Thursday, March 31, 2011

My Reputation Proceeds Me

I'm starting to get quite the reputation for myself.

No, not for the awesome baby packages I like to send out.

No, not for my amazing blog keeping skills.

No, not for my "fly by my gut" approach to cooking and subsequent complete lack of cookbooks.

No, not even for having spawned adorable little princesses to the second degree.

But for my love of chocolate.

And I am totally cool with this.

Because it means people send me chocolate. And refer me to chocolate centered events. And when particularly good chocolate themed cartoons pop up in the newspaper, I am instantly thought of by numerous people.

(I totally have first dibs on that chocolate I.V. once it comes out.)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Table Time Temper

Adrianna is this tiny little thing.

Absolutely adorable, nearly always happy and hugging, and somehow manages to be unconditionally cute regardless of what trouble she is finding.

But she also has quite the little temper.

The other day, I had been sitting with her at the kitchen table while she was eating some macaroni.

My mother came over and sat down with us and was talking to her, and Adrianna was babbling back to her in a very agreeable manner while continuing to daintily nibble away on her buttered penne.

You are what you eat....
And I made a quick dash for the bathroom.

(Hey, parenthood doesn't lend itself to many unaccompanied bathroom moments. Peeing in peace is a real luxury with toddlers around.)

And Adrianna was not happy about my departure.

She started screeching, emphatically threw her bowel to the floor, and kicked off from the table very nearly tipping her booster-seat-strapped-to-a-chair over backwards.

Or so I was told when I re-emerged a scant minute later. 

Interestingly enough, as soon as I was back Adrianna was more than content to continue happily eating her macaroni.

(Now if only bathroom doors were sound proof....)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tune of Rejection

I've been casually looking for a job since last October, and seriously since arriving in Colorado in January... and I haven't made much progress.

I've done a handful aptitude tests for government positions, and have been on exactly one interview for a part time law office administration gig.

Occasionally I get a letter along the lines of "Your resume was referred to the hiring department for further review. You will hear from them in two to three weeks should you be selected for an interview." but have never heard anything following up on it.

Most of the time, if I hear anything at all, it's rejection.

The words have become far to familiar, to scripted, to easy.

Sometimes they come in email, sometimes they come on fancy letterhead, and sometimes they come through silence.

But they are always the same.

"We were fortunate to receive applications from many well qualified applicants. Our decision was a difficult one. After careful consideration and review, we have chosen candidates to interview whom most closely match our needs. Thank you for your interest and time. Please feel free to apply to future job postings with us."

And that's not all.

The same names are starting to pop up again and again in my inbox.

Except that I always forget what they're associated with, and open the email with slight excitement after only just managing to mark it as familiar.

Elizabeth Lightfoot does all of the emails for the City of Denver Department of Human Services Hiring Department.

(Or something title/officialish like that....)

Despite having received over a dozen less than inspiring emails from her, I still think her name leads to something good. It's far to positive of a name to be only associated with rejection.

And yet, rejection it is.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Bedtime Mutiny

We're sorry, your regularly scheduled programing was suspended on account of unforeseen technical difficulties. We are working on the problem, and expect it to be resolved shortly. Thank you for patience in this matter.

Sincerely,
Management


Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Fairy Dance

Kristina's one Wiggles DVD has "The Fairy Dance" on it, and in the intro to the song (which I sadly did not think of video taping, total Marty-as-a-blogger fail right there) includes the yellow Wiggle (I want to say his name is Sam, but then I don't want to admit to actually knowing all the Wiggle's names) saying something along the lines "I need to go put on my fairy wings too!"

And every single blessed time he says that, all I can think is all the horrible and politically incorrect wise ass remarks Peter would make in response to that sentence alluding to the lacking masculinity of any man wearing fairy wings.

Probably because I have the maturity of prepubescent boy at times. 

But here's an adorable video of Kristina dancing along to "The Fairy Song", which should totally make up for the rest of the questionable parenting and/or blogging skills presented in this post through it's sheer adorableness.

video


Saturday, March 26, 2011

House Packing: Day 3

Monday was the crunch day. And it was hard.

The weather was absolutely miserable, and alternated between rain, sleet, and snow the entire cloudy cold day.

Stress levels were rising as we were reaching the point where we really needed to have rooms cleared and cleaned.

And we were out of packing space.

There was an upside of having completely filled up the storage cubes already, since they were locked and ready to go with many hours to spare before their scheduled pickup.

Unfortunately that was the only upside, as we ended up packing substantially more stuff for me and the girls into Peter's truck and trailer than originally anticipated from the simple physics of having nowhere else to put it.

But, we did (eventually) get all belongings that were of high importance stored in a reasonable manner.

Some things were left, like the turtle sandboxes we had found in the storage above the garage of our rental in Oklahoma which were pretty dang awesome for being free and old and were very well loved by the girls, which I really would have preferred to bring.

But there just wasn't space. Anywhere. At all.

*sigh*

And then came the cleaning......

I have a confession, I never got to washing the wood floors before we left. And I've been consoling my conscience about this by telling myself they'd be tracking in tons of dirt and mud with moving furniture and stuff in anyways.

But we just ran out of time.

*sigh*

Stupid physics, always causing all sorts of problems to my brilliant plans.

One of many snorgtees.com items which I need.

Friday, March 25, 2011

House Packing: Day 2

Sunday morning began remarkably calmly, with Peter and I being absolutely convinced of our excellent grasp on the whole packing situation and subsequent warranting of a leisurely breakfast at one of the local small town diners.

And then we packed and loaded and packed and loaded and packed and loaded for the next 12 hours.

The weather had started to turn back wintery, with a drop in temperature and continuing on and off snowing during the day on top the couple inches of wet mess that had been deposited overnight.

And this made loading a little less pleasant than it had been the day before.

So we tried the approach of packing lots of stuff and having it positioned and ready to go so the trips out to the cubes and trailer could be minimized.

