Friday, July 30, 2010

Giggle boy

I'm reading a rather brutal article about how having children does not increase life happiness in this age of over-anylizing "am I doing this right?" in regard to parenting. Apparently, lots of studies show that now that we can theoretically put off or choose not to have children, we are less satisfied as parents because we had a choice to be parents. If having children wasn't a choice and everyone did it, we'd be happier with the results.

Not sure how I feel about that article, except that I am barely resisting the urge to send it to my friends who, for various reasons, are having trouble having kids. The article goes on to say that overall happiness may be harder to pin down than joyful moments. And that the joyful moments can't be manufactured, they just have to happen. This is true. Before I had my little boy, I don't know how many weekends I ruined by trying to suck all the goodie out of it. I tried too hard.

Last night, I had a moment of extreme frazzledness and also a moment of extreme joy. While I was eating my dinner, and my lap-band husband was finished, the baby woke up and started crying. I asked him to go get him since I was covered in fried chicken grease. I didn't actually use the word "now" and so he didn't hear me thinking it. For some reason right then, Quint's crying drove me absolutely crazy. Just go stop the crying, honey, I need to finish eating. Why hasn't the crying stopped? (Quint was getting his diaper changed and crying because he was still laying down.) For some reason I was frantic to stop the crying and took over the diaper change at extremely high speed. Upright baby - quiet baby. Ahhh. Better. That was probably the worst moment of the evening, and it seemed extreme a the time.

After we went on a walk to get me some endorphins, I made Quint some ice water in his leakable sippy cup. After he had drank a good bit, he started playing with it as usual. Water sprinkling all over the carpet. No biggie. That's one reason why it's not applejuice. For some reason I get the bright idea to sprinkle water at Quint's face - the equivalent of flicking water in his face. He finds this hysterical, no matter if I splash me or him. So we keep doing it until a lot of the carpet is damp, my cleavage is refreshingly cool, and Quint's whole head is wet. The video camera's battery is dead, so I just take a mental video. Very precious moment of hysterically laughing, drenched baby. Sooooo cute at that moment. We went in the next room to find Papa and I sprinkled his face again. More hysterical laughing. Made Papa laugh, too.

OK, so that paid for the extremely annoying crying earlier. We're now, once again, in the positive for baby enjoyment for the day.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


I realized Tuesday morning a great inconsistency with my recent thinking. While cleaning out the entire house, including attic and garage, I've felt very virtuous about donating so many things to goodwill that I could have made some money on if I'd listed them in Craigslist. I've felt like I'm paying it forward and that the Lord is going to bless me one day as a result. I've nearly wrenched my mental shoulder patting myself on the back.

I've also seriously gotten my back up about donating my hair. My hair nearly reaches the seat of the chair and it's driving me crazy. I've found places online where I might be able to sell 10 inches for $300-500. I've been thinking that I want my money! I want to spend it on something tangible that I can point to and say, "I bought that with my hair money," like a stove or something. Or a piece of furniture. What do I want to spend it on? What is it that we need that's that big? And smaller than a car down payment or a roof. Nothing that I can think of. NOTHING! How often is it in life that there's nothing that you're saving for?

So I'm frustrated because I want my money and I'm frustrated because there's nothing I can think of to spend it on. While being self-righteous about donating other things and prickly about the suggestion that I donate my hair to Locks of Love. I find myself sitting around preparing comebacks when people chirpily say, "Oh! You could give it to Locks of Love!" as if this had never occurred to me. As if no one would ever have long hair because they like having long hair. Some of my snappy comebacks include, "So could you if you just shaved your head!" and "And YOU could donate your car!" and "Do you still have two kidneys? Well you could donate one!" See? Really snarky.

Also I'm really annoyed by how long my hair is and wanting to cut it like NOW. I'm waiting waaaay too long between washings. It's too long to enjoy running my fingers through it - its nearly longer than my arm. Because I dread it, and put it off, it takes me 20 minutes to comb it out. Last night, combing it out put me in a bad mood.

And then there's this little thing I received from Joyce Meyer Ministries about the power of generosity. When I first saw it and felt all smug because I've been very generous lately with my stuff. Except for my hair.

Here's the message from Joyce Meyer:

When you focus too much on the sacrifices you must make in order to give, you will fail to see that the act of giving, in itself, can create true joy and fulfillment! If you’re going through a difficult time, be even more determined to invest in the lives of others in a radical way. If your life is going good right now, KEEP INVESTING in others…it’s working. As you choose to live a generous life and reflect on the Father’s heart of generosity, God will not only change you, but also the world around you!

Today, you can have every blessing God has for you. But the way to get there is NOT through focusing on yourself, drowning in your own misery or worrying about how others treat you. Think about the impact you can make if you look for opportunities to be generous to others everywhere you go. Embrace generosity and give of yourself every day to make the lives of those around you better. You will be blessed more than the person who is receiving the blessing.

We can generate positive change when we make practical, everyday choices to give to others with a heart of love. God loves a cheerful giver, yet many of us need an attitude adjustment (Goldy-locks!). Every believer needs to deliberately declare war on selfishness. Jesus went about doing good and we should also. So many people need to know that someone cares. Here’s your challenge today: spread the love of God by being generous. It could be through simple, deliberate acts of kindness or sharing your monetary resources. Trust God to lead you in practical, yet loving,, ways, with joy.

