Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I am having one of those days. You know the kind. It's the kind where I woke up at 4am because Nathan was having tummy trouble, but really it's because I chose to stay up and watch Medium which means I didn't get to sleep until past 11. Then as soon as I got Nick dressed he threw up all over everything, including the bath mat, and Nate was crying because he was still uncomfortable, and clung to my legs so hard he pulled my pants all the way down while I was still standing there in shock from the throwing up, and wonderng if I should get more coffee.

Ok, so maybe you don't know the kind of day this is. If not consider yourself lucky.

What I would LIKE to talk about today, is music.

A good two weeks before Thanksgiving the oldies radio station I regularly listen to went over to Christmas music. Not the occasional Christmas song. I'm talking about 24/7, 100%, official Holiday Radio Station, nothing but Christmas music. I happen to LIKE Christmas music, but I prefer it sprinkled in among other things, not hailing down on me non stop for two months. Regardless, I feel I have already spent a good deal of time listening to Holiday Music, and other things that pass for Holiday Music. And I have a lot to say about a few musical selections. So from time to time I am going to put a little "music commentary" at the bottom of my daily post, focusing on one particular Christmas song, or maybe just the lyrics. Or maybe the performer. I might love it. I might hate it. But agree or disagree, I invite you all to comment and let me know. Perhaps we can share the world.

Bah Humbug, and I hope you all are having better days than me.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Grocery Shopping Made Complicated

I have a couple of issues to address about my grocery store.

As far as Stores go, it's a good one. It's big. It has big aisles. It has a bakery and a deli and a fish market and a butcher shop all right there. And a pharmacy. I know just where everything is, so I can rush up and down each aisle throwing items into my cart like a contestant on some game show. Since Nick has started school, I usually go on one of those days when it will be just me and Nathan, and I don't have to worry about shouts for Cheese samples when we hit the deli counter, or screaming when we pass by the Teddy Grahams, or any of that stuff...

Issue #1 - They have instituted a new "star system." This system is supposed to help consumers, such as myself, select healthier items. Foods with less sugar, less fat, less salt, etc. have more stars. Candy bars have no stars. Neither do oreos. My problem with the star system began when I hit the cereal aisle. Now, I consider myself a mostly healthy person. I KNOW we eat a lot of take-out and pizza when my family comes to vist, but honestly, I usually cook a healthy meal with at least one green vegetable every night. I try to feed my kids fruit and crackers instead of candy and junk. I have avoided cocoa puffs and corn pops and this year I didn't even buy Count Chocula or Boo Berry cereals. I try not to buy cookies or potato chips. I try. I REALLY REALLY TRY!

But once I hit the cereal aisle I realised that I am a FOOLISH, FOOLISH WOMAN! Golden Grahams are not in the least good for you, but I had some idea that they were at least better for you than Cocoa puffs. Why? Because my mother let us eat Golden Grahams when we were kids, and not Cocoa Puffs. NOT ACCORDING TO THE STAR SYSTEM! They both have ZERO STARS! No cereal has three stars, except shredded wheat. Blech. But Frosted mini wheats has two stars, same as cheerios. Then the canned fruit... the only canned fruit that has any stars at all is pineapple. Apparently the fruit cups I have been feeding my children may as well have been... well... chocolate chips. Both have no stars.

I haven't changed my buying habits all that much based on the star system. It's made be buy more pineapple, but over all, I know we're not doing too badly. The flaws can't ALL be in my thinking. I DO think the start system could use some fine tuning.

Issue #2 - The carts at the grocery store... They used to have regular carts, and then facy carts with little ride-in cars for kids to sit in, attached to the front of the cart. It makes the cart impossible to steer, but at least the kids have fun. but now... NOW... we went in and, right next to the super fancy car carts they had... TV CARTS! The baskets are smaller. There is no way to put a little Nate in the front, he has to ride in the car space with Nick. But then, for only a dollar, THEY CAN WATCH THE WIGGLES WHILE I SHOP! Or Bob the Builder. Or Barney, but I swear that I'll never let them ride in the Barney cart.

I hate that they have these carts. They are stupid and not needed. But as soon as Nick saw the cart he started jumping up and down and giving me this look.... and I said no, because we were shopping for Thanksgiving, and where the heck would we put the Turkey? On Nate's lap? "Next time, ok?" And this kid... this two year old kid who cannot remember to use the potty, who cannot remember not to push his brother, who cannot remember how to say "Juice" and "please" in the same breath, a week later, on our way to the grocery store, Nick said "We get the WIGGLES CAR!!!!!!!!"

So I paid a dollar for the Wiggles car.

