Thursday, December 28, 2006

Future Classic

  1. I spent yesterday shopping, cleaning, and, cooking for members of Cary's family who rarely visit and were coming over for dinner.
  2. Soon after they arrived it became clear that my brother-in-law was quite ill. (He mentioned on the phone that they were a little under the weather but was pretty non-specific and since we see them next to never and all were hesitant to postpone the visit).
  3. Before long he was under a polar weight wool blanket, or otherwise indisposed, and mentioned he wouldn't be eating.
  4. Everything else seemed to be going relatively OK, except Henry kept telling their five year old that she looked "sleepy," and I thought he was being rude...
  5. Until she vomited all over my (just cleaned) kitchen floor.

So now they are caring for sick children very far from home with the prospect of a plane ride tomorrow, and we are wondering how much celebrating we will be doing on New Years this year. Stay posted, gentle readers, this could generate volumes of blog-worthy material.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Cookie Disaster Update

I can't even give the "cookie cereal" to my sister-in-law as a joke because Sufi clawed her way into the bag in the middle of the night!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Sliced Lime Cookie Disaster

  1. Every year I make a particular type of lime cookie that my sister-in-law, of whom I am very fond, happens to love. And every year they get harder and harder to make. They are a recipe from Martha Stewart (back when The Big House just meant her place in Connecticut).
  2. Last year I attributed the cookies falling apart to my sloppy measurement of flour, and I wrote myself a stern note, "Measure flour with care!"
  3. This year I was dreading making these cookies, but I don't really do much baking, and I have very few "special" recipes, so I hated to give up. My Mother-in-law once called them, "Little slices of Heaven." And the woman can cook, so she would know.
  4. I measured with care. And I am sure I furrowed my eyebrows too.
  5. The damn things fell apart again.
  6. But at one point in time my sister-in-law had said something like, "These are so good, I wish I could eat them as breakfast cereal." I told her I was not mass producing them for a.m. consumption. Even when they turned out I still hand dipped each one in powdered sugar.
  7. But this year when I lost an entire tray to mysterious crumbling, I thought, why not sprinkle some powdered sugar on them, give her a bag full and call it breakfast.
  8. Of course this is a joke, but I think two years of miserable failure is enough and I am retiring the recipe.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Because nobody else asked, that's why!

My Top Ten Albums of 2006

1. The Thermals - The Body, The Blood, The Machine
Endless repetition doesn't lessen its brilliance. "How could I get so far with a head so empty?" Indeed.
2. Head Like a Kite - Random Portraits of the Home Movie
Discovered by me through pure luck (thanks, Danny) and criminally overlooked by everyone else except my Mom.
3. The Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in America
Who knew I would enjoy returning to my 97 Rock roots?
4. Voxtrot - Mothers, Sisters, Daughters, and Wives and Raised by Wolves EPs
Two EPs, yep, and I am counting them as one because it's my list and I can do whatever I want.
5. The Rapture - Pieces of the People We Love
I am truly a sucker for anything with cowbell. "Whoo! Alright Yeah Uh Huh" was the best dance song of the year.
6. The Gossip - Standing in the Way of Control
Dear Beth Ditto, Please get your driver's license and bring your fabulous band to Buffalo, 'kay. Love, Em
7. Cat Power - The Greatest
I was fully prepared to dislike this record, and to distrust Chan's recovery, but both appear to be completely wonderfully for real.
8. Johanna Newsom - Ys
She plays the harp, and was I ever prepared to hate it. And lo, it's actually really great.
9. Roommate - Songs the Animals Taught Us
Why oh why has no one heard this record??? Will someone please buy it now!
10. The Lovely Feathers - Hind Hind Legs
"Pope John Paul, Where You From? Krakow, Poland! Krakow, Poland!"

Monday, December 18, 2006

Damn you, Gravity!

  1. Last night I was so tired, but I needed a snack. I would have happily just taken a pill to stop being hungry -- I didn't even feel like chewing and swallowing.
  2. But I went to get a granola bar out of the pantry when in my holiday, slightly hypoglycemic, post-virus haze I knocked a jar of hot chili oil out off of the shelf and onto the floor where the lid popped off.
  3. Although the jar didn't break the oil did run all over the floor including under the refrigerator!
  4. I cleaned up as well as I could. I used an old chopstick to force a paper towel under the fridge to get the oil up, after spraying the hell out of the area with clear Windex.
  5. Then, exhausted and defeated, I ate my granola bar and went to bed.
  6. But this morning our house smelled like a cheap Noodle shop, which isn't exactly what I had in mind for the holidays. My mom offered to take the kids so I could mop the floor.
  7. Fortunately the story has a happy ending. I had forgotten to take out the trash, which was full of chili oil soaked paper towels. So after mopping and trash removal (and a thorough trash can cleaning) nearly 24 hours later my one stupid mistake was finally behind me.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Beyond the Olmec Dude

File under What Went Right:
Check out my first published review that features an acutal byline, not that I don't love the Oversized Olmec Dude to pieces. And while you are at it, check out the Venuszine in both its print and online forms because the magazine is one of my favorites, which makes having even a small piece published under its umbrella that much sweeter. Hopefully I will be able to manage a repeat performance. Special thanks to Aliza for clueing me into Venus' existence.

File under What Went Wrong:
The Hold Steady is playing in Buffalo tonight and I had already basically opted not to go (9 am Drs appt., and a dinner party tomorrow night make staying out until 1 am on a school night seem unappealing), but even if I had decided to go I wouldn't be at the show right now because I am sick.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A glimpse of what will go wrong in the future...

Young@Heart sing 'Schizophrenia' by Sonic Youth

Sometimes I worry about what will happen to me when I am too old to go to shows, or listen to music because I will have gone deaf from too much headphone time. Yep, I am still worried.
This also happens to be my favorite Sonic Youth song of all time, but having people near the end of their lives sing it definitely gives it a different spin.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

A Message From Santa

1. I am posting from Em's blog today to say there will be some changes taking regarding the way I deliver presents to Henry and Lucy.
2. Because the Christmas tree is visible from the upstairs and Henry can no longer be trusted to stay in bed until a parent collects him on Christmas morning, all presents from the North Pole will now be wrapped.
3. However, in order to distinguish my handiwork from Em, as is her wish, I was shopping at Michael's today for a way to really set my gifts apart.
4. I have decided to wrap all of the presents delivered by myself and my reindeer in plain brown craft paper which will be accented in red eyelash yarn for Henry and green for Lucy. If the present is to be shared I will use both. Tags will be rubberstamped so my identity will remain shrouded in mystery for years to come. I am certain this will be a troublefree and aesthetically pleasing method and bloggers everywhere will laud my craftiness. Ho, Ho, Ho!!!

A Message From Em:
What went wrong here? Do you even have to ask? My blog has been hi-jacked. My personality was split. And I found myself involuntarily making not one but two trips to Michaels for polyester eyelash yarn. And Lucy did not nap. And Henry knocked my shoe box full of Christmas cards in progress down off of the bookshelf and everything went everywhere!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Good Times

1. My 50th review was posted on Amp Camp, and it's for the Lovely Feathers, a band I really like too.
2. I have been migraine free since November 11th which is some sort of personal best.
3. I think I just paid off our car yesterday.
4. And we got our Christmas tree up with a minimal struggling and swearing

Of course, I am fully aware that a "what went right" post means that things are about to go wrong, very, very wrong...

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Where was the other sock?

  1. After reading Auntly H's cracked out post about socks I was inspired to see what happened to the last pair I remember having on my needles.
  2. I found 1 in my knitting bag, made by my Mom before she had to quit knitting entirely (carpal tunnel) to take up sewing before she quit sewing (not sure why). It had lots of stitches falling off its needles. I managed to pick them up. No matter. I have to frog it anyway. She chose a lace pattern and I am too sloppy to knit lace, since you can't tink it and I hate ripping things out. Since it is gorgeous Koigu I had promised her a pair of finished socks someday. This was about three years ago. But where was the other sock...
  3. I was forced to go hunting through my yarn stash. This is a process so humbling because not only is it full of way too much yarn -- mostly sock yarn, but it is also full of unfinished projects from me and my mom. It is too much for one person's psyche. Plus I have all of her yarn stash and needles too. That part is sweet. Someday I am sure I will knit all of it. But I still could not find that other sock...
  4. I remember I was using a pattern from a book by Lucy Neatby so I could learn a new type of heel, hoping to cure my boredomn, and I had stopped the heel halfway through. After opening every single yarn receptacle I own I decided to look in my knitting bag once more.
  5. And there it was, in the zipper pocket I had forgotten about, buried under an unfinished golf club head cover.
  6. So I have no excuses. I don't have to teach myself to garden this winter. I hope to finish those socks, and start a Wonderful Wallaby for Lucy (with yarn purchased for Henry) because if I don't it won't fit either child. Hopefully I can stick to it, but I am so tired at night and during the day I usually have a child threatening to disrupt which is reason enough not to begin.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Why didn't I just pick him up from school? Nobody told me to.

