Friday, August 31, 2007
The sealing was nice, the luncheon was tasty, and the reception in Aunty Geneil's backyard was beautiful. This was our 4th wedding this year and I think that we're done for a while...there isn't anyone else old enough that seems interested in marriage.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
In 7 months and one week, I can't say that Elliott and I have had too many rough days. We've had some bad hops here and there, but nothing disastrous. We even survived, just the two of us, for three whole days last week without any dad intervention.
Today wasn't exceptionally horrendous, but let's add it to the list of days we don't need to repeat again. Sort of like the whole month of July.
Starting around 4 pm yesterday, Elliott went on a bottle boycott. We couldn't get him to drink one for all the chew toys in the world. Instead of drinking a bedtime bottle last night, he went to sleep starving, woke up and at 10:30 at some fruit and cereal. He loves the tropical fruit medley!
Ross and I were hoping that after a good night sleep, the bottle boycott would be over. Boy were we wrong. In a nutshell, today was rough. Lots of crying, screaming, wailing and gnashing of teeth...and that was just me! Elliott definitely threw his fair share of fits today, too.
As we tried to eat dinner tonight aided by the serenade of sobs I took the grumpy monkey upstairs, took off his clothes and started playing his favorite song. After he calmed down, and we moved from the red chair to the floor, I got the idea to squeeze the nipple of his bottle into his mouth. It shot out like milk from an udder, startled him, made him laugh hysterically, and brought him back, begging for more.
After what felt like a lifetime of not drinking a bottle, we finally got him to drink one...on the floor, with Ross hovering above him and Elliott grabbing his toes.
The grumpy monkey is in bed, asleep. Not only will he not drink, he won't nap. He went down early tonight and all I have left to say is this. My favorite band, Guster, has a song and one of the lines in the that stands out to me tonight is this: "I am so damn tired."
Thank you Guster and good night.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Monday, August 27, 2007
I've started reading a book called, "Blood and Thunder". It's by a great author, Hampton Sides, who wrote on of my favorite history books, "Ghost Soldiers". This book is about the settlement of the American West, and primarily documents the wars, trappers, and Pioneers following the life and times of Kit Carson.
Enough of a set-up, right? Last night I was reading a chapter about James K Polk, the 11th president of the United States and his attempts and successes to gain territory from Mexico in the 1800's. In the chapter, there were several interesting claims made by the author that the historian and former teacher in me found interesting.
Sides claims that Polk is the most effective American President that we've ever had; achieving all his goals that were set prior to taking office. I also didn't know that Polk died 3 months after he left office because of some health conditions that plagued him his entire life.
What conditions? The guy had severe urinary/kidney stones from the time he was a teenager. Here's the gory part, to directly quote from the book:
"At 17, after years of anguish...Polk was diagnosed with urinary stones. He was taken to a famous Kentucky physician, Dr. Ephraim McDowell, and there underwent what was then a state-of-the-art surgery. With nothing more than brandy for an anesthetic6ic, the future president was strapped naked to the operating table with his legs hoisted high into the air. Dr. McDowell bored through the prostate and into the bladder with a medieval-looking tool called a "gorget". The stones were successfully removed..."
How crazy is that? That's interesting, right?
I love history.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Today was the first Hunter Wolverine Midget football game. They played Copper Hills and crushed their opponents 5 touchdowns to a big fat 0. Yes, the other team didn't score and in typical Hunter fashion, our team won in spite of all their penalties.
The game was fun to watch even though it was hotter than blazes outside. Most of the kids are returning from last year, and Willie really likes most of the kids and his coaches.
I know the rules of football, can appreciate the game on a little league level, but can't say that I care too much. I called Willie to tell him that he did a good job tonight and he didn't want to talk...too tired. However, Dad told me that Willie hit all his blocks today and that he was really proud of him.
I'm proud of him too, but I can't say I care about the blocks.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
You are looking more like a toddler and less like a baby every single day and I'm just waiting for you to start talking to me at any moment. You definitely have an opinion about many things, particularly when it's time to go to bed and whether or not you're up for a ride in the car, but your dad and I are finally starting to figure you out a little bit more.
You've almost completely stopped screaming at us in the evenings (collective sigh of relief) and everyone that meets you thinks you are such a handsome and good boy.
