Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

It was a very wonderful Christmas! We did Christmas eve at our new home, with a large chicken, stuffing, party pots and broccoli, and a 9pm mass. I even made cookies for Santa and we made a big deal about setting it out. The next morning we opened all the gifts. My family was very generous to us! Addie was adorned in Princess gear from top to toe. And if you are wondering what my husband ended up getting me...

It was liqueur! I have everything I need to make an Irish Russian, its quite a beautiful heritage.

Breakfast was pancakes with Vermont maple syrup (c/o the Bouleys, yum!!!) and eggs and bacon. Then we packed up (it seriously takes like 2+ hours to get packed up for any amount of time spent away... why, WHY?) and drove to mom and dads... hey, notice nowhere in this did our plane get delayed in Chicago where we had to sit and wait for 5 hours at O'Hare with babies while our parents drove up to get us and then drive back... oh yeah, that's because we didn't!

We ate, again, this time ham. And we opened presents there. The best part was spending time with family! We stayed overnight, and the next day we ate a Kringle breakfast danish thingy. Then Jeremy and I took Addie to her first movie, The Tale of Desperaux. She loved it! Sat through the whole thing, which either says she has a great attention span, or she watches too much TV! I'll go with choice no. 1. Friday evening we went to see our good friends Kurt, Amanda and Elsa in CR.

Saturday morning was the Rudd family Christmas. Don't even get me going on the amount of food that was there! We ate ourselves sick and had a great time. Emily really got into opening her presents. The best present was the wrapping paper!

On Monday was Tara's shower which was a lot of fun. I liked the games, but I couldn't concentrate to save my self because Emily was in the other room playing half the time and grumpy the other. I hope Tara's not scared by the "war stories" of labor. T, you're going to be just great! You've got a good doctor, you've been taking care of yourself, and millions and millions of women do this every day! May it go quick and smooth at least 2 weeks late!

Now we are home! So that's that. Watch for pics soon. Next up is New Years! Cheers!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Why do they make it so hard?

My brother brought over a ginger bread house kit for us to do. Looking at the box it looked like a cake walk. But they like to challenge you with warped, uneven, brittle bread and frosting that only sticks after holding it in place for 20 minutes.

Is super glue edible?

Anyway, one mommy, daddy and 2 year old later, with lots of creative ideas, laughter, and a destroyed kitchen with a floor strewn with hundreds of brightly colored 1/2 cm diameter candy balls (because I never thought the bowl of them could fall off the table and scatter!), frosting EVERYWHERE (like on top of the fridge, on multiple counter surfaces, and on the butt of my pants...), here is our master piece!

After all, since we're not going to eat it, I give it 30-40 years before we'll need to make a new one!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Cheer

I have a present under the tree. I didn't really ask for anything this year, I have been SO BLESSED with everything I have received this year, like a beautiful healthy baby, an ever growing smart 2 year old, a solid loving relationship with my husband, a house of my own and wonderful family, near and far! Who could ask for anything more?

But Jeremy has been mopey and Scroogey. Every year he plans and plots for the ultimate surprise. I don't ever get what I put on my list, which is okay, because, like I said, I'm not lacking anything. He cannot rest until he finds the perfect surprise.

This year after sort of deciding we weren't going to buy anything for each other, he fell into a little slump. He could not figure out why he was sad. And then he happened across a surprise for me!

Suddenly he was all aglow! He announces as he trounces through the door that he has found a surprise for me. He didn't realize what a huge effect getting his loved ones the perfect surprise for Christmas had on him. And now the fun begins, for both of us. He is the worst waiter when it comes to a surprise. There has never been an event where he has played it cool and waited patiently.

He then says "When do you want it, when can I give it to you, should I wrap it, do we have to wait for Christmas?"

And then the hints "I should go get them from the car. I don't want them to freeze. You should open them before or on Christmas Eve, you could use them before then." So I know it is a multiple something that might freeze outside that is usable for Christmas and was purchased somewhere in Dubuque on a Friday afternoon... (Can 20 proof liqueur freeze?)

So, as we torture each other, him giving more hints to confuse me and me resisting my curiosity to rip open the package until the last moment, I am now faced with a conundrum...

What do I get the most wonderful husband in the world?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Emily the animal lover

When I was pregnant with Baby 2, my mother, who was in the throws of completing a very complicated, very beautiful cross stitch of Pooh for Baby 1, asked me to help her decide what Baby 2's "theme" would be so she could make her some pictures. We looked and talked and thought, but what really stuck out was an animal theme.

It turns out it is quite fitting. Baby 2 has fallen in love with fur! Her motivation for moving, by deliberately scooting across the floor on her butt, is the cats. She sits on her own, flaps her arms and bounces as she rocks and this advances her at a speed of about 3 inches a minute. Ever so slowly, she can creep up on an unsuspecting kitty, cooing and gurgling sweet nothings, until finally she can reach out her slimy drool coated meat hooks and grasp the fur. Then either the cat or a fist full of kitty hair goes into her mouth. I will be nominating Samuel James for kitty sainthood! Myles however is not taking any chances, I think he has learned from the last one.

Recently I discovered she treats stuffed animals with the same love and affection. It may look like she is mauling the teddy bear, but she smiles and nuzzles and babbles as if to say, "I love you little animal!" This is thoughtful little Emily's baby passion.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Why I'm ready to go back to work.

My 2 year old pulled my hair, on purpose, and I'm sorry to say it, but it really pissed me off! I had been with them all day, cooped up in the house because it's cold, I had been barfed on more times than I can count, and the rotating nap time prevents me from taking a break. Nap time is for me! So is BEDTIME!

My tiny terror, after being escorted back to bed for the 15th time (that's right, 3 HOURS of tucking her in, time after time after time!), she asks to snuggle and as I lean down to give her a kiss, she grabs two fist-fulls of hair and yanks. And as she does this, what does she do? She LAUGHS!!! Can you believe it? And she keeps pulling, so that I have to pry her hands off me. I felt myself regressing to a grade schooler, stomping out of her room, huffing and pouting and refusing to go back in. The next time she got up, 1 minute later, Jeremy took away her juice and her teddy bear in retaliation. Take that, two year old!

So, I feel it is time to go back to work so that I can continue to like my children. I'll always have that undying unconditional love for them, but hanging out with them 24/7 is starting to grate on my nerves worse than fingers on a chalk board. I enjoy teaching other people's babies, filling their heads with wonderful knowledge, and then shipping them off to their parents, so I can go home and enjoy how wonderful my babies are!

I need to get away! I have not given into sucking down liquor during the day, but I know where it is, and I can hear it from the fridge!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It's begining to look a lot like Christmas!

Addie and I made this... no really... we did! We tore apart cotton balls and rolled them and glued them onto a paper plate, and then I cut up old halloween puffy stickers for the face, hat and buttons, and then I punched a hole and slid a paper clip through to hang it up.Addie was terrified of Santa... as well she should be given her terrible two behavior as of late! But she did manage to squeak out a list. Princess stuff, shoes...
HAIR!!! I get to pull Santa's HAIR!!! Santa was terrified of her!


The final result....

Emily supervising.

More decorating

Put that beast to work!!!! The first real snow, and she was in the thick of it!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Another Poopscapade

So we were playing a hot game of Skipbo and I was about to win my 3rd (count 'em... 1, 2, 3! Tara, you're goin' down New Years!!!) game, and Addie says from across the kitchen, "You guys stay there and play cards, 'kay?".