I felt awful. The store was also full of little 4 and 5 year olds who watched us wistfully as I slowly pushed past them. The mothers were shooting me hate rays with their eyes. "How could you?" they seemed to say. "We parents must stand together against TV carts in supermarkets! Now my kid thinks I'm holding out on her!" And I agreed with them. It was only a dollar, but a dollar each time can add up. Besides, do they really need more TV? No. They do not. The grocery store is one of those places where it's absolutely FINE for kids to zone out, or help select items from the shelf, or whatever. But they don't need TV.

I will say this, though... they were SO GOOD. Even Nate was excited to see the wiggles in the cart. I haven't had such a peaceful time shopping in.... I can't even say when.

But we'll only get it on special occasions.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Sleep Does Amazing Things

This Friday Nathan is due for his second flu shot of the season. Babies get flu shots in 2 doses, I guess, because they are so small.

The ironic thing is, both Nick and Nate have been coughing ever since they got their LAST flu shots, sometime in mid-October. I mean it - they have not stopped coughing, their noses have not stopped running, and they have not slept through the night.

Of course, the past couple of nights have been GREAT! Sure, Nick wakes up every night screaming because of this nightmare he gets about a Sea-Bear, which he saw on an episode of Sponge Bob Square Pants (you can blame Steve for that). But Nate has only been waking up a couple of times a night, usually just after I have fallen asleep, and about 45 minutes before the "official" wake-up time. Last night Nate woke up only once, at about 5am, and went right back to sleep.

This morning I heard the boys playing and went in to find them both playing in the crib. "Look, Mammoy!" said Nick. "My diaper fell off!" I resisted the urge to tell Nick that diapers don't just fall off, especially when you are wearing onesie footie pyjamas that zip from foot to neck. Obviously he unzipped them himself and took his diaper OFF. I'm just happy he didn't try to zip anything back UP, because watching him try I realized he would have gotten something caught in the zipper, and THAT would not have been happy.

Anyway, I'm feeling much more rested these days.

Monday, November 27, 2006

BOB the builder!

Nicholas loves the Theme song to Bob the Builder. It goes like this:

BAAAHB the builder!
(shouting) can we fix it!
BAAAHB the builder!
(shouting) Yes we can!

And that's about it. There's more, but not when Nick sings it. Over and over and over again.

The funny thing is, on the way back from the Festival of Trees the other day, Nate was in his carseat singing:

DAAA, da DA da!
DAAA, da DA da!

I swear he was singing Bob the Builder. I told Steve, and we spent a few moments just listening to the kid DA da DA da and them we started giggling. Because HE WAS SINGING IT!

While I'm on the subject, just let me say that Bob the BUilder does nothing for me, and his Theme song makes me angry because I've heard it too much. I've started turning on the Holiday music just so I can stop the boys from singing it.

It is, however, a HUGE step up from the WONDER PETS Theme song, which is a TV show about a Hamster, a duck, and a turtle who live in a classroom but when the class leaves they build a flying boat out of a frisbee and save baby animals all over the world. but almost always to the same music and with the same words. Ask Jamie to sing it for you. He knows. He's seen it.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Let the Festivities Begin

Yesterday we went to the Festival Of Trees. Each year businesses, groups, and people donate decorated Christmas trees. Once inside the Festival area, you can purchase raffle tickets - they just give you a sheet of them. You can then drop individual tickets into little buckets in front of your favorite trees and try to take them home.

The trees really are unusual and fun. This year there was a tree donated by a hardware store decorated in duct tape and hung with ornaments of small WD40 cans and paint prushes. There was a Doctor Suess tree with a red and white striped hat on top, with bright neon fluffs and large colorful books nestled in the branches. One tree was decorated in brightly painted light bulbs, one in ladies' handbags, one in gift certificates. A few had trains making their way up to the top instead of garland, and one had bright yellow toy trucks as ornaments. One had sheet music and tickets to a holiday concert!

We let Nick have the raffle tickets, and he was VERY happy randlomly finding buckets to stick them into. He kept running back to us saying "more? More tickets?" Of course he had no idea WHY he was putting the tickets into the buckets...

Santa was there, too. We figured we'd pop over and see how he was doing. I led Nick over, who obediently walked over, gave a wave and said "Hi Santa!" Sant reached over to lift him onto his lap... and then Nick started screaming. So no Santa photos THIS year.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

The Gigantic Snowball Picking Up Speed As It Races Towards Me - That's Christmas.

Thanksgiving is over. I expected this to being some measure of relaxation and relief, at least for a day or two before the Christmas Stress - I mean Spirit - gently grips my brain in it's talons.

