Saturday, December 20, 2008


Visit Emilie and send her thoughts of love and peace.  

Thursday, November 27, 2008

No modesty here.

These Mateus babies have no qualms about showing their goods.  The first image we saw yesterday during the ultrasound was this:

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A few things.

1. Ultrasound tomorrow. Hopefully we'll figure out what flavor we're having.

2. Day two of underwear at daycare = only one accident. We're going to do something to celebrate tonight.

3. I am on the verge of killing two cats. If you want to save them (aka take them from me), please let me know.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

So, so random...

Mainly because I can't manage a very long train of thought these days.

We've been working on potty-training boot camp (our version) this weekend. So far, only one accident. Aside from about three hours this afternoon (and overnights - not ready to tackle that yet), Reed's been in the house and in underwear all weekend.

This week is going to be rough - Reed's favorite (and our favorite, too) teacher at daycare is leaving. Carla isn't technically Reed's teacher anymore - she is the toddler room teacher. She was our saving grace when we first moved to Hutchinson. That's when Reed was transitioning from an in-home care to a daycare center. She seemed to understand immediately how hard this was going to be on all of us, and she gave Reed all the extra hugs and attention that he needed. Even now when Reed is having a rough day, he'll ask to go into Carla's room and she can magically make everything okay. We are going to miss her so much.

With the holidays approaching, I'm sad about not spending them with family. Yes, I'll be with Alex and Reed, but I'm starting to feel sad about not going to Kentucky for Christmas. There's only been one year since we've been married that we didn't make it (Alex had just started a new job and didn't have any time built up), and only once prior to that (the year my sister got married - a week before Christmas - and I didn't have enough vacation time to do both the wedding and Christmas). When we decided to go to Kentucky in November and skip Christmas, it seemed like a great idea - and I am still really glad we went when we did. That said, it's sad to think about the things that we will miss by not being there - even though it will be a ton easier on us to not have to make the drive with Reed, reschedule Santa's visit, and so on and so forth.

I have a few blogs that I read on a regular basis; one of which belongs to Emilie. She lives in the cities and is the mother of two adorable little boys. She is also battling soft-tissue sarcoma. This has been a rough week for her, and she's been on my mind quite a bit. Her story is full of sweet and sour, as she says, but she is also very hopeful and gives me great peace whenever I read her entries.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Funny things I never want to forget.

- The way that when you ask Reed a question, and he answers you in the affirmative, he says "s-ure" - not "shure" like you and I would say - he can't quite pronounce his "sh" sounds yet.

Fun stories from daycare -

The first story:
Reed recently had his first trip to the dentist. He went with Alex, and the hygienist cleaned Alex's teeth first, and then it was Reed's turn. He was not incredibly cooperative, but we got him exposed to the dentist anyway. Alex took him to daycare after the appointment was over, and the following transpired -
Dee: Reed, did you go to the dentist this morming?
Reed: no.
Dee: Are you sure? Where did you go?
Reed: I went to see chickens. Bawk, bawk, bawk. Chickens go bawk.
For the record, there are no farms or anything that resembles a farm between the dentist's office and daycare. We have no idea where that came from.

The second story:
Reed and a buddy were playing on the loft at daycare. Dee reported to us that he came down the stairs, cradling a baby doll, with a very serious look on his face. She said, "Reed, what is wrong?" He replied "she's sick." Dee asked what he thought they should do about it, and he said "she needs to go to the doctor." Dee said that he then put the doll in a toy car (like a Barbie car) and said "buckle up, sweetie" and "drove" her to the "hospital" where he and his buddy took out the toy doctor's kit, gave her a shot, listened to her heart, and returned her to daycare, good as new.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I have a lot of catching up to do.

Things have been busy - life is just getting in the way of time to jot things down.

Last Friday (10/10) was Reed's fourth birthday. How we managed to let four years fly by is beyond me, but they certainly have been the best four of my life. My parents were here for a visit, and we had a birthday party for his friends last Saturday. The weather was perfect, and we really couldn't have asked for a better day for a party.

Upcoming - Reed and I leave this Friday (the 24th) to make a quick trip to Austin. I have been looking for tickets for a long time, and finally found some that wouldn't break the bank. I'm looking forward to some girl-time with a very dear friend of mine who is in the midst of a divorce. She has two boys who will keep Reed busy while she and I visit and catch up. We're also planning on stopping to visit Miss Sharon for a bit on Saturday morning - Miss Sharon kept Reed from the time he was about eight weeks old until the time we left to move to Minnesota. We keep talking to Reed about Miss Sharon, but I'm not sure how he will react to her. Will he remember anything about her? I'm doubtful, but I know she's dying to see him.

The weekend after we return is Halloween, and Reed is dressing up as an elephant, which will be a hoot. Then Election Day (it will FINALLY be over!), and the following day we all leave to go to Kentucky for a week. As usual, we'll have just a fraction of the time we need to do everything we want to do - we're going to Murray for a few days for a sorority reunion, and we'll also have some quality time with my sister and her girls. All of the extended family members want to see Reed, so we'll work that in somewhere, too. And then we'll come back to Minnesota, where we're planning on staying put for a while. No travel for Thanksgiving or Christmas this year. I have really mixed feelings about that, but that's another topic for another post.

In the shorter term, I have to find Reed some ice skates this weekend, because he starts skating lessons on Wednesday. Monday afternoon is a preschool parent-teacher conference. Tuesday afternoon is a daycare parent-teacher conference. Wednesday is ice skating lessons, and Thursday is a Happy Hour with the folks that were in my class for the HLI. How I'll manage to survive (and get packed!) until the end of this week is beyond me. Wish me luck.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Kitchen Project - DONE!

I haven't gotten around to posting these - but we've been done for probably six weeks now. We still stand in there and marvel at the fact that all of that storage and counter space is for real.

Puddle Jumping

Reed loves to jump in puddles - I mean, who wouldn't love it, really? Click the photos for a larger view.

And a bonus shot of our house.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Recent Reedisms

The Pacifier -
Reed has slept with a pacifier for-freaking-ever. When we moved to Hutchinson from Austin, his new daycare wouldn't allow him to have it all day long (like he did in Austin) so he tapered off then to just nighttime use (and has used it at night for the past almost-two-years. To me, it wasn't a battle worth fighting - I figured as long as he was only using it at night (and not even all night at that) that he'd eventually decide he was done. I was right.

A few nights ago, I was so tired I was about to die. Reed wanted to come to my bed, so I said fine. He laid down with me, had his elephant and paci, and all of a sudden he says "my paci is broke, Mommy. I need a new one." I told him we didn't have another one and that it was the last paci. He asked me to fix it, and I told him that we can't fix pacifiers. When they break, they're trash.

He went to his room and dug around and found another one, but didn't like it because it didn't have the grooves on it (he was using a Nuk that has the soothing grooves on it for teethers). He threw it at the wall and said he was done. Fell asleep and stayed asleep without it.

The next night, we were getting ready for bed and I asked him if he had his elephant. He said "yes, I have elephant, but no red paci." That was all he said - and he got in bed and went to sleep.

We've had a few nights where he wanted to argue about needing it ("but I loooove my red paci") and have to remind him that it's broken and we don't have any more, but so far, he's been sleeping fine without it.

If only potty training will work out to be that easy...

The Piggies
I have always called Reed's toes "piggies." Somewhere along the line, the piggies have started talking back (kind of like Hand-Hand and Alex). I was trying to get him ready to leave the house for some reason, and trying to get his shoes on him. I said "come here piggies, get in these shoes!" to which the piggies responded "but it's so dark in here!"

I laughed so hard I peed my pants.

The Yeah-Buts
A recent phrase in our house is "yeah but" whenever I'm asking him to do something that he doesn't want to do. Apparently he's doing this at school too, because they started telling him "yeah buts live in the woods." We decided to try that approach at home because honestly, I was so tired of the arguing.

One night last weekend, I was asking him to do something (eat his supper, pick up his toys, who knows what), and he kept cutting me off with "yeah but" and telling me that he didn't want to. After he cut me off the fifteenth time, I said, louder than him, "BUT..." to which he looked at me, pointed his index finger at me and shook it saying, "Mommy, Buts live in the woods."

I'm pretty sure he saw me laugh.

Astute readers might have noticed...

that I made reference to my pregnancy in a previous post. I wasn't holding out on you; I just wanted to see the heartbeat before I shared with the world. Since we saw a strong little heartbeat on an ultrasound last week, I am now ready to announce to the world that Reed is going to be a big brother, sometime in April. My due date is April 14, but I am 99.99% certain that I will go for the scheduled c-section at about 39 weeks, as recommended by my doctor.

Reed has no idea that this is coming; he has no concept of time and would ask me every day between now and April when the baby is coming. I suppose I will tell him when I can no longer hold him on my lap or when he starts asking about my belly. I have such bittersweet feelings about having a baby. I know that I want to give Reed a sibling. It has always been part of the plan. What I didn't think about was how much Reed and I would bond, especially within the past year. I worry that I am not going to have enough time or patience to maintain the closeness that we have now. I know that he will benefit greatly from having someone to share with and play with and even fight with, but I also worry about what he might lose.

