Monday, December 31, 2007
Sunday, December 30, 2007
Happy Burfday Baby Bwoder!
I can't believe that you are officially a teenager today. I remember the day you were born like it was yesterday. Mom and dad told us goodbye in the morning and a few hours later aunt Jackie drove us up to the hospital. We rode up the elevator with mom's doctor - he missed your birth - and arrived at a room to find mom and dad a little out of it and a sweet little baby for us to hold and stare at. You were starving and ate Haley's finger and we just stared at you. Then we left you and mom to go get a hamburger at Crown Burgers and go to the Utah basketball game.
I loved holding you as a baby and picking you up after school. You would just lay on my chest and fall asleep. Or if I was laying on the floor, you'd climb on my back and fall asleep there, too. I love that you respond to every nickname we've ever thrown at you, including Cheryl, and that you have a goofy sense of humor. Remember that one time you felt bad because the kid at schools last name was Elder? And his first name was Deloy and you didn't even understand why we were laughing? That was awesome.
I am so happy that you are smart, and funny, and that you like sports, and school (sometimes), and scouting, and the computer. It's awesome that you have your own blog and that you know how to use the Internet for good, not evil.
It makes me even more happy that you love your nephew and know that you are his favorite uncle. Nephew loves you back!
Friday, December 28, 2007
Those of you who know me well, know that I'm quite easy to tease and that in general, I don't do much about it. I just take it. It seems that Elliott knows this already and is giving me the evil eye - or the pig snout, which ever he'd prefer.
It just seems like this week, today included, the world is out to get me.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
We survived the holiday - barely. We spent Christmas day with all three of us under the weather rushing around to see as many people as possible. We sat in terrible traffic, ate a lot of food, and spent the day in a blur. Elliott ended Christmas day puking in the car and we were just happy to be home and say that we survived. Thank you so much to everyone for the wonderful gifts. We are so lucky to have such wonderful people in our lives that care about us.
Now that we are 2 days removed from the holiday we will never forget, we are in deep - deep mess, deep exhaustion, and deep piles of laundry. However, after Ross was sick in bed all day yesterday, I finally made the bed this morning - the first time in three days the covers haven't been a jumbled mess. I'll take that as a sign things are on the mend.
Now, whose ready for New Year's Eve?
Monday, December 24, 2007
It's almost 7pm and this is the first time I've sat up today or really even had my eyes open. I woke up 12 hours ago not feeling well. Initially, I chalked it up to "trying to get regular" after traveling and a week of overeating. I often undergo full system shutdown's when I travel and it usually takes me a week to get back on track.
By 10 am I knew that the alien inside my stomach wasn't normal and that I was in for trouble. I moaned and wailed and carried on - when I wasn't asleep or writhing in pain in bed. I called my mom for sympathy, and made Ross do everything - laundry, grocery store, cleaning up the house, taking care of the baby.
Around 1 pm, things got a little rough. I was pacing the house trying to inspire the bug in my stomach to get out and Ross was holding a grumpy, "somethings off" baby in his room. As I was running upstairs to puke my brains out, Ross came to tell me that Elliott had done the same, all over both of them. Once I was done talking to the porcelain God and had regained my composure, I tried to assess the damage to my baby and his dad. It was rough.
Elliott puked buckets on his dad twice today. I just feel terrible but am glad it wasn't on me or we would have had a heck of a problem on our hands.
Our first Christmas Eve as a little family will go down on the record books - missed parties, no good food (only jell-o for me), lots of wardrobe changes, and some quality time with the toilet.
I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
This month, you visited 5 states: Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, Virginia and Maryland. That brings your grand total up to 9 (Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Nevada). That's quite impressive considering traveling with you is a little bit of a challenge. Everywhere we go though, people stop and stare at you. Probably because you are staring right back at them with your big blue eyes, but you definitely seem to be a ladies man, that's for sure. You have a radar for moms and grandmas and cute little girls. You could stare at cute little girls for hours and hours.
Friday, December 21, 2007
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Since losing these documents, I've accepted the blame everywhere we've gone, willingly looking the fool saying, "Yep, I lost them. Dumb me."
These important documents were recently replaced. Yesterday, while he was feeding Elliott and cleaning out his wallet, Ross found the "lost" documents from months ago.
He had them in his wallet the entire time.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
As I was wrapping things up yesterday packing and putting my computer away, I thought that my boys were upstairs doing the same. Boy was I wrong. I found them like this: sound asleep without a care in the world.
Once I got them awake and we got all of our bags packed and our coats on (it was absolutely freezing yesterday)we had one final goal, it was imperative that Ross each lunch at Reading Terminal, downtown. Luckily, he could expense the $25 dollar parking to make the whole experience worth it. Ross ate until he couldn't eat anymore and the 12 foot sandwich he devoured after the huge slice of pizza can definitely attest to the super human size of his stomach.
We made it to the airport safely and were ready for the 5 hour adventure back home. Elliott once again made it through with flying colors. He slept a bit and then spent a good deal of the flight standing up, playing and eating cheerios.
