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!