Friday, February 29, 2008

My Week So Far

This morning I am abdicating my parenting responsibilities to Noggin.

I've survived 5 days alone with the boys, and I think it's gone rather well. Only two more days to go! Here's what I managed to get done this week -
  • got everyone (me included) dressed, fed, and out the door in time to be early for school;
  • have kept dishes washed;
  • put out the trash and brought the bins back in before the next day;
  • gave the dog a desperately needed bath;
  • went without TV for three days;
  • got my car serviced;
  • got groceries bought - Safeway and Trader Joe's;
  • got everyone, including me, bathed every day;
  • cut back on coffee (ummm, until this morning);
  • attacked my much backlogged email;
  • kept the house relatively picked up (that's a damn miracle itself);
  • started a new bedtime routine that got Quake asleep without me in bed with him.

And just for a counterpoint, here's what I haven't gotten done this week -

  • watching the Oscars (damn it!);
  • cooking anything beyond eggs and grilled cheese (oh, we did make a chocolate cake);
  • exercise.

Monday, February 25, 2008

(Thought) Experiments in Parenting

Let's say, just theoretically, that you had to lock your three year old in his room yesterday until he cried himself to sleep because even after taking away two days of TV privileges and denying him access to his toy room until further notice, he continued to think hitting and kicking you was a good idea. And then let's say, theoretically again, that you had to lock that same three year old in his room again today because he wouldn't stay in time out after you told him to stop, for the love of god, whining and crying to turn on the TV. And then, theoretically, let's also throw in a restless, non-sleeping infant because hey, that'll make this really fun!

Then after all the crying and whining and fussies are over, let's imagine that you're playing some made up game with your three year old involving the giant, green plastic beads from a necklace your mom gave you that she wore in the 60's. You know these games, the kind in which you have no idea what the objective is, much less the rules, but you just do what you're told and cheer when you're told and say, "Tarter Sauce!" when you're told. And then, just for a fun twist to this thought experiment, let's say the infant, watching his older brother, suddenly starts laughing in that strange, hiccup-y baby way. Then the three year old starts trying to make the baby laugh more, and he does, and suddenly through your own laughter you realize you are having the time of your life.

Does that make up for all the rest? Theoretically speaking?

Sunday, February 24, 2008

More Early Morning Moaning

OK, seriously? Monkey Man left the house so early this morning I actually consider it a late night, so he could make a 5:30am flight to Singapore. I wake up to a rooting infant sometime after that, finding myself wedged between Cha Cha and Quake. Then of course one of my cats seizes this opportunity to plop his fat, furry butt up on the pillows too. After eating, Cha Cha has no desire to go back to sleep. I finally give up at 5:30 and get out of bed with him. 5:30!? Arg!

I did manage to steal some time for myself yesterday to catch up on my favorite blogs. Here's what caught my eye...

If I can wrangle the remote away from Quake, I'll be watching the Oscars tonight. Not that I've actually seen any of the films, but I can't resist the clothes! Anyway, Bluelines has a post up giving cocktail recipes to go with your favorite Oscar picks. If you've seen them.

The always hilarious dooce, pointed out this bit of visual fun for parents. At least now I know what I'm doing wrong.

This makes me miss snow. Kinda.

I love this guest spot over at Shapely Prose.

Holly from decor8 pointed out this amazing photograph. I'm sure my cats would have hissed and basically thrown a fit completely ruining things.

It's back to being a single parent for the day. And for the next seven days. Oh, how I love my husband's traveling schedule...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Time Is NOT On My Side

OK, so the talk you were supposed to have with baby Cha-Cha DIDN'T WORK. I am once again awake before the butt crack of dawn listening to his adorable little babbling while I desperately try not to beat my head against a wall. This is the place where I swear I will have no more babies because I need the sleep, damn it, and based on past performance I'm not likely to get a late sleeper now. And then if I do end up pregnant again, you will all chuckle. But quietly, in the safety of your own homes, because I have super mom hearing, and I will throw something at you.

Monkey Man's been off work the last two days. We had originally planned to spend more time playing in the snow, but all the boarders were tired and Quake was running a fever. Oh yeah, and I hadn't wanted to go in the first place. So the last two days were supposed to be like a late birthday present with Monkey Man keeping Quake busy so I could have some time to do what I wanted to do.

It only helped a little bit. See, it turns out that caring for an infant leaves precious little time for anything else. I know! Who knew? What a crazy world.

I started to do lots of things. Didn't finish any of them. Did get to take a few hours at Barnes and Noble to catch up on my magazine reading. Am I the only person who thinks the local big box bookstore is really there just so I can drink a latte and read their magazines? It was relaxing. Well, the part when Cha-Cha wasn't screaming. But once he fell asleep, it was heavenly.

