deprived fog for 3+ years), but I do remember having this conversation with her doctor several times at check-ups: Dr.: "Is she a good sleeper?" Me: "Oh no! She's a terrible sleeper!"

The End of an Era: One thing about sleeping babies: they take naps. Naps are nice, especially if you're not the one actually napping. They are times when another, not-napping person can get things done - showering, folding laundry, watching grown-up TV, blogging... Lulu, until recently, has always been a pretty good napper. Suddenly, though, she's all anti-nap! No way is she sleeping while the sun is so high in the sky. Oh, she'll pretend to rest until I close the door, but when I go in to check on her 10 or so minutes later, her big-girl bed will be empty, and she'll be sitting in her rocking chair or the big bear-shaped hamper thing we keep her animals in, not sleeping. And on the days she actually does sleep, getting her to go to bed on time or to stay in bed past 5:30 the next morning is pretty much impossible. So, executive decision, no more naps for Lulu. Except on special occasions.

So Far So Good: She gets really tired mid-afternoon, and had to be roused in the car on the way to Target after dinner last night so as not to spoil bedtime ("Don't you dare go to sleep, young lady!" said Mom, noticing that the weight of Lulu's eyelids had apparently become unbearable. "Giggle, giggle," said Lulu, pretending to sleep again. But it worked).

Night Vision Necessary: It's hard on me, though. I think I'm going to have to give up "All My Children" because I don't want her watching that crap with me, and Husbandguy doesn't like it enough to watch it with me after bedtime every night. I mean, he'll watch it, but through his eyelids, and I'd have to turn it way up to hear clearly over the snoring. That's probably for the best, come to think of it. But blogging? Showering? Folding laundry? *Sigh* Once upon a time I could do those things when the sun was high in the sky. Not barely breaking the horizon or on the other side of the earth...

The Importance of Family: If I scratch Pete's back, sometimes she'll let Lulu play near her for a while. That's what's going on right now. But Pete is 7 and prefers to be secluded, and also their Cooperative Play seems to frequently end in an emergency meeting about Peaceful Conflict Resolution. So not a perfect solution.

What's Next? With it being summer and us not signing anyone up for camp this year, I'm having a little trouble with the whole no-nap thing because I don't get any alone time. At all. Even those few minutes in the bathroom when alone time can usually be expected are often interrupted by knocking or barging-in or wails of, "MO-OM!" from the other room. Husbandguy has promised to take the girls to the park or the mall or whatever from time to time on the weekends, but so far he's always looked hurt when I've tried to get out of coming along. So that hasn't happened. Yet. I'll figure something out, though. I've got church, and I start a music class tomorrow night that is every other Wednesday for the next few weeks (3 classes), and that's just me. Also, Moomie has offered to take the girls overnight to her house, and I think that's going to happen during the week so I'll have a few hours to myself after they leave and before HG gets home.

Perspective: Two months from now I'll be getting all nostalgic and weepy because school will be looming and my special time alone with my girls will be nearly over. But then I'll have more time for you!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Happy Fathers Day, Grandpa! We love you!!!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Loving Vicariously

This little cutie lives with my friend Dawn. Dawn let me pick a name for her. I picked Cosette. Doesn't it suit her? Can't you see her singing "Castle on a Cloud"? She's not quite 3 weeks old now, and Dawn promised to send me more photos as she grows bigger and fluffier. See the tip of her tail? It's white. That just makes me melt.

I just had to share. Last year at this time we were seeking out Howie, and even though I still think surrendering him was the best thing for our family, I do miss having a furry little sweetie around.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Meatless Whether They Like It or Not

Last night for dinner we had "Southwest Fettuccine Bowl" which I found in my Betty Crocker vegetarian cookbook. I really like black beans so I loved it. And everyone else seemed to like it too. Except Lulu, who doesn't like much, really. Pete even expressed surprise that our meal was meatless and good. Me being a vegetarian is really a Great Big Adventure in Eating New Things for her. That's cool.

Husbandguy, who is the biggest resister to the whole vege-meal revolution but who would, frankly, benefit the most from it, said it was "fine." When I pressed ('cause that's what I do), he admitted that it tasted "good." I asked if he felt satisfied and he said, "I guess. I don't know." But when I asked if he felt like he had eaten a whole meal, he said that he did not feel like that. So I would say that he didn't feel satisfied. Wouldn't you? Then, as soon as the girls were in bed, he made himself a big bowl of my cereal, which I bought for me and which is healthy with fiber and organic things in it and which was on the shelf right next to the Froot-O's, which I bought for him and which has ick in it, and he finished the box. Of my cereal. And didn't put it on the shopping list.

