My online journal.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Fool me once, shame on you.

Fool me three times, thy name must be Cub Foods.

So I've HAD IT with Cub Foods. They have their stinkin' coupon books with all their "buy-one-get-ones" and you have to rip the coupons out and hand them to the clerk and then you have to bag all of your own groceries even when you have both of your very small and very wiggly and very vocal children with you in the store, so you can't really take the time to watch the clerk's every movement to make sure they actually ring up all the coupons you just handed them, and then you get home and just happen to be glancing at your receipt when you notice that the $10 worth of roast beef that you bought that should only have been $5 was still showing as $10 so you have to go all the way back to the store and have them adjust it and give you back your $5.09 in cash and you're telling me they don't have the technology just to put it back on my card?! because giving it back to me in cash is like not giving it back to me at all and it happens once and I feel stupid and embarrassed and it happens again and I start to get angry and it happens a third time and even though your 18-year-old manager was super nice and actually gave me back the entire $10.38 I spend on roast beef that day, and even though Cub is super close to my house and also I know the layout like the back of my hand so I can actually find a jar of roasted red peppers or wheat germ when I need it, I will be taking my grocery business elsewhere for the next month or so, because I Just. Can't. Take. It.

So, Byerly's, here I come. Or Rainbow, I guess -- it's probably only 5 minutes farther away.

As Joel said last night, if I'm going to get ripped off anyway, I'd like to know about it when it happens (i.e. at Byerly's), rather than finding out after I'm already home.


In More-Positive News!
Ed got his first haircut yesterday! I did it myself, with distraction-help from Joel and Lucy. Ed is so adorable I can hardly stand it. I guess I could post a photo... um...

Friday, January 26, 2007

Far be it from me

I hate to squash my daughter's individuality by gently suggesting she wear something other than dresses. I mean, I like dresses too and all. They're pretty. And what the heck, they were all either hand-me-downs, save one which was $6, so it's not like we're saving them or whatever. And they make her SO happy.

Here is the problem: LOGISTICS.

A. It's January. Minnesota. I can put tights on her, but they are a very thin and ineffectual windbreaker against single-digit windchills. I can put pants under the dress, but then she gets bunchy and tuggy and that causes trouble.

B. She's going potty on the potty. Only occasionally, true, but with enough regularity to make it really difficult to bunch up the dress, pull off the tights/pants, tuck the dress up into itself, and hold the entire package steady atop the toilet for upwards of 5 minutes... with one hand, since the other is invariably either holding a whiny Ed or stiff-arming him to keep him from splashing in the toilet water.

C. I know, I know, I should have a C. I don't.

Have a great weekend!

Do yourself a favor!

Go see my sister Jean's blog and scroll down to her photos of Peru. The photos are breathtaking.

Oh! And we figured out Jean looks more like me when she doesn't wear makeup. Which is why, for a sec, it might look like I'm in Peru. I am not. :(

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Photos! At long last! (Sorry if the captions don't line up correctly; also, don't forget you can click on each picture to make it bigger.)

Adorable Ed in his cowboy jammies (just like Joel's!)
The kids with friends-from-Winona's kids. See Carol and Becky's respective blogs for versions of this photo with at least one child actually looking at the camera.


Ed eating jubbalos. You can see his hilarious front teeth.
Waking up happy from nap (for once!)
Lucy dolled up for Elmo. In one of her dozen "pretty dresses" that she insists on wearing. Every. Single. Day. I have a hard time coming up with reasons why she can't wear them. Every. Single. Day.


Ed and my dad sharing a moment at the window.

Hail, Knight of the Woeful Countenance

Where to start?

We took the kids to see Sesame Street Live last night. Our friends, the Curtis family (whom we met in birthing class pre-Lu) got a bunch of free tickets at the last minute, so we, the Curtises, and Liers all met at the Target Center for some Elmo madness. The show was pretty cool. Lucy was an angel (she danced and sang and looked totally wowed by the spectacle, plus the "number of the day" was 8, her favorite number) and Ed was a little wiggly but spent long moments staring at the stage and he yelled along a little bit too. Joel and I got a big kick out of the old-school Sesame Street songs; we did NOT get a kick out of the $8 mylar Elmo balloons they shamelessly peddled during the completely unnecessary intermission. But the evening was very fun and very unexpected, and a nice treat for us all.