  1. I was on time to get Henry off the bus. I was early actually. Lucy was napping and all was well.
  2. As my neighbor and I were walking home she started to ask me if I liked my Crocs. Henry was dismayed by the lack of attention, and proceeded to interrupt, and ask her if he could see her upstairs. She demurred, "Oh Henry, you don't want to see my upstairs." (As in, it is so messy no one should see it.)
  3. Then Henry took off to his friend Brennan's house, leaving me to chase after him, saying to my neighbor, "They're really ugly, but I love them." (About the Crocs). Brennan had already gone inside with his Grandma, who was watching him today because his parents are at his Great-Grandfather's funeral.
  4. When I reach the door Henry has already gone inside, dropped his coat, his back pack, his shoes, and had headed upstairs where he proceeded to lock himself inside Brennan's room. Brennan's sister, who is Lucy's age is asleep on the couch in the family room, so we had to be quiet.
  5. I get Henry to unlock the door by telling him that I will call his father at work if he doesn't come out. (I wonder how much longer that will work.) But he still doesn't want to leave and he is just about to start screaming at any second.
  6. Somehow I muffle his sobs, get his coat, shoes, and backpack on, mumble something to the Grandma about working on our "appropriate social interactions" and drag him back home. Maybe tomorrow I should just keep him home all together?

Why didn't I just drive him to school? I don't know?

  1. I had to wake Lucy up to get her dressed so we could take Henry to the bus stop.
  2. She was fighting me about everything. Kicking while I was putting on the diaper, moving her arms like a windmill while I tried to get her t-shirt on. Plus I wasted precious minutes contemplating the location of a pair of tights before realizing we had no time for tights.
  3. I got shoes on both children and Henry had put his coat on and was fussing with his zipper when I pushed him out the door, while I dragged Lucy without her coat into the driveway.
  4. At this point the bus is cruising up the street, so I did the only thing I could. I left Lucy screaming in the driveway while I ran Henry across the street where my neighbor came and said, "I'll get him on. Don't forget his back pack!" (I was wearing it).
  5. It was so horrible and harried and I don't know why I didn't just say screw it, I'll drop you off today. His school is only five minutes away. Maybe if we were really late and it was hopeless I would do that but when we are soooo close I can't resist trying to get him on the bus. I hope I didn't traumatize either of my kids. Lucy looked at me about ten minutes after the incident, once we were inside and said, "Where Henry?" So I think she's OK.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Small Losses, Big Wins

  1. Lucy and I were headed to the gym. I was sitting in the driver's seat and went to put the key in the ignition when I realized I had no keys. 40 minutes later, after calling Cary's office and interrupting his session, suspecting that Henry snuck them off to school in his backpack, and debating whether it was bad karma to use the valet key to drive us to the gym, I finally found them on the closet floor where they had fallen out of the pocket of my rain coat the night before.
  2. A neighbor and I joined Henry and her son at lunch in the school cafeteria today. The school has a policy that you can show up and eat lunch with your child whenever you like. It was mostly enjoyable, but I learned that Henry is the only child who has an assigned seat because of his behavior on the second day of school (like two months ago?!) when he didn't like his classmate's grammar. I think it is a little bit extreme, but he doesn't seem to care. He told me that his "brain tells him to sit there."
  3. I know this is supposed to be a happy day for East Coast Liberals like myself, but instead of feeling hopeful I just feel like the task ahead is insurmountable, the damage done is so dramatic, and I am incredibly depressed that Dennis Hastert was re-elected. Rumsfeld resigning helped a little. I could almost hear a parental voice in my head saying, "but Rumsfeld resigned, doesn't that make you a little bit happy?" OK, yeah. I can't be completely grumpy.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Primary Care taketh and Primary Care finally giveth back

  1. Last week I got a call from my new primary care doctor's office to remind me of my appointment. It was the 6th, but I had written it down for the 16th. I had set up the appointment in July and would have been really upset to miss it since the doctor I was leaving behind had made me cry on 3 out of 5 visits.
  2. I went to double check the office location, although I was sure I had driven by it on the way to get my hair cut many, many times.
  3. Oddly both google and mapquest had a different location.
  4. And the office wasn't picking up its phone.
  5. I had to leave or I was going to be late...
  6. I get to where the office should be, but yeah, there's no office in sight, at least not for my doctor.
  7. I had the presence of mind to bring the other address with me, and am happy to report I made it there about 5 minutes late. The new doctor was very nice, they even set up the referrals for me, and nobody made me cry.

Things my old doctor said to me, just for laughs:
"Having kids should be like having a second childhood. It should be fun."
"Relax and go rent a movie like Baby Boom. You know, with Diane Keaton"
I don't work on Wednesdays.
"You had your chance with Physical Therapy, and I am sorry your back still hurts, but you can't have any more visits."
"You have to stop carrying your children. You need to be the pampered pooch. Can't you just go get a massage?"

And yes, she chose not to start a family of her own.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Look out for Lucy

  1. I went to dress Lucy this morning in a shirt that used to be Henry's. It was a suitably unisex red and white striped long-sleeved, hooded t-shirt.
  2. She took one look at it and said, "No! Henry's" And then pointed towards his room and said, "Go!" As if I should return the offensive article from whence it came immediately.
  3. What 2 1/2 year old refuses to wear hand-me-downs?
  4. And how does she even know it was his? She wasn't even born when he wore it!
  5. So I did what any good mother would do. I broke out a super cute t-shirt from mini Boden that I had been saving for her and we were all happy.

Monday, October 30, 2006

After practically ten years of marriage

Cary surprised the hell out of my by fixing the shower light all by himself. And they say marriage gets predictible? No way!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Time out of mind, and out of my usual format

In order to maintain full truthiness, I should specify that these events did not all take place within one 24 hour period, but because of event #1 below I have had difficulty accessing my computer
  1. Lucy has not only learned how to use the computer, but gotten pretty good at it, and she doesn't like to share. When I ask for a turn she says, "No. My 'puter! Play Game!." And then she contines her work. She has now found another excuse to skip meals too, so I can see we are going to have a continual problem.
  2. Henry spilled a good portion of the contents of a bag of red lentils inside my pantry and on my kitchen floor and then didn't tell me about it. I didn't know about it for awhile because I was too busy reading somebody elses damn blog! When I discovered the mess I was pretty annoyed because my barefoot children had tracked those tiny little red circles all over the house, (I am still finding them!) and Lucy had to assist in the clean up with her broom. Really this is all my fault because I wanted her to have her own broom for just this reason and I wasn't watching my kids, but I was still pissed.
  3. The light in our bathroom shower is out. I mention this because it will probably remain out until we go to sell the house. The lightbulb is covered with a fixture that has no obvious means to remove it. Plus I can't reach it without standing on something. So in our house, it really does take more than two over-educated adults to change a light bulb. We may have to call my dad. How embarrassing!
  4. My parents got a new TV. In order to keep them from kicking the old one to the curb I asked if we could have it. My dad and Cary brought it over, but they couldn't get it upstairs because it weighs about 150 pounds. So now it is beached on my living room floor, a Trinitron whale, until I can figure out an environmentally sound way to get rid of it.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Can squirrels talk to raccoons?

  1. Earlier today a squirrel figured out how to open my birdseed container. No big deal.
  2. Then tonight I heard a loud crash while I was putting Lucy to bed. There was a raccoon on the deck and it was determined to get into the metal container full of bird seed that is out there.
  3. Sufi and I tried to scare it away to no avail, and within minutes it had tipped over about ten pounds of seed. Apparently raccoons are not afraid of cats hissing and women waving their arms saying, "please go away, please, please!"
  4. All I can say is I hope it has a big appetite or it cleans up after itself (and doesn't invite friends) because our yard is already a huge mess. Now in addition to cleaning up the branches I have to clean up the seed and find a new way to store it.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Back to normal things going wrong... yay!?

