Monday, July 30, 2007

When we moved into this house, we had the movers stack everything into nice rows of cardboard boxes in the family room. While it meant we couldn't use the family room at all, it also kept the unpacking clutter away from Curious Toddler. That was more important to us; the unpacking fell mostly to me in the early days, as the Boy was busy reporting in at his new command . After a few weeks of dedicated unpacking, I fell behind. Way behind. So far behind that I stopped unpacking, and we were left with a family room full of half-empty boxes, assorted trash, and the odds and ends of stuff that we hadn't a clue what to do with yet. Those boxes have now achieved this state:Leaving the majority of all that fine space open, the carpet is visible, I have a sewing nook (out of camera shot) and the library has been moved into the family room to make space available in the third bedroom for both a guest bed and (eventually) a second nursery.
And here are the socks I have been working on for the past week. Plain, white, socks. They will be warm and soft and cuddle the feet of a warmhearted individual who has devoted most of her energy this past year in supporting me and my Boy, and loving the Toddler. Plus, it will encourage her to stop obsessing over the holes in the heels of the socks I made her at Christmas. Love you, Mom. Really. Now stop perseverating. We both need to set a good example for Tiff.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

The way I see it, if I can find some sort of paid blogging post every few days, it's a consistent addition to the Goldfish Cracker Fund. Which is a totally great thing. It makes me feel better about the prospects of staying a housewife with two little kids, it lets me contribute something back to the household funds besides all my time and effort around the house. (What time and effort? Well, the Toddler doesn't tickle herself or play games alone, does she? And when I'm on my feet around here I can actually get a pretty decent rhythm going as a mom)

So that's my excuse for the sponsored stuff. This past 30 days worth of paid blogging has brought in $55 to the Goldfish Cracker Fund (GCF). Not shabby. The clicks everyone has been gracious enough to take on the sidebar has brought in $14 this month. As you can see, it adds to the overall budget and the amount is definitely worth the time it takes. And this is just starting out with one month of consistant work on my part.

Coming soon: pictures of socks. And other knitterly goodness. It's almost Toddler Naptime, which is something I'm not exactly looking forward to doing. Looking forward to the quiet, not so much to the struggle of getting her to bed. I'd let her give it up, except she really does need that nap. Not that she'll ever admit it...

Tomorrow or tonight there will be some pretty pictures. Until then, good luck and best wishes. Stay safe.
The world of sports is pretty much a blank for me. It is out there, but it doesn't have much of an impact on my household's life... unlike some others. My husband works with guys to whom this stuff is bread and beer. I think if they were forced to go without some sort of sports fix for all of twelve hours their minds would shrivel into a fetal ball, whimpering for like-minded individuals to talk to. Today's sponsored post is about the wonderful world of hockey. A good site to visit to read up on all current hockey-related stuff can be found at - hockey
. Draft picks, reviews, news on current teams/events/games, links to individual teams and the regional papers that would have the best coverage of their inner workings. And for those who want to delve a bit deeper than that there is a whole well-followed forum set up for further discussion.
nhl entry draft - hockey

Thursday, July 26, 2007

I've not been making very good progress on my many projects this week. Reasons/Excuses for this include: playing with Toddler. Attempting to preempt the other adults in the house on housework. I realize this seems silly. Who in their right mind would argue at getting out of dishwashing, meal prepping, and laundry? Not to mention picking up, vacuuming, dusting, scrubbing, and all the other fun things that go along with homemaking. But it does get on my nerves every now and then that I'm being trumped at every turn. I would have to get up before 0800 in order to do these things. Instead of dragging myself awake at 0800 I want to do these chores around 1000. By 1000, these chores are usually done.

So what do I do? Smile and be glad I'm getting off the hook on many of the undesirable chores. The Little Bit is behaving rather well... I'm so not-sick as compared to where I was with Tiff that I'm on the way to being convinced that this is a male child. A boy child. oooh. On our way to that white picket fence world, two children- one of each, a husband with a full time day job that supports our family (fairly well, all the basics, few if any frills), and I get to stay home and bake bread while wearing pearls and a frilly apron.