All in all, it went smoothly. Much better than this very negative worry wart thought it would. Will I do it again? Not anytime soon.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Last night we went to the Dairy Cottage. It's a very "local" place where I'm sure that very few tourists venture. The establishment only accepts cash and if you don't have cash, there is an ATM at the door. The menu is huge but they're know for their tasty and huge cheese steak sandwiches. You have two choices, 12 inches or 24 inches and if you plan to split your sandwich for someone, you have to pay an extra $2.00 gratuity. We also discovered last night that their onion rings and French fries are pretty good, too. Ross announced at the end of the meal that he could eat at the Dairy Cottage every day. Good thing we don't live in Philadelphia because Ross is never one to shy away from a food challenge - even one he sets for himself.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
They game was played in the Palestra. It's was built in 1927 and only holds about 8,000 people. It has a very high school feel to it though the basketball played is niot high school ball. It ahs all the intensity of a major rivalry game and we were so close to the action that the building was muggy and sweaty by the end of the game. Though we were nervous about the level of competition the game ended up being a nail biter with some great feats of athleticism and theatrics - and, the very small student sections were extremely entertaining.
Elliott did very well in the super loud gym and had a great time at the game. He ate part of a slice of pizza, pooped his pants twice, broke the clip off of his wet wipe container, and played, played, played on the bleachers. It was a good time to be had for all.
Friday, December 14, 2007
Now, we were extremely tentative about the flight on Thursday – me getting down right sick to my stomach about it, particularly because as we were sitting in the SLC airport waiting to leave, we discovered much to our dismay that our baby was going to be the only child under 4 years of age on the entire flight. That was terrifying! Everyone would blame our baby for the bad flight, right? Elliott did wonderfully on the flight, sleeping for about half and playing the other half, and he found the flight safety instructions and barf bag to be extremely entertaining.
Luckily, it wasn’t us that caused the disturbance on the plane.
That was caused by a crazy woman from Boise, Idaho. She sat in front of us and brought her own oxygen tank (note: she didn’t need oxygen the entire flight, I was watching) because the air on the plane wasn’t enough. Just as our boarding was finished, this woman’s tank started to make a screeching fire alarm sort of noise. The battery was dead, no o2 was flowing and we couldn’t take off until the flight attendants could turn this woman’s defective machine off. They ended up taking it off the plane, taking the battery out, giving the woman Delta airlines air, “just in case”, and 45 minutes later, we got to go and get de-iced. In the end, our 3 hr 35 min. flight took an extra hour and a half, but we made it to Philly in the middle of the night.
By the time we got to Craig and Christina’s house, our gracious hosts stayed up patiently waiting for our arrival, Elliott was wired, the dogs were nuts, and we knew it was going to be a long night. It was. We finally got Elliott to sleep at 3:30 am Philly time (2 hours after we arrived) and he was awake exactly 4 hours later freezing cold with major boogers up his nose.
A good start to our trip, but that isn’t the best part. I decided that since we were so close, I wanted to go to Washington DC for the day. I wanted my baby boy to see our nation’s capital and I had grandiose dreams of walking the Mall with him in his stroller and having Ross take our picture in front of the World War II memorial. That and I wanted to eat at Cosi, a cute little bistro-ey chain place that I really, really like. Ross, being ever dutiful, obliged and after we got some of his work stuff out of the way, we headed to DC. Problem – it was a Friday afternoon, traffic is always horrendous back east, and we just kept hitting the wrong road. Our rental car has a navigation system and the woman navigating us had done a wonderful job, but we just couldn’t seem to get her directions right. I knew my hopes of “snapshots to remember” was lost in our “3 hour tour” and by the time we got to a Cosi in Arlington, we had driven the sketchy roads of the District of Columbia got lost on Constitution Avenue, didn’t get out of the car once, had Elliott screaming out of hunger and despair, and me feeling like a total moron.
It all worked out alright, I guess. Cosi was tasty and worth the drive, Elliott ordered off of the kids menu and ate most of a grilled cheese and flirted with every girl in the joint. My kid, I discovered today, is a flirt. He stares and smiles at every girl and woman he see’s regardless of age, race, nationality, dress. He knows exactly what do to and even the woman at the toll road booths smiled and talked to him from their booth to our car.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
I have to say though, that if Hillary Clinton gets the Democratic nomination, much to the chagrin of my husband and father, I'll probably vote for her. I have a history of voting for the "guy" who isn't going to win (Ralph Nader, John Kerry, etc.) and politics aside, I'll probably do it because she's a woman. Men have "ruled" this nation for over 200 years and done enough to screw it up. It's time for raging hormones, girl power and a little socialized medicine (that one was for you Ross) to have a chance. It's not like she can make things worse, right?
Monday, December 10, 2007
Early in the morning, my friend Michelle let me take pictures of her beautiful little girl, Micaela. She was initially a reluctant muse, but gave in once she realized that a nerds rope was on the line. She let me follow her around inside and out with the camera and we came out with some great shots. Michelle wanted pictures of Micaela in her Christmas dress, but I'm not so sure I delivered on her request. We still got some great shots though, here are my favorites:
Later in the afternoon, I did a little photo session for my cousin Melanie and her husband's younger siblings. We had a good time inside and outside in the too bright snow, and ended up with some decent pictures. I wish I was as photogenic as my cousin.