Passive-Aggressive behaviors, Facebook, etc.

One of my favorite pages on the web is the Passive-Aggressive Notes page. It's always got something awesome that is cracking me up at any given time. When you combine Facebook *and* PAN, it just gets freaking awesome, as is evidenced here.

While I don't have anything that exciting going on in my Facebook world right now, what I do have is, well, interesting. You see, I have this Ex. And I mean Ex, with the capital E, as in Ex from Hell. None of the details there matter now (this was about ten years ago now - how time flies), but he and I have recently ended up beinging added to the same person's friends list. I have not been in touch with this friend (for simplicity purposes, we'll call him Joe) and I'm relatively certain that Ex hasn't been either, up until now. Joe posted in his status update yesterday that his wife just found out that she is pregnant with #2. I posted congratulations to him/them, and said that I am about nine weeks along with our second as well. Ex posted right after me on Joe's page.

There's nothing illegal about that, and I suppose that I should actually be okay with it. And it's certainly not going to keep me up at night, but dammit, it annoys me. Why does he have to be there, tainting my good wishes for a healthy pregnancy?

When I discovered that we were friends with the same person, I was a little panicky - my sister talked me down, telling me that I have nothing to be ashamed or embarassed of, because he was the one who lost his mind and his character and lied to me for God-only-knows-how-long. And she's right - I did nothing wrong at the end of that relationship (and for the record, I claim responsibility for many other things that went wrong over the course of that relationship, but not for his "dropping-off-the-face-of-the-earth-and-eloping-without-ever-telling-me-act."). But for some reason, it just irritates me that I've managed to not cross paths with him for the past ten years, and now he suddenly appears.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Ramblings, part 2

It's not that there's nothing to write about; it's more like there's too much to write about and a lot of stuff that I'm not willing to share with all of cyberspace.

Things here are great for the most part. The kitchen rocks my socks. I can't believe that our tile backsplash turned out as well as it did. It's really a work of art. Okay, that's an exaggeration, but I am very proud of our work in there.

It's a long weekend, yay, and we have no plans. I am really excited about that because we've just had too much going on lately. We might get together with some friends tomorrow, but if we do, I think it's going to be at a playground or park and not at our house (or their house) because they're as wiped out and exhausted as we are right now.

We are planning to go to Kentucky in November and skip the Christmas trip. I've got mixed feelings about that, because our November trip isn't even Thanksgiving - it's earlier in the month for a reunion. I'm really excited about the reunion; we'll get to see a lot of friends and especially our friends Becky and Lee and their little girl Lorelai. When we all lived on the east coast we saw each other quite often, but we've moved to Texas and then Minnesota since then, and they are now just outside Detroit. No more four-hour-drive between our homes, which kind of sucks because we had so much fun running back and forth to Baltimore, DC, and NYC. Those were pre-kid days, when staying out half the night was not a big deal at all. Oh, how far we've come (or gone) since then!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Fall already?

We had a front pass through last night, and when I woke up this morning, Alex had all the downstairs windows open. It was 59 degrees at 8 AM, and now at 12:30 it is only 64. It must be a wonderful day to be at the State Fair. The only sad part about this change in the weather is that earlier today, I saw a tree that has already started to change colors. After four years in Texas (where there is no "fall" to speak of), seeing leaves change is a treat - but I forget how early it can happen in Minnesota.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


I'm having writers block. Nothing in my life right now seems interesting enough to jot down.

We got our backsplash installed two weekends ago, and we got the grout put up (in?) this past weekend. I am totally in love with it and with how it makes our kitchen look. One negative, I'm afraid - Alex was cooking dinner last night and got a grease splatter on the backsplash above the stove - and I don't know if it's going to come off. And if it does, how do I protect it for the future? I'm afraid a piece of plexiglass above the stove is in my future. We didn't have this problem in our last home, I guess because the tile was not natural stone - it had a nice glaze on it that was easy to clean. Whenever I got spaghetti sauce or whatever on it, it just wiped off.

My parents were here for a week. We had a nice visit, Reed loved having them here, but they left on Sunday and we're slowly returning to normal around our house. I am interviewing housecleaners today and tomorrow. Alex and I had a deal that when I got my promotion, I could get a housecleaner. I hope I find someone, because I really am tired of cleaning my house myself. Oh, who am I kidding? Alex does the cleaning. I'm tired of him spending Saturdays doing the cleaning when we could be out doing something else. Or just sleeping. Sleep sounds good too.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

We're going on a mission, start the countdown...

For the last two-and-a-half-years (I'm guessing here), Reed has been all about the Little Einsteins. I think it's been that long; I know he was obsessed with them before we left Texas. He's still obsessed. For his birthday last year he got a Pat Pat Rocket that he still plays with very often. In fact, he gets PPR out every time he watches an episode of LE on TV, which is multiple times daily because he won't watch anything else (praise be to the power of a DVR).

Every time I talk to Sharon, his sitter in Texas, she asks if he is still into LE. Every couple of months I catch him singing the theme song on video and email it to her.

On the flip side, he knows his instruments. Back around Christmas he and I were in the car and Christmas carols were playing on the radio. There was a featured solo by a trumpet, and he knew immediately what it was, and said "Mommy - a trumpet!" He does the same with different string instruments.

He definitely has his favorite episodes. He's been asking for weeks for the three little pigs' house episode - and lo and behold, it came on this morning. We're recording it now so we'll have it the next time he asks for it.

Monday, July 28, 2008

be careful what you ask for

Guess who woke up with a 102* fever this morning? No, not me...

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Kitchen Project

Last Saturday morning, with a couple of my coworkers' assistance, Alex managed to dismantle the kitchen cabinets in a matter of hours.

The original kitchen, circa 1949, was small and sparse.

Original cabinets

The first piece coming down...

And how we've been surviving for the past week:

Tomorrow we will lose the sink for a few days, since the plumber will come to cap the lines and get it moved out for the new cabinet install on Tuesday. Alex has been scraping the glue from where the old laminate backsplash was mounted, and we have tile samples that we'll decide on later this week.

We had a $500 trip to Lowe's yesterday (haven't done that in a long, long time!), where we came away with an acrylic sink, a new faucet, a garbage disposal, and other miscellaneous necessities.

We're not doing anything with our floor right now - it's in good shape; it's a laminate that looks like stone (actually, it looks a lot like the tile samples we picked up yesterday).

So that's our current status. More photos to come, hopefully this week!

Sunday afternoon

Once again, Sunday afternoon rolls around. It's been a lazy day for the most part, doing laundry and trying to stay cool. We've had electricians here this afternoon working on the kitchen, so staying out of their way has also been key.

As I'm sitting here watching Peter Pan with Reed, I'm beginning the dread of going back to work tomorrow. This is a struggle I have every weekend - I will have such a great time with Reed all weekend long, and it's always bittersweet to see it come to an end.

Going to work is just part of my life. It's something I've known that I would do for the majority of my life. It never occurred to me that I might have the opportunity *not* to go to work every day. I'm not a teacher like my parents were or my sister is, so I don't get the luxury of two or three months straight off during the summer. If I did, I might find it even harder to get back in the groove after an extended break.

Logically, I know that going to work makes me a better mom. It's not just the money, though it provides us with a lifestyle we wouldn't otherwise be able to afford. It stretches my mind. It gives me adult conversation and interaction. Most of the time, it's fun. Emotionally, it's hard to remember that there are very good reasons that I go to work. I try to remind myself that I don't have the patience to stay home with Reed full-time, but I think I feel that way because I've never had the opportunity to do so and establish a network of SAHM happenings. I only get to be with him on sick days, and they're no fun anyway so it's not like we'd be going out and doing things under those circumstances.

And daycare - or "school" as we call it - is so good for him. He is learning so many games and songs and just factoids - like "there are volcanos in Hawaii" - that it would never occur to me to teach him or introduce to him. He loves his friends, and his friends - especially the girls - love him. He's been walking around here for the past week singing "little bunny foo-foo, I don't want to catch you, picking up the field mice and boppin' 'em on the head." He's having fun, and I have to remind myself of that almost every morning when I'm trying to walk out the door.

With logic and emotion battling, I have to keep reminding myself that there are multiple reasons, and overthinking them is not the way to go. It just makes it harder to let him go on Monday mornings.

Friday, July 25, 2008


Reed was acting up in daycare on Thursday - it was time to clean up and he didn't want to. Dee, his teacher, said "Reed, if you don't help clean up, you won't get your snack. If you don't get your snack, your tummy will be hungry." She said he looked down at his belly and said "Are ya hungry?" He looked back up at Dee and she said "Well...what did you decide?" to which he responded "we're hungry." He proceeded to clean up the toys and went on with his day.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

So today sucked.

