Tuesday, August 28, 2007

if your toddler is being quiet, part 2

Today we spent 3 hours at the health clinic. By the time we were done, both W and I were really hungry so I went to the Burger King drive through to get us some chicken nuggets and fries. It was either that or wait until we got home but I was so hungry my stomach was starting to eat itself, so I figured nasty fried food was a better choice.

I was driving and passing chicken and fries back to W (dangerous, yes, I know) and he kept asking for more very quickly, but wasn't making any other noise or saying anything else, which is really rare for him. I just figured he was hungry like I was. I had managed to polish off an 8 piece box before we had even driven 3 blocks. Soon I didn't have anything left to give him but he didn't argue, so I figured he was full.

20 minutes later we got home and I got CB out of the car and then went to retrieve W. As I was pulling him out, my neighbor was talking to me so I wasn't paying much attention to W. We got inside and I went about my usual business of ridding the baby's butt from her dirty diaper and then feeding her so she could make another dirty diaper. After we were done with that, I chased W down to change his diaper and it was then that I realized how he had eaten his food so fast and why he was so quiet. I know what you are thinking... no, there was not poop everywhere. Pretty sure I would have noticed that... at least I think I would have. I pray I never have to find that out!

No, he had done this:

Because why the heck not? I mean, doesn't it make sense? There are slots in the shoes so, clearly, something should go in them and what fits better than french fries? There's no reason to eat them when you can have so much fun squishing them between your toes.

You may be wondering what happened to the chicken nuggets... He put them down his onesie. I didn't find them until I was changing his diaper so he had been walking around with chicken nuggets in his pants for about an hour. He got a bath before bed for sure.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

just to tide you over

Here's something truly hilarious, written by someone who is so much more funny than I am. You guys may never read my blog again after reading legitimate humor like this:



I'm going to have to take a short (read: just a few days) break from blogging. I've been feeling uninspired lately and I'm really REALLY busy with life. Shocking, I know.

Tomorrow I have to take W to the dentist because he chipped his tooth and I need to make sure it's not cracked more than I can see. Plus I want to see if they can file the jagged edge so it doesn't hurt as much when he bites me during his fits of rage after I tell him he can't stick a round peg into a square hole... wait, that's not the correct wording, is it?... or he can't use his sister's head as leverage for when he jumps. Then I have to go buy our plane tickets back to the States (yay!) and pick up some prescriptions (let's hear it for legal drugs!! Double YAY!!). I have to get the mail, too. This is a much larger undertaking than it should be but I have to pick up all of the useless crap I've ordered in the past few weeks during my late night retail therapy sessions before they shut down my mailbox. Then we are supposed to have dinner at a friend's house. I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

This weekend will be filled with the normal mundane stuff we always do but I can't promise that I will find anything inspirational in cleaning the toilets or removing dead plants from their pots, especially while running on an average of 3 hours sleep per night.

I'll be back soon. Try not to miss me too much. I know, it will be hard, but you can do it.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

pet peeve #1

If there is one thing I cannot stand above everything else, it is disrespectful and "entitled" teenagers who think they are the Shiz-Nit. Ask my sister and my cousins, they will tell you this is very true, as they often hear me complain about their idiot peers and annoying friends. I've earned quite a reputation among their friends as being a witch (and worse), which I think is hilarious.

It's for good reason that I've earned this reputation. I've been known to stand up and shush bratty kids who talk loudly in the movie theater and I've been known to tell others when they are being inappropriate. My favorite, though, was the time I was at Starbucks on a fall night and heard a few 14 year old hoochie mamas, who wearing nothing but tube tops and size 7 mini skirts that they had squeezed their size 11 booties into, complain that they were cold. So I politely told them that if they went home and put some clothes on, that they wouldn't be cold anymore. That was met with a round of "Um, who does she think she is?" and "Aint nothing but a hate-ah".

I just don't get this teenage culture, which is pretty lame because I was just there 6 years ago. But I was never like that. I was a big fat dork and still am. Here's the thing, it doesn't matter what color you paint your Dodge Neon, or how many spoilers you put on it, or if you put Lamborghini doors on it, or what kind of glass shattering/ ear deafening system you put into it. It's ALWAYS going to be a Dodge Neon. You can drive it as fast as you want, but it's never going to be awesome. You thinking you are awesome in it makes you look that much more stupid. I will tell you as much, too. And don't even get me started on that whole emo thing... My poor sister and cousin have tried to explain it to me, at length, and I still don't get it. That's ok, though. Some things are better left to be a mystery to me. Less to stress about, right?

