One More Mommy

Thoughts of a mom and her husband, son, daughter, pets, friends, job (or lack thereof), house, family, trying to be more ecologically aware...

Friday, April 28, 2006

Long Week

As you have no doubt gathered from the few sad little stories I've posted this week, this has been a long frickin' week. Did I mention two dentist appointments? And that Luke woke at 1:30 AM covered in poop? And then at 4:30 AM because he just wanted to be held? Or that I dropped my work badge into the toilet on Tuesday?

ANYWHO, I want to the bathroom to see a man about a horse, and I noticed my boss' planner on the counter, which meant that she was utilizing the facilities as well. I debated about going back to my desk, but figured she was in the area to see me so I might as well take care of bidness.

I went into a stall and started unbuttoning my shirt. I am not George Costanza, so typically I'm not removing my shirt to fully relax, but it's a testimony to how out of it I am.

After a good handwashing, I headed back to my office where my boss awaited me. I don't remember the impetus (because I am brain dead) but I said something about it being a long week.

"Huh!" She scoffed... SCOFFED... "YOU think it's been a long week!?"

And then I swung my keyboard over my head like a mace and clobbered her.


Warning: This is very gross.

Luke has moved on from the limp and lifeless state of his illness to the screamingly discontent stage. We found out Thursday that on top of whatever virus he had to make him vomit, he had an ear infection, and don't forget those molars coming in. In one week. No wonder he's pissed.

Nothing makes him happy for long. He wants to be up, or down, or out, or in. He wants to play with his blocks or sleep or ride his scooter. Essentially, I think he wants to not feel like crap.

The doctor warned that after the vomiting comes the diarrhea. And they were right. He's had four explosive and near pure liquid poops in the last two days. Three weren't too bad - we caught them early, before they spread. But last night, at about 1:30 AM, he began to scream. I thought his Motrin had worn off. And then I opened the door.

I'll spare the details, but let's say it was a two person effort, everything went in the wash, and no matter how much I love my son if his life's not in danger, I'm not hugging him when he's covered in poop.

As I rocked Luke back to sleep, which actually took no time at all once he was cleaned up, I thought again about single parents and how they take care of events like this in the night. How much more difficult it would be if we weren't able to divide and conquer.

And then I thought about people who don't have washing machines in their homes, who have to rinse and wash in their sinks to get rid of the stench.

And finally, I thought that this was the biggest argument AGAINST co-sleeping and the family bed that I could possibly come up with, because once Luke was back in his crib, zonked out, I could crawl into my completely poop-free bed.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

End of the Streak

It was a great streak, it really was. Luke had never gotten really sick. One day last August I had to stay home with him but he was better the next day.

It ended on Monday when he refused all food and juice, took a few sips of milk, and vomited all over his high chair tray. He vomited once more in the morning - getting rid of every last bit of milk, and was the weakest, saddest little baby you ever saw for the rest of the morning.

I talked to the doctor and they advised me of proper hydration procedures "an ounce of pedialyte every 15 minutes for an hour" and then I found out that they're full of crap because I could hardly get fluids in him. He napped and woke up at 1. He was hungry! Yay! So he had crackers and water and even mustered up a smile for me once.

Then he threw up everything he had taken in about 2 or so. Back to square one.

Tuesday was one of my hardest days as a mother, because I had to come to work, and Esposo stayed home. I called him hourly. Or more than hourly. By yesterday afternoon when I got home, Luke gave me a smile and was eating animal crackers. I got him to eat a little chicken last night.

This morning he was still weak, but he's eaten 10-12 animal crackers apparently and chugged a good amount of pedialyte/water mix.

It's been a stressful few days. I've dropped a lot of things - like management of the moms group and work meetings. The house is a mess and we're having a party of Saturday. But mostly my mind has been consumed with LUKE IS SICK in neon, flashing, 80 foot high letters in my head. It obscured everything else, from what anyone I knew was doing to what I needed to do (return library books, cash checks, bring money to work for lunch). I'm coming out of that now, bleary eyed and confused.

Thursday, April 20, 2006


A statement that undoubtedly makes many people gasp and generally act appalled and annoying (to me): I'm not much into music.

I say this because there is this contest going on and everyone's got an opinion. It's a commercial thing, all about the money, not about the music, the detractors claim. But everyone gets to have an opinion and discuss who they think is the best singer! Because everyone is qualified to do that, right? It's opinions anyway.

I don't like the commercial aspect of American Idol, but more than that, I don't like the singing aspect of it. Now, I'm pretty tone deaf, so that could explain a lot. Add to it that I don't really care about music and I'm pretty well set. All I want to see is people being dumb because they think they can sing at the beginning of the show. Because stupid people are here for my amusement. (And I have been stupid for other's amusement in the past, it's a big circle o' fun).

But when it comes to finding new bands and seeing shows and contemplating the skill of musicians. Oh crap, is there something on the radio I can sing along with on the way home. Which tends to be country, because being tone deaf AND slightly hearing impaired, I have NO CLUE what a lot of songs say. I understand country. Easier to sing along to. Plus, they're less youth-angsty and Youth Angst gets on my nerves now that I'm over it.