Turns out we really suck at configuring the piles of stuff ready for loading in a good manner, and mostly just managed to make it more confusing and harder to get to the things we were trying to load first (namely my stuff into the cubes which were getting picked up on somebody else's time-frame).

And then, towards the end of the day, we started to encounter another problem.

The cubes were getting full.

And there was still a fair amount of miscellaneous goodies, like the never ending parade of toys, to be shoved in.

Crap.....

So, on top of trying to just simply load them, we were also spending a substantial amount of time playing a fairly miserable game of real life Tetris trying to get things to fit in more efficiently.

Or like, at all.

Which also led to some energy being devoted to minimizing the total accumulation of possessions that afternoon.

A lot of stuff was freed at the end of our driveway (best. road. ever), and I took all the remaining big baby items and the crib up to a pregnant women's shelter in Carthage.

So although I was totally bummed that the awesome little overpriced crib I loved so dearly was going bye-bye after a scant 9 months of service, at least I felt marginally better knowing where it went to and being able to convince myself how much it'll be needed and used and loved by someone else.

(Or so I keep telling myself at least.)

And then somehow it was getting rather late. And we were both reaching the end of our capacity to do much more besides stare blankly around the house while being completely unable to think of what should be done next.

Oh, and Peter had to go into work at 5:30 in the morning to officially sign out on relocation leave. 

So bedtime was declared and eagerly embraced.

The bed we were sleeping on, as all of the normal household mattresses had been packed the first day, was an inflatable air mattress which we had (ironically) gotten when we first moved to New York and spent a couple days in the house before our furniture was delivered.

Except that it wasn't a particularly good (read: expensive) mattress in the first place, and it had spent the months since Christmas (when it was used for visiting cousins) sitting wadded up in the toyroom.

Where some little kitty had chewed a few little holes in it.

And Peter's professional duct tape patch job wasn't exactly holding as well as had been hoped.

But we are still young enough to view sleeping on the floor as an adventure and willing to embrace it enthusiastically (well, at least with a minimal amount of gripping or threatening to kill air mattress destroying kittycats) and try to make the best of it.

Which would have been much easier had 50% of the household bedding not been lost in the great basement flooding last fall and 45% of the remaining already been packed.

To be continued tomorrow....

Thursday, March 24, 2011

House Packing: Day 1

The main reason I spent last weekend out in New York was to assist in packing up all our wordly possessions and clearing out the house for the new buyers.

And remarkably, we did put a little forethought and planning into the process (almost like we're responsible adults or something).

We had two storage cubes of some standardish size delivered Friday afternoon to move and store my stuff until I actually manage to get a job and subsequent rent money and rental residence. I did spend much time pondering how many we needed, and decided on two on account of realizing we were only going to be loading two and half rooms of furniture (plus miscellaneous kid stuff) into them.

And we totally needed three.

Apparently miscellaneous kid stuff is both bulky and in excessive quantities. But I'm getting ahead of the story.

Peter was set to pick up a U-haul trailer first thing Saturday morning, and had arranged for a couple buddies of his to drop by that afternoon to help move the big heavy stuff.

All was good to go.

Except then they didn't have the trailer ready at 7am (not that either of us was up then either, having not gotten back to the house until close to midnight).

And the house needed a tad more pre-packing prep work than I had previously anticipated, as there was a slight accumulation of dirty dishes and laundry and trash and strange computer/big screen tv 500 cord interfacings that had managed to crop up in the last 6 weeks which needed to be taken care of prior to any furniture moving or stuff packing. 

And then there were additional trailer complications with the hitch and needing to put a different one on but the old one would come off and ultimately needed a trip to an auto-shop with a plasma torch to get it taken care of.

You know, the usual stuff that eats up most of the morning running around taking care of crap errands.

So we weren't particularly well prepared for the guys showing up to move furniture, an hour after we got back from the morning's trailer saga. However, these were bachelor soldiers, and they had no qualms about just dumping whatever had needed moving that previously was residing on/in the furniture into the nearest available box/trash bag/floor so they could get all the furniture moved out and loaded in under two hours.

The only glitch during this process was the couch.

Our couch is not a tiny thing by any means, however I am still fairly certain it fits within normal furniture dimensions and therefore should be movable through things like doorways.

Except that we put a new front door on the house after we moved in.

Apparently, a door with a SMALLER doorframe.

So there was the delightful moment where Peter jaunted up the stairs to where I was speed screwdrivering our bed frame apart and told me the couch wouldn't fit out of the house.

*twitch twitch twitch*

I suggested they move on to the rest of the furniture and come back to the couch. And they did, eventually, with much maneuvering and grunting and pushing and a few very nearly stuck dramatic moments, manage to get the couch out of the house.

(It also occurred to me during that process that the one thing worse than needing to leave a couch in the house because it couldn't fit out would be needing to leave a couch wedged in the front door frame.)

(Oh, and I just realized that my description totally makes it sound like they were giving birth. Which actually keeps it kinda exciting, me thinks...)

So we were feeling pretty good about things Saturday evening. All the big furniture was where it needed to go, the top half of both cubes were just waiting for the stuff to be packed, and I had even managed to get most of the laundry and dishes clean by that point.

We had two whole days left, we could totally rock this out without a problem.

And then it snowed that night.

Continued tomorrow.....

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Playing with the Boys

I have great intentions of writing long and detailed posts about the weekend and all of it's exciting components.

But right now I am simultaneously eating lunch, carrying on a conversation about map drawing with a three year old, and certain the baby will be done napping at any second.

And desperately trying to get a blog post up on-time today. I have 8 minutes. Lets rock and roll.

So, one of the interesting parts of the weekend spent out in New York (have no idea what I'm talking about? Neither do I really, that would be the plan for the good informative post to be written someday soonish. Maybe.) was getting to spend the entire time with the male gender.

I haven't spent substantial time hanging out without children period in the last few years, and young men are even more foreign than my usual variety of human interactions.