Today we were at the commissary getting groceries and there was a group of teenagers hanging out and running through the aisles. Because you are cool if you hang out at the commissary, in your too tight jeans and Converse with your spiked and studded belt and chains hanging from your pockets. Oh how I wish I was you. As we were walking the aisles, the brats started being stupid and started cussing really loudly. One of them yelled "Shut the F up" (but said the real word) and guess what flew out of my son's mouth? Yeah, that bird don't fly with me.

I promptly turned my cart around, as my son was swearing up a storm and laughing because he thought it was hilarious, and walked over to these mutants. They, of course, blew me off, so I cornered them and proceeded to give them a fun little lecture. The eye rolling was out of control on their part so I broke it down to them: either they apologize to each and every one of the people in ear shot for their vulgar and rude behavior, or I call the military police and file a complaint for disorderly conduct. But someone else must have complained about them because the store manager was soon in our little corner and told them all to leave, which totally ruined my fun.

They left, but not without saying a few more choice words, which my son tried to repeat but I started stuffing his mouth with pretzels and gave him a box of pills to play with so he lost interest in his new vocabulary, thankfully. As I was leaving the store, though, the mutants were hanging out outside. Apparently there is NO other place to hang out here. They didn't dare say a word to me, especially because there was an MP about 50 feet away. But you can bet that I made sure they didn't see which car was mine. One of these days, I'm going to wake up to my house being egged or find that my car has been keyed. I just know it.

Monday, August 20, 2007

currently loving (08-20-07)

After M left, things got way out of control, as I've written about before. I was complaining about it one day and my friend Andrea reintroduced me to the lifesaving Fly Lady website. I had seen it before, right after W was born, but I never actually incorporated the ideas and methods into my life. Now, though, I have, and life is so much easier and cleaner.

At first, some of the steps seem downright insane but once you start to follow the steps and to build the habits, you see why they are necessary and you start to like it. Each week, you focus on one area of the house and deep clean it. Then once a week, you do the general maintenance cleaning and everyday, you pick up the clutter and put it away. I like this system because I don't spend 9 straight hours trying to clean the house anymore. Instead, I do a little each day and the house magically gets, and stays, clean. Well, until W pulls everything out of the cupboards and shelves.

The only drawback is that it seems to be geared more towards parents with older children or people who don't have children. Sticking to a routine is really important but with 2 babies under 2, that is sometimes really hard. Especially on days like today, when your son wakes up an hour earlier than normal and you go to his room to get him, only to find that he has completely soaked through his diaper. So you strip his bed down to throw his sheets in the washer and it's then you remember that the washer stopped working yesterday, right after you had thrown all the dirty clothes into it as it was filling with water. So now you have an aquarium but instead of being filled with fish, it's filled with dirty clothes.

Then you go strip your son down to throw him in the bath but as you are running the bath, the baby wakes up so you run to the room to get her and come back to the bathroom just in time to see your son throwing a freshly folded stack of towels into the bathtub. While making a big deal about that, you try to wring them out and throw them in the sink as he's playing in the tub. Once he's clean, you go downstairs to make your coffee (full strength this morning) and you proceed to try to do your morning routine, only to be met with screams of disapproval from both children.

Finally, you break down and put in a movie so you can make breakfast but you are soon told you put in the wrong movie and should have put in the "moona moona" movie (Madagascar, for those who don't understand Wspeak. Moona moona is for the "Move it, Move it" song)So you put in the moona moona movie and try to eat your breakfast. But soon after, your little monster decides it's time for his nap but the baby monster decides it's not time for her nap.

After you put the monster down for his nap, you spend 90 minutes trying to rock and feed the baby monster to sleep. Finally, you say screw it and go downstairs to make your lunch. And it's then you realize you can't make the lunch you want because the only bread you have left is the nasty heels of the loaf. So you throw a frozen dinner in the microwave, sit down at the computer to check your email and eat your lunch. Then you happen glance at the box while you have gotten up to get a drink and see that not only does this dinner contain 72% of your daily sodium intake, but it also expired last month. So you pitch that into the garbage, grab a box of Triscuts and a Coke and call it lunch.

