Friday, January 29, 2010

AND it was 19 degrees today

I started the car this morning and realized my car had no gas. None, zero, zip. The gas light was already on, and although I was running late, there was no way I could make it to Gabe's school before I stopped at a gas station.

We have to travel on a very busy road to get to Gabe's school, I'd call it almost a state highway- 4 lanes, very busy, no traffic lights, exit on and off ramps. Anyway, there is a gas station on the side of this road, so I pulled in, opened the door to get out and WHOOSH! A huge gust of wind came into the car, and grabbed every piece of paper in the vicinity, including a stack of checks I'd grabbed from the house to deposit at the bank.

A stack of checks.

Blowing in the wind.

So at 9am, you might have seen me running across this almost state highway, chasing down each of the checks as they blew all over the place and I attempted to stomp them down before we lost them forever. It crossed my mind several times that I was about to die over a $10 check, but I couldn't fathom having to call Josh's great aunt Helga to tell her I'd lost her check on the highway and now she'd have to stop payment, pay a fee, and reissue us Josie's birthday check.

So I kept right on running.

The road is so busy, I was literally standing in the ditch on the side, trying to keep track of the blowing checks until there was a gap in the traffic and then I'd dash around trying to stop the papers from blowing another 20 feet away.

I was near tears by the time I got back to the car where I'd left the kids sitting alone at the pump. But I succeeded, I'd only lost one check and that one came from our insurance company and I felt confident I could ask them to reissue it.

Later that day, I stopped by the bank to get those infernal checks out of my hands and I decided to open a savings account for Josie so we'd have a place to throw in great aunt Helga's $10 birthday check. It took forever (50+minutes) and I left with a folder full of all her account information. We walked out the door and I rested the folder on top of her stroller for a moment so I could adjust her hat, and WOULD YOU BELIEVE the folder blew away.

I spent another 5 minutes chasing down that paperwork in the bank's driveway and bushes.

Apparently, old dogs and 31 year old women cannot learn new tricks.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

dearly departed

A moment of silence, please, for my patience.

It seems to have lost its life somewhere on the battlefields of 2009 and has not yet been glimpsed in 2010.

I'm hoping it will reappear at some point before Gabe turns 4. Hopefully.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

calling the electrician tomorrow


You know what I'm talking about. Those days. The days when you look at the clock and count down the number of hours to bedtime (at 9:15am). The days when you guesstimate how much your kids would go for on Ebay. The days when you think about revising your resume to go back to work so you don't have to listen to one more tantrum.

After a hellish day of another ear infection for Josie and 10,000 moments of noncooperation from Gabe, we were upstairs playing for a bit when Gabe started screaming hysterically from the side of his bed. I rushed over and the smell of something burning hit me right away, and he wouldn't stop screaming that his fingers had been burnt. I teased the answer out of him, and it turns out he'd pulled out his lamp plug halfway, and then touched the metal prongs with his fingers. HIS FINGERS. That was the burning smell.

I comforted him and then patiently explained why we never ever EVER touch the electrical outlet or the plugs or anything like that because they are so so so dangerous. I thought we were clear on the concept, and I figured the shock he'd received was enough to dissuade him from doing it again. Anyway, I sat back down and kept playing and then turned around to see him PULLING THE PLUG OUT TO DO IT AGAIN.

I. lost. it. Seriously. I screamed so much I think the neighbors must have heard me. I smacked his hands 5 times because the fear that rose up in my throat, that clenched my stomach and made my head swim was too much. I didn't know what to do to make him understand that he could never ever EVER do that again. To make him understand how dangerous the electrical outlets could be.

What can you do, though (besides this)? How can you possibly make a just barely 3 year old comprehend something so scary and dangerous? Still now, hours later, remembering the moment I saw him reaching his little hands out to touch the prongs again, and I can hear the terror pounding in my ears. I need tips, folks. How do you make your kids listen? Especially those kids (and I'm hoping someone besides me has one) that appears to listen, nods along, repeats what you said, looks you in the eye and agrees, and then 2 flipping seconds later is doing it again. And again. And again.

Please let tomorrow be better.

Monday, January 18, 2010

the silent scream

Remember my hunt for a parking garage for Gabe? Well, I made a selection and so far it is a winner.

Of all the toys we got this year, this has been the most used toy by far (except for the bike Gabe's grandparents got him). Gabe has spent hours playing quietly with the cars, running them up and down the ramps and elevator and having pretend conversations between the cars and his mechanics and gas station attendants. All of his conversations prominently feature a 'Tiffany', and we realize he has a little crush on my college roommate.

The garage is sturdy, wooden, large, has tons of features and levels and is a great toy. I will say it took me FOREVER to put together, about an hour and 45 minutes, and required 3 different screwdrivers before I could complete it. That being said, it is very solid and can withstand a 3 year old's rough playings and a 1 year old leaning on it and pulling it over on top of her.

There is one little problem...


Friday, January 15, 2010


I've never really understood the whole celebrity crush thing. I love movies and television and have my favorite celebrities, but there's never been a particular actor or actress that has drawn my attention enough to make me want to seek them out or watch them more often.