And I think, what does that mean? Where's she going? But in 2 year old language, it's not exactly where is she going, but what is she doing? I turn around and she is huddled in the corner next to the cabinets with an unmistakable "I'm pushing poop out" look on her face.

"GO GO GO!" my husband and I leap up, grab the kid and rush to the bathroom. With the skill of an elite commando team, one of us whips down her pants, the other shoves the training seat on the potty, but as I hear the velcro ripped from her diaper, visions of a turd rolling out gives me pause and I scream "STOP! IT'S ALREADY OUT!"

And my husband screams "SHE'S STILL POOPING!!! GET HER ON THE POTTY!!!!"

And I scream "NO!!! IT'S GOING TO FALL OUT!!!"

And he screams "I GOT IT! I GOT IT!! 1-2-3 GO! GO! GO!".

And I slide the full diaper out from between her legs and he lifts her onto the potty as the second poop drops in... just in time. I'm left with a steaming baseball in the diaper in my hand, waiting to put it in the toilet.

What an ordeal. Yeah, you guys just sit over there and play cards... never mind me dropping the deuce, 4 feet away!

Friday, December 5, 2008

He's a Norman.

While living at our first apartment in New Bedford we encountered Norman. Norman was the crotchetiest, grumpiest, old curmudgeon, armed with his shovel and sharp tongue. Being new to the east coast, I couldn't parallel park to save my life. As a matter of fact I think that's why I was required to do the written test AND the driving test to get my license, the driving with a trooper being reserved for the delinquent drivers ed students... yeah, that was me.

Anyway, while attempting to squeeze into a small spot near our apartment, on a 2 way street that only has room for one car to pass at a time and was notorious for missing side mirrors, ( remind me to tell you sometime of my husband's outrage over this and then taking out someone else's in a drunken incident) I ended up on the curb, which not only is easier because I can't p. park, but gives other cars more wiggle room to pass through. Unfortunately, this spot was right in front of Norman. Who was waiting inside for this very moment.

He came barreling out shouting and waiving his fists in the air. It was very effective. If you've ever seen the animated movie "Monster House", he looked and acted exactly like old Mr. Nebercracker. You'd think it was a matter of life or death that I not park on HIS sidewalk!

So I moved, went into my apartment and began the stewing process that you know I do when someone pisses me off. Thinking of what to say, how to get even, imagining his comeuppance that would do justice for his unfair treatment of me.

And then I decided to do the opposite. I had found that people out there really went for the sweet, innocent, Midwesterner girl, so I wrote up a little sorry note, grabbed some cookies I had made, and went over to take on the grouch. He melted like "butta"! Norman and I became good friends, visiting about once a week and being neighborly. He even gave me a whole bottle of rainex for our car before a drive home to Iowa.

So this lawyer, who everyone had the same reaction to it seemed like, "oh, him? Yeah, that's just the way he is, a real jerk. But he's okay he's our/so-and-so's/the commercial club's lawyer, everyone's delt with him at one time or another. All bark and no bite." And he was. We chatted him up, even pulled out our secret weapon: well behaved cute kids (I don't know what happened to our demon spawns, but they didn't show). By the end of the conversation he was patting my arm, winking and joking with us. We had no problems signing the water agreement and paying 1/2 the lawyer's fee.

So, as Jo Jo the clown announced yesterday morning before I shut the tv off to walk out the door, "Things don't always go as you planned... sometimes they go even better!"

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Taken over by a farmer ballerina

There she is, in all her glory. Who knew overalls and a tutu were in fashion? Goes to show what I know, as I sit at my kitchen table in baggy jeans, t-shirt and slippers, drenched in my signature sent of "eu de bebe vomet". I am wearing something else... a blond terror, wearing a pink ribbon, babbling about playing on pbskids.org.

She has taken over the computer. Since I have instilled the no tv during the day rule, except when Uncle Mike comes over, my husband wants to snuggle with the ball of fury and that's the only way we can sedate her, or in a desperate situation like sickness, body or mind (I haven't resorted to it yet!) she has incessantly pleaded to play the mouse game, which is insanely mind numbing and slow. I will begrudgingly admit that it teaches shapes, colors, critical thinking skills for 2 year olds... but I have to run it, which means I get to learn my shapes and colors and critical thinking skills. I will lose my mind to this rat with silent sidekick named Binoo (which sounds like Beano... which is funny).

How am I typing this you ask? She is in my lap, Emily is taking her morning nap, and I am reaching over the flailing arms, constantly backspacing over typos that occur because fingers are being pulled from the correct keys. But she seems to enjoy it, so hey, whatever.

I accomplished much yesterday. I called a lady in town who could become a potential friend, and asked about sitters in town. She then called me back today to invite us over for drinks next Friday... YAY! A friend! I also called the sitter. She is 33, and worked with severely disabled children until she had kids and decided to do day care in her home so she could stay with her own. We have a play date this Friday to check it out. I need to ask about cost, and if I substitute and don't get called, do I need to pay if they don't come.

I also got a hold of that lawyer. I left 2 messages, and when he finally called me back, I answered the phone and he said without introduction, "Yeah, what do you want?" Who IS this guy? After I explained what I wanted, we were trying to comply with his ridiculously timed letter (over Thanksgiving holiday) where he only gave us 10 days to come in and pay or he will shut our water off, he said, "I'm late for an appointment, I'm going to pass you back to the girls." By girls, I suppose he means his secretaries? Once again, who does this guy think he is? So we get to go in and sign and pay tomorrow morning.

I know, I know, just let it go! But it's just not fair! I did nothing to be treated like this! And it wouldn't be so bad except he appears to be an influential person in our community, and the biggest Catholic High School in the area where I might like to get a job, and he treats me like some kind of criminal! What? I am waiting for Karma here... Think good thoughts, attract positive energy. Okay, I'm done now.

Today it is snowing and it's so beautiful! We took a walk up to the church. Addie seemed to enjoy it but Emily could have left it, a little too windy for her. I would like to go play in it a little while later. I will be chugging down coffee for the heat and the energy!

Monday, December 1, 2008

I did it all by myself!

So, okay, Addie helped...

This is our advent wreath! Yay!

Some other things I made with Addie's help...

Cookies that we ate way too fast!

A blanket tent! Thanks for the idea Auntie Carrie!

The thing about making stuff, the thing that gives me pause, chaining my inner Martha, if I have one, is my fear of messing it up, aka perfectionism. The more steps to something, the more chances to screw it up, the less I want to do it. So you see why I do well at simple but fatty recipes I am known for: party pots, easy lasagna, mac and cheese... and you can see why the home crafted advent wreath was a biggie for me... lots of complicated, difficult steps, even if it was finger painting, cutting and gluing!


Sunday, November 30, 2008

Happy Advent!

I love, love, LOVE Advent! Everything about it smacks of hope and joy and love! I was so pleasantly surprised to find the wreath with the pink and purple candles on the alter when we arrived in church today. It is a time of anticipation and preparation for the coming of our great God who lovingly gave his only son to us! Wow, aren't we lucky. So we clean, decorate, buy gifts, and participate in family and community traditions. We look to St. Nicholas as an example of kindness and giving. Everyone becomes more forgiving and tolerant, something I need a lot of right now. When I taught CCD and religion I always shared the story of "Jesus is coming to dinner". Here it is:

Ruth went to her mail box and there was only one letter. She picked it up and looked at it before opening, but then she looked at the envelope again. There was no stamp, no postmark, only her name and address. She read the letter:

Dear Ruth:I'm going to be in your neighborhood Saturday afternoon and I'd like to stop by for a visit.
Love Always,

Her hands were shaking as she placed the letter on the table. “Why would the Lord want to visit me? I'm nobody special. I don't have anything to offer.” With that thought, Ruth remembered her empty kitchen cabinets. “Oh my goodness, I really don't have anything to offer. I'll have to run down to the store and buy something for dinner.” She reached for her purse and counted out its contents. Five dollars and forty cents. “Well, I can get some bread and cold cuts, at least.” She threw on her coat and hurried out the door.