But spending time with them has a few high points.

Like competing to see who has the best flatulence. Now admittedly, it is a little gross and gaggingly smelly at times. But it sure as hell beats the girly thing of sitting politely with your legs crossed at lunch being absolutely mortified you might let a squeaker out and forever be shamed from eating that stupid cob salad.

The complete lack of cob salad in the diet is another awesome part, as I am most definitely a fan of the pizza and beer route.

I'm pretty sure there's a level of hell that looks like this.
Also, being able to curse and use vulgar expressions on whim and at top volume was rather refreshing, as I haven't gotten to do that in YEARS.

However, there are some really disgusting parts of the male gender. Like the sheets that hadn't been washed in I don't even know when but I'm pretty sure a homeless guy smells better and is less dirty looking and there is NO way I am sleeping on a bed made with them. Period.

Also, the 6 loads of dirty laundry piled around the house weren't the highlight of my weekend. Nor were the several dishwasher loads of disgusting old caked on dirty dishes I had to track down and take care of.

Ew.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Cop Out

I had no blog post scheduled for today, despite full well knowing that I would spend a substantial portion of my time on an airplane AND that I cannot publish blog posts successfully from my cellphone.

However, I was just absolutely positive I'd have a few minutes sometime in the last 5 days to throw some random shit together artfully compose a well written and witty commentary on an intriguing subject matter.

Well, long story short, I didn't.

And now it's like 10 hours later than the posts normally go up, and I'm tired and a little cranky (not to mention s-o-r-e) and my big fluffy down comforter is calling my name really rather loudly.

So how about I distract you from my crummy blogging for today (and quite possibly tomorrow, as I sure don't have anything ready to publish as of right this second) with a dozen or so cute pictures?

Oooooh, babies........













Monday, March 21, 2011

The Age of Clothes

I went on my first job interview last week (totally didn't get it, ust in case you were wondering), and I was rather floored by my amazing powers of professional transformation.

I went from my usual jeans attire, and a particularly stylish Frozen Dead Guy Days t-shirt (which may or may not have been worn solely because all my other t-shirts were dirty) to real slacks (a first in my little life) paired with heels and jewelry.

And I became at least ten years older in the 20 minutes it took to change.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Cadbury Eggs And Other Deliciously Horrible Easter Candies

Have you noticed all the Easter candy out in the stores right now?

I'm just going assume you answered "yes". Or have been hibernating in a nice cave since Valentine's Day. Or perhaps live in Kenya.

(I don't think Kenyans do a whole lot for Easter. Or like, have Target.... although, there was a thing in the newspaper not all that long ago about Walmart trying to move into South Africa, so maybe they do.......)

And I have to admit, it has taken supreme levels of self control for me not to go indulge in some seasonal candy purchases thus far.

Especially at the little market in Nederland, where they like to display a whole box of the single Cadbury Eggs right next to the credit card swipey machine.

Now, I did not know what a Cadbury Creme Egg was until quite late in my adolescence, when my friend Becca handed me at the start of our junior year US History class one spring day.

Oh. My. God.

A Cadbury Creme Egg, for those of you who who have lived sheltered lives and are not familiar, is a milk chocolate egg shaped concoction that has been filled with unbelievably sweet white sugary goo complete with a yellow colored sugar goo "yolk" center.

And quite possibly has a little crack mixed into to all that sticky cream filling, since they are unbelievably addictive (once you have one you MUST have more) and send the eater into a hyperactive sugar rush of proportions never seen before.

Let me tell you, I was a trip that history class.

(Dear history teacher whose name is presently escaping me, I'm sorry for that. And you should blame Becca.)

And the biggest reason for me having any self control whatsoever around those tauntingly tantalizing creamfilled chocolate egg displays is on account of me nearly always being accompanied by small children.

Small children who I do NOT want going on that sugar high at the store. Small children who I know will pester a thousand times more incessantly for the chocolate covered rush every time they see them once they have been indoctrinated into the knowledge of what the bright foil wrapped treats really are. Small children who will shove the entire egg into their mouths at once and then start frantically grunting and pointing like monkeys (as they have decided to completely unlearn the baby sign language I taught them) in a desperate attempt to indicate their overwhelming need for more.

(And lets face it, my mouth would also be far to full of creamy goodness to firmly tell them no.)

Besides, it'll make their Easter baskets more of a treat if they haven't been getting the candy and chocolate on a daily basis in the weeks leading up.

Which reminds me, I also need to go find some of those Dove Truffle Eggs. I was blessed enough to regularly receive them throughout my childhood, and they just might even be a teensy bit better than the Cadbury Creme Eggs since they're higher on the chocolate scale.

And Jelly Beans. It's just not Easter without those little nuggets of artificially flavored and overly colored sugar everywhere.

And seasonal M&Ms. Every holiday needs coordinating candy coated chocolates handily displayed in a convenient coffee table dish for easy eating. 

And, um... some non-sugar-coma-inducing Easter basket treats. We need some of those too.

(Especially for when I accidentally eat a substantial portion of the goodies intended for Easter baskets in the three weeks leading up to Easter.)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Blue Daddy Wiggle

The Wiggles, for the few lucky souls who haven't been subjected to watching their song and dance numbers innumerable times thanks to their overwhelming appeal to small children, are a male foursome from down under who do various song/dance/skit numbers marketed towards children and their unfortunate parents.

However they're still better than a substantial portion of children's television, and at this point Kristina is definitely vocal and specific about what she does and does not like.

And she likes her (one) Wiggles DVD.

Now, it is a well known fact amongst the mama populace that the blue Wiggle is by far the hunkiest of the bunch.

(No really, it's what strangers make polite conversation about at McDonald's while the kids play. Because we've lost all frame of reference to cultural icons that aren't specifically marketed towards 4 year olds.)

(And possibly our minds as well.)

But the other day, Kristina took the blue Wiggle mass favoritism a step further.

