Wednesday, April 29, 2009

She's mad at me again

Helen got in trouble this afternoon. she won't stay out of my room. She empties out my nightstand drawers, hides things of Benny's and mine. All in all, she's a sneaky little shit. So when I took Ruthie and the little boy I watch outside, Helen has to sit on the steps. No playing. I couldn't see her from every spot in the front of the house, but I 'd go to check on her every once in a while. The last time I checked I found this:
She was fully clothed when we came outside. I hope she grows out of this before junior high.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Timing is everything

This kid has some amazing timing with things. I'm one for dates anyway. Dates and phone numbers. Those are things that my head is clogged with. Since Ruthie's arrival, that kid has had a knack for landing significant events on days that already have some pretty significant meaning.
On March 5, 1994, at a party in Albany, NY, somewhere around 2 0r 3 in the morning, I took a big risk and it paid off...I asked Benny out. Yup, I'm a modern woman that way (::snort::) Fast forward 10 years to March 5, 2oo4. At 3:44 a.m., Ruthie was born. That's right....ten years to the day, nearly to the hour, from when I asked her father out, our little daughter made her grand entrance.
On October 16, 2002, we received the sad and devastating news that our first little baby's heart had stopped beating. Thought that baby was just the size of a bean, it was ours, and I'll never forget that day. Five years later, on October 26, 2007, little Ruthie started school for the very firs time. A much happier thing to balance out the sadness.
On April 20, 2004, we were finally able to take our little girl, then 47 days old, home from the hopsital. Her first breath of fresh air, her first glimpse of sunshine, and our first night at home as a new family. Fast foward five years again, to April 20, 2009, and that little baby girl loses her first tooth.
Weird how things happen, huh?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Oh where, oh where?

Have I been? Kitty was wondering if I was no longer posting because it was no longer Lent. While that is a good's not the case. The real story is that I am STILL FRIGGIN SICK. And just when I think I'm over the hump, the snot returns. Actually, the big problem now is that I keep coughing. And coughing. And coughing. It's keeping me up at night. And it sucks. And I'm tired. So while I desperately want to post about my fabulous lunch with Carly, and other fun stuff, I really do not have the brain power to form a well-written sentence. But in the interim, I have stumbled upon a fabulous book by one of my favoritest writers of all time, Joyce Carol Oates. She has a newly published collection of short stories entitled "Dear Husband" which I am too lazy to link to. But if you are looking for reading material in the absence of my deep and thoughtful posts, read that.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Top ten titles for this post

10. Those children aren't mine
9. Dear Neighbors, Excuse my screaming five year old in the driveway
8. And I really wanted another one of these?
7. I hate school vacations: the pre-k years
6. Why three year olds should learn to do laundry (or alternately: it isn't cute to wet your pants on purpose).
5. NY mother goes missing...please don't look for me
4. I never should have given up drinking
3. Does anyone have a do you light this thing?
2. Foreign adoption may have been a better bet

and finally...

1. Where the fuck is that last Cadbury creme egg?

Monday, April 13, 2009

From Poltergeist to Dateline

Dead on....
I love Dateline, but Keith Morrison gives me the creeps big time. He reminds me of the weird old half dead guy from one of the Poltergeist movies...the one who shows up on the porch and walks around singing and freaking people out. Benny found this for me:

So what?

Are you ready for some...

BIG NEWS!!! (that's a link, folks)

Really....does ANYBODY care?
I sensed a hint of "whatever" from Matt and Meredith when the promos were announced. My feelings exactly.

Easter Moday

I'm sick. Nasty head cold. But I really shouldn't complain, It's the first bad cold I've had since I had my tonsils taken out ten months ago. The relentless congestion in my head is preventing me from coming up with anything witty this morning.
We had a great Easter...we're exhausted....looking forward to a lazy day.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Mother of the Year

I've been MIA the last couple of days. I have been busier than I'd like to be....getting ready for the bunny, visiting with old friends who are in town, making bread for Easter dinner, making these just because I'm nuts. We're leaving town tomorrow for Easter. And I'm pretty sure my five year old has not stopped talking in at least 72 hours. That constant chatter makes me head spin.
But it's not just you, my loyal readers, who have been neglected. Dinner this evening in our house was two hard-boiled eggs and a ring pop for Ruthie, and Cheerios and M & Ms for Helen. Benny was on his own, and I had some Strawberry sour straws leftover from the cupcake project.
Hopefully while we're away I'll collect some fun stories to tell you, but I can't promise anything.
In case I don't get to it tomorrow, Happy Easter!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

What's in a name?

