Saturday, January 30, 2010

iLove my Husband

Last year, when I was turning 40, I asked David to get me an iMac.

I really didn't push that hard. The reality was I couldn't justify spending that much money on myself. For a computer. We had a baby due a few months later. And there were plenty of things around the house we needed done.

Sure, I wasn't thrilled when he bought me a new Compaq laptop because it wasn't, you know, a Mac. But I resigned myself to being a PC.

Truth is, I still pined for a Mac. I dreamed about the photo editing I could do, the blog I could host.

David would occasionally interrogate me on WHY I wanted a Mac. Told me I wouldn't even know how to use it. Which is probably true. Then he started taunting me. Would I want a MacBook? Or an iMac? WHY did I want an iMac? Didn't I want the mobility of a laptop? Why did I need a big screen?

I responded with what I thought was a fantastic arguement: a silent, intent stare. At his forehead.

Meanwhile, even a friend of his starting getting on him, telling him I pushed out three kids, don't I deserve it?

So in the past week or so, David started actually taking some action. He thought maybe he could find a used Mac. So he started contacting people on Craigs List.

I did not take any of this seriously. Because this is my husband. He loves nothing better than trying to get the best deal possible on anything he buys. Shall we talk about the flip cam he wants? He's bought a few already - and returned them. He even bought one the other night at one Target and returned it at another. In the same outing.

It can take him FOREVER to buy something, especially when we're talking about a pricey computer that, really, I don't need. I just want.

Tonight I put X to bed and when I started down the stairs I noticed - much to my surprise - a little something on the table where my laptop usually sits.

Okay, it was a BIG something. And I raced down the stairs to embrace it like a long-lost child.

It's mine. ALL MINE!

As soon as David sets it up for me, that is. And shows me how to use it.

In the meantime, I'll just gaze at it from the couch. Where I'm typing on my PC.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Almost Better than Honey Bear

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Each weekend, a child from Sawyer's kindergarten class gets to take home Honey Bear. The bear goes wherever your kid goes: parties, soccer games, the zoo, out to eat, etc. Then you take pictures and write in the journal about what you did.

Sawyer came bouncing out of class clutching a bag on Friday, shouting that he had Honey Bear. This is a Big Deal. It was pretty cool seeing Sawyer so excited.

Honey Bear had a great weekend: he got to play Bakugan, go out for pizza and even went to a birthday party (no cake, though, since it contained nuts, and Bears are allergic. In case you didn't know. At least they are when they're with Sawyer).

Sawyer even slept with him. It was very sweet. We returned him on Monday but Sawyer was the special student for the week. I had to make an all-about-Sawyer collage, which forced me to look back through old pictures to find some cute baby ones - and more than once I had to stop and say to David "Good LORD X looks JUST LIKE HIM!" I swear I could have 100 boys and they'd all look just like their Dad. It is a thankless job being simply the vessel, I tells ya..

So today David, Sage, X and I went to his classroom for the family visit. We sat up in front of the class and the kids got to ask questions about us.

What's our favorite movie? What's our favorite food? Color? Job? Game? The teacher warned them in advance not to talk about themselves, but when I said my favorite movie is "Ratatouille" I got a lot of "me too!" I mean, who doesn't love that movie?

Really, though, the kids were only sort of paying attention to us. Because a certain small someone stole the show.

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He was yelling, trying to grab Sawyer, babbling and, when I put him down for a second, he crawled around like a wild man. When all the kids started laughing, at first he looked unsure. But then he joined in and started clapping. They were all very impressed.

And Sawyer was extremely proud. His brother was almost as cool as Honey Bear.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Pants on the Ground

My six year-old son comes walking downstairs before school and my eyes involuntarily roll somewhere into the back of my head.

He's dressed in his standard uniform of shorts and tee shirt.

Problem is, it's about 45 degrees out with a tiny ray of sun peeking out from the completely overcast sky.

I gird for battle. Because this kid will fight to the death for his right to bare arms. Get it? HA! Anyway, I order him back upstairs to put on "long-sleeve pants" as he calls it and a long-sleeve shirt.

