Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A New Christmas Story

Twas the night before the night before Christmas
And all through the house
Not a creature was stirring
Except for the hideous things coming out of Mommy's mouth....

It's been an adventuresome, yet uneventful Christmas around here. Conor picked up a stomach bug that became evident on Friday night. Despite yakking on two pairs of Dave's jeans, it was fortunately a very mild event. For Conor.

The incubation period is apparently 48 hours for a stomach bug. And although Conor only yakked 2 times in one hour, I was blessed with a 6 hour yakking marathon involving hurried trips to the loo every 15 minutes for the first three hours and every 30 minutes for the next three. (I would like to point out that on Christmas Day when my dear friend came over with her adorable 3 day old, we figured out that I had thrown up longer than she was in labor--start to finish)

I certainly don't mind taking one for the team. And indeed this is the second stomach virus I've shared with Conor and Dave hasn't. However, I'd be more than happy to retire my martyr virus status to any takers out there. And again it's much better that I yak for 6 hours and Conor only yaks for one. NONETHELESS, I'd really prefer for Conor's mild experience to be an indication of how mild my illness will also be.

We had a great Christmas altogether. And there was adorableness all around, particularly when Conor spotted Santa's partially eaten cookie. However, the most gift-appreciative creature in this house was Patches. We bought him a couple of toys and a peanut butter treat. The first gift he got to open was just placed in a bag. Once I indicated that this treat was for him, he plunged his head down into the bag and nosed around for about 10 seconds until he gently pulled out the new toy by the edges of its packaging. It was one of the sweetest things I've ever seen. The sweetest thing I've ever seen is towards the end of gift opening when he was starting to unwrap his last present with his teeth in the corner of the room. He has NEVER tried to open a present before, but he knew this one was his, and he was tired of waiting for his turn. It was adorable.

Tomorrow, we're off to sunny warm Omaha for a nephew's wedding over the weekend. What? Omaha is not sunny and warm this time of year? Are you serious?!?! Crap!!! I'd better figure out what the heck I'm going to wear so I'm not freezing my southern ass in the Great Plains of the Midwest.

Happy New Year to you!!!

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Fish Who Would Not Die

Sergio has made an amazing comeback. He's eating again and swimming around and his fins are spread out. Who knew that we'd have our own Monty Python character living in a fishbowl?

So have you heard of Pingu? Last year, Conor's cousin Carter brought out a DVD of favorite TV shows and within it was a sample of the Pingu animations. I LOVE Pingu! It's one of the shows Conor watches that Dave and I like to watch. (Go! Diego! Go! Not so much)

As part of our Holiday wishes to you, we invite you to watch a Pingu Video (ironically of Pingu fishing).

And then when you see Conor and he goes "QUACK QUACK!!" and pulls his hand away from his mouth like he's playing a trombone, you will realize that he's trying to talk like Pingu. (Although Pingu says NOB! NOB!!)

Monday, December 17, 2007

Mama Stink

Conor has started yoga at daycare. A yogini comes by every two weeks and teaches the children different positions. The first class just involved reaching for the sun, but lately, Conor has shown us how he can make himself into a ball and how he can not only do Down Dog, but can then do Down Dog with one hand behind his back.

It's pretty impressive not only that he knows these positions, but that they are teaching children yoga at daycare.

On Sunday, we were decorating cookies together and Conor put his hands in prayer pose and bowed a little while he said "mamastink."

"What?" I asked.

"Manastink. Mamastink. Mamastink," all the while his hands are folded.

"I think you mean 'Namaste'" I suggested to him.

"Mamastink," he replied.

"Namaste," I counted.

This went on for a while until he got very frustrated and said "YOGA! YOGA! I learned this in Yoga cwass!!!"

"I know, honey! I learned it in yoga class, too. And it's Namaste!"

"Mamastink!!" he insisted one more time, although finally willing to concede that maybe Mama might know a bit more about yoga than he. And that she didn't stink.


We continue to be on Death Watch. I thought Sergio had finally kicked the fishbowl Saturday morning when I had to go past just flicking the side of the bowl to shaking it a bit to see if he was still alive. (He squiggled a bit, so we took that as a proclamation that he was not dead yet.) This morning he actually ate something so I think we have a while to go.

It's very sad to see an animal towards the end. We are certainly following his lead on this. Sort of like attachment parenting, but more like attachment fishing, but where the attachments do not involve lures. Also, it's hard to comfort a fish. They don't take to touching and petting all that well.

He's had a good little life, our Sergio. And I think he has a little bit left in him. Maybe he'll make it to Christmas. I'm sure that the holiday holds much meaning for him.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Sergio Death Watch

The fish, Sergio, is not doing so well. First, I must admit that at 4 1/2 years, Sergio is very, very old for a betta. And he's actually quite active, attacking his food and waving his fins at us if we are a bit late on feeding him.

Lately, though, he's taken to either lying on his artificial grass or hanging vertically in the water. Neither of those positions seem all that healthy. Also, instead of attacking his food, which is awfully cute--it's a pellet, but he hunts and kills it, he now sort of lunges towards it and if he misses, well, he sort of takes a nap and waits for the next meal. We really try to drop the pellets very close to his head, but he's not very interested.

Worst, though, is that Dave noticed that his gills are getting crusty. We do not assume this is a good sign.

I wish there was somthing we could do to ease his pain, short of using gin or the freezer. However, I think we'll just continue to provide him with whatever comfort we can (usually a head near his bowl and some sympathetic sounds) and then just flush him when he's officially belly up.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Well Insulated

We just had insulation blown into the walls of our house. Yes, that's right. Our 1943 built house has never had insulation. Ironically, 1943 was the last December with temperatures this warm, so maybe they opted out of the insulation, expecting the weather to hold. Or maybe they were just poor; this house was originally built for factory workers. We have heard that the parents slept in the living room while the 4 kids split the two bedrooms. Or most likely, "global warming" and "building green" were simply not on the minds of the builders or homeowners 75 years ago.

It's been on our mind though since we moved in. One of the benefits of our house is the breezeway, aka, the family room when there was a breeze outside. I have felt a draft sitting in the middle of the room with the windows and doors CLOSED because of the wind coming through our walls. The cabinets have also served as plate warmers or plate chillers depending on the season. Butter left on the counter is either melting or solid as a rock depending on what is going on outside the house.

It really hit me when we went to visit Dave's family in the frigid midwest and it still felt comfortable in their house! I'm so used to drafts and chills and uneven room temperatures that I was SHOCKED to be warm inside a house in the winter.

Next week, they are changing out the last of our old windows, replacing them with double hung windows that we can open. I am thrilled by this prospect.

Of course, if it wasn't 80 degrees today, we might be able to test out how well our new insulation is working. Maybe this weekend, it will get cold again and we can stay toasty in our newly warm house.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Pandora Radio

On Weds, my students told me about Pandora Radio. It's a web site that serves as your own personal radio. You type in an artist or a song and they'll develop a playlist of music similar to the song/artist you like. You can further refine it by giving particular songs Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down.

The nice thing is that it introduces you to new music and musicians similar to the ones you like already.

It does not suck, which is one the highest compliments we give in the south. (Like when I saw Andy Garcia on my morning jogs in Toluca Lake and thought "That man is NOT ugly.")

Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Van Guy

Conversation this weekend.....

Dave: Anita wants us to get a minivan. How are you two doing it with the twins?

Twin Dad: Yeah, the mini-van. It's hard. But you can either be Creepy Van Guy or Woussy Van Guy.

Dave: You got the Odyssey.

Twin Dad: Yeah, Woussy Van Guy.

Dave: I hear ya.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Miss Me???

It was hard not to post on Saturday to say "YIPPEE!! I have the night off and I don't have to post!!"

But then that would have defeated the whole purpose, eh?

So, instead, I will talk about the fact that *I* made *bread* this weekend. And when I say *I*, I mean me solo without a bread machine and when I say *bread*, I mean a breadish substance that was actually edible. (Biscuits=hockey pucks around here)

I even attempted this feat due to the Observer's claim (via the NY Times) that this is the easiest bread in the world to make. Indeed, it was so easy, Conor could have made it.

3 cups of water at 100 F degrees
1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt

Mix that together

Add 6 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour

Mix until there are no dry spots in the flour

Let sit covered with a cloth for at least 2 hours and up to 5

Cut off one-fourth of the dough (grapefruit sized)

Spread some flour on it so you can pick it up and it won't get stuck to your fingers (figured that out on the second loaf)

Stretch it and shape it into an oval

Let sit for 40 minutes and then put it in a greased loaf pan.

Cook for 30 minutes in a 450 degree oven (let the oven heat for 5 minutes at 450)

Cool completely and you have bread.

That's it!

It is the best bread I've ever made by hand. It's the only edible bread I've made my entire life!! I am not a baker, but I baked bread. I'm pretty psyched. I might even ask Santa for the book which apparently has several of these sorts of bread recipes.

Seriously. With something that easy, how can you NOT bake your own bread?

Friday, November 30, 2007

Happy Anniversary to Us

Yes, it's that time of year again, when Dave and I get to celebrate becoming Mr. and Mrs. Mommy and Daddy (as we told Conor this morning). Although I suppose it's really Mrs. and Mr. Mommy and Daddy or Mr. and Mrs. Daddy and Mommy, but sometimes the flow of words trump their logical order.

It's been 5 years of blissful love in the Mother Thing household, and honestly, I can't imagine anything easier than being married to Dave. He is my true smoochie muffin.

I'm looking forward to enjoying our last bottle of Moet & Chandon saved from the wedding. This is only one of the few anniversaries where I haven't been pregnant or nursing, so I think we should enjoy it while we can.