The key to seeing miracles happen in your life is getting outside yourself and becoming involved in the lives of others. You can express generosity by giving your TIME, TREASURE (Goldy-locks!), and TALENTS. Are you willing to share your time, compassion, prayers and attention with someone who needs it? Do you give not only your money, but other resources – including yourself (Goldy-locks!)– to others who need a helping hand? How are you sharing your talents, gifts and abilities with others? We must be willing to give ourselves as a sacrifice, (Goldy-locks!). Decide to live a life of loving generosity and then watch what God does IN you and THROUGH you.

The best way to survive a financial crisis is to be generous. The biblical perspective of finances is to keep on giving, especially during challenging financial times. You can reach out to bless others in your family, your neighborhood, your church, on your job…anywhere and at any time. As we obey God and help others, He will meet all of our needs and bless us. The enemy wants you to be fearful about tomorrow. Instead, do whatever you can to live in righteousness, peace, joy and generosity and trust God for the rest. Proverbs 28:27 says, He who gives to the poor will not want…THAT’S the power of generosity. (End of Joyce Meyer pamphlet.)

So now I'm actually thinking about Locks of Love completely against my will. Sometimes when the Lord is working on you, there's the distinct chance that it will make you really crabby. I hate doing things that are good for me.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Little stories from this weekend.

Quint said his first word!! Other than Mama and Papa of course. Last week, while Hubby was watching him all week, "Papa" became a very common occurrence. But Sunday, in the car, Quint was a little fussy. I got out a saltine cracker (the solution to any problem) and said, "Do you want a cracker? Can you say cracker?" He looked from the cracker to me and said "Gwager." Hubby was standing out side the car pumping gas and stuck his head back in the car. "Omigosh he said it!" We said yay and clapped and most importantly, gave him the cracker. Last night, when I asked him, he said, "Gwa G". Pretty close. He was having to think pretty hard about that one.

At he grocery story on Sunday, just after the Gwager episode, I was walking around Aldi saying "corn and carrots, corn and carrots, corn and carrots" trying to remind myself to get those canned veggies. It took me a while to realize that Quint was quacking at me. "Qua, kwa, ka, qua, koe..." After a while it dawned on me that he was trying to say "corn and carrots". I said it again and he started quacking at his papa. The boy is catching on! And so is the mama.

This weekend, Papa was sitting around shirtless just after I had nursed Quint. Quint realized that Papa has similar looking upper equipment as Mama! He crawled over there obviously interested. Quickly, Hubby slapped a hand over each nipple and started saying, "no, son". Quint bounced his mouth on the back of Hubby's hand saying "bwa, bwa, bwa" and then obviously starting rooting around with his nose trying to get Hubby to move his hand. I was laughing my butt off! Honey, he wants some supper! "Is that what that means?" Hubby asks. "Yes! Of course!" I say. For the record, we did NOT let Quint do anything inappropriate. We don't have a fortune to pay for THAT kind of therapy later.

Months ago, I moved all the dangerous chemicals from under the kitchen sink to above the microwave in preparation for a crawling baby. Sunday night, I was looking in the closet under the stairs to see what I could throw away. The extra parts to our 8 year old patio set can probably be pitched. And then I noticed the bottom shelf. The shelf that could be easily reached by a determined toddler. Clearly marked boxes: Rat poison. Fertilizer. Doh! So last night, I cleaned out that closet and moved the various poisons to the garage. I also stored the corded phones and phone cords. I stored/hid our 5x7 framed photo of Nathan Bedford Forrest in the box in the garage that says "framed art".

As I was drifting off to sleep last night, it occurred to me that we have a lot of weird chemicals under our bathroom sink too. Not like bleach, but soft scrub, hair spray, nail polish remover, and whatnot. Come to think of it, how often do we get anything out of there anyway. Do we need that crap?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Date Debate

So I bought a brand new (refurbished) camera because my old camera had started eating batteries. As in, fresh rechargable batteries only lasted long enough for me to set the date. I loved my old camera so much, and my requirements for specs for a camera have changed so little, that I bought the exact same camera again. The old one cost me like $75 (including shipping) and lasted for 2 years and 4 million photos. I think I got my money's worth!

So my new camera came from the factory (or wherever it came from) with it set to print the date on/within each digital photo. I learned how to turn that off the other day. I've always thought that looked a bit cheesy when you print a 5x7 with the date on it and frame it for the mantle. But then I got to thinking. Having the date printed on each photo would save me the trouble of putting the same information on the back of each photo once I print them out. This would save me the most time consuming step in my photo album process. This might mean that a fictional second child might actually get into the photo albums one day.

So the big debate. Can I get over my feelings of having my photos marred with a yellow date? The upshot would be probably 2 hours of time saved per month. The downside would be baby collages that have possibly half cut off yellow dates at odd angles within the photos.

So what do you think? Please leave a comment with your vote.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Makes Mama Laugh

The following photos either will make my mama laugh, or the organization displayed makes my own heart go pitty pat. Or both.

Recently I found the visual influence, from childhood, of why I organize the way I do. Check out that awesome closet! And there are cookies on Brother Bear's side table. COOKIES! Cookies result from extreme organization.

In other children's books from my own childhood that I have received since the birth of my son, I've learned why I run from running vacuums, why men's electric razors terrify me, and why I keep things in boxes, jars, bottles and tins.

And yes, I've sanitized these pictures so that neither our names or our initials are printed on the boxes. (For those of you who want to do that, open the file in paint, use the eye dropper to pick a color, then pick the square that SHOWS GRAY ON THE INSIDE and draw a square over the thing you want to "delete".)

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Today was day 4 of Hubby taking care of baby Quint all day. He brought the baby up to my work at 11am so my co-workers could see him. We visited around, I nursed him in the room I normally use to pump, and then went out to lunch. We fed Quint some squash baby food and cheerios and then ate our lunch.