You know what's a better treat? The kids proceeding to take FOUR-HOUR NAPS today. Heck, yeah!!

Speaking of sleeping! Ed has slept through the night (from 8ish PM to about 7:30 AM) more often than not the last week! Sweet action. This has obliterated our middle-of-the-night nursing session (I decided to hold off on the weaning for now), so we're just taking it one day at a time. I, inexplicably, seem to wake up much more rested when I actually get to sleep all night. It's amazing.

Lucy is... man. She's Lucy. I really don't do her justice here; you just have to spend some time with her. I'm sure I've said this before, but it's hard to remember she's only two, because she talks so much and has so many things figured out! Okay, okay, actual conversation when my dad was in town on Monday (tip: "Boofer" is my nickname for Joel):

Grampa: Lucy, what's Mommy's name?

Lucy: Meggo.

Grampa: And what's Daddy's name?

Lucy (so pleased with herself): Boofer!!

Okay, what else? Eddie bit Lucy the yesterday. HARD. His teeth, they are few but they are sharp. Usually they get along really well. I asked Lu how old Ed is, and she told me "Thirty." Where does she even get this stuff?

Oh! And we're working on pronouns: people are not "this" and "it"; "her" isn't generic for "he/she/him". And the concept of a double standard: we can tell her to do things but she can't tell us to do things. It's very challenging simply to stay ahead of her.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

With upper lip we do a "pico"

They're back!

Jean and Ellen made it home safely from Peru. I hope Jean will blog about the trip; it sounds like it was totally amazing. They went whitewater rafting, biking, and hiking (apparently all three of those words are euphemisms for what actually occurred) and managed to get Ellen a new passport and all that rot.

And they brought back souvenirs! Including a "quena" flute for Lucy. It looks a little like a recorder, but it's not super-intuitive to play, so it comes with an instruction booklet. The booklet is entitled "Quena: method for to learn to play" so you know you're in trouble from the start. Some excerpts follow. I have actually corrected spelling of words I could decipher.

The quena method and size
As belong the family flutes, the quena is a instrument mouth piece with 6 holes before and 1 back.

(Ed. note: so far, so good, right?)

The permit intervening to blow of uslert air and opening and closed different musical notes necessary for any song. The measure the quena it's 37 cm. length for 2 cm. diameter.

TIPPED
We support the quena for medium part with finger index and thumb with chim closed hermetical entrance to quena.
With upper lip we do a "pico" that we throw a flow air weak to entrance of tipped as a "tunnel" try play sound.

FINGERING
Use hands following way:
The index middle and thumbs finger the both hands it cover upper holer and right hand the inferior, the back hole it cover thumb of the left hand. They also work the little finger of the two hands but the thumb finger of left hand.
Also worked the small finger both hands more thumb finger the right hands as supports and back part. ...
That sames the fingers not must, pressure the holes with finger tips more good a few more back at the sames.

Mannery to Utilize Method
There is in musicsing it change the intose a the sounds it rising, descend or changing at his natural state, this figures it put at left part the note and it read so.

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Great! So at least the thing comes with instructions. At first I got the biggest kick out of the last "Mannery..." part, but now I think "FINGERING" is growing on me. We gave the whole shebang to Lucy to see if she could figure it out. She licked the whole thing and then started hitting Ed with it. It's probably a good thing that we can't figure out how to make it make noise yet.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Boring kid updates

Ed says "uh-oh" when he drops his cup on the floor. I guess we're counting that as his first word. He repeats what we say, too, as long as it's "mama" or "dada" or "eddie" (which is more like "ah-dee," so maybe he's just speaking Steve Lindsayese and we don't know it. OK, like four of you will get that joke). I don't recall Lucy repeating things at this age. Wait, I phrased that incorrectly: Lucy did not repeat sounds, back before she knew words. Does that make sense? Now, as you know, she's a stinkin' parrot.

Lucy ends every sentence with "...okay?". Ex: "Lucy, it's time to brush your teeth." "No, okay?" I know exactly where this comes from, as JG and I end everything we say with "okay?" -- I think we do it to make sure Lu heard/understood us. Well, she's picked it up.