A loaf of French bread, a half-pound of sliced turkey, and a carton of milk...leaving Ruth with a grand total of twelve cents to last her until Monday. Nonetheless, she felt good as she headed home, her meager offerings tucked under her arm.

“Hey lady, can you help us?”

Ruth had been so absorbed in her dinner plans, she hadn't even noticed two figures huddled in the alleyway. A man and a woman, both of them dressed in little more than rags.

“Look lady, I ain't got a job, ya know, and my wife and I have been living out here on the street, and, well, now it's getting cold and we're getting kind of hungry and, well, if you could help us, lady, we'd really appreciate it.”

Ruth looked at them both. They were dirty, they smelled bad and frankly, she was certain that they could get some kind of work if they really wanted to.

“Sir, I'd like to help you, but I'm a poor woman myself. All I have is a few cold cuts and some bread, and I'm having an important guest for dinner tonight and I was planning on serving that to Him.”

“Yeah, well, okay lady, I understand. Thanks anyway.” The man put his arm around the woman's shoulders, turned and headed back into the alley. As she watched them leave, Ruth felt a familiar twinge in her heart.

“Sir, wait!” The couple stopped and turned as she ran down the alley after them. “Look, why don't you take this food. I'll figure out something else to serve my guest.”

She handed the man her grocery bag. “Thank you lady. Thank you very much!”

“Yes, thank you!” It was the man's wife, and Ruth could see now that she was shivering.

“You know, I've got another coat at home. Here, why don't you take this one.” Ruth unbuttoned her jacket and slipped it over the woman's shoulders. Then smiling, she turned and walked back to the street...without her coat and with nothing to serve her guest.

“Thank you lady! Thank you very much!”

Ruth was chilled by the time she reached her front door, and worried too. The Lord was coming to visit and she didn't have anything to offer Him. She fumbled through her purse for the door key. But as she did, she noticed another envelope in her mailbox.

“That's odd. The mailman doesn't usually come twice in one day.”She took the envelope out of the box and opened it.

Dear Ruth:
It was so good to see you again. Thank you for the lovely meal. And thank you, too, for the beautiful coat.
Love Always

The air was still cold, but even without her coat, Ruth no longer noticed.

It always brings tears to my eyes! It is a reminder to see Jesus in others, to prepare for his coming by treating others the way we would treat Him. That we will be okay and He will take care of us. Today we will start preparing by digging out the tree and spending the day with each other and enjoying it. We will watch the gently falling snow and reflect on the meaning of Christmas for us! Can't wait!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Book Reviews

Thursday is Library Day! Every Thursday my children and I go into the library for a "Wee Read" program and to pick up 4 books to bring back home and read. My eldest is in her element! She is SO enthusiastic, the librarian said she didn't think she's ever seen a 2 year old so excited to read stories! This is the only time she will sit still and do what she is told for that amount of time of her own will. She's putting on a front.

Last week I got 4 of the most wonderful books, entertaining to children, but also a little something for the adults (aka non-mindnumbing). Here they are:

Claire and the Unicorn, Happy Ever After by B.G. Hennessy and illustrated by Susan Mitchell. It starts with "and they lived happily ever after. The End." Then the adventure starts, when Claire drifts off to sleep and finds herself flying on the back of her favorite stuffed animal, Capricorn the Unicorn, through a magical story land in search of what makes someone happy ever after. So cute, and perfect for that toddler who just won't go to bed!

Miss Spider's Tea Party by David Kirk. Showing the softer, more refined side of spiders and insects, this book teaches kids many different things without being painfully obvious, something my child is all too aware of and resistant to. A genteel spider attempts to invite a systematically increasing number of bright, colorful insects to tea, not for sinister intentions, but because she wants company. An inspiring warning against judging a book by it's cover.

Three Samurai Cats, a story from Japan retold by Eric A. Kimmel, Illustrated by Mordicai Gerstein. A classic, a doggy daimyo's castle is overrun by a wicked fat rat. He seeks help from a Senior monk, who sends him one samurai cat at a time. The first has his ass handed to him, as does the second. Then in limps the most decrepit, pathetic cat. An underdog story, the sad cat defeats the rat by letting him defeat himself, teaching an important lesson; why do today what you can do tomorrow... or soaking dishes in the sink for a couple days before you wash them is perfectly acceptable... or cleaning up is overrated... something like that!

Once Upon a Time, the End, Asleep in 60 Seconds, by Geoffrey Kloske and Barry Blitt. You know the story, it's late, you're on your last story, 3 stories later, and your kid is fighting sleep like a rabid weasel fights a badger. So you cut out a few words (or pages) to get to the end faster... someone wrote a book like that. Fastest version of Little Red Hen and Goldilocks, ever!

So there you have it, great books, I encourage you to look 'em up! Now as for what I'm reading: The Florist's Daughter by Patricia Hampl. This author came to my husband's school for a book reading. I have mixed feelings about it. Although a memoir, this woman, you can tell, is a poet. It is so beautifully written I don't want to put it down. However, the disdain and contempt for her average parents in middletown boring depressing St. Paul drips off the pages like soggy raisin bran flakes ooze out of a pillow case...(how did they get in there?!?!?!) Not to mention the book starts with the painful account of holding her mother's hand as she "lets her go", and recounts every painful memory of how she just wanted to get away from the safe middle, middle class, middle America, because life was just too average to die there. I don't know why, but I just can't put it down no matter how much I want to. That and I've only ever walked away from 2 books, because once I get started I'm loyal to a fault. So its quite a conundrum because Jeremy has met her and claims she has not a shred of disdain or contempt, but really loves her family and life... hmmmm? I'm guessing the book will end in a completely predictable confession of her enduring love from the perspective of hindsight. But I could be wrong.

My next book will be The Manchurian Candidate by Richard Condon for my cold war class. I hope it's suspenseful, I hope I can follow it with my cotton ball head!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Culture in the middle of Iowa?

Sometimes God sends breath into your soul to lift you up and refresh it! Last night was one of those nights. It's been a week of way too much time at home, and way too much time with my darling children, and after retiring the TV entirely for the entire week during the day, I had the sad realization that watching it actually improved my mood throughout the day. But it's better that way, I should read more and engage my children in things more.

Anyway, it was Friday night after dinner and I was exhausted and I was maybe giving off the vibe that I didn't want to go to Divine Word College to see the Japanese drummer performance. Snoring, no make-up, in puke ridden clothes. It started at 7, Addie's bedtime, my zoning time, and it would be loud... I know, I'm officially old. But then my husband said something magical... "Lets swing by McDonald's and get an iced coffee." (It doesn't have crack in it like D&D, but its the next best thing because of all the sugar they put in it for that immediate jolt)

So I drug my sorry butt up and dolled up a bit and we loaded the clan into the mini. When we arrived we sat in the back in case we needed a quick escape. And then it started. 3 beautiful girls dressed in Kimonos, doing a slow and entrancing dance to two large drums, and then they whipped out their drum sticks and went at it on two even larger drums. The drumming was like a dance, hands, feet, heads, torsos meticulously choreographed. They threw themselves at the drums, and away from them. It was like watching the passionate painting of Jackson Pollock, but without paint, and more beautiful. The vibrations seemed to reach right into our core and vibrate loose good feelings.