What's funny, is how much Esposo is into music. And the cataloguing and new bands and little shows and now, with the blog analysis of bands? UGH, those entries are BORING! blah blah blah.

Bring on the stupid people already.


We're at the stage of our lives where everyone we know is in some 'stage' of their life that's a transition point. The only comparable time I can think of is when we all went off to college, but that was different because we all went through the SAME transition.

The Podiatrist (after getting married last month) has bought a house. Yay! My mother and Esposo's brother are moving. Esposo's sister started a new job earlier this year, and his other brother is expecting a baby. My brother starts his new job in June or July. There are seven other weddings, at least nine other babies, a couple graduations, and I can't even think about who's moved where.

Given the number of people we know (which isn't a tremendously high number, but substantial enough) it's a guarantee that someone's always going to have some major event going on. I don't know what it is about THIS year that's making it a major year for everyone in some way, but it is.

Good luck to 'em all!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


13 days until Esposo takes his last final and is therefore done done done with school even though he doesn't technically 'graduate' for 17 days.

26 days until Esposo starts work at LAF(Large Accounting Firm) if he doesn't get a muy better offer from InsureCo.

72 days until I theoretically work my last day.

'Nother Movie

Big Shoes to Fill

Luke decided to put his little feet in Daddy's shoes... sorry it's sideways, tilt your head right.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Achieving Balance

We continued the clean out effort this weekend in the garage, moving things like the pre-lit Christmas tree we bought on clearance this year to the basement and things like the yellow metal cabinet left behind because it was crap that had to be taped shut to the curb. They also left us a cabinet that had been run into with a car, thank you so much. Gah. The leaving of crap in houses and places that you are moving from is a long-standing tradition that I do not adhere to. When I move out, I clear everything out, even if it involves sneaking garbage into the dumpster behind the convenience store because no one wants to move into a new place with the previous person's garbage. However, the stuffed bird we inherited when we moved into one house in my childhood was treasured for days.

We accumulated a good sized pile of items that are going to be sent to the Vietnam Veterans (they happened to call first, we will leave our stuff for whichever charity phones) and thus removed from our garage. This will leave the garage in a mostly usable state, which is key because we are inviting a good sized number of people over for the festival of Arbor Day. (The pageantry alone makes it worth celebrating.) The garage will hopefully be the main locale for the standing and drinking because it is well known that when people begin articulating with full drinks in their hands that the liquid within the vessel begins to slosh about.

Crap removal is a key component of life, because crap sneaks up on you and insinuates itself into your life. But you can't clear out too much crap because then your home is bleak and lifeless. So the crap must be balanced. Sometimes I have difficulty balancing the crap, and things that I wouldn't necessarily consider crap get downgraded to crap because other things usurp them.

Yesterday I received a package from my first cousin, who is perhaps 10 years older than I. It contained books that my father gave him when he went off to college, one of those being the Handbook of Chemisty and Physics from 1953-1954. Thirty fifth edition. Stamped on the first page of that book is "From the Library of (my grandfather's name)". At work I have the Handbook of Chemistry and Physics from 1969-1970, the 50th edition. Written on the cover, in fading gold marking, is my father's name.

A quick search on eBay tells me that neither book is worth money, though a 1953 edition (same as I have) is listed with the description "packed full of great info great for the collector or the fan"... Fan? Of Chemistry? Out of date chemistry? For those of you not in the High Society of Chemical Nerdiness, the Periodic Table of the Elements (remember that?) is not a static thing. Since 1954, 18 more elements have been added to the list. So the 1953-54 book is indeed out of date.

But to me, the books are not crap. They're connections, however flimsy and tenuous, to people I didn't know at all or very well. They mean that I am the third generation who studied chemistry, without knowing it at the time (I chose my major in college well before I knew that my father and grandfather studied chemistry), so maybe I know them a little bit after all.

But the wood and iron wall hanging candle holders? Crap.

Happy Great Earthquake!

Today is the hundreth anniversary of the Great Earthquake that hit San Francisco. In 1906, in case you're really not with it (See, 2006 - 100 = 1906). It was a huge natural disaster, I think the biggest natural disaster ever in the US, if my vague memory of the articles I read about 20 minutes ago serves. It killed between 3000 and 6000 people.

So they're celebrating. Naturally. And they started this how? By setting off sirens in the city at 5:12 AM, when the earthquake started. Man, would I be pissed. Then they got the survivors together. Who are all, obviously, very freakin' old. Do you think you'll be a cranky old person who can finally just say everything on their mind or a happy sweet old person who just lets it all slide off because it isn't worth it?

Anyway, it seems like an odd thing to plan a big celebration around, the near destruction of your city. And it got me to thinking about our own local disaster, the Great Fire. This is the 135th anniversary of the Great Fire in Chicago this year (Again, for the math impaired, this means that the fire happened in 1871) on October 8th.