Thank you to all of you for letting me take your pictures. I hope that you got some shots that you like. If not, I'll do your pictures again. Or perhaps recommend you to another, "real" photographer.
Saturday, December 08, 2007
Today was the mighty wolverines first basketball game of the Jr. Jazz/Super League season. They came out in the matching shorts and jerseys and think they're all studs. Especially when the first game of the year was against a bunch of girls.
I wash shocked when I walked into the gym and saw that these goofy boys would be playing ball against a bunch of very serious young ladies. The girls were good ball handlers but in the end, ball handling doesn't score points, and causes hormonal boys to want to show off - by stealing everything off of the dribble.
In the end, the score was a little out of control but the boys beat the girls. Even though the girls made a valiant effort.
Friday, December 07, 2007
Thursday, December 06, 2007
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper with curly ribbon
2. Real tree or artificial? Real. Real tall and real skinny. I don't think that I'll be getting one though.
3. When do you put up the tree? Still no tree - I have a sparkly thingy shaped like a tree from target that my presents are surrounding, but it doesn't really count.
4. When do you take the tree down? Refer to #2 and #3
5. Do you like eggnog? Absolutely not! Who likes to drink nog?
6. Favorite gift received as a child? Is it bad that I don't really remember any gifts? Sorry mom. I love to receive clothes and shoes. One year when I was obsessed with living on an Indian reservation my grandma gave me a beautiful statue of an Indian girl. It made me cry.
7. Do you have a nativity scene? More than I want. I'll give you one if you need it.
8. Hardest person to buy for? Ross. That's why this year, we decided no gifts between the two of us. Just stockings.
9. Easiest person to buy for: Elliott and Willie. And myself, I'm very good at getting gifts for myself.
10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Since I don't really remember any gifts I've received, I guess I can't say that I got anything bad. Once, when my cousin Alex was in West Virginia, he sent us all coal for Christmas, but that was actually pretty cool.
11. Mail or email cards? Mail
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Charlie Brown Christmas
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? I had all but one present purchased by Thanksgiving day and almost all of my presents are now wrapped and not under a tree.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? No, but Ross has given his brother clothes that he bought for himself that didn't fit and we've re-gifted wedding presents at other weddings. Does that count?
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Fudge, with no nuts and my Auntie Chris' homemade caramels.
16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? If I get a tree, the lights will be white.
17. Favorite Christmas song? See previous blog post. "Last Christmas" by WHAM. I also like "Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas" sung by ColdPlay.
18. Travel for Christmas or stay at home? Ideal? People come to me.
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Dasher, dancer, prancer, vixen, comet, cupid, donner, blitzen
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Again with the tree! Ross, you're killing me here.
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Ross' family opens all on Christmas Eve and my family opens on Christmas day with the tradition of opening one on Christmas Eve (Pajamas for all).
22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? This time of year. I took one of my moms tranquilizers this evening just because I can't handle life and I think that I'm going to have a heart attack.
23. What I love most about Christmas? Watching my family open their gifts and finding "just the right thing" for all of them.
Have a Very MERRY CHRISTMAS and a Happy New Year!
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Though those "oldies but goodies" have their place, they aren't my favorites. My favorite Christmas song is "Last Christmas" by WHAM. Pathetic? So what? I remember my first introduction to WHAM - we were in St. George when I was very young visiting a teacher friend of my mom's. She had a VHS tape of WHAM videos and I remember watching that video dozens of times before we left to head back home. If I happen to hear, "Wake me up before you go-go" I can't help but smile and dance.
Anyway, after you watch this video, you'll find this is your favorite song too. Regardless of his personal life choices, who doesn't love a little George Michael and that other guy every once in a while?
Enjoy this precious gift from me to you. Merry Christmas!
Monday, December 03, 2007
NaBloPoMo lives on.....
When I was a kid and we went on road trips, one of the games that we would play was to try and think of a song about a person, for every letter in the alphabet. We'd all play and shout out all the songs we could think of. Some letters were tricky (Z) and some had the same song all the time ("Quinn the Eskimo"), but we were generally successful in our game. This however, spurred us onward and upward, at least me, to seek out songs that were "just about me".
There are two Annie songs that I like in particular. I will share them with you now.
#1: Valley Winter Song by Fountains of Wayne
Hey Sweet Annie
Don't take it so bad
You know the summer's coming soon
Though the interstate is choking under salt and dirty sand
And it seems the sun is hiding from the moon
Your daddy told you
When you were a girl
The kind of things that come to those who wait
So give it a rest girl
Take a deep breath girl
And meet me at the Bay State tonight
#2: Annie Waits by Ben Folds
Annie waits, Annie waits, Annie waits
For a call
From a friend
It's the same
Was it always the same?
Annie waits for the last time
The clock never stops, never stops, never waits
She's growing old
It's getting late
And so he forgot, he forgot
Maybe he's been seriously hurt
Would that be worse?
Both of these songs remind me of periods in my own life. They are snappy and catchy and when they come up on shuffle, I will always listen.
Saturday, December 01, 2007
It was snowing this morning when we woke up and snowed until about 1:00 or so this afternoon. When we got home from the Utah basketball game, I started shoveling. I like to shovel the snow. It's nice.