And the most amazing part? Addie LOVED it! She clapped, danced and smiled and was riveted the entire time! Even Emily seemed interested as I bounced her to the beats.

Go check out the website tsukasataiko.com and taikolegacy.com

Friday, November 21, 2008

Lurking in the dark.

In my search for adult entertainment (get your mind out of the gutter!) during the day while staying home with my darling children who are oh-so-intellectually stimulating, I have taken up my father's daily tradition with a "morning read". I go to my sites that are saved on my favorites or on my blog and I read what other people are writing and doing.

These sights are not only a wealth of information, they are a connection to the outside of toddlerdom world. A community of like-minded people that I find interesting. And they comment to each other and get to know each other, become friends and lend support.

But I lurk in the darkness, on the outside, voyeuristic like. I find postings that I would like to comment on, and then a little voice in my head, an evil, ugly, vile voice that says ever so smugly,
"You have nothing to contribute. Who wants to hear what you have to say? You know nothing and your comments will be mocked by all others. Why don't you just go back to your own little blog and keep your thoughts to yourself?"

I know! So mean!

Soon I will creep out, regardless of this stupid intruder to my intelligent self.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Mrs. Personality

41 TO 50 POINTS: Others see you as fresh, lively, charming, amusing, practical, and always interesting; someone who's constantly in the center of attention, but sufficiently well balanced not to let it go to their head. They also see you as kind, considerate, and understanding; someone who'll always cheer them up and help them out.

43 is what I scored on Dr. Phil's test that Carrie sent me. Really? Do people really see me as this? It's nice if they do, but can 10 questions really define me? Maybe. I like to think of myself as intelligent, wanted and needed.

This is what the Chinese Zodiac has to say about me, born in a horse year... appropriate, knowing my mother's love of horses:

Horse people have a balance of the best kind of qualities. Have you ever seen a wild horse on the beach, with flying mane and flaring nostrils, every muscle bursting with life and je ne sais quois? Without a doubt, the Horse is the standard for grace, strength, rhythm and nobility. They have an amazing capacity for hard work. As a result, they know great success and financial security in their lifetimes. Often quite ostentatious, they enjoy being with large crowds and always seek out the grand and magnificent. They need people and have a weakness for those of the opposite sex. You can often find Horses at concerts, music festivals, and the Super Bowls of life.

Lately, I've been feeling like I've been lacking in my life, a little homesick for my old life. We have achieved a lot of what we have been wanting out of life, so now what? Does this mean I need a hobby? Maybe I should get off my lazy butt and get a job!

Soon enough! I must remember now is a gift, that's why its called the present.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Glamorous Life

Why being a parent is "glamorous" based on what's cool and in style:

10. It's a reason to drink... a lot.
9. It's a reason NOT to drink a lot (baby 2 is the result).
8. New wardrobe (because you've gained weight).
7. Wearing sweats and bandannas is Bohemian.
6. Going to rehab or jail is in style... (doesn't that sound nice? 5 to 10 in solitary confinement, meals made for you and no one screaming "MOOOMMMMYYYY!!!!")
5. Flakiness is cool.
4. Knowing the words to the latest dance hits ("Hot dog, hot dog, hot diggity dog!... it's hot, right?)
3. Scheduled intimacy with a perfect stranger in a place where someone could walk in on you at any moment! (when did she learn to open doors!!!)
2. Night life starts at 7pm.
1. "Eu de bebe vomet"... it's french.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Where have I been?

Well, I finally have a tentative quiet, long enough to sit here and type out a little something. What I have been doing I have no idea. Well, the quiet is over, as soon as one hit the bed for a nap the other has awoken. It always happens that way. Just a brief catch up.

Well, if you could see my kitchen, you'd wish you never did. Same with my bedroom which has 4 very large heaps of clothes. My little one has been puking so much I am drenched in spit up. She has exceptional aim, completely missing her bib and burp rag every time. I went shopping with my mother and found a great second hand store! So much cute stuff, nice and clean. Addie finally has dresses and black shiny shoes, which she has been begging to wear non-stop. Emily has more pants and sleepers.

I went to my new doctor and everything looks good. I'm down to pre-preggo weight, just not size... how does that work? So not fair! I'm not doing so good on the workout stuff, or getting up with the alarm. (any more its before the alarm) I have been doing an online calorie counter. It doesn't like me.

And I'm still not all there. For example, I sent my husband an e-mail forward, and 2 hours later I didn't remember what it was about. I just knew it was funny. Also, the insurance guy called and asked if we could come in for a chat about something. I couldn't remember why. So, there we were in the guy's office trying to figure out why we were there. Heck of a nice guy though. We really like him.

I got one 1/2 hour nap in, which was more of a cruel joke. I could have slept for hours. Things have been drab and blah lately, so I have chalked it up to grey skies and too little uninterrupted sleep. This will pass and I will be able to be a perky and happy mommy again soon.

And now they are both up! Cruel!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

My baby is sleeping in a big girl bed for the first time! My baby! Holy crap, I don't think I'm ready for that. I just want to cradle her in my arms and never let go. I almost want to go wake her up... almost.

You know what this means? One more step towards not being able to protect her. Those rails, those bars of her crib protect her, contain her...

...protect the world from the unleashed blonde fury she is about to become...

World, watch out! Here she comes...

Be the change you want to see in the world.

The truth is, no matter how awesome or terrible our president is, the thing that makes America great is that we are a bunch of doers. It doesn't matter about the 80/20 rule either, as long as the 20 are strong, and I am one of those 20. So, to make my world a better place this is what I plan to do:

1. I am going to research how to become a Made in America shopper. For me it is not the price, it is the convenience that is a challenge. I need to be able to do one stop shopping. But I think with a bit more planning I could do better. For example, I found out that Starbucks is a USA company, even though they get the beans in South America. However, online I found a Hawaii company and I can get free shipping if I spent over $45. A pound is about $9. That would last about 11 weeks. I also found out that LL Bean and Lands End is made in the USA most of the time, and according to mom they tell you if its not. I can order their stuff out of catalogs and online. Unfortunately, although we avoid Wal-mart, my favorite, Target rarely carries USA stuff. I'll need to think a bit more on this but I'll take baby steps. I guess the real disappointment was buying mandarin oranges and teething rings from China. Do they make EVERYTHING?!?!

2. Raise my kids "right". And "right" means the way we see fit. I will teach them to be smart, independent, kind hearted and generous. There is a difference between right and wrong, and they will know it.

3. Vote. From here on out I will vote for the one that I feel is closest to my beliefs.

4. Speak up. I want to keep track of my local politicians and send them letters on how I want them to vote for me. I won't forget who they work for.

5. Get involved. I have already started by volunteering at the local school, participating in activities at the library, and to lector at church. I will try to take advantage of opportunities that come my way.

So there you go, and off I go, toddling with baby steps.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

And now what?

This is what I think:

We will have to see what happens now. The next four years could be wonderful, with change for the best, equality for minorities, a recovered economy and peace throughout the world. Or they could be horrible, with censorship, a new kind of racism, a John Galt Exodus, and an appeasement policy that will encourage attacks on us and our allies.

