Thursday, May 31, 2007

Mystery solved.

Tiff got inside the case of an old, non-plugged in tv, and has been slowly dismantling the innards for a while now. The Boy caught her at it last night, a shard of glass making it's way into her mouth. *shudder*

Now that it has been removed from her reach, may I indulge in a little post-crisis horror? I'm trying to not overreact, but how can I not overreact to my baby girl playing with bits of glass near her mouth unnoticed for all this time?

Bad mama. Bad, bad, mama. No biscuit for me.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Today's one of my workout days and I'm supposed to be working up a sweat right now. Am I? Not exactly. Unless you count the sweat worked up by chasing a toddler, trying to get her to take a nap, and recovering from chasing the toddler and trying to get her to take a nap.

The recovery portion of today is going fairly well. I'm sitting here catching up on my 'Net, folding laundry, working up the motivation to make dinner (yeah, I make dinner around lunchtime so that it's just needing to be reheated at dinner time- I'm wierd.) I'm also drinking cherry koolaid. My juice of choice.

Bizarre things going on in our universe today include wondering where the heck all this glass is coming from. For the past couple of weeks I turn up another little fragment of broken glass about once a week or so. I don't know how it got there, I don't know when it got there. As far as I can tell it's coming in on somebody's shoes. Today I found it by stepping on one. I think Tiff cut herself on it a little bit, but since she refuses to tell me with her words what she did to hurt herself -tiny cut on the knee- I can't know. For all I know it came from one of the several tantrums she had all morning... throwing herself down on the floor, rolling around screaming, and whacking her little body against furniture.

Much more of this and I'm going to consider outfitting her room with padded walls for her own protection and sending her in there to have tantrums.

Monday, May 28, 2007

I'm not sure that there's much sweeter than waking up to find that your husband has started the laundry, on his own, and that he has gotten up and fed the toddler. Except, maybe, breakfast in bed. But still, we're doing real good.

Happy Memorial Day to all. Have a cookout, laugh with your family, never forget why we have the freedoms to enjoy these things.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

The man who informed me back in February that we were not going to put up a clothesline, or indeed any sort of outdoors clothes-drying apparatus... has just come into the room and said

"Dear, we need to get some sort of construct for outside, that we can put items on that are still "kinda damp" to finish drying. Out there in the sun, and the hot dry air, and that way they'll dry and smell extra fresh."

"Dear, you told me that we would not ever be doing that."

"No, that was a clothesline. This is a construct. It's totally different."

Me, eyes rolling, "yes, dear. Whatever..."
"Tiffany! Mommy's panties are not jewelry. Stop putting them around your neck!"

Innocent puppy eyes, then whine, whine, whine when I took them away. Until she reached into the laundry basket and pulled out another pair and put those on instead. I didn't know I had that much underwear.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Tiff is coming to another growth or developmental spurt. She has been clinging like crazy to both of us all day and most of yesterday. This is not because she's not sleeping (she has, better than ever I'm happy to say). She's eating well too. I think. It's hard to tell because we graze more than eat set meals around here. Dinner in the evening is a set meal; everything else is eaten whereever and whenever someone gets hungry. I've been eating when she eats out of necessity. Hey, it generally looks good, it tastes good, and we eat it with our fingers on the couch. Is there anything better than that? Plus Tiff gets a kick out of feeding her mommy with chubby little fingers that get Schlurped afterwards. She likes Schlurping. It is possible that she now thinks of mommy as her own puppydog.

Ever since the sleep study she's been proudly saying "ship. ship. ship." and pointing to her daddy. I, having been on another Terry Pratchett binge this week, have been confusing her young mind by baa-ing everytime she says ship. "Does the ship make a sound? It goes Baaaaaa!" Blame the Nac Mac Feegles for that one. I claim innocence. It's not my fault that I have fallen in love with their simple ways... it's more that they are so uncomplicated. Like the Lost Boys, only with more violence and booze. We already know that Waily Waily Waily has become my Mom-Approved expression of why we don't whine around the house. Tiff whines? Waily. The Boy whines? Waily waily. I feel sorry for myself on the soapbox? Waily waily waily where's my motrin?

All in all it's going about normal around here.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Last night's sleep study proved two things to me. One, that I am indeed becoming "that wife" who finds it hard if not impossible to sleep without her husband. Two, that Tiff has begun to think things out.

