My online journal.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Falling slowly / Sing your melody / I'll sing along

Jean bought me a copy of the soundtrack to Once, mostly because she didn't want her copy out of her posession for as long as it would take for me to burn myself a copy. She and I went to see this movie a few weeks ago and it was ... just wonderful. Which sounds cheesy, but it totally wasn't. The music and the movie are simply fantastic and quietly moving. Anyway, I recommend both.

Belated congratulations to a few of my peeps:

Michelle and Jeff welcomed Anna Catherine last week. She's a beauty!

Nikki completed the 3-day, 60-mile Susan J. Komen 3-Day. An incredible accomplishment for a great cause.

Ellen and her bud Gretchen came in 77th out of 300 teams (out of about 500 non-finishing teams) in Chicago's City Chase, a super-bizarre "Amazing Race"-type gig where you run, walk, or use public transportation to complete a series of challenges, like learning and performing a striptease dance, letting a python crawl inside your shirt, rappelling down a 15-story building, and asking total strangers to donate $25 for Special Olympics... all throughout the city of Chicago. Ellen phoned us about 2pm on Saturday to ask for help solving some word puzzles -- Jean was way more help than I.

My coed softball team tied for the league championship and there are rumours of a travelling trophy. Can't wait to get my hands on it! Uh, just kidding... I typically have no clue what the score is or even whether or not we're winning, during the games.

My coed volleyball team won our first round of playoffs, so we live to play another week for the championship. We might need another female player next Tuesday night; any volunteers?

Eddie, oh Eddie! We have full convos with him now. Granted, his lines are one word at a time. But he repeats absolutely everything -- he does every letter of the alphabet (repeating the sound) when we read "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" to him.

Lucy turns 3 on Sunday (insert shocked face here) so it's been Lu's Birthday Week of Fun for the last few days. Some of her friends came over for a little soiree on Monday night... she got to open some gifts from G&G Books tonight... and Sunday we'll be doing a little cake-and-gifts up at the lake, I think. Lucy has eschewed naps twice this week (and may I remind you, it's only Wednesday), but she does manage to stay in her room for about 2 hours, singing and banging around but being relatively quiet. I tell you, it's as good as a nap to me.

Joel's knee continues to ail him, so he went back to the doc today. This doc said there probably is something slightly torn, so Joel's going to see an orthopedist in September. Surgery is not a certainty at this point, but JG's taking it easy by only working his upper body at the Y (I roll my eyes as he launches into wayyy-too-detailed explanations of curls, flies, hammers, and whatevertheheck else he does there; I miss the simpler days of Joel's Y membership, when I was regaled with stories of naked men's junk propped up on the sink).

Well, that seems like a decent place to sign off for the time being.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Ramalama Bang Bang

If you're not in the mood to hear me feel sorry for myself, I recommend you go read somebody else's blog. Try or Plenty of happy, self-effacing moms there. Or find some of the flood victims in southern Minnesota... there's some actual tragedy for you.

Right. So it's been raining for six full days. It stopped for about two hours yesterday evening, and it has stopped now; in fact, if my entire assortment of mismatched lawn furniture wasn't as soaked through as a fully-clothed-and-diapered toddler who flings himself into the bathtub... but i'm getting ahead of myself.

My daddy coming home soon?
No, Lu, he'll be home in three more days.
Where daddy go?
He's working far away.
He's going to have dinner with us.
No, no, he's not.

Wednesday was great. I biked the kids to the bank and Target in the AM and made it home (the bike trailer actually holds two giant boxes of diapers! Who'd'a thunk?) only having to walk three of the gigantic hills along the way. And how many gigantic hills are there, total? Why, three, thanks for asking. Oh, and by "walk" of course I mean "push my 40-year-old 10-speed, dragging 65 pounds of kid and 10 pounds of diapers and Borax behind it, uphill, in 99.5% humidity."

But I got the errands done without having to strap the kids in the car. Wednesday naps were A-OK, and we met up with the Riggs family at the park before dinner. And the sun came out! Hooray!

I was even going to skip the baths, but I was feeling ambitious (Joel's usually the bath dispenser). Bathed Ed. Dried, diapered and jammied him. Lovingly lotioned his little dry patches. Started a new bath for Lu. Ran to the kitchen to throw something in the trash, and


Then silence.

Then, "Eddie fell in the tub!"