Whaddya say, Daley-boy? Party time?


I heard a rumor (and I will continue to call it a rumor because I wasn't there) about an 18 month old asking to use the potty. Now, of all things moms compare kids on - and we do even if we're consciously trying NOT to, because no matter what you want your kid to be the best, though 'the best' varies from person to person - potty training is one of the most pointless. Kids potty train when they're ready, and like walking, which is normal from 9 - 18 months, a huge range, potty training has a wide swath of 'normal'.

I don't know if I'm actually looking forward to potty training, because the diaper is supremely convenient. Long car ride? Pee in your pants. See, that would be convenient even for me, because there have been times I've had to pee so bad I was in pain on long car rides. Potty training involves frequent trips to the bathroom and constant asking of "Do you hafta go potty?" when your child starts grabbing at their crotch. And Luke? Has recently found out that HEY! There's STUFF to grab down there! My nephew has a particularly strong case of Crotch-grab-i-titis and must constantly be reminded to remove his hands from Willie and his two friends.

I don't think that we'll be presented with the potty training dilemma anytime this year, though, as Luke is particularly unconcerned with the state of his diaper. He gleefully went down the slide numerous times yesterday after... well, you know, doing something that in an older individual would cause you to question the wiseness of sitting down and sliiiiiiding.

Last night we readied him for bed by stripping his clothes off and he began grabbing at his diaper. I thought, Perchance (yeah, PERCHANCE, okay!) his diaper is wet and he wants a fresh one! and I took off his diaper, only to find that it was dry while Luke demonstrated that the reason he wanted it removed was so that he could see how his little friends were doing.

Monday, April 17, 2006


I take issues with Mensa. In case you were not aware, Mensa is a society for the top 2% of society, intelligence wise. You have to pass some IQ test to get in. They do, apparently, have the following goals:

"To identify and foster human intelligence for the benefit of humanity, to encourage research in the nature, characteristics and uses of intelligence, and to promote stimulating intellectual and social opportunities for its members."

But really, I think you have to be some kind of an asshole to join Mensa. It's like honor societies that you are 'invited' to join because your GPA is high enough. You don't actually do anything with the group, it's just added to your resume.

And joining Mensa doesn't mean you actually DO anything with your so-called intelligence, just that you have some innate talent. And undeveloped talent is just an asshole waiting to happen. It's like those people who can sort of sing so they try out for American Idol, but if they've never taken lessons or praticed, dude, you just suck.

So, anyway, Mensa, not cool. I mentioned this at a gathering with some high school people, at which point the girl whom I do not like and obviously does not like me, read subtext into my statement of "It's not that hard to get into Mensa." - as in I was so smart, la la la, whereas I was thinking, shit, they'd take me? This was shortly after I discovered the requirements for Mensa and found out that their goals are dumb.

Which are really a lot like my college chemical fraternity's goals, but we were SPECIFIC about it being about Chemistry, and that's SO much better. I attempted to explain the chemistry fraternity this weekend and you know? It gets harder and harder as we get older, because what the? Chemistry? Fraternity? Um, aren't you a girl?

And I just say "Kegs! We had kegs!"


Okay, so I'm not so good with traditions. We did not make it to church on Sunday. My mother called at 7 saying she had lost power (while in the shower. Nothing is more freaky than the lights going off in the unwindowed bathroom while you are nekkid and wet) and she couldn't do her hair or put on her make up so she wasn't coming up. My mother always does her hair and makeup, which is probably why I never do. I'm sure there's a mathematical correlation there. She also always had perfect nails when we were children.

Luke had slept until SIX FORTY on Sunday morning, so we were slow, and happy, and decided instead to sit in the living room sending Luke on 'Easter Egg Hunts'. With a fourteen month old this was basically throwing the Easter Eggs into the middle of the floor and he would pick them up and bring them back to us. He kept trying to pick up AS MANY AS POSSIBLE in one trip, and with his stubby little arms, he could hold three but not four. Which meant he was constantly trying to hold four until he got frustrated and handed us the three he could hold and went back to pick up others.

We then went to my MIL's house, where Luke gorged on Peeps and M&M's. Luke was the only child - there were two pregnant women and twelve adults total but with just one kid, it was relaxed. So we ripped apart the Peeps to feed him bit by bit because yellow sugary drool isn't all that appealing, and when you rip apart Peeps? There's sticky marshmallow inside. And a small child looking expectantly at you with his mouth open... so naturally I began sticking the Peep parts to his nose and forehead. My SIL commented that children aren't for our amusement! And the Peep-part-sticking was MEAN!

And Esposo and I both heartily agreed that she was wrong and children are indeed for our amusement because if they weren't then there is NO POINT to having them, except for chores and Luke can't push the lawnmower yet.