Quake had an exciting day yesterday - he got to see Tiger Woods golf, live and in person! Of course since he's three and doesn't have much experience with these things, he didn't think it was terribly impressive. He sees Tiger on TV all the time, what's the big deal? I'll laugh at him when he's older.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Early Morning Nutritional Rant

Could somebody please explain to my infant that 5 am is not an acceptable time to get up in the morning unless there's a plane to catch? Because he is not listening to me.

Went grocery shopping yesterday, which is not something I would usually deem exciting enough to share with you here. This trip was different because I spent an unusual amount of time reading labels. I've been hearing for awhile now that high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is evil. Of course my child started a Waldorf preschool and I started going to a chiropractor in the last year so perhaps my experience is a little different...

Anyway, I decided that I'd like to try cutting out of our diets as much HFCS as possible this year. Yesterday's trip to the store was the first time I decided to read labels and try to buy alternatives. This turned out to be not so easy.

Jelly and yogurt? I get this. These are sweet things. Although I was a bit annoyed that there were few alternatives at this particular store, meaning I'll have to make regular trips to Trader Joe's from now on (not that I don't love TJs, but it's not conveniently located). But bread? And tomato soup? And salad dressing? I picked up a salad dressing that listed HFCS as the first ingredient. I'll make my own dressing from now on.

HFCS isn't just a health issue. It's also a big agra-business and big government issue; HFCS is a product whose existence depends on tariffs and subsidies. It's also an issue of "real" food; production depends on multiple chemical modifications, some of which require genetically modified enzymes. For those of you interested, here is the Wikipedia entry on HFCS.

Other articles of interest:
HFCS linked to diabetes from Science Daily
Some insight into the business of HFCS from the Gristmill
Michael Pollan talks to the Sierra Club about HFCS

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Where Did I Go?

Sorry I've been missing! I got sick last week, which super sucks because it was my birthday. I'm sure some people don't mind being sick on their birthday because they hate the idea of getting older anyway, but I love birthdays. Another birthday, another year survived!

I always claimed to be older when I was a kid. Yeah, I know, duh. Don't all kids want to be older? I skipped a grade and often was teased for being younger so I just told people I was a year or two older. My favorite thing was when people, doubtful of my age claim, would ask me what year I was born. Because apparently a 10 year old is too stupid to subtract a year or two from her birth year when protecting her lie.

Then of course I went through the phase where I told people I was younger than I was. Um, actually I never did that. Does anyone do that? In my 20s I still wanted to be older mostly because I wanted to be taken more seriously.

And now, coming full circle, or half circle - whatever - I'm tempted to start lying about my age again. If I tell people I'm 40 (I'm 36) then I can hear how great I look! That's the theory anyway. Maybe people will think I look lousy for 40, and then I'll feel really shitty.

Believe it or not I had no intention of posting about my age or how often I might or might not lie about it. I was going to post about how I was sick so I didn't get around to posting. And just when I was feeling better, we took off for the White Mountains to spend a few more days in the snow. So I wasn't here. So I didn't post. I'm back!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

I Wish I Had That Kind of Time

I hate to keep harping on my sisters-in-law. They are both really nice people, and I feel quite lucky to have married into a family I enjoy spending time with. I suppose that I'm just so different from them that it often leads to funny stories. Some of you may be thinking that that's pretty much true for everyone in my life...

The point being, I'm going to continue to tell these stories, but I will feel a tiny twinge of guilt about it. Just so you know.

I have a cleaning lady. She comes every 2 weeks. We really can't afford it, but I'm a terrible housekeeper, and it keeps Monkey Man and me from killing each other over that fact. It's probably cheaper than couple's therapy. While we were visiting at Christmas, sister-in-law#2 was complaining about her cleaning lady. The cleaning lady always moves things around so sil#2 spends all this time moving things back where she wants them. Wtf?

Seriously, I told her that she obviously has too much time on her hands and needs to get a hobby. Personally I'm so happy to have someone else scrub my toilets and vacuum my floors that I wouldn't care if she stacked all the furniture in the corners before she left. Or put it all outside. Getting upset about the cleaning lady moving tchotchkes and crap around? Life is too fucking short.

Of course I am talking about a woman who has napkins on her dining room table that can't be used (she yelled at Monkey Man when he grabbed one). Yeah. I suppose that's why her house looks like a cross between a Pier One store and a Pottery Barn catalog, and my house looks like...well, neither of those things. More time to do the things I love to do or cleaning up after the cleaning lady leaves? I know what trade I'm willing to make.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Stupid Studies

A dear friend in the Bay Area sent me a link to this hilarious article in the San Francisco Chronicle. That was funny enough, but then I started poking around in Mr. Morford's archives, and now I might be up half the night laughing at all his witty words. And suddenly remembering why I loved San Francisco so much.