P.S. Today got a lot better when both kids took 3+hour naps. Sweeeeet.

If Ed thinks he is getting up from his nap yet, he is sorely mistaken.

Sometimes I think blogging is a huge waste of time, and sometimes I find it strangely cathartic. Just writing things down, I think, helps.

Eddie is toodling. I think I forgot to mention that. Toodling is what we call it when he walks along holding onto both my hands. It's not so good on my back; I need longer arms (or shorter legs!).

The other night, it must have been Monday because that's the last time I was out of the house, Joel put the kids down in the living room to play while he tackled the dishes. After a while he heard a small crash, followed by Ed whimpering a little. Joel peeked around the corner to see Ed toppled headfirst into the Rubbermaid toy container, with his feet kicking out the top. Lucy quickly got up, saying "Eddie are you okay? I coming, Eddie! I help you! Come here, Eddie!" Apparently she actually helped Ed get out of the toy bin. Of course, as my dad pointed out, she was probably the one who pushed him in there to start with.

Also! Joel wrote me an email yesterday:

To: Meg
From: Joel
Re: Oh Man...

So I get back from playing basketball and the meeting that was going on in the conference room is over. (So, background information: there was a meeting going on in the conference room all morning.) I notice one lonely sandwich in a plastic box just sitting there on the conference table. I walk by slowly eyeing that lonely sammy. Stop... look around... walk backwards past it again to see what other goodies are there. Oh, pop and cookies as well. Hmm.. One step towards the door. Corner of my eye, I see someone turn the corner so I kind of act as though I was reading the invisible flyer on the wall. Luckily, I escape notice. So I just walk back to my desk. Maybe if I walk by in a couple of minutes it will still be there...

Okay I get the guts to walk by... Hmm, it's stilll there. IT'S FATE!!.. Oh no, more people. I walk back and ask Brent. Hey man, is that meeting over? YES!! All right. What do you think about me snagging that sandwich? YES YES. I RUN.. I mean casually walk to the room to claim my rightfully due sandwich. (Note: a couple of people I noticed have walked in and walkedout with things but I cannot tell what they are)

It's still there... Raise the roof. Sweet bos-e-fus!!

So to make a long story short. I ate the sandwich. It was good. I am full and happy.

Love,
Joel

Losing it!

Both kids have colds or something -- they were both coughing much of the night last night again. I have a couple cute stories to post, if I ever have a moment... not happening this morning I tell you what. With the weather (and the kids being under it) we are totally stuck in the house. I don't think they like it either. They're both whiny and clingy and I'm super short-tempered. And Lucy's down to exactly three diapers, so I'm just going to have to go to Target tonight when JG gets home.
We're watching the Laurie Berkner DVD for like the 20th time in 2 days.
Oh man, Ed's whining again. Got to go.
Please email me or call me or something, I'm going nuts...

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

I wish I was kidding...

I seriously JUST got an email 5 minutes ago saying the show this Sat is cancelled. I am really really sorry about wasting everyone's time and energy. I'm surprised they just found out this morning that they didn't have enough acts for more than 30 minutes... whatever...

typing w/1 hand...

holding ed. he was coughing most of last night. sad sick panda.

--- UPDATE! SHOW CANCELED! JUST LEAVING THE POST FOR POSTERITY! ---
ok so i'm in this variety show this saturday at 7:30 PM at maplewood community center, which is on white bear avenue a few miles north of our house. no, I cannot look up the address for you. tickets are $10; buy at the door.

I'm nervous about this show. We have not had nearly enough rehearsal time. I'm in three dances. A tap, a jazz, and a cha-cha. Joel is in one of them (the cha-cha). Also I may have to sing a song. Alone. Because I'm not sure how many other numbers there are besides my three dances and they might need filler. So... wish us both some serious good luck. Or come to the show and we can all have a good laugh about it later. Like, much, much later. Like, maybe in 20 years or so.

Ok I am totally ignoring my kids so I'd better go.

Monday, January 08, 2007

One bad, one good!