Oh, and just so you don't think Conor is completely unmaterialistic, he spent to remainder of yesterday just like Ralphie from A Christmas Story correcting his request to Santa. Although instead of wanting a Red Rider BeeBee gun, Conor wants a "Racing Car Game". We don't really know what that is yet, but we'll find it and put it under the tree. That's one thing I can promise that Santa can deliver this year.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Dear Santa

At Conor's daycare, they often will put the children's answers to different questions on the door to their room. It's a lot of fun to see what the children's responses are because they are usually quite funny.

To wit, the class read "Are you my Mother?" and the children answered the question "What is your mommy like?" Conor's response was cute "I don't know. I have to think about it" but others were hysterical "My mommy sounds like a helicopter and she's really slow" as well as "My mommy has long hair and long legs." (Vavavavoom!)

Today's posting on the door was "Dear Santa" and the children apparently responded to what they'd like to ask Santa for Christmas. Answers were mostly toy related "I don't know--a lot of toys!" and "My daddy needs some paper and Anna wants a princess."

Conor's answer was "I would ask a present for Mommy and Daddy, but I really need my own little brother."

His response was as unexpected as mine when I ran sobbing down the hall of daycare, my hand over my mouth to keep from wailing. I hid in the staff bathroom until I could gain a modicum of composure. I was still able to tackle the mother who saw my reaction as she left to let her know I was alright if somewhat mortified. It was awkward then, but can you imagine how awkward it would have been if I wasn't able to see her until tomorrow? She's seen me act like a nut; I would still be a nut.

It felt pretty raw to see Conor's wish for a little brother up on the door. All the other children asked for toys. And seeing his innocent request makes me feel empty and, publicly, called out as a failure.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Random Thoughts

Dave and I were somewhat proud of our community activism yesterday. The communications director emailed back both of us (his letter was longer, I'm thinking because he did not identify as a lactivist nor the husband of one!) to tell us the woman was released from prison. She told Dave she was unhappy that the Observer broke the story. They apparently only found out about the breastfeeding woman AFTER the Observer told them about it and were upset that they couldn't solve the problem before press time.


Would they have been so aggressive to solve the problem if not for the knowledge of what the publicity would bring? Would they have so quickly reached a new policy for breastfeeding mothers if not for ALL the letters the received. (I alone know of 4 letters). [Updated to add: The editors of the Observer agree with this line of reasoning]

In any case, I think the paper did exactly what it was supposed to do, updating the web site as soon as it was announced that the woman was being released to feed her child.


On another note, one of the worst things about being me is knowing when someone else is going to miscarry. I'm on a couple of online infertilty groups and it sucks dirty monkey toes to hear someone with a low beta that doesn't quite double in 48 hours reason that her doctor thinks it's ok so she will too. I know that in about 4 weeks, she'll be back SHOCKED that she had a miscarriage. I was her once, too, you know. Or the woman whose positive HPT is light and doesn't seem to get a lot darker even after a couple of days. Or the woman whose baby's heartbeat is just under the lower end of normal.

It sucks.


And on a COMPLETELY different note, in fact, there's a chord change, another key, and a new melody starts, the new Trader Joe's opened up on Monday near the university.


I knew it was going to be good when I arrived and got to park in Princess Parking*. The store is bigger and the parking lot is better, and at 5 minutes vs. 35 minutes from my work, it's a lot more convenient. I was in a state of shopping bliss. Trader Joe's is not just a grocery store, it's a way of life. And it's one that raises the quality of my life a significant degree.

*This is the spot that is so highly desirable it feels like you're spoiled to get it.

Off to commune with my family. I have to be honest--only 2 more days to the end of NaBloPoMo, and I kind of looking forward to taking a day off.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Time is of the Essence

The Charlotte Observer is reporting that a new mother who is being held for overstaying her visa is not being allowed to pump breastmilk for her infant, less than two months old. The infant is obviously having a very hard time with the formula and the mother risks a breast infection.

The issue of this woman's immigration status is irrelevant, in my humble opinion. The issue is that this child and this mother's health are at risk for practices that, in their most generous light, are ill informed. I could blog about what I think about these practices in a less generous light, but you can draw your own conclusions about sexism and poor governmental policies about breastfeeding.

Time is of the essence here.

UPDATED: The mother is being released from the prison today.

Monday, November 26, 2007


I completely erased this entry. Because it sucked. Bleah.

I have had meetings all day long. I'm tired and the effort required to be witty is beyond my mental capacity.

My main memory of the day is walking behind my students as we approached the room for our meeting. All four of them stopped in front of the close door. I walked around them and opened the door so we could walk in.

I'm getting really tired of being the only person in the group that is willing to do the "menial" work.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Worm Poop

I swear I'm not usually this obsessed with the poopage around our household. However....

I noticed that the Boston fern we brought in off the porch us looking like crap and has dead leaves falling all around it despite the fact that I'm watering it very well and it's not in the path of a heating vent.

And then, last night, I saw little brown balls on the floor around the tree. And a dead worm: a dead cankerworm. AHHHHHH!!!!

These are SPRING pests! And now they are confused about moving inside into the warmth, have hatched and defoliating my Boston fern, one of the few that has survived my lame watering schedule for a whole summer?!?!?! And dropping poop on my Grandma's chair!?!?

We are not amused. The Bacillus thuringiensis arrives tonight. Bug guts will be exploding soon after.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Vacation Constipation

The trip was wonderful; we had a great time and I will carry the memories of this Thanksgiving on my hips for quite a while. (Hips don't lie!)

However, I cannot poop on when I go on vacation. Or business conferences, for that matter. I can eat all the fruit, vegetables and fiber that will fit in my mouth, but the poopage is not happening.

After petting our whining-he-was-so-happy-to-see-us-when-we-arrived dog, I RAN to the bathroom. I would just like to say that I am very, very, VERY happy to back today.

Apparently, Conor also has this trait. So I'm not alone in being a freak of this nature.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Fat(ter) and Warm(er)

It's sunnier, colder (degree-wise) and yet warmer (wind-wise) here. Less wind and more sun make for a very pleasant day. Of course, it could also be my brand new layer of fat warming my innards like whale blubber that is helping, too. I'm not sure which and I'm not going to publicly admit that my fat is keeping me toasty.

The "good" news when the car comes to pick us up at 5:00 am tomorrow morning to go back to Charlotte is that we have not yet moved over from East Coast to Central time. I do understand that one hour doesn't make that much of a difference unless that hour is between 5 and 6 am and it involves a toddler who doesn't understand that "don't get up yet" means "go back to sleep."

Finally, this morning at 5:30, he exasperatedly told us that he was NOT getting up yet, merely rolling back and forth between us pinching our noses, snuggling on our necks and giving us imaginary flowers.

We gave up and looked at the sunny side that 5:00 will just feel like normal waking time on this vacation.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Turkey Day

Greetings from sunny yet snowy Rockford!

We had a great plane ride up on Tuesday accentuated by the utter adorableness of Conor announcing to the entire plane after we lifted off, "We're FLYING!!!" I do not exaggerate the cuteness as I saw the adults in the two runs ahead of him hunker over and laugh at his announcement. If they shot me evil eyes to keep my son quiet, I noticed it not.

The weather here started in the 40s and then was predicting snow last night. I actually packed my gear for running knowing that in Charlotte, weather in the 40s is perfect. In fact, if the temp is over 45, I wear shorts with my long sleeved shirt.

The whole family woke up way too early (6 am! on vacation!!!) so I thought I'd run later in the day. So we had breakfast and went to the park. Holy freakedy freak cow.

The WIND! The WIND!! The windidy wind wind freezing my ass off WIND!!

As you can tell, tt was a wee bit windy and that made the whole experience one of the coldest things I've ever done. I had a big wool coat, scarf and leather gloves and still 5 minutes into the park trip, we are heading back to the car. 43 degrees in Charlotte is NOTHING compared to 43 degrees in the cold, wet, wind of Rockford, IL. There is no wearing of the shorts while running at 45 degrees in the midwest. If I'm wrong, please tell me.

We did have a dusting of snow last night. We had Conor go to the window as soon as he woke up and he announced "It SNOWED!!" (He's big on announcing things lately) There really wasn't enough to make a snow man, so we made tiny snowballs and threw them at each other. There may have been some chasing about in the snow, too. It was less painful in the snow today than the wind yesterday, so we stayed out a whole 15 minutes playing.

Now we're at Grandma's and Grandpa's waiting for the turkey to cook and there may be a pre-feast nap in my future. (Dave and Conor are already asleep) I hope your turkey makes you happy today, too!

And special thanks to Jennifer for yesterday's post. I did brag about scoring the cheese curds and knowing her Wisconsin roots, I knew she'd appreciate it. Then she mentioned wearing short sleeves in her warm home in Texas and she taunted me back. Yes, there are tradeoffs everywhere.

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Ghost Post

Hello, this is Anita's friend, Jennifer, and I am a "ghost blogger" for Anita today! She is in Illinois over the Thanksgiving holiday, and does not have access to a computer tonight. Being the devoted blogger that she is, she did not want to break her NaBloPoMo (hope I got that right!?), so I am posting for her. When I spoke with her on the phone, she said that they are looking forward to a snowfall tonight, so I anticipate we will get to see cute pictures of Conor playing in the snow in an upcoming post! Also, in pre-Thanksgiving celebration, she and Dave have been feasting on the midwestern delicacy of cheese curds. She will be back tomorrow to tell you all about it!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Hit the Road, Jack.....

Ack! Ack! Ack!!

I never plan packing for my trips appropriately. It doesn't help when I have ABSOLUTELY NO CLOTHES to wear in cold weather. Either I tossed all my sweaters (!?!??!) or I put them in special place and have no idea where that is.