He comes back down. He has pulled jeans on over his shorts and found a pullover to go over his tee shirt. I then make him take off the shorts.

"But I'm going to be HOT!" he argues. "The sun is out!"

This is what happens when you are born in a place that is, 90 percent of the time, sunny and at least 70. My kids have never watched from the warm house while their mother frantically scrapes ice off the windshield of the car because we're running late. Never had a snow day. They sure have never stepped outside on a stunningly bright day to have the breath stolen by the single-digit cold.

To them, sun = heat.

It's not often, but it does get chilly here. Not nose-numbing,fingers-freezing-in-your-gloves cold, but it does get down into the 30s some nights. Highs some days don't make it out of the low-50s and that's usually when it's cloudy and damp.

There are days that the sun actually doesn't shine. Shocking, I know.

And if you hadn't heard, we got more rain in like two hours one day last week than we had in the previous 10 years. Or something like that. The second the rain took a little break and the sun peeked out for five minutes, Sawyer raced to his room to change into shorts.

Because seeing the sun is an occasion so rare it must be celebrated by an outfit change.

He apparently did not inherit my love of sweater weather. After living in South Florida for a couple years and out here for the past (gulp) almost 11 years, I love putting on jeans and a fleece and pulling on my Uggs.

I get tired of sweating, of the heat sucking the life force from my pores.

But not my kids. No siree. And don't think Sage hasn't noticed her brother's wardrobe malfunctions. This morning she appeared at the top of the stairs, ready for school, wearing thin cotton pants and a sweater - with a short-sleeved polo under it.

Hopefully the layered look is back in. It's supposed to be a rainy winter.

Monday, January 25, 2010


So my brother took pity on me - either that, or he was embarrassed by my very existence - and helped me out tonight. The results are right there. On your right. No, your other right. HA!

If your picture is up on the right side of my blog, I thank you kindly for following me. Twelve may seem a modest number, but hey, it could be zero. If you read this blog regularly and have a google account, by all means click the "follow" button and you, too, could be up there. Unless you're to mortified to admit you read my stuff. And you just prefer to lurk. Now, I know for a fact I have more than 12 people reading this blog, so don't be shy!!

I also have an RSS feed button if you'd like this to go to your google reader. That means you don't even have to come here to see my latest words of brilliance. You can just go to your google reader and it will update you. I have recently started using this and have enjoyed going to one spot to catch up on my favorite blogs.

Are you impressed?

Oh! I should say my brother taught me how to set all this up via Skype - did you know you can share screens, so that he can see what I have up on my computer while talking me through it? How cool is THAT? I'm soooo 2010! Or maybe this all happened in '08 but I was too busy running a marathon and getting pregnant and stuff.

So I look forward to adding to my followers list. Don't leave me hanging, people! How sad would it be if no one else joins? Do I need to promise a prize or something? Hmmm???

Sunday, January 24, 2010

I put the "twit" in Twitter

I'm just not getting it. I feel like I'm back in sophomore year of high school, sitting in geometry class, and Mr. Neff is droning on and on about proofs. Meanwhile, I can't even get the pencil into the compass correctly. I'm lost.

To this day I have anxiety dreams about that class. And I think it's because I've found something else that I just. can't. get.

It goes by the name of Twitter. Perhaps you're familiar with it? There is no question I put the "twit" in it.

I have an account. I get how to type in updates. Beyond that, however...

When I log on, I see different updates from the two dozen people I follow. But a lot of them are RT, which I looked up and found out means "re-tweet." But I don't know what they're talking about in the first place, because there are a bunch of symbols I don't know and topics of an ongoing coversation I'm not part of.

So it's like sitting in a room and listening to one side of a phone conversation your friend is next to you.

I know I've blogged about this before, but I still don't get the #. I haven't a clue about the @. Kirsten over at Nilsen Life just waxed poetic (what does that even mean? Why is it waxing? I must investigate that) about finding great bloggers to read on Twitter. How, I wonder?