Instead, I am just nervous. We are getting our kitchen floor redone, you see. It kind of had to happen, since the existing floor is peeling up at the edges and actually trips people at times. St eve and I picked out a tile, and some guys who know what they are doing are coming by in December to install it. They told us it should take about a week and a half.

That's a week and a half with no kitchen. No downstairs bathroom. No stove or oven. No washer or drier. We need to unhook the toilet and sink and move them out. We need to unhook the washer and the drier and find a place for them. We need to wheel the fridge into the dining room. We need to get the rest of the furniture out of there, too. For two weeks we'll have to eat and cook in the dining room. We'll have no ability to do laundry. Our lives will be squashes and confused and probably loud and noisy.

Not to mention the fact that I, Ghost of Christmas Organized, have not done even half of my holiday shopping, which just makes me want to cry.

now I'm over-reacting. I know I will survive this floor thing. But still... I'm sure there will be moments when I consider sending out the workmen and just living with a gigantic unfinished floor, just so that I can get my downstairs back.


Friday, November 24, 2006

Menu of the Ages

Yesterday was the very first Thanksgiving I have ever EVER spent without my family. So it was kind of bittersweet. I was afraid I would be all emotional and as the day approached I found myself gearing up, determined that Lillian, my poor mother in law, was attempting to sabotage my meal and rob my dishes of their spices and flavor. Especially when she called and we decided she would bring the mashed potatoes.

Needless to say, I was wrong. She did bring the mashed potates, and squash, and cooked carrots. But it was very helpful and non sabotage-like. And as much as I missed my family, I was far too busy to get emotional.

But I had the chance to make Everything Else.

Here's what I made - and those of you (Mom, Linda) who are horrified by anyone using prepackaged lemon juice or pre-ground pepper just because it's easier. horrified because it won't taste as good, horrified by shortcuts, just skip down to the photos, OK?

TURKEY - the turkey was done two hours earlier than we thought it would be. It was 21 pounds and done in 4 hours. Probably because we had planned on having it done early just in case. If we had planned on having it done just moments before sitting down, it would have been 3 hours late.

STUFFING - My mother always makes her dressing from scratch, choping celery and stuffing the turkey. I left the Turkey unstuffed and used three boxes of Stove Top. IT WAS GREAT!

TURNIPS - I LIKE the turnips!

GREEN BEANS - I make these with balsamic and I can make them in my sleep.

CRANBERRY SAUCE - Again, mom makes this from scratch. I used canned ocean spray.

APPLE PIE - need I say more?

CHOCOLATE PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE - First cheesecake I ever made. It turned out OK, but I've decided I don't like pumpkin.

SPICY CHOCOLATE COOKIES - I use cayenne pepper

CRIMSON PIE - This is my favorite pie ever. I made the crust from scratch, boiled the berries, cooled them, filled the pie crust, and made it look really pretty... here's a picture:

Yeah. I was pretty upset. But I guess we can wait until Christmas dinner for the crimson pie. I got good feedback from the one 'person' who tasted it.

And now.... on to the next thing.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Still haven't found what I'm looking for

First of all, as usual, my photo has nothing to do with my post. This is simply a picture of Nathan, who has teeth and loves pasta. I do realize that I take an awful lot of pictures of my kids eating. But this is because, at the table, they are in one place longer than 5 seconds. I can't tell you how many shots I take of walls or empty chairsmiply because they've run off before the picture took. Thank goodness for digital cameras.

In other news, yesterday I went to Wal-Mart and tried to find a gravy boat. You know, one of those things, with a handle, that you pour gravy from. I figured since we're having Thankgiving here with Steve's family, I should have the proper serving... things.

Well, I might as well have been looking for the Holy Grail. No gravy boats at THIS Wal-Mart. Mind you, we're talking about a store that sells EVRYTHING from shampoo to milk to yarn to car batteries. I found forks and spoons and plates and bowls. I found tupperware and platters. I found cupcake servers - CUPCAKE SERVERS. I found fondue sets and omlette irons and waffle makers and anything a person could think up under the sun.

Oh, except for gravy boats.

And I feel really dumb for not having purchased one before, at a slightly more focused store. I have seenthem, but I didn't like them. They all looked clunky, and I was looking for something more delicate. A graceful gravy boat. Not a chunky gravy boat.

And now look at me. No gravy boat at all. Gravy boatless. Sans gravy serving ware.

And no time to rush to the mall, either.

I wonder if they'll have plastic ones at the supermarket.

Monday, November 20, 2006

A Wrinkle In Time

I don't believe in ironing. I just don't. As far as I'm concerned, if an extra fluff in the dryer can't fix it, it's unfixable, and must be worn wrinkled. Anything that regularly requires an iron gets sent to the cleaners.

