Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Saturday, December 27, 2008

What Happens When It Snows - Part 2

So there was another mouse. A live one. My husband, having once again achieved that place of almost-sleep, was rudely re-awakened by the shouting of an urgent wife. I had very briefly taken my eyes off of the mouse in order to bellow my need of help to the top of the stairs; turns out that rodents, even very tiny ones, are quick on their four feet, and our small guest had hid himself in a place where we couldn’t find him.

We gingerly poked and prodded our way around the kitchen in an effort to locate the little beast. We scraped the microwave cart out of its spot, and squeaked chairs across the floor. Everywhere we looked was a place where he wasn’t.

Sean and I reconvened and decided that it would be a good night for watching “It’s a Wonderful Life,” and cozied up on the couch with our ears turned toward the kitchen. Every few minutes my husband would creep into the kitchen with the kids’ Fisher Price flashlight set on red light (so as not to disturb the mouse’s night vision or something like that) to see if he couldn’t locate the mouse’s position.

It wasn’t too long before the mouse was found cowering behind the training potty. The question of how to capture the rodent without mortally wounding it became a very serious one now that actually finding it had increased our chances of removing it from the house.

The squeaker fled to the area behind the microwave cart and refrigerator. Armed with a flashlight, I stood sentry on one end while my husband guarded the other end with a small cardboard box in his hands. I realize it was foolish to think that one of us would be quick enough to actually bring the box down on top of the mouse, but we were desperate to have thing out of our house. (We’ve never had mice before, to our knowledge at least, but we have heard that it is very undesirable to share living and cooking space with them. Unless, of course, they have mad cooking skills like Remy in “Ratatouille.”)

House mice are cute. I know they are dirty creatures and all, but their plump little bodies and shiny black eyes make a person go all kinds of squishy inside once one is over the initial fear provoked by a wild rodent running loose around one’s house. So there we were, two grown adults alternately awwing and shrieking as we chased the mouse back and forth in our feeble attempt to corner it.

Then it happened. My husband finally had a chance to drop his empty Green Mountain Coffee box and trap the vermin. He chickened out. For whatever reason he found that he could not do his duty with the carton. So we switched places.

The mouse continued to run back and forth between us without ever coming out from the safety of his path behind the appliances. Occasionally he would wiggle underneath something and then poke his nose out for a look around; once, he found a small piece of cat food and stopped for a nibble; crouched on his haunches, he held the little bit of sustenance between his front paws and turned it round as he munched away at it until it was gone.

Then came my turn to try my hand at capturing the mouse. As it turns out, I did not find it difficult to slam the box down on top of the mouse. Not exactly, anyway. I suppose I should say that I did not hesitate to slam the box down: it just didn’t actually come down on top of the mouse. I believe I mentioned earlier that those mice are fast movers. I am proud to say that although I didn’t trap the entire mouse under the box I still managed to snag his tail.

I looked down at the mouse struggling to free himself and I thought to lift the box ever so slightly, and deftly bring it down on his entire self. That little mouse was like a wind-up toy. Once the box let go of his tail he fairly flew under the stove.

It has been a week now, and we have yet to ascertain where the mouse is, or was, or where he will be. The cat has not managed to kill him. Our live trap, laced with peanut-buttery-goodness has not caught him. That first night, I would awaken with visions of our rodent-killing cat dropping the dead furry carcass on my face in a display of pride. He’s still pretty proud of himself for annihilating that first mouse.

Mostly I’m just glad that the mouse was slain after the kiddos were safely in bed, and that it’s dead body was found before the cat had a chance to eat it’s face off. I’m also thankful that the little mouse body didn’t lie on the rug until morning when one of the children was sure to find it before dear old mom.

*I don't mop under my appliances every day.*

Monday, December 22, 2008

What Happens When It Snows - Part 1

The cold winter weather seems to drive warmth-seeking critters into our abode. Last November the bat of doom and destruction visited us. A couple of nights ago a little mouse couple invaded our home.

It had seemed a long day and all save myself were in bed asleep by nine o’clock. Being savagely tired but in need of a snack to fill a hole in my tummy, I went down into the kitchen to find something to eat. I took note as I entered the kitchen that our two cats were sitting and looking at their food dish; this generally means that they are starving due to negligence on our part; I peeked over and saw that their dish was full.

I proceeded to the refrigerator, put a small helping of leftover lasagna on a plate and stuck it in the microwave for one minute, after which I took my plate into the dining room. Maybe two minutes had passed from my entering the kitchen until my leaving it.

As I crossed the threshold into the dining room I noticed one of the cats batting a toy around in front of me. Seamus is a rather playful cat and to see him dashing about after the kids are asleep is pretty ordinary. What caught my attention was that his toy wasn’t making any noise. It didn’t smack when it hit the wall. It didn’t make a rolling sort of sound as it jostled around the floor.

Bending over to determine what the cat had found to play with, my hand began to reach for the object in question. Now, I didn’t have my glasses on and there is a questionably speckled Berber rug in our dining room/living room area. (Brown specked Berber is great for hiding stuff). What stopped my hand mid-reach was the tuft of white glaring back at me from the floor amidst the surrounding drab colors.

I followed the white tuft up and saw a little mousy chin; I followed the tuft down and spotted a small mousy tail. A dead mouse right outside my kitchen door was most certainly the very last thing I expected to see. We’ve never had to deal with mice before!

My poor husband was shouted out of his comfortable sleep, and told in no uncertain terms that he must rid our home of this mouse! He wandered about for a bit in a suddenly-awakened sort of stupor, but eventually the dead mouse was disposed of and the cat was sufficiently back-patted, and my husband went back to bed.

A few minutes after he had reached the land of sleep in his little sleep-sloop, there again came a suspicious clatter from the kitchen. Being on high alert I immediately betook myself to the culinary epicenter of the home. After a very short investigation I determined that there remained yet another rodent to be dealt with.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Trees and Flying Babies

A person would think that a child of eighteen months would begin to understand that a fall from great heights has the potential of pretty big ouchies. Perhaps when she reaches the mature age of nineteen months she will start to show a little more caution and reverence for things like chairs and big, tall beds.

About two weeks ago I was overcome by an attack of Christmas spirit. I decided it was high time our artificial tree made its appearance, even though I would have to put it up and direct toddler traffic in the general vicinity all by myself.

Last year the thing was put down in the basement instead of the attic, and the box has accumulated too much dust and web to be brought up into our living space. So there I was, getting some great aerobic exercise by hiking tree limbs up the stair and coming back down empty-handed to retrieve more, over and over, up and down, again and again.

I finally managed to bring up most of the pieces, and I started to “build” that tree. I don’t know how long it took me to fluff up all the branches. Nor do I know how many glaring scratches I received in the process. I do know that it took a little finagling, but I think the tree is positioned in a better spot than it was last year. The only problem is the loss of space in the corner. Lost or wasted space makes me sad.

We have a smallish house. When we bought this tree our budget dictated that we find it at a thrift store. We didn’t have a whole lot of options. We would have liked to get a slim tree (even though they aren’t fat and jolly like bigger trees), but we couldn’t find one. So we got this tree, which is in good shape but has a five-foot diameter.

When my husband brought the tree home last year it was quickly discovered that the fir was a bit too wide for our smallish house. After some finagling we removed select branches and stuffed it into the space between the end of our couch and the front windows. It was a little ridiculous, but it worked.

This year I choose to give the tree only three sides and thrust it in front of the windows. When the sky isn’t overcast and the sun shines through it kind of makes the tree look a little thin and haggard. However, the construction paper garland helps to fill it out a bit.

In order to place the tree in front of the windows, I needed to do a bit of reorganizing. The play kitchen set had to be moved to the dining room, which meant that the extra chair had to relinquish its spot and relocate to the kitchen.