But as you start to eat, your baby monster decides it's time for her nap. Once you have put her down, you jump in the shower, because it's noon and not only have you not gotten dressed but you have also not even had a chance to brush your teeth. As your in the shower you discover that the reason your neck, shoulders and back are killing you and you can't hold your head straight is probably because there's a golf ball size knot in your neck. So you spend 20 minutes trying to work it out with the hot water, and come out with a hot, sore neck.

Once you get out of the shower, you hear your monster crying, signaling the end of his nap, which stinks because you just need 15 more minutes to get dressed and dry your hair. But you suck it up and resign yourself to the fact that your hair is going to have to air dry because no matter how many times you tell your monster the hair dryer isn't going to eat him, he's still terrified of it. As your hair is air drying and you are trying to eat some sour gummy worms without the monster noticing and wanting some too, you see that it's already 1:23 and you haven't gotten anything accomplished.

There's no contingency plan for days like this. But tomorrow is another day and I will try to get back on track. It helps that once you join the mailing list, you get tons of emails everyday with encouraging reminders and stories from the leaders to keep you going. I guess it's kind of like being a member of a cult; a very clean and organized cult.

Even if you don't incorporate the information into your life, I guarantee that after looking at the site, you will be inspired to go clean something.

Have fun!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

sarcasm 101

There are a lot of questions I'm asked on a regular basis that are driving me nuts. I know for the most part people are just trying to make conversation, but when you are asked the same thing half a million times, it gets old really quick. People's intentions are often good, as they are showing an interest in our life, but there are some people who just ask things to get the goods to use in later conversations with others, because their own lives are so painfully boring that they can't speak about anything else. If you've asked me any of these questions or said any of these statements, don't take it personally that I'm slightly annoyed. It's not you, it's my short fuse. Normally, I will give a nice and polite response, but the following is what I'm often thinking.

Q: W is so small! I can't believe he's almost 2. He looks like he's only 15 or 16 months. Is there something wrong with him?
A: Nothing is wrong with him, I just refuse to feed him. Why waste the money? Plus this way, I never have to buy clothes for him because he never grows out of them. And the next time you see a 15 month old clearing the ground when he jumps and telling you when he has to go "poo-poo", call me.

Q: Wow, he's so bald! Do you shave his head?
A: Yeah, every morning. Because I have that kind of time.

Q: She STILL isn't sleeping through the night? Why?
A: Because I poke her in the ribs until she wakes up. I like feeling deliriously tired all the time. It gives the same feeling as being drunk, but being tired doesn't give you a hangover and it's free!

Q: You're STILL breastfeeding CB? When are you going to stop?
A: When she goes to college. Maybe. And I'm so glad you are focusing your attention on me doing something NATURAL and healthy for both of us, when there are parents out there beating their kids. Shouldn't you be focusing your attention on them? And, by the way, you can use the word "still" when she's been breastfeeding for 3+ years. She's hardly six months old, people!

Q: She sleeps in your bed?? You're never going to be able to break that habit. When are you going to stop?
A: See previous response.

Q: Oh good, you have a boy and a girl now. So you're done having kids, right?
A. Oh yeah, absolutely. I have the prize family and because I have one of each gender and my life is totally complete. Don't imply that we shouldn't want more kids because we have one of each. When I'm done having babies, I'll let you know.

Q: How many do you want, then?
A: A basketball team. Or enough to make up a successful singing group so I can exploit them and take all their money. Don't worry people, we won't be single handedly overpopulating the earth.

Q: How are you surviving with your husband being gone?
A: With lots of pills, a recreational drug or two and copious amounts of alcohol.

Q: Do you miss him?
A: Not at all. It's so much fun caring for the kids and the house all alone in a foreign country, like one big adventure. It's great not having him around to get in the way when the babies do something new and I get them all to myself. Plus, now I have a lot less laundry to do.

Q: Are you ever going to go back to work?
A: What the heck do you think I do all day???

Thursday, August 16, 2007

how he tortures her this week

Maybe it's his version of sharing? Maybe he likes the sound the toys make when he throws them onto the base? Maybe he secretly wants her to break her leg? I don't know. But every single time she's in her exercauser, he insists on putting whatever he can find under her feet. Note the ice cube trays? He stole them from the dishwasher for the sole purpose of putting them under her feet. On any given day, there could be a myriad of items down there. Trucks, stuffed animals, x-box controllers, pacifiers, books, pieces of bread, or bags of bread for that matter, sunglasses, clothes, puzzle pieces, DVD cases, pillows, cans of food, hairbrushes... I've seen it all, really.