  1. Lucy did not nap.
  2. Henry was so excited to get a brownie for dessert that he failed to notice that his dinner plate was resting at the edge of the table. It fell, and shattered into lots of tiny, tiny pieces.
  3. A few days ago I got a pill stuck in my throat. We were still supposed to be boiling our water and I didn't have quite enough with me but I tried to take it anyway because I didn't want to go downstairs for and haul up more. So it got caught in my throat and now for two days it hurts every time I eat. (I feel like David Cross in Mr. Show: "Hurts to swallow fizzy liquids.") Since the pill can't still be there I have no choice but to conclude that it must be a tumor or other unnatural growth.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Aftermath

  1. The Power. Soon after I posted my update the snow really started to pick up. We lost our electricity around dinner time. I didn't know where my matches were, or the candles we keep on hand for these occasions.
  2. The Trees. About an hour later we heard a loud crack, like a gun shot. It was the trunk of one of our pear trees snapping in half. The other one snapped later that night. The photo on the right shows the two trunks. One fell across our deck, and all of our patio furniture (see left photo), and the other fell towards the dining room window missing the house by a foot or so.
  3. The Sump Pump. After Cary and I got the kids put to bed in the dark (we only had one flashlight, and it moos like a cow every time you turn it on) we sat in the darkness listening to the radio. It dawned on us that we had better start bailing out the sump pump in the basement. We started Thursday night at 10 pm and bailed about 40 gallons of water out of the sump pump and dumped it into the back yard. I scooped it out using an empty gallon milk jug and Cary hauled it upstairs by the bucket load. We took the nights off to sleep, but otherwise we did this every two hours for a day and a half while we were awake. If Lucy was awake she usually screamed the whole time, but we had gotten 19 inches of snow and we were sure it was going to flood the basement.
  4. The Sewage. On Friday night we realized maybe we could dump the sump pump water down the utility sink and not haul it upstairs. Cary said, the sink already had some water in it. I noticed the water smelled bad. Yep. Our sewer line was backing up into our sink. Now we couldn't safely flush our toilets or run water at all. The kids were already asleep and we just went to bed after setting the alarm for 3 am just to make sure that the neither the sewage or the sump pump were going to overflow the basement.
  5. Our luck begins to change. Just before we went to bed the plow company came and removed all that heavy wet snow from our driveway. I just stood there and watched. I was so happy to see them. On Saturday morning Cary went next door to have our neighbor help him open the garage door since the opener didn't work and we didn't know how to bypass it. Our neighbor offered to plug our sump pump into his brand new generator! No more bailing! Then he came into the house, looked at the sink full of rising sewage and said, why don't you turn off the valve and the problem should go away on its own! Then he opened our garage door and we were off. We spent the day with my mom and dad who fed us. They also had no power. Then we were planning to spend the night at my brother-in-law's, whose power had returned. Just as we were struggling to get Lucy to sleep a friend called and said he had power, and so did we. 230,000 other Western New Yorkers still didn't and needless to say I felt incredibly lucky for so many reasons. The sink did go back to normal all by itself.
  6. The last few pictures are just a few more shots from the yard. It is amazing how much damage snow can do in less than 12 hours with the leaves still on the trees. There was no wind blowing or things would have been much worse. I have no idea how much this is going to cost to clean up, or when it is going to get done. I think there are plenty of other people who have it much worse than us. Some people lost every tree in their yard. I will have to rethink my shady backyard garden, but otherwise we are fine. I will miss the pear trees, but I will always remember them in bloom, and the time I saw the Horned Larks land in their branches.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The date: October 12

The weather in Buffalo: currently snowing! Need I say more?

Lots of other things have gone wrong recently but I have been too busy basking in the afterglow of the Jenny Lewis concert to care.

This won't be turning into a music blog because there are certainly plenty of those, but maybe I have found the magic formula: attending x number of excellent concerts builds stamina to withstand y number of irksome life incidents. Hooray! With Fiery Furnaces and The Hold Steady on tap who knows, I may not be posting much the rest of 2006...

I think this qualifies as what went wrong: When I wrote about the snow there were just a few flurries, like haha, it's snowing in Buffalo before Halloween. But now the stuff is sticking to the ground. My poor garden! The photo doesn't do it justice, but the gaura (front, center) is completely snow covered while still in bloom. My Clematis (previously thought to be dead) is blooming so beautifully, but not for long! My plants aren't silvery, they are covered in snow, and now they are going to be gone until next spring.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Libations: Tales of the Untrained

  1. A Starbucks with a drive thru just opened around the corner from me. While Buffalo is not new to Starbucks, it is new to the phenomenon of having one on every corner (or in our case in every strip mall). While this could easily be the subject of a post in itself, it is not. I have a love hate relationship with Starbucks, and I am addicted to coffee. No, this is just about my own drive thru experience today. I had my very own travel mug (thanks, Allie) and I thought, "I am leaving the house today, that counts as traveling, right?"
    1. I waited behind one car for seven minutes. I think they had to redo a drink.
    2. I watched through the window the guy fill my travel mug, then spilled the coffee all over himself and the outside of the mug. Appetizing.
    3. At the same time another "Barista" was having trouble steaming milk and steam was spewing out all over her and the woman trying to train her.
    4. When they guy handed me my cup it was barely sealed and there was coffee running down the outside of the mug. I asked him for some napkins and didn't tip him. At least not today. The whole thing was more funny than annoying, but if they don't catch on quick I think the coffee consuming public at large is going to be pretty impatient.
  2. I also had a trainee at the grocery store and she forgot to charge me for a 12 pack of beer. So yes, I do believe in karma.

Monday, October 02, 2006

This is for the heroes

Cary and I are huge fans of Stephen Colbert, and when he got his own show we were so excited. I was even more excited to learn that I could have a bit of Stephen for my very own.

Where are the migraines, you ask? Migraines are dead to me.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

No Soup for You!

  1. Cary had almost nobody scheduled today, which is a problem all on its own. But he has lots of free time to spend with me and the kids which is nice ... until he stops getting paid. I feel terrible waiting for all the kids to get their quarterly reports (i.e. warnings) but then he will have a waiting list until Christmas!
  2. So we decided to go out to lunch. We went to a new place that I think may be based on the Seinfeld Soup Nazi character. When we arrived we found that a bowl of soup cost $8.69 and there were no high chairs. So although no one yelled at us, we did actually walk in and leave without soup, just like on the show.
  3. Henry has a mosquito bite on his right ear that is very swollen. He looks a bit like Rowan Atkinson at the moment, and tomorrow is school picture day.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Counting and Barking...

  1. I am still tired from Monday's night out with my Mom. We went to see Elf Power at Sound Lab. Unfortunately there were only about 15 people there, but we both knew someone! Anyway when I am tired, I do things wrong:
    1. I forgot to pack Henry's snack in his backpack. In my defense both kids were making noise while I was trying to make 2 lunches and the snack, and Lucy was hanging onto my knees yelling, "up up" the whole time.
    2. I tried to put on lip gloss and I sank my whole front tooth into the tube.
    3. I put the junk mail on the kitchen table and Cary's mail in the recycling.
    4. I completely forgot that I had planned on stripping the beds and washing all of the sheets and towels, which I usually do on Wednesday.
  2. Lucy continues to punctuate her sentences with barks and pants, like a dog. For example, the store clerk might say, "Do you need anything else?" I answer, "No thanks." And Lucy says, "Arf." and then pants like a dog. This worries Cary considerably but I just think it is kind of funny. I stopped at Marshalls to look for a cheap pair of sneakers for Henry for the next time decides to play in the mud. I didn't find any, but I did find I did find a book by Sandra Boynton called Doggies, A counting and barking book. I had to buy it.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

  1. I took Henry and Lucy to the playground to meet some of our friends. Instead of playing with the other children Henry decided to run around the perimeter of the playground equipment.
  2. He stepped intentionally in a mudfilled gash that was about a foot away from the edge of the play area. I couldn't see it, but I actually heard squishing. Then he got mud all over me as well. He was still wearing his new sneakers because I wasn't expecting him to go all commando on me.
  3. They went through the wash OK and are currently drying. We all had to come home and change clothes and both children required baths. I still haven't figured out how Lucy got so muddy.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

What Went Right... Again?

Oh, Brave New World... Another post that features cheers not jeers!
  1. My Other Blog is a Cadillac. My pal Jen14221 started a blog called I bought it on eBay, and I had no choice but to participate. And lo, it got a shout out from Amalah, an actual real blogger that people read not just because they are related to or friends with her.
  2. I am just about finished with my review of the new The Hold Steady CD for Amp Camp. It is the first time I've gotten my grubby little paws on a CD with a groundswell of anticipation preceeding its arrival, and it is infinitely more fun than reviewing something I suspect no one but me is ever going to listen to. Hooray!
  3. Speaking of Amp Camp, Danny, the original Amp Camper, has a new venture that may eventually lead him to post about What Went Wrong, but I hope not. He and his girlfriend Nina have turned their lives into living performance art. They have started a blog where you can vote to send them to live in one of 250 towns or cities in the US for one year. They promise to write and tell us all about it. Last time I checked, towns in Arkansas and Alabama were the early vote getters, so go to and vote to send them somewhere, anywhere else!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

What Went Right

  1. Babies! I have heard from several friends in the last week and learned that either their babies (or nephews) have arrived healthy and safe into the world.
  2. Because the Dalai Lama was visiting UB today, all classes were called off for a "day of learning." As a result my Dad called off his day of work and decided to babysit Lucy so my mom could take me to lunch. Thanks Dad and thanks Buddha!
  3. Henry finished his massive Kindergarten project with minimal disagreement and actually put forth a reasonable amount of effort, plus it's done!
  4. There was an article in yesterday's New York Times that Buffalo is ready to make a come back after 50 years of decline.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Who's Afraid of the PTA?