We're leaving for a trip to Rockford, IL. But, ummm, don't think the house is a free-for-all! The alarm is on and the vicious dog is home!

I'll check on you from frosty IL tomorrow!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Towards the End of the Semester

My grad students walked into the class this morning looking particularly bleary eyed. There's the normal grad student, stressed out, overwhelmed look. And then there was this morning, with extra bags under their eyes and a glazed expression on their faces.

"Wow!!" I say "You all look like crap!!"

"Thanks!!" they cheerily replied. "So do you!!"

I love my grad students.

Now is the time that all the faculty and all the students are overwhelmed and panicked. We're not quite halfway into the school year but we're almost finished with the first semester. Every single one of us has not done everything we've wanted to do this semester. I don't care how long we've been professing, at this time of the year we're all surprised by how behind we are.

Let me restate that: we're all surprised by how big our "behind" is. And we haven't even started eating our way through the holiday parties yet.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Fall Garden

Now that there are actually things growing in the garden (in November!! Who woudda thunk?!), I have a lot more interest in being out there and doing things. I really don't know if the broccoli, cauliflower or brussel sprouts are going to ever produce edible things, but they sure make the garden seem less bleak. And the Swiss chard is still doing great, even after our first real frosts and freezes last week. I think next year, I'm definitely going to plant them closer together and hopefully have chard anytime I want it.

I chopped down all the asparagus ferns this weekend too. I still don't know how much I can or should trim them during the summer because after we decide to let them "go to seed" they get huge. Like seven-foot-aparagus-fern huge. (I still want to say that if you live in a place where asparagus can grow, you should start your own bed this spring.)

I moved the artichoke a couple of weeks ago. I had planted it near the tarragon bush before I learned they were mortal enemies, sort of the Hatfield and McCoy of vegetables and herbs. Indeed, the tarrago killed one of the artichoke bushes and was destroying the closer half of the surving one. I'm still not sure this one is going to make it, but it has a better chance now than it did with it's slowly but surely march towards death.

We've also planted pansies in the backyard for the first time. I'm hoping we'll get to enjoy our own private display of color. And I hope the ground cover we planted in the front will provide some color and save us some twice-yearly time with the annuals.

This is one of the few times that I've understood just how active fall can be gardening. I hope I have something to show for it. Although, the most important thing I think that's going to come out of this is that I'm not ending up the year hating all the things I've killed over the last 7 months.

I bet that's why they encourage fall gardening. Anything green seems hopeful.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Oh Good Heavens

It is Saturday. And I've been up since 5:15.

What on earth witty do I have to add to the blogosphere tonight? Even my own husband is irritated with my general self. How am I expected to woo the masses????

Well, I am wearing my cute empress waist shirt and my big booby bra.

Ok. Here's the pathetic part. It's actually an empire waist shirt. I just googled the phrase because as I blogged it, I had the same bell ring in my head as when I lecture and I'm pretty sure I'm one off in what I just said. (It makes my students' notes more interesting, for sure).

Also, I listened to my MP3 player again---the Pink song is not

"I'm coming out" (i.e., I'm arriving at the party, in my mind)


"I'm coming up" (i.e., I'm getting ready to start DJing, in Pink's mind).

Ahhhhhh. What a joy it is to try to understand me.

I'm taking the rest of the night off. Obviously I need it.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Occasionally, It Still Happens

"Miss! Miss!!! Do you know where Halton Arena is?"

I look around the parking lot. I'm the only one around.

"Ummm, where?" I respond sounding like the geeky professor I am who never leaves her office. I also don't want the man (someone's father) to get much closer and realize there is no way in hell I'm a "Miss."

"They are playing volleyball there. Here are the directions," he showed me a printout basically taking them to UNCC.

"Ummmm, I think it's that big building right there. The old gym."

"Thanks!" and he walks away.

I look at what I'm wearing: an I-don't-give-a-shit outfit consiting of a stained dusty rose ribbed turtleneck, a ribbed green cardigan, faded low cut jeans and $10 bad weather boots from Target. Clearly, it is not my youthful beauty that lead him to call me "Miss." It is because the general public cannot imagine a professor being this poorly dressed.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

NaBloPoMo Hump

Hump that NaBloPoMo, baby!!

So, um, have you kind of noticed something? Like, I'm not Finslippy (who can blog about her dog yakking on her in the middle of the night and make you jealous it didn't happen to you because that is inherently funny). Maybe there's a reason I don't post every day. Cuz I kind of suck in the consistently witty blog posting.

I mean, yeah, this morning, I awoke to a kitten/birdie/son pinching my nose in a kitten/birdie/son kind of kiss. And yeah, I was NOT amused by this as I was allowed 30 more minutes of sleeping which I did not get to enjoy but how grumpy can you be when your darling toddler is adoring you the best way he can as a kitten/birdie/son.

While I can write about it in a way that you could imagine it might be funny, Finslippy or Dooce would write about it a way to make you snort wine out your nose. I write not consistently like them.

Indeed, I shake my old wrinkled blogging hand at their talent.

Therefore, I pull out the ace in the hole video that I've been saving here one NaBloPoMo day:

Go here and then come back and tell me how you, too, are going to save this video and watch it repeatedly because it is so damn funny.

And then come back and tell me about what liquid you laughed out of your nose.

It's a Zoo Around Here

"Wow! You ate a lot of pepperoni pizza!"

"I don't want any more pizza. I'm full."

"You're a little piglet. You're my little piglet."

"I'm not a piglet. I'm a kitten."

"You're a kitten? What happened to the birdie?"

"The birdie went on vacation."

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Last Gorgeous Day of the Year

It's 76 degrees out right now. I just came back in from a run; I bailed on this morning's run after 30 seconds when my calf started hurting again. I promptly turned around and got back in bed with my boys for another hour of sorta sleep. This afternoon's run was ok--as you can imagine, I continue to struggle emotionally when I run, and I anticipate that to be a problem until Nov 20 passes.

I also struggle for more practical reasons: I'm fat and out of shape. I can still have those good runs, but it is glaringly obvious that I'm a bigger girl now than I was. The most pathetic reminders of my weight gain come in the week after I stop the heparin shots. That's because as I run, the fat on my belly jiggles (like other people's fat does, too) but I have the added bonus of deep bruises which make my jiggling fat hurt like a mother. (Or not, because that's about the time I know the HPTs are negative)

In any case, it's embarrassing at 5:45 am to be running down the street whimpering because the bruises in one's fat hurt. I know no one can see me save the stray owl or early squirrel. Nonetheless, it's not a source of pride for a runner. Yes, the next logical step would be to actually Lose Weight. Feel free to do so and tell me about it.

In other news, today was the Thanksgiving lunch at Conor's daycare. Last year, you may recall we had no idea it was such a big deal. Dave was able to attend at the last minute. This year, we've had it on the calendar since Nov 1 when the announcement came out and we both went.

I have to say, it was a lot of fun. We at turkey and dressing sitting on tiny toddler by our proud little boy birdie. (I felt like a giant when I finally unfolded myself to stand up after eating and yes, Conor did call me Mommy Birdie during lunch) We met lots of the other parents, including Meegan's* parents. Conor has a stunning crush on Meegan, and she doesn't give him the time of day. We ask him who his favorite classmate is and he'll reply Meegan and then launch into some story about how he wanted her to sit HERE and she said NO and sat somewhere ELSE and how HE went to sit in the chair by her anyway. We know he's not making it up because despite talking about her constantly to us, her parents have no idea who we are or that Conor thinks she's his best friend in the class. Ah, at the age of 3, Conor's already interested in the ones who play hard to get. My other evidence that attests to that is the little girl who begs Conor to play with him as he runs away from her as fast as he can. (I've seen it happen and the teacher reports it's an every day experience)

So, yes. This year we attended. And we all left the children to go back to our work as they began to melt one by one in overstimulated pre-nap happiness. The teachers didn't think getting them to nap was going to be nearly as hard as getting them to wake up later. Although they think it would be a threat, Conor would love in general to sleep from about 1 until 4:30 when I pick him up. I'm leaving to go get him now....

*Name changed to protect the adorable.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Trick or Treat: Part 13

To help Conor prepare for Trick or Treat, while we cuddled before bedtime for the week or so before Halloween, I told him stories about how he would go to the door of someone's house and knock on it and the homeowner would open up the door and say "Hello?" and he'd say Trick or Treat!!! and then they'd give him candy.*

And guess what happened on Halloween? He went up to houses, knocked on the door, stood there like a frightened pirate and they would call him a fine pirate and give him candy.

Every night since then, however, when I come in to cuddle and tuck him in, he runs ahead of me and shuts his bedroom door. I wait a few seconds and then I knock.

"Hello?" he says.

"Trick or Treat!" I say.

"Come on in!" he says, opening the door wider. Every time this happens, it flashes through my mind to explain to him that if that EVER really happens to him in real life to RUN! RUN! RUN! back to the street and get us!! Yet, in this world, I walk into his room and he shuts the door. (Again, I think RUN! SON, RUN!!)

"Here's some candy!" he says handing me sweet air. He gives himself some and we both eat it.

Then he turns off the light, I turn on the fan and he (literally) hops in bed.

He may eat some more pretend candy but by this time, we switch to cuddling and he calls me his mommy birdie and I call him my baby birdie. But that's a whole other story.

*That is by far the longest sentence I've ever blogged.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Dining and Dressing

Sometimes I like to try new recipes like spinach pancakes, zucchini fritters, meatloaf, applecake, or cornbread.

Other times, I open a can of pasta sauce and boil some pasta. Salad is optional and the dressing is store bought.

Sometimes, I like to wear funky sweaters and low cut jeans with high heel boots. Or I pair an patterned empire waist shirt with nice black pants and kicky professional heels.