There's no stopping him. It doesn't happen, no matter what I try. She seems to tolerate it well. I mean, she's often bothered by it but she doesn't scream or cry and heck, she's learning to traverse challenging ground, right? Maybe she will become an expert rock climber? Not that being an expert rock climber is my dream for her. But whatever she wants to do in life is fine by me... no, I take that back. There are certain "professions" that are not fine by me and I pray we will never have to cross that bridge! If she wants to be a rock climber, that is fine, as long as she makes enough money to help her brother take care of her father and me in our old age.

Hopefully the fascination with throwing junk under her feet will end soon. I'm doing my best to curb the behavior but clearly not before I encouraged it by taking pictures. I'm sort of interested to see what the next means of torture is that he will come up with. He already tries to sit on her, feeds her chicken from his plate, puts her pacifier up her nose, takes her pacifier out of her mouth, plays "catch" with her (which really means "how many times can I throw this ball at her head before she cries or mom catches me and puts me in timeout?") and climbs all over he when she's eating. What's left? I'm just thankful he doesn't do this under her jumperoo. The last thing I need is for her to take a big jump and land on a Tonka Truck, resulting in a broken ankle.

One of these days she's going to start fighting back and then it's going to be a real party around here. I know she's taking notes and making a list of all the crap he's done to her. I can see it in her eyes.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

it's not supposed to be like that

A couple of nights ago, I was feeling stressed out and tired so I decided to pull out a yoga DVD I've had since I was in college. The DVD has two workouts, one for the morning and one of the evening. I used to do the routines a lot when I was working and going to school but haven't had time to do them since the babies came along.

The box says the PM yoga routine is supposed to help you "transition from the business of the day to a peaceful evening". Sounds pleasant, doesn't it? I should only be so lucky.

I pulled out my yoga mat but the thing had been rolled up so long that when I tried to unroll it, it rolled right back up. That should have been a sign from the Higher Power that this was not a good idea. I turned on the DVD and read all of the disclaimers, understanding that I am risking my life and limb by doing this yoga routine and if I fall on my head, I can't sue them for me being a weak dumb butt who can't hold her weight in a simple yoga pose.

Then we began the routine. Nice relaxing music was on in the background, the kids were asleep and I was finally able to hear myself breathe. Then we got to the "workout" portion of the routine.

Since my yoga mat kept trying to roll up on it's own, my toes ended up getting caught in the edge and I tripped, like an idiot, falling on my side. No problem, I'm got up and got back on the horse because DANG IT, I needed to freaking relax!

The next few poses were supposed to be simple but they were challenging for me because I literally had not stretched in oh, I don't know, 3 years? The woman on the DVD was putting her forehead on the ground from a standing position and I could barely bend so my back was parallel to the ground. My self esteem was dropping by the second but I was determined to continue because this stupid routine was supposed to "lull me into a deep slumber".

Then she instructed me to get into the downward facing dog position. That was funny. No, really, I laughed out loud. There was no way I was going to be able to do that. But I ended up exceeding my own expectations and was able to get into the position... kind of. So there I was, stretching muscles I haven't felt in years and waiting for my next instruction, but it never came. I kept thinking we were holding this butt busting pose for a long time and I finally looked up to see that the DVD had frozen. Well, crap. I wasn't sure how to get out of the pose without hyper extending something, so I just kind of fell to the floor. All I can say is thank goodness the curtains were closed and there was no chance of anyone seeing me look so foolish.

I ejected the DVD to try to see what the problem was and discovered it was really scratched up. I know I haven't used this DVD enough to have worn it out, like we have done to the Cars DVD. The size of my thighs proves that. W must have gotten a hold of it because, haven't you heard, DVD cases are the most fun thing to play with these days. So I spent a good 20 minutes cleaning the disk and buffing out the scratches.

I was still on a mission to relax but I realized I had stressed myself out even more than I was before I started my mission to relax and now my knee hurt, too. I put the stupid disk back in anyway and continued the routine.

I never did get to finish it. About 3 minutes later, one of the alarm clocks started going off in my room, where CB was sleeping. W likes to push the buttons on the clock and must have flipped the alarm switch, which was set for midnight because he had unplugged the clock earlier that morning and I never reset it. So I flew up the stairs, hurting my other knee in the process, so the incessant beeping wouldn't wake the baby. Oddly enough, the beeping didn't wake her up. But as I tried to leave the room to finish my stress reducing yoga poses, I stepped on a Little People (you know, the Fisher Price toys??) and that woke her up, signaling the end of my "relaxing" yoga session.