It started out okay - I slept decent last night, and Reed was in a relatively good mood this morning. It's Thursday and I'm taking tomorrow afternoon off to be home for the new refrigerator delivery and the service technician for the stove. I drove to the cities this morning with my friend and coworker Denise, so we could look at a piece of equipment that our management is looking at bringing to our plant. From there we went to lunch at a good Chinese restaurant (as opposed to the mediocre joints we have in our small town). As we left the restaurant and headed back towards Hutch, I thought to myself what a nice day it had been thus far.

We get about halfway back to Hutch when Denise's cell phone beeped, indicating that she had a voicemail. Why the phone didn't actually ring, I have no idea. She called to listen to the message, and that's when she learned that one of our employees was seriously injured today when she was performing a task that isn't normally done. This employee is very fortunate that her only injuries are broken bones - I'm not yet sure how many bones are broken, but her arm will be bothering her for quite a while. I keep running through the scenario in my head and comparing it to similar scenarios that I've heard about but never experienced firsthand - situations where employees are fatally injured performing similar tasks.

We are all very fortunate today.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Even though Reed is rapidly approaching his fourth birthday, I forget that he's not a baby anymore and find some of the things he says and does so amusing. He's so profound sometimes, and so silly others. I'm sure that these are not nearly as entertaining to anyone else as they are to me; I'm mostly trying to document them for later, when he will see how funny it must have been to hear his little voice saying these words.

Today, I asked him if he wanted to paint with his watercolors. He responded with "no thanks (no panks), I'm busy today."

He went to the grocery with me earlier today and was really well-behaved; he actually introduced himself to everyone we met. "Hi, my name is Reed."

He has also told me that he doesn't want to start using the potty because the toilet is too big. I'm not sure if there are smaller toilets available that he thinks we should buy or what, but the last I checked, our toilets are pretty much one-size-fits-all.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Three year old creativity.

I came downstairs this morning (it was my morning to sleep in, yay!) and Reed greeted me with what he called a maraca. It was, in all actuality, a plastic Easter egg with, you guessed it, dry Lucky Charms inside.

Gotta give him points for creativity.

I also figured out this weekend that I should probably get him in Sunday School or at least find him a book of bible stories. He has decided that his Little People Noah's Ark is actually a pirate ship, and Noah is the pirate. In response to that, Alex rented Peter Pan for us to watch Friday night, and Reed *loved* it. He sat glued to the TV for the entire movie (which is rare for him).

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Hating on Ebay.

I'm done with Ebay. Well, with selling on Ebay, anyway.

If you recall my sewing machine saga from a few months ago, I ended up emailing Singer to tell them that I was not impressed with their machine and that I thought it was silly to make a machine that breaks easily and can't be repaired. They offered to replace the machine, so I let them. I got the new machine (the Singer; I'd already purchased and used and loved the Brother machine) and promptly listed it on Ebay. I figured I could recoup some of the costs associated with crappy sewing machines.

I sold the machine to a dude in Nebraska. My first warning sign that this might not be a good deal was that he had zero feedback. As in, this was his first attempt to purchase anything on Ebay. That made me pause, but just for a moment because I figured that everyone needs someone to take a chance on them to help raise their feedback scores. We all start at zero, you know?

I shipped it out on June 19. He wanted it by July 4, but didn't tell me this prior to me shipping it. He did not buy insurance, he said that shipping parcel post would be fine, and now he's bitching and moaning and filing disputes with Ebay. He's also gone so far as to say that he doesn't believe that I even shipped the damn thing.

He keeps checking the Delivery Confirmation page on the USPS website, and telling me that because it doesn't show an update, that must mean I didn't ship it. I've tried to explain that the DC website is only updated UPON DELIVERY. He continues to say that he's sure I didn't even ship it. I talked to PayPal yesterday, and they also believe that it's a tracking website and not DC. I then went to the post office to see if I was the one misunderstanding the purpose of the delivery confirmation webpage, and the supervisor said that it would only be updated upon delivery; that I was interpreting the message correctly and PayPal and the buyer were both wrong. The only way that the USPS offers package tracking is through Express Mail or Registered Mail.

Now Mr. Nebraska has escalated his dispute with PayPal to a claim. I have offered to refund his money. I have offered my left arm to make him happy and try to protect my feedback score. After being mouthy, annoying and accusing me of not shipping the sewing machine, he's now ignoring my emails and offers. I'm not sure what his point is; the freaking machine is somewhere between here and Nebraska. It has not been delivered yet; I don't know why but I did ship it on the day that I said I would.

Anyway, I'm done. I buy other stuff on Ebay - usually using Buy It Now - which should be okay even if he wanks my feedback score with negative feedback. As for selling, I'm just done.


Facebook Bingo is highly addicting. I got an invitation for it last night, and can't stop playing. I keep spamming my friends list to earn more cards. I feel like a drug addict, anticipating my next fix.

I tried so hard to take a nap today and couldn't. Too much noise. Levi (the doxie next door) was so yappy, and then when Alex returned from his lunch outing in St. Cloud, he decided to skip out on work and come home to scrape paint off the garage (yep, we're leading exciting lives here, folks...). I closed one bedroom window to block out Levi, and I could hear his scraping through the other window. I closed that window too, and it just got too hot in the bedroom. I went down to the basement (the best napping place in the house), but the dehumidifier kept kicking on and off. Every time I'd doze off, it would kick on.

Long weekends are so challenging. I feel like we need to do something - anything - that we wouldn't normally do on a regular two-day weekend. We have a few options this weekend, but I'm still struggling. Will we be able to manage it all and a nap for Reed? Will it be the day from hell if he misses a nap? Will we all kill each other?

Strawberries are ready in Minnesota. This is so awesome. We have had berries every day for the last week. I have strawberry syrup in the fridge that is awesome on top of vanilla frozen yogurt.

I miss my family. I'm just really homesick right now. I haven't seen my sister since Christmas. I haven't seen my parents since early February when we were the House of Sick and they came to help us out for a few days. They were planning on coming to visit before now, but my dad ended up with shingles. He is still not very comfortable, but is starting to feel better (with the help of epidurals and oxycodone). He and my mom are leaving later this month to go to Alaska for about two weeks. I guess they will try to come visit when they get home from Alaska. I know they miss Reed (they seldom miss me), but I miss them.

I learned yesterday that sorority reunion has been moved to Murray. This is an interesting turn of events, and I need to do some thinking on this. If it's in Murray, it seems like it would just be wrong for me to go to Murray, driving right through Paducah to get there, and not stop to see my folks. But my folks don't want to see me without Reed. So do we turn this into a family trip? If we end up driving to Kentucky in November, there is no way we will do it again in December for Christmas (which is fine - I have prepared my parents and sister for the chance that we won't be coming home for Christmas this year because it's just too hectic and painful). Alex and I need to talk about this, for sure.

Alex and his coworkers went to Chipotle for lunch today. We don't have Chipotle here. He drove almost 50 miles to have lunch in St. Cloud. Yes, that's right. I really have no other words for my thoughts on this; I will say that my thoughts on it were softened by the fact that he brought a burrito back for me.

Monday, June 30, 2008


I am sitting on the couch with my laptop. My husband thinks that I am working. I will let him continue to think that.

Has anyone used WordPress for blogging? I am interested in switching to some other platform, simply because I'd like to limit readers to some entries. Believe it or not, there are things in my life that I'd like to blog about that I don't need the whole world knowing. For example, if I want to bitch about my husband, I don't want my entire extended family reading it and thinking that I'm a bitch or he's a jerk or whatever when, in all honestly, I'm just venting or whining.

I know that LiveJournal lets you create Friends lists, but I don't really like that platform very much at all. I've been there and done that, and I don't want to go back.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Killing time

I am having motivational issues. At work and in general. The weather is nice, I want to be outside. I want to go pick strawberries. I want to go home and take a nap. I want to paint my bedroom, and I want to get started painting all of my woodwork. I want to be anywhere but here, really.

I'm very excited that some girls from my sorority in college are planning a reunion in October. It won't be an entire-chapter event; just members who were active between 1993 and 1998. I was active from 1992 until 1995, so I'm covered. The date is not confirmed yet, but it's either the weekend before or the weekend after Reed's birthday, which is perfect timing. I was thinking about it this morning and about how I didn't know if I could go because of location, airfare, etc. It is being held in Evansville, Indiana, which may seem to be an out of the way place, but it's really quite central to the majority of the people who will be attending. Right as I was talking myself out of it, my friend Karen, who lives in Kenosha, Wisconsin, emailed me to see if I wanted to drive to her house and then drive down to the reunion together. This is such an awesome idea and I'm so glad she thought of it, because now I will actually be able to go.

More Nostalgia

After looking for Little People on ebay, I started searching for more toys that we had at my house growing up. I forgot how awesome some of these were (and forgot that I even had some of them, until I saw them on ebay and had an "oh yeah..." moment).

The "TV" - wind it up, it plays music and the screen changes - it loops through some nursery rhymes.