The helpless feeling of not understanding this stuff really sucks. My 6 year-old is already better at video games than I am. Pretty soon he's going to be tweeting about kicking my ass in Super Mario Brothers.

This must be what it's like to be old. Your kids are watching video on the iPhone and you're still dialing on a rotary.

In the scheme of things, this shouldn't bother me. But I feel like if I fall behind on all this, I'll be forever drowning. There's nothing quite like feeling dumb. And if I can't be on top of it all, then at least let me be treading water.

I need a social media class. As long as I don't have to fit a stubby little pencil in a metal contraption, I might just learn something.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

You've Got a Friend

We knew it was coming. From all predictions, we needed to drop everything and start constructing our ark immediately.

We didn't. And David boarded a flight for Atlanta first thing Monday morning, leaving me here, in charge of our three crazies (and two large mutts), when we were about to get slammed with the Worst Rainstorms Ever.

Monday was the first storm. The kids didn't have school and we managed just fine.

I should've known. It was too calm.

Tuesday, the rain rain rain came down down down..and put most of my patio under water. It created a small ocean right where our brand new air conditioning unit sits on the side of our house. And the garage? The water flowed in under the side door and covered half of it, soaking the carpet and everything else in its path.

David was conveniently a couple thousand miles away. Not to worry. I just called my neighbors, aka The Calvary.

See, you don't live on my street. But I bet you wish you did.

My next-door-neighbor, Dawn, came over and assessed. She returned with a laundry basket to put over my previously clogged drain in the back yard and a 25-pound weight to hold it down.

Then, my neighbor Rich brought home a truckload of sand and bags. He and his wife, Robin, Dawn, and my across-the-street neighbor Sully filled and distributed the sand bags around the air conditioning unit and up against the side door of my garage - while I stood there, useless, holding the baby.

Later that night, I let the dogs out before I went upstairs to put X to bed. Then Sage came up, and I tucked her in and read her a story. Sawyer had to use the bathroom. By now it was 8 p.m.

I went downstairs while Sawyer finished his business. I called David. And then I realized the dogs were still outside.

I opened the door.

My heart sunk.

I knew they were gone.

The neighbors had inadvertantly left the side gate open. My dogs were now wandering around somewhere in the dark. They had no collars on. They're big and probably scary-looking if you don't know them.

I went outside and starting yelling their names.

And again, I called my neighbor, Dawn. Rich was already on his way down the street, as David had called and asked for help. He started searching for them.

I was completely freaking out. They could be anywhere. They could be hurt. They could be down on the main street below us, with all the speeding cars.

An SUV pulled up and a woman leaned out and asked if I was looking for two dogs.

"We were walking and they practically attacked us," she said.

I explained that they are SUPER friendly and were just coming up to greet them. Which I'm sure would be terrifying, to be out walking and have these two surprise you. The people thought they were coyotes.

But when I told her how they'd gotten out, that I had three kids at home, a husband out of town, and that I couldn't get in the car and drive around, she became immediately sympathetic and said they'd help look for them. They told me where they'd seen them.

I went to the end of my steet and turned left. And there were the dogs, on the other side of the street. I called them once again and they came running.

There was no "you can't catch" me games. I think they were lost, tired and wet and were just as happy to see me as I was to see them.

I went to bed that night feeling grateful all the creatures in my house were safe, and that my garage wouldn't flood while I sleep - thanks to my wonderful neighbors.

And then yesterday, the rain came again. As the day wore on, the water started coming into the garage again. Once again, I called Rich, and within 10 minutes, he was at my house with more sand bags.

I wish I could explain what it's like to live on a street where I can pick up the phone and pretty much call anyone who lives here to ask for help. You can't buy your neighbors, folks.

But you sure can thank them. So thank you, Dawn, Rich, Robin and Sully.

I couldn't have made it through without you. Hope I can return the favor someday.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tooth Fairy Braves Rain

Yep, that Fairy's wings work just fine in the rain. How else to explain how she made it to our house last night?