A bonus post today...just becasue I'm curious. The addition of a new baby to our extended family, as well as the same in a friend's family, has led me to wondering how people go about picking a name for their child(ren). It's a hard thing to do....the poor kid will be stuck with it his/her entire life.
Here's my process:
First, nothing trendy.
Boys' names are easier for me. I tend to go for more traditional names, and I like quite a few biblical names (not Moses or Cesar, but the stuff that would also fall into traditional) I think a boy's aname should have a certain degree of stregnth behind it, KWIM? Our boy name was always Andrew. It's Benny's middle name and it is a classic. While I try to steer away from top ten names, I didn't mind if it was top ten but not trendy. Andrew fit that. Other favorites were Adam and Noah (though Noah was starting to get kinda popular).
Girls were harder. In both cases I wanted a name that was maybe a little old-fashioned and not popular, but also had a bit of strength. Also, a name thatI hadn't encountered as a classroom teacher was good. I tend to love Gaelic names, but they're generally hard to pronounce and Benny isn't the biggest fan of them, so while I used a Gaelic name for Helen's real name, we Americanized the spelling, and it's a name that also occurs in other cultures. I fact, by changing the spelling I think we actually made Helen's real name Russian. But I still tell people it's Irish. Ruthie's real name was chosen just becasue it's a beautiful old-fashioned, strong name that I happen to love. Of course, now it's getting more popular and it's just pissing me off. I also loved Sadie and Charlotte but they were vetoed by Benny.
Middle names were picked because we wanted to honor certain relatives.
In the case of either gender, three things were of vital importance. The first was that the name be a strong name that could carry the child through life. A name that's cute wehen she's four might sound pretty stupid when she's 40. And also, it needed to sound good with our last name. And by that I mean just the first and last name together need to sound good, and the whole first-middle-last need to sound good. And it had to be a name I really loved. Nothing I was "settling" on.
So what was your process? Even if you don't usually comment, I want to hear from you! I'm really curious about this! Did you want a nickname? If you have more than one, did you care if they "went together"? Tel me, tell me!

Make me an offer I can't refuse...

So things are getting ugly here in our house. Helen is increasingly unhappy with the crackdown. And I believe we've been threatened. We're having a horrible time getting her to stay in her bed at night, and then gettingh er to STAY ASLEEP!!! (Isn't the statute of limitations over for regular and repeated night waking...she's three for God's sake!) So anyway, Beenny and I have each gotten up repeatedly over the last few nights to try to figure out what is wrong with Helen, who refuses to speak to us. She just whines. And not in that "I'm hurting" or "I'm scared" kinda way. Rather it is that "I am just waking up and whining to PISS YOU OFF" kinda way. And piss me off it does. Things here at about 12:30 last night were way ugly. I am not happy when I am awoken, especially by a whining three year old who woke me up for no good reason. When I put her to bed, I reminded her that she needed to stay in bed, and she needed to sleep and not wake Mommy and Daddy up. She understood that and agreed. But she got up anyway. And I told her to go back to bed, but I didn't go upstairs. Lately she's been stealthing around upstairs, making her way to our room where she doesn't belong and doing other things she should not. be. doing. She had been told to stay out of our room, after we found lotion smeared on our new bedspread, my earplugs missing, and tissues scattered around the rug. The other day I found some black foam strips on the bathroom sink. I assumed Benny was embarking on some sort of project and left them there. Later, when i asked him about them, he didn't know what I was talking about. We eventually figured out that they were striops that he had put on the door frame of Helen's door to keep the door from banging. Helen has decided to remove them from the door frame and left them int he bathroom for us. We told her they were helping to keep her door quiet and she needed to leave them there, and Benny adhered them to the door frame again. Last night, after Helen had finally gone to sleep, I went to go into our room and was stopped in the doorway by the foam strips, pulled from the doorway of Helen's door again, and placed on the threshold of our bedroom. Like some kind of warning to us. "Take things back to the way they were...or else." I am taking great comfort in knowing that Helen is nowhere near strong enough to lift the head of a horse.