Another item for the project list- spa socks. I want to start making a few pairs of spa socks to list on the Virtual Craft Show. Would there be interest in this from the AltMamas? Or anyone else? Remember: handmade socks are a rare thing. They're comfy, show a high level of "snob appeal", and above all they're the most comfy things I've ever put on my feet. Me, who normally puts on and takes off socks in my sleep due to perpetually cold feet. Which habit may have led to the pair of socks recently discovered shoved into a tissue box. Why is this? What was I thinking when this happened? Exactly how asleep must I have been to accomplish this feet? This is the sort of behavior which can lead to accidental sex with the Boy. How does one have accidental sex? Well, we were both asleep, and it had been a chilly night so we snuggled up. And this was back when he still slept naked. And, well, things sort of happen by themselves without us being fully awake until it's really pointless to stop.

I will point out here that this was well before we were parents. Since the Toddler, the Boy sleeps clothed. Less to remember to do should he be required to leap from bed in the night to go comfort/clean/change/feed the Toddler. Or any of the other many crucial parenting acts. Do I miss those days? Yep. Then I see my Toddler smiling at me, or giggling on her Daddy's knee, or doing any of a hundred things to make me realize that I'm the luckiest woman on earth at this moment. I miss the childless days. But I wouldn't go back to them for anything.

Like shopping online? Like the convenience of getting stuff you need without leaving the house or having to take off the fluffy bunny slippers? Then you also might like to save money while shopping. Sales are great. There are some great deals to be found on the Net every day of the week. The only drawback is how do you offset the shipping costs? Some places offer free shipping with coupons. Some sites offer coupons to those who do the work to look for them, and that helps shave the price down even further. And what can you do with a few extra dollars? I know what I would do...

Another coupon site I visit is ecouponcodes. Updated daily with all the latest codes from vendors such as Fashion Bug (love their sleepwear), Overstock, the Gap... and many many more. Check out the current Old Navy coupons and don't forget that their maternity line has uber-comfy clothes in flattering styles. Personally, I am hooked on the infant/toddler socks. Ecouponcodes also offers an RSS feed for those of you who like to use such things. Among their offerings: amazon codes, dell, hp... stores added frequently, coupons updated daily. Be sure to bookmark and check this site when you're shopping online, because it will help save dollars and cents off your purchases. This site has been around for two years, not that long when compared to some other sites, but two years can be a long long time to offer good deals consistently.

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This has been a sponsored post

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I wish that I didn't have to set limits on my Tiff right now. I wish I didn't have to have all the hard work that comes with toddler-wrangling, just the fun stuff. Like catering to her every whim and chasing her around until she runs out of breath from giggling.

But that's part of the parenting gig. You have to be tough on the tough stuff. And not just tough, but consistent. There are certain rules that have to be followed, and while I'm not so fond of dealing with the reluctance of my girl to follow the rules, I'm less fond of the prospect that comes with a childhood of no rules. She's stubborn like I'm stubborn, and if she gets away with not following the rules than it's going to be even louder and harder later on. I think I can deal with the thought that Mean Mommy is my everyday identity. Fun Mommy only comes out when the rules are obeyed and her behavior is good.

Consistency. It's all about consistency. This will lead to a moderately well behaved child that I can take out in public. It's not a popularity contest. And even though Mean Mommy seems to be the bane of this child's existence and the author of every unloved decision and insistence- who does she run to when she bumps her head? Whose lap does she crawl into when she's tired, or doesn't feel well, or just wants to sit in front of her beloved Tubbies and veg? We spent a good 30 minutes in the Big Comfy Chair this morning, my lap completely filled with a long-legged wild-haired child. She tucked her legs to her chin, curled her shoulders over so her head fit under my chin, and snuggled. For the hope of these times I'll be Mean Mommy for as long as it takes. These times are the ones I remember when she screams at my feet because I won't do her bidding without the use of words. These times are the ones I remember when she throws her body against the walls rather than sit down and play quietly. These golden moments when my baby is in my lap and she smiles at me...