The waiter had taken forever to bring us a bowl of hot water to heat the little package of squash so we just fed it to him at room temperature. When the waiter did bring the hot water, the container he brought us was more suited to warming a bottle. Hubby had brought a bottle and he suggested we go ahead and put the bottle in it. I thought this was just to make the waiter feel better since we weren't going to use the hot water for my purpose. But after we were done with lunch, Hubby checked on the warm milk, swirled around to homogenize it, dried off the bottle, and offered it to Quint. He greedily guzzled it down to both our surprise. He normally won't take a bottle if I'm sitting right there. So within an hour, he nursed on both sides, ate a half cup of cherrios, a container of squash, and then a 4 oz. bottle of milk. Wow!

While Hubby was feeding him the bottle, he was intensely watching Quint. Suddenly he said, "I could raise him." What he meant and we didn't say, was if something happened to me, he could do it on his own. I've always known this. I said, "I know! I'm glad you know it, now."

THAT was one of the big things I had hoped Hubby would learn this week.

Another was how much more trouble every outing is with a baby.

Another was how you can only get things really done at home when Quint is down for a nap.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The tile store

Today at lunch, me and two friends walked over to a bath and tile store. My friend needs to replace the shower pan in her 65 year old house and needs the tile in the shower to match the theme of the rest of the bathroom.

This was on fancy tile store. Really pretty mosaics and textures and slate and tiles with tiny, 3D faces carved in them. Weird tubs, pretty sinks, and every kind of shower configuration known to man. They even had a test shower with like 20 fixtures in it and 20 knobs outside so you could feel the spray. Schazzy stuff!

And after being there for probably no more than 12 minutes, I started visualizing my bathroom or my mythical back porch with mosaic tile and edging and how it would feel under my feet and the name of the (probably Hispanic) woman I would hire to clean the soap scum or tree trash off all that shit. And I almost saw the phrase pass before my eyes:

I want.....more.

I said to my friends, "I've got to get out of here because now I want this stuff. I'll be outside when y'all are ready." And I left. Oddly, they were right on my heals.

See, that's the problem with nice things. Even seeing nice things. They make you want MORE. More of anything. Suddenly your own tile isn't nice enough. Then you'll need to get new wallpaper because your tile is more fancy than the wall paper. Then the bathroom counter looks dull or has scratches... it never ends!!!


Last night,at the end of day two home alone all day with little Quint, Hubby wanted to go to bed at 10pm. This is unheard of for him. He normally goes to bed much later than I do (I have no idea when). As we were tucking in, he mentioned quietly how a whole day with Quint takes a lot of stamina. I quietly agreed.

Yesterday went pretty well for the two of them. Hubby had an outing with the baby. He planned it so that hopefully Quint would sleep while he helped a friend with some business. He slept in the car, and for a few minutes at her house, but then inconveniently woke up. The best laid plans...and whatnot. She being a grandmother, (and possibly a great-grandmother) rocked him for a bit while Hubby tinkered with the computer, then later Hubby held him and paced while she tinkered with the computer and he verbally helped her. Very good solution.

Quint and Hubby's relationship seems to be changing and that's a good thing. They by no means had a bad relationship before, but Quint always preferred me in the past. Now he doesn't know which of us he wants to go to, and bounces up and down with glee when we make a Quint sandwich.

Two days down!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Stay at Home Dad

This week, our daycare is closed so Priscilla can have a vacation of her own. As a result, Hubby is home alone with our little boy this week. I have to admit that, this past weekend, I would have to occasionally duck into an empty room to laugh maniacally. Not very compassionate of me, I know.

So to make up for this evil minded giddiness, I took steps to try to help him out the best I could. There are plenty of diapers in the house, and both changing tables are fully stocked. We have a whole case of baby wipes. There is plenty of frozen baby food, and extra baby peas in the fridge to add to any veggie to make it more appealing. All the containers of snacks were full on Sunday night. I put a pile of bibs near the high chair, the downstairs changing table, and also in the dresser. There are plenty of baby washrags in the drawer in the kitchen. I packed the diaper bag with everything he might need on an outing of any length. I bought some new toys for some new variety in the mess making. I posted Priscilla's notes on the wall about when he ate and napped last week.

At one point Sunday, he asked me if I knew when he normally got a bottle at Priscilla's. Yes. He says severely, "when were you going to tell me that?!" I taped it to the wall beside the calendar downstairs. Sheepish, "oh." I went over it verbally with him later (he learns auditorially and I learn visually). I asked him if he would like me to write out a simplified version of that. Yes, please. So I wrote it out in huge marker roughly when he normally naps and eats and what he eats when.

Before this, I've left Quint with Hubby for probably a maximum of 4 hours by himself. And usually, there's a phone call to me near the end of that asking when I could be expected home again. Now he's by himself from whenever the baby wakes up to at least 5pm.

So. Day 1. I never did get any frantic calls asking what to do. One time when we were on the phone and Quint started crying, I thought, "oh, you need to go" and only 5 seconds later, Hubby said the same thing and basically hung up on me. I smiled.

When I got home, no one was crying or traumatized. Quint was happy to see me, but not panicky or desperate. He did not need extra comforting or anything. Hubby also was not traumatized, but was very quiet all evening. Soon after I got home, he "got some things done" that would have been hard to do with the baby awake.