Other times, the goal is to Not Be Naked.

My friends and family notice when things are at the upper level. I explain, "I was trying to give a shit today." But no one really complains when things are at the more pedestrian pasta, not-naked state.

I don't know why lately I'm trying new recipes or trying to look less ugly. I don't know why I sometimes stop.

Sometimes, I don't want to analyze myself that completely.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

I'm Supposed to be Having a Baby Right Now

The due date was actually November 20, but I thought it would have been earlier. Like right around now. Indeed, I'm supposed to be a almost 39 weeks pregnant.

What sucks is that except for a few weeks at the end of the summer, I've pretty much known how far along I was supposed to be each and every week since the miscarriage. And for the first time, I've had negative reactions to seeing other pregnant women. I have not been upset around my friends who are pregnant (although when I found out my closest mother friend here is pregnant, it felt like someone punched me in the gut). That, however, was a short lived negative reaction. She is a good friend and I'm thrilled for her growing family. (She is also the only mother friend of mine who gets that I may still have negative reactions. And she still cries with me over this miscarriage)

There are, however, other people that I simply cannot be around now that they are pregnant. The one woman who upsets me most is someone who had a lot of trouble getting pregnant the first time. I have no idea if she had problems getting pregnant this time, but now that she's pregnant with her second, I cannot stand to look at her or be near her.

I'm not walking around in a constant maudlin state bemoaning my circumstances and seething at the big bellies around me. However, out of the blue, I can sink into a weary, gray hole of baby-missing sadness. I ask myself and this universe "where is my baby??? Where is my healthy baby girl!? Where Is My Baby??"

I sometimes say "Where is my Healthy Baby?" but then I realize, my baby wasn't healthy. There was something wrong with her heart. Her heartbeat was really way too fast and it was a sign that something was wrong.

And then I feel guilty. I haven't told you something. I am pretty sure my baby died while I was running a 5K. I didn't plan to run fast, but I did run faster than I wanted to with another friend of mine (see dear friend above). I ran 2 half marathons with Conor. And I ran at a pretty good clip with him. So I am as honest as I can possibly be when I say I didn't think anything would go wrong.

But Conor's heartrate was not too fast. This baby's heartbeat (the baby whom I sometimes call Colleen) was. I should not have been running. If I hadn't run that race, the pregnancy probably would have lasted longer and we might have been able to do something to help her heart and she might have lived. Of course, I don't know that for sure and Dave doesn't like it when I think like this. But I believe with all my soul she would not have died that day if I hadn't run that race. And she didn't die because I ran: she died because something was wrong with her heart and I ran.

Maybe it would have been a lot worse if she hadn't have died then. We probably would have found out the problem at the level II ultrasound. Maybe they would have known then that it didn't look good and I would have had to have made some awful choices. However, I would have chosen to try every single thing that we could have to fix her heart. And maybe that would have left me so emotionally drained if it didn't work that I would not be able to try to have a baby again.

I don't know. All I do know is that I really believed I was going to have a healthy baby. And now I am not.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

My Relaxing Saturday

5:15 am: Hit the snooze when the alarm goes off.

6:00 am: Continue to hit snooze until decide to get up.

6:15 am: Go for a 5.5 mile run.

7:10 am: Come back from a great run and greet wonderful husband.

8:00 am: Eat yummy whole wheat waffles (husband made!) with fancy "real" maple syrup from Trader Joe's

8:45 am: Water broccoli, cauliflower and brussel sprout plants in fall garden. Wonder if they will develop any vegetables before winter hits.

9:30 am: Play Spider Solitaire in home office.

9:45 am: Start planting 40 daffodil bulbs. Encourage Conor to "help" me.

10:15 am: Encourage Conor to "help" Daddy.

10:30 am: Continue to plant daffodils as Conor watches kids' TV.

11:00 am: Finish planting daffodils. Play hide and go seek in the front yard with an increasingly hide-and-go-seek-skilled pre-schooler.

11:30 am: Come inside and make chicken salad and reheat cabbage soup from earlier this week.

12:00 am: Eat lunch.

12:30 pm: Convince son that he wants to take a nap pointing out that if he REALLY didn't need one, he wouldn't be so cranky.

1:00 pm: Go to office to read meta-analysis article for class on Monday.

1:05 pm: Decide to water remaining pansies and to attend to the transplanted Osmanthus Fortuni.

1:20 pm: Decide that based on the new growth and flowers in November that Osmanthus would indeed be dancing a happy jig (if it could) because it's moved from full shade to full sun. Cut the zillion dead limbs out of the Osmanthus from being in full shade for 3 years.

2:00 pm: Go back to office to read meta-analysis paper.

2:10 pm: Resentfully play spider solitaire because I am doing school work on a Saturday afternoon.

2:20 pm: Read meta-analysis paper.

2:40 pm: Potentially admit to others that more spider solitaire was played.

3:30 pm: Finish reading interesting and relatively easy paper realizing that if one had not played spider solitaire would have finished earlier.

3:40 pm: Start cleaning nasty ass bathrooms.

4:15 pm: Fantacize about hiring housekeepers.

4:17 pm: Realistically evaluate cost of housekeepers to tolerance of bathing in nasty ass bathrooms. Decide to save money.

5:00 pm: Take shower.

5:15 pm: Crack open bottle of wine.

5:20 pm: Start dinner of zucchini fritters (yummy!), homemade refried beans (better yum this time than last) and soft chicken tacos (standard yum).

6:30 pm: Eat dinner.

7:00 pm: Blog for NaBloPoMo while son rolls around on floor following final Halloween candy binge and husband cleans kitchen.

Friday, November 09, 2007


I realized Saturday as I planted ground cover around our 250 year old ginormous willow oak tree that I really miss listening to music. The reason I realized that was that I had my MP3 player plugged in my ears and I was randomly listening to some old and new music.

At first, I just bobbed my head as my favorite songs came on. Then I started softly singing. Then I started dancing. (Did I mention that this tree is in our front yard) I didn't start singing along LOUDLY until the end of my planting, busting into the house to a shocked Dave and Conor as I sang surprisingly well considering I couldn't hear my own voice:

"I'm coming out so you better get the party started! I'm coming out, I'm coming!!!"

Or maybe I was singing so well exactly because I couldn't hear my voice, but you thought of that already, didn't you. (Meanie!)

I also decided that it was time to start listening to my CDs while I drive to work instead of getting all bummed out from the news that is NPR. (I do love it, but lately it's sad making) So I put in the first set of CDs, some that I like listening to while making dinner.

Apparently, while Norah Jones and Gillian Welsh are great for cooking, they are not the people I want to hear singing when I'm driving to and from work. They are soft and romantic and emotional. This morning I replaced those CDs with the songs I start craving as soon as the CD engaged: Garbage, Alanis Morisette, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Fat Boy Slim. This music is loud. And energetic. And often angry. That is evidently the music I want to listen to as I drive to and from work. Loud, energetic, and sometimes angry. It seems like an accurate description of me during that time, too.

Thursday, November 08, 2007


So, I have to be honest. There are Things. That. Annoy. Me. And I cannot keep my pie hole shut. I have to share them.

First, it bugs me a good deal when people do not want to use the First Response Early Results pregnancy tests because they are too expensive. It's true: FRER are not cheap. At Target, they cost $13 for 3. At the dollar store, one can get their store brand version of the test for $1 each. So you could buy 3 for $3 versus 3 for $13. Agreed! Cheaper.

If you are normal and only take one per month, you pay $3.33 more than you need to. (The FRERs can detect pg earlier, but that's an annoying fact for later on in this post). If you are like ME and take all 3 tests each month, you pay $10 more per month.

Here's the illogical and annoying rub for me: if you ARE pregnant, it's going to cost a wee bt more than $10 a month to have a child. And if you can't afford that extra $10/month, you really need to think twice about getting pg. Or just take one test! Then you're only out $3!!!

There are many reasons NOT to use a FRER. It's only good for finding out if you are pg ASAP (like the day after the embryo implanted). If you wait until you're a couple of days and you are officially "late", then you can use the dollar store test. That's what normal people do.

I, of course, am entirely too neurotic to wait that long. I want to take the tests as early as possible, often to see if I can have a guilt free glass of wine (or three) for dinner. So for me, it's worth $3 to enjoy that $10 bottle of wine. (We're cheap on the wine, at least. Oh, who am I kidding. Trader Joe's is in town and we enjoy 2 Buck Chuck now) Wait a minute here, my reasoning is taking an ugly turn. I must now point that that the $10 bottle is now costing me $13 when I use the FRER. The logical meandering is starting to make my head hurt. So let's get back to the point.

If you don't want to test early, then don't. But don't use the excuse that the FRERs cost too much. It's not a valid reason and *that* annoys me.

My other annoyance: people afraid of testing because they are going to get a negative test. Welcome to my world. God bless them if they have the ability to wait until they are 2 weeks late to test. My advice: keep on going!! 5 or 6 months from now if you still don't have your period, you're probably pregnant. Or you're going through menopause.

And I guess what is annoying about those things is that I am a pathetic little person. Other people don't make the same choice as I do, so, well, DAMN! They bug me. That's sad, eh!?!?!

Well, ok, on that self-enlightened note, let's end with the recognition that it's National Sucks To Be Us Week. I'm allowed to be cranky. Go read the other (much better written) article. And then write your congressperson to support in legislation to provide medical coverage for infertility.

And then you can wait with bated breath for my post on how I'm coping with the fact that I'm not 38 1/2 weeks pregnant like I'm supposed to be.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The Engagement Tree

Six years ago when Dave and I got engaged in Hawaii, we bought a 3 inch palm sprout thingy. It was like a stick with no leaves or roots. After we moved in together (4 months before we got married! Livin' in sin!), I sprouted the stick in some water. When it grew enough roots, I planted it.