  1. Our morning began with Henry eating a banana for breakfast at the kitchen table. This was his second attempt at eating something for breakfast. The bus was coming soon. We were rushing. Or, I was rushing him. He dropped a piece on the floor (no big deal), went to pick it up, then stepped in it -- no! -- then took a couple of steps --no!--oh no! I was able to gently persuade him to sit back down so I could clean mushed banana out of the extra deep lugs of his brand new sneakers during our last few minutes before we went out to wait for the school bus in the pouring rain.
  2. Everyday now when he gets off the bus I treat his backpack like it's a live grenade. I gingerly unzip it and carefully examine the contents. Today I learned two things:
    1. I signed him up for the "wrong" swimming class. The UB swimming class I chose is all the way down at the Main Street campus (inconvenient) on Saturday (really inconvenient). Today he got a flyer announcing the "right" UB swim class which meets at the local high school (huh, not at UB?) up the street from us on weeknights (super convenient). I think I will just sign him up for both classes since they only overlap for a few weeks. I was not happy. This was the same class that I mentioned where my dad had to bail me out because I forgot to sign the check. We are afflicted with some sort of spooky swimming curse!
    2. I also learned that next week is Henry's week to be "highlighted." So he has to bring in the Kindergarten version of a PowerPoint presentation by Monday and the teacher who is currently my least favorite person in the world for a variety of reasons decided let us know about it TODAY. She knew this was coming all along, but thought that we only needed three days for what she describes as a "fun" project. I can tell you that it isn't fun to try and get my son to sign his own name so it is sure as hell not going to be "fun" to get him to write a paragraph about himself. It isn't that I would have spent any more time on it if she had sent it home Monday but I would have had time to mentally prepare myself for the amount of manipulation that it is going to take to get Henry to comply with this amount of "fun" work. I guess this is what people meant whent they kept talking about "high expectations in Kindergarten." And sadly this was a pretty good day for the backpack.
  3. Tomorrow is the deadline for joining a PTA committee at his school. Whose afraid of the PTA? Me. I saw the Stepford Wives. At least three times, and assuming I am Katharine Ross, I don't think I'm going to show up and meet anyone even closely resembling the Paula Prentiss character. I have drafted many scenarios that would make it tolerable for me. I could pretend I am a character on the Morgan Spurlock documentary 30 Days, for example. I could pretend that it is a good place to meet other moms who like indie rock. I might just wear my Arcade Fire t-shirt and see if anyone notices. I just can't get the image of double knit polyester pants out of my head. I doubt the other mothers wear pants like that. I don't even know where one would buy pants like that but everytime I think about joining the PTA, I see artificial fibers and I stop dead in my tracks. Maybe I can wait until next year...

I caved and signed up for the yearbook committee, but I will cut and run if I detect the presence of Orlon, Dacron or any other double knit, manmade fiber ...

Friday, September 08, 2006


  1. We put Henry on the bus without his backpack. I only realized this because my neighbor who had followed her daughter to school at the daughter's insistence had been informed by said daughter, and my and Henry's new favorite person that "Henry doesn't have his backpack and he is really sad. Can't you do something about it?" Moments after she informed me the school called and inquired if I "had my son's backpack." So Lucy and I sped over to the school, where we were informed that "these things happen all the time" and actually not made to feel like we were the worst mom/sister combo in existence.
  2. Henry got off the bus wearing a different shirt than he wore to school. And it wasn't his either. Apparently he had yet another nosebleed and this shirt was salvaged from the lost and found. *This was all on the first day!*
  3. On the second day he hit a kid over the head with his lunch bag because the kid said, "my lunch is gooder than yours." Henry is NOT a fan of poor grammar. So the school sent a note home and we discussed it with him. He understands to use words instead of fists when someone mangles the English language. He did much better today, the third day, when he came home with his shirt covered merely with jelly. He reported being a good listener, that other kids were throwing rocks, and that he met a girl named Lexi in the cafeteria.
  4. This has nothing to do with Kindergarten, it's just funny. I got a call from the UB Swimming program (Thanks to Karen for the suggestion, if you are reading this!) I had mailed them a check for Henry's swim lessons and filled out the payee section and the amount but not the date, the written amount, or um, oh yeah, I didn't sign it either. My Dad works at the University, so he offered to go over and pay the debt for me and pick up the check.

With Henry starting school I have been so preoccupied that I have been barely able to accomplish simple tasks like posting to this blog, or paying bills. It's so hard to function without him around because not only am I worried about how is day is going, and feeling sad about this big change in our lives, but I keep expecting him to be here, needing some juice or his lunch or something. It is so difficult to accept that he is actually old enough to be gone from the house for half a day and ride the bus and come home merely covered in his own blood on a hard day, or on a good day, its just jelly.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Why we only take two-day long vacations

  1. I forgot to pack a sippy cup for Lucy. She does OK with straws, but I also forgot that they aren't allowed at Zoos, and we were at the Toronto Zoo on Friday. We were managing pretty well with a plastic cup of milk until Cary said, "Hey, Lucy" and tried to snap a picture. Then the milk was all over both of us. Fortunately it was her last allotment, and there wasn't much in the cup at the time. I was just trying to avoid her having to wear smelly clothes the rest of the day since we weren't going to the hotel until later.
  2. We managed to locate an Indian restaurant where Cary had fond memories of eating Chicken Curry when he was about Henry's age. About halfway through dinner Lucy began the familiar shriek of: "diaper, diaper!" We were in the middle of Toronto's Indian neighborhood, and the restaurant we were in was very casual. Not the kind of place with fold down changing tables in the restrooms. So Lucy and I wandered out and decided to try the Public library we had seen on our way in. It was closed, but its side yard was secluded. Lucy marched over, said, "grass, lay down." And I changed her right there. Hooray for the peaceful haven of the public library!
  3. Then there was the sleeping. Or the not sleeping. Lucy has never slept in a bed before this trip. She wouldn't even look at the Pack-N-Play. She slept in one bed with Cary, and Henry and I slept in the other. I am sure every family sharing a hotel room works it a bit differently but in our family lights out was at 8:30. Which totally sucked for me. I don't think anyone slept much. Henry was too wound up. Lucy was too weirded out. Cary and I were both dealing with the uncomfortable surroundings and the constant interruptions. The second night of sleeping for Lucy was much better than the first, so maybe we are making slow gains in that direction.
  4. Then there was the rain. Everything we had planned to do was supposed to be outside. I was not about to go lugging a two year old around a bunch of museums, so when it rained we went the only place we could go that was inside, free, and offered a second stroller to put Henry into: the Mall. It was the Eaton Centre, but it is just a big mall. We spent Saturday walking around inside after particularly terrible hotel breakfast. We didn't even really shop. Although I did find fun size Coffee Crisp at Shoppers drugmart. (For the non-WNY audience, Coffee Crisp is the candy Holy Grail) Thanks for the heads up, Jen14221! Then we took the kids to the hotel pool, play room, had an abysmal pizza dinner, then it was back to the Eaton Centre food court in search of ice cream.
  5. Today was our last day and since it was still raining we abandoned all of our plans and came straight home. Straight is a bit of misnomer since we waited about one and a half hours to cross the border. The kids were very patient, and generally well-behaved. But I can't help feeling like we just bought the world's longest and most expensive Toronto zoo passes.
In all seriousness I would love to know how other people with kids do it? How do you travel? How do you actually get on a plane? When do you have fun? How do you sleep? This was only two days, and was planned deliberately to be "easy," and it still really stressed me and Cary out. I know it wasn't a complete waste because it was fun for the kids, particularly for Henry who knows what a hotel is, and was aware we were away etc.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

  1. I spent the day prepping for our trip to Toronto, and I now suspect that the remnants of Ernesto may be following us to the Great White North. Sadly we have planned nothing we can do inside except spend time in the hotel. However, my fellow bloggers currently visiting the Outer Banks are having their vacations disturbed more severely, so I don't want to complain too much.
  2. Henry refused to let me leave him in Gym care today. But I did because I am a cruel and insensitive beast of a mother. Upon my return I learned not only that he didn't listen, but that he, "spilled his juice, and stuck his feet in it." That's my boy!
  3. He decided once again to treat a headache with a soaking wet wash cloth. He also treated my kitchen table, my Heywood Wakefield coffee table, and then he locked the washcloth up in a cardboard photo box and practically tackled me when I tried to free it. (All of this happened when I was on the phone with my mom, who is suffering from mysterious bouts of nausea and chills).