I do own an iron. Besides the fact that I need it for quilting, I did used to have a job where I needed to look clean and presentable each day, and on occasion I would iron my clothes as I put them on in the morning. For a while I actually had one IN MY OFFICE so that I could iron things after I worked out. I ironed every single DAY! So I do know how to do it. But now that I no longer have to look presentable and stay clean an average of ten minutes after getting dressed, I no longer see the point. I avoid it at all costs. Besides, I hate doing it.

I blame my mother. Ha! No, but really, my mother is an ironing addict. When I was a kid, everything had to be ironed. Jeans were ironed. T-shirts were ironed. Bedsheets - I mean, come on, no one sees the bedsheets, and they're just going to be slept in, but my mother insisted that they be ironed. Recently I told her that she even ironed boxer shorts. "Of course!" she exclaimed. "Otherwise they would be wrinkled!" The fact that Boxer shorts are actually underwear was lost on her, apparently. My point is, things that had no business being ironed were ironed. You don't iron clothes you're going to work out in. Or jeans. Or underwear. You just don't. Or rather, I just don't.

Anyway, I took out my iron yesterday for the first time in almost a year to iron a table cloth and some cloth napkins, getting ready for Thanksgiving. I know they'll be a bit wrinkled again by Thursday, but I don't care. Hey, at least I'm USING a tablecloth! That, in and of itself, is a huge deal. And as far as ironing goes, tablecloths and napkins are easy.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Short Sunday Post

There is an art to making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. One must not use too much jelly. Why, you ask? See for yourself.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Riddle Me This

This morning I woke up feeling cold-ish. So after Nathan's morning nap I packed the kids up in the car and stopped by the drug store to pick up some cold medicine - the kind that will actually make me cough. While we were there I picked up a children's version of the same medicine for Nick.
We then went to Dunkin Donuts where we went in and I got two bags of ground coffee and a chocolate donut. Nick then asked if we could sit at one of the tables to eat the donut. We did.
We then drove to the post office where I dropped our Netflix movie in the mailbox, and then we drove to the gas station to fill up the car before heading home.

Once home Nick asked if he could ride his bike. Nate didn't have shoes though, so I said we had to go in, do diapers, put on Nate's shoes, and then go back out. Once inside, however, I couldn't locate Nate's shoes. I went to all the usual places. The downstairs bathroom, the boys' bathroom, the boys' room... nothing. No luck. I then went downstairs and put away the coffee. I then realized the only item on the counter in front of me was the children's version of the cough medicine.

I knew I had the grown-up kind in the bag when we left the store. I knew we'd paid for it. I looked in the car. I looked under the seat. Nothing. I checked my pockets. Nothing. I went into the Living Room and found Nate's sneakers. Great. But no medicine. I went back into every place I had looked for Nate's sneakers. But I simply couldn't find the medicine. I checked the trash, thinking I might have thrown it away. I checked the basket of diapers, thinking I might have just tossed it in. Still nothing. I knew it existed... or had I dreamed it all up? Had I mailed it along with the Netflix movie? Had I somehow left it at the gas station? At this point I was crying because the cough medicine was the whole reason I had left the house. Nick was off the wall throwing toys into the air. Nate still had his jacket on because I had thought we would be going back outside.

Finally I found the medicine. It was in my bedroom, which I don't even remember going into. But apparently I must have, because there it was on my nightstand, in it's original packaging, just waiting to be took. Needless to say we did not go outside. We stayed in, had lunch, and then I sat with the boys for an hour and fifteen minutes before they fell asleep for nap. Then I got a good 10 minutes before the dog started barking.

Friday, November 17, 2006

The Sweetest Thing

Yesterday something was wrong with the server and absolutely NO internet was available, which is why I didn't post. But I would have posted something like this:

A lot of people ask how close in age Nicholas and Nathan are. I know they are close. A lot of people roll their eyes or express admiration or ask me how long I plan to wait before #3. (GO AWAY, #3 ASKING PEOPLE!) The way some people look at me, I know they think I am crazy for attempting this, and I immediately want to tell them about the crazy people in Arkansas who have 17 children and home school their kids and teach them violin themselves via suzuki method. BESIDES, I happen to know a whole lot of people with children even CLOSER IN AGE.

I know Nick and Nate are close, and there are challenges. I run around like crazy. I have to cut up food into two different sizes. Nothing that is age appropriate for one kid is age appropriate for the other. But there are upsides. For one thing, Nick is acting out and getting a bit jealous these days. But it's OK, because Nate isn't so tiny and is no longer attached to me via suction. Also, in a pinch they can wear the same size diapers. Hey! Lucky for me!