Those are worth every sleepless night. Every tear she inspires in me. Every bruise that her fists land on my shins. Just give me a golden moment every few days.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I can eliminate most of the human interaction once required to order a pizza. Tonight I had a serious pizza attack; this meant that I got "the Big Order". double breadsticks, double pizzas. Ordering online means that no one will get impatient as I change my mind twenty times in the ordering process. I stuffed my face with it, and now I can't stand the smell.

Is this what it means to be pregnant? Or is this just another shining example of what it means to be me? I binge, then I feel bad about the binge, then I want to get rid of all evidence that I did the binge.

Oh, and the pizza was delicious. We all stuffed our faces. It wasn't just me. What it means for me to binge on it is two slices, two breadsticks, and two cups of juice. Most people do not consider that a binge. For me? This is all my stomach will hold and even that is a bit of a stretch. Now I'm getting hungry for pizza again. For thin crusted plain cheese, and not for the leftovers sitting in the corner of the kitchen. Geez.

Monday, July 23, 2007

I lost a day. Wait. How did it get to be past dinnertime, when the last moment I clearly remembered of the whole middle of the day was lunch?

Oh. Right. HP7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Contrary to what seems to be most of the rest of the people I know, I wasn't waiting with bated breath for it's release. I was all mellow. I still am. The Boy read it. It was set onto my pile to read. I picked it up and started reading. It won't take me long, even. But... I am finding it absorbing enough to hold my attention in a way that I did not experience with books 5 or 6.

I did, however, finish a white sock this weekend. And I went to the store today to get a gallon of milk and some bread. I also inherited a big bag of yarn, color coordinated, and enough of it to make one afghan/bedspread for Tiff. Pink, purple, and white. This is a good thing. Free yarn is always welcome. A new project to ensure my hands stay busy? Even better. Bring it on, I say! Bring it on!

Also, Tiff made Cake with her Grammy this weekend. I got the pictures downloaded this morning. I leave you with this thought.
Last week an article ran in the Chicago Tribune about BP's expansion of their refinery. It seems to me that this article was a bit over focused on the increase of the plant's discharge, while ignoring the complete facts- not an uncommon thing in journalism among those trying to prove a point. I'm more used to seeing single minded journalism on the editorial pages though, and while yes, this post is sponsored by BP it's a disparity that I actually agree with. (Hey! Here's a wonderful thing. Agreeing with what I'm being sponsored to write!)

So let's look at this on a slighter larger level. The refinery's production is expanding enough to create 80 full time jobs after construction is completed. Better for the economy. During construction at it's peak: 2000 jobs. I've worked construction. Those jobs will be there a while. More production equals more gas, more jet fuel for the airlines, more energy for the total environment. While this country has been losing refinery capacity for quite some time, do we really think cutting back expansion is a good plan? Are not your pockets hurting every time you see the gas tank flicker on empty?

The detractors say, oh, but they're increasing the amount of discharge of ammonia into Lake Michigan! And other stuff! And it'll kill the environment! To which I feel the need to point out that they're not exceeding federal limits, they're not asking for special consideration and exceptions to be made. They're just going to be increasing the discharge proportionately to the increased capacity. Will you put your eye out to spite the economy? What's ultimately more importantly to us- is it a better future for the people living and working, is it worth losing the "cushion" provided by BP operating well beneath the federal guidelines?

You can find out more here: BP Whiting Refinery Facts

Saturday, July 21, 2007

About a million years ago we went to a fair. Was it last week? Only last week? It seems much longer and much shorter all at the same time. Hm. We saw many things- lions, quilts, and chickens. I liked the chickens but they weren't very photogenic.

Here's a quilt.

Take a minute and let those colors soak in. Kinda like watercolored crayons, with lots and lots of pretty pointed stars that took oodles of work. And handquilted in pretty threads that matched all the pretty colors of the quilt. If I could wrap myself in a rainbow I'd want that rainbow to look kinda like this.

And then there were lions. I don't think you can see them in this pic, but the Toddler sure liked them. Holding her is my wonderful mama. As you can see, she was the Voice of Reason, keeping the Toddler from wriggling her way into the enclosure. Not that she would have tried. Her knack for getting into tight spaces seems to be limited mostly to the oven, dishwasher, and the linen closet.