This is a picture of it today.

It is nearly 7 feet tall! Both of us have to move it in and out of the house; it's just too big to move alone now.

Being that Dave is a giant, he noticed this week that it's sprouting a seed pod! At least that we think that's what it is. It could be an alien that is going to devour us in our sleep, but I think it's just a seed pod.

Pretty cool for a memento we spent $4 on when we got engaged.

May the tree's seed pod bode well as an omen for us, too.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Hide and Go Scare the Crap Out Of

We have recently begun to play Hide and Go Seek around here.

I hate to criticize my little snuggle bunny son, but his hide and go see skils are still developing. He's actually pretty good at finding places to hide, but then he laughs and jumps up and down and it takes all the guess work out of where he is.

Dave is quite a bit better. He is generous in his hiding in that he will pick a place that requires some effort to find, but it's still toddler accessible. His best location was hiding in Conor's bed under his blankets. That was a real hit with Conor and his toddler play date as I surmised by the hysterical laughter that ensued.

I, however, play for keeps. Although this may be a preview of the card games I will teach my son, I hide and go seek for real. I choose real hiding spots and don't "cough", snicker or move an inch to give a clue to where I am. And then, this is when I get a bit, well, some might call it sadistic.

Hint: the word "boo" is involved.

Or, as I'm sure Conor hears it.....BOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

I would feel bad about it if it wasn't for the fact that a half second after Conor's eyes blare in shock and awe, he doubles over laughing. In fact he begs me to hide again. And I do, in the bedroom closet, the bathtub, and best yet---the front coat closet. (I scared Dave, too, when I jumped out of that one yelling BOOO!)

How much fun can that be for Conor, though?!? (A LOT! He likes it! I swear!) There are only a few times in your life you can be surprised by particular hiding spaces, especially in this small house. And then to be scared curl-less by one of the two people you trust most in the world?? How can that not be like the most fun SAFEST high rise, quick drop roller coaster on earth?

It's certainly a hoot for me. And I'm not really sadistic. How could that much fun be so bad?

Monday, November 05, 2007

The Whole Sleep Thing

I do not understand the whole sleeping together issue. I say this as someone who never envisioned myself co-sleeping and actively mocked people who did it (before I was a parent). Then when the only way I could keep my sanity was to bring Conor to bed for the middle of the night nursings, I was a quick convert.

That was about 3 years ago. And we just haven't gone back.

Conor still goes to sleep in his own bed and stays there until sometime between 1 and 4. Or 11 and 5. Who knows, I'm still asleep. I do know that at some point there's a little snuggle bunny in the space between me and Dave most mornings when I wake up. And often there's a toe in my ear at some point, too.

Conor definitely prefers Daddy for his nighttime snuggles. As a result, I get the aforementioned toe or a leg thrown over my chest. But sometimes I also get a fat kiss on my shoulder and a "Mommy" sighed to me in the dark. When Dave gets up before dawn to go running, Conor rolls over to my side of the bed, snuggles up in the nook, and we cuddle until it's time to get up.

How lucky am I for that? Pretty damn.

So yes, even though a toe in the ear is still a toe in the ear, kisses and snuggles and family hugs with an occasional early morning Conor sandwich thrown in does not suck. I still don't see what all those people (whoever "Those People" are) fight for keeping children in the children's own bed. I just don't get it. And even more so, I think it's their loss.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

This Weekend's Marathons

I have been obsessed with the tragic death of Ryan Shay, the marathoner, and this picture since yesterday.

I don't know if the man in the middle, who won the marathon, has just at this second found out that his good friend had died. But the look on his face and the man to the right nearly overwhelms me.

What has been haunting me is the hell Ryan Shay's wife is going through. It's not fair to start the day thinking that the worst thing that could happen is that your husband won't make the Olympic team, and then to have your husband die. That seems a particularly cruel twist of fate.

And I need to make a transition to a much lighter note, and I'm having a hard time doing it so that I don't dismiss the poignancy of yesterday's sad news, but to add some humor into today's post. I'm not doing a very good job. So here goes....
On a much lighter note, I find this picture of Katie Holmes at the marathon particularly irritating, but not for reasons you might expect.

What kind of crap ass bra is she running in? I wouldn't do yoga in that bra, much less run a freakin' marathon in it. Get a little support, honey!! I guarantee you that woman was screaming in her shower after the race when the water hit her chafe marks. Clearly, she did not train because one single hour long run would have taught her to get a real running bra.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Anita, The Musical

Do you sing? A lot? I don't mean, "do you sing along with the radio?" (It is well established that I do and I'm serious about it) I mean, though, do you sing every day about whatever is going on at the time? I do that. A lot.

I sing about making dinner. I sing about Conor being cranky. I sing about Conor being bugged about me singing about Conor being cranky. I sing about going outside and all the things we're doing once we are out there. I can make up a song about anything, really.

Dave calls it living in "Anita, the Musical." Conor sometimes sings back to me (when he's not cranky at my singing. I can only sing after he's had breakfast. He does not appreciate morning musicals). His singing generally involves one high note and sometimes I can't even tell he's singing or he's squeaking. Nonetheless, he appreciates the music in our house.

But, along with Michael Chertoff, am I the only one who does that?

Friday, November 02, 2007

Little House on the Prairie

We joked after Conor was born and was sleeping in his bassinet in our bedroom along with our dog and three cats that we were the modern version of Little House on the Prairie's one-room cabin where everyone slept together.

3 1/2 years later, not much has changed. Sure, Conor starts off in his own bed. But sometime between 11:41 pm and 4:23 am he ends up in bed with us. We're used to it and the snuggles are nice.

But lately, we've also turned into Little Outhouse on the Prairie. Since the beginning of this school year, the whole family (although minus the cat and dog) has spent an inordinate amount of time in the bathroom together getting ready for the day. On the one hand, it is efficient. On the other, it's a small bathroom. There are some opportunities for privacy, but certainly fewer than one would want at this stage in one's life. Patches, at least, now understands that certain activities are not for public display. He's one of the few young ones in the house that gets that concept.

In any case, the idea of a bigger house with a bigger bedroom and a bigger bed and a bigger bathroom is appealing. But at some point, all I think that means is that more people will be in there at any given time.

I guess we would only be so lucky.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

All Saint's Day....and NaBloPoMo

Happy After Halloween to you. This is our little pirate heading the the neighborhood Halloween Parade.

And I can officially announce that I'm participating in NaBloPoMo, posting every day during the month of November on my blog. Should be lively, if not brillant. I can basically only say that there will be some update or another every day this month. That's it.

As for last night, Conor came home with his entire pumpkin filled with candy. He was a little afraid to say "Trick or treat" actually to the people at the doors. He would shout it as we walked up the drive and then whisper it on their sidewalks and then stand their moot as they handed out the candy.

Next year, we're going to gather our Tots and Toddies friends with us and T or T together. We saw roving gangs of families complete with the parents' liquid refreshments trailer in tow. Sounds like a good idea to us!

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Why We are Lucky

This is a dramatic retelling of Conor's preschool meltdown this morning.

Watching Daddy set down the breakfast plates, Conor self-righteously demands: I WANT MY BAGEL!!!!!

Daddy: Ummm, you're holding it.

Conor: Oh! ((giggles))


Conor: I have more hungry. My tummy needs more food.

Mama: Do you want a banana? A grape?

Conor: I want something I like. ((he begins to slyly eye his pumpkin filled with candy))

Mama: I see you looking at the pumpkin. I know you want candy. But we don't eat candy at breakfast. That's our family rule.

Conor, lower lip trembling, in a serious frown: I want....I want...I want...(the tears start and he gets a defiant tone)....I want a book.

Mama and Daddy: Ok.

I'm really not kidding. Those are real honest to God(dess) quotes from this morning. We are very lucky. And, yes, we know it.

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Big W

We have Weaned!!!

We are officially and completely off the boob. We've been down to 10 seconds total of nursing for the past 6 months or so at least. I have been following the Don't offer and (mostly) don't refuse strategy. And then last week, he just stopped asking. Indeed, since last Sunday, he nursed one more time. The rest of the nights, we just cuddle and I tell him stories (of Pirate Conor). Guess what Conor is going to be for Halloween?

Wait! I feel a pun coming on:


Ha! All Weaned!

It will certainly be easy to remember about the time he stopped nursing.

I'll be honest with you: I am not having the weepy "oh my boy has grown up" reaction. 3 years and 3 months on the boob and I'm happily willing to let him go. I did try to buy a smaller bra recently. It was a no go. They may be hanging down to my belly now, but they appear to be permanently bigger than they were before.

Imagine if I had twins.....

Sunday, October 28, 2007

New Pictures up on Flickr

I haven't uploaded pictures in over a year....

Conor and putt-putt

But they are up now. Check out the multiple buckethead shots. And there are shots of Conor with a bucket on his head, too! :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Michael Chertoff

I wonder if I am the only mother
who has her son shout out
"Michael Chertoff!!"
every night when he takes his
shirt off.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Too Kewl for Skool

I fully realize that I am not the coolest prof in the academy, but sometimes it's just more embarrassing that others.

Like today, during my student group meeting. I am not used to the vibrate setting of my cell phone. So when it went off, I responded with a full body spasm. Arms and legs shot out from my chair. The students were shocked at such a physical motion and somewhat appalled at the reason. The peals of laughter were broken only by comments such as "I thought she saw a snake!"

I was so shaken by the vibrating that I couldn't even remember how to answer the phone to take a message completely relevant to the meeting.

It was pathetic. And pretty funny.