And here we are back at my first point. A person would think that a toddler who has taken many a fall would stop climbing chairs! But it would seem that the chair that transferred to the kitchen is in a great spot for climbing in order to reach the light switch. Flipping switches is great fun. Lights go on. They go off. Great fun.

Not for the first time, the chair took a dive with the toddler atop yesterday. Toddler and chair took with them half a box of Clementines that were sitting peacefully on the table minding their own business. One of the fruits didn’t fair so well: it was squashed flat beneath the weight of the chair. Never before had I seen a citrus fruit in the shape of a pancake.

And then this morning, head groggy with the fog of just waking up, the little girl teetered on the edge of my three or four foot tall bed, instead of climbing down, and said “A-morning, Mommy,” twice or thrice over until I came to rescue her from her precarious position. When I glanced her there, wobbling to and fro in the dark of early morning, I had visions.

She spills so often due to her theatrics that I generally don’t get that sinking feeling in my stomach when I see her go over. But on the opposite side of “generally” is “sometimes.” Sometimes I still get that sinking feeling. Especially when she falls from a high place with her head leading the way to the floor.

Monday, December 15, 2008

'Splosions Happen to Everyone

We had a delicious dinner of venison steaks, mashed potatoes, fresh rolls, broccoli, and acorn squash last evening, compliments of my parents. It was so yummy. Plus it’s really nice not to have to cook a meal with a small child wound around my legs screaming the entire time. Of course it’s not much easier for Nana to cook with the baby in her kitchen because she does pretty much the same thing to her.

A few hours after dinner, when we were all safely home, my husband’s intestines kicked up a bit of a ruckus. This is not unusual. He tends to go about his post-dinner time with bubbles in his posterior. I would like to say that after six and a half years of marriage I have gotten used to this, but the truth of the matter is that it still annoys me. I am a lady, after all.

So there we were, safely at home with his exploding Highness. This time, much to our dismay, there was a bit of a stench associated with each “‘splosion,” as my son would say. The poor child is too young to realize that there is safety in running away when daddy’s bowels are cleansing. He instead sits there placidly, like a little martyr.

I suppose there is a certain amount of knowledge that goes along with being three. Shortly after the odiferous display started a very serious and contemplative air came over my son and he turned to his father and said, “Daddy, you need to go potty.” The man really should have gone to the potty because he almost wet himself laughing.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

One Has Fun While the Other Has None

Now that our health insurance has kicked in, the kids both needed to visit the doctor for a well checkup. My son hasn’t had a well visit since he was eighteen months old, so he was definitely past due.

Big boys of three years old get to do lots of fun things at the doctor’s office. He was very anxious to step up on the scale and stand in front of the big ruler. Some of his excitement waned a bit when it was time to have his blood pressure checked. Hesitation flickered across his features when he felt the blood pressure cuff tightening around his arm; he reached to take it off, but responded to directions to sit very still while the machine worked. It seemed to take forever. Nevertheless, he stayed rigid in his chair while the apparatus hissed and clicked.

Next it was the baby’s turn to be weighed and measured. Of course she screamed like a banshee the entire time. But her big brother used to do the same (and now he is so big and not screamy). Then it was down to the skivvies while the three of us waited for the doctor to come in. And waited. And waited. The kids made faces in the funhouse mirror and ran around the corner chair, their cool little bodies seemingly oblivious to the chill in the room. I must have told them two dozen times not to lie on the floor. It’s not quite as clean as one would like considering the nature of the establishment.

At long last the doctor did come. She looked in the direction of the baby, which started the screaming afresh. She asked the usual developmental questions; we discussed ways to propagate weight gain in my teeny tiny little peanut of a girl. Then it was time for my son to have his developmental test.

“Are you a boy or a girl?” the doctor asked my son.

She had his attention and he was excited to show her that he knew the sign for “girl.” Once everyone was sufficiently impressed by his sign language prowess she asked him again.

This time he very clearly stated that he was, indeed, a boy.

“Is your sister a boy or a girl,” was the next question.

“She’s a girl,” was his quick reply.

“How about mommy?”

The doctor was starting to lose his interest. He mumbled something that sounded like, “Mommy is mommy.” According to the doctor, this is a very common reply.

“What about daddy? Is daddy a boy or a girl?”

At this question the little man’s eyes grew wide, and in an awed voiced he asserted, “Daddy is very BIG.”

While that answer was good enough for me the doctor seemed very interested to know whether daddy was a boy or a girl. It finally came out that daddy was definitely a boy, and my son passed his developmental inquiry. He then went on to spell his name (and his sister’s name) for the doctor, and wow her with things that she didn’t even ask for.

As if that wasn’t enough to make me proud, my young man braved his flu shot like a trooper. He flinched and said, “it hurts me” when the needle was stuck into his arm, but he didn’t cry. Unfortunately, the same could not be said of his poor little sister who had to be peeled and cut away from my body to be laid on the table.

It was very sad. It became even sadder at three o’clock this morning when she awoke from her slumber with a raging fever, compliments of the savage flue shot. I think it can be very hard to be one and a half.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

So I Married a Cave Troll

Sometimes I think my husband must have cave-troll blood in him.

When we first looked at our home I was so happy that almost all of the rooms got a good amount of sunlight during the day. The house is situated on a corner, and there are no houses across the street along the side of the house. Just a wooded slope. (The wooded slope also caused much excitement since we live on the edge of a city where one is not accustomed to seeing wooded areas or slopes of any kind). Leafy trees don’t block light like a solid structure; the light filters through them in a serene and foresty-like way.

The very first thing I do in the morning is twist the stick on the blinds so that they open and let the hazy morning sunlight filter into our living spaces. It elicits such a cozy feeling to see the soft light illuminate the furniture and reflect off of the wall hangings.

My husband, being of a suspicious nature, always fears for our privacy. Although he likes the light he would almost prefer that the blinds stay closed for the duration of the day because, well, someone across the street, or a person walking down the sidewalk, or a wackaloon who lives in Ohio, may have their binoculars out and be watching us eat our breakfast.

You may think I’m joking or exaggerating. I assure you, I am not. (Okay, maybe just a teensy weensy bit). I can understand his desire for privacy, and I share it to a healthy extent. But if I wanted to live without sunshine I would have made our home in a cave; it might be a little dank and dusty, but it would be mortgage free.

So there I am in the morning, walking from window to window pulling back the curtains and opening and adjusting the blinds to an appropriate angle depending on the disposition of the sun that particular morning. Sean waits what he believes to be a suitable length of time, and then he flits from casement to casement closing the blinds in my wake. It is my belief that he presumes I won’t notice. But I do notice; and I have to open them all over again.

I have tried to forbid him from touching the blinds unless it is the dead of night and pitch black outside; so far that hasn’t squelched his compulsion. Many a time I have encouraged him to jog outside to stand on the sidewalk and peer through the window to see if he can tell how many fingers I am holding up. For whatever reason he hasn’t been interested in trying that either. I think it would be a healthy experiment at any rate- just in case a marauding villainous type spied us eating Christmas cookies and decided he was hungry too.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


In an effort to get into the Christmas mood, we have been monopolizing our local library’s copy of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” I suppose the whole not sharing thing isn’t very much in the spirit of Christmas, but we take it back to the Library every now and again so that someone else can have the pleasure of borrowing it too.

There was one week in November that we probably watched it fifty times. We watched it so often, in fact, that my illiterate three year old can now sit down with the book and “read” it to me. It’s really cute. He’ll drag that big old book onto his lap, with the crooked smile on his lips that he gets when he is about to do something smart, turn to the first page and start the story.