And emphatically declared "That looks like my Daddy!!" every time he was on the TV.

But hey, it could totally be worse! She could have chosen Captain Feathersword.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Oh, The Irony: Vacation Edition

I have not talk a whole lot about my personal life situation in the last few weeks.

You know, since I doubled my follows to include people not actually related to me or former college roommates through a guest post over at the ever awesome Rants From Mommy.

(Thank you!)

And admittedly, it's not a subject I'm particularly thrilled to dive into with anyone, much less the hoards of strangers on the internets.

But I'm also fast running out of exciting and witty (or like, coherent) blogging material as I try to get a weeks worth written and ready to go, and if I'm going to whine about how absolutely excruciatingly hard it is to think up new subject matter beyond today's quantity of diaper deifications, I really ought to also tell you why I'm trying to get all these posts written ahead of time in the first place.

So, for the new readers who haven't gone back through the last 6 months of blog posts scanning for personal history tidbits, my husband and I decided to split up last fall and the beginning of January found me and the girls driving across the country to move in with my parents in Colorado.

We were trying to sell the house we had bought in New York, and Peter (the a fore mentioned Army/husband figure) has been living in it with our cats. Miraculously, the house sold with a closing date lining up for the day after Peter was allowed to check out for his relocation down to Oklahoma.

Which would also happen to be Tuesday.

So I am leaving today to fly back there to divide and pack all our worldly possessions into the trailer Peter is towing to Oklahoma and the storage pods which I am storing.

(You know, in the faint hopes and finding a job sometime in the next year which would give me the ability to pay rent.)

And ironically, it is the first weekend he and I will spend together without children since Kristina was born.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I Wuv My Little Velociraptorbaby

Adrianna is adorable. And cute. And smart. And trouble.

(Big trouble.)

And possible part Velociraptor

She likes to explore things, like my bathroom trashcan. And she likes to grab at anything she can possibly reach, rendering my nightstand completely useless unless I want to spend 20 minutes searching for ___ and then dealing with it being chewed on and/or ripped into little tiny pieces when I find it.

And it's about to get much, much worse.

She's getting taller, especially when she stands way up on her tippiest tiptoes.

And soon (far, far too soon) she will be able to..... open doors!!

*Cue Jurassic Park suspenseful theme music* 

Adrianna is also a little delayed on the language front.

Now, this is not to say that she doesn't communicate (or have an excellent understanding of everything I say), but rather that she chooses to communicate in ways other than the traditional methods of "words" and "baby sign language".

(Really now, who uses those anyways these days?)

No no, she likes to make loud screeching noises to indicate her want of something while banging on it (the refrigerator) or flailing her arms about wildly in the direction of the object of her desire (toy up on the top shelf).

She also uses that noise to express displeasure in something (nap time, car seat), or to show how excited she is (bath time), or sometimes when she's just bored and wants to see what might be offered to her.

Yep, she's small, cute, and utterly terrifying when uncontainable and running around loose.

Do you see the resemblance? It's really uncanny...

(Oh, and after I put the pictures in like this, I realized it totally looks like the raptor is about to eat the baby. I thought about changing the pictures, but then I decided I'm totally ok with this juxtaposition.)

(Mmm... lunchtime!)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Appealing Star Trek Solution

The Star Trek Problem/Solution analogy is, simply put, a self isolated problem easily resolved with a simple technology based solution.

(AKA- nicely fits in 45 minutes of screen time, leaving everything exactly the same for starting the next episode.)

A very good detailed summary of it, and how it compares and contrasts to several other mainstream geek reference points (Star Wars and Babylon 5) can be found over at Overthinking It, should you be so inclined to want to read more.

(Which you know you totally do. So go clickie and readie. I'll wait.)

Now, the core of the philosophy is most definitely based on watching The Next Generation, and there are certainly some reasonably good examples present in Deep Space Nine and Voyager where things were not so concise or episoidely resolved (or even required diplomacy). But overall it's a good model and fits the series well.

And I like it. A lot.

Mostly because I often wish that my life would be nicely resolved in an episode (or maybe two, for the really big stuff) through some simple transporter or deflector dish modifications, and perhaps with the occasional different species paramour to add a little diversion to the endless journey in the name of peaceful exploration.

Plus I want to get to fly a shuttle (since I'd totally be awesome at it).You know, the important things in life.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Kristina's Tonsil Story

Last Thursday Kristina had surgery to take her tonsils out.

She has a long and sordid history of ear and throat issues (and hundreds of resulting doctor visits), and at this point the surgery was more of "thank goodness we can be done dealing with all this bullcrap" than something I was stressed out about.

Originally (well, originally originally it was scheduled in New York in January, but we won't go into all that right now) she was supposed to go in for surgery super early in the morning, but then ended up getting bumped back on the schedule due to a multi-doctor thyroid cancer removal going on, so we ended up not needing to awaken at an hour beginning with the number 5.

I'll admit, I wasn't actually all that devastated by this change, with Adrianna having a double ear infection (cue second ENT saga starting... NOW) and me being rather low on sleep reserves and personally having never been particularly thrilled to get at any time beginning with the number 5 in my life.

(For that matter, I've never been overly fond of the number 6 either. And could actually do without seeing 7 as well, if anyone would like to consult me about these things.)

Now, the only glitch about the time change was that she still wasn't allowed anything to eat or drink after midnight.

However, it was Grandma that got to tell her "no" about her usual morning chocolate milk and cereal, and therefore got the label "mean" from Kristina and had the brute of the tantrum, so my personal level of difficulty with this was minimal.

(However, I got to be the one who she spat her pain medicine out onto 24 hours later. I'm not sure this was a fair trade off, as mine involved being sticky and disgusting and without a change of clothes.)

