My online journal.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Wait, I've seen this movie. Only I'm prettier than Bill Murray.

It's going to be difficut for me to adjust to every. Day. Being. The same.

I am not sure what I had thought -- that I was going to get to go to work this weekend? Or, like, on a vacation somewhere? Because I was a little shocked to find that Saturday and Sunday were eerily similar to the rest of the week. Only, with a large blond man also taking up space in the house. And goofing up my feeding/nap schedule.

Oh! Okay, I have held this in long enough. Have you seen those new McDonald's billboards?

"Let us add the cream and sugar."


I'm no marketing guru, but I don't get these ads at all. First of all, who's the the "us"? Is it McDonald's, as in, "No, no, let US do it!" or is it like a collective "us," as in "Let us all rejoice and together we will add cream and sugar!"

So I happened to be at McDonald's for breakfast shortly after these ads came out. (They're mostly billboards here in the Twin Cities, and they are omnipresent.) And I ordered a coffee, and because the ads seemed so blasted adamant, I said:

"... and a small coffee. With LOTS of cream, and a little bit of sugar" (because this is how I like my coffee, and I'm particular about it, it has to end up the right color or I cannot drink it)

and the girl kind of squinted at me and said "Do you want to just do it yourself?"

YES! Of course I do! I don't even trust the "baristas" at a place that specializes in coffee to add my cream and sugar; I'm sure as heck not going to entrust the creaming-and-sugaring of my coffee to a McDonald's employee.

So anyway, totally hate the ads. They just make me want coffee, which I'd honestly prefer not to get at McDonald's anyway.

And! We rented "American Dreamz" last night. It's a movie. With Hugh Grant and Dennis Quaid and a bunch of other people I really like. The movie is cheesy, to be sure, but JG and I LOVED it. Okay, now, I know that I also really like "American Idol" which the movie is sorta based on, but it was just a really cute movie and oh man the baby's screaming gotta go...

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Whoa-oh, here she comes...

...She's a bon-bon eater!

Joel just called me that. Mostly because I am not completely exhausted at 10pm. ANYWAY! I made it through Day Three!

I promise these posts will become less child-centric in the very near future. In the meanwhile, though, I feel like a starving child who has been given a free pass to Old Country Buffet. I have been given this amazing gift of Unlimited Time with my young'uns and I am gorging myself.

Long stories short:

On two separate occasions, either Joel or I has injured ourself (that is NOT the right tense but I can't figure it out) when Lucy's been nearby. (I stubbed a toe -- I don't know what happened to JG.) Lucy immediately, upon recognizing our pain, ran over to each of us, knelt down, said "Come-here" and gave us the BIGGEST hugs. Her empathy (er, wait, sympathy?) is astounding.
Also! Guess how many dirty diapers I changed today? Only one. Ed's. Why? Because Lu went in the toilet TWICE today. Both her morning and her afternoon #2s were perfect bullseyes. I can't believe it! Awesome!

Okay, okay, two photos for you guys, I can't resist...

Monday, October 23, 2006

Step One! (We could have lots of fun)


It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

It's generally not a good sign when you're quoting Charles Dickens and New Kids on the Block in the same breath.

So, today had its ups and downs.

Up: We all slept until 7:45.

Down: That includes Joel, who was consequently late for work. I must have forgotten to alert him to the fact I will no longer be setting my alarm to get up for work.

Up: We got all bundled up and actually made it out to the park!

Up: We had no freak-outs over food and I actually had healthful meals and snacks available in a timely fashion throughout the day!

Down: We had no nap. Okay, wait, Pie-Oh-My took about an hour-and-a-half morning nap. Pants? No nap.

Up: We (and when I say "we" I think you know who I mean) only had one, very small, timeout.

Down: It was due NOT to a screaming/whining fit but rather to a stubborn refusal to help me pick up her toys before dinnertime.

Down: Um, this is a Big Down. We are dogsitting for Hobo until Tuesday. Now, I frequently second-guess decisions I have made -- in fact, I typically second-guess ALL decisions I make. Drat! Should have made a double-batch of AP Bio cookies. Drat! Should have bought the real Philly-brand cream cheese. But the decision to end our status as dog-owners? Best Decision Ever. Of course, it brings up the point of the original decision to get a dog in the first place... never mind! Let me ride my high. Where was I? Oh, right, so we're dogsittting. Total flipping nightmare. He's going home tomorrow and it will not be soon enough, believe me you.

