Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I was sifting through the Net again and idly wondering exactly what was all about. I've seen them here and there, on tv ads and internet ads and never really got into it since I don't tend to book hotels that much. There are times, though, when even the most devoted stay at home person gets curious to see just how much money it would take to do stuff. To book a room on the other side of the country for a week. How easy is it these days, to make all your reservations with one click and to just get up and go?

Pretty easy, apparantly.

To make my standard trip East to Albany NY, there are more options than I would have thought. For a "good" flight out of Fresno and a B&B in a good area would run this family about 2300. One click brings up a variety of car rentals that I could add in. One click brings up the local theme parks and museums. Hey, I could handle this. If I had the money, this site actually makes traveling pretty damn easy. Also found on the site? Sale prices. For some of the hotels they can knock off an extra percentage, depending on the day of the week, the time of day, the phases of the moon on jupiter- alright, maybe that last one was a bit over the top. But hey, how do I know? I haven't a clue how the sale prices work out. All I know is that if I ever have that kind of money for a vacation trip, this is the site I want to use. Everything is laid out, photos are good, the hotels and vacation properties are what I would expect. Also, and this is a big extra also in my book, the site makes planning a trip with a toddler and an infant look less threatening than a lot of other options.

Cheap Hotels

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Few things are better first thing in the morning than a lapful of Cute Toddler. She snuggled down, her Elmo phone clutched in two little chubby fists; we watched the Closer from last night. At least Mommy watched the Closer. Cute Toddler pressed the buttons.

We are all sitting around this morning, attempting to get our work done in a reasonable manner and within some boundaries of a reasonable time. This is still possible. Although Gram will need to stop popping up from her stuff and let Tiffany play on her own. Tiff does not care, as long as there remain animal crackers to eat, Cake once a week, and her Teletubbies remain On Demand. Toddlers have such simple requirements.

(short break to cuddle toddler on lap again)

Again, with the lapful of Cute Toddler. So cuddly. So adorable. No doubt this a major reason why I'm approaching parenthood again with a certain smug satisfaction. Two cute bundles of love on my lap. Twice the love, twice the cuddles. Twice the tantrums in the middle of the night- heck, I can deal with that.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

The solution to half my ills today can be found in drinking water until I feel I'm going to float away. Seriously, I've drunk so much water, and I have to pee every twenty minutes, and even though I can't manage to take more than 5 bites of anything at a time I think I'm starting to get a handle on this pregnancy.

Today, at least.

Tomorrow is a whole new ball game. New rules, different deck of cards. Same fabulous prizes.

Friday, June 22, 2007

the wrist stick stings. It itches. Scratching it would be a bad idea.
5 sticks in my left elbow, one in the right, one in the wrist- finally got a little bit of blood to decide to leave my body and go into the tube for the nice techs. And what they got? Not my best. A second stick downstream of a vein previously hit, that got *some* blood and a lot of spatter in the tube. The tech drained out the needle into a second tube so as not to waste the precious itty bit he could get.

Let's all pray it's enough. They only needed one tube. I'm not drinking the glucose again unless I really REALLY have to. Nasty.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

My Boy is off in Sonoma this weekend, working at something or other at Nascar. This, despite the fact he's not a Nascar fan, or a sport fan, or even close. What he is a fan of is escaping the office. He also, despite my failure to understand, a fan of camping. So the chance to sleep in a tent on the ground really made him fight to be allowed to go on this duty. Yep. It's official Navy business. Whatever he's doing there.

This morning as I sent him on his way with twelve bottles of beer and an airbed I reflected on the whole "away" concept. I've been getting incredibly spoiled lately, having him home every night. Every night except one (sleep study) he's been laying next to me. And now I'm not entirely sure I'm sorry to see him go off again. Sure, I love him. Perhaps it's that I'm completely secure in that as only a wife to someone who travels frequently can be. I know that I can handle anything that comes up here. I know that he trusts me to do that. I know that I can trust him no matter what situation comes up, whether he be lonely or tempted or drunk. I know that this trust is shared by many women who never have to wave their husbands off for a week. I think we're really lucky.

To celebrate the Girls' Weekend now upon us, the Toddler has given up all pretense at napping. She's exhausted. She knows it. We know it. She refuses to sleep. Well, it will happen soon now I think. She'll fall over on her side, naked butt in the air, and be fast asleep until morning.

I am truly sorry for the lack of humor this week. I have been growing the Little Bit. He demands much Toilet Time with mommy every day, and I've been spending large portions of the afternoon and evening trying to keep food down.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I thought I was getting off too lightly when I finished giving a yellow specimen at the lab and walked away. A few hours later my cell phone rang. "This is HM1. Um. Did you forget to get the rest of your bloodwork drawn?"

Damn. They found me. So back to the lab I went. 6 sticks of blood and a bottle of gatorade later I'm free again. Picked up the Boy, the family all went out to dinner, and fast forward to this morning.