Were you watching the BCS Bowl on TV Monday night? Did you catch the halftime show? Please, please say you were. Because my description is soooo not going to do it justice.

So I think it was the Ohio State marching band who was playing. Joel and I are talking so I wasn't looking at the TV, but the tune sounded familiar... ah! "My Heart Will Go On," of course, the Celine Dion megahit from "Titanic."

And...

Oh, dear.

No.

No, they aren't.

The marching band forms the SHAPE OF THE TITANIC. Spanning probably 70 yards of the football field. Complete with smokin' smokestacks -- I'm not sure if they had dry ice in their tubas, or what. And...

Oh, my.

The other half of the band forms THE OCEAN, waving beneath the, erm, marching ship. And then...

Shut up.

SHUT UP.

I cannot believe I am watching this... NO WAY. The "ocean" holds up a big shiny blue swath of fabric, and the rest of the band (the part that looks like a ship) starts marching forward (downstage, as it were) as though it is SINKING BENEATH THE WAVES.

They march and march until only the smoky smokestacks are still showing, and then they, too, vanish under the blue fabric.
.
.
.

Now, I'm not real sensitive. I'm not easily offended. I'm relatively open-minded and appreciative of art, and music, and artistic interpretation, and all that jazz. I always vote Democratic, except when I vote Independent.

But... seriously?? Well, for one, I haven't laughed that hard in a while. But it was much less of a "wow, that's comedy!" laugh and much more of an appalled and flabbergasted laugh of shock. I mean, something like 1,100 people died on and around that ship. I know it was like 93 years ago, but has that tragedy really been reduced to a bizarre and ill-advised marching-band gimmick? Maybe the performance was of high musical quality, I have no idea, but as a casual watcher I was actually a little horrified. Maybe I missed the emotional and serious prelude to the performance, in which case I apologize to... well, probably Ohio State, unless the Florida State band magically changed their costumes while Joel and I were talking.

As a side note, I have a real soft spot for Ohio State ever since meeting their dance team in college -- they were a very cool group of people.


The good!
I'm not one (I should stop starting sentences that way, it's lame and contradictory) to throw out wild recommendations for childrens' products all willy-nilly and whatnot, but I just love the book When Sophie Gets Angry -- Really, Really, Angry by Molly Bang. It is a very simple but amazing book about a little girl who gets, well, angry, and runs until she is tired and then sits and enjoys nature and then goes home to her waiting family. The artwork wasn't my fave right away but it's growing on me, and the message (Everyone gets angry; how do you handle anger?) has really touched Lucy. For one, she loves saying the title (complete with author name; super cute). For two, Sophie looks more than a little bit like my Lu. For three, the solution presented happens to be exactly what I like to do when I get really, really angry. And for four, it's sparked some actual discussions with Lu about "getting angry" and "getting sad" and what it means and what we do when we feel that way. Lu has the book memorized and I just love reading it along with her. It's been a very cool and unexpected experience and I thank whoever got us the book (because I can't remember now, I am so sorry).

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Jan 6 Notes

Hi. It's Saturday night and I thought I was really tired, but I'm writing. Ay-yi-yi!

My dad was here all week for a wonderful visit with us and the kids. He ate all my Christmas cookies (even the "booster batches" I'd made on Christmas Eve) so I had to make a final booster-batch of oatmeal cookies on Thursday... which he also devoured. So just in case there's ever any doubt as to where I got my sweet tooth, I'm pretty sure I've got it figured out. Though Mom likes cookies too, so even if "sweet tooth" were recessive, I suppose I was doomed. :)
The upshot is, I'm out of cookies again, and I think Nicole W's molasses cookies are next in the rotation. If I get any time in the next few days.

Which is unlikely since I'm trying to rehearse three dances for the show on the 20th. Yes, I realize that's less than 2 weeks away. I'm stressing a little.

The kids are great -- I'm kind of starting to wean Ed, mostly because he wiggles and whines and refuses to nurse much... also because we think maybe he continues to wake up repeatedly in the middle of the night because he's not getting enough food. I'm actually extremely dubious about that hypothesis; if you take one look at Ed's cheeks and thighs, you'd probably agree that "hunger" is not one of his problems. I don't know, I'm really ambivalent about the whole thing. I don't have much of a nursing support group; I don't regularly hang with any other nursing mothers, so even though I know who you are it's not like I actually get to sit down next to you and nurse our babies together; it's a challenge, you know? P.S. Ed is 10 months old on Sunday! How did THAT happen?