But the best thing about having kids this close in age is that they play with each other. Sure, they fight over toys and Nate gets in Nick's way and Nick has a tendancy to hit Nate over the head with whatever he happens to be holding... but sometimes... The past couple of mornings I can hear them laughing and playing together in their room as I wake up. Nick climbs into the crib with Nate and brings in a couple of toys. They jump up and down on the matress. Nathan laughs at his brother's funny antics. Nick tells Nate what he can and can't play with. "No, Nate! That milk is Yucky! Take this one!"

So there. I think that's worth the trouble.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A Whole New World

Ever since Nathan has started taking wobbling steps and then crashing to the floor, he has become a different baby. He doesn't cry as much, he doesn't cling as much, he doesn't seem to cause as much pain... he still cries and clings and scratches and bites, but somehow he has become more endearing. My theory is that he was frustrated, and now that he sees that he has the ability to walk like Nick.... well, with practice...

OK, I don't know what it is. But I'm happy with it. The only thing that breaks my heart a ittle is that, when Nate does take a few steps and come crashing down, and Steve and I clap and say "hooray for Nate!" and Nate smiles and buries his head, Nicholas usually tugs at one of us and says "Nick can walk, too! Nick can walk, too!"

I've been compensating by making a big deal about Nick zipping and unzipping zippers.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Point of no return

Lillian took a family photo last year as we decorated the Christmas tree. The picture is typical. Impish looking Nick, a disheveled Steve, and a very pregnant me. Somehow Frank also made it into the picture, perched on the arm of the chair we all shared, and closer to the camera than the rest of us so he looks five times his actual size, as though we've adopted some wild breed of mountain cat.

Nicholas likes to pick up this pictures and point out everyone in it. "Look, Mommy! It's me! It's You! It's Daddy! It's Frank!" Recently he's also started asking "Where's Nate?" as though he's genuinely confused at how we forgot to include his brother. I pointed out my huge belly and said "Remember when Nathan was in my belly? Before he was born he was in my belly." Nick gave me the same look he gives me when I tell him we're having brussel sprouts for dinner. You know, the look that says "you're so silly!"

Yesterday we were in the living room, and Nate was being his usual self, tagging along after Nicholas, trying to play with / drool over everything Nich was playing with at that moment. I was trying to read a book. Finally Nicholas dragged me out of my fictional world, tugging on my pant leg. "Mommy!" he was saying. "Mommy, put Nathan in your Belly!"

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Live and Learn

Last Christmas I gave Nicholas a wooden alphabet puzzle. It's fairly straightforward, brightly colored, and even though I knew it was a bit old ofr him I had some misguided idea that somehow this toy would be EDUCATIONAL. Somehow, if he had this toy, he would learn faster than if he did not have it.

This afternoon, as I was picking up the brightly colored letters for the seventh time in three days and trying to fit them into place before Nathan saw me and started pulling them out again, I realized how stupidly naive I had been. I mean, let's face it. I can't get him to learn his alphabet before he's ready. I mean, at this point I can't even get him to pick up the puzzle peices for me. Sure, he can fill in the blanks if I sing the alphabet, but it's hard to know what he's saying, exactly, due to the fact that S and X sound kind of alike, and it's sometimes hard to distinguish D from B or P from T. Yesterday I was trying to get him to tell me what the letters were. To make it easy for him, I was going IN ORDER. This is the letter...? "S!" No, actually, this is A. What's this? "S!" no, this is B. So we have A, B... what's this? "FOUR!" OK, see, yeah, no, not quite gettin it.

I know I shouldn't panic. I mean, he's only two. Well, two and a half. He says please and thank you a lot. He's learning every day. And eventually he'll learn the alphabet. I mean, I sing it to him eleven times A DAY! Sooner or later it's got to soak in. But I'm starting to see that I might actually become the kind of pressuring parent never wanted to be, trying to get him to learn things before he's ready. The helplessness that comes of knowing you can't actually MAKE a kid learn something is terrifying. And frustrating, when you think of it as potty training. I guess this is where I get creative and start HELPING the learning process along, since I can't actually go there for him.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Santa's Obsessive Compulsive Little Helper

I like to do my Christmas shopping early, as in before December. I have spent a few years roaming the crowded malls or paying high shipping costs for items that still may not come in time... and I hate it. I hate the stress. So for the past couple of years I have attempted to get shopping done as early as I can. Not that this helps - there's always someone I'm scrambling around at the last minute for.