I ended up not falling asleep for 2 more hours, as I was trying to tame the teething beast and so wound up from the stupid DVD and all of it's "issues". I don't think that is the intent of the video. Yoga is not supposed to do that to a person. I don't think yoga is my "thing". I'll stick to watching other people do it as I flip through the channels on the TV.

Monday, August 13, 2007

how i fold a fitted sheet

This topic has come up in a lot conversations, so I figured it was time to prove, once and for all, that I can fold a fitted sheet. Why my friends don't believe me when I tell them I can fold a fitted sheet is beyond me. Why we're even talking about folding fitted sheets is beyond me, too. The fact that this has come up numerous times in conversations between my friends and I shows that we need to find better and more interesting things to talk about, doesn't it? Are our lives that boring? Yes, they quite possibly are. But let's not focus on my level of lameness, ok?

So here it is... kind of. I'm not great at writing tutorials. Heck, I'm not great at reading tutorials, which is probably why I can't get my answering machine to work. No, that's a bad example because that tutorial is in German and we all know how great I am at comprehending the German language. Anyway, if you can't understand what I'm saying, then hopefully the pictures will help. If you still can't understand how I do it, then just keep balling up the sheets and throwing them in your closet or putting them on your bed directly from the dryer... it's probably easier to do it that way anyway!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

stage three

This morning I was "cleaning" and I came across a paper we were given a couple of months ago, when we found out about this deployment. (I say cleaning in quotations because it's not so much cleaning, as it's moving piles of junk from one room to another.) This paper explains the "emotional cycles of deployment". I thought I would just live in the first phase, summed up as anger, the entire time he was away but I seemed to have moved onto stage 3 without even realizing it. Darn. Let me tell you, the anger stage is much more fun than this stage is.

They say stage 3, titled "Emotional Disorganization" (ya think?!), is defined by these characteristics:
- Initial sense of relief
- Old routines gone- new ones yet to be established
- Feeling disorganized, depressed and restless
- May feel overwhelmed by family responsibilities

Woooo Hoooooo! I score 4 out of 4! I guess it's normal to feel like you've been thrown in a blender with the switch on high. I'm just trying to be that pesky piece of banana that won't get chopped up by the blades, no matter how many times you rattle the pitcher or push it down with a spoon. It's exhausting to be that banana, really.

You would think, after spending over half of my marriage away from my husband, that I would be used to this by now. But there's a big difference in him being gone for a few weeks or months and this. If he's gone a few weeks or months, I can just to maintenance and the basics to get by. It doesn't bother me to eat the same thing over and over for a few weeks and nothing needs to be deep cleaned so I don't need an extra hand to entertain the kids while I get high on bathroom cleaner or try to clean out the closet. I can just do topical cleanings to get by until I have consistent help again. There's no way I can do that for 15 months.

Besides all of that, there's an added element of stress, as he's pretty much a big walking bullseye for evil people to carry out their evil work on. That alone makes me lay awake at night, reminding myself to breathe. Now when I don't hear from him for a few days or hear a knock at the door or the phone ring I have to down a bottle of tums, wishing it was a shot of whiskey, and work really hard to remove my stomach from my throat.

The paper says this stage lasts from the time of deployment to six weeks after they leave. But if it's anything like me trying to get used to bringing a new baby home from the hospital, it will take 8 weeks to get used to our new life. So until then, you will have to deal with my "emotional disorganization". Lucky you!

Friday, August 10, 2007

the only time it will ever be this clean, part duex

Since 99% of you slackers will never come visit me, I guess I will share what the rest of our house looks like. I need to boast about my hard work somehow!

When we moved here, the house had been empty for a year and a half. It was filthy and full of spiders. M steam cleaned the carpet 3x and the water still came out black. Can't wait for CB to start crawling on it, really. YUCK! All of the walls were primer white. I can't even say they were painted white because what was/is on the walls was/is not paint. It's some weird concoction to cover the cement blocks they used to build the house. I really wish I had taken "before" pictures so you could see how ugly this place was.

Since moving in, we've painted most of the rooms, except the really large ones because I'm too lazy, added curtains, scrubbed all hard surfaces to get rid of the film of grime, spent way too much money on the finishing touches, and done up the back "yard". It's been a lot of work, but fun.