See, Sawyer lost his first tooth yesterday. And he couldn't wait for the Tooth Fairy to come and visit.

I couldn't either. As much as a rite of passage it was for Sawyer to have this experience, it was also one for me.

I remember leaving my tooth under my pillow and waking up to find, what, 50 cents or something under my pillow. I think there was also fairy dust at one point, too. Even when I became suspicious about just who exactly was leaving the money, I was still amazed every time. So maybe the Tooth Fairy WAS real, after all.

David was not home so I was on my own. I never usually have cash, but I had a $10 bill in my wallet. I figured this was his first tooth, so why not?

Next I typed out a letter from the Tooth Fairy. It mentioned how great his tooth was, how it was one of the best in her collection. That she doesn't usually write a note but his tooth was just that good, and that she loved the note he left her.

It said he was growing up now, and part of that is really taking care of his teeth. Including drinking milk, and wouldn't you know, he specifically asked for a glass this morning.

I also printed out a certificate honoring him for losing a tooth.

This wouldn't have been difficult if I could get my husband's printer to work. It turns out I actually had to boot up his computer to get it to go, even though I was printing from my computer.

The delay just gave Sawyer more time to get into a deeper sleep.

I went upstairs. His room was really dark, but he has a bright clock by his bed. I couldn't exactly see him. I could just hear his even breathing. I carefully slid my hand under the pillow, and congratulated myself on making Sawyer keep the tooth in the plastic bag (also enclosing the note was Sawyer's idea). I grabbed it, slid my note with the $10 under the pillow, and left the certificate on a big turtle pillow he also has in the bed.

I went into my room and gave a little fist pump. Mission accomplished. He didn't wake up. Until two hours later, when he came in my room clutching the letter, the money and the certificate. Luckily I dispatched him back to bed.

This morning we read the letter together. His pride, his excitement - it was just one of those moments that we visualize when we become Mommies, when our child sees the magic of the seemingly impossible actually BE possible.

They know it's okay to dream. Because you just never know what can come true.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Rain Day

This had the makings of a disaster. We were about to be hit with the worst rain since biblical times. There was no school. And the huz was not around to help.

So there I was, trapped in the house with three kids.

Let the adventures begin!

It was pretty much standard operating procedure: X woke up super-early, the other two kids came wandering in at about 7:30. I told them they could stay in their pajamas! All day! They proceeded to go directly into their rooms and get dressed. They are no fun.

Everyone ate breakfast, and at about 9 a.m., X went down for his nap. The kids decided to draw. And get ready for battle.

At 9:45 they did, in fact, battle. With Bakugan.

That lasted about half an hour. Then it was on to the next amusement. They only had three slapping fights for stealing each other's pieces.

Then I let Sage go out and fetch the newspaper for me. She has a new Ariel umbrella. Sawyer has lost his. So he didn't get to go out. He cried. Ten minutes later, X woke up. I brought him downstairs, and then Sawyer asked to go to the playhouse to get more Legos. He promised to wear a hat.

Speaking of the playhouse... David put a shower curtain liner over the door to keep the elements out. I mean, not entirely out, but it keeps it a little warmer when it's cool and there aren't huge tumbleweeds blowing in. Anyway, the liner kept flipping up on the roof, which sent me running out there to try to weigh down the bottom. A hammer didn't work. A plank of wood didn't work. Finally, I thought I'd won with the hammer/wood combo on it.

A few minutes later...

Balls. It won.

So Sawyer asked for soup for lunch. I searched our pantry. We were all out. Then I told him I'd create for him chicken and rice soup. He was skeptical. He said he'd wait. He was VERY surprised and impressed when I presented him with this

I didn't tell him how I made it. Let him think his Mom is a miracle worker for a little while.

Meanwhile, I was busy trying to remove Child #3 from my hip. I searched the kitchen for something to pry him off. I finally sat him on the carpet. My lumbar region rejoiced. He did not.

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He was really crying because he was angry I dared try to feed him black beans with a spoon. He's no baby. He likes to eat them all by himself. But I wouldn't let him, because I didn't have an appropriate bib, and you can see what happened yesterday...