Monday, April 6, 2009

I caved

Anyone who knows me well knows I detest character clothing. Perhaps this is a remnant of my days working in day care: I recall a little girl coming in and proudly showing off her Pocahontas sneakers. Before the movie was even released. I was so disgusted by this (and other examples of flagrant over marketing to young children) that I swore I would not dress my children in character clothing. Actually, I make the exception at underwear and pajamas, which I guess means that maybe some of my issue is about the fact that I think a lot of the stuff is ugly (do I need to take a picture of the shiny brown Disney Princess hand-me-down tracksuit with the rainbow stripes to prove my point?). And poorly made. (Does not bode well for my consignment selling). Either way, Helen was NOT getting the Dora swimsuit she has persistently requested each and every time we have been to Target in the last month. Well, yesterday we went shoe shopping. More specifically, Easter dress shoes for Ruthie and summer sandals for both. We went to Payless first, where I accidentally bought Ruthie a par of Hannah Montana boots on clearance. I'm sure you're wondering how someone accidentally purchases a pair of boots. Well, they were on clearance, in the size I anticipate her to be next year, and they are kinda cute. So I picked them up out of the box and said "Look, honey, do you like these?" at which point she looked at the box and screamed "Hannah Montana!" Oops. I hadn't looked at the box....just the boots. And the big kicker here is that we don't watch Hannah Montana. I know there is nothing offensive about the show, but I don't need my pre-schooler looking to teenagers as role models just yet. KWIM? So anyway, we got the boots. They don't actually say HM on them anywhere, so I can live with that. I do beleive I saw Benny roll his eyes when Ruthie arrived home toting an enormous HM box.
On to Target for sandals. I found a pair for Helen immediately. She didn't want them. Because she wanted the Princess sandals and the Princess shoes and the Dora sneakers and the Dora sandals and the Dora crocs. Sigh. After trying desperately and unsuccessfully to divert her attention to the sandals that were pretty and white and had NO FRICKIN CHARACTERS on them, she steered me back over to the character shoe section, where she found a lovely (note the sarcasm here) pair of strappy pastel metallic sandals.

See the Dora on the bottom there. Dora brand. She tried them on and I almost let her get them, but then I regained consciousness. Then she found these:

And of course my first instinct was to scream "FOR THE LOVE OF GOD CHILD HAVE YOU NO DIGNITY?!!" But I fought that, and tried instead to gently dissuade her. Helen will not be dissuaded, gently or otherwise. I realized pretty soon that she was never going to forget the fact that she wanted these shoes. And I could either be badgered every day for the next 15 years until she moves out of my house, or I could buy her the damned shoes and hope that nobody noticed she was wearing Dora crocs. Which is what I did. But they're hot pink. And they have a huge Dora head on them. And in case they don't notice, Helen points them out to everyone she meets. "Look at my Dora shoes."
But as a mom who shares my view on character clothes noted today, Helen stared at her shoes the whole way down the path at the front of Ruthie's school. So I guess that, in the end, buying her those shoes was okay.

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Gloves are OFF....and my hands hurt. (not literally, folks)

Okay, here's the thing....Helen is one of those kids who will make you laugh 23 hours out of the day. She says things that you don't expect out of a little, tiny person...she does things that are just frickin hilarious. But she can border on obnoxious. And I've been around little kids long enough to know that if you keep laughing a them when they're three and hilarious and a little precocious, they keep it up. Even when they turn seven, and no longer so tiny and adorable, and they are now full-blown snots. And so it was with a heaving sigh that I announced that we needed to crack down on Helen before she became one of these incorrigible snots. So last night, when I put her to bed, I told her in no uncertain terms that if she got out of her bed, I would be closing her bedroom door. She got out of bed. Twice. So I closed her bedroom door. And so the all-out screaming and kicking the door tantrum began. Benny wasn't home, so I was flying solo on this one. I had wanted nothing more than to put my children to bed and curl up on the couch for the series finale of ER. Thank God for tiVo, because the pause button got a lot of action last night. I went up and down the stairs, putting Helen back in her room and shutting the door, again and again, for two hours. And then Benny came home and put her to be and left her door open. And by the time I realized it, she was out cold. Thanks Buddy. Two hours of my life down the drain. He thought the point was to get her to fall asleep. That was NOT the point. The point was to let her know that Mommy said what Mommy meant. So now she knows: Mommy might mean what she says, but that doesn't mean Daddy will do something else. Helen's exhaustion, coupled with my exhasution and a downright depressing day in terms of weather, did nothing to improve my mood this morning, and made the day seem endless. And since Benny is getting home late tonight, I have fed the chldren. After he gets home, while he puts them to bed, I will run out and pick up our movie, already reserved courtesy of Red Box, And then I'll make this. And we'll curl up on the couch with a nice big bowl if this. And THAT should make it all better.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Home on the Range