Swimming has become one of your favorite past times and a couple weeks ago we finally got Dad to go with us. He dunked you three times under the water but you survived and had a great time. You love to play with Uncle Willie in the water but get a little nervous if there are too many kids and too much splashing. Like all your cousins before you, you have been swimming in Grandma's pool before you can walk and you are spoiled, only wanting to have the pool to yourself.
You are a wonderful babbler these days and just the other day, with Willie as our witness, you truly said "Mama" for the first time. It wasn't "mamamamama" like usual, but it was one Mama, directed at me. Good boy.
Let's see, what else? You have 2 teeth and the whole teething process so far has been a pain. I can hardly wait for you to get the rest of your chompers. You are 7 weeks into your helmet and making great progress, even though you have Phil the helmet guy baffled at the fact that you can pop your helmet off in the middle of the night. I don't know how you do it either, but you sure do sleep better when you do.
You have become an excellent sitter and just yesterday, figured out how to roll over from your back to your tummy. You don't know what to do once you get there, but it's good to know you are an ambi-turner no more...now, you are diversified. You also have become very good at standing and are starting to take a few steps on occasion. The only problem? Your steps are backwards. We're working on it though.
I love to watch you grab at things when you are sitting down and, on the rare ocassion you tip over, you don't cry anymore, you generally laugh. Your sense of humor is interesting. You love to run and jump down the stairs and are ticklish everywhere. Any time your Dad says something to you in Spanish, you crack up laughing. You know when we're about to "get you" too and the excitement you display at the anticipation of a laugh is almost better than the laughing itself.
You are a good eater and have graduated to #2 foods, but have not yet developed the patience to eat the bigger container of food. You would rather eat your toys, get mushy goo in your sippy cup, and rip of your bib. You love to take off your bib. It's driving me crazy.
Thank you for being such a good boy. Now, if you would start walking that would be great. You and your 23 pounds are starting to break my back.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
- Neighbors that live in a rental studio apartment next door who fight with each other, loudly screaming, cursing like sailors in the middle of the night. Son in the studio, I'm sorry that you think so poorly of your father, but is it really necessary to yell and scream and swear at him in the MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT?!*(@$&(@#*& Also, I'm not so sure that the owner of your rental studio knows that you have a golden retriever living with you that howls at the moon all night long. I think I might tell him! And, if you argue again like you were last night, I'm calling the cops. Take that!
- Waiting at the doctors office. If my appointment is at 9:30 am and I arrive on time, please don't take me back to the room and make me wait 45-50 minutes for you to see me and my little monkey. I don't understand why, if doctor's are in the "customer service" business that they are so poor at customer service.
- Ipod shuffle. Between us, Ross and I have 4 ipods; 2 mini's and 2 video's. We like to shuffle. Shuffle SUCKS! Why does shuffle only seem to shuffle through the songs you don't want to listen to and the songs you haven't listened to for years? The other day, driving home from my parents (about a 20 min. drive) I shuffled through nearly 90 songs. I never found one I wanted to listen to. Why do I even bother? Because the purpose of shuffle is to give me an eclectic mix of all the music on my pod, right? That's what I want, an eclectic mix. Not a playlist of the neglected stuff. Arg!
- Stupid kid names. If you want to create a made-up name for your kid, fine. Go for it. Make your kid suffer for the rest of his/her life. If you want to name your kid apple, bunny, fart, ESPN, or heaven, more power to you. Your kid will hate you later. But, if you want to name your kid a "normal" name, a name that has been heard of before, please, for the love of all things good, spell it the right way. Take for instance, the name "Chloe". I encountered a spelling of "Chloe" over the weekend like this: "CLOIE" What is this about? How stupid are you people? And how about this one, Aulora. I'm not eve sure how to pronounce this one.
- People who use I and Me incorrectly. It's not that hard to get it right. She and I will go to the store; If it were up to ME... It's a very simple rule of grammar to remember. Along the lines of grammar, this one is for mom...people who mix tenses when they write. For example: Your student needs to have X school supplies on the first day. THEY must be prepared. This is SO WRONG! If it is singular the first time (your student) then it must be singular again (He or She must be prepared). Oh the humanity.
- Dog poop on the sidewalk
- Bad drivers
- Overalls, especially on adults. Just stop, please.
- Dead deer in the road. Where are they all coming from?
Monday, August 20, 2007
As I was finally eating my breakfast this morning, I sat down and flipped to a short article in my new Real Simple magazine, part of their monthly "life lessons" section. The title of the article Mind over Matter was intriguing and the article itself was good, discussing the importance of keeping out minds active and alert, as much or more so than our bodies.