Every Who down in Who-ville liked Christmas a lot…

He’ll read and turn pages; he’ll do the Grinch voice. There are some parts, though, with words he’s not sure of. I guess Boris Karloff doesn’t always annunciate that well. Those words that he doesn’t know for sure are the best.

He took the Who-pudding! He took the roast beast! Him…clim…shim quick as a flash. Grinch en…tush…sma…sham of Who-hash!

Or something like that. However it goes, I just love being read to. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy and it makes my little man proud. I think it is safe to say that he does the Grinch as well as Boris Karloff ever did.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Item of the Day

For those who missed out on my amazing free shipping offer, here's another chance to snag some great gifts. Visit my shop December 3rd through December 10th for the Item of the Day! The Item of the Day will be new each day, and most importantly, ON SALE.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Looking for the Thankful and Finding It

Well, we made it. Not without two trips to the doctor’s office, but without any major catastrophic or debilitating disease or maiming. As of today we again join the ranks of the health insured. Just another thing on the long list of things to be thankful for.

Speaking of thankfulness, this Thanksgiving Day was not as remarkable as Easter when my husband decided to eat cat food. There were, however, a few memorable moments, as is practically unavoidable when my family is together in the same space.

Firstly, my poor mother, while frenetically running around the kitchen trying to make sure that everything stayed hot, accidentally dumped the turkey drippings that were intended for gravy down the drain whilst she skimmed the fat from the pan. This was in large part due to the fact that she was wanted on the phone. Multi-tasking is not one of her strong points.

Secondly, was the moment when my cold-ridden son sneezed all over the side of his Granddad’s face during prayer. It was a pretty wet and slimy sneeze as most of his sneezes are when the boogies of doom are attacking his body. All told, it didn’t seem to bother Granddad too much; his appetite was just as hearty as everybody else’s once he cleansed his face of it.

Unfortunately for me, I had an appointment at the dentist a few days before the holiday. Appointments at the dentist are always unfortunate. Who wants to spend large sums of money so that a dentist or dental hygienist can stretch one’s mouth into shapes it is not supposed to make and use sharp pointy metal sticks to scrape the enamel right off of one’s tooth. And then be forced to listen to a lecture on brushing gently. Right. But the professional is allowed to abrade the payee’s teeth with a piece of metal that could have been a rusty nail in another life.

When I visit the dentist, especially in the winter months, all the stretching, pulling, and flossing tend to make the corners of my mouth chap and ultimately split open. By the time the day for eating large mounds of food rolled around my lip was in pretty bad shape. Especially in the right corner region.

Every time I opened my mouth to put something yummy into it, the lip emitted a soundless plea (which I ignored) and tugged, pulled, and cracked open again. It was a tad uncomfortable. But all of this reminded me of something else that I am thankful for: chapstick. If one persists on looking for the bright side it can almost always be found.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Shopping Deals

Happy Black Friday, all! In honor of this day where many, many people brave the mobs and traffic to find a great deal I am offering free domestic shipping to the USA on all orders now through Monday.

To all my blogger friends I would like to extend an extra 10% off now through Monday. To redeem this discount simply type "I love your blog" into the "message to seller" box during checkout. (Isn't that the greatest coupon code ever?!) You will need to wait for me to email you a revised invoice in order to receive this discount. If you forget and the full amount is deducted from your Paypal account have no fear- I will refund you!

As for myself, I have no intention of fighting a crazy-eyed woman for the last train set, nor do I feel like getting run off of the road by a dehydrated and starved person who has been out shopping longer than the sun has been up in the sky. Instead I will stay at home in my comfy clothes and eat leftovers until I feel as sick to my stomach as I did last night.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I Have a Thankful Heart

I find as I go through life that there are so many things to be thankful for. Some of these things I am not even aware of. Like the person who leaves ten minutes late because of a poopy diaper emergency, thereby avoiding a terrible accident on the highway.

Take this morning for example. Having washed my husband’s work clothes, I was hanging them up in the closet when I discovered a miniature gel pen tucked inside his lapel. Only the tip was sticking out and I had missed it when putting the shirt into the washing machine.

When I spotted the pen visions of what could have been flashed through my mind, and I almost fell over for the immense dizziness they caused me. Had the pen opened in the wash it would have certainly destroyed everything in the load and necessitated plundering our bank account to replace the ruined work pants and shirts. What it could have done to the machine I really don’t know. What it would have done to my sanity, on the other hand, I am pretty well aware. I don’t think I would look good without hair.

So this day before Thanksgiving I am thankful that a tiny gel pen didn’t explode in my washing machine. On behalf of my husband let me say that he also is thankful that the miniature writing implement did not let loose all of it’s terrible inky blackness into the wash. Dirty clothes on top of or next to the hamper I have learned to overlook; I don’t think I would have as much grace for pens detonating during the spin cycle.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Could it be that My Heart is Two Sizes Too Small?

I have a confession to make. A confession so naughty that I am sure I will wake up to coal in my stocking on Christmas morning. Here it goes: I feel very indifferent toward the Holidays this year.

As I type this I can hear Buddy the Elf saying, “That’s shocking.” And really it is. I adore Christmas; usually by now I have most of my shopping done so as to avoid the rush (in my defense the kids’ presents are already stashed in the attic); in most years past I would be drooling over the thought of our family’s Thanksgiving feast. This year I’m having a terrible time finding where that anticipation has gone to.

For a while I thought my difficulty was stemming from the fact that I didn’t need to wear a winter coat until about one week ago: it is hard to feel Christmas-y in a t-shirt. And then I wondered if all the time and work that I was putting into my Etsy shop was sucking the Joy from my system. Too much housework, too many errands, not enough time for the kids.

I have been listening to Christmas music for a month now. It’s making me happy, but not making me feel like sitting down and actually writing out a gift list for anyone other than the kids, or picking a time to do our family photo. This year has been a tough one- likely the toughest of my young life- and I think I just might have misplaced my Christmas cheer somewhere along the way.

Or it could be that I’m just now finding my Christmas spirit after all of these years. Suddnely, I don’t care so much for gift giving or receiving: I just want to spend time with the people I love. I don’t want so much fuss and complication: I want to relax. Maybe when I wake up on Christmas morning I won’t find black coal after all, but a plethora of wonderful, relaxing warm and fuzzy memories just waiting to be made.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I Just Can't Do This!

The Lord has blessed me with a variety of abilities: I can write, I’m good at reading books instead of doing chores, I can sing on key, my cooking skills are renowned my family over, and I can make felt barrettes. My photo taking skills are decent, I’m organized, and I am very good at annoying my husband. Unfortunately, there is at least one thing that I stink at.

Ever since February, when the dreadful disease of Death and Much Ear Pain tore through our entire home, I have had non-stop problems with my ears. I find myself forced, once again, to administer a scary nasal spray. Happily, I have graduated from my intense fear of the nasal spray bottle; however, now that fear and trepidation are not clouding my mind, I find that I am incapable of using the spray properly.

According to the package directions one is supposed to tilt the head forward, insert the tip of the bottle into one nasal passage while plugging the other, and pump the collar of the bottle quickly and with determination thereby administering a mist of medical goodness.

(This whole pumping the bottle thing can be a little tricky. Twice now I have pinched my upper lip between the rim and the collar of the bottle. It not only causes my lip to hurt like the dickens, but it also makes me feel like an idiot. I mean, who does that?)

So there I stand in the middle of the kitchen floor with my head tilted forward and the plastic tube up my nose. I pump the bottle and I can smell the Astelin as it exits the bottle and soaks my nasal membranes. Within a second I also hear the sound of liquid splatting on the floor; I look down to see a glistening droplet of medicine on the linoleum. The package insert doesn’t say anything about wiping the floor after administration of the medicine, so I’m pretty sure it is supposed to stay in my nose.