My neighbors used all their snow to build an igloo. It's pretty wicked.
Though I'm not much of a fan of driving in the snow, or being out in the snow, I do love to be home and watch the snow. There is soemthing so clean and pure and calming about it all. I learned from my mom that one of the best things in the world is to sit on the couch (I prefer to do it with some hot chocolate) and watch the snow fall.
Friday, November 30, 2007
I bet I took 50 pictures and once loaded onto the computer, maybe 10 aren't completely blurry.
This one is a bit, but the boy thinks he's a kitty and plays with is own ball of yarn.
Elliott spends a lot of time standing at the coffee table these days. He enjoys his time here, as the table is a means of getting him a lot of places and into a lot of stuff. He also has discovered the joy that is the kitchen this week spending countless minutes pushing his high chair around, banging on bowls, and trying to get the bottle of red wine (a gift, no one panic. I just take sips ocassionally) out of the fridge.
Isn't crawling grand?
Thursday, November 29, 2007
1. Whining about excessive degree of irresponsibility.
2. Irresponsible proposed an extension.
3. Gave a killer presentation. Very impressive.
4. Extension proposal is withdrawn.
5. Karma? Maybe.
I'll let you fill in the details, feel free to exaggerate them as much as you want as long as I come out without an ulcer.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
My parents gave me this watch when I graduated from high school. They also gave me a plaid jacket from the GAP. I've been wearing this watch since 1996. It's a little scratched, but still unique and important to me. The day after I graduated from high school, we went to Disneyland. I wore my watch and my plaid jacket on that trip. I think of my parents every time I wear this watch.
The first time I went to Europe was in 1998. I went with my sister, my uncle and my very pregnant aunt who got sick on every single train we went on and in Switzerland, there are a lot of trains. You'd think that I would have bought an official Swiss Army watch on that trip but no. As we were traversing the streets of Geneva, I ventured into a swatch store and picked up this trusty time piece. I've worn it almost every day since. The face glows in the dark and it has a blue back light. Swatch used to sell this watch face in stores in the states, but you could only get the cool stretchy band in Europe. How cool is that?
I bought this watch for myself when I was a teacher a long time ago. I happened to be dating this dumb boy and he was working in California during the week. When he went to California for the first time, I thought he should have bought me a going away present. I bought him a good luck item (a barenaked ladies cd) and thought he should have given me something in return. He didn't so I went out the next day and bought this watch. My own going away present. It's a swatch, too.
This watch? It's a little worn from all the wear, but it says "I love you". Ross gave it to me the night before we got married. I gave him a gift too, a swatch watch. He ruined it on our honeymoon (we fixed it later). I've worn this watch for 4.5 years and every time I do, I think of the person who gave it to me and *sigh* a little. What a nice boy.
The beauty that is this watch. I get more compliments when I wear this one than any other watch I've got. Haley gave it to me as a "bridesmaid" gift when she got married this past March. Both my sister and I love watches and the gift was a return favor. I gave her a Swatch when I got married to thank her for standing in my line and being a good sister.
The only "jewelry" I wear are watches...and my wedding ring when I remember to put it on. I love that each watch I own, has a sentimental connection and that each one reminds me of an important person and time in my life. It's wonderful to carry a little piece of family and love with you everyday.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
How can you help Africa? There doesn't seem to be any small way to save children orphaned by war or AIDS, or those that are starving and on the brink of disaster. I don't think buying everything "project RED" from the Gap and Apple will do it. Well, today gave me a glimpse of hope. The plight of children in a war ravaged nation is enough to make anyone cry and give up everything they own, but that isn't realistic. However, donating a backpack full of supplies is. It is so tangible and feasible. Backpacks! How wonderful is a backpack full of school supplies, a pair of shoes and some clothes to a child that has nothing.
I should be getting some extra money in my paycheck for my pain in the butt project I've been working on. I am going to buy some backpacks with that money.
If you are interested in buying some backpacks to, check out the Jewish World Watch website at: http://www.jewishworldwatch.org/. Click on the Project Backpacks link on the homepage.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Sunday, November 25, 2007
This home, rather castle (I think it may have a moat, too) in particular sparked a very interesting conversation between the two of us on our way back down the hill. I suppose the them of this conversation (or mutual rant) was, do you really need it? Our answer was no. This castle on a hill got us to thinking about what is necessary and important in life. A home of this size and stature isn't even a booger that got flicked onto our list.
We live in a society that is governed by so much stuff and greed, and all the things that make up Utah, America, the world. Ross and I are no angels, and participate in this quest for stuff, just like everyone else, but I think it's time to take a step back and rethink all we have. It's one thing to meet your needs, another to live in excess.
One aspect of our very diversified conversation was televisions. It's my personal opinion that you can tell a lot about a person from the type of television(s) they own and how many they have. I think that if you have one or more televisions in your home that is/are bigger than you are tall, and you paid more than, oh, $400 dollars for it, you are pathetic. Sorry, but it's my opinion. It makes me think that all you do in your free time (and that you have a lot of free time) is watch the tellevizzle and you can't be without your 24, or CSI Nas Vegami, or whatever stupid show you spend your time watching. Not a fan of appointment television where you can see every single pour on the star's face.