Friday, April 14, 2006

He's Getting Rocks

It occurs to me that Sunday is Easter and that there are a lot of child-centric Easter activities that generally take place. My mom's group offered up a water easter egg hunt, an egg hunt at a park district, and an egg hunt at an ice cream place. We went to none of them, because all Luke would do is run around and scream, and possibly eat the green plastic grass. Yesterday a box arrived for Lucas, because nothing arrives at our house that isn't for him in one way or another, even when I order things online for myself, there's always a few things thrown in for him.

The box that arrived contained an Easter Egg with doors and windows and chicks that my mother bought him. I didn't give it to him and say "Look what Mommy got you!" and I consider that tremendous restraint on my part, because I haven't done anything in relation to Easter traditions. And right now I'm not even sure if we're going to make it to church, you know, the whole friggin' point of this holiday?, this weekend.

There are no Easter baskets or hard boiled eggs in my house. I think I actually do have a basket and some decorations in the basement, which I have purchased - on clearance of course - in the past with the intent that I will wander into the beautifully organized "Decorations Closet" at somepoint in the future and pull out the exactingly labeled "Easter" box to decorate the house. Of course, the closet and boxes don't exist, so the house is not decorated and Luke will grow up highly deprived with a mother who only takes him to the park every day and walks with him around the block and whispers into his head as he drifts off at night.

I know what really matters about being a mother and all, and no matter what I do, my kid will wish something different of me at some point. He will wish his mother were more stylish, or thinner, or craftier, or whatever -er he is taken with at the moment. I can only hope that at the end of childhood, which is theoretically around age 18-20, he will look at me and love his childhood because it was a reflection of me and him (and Esposo and other children as they may exist) together.

His mom may not be the one to hide 30 perfectly colored eggs through the house and backyard, but she might be the type to dye his bathwater red (Redrum! Redrum!), pull him out of school on a particularly sunny early spring day, and let him have whatever pet he wants even though she knows she'll end up taking care of it. Except for snakes.


Apparently David Blaine is doing a new stunt in which he lives in an aquarium for seven days and then at the end, tries to hold his breath for nine minutes. Let's do a quick review of his other amazing feats: Balancing on a platform for 35 hours, being encased in ice for 61 hours, and fasting in a clear box for 44 days.

Our society is stupid. I can only presume that there are people who care about these things, and find it interesting to gawk at a moron screwing around, but the only way I even pay attention is a) I'm bored at work and it's a feature Yahoo! story or b) if I happened to be in the town he was doing his stupid thing in and it wasn't an out of the way walk, I'd go take a look, because what the hell, if I'm THERE.

Someone is obviously funding him to do stupid things, though, and I imagine he's being funded well. The guy just creeps me out, and the stunts remind me of adolescent dares. The street magic thing he did was kind of cool, but in general, David Blaine's vapid expression is disturbing. And that goes for the magician du jour of my youth, too - the guy who made the Statue of Liberty disappear. Crap, I remember sitting down to watch that TV special (and being pretty bored - they spent a lot of time on dramatic shots of helicopters around the Statue)...

Ah, I can not remember the 80's and 90's creepy magician dude, help me out here.

Maybe Luke will grow up to be the 20's creepy magician dude! I should start training him now...

Ask the Stupid Question

I really like Luke's daycare. The women (and one man) who work there are very friendly and eager to tell me about Luke's days. What he did, silly stories, he was crabby, it's often a bit of a struggle to just get out the door, they're so talkative. Luke is in the Infant Room and is usually playing when I come to get him. I always peek in first, and he's usually happy, in fact, I can't remember a time when he was crying when I picked him up. But when he sees me, he runs for his coat and we're out the door.

However, the Infant Room doesn't have a set sleeping schedule and Luke doesn't get good sleep in that room. I'm sure some baby or another is always up and Luke is a light sleeper. A few weeks ago he took his nap in the Toddler Room, and he slept longer. In that room everyone naps at the same time, and the lights are dimmed and there's soft music playing - much better for a kid who wakes easily.

Yesterday I called daycare in the morning and requested that he start taking his naps in the Toddler Room every day, because he's been in such a foul mood when we got home.

When I went pick Luke up yesterday, I popped my head in the Infant Room and they told me that he was outside with the toddlers. They also told me excitedly that 'He fed himself at lunch!'


Apparently in the Infant Room Luke will not feed himself. He sits there and whines until they FEED HIM. I was shocked by this because at home Luke does not get fed until it is particularly gooey - like pudding, say. So to find out that they've had to feed him all this time was pretty amazing.

I headed outside where Luke was rocking on a toy, and when he saw me he smiled, but didn't stop rocking. Heck, this was too much fun. I talked to him awhile, not wanting to rush him out the door, and the toddler room woman went on and on about how wonderful he was for her today, with the eating and the playing, and the mostly staying on his cot at naptime. It sounds to me like he needs to be in the bigger room because the infant room is boring him, but state laws require a certain teacher/child ratio above and below 15 months.

And really, they need to stop feeding him.

Thursday, April 13, 2006


Immigration reform protests are taking place all over the country, and according to one article I read, students are being suspended for skipping school to attend protests.