I can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong. I inhale the mist gently, as per the directions; I would try horking it up in there, but I am afraid that I may hurt my brain or that it may squirt out of my eyeballs. I’ve tried to use my ninja-mommy skills to pump that little bottle with a fury in order to produce the finest mist ever seen by a nasal passage, but that doesn’t seem to help either. (Not to mention I’m afraid of pinching my lip again).

I suppose I shall have to continue in my pursuit of proper nasal spray technique. I shall continue to tilt my head forward, inhale gently, and mop up the kitchen floor. I shall continue to puzzle as I feel the medicinal stream rushing out of my nose. I shall continue to taste the disagreeable flavor left behind in the back of my throat. And I shall continue to have unpleasant sensations in my ears because I cannot medicate myself properly. The end.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Big Bulging Muscles. Of Doom.

My husband arrived home from work last evening and thwomped his way into the kitchen where I was desperately trying to finish dinner with a screaming baby attached to my leg. I turned toward him and saw that the thwomping was due to the fact that he kept sticking his right leg out from his hip at strange angles while he walked.

I must say that I didn’t see immediate cause for alarm when he came into the house gamboling about like a hunchback. The man tends to err on the dramatic side as related here and here. I believe that he does this so that when a real calamity comes along he is prepared to do his part of the wailing, moaning and general running around in circles.

He told me that a mysterious ailment had overcome him sometime during the day. For no apparent reason his right calf had begun to pain him. Upon inspection it was discovered to be tender to the touch and a portion of it was bulging out, like it had contracted a serious case of mutant bodybuilderitis.

This put me in a bit of a pickle. Any sort of disorder is a very tricky thing with this man: brush it off as a little matter and he gets understandably upset, but take a look at something and say, “Oh, honey, that doesn’t look so good,” and he’s liable to faint dead away. I settled for what I thought to be middle ground, and inquired if he had dropped something heavy on it or remembered walking into any walls (which he does often at home).

As I looked at the questionable swellage I momentarily lost hold of my senses and grimaced. This was met with a swift and alarmed query as to whether there was need of a trip to the emergency room, because, after all, he remembered a story from his OSHA training class where a man suffered a small cut on the job and then his arm swelled up to size of a nuclear submarine or something. And then he died.

My husband thankfully did not have a cut. When he woke up this morning not only was he still breathing, but there remained no sign of the Schwarzenegger-style swelling. The thwomping has been replaced by his normal stride, and he’s back to walking into walls, doorways, and other inanimate objects that do not yield to oncoming traffic.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Where's the Rewind Button?

I have begun to notice little nuances in my son’s behavior that may hail the beginning of the end of his completely dependent toddlerhood. I’m fervently hoping that these things are just flukes and that I actually have at least one more year of his being my baby instead of a person too quickly on his way to adulthood (or worse- that period of time that comes between baby and adult- teenager).

The little guy was experimenting with referring to my husband and I by our first names for a bit. After it became apparent that he meant to carry on with that for some time we tried to make him understand that it was rude to do so, after which he insisted on calling me “mom” instead of “mommy.” It would seem that a three-year-old is much too old to go around calling the person who practically saw the door of heaven during childbirth “mommy.” When he’s not paying attention or when he’s tired the “mommy”s still slip out.

Now that he has been fully potty-trained for about four months he has started to order me out of the bathroom. He’ll point to some innocuous place on the way to the toilet and command, “stay there, mommy.” I wait and stand in my spot for about ten seconds before heading into the bathroom to save the toilet paper from being dropped into the bowl.

It could just be my imagination, but I feel as though he tends to avoid holding my hand as much as possible when we’re out running errands. I suppose that means I’ll have to stop smothering him with kisses in the grocery store soon. Speaking of kisses, he has greatly offended his father by refusing to kiss him. The man is really upset. I don’t think it helps that the child will then come and kiss me until I practically shine with spit.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Pre-Christmas Giveaway Winner

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2008-11-16 13:02:22 UTC

The lucky winner of my pre-Christmas giveaway is FawnDear! So, take a look around my shop and let me know which item you would like to see in your mailbox. Everyone else mark your calendars- I will be offering free domestic shipping to the United States November 28th-30th!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Best in New Piggy Banks

For a few weeks now our doorway/stair gate has been making a sort of clackety noise when lifted from its hinges and moved into another room. It sounded as though a piece of plastic had broken off inside and was tumbling around.

This evening when I moved it from the bottom of the steps into the kids’ bedroom doorway, it sounded as if someone had been using it as a piggy bank. Except, really, it’s better than a piggy bank because most piggies these days have a plug in the bottom, and the only way to get the money back from the gate is to take a sledgehammer to it. It’s burglarproof.

At first the tinkling confused me, but as I tilted the gate this way and that I suddenly had a vision of Daddy’s spare change spread out on top of the record player. A certain toddler that lives in this house is beginning to show a little ankle at the cuff of his pants which means he is getting taller. Places that were once unreachable are now very reachable indeed.

The combination of pennies and the nice penny-sized slot in the bottom of the gate were apparently too much of a temptation for him. When questioned as to what was causing the delightful chinking sound in the gate he told us with an excited smile that he had stashed pennies in there.

It made me a little sad to tell the boy that what he thought was such an inspired idea shouldn’t be repeated. I suppose Daddy will have to be more mindful of leaving money lying around the house, or the next time the boy may hide the milk and egg money inside the VCR.

Monday, November 10, 2008

"No" Should be a One-Way Street

It’s hard being Mommy to the most beautiful little girl in the world. It really is. When she was first born it wasn’t so difficult; she slept a lot, she stayed where she was put- she spent most of her time simply being cute.

Now she hardly sleeps, she never stays still, and she spends most of her time getting into trouble. There are just too many buttons on the microwave that need to be pushed. Too many books that need to be washed in toilet water. So many high places to climb that double as good places to practice ladder-building skills in order to reach.

How quickly babies go from being innocent well-behaved people to world-menacing toddlers. Whoever decided that the word “no” should be a simple two-letter word must have been an illicit drug user or had no experience with parenting. Children learn the word much too quickly. I suppose it is possible that if the word were pronounced “imneptabulous” children could still learn to say it rather young.

As much as toddlers and babies alike love to say “no,” they tend to become completely and utterly offended if the word should be directed toward them, and they wail and scream as though their very life is at an end. “No, you can’t juggle the cleaver.” “No, you may not put your finger in the electrical outlet.” “No, you may not hang from the chandelier.” It’s all very dramatic.

In the last couple of weeks, the baby has begun to put on her most pathetic face and whimper “come here, come here,” as she lifts her arms to be picked up and skooshes her fingers open and closed. She especially loves to pour on the ooey-gooey cuteness after she gets in trouble. I need to work on my stern face.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Pre-Christmas Giveaway

I realize that my blogs have been lacking as of late. I am almost completely consumed with getting my Etsy shop up and running, much to the dismay of my husband and children. Since everyone has been so patient with me I am going to have my first giveaway! One lucky winner will receive an item of their choice from my shop. To enter please leave a comment sharing your favorite thing about the holiday season by 11:59pm EST on Saturday, November 15th . No scrooges allowed!

*No one from my family will be counted as they are already getting items from my shop for Christmas!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Potty Head

Remember this picture?

Like Brother like Sister.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Jingle, Jingle, Jingle

My husband tells me that he heard Christmas music on the radio yesterday. I now feel that it is safe to admit to the world at large that I am already playing it now and again at home. I’m not sure that I understand it, but some people seem to find Christmas music played before Thanksgiving to be sacrilegious.