I run into the bathroom, and yup, there's Ned, sitting in water up to his little baby waist, fully dressed. And fully drenched. And fully delighted with himself for figuring out how to get into the bathtub all by himself. Yayyyy, Eddie. Argggh. So there goes another $.25 overnight diaper. Damn, damn.

Apparently that was foreshadowing for Thursday: Bride of Wednesday. Pouring rain, unceasing, all morning. And I discover at about 9AM that, to paraphrase MacArthur Park: someone left the stroller out in the rain... I don't think that I can hold it, 'cuz it takes so long to fold it... and I'll never go on an evening walk agaaaaaaain!!

Oh, God, I'm getting delusional. Well anyway. I plugged through Thursday, through unbelievably truncated naps (Ed actually sobbed through his entire brief nap; when I went in to see what his deal was, he crawled into my arms and said "Hi!" like he'd just been waiting patiently for me to go get him), through my first attempt at actually baking bread (to be honest, it was absolutely delicious), through getting my period (sorry TMA for any boys who might be reading), through a Johnny-glasses diarrhea explosion (not mine! Ed's!) all over the entire contents of my rather large and chock-full drawer of Tupperware containers.

"What I smell?" asks Lucy.

Holy-sonofamotherlessgoat, there's poop everywhere. I dump Ned in the tub, nay-kay him up and hose him down. And scrub him out. And rinse out the tub (which reminds me, now I have to go actually scrub out the tub, damn it). And rediaper him, and then gate off the kitchen so the kids don't spread the liquid poop to even farther reaches of the house, and I am hollering because Eddie is desperately trying to defeat the gate, and Lucy is totally abetting him, and I am up to my elbows in Clorox wipes and poopy Tupperware.

Not to mention, neither of my kids have eaten more than three bites of dinner. Or lunch. Here's what they do deign to eat:

cold cereal
peanut butter and jelly shammiches
graham crackers
salmon (they are mad about salmon)

Oh, and Lucy will eat cherry tomatoes.

So I plugged through all of this, because Jamie was coming at 7pm to watch the kids while I went to play softball. I was so excited to play softball. I love softball. And I love getting out of the house when I am single-momming it. And I was so happy to get to spend the entire day with my kids before kissing them good-night and heading off to play softball.

Remember all that rain I mentioned? It makes fields soggy. No softball.

So I call Jamie to tell her.

"Great!" She says. "Now I can go for a run!"

Great, Jamie, I'm so happy for you.

So I call Jean to make sure she'd heard.

"Great!" She says. "Now I can go for a run!"

Great, Jean, I'm so happy for you.

"Yeah! This is so perfect! Um, Meg, are you okay?"

Oh, sure, sure, I'm just gritting my teeth so hard that I busted a filling.

So I call Joel, to whine a little and also because Lucy wanted to talk to him.

"I'm almost done golfing, can I call you right back?"

Oh, dear, honey, no, I'm sorry, that's not the right answer. Try gushing with sympathy, and after a few minutes of that, tell me you're going to take me on a date somewhere and that you've totally planned the whole thing and maybe throw in a nice little compliment, like You made a veggie egg bake for dinner tonight? With extra cheese in hopes that the kids would actually eat it? That sounds great, I miss homecooked meals. And don't call me back while you're pooping, either, I seriously cannot take it.

So there was just wayy too much screaming and whining and crabbiness in the house, and that didn't even include the kids, so I decided bedtime was at 7:00 tonight instead of 8, and as I have Ed on my lap and Lu by my side and we've finished our two lovely bedtime books and we're just starting our first lovely bedtime song, Ed decides to chomp on my thumb. The thumb with the fingernail that's a little too short today as it is, and is a little owie anyway -- he bites down on it like it's a BLT. I scream and immediately burst into tears. Can I even tell you how much it hurt? It's an hour later and it still hurts like the dickens. It's reminiscent of the time I burned my hand on hot soup while waitressing at the HobNob back in the summer of '97. Instant, unbelievable pain. Anyway, my tears totally freaked out both kids (I remember reading somewhere that parents really need to try to quell their emotions because toddlers can't handle the idea of their parents being out of control, and it could ruin their little brains).

So... I'm stuck alone with these kids for the next 22 hours. Say a little prayer for all of us.

Oh! I did find an amazing time-waster at -- the kitchen planning tool! It's the coolest thing -- you can draw your kitchen and change/move things as you wish and then view the whole thing 3D. It's seriously awesome. I spent 3 hours (kids' naps and bedtime!) yesterday goofing around with it, which is another reason I had six hours' worth of dishes to do today.