I told Ross today that I'm positive we could live in our house the rest of our lives. Does it have the potential to get a little small? Yes. But guess what that means - it's a chance for us to clean out our stuff and keep what is important...a few good books, some clothes to keep us covered, and a roof over our heads. What else do we really need? I told Ross that I will never have a need for a television in every room, or more than one sofa. It's not necessary. All I need is for my family to be close, happy and healthy.
If we turn on the news, the world is suffering. What are you doing about it? Me, I'm not doing much, but I desperately want to. I just need to sign myself up and get going. I try to always buy (yes I know that buying is the root of the problem) green, or red, or pink whenever possible to show my support. I occasionally donate to the Red Cross and St. Jude's Children's Hospital. I get teary eyed when I watch movies about Africa and the desperation faced by many and have bad dreams about the circumstances for nights at a time. I give the possessions I no longer want to the Deseret Industries or people in need. I pay my tithing and fast offerings to my church and hope that I am making a difference in someones life, somewhere. Is it enough? I don't think so.
I guess when it comes down to it, I feel guilty. My life is good, my problems minimal. I have wonderful parents and siblings, a great husband and a spectacular baby. My world is one of comfort with all my needs being met. We're not hungry, or thirsty, or in need or want. My life is very blessed.
So, what can I do? What can you do? If my church asked me to donate money to support new buildings or ventures "until it hurt", I'd do it. The blessings I would reap would be well worth the sacrifice. If someone needs dinner, I'll cook it, if they need a babysitter, I'll help. If they need a place to crash for the night, my sofa is road tested.
I'm ready and willing to fight for a cause. I just don't know what cause to fight for. Any suggestions?
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Basketball team beats #6 Louisville on Friday and then the football team wins on Saturday.
Closer than what it should have been (offensive pass interference? and a 4th down pass off of the fingertips).
The drama was great.
Two in a row.
Have fun at the Poinsettia bowl.
- Watch "the game" in separate locations.
- No calling each other to gloat, respectively, during the game.
- The game talk stays at the party.
These rules served us pretty well this year. In my opinion, the wrong team won of course, but I don't really care.
Friday, November 23, 2007
1. You crawl. Well, you sort of do a peg-leg pirate army drag thing, but it gets you to where you want to be and that's all that's important. Maneuvering around has made a world of difference for you.
2. Sitting up from lying down has been a challenge but auntie Haley taught you how to do it a little over a week ago and you're now a machine. They best treat for you from learning this is you can now stand up in your crib without any help. Not only can you stand up, you can also eat your crib.
I hope there isn't too much lead in that paint.
3. Perhaps your greatest achievement this month will do down on record forever. Last Tuesday, November 13, 2007, you stopped drinking a bottle. Not just your night time or morning bottle, but bottles all together. Apparently, you are a big boy now and you don't need formula. It's straight up milk and 3 squares a day. Feeding you food has been a bit tricky, at least trying to figure out what to feed you has been- you eat everything. Your current favorites include: apples, grapes, ham, swiss cheese, toast w/ peanut butter or a little bit of regular butter, any kind of bread, Dora the Explorer yogurt, cheerios, and mashed potatoes. Just wait until you can drink chocolate milk. You'll think that you've died and gone to heaven.
4. You got your third haircut the other day, but your first "big boy" haircut and you just look so handsome.
5. You are becoming an exceptional mimic and are getting very good at recognizing people. It's so funny to listen to you copy the sounds we make and the actions you see. You've even figured out that a phone goes to your ear and when you put it up to your ear, you make a sound that sounds a lot like "hello".
I am so happy that you are my little boy. Every day I get to spend with you is the best day. I wish you would sleep better at night, but we're working on that. I love to hear you laugh, and watch the funny faces you pull when I tickle you.
Not drinking a bottle has caused your dad and I some grief in the last week or so but I look at it in a positive light. Now that you don't drink a bottle to help you go to sleep, you need, dare I say want, me to rock you to sleep. Being able to sit in the rocking chair with you on my lap, watching you doze off with your blanket over your face is just about the absolute best thing in the whole world.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
The "dreaded season" is upon me. Too many people, too many gifts, and too much holiday cheer. I'm not quite sure where my holiday dread and bah-humbug-edness has come from but it's here, ready to go.
One holiday down, one holiday to go...plus countless parties, shopping, carols, and classic holiday reruns in between.
Makes me appreciate my good husband and my sweet little baby all the more. We don't need all that stuff to know that we love each other and we're perfectly content at home sitting on the floor eating cheerios. And, Elliott gets tired at 6:00. That's the best gift I could ever receive - an early exit from all festivities.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
I remember going on walks with my mom as it got dark on summer evenings and her telling me wonderful stories about Napoleon and Josephine (Mom, do you remember this?) and another time walking past crazy Bob "doctor dirt"'s house and smelling a funny smell from some kids outside smoking and my mom telling us it was "mary-juana".
I remember countless hours dancing around the house and the kitchen, playing in the sandbox (but raking it out first), building sandcastles and shooting countless free throws on the basketball hoop.
I remember camp outs in the backyard and private tanning sessions where no one could see me.