What can I say? She's my girl.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Today could have gone a bit better. From the early morning wakeup of a small child who brightly demanded (and didn't get) her "tubbies!" at 1 AM, to the somewhat later morning wakeup when my Boy came snuggling back under the blankets. To the interrupted nap I had this afternoon, leading me to believe in the sad truth that I may not sleep again until tonight when I'll lay in bed staring at the ceiling until my eyes dry out.

This is why I have a husband, folks. Because after the few months he's had shore duty I've become incapable of sleeping without him and I'm too hormonal at the moment to sleep with him. And yet he will still willingly let me wrap one twig-like arm around his waist in the middle of the night and count his breathing. I think I can almost go into a trance that way. It does calm the anxiety. It makes me feel warm and comforted.

It's been a day or two of making bizarre phonecalls unassisted by the hormonal storm raging through my body. I hear what people are telling me and I don't know whether or not it actually makes sense or if this is the first sign of my going off the deep end with Little Bit. Everybody remember what happened last time? Good. I don't want to rehash it. Let's not go there. Let's go... to the beach! That's right, everybody will make sand castles and watch the surf go in and out. Very relaxing. I'll sit under the cabana and let somebody bring me cold drinks. With fruit on sticks. And tiny paper umbrellas.

And while I'm doing that? Another day, another post, another addition to the Goldfish Cracker Fund. My payperpost habit has approved another couple of ad-posts. No matter whether I decide on cloth or disposable diapers for the Little Bit, it's still a bunch of money that I'd like to bring in and help the household. Cause I can't just sit on my ass eating pretzels and kosher hot dogs all day. Can I? - "fitness dating"

When I was still single and looking for a match, I tried several dating sites. Match, singles, and I'll tell you what most of us have already found out. It's hard to find somebody who shares your interests. The dating world really is a sea full of fish; there are hundreds of species and colors and varieties and how do we ever find the time to sort it out?

It's hard enough so why make it harder? Instead of the club scenes scores of tired office professionals surf the web in the comfort of their homes and fuzzy bunny slippers. I loved the freedom it gave me. Instead of hundreds of blind dates with total strangers I could get a feel for the person and only went on three or four of them. I think sites like this one do a good job by gathering people of like interests so that it makes the weeding down of all the possibilities even easier for that tired person sitting on their couch.

On you can search by your preferences- man seeking woman, age, zip code. Profiles are blurbs with photos and registration is free. Like most dating sites, for certain levels of contact (messaging through the site, premium services) you will become a paid member- I've actually done that in the past with a certain dating site and had very good results.

If I had to go back out there and find another man, this is a site I would consider using.
fitness singles

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Brief Update: The Little Bit has decided to follow in Big Sister's Footsteps. The baby is kicking my ass today. In between being sick and being semi-vertical, I may not be posting actual content until tomorrow. In the meantime, don't forget to help out with the Goldfish Cracker Fund. Everybody has been just wonderful in the past week and I'm proud to report that of noon today the earnings report says that you've provided two cute outfits or one jumbo pack of diapers for the new one.

Happy Dance.
Thanks to all.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Aren't long summer days when you're not feeling up to par the best times to curl up with a book? This weekend has been marked by the following books:
The Spellman Files
The Family that couldn't sleep.

And you'd think that nobody could read all of these things in 24 hours. Especially when you factor in sleeping for at least 12 of those hours. But I read fast. Freakishly fast. And I retain enough of what I read to pass a content and detailed essay exam afterwards.

So far my hands down favorite of these is the Spellman Files, although that may change. I'm only two thirds of the way through Hide. So far it's good, worth the library hold and reserve fee, and I'll keep this author on my short list of guaranteed good reads in reasonable time without too much thought and intensive imagination on my part.

Not fluff, but not Tolstoy either. Is that even a category? Don't remember. I find my own categories mean more to me than the Library of Congress or the Sears Subject Headings classifications. Everybody has such different tastes.