Well, listen. It's 8:30 and I think the Twins game is still on the radio. Plus I know there's ice cream in the fridge with my name on it. Plus I know I can scrounge up a vodka-tonic if I work a little. Ciao. On to a better tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Just more stuff...

I'm sorry I have not been writing at all recently. I don't know if it's just a summer slump, or if my routine is getting so dreadfully boring that I can't think of a single reason to put pen to paper. Or fingers to keyboard, as it were.

On Saturday it was raining, miserable, and freezing, for the first wonderful time in about four months. Eddie is apparently old enough to have formed certain short-term memories, but not old enough to remember ever having worn long sleeves before. Joel dressed him in a long-sleeve tee on Saturday morning and the kid freaked out. Screaming, beet-red, with big old crocodile tears streaming down his cheeks. Alternately clawing at his sleeves and staring at them in abject horror. It was super funny.

We told this story to the Rosenbaums, who nodded appreciatively and pointed at their daughter, Viv -- same thing! They've lived in Florida until a couple months ago, and when they put long pants on Vivian on Saturday, she too was crying and screaming and kicking her pants-legs. The babes better suck it up soon, or it's going to be a long winter.

Shout out to the Weigands for letting us trash their beautiful house Saturday night. We had such a great time, thanks!! And welcome home.

Let's see, what else is Ed saying? Oh, everything. Bish for toothbrush. Mocky for blankie or monkey. Again for again, or for "more food please." Goat, pig, duck, puppy. Ho ho ho just to be silly.

The other day Lucy, apropos of nothing and no one, said: "You're just like your mudder."

I biked for 2 hours, 40 minutes (16 miles) with Jean last night. See her blog for the complete story. I am seriously so proud of her!!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Johnny Glasses Running!

CONGRATS to El, my favorite baby sister, who ran the Chicago Distance Classic Half Marathon on Sunday, finishing 129th out of 1179 in the women's division, keeping 8.5 minute miles, which is completely amazing, especially considering she was out at the 311 concert until like 2AM the night before.

The action shot, I can't tell if it's the beginning or the end of the race. I recognize the tunnel, but leave it to my parents, on a beautiful day when the entire race is run along the lakeshore, to take one action shot and have it be in a tunnel. :) Just teasin', Mom and Dad, love ya!

Congrats to my other sis Jean on running 15 whole miles this morning. Farthest ever! You rock!

I forgot to post this when Jean ran her half-marathon back in June: I am shocked by how many people don't know that "a marathon" is a specific distance. All marathons are 26.2 miles, and all halves are 13.1 miles. But I guess I didn't realize until like 5 years ago that the Masters golf tournament is always held at Augusta so... you know, to each his own.

S'more photos, these from Joseph:

"Forming banana" in the shop, pre-show

Some wives and Egyptians, and a goat

Jacob, some brothers, and Sydney
"One More Angel"

The Go-Go!

Kids are funny, because they don't realize that I want pictures of their costumes and not just pictures of them and their beautiful faces. Hence the missing beards and burqas in the non-candids.
OK, more pix:
Ceili dancing with Lucy at the Irish Fest on Saturday (Our Gaelic names were Mairead and Loiseach, and Joel's and Ed's were Eoil and Eoin, respectiveli)
Ed's new haircut
I got bangs!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Rhubarb bars, so yummy in my tummy

Hi, oof, I am finally getting a few seconds to post.

Still one more weekend left of Joseph; I am really going to be sad when this is over!

I've started actively looking for dance classes to take... for me. Or, rather, dance class -- these puppies are expensive. Geez martha. I think I'm going to take a jazz class, though how much would I love to do ballet and modern, too? I will tell you. Lots.

Also ISO a class for Lucy. Ugh; I just wish there was a single studio super-close by that I knew I liked.

Today was Crazy Errands Day -- I dropped off some kitchen knives at Frank's Sharpening up on Arlington. When I picked up the knives later, I paid the old man (Frank, I presume) and told him to enjoy the rest of his day and he replied that he planned to "sit on [his] fanny." I adore oldies who say "fanny."

I also dropped off some stuff at Goodwill, hit the Maplewood Farmers' Market, grocery shopped, attempted (again) to return a shirt I bought for Lucy but that she refuses to wear, and let the kids run around for a bit at the Maplewood Mall playground. It was fun for about 20 minutes until Ed decided to escape... and then I couldn't tear him away from the exit.