Yesterday we went shopping, and I found something that Santa might want to give to Nick. It was a Backyeardigans'd toy CD player with it's own CD's. Now, he loves, CDs and CD players. Last year my mother bought him a WInnie-the-Pooh version of this very same toy. He loved it. He loved it so much hat he cried each time he played with it. Apparently he wanted to play the music AND hold the CD's in his hand at the same time. Plus, getting the CD's in the player so that music would play was very precise, and he refused help. Each time anyone touched the toy to help him he would scream.... And I went and got him another.

The thing is, Nick was with me. I thought I had been sneaky, hiding it behind a couple of books and a table, but when we got home HE ASKED FOR IT RIGHT AWAY!

AND I LIED! I said we didn't have it. I said we left it at the store.

And Nick cried so hard. While he was crying I was thinking that he wasn't crying simply becasue I said he couldn't have a toy, that he couldn't play with it or we weren't going to buy it... he was crying because he knew we had something, and I WAS TELLING HIM A LIE! I was saying something he knew to be untrue. And I thought of all the ways that could mess up a little guy.

THEN I thought of how Sant was going to bring him the present, and if Santa gave it to him, but he knew I got it, he might never beleive in Santa Clause. I mean, the kid remembers the plastic coin his Grammy took out of her bag that one time months ago. He's going to remember this game he threw a tantrum over and KNOW.

But whatever. I told him we didn't have it, and I'm sticking to the story. I'm glad I did all my other kid-shopping when her was at school. Nate isn't talking.

And for the record, I haven't gotten any gifts for adults yet. Just my kids. And I'm done with that. Because they have enough.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Debunking the Myth

Chatterbox that I am, there are actually times when I do NOT have anything to say.

Here is a picture of a boat.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Birthday Gift

For my 25th birthday my friends and I all went out for a dinner in the North End - Italian, for those of you not familiar with Boston. We drank wine out of a jug on the table, then went walking around Columbus park, singing. No, singing. We were intoxicated with wine and youth, and we laughed when people started at us. We would never become old.

Yesterday I got a sewing machine for my birthday - the most awsome sewing machine in the world. I'm sorry, sewing COMPUTER. It calls itself a computer. And I guess it is, because it has fonts. FONTS! But my POINT is, I never in a billion years thought I would become the type of person who would be excited to get a sewing machine for her birthday. The highlight of my day was figuring out how to use the stitch regulator and the knee thingy for the presser foot. And I also learned what a feed dog was.

Yeah... that girl singing on her 25th in Boston? I don't know where she is. Probably burried under the mounds of fabric in my sewing room.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Today is MY BIRTHDAY! I am 22 years old! OK.... 27. OK, OK, OK... 32. I never understood grown ups when they said they didn't look forward to their birthdays... but here I am. Another year older, and I'm still no closer to achieving my goal as a professional dancer. But I still like to pamper myself on my special day, so I created a to-do list that would let me take it easy. I'm giving myself permission to watch TV and to take a nap.

My Birthday is the reason I posted this photo, this one of me when I was a kid, obviously a victim of some fashion crime. It seems that for years parents kept forgetting to put pants on their little girls. Seriously, I have been to high school and college, but I have never worn a skirt as short as the one in this picture ever again.

And yet I am still upstaged.

Yesterday, just before he went to bed, Nathan took his first few steps.

OK, they were wobbly and uncertain, and maybe it was more of a lurch and then moving his feet just before he fell, but it was an honest attempt, and he actually moved a few feet forward. He Walked! And he was so excited that I couldn't even get him to stand because he kept bouncing on his legs and couldn't keep his balance.

So now I have an honest question.

Does anyone know where I can buy a teeny tiny helmet? I have a feeling there will be many, many head bumps in our immediate future.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Election Day! Election Day!

I can't tell you how thrilled I am that election day is here!

No, there isn't one candidate I support whole heartedly, or above all others, or even one candidate that I even like. As far as I'm concerned, election day is a choice between two evils. By this time I have seen and heard ads that rip each candidate apart, candidates and parties accusing each other of setting imprisoned child molesters free as long as they promise to pollute our environment and raise taxes and sell small puppies to hamburger factories....

No, I am excited about election day because the politicians will SHUT UP for a little bit and leave me alone. They will stop calling me on the phone with pre-recorded messages. They will stop stuffing my mailbox full of flyers that I promptly throw in the trash (waste of paper - not good for the environment!) and they will stop running their horrible TV and radio ads that I don't pay attention to anyway because I honestly, and with all my heart believe that ALL POLITITIANS are LIERS! They twist the truth and and more sleezy than car salesman and I hate them all! BWAHAHAHAHA!