It is a sad state of affairs when a person has to shamefully hide secrets like this away, and only play their Christmas music in the quiet privacy of their home when no one is around to hear. I don’t believe that Christmas music should be on the same covert level as picking one’s nose.

I find Christmas music to be soothing. Some people bite their nails when stressed, some click click click their pens to the dismay of those around them, and others tap their toes and shake their legs until the entire dinner table is bouncing about the room. Nice persons do not look upon those people as freakishly weird. Those same nice persons may, however, bestow a you-have-got-to-be-kidding-me look upon someone who happens to listen to Christmas music before the end of October.

Now I am justified. There is Christmas music to be heard on the radio, and I can listen to it till my heart practically explodes with good will toward men. With all of this post-election non-sense I may need a little more good will this year than normal.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

One Padded Cell Coming Right Up!

Sometime within the last week or two I began imagining all of the terrible things that might befall me as I went to cast my vote for our country’s new commander and chief. I saw myself standing in the pouring rain with both of my children huddled under an umbrella inhaling the cold pneumatic air into their lungs. I quailed at visions of insane voters hurling threats if they discovered whom I intended to vote for. I anticipated the long, long lines stretched as far as the eye could see, and began to formulate plans for keeping my children from running into the nearby traffic-laden road.

I realize that all of this is ridiculous. It only took me about sixty seconds to realize just how ridiculous. But during those sixty seconds that is where my mind took me: threats, gunshot wounds, and hail, snow, and sleet. Even if any of those things were to happen, they were completely out of my control so I decided to get control of myself and tried to take a more Que Sera, Sera attitude toward the whole thing. Happily, I did very well. Until this morning.

The day dawned warmly with a hazy sort of sunnyness, and there was no rain (or hail or sleet or even snow) in the forecast. The plan was to wait for my husband to get home and then decide whether to take the kids along or go separately. For about two hours after I crawled out of bed I did really well. And then it hit me. I just had to go vote. Right away. Get it over with. Immediately! When this mood hits me there is no use trying to ignore it. I tend to wander around like a person sick in the head. No dishes get washed. I can’t eat. I can’t focus. I get cranky.

Once I make up my mind to do something no matter what awaits me, I feel better almost instantly. I really do. So the kids and I got dressed and cheerfully hopped into the car. When we arrived at our destination the sun still shone and there was no line. The three of us, and our you-must-stay-with-mommy accoutrements were in and out of the polling place in less than ten minutes. No one threatened us. The poll workers were friendly and extremely helpful. Neither of the kids mashed buttons on the voting machine, making me vote for the wrong candidate. It was a lovely experience.

There were, however, plenty of lines to be found elsewhere. The wait at Wendy’s was two to three times longer than at the voting booth (I felt that the kids deserved a treat for listening so nicely when Mommy gave an impassioned speech on NOT TOUCHING ANYTHING!). And then there was the line at the grocery store, and also the construction traffic we hit on the way to and from the store. Just another reason why it is foolishness to try and predict conditions and circumstances: lines where one doesn’t expect them and no lines where one does. I find it helpful when silly fears are proven to be false; it helps me to control them better the next time around. It may just rain yet though. There is a suspicious darkness falling outside, and my husband informs me that he is on his way home to vote. And it’s raining on him.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Shiny New Whiteness

Christmas came a little early to our house this year. My husband has been making union wages at his current jobsite, so his last paycheck was a sweet blessing. It will be so nice to actually put money into the savings account for a change!

There is one thing in particular that Sean has been wishing for over the last year more than anything else: a Wii. The two of us decided that it would be a fun investment for the whole family, so we went out and got one. Just like that. A little Christmas in November, if you will.

The shiny new Wii system comes with a variety of sports games including tennis, baseball, bowling, golf, and boxing. I don’t like boxing. There is something about two sweaty men pounding each other in the face that just repulses me. In all fairness this game is so cartoony and cheesy that a person hardly realizes that it’s boxing at all.

Of course the sport that my son found the easiest to learn was the boxing game. Go figure. I think it’s because all he really has to do is flail his arms around- it doesn’t seem to be very precise. So there he was thrashing about, while my husband sat on the couch mindlessly cheering him on with phrases like “get him buddy!” Yeah, thump him one good.

I don’t think that we should be encouraging our children to walk up to people and whack them in the head. Not that I think my son would actually do that, but I don’t want to take any chances. Therefore I hastily decided to suggest to my son that what he was actually doing was having a tickle fight.

You know, “Tickle him in the nose buddy! Come on! Tickle him! Tickle him!”

It’s really kind of silly. Especially when the poor deluded kid asks to play the “tickle fight game.” Is this the same as lying to your kid about Santa Clause, the Easter bunny, and the tooth fairy? Or is this more along the lines of telling him that brussel sprouts taste like candy canes?

Friday, October 31, 2008

Another One Succumbs

Only one more sister left to drag down into the depths of blogging! If you haven't already, drop over to see my younger sister at Ramblings of One Stuck in the Middle of Inbetween, where she will regale you with deep thoughts and big words. After that, stop by my little sister's blog, Another Stone in the Creek, where she will most likely be complaining of college life and the difficulties of planning her wedding. If my youngest sister heeds the pressure and gives into the joy that is blogging you all will be the first to know.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Find That Toy and Have it Shot!

I generally discourage the children from standing on things in order to look out of the window. It’s just not safe. But there are those times when no one is shoving or pushing and they just placidly stand there and look outside. They watch the occasional car drive down the street, or they observe the rain as it falls silently drenching the earth and making the backyard too soggy to play in. And they are quiet.

I like quiet. I like it so much that I hardly listen to the radio while driving. I don’t generally put anything in to the CD player, except Bob the Tomato or Larry the Cucumber, unless I feel a little cranky. Then it’s usually Norah Jones or Christmas music. I like quiet.

The other day I allowed my love for peace and quiet to surpass my common sense. I decided to let the kids sit/stand on the ottoman together and gaze out the front window. As I went back to my vacuuming I had the sense of impending doom gnawing at the back of my mind. It was only moments before the first strains of a crying baby reached my ears.

The cry sounded like the normal my-brother-took-my-toy cry, not the wail of a maimed child, so I shut off the vacuum and turned to walk, not run, into the living room. When I turned the baby came staggering into the room with blood on her hands and face.

Times like these are when a mother has to try and soothe her wounded child while at the same time pushing that child to arms length in an attempt to discover where the blood is originating. The child doesn’t like this. All she wants to do is crawl inside of her mommy’s skin and be all better.

It wasn’t long before I found the boo-boo. After the little girl fell it would seem that she left behind a small triangular shaped piece of her lower left cheek when she came looking for me because it was most definitely missing from her face. She was so sad, and it hurt me to see my little angel with a raw gouge glistening on her perfect little cheek.

For some reason I was really anxious to determine exactly what was responsible for dealing such a blow. My son offered absolutely no help; he was very unconcerned with his sister’s plight. Perhaps it was because she wasn’t screaming at decibels as yet unknown to man that he didn’t think her situation to be grave enough to merit attention.

I picked up all the toys near the window and examined rough or pointy edges for speared flesh or fresh blood. There was none to be found. Anywhere. Chunks of flesh just don’t disappear. After a couple of minutes I felt really silly playing forensic detective guy and resigned myself to nursing my wounded child in spite of the mystery surrounding the wounding. Because, really, it doesn’t matter what rogue toy inflicted the gash so much as being thankful that it missed her eyeball. And the time was better spent snuggling the poor little girl with the mangled and puffy cheek until she fell asleep.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Daddy Has Hair Where?

The four of us were laying in bed all snuggly warm last night when Big Brother was suddenly stricken with a look of serious concern. The little guy sat up and took a good look at Daddy’s shirtless chest.