Hence the popularity of American Idol and Nova.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Little red wire shopping cart? check.
Bag full of "new" library books? check.
A weekend afternoon spent with my mommy while apologizing for never giving her a moment's peace as a small child, after spending a weekend morning with two little eyes staring at me solomnly over my kneecap? That's one of the best comeupances I could ever have wanted.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Rule 1 of good behavior in a laboratory (the kind where you give samples of this and that): when showing up, wait politely and in turn to be seen.

Rule 2: When the procedure you're being asked to prepare for makes you ill, notify the technician in charge of your tests.

Rule 3: When notification has occurred, please try to direct the vomit away from other clients waiting to be seen. This is not something they need to see graphically. If possible, avoid hitting the technician. He will thank you later. Especially if your appointment falls in the early morning hours.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Psst! Want to help the Goldfish Cracker Fund without inconvenience or cost to yourself? Visit the sponsored links down on the sidebar. Click a link and it will drop a few virtual pennies into the jar.
Today I'm knitting in a super bulky chenille yarn. It's 98 degrees outside my front door. Does this mean that I'm out of my ever-freaking mind? You bet it does. You better believe I've also got the air conditioner working.

The family is down for a nap and I'm trying to hydrate. It involves many many cups of herbal teas. Many cups of cold water. Many trips to the bathroom in which I envy my non-potty trained offspring. The knitting is helping keep my mind off the fact that I have to take another drink every two minutes. It's intended home is the lucky lady who was assigned to be my Summer Secret Santee (the one who gets the gift from me). I've shopped for her at the five&dime and now I'm making a fuzzy blue shawl to help give her a hug when the winter comes again.

Still. Knitting chenille in this heat? Must be nuts.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I've been signed up with payperpost for a bit over a month now. And so far, I love it. It pays when they promise, to paypal- which lets me spend the funds over on ebay or request a check. Which is fairly instant and completely under my control. I like that over most of my other survey sites; although the payment comes through just as promised it takes a minimum of a month to process, then a couple of weeks for a check, and they only start processing at a certain day of the month- if I miss that day it takes up to another full 6 weeks to get the money.

And so I like the payperpost.

I've made about eleven dollars so far. With another 6 in the wings. For a month of work and a few blog posts I figure it's easy money. The only thing I would change is the availability of the higher paying opportunities. But since it's easy money- who am I to complain? So far I'm buying stuff to support my new pregnancy. Little Bit is growing outwards faster than Tiff did. This is a good sign, but it makes me want to scurry around to start getting nickels and dimes away for the new Goldfish Fund.

blog marketing
Is it possible to forget rain? On the way home this morning a few drops of water splashed on my windshield and I looked around for what might have splashed me. My first thought was that it was an irrigation system. Turns out it was a few sprinkles, just a handful of drops. Enough to wash the dust from the hood of my car, nothing more. And then it was over.

I've lived in a non-rain environment for three years now. In that time I've seen snow maybe three times. Only on trips back east. I see rain when I used to see snow- in the winter. In San Diego the sky always looks like rain in the morning. The mist burns off by noon and then it's drop-dead gorgeous. Out here it's hot and dry, dusty. I saw rain when we moved in. I saw it again once more but then it was over for the year. I miss standing in the rain, I miss hearing the raindrops on the roof when I'm sleeping. I don't know how I'll tell my daughter what it is when it comes around again this winter. "See that, Tiff? It's rain. Water, coming down from the clouds." Maybe I'll take a page from Terry Pratchett's version of Australia. It's the Wet. Water comes down, washes the streets clean. It washes the skin clean without the smell of sulfer. It cools the air and lets the smell of new growth fill the air. Green follows after.

The Wet will come back in the winter. Soon enough.

Monday, July 09, 2007

What weekend would be complete without the following conversation?

"Honey, why are there 4 cop cars parked outside?"
"?" me, having been blissfully unaware of any law enforcement presence outside of the "Rosemary and Thyme" dvd.

So I had to open the blind at that point, despite raising the bedroom temps about 5 degrees in the HOT summer sun. And then I frequently checked in on the drama unfolding. As drama goes this was kinda disappointing. I didn't see anyone led away in cuffs, I didn't see the ghetto booty babe mincing down the street in her stiletto sandals. I saw the cars ease off, one by one, and a tow truck arrive to cart away a white SUV. And a uniform came to the door to ask if we had seen anyone driving it.