How moronic is that? These are children, adolescents, who are actually paying attention to the fact that there is a world beyond Britney Spears and The OC, and exercising their rights (whether they be legal immigrants or illegal) to peacably protest. Holy crap, people, this is what we call a teachable moment!

For those of you not hip to the parenting jive, teachable moments are those instances that present themselves as a way to get your message across in more than just words. It's a moment where everything comes together and your kid can think "Wow, that's what she means!".

And is one day of school really so important that a child should miss being a active participant in the world? What if the (people who protested in the 50's and 60's - what are they called, I was going to say "racial protestors" but that's not right), what if they deemed that work or school was more important than sit ins? If they let their voices be silenced because a day could not be missed?

If any kid needs a note to attend a protest, I'll write him a note:
__________ will not be attending school today. (S)he will instead be getting a lesson on America.

My House is a Mess

There's a laundry basket full of clean clothes in my bedroom that needs to be folded and put away. Our bedroom chair is covered with folded clothes that need to find their way into my closet, Luke's dirty clothes are scattered throughout the house.

The family room floor needs a good vacuuming, and the kitchen counters are filled with junk and junk mail (which for some reason, I am the only one capable of doing anything with), all the counters need to be cleaned and the floor needs to be washed.

So last night I pressure washed the patio. Makes sense, right?

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Live Webcast - The HPLC Front-End: More Than Just an Inlet

It sounds so dirty.

Fun With Toddlers

Now, parenting is difficult and the most rewarding thing ever, blah blah blah. But the day to day can really get routine and your kids will present innummerable opportunities to screw with their heads. Even at 14 months, Luke is providing us with these opportunities.

The other day I brought out the vaccuum cleaner. Since I don't so this often, Luke was very curious. What is this great shiny beast that rumbles across the floor? Of course, Luke was also became massivle freaked out when I turned it on. Not wanting to perpetuate this fear, I turned off the machine and encouraged Luke to come and touch the vaccuum, which he did. I bent the handle and moved it back and forth and he patted it "Good big steel beast! Good!"

I warned him, I said "I'm going to press this button here and the vaccuum cleaner is going to go on. It's going to make a lot of noise." The kid understands way too much, so I tell him things, expecting he's going to understand them. "It won't hurt you," I say, "It will just be loud."

And so I turned it on.

And Luke took off in a panic, running down the hall with his eyes wide. Laughing, I turned off the vaccuum cleaner. He turned back at my coaxing, and again patted the vaccuum cleaner. Okay, it stopped now.

And I repeated the whole thing - the warning, the turning on, and the running away. So damn funny.


I liked the eloquence of this email, so I thought I'd share in general:

I'm am ALL freaking riled up right now because I have to have a damn meeting about STICKERS. FRICKING STICKERS that we put on equipment. And not only does my boss have to agree with my sticker choice, THE PLANT MANAGER has to like the stickers. Because we can't make SUCH AN IMPORTANT DECISION. And this, this is why I won't even consider working here part time. It crossed my mind awhile ago, but I can't deal with this stupid shit. They can't follow a goddamn procedure to save their life, and no one knows who's doing what, but let's have meeting about which sticker to use. Good priorities, morons.

Ass over Teakettle

On Tuesday I sent an email to my friends and family with the latest Luke pictures, as I've been doing since he was born, and I wrote in the message that another mom looked at me in shocked horror on Monday when I told her Luke was 14 months old as he ran across the playground bridge and slid down the slide by himself. "I could never let my son do that!" she gasped.


I planned to head out the park with Luke yesterday, and after we had been home for a little while, I asked him "Do you want to go outside and play?" He backed his way down the stairs to the front door and screamed bloody murder when I stepped into the kitchen for my keys. So, even though it was windy and it drizzled on us on the way to the park, we spent 50 minutes there.

We were at a new park and Luke took on a slide that was straighter and faster than the twisty slide at our regular park. Though I was staring right at him as it happened, I'm still not quite sure what happened. All I know is that he hit his head somewhere on the slide and then slid off head first into the woodchips and flipped over. And then there was some screaming. For about a minute. There's not even a bruise this morning, so I don't know where he hit himself.

I was reading over at Rock Star Mommy, which is a blog I really like, about her second child (a boy) being far more difficult than her first (a girl), and she rushed right into the sweeping generalization that boys are harder and more active. And I sighed a sad little sigh because I hate that statement because it somehow means I was abnormal as a child.

Because when my mom got my email telling the little story about the slides, she had to call and tell me "That was you!". I am, you know, a girl, but as a child I didn't live by the girls-are-calmer rules. The story my mom brought up is that of the little Big Wheel and the hill. When we lived in Jersey and I was small - by small I mean 2 or 3 - there was a large hill in front of our house. I've seen it in pictures (as I don't remember it) and it was a good sized hill.

I had a Big Wheel. But because I was small, I had the smaller size of the Big Wheel - I didn't fit in the larger one. I would push my Big Wheel (which was probably pink and girly, I also don't remember that) up the hill and ride down. Since Big Wheel pedals spun with the wheels, I'd have to stick my legs out to the side to really get the momentum going. Giving the neighbors heart attacks, apparently.