On a happier note: my "good" watch returned from Houston today with all of its digits tightly attached to its faceplate. It has no plans to land in the toilet. And, as I write, Cary is bathing both kids. I can hear them bugging him for a change. Can you say shaudenfraude?

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

I knew there were going to be days like this...

When I started this blog it crossed my mind that maybe not enough things would actually "go wrong" to merit cataloging. I was so naive...
  1. Minutes before we were due to leave for Henry's kindergarten orientation I came downstairs from dressing Lucy to find Henry standing in the middle of a water-splattered kitchen floor. He was holding a sopping wet wash cloth on his head. His clothes were soaked, and he said, "I had a headache." (But orientation actually went really well, so maybe school will go OK too. Only future posts will tell)
  2. Henry needed to get a haircut today. As soon as we arrived at the salon he announced that he needed to use the bathroom. I went in with him because they have all kinds of froufy breakable objects in there and I could see him getting into trouble. Let's just say it took him awhile. Then he stood up and he wasn't going to use any toilet paper. It was hidden in some sort of decorative urn, but that is no excuse! So I start shouting, "Henry, Henry, what are you doing" as he slowly moved to pull up his underwear. I reached out to grab him by the waist and gently assist him back down onto the seat and as I did this my watch popped off and landed in the toilet bowl. Christ on Crack! I had to fish it out with a baggie, and put it in another baggie (stockpiled in my purse, thank you very much), but I know the watch will have to be trashed. I just haven't done the deed yet.
    1. Yes I am using subheadings. Deal. Here are the facts about the watch. The watch was a Timex Easy Reader that I had had since High School. It was cheap, but I really liked it.
    2. I had recently purchased some cute grosgrain ribbon watchbands on ebay to wear with the watch because the band, also from high school, had broken.
    3. When changing to said ribbon bands, one of the metal arms the holds the bands went flying across the room requiring an emergency trip to Target where I was given the replacements for free.
    4. My "good" watch is in Houston for the second time this summer having the numerals on its dial reattached which is why the Easy Reader came out of the jewelry box and met with its sad end.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Everyday is like Sunday

  1. Lucy did not nap.
  2. We tried to be good parents. We thought hey, let's get the kids some fresh air, and take them out for a walk. Each child had a big wheel. Henry is too proficient and kept trying take off. Lucy doesn't know how to pedal yet and needed to be pushed by me via the oversized handle at the back. The handle on her big wheel is intended for a person of about 4'9", so I was getting a backache the whole time. Plus it pulls to the right. I kept thinking, this is supposed to be fun. I see other people do it everyday, and they appear to be enjoying themselves. What is wrong with us?
  3. After the walk we were playing in the yard. The kids spotted a butterfly and tried to chase it around the back of the house with great enthusiasm until Lucy stepped in a huge puddle, got mad, and then sat down in an even bigger puddle. So I brought her in for a late afternoon bath. Afterwards she kept repeating, "Butterfly, flowers, shoes." That part was cute.
  4. For some unknown reason both kids screamed through dinner which earned them both unnusually early bedtimes. And now except for the burned Dutch oven I have to contend with, there is peace in the house.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Failure to disappear

  1. The baby bunny is back. I admit, I knew it was trouble from the start, but because it was so little and cute I didn't react the way I do when I see its full-grown relatives around. I usually open the window and say, "hey, baby bunny, you don't live here." The thing is, maybe it does. I have been accepting my losses gracefully until today when I noticed that it had messed with one of my Clematis. Not the one I thought I killed, which has recovered quite well, but another one, pictured above. It had eaten its way across the base of the plant, essentially giving the above ground portion a death sentence. I took action. I had decided that plant needed a new home anyway because it wasn't getting enough sun, so I dug the entire thing up, and managed to move it, trellis and all, because bb didn't get every single vine. So before lunch time it had a new home in a sunnier spot not favored by bb. I may even see a bud or two before frost.
  2. Henry was very disappointed today because he was trying to do a magic trick. He constructed a magic wand out of Magnetix then put a towel over a toy Mini Cooper. Then he tried a series of magic words including classics like Abracadabra, but also something like Ony mony pepperoni. Then he called out to me, "Mama, my magic trick is never going to work. I made a wand, put out this towel, and said abracadabra. But it never works. Auuughhh." I tried to explain about magic being sleight of hand and a trick of the eye (I was using the computer to comparison shop for Le Sportsac purses, but I was not out of earshot.) I said it was something people had to learn. He replied, "Oh, Mama, can I visit a magic shop?" And I said, "Let's talk about it when your daddy gets home." This is code for "maybe you will forget and I can move onto your next micro-interest.

Friday, August 25, 2006

  1. Our day began with Henry's bloodiest nosebleed to date. It was the first time it occured to me that I might not able to stop it by myself, and had visions of visiting the ER. Unfortunately it happened at 12:17 a.m., so we sat on the bathroom floor with blood flying everywhere because Henry kept sneezing and shaking. 30 minutes later he was back in bed, none the worse for wear, though sadly he happened to be sleeping in his supercool Pixies T-shirt, made by Jen14221, and it pretty bloody.
  2. We went over to my friend Allie's for the kids to play this morning. When it was time to go Henry literally had to be carried out, kicking and screaming, without his shoes. He just kept repeating, "I want to live here. I just love them."
  3. Lucy did not nap.
  4. Henry managed to finish out the day with another nosebleed. Then he and I went around the house with club soda, and Nature's Miracle and cleaned up all the blood from last night and today. He was really sweetly enthusiastic about the task. Then I took the kids for a wagon ride and played in the yard. It was almost a normal day.
  5. He also invented a recipe, which definitely qualifies as something that went wrong: basmati rice with butter, cut up ham (cut up by his fingers), and pieces string cheese (the kind with alternating mozzerella and cheddar sections). He was so pleased with himself. He referred to it as a "grown-up curry." This is why I almost always make a separate meal for me and Cary, one for Henry, and one for Lucy.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Mosquitos are viscious

  1. Cary was gone all day because after work he was invited to a dinner at Harry's Harbour Place Grille by the nice folks who manufacture the Ritalin patch. So it's another 12 hours of solo parenting for me. It is a bit less welcome than normal because Cary went golfing with his dad for the better part of the day last Sunday and I am still recovering.
  2. Henry is back on Benadryl. He awoke this morning with clear allergy symptoms: Itchy, watery eyes and a drippy nose.
  3. All new published reviews at AmpCamp are going into some kind of indierock internet wormhole. I think they are making some changes to the site, but I don't like that my reviews can no longer pop up on the start page as soon as they go live. You would actually have to look for them here. And seriously, who is going to do that? I actually read the site, but I like to start with the new reviews first.
  4. Migraine number four this month hit today. Number three in the last five days. Not good.
  5. Oh yeah. Mosquitos are viscious.

My pal Jen14221 gave my blog a published shout out - probably its first and last. You can read about it here.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Mommy, I scared!

  1. Lucy woke up shortly after falling asleep tonight, and she just kept repeating, "I scared. I scared, Mommy. It dark." Fortunately she didn't seem all that scared, and she was able to be soothed with a diaper change, and a reading of Goodnight Gorilla. Even though she was far from terrified it was still kind of heart breaking to hear her express fear like that.
  2. Speaking of heartbreaking (or heartbreakingly funny), Lucy has started barking like a dog, and panting all the time. But she still carries her two stuffed kitties around everywhere like they are here babies, so I don't know what is up with that.

As an aside, the latest migraine remedy, which is only sort of working, seems to be making me very spacey, and it makes it really hard to recall all the stuff that went wrong everyday. I know I spilled most of a box of cereal all over the floor the other day, but by the end of the day I didn't have any other details to go with it. I have been in touch with the neurologists office, and have been assured that this is just normal adjustment and if it doesn't go away soon I should call them back. Until them my posting may be a little more sporadic than normal, but you all can just pretend I am at a cybercafe in my true home of Amsterdam.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Well I knew it wasn't Buffalo!

You Belong in Amsterdam

A little old fashioned, a little modern - you're the best of both worlds. And so is Amsterdam.
Whether you want to be a squatter graffiti artist or a great novelist, Amsterdam has all that you want in Europe (in one small city).