Conor's new phrase I will forget and he will soon grow out of is "I must be thirsty." He learned this when I would pick him up from school and give him a big glass of water that he would suck down. I would say "You must be thirsty!" Now when he IS thirsty (or hungry) he will say "I must be thirsty!"

It's pretty cute.

Almost as cute as his new HAIRCUT! Dave took him in on Saturday and they cut off all his curls. ALL of his curls. It's cute. But...... he looks like all the other kids now. And half of the things that look like me are now gone. (The other thing is his chin and we can't cut that off) Conor looks exactly like Dave. His toes are Dave's toes. His KNEES are Dave's knees. His shoulders are Dave's shoulders and his eyes are Dave's. I had the chin and the curls. And now I just have the chin. Yes, he's adorably cute. But I really miss his curls.

Yes, I will be posting a picutre. Hopefully the next post. Still. I miss his curls.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Charlotte Home Companion Part Deux

It was pretty cool. It almost turned into a Charlotte NPR PR campaign. However, it annoys me when Northern people think that any southern person would EVER use "y'all" to refer to one person. We might say "Who all" when asking people a question about the number of people who will be attending an event. But we never say "you all" to one person.


Only criticism in a show that made the front page of the Charlotte Observer. It was really a lot of fun.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Charlotte Home Companion

Blogging on a Saturday morning.....Sad because there are a 1000 other things do to and that any reader still out there (!) is likely doing them.

Still, I have to blog today because I have to brag. We're going to Prarie Home Companion tonight in Charlotte. Woohoo!! We were online and on the phone the minute the tickets went on sale and got great seats before it sold out. I think it sold out in less than 10 minutes? I'm not sure. In any case, we got 'em and we're going. Listen for our greeting tonight on the air! (It will be directed to our babysitter!)

I would also like to report that my flossing experiment has paid off. Not only have we FINALLY used up one box o' floss, but my dentist visit this week was the best one in my life. The poked around for only a few minutes before they deemed my teeth ready to polish. (Usually, there's a great deal of poking and scraping before we get to the polishing) We still have a lot of floss to use and I have no intention of stopping my two-a-day flossing exercises.

Ok. Now I must go do the things I should do on a Saturday morning. Then I'll get to do the things we don't normally get to do here in Charlotte on a Saturday night. Be sure and look for me on the radio. I'll be waving at you!

Monday, October 15, 2007


The new Target opened up about 2 1/2 miles from our house. I know that the name of this blog isn't This, That, and the Shopping Thing. Nonetheless, my life is moving into the 21st century with all my new shopping options. Oh. Did I mention that a new Trader Joe's is going to be opening up right by the new Target 2 1/2 miles from our house?


Pardon the maniacal laughter.

Oh, and by the way, it's not just me who is apoplectic about the new Target. The grand opening was Sunday at 9:00. We arrived at 10. (We skipped church) A woman let us use her just emptied cart, gushing about how wonderful the inside was and how everything was neatly stacked and how she was so Amazingly. Excited. About. Target!

Target's opening made the front page of the Local section today. And we saw several news shows there filming the rolling-on-the-floor-in-joy shoppers.

I fully realize that this makes Charlotte look pathetically pedestrian in our excitement. However, you don't fully understand how we live in the "urban" part of Charlotte and all the stores left downtown for the suburbs. And to have Tarjay and TJ's bless us with their presence in not only validating, but convenient.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Damn Bunnies

First of all, the laptop has been dead for the last month or so. So I'd like to conveniently use that as my excuses for not posting.

Then again, I am FREAKIN' busy this semester. Holy COW, I am working hard. It's not nearly as stressful as last year's Oct 1 to Jan 15 with 4 days off, but still. I'm busy. (4 days off including Christmas day and New Year's day)

There are several thoughts I want to share with you because even if I'm not blogging, you are near to my heart.

First, fat in one's diet is not bad. There is no scientific research that backs the claim that low fat diets reduce heart disease. None. It's a scientific fallacy. We had zucchini fritters for dinner tonight.

Second, Flower Whiskers died. I must admit that when I learned about this, I quickly and with a shocked mind told Dave. Nonetheless, I quickly mocked it. I am in the minority.

Third, we have planted our fall garden, the first time we've done that since we've lived here. I was THRILLED to see a lettuce crop growing. Fresh lettuce in the fall!??! Who could be so lucky? Apparently, the g-ddammed bunnies could. They ate all of our lettuce and were working their way through the cauliflower, broccoli and brussel sprouts, too. I have since been adding hair and some smelly egg stuff. And I've been moving the plastic owl around. So far, no more nibbles.

Nonetheless, I am surprised about how much I hate these bunnies. Bunnies. Bunnies!! Who woudda thunk bunnies are bad. Me apparently.

Ok. Pushing Daisies is on. And I want to watch it. Did you watch Dr. Who this season? It was really, really good.

And now you're caught up with my life.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Older Dads

You may or may not remember the article that featured Dave a while back about being a dad. Well, apparently, it's been picked up and we're seeing that it's been published all over the place.
Here is a copy of the article from the OC Register. (OC! We're like Cool. Like the reality show. Or we're showing up behind the Orange Curtain. You may choose.)

We like this one because there are two pictures of Conor and Dave. And this one is about too precious.

Not Really an Issue

After working myself up into a frenzy about why Conor's teachers thought that his (suspected) introversion was a problem and how I was going to have to defend him from these oversensitive folks, I had a talk with the inclusion specialist.

Fortunately, this happened during the dreaded "circle time" that Conor supposedly wouldn't interact in and was very odd. I arrived early one afternoon and they were reading a book. So I got to observe, firsthand and alongside the inclusion specialist, what Conor actually does.

Well! First of all, several of the kids weren't really interacting in circle. And two had to be repeatedly told to stop bugging the others. (Conor was being incredibly well behaved at this point). Indeed, Conor was perfectly normal if a bit quiet. He didn't shout out the answers, but you could see him mouthing them. It seemed typical to me and Conor seemed engaged and well-behaved.

After they finished, the inclusion specialist and I talked for a few moments. I asked if she knew about introversion/extroversion and she did not. (It's usually not associated with children) I explained that things may be a bit stimulating for Conor and he may need some more time and perhaps this was the issue in circle time. She stopped me: I don't think there's an issue.

I was happily stunned by her response. Then why were the teachers so hyper about this?? She must have said something to them because since then, all the teachers talk about is how great he's doing in circle time and how much he loves to talk and how well he's playing with the other kids.

I continue to be annoyed. But I am also relieved that we don't have to pursue this any more.

And I know one is not supposed to automatically think one's child is the best in everything (or risk the sniggering from others), but can I tell you how well Conor is doing in the badmitton/softball/soccer/golf we have to play every night. The child is hitting the nerf softball with his nerf softball bat. I am so not kidding that last night he hit 4 in a row when Dave pitched to him. (I am not a good pitcher; I look at him instead of the the strike zone and I often bonk him in the head). He's three years old and he has more eye hand coordination than I do!

I would also like to take this moment to complain about how busy I am. Last year, when I was submitting 6 publications in my final pretenure push, I told Dave I wasn't going to work like this anymore. However, I have already worked every Sunday this semester and 2 or 3 Saturdays. I'm also working a few nights during the week.

I am not amused by this. I really don't know when it's going to change though.

Ok. I just remembered some additional work I need to immediately do. It still causes me to get very anxious.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

My Little Innie

Oddly enough, I'm not going to talk about my belly button.

Instead, I want to blog about Conor's adjustment to his new room in daycare. It's a much bigger, much more exciting room with lots of toys and lots of noise and kids. It's very stimulating and we think it would fun to hang out there and play for the day. However, Conor has not adjusted to it as well as the teachers would like.

After a few weeks, they told us that he preferred playing by himself or reading a book instead of playing with the other kids. Then they told us that they were concerned about his attention span because he didn't like to spend a lot of time doing the circle activity. I questioned any problems with his attention span (he's always been able to focus and do whatever he wants for a long period of time). I suggested that it may be just a little too stimulating for him. I also was concerned a bit that he wasn't playing with the other kids. (Isn't that every parent's fear?) However, I think I let my concern ramp up their concern.

On Weds, we found out that during the regular teacher/specialist meetings, they alerted the inclusion specialist that they were concerned about Conor's participation in the class. The teacher told me that although Conor is receptive to other children approaching him and wanting to play, he does not initiate interaction with other children. Also, they felt he should be more active in the circle group. He hasn't seen a child that reticent in the 7 years he's been teaching. (That scared me a bit)

Then he pointed out that just that day Conor had taken some toys into circle time and was poking another child with them. They had asked him to sit outside the group for a few minutes until he was able to come back in.

Without missing a beat, I said "It looks like he was initiating interaction right there, wasn't he?"

The teacher looked slyly at me and pointed out the difference between "appropriate and inappropriate initiation."

I'm just saying.

The inclusion specialist wasn't concerned at all and when I asked if we should try to schedule more playdates, she said No. Just keep reading to him, playing with him and loving him. Not too hard. But the teachers seem more concerned.

Here's the pushback part. Conor does not have any of the signs for Asperger's Syndrome. The only thing that is happening is that he appears to be a little slow to warming up to this new classroom.

Since I know his father pretty well, I'm voting that our little guy is a bit more introverted than the average bear. Introversion is not shyness. Shyness involves a social anxiety that Conor does not have. Introversion, on the other hand, has to do with where one gets one's energy.

Here's a question for you: You have a completely free day with no obligations. What would you like to do?

No seriously. Think for a second, what would you do on your free day?


If your fantasy free day involves going out with friends and doing things with others, you are likely to be an extrovert: you get your energy from stimulation outside of yourself. I am an extrovert. People pump me up.