Until now.

Come to mama.

Oh, and also. Hello hottie bo bottie.

This may quite a bit to do with why Criminal Minds and Vampire Diaries are my two favorite shows. Yummy.

I think I'm in love.

If things ever don't work out with Josh, at least I have my options.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

dry dry dry

How exactly do you train your kid to stay dry at nighttime?

I'm at a total loss on this one because Gabe is completely, absolutely, utterly drenched every morning when I get him up from bed. We can't even use regular pull-ups, we have to buy the ultra-super-strength night diapers to keep him from leaking through. He has been day trained very consistently for about 8 months, though, so I feel like we should be ready to follow through at night.

I have been reading the books or online articles about how to night train, but the prevalent theme is that you just have to deal with them wetting the bed on average of TWICE PER WEEK until they are trained, and people, I can't. I simply cannot deal with changing his sheets twice per week, so we're going to have to come up with an alternative solution.

I haven't yet cut out all liquids after dinner because he begs and pleads and tells us he is dying of thirst and I feel so guilty I let him have more water, but I guess I should start here. But then what? Help!

Monday, January 11, 2010

desperately random thoughts

1. Am sick. Again. Caught a nasty virus from the kiddos and have been gooping my way through the last couple days with tissues and a bad attitude. Gabe appears to be healthy, thankfully, and Josie is slowly recuperating, although we're still up a few times per night and she is still exceedingly cranky. You know what would help? If I went to bed before midnight once in a while.

2. Was invited to a weekend away to St. John (!!I KNOW!!) by my college roommate who would pay for the hotel room and I'd only have to pitch in for my ticket. The idea of lying on a warm beach with a pina colada is enough to bring tears to my eyes, but it won't be able to happen for a number of reasons including my daughter's reluctance to take a bottle and our lack of funds. Still, I selfishly explored the possibility because HELLO, I would love a few days of relaxation. Anyway, when I told my mom about the invitation, she rather vehemently responded that, "A mother does NOT leave her children. Don't be ridiculous. When Josie is 16 you'll be sorry you ever thought about leaving her." What? Am I the only one who thinks that is a crazy comment?

3. Have discovered the show Criminal Minds and now want to become a profiler for the FBI. I am totally convinced I'd be awesome at this job, and except for having no idea how one becomes a profiler and not wanting to put myself in danger on a daily basis, would totally do it.

4. When Josh came into this marriage he folded his shirts very narrow, maybe 5 inches wide or so. I came into this marriage folding shirts very wide, maybe 12 inches or so. I have slowly converted him to my folding method over the years, but this results in problems when our mothers offer to help us with laundry because his mother folds our shirts 4 inches wide and mine folds out shirts 16 inches wide. I don't want to seem ungrateful, so I don't correct anyone, but it is annoying. Are we the only ones who have this problem?

5. Speaking of mothers, I was complaining to a decidedly nunnish friend about an incident years ago wherein my mother in law insisted on opening Josh's top nightstand drawer in search of batteries. I kept yelling at her NOT to open the drawer because, well, we keep condoms and sex, um, paraphernalia, in there, but she did it anyway and then quickly shut it again when she realized there were, indeed, no batteries in there. My friend expressed appropriate outrage on my behalf and then said, "Doesn't she know you never look in someone's top nightstand drawer? I mean, everyone keeps their vibrator in there." And then I almost died because I could never, never, ever, ever, amen, imagine this friend to have a vibrator. If it weren't for the fact that she has a child, I'd swear she was a virgin.

6. Am feeling much better about the whole moving thing, probably because I visited our new library for the first time and it is Gorgeous, with a capital G, and I was remembered at our neighborhood convenience store and greeted by name. Also, a neighbor invited me over for coffee and chocolate croissants and another brought over a bottle of wine. I could get used to this, I think.
(I also am not underestimating the power of saying (or writing) my feelings out loud and addressing them. I greatly appreciate all your advice and sympathy. I know that these days, we are incredibly lucky and I should count myself blessed.)

7. Fought with dry cleaners today because they ruined my nursery rocking chair slipcover, and after a bit of arguing and standing my ground, convinced them to pay the $300 it would cost to replace the slipcover. My hands were actually shaking because I was so stressed that they would refuse to pay the money and I'd be left without a slipcover. It reminded me once again of the question of WHY I would have chosen to go to law school when I so adamantly hate confrontation. It may end up being the great question of my life. I'm feeling very proud of myself tonight, though.

8. Any great book recommendations? I finally (after being begged by Josh) read The Hobbit (from The Lord of the Rings series) and was pleasantly surprised, although I think I'll take a break before I continue the series. I just started Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and wow. Weird. Interesting, but very very weird.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

mars and venus, or maybe planet clueless

Conversation that just took place-

Josh: I need to run to Home Depot to pick up some stuff for that light socket that exploded (!!) in the guest bedroom.

Halloweenlover: Okay, but not tonight please. I need you to come home to deal with the demon spawn.

Josh: That's fine, although do you want to just go to Home Depot instead?

Halloweenlover: What?

Josh: Well, it's easy, I can tell you what to get if you want to go instead.