This is the first actual house I get to play with and while it's a lot to keep up with, it's much better than renting an apartment and living with white walls and venetian blinds. As soon as I found out M was leaving, we decided to really invest in this place to make it comfortable and a place I wanted to spend most of my time. Now, I can say I like our house and won't go too insane living here.


Thursday, August 9, 2007


Curses go out to all the people who discouraged me from taking German classes when I was in high school and college. They all said, "Don't take German, you will never use it. Take something you will use every day, like Spanish."

HA! Look where 2 years of high school and 2 years of college Spanish got me. Spanish doesn't help me when I want to buy sweet potatoes but don't see them in the store and want to ask for them. Spanish doesn't help me when I have to listen to the telemarketers and try to tell them I don't know the answers to their questions. And Spanish REALLY doesn't help me now when I can't figure out what kind of gas to put in my car and how to pay for it.

What I wouldn't give to already know how to count in German or say and understand the basics because I'm way too busy and distracted to learn them now.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

someone drank some haterade

It looks like I've hit the big time, people. I'm a real blogger now! I got my first piece of hate mail, anonymously, of course. In a nut shell, it read,
"Nobody thinks you are funny."

Can you see me liking my wounds? Ouch. Way to hit below the belt.(All of that being said with so much sarcasm, it makes Chandler from Friends sound like a serious person.) That's ok, you don't have to think I'm funny. I'm not trying to be funny. I just write whatever pops into my little brain. It's not like I'm sitting here at my computer for hours on end trying to come up with something hilarious to say. I have much better things to do like keeping my daughter from eating paper and my son from riding the vacuum like a skateboard. So if you don't think I'm funny and/ or like what I write, that can only be because:

1. You are JUST like me and what I say and how I say it hits way too close to home for you to think I'm funny.


2. You have no sense of humor and are a miserable person. Too miserable to find humor in any situation and therefore, you feel the need to make everyone else around you miserable too.

I guess there could be a 3rd reason: that I'm really not funny at all. But I crack myself up all the time so that couldn't be the reason.

PS. If you don't think I'm funny, what the H are you doing wasting your time by reading my blog? Go do something that makes you happy, like stealing candy from small children or egging a house.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

i might be the good cop, afterall.

Before my husband left for the Sandbox, he recorded a DVD of him reading W's favorite books. Since CB doesn't have a favorite book yet, because I'm a horrible mother and don't read to her, she will have to learn to love W's favorite books because she'll be watching her daddy read them every night for the next 15 months.

The first time I played the DVD for W, he got really excited because he thought daddy was home. He ran to the TV with his arms up, asking daddy to hold him. When he realized daddy wasn't actually here, he got really upset and angry. He had the same reaction the next few times we watched it, but he eventually got it that it's a movie and daddy can't hold him, just like the Cars don't come out of the TV so he can play with them. Ka Chow.

Yesterday, W was having a particularly hard day: throwing things, hitting, screaming and not eating because he had been strapped to his stroller for 4 hours while we were at the health clinic, trying to work out CB's lack of weight gain issues. I was getting desperate and didn't have a lot of energy. Have you ever tried keeping a 2 year old monster content in his stroller for 4 hours? It's exhausting. As a last resort, I turned on daddy's DVD and the second daddy came on the screen, W calmed down and stopped his bad behavior. I don't know if it was the distraction or the fact that daddy is a better disciplinarian than mommy is and W knew he was being watched. But the bad behavior stopped and I got my happy boy back.

Later that night, before bed, he was cranky again and I turned on the DVD for a bedtime story and his demeanor changed again. He wasn't cranky anymore and just sat there and watched. Daddy sang the bedtime song and W said "night night dada" and went to the stairs to go to bed. All by himself, without being told or asked.

I'm not sure this is what my husband intended the DVD to be for... I wonder what Nanny 911 would say about the implications of this... do I care? Not really, as long as this is working for us right now. Don't worry, I won't be using daddy's movie as a disciplinary or scare tactic. That would be wrong and stupid. I went to enough of my psychology classes to learn that.

This morning I asked W where his daddy was and he ran to the TV. He thinks his father lives in the TV. That's almost as good as last year when he thought the word for phone was "daddy". If you asked him where his daddy was, he would run and get the phone. Although, he might think daddy lives in the phone now, too. When we did get to talk to M a few days after he left, W tried to give the phone "high 5's". My poor child.