Something clicked in the boy’s head and he realized that he and his Daddy didn’t have matching chests. Daddy has hair on his chest? On his chest? When did this happen? his face seemed to say.

The little guy pulled on the collar of his t-shirt and peered down his front. He furrowed his brow, and glanced at his Daddy’s chest again.

Well, that hair must have fallen from Daddy’s head and burrowed into the chest area. What else could it be?

“Put it back?” he asked with a good tug on the chest hair, and then a pat on Daddy’s head.

That didn’t work so well. He tried again.

“…has hair all over it…” he muttered as he plucked.

The child was really adamant that the chest hairs be reunited with the head hairs. The boy kept brushing at them like they should just simply sweep away and tumble to the ground. Then he noticed the armpit hair. That also received a good yank. It’s surprising that my husband had any body hair to speak of this morning.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Thank You, Tree, For Giving Your Life

I have been using far too many paper towels. What with the baby dumping the cat’s water dish multiple times a day, and the dirty-face-wiping washcloths getting holes in them therefore advocating further use of paper towels. It’s shameful.

For a while there I was really good about swabbing up a mess with old socks and stained dishcloths. But all the wringing out and the less than ideal absorbing power of said rags just became too much of a strain. I began to use more and more Bounty towels in my daily clean up.

This past weekend I had a bit of a breakdown. I was tired. I didn’t want to wash any more dishes. Ever. So we ate off of paper plates. Sad. I know. Another tree felled just to avoid some dirty dishes.

The dirty dish fairy, in her drab brownish colored dress, still swooped down into our sink and deposited a stack of spaghetti stained plates and coffee splashed mugs. Not to mention loads of forks, spoons, and other assorted serving ware.

There still remains that moment, when all the dishes are sparkly clean, that a person can look into the sink and see the bottom. I love that moment. I just wish it would last a little longer. In this house that moment is just that- literally, a moment. Maybe if I stop buying groceries the sink would stay empty for a while longer.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Prepared for Anything

Last evening I had my first experience with a child wanting to wear something a little out-of-the-ordinary out of the house. As we prepared for an errand my son insisted that he wear his safety goggles. You know, in case something sharp flew at his eye or he fell over into a crowd spear-bearing elves.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Here's a Tip for All You Bearded Fellows

My husband and I celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary in June, and I have known him two years besides. Even still he continues to do and say things that come as a surprise to me. I don’t know why I should be surprised, as I really don’t put anything past his doing.

Last summer I purchased a fingernail brush because it is much easier to scrub dirt from beneath a toddler’s fingernails with such a tool as opposed to scraping it out with my own nails. The small rectangular brush is generally kept in the downstairs bathroom because that is where the children are washed up after playing outside in the dirt.

The other day, Sean came into the living room where I was having a moment’s rest and asked me if I had seen the little brush that belonged in the bathroom. I queried him as to which little brush he was referring to, as we only have one hairbrush and it is of the normal hairbrush size.

“You know, the little white one,” he insisted.

“You mean the fingernail brush?” I asked.

“Oh, is that what it is,” he replied, “I’ve been using it to brush my beard.”

Evidently, the man thought I had gone out and bought him a special brush just for his beard (he is the only one in the house that sports one, so whom else would it be for). He tells me that the bristles are just right for beard grooming. Why I would have purchased a special beard brush, put it under the sink, and not told him, “Hey, see this little brush? It’s just for your beard!” I don’t understand.

It’s good to know that every time I kiss him I get grungy fingernail dirt ground into my chin. Yep. I suppose I’ll have to start chin cleansing after every kiss because he doesn’t seem to have any intention of giving up his claim on that brush. Maybe I should get another one and label it “for fingernails only- no beards allowed.”

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Take Note

More and more of my friends are starting blogs of their own. While I think this is really, really great and I love to read about what is on their minds, they have got to take it easy! I have two troublesome children to take care of over here and very little time for the computer, let alone reading. I don't have a laptop that I can use for Internet purposes, and my desktop computer is in an out-of-the-way place that makes it difficult to use while the kids are awake. If I leave them alone for five minutes to try and catch up on blogs they sail books in the toilet, eat cat food, and tap dance on the dining room table. So please hear my plea! If at all possible coordinate amongst yourselves so that no more that two of you post on any given day. That way I can keep up with your blog and not be up until midnight.

Okay. The real reason that I posted this was to highlight these new blogs. So go ahead and check them out- you'll find links to them on my sidebar. Just make sure you don't forget about me after you read all of these wonderfully written blogs. If you click on over to my not-so-little sister's blog, be sure to say "hi" from me.

Also, my Etsy shop is officially up and running. There isn't a whole lot there right now, but it's a start. Kudos to my sister for designing my shop banner! Now, if I can just get her to design one for this blog...

If I Hide it Back Here...

I thought that my furniture had escaped the artistic hand of my son. Not so much. When I tipped the left back cushion on my couch forward yesterday afternoon there were long black lines slashed across it. Considering the fact that he could have chosen a much worse spot to doodle I tried to keep my wits about me and stay calm. I am proud to say that I didn’t shout. Much.

Of course the first thing to do was to call my mom and see if she could suggest any way in which to eradicate the marker from the cushion. It would seem that none of her children had ever done such a thing, so she wasn’t sure what to recommend. After mom, I find the Internet to be a great source for information on such matters. Apparently other people’s children have done things like destroy furniture through art.

The two most popular suggestions for my dilemma were to apply hairspray or Oxy Clean carpet cleaner. Since I don’t own hairspray I thought I’d try the Oxy Clean. After one treatment the lines are still visible, but greatly diminished in darkness. I realize that I should have taken before and after pictures, however I was in too much of a rush to see if it would actually work.

I scrubbed that couch so hard that I’m surprised I didn’t burn a hole through the fabric with the friction of my elbow grease. The young man received quite a brutal scrubbing as well. Permanent marker isn’t super easy to remove from flesh. And I thought that if the consequence of drawing on oneself was a fierce and brutal washing the child would be less likely to repeat such behavior in the near future.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Inappropriate Artwork

This is what happens when Daddy teaches that it's fun to draw smiley faces on to fingers.

Daddy better thank his lucky stars that his Mini-Me didn't decide to permanent marker the furniture while he was at it.

He choose to color his sister instead.

At least she's washable.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Cars, Food, and Bathroom Water

I’m not sure what chromosome carries it, but my daughter got my predisposition for food-love. I really, really love food. A lot. Meal times make me happy (especially when I get to cook in peace without a screaming child attached to my leg). When I taste a bite of something that is particularly yummy I have been known to do a little dance right there in my chair. Just thinking about it makes me salivate.

My sweet sixteen-month-old child has not made too much of an effort at speech yet. She has a smattering of vocabulary under her belt, but she has made it quite clear that she has no intention of doing the repeat-after-me thing (the thing where the parent exaggerates facial expressions and says, “w-w-w-w-a-a-a-t-t-t-t-e-e-r-r-r-r”). And then, in the last week, she pops out with three new words. Three. New words.

The thing that has me totally cracking up is that all three words are food items. “Chicken.” “Pancake.” “Cookie.” The last one being her favorite. When she is not in the kitchen tossing cat food around like confetti, she can often be found in front of the pantry shelf playing store. Today she plucked a package of graham crackers from the shelf and lobbed it into the toilet. Unopened packages of graham crackers float in toilet water.