The music-box record player. I loved this thing. It's at my sister's house - her girls were playing with it, last I heard.

The LP airplane - there are several versions of it, but this is the one we have. It's in good shape except for a tail wing being broken. It's at our house and Reed loves it.

My Drowsy doll. This isn't actually mine, but one like it as far as I can tell. Actually, this one looks a little newer than I remember mine being. She had a pull-string and talked.

This was a baby toy, and I really think it was my sister's - I remember it, though.

I guess this was the 70s version of the Ocean Wonders Crib toy that Reed loved when he was still in his crib.

And who can forget the Chatter Telephone?? Loved it.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Cute little boys

Yes, I have one, if I do say so myself, but this isn't about him.

I filmed Reed being a ham over the weekend (using my cool Flip camera, Surly!) and emailed the clip to some family members. I got an email back from my Aunt Linda, mother of Ladybird and Cosmo (actually, Cosmo's grandmother, now that I think about it...). She commented on Reed's performance and also about my recent entry on Fisher-Price Little People:

We have the Little People Hospital. Before Clay started to school, he and his baby sitter and her mother went to yard sales every Friday. We always gave Clay a dollar to spend and he bought some of the best toys.. Carol said he would flash his big brown eyes, smile that little smile he had, show his dollar, and ask if that was enough to buy whatever he wanted. Most of the time, he would leave with the toy AND his dollar.

And yes, if you saw Clay as a little boy (and now, for that matter), you'd let him leave with the toy and the dollar as well! Anyway,'re busted. You can't work that trick any more. We're on to you, Mister.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Reed has recently taken a new interest in my old Fisher-Price Little People. Not the Little People of today, but the ones from the 70s that are no longer made because they could be choking hazards. FWIW, I never choked on one of them, and I’m still not sure how that could happen, but whatever.

His new interest in these guys has made me nostalgic for the toys of my childhood. I’ve spent a great deal of the morning on eBay, looking at all of the different “vintage” Little People (I can’t believe that toys from my childhood are now classified as “vintage”). One of the greatest things about the vintage LP is that the people could be played with on their own, and purchased without a big accessory. Sure, we had the airplane and the A-Frame house, but as often as not, we played with the LP on their own. With today’s LP, you have to buy a set – either the train, the racecar, the garage, or whatever – and only get one or two or maybe three people with the set. And all of the LP are outfitted to that scene – no more generic wooden bodies and plastic heads that can fit in with their specific set. We have a racecar driver that came with the racecar and track, a train conductor that came with the train and train tracks, and mechanics that came with the garage.

Something that has amazed me as I’ve been perusing these guys on ebay this morning has been the massive variety of LP that were manufactured in the 70s. Not just the LP, but the other things that FP made. Some of them just seem so random, yet I wish I’d had them in my collection.

Like the snowmobile set, a must-have for Minnesotans...

Or the complete hospital set - the scale, the hospital chair, the wheelchair, the hospital room screen, the hospital sink, and the gurney.

And so you have a place to put all the hospital stuff, here is the children's hospital.

The "laundry center," complete with Mom at the sewing machine.

And my possible favorite, because it's so random - the offshore oil rig.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


I always see rainbows at times that I really need cheering up. My primary example - the day of my grandmother's funeral, while we were standing at her graveside after the funeral - it had been raining all day, but finally cleared up and the sun started to come out, and we all looked up and saw a rainbow. Maybe it was her, maybe it was coincidence; who cares because we all decided it was her telling us she was there and fine and happy.

I saw one this morning on my way to work. I was looking up through the sunroof and saw it right above me. There were bad storms last night, and all those Boy Scouts were at that camp in Iowa - I decided that the rainbow might be those four that were killed in the tornado.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

You know how the last hour of the workday just drags on sometimes? That's what's happening here right now. I have a massage in an hour (hallelujah), but it makes no sense to leave here, go home and piddle around for a while before I go to my massage. And people who really know me might say, "hey, this is your BIG chance to go to Target WITHOUT Reed," but I would have to point out that our weather map is a mish-mash of green, yellow, and red.

With earlier reports of hail greater than five inches in diameter. That's what, softball sized?
Tonight is my night with Reed. Alex has a work outing - going to the German restaurant. He invited me, and I was happy to decline the invitation. I appreciate being included, but German food just isn't enough to make me give up a cozy rainy night at home. If we were talking about the sports bar next door (they have the best pizza in town), I'd be all over that, and I'd even take Reed. To the bar. Which, in my defense, is more of a restaurant than a bar, but it gets a bad rap. We sit in the restaurant side, but Reed discovered that the foosball game is in the bar, so that's where he wants to hang now. We keep bringing him back to the table, but he keeps leaving again. Nobody seems to care, so I just kind of go with the flow.
So the poor kid got hit in the side of his head with a frisbee yesterday. It was huge swollen when I picked him up - I couldn't believe that a frisbee could do that kind of damage, but there were several witnesses to the whole thing. I also learned yesterday that he knows how to milk injuries for all he can. He was laughing and giggling when I pulled into daycare, but when Sarah (one of the helpers) told me what happened, he started crying all over again. I asked him over and over what I could do to make him feel better, and all he would say is "I don't know." I honestly thought (hoped?) he'd ask for ice cream, but he didn't (nor did I suggest it, against my better judgement). He hasn't figured out that ice cream works miracles.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

After some moping and crying, I'm feeling slightly better about the situation I shared on Monday. I know that everything happens for a reason and that mine will come, but it makes the "meantime" seem so long and sad.

We're slated for some combination of clouds, rain, and storms for the entire week. Not looking forward to that - I need sunlight. It would surely improve my mood.

Monday, June 2, 2008


I'm not going to get into all the details of this story for multiple reasons, but I just found out that a friend of mine is getting something wonderful. She absolutely deserves it - I don't begrudge her that - but I'm still waiting for something similar, and it's just really bumming me out right now. I seriously want to go home and crawl in bed and cry, but that makes me look like a bad sport, and as much as I'm trying to *not* be a bad sport about the fact that mine hasn't come yet, I'm still sad.

I'm sorry I can't elaborate more, but I just needed to unload. Imagine what you want - new car, new husband, new jewelry, new job - and go from there.
Back in the office today, a ton of stuff to do but none of it is interesting.

I got home from my conference on Friday afternoon, just in time to go pick up Reed from daycare. He had a great day on Friday (which was a good thing, because apparently he was headbutting his best friend on Thursday). We had a nice weekend - lots of yardwork and planting flowers, digging up old stuff that wasn't working well, and just relaxing. I planted a ton of hostas and coral bells yesterday, and my back is feeling it today.

I have been asked to be on the steering team for a new MOPS group that is starting up in my area. I had initially accepted, but as time goes on, I have realized that I am already overextended. Tonight is the first steering team meeting that I would normally attend, and apparently there is quite a list of questions for me, mostly about my vision for the group, my faith and how it plays into my everyday life, and what kinds of activities and fundraisers I'd plan for the group. As I have contemplated these questions over the weekend, the expectations of the position have become more clear to me and I've realized that I just don't have it in me to take on soemthing else. I've got a lot going on with the Chamber of Commerce, and I'm expecting to take on some more roles there. I feel kind of bad backing out of the MOPS role right now, but honestly, I think I'd rather just be a member right now and see how it goes, and possibly take on a leadership position there later.

I've also got a headache to beat all headaches. It's not quite a migraine, but my eyes are burning so I'm halfway expecting it to turn into a horribly painful headache. I was just looking at my calendar for the day and trying to figure out what, if anything, I can shove off of it - but since I have to do new employee orientation today at 12:30, it's kind of pointless to cancel everything else.

Funny Reedisms from the weekend:

- I always tell him that his piggies are so cute and that I want them. He always tells me that they are his little piggies and that he needs them, and that my piggies are big and I need big piggies. Well, apparently sharing discussions have started to sink in, because over the weekend he said "Mommy, do you want to share piggies? I give you some of my little piggies and you give me some of your big piggies?"

- We went to the grocery yesterday afternoon - he wanted to carry the list. As I was walking out the back door, I said "Reed, do you have the list?" to which he replied "list, check." From that point on, every time I put something in the cart, he'd say "apples, check" or "salad, check" while examining the grocery list.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Today is day two of me being out of town at a conference. I'm only an hour and a half from home, but it might as well be a million miles away. I'm staying in St. Paul rather than driving back and forth - if I had to do that, I probably would have bailed on it. Professional development isn't worth that mind-numbing drive.