UP (saved for last because it's a Big Up!): Pants WENT in the TOILET. I went in to change her diaper mid-nap because she said she had done a #2. Took off the dirty diaper and she said she had to go. I asked if she wanted to use the toilet and she said "Okay." And she DID! I sat her up there, and she did a #2 and then I asked if she wanted to do a tinkle and she said "Okay" and she DID! She was all smiles and I was caught totally off-guard -- how/when does wiping happen? Who does the wiping? Should I still use wet wipes, or just TP? How much praise do I give? Because I'll tell you, I was pretty dang excited. It was hard for me not to go all wiggy. Anyway, I totally forgot to tell her to wash her hands so that's something to work on for next time.


...That was me trying to wipe a huge sneeze off Eddie's face about 7 minutes ago.

So here I am! At home! The weekend preceding was a bit of a challenge -- Saturday was actually all right (got in a walk with Jean and a visit with Great-gram) but Lucy woke up with a vomit on Sunday and spent most of the day moping between the couch and her bed. She never did have a fever, but she kept saying her "bee-bo hurts". Today, she seems fine. Oh, except her new thing is awakening in the middle of the night and screaming for one of us. Oy.

Ed is most likely teething. He's whiny and clingy and unhappy which, as you know, is not like him at all.

Ha! Lucy's eating cereal right now and she was staring at her bowl yelling "where's my spoon??"
The spoon was in her hand. Hilarious.

Signing off! Wish us luck!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Email! Heads up!

Hello there. Just in case you have been living under a rock, please note that tomorrow (Friday, 10/20) will be my last day being able to access any email account you may have for me which ends in:

I will not be able to get any emails sent to those accounts after about 4pm CDT on the 20th. Any emails sent to those accounts will most likely be picked up by my manager.

From now on, please use my yahoo! email address. If you do not have my yahoo email, you can get it by looking at my profile on this blog.

Thanks so much for your understanding!


Snot in my brain

Hooeee, that was one long night.
Ed did not sleep last night. Well okay. He went down at 8 and slept until approximately 11. Then he was up until, maybe 1? It's all a blur. Anyway he was awake again at 4, I think. Alternating between crying and just talking. He just wasn't sleepy. It was very weird.
And of course Lucy was up wanting a drink of water at like 3.
And I am very tired.
And I have a cold, blast it all.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Why I'm staying home

That title is kind of a misnomer. This is actually Joel's story, of how his mornings go when taking the kids to daycare. I thought it was entertaining and totally accurate. This was today:

Usually they are gems in the morning. Eddie was whiney a little bit when you left but really he hung out in his office happy as a clam until I was ready. Then we got ready on the floor in the living room, then perfect timing Lucy turned the doorknob and we got ready and out the door.

As you know it's just one of those days when time is a-tickin' and nothing is going right, eddie's hand gets caught in his shirt sleeve and he twists and you can't get his shirt on and then you can't get his socks on and tick tock tick tock lucy is calling for daddy pounding on her door tick tock tick tock. Then you get eddie in his car seat and trying to get lucy ready.

She wants to play, eat cereal skwirm around while diapering... tick tock tick, and then getting them into the car tick tock tick tock. Lucy falls down in the kitchen. tick tock tick wants to zipper her own jacket tick tock tick tock. Eddie's happy in his car seat. Lucy wants to close the door, its cold outside eddie's giving funny windy faces.. Tick tock tick

1...3...8 count the steps .. 1 2 3 4 8 13 5 3 count the steps to the car... Tick tock tick tock. Lucy wants to get in the car first.. Wants to open the door.. Get eddie in the car. Tick tock tick tock.. Need I go on... It's funny. Nothing bad it's just strange how like I can feel my stress level, (10 is the highest) at a 13 before I even get to work. Very weird. Okay enough about that.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Sort of like a second honeymoon?

We dropped off the kids with Joel's p's on Saturday morning and had 30 FULL HOURS to spend with ourselves this weekend. It was awesome. On Saturday, we went to see Theatre Latte Da's Gypsy at the Loring Playhouse, we got dinner at Donovan's by the Lake, and we went to see The Departed.

Gypsy was great. Different, but really enjoyable. I wasn't familiar with the show but my friend Katie played June and it was fun to see her. We were extremely undecided about where to go to dinner but decided on Donovan's because every time we drive by it Joel says "Someday I'll take you there!"