All signs point to a fairly good day for all parties! Hubby was pretty quiet in the evening, though. At 9:00, when I finally got Quint to bed (we had all been riled up at 8:30 at the normal bedtime), I noticed that one of the things Hubby was watching on TV was the Lifetime channel! He even watched the end of a sappy girl movie and said, "aaawwww" at the end. I laughed and hugged him and said, "one day as a stay at home dad and you're already watching the lifetime channel! What is the world coming to!" He playfully squeezed me and said, "yeah. Let's get some bon-bons and go watch Pride and Prejudice." We both laughed. "What the schmo are bon-bons anyway?"

Monday, July 19, 2010

Throw out the junk!

This weekend, I had made myself this huge, detailed list, and also a shorter post-it list for Friday.

See! There was no way I was going to type all that into a blog. And I got 23 out of 31 of those done! And some other things got attempted. Hubby vacuumed the snot out of the gap behind the sliding glass door, but I never got around to hitting it with soap and water.

I cleaned out the attic!!!! I woke up at like 6am on Sunday and decided to risk waking everybody up and go ahead and start working on it. It was only 73 degrees outside at the moment, and therefore not 120 in the attic. The snag was that throwing things down the stairs of the attic would wake everyone up for sure, and I really didn't want to make 45 trips up and down the (loud seeming) attic stairs. So I stacked and labeled and bidded (bode?) my time. I looked through and sorted all the boxes of my stuff in the attic. I said all! There were like 4 boxes that I wanted to save 2 items out of the box and could pitch the rest. There were at least 2 boxes that I had decided before looking that I could pitch the whole thing. If a box full of BA books have been in the attic for at least 2 years and you haven't thought about anything in the box - pitch it! I will never wear my wedding dress petticoat again. We don't even own the things that used to live on this stand. Those space heaters are 5 years old and we do NOT need their original boxes anymore. It was soooo fun! Because of the temperature and the baby sleeping, I could take my time.

Later, much after the baby woke up, Papa was awake and could watch smallfry while I actually tossed things down from the attic. Very little was heavy enough to need to be walked down the attic steps. It filled up the whole "landing area" below the steps. For those of you who know the house, that's from the dryer to the door to the loft, at least 2 feet deep! Then I sorted it out between stuff to donate and trash.

Here's the donate stack at the bottom of our stairs.

And here's the trash pile. That vacuum box is stuffed with stuff. That cardboard box is 2ft x 2 ft by 10 inches. Half of the green bin is from the attic or loft. HALF!!!

There was a hideous curtain stapled to a 2x4 that I decided to pitch. It was still in good shape and someone might think the colors were nice. Lots of huge paisley in nearly jewel tones. I purposefully set it up against the vacuum box and trash can and spread out the "pretty" parts for display. It had vanished before the hour was out and I took this photo. I hope they enjoy it!

I have to tell this story on my husband even though it is not flattering. He knew he was being a slug and grinned when I accused him. I was moving the stuff from upstairs to down and the putting the trash out. It was probably 85 degrees out by then. He was sitting on the couch in his undies, watching the baby. On my zillionth trip up the stairs or out to the trash, I said, "If you had pants on, I'd be putting you to work here." Huge grin, "Yep!" and proceeded to slid down to a laying position on the couch. "You slug!" "Yep!"

On Friday, I managed to vote, turn in some boots for sole repair ($76 IS cheaper than size 14D boots), and find out at the camera repair store that I wanted to buy a new camera. Oddly enough, in one of those quirks of fate, once the repair lady held my camera for 10 minutes, it worked perfectly for 3 days.

Saturday, while Quint was napping, I went through a whole bunch of boxes in the loft and threw a bunch of things away. I combined some boxes, labeled the empty ones there, and gathered things from around the house to fill another box.

In the garage, loft, and attic, I stuck a unique, orange stickie on each box which was either empty or half empty. I knew that a bunch of these were empty, but the garage shelves seem lighter when I see all those post-its.

I found a bunch of old pictures in some of those boxes.
I had my birthday party at the skating rink every year. I'm the one on the right.

These are before and after pictures of my first perm. It was Texas in the big hair of the 80s. WHAT WAS I THINKING!!!

And here's that perm on a regular day. In my memory of my tiny Texas town, I only remembered there being like 3 black folks in the whole town. Perhaps my whole world was just my own class. I'm on the back row with a blue headband.

And we can't have a blog this long without pictures of my baby boy.

Friday, July 16, 2010

10 months old!!

My baby boy turned 10 months old yesterday!! And I don't have a camera that works right now!!! I can't tell you how frustrating that is. I'm taking it to wolf camera today! If they can't fix it, I might buy a new one on Amazon TODAY.

He is oh so very cute, and very happy, and an almost constant joy. He has recently started eating three meals of fruits or veggies a day instead of 2. He has become less and less interested in nursing, but still does nurse. At this point, I hope he doesn't wean himself before he turns 1. That way I neither have to buy formula nor endure anyone's wrath when I feed him cow's milk before age one. He is crawling all over the place and cruising just a little. He isn't climbing yet, but you can see him thinking about it. He has radar for things he shouldn't have and zooms right to them. We have, at times, 4 baby gates up to keep him away from the stairs, out of the kitchen, away from the catfood, and so forth. We have nearly damaged ourselves stepping over these on many occasions.

I haven't weighed him, but he was recently 19 pounds and hasn't outgrown much since then. He's getting tall and is still pleasantly plump. He still has dimples on his hands for his knuckles. His cheeks are pinchably puffy and sometimes we just call him Cheeks. His hair is mostly blond, but in the sunlight seems red. He has a cow lick at the perfect place on the back of his head. Lately his hair sticks up constantly unless I have just wetted it and smoothed it. Think Denise the Menace. Sometimes it looks like one of those weird halos on really old paintings where they've got a plate hovering over Jesus' head.