The last paragraph was what really hit me: "I still do my yoga; I still eat right. But as the pictures showed me, the battle to maintain my youth is not a battle I will win. No one ever has. My mind, however, is like a bank account, and every investment I make seems to grow with a steady rate of interest. I am hoping that it will be there to keep me company as I age and that it will remain curious and agile. I'm working hard on it. And I do so love the work."
Here's the big DUH moment for me. I'll never be as thin as I think I want to be, or as rested, or as beautiful. I'll never quite have perfect enough skin, or ever fit into a pair of "skinny jeans". And guess what! That's okay. That isn't what is important in life.
I think what's been bothering me is related in the quote. I have started to obsess over "physical" things because my mind isn't as engaged as it has been in the past. As a high school history teacher, I thought I knew everything and most of my kids believed me. And if I didn't know, I quickly found out. I was up on current events, politics, the social scene...you name it, I knew about it and had an opinion to share. In the last few years though, as my job and life have shifted, I think that I've lost that thirst for knowledge. Well, haven't lost it, but definitely put it on the back burner. Lost are my thoughts of Master's degrees, college professor-ship, and living in a Tuscan Villa in exchange for diaper duty, cooking dinner and VH1.
Yuck! VH1? Can't I think of something better to do?
Yes, I think finally I can. Saying that I've been a little lost the past few months is an understatement, but perhaps finally, the epiphany (however small) has hit and it's time to take action, like I used to.
Wish me luck...I'm going to need it.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Elliott had his belated 6 month doctors appointment and shots yesterday.
He wowed everyone at the Doc's office, as usual, and came in much lighter than we thought he weighed.
The final stats:
29.5 inches long
Our little Michelin man has certainly slowed down on his growth in the last two months, but he's still off the charts in height and weight and is the size of an average 1 year old.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
See the cute baby with the helmet? Yes, that cute baby. The cute baby who at 8 weeks old slept through the night up until he got that stupid helmet. The cute baby who now wakes up 2, 3, 4 times a night screaming because something is wrong with his little sleepy world. Or, something is wrong with the giant orb of Styrofoam and plastic that he wears on his noggin.
See the cute baby that doesn't know how to breath through his mouth so good so that when his nose is full of boogers and he wakes up screaming because the snot is dripping down his throat and he is gagging?
Yeah, well, in the middle of the night, two panicked parents don't know what to do with that gagging, chocking baby full of boogers either.
It seems that we're all struggling a bit.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
swollen right knee that grinds when I walk, go up/down the stairs, etc.
swollen hands (is there a storm brewing?)
crunchy and poppy ankles
sore shoulders and back
As I went to bed last night and started drifting to sleep, I listed off all of my "ailments" to Ross and told him that I feel like I have the body of a 50 year old woman.
He asked me how I came to the conclusion that I felt like a 50 year old.
It just sounded like a good number
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
About three weeks ago they sprouted and very quickly, grew their giant, elephant ear leaves.
Well, as of this week, the suckers are taking over the yard and the leaves are bigger than my hand, my foot, my face.
Ross is quite proud of his bulbs. If you see him around, tell him that he dig a good job digging a hole and throwing them in the ground.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Okay, here's the dilemma. Part One: I need pants, preferably a good pair of jeans. You know, denim? Fall is approaching faster than my wardrobe is prepared for. Part Two: I am what you call a "big girl". I'm very tall, 30 lbs over weight, still sort of in between sizes because of all this baby stuff, and just a real physical specimen at the moment. Part three: I don't enjoy shopping, I don't like "skinny jeans" and I don't enjoy displaying my butt crack to the general public (they'll thank me for it later).
I remember when I was a kid and we had to go school shopping for new jeans. It seems that the shopping excursions always ended up with me in tears after what felt like an eternity in a dressing room with my mom throwing pants over the door by the dozens for me to try on and discover that, yes, that pair doesn't fit either.
So, yesterday, out of desperation, I ventured to the Mall. Bad news for so many reasons, the worst of which, it was a Saturday and the mall was packed. Where do all these people get all their extra money? I just don't get it.