Funny that my friend Carly should mention Pioneer Woman in her blog the other day. I have become a recent and huge fan and had every intention of mentioning her here as well. I guess great minds do think alike.
Pioneer Woman was mentioned quite some time ago on a message board I frequent. I added her to my Goggle Reader, but didn't really check things out. Probably because at that point I was completely addicted to Hatchlings and if someone posted more than twice in a day, I marked their posts as read without even looking. And PW...well, she had four or five posts some days. Too many for me...or so I thought. But one day not too long ago, I decided to give her a closer look. And I loved what I saw. She has amazing photography, funny anecdotes about life on the ranch, and awesome giveaways. But best is her recipe section! She has four children so I know that her recipes cannot be too labor intensive, or off the wall. And they all look so yummy (thanks in no small part to her amazing photography). She'll take you through step by step with pictures and amusing commentary, and then link you to a printable version. Last night, I made Chicken Scallopine and it was YUMMY!!! And not too hard to make. Ruthie gobbled up every drop of the mushroomy sauce and begged for more. (Don't even ask about Helen...really.....just don't.) I get agita each week just thinking about what to make for dinner. It's not that I'm that awful a cook, I just don't want to get in a rut, and I suck at planing ahead. So why bother to cook at all? (Or would that in itself be consdered a rut?) But PW has actually made me excited about making dinner!! Woohoo! So if you haven't checked her out, I urge you to enrich your life by adding her to your feeds. You won't be sorry. And me? I'm searching her archives for a fabulous seafood dish for tomorrow night. Benny will be coming home late and we're going to have a nice grown-up dinner after Frick and Frack go to bed.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Smarty pants

I was asked to participate in a panel at the hospital where I volunteer each week. The same hospital where Ruthie and Helen received their care as premature newborns. It is a panel discussing medical decision making for premature babies, and I am asked to participate as a parent. I am honored to be a member of this panel, and I welcome any opportunity to better the experience of a family in the NICU. That said, I believe I am screwed. The panel meets next week. I was asked a couple of months ago to participate and the person who asked me had only been given a general description, so that was all the info I had. Until today. I was emailed an article for perusal before this panel meets. I opened the attachment, and that is the precise moment when I realized that I was screwed.
I was really excited to know I had, essentially, homework. I was gearing myself up for a night on the couch with a highlighter and some little post-it notes, so that I could note relevant material and provide meaningful contributions to this panel. That is soooo not what is going to happen.
You see, I have spent the last five years as a stay-at-home mom. My reading material has varied over these last five years. I have always been an avid reader and motherhood hasn't changed that, but my reading material has become more diverse, and has come to overwhelmingly include passages such as "Look what I found in the park in the dark, I will take him home, I will call him Clark." The material that was emailed to me today, well, one sentence begins "In bivariable analyses as well as analyses adjusted for the center and the factors described above..." Um, okay. That does not rhyme, making it significantly harder for me to understand. And I think a few of those words exceed the syllable limit for my comprehension level.
I know that at one point, say when I was in graduate school eons ago, I probably would have know instantly what that meant. And chances are that if I sat long enough IN SILENCE, I would again know what that meant. And therein lies the problem. When in hell am I going to find an hour during the next week when I can sit in my house IN SILENCE? Evening does not count because by the time my children go to bed at night, I am generally bordering on minimally functional. And really, in order for my house to be silent, it needs to be EMP. T. Except, of course, for me. I will be sure to update you during the week to let you know what kind of progress I have made (i.e. whether or not Cliff Notes are available for this particular article.)
In the meantime, I am sitting here waiting for Benny to arrive home with the final ingredient in our dinner, which I plan to write about tomorrow. So dinner prep has been done, but not the actual cooking yet. But I keep smelling food-something as I sit here typing. I was a bit confused at first until I realized that I just vacuumed the rug which was infested with popcorn from the little party Benny and the girls had last night, and the vacuum is sitting next to me. Mmmm....the smell of stale, vacuumed snacks. Does it get better than this?