When I consider that this is the most excitement seen on this block since the kid came to my door one morning trying to bum cigarettes, I have to admit that we picked a good area to move into. Quiet neighbors. No excess of crime or hostility. Despite the part about not being able to understand more than one word in five that anybody next door says to me, I like it here. It's a good place to raise a toddler, a place in which I'm not afraid to bring home an infant.

Small Town America strikes again. Be afraid, people, lest I start wearing an apron and heels to start taking out the trash. I might lose my marbles one day and paint the fence white. And buy a minivan.
Coupon Chief is one of the neatest collections of online coupons that I've seen. And I've seen a lot of coupon sites. They collect hundreds of different retailers and provide the coupon codes available; what I find makes this site stand out over others is that they include the store's corporate office information right there alongside the rest. You have the customer service numbers, emails, phone/fax info. And a new feature that is available for some of the larger sites (like Target, Amazon) is an instructional video. You may think that some of that is overkill, but I thought that the little 90 second clip of how to access the site and use the coupon is really nice. Especially when Pregnant Mommy Brain kicks in and starts overpowering the little gray cells that allow me to function with the rest of humanity.

This post has been brought to you courtesy of:

Saturday, July 07, 2007

This morning the Boy and I went to this guy's house for a moving out toss and dump. He was down to the few things he didn't want to take; a pair of matched table lamps and an end table. All really good stuff.

All in all, that was pretty much the extent of today's excitement. Probably have more fun stuff tomorrow. But I've got a hot date waiting for me, and he's getting impatient...

Friday, July 06, 2007

Squirrels Without Borders

It's official. The Squirrels have united and formed socio-political groupings. I'm going to go stock up on nuts for a squirrel feeder so I can placate our new overlords.

And if you don't know I'm kidding, I apologize for inserting levity into my depressed ramblings.
Between lapfuls of Cute Toddler, and trying to rest, I've been pretty quiet lately. And yes, I've been struggling a bit with the depression as well. So far I'm coming up a winner. This is the important thing.

Among the other things of vital importance is that yesterday morning I got the very first glimpse of my new Little Bit. I heard the heart beating under my own. I felt the reality of the wiggle wiggle Thump THUMP that keeps me awake at night. Now it all makes me feel calm. The thought that soon I'll be back in a brutal round of doctor appts and checkups doesn't faze me at all. Not even the part where this set of doctors will be at a 45minute drive from the house, as opposed to a 10 or 15 minute drive. I've got a baby on the way and an adorable little girl already here. Life does not get much better than this.

Also on the happy front? I got my first payout for payperpost. The ad copy I wrote last month has been paid out to my paypal account. This will buy goldfish crackers and something pretty for the Toddler. And a taco.

The heatwave of this week has been nearly beyond belief. If we were back on the east coast with the humidity they receive, I'd be unable to breathe outside the house. Yesterday it reached 109 degrees outside. Thank God for central air. And for the low humidity of the desert that makes all of this bearable for me while I'm feeling sick and tired.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Every now and again I start feeling like the suburban housewife gets thin and the neurotic young woman I used to be gets yanked into the spotlight. Not a place I like to be, unless it's completely under my control. These would be the same issues that lead me to snap at my husband, shrill at my daughter, and spend a lot of time staring at an empty computer screen.

How do you fight it? It's easy when everything happens on schedule as planned with few unexpected deviations to your day. When everything becomes dependent on the smooth transition from one activity to the next. One variation, one slip leads to another, the entire days plans fly out the window, and the next thing you know you're caught in the snowball slide from hell.

I still don't know the answers. I spent years in therapy, months in psychiatric hospitals. I've ignored it and dealt with it. I've sat awake at nights wrestling with the same questions that hit me in broad daylight. I don't know which is better.

Look at myself in the mirror in the morning. Who is going to win today? The housewife or the other one? Or will it be an even earlier version? A little girl still so scared she can't come out of her hidey hole?

Does more therapy help or does more chemical interference? Drug the problem and watch it go away? I wish it were that easy.