So don't tell me that Luke does these things because he's a boy. He does them because he's Luke.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Yesterday I had a visit to the Lady Doctor - that being, the doctor for whom care is entrusted of my lady parts. Ironically, I was supposed to see a male Lady Doctor, but he was in surgery and instead I visited with a lady Lady Doctor. She gave me the thumbs up on further procreation, so whenever we're ready for that we're approved and everything. Last time we weren't so prepared.

While sitting in the waiting room, I had a chance to peruse a few magazines that don't come to my house. I get Parents and Parenting, I think, and I'm a little confused by them because they have almost the same damn name and seem to be pretty similarly laid out. I like them both even if I can't tell them apart.

The waiting room, however, had a March issue of Child magazine. I'm sure this is published by the same publishers who publish Parents and Parenting, which may be published by the same people, but it was different in one big notable respect.

There was the fashion section for children. And the little boy dressed in the flowly white tunic who looked reminscent of 1800's Indian royalty had me in a sputtering mess of 'stupid' and 'who dresses their kid in this?' followed by 'ironing!?!?' and 'children's fashion!' 'HMPH!'. I am easily indignified and these obnoxiously dressed children sent me over the edge.

Let me explain my plan for clothing my children: 1) Mostly clean, at least not worn more than twice, and stains should blend well with the fabric. 2) Covering body parts that should not be exposed for fear of wounding - which is why my son wore jeans to the park in 70 degree weather, the kid ideally should have a helment and gloves. 3) No belly shirts for girls. 4) No hip hop trendy clothes for boys (kid? you're white. And I hate the look. It screams 'hoodlum'.)

Garage Sale

We held a garage sale this past weekend. One day only! I placed one ad in the local paper, one ad on Craigslist, and one sign at a busy intersection. We had people pouring in left, right, and center, and when my friend left to get to her events of the day, I wanted to grab her ankle and yell ‘Don’t go!’ because I honestly didn’t know if my mother, my husband and I were going to be able to handle the people and the baby all day long.

Garage sales bring out an interesting sort of person. And I like garage sales, and go to garage sales, so I feel I can pass judgment my fellow garage-salers.

The first sort arrives early. We had only one early arriver, and he was a gem. A short older gentleman, this is what he has to do with his time. As we were moving stuff out from the garage, he was wandering in to look at things. At a lot of things we weren’t selling, because it’s OUR GARAGE, where we STORE STUFF. He asked about electronics, and I said we had some radios. We hadn’t brought them out yet, and as my mother went in to get them, he tried to follow her into the house. Whoa, dude, not cool. He tested a friend’s radio, and it didn’t work. I hadn’t had a chance to look at it and told him so. He offered $0.50 for it. I was exasperated and refused. He was annoyed. He returned twice more during the day to check things out, and each time we tried to sneak away from talking to him.

The second type are your cheapos. These are the people who drive up in a shiny new car, and when you say you’re selling something for $2, they offer one. If you say $5, they offer $2. We had a couple fellows who bought a couch set and kitchen table set who were doing this to me. I priced the couch/chair/ottoman set at $75. They offered $50 – at 9 AM, when we had 900 people coming through. You don’t drop your price at 9 AM, especially when the place is hopping. We haggled a bit, and finally, we got to the point where they took a table set and the couches. They went off to rent a truck, and were loading up their purchases when he made me an offer a chair priced at $20. He offered $10, and the argument he used was that he was a good customer and buying a lot of stuff. Apparently he didn’t get the point that garage sales are one-off events, and I’m not looking for repeat business.

Thirdly, we had the neighbors. I loved the neighbors. They came over and chatted about the neighborhood, about the people who lived around us, and offered to make us a wine stopper out of a root we had dug up from our backyard. Neighbors! I’d host a garage sale once a month if it meant I got to get to know the neighbors a bit better.

There are the treasure hunters. We had a guy wander in and ask if we had Hummels or Lladros for sale, or a real silverware set. I know that people can have a business in these dealings, but to me it’s dirty business. It’s cheating and taking advantage of what people don’t know about their collectibles.

The rest of the people are just looking for something, and those are the fun people, the ones you enjoy dealing with and are willing to help out. The grandma-to-be who excitedly bought the Pack –n-Play. The polish couple who debated on the stereo and checked out every button, and then offered to have one of them stand and lay claim to the stereo while the other went to get cash. The book hounds who are there for one purpose and one purpose only – they don’t even glance at anything else.

And I have one tip for people who like garage sales – be nice. No one wants to sell their stuff to someone they don’t like, and they don’t want to cut a deal for someone they don’t like.

Friday, April 07, 2006


I cooked last night. I mean I **cooked**! See, we tried out this "Dinners By Design" thing a month or two ago and we (the moms) did it again last night. You make twelve dinners in two hours, freeze em all, and then thaw, heat and serve at some point later.