Now let's talk about the REAL excitement of the day. This is what we call in the newspaper business "burying the lede." As in, I made you look through all these pictures before talking about the Main Event.

Let's see if you can guess..

Here's another hint

Got it now? That's right: my first baby lost his first tooth!! It's been loose for a couple weeks, and when he woke up this morning he said he could almost flatten it. I saw a little blood and figured he'd lose it really soon. I asked him for a hug after lunch and as he came over, he touched his tooth and out it popped! This kid was BEYOND excited. So we had cookies. Because I heart him.

He kept the tooth in a plastic ziplock in his pocket. And then he decided, after Skyping with Jen, that he should write the Tooth Fairy a note.

The fairy has wings on her, and she's carrying the bag with the tooth. "Tofrew" is his attempt at sounding out the name and writing it himself.

I think he did an awesome job.

Before bed he asked how the Tooth Fairy was going to lift the pillow with his big head on it to get the tooth.

I told him I was sure she'd figure it out.

That's her job.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Skype Me

When it comes to social media, I'm kinda like that guest that shows up late to the party, after everyone's already sloppy, the food's all gone and the confetti is a dirty mash underfoot.

I smile and nod a lot, but I don't really get what anyone's saying or what I'm supposed to be doing.

I just found out the other day what an RSS feed was (thanks to facebook, ironically). I recently got back on Twitter, but I don't "get" twitter-ese. What are all the # and @ signs about?

I'd heard of this Skype thing. Hey, I HAVE watched Oprah, okay? But I never did it or really knew much about it.

Then David got me a little camera a few days ago for my computer. It was like a whole new world opened up. I figured it'd be great to talk to my family, so they could see the kids, especially the baby who changes so much, so fast.

I Skyped with my brother in Seattle. My kids were very impressed. Sawyer was eating a cheeseburger at the time and kept sticking it in the camera and yelling "BURGER!" at my brother and his son.

Yeah. Sawyer gets how to put technology to good use.

My next victim was my friend Jen. We have never met IRL (I'm not a TOTAL moron! I speak internet abbreviations!) but have spent lots of time on instant message, text and talking on the phone.

But this. This was a whole other dimension.

I got to see her kitchen. She got a tour of the downstairs of my house. I saw her kids. She saw mine. We chatted. We cracked up.

And then.

Then, we danced.

Because we could.

And then we laughed some more.

We are not great dancers. But stick a camera in front of us and we're dancing fools. Emphasis on "fools."

For a moment or two there, I felt like I actually was AT the party when there was still beer in the keg or martinis in the shaker.

I was so excited I wanted to tweet it.

If only I knew how.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

No Good Deed...

The other day we went to - wait for it - Target. When we pulled into a parking spot I noticed a man and a woman walking around the lot, each holding a small sign.

The man was small, with thick grey hair standing straight up, a scraggly beard and baggy, dirty clothes. The woman looked like she might be Indian. She wore a sari but was younger than the man, maybe in her 30s or early 40s.

David was approached by the man as we unloaded the kids from the car. His sign read that he was homeless, couldn't speak, and asked for money. David told him no and the man shuffled away.

I wondered at the time what message we were sending our kids by not helping this man. Sawyer is old enough to get it; a few months ago when we were in San Diego he saw a man sleeping in a park and said "Oh! That poor homeless guy!"

So I think I said something about all the things we've done to help people. And of course, in typical six year-old fashion, Sawyer forgot about it as we walked into Toy Wonderland.

David said he sees beggars in the parking lot all the time. Which was astounding to me, considering Target is my home away from home. I've NEVER seen them before.

Today I went back to Target to buy a bookcase that was on sale. I noticed a tall woman in a baseball cap slowly walking in the parking lot. She approached a woman, who shook her head.

Then she came up to me. She told me her car was running out of gas and she didn't have her wallet. She said maybe her teenagers took her wallet out of the car. Did I have a couple dollars so she could get some gas?