In lieu of birthday and Christmas gifts, you can make contributions to his therapy fund.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

thank goodness the baby swing is battery powered

Today I decided to be productive. I had it all planned out. I was going to spend the morning with the kids, put them down for their naps at 11:30, cook a big one pot meal to eat from for the next couple of days, clean the kitchen, vacuum, and then when the kids woke up, I was going to go to post to demand the money they short changed me yesterday.

Yeah... none of that happened. W went down for his nap at 11:45 but CB didn't want to. I started cooking around 1 and she started crying around 1:15. I fed her while the meal was cooking, praying she would finally fall asleep. She did around 1:30 and I was just about to get up to put her down when I heard a loud pop, followed by an even louder scream. Then it was silent. Eerily silent. Then there was more screaming.

I realized then that the power had gone out and being the paranoid person I am, I concluded the screaming was because W had figured out the plug covers and had electrocuted himself, making the power go out. So I flew up the stairs as fast as I could only to find he wasn't electrocuted, but just really scared because the pop and subsequent silencing of his noisemaker had woken him up.

Dang. What was I going to do? There's no man around and this is, for sure, Man's Work. I went next door to find out if they had power, and they did, so the husband came to my rescue. He found the circuit breaker and flipped it. And it flipped right off. And he flipped it again and it flipped right off. Over and over. Well, that must be the problem. duh.

Eventually I tracked down the number for the housing office, who's machine told me to call another number, who gave me a number to call, and then they gave me another number to call. All of this being done on the neighbor's phone because we, being modern people, don't have a phone that works without power. (Don't worry, I'll be getting one tomorrow...) They told me they would send someone out to fix it.

2 hours later, that someone still wasn't there. I was starving. Famished, actually. I hadn't eaten all day. The meal I was making was ruined because it didn't cook and had been sitting out too long to be saved. I couldn't get something out of the fridge because we all know you have to stand in front of the open refrigerator for 10 minutes while you look over every shelf repeatedly to find something that you actually want to eat. I can't afford to lose the entire content of my fridge right now from letting all the cold air out. (Really, all that is in there right now is caramel topping, ketchup, and old carrots. Yuck.) Everything in the freezer has to be microwaved to eat so that wasn't an option. So I was left with whatever was in the pantry that didn't have to be cooked. Yummy. Wheat Thins and M&Ms, not such a great combo and definitely doesn't satisfy a hungry stomach.

It's amazing how quiet the house is without power. No hum of the fridge or computer allowed me to hear the clocks tick, which was totally annoying because the 4 clocks in the downstairs area don't tick in unison. They are all a millisecond off from each other. It reminds me of a rhythmically challenged person clapping loudly on the off beat during a church worship service. Annoying, to say the least.

It's also amazing what you can get done when you aren't distracted by electrical things. I was able to read a magazine, file my nails and even go through the Pottery Barn catalog. Because I need an $89 ceramic bowl vase that holds an enormous amount of artichokes to put in my living room, as seen on page 5 or here. Actually, I would probably have nice Pottery Barn like decorations in my house, if I could guarantee that W wouldn't use them to mark the strike zone for his pitching practice.

Finally at around 4, the guy showed up to fix my power. He flipped the circuit breaker and the power came back on. And stayed on. So he left but not before he made sure to look at me like I was an idiot because he came all the way out here just to flip a stupid switch... Something any smart person would know how to do. 4 minutes later, the power was out again. It's gone out 3 more times since I've started writing this and the people at the 4th phone number are telling me there isn't anything they can do until Monday.

Tonight, we will most likely dine by Maglite, if I ever manage to be able to cook. If you don't hear from me for a couple of days, it's because we're living Survivor style: eating bugs, showering in cold water and making fire with sticks. We're going to die.

Friday, August 3, 2007

if your toddler is being quiet...

chances are good they are doing something that will result in a mess like this.

Oh, and you know you are totally jealous of my awesome tile. It's ok. I would be jealous too if I were you.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

currently loving (08-02-07)

As most of you know, I love W and CB's room. It's so peaceful and cozy and impeccably decorated, if I do say so myself. In my quest for the best way to accessorize the room, I came across the perfect final touch: nursery letters. But not just any nursery letters. Personalized letters to match the room.