He is in 9 month size sleepers, but still 6 month size onesies.

Recently, I gave him a whole deck of playing cards to bend and mutilate any way he liked. He loves making a mess with them. But he played with one for about 2 whole minutes before he looked around the room and decided to try to slot one into the air conditioner intake. Really pretty smart! And a no-no, of course.

He understands no! At least for right now. He'll reach for the phone cord for the phone we keep on a tippy (yet lightweight) stand. We say no, and he pulls his hand back. He tries again, and we say "no, we are still watching you". He then affects this bored and not interested air while not moving away from the cord. He plays with other things for a minute, then tries for the phone cord again. "NO!" He gives us this look like, "oh fine, have it your way" and finally crawls off to something else. Or we pick him up and bodily move him to something else.

Last night, for the third night in a row, he gave us signals at 8:30 that he wanted to go to bed. Normally we put him to bed at 9. We have now moved his bedtime to 8:30. He leaned waaaaay back in our arms, meaning "I wanna lay down". I put him in his preferred sleeper and he clapped. I took him over to the rocking chair to rock a bit. He pushed back to look at me, and cried a bit. "You want to just go to bed?" Immediately he stopped crying. "Well, ok." I put him down in the crib, put his fuzzy blanket where he can reach it, and he smiles at me and kicks his feet in joy. "Alrighty then! Goodnight son." No crying when I leave and we only hear one brief peep out of him ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT!!! He wasn't even awake when I left at 7am.

He says Mama and clearly means me. He can put an amazing amount of conversational inflection into saying "Ga!" over and over. You can almost tell what he means. His babbling of "bottle bottle ba!" Does not necessarily mean that he's thirsty for anything.

Next week, Hubby will be keeping him at home instead of daycare. Daycare is closed for a week's worth of vacation. This seems a little daunting to even me. Five days straight of doing it by yourself. The other night, Hubby asked me when the last time I did a week by myself. Umm... before I returned to work? See! It's been a while for you too! Oh wait, I say, we had him for 8 days straight in Myrtle Beach! Oh yeah! We both relax a bit. Ok, so we can do this. Of course, at Myrtle Beach, there was a grandmother, and aunt and a cousin to help entertain, get him in and out of his swimsuit, and a wide variety of unusual activities.

One of the things Quint has a daycare that we don't have, is an almost endless supply of buckets of toys. Every day, when I pick him up, he's into something else. There are bigger kid toys like wooden puzzles that aren't specifically for him, but he enjoys playing with the pieces and gnawing on them. There's a bucket of magnetic letters to play with. And so on.

Perhaps this week is a great time for us to have some new home options available. Like the entire tupperware shelf in the kitchen. Orrrrr maybe I should spend some of my Kohl's cash on some kind of bucket of wooden toys. Or maybe I should follow these signs that say "Huge Estate Sale - open at 7am Friday" since it is 7:07am on Friday. Now I've never seen an estate sale with lots of toys, but this one did. I'm not a big fan of the tons of Pooh things, but I was a big fan of the large basket of toddler size Legos - not the tiny chokable ones. This even has some cool pieces like house windows and a bridge and other house parts. I was also a big fan of the doctor play set that came in it's own doctor's bag. And the set of small blue steps that will get a kid closer to the bathroom faucet (needs some cleaning up). And a clock (couldn't resist). And a purse identical to mine. All for $10!

In the spirit of getting rid of things at home, I thought I controlled myself well at this estate sale. I left several things there that I do not have an immediate need for. Several useful looking shelves, bins, and plastic drawers. I left the huge, deluxe ice scrapper since we have at least 4 cheap ones right now. I left all three bolt into the wall shelves that I could mentally place around the house that would then collect stuff because of our horizontal plane syndrome. I left the circular saw and the power sander. And the whole drilling bits. For the saw, sander, and drill bits, I have only thought they would be handy about 3 times each since we bought our house 8 years ago. I do not need these. I left the swiffer mop. I left the lamp.

So I bought things that I was thinking about buying elsewhere (toys). I bought only one thing that we probably won't need for a year (steps). I caved on one neurotic habit (clocks). And only bought one silly thing (purse just like mine).

list for this weekend

Get my camera fixed
get new soles put on Hubby's boots
spend Kohl's cash
make ice cube sized baby food
deposit $30 I pulled out and didn't use
disinfect all the scads of toys I bought for Quint for $10 at a yard sale on the way to work!
post christmas tree on craigslist
buy new part for tiny lamp
put away "special" clothes of Hubby's
reorganize milk in freezer
get in attic and do a quick sort

add more to this list later

Thursday, July 15, 2010

CHILL!!! Goal accomplished.

Yesterday, I did nothing on any list. NOTHING. And it was nice! I made a conscious effort to just chill. I didn't fuss about getting Quint's food ready quickly enough. I didn't berate myself for sitting down to feed him without everything I needed. When he signed that he was done, I stopped trying then and didn't force the last two bites on him.

We all went on a walk. I didn't get stressed when it took us at least 45 minutes to get it together to get out the door. We did eventually get out the door, had our lovely little walk, and even had ice cream (me and Quint) and boiled peanuts (Hubby) at Habib's on the way. I didn't stress about how Quint and I walked all the way back to the house slightly sticky and chocolatly all over due to the ice cream. We went on a tiny shopping trip right after the walk and I didn't stress about being icky or not getting cool first.