And you know what - I gave her two dollars. I rarely have cash but I had some today. I then walked into the store. I could still see her. She was walking up to other women. I felt like a fool. I didn't want her to take advantage of another person.

So I went BACK out to the parking lot and approached her and said, "You still need more money?" as she was waiting for a woman to give her some. And she said "Yeah you only gave me $2 and that's not enough for a gallon." She got me on that one. I asked her where her car was and she clicked her key chain and a car beeped.

I wasn't sure what to think. But I went back into the store and did my shopping figuring, hey, I did a good deed, whether or not she was legit and not trying to score money for drugs or whatever.

Of course, being me, I couldn't just forget about it. What really got to me was wondering why I so easily gave her the money when there's no way we were giving any to the homeless people we saw this weekend.

Maybe because at first I identified with her, a mom who forgot her wallet and ran out of gas. It could happen to me, right? Even though my gut told me there was something not quite right with her. I cannot imagine going up to strangers and asking for money, and there was no sense of urgency or embarassment about her.

I asked David later whether I'd made a bad decision. Why didn't I feel as compelled to help those homeless people? And he was all "Why would there be homeless people in this town?" which is probably true. How did the homeless people get to the Target in our very suburban small town? I guess his suspicions stopped him from giving money. This woman seemed much more plausible.

But really, they were the ones who seemed like they needed the help. So what did this say about me?

It is tough to know who's truly in need. It'd be nice to have enough money to help everyone. I know we do our part.

But this particular act of charity left me questioning myself.

Edited to add: Thanks to Kirsten over at Nilsen Life reminded me I wanted to post about Haiti. My two dollars would definitely have been better served going there, and of course, we'll donate. Here are some options and here are even more options linked from Dooce.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

X is Ten Months!

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I mean, how can you just pick ONE picture? Look how cute he is! Are you LOOKING?!?!

Actually, I've just been futzing around with a photo editing website and am testing out making collages. X was very excited because we were lucky enough to score one of those plastic cars with a handle, and it made its debut yesterday. There was a LOT of excitement on the street when X came rolling up in his new wheels.

So, 10 months. Double digits. Yowza.

This has been a big month. I knew it'd fly by, with all the holiday craziness. But that did not AT ALL stop him from doing all kinds of awesome stuff. And I'm happy to report that it really doesn't get old. Even though he's a third, I still get jazzed by his firsts.

Like his first step. NO I do not have it on video. The good thing is he did it when the whole family was there. Just let go of something, took a step and then lunged into my arms as I squatted next to him.

He's since taken just one step a couple other times. What's really amazing about him is how strong he is. He can stand by himself for about a minute, as he examines a toy, passing it back and forth between both hands.

He'll crawl or push his walker over to something, like Sage's big plastic lego box. He'll squat and pick it up, almost to his eye-level, and stand there checking it out.

I took the kids to the park,and put X down in the sand next to some tiny structures. He pulled up and cruised along and had a great time.

So how is he sleeping, you wonder? Hey! Thanks for asking! Last night he went ELEVEN hours. Without waking up and crying. Not even a peep.

See, we finally did the Cry It Out thing. At first, I'd leave the room and go sleep on the couch when he woke up the second time (yes, I still accomodated him the first time he woke up in the night). Then I realized that there was something wrong with this picture. I mean, shouldn't HE be the one to be booted out of the room?

Logistically, this is not easy. So I came up with a new plan. The past few nights I've played dead. He'd wake up, hold onto the crib rail and wail, watching me. I didn't move, only gritting my teeth when David would roll over or clear his throat.

It would take about 20 minutes, but X would go back to sleep.

Then last night, silence. All. Night. Long.

Here's hoping it's the start of a great month to come.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Two Wheels

When my Dad was a child, his father's idea of teaching him how to swim was to take him out in a boat and throw him in the ocean or lake or whatever body of water they happened to be floating upon.

It was, literally, sink or swim.

Thankfully, my Dad was buoyant.

I guess my grandfather's philosophy applies not at ALL to our method of teaching our children to swim, but for something a bit more down to earth: riding a bike without training wheels.