Now, the moms group is getting more lively. We've known each other longer, we've got some live wires in the bunch, and there were five bottles of wine. I'm not an exact cook to begin with. I figure everything means 'roughly', which doesn't make sense since I do have this chemical background and I can write and balance chemical equations and all that shit. Or at least I could at one point, it's not exactly something you use on a daily basis, or say, EVER, in the working world. So I know that there is a certain balance of how things are supposed to work.

But that's really only in baking.

So, at this place you have all your ingredients spread out for you, with the measureing spoons in the exact size you'll need for putting that ingredient in the recipe. It requires little thought. But you do still have to follow the recipe, and they recommend that you read through it all before you start. Which I didn't do at all. Not once.

I also drank wine and muttered in the back of the group while the owner ran through the introduction. I'm not a good student, see. I'm a LOUSY student, actually. I never listened. I was just fortunate enough to be able to get decent grades without listening.

So I arrived at each dinner station unprepared and not reading. Often the dinner stations had things like garlic. We like garlic in our house. Perhaps a bit too much. So where it asked for one tablespoon? I would often put one and a half or two.

No vampires here.

Thursday, April 06, 2006


I generally strive to be a nice person. La la, make nice nice with everyone. Even people who drive me crazy, like the microbiologist who stood in my cube and blathered on about how this company did this and this plant does that, and, um, lady, I don't give a rat's ass.

Niceness can almost be a disease. It's how I ended up living with PsychoRoommate for a year, because I was stupid enough to think everything would be hunky dory. I was nice. She was not. She wasn't necessarily mean, just crazy. And really, that's who I mostly have a problem with, the crazies.

At some point, I do start letting my nice face crack when dealing with The Crazies and The Highly Annoying. Right now I'm cracking under dealing with The Highly Annoying in my mom's group. Basically, we're trying to get a bunch of moms together. Some moms join and then don't do anything. They just join. This qualifies as Highly Annoying to me. WTF? What's the point of joining? So I'm cracking and started to push these people out of the group. Because there are other people, who are dealing with being a Rudderless Mommy, which sucks enormous donkey ass, and those people, they need a group.

I also struggle with the nice face when it comes to 'Do Not Offend', and the gloves are coming off there, too. I know there are people who sing Koom-bye-ya and read their Bibles and want to go to handbell concerts. Honestly, I don't want to hang out with these people. But yet, I don't want to offend the handbell concert goers. Because they're nice people and all.

But I swear, I drink, and I listen to Bon Jovi. I've been known to dance on bars and kiss strangers (not so much since the marriage/kid thing). I'm a liberal.

I just thought you should know.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

That Manly Man

I'm a fairly self reliant person. I never looked for guys on the basis of who could protect me from the big bad people in the world, because, in general, there aren't big bad people in the world. I didn't want someone who hunted or liked macho macho things because that would annoy me.

And in Esposo, I did not get a macho man. Sure, he wrestled in high school, and he's apparently been in a fight or two. Once, when we were waiting in line for a bar in Madison, he began yelling at a guy in line because he was "sticking his TONGUE in his girlfriend's EAR!" (The guy wasn't, he was just trying to talk to me and I moved away.) He's a strong guy, but he doesn't need to prove his manliness by killing, throwing, and grunting. Instead, he prefers to belittle and mock.

We watch a bit of the same television, one of our steady shows has been CSI (though if the writing continues to be as horridly sucky as it was last week, with the 12 year old prodigy girl, we will stop the watching of CSI). If you've seen the show, you know that they zoom into body parts and veins and up noses and all sorts of gross things to get all scientific-y. (On a side note, as a chemist, I laugh and laugh when they make things like THIN LAYER CHROMATOGRAPHY look all glamorous. HA!) We also watch House, which does a lot of similar things.

I don't like the gross zooming in, I have no problem with blood in real life, but the zooming in on veins and in stomach cavities - blech. And particularly eyes. On House in particular they've done things like shown needles going into eyes and that creeps me out to the point that I've had to stop and close and rub my eyes several times while writing this. ***shudder***

I often cover my eyes while the gross scenes are on TV. A few years ago when CSI was younger and better, I covered my eyes and asked Esposo "Is it over yet?"

He responded "I don't know!" and I looked over at him, and he, too, had formed a barrier with his hands to avoid the ickiness on the screen. And a I knew a crucial rule had been violated - he's the BOY, he's supposed to watch the icky parts and let me know when they're over!!


Many articles that I've been reading lately focus on the fact that children want to help, and in fact, we're all hard wired to want to contribute to the family and community, which makes sense given that we're soft, slow, and hairless and if we didn't help each other out we'd all have been wolf and lion snacks long ago.

Luke's contribution has been emptying the silverware tray from the dishwasher. He started out by handing my the spoons and forks one at a time (I remove knives before he toddles over) so I could place them in the drawer. Last week he took that extra step and started putting them in the drawer himself.