So I know I have crappy veins. This has always made labwork "Interesting". In the multiple attempts to find a) a vein that works b) a vein that they can find and access and c) a vein that will not blow out the tube halfway through the procedure. I am very happy with HM1. Ecstatically happy. Not only did he find a winner first try, but there's not a mark on my arm this morning. Very cool. Cool enough to offset the crazy little blond-haired terror who's bringing me paper after paper after book after stuffed animal this morning. And how does one read a stuffed animal? Carefully. And with lots and lots of giggles.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

pregnant mommy-brain strikes again.

I'm hungry, it's afternoon, and I figured I'll just make a double batch of Annie's Mac and Cheese. Good, right? Well, I made a double batch, and I'm looking down at it and it looks kinda puny for two whole boxes. But I clearly remembered using both cheese packets to make the sauce, and then I went to pick up the boxes as part of Tidying Up.

I only made one box of pasta.

So it's back to boiling and another 8 minutes before I can peacefully enjoy the creamy cheesy goodness. Wow. I had no idea that the mommy-brain would stealth-strike this early on.

I guess I really am going to be buying the Super-sized desk calendar for the next year.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I need to be putting the clean dishes away and the dirty ones in the dishwasher. Am I? No.

I need to be prepping dinner so that I can spend the rest of the afternoon comfortably with feet up, drinking water, and not losing my lunch. Am I? No.

Is my daughter still shrieking happily in her crib despite it being Well Past her naptime? Yes. Do those shrieks richochet through my aching head? Yes. Do I feel like I'm playing twenty questions with myself rather than posting anything meaningful today? You betcha.

Seriously though, our nap schedules are thrown off by the presence (welcome) of Grammy. She is a wonderful present for all of us. She is bright, and happy to be here, and a New Toy for Tiff to crawl over and giggle with. She gives me oodles of much-needed hugs on a daily basis. This makes it okay that naps are being thrown by the wayside.

Father's Day will have a present this year. It will even have a Father at home to enjoy it. This is a happy thing; it makes up for so much else that has seemed to go wrong this spring. And look, wow, there's going to be twice as much fun this time next year.

Dinner tonight: Shepherd's Pie. Without the alphabet soup.

Monday, June 11, 2007

"I have no pity for you"
"How can you stand there and say that?"
"Oh, I have sympathy for you. I don't love that you're sick and tired and all. But you were a willing participant in the events that led us to this point. Therefore you get no pity."

..."You are so cute when you're being overly-logical."...

Sunday, June 10, 2007

and now I am 30. Tired, sleepy, feeling very much like crawling back into bed and sleeping for a few more hours. And I'm 30...

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Parents have one thing that both makes them miserable and happier than they could ever have dreamed. Children. We put so much of ourselves into our children whether or not we intend to. Hopes, dreams. It's one of the harder truths, when someone puts so much of themselves into a project we can't stand to think of that effort as wasted. Maybe this is why "It's such a waste" is one of the more common phrases used in connection with untimely deaths.

The amount of effort any parent puts into their children is enormous. It is without price. It is something so innate to most of society that it's hard to conceive of anyone who would not think so. To use a semi-recent example, the amish schoolhouse shootings come immediately to mind. Any school shooting is horrific. This particular event was made more so because of the nature of the community and how they are perceived. Whether or not a given segment of society agrees with the choices the Amish make, we believe that they should be left alone to live their lives. Whether or not we personally believe in nonviolence, deep down most people believe that the Amish should be allowed to live out their believes. In a way it's similiar to the guiding principles of many other faiths: do as you would have done unto you...

How can we say that the effort we put into raising our children is not wasted? When we think of the sleepless nights, the vital and mostly disgusting personal care acts we must perform for our children- I can think of several Poop-a-looza diapers that fall into this category... we'd like to think that it is for something. If our children grow, if they are happy. I think happiness is the one thing that no one can ultimately control. You can take steps to make yourself happy, you can think for hours to find out what happiness means to you, and if you don't have it in your life all that work is wasted.

I thought I was happy before. Now I'm going to be a mother of two and a cherished wife. It terrifies me to think about my children, growing up, never being truly happy in their adult choices. It comforts me to know that my mother knows deep down that I am happy, growing happier every day.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

the walls in the master bathroom shower are this odd sort of mottled brown. The cracks in it were grouted when we moved in; this makes the mottled brown plastic look even odder. And yet... when the light hits it in the right place in the afternoon, and I'm using the cinnamon bun scented body wash, and my glasses are off so that all I can see is fuzz- it's as though I'm encased in a giant cinnamon bun. Smeared with icing. And now I'm hungry for a cinnabon.