This morning I cooked vege-sausages for the girls and me, and since they're 2 to a pack, I popped one in the nonstick frying pan for HG and toasted him a couple of leftover silver dollar pancakes, which I had in the freezer because I always make extra to freeze for easy breakfasts, and made him a little breakfast sandwich. He whined said this: "But I don't usually get hungry in the morning," and I said this: "That's because you don't usually eat breakfast, but you should. If you start eating a little breakfast, eventually you'll be hungry in the morning." So he took his little sandwich with him in the car, but he wasn't happy about it, and who knows what he did with it. He probably ate it...

Also, I packed his lunch today (cold salmon noodle salad, cherries & carrot sticks, and pretzels). Hopefully he'll eat that instead of going out for 4x as much fat and calories.

His doctor is concerned about his weight and cholesterol, and so am I, but he isn't. I don't want to force him to get healthy, but I make the menu and do the shopping and cooking so...

I've been resisting it for years, this transformation in to the Healthy Eating Tyrant, but I think it's happening. Guess we should all just get used to it.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Oh, Did I Mention?

The stink and fly problem in my kitchen (remember?) was caused by a deceased mouse (gross) behind the dishwasher. Husbandguy and his dad took it out the day before we had a houseful of guests here for Lulu's birthday party. Good thing, too, because HG's dad said it had maggots in it and so was probably on the verge of releasing a bundle of fresh mutant flies all over the birthday cake. Talk about a birthday to remember!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

What Do I Have to Do to Earn Your Love?

It took me a moment to decide why this sign in front of a nearby church creeped me out. The sign said, "Come visit us and we will love you." It's a nice message, I suppose, with a good intent, but it threw me, made me uncomfortable. Then I figured out that what really bothered me is how manipulative it could seem. Sort of like an abusive partner or a 7 year-old girl. I am sure the church doesn't mean to say, "We will withhold our love from you unless you visit," but there must be a better way to say what they're trying to say that can't be misinterpreted that way. Maybe even simply, "We love you. Come visit us." Who knows, though. Saying it that way might get under someone else's skin for some other reason...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I believe I've mentioned this before...

...but I just wanted to remind you to not get a chronic illness that requires you to take a "specialty medication" that costs thousands of dollars and requires "specialty coverage" unless you're way more patient and way less reactive than I am (which isn't hard to accomplish, but still...). I'm just saying.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

LL Says:

Last night at dinner, Lulu was chatting up the older couple at the table next to ours. I only half listened to what she was saying once HG and I determined that she wasn't bothering them. But I did tune in when I heard this:

Man: "Are you going to be a ballerina when you grow up?"
LL: "Yes! When I grow up I'm going to be all the rage!"

Friday, June 5, 2009

What's Up?!

Husbandguy should really learn to ask from time to random time what I'm up to. Here's what it is. Some of it he might want to know.

First, today I entered this.
Also, I am in love with this.
I am thinking about baking this.
I bought this.

There is probably more, but I can't think of it right now. If the links don't work, let me know. And don't worry, being in love with something isn't the same as acquiring that sweet, tiny, fuzzy, adorable thing.

Monday, June 1, 2009

There was this movie on the other day about mutant flies that swarm people and bite them and then they die and make more flies

Three weeks ago there was a terrible smell in my kitchen. I checked my onions and potatoes and refrigerator and ran the dishwasher and the disposal and looked everywhere for whatever I had neglected that caused this problem. It was very stinky. Husbandguy even noticed it and he has a limited sense of smell (which is probably actually an average sense of smell but which seems limited when compared to Pete's and my Super Sniffers which we inherited from Moomie). We eventually decided that the smell was coming from behind the dishwasher, but HG couldn't get it out of the counter by himself and promised that he would have his dad help him after they put in the new range and micorwave. The range and micorwave took them all day to do, though, and the smell problem was neglected. It had gotten less stinky and HG couldn't smell it anymore and probably thought it was all better. It wasn't all better, but it was less noticeable, sometimes even I didn't smell it. It's lazy, I know, and gross to leave it, but give me a break, okay?

The thing is, though, that yesterday we started getting these GIANT FLIES in our kitchen and all I can think is that they've come from whatever was making the smell. Oh it's terrible. On the plus side, they're attracted to the windows so are easy to find and they're slow so are easy to suck up with the vacuum hose and HG's dad is coming next weekend and now HG is committed to finding the problem.

I'm a little concerned that what they'll find is our poor kitty who disappeared last fall (click here to read about that). Please keep your fingers crossed that they don't.

If we were to call a professional to help us with this. who would we call? A bug guy? Some kind of contractor? Does anyone know?
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