Sawyer was indoctrinated when he was just over four and a half. You might remember this day. I sure do. Not just because Sawyer learned to ride on two wheels, but because while he was at the park doing so, I was peeing on a stick and was stunned to discover I was pregnant with the Xander-to-be.

Today we decided it was Sage's turn. She wasn't so thrilled by the idea. She wanted them off. She didn't want them off. And so on. David took her - just a special Daddy/Daughter trip - to the park across the street where Sawyer had learned.

They returned 20 minutes later. I was not encouraged. I figured he took the training wheels off, she refused to get on the bike, crying ensued, and David, frustrated, took her back home.

Instead, they got out of the car and David brought the bike up the street.

Sage got on.

David gave a little push.

And off. She. Went.

Yes, I cried.

There she was, with her brother and the neighbor boys all cheering her and zipping around her, riding her pink bike, her tongue stuck out to the side when she cornered.


Turns out, they got to the park, David took off the training wheels, and she got right on. A push, a hold-steady, and she was riding.


The best part is she's now really part of the gang. Pretty soon she's going to be fast enough to keep up with the bigger kids (and a smaller one who was riding on two wheels before he was 3). Just like when her brother did it, she's dipping another toe into the waters of independence.

At four years, four months.

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Congratulations, Sage. I knew you could do it. Because once you figure out what it is you want, you go get it. And hey - your big brother will always have your back.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

From the Can to the Garbage Can

Sage spotted these on the shelf of Vons the other day.

"OOOH! I want THOSE!" she shouted, pointing to the can conveniently placed at the eye-level of a four year-old in the front of a shopping cart.

"I will get them for you," I said, "if you promise to EAT them."

She assured me she would. But I knew better. She does not yet get you don't judge a can by its cover. She sees Ariel, Cinderella and Belle and thinks it contains rainbows and unicorns. Or something with sugar, at least.

Incidentally, the cover proclaims it has "cool shapes shaped pasta." Trying to figure out exactly what that means is making me tilt my head to the side like my dogs when they hear a high-pitched sound.

I could still hope, though, right? I mean, what kid doesn't like spaghettios? Although I remember they gave me the funny burps as a kid. I was more of a ravioli girl.

Nevertheless. She asked for the pisgettios all day yesterday. Finally, tonight, we served them for dinner.

I think she had two bites. She pronounced the ring-shaped pasta as tasting "weird,", the food too "saucy" and the meatballs "okay."

Well, at least she tried it. And now I never have to buy those crazy cool shapes shaped pasta again.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Pamper Me

Some day I will cook again. Really I will. It's just that with this no wheat/dairy/soy diet, I can't eat much, so I'm not inspired in the kitchen. At all.

I actually enjoy making stuff. I'm looking forward to assembling lasagna again. To say nothing of dusting off my pannini press.

There is one thing I don't like, and this will come as no surprise to anyone who's ventured into my house. And that would be cleaning. I do it because it's necessary, but I'm not someone who gets a thrill out of scrubbing the floor - though I'm beyond estatic on the rare occasion when the house is actually immaculate.

How does this have anything to do with the above picture, you ask? I'll tell you.

I don't often sing the praises of kitchen stuff, but this particular gem has really rocked my world. See, Sawyer insists on having pasta every day for lunch. Every day. And then Sage will ask for macaroni and cheese, and then we'll be straining ground turkey for dinner, and soon enough there are three dirty, filmy strainers sitting in the sink.


Ever try to clean one of those? You have to turn it over and try to spray all the gunk out, and then scrub it. It's exhausting. Exhausting, I tell you!

So my girlfriend is a Pampered Chef representative. I've bought some stuff from her and am pleased with everything so far. But there's one thing that's changed my life.

Oh yes. My drainer. All you do is hold this over the pot and you can drain the water out - WITHOUT GETTING ANYTHING DIRTY!

I mean, you just rinse off the drainer and you're done. No extra thing to wash, no dumping the pasta back in the pot to add the Real Cheese to the macaroni - the pasta is already in the pot!