Damn these hormones! Damn this healthy eating kick I'm trying to instill!
Payperpost. I've now written two little blurbs for them. And for this, they will pay into the Goldfish Cracker Fund. With these two blurbs I will add to my household budget which now will be stretching to cover a second baby, toddler, eventually with luck help pay for some of their education.

Money, money, money. Everybody needs it, nobody thinks they have enough. With the economy of gas prices and other expenses it's hard to know where we can cut anything further out. I'm doing everything I can think of. Having another baby may not be up there on the list of things I've done to cut the expenses, but in the long run I don't view children as an expense. They are people, they are gifts, and yes it's a challenge to make things stretch to care for everyone but ultimately it's a worthy cause.

No more than two, though, because my body won't permit it and my husband is not willing to lose me over children. He says it's because he refuses to allow me to make him a single father. I suspect it's much more that I scared him to death the last time I had a baby and he can't quite bring himself to say that to me.
Teachers, special help, therapists, my life as a parent is starting to revolve around them all. This morning I found myself wondering when Tiff will be ready for preschool. Isn't that nuts? Another deeper part of me wants to start saying "enough already!" What happened to childhood? What happened to my baby's childhood, is she screwed now if she doesn't get special ed or can I mainstream her?

It's not like there aren't remedial services available. I saw an ad for the Score centers this morning. It combines fun with education. Sounds easy, right? Not always. Every person alive learns differently. The real challenge of teaching is to figure out how a child learns and teach to their strengths and learning styles. Repetition isn't enough, education can't be a one-size fits all experience.

This is the ad I saw, and I'm passing it on. Summer Program

This post brought to you by Just because of that, don't discount the sentiments behind the post.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

when I was a kid I loved looking up at the stars. I knew one constellation well enough to pick it out, and to this day I keep looking for it when I go out at night. Moving out to the country has gotten rid of most of the ambient light making it next to impossible to see stars.

Another thing I loved was looking through books of planets and stars. The pictures were always so colorful. Different from the normal daytime world around me. It was fun to think that these things were out there, and if only my eyes were better I could figure out how to use a telescope and see them too.

I just found out about Meade MySky. It's doing for stargazing what the digital camera did for the picture-taking-challenged. (Don't know about you, but I find it hard to take a good picture without having my thumb in the frame, or cutting off what I'm trying to take the picture of...) Digital cameras fix that. So the Meade MySky has the cool LCD screen to see the picture on, GPS to make it easier to identify what you're seeing, and they include a sky map.

It's a step further than the hand-held telescope. It's easier to use, the results are more amazing. I find it... worthy of a mention.
meade telescopes

Monday, June 04, 2007

Little Bit is going to be so happy here. Assuming that he/she can avoid the reflux and colic issues of his/her big sister. The Boy and I were talking things over, and starting to think up all the fun and cool things we'll be needing. And not so fun and cool- like furniture, a new crib, we have to get off our butts and finish cleaning out the family room (and save up for some furniture so we can use it) and such.

This is definately the time to keep up my survey sites, my blogging (the adbrite really does add up pretty quick when people visit the ads), and everything else.

Monday night, first Monday in June. The temp made it into the mid to high nineties today. Thank heavens for central air!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

One line for one child, two lines for two children... the double pink line tells me that in 9 months or so we will be buying newborn diapers again. Wow, what a good time to be increasing my extra income, right?

Let's all take a moment and hope that this pregnancy goes a hell of a lot better than the last one.

Friday, June 01, 2007

ads on blogs

So I've just joined payperpost; it's a site that will pay you to write a review of a site or product and post that on your blog- then you get paid for it. Sounds pretty simple, doesn't it? I think so.

I can add this to my list of ways to make some extra money on the Net. It won't be thousands a month (though it would be nice) but it'll help out. Every little bit helps. More for the goldfish cracker fund! I found it through a series of unrelated clicks and searches that had nothing to do with looking for them and everything to do with just following my nose and browsing around this morning. It's remarkable what you can find while browsing the Net. As long as you make sure the anti-virus and firewall are properly configured!

Every now and then I start feeling pinched because we've got to watch our pennies. I feel broke, poor, like a bad wife because I can't make gold from straw. You know what? I'm coming to realize that those feelings are pretty damn consistant the world over. It's what you do with them that counts. Are you going to sit around bitching? Are you going to go out there and try to do something? Circumstances right now are against me going outside of the house to work. I wouldn't feel right doing an at-home freelance job; but this is something I can do. I can blog. I can get some cash back from Adbrite for my time. I can sell the crafts that I make in my free time and insomnia for some more cash. I can take online surveys and after a while the little stuff really does add up.

PayPerPost is the newest, the latest and greatest that I'm going to try out and believe in. Free to join; you're not going to lose anything at all. Who knows? I might end up with those thousands at the end of a year. I'm not greedy, I don't need thousands a week that's unsustainable. I just want a hundred or so a month.
ads on blogs