Alex is having a rough time with Reed. I don't know if Reed's recent behavior has anything to do with me being gone; I don't think it does because last night was the first night I was away. When I talked to Alex yesterday afternoon, he said that Reed had a rough morning - he had been slapping his friends at school. Reed is not normally aggressive at all, so this was a surprise. His teacher thought he might need a nap, and she must have been right because he slept for two hours and woke up a new man. When Alex talked to him and tried to understand what the problem was, he couldn't get much useful information out of Reed - all he got was "I need..." and then couldn't understand the rest of the sentence. Later on when Alex was trying to get Reed to bed, there was a meltdown because Reed wanted to sleep in his clothes and Alex wanted him to wear his pajamas. Alex forces issues that I usually wouldn't, so this discussion apparently went on for about an hour before Alex finally gave in and let him sleep in his clothes. This morning, there was an argument about Reed wanting to take a car to school. Alex was actually late for work over this one. I wish he could understand that not everything is worth the battle - if he had let Reed take the car to school, the teachers would've distracted him with something else and then hidden the car until we came to pick him up. I keep wanting to call daycare and check on him, but I can't do a thing to help any bad situation I might hear about, so it's just not worth it.

I went out with some friends last night - we just went to a little place right by my hotel, but it was a nice time. It was good to get out and do the networking thing - talking with old friends and colleagues, discussing work situations and the such. It's nice to remember what my life used to be like - and also to remember why I like my life now. I used to have to do a fair amount of travel - and now I don't. Being away from home is good for a day or two, but that's pretty much my limit - I'm glad I don't have to do it more often.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


My child is lazy. I am coming to terms with that, and it sucks.

Maybe he's not lazy; maybe he's just trying to manipulate. Regardless, it sucks. He wants to be carried everywhere. Up the stairs at home. Down the stairs. From the car into daycare. From the car into the house. And most recently, from the house to the Dairy Queen. Important note - we live six mere blocks away from the DQ.

Saturday evening, I suggested ice cream. He agreed, and wanted to ride in his stroller. He is honest-to-God too big for his strollers, so I said no, we'll walk. Then he wanted to ride his tricycle. We vetoed that also, because what ends up happening is that he gets tired and we have to carry the tricycle (and argue with him about how we can't carry the tricycle and him at the same time.). We would seriously walk half a block, he'd sit down (in the middle of the sidewalk, no less), and then we'd have to argue with him to get up and walk some more. Lather, rinse, repeat. When we got to the part of town where there are benches (three blocks up from our house), we argued about sitting on the bench. Continual reminders of ice cream did no good. He'd reach his arms up and tell us that he was tired or too little (he actually said "I'm a baby - I can't walk."), and ask to be carried. It took us a good half hour to get to DQ, and probably double that to come back home.

To make matters worse, this morning when I was doing daycare drop-off, the director of the center told me that on Friday, Reed wouldn't walk back from the park and made Emily (his favorite teacher) carry him. While all of his friends were walking. I talked to Emily about it and told her not to let him manipulate her into carrying him, and she said that she wouldn't normally do it except for the fact that they were in a hurry for lunch and he was taking half-steps. Yes, half-steps, on his way to lunch. If you knew my kid, you'd know that scenario is just too weird. He never misses a chance to eat.

I don't know what his deal is, but he needs to get over it soon. It makes me not want to leave the house with him.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The ever-elusive work-life balance

Betseeee posted an entry on her blog about being invited to join an organization of professionals in her field, and feeling a bit of a yearning to be out and about with this group. For those of you who don't know, she's been busy freelancing and raising her two O'Girlies.

I have a few thoughts that ran through my head after reading this entry. First, I envy her ability to freelance - I work in a field where freelancing is not an option (sadly, part-time isn't an option either). It just doesn't work for job. I could potentially consult, but that's not all it's cracked up to be either. Second, even though I go to work every day and am involved in professional organizations, I don't get involved in the social aspect of those orgs. I don't do the happy hours or the evening meetings. I used to - I used to be so footloose and fancy-free when it came to what I could do in the evenings. Then I had Reed, and everything changed. Granted, Alex is really good (awesome, actually) about being able to handle the homefront when I have an evening obligation now, but I find that the things I allow myself to be "obligated" to have changed. I'm much more picky about which activities I'll be willing to take on at night.

Which leads me to this - I'm going to the cities this week for a company conference of safety and health professionals. It's the prelude to a national industrial hygiene conference that will be going on the following week in Minneapolis (I'm not attending that one). It is only for three days, and I'll be gone for only two nights, but I'm looking forward to being the "old" me and doing the happy hours and the socializing with old friends and connections without worrying about getting home to relieve Alex, since I'll be staying in a hotel near the conference. I know I'll miss my guys, but I also realize that I need to do this for me.

The mommy guilt never ends, you know. You're always shortchanging someone or something - either your career or your kids or your marriage. I feel guilty that my child is in daycare (even though he LOVES going to "school"), yet I know that if I were at home with him full-time, I'd lose my mind. I know I'm not cut out to be a stay-at-home-mom, as much as I wish there were days I could. I know that I'm a better mom to Reed because I get that time away from him every day, and I know that I look forward to seeing him at the end of every day. I'm not sure I'd have that same appreciation and excitement if I were struggling to keep him entertained and engaged every day.
Day two of the three-day-weekend, and Reed is already just about maxxed out at home. He's a wild man, can't seem to settle down, and has decided that he will just walk out the back door whenever he wants to. This has made us (me and Alex) much more diligent about making sure the back gate is locked, so if he does manage to sneak out without our knowledge (hasn't happened yet), he can't go far.

We went for a walk yesterday morning, with hopes of the farmer's market being open. I've been reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, and I find myself wishing I could live a like more like hers. In the book, she tells of a friend of hers who has a setup to grow tomatoes for much of the year by heating the soil under her greenhouse by using hot water pipes. I was hopeful that I might find someone who had adapted that method (or something similar) for their own tomatoes, but no such luck. In fact, the farmer's market was not even open. I'm not sure why; it is supposed to open the first weekend of May. Of course, we may be having a shortage of anything to sell at this point. On our way back home we stopped at the meat market, where Reed decided that he was hungry and was reaching and grabbing for any food he could (crackers, cookies, string cheese, etc.). He kept saying "I need some food for eat" which is how he tells us he's hungry. He and I headed for home (we were just two blocks away) while Alex was paying for the goods, and the entire way home Reed yelled about needing food. I'm sure that everyone we passed thought we were cruel parents who don't feed our kid.

Later in the day Alex used creative bribery to convince Reed to get his haircut, while solving the dinner crisis at the same time. He told Reed that if we got his haircut we could have pizza for dinner. The haircut place is in the same strip-mall as the take-and-cook pizza place, so while the boys were doing haircuts, I was buying dinner. With no hairdryer involved ("it might blow me away" were his exact words), Reed had the best haircut of his life, behavior-wise. The haircut looks pretty good, too.

I have a long list of things I'd like to do today and tomorrow, but I'm not sure any of it is going to happen. I'd love to paint our bedroom, but I haven't decided on a color yet. It just seems that a three-day weekend is the ideal time to do that. I'd also like to get my new sewing machine set up and get some pants hemmed (this is actually possible - during nap time, of course). I'd like to do some scrapbooking, but I feel like I'm a little too ADD right now to do that.

Friday, May 23, 2008

a whole lot of nothin'.

I haven't posted anything lately because it seems like such an effort to come up with anything worth typing. I've been busy, but nothing noteworthy.

Earlier this week, we had a conference with Reed's speech and hard-of-hearing teacher, Deb. The long and short of it is that based on his most recent audiogram (earlier this month), if we were to have him evaluated for the first time now, he wouldn't qualify for special education services. That means one of two things - either (a) his new tubes are working wonders and he has never had a hearing loss, or (b) he's maturing enough to be able to sit still and listen when the audiologist asks him to do certain things or repeat certain words during testing. I was afraid that since Deb said that he wouldn't qualify for services that we would have to stop using Early Intervention, but she went on to say that each evaluation that is done is good for three years. So even though he wouldn't qualify if tested now, he's still working under an individual educational plan (IEP) that is good for three years - so we can do two more years before we'd need to re-evaluate him. This is a good thing, because I think that even though he's hearing better and talking more, he is still behind the curve. I think he's catching up very quickly, but the more interaction we can have with someone who understands speech and language development, the better off we'll all be in the long run.

In the meantime, Reed's universe seems to center around cereal, Matchbox cars, and Little Einsteins. At this point I should also add that Betseeee dares post "pat pat pat" in my comments again, I'm coming up to LI to kick her butt and steal the O'Girlies. Anyway, he's managed to find a way to get to where we (used to) store the DVDs and thinks that he can do everything himself. He's managed to ruin two of his three Little Einstein DVDs, and we've had to find a new place to hide all the movies.

And finally, as much as my job can frustrate me at times, today I absolutely love it. As part of one of our environmental permits, we need to keep debris and trash off the ground and away from the sewers and water outfalls. This is a real problem sometimes, so today our department went out to clean along the fence separating our property from the river. It was a beautiful morning, not hot, and just perfect for being outside with friends and chatting and goofing off. Much fun was had with rubber snakes and camera phones (baby fawn, anyone? sooo cute!), and we got free Subway for lunch. And now it is 3:18, and a completely reasonable time to pack up and head home. After all, it's spring in Minnesota - nobody works a full day on Friday!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

It never fails.