But today I am going out to vote for the least offensive, and if you live in the US, you should do that too. Because even though the person you vote for may not win, or if they win they might go back on every single promise they have ever, ever, ever made... we are given the right to vote in this country. We should take advantage of that right. Besides, if you don't vote YOU CAN'T COMPLAIN!

Also, here are a list of people with birthdays yesterday and today: My mother-in-law Lillian, my cousins Chris and Clare, and my friend Maureen who I haven't seen in ages.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Too Many Errands

Today I need to get my new drivers license. I planned to stop by Toys R Us while I was there because it's right next door, and I will only have one child (Thing 2, the younger one) and I'm thinking I might be able to get some early Christmas shopping done before the place turns into a scene from a zombie film - one where the zombies are really fast and cranky and travel in thick mobs, and where they don't want to eat you but instead will beat you over the head with a Rapping Elmo doll or a Wiggles CD, or even worse one of those awful BratZ! things, the girls that are most definitely NOT Barbie, because they are way cooler, and younger, and also they are seventeen TIMES more skanky and whorish than Barbie ever was. (These things make Barbie look like a conservative nun.) But anyway, my point is...

I also need to get to Wal-Mart, though, and purchase a few items that my household needs before it falls apart, like nicotine gum and leg wax and sponges. Oh, and cat litter and diapers. And a couple of big bins I can throw all this Halloween stuff into would be great - somehow the old bin is now comical in its smallness and inability to contain even a fraction of the orange and black items that emerged from it.

Before doing these things, however, I need to stop by the post office, the dry cleaners, and of course the school, to drop off half my children.

The thing is, it is an overcast day. I feel like staying in bed and not doing ANYTHING. But tomorrow I will be VOTING! I have no idea who for. I might randomly pick some of those signs littering the streets or just vote for the ones with the coolest names. The point is, it will take a long time becasue Steve and I must take turns, and our ballots consist of five sheets of legal sized colored papaer with incomprehensible language on it... I've already posted about this somewhere. And because of this, I will not have the time to do the other things I need to do. SO I must do them TODAY. Not tomorrow.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

That thing that's been bugging me

Last weekend we went to the wedding of an aquaintance of mine. Actually, the bride cought the bouquet at MY wedding... but the point is I got to see some friends that I haven't seen in a while. I know I acted like a fool at this wedding - maybe it was when I stood up on the table and shouted "I'm here without my kids! WHOOHOO!"

Before the wedding actually started, while we were still in the church, one of my friends mentioned that she and her date almost missed the ceremony - they just lost track of time and suddenly they looked at the clock and HEY WE HAVE TO GO NOW! And I laughed, and then I started talking about how I had to plan my day around getting ready, starting hours before leaving, so that I could give the boys baths, take a shower, pack a diaper bag for Grammy's house, but all in my underwear so I wouldn't get spit up or play-dough on my dress...

I know, I know, I talk too much about my kids, and I was being the martyr, but then my friend interrupted me and said, rather harshly (I thought) and emotionally "No, Kathleen. Want to trade lives with me? Please? I will trade lives with you in a second! Please? Please? Please?"

Now, I know that she had issues going on that made her frustrated with her OWN life, and that was probably the focus of her comments, but being me, and being a little sensitive about the fact that I think people think I sit at home all day eating Bonbons and watching ER on TV, I took it personally. Not outwardly, of course. I just drank too much at the reception. But I've been thinking about it EVER SINCE.g
So to debunk any myths about my bonbon eating, ER watchign lifestyle, here's a snippet of my day:

I woke up at 6am to the sounds of my kids laughing, which is one of the greatest sounds on this earth. Almost great enough to make me forget that I had been up 5 times during the night feeding, comforting, tucking in, and putting-back-to-bed.
My plan was to feed the boys and keep them in their PJ's as long as possible because we have a date with my Mother-in-law for lunch because it is her birthday tomorrow. But when I got to the crib (both boys were in the crib at this point) I saw that Nate's diaper had overflowed, and he needed to be changed right away. So did his sheets.
I changed the sheets, whisked both boys away to the bathroom, and sat Nick on the potty while I changed Nate, who squirmed so much it took me five minutes to get ONE SOCK on, and then I realized it was on inside out. Also, I needed to go get a bib.
Nick was OFF the potty by then, a point made clear to me when he then peed on the floor, AND all over his pyjama bottoms. I expressed dissapointment in my calmest voice, mopping up the pee so Nate wouldn't crawl into it. I then ran to the bedroom to get NICK an outfit he could wear, picking out a shirt he would change out of later because I knew his breakfast would end up all over the shirt. While I was at it, I picked out a "mess shirt" for Nathan, and a bib.
Back in the bathroom, Nate was playing in the toilet, and Nicholas was squeezing diaper ointment all over the floor. By the time I cleaned that up Nate was sucking the training toothpaste out of the tube, and when I pried it out of his talon-like grasp he screamed as though I were removing an actual part of his anatomy.
Remember, this is all withing 20 minutes, at about 6:30, before I have had any coffee.
With some juggling, pretending I was extremely happy, and a little more patience, I managed to get both boys dressed and downstairs for breakfast where the pets were standing with accusing looks, demanding to be fed and then let out to pee, preferably in that order.