We came home from dropping the Boy off at the sleep center. When I lifted Tiff out of the car she cuddled into my arms and we watched the moon and looked at some stars before going into the house. When she asked "Daddy?" I knew she was asking where he was. She's used to going in the car and dropping him off, but not at bedtime. I told her that he had to sleep at the clinic tonight and she looked at me and said "ship." I'm impressed that she made this connection. While it was not the ship that he was sleeping at, it showed that she remembered that sometimes Daddy sleeps elsewhere and we go night-nights. And then in the morning when we wake up Daddy comes back. In the meantime, we are on our Best Behavior for Mommy.

I'm so proud of her. This pride overcomes the dismay at not being able to sleep without him last night. I've obviously become spoiled by having him home every night for the past couple of months.

Monday, May 21, 2007

I love staying home with my family; even on the days when it seems as though every breath taken in the house is designed to make me feel either incompetant as a mother or useless as a wife.

No, really, they're both doing fine. I know that my problem is all MY problem and not theirs. Just as I know that according to my calendar this is one of those days when my judgment is not to be trusted. In the freezer there is ice cream. It will make me feel better. And the chocolate bar? That will make me feel better as well.

What's not helping is that my feet don't know whether they're hot or cold. I spent two days trying to think up a post for today. My computer is having periodic mood swings. And my fingers don't want to knit on my projects. I'm beginning to develop a case of starteritis- I want to pull out something new, break the seal on the packet, and stitch to about 3/4 of the way through the project. That's when I usually lose all interest in finishing it.

I'm waiting for something to change. I'm waiting for my brain to wake up- I've spent half of today in hibernation. I just want to lay in bed and doze. Is this pms or is this something else? Somebody give me a quick kick in the ass.

Friday, May 18, 2007

What a week it has been. Last night I finally cornered Her Ladyship after dinner, and trimmed her bangs for the first time ever. Now she looks like a toddler girl, and not like a shaggy haystack. I'm glad I wasn't trying anything more daring than a trim of the bangs; even that little bit was hard to get even and to tell the truth I don't know that I managed to get them straight. Either way, I'm not caring that much right now.

Mount Washmore is starting to become unstable. This is because I haven't done laundry for FIVE WHOLE DAYS. Have I been sick? Only with spring flu. Only with the need to do other important things that can't be delayed; things for which laundry can wait. I got my melaleuca box last night and the new candle is starting to smell really good. Instead of the normal bakery scents, I opted to get the cherry blossom. It's been a while since I got a candle that smelled like flowers.

This morning a sweet older lady living next door came over and asked me a question. I don't speak spanish. I tried to convey it to her, but she didn't understand that I didn't speak spanish. It was hard to get annoyed about her; she really was a sweet woman. Apparantly their trash can is full to overflowing and there was still some trash to go out, and since we had room in ours... today being trash day and all. In any case, it worked out without annoyance, hard feelings, or all; I still have to ask myself when it became so that I must speak spanish in order to function in my community? When did it become a crime not to speak English exclusively? I'll try to work with those who try to work with me, but when someone comes up and starts getting all fed up and annoyed that I don't automatically understand and speak spanish? Forget it. Attitude is everything. As in most situations.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The sun is so hot today and the grass in the front lawn is so brown and crunchy that I've pulled out the popup pool and filled it partway. I'm in need of water, all sparkly, and we're going to have dinner by/in the pool tonight. My sneaky thought? Wear out the Toddler through fun and games. She's spent almost all of today in her crib; the first two hours trying hard to convince me that she really wasn't tired (yawn, stretch, giggle, burrow head sleepily in my shoulder when I tried to play with her) and then the past four hours napping. I think she woke up once to roll over.

My take on this? She's tired despite what she tries to tell me. Yesterday we went to costco and ran around town doing errands, and there was no nap. She refused to go to bed on time; although she did play quietly for about three hours before finally falling asleep. Those of you who disagree with my habit of crib-restriction until sleeping occurs? Bite me. I've tried letting her up and around, it leads to nonstop screaming and very hysterical toddler. The crib-restriction method is what works for us with this child. Next time around we will do what works for that child. And if Tiff can prove to me with active playing and trying to interact with me while on restriction that she really doesn't need the nap? I do let her up. Like most parenting tricks this is all about listening to what your kid needs instead of what they want.

It's going to be so much harder in another couple of months. Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe she'll grow into a sweetly biddable happy girl, and not be pigheadedly stubborn anymore. And maybe pigs will fly.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Today's the day to panfry an apple. With sugar.