(Side note- If you're going to be in the hospital with your child, BRING A CHANGE OF CLOTHES FOR YOURSELF. The hospital doesn't provide those. And sitting around with whatever disgusting bodily fluids your child oozed, bled, coughed, sneezed, spit, peed, wiped, or otherwise transferred onto you rather sucks.)

When we got to the hospital (after she lamented about how she was absolutely starving to death for most of the drive), she was promptly presented with a large stuffed koala at check-in which immediately made the stuffed cheetah, baby doll, and beloved blankie completely unneeded and simply some extra baggage for me to carry about and keep track of all morning.

Then we were escorted back to the children's waiting room, which had a nice little assortment of toys and books and playhouse.

Which is totally an assortment I think ALL waiting rooms should come with. Really.

Kristina got changed into her cute little scrub set, although they had to go pull a larger size than they'd originally put out for her. Apparently she's a little big for a three year old. Probably just because she's wearing 5t size stuff these days or something weird like that.

And we got some fashionable hats. Very fashionable hats. I also got to pull on a stunning yellow paper number when we left the waiting room, which sadly did not get photographed. 

Kristina was having a ball with the whole thing up until we entered the operating room, where I got the delightful parental task of picking her up and putting her on the table and helping hold her down while they put the gas mask on her screaming thrashing little body.

(Those moments in parenthood suck ass. Just saying...)

Then I got the most peaceful hour of our entire hospital stay while waiting for her to come out of surgery.

(I even read a magazine.)

Kristina was a little sobbygroggy during recovery, but did alright as long as I kept holding her.

And then they gave her a dose of Codine.

And she perked up BIG TIME.

And wanted to go get up. And play. And ride around the pediatrics wing in the little car with me trailing behind with her IV bag.

And THEN they told her she could have ice cream and popsicles. 

AND THEN Kristina figured out if she pushed the call button a nurse would appear and present her with more ice cream upon request.

(And if they were a little slow about getting into her room, she'd run to the door and stick her head out and start yelling "NURSE! HEY NURSE!!" until one came.)

And then somewhere around ice cream request number 8 they showed me where the well stocked freezer was and told me that I could just go get her more when she wanted.

The night was short, as Kristina chose to stay up super late watching movies, and eventually found us crashed out in bed together on her request.

Some more Codine and hospital breakfasts later (hers was way better than mine, the parent trays could totally use a pancake addition) we were cleared to check out and go rescue Grandpa Adrianna.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Unrecognized Talent of Breastfeeders

Women who nurse are often not given enough credit.

Not for the self sacrifice they make acquiescing the baby's whims every hour or two for a year or more.

Not for the financial savings they provide their family.

Not for the perfect nutritional balance they provide their offspring.

No no, breastfeeding mamas do not get enough credit for the weird, crazy, and sometimes down right unbelievable nursing feats they accomplish.



I have nursed while taking a bath. I have nursed sitting on the floor in department stores. I have nursed while typing class assignments. I have nursed while walking through Target. I have nursed while taking a crap on the toilet. I have nursed standing in the supermarket checkout line. I have nursed while crammed into a back killing position to lean over the baby's carseat while going 80 down the interstate. I have nursed in front of just about every single person I am remotely related to. I have nursed while stuck in the slowest moving Burger King drive through in the history of the world. I have nursed outdoors in subfreezing temperatures where the only part of the baby that is exposed is her face while half my torso gets to be chilled while she leisurely grazes. I have nursed while pushing a toddler on the swing. I have nursed for the entirety of airplane flights. I  have nursed while cooking spaghetti. I have nursed while sitting in unmoving traffic jams.

I have even nursed while writing blog posts.

And nursing mamas do not get enough credit for all the crazy nursing stunts they do just to get through daily life.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Book Inheritance

Many of the books the girls have were mine when I was little.

And occasionally, there's a little surprise awaiting inside them.

I just found this one inside The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein when I was putting its dust jacket back on a few days ago.

I didn't even know it was there, or had forgotten about it sometime the last 20 years, and thought it was a very sweet and touching message from my Aunt Sue.

(Although, it did take me just a moment of wondering why she hadn't put my other cousins' names down, before it clicked in my little brain that if it was for my first birthday they wouldn't have been born yet.)

It has also made me reconsider the aspect of writing notes in books, which I had previously been on the fence about, as I'm even more endeared to this book now.

Oh, and dearest Aunt Sue, I have had many enjoyable hours of reading in the last 24.75 years, including the ones now spent reading that very book to my own children.

Thank you.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Why I Shouldn't Be Allowed To Shop For Children's Clothes

Alright. I'll admit it. I adore dressing my little girls. And indulge myself a little too much in their 'living doll' ability. In fact, it's totally become just about the only hobby I have.

And the obsession is getting worse.

Hanna Andersson is a children's clothing company I'm rather fond of for a couple of key reasons, namely that just about everything is made out of cotton (and machine washable!) and that the styles and dresses for little girls actually look like little girl dresses and not miniaturized versions of what I would wear if I ever wore stuff that wasn't stained and paired with jeans.

(I'm looking at you, babygap.)

And right now they have little girl summer dresses on sale!

Obviously, an excellent reason alone for why I was on their website.

However, it gets worse.

Kristina has a dear cousin Quinn who is just a few months younger than her, and who is presently living in Nicaragua.

I've heard that weather is rather hot in Nicaragua. And thus had the brillant thought of mentioning the sale to Quinn's mommy, thinking that she might be in need for a few new sun dresses while living in them year round.

But it gets worse.

Because THEN I had the thought that since I was already planning on sending a box to Nicaragua anyways, I could just get Quinn a dress or two with my order for the girls and send them on to her in the previously planned upon box!

Pretty brilliant, right? I sure thought so.

(Plus that means then I really do have to get that order I wanted but felt guilty for purchasing as they don't actually need summer clothes thanks to the bountiful hand-me-downs we've received/saved. Right?)

Well, brilliancy aside, it was probably the last remotely reasonable idea I had.

For then it got much, much worse.