Anyway, the first store, tried on three pair. And? Found my size, good start right? Wrong. The experience at store one Sucked! Nothing fits right and my thunderous thighs are not designed for the teeny, tiny openings of pants marketed towards itty bitty high school girls. I venture to store two...they carry "long", but in nothing bigger than a size 6. I'm bigger than a size 6. Store three carries "long" too, and they have my size. I try on three more pair of jeans. One actually fits, sort of except that it's a little baggy in the crotch, which is surprising considering that the waist nearly hits me in my armpits. The wash is a little too dark, and they are a little too stretchy, but guess what...I'm desperate and I decide to purchase the pants.
I walk to the counter to pay. I'm a paying customer. The retail provider starts harassing me! "Our jeans are buy one get one half off" she says to me. "Why don't you go and grab another pair," she states. "Thanks, but I'm a hard girl to find a pair of jeans for, and there aren't any more in my size", I retort. "Come on, there's got to be another pair," she fires back. "Nope, there isn't" I say. "Well, then how about this watch, it's only $4," she says to me. At that point, I should have left the store and taken my desperation elsewhere. I didn't. I bought the mom jeans and left, depressed. I don't like spending money and I don't like buying ugly pants.
I walked into another store. The pushy sales woman who was old enough to either be close to retirement, or at home with her cats and not in a retail facility approached me, wanting to "help" me. I told her I was fine and was just looking and walked back to the jeans. At this, my 4th, and what would be my final, store I noticed that the jeans, some of them came in "long" too. Now, this is a store that I frequent both in person and online and never have I seen Long jeans or any pant for that matter in their store, I've always had to go online. The cat lady w/ the pouf of hair approached me. "Yes, we've got talls" she states. I say, "I know, I've just noticed that. You've never carried talls in store before." Cat lady then starts to argue with me, "Why yes, we have for years, you just must not come in enough." I replied with a sharp, "Oh yes, I am an avid shopper of this establishment and it has NEVER carried talls in store!" Then, I walked out.
Why do dumb ladies in stores want to harass and argue with me? I don't understand.
Anyway, I got home with my ugly mom jeans, tried them on for Ross and with a look of discouragement on both our faces, I said that I would take them back this coming week. He said that would probably be a good idea and that maybe I'm not destined to wear denim pants ever again.
He might be right. Perhaps, Nacho Libre and I are destined to wear stretchy pants, for the rest of our lives.
Did I mention that I loathe the mall?
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Yes, my friends, it's that time of year. The time of little league football. Will (now that he is going to be a 7th grader, I don't think that we can call him Willie anymore) the Thrill started practice last Saturday and tonight is the first night with pads. I hope the kids survive.
I called Willie on Saturday after his first practice and he was tired, a little beat up, and told me one kid threw up. I then asked him the most important question...."were you last?" His reply, "Nope!"
You see, in our family, there isn't a whole lot of natural athletic ability, at least with me and Haley and none of us really know know how to run. The only advantage the three of us ever have had: our size. I was a giant among miniature anorexic girls, Haley was above average and Willie is determined to be the biggest everywhere.
Because of our relative size, we're all three naturally and spastically slow and one of the most important goals in our athletic careers was (and is) to never finish last. Last always got in trouble and last is never good, especially in competitive sport. I was NEVER last. I worked my but off to ensure that I was never last. I may have often been second to last, but I was never the last one to finish a lap, a sweet 16, or a set of ladders. Neither was Haley.
And, luckily, my brother, all 199 lbs of him isn't last either.
We can all breathe a sigh of relief.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
I thought fighting the voles last year was rough. It looks like we've got a new fight on our hands this summer. Last night as Ross, Elliott and I were outside on the front porch, I mentioned to Ros that I thought some BEES! might be living underneath one of the chairs on the porch.
Boy was I right! Ross lifted up the cushion of the chair to take a look and with that maneuver, we angered them so much that all three of us made a mad dash into the house. Who wants to mess with a swarm of angry BEES! This morning, as Elliott and I were preparing to go for a walk I remembered to check under the chair and as you can see from the picture, we definately have a BEE hotel.
After our walk, when Elliott was safely asleep inside, I took the camera out to document the little "buggers"
Suggestions for getting rid of them?