Halloweenlover: (flummoxed) With the two kids? Why would I want to go to Home Depot?

Josh: I meant if you thought it could be a fun outing, you know, to go with the kids.

Halloweenlover: .......

Josh: I thought maybe you would like to take them to Home Depot, I can tell you exactly what to get. Wouldn't it be fun?

Halloweenlover: ....... Umm, nooooo, but thanks anyway.



More importantly, is my husband the only one who is this clueless?

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

sickness ahoy!

Back on the illness bandwagon.

I guess hoping for a healthy 2010 was too much to ask quite yet, so this morning featured an emergency trip to the pediatrician for another diagnosis of ear infection.


Last night I slipped on a friend's driveway while carrying Josie's car seat (with her in it) and both she and I BAILED on the patch of ice. I landed on my side and dropped the car seat in the process, so she hit the ground and I did nothing to break my fall. It was a terrific moment. Truthfully, though, I didn't think much of it. I was pretty sore, but she didn't cry and didn't seem particularly stunned or hurt by the whole thing, so we got in the car and came home.

About 45 minutes later, right around bedtime, the crying started. Hers, not mine. And the crying continued, throughout the night, despite repeated nursings (yes, we're still nursing, which is a whole other HOLY SMOKES post), infant Tylenol, rocking, walking, shushing, sleeping in our bed, stern warnings from Josh, and many, many, many attempts to get her to settle down. Nothing was working, and all of a sudden, at 2:47am, it occurred to me that all of this could be related to the fall and I promptly had a nervous breakdown.

We called the pediatrician, at 2:50am, and had a long conversation about whether to take her straight to the emergency room or to watch her until morning and then bring her in for an appointment. She finally calmed down sometime after 3am and we opted to wait for the morning.

Thankfully, the culprit was the ear infection, not some kind of head injury, which is what we were all nervous about. The pediatrician, prince that he is, didn't even bat an eyelash at the 3am phone call.

We're all a little frustrated by these repeat ear infections, though, and although I do not, repeat, do NOT, want tubes, I've asked a few times already about whether we need to see an ear, nose, and throat specialist. The answer every time has been that she isn't a candidate for tubes because her ear infections resolve fairly easily, except for one time that required three rounds of antibiotics.

So my question is, do you have experience with this? Should I push for an ENT referral? Do you think she's fine? This is her fifth ear infection since birth, fourth since October. Her hearing seems good, she has buckets of words (about 15, I'd guess), she always seems fine after the first day of antibiotics, but she did nosedive off of her growth curve at her one year appointment. Up until this latest appointment she was in the 75th percentile for weight and last week she was in the 20th percentile. 20th! I know this is due to her lack of eating whenever she is sick or on antibiotics, which has been about nine weeks out of the last three months.

Another sigh.

Words of advice, please. Should I be pleased with the fact that two pediatricians in her practice think she is not a candidate for a referral to a specialist? Or am I wrong to trust in their expertise?

Sunday, January 03, 2010

101 things (recapped)

My precursor post to starting my Happiness Project.

I read through these today, and I'm happy to report that almost all of them are still true. And thank GOODNESS, #100 didn't come true. Nothing makes me happier than these my two little monsters, that is for sure.

Friday, January 01, 2010

happy new year!

I went out! On New Year's Eve! Without children! It was cuh-razy!

My parents were supposed to leave at 2pm on December 31st, and about 2 hours before their scheduled departure a snowstorm arrived. They checked in for their flight, went through security, got to the gate and called to tell me their flight was delayed. Then they were going to miss their connection, then they were being rescheduled, then they were going to stay until January 1st instead. Gabe and I spent 4 hours in the airport waiting for them to let us know what was happening, since we didn't want to head home just to have to turn around and pick them up.

I was thrilled, though, because an extra day with my parents is an extra day! Even if we did have to spend hours in the airport and do it all again the next day. It was worth it. So like any good daughter would do, I took advantage and ditched them so Josh and I could go out. Ok, not really, my mom actually insisted because she was thrilled with the idea that we'd be able to go out and enjoy a night on the town.

We first took the kids and my parents to one of those Japanese restaurants where they cook everything at your table (highly recommended for the toddler and baby crowd- they loved it), then we came home and did a mini-celebration, and once we'd gotten the little monsters into bed, we headed out.

To a club! With dancing! And champagne! And appetizers! And NO CHILDREN! I called our only childless friends and basically invited ourselves along to their plans. We ate, we drank, we danced, and then we went out for pancakes at 1am. It was awesome, and totally unlike us. We felt very young and unencumbered.

Now I need to sit down and think about what I'd like to include in my Happiness Project, which I'm going to attempt for 2010. I figure I'll keep notes on my progress here to keep myself honest. January is going to be devoted to organization and cleaning and coming up with a system to get this house less chaotic. We still have loads of boxes and pictures piled all over the place, and lots of drawers and closets still need some major help. We'll see how it goes.

I'm also crossing all fingers and toes for a healthier 2010! Down with sickness! Health ahead! Happy new year to all of you! I hope your year is happy, healthy, and full of fun!