This afternoon I went to the doc quick because I'd been having some weird heartbeats now and again, and also because I practically faint every time I stand up from doing something near the floor (and when you have two toddlers you are constantly doing things near the floor). My EKG was fine and they tested me for anemia (results forthcoming). I'm sure I'm fine but it was good to get checked out. My blood pressure was a little low (well, that's what Jean said; the nurse said it was "good") and I had lost 2 pounds since April so maybe I just need to eat more. So I came home and made some rhubarb bars. Oooooh they are good action. I had written a note on them: "5/26/04", meaning I made them that date too, but I have no recollection of that (although I was pregnant with Lucy at the time, so I'm not surprised I didn't remember anything). Right, so I guess I'm fine. The doc told me he sensed I was a bit of an anxious personality, which I know is true -- the problem being that I'm really not happy unless I have eight zillion things going on. If I'm quiet and sitting still, I'm probably ill or ticked off. He said I should try to reduce the stress in my life, and believe me, when I can afford a dishwasher and a live-in maid-slash-masseuse, I will jump right on it.

Our tomato plants are yielding an embarrassment of riches -- I've got seven Big Boys and 4 cups of Grapes sitting on my counter, just waiting to be put to good use. I'd like to make some salsa tomorrow, if Lisa would ever send me her stinkin' recipe!! :) :)

OK OK what else? Yesterday at lunch Eddie was crying (about something terribly insignificant, as usual) and Lucy, without looking up from her PBJ, said "Oh Eddie, cry me a river!"

Lu's also in a phase where she waits for a break in the action and then says "Mommy... I love you." It's great!

Ed is obsessed with "shish!" (fish) and any other kind of animal. He busts out all kinds of words, like "bubble" and "Elmo" and "okay!" and "Go go go go!"

I've got to try to cross some more of these little annoyances off my list of Things That Are Starting To Drive Me Crazy...

1. Sew Lucy's 2 blue dresses that have been torn all to heck since she wears them every day

2. Tape together the kids' books that Ed has ripped the pages out of

3. Take my bike in to try to figure out what parts have fallen off (since every time I ride it I hear the clanging of fallen metal behind me), and maybe to see if the brakes can be muted slightly

4. Try to sign me and the kids up for an ECFE class which you would think really shouldn't be that hard but seems to involve eight different forms to be filled out, not to mention just finding a class when my kids' ages seem to be just off the age limits for all the classes I would want

5. Divest myself of some of these baby items we no longer need. Anybody want a baby bathtub? How about two baby bathtubs? Little boy and/or toddler girl clothes? A high chair? Changing table?

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Three Revelations


1. I had NO IDEA that Johnny Depp was going to play Sweeney Todd in the movie version!! I am overcome with excitement. Aiiiieeeee!!

2. I had no idea that the word "painstaking" would be split into "pains-taking." In my head, I always thought of it as "pain-staking," which, upon reflection, doesn't actually make any sense. I think I had a vague notion of someone climbing a very steep mountain using only two small wooden stakes.

3. It's probably a little too late, but I think I want to be one of Avril Lavigne's backup singers. Anyone got any connections?

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Mama, sing Joseph songs for me AGAIN.

Omigosh, I'm sure you're like, seriously?!?!? Nothing but Lucy sayings? But it's true, this is all I have to offer you today.

Chapter 1
At lunch today, Lucy threw a fit because she ate all the jelly off her PBJ and then wanted more. Sorry, I said, you've had your jelly ration -- if you're hungry there's plenty of bread and PB left on your plate.

Timeout! During which she had an accident in her room, probably because she was crying so hard.

So I'm mopping it up, and Lu, weeping, asks what I'm doing, and I tell her. And I ask if she'll please remove her own underpants so I can wipe her down and get her changed.

"I'm sorry," she says, between sobs, "You're out of luck."

Chapter the Second
Still at lunch.

"Mommy, your skirt is blue."

Me: "Yes, it is!"

Lucy: "Like my eyes."

Part 3
(This is something she's been saying for a while, but I'm now documenting it.)

I'm handing out strawberries because, my stars and garters, everyone has eaten their respective sandwiches.

Lu: "Mommy, I get two. Because I'm two."

The Grand Finale
Lunch is, at long last, winding down. Lucy is still picking at her food. The naptime negotiations are beginning.

Lu: "I have to sit on the potty... and then I can eat more."

Me: "Orrr... then, you can take a nap.

Lu: "ORRRRRRR... eat."