Thursday, August 17, 2006

  1. Lucy did not nap.
  2. I took my children to the playground since it was going to be a long afternoon. Plus everytime we pass a playground it seems they would like to stop and play, but this time when we arrived neither wanted to do very much.
  3. Henry did a little playing, kind of just to show me that, "hey mom, look, I can play here."
  4. Lucy just kicked at the dirt under the swings, threw woodchips at Henry, refused to climb on anything, swing on anything, or slide down anything.
  5. When I finally convinced them that maybe it was time to go and we were walking towards the car Henry took off running. I called his name and asked him to stop. He kept going.
  6. He reached the edge of the parking lot. Stopped. Looked both ways.
  7. Then the little pain in the butt ran right across the parking lot and up to the van.
  8. I know I should be grateful that he stopped and looked both ways, like maybe I have managed to teach him something, but I was so furious. I also know that I should have probably picked up Lucy and ran with her after him, but I kept thinking, "of course he will stop, he's not insane is he?" Plus we were right next to the town pool and I was calling his name, and he didn't hear me but I know a million other people did, and of course if he had gotten hurt my embarrassment would have meant nothing but it didn enter into my head.
  9. He just does whatever he wants and all I can do is my best to prepare him to look both ways before he runs out into the road.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Countdown to craziness... Henry style

Five kids at play time,
Four stints in time out,
Three bloody noses,
Two broken books, (one was from the library)
One home invasion,

And a Henry who is finally asleep.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

What Goes Around Comes Around

  1. We began our day with a fitting omen: Sufi puked up her entire breakfast moments after eating it. (Lucy cried out, "Oh dear! Mess!) Then Sufi proceeded to eat the puke before I could stop her. I figured it couldn't be that bad for her it had barely been in her stomach.
  2. I was totally excited today because my mother-in-law was going to keep both kids for me so I could run errands and go to the gym. I thought I would have tons of time and not be rushed. I was totally wrong. I ended up picking them up with all of my groceries still in the car only to arrive to the news that they had not been their usual angelic selves for her while there, plus she had taken a long and frustrating phone call while they were over, which I know from experience is not easy. Then I had to take two hungry, cranky kids home and put away a week's worth of groceries with them underfoot asking for popsicles, juice, and cookies, pretty much anything but lunch.
  3. Lucy woke up from her nap crying, but it wasn't clear why. Later, when we were trying to eat dinner, she kept saying "diaper, diaper" and crying more. It became apparent that she meant business. Yes, I mean that kind of business. She was asking for a new diaper first. So I changed her and she proceeded to use the diaper. When I asked her if she wanted a bath, she said "diaper, diaper" again. We went through the "process" a total of three times! After she was happy, and singing, and giving me hugs. It was like she was a different kid.
  4. Just as I was settling in for a peaceful 45 minutes of TV watching, I was forced to close all the windows because the local teenage militia was once again firing some kind of rifle from the back deck next door, and this time it was actually loud enough to be really annoying. But, I guess I would prefer the evening hours to the time when I want to be outside with the kids. I think Henry still thinks that guns are what his dad told him they are: cookie makers!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Just to soften the blow of the last post a bit

A few things did go right during the chaos that was my so-called vacation.
  1. My pal Allie and I went to see Husky Rescue at Mohawk Place. I drove us on a highway to get there. Thus accomplishing two major goals (see a concert/drive in traffic) in one fell swoop. Plus the show was awesome, the bar had good beer on tap, and most importantly for the over 35 crowd -- it had seats!
  2. The stress of this week has produced not one headache.
  3. We learned the name of Henry's Kindergarten teacher today and from what we have been able to learn from friends and neighbors she sounds like a good match for the boy.
  4. My clematis is not dead.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Playing Catchup

  1. Number of my reviews submitted to ampcamp in the last 14 days: 2. Number of my reviews that ampcamp has put online: 0.
  2. On Saturday I spilled a brand new tin of mango altoids all over the floor.
  3. The next day I was carrying six cans of pop and three bottles of Propel while talking to my mom on the phone. I dropped one of the cans. It exploded and I had to mop the kitchen floor.
  4. A baby bunny ate significant portions of two hostas, one toad lily, and several cone flowers that I had been nurturing. Why are there baby bunnies now?
  5. But here is the biggie. Cary has been off work this entire week. We were planning to leave for Toronto for three days on Tuesday, but Monday morning our car started behaving strangely. It shook when the speed reached fifty but was normal again once it hit 55. I called the dealer and they suggested I have the tires rotated. So at 6 PM the night before we are due to leave I do that instead of cooking dinner. Then Cary and my dad spend the rest of the evening deciding that it isn't the tires and that the problem is still there. Research on the web suggested many cars made during 2002 (our year) had serious and expensive transmission problems. At 9:40 that night Cary and I decide to postpone our trip even though I have been running around like a crazy person getting everything ready, and had just finished the preparations about 10 minutes beforehand. We drop the car off the next day (Wednesday) and are fortunate enough to borrow a car from my mom. We take Henry and Lucy to the beach. We get the car back on Thursday at noon, and the repair was under warranty (for something that was recalled and was supposedly already fixed a year ago). We tried to salvage the week as best we could be doing fun things with the kids but there is no doubt that it put a real damper on the week. I have to admit I didn't even really feel like posting.
  6. Oh, and I am now on a very low dose of an antiseizure drug for my headaches.
  7. And Cary might need braces again.
Happy Vacation!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

  1. Henry informed me today that he "cleaned the sink. Now it is sparkling clean." Really what he did was coat it with a layer of handsoap and run a little water on it. I still haven't gotten all of the soap off, but I did have a hard time explaining why rubbing soap on a sink wouldn't make it clean.
  2. Just before we had to leave the house Henry decided that he wanted some applesauce. He insisted on opening it himself. I was distracted putting back all of the food he had removed from the pantry in order to get to the apple sauce. When I looked up he had sprayed about 1/3 of the container onto his shirt.
  3. He also requested a bowl of cereal. When we didn't have anything that appealed to him he said, "Mommy, there is a new kind of cheerios with different colors. It's just like Kellogg's Fruit Loops. I saw it on the TV and they said it was really healthy." Sigh. We had a little chat (not our first either) about truth in advertising.
  4. He told me his head hurt after I mentioned that I was going back to the headache doctor. He said that he needed a bag of frozen peas to make his head feel better. (We sometimes use frozen vegetables as a temporary ice pack in our house). Henry then proceeded to spend a good chunk of the afternoon and then later in the evening with a bag of Edamame placed on top of his head.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Bad hair day

  1. OK, so I feel bad complaining about the temperature here when I know it is or just was hotter than 90 degrees where you live, but, I am going to complain anyway.
  2. Mostly because my hair looks like Gilda Radner's after she just stuck her finger in the electric socket.
  3. My hair is wide. Hair should be full or thick or wavy. Hair should not be wide.
  4. It should not need its own pillow.
  5. If I went to a movie theater today (not bloody likely), people would have to ask me to tamp down my tresses, or they might not be able to see the screen.
  6. Usually I try to look more like Jane Curtin.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Poor gutter design has damned us again!

  1. I woke up this morning and thought, "Wow it really looks like we got some rain last night." Then I went downstairs and noticed Cary had left his running sneakers in the middle of the entryway floor.
  2. Then I went to put them back on the boot tray when I noticed it was wet.
  3. It was wet because the patch of ceiling above it was dripping.
  4. GRRR. I had just called the gutter guy to set up a cleaning yesterday.
  5. The rain finally stopped. And then the dripping stopped. We have a patch of discoloration about 2"x15" on the ceiling, but otherwise nothing worse happened...yet.
  6. My dad came over and diagnosed the problem, and we have an idea what to do next. He also thinks it wasn't related to clogged gutters, so I don't have to feel like a total idiot.

PS. We were damned again because a few years ago melting snow leaked in about two feet from where this leak happened, and that time we got a new roof. This time it should be a much cheaper fix.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

It was a day that seemed to take forever

  1. Henry was put in time out by me for purposely squishing a container of applesauce in the fridge that was left over from what he didn't eat at lunch time.
  2. Henry was put in time out by Cary for purposely licking a door knob three times.
  3. I think I may have killed my favorite clematis but hopefully it will bounce back soon.
  4. Lucy is finally starting to feel better, although she still won't really eat and she cries inordinately. But I did take her and her brother outside for awhile today. I saw some errant grass growing near my blackberry lily and reached down to pick it. As I reached behind me to drop it on the ground I didn't realize she was standing right behind me and I clocked her in the face. Like the poor child hasn't felt bad enough for the past few days! Of course I felt terrible, but she did manage to recover well enough to scream throughout our entire dinner.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Five Things

OK, here goes.