I'm nervous, but I keep reminding myself that our behemoth of a government moves at a snails pace, even with one party in power. The disappointing thing is nothing is going to change. Government needs to get smaller, step out of the American's life, and go back to being of, by, and for the people. These experienced professional elitist bull politicians and their cronie media have blocked the chance for regular people to be included. Some of them that went to the most prestigious schools in the country are no smarter than the average person, but got in because of influence or money. And the ones that are that smart, there's something loose.

When will we get a legitimate 3rd party choice, because the Democrats are not what they used to be, and the republicans aren't even republicans? I don't feel represented anywhere, and anyone that does has been drinking the kool-aid.

It will be one for the record books. But we will be fine come hell or high water.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I voted, now where's my coffee?

Starbucks, that's pretty cool! Do you deliver?

I VOTED! Yay! I was awakened by the lovely chatter (aka screaming) of my precious (aka demonic) two year old at 5:40am (aka way too wicked early) today. I slunk out of bed and began researching the Iowa ballot, because I didn't know who my district people would be. I looked up my federal rep and senator up for election and their challengers. Then I looked up my state rep and senator and their challengers. I felt I made an educated decision. We packed up the girls and went to the community center where I was happy to see the "vote here" signs.

I filled out the sign in sheet wrong, I didn't put my last name first. Shoot, idiot. To be fair, I was trying to keep Emily's vomit off my coat. Then I sat down at the table and hid my ballot from my husband behind the cardboard privacy box. I hide my vote from him because he acts like he doesn't care but I know he would copy. Cheater.

I was cool with my picks until I got to the really local stuff like judges. I filled in the space if there was noone running against them, but the ones with competition I left blank. I forgot that might be on there. I don't feel comfortable voting for them if I don't know them. I did however try Carrie's approach of picking a name that sticks out at me, but none of them did that for me, so I left it blank. That makes me sad, like I'm giving up. But I have hope that other people know what's going on. They also had a section that asked if these people should be allowed to serve again, yes or no. I didn't get it, so I left it blank.

I voted to amend the Iowa constitution from saying idiot and insane to a more pc term. I don't like it when they refer to me that way!

So bottoms up this evening, may it all turn out for the best!

Oh and I voted for _____________. Use your secret decoder to identify my candidate.

Monday, November 3, 2008

A Stuffed Duck

She's sick of the election too!

We all know how she feels! After hours of fighting it, she's finally passed out, face mushed against her tray, drool pooling.

I will go vote tomorrow. We are going as a family up to the little community center where I'm hoping is the right spot. If it's not, the discovery early in the morning will give us time to figure it out. I'm a little excited about it. I kind of feel like it's the night before a big snow storm and the news is predicting 4 feet and no school. I don' t know why. I don't think it's any big hope for change, we all know that's not going to happen. And I'm not rooting for the guy I'm voting for like I would my base ball team. What I like is debating the issues like I know what's best for the country. I like observing the action and witnessing the history in the making. I imagine what historians will write about this event 50 years from now.

I feel like making a speech to America like I would give to my 4th graders. "I expect you to do your duty. I expect you to act like the good ladies and gentlemen that you are. You are representing your country and you know how I expect you to act. You will live up to my expectations... or else."

I predict that it will be close. If it turns out for Obama, I hope that McCain doesn't whine and he backs out graciously. I am not hopeful for an Obama loss, because the media has been hyping the polls more than Lucas hyped the 1st episode of Star Wars (movie 4). And we know how that turned out. People have been drinking the cool-aid a bit too much, and they will be devastated if he loses. There will be a bunch of finger pointing and stolen elections accusations.

But maybe not. Tomorrow evening you will find me entrenched on my couch with a cup of hot cocoa (okay, more like a bottle of beer or two), hoarding the remote control and throwing dirty looks at my husband for each snide cynical remark he makes. Because we are in the bottom of the ninth, bases loaded, 3 balls and two strikes, and something's gonna happen! Here's to "hope" and "change" and "less taxes" and "more drilling" and Mavericks and Socialists! GO USA!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Ear muffs

I miss myself. Ever since I had kids I have not been able to have an uninterrupted thought or any inner dialog worth anything, I'm constantly listening to my surroundings, for a cry from my kids. This is especially true when it comes to meditating on something important or praying. Praying usually goes like this..."Hey God, hows it going? Thanks for my kids and husband, oh Emily just puked on me there goes my clean shirt, its really the only one left that's nice that my bossum still fits into that I can wear to church... church, yeah, okay, God, please help me to remember to do laundry as soon as I get home because I don't have anymore clothes to wear for tomorrow I go volunteer at the school I used to work and wear professional clothes I wish I could wear now with the cute fall fashion like the ones in the magazines that I can't afford did I pay the electric bill how much do we have in savings we should put some into savings for the girls how will we pay for college Addies trying to get out of the pew my child is the loudest today why are we here what was the sermon about?" And most of this is broken into several other tangents and I can't concentrate or hear what my brain is telling me. I used to be able to connect with my body, concentrate on a novel, think of witty comebacks, have a conversation. No longer. My only hope is for the clarity that will come after the hormones wear off from breastfeeding. There was a really clear difference last time, I felt like a new woman! Until then, I have discovered a solution.
I was in the studio offering moral support to my husband as he worked. I don't much understand what exactly he does until he's done, and then I can't really explain what it is, but by then I can say "look, there it is!" He was explaining to me about making our daughter's big girl bed and he wanted me to be part of the process and then the glaze happened and I was off thinking about that time I went to have a pedicure... then he hands me the ear muffs.
When I put them on I couldn't hear anything externally. I felt like I was cocooned from the world. I could hear my hearbeat, the vibrations from my feet hitting the floor when I walked, the click of my spine when I turned my head, (is it supposed to do that?) my breathing. By eliminating one of my senses I could talk to myself a bit more.
So I wish I could wear these all the time!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A new reason to not do domestic cleaning!

As I was washing my face, I realised it was quiet... too quiet for a two year old. I peeked out of the bathroom, expecting to see some sort of disaster, when I spotted her. She was making tracks in the dust on our TV in the living room, quietly saying "Peeeeee, Mmmmmm, Ooooooo, Teeeeeeee!"

Who knew dust was a learning tool! :)

As I type this she is using the laundry basket as a helmet and running into things!

What will this two year old genius think of next?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Last night was the Petersburg Trick or Treat and Halloween Party. This was Emily's first, Addie's third, and our first time actually handing out candy. We actually went through an entire huge bag of candy! It was so much fun! Addie put on her dress at 3pm and refused to take it off for dinner.
Every time the door bell rang she would leap up and exclaim, "COSTUME PARTY!!! HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!" and bound to the door in her gown, glass slippers and tiara! The door would open and she would ooh and ah at all the costumed kids. There were some really cute ones.
Then at 7pm there was a party at the community center with cookies, punch, musical chairs and a costume contest. Emily won third place in the 0-3 year competition. I met 2 other moms with the potential to hook up for play dates. One of the moms I had over at my first play date asked if we could start something up on Fridays after harvest. Another mom invited us over on Tuesday. We had a great time. The meltdown came when she started brandishing her glow stick as a weapon and hit another 2 year old boy, then the father took it away. To be fair to Addie, she got the idea from the little boy and was just playing along. But then it was time to go.