It's something I saw on the food network at one point last week. Why? Because that's one of my tv addictions. There are days when I'm glued to HGTV and FOOD. Don't know why. I have spent the last two years pinned to A&E daytime, which focused mostly on crime reality and crime drama. Now I'm getting all domesticated in my viewing habits. Perhaps it's a phase, perhaps it has something to do with Tiffany and her growing interest in what's happening on the screen. I still turn it off whenever she starts getting glued to it, but even in the background it's not good to expose her to so much violence. Let's expose her to tasteful decorating, pretty flowers, and good food. An unexpected blessing of her internal focus is that I can do/say fairly anything around her and she's not going to take notice of it. We're trying to work out way out of that, and slowly I feel progress is being made. She knows I exist now; more than a pair of hands and a voice in the middle of the night soothing her back to sleep.

Makes my heart melt when she recognizes me. She's been able to recognize me now for a year or so, and it still makes me melt. I guess that's because she firmly ignored me for months; and because to this day she still pretends I don't exist from time to time.

Tiffany loves apples. It was one of her first words used in communicating with us. APPLE. She comes to the baby gate while I'm working in the kitchen and demands APPLE. This is where I found a lot of use in getting the big bag of dried apple wedges. Tuck them in the fridge and she's got an instant apple slice. Today we have no more apple wedges and so I'm going to cut and core an apple and cook it on the stovetop instead of baking it. Do I want to heat up the whole oven and house for one apple? No. It's quicker on the stove. Let's just hope it works out, m'kay?

Sunday, May 13, 2007

This morning in church I felt odd to be sitting there with nothing in my hands. Usually I bring my knitting and that's cool; I can tuck it into my lap and since I don't have to look down at it much it's very discreet and almost nobody knows I have it. Not this morning. I felt almost naked. Not a good thing, in church. Like that nightmare where you show up for school and suddenly realize you're in your underwear. Once I went to school and found that I had put on my clothes over my PJs. Not a dream. Did I take that opportunity to start getting up on time? I did not. I'm SO not a morning person. I ended up birthing one, though, which is freaky. I'm just starting to get my eyes open and she wants me to function perfectly. Good thing she's two.

Even better that she's not comparing me to other moms yet. While overall I'm sure I would win in her eyes, I'm not sure about the smaller parts of that contest. Insecure, much?

Friday, May 11, 2007

An article in today's Washington Post claims that the average gas price is $3.05 a gallon. Really? Where can I find this averagely priced gas? The stations around here have just hit the 3.40 mark and are still climbing. The article goes on to say that this is creating hardship for a number of families. Really? You think? While many people have not changed their habits, it's worth looking into how these habits are able to be changed.

This family has not changed it's habits. The Boy has to go to work. He's not allowed to take a day off here or there to help save gas. We live 22 miles from his place of employment. While he's attempting to get his license this is hampered by the part where we can't currently afford the gas to have him drive out in town every night to practice so that he will pass the test. We need him to drive but can't afford the means by which he can get the license to drive. Right now it's at least one tank of gas per week at $37+ a fillup.

We're spoiled in america. We are so spread out and so used to just hopping in the car for road trips here and there- we forget that it's a struggle for others until this struggle starts parking outside our front doors. I didn't care about this three years ago. I didn't care about any of this. It didn't really touch me.

I'm ready for something to change. Or I could just win the lottery. Anybody got a winning ticket they aren't using?

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Is there anything sweeter than being able to push off an entire day's quota of housework and sit back, rocking your little girl in your arms, and watching her fall asleep? Or creeping into the nursery to replace a blanket that she's kicked off? Offhand I can't think of anything.
Pita. It's not just a pain in the ass around here. I may have finally figured out the optimal baking procedure for pita bread in this oven. Which is, as all bakers know, different for every oven, baker, set of ingredients... inspiring me to mutter evil thoughts under my breath every time I set out to make a batch.

No more. My secret? Butter. I have designated one butter stick as the greasing stick. I keep it in a baggie in the fridge and pull it out only for greasing the hot baking sheet between rounds. It sizzles. It gives off a nice buttery aroma. It makes the dough no longer stick to the sheet. I gave up on trying to mist the sheet with water- I couldn't get the mist right and the water didn't sizzle. Who am I to argue with results? Especially such yummy ones.