It never fails. Monday through Friday, it's damn near impossible to drag Reed out of bed in the mornings. He's grumpy (wonder where he get's that from?) and doesn't want to get up, even when we talk up "school" and all of his friends. But come Saturday morning, he's up at 6:15, ready to play.

And because I'm totally swamped both at home and at work (and sit here playing around on the laptop; go figure), I'm losing my mind. I sold two things on eBay last week - auctions ended at the same time - and shipped the items to the wrong buyers. They seem to be understanding about it and are willing to work with me.


My sewing machine bit the dust. I'm really ticked about this one. It's a Singer, and though it wasn't an expensive one, it still wasn't cheap. I talked to a few different people about it, and have been told that I won't find anyone who will work on it for me because it's more or less a cheap POS. I have been emailing with Singer, and they're trying to tell me that it's my fault and that the repair wouldn't be covered under warranty. I bought the Singer machine because my mom (the former home ec teacher) has a Singer that is much older than I am and is a total workhorse. It works really well. I had it for a while (she has since bought a new machine) and liked using it - but it was hard for me to understand some of the functions, because a seamstress I am not. Anyway, now I have a broken sewingmachine that is not under warranty and not worth repairing, and a company that doesn't seem to give a shit.

My mom, being awesome as she is, went to the sewing machine store that she's used for years and years for repairs, accessories, etc. and explained my problem. The owner recommended a machine for me - he's got it on sale right now - and he said that if it gave me any problems, I could UPS it to him for repairs, and he'd repair it and UPS it back to me. I'm not sure I can pass that offer up.


Recent Reedisms:
"Hey Mom, how's it going?" - This one cracked me up. His sweet little voice calling me Mom (I corrected him and told him that my name is Mommy - I'm not ready to be "Mom" yet) and asking me such a casual question.

During a discussion about potty training -
Me: Reed, do you want to use the potty?
Reed: No, not yet (in a sing-song voice).
Me: Why not? Don't you want to wear your underwear?
Reed: No, underwear gets wet. (You see where this is going, right?)
Me: Why does the underwear get wet?
Reed: From the pee and the poop.
Me: That's why we need to use the potty - to put the pee and the poop in the potty and keep your underwear dry.
Reed: No, I need a diaper change.

And at that point, I don't know what to say. He's obviously thought this out very well.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


I had an entry all sketched out in my head, and then I got an email from a close friend who lives in New Jersey.  I used to work with her, and I visit with her every time we go to visit my in-laws.  In this email, she told me that a very dear woman with whom we used to work passed away last week.  Diane had been fighting lymphoma for years - eight years that I know of, and probably before that.  She was very secretive about it and was not going to let cancer define her.  I hadn't spoken to her in six months or so, and wasn't aware that she'd had a relapse.

I am so sad for this loss, because she was really a wonderful woman.  

Friday, May 9, 2008


I know I'm not alone when I say thank GOD it's Friday. This week has been long and busy with way too much time spent sitting in front of my computer. The weather this weekend is supposed to be crappy, which probably kills Alex's plans for a Mother's Day picnic. We went to brunch last year, and it was nice but overpriced, crowded and not a load of fun. He proposed going on a picnic this year, and I was happy to oblige. Now on to plan B, whatever that may be. To make matters worse, I laid in bed this morning and tried to think of a good reason not to come in to work (I mean, other than the fact that my bed felt good and it's cloudy and napping with the cats sounded like a good idea). I couldn't justify it, especially because I had several meetings on my calendar that were semi-important. So here I am, and all of my meetings have been cancelled for one reason or another. Just my luck.

At the end of the year ('07), my boss proposed a promotion for me. I was happy about that because, in my mind, I should've gotten this promotion before I left Austin. The things I was working on were all listed on the job requirements for the next level. I left Austin because it was very clear that my boss there was not going to go to bat for me and try to push it through. This is, by far, the biggest promotion of my career. I have had to do a ton of paperwork for it - think a resume on steroids - covering the last eleven years. Yesterday was the first step in the approval process, and from what I hear, the hardest step to get past. My supervisor had to justify the promotion to a group of technical supervisors who are known to really scrutinize anyone who promotes to the "specialist" level. Anyway, it went well. He said that there were a lot of very positive comments about me and what I do, and that the rest of the approvals will be a slam-dunk based on the fact that everyone relies on the tech supervisors to be the "gatekeepers" of all promotions. I'm way too excited about this, not just because it's more money and a title change, but because it sets me up for big job opportunities in the future. The money part is pretty exciting too; my agreement with Alex has been that when I get the promotion, we will get a housekeeper. :)

Finally, if one more person asks me when we're going to have another baby, I'm going to cry. Even Reed is putting the pressure on - he has started asking for a baby sister. Do I tell them that we're trying? Do I tell them that it's none of their business? Do I tell them "maybe never" because I'm worried that I might be too old? Right now I laugh it off and tell them that Reed keeps us busy enough, but every time I have to fake a smile and give a neutral, non-descript answer, I want to cry a little on the inside.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Wednesday funk.

One of my coworkers came in here a few minutes ago (to see if I wanted to be in on her BPA-free water bottle order), and we started complaining to each other about what a long week this is turning out to be. At first I thought it was because the weather has finally turned springish here in Minnesota and I'm stuck inside working, but the more I think about it, my plate is full and I'm just on overload.

Please think good thoughts for a friend of mine. She and her husband have been trying to have a baby for several years now, and they recently underwent IVF. At her first ultrasound, there were two sacs, but at an ultrasound yesterday, she learned that now there is one. I know she feels blessed for that one, yet it's hard not to be sad for the other.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

I am so going to

hell. Really and truly. I am laughing at my child's mishaps. As a disclaimer, I only laugh about this now because he's fine, and was totally fine about 30 seconds after this happened.

Alex had to go into work today, so Reed and I went to the playground. He was on the swings, and I was pushing him. I kept asking him if he was holding on tight, and he said yes. He wanted to go higher, so I kept pushing him higher, repeatedly asking him if he was holding on. He always said yes.

All of a sudden - without any warning - he went flying through the air and landed flat on his belly. Total faceplant into the sand. Sand in his mouth, dirt on his face - you name it. I ran to him and picked him up, got the sand out of the mouth, and kissed the hurt spots - and bam, he was off and running again.

This is such a fun age!

Successes and failures.

The Derby party was a success. The garage sale was less successful. Reed's nap today is proving to be a failure.

Can't win 'em all, right?

First things first. The Derby party was awesome. Everyone had a good time, the food (especially the Benedictine) was a huge hit, many mint juleps were partaken of, and the pies are almost gone. We agreed that we will do it again next year - this year was a trial-run of sorts, since not many people here follow the Derby. The only thing missing was the hat parade, but we also decided that we'll do that next year as well.

Friday's weather was not good weather for a garage sale, and Saturday's weather was a little better but it was still slow in our alley. We sold the extra lawnmower to a new neighbor. Got rid of some other big things. Listed some stuff on eBay, where I might just get more for it than I would at a garage sale. Truth be told, I was really just looking to be rid of it. We still have a loveseat that we need to somehow get rid of; it's in great shape and very comfy so at this point I'm leaning toward just putting it out at the curb with a "free" sign attached.

Finally, Reed. He's refusing to nap, and honestly, I can't blame him. It's beautiful outside, with a projected high in the mid-60s. Alex is working on something in the garage, I was outside weeding the flowerbeds, and Reed kept coming to the door and peeking around the corner at us. He's been in his room for a while now - I'm sitting inside to monitor him and make sure that he doesn't do any more sneaky business - so maybe this time will work. We're trying to coerce him to nap with offers of a picnic and the park later on...hopefully that is enough to make him want to nap.

Friday, May 2, 2008


Today is day one of the city-wide garage sale. I am sitting in my garage, freezing my ass off. I am seriously contemplating closing up and going inside. It is 43 degrees. In May.

Our neighbor in the alley (she lives right behind us), Fran, stopped by and chatted for a while. She's a really neat lady. I have no idea how old she is, but I'm guessing late 70s. Very independent. She was telling me about all the different kinds of flowers she is growing from seeds. Still in her basement, of course, because it's just too cold for them outside. She gave me some vacuum cleaner bags to try to sell. She said that if I didn't sell them to just throw them away. I didn't tell her that I will probably end up doing just that with all the crap of mine that doesn't sell.

Among the things we're selling are the pictures that used to hang on our dining room walls in our Texas house. We have no use for them now, but it still makes me a little sad to sell them. I miss our Texas house so very much. Alex is so tired of hearing me complain about it. I love the layout of it, the big kitchen with lots of counter space, the huge walk-in closets, the attached garage... and it belongs to someone else now. I ask Alex from time to time if he thinks we could go back to that house and throw the current owners out and move back in. He always says no.

Our house here is okay. I thought I wanted an older house with character, but then I got one and realized that it's not all it's cracked up to be. Small closets, tiny kitchen (we're working on that, though), and small doorways - it was an ordeal to get our washer and dryer downstairs, and our kegerator will. not. fit. down in the basement. The detached garage is barely big enough for a car. And since it's detached, it really sucks in the winter when there is snow on the ground.