Here is princess Addie... she loved her costume so much, it was the first thing she asked for this morning. I held out until 11. I also insisted she take it off for a nap. Wait until Christmas when she gets the other 4 princess dresses in her treasure chest!

This is how the night ended...

The glass slippers are off! Prince Charming will have to wait!

But where is Emily? Due to the excessive drool, we didn't get as many shots of her, and they are all on my dad's camera. Dad, if you read this, can you send them my way?

Don't worry, its not Halloween yet and I will stuff the duck one more time for pics!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I love it!

So easy getting pics on here... I love this! Much better than myspace!

These are our Halloween pumpkins! Stay tuned for trick or treating after tomorrow!

Picture test

Princess Addie

Not bad trying to get pictures on here.

Now let me try Emily...
Okay, definately learning something... Next, my profile pic!

Friday, October 24, 2008

the vet, the view, and my husband blogging!

My cats are my babies too. So when I found an unpleasant surprise in one of the litter boxes I was worried and started looking for a vet. I found only one review of the first vet in the phone book. Mary K gave him 5 stars, said he was nice and gentle and reminded her of James Harriot. I used to love his writing! So I was taken and gave them a call. Sammy had an appointment at 8:30 this morning. He went into the box without a fight. He didn't even complain until the car started moving. He didn't hiss or spit until we tried to give him some meds orally. I now have 3 1/2 inch cuts in my palm. He hates vets. Ever since the one told him he wasn't a Norwegian Snow Cat. What do they know? We get to give him his oral meds twice a day... lucky us!

As we were driving home I noticed the wonderful view across the bare corn fields. I wish you east coasters could see it, it is a heavenly sight! The corn is being harvested and it is possible to see for miles and miles! Its different from looking across the ocean. The hills roll and the land in the distance is covered in a hazy blue mist that blends into the sky, so it looks like it goes on and on for eternity. There are few things to block the view, a lonely farmstead with some barns and a silo (which I like to imagine hold international ballistic missiles tipped with nuclear warheads left over from spy days of the cold war!) and maybe a small herd of cows. When I see these 100+ old farmhouses they seem so stoic, out there in the middle of nowhere. The view is the same from my kitchen window, and is especially pleasant when the sun is shining in in the morning. I'm excited about the first snow where everything looks clean and fresh! I will sit in my pjs and fuzzy slippers and sip hot chocolate, and blog away!

Speaking of blogs, my husband now has a blog. He agonized for 20 minutes on how to name it something clever and witty. I think its great that he is going to do it, but that means he will be reading mine more frequently. Should I censor myself? Or just curb the references to pillows? Will his stories hold the same flavor as when he animatedly tells them, with twinkly eyes and flushed cheeks? I find myself less inhibited when I write, and more a wallflower at parties, but he told me last night I was being cute and lively at a pot luck we went to for a co-worker. Sometimes I just clam up and I feel socially inept. I need to work on a list of topics to discuss for different situations, and when I run out of things to say I can pull my list out of my bra and pick something. My first topic, "things to carry in your bra."

My next challenge is to figure out how to post pictures on this. I need to find the camera today first!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Unexplained Natural Phenomenon

Unexplained natural phenomenon that occurs in our household include: magical kisses, last things said, and mysterious alarm clock shutoffs.

I never thought "Here, let me kiss it!" would ever work for my child. But time and time again, when faced with uncontrollable wailing due to an actual or perceived boo-boo, the offer of a mommy kiss on the injured area usually always results in a sniffled "that's better, thanks mommy!" followed by immediate wiping of the last tears. I am both surprised and proud that I hold so much power over pain in my child's life. I am SUPER MOMMY! Whose magical kisses solve every problem! Now the only problem is there will come a day when it will no longer work! :( But until then, I will don my cape and tights and kiss away!

Another baffling conundrum is the last thing said. It is usually an important reminder to do something, and this something is never done. Wanna know why? Because it was the last thing I said. For example, if I told my husband, "tomorrow's Wednesday, please remember the recycling and garbage go out tomorrow." and then we fall asleep... it will not get done. However, if I had said the exact same thing and then we had a conversation about which way the toilet water swirled in the southern hemisphere, it would have been done. As I type this I am looking at the spot at the edge of the yard where the garbage should be. Heavy sigh.

And finally, mysterious alarm clock shut offs. I set my alarm for 6:30 am every day. This gives me enough time for a shower, breakfast, kitty chores and laundry before both my children wake up. However, rarely do I actually get up at that time because my alarm is somehow disarmed. I don't know how it happens, it just does. So then I am woken up by the soft, then loud calls of one of my children at 7:30. Why doesn't the snooze work on them?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Feeling settled

I noticed it on Thursday when we went on our weekly lunch date to Pizza Hut. "Our" waitress greeted us with "Oh, it's Thursday again, isn't it? Two Iced teas and a milk?" And then in walked a woman and her son that is part of our story time at the Library. We are regulars!

We had our first ever pumpkin carving contest. 22 friends and family attended, bringing pumpkins and treats, and we gave tours of our new home. It felt happy to have our family at our house. It was bright sunny and 60 degrees out, the perfect fall afternoon. We drank Oktoberfest and hot cider. I didn't run around all crazy scrubbing things, just a quick pickup and sweep and vacuum and we were ready for guests.

On Sunday we went to Jeremy's school for Mass and an international potluck. It was relaxed and enjoyable. Mass was in 8 different languages, and by the end Addie was speaking in her own tongue. She pretty much stuck to crackers but I had Vietnamese, Colombian, German, Sudanese, Korean and Filipino cuisine. Yum!

And we finished up our weekend cheering those worthless bums called the Red Sox on. I knew I shouldn't have changed my underwear. It was a weekend full of contented sighs and smiles. Surprisingly relaxing for being so busy.

Friday, October 17, 2008

My husband is the veggieman!

My husband is a genius! Our daughter will put nothing near her mouth that resembles a veggie. We sneak them in by feeding her flat earth chips and juicy juice harvest surprise. She might eat meat, but what she loves is carbs. Give her plain bread and butter any day all day. Potatoes, chips, crackers, cereal, pasta.

For the last two nights my husband has humanized the small veggie pile on her plate, giving them personalities and feelings. They want to be with their friends in her belly, they'll be so sad if they are left on her plate, but if she eats them they will be happy and have a party!

To date: 1 piece of broccoli, 5 kernels of corn, 3 peas and 4 carrot bits reside in her belly and are partying with their friends noodles and potatoes. May he continue to have success deceiving our child!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I just chew and chew and chew...

That's the way I am. Something makes me mad and I chew on it, rehashing every word, contemplating what I should have said, what I will say next time, visualizing grabbing hold of their family jewels, squeezing, twisting and ripping them off!

And I'm pissed. Let me start from the beginning. I got a call from the bank, asking if we had a written agreement with our neighbor for the water she supplies us from her well. I didn't know so I talked to the neighbor, sweetest older lady you could ever imagine, and she gave me the number of her lawyer and son because they handle all that. She also reassured me up and down that she would never shut off our water.

I called the lawyer and left a message with the secretary that I wanted to know if there was an agreement. It took a while for him to get back to me, but we ended up playing phone tag. I finally got hold of him and before I could even talk to him he abruptly cut me off saying he was too busy to talk, he was preparing for court, and then he said goodbye and hung up. I was expecting a call back, but I got a letter asking me to come in to discuss the "problem" I was having with my neighbor and to bring my abstract or deed in so he could write up the water agreement. I shoved the letter into my "I'll get to it when I have time pile".