Step 1: Remove two pieces of silverware from the dishwasher.
Step 2: Turn towards drawer. Look at silverware in hands, look at drawer.
Step 3: Place one item of (clean) silverware on the floor to free up a hand to open the drawer.
Step 4: Open the drawer.
Step 5: Place item of silverware that you're still holding in the drawer. (The drawer is higher than his head, this is a feat of sheer will)
Step 6: Close the drawer.
Step 7: Pick up item of (formerly clean) silverware from the floor.
Step 8: Repeat steps 4 through 6.
And then go back to Step 1.

Awhile back I was reading on a few other blogs a debate of how to place forks in the basket, and if you place it tines UP, how do you get it out without TOUCHING the tines! EGADS! I laughed and laughed, because I think people are crazy with their attempts to avoid germs. And obviously, in my house, you might want to wash the silverware before you use it because it just *might* have been on the floor. It's good for you.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The End of a Long Road

I've mentioned before what a challenging hand we got dealt for a couple starting out together. For the past three and a half years we've been just winging it. Fortunately, we're pretty good at winging it.

Esposo has a job. A decent job, because he negotiated. An job with a big ol' company with lots of people and departments and probably a whole group of people dedicated to training. *sigh* That makes me so jealous, the training part.

Anyway, he starts in 41 days. In 41 days, we officially become a double income family, the slipperly slope our savings account has been riding comes to a stop. I feel relaxed and calm. I think we're going to get everything we've wanted. I think we're going to craft our happy little suburban home and have that idyllic picture of a family. And it's closer than I thought.


My current obsession, because I rotate them on regular basis, is our yard. The people who lived her before us, who, as I've discussed, sucked the major donkey balls on caring for the house (um, you have to DO stuff to it), had not done a whole lot to the outside either. There were juniper bushes all over that were 30ish years old. We had mushroom bushes in the back as well as several other bushes in our small enclosed yard. The amount of area we can fence in is small due to township regulations, and I just don't understand why they'd make that area smaller by planting WITHIN the fenced area.

Anywho, the apple trees (2) on our property yielded apples last year, but they all had moths. I wrote on Oct 10 how to help care for these trees:

February - Prune 5-10 feet off the top of the tree.
April - Spray with dormant oil to prevent/kill codling moths.
April - 10-10-10 fertilizer, 1.5 pounds

We didn't prune. The tree people said the tree was too old for that. But I have sprayed with dormant oil twice so far (it rained soon after I sprayed the first time), so hopefully that will help kill the moths. I may do it once more yet. That and the fertilizer.

A Suggestion

I would like to be able to book my doctor's appointments online, like airline tickets. That way, I could look at a whole month or something and schedule all my doctor's appointments together on one day. As it is, I have three days of doctor appointments this month. Psh. No fun.

Now what?

I am desperate for the weather to improve this spring, more than simply because I can't take the frost and the winter jacket anymore. I've already moved to the spring jacket though my car told me it was 36 degrees this morning. I figure that by my sheer will we will move into springlike weather.

This is Luke's first experience with spring. Yes, he was around last year, but he was still having his first experiences with pooping, sitting in water, and the eating of animal hair. Now he's an old pro at all of those. Last time it was warm enough to hang out outside, in say, October, he couldn't walk. He could barely sit up. This is the tremendously cool part of children, the discovery phase.

Luke views the outdoors as a giant pantry that we won't let him play in. He loves to be outside, so every chance I get that it's warm enough, we're heading outside. He likes sitting in his stroller and watching traffic go by just as much as he likes running down the sidewalks, so depending on what I am doing (or, if I am doing anything outside) he's got everything covered.

Last night we opted for the 'walking down the sidewalks'. A few interesting things happened on this walk, which was probably less than a quarter mile. First, Luke noticed water on the sidewalks. We've had some significant storms and our yard is somewhat soaked. Luke was suspicious of this water and wouldn't move forward over it until I showed him that it was okay.

A little while later, we encountered newly installed sidewalk pavers, which are bright white to the rest of the sidewalks dull grey. Luke actually cried about walking over those, so I just lifted him to the next grey paver. He was fine when we ran into more new pavers later, so I guess he got over it.

Shortly thereafter, the sun came out, and Luke's shadow and my shadow stretched out before us in long, stretched, distorted images of ourselves. He stopped, and looked at them, then moved and watched it move, and stopped again. It's incredibly cheesy, but the chance to see the world anew through a child's eyes is indescribable.

Luke didn't really notice the last thing that happened, but I did, and was pretty grossed out, so I thought I'd share. As we walked down the sidewalk, I noticed a large bird sitting in a front yard (on our side of the street, so I had a good view). As we got a little closer, the bird didn't move, and it eyed me suspiciously. I did the same, and realized it was a hawk. We have large trees in our neighborhood, and a forest preserve nearby, so a hawk made some sense. But why was it sitting so still in a front yard?

As we were about twenty feet away, the hawk decided we were too close, so it took off. After it adjusted the dead robin it was sitting on in it's talons for a good hold. It landed in a tree across the street and started ripping apart the dead bird, creating a shower of feathers over the street.

Welcome, spring.