But - we have a backyard that has huge beautiful trees. Green grass (rather than brown dried-up stuff). A garden that actually produces things. We had a bountiful harvest of tomatoes last year. Alex tried for three years to get tomatoes to grow in our yard in Texas, with no luck.

And Minnesota's summers are far better than Texas' - but Texas definitely has Minnesota beat in the winter.

It's all relative, I suppose.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Keep voting

for the name change. I'm just test-driving a possible new name.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Sad truck

This morning, Reed told Alex that his (Alex's) truck was crying. Alex asked him why, and he said that the truck was crying because Mommy's car goes fast. I guess the truck has performance anxiety.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

the price you pay for monkeying around (and other weekend thoughts).

I was trying to get Reed upstairs this morning so he could get dressed, and was following him up our steep stairs. He was three (steep) steps in front of me, and quickly turned around and launched himself onto me. Rather than bringing us both down the stairs on my back, I caught him. In the process of this, I wanked my back. My lower back. I thought it was okay, but as the day has progressed, I'm clearly not okay. I'm on the heating pad now with Motrin and Tylenol coursing through my veins, but yeah, this sucks. Of course it happens on the weekend before the Citywide Garage Sale *and* our Kentucky Derby Party. When I had nothing better to do, you know.

A few weeks ago, there was an obituary in the Strib for a this young woman. A couple weeks later, the CribSheets blog posted this letter from Matt, her widowed husband. I've been following his blog since then, and trying to fathom the life that he is now learning to live. Today's article in the Strib was touching, as expected. I really have no other words. His blog is here.

I got an email today from one of our old neighbors, with a link to the new house that they're buying. They are expecting their second child this summer and I'm sure they're feeling the space crunch of their smaller house. Chad bought the house before he met Carrie, so I'm certain that he never thought ahead to a wife and two children. This is the second set of neighbors that I've heard from in the past two weeks with an announcement that they are moving. We all moved in around the same time when it was a very new development, and we were the first to leave. It was sad when we moved, but it seems really sad now to think about the fact that the Original Bonnie Lane Gang is breaking up even more. Criselda and Brian are off to Geneva, Switzerland in about a month, and Chad and Carrie are moving to another house in the same suburb.

Alex and I finally had our anniversary dinner date last night. We went to Broder's Pasta Bar. It was randomly chosen off of Mpls Magazine's Best of list. The food was good, service was very good, but the wait was insane. They don't take reservations, but do take call-aheads. We called about an hour before we planned to arrive, and we still had to wait a good 45 minutes after we arrived. I enjoyed it, no doubt - we seldom get a meal where we're not dealing with Reed - but the wait to be seated offset my enjoyment of our meal. I was hungry when we arrived; starving when we were finally seated. We ordered dessert to take with us, and my chocolate orange tart was to die for. Seriously. The best part of the meal, by far.

And finally, we woke up to three inches of snow yesterday. I didn't take pictures because I can't possibly stand to take any more snow pictures, but yes, three inches of snow on April 26. It was almost gone by late afternoon, but it was still enough to make me want to get back in bed and hide under the covers for the rest of the day.

Monday, April 21, 2008

I finally downloaded pictures.

The problem with a 2GB memory card is that you never need to download.

Indoor camping:

Happy boy:
He's got the giggles.

Hand-Hand and Alex

A couple months ago, I was getting ready to put Reed in the tub when he asked for some bubbles. I poured some of the J&J lavendar baby bath in the tub, and he had a ball playing with the bubbles. After a few minutes, he started doing a Pac-Man motion with his hand, "eating" the bubbles. I asked him what he was doing, and he held his hand up and made it talk, saying "hi Mommy, my name is Hand-Hand." I said hello to HH and went about my business.

Over the next couple days, HH made various appearances. HH never appears as the same hand - Reed alternates between right and left hands. We generally just acknowledge HH's presence and then Reed will go back to whatever he had been doing before. A few weeks ago, I was tucking Reed in bed (in the tent that is set up in his room) when he told me to tell HH goodnight. I did, and magically, his other hand started talking to me. His other hand is Alex. Nevermind that Daddy's Other Name is also Alex. HH's best friend's name is also Alex. Alex (not Daddy) has a really gruff voice, where HH's voice sounds just like Reed's voice.

So Friday, we all took the day off and went to Mpls to run some errands. Before we headed back to Hutch, we stopped at a liquor store that was having a sale. Because Reed had been a terror (short nap, anyone?), I offered to stay in the car with him and save the store from further chaos. We sat and talked, and all of a sudden Reed started grunting. (Important backstory - we have been trying to get Reed to use the potty for a good eight months and he's just not interested, but when he is trying to poop I always offer the potty.) I asked him if he needed to potty, and he said "no, Hand-Hand is pooping."

Me: "does HH want to use the potty or his diaper?"
Reed: "HH uses the potty."
Me: "What about Alex? Does he need to potty?"
Reed: "Yes, Alex needs to poop too."
Me: "Does Alex use the potty or his diaper?"
Reed: "Alex uses the potty."
Me: "If both of them use the potty, can they tell me why Reed won't use the potty?"
Reed: "I need a snack. Cookies. I need five cookies. One, two, three, four, five. Five cookies."

And so goes a typical potty-related conversation at our house. New to this one - Alex and Hand-Hand.

Below: Reed, Hand-Hand, and Alex (we haven't quite mastered showing HH and Alex without blocking our face).

Friday, April 18, 2008

Weird place

I'm in a really weird place right now. I don't know how to explain it, other than it's mostly me and not really anything that anyone else has responsibility for.

I've been dealing with anxiety and depression issues for 15 years. I feel like the anxiety is under control, but I question how well I'm dealing with the depression. The drug advertisements ask a bunch of questions about things like frequent sadness, irritability, low energy, fatigue, and weight changes. Coming off a long winter, it would be hard to find many people in Minnesota who weren't experiencing some of those symptoms, so I don't know how much of what I'm feeling is related to the seasons and how much of it is actually me.

To make matters more complicated, my doctor told me that he would want me to go off my medication if I were to get pregnant. He didn't have my entire medical history in front of him when he said that, so he doesn't know that I was on my medication when I was pregnant with Reed, or that I've tried every drug in the book and this is what works for me right now. I explained my history to him, and he backed off on his statement about going off my medication, but he did go on to say that many babies whose mothers take Effexor during pregnancy go through withdrawls after birth. I told him that I hadn't noticed that with Reed, and he said that he sometimes sees those babies have trouble breastfeeding. Great, just what I needed; more guilt. We had trouble breastfeeding and didn't do it for very long, so all I really needed was someone telling me that it was possibly because of something I was doing. As he saw my face crumble, he went on to say that many mothers have breastfeeding issues and that I shouldn't beat myself up over not breastfeeding and I shouldn't automatically associate my difficulties with my medication. Anyway, as we start to discuss having another baby, those sorts of things trouble me. Reed is happy, healthy, and well-adjusted so formula obviously didn't harm him - no more than his frequent ear infections and subsequent hearing loss did, anyway.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

So much to do.

We are planning a Kentucky Derby party to be held on May 3rd. Today is April 17th. Alex has a list of things that he wants to do between now and then (get our patio drawn out, get Reed a swingset and get it put together - since we will have plenty of kiddos at the party...); cleaning the house, and getting some stuff put in storage to free up more space for the party.

That's not even counting my list - which includes cooking club with my girlfriends on Sunday, grocery shopping for said cooking club, and figuring out what I am going to be serving at the Derby party. If I could get some prep work done for the party, that would be awesome. I'd also like to work on some closet organization - putting away winter clothes, getting spring and summer stuff more accessible, packing up Reed's winter 3T clothes and breaking out the 4T stuff (*sob*)...

Not to mention our anniversary, which is this weekend. I don't even know what we're doing to celebrate. It's his year to figure that out, so I'm just worrying about my stuff for now.

What's the traditional gift for the sixth wedding anniversary?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The sun came out

and life is good in Minnesota. When I left work this afternoon, the car's thermometer read 70. My friend Tara told me a while back that nobody appreciates spring more than Minnesotans, and I am beginning to believe her. I have to keep pushing aside the thought that it has been spring in Texas for-freaking-ever.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Indoor camping

So after Reed's fun with the "cave" the other night, Alex remembered that we have a tent that we got for him at Ikea last year. It's not very big - maybe 4' square - but it's a tent nonetheless. We set it up in his room, and he made us all get inside (so it's big enough for the three of us, minus my legs which were hanging out the door...). We sat there for a few minutes and talked about the tent, and then he decided that he was going to sleep in it. I was halfway expecting him to change his mind in the middle of the night, but he was either that tired or that determined, because he stayed in it all night. Last night was his second night to sleep in it. He has his pacifier, his elephant, and a few blankets and just settles right down.