Saturday I got two letters from this asshole. One saying he couldn't understand why I was not cooperating with him and another was a copy of one he sent to my neighbor. In this letter is advised her to shut off our water, to raise the yearly price, to have me pay for his legal services, and that I only cared about getting my rights.


I was unbelievably pissed. I talked to the neighbor. She thought it was all a misunderstanding. I wanted to speak to the son, just to make sure he knew I wasn't at fault. I got the daughter in law that day and she said, "well, she's not going to live forever, and then you people will have to figure out something else. You're making a killing off this deal, do you know what we pay for city water?" As if I was taking advantage of the situation.

I think what happened was someone, maybe the son, told the lawyer that we needed to write up a contract, and then nobody told me. When I called that lawyer on Monday, I asked him who had requested the agreement be written up, because it wasn't me, all I requested of him was to tell me if there was one. He said "everyone is having one written up." Which after talking to the son, thats what they would like to have done and they are working on it. I told him we were paid up until January 1st and I'd get to it when I was damn good and ready! ( I didn't say it like that, but that was the tone I used.)

I think its a good idea, and as the son said, its just good business, but I tell you what isn't good business, pissing off potential new customers. Because I intend to tell my story to at LEAST 10 people. I already told my banker the lawyer was being a real jerk, and as soon as I said his name she was like "Oh, say no more! He's a piece of work." Do you think I can report him to the better business bureau?

I better not have to pay the whole fee. I will grudgingly pay for half of it because that would be fair, but just giving that much of my money to this douchbag is more than he deserves. But to pay for the whole thing, no way! I'd want to pay my own lawyer who might treat me with a little more respect.

Now imagine right here a whole line of curse words... that's how I really feel about it!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I feel good.

I feel good this morning, and I even hopped right out of bed at 6:30am! I'm not a morning person, despite my best efforts. I remember once for like a couple months, getting up at like 5am to go to the gym with my friend (you know who you are!) and doing aerobics with an insanely perky instructor to rediculous songs like "Zanadoo". What the hell? All without coffee. What were we thinking? We were out of our minds! And spin class?

The east coast turned me into a coffee drinker. And not just any coffee. Dunkin Donuts coffee. They put just the right amount of sugar, cream and crack in it. I'm not kidding. Crack! I haven't seen the stash, but I know this because I've caught myself using addict language. I say things like "I need a fix." and "Its been 2 hours since my last hit." and "I like the way I feel on it." and "I'm not myself without it." and "I can't live without it." and "What do you mean I'm out of coffee!?!?!" and "Get me SOME MORE COFFEE NOW!!!!" and "OH NO YOU DIDN'T! DON'T TELL ME I'VE HAD TOO MUCH!!! BACK OFF! WHO ARE YOU TO TELL ME WHEN ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!"

My students could always tell exactly how many cups I'd had. It was difficult when I was pregnant, because I had to lay off the crack, and I was really jonesin for a hit. I went into serious withdrawal. And I was hormonal. That was the worst part of it all! I guess it was worth it... :)

But today, even before I had coffee, which isn't D&D because the closest one is in Chicago, I felt good (I could just get up even earlier and drive there, believe me, its worth it!). Maybe that was because yesterday was such a good day with my babies, or because my husband got out of bed with me and went running, but I hope to have more days like this!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The itch to go back to work.

My friend Trinity sent me a great article about a new charter school that pays their teachers $125K a year. I went and looked at their school, and its pretty cool. Then I looked at their requirements to get a job, and one thing they had was a portfolio. I've made one before, and it really helped me get a handle on all that I've accomplished and all I've been involved in. Its a great way to organize materials, certificates, plans. I think I will make one. It will help me when I start looking for jobs this spring.

I'm very excited to be looking for jobs. I volunteered in the pre-school on Monday and had a great time. I know, to leave my toddler to go be with other toddlers is silly, but there were 2 other adults there, and I got to scope out the program for next year. It was clean, the teacher was organized and pleasant, and there is a good balance of play, free time, and academics. I think Addie will go there next year.

I have lots of places to apply to around here, and I am excited to start the search process. And if things don't work out, I will look into going for my Masters while I substitute.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Pumpkin Carving

Our friend Deb in MA invited us to her fam's annual pumpkin carving party. It was so much fun and such a neat tradition that we have taken upon ourselves this endeavor here in Iowa. This will be the First Annual Rudd Pumpkin Carvin' Party! It will also be the first time we will have a party at our new house, and many new people will see it for the first time! So exciting and a little intimidating. The good news is we have not lived here long enough to make such a huge mess that we have a major clean up, and we are all unpacked! A little surface cleaning is all that's needed, and of course some fall/Halloween decorations to put up.

I got a wild hair up my butt to make my OWN invitations. That's right, home made! I bought foam Halloween stickers, borrowed stamps from my sister in law, and got paint for them because there wasn't ink at the store I went to, and got blank off white cards and envelopes. Then we printed out the inside, placed the cute little ghost, bat, pumpkin, spider or black cat stickers on the front, stamped the inside with black and orange pumpkins and leaves, and stamped the envelopes too. I addressed them and sent them out today, a full two weeks before the big event!

I feel my inner Martha starting to creep out! Next thing you know I will be frosting petifours and whipping out crafty decor from a supply of mini marshmallow, maxi pads, and some old socks...

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Good for me!

I had such a nice lazy Saturday today! I got up early to feed Emily, but then snuggled back into bed with Addie, then got up to a pancake, egg and sausage breakfast, then snoozed a bit more while Addie watched cartoons. I changed out the summer/winter clothes and put the laundry away.

Yesterday, after playing on the playground for a little while, we went into the little elementary school and I met the principal and signed up to volunteer on Mondays! Yay! I go into pre-school this Monday. My brother will watch the kiddos if he doesn't have to work. I'm excited to be out of the house, useful, and into a school atmosphere.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

No time for intelligence

So I'm taking this course through the library about the cold war. We read books and watch movies and discuss our experiences during that time (I thought Star Wars was a movie...). Aside from being totally backed up by how biased the first book was, I was also constantly bewildered at how my family knew I was reading. Each time I reached for my 234 page book, the baby wanted to be fed, or the 2 year old climbed on the sofa to leap from it, or my husband wanted some form of attention. It took me the whole week, with a major push today, and I still have 13 pages to go.

I used to be sort of smart. I used to polish off a book of that size in maybe two days. I just found it so hard to concentrate. What a difference being pregnant and breastfeeding makes! Pregnancy brain is not a myth.

But I have career goals that I would like to achieve, and I can't help but think its going to be a lot more difficult than I thought it was going to be to go back to school. I think raising my children will be easier the older they get, but I don't really know.

I crave CNN. I long for news sometimes. What is happening in the adult world? I get irritated with my husband when he wants to watch "Dirty Jobs" while an important political debate is on, even though its a little boring and they're both idiots. It's still adult! Let me have my adult time!

But hey, he did take one for the team today and watch cartoons with the 2 year old and cook dinner while I polished off another 10 pages in my book. That was awesome. I wonder if he would do that every night while I wrote my thesis for my Masters?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Worst mom ever!

My baby was having a great time playing. We were singing the potato song and pumping her legs because she hasn't pooped in a day (it will be massive when she finally does... still nothing as I type this) and I thought for the hundredth time this week, "hey, she's clawing her face a bit, I need to clip her nails"... and since I had been on a roll and had already clipped her older sister's finger nails, toe nails and bangs, I was feeling way to confident.

