And Then I Stepped in Gum . . .

Friday, September 30, 2005

Passing the Geekiness On

I just taught Ian a new ritual. I point to him and say, "You put your chocolate in my peanut butter!" And he replies, "You put your . . . my . . . chocolate in my . . . your peanut butter!" Repeat until we're both cracking up. Sometimes he gets it perfect. It just tickles me.

Nothing like teaching your child 20-year-old ad campaigns for no reason.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

And the Germs Keep Spreading

Just as I'm starting to feel better from this sinus thing (after a fitful Sudafed-laced sleep last night), we have Katie with a tummyache. She even lay down on the couch before dinner -- not her typical M.O. But she was feeling better at dinner, so we let her eat pizza. And she perked up quite a bit after that, asking for spelling words and shouting out, "Challenge me!" and bouncing around . . . until bedtime, when she perked back down. And whined a little bit. And asked to be carried to bed. My mom-senses tingling, I set her up with a plastic trash can and offered to rock, scissors, paper Dave for vomit duty in the middle of the night.

My mom-senses' timing must be off a little bit, because by the time I'd gone downstairs and gotten Ian to bring him to bed, she'd made use of the trash can, with moderate success. Dave got to deal with it -- I didn't even realize what was happening until more than halfway through the cleanup -- and he did wonderfully. No impatience, no frustration, just comforting the child and getting her to bed, which she did quickly, remarking that her tummy felt a lot better. Well, no wonder! Here's hoping she'll get over it soon -- there's nothing to make a mom feel so helpless as a tummyache.

So now my "workday" Friday, in which Dave is to have responsibility for Ian while I work, will once again take place in a fully populated house. Unless I choose to abandon everybody for parts unknown (aka Barnes & Noble). So glad I relished my day alone on Wednesday, as it seems unlikely to repeat itself any time soon!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


Ahhh. The quiet. The house to myself (except for the cats, who feel the need to be around me every single second -- do you think they have daycare for kitties?). It's been a trying week, and there are Big Issues preoccupying me. But today, it's quiet. No pressing work. Household duties somewhat under control (okay, the house is a bit of a wreck, but six loads of laundry were done and put away yesterday, and there are currently -- huzzah! -- no dishes in the sink). I could wallow in the quiet. I finished a book I bought as a treat for myself (Jennifer Weiner's Goodnight, Nobody). I napped. I took Sudafed and Advil and coffee, and they combined to eliminate the sinus headache I woke up with this morning. Life is good. I feel somewhat renewed, as I head out to pick up the kids from daycare and school. Deep breaths are the order of the afternoon.

Now if I can just maintain this inner peace through the planned library and grocery store excursions this afternoon, I will be vastly improved as far as the status of my mental health goes. Hmm. Library and grocery store may be a bit too much to ask. Perhaps I will gather up the library books and drop them off myself on the way to picking up Ian. To do otherwise might tempt the fates too much, and I rather like this current feeling. Wish me luck holding everything together!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

That Past Tense Is a Killer!

"Mommy, will you put my shoe on again?"

"Why is your shoe off, Ian?"

"I . . . falled down and my shoe come . . . comed . . . had come off."

At least he's trying!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

You Don't Bring Me Flowers . . .

Tonight, Dave walked in from work and presented me with a bouquet of a dozen, long-stemmed . . . Col-Erase pencils in violet.
Those of you who aren't editors with a fixation on using purple pencil to proofread -- not red, too "angry"; not blue, too cliche; not any other color, either too hard to see or too hard to take seriously -- and who don't know how difficult these are to come by ever since Col-Erase stopped selling them in boxes of a single color (except red and blue) about 5 years ago probably won't appreciate the gesture, but I did. And he did it with no prompting from me after I told him that even when I'd found the pencils sold individually online by various art stores, I'd discovered that they charged exorbitant shipping costs.

I are a happy editor. :)

Thursday, September 08, 2005


* Or as close to them as I can get, being the poster child for verbosity.

How sad is it to be cranky and sleepy because you stayed up until 1:30 a.m. watching tennis?

Like mother, like daughter: Katie has gotten off the bus every day so far without her backpack (and has been sent to swim against the tide to go back and get it). Think the third time's the charm? We'll see in about an hour.

You know, as much as I like spending quality time with my son, I'm getting a little irritated by being forced to do so during the half-hour-long waits for Katie's bus. It's a tiny town that takes about 5 minutes to drive through, and we're less than a mile from the school. How can the bus be 30 minutes late every day?

Yesterday, as Ian was crunching through some "dead leaves" (mostly grass, with a few leaves), he was anticipating fall, and then anticipating snow. "And when it snows, it will cover all da weaves. And da weaves will bwow around on top of da snow. And we can pway Harry Potter!" I realized that his only frame of reference for snow, after spending a year in Alabama from the ages of 18-30 months, is the Harry Potter movie. How sad! I'm so glad we're rectifying that.

And that reminded me of our first trip to visit Katie's school in Alabama, in January. Many of the elementary classrooms had art displayed in their windows. And in one 1st grade classroom there was a plethora of construction paper snowmen. And it occurred to me that the majority of those children had probably never even seen snow, let alone made a real snowman. Ironic.