After we cooled off, I got to hear my baby laugh while I tickled him and looked for new teeth. When he started to cry when I put him in his sleeper, I thought, maybe he hates this sleeper and that's why he's cried so passionately the last couple nights. Even though I had nearly done up all the 14 million buttons on that thing, I took it off him. I spread out three other sleepers, had him feel them with his hand, and let him pick. Minimal fussiness while doing up those 14 million buttons. And most importantly, NO PASSIONATE CRYING 2 OR 3 TIMES IN THE NIGHT for no apparent reason.

This passionate crying is usually accompanied by frustrated fist and shoulder clenches and an obvious "why don't you people get it!?" look. He doesn't want to nurse. He will calm while rocking, but standing and bouncing is the best bet for this problem. Maybe it's the monkey sleeper. Further research to come.

All in all, a very pleasant night!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


While I very recently bragged how I threw away empty boxes, I have already backslidden (is that a word?). I've noticed that the huge boxes that envelopes come in are the perfect height to stack on a xerox box and still have them fit on my storage shelves. I used one of these envelope boxes to store things in this past weekend when I cleaned out a huge box of Hubby's precious papers. Because they fit so nicely, I brought home two more of them from work yesterday.

Oh how the mighty have fallen....

BUT I DID file things yesterday! And in true dread-and-put-it-off fashion, it took me approximately 10 minutes.

There are still constantly papers on the dining table and this is starting to drive me nuts. I don't know where they come from! Hubby would probably take issue with me blaming him, but I don't think the baby did it.

Baby story for the day:
Last night, while I was preparing Quint's food, I plunked him down in his high chair. I managed to not have any saltines or cheerios right there and if I left the room to fetch some, he would cry. For some reason it really bothers me when he cries within the first 15 minutes of being home. I want him to like home. So I handed him a Ritz that was right there, wondering what he would think of the buttery goodness. I gave him several during the meal. After I pulled him out of the highchair, I found 4 perfect quarters of those crackers, piled in one corner of his seat. Was he saving those for later?

Later, while I was on the phone with my sister, he was playing on the floor nearby. Suddenly he crawled to me, obviously said "Mama" and fell on my chest sucking on the flat skin below my neck hollow. Gee, honey, what is it you want?

Lately, he seems really frustrated at night and like he's trying to communicate something but we have no idea what. Last night, he didn't even want to nurse. I gotta work on that sign language.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Great weekend!

I had such a great weekend! Not so much in the fun category, but definitely in the productive category. Out of my weekend list of 17 things, I managed to do 12 of them!!! That's 2/3 of my list!! Woohoo!!! And I got a nap or two in there, I got to hear my son laugh, and I actually enjoyed a large political picnic where it even rained a bit. Apparently, put a cute baby in a bib that says "wee-publican" and he's a huge hit!

I cleaned out the sloppiest box of precious papers of my husband's on Saturday morning while he was not at home. The contents went from a box about 30 inches by 15 by 15 (with lots of dead bugs in it), to a box 9inches by 6 by 18. Let's see..... a bit of rapid calculation.... that's less than one quarter the volume of the previous box! And the best part about the new box size, is that it can fit on top of a copy paper box on my shelves! All awards, group photos, and bound booklets kept. Large label (on both ends) that says what job he was leaving with this box and what year that was.

AND! I set the huge empty box on the front porch and after our regular huge trash bin was full, we filled the empty box up with other empty boxes and trash!! I love throwing things away!

For years, I've been an empty box keeper. I'd keep boxes forever because I might need a box just that size. Sunday, I asked Hubby if I could throw away several empty boxes that are in his office. He just froze. "You mean you want to throw away a box?" "Yes" "By all means, go do it right now before the urge is gone!" So I did.

The ONLY time my box keeping tendencies have been a help is with LL Bean returns. I started keeping one (just one!!!) of the large shoe boxes that they use to send us replacement shoes. So whenever Hubby has determined that his shoes are worn out AND he can do without shoes like that for 4 weeks, I whip that sucker out and we can have them in the mail in just a day or two! And yes, that particular empty box has a special place in the closet. The shoes go out, replacements are returned, and THAT box goes to the special place in the closet. Quite the little system.

For those of you who don't know, LL Bean has a lifetime warranty policy. So if you wear out an item, and send it back with your receipt (we keep a file of receipts), they will send you another very similar to it! Hubby has been getting at least two pairs of shoes per year from these folks since he was about 14 - when his feet stopped growing. We just wish they sold shingles, tires, and oil filters.

My baby likes to shake laundry. Last night I piled like 5 loads of laundry on my office floor and parked in front of the TV with my baby. For a while he just ignored the laundry and paid attention to every cord that was even kind of visible. But after I made a stack of his bibs.....oh my!! He knew these were his wanted to play! He does this thing where he'll hold a bib in one hand at shoulder height and shake it up and down, watching how it moves. Then he transfers it to the other hand does the same thing. Back and forth and back and forth. Then flings it aside and goes for another.

By this time, I had piles of hankies, washcloths, kitchen towels, baby washcloths, and T-shirts. He views this as FAR too neat and orderly. Let's shake all those too!! So many of the stacks had to move to the futon in short order. While his back was turned, I restacked the bibs. He turned around and found his gift of orderliness. Must destroy!!! While he shook and flung those, I got another load's worth of laundry folded and put out of his reach. Then he noticed another neat pile of laundry. While crawling toward that, I restacked the bibs and pointed at them! Disaster averted. I like this game! And so does Quint. You don't actually fold bibs anyway, so why not.