I asked my husband to get the clippers. I clipped her thumb and then went for the index finger, and what I thought was a hangnail was actually the tip of her finger! I maimed my daughter! She now has one finger that is 1/16th and inch shorter than her other fingers!

It didn't bleed right away, and she didn't cry right away, and for a minute I held my breath. Then her little face crumpled, her chubby jowls quivered and her lip stuck out. She looked at me with such horror and surprise that her mommy could do this. And then she started to cry, and bleed, and then I started to cry.

I had read about this happening to other moms, but I thought it would never happen to me and my babies, I was too careful! My husband did not reassure me right away, but instead scolded me saying "you shouldn't have done it when she was so active". He's right, but that doesn't mean I didn't think about smothering him in his sleep, for a split second. (okay, maybe two.)

But I had been waiting, and waiting, and waiting for the right time, thinking when everything quiets down and she is asleep, or after I feed her, or when Jeremy is home to help, and I kept forgetting, so I have to do things when I think of them or they will never get done. I walk by so much stuff that needs to get done, waiting for the kids to give me a break, and it just stays there waiting. I try to seize the moment, which usually ends up with me running around the house not getting much accomplished but merely containing the tornado made by the two year old.

Well, this will teach me! Better to put of till tomorrow what could turn into a disaster today!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Revisionist history

I am of the strong belief that if you are going to be teaching history, you need to be unbiased. Throwing in leading words like "smacked of" "seemed" "supposedly" "fittingly" "malevolent" and so on is inappropriate. These words make for a more interesting read, but tend to sway someone into believing things were a certain way. Present the facts, let people decide for themselves.

I am reading a book about the Cold War, and since the repercussions of those decades are just now starting to show themselves, I don't think anyone can declare how it is. There are a few perceived victors. The communists, although I haven't heard their side of the history, I'm sure it exists and is fascinating; the Reagan conservatives who won a moral victory; and the liberal socialists who are ashamed of the US for putting up such a ridiculous fight. It happened the way it happened for a number of reasons, and it will be interesting to see how it affects the future. I feel its important for the events to be laid out without bias so that future generations can look at this time period for ways to deal with the current situation abroad. How are we to handle countries that hate us for what we have intended to do for them and to them? What stance do we take in defending our allies? How will our dealings affect our security at home and as we travel? What will it do to our markets and prosperity? Sometimes I wish I had more time to study it, but would it make a difference? Would leaders of a country learn from history and choose a different path, or take the same one with a different result? I suppose its like chess, you have to think many moves ahead, but it's so unpredictable with so many reactions and outcomes.

On one hand, perhaps the US should turn isolationist. Limit business abroad, work to become self reliant, and tell our allies to shove off. On the other hand, would our economy survive and would our borders be any safer? And what of our moral obligation to defend the weak? Should we become involved in all countries' disputes and live up to our "world police" reputation? Oh so many questions! I love it!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Thats why there's two of us!

After my post yesterday I wanted to ask my husband exactly what he meant by this new catch phrase he's been saying. It turns out that his issue with staying home with the kids was money. The whole time he was home he was thinking about work he could be doing and money he could be making, and bills he could be paying. He doesn't usually pay the bills, but it weighed heavily on his mind. I guess I've never been concerned that we wouldn't have enough money, because I always think about how I can buckle down if I need to. Instead of fresh veggies I can do store brand frozen. Instead of whole wheat noodles I can do romaine noodles. Oh, remember those college days of drinking your supper and pigging out on romaine noodles, or pokey sticks from Gumbys. A recent study found that beer doesn't make you fat, its what you eat to avoid that hangover that does you in. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. Anyway... It wasn't him being a chauvinistic pig, it was entirely different. And he says he feels just as torn when he goes to work, worried that he is missing out on our children's life... who knew!

I have felt since we moved and I have taken on the SAHM role that it is my job to take care of the kids, and his job to go to work. I wasn't sure what happened after he got home from work. I guess I figured he was at work all day and didn't need to be piled up with the kiddos. But he pointed out I had worked all day too... yeah, I guess if the kids are still alive at the end I have done my job! And I'm the one that has had the chauvinistic ideas!

So I am taking him up on this motto of teamwork, and I am going to take some time for me and go for a walk after he gets home. And instead of making a goal like losing 20 lbs or dropping 2 dress sizes, I'm going for days of exercise. My goal is 20 days of exercise, and I get something that I want... I just don't know what that is. And it can't be food. What should it be? Spa day? New shoes?

He also has a goal, 20 lbs before his birthday in March. He is thinking about a trip to the bike store to get things for bike riding... maybe.

Yay us!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Kinds of Feminists

Nothing makes me more determined to accomplish something than someone saying I can't do it. For example, I'm no breastfeeding nazi, but when the lactation consultant at the hospital responded to my crys of help with "Maybe this just isn't for you." I responded with a "What the hell do you know lady!" and I made sure I breastfed my daughter for close to a year. I might have given up had it not been for that.
So, as I'm driving down the road to get to our library story time, I was listening to NPR. They had some woman on who had written a book about religion and politics, taking questions. One caller asked why the left, who is supposed to be all about women who can do anything, was saying Sara Palin couldn't raise her family and be VP. And the woman said "Well, she can't. She has to make a choice because there is no way for her to raise her 5 children, one with special needs and one about to have a child of her own." And then she said she wasn't judging, but she had made that choice to properly raise her children, one that has special needs. And then she said John McCain was an absentee father and that Cindy was raising the children alone, and Barack Obama's wife had her priorities right also, and that we don't question this of men, because that's just the way it is.
Well, why is this the way it is? When I worked full time and my husband stayed home 4 days a week he was the biggest whiner and I was really angry about it. Didn't he know how important it was? He slowly whittled it down to 1 day a week, but to this day he tries to comisserate with me on the trials of being a SAH. He in not so many words has implied that it is not his place to be home with the children. It's much better now that I'm home and all is right in the world that he is finally the bread winner.
I have to say, I'm conflicted like so many other moms. I think that just comes with the hormones. We are genetically bred to want to put our children first, and I don't think men have that gene. Maybe some of them do. But that is why God gave us the ability to multi-task. I can breastfeed, color with my two year old, talk on the phone and pee at the same time... I'm not kidding, I've done it. I can cook dinner, pretend to be a dancing princess, and pay bills, all while my newborn is hoovering my finger. And I can work up until I have a baby, during the terrible twos, breastfeed though 2 bouts of mastitis, pack up all our belongings, buy a house we've never seen, move halfway across the country with a newborn, toddler, 2 cats and a husband, and unpack, all within 2 months.
And a mother can't be VP?!?! Like hell she can't. She is actually like us! For once there is someone close to the highest office in the nation that didn't go to an ivy league school, didn't come from millions, isn't a balding old white guy, and has actually been through what many women have been through. I love it! And to all those feminists out there that say she can't do it, I say to them let the husband stay home with the kids. Break out the lipstick girls, our heroine has finally arrived!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I thought I already had a blog?

This is the result of trying to go look at someone else's blog. They had be create like 3 accounts and verify them through e-mail, twice because it timed out, and I know there are 2 blogs out there with my name on them, and I can't get to them... I don't get it. But here it is. More mature than myspace, I need a place for the thoughts that don't have Elmo's World or Dragon Tales theme songs play in the background. I'll dust my brain off and practice my writing skills!