There appears to be an unusual fascination with bathrooms today. While putting the baby to bed this evening I heard the noise of gushing water in the bathroom sink. When I arrived on scene to investigate I found that my son had about half a dozen of his cars lined up in the sink and fully submerged. He was washing them down with a moist wipe. I guess they were dirty. At least their paint will be sparkly when their undercarriage rusts out.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Those Fatal Accidents Can Kill You

I think I should make it a goal to watch my husband more carefully when he is out cutting and hacking away at the lawn. After having conquered the yard this past weekend he informed me that there was a moment during the process when he thought his life to be over. He showed me his wounded neck and commenced with a story so funny that I gave up trying to maintain a grave expression and laughed feverishly until I thought I would lose consciousness.

While handling the weed whacker a stone or small chip of something was hurled at Sean’s neck by the spinning-line-trimmer-of-doom. One moment he was somewhat happily flaying the jungle grasses in the back yard (I say “somewhat” because he loathes this chore) and listening to his iPod, the next he felt something pierce his throat at the speed of sound and, he believed, lodge itself into his esophageal passage. Being the calm and conscientious person that he is, my husband was instantly convinced that the hour for his passing had come.

Though half demented from the excruciating pain he was able to formulate a plan of action in his mind to up the odds of his survival. Immediately dropping the trimmer he purposed to make his way toward the house in order to collapse in front of a window, thereby increasing the chance that I would look out and see him lying, gravely wounded, in the grass. (As he hadn’t actually mowed the grass yet, this probably wouldn’t have done him any good because I feel quite sure that if the baby had gotten away from me back there, with the grass as high as it was, I wouldn’t have been able to spot her upright body over the top of the grass let alone his prone form).

As he stumbled through the tangle of crab grasses and fescue and dandelion weeds, he recalled to himself the annals of fatal weed whacking accidents and found little consolation that his name would soon be added to this elite list. Because, he informed me later, people generally die from fatal weed whacker accidents. Who knew?

This is where I get a smidgen fuzzy on the details. I think Sean must have found the courage to actually feel his neck and subsequently realized that not only was there no gaping gash, but there wasn’t really even any blood, because he just turned around and finished up the yard work before coming in to regale me with tales of near-death and further excuses to forgo mowing the grass completely. I do think that the blow to the neck may have caused some temporary impairment though since he didn’t come directly to Nurse Mommy for a pat and a kiss and Band-Aid. The poor brave soul. Maybe it’s because I’m not a very good nurse; with me it’s more like a “you’re fine” and a shake of the head and a Band-Aid. Better to keep on mowing.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Well Hello Garbage!

All of this time I have been worried about my daughter throwing things of importance into the trash can when it would seem that it was myself that I should have been worried about. At this point it seems unclear how much longer I will be in possession of my full mental capacities. Since the birth of my second child my memory grows faultier by the hour; my to-do lists are becoming more detailed and the little blocks on my calendar are more crowded with monotonous points and reminders.

I awoke this morning and had hardly started my day when I realized that I had meant to mail in payment for my wonderful new gas range. Glancing in the letter slot where bills-in-waiting are stored in order of their due dates, I quickly ascertained that said appliance bill was not where it belonged.

Swell. I then recalled having seen it mixed in with some bills I had paid earlier in the week. I checked the filing cabinet and the computer desk. No luck. In my mind’s eye I could see mailing envelopes and superfluous bill inserts floating down, down, down into the depths of the kitchen trash can, and I wondered if, somehow, the unpaid Sears bill had gotten mixed in with the wrong crowd and headed into the dumps.

In the past I have peered into the scary wasteland of kitchen garbages and wondered if there was anything important enough to warrant plunging an arm into its depths. Well, today I took that plunge. While holding my breath of course.

I halfheartedly poked around in the mess that seemed to consist mostly of coffee grinds. Everything was slimy and mixed up together and saturated in coffee grind juice. It was gross. It really wasn’t fun, so I thought I would look around the house again in an effort to locate the bill before I had to do some serious riffling. Unfortunately the envelope hadn’t magically appeared anywhere that I could see.

Further postponing my morning sustenance and life-giving java, I trudged back to the garbage can convinced that in order to find my statement I was going to have to take that refuse by surprise and force it to hand over my bill. I gingerly hung a plastic bag on the kitchen chair and sorted the yuck from the kitchen can into it. Still no bill.

But wait! The garbage from earlier in the week was tied up and sitting at the curb waiting to be picked up and hauled away to a huge rambling dump never to be seen or heard from again! There was no time to lose. Still in my pajamas, I peeked out of the front door. I looked up the street. I looked down the street. I wondered if I should riffle through the can while it sat on the curb or if I should drag it into the back yard before dumping it and scrabbling through it like a rabid raccoon.

I opted for leaving the can on the curb and just looking through it really, really fast. As Providence would have it, I untied the top bag and there was the long lost envelope with my bill statement lying right on the top and soaking in coffee grinds (of course). From now on maybe a grown-up should follow me around the house and make sure I’m not sticking stuff in the garbage can that doesn’t belong there.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Perchance Her Next Word Will Be Yo-Ho

My readers may remember my husband started a new job about two months ago, which rendered us insurance-less for a short period of time. He is a month out from the end of his probationary period, so we are still in that “short period of time” time. I knew that it would be practically useless to hope that we could make it through without a visit or two to the doctor. I’m quite sure that there is a terrible sort of chuckle coming from the final resting place of Mr. Murphy at the prospect of so much fun to be had at my expense.

A few weeks ago, my daughter awoke with a suspicious looking bump on each of her eyelids. I have been keeping one of my eyes on them, and while they haven’t gotten any larger they haven’t disappeared either. Being overcome with tiredness yesterday afternoon, the little munchkin stretched out upon a pillow and succumbed to what is known in mommydom as the wonderful “nap.” With smiling eyes I gazed down upon my lovely little bug.

It startled me to notice that her right eyelid was swollen and covered in a purplish-bruisy sort of color. Not being a panicky sort of mommy, but a cautious one nonetheless when it comes to eyes and things of that nature, I called up the pediatrician’s office to see what could be done. Of course, with it being an eye and all, they wanted to see her.

I wasn’t ready to have my pocketbook plundered over what was likely an allergy related problem, and I thought it would be nice to be able to purchase some other necessities, like food, this week, so I purposed to put off the visit for a day and see how things were looking in the morning.

It was a nice sort of morning. The kids slept until the unheard of hour of 8:30am and I was feeling pretty cozy in my pajamas. I plucked the baby from the bed and was about to plant a smooch on her cheek when I noticed that she was looking out of her right eye through a slit. I considered the fact that she could be practicing her pirate impression, but given the redness and the swelling I thought this was unlikely.

At this point there was a smidgen of alarm present in my visage. That’s it! I’ve blinded my poor baby for life because I didn’t call for an ambulance to rush her and her puffy eyelid to the doctor yesterday! She’ll grow up only being able to enjoy the turning of the leaves with one eye and we’ll have to buy her an eye patch and a parrot for Christmas!

The swelling quickly abated to a more manageable degree of inflammation, but I feared that putting off a visit to the doctor for one more day might prove to be imprudent. It just wouldn’t do for a teeny little girl to have an eyelid as big as her whole face, so I called up the office and flew into warp speed to get everybody ready and out of the house in time to make the appointment.

A very wise woman once told me that sometimes peace of mind is worth paying for. Actually, she tells me that a lot. She’s my mom. And not being able to see the afflicted eyelid herself, she settled for giving me that nugget of wisdom again. She’s right. Even though it can be expensive at times, peace of mind is really priceless.