I remember how excited I was when the room in the basement was finished for me after Willie was born and I got to have my own bathroom and paint my walls a pretty green.
I remember that lovely, ugly, wonderful brown velvety couch that was the best sleeping couch in the whole world.
I remember playing games on the front lawn, washing the car in the driveway, and watching the yucky stupid neighbors across the street do yucky stupid things (answer the door "naked", run over their little sister with the mini van, etc.)
I remember our goldfish dying on the black rock slab fire place and creepy "sweat band man" doing the electrical in the basement.
The memories go on forever and they are good.
When we moved away from our house, about 9 years ago I was so sad. I cried when my mom and dad told us we were moving. Yes, I knew the neighborhood was yucky and that the girls who lived next door had too many gentleman callers, but I loved my house. Because of our affection, we named her Mildred.
I drove past Mildred today coming home from helping to set up Thanksgiving tables at my Grandma's house. Mildred just doesn't look the same and it makes me sad.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Anyway, Ann, because you keep harassing me in my comments, here you go. If anyone else is lacking blog fodder, please feel free to participate as well.
7 random things about myself:
1. The pinkie finger on my right hand is 1/2 inch longer than the pinkie on my right.
2. If Ross falls asleep before me at night, I can't go to sleep and spend hours tossing, turning, and roaming around the house, drinking chocolate milk in my pajamas.
3. Symmetry in all things is important to me, particularly in my hair. One reason I keep my hair short is because that is the only time it is symmetrical. Otherwise, one side falls straight and the other flips. It drives me crazy.
4. I spent the entire day every day either in front of a computer or on the floor with my baby.
5. White teeth are important to me so I've started whitening mine. 30 minutes, twice a day. We'll see if it works.
6. I only own two pair of pants - jeans anyway. I wear them everyday, at least 5 days in a row before I wash them.
7. I love art - particularly impressionism - particularly Claude Monet. I have a framed Monet poster in my bedroom. Elliott and I stare at the water lilies every morning.
High School Thoughts
um, I'm not doing this one. There were about 360 people in my graduating class and I can't say that I'm a fan. The 3-5 people I liked then, I still have contact (or limited contact) with today. That's good enough for me. My high school reunion was in August - the 10 year reunion 11 years out. I didn't go. I sort of wanted to drive to the park and watch w/ binoculars all the losers that did show up, but that would have been pretty pathetic.
Monday, November 19, 2007
–noun, plural -ties.
1. the state or fact of being responsible.
2. an instance of being responsible: The responsibility for this mess is yours!
3. a particular burden of obligation upon one who is responsible: the responsibilities of authority. 4. a person or thing for which one is responsible: A child is a responsibility to its parents.
5. reliability or dependability, esp. in meeting debts or payments. —Idiom
6. on one's own responsibility, on one's own initiative or authority: He changed the order on his own responsibility.
"a form of trustworthiness; the trait of being answerable to someone for something or being responsible for one's conduct; "he holds a position of great responsibility."
Responsibility has been on my mind a lot lately. First of all, I have too much of it. I told my mom the other day that I have no idea how she raised three kids with a full time job. Working from home is tough. Taking care of a baby and a husband is tough. Keeping things neat and tidy and organized is tough. Church responsibilities are tough. But, I do my best to do everything. Why? Because I am responsible. I follow through, no matter what it takes. I meet deadlines and never let anyone down if I have promised to do something or be somewhere. Perhaps it's intrinsic motivation? Maybe it's a desire to not look stupid or disorganized to other people? Or, it's just because that's what I know I'm supposed to do. Whether I want to or not, I do it.
Recent occurrences in my life, particularly my work life have caused me to reconsider this idea of responsibility. It seems that I'm the only one around who knows what the word means. I facilitate online classes in which teachers are supposed to participate in weekly discussion boards. There is a grading rubric for these discussion boards that has been the same forever, though it did become more explicit this fall. Well, I grade by the rubric, because I am a responsible rule follower. Apparently, I'm the only one. I've been bombarded the last 2 weeks or so by teachers complaining about their grades. They are not following instructions or being responsible for their own work and blame me. I'm not the one who didn't read and write posts. I'm not the one who logged on Friday night when the system was down. Teachers, take responsibility for your own actions.
At the end of the summer I took on an extra work project. I did it for the experience of designing an online class for an outside "vendor", and the money, which isn't great, but it's extra and extra is always good. The person that has been hired to work with me has been frustrating to say the least. I've been waiting over 2 months for curriculum, which she is supposed to design. I get the run around constantly. I've only had one thing given to me and it was so incomplete that I had to rewrite and redo the whole thing then she presented my material at a conference to rave reviews. I've just been hired to design the online portion even though at this point, I've written the majority of the curriculum.
I am such a rule follower that this is driving me insane - because I am responsible and this person is not. I set deadlines and they are ignored. I am promised content and after e-mails and phone calls, I still don't get it. Meetings are constantly scheduled and completely unproductive. This massive irresponsibility is perhaps the root cause of my mysterious illness of last week, and my continuing upset stomach, headache, and jaw clenching.. I think I might be getting an ulcer from this.
How someone twice my age with a lifetime of experience can't follow through on something that is so not complicated is nuts to me. We have a phone meeting tomorrow. She is supposed to give me curriculum then.