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Take this for example. I was grading some final projects yesterday and came across a very creative spelling of technology.
drink bottle. check
have bath. check
play outside. check
sit on grass. check
get unnerved by grass and scream for mom. check
eat cereal and pears. check
have a nap. check
wake up from nap and drink bottle. check
be forced to roll over by mom. check
figure out (Finally) how to roll over. check
go for a walk in the stroller. check
stare at cars and trucks. check
drink apple juice after walk. check
wait for dad to come home because he's much cooler and more exciting than mom. check
eat sweet potatoes and applesauce. check
get ready for bed. check
scream really loud for 20 minutes. check
fall asleep. check
He's the only person I know who accomplishes everything on his to do list, every single day.
Sunday, August 05, 2007
We went to the Speaking of Women's Health Conference. The local Public Television affiliate, in cooperation with many sponsors, including my employer, UEN, sponsored the day. I got discount tickets through work and heard that the gift bags were divine (and they were), so I signed the three of us up.
We didn't really attend any sessions (we tried, but they just weren't what we were looking for), but had fun at the booths, got lots of freebies, walked a mile, and had a convention center catered lunch.
The morning keynote speaker however, was excellent. Dr. Marilyn Hughes Gaston shared some startling health statistics with the women at the conference as she admonished us girls to develop healthy life changing habits. Of all the things she talked about during her keynote, a few stuck in my mind. First, she told us that we need to make our exercise clothes and habits as important as our tooth brushes. I brush my teeth like, 4 times a day, but do I take the baby out for a walk? Maybe once a week if it isn't too hot. Point well taken.
Another thing that I found enlightening was this: According to research done by leading medical institutions like Johns Hopkins, in order to cut the risk of heart disease, heart attack, stroke, and diabetes by upwards of 60%, all we women folk need to do is walk for 30 minutes a day, but we always say we don't have time. But, as Dr. Gaston pointed out, if we break our day into half hours, then we've got 48 half hours a day. All we need is one, and we should surely be able to find one 30 min. block to walk a day.
She also talked about stress, and how stress is such a killer (sometimes literally) for women. To illustrate her point, she told a very funny story.
Two women are on their way into heaven and are talking to each other about how they died. The second woman asks the first how she died, and the first woman says that she froze to death. The second woman said that must have been an awful way to go and the first woman said, no, that initially, it was bad, but once she gave in to the cold and started to really freeze, that she went very peacefully. The first woman then asked the second woman how she passed away and she told this story.
The second woman said that she was convinced her husband was having an affair and she drove home early from work one day to catch him. She stormed into the house and her husband was sitting in his chair, reading the newspaper. She then proceeded to storm through the house, looking for the mistress everywhere. In the attic, the basement, the kitchen, closets, under the bed, etc. Running down her stairs, she had a heart attack, fell and died, tragically.
The first woman, after hearing how the second woman died, said to her: Wow, that's a terrible way to die. The funny thing is, if you just would have looked in the freezer in the garage, maybe we both would still be alive.
Thanks to mom and Haley for going with me. I had a great time at the conference. And, shopping at mom's favorite stores, Sears and Kohl's, on the way home was good, too.
Thursday, August 02, 2007
I got something this morning that I haven't seen in a while....
A SMILE from the baby.
He also wanted to type hello:
hj OI YOknm fb nk jn fffffffffffffffffvt6v
(note: If you look closely at the picture, you can see two little white goofy toofies in monkey baby's mouth)
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
You see, this month was filled with a lot of ups and downs, some of which were okay, some of which were not. In this past month we've had flowing water in the basement, fights, and flash flood warnings. Friends have broken arms, and suffered in the heat. Grandpa spent a week in the hospital for a thyroid problem. Elliott saw his fair share of uncomfortable-ness with his helmet and this whole teething thing. Which after an evening of slobbery screams and a restless night, hopefully gives him a reprieve today.
We've seen expensive doctors appointments and expensive prescriptions. We own a dying car and have a sense of false hope that washing corroded battery cables will prolong it's life that much longer. Dead birds and mice in the swimming pool and giant jumping wolf spiders in the window wells.
The cilantro I planted didn't make it. The hydrangeas I planted are dying. Most of the zinnias I planted are dead.
Our scale lies to us and we are both fatter (by about 6 lbs) than we thought.
The weather sucks.
The headboard fell off the wall.
My 10 year high school reunion is this weekend. I got a forwarded e-mail about it. I'm not going. I've been out of high school ELEVEN YEARS!
There are too many dead deer on the side of the road (everywhere). How does a deer die on the freeway? How does a deer get to the freeway?
I've got more, but I'll spare the 2 readers of this blog any more details.
On a brighter note? August is here, have a can of beer!