I LOVE these things. I got them from Gina's Nursery Letters. Her work is amazing and beautiful. She was able to match W's letters exactly to his bedding and it looks perfect!
After CB was born, I couldn't wait to order more to match the room and when her letters arrived, I was so excited because the room was finally complete.
Gina's work is perfection and the quality is amazing. You can see examples of her work here and order from her ebay site.

on my list (08-02-07)

This will probably be one of my more controversial entries, but I don't care. If someone is offended, too bad. When a child's safety is at risk, an adult's feelings don't matter, in my book.

I can NOT stand people who will not get their child a safe and up to date car seat because they say it's too expensive or they can't afford it, but have high speed internet, go to movies, have cell phones and eat fast food. If you truly can't afford one and are living without any kind of luxury, I understand. But I cannot understand or forgive people who say they can't afford one, but really could if they canceled or did away with some of their conveniences for a few months.

I'm not saying everyone has to buy expensive car seats. There are plenty of affordable and safe options on the market and there's a great one for under $50 here. It even comes in this pretty pattern. If a person can't afford these options, there are programs out there that will provide a safety seat to families who need them.

It's so important to have a seat that has a 5-point harness, isn't expired (yes, they do expire), hasn't been in a car accident and is installed correctly 100% of the time.

To find a place that will install car seats near you, visit this site: http://www.seatcheck.org/

For information about why 5-point harnesses are the safest and best option, go here: http://www.cpsafety.com/articles/fivepointshield.aspx

For information on why rear facing is safest and to see why I will and do keep my kids rear facing well past 1 year, visit this site: http://www.car-safety.org/rearface.html

And for more general information about car seats and car seat safety, visit this site: http://www.car-safety.org/

And, as a favor to me, if you are at a garage sale and see an expired and/ or unsafe seat for sale, please buy it and destroy it with a sledge hammer when you get home. I would really appreciate it.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

they're trying to break me

Let the hazing begin!! No less than 3 hours after we dropped M off for his 15 month, all expenses paid trip to Iraq, did the kids begin their initiation into my life as a "single" parent. W was so tired when we got home that he went right to sleep, but CB took some more convincing. She finally fell asleep at 11 and I took that opportunity to do some much needed house work. You know it's time to clean out the fridge when the sour cream goes bad! How is even possible for sour cream to go bad? What's it going to do, get more sour?

Anyway, I was able to rid the fridge of most of the home grown penicillin and I was starting on cleaning up the plate of diced chicken that had made it's way onto the floor and the serving of plain spaghetti that miraculously stuck itself to the wall when CB woke up with a shrill that could wake dogs in Italy. So I nursed her back to sleep and went back to peeling the dried pasta off the walls, while praying it didn't take off the paint or worse, the wall itself. Once that was done, I sat down to catch up on some emails when I heard another cry, but this time from W. By this time, it was 1 am so I decided I would just go lay down with him while he fell back asleep and then I would go to bed.

While I was laying with him, CB woke up again, waking both W and me. This is impressive because W has a white noise maker in his room to block the sounds of the house and normally, you can't hear a thing while it's on. So I left W, only to make him hysterical, to feed CB back to sleep. On a good night, W will fall asleep on his own, but he didn't and was still crying when CB was done eating. Being the guilt ridden mother I am, I brought W into my room to sleep in the crib portion of our bed. If that sounds weird to you, this might help explain:

I thought he would fall asleep right away, but he had other plans. 2 hours later, at 3:50, he was still awake, singing and talking to the night light, asking me to hold him and pulling away the second I put him in my arms. Clearly, that wasn't working for me so I put him back into his bed, with minimal tears, and returned to my bed.

As soon as I climbed into bed, my knee popped, waking CB. I tried nursing her to sleep but she didn't want that. She didn't want her belly or legs rubbed, either. She wanted to sit up and play because, clearly, 4am is the new 9am. She cried and fussed every time I tried to put her to sleep so at 6 am, I admitted defeat and decided to start the day. 4 cups of coffee later, both babies are sound asleep and I'm trying not to fall over every time I stand up. You may wonder why I'm not sleeping, too. Well, it's because I've had FOUR CUPS OF COFFEE!! Can you read the caffeine through the text? I can certainly feel it jolting through my fingers!

I know my babies have conspired and are planning to make me as tired and weak as possible so I am the most passive parent in history. They want to make me too tired to care and it's working.

In all seriousness, though, this is so hard on W and it's breaking my heart. He's going to need a lot of extra TLC in the coming days. He knows something big has happened and doesn't want to let me out of his sight. Poor baby boy. His whole world has been knocked upside down, again.