Cross your fingers.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Willie is a special boy. He is a good son, a good brother, and a good uncle. He has a funny sense of humor, and is much smarter than most boys his age.
Elliott and I hang out with Uncle Willie most Friday's after school. We look forward to it all week. Sometimes, we bring treats on our way out. We did that yesterday and the phone call was typical Willie.
Annie: Hi Willie
W: Meow, meow
A: How are you?
W: Meow, meow, meow
A: Would the kitty like a corn dog from Ab's?
A: Wow! I didn't know the kitty spoke English.
W: I just got it learned to me.
I knew the afternoon was going to be interesting, especially since the kitty, I mean Willie, inhaled his corn dog before I even got my onion rings out of the bag. We played, watched stupid cartoons and then dad called. He locked his keys in the truck at the gas station. I went to rescue him and Uncle Willie accepted his familial duty - he let me leave Elliott with him. The two of them alone. I was only gone 5 minutes, but I was so impressed.
Once dad got home it was time for the boys to get ready for scout camp. Since Willie couldn't find another pair of jean, he found some shorts and put them on. Then, he found his brand new basketball shorts and put them on. Add a pair of glasses and you've got quite the stunner.
Willie will be 13 years old at the end of December. I can't believe my "baby bwoder" will be 13. He's grown three inches since the end of August. He's almost 5'10". He's such a soft, cuddly teddy bear.
Friday, November 16, 2007
Okay then. With Ross home yesterday taking care of everything because I'm a baby, we had a chance to tag-team Elliott and get him to do some tricks. They aren't really, "tricks", but he's becoming a good mimic and when we want him to try and walk, he's really fast.
We also had a bad night last night and I need to remind myself that he is a lovable and adorable baby boy.
Trick Numero Uno:
Elliott wants to walk really bad. He's dying to walk and minus the whole, "I've got no balance" thing, he's getting closer. Just watch.
Trick Numero Dos:
I've been trying to teach Elliott for the last few weeks or so to blow his nose, or at least figure out the actions and motions of blowing his nose in hopes that one day I no longer have to shove an aspirator into his brain to suck out the boogers lurking about. Not until this week did he finally pick up on the snuffing and it has become his new favorite thing to do.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
My neighbor rents his above garage studio apartment to a crazy old man who may have once been a pirate. He is definitely a pack rat with two cars full of junk, but I really think he may have been a professional pirate at some point. He just gives off a vibe of once living every day with a parrot on his shoulder and he has a distinct limp. If he was not a pirate, he is for sure a "sidler" and a "close talker". There have been many ocassions where I've been walking to the mailbox or unloading the car in the garage and he's just appeared out of no where to talk to me about cars, or how far I walk in a day, or to volunteer to dust my car with his giant duster. Yesterday, as I was contemplating going to get the mail I didn't. The pirate was out dusting both of his cars. I waited until later to get the mail.
I was introduced to this girl, Tina, on YouTube through PerezHilton. She is a superstar! I love her. She makes me laugh. She loves the backstreet boys. I'm not ashamed to admit that many years ago, I too was a fan of the BSB's. I loved Kevin. Yes, I was 20 years old. So what! Once a fan of boy bands (NKOTB) always a fan of boy bands, right? Anyway, Tina loves the BSB's too. I'm not sure I can sing as good as her, but she put a smile on my face.
A long time ago, when Eddie Murphy was on Saturday night live, he did a skit where he dressed up in "white face" to show what it was like to be a white person in America. Hilarious! Well, I know a guy who lives in my neighborhood who looks like Eddie Murphy painted white. Every time I see this person, I think of this skit and struggle to keep from laughing. And, lucky for you, the internet has it on file. Enjoy.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Elliott made his third trip to the salon with me on Monday. The first time he went with me, he was 6 weeks old and slept the whole time. The second time he went with me, we made Willie come as our babysitter with a promise of lunch at Hires to follow. This time, it was just the two of us and it went well.
Elliott started on my lap and then ended up on the floor. He just emptied hi sdiaper bag, at cheerios, and screamed with delight. He was a big of a distraction for Romela, but she loved having him there.
He was covered in a fine dusting of hair by the time we were finished, but all went well. He's a good boy.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
I did the graduation cards 4 of my 5 years of teaching and never got a thank you, minus one kid. To protect his identity, we'll call him "Chase". This kid was an odd duck, but I took a liking to him immediately. He was an open drug user, but also helped to take care of his disabled younger brother. He grew nasty dreadlocks his senior year and only wore salvation army clothes. He sat on the very back row of AP US history for an entire year and spoke rarely, only to correct something and idiotic and ridiculous said by a fellow student. He wrote great essays and was a kid I just couldn't figure out. He was always reading and reading stuff high school kids didn't usually read: Freudian psychology, Capote, Mailer, Tolstoy - a wide variety of stuff. He was huge into the psychedelic history of America (thus explaining the mind altering drugs) and on days his pupils weren't too dilated and his speech too slurred, he was a joy to have in class. So one day I decided to give him my copy of "A clockwork orange." I thought this would be right up his alley. It was - he wrote me a note thanking me for the book.