No major updates from Lu; she remains riotously hilarious and wonderful. We're working on her comic timing; it's coming along nicely.

I got my hair highlighted and it's really... stripey. I thought I liked it until I got a really good look under bright lights this evening and while it does mask the increasingly large gray patches, it's a little bolder than I probably wanted. I'm told it will fade. I'm not holding my breath.

I'm toggling between the Blogger window and an article on espn.com about Justin Morneau. I really wish baseball season was coming sooner than it is.

Well, have a good week!

Monday, January 01, 2007

Mystery gift update!

I keep forgetting I have to UPDATE when I post an unfinished story, or I get harassed. So right after posting the otther day, the kids woke up so I screwed my courage to the sticking place and packed a small tupperware of cookies and walked across the street. Upon arrival on the front step, I noticed the "mystery gift" was nothing but a stinkin' bag of Ice Melt. RATS!

At that point, I'd already rung the doorbell and they were apparently waiting for me because the gal answered right away so we talked a little; her daughter is cute; BLAH BLAH BLAH.

It's a really pretty bag of Ice Melt, honestly.

Oh, man, I just realized I think I actually own binoculars!! I'm an IDIOT!

On mules we find two legs behind and two we find before...

Joel was kind enough to point out to me that I missed some golden opportunities in some of my recent blogging: using, respectively, "All I Want For Christmas Is My 2 Front Teeth" and "Express Yourself" for Ed's recent ventures in teething and breastfeeding. Daaaaang*.

*"Daaaaang" comes from the day Jean and Ellen and Joel and I were trying to go see "The Pirate Queen" downtown Chicago, except we made it to Lakeview (Lake View?) and realized the tickets were still in Rolling Meadows, and I was madly trying to call TicketMaster to see if they had some record of the purchase that would allow us to simply show up at the box office with ID and they could reprint them or whatever, and I got a perfectly nice young TM rep on the phone who was completely unable to help me, not for lack of trying on her part but because, as it turns out, Ellen had purchased the tickets not through TicketMaster at all but right from the box office in a very smart effort to save, like, $340 in fees, and the girl kept entering in Ellen's info into the TM system and getting zero results, and every time (which was about nine times) she would say "Daaaaaang" and it was only funny because we eventually managed to make it back to Rolling Meadows and back to Lakeview and to the crepe restaurant and to the theatre in more than plenty of time.

Omigosh, where was I? Right. HAPPY NEW YEAR! We had an awesome weekend of family fun. We took down the tree and our other assorted (and meager) Christmas decos, we went to Como Zoo, we went to the Mall of America and Ikea (the kids were troopers!) and managed to purchase some wall art and lighting for our living room, we each got brief but much-appreciated naps every day, and we had some family snow-fun in the yard this morning. We got only maybe 3-5 inches of snow on New Years Eve but it was sunny and beautiful this morning, so we bundled up the kids in their ridiculous overstuffed outfits (Eddie in three shades of pink, since we never got around to buying him snow-gear this year) under the pretenses of shoveling. The shoveling did get done, but we spent lots more time making four sizes of snow angels and dragging the kids 'round the yard in the sled. I'm fairly certain it was way more fun for me and JG than for Ed (who was rendered completely motionless by his aforementioned girl-snowsuit) and Lucy (who hates mittens and spent most of her sled-rides scowling and asking for snack).

Thanks to the Crandalls for hosting a family-friendly NYE party -- unfortunately, we arrived late and left early (can't take those kids of ours anywhere!) and rang in 2007 on our own couch, watching the tape-delayed NYC broadcast, which was exceedingly silly. Is that band's name really "Panic! At The Disco"? Is that really what kids are listening to these days? Is it... um... punk?

Big congratulations go out to my pregnant friends Peg and John (due May), Mandy and Shawn (due June), and Julie and Stu (due July, with twins!). I'm so excited and filled with joy and anticipation for all of you.