Five items in my freezer:
  1. Mrs. Repicci's Sausage. On our wedding day Cary asked his mother's friend Mrs. Repicci if she would add us to her Christmastime sausage giftlist. She hasn't missed a year since. Also it is almost gone.
  2. Homemade English Muffins from Le Metro
  3. Popsicles: Edy's Lemonade, Lime, Tangerine and Popsicle brand Root beer, Dr. Pepper, and Orange Crush. Henry likes popsicles.
  4. Frozen Buffalo Meat. I should throw it out. I served it to Cary once and I don't think he has gotten over the shock.
  5. Edamame. For that soybean humus I had every intention of making.
Five items in my closet:
  1. A few presents for the kids hidden away for either rainy days or Christmas, whichever comes first.
  2. A large number of Fresh Produce t-shirts.
  3. My Pappagallo purse from fifth grade with all of my purse covers.
  4. My bridesmaids dresses from Auntly H's and Mommy at Work's respective weddings.
Five items in the car:
  1. One stroller.
  2. Two pairs of Jackie O style sunglasses from the Watertown dollar store (one for me and one for Lucy.
  3. Three car seats. We keep a spare booster seat in the car, mostly for Aidan.
  4. Four pens.
  5. At least five different obnoxious toys that require batteries.

Five items in my backpack
(ahem, it's just a purse)
  1. ipod nano
  2. A printed list of deer-resistant perennials from Russel's nursery.
  3. Nasty strawberry gum for Henry
  4. Aah-pops for the Luce
  5. Diapers and wipes

One person I tag because LHM tagged all the other people I know with blogs!
  1. Jen14221

Monday, July 24, 2006

Saga of the shade continues...

  1. The replacement for the broken shade in Henry's room was supposed to arrive Saturday. Today I received a suspiciously light package from FedEx.
  2. It was an empty box!!!
  3. I called customer service at the company and they told me that the service department had decided that they wanted to repair the shade, so they sent me a box to return it to them.
  4. I was never told that I was going to be receiving a box. I was told to expect a remade shade.
  5. I didn't get mad so much about them wanting to repair the shade, but the lousy communications annoyed me.
  6. When I finally figured out what I had to do with the shade and got it down from the window the box they sent was too small!
  7. Fortunately I had the old box that the shade had originally come in, so I was able to substitute it. Now I just have to wait 3-5 days for UPS to pick it up, bring me a label, and take it back from whence it came. We shall see if they screw it up or not.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

  1. A mystery animal dug its way up into my back flower bed where it miraculously left all of the plants untouched, at least for today. I think it did dismantle my slug trap though.
  2. Lucy banged and I think also bit the inside of her lip on the corner of a storage bench. Many tears and much bleeding ensued. Fortunately the cut was small and she rebounded nicely once she put on the hat she was trying to get in the first place and had an aah-pop.
  3. A resurgence of Lucy's cold forced us to cancel our plans to go to Cary's parents house for pizza and swimming.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Just Another Rainy Saturday in July

  1. Henry woke up well before 6 a.m. today. While I was trying to fall back asleep he was in my room with my dental floss stringing it back and forth between the knobs on my closet.
  2. Lucy woke up at a reasonable hour, but with a fever. She seemed a little better throughout the day, but she is definitely sick.
  3. I had another migraine.
I am definitely looking forward to tomorrow...

Friday, July 21, 2006

Fishy. No, seriously fishy.

  1. I was outside doing some yard work when I heard Lucy was awake so as I was heading in to get her I noticed there was a dead fish laying on our brick path.
  2. Where do I begin? It is just sitting there, lifeless, covered with flies.
  3. How did it get there? Do our neighbors hate us or did an unlucky Great Blue Heron drop it while flying over head?

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Cause and Effect?

  1. The children both screamed more than normal, or at least more than I was able to tolerate today.
  2. I think I am getting a cold.
  3. Possibly because of 1 and 2, I have a migraine, but it is the first one since July 6th. I am hopeful that the neurologists suggestions will help me have fewer headaches.

But, in happier news, Lucy had something go very right today. We went to a different supermarket because Wegman's doesn't carry collards, and when we were checking out there were helium balloons for the taking with not one, but two dum dum aah-pops tied to them. Sometimes life is sweet!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


  1. Pain in the Molar. Lucy may be teething. I am guessing this is the case because she has basically refused to eat anything for the last 24 hours, preferring to subsist on milk fortified with flax seed oil (our preferred solution to constipation), except when we were in the grocery store today and she ate a cookie and a lollipop.
  2. Picky Picky Picky. Lucy does not eat many things, and she is not the sort of kid that usually gets treats because she has never finished her meal (how can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?). But I started letting her have dum dum lollipops when Henry was at swimming because it kept her relatively quiet, they only have 20 calories and she never finishes them. But what she does do is now incessantly request an "AAH-POP" in a loud voice whenever she thinks of it, which is pretty much constantly. She is fond of requesting colors, usually blue or green, but will generally accept whatever we give her.
  3. It's not always good to share. Lately Lucy has taken to try to get me or her dad or Henry to finish the lollipop. The whole point of introducing her to refined sugar was to encourage her to be quiet, but now after screaming "AAH-POP" she is yelling "mouth, mouth!" and shoving the slobbery gob near my face while I am trying to buy decide what kind of cereal we need this week.
  4. She was given a helium balloon while we were waiting in line at the grocery store. I think because she was screaming. Lucy loves balloons and she carried it around for an hour or so until it was time for lunch and her nap. Then it popped. While she was asleep. What went right: miraculously she forgot about it when she woke up from her nap.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Swimming foibles continue

  1. Henry's swim goggles went through the washer, but fortunately not the dryer.
  2. He is refusing to go to lessons now because he wants his old teacher back. Town lessons make it nearly impossible to sign up, and they certainly do not let you request a teacher. So now he has convinced himself not to do something that he loved for an arbitrary reason. After asking him to wait in his room until he was ready to go to the lesson it only took him about five minutes to change his mind. Maybe the constant darkness of his room now with the broken shade helped hasten his decision.
  3. At swimming he was doing great until he decided to jump in with a floaty barbell while the teacher was at the other end with another child. The lifeguard had to get in and I had to yell at him. But at least I know he can jump in and be safe because he does it all the time at his Grandma's.
What went right: Lucy is now saying "I love you."

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Not in pieces

  1. I left Henry alone for about 6 minutes so I could put Lucy down for her nap. When I came out of her room I found him sitting in his room and he said it was too dark. I went to raise his shade but it would not go up. Then he mentioned that he was really sorry but he had squeezed it and now it was broken.
  2. I got very angry with him because this isn't just an ordinary shade. All of our windows are irregularly sized and I had to special order it. This is the third shade we have had for this window because they have all had technical problems, and I had to return them and wait for new ones to arrive even though supposedly it was made by a reputable company and is a quality product.
  3. One of the reasons I got so mad was because I knew that I would have to deal with the company again to get it replaced. The shades have a lifetime guarantee, so they agreed to replace it for free. At least the person on the phone today agreed to that. It may be different tomorrow. And I don't think what Henry did should have been enough to break it.
  4. I felt so bad that I got angry with him, but also feel like he is old enough to know better.
  5. Cary's only comment: "it has been six months since he broke something that mattered to you." So I guess I have half a year to let go every time he breaks something that doesn't matter to me. At least we got the big one out of the way. Maybe I should celebrate?

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Old Homes

  1. Old Home Days. "Old Homes," with its affectionately ungrammatical nickname, is a carnival on a small park in the town I grew up in. It is magnificently tiny, unchanging, and provokes extreme reactions of either devotion or revulsion to all who attend. It was the centerpiece of the summer when I was in high school, when all of the people who seemed to matter magically reappeared for four days in the middle of summer.
  2. Grassy Knoll. As adults, the main attraction is the beer tent. Technically there is a tent, but is really just a big grassy area surrounded by cops. You can buy six packs of cheap beer and if your sixer gets too warm, they let you exchange it for a new one. Just don't try and leave with it. "Drink it or dump it," as the cop said to a friend's husband when we were leaving. It is hot, crowded, and really freaking loud. It is really strange to stand around for hours in a place with as little ambience as Gitmo, screaming at a variety of friends you rarely get to see, not wanting to look up because you never know who might be there.
  3. The afterparty. The beer tent closes at the ridiculously early hour of 11, so naturally it is necessary to go elsewhere after, but where? If you are with my friends, you end up somewhere just as crowded and loud (but oddly less hot though indoors) where seats are scarce and it is hard to get a beer. Men are short. Women are poorly dressed and very carefully made up.
  4. Cherry on top. If you are me and my friends who don't read, you park somewhere you don't belong and get a ticket.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