Looks like the house sale in Alabama is going to close on Monday, but we're having other setbacks to counter the good news. The $1625 that we were promised in exchange for our moving shipment being 13 days overdue is up in the air, with various factions pointing fingers at various other factions, trying to shift responsibility. I won't post the details quite yet, as I'm giving them until Monday to make progress on resolving the situation. But I vow to post the whole horror story if they don't make it right.

Looks like the little guy is up from his nap -- I should probably spend some time with him not sitting at the bus stop.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Update on Us

. . . and the news is good.

Today was Katie's first day of school and Dave's first day back teaching. Since you can go to just about any other mom blog to hear rhapsodizing about how quiet and lovely it was (although it really wasn't, as I was with Ian still -- his first day of daycare is tomorrow), I'll just say this. We need this. We need a schedule. We need individual efforts to pursue. We need to not be on top of each other every minute of every day. We need to go away from each other and have the chance to miss each other for a while so we can be happy to be back together again. (And then there's my own need to be alone in my own house for a significant period of time.) And that's why I'm glad it was the first day of school.

Other news:
  • Torey and David's commitment ceremony was wonderfully fantastic and fantastically wonderful. We were so glad to make it out there and see old friends and be a part of their special day. And traveling without the kids and spending some time just one on one was as close to bliss as I've been in quite a while. I love my kids, but traveling with them is a lot of maintenance. Being able to go a whole day traipsing around San Francisco without once looking at our watches and not having to worry about any sore feet other than ours was great.

  • The kids were totally spoiled by my mom, who was probably exhausted by the time she left. They loved it and didn't seem to miss us at all. Katie got new matching outfits for her and her American Girl doll, Josefina, and was thrilled to be able to help Grandma cut the pattern pieces out and sew. Ian loved baking cookies with Grandma. It all went just great, except that I didn't get to spend as much time with my mom as I'd like. And of course, I was fairly brain-dead and jetlagged when we did get home. I blame this for the act I perpetrated under the title of THE WORST DAUGHTER IN THE WORLD, EVER!!! The day after we got home, we had to take Mom to the airport. We packed everything up and headed out to the car, Mom taking her duffel bag and me bringing up the rear, telling her I'd get her suitcase. I got distracted looking for a coupon, but we got on the road in enough time to make it the 20-minute drive there. And then we pulled up to let her off, and I realized with shock and horror that I HAD FORGOTTEN TO GET HER SUITCASE FROM THE HALL. Oh. My. God. I. Am. Such an idiot. I dumped her off and tried to race back to the house and back to the airport again, only to get a call from Mom as I neared home, telling me not to bother, because the suitcase had to be in the airport for at least 30 minutes, or they wouldn't let it go on the plane. In other words, there was no way. And I'd rushed off so quickly that I didn't even get to hug her goodbye! It was just tragic, I tell you. And -- I'll never live it down.

  • Hurricane Katrina: I have nothing to say that hasn't already been said. It's devastating, and I think I've finally just about reached saturation point -- no pun intended. We were lucky -- our house that was still for sale in Mobile had absolutely no damage, save a shingle missing from the back eaves of the playhouse we built in the backyard. So hip hip hooray for that!
Oh, and did you notice that I said was for sale? Eagle-eyed readers will perhaps have gotten the clue that WE FINALLY SOLD OUR HOUSE TODAY!! The final price was $6,000 under the listing price, but no contingencies, and they want to close on Friday. FRIDAY! (The Realtor says that's not going to happen, but he predicts by mid-next week.) Woohoo! Words on a Web page cannot express the profound relief and jubilation happening in the house this evening. Finally, we can pay off the debts we have left from moving and stop living paycheck to paycheck, with a tiny bit of money in the bank. It's tinier than it used to be, but at least the cushion will be there. Financial solidity, here we come!

And on that note, I must go beat the 2-year-old kicking the wall repeatedly instead of sleeping. Kidding, kidding; I kid. But tying him to the bed is not totally out of the question.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Scenes from Our Life

At dinner at Outback Steakhouse last night, Katie and Ian were fine-tuning their standup routines. Ian started with the only joke he knows, which cracks him up every time.

"Knock knock."
"Who's there?"
"Floor who?"
"Fwor-da!" (Florida)

Katie gets in on the action:

"Knock knock."
"Who's there?"
"Pencil who?" (Yes, we've heard this one a million times too.)

Much childish laughter. Dave spurs them on a bit with his patented "Car Talk" guys laugh.

Katie goes for another one:
"Knock knock."
"Who's there?"
"Miss -- no, wait, this one's funnier -- mouse."
"Mouse who?"

Ah, ha, ha. Now it's Ian's turn. Little Mr. Copycat starts out:

"Knock knock."
"Who's there?"
"Mouse who?"
"Mouse -- uh -- uh," searching his memory, "MOUSE-AVANIA!"

Hysterical laughter (genuine, this time) ensued from all parties. I love it when I get the giggles from my own kids.