After browsing the Hanna Andersson sale dresses for a bit, I came across a cute set which came in three colors on top of being at a very reasonable price point. Which caused me to have the thought that maybe I should get one for Kristina, one for Quinn, and one for the other little girl cousin Grace. After all, I wouldn't want her to feel left out!

Especially if we were to go back to visit when the Quinn Clan will be visiting the DC family branch in May.

And the girls could all wear the adorable matching dresses.

And... oh my, are those some matching baby rompers I see?!

Why, I just so happen to know some baby siblings and cousins who could totally rock those out!!

A $169 shopping cart later, it occurred to me that this might not be simply taking advantage of a nice sale.

I also started to question just what level of neurotic the family might start to declare me should I show up for a visit with 7 matching outfits in hand for dressing the cousins. 

(Although, for the record, there are also matching adult t-shirts available which I did not even think about getting. Feel free to thank me for that at any time.)

But they'd all be soooooooooo cute clustered together in an epic family photo of shame in precious little matching outfits!!

And then, I could get all of them matching sweaters for Thanksgiving! And maybe we could do something fancy next Easter, with all the little boys in teeny tiny matching ties and the girls all coordinated in the same style of fancy dresses and....

Ok, they might start forbidding me from dressing their children if I were to get overly carried away.

But the original ones weren't over the top! They were economical and practical and colored perfectly for the children who would be wearing them!

And.... please???

PLEASEPLEASEPLEASEPLEASEPLEASEPLEASEPLEASEPLEASEPLEASEPLEASEPLEASEPLEASE

Hello??

Ah man......

I suppose I might just have to limit my compulsive outfit matching to the children I actually gave birth to.

*sigh*

Unless, of course, I were to somehow strategically end up with some quantity of little cousins left in my care and we were otherwise unsupervised with a mall nearby..........

*ahem*

So, who wants to go get ice cream with Auntie Marty?!?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Night Time Survey

Dear Readers,

I'm very excited that you're here! Really, it's a big deal to those with no life bloggers to have people actually read all that stuff they're churning out day after day.

But, despite having nearly doubled my official following numbers in recent weeks, I'm having remarkably low reader participation.

Like, no one has commented on anything in over a week.

And lets face it, I'm a positive feedback junkie. Without it, blogging seems much more of a drag.

Also, I spent the night in a hospital bed with a post surgery cranky cover hogging sleeps-like-an-egg-beater three year old who stayed up until 10pm and then woke at just past 6 this morning and is refusing to take her pain medicine while whining insistently about how much she hurts.

So I'm a little cranky this morning. And a little short on blogging material that is anything other than "bitchy".

So.

I am going to turn over a little blogging to you, dear readers. Now, there are annual "get to know your readers" days where bloggers across the board cop out on writing actual stuff in favor of making their readers write stuff. But that's not what we're doing.

What I would like from my readers is a comment about how their night was. That's it. Really pretty simple. And then, assuming people actually do this, we can compare and contrast various people's lifestyles and decide which actually allows for a decent amount of sleep.

(I'll give you a hint, it's not mine.)

Thank you, and best wishes and all that jazz.