If your fantasy free day involved reading a book at home or doing some other thing alone, then you are likely to be an introvert: You get your energy from inside yourself. You likely have a rich inner life. A lot of external activity and stimulation can be overwhelming and tiring. Introverts often need to be alone to recharge themselves. Dave is an introvert.

Introversion/extroversion has a strong genetic component and does not have much to do with the environment in which one is raised. It is such a fundamental part of people's lives because introverts' and extroverts' brains are wired differently. It's a fundamental part of how people want and need to process the information around them.

So I think Conor is an introvert, or "innie" as they are sometimes called. And introverts function differently in classrooms than extroverts do. (And of course, the bias is for outies and not innies). They don't like group activities as much and they need time away from everyone else to process the information they are learning.

This sounds a lot like the "problems" Conor is having in school. The good news is that innies will eventually start participating like everyone else after a few more weeks/months in the classroom. But it does take them longer than average. And I don't want to walk into the classroom and say "YOU'RE WRONG! HE'S JUST AN INTROVERT!! BACK OFF!" Actually, I DO want to do that, but I'm not going to. I do want for Conor to develop more social skills, like I would want all toddler kids to do so. I just want there to be no pressure on him as he does so. And they just let him warm up at his own pace.

That said, I do have a fantasy of saying to his teachers:

Maybe the circle activity is boring? Huh? Have you thought about that? Picking your favorite colors? Conor's been doing that at least since his ((brilliant, genius, friendly)) cousin Carter* came to visit last Thanksgiving. And you're going to TEACH him that his parent's have their own names and then get him to learn his address? PUH-lease!! He not only knows HIS own address but he knows his friend Ollie's address!! MAYBE he doesn't participate in this group because it's BORING and he doesn't want to do STUPID THINGS that he already knows how to do. And maybe the other kids? Do you think they might be boring too? Huh???? Maybe our son is just TOO SMART to identify colors in a group. What about THAT!

So, ummm, yeah. I won't be saying that. It does come off a wee bit more defensive than I'd like. And I don't think the issue is as much our-son-is-too-smart-and-is-bored as it is our-son-is-overwhelmed-by-all-this-kid-noise-and-craziness. Introversion is not a Bad Thing. But it is likely to present some challenges in some environments. I think we're going to have to educate the teachers about it when they worry that Conor is just following along.

So there. *I'm trying to find Carter's personal web site, and I can't! He's one of the main reasons we are not going to argue Conor is so smart for his age. The second one is Ollie. Conor's not bored in that group. He's overwhelmed. I've seen his father do the same thing.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

World War II

Are you watching the Ken Burns' documentary on WWII?

I like it. Others do, too .

And I'm not as cranky today as I was yesterday.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Run That By Me Again

The colonoscopy went just fine. They of course had problems finding my mini-veins for the IV. And the first shot of narcotic/anaesthesia didn't kick in....until right as they administered the second one. All in all, I don't remember a thing. (And the prep wasn't that bad either. Honestly, it was better than some of those recently bad episodes after a long run--a fact that when relayed to my doctor made his eyes bulge). Anyhoo: no polyps.

But he didn't fix the hemarrhoid, which annoys me to no end. Wouldn't the more prudent approach be to FIX my WELL KNOWN and PROBLEMATIC hemarrhoid while he's in there and I am asleep as opposed to having me come back in to his office and have him probe my booty WHILE I'M AWAKE???? The answer seems obvious to me and annoys me in no small way. If you can clip off a polyp, certainly you can tie off a hemmie. It makes me sigh in irritated frustration. (Is there "unirritated frustration?" I'm not sure, but I'm too bugged to care)

And of course, I bragged last week on running 10 miles for the first time in forever. 10 miles on the weekend was a short run BC. Now, I'm thrilled silly and requiring a nap afterwards if I can get a 10 mile run in. However, I also tweaked my calf during that run and haven't not had a good run since.

When I'm in shape, my calves are enormous; I call them cows. They are not quite to that place and apparently I've hurt them. I took 4 days off running last week and was able to go a full 1/2 mile this morning before the pain started again: it feels like someone is stabbing me in the leg at every step. Perhaps an angry gnome. In any case, I need to ice it and take some ibuprofen and stay off of it. I forgot the meds and the rest annoys me, too.

I'm annoyed today.

So let me continue on an additional running story rant. I was having a conversation with some women colleagues. Let's call them Senior (SR) and Junior (JR). SR has recently lost some weight and so JR and I were complimenting her on that and saying we hoped we looked so good when we reached her age. SR commented that the most shocking thing about getting older is that one cannot eat as much and that exercising is harder. She turned to me and said "Wait until you hit 40. You'll see! You won't have time to exercise at all!" JR and I smugly exchanged glances because not only have I hit 40, I've taken a few steps. "Yes," I told her. "But I am running."

"Ummm hmmmm," she replied.

I then continued that it bugs me that Dave can age and not gain weight at all. He's still skinny and in pretty good shape and he's MUCH (!) older than I am. (He's not, but I like to tell him that. With his prematurely gray hair, few tell him to wait until he hits 40)

"Well," SR says, "he's a runner."

I protest "But I'm a runner, too! I run more than he does!!"

"No, Anita," she says realizing to herself that I have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about. "He's a runner."

Oh, really. And what exactly disallows ME from being a runner? That I run more than HE does? That I engage in other exercise more frequently than he does and therefore I can't be a runner? Or could it be what distinguishes HIM from ME? (I think "HIM" would be the concept here)

Did I mention that I'm generally just annoyed today?

Must get back to work. Bleah.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I Thought It Wasn't Possible to Love Them More

You'd think I would be referring to my husband and son. But then you wouldn't know the true depth of my relationship to Trader Joe's.

Conor and I went to TJ's this morning after his doctor's visit. He has pinkeye and all we need is the medicine. We opted for TJ's because our local pharmacy doesn't open until 10 and TJ's opens at 9.

We weren't 10 feet in the door when a woman approached us asking if we wanted to go on a Safari Hunt. Apparently, TJ's hides 4 stuffed animals around the store and randomly hands out drawings of the animals and a map of the store. One then shops and hunts for the animals and marks them off (although we didn't know that so I just had Conor color them when we found them). Some were really hidden and some were more obvious. It took us a while after we finished shopping to find them!!

However, during the entire process, employees kept coming up to Conor and making a big deal about it and he was getting more and more excited. (And more and more crusties and goop were forming in his eyes. Lovely)

When we finished shopping and found all the animals, we went to the front of the store and handed in our sheet. The manager made a big deal out of it, asked Conor's name, gave Conor a high five and gave him a fruit bar. Pretty cool.

THEN he got on the store loudspeaker, announced the day's first Safari winner CONOR and all the cashiers started ringing their bells, cheering, and clapping. Conor was about to die: face splitting grin and nonstop excited seat squiggles. It was a combination of shyness, pride and excitement that makes my heart about explode just thinking about it.

I fell more in love with this store, a store I've already loved more than any other store in the United States (even more than Murray's Cheese Shop), with a love deeper than I thought possible for something that cannot hug me back and doesn't call me to check in and see how I am doing.


Monday, September 17, 2007

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Just a Few Things Here and There

I suppose this post will be more of "This and That" than the "Mother Thing."

First, we finally went to the new Trader Joe's here in Charlotte. Folks, the most amazing thing about going back to Trader Joe's is that I didn't make it up. In fact, it was better than I remembered. Honestly, I don't know how we can ever shop at HT again now that we have a TJ's in our city. It's so much cheaper than Harris Teeter and the quality is so much higher. (Organic apples $1/lb!) And the memories!! That was the weird part: I was flooded will all these memories of Los Angeles from my 10 years of shopping at TJ's when I was lived in LA. It's very much "Two Worlds Collide!" but I like it.

Second, school is back into full swing and I am again swamped. That is just the status of the fall semester. I really have no idea when fall sucking will ever change. I did have time this weekend to put in a fall garden. We're running about a month late, but hell's bells, it's the best I can do right now.

Third, running has been going very well. It's amazing that I only started seriously running again in June and already, I feel somewhat back to my old self. A few things are different. I did a 10 mile run on Saturday and it about wiped me out. That's my longest run since the two half-marathons I did while pg with Conor. However, my runs during the week are getting easier. When you run 1 1/2 hours on Saturday, that 45 minute run on Monday seems awfully short. And my pace is occassionally back to what I was pre-Conor, which I will interpret is good news considering I am 10 lbs heavier. If I can drop these 10 lbs, I might actually have some speed left in these old hag legs.

The poopy problem that I've had during running took an unexpectedly positive twist. Last month, while taking prednisone, it Went Away. Completely Away. I went on a 9 mile run and had not nary a problem. Of course, it came back after I went off prednisone, but only a little bit. This once again points to hemorrhoids. Nonetheless, just to Make Sure, I'm going in for a colonoscopy on Thursday. (Yippee!!) Hopefully, they'll take care of whaterver that problem is while they are in there checking things out. Better safe than sorry, I agree. It's just not the most pleasant thing I've ever had done. But honestly, after 3 D&E's, I'm not really all that concerned.

And finally, yes, we had another "event" last month. It was faint, but there was a line on the prgenancy test for a couple of days. So even though we were on the new treatment regimen, it didn't solve everything. However, we're going to keep it up, just in case. I actually voting that the folic acid is the key thing here. There's no evidence to support it, but that's what I think and I'm sticking to it. In case you're counting, that's 3 of the last 4 months we've had an "event." I'm hoping it's a good sign that things are trying to work down there and all we need is one good egg to pop out and implant.

OK. I'm pooped and I really need to go review another article. Bleah.

Wait! I forgot: Conor was picked last week to be featured on our daycare's capital campaign. They are putting together some sort of brochure to send out to potential donors and apparently the photographer walked in and saw Conor and said she had to have the child with the curly hair! (The boy is proud of his hair.)