As a senior, there were many times he'd find me on my consultation hour and want to talk about the plight of the world, or Tibet, and tell me his plans for the future. I was never sure why he liked me - I was too mainstream - but it was fun to talk to him.
About a year after graduation (I gave him a card) I got a single-spaced, typed, 3 page letter from him telling me thanks for the card and about his adventured post graduation. He and a few friends went all Chris McCandless "into the wild" and hitchhiked to Alaska and lived off the land for the summer. That was over 1 year ago and up until yesterday, I haven't thought about this kid or heard from him.
Checking my voice mail yesterday morning I received a very strange message from over the weekend. The person speaking was obviously inebriated (drugs? alcohol? both?) and was so jumbled and mumbly that I could hardly understand the message. I understood, "...gave me your phone number...", and "wanted to let you know you were a great teacher..." and "this is "chase"."
Anyway, I'm happy to know that a student still remembers me - even if he's stoned out of his mind. I'm also a little nervous that he'll track me down. I'm not nearly as cool and hip as I once was - and I'm not sure it's safe for him to drive.
Monday, November 12, 2007
And, last night, Ross did drive my brand new beautiful car into the bar-be-que and dug a deep trench into the front bumper. That wasn't good.
Subject: Installing Husband 1.0
Installing Husband 1.0
Dear Tech Support,
Last year I upgraded from Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0 and noticed a
distinct slow down in overall system performance
-- particularly in the flower and jewelry applications, which
operated flawlessly under Boyfriend 5.0.
In addition, Husband 1.0 uninstalled many other valuable programs, such
as Romance 9.5 and Personal Attention 6.5 and then installed undesirable
programs such as NFL 5.0, NBA 3.0, Nascar 2.0 and Golf Clubs
Conversation 8.0 no longer runs, and Housecleaning 2.6 simply crashes
the system. I've tried running Nagging 5.3 to fix these problems, but to
What can I do?
First keep in mind, Boyfriend 5.0 is an Entertainment Package,
while Husband 1.0 is an Operating System.
Please enter the command: "http: I Thought You Loved Me.html" and try to
download Tears 6.2 and don't forget to install the Guilt 3.0 update. If
that application works as designed, Husband 1.0 should then
automatically run the applications Jewelry 2.0 and Flowers 3.5.
But remember, overuse of the above application can cause Husband 1.0 to
default to Grumpy Silence 2.5, Happy Hour 7.0 or Beer 6.1. Beer 6.1 is a
very bad program that will download the Snoring Loudly Beta.
Whatever you do, DO NOT install Mother-in-law 1.0 (it runs a virus in
the background that will eventually seize control of all your system
Also, do not attempt to reinstall the Boyfriend 5.0 program.
These are unsupported applications and will crash Husband 1.0.
In summary, Husband 1.0 is a great program but it does have
limited memory and cannot learn new applications quickly. You
might consider buying additional software to improve memory and
performance. We recommend Food 3.0 and Hot Lingerie 7.7.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
It looks like we've got one of those guys on our hands.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
I got to thinking that we don't share the same vibe on much of anything. Movies? Minus the last Bourne movie, I couldn't tell you the last time we saw or watched a movie that I like. "Put it in the Que" I'm told time and time again, but by the time "Elizabeth" or some other funky English movie arrives, I'm no longer interested and if I don't watch it in three days, he sends it back to Netflix so his next shoot-em up movie can come along.
Books? Nope. Nothing in common here either. I like good stories, with a little bit of history thrown in. Ross goes through spurts. Always reading something where someone is murdered, books about how to become a millionaire, or about India. He's totally into India.
Politics? That's a swear word in our house. Sports? opposing teams. Weather? I like seasons and Ross just likes hot. Pajamas? I wear them. Covers? I sleep in long sleeves with the sheet and comforter pulled up to my neck. Ross sleeps on top of all of it. Bossiness? Yes I am and he just won't do what I tell him to do.
Look at our bedside tables for example. Ross' is full of books, his nighttime sippy cup, his flashlight book light, and the remote control for the fan.
Mine? A picture of me and Ross from our wedding day, baby butt paste, blistex and tissues, because I have boogers and I cry all the time.
Music? Not much the same here, either. I like soft, sleepy music from Iron and Wine, Sting and Guster. Ross likes bands whose names sound dirty like Wolfmother, or put demon puppets in their videos like Interpol.
This is starting to sound depressing, isn't it? For not having much in common, we seem to, for the most part, get along pretty well. We are both the first born and both blond. We both like Coca-Cola. There's something in common. And, we have a baby. That took some major "something in common" to get the monkey into our lives. We each use a broken alarm clock and this morning we were both scared by the same spider.
Ross had already showered and it was my turn. As I pulled the shower curtain closed, on the inside waterproof thing, was a giant spider. It was hurdling itself towards me and I shut off the water, grabbed my towel and ran out of the bathroom. Luckily, Ross was right there, starting a load of laundry and I told him of my predicament. Though he was mocking me initially, when he saw the spider, flinging itself towards him, he jumped back and yelled a little. It was big. We woke Elliott up with all our commotion. Ross killed it with a towel and then put the towel, with dead spider, into the washing machine.
I can never do laundry again.