He also at one point put a bib on his head as if it were a cap and looked around, whipping his head around to feel it move on top of his head, while keeping it up there! I had to laugh and baby clap at that one. He beamed! I love this little guy!

I've gone through the rag bag and picked out things that are obviously rags, stacked them neatly, and put them in his toy basket. I also realized that I have some socks in the rag bag that look better than the socks I wear on a regular basis. Hmmm.... must think about that...

Friday, July 9, 2010

Plans for this weekend

Lately I've made a lot of lists of things to do at home and then promptly left them at work on Friday. But if I make a list HERE, I can get to it at home as well. So you get to read my to-do list this week. And yes, I sometimes put things on my list that take 5 minutes because A) sometimes it's really satisfying to get three things done in 15 minutes - it gets the ball rolling for the rest of the list and B) I haven't managed to get that 5 minute thing done all week!

Move the ivy plants in the kitchen up to the bathroom where they were originally supposed to go.

Gather all things to donate in the car Friday night.
-electric water fountain
-box of Joyce Meyer CDs
-Target bags for food pantry
-at least one bag of my clothes for goodwill

Deliver all donations Saturday morning.

Go to Republican picnic for lunch.

Put away Hubby's memory lane clothes.

Throw away more empty boxes from Hubby's office.

FILE THINGS!!! I have a 4 inch (or more) stack of regular, easy to file bills that STILL need filing!

Gather books from around the house and put them away.

Saturday morning, empty the sloppiest box of precious papers in the garage.

Get a baby gift for friend at church.

Deliver baby gift for friend at church.

Reorganize milk in the freezer.



Put away large pile of clothes in the bathroom.

Buy new part for tiny lamp

Gather hairpins and take them upstairs

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Last night, communication with my little boy was most rewarding. He's nearly 10 months old, can only say Mama, Abwa, and GA! but I understood him completely last night. And he seemed to understand me too!

Soon after we got home, we sat down to feed him his supper of mixed veggies. He ate a few bites but didn't seem that interested. I said, "Don't you want to eat your supper?" He no in the form of "uh-uh" and shook his head back and forth. I tried a cracker and he ate another bite or two, but that was it. So I let him down to play.

He went down for a nap at 6:45 and woke up at about 8:15. I had put him down at his first eye rub using both hands. When I put him in his crib, he smiled at me, didn't even whimper and knocked right out.

When he woke up later, I had just made my own dinner of mac and cheese. We were playing in my office. He saw me stirring in the cheese and deliberately crawled right over to me smacking his lips. I was sitting in a chair and he tried to crawl up my leg into my lap. "Gee, honey," I said. "Are you hungry by any chance?" He grunted a single note and smacked his lips more. "Ok, honey, I'll reheat your dinner as soon as I'm done with mine." In the mean time, I put down some cheerios for him which he gobbled down.

After re-heating his mixed veggies, I got a sippy cup and a bib and went back to my office where he was crawling/climbing into his enormous toy basked and had realized that the floor of the basket was rough on his feet/knees. He was upset until he saw the bowl. I spread out a blanket on the floor as a drop cloth and plopped him in the middle of it. He clapped through the first few bites. He was gobbling down his mixed veggies but then started to crawl away. I pushed his little thigh back down on the blanket and said, "if you want to eat, you have to sit." He blinked at me and took another couple bites. He started to crawl off again. I pushed his little thigh back down and said, "if you want to eat, you have to sit. Do you want to keep eating?" Single grunt of assent. Several more bites taken. He tried to crawl off again. "Quint, you have to sit if you want to eat." Arms at 90 degree angles, fists clasped, grunt of agitation. Then a shrug, relaxing of the arms, and his mouth popped open for another bite. He stayed sitting for the rest of his meal.

How's that for clear body language!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


As many of you might know, I'm a big fan of the Style Network's Clean House show. I also liked the old show Clean Sweep that is no longer on the air. I especially like to watch these shows on Saturday morning which then inspires me to get off my butt and clean something. Usually just to prove to myself that I am nothing like the people on those shows. NOTHING! Nothing I tell you!!! The much more severe show Hoarders usually gives me a facial tick and sends me into an adrenaline fueled panic cleaning spree where I might throw out perfectly good items.

On my birthday this past year, I got a snow day. One of the things I didn't blog about was our Clean House marathon topped by an episode of Hoarders and what that did to us mentally. All three of us were home, and I had been cleaning while listening to the show all day. Hubby could hear the show too, even though it's not his favorite show - by a long shot. At about 2pm, we watched a few minutes of Hoarders and then quickly turned it off. A few minutes later, while Hubby was on the phone (big surprise!) I started cleaning out our entryway closet with something close to panic. I needed to prove that I could clean out a closet without a team of psychologists present! Hubby walked by. With sign language, I told him where the keep and trash piles were on the floor, and without a word between us, we sorted through the entire closet. In like 15 minutes. I was so proud.

Wednesday night, Clean House showed it's 2 hour show with this year's Messiest Home in the Country. This one involved HAZMAT suits. Seriously. Really good episode. The only down side was that it ended at 10pm when I should have already been in bed. And now I'm all inspired to clean up the rest of my vacation unpacking mess. In that episode, and in many episodes, all the walkways had junk closing in both sides so that there was a 4-6 inch wide path where you might be able to see the carpet.

Because our baby boy has started speed crawling, we've put up baby gates in several strategic places in the last week. As a result, everything that he shouldn't eat was moved to just behind a baby gate. This meant that the top of our stairs and our entryway hallway had a very narrow space where you could walk.


Small panic attack.