The doctor couldn’t say for sure why the eyelid is swollen, but it’s not infected and it doesn’t look to be causing any harm or discomfort. Now that a professional has examined it, I am positive the eyelid will be back to its normal size by morning. If I’m wrong and the baby wakes up with a monstrosity of a lid tomorrow then at least I know it’s nothing to worry about and I can get to work on that eye patch with a clear conscious.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

I Think I'm Feeling Mutinous Against Me

It is possible that I have crippled my hands. I’m not sure. Some sick part of my brain decided that I have been underwhelmed lately and suggested that while I was making some cute felt barrettes for my little girl I may as well make a bunch more and start a shop on Etsy. So a good portion of my “extra” time this week went to brainstorming designs and cutting felt and stitching it together. My poor fibromyalgia ridden hands are so not thanking me.

When I awoke this morning my knuckles were so stiff and swollen that when I tried to wash some dishes a couple of hours later I kept dropping the silverware, and my fingers held the sponge so loosely that I was having a difficult time actually scrubbing anything.

I have a lot of work left to do, as I have only perfected one design so far. That’s not very much. At any rate, I hope to have my shop up and running by the beginning of November. Once the whole situation is pretty well under control I am hoping to add other merchandise as well- stuffed animals, maybe blankets, we’ll see what else comes into my maniacal brain. While you all are waiting for my great and wonderful storefront to go up (snort!) check out the total amazingness that is skunkboy creatures. I can’t get over Katie’s animals. They’re great. Really. Check it out. They’ll make you smile. Seriously. Click the link.

I Have Been Awarded

I received my first award for blogging. Believe it or not, it was not an award for "Most Boring Blog" nor was it titled "She Thinks She Can Write?" So needless to say, I am pretty excited. Thanks to FawnDear for bestowing this award upon me and my humble little blog. Fawn is a creative seamstress, mother of six kiddos, and inspires me to get off my butt and get to work with her tales of decluttering. She says, "Faith...shows her creative artistic style through her writing. I'm so waiting for her to get discovered, be offered a book deal and then let me pay her a bucket-load for a signed copy. Several times I catch myself just wishing she would go on and on and not stop. I love her talent for putting two words together and not sounding like some hick like me." I have three things to say about that: it is so nice to have such lovely things said about me, I really don't think she sounds like a hick, and my husband sure doesn't wish that I would go on and on and not stop. Arte Y Pico Award

Friday, October 3, 2008

Just Me

It’s late. I should be in bed with my eyes closed and my brain shut off, stretched out on the very edge of the edge of the bed with my sweet little girl pressed against me. But the house is quiet. There is the stillness that comes only with the night, when the steady deep breathing of my children assures me they’re asleep and the world outside my window seems quiet and untroubled, not reverberating with highway traffic and people shouting up and down the street. This stillness beckons to me- “Enjoy me, bask in silence.” So I do. I read. I hear the sound of the pages as they rub my fingers in turning. I write, and commune with the click clack of the keyboard. I plan. I create. I dream. And when I finally fall exhausted into my bed and pull the covers up to my chin it seems I have only one eye closed before the sounds of the morning trickle into my ears. Alarm clocks, a toddler in search of the toilet, the coffee pot gurgling down in the kitchen. My body aches with tiredness. I want to finish my sleep. But I am needed, so I drag myself out of bed and wonder, was it worth it, staying up so late to taste some freedom? Most days, I must say “yes.” For a few moments I was just me.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Dawning of Autumn

Fall is here. The still air has that crisp snappiness to it that makes it feel blustery outside when not a blade of grass is stirring. Soon the sound of crunching leaves will articulate every footfall. Before long, the morning chill will necessitate that the oil furnace be cranked up and we will be able to feel our hard earned dollars escaping from the floor vents to wrap us in a thin layer of warmth.

Already I have had to resist the urge to listen to Christmas music. Mind you, I haven’t been able to resist it every time. There’s just something so comforting about listening to Bing and Dean croon. I can’t give in to regular listening for at least another month though. If I start listening to “Marshmallow World” and “Silent Night” now I’ll be sick to death of them by Christmas.

Not only that, but when I hear the strains of “Santa Baby” it makes me want to bake cookies. Lots of cookies. And then I forsake all other food groups and just eat cookies, and eat them and eat them. By the time Thanksgiving rolls around I won’t even be able to eat a roll. It’s a vicious cycle.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

How the Spider Almost Killed Us- Part 2

Having been subjected to the agitated nerves of my husband for a too-long period of time, I noticed my own nerves were becoming a little frayed. I didn’t mind the company of the spider when I knew exactly where it was, but for some moments I failed to be able to locate its position and that made me a little uneasy. Now that neither of us had the intruder in our sights Sean’s agitation grew to a feverish pitch and he began flailing about in his seat while firmly gripping the steering wheel betwixt his hands. “Thrash around really fast! Thrash around hard! If it’s on you it’ll get squished! COME ON!”

As nicely as I could I informed him that I would not be giving myself whiplash on account of a bug, and that if he didn’t calm himself and focus on not killing us all I was liable to commence shouting. Although highly offended at my lack of respect for his orders, he settled down enough to regain control of the car and his senses and I went back to the task of locating our missing friend. During this time my left bum cheek began to get a tad bit numb, as I had rolled all of my weight onto it in an unconscious attempt to lean away from the spider’s last known location.

At long last the spider’s whereabouts were once again known to us. Earlier in our voyage I had determined not to smoosh the spider because I did not want it falling from its perch on the windshield into my lap or my hair while in the throes of death. But that was a good twelve minutes previous and our health and well-being did not seem to be in such jeopardy then as they were now, what with all of the reckless nighttime driving and the delicate drizzling rain that was now glossifying the roadway and rendering our trip even more treacherous.

I kept a close eye on the spider while I riffled through the glove compartment in search of a napkin to smother it with. I made sure that my aim was good and true and I smote the spider with my mighty napkin against the windowpane. My victory was short lived. I was now belted to my seat with my right arm stuck straight out in front of me and holding a folded napkin against the windshield. If I moved my arm the spider was likely to fall amongst my hairs where it would stay, impervious to washing, until its body completed the cycle of decay. This would never do.

After some deliberation I thought that my best strategy would be to slowly slide the napkin down until it hovered above the dashboard. Then I could gently pull the napkin away from the glass and the spider carcass would fall harmlessly onto the console. My body tried to slink away from my hand as the napkin squeaked its way down the glass. Down, down, down, until I could finally pull my hand away from the window. Ever so gingerly I retracted my arm back toward my body. I looked into the napkin. There was nothing there.

Great. I glanced back at the windshield and tried to tune out the screeching coming from the opposing seat. There was definitely some spider guts glistening in the moonlight up there. If the thing wasn’t dead yet it would be soon, and in its current state the spider couldn’t possibly do much harm.

The banshee in the driver’s seat was at it again, “It’s still alive! It’s still alive! I think it’s crawling on meeeeeeee!” “Listen, you,” I replied, “if its gutless body is around here somewhere it is most likely on me!” to which I received a long diatribe on the correct method for killing spiders and that inept people like me should not be allowed to kill them. Even it its death that stupid spider was a force to be feared and reckoned with.

We arrived home at long last. The car was parked, the engine turned off, and I opened my car door. As I exited the vehicle the small body of a dying spider tucked in its legs and rolled off of my lap onto the seat I had just occupied. It was on me after all. And my husband, all six-foot-two-inches of him, started shrieking again and yelping directives on how to properly dispose of the mostly-dead spider. Using the napkin of almost-death he plucked the spider from the seat, squished it firmly in his hand, and placed the napkin into his pocket.

A short time later, when Sean put his hand into his pocket, he suddenly remembered that the dead spider and its napkin style coffin were still there. He immediately began the ants-in-my-pants dance with a few shouts and screams thrown in. He jiggled his way over to the garbage can where the scary spider was finally laid to rest. I was never so glad to be rid of a spider in my life. Except for that one time a giant man-eating spider found its way into the entertainment unit. I was pretty glad to be rid of that one too.