Yes, I already know what you're thinking. I need to get out more. It's true. But at least while I'm stuck at home, my kitchen is a strainer or two cleaner.

These days, that's saying a lot. So go treat yourself to one of these babies. You'll thank me.

Monday, January 04, 2010

My Precious

I've been waiting for one of these babies for a long time. And, finally, here it is. Right in my garage.

Today when Xander went down for a nap I simply walked downstairs, changed into shorts and a sports bra (because NO ONE can see me!), and went for a run. Without ever having to leave my house.

This is beyond exciting. With David often gone on business, I could only get out for a run sporadically. It's tough to get back into shape that way. I also am having a major issue with my left hip flexor, and running the hills that surround my neighborhood is excrutiating.

So now I can run on a nice, soft absolutely flat surface. Much better for all my current joint issues.

And I could run NAKED if I wanted to. So sorry for that visual, but it's kind of nice to run in private. The other good thing about that is no one could see me sucking wind. Oh. Em. Gee. Talk about starting at square one! I was embarrassingly slow. Even for me.

At least now I know I'm in excellent position to build my speed and endurance, as long as my hip flexor doesn't explode.

I still can't quite believe we bought one. Yay! I have a treadmill!

The best part? X slept peacefully through the workout. And he awoke to a sweaty but happy Mama.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

One small step for Woman...

These shoes? Right here?

They're mine.

But that's not all. Oh no. There's something even more miraculous, more astonishing, even, than me actually having time to try on shoes. Alone.

The most exciting part was, when I tried on my ginormous size of 10.5, THEY WERE TOO BIG!

For those of you who have cute tiny feet, you're not getting this. You have no idea how it feels to have the same size feet as your husband. When those of us gifted with super-size feet try on shoes, our first thought isn't whether the shoe is pretty or the right color or appropriate material. No. We think, "Do my feet look HUGE in these?" It's the equivalent of trying on jeans and asking if they make your butt look fat - if your butt is, indeed, fat.

You especially don't know what it's like to wear the biggest possible "normal" size, only to have your foot GROW when you're pregnant. Suddenly my size 10s were too small. I was already relegated to supportive flats because of the painful neuroma I have in the ball of my right foot - to say nothing of my career as a full-time Mom in which I rarely have a need to dress up. My choices became limited.

Now, I have to say that there are decent options: Mephisto, Naot, Merrell. And a lot of them are actually stylish instead of simply functional.

I looked for the table with those brands right away at Nordy's yesterday. Feeling crazy, it being the new decade and all, I actually tried on a 2 1/2 inch heel. In a 10.5, which, incidentally, was the size of the Merrells I wore to the store.

You cannot imagine my elation when I took a step and MY FEET CAME RIGHT OUT.

The saleswoman gave me that slightly wary look usually reserved for dealing with the insane. She was young. No sweet potato was smeared on the shoulder of her smart little shirtdress. She probably wears the same size she wore last year, and has a whole closet of hip clothes she can actually fit into.

She was very sweet, but she couldn't grasp what a Big Deal this was for me.

She measured my feet and my toes didn't quite reach the 10 line! She had to bring me out the size 10s - and the 9 1/2s!

People! Are you ready for this? MY FEET SHRUNK!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay, I know that a size 10 isn't delicate. But to me, it's a little something I got back after having my three kids, you know? If I can't yet fit into my size 4s and 6s, then at least I can get back into my old size of shoe.

It's another toe back to the world of the Old Me, before my feet needed to grow to keep up with the effort of carrying around those babies.

And the other thing? I didn't even ponder whether these shoes made my feet look like battleships. As far as I'm concerned, they were as dainty and light as fairy slippers.

Friday, January 01, 2010

He hearts me!


This picture is my favorite (okay, and only) gift for my birthday yesterday. I lobe it, as Sawyer wrote.

The best part? That I'M wearing his name in my heart and he's wearing mine.

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Hope you're all feeling the lobe this New Year!
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