So before I went to bed that night, I cleaned up at least one small pile that was in a walkway. Thursday, I realized that this was a 3 day weekend, and I was so relieved that I would have time to clean up the house!!

So here's my super-duper list of what all we got done this weekend:
Finished unpacking both suitcases from our vacation. Washed, dried, folded, and put away all the laundry, ran the dishwasher 2 or 3 times, bought groceries, made 2 weeks worth of baby food, emptied the cardboard box of useful things we took on Vacation, emptied the wicker basket of useful things we took on vacation, threw away the latest baby-gate box and stored the extra parts together in the "unused parts of baby equipment" closet (AKA the entryway closet), threw away the DVD player that hasn't worked in years, emptied 3 overflowing trash cans upstairs, threw away some empty shipping boxes, neatened all toy/play areas at least 3 times each (large expanses of empty carpet make my heart happy), vacuumed, swept, cleaned out my trunk and put my standard stuff in it again, cleaned out the interior of my car of vacation ruble, cleaned off the kitchen table (this was huge!), organized and stored the project supplies that have been living on our dining room table, sorted all the mail we received during vacation (did not get it filed though), relocated all the pots, pans, and casserole dishes that we never use to the space in the kitchen cabinets that we never use! Now we have room in the cabinets for the stuff we DO use! This feels wonderful! Gathered and packed away all the burp cloths, small blankets, and other tiny baby stuff that we've just stopped using. Gathered things for the attic and actually got them into the attic. Emptied/consolidated one box of stuff from the loft. Improved the labels on the plastic bins with various sizes of baby clothes. Cut all of Quint's nails. Washed and replaced both changing table covers so that we can use the safety strap. Made a list of bills to pay online (left it at home, though). I threw away many things that if I had patience and time I could still use the last little bit but that hasn't happened in 3 months so screw it. Threw away a bunch of empty water bottles that FACE IT we are never going to reuse. I drank plenty of water yesterday for the first time in several days.

Other things I did NOT do that made me feel virtuous:

Resisted the urge to stock up on clothes detergent just because our cool dispenser was empty. We had plenty for probably a month.

Resisted the urge to buy (literally) 416 diapers just because I had a great coupon. That's about 11 week's worth of diapers. We are not low on diapers. At all.

Resisted the urge to shop for anything because my allowance has been running in the negative.

I let Hubby talk me out of buying redundant groceries, that could really wait a week or two.

Also, this weekend, I held and cuddled my whimpering son while he clearly didn't feel good and occasionally would just hold his ears and cry. He's near the end of his second round of antibiotics for ear infections and I feel sorry for the little guy. Lots of Ibuprofen this weekend and lots of reading the bottle to make sure we didn't OD on it. Last night at 4am, I felt a few stabs of ear pain myself and remembered just exactly how bad those suckers could hurt! I don't think I have an ear infection at all, but it was a good reminder for me and gave me more patience.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

baby gates and polite kitty

Since our little Quint has become a speed crawler, we've had to deploy the baby gates with more vigor. The cat still will meow piteously from the other side of a baby gate. We have a hand motion for "jump over it" and then she'll bound over it without touching it.

But she waits for permission.

We've had to buy a super-duper fancy baby gate with a swinging gate within a gate.

One walkway in our entryway is two inches too wide to use the extremely cheap baby gates that have been so popular for, oh, I don't know, 40 years or so.

Our new super-duper gate cost sixty-four damn dollars. The other baby gates cost us a whoppin $9 each (we have 3).

Yesterday, in our typical family fashion, Hubby fed the baby carrots while I figured out how to put together the baby gate and installed it. It works great! It's a pressure gate, so there are no holes in the wall. It took me about a half hour to put it up, but we won't need to take it down each day like the others so whoopity. AND, when the baby is not in danger of gnawing on whatever is behind the gate we can LEAVE THE SWINGING GATE OPEN!! It's a beautiful thing! Hubby said like three times last night how much he liked the new gate. We're still hurdling over the others when they're in place. Which now seems odious in light of the new gate. Now it's crossed my mind twice in 24 hours, "ooohhh we could get those for every babygate."

See, this is the problem with nice things (trust me in my snarky mood to find a problem with nice things). Once you have the upgraded version of something, the regular, good-enough version just won't hack it. Once you've had post-its, regular note paper just won't do. And whatever the upgrade, it's going to cost you money perpetually. Once you get cable, you will start to think that the expense of cable is a utility. It's not. It's a perk. No one NEEDS cable TV. But once you've had it, you can't not have it.

I really enjoy my Lincoln Towncar. It has many bells and whistles that I've never had before and that are frankly unnecessary. About once a month it crosses my mind that once this car dies (it's 12 years old) I will have to be happy with something a little less posh. We typically, like most thirty-somethings (ha!), buy huge, safe, white cars. So my next car will probably still be huge and white, but probably not posh. And I'll have to be OK with that. But I know it's gonna chaff. This problem with nice things is why we still don't have a DVR, or HD, or huge flat panel screens. It's why we never talk about getting an iPhone. My husband once had a blackberry (at someone else's expense) and we still long for that ease of scheduling. It's been 5 years. It's why when I have my hubby get me a new cell phone (because mine will no longer hold a charge) I tell him to get me whatever they offer for free. I just don't need bells and whistles that I might have to actually PAY for later.

OK, so I've run out of steam but have not really wrapped this up. I guess the moral of the story is, try not to buy any baby gates that you don't need for sixty-four damn dollars. And maybe use kitty crack (kitty treats) to convince the cat to just bound over those things whenever she wants.