Dinner tonight is yet to be decided. Want to cast your vote? The choices tonight are:

steak and wild rice
beefy taco pockets
broiled pork chops and saffron rice with buttered carrots

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Have you heard the one about the fish, the feed, and the poisoning of pet food? Are you sick of hearing these sorts of things and wondering whether or not the next thing you buy for home use and consumption is going to poison your family? I am. I'm tired of having to wonder; pesticides are bad, germicides are bad, organics are supposed to be some of the safest foods around but who knows how safe they really are? Are they grown under sterile conditions? These days no one can vouch for the soil, air, or water. All three are likely to be just as poisoned as the stuff we're trying to get away from. The substance we're most recently hearing about is melamine, used as a component of plastics and pesticides.

Personally I've got nothing against either industry. Do I feel that we waste too much plastic in the course of daily life? Yup. Do I agree with the commercials that plastics are necessary in some industries and that they've saved literally millions of lives and that the use of plastics and technology makes society as a whole better? Yup. Where's the balance? Where can we say that we want some from column A and some from B, and skip the side order of pollution? We can't; they go hand in hand. There should be something else in the middle, something that allows us to maximize the benefits while minimizing the harm. I guess that it's not good business practice just yet... The time and cost in reworking all those factories and procedures would cut down on the availability of all those neat little widgets that we just gotta have the second we want them.

I heard that the hard plastic packaging that's been the bane of so many people is on the way out; that by next Christmas we'll once again be able to open them without a jaws-of-life. I'm looking forward to that. I'd also like to look forward to a time when we'll be able to send a bottle of shampoo cross-country without jumping through special postal regulations. Did you know that it is an 11,000 fine per instance of shipping liquids/hazards without going through those hoops? If they caught you. That is, it was 11,000 a few years ago when I last was current with US Postage rates. I was going through my issue of Leadership in Action (melaleuca) this week and one of the featured profiles really caught my eye. The lady joined for the products- she liked them, they worked for her and her family- and since she didn't want any of the old stuff around anymore she boxed it all up and set it out for the trashman. We're talking windex, lysol, bath/body stuff; nothing seriously out of normal range. And come trash pickup time, the box was refused because everything in it was classified as a hazardous substance. OSHA regulations require that cleaners in most companies have to use protective gear against what's in these bottles, and housewives/househusbands are using it every day without a second thought.

I'm tired of wondering where the next poisoning news is going to come from. Everything's bad for us; growth hormones in the meat, pesticides in the produce, salmonella in the dairy, nasty stuff in partially thawed and refrozen foods of any sort. Mercury in our fish, poison in the water, greenhouse warming from commuting to our jobs which may or may not be fulfilling- I'll keep a wide open mind on that one because for as many jobs suck the life out of you there are those that are equally soul-enriching.

We've become so dependant on all of this stuff. I can't help ranting about it sometimes. People have forgotten how to fix up what they have to make it last longer, how to stretch things. Lose a button or rip a sleeve? No need to mend it, no need to at the minimum tear it up for cleaning rags. Just toss it. Buy a new shirt and a bundle of brand new rags at Stuffmart for a low, low price. Then go and bitch about how the cost of everything just builds up, and why does the city need to find a new landfill, and why don't the trashtrucks allow unlimited garbage every pickup day anymore?

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

It's official. Caffeine my body no function well without. Example the first: after nearly a week of no caffeine, I came home yesterday and started screaming at my family for no discernable reason. This was bad. Then I put Tiff to bed, sat on the couch, and cried quietly on the Boy for the next two hours. Then we all went to sleep and stayed there for 12 hours.

Today I went out and bought more caffeine tablets. My headache is finally gone. My body is ...slowly... returning to normalcy, or what passes for that. I'm getting some of the straightening up and clearing surfaces done. I even unpacked my faux tiffany lamp and set it up in the living room! Look, more lighting! I can do my needlework out there again! Even though it stays broad daylight out lots longer than it did last week, and the outside temp is starting to push the mid-nineties, and I'm so glad that this sentence is starting to end because it's become a runaway thing with a mind of it's own.

And while I've been cleaning out, here's a knickknack that I've been thinking about getting rid of for a while. It's too good to throw out, it has no purpose here, and maybe somebody out there wants it. The Ebay listing can be found here.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Swiss Steak is on the menu tonight. I was looking through all my cookbooks last night, trawling for inspiration, and I happened across a nifty version of it in the Fix It and Forget It Lightly book. Even better, I had everything on hand to make it. I was able to throw it in there quickly, with a minimum of fuss, and now there's nothing more to deal with.