  1. Escape. I was on my way to Henry's swimming lesson today, and it was raining, hard. I tore the house apart looking for an old raincoat to wear because it is an outside pool, and I can't just leave him and sit in the car with Lucy. I did find the coat, but when I came downstairs I couldn't find Henry. I went into the garage and found him sitting in the back of the car in his swim trunks and sandals with no shirt on. He was ready to swim. We were almost late, but I noticed that Sufi was not around. She didn't call when I rattled her food, so I went outside into the pouring rain (at least I had that damn coat) and found her under a tree in our yard, totally soaked.
  2. Oh so wet. We proceeded to Henry's lesson thinking it would not be cancelled because last time it was raining they did not cancel the lesson. As we are standing there watching him get ready to swim, with Lucy jumping joyously in the puddles, it started to rain even harder. So ten minutes after we arrived they ordered everyone out of the pool. We were soaked and he did not get to do any swimming.
  3. Ebay search is not working. Don't they know this is my only time today to price Marimekko coffee mugs?
But one thing went right ... all that rain meant golf was cancelled. Hooray!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Last time I checked, these are things we did for fun...
  1. Golf. I signed up for golf lessons with my pal J.J. thinking that I might not have much time to get on the course this year, but at least I would get to play at the lesson. Wrong! The lessons are brought to us by Sr. Crazy, who never stops talking, talking, talking. Talking about the biomechanics of golf and how he read his daughter's pre-med text books to understand the subject. Talking about how all PGA trained pro teachers know nothing because they don't study biomechanics. Talking while I am trying to swing at the ball, which doesn't happen too often because, you guessed it, he never stops talking. Cary and I actually played nine holes over the weekend, and we both decided that hitting regularly at the golf course would be better than an hour and a half of torture with Sr. Crazy, but I feel bad quitting, so even though it is tomorrow I still haven't totally decided to go or not.
  2. Swimming. Henry is enrolled in swimming lessons through the town we live in. The summer is divided into three two week sessions, and I had to go sign him up for session two last night. It was from 6-8, so after dutifully feeding my family and cleaning up after them, I headed out thinking it might take about an hour. There were well over 100 people in line when I arrived at 6:20. I waited in line for two hours! When I finally got to the head of the line I was stunned to see that the operation was staffed by only two women who were writing everything by hand!!! And I then learned that I could only sign him up for the second session. If he wants to swim in the third session as well, I have to go in two more weeks and repeat the whole crazy process. I think I spent almost as much time in line as he will have spent in the pool.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

All was going so well and then...

  1. Yesterday we had neglected to run the dishwasher. I started it the next morning, and it happened to contain all of Lucy's usual type of sippy cup. When she asked for "nilk" and I gave it to her in the cup reserved for water at the gym she threw the cup and started crying horizontal tears. This went on for at least ten minutes. She stood in front of the open refrigerator and screamed. It got so bad that I stopped the dishwasher, removed all of the cups component parts and washed them and gave her the milk. That seemed to do the trick. Sheesh.
  2. I was upstairs balancing the checkbook and I heard Henry say "I just threw up." So down I ran and found him, cleaned and changed him. Cleaned up the mess which was on a new chair we just inherited, my PT ball, and the rug. I thought he had gotten sick because of the two Reese's cups and the entire box of Annies whole wheat macaroni and cheese he had eaten after swimming today, but I know my son. As he lay on the couch under a cozy blankie I thought to ask, "Did you do anything to yourself to make you throw up?" He answered, "Just stuck the screwdriver in my mouth." I looked down to see one of his play tools, a wrench actually, covered in vomit.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


  1. Swimming. Henry did better at swimming lessons today, as compared to Monday. But he has to go through the boys locker room alone to reach the pool. When it was time to leave and he failed to come out I got a little worried. I tried to peer in the locker room, and I saw him run by. I yelled his name and he came out. No towel. No sandals. He said, "I took a shower." When he agreed to go back in for them it became apparent that he had showered with his towel.
  2. Locks. Henry has become fascinated with locks. He is constantly playing with the door lock in the car even though I have repeatedly asked him not to. Today he locked the downstairs bathroom door and closed it behind him, locking it. The release switch on the door knob was not working. After about 30 minutes of trying I called my dad, who suggested I use a screw driver to open it. I did open it, but only because the little screwdriver was small enough to push the latch in.
  3. Big Mess. I sent Henry to his room after the door incident. While he was up there he systematically removed all of the boxes containing his old shoes from the top shelf of his closet and I found them strewn about the room, with the tissue paper everywhere, and those little bags of dessicant (do not eat!) on the carpet. He did help me clean up and then cleaned up the family room too, so all is now forgiven. And the rest of the day was fine until he poured water on his comforter while Cary was home with him (I was at golf lessons, but that will have to wait for another post).

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Updates ...

  1. The mystery rash is gone. Although I kind of miss Henry on Benardryl.
  2. My appointment with the neurologist resulted in a couple of new kinds of medication. The doctor doesn't seem to think they are true migraines because they aren't severe enough. Hurrah?! They are "migrainous" in nature. He also doesn't think the headaches are caused by anything more severe than my poor sleep habits. Hurrah!
  3. Rather than apologizing for neglecting to give me a referral, the receptionist at my primary care doc's office informed me that "they did it for me this time, but they just can't keep up with everyone's different types of insurance, so I was in charge of requesting my own referrals." Soon I will be requesting a new doctor.
  4. Cary is on the phone with our friend's son, Aidan, while Aidan is doing the Macarena. Aidan and Henry both learned the Macarena in pre-school today, but somehow Henry failed to mention that when he came home, although he did say it was "the greatest day of his life."
  5. I just sliced through a gigantic slug that was eating one of my Rosy Returns daylilies. (Sorry Bshanmac).
  6. We had a baby Cardinal in our yard tonight.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Just when I thought there was nothing to post ...

  1. I saw my fourteen year old neighbors creating a bonfire out of their school work in their back yard. While not something that went wrong, it just is wrong.
  2. I spent most of the day watching the kids, which was fine. When it was finally Cary's turn to take over I went out to spend some well earned quiet time in the garden only to get caught in a major downpour. This did have the advantage of putting out the aforementioned bonfire.
  3. A plunger was required to completely dispose of the contents of Lucy's diaper.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

  1. The mystery rash is still present and has migrated to Henry's face and the backs of his elbows. The nurse at his doctor's office didn't seem too concerned about it, so we are just hoping that Benadryl takes care of it.
  2. Henry went to get dressed today and had no clean underwear because I had forgotten to collect his dirty clothes on Friday when I did laundry.
  3. So I don't know for sure because I didn't actually see it, but I think Deer visited us in the night and knocked down my Goldfinch feeder and made it all sticky with their yucky deer spit. Gross!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Yeah, it was one for the ages today ...

  1. I slept late which was good because of the aforementioned insomnia. Then I ran around like crazy so I could get everything done in time to go on some errands with the kids and my mom which I was really looking forward to. So maybe it is lame to look forward to errands, but so be it. My mom drives and the kids are locked in their car seats and we chat and I drink coffee, and it is pretty relaxing. However, we never went on the errands because Henry had some kind of weirdo rash that my mom noticed while in the car. It required a phone call to the doctor, benadryl, and a baking soda bath. But it really is no big deal, except that I spent the next third of my day treating it.
  2. I had another migraine. I am now out of my drug of choice for these headaches.
  3. I got a call from my neurologist's office reminding me of my appointment on Tuesday (like I would forget). The computer that was placing the call mentioned that I would need to bring several things to the appointment, including a referral from my doctor. I have been waiting for three months to go to this appointment to talk about my headaches, and my stupid, idiotic primary care physician set me up with an appointment (that the neurologist has already cancelled and re-scheduled twice) but didn't give me a referral!!!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

  1. I woke up with a migraine. Medication came to the rescue -- again.
  2. Apparently for no reason, Henry had a bloody nose. "It's no use Mommy. It's never going to stop."
  3. I pinched Lucy's hand with the car seat buckle resulting in her screaming for five minutes. Then later she bumped into the bannister, more screaming followed. I am beginning to notice a trend here. Let's hope Lucy doesn't get hurt tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

What went wrong:
  1. Henry threw his perfectly clean towel in my in-laws swimming pool.
  2. He also inadvertantly stepped on an issue of Cooking Light that I had left on the floor, and managed to rip out about four pages.
  3. I can't figure out how to make the pictures go with the text they refer too.

What went right:
  1. My William Guiness Columbines are starting to bloom a little bit late, but still very exciting. Also, I saw a Cedar Waxwing in my front yard today.
  2. My Sufjan Stevens review went up on ampcamp and you can read it here
  3. Fish Tacos from previously referenced Cooking Light were totally great.
  1. Our dryer eats anything I put into it with a string, like a hooded sweatshirt or drawstring pants. Today it devoured the new pillow shams, which have ties for some stupid reason, even though I carefully hid them by turning the shams inside out before drying. I am not sure whether the dryer, the shams or both were designed by an idiot.
  2. Henry was put in time out at gym care for saying the words "stupid" and "idiot."
  3. I bumped Lucy in the face with a book by accident when putting her to bed, and the only suitable way to remedy her injury was to profusely apologize and read two more books to her.
  4. Joetaco let me down, and reviewed the new Frank Black record himself, so Cary had to buy it on This will inevitably generate future posts.
  5. I have insomnia, which is probably the only way this blog will continue to be updated.