So THAT is the kind of mess I had to get ready for that wedding in. And I think I actually deserve a prize for it. ANd I know my friend has other things she was actually referring to, her OWN life, for instance, which I'm sure is very stressful, and that I shouldn't take things personally because I don't think they were meant that way. But for me... just for me... I'll give myself a pat on the back for getting my act together. And I'm going to stop feeling bad about the 3 vodka tonics that took me over the top.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

The Aftermath

Halloween is over. You'd never know it from looking at hour place, though. The costumes are still out, Halloween stuff is everywhere, and we have SO MUCH CANDY! I need tobuy a storage bin for most of the stuff, and the candy... here's my plan:

Nick ate a lot of candy on the 31st. I didn't think it was too much, but the next day he had tummy troubles, and then a resulting diaper rash, and so I didn't offer him any candy. In fact, he hasn't eaten any since Halloween AT ALL. Yeah, we haven't given it to him, but you know what? HE HASN"T ASKED! I didn't hide it. I put it on top of the fridge. It's plainly visible. In fact, more than a few times I get startled, thinking Frank (a cat, not a person) is up there, but no, anyone can see it's that jack-o-lantern bucket filled with CANDY! Even Nick can see it from across the room.

The potty training thing is a stop-and-go project. I don't thnk it's right to have screaming battles over using the potty, so when he starts screaming NO! no! NO! I usually say "OK." And when he does sit, it's for about 2 seconds and nothing ever happens. And even though it would have been nice, since he has that rash and all, I think asking him to make it to the potty every single time in light of his recent tummy issues was a bit much.

But I plan... ahem... My plan is to bribe him.

I'm not going to formally announce anything. (AT least to him.) But every time he goes in the potty, I will give him one SMALL piece of CANDY. I'm just trying to make it something he WANTS to do. Because as of now, he really couldn't care less. I know I'm setting myself up and I may have some explaining to do should he ever ask for candy at school, but still... I somehow think this might put us on the right road...


Also, Jamie was here, and now he's gone. I miss him, and not just because he did the dishes and watched the boys while I took a shower. WE LOVE YOU, JAMIE! Come back whenever.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Time's a Wasting!

When I was sick I didn't do a lot of things that I had planned on doing. I put them off because I could only do so much, and I had to make a choice between what was important and what wasn't. Eating and feeding the boys = important. Putting away their summer clothes = not all that important. Picking up dirty clothes from the floor = not important. Actually getting dressed = not important.

Now that I am better I'm getting back into my routine, but I've noticed that no one snuck in to do the things I didn't. Well, that's not entirely true. Jamie was here, and he did dishes. We ordered out for food, and once Steve cooked yummy pork chops. But no one thought to put away the boys summer clothes or all of the clothes sized 6 months that take up most of Nate drawers even though he can't squeeze into them. No one finished my quilt or bought a humidifier. No one raked the leaves off the flower bed or put away the halloween decorations.

So this next week I'm going to be busy indeed. I'm going back on my diet (kind of) I'm going to get back on the treadmill, and I'm going to get all this stuff DONE! I am SO MOTIVATED that I just have to start doing things right away. No more wasting time HERE!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Halloween Recap

You'll notice I didn't post yesterday because I was sick. So sick, in fact, that I called the doctor and made an appointment FOR ME! I haven't seen my regular doctor in two years because I was too busy being pregnant and trying to loose weight before having to step on his scale again. However, after almost a week of this sore throat, sleepless nights, and constant fatigue, I went. He perscribed antibiotics without even taking a culture. He said he wouldn't believe a negative culture, anyway. After 2 pills my throat stopped hurting, and I feel like my old self again.

Halloween was fun - you'll notice that Nick's costume is a bit tight, and Nathan's is a bit large... this is because Nicholas refused to put on his own costume, but wanted Nate's instead. So we squeezed him into it. Nate didn't seem to care what he had on, but the hood kept falling over his head and he spent more than a few moments crawling around on the floor until he pumped into the wall or a chair or something.

Nick actually went trick or treating, and he came back with lots of candy! He was very good at saying "Trick Or Treat!" and "Thank You!" I was very proud of him!