This is good because I have to clean again today. It feels like all I do is tread water in that department. Everything I do today I'll be doing again tomorrow, the next day, the day after that, to infinity. And still it never really feels fully clean. To combat this? I've come to the conclusion that flat surfaces are the bane of our existance.

My family loves flat surfaces. They start out clean, flat, full of promise. Within a few hours they begin to attract clutter. And the clutter breeds. I've got a few civilizations lost under the stuff on the counter beside the stove. Whenever we make an effort to clean up it always feels as though we're conducting an excavation. Carefully go in, liberate unknown artifacts, identify, and then figure out whether all this could have been easily avoided by simply taking a leaf blower to it all and dumping it straight into the trash.

Pack Rats? Not really... yes. We are pack rats. We hate throwing stuff out until we have to; we acknowledge the worthlessness of the stuff. We are powerless over it. We have to nearly throw a revival meeting to get ourselves psyched up enough to get nasty with our own habits. Isn't knowing the problem one step closer to kicking the habit?

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Saturday, folks! Get out and enjoy it! What are you doing sitting here reading this today? Oh, wait, that's right... mustn't discourage my readers. Okay, you can sit and read as long as the weather or other things prevent you from enjoying it.

I've got a busy afternoon and evening lined up; my little girl wants to dance. How did I ever get along without her?

Friday, May 04, 2007

It occurred to me while driving this morning that while Bill Engvall says he's just about 15degrees off "cool", I could call myself about 15 degrees off "sane". Most of the time this is in the good, fun, and kooky way. I'll admit my sense of humor is warped. My observations and the way I like to stick out those little one-liner quips with the sole purpose of making the listener choke on their beverage- that's all fun and wonderful. Great. Then there are the lower moments.

I've been trying very hard to keep my emotional wackiness in the kooky but fun range and away from the kooky but this woman needs to be locked up range. With fairly good success. There's no way to explain why I've been overly hormonal this week. PMSing again? Dare I hope? Didn't I just do this? All I know is that I'm still getting all choked up at odd moments. I'm still feeling from time to time as though my body is going to bump into something and break into a million tiny pieces. It won't be loud, it won't be messy. I'll probably just sit down and cry whereever it happens, with no idea why I'm crying or how I got there. One good thing about my brand of nuts- it's rarely of a degree to end up on the news. I never turn on the people I love, I just implode fairly quietly. This is the sort of thing the Boy lives in "concern" for. He's not afraid. Never afraid, just like he never worries. He just gets concerned.

Faugh. Enough of this sort of talk. Let's talk about something more exciting and fun. Like pizza. Tonight I'm making my french bread pizza. I am particularly fond of french bread pizza. Look for the recipe over on the recipe/thrift/whathaveyou blog (located just below dooce on my sidebar) But don't look for about five minutes because I need to go find the toddler from whereever she's gotten into. It's been way too quiet for about 3 minutes now.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

This morning I learned that I live just about smack-dab in the center of california. Wow. That is, like, totally amazing. And yes, valley-speak does rot the brain. Fortunately for us we live around so many of those happy california cows. I've yet to hear them talking and having one of those commercial moments.

I need to drink more water again. We got so far away from drinking enough liquids when we moved up here. I haven't hit total dehydration yet, which is good, but I fear that Tiff might start getting that way soon. The Boy is fighting it every day in his office; his department recently lost their AC and I don't know when, if ever, it's getting fixed.

The heat outside is nice and dry this week. I luuuve it. Really. While the temp is the same as it is where I grew up, the humidity is about a third of that. A nice, even, dry heat. I still feel like my skin is baking when I leave the house, but at least I can breathe. Oxygen, my friends, is a good thing.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Let's whore the blog! Won't it be fun? Let's all take a moment to give in to the regularly scheduled "click-a-link" plea. Momma needs to replenish the goldfish cracker fund. She most definately needs to get some spare change back in her wallet and reclaim the coins that so many people are just throwing away these days.

Oh, we can pay rent this month, this pay period, if we don't eat. We can do it all, if we don't go anywhere or do anything. But me? I'd kinda like to eat, get the Boy to work, and not have to face yet another black hole of an overdraft.

Seriously, though. click-a-link. It doesn't take long, it won't cost any more of your time than it took to read one post to this site, and it will really help us out.