So he did! Apparently it just reopened about three weeks ago. We got there at 5pm and had an entire dining room to ourselves, with a lovely view of... Tanners Lake? Some lake. The owner came out to talk to us and ask what we thought. The food was really incredible and it was a great dining experience.

We were really disappointed with The Departed. Like, I think maybe we didn't get it. I think it's the kind of movie that improves upon repeated watchings.

Sunday, we did laundry and moved the kids' beds away from the cold, exterior walls in their respective rooms. Woo-hoo, I know, can you even handle the excitement?

We also bought a new car seat for Lucy with the intent of moving Ed into Lucy's convertible seat. That huge box will be sitting in our kitchen until at least Thanksgiving, I think.

Lucy is slimming down a little, looking and acting much more like a little girl than a baby. Well, except for the temper tantrums. Joel and I decided we are going to have to start teaching her deep-breathing relaxation exercises or she'll have an ulcer by second grade.

Ed does not crawl, but that doesn't mean he's not mobile. On his tummy, he pushes up into, well, I think it's called "downward dog" in yoga. And he can kind of tuck his legs under his body to inch along like an inchworm. Only far less gracefully. Just about yesterday he started standing, holding on to things (typically, the shirt-front of the person monitoring him at the time). He's just delighted with himself. I still desperately want to try a crib bumper -- I think that would do the trick to keep him from A. losing his nuk and B. finding himself with his face pressed against the bars at 4am and screaming his lungs out.

So I'm in my last week of work! Hurrah!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Hi, what's new?

Well, I had my Psych midterm last night. I didn't do any "studying" but I had read the text and taken notes and defined all the vocab words and rewritten each chapter's "summary points" and answered the prof's essay questions she'd handed out (all of which are required for this "notebook project" she asks us to hand in later in the term). Anyway, the test seemed really easy. I even went back and checked all my answers (because I was done in, like, eight minutes) and found a couple answers to change -- cripes, I probably should have done that in undergrad, I might have done better.


I was talking to a gal in the class before the test started and she sounded JUST LIKE ME. Except, with more money. She's a financial adviser and she's just totally sick of corporate America. She's got one kid and wants more, and wants a career with more flexibility and in the healthcare industry. It was really interesting talking with her. Basically our situations were almost identical except she and her husband earn approximately twice (soon to be four times!) what us Gronaus do. But you know what? She had all the same concerns, all the same issues. Okay, she probably owns a dishwasher. BUT she also works like 60-80 hours a week. It was just really fascinating. She had done some job-shadowing in a hospital and I gave her my email address. I hope we'll stay in touch.

The kids are great. Ed has not been sleeping really well lately, but last night he only got up crying once... or maybe twice. Instead of letting him cry it out (because he just gets angrier and angrier!), I kept rocking/bouncing him to sleep. I also gave him the undershirt I'd been wearing all day, in hopes my stink would soothe him. And I think it did the trick.

Autumn has hit in full effect here -- it's mad windy and really cold. I have NO idea where all our hats and mittens are -- a project for the weekend, I suppose. We are mailing the kids off to Monticello for about 24 hours this weekend, and Joel and I are going to see Gypsy and then maybe do dinner and a movie. And of course we will find time to reorganize the garage so we can get both our cars in there! House-for-sale be danged, we need to reclaim some of our "real life living," including a place to store boots and hats and mittens by the back door.

Thanks to everyone who has posted, emailed, or spoken to me in person with words of encouragement for staying home with the kids. Your kind thoughts and "you can do it!"-ness means the world to me, and I have really been pleasantly surprised at how supportive everyone at work has been, too. Unfortunately for you, this just means I will be calling YOU for help when the dirty dishes/crayon on the walls/food splatters get to be too much. Ha! I can't wait!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Read this book!

For those of you who may not have heard, my friend-from-high-school Alison Strobel Morrow (Al, I'm not sure that's really your name but it gets the point across) has written (and published!) two books. She's currently in the process of promoting her second book, Violette Between.

Buy it here:

Read the first chapter of the book online!

You can also read Alison's blog here. (

Here's a quick synopsis:

Violette is the quintessential artist: passionate, emotional and full of life. After suffering a great loss, she finds herself enamored with a new relationship and asking if it is truly time to move on. Christian lost his wife years ago and understands Violette's pain firsthand. He offers her a chance to love once more, and hopes to build a future with the spirited artist. But just as Violette and Christian begin to feel something unexpected, tragedy strikes again. Violette retreats into her past -- and she finds that she may not want to come back. This is a captivating novel that asks what is more precious: the memories of one who is gone... or the memories waiting to be made with someone new?