Ok. Now to go read that paper.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A Joke! Ha! Ha!!!

People!!! Obviously, I am not nearly as funny a writer as I thought I was.

It was A JOKE!!!! I observe my son reacting to some sort of thing or another just like I do, maybe too quick and overly emotional response and I ask myself: is that because my son is just like me? (awwwww) Or am I just emotionally still a toddler? (ewwwww) It cracks us up around here when Conor does a typical toddler thing and we wonder if it's inherited from us or simply his age and if we totally understand his response (Dave's issue is being cranky without enough food), is it because we are way too immature!!! So there. Joke! Ha! Ha! Ha!

Well, I guess I'm just not as gifted a writer as Dooce and I can't write a 3 sentence blog entry that makes you laugh. Or maybe my blog has been whining too much. Whatever. More wine, less whine is my motto.

Ok, let's try this again........

When we were teaching Conor how to pee standing up, our friends suggested using their trick: having their son pee on a tree. Since we live with lots of old trees and when Conor is playing, it certainly is much more convenient for him to just run over to a tree and pee than go inside.

So last week when I picked Conor up from school, his new teacher said "Conor did something really funny on the playground today."


"Well, I looked over and he going to bathroom on a tree."

I stand there mortified mouth open.

"Well, I knew it wasn't the first time he'd done that because he wasn't acting embarrassed or anything."

"Uhhhhh, yeah....." I say, my face turning a bright shade of magenta.

"I told him that when he needs to go potty outside, he needs to let one of us know."

At this point, honestly, I'm laughing hysterically and the teacher is pretty much laughing, too.

Nonetheless, YIKES! I think we're getting ready to head for those Don't Do This Anywhere But Home lessons.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

A Question

Does Conor take after me emotionally?

Or do I have the emotional capacity of a toddler?

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Tying Up Loose Ends

I'm sorry I've been out of touch after what for us was a very scary time.

Conor's fever broke Thursday night. We thought we were in the clear on Thursday morning, but after his nap, he woke up with 101.4F. I know we weren't really close to something being seriously wrong because that would have involved hospital tests, white knuckles, and more tears. However, that was a very scary little illness he had and I am glad to have it behind us.

It was made more tense for me because I turned in my tenure package this week. For the 99.9% of you reading this who are not in academia, tenure is the decision point at which the university decides whether I've done enough work to keep my job basically forever, as long as I don't sleep with a student and I do keep my office hours. (Only a slight exaggeration) And since we've become a research focused university, if one stops doing research, that's grounds for termination, too.

The tenure package involves my vita (or resume as it's called by "real" people), my personal statements on my research and teaching (why it's good, etc), copies of my published papers, anonymous external reviews written by bigwigs in my area from around the country, and reviews by my students/colleagues about me as a teacher. This is a very stressful time, as one can imagine, and faculty do not always get tenure. Since our university is trying to move from a teaching to research university, there are even more expectations that we faculty members can show that can hang with the big boys.

It's an odd experience spending two or three weeks writing about why one is such a stellar researcher and teacher. At one point I felt like with my teaching statement I should just say "I do everything, all the time!" just so I could make sure I covered all the bases about why my teaching is brilliant, yet accessible. Challenging, yet supportive. Cool, yet warm. Red, yet blue.

It all boils down to research though. And at 22 publications, I feel like that should be enough. Yes, 4 of those publications are not peer reviewed, but the remaining 18 are. In addition, 17 have been done since I've been here and I am first or sole author on 16 of those publications. I am more than sure that every single person reading this is going, "Ummmm. Ok? That's good? That's relevant to the main topic of this blog because......?"

Quick answers: I think it is (12 peer reviewed publications would be adequate), and no, this is not even a sub-topic of this blog.

However, it is what I keep repeating to myself about my selfworth as I turn this package in. I know that "22" is not my selfworth. Although, as we all know, 42 is the answer to life, the universe and everything. Nonetheless, I am not more stressed than normal about this process. (All tenure track faculty are stressed at some level about this process) I'm hoping I can share with you good news about the first round of decisions that should be arriving mid-October.

Until then, I really want to catch up on my work and maybe even get ahead.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

And Then They Said Pneumonia

So Conor has been sick this week. In fact, he's been running a fever over 101 F for the last 6 days. When we picked Conor up from daycare on Friday, they told us he had a fever. Not a biggie, but he wasn't himself.

To be honest, I have been through three years of colds and Conor often gets a fever at the beginning of a cold. So, I wasn't too worried.

Until Sunday, when he woke up and his eyes were so swollen, and despite the fact there were 25 people over here for a beginning of the school year party, the child did not want to interact with anyone. (Conor is a bit like me---you say Party, we say Woohoo!)

So Monday, when he woke up over at 102, I took him to the doctor. And for only the second time in my life, I cancelled a graduate class. Dave's work is going through accreditation and he is in charge of the process, which started Monday. For the first time since we've been together, Dave absolutely had to be at work. So I put my family in front of my work...and had nightmares all night long about my students. (This fact doesn't make me proud)

Might I point out to you that dual working parents have particular challenges. However, single parents awe me, especially in cases like this.

So the doc originally thought that it was strep throat, but the test came back negative. We went home with the instructions that the fever should be gone by Weds.

Tuesday afternoon, Conor's fever is over 102. Weds morning it's over 101.5. He and I go back to the doctor who hears a rattle in Conor's chest, prompting the comment "Well, he looks more lively than most children who have pneumonia; it must be just now be moving down to his chest." I'm not one of those GIVE ME ANTIBIOTIC mothers, but I'm a Very Happy Mommy that Conor is on antibiotics right now. His fever was still over 102 this afternoon, but he felt cool when he went to bed tonight.

If his fever is not gone by Friday, then we go back and I start freaking the eff out.

Dave and I are switching off which days we go to work, which normally wouldn't be a problem except my tenure package is due on Tuesday and I'm a little anxious about getting it done. But when I was explaning this to a student, I realized my statement "Let's just drug him and send him to school so I can get my work done" did not make me eligible for Mother of the Year.

This illness does not freak me out as much as the 105 degree fever Conor woke up with two years ago and which made me fear his brain was frying. Nonetheless, I want him to be fever free for a whole day. I want my energetic little monkey back. I want to see color in his face instead of that pale, glassy look of late.

I think we're getting there. I hope there are no surprises.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Cheap A$$

I am thoroughly enjoying my prednisone insomnia, so I thought I'd catch up on my blog. Although I could expound on how quickly the glamour of sticking myself in the belly with heparin has completely gone away, I'd rather talk about our New Tricks Around the House to Save Stuff.

First, let us ponder floss. Yes, floss. That rare commodity that people use to clean their teeth. (I'm reeking in sarcasm. Can you tell? It's that insomnia thing) We have floss coming out our respective ying yangs around here. Dave and I go to the same dentist and after every visit, our goody bag contains a carton of floss among other treats. We are not as good of flossers as we should be. So, I can honestly tell you that we have 5 full cartons of floss around our house.

And then my darling husband went to Target and bought a jumbo size carton of mint flavored floss. He could not understand why I flipped out over a new JUMBO size carton of mint when it was a mere $.75. But then I pointed out the 5 other cartons. He claimed (!) that he did not know they were there, and ok, I believe him because in a bathroom cleaning frenzy a few weeks ago, I did put them in their new Special Place (in a basket with our zillion free toothbrushes from said dentists and the boatload of travel sized toothpaste we have, too). However, the point here is not that I'm a nut or I freak out over spending $.75 we didn't need to. No, the issue is 6 cartons of freakin' floss!!!!!

So, I've taken to flossing every single time I brush my teeth. First thing in the morning? Brush and floss. After breakfast? Brush and floss. Mouth needing a pick-me-up in the afternoon? Brush and floss. (That one is not so common) Time to go to bed? Brush and floss! My teeth are CLEAN! The dentist is going to love me!!!

But let us be clear, I'm not flossing because that's the healthy thing to do. I'm flossing because we have too much freakin' floss around here. I cannot stand to have things sitting around that we are not using. (Please see entry on husband's 59 t-shirts for more information)

Now, let's discuss water. For those of you who still doubt global warming, I thunk you on the head. For the rest of you, including those of you who might be wondering if this is only the tip of the iceberg (using a poorly chosen metaphor), there may be concern that this is just the first summer in hell in a series of summers in hell coming up. Thus, water is going to be a real issue.

Now, saving water is not exactly being cheap. Water is, relatively speaking, inexpensive. But we've gone to some pretty serious extremes around here that 1) make me feel holier-than-thou, but 2) only until we can convince others to use our tricks. We now have a bucket in our shower so that when we turn on the water and wait for it to heat up, we can save a several quarts of water. We are now washing our vegetables over a big bowl in the sink, saving the water to use outside on our starving landscaping and inside on our shrivelled houseplants.

You would be stunned to find out how much water you can save doing just those two tricks. And apparently, if you use Ivory dish soap, you can pour your dishwater outside to water your plants. And acid loving plants like hydrangeas and azaleas can handle and even thrive off cold coffee.

I know it sounds nutty and it is quite honestly a pain in the butt. (Belly? A pain in the belly? BTW, I have a huge bruise already. And I accidentally jabbed my finger tonight and have a disgusting bruise on my bird flipping finger. It could come in handy right now, though, to be honest.) OK! Back to the water. Folks, I feel like our conserving water right now is similar to saving money when you're not in a budget crisis. I always end up in a budget crisis and wish I had saved more money when I had more money. That's what I feel like now with water.

Because if this weather pattern keeps up for 10 more years, or even just 5 more years, we are all screwed.

So go put a bucket in your tub and save some water and a thirsty plant. Then go floss your teeth. You'll make more room in your linen closet.