If only potty training were this easy.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Three year old fun

I was changing the sheets on our bed last night, and Reed was in our room nosing around in nightstand drawers. In a move to try to distract him and redirect him to something else, I used our quilt to make a tent for him, but he decided it was a cave. He immediately ran to get his flashlight (which always has dead batteries so he took my booklight instead) and called it his "cave."

We crouched down on the floor and shined the light into the cave. He pointed out all kinds of animals. He saw a puma (too much Diego, maybe?), snakes, a bird, a zebra, and a happy monster. It was getting close to bedtime, so he decided that he wanted to sleep in his cave. Alex got his pillow, paci, and elephant and Reed settled down and fell asleep on the floor, in his "cave."

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Farewell, Mr. Bill.

Though I haven't lived in Kentucky for almost twelve years, it's still home. To many people who call Kentucky home (with the exception of my cousin Clay, who is a DUKE fan, of all things. I'm working on disowning him), University of Kentucky basketball is a religion. Royal blue and white are the colors of royalty. It's almost as hot of a topic as this year's Democratic nomination - except instead of Hillary or Obama, you're asked to choose sides between Kentucky and Louisville (that's another entry entirely). If you make the wrong choice (Louisville, in many cases), you're in trouble.

Anyway, for as long as I've been watching UK basketball (and beyond, in fact - for the past 48 years), the equipment manager has been Bill Keightley. He is as much Kentucky basketball as Adolph Rupp, Joe B. Hall, Rick Pitino, and Tubby Smith combined. A literal fixture in Kentucky basketball. He has been at 57% of all Kentucky basketball games ever played. I was so sad to learn that Bill passed away suddenly this week. He was 81 years old, going to his annual opening day baseball game in Cincinnati. He fell getting off the bus, and was taken to the hospital where it was discovered that he had a previously undiagnosed tumor on his spine. He died of internal bleeding. Reports say that he was cussing the entire way to the hospital because they were going to miss the first pitch of the game. Players and coaches considered him a close friend and confidant; a father or a grandfather of sorts. Though I haven't lived in Kentucky for so many years, I still find myself on the verge of tears when I think about the fact that Bill won't be on the bench next year.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Gmail didn't get the memo.

So you know how Gmail has those little blurbs that appear right above your inbox (I think the proper name is "web clip") with links to news topics or interesting websites or whatever ? I'm checking my email tonight and see something about Jagbomb and Minneapolis. I think, eh, I'm close to Minneapolis, maybe it's a new restaurant or something neat to check out some weekend when we have a sitter, so I click on the link.

No. None of the above. It's about where you can go in Mpls to get a "Jagbomb," or Jaeger and Red Bull mixed together. Apparently the sugar and caffeine from the Red Bull + the alcohol in the Jaeger = a really good time. Who knew?

As for Gmail, the good lady didn't get the message that the mere mention of Jaegermeister gives me the heebie jeebies. One lovely evening a good twelve or so years ago, I spent the better part of the night on my boyfriend's bathroom floor due to Jaeger and Rumplemintz (which I recall tasting really good going down, but not so good coming back up). To this day, I am nauseous at the smell of Jaeger. I keep thinking that someday I'll laugh at that whole experience, but that day hasn't come yet. At this point, I'm pretty skeptical that it ever will.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Saturday ramblings

After a truly hellish week at work that ended with an oil spill on the roof (late Friday afternoon, no less), we were all happy to greet the weekend. There were weather forecasts that included the words "sunshine" and "mid-40s," which is as close to perfect as I can expect right now. This is Minnesota, after all. The part of the weather forecast that I missed was "windy." Our big plans to go fly Reed's kite today were axed when I realized that he'd be flying away with the kite. And the mud, the mud! That's what happens when all of the snow we accumulate over the winter actually starts to melt. Anyway, hanging out at home seems to be the plan of the day. And I'm okay with that.

We went for another haircut for Reed yesterday, with a much better outcome. Against Alex's wishes, I bribed Reed with a toy. I told him that if he was good during the haircut, we'd go get a toy. Alex objected to this reasoning because we are calling two different things "toy" and he doesn't want a toy to become an expectation. For the record, I was talking about a $0.97 Matchbox car and he was talking about something much more expensive.

The haircut went well, except for Reed yelling "no hairdryer, no hairdryer - it's too windy" the entire time. We promised him that there would be no hairdryer, but as long as it was in his sight, he was worried. I finally covered it up with an extra towel and he settled down.

Earlier this morning I got a good look at Reed's hands and saw that his fingernails needed trimming. I went for the clippers, and he grabbed them away from me and CLIPPED HIS OWN FINGERNAILS. I can't get the kid to sit on and use the potty to save my life, but he'll clip his nails? Geesh.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Thursday, March 20, 2008


The trip to visit the inlaws went much better than expected. I'm sure that's largely in part to the fact that I had extremely low expectations. I also realized that what I hate the most about going to visit isn't the actual visit itself; it's the act of getting there. Parking the car at the airport, taking the tram to check in, fighting with Reed about the stroller/escalator/elevator/whatever else he thinks he needs to do to exercise his independence, baggage checks and claims, being herded like cattle onto and off of the plane, and so on and so forth. If you travel, you get my drift.

Flying into JFK flat out sucks, and I think we have finally reached an agreement that we Will. Not. Ever. do that again.

I was also very impressed with Reed's behavior on this trip. He's been flying since he was four months old, so that wasn't my concern; I was more concerned about how he would act at his grandfather's house and with his cousins. He was so good and so well-behaved, and exceeded all of my expectations in the areas of sleep, sharing, and following directions. :)

The worst thing about the trip was that we all ended up with a cold. If that's the worst, I'll take it.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Another Reedism

Parked behind a Chevy pickup at daycare - he looks at the tailgate and says:
"C-H-E-V-R-O-L-E-T - that spells trwuck."


In a few hours, we will be leaving to go to visit my inlaws in New Jersey.  We are flying into JFK, which is normally utter chaos, but also saves us a ton of money.  Since Alex knows NYC like the back of his hand, I don't complain too much when he suggests flying into JFK rather than Newark.  I can totally handle Newark on my own - but that's more my turf than his, you know?

So anyway, we're staying at my father-in-law's house.  His wife (I hesitate to call her Alex's step-mother, because Jack and Nadia married just a few months before Alex and I did - so she was never really in Alex's life until the last six years or so) will be working much of the weekend.  Alex's brother, his wife, and their two kids are also coming to stay for the weekend.  I'm slightly (okay, more than slightly) frustrated by this.  I know that it's more economical for them to stay at Jack's house rather than drive back and forth (over an hour) to see us, but Jack's house really isn't that big.  The more I hear about room assignments and sleeping arrangements, I have realized that Reed doesn't have a place to sleep.  What will likely happen is that I will sleep in the bed with Reed and Alex will sleep on the couch, but still, that kind of sucks.  I told Alex jokingly (or maybe not so jokingly) that I would scope out hotels close to Jack's house.  He just rolled his eyes at me, but I have a feeling that after one night at his dad's house, he might agree.  I keep telling him that we should be going to Austin rather than to New Jersey, but he's excited about going home so he's not finding that amusing.

Reed has a new friend at daycare.  His name is Riley, and he's as much of a pistol as Reed is.  I snuck in yesterday afternoon and watched them for a while.  The rest of the class was sitting down for Dee to read them a story, but Reed and Riley were playing with some Matchbox cars that Reed had brought from home.  Dee was asking them to give her the cars and come sit in the circle, and Reed told her no.  She asked him once more, and he told her no again.  She counted to five and then took them from Reed.  Riley just collapsed and threw a fit.  Reed, seeing Riley upset, started crying as well.  About that time, she turned around and saw me.  I think she was embarrassed that I'd witnessed that exchange, but heck, I deal with it at home all the time (minus Riley).  She proceeded to tell me that this is kind of a common scenario between Reed and Riley.  Without disclosing too many personal details about Riley, she told me that his homelife is not "normal" and that this type of reaction is not unusual for him.  She also said that when he and Reed are playing together and she tries to redirect them, Reed resists because he doesn't want to upset Riley, but when it's just Reed, he's agreeable and follows directions well.  It makes me sad to think that Riley has something else going on in his life that is affecting him so much.  

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Cold weather whining and new kitchen cabinets. Yeehaw.

"They" say that this is going to be the last of the really cold weather. I'm hesitant to believe this mysterious "they" because I've been tricked into relaxing, only to be sharply awakened by negative temperatures. It was -9 yesterday on my way to work.

We have a gentleman arriving in less than an hour to tell us how much it would cost us to install custom kitchen cabinets. Alex calls it a "baseline." I call it shock factor. I will be heading to Menard's this afternoon to see how much they would charge us for pre-made cabinets.

And since I am still in my pajamas, I suppose I should get off my duff and at least become presentable before this mystery man who wants our money shows up.

About Me

Lexington, Kentucky
Grant is in kindergarten. If you've ever met him, you know he's got a big personality. I started this blog to track his kindergarten antics.

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