Al, I want to apologize for the uncreative post -- I got to work an hour late and have been in spaz-attack mode ever since. I am so proud of you and your writing. This is an awesome accomplishment!!

Monday, October 09, 2006


In a fun little twist of events, "I Did It" is the title of this post for two reasons:

1. It's Lucy's new favorite thing to say. If you have been paying close attention (that is, if your name is John, Donna, Ray, or Leslie), you'll remember that Lu had been using "my" as her first-person pronoun of choice, i.e. "My scared," "My eat now." Recently, she's upgraded to "I". And she really likes to say "I did it!" It makes her sound very empowered.

2. Now for the big news: I have given my notice at work. That's right, boys and girls, at approximately 4pm on Friday, October 20, I will officially be a stay-at-home mom. I'm excited and scared, of course! And I don't know what to say besides that -- though I'm happy to entertain questions, as always.

In other news, we had a lovely weekend in Chicago. We went to Dennis and Sally's wedding reception (they were married in Tuscany over Labor Day) and got to hang out with some very dear friends we don't see too much. As always, it's good to be home. Okay, I really have to go work now.

Monday, October 02, 2006

What a lovely weekend it was!

I mean, A) the weather was simply gorgeous. Just the perfect fall weekend, but a little warmer than you'd expect. Beautiful.

B) We took the kids to Como Zoo on Saturday. We saw the animals (Lucy had very little interest in the animals, but she loved running around), and we took Lucy on some of the Como Town rides. She took one look at the rides and said "Round and round!" and she was very excited for "Aladdin's Magic Carpet" but when she found out she was going to have to go alone, she got a little teary-eyed. "My scared," she said, very matter-of-factly,* and we moved on to the Teacups. Which she loved. Then I took her on the train. It's so nice that they have some rides where parents can ride too -- it was just a great experience. AND, we discovered, it was the last day of the season! What fortune! We ate a PBJ picnic, did some people-watching, and headed home. I LOVE little outings like that. They remind me so much of my childhood -- only with shorter drive-times. And smaller crowds.

C) We got to hang out with the Curtis family on Saturday night. Dave and Jen were in our birthing class when we had Lucy, so they have a little Mandy who's just about to turn two. The two girls were very cute together and we had a very nice time.

D) Joel got to go golfing(!) with Pat Daly and some Brians, while

E) The Daly girls and Jean and the kids and I got to see the Twin Cities Marathon on Sunday. We sat at, like, Mile 24.5 on Summit Ave. Jean and I each saw someone we knew (she some doctor from her hospital, and me Tasya Rivera who I was on the WSU dance team with like, a million years ago; I am pretty sure I read somewhere she just got married), and us three grownups had one good tearful moment when a husband jumped out of the crowd to cheer on his wife, saying something like "You can DO this, honey!" and it was just such a cool thing to watch.

F) We had a showing(!) last night(!). Amazing. And we have another one tomorrow, which may or may not be the same people. *sigh* I don't know if I'm really ready for this.

G) The Twins Actually Won the Cental Division. I don't think anyone in the entire state can believe it. After ALL THAT. And, (G1!) Joel and I get to go to Game 2 on Wednesday!! Hooray!

*Seriously, I just think she is at such an interesting age. She's not afraid to tell you the exact truth, she isn't afraid of any consequences, and has no sense of shame or deceit. It's so wonderful. And she's so curious... as we were driving around over the weekend, she'd frequently ask whether we were going to Jean's house, or Dee's house, or the doctor. On the way to the Curtis's house, she even asked if we were going to see Paige, her little friend who lives in the same neighborhood. Now, Lucy's been in that neighborhood maybe twice, tops. How on earth did she know that's where we were? Amazing.

Side note: we gave her a Ziploc baggie of Cheerios in the car on Saturday. Instead of getting frustrated about being unable to open the zipper, and instead of asking us to help, she chewed right through a corner of the bag to get the Cheerios out.

P.S. I am in desperate need of a crib bumper for Eddie. Anyone have a cheapo/used one we could borrow for a few months? I am totally unpicky of color/decor. The poor kid just needs something to cuddle up to -- we find him every morning all wadded up against the railings, usually with a limb or two dangling out the side. Help!