-ME

Thursday, March 10, 2011

How To Prepare For A Job Interview

  1. Receive response to your soliciting random businesses asking you to come in for an interview.
  2. Do the happy dance.
  3. Overlook details like it being for a part time position.
  4. Look up company's website. 
  5. Notice that they do immigration law.
  6. Realize that they might expect you to actually be able to speak that Spanish you boasting about on your resume.
  7. Count how many years it's been since your last Spanish class. 
  8. Cringe. 
  9. Reply to the email about how you'd be more than happy to come in for an interview.
  10. Limit yourself to one "thank you" per email.
    1. Even if you really want to just send them an email of "THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU"
  11. Go to write interview on calender.
  12. Draw fancy box around it for added effect.
  13. Notice that the week surrounding the interview day is a bit... busy.
  14. Notice that the month surrounding the interview day is a bit.... busy.
  15. Disregard growing feeling of life exploding on you. 
  16. Go to pick out perfect outfit for interview.
  17. Decide that the occasion calls for wearing real dress trousers for the first time in your life.
  18. Mentally thank the cousin who sent you the suit again. 
    1. Because you really never ever would have bought one for yourself.
  19. Briefly ponder wearing the suit jacket as well. 
  20. Decide you are simply not mature enough to do a full suit yet.
  21. Realize your hair is two months overdue for a haircut. 
  22. Eyeball the overfull calender and debate whether you could squeeze a haircut in sometime in the next three days.
  23. Decide to wear your hair up and disregard overwhelming need to get it cut until life settles down a little.
    1. Or until they hire you. Whichever comes first.
  24. Walk into children's bedroom door in the middle of the night three days prior to interview.
  25. Hit left cheekbone really really hard.
  26. Sincerely hope it doesn't leave huge bruise and/or black eye.
  27. Notice slight blemish (aka beginning bruise) on cheekbone and slightly darker dark circle under left eye next morning.
  28. Reassure self that neither is particularly noticeable, should be easily camouflaged with cover-up, and that the situation is not cause for panic. 
  29. Spend following day volunteering at crazy mountain town festival.
  30. Drink beer.
  31. Learn that baby had rough afternoon with grandparents that evening. 
  32. Baby appears to be running low fever.
  33. Decide to take baby to doctor first thing in the morning.
    1. BEFORE job interview
  34. Decide to put preschooler in preschool first thing in the morning for an extra day. 
  35. Make sure grandparents appreciate the gesture of attempting to give them a few hours of peace before giving them babysitting duty again.
  36. Justify to self that even though they're getting babysitting duty A LOT this week, it's for important reasons that all stacked up on top of each other outside of your control.
  37. Ignore lingering guilt.
  38. Do night before bathroom prep.
  39. Realize that the only razor you have is a cheap disposable that is two months old and bit questionable looking.
  40. Ponder why on earth you couldn't have managed to pick up a new razor any time in the last two months, you know, before the night before a job interview when you had just spent all day drinking beer volunteering.
  41. And while your at, ask the same question about getting your hair cut, obtaining sensible black shoes, obtaining non-nursing bras, and clearing out the pound of crap from your purse.
  42. Scold self for not taking proper care of self without exterior motivation.
  43. Realize you still have to go dump out all the random crap that has turned your purse into something truly terrifying. 
  44. Decide to do purse binging after showering. 
  45. Shower.
  46. Forget to shave legs with crappy razor. 
  47. Forget about purse binging.
  48. Decide to blow of nightly exercise routine on account of tiredness.
  49. Attempt to justify by claiming standing in a beer tent for four hours counts as exercise. 
    1. Somehow......
  50. Browse damnyouauttocorrect.com instead.
  51. Realize you really might actually be making yourself dumber.
  52. Go to write blog posts instead.
  53. Somehow get distracted by facebook.
  54. Have overwhelming craving for pepperoni pizza.
  55. Mutter curses about no pizza delivery in the mountains. 
  56. Decide to give up on life for the day and go to bed.
  57. Spend first 20 minutes on phone in the morning to get girls' appointments and arrangements made. 
  58. Sit in doctors office for an hour with a cranky baby.
  59. Realize you really hate doctors offices at this point.
  60. Ponder how much of your life has been spent sitting in them in the last 4 years. 
  61. Decide you don't really want to know.
  62. Take sick baby home.
  63. Say small prayer of thanks for baby going down quickly for nap so you can get changed. 
  64. Wear dress slacks.
  65. Eyeball backside in mirror. 
  66. Surprisingly, they seem to do favorable things to the derriere region. 
  67. Decide to wear dress slacks more often. 
  68. Put on fancy heels.
  69. Realize you have to walk through 6 inches of snow to get to your car.
  70. Put on snow boots and carry fancy heels instead.
  71. Almost manage to leave fancy heels sitting on bench in mudroom. 
  72. Drive down the mountain to the interview.
  73. Feel successful for finding office without issue.
  74. Change into fancy heels
  75. Realize you never emptied out your purse the night before.
  76. Frantically toss crumpled diapers, half eaten granola bars, misplaced mittens, bottle of water, miscellaneous small toys and enough random pieces of paper to have killed a small rain-forest onto the passenger seat.
  77. Notice that the weather is sleeting  at the moment.
  78. Disregard  sleet and start walking into building. 
  79. Nearly die on icy parking lot.
    1. Twice. 
  80. Attempt to walk the rest of the way with dignity. 
  81. Decide that dignity is overrated, and attempt to walk the rest of the way without falling.
    1. Even if you look like a possessed demon scar crow with your arms out and jerking around like that. 
  82. Ask receptionist where the restroom is.
  83. Take key and use restroom.
  84. Return key.
  85. Realize you left your "professional folder" in the bathroom.
  86. Ask receptionist for bathroom key again.
  87. Feel stupid. 
  88. Go to look through magazines.
  89. Realize nearly all of them are in Spanish. 
  90. Count how long it's been since your last Spanish class. Again.
  91. Cringe. Again. 
  92. Notice remarkably similar dress trouser ensembles on other women in the office.
  93. Compliment self on doing an awesome job at dressing perfectly.
  94. Hope it'll help compensate for your rusty Spanish skills. 
  95. Get escorted back to conference room. 
  96. Realize you forgot your "professional folder" in the waiting room.
  97. Decide that your "professional folder" makes you look decidedly unprofessional. 
  98. Decline coffee offer. 
  99. Regret decision when you have to shake hands with ice cube palms.
  100. Decide to totally rock the interview anyways.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Sling Baby and my Achy Breaky Back

Although I am not a self proclaimed attachment parenting granola crunchy who fundamentally believes that children really ought to be carried in slings until they're at least four, I do think the idea of a sling was quite useful.

We had a little front pouch for Kristina, but she wasn't a big fan and I had difficulty getting it on and off by myself.

But a basic ring sling appeared incredibly simple to use! I could totally manage it with Adrianna! This was going to be great!

And Adrianna, being the little snuggle bug she is, was happy to hang with me in the sling until she got hungry and I had to take her out to eat (as I utterly failed to fairly epic proportions in my two attempts to nurse with her in the sling).

My back, however, was not thrilled about slinging.

If memory serves, my back started hurting during my first trimester with Kristina (we're talking four years ago here people!), and just never stopped.

The midwife I was seeing was especially helpful and told me to go lay on frozen peas every time I complained about it.

(Never eat the frozen peas in my freezer.)

I have suspected from time to time that I really might need to go see a chiropractor to get stuff realigned or whatever, but am far to lazy procrastinating distractable otherwise occupied to have gotten to it yet.

Oh, and I was pregnant a second time. I should get 9 months of excuses at least.

So Adrianna did not get to hang out in the slings (yes, I ended up with three when all was said and done. But one was a Moby. They're different.) nearly as much as she would have been willing to, and I ended up just holding her in my arms A LOT, for at least that way I could shift her weight around as needed and kept her happy.

(Granted it also meant sacrificing my arms and hands..... but who really uses those for anything anyways?)

And as far as using a back carrier for Kristina now... you've got to be kidding me. That child weighs 42 pounds!

I'm holding just shy of 65 extra pounds when I carry both of them at the same time, there's no freaking way am I strapping them to me and climbing a mountain or escaping an apocalypse.

(Or like, making it out to the mailbox even.)

Sorry kiddos, looks like you gotta learn to fight off the zombies yourself. Or get eaten. Steep learning curve there. Ah well, can't be helped.

See the full guide to protecting your children in a zombie attack from which I stole the above picture here. It's really quite awesome, and has highly valuable information about protecting ones young from zombies. After all, you never can be to prepared in the art of parenting, especially where creepy mythological undeads are concerned.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

5 Years Time

I am in a very interesting place in life right now.

I have exceptionally little idea of where I will be and how things will look in five years.

I do know that I will have an 8 year old and a 6 year old.
Me 5 years ago and worlds away..

And that's about it.


(Which is terrifying in of itself. And makes me feel old.)

Five year sounds like an incredibly long time to me, for I feel as though I have lived an entire lifetime already in the last four years alone, which was completely different from the life I had before it!

If that time frame hold true, I would have already been through a whole additional lifetime and started into yet another in five years.

It should be an interesting adventure.

Also, I wanted to stick in the video 5 Years Time by Noah and the Whale for some nice thematic musical accompaniment to the writing, but embedding is disabled on it, so you'll have to do your own leg work and follow the link to youtube. It's a fun 70s flashback (although released in 2008), bouncy and uplifting. Totally worth the link clicking effort.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Volunteering Awesomeness

The preschool Kristina is attending right now is both a non-profit and a we-love-community-involvement sort of place, and as such the parents are required to participate in co-op hours doing stuff for/with the school every month.

(That would be me.)

And this month, one option included volunteering at their promotional tent set up at Frozen Dead Guy Days.

What is Frozen Dead Guy Days, you ask? Well, it is the winter festival the town of Nederland, Colorado puts on every year.

And that's totally where the "normal" part of the explanation ends.

So you see, there was this crazy old grandpa whose dying wish was to be kept frozen until he could be brought back to life in the future, and his family has had him on ice for the last 21 years in a shed just outside of town.

And for the past 10 years, the town has put on quite the show in celebration of the whole frozen crazy guy thing.

There are coffin races and a big (relatively speaking) parade and tours to go see the dead guy and all the local venders set up stalls to sell anything and everything, most especially Dead Guy themed souvenirs.

My personal favorite, after the funnel cake of course, was the Frozen Dead Guy Soap on a Rope. Because every bathroom needs essential oil infused soap molded into the image of a corpse and put on a rope.

And even better, this year they set up TWO beer tents filled with local brewers and musicians.

Needless to say, spending the afternoon hanging out there sounded much more exciting than installing a new light fixture in the office or shoveling the walk way. 

However, it got even better.

Me and another mama (a very cool one at that, even if she had to be damn near forty) got pulled from the kid stuff 10 minutes in to go man the Frozen Dead Guy Days merchandise table due to a volunteer shortage.

And it was IN the beer tent.

The beer tent was (relatively) warm, had the stage with the bands, and lots and lots of beer.

So it was a pretty sweet gig, if a little crazy trying to do all the sales occasionally.

And I only broke the credit card swippy machine once.

(Only ONCE! I think that's a new record!)

Also, as they had run out of the neon orange 'VOLUNTEER' shirts, I got to bring home one of the stylish regular Frozen Dead Guy Day tops alongside my complimentary beer pint glass.

(Volunteers also got beer and food tokens, but those were used at the festival to obtain yummy yummy beer and funnel cake.)

Woot!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

GPS Enhancement

My GPS is a handy device, and has certainly saved my butt on a few occasions.

But it is far from infallible.

However, I think a few improvements in communication could serve us well.

(And keep the GPS from getting thrown out the window.)

I saw Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  I don't DO rural at night. Period.

The BRIDGE is OUT. STOP trying to take me over it!!

 YESYESYESYES

 Roads are good. Lets stick to roads, mmk?

 Really GPS? DC rush hour? For the love all that is good and holy, WHY?!?

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Child Care Judging

The other day Adrianna and I went and viewed a new toddler program in Nederland, as she's starting to get a bit bored (read: will not stop getting into everything and constantly climbing on furniture and driving everybody crazy) just hanging around the house so much.

And as we were viewing the place, the staff kept asking me if I had any questions.

But I didn't.

Or rather, all the usual "questions you should asking when checking out a childcare center" that I could think of I already knew the answers to.

Child care is the one area of parenting I was actually prepared for (having worked in four different centers), on top of having several years on the parent end with Kristina.

I know this stuff!!

Does the classroom have a problem with biting? 
It's a room full of 1 and 2 year olds, OF COURSE it has biting!

Do you follow a set schedule?
It's the only way you can possibly survive the day. Plus you already told me the schedule. Twice.


How do you discipline the children?
Gentle words and redirection is the only option you possibly have with the current DHS standards. Plus they're babies, it's not like time out even works yet.


What activities do you do with the children?
You know, besides the playdough and dinosaurs and car ramp and kitchen play that you have set up right now.


Do you take them outside, weather permitting?
Yeah, as I might care in three months when the playground isn't covered in a foot of snow.

What do you feed them for snacks?
I bet it's healthier than what I give her at home.

When do change diapers?
Because you know their little bums just might explode if you only do it when they're poopy or squishy or "as needed". All good centers have a regimented every hour and half change schedule. So a staff member can (literally) spend their entire day doing absolutely nothing besides changing diapers.

What are your teacher/child ratios?
Well, DHS mandates with this age that you keep it 1-8, and judging by the number of cubbies and the two staff members that work in the room, I'd say it's 1-5. But that's just a ballpark figure.

Do you do potty training? Clothe diapers? Elimination Communication?!
Bwahahahahaha! Psych! She's in Pampers. And will get potty trained by me in the laziest possible fashion just like her sister.


Do you have circle time?
You already told me you did. Twice. And again, she's one. I'd be happy if she'd just learn how to say "more" and really couldn't care less whether or not she has any clue what a circle is at this point.

Yep, those are the exciting daycare questions I didn't ask and my assumed answers. However, there was ONE question I did ask.

Of course, it was right after another parent who was checking out the center asked about clothe diapers, and adds to my "why I'm a terrible parent in this stupid elitist hippie town" list.

(Oh how I miss being the "good" mom for getting my kid a chocolate milk with her chicken nuggets and french fries.......)

Do you allow pacifiers???
 
I ain't leaving without a paci!